Ah, April

I haven’t had the best of writing starts this month for various reasons.

One of those reasons was a sudden disgust with my office carpet, which led to ripping it out, refreshing the paint job on the room, and installing new flooring. From start to finish, it took about four days. Not bad for a couple of ouchy forty-somethings.

newfloor1

No more shampooing carpet. Yay!

The Ugly

On a sadder note, we lost one of our pack, the Chupahuahua, this month. He was troubled little old guy who occasionally had what I’ll call “episodes” (he’d have biting fits, bite anything and everyone for a day or two, then return to “normal”). He had an episode that resulted in having to make the decision to put him to sleep.

RIPchupi

Basically, 2014 has sucked on the home front, losing two members of our family.

However, I try to focus on the positive rather than dwell on the negative most of the time, so let’s turn this car around now, shall we?

The Good

This year hasn’t sucked on the writing front. Even with missed writing days, I’m currently 2k ahead of my word count goal for the year.

Arcane Solutions spent a little over 4 months on an AmazonUK genre Top 100 list. Something to Curse About joined it shortly after release, and spent a bit over 3 months on that list.

How cool is that? Pretty darn awesome! :)

Not only that, but several new-to-my-work readers spent extra time contacting me personally, and/or leaving reviews.

Thanks bunches, folks!

I’d like to give a shout out to Mark Henwick, author of the Bite Back series. I’d discovered his series in February 2013, and enjoyed the books so much that I added his blog to my feed reader. Imagine my surprise when I discovered he’d read Arcane Solutions and liked it, via this post.

There may have been a Day of Squee. :)

More Good

Sales are continuing nicely, though they’re slowing down on AmazonUK and increasing on Amazon.com and a couple of other Amazon sites. You folks have no idea how nice it is to be seeing some payoff for sticking with writing over the past six years even though my writing biz operated at a loss those first five years!

Thank you again!

Where I Am Now

I’m trying to settle back down into a daily writing groove, with focus on finishing the next Discord Jones book, Save the Last Vamp for Me. It’s been slow going because I’m not in the habit of going from one book in a series directly into the next. Mostly because I’ve not had a series experience any sort of “continuing popularity” before, which means I’m having to attempt to create a new habit.

After all, Arcane Solutions was out for nearly two years before it began selling at any sort of volume. The fact it suddenly began doing so caught me flat-footed because I’d set aside Book 2 to finish “if Arcane ever begins selling regularly.”

Yeah, you could say I wasn’t expecting it to happen, but I’m overjoyed it did. :)

Anyhoo, I’m working on figuring out a schedule that’s actually achievable for me in regards to writing the Discord Jones series without letting my other series and writing projects disappear into the mists. I have a difficult time getting back to stories I haven’t worked on in a while, so I can’t go too long without working on them at least a little bit if I ever want to finish them without having to start over from scratch.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the “Gotta get this series written because people are actually reading it and wanting the next book” feeling. It’s an interesting feeling to have. It’s cool because readers want MOAR, and that is like the biggest boost there is for a writer.

Yet when you’re not in the habit of jumping from writing one book to the next in a series, it can lead to floundering. You WANT to write the next book because people are asking for it, but you find it difficult because that’s not how you’ve been working, and end up not getting much of anything done because what you want versus what you’re used to doing are driving you to drink.

As I said, I’m working towards finishing Discord’s third book.

So, you know, there’s that. :)

And I’m off to do some non-blogging writing now.

I hope.

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My Writing Horse

I have been on it! :)

Quite pleased that for the first time since 2010, I’m actually running ahead of my word goal for the year by 6,469 words. Met my word goal for March already too.

I even managed a little over 9k new words on Save the Last Vamp for Me (Discord Jones #3) in the past eight days.

Progress, I am making it. :)

In other news, I’m feeling something new and kind of unexpected. Some new readers of the Discord Jones series have left really nice reviews over the past few months. There have been statements made like “I’m hooked”, “Write faster!”, and a couple of them have commented on my FB author page that they “can’t wait” for the next book.

Which is UTTERLY AWESOME. :)

It’s also terrifying. The pressure! Holy cows, I’m stuck in panic mode, folks. I think StLVfM will be better than the first two, but there’s some “differences” going into it that may affect some of the things readers have particularly remarked upon enjoying.

Such as the pace. Both Arcane Solutions and Something to Curse About were pretty fast-paced. StLVfM is going to be a bit slower because some stuff has to happen to move the series arc along. I have to work that stuff in juuuuust right too.

So yeah, the pressure, LOL. It will all hopefully come together without being a let down to anyone, and it may end up a bit longer than the first two books because of that “stuff” that has to appear.

I have four other projects going, and am getting some words in on each at least every few days, so I may be releasing all five over the next few months. Which would be good, because then I could concentrate on Discord #4! :)

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Bewitching the Wolf King

It appears the paranormal romance I’ve been wildly word-herding will be my next release. This is a standalone title, not part of any series. And it is NOT the beginning of a series, LOL. I have enough of those in the wings. :)

Bewitching the Wolf King

Finding a tall, dark, and handsome to help her shed her virginity had been the only thing on Alexis Connell’s agenda.

But fate, not chance, brought Thorne to her. Now she’s at the center of a centuries-old feud in a world full of violence and magic.

She just wants to go home, but there’s no escaping her destiny…or Thorne.

BtWK_2x3

To be released late March.

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Milestone

Milestone reached today: 4,000 copies total sold of my books.

To some that’s a big milestone, and to others, it’s a little one.

It’s a big one to me, especially since 2,008 of those copies have sold since the beginning of this year, while the rest sold over my first six years as a writer/indie author. And because it was a milestone that looked unreachable for a long, long time.

THANK YOU!

I appreciate each and every person who has given my work a chance to entertain you. :)

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Sex in Fiction

It’s funny all the different things said by readers and other writers about sex in fiction.

There are some writers who feel that anyone who writes on page sex scenes lacks any true writing ability—that you’re only adding sex scenes because you can’t write an interesting story without those to catch readers’ attention.

There are readers who either prefer no sex or “fade to black” (off-page sex), or who are simply tired of multi-paged sex scenes. But there are also readers who are disappointed when certain genre books don’t have at least one sex scene in them, because that’s what’s become the norm in those genres.

Sex is a normal part of life, and I personally think it’s weird to write characters that never think about or have it.

My rule is: If a sex scene makes sense for a particular story, it goes in.

I think I only have four titles out that don’t include sex scenes, though one of them does have two mentions that the characters had sex off page: Deadlands Hunt.

Up until recently, Deadlands Hunt was my best reviewed title, but at least two reviewers mentioned they’d have liked it to be steamier. It’s most commonly labeled a “sweet romance”, which is what it is. When I wrote it, the first draft did have one on page sex scene, but it felt wrong for the characters, so I took it out and revised the story.

Deadlands Hunt was released in August, 2010 and has sold less than 100 copies so far.

I have an erotica title that was released a month before Deadlands Hunt, and it’s sold twice as many copies.

Go figure, right?

Even funnier is what’s happened with my Discord Jones series. There are two on page sex scenes in Arcane Solutions, and a few reviewers have mentioned that it is nice sex isn’t the end all, be all of the story. Yet I’ve also had at least one reader completely forget there were any sex scenes in it.

That last actually pleased me quite a bit. I don’t want Discord’s sex life to be THE linchpin the series revolves around. I want the sex scenes included to be so normal as a part of her life, that they aren’t the first things that pop to mind after finishing any of the books.

I had a tiny disagreement with one of my beta readers because Something to Curse About, Book #2 in Discord’s series, has no on page sex. She felt readers would be expecting a couple of sex scenes since there were some in the first book, and they’d be disappointed by there not being any. I didn’t think one was necessary, nor could I think of a spot in the story where one would make sense.

Tonya, my editor and the reader who forgot, pointed out the only really suitable spot one could be included, and after thinking about it, it made sense to make mention of it there and I did, instead of writing an actual sex scene.

So far, not a single reviewer has mentioned the lack of sex scenes in Book #2, either positively or negatively.

That really makes me curious what readers will think of my Shadow Connor series, when I start releasing it.

My House Hunney is getting extremely tired of sex scenes in movies. He thinks that 9 times out of 10, the sex scenes can be removed without any effect on the movie, and he’s been saying the same about books. I have to admit, the beginning of a sex scene in a movie is normally the time I get up to make more popcorn or refill drinks.

There are some series I read that after the first 3-4 books, I begin skipping over the sex scenes. Because I do that as a reader, I think it makes me more inclined to “sprinkle” sex scenes rather than look for places to stick them into stories.

Even in my AtF titles, where sex does play a noticeable part, I’ve checked back and usually only have one on page scene, with others fading to black or implied after the fact. I could say that it’s because the majority of them are supposed to be romances and not erotica, but it’s more likely my personal tastes as a reader guiding me as a writer.

Basically, I’ll sum up my personal feelings about sex in books like this: If it makes sense, put sex in, whether you go with fade to black or on page scenes. If it doesn’t make sense, don’t.

I think in many cases, at least mentioning sex will make sense simply because it is a normal part of life.

What do you think?

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