IWSG: New Frontiers

InsecureWritersSupportGroup It’s time again for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Read and support writers by clicking here, and if you’re a writer you can also join!

This month I’m both nervous and excited. Nervcited? A couple of things are happening: 1. I’m putting out a new book in a completely new genre for me. I’ve long loved reading Regency romances but never thought to write one until now. I’d been writing a lot of heavy books and found myself needing a lighter project. I was just playing around, really, but found I loved it! So I’m hoping you will all enjoy Brynnde too, and that I’ll find fellow Regency lovers to read it. 2. I’m doing an audiobook! I attended a talk about audiobooks at last year’s InD’Scribe and it really planted the seed for me to want to have one of my books adapted to that format. I don’t know yet how it will work out, but I’m hopeful. So far I’ve had some great auditions and plan to pick a narrator soon. Stay tuned!

As for being nervcited, well, of course there’s the nagging fear of: What if it all goes to hell? What if it all fails? But I’ll never know until I try, right?

Question of the month: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

I recently noticed this as I was re-reading Dune and then again while reading Anne Perry’s The Face of a Stranger—that my knowledge of “rules” for writing sometimes pulls me out of a book when I notice one of those rules being broken. And the truth is, these writing rules are relatively modern and new, and the books cited above are somewhat older and probably not beholden to those rules. But I still noticed. In the same way that I notice things in movies because I have a film degree and also have worked on film sets. I think any time you have experience in an area, you’re going to notice things, for good or ill. You’ll get the inside jokes but you’ll also notice the errors.

Brynnde Available for Pre-Order!

The wait is over! You can now pre-order my Regency romance Brynnde on Amazon! Click here to pre-order for just 99 cents, and Brynnde will be automatically delivered on February 9th. The price goes up to $2.99 after release, so pre-order and save!

About the Novel:

Brynnde Archambault needs to find someone to marry, else she’ll be stuck with dull Mr. Dallweather. The answer to her problem arrives in the form of handsome and witty Viscount Burbridge, but just when everything seems to be going smoothly, scandal strikes and the engagement ends.

Meanwhile, Brynnde has no trouble matchmaking her friends and even her own brother. But while she breezily finds suitors for everyone else, for her time is running out. Must she resign herself to becoming Mrs. Dallweather? Or will Brynnde yet succeed in making a match for herself?

Brynnde is a light, bubbly, and sweet Regency romance in the vintage style of Zebra and Signet.

Swing

The winter break is over and my kids went back to school today. I’d say things are getting back to normal, but they aren’t, really—just before the holidays, my youngest broke his leg. So he has a full-leg cast and is in a wheelchair, has to be carried up and down the stairs and to and from the bathroom (well, he can use his wheelchair in the downstairs bathroom). I’m definitely getting my weightlifting in.

Still, I’ve managed to make progress with my work over the break, partly because we were more housebound than planned. We couldn’t do all the outings we’d originally thought to do, what with one of us in a wheelchair, and then the rain set in and kept us mostly indoors as well. This allowed me to finish rewrites on Brynnde and send ARCs to my brave volunteers. If you’d like to be an advance reader for my books, be sure to sign up for my newsletter there on the sidebar; I offer ARCs when I have new releases.

Now it’s back to The Great Divide (aka Changers 2). Time to get back into the swing . . . I hope you’ve had a productive start to your year as well!

2017 Goals

Here we are on the brink of yet another new year. Get the hell out, 2016! It’s been a tough year for a lot of reasons, but I prefer to look on the bright side of things. I accomplished a lot as a writer in 2016. I had two books published by two different small publishers, and I attended my first conference as a guest author/panelist (not my first conference ever, but my first as a participant in the overall program). I also got to enjoy the Writer’s Digest Conference. I was a guest on two podcasts as well, and I met a lot of great new author friends and found a new critique group.

But now I want to look ahead to 2017. What are my writing goals now?

  1. Publish Brynnde
  2. Finish and submit Changers: The Great Divide
  3. Finish Hamlette
  4. Write another Sherlock Holmes story

That may not seem like a lot, but I’m not a fast writer. So this is plenty enough to fill my plate for now. If by some miracle I manage to accomplish all this, I’ll re-evaluate what to do next. But for now this is enough to start.

And I’m really excited that I got a Momentum Planner to help me keep track of my goals this year, too! It will help me break things down into steps so I stay on track.

Do you have goals for the coming year? Career, personal, or both? Tell me about them in the comments! And Happy New Year!

So Much Stuff!

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving (if they observed that holiday), and are now having just as lovely a weekend, whether shopping or hiding from the crowds. No need to go out for any of these things I’m about to share with you, though!

  1. Look to the sidebar on the right and you’ll see that there is a Goodreads giveaway going on for Manifesting Destiny. I’m giving away three signed paperback copies, and each will also come with a bookmark and temporary tattoo. Giveaway runs through December 9.
  2. For the holidays, you can now pick up my Sherlock Holmes stories, The K-Pro, and my anthology The World Ends at Five for 99 cents each on Amazon! If you like supporting indie businesses, please consider also supporting indie authors!
  3. I discuss literary fiction on Jay Lemming’s site today. I consider The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller to be literary because of the way it’s written. What do you think? How do you define literary fiction, and is it a dying genre or merely exclusive (and exclusionary)? Swing by to see what I have to say about it!

That’s all the news that is news for the moment. I’m closing in on finishing Brynnde, too. Can’t wait to present her to you!

Happy Holiday Season!

WIP Wednesday

I’m reluctant to give away any more of The Great Divide, which is the sequel to Manifesting Destiny. So I’ll post a bit more of my Regency romance Brynnde here instead. It’s a dinner scene. Brynnde is visiting Lowlea, home of her friend Violet Crabbage. They’ve sent to the Darleys to see if Julia and Eleanor can also visit. Brynnde had been engaged to Julia and Eleanor’s older brother Garrick and is now ostensibly recovering from a broken heart when that engagement was forced to end due to some questionable behavior on the part of their other brother Graeme. In truth, Garrick was only doing Brynnde a favor by asking her to marry him and so though Brynnde is disappointed she is not heartbroken. What I particularly enjoy in this scene is Sir Everret’s attempts to eat his dinner.

“Oh!” yelped Lady Crabbage then, causing everyone at the table to jump. Sir Everret’s gravy went flying, but his wife took no notice. “The Darley girls have written you, Violet. I meant to give you the letter earlier but then you each were resting. Remind me, and I’ll give it you after dinner.” She wriggled in her seat like a giddy schoolgirl or, Brynnde thought, perhaps more like a fat hen settling on her eggs. The napkin returned to Brynnde’s mouth.

Again, Lady Crabbage took it as a sign. “Should I not have mentioned them? Of course I shouldn’t have! Oh, Brynnde, do please forgive me! I should have given Violet the letter in private. They are assuredly the last people you want to hear about, the last name you want to hear uttered—”

“It’s all right, Mama,” Violet said. “Brynnde and Julia and Eleanor have no ill feelings between them.”

“Actually,” Brynnde added, “I miss them terribly. We’d become very good friends.”

Lady Crabbage changed direction without misstep. “And so of course you’re so sad to hear their names spoken aloud! I am sorry, my dear, really I am. I’ve only added to your sorrow.”

“I’ve invited them to visit,” Violet went on. Brynnde marveled at her friend’s patience but supposed it came from a lifetime of practice.

“It would very much delight me to see them,” said Brynnde, “if it doesn’t trouble you too much to have them.” She imitated Tessa’s wide-eyed, plaintive look, the one that Papa could not resist.

“Of course not!” crowed Lady Crabbage, and this time Sir Everret’s knife went wide. He sighed and persevered, not allowing his wife nor his meat to best him, for which Brynnde silently applauded him.

WIP Wednesday

From my Regency romance Brynnde:

“Maman wants me to marry Mr. Dallweather,” said Brynnde with a quick look at Violet.

Julia noticed and gave Violet a quick, speculative look as well before returning her attention to Brynnde. “But you would rather not.” It was a statement, not a question.

“He is very kind, but we have nothing in common,” Brynnde said. “He likes dogs but does not keep horses—”

“He would let you keep horses, though,” Julia posited.

“I don’t know,” Brynnde admitted. “I suppose. He’s much older—”

“Steady, then,” said Julia. “Unlikely to wander.”

Brynnde stared at her.

“I’m only imagining all the arguments being made for the match,” Julia allowed. “All the reasons you don’t want to marry him have claims in their favor as well.”

“You should go into law,” said Brynnde.

WIP Wednesday

Yesterday I started writing again for the first time in weeks, and it felt really good. It can be difficult for me to carve out solid writing time in the summer with the kids home. At the very least, I was able to finish a chapter of Brynnde I’d left hanging. In this scene Brynnde and her friends Julia and Violet are cooling off on a hot day by wading in a fountain:

Julia grabbed her arm and laughingly swung her into her dance. Though normally an adept dance partner, in this instance Brynnde was taken off guard . . . and off balance. She spun and landed on her bottom in the water, her skirts buoyed briefly like Ophelia’s, then sinking.

Writealike

A while back I put in some various bits of my writing into this analyzer and discovered Changers and Peter were written like Stephen King. This time I tried a bit of my Regency romance Brynnde and got:

Well, okay. Historical fiction, at least. That’s something.

I wonder how many authors they loaded into that thing and how it determines the matches? Still, a fun little exercise.