A Highlighting Break: A Quick Writing Update

HighlighterAfter the madness of the blog tour over those ten days (you can see the posts and interviews I did on the page for Permanent Spring Showers), I needed to get away from the site. Yes, this site you are reading right now.

Yeah, I got a bunch of ideas for posts, that never seems to stop, I just began to wonder how I would feel if I was a follower here. And really it has been feeling relentless, one post after another about the new book. Now, if you found me via my fiction (which is awesome), you might be cool with the updates, but there are others that come here for my personal updates, my writing advice, my rants about entertainment and the like. Well, those readers might be feeling differently. And while I would love for everyone to buy my new book, the last thing I want is for this site to just be about my novels. (I did mention they are awesome, right?) So less about my writing. Deal?

So here’s a writing update!

Wait… That didn’t make sense. Okay, a new writing update! How about that?

Well, I’m busy working on a new novel. I’m in the midst of a second draft. I don’t want to say too much about it (Heck, I don’t even want to say the title here), until I have a copyright in my hand. I will say it is probably the closest I will get to a science-fiction work, which isn’t a science fiction work.  I can also say it is very different from anything else I have done. I really have a hard time finding something to compare it to (from my past works to other authors). And this book has made me cry in quite a few spots.

Crying in a good way, not like in a “Man, I suck.” kind of way. (I do have those moments just not with this book.)

I’m trying a new trick with this editing of the book. I just combined all of my chapter drafts into one giant document (we’re reaching over 420 pages now) and I plan to re-read it with a highlighter. I’m going to highlight the sentences, the moments, even the dialogue, I might not be happy with.

See, I envision this as a targeting editing approach. I’ve not done this before. Usually, I always take my books as a whole (well, except for A Jane Austen Daydream, but everything was different with that book), but this will focus me down just to sections I need to work on during this draft. This feels so efficient!

Okay, can I just say now using the word efficient is rare when it comes to my writing. I’m a scatter shot, all over the place. Let me give you an example, recently I cleaned the hard drive on my computer and found three unfinished screenplays and four unfinished novels. My books are born on the bodies of those that didn’t make it, kind of making me think of those war movies with the survivors crawling over the dead.

Where was I?

Oh, yes, I am writing. The new book is going great and it’s a lot of fun. There, that sounds like an ending. Almost… damn.

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A Writing Interview with Jacquie Biggar’s Blog (Book Tour Last Day)

QueenSo right now I feel like that moment in a song by Queen, where everyone is supposed to hold hands and sing together. It is the end of the online book tour! Six blogposts and four interviews later and here we are. It’s that moment. Cue the drums.

Next week life returns to normal, and you’ll see that on the blog. After a breather, I want to catch you up on what I’ve been doing with my writing the last five months, I have a few writing posts lined up, and I even want to say something about the new season of Game of Thrones, because… Well… who doesn’t? Seriously, it is all over the place.

Anyway… This last interview is with Jacquie Biggar and a lot of the questions are related to my own experiences as a writer. For example in this question I take on the controversial topic of publishing today and what is the best option:

Self-publishing may be the way of the future, but I still think the market is too congested to easily find a market that way (unless you are super lucky). Usually, I tell the writers I work with to think of it as a last resort, try some other safer routes first. The dream approach is still agents and bigger publishers, and I don’t think that is going to change in the next decade.

Personally, I have had a lot of luck with independent publishers. There is a lot of passion there and I think it is because each publisher is putting their own money behind your project. It’s that personal touch. If a writer can’t find that dream agent or publisher, I would recommend talking to indie presses before self-publishing. There is still a possibility for success via that route.

You can read the interview here.

Permanent Spring ShowersI’ll be putting up links to all of the articles I wrote and interviews on the page for Permanent Spring Showers. You can also find them by scrolling below.

This is also one of the last days to grab an eBook copy of the novel for only $1.99. You can find it on amazon for Kindle here and for the NOOK here. Now, I’m going to go lie down… I’m a little tired…

“Beautiful Illogical Messes” A Guest Post on Marlow Kelly (Book Tour Day 8)

Messy BrushesOnly a few days left on the blog tour. Today is the 8th day and another guest post. This one is on the creative writing process and the creation of my latest novel Permanent Spring Showers.

The guest post is entitled “Beautiful Illogical Messes.” Here is an excerpt from the beginning:

I wish this could all make sense.

It would be wonderful if the arts worked in the same side of the brain as logic and math. But it doesn’t, creativity lives with dreams. It resides in that wonderful land people visit when they want to “think outside the box.” And if you try to control that part of the brain with deadlines and rules, it turns off, creating that painful writer’s block.

The trick, I have found, is learning to go with it. It’s almost zen in a way, allowing the river to take you, as compared to fighting against the current. So when someone asks me where my ideas come from, I never know exactly how to start. When you are in a river, the last thing you are thinking about is how you got there, you are more curious about where you are going and when you will reach shore again.

You can read the rest of the guest post here.

This is my sixth guest post on the tour. The others covered a wide range of topics. You can check out posts on how it feels to write an anti-romance (here), eccentric characters (here), passion and sex in the book (here), the importance of springtime (here), and some advice for new writers (here). There were also two interviews (here and here).Permanent Spring Showers

Just for the tour, the eBook of Permanent Spring Showers is on sale! Just $1.99, it can’t get cheaper than that! So there is no better time to grab a copy.

You can find it on amazon for Kindle here and for the NOOK here.

A Q and A with Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews about my new book Permanent Spring Showers (Book Tour Day 7)

The MonkeesIt’s Day 7 of the book tour! Today is it is an interview with Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews. I really liked this interview. There were some great questions around the creation of the novel (inspiration, characters, etc.), but also some fun ones I could really get behind. Like, for example, do I prefer the Beatles or the Monkees. Here is my response:

The first concert I ever saw was The Monkees. That was during their big reunion tour in the 80s and my parents took me. It was a fun show, but Mike Nelson wasn’t there. I remember being disappointed by that. But The Beatles… Okay, they are one of my obsessions. A few years ago I had my brother (a professional photographer out in Los Angeles-http://www.adamemperorsouthardphotography.com/) create a family picture of my wife, kids and me as the Beatles based on the With The Beatles cover. I think you can see it on his site as an example of what he can do. That photo is one of my favorite things in my house. I got to be Lennon in that, which is awesome. Recently, my Playstation 3 died and I had to get a 4, the biggest disappointment for me is I wouldn’t be able to rock out with The Beatles Rockband anymore. That still makes me sad. I could do a mean “Dear Prudence.” Oh, and I saw Paul in concert twice. Man, he puts on a good show.

You can read the rest of this fun interview here.

This has been a really fun tour for me. This is my second interview (my first one was here). I have also written posts on numerous subjects related to the book. You can check out posts on how it feels to write an anti-romance (here), eccentric characters (here), passion and sex in the book (here), the importance of springtime (here), and some advice for new writers (here).Permanent Spring Showers

Just for the tour, the eBook of Permanent Spring Showers is on sale! Just $1.99, it can’t get cheaper than that! So there is no better time to grab a copy. You can find it on amazon for Kindle here and for the NOOK here.

“Creating an Anti-Romance” A Guest Post on Unabridged Andra (Book Tour Day 6)

Broken HeartHappy Memorial Day everyone!

Today, the book tour kicks into its second half. There is a chance this guest post might be a little controversial, especially for those with a love for my last novel A Jane Austen Daydream (and if you haven’t read it yet, why? It is wonderful). It’s called “Creating an Anti-Romance: The Fun of Betrayals and Sex in Permanent Spring Showers.”

Here is an excerpt from the beginning:

For over a year I was the Jane Austen guy.

Before Permanent Spring Showers, I wrote the novel A Jane Austen Daydream, a fun re-imagining of her life; turning it, in a way, into one of her own tales. The reaction to the novel was really great and it spread quickly through the different Austen circles. It was even reviewed by the Jane Austen Centre in Bath!

Yet, whenever I was interviewed about the book (as well as in the many reviews) my gender would always come up. I was definitely in a world not used to a guy intruding upon. I was like the dude who was invited by mistake to the bridal shower. Chick lit (which is a term I never liked), romance, historical romance, etc., my book appeared on each of the sites around the women’s fiction genres. I’m not complaining about the attention! Not at all! Like I said the reaction to the book was always awesome. It is just that I became in many eyes a romance writer, and that was it.

I’ve never been a fan of the idea of genres. I think when an author latches on to a genre it can limit them. And when I set out to write A Jane Austen Daydream, my goal was not to write a romance novel. I had a great idea and twist (I’m all about surprises in my stories), and that book had a doozy. That is why I wrote it, and in the end it worked.

But then what?

 You can read the rest of the guest post here.

This is the sixth entry in the tour and the fifth guest post. The others are about eccentric characters (here), passion (here), spring (here), and my advice to writers (here). I also gave an interview (here)

Permanent Spring Showers

Just for the tour, the eBook of Permanent Spring Showers is on sale! It is on sale for only $1.99. So there is no better time to grab a copy! Perfect for the long drives on this holiday! You can find it on amazon for Kindle here and for the NOOK here.

Relax and enjoy a good book. You earned it. 

“The Beauty of Eccentrics” A Guest Post on The Crafty Cauldron (Book Tour Day 5)

Hey, Harry is reading!Okay, if the website The Craft Cauldron is not somehow related to Harry Potter and the Leaky Cauldron, I’m going to be disappointed. Back during the heyday of Pottermania I was a regular visitor to The Leaky Cauldron for all my Harry Potter news. I was even a devout follower of Pottercast (totally miss that podcast)… Okay, where was I?

It’s day five of my book tour for my new novel Permanent Spring Showers! Today I am on The Crafty Cauldron (which may or may not be Potter-related). One of the things that I think really make my book standout is the characters. Yeah, I’m pretty proud of them. They are unpredictable, strange, and wonderful, .

This guest post is entitled, “The Beauty of Eccentrics: The Characters in Permanent Spring Showers“. Here is an excerpt from the beginning:

To begin with, I’ve been known to hear voices.

I blame old time radio shows for this. When I was a young teenager, I was strangely addicted to them. The repeats used to play on this AM station in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Who knows? I may have been the only person in the whole listening area sitting by the radio with a ready tape deck, but I collected as many as I could. Jack Benny, Sherlock Holmes, Charlie McCarthy (a ventriloquist on the radio? How does that work?), I soon had a collection of shows filling up three tape cases.

I admit this is not something I readily told my friends then (like all awkward teenagers I did want to seem cool), but listening to those shows were almost more than just entertainment for me. In many ways they were each little lessons on finding original voices.

When I finally began to dare to dream of being a novelist, I know this time snuck its way into my own writing style. See, dialogue is always key for me in creation (sometimes it will be the foundation for an outline at the start of the writing process); and my characters, much like the ones on the old shows, speak to me.

You can read the entire post here, as well as enter for the giveaway and check out an excerpt from the novel.

This is the fifth entry in the tour. Yesterday, I gave an interview (here). This is the fourth guest post. The others are about passion (here), spring (here), and my advice to writers (here). Permanent Spring Showers

Just for the tour, the eBook of Permanent Spring Showers is on sale! It is on sale for only $1.99. So there is no better time to grab a copy! You can find it on amazon for Kindle here and for the NOOK here.