Blog

Oh, the Insanity!

Pic Credit: The Columnist.org

To describe the last few weeks as insane is an understatement. For realz. O.o As you’ve noticed, I’ve been so, so absent from blogging. Funnily enough, I’ve also been quite absent in my writing life as well. With a new job comes new tasks, new systems, and quite frankly, I’m no longer bored at the dayjob, lol. So instead of being bored I’m overwhelmed, and it looks like it’s going to remain this way for several months until I can establish processes that’ll bring things down to a “manageable” level.

But, in the meantime, there’s FANTASTIC news on the horizon. Not only have learned more about myself and my mental processes, but I’ve also learned an amazing plotting device from the ever-awesome and wonderful Charissa Weaks. And because of this I’ve not only been able to create a unique plot for a new book, but that plotting turned into–OMG–a trilogy. With series potential.

Yeah…so when I said insane, I seriously meant way above the idea of crazy, and way the hell across the world from the write-rubber-walled room. *grins*

Please bear with me while I gather what little sanity I have left. Sooner or later the muse will be in overdrive once more and there will be a LOT more posting happening. Especially a few posts on some of the research I have planned on London, witchcraft, and the occasional daemon. 😉

Writing Process Blog Hop: My Writing Process

Today I’m part of ‘The Writing Process’ Blog Hop! This post was supposed to be written and go live this morning, but when you’re little sister has a wedding happening in two weeks, things tend to slip (i.e: my blogging schedule *grin*). Nevertheless, I made it and here’s both the info on the blog hop and my writing process. 🙂

Author Kristin Nador graciously invited me to join. Kristin is a writer and a genealogy geek who loves cats. She can be found on her site, Kristin Nador Writes Anywhere, blogging about writing/creativity.

The blog hop asks 4 questions to each author about their writing process. Here are the questions and my answers:

1) What are you working on?

Right now I’m working on the first entry into a new paranormal romance series. The series’ working title is The Seven Kingdoms, and the title for this first book is not yet known, lol. We’re just going with “Book One” for right now. 😉

2) How does your work differ from others of this genre?

I believe it differs in that I’ve taken paranormal romance and shifted it a bit into the realm/setting of a high fantasy. So we get the feel of a pure paranormal romance while spending time in a new realm with beautiful landscapes infused with magical elements (think Laura Kaye’s Hearts of the Anemoi series meets Lord of the Rings).

3) Why do you want to write what you write?

Because I honestly can’t imagine not writing stories with a twist of the paranormal. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by the “what if” in life… What if vampires and werewolves really exist? What if an angel came down from heaven and sat on my couch for a chat? What if, what if, what if? The strange and unusual and possible are an intricate part of my being, and as such, I have to infuse these elements into my writing.

Plus, who doesn’t like some hot and steamy romance? 😉

4) How does your writing process work?

Ugh… LOL. This is something I’m still discovering, but I can definitely say, with confidence, that I am a reformed pantser. Every time I pantsed a story, the structure and plot were so loose that revising and rewriting turned into such a wickedly difficult job in and of itself.

So as of today, my process stands as this: Take idea and flesh out the characters (write out GMC’s and find what makes them tick, their goals in life–both internal and external, and complete a romance conflict chart for the hero/heroine). Write out the major plot points for these characters’ story. Peruse Pinterest for character and setting inspiration. Plot out each and every scene using Scene and Sequel while creating a story-driven playlist. Write said scenes from beginning to end following the scene outlines. Go back and infuse setting and character descriptions. Prep to send to crit group and prepare for those suckers to bleed (in an awesome way, trust me). 🙂

~~~~~~~~~~

Now that I’ve answered the questions about my writing process, I’m supposed to tag three fellow authors to share their process. But as you can see, I’m a bit of a spaz/forgetful lady/totally crazy-busy person these days, lol. With that said, I invite you to please take part in this blog hop. Copy the questions and post your answers. Just don’t forget to tag me in your post so I can visit and say hey. 😉

What is your writing process like? What are your answers to the four questions? Please share in the comments. Happy Writing!

The Accountability Factor—Part One: The Family

Ahhh… Accountability. The state of being accountable. Liable. Answerable.

Online Webster’s Definition of Accountable

No matter which aspect in our lives we’re looking at, we’re all accountable to someone. And how we handle ourselves in response to the many demands accountability dumps on us is part of what defines us as individuals.

Today I wanted to look at one of the many areas of accountability in a writer’s life.

 THE FAMILY

Waking everyone up in the morning, prepping lunches for school/work, getting dinner on the table at six, running the household errands day after day… this just a sampling of the variety of tasks our family holds us accountable for on daily basis. But since we also wear the Author Hat, guess what else we’re accountable for?

Movement in our writing careers.

Whether the movement is finishing a novel that may never sit on a shelf in your local Barnes and Noble, or winning a writing contest, or starting the dreaded query process, or signing with an agent, etc…. We are accountable to our family to show some kind of movement in our journey to publishing success. After all, we are taking time away from them to play with write the stories in our heads into existence.

So what happens if a year goes by—or two or three or four or five—and we’re not seeing the movement the family would like? Or, more to the point, the movement we desperately want?

Sure, it’s easy to stress over the absence of advancement in our writing career. We’re the ones pouring our heart and souls into these books and characters and spending all this time away from the family in order to make our dream come true.

But you know what? I truly believe that just because we’re not seeing the movement we want doesn’t mean we’re not making strides in our writing career. A completely written and polished novel? A step forward. A queried novel that was rejected 20+ times? A step forward. These small accomplishments may not seem like much, but they are! And accomplishments, no matter how small or large, deserve a treat, don’t you think? *breaks out the chocolate and confetti*

Involve the Family

Sometimes simply talking about the writing process with our family shows them that we know we’re accountable to them. And many times we don’t even have to bring the topic up to them because they’ll ask us.

Husband/Wife/Mom/Dad/Sibling: “How’s the book coming along?”

Answer: “Well, I didn’t get any action off the queries I sent, so it looks like it’s just not the right time for that novel. I’m going to move forward and start plotting a new one this weekend.”

From there the questions can vary, but most times we’ll get asked why no one was interested in our novel, is it our writing, is it the agents. This opens a fantastic window to share the world of publishing and the many facets of perfect timing that we usually need to happen in order to take a leap forward (right story meets the right agent at the right time…right?). Once they understand a small portion of the pubbing industry, their need of seeing movement in our career is usually temporarily satisfied.

Be Open with the Family

Tell your family what’s going on. Especially the husband/wife. We can make them our sounding board for our frustrations. Just the simple act of sharing our angst over character difficulties, the excitement over a new story idea, the giddiness over an exceptional plot twist we just wrote… All of these satisfy a bit of the accountability we have to our families.

The only downside, obviously, is that we can’t control everything, can we? We can’t make the publishing world see the golden nugget that is our novel. We can’t force an agent to concentrate 100% of their attention on our query and opening pages. We can’t Professor X an editor at a NY publishing house to offer us the four-book deal we’ve dreamed of.

All we can do is our personal best. Learning the craft, utilizing what we’ve learned, writing the best novels and queries and blurbs possible. All of these are in our control. And all of these are how we are accountable to our families.

We need to put our best idea forward and go as far up the road to publishing as we can with that idea. If we do that, we’re not letting the family down whatsoever. And because they’re our family, they will be proud of us no matter what!

What do you think? How else are we accountable to our family? Do you have any other tips to share?

Tune-In Tuesday: Magic by Coldplay

Today’s song was chosen because it’s on the soundtrack to the new WIP I’m working on… Where the sexy hero is from a magical realm of The Seven Kingdoms.

I can’t tell you how many times I listened to this song while writing the inciting incident and first plot point. I just love it that much. 🙂

Enjoy!

 

Release Day Q & A with M.D. Waters

Something HUGE is happening in the book world today!

Know what it is? Oh, never mind…’cause I’m gonna tell ya anyway. 😀

ARCHETYPE by M.D. Waters releases today!

You may remember I posted about this fantastic SciFi/Thriller back in the summer as part of the Where in the World is ARCHETYPE blog tour. And I’m as much in love with this book now as I was back then. *grins*

So today I not have the book blurb to share with you–again–but I also have a quick Q & A with the author, M.D. Waters.

Enjoy!

*****

ArchetypeIntroducing a breathtakingly inventive futuristic suspense novel about one woman who rebels against everything she is told to believe.

 Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides her with new memories, but her dreams contradict his stories, showing her a past life she can’t believe possible: memories of war, of a camp where girls are trained to be wives, of love for another man. Something inside her tells her not to speak of this, but she does not know why. She only knows she is at war with herself.

Suppressing those dreams during daylight hours, Emma lets Declan mold her into a happily married woman and begins to fall in love with him. But the day Noah stands before her, the line between her reality and dreams shatters.

In a future where women are a rare commodity, Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men—one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which. . . .

The first novel in a two-part series, Archetype heralds the arrival of a truly memorable character—and the talented author who created her.

*****

What books/authors have influenced your writing?

Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series for its world building, and anything Richelle Mead because of how she handles romance. I love to hate her cliffhangers.

What genre do you consider your book(s)?

Hahaha, I feel like this is a trick question. It’s been a lot of things from the very beginning. Speculative, scifi, romance, thriller, dystopian… Pick one and you’ll probably be right.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?

I write what I love. That’s it. If the idea sounds fun, then I do it.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not a single thing. Now that I have the distance, and can read it as a reader, I love it. I’m darn proud of it.

How did you come up with the title?

The original title was a no-brainer, but hinted to the big reveal so we won’t talk about that one. Actually, I (and the girls at my agency and publisher) spent a ton of time with the thesaurus. We took the original title and looked for similar words that weren’t as obvious. Then Cathy Yardley suggested ARCHETYPE to me on Facebook, because she’d helped me through submission coaching and knew the direction I needed. It was perfect, and I couldn’t be happier with it.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I think what I want my readers to know is that I didn’t go into writing this novel with the intent of making any kind of statement. The story is causing some pretty intense feelings for some, and the assumptions of my “plan” or “theme” are strange to me. My only plan was to write something enjoyable. No theme, because themes are evil in my world. I’m definitely asking you to suspend belief for 300+ pages, because I’m not writing a world that exists. Just enjoy it.

*****

P.S.–In case you need it while drowning in all the glorious edge-of-your-seat-thrillery of ARCHETYPE, here’s a Do Not Disturb sign I created a few months back. 😉

do-not-disturb-im-reading-archetype-by-md-waters

 

Tune-In Tuesday: Follow Me by Muse

Yes, I’ve been absent for quite a while. But I have a really great excuse. And I’m returning with music. 😉

I won MCRW’s Melody of Love Contest in the Paranormal category, and with that win I received a FULL manuscript request from an editor. SQUEE! So now I’m on an oh so damn tight deadline. So I’ll most likely continue to be in and out online for another few weeks.

So…now for the song of the week. 🙂

Enjoy!

 

 

Tune-In Tuesday: M.I.N.E (End This Way) by Five Finger Death Punch

Since there isn’t an official video just yet, we get animated dogs, and somehow that just make the song even more powerful.

Video Fun Friday #2

I’ve had way too much fun enjoying these videos this week. Between a Sesame Street parody of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, bad NFL lip-reading, and a boat rapping to Eminen, there’s something here today for everyone.

Video #1: A Bad Lip Reading of The NFL

 

Video #2: Eminem Rap Boat **Language Warning**

 

Video #3: Sesame Street’s “The Hungry Games: Catching Fur” <– This is my FAVORITE by far this week 🙂

 

 

Tune-In Tuesday: Unconditionally

Happy Tuesday!

The American Music Awards were this past Sunday night, and Katy Perry had the honor of opening the show with her new single, Unconditionally. The set, the dancers, the lyrics, her voice … all of it was fantastically top notch.

LOVE Kady, and every time I see her perform, she gives me hope and leaves me looking forward to what she’ll do next. And this video? Amazing. 😉

Enjoy!

 

 

Copyright 2018 by Melinda S. Collins