Posts Tagged ‘paranormal romance’

From Keeper of His Soul

No, I don’t mean that I’m up to no good. LOL. Just what I’ve been doing.

I FINALLY finished Keeper of His Soul. I figured while I was on vacation, I would just bite the bullet and do it. I’ve been struggling with the last chapter or so because the ending I had in mind was kind of lame. It would have been a satisfying HEA, but it didn’t feel right. But the ending finally came to me, and it kind of threw me. I was like “do I really want to do this?” But I had to. Now for all you romance lovers out there, don’t worry. It has a HEA…sort of. It wasn’t all rainbows and roses, but it had to come with some pain. I don’t see how it could have ended differently. It just wasn’t possible. I’ll see what my beta readers think, but I can’t change it too much. The pain had to be there. The characters had already been through too much, and for it to end up as a perfect HEA wouldn’t have worked for me.

The next project will be under my other pen name. I have to make some hard decisions soon, and the biggest decision is whether or not to stop writing under Lauralynn Elliott. There’s a lot of competition in the paranormal romance genre, so it’s hard to get noticed. I have a few hard-core fans, but they can only buy so many books. My other pen name writes cozy mysteries, sweet romances, and soon, I hope, a historical romance. First, I have to finish the trilogy, then the historical. This all comes down to the business side of things. If I can’t make a decent living under Lauralynn, I HAVE to focus on the other pen name. Neither is selling well, but the other one sells a bit better, and I RARELY post anything on FB or do anything else to promote that name. Yet is still sells better than Lauralynn, although sales have picked up a tiny bit lately. But not enough. So, if Keeper of His Soul doesn’t do well, Lauralynn might die off for awhile. Not on social media because I would miss everyone. But as far as anything pertaining to writing.

So here’s the deal. When I release Keeper of His Soul, I need your help to spread the word. Word of Mouth is the best advertising. And, by the way, Soul of a Vampire, the book to which Keeper is a sequel, is in an anthology that’s FREE right now. Yep…free (except on Amazon, but not for lack of trying). So pop over to your favorite retailer and grab your free (or .99 on Amazon) copy of Paranormally Yours.

Amazon (It’s still .99 on Amazon since they still haven’t lowered it. Be sure to go there and click the link to report a lower price.) Update: It’s now free on Amazon!

Barnes & Noble


Or you can search it on your Apple device in iBooks!


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I see a lot of people talk about a lot of books. But I usually see people talk about the same kinds of books most of the time. Paranormal romance authors and readers talk about paranormal romance books. Same with Historical Romance, Horror, etc. So am I just weird? I’ve been chatting with my friend Rose Gordon, and Stephen King was mentioned (by me). That got me thinking, do other people read so many different genres like I do? Is this weird? I honestly get bored reading the same kinds of books over and over. I have to have variety. I read paranormal romance, historical romance (especially regency), a LITTLE contemporary romance, horror, mystery, suspense. I don’t read non-fiction, usually, except for the Bible. I don’t usually read erotica unless a friend writes it, and then sometimes I will. I don’t mind a little erotic romance, but that’s different from straight erotica. I actually like the build-up, the sexual tension, the growing love more than the sex. Then the sex actually means something. But I digress. I can’t tell you exactly what my favorite genre is. Most of the books I’ve written have been paranormal romance. I have one that’s a fantasy romance (it has wizards, elves, fairies, etc.). I wrote one horror book (The Gnome), and the book I’m writing now is either going to be horror or suspense. I’ll have to see what category my beta readers think it needs to go in. I would like to do a cozy mystery at some point. Because if I read so many different genres, why wouldn’t I want to write them? Why not get out of my comfort zone and try new things?

Here’s my question to you. Do you read in multiple genres or stick to the same one (or one similar)? If you’re a writer, do you write in multiple genres (or want to eventually)? If you have a favorite author who has written something outside their normal genre, will you read it just because it was written by them? I want to know!

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In my last blog post, I stated my three main goals for this week. They were:

1) Write at least three hours this week
2) Do at least 15 minutes of housework per day using the FlyLady challenges
3) Get back to my healthy eating habits. (I’ve been doing great on exercise, but my old eating habits are sliding back into my life.)

I was a miserable failure at 2 and 3. No housework to speak of. I’m still struggling with the eating habits. Not TERRIBLE, but not that good, either.

Let’s talk about that first goal. Honestly, I can’t say I succeeded or failed since the week isn’t over. However, I’ve been reading all of Susan Bischoff’s notes on plotting (using the term “notes” is putting it mildly) and figuring out how to apply them to my current WIP. So I HAVE been working on writing stuff, but not actually writing. I’m planning on doing the actual writing on Thursday and Friday, when I’ve got some things sorted out. I usually write more on Saturdays, but since hubby and I are doing our anniversary trip on the weekend, I’m going to try to get my three hours of writing in on those two days.

More writing news. I’ve been tossing around a paranormal romance idea (no vampires or ghosts this time!) for awhile, and I think I’m going to start doing a little plotting with that. I want to see how I do with Susan’s method on something I’m just starting rather than something I’m halfway through. I’m excited about this idea because, like Soul of a Vampire, the title came in my mind before the story. And the cover for this one can be awesome considering the subject matter. Curious yet? 😉

So, how are the rest of you doing so far this week?

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I had a couple of topics I wanted to discuss and couldn’t decide which one to write about today. So I decided to combine them. I apologize in advance for the long post. If you want to read it, maybe you can break it up into two days or something. LOL.

First, should authors review? You do realize, I’m sure, that there’s no right or wrong answer to that. It’s your choice. However, I’m wondering if it even matters anymore since a couple of authors told me that Amazon is taking down reviews from authors. That doesn’t even make sense because authors are readers, too, but it might be because there are so many authors that give bad reviews to the “competition”. Yeah, it happens. I used to review a lot, but to be honest, I did it partly out of obligation. Yes, I loved the books, but if I knew the author, then there’s the chance people think you are just a friend trying to promote a friend’s book. And that can sometimes hurt more than help. Then there’s the situation where you want to review a friend’s book and you really don’t like it. What do you do then? I’ve pretty much stopped reviewing books by authors who are pretty well established and have lots of reviews already. And I might review a book if it has several bad reviews and I thought it was a really good book. I hate to see a book I really like get bad reviews. It’s really getting to the point, though, that trying to review is bogging me down. I read a LOT of books, and I just don’t have time to review every one of them. On Goodreads, you can at least just pop over and give a book some stars, so sometimes I’ll do that even if I don’t review on Amazon. I’m not saying I’m going to stop reviewing altogether, but I’m not going to do it much on retail sites. So I’m thinking I might start doing some reviewing on my blog. I want to write more on my blog anyway, so that might be a good way to have an extra post here and there. I could even do a post on “What I’m Reading” and just give a little comment about each book. I don’t know, I haven’t decided yet. We’ll see.

Next, I want to talk about how I’m burned out on Paranormal Romance. I never thought it would happen. When I wrote and published my first novel, it was a paranormal romance called A Rocky Path. It’s a ghost story. Then I did a couple of vampire books, a couple more ghost stories, more vampire/werewolf books. And I threw in a fantasy romance, Starfane, in the mix. The funny thing is, until I started writing PNR, it wasn’t what I was used to reading. I used to read horror, mystery, thriller, detective…but no PNR. Then when I started publishing that very thing, I really got into it. I was reading it like crazy. I have friends who write PNR, and I tried to read all of their books. I was like a sponge, soaking up the vampire love stories. The Black Dagger Brotherhood series blew me away. But, suddenly, things shifted. I started getting burned out on the BDB series, which I listened to as audiobooks. After I listened to the 8th (or 9th) Brotherhood book, I had to hear something different. I listened to a historical romance by Rose Gordon, which I enjoyed immensely. I’m currently listening to Micro by Michael Crichton (RIP). Next, I’m going to listen to Joe Hill’s (Stephen King’s son) latest book. Then MAYBE I can get back to the BDB. This burnout may be what’s affected my writing and making me change my current WIP. It was originally supposed to be a PNR, but it’s now apparently going to be horror. I like horror, but I never thought I would be able to write it. I was almost afraid to write The Gnome, but many people have told me they really like it. So I feel a little more confident about my WIP. For those friends of mine who write PNR, don’t worry…I know I won’t feel this way for too long. I WILL be reading your books. Just give me a little time. 🙂 But I also want to find some more indie authors who write other things, like horror, mysteries, etc. I do have some author friends who write in these genres, but I want more. I like to support indies, so I would rather read those authors when I can.

So I kind of feel like my post was rambling. I almost did this in kind of a stream of consciousness way, just writing what came out of my brain. If it makes no sense, please forgive me. I’ve had a rough few months. LOL

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I’ve been a fan of horror ever since my high school librarian first introduced me to Stephen King. She suggested I read “Carrie”, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Stephen King is the master. The KING. No one has ever been able to touch me quite like he has. He has a way of making you feel like you’re right there in the story and that you know all the characters intimately. King’s characters are his strongest point.

But then there’s the horror. The scary stuff, the stuff that gives you the chills. What is it that makes us want to read this? Why do we want to be scared? I’ve found, the older I get, the harder it is for me to watch scary movies, especially alone. But I LOVE reading the books. The horror fascinates me. I’m not as crazy about the slasher stuff, even though that’s sometimes part of it. It’s the supernatural, eerie, ghostly stuff I love. Or sometimes the horror isn’t supernatural, but the horror of the human psyche. There are some sick people in some of the horror books.

I’ve sometimes wondered if there was something wrong with me because I like horror. Is there something twisted in my mind? And what about the people who actually WRITE this stuff? They have to be kind of twisted, right? But, honestly, the horror writers I’ve met on the internet have been normal, well-adjusted husbands and dads or wives and mothers. Horror writers are usually just ordinary folks. So I may never know the WHY of it all. Maybe someone can give me some ideas of why we like horror.

That brings me to my writing. The first novel I ever wrote and published, A Rocky Path, was a ghost story/love story. I don’t know why I was compelled to write paranormal romance. My second novel, Starfane, was a fantasy romance with wizards, elves, etc. in a land the heroine stepped into from a mural. I then did three novellas, one ghost story and two vampire stories. But even in paranormal romance, there is an element of horror sometimes. My ghost story novella, See Me, was criticized by a fellow author because I had mixed humor and violence in the same story. See Me is kind of snarky, with some funny things that happen, but there is a pretty violent scene in it. I don’t see anything wrong with mixing humor and violence. Even in this story, I had a tiny bit of horror. Then along came The Gnome. It was my first attempt at an actual horror story. I wasn’t sure how I would do with the fight scenes, but one of my beta readers said I nailed it, so that was a relief. Two readers told me that the story creeped them out and one of them actually dreamed of a giggling gnome. Good. That means I did my job. The story stayed with them.

So, after saying all that, I’m wondering if I’m going to end up writing horror instead of paranormal romance. My last book, Soul of a Vampire, actually was paranormal romance, but there was a little element of horror, I think. And, now, my current WIP is looking like it’s going to be horror. This one, honestly, was supposed to be a paranormal romance about a ghost. Now the ghost is kind of secondary in the story, and there’s a truly horrible thing happening in the town. This story just took a different turn than I originally imagined. There is going to be a supernatural element to the horror. So I’m wondering if my whole genre is going to change. Or am I going to dabble in more than one genre? Am I really going to end up being a horror writer? Or are The Gnome and my current WIP just me veering off my normal path for awhile? And do I have to really know the answer right now? Or can I just enjoy the journey and see where everything goes? That’s part of the fun, right?

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I’ve been working on my current WIP since April. For the first three months, it was hit or miss in the writing department. Some weeks, I would do some writing, some weeks, not so much. It was a bad three months for writing. But since the beginning of this month, I’ve had some awesome word counts. Everything is flowing nicely, and I’m really loving this story. But will others love it as much as I do? This is a story that I’m hoping with take off on Amazon and B & N like Guardian Vampire did in Jan/Feb of 2011. It’s so frustrating to have something like that happen, and then it not ever happen again. I WANT it to happen again. 🙂

I had almost resigned myself to the fact that I’m more of a novella writer than a novel writer. Before I wrote The Gnome, I had three novels and six novellas published. And a short story. I was SURE The Gnome would be a novel. But when I finished, I didn’t quite have 40K words. You really can’t call something a novel unless it’s 50K, and I was almost 11K short. 😦 At that point, I was sure there would be no more novels for me. I was convinced I didn’t have any more novels in me. But along came my current WIP. I planned it as a novella, but I wasn’t even going to worry about how many words it would turn out to be. I was hoping it would at least be a LONG novella like The Gnome. Now here I am at almost 38K, and there are still more adventures to come. The main characters haven’t yet gone on a journey where there will be challenges and perils. In a little more than 12K, this will become a novel. I’ve been averaging 1K to over 2K in each writing sitting. So even if I only get 1K per day, I could conceivably finish this as a novel in 12-13 days. (Not necessarily consecutive.) This makes me happy. But that doesn’t mean I’ll stop at 50K. I’m just saying I COULD and still call it a novel. 🙂

Here’s a problem, though. This story has flowed so well lately. But when it comes to the challenges the main characters must face, I’m afraid things will come to a screeching halt. The challenges will have riddles involved (and danger), but what if I can’t think of any good riddles? What if my riddles are lame? Eek, this riddle thing is new to me! (I know this almost makes it sound like I’m writing a fantasy book, but no, it really is a paranormal romance. It’s just a little different.) Have any of you ever faced something like this? Have you had to write something that had to be SOLVED? Any advice?

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Many of you who follow my blog know that I struggled with the writing of The Gnome. My struggles were mainly about whether it was going to be good enough, and whether or not I could write decent action scenes. I had only written paranormal romance up to that point, but I love to read horror, so I wanted to give it a try. And the kind of “light” horror I wrote wasn’t that far from paranormal romance. There was some romance in The Gnome, but that wasn’t the focus. I feel like The Gnome ended up being one of my better books. I worried about the action, but one of my beta readers told me that’s the area where I “shone” in the book. So where do I go from here? Do I stick with paranormal romance, or should I write more horror? And then there’s the book my husband has an outline for that I need to write, and it seems to fall somewhere in between. Although, since I’m the one writing it, I might put romance in it whether he likes it or not. LOL

How many of you cross genres in your writing? How comfortable do you feel writing something out of your normal genre? I would love to know!

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I know a lot of you didn’t see Sunday’s post because I couldn’t get the linky tool to work for some reason. It was just being wonky, I guess. But I had said that I just stopped everything and decided I needed a break. I took about a week off from writing and all the other stuff I had been doing. Last night, I picked back up on the writing. My goal is a cumulative 500 words per day. Taking a week off put me almost at 3500 words behind. Yesterday, I sat down and cranked out about 1200 words. I was pretty pleased with that. If I can just write a little more than 500 each day, I’ll eventually get caught up. And I’m not going to stress about it. Hopefully, I’ll be back to visiting everyone’s blogs by the weekend. I might visit a few here and there until I build up my momentum again. But I think I’m back in the saddle again!

On another note, I have a strange idea. I know several of my fellow paranormal romance authors also write erotica under another pen name. I’m kind of thinking about going in another direction. I’m thinking of writing Christian romances under my REAL name. I have a lot of friends at church that like to read Christian romances, especially those by Karen Kingsbury. I just thought of an idea for a Christian romance and it keeps picking at my brain saying “Write Me!”. The thing is, I’ve never been able to write two stories at the same time, and I don’t want to fall behind on my paranormal romances. So I’m thinking I can write the Christian romance during my lunch hours at work. That way I can separate it from what I’m writing at home. I’m not going to tell anyone what I’m doing (except my mom and my cover artist) until one day I’ll have a shiny new romance book to share with my church sisters. What do y’all think? Am I crazy? And I’m determined that mine won’t be as sappy as Karen Kingsbury’s. Because hers make everyone cry. LOL

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the genre I write it, which is paranormal romance. I’ve written 2 novellas, one about a vampire and one about a ghost. I’ve written two novels, one about an elf and a wizard, and one about a ghost. I’m currently working on another novella about a vampire. And I do really like paranormal romance. But it’s not my first love. Since I discovered Stephen King in high school, I’ve been a fan of horror. That’s my favorite genre. Mysteries and paranormal romance compete for my second favorite.

So why didn’t I start out writing horror? Mostly because I had this love story about a ghost in my head. And it went from there. But I’ve been questioning myself a lot lately about whether or not I want to continue to write solely in this genre. I don’t want to abandon it altogether. But I want to spread my wings a little.

Another consideration. If I do pursue horror as a writing subject, should I write under a separate pen name? My gut feeling is yes. I don’t want to confuse readers when they’re used to me writing under a certain genre. And I’ve developed relationships with other authors in the paranormal romance genre. And another thing I’ve thought about. No matter how much we want to deny it, this is still a man’s world. It’s getting better, but we aren’t there yet. So would it be better to write under a pen name with just initials so no one would know my gender? Female horror writers aren’t very common and probably not very well accepted. Just some thoughts. What do you think?

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I love paranormal romance. I write paranormal romance. But I’ll never write about a zombie. Zombies absolutely creep me out, and I don’t even want to think about them. I was recently at a show where there were a lot of vendor booths and there was this stone (or ceramic, I don’t know) zombie that looked like it was coming out of the ground. Ew.

Ok, I’m going to get a little gross here, so you may not want to read on. Can you imagine writing a paranormal romance about a zombie? Just think about it. The female main character is kissing a male zombie. His tongue is in her mouth. He steps away…and his tongue is still in her mouth. Or she’s kissing him on the neck…and she has to spit stuff out. Hey, I told you it was gross! I warned you! I usually don’t say stuff like this, but my mind sometimes goes places it really shouldn’t go.

Now back to my real, normal world where I’m the nice, mild mannered author most people think I am.

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