Monday, April 24, 2017

In which J. Scott Coatsworth asks me about notebooks. Poor soul.

In the dark days of March, J. Scott Coatsworth was nice enough to give me an author spotlight interview on his blog. These questions were the most fun I'd been asked to answer, the perfect remedie for the not quite spring yet/still of that month.
 The interview is up here:Author Spotlight , on his blog. Which you should totally check out. I used to think that Ian McShane was the hardest working man in show business, but I've changed my mind. J. Scott has a lot of things going on. Not the least of which is his new novel, Skythane, which is a great sci fi read (seriously).

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Double Danger: a review

Double Danger: A Michigan Romantic Suspense by [Plants, Trilby, Tucker, Nancy]

When Alyssa Mallory crashes into Nick Trammel’s car, she is plunged into a roller coaster adventure. Her home is ransacked. Two men shoot at her and Nick, and Alyssa’s friend is shot. Nick forces her to go with him into the wilderness of northern Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, running from the two men who Nick says will kill both of them to get information they believe he has. But he doesn’t know what it is they want. Chased by men with guns, Alyssa ad Nick find themselves in a desperate race against time to figure out why they are targets. Complicating matters is the emotional threat of falling for a man Alyssa knows is dangerous. Alyssa is faced with a terrible choice, one that could save her life, but might cost her the man she loves. and Nick find themselves in a desperate race against time to figure out why they are targets. Complicating matters is the emotional threat of falling for a man Alyssa knows is dangerous. Alyssa is faced with a terrible choice, one that could save her life, but might cost her the man she loves.

Alyssa Mallory is a nice woman. She’s a school teacher who lives alone, has a cat and works part time in her deceased aunt’s antique shop. It’s a nice, empty, life. All that changes the second she crosses paths with Nick Trammel. She finds him irritating, if not handsome and smart.
Within hours of that chance meeting nearly everything in her life changes. She is forced to walk away, with nothing but her van and her cat. Nick Trammel is nothing that he seems, and he drags Alyssa into his world without warning. This book is a slow burn, a twisty mystery that ratchets up the tension between the characters as they race to unravel it.   Written in multiple points of view, we feel both the characters resist this relationship, and face their fears; Nick’s of failing to protect anything he loves, and Alyssa’s that she will lose him to the flash of a gunshot. They work together to deal with the bad guys and solve the mystery.
Double Danger is filled to the brim with memorable characters, vivid action and romance. It is placed mostly in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and is filled with the wild beauty of that place. From beginning to end, it never fails to satisfy. If you’re a reader of Karen Rose, or Catherine Coulter, this book is for you. 
Here' the pre-orer link for Amazon:Double Danger, out April 30th!
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair review.


Monday, February 13, 2017

At the End of Things.

I am dangerously close to finishing a short story that has been on the back burner for a while. I write slowly. And that's also dangerous. Last year when Black Light, my novel, was published, it was the end of three decades of work. It's a rare thing when I come to an end. It's hard, I find to let go.
This story, as it turns out, is a prequel to Black Light. It's about Albrecht Christian as a young man, far, far before he meets Trace. It's set between WWI and WWII, when Albrecht is still adjusting to his new life as a psychic vampire, feeding off the misery and decay of Europe of the time.
I should have finished it months ago, but something has been holding me back.
After the election I could barely concentrate. I was lucky to get six paragraphs a day. I didn't expect that. I didn't expect to feel so afraid.
Awhile before all that a friend said to me, "I don't think your writing is holding you back. I just think that your characters are gay."
I know how that sounds, but she wasn't criticizing my choices, she was commenting on a fact.  Queer stories have a smaller audience than straight. I knew that, but, last year when Black Light came out, I thought the gap was closing. I mean, I read books about straight people, right? And I met a bunch of the people who bought the book.They seemed to be everybody.
But then November came, and you all know that story. So, I spent a while thinking about why I write, and who I write. Because suddenly I became afraid. Afraid that even less people would read my stories.  Afraid that it exposed me in a way that felt new to me. And I forgot that the best fiction is about what scares you. And that good words are dangerous.
So soon I will have completed a story about Albrecht Christian,gay  psychic vampire and his first true love, a powerful black magician and the Loch Ness monster. Yep, you read that right. It turns out that I like the story. iIt might find a home, it might now. But that doesn't matter, really. the finishing of it reminded me to write the story that I have. No matter what.
I think I've got my faith back now.

Friday, December 2, 2016

So I won this year......

 As if you had to ask won what? Won Nanowrimo, of course. November is the month that everything explodes for me, working retail. That, my friends is the worst time to promise to write 50000 words. Like, if I get to work and my underpants aren't on my head its a win. Plus this year my computer died, and, well,  we accidentally elected a Nazi thug to the White House. I mean, this year November was just like living all the other months of this year in four weeks. Right? I know I'm not the only one that felt like.
Yet, it turns out, in spite off all these things, I made my word count. I wrote in my notebook, because my computer was out of commission--though it's fixed now, thank gods. And Brian. But for a couple of weeks there, I was scribbling fragments of things. Just a little bit here and there. I couldn't see my novel,because it wasn't backed up---stop yelling at me! It is now, for sure. But since I couldn't refer back to what I'd done, I think it forced me to think in different directions. It led me places I hadn't planned on going. This was amazing. I began to see the characters as new people. I got interested in what would happen next again. 
I started to type in all the bits the last week, and I was amazed at how many words I had. I realized not only could I make it this year for the first time in years, that I had more things to say now that I had more things down on paper. I had a whole middle part of the novel. 
So I made it. The novel isn't finished, but it's on the path. And while the last month of this year doesn't look like much fun, I have this one small piece of life that is moving forward. And it's headed somewhere that I'm looking forward to going. The bad guys will be punished, the good guys will live happy. I can see it coming, and it's something I can look forward to. The world's still a mess, but my world, the one that lives behind my eyes? It's keeping me okay again. Giving me a reason to get through work, and get to the notebook. I'm grateful for that. 
So what happened with your Nano's? Even if you didn't make your word count, what's the thing you're most happy with? Wanna talk about novels? 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Without You I'm Nothing

I've been working on non fiction for the last few weeks, which is strange for me. I'm not sure how to do it. One the things I depend on when I'm writing fiction is music. Lots of music. There are soundtracks for all the stories I write. Sometimes I make them, sometimes I use actual soundtracks. The neo-Victorian novel I'm working on now is in turns Pan's Labyrinth and Cowboy Bebop. Yes, jarring, I know. But it works for me. Black Light was full of David Bowie music, especially live recordings, but also it boiled down to two of his songs in particular: The Bewlay Brothers, from the Hunky Dory album, and Lady Stardust--not the version on the album, but a demo that I heard much later.

Many writers I know don't work well with other peoples words in their ears, in fact, I think I'm in the minority. Writing is lonely, and I do better with voices around me.

Which leads me to my point. I just finished a novella called, "Speak My Name." It's the story of a demon, who tends bar. He falls in love one night with a man who can see him in all his aspects. It's out in the world, looking for a home now, so it's been on my mind. This morning, in my facebook feed someone shared a video of Frank's(demon) and Mica's(not demon) song.

What music do you need to finish your stories? Does the music you listen to shape what you write in any way?

Saturday, September 3, 2016

September already.

Well, so I owe a few page a day posts from last month stillI . Oh, I've written them, I just haven't posted. Why? Well, I got a little distracted in the last week and a half. Not from writing, but from the novel. My plot to have Adella meet a vampire and come up with a master plan hasn't turned out exactly the way I exspected, because, of course, being Adella, she befriends the vampire and suddenly he's gotta be part of the master plan too. Thanks, Adella.

So I left that alone and decided to pull out a couple of half finished novellas. How many half finished novellas do you have in that virtual drawer, you might ask? Well. Two. Okay, three, if you wanna count Drifter. So, my friend Loren Rhoads is doing this thing where her goal is to have one hundred rejections in a year. I am in awe of that. I haven't sent anything out in forever. So last week I pulled out one the the novellas, and found that instead of half finished, it's really NEARLY finished. I spent a while poking around the ending, and then sent it off.  Then I found a place to send the second one to. But, of course instead of NEARLY finished, this one really is half done with moments of the complete SUCKAGE. And the call's deadline is September 20. O....kay. I've been sneaking up on is sideways. But I think I can have it finished in the next couple of weeks.

I don't know if I'll post pages from this, because mostly they will be rewrites and not rough draft stuff. But as soon as Adella tells me the plan.......

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dispatches from the porch: Did you miss me? Day 21

So, you may have noticed that I silent last week. It was a matter of real life overwhelming me. Yes, II know. I keep saying I won't let it happen, don't I?  but it does, and so the writing suffered. But it really was me that suffered. Why can't I remember that I feel so much better when I'm writing? Can you guys remind me?

Anyway, today it's 70 degrees, and rainy, and my cat and I are sitting on the front porch, and it doesn't even feel like I'm on the surface of the sun!. I'm wearing a sweater! Weird, right? But it's all very pleasant, and I'm going to try to catch up. To prove I'm serious, here's a bit more with Adella and the vampire. I thought he was going to be awful, but maybe not. Maybe Adella can reform him......

"You were as much an oddity then as I am. A woman with that pack of thug medical students. You didn’t notice me, because there iron bars between us.” He move from behind the counter in a flash, to stand inches from her. He reached out to trail a blacken fingernail down the side of her face, scraping it over the crow’s feet at the corner of her eye. “You’re older now, of course. Same brassy girl in there somewhere, though, I expect.”
He inhaled again, and seemed to savor. Adella gave an involuntary flinch.
“You are not here to inquire after our wares, Missus.” His eyes narrowed. “No. You are not here to buy. You weren’t then, and you’re not now.”
Adella jerked out of the creature’s gasp. She pulled her pistol free and leveled at the vampire’s face. “Did you divine all that from my perfume? You’d be shocked what I’d do, for the sake of science. Of curiousity. For example, I know this shot wouldn’t kill you, but I’m not clear on how painful it would be, if I say, hit an eye. How long would it take to heal?”
She saw a break in his expression, a flicker. He said, “It would be horrible painful. And it would likely disfigure me.”
Beneath the menace he wore, Adella saw a flash of a creature caged.  She eased the gun back. “You’ve obviously won your freedom.” She said. “Why do you allow this all to continue?”
He laughed at her. “It is put others on the block or suffer it myself. That is how this world works.”
Adella took her finger from the trigger. She shook her head. “If you’re alone, that is how it is.”
He only laughed again.  “We live in two very different ones, Missis.”
Not anymore, she thought. Not for the moment. “Tell me, does the man Vicktor Lemnus have a stake in the auction? Or do you simply pay him your protection like all the other shops?”
“What business it is of yours?”