Monday, December 31, 2012

DONE! Again...

I know I've said this like, a billion times...but I'm done. Again. There was just the little matter of changing my present tense verbs with 'ing' into past tense verbs with 'ed'. Duh. I mean, geez, the book is written in past tense, for heaven's sake. But there are past tense occasions where you can and have to use an 'ing' verb. I know...blah, blah, blah.

I've uploaded my updated file to CreateSpace and await answers to some graphic design questions. Then, I can order another proof. I'm looking forward to reading Dream Weaver as a book rather than a manuscript. Of course, that's a laugh. Like I'll ever be done editing.

So here's the plan: (in no logical or coherent order)
Establish an 'Author's Page' on Good Reads.
Pay Shawn for his artwork
Begin selling e-books of Dream Weaver
Print 100 hard copies for book signing and conference
Promote Dream Weaver Novels Facebook page
Connect with other self-pubbers

Yeahno. I got nothin' to do.

So Happy New Year to all of you. May your heart clearly see your dreams and may your soul have strength to chase them! Happy and prosperous 2013!

Friday, December 14, 2012

2 ARC's from CreateSpace

It's been an exciting week. After at least 8 upload attempts and an issue with embedding my fonts, I finally got Dream Weaver uploaded and approved by CreateSpace. I ordered 2 ARCs and started reviewing the digital copy. I'm wishing now I had reviewed the digital and then ordered, but there's just something about me that makes me follow directions. Just once, I should step out of line, throw caution to the wind and say 'what the hell?' and do things my own way. Oh well. Still so excited to see my hard work in print.

The cover looks great, but I'm commissioning a friend from PNWA to do a piece for me. His name is Shawn Foote and he is an amazing artist who uses multi-media in his work. And besides, he's an awful sweet guy.

Happy Christmas to all...yes a nod to Harry Potter there. The magic lives on!

Monday, December 10, 2012

5 Copies of Dream Weaver from NaNo and CreateSpace

As a winner of NaNoWriMo I received a list of prizes I could claim. One of those prizes was 5 free printed copies of my manuscript from CreateSpace. How cool is that?

So, I did a final spit and polish on Dream Weaver and submitted it to the CreateSpace website. After no less than 8 uploads, I finally managed to embed my fonts and got my manuscript layout and cover design approved. And today I ordered 2 copies of the ARCs (Author's Review Copy) that should arrive by Friday, Dec. 14.

I hadn't actually planned on self-publishing for another few months. I planned on continuing my campaign of submitting partials and query letters to agents and editors. But how could I pass this up? There's no law that says you can't self-publish AND take the traditional route to publishing your book. As a matter of fact, if you can drum up enough sales, it makes your story all the more appealing to those AEs out there.

So now there's a billion more things I'll need to do, like create an author page on Good Reads...Who knew so much goes into the publishing of a book besides actually writing the book? Despite having spent the last 4 years learning all I can about the trade, I still feel very much like the tyro writer I was before. There is so much to learn, so much to do. Many thanks to all of you who have helped me along the way in more ways than I can describe.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

National Novel Writing Month 2012

This was my first attempt at NaNoWriMo. It's been an adventure, but I can't say I loved every minute of it. It was a comedy of pain and pleasure. Regardless, I did it. And just the feeling of the success totally makes up for the frustration and pain. I learned so much more about Nick, Emari, Sabre, Eddyson, and even Thomas and William. Emari's a tougher chick than she gives herself credit for, and Nick isn't as tough as he thought he was. Sabre finally concedes that he is indeed an ass.

Over the month, I wrote 54,945 words and have a solid foundation on which to continue building this world of mind benders and mind breakers.

Thank you to National Novel Writing Month, Spokane River Writers and Municipal Liaison, Samantha, as well as all my Writing Buddies. See ya next year when I work on the finale of the Dream Weaver Novel Series--Private Eye.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

NaNoWriMo Pains

OK, so there's just today and tomorrow before the midway point of Nation Novel Writing Month. If I stay true to form so far, I will reach 25k words by the 15th. Yay! So, Rock Star is close to 39K words so far AND I know how it ends now.

I'm one of those writers that writes scenes as they come to me and puts them together later. So when the ending paragraphs came to my fingers, it was a very exciting thing.

Also, I sent a partial of Dream Weaver to a professional editor and the response was fantastic. They called it..."well written...a powerful read...atmospheric and dark...packs a punch...imagery is original and precise...very" Hey, gotta love words like that!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Skeleton’s Song
By Su Williams

(Writer's Digest sponsors a weekly writing prompt. This was my second post and it received some very complimentary comments. I have a fan!)

I couldn’t live without my childhood best friend; my teen romance; my soul mate…until he died. The newspapers should’ve read “Caleb Davis, 21, Dies of Unknown Causes.” But there wasn’t a single word in the news.

Heavy curtains submerge our home into dusky darkness. Children play outside in sweltering heat. The ice cream truck trumpets by. Life goes on out in the summer heat, but inside my darkened lair time has frozen despite the heat.

I’m alone in the darkness that has nothing to do with light. If Caleb were alive he’d throw the curtains open, saying, “Athena! Let the sun in for God’s sake!” He’d open the windows to air out the mustiness. But he’s not. And he won’t. So I bask in the musty air.

Night and the temperatures fall, but the heat is captured in our house. I sprawl on the bed in sweat-drenched cami and Caleb’s boxers. Whiskey numbs my lips, but not the pain in my heart, only befuddles my head with softness. A few more shots and my heart will stop. I can join the one I love. I jettison the shot glass, swig from the bottle. Then guzzle. I empty it, then stagger across the room for another.

Then I hear it. The soft strains of the love song Caleb sang about his sweet Athena. I crumple to the floor. Blackness envelopes me.

I awaken to muted daylight, my mouth thick and fuzzy as sun-warmed air. I will try again when I can move again.

I suffer the sweltering day away, stewing in grief. I peruse old year books. We’re always side by side--Davis, Athena; Davis, Caleb.

When the sun falls I slither onto the bed, another bottle of whiskey and our sharpest knife in hand. Shallow cuts slice my thumb as I test the blade. I press the steel to the tender flesh of my forearm--vertically, not horizontally. A bead of blood erupts at the point, then begins to trickle in hot sticky streams, thudding like a drum on the bedspread. I shift my grip to drive the blade home.


I drop the knife and drag my quaking body to the closet door, dribbling a trail of blood behind me. Cooling drops straggle down my thigh, soak between my toes. The door opens of its own accord though the knob is in my hand.

He’s there. My Caleb. Shriveled to nothing but stark white bone, a shadow of his former glory. I curl up at his side, tucked safely beneath his skeletal arm, my head on his boney chest. He doesn’t want me to join him. He wants me to stay--just as I want him to stay. Forever.

I called no one when I found him laying lifeless in our bed. I hid him in our closet where he would never leave me. So now, I cuddle up to his boney frame knowing today no one will come and take him from me.

Someday they will come. But not today.

“All of us have skeletons in our closet…some of us just have better locks.” Author Unknown

Special thanks to Sevendust, Skeleton Song for the inspiration.

Summer Girls
By Su Williams

(This story was originally meant as an entry into a writing contest about summer. I missed the deadline but posted it on Facebook. It was inspired by my friend Heather.)

    Summer was finally here. Finally hot enough to go to the lake and enjoy the solar waves and watch sunrays scatter across the water like a million shooting stars. Winter lasted forever this year. I thought it’d never go away. So now, I lay basking in the sun like lizard, thawing my insides from the long winter’s chill. My fingers probe the cubes of ice in my cup, bringing one to my lips every few minutes as the last melts on my tongue. I scan the beach for familiar faces, regulars who come to this lake every year, some who live here year round in quaint little cottages within walking distance to the shore.
    Some faces are familiar. A year older, a little less bronzed at the beginning of the season. I watch from a distance, sequestered behind my sunglasses, watching the pretty, thin girls with unnaturally blonde hair talking and laughing together. But I don’t call out or join them. They’re not really my type, not that I really know what my type is, now that I know myself a little better. And I’d really just prefer to keep to myself for now.
    Yes. That’s what I’ve decided--but then she walks by. Already golden, as though she spent the summer in the South Pacific. Her hair is coppery brown, with streaks of gold like the rays of the sun itself. Her suit, a tankini I think they call it, is modest and hugs the curves of her slight frame. She is beautiful. In that natural homespun kind of way.
     But I only watch her from a distance, as she smears suntan lotion on her long thin arms and legs. I wonder if she might need some help with her back, but I’m not brave enough to ask. Someone else is though. A wanna-be golden boy with platinum hair squats beside her lounger, grinning with pearly teeth. She scowls back at him and shakes her head. Shunned. She’s sent him away with a frown. Would she send me away as well?
    I watch her until the sun begins to slide behind the mountains. Watch her as she reads a book, sips on a soda, takes an elegant dive into the water. She emerges, sparkling with the diamonds of water droplets clinging to skin. Another boy offers her a towel, but he, too is shunned and walks away dejected as she shakes her head and retrieves her own towel. And again I wonder if she would turn me away as easily as she did these others.
    I pack up my towel and folding lounger and trudge back to the cabin up a windy dirt road that my parents rented for the summer. They’re too busy drinking cocktails and playing volleyball in the backyard with their friends to notice that I’m home. So I climb the steps to the yard, then the steps to the porch, then higher still to the loft that is my home for the next nine weeks.
    The loft overlooks the lake, but I can’t see the resort from here. Though the girl is no longer there, I gaze that direction, remembering the breeze that tug at her hair and brought the smell of her lotion enticingly to my nose. Tomorrow. Perhaps tomorrow, I will be brave enough to say hello, to introduce myself to her.
    But what if she rejects me like she did the others? What then? And even if she doesn’t will she accept me for who I am? I wonder if she’ll think I’m cute; cute enough to spend her time with. Or maybe she’ll just want to be friends. But what is it I really want from her? Maybe all I really need is a friend. Someone who won’t pass judgments. But how do I know I can trust her not to? What if I’m not cute enough, smart enough? What if I’m not her type?
    It seems to take hours for the chirping crickets and croaking frogs to lull my mind to sleep. I sleep in fits and starts. First dreaming that the beautiful bronzed girl shares my affections, sending my heart into overdrive and a flush of warmth through my veins. Then the images morph and she scowls bitterly at me, rejecting even my hand of friendship, and slaps my stricken face leaving my cheek stinging with fire.
    I remember all of this the next day, as I’m watching her set up her things. One moment I feel the courage to speak to her and the next I’m shivering with fear like the summer heat will never be hot enough to thaw me. More boys make advances and each is turned away, especially the guy who is obviously in his thirties and way too old to be hooking up with a teenage girl. I want to leap up and attack him, the perv, but she handles him and sends him packing like the rest. The other girls on the beach are smug, snubbing her in envy because all the boys want the golden girl with sunlight in her hair.
    Again the sun dives behind the mountain, and I’m no closer to meeting her than I was before. Although, when I walked past her on my way home she gave me a tantalizing coy smile. My heart skipped a beat and my mouth fell open in shock. I’m sure I made a lasting impression: as the biggest dork that ever walked the face of the earth.
    And again my sleep comes in fits, and I dream the same dreams as before. When I awaken at dawn with a starling chattering at my window, I can’t sleep any longer. I feel sick. Summer sick. Or maybe just sick from the nervousness that has sent my body reeling too often. I shamble to the resort after breakfast, sure I look every bit the zombie I feel like. Oh well, it was a nice fantasy while it lasted.
    After a refreshing swim, I towel off and plop unceremoniously into my chair. The sun bakes my skin and leaves me drowsy. Soon I succumb to the draw of sleep.
    Some time later, I’m not sure how long, but the sun has moved several degrees across the sky, a shadow falls over my face and awakens me. All I can see is a thin silhouette towering over me like a giant. I raise my hand to shield my eyes from the penumbra of light that’s blinding me, but it doesn’t help. I flail in my chair and am only stilled be a quiet sound.
    “Oh!” a golden voice exclaims, and then the figure drops to my side and I can see her more clearly. Though I wonder if maybe I’m still asleep and dreaming. This can’t possibly be. The golden girl is kneeling by my side in the gritty sand, staring at me. “I’m sorry,” she says, her voice like honey. “I didn’t mean to startle you. It’s just, I think you fell asleep in the sun and I was afraid you would get burned.”
    “Uh. Thanks.” It’s all I can manage to say.
    “Sure thing,” she says.
    A zillion thoughts race through my head like an Indy race at the finish line. She’s here. She’s talking to me. How can she talk to me? She’s this perfect creature who could have any guy she wanted. But she’s talking to me. What if I open my mouth and say something stupid? What if I do manage to say something intelligent but she still rejects me? I know who I am and what I want, but what if that scares her away?
    “I just--I don’t know anybody here and I noticed you’ve been alone all week,” her voice stroked my heart and calmed the raging beast clawing at my insides.
    “Uh, yeah. The girls around here are not really very friendly. But the boys seem to like you,” I say, then feel stupid for pointing out that I’ve been watching her.
    “There is that. But I’m not really interested.”
    I watch her eyes, find the gleam of honesty in them. Something like hope thrums in my chest. She wasn’t interested in the boys. Where does that leave me? Well, at least she talking to me. I imagine the summer sharing the sand with her, absorbing the sun into our skin, plunging into the cold lake water that leaves our skin cool and slippery.
    “By the way,” she holds her hand out to me, “my name is Celeste.”
    I can’t imagine a more perfect name for this girl, the golden girl that rules the sky.
    I take her hand in mine and give it a gentle squeeze. Her hand lingers in mine, her thumb strokes my wrist. I shiver at her touch and hope she doesn’t notice.
    “Hello Celeste. It’s nice to meet you. I’m Amy.”
    Her eyes twinkle in the sun, bright and coy, she cups my hand in both of hers, and suddenly this long dull summer at the beach seems rife with possibilities.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why You Should Copy Others by Joe Bunting

As well as 15 Habits of Great Writers, I've been practicing my writing with a group of people on Joe Bunting's blog The Write Practice. Today we learned about copying the style of other writers to enhance our own by actually copying text from authors we like.

I love this exercise. Firstly, I learned I need to cut my nails because I made so many typos. But that's beside the point. I wrote an excerpt from Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver. Maggie has a beautifully simple and poetic voice. I noticed in her dialogue she uses basic text like, she said, he asked...instead of something more elaborate like, she sighed or he groaned. I think I do that a lot in my writing and I've heard AEs don't really care for that too much. Any thoughts?

Another participant suggested using sentences from other authors and rewriting them in the same structure but with different words. Sounds interesting. Good practice.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 7 of 15 Habits of Great Writers - Start UGLY

What a relief - This was so good to hear. When I started my novel it was anything but pretty. I scrawled notes on post-its and strips of receipt tape; had a notebook full of notes (because that's what notebooks are for...notes). When I thought I was done, I had a 68 page manuscript. Uh...that's not even a novella.

I vomited scattered scenes on the page and figured out the spongy connection stuff to encompass the cream filling...also known as spooge. (Hope that's not a nasty word on Urban Dictionary.)

Culling the craft - I went to conferences, read lots of books, researched and learned as much as I could about writing, grammar, sentence structure; and then the perfect pitch, query letter and synopsis. (Most of which I had no clue what they were previously.)

Eventually, my 68 pages turned into almost 97k words. I spit and polished it a zillion times.

Not alone in the world - It's so nice to know that I'm not the only writer out here who makes a big mess to begin with, then makes it all pretty later. I just thought I was weird.

But, hey! That's nothing new!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day 6 of 15 Habits of Great Writers is to steal.

I kinda prefer borrow. But the gist is to borrow a quote from someone who inspires you and use it as a jumping off point for your own writing. My friend, Bryan Davis, who has written several YA Christian SF/Fan novels, used a statement in one of his books (Eternity’s Edge) that inspired me to meld his thought with my writing. Though I don’t believe he ever intended it to be this dark, it does work well with what my ideas were.

My protagonist, Emari, battles with depression after the circumstances of life leave her desolate and broken.

    I knew to take care not to stir darkened pools when you know neither the depth of the water nor the creatures that lurk beneath the surface. The violent thrashing of my thoughts could churn up the murky, caustic silt from the pits of my soul and call to the monsters that lay hidden in the miasma within me. Lurid desires to purge the blackness of grief from my own veins throbbed in my marrow. A simple cut could decant the grief that settled within me like arsenic in the depths of the sea.
    Like a shark in the surf, my night terrors stalked me; the subtle bump of a predator testing what it may devour. Nightmares that eked into my wakefulness left me cringing and immobile; living in fear of the jaws ripping me asunder and dragging my soul back to the blackest living grave.
    But for one thing, I’d have succumbed to the seduction of death. One thing that tethered me to the light and life. The raven’s wing glow of the eyes of a stranger. Eyes that beheld me as something more than the chimera that haunted me. Eyes that held the key to salvation: hope.

Original quote by author Bryan Davis in Eternity’s Edge - Take care not to stir darkened pools when you know neither the depth of the water nor the creatures that lurk beneath the surface.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

OK, so I'm a day late and a dollar short. I had a busy day yesterday, what can I say. But I'm still plugging along, determined to do this challenge.

So, Jeff's message today (technically, yesterday) was about having faith in yourself. He actually quoted a bible scripture. It reminded me of another. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen." Sometimes, believing in ourselves is like believing in God. We see things and experience things that make us doubt in the existence of God, but deep down inside ourselves, we still believe, even if we don't understand. It's the same with believing in ourselves. We may get rejections from agents we've queried, or someone we love doesn't believe in us as writers, but we still know with that deep, undeniable faith that we are writers.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Day 1 of 15 Habits of Great Writers is to make a declaration. I AM A WRITER. I always have been, as long as I can remember. I was always coming up with little poems for Mother's and Father's day, birthdays, just because days. I wrote short stories for school journals, and a little blurb thing on the funny page of the Chronicle. But mostly, I just wrote because I loved the feel of putting words together in a beautiful way, the feel of saying something poetic and profound that I knew my shy lips would never utter, but my pen could.

But I let someone discourage me. Someone I thought very highly of, and I spent many years doing nothing with my art. But I AM A WRITER, and the need to write was so innate within me. Even during these years I worked on Sunday School curriculum, but other than that I resigned myself to be a 'reader' not a writer.

As I confessed before, in Confessions of a Closet Vampire, I read the Twilight series. When I was done, I said, "I can do that." So I did. I created my immortals, my characters, my world. My author/friend, Bryan Davis suggested I get connected to the literary community by attending a writer's conference. So I did that too. Now, I'm going to my third conference. I've learned so much from them and the various outlets online and from books. I'm working my way through an agent query list, and between conferences and slush piles I've garnered four partial and one full manuscript requests. (So far no offers, but I remain hopeful.)

So now, I'm making my declaration...I AM A the community at large. Because people in general are who intimidate me. And it doesn't matter what those people think, or if I ever really get doesn't change the inherit fact...I AM A WRITER!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Learning To Follow

This is one of the writing blogs/writing communities I've been getting involved with.
Jeff Goins, Writer..."15 Habits of Great Writers"
Sounds fun!15 Habits of Great Writers

<a href=""  target="_blank"><img src=""/></a>

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Hate History!

I Hate History
    Okay. So it’s no big secret--I’m not a history buff. That’s my husbands job. And he knows so much trivial irrelevant historical crap it isn’t even funny. But all of those facts and figures, dates and places are the bane of my existence, my arch nemesis. Besides, what does a writer need with historical fodder?! Ha! The laugh was on me. Who knew?
The Internet - We all want to sound like we have a clue what we’re talking about, even in our make believe worlds in our heads. In order to get into my character’s heads, I needed to research where they came from. Sabre is from the mid-1700’s, from England. So how did he get here? Well, he was a captured orphan brought to the U.S. on one of the slave ships. Once he got here, he needed a history of his own. The ships captain became very fond of Sabre and raised him as his own. And when Sabre was grown, I made him a militiaman in the Revolutionary War, and focused on one battle in particular, the Paoli Massacre. Nick is from the early 1900’s, and a little research online and at the local cemetery provided a great back story for him. And suddenly, history didn’t seem quite so boring any more.
    I discovered that to make my ‘dream weavers’ believable, I needed to research dreams, sleep stages and brain waves…and weird things like whether or not it is beneficial for a person to view the body of a deceased loved one…and (yes, I’m a bit morbid) embalming techniques from the early 20th century. Isn’t the internet awesome?!
Hell’s Belles Interviews - For those of you ‘out of the know’, Hell’s Belles is an all girl, ACDC tribute band that totally kicks ass. My friend, Heather (who Ivy is loosely based on) is friends with the former lead singer of the band, Jamie. So, after a show at the Knitting Factory here in Spokane, we went out for drinks with her. Such an awesome lady. I also contacted bassist, Mandy, who corresponded with me via email and helped me do email interviews with the other girls in the band. All of this info is used in Dream Weaver’s second book, Rock Star and one of the characters is named after Mandy’s son, Kylen--just cuz I thought it was a cool name.
Internet, Interviews, Info, oh my! - The internet has info on just about anything you can imagine…and some you really don’t want to. The library and your local book store have books on everything, too. And, sometimes, people ‘in the know’, like rock stars and cemetery receptionists, will make themselves available to answer any questions you might have. Whatever resource you choose, history can definitely plump up a flat character.

Special thanks to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network website for comprehensive information on the subject and statistics of rape in America.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

UGH! Editing
Murdering Children, good words we must crucify - So, you come up with a beautiful scene for your book, full of descriptive imagery and a new found word. It’s poetic, profound, perfect. But it’s fat. Irrelevant to the story arc or the character. It felt good to write it. Even better to reread it. But it’s still fat. So, as painful and excruciating as it is, you take your little rodent, highlight the passage and hit ‘delete.’ STOP! Sure it’s fat, but it’s pretty. Keep it. I have a document for each of my manuscripts called ‘excerpts’. I take those deleted passages and tuck them away--just in case. And even if I don’t use them, I still have the little jewels of my creation to glance upon.
It can be a painful thing. ‘Like murdering children.’ And I don’t suggest the band-aid approach. It may be over quicker, but you want to make sure you remove just enough so you don’t damage the surrounding words. Like a surgeon removing dead tissue. OK, gross, but you get the picture. After a painful rejection of a full manuscript submission, I followed the advice of the agent. In so doing, I cut the entire first two chapters of Dream Weaver, including a poignant and beautifully written nightmare scene. But I was able to move that particular scene to another location and still lose the fat. As well, I turned several ‘memory weaves’ into dialogue for Nick. And whaddaya know? It sure made Nick sound intelligent.
The Queen of Seems - At my first conference, there was a speaker named Elizabeth Lyon. I’d heard a web broadcast she had done before the conference, so I was vaguely familiar with her. She gave an excellent seminar on editing your work. And I really enjoyed learning what she calls ‘riff writing.’ After her seminar, I went to purchase her book, Manuscript Makeover, and got to meet her and get my book autographed. Her book has been a godsend. And she was kind enough to answer a few questions for me via email.
In her book, she talks about using the word ‘seems’--as well as others. So, I did a word search and discovered I was the queen of seems. I had no idea how much power that one word robbed from my story. I also went through my manuscript and looked for redundancies, and again thanks to, I was able to replace boring, overused words with more colorful, descriptive words.
There are a lot of great books out there on editing and I highly recommend Ms. Lyon’s books ‘Manuscript Makeover’, and ‘The Sell Your Novel Tool Kit.’ As well, a friend gave me a copy of an English composition textbook called ‘Writing with a Purpose’ that has been helpful. There are LOTS of sites on the internet to help with grammar and punctuation questions, and just about anything else literary. And, Stephen King actually has a book out now on writing…I bet it’s not too scary…except the part about murdering children.
AS A SIDE NOTE - I just happened across an author named Sarah Darer Littman when I googled ‘confessions of a closet vampire’ on a whim. Ms. Littman was also kind enough to respond to my emails, so I checked out her website. She has some really great tips for writers. Thanks Sarah!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Greek and other languages - Naming characters and worlds can be a thrill or a headache. Agents and editors don’t necessarily care for complicated, hard to pronounce names with all kinds of wonky characters in them. In Dream Weaver, there are two kinds of Weavers; the Onar Caphar (the good guys, also called Dream Weavers) and the Rephaim (the baddies, also called Nightmare Wraith). Once I decided on what type of immortal I wanted to create I went to my Strong’s Concordance of the Bible and found the Greek words that translated as closely as possible to Dream Weaver. I also used a notated Bible that shared the information about the Greek word for giants, Rephaim, to come up with a name for Wraith. In the second book, Rock Star I used the language translator on to find out the name of my protagonist’s band; Cuimhnigh which means ‘remember’ in Irish.
The Cemetery - Several character names came from headstones at a local cemetery. I would wander the older sections of graveyard and jot down first and last names from the headstones that caught my attention. Nickolas Benedetti is a combination of two headstones. His wife, Felicia Morrow, is the product of many years of morbid curiosity and a nearly paranormal drawing to one head stone in particular, along with research in the cemetery office. I also discovered some of Nick’s story in this research. At the risk of sounding arrogant, in the hopes that my novels will be a big hit, I changed some of the info on these characters so they couldn’t be too easily found. “Felicia” and I have been buds for most of my life, despite that she’s been dead for nearly a 100 years.
Plain Ole Imagination - My oldest daughter’s name is Aundraic. Not sure how I came up with it and it’s been the bane of her existence all her life. She goes by Leo now…long story. But the name is very unique. With my protagonist, Emari, I was just messing around with names for her and there it was. Only later did I realize that Emari is my own middle name rearranged. Totally unintentional. When I named her puppy, Eddyson, I was thinking of a variation for Edison, as in Thomas Edison. Again, only later did I discover I had named the dog as a combination of my daughter’s beloved pup, Eddy, and my own beagle, Dyson. Oops. Still cool though.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Off the Blocks: Getting Started
Confessions of a Closet Vampire…OK, I’ll confess straight off, I was inspired to write by Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. I’ve always been a bit on the dark side and totally into vampires since Jr. High. I even researched Vlad Tepes the 15th century warlord whose name was used for the most renowned vampire of all time, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. All this aside, after reading the Twilight series I was inspired to create an immortal of my own and place him in the world as we know it. My manuscript (hereafter MS) began on scraps of paper and receipt tape as pondered this story. I began to write and ended up with a 67 page MS. Boring. Going no where. So, I began to research and learn, conduct interviews and now after 3 years and more edits than I care to remember, I have a 97K word 179 page manuscript that’s one final edit away from submissions to agents.
Just Do It…A friend at work told me he thought about writing, even had some ideas in a notebook. Every time we talked, I used the old Nike slogan: Just Do It! All of the talk, all of the thinking about will never get you anywhere. Just Do It! It doesn’t matter if it sucks. You can make it better. Learn, research, rewrite and know that even when it gets into the hands of an agent or editor, more than likely, you’ll have to do it again. But it can’t get that far unless you start.
    Know your reasons for writing. Is it because you love to write? Or because you want the next Twilight Saga with all the movies and hype? Realistically, the majority of us will never land a movie contract. We could, but not likely. And even a greater number of us will never get published unless we do it ourselves. So you have to know deep inside yourself why you write. Dreaming is great. My motto is Dare to Dream, but even in my dreaming I must remember, I write because it’s an innate part of me. It is an outlet to those dreams even if no one else ever reads a word.
Writing Styles: Story Boards or Vomit…To be honest, I don’t know a lot about story boards. I’m more of a puke it all out on the computer and sort it out from there. I did something I call a ‘skeleton’ in which I documented the action in each chapter. Then, I used that ‘skeleton’ to graph the action of my story. Agents and editors like to see a story arc, so this helped me to see if my story had an arc. With my second novel, I wrote out a summary of the story beforehand. This short summary can also serve as your synopsis when you start pitching, and querying agents.

Check out this week's book pick under 'Su's Book Picks' and quotation of the week under 'Su's Quotables.'

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Greetings family and friends

Welcome to my brand new blog. I will be posting about my experiences and what I've learned as a tyro writer. Most people don't take 3 years on one novel, but hey, I was kinda starting from scratch. It has truly been a learning journey from the writing itself (the best education a writer can have), to conference trips and researching on the web.
As well, I'm planning on giving helpful websites and books, Su's weekly book picks, and quotations of the week.
To top it off, I will be adding DREAM WEAVER quotes (because sometimes 'Sabre's an ass') and excerpts for a sneak peak at the manuscript.
Thanks for reading. Have a great day! Su