Today I sat down at the computer to work on one of my sequels. I had every intention of writing away the afternoon while my almost 2 year old took a nap. But, what I discovered was that I had absolutely no personal knowledge of the topic I chose to write. So I did some research. And I found absolutely nothing that helped. So I did a little more, and a little more, and before long, my husband was home with my 7 year old and it was time to quit being an author and go back to being Mom.
I've been sitting at the computer now for about an hour. I've been on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Goodreads, and Pinterest. I should be writing. But I'm struggling. Do I continue in the direction I'm going, hoping that I can figure out what I need to sound believable? Or do I completely change directions - again?
Until I decide, maybe it's time to work on something new? ;)
I'm offering 2 copies of Escaped up in the Giveaways section on Goodreads. The giveaway goes until September 25th, so head on over to Goodreads, add Escaped to your to-read list, and sign up to win a copy! Who knows? Maybe you'll be one of the lucky 2!
I started a novel back in 2007. It's been years since I've touched it. This past weekend I pulled it out, itching to work on something new and different. Because, let's be honest here, when you have a deadline for something else, that's the last thing you actually want to work on. Am I right?
I've written over 30,000 words already. Yes, most of them are from the original draft. But I'm taking the words in a completely different direction, and I'm so in love with it. This is completely new for me. It will actually have an ending, not a "continued in book 2". I'm kind of excited about this prospect. Of course, there are secondary characters popping up who are demanding their own stories be told, but we'll see what happens.
So, in celebration of doing something new and different, I thought I would share a little snippet with you all. Because you guys rock! (And really, what's the point of doing this if there aren't awesome people to do it for?)
“Jessi? Are you okay?” Brian
asked, not noticing my injury. I shook my head and pointed to my foot. “Holy
crap! What did you do?”
He rushed forward and inspected my
ankle without touching it.
“It’s bad, isn’t it?” I asked, my
eyes squeezed shut.
“That would be an understatement,”
he nodded, looking away from my foot. “Where are you taking her?”
“The student clinic,” Karen
snapped. “Duh, where else?”
Brian smacked his forehead with
“What?” Lisa snapped.
“Jessi, your roommates are
morons,” he shook his head and pulled out his cell phone. “I’m calling an
I groaned. Yeah, this was a great
start to my day. Wake up depressed, fall out of bed, break my ankle, run into
Brian. Yep. Perfect.
So there you go! You're welcome ;)
Also, in other news, my proof for The Sector comes later this week. I'm so excited to release this one for you guys. You're going to love it!
Thanks so much for reading! And don't forget, if you haven't read Escaped yet, you are totally missing out! :)
The Sector isn't set to release until October 1st. Unless I get the proofs back and approved by the end of this month. If that happens, it'll release around September 1st.
I worked all day on the formatting. Normally this isn't a big deal. I use a template, I copy and paste, everything always works out how it should. Except today. Today I spent over 2 hours trying to get my margins to line up and my odd pages to be on the right side instead of the left. And then I did something I should have done at the beginning. I turned on the reveal codes.
I found the issue. A return. I had deleted a single return off a blank spacer page, and that screwed everything up. But, it's fixed now, the cover art is placed on the template, and my back of book is written.
I wrote 3 different versions. I couldn't decide. So I'm going to sleep on it and let my focus group pick their favorite. Then we'll go from there.
Also, a quick little reminder to add Escaped to your Goodreads To-Read list. Also, if you've read it, don't forget to rate/review it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and/or Goodreads for me. :)
Thanks guys! I do this because of the support I get from all of you. You're the best!
...or maybe not. But I like to think I am sometimes.
I do my best writing when I can't actually write anything. You know, driving in the car, while I'm in the shower, on eternal hold with the insurance company, etc. Since I almost always have my phone with me, I've found that it's great for taking notes (thank you Siri!). I got an app for writing, too, for when I have that stroke of genius in the middle of a boring meeting. It wasn't the greatest, and I actually just replaced it with something else, but it did the job for a while.
And that's how I found the awesome little tidbit I'm about to share. Before I deleted the app I wanted to make sure that everything important was retyped into a format I actually use (Word instead of .rtf). As I clicked on each of the files, I discovered several great ideas I'd forgotten about, a few things that didn't make it in to my first draft of The Choice, and the following, from Omega 5 (which only really has a title and this, but it's going to be awesome, I promise!).
“Why won’t you take your shirt off around me?” I asked, tugging on the hem of his cotton tee. “You won’t like what you see underneath,” Adam whispered. “You sure about that?” My hands slipped under his shirt and slid up his chest, exploring the planes of his muscles, hidden away by the offending piece of clothing. “There’s a tattoo I don’t want you to see,” he whispered. His muscles tensed under my fingertips. He was barely holding on, and I knew it. I pushed him further. “Damn it Jen! Fine! I’ll show you.” He stepped back and pulled his shirt off in one fluid motion. My jaw dropped open. He was beautiful. And ripped. And tattooed everywhere. My eyes grew wide as I stepped forward and traced each one with my fingers. “These are beautiful,” I whispered, still in awe at the artwork inked across his canvas. “Why would you hide these?” “Because it’s the one on my back I don’t want you to see.” I arched an eyebrow, and he pushed me away as he turned his back to me. My mouth dropped open and all the air gushed from my lungs as I read the name written in black ink across his back. Marissa. My sister. My little sister. My dead little sister. “Why is her name on your body?” I tried to mask the gut-wrenching pain of his betrayal from my voice. I bit my lip, trying to keep it together until I could get out of the room. He shook his head and turned away, donning his t-shirt. “Adam, why is my sister’s name written across your back?” “Because she was my wife, Jen.” I laughed. I didn’t mean to. It wasn’t funny. But he had to have been joking. “Marissa wasn’t married. We would’ve known.” “She didn’t want to hurt you,” he said. “I thought we should tell you but she insisted on keeping it a secret. I almost felt like she was ashamed of me, but I pushed it away and tried to forget. I got the tattoo to prove to her how much she meant to me. It was stupid.” “You’re damn right it was stupid!” I yelled at him. The tears I had so valiantly tried to hide flowed freely from my eyes. “Do you know how long I have loved you?” He shook his head, refusing to look at me. “For years! Since we met, actually. I always knew it would be you and me. I understood when you dated Natalie – everyone did – but it only lasted a week before you were mine again. But this? This is the ultimate betrayal. My sister, Adam! My sister!” He raised his head and looked at me from across the room. Tears glistened in his eyes. He was hurting and I was being insensitive. But, my sister! I couldn’t get past it. “Jen, let me explain.” “No, I don’t want to hear your excuses,” I stormed past him and flung open the door. “I love you Adam. Always have. Always will. But this was low even for you. It’s going to take a lot for me to forgive you for this. I need time. I need space.”
I've spent the last few days having a minor freak out/panic attack/constant state of excitement.
Escaped is published. Officially. My book is for sale on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. HOLY CRAP!
I can't tell you how awesome this feels. (It's pretty awesome.) When my paperback proof arrived the other day I seriously did a crazy happy dance in my living room. Thank goodness we don't have downstairs neighbors!
Publishing has been the most amazing, scary, terrifying, satisfying, fulfilling experience. It's so incredible to hold the last four years of work in my hands and say "This is mine. I did this." It's awesome.
But, sometimes the awesome is short-lived by the self-doubt. What if no one likes it? What if I find a typo now that it's published, even though I proofread the thing like thirty bazillion times? What if it doesn't sell?
Well, I'm starting to learn that I have to forget all of those what ifs. They're just trying to drag me down. This is an exciting time, and I need to be positive. I also need to stay busy. So, I've started working on The Sector again. I just started putting it through it's (hopefully) final round of edits. I'm shooting for an October release date.
After The Sector, then I'll get back to work on Stalked (Escaped #2) and The Colony (The Sector #2). I'm also working on The Choice (a stand-alone title), which I wrote in July for Camp NaNoWriMo, and The Castle (The Sector #3), which I wrote in April for Camp NaNoWriMo.
In November I hope to be able to work on something completely different. I have a few ideas formulating in my head right now, so we'll see which one gets to come out, but the others I'll save for camp next year, I promise.
As for Escaped, well, you can purchase it on Kindle, Nook, or paperback. If you buy it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and/or Goodreads. I'd really appreciate it!
Oh My Gosh!!!
I am so excited to share my cover for The Sector with you guys! I got it on Saturday, but I've been out of town, so I haven't had a chance to post until now. And it's been killing me! I am seriously in love with this cover. A huge thanks to Fiveshock Design who designed it for me. AMAZING!!!
So now I just have to finish the final edit and formatting and it'll be ready to publish! So excited! Keep checking back for updates. Hopefully I'll have a release date soon! :)
I'm beginning to think I'm the only one who visits this blog, but oh well! I'm doing it for me. :)
So tonight I finished editing The Sector. It came in with a lot more words than I anticipated. I'll probably have to cut it down during my next round, but we'll see. I'm going to let it sit and stew for a week while I work on the cover and formatting. Then I'll go through and do a final round of editing. And then (hopefully) it will be ready to release!!!
I'm thinking about offering epub/mobi formats as well as paperback. Any thoughts? Do you prefer one format over another? I know I'm a total epub junkie. I have shelves of books at home, but I don't read them. No, I buy the ebooks so I can read them on my Nook. Because I can take hundreds of books anywhere I go and read one or five at the drop of a hat. But, I can see the allure of a printed book. The smell of the paper, the weight of it in your hands. Being able to dog-ear pages that are your favorite. Yeah, I have a couple of well-worn books like that.
Anyway, I'm hoping to have the cover done and ready to reveal soon! Stay tuned!! :)
I'm really excited. I think I have the cover all figured out (finally!) and I'm almost finished editing!!!
I'm hoping to release The Sector soon. I'll post with an official release date when I get one.
And because I just can't help myself, here's a spoiler-free excerpt for you all:
Sweat dripped down my back,
drenching my thin shirt. We stopped next to a river for our daily meal. I
slipped down the bank and pulled my shirt off over my head, dipping it in the
cool water. I wrung the fabric out before dipping it again in the river. As I
ran the cool cloth over my bare skin, the brush behind me rustled. I held the
cloth over my chest and searched the area for the intruder.
there?” I whispered.
there?” I asked again.
And then, the brush to my right moved. I spun around.
there?” I demanded.
a young man emerged from the underbrush. I gasped and took a step backward, not
paying attention to my footing. I slipped on a wet rock and lunged back toward
the rushing water. A hand shot out and grabbed my upper arm, pulling me safely
on to the shore.
you don’t want to fall in,” he smirked.
wrenched myself free of his grasp and quickly pulled on my shirt. I folded my
arms across my chest and glared at the man in front of me.
do you want?” I spat.
thank you would be nice,” he shrugged. “But that’s probably a reach for you.”
blushed and stared down at the ground. “Thanks,” I mumbled.
sorry, didn’t catch that,” he goaded.
I grumbled loud enough for him to hear me. “What do you want?”
come on!” he laughed. “Are you still mad at me?”
Because it's been a while and I'm dying to post another little selection of writing for you all:
“Clear!” someone shouted.
My body jumped as electricity jolted through me. I floated toward the ceiling as the electricity jolted through me a second time. Then the searing pain started. It started in my brain and worked its way slowly down my spine and out to my arms and legs, all the way down to my fingers and toes. I was paralyzed. I couldn’t move. Or scream. All I felt was pain.
“Anything?” Someone asked.
“Clear!” Jolt! The burning pain intensified. “Check the monitors!” a man yelled. “Any activity at all?”
“None, Doctor,” an unfamiliar voice said near my head. “Clear!” Jolt! The pain was unbearable. “Anything yet?”
“Nothing yet, sir.”
“Then we try again,” the man said, clearly determined. “Sir? There’s no activity. It’s no use, she’s gone.”
“I don’t care! Clear!” Another jolt of electricity rushed through my body. Excruciating pain followed. And then I felt the slamming against my chest, so hard that I couldn’t tell whether it was my own heart trying to explode, or someone trying desperately to get it to start again. Machines began beeping steadily somewhere in the background and someone sighed loudly out of relief and exhaustion. The floating feeling disappeared as the pain encompassed me. I drifted on past the edge of consciousness and into complete darkness.
Editing is the hardest part for me. Taking what I've written and changing it so it sounds better and makes more sense? Why would I want to do that?! ;)
But I've been learning a TON lately. Like, did you know in America we drop the double l in "canceled"? Or that we spell gauge "gage"? Yeah, I didn't either. Stupid American English. Being all different from the rest of the world. haha
But, the good news is that this past week I have edited just over 1/3 of The Sector. I'm hoping to reach halfway by tomorrow (keep your fingers crossed for me, will you?).
It's taken me a little longer than I expected because in the middle of all of this editing craziness I decided to get SCUBA certified. Yep, breathing underwater is my new thing. Who knows? Maybe it will make an appearance in a future book? That could potentially be cool.
Anyway, I'll post when I get closer to finishing. Hopefully it will be soon!!
I know I have about fifty other projects I should be working on, especially The Sector, which is currently in the editing stages. Tonight I should be editing chapter 4. Of 32. I've been doing one chapter a night. It's pretty intense and can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. Yikes! This is going to take forever! Hopefully I can get some extra chapters done on the weekends so this book can come out SOON! Well, soon-ish. I still have to get a cover. *sigh*
*HINT HINT* Fabulous little brother of mine who is my cover artist, if you are reading this: PLEASE HURRY! I need my cover! hahahaha :)
Anyway, like I was saying: I have about 50 projects floating around in my brain fighting for space. So, naturally, another project decided to rear its little head and implant an idea that I just can't shake. I've been thinking about it for almost a week and I can't let it go. In fact, I'm half tempted to leave my other projects in favor of this one, but there's a certain person who shall remain nameless (Kim) that would absolutely kill me if I didn't finish the Sector series first.
So because I can't let it go and I am dying from not having anything from the Sector to share, here is a snippet from my newest project:
I sank to the floor, sliding my back down along the wall. I was tired, and the guilty feeling in my gut weighed heavily on me.
"You okay?" he asked, walking up to me.
I shook my head. I tried to hide my feelings, but he had a sixth sense when it came to me. he slid down the wall until he was sitting beside me on the floor.
I shook my head again and reached out for his hand, taking it in mine and resting them on the floor between us.
"Nothing. Don't worry about it," I lied. "Where've you been staying?"
"They let me back into the house," he smiled.
I tried to be happy for him, and I smiled, but it wasn't genuine.
Again with the lies. I was on a roll. The knot in my stomach tightened.
"Come on, you can tell me."
"I just really missed you is all."
I told a half-truth. It was better than the full truth at least.
He didn't say anything at first, just sat there in silence. I sighed and leaned my head on his shoulder.
"I missed you too," he whispered in my ear as he rested his cheek on the top of my head. "So much it hurt."
He spun the diamond ring on my finger around and around. I looked down at it and prayed the guilt I felt didn't show on my face.
And then Josh walked over to us. I wanted to crawl under a rock and hide. I wanted to be teleported out of there. I didn't want to confront him. Not there, not now. Not ever.
So, there you have it! Hope you enjoyed! Feel free to leave a comment with your guess as to what happens! (I know some of you are going to tell me I'm evil for leaving you hanging, but guess what? I like being evil. bwahahahahaha!) ;)
I've been so busy with my day job and Camp Nano this past month that I haven't had any time to edit The Sector. But, now that May is here, I am bound and determined to finish editing it and get my cover made/ordered!
Guys, I'm seriously so excited about this. So, because I can't wait, and editing makes me want to share it with you all - and, let's be honest, I'm a little hopped up on allergy meds right now - here is a little snippet for your reading pleasure:
“I’m not afraid of your father.”
you know?” I taunted, feeling much younger than I was. “You don’t even know who
my father is. Why don’t you guess?”
need,” he said haughtily as he repacked the basket. “He’s clearly someone who
works in the labs, or else you wouldn’t be here.”
at that moment I swear I heard him mutter under his breath, “Which would
certainly make my life easier.” I
caught myself mid-giggle and made an unattractive choking noise instead. I felt
my ears burn as he looked up at me. --The Sector, out later this year!!
Oh, and for those of you who were wondering, I WON Camp Nano! :)
Due to some requests I've received, here is an excerpt from my upcoming novel The Sector, due out later this year!
"I'm fine," I insisted.
"Fine," he huffed, crossing his muscled arms over his chest. "Then prove me wrong. Get out of the rover by yourself and walk over there and explain that it was all a big misunderstanding."
I was screwed. There was no way I could make it over to the medical team, let alone get out of the rover by myself. He was calling my bluff. I sighed in defeat.
"I knew it," Rawlings gloated as he climbed out of the vehicle.
I was about to let him help me out of the rover when Sergeant Davis pulled up in another patrol rover. He hopped down and strode over to us.
"Don't tell me you're refusing help?"
"I was thinking about it," I admitted. "I'm fine, I promise."
"Really? Because that's not what it looked like out in the field," Sergeant Davis practically barked. I nodded. He growled and threw up his hands in frustration. "Fine, prove me wrong. Get out of the rover and walk yourself into the building to your dad."
"That's what I told her, Davis," Rawlings chimed in. "I almost had her admitting she needed help, too, but she must've changed her mind again. Women."
He shook his head and rolled his eyes as he walked away toward his post at the main gate. Davis nodded in agreement. He took a step back from the vehicle, his arms folded across his broad chest, waiting for me to prove that I didn't need any help. I took a deep breath and gritted my teeth. The pain would be excruciating, but I wanted to prove him wrong. I braced my hands against both sides of the open rover door and turned my body so my feet dangled out the side of the vehicle. Slowly I lowered myself onto the ground, landing with my right foot first. I babied my left ankle as I leaned as casually as I could against the rover for support.
"See?" I smiled triumphantly, daring him to contradict me.
"Walk over to the med team," Davis ordered.
I nodded as I surveyed the distance I had to walk. It was only about six feet, but I began doubting whether I could make it. I clenched my teeth and, determined to reach the waiting medical team without falling, took a step forward onto my left foot. The pain was agonizing and my ankle buckled under my weight. I started to fall forward. My arms flailed as they grasped wildly for anything to hold onto for support. Sergeant Davis rushed forward and caught me in his arms just as I was about to slam into the ground.
"Told you so," he whispered gleefully in my ear as he helped me back to my feet.
I've been stuck. I haven't written for days. I got so behind that I didn't think I'd be able to catch up. Okay, so maybe I was only like 4000 words behind, but when you have to write almost 2000 words per day on top of that, it seemed like a lot.
Well last night I told myself that I if I got the dishwasher started and a load of laundry going, I could write for an hour and a half while the wash was in. I ended up writing for 2 hours because I can't just leave in the middle of a chapter. But I wrote! I caught up! And then I even got a few hundred words ahead of schedule!
I had been stuck. I hit a wall last week and I just couldn't figure out how to get around it. I decided to try taking the story in a completely different direction. I changed narrators, and the story started coming. In fact, I had to stop myself from continuing or else I would have stayed up all night. (Well, that and I had to edit a chapter of The Woods so I can get that published!)
So far I'm really excited about how this is progressing. And despite how busy things have been at my day job, I really think I might actually make my goal of 50,000 words this month. Maybe I'll post an excerpt later? Or maybe I'll wait and post an excerpt from The Woods or from The Sector instead. ;) You'll have to wait and see :)
In January I signed up for a writing class. It's a 2 year Novel class. It's supposed to help develop characters, themes, settings, plots, etc. and basically help develop and hone my writing skills.
It's hard! I've been so behind that I'm just barely catching up. I just finished Friday's assignment. We were supposed to list out all of the characters in our book and what they do/who they are, and if they are the protagonist, antagonist, or secondary characters. I wrote out my list. It's huge. And full of a ton of secondary characters. We just finished up developing our characters this week, so I hope that soon we'll be able to get down to writing. I cannot wait to work on this story!
Stay tuned for more updates. I'm thinking this one will either be called Lost or Broken. I haven't quite decided. We'll see how everything turns out. Who knows? Maybe it will end up with something completely different. ;)
I just finished my second edit of The Sector. I am so excited about this.
What does this mean?
Well, it needs to be read through again once more. Then another quick edit, cover art, formatting for ebook, and I should be able to publish it.
Guys, I am seriously so excited about this!
And, I just signed up to participate in Camp NaNo. It's like NaNoWriMo only in April (and another one in July). 50,000 words in one month? Brand new project? Yes please! And I already know what I'm going to work on: The Colony. It's the sequel to The Sector. And I'm honestly almost more excited about it than I was about finishing The Sector.
It's going to be a long month of trying not to write it. Luckily I have the sequel to my untitled project to edit, so hopefully I don't go too crazy waiting for April!
I swear I have been writing like a mad fool for the past two months.
I don't know what it is about this year. Maybe it's the push from my husband to actually do something with what I've written that's making me buckle down and get things finished up. Maybe there's just a weird writing bug in the air here. Either way, I'm getting a lot done.
First of all, I've finished my 2009 NaNo draft, The Sector. Finally. It's only taken me 3 1/2 years! I've written the first draft and had it out to my beta readers already. Now I'm reworking some things, fixing it up a little bit, and I'll have it back out to the beta readers hopefully in a few weeks. It's the first in a trilogy, and I cannot wait to write the next two books!
Secondly, I finished my 2010 NaNo draft. About a year and a half ago I started rewriting it. I had the whole thing mapped out. What needed to change, what needed to go away, what needed to be added, etc. And then I put it away and didn't think about it much until recently. I actually pulled it out because I was mid-edit of the 2009 project (which was out to beta readers at the time) and I didn't want to edit something that was possibly going to change. Instead I thought, "Hey, why not work on that one project that was almost finished?" I am so glad that I did! It's out to beta readers right now, and hopefully will be going through its second edit by the end of the month.
I'm still looking for a title for that one. Any suggestions? I'd love to hear them! Here's the plot in a nutshell:
"Jamie Lynn Turner has always led a sheltered life. Ever since the deaths of her older siblings, her parents have been seriously over-protective of her. But when they go out of town for Spring Break and leave Jamie Lynn home along for the first time in her life, everything goes wrong.
Kidnapped in broad daylight with two of her friends, Jamie Lynn is determined to survive. But when one of her captors offers her help, she must decide whether she can trust him or not. And if she does, can she keep her head and her heart from disagreeing on the path she must take?
Joel Wellington is the son of a well-known criminal. He's managed to avoid his father's influence for years, until one day he receives a summons. Drawn into a crazy scheme of his father's twelve years in the making, Joel fights to maintain his morals.
When he meets the girl he helped kidnap, his morals are put to the test. Full of fight and spirit, something about her draws him in. Maybe, just maybe if he can help her escape he can win her heart. But she has a boyfriend waiting at home. Torn between doing what is right and what he wants, Joel must make the hardest decision of his life."
And there you have it. So, any title ideas? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? hahahaha
Seriously though, I'd love to hear your ideas. I'm so stumped on this one. I haven't had any problems naming any of my other projects, but for some reason this one baffles me.