08 Feb

Someone Asked: Reading Habits

Q: The only romances I ever see you reading on Goodreads are historicals. Are you planning to write one?

A: I used to do that in a past writing life, and I can state with certainty I have no intention of doing so again. I have absolutely no interest in the history part of historical romances, which is a good way to piss off a large portion of the readership thereof, so I’m not going to venture into their realm.

The appeal of reading historicals for me (other than nostalgia — I grew up on a diet of Lindsey and Woodiwiss) is probably the lack of phones and internet, to be honest. If someone wanted to disturb your privacy, they had to bestir themselves to write and post a letter or travel to face you.

Imagine how much more civil discourse would be if screaming idiots had to travel hundreds of miles to deliver their abuse within distance of being physically harmed by yourself or your second, as opposed to flinging their shit consequence-free on the internet. And no telemarketers! Nobody checking their texts in the middle of a date!


I do read some contemporary and paranormal romance and some fantasy, thrillers, and horror. (I’m reading The Strain currently.) It depends what kind of mood I’m in, what’s unread on my Kindle, and how much I want to risk being influenced writing wise. There’s at least one book I’m actively avoiding because I don’t want to compare it to my story in progress (for better or worse…), but Guillermo isn’t going to butt into my rough draft and urge me to do as he does, and Loretta Chase isn’t going to tempt me to slap couture hats and gowns on my characters.

Also, my author Goodreads isn’t super reflective of my reading reality, so take anything you see there with a shake of salt. (My unprofessional reader account has thousands of books with more variety and actual opinions attached.)

05 Feb

Someone Asked: Obstacles

Q: What is your biggest writing obstacle?

A: Perfectionism and self-loathing doubt, which are not unrelated.

I want the words to come out DONE. If a scene (or a sentence) isn’t going to be perfect, recording the wrong words feels like a waste of time. I’ve been doing this for 20+ years and still struggle with the known fact that the whole story has to exist before good decisions can be made about what’s truly important, what’s missing, what doesn’t belong, what needs to change to strengthen the story.

I waste a lot of time on my mission to not waste time. It’s stupid to agonize over the description of an eyebrow when the entire chapter it’s in might not survive, but I’ll do it anyway and then feel the need to defend it (dammit, I worked hard on that!) even when it doesn’t belong, which never serves the story.

Next Book has been particularly rough because the first chapter reads like one from a finished book, and Chapter 2 is word vomit. I felt really skilled… and then I made that page break and forgot how to do everything. Objectively, I’m aware the solution to the problem lies beyond Chapter 2, but instead of banging out a placeholder to bridge the gap and powering forward to the part that will tell me what Chapter 2 must accomplish that it currently isn’t, I wasted an embarrassing amount of time guessing and wallowing in despair.

“Honey, get some therapy.”

Had it. Look, this is part of my process. I have to be demolished every time to build something new or it will just be the same old shit with a fresh coat of paint. I wish the process was faster, but for some weird reason, I persist in battling against my destruction, even when I know it’s inevitable and ultimately for the best.

Fortunately, I’m now sufficiently torn down to move forward with construction. There’s garbage all over the site, but I’m working around it. Chapter 2 is finally behind me, and a rough draft that exists is an achievable goal.

Obstacle circumvented until next time.

03 Oct

Ten Thousand Hours Q&A

I’m not going to do a walkthrough for 10KH because I was substantially less cowardly while writing it and don’t have guilt driving me to explain every word I wrote (or didn’t).

I have gotten some questions (okay, one so far), though, so for the sake of having something to call blog content, I’ll presume the answers are of general interest and share them here.

Q: The sample I read is all in Ivy’s point of view. Is the whole book like that?

A: No.

WCAD had a fairly strict alternating POV because it made sense chronologically for that story. I’m not a slave to that as a formula, though.

Part 1 of 10KH is all in Ivy’s POV because it’s a story unto itself (character has a problem, struggles with that problem, and arrives at a resolution, The End). That story belongs to Ivy. Griff doesn’t share her problem. He’s a tool she uses to help get to her resolution. He has no stake in the outcome of that story, so he doesn’t get POV privileges in Part 1.

Part 2 is the Official Romance Novel, and you get Griff’s POV first thing. According to my admittedly imprecise count, he gets 34 scenes. Ivy gets 48 (in Part 2) because she’s dealing with greater degrees of conflict, and although there’s a point where Griff is willing to make her problems his, there are some demons she has to fight alone. (Figuratively speaking. There’s no demon battle in this book.)

You do get to peek into Griff’s head, but he has it too easy to steal half the scenes.

If you have any other questions, please stick them in the comments. I’ll give you short answers there. Longer answers will help me out with post topics.