Saturday, April 23, 2016

I have been asked to promote a new book that is being released by Janette Rallison. I met Janette at the first writing conference I went to. She was gracious, and warm and gave us several minutes of writing advice as we ate lunch. She will always have a soft place in my hear because of this. I was happy to be able to promote her book when asked.
Shy Adelle Hansen hears demons, but she’s determined to make friends at her new high school by keeping her ability secret. When she overhears supernatural voices celebrating the impending death of the school quarterback, Levi Anderson, she knows she has to do something to prevent it. However, the demons aren’t the ones plotting; they’re just celebrating the chaos, and Adelle must contend with earthly forces as well if she wants to preserve Levi’s life. Handsome, popular Levi doesn't appreciate Adelle’s self-appointed role of guardian angel. As Adelle battles to keep him safe, she’ll have to protect her heart, too. Can she do both? A little bit about Janette: Janette Rallison/CJ Hill writes books because writing is much more fun than cleaning bathrooms. Her avoidance of housework has led her to writing 24 novels that have sold over 1,000,000 print copies and have been on many reading and state lists. Her books are fantasy, sci-fi, and romantic comedy because hey, there is enough angst in real life, but there’s a drastic shortage of humor, romance and hot guys who fight dragons. She lives in Arizona with her husband, kids, and enough cats to classify her as eccentric.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Character Sketch . . . Lyris Jaimes

I was asked to post something about one of my characters by Jay Faulkner. And it seems that everything has conspired against me to get this post up. From IEP's to a broken front door.

That said,I've had a hard time deciding which character I would talk about today.

My fallback character would be Antony Danic. But you've heard from him and seen him before. Besides, there are so many other characters in my head that are worth mentioning. The real question is which one.

So . . . without further delay is Lyris Jaimes.

Lyris is the adopted daughter of Hannah and Owen Jaimes. Lyris was born on February 14, some eighty years from now. I honestly know the date but I can't find where I wrote that information down. She lived in Utah and attended the elementary school and middle school in Salt Lake City. At 16 she moved to Seoul Korea to train at the Academy Center. She was selected to become a sword master after petitioning the Center council. After graduation from the Seoul Academy, she applied and was assigned to London England as an agent. She spent the next six years falling in love with the city and culture. She became engaged to a man named Ethan and started to plan a wedding. One day she came home from work early to find Ethan in bed with another woman. She threw her ring at him and left. As we join her story in Latent, she is on the plane from Heathrow on her way to Salt Lake to spend some time with her parents.

Lyris was a hard character to pin down. She is independent but also has a needy streak. While Lyris existed as a character before Elite, with Elite being introduced before her presented a problem. How was I supposed to separate and keep Lyris and Elite different in the readers heads. In fact, when I introduced Elite into the story Lyris pulled a coup and gave me the silent treatment for weeks. When she did return she had morphed into her own very strong and independent character who was not just an agent, but a sword master as well. While Elite is fun loving and flighty, I needed Lyris to be determined and stubborn to a point, but not too serious. I needed the reader to see a direct contrast between the two of them. It wasn't as easy as I imagined it to be. I needed her to be strong and professional but a romantic at heart and fun to be around.

I think that Lyris is the closest to me as a character. I imagine she looks a lot like Scarlet Johhanson in the Avengers with that pretty red hair.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A little about Antony Danic

Antony the main character in EMERGENCE was interviewed a few weeks ago. It was an interesting process. Here is the link:

Here is the Interview, incase you can't link to it.

Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)

My name is Antony Danic. I live in the Deakin District of Canberra. That’s the Australian Capital Territory. I have dark brown hair, usually to my shoulders, but I like to change it often. My eyes are blue. As for what I do? I am a . . . Human Resources specialist for Hurst Enterprises. I’d like to do two things, one retire and travel, and have a family with my wife Elite.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to travel. I like to practice martial arts, I should be testing for my fifth degree black belt in Tang Soo Do soon. I like to go dancing with Elite.

What is your favorite color and why?

Black. Then I can blend in and be un-noticed.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

Chinese. I think for the variety. I love pot stickers.

What would you say is your biggest quirk?

I dislike technology. Especially machines that think they are autonomous.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why?

Antagonist? Don’t have one. (Author note, antagonist is himself.)

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

Elite. She means everything to me. I’d do anything to protect her. Even kill someone.

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

That anxiety issue my author thinks I have. . . um, not real.

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

Honestly? I don’t think so. We both think the plot is pretty perfect.

Ask me any question. I've always wanted to know what a character thinks about writers like myself. I'll answer the question at the end of this interview.

How many characters have you killed in your writing? My author thinks she holds a record or something.

Let's see, I've only written one mystery (that's published, that is) and I really don't want to give it away, so I'll say somewhere between one and four. You probably have the record.


Thank you, Antony!

Friday, November 15, 2013

What defines "real writing"?

I was speaking with a woman about my blog and realized how neglected it is.

It's not that I don't have blog thoughts or things to write about. It's been the heavy focus on writing editing and submitting that seems to take all of my spare time.

There's been a huge discussion online lately about what makes a real writer. Some think it is the ability to write deep prose and win awards even if it makes no money. That genre writing is fluff and not real writing. The other side of this argument is that genre fiction, and earning money to pay your bills is the definition of real writing.

As a fiction writer I definitely side with the second half of the above statement. To me, success is earning money to support either your life and family or earning money to support your art. While awards are nice. (Trust me, they can go a long way in the writing world. They give you credibility and make people trust you as a writer.) They aren't everything. No award is going to give me money to buy gas for the car so I can go to my next author event or book signing. Awards don't buy book marks or business cards. Book sales do that.

The article assumes, that LDS writers are not real writers because we don't have authors that have won awards and therefore we aren't real writers in general. Um Orson Scott Card winning a Hugo and a Nebula for Enders Game isn't real writing? What about David Farland, Eric James Stone, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells? What about the whole plethora of LDS authors who write for the National market and are doing amazingly well? James Dashner and the Maze Runner movie comes to mind. If genre writing is not real writing and is not a measure of success then why is the list of LDS authors that are publishing nationally and paying their bills so large I can't list them all? AND in my short list I have totally left off the women in the writing world that are successful. I apologize.

The article also assumes that LDS writers in general are too sunshiny to write serious issues because of our culture, beliefs and upbringing. I sorely disagree with this but that is a subject for an entirely separate subject, and topic for another day.

While I am never going to change the minds of those who think I am not a real writer, I can at least start a discussion that is both interesting and thought provoking.

So are you a real writer?

Friday, September 20, 2013

How we are inspired.

On Monday I talked about music and writing. Today I'm talking about something a bit more strange.


I'm a deep POV writer. I literally share my head with my characters. Sometimes I wonder if they'll ever leave. Often times I see something and think of a specific character.

I have several necklaces that remind me of certain characters. For example. I wear a bone carving that is "Antony's" necklace. It's from New Zealand. Antony grew up in Dunedein New Zealand.

It looks a lot like these.

Anyway, I wear it when I write his character. I wear it when im working on his books or when I am just needing some Antony Company.

Do you do something similar?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

One Thing That Will Kill Your Writing Career


Yep. I could just leave my post at that. However, let me explain.

One of the first things were taught in Martial Arts both when sparing and practicing is to keep your hands loose.

Why? What is one of the first things we do or describe a character do when we or they experience negative emotion? Clench our/their hands.

What does it do to us? It focuses the negative emotion into something physical. It makes it manifest. In a sparing situation it wears you out. You're wasting energy you could be using to defend yourself.

Jealousy can do the same thing to writers mentally in regards of writing and their writing career. It takes a lot of negative mental energy to be jealous. It can dominate thoughts and make people unbearably miserable. Let alone not a pleasant person to be around.

Instead of writing, a jealous person stalks other peoples websites, Facebook profiles, and Amazon pages and staring at numbers, statuses, and pictures that will do nothing but make them more miserable. They compare themselves to other people that either have had that lucky break or have spent the thousands of hours and written the millions of words to earn their success. In that negative world they are living in, they don't see that they could be the same if they weren't so busy being green. They let those little doubts that could normally be kicked to the curb become insurmountable walls and they have defeated themselves.

I'll be the first to admit that when a friend or acquaintance gets a six figure deal or signs with an amazing agent or publisher or has a massively successful signing or launch I feel a little green. Hey, I'm human. It's what I let it do to me after those initial moments that matters the most.

I let it go. Often times I sit my butt in my chair and open a document and stele my resolve to write something better. Something amazing. Or make new and more ambitious goals, or submit to that agent I was a little timid about approaching.

We have a choice.

Let something like jealousy kill our potential. Or let it motivate us to make us better.

What is yours?

Monday, September 16, 2013

What inspires you?

I am a music fan. I write, play and clean to my music. I do not claim to be trendy. I'm not. I have stuff new and old that I like to listen to. Lately I've been on a older Finger 11 kick. That said I'll hear a certain song and whether it reminds me of a character, scene or story depends on a lot of things. I thought it would be fun to link and talk about certain songs and why they resonate with me.

So today I'm talking about Emergence and a certain song by Onerepublic

It's called Something's Gotta Give

Why does this remind me of Emergence?

The line talking about "staying up all night listening to records that we like". It reminds me of the scenes where Antony and Elite would dance to music from his old record collection. This song is instant stress relief for me. It makes me smile thinking of Antony and Elite enjoying music together.