July 29, 09 @ 10:22 am
I’m very, very happy to report that I have accepted a deal with Penguin to write two urban fantasies about…wait for it…VAMPIRES!
However, these will not be fun-loving, wise-cracking vampires like in my Immortality Bites series. These are the scary kind.
NIGHTSHADE is the title of the first of two books following my heroine whose normal life is turned upside down when she finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time (to say the very least) and becomes a key player in the brewing war between humans and vampires. There’s a bit of romance in here, too, with a mysterious, battle-torn dhampir who becomes our valiant heroine’s protector — or possibly her executioner. We’ll have to see how things go.
The “feel” of these books will be a lot like my Michelle Maddox book, COUNTDOWN, only they’re supernatural thrillers rather than futuristics. First person from the heroine’s point of view. Edgy, scary, exciting, and fast-paced!
Despite this similarity, I will be permanently retiring the name Michelle Maddox and writing these new books under the pen name Rachel Connor. I’ve already snagged the URL www.rachelconnor.com, although nothing will be up for quite a while. I’ve always loved the name Rachel, and Connor is a nod to both the Terminator franchise (T2 is one of my fave movies of all time) as well as Angel’s son (all roads lead to the Buffyverse). LOL.
So I still have only two pen names — Michelle Rowen for my light paranormal romances & YA fantasy, and Rachel Connor for my supernatural thrillers.
The books won’t be out until 2011, but I’m starting to write the first one next week! (I’ve been sitting on this news for a little while). I’ll be writing both books back to back between now and April 1st. Can’t wait to get my fangs into it!
July 20, 09 @ 11:06 pm
Yeah, I know I have to do a conference recap of my week in Washington DC where I finally faced the fact that there is a slight possibility I do, in fact, say “aboot” since five people mocked me about it. Or maybe they just pointed it out. Is there a difference?
RWA National ’09 was fabulous, as expected. Exhausted, draining, fun, and I didn’t drink too much. Well, except for that one night. Met lots of awesome people, reconnected with a whole bunch of others. I’ll post photos in the near future. Until then, however, I must focus on my WIP which is due in less than two weeks. I am in lurk mode only when it comes to the internet until then.
See you in August!
July 12, 09 @ 2:14 pm
This weekend I was at Polaris 23, a Toronto sci-fi/fantasy convention. It was a lot of fun and thank you to everyone who attended the panels I was on — the Supernatural and True Blood ones, especially, were so much fun. I’ve learned an important lesson about myself this weekend. I’m a total control freak when it comes to panels, so I hope I let everyone get enough of a say as I blathered on about my thoughts on these great shows. I had dinner on Friday with Lesley Livingston and Adrienne Kress. Have you read their books yet? If not, you should!! They’re fabulous writers!
Thanks to those brave souls who came to my reading today and listened to yet more blathering. And you laughed in all the right places! I may do a video blog of the reading I did from Tall, Dark & Fangsome since I kind of like that scene. It had a little bit of everything in it. Special shout-out to the angel in the audience who offered her bottle of water to poor little parched moi. Thank you! (and, Polaris peeps… writers need water when they do half hour readings!! Just an FYI.)
Great con, though. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re in the area next year.
Now I’m doing last minute prep for my trip to Washington DC for the RWA National Conference. Yikes! I can’t believe it’s been a WHOLE FRAKKIN’ YEAR (can you tell I’ve been at a sci-fi con?) since San Francisco. And yet I have not aged a day. NOT A DAY. It’s very vampiresque of me.
Yes, so WASHINGTON. Home of American politics, museums, and whatnot. I haven’t been there since I was on a class trip in grade 8. And that was, like, twelve years ago.
Ha. I wish. Let’s just say Reagan was president the last time I was there and leave it at that, shall we??
I’m going to keep notes on this conference so I don’t forget anything for my mega-blog at the end of it. I dont’ think I’ll be blogging during the week, but I’ll try to twitter. I have gotten rid of my ancient blackberry (aka: the brick) that I had at RT, so that might be a bit tricker with my new phone, but I’ll see what I can do.
July 08, 09 @ 2:27 pm
So I’m finished with my read-through of Living in Eden #2 and have established that it will need a very thorough second draft rewrite. For the most part, I pantsed this book (I have no idea why — it seemed like a good idea at the time). I’m in love with these characters, and the plot is fine, but the major issue with the first draft is it’s lacking solid GMC (Goal, motivation and conflict) and emotional depth. This is not a shock. Most of my first drafts are very surfacey. I need to dig down deeper for the next draft. It’s harder to get that emotional connection — for me, anyhoo — writing in third person, which is how this book is. I knew I wanted to have the option of multiple points of view, which is why I chose to do third in the Eden series rather than first, which is my writing preference. In first I can more easily get into the character’s skin. In third it’s a bit tricker, but not impossible.
So that was a long way of saying I’m nose to the grindstone for the rest of the month as I finish the draft I’ll be handing in to my editor August 1st. I’m excited about this book. It’s a very worthy follow up to LIVING IN EDEN (out May 2010!!) Now I just need to make it…worthier.
I thought I’d talk a bit about how I approach second drafts.
Basically I do a scene by scene break down as I read through from front to back. I note the time, location and what happens in the scene. In capital letters I write what I want to change or what I need to keep in mind as I rewrite (or tweak) it. I give the scene a color to correspond with how much work it’s going to need:
Green meets it’s perfect as is! (there aren’t many of these)
Blue means it needs some fleshing out, maybe a bit more description (lots of these, usually)
Orange means it needs heavier reworking, maybe motivation was off or not specific enough (lots of these)
Red means a total, ground-up rewrite, and usually it’s best to retype the scene in rather than just peck in the changes (hopefully not toooo many of these)
I thought I’d share a page from my scene-by-scene breakdown of STAKES & STILETTOS to show you what I mean. This represents scenes 7 – 14 (out of approx. 50 total scenes).
Click to enlarge:
The first draft of S&S needed a ton of work for the first 100 pages. The rest of the book were all greens and blues. This rarely happens but is nice when it does. I find that clear motivation and story goal is KEY to a clean draft. If those things are wishy-washy, or if you’re using the first draft to discover what exactly they are (as I’ve just done with this new book) then it’ll need a brisk and thorough rewrite.
For Eden2, the first 100 pages are relatively okay, it’s the rest of the book that’s oranges and reds right now. But I know what it needs and how to fix it. And next fall, if all goes well, it will be available at the bookstore!!
July 01, 09 @ 2:23 pm
Just received the final dust jacket design for Demon Princess. It’s out in trade paperback too, but this is what will be on the hardcover version. I just love those horned tiaras!!
Click on image to see it larger and read the snippet on the back cover! Ah, Nikki. She is fun to write.
Being that it is the first of the month (***HAPPY CANADA DAY***) I am starting my second draft of Eden #2 with a read-through of the manuscript. It’s officially due August 1st. I’ll make scene-by-scene notes on what needs to be tweaked. I’m really hoping it’s fairly solid. I have no idea what I shall find as I plunge back into these dark, quirky waters….