Articles for the Month of February 2014

Thanks to my Beta Readers

Read a book sitting under a blossom treeThanks to my beta readers who’ve finished Coulson’s Reckoning this past weekend. I’ll be going through the manuscript this week, and then sending it off to the editor. If all goes as planned, it will be ready for release by the first week in March. I would like to say by March 1, but one never knows what might come up between editing and formatting.

While all five books of the Coulson Series include a complete story, Coulson’s Reckoning weaves together the threads of the first four books, where family secrets are revealed – many secrets known by readers, but not the characters.

I suppose Coulson’s Reckoning can be read as a standalone book. However, I feel the reader will enjoy it more – and better understand it, if read after the first four.

A Kiss for you!

KissThis past year I’ve participated in two anthologies End of the Road, and the newest, The Kiss. While each is a collection of themed stories, contributing authors cross genres, meaning the kiss you encounter in the newest anthology might be of a romantic, mystic, sci-fi or horror in nature.

An anthology such as this is a good way to try out new authors and step out of your comfort zone by reading genres you don’t normally read. The Kiss includes a short story by best selling author, Colleen Hoover, as well as other bestselling authors and a few promising newcomers.

You can pick up The Kiss at most eBook vendors – for free!

One thing I’ve found amusing about a few of the lower reviews on the first anthology – some readers don’t understand what an anthology is, and they seem to be reading the book as if each story is supposed to be a chapter, and together all stories weave together one story. Ummm….no.

Find the Kiss at Amazon
Find the Kiss at Barnes and Noble
Find the Kiss at Smashwords

 

Writing a Blog Post with my iPad

image
I’ll be doing some traveling in the near future and would like to leave my laptop at home. I am writing this on my iPad, using the little iHome keyboard I picked up at KMart for under thirty bucks. This keyboard is larger than the iPad cover keyboards that I looked at – and cheaper. But honestly, this keyboard is pretty tiny for my clutzy fingers. I don’t know how I would use the cover keyboard. It would be as effective (or non-effective) as the screen keyboard. My mother has a larger wireless keyboard for her iPad, and I guess I will have to eventually get a larger one too, if I ever want to use my iPad for serious writing or blogging.

Of course, I could take my laptop, but that is just a pain when checking into a flight.

On another note, I’ve heard back from one Beta reader who is about finished reading Coulson’s Reckoning, and so far she likes it and sees no major changes needed. Woohoo!

Photo: Wondering about the photo? It’s my granddaughter. I wanted to add a picture to the post, and this one was on my iPad. You have to admit, she is a cutie.

Blog Hop – My Writing Process

McIntyrePortWhen Susan Haught asked me to participate in this author’s blog hop I said sure, why not? After all, I didn’t have to post my entry until February 10, 2014. If you will notice, it is February 12 today. I have a good excuse, really. I was finishing up Coulson’s Reckoning, which yesterday, I sent off to the beta readers.

So please excuse the hop delay. I’ve been asked to answer a series of question, and then direct you to several of my author friends, to see how they answer the same questions.

What am I working on?

Like I mentioned in the introduction, I just sent Coulson’s Reckoning off to my beta readers. It is the fifth (and possibly final) book in my Coulson Series. When I finish up Reckoning, I will be working on another book in the Sensual Romance Series, and then I’m starting a new series. So you can see, 2014 is going to be a busy year for me.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Currently I have two series, The Coulson Series and The Sensual Romance Series. The Sensual Romance Series is contemporary romance – easy reading, light romances with happy endings. These are not “clean” romances (I loathe that term) yet they are not erotica or especially racy. I am afraid the “Sensual” sometimes throws off readers who expect more heat. Yet, these book would not fit into the “clean” romance slot – as I don’t keep the bedroom doors shut. Of course, sometimes it happens on a dance floor, not the bedroom.

The Coulson Series is a little harder to nail down, genre wise. I wrote Coulson’s Lesson’s first (originally titled Lessons) which was clearly a contemporary romance. Then came Coulson’s Secret (originally The Senator’s Secret) which is mystery romance. Some mystery readers – those who don’t like romances – were offended by what they termed “graphic sex scenes” – yet to a romance reader, those scenes might seem tame.

I decided to go back in time, and wrote Coulson’s Wife followed by Coulson’s Crucible. Coulson’s Wife is more historical romance, yet not a traditional happy ever after ending. Coulson’s Crucible, which features many characters from Coulson’s Lessons (as children) is more drama.

How does the Coulson Series differ from others of its genre? – I think the question here, which genre does it best fit? It is a family saga which has a bit of everything.

Why do I write what I do?

Some readers prefer books where the characters set an example. They don’t want a hero who makes poor choices, uses bad language or engages in what they deem immoral behavior. I’m drawn to flawed characters – those who possess both good and bad traits. Yet, I try to end each story on a happy or upbeat note. That was a little difficult in Coulson’s Wife, yet I like to think its ending was more bittersweet than sad.

The books in my Sensual Romance Series are just light reading – predictable in that boy meets girl, and at the end of the story boy and girl end up together in a happy ever after conclusion. While my readers are pretty confident as to where we are going, my intent is to make the trip enjoyable.

How does my writing process work?

This is my fulltime job, so I typically start work in the morning and stop when my husband comes home at night. When I write, I must do it alone, without distractions – no television or music playing in the background. I wish I could write with music playing, like some of my writer friends, but I can’t.

I have to use a keyboard. Give me a pen and pad of paper and all you will get from me is notes – no manuscript. I’ve tried using Dragon to dictate a manuscript, but I just end up with blank air. I’ve recently started using the Index Card ap on my iPad for outlining my manuscripts, which I love. I don’t follow my outline exactly – because sometimes a story will take us in a direction we never imagined.

Before you Hop Off

susan
Visit my friend, Susan Haught.  She is the author of the newly released Shall We Dance?  included in the Halloween Anthology published by Dancing With Bear Publishing, Shall We Dance? is the heartwarming story of a young nurse who makes one elderly gentleman’s Halloween extra special.

 

 

 

Next week, stop by when

Suzie O’Connell, author of  author of Northstar Angels 

C. A. Newsome author of Cozy Mysteries with Bite

and newcomer Holli Marie Spaulding join the hop.  They should be making their posts next Monday…unless of course they are bad like me.

Welcome to Coulson

coulson signOf Coulson’s Wife, one reviewer wrote it was “a bit far fetched.” I thought about that observation, wondering what about the story he found unbelievable. I don’t think the human story of Mary Ellen and Randall was far fetched, especially for that moment in time.

I then wondered if the reviewer was referring to the fact Randal Coulson founds the town of Coulson. If that was the part he found difficult to believe, well, truth really is stranger than fiction.

Coulson and its founding were inspired by the true story of my home town, Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The fictional community of Clement Falls was inspired by the Hualapai Mountain near Kingman, about an hour from Havasu.

Coulson is approximately 15 years older than Lake Havasu, but they share a similar history. I suppose I could have really thrown an unbelievable element into the story – like have Randall Coulson buy the London Bridge, take it apart, drag it across the globe and reconstruct it Coulson. But, they already did that in Havasu.