I wanted to let everyone know that I finished the first draft of The Vampire’s War! This novel will be the fifth installment in the Realm of the Vampire Council series! I am excited to enter the next phase with my vampires once again.
I enjoy reading how other authors go about their writing process, so thought I would share my methodology regarding The Vampire’s War with you.
Stage One: With my vampire novels, I first outline them. In the case of The Vampire’s War, I edited the outline until draft three felt ready to go.
Stage Two: Now I begin writing! Each time I return to the project, I revise whatever I wrote in my previous session. Also, when I complete a chapter, I edit the entire chapter one time before moving to the next one.
Stage Three: When I finish the manuscript as described in stage two, I edit the entire novel one time. For The Vampire’s War, this edit took a little more time than most of my novels because a major change happened in the middle of my writing. You see, the vampires decided to alter a key part of the outline about half way through my writing. I therefore had to be extra careful in editing to reflect this change in anything I wrote about before the vampires screwed with my outline. Fuckers – they love to mess with me.
Stage Four: This is where The Vampire’s War resides right now. I ship the draft off to my trusted beta readers. Time for them to find my mistakes and flaws, recommend changes, and then get the draft back to me so I can edit accordingly!
Once I finish tweaking The Vampire’s War with their suggestions I will cross my fingers and send it off to my publisher! Of course I will keep you posted.
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While I’m working to finish up my latest work in progress, The Vampire’s War, I wanted to share some information about a fellow NineStar Press author with you! One of the cool things about NineStar is that the authors work with each other, not against each other as competition. And I mix NineStar authors into my regular reading rotation to support my press and to find other authors writing in the genres I love!
Which some time ago brought me to M.D. Neu and his world of vampires and the supernatural. I found his stories engaging from the start – and he creates unique worlds and circumstances for his characters that I really appreciated. I am partial to gay vampires, you know, so that helps, too! Please check out his work through the links and descriptions below!!
When Tad pushes the boundaries of his duties too far, his angel wings are stripped, and he is sent to New York City to live as a human. Lost and alone he meets Doug, and the two start a friendship that will last a lifetime. But nothing is simple when you’re dealing with a former Angel of Death and a Drag Queen. Could these two cause our world to end or will they manage to keep the future secure?
The world is changing quickly for Chris now that he’s part of the Immortal Community. The events of his past are finally behind him. But, true magic is gradually taking hold in the world and nothing in the Immortal community is what he thought. Now enemies must work together and longtime friends may not be trustworthy. Who is lurking in the shadows? What does this mean for witches, immortals, and humans?
This weekend, a friend came to town for our first post-vaccination visit. I am embracing these moments of being together after such a long stretch of not seeing the people who mean so much to me. We took the opportunity of reuniting to attend two art exhibits, and I wanted to share how immersing myself in someone else’s artistic creation affects my writing.
First, we went to see the Obama Portraits at the Chicago Art Institute. Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of Barack and Amy Sherald’s portrait of Michelle not only capture the two important leaders but also tell powerful stories about their presidency, backgrounds, and race in America. I was moved to deep emotion. I had a hard time pulling myself away from the portraits to continue to enjoy other artwork at the gallery. I felt as if the Obamas stood in front of me, explaining the significance of their lives.
Second, the following day, we attended the Frida Kahlo Exhibit at the College of DuPage here in the Chicago suburbs. The curators packed a ton of important information and stories into telling her history – and then you experience a number of her paintings and portraits. Seeing her life as expressed through art was as moving as the Obama portraits but in a much different way. The gender, race, and art history were profound.
I wish I could command everyone who reads this blog to go to both exhibits! How does such art weave into my writing? Because viewing the images tapped into my emotional center, prompting thoughts about the human condition and the meaning of an individual’s life. All of the artwork inspired me with the creativity and power of the artist’s brush, much like a writer uses a pen to tell a similar story. Sometimes as a writer I must step away from the actual craft and experience life and art to renew and inspire myself. Three amazing artists in two days certainly energized me anew.
As many of you know, I love Christmas! Decorating, celebrating, preparing for winter – all fun! So of course I enjoy a bit of Christmas in July, such as getting my new ornaments at Hallmark’s Keepsake Ornament Premiere or taking advantage of Christmas in July sales.
All of which prompts me to remind you: if you’re still wondering about a good summer read and want to connect this desire to Christmas in July, don’t forget about Santa Is a Vampire! Simon the Elf will chill you on the beach this summer with tales about the true nature of Santa!
Paul and I returned from our first vacation since August of last year. Because of the pandemic, we have stayed home until now. After we were both fully vaccinated, we did inch out to have dinner with friends, ate outside once, and began to return to some normal activities. And we had family and friends visit our house, which was exciting! Both his parents and my side of the family came for visits. Being close again to family was fantastic and emotional!
But Paul and I thrive on getting away for a little while, and therefore really missed vacation. We stayed with super close friends of ours, who own a house of Chautauqua Lake. It was good for the soul to be with long-time friends, to get away from daily routines, and to do nothing but chat, laugh, drink, eat, and enjoy life!
Time away for us rejuvenates out spirits. As a writer, I find the opportunity to walk away from my work routine refreshing – I return with an eagerness to dig back into my stories. So much of the tales I write involve relationships and navigating the world around us in community that gathering with friends and family help to tap into the feelings and experiences I imbed in my novels.
I’m off to write some more – feeling renewed and energized, glad to be with loved ones again after a long pandemic induced absence.
I am venturing into new territory these days with getting myself to do video interviews and such. Full confession: I am NOT comfortable hearing my voice on a recording, let alone seeing myself in a video! But alas it’s the twenty first century and social media and the like kind of demand it.
Thankfully, I found someone kind and gentle for an interview! Nichi, the host at Dark Between Pages, is a lovely human and had me in for a visit. She made this painless and fun! Thanks to Nichi, and I hope you enjoy! The link is below.
While I am still busy promoting my recent release of The Vampire’s Witch, I am also plugging along on three current projects! Here is a round up of my current works in progress:
The Vampire’s War: Book V in the Realm of the Vampire Council! I have two sections of the final chapter and the epilogue remaining to write on the fifth installment in my vampire series. Then I will edit the manuscript and send it to my beta readers for comment. A dangerous foe threatens the vampire world. Jaret Bachmann wants to fight but finds himself stonewalled by the Vampire Council. Tragedy and danger lurk at every turn, as well as a forbidden lust . . .
The Easter Bunny Is a Werewolf. In Santa Is a Vampire, Santa manipulated Simon the Elf to reveal Santa’s true nature as a deadly vampire. Now he wants to loan Simon out to the Easter Bunny because the fuzzy fellow has a secret of his own to share. The dark humor of Simon the Elf returns in this grim springtime tale.
Untitled. I grew up as a HUGE Star Wars fan, and remain so to this day. My brother once asked me why I never wrote a space adventure, given my fandom. I said nothing ever inspired me the way my other stories have . . . until now. I just started a new young adult novel in which alien spacecraft invade earth. Sorry – that’s all I can tell you right now!
I shared these links previously on social media and my blog but wanted to give you a round up of them: in the last couple weeks, I did an interview with Wrote Podcast and appeared on two panels at the International Queer Authors and Readers Uniting Stories Convention. I had a lot of fun in all three of these, so please check them out!
Hey, Everyone – I have super exciting news! I am participating on two different panels this weekend (May 8th) at the IQARUS: International Queer Authors and Readers Uniting Stories Book Con! Please click this link for information about the entire virtual conference, which I think is super exciting and fun: IQARUS Info!!!!!
Here are my specific appearances on Saturday, May 8th:
I will do a reading with the panel: The Queer Character Doesn’t Die in the End: Queer Horror at 3:00 p.m. Central Time (i.e. Chicago Time). Please go to the conference website this Saturday for the link!
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