Deadly Ever After

Archive for the month “July, 2014”

Living For Now

Today’s Brew: All the coffee my keurig can make. And it doesn’t cost 5.19 a pop.

by Kristen

Now I know what I’d take with me if I ever had to evacuate my house.

Monday night started out normal enough. I was sitting on the couch, hanging out with McGee, writing a book, and I heard an emergency vehicle drive by.  If you follow me on Twitter, you know that emergency vehicles aren’t anything remarkable on Whiskey Tango Boulevard.  Other neighborhoods bond over cookouts and block parties, we meet each other when we come out on our porches to see what the frig is happening this time.  It takes a couple of emergency vehicles to get our attention, so when the third fire truck showed up, we started to pay attention.

There had been a very small fire in the building next door. The people’s TV sparked, like from a power surge. The fire was small enough to stomp out, but the spark went back in the walls and shorted out the entire building’s cable and power, and traveled underground and zapped one of the apartments downstairs from me.  That building had been evacuated, and no one was sure if there was actually a fire. The fire department used heat sensors to make sure there weren’t any problems.

Not much later, there was a knock at the door. They want everyone out of the building.

Fuck.

I grabbed Gee, my laptop, a picture of my mom, and my makeup.  I know that sounds really shallow, unless you realize that’s how I keep up the lifestyle I’ve become accustomed to.  I couldn’t go anywhere, a firetruck blocked my car in. Even though I was fairly certain it was just a precaution, it doesn’t make it any less scary.  I stayed near my car because I needed to put Gee there, so I got stuck talking to my drunk neighbor who kept calling me Jen, and getting pissed that I wouldn’t answer her.

Once we were able to go back in, there was still no power. They needed to find where the spark went and replace the wires, which took most of yesterday.  Like you don’t realize how much you use your back until it hurts and you can’t move, dude, electricity makes everything so much easier. I had to go out and get coffee. Then lunch. (And a fifty dollar camping lantern for McGee because he’s afraid of the dark and not spoiled at all.) After showering in the dark, I went to the gym to do my hair. So all I did was eat and take a shower and it required like 4 trips out of the house.

I wouldn’t have bothered with the hair but I had concert tickets for last night. Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails, baby.

The concert, of course, was incredible, but kind of an intense pairing. Even though they go together on paper, they aren’t similar bands at all. They’re both so full throttle in such different ways, that after sitting in a completely quiet house all day, I’m still exhausted.

I love live music, for so many reasons. I realize things that I consider to still be contemporary are now classic rock, and I’m not apologizing for that. The songs stand the test of time, and I think if I heard them for the first time today, I’d love them just as much as I did when they came out.  That’s the great thing about music. It’s timeless, and there to enjoy when anyone is ready for it.

Concerts are always consistent. Especially when you go see an act that’s been around for a while, everything looks just the same as whenever you left it, because they people are all the same.  There’s something extremely comforting about the ritual, this little slice of home that I can’t get any place else.

But it’s not nostalgia. I HATE nostalgia. There’s something apologetic about it, like the person is ashamed to be enjoying Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails in July of 2014. (Can I tell you, my favorite person in the crowd was a dude who was about 55, who looked like a math teacher, his face lit up during March of the Pigs.) I’m not there to relive my youth. I lived my youth quite well, thank you. If you’d like a fictionalized chronicle of that, buy my books. The last thing I’m at a NIN show is for a 1994 redo. The music was perfect. If I need to go back and fix anything about that year, maybe I’d get a gym membership and take school a little more seriously. I’m at a concert because I want to enjoy my 2014.

So if you can learn anything from my week, make it this:  You never know when you’re going to be in your pjs, standing in front of a fire truck, with a traincase full of makeup in one hand and a cockatiel in the other. Get it right the first time. Live for now.

 

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Julie’s Never Humble Opinion on Publishing Trends, Rejection and Doing What You Want

TODAY’S BREW: Coconut Crème until my heart explodes

By Julie

Whether you write in the genre or not, if you write and are on Twitter, you heard about the Romance Writers of America conference this past weekend plenty. I pay attention because you can always learn more, and any good book has SOME level of romance in it, in my opinion.

What I was particularly pleased to see was that paranormal seems to be on the watch list again for agents and publishers.

For as many vampire, weird-new-creature-we-made-up, werewolf and other paranormal novels out there being enjoyed as there are, there are as many publishers and agents saying that there’s no market for it. Editors aren’t looking for it.

I’ve always been of the opinion that if you write a novel that begs to be read, there’s a place for it and readers who want to read it.

Of course, I say this with THE HARPY still sitting on several editors’ desks, waiting for its big break.

“SO WHAT SAY YOU, JULESTONE? DO I WRITE MY BOOK ABOUT WERESELKIES OR NOT? I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO, TELL ME WHAT TO WRITE.”

You’ll hate this answer, probably, but OH WELL.

I’ve had rejections from publishers on THE HARPY. It’s been on submission with them for months now.

“WHAT?” you say. “HOW ARE YOU NOT THROWING THINGS AND ANGRY AND CRYING AND DOUBTING YOUR LIFE CHOICES?”

I’m kind of a jerk. I get my sights set on an idea, and by shit, I am going to make it happen. I will take this insane idea (i.e, harpies), and make every goddamn word on the page burn with how much I need to get them out. I’ll perfect the fucking thing by my standards. And when it’s perfect, I’ll ask people to read it and tell me what’s not perfect. While they do that, I go back through the book and I ask myself, does this character breathe life and have a voice and a story that makes them bursting with energy, fear, doubt, determination, anger, love, lust, failure, success, need, and every other complex human emotion that doesn’t work together?

Do I exploit each and every one so that they all seem important at the time they take precedence?

Do I love this character and hate some of their choices?

Do I hate this character but see how that could be me one day if I just thought or acted a little differently?

And I take those notes from the readers, and I pore over them. Sometimes I disagree, sometimes I wonder how the hell I didn’t see what they said before. But I always make sure that every word on the page has a purpose.

And when I put it out into the world of publishing to smite me down, I know that it only takes one to love it the way I do.

And I don’t cry when rejections come, for THE HARPY or any other book of mine, (and they all get rejected, trust me). Not because I did the best I could do–but because the book got read. It got rejected, but it got read, and that’s a step in the right direction.

AS FOR HAVING DONE THE BEST I COULD DO, OF COURSE I DID. I ALWAYS DO THE BEST I CAN DO. BUT MY BEST WHEN THE BOOK WENT OUT ON SUBMISSION TO PUBLISHERS MONTHS AGO IS NO LONGER MY BEST.

This is a hard, ugly truth, and yet it fills me with excitement.

I’ve been writing and editing the whole time THE HARPY has been roaming free, experiencing the world. I’d be a fool to think that if I got my hands on it again that I wouldn’t want to change anything. Or that if an editor says it just isn’t strong enough in a certain aspect that I couldn’t make it stronger.

WRITERS. THERE IS NOT A LIMIT TO THE NUMBER OF CHANCES YOU HAVE.

So when I hear that paranormal is back, or that editors are looking for a romance between eagles and chickens, or that zombies are over, I nod politely and write whatever I was going to write anyway.

IF YOU FEEL THE BOOK YOU’RE WRITING SO MUCH THAT IT BEGS YOU TO LET IT OUT OF YOUR HEART AND HEAD, SOMEONE IS GOING TO WANT TO READ IT.

No matter what the subject matter, or the trend, a book that bleeds is a book that people want to read. It may not happen tomorrow, but tomorrow isn’t your last chance, either.

 

 

What to expect from a developmental edit.

UGH THIS PLEASES ME SO.

Tammy Farrell

After months and months…and MONTHS of sweating over my drafts of THE EMBERS OF LIGHT, I finally got it to the point where it was ready for developmental editing. I think this is a step many indie-authors skip, thinking that beta-readers, critique partners and a proofreader or even better, a line-editor will suffice.

But let me tell you this. Unless you have a super-genius friend who KNOWS what they’re talking about, you NEED a developmental editor, otherwise known as a content editor.

I’ve had experience with two developmental editors or DEs, as I call them. The first DE I had for The Darkness of Light used a summary approach. I sent her the manuscript, she read it, and then sent me a three page detailed report, mostly written in point form, of areas I needed to fix, plot holes that needed filling, and certain word choices I needed to cut.

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Reading Unlimited, Kindle Edition

Today’s Brew: Hot Blueberry. I have the AC going and I’m actually cold. The first world is a good place to be sometimes.

by Kristen

The big news in publishing this week was Amazon’s roll of of Kindle Unlimited.  For 9.99 a month, customers have unlimited access to over 600,000 titles in Amazon’s print and audio library.  If you missed it, here’s the announcement from Amazon:

Today we are excited to introduce Kindle Unlimited – a new subscription service for readers in the U.S. and a new revenue opportunity for authors enrolled in KDP Select. Customers will be able to read as many books as they want from a library of over 600,000 titles while subscribed to Kindle Unlimited. All books enrolled in KDP Select with U.S. rights will be automatically included in Kindle Unlimited.

KDP Select authors and publishers will earn a share of the KDP Select global fund each time a customer accesses their book from Kindle Unlimited and reads more than 10% of their book – about the length of reading the free sample available in Kindle books – as opposed to a payout when the book is simply downloaded. Only the first time a customer reads a book past 10% will be counted.

KDP Select books will also continue to be enrolled in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) available to Amazon Prime customers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France and Japan where authors will continue to earn a share of the KDP Select global fund when their book is borrowed. KOLL borrows will continue to be counted when a book is initially downloaded.

For July we’ve added $800,000 to the fund, bringing the July fund amount to $2 million.

Too bad I am not the least bit tech savvy, because when I first subscribed to Netflix back in the way day, one of my first thoughts was, “Someone needs to do this with books!” Of course, at the time, no one had heard of an e-book, and I couldn’t figure out a way to make shipping heavy books back and forth profitable.  Now that it exists, I still love the idea, but now that I’m an author, I have a whole difference set of questions, besides where do I sign up?

DISCLAIMER:  As of writing this, my books are not in the KDP Select program or eligible for Kindle Unlimited.

Amazon isn’t the first company to do this.  Scribd and Oyster have similar programs with a similar amount of inventory.  But remember that number. 600,000. That sounds like a lot, and of course, the program is new, but that’s certainly not everything.  Even if I were to get a tally of the books available on Amazon as I wrote this, it would be inaccurate by the time you read this.  I’ve seen Amazon rankings as low as five million, so 600,000  is a great selection, but not everything.

Well, what’s included?  So far, the big five publishers seem to be holding off.  When I looked at the Kindle Unlimited Library, it reminded me a lot of Netflix.  There isn’t a ton of new stuff featured, and even though there are some best sellers available, they’re not all available.

What’s not included?  Self-published books are not eligible to participate unless they are signed up with KDP Select.  If you’re not familiar with that program, it’s offered to self-published authors as well as small presses. Amazon gives special promotional opportunities, such as free download days and Kindle Countdown Deals, in exchange for an exclusive listing.  The books KDP Select and now Kindle Unlimited can only be purchased, or now borrowed, from Amazon.

With the deluge of books that are being uploaded to Amazon and other retailers, free and discounted prices don’t pack the punch that they used to. When I uploaded my books, I didn’t think twice about distributing them to all retailers. Now indie authors may think twice about that, depending on the success of this program.  I did, however, opt in for the lending option, which is available to Kindle Prime members.

I’m not crazy about limited choices. While there are some upfront benefits to exclusivity, there are some drawbacks that can always rear their ugly head.  First, you’re limiting the amount of people who can have access to your product.  Secondly, when there is no competition, there’s no need to be competitive.  If the terms of the contract start to change, and the competition has been eliminated, then what do you do? You better start liking it, because there aren’t any other options. No thank you.

Subscribers pay a flat monthly fee, but how do authors and publishers get paid?  Self published authors will be paid for Kindle Unlimited borrows through the KDP Global Fund, equal to a “lend.”  Traditionally, this amount has been around two dollars per lend.  However, traditionally published books will be compensated as if the book was purchased.  I’m not exactly sure why there is a difference, but there is.

What does this mean for books?  We’ll have to wait and see.  For readers, it’s potentially amazing. However, I know I grew frustrated with Netflix. They didn’t have the selection I wanted, I didn’t always have a chance to watch my movies quickly enough to make the program really work for me. I never figured out how to stream from my computer to my TV. Eventually, I cancelled my subscription, and now I’ll get a movie from Redbox if I want to watch at home or actually go to the movies. (Note: I don’t watch a ton of movies, and I don’t even own any. I know, I’m weird.)  As an author, I have noticed a slight dip in sales on Amazon since the program launched, but there are still sales. However, my sales on other retailers have remained strong, and right now they’re outperforming my Amazon listings by about three to one.  Had I not had my books available on other retailers, would I have the same amount of lends through KU?  There’s no way to tell, but right now, I’m not scrambling to disable my listings on the other retailers.

This is definitely something to watch. I think all of us, as writers and readers, just want people to read and discover great books.  The program is super new, and it will grow with the needs and wants of its subscribers. I want to see it succeed, because anything that gets more people reading more books is a good thing.

 

The Worst 3 Little Words: I DON’T KNOW.

TODAY’S BREW: Life Is Good S’mores Flavor. Your jealousy tastes delicious.

By Julie

 

Reading makes you a better writer. Editing does even more so. I’m quiet about my Undeaditing services because they’ve been steady, and I want to be able to give attention completely to my work, both as an editor and an author.

YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN HERE THE WHOLE TIME AND GET TO SLURP UP MY LEARNING JUICE FROM EDITING, READING AND WRITING EVERY DAY.

This one line stands out to me in every book, published or not, first draft or elevendyhundreth draft; in every movie, in conversation now. This one:

I DON’T KNOW.

It’s a natural answer, everyone on earth says it, but when writing you need everything your character says to show something about them. Consider these questions I just made up:

What are you going to do now that the aliens have breached the mother ship?

(I don’t know.)

Are you ever going to be normal again?

(I don’t know.)

Have you ever been so tired of being bland that you decided to make changes whether people liked them or not?

(I don’t know.)

NO THANK YOU.

“I don’t know” tells me zero about the character. But then there’s this:

Are you ever going to be normal again?

“Yes. I’ll be normal again because I choose to be, and not knowing how to do it won’t stop me from trying.”

We’re unaware of any of the background to this question, or the character answering it, but from his answer, we know something about him.

If you insist on I don’t know, do it with flourish.

“I don’t know!” or “How am I supposed to know?” or “Do you know?!” 

Give us a hotheaded, whiny, thoughtful, sobbing I don’t know so we can see the way the character reacts rather than just answering a question lazily.

Right now I’m reading Catherynne M. Valente’s THE GIRL WHO FELL BENEATH FAIRYLAND AND LED THE REVELS THERE. (That’s a helluva title.) The main character, a thirteen year old girl named September, is one of my favorite characters of all time. Let me show you an instance where she could have said, “I don’t know,” but she just plain didn’t:

“Are you afraid of going below? I am always curious.”

September considered this. “No,” she said finally. “I shall not be afraid of anything I haven’t even seen yet.”

SEE??? This kid has cojones. She could have said she doesn’t know, she’s never been there before and knows nothing about the place. She could have said merely, “I don’t know.” But she thought about it first, and she gave an answer that tells us she’s a thinker like hell, she’s open-minded, has more courage than you could shake an I don’t know at, and she’s adventurous to a fault.

I hate to say it, but there’s one place in particular that the words “I don’t know” seem to smack me upside the head, and that’s with Harry Potter. I AM NOT SAYING THAT I COULD HAVE WRITTEN POTTER BETTER, SHUT UP. I love Harry Potter. But if one of the times someone asked Harry what something elusive means, he didn’t say “I don’t know,” but instead said, “I don’t know but I’m going to find out,” that is the Potter boy I know. The one who stops at nothing to get the answers and solve the riddles. See what I mean?

Now, I challenge you to never write those three little words unless they mean something. This is the way we learn about the character that lives and breathes in your head–with every single word they do or do not say. Maybe they think that they don’t know, but lie and come up with some insane plan.

Kristen and I made sure in high school that we missed all 18 days we were allowed to miss. Our philosophy was, if someone is giving you 18 bucks for fun, do you only take 10 of it? No. You take all 18.

Your book is giving you 70,000 words to show us this awesome character you know. Don’t only take 50,000 of them. Make every word something that matters, because you don’t get the opportunity to use the 18th day when school is over.

 

 

 

My Life As A Makeup Artist

Today’s Brew: Blueberry, as usual. Lukewarm because it’s muggier than a dog’s armpit.

by Kristen

I thought this might be a fun post, because a lot of people ask me about my job.  I am a freelance makeup artist. You might think that means I walk around with a magic wand, spreading glitter and beauty to everything I touch. This is partly true, but it has nothing to do with what I do for work.

So let me tell you about it.  Like I said, I’m a freelance makeup artist. I work for myself, but I rely on clients hiring me for their productions.  Sometimes I work on movie sets, TV shows, commercials, or do corporate videos. I’m a member of a union, Local 798, which is the east coast hair and makeup division of IATSE, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

Movies seem to interest people the most.  Movies are long, long days requiring a lot of people to make things come together. I typically day play, which means I go in when there are scenes with a lot of background actors, aka extras, and help get them ready and keep them looking good. Sometimes, if we’re shooting present day, that is ridiculously easy. If it’s a period piece or a wedding scene, we have a lot more work to do. For example, on RIPD, we had a scene were there were “deados” from every decade of the 20th century, so we had to make them look appropriate for their specific period. Usually, we’re in the 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s for period work. The most fun part of that is dissecting the era, if it was 1983 in rural Maine, chances are, we’d really be doing a late 70’s look.

Sometimes I work on featured actors, I rarely key long term projects. I’ve been asked, but I prefer to to day play. That means while there are plenty of A-listers on the set of the films, I don’t work on them. I typically don’t talk to them, either, unless I’m working with them directly or I’m brought into the conversation. (EDIT: This has changed, since I’ve been working more on movies lately. Now I’ve worked directly with a few more A-listers, but I’m usually covering them on set, doing touch ups. Everyone’s been very nice, but it’s nerve-wracking as hell!)

We stay on set all day. Our days typically start before dawn and last 12 to 14 hours. We go in between takes to do touchups, or get actors ready throughout the day when they are called in.

TV shows can be like this, if it’s a big series show, but a lot of cable shows come to Boston, usually travel shows, and they’re much smaller productions. If I work on something like that, I’m typically responsible for the host, and just touching up anyone else that is on camera.

Commercials again can be similar to movie sets, if they’re big companies and national campaigns, or they can be a guy talking about his business against a green screen.  On commericals, I can be responsible for the main talent, the supporting actors, or just the background. It all depends on the size of the commercial.

Corporate work sounds boring, but it’s easy and it pays well. These are web videos, training videos, internal videos, and sales videos.

I do some weddings, but I’ve never been able to concentrate on putting together a proper business model because I’ve been too busy with production work. I’m fine with this, I like having weekends free, especially now that I’m going to writing events.

There is no typical day. However, it’s not very often I’m hired to make people “pretty.” I’m usually hired so you don’t even know I’m there. To make people look naturally good, to even out skin tone, to take out shine, and in the summer, to control sweat. Gross, isn’t it?

Where do I work? Typically in the Boston area, but all over New England. I very rarely get asked to go to New York, because they have so many artists there. Sometimes I go to New Jersey or Pennsylvania. The farthest I’ve gone is Arizona in the US and England internationally.

What were your favorite jobs? I worked Superbowl week in 2008 for ESPN, I worked for Farm Aid, and I worked election night at Romney HQ. All of them were amazing experiences.

 

How did I get in this?  I couldn’t stand working in retail management another second, and signed up for cosmetology school. I quickly realized two things: I didn’t want to work in a salon, and I enjoyed makeup way more than hair. I headed to California, and took specialized makeup classes, then came home and worked my ass off until I had clients.

My big break came around noon one day. I was scheduled to close Piercing Pagoda that night, and someone cold called me and asked me to come in and help with background actors on a movie called The Box. They’d exhausted union options, and were pretty much desperate for hands. They needed me at 4 PM. After some thought, I called in to the Pag and went to the movie. Best decision I ever made. I made a good impression on the other artists, and they’ve been calling me ever since.

How do I find jobs? They find me, now. I get jobs by word of mouth and referrals. It took a long time to get to this place, and I am thankful for it. When I started, I would drop everything, like the scenario above, to go to work. Even today, I got a call for later this afternoon. Why not?  I combed the internet for every job I could find. I was eager and enthusiastic. I still am, I just don’t have to look for work anymore.
When do you work? Oh, if you can answer this question, you are better than I am. I work when I’m needed and stay until we’re done. I work more in the summer and fall than I do in the winter and spring. Sometimes I work 7 days a week, sometimes zero. We never know when we’ll get out, because we have to stay until we complete the job. This is why I can get so much book work done. For part of the year, I’m a full time writer, and I’m used to working extremely long hours until a project is completed.

Can I bring you to work? Have you wash my brushes or something? Or just watch?  No.

Don’t be a bitch, Kristen. Come on. No. Let me come hang out at your medical office and watch you work with patient files. Weird, isn’t it?  If I do need an extra set of hands, I have to hire an experienced artist. I need to trust they can do any facet of the job I need them to. I don’t have time to explain things on the fly.

How do you get paid?  Clients buy my day. They contract me for a certain amount of hours, and if they come in under that, they still pay the rate. If they go over it, they pay overtime. Those long hours don’t sound so bad anymore, do they?  I’m not a salon, I don’t schedule appointments. I book by the day because I can’t book another job once I sign on to a project for the day, no matter how short it is.

Wanna do my makeup just for fun?  Sure, after you have the time of your life doing my taxes, or whatever you do at work.

Do you like your job? Very much. I get to meet interesting people and see places the public doesn’t always get to see. Every day is different.

What’s your favorite makeup brand?  I don’t have one. Everyone does something well, and not all products are one size fit all. A primer isn’t going to work the same on a 20 year old as it will her grandmother, as it is an someone of another race.

If I become a super famous author, will I give up doing makeup? I don’t think I’ll ever quit totally. I would like for writing to give me the freedom to say no when I want or need time off to do other things.

 

And now you know what I do all day. 🙂

 

WE OWN THE NIGHT Cover Reveal PLUS the Re-release of BECAUSE THE NIGHT and NIGHT MOVES!

Today’s Brew: Champagne!!

by Kristen

YOU GUYS. I’m so excited to finally be able to share these with you.  I feel like I’ve been talking about this for-evah, and now it’s finally real.  I hope you all love these covers as much as I do. Cover designs by Hang Le.

First, the reveal of WE OWN THE NIGHT (The Night Songs Collection #3)

We-Own-the-Night-ebook-FOR-WEB

We-Own-the-Night-print-FOR-WEB

The Ultimate Manipulation. 

Callie Chabot would stop at nothing to save her ex-boyfriend Blade Bennett from the clutches of vampire clan leader Talis de Rancourt, even if means becoming immortal herself. What she doesn’t know is that Blade has already defeated Talis, and he’s waiting for Callie in the afterlife.

Now Callie only has her creator, Tristan Trevosier, to turn to for guidance. But he’s too wrapped up in the debauchery of the Las Vegas rock scene to give a damn about the particulars of being undead. That’s enough to drive Callie crazy on its own, but female vampires are automatic clan leaders.

Not only does Callie have no idea how to wrangle a vampire clan, but her would-be followers have more to gain from her failure. They instead choose to follow Blade—and he’s hell-bent on making Callie pay for her bad decisions. Since he took out the existing clan leader, that automatically puts him at the helm of what should be Callie’s new clan.

A Master of Deception.

That’s when seasoned rogue vampire, Cash Logan, shows up, shrouded in magic and mystery. No one is sure which side Cash is on, but Callie needs to take a chance on the one vampire who is willing to give her the answers she needs, no matter how dark and frightening they may be. Callie must trust her instincts and form alliances that may backfire. Cash shows Callie that playing nice is no longer an option, and that fixing her wrongs won’t always make everything right.

To take control of her clan, Callie must look to her rival to discover exactly what makes her a leader.

Available September 1, 2014.

Add to Goodreads     Preorder on Smashwords     Preorder Audible

BECAUSE THE NIGHT and NIGHT MOVES are coming to the party, too!  They’re available again, and check out their new covers.

Because-the-Night-ebook-FOR-WEB

Beacause-the-Night-print-FOR-WEB

BECAUSE THE NIGHT has been revamped, with a new edit!  It’s also 99 cents in celebration of the relaunch!

Because the Night (The Night Songs Collection Book 1) on Amazon     Smashwords

NIGHT MOVES–I don’t have a release date for the Audible version, but it is coming soon. It’s being recorded at the same time as WE OWN THE NIGHT

Night-Moves-ebook-FOR-WEB

Night-Moves-print-FOR-WEB

Night Moves (The Night Songs Collection Book 2)on Amazon       Smashwords

To celebrate today you can hear me at 5 PM EST on Lydia’s Literary Lowdown on Blog Talk Radio, and at 7 PM EST, I’ll be “taking over” the Author Reader Con Facebook page. Stop by and say hello! I’ll have prizes and fun stuff!

Meet the Main Character- A Little Blog Hopping Goodness with Callie

Today’s Brew: Anything I don’t have to chew.

by Kristen

I feel like a mad scientist lately. Skulking around in the dark recesses of the Deadly Ever After labs, creating new and improved things to bring to all of you. I’ve been quiet lately, because I have so much to say but I had to be patient and wait. My wait is almost over, Saturday is the cover reveal of WE OWN THE NIGHT, a book I feel like I’ve been telling you about for-evah. It’s also the reveal of the NEW covers of BECAUSE THE NIGHT and NIGHT MOVES.

Aaaah! So excited.

When Shonda Brock tagged me for the Meet the Main Characters blog hop, she had no idea how perfect her timing was.  With all the excitement brewing in Night Songs City this week, it’s the perfect time to reacquaint you with Callie. You may know her, you may love her, you may cringe every time she graces a page. But we can all agree, she’s never boring.  So without further ado…

Finally! Someone who looks like Callie with Callie's coloring!!

 1. What is the name of your main character? Is she fictional or a historical person?

Callie Chabot is a fictional character. Without realizing it, I named her after the lyrical muse, Calliope.  Perfect coincidence. Callie definitely has a pull over musicians. Chabot is my grandmother’s maiden name.

2. When and where is the story set?

Because the Night and We Own the Night take place in present day Las Vegas. Instead of endless Cirque du Soleil shows, my fictional Las Vegas features many vampire rock bands in residence instead.  In the books, you meet several bands, but the main one is Immortal Dilemma. They’re in residence at the Alta Vista hotel, which is located where the former Sahara was and future SLS resort will be.  Callie winds up moving in with  Tristan, who lives at the Alta Vista.

Or something.

3. What should we know about her?

Callie doesn’t look before she leaps.  She’s passionate and driven, but that doesn’t always lead her to the right place.  She might not always make the right decisions, but her heart is always in the right place.

4. What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?

Callie goes to Las Vegas to figure out what the hell is going on with Tristan, since he disappeared and reemerges as a member of a vampire rock star band on a “reality” show.  While she’s there, she finds Tristan still has a pull over her, even though he’s a hot mess and she’s met someone else.  When Blade, her new love interest, goes missing, she turns to the vampire underworld and Tristan for help finding him.  When she does find him in We Own the Night, it creates a whole new mess for Callie. They’re both vying for the same position, as clan leader, and only one of them can do it.

5. What is her personal goal?

Over everything else, Callie wants happiness for herself and everyone around her.  Even when she makes a mess of things.  She also wants respect.  Her good intentions mistakenly thrust her into a leadership role and she needs to get people to take her seriously, like yesterday.

 

6. Is there a working title for this novel and can we read more about it?

Because the Night will be rereleased July 12.  We Own the Night will be released September 1.

 

 

Ellie DiJulio and Patreon. COME SEE WHAT IT IS.

TODAY’S BREW: Brown Sugar something something

By Julie

Our friend, Ellie Di Julio takes action and stuff, and I am so proud of her for it. Check out Ellie’s urban fantasy series, FORGOTTEN RELICS, and what she’s doing to make things happen.

•· Be a modern patron of the arts, starting at $1/mo! @EllieDiJulio is creating stories with @Patreon. Check it out: http://ow.ly/yKqdi

•· Like urban fantasy stories? Want to feel good AND get neat prizes? If so, then has @EllieDiJulio got a deal for you. http://ow.ly/yKqdi

•· Support indie artists and take crowdfunding to a new level! See what author @EllieDiJulio is scheming on @Patreon. http://ow.ly/yKqdi

•· Are you a chronic enabler? Consider enabling @EllieDiJulio’s awful habit of writing novels and giving stuff away. http://ow.ly/yKqdi

•· Join @EllieDiJulio’s elite squad of well-paid, highly-trained internet ninjas AKA Team @Patreon! http://ow.ly/yKqdi

The announcement blog post on my site: http://elliedi.com/5-things-to-know-about-patreon/

The YouTube Patreon intro video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EB9OsVh2IEs

The Writing Fight

TODAY’S BREW: Vanilla Francais. Holding the hot cup against my sinus-infected nose.

By Julie

I’ve been quiet–for me. Things have been hard. The kind of hard where you think things are hard and then you listen to other people talk about what’s hard and you say in your head, “Wow. My things are like, beyond hard. They’re kind of–chaotically insane with a side serving of near-doom.”

This is not me complaining about my life. I’m nose down, plowing through to make sure me and my family are as happy as can be. Ironically, this turns me into a wildly detached jerk. It’s also left me so exhausted that inspiration to write this new novel that I’m in love with is pretty null and void.

Does that mean I stop writing? NO, IT DOES NOT.

I know when to take a break, when to loosen up on a deadline. When things are hard, that is not the time. It’s not just that finding the time is difficult right now, it’s that when I do, for the first time in a long time, I don’t feel like writing.

THIS IS THE TIME THAT A WRITER HAS TO WRITE.

When I’m so inside myself and letting no one else see, that’s the time that I need to force it out in the only way that feels right. It may suck sitting down with no idea what’s happening next in the book because my mind has been pulled in a thousand different directions that hour and I didn’t even have a plan before that. It may be difficult to be a “pantser,” with little or no outline when I write, and not be able to think for a total of ten minutes a day about what’s happening next before I make it happen.

But this is the thing I’m best at. And this is the thing that nurtures ME. Even if it’s hard. Hard things make you stronger.

So every day, I put myself to the test in the world of “pantsing a novel.” I know the big picture of this book I’m writing, THE WIND BETWEEN WORLDS. I’ve always loved surprising myself when I sit down to write, not knowing exactly what’s coming next, but having a pretty good idea of it. The way my life works right now, I have to think on the fly about this plot more than I ever have had to before. More fun yet, this is probably the most complicated world I’ve ever built, and so it requires a great deal of precision and being present, to drag you into the world and not let you out. That’s a lot to ask when you’re leading my life right now.

You know what? Asking a lot of myself FOR myself is okay. Everyone else asks a lot of me. I need to give myself the same attention. Sitting down to write a novel isn’t necessarily as relaxing as curling up and watching a movie, or even going to the gym, or going shopping, but after I push myself to do this little bit more, I know that in the run of giving as much as I do, I haven’t lost myself.

I think part of the reason I introvert the way I do when things are demanding all around me is that I need to feel as close to myself as possible so I don’t get lost in all the DOING that I do. And right now, my world isn’t just about how much I have to get done–it’s about avoiding landmines, nurturing some and giving tough love to others, battling every minute for the tiny little world of my family. I’m a leader, always have been, and when a challenge is presented to me that’s as enormous as what I face now, I pull up my boot straps and I fight.

Part of my fight is not having “down time” or time to relax, but making sure that I write this book because it’s what my heart needs. My heart needs it most when it doesn’t want it. When the words aren’t screaming to be written, that’s when I need to get them out the most. Just like me, if I don’t push them out, they’ll be lost.

Writing for a writer isn’t just a privilege or a release–it’s a fight. It’s a fight every day. I’m not talking about publishing, and reviews, and all the stuff you have to DO. Fighting to be true to yourself, to give it all you can and when you think you don’t have anymore, giving more. A fight to just START. And every day I’ll start because this is my fight and I won’t lose it.

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