Slice of [my] Life

a writer's piece of the pie

the Nature of Pen Names


The pen name: A writer’s best friend (and source of anxiety).

This has been a big one for me for several months. I’m trying to come up with a pen name that a) suits my personality, and b) suits my genre. Oh—and then there is always c) doesn’t sound made up.

It isn’t easy.

It isn’t fun.

I do not enjoy it.

Ask me to come up with a character name. Ask me to come up with a baby name. Ask me to name your new retriever. Do not ask me to rename myself. How should I know what “fits” me? It isn’t like I really know myself, right? I mean, give me a character bio and I can tell you the perfect name to go with ‘em.

The name helps to shape the character, right? You don’t ever see Tom as a murder mystery, serial killer? Not exactly. Ted, sure; Tom, not so much. In fiction, the bad guy always has a somewhat-bad-guy-name. Cyrus the Virus from Con-Air, Sylar from Heroes, Lucius Malfoy from Harry Potter, Hannibal freaking Lecter from *duh* Hannibal!

And the good guys have good-guy-names (or normal names, depending on the genre). Harry Potter, Clark Kent, Jack Bauer, James Bond, Alex Cross, Sarah Connor, Selene (Underworld), Alice (Resident Evil)… Basically, nothing decidedly evil.

So does the same thing apply to people? Could I be, let’s say, Emily? Tess? Diane? Samantha? Nikki? Madison? Tracy? Faith? Elaine? Rachel?

No, no I can’t. Why? Because I’m not those people.

So basically, finding a good pen name to transfer on over to has been… a challenge. Unfortunately it’s one I have to face (and, hopefully, overcome). See, I work at an elementary school and it would be just plain awkward if one of my students, or even their parents, ran a little google search on me and got a direct link to a steamy blogfest entry. Yeah… creeptastic, I know. So it’s mucho important for me to get my pen name up and running. The problem—it’s not working.

My plan is to have a “general pen name” for the blog, the facebook, the writing world stuff. This pen name would go with my paranormal romance and urban fantasy stuff. But I’d also like to have a separate one for my contemporary/romantic suspense stuff. I can hold off on the 2nd name—no biggie there—but I need that first one.

Progress to come… wish me luck.


September 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Flirt Fest Scene

So I’m having technical troubles with the drive that holds all my goodies.I have everything backed up, but that’s at another location, and I don’t feel like driving out to mom & dad’s just now. The only scenes I currently have access to (that contain a bit of flirting) are a) Dark Goddess at her General getting groovy, and b) Kate & Caleb’s first kiss.

I’ve decided against the NC-17 rated scene I was tweeting about with some of you earlier. Call me a chicken, but I don’t think my Dark Goddess was ready to make her appearance just yet–and on a PG-13 blog, no less. Instead, I’ve decided to use Kate & Caleb’s first kiss scene.

And yes, I do love to write scenes specifically for blogfests (scenes that have nothing to do with the WIPs I’m working on), but if you haven’t noticed, I’ve been a little preoccupied lately and completely ran out of time to whip up a good Flirt-Fest-worthy scene.

For a long moment, she didn’t think he would answer. She wouldn’t answer if their positions had been reversed. She would probably kick him out. Truthfully, she kind of hoped he would kick her out. At least then, she could stop thinking about him—and he’d stop looking at her like he wanted to lick every inch of her body.

As it turned out, she wasn’t that lucky. Caleb leaned forward to set his drink on the coffee table then shifted his body toward her.

“That you’re beautiful,” he finally answered.

And there’s that look again. He has the eyes of a predator—a very hungry predator.

“That I want to touch you,” he went on, raising his hand and brushing his knuckles over her cheek.

Holy freakin’ shit…is this actually happening?

“That I want to kiss you.”

I’m dreaming. I’m in a coma and I’m dreaming.

As he leaned closer to her, she felt the stirrings of heat and desire well up deep inside. She wanted him to kiss her—wanted to kiss him.

As his lips brushed hers, she let out a soft whimper and caught her breath when his fingers found their way to the back of her neck. She felt his tongue stroke her lips and, wanting more, she parted them, meeting his with her own. He kissed her deeply and passionately, one hand entwined in her hair, the other, slinking around her waist, both pulling her against him. Kate was melting, her body fighting to fuse itself with his.

Yes, yes…

Caleb was warm and hungry and everything she wanted. But he was also too much; his lips felt too good, his body too inviting—too real.

Abort! Abort!

The thought assaulted her, overwhelming her body’s reaction to this Adonis who held her so close. He was dangerous—she felt it down to her bones. Caleb’s embrace was too keen; his lips, too ravenous. He showed her passion that she’d never seen before and she reacted to his touch far more than she wanted to admit. No one had ever made her feel so wanted, so needed, and she had never felt that passion for anyone…until now.

Instinctively, she pulled him away as she fumbled to her feet. She had to get away from him—far away. If she stayed a moment longer, he’d destroy her. She didn’t know how he’d do it, but she had no doubt he would.

“I—I have to go. I’m sorry…I have to go,” she stuttered, not looking to him for a response. Before she could change her mind, she strode for the door. She could hear him stand, heard his footsteps as he followed her, but he didn’t respond or try to stop her.

Neither of them said goodbye. As she walked past the statue of Aria, she heard the click of the door as it was closed.

What had she been thinking? Caleb was too intense, too passionate. She should have known better than to get involved with him—not that she was involved. It was just a kiss.

An amazing kiss…

And she had known almost immediately what a mistake it had been. If she got any more involved with Caleb, he would break down every wall she’d ever built to protect herself from getting hurt again.

She didn’t do relationships. She couldn’t. Attachments weren’t an option; they left room for failures, disappointments…for abandonment.

That was what it all came down to. Knowing that her father hadn’t abandoned her was one thing, but it didn’t help the way she felt. His death had crushed her. For years, he had been everything to her, and then, in less than a minute, he was gone. She couldn’t go through that kind of loss again, it would destroy her.

And Caleb had what it took to get there.

May 16, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kung Pow Chicken

I’ve been getting my butt kicked in school for the past two weeks—hence my lack of blogging. But I wanted to let you all know that I’m alive and well….and that I’ll be back to blogging next week. Hopefully.

Until then, here’s a video of a professor tackling a chicken. That’s right. A professor tackling a chicken. I wish I was in this class…

March 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’ll make my own rules…

Is it wrong to change my Love at First Sight Blogfest scene? Originally, I posted a snippet from my brand spankin’ new romantic/suspense WIP, based in Canada. But now that I’m looking it over, it isn’t as romantic as I’d like. Sorry, but I had just finished writing the scene and (of course) I thought it was perfect for Blogfest. Upon hindsight, I have changed my mind. Instead (because I enjoy making up my own rules) I have submitted a scene from Nightlings, my paranormal romance series. Like I’ve said, I don’t actually have a love-at-first-sight scene with these characters, but I’m rather fond of this scene, and it’s plenty steamy for Valentine’s Day.You’ll notice this post is significantly shorter than the last snippet 🙂

Want to see the other LaFS Blogfesf entries? Check them out here.

nightlings A little backstory: Two vampires, Caleb and Kate (you may have already read their author/character interviews) have been fighting their growing attraction for one another. Unfortunately, current events keep bringing them together. The scene below is one such scene. While at an annual ball involving the three different Nightling races, Kate is dancing with the Vampire King, Gabriel—who also happens to be Caleb’s cousin. A little family rivalry, perhaps?

Note: This is an excerpt from a never before seen chapter—meaning, it is unedited by both my critique group and my partner. As always, feel free to comment and critique.

Caleb had managed to distract himself from Kate by mingling with their foreign dignitaries. Unfortunately, he’d only made it halfway through the First Dance when his eyes betrayed him and honed in on Kate like a magnet. She was drop dead gorgeous tonight, just like every night, but tonight, she was in Gabriel’s arm. As they twirled around the dance floor, she laughed at something he’d said.

Damn it, Gabe.

He was probably using his charm on her.

The bastard.

It had been hell watching Kate dance with his cousin. The First Dance was similar to a waltz—very classy with no real sexual undertones, but Gabriel still managed to make his dance with Kate look intimate.

Fucking pervert…

Caleb had to stop this. His cousin was seriously crossing a line, even if he didn’t know there was a line to be crossed. As if scripted to piss Caleb off, Gabe leaned in and whispered something against Kate’s neck. Son of a bitch. He had to stop this and he had just the opportunity.

The First Dance opened with only the three Immortal King’s and their dance partners. As the dance continued, members of the royal families were expected to chime in, followed by advisors. By the end of the dance, anyone could join in; the ball had officially begun. Luckily, it was halfway through the song, and time for the royal family to join the dance. It wasn’t exactly proper to steal the dance partner of a king, but Caleb didn’t care. If Gabe wanted to bitch about it later—big whoop; there wasn’t a rule against it.

Caleb didn’t remember making his way onto the dance floor. One moment he was standing near the head table, and the next, he was placing a firm hand on Gabriel’s right shoulder.

“Cousin,” he said, glancing at Gabe before looking to Kate and offering her his hand. “You can’t expect me to do work of finding her if you’re the only one who gets to dance with her.”

Gabe chuckled and stepped away from Kate. “Be my guest, Caleb,” he said. Then, so that only Caleb could hear, “Take your prize.”


What was he doing? Was he crazy? Did he not understand that she’d put a stop to…to whatever was going on between them, the night before? She didn’t want this. Well, she did but she couldn’t—shouldn’t—want this. But here he was, taking her hand in one of his and pulling her against him with the other.

Electricity sparked in her arm when she placed her left hand on his shoulder and settled her body into his hold. His muscles were hard, his steps confident. Her mind began a picture show of last night’s highlights. His touch. His kiss—it was all too much, too good.

“You’re blushing,” he said, his voice deep. Stepping into motion, he forced her to dance with him.

“I’m pissed,” she spat at him, then looked around to make sure she hadn’t attracted any unwanted attention. She hadn’t; the other dancers looked only at their partners. When she looked back at Caleb she was annoyed to see he was trying to hide a grin. “Is something funny?”

“Just wondering why you’re upset…”

“Because of you!”

“Me? What did I do?”

“You’re dancing with me!”

“And dancing makes you mad?”

“Dancing with you makes me mad. You make me mad.”

“Why’s that? I thought we got along well last night…”

Why’s that?” She repeated, angry that he seemed so have forgotten that she’d put a stop to their…encounter. “Last night’s why’s that!”

“You didn’t enjoy kissing me?”

“What?” She stumbled but he pulled her harder against himself to keep her from falling. “I…it was…last night was… It doesn’t matter. It happened, now it’s done with. I won’t happen again.”

“Won’t it?”

“I thought I’d made it clear—

“By running off? I suppose it could be taken that way. Of course, it could also mean other things…”

“Other things? Like what—no! Nevermind, don’t answer that; I don’t want to know.” She breathed in deeply to try to clear her head of the images still flashing in her head, but she only managed to breath in the scent of him and that only made the images stronger. “Caleb, I can’t do—

“Shh,” he said softly. “It’s just a dance, Kate. I’m only dancing.”

His eyes were so kind that she felt hypnotized—lost in their depth. He was right. They were only dancing. It wasn’t like she’d make some crazy mistake like falling in love with him, right here on the dance floor. This was safe. Two people, dancing, in a room filled with people. There was no danger in that.

She didn’t reply; only nodded her head once in acceptance, then followed his lead as they danced.

The longer they danced, the more the music entranced her. Kate didn’t fight the images of the night before; rather, she indulged in them. And she couldn’t keep her eyes off of Caleb. His face was a work of art: a chiseled perfection. He had a strong jaw, and straight, white teeth framed by full, soft lips—lips that she couldn’t help but want to suck on. Again.

The song ended but neither of them released the other. His eyes…she was lost in those pools of blue and green.

How had she missed the flecks of silver that were sprinkled atop the blue and green? The silver specks added an icy, cool hue to the irises, but, as if watching them transform, the silver turned to gray, and his eyes grew dark with…something. Desire, maybe?

A couple brushed past them, exiting the dance floor, but still, they didn’t separate. His gaze was so intense; she licked her lips and started to pull away, but Caleb held her firm.

“Not yet,” he breathed, so quietly that only she could hear him. The music started again, this time a deep, lusty rhythm that matched her beating heart. “Try to relax this time; let go and enjoy it.”

She didn’t respond. She couldn’t. Letting him lead her into the next dance was natural—like breathing. It wasn’t as if she could have said no. For some reason, her damn throat couldn’t seem to muster up the energy to even try to speak. She simply gave in, and did as he asked: let go and enjoyed it.

February 15, 2010 Posted by | Blogfest, Nightling Series, Snippets of [my] Work, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Roadtrip & a Reminder

road-tripIt’s 3:30 on Saturday morning and I’m getting ready for a road trip! I usually love taking trips, but today…not so much. J and I are going to Wichita Falls (Texas, not Kansas) with both our fathers to visit Midwestern University. It isn’t that I don’t want to go, I just don’t want to amble around campus with a couple hundred other prospective students, all looking for admittance. Even worse, my cold has started to come back with a vengeance. Hopefully the road trip part will be fun.

♥This is the last reminder for the Love at First Sight Blogfest. It launches tomorrow, Valentine’s Day, and will be an all day event! Post your love at first sight scene to your blog and add your name to the sign up list. Before you spend a romantic evening with your sweetheart, spend a lazy Sunday reading through some of the other LaFS submissions. ♥

See you at Blogfest!

February 13, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Awards & a Book Cover

I’ve received two awards this week from three lovely ladies. Thank you Valerie, Stephanie, and Jemi, I’m both thrilled and flattered!

Valerie over at I Should Be Writing has given me a present: The Over the Top Award. Yay! Valerie rocks! If you don’t know Valerie, you should. She’s got a terrific blog with tons of advise and updates on her life as a writer. Seriously, check her out. Seriously!

Stephanie, at Hatshepsut: The Writing of a Novel also presented me with The Over the Top award! How cool is that?! I’ve just recently come across Stephanie’s blog, and let me tell you, I’m impressed! Her latest posting (okay, her 2nd to latest post) was about editing her MS and was really good–and funny! I’m going to be stalking you for a while now, Stephanie. I apologize ahead of time… 🙂

Now, I don’t know if I’d wear the apron, but I totally dig the award anyways. It’s just too cute. This one is definitely going on my wall of awards (you know, the right sidebar of my blog). haha!

Rules: Answer the following questions with Single Word answers then pass this along to 5 other bloggers. Make sure you let them know about it though.
Your Cell Phone? Envy
Your Hair? Crazy
Your Mother? Loving
Your Father?
Your Favourite Food? Dessert
Your Dream Last Night? Monkey!
Your Favourite Drink? Dr. Pepper
Your Dream/Goal? Published
What Room Are You In? Bedroom
Your Hobby? Writing
Your Fear? Cockroaches
Where Do You See Yourself In Six Years? Mother
Where Were You Last Night? Home
Something That You Aren’t? In-shape
Muffins? eck.
Wish List Item? gift-cards
Where Did You Grow Up? Hogwarts
Last Thing You Did? Watched “Dog the Bounty Hunter”
What Are You Wearing? PJs
Your TV? A&E
Your Pets? Fat
Friends? Noisy
Your Life? Ongoing
Your Mood? Better
Missing Someone? no
Vehicle? Temperamental
Something You Aren’t Wearing? Socks
Your Favourite Store? Borders
Your Favourite Colour? Blue
When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Today
Last Time You Cried? Yesterday
Your Best Friend? Kelly
One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Home
Favourite Place To Eat? Out

And now to pass it on…

The Circle of Friends Award has been passed on to me by Jemi Fraser at Just Jemi! Thank you, Jemi! I love my online writer friends so this award is perfect! Blogging and Twittering (#amwritingparty hells yeah!) have really helped keep my spirits up with this whole writing thing 😉

Jemi has been a friend since I started this whole blogging thing. She’s a sweetheart who reads whatever crap I write and comments no matter how stupid my post was. And seriously, what more can a blogger ask for? Nothing–I know! There’s nothing worse than someone like me–a lurker. I read a lot of blogs, but I’m pretty bad at that whole commenting thing. (I know, I know. So shoot me) So, to someone like me, Jemi is a freakin’ goddess! Visit her blog, follow, and comment because Jemi is a gem (lame? Nah…).

So, I’m going to pass this one onto a few of my writer friends with tons of love. And yes–I do know that some of you have already received this award but come on! Its the CIRCLE OF FRIENDS and (though it sucks for you) you’re my friend. Consider it your punishment for speaking to me.

♥ Sara McClung at The Babbling Flow of a Fledgling Scribbler
♥ Carolina Valdez Miller at Carol’s Prints
♥ Simon Larter at Constant Revisions
♥ Shannon O’Donnell at Book Dreaming
♥ Anne Riley at Anne Riley

Oh, yeah…I have one last piece of business to attend to tonight. Carolina Valdez Miller, Sara McClung, and Alexandra Shostak have been having some fun posting *fake* book covers for their blogs. After taking a sneak peek at mine, Carol has convinced me to blog my WIP’s fake book cover. This is Book One of my Immortal Series (which I have renamed to Nightling Series) and no, I don’t have an actual name for book. Like I said, it’s a work in progress.
Go, go Photoshop!
*images courtesy of*

February 4, 2010 Posted by | Award, blogs, Nightling Series, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Honest Scrapper—I mean Scrap

I must have done something right—or people just feel really sorry for—because Valerie at I Should Be Writing has awarded me with the Honest Scrap Award! honest-scrapSeeing as how my blog is not only honest but is also scrap, I humbly accept this award. Thank you for thinking of me Valerie, and for passing on this award. And for those that don’t know Valerie,  she’s a writer, a reader, an indie filmmaker, and more.  Click on over to her blog to dig into her mind—she’s awesome and her blog is super cool.

So check it out!! Isn’t it pretty?!

Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about it. But seriously, what part about getting a pretty blog award isn’t exciting?!

For this award, I need to list 10 “honest” facts about myself. I’ll try to come up with some stuff you might not already know about me, but I can’t make any promises—I’m not the most interesting person in the blogosphere.

  1. I’m usually very reserved. I like to sit in the background and observe people (which makes me either a people watcher or a voyeur. Maybe there isn’t really a difference, but I like to think of myself as a people watcher. Voyeur just sounds so dirty…) At first, some people mistake this as shyness or even snobbery. And maybe I am—the former, (hopefully) not the latter—but people say the same about Steven Seagal, and he’s done pretty well for himself.
  2. I’m adopted—on my dad’s side, anyway. I don’t know my biological father but my adopted dad has been with me since I was an infant. He’s a great dad and I love him to death.
  3. I’m German, French, and Scottish, with a bit of Native American (Iroquois) thrown in for good luck. Like many Americans, I’m a mutt.
  4. I love camping but hate bugs. Trust me, it is possible camp with a minimum of bugs—it just requires hellovalotta bug spray and you must buy citronella candles in bulk.
  5. I’m an “old soul”. I’m certain I was born in the wrong century.
  6. I’m sensitive, emotional, compassionate, fiercely loyal, mama-bear protective, and an avid dreamer.
  7. I believe in justice, not vengeance, though the two are often confused.
  8. I love colorful, funky socks. And legwarmers.
  9. I’m a total nerd who loves to “info-gather”. Discovery, History Channel, Crime & Investigation, Animal Planet = my playground.
  10. I believe that Science and Religion are not mutually exclusive.

Okay, that wasn’t too bad. I think I’ve managed to hold on to most of my dignity. Now to pass it on. Hmm…who gets to be my victims today?

☆★☆ And now for an update on Blogfest!

The Love at First Sight Blogfest is 16 days away and my “Mr. Linky’s” sign up widget has decided to go completely haywire. After some blood, sweat, and tears, I had given up on the POS and created a new and improved sign up widget, using “Simply Linked”.

And, like all things technology, as soon as I moved on to another program, Mr. Linky started working again. So for now, we’re going to stick with Mr. Linky (even if he is a defective piece of crap). But if he goes out again, so help me, I will boot his ass right out of Blogfest!

If that happens, there is no need for anyone to re-sign up. I’ll take care of transferring your blog link to the new sign up sheet.

♥For those that would like to sign up for Blogfest, simple click on the Love at First Sight link above and add your name to Mr. Linky’s list. ♥

Need an idea for Blogfest? On Monday, Feb 1st, I’ll be blogging about different kinds of love-at-first-sight moments. Swing by to get some ideas.

You can also find some writing-inspiration at my other blog, To Keep It Going.

January 28, 2010 Posted by | About Me, Award, Blogfest, blogs, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sneaky Little Bugger

Christmas is coming, and coming fast! I’ve been busy this last week getting ready for it, but I still haven’t finished all of my shopping. Since I haven’t had much time to sit down and write, my brain has been running in overdrive to try to make up for the loss of exerted creativity. In other words, the voices have started screaming (in lieu of their usual mutterings). I’ll be at the store, browsing through the latest and greatest, looking like your average Christmas-shopping crazy person. But on the inside, I’ve completely checked out. My mind is a maze of plot-lines, juicy conflicts, and character issues. I swear, I think I might even hear myself mumbling from time to time…

I’ve got Kate and Caleb in some lover’s quarrel (so out of sync for the holidays, don’t you think?) at the same time that I have my Dark Goddess musing on the details of her newest plan for world domination. Then, I’ve got a group of rogue Immortals who are feeling extra left out and incredibly needy (even though they don’t make their debut until book six–that’s right book six, and they’re already bitching at me!)

But that isn’t all. I’ve been working on my plot (which I’ll be blogging about in the next couple of posts) so I have what if I do this, or what if I do that‘s competing with irate Rogues, quarrelsome couples, and a Dark Lord-ess with a hard-on for taking over the world. And that’s not even counting the characters who just turned traitors and are deciding on their best course of action for ambushing the Vampire General!

Peachy, just peachy. Why do I suddenly have flashbacks to my sixteenth birthday at the DMV? Oh yeah, that’s right, “Everybody take a number and wait your turn.” Order would be such a handy little tool to have at my disposal. Too bad my brain doesn’t do order. I picture my characters taking their number, then glancing between the paper slip and me with a look of are-you-effing-kidding-me writing on their faces. It’s sad that I’m amused by the visual…

On one side, this whole “bonanza” of mental goodies is awesome. I’m coming up with some quality ideas. Plot lines are a necessity in my world, and conflict is as important as romance in my novels. If my writing is in short supply, my idea-pool is overflowing.

On the other hand, I think my brain might explode from all of its recent activity. While I’m not exactly aware of any overactive-brain related deaths, I won’t rule out the possibility–especially when the idea of it happening to me seems so real.

But enough about my up-and-coming implosion; I do have something to blog about today, and it will only take a few short sentences, so get ready–I wouldn’t want you to miss it!

I save each chapter in its own Word document, so I don’t necessarily know how many words are in my MS at any given time. In the chapter, yes. In the MS, no–unless of course I take the time to add up all the different files, which is precisely what I did. And I was shocked to discover that I’ve been quite the busy little bee. My current word count for “Book 1” of the Immortal Series is at an unbelievable 35,822–and it completely snuck up on me!

I really don’t know why I’m shocked by this–it isn’t as if I don’t write four-thousand-word chapters–but I am. It probably has something to do with the fact that when writing, I only look at the word count for each individual chapter, and that never goes above six thousand. To see the numbers 35,822 flash on the screen almost seems like some cruel kind of joke. But it isn’t. I know because I added the numbers…

…three separate times.

So yay! Go me! I’m “29%” done with my WIP, which is still–sadly–nameless.

Until next time, happy writing!

December 21, 2009 Posted by | Characters, Nightling Series, Uncategorized, Word Count, Writing | 5 Comments

Writing is like playing God…or acting like a seriel killer

Last night I had an amazing (if incredibly long) talk with my CP, Kelly Reese. Other than e-mails, we really haven’t had much time to sit down and talk so I was very excited when she called me last night to chat. After my cell phone died, we resorted to IM, and WOW–some of the things we were saying in shorthand could probably have gotten us arrested had we been talking in a public place!

I thought I’d write down a few of our most crazy lines…

Kelly: OH! I love —— for no particular reason.
Me: Oh, I know! She’s awesome! Great personality, cute, witty… At least until she dies– she’s not so spunky after that.
Kelly: NOOOOOOO! Why do you always kill off the people I like?
Me: I don’t WANT to kill her off! I HAVE to.
Kelly: But i like her for no reason!
Me: If it makes you feel any better, I won’t enjoy killing her. I’ll probably even cry a little.
Kelly: GOOD!

So that little chunk of IM magic got me thinking. Wow, writing really is kind of like playing God. You create people only to kill them off. That, and I have a really intense plot! And I kill off a hellofalotta people! But I’m not that bad…I mean, take Karen Rose. Superb writer, incredible plotlines, characters to die for, NYT Best Selling author…kills 20-something people a book. She’s got around ten books now–that’s 200 people offed, just like that! So, what I guess I’m saying here is–at least I’m not that bad.

But then, a while later, we started talking about a different chapter where a new character and his family make their debut. That’s when my whole writers-like-to-play-God theory went right out the window.

Me: Oh, I forgot to tell you, John’s* family dies later on, but I haven’t written it out yet.
Kelly: NO! Why?!
Me: I need them dead; it’s nothing personal. Speaking of deaths, I should also tell you that I’m killing Lee* off too.
Kelly: NO! What about his family?
Me: It’s because of his family that his ass has to die. Blame them.
Kelly: But his family is okay?
Me: Yes. They’re fine. I’m only killing off a few people…Jane*, Lee*, and John’s* family. Oh and a priest that you haven’t met yet.
Kelly: I think your inner seriel killer is coming out…

Hmm. So maybe we writers don’t mirror God so much as a sociopath on a killing spree. And I though I was writing a romance–paranormal though, it may be. I supose anything worth reading has a few deaths in it, right?

December 6, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Caleb’s Interview

(This interview was written as a guest post in the series Totally Sane Interviews with Vampires, Hobbits, and Talking Toads by fellow writer, Carolina Valdez Miller.)

A knock on the door brought me to my feet as the door opened and Caleb stepped into the small room. He was tall and masculine and everything I knew he would be—still, he took my breath away. I watched, awestruck, as he bowed slightly and stretched out his hand. Automatically I extended my own and he took it, bringing it to his lips for a soft kiss on my knuckles.

I was staring—I knew I was, but I couldn’t seem to stop. He was literally perfect; no wonder Kate had it bad. Did I look okay? Had my makeup smudged? Was I drooling?

Caleb: “Hm, ma’am? Are you alright?”

Me: “Huh? Oh—ah, yes. I—I stood up too fast… I’m…just a bit lightheaded is all.”

I really hoped he hadn’t caught my lie—how embarrassing would that be to be caught ogling?!

Me: “Tell me about yourself Caleb. Who are you and what is your role in the immortal world?”

Caleb: “I am the cousin to the Vampire King as well as his top advisor. A few years ago, I was given the title of Right Hand. It means that I am not only his top advisor, but also the successor to the throne and the second highest authority in the vampire world.”

Me: “That seems like quite an honor.”

Caleb: “Yes, it is. I’ve been Gabriel’s top advisor since he took the throne. He values my opinion.”

Me: “Now, you weren’t promoted to Right Hand until five years ago. That was right after you retired as General to the Slayer Army, wasn’t it?”

Caleb nodded; he knew where I was going with this, but he didn’t so much as shift in his seat.

Me: “But you didn’t retire on the best of terms. You stepped down because of a dispute between yourself and the daemon race. Can you tell me what happened?”
Of course I knew the answer—I’d done my research—but I didn’t think he’d answer. After a long minute, he spoke.

Caleb: “I insulted them. They felt as if I’d overstepped my boundaries in seeing that justice was served to one of their people. I retired to keep the daemons from going after the vampire race. It worked; they saw me as a ‘lone ranger’ instead of as the leader of an army. Soon after that, they pressed charges. It went all the way up to the gods before I was cleared.”

Me: “What was it that you did, exactly?”

Caleb: “Some say it was murder. Some say it was justice.” His voice was blank of all emotion, as if he’d used that line a hundred times before.

Me: “What do you say?”

Caleb: The corner of his mouth turned up in a smile. My questions weren’t annoying him; he was amused by me. “It depends on the day of the week.”

Me: “As the king’s advisor, do you know the details of the Assassin general’s latest assignment?”

Caleb: “Yes, I know about Kate.” He looked at me suspiciously. “She’s currently working undercover in a Dark Cell.”

Me: “I’ve heard that you and she are somewhat of an item.”

Caleb: “Uh, no. That’s not true. We’re coworkers, in a sense; we’re both advisors.”

Me: “You’re daughter seems to think you like her…”

Caleb: “My—you talked to Hannah?”
I nodded. Now I was getting into tricky territory. If I wasn’t careful, he’d up and walk—just like Kate had.

Caleb: “My daughter’s five. Of course she thinks I like Kate; I do—as a friend.”

Me: “A friend? A moment ago she was just a coworker.”

Caleb: “Semantics. You’re fishing, Ms. Reese.”

Me: “Why would I need to fish? I’ve already spoken with Kate. She’s told me exactly what’s gone on between the two of you.”

He squinted at me, probably trying to get a read on me. Of course I was bluffing but he didn’t know that.

Me: “The way I see it, the two of you have some serious chemistry and—”

Caleb: “You do realize that I can read your mind? It makes bluffing a moot point.”

Son. Of. A—

Caleb: “I should be getting back to work. I’m glad I could help you with your report, Ms. Reese. We should do this again sometime.”

I was still a bit shocked from the whole mindreading thing. How had I missed that? I knew all about vampire abilities and that Caleb was one of the most powerful of them all. Stupid, stupid…

Me: “Uh, huh. Sure.”

As he walked out, I realized—to my utter horror—he had caught me ogling him. Great.

January 23, 2009 Posted by | Characters, Snippets of [my] Work, Uncategorized | Leave a comment