Sunday, July 18, 2010

Taking Stock

I think now is a good time to sit back for a moment and take stock of my career in publishing.  It's only been three years since my first book was published. Since then, all four books of The Asphodel Cycle have been released, my short story collection Metamorphosis, the first book of The Vampire Covenants with Rob Graham, and now the first three books of Mythos. I have ten other books completed and another seven at various stages of completion.  Two of them are paranormal romance, one is horror and the rest are either urban or epic fantasy.

I have not been writing as much as of late--I've been concentrating on my role as an editor.  Since I began editing two years ago, I have worked on over forty books with over twenty writers.  I've advanced to senior editor at Aspen Mountain Press.  I came up with the concept for the Aurora imprint at AMP and am the head editor there. With the sneak peek of Aurora next week and the official launch of the company in October, I am focusing my energy and attention upon it.

Although I haven't been writing much, I am still meeting my daily word count requirements.  As of today, I have written almost half a million words in 2010.  My goal is one million words--and although 600,000 of them might be crap, at least they'll be on paper.

Currently, I have five other fantasy worlds completely built, down to societies, cultures, histories, mythologies, geography and races.  Those five worlds are peopled with characters who are completely fleshed out down to favoritehas the teeth colors and personality quirks.  Those characters' stories out sketched out: I always know the ending for my stories, but how I get there is made up on the writing path.

I am at a crossroads in my career and I know it.  Once Aurora is launched and I'm working on a nice, rhythmic calm schedule, with more editors to take up some of the work, I hope to be able to refocus upon my writing.  I could probably do it now if one of my story ideas took off with me. 

So that's what I'm hoping will happen.  I am taking a full week off from writing.  Yes, you heard me: a full week. Seven whole days beginning tomorrow. I am not going to open a single darn word file that begins with my initials.  Instead, I'm going to spend my free time reading.  I'm going to read every word I've got in the stories that I'm working on.  I'm going to allow my brain to consider each story, where it's going, what the stakes are for the characters, the pertinency of the conflict.  I'm going to try to determine which story has the teeth to sink into my psyche and shake me out of the morass of indecision that is stifling my direction.

Yes, I'm going to take stock. I'm going to go back to the time when writing was both entertainment and joy instead of work. I'm going to let a story take me for a while, instead of the other way around.  Sometimes every writer needs to do that, no matter what they have cooking on the stove. Feeling stymied?

Then stop. Take a break. Recharge those batteries and let your creative processes relax for a time.

And seven days from now, I'll come back and let you know if it worked.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mythos 3: Beloved of a Mortal Now Available

The third book of my mythological romance series, Mythos 3:Beloved of a Mortal, has been released and is now available through Aspen Mountain Press.

After a prophecy that Thetis’ son would be greater than his father, the male gods of Olympus shun her. She is now an outcast, wandering the mountains in Greece and seething against the petty motivations of the other immortals.
Peleus is a Greek hero and warrior prince. On a visit to the king of Iolcos, he fends off the advances of the Queen. When she lies to her husband and claims Peleus is in love with her, the King strands Peleus on a mountain. Only the intervention of a beautiful immortal saves him from a horrible death.
Peleus and Thetis fall in love, but their future is uncertain. Can Peleus overcome the obstacles the gods have set in his way? Or will Thetis be strong enough to fight for the man she loves? When a goddess is the beloved of a mortal, only the help of those who love her can save her from the anger of the gods.
I love release days.  They're always so exciting.  There's something really cool about seeing the link to your book go live and knowing that people who have read the previous books and love the series are going to be reading your work over the weekend and (hopefully) loving this book too. 

This book has a particularly special place in my heart because it's a story I've always thought needed to be told.  The myth of Thetis and Peleus was extremely important to the Greeks but has been overlooked by more modern interpretations of Greco-Roman mythology.  I mean--these two are the parents of Achilles, the greatest warrior of anitquity and the hero (albeit a whiny hero) of the Trojan War!  And while the relationship between Thetis and Peleus was extremely rocky after their marriage, the characters still genuinely loved each other and their son.

So why not tell it?

It won't be long before Mythos 4 is completed and I'll talk more about it in the weeks ahead.  But, until then, here's my latest offering and I hope you like it.

Friday, July 09, 2010


Yep, that's me.  Stalled.  Oh, I'm still writing--when I can.  At the moment, though, I'm so busy with all my other hats I'm having trouble finding the time to write.  Then, when I do find the time, I struggle for a few minutes with what I should be working on.

Problem number one of writing multiple projects at the same time.

There are so many things I need to get finsished.  I got Harlequin done, thank goodness, so I don't have to worry about that.  It's in the hands of a beta right now.  Terella is getting revamped again--yeah, I know.  How many overhauls can one project take?  The answer to that is simple--whatever it needs. I've been researching Oriental culture and society, wanting to give Terella a more non-European flavor.  It'll be interesting to see if I can pull it off.  I'm close to the end of the Covenants final book, but I'm not really sure what I should do to end it.  Usually, I know the ending of a book before I begin it, but this time I thought I'd let it happen organically. I'm working on the fourth Mythos book, but it's struggling.  As for the other projects, they're in hiatus--The Vengeance of Anne Boleyn, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, The Bell Demon--yep, all waiting for me to get some direction.

But until AMP's anniversary celebration is done and Aurora is launched, I'm going to have to put writing on the shelf for a little while and catch time when I can.  How annoying!  While my other jobs are satisfying to me professionally, it's writing I want to be doing. 

We shall see. I think I'm going to shut off the internet and the phone, move into the TV-less study and see if I can rededicate myself to my craft this evening.

It should work.