Writing

Wai … what? You didn’t know Mondays are set aside for everything sexy and sensual? I mean, don’t you put on your sexy lingerie on Mondays to do the vacuuming and dusting? No? … you’ve been missing out. LOL!

Actually, I’m talking to you writers who swing by my blog. Today I’m over at Savvy Authors sharing my secrets of how to write a sensual love scene between your characters.

Whether it’s a sweet seduction or a rip-your-clothes-off-in-the-kitchen love scene there are certain elements that draw your readers closer to your characters and others that throw them out of the scene. I hope you’ll stop over and share your tricks and secrets of writing the perfect love scene.

I’m visual. My memories are in pictures, usually very detailed. I can tell you what someone was wearing at the family get-together last year.

So in my writing I have to “see” the scene before I can write about it. I don’t have to draw out the house plan, but it has to be in my head so I can visualize how characters move through their surroundings.

I enjoy the same thing when I’m reading. I don’t want the author to gloss over the details. (And I’m not talking about character description… which isn’t really that important to me… but that’s a subject for another blog.) Unfortunately purple prose are out these days. Most readers don’t enjoy reading one or two paragraphs of scene description. So writers are left adding strong adjectives to give clues to the surroundings without resorting to long descriptions.

I love adjectives. They’re a great part of the English language. But just as they can make writing stronger, they can also tear it apart. Look at this piece of writing.

His capable hand found her silken thigh and slid up to the soft curve of her hip. His powerful knee pushed between her smooth inner thighs, opening them wide. Willingly, she gave way to his powerful leg and heard him moan quietly as his thick fingers found the velvet softness between her trembling legs.

Oh, I had all I could do not to scream as I read the above paragraph. Where I got it doesn’t matter, but the point I’m trying to make does.

Obviously, this is a love scene. This is the point in the book where I should have been swept away into the moment and been right there with this couple. After all, I’d been waiting and hoping these two would stop being so blind to their own sexual attraction and actually do something about it.

And there’s my reward.

Only, the author threw me out of the scene. The overuse of adjectives stuck out more than the action. Instead of being swept away I became more annoyed with each word. *sigh*

What I learned (and continue to learn)… is go sparingly with the adjectives. Give enough to the reader to make them “feel” and “see” the action, but don’t kill them with unnecessary words.

Books flying against the wall just aren’t pretty.

The first mistake the author made is that the scene is in her point of view. She’s not going to think of her skin as smooth or silken. And when you use the word “heard” or “felt”, you’re separating the character from themselves and in turn, distancing the reader.  I also think if we could get a sense of the heroine’s emotion it would pull the reader deeper into the seduction. And what about other senses? How does he taste or smell? Most of these adjectives have to do with the sense of touch. What if the scene added a few other layers?

His capable hand found her silken thigh, and sliding up to the soft curve of her hip, trailing goose flesh in the heat of his touch. His powerful knee pushed between her smooth inner trembling thighs, opening them wide. She wanted this–wanted him. Her breath caught when he found the velvet softness brushed her most sensitive flesh. The scent of her arousal wrapped them in a sensual cocoon that seemed to drive his passion. He deepened the kiss, his tongue seeking and possessing, pushing away any coherent thought. When he pressed his thick fingers into her core, the moan of pleasure filling the air could have come from either of them.

The italicized words are mine. So what do you think? Did it read better with a few less adjectivesor am I all wet?

When you read do you find things like that jarring or have I become hypersensitive? Am I finding problems where none truly exist? I’d love to hear your opinion. Because you know me, I’m curious about stuff like this.

Writing. *sigh* I’m avoiding it like the plague this morning. I’m not sure why, just am. The laundry and bills seem to be shouting louder than my WIP and I’m having a grand time flitting around blogs and visiting with my friends. I turned to my own blog in hopes of channeling my energy into something at least semi-productive.

I know what’s slowing me down. I’m trying to come up with an idea for a western series … because I’m totally enamored with cowboys. But I know there are readers who are looking for the third book in the XTC Resorts series (and I do love Ethan). So I’m stuck. I’m not working on either one.

I’m like that. Sort of a one-book woman.

There are authors who have multiple projects going and thrive on the schizophrenic jumping around of plots and characters. That is so not me. Which may be why I get stalled. I know I’ve mentioned this on numerous occassions, but Ethan Jacobs is just being uncooperative. He’s dragging his feet, unwilling (or perhaps unable) to find his stride and let me unravel his story. He’s a great matchmaker, but doesn’t seem to want to find his own forever love. I’ve promised him all sorts of stuff including some very hot sex in the dungeon with a very sexy woman who’s never explored her submissive side if he’ll just help me write his story. Ah hem. But does he throw me a bone? Um…. no.

So we go ’round and ’round but don’t make any headway. Now I’ve put him on the spot. I keep dangling Jonathon (Maid for Master) and Derek’s (Invitation to Ecstasy) happy stories in front of him, hoping Ethan will be so jealous he’ll want to jump on the band wagon. I’m not above a little peer pressure.

But it doesn’t seem to be working. My CP says move on. Write a story that’s singing to me. I can’t.

Don’t ask me, I just can’t. It’s not that I don’t have partial projects sitting on my computer … I do. But I’ve given them all a fair go and finally had to abandon them for lack of research, character motivation, or (dare I say it) lack of sufficient plot. (That’s not the case with Ethan, he has all that in spades.)

I know some of you out there are shaking your head, wondering what the heck I’m rambling about this morning. But the writer friends of mine totally get this.

So it made me wonder. How many projects are too many to work on? Are you the incredible juggler keeping several things in the air all at once or the jockey sitting astride one horse, focused completely on finishing this single race? Do tell. Inquiring minds want to know.

Okay, for those of you tripping on this hoping the erotic romance writer is talking about some sexually fun topic … forget about it. Just get your minds out of the gutter. I’m just rambling today about writing. Because what I’m discovering about this writing gig is the longer I’m doing it, the harder it’s getting. (Seriously, quit giggling and get your mind out of the bedroom.)

Now stay with me here.

When I first started writing I could sit at the computer for hours typing pages and pages. I didn’t worry so much where the plot was taking me or how the characters were behaving … I just wrote. Blissfully. Stupidly. My stories meandered here and there until I reached an end. It was so easy. Then I got published. Not once, but several times.

Okay, now I had an editor and a series going and wait … there are readers out there looking for my next book. Yay! What a thrill. It is, it really is, but now when I sit down to write I have this niggling anti-muse looking over my shoulder saying things like “the reader’s going to see that twist, don’t bother” “oh, he would say that?” “that’s not a good plot it’s been overused” “they’re not going to like this as much as the last book” “they’re going to slaughter you on Goodreads for that”.

Yeah, you get the idea. The whole nasty negativity stealing away my creative juices. So here are a couple ways I’ve learned to combat it.

1. Turn the music up louder. That’s right drown out the negativity.
2. Keep typing, everything can be fixed in edits
3. Type without looking back. Don’t allow yourself to turn around and second guess the day’s writing.
4. Even if you’re a pantser, take 5 minutes before you write and jot down the important points of the scene/chapter you’re working on. You’ll be surprised how much that will increase your productivity.
5. And if all that fails … gag the bitch and tell her to shut the f%*&@# up!

Whew I feel better. I hope those tips help. As for me, it’s time to find that gag and write out a couple of scene points and finish up the book I’m working on. I know readers are waiting on this one.

Oh, and just so you have something to discuss … what’s for dinner? (I’m always looking for ideas.)

When I was in high school I was very active in drama. (I know … such a surprise right? LOL!) When I was on stage I got to become anyone. A fat Russian spy. A traveling dancer entertaining a MASH unit. A woman married to a murderer. I loved it!

Being an author is a lot like acting on stage. When I write a scene I crawl into the skin of that character. Burrow into their heads and think like them. And I really enjoy writing from the man’s point of view (POV). Many female authors I read are very good at creating flawed male characters who rise above their pain and backgrounds to save the world and fall in love.

And I started thinking about this. Why are women so good at this? I think it’s because we’ve spent so much of our lives studying the opposite sex. It starts at a young age with our dads. When I wanted something–to borrow the car or stay out past curfew–I knew when to ask my dad and when not to broach the subject. I also grew up with three brothers. There’s a lot you learn with three male siblings as they go about their days just doing guy things.

I realize not every writer grew up with their dad or male siblings. But it doesn’t matter your home life, every day we interact with others. From the playground to the classroom to the office, we connect with both sexes. And since most women are intuitive, we pick up on little nuances of behavior that most men don’t see or recognize. Writers simply learn how to extrapolate that information and turn it into a believable hero readers fall in love with.

Here are a few guidelines in writing a male POV:
Men aren’t complicated
– They don’t say one thing and mean another
– They don’t mask their thoughts
– They are what you see

Men are Visual
– They have better light detection and depth perception
– Conversations often stem from visual cues
– Sexual attraction starts with what he’s seeing

Men are Problem Solvers
– They are “doers” not “thinkers”
– They like being in charge (or think they are)
– They rarely admit being wrong (and it’s even more rare they apologize)
– They aren’t detail oriented. They prefer the big picture
– They rarely ask for opinions

Men are conservative in communication
– They speak around 7,000 words per day (Women are more around 20,000)
– Connect to the physical rather than the emotional
– Don’t use euphemisms
– They rarely listen without giving advice
– Don’t use adjectives
– Don’t enjoy small talk
– Rarely use agreeing noises (uh huh, oh yeah)

(Any major characteristics I missed?) So what about you? Do you think female writers create believable heroes who act like real men OR do they create men who act and talk the way a romance reader would want a man to act? What do you think? I’m always curious about stuff like that.

Have I ever mentioned how hard it is to write a book? I mean getting from Once upon a time to They rode off into the sunset is not only a difficult process … doing it well takes a lot of brain energy! (Well, for me anyway.)

There are all kinds of people who believe they have a book in them. Very few sit down to actually give it a try. A smaller number of those who try ever get to the end. A small portion of those that finish actually edit their story and send it out or publish it themselves. That’s an itty bitty bit of the population who actually have books available to readers.

And there are hundreds of thousands of readers out there looking for their next book to read. When they’re surfing Amazon or B&N do you think they care if it was published through a big NY publisher, a small press or if it was self-published? Okay, yeah so some of them do, but there’s a huge majority of readers with kindles and nooks and iPhones (and a whole bunch of devices I know nothing about) who are downloading books onto these devices and all they really want is to be entertained for a few hours.

And if the readers don’t care how the book they’re reading got to be published … why would another author?

I’ve only been in this publishing world for 7 years. In the grand scheme of things I’m just a toddler. I’ve never written a manuscript long hand. I’ve never typed my manuscript on a typewriter and piled the accumulated pages. I’ve never worried if the print on my computer was set so there was exactly 250 words a page (because a publisher wanted to know how many pages a book would be in the print version). I’ve never gotten my edits through the mail with red editing marks on my printed manuscript. My “call” came in the form of an email. I even signed my first contract electronically.

But even in the short time period since I began this journey, publishing has changed.

When I published my first full novel with a digital only publisher, many writers (and Romance Writers of America) felt I wasn’t really published. I can’t tell you how many people looked down their nose at me even as I cranked out eight books in two years. It took years for many people to realize e-books were here to stay. I think it began right about the day that Oprah announced on her television show that she’d discovered a Kindle. Oh, well if Oprah said …

Yeeeeah, I’ve already been through an “us vs them” attitude.

And you know what? It’s starting all over again. Only this time it’s “traditional” publishing (meaning NY authors who have chosen to sign a contract with an advance and a print book) throwing stones at the self-published (also called indie-published) faction. Oh, and don’t get me wrong, the name calling, hair pulling and clawing is going both ways. There are some big name authors who have blog posts claiming all self-published authors put out unedited drivel with no entertainment value. There are indie authors claiming all traditionally published authors are literary snobs.

Really? All?

Let’s face it, with so many people reading, everyone feels there is crap on both sides of the publishing aisle. And the fact is … what one person sees as crap another sends to the top seller list. (50 Shades? Twilight? Hunger Games? Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?) There are authors that are auto-buys for me, but a friend would never pick up.

This whole thing is really dividing the author community and I just want to scream WHY? On the one hand authors are some of the most giving people I know. There have been many who have helped me when I didn’t understand the publishing process. Many who critiqued and taught and took time to point me in the right direction. But they can also be some of the most stubborn, judgmental people I know.

Just this week I put out a long post about all the roads to publishing a book. Do I care how someone gets their book published? No. Do I feel they’re only valid if their agent got them a six figure advance? No. (Though I will be just a taaaad envious for a little while.) Do I care if an author’s success came from books they self-published? No.(Though again with a short pause to entertain my envy that they just bought a new BMW with their last royalties.)

I’m really sick of people pointing fingers and being angry and screaming that one way is more right than another and saying mean things about other authors. Really? What right does someone have to tell another author what’s right for their writing career. They don’t. And I’m not even sure why they would want to spend the time trying.

I’m a scientist in my soul and a teacher at heart. I research and I share. I don’t judge. I answer questions when asked and support when needed. I’m not interested in taking sides. And I’m getting really tired of people who do.

***NOTE I guess I’m not alone. Check out this post by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and this post by Dean Wesley Smith and an open letter by Anna Elliot. Guess LOTS of authors are tired of this finger pointing and name calling.

Seven years ago when I began this writing journey my vision of how a book would go from my imagination to a manuscript to the readers’ hands seemed like a pretty well-worn path. The whole author —-> agent —-> publisher direction was the only avenue I understood.

Enter digital books and small presses and publishers who read manuscripts without having them submitted by an agent. Suddenly the publishing world opened up and more authors were jumping up and down over signing their first contract. Many (including Romance Writers of America) were appalled by the lack of advances. They felt authors weren’t making good business decsions or worse yet, that they were treating their writing career as a “hobby”. But the truth is, with a higher royalty rate, authors (including me) were pleased with their contracts.

Then along came a respectable way to self-publish (called indie-publishing by some) and the world exploded for authors. There were authors talking about leaving their jobs to write full time and others talking about making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Not just the NYT and USA bestselling, big name authors, but authors new to the publishing world (EL James anyone?) and exploding onto the scene.

Now, before I go any further, I need to explain that I’m one of those people who wants to have all the information I can gather before making a decision. I received 4 contract offers on the first book I published. I actually went through their author lists and emailed to ask several questions about their publisher. From the author’s responses (or lack thereof) I was able to make an informed decsion and signed a contract that fit me. This blog post is really just me sharing some current information. I would not presume to make any judgments about other author’s choices for publication nor am I trying to steer people away from traditional publishing. I’m just throwing out some food for thought.

As far as traditional publishing, there may not be a better time to have your manuscript read. Recently, I’ve seen several publishers putting out calls for submissions. I suspect it may be due to the fact that slush piles aren’t quite as high with all the authors self-publishing. And if you choose that avenue, just go in with your eyes open. Not all traditional publishers are created equal. Ann Voss Peterson gives a great run down of her Harlequin vs self publishing experience. And Courtney Milan also gives a great accounting of her Harlequin and self-published book royalties and expenses. It’s easy enough to find out information about other publishers by simply asking around.

Maybe the disadvantages of traditional publishing outweigh the advantages for you. And you’re wondering .. Why wouldn’t I self publish? The answers are as individual and varied as authors. I’m not going to go into the pros and cons of traditional vs self-publishing. Kristine Kathryn Rusch has done a great job in THIS POST blogging about the differences between the two publishing options. (It’s really a wonderful post and totally worth reading if you have a manuscript and you’re sitting on the fence trying to decide what you want to do with it.)

So why did I choose to go the self-publishing route? For one, I had books whose rights reverted back to me after their contract expired at my first publisher. I didn’t think they fit at my other publisher and frankly, I didn’t have any solid reason not to try. As it turned out, self-publishing has been the financial boon I hadn’t quite achieved with my publishers. Yes, I’m still submitting and publishing traditionally, but I’m also choosing to spread my business across the self-publishing venue. With my last royalty statement from my publisher it’s become apparent that sales of my Tilling Passions Series has prompted sales of other books. Readers around the world are finding my books and that’s a very cool thing. But mostly it makes me happy because, for the first time in my career, my ledger is running in the black and I’m only 6 months into 2012!

I’m not shy in encouraging authors to give self-publishing a try. I know it made my knees quake before I actually ventured into the waters. But now that I’m there I’ve got to tell you, the swimming is easy and the water is refreshing. Am I saying I won’t pursue a NY contract? I’m not sure. Right now I don’t seem to have the patience to sit and write that novel that would fit the NY market. With everything going on in my life, my muse doesn’t seem to want to settle down. But with all the changes in publishing, I’m willing to stay flexible enough to take my career in the direction that works best for me.

What about you? Are you comfortable where you’re sitting right now? Are you looking to make changes or is status quo working for you? You know me, I’m curious about stuff like that.

 

I’ve been bouncing around the internet checking on writer blogs, publishing blogs and just general frivolity blogs. I’ve been reading posts on everything from the digital age writer to writer integrity to the pressures writers are feeling in this new age of publishing. *sigh* It’s so much to take in.

There is just so much to do. I like blogging. I like hanging out on twitter and facebook. Heck, I’ve even become enanmored with pinterest. But man, do they become a time suck. And you know, half the time when I’m visiting those sites I feel like I’m marketing even when I’m trying not to. I’ve lost the ability to just hang out, have a margarita and talk about nothing. Nothing. I don’t mean in real life, I mean on the internet.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve become one of those writers who walk into a social media room and no one makes virtual eye contact because even an innocuous conversation about soda consumption in the US evolves into eating sweets which of course I can segue right into a pitch about the kinky sex scene involving whipped cream and ginger root (yeah, google that one) in my newest release. Okay, no, I’m not that bad, but you get the idea.

It’s all so overwhelming. And oh yeah, I actually have readers (bless all three of you) clamoring for another new book which means I need to sit down and write. A scene. A chapter. A new story. But there’s so much to do! So many places to be and so much to do when I get there. (I won’t even tell you what fun I’ve been having with Amazon this week which has sapped all my energy–you’ll get that story next week when it’s resolved.)

I don’t like it. I want to sit down at the computer and not feel like I have ADD … Author Data Deluge

I had the pleasure of meeting a woman this week who has become a major player in the world of publishing. And you know how she did it? By not marketing. Not always trying to sell something. She did it just by being her sweet, quirky, effervescent self. Now big name authors, large review sites and heck yeah, television personalities are clamoring to meet her. (And small time authors want to be her.) In this case it wasn’t luck that skyrocketed her, but just a sincerity that showed through even the flat screen of the internet.

I think she’s got something there. It made me sit back and think. I just need to let the books out there percolate and move forward with something new. Stop worrying about selling and take time, focus on one of the stories sitting partially done and just write. Something. Anything. I’ve got to stop feeling so panicked about sales of already published books and find the joy of creating something new.

How about you? How goes it? How are you defining your success these days?

One of the things I love about being an author is the power I have to construct a setting, create a hero or twist a plot. And just a choice word here or there can make things dark and dangerous or sexy and passionate.

Let me use a scene from my erotic romance, Invitation to Ecstasy to show how I give a scene life and depth.

Sara had paddled the kayak for nearly thirty minutes to get to the private beach on the backside of the island. She wasn’t sure she really wanted to do this.

The above paragraph is adequate. But it doesn’t paint much of a picture. An author’s job is to put the reader in the scene. What’s the weather like? What kind of beach? Sandy? Rocky? And what the heck didn’t she want to do?

How about if I give the reader some of that information?

Sara pulled the red kayak up the sandy beach and out of the gentle wash of the surf. Though it was only a thirty-minute paddle around the backside of the island to the private lagoon, it had taken her well over an hour to get here.

Trepidation and fear had battled her determination to face her past. She’d turned back nearly as many times as she’d pushed forward. But stubbornness to finish what had begun had gotten her this far. And now that she was here, her bare feet shifting nervously in the warm sand, Sara wasn’t sure why she thought she could take this final step alone.

Ah, now we’re getting an idea of what’s going on. She’s forced herself here to face her past … and she’s doing it alone. Now what?

Sara could see the bungalow from where she stood. It was filled with some very bad memories that had taken her two years of therapy to get over. She only needed to go in and face the terrible things her late husband had done to her in that space and she could move forward with her life.

Oh, so we find out she’s come here to confront the horrible things her husband … who’s dead … did to her in the cabin. But the reader has no idea how this makes her feel. Is she afraid or happy to finally be making this journey down memory lane? And what did her husband do to her? Add those details and you have this …

The secluded bungalow, barely visible through the lush tropical foliage, had been both her paradise and her hell. It was the purgatory of memories that Sara had intended to purge when she’d left the main lodge. All she had to do was go in, slay the dragons causing her nightmares and close the book on one ugly-ass chapter of her life.

But two years. Two years of intense therapy. Two years simply putting one foot in front of the other. Two years battling to survive the ghost of her late husband had taken its toll.

The manacles Marc had put around her soul imprisoned her as completely as any physical bindings that had held her captive. If she could manage this one last task, this one last look at the ugliness Marc had made of their marriage, then she could banish him once and for all into the dark corner of her heart where life’s other hard lessons had left their scars.

Ah, now that tells the reader soooo much more. Using strong emotional words like trepidation, fear, stubborness, battling to survive certainly brings the reader into her frame of mind. Purgatory of memories and slaying dragons continue the feeling that this is not a happy place for her. Also, notice I used repetition to drive home “two years”. Repeating a word or phrase three times in that second paragraph makes a point with the readers. But use this writing device judiciously. Too many times and it will pull the reader from the story.

So now what?

But she wasn’t ready to go inside the bungalow. She wanted to go for a swim instead. Sara stripped naked, grabbed her snorkeling equipment from the kayak and jumped into the ocean. As she was swimming the cool water stroked her body turning the swim into an erotic experience.

That paragraph “tells” the reader everything they need to know, it doesn’t show the reader anything about Sara’s actions. But there’s nothing there to connect the reader to our heroine and make them care what’s happening. How about if I add some of those details?

But the little excursion down memory lane seemed impossible to face at the moment. She needed to work off a little nervous energy before braving the bungalow, and a swim in the warm Atlantic seemed to fit the bill.

Feeling the need for a little adventure, she slipped off her red tankini bathing suit and dropped it on the sand. Though she knew from experience this secluded cove was usually deserted, Sara felt delightfully naughty as she grabbed the mask, snorkel and fins from the storage compartment in the back of the kayak.

The salty breeze danced with her hair and slid wantonly over her skin like a lover’s caress as she walked into the ocean. When she dropped into the surf on her back, the normally serene water rolled into gentle waves that cradled and rocked her. Comfortable in the water, Sara easily slipped on her swim fins and mask, putting the snorkel in her mouth before rolling onto her stomach.

With practiced kicks of the fins, her thighs rubbed pleasantly together and water drifted over her breasts, belly and mons as she headed out into the lagoon. Cool water stroked heated flesh, steepling her nipples. Despite the heartache that had driven her here, the simple swim to clear her head and shore up her courage had turned into an titillating experience that had her libido humming. Her laugh echoed strangely through the snorkel at how proud Ethan would be that his paradise caused such salacious thoughts.

The awful trip down memory lane could definitely wait until she’d experienced a little pleasure.

So there you have it. Intermingling emotion, internal dialogue and backstory into your action keeps the story moving forward and your reader turning pages. What makes a great read for you? Anything in particular that will keep you turning pages?

Buy INVITATION TO ECSTASY from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

When you’ve lived with yourself for five decades, there are certain things you come to accept:

1) I don’t like cooked vegetables—I don’t have sensitive taste buds and eating is a texture thing for me … cooked veggies are really mushy.

2) I’m a terrible driver—I wouldn’t admit this in front of my kids and especially not to Mr. Nina, but it’s a fact and I’m learning to live with it (and avoid really busy roads).

3) Spontaneity went the way of my bikini. I plan or don’t bother.

4) I’m a risk taker—Though years ago this meant sky diving, snorkeling with barracudas and shooting rapids in an inner tube. But the most risky thing I do these days is not take my calcium and vitamin D and drive my electric wheelchair in high gear after two glasses of wine. Regardless, risk taking is still a part of who I am.

5) I’m a scientist—in every cell of my being, down to the last nucleus, there is a geeky scientist intent on doing research and learning everything she can about the world around her.

And it’s the last part that’s carrying me through this crazy world of writing novels. You see, when I was in high school and college, I was the kid everyone hated. When a research paper was assigned, I jumped in with both feet, happily spending hours at the library with periodicals and encyclopedias. (Remember those days?) I had my little index cards all color coded with quotes and factoids. I wrote until my hand was numb and usually turned that 5 page term paper assignment into a dozen pages of amazing prose.

Yeeeeeah, I screwed up the bell curve, but I couldn’t have been happier.

I know some of you are wondering what this has to do with novels and the answer is EVERYTHING. There isn’t a book I’ve written that didn’t require some kind of research on my part. Once it was to discover the chemical process of cat leukemia, which I based a deathly poison on. Then there was the time I went to the fire station to talk with the fire chief about all their equipment so I could write a vampire-firefighter. I’ve researched werewolf legends and faeries, even delved into the world of BDSM for a couple of my books. (And that’s when research can be a dirty word 😉 ) I love learning new things. Though I will confess sometimes research for one or two lines in a book can take me hooours.

I’ve never been able to type “research X here” and move on with a scene without running over to the internet and actually doing the research. I just can’t keep going forward until I know exactly how that little fact niggling in my brain is going to affect the story. Fortunately, over the years I’ve learned where to find a lot of the stupid things I want to know, so my research is definitely more efficient.

I love this writing gig. It’s like still being in school and learning something new every day. ‘Cuz if you know anything about it me, I’m really geeky that way. What about you? Have you done any really interesting research?

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