Monthly Archives: January 2013

One Smart Cookie: I love Patricia C. Wrede

Like I said, she’s smart. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I write lately, and how to trigger the writing mood, and it got me looking at the different styles of writer out there. And looking at “writing advice” that’s out there by the ton.

Great minds thinking alike and all that, apparently Ms. Wrede was doing the same thing: http://pcwrede.com/blog/advice-you-want-vs-advice-you-need/comment-page-1/#comment-36765

And she’s right on the money. You have to write your way, not someone else’s way. Do what works for you and not what works for Joe Blow down the road. And the advice we get as we embark on our fledgling careers as writers is often not the kind we really need, in order for that career to have the best chance it can have.

I’m very lucky, in that I am a member of two different groups of writers, loaded down with fun, creative, practical and extremely generous people, who have guided my steps and have generously refused to beat me with a pool noodle when I do something boneheaded against their advice.

Thank you ladies and gents! I do appreciate you all!

Kitty, having difficulty choosing which delicious pair of dudes to work with tonight.

Tuesday Tickle: Bite Me Tender–Let’s meet Glyn’s grandmother!

First off, I’m going to give you a link to a blog that made me snarf my coffee this morning. Pucker Up Buttercup. My computer is still recovering from the caffeine spike. Thank you, ma’am, for making my day! Not only that, but when I opened up the page to get the link so I could put it in here, I swallowed some of my ever so healthy salmon and rice supper the wrong way. Now I’m sitting in front of the computer eating ice cream and recovering from my near brush with death. So, when I gain ten pounds, it’s all gonna be her fault.

For today’s Tuesday Tickle, we’re going back to the werewolves. This little bit comes from the second chapter. Glyn’s grandmother, who is a full blooded witch, comes to visit, because she’s worried about Glyn. Unfortunately, Gram usually causes as much stress as whatever situation she thinks she’s helping with… (By the way, Glyn has some OCD tendencies, from issues around his diluted witchblood.)

“Hi, Gram.” He kissed her cheek and pulled out a chair for her, which she ignored in favor of wandering around his kitchen.

“Hello, Glynnie. I see nothing’s changed here.” She rearranged the canisters on the counter and, while Glyn was putting them back in order by size, she reorganized his set of chef’s knives on their magnetic strip, leaving some pointing up and some down, the small ones mixed up with the large.

Glyn followed behind her, setting everything back in it’s place and trying to ignore the gleam of amusement in her eyes. She knew what she was doing. But witches were witches and buttons, real or psychological, existed to be pushed, regardless of the aftermath. Chaos suited them.

Lady, why had he thought this was a good idea? Less than three minutes and he could already feel his own brand of witch-crazy raising its ugly head and sniffing the air. At this rate, Levi would come home to find him in his birthday suit, painting runes on the walls and singing children’s songs in three different languages while Gram played the bongos and made the furniture dance. Levi hadn’t left him the first time it happened, but he wasn’t sure he had enough credit left in that account for a repeat performance.

She near drove me into the Butterscotch Palace, trying to write her. Hard to keep control of a character that’s supposed to be subtle and chaotic–she even hid things from me! But it was an entertaining experience and she ended up adding a lot to the story. I’m glad she poked her nose in. But I still have no plans to invite her for tea.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on Velvet Panic and MC Hana, for their VIB award posts! Keep an eye here, as well, as I’ll be doing another Loosey Goosey Review during one of the next few posts, on Erin Lark’s upcoming BDSM romance, Stray.

Don’t forget to pat the cat!

Kitty

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Apparently, I’ve been hit again with the blogger version of an internet snowball chain.  This time, it’s the VIB award. I thought it was appropriate, though, coming right after The Next Big Thing.  A bit of info about the story, then a bit of info about the author.

So, here goes:

badge-veryinspiringbloggeraward

Facts about me:

1. I speak both english and french and often forget which language I’m speaking. It’s embarrassing when the people I’m talking to don’t speak the language that I’m speaking.

2. The name Kitty actually didn’t come as a nickname for Katherine, though it can be. Kitty was actually the best of a series of bad nicknames related to cats. I used to work as a veterinary technician and have been involved with a number of animal rescues. And I am never without a cat. Usually, more than one. And Kitty’s better than the Cat Lady or the Crazy Cat Lady.

3. I’m married to a farmer and I have a black thumb. Even the cacti struggle here. Mr. Kitty finds it perplexing. Meh. I’d rather write than look after plants.

4. I have two ponies. One is a beautiful little red mare. The other is an adorable old guy, about 30 years old, who came to me as a rescue. He was a rack of bones when I got him, but now he dances and plays and refuses to be caught, unless it’s supper time. He also has no teeth. Most of the time I call him Old Man Pony. Most of the time he calls me, “Get away, crazy woman, I don’t want to be brushed!”

5. I’m a science fiction and fantasy fiend from way back when I first started to read. I was reading Asimov and Anderson and McCaffrey when I was 7. I still like to read them.

6. I can, and do, read any genre, although I avoid horror because I have enough trouble sleeping as it is. But just about anything turns my crank, as long as it’s well written and the author respects my intelligence as a reader. And my favourite Shakespeare play is A Comedy of Errors.

7.  I have a daughter I call the kitten. She likes to write as well. Right now she’s writing a werewolf/vampire/greek gods mashup, aimed at the YA market. I hope some day she’ll share it with me. I’m writing her a werewolf story, if only because I think 11 is too young to be reading some of the explicit sex  that seems to go hand in hand with the YA that’s out there. And she’s obsessed with werewolves. Damn that Twilight anyway. (No, she hasn’t read the book or seen the movies, but it’s so darn pervasive!) And yes, I’m fully cognizant of the irony in that statement.

And that’s pretty much it about me. I’ve kept the really scarring stuff to myself, except for the things I scare my editor and beta readers with. Perhaps some day we’ll get drunk together at a conference and I’ll tell you all about my days working in the ambulance service. Just be prepared to buy the drinks.

I’m going to tag MC Hana  and Heloise West for my next victims in this wordy snowball fight.

Off to Editor Number Two!

I wasn’t sure I was going to get anything done today, since the kitten has been up throwing up since 6 am, but she fell asleep again on the couch, so I dug into my rapidly growing pile of I’m-so-behind.

Just clicked send on the edited version of my contribution to the Absolute Write erotica anthology. Love that moment when you make a change and the screen shifts, because you just dealt with the last comment bubble. I’m not crazy about some of the changes I had to make, to fix the issues pointed out to me, but we’ll see what Editor #2 has to say. I’d like Jaime and Henry to have a well-written story. And it was definitely a learning “smack up the side of the head”. 😀

Funny, I’d kind of forgotten how much I liked those guys, although we don’t get to spend much time with them. I should write some more about those two. I know, there was this one time…

Ouch! Damn plot bunnies have sharp teeth!

Kitty

The Next Big Thing: Bite Me Tender

So, Azalea Moone tagged me in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. Here’s my contribution to the great conga line of writing.

What is the working title of your book?
Oddly enough, considering how much trouble I have with titles, this one has had the same title since the beginning. Bite Me Tender seemed right for it, because I wanted to tell the story of a werewolf bite that was driven by love, not by crazed bloodlust or non-consensual sadism.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I started writing this for an open call for Amber Allure for their Howling at the Moon collection. I don’t have any distinct memories of the actual idea coming to me, although I remember the first image in my head, of a werewolf reluctantly hunting his human lover on full moon night, because the lover wanted him to. A lot of random scribbling in my binder led to writing the first chapter, which was my way of figuring out who these two men were. Imagine my surprise when I found out that the human half of the pair was the more likely to act on his dominant impulses and that the wolf half liked it!

What is the genre of the book?
It’s an MM paranormal romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
susan-sullivan-GCA young Susan Sullivan (Castle’s mom) would have to play Gram, because I think she could carry it off. And she’s absolutely smokin’, isn’t she? This was her high school yearbook picture.

Colm%20Feore-LRS-009105Colm Feore could play McCourt.

Alex Pettyfer 02

Alex Pettyfer would make a decent Glyn. Holy crap, they could be brothers!

antony-starr-shirtless And Antony Starr, currently playing the ‘sheriff’ in Banshee, would make a pretty good Levi, I think.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Gak! Do you have any idea what a wordy broad I am? Ummm, ok, let’s see what I can come up with.

After a year of failing to change his boyfriend Glyn into a werewolf, and with the next full moon only days away, Levi the werewolf finds circumstances and his own doubts pushing them apart, while forces inside and outside the pack threaten to destroy everything he loves.

No the best one line synopsis, but I have very little talent for them. It is one heck of a run-on, though.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency/publisher?
Hopefully, Amber will accept it—I should hear sometime in February, once they’ve had a chance to go through all the submissions and decide which ones to keep. If they pass on it, I’ll probably try a few others before I consider self-pubbing. I’m not a terribly effective marketer, so that would be a choice of last resort.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
According to Liquid Story Binder, it took me 46 days. In reality, I lost two weeks in the middle of it to a job change, so 32 days is probably more accurate. But there was another 3 weeks of critiquing and beta-ing that came after that. And we just won’t talk about the wailing and gnashing of teeth…there comes a point in every story where you are convinced that you have no talent, that there’s no way you can fix all the places where you have broken this wonderful story and you should just give it up and go dig ditches. Or eat worms in the back yard. I would have been happy with either one, at several points in the process.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Possibly the With Caution series. I haven’t really stumbled across anything quite like this in my literary travels, nor have my betas, so it might be just a bit different, if you like that sort of thing.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Sheer snark. The whole ‘you smell right, we’re perfect for each other, we’ll never fight after you’ve conquered my inhibitions’ thing drives me wild, although I understand the appeal of the trope. I’m just a rebel, I guess. I wanted to write about two guys that looked like pre-destined mates, but show that it was actually a lot of effort on both their parts that got them there. They have regular date nights, they tolerate each other’s foibles, they make the effort not to drive the other one crazy.

If there is ever a prequel, we’ll get to see just how hard Levi was on Glyn in the beginning.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I suspect Glyn’s grandmother might entertain a few people. She’s a bit of an odd character that wasn’t supposed to play such a big role in the story, but very quickly developed her own personality and story arc. I doubt I’ll ever write the story of her and Glyn’s grandfather, though—I think that would make me cry too hard.

Next week, Heloise West and Genna Donaghy (I’ll get her information up as soon as I have the new address) will be posting about their stories. Check them out!

Apologies I should make to my editor

I’m sorry.

Just how badly did you want to whack me upside the head with a thesaurus?

You’re right. That really did sound weird. I’m not sure my insurance will cover your therapy though, but good luck.

I’m calling shenanigans on you needing both hands and feet to count how many times I used that word…oh, wait.  Okay. *Writes sticky note: use Word Usage tool before hitting send.*

Yes, I do know more colours than brown. But apparently I don’t know how to use them in my writing.

As least she didn’t comment on the chocolate sauce.

Sigh.

She really is a saint.

The Next Big Thing blog post is coming up tomorrow, so come back to find out more about Bite Me Tender!

The Terrors of Editing

Keep in mind that I haven’t even looked at the file yet. So I may be panicking for nothing. But I doubt it.

I downloaded my emails and there it was, sitting balefully in my email box, scarier than a cornered raccoon or a politician when you try to take his expense account away. An email from my…editor.

This is a short story–not my natural length–but it was a fun little exercise. The crew on the Erotica forum at the Absolute Write Water Cooler decided to put together a charity anthology and donate the proceeds to the great and wonderful MacAllister, who runs the whole shebang and pays for it too. Considering the incredible amount I have learned and continue to learn over there, I thought it was the least I could do. The anthology had an underground theme and, being a very logical and scientific person, I wrote a story about spelunking. And other types of exploration… 😀

If you haven’t been to Absolute Write, you should check it out. It’s a great community and, even if you don’t write, you will still be welcome. Come visit me on the Erotica forum, and occasionally elsewhere. I’m the fat kitty surrounded by plot bunnies. (Hey, Christmas was tough around here!)