Warning: This posting will be a mishmash of a billion little bits of information… and extremely long-winded. I’ll put headers so that you may skip potions you don’t give a damn about. *wink wink* I’m riding through Ohio, destination New York (Groceries, fruit & vegetables :P) & Pennsylvania (Home) So I have a few hours of heading eastbound while glaring into the rising sun to formulate a long blog posting. Oh, and rocking out to my father’s love of Creedence Clearwater Revival, but thank goodness he’s no longer listening to his favorites on Sirius radio. I was about ready to jump from the moving car during Fox News & that eighties rock station. The wickedly bright, and always in my eyes no matter how hard I try to avoid it, sun and I are about to have words. I lost a screw in my glasses & I’m missing my transitions lenses something fierce. DANG, this freakin’ sucks!
Edited Versions of my titles
I’ve been contacted a few times in the past few hours on how to tell which version is which and if it is necessary to reread or what the changes were. Restraint, Good Girl, and Unleashed were edited and uploaded the first week of July. On the title page of these editions it will say their date of publication and their revised editions of November 2012/July 2013 (Restraint & Unleashed) & July 2013 (Good Girl) If you do not have these editions, please go to my account on Amazon, manage Kindle devices, and click to ‘turn on’ automatic updates. The newest edition should upload the next time you sync your device. Or follow the steps above until manage Kindle devices, on the library click the drop down next to the title you wish to update, and click update. You can also access this from the purchase page on Amazon (website only) you may also remove the title from device or archive, and redownload the edition. If all else fails, and it has for a select handful of ppl, please contact Amazon via telephone, and have them ‘reset’ your copy to the newest version. Most copies update, but it is out of my control and totally in Amazon’s hands. I don’t know why some update while others don’t.
The changes per title:
Restraint was lengthened from 70k to 100k. Restraint went through a lot of sentence restructure, formatting, and proofreading. I’ve grown within my craft & I want to make my work the best it can be. Restraint was polished, the scenes were expanded with description, and the storyline was fixed for issues in flow and storyline conflict. The overall premise did not change. If you think you need to reread for other than the enjoyment of beginning the series anew, no fear, there is no need. I realize that a lot of readers hate rereading, while some are like me, finding comfort in a reread. I will not change the storyline of my works unless there is a major conflict that I didn’t anticipate.
Unleashed & Good Girl were slightly lengthened by a few thousand words. I didn’t find as many errors, conflicts, or need to restructure the sentences. They basically received a thorough going over and polish.
As I write new titles, I will be going back to past titles, Dexter is next on my list… and yes, I will be going back to the beginning with Restraint & Good Girl when I finish all of my titles. I foresee me doing this until I find the titles flawless. (which is an impossibility) This also help to refresh the little things in my mind as I write new books within these series. Good Girl was a refresher for Widow, & Dexter will be a refresher before I begin The Hunter, and so on.
Thoughts on reviews:
I thank those who have taken the time to review my works, albeit positive or negative. Either way, obviously my work struck a chord within the reader enough for them to think about the story and take time from their busy lives to write a few sentences or a long review. So thank you.
I do not read reviews on principle. Any review, good or bad, is an emotional drain for me. While positive may fill me with inspiration, negative will undoubtedly demotivate my ass… and I never know if it’s positive or negative. Even a positive 5 star review can be riddled with unintentional landmines.
It’s a vicious cycle to engage in, an addiction. “This person loves me. “This person loathes me.” “OMG, I fucked that up!” By the time I read two or three reviews, I’m hunting up a razor blade (I jest. I’m not a cutter, but you get the point… and in all seriousness, I’ve thought about it before. But through the force of my massive willpower, I’ve abstained)
I have to take a step back from all of the closet backseat drivers (editors) and the people who think they can write my stories better than I can. Word of advice, you can’t. Why do I have the arrogance to say you can’t write my story better than I can? Simple, because it’s MY STORY, and I am the creator of its universe. As far as my grammar Nazis… I’ve grown a lot, and I will continue to grow within all the facets of my craft. Making fun of me when you make similar mistakes in the bashing review is kind of… interesting.
Final words: I am a human being. Just because I put my work out for public consumption does not mean you have the liberty to speak to me in any manner you wish. You do realize what I write, correct? I abhor DISRESPECT! Writer and authors alike are regular people with regular lives. We are all walking in similar directions down different paths. While I love interacting with my readers (I truly do) it is unnerving when some make demands (write it like this, you should have done this differently…) everything within my work is up to my discretion because it’s MY work. I thank you for the input. But no, I will not change who I am to meet whatever expectations you have of me. & yes, this is coming from a location of stress that I feel every time I receive this type of message or email. It’s completely inconceivable why people believe I will kotow to them for any reason, no matter how big or small.
In retrospect, the people in the digital land of the internet are just people, strangers. I liken the criticism and demands to a complete stranger walking up to me on a crowded street and making demands of me. Who wouldn’t be pissed? I have no idea who you are, as you have no idea of who I am. That’s not entirely true. I am an open book: my real name, age, location, and my words bleed upon the page. My point is that until you and I have multiple interactions over a long spans of time, like any relationship, you have no rights to me until you’ve earned it. I’m a very guarded person, I even take great offence when my nearest and dearest place pressure on me. Quickest way to clam me up, make a demand of me.
Note to everyone: It could be anyone on the other side of that user name with a stolen pic as a profile picture. Unless you are a public figure, you have no idea who is on the other side of the computer screen. So yes, the negatives wound me, but then I realize it could be anyone. This isn’t coming from a position of arrogance. Why should I heed words from someone who doesn’t know me, and may be ten years old giving me writing, editing, plotting, and storyline advice? I do not go to your place of employment or your home and follow you around telling you how to do this or that on a subject I know jack-shit about, so don’t come into my home and office through my laptop screen giving me advice about my occupation that you may or may not have any experience with. As bitchy as that last statement is, it’s all about mutual respect.
I will take all advice with a grain of salt, even from my betas and fellow writers. Because, ultimately, I am the one who has to live with my work. After all, it has my real name attached to it, not yours.
Really, think on this… Catfish was not a fictitious story!!! Scary, that!
I love hearing from readers, whether good or bad (not the readers 😉 The comments) Please be respectful, though. I don’t need you walking on eggshell or any shit like that. My self-confidence isn’t make of spun glass, but I am prone to bouts of extreme frustration. I have the ability to look in my mirror and acknowledge my faults. So you can’t say anything to me that I didn’t already know. With this said, go ahead and write me in any media you wish (email, msg, and comments on the website or Facebook pages. Friend my ass, and I’ll accept. Hell, you can write me letters if you wish)
I’ve had a lot of positive interactions with readers, and it’s been a cause of inspiration. M&M of Restraint is Dark and contains very dark themes. I’ve had a lot of abuse survivors contact me, saying I’ve helped them come to terms with their violation. You have no idea how this makes me feel. I want my readers to feel empowered by my work. While I may not write traditional HEA, my characters always end up with a feeling of completion within themselves. Do not give power to your victimizer by dwelling in the past. You are stronger than that!
Within the Playroom series, I dive into substance addiction, and it will be a thread within the series. It is something that has directly affected my life in several way, and I wish to address it. I’ve had a few readers contact me in thanks over writing about something that is usually pushed underneath the rug or dramatized as being fun and carefree. I’m a firm believer in tough love and totally against enabling the abuser. I hope this helps to push readers to change aspects of their lives that aren’t fulfilling them, negative people within their lives included.
Current works in progress:
Widow: a dual narrated storyline between the Widow & the Widower. Clover Webster and Malcolm Mason alternate chapters. Odd chapters for the Widower, & even chapters for the Widow. I’ve read a lot of multiple POV books, and it always confused me when the point of view would shift within a chapter with no real indication, and sometime within the same paragraph. I’ve had to read several paragraphs to gauge who the hell was narrating. Believe it or not, big time authors make this mistake within their books, especially those who have more than 2 narrators. My all-time favorite author is a HUGE offender. She also uses an upwards of 19 narrators (I think that was the final tally on her last published work) within this chaotic mess.
Using my idols are a model on what not to do, I decided that I would ease the transition by giving each narrator their own chapter with headings, so you never need to determine who is speaking/thinking because I told you before you began. Since this is my first foray into the land of multiple POV, I decided to simplify it with only 2 narrators.
Widow is a HEA storyline. One of the strongest romances I’ve written. While not saccharine in the least, with some very strong dark themes, it is pure romance. The Playroom series is my venture to get away from the darkness of The M&M series. There are no billionaires, fanatical storylines, or outlandish lifestyles. The Playroom is real people who have very real issues and kinks. They suffer through daily struggles with rent/mortgages, occupations, families, and children.
Good Girl was the introduction to the cast of characters. I needed it to highlight the playful naïveté of a teenager. It did not end with a cliffhanger or any real resolution because Willow Prynne is a still a child in my eyes. Willow has to grow up before she gets the life she deserves. Willow’s resolution will be within the pages of book 4 of the series. But you will continue to see Willow grow throughout book 2 and 3.
Widow was the perfect nexus for the series. The union of Malcolm and Clover gives us a glimpse of the cast of characters. Yes, I just said the union. There is no secret that they are going to hook up. In the format of romance, the format that I usually hate, mind you, you know from page one how the book will end. It’s why I’m not a fan of romance. I like a mystery. I don’t like knowing that the main protagonists are destined to be together no matter what. But in Widow’s case, it needed to be written as romance. It’s the progression of the characters as they solidify their family that sets up the rest of the series.
Widow is a sensual book. It shows the softer, gentler side of BDSM. In Good Girl, I broke down the barriers of BDSM by showing the playfulness of the lifestyle. I want readers to realize the lifestyle is NOT about abuse, force, or pain. There should always be a choice based on trust. Recently fiction has portrayed the lifestyle with an abusive filter, desensitizing readers to what is really right or wrong. Abuse is not sexy, it’s abuse, and it’s illegal. A personal violation is not romantic, no matter what light you shine on it. It’s assault. You should never allow someone to infringe upon your rights as a human being. I cannot stress this strongly enough!
Yes, I’ve written force and non-consent, but I’ve made sure you see the after-effects of such an event. I’ve shown these events to empower the victim when they survive because life is not pretty. Force is not romance, and it’s not sexy or hot. It may be some people’s kink. But there is a fine line between it being a mutual choice and assault. It’s a choice, both parties always have a choice. Don’t fall into a trap by allowing yourself to see it through a tainted filter. *lecture complete*
Back to Widow… our Widower, Malcolm Mason is the ultimate alpha male who wants to take care of his family. He isn’t abusive because he struggles with his own past. He suffers from skin hunger, and readers will experience the softer, sensual side of the lifestyle through Malcolm.
Widow sets up Wayward. Wayward will be narrated by Augustus Kline, Robin Prynne, and Isis Mason. I want to stress that the narrators do not indicate unions. While the three lifelong friends may find HEA together, you’ll have to read to find out. I’ve grouped my narrators by age and connection. Similar to book 4 with Willow Prynne and Kieren and Devon Mason. It would be disjointed to have narrators of differing ages. To read as a teen/young adult, and then be thrust in the mind of an adult would be discombobulating, especially for me as I write it.
Widow is slated for release on the final week of August. It may be sooner rather than later. Only the muse knows. Currently the book is 75k words in length, and about 3/4th completed. I have no true length on my books. I end them when the story deems it should be ended. However, I do price my books according to length.
I’ve never written a work under 50k, but if I do, here is the pricing guide I always follow.
10-25,000 words: 99 cents
26-40,000 words: $1.99
41-60,000 words: $2.99
61-100,000 words: $3.99
All first in a series will be listed at $3.99, regardless of length. (If shorter than 100k, will be priced less. It’s why Restraint was just raised to $3.99 from its original $2.99. The revision pushed it over 100k) First in a series are also subject to .99 cent sales and free promotions.
101,000+ words: $4.99
Over 150,000 words: $5.99
Omnibus editions & epic length novels over 300,000 words: $9.99.
Only paper editions will ever be over $9.99. Yes, I do plan on paper editions in the near future.
These prices are well under the guidelines that major publishers and independent and self-published authors use. I will never rip off my readers. I know more than anyone how horrible the economy is currently. I’d rather have my loyal fans read my books for next to nothing than go without. My code is to give the reader a lot of content and story for as little price as possible. But a girl has to eat… even if she’s on a diet.
First person present tense:
If you haven’t figured out yet, I’m just writing whatever pops into my mind as it pops into my mind. (Dude, both times I typed pops, POOPS flowed from my fingertips! *snickers) Currently, I see the sign promising Erie Pennsylvania in 40 miles, and my bladder is about to freakin’ burst. Dang you, Venti Caramel Iced Coffee from the Ohio Toll road Starbucks that litter the plazas… But alas, we’ve run out of plazas since we’ve abandoned that road for Ohio’s I-90, which seems very short on rest areas. GONNA PISS MY PANTS! A coffee piss is worse than a beer piss.
So anyhoo… case in point about first person present tense (dude, Fox news just took over CCR L) I write in this tense because it causes the reader to experience the story as it’s happening, like my current pissy pants issue. You’re reading about my predicament as I experience the bulging pressure of a full to bursting bladder.
I can’t write in past tense. I just can’t do it. I hate it when I do a flashback sequence. I also can’t write a 3rd person perspective, either. It also takes me a long time to get into a book that is written that way. I think in the here and now. So the entire time I’m reading about the “saids” and “dids” I’m like, but your dialogue is in present tense. WTF? Yeah, it confuses me and pulls me from the story. I know the norm is past tense. But… yeah, my story, my freakin’ rules! Yes, I’m a dominant personality. You should know this by now.
Plus, that third person makes me feel like a patient at an insane asylum when it’s not written properly. I’m not Ezra Zeitler of the multiple personality persuasion. Like, I’m talking about myself in third person or some shit. You don’t think, ‘she walked into the room,’ when thinking about your own actions. I’m like, “bitch, I sashayed into the room, and everyone was looking at me.”
In case you are wondering… yeah, reviews from first person perspective haters led me to this strange train of thought. *shrugs* You ain’t making me write any differently than I already do. I’ll perfect my craft, but I’m not catering to everyone’s likes. It’s an impossibility. Plus, I really do love reading first person present, so that’s what I write.
WELCOME TO PENNSYLVIANIA. My home state better cough up a freakin bathroom before I wet this leather seat with my coffee piss! OMG! A Rest Area! Thank you baby Jesus! I love you Pennsylvania for the short while before we dip back into New York, my other ridge-running state.
AH! I feel five pounds lighter! Pure bliss! & you wouldn’t enjoy my discomfort and subsequent relief if it wasn’t for the first person present tense writing J
My muse has a mind of her own. After Widow, I may or may not write The Hunter or Wayward. Sometimes as I’m writing a series and I finish one book, the next manifests immediately. Other times I’m able to go between the series with little issue. It’s why I only write 2 series at a time. Any more than that and I would go insane.
I can give you some info on The Hunter, though. I will do my damnedest to get The Hunter released before Thanksgiving. I have some events, sales and such for that time frame, and again at Christmas/New Years because of all the new devices being purchased as gifts. Yeah, it’s a long ways off, but I have to keep a schedule. I want Widow, Wayward, and The Hunter published before then. And it all depends on length. Like with Faithless, which I thought would be a short book. I never know what the book’s length will be until it tells me… so it all depends. We will see!
The Hunter: Cortez Abernathy is experiencing writer’s block, as you learned in several books and the why of it during chapter 105 of Faithless. I want to get away from a parallel storyline, flashback, dream sequences… but I want to give Cort’s perspective of past events without rehashing them to death. Cort’s story is the time frame of after they moved to Misery Castle (KING- ending chapters of Faithless) The reader will be in the present as Cort and company deal with events, but will experience the past through Cort’s newest book, The Hunter. The Hunter is an autobiographical Cortez Abernathy memoir.
Cortez’s book will be more romancy, emotional, and life-changing. It’s not a coming of age story, more of a finding one’s true path kind of story. Cortez is lost. I’ve been strongly toying with an idea, and I’m on the fence. After Widow, for the first time ever, I’m seeking the advice from my betas. What I may or may not do is irreversible, and I don’t want to fuck up my series by acting in haste. No, I’m not offing any major characters (I promise). But it will have far reaching consequences, and I do believe I’m going to do it. Sometimes I amaze myself. *snickers* Yes, you should be very worried!
Warning aside, The Hunter will be very sweet, very emotional, and as gut-wrenching as it is playful and charming. Basically, Cort’s book will be just like his personality!
Silenced: I believe will be a short book, and not because Grant doesn’t have a lot to say… it’s just that his book ties into a more complex book. But I felt it was the right time to set up what Grant has going on. His swagger and naughtiness will be a good palate cleanser between Cortez and Ezra’s emotional torture roller coaster ride from Hell. Grant has some ‘play’ he’s working on to get attention from an unlikely source. Wil kept hinting at this during Faithless. “One step closer, congrats!” kind of dialogue. Plus, Grant is mighty pissed his bedroom romp with Faith was interrupted.
Next up is Integrated (Ezra Holden Zeitler’s book). After that, it’s either Niel or Katya’s book. Yeah, that gives you a hint about what I’m toying with…
What I have planned for this evening: I have a few winners to choose for the rafflecopter giveaway. I also have to send out copies of my books to a prize winner from another giveaway I was a part of. I’m doing laundry out the ass! I have to create a report for the sales for the promo weekend, and I think I will post the first two chapters of Widow (a chapter from both narrators)…
As usual, after a Kindle free promotion weekend: It wasn’t good enough that I gave out thousands of FREE books, ppl must read the rest of the books for FREE as well. Unleashed had a return this morning, now there is a return for Dexter, and I’m positive there will be one for Dalton next… and so on. Now I just checked, and there are two Unleashed returns. Man, it’s amazing how people accidently one-click my books in series order, and manage to return them after reading…. Amazing… absolutely amazing…
M&M of Restraint
& Playroom series
~Happy Wicked Reading~