I started to blog this morning, and stalled out, the events of Paris heavy on my mind. How can I talk about something as trivial as a fictional biker book, I wondered, when there are people waking up in France this morning with that swift gut-punch of loss rendering them immobile? I felt silly and foolish, worrying about my books and my job when there are families so recently touched by evil.
I elected to write, instead, and in doing so, I reflected. There is nothing I can say to ease the terrible hurt of the weekend's events. There are not words to express sympathy and solidarity. I pray for those who were touched; I pray that they can find grace in their grief, and solace in their sorrow. I know that loss isn't something that can be prayed away, so I will pray for them. I know they are angry, because I'm angry. It's a gruesome world we live in, and the innocent are the ones who bear the brunt of the violence.
And I started to think that maybe it's not so silly what I do for a living. Because through fiction we right wrongs, we express human emotion and hurt eloquently, and we find a way to address all the issues we can not face as ourselves. Fiction has always been a beautiful escape for me, when life has thrown punches, and as an entertainer - yes, that's what I am now, I realize - I feel it's important to provide an escape for my readers. Escapism isn't a blotting out of real life and its tragedies - it's a coping mechanism. That's the beauty of humanity - we cope. So I hope that today you'll let me share some of my work with you, and I hope it will help with the coping.
There comes a point, midway through each of my novels, in which I absolutely hate what I'm working on. It's inevitable. A little chocolate and some patience usually sees me through the mini-crisis. And today, I sat down at the computer and I was able to look at the book as something aside from the responsibility that's been plaguing me. I saw it, really saw it. And you guys...Secondhand Smoke is the best in the series yet. I don't think critics will think that, thanks to certain action-movie elements of the book, but in my opinion, it's a heck of a ride. So I hope that you, as my readers, will really enjoy it. Aidan, baby, it's been a long, rough trip, but it's been worth every halting step. Today's writing has been a lot of fun, and it makes me so excited to get the book to you all as soon as possible. I can't wait for you to see Aidan, and Sam, and Tango, and Ian ( I do love Ian, even if he's hated).
If you haven't seen it yet, I'm hosting a Dartmoor location "tour" via Facebook, going through the locations of the novel. And be on the lookout for new giveaways and teasers coming soon.
It's my belief that fiction can be a light in dark times, for those of us needing a little something to grab onto. Thank you, readers, for making this journey such a light.
The jet trails out here in the fall are always so pretty at sunrise and sunset/
Day 13 of NaNoWriMo and I'm sitting on just over 20k words of writing progress - which I feel pretty good about considering I've had the stomach flu this week and haven't been able to work as much as I would have liked. This is my first year "participating," if you can go so far as to call it that. I'm generally more of a Lone Ranger than a participator, when it comes to...most things. Enforced word counts don't jive with my writing style. I'm a perfectionist and the "get it done" method doesn't track with my artistic side. Stall mucking, yes; creating, no.
Anyway, I'm knuckling down. Even if Aidan doesn't make it easy on a nerdy girl who doesn't like to speak "ladykiller." He is who he is...but let's just he and I wouldn't have any common ground in real life. One of the beauties of fiction.
Anyway again, I still don't have a firm release date. And that's okay. Why? Because Secondhand Smoke isn't going to be a formulaic romance novel, so I've decided I'm not going to worry about all those formulaic romance novel release expectations. It's going to be different, and it's going to be fun, and I'm not feeling so apologetic about being atypical anymore. I'm writing about outlaws, after all; time to embrace that outlaw spirit. These characters have lots of surprises in store for you guys with this book, and I want to echo that in the weeks to come with my own release countdown efforts. Let's be rebels, shall we?
He lifted his brows.
“You’re onboard with outlaw justice?”
“When it comes to keeping my family safe, absolutely,”
she said, without missing a beat.
The wind picked up, pushing against them, reminding him
that the season was about to give way to a chilly fall. It caught strands of
her pale hair, tugged them loose from her braid, swept them across her face. A
strand got stuck in her lip gloss and she brushed it away, still looking up at
A dawning awareness overcame him, as she stared up at
him. She looked at him – a lot.
Usually when he glanced her way, her eyes were already on him. Except for last
time, at Waffle House, when she’d refused to make eye contact. Had she looked
at him in high school? He tried to remember, but that time of his life was a faded
blur, dominated by his obsession with breaking into the club, littered with
groupies and cheerleaders.
But Sam was looking at him now, and her lip gloss looked
like it might taste good, and her brows tucked together with the slightest show
of concern as she waited on him to say something.
Bit of a misleading title, actually, because I'm not giving any dates. *crouches down to avoid rotten tomatoes* But let me explain.
Right after I announced the release date for Skeleton, I came down with the flu. It was a doozy of a flu, lemme tell you. I missed two solid weeks of writing, and those were two weeks I couldn't afford to miss given my timetable. My grandmother was in the hospital. I got sick again. And I felt the pressure of that deadline. I didn't want to let anyone down by pushing it back; I wanted to do the "professional" thing. I met all my due dates with time to spare, and aside from the fact that I'd intended the novel to be longer and meatier at the outset, I was happy with the outcome.
Except...I really did want more meat on those skeletal bones. And there were certain plot points I wanted to set into motion.
Fast forward to now. The writing on Smoke is coming along at a nice clip. It is my great hope that I can have the novel in your hands before the end of the year. BUT, the holidays are coming up. It's a busy time of year. It's sickness season. The last thing I want right now is to be constrained by a date, of all things, because my goal is to write the best book possible.
Which brings me to my next point, re: The Best Book Possible. You all know how I like to write by now. I feel fortunate that it resonates with so many readers. For those who disapprove, I promise you that my style is no accident. Words are not mere vehicles to take us to our ultimate destination. I am not a "get it done quick and fix it later" sort of writer. Many hours are spent at the computer debating precise word choice, the exact placement of scenes that, perhaps while not scintillating, are building our characters and the overall scope of the narrative.
Aidan's book is not a steamy biker romance. It is a story about complicated responsibility, the affects of the choices we make, and second chances. And within this story, a romance - maybe even steamy at times, we'll see. I want the book to hit certain notes; I want it to have a particularly lyrical sound to its narrative, and I want to do every little thing that will make it memorable and worthwhile for all of you. And in order to do that, I don't want to announce a date.
Be assured, the moment I know, you will know.
As to Snow in Texas, I don't have a Kindle/paperback release date for that either. But I plan to update it regularly, and it will hopefully help with the waiting.
I wish I was giving better news, but I wanted to get everyone up to speed. I've been sick this week, and sort of MIA, so I thought it best to address the release date question with one big post. I hope you'll be patient with me. Smoke will be worth the wait.
You've probably seen the link for Snow in Texas on my Facebook page by now. But in case you haven't, or in case you're wondering what the heck it is, I thought I'd offer a more in-depth explanation.
Colin you met in Half My Blood, the irresponsible brother Mercy tried to turn into hamburger on the living room floor. Well, Colin went back to NOLA to prospect with that chapter of the Dogs, and now he's being transferred to the Texas chapter. Snow is a tie-in adventure, starring Colin, Candyman and the rest of the Texas crew. Timeline-wise, it falls in between The Skeleton King and Secondhand Smoke, as we will be seeing some of these characters in Smoke. This is an ongoing story being told one chapter at a time, with hopefully regular updates, available free to all readers on Wattpad. When it's complete, it will be made available for Kindle and Nook, and probably even paperback.
It's been simmering in the back of my mind to write another novella, this one, in fact, but I didn't want to derail the main story timeline and push back Smoke publication. So I'm doing it this way, and personally, I love writing a chapter at a time. It should be a fun way to wait for the next book, due out sometime this winter.
I've already blogged about the fact that October is my favorite month. I love autumn, Halloween, everything creepy, Gothic, dark and celebratory about this time of the year. This month makes me as excited as a kid. But, neither being a kid nor having any of my own, Halloween tends to fall by the wayside these days - a true shame. So I feel like celebrating it this year.
Tomorrow marks exactly one month since The Skeleton King released, and while a month isn't exactly a milestone, I continue to be warmed and brightened by the overwhelming positive response to my Dartmoor books. I had two local events last month to launch Skeleton, and now I think it's time to have a little online fun. So starting tomorrow, I'm hosting two weeks of Trick-or-Treating.
There will be:
- flash sales (24-48 hours)
- flash giveaways
- assorted other treats and tidbits (no tricks involved!)
Everything's going to be dealt out on a flash basis, without prior warning, so you'll need to go like my Facebook page and check in daily to see the treat of the day. This would be a great chance to bring your friends into the series, or to check out some of my backlist books. Pop into FB tomorrow to join in!