Rediscovering the Joy

Rediscovering the Joy

A few weeks ago, when it became clear that I was on the verge of (finally) finishing the first draft of Cemetery Hill (Sunshine Walkingstick, Book 3, by Celia Roman), I decided to re-read the Daughters of the People Series (Lucy Varna) in preparation for continuing work in that story world. The last series release was in August 2015 (Sanctuary, Book 5), and while I’ve been fiddling with developing the final three books in the series over the past two…

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How I Wrote My First Novel in Seven Weeks

How I Wrote My First Novel in Seven Weeks

Note: Most of this post was originally published in January 2014 on a now-defunct blog. My process hasn’t changed significantly since then, only now I have the experience to understand exactly how hard it is to write when I deviate too much from this process. Lessons learned! Yesterday*, I promised to share the techniques I used to plot and write my first novel, in the hopes of helping another would-be author who’s having similar problems. I didn’t expect for that…

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How Much Is Your Writing Really Worth?

How Much Is Your Writing Really Worth?

Note: Originally published on my blog for writers. When I first moved to Western North Carolina last year, I had no idea how often I would be traveling the road between there and my son’s house in Northeast Georgia. Turns out, I make that trip at least three and sometimes five or six times a week. If traffic is good (or better, nonexistent), driving one way takes 40 minutes. If it’s not, the trip can take upwards of 45 minutes….

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Book and Author News

Book and Author News

It’s been a crazy hectic month here. Lots going on, which translates to lots of book news, starting with brand new audiobooks. As promised, Rebecca Winder finished narrating “Death Omen” (the Sunshine Walkingstick short story available exclusively to newsletter subscribers) and it is absolutely awesome. Rebecca has a smooth, pleasant speaking voice and does an incredible job rendering Sunny’s deep woods accent. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the audio version to upload to my mailing list host. Until I decide what…

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The Mummy (2017) and Double Mumbo Jumbo

The Mummy (2017) and Double Mumbo Jumbo

We went to see The Mummy yesterday and, to no one’s surprise, three out of three people in our crowd disliked it, including the person who wanted to see it most. For me, the biggest fails came through the multiple times my suspension of disbelief was tested. As screenwriter Blake Snyder says in Save the Cat: The Last Book On Screenwriting That You’ll Ever Need, “…audiences will only accept one piece of magic per movie.” (Emphasis in the original.) There…

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Scarecrows and Rain Dances

Scarecrows and Rain Dances

Growing up, I must’ve had the strongest female role models of any woman alive, except maybe my sister, who was blessed with the same set. Nanny, our paternal grandmother, lost her first husband to Nazi gunners during World War II, her eldest daughter at a tender age to a tragic accident, and her second husband to drink. She developed rheumatoid arthritis in her late thirties, the most severe case her specialists had seen at the time, and eventually died due…

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Book and Author News

Book and Author News

I’m very close to releasing my first story under Isobel Fletcher, a new pen name which will focus on stories falling under the Speculative Fiction umbrella. The first story will be part of an anthology called Romancing the Weird, which will be available exclusively to newsletter subscribers. I’ve planned five stories for the collection, although there will probably be more. Each story will be released as it becomes available, but again, only to newsletter subscribers. Romancing the Weird is part…

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Horror in Romance at the 2017 RT Booklovers Convention

Horror in Romance at the 2017 RT Booklovers Convention

A few months ago, fellow author Rebekah R. Ganiere put out the call to a chapter of the Romance Writers of America searching for authors to participate in a Horror in Romance panel at the upcoming RT Booklovers Convention taking place 2-7 May 2017 in Atlanta. I jumped at the opportunity. Several of my published stories, and a few planned ones, can be classified as both Horror and Romance. The obvious ones, of course, are those within The Vampyr Series:…

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Money, Schmoney

Money, Schmoney

Note: Originally published on my blog for authors. I re-had an epiphany a few days ago: Making money is not my biggest motivator. I say “re-had” as this epiphany occurs to me on a regular basis, usually when I’m trying to find motivation to continue writing a book I know I need to write, but am losing (or have completely lost) enthusiasm to finish. Now, don’t get me wrong. The money is great. Awesomely fantastical, even, but it’s not what…

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Book and Author News

Book and Author News

I know everyone’s anxious to learn the names of the winners of the “Three Years Published” giveaway I ran last month for readers of books published under all my current pen names, Lucy Varna, V.R. Cumming, and Celia Roman. For the sake of fairness, I divided the giveaway into two sections, one for US residents and the other for International readers. The US prize consisted of a Kindle Paperwhite and an ebook of the winner’s choosing. The International prize consisted…

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