I’m not a plotter. I’m lucky if I have a very loose plan in my head when I start. Usually I have an idea or a situation, and a character in that situation. That’s about it. I sometimes have couple other situations in my mind that I think will happen somewhere in the story, but they don’t always happen. What I do is sit down just start writing. I get to know my characters as I write the same way the reader does when they read. And once I start writing, the characters take over and the story becomes theirs. More often than not, the other situations I’d thought would be in the story don’t even end up in there.
I’ve had to accept this, and I was so lucky to have editors in the past who just let me do my thing. But this time, with this series, I’ve been using a different editor, and I really think I’m driving her a little crazy. I just want to book time for her to edit it, and she wants/needs to know what to expect. More than once she’s asked what the story will be about and what direction I want the story to go in and my reply is always the same, “I have no idea. I haven’t written it yet!”
Then I realized that I do have a bit of an outline….it’s my playlist. Ekaterina, I’m posting this so you can see sort of the idea of PRIMAL. Does it help?
Welcome To The Jungle – Guns N’ Roses
I Just Wanna Live – Good Charlotte
Oh My! (Feat B.o.B) – Haley Reinhart
In the Air Tonight – Phil Collins
Your Body – Christina Aguilera
Something In Your Mouth – Nickleback
S&M (remix feat. Britney Spears) – Rihanna
Bring Me To Life – Evanescence
Can’t Stop This Thing We Started – Bryan Adams
My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark – Fall Out Boy
Unusual You – Britney Spears
Stay – Morgan Wallen (the Voice Performance)
The first full novel I ever wrote is BOUND. It was also my first book with a Traditional New York Publisher.
WATCH ME was the next story I wrote for them, a novella that was published in the KINK anthology with Saskia Walker. After that came TROUBLE. When I started Trouble, the main character was one who had been a small secondary character in WM. then, Karl, who had been a secondary character in BOUND, showed up as the hero’s Best Friend.
At this point I’d like to state that I’ve never been a plotter. While I enjoy reading a series, I’d never written one, nor planned one. These were not planned as a series, yet somehow, at this time, it became clear that I’d sorta stumbled into one. Halfway through writing Trouble I emailed my editor and said “Hey, so uhmm, I kano the second book on thaw current contract is supposed to be the DJ and radio station guys, but remember Karl from Bound? Well, he’s in Trouble too, and I really think he needs his own book next.”
The last story in the series (so far) is MY PREROGATIVE. Kelsey, the heroine, is the bartender at the hoe’s club from TROUBLE. So, even though the stories are not your typical series, and they are all stand alone ( as they were written that way by this panster who has no clue how to plot or plan) they are all connected by friendships and places.
BOUND was first released in 2006, and has been out-of-print for a few years. In fact, the only books in the series that are available in print right now are WICKED, and WATCH ME. Wicked because it’s the most popular in the series and Watch Me because when I got the rights back to the novella last year I re-released it in print and digital even though its only a novella. The digital version of Watch Me is available anywhere, but if you want print, it’s only at Amazon.
Why am I telling you all this now? Because Berkley has put the digital editions on sale, and now you have the chance to get the whole series CHEAP! Plus, if you’re attending this years Authors After Dark conference, this is a great way to prep for the Erotic Trivia Hour with Joey W. Hill and I that’s on Wednesday night. There’s going to be some great prizes, and the book Questions are worth double points…so reading the series can be considered studying. *wink*
I searched KOBO and only found these books of mine. So, not all but three of the four Dungeon books are there, and they ARE on sale…:) AND KOBO Has a Thank God It’s Friday Sale so use this code and get 30% off. TGIFSAVE30
For the first time more than five years I truly feel like a writer.
That statement might sound weird coming from me, but it’s true. When I first started writing, it was because I was searching for a career other than being a bartender/waitress. I was in my early thirties, and I knew I didn’t want to be depending on other peoples generosity (tips) to pay my bills when I was in my forties or fifties and onward. I also didn’t want to go back to school for something.
I’ve always been a bit of a gypsy wanderer with a short attention span and a try anything once outlook on life. My attitude lead to an interesting and well-rounded life, but not so much to stability. It also meant I never really had a driving urge to do or be any one thing. I’ve been a photographer, a traveller, an english teacher, a Karate teacher, an abuse counselor, a bodyguard and a graphic designer. In between – sometimes during – all those brief careers I was a waitress and bartender. I always went back to that for some reason.
Envy isn’t a pretty thing, but I’ve had it. Especially for anyone who could say “I’ve always wanted to be XXX” a doctor, a lawyer, a mechanic, and mother. It didn’t matter what they wanted to be, just that they’d had the desire to be one thing. A direction for their life. My direction had always been to simply be happy living life. It worked for a long time, but then I noticed a bit of restless that just wouldn’t leave me alone. A yearning for something, but I didn’t know what. I was still doing anything and everything that made me happy, but I wasn’t happy.
The decision to become a writer was made because it was another thing I could do that I didn’t have to go back to school for. I’ve always loved reading, and there were times I’d read a book and think, “I wish this or that had happened.” So I thought, why not?
I went after that career with the same determination Ive done pretty much everything in my life. Low and behold I was good at it! Less than three years after I’d decided to give it a try I’d sold my first novel to a NY publisher, on proposal. I’d never written a full novel before, but that didn’t scare me. I was raised to believe I could do anything if I set my mind to it, so I did it.
My writing story isn’t typical. I didn’t really know this at the time, but things had gone very easy for me. I sold the first story I ever wrote, and everything else after that pretty easily. I’d only ever received three rejection letters, and they hadn’t hit me hard at all. My first novel (Bound) made me a National Bestselling Author, and before it even hit shelves I had contracts for four novellas and two more novels from various publishers. I quit my night job, and focussed on writing.
Writer friends always found it weird when I told them the actual writing was the worst part of this job for me. I didn’t really enjoy forcing myself to sit still for hours at a time and stare at a computer screen. I loved being an author. I loved the promotions, the conferences, the people. Best of all I loved holding a book and knowing that the words on the page came from my mind, my imagination.
But the writing itself? The writing was fucking hard work. Don’t let anyone ever tell you different.
The thing is, despite having an agent, a couple of great publishers, and many friends who were also kicking ass in the publishing world, I started to flounder. I lost my drive, and the urge to do something else kept sweeping over me. Friends and family all thought I was crazy when I said I wanted to move on from writing, which made it even harder to do.
In the end, it wasn’t really a choice. I did choose to back away from my traditional publishers. I did choose to part ways with my agent. However, I did these things because I figured it was good time to try writing something different. I had a plan. I was going to take a year off, and write my “Nevada” story. A story that had been niggling at the back of my mind for a while. Only in that year, I didn’t write.
For whatever reason, I lost my way. Another year went by, and I was still sort of lost. I’d gone back to bartendeing, and was trying to write again, but I just couldn’t seem to focus. My health got worse, both physical and mental. Without going too deeply into everything, I’ll just say depression is a black hole that once you fall into, is very hard to get out of.
For the last three years I’ve been constantly trying to get back to my writing. Anti-depressants have helped. I started to feel like myself again, but it was still very hard to regain my focus on, well, on anything. I’ve been planning the Overwatch stories for almost 2 years, but I just couldn’t seem to write. About three months ago Emily Ryan-Davis and I started talking about doing a box set, since they were all the rage, and neither us had been invited to take part in any, we figured we’d put one together ourself.
Emily talked to Portia Da Costa, who I’ve known and loved for years, and the Mastered Box Set was born. We invited some of our favorite authors to join us and were thrilled when they said yes. This set came together with a line up of authors that are out of this world in the erotic romance genre.
Knowing that a deadline always motivated me nicely, I decided this was the perfect time to give myself a kick in the ass, and get the Overwatch series going. Now, here I sit, on Sunday afternoon, with Unfettered, the first Overwatch story, due to the editor tomorrow so it can be cleaned up in time to make it into the Box Set…and I’m only 5,000 words into what will be a 20,000 word story.
Am I writing the story? Uhmm, nope, I’m writing a blog post thats over 1k because I had a moment this morning where I realized I truly felt like a writer. Sitting in front of the computer and spilling words from my fingertips no longer feels like the worst part of the job. It’s still fucking hard work, but it feels like heaven because I’m actually doing it again. I’m not editing, or re-writing, or republishing….I’m writing. New words, new characters, new stories, and it feels great.
When I look back now, I think everything I’ve done has been in preparation for this. The world travel, the variety of jobs, the passion for being open to whatever opportunity arises has served me well. Even the past few years of struggle and feeling lost has served me well. It’s all helped me find my way to what I truly am. A writer.
PS: I will get those other 15k done in time, because the words are flowing from my fingertips again.