Happy Release Day Pt. 2! And a Cast List!

Happy official release day, everyone! Starting today, Paladins of the Storm Lord is available everywhere! Hurrah!

And to celebrate, I’ve added some interesting facts about the Paladins universe to the Extras Tab above. There is also a cast list for Paladins of the Storm Lord for your perusing pleasure. I hope you enjoy.

Also in case you missed it, here’s the link again for my blog post on the Bold Strokes Blog as well as the link for the trailer.

And don’t forget to come see me today, Tuesday, May 17th at 7pm at Ilume in Dallas for the Jewel Book Club!

Whew. Is anyone else all over the internet today trying to play catch-up?

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Very Sharp Teeth

Paladins of the Storm Lord 300 DPICome see me at the Bold Strokes Author’s blog where I’m talking about how I came up with the aliens at the heart of Paladins of the Storm Lord! Hint, it has to do with sharp teeth. 🙂

It also has to do with never giving up, a topic close to my heart.

And if you want to see me in person and ask me about it, I’ll be at the Jewel Book Club in Dallas on Tuesday, May 17th!

Anyone else love book clubs?

 

Happy May 1st! Release day, part one: book trailer!

It’s time for Paladins of the Storm Lord! *Kermit flail*

Books, books, books!

Books, books, books!

Blurb for ya:

Surrounded by dead crewmates, marooned above an unknown planet, the bridge crew of the Atlas awakens from a crash with extraordinary mental abilities. When their most powerful member jettisons their passengers to the planet below, they have an unprecedented opportunity: they can become gods.

Two hundred years later, Lieutenant Cordelia Ross is a paladin serving the Storm Lord, her city’s patron deity. Her faith is absolute until her people are attacked by a native species, harmless creatures turned devious by an unknown hand. Cordelia tries to solve the mystery of their development before they kill anyone else, but the secrets surrounding them are too deep. As orders from the Storm Lord begin to value obedience over integrity, Cordelia wonders whose side her god is really on.

Go to the Bold Strokes page to read an excerpt (after the blub and genres.) On the new BSB webstore, there’s an actual purchase link in the excerpt. So you can start reading the book for free, and then buy the book with one click.

Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for! The new trailer:

You can get your copy right now from Bold Strokes Books, and for some reason, from Amazon, but here’s why you might like BSB.

Amazon doesn’t have it on Kindle yet, but BSB does! The BSB webstore sells eBooks in formats compatible with every tablet, smartphone, and eReader with one simple click. Plus, you can purchase paperback/eBook bundles of all my titles at the webstore at a net discount. And if you buy the ebook, you’ll get ‘Nathan Burgoine’s “Three,” introducing the world of Triad Blood, free with any eBook purchase all May!

Don’t forget, if you spend $25, enter code TEN% to save 10%.

Happy reading!

My 2016 schedule so far

Here’s where to find me this year! As each event draws closer, you’ll hear more about it in detail, but if I’m going to be near you, please mark your calendars to come out and say hello!

February 12-14: ConDFW, Dallas, TX. They have a preliminary schedule up on their website and are finalizing it now. You’ll get more detailsfrom me next week.

April 2: Lone Star LesFic Festival, Austin, TX. A great event that just keeps getting better. It’s free for all, and you get a chance to see lots of fab authors!

April 12-16: Romantic Times convention, Las Vegas, NV. I’ll be doing a panel called Writing F/F Sex for Romance and Erotica on Wednesday, April 13, from 1:30pm-2:30pm in Tropical E at the Rio.

May 10: I’ll be on the Bold Strokes Author blog because…

May 17: Paladins of the Storm Lord comes out! Now available for pre-order on the BSB site! Blurb:

Paladins of the Storm Lord 300 DPISurrounded by dead crewmates, marooned above an unknown planet, the bridge crew of the Atlas awakens from a crash with extraordinary mental abilities. When their most powerful member jettisons their passengers to the planet below, they have an unprecedented opportunity: they can become gods.

Two hundred years later, Lieutenant Cordelia Ross is a paladin serving the Storm Lord, her city’s patron deity. Her faith is absolute until her people are attacked by a native species, harmless creatures turned devious by an unknown hand. Cordelia tries to solve the mystery of their development before they kill anyone else, but the secrets surrounding them are too deep. As orders from the Storm Lord begin to value obedience over integrity, Cordelia wonders whose side her god is really on.

See how I just slipped that blurb in there? Smooth.

Also on May 17: Jewel Book Club, Dallas, TX. The wonderful ladies of Jewel are inviting me up to talk about Paladins!

June 18-19: Denver Pride, Denver, CO. Come see the BSB booth, now with even more authors hawking even more books!

June 25: Houston Pride, Houston, TX. Come see the Texas BSB authors as we slowly melt…and sell books. 🙂

July 26-31: The Bold Strokes Retreat. Okay, so you can’t see me at this one unless you’re with BSB, but I just thought I’d throw it in here in case you wanted to marvel at how much I’m traveling. Also, this is the same weekend as ArmadilloCon this year, so I won’t be there. I’ll miss you, too.

September 18: Dallas Pride, Dallas, TX. Less hot than Houston, but we’ll still be there, selling out! In a good way. I hope.

That’s it so far, but I might be adding more as the year goes on. I hope you can make some of these. I’ll be looking for you. AND I’ll have swag. Sweeten the pot for you? Maybe?

Anyone else have their year all planned out?

You have fifteen minutes

If you’re an aspiring writer, no doubt you’ve heard this before. Writing experts are always pushing to write for just fifteen minutes a day. Like workout machines, they promise results if you can spend a little time doing this one thing every day.

And you know what? They’re right. If you use some of my note-taking methods and jot down bullet points of what you did in your previous writing session, you’ll be able to spend fifteen minutes writing the next day instead of reviewing what you’ve written and getting bogged down with the urge to edit. At fifteen minutes a day, you can write a novel.

I hear you saying, “That’s easy for you to say. You don’t have kids. You don’t have another job. You don’t know me. You don’t know my life.”

It’s true. I only have my four furry kids, and the only other things I have to do in a day besides writing are the chores everyone else has to do, but I still know you have fifteen minutes. I won’t bore you with an endless parade of parents or employees that still manage to write. You know they’re out there. You’ve probably met some. And if your family or your job leaves you too wiped at the end of the day to write, do as my friend David R. Slayton recommends and get up earlier in the morning to write while your brain is still fresh.

“What is the point of this?” you ask. “Is it just to make me feel guilty about how much I’m not writing?” Not at all. If the occasional spurt of writing is all you want to do, go for it, but that is a very long, difficult path to finishing a novel. Write short stories or blog posts or articles, but novel writing is a commitment, and long periods of no writing can slow you to a crawl and make you forget everything you’ve done before. Even bullet points can’t save you.

If you really want to write a novel and finish it, find fifteen minutes in a day to do so. And if you can’t find those minutes, ask yourself if you really want to write a novel and why. And for heaven’s sake, stop beating yourself up if it’s not something you really want. I’m asking you to let go of guilt, to let go of this slog if you don’t actually want to do it. And if you finish soul searching, and find that writing a novel is something you really want, I’m asking you to find those fifteen minutes. You might become addicted to them. Fifteen might become thirty or an hour or two hours.

And now I hear you saying, “Goddamn it! With all this other shit I have to do, what is so wrong with wanting a little me time! Why does everything have to be work!” And I’m trying to tell you that writing IS me time. If you’re a writer, if writing and finishing a project gives you the rush it gives me, writing is the best me time ever. You will be the greatest champion your work will ever have; it’s all about you. Everything you write will live on after you, whether it storms the bestseller lists or not. It will be out there forever, a legacy that is wholly yours.

You have an idea.
You have the tools and the will.
You have my support.
You have fifteen minutes.
Go.

First drafts: Don’t stop believin’…or writing

Let’s talk first drafts and editing. I’ve met writers who love editing, and those who loathe it, but if you want to improve the speed of your first drafts, you’re going to need to learn to love it. The first draft is all free flowing love and ideas, trying on different plots and characters and seeing how they fit. The eye is purely creative only because the editing eye can seriously get down to business later.

The most important piece of advice I can give you about writing first drafts is to never stop, go back, and try to “fix” what you’ve already done to suit what you’re doing now. So, in chapter three you decide that your guard captain isn’t really working out as your main character, and that her lieutenant is actually much more interesting and would make a better focal point for the story. Hurrah! You’ve caught that pretty quickly, and you’re happy with the decision you’ve made. Surely you should go back and change what you’ve written to reflect that, right?

Abso-freakin-lutely not!!!!

No way. Make a note in your handy dandy notes about where the change happened, maybe even why or a short note about where a new start to the novel could be, and then you keep going forward from that point and just leave those first three chapters where they lay. Why? Because they might change again, and then all your editing work would be for nothing, and because you’re on a roll now; things are becoming clearer for you in your novel, and you should embrace that forward momentum. I treat first drafts like a sprint. No matter what, I like to put my head down and run for the finish line.

If I decide the scene in chapter five should take place in a restaurant instead of someone’s living room? I make a note of the change and keep going. This secondary character isn’t working? I make a note of where I’m no longer going to be writing them and keep going. Now if it’s something really big, like the whole plot isn’t working, I do the same thing, but my primary note is that everything before the big change is likely going to be cut completely, which leads me to the second most important piece of advice I can give you about writing first drafts.

Learn to love cutting your novel!!!!!

It’s more than just killing your darlings. It’s more than cutting scenes or words that don’t add anything or characters you love that other people can’t connect with. It’s taking whole chunks of perfectly good writing, seeing that they really don’t fit, and excising them as if they were dead tissue. You can do with them what you like. I like to save them in a folder (with little notes in the beginning about what they are and where they came from) so that later I can stick them back in if they’re a good fit. You have to be okay with cutting thousands of hard-earned words if it makes your novel better. Learn to be a novel sadist and love it.

You will need that sadist within because if you’re writing down all your ideas in your first draft, many of them will have to go. You’re going to have a lot of editing work to do. You may have to change tenses or person. I almost always have to add description and subtract exposition. But if you’ve got an entire first draft, you’ll have an entire novel waiting and not just pieces that you’ve been editing and re-editing for years. You’ll have finished a freaking novel! It may be ugly and in pieces, and you switched main character in chapter three, it all takes place in a diner now, and no one has the same eye color anymore, but you wrote a goddamned novel all the same!

If that’s too scary to contemplate, break it down into smaller increments. Think of finishing chapters, scenes, or sentences; one word following another won’t seem so intimidating. Editing can be thought of the same way. If you look at your crappy first draft and the work seems too hard, dissect it with the help of your notes. Look at it as building bricks to be moved around. Line edits can wait to until the end, long after the plot and the characters are settled in their proper spaces.

Remember, do not stop whatever part of the process you’re in just to move on to another part because you’re bored/tired/OCD. If every time you write, you go back to edit, you’ll never finish a first draft, and if every time you edit, you stop and work on the first draft of something else, you’ll never have a completed work. Very advanced writers can work on multiple novels that are at different levels of completeness, but even then, it’s difficult. If you’re just starting out, I’d stay with one novel until it’s done unless you’ve decided to abandon it completely because no part of it is working.

Sound insurmountable? Wonderful! Welcome to being a writer. Now thumb your nose at insurmountable and go write. Then edit. Just like writing those first drafts, the more you edit, the more you’ll want to edit. You’ll get a taste for it until you’re sidling up to other writers and offering to edit their work, too.

Or maybe not. Don’t be creepy.

Do you love editing as much as I do? Do you bite your lip every time you have to cut a chunk from your novel? Is that creepy?

Have questions about other parts of the writing process? Let me know, and I’ll probably steal your ideas and do a blog post!

!!!!!

A new cover, an outpatient surgery, and a lump

All things I’ve had to deal with since we last spoke. First of all, I turned in my draft for Coils on time! High fives all around. Look for that one late next year. For November and NaNoWriMo, I’m getting a jump start on the sequel to Paladins of the Storm Lord (due out in May) called Widows of the Sun-Moon. Take a peek at the covers!
Paladins of the Storm Lord 300 DPIWidows Of the Sun-Moon 300 DPI

Though I conceived of these stories a long time ago, this will be their first time in print. I hope you’re as excited as I am to take a journey into outer space!

As for the surgery, I had my first lithotripsy this past week. It’s a treatment to break up kidney stones, which I have in both kidneys, lucky me. It went very well, though, and I have my next one in December. Fingers crossed that I’ll be free of the little bastards after that.

Blurry, because there's too much to do to sit still

Blurry, because there’s too much to do to sit still

And for the lump, it wasn’t mine but Polly’s. She had a mass removed from her back that’s been sent off for analysis. The vet described it as not looking like cancer, but still looking “weird.” Only the best from this dog. Here she is with Daisy. You can just see the scar on her back. And now that I’ve got her attention for this pic, she keeps snuffling my hands as I try to type. Well, I did invite her to pay attention.

Anyone else racking up the health visits at the end of the year?

Back from Dallas, watch me work

photo courtesy of Carsen Taite

photo courtesy of Carsen Taite

Just got back from Dallas Pride, and a truly epic time was had by all. In the photo above from left, that’s VK Powell, Laydin Michaels, David Swatling, Carsen Taite, and yours truly. An epic time was had by all as we sold books.

10624976_10153680231056719_6000228677653095799_n

I have only one copy of The Pyramid Waltz left and none of Thrall, so I call that a good day. 🙂

Coils 300 DPINow I’m hard at work on Coils. I have to turn it in this fall in the hopes that it will come out next fall or winter. Publishing thinks far in the future, y’all. After I finish Coils, I will start working on the sequel to Paladins of the Storm Lord which doesn’t come out until May 2016, which means I will be working on the edits for Paladins while writing the sequel, which is actually pretty handy as both will be fresh in my mind, and I can spot any dots which I might have failed to connect.

After that, I’ll be working on a brand new idea, a space opera, which I’ll tell you more about as I begin working on it in the latter half of next year.

I’m so happy to be busy. 🙂

Where can you find me between now and then?

In October, Women’s week!

On Saturday, September 14th, I’ll be participating in a LesFic trivia event. It’ll go from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at The Settlement Home, 1600 Peyton Gin RD. Austin, TX 78758.
From the press release:

We have a larger venue and more prizes! Admission is free and the Sapphic Reading Group is providing refreshments. All proceeds from donations and the book raffle will go toward expenses for the 2016 Lone Star LesFic Festival. We hope you can join us for a fun time!

Then in Febuary, I’ll be a panelist at ConDFW in Dallas.

In April, I’ll be speaking at The Romantic Times Convention in Las freakin’ Vegas!

More details on all these events as they draw closer.

What are you working on? It doesn’t have to be writing. Share your work-related sorrows and joys. 🙂

Thrall releases! Somebody bring some pie!

Happy release day!

Please help me welcome Thrall: Beyond Gold and Glory with it’s new trailer!

And here’s the link.

Just in case you really want to know what the book is about, here’s the blurb:

Like heroes from an ancient tale, Aesa and Maeve plan to raid foreign shores, claiming gold and glory for their homeland. Young and in love, neither considers what will happen if one is chosen to be a warrior and the other is left behind.

On a mist-shrouded island, Aesa meets Ell, a woman enslaved by an insidious curse. Maeve walks the path of dark magic and finds Laret, a woman well acquainted with pain. Together, they must break the magic surrounding Ell, an act that will force them to choose between their dreams, their homes, and the women they love

It features lesbian romance and a trans character, and I hope you love it as much as I do. ❤

And while you’re here, take a look at these other books releasing today from Bold Strokes Books:

White Horse in Winter by Franci McMahon

The Renegade by Amy Dunne

Tarnished Gold by Annaptaker

Snow Angel by Ronica Black

Reasonable Doubt by Carsen Taite

Officer Down by Erin Dutton

New Beginnings by KC Richardson

Deadly Medicine by Jamie Maddox

and

Breaking Up Point by Brian McNamara

Happy release day, everyone!

fireworksThrall Beyond Gold and Glory 300 DPI

Happenings are afoot!

The official release date for Thrall: Beyond Gold and Glory is less than a week away, though you can still buy it off the BSB webstore. Look for a trailer in the coming days. I’m so excited for this one, the first book after the Katya and Starbride series. It’s already gotten one good review due to its presence on NetGalley, and I’m hoping for more! If you happen to spot a review for it, give me a shout. Sometimes I miss them despite my best efforts.

In case you missed it, I blogged about my experiences writing a Viking-esque novel on the BSB blog. Make sure to check it out. Thrall also got a cool shout-out on Okazu! Very awesome.

On Sunday, September 20th, I’ll be at Reverchon Park in Dallas for the 2015 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade and Festival. Bold Strokes Books is in the orange section, booths 8 and 9, near the family zone. You’ll also find Carsen Taite, Laydin Michaels, MJ Williamz, VK Powell, and David Swatling. If you’re in town, please come out and say hi!

On October 14-17th, I’ll be at Women’s Week in Provincetown with a lot of BSB authors.

Anyone looking forward to these events? Where can I find you?