Weekly Update – Finding Callida

I’m in the middle of writing Heir of Vengeance, and that means I have to start working on a new character: Callida Serus, Malina’s older sister.

When I first started planning The Ripple Affair over a decade ago, Callida didn’t exist. In fact, though Malina mentioned having a sister, she was never supposed to appear, remaining a blurb in a sentence for the entire series.

But you know how writing goes. Plans get thrown out the window and characters tend to surprise you.

Callida came about as I was writing the ending for Heart of Deceit. And now that she’s arrived, that means I have to figure out her character – her motivations, her wants, her strengths and weakness, her future. Let me tell you…that’s not easy when the character didn’t even exist until the fourth book was finished.

So this week (as I’ve been recovering from another flu bug), I’ve been spending some time figuring her out. I can’t say I completely know her as well as I do Edward, Bernie, or Malina yet, but she is getting there, and she’s already proving to be a nice contrast to her younger sister. I’m excited for you all to meet her when Heir of Vengeance is complete!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American readers! Have a great week! 🙂

Advertisements

Weekly Update – 11/13/17

It was a busy weekend. Between selling my books at a show on Saturday (and getting a stomach bug the same day), and then submitting my edits for Captain Patty Book 3, I’m feeling pretty tired today! I’m still excited, though, as we’re heading into the final stretch before publication! It won’t be long now before Captain Patty and Veronica’s Vengeance will be released!

As I wait for the proof copy, I’m happy to return to writing more in Heir of Vengeance. Things are really starting to boil as Edward faces his greatest challenge yet! I’m half-way finished with the book, and I’m hoping by the end of the year it will be finished and ready for editing.

Well, I’m off to get working! I hope you all have a wonderful week!

This entry was posted on November 13, 2017.

Weekly Update – Reading Time!

As a writer, I don’t have much time to read anymore.  Between working, volunteering, and activities with friends and family, I hardly can pick up a book without having to get up and go.  But writing, as we all know, benefits from reading.  Not only does it allow us to study and develop our craft to make it better, but it also provides a great break from constantly staring at a computer screen and typing all day.

And so, in the midst of writing Heir of Vengeance and editing Captain Patty and Veronica’s Vengeance, I decided to set aside some time to read.  Typically it would be before bed after Bible devotions or during breakfast as I ate.  The first book I’ve set to tackle on my list is J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion.  Being a Lord of the Rings fan, I thought it fun to read the history of Middle Earth (and so far it’s been really good!)

It’s been nice to take the time to read, short as it is during the day.  I almost forgot how much I enjoyed the written word, how it takes me to another world and puts me in the middle of adventure.  I may not get to read as much as I used to, but I definitely want to make more time for this fun and relaxing activity.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to read more of The Silmarillion!

Weekly Update – NaNoWriMo Is Almost Here!

It’s that time of year again!

Late nights writing.  Endless supply of tea (or coffee, depending on your preference).  Sticky notes with plot changes stuck all over the walls.  A perfectly crisp outline suddenly becoming a scribbled and crumpled heap as characters do their own thing.  Becoming a hermit as you attempt to write a novel.

Oh, and this all happens in a month’s time.

Yep, folks!  It’s NaNoWriMo!  

I’m coming in as a veteran of about four years, and I’ve yet to finish a novel in a month.  (Edits are too tempting for me.). But despite the lack of finishing, I will say that attempting to write a novel in a month is not only fun, but also a good way to build a habit of consistently writing.  It’s not easy to take time out of your day to write, especially when you work other jobs and have other commitments.

So as we inch closer to November 1, I’d like to wish all my fellow writers good luck at NaNoWriMo this year!  There’s going to be lots of great stories being told, and even if you don’t finish by the end of November, don’t be discouraged!  Telling a story doesn’t have to be limited by time.

Have a wonderful week!

Weekly Update – Craft Show Fun

Over the weekend I sold some of my books at a craft show.  It’s not the typical place you see authors set up, and truth be told, some do well and some don’t.  But if you decide to try selling your books at a craft show, what should you expect?  How many books should you bring?  Is it worth the booth rental fee?

Here are some things I’ve learned after a few years of doing craft shows (selling both books and crafts.)

  1. Do your research.  Visiting a craft show during show hours or talking to current show vendors is a great way to get a feel for how the show works.  You can see if other authors vendor there, see what a typical visitor count is, and whether the booth rental will be a good fit for you or your budget.
  2. Remember that not all shows are created equal.  If you decide to vendor at a show, remember that it’s not a guarantee that you’ll sell well.  I’ve been to some big shows where I only sold one book and small shows where I sold nearly my entire stock.  Weather, other area events, and just plain luck factor in to show success as well, too.  Some shows would be successful one year and disastrous the next, and vice versa.  The point is don’t get discouraged- you never know when success will come your way.
  3. Use your time at shows to network.  Meet potential readers.  Gain a following.  Make new friends with fellow authors and vendors.  I’ve even gotten some speaking engagements booked from people I’ve met there.  Craft shows are a great way to grow your brand.

Remember – craft shows aren’t for everyone.  But if you’re up for the challenge, they’re a great way to increase sales and make your name a little more known, especially in your local area.  

And a piece of advice – don’t forget to bring some spare cash, because chances are there’s going to be a few bake sales.  😉

Weekly Update – Oops…

I’m in the final edits of Captain Patty and Veronica’s Vengeance, and I have to tell you…I’m regretting something major that I’ve done in this series.

(Incoming spoilers in case you haven’t read the first book in the Captain Patty series or are not wanting some small snippets from the upcoming book.)

So…Patrick.

Yes, Patrick.  The original Patrick Peterson and the second Captain Patty’s husband.  If you recall, there’s a small blurb about him in Book One that says he was shot and killed by Rudiger Bartleby during a pirate raid.  Patty (the wife) and baby Reuben escaped and went on to become who we know them as today- a chocolate-addicted cartographer and a sassy pre-teen with a love for all things stink pot.

But as I’ve been working on Book Three, and writing Patty’s backstory on how she met and fell in love with Patrick, I find myself saying, “Oops!”  Maybe I shouldn’t have offed Patrick so quickly before I developed his character to something more than a name.  He’s been too fun to explore and he’s brought a lot of comedy and life to the story.  Should I have really ended it so soon?

It’s one of the struggles of being an author: when do you write off a character?  Grant it, Patrick’s death leads Patty to get her own ship and keeps her and Reuben safe for a while from Bartleby, but still…when you grow to love a character so much, it’s hard to part with them.  (Believe it or not, character write-offs are sometimes just as hard for the writers as it is for the readers.)

So I guess this post serves as a giant “Oops” to my readers.  If you enjoy Patrick as much as I, I’m sorry to say he doesn’t come back (what happens in Book One can’t exactly be erased).  I do hope that, despite his appearance in only one book, you’ll enjoy his presence and contributions to the story, short as it might be.

And if people really, really, really enjoy his character, well…I guess there’s always a spin-off.  😉

Have a wonderful week!

Weekly Update – Captain Patty Hashtag Game

Remember last week when we used the old Twitter hashtag #MovieSynopsisIn5Words to describe The Ripple Affair Series?  Today, we’re going to do the same with The Adventures of Captain Patty!  Once again, book characters will be talking about what they know best – their own series!
Listed below are what some of my book characters have written for their own hashtag game: #CaptainPattySynopsisIn5Words…

Charles on Captain Patty and the Nameless Navigator

Smelly coat leads to capture.

Hammy on Captain Patty and the Boston Buccaneer

Pirate fails at singing career.

Franky on Captain Patty and the Nameless Navigator

Hamster survives; is suspected immortal.

Luc on Captain Patty and the Boston Buccaneer

Asthma and smoke?  Bad combo.

Samantha on Captain Patty and the Nameless Navigator

Girl discovers love of pants.

Bartleby on Captain Patty and the Nameless Navigator

Unbeatable captain beat by whale.

Louis on Captain Patty and the Nameless Navigator

Businessman makes parrot mortal enemy.

Reuben on Captain Patty and the Boston Buccaneer

Boy friendzoned by first love.

Patty on Captain Patty and the Nameless Navigator

Chocolate addict obliterates unstoppable fleet.

Percy on Captain Patty and the Boston Buccaneer

Boy suffers sunburning without parasol.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers!