I'm terrible at being an author. Or terrible at being an organized author. 9 days ago-- Yeah, 9. I told you I'm terrible-- I started posting a line every day from At Her Feet on facebook, tumblr, and twitter. Why didn't I post it here too? Cause I suck. Here's what I've posted so far. I'll update it every day, for the month of August. Also keep a heads up on tumblr and twitter and facebook, I'll be giving away books!
I’m previewing AT HER FEET , one line at a time. :)
Day 1: "Shit, she could lead me around Hawaii on a leash, naked as a baby if wants."
Day 2: “I think she’s about to lecture me on back-talking. Instead she takes my chin in her hand and kisses me.”
Day 3: “I shuffle to the floor and in a heartbeat, my head is under her skirt.”
Day 4: “You can get more if your nephew never walks again,” Holly says.
Day 5: “I realize she means for me to sleep alone again, and I’m disappointed, but this time I keep my mouth shut.”
Day 6: “What’s the point of lotioning up your naked plaything if you’re not gonna linger on the butt?”
Day 7: “He tilts my phone and looks closer at the picture. ”The duckies are cute, but you need a wax, girl.’”
Day 8: “I squirm some more, trying to get her fingers a little farther down.”
Day 9: “’You’re naked in a cage on the side of the freeway, and you need me to comes save you.’ That’s how he says hello.”
Day 10: “I feel her fingers on me next, cool with lube as she runs a slippery glob up and down my crack.”
Day 11: “I cry out, lifting my hips off the
bed, but my shifting doesn't get me any closer to what I want.”
Day 12: “I'm going to take care of you when we get home, little girl. What I want to do to you we cannot do in public."
Day 13: "But I love you. Please reconsider."
Day 14: “I see how you've gotten so far in marketing.”
Day 15: “Wow, thank you. That's—thank you.”
Day 16: "She warms my ass with a controlled spanking and makes my pussy swell with every stroke of her tongue."
Day 17: "I'm starting to understand about the wanting."
Day 18: I look up into her deep-brown
eyes and swallow as that smile touches the corner of her lips.
Day 19: The tears come so fast, the kind that come so thick and hot you don't even attempt to wipe them away
Day 20: "Oh my God. Hi," pops
out of my mouth first. I'm shocked but pleased, and that overwhelms
much of my brain.
Day 21: My hand drifts to Pilar's
thigh, and soon the soothing feeling of her skin helps calm my
Day 22: There’s no need for her to move because in a few minutes I’m going to ask her if we can do it again.
Day 23: Everything about her is round and
plump, from her cheeks to her large breasts to her hips. Her whole
body is inviting.
Day 24: Her arms are around me, and instantly, I feel better.
Day 25: “That’s it. Good girl. Ride me just like that,” she says, and I know the pace suits her.
Day 26: She's fighting a smile as she lightly
takes my chin in her hand. “Is there something I can help you with,
Day 27: I can't see straight and birds
are singing in my ears. My butt feels great.
Day 28: “Son of bitch.” She sucks
in a breath through her teeth. “You have a gorgeous pussy, Suzanne.
And look how wet you are.”
Day 29: She touches my knee lightly
before pulling her hand away. “You're not in trouble.”
Day 30: I was happy to submit to Laurel's hand,
or flog, or paddle, but I needed more. I needed her affection with my
Day 31: This is my my little girl, and I will
protect her not because she is my submissive or even my property, but
because I love her.
I think most people are particular about the way they do things. I've
mentioned before that I really, really need to have a clear picture of
what exactly my characters look like in my head before I can start
writing their story. When I first saw Melissa Debling, I KNEW she was my
Annie. (Melissa, if you're reading this I know you're your own person and
my casting you as one of my characters was not at all creepy. I swear)
Once I have my characters in place, I also like
to come up with music that makes me think of them and their story. I
have some really depressing music in mind for VSS Book4. Sam is in a pretty dark place. I had some great R&B tunes for Benny and Cleo,
though "I love You" by Lenny Williams can and should be listened to at
least several times a week just to add a little bit of drama to your
Yesterday, while I sat prepping for another
adventure in reality tv, a song came up on my pandora station that was
just too perfect for my next sorority girl/vampire lady adventure.
have already told me a bit about how they feel about these two. Please
feel free to read the first two books in the series to get a glimpse of
what they're getting at. Jill is annoying. So annoying, but I love her
so much. A clingy little freshman when we meet her, who has issues with
personal boundaries and a verbal bluntness that I personally love. Tokyo
too is a bit of an asshole who has a habit of getting in the way. Am I
bringing them together as a couple? YOU BETCHA! And I'm really excited
about it. So what song is the perfect fit for them?
Glowing by Nikki Williams
Why? You'll just have to read VSS Book 3 to find out. Oh and I should probably start writing it. :)
Thanks to the twitter nets and May over at Smexy Books, I've decided to do more formal updates re: what I have coming up next.
I make lists. I even posted one up here on my blog last week about what I was going to write next. That list has changed BUT now that list is more solid and I'd love to share what the rest of 2013 has in store for my typing little fingers. This list will remain that same as in I will be writing these things for sure, but I of course don't know when this stuff will be released for sure.
1. Getting Busy on Route 66
I'll be writing a roadtrip themed novella. This will feature a young (20's) black lesbian couple. Sex will be had. I don't have a title for this yet, or character inspiration because I usually write the shorter stuff in one or two sittings. The story comes to me in one hunk. I don't outline or anything. I NEED character inspirations for outlines. I have NO idea when this will be released, but I will update you folks when I know.
*EDIT (May 15)*
See this is why I hate announcing things until I actually start working on them. So I've added to this list
1A. A Screenplay
I'll be working on a treatment then screenplay for a lady-buddy comedy. I'm writing this with a good friend
1B. New Adult Romance
Meet Shay-Leigh and Austin
I have a working title for this, but I'm almost positive that I'll change it. This is a little something I dreamed up about two black kids meeting during their freshman year of college. There will be some angst as there always is with these New Adult things, but for the most part it'll be a sweet, fun journey.
2. The Chance Encounter Trilogy
I'm kind of excited about this. I'm going to write a contemporary romance trilogy. For now I'm calling it The Chance Encounter Trilogy. Each book will feature a different couple, but all three books will be connected by the heroes' professional relationships. They all work together.
Couple #1: Bryan Connelly and Michelle Nordin
I don't have character inspiration for these two because Bryan is a 6'5 urban lumberjack type, with tattoos and an enormous chest. Michelle is half black/Swedish and what I like to call bottom heavy, or think in the hips. Finding people who look like that on the internet is hard.
Couple #2: David Nah and Amanda Baldwin
David and Amanda were headed toward being the stars of a really dark novella, but I like them so much as a couple I wanted to give them a brighter story. Their relationship starts on Tumblr over some fanart of their favorite show. What can I say, you write what you know. David and Bryan work in the same industry so I figured hmmmmmm maybe we can do something with these four. And that gave birth to...
#3 Theo Walker and Samita Tambe
Right now, I like their conflict the best. Parents, professional strife, SEX!
All three stories will have the sexy times. I don't know how to omit them. All three stories will be fun and relatively light. All three heroes will be sweethearts and all three leading ladies will be all around kick ass. I've never come up with three books so smoothly before. Did I mention that I'm excited to write these books?!?!? As of right now, I plan to self-publish this trilogy, but I have no idea how I'll feel when I'm done writing them, so we'll see. 3. Soul To Keep: Vampire Sorority Sister Series Book 3
Jill and Miyoko (Tokyo)
I'm pumped to write Jill and Miyoko's story. Jill is trying to figure out what kind of adult she wants to be and Miyoko is trying to deal with the kind of vampire she has become. I needed to get Benny and Cleo out of my system. Now I'm ready for some real angst and some demon related murder wrapped up in an x-rated vampire on human love story.
And there you have it. I've done the math and all of this comes in at around 360,000 words. Can I do it? Yes. Yes, I can. Or else, why did I vote for Obama. I'll check back in as things move along. Feel free to bug me about my progress. I need to know that people care.
Today I'm talking about this New Adult fiction business. What's New Adult, you ask? Well I've been asking the same thing for a few months and over the weekend I decided to get to the bottom of this for my own selfish reasons. I've read three titles that I enjoyed, Homecoming by Nell Stark, LoveLife by Rachel Spangler, and Sheltered By Charlotte Stein. I'm currently reading Take What You Want by Jeanette Grey, but only Jeanette's book was presented to me as a New Adult book.
The New Adult genre has been a thing for a long time. I'll even go as far to say it's been around as long as stories themselves, but recently St. Martin's Press and the rest of the publishing industry decided to slap a title on these stories. Here's what Wikipedia has to say on the genre (with a little help from St. Martin's and NA Alley).
"New adult literature touches upon many themes and issues to reach the
readership that falls in between the categories of young adult and
adult fiction.Many themes covered in young adult fiction such as identity,
sexuality, depression, suicide, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, familial
are also covered in new adult fiction, but the various issues that are
dealt with in the category hold it separate.
Some common examples of
issues include: first jobs, starting college, wedding engagements and
marriage, starting new families, friendships post-high school, military
enlistment, financial independence, living away from home for the first
time, empowerment, loss of innocence, fear of failure, and so many
others. This category focuses heavily on life after an individual has become
of legal age, and how one deals with the new beginnings of adulthood.
Commonly, these themes and issues have been seen taking place post-high
school in popular new adult fiction titles, but there are exceptions." -- Yes, I'm citing Wikipedia because they had the most clear definition.
Inside Romancelandia, I've seen a bit of a divide on the subject. Some think this is simply a marketing gimmick, another set of quick buzz words to push something that already exists. And others actually find this is new description to be rather helpful and exciting. I actually fall into both camps. Do I think it is a bit of a marketing ploy? Yes, but honestly that's how you sell things. You use marketing techniques to drive customers to your product. Books are a business. But for me categories like this help me understand what I'm getting.
I want to know if I'm reading about a certain age group or certain themes. A perfect example would be Regency romance and Westerns historicals being separated under the umbrella of historical romances. I love historical Westerns, but I'm not a huge fan of Regency romances. These categories help me find what I'm looking for as a reader. As a reader, I also enjoy reading about the 18-26 age bracket. These romances a bit more mature than YA.
I'm at a point in my life where the Boyfriend and I are struggling to get
beyond our college life-style. I mean I have to put in the effort to not
stay up all night, watching cartoons and eating junk food. He recently
just bought his first car. That was a traumatic experience. It's only
been in the last couple of years that I've stopped calling my parents
every time something goes wrong. For a while I felt that I was reading
romances with characters that we too serious and in periods of their
life (secure in their careers, too mature to get swept up in slightly
immature (fun and hilarious) situations etc.) that I just couldn't
relate to at all. New Adult solves this problem for me as a reader.
What does this have to do with me and my books? I'll tell you. When I first started writing Better Off Red, I realized that I hadn't read many books about characters in college. I think. I wanted to read more stories, particularly more romances with characters that were of college age.
When I first started sending Better Off Red out for submission, I knew I had unique problem. Now there are Young Adult books with sex. Forever by Judy Blume is one that immediately comes to mind. That book has a lot of sex in it. A lot, but it's a straight up YA novel. It was written for the YA audience and the main characters are in high school. Better Off Red has explicit sex, but Ginger is 18. She acts and talks like a typical New England 18 year old. She's a bit on the angsty side. She's trying to nail down her sexuality and a good studying schedule. Ginger's life just didn't fit in with the standard romances I was reading.
So who the hell was I going to sell this book to? Luckily Bold Strokes was willing to deal with me and Ginger, and that part of the story is history, but then I had to market the damn thing. And that was tricky too. I could say it's a paranormal romance, but it still didn't fit in with the adult or the YA paranormal romances I was seeing out there.
Then along comes this New Adult business and I feel like Ginger and the girls of Alpha Beta Omega finally have a little place where they belong. Where dealing with class schedules and new relationships and parents and vampires all makes sense. So I'm taking a stand or jumping into the pool (thanks Jeanette), and I'm going to say that my vampires series is most definitely New Adult. All of my main characters will be between 18-22. They will all be in college and dealing with their sexuality and their parents and race and the undead.
Personal perspective is an odd thing. My sister and I chat on the phone sometimes and it's interesting to hear about things that happened when we were kids from her point of view. Most recently I was telling the Boyfriend about a pair of Sally Jessy, big red rimmed sunglasses my sister picked out for me in 6th grade to take to camp.
We were in Wal-greens and she was telling me that those sunglasses were cool. It was a day she had to take a her little sister to the store. For me that was the first time in my pre-teen life that my big sister, easily the coolest person I knew (she wore Exclamation! perfume after all) was trying to bring me to her level. I texted her about it the other night and we both had a laugh remembering those silly sunglasses that we quite a hit at camp.
What does this have to do with writing? I'm glad you asked even though you totally didn't ask. Something interesting happened the other day. I got paid. YAY! Let's hear it for money. This isn't about money though. Not really.
I think every author has their favorite stories and their favorite characters -- of their own. If a reader asks my what book of mine they should read, I automatically say Better Off Red. If they had little time I'd tell them to read Better Off Red, or The Fling if they ABSOLUTELY hate paranormal, but I always start with Better Off Red. I don't even know that it's my favorite of my books, but it is the first thing that comes out of my mouth. Funny thing is The Fling has been my best-seller since it's release around this time last year.
I've blogged about The Fling and the trouble it caused me.(Check out this post for my account of writing and editing while suicidal.) When I finished The Fling I hated it. Not, the work or the characters, I love both, but I hated my relationship to the book itself. Its creation reminded me of a very, very bad time in my life. But I sucked it up and went on with things, wrote some more, what have you.
At one point I told my live-in-lifemate that I had a feeling that readers would like The Fling the most.A few months later I saw my publisher and she confirmed that The Fling was doing very well indeed. Not that my other books were doing poorly, The Fling was just doing better. A year later, that's still the case.
My life just goes that way. When I don't like something, other people love it.
So what does this all mean? Hell if I know. Does writing while suicidal work? I guess though I don't recommend it and I'm sure I don't want to go down that path again. But I do know that as an author what I think about my work on a personal level will most likely not match up with what the readers think. In the fall my new short, Forever Yours, Eileen which I think is the best thing I've written so far, will be out. We'll see what readers have to say or if they even give it a chance. Here's my favorite review of The Fling to date.
Misc. Update : Here's what I'm working on now/what's coming up from me.
Edits for At Her Feet which will be released in September
then I'll be writing a hetero novella
then I'll be writing a lesbian novella
AND THEN I'll be writing a hetero novel
Two lesbian shorts of my lesbian shorts will be released in September
Another lesbian short of mine will be released in October.
then I'll get around to writing the next book in the Vampire Sorority Series.
Sorry I'm taking my sweet ass time. Also take all the writing portions with a grain of salt. Sometimes I say things I don't mean.
Beverly Diehlcornered me at romance writers' meeting a few weeks ago, put me in a headlock and told me if I didn't do this block hop that she would confess awful secrets of mine to the whole world. She's so mean.
Of course I'm kidding. We're hopping around the blogesphere (is that how you spell it) sharing our favorite books. Our 5 favorites to be exact. It was hard to choose, but I think I did an okay job. Here my top 5(7)
This retelling of Cinderella was a pleasant surprise. This is a story of a family of women struggling to survive. It feels like the story is set in medieval (I think) Holland. The step-mother in this tale is left penniless with two daughters, one of which suffers from some kind of mental retardation. She remarries to keep herself and her daughters off the streets. Cinderella is somewhat of a spoiled brat. It's a good time.
I read this book right after a break up, when I was dead broke and about to move back to New Hampshire to live with my dad. I remember clearly sitting on my balcony one afternoon, because my power had been cut off and it was too dark inside my apartment, reading this book and completely forgetting about my troubles. I think that's exactly what a book should do, transport you to another place. I know Wicked is Maquire's most famous book, but this is by far my favorite of his.
This is the fifth book in the Outlander Series, I'll skip the plot summary because at this point in the series you're more following along with the family. This was the first book in the series that made me sob. Like raining buckets on my face. The first chunk of the book is brutal because it's almost a real time retelling of a single day, but the rest of the book tore my heart out.
A Tale of a baby in a basket. Who doesn't love a little small town story about a baby in a basket. But really, I read this book in 7th grade and kept the copy that I "borrowed" from my teacher. I still have it. Sorry Mr. A. I loved Larkin's voice. She was a kid I could relate to, but what I really loved about this book was how it didn't sugar coat death and loss and trauma. Toward the end of the book Larkin's teacher talks about the death of her brother and reads a "Dirge Without Music" by Edna St. Vincent Millay to the class. I memorized this scene and recited it to make it to the finals of our school's oral interpretation contest. I think it was one of the few times I really applied myself academically. In hindsight, I think this was a time when my own family was really starting to change and as a kid, this was a story I could really hold on to.
Picking a favorite among Beverly Jenkins's books was hard. Really hard. I read a book of hers and I love it and then I move on to the next one and then I love it. Always and Forever for me is one of her most complete stories, not just a romance, but an adventure and a story of personal growth and love. Jackson and Grace come together as they wrangle a group of prospective brides to head out to the Kansas Territory. Jenkins writes hilarious interactions between the women and an amazing Western for Jackson and Grace once they fall in love. And it ends the way I want nearly all romances to end. You'll have to read it to see what I mean. It's corny, but I love it.
And here's the reserve list because 5 books is just ridiculous.
Vows, Years, and Morning Glory all by LaVyrle Spencer
She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
Fledgling and Kindred by Octavia Butler
Witches by Raul Dahl
Night Song by Beverly Jenkins
Voyager and A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward
Split by Mel Bossa
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Now you! Tell me some of your favorite titles in the comments. I need more books to read!
Next week check out the faves for some of my favorite author friends.
Hey, I need opinions. I'm writing a short story about an existing couple, but I can't decide which couple to pick. What do you guys think? Should I write about Ginger & Camila, Benny & Cleo, or Annie & Oksana? I'm going to decide by Friday 3/ 8/1. Please help. Gimme your opinions in the comments below. Please. Help. Update: I've gotten feedback everywhere (facebook/tumblr/twitter), but here. Was it something I said?? Here's the tally so far. Annie & Oksana (The Fling): 9 Ginger & Camila ( Better Off Red): 8 Benny & Cleo (Blacker Than Blue): 4
Ginger and Camila took it! Final Tally: Ginger & Camila: 14 Annie & Oksana: 9 Benny & Cleo: 4 Looks like I have a sexy short about Ginger and her Mila to write. :)
I'd like to say thank you to the amazing Jolie Du Pre for opening the invitation to join this amazing hop.
It's fitting that this hop would fall on Valentine's Day. So far my vampires are hopelessly in love. They kick ass when they need to, but the love their humans so much that some times they don't have time to crack heads and this is where I've run into a problem. Well maybe not a problem. Something to consider that would make my books even better.
I read my reviews. I most certainly believe that reviews are for other readers, so I don't and would never respond to them, but recently a reader left a review that got me thinking. Maybe my vampires are too nice. The other night, while up in bed this is how I pictured them with their humans.
Camila and Ginger
Cleo and Benny
I need less of this ^^^ and more of this. -->
Camila and Cleo are bad ass. Both would throw down in a heartbeat, but I think I love them so much and I love them SOOO much with Ginger and Benny that I forget sometimes that they are vampires. This is the tricky part about writing paranormal romance. I'm turned off by violence, but it's different when it's being committed by the undead. I've never been courted by a violent vampire before. I mean I have violence in both Better Off Red and Blacker Than Blue. One college student didn't live through it all and there was mention or rape and suicide and other violent acts. People get choked. Benny and Cleo have a rather unpleasant and scarring run in with a very powerful demon, but there wasn't enough carnage. WELL THIS STOPS NOW!
My vampires are blood thirsty and better yet, they do live in a world, our world, that is speckled with very evil humans. In my next book, Soul to Keep, I'm turning things around. The body count will rise, IN DETAIL. People will be killed. There might be a possession and an exorcism, even though I hate exorcisms. Feelings will be hurt and not to spare my own. There will be a vampire fight scene. Maybe even a throw down between a vampire and a human (not maybe. definitely. i already outlined it).
I have mixed feelings about Tokyo, my next vampire. She's a total dick. But she is also bad ass and this time I am determined to let her crack some skulls. Well, more skulls that Camila and Cleo have thus far cracked.
It seems I've been tapped for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. YAY!
The purpose of the hop is to find out what an author is working on and next and maybe get linked to authors you aren't familiar with to hear about their next project. Yvonne Heidt and Jeffrey Ricker. I feel special :) So here's what I'm working on next.
What is the working title of your book?
Soul To Keep: Vampire Sorority Sisters: Book 3
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Vampire Sorority Sisters: Book 1 and 2 :)
What genre does your book fall under?
Erotica Paranormal Romance
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Jill in my head is Fefe Dobson and Miyoko/"Tokyo" is model/actress Sayaka Isoyama
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
What would you do if finding the love of your life meant sacrificing your soul?
What is the longer synopsis of your book?
Oh, I haven't written it yet. I hate synopsisessss. Essentially, after seventy years as a vampire, Tokyo meets the one human who only wants her for her body, with out the aide of a blood bond. In order to win over college junior, Jill, Tokyo must face her past and the crippling PTSD she suffered as a human during World World II. She must show Jill her true personality and expose herself to an evil that could kill them both.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Hopefully my publisher, Bold Strokes Books, will be into it.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Uh, eight weeks? Let's go with eight weeks.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Jill popped up up in book two as such a vivid character. She's sweet, but so annoying and I love her. I knew her and Tokyo could be an amazing couple if they could get over some crucial issues. Throw in some vampire sex and well, you know.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Murder? I'm going to kill some people in this book. :) There will also be some fun sex.
That's all I got.
Next Wednesday check out Zoe Archer's blog and read up on her next big thing!
It's my favorite time of the year. The Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event is here! Katie Babs over at Babbling About Books and More has invited folks from around the publishing world to talk their love of lesbian fiction. My post will be up tomorrow. Eeek! I'll do my best to update this post everyday with each new link, but here's what's up so far.