Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Hey Kids, Here's a Book Dedicated to You

My writing has reached into new areas. I published "A Dozen East". It's my first attempt at YA and my first non-lesbian book. Thus the first book my three kids could read. The three of them are bigger readers than the average American 11 & 13 year old.
My 13 year old Emily is a feverish reader. She devours three, lengthy books at a time. My two 11  year old boys are a few steps behind Emily. Ty reads more than Eli and nips at Emily's heels in amount of books written on our family book chart. Eli reads when the fancy strikes.

Since Emily was such an avid reader and has no aversion to being blunt, I was most worried about her assessment of my book. To my delight, she stated that she loved it. Ty brought the book to school and bragged to all his friends that his step-mother wrote it. He opened up the dedication page to prove it. Eli on the other hand... probably lost it somewhere next to his baseball glove and iPhone (that for the record, I did not buy him or pay the bill).

Either way, it's mighty nice to be able to share my writing with my kids. I left the book on a cliff-hanger and set it up for a sequel. They are begging me for more... but the list of my other ideas for books are calling me. Someday, I'll write a sequel. Until then, Eli look for the book and answer my texts.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Thawing Hearts: On the Virtual Bookshelves

I'm not sure if it is one book shelf or many book shelves... either way... Thawing Hearts is now available to buy from Amazon Buy It Here.

This book has more danger than my first book Trail Swap, has a witty sister-in-law, an annoying brother and adorable twin nieces. There is also a scene where lesbians compete for a date that is nothing like that show on TV where they give the roses. It's much better.

Here is the summary: (Jae helped put this together.)

After being left by her girlfriend, Libby Hollis was prepared to spend a lonely Christmas Eve with Chinese food and apple pie. She didn’t count on getting stuck in an ATM booth with Keva McKie, a special-forces soldier trying to make it home from leave.

Once freed, Libby decides to take Keva to Boston, where she meets Keva's family. As they spend the holiday together, romantic sparks start to fly until Keva abruptly has to return to duty.

Keva knows she should focus on her dangerous missions, but she can’t get Libby out of her mind. Libby can’t deny the bond between them either, even though she has been badly hurt by her ex.

Will careers and past heartaches keep them apart, or will love thaw their hearts?

A comment was recently left by one of my readers that said that the story sounded familiar and then she realized that she had read the short story ("Cashing in on Christmas") from which it derived. So many fans, hundreds I think, or was it five? Anyway, so many fans suggested that I turn it into a book, so here it is.

So I should sell at least five of these suckers. I feel extremely lucky that I already have sold more than five and currently Thawing Hearts is #5 on Amazon's Top Seller List in the category of lesbian, romance fiction. That's not too shabby.

Check it out!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Great Mate for a Writer

Some professions more than others require some patience from their partners. Firefighter, policeman and military personnel need partners who accept that their spouses lives are in danger on a daily basis. Celebrities partners have to put up with paparazzi and fans. Other partners have to account or adjust to partners who have careers with long hours, little pay or travel.

This leads me to the big question of who are good partners/spouses for writers?

Support & Interest
My writing career began with a gentle, loving nudge from one of the loves of my life, Laura. Laura found some writings of mine, read them and said she loved them. She urged me to keep writing, engaged me in conversations about the characters. She even once ordered Chinese food and put it under Farryn (a character from Trail Swap).

A Reader
Can a writer ever be in a successful relationship with someone who does not read? To add to that, can a writer ever be happy with someone who does not read their books? I understand if I wrote a nonfiction medical book or about the insects of Texas, not everyone is interested in that. I would think, however, that a spouse should read a book general fiction book.

I've had the horrible experience of my wife (now ex-wife but not for this reason alone) would not read my book. I begged her. She stated that she didn't like reading. It crushed me to think that my wife would not read a book that strangers took the time to read. My first book was about hiking and travel. She liked both of those things. I couldn't fathom the idea and then I slowly just accepted it. When I told friends, co-workers and future partners about this, they were in awe. I feel comfortable about writing so candidly about this because she won't read this.

I have found that my writing is at its strongest when I am with someone who is inspiring. Right now I am dating someone who is different from any other person I have ever met. She isn't leaping buildings in a single bound but close. She reads, she's smart, she's passionate, has interests and is stimulating intellectually. It does help that when I'm with her, my soul and creativity comes alive.

I will give credit where credit is due... my ex-wife was good with computers. At times I need help technically. Other times I just need some help with ideas. I have been known to blurt out things like: name an alcoholic beverage, name and animal, what should my character wear, somewhere to go for a date. Now my kids are good at ideas or this and they are very creative. There are times that I have the answer before I even finish my question, but sometimes it helps to brainstorm with someone.  It helps if I'm just not met with a blank stare.

Respectful of Time for Writing
One of my ex's once planned a surprise getaway and packed my journal. It's important to be with someone who respects that you have to set time aside for writing. Even better if you date someone who enjoys watching you type away your creations.

Understands the Hunt for Characters & Ideas
When I'm out in public, watching television, at work, etc I'm constantly foraging or hunting for new stars or plots for my books. It's great to be able to say to someone, "That's a great idea for a book." It's even better when the person comes home from work and tells you a story that sends you rushing to a computer or a notebook.

I'm sure there are other important qualities for a writer's partner to have, but these are the first that came to my mind. Writing is hard enough work and it's only made harder by being partnered with someone who doesn't understand it, read it or support it.

What other qualities do you think is important?
How does your spouse or partner support you?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Hope & a Canoe- Newest Published Book

Buy on Amazon HERE
On December 23rd Hope & a Canoe hit the virtual book shelves. It's the story of two 18 year old girls who meet while camping with their families at a Maine family campground. It's a lesbian summer romance that is not all that simple. It involves escapes, shed tears, slips, supportive dad, toxic grandparents, laughs and two counts of insurance fraud.

The idea came to me in July when I was vacationing with my family. We were staying in a family campground and I wished that my family had taken me camping when I was younger. I watched the teenagers at the campground flirting with each other. I found myself thinking about lesbian summer romances.

I was supposed to take a break from writing on this vacation. I didn't even bring my laptop. Yet, I found myself stealing moments to write in my journal the first half of  Hope & a Canoe.

It's different from Love's Autograph in that the main character Grace and Tember are younger and neither of them have kids or are a rock star. It also taps into young lesbian love in a sweet innocent way. It made me think of the first time I thought I was in love. Tember has not felt much love in her life since he was eight and has a hard time even recognizing that she is in love. She has no idea what love is.

My favorite character of the book is Jeremy. He's Grace's father who is more like an immature, big brother. He's very endearing and so supportive of Grace being a lesbian. Okay... I'm going to stop writing before I tell you too much about the story.
Check it out on Amazon!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Little Excuses & Lots of Good News

As I start writing this post, I'm reminded of going to confession as a teen. I was tempted to lie to the priest, but why go to confession and lie? So I was would say, "Father it has been two years since my confession...." And boy was there a lot that had changed from 12-14 years old!

It has been TOO LONG since my last post, I could fill you with excuses, but I won't do that. Okay, maybe I will a little. I've had A LOT go in my life. There have been a lot of changes. Enough changes that I feel like I've had a major wardrobe change or have been placed in the witness protection plan without being relocated. That would be a horrible plan or a great one because nobody would look for me in my current house.

Okay no more excuses. The good news? Yes, among all my turmoil there is good news. I have been writing a lot, plethora, tons, submarines full. On December 23rd I made my goal of publishing before Christmas with my book Hope & a Canoe. I'll write a post featuring this book.

I, also, due to the demand of my readers, I turned Cashing in on Christmas into a book. Cashing in on Christmas was a short story from my book Surpassing. I am toying with the title Thawing Love.

I'm preparing a young adult book for editing and have another book about a post-apocalyptic love story 25% written.

I used a professional cover designer for Hope & a Canoe. Check it out here Hope & a Canoe on Amazon

Last, I'm working with a new editor who is so far, so good.

All in all... I am pulling my writing along and getting my life back on track. Mean while, I'll write more posts.