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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Hilarity May or May Not Ensue

So, I think we've all realized by now that I'm not one of those people who is SUPER SERIOUS, ALL OF THE TIME about her writing. That's not to say I don't write serious stories, because I definitely do...I just frequently laugh at myself while doing so. To be honest, I often find people who always take things seriously (assuming it's not a life-or-death situation) to be exhausting, but hey, you do whatever you need to do to get through your days.

I won't make any comments as to whether or not I'm "funny," as I know how subjective humor is. Maybe I've made people laugh here a few times over the years, maybe I've just made them roll their eyes at my flippant attitude before they move on. For what it's worth, while I have my "fiction writing" voice, as we all do, my "writing about writing/blogging" voice here is pretty close to what real-life me is like. I've said before, while I'm sure I'm not everyone's cup of tea, I like to think I'm fun to be around in most situations. But again, who knows.

On to the writing about writing part! I've written in a whole lot of romantic sub-genres, but I don't know if I've ever set out to write a true "comedy." Some of my books/stories are intended to be lighthearted and maybe a little fluffy, and even in some of my darker stories, the occasional odd situation or snarky remark slips through. (That might be tied to my "real me" voice, but I digress.) And now that I'm thinking about genres, I'm starting to wonder—can you even write "just" a comedy without including some sort of sub-genre? (Romance, mystery, adventure, etc.) Like, is "contemporary comedy" a thing just like "contemporary romance" is? Clearly, I am not among the people getting paid to create categories on Amazon.

(I just took a tiny break from writing this blog post to take a look. Lots of romantic comedies out there. There was a "wilderness" comedy on the first page of Amazon hits, which I would file under "adventure." And Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine was also near the top, which I did enjoy, and parts were funny, but I don't know if that was the point of the story? Moving right along.)

Outside of my little website here, I have written stories explicitly intended to make people laugh, in the form of fanfic. I'd even venture to claim I was successful, in that my old Dragon Age and Mass Effect comedies were always my most popular fics, and they're still getting hits and comments and bookmarks and everything 7-8 years later. (UGH, I'M OLD.) Recently, I've been experiencing the same trends with my Fire Emblem: Three Houses fanfic. So, I know I *can* do it, but I'm also aware of the contextual differences between writing something humorous in an existing universe vs. starting from scratch with everything.

I'm still making great progress with my new project, Elemental Forces. I'm still not sure if we've established it can be a "comedy," but it's definitely on the more lighthearted end of the spectrum. I'm not attempting to land joke after joke after joke, but I made an effort to set the tone early on, and that tone (hopefully) is "this book will make you smile and feel good." As I mentioned in my last post, it's heroic fantasy and, of course, romance, since I consider myself a romance writer first and foremost. Since it's romance, there will be some emotional and poignant scenes in addition to the fun ones, because I'd argue you can't really have a romance without those, but THAT is another topic for another post.

In the meantime, I'll switch back to my Word document now, because I am still writing up a storm and it feels GOOD! (Might as well end on a "smile/feel good" moment!)

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Full Speed Ahead

 (requisite reminder that Blazing Justice is available on Kindle Unlimited now!)

Guys. Everyone. Y'all. Something crazy is happening.

I am writing and I am writing fast.

Well, fast for me, anyway. I know there are writers who crank out thousands of words a day and go back to edit them later, and I know there are writers who lovingly pore over each word as it caresses the page and have little editing to do at the end. Neither of those approaches is right or wrong. I personally tend to hover near the slower end of the spectrum, like it or not.

I've discussed before about how once I had kids, it was often difficult to 1) carve out time for writing and other hobbies, and then 2) actually be productive and not just zone out in a rare quiet moment. The kids are getting older (they started virtual kindergarten this week!), and while I wouldn't necessarily say things are getting easier, the new sets of challenges maybe aren't as physically draining all of the damn time. There are definitely days where once they're in bed, I just want to park myself on the couch and click around on the internet, but I often try to at least get something done.

So. The new project. I spent some time this summer writing Fire Emblem: Three Houses fanfic and marveled at how quickly I could pop out a short story. Maybe it was finally time for me to apply that to my own original writing?

I decided I wanted to stick to a similar genre in the hopes that the energy would carry over, so I started my new heroic fantasy* romance on August 30th. For the most part, I've been maintaining my pre-childrearing rate of at least 500 words a day, and I'm four chapters in. Since it's fantasy, I'm relying on some popular tropes (because everything uses tropes to some extent anyway and you will never convince me otherwise), but I'll be playing around with some of them at the same time. It's light and fluffy, but the characters have depth and heart. Most importantly, I'm having fun, and that's contributing to the words spilling out on the page. 


*Before getting started, I spent some time, of course, on TV Tropes reading about the differences between high fantasy, low fantasy, heroic fantasy, etc. This is definitely heroic fantasy. The dragons show up in the third sentence.


Will I be able to keep this up for the whole project? Perhaps. I'm bound to hit a slump eventually, or have to deal with a section that's just not working out quite right, and so on. But for now, I'm really satisfied with my writing output for the first time in a very long time.


New title tag in 3...2...1....

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Blazing Justice - Available Now!


It's release day! As promised, my little experiment with Choose Your Own Adventure-style romance is available on Kindle now. Free for Kindle Unlimited people, $2.99 otherwise, because formatting this thing was its own adventure. I'm working on setting up some promo events, so as always, watch this space. (Standard reminder about signing up for the mailing list.)

In the meantime, here's the blurb and excerpt. Happy reading!


One murder case, three sizzling endings….

In the suburbs of New York City, prosecutor Celeste McConnell is called to a crime scene in the middle of the night. The gruesome stabbing is the most brutal murder the quiet little town has seen in many years, and both the police and the District Attorney’s office are determined to arrest and convict the killer. Celeste is resolved to follow the proper procedures and seek justice for the victim, but as the case progresses, she wants to be sure the right person is held accountable for the crime.

Choose Celeste’s path in her quest for the truth and decide who she can trust the most. Whether she follows the lead of her suave, assertive boss at work, confides in the charming and sweet detective assigned to the case, or embarks on a thrilling adventure with the potentially dangerous murder suspect, each unique ending offers an unforgettable night of passion for Celeste and her chosen partner, as well as a conclusion to the murder case that brought them together.


Chaos erupted at six o’clock on the dot, when several things happened all at once. “This is getting ridiculous,” Lattimer said. The force with which he stood up sent his chair skidding backward into the wall. “I don’t know what else I can tell you, and I’d really like to go home now.”

My cell phone rang again. “Celeste? What is going on over there?” Hints of annoyance tempered Colin’s voice. “I expected to hear from you by now.”

As I filled him in on what had happened since arriving at the police station, two more officers entered the room. They spoke with Captain Redding, whose eyebrow shot up at whatever they told her, and she looked over at me. “Hold on one second,” I said into the phone.

“They came from the crime scene,” the captain told me. “And they found a bloody knife in a garbage can behind Nick Lattimer’s unit. We won’t know if it’s Sherri Strahan’s blood until the tests come back, but….”

“Right.” I turned my attention back to the phone. “I don’t know if you heard any of that, but what could possibly be the murder weapon just turned up near Lattimer’s apartment.”

“Hmm.” Colin sighed. “Between this discovery and the thing with his brother, it’s enough. I don’t want this guy disappearing on us.”

“Got it. I’ll see you in a couple hours.”

Lattimer paced back and forth behind the table. “You can’t just keep me here like this,” he said, moving toward the door. “I’m leaving.”

That was my cue. I entered the room; now it was my turn to block his path. For a fleeting moment, our gazes locked together. His gold-flecked eyes burned into me and my breath caught in my throat.

“Miss McConnell?” Delgado said, shattering the growing tension.

I looked away and swallowed. “Arrest him.”