Are you Savvy?

I’m thrilled to have Riley Darkes as my guest today over at the 7 Scribes – Why I Love Savvy Authors by Riley Darkes. She is sharing her experience with joining a writing community.

In other news, almost no writing has taken place this week. My youngest son will be graduating from high school shortly (my baby!!) and year end activities have been eating up my time. I hope to be on track shortly.

WIP it Good!

No, I didn’t spell WIP wrong.  I’m not referring to a whip (like Indiana Jones uses), I mean “work in progress”.

I’ve been taking a hard look at my writing goals in recent weeks and I’ve realized that something has to give. One of those things is my weekly blog post. This doesn’t mean that I won’t blog ever again, just that I need to focus on finishing Mystic Storm and my other works in progress. One of the reasons I haven’t finished them is that I only have so many hours a day that I can spend on my writer life and I must start using them wisely.

That also means you won’t see my hanging out on Facebook or Twitter very often. Not until the WIPs are done! Of course, if I have something to announce or share, I will do so right here as always.

While I have finished another manuscript this year – Misfortune Cookie – I can’t sit on my laurels with Zephyr’s book undone. I have several friends, including my wonderful beta readers, who are threatening to go Annie Wilkes on me if I don’t finish the book. How can I argue with that? They know where I live and I’m pretty sure they know how to tie a mean knot.

I am still blogging weekly at the Scribes. Today my guest is fellow Pink Petal author – Krystal Brookes. She writes contemporary Highland romances! Hello hot men in kilts with cell phones!

Anyone else had to readjust their goals? 

I Must be Crazy!

Happy Friday! Please remember to visit me over at the Scribes for Cal’s Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies. Yes, you did read that right. I did use double, chocolate, and cherry all in the same sentence.

It’s hard to believe that it was only a year ago that I started this blog (in April 2011). And last May, I was preparing to pitch to editors (see here). Well, CT Fiction Fest is back (tomorrow!!) and I will be pitching again. Only this year, I’ve decided to throw an agent or two into the mix.

Now that I’ve sold two books, I’d like to expand my horizons or maybe it’s more accurate to say broaden my reach. I’ve realized that in order to keep motivated, I need to update my goals. For so long, the goal was – sell a book!

Mission accomplished. Now it’s time to dream bigger which includes writing more stories. And believe me, I’ve got loads of them locked in my head, scribbled in notebooks, and even all over Post-It notes. Coming up with ideas is not a problem. Executing those ideas, while promoting Mystic Ink and preparing The Undead Space Initiative for release all while maintaining a full time job/life, is not so easy.

But, hey, I’m not complaining. No one is standing over me with a gun making me write. I could walk away at any time. Of course, I wouldn’t be happy with myself. I already know because I’ve walked away from writing before and it drove me nuts.

Don’t let life drive you cuckoo!

Since stopping isn’t an option, eventually something will have to give. At the moment, I’m focused on Mystic Storm and a totally different novel. That’s means not so much time spent on social media or other activities. The only way I can create time for writing is to take it from something else. That’s just how it is.

Buried deep in my mind is the fantasy that some day I can quit my day job. There is 8-9 hours, right there, plumb for writing. If I need to  acquire an agent to do that – I’ll consider it. If I need to stick to e-pubs for a while – yup, that works. If I need to Indie publish – that’s a viable option too.

So back to pitching, this year, the focus is on –  where can I go next? And what can I accomplish with the time I have?

To a non-writer I know this seems like crazy talk! But in reality, you have to really love what you’re doing to keep going. Selling a few books was exciting, but by no means the end of the story. Like anything writing is a journey, not a destination.

How about you? What are you trying to accomplish? What are you willing to give up to get there?

Lucky Seven

The lovely Leia Shaw has tagged me as part of her lucky seven blog activity (and Leia – consider yourself special because I don’t show anyone my WIP until it’s completed!)

Here are the rules:

1. Go to page 77 in your current manuscript
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next seven lines as they are – no cheating
4. Tag 7 other authors.

Post the lines on your own blog.

My lucky 7 are: Julia Rachel Barrett, Penny Watson, Katy Lee, Jamie Pope, Tam Linsey, Jamie Brazil, and Meggan Connors. Tag! You’re it (this is purely voluntary, by the way!) I will post your names on Facebook too!

From Mystic Storm:

“Lies are like potato chips. You can’t stop at just one.” Langston flashed in front of him, mouth downturned. “She isn’t stupid. She’s a Muse for cripes’ sake!”

“Shut it, Langston.” He circled around the desk and rifled through papers.

“I think you need to listen to me.” For once, was unspoken between them. “If you care about Kalliope, then tell her the truth. Now. Don’t wait.”

Zephyr moved in front of the mirror by the door. “Look at me!” he raised his breasts. “I’m a woman right now. She’ll think I’m crazy.”

Guest Blogger:Donna Shields- Do You Remember the First Book You Ever Wrote?

Happy Friday everyone. Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes today. We have a special guest – Australian Visual Artist, Glenise Clelland. Be sure to leave a comment. One lucky person will win a copy of her book – LOVE FALLS IN LOVE WITH LOVE.

I also have a special guest blogger today. My fellow Soul Mate sister – Donna Shields. Donna will also be visiting the Scribes on 2/17 to answer our interview questions.

Take it away Donna!


Do you remember the first book you had written? I don’t mean the first published. I’m talking about that first completed story. The one you shoved under your mattress or stuffed onto a shelf in your closet never wanting it to see daylight again. So afraid to show your masterpiece to the waiting world.

After a while, you get brave. Maybe join a critique group or sign up for a writing workshop. And little by little, eventually you make connections and show off your baby. And that’s just the beginning of the nail-biting experience.

Secrets of Jenkins Bridge is my baby, my first love of writing. And just like your first child, you have a very hard time letting your story go. And that’s me. Even though I already have one published novella, it’s just not the same as this one. I have taken my time with Secrets of Jenkins Bridge.

My experience from the beginning was a bit backwards. I began writing it in the fall of 2007. Within six months, I had finished, edited it, and sent off a query letter to Harlequin. Mind you, this story was vastly different back then. It had only taken them two weeks to reply back requesting the full manuscript. I was over the moon! I sent it in and waited. And waited. About a month later, I received a reply. A semi detailed rejection. And being the first, it hurt. A lot. I did the worst thing a writer could ever do. I tucked it away and didn’t write at all for almost two years. Please don’t do this. I’m still kicking myself in the bum for wasting all that time.

But, I eventually began to write again. I joined a critique group whom I wouldn’t give up for anything now. I revamped the story and passed it along to my critique partners. They really helped in so many ways. I also joined Savvy Authors and took some workshops. And finally finished Secrets of Jenkins Bridge November 2011. My editor loves it. She can’t wait to see it published.

My advice to new and unpublished authors? Don’t ever give up on your dreams of writing. Keep going. Join a critique group. Take a workshop. Polish that baby and learn that eventually you will have to let it go and rejection is part of the process. Before you find the perfect home for your special story, you will go through a few rejections. But, you can’t become published if you don’t write.

You can find me:

At my blog:

On facebook:!/shieldsdonna

On Twitter: @Donna_Shields

On SMP’s Author Blog:

You can buy Secrets of Jenkins Bridge at:

Coming soon to Amazon and Barnes and Noble also.

Thanks Donna! 

How about you? Have you ever been tempted to give up your dream? Or even take a break for a while?

Think Pink

Happy Friday everyone! And Happy New Year! Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes, where I ask the question – What do I know?

A few weeks back I promised to share the details of my latest sale. Now that the paperwork is all in order, I can tell you this:

The Undead Space Initiative will be coming in 2012 from Pink Petal Books.

I am very excited that this book found a home and so quickly. If  you want the details behind USI’s journey, visit me at the Scribes when you’re done here.

Now that I have two books sold, I have to face the next step in the publication process – editing! And after that promotion.

I’ll admit it – I am not very good at tooting my own horn. I realize that I need to get over that and fast, so expect to see me making the rounds at various blogs. Thank you to all my generous friends for use of the their blog space.

And, I assure you, I intend to keep working on my next book. So many things to do… so little time.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Have a safe and wonderful New Year! See you on the flip side of the calendar!

Ever Been Rejected and Accepted in the Same Day?

Happy Friday everyone! Please be sure to visit the Scribes today. I have posted my recipe – Wyatt’s Whoopie Pies.

And if you still haven’t entered the Soul Mate Author’s December contest, what are you waiting for? The prize is a brand new Kindle! You can enter once per day!

As most of you know, I have two other completed novels, besides Mystic Ink:  Ascension and The Undead Space Initiative. I have been actively seeking publication for both books. And both were out to editors. Key word in that last sentence – were.

Now, I never thought in a million years that I would receive a rejection and an acceptance all in the same day.

The rejection – Ascension – which boiled down to scheduling, was disappointing. But, I was expecting it. (I always expect a no, but that’s how I protect myself from being crushed by rejection!). The editor was kind and encouraging.  I will try submitting that book elsewhere in the coming months.

Later, that same day, I received an offer for the book I wrote in a month as part of the Scribes double dog dare back in July.

Yeah – The Undead Space Initiative which I never, ever, thought would sell, that book received an offer!

I was so shocked, I asked my husband to read the e-mail to me. He looked at me like I was nuts, but obliged. After all, I had just been rejected, how is it possible that on the same day, I got an offer to buy USI?

I’m not complaining,  but merely pointing out the strange way the world works. I’m thrilled! Ecstatic to have made another sale!

You may have noticed, I haven’t named names. I won’t yet. Not until everything is finalized.

I only mention the offer now, because two weeks ago, I promised on the Scribes page to mention good news faster.

And a promise is a promise!!

Once it’s a done deal, I will share the details.

And now, I really have to start my next book! Evil plotting – here I come!

Ever have good news, but been afraid to divulge it right away? If you have any good news or any news, feel free to share it!

Hits and Misses

Happy Black Friday everyone! Please be sure to stop by the Scribes and check out – You’ve Got a Friend in Me.

I mentioned a few weeks back that I’m participating in NaNo. I hit the 50,000 word goal on Day 20. I plan on finishing the novel by 11/30. That will make two completed novels in 2011 – The Undead Space Initiative and Redemption (book 2 of my Aethera series).

Sadly, I did not get to finish plotting The Devil’s Advocate or Mystic Storm (sequel to Mystic Ink). But, hey, there are so many hours in a day. And I’ve learned a lot about my writer self this year.

  • I’m not Nora Roberts or Dean Wesley Smith, capable of pumping out high volume, superior quality manuscripts nearly out of the gate. Plotting and characterization takes time (for me anyway). I have to be totally on-board with the characters and plot, otherwise, I can’t finish the book.
  • I can write a novel in a month. I did it twice. See above – I have to know what is going to happen in my books. I don’t need to know the how or even the why. Those details can come out when I write. I don’t have my million words in yet. But I’m working on it.
  • If there is a zombie apocalypse, I won’t survive long-term. I like modern conveniences way too much.
  • I love Twitter. A lot.  See my post here – Twitterpated.
  • Oh, and the big one, I can sell a book!

    A new day is dawning

I won’t be kicking back anytime soon.  I have a busy 2012 coming up, including promo at other blogs, working on edits for Redemption, writing other books, and I’ll be CT RWA’s new Media Director.  Busy, busy.

How’s your 2011 going? What are you looking forward to in 2012?

I’ve Got a Date!

Happy Friday! Please be sure to head over to the Scribes and check out my blog – Don’t Bite Off More than You Can Chew. Or, put differently – my hubby versus the Voodoo Curse Burger. See who won the battle.

And, if you haven’t already entered, please head over to the Soul Mate Author’s Blog and leave a comment. You’ll be automatically entered in our November contest before it ends on the 30th. Here is what you could win:

Prizes include: Travel mug, mouse pad, $25 Soul Mate Publishing gift card, pens, bookmarks, mug, Christmas ornament, numerous downloads for e-books. Retail value is well over $100.00.

Pretty sweet!

So, back to the matter at hand. The number one question I get asked whenever I tell anyone I’ve sold MYSTIC INK is – When’s it coming out? Usually followed by – where can I buy it? That one’s easy – the book will be available for sale at the Soul Mate site, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I’m happy to say I can now answer the “when” question. I have a tentative month. I know the exact date, I’m just not saying yet in case it changes. But the month is January 2012. I will let everyone know the specific date, once I know for sure.

In the meantime, I’m plugging away at my NaNo novel and thinking about Zephyr’s book (he’s in Mystic Ink – you’ll have to read the book to find out more about him).

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Have any plans you want to share? Any dates you’re looking forward to? Do tell!