Hello everyone! I only have time for a quick post today, but I definitely wanted to share a link to a guest blog I wrote about music and my current manuscript (Walter and Kevin’s story).
My friend and lovely critique partner, Constance Phillips, who has her first release coming out with Crescent Moon Press later this year (Congrats, Constance!! So proud of you!!), was kind enough to give me a spot on her Character Playlist feature.
Stop by my post, Music of a Manuscript, to get a mini preview of Walter and Kevin’s story via some of the songs on the book’s playlist.
Also, keep an eye on my website for more about this story. I’ll be adding these and other videos for the rest of the playlist to my Behind the Story page, as well as more news and other behind-the-scenes details.
I’m thrilled to share that Breathewas selected as a Joyfully Reviewed Best Romance in 2011.
Huge thanks to the reviewer Nannette for taking the time to read and review the book last year and to Joyfully Reviewed for posting their reviewers’ top picks. I was incredibly honored to see it on the Best of 2011 page alongside so many amazing authors. Also very cool to see the number of m/m books on their list.
I’d like to also thank everyone who has picked up a copy of Breathe and gave it a try. It is now my bestselling book. I am touched and grateful for each and every email and comment I get from readers about this story.
“Passion is that feeling you get when you know you’re about to see him. It is that ache you have in your stomach after you’ve just left him. Passion is the fear of never seeing him again. Passion is what love is all about.”
This quote reminded me of something my sweetie and I were just discussing with utter amazement. So many times, even after all these years, we still get a rush when we see each other. We still want to be together like we want to be with no one else, even minutes after we annoy each other. We still have rose-colored glasses that help us see past the faults and disagreements and everyday problems. We still cuddle and giggle like we just met. For me, that’s how I know it’s love.
Tomorrow, April 7th, is the first m/m Romance Reader Appreciation Day at the Sweet Spot Yahoo Group. It’s all about saying thank-you to the wonderful readers of m/m romance. Over the past few years, we’ve heard from many authors who are amazed and delighted by how supportive, kind, and generous they’ve found the people in the m/m reader community. We couldn’t agree more. You guys are the best. So we’d like to say THANK YOU for your part in supporting the various genres of m/m romance.
Watch the group (or your email if you choose to receive emails from the group) on Saturday, April 7th for a message with instructions on how to enter.
Reply to that message between 8am and 8pm EST indicating you’d like to enter the giveaway.
That’s it. You’ll be added to the drawing for your chance at a random prize. Winners will be announced via the group after the giveaway closes. Authors will be sent the winning email addresses at that time and will contact their winners directly.
So far, the following authors have generously donated these books or other prizes. Thank you, authors!
All books are in ebook format unless otherwise indicated.
I learn something new with each story I write. Both about me and the craft of writing fiction. As I’ve shared before, my current novel has been through a rocky schedule in terms of the actual writing, but it has had some of the biggest lessons for me when it comes to the “how” of writing.
Here’s what I’ve learned or had reinforced into my writer’s brain this past week:
It’s amazing how many bits of dialogue or even entire scenes I thought were important that never make it in the final manuscript. They are the moments that seemed to be at the core of the story and its meaning when I was writing the outline, yet once I’m into the story on a deeper level, those “darlings” just seem to lose their punch. But they were important for the journey. They helped me get to where I wanted the story to go. Writing is a process.
I can’t be afraid of moving a scene to a completely new setting. Sometimes I’m telling the right interactions and dialogue in the wrong place. The scene can take on a new intensity in the “right” location. Setting can influence the entire tone of a story. If two characters fall in love while moving from public place to public place, that story will have a very different feel than a story about two characters falling in love while staying at one of their homes, just the two of them for days on end.
When I’m stuck on a character’s emotional reactions, I should always go back to the basics. What are the character’s goals, wants, needs? And how are those driving his actions and his responses? I can’t be afraid to make the story primal. Humans are complex creatures, but we are also driven by simple, personal motivations.
I have to be “feeling” a scene to revise it. Sure, the writing hasn’t been polished yet, some of the sensory details are missing, and I have yet to write parts of the emotional responses and dialogue, but if I’m not interested in the core of what is going on in the scene, who the hell else will be? I give the scene two chances to pull me in. Maybe I was in a bad mood the first read through or maybe my mind was on something else. If I’m still not feeling it on the second read through, it’s back to the drawing board. Every scene, every interaction doesn’t just need a purpose, it doesn’t just need to move the story forward, it needs to grab the reader and hold on. The least it needs to do is get me excited to revise it.
And yet again, I think I’ve proven how crazy my writing process is, but I’m more than okay with that. It works for me.
Another thing I’ve learned in the past couple of years is to appreciate every moment I’m writing and to embrace the story I’m working on. Each of my novels has been quite different from the others. Over thinking the process and the act of writing, or doing any sort of comparison between works, is counterproductive. Enjoying the journey of storytelling and the characters I’m creating is a big part of what makes writing such a joy.
I try to start every writing session with that in mind.