Just for fun!

I’ve recently discovered animal videos narrated by Randall–I know, where have I been?!?  These are very funny, and I wanted to share my faves:

Anyone who knows me may be hearing “Honey badger don’t give a shit!” and “You go, Jesus Christ lizard!” quite a bit in the upcoming weeks. LOL


Well, revisions are done. Yay!  I’m feeling really good about this book. First of all, my revision letter from my editor was only 4 pages long (as opposed to the 8 pages I got on the first book, KISS OF THE VAMPIRE). And during the revision process we came up with a couple of really cool scenes that I hope readers will really love.

This weekend I’m starting work on HEART OF THE DEMON, the third book in the Warriors of the Rift Series. Get ready, get set…go!

Irresistible Vampires

Over the weekend I was parked on the History Channel (which I love!), and they ran a few programs on the real Vlad Dracula, vampires, etc. It got me thinking, not for the first time, what it is about vampires that is so appealing.

Granted, they weren’t all that appealing until after Bram Stoker created Count Dracula back in 1897. Before Stoker got a hold of them, they were reanimated corpses, many times coming from their graves to attack family members. It was an explanation people came up with to explain why, when the bodies were disinterred, they were bloated (and sometimes even groaned!), the hair and nails appeared to have grown, and there was blood (at least a red fluid) around their mouths. Not exactly very appealing.

If you go back to Max Schrek and his portrayal of Nosferatu… Yeah. Nothing appealing there at all.

I’ll be honest. I never could quite get into Bela Lugosi’s Dracula. But Christopher Lee…! Absolutely. And then came Frank Langella. Rawr! Then you get young, hot vampires in the movie version of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. And while Dracula 2000 wasn’t the best vampire movie ever made, it did have one redeeming feature: Gerard Butler. (Yeah, I’m that shallow.) It’s not just that these modern-day vamps are sexy. It’s also that we want to have sex with them. But there’s more to it than that, I think.

In these times of economic uncertainty, terrorism and war, people are attracted to vampires more and more. Why?  Why not, I say. There’s something to be said about being powerful, immortal, always in control and desired by all. Let’s face it. Vampires have had centuries to perfect their skills, both in and out of the bedroom. But their biggest appeal is that they are eternally young. They don’t have to worry about wrinkles, or arthritis, or osteoporosis, or Alzheimer’s.

That, my friends, is irresistible, don’t you think?



Warriors of the Rift

Once a generation, the rift between the paranormal world and the human world opens, allowing supernatural entities to cross. Vampire, demon, or shapeshifter, they can save the world—or send it spiraling into chaos.

As a werewolf liaison to the Council of Preternaturals, Tori Joseph is used to straddling the world between humans and immortals. She plays by the rules and always delivers justice, no matter the cost. But after a string of increasingly brutal attacks result in humans turning into werewolves, Tori doesn’t reveal her horrifying suspicion: Someone very close to her might be responsible.

Investigating the paranormal violence, no-nonsense detective Dante MacMillan believes Tori is hiding something. His search for the truth draws him into greater danger as he gets closer to the dark realm of the immortals—and to the sexy werewolf who stirs his primal lust. Now with evil closing in around them, Dante must convince Tori to trust him . . . before her deadly secret destroys them both.

SECRET OF THE WOLF – book 2 in the Warriors of the Rift series coming in 2012 from Grand Central Publishing!

The Best Ways to Launch Strong Scenes

One of the most common pieces of writing advice you’ll hear is “Start with action.” And it’s good advice. Too much exposition, too much backstory at the beginning only bogs down the story and tempts readers to put the book down. Which is not what you want.

“Margaret slapped Henry as hard as she could” is much better than “Margaret stared at her husband, hearing his hurtful words, and curled her fingers into a fist.”  Why is the first example better than the second? Because readers are going to wonder why Margaret slapped Henry. And they’ll keep reading.

At the beginning of each scene, ask yourself at what point in the plot are your characters; where did you leave them and what should they do next? You also need to determine what the most important piece of information is that needs to be revealed in the scene.

So, you’re going to start with action, right? Here’s some additional advice:

  1. Be sure the action is true to your character. If Margaret in later scenes is shown to be inhibited and mousy, she wouldn’t have slapped Henry in the opening.
  2. Remember motivation/reaction. In other words, the character acts first, then reacts. So Margaret slaps, then…feels whatever she’s going to feel. Satisfaction at the bright red spot on her husband’s cheek? Astonishment that she allowed him to provoke her to violence? But the action comes first.
  3. Make sure to utilize the five senses throughout. What does the character see/smell/hear/feel/taste? (Not all at once, of course. That would be information overload.)

Happy Writing!

Think Like an Editor

The awesome Angela James, Executive Editor at Harlequin’s Carina Press, spoke to my local RWA chapter at our last meeting. One of the things she did for us was several cold reads of brave volunteers’ first three pages of their manuscripts. One of the things I took away from that experience was this: no matter how fluid and beautiful your prose is, if it doesn’t move the story forward or reveal some aspect of the character previously unknown, then it’s got to go. I knew editors (and agents) have limited time to determine if a manuscript strikes their fancy. But I didn’t realize that sometimes they’ll stop reading after just a few paragraphs and say, “Nope. Not for me.”

Which just goes to show that the first sentence, the first paragraph, the first page is extremely important. But no less important than the rest of the book. And that, my friends, gets jabbed home to me every time I go through revisions from my own awesome editor, Latoya Smith at Grand Central. Which I’m doing now. So, back to work.

Until next time, remember these immortal lines from the last episode of Castle:  “Rejection is not failure. Failure is giving up.”

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