Thursday, November 30, 2006


OK, I am kung fused. I thought I changed my profile so that the cover of our next release "Howling Moon" that comes out at the end of December would be the picture in my profile. When I'm on the dashboard, it shows Howling Moon's cover. When I get to the blog, POOF, it has magically transformed back to Touch of Evil. Now, don't get me wrong, the cover for TOE is SERIOUSLY COOL, but, hmnnnn.

Cathy just got "Timeless Moon" back to me. We have a couple of changes to make and then it goes to Anna tomorrow. This morning I had another one of those "Holy CRAP it's a BOOK moments." I don't know if every author has them, but every once in a while I find myself stepping back and blinking (a lot) when I realize that a world, people, and the stories that started out as wisps of thought in my head are now transformed into something real and solid that people all over the world can pick up and experience. I mean, "Holy CRAP!" This book will be out on shelves, then it will be in libraries and homes, then used bookstores, then more homes, for years and years. That just is so amazing. I can't even explain it. But it makes the hard part of the job worthwhile, and believe me there are some VERY hard parts to this job.

But today and tonight, edits. These are the kind of things where changes were made between drafts that created plot holes that need to be filled. Little things like, a person can't be in the front seat and the back seat of the car at the same time.

Well, gotta run. The world awaits.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A New Beginning

Every day is a new chance. A complete do-over. Oh, there's consequences from previous choices, but you get another go.

Things have been hard lately. I did something foolish, and am now paying for the consequences. I've been beating myself up pretty badly about it too. But today I'm starting over. I'm forgiving myself for the screw up, getting back off the mats and going for it again.

The good news is that Howling Moon made the cover of RT, got a 4 1/2 stars top pick and a great review. It comes out at the end of the month. It was originally the first book, the one we built the world for. It's not perfect, but I'm proud of it.


Monday, November 13, 2006

On Writing

OK, I just finished the draft of the book and sent it to Cathy yesterday (see yesterday's post). But one of the things about writing that a lot of people don't "get" is that, even if it's fiction, you have to get your facts straight.

For example, in this manuscript I had to research a TON of information including (but not by any means limited to):

(1) The layout of international and municipal airports and private airstrips.
(2) Aztec and Incan religious cultures & temples
(3) Colombian geography.
(4) Arizona geography, farming, and in particular the growing of peanuts.
(5) Box cars, flat cars, and east-west track lines for the railroad.
(6) The quetzalcoatl
(7) Goth/Rock clothing for guys
(8) The 2005 Volvo, particularly the safety features.
(9) Hotel layouts in Flagstaff and Daytona Beach
(10) Sunrise/Sunset times for Arizona and Florida
(11) Travel times from various cities using various modes of transportation
(Thank you
(12) Flight times and routes from Albuquerque to Daytona Beach
(Thank you and
(13) Luxury residences on the Florida coast.
(14) Route 66
(15) A little bit on guns (although I reused some of the research I'd done for Howling Moon to speed up the process)

There's a lot more, but these are just the ones that either spring to mind or got bookmarked because I was going there so often. A lot of people think that because it's fiction you get to make it up. Well, some of it you do. But if you want your readers to invest in the characters and what's happening to them, you have to make it believable. That means that if it takes one hour to drive from the location where you put Pony, Arizona to Albuquerque according to a map, then you can't have them driving all day and not getting there and your readers are going to notice if you "lie" or "fudge." It will piss them off and pull them out of the story. Now, if you're writing from the point of view of a character who doesn't know guns, you can have them look at it and say -- "Ah a gun" and not know what kind or how many bullets, etc. On the other hand, if your POV character is a cop or a mercenary. They're going to know. So you have to know. And you have to tell the reader.

If you have your character having a power that would be useful, but they can't use it here, you have to explain why (and make it make sense) or the reader's going to go "Bullshit" and throw the book down. (OK, maybe they use better or worse language, but they will definitely be unhappy with the book. The goal is to make them happy, not frustrate them.)

OK, enough lecture. I have to get moving. Have a great day.


Sunday, November 12, 2006


OK. I'm back. A few things.

FIRST, I have (at long last) finished the draft of Shadowed Moon (working title that may or may not last) to Cathy. It is short. It is too short. UGH. I did my best, but she is going to have to beef it up. Fortunately, she's REALLY good at that (among other things).

It is, I believe, the most "romantic" of the books thus far. Don't panic. There's still plenty of action. (Oh, and a supporting character that we got to know in a previous book winds up getting killed). It has the snakes and also a new problem/situation.

This book did not fight me like Cat/Howling Moon did. It just didn't take off either. It wanted to be written at a pace of about three thousand words per day. That's really pretty slow for me. Particularly since I tend to go back and rewrite sections and not use sections. UGH. Oh, and then there have been the computer problems that slowed things down, and real life intruding. . .

Speaking of real life: James is doing well in Denver. He's happier than he's been in a while. It makes me happy to. I do miss him though. And I worry. This is part and parcel of the whole Mom thing. You worry. A lot. Over stupid stuff. Particularly stupid since he's a fully grown adult human being with enough sense to take care of himself. And still I worry. UGH.

OK, I got "Tagged" by Cathy. I'm supposed to write 5 things about myself that people don't know. Now this is tricky for me, because I'm inclined to blurt out stuff so that people know things about me, but I'll just go with "interesting" things that you may or may not know.

1) I was ambidextrous as a kid and still do things with both hands. But I am now very definitely right dominant because of the whole practice issue.

2) I was hit by lightning when I was about fourteen and it screwed with my body a bit, so that I have all kinds of weird electrical things happen (particularly when I'm stressed.)

3) I have spoken to many, many, many people and have come to the conclusion that I have the world's single most embarrassing work moment to my credit/debit. It is a long and involved story that I will tell you when plied with liquor or if I am just feeling frivolous. But I will not repeat it right now. I also have several other runner ups of the "most embarrassing" moment items, including talking to a plastic parrot.

4) I was once stung by a wasp in a spot where no woman wants to be stung by anything (while pulling on a pair of jeans fresh from the clothesline), and was bitten by a black widow spider in very nearly the same place.

5) I had to have really serious surgery when I was 25 and made a list of the 100 things I wanted to do before I die. I still have the list somewhere, and I've checked off quite a few, but a lot of them have changed. (Note to the world. Things that sound seriously cool at 25 do not necessarily sound really cool at 45).

Let's see. I'm supposed to tag 5 other people. I will try to tag Jim, Yolanda, Anna, Carrie and Jay.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

OK. . . I think.

OK, life has been a little hard. There was a power surge that fried my refrigerator and zapped my computer. I have (twice) reloaded. It's still not running exactly right, which is slowing me down and is annoying as hell. BUT, the good news is. . . I DID NOT LOSE THE MANUSCRIPT COMPLETELY. I lost all of my saved favorites (including Yolanda's blog, and all sorts of other things that I can't seem to find now [YO IF YOU COME BY, PLEASE E-MAIL ME YOUR BLOG ADDRESS AGAIN!!!]). But I wasn't going online much anyway because I'm behind the eightball on a deadline.

James is up in Denver. Keep your fingers crossed. He's got a good job, but it's hard to make the transition.

I DIDN'T get to go to Vampire Lestat. BUMMER. HUGE HONKING BUMMER. BUT I was dealing with the manuscript, and health issues, and it probably is for the best. We sent a basket with our books for auction for Habitat for Humanity, BUT, despite the fact that I was ASSURED that it would arrive on time (and I sent it with plenty of time) IT DIDN'T FLIPPING ARRIVE until after the event! UGH! BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS that Suzi's friend bought it and donated the money, so it ended up being OK. Frustrating though.

Anyway, I've been frustrated, and a little upset, so I haven't wanted to write. I figured if I did, I'd just sound whiny and who needs that? Hopefully I'll recover my sense of humor by the weekend. I'll let you know.