Mind Dump Monday

I used up all of my brains Saturday/Sunday doing my final edits (sans proofreading) on The Broken World. I sent it to my proofreader last night, so I’m definitely in the home stretch now. (I did briefly contemplate deleting all the commas and letting you all fend for yourselves, but decided against it at the last minute.)

Yesterday, the Beer Guy & his father installed our new water heater and this morning, I got to take a fancy hot shower! I used the first hot water because I am special. Or because I am the first one up in the morning. I am super impressed with the amount of work they did yesterday, but a little disappointed that no one asked me to come help solder.

It snowed in Portland last night and it’s very confusing. Just enough snow to be cold and annoying, not enough to call off school or work. It’s basically the worst February snow ever.

One week in Portland in three pictures

 

Fortunately, right now the weather for next weekend, is looking a little like this:

Speaking of Ireland, if you want to follow along with my adventures in Faeryland (i.e. research for Eleanor Morgan books 5 & 7), my instagram is the best way to do that. I’ll be posting pics of all the fae-tastic places I visit along with notes about what might be going on there.

Blogging might be sparse while I’m abroad, but I’ll have a full report when I return!

Three Things Thursday: Travel Freakout Edition

  1. I am leaving next Friday for a sixteen-day European vacation. This is (a) my longest trip I’ve ever taken since college and (b) the first big trip I’ve taken with the Beer Guy. (We’ve done weekend trips, and a week-long trip to Mexico, but his family was there, and although I love them all, it’s not quite the same.)

    Vacation goal: pics of the two of us. Together. Because I have zero from Mexico or Colorado…

  2. I am a notorious overpacker. My packing list actually says: “Cardigans – all of them.” Which wouldn’t be excessive if I only owned two. However, I have at least a half dozen, perhaps more. I am trying to remind myself that I don’t need 2-3 options for every day, and that the Beer Guy will not make fun of me if I wear the same outfit more than once in 2.5 weeks. Probably.
  3. The worst part? My kidlet. It’ll be the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing him, even though I did arrange with his dad that I could spend a couple hours with him the day I get home, since he won’t come back to me until five days later. (My mom is coming to spend time with him, which is great for them and our cats and our house, but still…so long without Alvie Bean squishes.)

    Ack! This kid. My heart. *sigh*

 

Writerly Wednesday: finding your voice

One of the things I worried most about when starting a new series was the main character’s (MC’s) voice. I didn’t want Sandy to sound like Eleanor. In some ways, I won’t be able to completely eliminate it, they’re all tiny pieces of me, after all, but I am working very hard to ensure that Sandy and Eleanor (and the MC’s of future Oracle Bay books) are all very distinct.

One of the ways I do that is to write character bios. I include more than physical descriptions, I add things like “childhood,” and “relationship with parents.” Eleanor’s adopted parents are dead, but they died when she was twenty-two, so that impacted her as an adult. Sandy doesn’t know her bio dad, but has a great relationship with her mother and step-father, even if she seldom sees them now that they’re retired and off traveling the world.

A tip I got during a romance writing panel last weekend (holla Mel!) that I am absolutely adopting is doing silly personality quizzes for the characters that make you answer questions you’d never think of.

Another thing I do is plan out their favorite curses (profanity, not hexes…although I think there might be an Oracle Bay character or two who’d prefer a good hex to swearing). Eleanor’s is “motherfucker,” which is not a surprise to anyone who’s read more than a couple pages. Sandy’s is “Damnit” with a guilty look around to make sure no one heard.

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Finding your voice – what makes you unique – is one of the easiest and hardest things about being a writer. You don’t want to sound like everyone else – and I think (I hope!) I’ve achieved that with Eleanor Morgan. Switching voices enough to have unique characters while still sounding like me is another challenge.

The reason it’s easy is because it’s you. You already are unique. The reason it’s hard is because diversity of voice and consistency within each individual character. This is one of the things I look for most when editing (and one of the things I really hope my editor watches out for). When the Beer Guy reads my books, he points out when I have other characters – like Florence – say something in a way that sounds more like Eleanor McSarcasticPants.

Everything you do in your writing, down to the punctuation and dialog tags you use, informs your voice. Eleanor’s voice is the most like my own, which makes sense as she’s my first. But, she has habits and attitudes that are decidedly not me (for instance, her Taco Bell obsession…give me a good food cart taco any day).

The more you write, the more your voice will become distinctive. I recently edited a book (I am eagerly awaiting the return of said book for another go) that had something wrong that I couldn’t put a finger on. It was a great story, and was well-written, but there was just something missing. It took someone who knew the author better than I did to identify that the voice was inauthentic based on what they knew of the author’s own voice. As soon as that was identified, it was like being smacked in the face with the knowledge.

You want your writing to be authentically you. That doesn’t mean every character sounds like you, but it does mean that you should pour yourself into your book and not edit yourself out of it at the end. *side eyes*

Your style, your habits, your vocabulary – all of those things should find their way in. From there, you craft your characters within the framework of you. The only way to get there, and get there consistently, is practice. (Accepting constructive criticism doesn’t hurt, either.)

 

How do you use your authentic voice when there are so many voices that need to be distinct, memorable, and genuine?

Tongue-tied Tuesday

I am at a rare loss for words. That could be because all I’ve done for the last few months is word. Write words. Read words. Edit words. All I can talk about/think about/dream about is writing and editing. Not clever blog posts – only boring ones like this.

BUT – if you’d rather have less boring words, I’ve got some for you!

The Cardinal Gate is on sale for $0.99 through 3/20/18! It’s the only time it’ll be on sale for <$1 this entire year.

If you want to take the plunge into Eleanor Morgan and want an even better deal, the box set of books 1-3 is now available and is $5.99 through 3/20/18. That’s a nearly $5 savings over buying all three at regular prices.

And, if you’re all caught up and just eagerly awaiting The Broken World, it’s currently available for pre-order for only $0.99. (Price goes back up to $3.99 on – you guessed it – 3/20/18, which is release day!)

As a bonus, if you pre-order The Broken World as an autographed paperback directly from me, you can get it for $12 (plus shipping) instead of $14.

Pssstttt…..

The Waning Moon (#2) and The Ruby Blade (#3) are, of course, also available if that’s where you’re at in the reading order.

   

Broken World Cover Reveal (plus Presale links)

I tried to hold out on you, but I just couldn’t do it.

Book 4 of the Eleanor Morgan Series is out there in the world, ready for you to pre-order it and then sit around in anticipation for five weeks.

The Blurb

A year of travel, countless battles, betrayal, love, and loss—all lead to the final gate, the last sacrifice, and the end of the world as we know it.

Eleanor has only two gates to open to restart traffic between Earth and the Fae Plane, and the only certainty is that either way, the world will change. For the first time, humans are the biggest threat to Eleanor. The government is descending into chaos and groups of humans are determined to eradicate the supernatural scourge they believe is destroying their world.
From the desert southwest back to the place it all began, old friends will reunite, old enemies will create chaos, and myths will walk the earth again.

An ancient prophecy comes to fruition through Raj’s Ruby Blade, and the only question that remains is who will wield it as the world breaks?

DRUMROLL PLEASE!

 

The Cover

 

The Pre-Order Links

Amazon

ibooks

Kobo

Nook

The Pitch

This is my favorite Eleanor Morgan book so far! It’s the end of the first major arc, and sets up the next couple books pretty well, if I do say so myself.

I hope you buy it and then, I hope you love it.

The Paperback

The paperback will be up for sale in about a month, and soon you’ll be able to preorder your autographed paperback here, too. (Probably as soon as tomorrow.)

Psssstttttttt…

For a limited time, i.e. until the release of The Broken World, The Cardinal Gate is on sale for $0.99. Now’s your chance to grab it at that price while you can. It won’t go on sale again until 2019!

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