Monthly Archives: February 2013

A Day in the Life of a Writer

So let’s say you’ve decided to make a go of writing full-time.  You might imagine that your work day would consist of sitting at your computer for long stretches of time, busily writing.  After all, you’re a writer!  Isn’t that what writers do?

Well, I’ve had a busy day doing pretty much all writing-related stuff and it occurred to me that it might be of interest to someone contemplating the life of non-stop excitement and adventure that I’ve embarked upon.  Keep in mind that I still work full-time in the tech support industry, so this is all in my “free” time, at the moment.  This was how I spent my Saturday.  Not that I’m complaining.  I love it.  The temptation to play computer games is always hovering at the edge of my consciousness, taunting me (and occasionally seducing me), but the writing and editing is in fact fun.

But it’s also a lot of work.

  • Last night, I finished going over the final galley proof of my YA novel and emailed that off to my editor.  That doesn’t count for what I did today, of course, but this morning I remembered a couple things I’d forgotten, so I sent a couple emails to straighten that out.  That novel will come out March 1st!
  • I also received an email from a reviewer who’d been nice enough to host a giveaway of another one of my YA novels.  She’d picked a winner and was forwarding the email address to me, so I could send the eBook to that person.  I sent the email, of course.  And I was charming as all get-out.  
  • Murderous Requiem has gone into the editing phase.  Yay!  I received the first wave of edits from Dreamspinner and now I have to go through the manuscript and accept or reject the changes… and explain why I rejected them, if I do that.  I have a lot of respect for my editors and I think they’ve really improved my writing over time, by pointing out passive sentences and suggesting ways to make them more dynamic, as well as forcing me to review awkward phrasings and strange word choices.  But sometimes we disagree.  I may prefer the way I wrote the sentence originally, or I might have a reason for using a particular phrasing.  One of the big battles in By That Sin Fell the Angels was over capitalization of pronouns referencing God and Jesus.  The Chicago Manual of Style says they shouldn’t be capitalized.  After all, the King James Bible doesn’t capitalize them.  However, I based the church in that book on the Assembly of God churches I attended as a teenager in New Mexico and Texas.  They capitalize.  A lot.  Just listen to an Assembly of God pastor talking about Jesus and you can hear the capitalization.   Their website is covered with capital letters.  So I fought for that one.  But I digress….  Anyway, the edits have to be done by this coming Wednesday.
  • I was contacted by a fellow author who had read The Dogs of Cyberwar and wanted to let me know that she’d reviewed it, and also wanted to chew me out for the cliff-hanger ending.  I assured her that I would get back to Dogs as soon as this current novel I’m writing was done.  She’ll have to get in line behind all the other people who want to strangle me for the ending on Dogs.  Does this count as work?  It was a pleasant email chat with a friend.  But still, writing-related.  And yay!  A review!  (Thanks, Angel!)
  • Speaking of my current novel—or as we sophisticated writer-types like to call it, WIP (Work In Progress)—it’s lagging behind.  I’d promised my publisher I’d have it done by the beginning of March.  Now I’m certain that isn’t going to happen, so I had to hang my head in shame and ask for an extension, until the end of March.  Fortunately, she was gracious.  
  • Then I wrote a scene and realized I was going in the wrong direction.  It wasn’t bad, but it meant I had to change the direction I’d wanted to go in for that character, which really didn’t make sense.  So I spent some time brainstorming with my husband to see how I might get things back on track.  Fortunately, it didn’t involve throwing out what I’d written, but I now have to go back and write some stuff leading up to it and change what’s coming after it.
  • Then I played Morrowind.  (Scratch that!  It never happened!)
  • I updated the list I’m keeping of things that need to be done.  It includes interviews I’m doing, bloghops, submitting published novels for consideration in various awards, miscellaneous promotional stuff, etc.  I currently have about fifteen open items to keep track of.  
  • I did some brainstorming about my next YA novel, a somewhat surreal sci-fi adventure.
  • I submitted two novels to the Rainbow Awards.  (Last year, one of my YA novels got two honorable mentions.)
  • So how much writing did I actually get done today?  It actually wasn’t a banner day for writing.  Let’s say about 1,000 words.  A good day for me is about 2,000 words.  But if I can manage 1,000 a day for the next few weeks, I’ll make my deadline, at least.  

So that was my day.  I’m sure other writers are much busier than I am.  I certainly know writers who have more output, but I’m not too unhappy with the amount of actual writing I do.  I have slow days and fast days, but as I mentioned in an earlier post, I managed about 150,000 words of new material last year, not counting editing.  If I calculate that out for 52 five-day weeks, then that means I wrote about 600 words a day.  I can easily increase that, if I were doing this full-time.  We’ll just see how things go.

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Filed under Reviews, SciFi, Writing, Young Adult

Interview with new author F.E. Feeley!

This week my guest is F.E. Feeley, author of the new supernatural romance The Haunting of Timber Manor.  After the interview, he’s provided us with some information about the novel and an excerpt, and of course where to get it!  Welcome, F.E. Feeley!

Interview:

Is this your first novel?

Yes it is.

What inspired you to write it?

Gosh. Well, I’ve always been writing things here and there. Starting something but never finishing it. One day I sat down at the computer and started to piece a story together and before I knew it, I had written quite a bit. As for inspiration? I’ve always loved a spooky story, ever since I was a kid reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of ghosts and hauntings. So, I combined my two great loves and there you have it.

So who are your favorite authors in the horror genre?

Stephen King hands down is my favorite. John Carpenter is good. Anne Rice is all right but Stephen is the best in my humble opinion.

Did you find it a challenge to mix romance into a horror novel?

Sure. I think that I was able to do it with Timber as a means of lightening up the story. Giving Daniel a safe haven in the arms of Hale. But yes writing romance and horror together can be a little daunting. Remember the movie scream and all the rules about horror flicks, I sort of broke the cardinal rule of having sex and surviving. Oh well, it’s my book lol.

That’s true. Romance/Horror does seem to break that “rule.”

Right

Had you read other novels published by Dreamspinner before submitting your novel to them?

To be honest, no. About three quarters of the way through my book I inquired about m/m publishers just to see if any existed. I didn’t know about the genre. I had known there were erotic publishers out there but that wasn’t what Timber was.

So what’s been your experience working with Dreamspinner, as a new author?

Oh my gosh. It’s all been surreal for sure. Everyone has been so nice even when I inundated them with my noob questions. Really professional, really patient, really cool to talk to and I’ve gotten to meet so many different authors and get their support and words of encouragement….. Overall I can say it’s been an amazing experience and one I hope to relive.

I’m sure you will—many times!  Do you have any advice for new authors looking to get published?

I’m such a new guy and I feel like my publication is a bit of a ghost thing that’s happened, I still don’t feel like I can provide anything useful other than never listen to naysayers. If you want to be a writer and that’s all you can think of when you wake up, then write.

That’s interesting.  You often hear the advice to plow through, even when things aren’t flowing well.  What do you find is the hardest part of the writing process?

The hardest part for me is that the muses want to start gibber jabbing late at night and until I write something down, they won’t let me sleep. Other than that, learning to ignore the manuscript while I have nothing to write. Otherwise all I do is frustrate myself.

So are you working on a new project? Can you tell us anything about it?

Well I’ve started a few and set them aside for now to work on my current novel called Objects in the Rear View Mirror. It’s another ghost story about a couple in Kansas whose house is haunted. But the ghosts have a huge role to play in the married couple’s lives.

And one last question to throw out there: what book are you currently reading?

Actually a biography about Abraham Lincoln called Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It’s what the movie with Daniel Day Lewis is based off of in part. It’s amazing I gotta tell ya. You fall in love with how gentle he was. I’ve never had a biography make me cry before.

It’s been good chatting with you!

I hope that people enjoy the book and a thank you to you of course for conducting the interview.

Blurb:

While recovering from the recent loss of his parents, Daniel Donnelly receives a phone call from his estranged aunt, who turns over control of the family fortune and estate, Timber Manor. Though his father seemed guarded about the past, Daniel’s need for family and curiosity compel him to visit.

Located in a secluded area of the Northwest, Timber Manor has grown silent over the years. Her halls sit empty and a thin layer of dust adorns the sheet-covered Ivy and Wilde furniture. When Daniel arrives to begin repairs, strange things happen. Nightmares haunt his dreams. Memories not his own disturb his waking hours. Alive with the tragedies of the past, Timber Manor threatens to tear Daniel apart.

Sheriff Hale Davis grew up working on the manor grounds. Seeing Daniel struggle, he vows protect the young man who captured his heart, and help him solve the mystery behind the haunting and confront the past—not only to save Daniel’s life, but to save his family, whose very souls hang in the balance.

(Click on the image to the left, or go to http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3509 to get the novel!)

Excerpt:

“Sure. I’ll even buy you some cotton candy,” I said. He smiled, and I leaned in for a kiss. His mouth met mine, and it was warm and inviting. He sat up straighter to lean into me, and I wrapped my arms around his body and dragged him closer to me. Our mouths ravaged each other, and the heat between us threatened to consume our bodies. His hands ran up my chest, held my face, and ran through my hair. I reached over, lifted him, and sat him in my lap, and as the passion intensified between us, I leaned into his neck and moaned. My lips hurt from the intensity of our kissing. We both were breathing heavily, and he held my head close to him. I could feel my pulse running through my whole body and felt every nerve on edge. I wanted him so badly, but I was determined to take it slow. To do things right. Dammit, stupid standards.

He sat back from me, and I stared up at his face, so handsome, and those lips, so kissable.

“I gotta get going soon,” I said.

“I know. I know.” He sighed and stood up. I had to adjust myself quickly. He reached for his laptop, turned it off, and unplugged it. “I’ll walk you out.”

I stood up, and as we were walking toward the door, Danny set his laptop down on the desk and, before I knew it, pitched forward and fell hard. He braced himself with his hands, but as he rolled over, he was holding his wrist and scooting back from the desk with a confused look on his face.

I leaned down to help him up, but he wasn’t budging, and his eyes were fixed under the desk, where nothing but a lamp cord was plugged into the wall. The winds outside howled, and the wolves howled with it. The look on his face disturbed me, and I said, “There is nothing there, Danny.” But the evidence on his ankle belied my words. Five distinctive red scratches were present along the foot, as if someone had grabbed it. “I didn’t stumble on anything; something tripped me,” he said. I was going to reiterate that nothing was there, but the scratches on his ankle defied anything I could have said. Finally, I was able to get him to his feet. He dusted himself off, and we headed out of the library, shutting the door behind us.

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Filed under gay, Guest Blogger, horror, Interviews, Occult/Paranormal, Romance, Writing