Sunday, November 17, 2013

"Written in the Stars" Awards!

I'm just awed and so grateful. Thank you to everyone who voted for me. I'm just speechless, I really am. You guys are the best.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Amazing New "Selkie Wife" Video!

You have to watch this amazing video trailer made for The Selkie Wife by miamor416 of the Twilight Russia forum.

Thank you so much to the creator!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Will I Publish "Written in the Stars?"

It's a question I get asked frequently. Tonight, I conversed with a reader via PM on, and the question of whether I'd publish Written in the Stars came up. The following is the reply I gave. I think it best encapsulates my feelings on the subject.

I've always said "Written in the Stars" is the best story I'll ever write. I don't think I'll ever top it. I've learned a lot since I wrote it, and if I were writing it today, it might be a little cleaner, a little tighter, but I think even as it is, it will stand as my best work. Sometimes, when I'm feeling blue, I go back and read the attack on Volterra. Those three chapters are my finest accomplishment.
I wrote "WITS" as a gift to the world of fiction, which has given me such pleasure over the years. And, truthfully, I like the idea of it remaining fanfiction. More people have read it on the website than ever would have read it if it was a book. I like the idea of it floating around in cyberspace, finding its way to new readers.
I know my publisher would probably accept it if I were to re-work it and remove all of the Twilight references. Heck, with the way things are going, I might even be able to sell it to one of the Big Six, 'cause they're eagerly snapping up Twilight fanfics. But I just don't want to do it. I want it to stay as-is.
Don't get me wrong... I'm strongly tempted just because I love that story so much and working on it again would be a sheer delight. But even stronger is my feeling I should leave it where it is, because this is where it belongs. I planted it here. And I could dig it up, re-pot it and prune it into something different, but it belongs "in the wild."

This is the story that changed my life, that led to my first publishing contract. The FF community gave that to me, and in that respect, the story is "theirs" as much as it is mine. Without their support, I never would have had these opportunities.
I admit, I considered it at one point. It is, after all, my best story. But when I started considering the changes I'd have to make and the fact I'd have to pull the story from its home, I decided against it. Because maybe my best should be here, in the community that launched my writing career.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

#IWSG I Joined the Insecure Writers Support Group

My first thought upon finding this was, There's a support group? And then I thought, Finally!

Writers are a peculiar breed. (I've always been peculiar, but now that I've figured out I'm a writer, I have a reason for it.) Writing is, after all, a lonely profession. It's just you and the keyboard, and that little voice inside you.

Some days, that voice is kind and encouraging. Other days ... Well ...

I talk with other writers frequently and I've discovered that a lot of us suffer from the same  issues that stem from insecurity.

We're our own harshest critics. Half-way through the manuscript for Ghostwriter, I wanted to scrap it. I can remember sitting there at the keyboard, chastising myself:"This sucks. No one i ever going to want to read this crap. What made you think you could write a book, anyway?"

One of my fanfiction stories has six thousand reviews. Five of them were mean. Guess which ones I have memorized? My friends and family have praised my writing, but that little voice says to me they're just "being nice." And so were those 5,595 reviewers.

This is why it's helpful to put your writing aside for a while and then go back and read it like a stranger would, not looking for flaws, but just enjoying the story. I've gone back to some of my stories and said, "Hey, this isn't bad!" That's a good feeling. I've also gone back and said, "Oh, lord, what was I thinking?" but this is good, too. It shows how far I've come, how much I've learned.

And there's another aspect of being your own harshest critic that's positive: it makes you want to work harder to improve. The key is giving yourself credit when you do.

Writing is part of our souls. Even if our work is fictional, there's tiny bits of ourselves stirred within. I don't think a writer can help it. We get our inspiration from life experiences and that makes it personal in a way that's difficult for a non-writer to understand. Though I don't do it personally, many people write as a form of therapy, exorcising their demons with paper and ink. Whatever the reason, it sometimes feels like cracking open your head and inviting people to root around in your brain.

It ties in with the fear of failure. Because if our writing is from the heart and people think it's terrible, they think we're terrible. That's why it's often so difficult to take that first step in sharing what we've written.

But we have to find that courage. That's what art is all about, after all. It's human emotion and thought translated into a visual or audio medium. It's that personal aspect which makes it art instead of just a consumer product. And like all art, your words will not speak to everyone.  Accepting that sounds so simple, but it can be very difficult.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

"Dark Goddess" Now Complete

Both versions of Dark Goddess are now complete. The E/B version was hosted on FanFiction and the E/B/J version was over on TWCS. You can download them from my downloads page.

A while back, i wrote a post about why I did two different versions, but when I split the site between my OF and FF, the post seems to have gotten lost somewhere in the shuffle. Anyway, I'm too lazy to hunt it down and re-telling you is easier.

I originally "wrote" two different versions of it in my head. This is not uncommon. I may re-write a story half a dozen times with new characters, new pairings, new plot twists, etc. I liked both versions, though I preferred the E/B/J version slightly more. I decided that was the one I'd post.

When I was discussing the story with SoapyMayhem, she who made the lovely banner above, she warned me I might face some negative reactions from it. I figured I was cool with it. If people didn't like it, they didn't have to read it, I reasoned. No hard feelings. After all, not every story is right for everyone.

Love triangles are a seriously under-utilized plot line.
However, once I started posting, I encountered a lot of people who were confused by the pairings. They thought it would be another Edward-and-Jacob-fight-over-Bella story, or a threesome story, in the sense of all three of them sharing the same bed. I was composing long emails several times a day to try to explain where the story was going, romance-wise.

At the same time, I was finishing up edits on my second novel The End of All Things, and trying to start my third. It got overwhelming, trying to keep up with the correspondence and with juggling my other stuff. So, I decided it'd just be easier to write two versions of it.

In all, I'd estimate only about 20% to 25% of the text is different. The stories are identical up to about chapter four. Later, a chapter is omitted completely from the Original Version. And the last chapter contains only a few snippets which are the same.

They see me rollin'. They hatin'.
It was a really interesting experience, writing two versions at the same time. I usually did the E/B version first, because I tend to write my FF on FanFiction's word processing screen, a habit I retained from the days of Compulsion when I found that uploading my chapters after writing them on my computer made chunks of text disappear  I have a new computer now and FanFiction has updated its software, but it's just how I roll. I'm a creature of habit. What can I say?

Anyhoo, it was a great learning experience because it made me concentrate on how romance plots are built. Little gestures which might build toward tension or emotion... I had to look at each of them and decide whether to discard it for the alternate version. And then build the alternative romance plot line for Jacob.

I keep trying different things in my writing and so far, I've enjoyed every moment of it.

Tell me, which was your favorite version and why?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Download Page Updated

I updated the downloads page today. The files for Written in the Stars and The Selkie Wife now include the outtakes.

I also added EPUB versions for Nook users.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Stand up for Katalina!

The Stand up for Katalina charity has been an incredible outpouring of love from the fandom. As always, I stand in awe of the generosity and kindness of this amazing group of people.

 Katalina's bavery and grace in the face of her illness inspired this story for me. I deeply enjoyed writing it and I hope you guys enjoy reading it.

If you'd like to get a copy, along with stories from dozens of awesome fanfiction authors, donate here.

There's a teaser on the site, but I thought I'd give you just a little bit more....

Alice thinks her introverted sister, Bella, needs to get out and enjoy life, so she signs her up for tango lessons. Thanks to a sexy, hands-on instructor, Bella will learn more than the steps.

He pushed play and the music began. “Because, Bella, I’ve never met a person who needed to dance more than you did.”
“You felt sorry for me?” The words were like a sharp needle, stabbing into her heart.
“No. I wanted to be there when it happened. Because I knew it would be glorious.” He extended a hand. “Dance with me.”
It was a request she could never deny.
“We’re going to try something new,” he told her. “Do you trust me?”
She did. God help her, she did. She nodded and he smiled again. “All right. I’m going to dip you back, lowering you down. I want you to curl one leg around mine. We’ll go slow.”
He took her into his arms and, as always, her heart sped up. As if he knew it, he smiled softly, and brushed a tendril of hair back from her cheek. “Here we go.”
He lowered her, slowly, as he’d promised. Bella used her right leg to brace herself and curled the left around his legs. “What do I do with my arms?” she murmured. They were currently locked on his shoulders.
“Let go,” he said softly.
She did, and it was so deliciously freeing to feel her body completely supported by his arms, knowing that she was utterly safe within them. Slowly, Bella lifted her arms until they were behind her head and she let her head fall back. He made a small sound and she sensed, more than felt it, when he lowered his head and brushed his lips across the vulnerable column of her throat. As lightly as the brush of butterfly wings, like the kiss of a summer breeze.