Sharing My Writing Process – An Experiment

So the whole idea of this blog-hop is kind of an experiment – sharing links to and from other blogs to see if we can generate more interest in our stories and writing. And for me, that’s the hardest part – getting folks interested and willing to take a chance on an unknown author.

I was tricked – tricked, I say! – into this blog-hop by Travis Perry. Okay, not really. But let’s pretend. So to get even, check out his site Go ahead! He deserves it! Really, he does.

Now to my part of this blog-hop:

I have tons of stories, most of them in two universes.

One is a space-western universe with cowboys, horses, spaceships, and lots more fun stuff. Yeah, I know, it seems pretty far-fetched, but hey – that’s half the fun! The first book, Deuces Wild: Beginners’ Luck started out as a proof-of-concept serial novel, published chapter by chapter in Ray Gun Revival magazine. With the help of my friend Bill Snodgrass, it was later released as a print novel. Currently, it’s available only as an ebook, but I do have plans to release it again in print when – *drum roll*
I get the second book finished. Yes, it’s about halfway there and I’m going to do my ray-gunslingin’ best to get it published before the end of 2014! So book two of the Deuces Wild universe is on its way!

The second universe, which I’m calling the Gifts of the Elders, or just the Elders Universe (wow – thrilling name, isn’t it?), is something I’ve been working on since the mid-80s. I gave up writing for years due to lots of boring reasons, but finally gave in to the insanity of it and began writing down the stories in earnest. It’s all about swords and capes and derring-do and forgotten technology about to be rediscovered, which will drastically change the lives of everyone on their world. It’s also got some thrills, adventure, and just a little romance (or how else do I come up with new generations of characters?).
The first book of that series is Sword’s Edge – just published in ebook on 11 March, and soon to be in print as well (“soon” means “as soon as possible” – like maybe tomorrow – and it would be my luck to have my print book come out on April Fool’s day, wouldn’t it? But we’ll see… Anyway, I’m *bouncing* in anticipation!). It’s already receiving great reviews on Amazon and Smashwords (just scroll down to reviews). And a review by The TLC Librarian. Check it out. Really. Right now. The blog will wait…

Okay – back? Did you read the reviews? Uh huh. So….. did you get the book? Good. Read it. Much great reading goodness therein. Go ahead, the blog can wait some more…

(about 130k words later)

Finished reading it? Okay, then to answer the question I’m already being asked: yes, the sequel is underway. But wait, there’s more! I’ve also got a prequel almost finished! And rough drafts of books three, four, and five (counts on fingers) – er, at least!

Now onto the other things I’m supposed to talk about in this blog post, like my genre and how my stories are unique. Well, I sort of hop all around in genre, or sub-genre anyway. I like to write things that take place on other planets, or in other times, or both, or in space. So science fiction covers what I usually write, but I don’t want to paint myself into a corner, because I never know to where my mind will fly off. Are my stories unique? I’d like to think so. Plots and tropes are endlessly repeated, but what makes a story unique is an author’s approach, we’re told. I’d say the reviews of both my published books seem to bear out that I can tell some whopping good stories. Why not let me know what *you* think!

As to why I write what I write: because it’s what I like. It’s where my mind goes, where my dreams take me. It’s as simple as that.

My writing process is all over the map. Sometimes it starts with a character, or a situation, or snip of a scene (often from dreams – which is how Sword’s Edge came about), and then I have to fill in all the details. It’s mostly seat of the pants, although I do have a mental overview of the plot arc in my mind. Sometimes the characters or the plots take unexpected detours before arriving at the final destination though. Occasionally my characters want to do something that totally wrecks the plot and I have to back up and make a change to get them to stay with the flow I intended.

The next part of the blog-hop is supposed to be recommending three more writing friends. Unfortunately, I don’t have three more writing friends, but if you wish to hop on the bandwagon – you can leave a blurb about your writing and your URL in the comments.

Thanks for reading!


Shannon McNear finals in RITA!

I just wanted to announce that my very dear friend Shannon McNear is a finalist in RWA’s 2014 RITA Awards for Romance Novella!

Way to go, Shannon! (I can say I knew you when!)

BTW, the story is called “Defending Truth” and it’s in A Pioneer Christmas, Barbour Publishing, Becky Germany, editor.

That’s my Shannon, folks!

*confetti and happy dances*

Redesigned Blog and Yes, More About Sword’s Edge

So I’m trying out a new theme for my blog. What do you think? I was going to go for something a little more “professional-looking” but my son said he thought I should use this one because it was more “me.”

Folks are still emailing and messaging me telling me they love Sword’s Edge, which thrills me to no end! I would ask that if you have bought the book, please, please review it at the retailer you bought it from. Reviews are what draw folks in and cause them to take a chance on an unknown author. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just what you loved or didn’t love about it (and try to avoid spoilers *grin*).

If you haven’t bought it yet, you can buy the e-book at Smashwords in all e-book formats, or at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes.

If you’re waiting for the paperback, it will be out soon. Yes, I know I said it it will be out in a week or two a week or two ago. But sometimes Real Life™ gets very rude and interrupts our best intentions. I’ll say no more except to ask for prayer for my friend doing the cover art because Real Life™ has been very rude to her this last week or two!


Sword’s Edge is starting to get reviews!

Sword’s Edge has two reviews on Amazon!

Read the Reviews!

This book is my “darling” – the one I’ve dreamed of seeing published since forever and I’m soooo excited!

(For those of you who bought the book on Smashwords, no one has reviewed it there – and if you haven’t bought it yet, it’s available in a variety of ebook formats on that site! The print book will be out soon – a week, maybe less! Believe me, I’ll let you know when that happens!)


Sword’s Edge-related short stories

Besides my newest book Sword’s Edge being available, there are several short stories in the series that have been published previously and are now listed on this page in chronological order. They feature one of the main characters of Sword’s Edge: Alcandhor. Enjoy!

And don’t forget to pick up an ebook copy of Sword’s Edge while you’re at it!








(The print version will be available very soon!)

Sword’s Edge – now in ebook!

Yes! Finally! My novel Sword’s Edge is available in ebook!

Fifteen-year-old Tam knows only the harshness of rigorous Ranger training at the hands of her reclusive, unloving father. Alcandhor, her clan’s thane, recruits her as a spy, but is he wise to trust an untried girl for such an important task?

Alcandhor needs to discover who the traitors are before they assassinate key leaders and start a war. Tam is perfect for the job—but will her inexperience and youth endanger not only her mission, but her own life?

(The print version will be available very soon – stayed tuned: same Tam time, same Tam channel!)

Sword’s Edge Countdown!

Although FB and other online social networks are anathema to writing, they actually are great for editing. If I get too sucked into the story, I stop editing and just read. So after each scene, I check FB or my groups, and avoid the trap.  🙂

Not long till Sword’s Edge will have its final polish (I’m sure there will still be typos but hopefully any inconsistencies and continuity errors will be eradicated), uploaded, and published. Today? Hmmm, maybe. More likely tomorrow. 🙂