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Archive for December, 2014

I read a lot. And I read in a lot of genres. But I’m going to talk about romance specifically. Part of this applies to all genres, but some of it is specific to romance.

get-me-you_1I read quite a bit of romance, and I’ve read books I loved, books I disliked, and books that fell somewhere in between. The books I’ve noticed that fall flat for me and don’t entertain me like they should have something in common. There’s little or no real conflict. There’s nothing to make your heart hurt. Nothing to bring tears to your eyes or make you want to strangle one or more of the characters. Take Kait Nolan’s newest release, To Get Me To You. I wanted to slap both the hero and the shero for being so stupid. Why were they both being so stubborn? Couldn’t they just get together and talk about it? This book made me FEEL. It made me feel invested in the characters. I wanted things to work out, and I was frustrated that they didn’t seem to be. Kait did her job as an author. She made me care. And that’s done partly with conflict. With romance, you know you’re eventually going to get a happy ending. But while you’re reading, there’s always that little niggling doubt. That doubt makes it interesting. You know a romance author is going to make things work out in the end. Right? *bites fingernails and hopes*

Now there’s external conflict and internal conflict. External conflict is when outside forces hinder the characters from getting what they want or need. Internal conflict is when something inside the characters is hindering them. In my opinion, internal conflict is much more powerful. But external conflict can be heartbreaking, too, depending on what it is. Kait’s book had external conflict, too. You need to read it so you’ll know what it is. 🙂
Vampires' Curse
My Vampires’ Curse trilogy had both kinds of conflict. Libby loved Adam, but she couldn’t get past the fact that, as a vampire, he needed to feed either from her or from a blood donor. She didn’t want to share him, but she didn’t want to feed him. This continued through three novellas until it was resolved. It led to a lot of tension. Then there were external conflicts involving lots of bad guys.

What spurred this whole thing was a conversation I had with someone about lack of conflict in books. I started thinking about it. So if you’re a new author, think about what you can do to cause conflict between your main characters. You know, sometimes, this can be a lot of fun. Torture those characters! 🙂

Here’s where you can buy the two books mentioned in the post. *shameless promotion*

To Get Me to You

Vampires’ Curse

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I didn’t get as much done this round as I would have liked. I did have a few proofreading jobs, and I did meet those deadlines. It’s funny how I can meet deadlines for other people but not my own. I guess it’s this sense of responsibility I have toward others. Also, since the proofreading brings in more income than the writing, I have to focus on that first.

I do have about 18K words written on my mystery. But since I have a project going on with a fellow author (under a different pen name), I’m going to put the mystery aside and focus on the new project. I’m probably going to publish the mystery under the new pen name, too, just so that pen name will have a couple of different books. The problem with that is the Lauralynn pen name will go longer between published books. If I can get to the point where I can work on multiple projects, then that might not be a problem. I’m learning to work better. Since I figured out my productivity problems mostly had to do with not wanting to be in my office alone while my husband is in the living room, I’m trying to deal with that. Having a day job that takes up over 9 hours in my day is the biggest problem. But that’s a necessary evil.

I didn’t really mean to ramble on so much in this end of round post. I’m excited about the next round because I’ll be working on the new project during that time, so I should have some favorable updates. Since I’m working with another author, I have that sense of responsibility again. 🙂

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Random Questions

I’m going to do something kind of weird. John Holton got nominated for a Liebster Award for his blog and he kind of sent out a mass nomination to basically anyone reading his post. So I’m not going to do that part of it, but I really liked the questions he picked out for the nominees to answer. So I’m just going to answer the questions…totally for fun!

1. What browser do you use, and why? Chrome for personal stuff and Firefox for work. I really don’t like Internet Explorer. Chrome and Firefox rarely have issues.

2. If you had to live somewhere else, where would you move? Probably Panama City Beach, FL

3. Do you have any pets? What are they (species, breed, etc.)? I have two huge cats, one black and one grey tabby. I have a very old dog who’s white with random black and brown spots. I have an English Staffordshire Terrier (aka Pit Bull), about 2 1/2 years old, black and white.

4. If you’re a writer, what genre do you write? What would you like to write? I write paranormal romance and light horror. I’m breaking into mystery and sweet romance.

5. What sports do you enjoy, and what team(s) or athlete(s) do you like? When I do watch sports, it’s usually college football or major league baseball. Tennessee Vols is my favorite college football team, and the Atlanta Braves is my favorite baseball team.

6. What’s your second-favorite comfort food? SECOND favorite? Hmmm. Maybe a burger?

7. What do you think of this recent controversy over the movie The Interview? My husband got irritated at me the other day because he mentioned it, and I had no idea what he was talking about.

8. What’s your favorite holiday, and why? Christmas. All the decorations and holiday excitement. But mostly because that’s when the family gets together.

9. Do you have any crazy relatives? What makes them crazy? (By crazy, I don’t mean mentally unstable.) If you don’t mean mentally unstable, then I can’t answer that.

10. What’s your favorite software app? Big Fish Games

11. What would be your dream job? Author. I am one already, but unfortunately, I don’t make enough money to do it full time.

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the christmas card
What a crazy month! I fell so far behind on Christmas shopping, but I think I have everything except for the money and gift cards I plan on giving. I keep thinking I’m probably forgetting somebody, though!

I bought the movie “The Christmas Card” this year. It’s my favorite holiday movie, and Hallmark decided to put it on their movie channel instead of their regular channel, so I couldn’t get it. Amazon had it for a great price. This movie (and other great Christmas movies) were written by my friend, Joany Kane. She’s such a great person! And she write amazing movies.

I’m still working on proofreading, so I haven’t touched my own WIP. I’m okay with that, though. I should be done fairly soon, then I can get back to it in the next round.

I’m still excited about my secret project I’m doing with another author. 🙂

That’s all, folks!

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I don’t have anything to report on my own work right now. I’m working on stuff for proofreading clients right now, and they have to come first. However, I’m very okay with this because I know I’ll get back to my WIP when I can. I actually worked pretty much an eight hour day yesterday, which shows I could actually do proofreading AND writing for a living if I quit my day job. I often wondered if I could actually put in that many hours if I was working on my own, but I’ve proven I definitely can. Of course, my boss need not worry, because it takes a long time to build up a client list, so it won’t be enough for a full time job for years, I imagine.

There’s another project in the works with another author that I’m pretty excited about. I think it’s a secret right now, but there will be more about that at a later date. It will probably be under a different pen name.

I’ve finally gotten some of my Christmas shopping done. It’s times like this when I really love Amazon. I also have ideas for a couple more people, but that will entail actually going to a store. I dread that with all my being. I went just to get some basket wrap and ribbon for fruit baskets we’re doing at church Friday after work. The traffic was HORRIBLE. The actual craft stores were almost empty, but GETTING THERE was awful.

On a really good note…books sales are up a bit. 🙂 The UK doesn’t hate me anymore.

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cup

This is an extremely personal post, but I wanted to share with you this morning.

For several years, hubby and I would make a trip to Indiana to visit with my best friend and her husband for a week. This was always such a fun vacation. Just spending time with the person who really “got” me made me very happy. Before she got sick, she was an early riser, and I remember waking up with two dogs piling into the bed with hubby and me, and being handed a cup of coffee. My friend and I always drank from cups with little faces on them. There were four different colors (the cup in the picture is really a darker blue than it shows) and each one had a different expression.

My friend developed breast cancer several years ago, and she had surgery, chemo, and radiation. She beat the cancer, but her health was never good after that. She was tired all the time. The last couple of times I went to Indiana, all we did was sit and play computer games together. But we both loved doing it, and we were TOGETHER.

In 2011, she fell and broke her wrist, which wasn’t a HUGE deal. But shortly after that, she started having short spells of passing out. When she went to her doctor after a longer spell, she was immediately taken to the emergency room. It turned out she had blood clots in both lungs. I remember talking to her on the phone on a Friday evening. She told me they were going to move her to a bigger hospital. In the wee hours of Sunday morning, May 1, 2011, I got a call from her husband. She had passed away.

A while after her death, I was invited to go to Indiana with her mother and sister to go through her things. The three of us, along with her husband, went through everything, and it was kind of cathartic. It brought back fond memories, and we all found things we had given her. We all took the things we wanted, things to treasure and remember her by. I was so thrilled when her husband offered me the cups we had drunk from all those years. They were our special cups.

Anyway, that’s the story behind the cups, plus a lot of other rambling I felt the need to do. What brought this all on was that I decided to drink coffee out of the blue one this morning. As the coffee poured into the cup, a flood of tears came from my eyes. After 3 1/2 years, the grief is still raw. I have these little bouts of tears from time to time. And I let it happen. I rarely cry anymore, but I allow tears for this. I remember her kindness mixed with her sarcasm. I remember her corny sense of humor and her infectious laugh. I loved her fiercely.

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Fire Wizard Just a reminder about my recent release. *end of shameless plug*

I don’t know why I keep skipping out on my check-ins. Not to mention the fact that I’m not blogging at all aside from that. I think part of it is I used to have a better following and lots of comments, and now, not so much. So it makes me lose interest in doing it. See, I don’t blog just to get things out of my system. I blog to interact with other people. I’m not one to feel the need to keep a journal or write down my thoughts (unless it leads to fiction!). Yeah, I’m not the typical writer.

Anyway, I’ve been piddling around again, not getting much done. Using the excuse of being too busy. But I look back and see some things I could cut down on (but they’re FUN) so I can work more. I have two proofreading jobs right now, so I AM pretty busy. Anyway, I sat down last night and wrote almost 1000 words on my WIP. I’m trying to figure out how long the shero is going to hold out (she has reasons) before letting the hero back into her life. Plus, I need to get back to the murder mystery part of the story. It’s hard to balance the romance with the mystery. I’m also beginning to wonder if this is going to end up being a novella instead of a novel. I hope not. But I’m tired of trying to force a shorter work into a longer one. I generally write shorter stuff, and it’s mostly because that’s what I usually like to read. There are exceptions, of course. Anyway, I’m glad I started writing on my WIP again. I’m liking it again, so that helps.

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