Happy book birthday to The Trouble with Werewolves! For a short story, it certainly took me a long time to get this one out into the world. I think a lot of the reasoning was because I wasn’t completely done with the series and wanted to hold off. I’m still not done (the 3rd book is nearing completion but has a ways to go yet) but I figured if I published then it would push me to get it done.
I really enjoyed writing this story, I think because Ellie’s a tough chick but with a definitely vulnerable side to her. She’s had an interesting upbringing but still wanted to be “normal”. Like most teens, she is trying to find herself, love, and a great pair of jeans to highlight her ass…ets.
I hope you enjoy her antics as much as I enjoyed writing about them!
Ellie Weston may look like a blonde Barbie wanna-be, but call by her full name of Elvira and you’ll find she can take you down with nothing more than a paperclip and a hair tie. Having been raised by an ancient vampire, a faerie and a demon hardly makes her a normal teen. She’s trained in self-defense, with a bit of magic thrown in, but those talents are going to waste as she picks up dry cleaning, walks three-headed dogs and collects grave dust by the light of the full moon.
Her job as an errand girl to the undead–and other paranormal creatures–has kept her busy and relatively safe, until she receives a job to hunt down a rogue werewolf who is brutally butchering norms in her father’s territory. As she tries to track down the bloodthirsty beast, she finds the clues aren’t quite adding up. Will her wiles be enough to keep her safe and solve the mystery, or will she become the next victim of these ghastly crimes?
Pick up a copy for 99 cents!
Nook: pending (check back!)
You typically hear “write what you know” which isn’t bad advice but seems to hold writers back in my opinion. Stretch those creative limbs and write a male character if you’re female, write about sports if you’ve never played, etc. I’d prefer to see authors write about what they love, whether it’s romance, horror, high school comedy, etc. If you are writing about a subject you love, or feel otherwise strongly about, I think it comes across in the story telling. When you try to write on a topic you’re not feeling, writing can seem stilted or drag on because you’re not really enthusiastic about it. The reader will know.
I’ve also heard, sadly often from other authors, down talk about writing in certain genres. Romance is beneath them. Young adult even more so. Erotica? Trash anyone can write. Not everyone wants to write the next great American novel and there’s nothing wrong with that. A good story is a good story regardless of who the intended audience is. Don’t let anyone put down your genre! Write what you love. Your great story is going to win over readers even if it’s not something that will become a classic years from now.
Write to entertain. Write to inform. Write what you’re passionate about.
Do you write about what you love or what you think others want to see?
It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated, but along with the impending New Year comes the resurgence of my blogging and other writing endeavors. Goals have been made and will be shared and the lines of communication have been reopened. I’ve missed the weekly updates as well as the conversations posts have sparked and I look forward to new discussions on writing and reading related topics, on reviews and cover reveals, and on teasers and interviews.
- Firstly, Keystrokes and Word Counts will go from being updated twice a week to once. I have to be realistic on time management the ability of appropriate topics. I’m picking Wednesday, smack dab in the middle of the week, for the posts.
- Secondly, sometime this year, hopefully sooner rather than later, I will get a dedicated author website up and running. It will link back here to the blog so followers, new and old, can keep in touch. It will be for news, book information, contests, etc.
- Third, I will finish editing and submit my newest work, Driven, in the very near future. Be on the lookout for upcoming teasers!
- Fourth, I will finish and publish at least one other work in progress this year. I’m leaning towards Errand Girl of the Undead, but Power of the Stars has been calling to me as well. We shall see who wins out. Maybe both!
- Fifth, read more! I’ve definitely been in a slump when it comes to reading lately. Things just don’t seem to be catching my attention. I think, perhaps, it has more to do with what’s being going on in my personal life.
- Sixth, attend a convention or two and/or readings and signings. I really need to get back out there and get involved in workshops and conventions. Writing may not be paying the bills right now, but when people ask, I want to be able to say I’m an author and these are the things I do.
I think these are all completely obtainable goals and great things to work towards. I hope you guys will help hold me accountable!
What are your writing/reading related goals for the new year?
You’ve toiled for years, writing story after story. You’ve sent them out to agents or publishers, you’ve self published or you’ve hid them on a shelf in the back of your closet where no one will ever read them.
Each book is a journey, and more than the journey your characters take. It’s the trek you, as the author, takes while honing your craft. It’s the trip to tell the story itself. It’s the return expedition to polish the tracks you’ve put down. It’s the vacation while someone else reads it and the outing to the padded room while you worry about what they are thinking. It’s navigating social media to promote yourself and your work and it’s the higher ground you stand on when people try to bring you down because of what you write or how you’ve decided to get your work out there.
As we grow, so do both our writing and our life in general. You may come to find you no longer like what you’ve written in the past. You may think your style amateurish or even be embarrassed by the genre you’ve written (Monster erotica, anyone?) . While it’s okay to feel that way and you don’t need to necessarily promote them like you used to, it would be a disservice to you, and any reader who enjoyed those books, to hide those books away and pretend like they never existed.
Those stories show how far you’ve come. They are the proof that you’ve grown and how your hard work has paid off. Use them as examples of what worked and what didn’t. Share those findings with others without shame. Everyone has to start somewhere and very few start at the top. They have to work to get there, just as you have. Take pride in that.
What have you learned from your earlier work?
A blurb is typically what is printed on the back cover your book. It’s purpose is to entice the reader into buying the book or taking it out of the library. It’s got to be precise, well written and engaging. At two hundred words or less, it’s a quick glimpse into your story that’s probably 50k+ words.
Why put so much emphasis on it? Well it’s for more reasons than you may think.
A well polished blurb can be pared-down even more and used in your query letters. Think about it, the blurb was written to catch a reader’s attention and an agent or publishing house is who you want to read the book the most (at first anyhow!). A blurb can be too long for a query letter but you should already have the good bones. You can work off that.
I belong to a writing group that meets weekly. We often have new people stopping in or people who can only make it on occasion. Several of our members give rambling ten minute long descriptions of their story before they read their pages. It’s repetitive for those of us who are there regularly and it takes up a lot of time. If you have a blurb, you can read it and give them some info on the story without taking a whole lot of time.
Have you ever told someone you’ve written a novel and when they ask what it’s about, you find yourself with verbal diarrhea, telling them every piece of witty dialog you’ve written, every sex scene and all the plot twists? Not even your bestest friend or mom wants to sit through all that (and if they do, then they won’t need to read the book, you’ve given it all away!). While it would be unnatural to recite your blurb to them, you can use the blurb to give them a much more condensed version to pique their interest.
It may feel like a chore, trying to take your long story and explain it in a couple of paragraphs, but it will be well worth it in the long run and help you have a better handle on explaining your work.
Share your blurbs with us!