Thursday, February 23, 2012

On Characters

Frida is one of my all-time favorite movies.

In it, there is a scene where Diego Rivera

is painting a mural for the Rockefellers. In the mural, he paints Vladimir Lenin. Rockefeller is offended.

Rivera tells him that the character became Lenin of his own accord. Rivera is fired and the mural destroyed.

That scene, and that line in particular, really strike the writer in me. As a writer, I can completely relate to Diego Rivera (which is amazing since I think it's the only time he and I can relate! LOL). I know what it's like to have a character just morph into someone or something that you don't expect. Outside people may not understand. They think we have full control over these people we've created. Do we really? Quite personally, I think not.

All of the women in Loving Her just became who they are. I did not have them planned out. I had a basic understanding of who they were, but it wasn't until their stories unfolded that I really knew them. For example, I NEVER expected Stephania to have the confrontation or history that she did. She of all the women was my greatest surprise. Her story just kind of happened. Just like Lenin just kind of came on to Diego Rivera's mural.

In Imperfect, Paul was really supposed to only be an after-thought. I had no idea he would play the role in Carol's stort that he did. Again, it just kind of happened.

For me, writing is fluid. It should just happen - like life. So, when I write, I have basic ideas of plot, characters, etc. But I let my muse really do all the work. My hands are nothing more than a mere vessel to type out my muse's words. Part of that includes the characters. I just let their words and stories happen. They "speak" to me, and I put their words on the screen or paper. I like that, though. I am just surprised by my stories as I write them as you are when you read them!

To me, all art is fluid. Every paint stroke and every word is intentional, yet they may not be planned initially. We write what we write because we know we need to, though we may not yet know why. Another example is I had NO idea why I made Candace pregnant in Imperfect. But the purpose comes out in Impeccable. I knew that it had to happen when the idea came to me, I simply didn't understand the purpose or meaning. But doesn't that also happen to us in day-to-day living? That's reality, that's life.

That's also people. We get to know them as time (or the book) goes on. Sometimes these people are put in places or situations neither us nor they would ever imagine and their response is...unexpected. They just react with their gut response, just like we would. And that fluidity - that gut reponse - makes for great characters and great stories.

So yes, written characters - as well as painted people - can and do take on lives and personalities all their own. When that happens, whether they are a good character or a bad one, it is one of the gifts that the art of writing gives to both writers and readers.

Happy reading and writing! ;)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Guest Author Chastity Bush

Happy Thursday, everyone! Today, we have a guest author with us. My internet friend and all around good gal, Chastity Bush is joining us!

Chastity Bush is the author of several romance novels known for their spicy romance, suspense and humorous edge. She’s completely addicted to Dexter and True Blood, and she loves to spend time with her husband and their two daughters.

Take it away, Chastity! :)

Thanks for having me here today!
I’ve been doing so many guest blog spots recently, I was worried I’d run out of things to talk about, then I was offered a new contract for my contemporary romance/suspense, The Stranger Next Door!

This book took me the longest to write out of all of my books. While I love the idea of mysteries, detectives, PI’s and mob bosses, I had no idea where to begin.

Thank goodness for Google, right? :)

I like being able to say that I write across all genres. While paranormal is my forte, and I currently have more paranormals available than any other genre, I also have one historical/western Tumbleweeds, a contemporary novella coming in April, and was just offered a contract for another contemporary suspense/mystery, Guarding Eden. Of course I’ll write many more paranormals in the near future, I know that isn’t what everyone is interested in, and would love if I had something available to suit everyone’s reading needs.

Enough about me! I hope you have a chance to check out my work, and if you do, I hope you really enjoy it. I love to hear from readers, so feel free to contact me. All of my links are listed below.
Thanks again for having me here today!

Please enjoy the (Unedited) blurb for The Stranger Next Door, coming soon from Liquid Silver Books!

The last thing Officer Tess McCoy expected was to meet her sexy new neighbor wearing nothing but his birthday suit, but since her partner’s death nearly six weeks ago, nothing seemed to go the way she planned.
Despite his incredibly good looks, Tess needs to keep her distance from the sexy stranger. The last thing she needs is another complication in her life, and the man living across the street looks like he could be a very big, very sexy, complication.

But her life takes a startling turn when Jack rescues her from would-be kidnappers in the dead of night. Now, she needs Jack’s help in order to stay safe, find out who wants her, and why.

Sparks fly high as things between them heat up, and Tess can only wonder if she’ll escape the one’s attempting to kill her, only to fall victim to Jack’s killer charm.

Links for Chastity Bush

She loves to hear from her readers and personally answers all email she receives. Send questions or comments to Chastity at:
Find Chastity at:,, and

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What it Means to be a Writer

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Today, I want to discuss what it means to be a writer.

When you introduce yourself as a writer, you get a myriad of responses. Most people are incredibly curious and intrigued. Some people assume that you don't want a real job, are living the easy life, etc. You will also get a lot of people who tell you that they want to write a book, too. The problem is: most people you encounter have no idea what it takes.

The reality is, we are hard-working, dedicated people. We write because it has been a passion of our for however long. Our passion does not pay us the millions that we'd all love to see. It takes time, dedication and focus.

To be a writer, you need to be able to write. However you do this doesn't matter. But you need to be able to write distraction-free as much as you can. It's not always easy, and it's often rather anti-social, but that is what we need to do.

You also need to be objective enough to edit and re-vamp your work. You don't submit a first draft to a publisher.

You also need to be persistent in pursuing publication. Query letters and submissions take a lot of work and attention to detail as each publisher requires something different.

Once you've been published, it takes a lot of time and dedication to promote your work, acquire readers, etc. You need to connect with readers on-line and in person. You have to get your name out there and constantly expand your circle so that people you might not ordinarily know will be able to get your book in their hands.

And while you're doing all of this promotional work, you should be back at the beginning and writing all over again. A good writer never stops creating and growing.

The truth of the matter is, when I was writing and only writing (I do have a day job as a licensed veterinary technician, but took a few years off due to medical issues. I'm back at that again, too) I worked far more than 40 hours a week. I would be up and at it at 7 am and go until 7, 8, even 9 o'clock in the evening. There was one day I wrote 10,000 words, but it took me over 10 hours to write that day. I have to be self-disciplined, focused and steadfast in my work. If I'm not, I am failing myself, my publisher and my readers.

Writing has been my passion since childhood. I wouldn't want it any other way. Yes, it takes a lot of time, energy and dedication. I've always known that. I have to be realistic. I have to do what it takes if I want to be more than just a writer - to be a good writer.

This week at the animal hospital, I will have somewhere between 50 and 60 hours. I have a short story I'm working on. I have this blog and I have all of my promotional work. I also have a wife and family. But this is the life that has chosen me. I don't think anyone in their right mind would choose this, it's something within us that chooses us to do this and be this way. And that's ok. We get it done and we love it. It takes a lot to be a writer, and that is what makes it great! :)

Happy reading!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Getting Personal With My Readers

Happy Thursday, everyone! :)

If you're my friend on Facebook, you know a lot about me.

You know where I am with my wedding planning.

You know when the pizza has arrived to our house for dinner.

You even know when I have a migraine.

Though this may not seem important or relevent to selling books, I have found that it does in fact help.

You see, you are all involved in my life. I post polls about things relating to my wedding. I post pictures of our puppies. You see that I am human. I am approachable.

Am I a reclusive writer? Absolutely! However, I have also let all of my readers in to my life. And I have shown them that as reclusive as I may be, I am not completely anti-social.

I think it's important for readers to be able to connect with writers. If I want you to read my books, why not let you know the person behind the words.

Would you trust a doctor more if you never met them?

Or would you trust them if they spent time with you, talking with you and working with you?

I would hope it would be the latter.

Personally, I believe the same applies to us writers.

If you see just how much I love my dogs, you might just want to read my stories where pets are an integral part of the story.

If you can relate to my wedding madness, you will more likely be able to relate to my characters who are either like me, or are going through wedding madness of their own.

Do I apologize for posting my personal information? Not really. I have connected with readers from across the country,and even across the globe. I hope that I can (or perhaps I already have) connect(-ed) with you! Come get to know me! You might just want to read my books, too! ;)

Happy reading! :)