#Wolfen is here… pre-order now!

Light1A little over a year in the making, my baby is finally finished and set loose upon the world! In a manner of speaking…

After 9 months of intensive writing, a month of self-edits and 3 more in professional edits, Wolfen has emerged at 185,000 words, 69 chapters, and a whole lot of awesome. And the best part: It’s now available for pre-order at Smashwords and Amazon (with other outlets to follow very soon)! For those of you impatient to sink your teeth into it, you can read the first 20% of the book at the Smashwords link. You’ll meet some pretty out-there characters within its pages, and maybe sleep with the lights on for a few nights. Or not. You know, whatever floats your boat. ;)

Beginning December 1st, I will be posting fun little Wolfen-related things daily leading up to the official release date on December 21st, so if you haven’t followed me on Facebook yet, now would be a great time!

And now, to celebrate this momentous occasion, I give you the official Wolfen book trailer:

Some Things Can’t Be Duplicated

Late night conversations never go the way I expect them to. A couple nights ago, I had one that reminded me of someone I hadn’t thought about in a long time. I hope you’ll forgive me this little stroll down memory lane. :)

Years ago, almost a decade now, Serendipity veered me off my la-dee-da straight and narrow to cross paths with a singularly fascinating man. He wasn’t just smart, he was wise–a quality not easily borne by people so young. Brilliant man. Beautiful writer. He used to keep this blog where he would document his travels and experiences. Nothing special on the face of it, but his style was so unique, he could draw you into the scene, make you feel so many complex things you never would have expected them. He would describe a two-hour flight, and a conversation with the woman sitting next to him, and at the end of it you were bereft, yearning for some sort of continuation, a full novel, a lifetime as rich with meaning and emotion as those two hours had been. He wrote and treated his life the way novelists do their most cherished fictional characters.

This man had an incredible impact on my writing. Unfortunately, as happens in life, our paths diverged again and we fell out of touch. It is unlikely he will ever read this, but if he does, I’d want to thank him. He didn’t just change the way I write, he changed the way I perceive and think. In the most unassuming way, he taught me by example what is truly important in life.

He told me about a time when someone had callously stolen one of his tales and published it as their own. I was livid on his behalf. I told him, “I hope you sued the hell out of them!”

He replied simply: “No, I didn’t.”

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I asked him why. Why on Earth would he have let something so personal and intimate be taken and bastardized, put out for public consumption without his say so?

Now, we were discussing this through an IM program, but I could imagine him shrug when he said it didn’t matter to him. He said the story was just that, words on a page, nothing more. The experience itself was too deep to ever be ripped off. The person who’d stolen from him had only taken an echo, without any understanding of what had truly transpired. That event, every nuance of feeling, every sight, sound, touch, taste, thought, and emotion, belonged to him alone, and no one could ever touch it, corrupt it, or take it from him.

I quietly shook my head, baffled by this, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. I have always had one foot in Dreamland. From as far back as I can remember, my memories are interspersed with events that only transpired in my head. They are just as rich, just as poignant as the memories themselves. I know the people I imagine. I know how they look, the sound of their voices, their drink of choice, those annoying little habits that drive people mad. I know what makes them laugh, what makes them cry…

Who else but me would know all these things? How could they possibly hope to capture the true essence of a person without knowing them first? They can’t. And that’s the bottom line. The reminder of that, of my long lost friend, and the wisdom he’d shared, made me smile. The story had been related to me before my first book ever got published and, as a result of the understanding I’d gained from it, I’d never been worried about my books being replicated. Being able to put into words why that is so, however, is a new development, and one most welcome.

Until next time! :)

A Wee Little Poll: Would you…?

Greetings, friends! I am taking a small break from editing/formatting to ask a question. I have reached a beautiful milestone in my writing career. For the first time ever, I am being asked for a signed paperback copy of a book that has not even been released yet! I am absolutely ecstatic about the excitement Wolfen is generating out in the world, and it got me thinking that, since I can’t do a book signing in person, I might be able to do one online.

My question to you is as follows: Would you want to purchase an autographed copy of the book? It would be sold through eBay and have a personalized message (if you want one). The cost might be slightly higher than the retail price to account for shipping, etc. but I’d do my best to keep it reasonable and affordable. If there is enough interest, I will make this happen on, or maybe even before release date (with the caveat that the books won’t ship until day before release). This would also mean you could “pre-order” the print book (which I cannot do with Createspace).

So, what do you say? Take a quick poll below! =)

Editing And The Art Of Not Losing Your $#!+

With NaNoWriMo fast approaching, there are a lot of people out there gearing up for marathon writing sessions to reach that 50,000 word mark. For those unfamiliar with the event, the challenge is to write a novel in a month with minimal edits and rewrites. You just type like crazy, and then you go back to make it all look nice. It’s a useful event to get writers going (because, let’s face it, sometimes it’s easier to procrastinate and put off the finish in favor of tinkering with one particular chapter). But it doesn’t make for good quality writing. At least not on its own. Sooner or later, you will have to face the dreaded edits. So let’s talk about those…

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Vampires vs. Werewolves

So I recently had this long conversation with a vampire in my head. Don’t be alarmed, it’s just one of the many weird things authors do. Seriously, I’m not crazy. My mother had me tested. But since it’s Halloween season and I’ve already exhausted the alien angle, I figure I’d touch on some old age-y lore for a change. It’s a topic of great interest to me because I’m a die hard werewolf fan (especially in romance). I used to be a vampire fan also, before the concept of the vampire got dragged through mud. However, recently the two species have been getting pitted against each other (again, especially in romance) and I don’t think it’s a fair comparison.

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A Little Dream for the Future

Writers always like to say, “One day…” and imagine what life will be like when they finally hit it big and become world famous for their writing. I will admit I have given this some thought, and my version goes something like this:

One day…

utah_county_reception_venueI will make my first million, and I will invest in something that will guarantee me income for the rest of my life, no matter what. Because fame and riches never last, especially when they’re interconnected. I will retire from my day job (that will be topmost on my list after securing other income) and move to a cute little house in a cute little town where nobody goes around punching people’s lights out for the fun of it.

My little house will have a south-facing bedroom and library, with all natural wood floors and accents, including window frames and door jambs, and wrought iron handles, chandeliers, and coat hangers. There will be a guest room, and a small deck with a garden which will be tended to by a dedicated gardener to make sure no spiders survive. I will have a sun-filled attic where I’ll store all my treasures in antique wooden treasure chests. There will be old manuscripts, acceptance/rejection letters, copies of my printed books, and samples of all the little promotional thingamajigs I’d made for them over the years. You know, keepsakes. (As you can see, I’ve pretty much designed and decorated all this in my mind) I’ll have a fireplace in the living room, and a special corner next to it where I’ll put up a Christmas tree every year. There will be a pizza oven in the kitchen, but I’ll probably be a regular at the best pizzeria in town, where they’ll know me by name and have my “usual” on the table for me within minutes of sitting down. The owner and I will get to know each other really well. LOL

The house–more of a cottage, really–will be close enough to town that I can walk to the store for whatever I need, stroll the main street and meet the happy residents, but far enough that I am not bothered by neighbors dropping by at all times of day for tea and biscuits while I’m trying to work on a new novel. I’ll know the town’s bookstore intimately, and drop by often to check out new stuff. They’ll have a Local Authors section where my books will be displayed so I can go and pet them, and reminisce about what a pain in the ass that character was to write.

And the best part: I’ll spend my days exactly as I want to spend them. Whether it’s staying in bed all day, or going for a stroll to people watch, or hiking by the river, or flying out at the spur of the moment to visit friends or family (don’t worry, I’ll call first ;) ).

Because life should be about more than just the 9-5 daily grind, and petty politics, and hours stuck in traffic with broken air conditioning and bad music on the radio. I said once, years ago, that I am a person happy to be content in whatever situation, no matter how far removed from where they really wanted to be. There is virtue in loving what you have, rather than yearning for what you never will, but my fear has always been that I’d get voluntarily stuck in that kind of complacency, and never find my way out.

So this post isn’t just a far off fantasy for me. It’s a promise to myself to keep looking up, and never stop reaching for my dream. It’s such a simple dream, after all…

Image courtesy of Happi Anarky. <3 Click on the image to check out more of her art.