Thursday, June 27, 2013
This book, aimed at children 7-10, is set in Montserrat and features the adventures of Mark, Kyle and the infamous Chee Chee. It starts off in St. Kitts, but quickly takes a turn from the ordinary when Mark and Kyle travel into the past to the island of Montserrat where, with Chee Chee's help, they must try to save the Carib people from being destroyed by a volcanic eruption.
Fury is the first book that I have written without actually having visited the place in which it is set. When I wrote Pirates at Port Royal, it was very important for me to see the Port Royal, Jamaica so that I could understand what the boys would have experienced when they arrived there in the present day. However, since the scenes in Fury that feature Montserrat are all set in the past, I felt that I could release the book without the visit.
Some of you may know, and some may have just googled and found out that Montserrat is a small island in the Caribbean which experienced a catastrophic volcanic eruption about 16 years ago. In this book, I wanted to capture the hopefulness and resilience that a strong people can find in themselves when faced with a disastrous event. It took me over a year to capture this and I am very happy with the end product.
Fury is available in paperback and kindle, so take a read and let me know what you think.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
As I embark on my summer vacation, I've asked my good friend, writer Doug Glener, to say something in my stead. He's written a bang-up adventure, so I hope you'll give it a shot.
I'll turn it over to Doug:
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
My gratitude for that citation was profound. I had always been a little--okay, a lot--impatient with writers who inadvertently break the rules of the language in their Internet scribblings (and, needless to say, in their books). Yet I had made this egregious spelling error on my own blog, not once, but twice. I was mortified, but thankful for the directness of the language cop. I admired her seeming inability to shrink from what some might consider a sensitive issue. I imagine that all writers are sensitive about errors in their work; I know I am, which is why, unlike my blog friend, I rarely point out glaring errors in the writing of authors I know--the exception being friends who ask me to edit their work and clients who pay me to do so.
Correcting minor errors in articles submitted by guests of Novel Spaces is something I do routinely. As a blog administrator, I also correct typos, incorrect formatting, and sometimes language errors in members' posts, not routinely, but now and then when I stumble across them. What I never do is send an e-mail to the author citing him or her for the mistakes.
I know, I know. I'm a craven coward who dreads causing offense or embarrassment. I've seen the reactions of writers across the web to having their errors pointed out, heard the screams of "Spelling police!" and "Grammar Nazi". I also have time constraints like everyone else; it's more efficient all around to just make a quick edit and move on. But I never do this without a little pang of remorse. The spelling-cop (who became a good friend) ensured that I'd never again embarrass myself on the world wide web or anywhere else by writing ad nauseum instead of ad nauseam.
What do you do? Do you point out language errors to writers as you find them in the knowledge that every word we write, even informally on the Internet, reflects on us professionally? Or do you just you move along knowing that we all err at times?
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Okay, maybe it’s not that bad, but I’m willing to bet there are at least a few of you reading this right now who loathe the very idea of writing a story outline. Show of hands: are you the deliberate, methodical sort who prefers to draft an outline, synopsis, or at least a scribbled list of bullet points before they set out to write a new story? Do you consider yourself more of a free spirit when it comes to your writing, daring to throw caution to the winds by slinging words and seeing what happens? There is no “right” or “wrong” approach, of course; just what’s “right” for the individual writer, and a lot of us even jump back and forth, depending on the situation.
Based on years of talking to new writers at conventions and book signings, the word “outline” apparently carries with it all sorts of soul-eating nightmares. I can certainly understand that to a point. The term conjures visions of Roman numerals and headings and indenting and upper-case letters and more headings and more indents....MOMMY! MAKE IT STOP!
:: Ahem. ::
As a writer of fiction for licensed properties, providing my editor and the licensor an outline for my proposed story is a necessary aspect of the job. Most work-for-hire projects of this sort begin life with an outline or, in this case, a synopsis laying out the plot’s broad strokes. My outlines/proposals for these types of projects usually run ten to fifteen pages, as that’s the maximum the licensor normally wants to see. The version I keep for myself often runs longer, and I insert bits of detail here and there for my own use. Then I augment that with a collage of Post-It notes, cocktail napkins and other scraps of paper along with texts and eMails I send myself as I begin working to transform my proposal into a full-blown story.
And not a Roman numeral in sight. Hey, it works for me.
Over the years, I’ve become so accustomed to writing a synopsis before starting a new story that it’s now an ingrained habit. While I’ve written my share of stories where I just start typing and let things work themselves out as I go, more often than not I at least jot down some high level plot points and maybe a twist or two, which serve as a rough roadmap for the tale I’m trying to tell.
Some people might think that having any sort of outline hampers their creativity or somehow locks them in to a particular story path, but the key at this stage of story development—for me, at least—is to keep things loose in the beginning. I tend not to dwell on too many details early on, preferring instead to let those things grow and evolve as I write, and if things change along the way, then so be it. Even when I have a vague notion of how a story will progress, I still love that kick I get when the characters and plot take off on their own and I’m just pounding keys as fast as my fingers will fly while trying to keep up. As Jack Sparrow might say, I treat my outlines as a guideline, rather than an actual rule.
All right, then, you who’ve been reading this: What are your thoughts on outlines? Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? Necessary evil, nuisance, or life saver?
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
If I'm the only one in this pickle, I'm going to be really embarrassed. I have a good reason for this, at least it sounds like a good excuse to me. I have not been reading very widely for a long time, as I am usually reading for research and this restricts me to a particular genre. Reading is always fun, but recently I always have a double agenda.
Charity begins at home, so I'm going to make a pledge to read at least one book by each of our bloggers let's say by the end of the year. I hope that those of you, bloggers and followers, who are in the same position as I am consider joining in this pledge.
Sign here .....
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Friday, June 7, 2013
Several years ago my husband in his enthusiasm to see West Indies cricket team play (and ultimately lose) went to a web site that contained a virus and crashed my computer. At that time, I didn’t have any backup system. Fortunately I had email. I often worked on my laptop, my work computer and my home computer and constantly emailed myself my files, especially my word documents. When the computer crashed, I was in the middle of a manuscript with a deadline and I was frantic. Then I remembered I had emailed an earlier version to myself. I had my backup—my email.
Of course I lost other files in the process and by the time my hard drive was restored the computer ran slowly as if it was bogged down by the after effects of the virus. It reminded me of a person who suffered a stroke: even when they recovered, the after effects lingered. So eventually I got a new laptop: a convertible tablet/laptop. And since I wasn’t going to trust my important files to chance, I had a backup in the clouds. Which was a good thing, because my husband again in his quest to see West Indies play (and again lose) went to another live streaming cricket website and once more crashed my computer.
I had my files saved in the clouds, but only up to 2 Gb. The problem: I exceeded the 2 Gb. Again I was frantic. But, I had email. I still email my manuscripts and other files that I’m working with to myself on a regular basis. This allows me to pull them up on my smart phone and read or edit while I’m away from home. I searched my email, and there were my latest manuscripts. Once again I was saved by email.
So while there are many backup plans: flash drives, external hard drives, the clouds, you name it, simply emailing yourself your files (that is those small enough to be emailed) can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. So whether or not I have an automatic backup system I will continue to use email as quasi backup system.
What about you, do you ever use email as a way of backing up your files?
Monday, June 3, 2013
Our publisher, Insatiable Press, is an newly formed imprint of AudioGO. Publishers are convinced that erotica sells better in electronic format, and especially in audio format, due to readers preferring to read the title on a device or listen to a narrator in private, as opposed to holding a printed book, especially if the sexy cover or title means those around them will know what they're reading - some see that as a violation of privacy.
I think as far as audio goes, to have a narrator with a sexy and natural voice read a story to you so you can relax and take it in, vs. turning the pages or scrolling through, makes for a much more enjoyable experience, though as a result of a very unofficial poll on my Facebook page, it seems there are still a great number of readers who prefer the printed book, no matter the genre.
So this is a good and exciting time for erotica authors, based on new technologies, and the popularity of, yes, Fifty Shades of Gray, but all in all, readers are looking for good stories, and erotica that isn't just about sex, but that is a page-turner with a plot and memorable characters. Excuse me if I do say so myself, but INSIGNIFICANT OTHERS is just that. (Shameless plug, sorry!) Carol Taylor and I agreed to focus on the theme of infidelity, which makes for great discussion. Erotic City: Miami surrounds the lives of a newly married couple who own a swingers club in Atlanta, and the drama that ensues in their newest location in Miami, and The Ex Chronicles: Plan B explores the erotic relationships of four best friends in New York, London and Amsterdam, and how they maneuver their careers, and love lives.
Our talented editor, Robert Podrasky says, "Carol and Pynk share an edgy, sexy sensibility in their books that readers love, and we are very excited to partner with them on this special project, which brings their complementary styles and enormous talent together for the first time.”
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Henry Miller. Enjoy!
Henry Miller's 11 Commandments
- Work on one thing at a time until finished.
- Start no more new books, add no more new material to ‘Black Spring.’ [Or, finish your WIP!]
- Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
- Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
- When you can’t create you can work.
- Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
- Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
- Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
- Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
- Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
- Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.