Category Archive: #amwriting

May 10 2014

Writing Process Blog Hop

writing heals

Thanks to author Eloreen Moon for including me in the Writing Process blog hop. Here’s where I’ll answer some questions about my writing process and introduce you to other authors participating in the hop. Those authors will then tell you about their writing process as well, and introduce you to other authors, and so on.

Maybe you’ll discover an author whose stories you’ll love.

Here we go.

1) What am I working on?

WoundedBeacon_ebook_FinalI’m currently working on a handful of projects. I just completed Wounded Beacon, an M/M short I wrote for the Goodreads M/M Romance group and their Love Landscapes event, which is a branch of their Don’t Read in the Closet (DRitC) event.

This story will be published as a free read this summer on their website (http://www.mmromancegroup.com), on Goodreads, and also in a free anthology on All Romance eBooks (ARe). Thanks to the event, about 200 stories are soon to be available this summer for your reading pleasure. If you’d like to know more and you are a Goodreads member, join the M/M Romance group.

Also, I’m debating (with myself) on a release date for The After: Odd Tales of the Afterlife, a collection of stories written under L.L. Sanders. These short stories are a blend of sci-fi and horror and deals with the afterlife or simply what comes after. This collection features the stories; The After, The Unveiling, and Dead End.

And finally, Darkness Eternal, a Refuge Inc. story, is still in the writing phase. This M/M post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel will be the next WIP I complete. And as it looks, will most likely be published either late 2014 or early 2015 depending on a few factors.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

DarknessEternal_ebook_Final_smallMy work on the Refuge Inc. series (mainly the three books in the complete collection) is a bit different than other books in its genres for two reasons; my “heroes” are everyday people, and the plot is rather dark and more thriller-esque than full on romantic.

My heroes are not shifters, vampires, police officers, militants, cowboys, were-creatures, elves, or anything super human, paranormal, or can be labeled. They are regular guys who have realistic flaws (like occasionally lying or self-loathing), believable internal conflict (like grief, fear, learning to let go), and relatable goals (like surviving, finding your place, discovering self).

Another thing that separates my stories from others in the romance genre is almost all of my stories has at least one major plot twist. My stories do not feel complete to me if the reader isn’t shocked (good shock) by the end. That need to surprise comes from the part of me that likes to be unpredictable. That said, my twists are never added just for the sake of having a twist, but are actually relevant or helps explain the plot.

3) Why do I write what I do?

At the core of why I write what I write is my love for storytelling. I love trail blazing. I enjoy travelling my own path in the publishing business and seeing where it takes me. The stories I write vary. I enjoy horror, suspense, male-male romance, twists and surprises. I enjoy short stories, complicated epics and everything in between. And I write the same way. Whatever subject or issue is on my mind at the time ideas are flowing, that’s usually the theme I tackle in my story. Once that story is told, I move on to the next problem or topic that I need to address. Almost like a therapy session; it’s a way to voice my thoughts and opinions.

Writing heals me and keeps me sane.

For instance, in the Refuge Inc. Series there was a lot on my mind when writing. Things like; gay rights, gay men stereotypes, my definition of a hero, animal abuse, human rights abuse, government conspiracies, leadership abuse, science versus religion, religion in general, politics, corrupt leaders and the sheep who blindly follow, etc. There was so much going on inside my head when writing the series, it feels like a weight was lifted off of me when I finished it.

The After_ebook_TALES4) How does your writing process work?

I simply get an idea, jot down notes, and then I flesh out the details. Trivial things like characters names and physical features are usually the last details, unless it’s pivotal to the plot.

Ideas come from everywhere, but for me to commit to writing and completing a story, the idea has to have some sort of underlying message or theme. Once I got the fire and inspiration’s driving me, I start where the story begins and I stop when the story is finished.

Exposition and resolution are sometimes nonexistent in my stories for that reason. I like to get to the point and sprinkle pertinent facts throughout, the dusting propels me forward until the end. 

 

 

 

Next, we’ll visit:

 

Rhonda Lee Carver

Rhonda Lee Carver on May 12th

http://rhondaleecarver-author.blogspot.com/

At an early age, Rhonda fell in love with romance novels, knowing one day she’d write her own love story. Life took a short detour, but when the story ideas would no longer be contained, she decided to dive in and write. Her first rough draft was on a dirty napkin she found buried in her car. Eventually, she ran out of napkins. With baby on one hip and laptop on the other, she made a dream into reality—one word at a time.

Her specialty is men who love to get their hands dirty and women who are smart, strong and flawed. She loves writing about the everyday hero.

When Rhonda isn’t crafting sizzling manuscripts, you will find her busy editing novels, blogging, juggling kids and animals (too many to name), dreaming of a beach house and keeping romance alive. Oh, and drinking lots of coffee.

 

Mina Carter PicMina Carter on May 14th

http://mina-carter.com/blog/

Mina was born and raised in the East Farthing of Middle Earth (otherwise known as the Midlands, England) and spend her childhood learning all the sorts of things generally required of a professional adventurer. Able to ride, box, shoot, make and read maps, make chainmail and use a broadsword (with varying degrees of efficiency) she was disgusted to find that adventuring is not considered a suitable occupation these days.

So, instead of slaying dragons and hunting vampires and the like, Mina spends her days writing about hot shifters, government conspiracies and vampire lords with more than their fair share of RAWR. Turns out wanna-be adventurers have quite the turn of imagination after all…

(But she keeps that sword sharp, just in case the writing career is just a dream and she really *is* an adventurer.)

The boring part: A full time author and cover artist, Mina can usually be found hunched over a keyboard or graphics tablet, frantically trying to get the images and words in her head out and onto the screen before they drive her mad. She’s addicted to coffee and would like to be addicted to chocolate, but unfortunately chocolate dislikes her.

 

 

You have any other questions about my writing process? Wish to share some of your own? Please share in the comments. 

 

 

 

[Image credit: mrsdkrebs]

Mar 02 2014

Darkness Eternal (Refuge Inc.): Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Info

DarknessEternal_print_webWORK IN PROGRESS

Darkness Eternal is still a work in progress as I aim to put together the very best book package I can, including improved writing, editing, formatting, marketing, promo material, and book cover. Speaking of book cover, I recently got the full print cover and promo material back from the professional designer.

TAGS: Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopia, MM, Sci-Fi, Futeristic, Sensual Romance.

DarknessEternal_ebook_Final_smallELEVATOR PITCH:

Darkness Eternal (A Refuge Inc. Story) is a stand alone title that takes place during a futuristic global catastrophe and follows new protagonists, Connor and Vince, on their fight for survival in an underground complex built to escape toxic air in the atmosphere.

SPECIFICS:

WORD COUNT: The complete word count or length is not final and might be longer than the proposed 25k word mark.

PLOT & CHARACTERS: The story is different than the preceding trilogy that followed Adam and Elliot. Darkness Eternal centers on a younger set of men in their early twenties who was raised in the underground sphere known as the Refuge facility. Like the previous books, it contains a lot of suspense and plenty of twists and turns while reminding you that it is indeed part of the Refuge Inc. series.  You will see slight similarities between Darkness Eternal and the other books of the series.

EROTIC AND EXPLICIT CONTENT RATING: Although Darkness Eternal is an M/M read, it’ll contain less explicit sexual situations in favor of mild and sensual male-male encounters. The violence in the story is present only in necessary and believable situations, and descriptions of death is very brief and not overly detailed or gory.

bookmarks_web_DarknessBLURB:

Shocking revelations about the Refuge facility’s underground complex thrusts two friends into a battle for survival.

Partners Connor Nichols and Vince Moore are preparing for active duty as peacekeepers for the residents of the subterranean Refuge facility. Before the catastrophe that wiped out the sunlight and forced survivors to live in an underground compound, the extraordinary details of a similar disaster began to spread as urban legend.

However, nothing prepares them for the harsh truths they expose about the leaders and the mysterious facility.

WARNING: Contains some sensual male-male practices, violence, and brief descriptions of the dead.

 

DarknessEternal_fbcover

(UNEDITED UNOFFICIAL) EXCERPT:

My eyes snapped open to a bright red light similar to the lights that announced our failure during tactical training in the simulation. But accompanying the crimson glow was a piercing ring of an alarm. It took a second for it to register, but thanks to the dozen or so drills we’ve had, it finally clicked that there was an emergency. A fight? Some sort of outbreak? Contamination? A deliberate chill crept down my spine.

Throwing the sheets aside, I tossed my legs over the edge of the bed. Still a bit disoriented from being awakened during a deep sleep. I stood and caught the glow of the hour on a digital poster: zero-three hundred.

Someone shouted and blurred figures rushed by me, left and right. Shadows wisped passed our opened room door, accentuated by the red hue. A voice called out orders, “Move it, cadets. To your gear. Move, move, move!”  The orders mingled with the sound of pained whimpers, panicked cries, and flustered breathing.

Chaos.

I scanned the space for the source of the commands. Then a tug of my arm pulled me from the room.

“Vince?” I asked.

“Snap out of it, asshole.” Vince gripped my shoulders and shook. “We got a job to do.”

“What’s going on?” The frightened expressions on many of the resident’s faces kick started my adrenaline, and suddenly my legs were keeping up with Vince as he hastily made his way down the hall, passed people and toward our lockers.

Inside the locker room I met some of the other male cadets. They each pulled on their combat gear, removing sleeping garments to slip on the tough, stretchy combat gear with their last names stamped on the left breast. Some were already suited and were quickly securing their helmets, weapons belt, and … ballistic vests?

“What’s going on?” I cut my eye to Vince. Why weren’t orders being delivered over the P.A. system as planned during the many drills? Where was the infamous, “In the event of an actual emergency instructions will be given for your safety”?

“What the hell are you doing?” he asked, grabbing a vest off the shelf beside the rifle rack where only a few of the weapons remain. He tossed the heavy vest to me. “There’s a contamination leak on Ten. We’re to meet dad on Nine for the rest of our orders.”

“Contamination?”

Toxins. The dense, murky pollutants that deprived Earth of its oxygen and eroded our bodies from the inside out within hours of inhaling it. Hell itself.

 

DarknessEternal2Coming soon to print and ebook! 

Find the complete Refuge Inc. Series here.

 

 

Aug 15 2012

Progress on Amid the Darkness (Refuge Inc. Book Two)

Refuge Inc. Series

I’m making progress on the second book in the Refuge Inc. series but it has been a bit slow. I think the issue is my unwillingness to let go of Before the Darkness and move on. My decision to indie-publish Before the Darkness made my task of marketing the book almost a full-time job and it has taken away some precious time needed to continue writing book two.


BUT BOOK TWO IS IN THE MAKING AND WILL BE COMPLETED!

With the day job, three kids, and a husband who’s away busting his butt most of the time, I still find a way to write the second book in a series I am absolutely proud of. Progress is slow, but steady.

Before the Darkness has been getting mixed reviews. One thing that stands out to some readers in book one is the readers’ inability to connect with the characters fully. If I have to explain to readers why the characters are the way they are, then I didn’t do a good enough job explaining it within the book. I NEED readers to look deeper. However, I’m currently writing book two to introduce more character development between the main characters, answer nearly all questions that book one left unanswered, and hopefully bring the readers to better understand the characters’ reasons for doing the things they do, act the way they act and be the way they are.

For those  of you who enjoyed book one and are looking forward to book two, you guys keep my motivation high and I can’t wait to share Amid the Darkness with you.

THE STORY IS NOT OVER! By all means, it’s only just begun.

I intentionally set up book one to be more character driven, and as realistic as possible in regards to the irrational choices a couple of regular guys might make in the midst of a worldwide catastrophe. The characters relationship, struggles, background, fears and motives are the main focus in book one. In book two I aim to introduce more interesting characters, bring more twists and surprises to the table and take you further into the mysteries of Refuge Inc. The characters’ relationship to one another AND others is the focus of book two.

There’s a lot of surprising events I have in store for book two. So make sure you come back for the latest news on the Refuge Inc. series.