Sunday, November 22, 2015

Reviving the Dream

Barnes and Noble, 2007

It was my second or third book signing there.

As I approached the white folding table, stacked with copies of my book, a group of 7-10 squealing girls literally ran up to me. For an instant, panic set in. I jumped, completely caught off guard by the stampede of 10 to 14 year old girls. But they beamed up at me, absolutely enthralled by the book I had written. They loved the characters. They loved the action. They loved the adventures. They asked for more. They asked to have copies signed. They wanted to know when the next book would come out.

This memory has been flooding back into my mind more and more frequently. I recall a mother of one of these young girls who asked me to immediately inform her when book two would be released. She provided me with her e-mail and home address. She wanted to give a copy to her daughter for Christmas.

The feeling of having touched these blossoming young women, with a story I started writing when I was their age, really warmed my heart in a way that is almost impossible to describe.

…and it made the decision to discontinue publication all the harder. (That is a different story.) However, as I am getting closer to completing the trilogy, this image continually drives me to revive my dream. I look forward to begin the publishing process again… although, I admit, it’s not as fun as writing. But I have learned much, and hope to learn much more.  

Monday, October 12, 2015

Book two in the works

After years of writing, re-writing, reading, and second guessing myself and my efforts to be an author, I have discovered something about writing. It may seem obvious to those more experienced in this career/hobby, but it is something that took me quite some time to comprehend.

In the past, my style was to create the scene and then have the characters play their parts. Recently, I've discovered a beautiful fluidity that comes when combining the developing scene with the acting characters. I am now finding peace with my skill and the flow of my story.

I am pleased to say that I have "finally" finished my second edit of book two. I am now working on the third edit before I will permit anyone to read it. However, here is a sample. Enjoy and please critique!

            My heart was throbbing so loud I could hear it in my head. I glanced back to the collection of young men, each eyeing me with longing interest. My instinct to fight dissipated as the urge to flee overwhelmed me. “Get me out of here,” I pleaded with Eamon.

He grumbled and patted my hand that clutched his arm tightly. "I anticipated this, but King Sander would not listen. Once you were given a noble title, you became a prized asset to other provinces."

            "I can’t do this,” I said and whirled to leave, nearly colliding into a young man dressed in exotic attire. His dark skin contrasted with the sleeveless cream colored coat that hung to his knees. Red fabric wrapped about his slender waist like a belt. And his unusual style of wide trousers were tucked into leather boots that harbored a peculiar curve at the tip. A vibrant blue cloth, held secure by a multicolored headband, sat upon his brow, framing his slender face and chiseled jaw line.

He seemed startled at first, but smiled warmly as he gazed upon my features with honey colored eyes shaded by thick, black brows. Although he was rather attractive, I would have immediately rebuffed this man if King Sander himself had not accompanied him. This young man was from the kingdom of Toleah.

"Lady Keatep," Sander began. "This is Amir Leander Polusmed.”

"Lady Keatep," the young man addressed me with a thick accent and tipped his head in greeting. “You honor me with dance?” He held out his dark hand for me to take.

            I bowed to him stiffly and looked back at Eamon who merely folded his arms and narrowed his eyes at the foreign noble with a stoic expression. With every fiber of my being, I fought the urge to flee and took Leander's hand. He guided me to the dance floor where we began an unsteady dance. The foreign noble was unaccustomed to our music and stepped on my foot twice before he finally halted and laughed at himself. “I not make good impression with dance.”

            I smiled in spite of myself.

            He gripped my hand tightly. "Come."

Reluctantly, I followed him from the great hall to the balcony where other couples were enjoying the refreshing air. Thin clouds veiled the pale moonlight, casting a misty glow upon the landscape below.

“You like be soldier?” he asked as we reached the railing.

“I am good at it, if that is what you mean,” I answered.

He nodded. “I never learn to use sword,” he mused. He was making light conversation, and I was not particularly interested in it. I wanted to leave. “You teach me someday?”

My brows furrowed at his insinuation of having contact after tonight. “I’m not sure I understand.”

“You know who I am?” he asked.

            “I’m sorry. I do not.”

            He nodded. “I am Amir of Toleah. Or how you say it, Prince of Toleah.”

            I felt as if a blacksmith’s hammer had struck my chest like an anvil.

(Book Two of the Noirfonika Trilogy)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Too Long!

I can't believe that it's been over a year since I last posted!
My husband finished training and is now a full-fledged Air Traffic Controller! We bought a house and welcomed another little baby boy into our home. Pregnancies are rough for me, and for some reason, they sap all creative energy. I am unable to write or draw during that time.
But now! I'M BACK! I have images, thoughts, plots and so much more just bursting from my mind! My fingers can't keep up!

This new scene is from book three! It took me over a year to finish, but I am so happy with it! Enjoy!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A new Wave of Determination

Here is a new sample of the query letter I plan to send out to agents.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Is this something that would captivate you? Why or why not? Do you want to read it? 
This was revised with the help of a dear, old friend, Daniel Johnson.
KEATEP BRENDAGGER is a seventeen year old female soldier.  She expects her life to be simple, but the heritage of her blood, and the desire of the four elements, will not permit it.  Born an illegitimate daughter of the prince, she inherited the curse of the royal line.  A curse that will eventually kill her if she does not resist. 

            In hopes of gaining eternal life, an ancient jewel was forged by the first Queen of Roanfire, the "Phoenix Witch".  Unbeknownst by the queen's female posterity, this jewel drained the life force from her daughters until the Phoenix Witch had consumed them all.  For two thousand years, Roanfire remained barren of female inheritance... until Keatep was born.

            Rising again to take her supposed place upon the throne, the Phoenix Witch inflicts torturous pain upon Keatep which she cannot fight with her exceptional skill as a soldier.  Compelled to set her sword aside, Keatep sets forth to battle the Phoenix Witch with a rare magic fueled by emotions.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Query Letters

OH MY GOODNESS! I forgot how much I despise the process of soliciting agents and publishers. Query letters are a PAIN! A two page synopsis of a 250 page novel is nearly impossible to write! I've been working at it for 3 days now and it is still too long and does not capture the nature of the story.  My biggest issue is that there are two massive plots in the book, but the synopsis seems to only have room for one.  How would you suggest I attack this problem?

And how do I intrigue the reader/agent/publisher to read the book? What "hook" can blend the two massive plots into 1 or 2 sentences? At this point, I have this:

"For two thousand years, rumors of a curse upon the royal bloodline had merely been fiction. However, Private Keatep Brendagger, a young female soldier, witnesses the destruction of the last queen of Athelstan in a dream. Upon the arrival of a dashing young man named Ikane Ormand, she discovers that she is of royal descent and has inherited the same blight. Keatep is framed for the murder of King Myron and the realm becomes war-torn by the Black Serpent Pirates. With the persistent help of Ikane, she struggles to break the curse and finds herself unintentionally falling in love with a man she had been instructed to revile."

However, it seems to lack the agonizing battle between Keatep and the Phoenix Witch. Overall, the curse and the love between and Athelstanien soldier and a Black Serpent Pirate is the books core.

I have been reading so many blogs from agents/authors suggesting this and that... my head is spinning! Maybe I need to take a few days off.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Discouraged Author

I’ve been struggling for quite some time with promoting my first book “The Dragon Child”.  For one, the quality was not what I had envisioned.  In my inexperience, I jumped at the first publisher to offer me a contract.  I was careful to look over the contract and even hired a lawyer to go over it with me.  (The lawyer was appalled at the poorly written contract, and that should have been my first warning.)  I pressed on, too excited and impatient to await another offer. 

Editing was a nightmare!  The thrill of receiving the first copy of ‘my book’ was quickly turned to horror as ghastly errors blared from the white and black pages.  Errors that were not in the original manuscript!  In a panic, I enlisted the help of friends and family to correct the damage. 
I have since learned much in my novice adventures as an author.  Yet, the haunting of those events and the damage done to my book has made me reluctant and even opposed to taint my name as an author with its advertising. 

I can write!  And I am good at it!
I found a very helpful review of my book at where a reader by the name of Ambra said this;
“I struggled whether to rate this book as two or three stars. The story was good and there were some surprises in it which I really liked. It was a book I kept coming back to even if I didn't have time to be reading which tells me it was compelling. But, the writing is confusing and contradicting at times. It seemed like it needed more editing so that it flowed better letting the reader know exactly what was going on especially emotionally with the main character. It is the first book in a series and I do want to read the second book, which is why I decided to give it three stars.”
I couldn’t agree more with her assessment! 
I have since enlisted the help of Wesley Lowe, author of the series called ‘The Necromancer Wars.’  The flow of the book has greatly improved.  And with his tutelage, so has my writing.  When the new, enhanced, and amazing book returns to bookstores, please give me a second chance.  I promise I will not let you down!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Writers Block!

Alright! Everything was going smoothly. The final re-read of book two was splendid and I am satisfied with the end product.  It even only took me one week to finish.

I find that starting a sequel is more taxing than beginning a new novel.  Yes, the characters are already developed, but how much of a refresher do you need to put back in the second or third book?  How do you convey the message of their past and why they are doing what they are doing in as little words as possible?  And without booring the reader?

Ten pages into Book Three, I have found myself absolutely STUCK!  I have done everything possible to keep it from veering into an epic romance story... but it seems to be heading that direction.  And it is driving me bonkers!  Love triangles have always driven me insane... and my book has a love square!!!  At this rate it will turn into a love hexagon!  Oh, the irony of having too many likeable characters!

I think I might need to take a month off to clear my head and get some new inspiration.