Grammar Wednesday: POV–3rd Person Omniscient

So, you thought you were done with the last post? You’re not. There is one more. This person is slowly becoming more popular, but there are still a lot of readers and editors and publishers and betas and such and such that don’t like it. Do you know what omniscient means? Well, since I’m into religion, I’ll tell you–it means all-knowing. Like God is supposed to be. All-knowing. Also like the gift in my novel Forever Burn; the gift of omni, which means all.

Anyway, this person is different from 3rd person in that the POV switches. It can happen in the same paragraph (though it is rare and confusing), different paragraphs, different sections of a chapter, or different chapters. Everything is written in third person, but the reader follows character A and then character B.

for example

Rusty ran up to Seeley and batted him on the head with her paw. She wanted to play. Bustling down on her haunches as low to the ground as she could go, she waited for Seeley to start at her, to make the second move, and to roll her over so they could play. It ran through her head like a mantra, “Play! Play! Play!” She wiggled her butt in anticipation, wanting each second to come faster and faster until they would be rolling on the ground.

Seeley, however, was not amused. He sat atop his cat tree, staring down at her with disdain in his green eyes. They would not be playing; first, he wasn’t in the mood, and secondly, she had stolen his spot on the bed the previous night. He was old crotchety and tired, and there was no way that he would be amusing the likes of the wonder kitten.

I’m sure this goes through my cats heads as they stare at each other. Positive of it. This is third person omniscient. You get the first POV (Rusty) and the second POV (Seeley) in the same story. This is a completely acceptable form to write in, just please oh please do it smartly.

Grammar Wednesday: POV–3rd person

Third person is my favorite person to write in. I have to say, I absolutely love and adore it. Recently people have said they don’t like third person because they are distanced from the character and can’t get into their mind. Also, people say that it creates confusion as to what is really going on and that they can figure out the entire novel too quickly with third person. My answer to that, is whatever they were reading, it wasn’t done right.

This is my preferred person to write in.

Rusty walked along the soft carpet, quickly going from the living room into the bedroom. She jumped up onto the desktop, where it rattled until her meager body weight settled down. Licking her paws and cleaning her face, Rusty watched her mother carefully. Her mother slept soundly in the bed just as the early morning rays of the sun started to shine through the window, and Rusty knew it was time. She stepped over to the edge of the plastic desk and leaned back on her haunches before pushing up into the calendar tacked to the wall. Biting the spiral metal that held it together, she waited until she heard the rustle from the sheets behind her. Her mother was waking up. She went back to all for paws and started to chew on the paper, stopping and giving a meow when her mother shouted across the room, “Rusty! Stop it!”

This is third person…well, third animal, in this case. (Also, this happens to me EVERY morning.) Next week, third person omniscient. Yes, I will explain the difference then.

WIPpet Wednesday: June 12, 2013

It’s Wednesday! That means it’s time for WIPpet Wednesday! That means it’s time to read!!!

If you want to join in, write a post, click the link, add your post! Your post must correlate in some way to the date, so keep that in mind!

I have finished my ghost story that I used a few weeks ago for the WIPpet day. Here’s the link to the beginning of the story. I’m not adding some more to it! This is the last update on the ghost story I’ve title FLASH OF DEATH. This picks up close to where it left off…Shea has taken her someplace where they can touch (yes, dirty minds you are free to roam). 12 sentences, and yes, they were just kissing.

***

They broke apart after time stopped, and CL looked around, taking in her surroundings. She wasn’t in her house anymore. Shea stood before her in a gray, fuzzy and muted area. There were no walls that she could see, no floor and no ceiling as she stepped away from him to increase her awareness. The gray was close enough that she thought she could reach out and touch it, but as soon as she reached her hand forward, all she felt was air.

Thunder roared around the room, but it sounded off, like someone had stuffed earplugs in her ears and then put sound-canceling headphones on. She spun back around to Shea when she realized that the thunder didn’t echo. Light filled the room for a momentary blast before receding back into the grayness. “Where are we?”

“In the in between,” he answered, not moving from where he was rooted. More lightning came and went; thunder resounded before disappearing into the ether. “This is where we collide.”

***

On other news, I finished my final edit of DYING EMBERS and have sent it to the publisher. Just waiting to hear back from her, and then I have to task of picking a book cover! So yay! Now I’m off to take pictures of sunflowers!!

The wondrous world of editing

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on facebook, twitter, goodreads and more about editing and the editing process. I’m not one to miss the bandwagon. Editing is extremely important when it comes to finalizing ANYTHING, even emails to the boss. There can be some pretty blaring typos (I’ve made them and will continue to make them).

Just for show…I want everyone who reads this post to comment with their editing process and what they do for it. I will say, always have someone else go through your work.

Here’s my process.

1. I edit the piece
2. I edit the piece
3. I sent my piece to not one but two beta’s.
4. I edit from my beta’s comments
5. I do a final edit after beta’s comments
6. I print out and run through each sentence backward, looking ONLY for typos.
7. I send to my editor
8. I go through editors comments
9. Sometimes #7 and #8 are repeated.

Those are a lot of freakin’ steps, and even after ALL of that, I still find typos and mistakes that should have been caught.

So WHAT’S YOUR PROCESS?

Grammar Wednesday: POV–1st person

I’ve decide the next group of grammar goodness will be about persons in writing. There are typically 3 persons, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd! Go figure, the numbers go up.

First person, at least from what I have seen, is becoming far more common–that might just be because I’m seeing it more, not that it actually is becoming more common. I might have ignored it, since I don’t like it. Apparently a lot of people like it. What I’ve heard is that it gives more insight to the character, but it is harder to write because the MC has to be in every single scene (this is assuming there is only one POV in the novel). There are ways to have multiple first person POV’s in one novel. Check out Jodi Picoult. She has a lot in her books.

Example of first person:

I shuffled my foot against the sidewalk as my cheeks burned with fire. Mom scolded me like I was a two-year-old who had just thrown a temper tantrum at the grocery store–I can assure you I did no such thing. I refused to look up at her as the hot sun beat down on my shoulders and the top of my head. Waves of embarrassment floated through my body, grasping on to ever available surfaced and licking my wounds with vinegar, causing them to burn even more. I meant to steal the candy bar. She thought it was an accident, that I had simply walked out without paying for it because I forgot. But that’s not how it was. I had carefully chosen which chocolate bar I wanted to eat and I slipped it into my hand, keeping it in my fist. I didn’t put it in my pocket or one of the grocery bags–I was going to walk out of that store with it in my hand where everyone could see it if they wanted to. I had dared them to approach me. They didn’t. Mom had caught me though–right when we got home.

So that’s first person! I really like it in memoir or autobiography, but that’s about it. I highly doubt you will ever see a novel or short story from me that is fiction and in first person. It’s not my thing! Have fun and have a great day!

Grammar Wednesday: the “U” and the “A”

This is a common mistake that I find with my copy-editing, and it has to do with tenses, which I will eventually tackle on this blog.

Drank v. Drunk
Sank v. Sunk

These are two that are commonly misused when speaking and even more commonly misused when writing.

1–He drank the tea.
2–He had drunk the tea.

The first sentence is past tense, the second is past perfect or perfect past.  If you are writing in past tense, and the action happens in the moment (yes, I know that doesn’t make TOTAL sense), then the first sentence is correct. If time has passed since the action has occurred, then the past perfect is necessary and the second sentence is correct.

1–The ship sank in port; the U.S.S. Arizona fell beneath the warm waters of the harbor.
2–The ship had sunk in port; the U.S.S. Arizona had fallen beneath the warm waters of the harbor.

Do you see the difference? In the second sentence there is the past perfect tense twice, with the “had sunk” and “had fallen.” These tense things take time to learn. I will do a more in-depth post about them, including also present tense. For kicks and giggles, the present tense of the second example would be: “The ship sinks in the port; the U.S.S. Arizona falls beneath the warm waters of the harbor.

I should note that I have never ever EVER written a story in present tense. It’s just not my thing. However, I have edited and read plenty. A lot of it comes with preference.

Grammar Wednesday: ACTIVE PHRASING

Hello everyone! I know some of you were sad that I missed last week’s Grammar Wednesday, but I didn’t miss it. I was in Guatemala–no interwebs for a whole week! I started to go into withdrawal.

Here’s your Grammar Wednesday! It’s about active phrasing and passive phrasing. I apparently used to write passive phrasing, and if you read FOREVER BURN, you’ll see it all over the place. *head desk* yup, but I learned. I just had to have someone point it out to me a couple dozen million times.

This is how it goes–in the easiest form. Look for the “was.” It’s mostly overused and the “have been.”

She was walking down the road.
She walked down the road.

She was leaning down to pick up a rock.
She leaned down to pick up a rock.

She had been having weird thoughts lately.
She had weird thoughts lately.

Get it?! I hope so. There are a lot of other ways to see passive phrasing. You can always go into MSword and turn it on. It’ll underline other passive phrases. In most of the fanfiction that I beta read for, and even some of the original fiction, I find a lot of passive phrasing. Not only are you writing it in a more concise sentence structure, but you’re writing it in a way that makes it more realistic and stronger.

Fanfic mistakes and pleasures

My time for writing originals is certainly not over, but I have been working on fanfiction, toying with the plots (which involve mostly sex) and characters. I know that there are quite a few people who do not agree with fanfic, who think it’s a complete violation of the rights of the owners/creators of the originals. I agree that it might be a violation, but I am in no way seeking monetary compensation for writing fanfic.

I write in four or five fandoms. I have to say that after working on an original story and spending all that time editing, writing fanfic is a massive relief to me. I don’t have to worry about character development or location description or creating something other than the plot. The plot is all that matters when writing fanfic (AU excluded, but I tend NOT to write those, or read for that matter). The plot is where all my creativity is focused, and it’s so relaxing.

While most of my fanfic plot does involve “smut” or “lemons,” as they are called in the fandom world, it is infinitely more relaxing to write this than original fiction. Original has more reward at the end, but it’s not as instantaneous. So, perhaps when I’m feeling shitty about my writing abilities, I happen to on occasion write a fanfic one-shot, solely for the fact that I know I will get instant and supportive feedback. I think it’s my own prerogative.

I am currently writing a series for the shows The Closer and Major Crimes, which will span the entirety of both series, beginning before the series begins and perhaps even after Major Crimes ends. I am also working on, and will finish today, a one-shot for Battlestar Galactica (2003). I’ve been avoiding writing for a new fandom, but the characters called and I felt a scene was missing from the show, so I’m writing it in.

One of the biggest debates with fanfic, are those people who turn fanfic into original stories and then sell those stories for profit. *cough* 50 Shades of Grey *cough* I don’t necessarily disagree with selling it. It is an original story, the plot is all there and not in Twilight by any means. However, there are many issues with 50 Shades of Grey that happen, which occur ALL over the place in fanfic.

1) Lack of research
2) Lack of writing skill
3) Lack of editing skill
4) Not knowing that in American English “gray” is spelled with an “a” not an “e”

I beta fanfic all the time. I work with authors who write Twilight fanfic (among other fandoms: BSG, Stargate (all), Sanctuary, Supernatural, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Closer, Major Crimes, Law and Order (all), Star Treks (all)). I have plenty experience in knowing who of those writers is an actual writer and who just wants to play around (and nothing is wrong with just wanting to play around). First off, getting a beta usually means they’re pretty serious.

While I assume that E. L. James had an editor of some sort, there seemed to be a lack of learning or desire for improvement. An editor or a beta is not just supposed to read and placate the author. We are supposed to provoke and get the author to think. To look at grammar, sentence structure, spelling, over usages, story flow and structure, continuity, research, fact-checking–it’s a huge order for just one person to do.

That’s why I have at least two people go through all my novels before I even think about sending them into an editor or publisher. I want these to be the product of the best of my ability at the time that they are sent out. In about an hour, I guarantee that I could go back and rework it and make it even better. That’s the gift of being a writer–there is always, always, ALWAYS something to learn and room to improve.

Grammar Wednesday: Quoting a quote

I was writing, and I had a question. This is how I typically come up with finding grammatical rules to remember for the rest of my writing career. In my newest novel FOR BY GRACE, there is a character, Peter, who has a bad habit of quoting scripture when he’s drunk.

So, as a college student, I certainly know how to quote within a quote. It got confusing when it became a quote within a quote within a quote. Let’s start with the first though, shall we?

To quote dialogue there is always double quote marks to open and close the speech.

He said, “Why the hell did you do that?”

Simple enough, right? I actually ran into a beta recently that had single quotes, or single for one and double for another, and my most recent beta who didn’t put quote marks in at all. It gets a bit more confusing when you add in a quote within the quote. For that you have the double quotes for the person who is actually speaking and single quotes for what that person is saying. For example:

She replied, “Well, I was told to. She told me, ‘You go out there and be strong. You are smart, you are pretty and you are strong.'”

Single quotes within the double quotes, making sure to close everything out at the end of the dialogue so that it’s all complete. Simple enough. Now, here’s the complication I ran into. Peter is quoting Scripture in his own speech, which has dialogue in it. To resolve this, it’s double quotes for what Peter says, single quotes for the Scripture, then back to double for the dialogue in the Scripture (are you starting to see the pattern?). Here’s a sneak peek of the novel, too.

“Peter is the disciple. Peter makes the revelation. Peter is the child of God who follows Jesus.  ‘Jesus went out, with his disciples, into the villages of Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?”’” Peter paused.

Wow! Look at all those quote marks to close out all the quotes. It’s insane! I wouldn’t suggest going beyond what I did here, but as you might have guess it goes double, single, double, single, double, single until you’re done or don’t need anymore. If you have more than this, I suggest reworking the piece so you don’t need it. I even reworked a lot in this piece to get rid of a lot of the double and triple quote marks.

Keep it up, and remember to always edit!

Struggling Artist #indie

It’s hard to struggle. I think that, and then at the same time I think that struggling just adds that much more to the story. I have officially been unemployed since December of 2011. That’s sixteen months and heading right into the seventeenth. Yes, I currently work at a church twice a month doing children’s church but that doesn’t even pay me enough to feed my cats on a monthly basis, let alone me.

Struggling sucks. Flat out–it sucks. I have sent in dozens of applications to entry level, low level, crappy, good, educated jobs–just about anything one can think of, I’ve applied for it (except McDonald’s and Walmart, the two I will NEVER apply for).

I’m a writer. I’m even a published writer. It’s like people think that once published, everything takes off. Well, it doesn’t. To live off my royalties the amount of books I would have to sell is a number so large that my brain can’t compute it. My goal is to sell 60 ebooks a month. Which would be totally awesome if it did happen (and it did, for at least the first month). But the problem is that it still takes anywhere from four to six months for me to see that money. There is a gigantic lag.

This is the not so pretty side of publishing. The money isn’t instantaneous, there is a seriously long wait to get it. And getting it right now would be awesome! This is also why so many authors and writers have day jobs. People think it would be awesome to write all day and to only worry about the damned loud characters in my head that shout at me second after second to get their story written, but I’m not so sure about that. It gets pretty boring to sit by myself in my apartment all day, writing. I’ve done it–for the past sixteen months. It ain’t so pretty at all.

The day job gives me time to think, time to work through problems and people to talk to. Now, it doesn’t have to be the day job of my dreams or one that takes over my life. Something that is sufficient enough to give me something else to think about–that’s what I want. Something to ease the tedium of writing (never thought I would say that).

Now, go write and read peoples!! Support those indie authors!

Grammar Wednesday: COMMA SPLICE–rearranging

I realize that this post is going to be short, as it should be pretty self-explanatory. However, next week I will be concluding the comma splice regime with how to find comma splices. My cohort Amy is a comma splice nazi, particularly in my own work. Check out her blog, she’s awesome sauce!

Rearrange the structure of the sentence

4. Adrian is writing a forum on comma splices, she is sitting in class.

RESOLUTION:

Adrian is writing a forum on comma splices while she is sitting in class.

As I said before, resolving comma splices is very stylistic.  Here is another option for resolving this comma splice.  This is by changing the structure of the sentence. Be careful when doing this, as it can change the meaning of the sentence.

6. “I’m Adrian, I’m a word-guru, according to my best friend.”

RESOLUTION:

“I’m Adrian and a word-guru, according to my best friend.”

Rearranging this sentence with a conjunction to make an independent clause with a dependent clause does not change the meaning of this sentence. It actually makes it read more like one would speak.

Writing for speech

As most of you, or at least some of you, might know, I dapple in the world of ministry. I recently (meaning only a short few hours ago) had to give a sermon on a text from the gospel of John (4:5-42, if you were curious). Now, I obviously love and enjoy writing and the rush that it gives me.

I’ve heard tell that if one can write, one can preach. That is SO not true! Writing for reading and writing for speaking are two completely different things. Now, one who writes might have a one up on those who don’t, because we know how to plot something out. There’s a beginning that grips, certain moves that are taken, a heightening in action or emotion and then a sweet conclusion to wrap everything up.

Writing a sermon is much like writing a short story–however, I do not write short stories, at least not often (planning on two this next month). I wrote my sermon, I plotted it out like I was writing a short story about this one moment, a moment that changes. The moment when the Spirit enters into our lives and carry us away on the breeze.

Describing a moment in words is one part of this, the other is in voice. If I talk about this moment like a dull school teacher that has no passion for the subject, then the moment will never come. If I talk about the moment with energy and excitement, with joy and praise, then that moment is transferred to those listening, the experience it again. That is the difference in writing a sermon and writing a novel/story. The writing for the sermon is the prep–the reading of it is what makes the sermon a sermon.

If enough of you want, I might post my manuscript for my sermon on here. Not sure if I will though.

Grammar Wednesday: COMMA SPLICE–Em dash

Use an Em dash

An Em dash will strongly connect the two independent clauses.  Em dashes to resolve comma splices are most commonly found in dialogue, where semi-colons and colons are avoided.  This is for flow of voice of the character and for flow of reading.

3. “I didn’t know you could do that, you can do that?”

RESOLUTION:

“I didn’t know you could do that—you can do that?”

Using this form of resolution strongly connects the two independent clauses.  In dialogue, it is easier to use an Em dash to separate the two clauses.

10. Writing fanfiction is stress-relieving, it is a world of its own.

RESOLUTION:

Writing fanfiction is stress-relieving—it’s a world of its own.

Using an Em dash here creates a flow for the sentences.  The two sentences go together.

PS There is a difference between an em dash and an en dash. To make an em dash (which is the one you want to use just about all the time), type the word, make to hyphens, type the next word and hit space.

Roger Ebert

Reading a story on Roger Ebert. Check out this quote:
“Just write, get better, keep writing, keep getting better. It’s the only thing you can control.”
He passed away today at 70.

Grammar Wednesday: COMMA SPLICE–new sentence

C. Start a new sentence

Starting a new sentence when encountering a comma splice will put more emphasis in both independent clauses and will create a larger break.  When you have a long run-on sentence (as in example 5), then you will most likely want a new sentence start.  This gives the reader a break when reading.

EXAMPLES:

5. The bat cracked as the ball collided, the sound echoing through the field, the crowd roared and stood on their toes as the ball arced and landed neatly in the outfielder’s mitt.

RESOLUTION:

The bat cracked as the ball collided, the sound echoing through the field.  The crowd roared and stood on their toes as the ball arced and landed neatly in the outfielder’s mitt.

I started a new sentence after “field” as this sentence is a run-on.  It is long: two independent clauses with one including a participle phrase.  Making this into two separate sentences breaks the reading up for the reading and allows for better comprehension and flow of the story.

10. Writing fanfiction is stress-relieving, it is a world of its own.

RESOLUTION:

Writing fanfiction is stress-relieving.  It is a world of its own.

Splitting this with a new sentence start allows for the two sentences to stand apart.  They are two descriptions of the same thing, but they are both equally as important.

You are also going to want to use this method to resolve a comma splice when in dialogue, as you want to avoid semi-colons in dialogue in general. A new sentence start or an Em dash (next week) will resolve the comma splice in dialogue without giving into the issues that can be caused by semi-colons.

Inspiration

I had an ex. OMG, I know. I had an ex. Anyway, my ex used to complain about never writing even though it was a favorite hobby and we both loved to do it together. This particular ex, used to say that she could only write when inspiration hit her on the head.

My typical response was always, “Inspiration will never come without an invitation to the party.”

I do still stand by this. Many aspiring writers talk about inspiration and waiting for it to come, or never being able to write without it. Well, I’ve got some news for you (if you’re one of those people), it doesn’t ever come when expected, but you can still do good work without it. It’s just a tad bit harder to get those words onto the page.

Writing is all about work. Hell, if I got paid hourly for the time I put into a novel, I would be so fucking rich right now, it’s not even funny. In order to write, and to write and complete something, one has to actually do it. My advice to aspiring writers who always as how I do it, is that I write every day. I might not write 12k words or even 1k words in a day, but I do write something. Whether it’s a blog post, a facebook status that is amusing, a tweet I find funny, or changing words around in an edit. I am constantly thinking and doing writing. This is the most important advice to me. This is the invitation for inspiration to come and take a hold of my hands and dance away like it’s 1923 and we’re at a speakeasy.

Wow, did I get carried away for a second.

So, go write. Specially, go write that invitation to inspiration and tell them that you’re throwing a party in its honor. I bet it’ll show up sooner or later. Inspiration isn’t one to miss opportunities.

 

To continue on romance…

In my current novel, from the first few chapters, it should be pretty obvious that this is NOT a romance novel. I work with a website called Project Team Beta to find my beta readers and editors. This is the third novel that I have pushed through their site and it might possibly be the last. While I love working with them, and they do often catch many mistakes, often times, I feel as though the entire point of the story is missed.

For example: after explicitly stating that this was not a romance both when asked the genre and when describing what I wanted the beta’s to look at. I still get comments like this…

“I enjoyed the slice-of-life feel of this chapter, but I felt that too much time was spent on the run-in with the drunk man and the woman with the flat tire, especially in comparison with the scenes with [REDACTED].”

and

“I also would like to have seen more interaction between Grace and [REDACTED].  As the first run beta said, if this story is meant to be about them and their relationship, I’d spend more time focused on their evening.”

Their evening takes up the last thousand words of the chapter (which is about 7 thousand words long). It is not a large part, but it is necessary for the rest of the novel to move forward. This book is about Grace and her life, which includes romance, but is not solely focused on Grace’s romantic interests.

Romance is a part of life, not the entirety of it.

Grammar Wednesday: COMMA SPLICE–Semi-colon

A semi-colon is used as a way to separate the two independent clauses more than just a comma and coordinating conjunction.  A semi-colon has a firmer break in the thoughts.  A comma and coordinating conjunction is like a California stop (or a rolling stop) at a stop sign, and the semi-colon is like a full stop but starting up again right away.

EXAMPLES:

2. She didn’t know what to say, she was stunned into silence.

RESOLUTION:

She didn’t know what to say; she was stunned into silence.

Here we use the semi-colon to connect these two sentences.  Both actions of the subject are completely connected.  Semi-colons also help to keep tension high when in an action scene (though, complete shorter sentences will help more adequately).

8. The full, bright moon rose above the tree line, the light shone down onto the one path that led into the forest.

RESOLUTION:

The full, bright moon rose above the tree line; the light shone down onto the one path that led into the forest.

Using a semi-colon here allows the two sentences to stay closely connected and for the reading of it to be more poetic than a pure stop that a new sentence start would give.  This connects more closely the light and the moon.

9. She wanted to go to the party, however, she had no ride.

RESOLUTION:

She wanted to go to the party; however, she had no ride.

Whenever you have “however” in a sentence, there is a great likelihood that a semi-colon will need to be placed on one side or the other of it.  It is not, however, always the case (see what I did there =P). The likelihood that it will happen is high.  You still have the two independent clauses: “she wanted to go to the part” and “she had no ride” can both stand-alone as sentences.

Wrongs compounded by wrongs…

I wasn’t ever planning on writing this post, but after reading a chapter and editing it for someone, I feel it’s absolutely necessary. So, here we go.

WRITERS! YOU NEED TO DO YOUR RESEARCH!

Okay, whew! I said it. Here’s the thing. It’s okay to elaborate and to expand, and yes, to use hyperbole, but you have to know what it is you’re changing and you have to know why. This chapter that I recently read and edited had a twenty-something as a Major in the US who had enlisted at 18 and never went to OCS (that’s Officer Command School, in case you didn’t know). Once I figured out that this chapter was set in this day and age…I went, oh hell no!

Further down, the romantic interest of this “Major” spoke to him about an abusive relationship. Then there was no resolve or no…continuance of it. She just kind of put it out there and then everything was fine. Then they have sex? In my head I was going, nonononononoNO! Not after having THAT discussion.

Either way, it is the author’s story. But this person desperately needed to do their research.

Without the research for the basis, there are people like me going–this person has NO CLUE what they are talking about. While there are some things that can be overlooked in that aspect, others cannot. It changes the story, it changes whether or not readers will read and enjoy it, and it changes the characters. I want to focus on the second one there, whether or not readers will read and enjoy it. Honestly, if there are too many deviations from something, people will put it down. They’ll have no reason to continue to read it.

So…do your research. Please! I’m begging you.

The Next Big Thing: Blog Hop March 20, 2013

Hey y’all (yes, I’ve been living in Texas far too long). This is a blog hop. Don’t know what that is? Good, I didn’t either for a bit. Basically, this is a way to learn about some awesome and cool indie authors. I answer a few questions and give them a shout-out! I want to thank Sarah Hart for taking the time to explain to me exactly what this Blog Hop entails.

I will answer some questions and then give some shout-outs. Shall we begin? (Yes, that is a blatant Sanctuary reference, and if you have NOT seen that show go watch it. It’s amazing!)

1. What’s the title of your book? Forever Burn

2. Where did the idea come from? I worked security for three plus years and I worked very closely with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and Central Pierce Fire and Rescue. Everyone thinks that firefighters go to fire calls…well, that’s really NOT the case anymore. After seeing how many calls that CPFR came out to where I worked, I started asking how many fire calls they went to. The answer was usually every 1 out of 10 or every 2 out of 10 calls were fire calls! I was a bit shocked. And, btw, those are fire alarm calls, not actual fire calls.

Needless to say, there was a house fire when I was working one night. Eight engines came out. EIGHT! and they were all so excited about it being an actual fire and what they had trained for. This book comes from that idea–that firefighters don’t really do what we think they do anymore.

3. What genre does your book fall under? This is an urban fantasy, lesbian novel, with a hint of crime and romance. As my friends father calls it…this thing is romancey! I do want to point out that it is NOT a romance novel, though; there is love, but that’s not the purpose of the story.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? My friend asked me this one time, and I actually sat down and did it all out. Now, if only I could remember it.
a. James–Jaime Murrey
b. Addison–Polly Walker
c. Max–Aleks Paunovic
d. Heath–Robert Lawrenson
e. Rob–Robin Dunne
f. Norma–Emilie Ullerup
g. Jean-Pierre–Eddie Redmayne
h. Cameron–Gabrielle Rose

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Nightmares, supernatural powers, firefighters and love–James has it all.

6. Is your book published by an independant publisher? It is! It is published by Supposed Crimes, LLC. My publisher is a fantastic and amazing woman, and we get along splendidly. Oh! And she’s always accepting submissions and is currently looking…so if you have an interest, check it out.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? So…um…it took my 19 days to write the first draft of this. I want to follow that up with the fact that it took me seven weeks to edit it (but I ended up on a deadline).

8. What is in a name? Is there a significance to the names of characters in the book? I am a strong supporter of deeper thinking and of causing questions to be asked. I want to not only tell a good story, but I want to make people think about something that they might not have thought about before. The name for James came quickly. I’ve always had an affinity for it. To give the name to my main female character was a bold decision that I have yet to regret. It causes a momentary confusion for the reader, an “is James really a woman, or is that typo?” After, I hope that either the name suits the character to where the gender of the name no longer comes into play, or the question is asked, “why not?” Why can’t we have characters with mis-gendered names in our stories?

Addison was far more difficult. I certainly wanted an androgynous name for her; I wanted a slight mystery behind who she was. I have a certain affection for all names that begin with the letter “A” and can never resist adding at least one character in a story with a name as such. Addison, and subsequently, Alyssa (Lily) were these two characters. Addison’s name is androgynous by nature, and I wanted an assumption to be made that she was a man. This was helped along with her title and position at the Fire Station.

9. What is your writing process? I write every day. Okay, well, I try to write every day. If I’m not writing; I’m editing. If I’m not editing; I’m writing. I might not be working on novels; I might be working on shorts, or papers if my instructors decide to have an assignment due. In the world of no classes and no school, I wake up in the morning and edit until noon or one. I always finish the piece or part I’m editing. Sometimes it is one piece, sometimes two. Sometimes my own work, and sometimes it’s for a friend. After editing, I write. I write for hours. When I want to get through a chapter or a certain part before bed, I’ll turn all electronics possible off. No twitter. No television. No facebook. I’ll turn my music up as loud as is appropriate (my playlist ranges from Ice-T to movie scores to gospel to country). I type as fast as possible. Editing can and will always happen later.

My motto is two-fold: I cannot edit what has not been written, and I cannot improve without continuing and practicing.

10. What are you working on now? Currently, I’m working on an entirely new series. This is not an Urban Fantasy novel and is slice-of-life crime, following around a patrol officer on her daily routine with a few snippets into her personal life. She meets up with the Law Enforcement Chaplain, and they become close very fast. I’m over halfway done with writing this at the moment, and by the time this blog hop is posted, I plan on being done with the writing and on to the editing.

Thank you for taking the time to read the blog hop and my answers to the questions! I answered far more questions than I had to (so, if I shouted out to you and you end up posting this, you do only have to answer five questions). Forever Burn was a blast to write and will always have a special place in my heart.

Forever Burn is out and available worldwide now. Feel free to check it out.
Amazon: Kindle and Paperback
Smashwords (for all the ebook goodies)
Barnes and Noble: Nook and Paperback

The following are my shout-outs! Some are aspiring and some are published. Please check them out and support all Indie Authors! (that’s because we’re the best)

1. Graham Powell
2. J.M. Cataffo
3. Sirena N. Robinson
4. Elizabeth Delana Rosa
5. Carolyn Gray
6. Victoria Rivers
7. Jenn Monty