Category Archives: Writing

The Book is Out!

Yes, I have written the first two parts of a serial. Yes, they are on Amazon. Please check them out. My poor blog has suffered.

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I am trying to figure out how to combine all my online presences. More to come!

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Review of “Girl’s Weekend” by Cara Sue Achterberg

The book Girl’s Weekend, by Cara Sue Achterberg was recently recommended to me through an online book marketing group. It is an honest review in exchange for a free copy. This review also appears on GoodReads and Amazon

This book is a delight!

Three lifelong friends, Meg, Dani, and Charlotte, go away for beach weekend to clear their minds and take a break from the hustle and bustle of being moms and wives. Each of them seeks to find that missing piece of themselves. This book is a wonderful example of female-driven story telling. I could practically hear the sounds of the waves as I read the words.

None of them are fully unhappy in their lives necessarily, perhaps just a little bit unsettled, with the exception of Meg. She had gone through the worst experience of any parent when losing her toddler son two years prior. She has become consumed by her grief but is afraid to acknowledge it. In her attempt to block out the pain she has perhaps grown numb, to her life, to her marriage and most of all to herself. Dani is an artist who has lost her muse. Desperate to reconnect with her creative side she pals up with a local art dealer along the beach hoping to rekindle the passion she once felt. Charlotte feels as if her marriage has gone cold and seeks to find a way to invigorate her restless soul in the worst way possible.

Each of the characters are complex and nuanced. There were times when I disagreed heartily with their actions, just as I would with real life friends. Walking along the journey with each of these women as I read this book was like standing alongside them. Wine, laughter, headaches, heartaches. Things we all can relate to.

Not everything in this book is packaged with a perfect bow and a neat resolution, but that’s how life works sometimes. Achterberg captures with finesse the pressures placed upon women in the modern world. The way the characters express themselves reminds me of the fragility of relationships and the strength of the bonds of friendship. I recommend this book to anyone as a great summer read, but be ready for the twists and turns which only come when traversing the trails of the human heart.

My Interview with Veronica Rhine

The following post was originally published on May 5th, here at the blog of acclaimed fantasy and horror author A.M. Rycroft. Rycroft’s latest book “The Taming” is now available for pre-order on Kindle, with physical sales coming soon. The giveaway promotion for Veronica Rhine is no longer active, but follow her on Twitter for more promotions, @writerveronica. 

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An Interview With Paranormal Romance Author Veronica Rhine

Veronica Rhine is a prolific author of romance and paranormal romance titles. The Dream Walker Series is now available on Kindle and Amazon.

R.G. Westerman: Who is Veronica Rhine?

Veronica Rhine: I’ve been called complicated, but I don’t think that is necessarily true. I am a human animal trying to survive, just like everyone else. That is what I write about. Survival. I think that means different things to different people.

R.G: What does it mean to you?

V.: It means having all your needs met. One of my favorite devices to use in writing is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Once the basic needs are met, food, shelter, clothing, all of a sudden a whole new layer of needs appears. Comfort, happiness, enlightenment. I am sitting here craving a plate of bacon, because let’s face it. I’m always craving a plate of bacon, and I realize that if I were to get that bacon the next thing I would be aware of is the need to… I don’t know, find the meaning of life. It is as if we are never truly satisfied.

R.G: Tell us a little bit about your current series?

V.: It is good. I am allowed to say that about my own work, right? But it is that measure of satisfaction, I guess, that drives my characters. They all have the same desire to find the thing that makes them feel complete, if even for a moment. For Athena it is about escaping her dismal reality. The dreams she has makes her realize just how unhappy she is in her waking life.

R.G: Where did you get the idea for this series?

V.: From my mind of course! No really, I get asked that a lot. I am never sure how to answer that. I guess you could say I had a dream and when I woke up I asked the question.

R.G: What question is that?

V.: The same question all writers ask themselves when they begin a story. “What if…?”

R.G: Ah, yes. I know that question. So back to the Dream Walker series. Can you describe it in a nutshell?

V.: The main character is Athena Maze and she keeps having these dreams. This gorgeous man keeps visiting her and hot and steamy hijinks ensue. Of course this may or may not be real, and she may or may not be traveling between realms. It is loosely, (very loosely) based on Sleeping Beauty. I guess you could say “inspired by” more than based on.

R.G: Is there anything else in the works? What do readers have to look forward to?

V.: Funny you should ask. I’m toying with a Cinderella trilogy. Of course it would be just about as much like the fairy tale as this one is like Sleeping Beauty. I’m still knocking the idea around. I have a lot on my plate right now. But one thing I don’t have on my plate right now is bacon! I need to go and find some.

V.: I almost forgot to mention. The first book of the trilogy, Athena, is available for a free download on Amazon until May 5th (http://www.amazon.com/Athena-Book-Dream-Walker-Walkers-ebook/dp/B01EP4UP8I/). Everyone should flock to the site, literally right now and download a copy. It’s brilliant. You become a better human being by reading it.

R.G.: Duly noted. I’m going to get my copy right now.

Follow author Veronica Rhine on Twitter @writerveronica.

 

 

 

What have I been up to?

Quite a lot.

Though one would not know it by the state of my humble little blog. And so, dear reader, I will update you today, allowing you into the inner circle that is the three ring circus of my life.

Some time ago, over a year, I can’t recall the actual date, I said to my husband, “I want to make a living as a writer. I’m not talking about J.K. Rowling status, just putting words in a row and people giving me money for it. That’s how I want to make an income.”

And so it has come to pass. To make a little bit of extra cheese, I had already picked up a few gigs on elance.com. This site has since been bought out by Odesk and is experiencing some growing pains in the process. Before the switch, I played the numbers game and lined up the gigs I needed to make some decent pocket change, enough so that I could finally quit my day job.

I have read a thousand articles on how to “make a living as a writer”, and I’m starting to get the impression that many writers just use their time to write books on how to become a writer. I considered this. Really, I did. In all honesty, I felt as if it were cheating the system. “Ask me how to make money!!” Okay, how do I make money? “Buy this kit to find out!” *Buys kit* “Sell this kit to people to make money!!” That kind of thing. Cheating. I wanted to compose stories. So I became a ghostwriter.

This topic alone could comprise of many blog posts on its own. But truth be told, the very nature of ghostwriting includes not being able to talk about it. Not even a little bit. I’ve probably already said too much.

In other news, I completed the first draft of my current work-in-progress. To much joy and adulation, this is something I CAN talk about. I don’t want to give away too much plot of course, but it involves a teenage girl trying to survive in the zombie apocalypse. Here is a character teaser I created for it. promo poster

Pretty cool, huh?

In other news, I have created an official Facebook author’s page which can be seen here.

I built it for two reasons. One, it makes a huge difference to see one’s smiling face with the word “author” next to it inasmuch as having something to get one’s butt in gear. Knowing that the entire world wide web has access to it is a great motivator. Let me tell ya! Two, I plan on finishing this thing and I need an author’s page.

It did not make sense to me, but everything I have read says to build up your online presence BEFORE publishing. My initial thoughts were, how on earth can one create an author presence if one has not yet been published? But doing things “my way” has worked out so well, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge, following the advice of the many articles pointing me down the path to imminent success. (tic)

There is an old saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” This has turned out to be true on so many levels. Another resource I stumbled across in my effort to learn everything is the “Fiction Writing” group on Facebook. It is said that in order to succeed one must have a mentor. This group has become that for me in many ways. Everyone is very nearly as goofy as I am and the wealth of knowledge amassed there is invaluable. I can honestly say, I would not be anywhere close to where I am now if not for this group.

And yet, another opportunity arises as well. In addition to all of the above, an old friend of mine is part of the team beginning and independent publishing platform called Eurus. It does not have an online presence as of yet, but I am sensing great and promising things from this group of people.

So much for “just a quick blurb on my blog”. At least, this can be my little corner of the internet where I can rant about life, the universe, and everything as I see fit. Feel free to follow my author site on Facebook. Stay tuned for more to come.

Happy writing, everyone!

Goals For the Day

I’m sitting in my “quiet office” as I call the space I use away from my home, staring out the open door to the green of the trees, enjoying the still cool fall morning. I have a boat load of work to do. And so I post here for a dab of accountability.

Pro work: 7K

Zstory: 1K

Be outside: 1 hour.

I’ll check back later to see how I have done.

Cheers everyone!

Top Five Writer Things

I’ve decided to try more blogging. I enjoy it. It’s good practice. Plus it gives me a place to make a list of my current projects. This is just a status of what I’m currently working on and possibly what goals I have for each project. To start with there is…

1. The Novel: I finished this gem during NANOWRIMO if 2012, with the lofty goal of having it edited and ready to market in time to write the sequel during NANOWRIMO of 2013. Ha! Little did I know that editing a book is akin to staring into the deepest darkest pit of ones soul, reaching in and ripping out the bits that don’t seem to make sense. It’s like untangling spaghetti. But the good news is I’m about halfway through the editing process with a clear view of where to go with it. That brings us to….

2. The Novella: This one is a bit of a pulp piece. Though originally it was inspired by the events of a dream that I had, it has spiraled into something more like a quick story to get out on the market. This is the one I will probably pitch on Amazon, and maybe under a pseudonym… But in order to keep my story muscles working, I’ve also been writing…

3. The Short Stories: I’m compiling these and trying to get them organized for the purpose of shopping around to various publishers that are taking submissions for anthologies. Getting my name out, that sort of thing. Problem here is that the older stories from a long time ago seem to have been written by someone else… Someone with a marginal bit of talent that has not been honed quite as well as I would like. Hm. One of these stories is especially obvious in this respect, in that there is a chunk in the middle that I had added later. So the story is terrible, then becomes awesome, then returns to terrible. I need to go and rewrite some of it. But once they are all ready, then I will be attempting to submit them as I can, which brings me to…. 

4. The Spreadsheet: Have I mentioned that I like to build spreadsheets? They are like little organized magic charts. I love them SO MUCH!!! So I have built one in which I can keep track of various publishers, what their requirements are, and what the due dates are. Also, because of the magical nature of the spreadsheet, I can also make a column for what action I have take and whether or not I have heard back from that publisher. And so on. For the sake of having five things on this list, the next thing that deserves mentioning is…

5. The Blog: Hey, that’s this! What you are reading right now! How ’bout that. I recently read a great blog post about finishing things that made me continue to think on things as I have been in a certain direction. I have always approached the blog with a healthy amount of trepidation. That is I see so many other blogs that are so well written I find it a bit intimidating that my blog should be just regular stuff about my thoughts and ideas. Who wants to hear that stuff? Thing is, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I take the time and exercise the self discipline to utilize the BICHOK technique for the purpose of training myself to become a better writer. 

So that is what I shall do. I hope you enjoyed reading my top five writer things. Have a nice day!

“But Hey, At Least I’m Writing…” she said.

Okay, so all my great grand schemes of submitting articles to everyone and everywhere were perhaps a bit overreaching. That’s okay though because I have dragged out my old novel from NanoWrimo2012 and dusted that off. Editing seems to be it’s very own special kind of hell. Nobody actually wants to edit. People want to have already edited. If there was some magical way to instantly produce a literary classic first time around that’s what people would do. It’s what I would do anyhow. Heh.

I had written this book with the lofty goal of having it edited by the first of last year and spend the following ten months shopping it around to all the various publishers just in time for NanoWrimo2013. This being my first novel I had little knowledge of the inevitable brain-fry that happens after churning out 50K words in a thirty day time span. One thing led to another and here we are. Over a year later and I am JUST NOW pulling this thing out to look at it. See when I wrote it, It was great. Every evening I marveled at how brilliant the inspiration was pouring out of me, words dancing across the page like leaves on the wind…. Then I looked at it later and it had turned into utter shit.

Editing is about trust I think.

You have to trust yourself that what you had written was good and has the potential to be good. You also have to trust that what you are writing over and replacing is also just as good if not better. Inspiration, most of the time has nothing to do with actual work. The work of it still needs to be done.

Writing is brilliant. Creating something new out of absolutely nothing, being god of your very own world. What could be more intoxicating! But editing… is just so…. maybe writing is the party and editing is the hangover. Getting rid of all the ick that needs to go. Detoxifying. It’s necessary. Very, very necessary. But it just doesn’t feel good.

At least that seems to be my experience so far.