Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I admit it. I love James Bond.

And there is a new trailer for Skyfall!

And did you all know I used Daniel Craig as my inspiration for Lance Soleil?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Dracula's Desires is available for pre-sale!

The second book in the Blood Wings Series, Dracula's Desires, is now up on Amazon and other e-retailers for pre-order. It will be released September 20th!

Isn't it a gorgeous, sexy cover?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My very weird brain.

There is a downside to growing up in a family of clowns. Today was a great example.

This afternoon, I treated myself to lunch at the yummy Davis Street Tavern. To my left, a gentleman was interviewing a lady for some kind of tech/design position.

(first off, can I just say "Euuuwww" to interviewing someone while they are trying to eat? In public, where strangers can listen in? Isn't the lunch portion of an interview supposed to be a break so the interviewee can relax and let their personality emerge?? Sheesh)

The gentleman (who looked like he was about to mow the lawn - I mean, come on, dude! She's interviewing you, too) said something that went a little something like this:

"You are in a meeting with a client. You've done your research and come up with what you think is the best proposal. I come to the meeting and I completely disagree with you. My proposal is the exact opposite of yours. What do you do?"

I had to clap my hand over my mouth because I wanted to answer that question for her. And I wanted to say, "Well, naturally you stand up and scream:


Lord, I crack myself up.

Character Creation, part two

(Previous post here)

Now you have have some (more or less) randomly generated numbers. You are ready to start building your character's basic attributes.

More or less random numbers

Get another piece of paper and right down these  six TLAs:
Weird three letter acronyms
STR  (Strenght) This denotes how much your character can carry and (obviously) how much physical strength they have.

DEX (Dexterity) refers to reflexes, balance, and flexibility. A Cirque du Soliel performer would have a DEX of 18 (the highest number you can get). An average person would be around 9.

CON (Constitution) tells you how much stamina this imaginary person has. It includes their ability to recover from stress or injury.

INT (Intelligence) is a measure of learning and reasoning skill. An example of intelligence in action is how quickly this character learns languages.

WIS (Wisdom) is different from intelligence in that it denotes a person's willpower, awareness, common sense, and intuition.

CHA (Charisma) refers to the ability to lead, their personality, appearance, and skill at diplomacy.

Then place those random numbers randomly on your characteristics.

This character is moderately strong, pretty flexible, smart enough to get into trouble, and likes to lead.

For a person with this kind of dexterity, I would most likely make them a cat-burglar in training, or perhaps a business owner who likes to tumble in their free time.

See how you can get a wide variety of ideas from six simple attributes?

Roll some dice and have some fun! That's why we write, after all. :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Re-order news!

If you pre-ordered Dracula's Secret back in January (when it was available the first time), you will need to re-order.

From my editor:
"The reason the pre-orders for the original listing of DRACULA’S SECRET didn’t carry over is because the ISBN was changed (I suspected that might be the case).  Normally people wouldn’t have to re-order but a new ISBN makes for an entirely different product."

Fortunately, you aren't charged until the book ships, so re-ordering shouldn't be too big of a problem. Sorry for any inconvenience. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Character Creation

I'm always looking for ways to stimulate my brain. This past weekend, I got a wonderful shot of creativity from an unexpected source.

For the first time in nearly twenty years, I joined a game based on Dungeons and Dragons. Yep, that old role playing game (RPG) that we used to fear would lead the youth of our nation into devil worship.

In actuality, RPGs are an adventure in shared, co-operative story telling. Any author who has co-written a story can tell of the joys of creating a world and quirky characters with another person. I got to have that fun with seven other bright, intelligent, fun people.

Every story starts with a character or eight. Someone with various strengths and weaknesses who gets challenged to push herself. How she reacts to those challenges depend a great deal on her personality traits. Fortunately, RPGs give you a wonderful way to discover those personalities.

Of course, we usually use archetypes (here) or GMC (here). But why not try some thing a little koo-koo crazy?

First, get yourself four six sided dice.

Then, roll your dice.

Remove the lowest number from the cluster.

Add up the remaining dice and write that number down. Do that six times.

Next time - what to do with those numbers!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Another growth opportunity.

Recently, my friend Nancy Brophy of See Jane Publish always asks the difficult questions. The other day, she probed my psyche with this humdinger:

"What is the hardest lesson you've learned on your writing journey?"

Oh, ouch. I so didn't want to think on that.

Fortunately, I learned how to deal with rejection early (pro-tip: read Making a Literary Life by Carolyn See).

What should I talk about? The difficulty in believing in yourself? The need to Dare to be Average?

No, the hardest part was learning to talk about my work.

(I just now completely stalled out on writing this, thinking about what I was going to say about talking about my work.)

When you have a dream, you might have to keep it under wraps for a little while - protect it from those who would, in a completely innocent way (of course), say or do things that discourage you.

I got stuck there. When it came time to pitch my book or to ask for help, I would either stall or simply not answer.

I do not recommend this course of action. Once your dream is sturdy, share it.

What is your dream? What are you working on?