August 18 2015 Romance Weekly

#LoveChatWrite

#LoveChatWrite

Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn't you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all..... About our writing of course! Every week we'll answer questions and after you've enjoyed the blog on this site we'll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

Welcome back to Romance Weekly blog hop. The blog is set up in a round robin fashion so you can link to the next author for another interesting blog. Be sure to check out Collette Cameron’s blog when you are finished here. She’s before me in the blog hop today.

This week’s topic is from Carrie Elks

Stephen King famously said that it’s necessary to “kill your darlings” when editing your work. Do you have anything you had to remove from a book that you’re still proud of? Or something that embarrasses you so much it will never again see the light of day? If you’re feeling really brave, share some of it with us! 

Kill my darlings. This was a difficult lesson for me to learn. It took several critique partners and friends with confused looks on their faces for me to realize what I thought was a clear blue sky scene was actually a scene caked with mud, sand, and twigs. Honestly, it still happens with new writing so I’m constantly learning - or maybe I’ll never learn? Thank goodness for critique partners and friends willing to read my early drafts. 

I do have an example to share. It was really difficult for me to cut this scene. It was one that had come to me as a vision, epiphany or a plain old dream one night while I was sleeping. It actually woke up me in the middle of the night and I quickly wrote it down on paper so I wouldn’t forget it in the morning. Cutting a scene like that -- ohhh it’s terrible. It took several drafts of not cutting it and asking okay read it now until I saw the writing on the wall. CUT IT OUT.

As I looked over what I had saved (because I couldn’t bear to actually DELETE it, but just put it in another document for LATER USE) I can see now how it didn’t fit and really isn’t that great of a scene. At the time, I thought it was pretty cool. Hindsight is weird. This scene needs revision like a decaying tooth needs filled! It’s easy for me to see now where readers were confused, there were very few paranormal elements and the ones I had in there were vague and didn’t give the scene the punch it needed. Also, this was the opening scene and not one of the four characters were the hero or heroine. So, of course the readers thought Cameron was the star. (He did take over the show and another reason I had to cut his ass out of a lot of this manuscript.) 

I kept the scene around because (hahahahaha!) I thought when I cut it that my draft readers would be like - “Oh, something is missing. You need a scene with Cameron in the jungle so we know more about the military team.”  No one asked this. I think I just had a crush on Cameron.

So, here it goes.  

 

“Cam, do you copy?” 

    Cameron heard Amber’s voice in his ear, but he couldn’t respond to her. His throat closed over any words he tried to make. Pins and needles like a limb that fell asleep formed over his scalp. He remained in his crouched position hidden deep in the jungle. The dull ache in the back of his head increased in intensity and he felt the sweat trickle down the side of his face. He looked into the scope of the rifle and saw darkness. 

    “Cam?”  

    “What’s going on Amber?” Zach asked his tone suggesting worry. 

    “Cam isn’t answering me. Has either of you seen him or know his position?” 

    Once again, Cameron tried to tell them he was okay. He dropped the gun and clutched the back of his head. Had he been shot? He pulled his hand away to see if there was any blood. Clear and pale as usual. The pain raged again and he couldn’t even see his weapon any longer.

    “Leon, “ said Zach, “do you know Cam’s position?” 

    “Negative. Do you think he was ambushed?” 

    “I’ll move up the mountain to see if I can get a lock on the target,” suggested Amber and Cam praised her good decision making skills. 

    “Leon, break the perimeter and see if you can find him,” ordered Zach.

    Cam wanted to shout to them to not break the perimeter. It was more important for the unit to complete the mission than to worry about him having a panic attack. He sunk onto the hot ground. Nothing ever felt cold in this country. His hands started to shake and for the first time he thought that he might be dying. Someone had spotted him and silently taken him out. What other explanation could there be?

    “I see him, “ Cam heard Leon say. “I’m scanning the area to see if there is anyone out there. He looks hurt, but I can’t tell.” 

    “How long will it take you to get to him?” asked Amber. 

    “About 5 minutes.” 

    “Proceed.”  

    No! Cameron wanted to shout but knew the sound came from his mind and not his mouth. Amber’s voice once again sounded in his ear. 

    “I see the target and will have a good shot from my position. Zach, are you prepped for exit once the deed is over?”

    “Affirmative.” 

    Cam heard jungle vegetation move unnaturally and felt Leon beside him. He was still unable to see him or talk. 

    “Amber. Leon. Abort mission!”

    What no no no. What is Leon doing?

    Leon continued with his abort orders, “Stop any activity and make your way to my coordinates. Cam is hurt bad. I’m not sure what happened. He has a pulse, but we need to evac asap.” 

    “What’s going on? I have a clear shot, Leon.” 

    “Cam is bleeding everywhere. It’s everywhere... his eyes, nose, ears! Zach, bring the bigger medical kit here with you. I can’t determine where he’s been shot. He is starting to convulse.” 

    So, I was hit, Cam thought. How could that have happened? They had watched the small bunker in the jungle for three days making sure all the people who came in and out were accounted for. They timed the target’s arrival and departure in order to complete their mission. There had been no scouts or sentries anywhere near it. Had it been a lucky shot? 

    He felt Leon use the small medical kit each of them had on them. He put something is his mouth and it dissolved instantly. He wouldn’t have been able to swallow. He felt a pinch in his leg and realized that Leon had given him morphine. I must be really bad. I wonder if this will be my last mission. That thought gave him more motivation to pull through. Taft nor his men would be the one to kill him. He knew he had to live in order to bring justice to the world. To everyone’s world, even humans. 

    He heard another small rustling in the jungle and then Zach was crouched down on his other side. Zach placed a larger bag down and it brushed against Cam’s fingers. That’s the rescue bag, usually only for serious life threatening wounds. 

    “Did you find the entry point? Is it in his spine?” Zach asked. 

    “That’s the weirdest part.” Leon said as he grabbed the bag and pulled it over Cam’s body to get to the contents inside. 

    “More than one shot?”

    “No. There aren’t any bullet wounds.”  


Carrie Elks is next on the hop. See what darlings she has had to kill. See you next week.

Photos from depositphotos.com

July 29 2015 Romance Weekly

#LoveChatWrite

#LoveChatWrite

Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn't you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all..... About our writing of course! Every week we'll answer questions and after you've enjoyed the blog on this site we'll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

Welcome back this week. Make sure to check out Carrie Elks after reading the post. I know the participating authors this week are going to have some awesome blog posts. 

This week's topic comes from Tracey Gee and it is deep stuff. I almost backed out because it is so terrifying, but I didn't. 

So Tracey's topic is: As we all know, authors put real people and situations into their books. Let's look at the times we've pushed through the pain by putting bad experiences or relationships into our works whether for therapy, or just as a way to close the door. 

I think this post is difficult only because it really makes one examine their life and not necessarily the good parts, but the bad ones. The days that were filled with sorrow or worry or hurting.  

Writing is an expression of the author. It can be fluff or surface writing - something that doesn't really mean much like a cute story or a fun poem. There's nothing wrong with this type of writing and as I examined the question posed I thought that's also a way for an author to work through an emotional trauma - by avoiding it in this way. (Or it's also just plain fun. I mean I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't find it enjoyable.)

Sometimes writing is painful. Other times writing is cathartic and healing. 

I'm not sure if others who don't write on a frequent basis or at all can understand the need to get out emotions down on the page or how writing about it can heal.

I don't know either. I just know it does. 

So, how have I pushed through the pain in my life with my sword called a pen or keyboard?

I think the first time I realized the power of writing and what it could do was during a college freshman english writing assignment. I'm not really sure the exact topic of the paper we were to write. It had to be about someone in our lives written in a personal essay. I chose to write about my brother. He built me a bike from scraps and taught me to ride it. He had died in a car accident about a month before his seventeenth birthday. I was about two months away from my seventh birthday. The images and memories I had of my brother at the time of the college paper were bittersweet. I hadn't realized until writing about him how much I missed him all those years or how cheated I felt for getting less than seven to spend with him. I think until that moment in college where I forced myself to face the agony of my loss I didn't have a concept of what love he gave to me - my big brother. The agony was too much for a six year old to handle, but maybe I could face it at nineteen? I'm not sure.  

Years later, I also turned to writing to work though fertility issues when my husband and I tried for five long years to have a child. It doesn't matter what the doctors say or the advances in medical science, when you can't get pregnant when you want to (especially after years of preventing pregnancy) there are emotions that cannot be explained or expressed in a rational form. This all came out in my fiction writing. Sandra's longing in Circle of Lies for a child was a result of our struggle. When it finally happened for me - she also experienced the same joy I did. At first I thought to have Sandra become upset and worried that she was pregnant because of the plot of the story, but I couldn't. I couldn't make her sad about it. She was bursting with happiness (me too)!

When my baby came early I couldn't write about my fears and terrors. It was too raw, too overwhelming. After my almost two week hospital stay before his birthday, after 66 days in the NICU, we got to bring him home. This was an entirely different terror mixed with unspeakable joy and excitement. 

I don't write a lot about those early days in the hospital or the few months after. My boy is 21 months old and healthy and happy. Maybe a future character will help me look back on that time with different eyes. Right now I'm okay with that blank page in that regard. I'm filling in Sandra's story with the exhilarating experience of becoming a mother. It's been a dream of hers you know.   

Thanks for reading this week. I'm curious what author, Betty Bolte, has posted to the blog hop today.  See ya soon.

July 14 2015 Romance Weekly

#LoveChatWrite

#LoveChatWrite

Do you like to read romance novels? Wouldn't you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all..... About our writing of course! Every week we'll answer questions and after you've enjoyed the blog on this site we'll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

Carrie Elks  Broken Chords

Carrie Elks Broken Chords

Welcome back. Our hop is a lot of fun today. Make sure to check out Carrie Elks, author of Broken Chords.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fellow Romance Weekly author, Susan Scott Shelley (author of Rekindled) wants to know our player's (hero's) walk-up song (aka Entrance theme). 

Unfortunately, I don't have any theme songs for my characters. My mind has been so overly cluttered with stuff to do these days most of the time there are no songs that pop into my head, except maybe:  

The itsy bits spider climbed up the water spout, down came the rain.... 

Okay. I'll be singing that later. :)

Or a random tune from a Ford Raptor toy my toddler has decided to just keep his finger on the button for the past 1/2 hour while he smiles and dances. It's equally adorable and annoying! 

Devil or Angel?

Devil or Angel?

But there is hope for this post still. I did have an idea for a story line that came from a song I enjoyed when I was actually working out on a consistent basis. This was a long time ago, but I have gotten back into working out (slowly) so maybe I'll be getting more ideas from music in the future. **crosses fingers**

The song is  "E.T." by Katy Perry.  

He gives Amber chills.

He gives Amber chills.

I heard this while working out. I had been working on a manuscript with my alien (a.k.a. Sixxers) soldier team and when this song played in my headphones I immediately imaged one of the soldiers, Amber hearing this song and feeling equal parts fear and hope. Now, Amber is a tough as nails soldier and she's not afraid of anything, except the Sixxer who betrayed her. The lyrics of the song "Could you be the devil? Could you be an angel?" fit this Sixxer to a T, and the extraterrestrial theme fit my concept, too. So, I guess this is his theme song if Amber had a say in the decision. She hasn't told me his name, yet. I'm upset about that.

Now, that this idea has been brought to the front of my mind again, I really really want to start writing Amber's story. I'm going to have to do something about this problem. 

 

 

J.J. Devine,  Into the Darkness

J.J. Devine, Into the Darkness

I wonder what song J.J. Devine, author of Into the Darkness, picked this week? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos from depositphotos.com