Delve into my imagination

Queen’s Journey

I’m procrastinating or simply reminiscing. I don’t know which, it may be a combination of the two. My hands are freaking killing me today and my migraine is pounding. Don’t ever look at a writer and think them lazy. My mind and hands are tortured by my craft.

I am near the bottom of Checkmate’s outline. I can see the bottom. You have no idea how this thrills me. So let’s take a reminiscent journey of Queen, shall we…

I started Queen, Mistress of Restraint on June 28th. Dexter and Dalton were with the Betas. Yeah, I did two books at once. What an undertaking. (I’m being sarcastic. It was torture at the time and little did I know I’d one up myself) I knew Queen had to be next in the series. Wanna know why? A glimpse into the strange inner-working of Erica Chilson’s mind. It’s not as intriguing as I’m making it sound. I’m in a mood today. I was staring at the characters I’d written on a piece of paper. Katya was out, she had two books just for her- she’s so selfish, hogging the limelight like that. (I’m still in Queen’s head. so yeah…) It had to be a girl since I’d done two of Kat and two of D&D. It couldn’t be a gay because some ppl are sensitive to that and I didn’t want two gay books back-to-back. Obviously you’ve figured out that personally I have absolutely no orientation- Erica likes connection and chemistry. But it couldn’t be a guy or a gay. Queen is a girl, but… I’d written her as a lesbian. Syn was out because I thought she should do something else later on… So at the time I had no other girls that were Masters. Queen… Queen… I quickly slapped a band aid on Dalton to fix Queen’s lesbianism. (shotty bandage. Bad, Erica)

I typed Queen, Mistress of Restraint and groaned. “What the fuck was I going to write? Who is she?” I knew nothing of Queen. I knew a few details I’d given her in regards to other characters and that was it.  So I ignored her. We weren’t ready.

I did final edits on the July Release of Dexter & Dalton. We were driving cross-country from the PA/NY Border to New Mexico for a NRA national championship (Congrats to Brian Chilson on his 2012 National Champ title. GO DAD!) Cortez was crooning his naughty, charming words. I yanked out the laptop and by the end of our 5 day journey to NM, Cort was 40k in length. He’s a sweet talker. We had a blast.

July 10th, the day before my birthday. I still didn’t know anything about Queen, and Cort was being quiet (a first since he is ALWAYS with me.) I was uploading D&D to the sites for publication and my laptop died. It fucking died on me at 5am in a hotel room in rural NM. I mean rural. I live in a rural place but give me a half hour and it’s cities. I was a sad panda. I got the books to upload finally. I was a sad, sad panda as my dad practiced at the rifle range and I watched. I had no laptop, nothing to write or read since I couldn’t upload to the nook. The nook was dead because the charger was broke (again).

We got in the car and he started heading towards Colorado, land of stores. 🙂 Pueblo was the destination. Mom said happy birthday and pulled into Sam’s club. I left the parking lot with a new laptop pressed to my chest and a sad smile. I felt like a shit because that was tooooo much for a birthday, but my bank account was miniscule at best. Being a starving artist writer, who just separated with her husband that she’d been with since age 12 leaves you with little. They said suck it up, you need this for work. I still feel like a shit. So they went in to Home Depot looking for supplies. And I’m a techie. That box was torn open, the laptop booted up and plugged into the powerport in the car. I was installing updates off of HD’s wifi from the parking lot. The laptop was named, updated, and programs removed while they shopped. Half hour later I was downloading all the stuff I use.. Sugarsync, calibre, kindle, and nook when they came out.

Yeah… I’m a techie…  My family thinks I’m a member of Geek Squad and I have the propensity to tell the tech support ppl on the phone to suck it. The technician from our internet company came to fix my router and laughed when he told me  I was red-flagged. I’m a short, round chick, who’s quiet. He laughed at me when I told him how it took 5 calls to get him to visit…. and I was right all along. Told ya so, tech support- suck it! He was my first awed person who looked at me like I was a rockstar when he saw my books on my laptop. He thought I was getting a tattoo of a dudes name. (Dexter) He said, “No, don’t tattoo some dude’s name on your body.” He  shook his head at me and scowled. So I got to laugh at him in return by telling him that those pictures were my creation. Good Times.

July 11th, birthday time!! I’m 34 *shrugs* I didn’t want to sit at the hot and dusty range so I sat on the bed at the hotel with three usb thumb drives taking info from the barely running laptop to the new one. It was a long wait for the pictures and book files. I started Queen.

I wrote, “Jaded” out of nowhere. I started typing a book about Queen, but she was an 18 yr-old Regina Regal. 12k later it was time for dinner and my parents and the doggie were back. I typed all through the night trying not to disturb my sleeping parents. Regina turned into a sad girl who hated handouts and was a techie… Heehee, wonder where that inspiration came from. The 12th I sat while they practiced and 10 pages later I realized that the book couldn’t be Queen, Mistress of Restraint,  but rather, Jaded, Queened, and Checkmate. I’d release them singularly and together as an omnibus edition. When I say 10 page outline, I should explain my way of outlining. Single line scenes, they could be half a chapter or three. Each line was a scene, ten pages of them. Queen was born because a broke, separated Erica had to take a handout from her loving parents.

Jaded was written quickly and Queened too! About 30k into Checkmate I found a problem. An epically huge fucking problem. I was paralleling Restraint, Unleashed, Dexter, and Dalton. I was dissatisfied and lost. So I went to bed. This is writer clarity of mind time. I woke up and Willow Pryne was born, my Good Girl. I wrote Good Girl in 10 days. I sent it off to the betas and a few readers. It’s not completed because I wrote more of the outline and have to do the final edits. 5 days tops and Willow will be ready to read.

I stared at Checkmate. What the fuck do I do? It’s not working and if I can’t fix it, the series is dead- total destruction! I did something I said I’d never do… I loaded Restraint and started butchering, re-editing, restructuring, rewriting, reformatting. If you can name it, I did it to my book! Everyone said Katya was cold. I warmed her up and lightened her up. I made Ezra more cryptic. I gave us more Cortez and I wrote Queen into the story. I knew her now and she needed in there.

I immediately started on Unleashed. The writing was so much better. I’d rewritten Restraint; it would have been easier from scratch. Unleashed flowed better, the English language wasn’t trashed, and the story made sense. I fixed minor errors and added some smexy scenes.

Dexter. I felt bad for my sadist. He didn’t really have a story. Dexter was the nexus to all the characters and the book was fucking fluff. I’m being hard on myself and I deserve it. I finally added the strife that was necessary for our game of Master of the Universe. Dexter was a different book from its original form. I did this to Dalton, too!

After a bunch of shit with uploading the new editions, plastering ‘get your updated copy here’ everywhere I could think, I went back to Jaded. I edited it and published it. It went through and I found a set of edits in the Queened folder that belonged to Jaded. I fixed it and upload it again to B&N and Amazon. It was BLOCKED from Amazon! JADED was dead in the water. I received no explanation. Phone calls got me nowhere, emails were auto-generated. So I said fuck you!!!! Really, I said it loud and a lot! I just republished it exactly how it was and waited. I cleared my mind and started on Queened. I edited it and no need for added scenes and rewrites. It was how I wanted it. I published it with no problem on both sites and it loaded within 5 hours.

Seven days later… waiting… waiting… waiting…. I started on Checkmate. I said FUCK YOU again when I saw it still said ‘in review’ for Jaded with the black-balled Jaded beneath it. I emailed them. 5 minutes later it was publishing. I almost pissed my pants. I didn’t want to cheer thinking that it would fuck it up somehow. So I yelled YAY a lot and knocked on my end table while my mom said, “I told you it’d work out alright.” And she was laughing at me… She may have even rolled her eyes a little bit too…

Checkmate… again…. I would get frustrated. I had this great outline. I knew the story in everyone’s point of view. But I would work so hard my mind would melt. 70k in 4 and a half days. I’d take a break and read or sleep. I get a few hours here and there since my mind wants to write to empty its contents. I’ve lost weight, a lot of weight because typing hands can’t put food to your mouth. My typing hands are taped up and my wrists are splinted. It hurts so bad that by age 35 I’m going to look like an old crone.

The weirdest thing happens… Restraint becomes popular in the beginning of November. It freaked me out. I was making money. Not a whole lot,  but enough that this really constitutes as paying profession. I could see a future of independence and it scared me. I’ve been with my parents and then my husband and back to my parents since birth. I could really get a life… One I want… I am scared shitless. So all 6 books are selling, selling well. *Knock on wood*

Out of fear and the daunting deadlines, I froze. I couldn’t write. I was blocked. I read 20 books in a week with no sleep. I’d write 70k in a few days and then do the the reading thing… This is my present. This is what my life has become.

I sit here finding a compromise of writing 10k or so many scenes a day. When I get frustrated I open the book I’m reading and go back in a few hours. I started this the day before yesterday because I need rules or I’ll go insane. Last night I read a few chapters and went to sleep. It’s the first time in a while. Today I feel like shit. Migraine, hands and wrists are killing me, dizzy with a cloudy mind, and eyes that randomly roll around in my head. My outline is almost completed. The finish line is in sight.

Checkmate should be finished by Sunday night or Monday, depending on if I freak the fuck out again and freeze or if I get into a book and can’t stop reading. Hell, I have 6 episodes of  the Vampire Diaries, Arrow, and two Revenges that are screaming from the DVR. They must wait and I pray no one erases them. All hell will be had! While Checkmate is off to the betas (who have a fast job ahead of them) I’ll fix Good Girl.

This has been a long, torturous journey to breathe light into Queen. My two book release of D&D was child’s play compared to a 3 book Queen and the debut of Good Girl, and formatting an omnibus edition.

I hope the readers think it’s worth it.

Have you hugged a writer today? They need one!!!  {{Self-hugs}}

-Erica

2 responses

  1. Tia Walker

    It’s worth so worth it! I love Queen. I can’t wait to see her happy ending….I hope! So, yes I -a reader- think it’s worth it and am sending {{hugs}} to you. If you need me to come to NM to typefor you so you can feel your wrist and hands I can, as long I get to know what happens next….the wait is slowly killing my heart….I think I will go back and re-read jaded and queened so I’m really really ready for checkmate.

    December 12, 2012 at 11:56 am

    • WickedWriter

      I hope you enjoy Checkmate. It will be available soon. My betas will be getting the book tonight and while I wait on edits I’m writing a bonus scene to add to the end of the book. Thanks for the hug ❤ I needed one today as I try to put the 'the end' on Queen's books!

      December 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm

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