Don’t forget to comment on yesterday’s post for a chance to win a signed copy of Angel with Attitude. I’ll be drawing a winner tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST!
Today’s post is going to be a bit random and not all about demons.
First, some good news: Yesterday I got the call(s) that I am a double finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards for Paranormal Romance – Tall, Dark & Fangsome, and Young Adult – Demon Princess: Reign or Shine! A very nice way to end the week! Thanks to OKRWA for hosting this contest every year!
I very recently finished two big project starting with the second book in my Nightshade duology. This book is scheduled for release July 2011 and should have a final title soon. I also finished my editorial revisions on Touch and Go, my November 2010 Blaze.
Now that I’ve rested for a few days (read: fallen into a temporary coma), I’m ready to start my next project, which is a Nightshade novella that will fall time-wise and release-wise in between the two books (I’m personally calling it Nightshade #1.5). Since I just worked on book #2 I’m feeling fairly confident that I can fall back into the same world for another 100 pages’ worth.
I’m pretty excited about this project since I know, thanks to the very popular lead on this antho — Lora Leigh — that it will be read by a wide variety of people who’ve never taste-tested my work before. Which means I need to hit several things with this story to give a good overview of what my writing offers — this story is on the darker and sexier side of my writing, but I also want to inject it with enough (appropriate) humor that it blends well with my other stuff. Enough romance, enough action, enough thrills, enough dialogue. And a few twists. And I want it to stand alone as much as possible. Sure! No problem!! *sweats*
So that’s where I’m at in my writing world.
DEMONS OF PAST WRITING….. (had to connect it to my theme this month somehow, didn’t I?)
I wanted to share something I found in my cluttered apartment. While trying to declutter this week, I happened upon a folder filled with early writings of mine from when I was about eighteen years old. I seem to recall being a very good writer back in the beginning.
This, however, is not the case. And I have the proof!
I want to share a snippet of my very early work. While I will never claim to be a super talented fantstic author now (although I do think I spin a decent tale), I have definitely improved since this. I see A LOT of writing when I judge contests that looks a lot like this, so my point is….. improvement is possible. Sometimes your writing just needs time and practice to improve.
Bottom line? This sucks. But I’ve gotten better. So if I can do it, so can anyone else!
Title: THE TRAPPER (a charming, romantic tale about a journalist who is sent to Alaska to do a story on fur trapping and inexplicably falls for one of the fur trappers, but realizes that Fur Is Wrong! and compels him to change his animal cruelty ways through their sweet, sweet lovin’.)
She slowly walked away from the office. Her mind spun from all the over working she had been doing lately as she took the familiar elevator down to the lower level where her car was parked.
After walking up to her brand new sportscar, she ran her hand across its smooth, flawless surface and smiled. The week was over and she could go home and sleep the weekend away. She searched in her pockets for her car key, no sign of them. Placing everything she was holding in her arms on the hood of her car, she opened her purse, although some call it her “Life”, everything in it but the kitchen sink as her mother used to tell her. The key had somehow found its way to the very bottom of her purse.
(ARE YOU ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT YET??)
She shoved everything back into the bag and proceeded to open the door. After all the trouble of finding the key, the moment she swung her already thin thigh into the car, she decided to walk for the exercise. She’d worry about her car later.
Away she went. The streets of New York City on a Friday afternoon always invigorated her. She had grown up in this neighborhood and her knowledge of self defense kept her mind at ease about all the horrible things that have been happening to women, not to mention men, these days.
(FYI, STARTING A NOVEL WITH YOUR MAIN CHARACTER “THINKING ABOUT HER LIFE” IS NEVER, NEVER A GOOD THING)
But, she refused to think about anything like that. This weekend was going to be perfect, with just the right mix of social and private activities.
(LET’S SKIP FORWARD TO A DIALOGUE SCENE. I FEEL MY DIALOGUE NOW IS ONE OF MY BIGGEST STRENGTHS. LET’S SEE HOW IT WAS 21 YEARS AGO, SHALL WE?)
“Daddy! I didn’t know you were back from your business trip. Why didn’t you come into the office? Everything is so hectic around there without you.”
“Now, now Rosie, Don’t you think that you’re getting a little old to keep calling me “Daddy”?”
Rosanna stared at him affectionately. “I’ll never be too old to call you Daddy. Maybe the day you stop calling me Rosie.”
“That name was your Grandmother’s, so don’t put it down, smart Alec.” He steered her into a little cafe they were standing beside. A restaurant that business dealings took place in, engagements were met and people responded to marriage proposals. Rosanna remembered the first time her father brought her there, way back when she first got excepted (sic) into the best journalism school in the country. Just because her father owned the magazine she worked for doesn’t mean that’s why she got the job.
The maitre’ D showed them to a little table at the back of the restaurant which offered just the right amount of privacy.
“Well let you know when we have decided what to order. Me and my daughter have some things to discuss.” On a second thought, Jonathon Harding ordered a bottle of champagne.
(GEE, THIS DIALOGUE REALLY FLOWS SO NATURALLY. NOT!)
“Daddy, what’s all this for?” Rosanna was curious. Her father had been out of town for nearly three weeks and he looked like he had something important on his mind.
“Oh, am I keeping you from something? A hot date perhaps?”
“No, nothing like that, I’m just surprised that you have some time to spend with your hard working daughter.”
(I THINK I’M TRYING FOR SARCASM HERE. IT’S NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR.)
Jonathon’s eyes were twinkling. “That’s too bad sweetie. Id like some grandkids before you reach your time of life you know.
“Hah, hah, very funny. I still have quite a few years before that will happen thank you very much.”
(LET’S SKIP FORWARD THROUGH THIS SPARKLING CONVO TO GET TO THE POINT)
“Tell me, what’s this champagne for?”
“Alright kiddo, I’ll tell you.” his eyes were set on her with an inner intensity he was well known for. It was as if he could see right through the person he was talking to. “We have just received a story, a very intense story, for next month’s issue. It’s very controversial and I think very good. Would you like to know what the story is going to be about?”
“Well of course I would.” She leaned back in the plushy upholstered chair. “Fire away.”
“A fur trapping.” Jonathan looked triumphant. “What do you think? Our lucky photojournalist gets to spend an entire week out in the middle of nowhere with a big brute of a country man. A whole week.”
Rosanna was laughing. Image an entire week in the wilderness. It seemed impossible to her since she was born and raised in the city and was very proud of that fact. “Oh really,” she managed to say. “And who is this lucky writer?”
(OH I HAVE NO IDEA. WHOMEVER COULD IT BE?)
“Oh, I don’t know, maybe Joe from the editorial staff. He seems like a real country boy.”
“Nope, not him.”
“Then maybe Ed or Dave.”
“Oh come on Daddy. Tell me. I can’t wait to rub it in.” She picked up her champagne glass getting ready to toast the sucker.
“You, my dear.” Jonathan was smiling broadly. “I thought you might enjoy the challenge instead of sitting around the office writing boring little fashion tips. really, you didn’t go to school for 5 years not to be challenged, did you.”
Dude. That was rough. I remember thinking this was such an amazing idea. It’s great to see this, though. I makes me feel heaps more sympathetic toward those whose work I read which is lacking that spark. If the drive is there and the willingness to learn and grow, then the sky really is the limit.
30 Days of Demons continues Monday when the amazing Jackie Kessler will be stopping by for the demon Q&A and she’s giving away a signed copy of Hell’s Belles…
Till then, happy reading!