Thursday, March 28, 2013

Gotta love technology

I love computers, but last night after finishing editing and publishing the fourth installment of the Nyx Slaughter series, technology got the best of me. It was total user error on my part, but when I was copying the fourth book between the couple different files I have to format, I accidentally saved over the chapter and a half of the fifth book that I had started.

Anyway, it was only two chapters so not the end of the world. I know for the most part what I wrote, but probably won't get it exactly the same. It reminds me that I need to save to my server a little bit more often. I tend to save and work off a flash drive because I like to carry my books around with me. If I would have had it saved on any of my computers, even if I saved over that version, my Windows could have probably recovered it from a previous version, but I guess it is just a lesson learned.

I think I am finally done reading through and editing the first four books. I did a recheck on the first three just to try to bring everything to the surface of my brain as I prepare to write the next book. I even think I fixed a few places in the first one where things might have been confusing.

I know what is going to happen in the fifth and sixth books and have some great ideas for the seventh that will probably change slightly depending on the next two. I have been thinking that the seventh will bring an end to the particular story arc and path that Nyx has been set on from the first book. I will leave room to continue on past seven, but I would like to move on to some other ideas that are floating in my head. This also will pair all of the companion novels nicely so I can later group them into good size full length novels instead of barely brushing the bottom level of novel based on word count.

Even though I do have another book outside of Nyx's world started, I think I am going to go ahead and spend the next few months finishing up this series. Since they are already written in my mind, I don't think it will take long to get them typed out. I have written nine books now that meet my 50,000 word minimum and the longest it has taken me to get to that word count is sixteen days or so. Five of the books aren't edited much at all, but the ones that have been, added on at least another week after the roughly two week writing process to make corrections.

Aside from books, I found out today that eating too many jelly beans gives me a headache. I guess that means it is time for bed.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Stories that evolve from dreams

This morning I woke up remembering very vividly the dream I was just having. The great news about the dream is that it would make an awesome book. Sadly, it isn't a Nyx Slaughter book, but something totally different for me and more in the sci-fi genre.

A lot of times I find myself remembering dreams that played out before me like a movie or television show. I think they are really cool and I have most of them playing around in the back of my mind, or in a text document that I have paraphrased the dream into ideas.

The dream of last night actually made it past the text document phase and is being plotted out into a full length novel with three parts. A working cover has also been created, so I am really moving along. I expect it to be ready for my ARC, advance reading copy, group to read by the end of next month.

This is the general synopsis.

The bright light in the sky started as nothing more than a dot. As it got closer and encompassed the sun, the sky blackened and we realized we were in big trouble. The lightening bolt-like rays coming from the original orb hit the ground causing the earth to shake.

Everyone took cover in the closest basement. Why we thought the basement was the place to be, I don’t remember. Living in Texas and being used to tornadoes coming through town was the most likely explanation.

That was just three days ago. The aliens have arrived like all the conspiracy theorists always claimed. Sadly, their claims of the aliens already living amongst us were also true. Now that their friends have arrived, they are all coming out of the woodwork and realizing how close they have always been gives me the shock of a lifetime.

Oh yeah, I should have already mentioned that this is my story. The story of how I, Sarina Rogers, ended up the princess to the Gonthic race.

I am still working on the summary, but it is the basis of what the dream was about. I am breaking out the story into three parts. Two are in the past reflecting what the main characters lives were like before the invasion and then just after the invasion. The last part is going to be told in the present and highlights a dilemma the heroine finds herself in.

I cannot wait for the finished product. If anyone would like to be included in my ARC group, for this and my other books, be sure to click on the "Contact Me" link at the top of the page. Being an indie author, all the feedback I can get is greatly appreciated.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A few of my favorite things - random version

This is going to be a very random post of things other than books that interest me. I will start out basic and who knows where I will end up.

1) Kitchen appliances. I love to cook and bake and anything that makes my life easier in the kitchen is my friend. I think me and my KitchenAid mixer are going to have to be buried together.

2) Music. I love listening to music. The radio tends to stick to country stations, but my CD player in the car is fully loaded with every Muse CD. I also have a love for classic rock. My all-time favorite song for some reason is Shooting Star by Bad Company. Don't know why, but about fifteen years ago I would listen to it nonstop and still really love it.

3) TV shows. I watch quite a few, but no where near as much as I used to. Current shows that tend to amuse me: Banshee, Once Upon a Time, Wild West Alaska, Fast N' Loud, Elementary, Vegas, Psych, Supernatural, Warehouse 13, America's Got Talent, Impractical Jokers, Project Runway, Sons of Anarchy, True Blood, and Breaking Bad. Yes, that is a very short list compared to what I watched just a couple years ago.

4) The great outdoors. I love jumping on my motorcycle with a tent and being able to stay in state parks just to get away from it all. I like to fish, but still don't like removing the fish from the hook. I am convinced the fish is going to bite me. The biggest one I have caught is a Northern Pike that was pretty close to three feet.

5) Sports. I LOVE hockey. My team, the New York Rangers, aren't doing great in this shortened season, but I am still watching. I also enjoy watching the Minnesota Vikings play football and tend to watch most motor sports.

6) DIY/Woodworking/Metal working/Arts & crafts. I like to make things. My husband has a lot of tools and I tend to just "supervise" for the bigger projects, but I also like to knit, sew, paper mache, etc.

7) Animals. I have two dogs and in general love all things furry.

Current least favorite thing: Carpet in bathrooms. I have lived with it for nine years and it is finally gone. Spent about thirty minutes wrestling it out and cannot wait to lay down some tile.

I guess I didn't end up going too far off the deep end. I will have to think up some more things, but for now my brain is overtaxed and I need sleep.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A few of my favorite things - book version

As I have mentioned, I love to read and with that comes favorite authors, books, and genres. This is just a post highlighting some of my favorites.

1) Favorite genre
Right now, I am stuck in the paranormal world. I love romance books in general, but add vampires, werewolves, demons, witches, mages, angels, ghosts, fae, etc and you have me hooked.

2) Favorite book within the genre
At this point, I am wondering why I decided to torture myself even making this post. I have so many books that I love that it is almost impossible to pick just one. I will go with Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning. I love that series and the ending wrapped it up nicely. I hear there are going to be more books and as long as they aren't the books following Dani from the series, I will be checking them out.

3) Favorite author within the genre
This one I do think I am going to split. Since she got the nod for favorite book KMM also gets a nod for being on of my favorites. The other author I wouldn't miss a book from is Laurell K. Hamilton. The Anita Blake series is one of my biggest guilty pleasures, even though it has gone a little off the deep end at times.

4) Favorite series within the genre
Great question. One without a clear answer. I have already listed two of my favorites, so I will list some others because it is impossible to pick one. Cassandra Palmer, Gardella Vampire Chronicles, and Vampire Memories are going to get my votes for now.

5) Favorite male character
Jericho Z. Barrons from the Fever series by KMM. Not much else to say about that one. There are other guys I really like, but I tend to compare them all to Barrons.

6) Favorite female character
Oh I don't know. I would say Anita Blake, if I could erase from my mind all the time she spends in the bedroom these days. Since I cannot think of another female at the moment that is going to have to do.

7) Favorite book outside the genre
Would you believe me if I said I don't know? It has been so long since I have read outside the paranormal world that I would need to do some rereading to figure out an answer. It would most likely be a book in the romance genre, but whether it was historical, western, or contemporary. I don't know. It would probably be a Highlander historical just because I really enjoy reading about that time period. One that meets that requirement and comes to mind is The Secret by Julie Garwood. Not sure it is my favorite without doing that previously mentioned rereading, but I do remember enjoying it.

8) Favorite author outside the genre
This depends on my mood most days. I love Brenda Novak and Julie Garwood.

9) Favorite series outside the genre
I am going with the Stillwater Trilogy by Brenda Novak. I had gone a long time without reading and came across the first book of this series and couldn't put it down. The next two followed suit shortly after. I have other series I like, but I will always remember this one because of it reawakening my love of reading.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

It's a process

I just finished writing the fourth book in my Nyx Slaughter series and was a little surprised to still get it all out in just over a week. Granted we are only talking about 52,000 words, so it isn't War and Peace or anything, but I feel good about the length and pace of it.

When I read books, I find myself skipping over vast chunks of content that don't move fast enough for me or are overly descriptive about things I really don't care about. Because of that, I try to keep things short and sweet.

I find when I am writing, I have to wait to really begin until I work the opening line out in my mind. Usually that line is someone saying something and it takes me time to figure out the perfect way to start the conversation. I tend to figure it all out right before I fall asleep. Thankfully, I have a good memory because you won't see me jumping out of bed to grab my laptop.

The ending of the book is usually played out in my mind before the first line is even written. I find that I write the end out and then drive everything else to get to that point. On the way, I do end up changing it slightly based on where the characters take me, but it stays in essentially the same form.

All the middle parts tend to just work themselves out. I start writing things and the characters really take me places. I used to laugh when I heard authors saying things like that, but it is true for me too. I can be writing a scene and all of a sudden I put my hands over my eyes and shake my head asking myself, "Why are they doing this to me?"

As far as the editing process goes, I am still working that out a little. I started out just reading through it myself and then having a friend go over it. I found that when I would go over it again, I would continue to find issues. I started reading it aloud to myself and that helped some, but I still read things how I envisioned them and not what was actually written. To help with that, I have started to convert my Word docs into pdfs and letting Acrobat read the book to me. This helped a lot. After having it read to me three or four times, I think things look pretty good.

For the book I just finished, I am letting it sit until the end of the month. I think, after a week or two, I will have it read to me one last time before publishing it. The first three were works I had already completed so they went out pretty quickly and grouped together. I want to have a little air in between them and this one.

The fifth book, Night Lurks, already has an ending in my mind. I even have a couple scenes played out, but haven't got the synopsis ready, just yet. The cover was done a couple days ago and it is my favorite one so far. I expect to actually start writing next week and hope for an end of April release. By then I hope to have some more feedback on the first three, so I can figure out if I am nuts about this whole writing deal.

I like my books and the few people that have read and left comments on them seem to like them, but I can be a pessimistic and a worrier, so I am always afraid to hear they aren't as good as I really think they are. In a way, it doesn't matter because I love the world I have created. I think that is what every author has to believe. There are always critics and in life you have to take the good with the bad.

Well until next time, happy reading.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Read an E-Book Week

Tomorrow, March 3rd, starts off a week of e-book celebrating. From what I am reading, many authors are going to be sharing their books at discounted rates to spread the love of reading. I am not sure how I have missed the event in years past, but I cannot wait to see what other authors have to offer.

Over at it looks like they are going to have a large catalog of discounted books, so make sure to check it out. My first Nyx Slaughter book, Night Calls, will be among the free books in their listings.

It sounds like this is a great opportunity to find new authors and genres, so get out there and read. You never know what you will find.

It's a start

As an independent author just starting out, I thought starting my own blogging page might be a good way to connect with readers. I have read many blogs in my day, but never thought I would find a topic to actually warrant starting one.

I read about other indie authors promoting their new books on their websites, Facebook and Twitter all the time, but cannot bring myself to totally go nuts and join all the different social media platforms out there. Maybe one day that will happen, however, I think cows will rule the world by then.

I tend to be a very private person, so you won't find a ton about my personal life here, but my stories are another story. I have always loved reading and after getting a Nook Tablet a couple Christmases back, I went nuts downloading e-books. I read so many that eventually my mind started coming up with other worlds and tales. It got to the point that I had to start writing them down and my first female character, Avery, was born.

My Avery Clavens books are currently hanging out on There is one more that needs to be written, but I got distracted by another strong female character and her world. My time now is spent figuring out where to take my Nyx Slaughter series. I am working on the fourth book at this moment and expect it to be done and self-published within a month or so.

My stories aren't extremely long, averaging around 53,000 words or 150 pages and would be considered part of the paranormal genre. Some of them could be combined to make larger books, and I might just do that one of these days, but for now I like the length and the pace that I am working at.

It takes me around two weeks to type out my stories. With the Nyx series, I have been working for at least another week on top of that to try to get it edited. I have seen a few versions floating around that are not the final versions I have published, just a word to the wise. 

My process includes a friend reading through them and pointing out a lot of mistakes, but I also spend another few days having my computer read me each paragraph to make sure I haven't left words out or missed explaining something. 

I am sure the finished books aren't perfect, but I don't think any leftover issues detract from the story itself. If writing ever becomes more than a hobby for me, I am sure I will have copy editors correcting the things I miss.

So far, it has been a fun process. I have ideas for at least three other Nyx books after this fourth one is done, as well as that last Avery book floating in my head. That should keep me busy for a little while.

Thanks for stopping by,