Sunday, August 29, 2010

Write What You Know

I misunderstood the topic again...and then I reread it. "Writing Places I've Never Been" had me griping about the various writing conferences I can never seem to attend. And then the light bulb went on....maybe they were talking about setting your stories in places you've never been!

I've only done this one time. The main character in my alter-ego's second book travels to California, and admittedly, I patterned it after some of my experiences in Florida. Fortunately, I have friends who have actually been to Apple Valley and George AFB, so I was able to interview them about distances, the buildings, and any other information I might have gotten wrong.

For this reason, I tend to set my stories in a small town setting, where I've lived for the past fifteen years. But when my characters do venture out, I make sure they go to towns where I've BEEN, so I know what I'm talking about and can be accurate about local landmarks and culture.

The story which is currently begging to be written is going to literally be a headache. Not only has the research caused me to view many hours of Discovery Channel, it has already caused arguments about why those episodes are still on our DVR. I'm scared I'll delete a program only to discover the reason I saved it in the first place was for a key bit of info. And when and if this story a) is written to my satisfaction and b) accepted by a publisher, I don't want to be slammed by anyone depicted for inaccuracies.

And it's for this very reason I usually stand by the mantra 'Write What You Know'.

But sometimes, the imagination insists you break out of your comfort zone. So, into the unknown I go.

I wonder if this series is on DVD yet? Until then, don't touch my DVR!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Creative Blockage

I think I covered this last week, so I'm making this a brief post.

I keep up with the housework

I read a lot.

Surf the Web.

Plead with my muse to return...even if it takes months.

And sometimes, especially during NaNo, BICHOK works:) Not familiar with that term?

Butt In Chair Hands On Keyboard:)

Monday, August 16, 2010

When Kenzie Isn't Writing....

How do I contain my creative side? I've been known to cross-stitch; experiment with recipes; dance; sing; and help my children with their art projects.

Cross-Stitch: It used to be only the stamped kind. Since my eyesight isn't the greatest, I didn't think I could see the tiny holes. But in 1994, my SIL gave me a counted cross-stitch, and I did rather well. For Christmas, everyone received something stitched by me. When we moved into our present home, I discovered several quilt blocks my MIL had started, but never finished. And since she didn't want them, I finished the one she'd begun, and started another one. It is still lying unfinished in my sewing bag. Lately, the only thing I've been sewing is buttons on my older children's McDonald uniform shirts!

Cooking: As previously mentioned, I went through a Food Network craze. Anything Rachael Ray, Paula Deen, Bobby Flay, or even an Iron Chef created, I'd look up the recipe, print it out, and attempt to re-create it in my kitchen, often modifying the recipe to my tastes and budget. I also subscribed to a free recipe magazine and still occasionally find one I want to try.

Dancing: I confess; when I'm alone, I crank up the music and dance around.

Singing: I'm one of those you see driving in the car, singing at the top of my lungs and pounding on the steering wheel (esp when 'Turn Up The Radio' is playing!

Kids' Art Projects: I had to do this more when my youngest was in Head Start. We made a car out of a Kleenex box; colored pictures; made paper airplanes; and most memorable, the rocket ship made out of a toilet roll tube. And no, don't have any pictures to show you.

I honestly never considered myself a 'crafty' sort of person. A friend squeals like a kid in a candy store when she enters old barns; she sees blank canvases in old saw blades, pots, ceramic tiles, etc. I just see old stuff. But put me in a paper store and I'm in heaven, while she wonders what the allure of blank diaries hold. And then a gift shop owner said to me, 'Only creative people see the potential in blank paper, whether it is a painting, drawing, or a yet-to-be-written book.'

Who knew? I'm an artist! One who can't draw a straight line to save her life, not even with a ruler, but still an artist.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Werewolves and Gargoyles and Dragons, Oh My!

Last week I raved about Dakota Rebel's Vampires; this week, it's Ms Cindy Spencer Pape's turn in the spotlight as my other favorite creature characters.

Djinni and the Geek was the first book I'd ever read by this author. And I was instantly hooked.

Professor David Garvaglia is nobody’s idea of a hero. Is he? When David opens an antique box and finds a sexy Djinni in his bed, his desire for her is almost as powerful as his determination to set her free. Anissa has spent centuries as a prisoner of the box and has dreamed of the day some handsome master would release her. The scruffy computer geek isn’t what she expected, but everything about him turns her on.

While David and Anissa explore their explosive passion, he helps her adjust to the twenty-first century. Complicating things is an evil wizard who wants Anissa for himself. Between scorching sex in his faculty office and hacking government computers, David does everything he can to keep her safe—and satisfied.

As I was reading, I wanted to know more about Draco.

Computer science professor Eric Gordon has to find the hacker responsible for a virus on campus. When his investigations show some sort of reptile may be living in the steam tunnels under campus, he turns to biology professor Lori Tremain for help.

Lori’s life is crazy with her tenure review looming, but she’s too curious and way too attracted to Eric to turn down his request. Together, Lori and Eric uncover things that their scientific minds can barely imagine, along with a passion they never expected. She doesn’t have time for love or dragons, but adventure and romance find her anyway.

Recently, I thoroughly enjoyed Curses. Having been challenged to make a horror author my hero in one of my own books, I was surprised to learn Cindy had already accomplished it.

Some people really are cursed when it comes to love. For witch Melissa MacRae, a family curse means
that falling in love is the ultimate bad idea. Jonas Pierce is a werewolf, who has seen too much to consider
passing on his curse to another generation. So why does a summer fling in Sanctity Michigan,
have them both thinking about happily ever after?

And finally, I've come to love her gargoyles. I've read all but Stone and Fire; it should be coming up soon on my ever-growing TBB list. But here's the blurb from Stone and Earth:

Gargoyle Damien St. Pierre has to find an ancient artifact needed by his people. When he meets earth witch Katie Calhoun, he can't keep his hands off her. Because of the problems his people are having, Damien is afraid to attempt the conversion necessary to make her his mate. But Katie is determined to help him in his quest and to become the gargoyle of his dreams. Can her faith overcome his fear? Will the magic of love succeed in the mating of stone and earth?


Monday, August 2, 2010

Vampires? Not Really My Type....

I loved George Hamilton's Dracula. For days after seeing this movie, I dreamed of a romantic guy with his looks to sweep me off my feet...and then I saw The Empire Strikes Back and forgot all about Dracula and fell in love with Han Solo again.

I'm not even on Team Edward; I prefer Jacob.

But there are two vampire stories out there I DO enjoy reading. Both are by the same author, and in fact, if I hadn't won her first contest, there's a chance I might have missed out on these books. I just didn't care to read them...until Dakota Rebel came along.

And she's even added a new twist; her books are also M/M. And she keeps the story moving.

When mortal Bounty Hunter Mitch Baine decides to spend one night breaking all the rules with a sexy masked vampire, he has no idea that the stranger is Jarrod Axlerod, lead singer of the famous band Heartstrings, or that he will be contracted to kill the vampire the very next day.

Mitch Baine has been trained from very early on that the only good vampire is a dead one. A lesson cemented into his brain after years of killing them on contract for the US Army. But his feelings toward the creatures begin to change after spending an incredible night with one at a masked ball.

When he receives his newest contract, he is horrified to see that the vampire he has been hired to kill is none other than Jarrod Axlerod the high profile lead singer for the band Heartstrings, and the sexy vampire he has just broken every one of his personal rules with.

Buy it here.

To Hate And To Hold:

Can Jamie and Ethan overcome their hatred for each other before the vampire marriage they are cursed into kills them both?

Jamie McHale has always hated vampire prince Ethan Connor, and Ethan loathes him right back. One dark and stormy night the two men tangle in a violent altercation that leaves them somehow bound together in vampire marriage.

It becomes very clear that the magic of the marriage bond will get what it wants for them, regardless of the men's feelings toward the situation. The curse wants them together, and as they spend time with each other they start to wonder if this really was a curse at all.

Buy it here.

I hope one day I can purchase the print version of these; then I can display Dakota's work when I'm at a signing:)