Friday, December 8, 2017

The Oddities of Creativity

There's something fascinating in how inspiration and creativity works. It's not like mathematics and science. There are no right or wrong answers. There isn't some established process to follow,, because it doesn't function in the same way for everyone. If it did, I think people would be much less fascinated with professions like writing, music or anything that requires a muse. For me, I've found creativity is very much like a muscle you need to exercise. The more you use it, the harder it works, spawning new ideas left and right. Some of them good, some of them bad. That's part of what makes it so interesting.

The funny thing, however, is it doesn't always work towards the project you're supposed to be starting. I've spent much of the morning outlining- unfortunately not in the book I'd intended. I'm supposed to be putting the finishing touches on Dragon 3. Instead, I've opened up two new projects that have been floating around my head for the last year and putting a few thoughts down on paper. Every time I commit an idea to the project, three new ones spring forth.

This has pluses and minuses. On one hand, starting the character sketches and outline process is very exciting and will help me when I finally go to write those books. Unfortunately, I have to finish up a series or two before I can even think of starting a new one.

I don't want to be one of those writers who flits from idea to idea without ever finishing the characters' overarching story. It drives me crazy when my favorite writers do that. There's one whose next book in the series I've been anticipating for three years now, and it'll be another two before it's published, I suspect.

I'm already flirting with that label given I have three series ongoing at the moment. I'm excited about the character arcs in each of those series, so I don't want to just hurry up and finish. It wasn't my original intention to have so many series going at once. Somehow, it just happened. However, that means buckling down and focusing.

Hopefully, my afternoon is a little more on target. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Beta Reading

EDIT: Thank you, everyone, for volunteering. All the slots are filled at present. The good news for those who weren't able to do it this time. Dragon 3 is the next one on my plate, so you can volunteer when it is ready for this stage 

Aileen 3 has reached the beta read stage. Some of you have been so good as to reach out and ask how you can get on the list to serve as a beta reader for me so I thought I'd open this up for others who might be interested.

Here's how you can volunteer: Private message me through my Facebook page or email me at asking to be a beta reader and committing to the guidelines posted below. I can't guarantee I'll choose you as there has been more interest in this in the past, but I will put you on a list and rotate you in when I can.

Beta Guidelines:

This part of the process for me takes place before I send the manuscript to the editor. That means the copy is a little rough still. I'm not looking for intense grammar editing. I'm more focused on comments on the story- pace, structure, characters, things that don't make sense, does anything make you want to throw the book across the room. That kind of stuff. I will outline these questions in more detail for those who participate.

The other thing I ask is for people to send it back to me in the time allotted - usually two weeks.

I also ask that you agree not to share the story with anyone or upload it to any sites. I know for most of you that would never cross your mind, but I need to say it anyway.

Also, be aware that I may not use your suggestions as my opinion trumps everyone else's. Sometimes you ask questions that I want asked or a suggestion goes against what I'm trying to accomplish.

One note: Beta reading is not for everyone. For instance, I don't beta read for people because I like getting caught up in the story and not paying attention to the things that irk me. For that reason, I'm vaguely considering doing advance reader copies that would take place at the end of the process and would require less thinking on the reader's part. For that piece, I'd ask for a review in return.

If you're interested, let me know. If you're not, I hope you enjoy the book when it comes out.


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I am so excited. Thanksgiving is right up there as my favorite holiday, along with Halloween and New Years. Some days I think it is my favorite-- until one of the others roll back around. I think, mainly, because Thanksgiving involves a ton of food and spending time with your loved ones. I know what you're going to say, so does Christmas. Yes, but Thanksgiving is wholly focused on food and the preparation of it. There are no presents to distract from the feast.

Cooking is how I show my love for the people in my life, and this holiday lets me do just that. Nobody will judge me if I spend two days straight cooking. This year is shaping up to be more of a feast than normal. The family is making turkey, ham and gumbo (a family tradition), in addition to what everyone else wants to contribute. We have almost twenty people coming. So yeah, lots and lots of food.

For my part, I'm making a pumpkin pie totally from scratch-- crust, filling and the whipped cream that goes with it. There are a few other things I'm making-- garlic-brown butter roasted mushrooms, and a citrus green bean salad-- but the pie is what I'm really excited for. I've been wanting to make one for several years but have never found the time. Here is hoping it turns out well and doesn't make anyone gag.

What is everybody else making for Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Short Snippet

Because Mist's Edge releases one week from today and because some of you asked for it, here is a short snippet.


“You are diabolical,” Trenton remarked after Shea left a false trail pointing into a nest of stinging thistles. The flower’s petals would leave welts and rashes on any unsuspecting victim that chose to brush against them.

Shea shared a smile with him as she backed away from the nest, careful not to brush up against any of the yellowish, green petals.

“I learned from the best.”

“This may end up backfiring on you,” Trenton said with a skeptical glance at the stinging flowers. 
“He will not be happy when he catches up to you if he has welts and a rash all over. He might even find a nest to throw you into.”

She shot Trenton a grin. “If he’s arrogant enough to get caught in this, he deserves what he gets.”

She’d decided she liked this game. Liked outwitting Fallon and making him chase false trails. The only way it would be better is if she could ditch Trenton and do this alone. He made their trail a little too easy to spot.

She stared at him in thought.

“Oh no, don’t even think it. You’re not ditching me.”

She sighed. Such a stickler for the rules.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Mist's Edge Teaser

Now that I've worked through the edits in the beginning part of Mist's Edge, I feel more comfortable sharing another chapter. Previously, I had posted what I was calling Chapter One. Edits showed me this was really a prologue. This will teach me to wait before sharing chapters that aren't finalized :-)

Below are links to the former chapter I had shared as well as the real Chapter One. Hopefully there are no further big upsets to my plan. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Cover Reveal, Excerpt and Preorder

The pathfinder, Shea, has chosen to make a place for herself among her former captors, leaving behind her people and the life she once knew. However, not all welcome this outsider in their midst. Shea will find that surviving alone in the wilderness is child’s play next to navigating the politics that come with her new position. Especially when it becomes evident that there are those out for her blood.

As a new danger looms on the horizon, Shea and her warlord will need all the allies they can find. Because something is stirring in the barren lands from which all beasts are born. Something old and not seen since the last cataclysm.

Can Shea protect her people from this new threat or will it be the dangers from within her own inner circle that destroy her?

Preorder on Amazon

I will have links from the rest of the book sellers up when they go live.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Cover Piece 2

Here is the second piece of the cover. The preorder and excerpt will be up later this week/weekend so stay tuned. 

Oh, and the website has been updated with my publishing schedule for the rest of this year
and half of next year. See where your favorite series fits in.