Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Inner Demon Called Editor

So, I was reading one of my new favorite books in eBook format and it suddenly occurred to me why I prefer paperback versions of books.

I have an inner demon. It's almost a condition. I edit. I can't stop myself, especially when I am reading on a screen, where I have personally done most of my own writing for the past 10 years, at least. I've always had an inner editor. Writers need to have one, but mine seems to be slightly more pronounced. I am sure other writers have the inner editor that rears its head when we just want to stop and enjoy a book as a reader. I can't be the only one.

My inner editor comes out for print books too, sometimes more fiercely. If there's a mistake in a print copy of a book, it feels even more appalling. I have been accustomed to reading books, novels, stories, etc. as drafts if I am reading them on a screen, because drafts are all I have been doing for a long time. So, if I see a glaring error in a *print* book, it's terrible. However, in print form, I feel like I can move on. Once it's in print, there's nothing that I can do about it.

For eBooks, however, the dreaded digital screen is glaring the words and the mistakes at me, and I keep trying to tap my backspace key, or the screen of my iPad to correct the mistake. It's like a compulsion.

It's time to redirect my inner demon, ahem, I mean editor, into editing my *own* stuff.  I am good at editing. I have to brag a little about that. I know my editor is overzealous. I've even considered offering my services as editor. Authors need them. I am surprised how much slips by. I think authors need about 3 to 4 editors. Even inner demons...editors get overwhelmed.

If it is a good story, then technical things are easy to miss as readers get lost in the story. Editors are readers too, and a lot of them are writers. Sometimes we just want to read, but shutting down that inner demon can be really challenging. It's my goal to have only pristine works published, but I am sure that I will have a few "blips" in there that will make a reader/writer's inner editor cringe.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday Sloggery

I have been paranoid lately that I haven't been providing anything interesting for my followers on Twitter. I haven't been. I know I am supposed to have more "platforms", but I am going to stick to Twitter and Pinterest, in order to save my sanity and my principles. That said, I still am paranoid that my followers on Twitter will find me boring.

I'm capable of being rather interesting, but I am not very public about it. I thought I better share a little bit, at least. It's expected, and I have been doing stuff. The problem is that I have a very protective attitude toward my creative works.

Here are a couple of hints to whet any curious appetites. Along with being on 24/7 mother duty to my 3 yo and 11 yo, and trying to be a decent wife, I've been attempting to put together character profiles, and some kind of plot outline. It's been a slow process, because January is the month of total holiday recovery, and transitional stress into the new year. I won't even get into the cold weather and the 3yo climbing the walls because she can't get outside.

Mostly I have been doing research into ancient Greece, Rome, and the surrounding realms in order to get my story together. It's not a story that takes place in ancient times, but those by gone eras will be entering into the scheme of things.

To get to know me, you'll discover I am a big fan of mystery, romantic suspense, and adventure, so you can bet there will be all of those elements in my books. My top three inspirational authors are Barbara Michaels (aka Elizabeth Peters), Mary Stewart, and Susanna Kearsley, so that should give you some ideas of my influences. I love those authors dearly and can read their books infinitely.

I hope that gives you a little nibble into my process. I am too protective to give out more yet. As things become more solidly set into place, I'll let a few more secrets slip. Of course, if you want some visuals you can always follow my Pinterest boards. I give a lot more away there as far as inspirational visuals go. :D
So, if you're looking for something to do this Saturday before the Pro Bowl (doesn't everyone watch football? The Pro Bowl should be flag football...but anyway), and you want a glimpse into my writer's burrow, head on over to Pinterest and browse my boards. I've got some hot cast members for my characters. Here's an example:

Friday, January 25, 2013


Awesome Book Sites 

The Sisterhood of the Jaunty Quills
Gathering Place of Wonderful Women Writers and Friends

Riley Banks  - The Writer's Shack
"...This website throws open the doors of my (symbolic) writer's shack and invites you to share the journey with me."

From the Pen of Mae Clair
Myth, Mystery and Modern Day Romantic Suspense

YA Misfits
Misfit Group of YA Writers, Navigating the World of Publishing One Step at a Time

The Book Smugglers
Smuggling Since 2007, Reviewing Speculative Fiction & YA Since 2008

Bookends (and Beginnings)
One Girl's Thoughts on the Vast World of Books

Just Romantic Suspense
 Your One Stop Source for the Romantic Suspense Genre

Coffee Time, Romance & More
Your One Stop Shop for Books and Authors on the Web. Book Reviews; Book Community

Romantic Book Affairs
Where the Flings are Fiction and the Infatuations are Imaginary

Anna Reads Romance
Romance Reviewer Extraordinaire

Rainy's Book Realm
Book News, Reviews, Releases, All the Things Books Need

Not Now, Mommy's Reading
Some Adult Content, but a Fantastic Review Site - Not a Review Site for the Faint of Heart

Caffeine and Contemplation 
Books, Reviews and Thoughts by Christine Steendam

Melissa's Mochas, Mysteries and More
The best things in life...cats, coffee, cozies, corsets, cupcakes and Christmas!!!

Cozy Mystery Book Reviews
 News, Interviews, Giveaways & Reviews

I'm a Reader, Not a Writer
Superhuman Book Reviewer, Giveaway and Book Blog Tour Hostess - She's Unbeatable!

Simply Sensational Book Fanatics
Reviews, Interviews, Book Tours, Giveaways, Author and Book Promos, Blog Tours, and Guest Posts - This blog has it all!

Scribblings of an Aspiring Author
Viklit really knows how to get a reader interested! A must read blog!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Winter Blahs?

Is it just this time of year that is making my creativity fall into the Pit of Despair and the Bog of Eternal Stench?

I sure hope so, because it is getting really frustrating feeling so *stuck* creatively. I know that I have resources out there to "help" get me out of the rut. Frankly, having too many resources out there is part of what put me into this spot in the first place.

I've frozen up. Not just because of the weather, and I don't really know exactly why. I know I will thaw out eventually, but I sure am impatient. I am thinking that the impatience is exactly the thing that will eventually get me out of the rut. Impatience vs. resources.

I tend to get very resistant to offerings of advice, resources, exercises, suggestions, etc..  I am very much like my hedgehog, really. I get prickly and hiss, and crawl into my burrow to hide until I feel like coming out.
Hotchiwitchi - my 10 week old hedgehog.

So, I guess I have to do that. I will try to ignore the fact that my burrow is kind of flawed in that I am still able to be completely interrupted at any moment in time. I have to get into a kind of focused mindset that allows me to still be a mom and wife, as well as a writer. I am not good at least it is terribly exhausting attempting to be good at it.

Wish me luck. I hope my readers are having easier times adjusting to 2013's entrance. I have to wonder why we are driven to "doing things" in January when it is so obvious that in the dead of winter, we really should just be resting. Maybe I just need to let my muse continue resting. In the back of my mind I hear a tiny shout of "no", however, so I am still trying to figure out how to unlock my creativity.

How are you unlocking your creativity? Has it even been locked up? Do you feel like hibernating? I love conversations. Please leave me a comment.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Gobs of Giveaways

There are so many good giveaways out there right now! I hope that you will find some during your blog hopping.

I'm participating in another one. I'm also moving all of my giveaway participation to my review site at Sunday Book Brunch. So, that's where you will see any goodies from now on, along with occasional reviews that I feel I need to post.

I'm still looking for reviewers to join me at Sunday Book Brunch. If you want to serve up an occasional Sunday Brunch book review, I'd love to have you. I'm unable do it all alone, as I want to focus on my writing, research and reading.

Email me at risurocket @ yahoo . com or leave a comment below if you are interested in becoming a co-reviewer. Only requirements are that the reviews be posted on a Sunday, I am notified by email that you will be posting so we don't have a ton of post crashes, and your review is objective and without spoilers. Please let me know, so I can set you up!

For a chance at some goodies, hop on over to Sunday Book Brunch for the Authors' Kindle Fire HD Giveaway hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Classic Reads 2013 Blog Hop

Classic Reads Blog Hop 2013

I am honored to participate in this blog hop, hosted by the super bloggers/authors, Terri Giuliano Long, Molly Greene, Cheryl Nolfi and Rachel Thompson.

I had to think long and hard about what a classic read was for me. Having a background in English Literature, British, specifically, I automatically think of the books mass labeled as classics. My favorite authors for industry or educationally labeled classics are Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and The Unicorn by Iris Murdoch. Both of those books had the ability to surprise me by being something more than novels written in their contemporary decades. (This is particularly evident in the modern cover featured in my link for Frankenstein, above.)

Both Mary Shelley and Iris Murdoch were able to produce contemporary pieces for their times, but instill a timeless quality into their novels. This quality means that issues, plots, subjects, characters and all the elements of the story are all able to take the reader into another world no matter what year you are reading the book, or how many times you read it. Both books surprised me by being easy to comprehend while still layering the story with things that make the reader think.

These "old" classics are examples of what I think a classic read means to me today. Any book I read that sticks with me, has a timeless quality that doesn't date the book as having taken place in one particular era (even if it is a historical plot), and is infinitely re-readable...those are the qualities I look for in a classic read.

As far as literary quality, I am not sure if I could recommend any of the books I read as classics. I read to escape to another world, so if a book can do that, even if it is not a fantasy world, then I enjoy reading it. I think only a couple of authors come close to the "accepted" definition of a classic author, which is an author who has the ability to transcend a genre and pioneer new arenas of writing, while still remaining within the constructs of a familiar genre. (This is a loose interpretation of my own for the definition of a classic author.)

Susanna Kearsley has the ability to make her genre novels something above the genre of "contemporary gothic".... There may not be a lot of higher issues, or many morality lectures to be had within the story, but the books still have excellent writing. The stories have the timeless quality I look for, and I can read them over and over, without tiring of the plot. Susanna Kearsley's books include: Mariana, The Splendour Falls,  The Shadowy Horses, and The Winter Sea. Her new release due in summer of 2013 is The Firebird.

For the Fantasy genre, Patrick Rothfuss has this same ability to transcend the genre and make the stories that much more human. Patrick Rothfuss' books include: Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear. The third book of the Kingkiller Chronicles is in the works, but has not yet been announced.

There you have a few examples of my classic reads. It boils down to books that have the ability to transcend time, and keep me reading over and over. If they happen to have a literary quality that brings them above and beyond the genre they are written in, then that adds a particularly nice bonus touch to the story. My main goal for reading is enjoyment, and if a book can do that, it just might have the classic quality to stick with me forever. If a book inspires me as a writer, which my favorite authors tend to do, then I win!

Sponsored By: Terri Giuliano Long, Molly Greene, Cheryl Nolfi, and Rachel Thompson