Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I Have Talented and Amazing Friends

In addition to writing, I like to get out into the world and talk about what I've done.  You may recall that I've blogged about some of my presentations.  Well, in an effort to get my information out there, my friend designed a newsletter mailer for me.  I think it turned out awesome!

During it's creation, she asked if I wanted any color in it, and I jokingly told her "zombie green."  What she added is just spectacular.  I think it gives it pop and makes it look even more amazing!




Monday, January 26, 2015

Writing a Series

I enjoy book series. As a reader, when I find a series I really enjoy, I want to be immersed in it in every way possible. I want to experience the characters’ lives in every way possible, and I don’t want it to ever end. EVER.

Writing a series can be a magical and wonderful experience. As a writer, I enjoy that the world is already set up and that the characters are already established. I don’t have to strain my brain coming up with new ideas, I can expand on ones that already exist.

As an author, I appreciate and enjoy that readers get lost in my series. I love that they are invested in my characters and can’t get enough of their adventures. It makes me happy that they anxiously await the next book.

But writing a series can also get incredibly exhausting. I have to spend a lot of time in this world and with these characters. I’m there for months or years, and I know waaaaay more about what happens than what is on the page. My brain is full of elaborate back stories. I know minute details about the characters’ lives and the history of the world. Sometimes these details are written down so they aren’t forgotten, but they aren’t ever part of the final story.

Keeping track of all this gets tough. And sometimes the characters don’t cooperate. Some days they don’t want to tell me their stories, or I get bored listening to them. Spending too much time with characters is like spending too much time with real people. We get tired of each other. There is some truth to the phrase “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” even with fictional people.

There’s also the added pressure of making sure the next book lives up to readers’ expectations. I want to make sure the details are just right, that I’m staying true to what was written before, and sometimes that means going back and rereading the previous books in the series. Thankfully, at the moment, I only have two others. I couldn’t imagine having five or more and needing to go back for details!

But at the same time, I feel the pressure to make sure the next book lives up to readers’ expectations. There’s a need to get it out in a timely fashion so that interest isn’t lost. Nerves get frazzled when I feel like I’m falling behind—even when I don’t have a deadline.  When this happens, it makes it hard to continue to write.  It becomes difficult to overcome the fear that I’m going to fail, that people are going to be angry with the book.

As an author, my goal is to make sure the reader enjoys their experience in the worlds I create. I want to give you my best. I strive to do that every time I put words on the page, but sometimes, self-doubt creeps in. Real life gets in the way. Mistakes happen. A book might take a little longer to get out than expected. Please don’t hold this against me.

The thing that (I hope) makes my series so wonderful is that I have fun writing it. I enjoy being in that world just like you do, but at times, it gets tedious. Sometimes it isn’t fun anymore. When this happens, I have to walk away. I have to work on something else. I have to take a break.

Trust me, if I don’t enjoy writing the story, it will come across on the page, and then you won’t enjoy reading it. But after a little time off, I can come back refreshed and ready to make it fun again. And that’s what it’s all about: having fun.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Life-consuming Projects

When I write, not only do I become obsessed with a project, but it takes over my life until it’s done. If I could, I would lock myself away from the world and work until the book was done or I passed out from exhaustion. Unfortunately, I don’t have that option. Life gets in the way. I have a day job and a family to take care of (which usually takes precedent), but any and all free time is devoted solely to writing. So don’t ask me for anything!

Finding the balance between life and writing can get incredibly exhausting. Focusing on writing uses most of my brain, which means that it’s not functioning for other tasks that have to be done. Did you ask me a question? Sorry, I didn’t hear it. I was listening to the voices in my head. Oh, you need something? Give me one minute. I said that ten minutes ago? Sorry!

But I’m persistent and stubborn, so I find a way to make it work. That means something has to be put on the backburner, but laundry, cleaning the house, and loading the dishwasher will always wait. They are super like that!

And once the project’s finally done, that’s when I can sit back, take a deep breath, and catch up on everything I’ve missed.

In case you missed it, Dealing with Devils is now available. You can find it here. I hope you enjoy!


Dating a demon has its advantages, like helping deliver souls to Hell. Wait...what?

Katie’s world has been turned upside down. She's fallen for Josh—despite the fact that he’s a demon from Hell. Wes is finally out of her system and her life. Convinced she can change Josh, she sets out to make him a better person, only to find out things aren’t as simple as she’d originally thought. For one thing, Josh has Katie help him deliver souls to Hell, and she kind of likes it. And to top it off, other more powerful demons are battling for her soul, and revelations from the past could change the course of her life forever.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Interesting Weapons

I’m a big fan of finding new and intriguing weapons. While writing my zombie novels, I researched guns and other things to find the perfect way for my characters to kill zombies. During this search, I found handgun bayonets and arms swords. Recently, my husband brought to my attention a fire-arm mounted axe head




While all of these weapons seem incredibly cool and look awesome, I can’t help but wonder how helpful they would really be in a fight. A handgun bayonet? Really? You have to get awfully close to a zombie to use that. And if you’re already going to be close, why not just use a regular knife? I guess  a positive of having this attached to your gun would be that it would cut down on the amount of weapons you would have to carry.

Same thing with the axe mounted to a gun—less things to carry. But I feel like the axe would make your gun really heavy, and it would be awkward to swing if you had to. But I guess that would all depend on what type of gun you mount it to.

The arm swords seem like they would be a little bit more helpful for zombie fighting, but again, you have to get awfully close to your opponent to use them. Having them attached to your arms would help with leverage, but if they get stuck in something, getting them off could be problematic. With a regular sword, you would just let go. With this one, you actually have to unstrap it. You’d better hope you’re fast enough.

Again, I think these things are incredibly cool, just maybe not very effective. What do you think? Are these weapons you would use against the undead?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Happy Release Day!

Dealing with Devils, the second book in The Road to Salvation series is now available! The first is The Appeal of Evil. I’m so very excited!


Dating a demon has its advantages, like helping deliver souls to Hell. Wait...what? Katie’s world has been turned upside down. She's fallen for Josh—despite the fact that he’s a demon from Hell. Wes is finally out of her system and her life. Convinced she can change Josh, she sets out to make him a better person, only to find out things aren’t as simple as she’d originally thought. For one thing, Josh has Katie help him deliver souls to Hell, and she kind of likes it. And to top it off, other more powerful demons are battling for her soul, and revelations from the past could change the course of her life forever.

My amazing book manager created some fantastic teasers about the book. Check them out! And check out the book when you get a chance!




Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Old-School Style

Recently, I finished the very rough draft of the third book in The Road to Salvation series. The first two are The Appeal of Evil and Dealing with Devils. It still doesn’t have a title, but it will eventually. I’m not a fan of coming up with titles. I actually dislike it quite a bit. I’m always looking for the perfect way to describe the book in just a few short words. It’s hard.

Anyway, when I write, I usually use a combination of handwriting and working on the computer. What I use depends on what I have access to. When I’m doing anything with the kids, I handwrite. It’s a lot easier to drop a notebook and pen if something happens than a computer. Plus, I don’t have to worry about the battery going dead.

This time, however, I hand wrote the entire manuscript. I’m not really sure why. Part of the reason was because with Dealing with Devils, it irritated me to have to type out chapters before moving along with the story. It felt like I was going backwards instead of forward, so I changed it up for the third book.



At the moment, I’m in the process of getting the chapters typed up. It’s a bit tedious, but it gives me a chance to revise as I go along. And, really, the hard part is still done. The story is still on paper.

I’m not sure I can tell you which way I think works better. Either way, the story is getting written. Either way, it makes my wrists hurt. To be honest, I’m just happy it’s done.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Made it Through!

Well, we all survived the first week back to school after Christmas break. It was touch and go for a while, and the week ended with yelling and tears, but I got over it pretty quickly. It seems we’ve settled back into our normal routine.  But I tell you what, I was incredibly happy to have the weekend show up.

The nice thing about this weekend was I got a lot of writing done. I have one chapter left until the first rough draft of my latest book is done. (It's still untitled.  I thought I had one, but it needs to be reworked.)  That’s an amazing feeling. Next comes edits, but those are easy. I have something to work with. Getting the first round on paper is the hardest part of the process.

I hope the rest of you had an amazing and productive weekend and are gearing up for a fantastic week. It’s going to be a great one!

Friday is the release date for Dealing with Devils.  Don't worry, I'll remind you when the time comes.  Until then, please enjoy the amazing cover.


Dating a demon has its advantages, like helping deliver souls to Hell. Wait...what?

Katie’s world has been turned upside down. She's fallen for Josh—despite the fact that he’s a demon from Hell. Wes is finally out of her system and her life. Convinced she can change Josh, she sets out to make him a better person, only to find out things aren’t as simple as she’d originally thought. For one thing, Josh has Katie help him deliver souls to Hell, and she kind of likes it. And to top it off, other more powerful demons are battling for her soul, and revelations from the past could change the course of her life forever.