Tag Archives: romance author

The Writing Muse, and other deadly myths.

Moonday Mania

a blog for the readers and writers

This summer, I’ve been blogging on the five top things I’ve learned writing romance and today we’re on number three: There is no such thing as the muse.

  1. As soon as I think I’m on a writing roll, life will intervene.
  2. The plot can be thought out in advance, but the characters are bound to have issues with whatever you’ve decided. So be flexible and roll with it.
  3. There is no such thing as the muse.
  4. There is such a thing as resistance.
  5. Writing is a muscle. Use it, or lose it.

Now on with today’s blog:

There is no debate among professional writers: the muse is a myth.

I first read about this total disbelief in the writing muse in Stephen King’s On Writing. A fabulous book that almost scared me so much, I nearly stopped writing altogether. Luckily, I persevered.

Why?

Because of that mythical muse.

Huh? If the muse doesn’t exist, then how could it have motivated me to write?

Well, I’ll tell you. Productive, professional writers are correct, from horror to romance to thrillers they all say the same thing: If you want to actually publish and be successful, you cannot wait around for inspiration to strike. I let too many things interrupt my writing schedule, but I know that in order to be successful you have to sit down in the chair and write. No matter if you don’t have the time, or the energy, or the muse hasn’t shown up. You just write.

This is what a synopsis is for.

When I don’t know what to write, when my characters don’t want to cooperate, it doesn’t matter—because I have a synopsis to guide me. I don’t have to have inspiration to get myself kick-started. And, if that piece isn’t the most inspiring, that’s okay. That’s what editing is for. And believe me, I edit. A lot.

So, wait a minute. Didn’t you just say that the muse kept you in the game when your fear of Stephen King almost made you stop?

Yeah, I did say that. That’s because this is where I believe in the myth. The muse may not have to show up every day to get you to write. Writing is a job and muse or not, you need to do it. But, the muse does have to show up sometime. And when she does, wow! That’s when your fingers fly over the pages. Or it happens when you’re out walking and a fabulous idea for a tricky scene pops into your head. Or, she visits you in your sleep and whispers into your dreams.

That’s what the muse is for. Kick-starting. Not for everyday working the job.

So…here’s the skinny:

Get to work without the muse, but be grateful when she does flit into your writer cave; because, those are the moments that make it wonderful to be a writer.

Tune in next week for topic number four: There is such thing as resistance.

 

***

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s newsletter and get your link to download your exclusive FREE book, please click HERE.

Rogue Enforcer by jessica aspen

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Filed under channeling success, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey, writing craft

Lesson Two From the Writing Path:Your characters will try to wrestle for the controls

Moonday Mania

a blog about writers, writing and the roadblocks we all face

Last week I started this series of blogs about my romance writing lessons, well, roadblocks really, with a post on how life gets in the way of my goals. You can read that HERE. This week I’m addressing lesson two. And in the following weeks I’ll be hitting the other three top lessons I’ve learned by writing and publishing paranormal romance.

On writing, plotting, and how characters are lying in wait, ready to derail your best laid plots.

Lesson number two:

The plot can be thought out in advance, but the characters are bound to have issues with whatever you’ve decided. So be flexible, and roll with it.

You’ve heard of it. Writers who detail all their plots in advance, and then stick to every single plot point.

Well, I’m here to tell you that those writers are the minority. You see, writers are divided into different camps. There are the pantsers: those who don’t plot at all, but just sit down and write, never knowing where the plot is going. Then there are those stick in the mud, rigid plotters: they stick tight to their plan, even if the characters beg plead and threaten mutiny. But most of us are somewhere in the middle. We have an idea of the story. We know the begining, maybe the middle, and the end. We know the highlights.

Some of us fill in the story from there. Some of us, like me, write down as much as they can of the plot points from begining to end, trying to peg down the route like you would plan your summer road trip. But, as we all know, not all road trips are smooth driving.

Yeah, those characters are frustrating sometimes.

It’s taken me a long time to work out how to plot a story. I have a very effective method that gives me a beginning, middle, end—and lots of hot romance and exciting plot points in between. But rarely do I end up sticking with the whole thing. That’s because, even though I have my plot down, my characters are never quite pressed out. They tend to pop up with ideas and motivations that I had no idea about when I was outlining their stories. And so, I need to be flexible and change the story when they ask for it.

Demand it.

Absolutely refuse to cooperate until I rewrite.

Characters drive the story.

In addition to outlining your story, you have to decide if your tale is plot driven or character driven. While I love having a good, fast-paced plot, in romance the characters have to drive the story. That’s because, no matter what else is going on, it’s the emotional changes of the couple and how they go from not meshing to totally being immersed in each other, that is the essence of romance.

And that’s where my characters will change my plot lines.

I’ll think the plot goes one way, and that’s a perfectly great way for the plot to go, and then the characters’ emotional changes will move the plot an entirely different way. A great example of that is in the third book in the Tales of the Black Court. I knew the Black Queen had to die. I’d known it since the first book. But, when it came time for her to die, she threw a total twist at me. I’m not going to spoil it for people who haven’t read Broken Mirror, but suffice to say, Aeval’s death was nothing like I’d planned.

And that’s okay. That just means that I have another book to write!

Does life ever throw you curves when you think you have it all plotted out? Do people sometimes do things totally unexpectedly? 

Want to read the rest of my five lessons from writing romance?

Here are the rest of the lessons I’ll be addressing.

  1. As soon as I think I’m on a writing roll, life will intervene. (Check out the first post)
  2. The plot can be thought out in advance, but the characters are bound to have issues with whatever you’ve decided. So be flexible and roll with it. (That’s this one!)
  3. There is no such thing as the muse. (Next week’s post)
  4. There is such a thing as resistance.
  5. Writing is a muscle. Use it, or lose it.

***

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s newsletter and get your link to download your exclusive FREE book, please click HERE.

Rogue Enforcer by jessica aspen

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Filed under Moonday mania, Writer's Journey, writing craft

Acceptance

Moonday Mania

a blog for the monday in all of us

***

Before I get to the blog: the Rafflecopter contest for a Kindle Fire 6 will be closing soon, so check out last weeks announcement of CINDER: A Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance release and enter to win.

Now, here’s the blog.

What is an author?

Lately I’ve been struggling with what being an author means. It seems to make a living in this new ebook world of ours you need to be the kind of person who gives up sleep, social life, a clean house, all in order to produce enough work to keep the hungry readers happy and satisfied. But then, just when you think you’re doing that, life happens, and you can’t possibly write enough. So what does this mean to me as an author? If I can’t produce a book a month (and let’s face it, I can’t) can I really expect to survive in this frenzied ebook world?

Write fast? Write clean? Write dirty.

I have choices. I could skip the edits….

No, I can’t.

I’m just not that person. If you know me at all you know I have to go over those books and make sure they’re as clean as I can get them. Even the dirty parts. LOL ! I personally can’t just write a draft and send it out. I need to let it sit and then edit it, and then send it to my editor. Who then helps me figure out all the re-writes it needs. And then it goes to a proofreader. So, no, I can’t just whip out a book and get it out.

So, the question becomes…

Do I write short? Do I change what I write? 

I could write serials. Shorten my books into little sections and dole them out. Or, I could write super short stories: more novellas. Complete romances that take place in 40k or less. Actually, I struggle writing short. I’m working on the edits for SCARLETT: A Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance, right now. And it’s going to be a short novel, not a novella. Why? Because the story demands it and it’s sneaking up over 40k. I’ve given up keeping it to a novella length because I don’t want to cut out anything, especially the hotter scenes (waggles eyebrows).

So, I can’t write short. I can’t not edit. What can I do?

Roll over and take it.

My health demands that I sleep, get exercise, shop for and cook real healthy food. (Go kale!) My heart demands that I spend time with my family, take care of my parents, my kids, and my husband. And Miss Molly, my Lab mix, demands that I take her on walks.

Molly_021416

I’ve tried skipping some of this stuff and what happens? I get sick. My anxiety shoots to high levels. I just can’t do it all and feel good.

So…

I’m going to keep writing the books I love writing. I’m not moving to what’s “hot” or super short books. I love my convoluted fantasy books. I love the machinations of my villains and the snarkiness of a certain puca. And if I made them super short or left out parts or didn’t write them with the depth that they deserve, I think you, my readers, would be disappointed.

While you and me both would love to for me to write and get more books out faster, it’s just going to happen as fast as it happens. And frankly, this is pretty fast. When I think about the three years it took to write The Dark Huntsman, and I look at how fast I can write now, I’m super impressed. I am writing faster, and that’s a good thing.

Now if I can just get Molly to stop begging me for walks, we’ll be in good shape!

***

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE

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Filed under About the Author, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

Early Bird Gets the Worm, But Not Before My Coffee!

Moonday Mania

a blog about writing

Updates:

I’m working hard on my new Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance for Camp NaNoWriMo as well as working on finishing up polishing RED, the first book in the series (formerly titled LITTLE RED RIDING WOLF). I’m also working on cover sheets to send to my cover artist for the first four books in the series and I’m looking forward to reissuing the first three books in this romance novella series in the fall. Followed fast by the next three novellas.

I’m also working on getting my first three fantasy romances in the TALES OF THE BLACK COURT into a boxed set. I have the cover and it’s fantastic! (Cover reveal to come soon) But the formatting is driving me crazy, I may have to farm that out, but my budget says “Noooo!”

Now onto the blog:

I used to think I was a morning person, and then I read about all the authors who rise and shine at five in the morning and start creating their books. Crazy! These people actually get up an hour early to cram in writing BEFORE they do things like: go to the day job. Can I say CRAZY again?

So, am I a morning person?

Me at five am

Not a pretty sight at 5am

I rise and shine somewhere between 5am and 6am, without an alarm. Unless I’m super tired, then I’ve been known to sleep in until 7. Most people would define that as a morning person. But I’ll give you a hint. I have serious bed-head when I roll out of bed and I desperately need my coffee. In other words, no one wants me writing sexy shifter romance when all I can think about is coffee. You can picture the dialogue.

“Oh baby, I can’t stop thinking about you.”

“That’s nice. Is that coffee I smell?”

“Forget the coffee, let’s make mad passionate love.”

“Um, sure. After the coffee. And breakfast. I’m too hungry to think about anything but bacon. And coffee. Is the coffee ready yet?”

I can do emails, and once I wake up I can edit, but actual creative work, where I think about plot and motivation and backstory? It just doesn’t happen that early.

If it’s not 5am then what is my most productive time?

I think my most productive time is after I’ve been up, had my coffee, taken the dog for a walk, showered and dressed. And that puts me at 9am. Right when I’m supposed to be at the day job. When I do get to work at 9, I’m great. Words flow, things get done. I’m a powerhouse until noon and my lunch break. But that doesn’t really work with my day job who expects me to be at work from 9 until noon. Sometimes even 1pm, or 2.

I get home after work wanting lunch and a break. I have time then, it’s just not my natural work time. It’s the afternoons when my body wants to catch up for that five am wake up call. And sometimes…I fall asleep in front of the tv when I should be writing. Then the kids come home and I’m distracted by life, errands, and cooking dinner. So when am I supposed to squeeze those quality words in?

Find your time.

It doesn’t matter about all the excuses. I want to write, so I need to find some other productive time. I’m lucky in that I’m working part time now. The idea behind that was supposed to be that the other hours in the week I would be writing. But it’s only working out that Fridays are a writing day, because I usually don’t work then and I push everything else to other days of the week. TGIF!

What am I going to do about it?

I honestly don’t know. I have a few ideas though.

First of all I’m going to be working less hours for the rest of the summer, so I think I can devote Wednesdays as well as Fridays to writing.

Second of all, I’m leaving the house to do it. Summer is when my kids are home a lot, so if the house is full, I’m outa here!

And third, I’m going to try writing at least a hundred words in the afternoons that I am able. Thursdays and Mondays tend to be packed, but there is a possibility that Tuesdays will work out. And if I get into that habit, maybe I can also squeeze in another hundred on the tougher days.

When are your most productive hours? Have you ever tried to chart them? What did you find out?

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

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Filed under About the Author, channeling success, Nanowrimo, Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance

Wattpad and The Dark Huntsman

Moonday Mania

a blog for romance readers and writers

I’m diving into Wattpad.

I’ve been talking about it for months now, but I finally posted the first chapter of my fantasy romance, THE DARK HUNTSMAN, last week and I’ll be getting chapter two up this week. It’s been pretty fun and exciting to try something new, just one of many new things that I’ve been diving into this spring and summer and of which I’ll try to keep posting my progress.

Wattpad is easy!

It’s super easy to join Wattpad, and posting was a breeze. The only issue I had was getting the chapter to be public and published—for some reason it said ‘draft’ for a long time. In fact, even though I think I got it published, it still says ‘draft’. But it’s up and on Wattpad and you can check it out HERE.

I was a little worried about the heat level.

I wondered about my spicy scenes between Logan and Trina, but Wattpad lets you state what age group your post is appropriate for. I still was a little worried, but as a friend pointed out “look what we were reading at that age.” Okay, that is so true. When I was 13 or 14 I dove into the wild world of romance, and no one censored what I read. What I write is about two consenting adults, and they end up in a loving relationship, so what am I worried about?

Still worried, but pushing ahead.

I am still a little concerned, but I decided to utilize Wattpad’s rating level and see what happens. Frankly, I don’t think it will be much of an issue, but I’m a worry wart.

What’s next? Why, chapter two, of course!

I’ll be publishing chapter two this week and on through the entire rest of the book. That should take me almost through the end of the year, and then I’ll decide if I want to do more. It’s likely I’ll take a break. Or I might consider putting up another book. I’ll let you know.

Where is the rest of the TALES OF THE BLACK COURT?

Now that the ebook of BROKEN MIRROR is out and published and available for sale I’m working on the print version. I have the paperback copy in my hand, but it needs proofreading. So I’m trying to wrangle time to sit down and go through the book and look for errors, but once that’s done the print book will be ready for publication!

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

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Filed under Fantasy Romance, Moonday mania

Monday Craziness! And I’m Finally Finished With the Book!

Whimsical Wednesdays

a check in blog for you curious cats

I’ve been AWOL. Between my incredible vacation to Jamaica and finishing up edits on the third book in the TALES OF THE BLACK COURT fantasy romance series, BROKEN MIRROR, I gave up on trying to keep up with the blog. But I finally finished the book! WOOT!

Yes, that’s right. I was reading romance on the beach and spending one on one time with my sweetie. It took 14 hours to travel there, and another 14 hours to travel back, door-to-door, and it was worth every minute. Love the ocean. Love the atmosphere. And I love my sweetie!

Okay, back to reality.

We came back to rain, rain, rain. Grass that is out of control. And a sick kid, who promptly infected my husband. I’ve been holding it off until my edits are done. That’s a skill that women all over the world have, the ability to hold off the illness while the world falls apart. It doesn’t mean you don’t get sick, it just means you can be the last one to get it, after you’ve worn yourself out taking care of everyone else’s needs.

Crazy Week! And another Crazy Week! And then a third Crazy Week!

Why is it when you go on vacation, everything blows up so that when you get home you have to work three times as hard as normal? I thought work was going to be taken care of while I was gone, but it wasn’t, so I arrived home after traveling on Saturday (14 hours people) to work a nearly ten hour day on Monday. And the work still wasn’t done.

Plus, I had set aside this time to finish BROKEN MIRROR. It’s tough to write romance with a coughing sick child on the couch and work falling apart. But I kept at it. Okay, I sat too much with the child sipping tea and watching re-runs of Murder She Wrote and Midsommer Murders, because that’s how we roll.

And it lasted into the next week, and the next!

By golly, work still wasn’t taken care of by the following week. Parts didn’t arrive. Customers did. It was crazy! The child got better and the husband got sick. And I still had to edit. Add in driving for hours to help D2 pack up her dorm room and a flat tire in the rain during rush hour traffic. And another five hour trip the next day to pick up our pastured hog. (Well worth it as I cook my super delicious bacon and ham steaks.)

And I was still editing!

But now the hog is in the freezer. The eldest child is ensconced in the basement with all her gear. The husband is still sick, but back at work. And the book is put to bed.

So now it’s time for me to get sick, and boy can I feel it creeping in. I have that sore tickle in my throat, and I woke up with my lungs feeling yucky. And I know this is just the begining because I’ve watched them drop one-by-one. So, I hope to be blogging away next week, but I may be on my sick-bed watching Columbo and drinking Earl Grey. Don’t wait up!

Broken Mirror cover art by Viola EstrellaBROKEN MIRROR has been sent off to the copy editor. It will come out on time on June 18th, but you can order it now using Amazon’s pre-order function.

I’m super excited to test out pre-order, but I don’t know if I’ll ever try it again. Worrying about hitting the deadline has made me crazy. And truthfully, I would have wanted one more week on the book.

But then again, all authors want just one more week, don’t they?

It’s just that crunch time hit right after my vacation when my day job was super busy and everyone in the house was getting sick. I also have so many family obligations and social activities this month, that I’m really looking forward to summer and not having things to do. Crazy, but true.

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

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Filed under About the Author, Broken Mirror, Tales of the Black Court, Whimsical Wednesdays

Camp NaNoWrimo Check In -or -How to Write Two Books At Once

 

Moonday Mania

a blog for the goal challenged in all of us

Ar you Nanoing this April with Camp Nano? I am. I’m participating in Camp NaNoWrimo by writing my fourth sexy shifter romance. And not only does this one have bear shifters and a twisted fairy tale, but I’m doing something cool with it. I’m actually splitting the fairy tale romance into two books. How do you do that? Let me explain.

Two books, but one fairy tale means that there will be two romances, each participating in the same fairy tale retelling.

This fairy tale has two sisters, so I could have written a longer romance with one main couple and a sub-plot with the other sister, but that’s not what I’m doing. Instead I’m writing two novellas each with it’s own heroine, hero, and romance plot, but since they share the fairy tale, they run concurrently!

What fairy tale is it?

I’m not quite ready to share yet, but I’ll give you some hints. It has two sisters and a bear shifter. I’ve changed it to have two bear shifters. Not only so could we have two hunky men, but when I wrote the Goldilocks story it had three bears, but only one got a happy ending. Sad. We couldn’t leave them single for too long, could we? No way! Now each of the guys will be settled down with their own happily ever after.

So, how do you write two books at once?

Well, you really don’t. What I’ve done is loosely plot the two books, but as I write the first one I’m changing and adding to the plot structure of the second one. They’ll fit together nicely this way. The plan is to write the rough draft of romance one, and then let it sit while I write the rough draft of romance two. This way I can change the second one to fit the first one, and vice-versa. Neat huh?

Putting it all together.

When both rough drafts are finished I’ll go back to book one and polish it’s draft and then I’ll do book two. This way I should be able to catch errors between the plots. My goal is to send them to the editor at the same time so that she’ll be able to do the same thing-go back and forth between the books as necessary.

Where did I get my inspiration for writing two books that have intertwining plots?Twin of Fire

Twin of Ice by Jude Deveraux

While I’m sure other people have done this, my inspiration is Jude Deveraux’s books, TWIN OF FIRE,  and TWIN OF ICE. I read them years ago and they are some of my favorites.

I loved the way the twins switched places and ended up in each other’s plots trying to fool each other’s heroes and I’ve always remembered how clever she was to have thought of the idea. When I decided to twist a fairy tale with two sisters, I definitely wanted to try it.

And no, mine aren’t twins, so no switching. I thought about it, but if you want to read that plot twist you’ll have to read the original mistress of romance, Jude Deveraux.

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your FREE book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

 

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Filed under fairy tales, Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, romance, writing organization

Writing Romance Goals 2015

Moonday Mania

it’s all about the goals, baby!

Hellooo! And Happy 2015!

It’s a new year, finally, and that means I get to start over. WOOT! I love starting over with new romance writing goals for the new year and 2015 is going to be simplified, clarified, and amplified.

Okay, I just threw in that last one because I liked the way it sounded.

Seriously though. My life has gotten super busy with increase responsibilities. Between helping out my parents, the kids, the husband, the day job and my new post as treasurer for my local RWA group, I’m going to be working hard to find the time to do what I love to do, and that’s WRITE ROMANCE.

But I’m determined to set my goals high, so here goes.

Here are my new goals for 2015!

  1. Publish book 2.5, Cassie’s backstory from just before Broken Mirror.
  2. Publish Broken Mirror, book three in the Tales of the Black Court.
  3. Re-brand and publish the three novellas in the Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods series
  4. Write three more novellas for Twisted Tales Series and publish.
  5. Write fourth book in the Tales of the Black Court. (Would love to have this out and published by end of 2015, but realistically it’s looking like 2016. But I’m going to try!)
  6. Put all 6 Twisted Tales into an anthology. (This is also a bonus goal, but I think it’s doable!)

See? My theme this year is KISS (Keep It Simple Silly!)

Previous years I’ve had huge lists of goals. Romance writer and reader conferences I wanted to attend and writing classes I wanted to take. But I’ve had to really re-focus and streamline and this year I’m really focused on what I’m writing and getting my words out to you, the readers. This year it’s all about the romance, baby!

Twisted Tales is a huge focus for me because I have the rights back from my publisher and I want to get them back out into the world, but they need new covers and frankly new titles. While I love Little Red Riding Wolf, it ends up in the children’s section of the search engine, and that is not a good thing for a spicy romance novella!

I know that readers really enjoy those sexy shifter stories, so I’m planning on writing three more and putting them all into an anthology as well as make them available for sale individually.

If all goes as planned I’ll have NINE books out by the end of 2015. AMAZING!

The Tales of the Black Court are another huge focus and I can’t wait until the next one is out. Broken Mirror my biggest priority for 2015 and it is getting closer to publication every day!

That’s it!

KISS! That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it. Get the goals done one at a time and when that one’s done, move on to the next!

What are your goals for 2015? Are you using the KISS method of goal setting? Leave a comment and let me know. 🙂

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE. 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

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Filed under About the Author, Goal Setting, Jessica Aspen's Books, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

Lexi Post #romance #author Interview and #Giveaway

Whimsical Wednesdays

romance author interview

Purple stick 2Please welcome erotic romance author, Lexi Post to Jessica Aspen Writes. And today, Lexi is generously giving away a Venetian mask, so please read throug the post, answer Lexi’s question in the comments, and enter to win! Don’t forget to check out the sexy cover for her latest romance Passion of Sleepy Hollow. Yowza!

  • Hi Lexi, how long have you been writing? What is your main writing genre? Do you write in more than one genre and why?

I’ve been writing for about six years. I only write romance though I write many subgenres of it. All my current published books are erotic romance, though among those there are paranormals, a Sci-fi and a January 2015 release with a contemporary cowboy. I write in many subgenres because I write erotic romance inspired by the classics. So whatever the original story inspires is what I write. For example, when I decided to write Passion of Sleepy Hollow, I used Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” for my inspiration. That story just begged for a paranormal bent, so it not only had ghosts, a witch and a curse, it also had a hero from present day and a heroine trapped in the 1790s.

 

  • Tell us the story behind your pen name? Do you have more than one?

 

I only have one pen name, Lexi Post. Lexi came from my family. They called me Lexi when I was little and actually still do. When I was a teenager, my siblings started calling me Sexy Lexi which embarrassed me at the time, but it gave me the idea to use the name for my erotic romance. Post is actually the last name of my biological father. I figured that way I wouldn’t embarrass any of my family members. As it turns out, all of them, including my extended family are thrilled by my writing career.

 

  • What do you want your readers to take from your books?

 

I want my readers to feel completely satisfied to the point they have a “book hangover” as one of my fans stated. That’s what happens when you have read a great romance and the characters just stay with you and you are hesitant to pick up another romance right away because you are still emotionally connected to them. I love it when I get one of these and I’m absolutely thrilled when my readers have this happen.

 

Most of all, I want to reinforce the age old ideals that good wins over evil and love conquerors all, even if none of us our perfect. Having spent most of my life reading and teaching classic literature which 9 times out of 10 will have a sad ending, I wanted to write stories that would end happily and give hope.

 

  • What inspires you?

 

For my erotic romances, it is classic literature. I know, that sounds strange given what I just said.  But the fact is, the classics are classic for a reason. They are good. They just tend to have sad endings. So I get my inspiration from the original stories and write an entirely new story with pieces from the old that are key. In Passion of Sleepy Hollow, I kept the setting, the main characters (or their descendants) and the superstition that was prevalent in the original.

 

  • What do you come up with first in starting a story: Title? Characters? Plot? Setting? Conflict?

 

I definitely start with my characters, deciding who from the original story will be used and what their goals, motivation and inner and outer conflicts will be. This is often simultaneous with deciding on my setting. Then I focus on what the pivotal black moment will be, that conflict in values that tears the couple apart. Once I have these pieces, I just start writing as I am a pantser at heart.

 

  • Are you self-publishing? Why or why not?

 

I am. I just released my first self-published novella that started my erotic sci-fi series; however, my agent will continue to submit to publishers. The reason I started with self-publishing was so I would have control over when some of my books come out. I didn’t want my readers to forget me :-} By time my second year anniversary of being published rolls around, I will have six books out, two of which are self-published. I am hoping that I can increase that number in my third year.

 

  • Did you have a favorite scene in Passion of Sleepy Hollow?

 

Yes, I did. It was a scene I hadn’t known would be in the story, but I just followed the characters, actually the hero, Braden. It is a very touching sex scene where he uses a mirror to show Katrina how beautiful she is. It isn’t that she has a poor image of herself. It is just that she’s never really thought about it with all her responsibilities. Braeden is absolutely wonderful as Kat realizes she’s pretty all over.

 

  • What are you releasing next, and when?

 

My next book is titled Cowboys Never Fold. It is a contemporary cowboy story that will be part of a multi-author Cowboy 12 Pack coming out in January. This novella was inspired by Bret Harte’s “Outcasts of Poker Flat” and takes place on a new nudist resort, a place this cowboy, Wade, isn’t excited about working at until he meets the owner, Kendra.

 In celebration of Halloween, I will give a hand decorated, Venetian mask made in Italy to one lucky commenter who tells me what genre of romance they like best.

 

Passion of Sleepy Hollow blurb:

 

passionofsleepyhollow_msr (2)Recluse Braeden Van Brunt is not happy to be the Headless Horseman…until he meets Katrina Van Tassel, owner of the Sleepy Hollow Inn, whose allure bewitches him from the front desk into the bedroom. When he discovers Kat and the village of Sleepy Hollow are cursed to exist in the present day for only one weekend a year, he realizes the sacrifice he must make if he wants to keep her.

 

Katrina Van Tassel lives between slivers of time. She thought she was through grieving her betrothed’s death, but her dreams flare to life when his mirror image arrives, requesting a room. Drawn to Braeden, she is taken to more erotic heights of intimacy than she ever imagined, but she can’t be sure if her heart is with him or the love from her past.

 

Knowing he has to conquer both time and ghosts to keep the only woman he’s ever loved, Braeden must put the past to rest. But the dead may not rest in Sleepy Hollow.

 

Link to Excerpt from Passion of Sleepy Hollow

 

About Lexi Post:

Lexi Post photo Lexi Post spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to the 20th century American epic The Grapes of Wrath, from War and Peace to the Bhagavad Gita, she’s read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.

But Lexi’s first love is romance novels. In an effort to marry her two first loves, she started writing erotic romance inspired by the classics and found she loved it. Lexi feels there is no end to the romantic inspiration she can find in great literature for her sexy love stories. Her books are known as “erotic romance with a whole lot of story.”

Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat (unless she is going incognito).
To contact her, send an email to lexi.post@yahoo.com

 

PASSION OF SLEEPY HOLLOW  Buy Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Ellora’s Cave

All Romance eBooks

For more information about Lexi Post:

websitehttp://www.lexipostbooks.com/

Bloghttp://www.happilyeverafterthoughts.com/

twitter:   https://twitter.com/LexiPost

Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/lexipostbooks

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6915542.Lexi_Post

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lexi-Post/e/B00EBLAFLI/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1392417984&sr=1-2-ent

 

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Filed under guest post, Whimsical Wednesdays

Must Love Breeches, Time Travel Romance author Angela Quarles

Moonday Mania

a blog venturing into the mists of time

Welcome to Moonday Mania and my guest author, Angela Quarles. Angela is a fellow member of the Romance Writers of America and the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal romance writers chapter where we delve into everything from wizards and witches to love in space. Her first book, Beer and Groping in Las Vegas, came out in 2012. Now she’s ventured into the world of paranormal romance and I’m thrilled to say readers are eating it up! Here she is talking about writing, life and her latest book, Must Love Breeches. Please welcome romance author, Angela Quarles!

  • How long have you been writing? What is your main writing genre? Do you write in more than one genre and why?

I’ve been working on a nonfiction book since the early 1990s, but didn’t start dabbling in fiction until 2005 (except for a very brief attempt to write a romance in the 90s). In 2005, I started writing Jane Austen fan fiction, but didn’t really set out to write a novel until 2008. I completed my first novel in 2009, which is currently trunked 🙂 I wrote the first draft of Must Love Breeches in 2010 and set about revising it. I think writing fiction offers an opportunity for me to use my creativity and imagination in a way that was challenging enough to keep my interest. Plus, it allows me to use and fuse my interests in different ways and in different stories. It’s a way for me to “act” out other characters and personalities and to time travel 🙂 If there was one sub-genre under romance that would cover what I write it’d be paranormal. Mainly time travel, but also other types of romance where I can incorporate something a little out of the ordinary, whether it’s a wish-granting djinn, or steampunk, or meta fiction—a ‘What If’ that can’t actually happen in real life. Usually, though, it’s a little dabble that is inserted into the normal world, but has big consequences. In my time travel romance, Must Love Breeches, it’s a wish made on a calling card case that brings her back in time, but then that’s it as far as paranormal events. With Beer and Groping in Las Vegas, it’s an accidental wish made with a djinn, and except for little things they notice during the story, it takes place in our normal world.

  • Tell us the story behind your pen name? Do you have more than one?

I definitely wanted to keep my first name to avoid confusion when someone might be calling out for me and I don’t realize it because I’m not used to the name. So Angela was a given. I wanted something for a last name that had some personal meaning and was also distinctive enough that I would be able to claim my pen name on the social media outlets and that didn’t have authors already populating Amazon and Google. Quarles fit that bill as it’s an old family name in Virginia. Some ancestors of mine there married into the Quarles family, so there you go!

 

  • What theme or message in your book? Does it run through all your books?

In Must Love Breeches it’s about Home, specifically What is home? What makes a home for someone and how do you find it? It runs as a minor theme in my other books too. Probably the theme or message that is most prevalent is learning to love and accept yourself before you can find love and happiness.

 

  • Pantser/Plotter/or both? Tell us how you work.

I’m a Plantser, a little of both, but that only came about after several books. My first two books were pantsed, which includes Must Love Breeches, but by my third full-length I realized I needed to get a little more organized to save myself a lot of revision work, and so with Steam Me Up, Rawley, my steampunk romance coming out in the beginning of 2015, I pre-plotted as much as I could stand and that was basically working out the world, the goals of the hero and heroine and a bit of their background, and the major turning points. Since then, I’ve been most comfortable that way. I can’t go as far as a full outline, because some things I can’t figure out until I’m actually wading into it, but I push myself to nail down what I can before I start.

  • Do you get writer’s block and if so how do you get past it?

Sometimes. I’m a FastDrafter, meaning I try to write my first draft as fast as I can. I wrote the first draft of Steam in 14 days, but generally I take 30… This means I really don’t have time to get stuck, which is great as it forces me to go on. Before I started FastDrafting, I never completed my first novel because I was always suffering from Writer’s Block, which at that time was just pure fear. Now, when I do get it, it’s because I don’t know where the story is going and so I’ll stop and break for a day or two and type up all that I know about the characters and what’s happening, the plot points, etc.—generally all the things a Plotter would put down on paper before they ever started. Then I take out my notebook and a pen and just start writing out what I’m stuck on—literally. For instance, I’ll write out: “Okay, so such and such is doing this and that and I need to figure out why he’s doing this, what could be the reason…” and then I’ll just start bulletpointing ideas on paper and running with them until something comes out of it. That generally works for me.

  • How do you research the time period, setting, plot specifics, character specifics?

First it might be figuring out what country or time period and then narrowing it down from there. For instance, with Must Love Breeches I vaguely knew I wanted to go back to the early 1800s and did some superficial research until I came across Ada Lovelace and I knew she had to be a character, so that narrowed down my research to a very specific time period. With Must Love Chainmail, I only knew it needed to be in the medieval era when mail armor was still worn before plate armor became popular. I nosed around on some forums talking about armor and a commenter suggested Wales might provide a fertile ground with the Edwardian wars there, so then I started reading general histories on Wales until a specific historical event spoke to me (Madog’s Rebellion in 1294) and then I narrowed my focus and even found the perfect castle to base the beginning of the story in. The next in the series, Must Love Kilts, I just started reading some general histories this week on Scotland (I’ve read many in the past, but not with plotting a book in mind) to see if a specific time period or historical event pops out for me and then I’ll narrow my focus. Going into this, I had a specific feud in mind between the Campbells and MacDonalds in mind, but I don’t know if that will work best or not, so I want to do this stage of research to see if anything else speaks to me more.

  • What made you choose to go the indie route and what are some of the things you love about it? Challenges?

I started out on the traditional route with Must Love Breeches and queried agents in 2012 and ended up with three offers of representation. However, when it went on submission in early 2013, we had a tough time selling it. It did get as far as a second read with Grand Central as well as Berkeley Intermix, but ultimately it came down to two main problems: debut author + not-hot genre. If it had been a contemporary…. But it wasn’t, and publishing is a business and it was deemed too risky to take a chance on, and I understand that. It did get offers from two small presses, but ultimately, after much debate, we decided to turn them down and self-publish, as the risk and reward worked out better for me that way. I was just too worried about whether I’d get good editors, a good cover, etc., and in the end, realized that the potential risks weren’t worth it for what they could bring to the table–I wasn’t convinced that the extra readers they’d bring would offset that risk or the loss in revenue. So I took the scary step of vetting and hiring my own team of editors and a book cover designer, and fronting the cost for that and I’m so glad I did! I love the control over the product and the promotion, and once it all sank in, I scrapped my plans to seek a traditional home for Steam Me Up, Rawley and am putting it through the editing paces right now for a planned release in January/February.

  • Did you have a scene that was particularly hard to write? Why?

Yes, her realization that she had gone back in time. I think because the idea of it is so farfetched and yet accepted in fiction, but I wanted to write it like how someone would realistically react to that, but how would you react? LOL. I just remember it being painstaking for me as I was also still so new to writing fiction then and I just worried that it wouldn’t ring true. Anyway, I slogged through it and came out the other end J

  • Is this a series? Will there be any sequels to this book?

Yes, this is Book One in the Must Love Series. Book Two will be Must Love Chainmail, then Must Love Kilts, and then perhaps Must Love Buckskin.

  • What are you releasing next, and when?

Next will be Steam Me Up, Rawley, a New Adult steampunk romance set in the Deep South in 1890. It’s a spin off from the Must Love Series, since the ramifications of Book One creates the steampunk world this is set in. I plan to release it in January or early February of 2015.

  • Love that! Can’t wait. Thanks, Angela, for joining me today. Now here’s the blurb for Must Love Breeches!

AngelaQuarles_MustLoveBreeches_200pxMust Love Breeches

She’s finally met the man of her dreams. There’s only one problem: he lives in a different century.

“A fresh, charming new voice” – New York Times bestselling author Tessa Dare

HOW FAR WOULD YOU TRAVEL FOR LOVE?

A mysterious artifact zaps Isabelle Rochon to pre-Victorian England, but before she understands the card case’s significance a thief steals it. Now she must find the artifact, navigate the pitfalls of a stiffly polite London, keep her time-traveling origins a secret, and resist her growing attraction to Lord Montagu, the Vicious Viscount so hot, he curls her toes.

To Lord Montagu nothing makes more sense than keeping his distance from the strange but lovely Colonial. However, when his scheme for revenge reaches a stalemate, he convinces Isabelle to masquerade as his fiancée. What he did not bargain on is being drawn to her intellectually as well as physically.

Lord Montagu’s now constant presence overthrows her equilibrium and her common sense. Isabelle thought all she wanted was to return home, but as passion flares between them, she must decide when her true home—as well as her heart—lies.

 

Must Love Breeches: Time Travel Romance

Release Date: Sep 3 2014

Length: Novel (98,000 words)

Ebook Price: $4.99

ISBN: 978-0-9905400-0-7

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1ubtr0A

Kobo: http://bit.ly/MLBkobo
ARe: http://bit.ly/1rXAZmw

iTunes: http://bit.ly/1rXKylc

Google Play: http://bit.ly/MLBGoogle

Nook: http://bit.ly/1wFMfWi
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/MLBGR
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1qCPKcy
Book Page: http://bit.ly/MLBBook

Trailer: http://youtu.be/5DBDbI2suOg

 

angela quarles, authorBIO

Angela Quarles is a geek girl romance writer whose works includes Must Love Breeches, a time travel romance, and Beer & Groping in Las Vegas, a geek romantic comedy in novelette form. She has a B.A. in Anthropology and International Studies with a minor in German from Emory University, and a Masters in Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University. She currently resides in a historic house in the beautiful and quirky town of Mobile, AL.

 

CONTACT INFO:

Author Web or Blog Site:  www.angelaquarles.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorangelaquarles

Twitter: www.twitter.com/angelaquarles

Amazon Author Page; http://www.amazon.com/Angela-Quarles/e/B00ASR71P2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

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Filed under guest post, Moonday mania