Archives

An Author’s Random Musing: To Write or Not To Write

47544ccebc8f0c9b8e3b8306d76ed96e

One thing I’ve seen a lot of lately, is the advice to write even when you don’t feel like it. There is some truth to the benefits this brings, I will admit. Some days I just need to make myself sit down and start writing before the creativity decides to kick in.

That being said, there are times when I cannot follow this advice.

Three years ago, I began working on a Regency Mystery trilogy.  I was so excited about the story these three books was going to tell. However, without going into details, I can tell you that I was going through a rough patch. I wrote most of my first draft when there was so much happening and I was angry at life in general.

The result?

A heroine who was so bitter and angry, it felt toxic just reading about her. It took nearly a year to rewrite and rework that particular story before my main character became someone readers would sympathize with instead of hate.

Other authors may not be like me, but my life does affect my writing. My feelings and frustrations come to life in my characters. The emotions are never write if I have to force the words out. When my heart isn’t in the story, I end up having more to fix than if I just take my time.

And that’s where I am right now. Even though it has been several months since I worked with editors on Not My Idea, I’m still exhausted emotionally and creatively. Even though my plots are bright in my mind, when I try to force them onto the paper, they are lifeless and bland.

So, I give myself permission not to write. Because there is a lot going on my life and my attention needs to be somewhere else, I am setting my writing aside. If my heart is really in the story, it won’t be more than a day or two before I begin writing again, slowly and at my own pace. Maybe it will only be a couple hundred words, maybe more.

It’s my words. My story. And I’m going to write it when and how I want.

An Author’s Random Musing: Release Month!

indie-book-publisher

So, it’s a new month. Not only that, it’s the month my latest book shall be released!

Now, I know I haven’t talked all that much about this one. Editing drained me so much that I cannot stand to even think about Lucas Bywood, the hero of this new series. Yes, you read that right. I have begun a series. I must be completely out of my mind.

Set in the Regency era, A Gentleman of Misfortune Series shall follow the misadventures of twenty two year old Lucas Bywood. He is the second son of a well to do family, and an unexpected inheritance has left him more or less independent. He is very much his mother’s son, and he enjoys teasing his sisters.

Not My Idea will see Lucas through his first misadventure wherein he finds himself in a  courtship with a young lady he dislikes. Whichever way this poor young man turns, he finds himself in trouble.

I am a cruel author like that.

The inspiration for this novel came from a day where nothing seemed to go right. When I looked back the next day, I had to chuckle because it was just ridiculous. I began to think how I could torture a character, and Lucas was born. When it seemed cruel to dump too much on him in one book, the series was born.

So, I hope you all will enjoy Lucas’ tale as much as I enjoyed writing it. (I think at this point, given my opening, I should assure you that I did enjoy writing it. My own health made editing a pain and has nothing to do with the story itself.)

Of course, this book expands on the Regency world I first created in A Chaotic Courtship. Familiar characters visit, so if you haven’t read A Chaotic Courtship, I highly recommend you do so. In that line, my book is going to be discounted later this month so now is the time to catch it if you haven’t.

Here’s looking to what June brings!

 

NotMyIdea200x300

An Author’s Random Musing: What Happened to Romance?

Lady Beautiful is independent and not like other ladies of the time meets Lord Arrogant, who is cold on the outside but has a kind heart hidden inside. Arguments ensue, and they both part ways irritated with the other. Of course, though, they cannot stop thinking about each other, but every time they meet, all they do is argue. Friends declare they are in love, and family members smile knowingly. Lady Beautiful and Lord Arrogant deny it until that moment when they realize it is true love….and jump into bed together.

Such is the scenario, or variations thereof, that I’ve come across A LOT lately, especially in historical fiction. Once was vaguely amusing. The second was less so. And by the third time, I was nothing but irritated with these characters who should know better!

I’m sorry, but to me, there is nothing romantic about it. In fact, I find several things off putting. First of all, so many ladies are ‘independent, forward-thinking, and not like other ladies’. I find that..unlikely. Second, what part of arguing is romantic? Sure, communication helps a relationship, but constantly bringing up a person’s flaws, mistakes, etc, is just asking for trouble. Third, this one won’t come as a surprise, but that sudden moment when the couple realize it is ‘love’ but don’t know if the other feels the same, but gives themselves to the other person (this is mostly on the ladies side).

How can this be considered romantic?

Now, to be honest, I’m probably alone in this thinking. My idea of romance is a couple taking time to know each other, who give small demonstrations of their feelings, who trust the other person.

But, carry on fellow authors. I suppose there are many ideas about what makes a situation romantic, but I’m do not support most of them.

97c5bf87d1660a589e814b0b5da05fa4-sarcastic-memes-relationship-memes

How to Manage Your Siblings While Falling in Love, From A Chaotic Courtship

AChaoticCourtship1400x2100

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of being a guest blogger on a site called The Silver Petticoat Review. This is what I talked about, which was fun. It’s a bit of a peek into my last book, A Chaotic Courtship.

In A Chaotic Courtship, Diana Forester finds herself with the unenviable task of keeping her siblings from ruining her courtship. Of course they mean well, but everyone knows the proverb about where good intentions can lead a person.

Step One: I went upstairs and collected the gifts I had brought with me. —A Chaotic Courtship, Chapter Three

Perhaps bribery is not the most moral route to go, but it can never be wrong to stay on your siblings good sides with gifts from London. Not just any gifts, but ones chosen specifically with their interests in mind. For her sister, Diana brings new music and for her brother, a book on steam engines, items which will surely keep them occupied.

Step Two: “It was almost like you were—flirting.”…..Perhaps if I informed her of the whole situation, she wouldn’t be angry?—A Chaotic Courtship, Chapter Four

What could be more awkward than for one of your siblings catch you enjoying time with your suitor, especially when you haven’t acknowledged your own feelings? The best course of action is to be up front about everything. As Diana learns when she confesses to her sister, there may be hurt feelings, but honesty really is the best policy.

Step Three: “Sarah, I’ve never heard you talk so,” I said.—A Chaotic Courtship, Chapter Five

This, of course, goes along with step two. Acknowledging the feelings of one’s sibling can only promote a closeness between you. If your sibling chooses not to accept your attempt at peace, wait a bit. A late night heart to heart discussion when your parents are not there to overhear might be in order, as Diana discovers with Sarah.

Step Four: The warning and real question in his voice was clear, even to me: Don’t mess with my sister and Is this man bothering you?“I am perfectly fine, Will.” —A Chaotic Courtship, Chapter Six

There will be times when your sibling may be a little overprotective. While this is endearing and sweet, it can put a damper on romance. Assure your sibling immediately that all is well. With any luck, something will distract your sibling and you may continue a pleasant conversation with your suitor. Diana’s younger brother, Will, keeps his eye on the situation, much to Diana’s chagrin.

Step Five: “I will not allow you to blacken Mr. Richfield’s reputation for no reason!”—A Chaotic Courtship, Chapter Seven

If your sibling pronounces a wild accusation along with the threat to find proof, it is best to take a firm stand and put your foot down. Who knows what could happen if anyone outside of the family heard? For Diana, this involves discovering ways to separate Sarah from her supporters, such as Will and Sarah’s close friend.

Step Six: “I want you to help me prove Mr. Richfield isn’t the highwayman.”—A Chaotic Courtship, Chapter Sixteen

When all else fails, take it upon yourself to get to the bottom of matters. Diana takes charge by enlisting her siblings to accomplish this task.

Yes, it is not an easy task to keep your siblings at bay while you pursue a courtship, but a young lady with enough determination just might manage it!

An Author’s Random Musing: Current Project

So, my current project (which is one that I began during NaNo) is one that is different from my other novels. Instead of writing a Regency with Romance and a hint of mystery, I’ve been writing a YA Historical piece of fiction that is set after the Civil War in America.

There are a couple different sources of inspiration for this one. I grew up watching shows like Bonanza, which I adore. Although I know the stories told in that show show a romanticized version of the old west, I love it. I’ve written several works of fanfiction (the horror!) for the show and there just doesn’t seem to be enough novels for younger readers set in this time period.

I also have been drawing on the deaf culture. When I looked into the history of deaf people in America, I learned a great deal that I never knew. With a main character that is deaf, I’ve needed as much help as I could with this aspect, since I myself am not deaf.

My Hands Hold My Story (working title) is a story that I feel like actually has a message hidden within the narrative, about treating those with differences as equals.

Or, maybe I have just been interrupted too many times.

tumblr_ng6epzu6sf1syd000o1_250

An Author’s Random Musing: Holmes Month!

Once again, its Holmes Month! Don’t mind my tears as I mourn the probable end of BBC’s Sherlock. Also, this lines up with the date of my first blog two years ago, so exciting stuff for me!

Since I was young, I have been a fan of Sherlock Holmes. His powers of observation, his ability to know how things should be and thus able to see what is out of place, has fascinated me. I have the original stories on my shelf, along with several pastiches, spin offs, a companion book, and my latest purchase: The Sherlock Holmes Handbook.

There hasn’t really been a film version of Sherlock that I haven’t found something to enjoy (although I haven’t given the series Elementary much attention). Robert Downey Jr’s depiction of the fighting side of the great detective or Benedict Cumberbatch’s fantastic interpretation and, my personal favorite, Jeremy Brett’s faithful adherence to the original source.

As I’ve mentioned before, I keep an element of mystery in my writing as a nod to the great detective I love so much. Once again, this month will focus on those spin offs that occupy my shelf.

The game, my friends, is on!

e6d8d9e74467076f0289d87891b4c544

An Author’s Random Musing: The Regency

boutique-blooms-flower-shop

I love the Regency era. I think anyone who has read my work would realize that in an instant! I make no claims at being an expert of the Regency era, or a historian. I can only offer my own opinion based on what I have learned from my research.

Many Regency based novels feature daring ladies, either with a title of their own, breathtaking beauty, or the wealth to grant them entry into the highest level of society. An official coming out, with balls and soirees, vouchers to Almack’s, all with the aim of marrying well. But what about a well born woman from a more humble background?

From infancy, a girl would be trained to manage a household. Likely, due to her family’s circumstances, this practical training, along with accomplishments such of a musical or artistic nature, would come from her mother. Once she reached the age of about seventeen, a young woman ought to have been ready to move on to the next stage in her life: marriage.

Of course, meeting an eligible man could present a bit of a problem. Being raised in a small community, young lady might be required to seek such a man elsewhere. Spending a season in London would have been near impossible. She would have to rely on an invitation from family members to visit new places where she would have the opportunity to expand her circle of acquaintance.

In a time when men held all the power, a woman really only had one right: she could accept or refuse a gentleman’s offer of marriage. This would not be a simple decision for her. After all, this was a decision that would set the course for her entire future. Not to mention, how the expectations of her family and friends would be a strong motivator for her.

Still, a young lady with patience could find love, if she kept her wits about her and took advantage of every opportunity presented to her.

regency-ball