Search This Blog

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Excerpt From Chapters 9 and10

Well, it's been a while since I've put an excerpt up here, so here's a bit for you to read.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I liked to write it.  Oh how I love scenes with Lizabeth and Gabriel!!!  :) 

Write well!


                                                                    End of Chapter 9
            Christian hesitantly handed over my things and turned to walk back to the Jeep.  Gabriel quickly closed the door behind him. As soon as I heard it latch, I collapsed into him.  He carried me over to the couch and sat down next to me.  Every ounce of anger that I had had from him leaving me at school alone was gone.  My stomach was still turning, I was in extreme pain and I wanted his help.
“What really happened Lizabeth?” he asked in a no nonsense tone.
“It’s a long story,” I said, “but I was in the library and I felt that feeling of being watched again.  I thought I heard something in the balcony upstairs and I knew that if I could just concentrate my senses on it I would be able figure out what it was, what was scaring me.  It was so strange though.”  Then I had to stop speaking, I curled my knees up to my chest.  My lungs burned and stomach cramped.  I could feel it beginning to heave again.  “Please?” I looked up at Gabriel begging him, “Please, just a drop.  I know it’s the only thing that will make this feeling go away.”  Tears were welling up in my eyes and I knew he would never agree.
“So that’s what caused this. You were ready to feed, all your senses were focused on one person…”
“Yes, and then the rotten smell of death hit me.  I can’t get it out Gabriel; it’s all I can sense.  I just need a little bit.”
“Absolutely not,” he snarled turning his head away.
The longer this feeling consumed me, the more obsessed I became with the thought of it.  There is nothing in the world sweeter than your maker’s blood.  I was sure that nothing could push away the death that I had taken into my body, except Gabriel’s blood.  I yearned for it.  It had been a very long time since I had asked him.  I had only tasted him once, when I was turned, but for years after I begged him for just one more taste.  He would never agree because he wanted me to stay with him by my own free will, not because I lusted for the taste of him.  It was true that for a time I would fantasize about how I would get it from him, but he was older, stronger and wiser.  He told me that the feeling would pass and over time it did.  I learned that human blood could be a respectable substitute, but today I had lost all reasonable thought.  I had to have his blood.  The death inside me had to be stopped.
“When was the last time you fed?” he asked.
“Last week,” I said dismissing him.  “I’m not hungry Gabriel, something inside me isn’t right.  It’s as if I’m dying from the inside out.  Help me,” I begged.  Tears began to spill out of my eyes.  I put my head down on my knees as another wave of pain washed through my body.
I felt Gabriel’s arm wrap around my body and pull me onto his lap.  I unfolded my legs and looked up into his eyes as I let my head fall back into the crook of his arm.  He held me just like the night he turned me.  My body lay across his lap, he had one arm under my neck and the other was wrapped around my body holding me close to his.  He looked deeply into my eyes and said, “Just this once.”
I saw his teeth flash as his bit into his wrist.  His blood began to pool in the bite mark immediately making a striking contrast between his ivory, white skin and the bright scarlet liquid seeping from it.  I reached my hands toward his arm to pull him closer, but he held them down.  He was in control of this, not me.  My mouth began to water in anticipation of the sweet nectar my maker was about to share with me.
“Just this once,” he repeated in my thoughts over and over.  He brought his wrist closer to me as the blood began to drip dangerously close to falling to the floor.  My heart nearly stopped, not wanting a droplet of it to be wasted.  A quiver shot through my body, I wanted it…now.  The smell was intoxicating.  It was a delicate mix of a fragrant floral bouquet and the sweetest honey you’ve ever encountered.  He paused a moment to look into my eyes.  I could tell that he did not want this.  His eyes were sad as he placed his wrist against my lips.
I was euphoric, the taste was beyond explanation.  Unable to grab his wrist and press it to my mouth, I lifted my head to make as much contact between my lips and his skin as possible.  I drank quickly at first, and then slowed to savor every last second.  His blood was cool, almost cold, in stark contrast to that of a human’s, but the taste and the intimate feeling of feeding from the one who turned me was indescribable. His blood slid effortlessly down my throat as if it knew exactly where to travel in my body.  The pain in my stomach and the burning in my lungs began to ease instantly.  I was in paradise.  Gabriel wouldn’t let me drink for long, only enough to help me heal, but nothing would have been enough for me.  I could have stayed there, like that, with him forever.
Just as quickly as it began, it was over.  Gabriel effortlessly twisted his wrist away from my lips.  I had been careful not to bite onto him knowing that if I had, he would have ended the exchange immediately.  I tried to struggle free hoping for one last drop, but he was too strong for me.  He was holding me down gently, but firmly.  I could go nowhere.  He wiped the remaining blood on a handkerchief as I desperately watched the wound seal itself.
I closed my eyes and turned away from Gabriel, I knew that I had forced him to do something that he did not want to do.

Chapter 10
We stayed on the couch for what seemed like forever.  I was intoxicated by the experience.  Completely relaxed and wholly Gabriel’s at that moment, I could feel his blood moving through my body and it electrified me. Right then, I would have done anything for him, with him.  He asked nothing of me however.  In fact he didn’t even speak.  His arms were still wrapped around me holding me tightly, as if he were afraid to let go.  I felt safe, like nothing could touch me; I was with my savior, my angel.  He had given me the gift of this life and we had just relived that gift again together.  I belonged only to Gabriel.
I was the one who spoke first, “Thank you.”
“Do you feel better?” he asked without emotion.
“Yes, completely,” I gushed, rolling over to gaze into his dark eyes.  I reached my hand up to his face and stroked it gently.  Breathing in his sweet scent, I pressed my body closer, deeper into his.  I put my arms around his waist hugging him and buried my face into his chest.   I never wanted to let go, ever. 
“Oh Lizabeth,” he hissed, “This is exactly why I would never do this.  The emotions you’re feeling aren’t real.  My blood has clouded your judgment.”
“I’m not hostage to my emotions Gabriel; I’m just seeing things more clearly than I have, maybe ever.  This, sitting here, being with you.  This is what I want.   It’s what you’ve always wanted too.”
“Lizabeth, that’s enough,” he said standing up.  My head slid off his lap and onto the couch abruptly.
I was still so blissful that I hardly noticed that he had moved.  “Enough of what?” I prodded.  “You’ve always wanted me to feel this way about you and now you have it.  You don’t know what you want Gabriel.”  I was annoyed with him.  How could he act one way with me for as long as I had known him and then just stop feeling that way when I was just figuring it all out in my head?
“Not like this Lizabeth.  Not like this,” he said shaking his head.  “I need you to want to be with me.”
“I do want to be with you Gabriel.  How much more obvious do I need to make it?” I questioned, frustrated that he wasn’t accepting my advances.  I got up off the couch and started after him.  “Look at me,” I demanded, “Gabriel, look at me.”
He turned around slowly.  I could tell that he was fighting a battle within himself.  Which side would win; his moral side or the side that desired me too strongly for words?  His eyes were dull.  I could tell that he was tired; tired of the internal turmoil I caused him.  Our heightened emotions were difficult to handle and I could only imagine the amount of restraint it took for him to deny his feelings for me every minute of every day.
“This isn’t you Beth.  You’re not thinking clearly.  I just need to be alone,” he said as he walked toward his room.
I rushed past him and positioned myself in his doorway so that he could not pass.
“Lizabeth move, now,” he said growing angry.  His internal battle was becoming too much to handle as I continued to push myself on him.
“Or what?” I shot back as I pushed my face closer to his.  I brushed my cheek slowly along his and exhaled ever so slightly into his ear.  Continuing to grasp hold of the door jam, I stood on tip toe and leaned closer to him squarely pressing my breasts against his chest.  He closed his eyes and I heard him moan slightly with his next breath.  I was winning.
“This isn’t right Lizabeth.  This isn’t how I want this to happen.”
“It’s okay Gabriel, you are what I want,” I whispered.  “This is what we both want.”
He slammed his hands onto the wall on either side of the doorway.  The wood frame splintered and plaster crumbled to the floor.  I didn’t move.  I was not going to let him scare me away.  He was angry with his emotions, not me.  I rested my forehead on his, breathing in his breath.  I wanted this more than ever.  A shudder tore through my body as I awaited his next move.
“No,” he roared slamming his fist against the wall, “get out of my way.”

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dreams, Fantasies and Writer's Block Too!

               Ah writer’s block… I used to swear that I never got it and that used to be true.  As long as I could get some words on the page I was good.  However, that was before I took on such an enormous creative writing project.  I’ve done my fair share of academic writing without much trouble and my dips into creative writing have never been on this scope before.   Well, needless to say writer’s block and I have been introduced.
                Let me take a moment to explain what I really mean by writer’s block.  I’m not that girl that stares at the screen and has no idea what to write.  I know where my story is going and how to get there (often when I’m writing my story takes an unanticipated turn).  When I get writer’s block, I’m the girl who sits staring at the computer writing and deleting writing and deleting.  What I’m struggling with is my character’s relationships.  This brings me back to a previous entry when I talked about my “perfect” characters “Why are you so Perfect? Oh Right I Created You”.
                My main character, Lizabeth, is very much me and for some reason I am just enamored with Gabriel.  That would be fine except for the fact that Lizabeth is in a love triangle with another boy Christian.  I am able to write scenes between Lizabeth and Gabriel with ease. The dialogue flows effortlessly.  Scenes with Christian however, are like pulling teeth.  I go over and over what should be an easy scene setting up their new, blossoming relationship.  How often do you get to know someone for the first time?  There should be plenty for them to talk about, right?  Ug!  Christian is my writer’s block.
                For the last couple of months I’ve been trying to figure out ways to make writing Christian’s scenes with Lizabeth easier with no avail until last night.  I had this dream.   You know the kind…the how would my life have been different if I chose this instead of that.   Drawing on previous relationships, in my dream, I did something that I would never do in real life. (Oh look…another theme “stepping outside of my comfort zone”)   I think the word fantasy is a little too strong of a word, but we’ll run with it for now. 
This dream helped me figure out that I am comfortable with Gabriel’s character.  Gabriel’s relationship with Lizabeth represents the part of me that is grounded and “inside the box”.  So where does that leave Christian’s relationship?  Christian’s relationship with Lizabeth represents something unfamiliar and exciting….something (like in my dream) I would never really do in real life.  Writing scenes with Gabriel are easy, because he is the choice I made.  Christian’s character is uncharted territory for me, the choice I didn’t make.
Having that new understanding of what these characters represent in my book, even just for me at the subconscious level, has broken through my writer’s block with Lizabeth’s scenes with Christian.  Well, at least for now.  J  When I am writing scenes for Christian I look at them as an adventure, an exploration into the unknown.  I now look forward to writing them because now I can explore their relationship and her choice, unlike mine, is trending to the unfamiliar.  It’s kind of fun to watch through her eyes as she makes a choice I never did.  I enjoy writing her putting herself out there with Christian and trying to ignore her fear of being rejected.  It’s all a journey….a wild one!
Write well!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Most Amazing Feeling in the World!

          Blog much?  Apparently I don’t, at least not lately.  I have had this blog post in my head for a couple of months, but I haven’t had enough time to just sit and type it.  Honestly, this is a little less about my novel and a little more about writing screen plays.  I think it still fits though…enjoy!
           I have always been a girl who likes to live in her comfort zone.  So when a good friend of mine asked me to help write a short for the 48 Film Challenge I shied away from the invite at first.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  My first response was, “Sure that sounds like a lot of fun.”  And it did, but as the big weekend got closer and closer I found myself not so excited about stepping out of my safe place.  The only person I would know on this project was my friend and I would have to drive home from a city I had never been too pretty late at night.  (All out of my comfort zone….I have a tight group of friends that I see often, but I am kinda shy in a new group.)
           Fast forward to the day of the big event, I get a text from my friend asking me if I was going to attend.  At first I wavered back and forth about what I was going to do.  Then, I did something that was really out of the ordinary for me.  I went for.   I agreed to be part of the team.  I had a moment of, “if you never try anything new how are you going to grow as a person?”  Plus, I was going to miss out on a once in a lifetime opportunity.
           What a crazy night it was too.  The team was comprised of a mix match of friends of friends of friends, but we all seemed to work well together.  Emily stepping outside of the box is not the story here though, so I will move on.
           The story here lies on the night of the screening of the movies.  I had written the dialogue for the major scenes and earned the first writing credit (cool) which was my first screen writing credit ever.  I was really excited to see how it all turned out.  After all, I had written the words, but the other aspects (direction, photography, acting, editing etc.) were about to come together on the screen before my eyes.
           The anticipation was killing me and as the title was projected on the screen I could feel my stomach drop.  Then the actors began speaking my words….MY WORDS!  What an amazing feeling!  Every hair on my body was standing on end.  The words I had written were coming out of someone else’s mouth and there were good!  The actor’s put their own spin/inflection on them of course, but they were still mine.  Something that I created, and had played out in my head, was now being seen by other people.  My characters were now alive.
           This blog doesn’t do the feeling justice, but it was amazing.  It was an unbelievable feeling to see my work become something more than just words on paper.  I can’t wait to get that feeling again. (Hint hint you know who you are!)

In case you care to check it out here’s the You Tube link…

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Does a Major Revelation Mean a Major Revision?

     There's something that I've been struggling with as I've been writing this book.  What is the message?  At first I really thought it was just a pure story of entertainment, so does it really need to be anything more than that?  However, as I think about all of the really good books that I've read they connect with you at a greater level than just pure entertainment.
     Now that's not to say that there are a number of good books out there that are still good, but are just an enjoyable read.  Just because that's what they were written to be doesn't make them inferior.  The funny thing is, that when I began writing that's what I thought I was writing.
     Flash forward now to a a few weeks ago when I was really stuck at one part.  My character is struggling between two relationships in her life.  She's truly torn between which to choose.  As I've said before, I've had an incredibly difficult time writing scenes between her and her love interest (well, I guess they're both her love interests , but writing about her budding relationship with the human has had me stuck....alot!).  I actually put aside the book for a good week or so because I really had no idea where to go.  There was even one point at which I thought I should just thrown in the towel.
     Luckily for me, I met up with another author friend who pointed me in the right direction.  We sat down for a cup of coffee planning on just going over a few pages of each other's work.  Our conversation turned to my block on where to go next.  As girls do, we talked and talked (I even had hard time articulating what it was that was troubling me about the relationship with the human character), but she finally said to me,  "Emily, you have to figure out what it is that she is struggling with. What is it that she sees in each of these characters?"
     Then it struck me, this book isn't just a pure entertainment book, it's a book about finding your place in life and about living with the choices that you have made even if they have caused you to loose something you cared deeply about.  Lizabeth had the opportunity to choose and she made her choice, now she has to live with it.  She lost her humanity and she spends much of the book looking for ways to restore it.  That's what Gabriel and Christian represent.  Gabriel represents her choice and Christian represents the humanity that she lost.
     Wow, what a revelation to have HALF WAY through the book.  I'm hoping that this has been in my subconscious all along and that this theme has somehow worked its way in without me knowing about it. (which I think would be better anyway)  In the long run though, it has made writing scenes between Lizabeth and Christian much easier.
     I made a promise to myself (on some advice from yet another author friend) that I would not go back and revise until I finish the book, (This is getting harder and harder by the way.) but now I just hope that when I go back and reread I won't have to rewrite the first half of the book to follow the theme that I now realize I'm writing about.  Oh well, live and learn I guess!

Write well,

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Get Some Confidence Girl!

     I've been writing this novel now for over 4 years.  Although to be honest, I've really only been serious about it for the last 6 months.  I've always enjoyed writing, partly because I was always surrounded by literature as a child.  You see, both of my parents are writers, journalists, by trade.  My mom began her career in journalism at The Detroit Free Press as a copy girl, moved to The Macomb Daily as a reporter (where she met my dad) and then moved out of journalism and into public relations. My dad worked at the Macomb Daily as a reporter.  He still works there today, but now as an editor.
     I often wonder what the the ability to write well should be attributed to.  Is early exposure to books, a solid education or just something that you're born with?  Throughout my education, I was always told I was a "good" writer.  I"ll be honest, school was pretty easy for me.  I never got great grades, but I also never really tried.  I earned A's and B's in English class without much thought.  In high school I was placed into advanced placement English.  I enjoyed the class, but I did have to think a little bit.  I passed the AP exam and received college credit for the course.  In college I bounced around a bit, but ended up back at my love...writing.  I earned a BA in English from  Michigan State University.
     There have been plenty of times in my lifetime that I have been told that I am good at writing, so why is it that I am such a wuss about sharing it?  I can sit here and write out my life's story for anyone on the web to read no problem, but the second you want to read part of the book I've been writing I freak out!  If I ever want to make it at this author gig, I'm going to have to get over this reader related stage fright.
     I guess it all boils down to this.  I have put my heart and soul into this book.  I have delved into emotional places that I thought were lost to me. The characters I have created are bit and pieces of me and everyone I've ever met. Basically it's the sum total of my existence.  If I put it out there and it's criticised, then I feel personal criticised.
     On the other hand, when someone likes my work I am elated, blown away.  I still can't believe that people actually like what I've put on paper.  Last night, at the writing group I attend, my stomach was is in knots.  Now, no one in this group is unkind.  They always give constructive criticism without telling you, "wow, that sucks," but I am always terrified when I share anyway.  Go figure.  I brought the part of my novel where the reader sees Lizabeth hunt for the first time.  The first step is for someone else in the group to read your piece out loud.  (Ah, terrifying)  Then the group comments on it and then you can ask any questions you might have for them.  The group is a diverse group age wise, so I'm always worried how a young adult vampire novel will go over.  Last night (and every other night), it went over well.  They told me that my writing was tremendous.  "This isn't what I read.  I don't like vampire books, but your is writing is tremendous."  What a compliment.
     Maybe one day all of this will sink in and I won't be so scared to share my work.  For now, it still seems a bit safer to share with people that I don't know well.  Hopefully I can let someone closer to me read it soon.  It's an uncomfortable thought though just because this whole process has been so personal.  I think I should just shoot straight to New York Times best seller, then I won't know who's reading what.  :)

Write well,


Sunday, May 22, 2011

How do You Like Your Monsters?

     A fact that I have been wrestling with throughout the novel has been how to help my readers care about my, inherently evil, main characters.  It's a tricky contradiction to have characters that kill, feed on, humans be the ones you are supposed to care for.  Some authors have done it successfully where others have not (in my humble opinion).
     Take Anne Rice for example.  In her most famous novel, Interview With a Vampire, she does a wonderful job of making Louis a savage killer in the beginning, and then as the story continues you begin to feel sorry for him as he is controlled by Lestat.  Louis then tries to appeal to his human soul by feeding on rats only then to realize that he is what he is and returns to feeding on people.  By that point of the story however, you have already fallen in love with this tortured man and are so invested in the story that you still care for him no matter what he eats.
     Then there are the "vegetarian" vampires...enough said.
     There are examples of good ways to endear your "evil" characters
to your readers and not so good ways.  I hope that I can balance the good/evil aspects of my characters in a believable way.  The way my book is currently written this issue seems a bit contrived.  (They feed on "undesirable individuals" in the inner city.)  I hope on my rewrite I can do a better job keeping in mind my previous examples.  I do think that I have written my characters well enough that the reader will care about them no matter what.  I just don't want my story to suffer because of a ridiculous plot device.
     The funny thing is that the scene, the scene where the reader sees Lizabeth eat, is one of my favorites.  I also think that the effects of her being hungry are pretty unique as well.

Excerpt From Chapter 6

     I listened to my surroundings carefully. I could hear a fight up ahead. Gabriel had chosen well. Neither of us enjoyed hunting humans, but there were some that you would feel less guilty about.
     The police were calling into a house, "Come out, we have your house surrounded. We know you have a woman in there. Let her go."
     I slunk around the back of the house. I could hear two heartbeats inside. Both were racing. Without a sound I jumped up onto the window ledge slipping through the open window with ease. The woman saw me first. I was covered in sweat and my eyes were wild.
     "Run," I commanded, "now." No one would ever believe what she said anyway.
     As the man turned to face me I opened my mouth slightly and ran my tongue along my sharp, elongated canines. He looked as if he was about to say something when I pounced. I landed on top of him with such force that he fell to the floor knocking the wind out of him. My teeth pierced his skin at exactly the right position and I began draining the life from him. I had no control as I drank; my body was working on instinct alone.
     The blood felt hot as it ran down my throat. Slowly my extremities began to regain their feeling. His blood was chasing away the pain. I was so focused now that I could only hear his heartbeat. It was as if it beat in my chest. I continued to drink until the beats became too low to hear and I stopped. Ripping my head back, I wiped what remained on lips into my mouth with my index finger. I sat back on the floor of the house to enjoy the only moment of warmth that came close to that of being human. The seconds after feeding left me warm inside only as long as the blood stayed warm. It was far too short.
     "Come out with your hands up, or we’re coming in," the police broadcasted their final ultimatum.
     Gabriel appeared in the window with a gas can and a lighter. He splashed the liquid on the floor as I leaped out the window. With a toss of the lighter the room when up in flames.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Little Fear Never Hurt Anyone, In Fact It Might Help!

     My husband was out of town last weekend, male bonding with his buddies, leaving me home alone.  I've always fancied myself a strong, independent woman, but the prospect of being home alone in a big empty house was not exactly appealing to me.  That previous statement embodies Lizabeth my main character as well.  She sees herself as being quite adept to taking care of herself, yet she has spent her entire life, since being changed, with Gabriel.  She doesn't want to see that she is much more dependant on him than she would like.  It's amazing how much of yourself you put into your characters you create.  Lizabeth's relationship with Gabriel, and to some extent with Christian as well, mirrors relationships that I have had in the past.
     I'm not scared of many things, but if you know me there are two things that will bring me to immediate panic...elevators and thunderstorms.  I can't really recall any traumatic event in my life that began my fear of either, but I've been afraid of both as far back as I can remember.
     One time in college, I was on my way to my last exam of my sophomore year and I got stuck between 2 floors in an elevator in my dorm.  During the ride, the interior door opened to the cinder bock shaft wall.  I frantically started banging buttons, the doors shut and the elevator moved slightly.  When the doors opened again I could see light and the floor of the building was at about eye level.  Full of adrenaline I jumped, climbed, scrambled (I'm not sure what) up the shaft wall to the floor just above me and pulled myself out.  I didn't really need an event to cement my fear of elevators, but this one did certainly.
     My novel is written in as a first person account, so you as the reader are inside Lizabeth's head.  I need to make you feel everything she is feeling, hopefully as deeply as she is feeling it.  This draws a lot on my theater background as well.  As I am writing I often feel as if I need to be in the right mindset, feeling the correct emotions to pull off Lizabeth's thoughts believable (just as I would if I were acting a part).  Fear is a powerful emotion and central to this story, so when I was alone this weekend and feeling, honestly, quite scared at times it was the perfect time to write.

Friday, April 22, 2011

What Makes a Good Page Turner?

Now that I am writing, it's funny how much I'm thinking about being a reader as well.  I often wonder what it is that I like to read. What keeps me turning pages?  That is of course the goal as an author is to keep your reader's interest throughout your story.

Well for me that has, and I imagine always will be, action and emotional scenes.  Once I'm emotionally invested in a story, all an author has to do is keep me moving through the background knowledge quickly enough so that I can get to the next action/emotional scene.  As a reader, my favorite thing is to let my imagination go and find myself sitting next to the characters in those scene.

I discovered an interesting thing the other day while I was writing.  The parts of my book that I write with ease are the action and emotional scenes (like 1,300 words in an hour) and I struggle with the background and "storytelling" aspects (like 500 words in an evening).  The funny thing is that I have my whole story outlined.  My characters and plot all have a history that I know, so it's not for lack of knowledge.  It's almost like I get bored the same way I do when I read.  All I want is to do is to get back to the next action/emotional scene.

I'm not really sure how to overcome this other than to just push through and keep those parts of my story as concise as possible.  If I'm bored as the author writing those parts, then I can only assume that my readers will be bored as well. 

There is a catch 22 though.  There is information that my readers need to know that can't always be part of a more exciting scene.  I have found that my main character's inner monologue has been the device I've used most often. Personally, I find her intriguing and by getting in to her head I hope to give my readers a reason to keep going.  I don't was them to get too bogged down by what I find to be boring, but necessary, to write.  I hope they will keep turning pages to find that next exciting scene.

Write well!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Why do you have to be so perfect? Oh right, I created you.

I am nearly half way through my book (word count wise anyway) and I have spent the mass majority of it writing about Lizabeth's relationship with Gabriel.  I have really enjoyed writing Gabriel's character, probably a little too much.

In all honesty I have now created my "perfect" mate in Gabriel.  He's protective, intelligent and completely devoted to Lizabeth.  Which are all the characteristics any girl could ask for in a mate.  As I've said in earlier posts there is a lot if me in Lizabeth therefore, when I write Lizabeth's emotions about Gabriel they are true to life (mine).

Unfortunately (well for me anyway), the story calls for Lizabeth to view Gabriel as her brother.  She cares deeply for him, but not in a romantic way, which is killing me.

I'm to the point in the story now where I have to write about Lizabeth's love interest.  The first couple of times I had to do this I found it very difficult.  I did such a good job making Gabriel my perfect male character that I couldn't write about Christian, in a romantic way, convincingly.

After some talks with an author friend, some soul searching and just writing through it I knew that the story required Lizabeth to fall in love with Christian.  It was the pivotal to the story.

Digging down into my emotions, there seems to be a lot of that while writing this book, (still working on making that a peacful process) I found what I needed to use to make Lizabeth's emotions for Christian believeable.  I can't wait to watch their relationship blossom in front of me as hers and Gabriel's did.

Write well,


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Music as my Muse (ok not exactly, but I like alliteration)

I am continually surprised by what a journey this whole novel writing thing is turning into.  For one thing, I am reaffirming things about myself that I already knew and coming face to face with things that I may or may not like.

Let's tackle the reaffirming things I already know about myself first.  I am female, but not your traditional female I'd say.  I've never been a really emotional girl.  I like to stuff my emotions down like so many guys I know.  Maybe that's why I get along when them better.  I've always been a fighter not a lover. 

So, here I am writing a book that's very dependent upon the emotional relationships that Lizabeth has with the male characters in her story (hmm, figuring anything out yet).  As the narrator of the story she has a lot of me in her, so as I write about these two male characters I'm constantly pulling on relationships I've had in the past.  (rough at times for this emotionless girl)  Not to mention when I write about the male characters I have to jump in their heads too thinking about some relationships in the opposite.  Ug!  

Now, don't get me wrong I have not had a horrible, catastrophic life. The opposite in fact, I think I've weathered the storm of adolescence and early adulthood quite well, but of course everyone has had those relationships in their life that they know they messed up or those that you wish could have at least been given a shot.  Since I like to bury my emotions drudging all this up in order to write is not something that I enjoy doing.

Now comes the music part.  I have found, blessedly, that music allows me to travel through these more emotional parts of my book more comfortably.  Is it because I can put myself in the singer's shoes or because I feel like my experiences are validated through their lyrics?  I don't know the answer, but I am thrilled that Saving Abel and The Script have my back.  Thanks guys! (now play DTE this summer)

Write well!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

So did you name your characters that way on purpose?

Ok, so I need to start this post with the fact that my mom is an intelligent, well read woman.  (Now hopefully she won't kill me when I tell this story.)

As an eager author I am thrilled to have anyone read my work, especially those who's opinions matter most.  So, when my mom agreed to read the first couple chapters of Blood Rivalry I was thrilled.

It seemed to take her awhile to to get back to me.  So long in fact that I was getting nervous that she didn't like it.  Finally on one trip to the ice cream parlor with my kids, she said that she had read the first 2 chapters.  She said that it was interesting and that she thought it was well written.  (Now, I figured this was high praise from her since paranormal romance novels are not her cup of tea).  The next comment however caught me off guard. 
     She said, "so, did you name your characters that way on purpose?"

Now, I tried not to laugh out loud because I know that she still views me as her little girl.  I can only imagine her trying to think of me as a well read, intelligent adult now working to be an author. 
     I replied, "of course," and went on to briefly explain my thoughts.      

If you've already read Blood Rivalry and understand the naming of Gabriel and Christian there's no need to continue reading this post.  If however you need further explanation behind the naming of my characters, then please read on.

Originally Gabriel was named Michael after the Archangel, but the more I wrote the more I thought he was not like Michael.  The Archangel Michael is the leader of God's army and Gabriel is not really a fighter, therefore that name just didn't fit him.  Upon further thinking and investigating, I realized that the Archangel Gabriel is the angel that ushers the human race into the next life after the Apocalypse.  What an "ah ha" moment as a writer.  My character Gabriel ushers Lizabeth into her next life after Thomas's death.  Ta da, Gabriel was renamed.

Christian was a lot easier to name from the beginning and his name never changed from the second I wrote it.  Christian is obviously derived from Christ.  In my book Christian sees himself as needing to save Lizabeth from Gabriel.  Although Lizabeth doesn't really need to be saved from Gabriel she welcomes his attention for other reasons.  Christian is the "savior" figure in the book, so he is named accordingly.

So, yes mom, to answer your question I did name my characters that way on purpose.  I hope that this helps clear up any future confusion on the matter! Love you!

Write Well,


Sunday, April 3, 2011

My First Writing Workshop

I was fortunate enough to take a few of the middle pages of chapter two to a creative writing group at the local Public Library last week.  I have to admit that I was a bit nervous since this was the first time "strangers" would be reading any parts of Blood Rivalry.  Thankfully a family member, who happens to be a writer as well, agreed to go with me.

We walked into the room of about 12 other people and were instantly intrigued.  The groups was an eclectic mix of age and writing styles. I was very excited about the possibility of getting some great constructive criticism from some experienced writers.  Then, we found out that our pieces would be read aloud so that we (the authors) could hear what they sounded like.  That completely freaked me out.  I can't really tell you why, it was just not something I expected I guess.

The first volunteer's writing was a short newspaper like article about an older couple's disagreement about the amount of collectibles in their home.  It was very cute and well suited for its audience.  There were a multitude of other writings that we covered in the 2 hour workshop from bathroom themed poems, to a pirate adventure story.  I looked up at the clock realizing that we were about to finish and I hadn't offered up my piece for critique yet.

The group facilitator said that we had time for one more piece and I jumped.  "I'll go," I said as I handed out my pages.  My stomach was in knots, but I knew that it was now or never.  I had to take this leap of faith.  When the reader read the pages out loud I was pleased with the way they sounded.

The reaction from the group was positive as well.  I got a lot of good edits including a few pronoun and tense fixes that I missed when I read it myself.  I'm beginning to see that that is going to be the hardest part for me.  Content consistency isn't a problem so far (I have the whole story outlined in my head and to some extent on paper) but punctuation for dialogue and tense shifts are tricky.  I think that's because it's my first draft and I"m trying just to get all my words out.  That should be easier to deal with in later drafts I imagine.

I also came to a good conclusion at this first workshop.  I have written 5 chapters and haven't used the word "vampire".  It's now a personal goal to keep it out of the book.  I'm not sure why it's so important to me.  I guess it's that I figure I tell the story well enough that I don't need to be explicit.  When I put that thought to the group I was answered with, "Well, when you get this book published you won't have to use the word vampire because the cover art will show that for you."  Oh my God, he said WHEN I get this book published.  I just about died!  That one comment made my year.

Write well,


The Beginning of Blood Rivalry

I've been writing Blood Rivalry for about 3 years.  It's been a start and stop process.  Since having 2 kids, my life is quite busy.  I started it while my husband was working on his master's thesis.  I had a lot of time on my hands when the kids had gone to bed because he was busy.

It's been a fantastic journey so far. I find that as I write the characters really have begun to take to take on a life of their own.  They are constantly "talking" to me throughout the day and I can't wait until I can get the time to write at night.

Recently, I decided that I needed to chronicle the whole writing process.  Because this is my first novel, I am learning a lot as I go.  I never have been much of a journal writer, but for some strange reason I feel the need to keep a log of the process.  Hopefully it will prove to be an interesting read!