Sunday, November 24, 2013

Patience is a virtue? Usually, almost always...


I saw a tweet somewhere this week where an author was contemplating the need for a beta crit (basically another set of eyes on a manuscript) or pushing through to publication without. It got me thinking about the role of patience in this crazy publishing way of life.

 Before I got into seriously pursuing publication I don't think I would describe myself as a very patient person. I was more about instant gratification. If I wanted it I got it, did it, whatever.

Publishing demands a slower approach. It demands that you take the time to write a good book, that you work through plot snags, that you develop your characters and that you edit carefully, multiple times. I was very lucky to be included early on in a writing group with folks who already understood the value of honest critiques and another set of eyes on your work. That didn't stop me from rushing through things at the beginning, from posting work that wasn't in any way ready for another person to see (even for editing) and worse, I sent out work that I felt was "done" to perfection without having taken the time to properly edit and revise with a crit from an UNBIASED reader. (I stress unbiased here because I really don't count mom, dad, cousin, husband, bff or anyone close to me as an unbiased reader.)

I learned through rejection that waiting is vital. Patience really does allow for your best work to be polished and presented. I've been down a long road that beat patience into me in other ways too. It took me a full year of querying to get my first agent. Three years with my second agent to get a ms revised. I've been through a roller coaster of waiting for editors to make decisions, waiting for queries to get read, waiting, waiting, and waiting some more. Some might say that it was time wasted, and depending on the day I might agree with them. Not today though. Today I'm thinking that during all that time waiting, when it felt like I was treading water, I was working on my craft, and I was actually moving forward. I was developing my skill, my VOICE, and my ideas.

Now, there are times when patience is actually an excuse for avoiding the hard decisions. When you give it one more day or one more month because you don't want to send that email or make that call or publish that story. I've been there too...those close to me know what I'm talking about. That's patience motivated by fear. And although I think being humble and understanding your areas of need is vitally important as an author, being scared is very damaging and shouldn't be an excuse for delaying decisions. That's where your gut comes in. Where you need to listen to your gut feeling and do what needs to get done, otherwise you are wasting time.

Patience is a virtue usually, and I've learned that no matter how excited I am to get my work out there, to let everyone see what I've done, it's almost always better to take a step back, breathe deeply and let the steps unfold as they should.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

It happens in threes...or so they say



When my cousin said, "go by a lottery ticket" after two amazingly awesome book related things happened, I was like, no way...I'm not that lucky...and then....


I got another contract from Samhain!!!

This time it's for my very first FULL length novel! That's right, with a release date of January 2015, Wolves' Bane will be my first release that is well over 20K. So exciting and another item ticked off my Writer's Bucket List.

More details will follow, but for now the next year and a bit are looking pretty damn great!



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Lightning...it can strike twice!



I have a super secret announcement to make....ready for it???

I have just signed another contract with Samhain for the sequel to Cursed (due for release July 2014)!

At this point in time, the sequel (title has yet to be confirmed) is due for release October 2014!

I now have a series (The Order of the Wolf) with Samhain!!! WooHoo!!!

In case you need a reminder of the eye candy to come, here's the fabulous cover for Cursed :-)


Monday, September 23, 2013

Guest Post by Steve McHugh: Traditional or Indie




I'd like to welcome author, Steve McHugh to my blog!  He's out and about promoting his re-released Hellequin novels...check the links below for further details!


So, you’ve written your first ever book. Go you; you’re now in the minority of people who say they’re actually going to do it. And with the ever-increasing change of the publishing landscape, you’re thinking, “do I just publish this myself? Or do I go the traditional route and try to get an agent and publisher.”

And the answer to that question, my good person, is the latter of those 2 choices.

Now, some of you might know that I’m a self-published author (or indie if you’re so inclined). I love indie writing. Without it, I wouldn’t have published 2 successful books last year, Crimes Against Magic and Born of Hatred. I wouldn’t have gotten a contract with 47North, Amazon’s SF, fantasy and Horror imprint, and those first two books wouldn’t have been re-printed on 17th September.  Indie writing has been good to me. As it has to a lot of my friends.

So, yeah, you’re probably thinking I’ve either sold out or gone crazy. But here’s the thing, I tried to get an agent. Now, I didn’t self-publish just because I got a few dozen rejections, I self-published because for me it was the right thing to do. And that might well be the case for you. But if this is your first book, if this is your first time about to step into that rollercoaster world of publishing, I would suggest that you at least give the traditional way a go.

Now, that’s not because I think it’s better, because that’s nonsense. It’s because you need to get rejected. You need to get those rejection letters from agents who either don’t think it’s good enough, or don’t think they can sell it.

Rejection sucks, there’s no easy way to say it. Those form rejections are the worst thing on earth when it comes to trying to get an agent. They tell you nothing of use, except they didn’t like the book. Now, I understand why agents do it, if they didn’t they’d spend all day just typing out, “I didn’t like your book because…” letters, but they still suck.

Occasionally you’ll get something other than a form letter, something telling you about why they didn’t pick your book. And those letters are both incredibly crap and fantastic. You have feedback. And you can either ignore it or you can try to work with it. Your choice. But experiencing it, the highs of getting a reply and lows of it being rejection will prepare you for when you’re published.

When your book is finally out there, people are going to love it and hate it. There will be reviews, maybe even e-mails. You won’t agree with many of them, hell it’s your baby and they’re being mean about it, but you will need to get a thick skin and quickly. Rejections letters help here. Because no matter what the review, you’re published, you got past the guardians of publishing and went your own way.

Besides, if there’s one very good skill all writers hate and all writers need, it’s writing query letters and synopsis. And that’s something you’re going to get a lot of practice at.

So, give yourself 6 months, 12 months, whatever feels right, and try to get an agent. Hell, you could do manage to get an agent in that time and then you’ve got a whole new set of circumstances in front of you to deal with. But if you don’t try, you’ll always wonder ‘what if’ and you’ll never know that sting of a form rejection and the elation of picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and doing it all again.


Steve McHugh lives in Southampton on the south coast of England with his wife and three young daughters. When not writing or spending time with his kids, he enjoys watching movies, reading books and comics, and playing video games.








Sunday, September 1, 2013

How I am Like a Cat.



No, I don't drink milk out of a bowl or barf (sporadically and for no reason) on everything remotely important or of value. I don't pee in kitty litter or shed...oh wait, I do shed a bit. When I say I'm like a cat it's more referring to the fact that I am a Leo...at least half of me is. Born on a cusp (we're talking sun signs here) I share some pretty confusing and conflicting traits between two signs that are quite different. I'm a wicked little bundle of battling character traits...if you know anything about astrology, finding out that I'm on the Cancer/Leo cusp should tell you about the hell that is me and the war that thrives in my head on a daily basis.

I was reading an article the other day about Leos and how we like to chase. The metaphor that was used likened Leos to playful kittens (with a ferocious bite at times) who will go for that dangling string over and over and over, without taking into consideration who or what is holding that string. It means that Leos can be teased by the right kind of person. A master manipulator who knows just what kind of string to dangle.

I have a degree in psychology and I know how astrology, in many ways, conflicts with the scientific approach contained there. In many ways they're compatible though. I have totally fallen for the string chase throughout my life. Temptation, competition, whatever you want to call it, if the string suits me and it's dangling with the smallest chance that it's in my ability to catch, I'll go for it. And go for it. And go for it. To the point of madness I think. I've been badly hurt because of this. I've cried. I've gotten depressed and yet I keep on chasing.

When I read that article it was a good reminder that if I'm after that string, it means that I'm not in control and that's okay as long as I'm enjoying the chase. As long as it's not bringing me down. As long as it's not boring me either. (There needs to be some element of success to keep the chase going...but that's a whole other blog post.)

This applies to many aspects of my life but in particular writing and publishing. I see a lot of my writer friends getting down lately over various aspects of pursuing publication. Whether it be rejection or writer's block or a bad review, they're beating themselves up and letting it get to them. Don't get me wrong, none of those things is really great to deal with.  I guess I just wanted to remind those folks that you can treat it like a game in some ways. The thrill of the chase, that's what it should be all about. You work hard, you hone your skill, you send out those queries and you keep chasing, but you've got to be enjoying it or there's no point. It's something I forget sometimes. We do this because we love writing. The publishing side of things should not define us, it should inspire us and keep us chasing.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Presenting....CURSED...Cover Reveal!



Here it is!!!! My totally amazing, sexy, gorgeous cover for Cursed, Book One in my new series, The Order of the Wolf. (Release tentatively scheduled for  June 2014 at Samhain Publishing)

I have been pretty lucky with all of my covers but this is probably my favorite. I'm sure you can see why...can you say yum? I'll have the official blurb soon, but for now meet Raven, sexy bassist for the metal band Riot (who also happens to be a werewolf) and Darcy, a vengeance dealing witch who picks the wrong guy to curse.

Feast your eyes, folks...it's okay to indulge, this bad boy was made to be eaten up ;-)

Friday, July 19, 2013

You’ll Shoot Yer Eye Out!




Okay, so nothing that dramatic happened at my first ever gunfight…those zombie targets didn’t know what hit ‘em! A couple of weeks ago, hubs and I went to a local shooting range that allowed public access. It was a very enlightening experience and I thought I’d pass along some little pieces of gold that every writer should know (especially if you’re writing shooting scenes).

1)   It’s louder than you think: Seriously, I jumped a few times when the guns around me started going off. Even with earphones on, it was pretty loud. I've written gun fights where no one even flinched at the sound of a gun going off...there would be flinching at the very least!

2)   Loading a 9mm clip isn’t as easy as it looks (it’s actually quite tedious and not really glamorous at all). I was supposed to be loading ten bullets into the clip and got to nine before I couldn’t force another one in. Apparently there are devices that can make loading easier and faster, but I wanted to see what it felt like to do it by hand. Definitely not something you could do if your hands were shaking and your eyes scanning for approaching targets.

3)   If you really think you’d be able to hit a moving target your first time ever shooting a gun (with zombies or crazed axe murders coming at you fast) then you’re delusional and so is your main character. With the noise, adrenaline, fear all pumping through you, there is just no way you’d be able to pick up a gun for the first time, aim and hit your target…a moving one especially. And that’s not even talking about distance!

I took my time shooting. Lined up each shot, made sure the gun was steady and did pretty good overall. If I had to shoot quickly, like my life depended on it? Yeah, I’d be zombie meat in no time.

4)   Guns smell bad when fired, some worse than others. They give off this acrid sulfuric kinda smell that sticks in your nose. I’m sure you’d get used to it, and outdoors it wouldn’t be so bad, but at the shooting range it was pretty awful. Something to keep in mind when you’re writing shooting scenes that take place in doors. 

5)   Recoil really fucks with your aim. Seriously. I’d heard it would but there’s nothing like feeling it in your hand, snapping your wrist, or into your shoulder (depending on the gun.) If you’re not prepared, or not strong enough, it can hurt and it can majorly mess with where that bullet is going. Also, if you’re not in shape or used to it, your arm gets tired after a while. My arm was actually numb after two hours of shooting.

6)   It’s a hell of a lot of fun! I tried four different guns but I liked the shotgun and revolver the best. I’d love to go back and try some different ones. Entertainment wrapped up in a scary, death in your hands kinda way.



Tuesday, July 2, 2013

External Validation? Hell yes!

I've got some news, BIG NEWS!

I don't know if many of you have a bucket list (a list of things you want to do before you die), but I do. It's my writer bucket list and on it are only a handful of things. Number one was to get an agent. I did that, twice over, and due to diverging paths, am now agentless - a thoroughly thought-out decision made by moi. This is not a bad thing, it just is what it is. I was tethered and now I am not, and that's not a bad thing either.

Another thing on my bucket list is to get published by one of the BIG epubs. I'm very excited to announce that I have signed a contract with one of those publishers. My sexy, rock-star werewolf novella entitled Cursed will be published by Samhain Publishing in May 2014 (tentatively) and I am super freakin stoked about that! Seriously huge honor to be among the authors on their roster. I am also excited to be working with Holly Atkinson, my editor at Samhain, who has been so complimentary, helpful and welcoming!

Moving forward never felt so good.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Perception...it'll get ya every time


Perception is everything isn’t it? Like, depending on whom you talk to, the War of 1812 was either WON by the Canadians or left undecided by the Americans. Same events, different perception.

While I was getting tattooed last week, Kelly and I were talking about how tattoos are generally perceived by the majority of the population.  Although it has definitely become more “mainstream” or acceptable to be tattooed, there does seem to be a persistent perception of those of us with more than the average. Kelly admitted that she has faced discrimination because of her ink. I know I have as well, which is why I've been careful in the past about who sees my tattoos. I’ve been letting it slip lately, going places in short sleeve shirts and capri shorts that I wouldn’t normally. I realize that folks are judging me. I find that I don’t care as much any more.  Maybe it’s a false security in my career, maybe it’s this darn rebellious streak I’ve been on lately. Maybe it’s because it’s a powerful thing when you can shock people who have formed an impression of you…and I enjoy shocking people, always have.

We often form perceptions based on misinformation. Like, the other day I was watching a home video that my parents had made of a family trip to Florida. I was about 13, very innocent, pre-goth (just) and looking rather happy. My perception of myself at that time in my life wasn’t great.  I was on the cusp of entering a teenage angst so profound that it would eventually lead me to many, many bad influences and choices. It would eventually lead me to tattoos as well.

When I watched that video I had a moment where I thought it would have been nice to know what I know now. That maybe I would have been able to alter my perception of myself and avoid a lot of hard lessons and heartache.

And then I remembered, I kinda like the perception I have of myself right now. I like the person I’ve become. I like that going through all that shit made me strong, defiant, and opinionated.  Other people may not like it, but I do and I certainly surround myself with folks who can appreciate those aspects of me as well.  Someone else might perceive the choices I’ve made as being mistakes that I’ll regret. But that’s the thing about perception, it’s limited to what information you have at any given moment, false, based on stereotype, whatever, and it’s only as strong as you let it be.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ignore This Blog Chain At Your Own Risk...Bwahahahaha!


Not another blog chain!!!! Gasp! It’s been a while and I had a “feeling” that I should do this one…not that Belinda Frisch was threatening that I would be cursed for eternity if I didn’t participate, but still, when I get the “feeling” I try not to ignore it. Here it is, a riveting interview with moi ;-) In turn I have tagged J Thorn,  Krista Walsh and Ella Grey…gentleman and ladies, if you do not continue this chain you will be cursed to an eternity of….hehe just kidding…kind of ;-)

What are you working on right now?

Haha….what am I NOT working on would be the better question ;-) I’ve got edits underway on a werewolf novella, another one started, ideas for a full length novel rolling around in my head too. These sexy men will not leave me alone…not that I’m complaining.

How does it differ from other works in its genre?

If I told you that I’d have to kill you ;-) I’ve developed a mythology that is different from what’s out there…hopefully I’ll be able to share more in a few weeks but for now all you need to know is that it revolves around a group of mouth-watering rock stars who also happen to be kick ass werewolves.

What experiences have influenced you?

The three Rs: Rejection, Rewrites, and Reading.

Rejection and Rewrites belong in the same category as far as I’m concerned, both have broken me down more than once, shattered my confidence, quite a lot at the beginning (which seems like an eternity ago)…it’s helped me to develop a thick skin, see the flaws in my writing, improve, grow, become better and toughen up…there are still vulnerable parts of me but ultimately I’ve learned what I can bounce back from which has been a huge influence on my drive.

Reading…well, you know, if you don’t read, you shouldn’t write. I stray from my genre here and there but for the most part I’m immersed in what I love, paranormal erotic romance.

Why do you write what you do?

I’ve always been drawn to supernatural stuff, ever since I was a little kid. I discovered Anne Rice’s vampire series when I was quite young and haven’t looked back since. The erotic romance came gradually…something that I really enjoyed reading and then started experimenting with in my writing. Turns out that I really enjoy writing it too…go figure.

How does your writing process work?

Usually with a what if that then spawns a scene, which plays out in my head like a movie. That’s how it always begins. Then I spend some time plotting out a basic story in point form (this will always change by the time I start writing full out, but I need to have some sense of where I’m going with things.) When I’m writing, I write to quota: 10K a week at least. Once the first draft is done I do a quick preliminary edit then let it sit for a while before the hard core editing begins.


What is the hardest part about writing?

Chasing that dream: some days it can seem further away than others.
Fighting the envy: reading something you think you can write better. Being happy for those around you who are achieving their dreams.
Quitting: Even if I wanted to, staying away from writing would be impossible. 


Who are the authors you most admire?

I could list a bunch of names here and I have in previous posts but I think this time around I’m going to say the writer’s who I speak to on a daily basis. The ones, like me, who are working in the trenches, at the grass roots,
fighting to pull ahead in some way. These folks are the ones who are always, always ready to bolster you when you’re down and keep you fighting when you feel like curling up in a ball and dying.

What would you like to try as a writer that you haven't yet?

Possibly horror, I’ve got some ideas that I think would make some great horror stories but haven’t read enough in that genre to give it a go yet.


Who are new authors to watch out for?



What scares you?

Failure. 


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ad Astra Take Two.....


Sword Play....the weird r-rated version.

So, last week I told you all about my experience at Ad Astra and the unfortunate confusion over the Weapons Check panel... well, that wasn't the only funny incident that happened...oh no, not by a long shot. There was also the Sword Play panel...to which one of my non-writing friends said, "that sounds like a bad porn title" and it kinda was...

We got there a little late and the place was packed...standing room only...luckily some of our quick thinking friends had snagged us a few seats near the front. We sat, we listened, we tried to keep our eyes on the front...I mean, it was interesting stuff... about swords through history...with no props, pictures or illustrations of any sort...just two guys, talking (excitedly) about swords. (I think we've established that this may not have been the best convention to go to with expectations for learning more about the "craft" of writing). And then, just when my friend Tammy started glancing back at me, giving me the "lets get outta here look" the two sword-a-philes got up, walked to the front of the table and proceeded to "demonstrate" sword manoeuvres...with imaginary swords. It was fascinating, for all the wrong reasons, especially when one of the girls pointed out the extremely well packed “equipment” of the one presenter. Sword play indeed. I contemplated asking for some pointers on stance and thrusting...but then figured going to lunch would be safer ;-)

Yet another humorous incident at my first ever convention, not sure it will ever be topped...especially considering the stuff I'm not telling you all ;-)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Weapons Check

Check, check...is this thing on????

So, I recently attended my very first convention, Ad Astra, which took place in Markham, Ontario last weekend. I was pretty excited from the start. Not only was I meeting up with the amazing Kelley Armstrong but I had several writing pals attending, some of whom I'd never meet in real life. It was loads of fun and I learned quite a bit, some of it a little disheartening but all of it valuable. I had a few pretty funny mishaps as well...one of which was attending the Weapons Check panel.

The Weapons Check panel...sounds interesting right? For those of you who are writers, sounds promising...a chance to talk weapons...view weapons...perhaps touch weapons? Um...yeah....

So a gaggle of us writer ladies parade into this little seminar room, all coming off of a Kelley Armstrong induced high, giddy, excited, looking forward to a night of learning. We take a seat near the front (don't want to look to keen) and watch as our panel host begins to unload some weapons...a bow, a musket...a plastic looking futuristic gun of some sort....that was the first hint that I might be in the wrong place. Toy weapons? Really?

Once all the weapons were on display, our host looks up and says, "Wow, I wasn't expecting so many people to attend! This is great! It's only going to take about five minutes to go through the information and then I can start checking weapons." Or something like that....which was my second hint. Checking weapons? You mean literally?

"That's why I'm here!" Says the guy in the front row, fake parrot attacked to his left shoulder as he lifts his homemade, gigantic, anvil like weapon on a pole.

And that was when I knew...we had stumbled into a realm that none of us was prepared for...this Weapons Check panel was for folks who were dressing in character, folks who had fake weapons as part of their costumes and needed to make sure they met regulations. In other words, not us.

It was funny...awkward but funny. We figured out a way to get the heck outta there quick, ignoring the pleas of the host to "just stay" "we can talk weapons", feeling like we narrowly escaped an hour of painful weirdness.

We laughed our way downstairs not knowing that while we were running away, at that exact moment, 14 floors up, all of the mega authors were holding a meet and greet, an event that we sadly missed out on because we'd been too fixated on the idea of a tactile experience with weapons.

So, lesson learned...when attending cons, take the titles literally cause a Weapons Check might just mean you'd better have your light sabre or photo torpedo or whatever.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Guest Interview: Author Anne Michaud


Once again, I've got my good friend, Anne Michaud on my blog with an interview and a contest! 





1) The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Give me a quick run down of what’s happening in your writing world these days.

Well, I've been hard at work on my sequel, Girls & Aliens, and I'm outlining the next installment, Girls & Ghosts. There's this French novella about Hiroshima that needs editing and a screenplay idea floating around in my brain. Oh, and did I mention my next YA novel, Killer Girl? Yep, I'm busy all right.


2)  What kind of writer are you? Do you plot your stories out? Do you have a particular routine? What does your writing “day” look like?

I outline everything that comes up as the story gestates, then write accordingly.  I often stray, but then I readjust the outline, to not get stuck. My routine is write as I wake up, eat, walk the dog, write, eat, write, read, go to bed. My life is so glamorous, I fear people will get jealous.

3) How long have you been writing for?

Full-time, since my Master's in screenwriting eight years ago. It never stopped since, it comes out in short stories, novellas,  novels, scripts. It just won't leave me alone. Seriously, is there a drug for it to stop? Help!

4) What’s your opinion on agents? Traditional Publishing? Self publishing? Etc.

I used to dream of traditional publishing and agents, but recently, I'm not so sure. I want to make a living out of this writing bug, and from what I'm reading on the internets, it doesn't happen as much as it used to with trad pub. I'm adjusting, I'm not locking doors, I really want to see my work in hardback at Indigo, but if it doesn't happen, no one's gonna die.

5) Where do you think we’re going in this crazy publishing world?

Exactly where we are: some will buy indie, some will buy trad, some a mix of both. I refuse to believe paper books will vanish, and I'm fed up of readers snubbing indie from bad experiences. Like everyone else, I want to read good books, and hardbacks aren't immune to suckiness, just as indie isn't either.

6) What is the best way to sell books?  To get your name out there?

If I only knew. I'm guessing good reviews get word of mouth, then some sort of blog tour to reach potential readers, and if luck is involved, it'll work. If not, all that hard work for nothing – until the next book comes out and it starts all over again!

7)  What are your goals for the future? Where do you want your writing to take you?

I want to learn a living from my writing, which means after I finish my transcription contracts at 4 in the afternoon, I go to my WiP and write until my brain bleeds. On free weekends, I write some more. I've read over and over again how indie writers can actually reach their goals by productively releasing more than one book in a year, so that's what I'm trying to to.

8)  If you could get inside the head of one writer (living or dead) for an hour, who would it be and why?

Neil Gaiman, because his world is beautiful and frightening, and I wish so much to be part of it. Not in a creepy fangirl way, more like a character he shapes into someone dark and demure. Oh yes, me loves the dark.

Anne is not only a talented writer but she also makes these super cute skeletons...here's your chance to win some! 


Author Bio

She who likes dark things never grew up. She never stopped listening to gothic, industrial and alternative bands like when she was fifteen. She always loved to read horror and dystopia and fantasy, where doom and gloom drip from the pages.

She, who was supposed to make films, decided to write short stories, novelettes and novels instead. She, who’s had her films listed on festival programs, has been printed in a dozen anthologies and magazines since.

She who likes dark things prefers night to day, rain to sun, and reading to anything else.


She tweets @annecmichaud

LIVE CHAT on APRIL 30th 9PM east http://www.darkfuse.com/events.html







Friday, March 15, 2013

The Secret


Shhhhhhhhhh

Isn't much of a secret really. I mean, I've understood the idea of “The Secret” for some time...think I watched a show on Oprah about it or something. In case you haven't heard of "The Secret", it's something along the lines of visualizing one's goals to the extent that you believe it will happen. The power of faith. Believing in yourself. Whatever.

I'm not a very spiritual person, neither is my husband. In fact, he makes fun of me whenever I talk about astrology or “nonsense” like that cause it’s all superstition as far as he’s concerned.  We were talking one afternoon about my writing goals and some decisions that were pending...decisions that were out of my control. I said something negative (which is typically the way I roll when talking about myself) and he surprised me by saying that I needed to believe in my goals if I wanted them to happen and that speaking negatively about it went against the principles of “The Secret”. I think my mouth actually dropped open and I thought about checking his forehead for fever. The Secret? Really? That's bordering on spiritual in many ways. The power of faith? Restricted territory in our world.

He went on to say that he'd been watching a documentary about “The Secret” and although he couldn't finish watching it cause it got too preachy and boring (this is when I knew he was still the same level headed man I married) he did find it intriguing that the idea of believing in your goals could have such power. When I tried to argue about track record he said, "you can't base what's going to happen in the future on what has happened in the past, not when you're talking about things that are out of your control". Hmmmmmmmm....now, that made sense to me, it really gave me something to think about. Nothing that has happened in my past could impact the decision that was coming, at least not luck or superstition or anything like that..

So, that night, while reading in bed, I started thinking about what he said. I closed the paperback I was holding and looked at the cover. Of course it was the genre I write and it just so happened that the author’s last name name starts with a capital A...so you know what I did? I covered all the other letters in that author's name except for the A, and then I envisioned myself holding my own book, tracing that embossed A over and over again. It felt good. It felt powerful. So that’s my secret. ;-)

It will happen. I will hold my own book in my hand. One day.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Guest Post Cover Reveal!

My good friend and gothsis, Anne Michaud has a book coming out very soon. I invited her on my blog for her cover reveal and to give you all a little taste of what is to come! 





Death Song Excerpt

Something catches in the back of my throat. I
hide my face in my hands to quiet the sobs. But then,
something ain’t right. Air moves around me and I
stop. I look between my fingers, but the blur of my
tears thickens everything: the bathtub, the towels,
and someone on the floor.

A woman’s in here with me, door still closed and
locked. An exhale, like after a deep swim, and a smell,
like the swamp close to my empty home. A chill runs
down my back, I wipe my eyes, rub and scratch them
to see more clearly. And I do.

Two gray hands scratch the floor tiles, nails green
with algae, putrid flesh sagging on her legs, arms
and torso, hair so long and wet and heavy, it drags
her down. Diluted, impossible to focus on, like little
waves rippling over her body from head to foot, seaweed
in the water. Scales and fins, mermaidlike, little
knives, those are. And they scrape the floor, like a
fork on a plate. It’s her—Limnade.

She opens her mouth of scissor-teeth and the rotten
smell of fish wraps around my throat like two
hands trying to choke me.

“You can’t be…” I don’t finish my breathless
thought and jump backward, knocking over the dish
of decorative soaps. Blurry waves, vision impaired,
out of focus, unreal. She crawls toward me, eyes unblinking,
lethal, hands inches from me: my legs refuse
to move, as my body feels like stone. Frozen,
hypnotized, a statue. Then I hear something coming
from within her…

A melody, reminding me of something lost, tickles
my ears. It drags on until the sweetness turns sickly,
vibrating into a full-on super-scream, hyenalike,
enough to pop my ears and make them bleed. Her
large mouth deforms her face into one gap of black,
the cry so high and strident, I scream from the pain.
Limnade stares at me, everything but her fades
away—Jo’s nice bathroom, Jo’s new life, Jo himself—
none of it matters anymore. Her fingers brush my
forehead, they’re cold and sticky like clams. And I let
the darkness take me away.

She who likes dark things never grew up. She never stopped listening to gothic, industrial and alternative bands like when she was fifteen. She always loved to read horror and dystopia and fantasy, where doom and gloom drip from the pages.

She, who was supposed to make films, decided to write short stories, novelettes and novels instead. She, who’s had her films listed on festival programs, has been printed in a dozen anthologies and magazines since.

She who likes dark things prefers night to day, rain to sun, and reading to anything else.


She tweets @annecmichaud



Saturday, February 9, 2013

Finding Cupid's Arrows Blog Hop






So Valentine’s Day…ugh…not a holiday I particularly cherish. It’s too pink for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the chocolate that typically comes with the day but all that lovely dovey stuff gets a little noxious and seems so…put on?

To me, romance doesn’t just happen one day of the year, and even though I write erotic romance where everything is hot, heavy and all tied up into a neat little bow by the end, real life and real love isn’t always pink.

As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I’m not the most romantic of folks. I don’t ewwww and awww over flowers (actually, I hate getting flowers) and jewelry.  I don’t like the gushy bad poetry that flies around all over the place. I’m not into teddy bears or other cutie things. If my husband ever posted a sappy love note to me on FB I would barf and then kill him. I understand that some women love that kinda thing but that’s not what romance is to me.

Recently, my hubs and I were having a conversation about a situation at work that I was dealing with. I was very upset that I wasn’t getting support about a really important issue. 

Me: “I just don’t understand why they won’t stand up and fight along side me. It’s important for us all to stand strong.”

Hubs: “Because they are all cowards, Angie. And you, are not.”

I swear, those words actually had me tearing up a bit, (I didn’t let on of course cause I’m a tough lady) but his support, at that moment, was exactly what I needed to hear and those words were the epitome of romantic to me. He gets me. That’s better than bad poetry, ugly roses, expensive jewelry, maybe even chocolate (gasp) and corny posts on my FB timeline.

So there you go, another anti-romance, romance post.

In the name of anti-romance, romance, I’m giving away a copy of my Cupid’s Conquest novella, Going the Distance. All you have to do is leave a comment and your email to be entered to win. I’ll randomly draw the winner next week.

Then you need to hop on over to the next stop on our….BLOG HOP for a chance to win more amazing prizes, including the BIG prize, a beautiful, Cupid inspired Arrow necklace and a $25 GC for Evernight Publishing!







Enter here for a chance to win the necklace and GC!

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway



Evernight Publishing All of the Cupid's Conquests titles are all sale this week too!


Thursday, January 31, 2013

High Concept vs Low Concept...Um...pardon me???


I was recently at a workshop being given by the amazing, Kelley Armstrong and discussion turned to high concept vs low concept. Now this is something that I know a lot of my author pals are kind confused about.  What exactly is high concept anyway? And how does one capture the elusive high concept idea?

The explanation Kelley gave made sense to me at the time, high concept is an idea that will make a lot of money...an idea that catches people's attention immediately and doesn't take a lot of explanation. It goes hand in hand with a great log line...those tremendously difficult one line summaries of our 90k blood sweat and tears.

While sitting in the workshop I started going through the ideas I've had over the years for my novels and wip. I came up with log lines that were okay...decent...maybe high concept...I think. Well, they certainly sounded good in my head at the time. But it wasn’t until I was watching the movie Limitless the other night that I truly understood what high concept meant...the log line for that movie crashed into my brain the second I turned my thoughts in that direction.

Down and out man is given a pill that allows him to tap into all of his brain power.

Whether you've seen the movie or not, whether you’re a writer or not, I'm sure you can come up with a million ways that would be a great story...and it was a great story.

How about this:

Man wakes up from coma to find the world overrun by zombies.

High concept. Exciting. (Well, at least two years ago it would be, pre-zombie saturation) Makes you want to know more right?

Sometimes the log line is amazing but the story that follows isn’t so great. Sometimes the log line stinks but the story is awesome. What I figured out about high concept is that the trick is to find that elusive idea that doesn’t already exist, in a new or emerging market, and then execute it in a non-suck kinda way.

Easy right? Lmao. Right.