Monday, August 29, 2011

Well, this is what I would have done

We've all heard it at some point. Whether you're a reader or writer you've heard someone say what they think should have happened in a story or series. I recently saw a post by another author talking about this and it has continued to bother me.

While I've only received one letter of this nature, it did bother me. I had someone proceed to tell me what the heroine should not do and she should be "better than that," etc. First of all, I don't think the reader fully understood the character's powers or the fact that she was not in a committed relationship. Dating someone who knows about your needs (as they are clearly told in the story) is much different than cheating. If everyone knows the score, it isn't cheating. And on a slightly different note, please do not write to tell me who she should never date again.

But all that aside, this is my series. I have planned what will happen to these characters and the choices they will make in order to become who they are supposed to be. I have done this for years. After reading the post I mentioned I re-read the letter I received and realized how much it rankled.

I have certainly read books over the years where I didn't like what happened. But I would never write to the author and tell them what "should" happen. If they wrote what I thought was supposed to happen then it wouldn't be their story anymore, it would be mine. Same goes for this person here. If the heroine was supposed to be with who they think, the series would have ended after three books. As it is I'm working on the sixth.

Here's a heads up to any who might not be expecting it: The Lilith Mercury series will not have Lilith end up with ONLY ONE MAN. It isn't her destiny. Personally, I think that's hot, and so do a lot of other people. I won't reveal more, but this is not a one man, one woman kind of story. However, I write plenty of stories with only one hero and only one heroine.

Someone saying they didn't care for a story is one thing, but telling me how it should be written is another. All I can say is, "I'm sorry you didn't like it." Seriously. What more could be expected? The story will be told as it was always meant to be: in MY words.

On the positive side, everyone else has so far understood and enjoyed the direction the story has taken. Thank you to everyone who has written to me about this series. Many have expressed opinions and I am grateful. Only one thought I should re-write the story. Please, don't take my opinion here personally. After all, I do have feelings and I certainly do have opinions, just like everybody else.

Friday, August 19, 2011

I'm working on it:)

Just thought I'd give an update of what's going on with me. I've been getting lots of emails about the next Lilith Mercury book. First of all, thank you for writing to me:) I'm so glad to know this series is being enjoyed by so many. I promise I haven't forgotten about Lilith and certainly not Marco or Dracula. *sigh*

I am planning to have the next book in to my editor by October. I'm working on several other projects at the moment. I'm about halfway finished with two novel-length books. One is about a woman named Luna who has her whole world turned upside down in one night. Her best friend gets eaten by an unidentified creature and a fairy shaman slips something in her coffee that "lifts the veil," suddenly making the magical world visible to her.

The other book is (at least in appearance) a modern, sexy Frankenstein. Of course, there's more to it than that and it has nothing to do with the actual Mary Shelley story. Or Dean Koontz, or anyone else who has done their spin:) Koontz is brilliant, by the way, but I'm rambling.

Oh, I almost forgot, I sold a new story! I'll be mailing the contract shortly for a new story with Ellora's Cave called Raven's Destiny. It's a little longer than a short story around 13,000 words. I suppose it's a short novella, if there is such a thing. LOL

Anyway, more to come on Raven's Destiny and other updates as I get them. I'm also working on converting my website to a new format which is driving me crazy. God bless my friend Stacey for his help or I would have to start completely from scratch.

I've been working in the yard today and I think I'm dehydrated. I'm seeing spots and I feel dizzy. HAHAHAHA I'm going to stop typing now.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The simple joy of growing things

I've had a lot on my mind lately. I'm working on a new short story, trying to come up with a good name for a completed story, and writing a novel length work. Plus, I need to re-vamp my website (thanks to Microsoft and GoDaddy), and I'm tired. HAHAHA

Which brings me back to the title of this post. I'm sure there are other people (especially writers) out there who are just as busy and overworked at times as I am. I love what I do, but trying to find the time to write when you run your own website, do your own marketing, and have a family is difficult.

So, why the hell would you want to try and squeeze in gardening? Because it is excellent therapy. Seriously. I blogged before about starting my pumpkin garden. It's done wonders for me and all I've got so far are itty-bitty seedlings. I love fall, and the color orange, so pumpkins are probably the most therapeutic thing I could plant. But anything you enjoy (that's in season) will work.

There is something profoundly relaxing about making something grown. To bring life instead of tearing something down. It's simple and complex at the same time. Gardening is one of life's simple pleasures and I highly recommend it.

If you are stressed out, plant something. I got a puppy too, but that may be more work than everyone is looking for. Ha. Ha. Still very rewarding as well.

Some plants (like pumpkins) only require a seasonal commitment. Others, like my roses need a little care year round.

My point is, spend a little time with nature. It sounds cheesy, but you might be surprised by the effect it can have on your ability to relax. It's totally worth it. Everything you need to work on will still be there when you get back. Trust me.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Why are some reviewers so cruel?

We've all read them, nasty reviews. Whether they were about a book we wrote or not, everyone has read at least one scathing review and cringed. The reason I'm writing about this is because it's been on my mind.

First let me say I don't expect everyone to like everything I write. Of course, that would be wonderful, but nothing is perfect. I've read plenty of books I didn't like. But, even before I was a published author it never occurred to me to write a rude review or reveal the plot in a public forum.

I cannot imagine why someone would behave this way. Most professional reviewers are just that professional. Let me make it clear that these are NOT the folks I'm talking about. I'm talking about someone who decides to half pay attention to the book, then quote it incorrectly, and give away every single plot twist in a "review." There are also those who call the author names. Or use words to describe the story like "stupid." That's just plain rude.

I had this happen to me recently and was caught between shock and horror. I still am. I keep asking, "Why would anyone do this?" Why not just say, "I didn't like the book because the plot didn't work for me, etc." Why be a jerk?

Anyway, I'm still baffled by this behavior. I suppose it falls into the confusing category along with why some people think a 3 star rating is good.

It's not just that I've been insulted. I've been published for 4 years this month and believe me my hide has gotten pretty thick. For some reason this reviewer's rude remarks really got to me.

Everyone who wants to improve their craft does want feedback, but there's a way to offer it: minus name calling and in a professional manner. Otherwise it's just hostile and while the author may read it and have their feelings hurt, that's likely all it will accomplish.

It's hard not to take things like that personally when you put so much time and effort into a story. It makes me wonder if I've done something to the reviewer (unintentionally since I do not speak to people that way) to make them treat me like that. I say me and not my book, because the review in question was so insulting it was personal.

I suppose my point is, if you review books and you come across one you don't like, at least be kind in your remarks and thoughtful of how you say you didn't enjoy the book. Think how you might feel if someone scanned 3 months of your life/work in 3 hours and called it crap.

It's perfectly all right to not like everything. Hell, it's a free country. All I'm saying is, there's no reason to be mean. The author didn't write that book just to piss you off/ruin your day/week, or whatever. I swear.

Monday, August 1, 2011

I can't wait for Fall

My Facebook status right now reads, "I await the morning I wake up to that first taste of Fall just as eagerly as a first kiss."

It's true. I love Fall. I know a lot of people get depressed during that time of year. (Some even more near the holidays.) But I've always had a hard time imagining why. I suppose it all depends on where you live as well. In Florida, I can tell you I am glad to see the weather cool off. Summer time is horrible.

I overheard someone complaining recently that they were dreading Fall because "everything dies."

I thought, "But I come alive."

It's as if Mother Nature decides to wake up her color palate. Bright, fresh oranges and tones of gold and red spread over the landscape looking anything but dead. That's wonderful, but what really gets me is the change in the air. For just an instant while cleaning last week I "caught a whiff" of Fall and my mood brightened. I wasn't feeling bad, but I still found a way to feel better. I felt lighter.

There's a certain clarity of thought that I welcome when the wind is cool and the mornings are crisp. I love the smell of pine logs burning and the crackling of a warm fire. I love to bake. The smells of cinnamon, apples, and pears is soothing. And I LOVE pumpkins! I can't wait to buy my seeds this week and start planting.

October is my favorite month and I await it each year like a kid looking forward to Christmas. In October the weather starts to change, leaves begin to turn and there are tons of bright orange pumpkins:) It just makes my day each and every day.

I write more during the month of October than any other month because it's pretty obvious that the change in weather inspires me. More of my stories take place in the Fall-Winter months as well, simply because I like the cold.

If I lived some place where everything was always frozen and there was no color except for "snow white," I'm sure I would feel differently. But as it stands now ... I can't wait for my pumpkins to grow. And I can't wait for that first taste of Fall.