Author Archive

Let the Character Speak   4 comments

Does your writing style change depending upon what you are writing?

Rules:

1. Link your blog to this hop.

2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.

3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.

4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.

5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz code –>

<div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”58909141c7294643b9f11120aeee207a” style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”>

<div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p>

<a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/58909141c7294643b9f11120aeee207a” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div>

<span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20href=</span>

<!– end InLinkz code –>

wordpress shortcode

[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”58909141c7294643b9f11120aeee207a”]

Unique URL

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/58909141c7294643b9f11120aeee207a

Characters are My Guide

My writing style changes with the character and so often changes not just from one genre to another, but even within a book, especially if I’m writing from the first-person perspective. This is less so in third-person. The narrative style often stays the same, though in Daermad Cycle where I’m switching between cultures, I do make some changes to reflect the differences. The narrative in the Celdryan sections has a decided Gaelic lilt while the narrative in the Kin sections sounds like an American voice. I do this to provide some distance between the two very different peoples. It turns out to be pretty hard to write that way, so it takes me a lot longer between books than Transformation Project or What If Wasn’t, but I’m glad I made that choice because it does add depth to the books they otherwise might not have.

Obviously, when I’m writing in first-person perspective, the narrative is driven by the character’s voice, so the style changes depending on the character.

And that makes sense, right? No two people think alike and when you’re writing stories from within the head of a character, the character ought to sound like themselves and not any other character in the book.

I wonder what my fellow blog-hoppers are saying.

Posted October 3, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , , ,

Fame and Fortune   3 comments

September 12 2022

If your book took off tomorrow with enormous worldwide interest and sales, are you prepared for all that entails?

Rules:

1. Link your blog to this hop.

2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.

3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.

4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.

5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz code –>

<div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”cb7fc65afe0645d89973d5f1772f144f” style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”>

<div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p>

<a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/cb7fc65afe0645d89973d5f1772f144f” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div>

<span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20href=</span>

<!– end InLinkz code –>

A Fantasy Come True

I’m ready if it happens. The cool thing about being my age is that you’ve been through stuff that prepares you for other stuff. While authorial success might change my outward circumstances, it wouldn’t affect my inner life. That part I’m prepared for.

How to Organize Success

Since I’m an independent author, I don’t share my royalties with anyone but Amazon, so if the books suddenly took off, I’d take some of my new income and hire an assistant, someone who could set up book tours and the like. I’ve not done many of those because I live in such an out-of-the-way corner of the country and I haven’t had much money for airfare. Whoever I hired would have to have knowledge I don’t currently possess. They’d also need to monitor social media and email. I suspect I’d want to respond to most people myself. I have always admired Kate Elliott’s Facebook conversations with her fans.

If the books took off, I’d probably continue with the same system I’ve used before — if it’s working, why replace it. Amazon Ads does attract readers, and it clearly did if my books are now best-sellers. So I’d hire someone — maybe that assistant, or another one — to replicate what made me successful, just on a bigger scale.

The goal has always been not to spend more than I make and if I’m being wildly successful, that goal would still be in view. I’d have more money to spend, but I still wouldn’t spend incredibly more than I do now. Some airfare, some ads, maybe put my print books on Baker and Baker — but not go crazy because that’s not who I am. And the point of success is not to go nuts and drive yourself into the poor house later.

I just became fully vested with my retirement plan, so I might choose to retire to have time to ride the wave, or I might take a leave of absence from my job to see how long the wave lasts. My goal for retirement is not super fancy, but I do want to be able to pay our bills rather than relying on our children. If I can make the kind of bucks that reportedly comes with a best-selling book, then I’ve got that covered, but if it’s a short-lived success, then I need to remain employed another five years.’

You see, it’s all about not losing yourself in the surf. I would want to keep my head together and make wise choices while also enjoying some well-deserved fame and fortune. I’m sure there’d be lots of people trying to tap into my income stream, but I would want to remain in charge and not make any assumptions that the high times are going to last. They usually don’t and if you’re prepared for that, then it’s easier to be pleasantly surprised when they do.

Posted September 12, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , ,

Interview with Cai Delaney   5 comments

Interview one of your characters (not your main character.) How do they feel playing second fiddle to your main character?

Rules:

1. Link your blog to this hop.

2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.

3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.

4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.

5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz code –>

<div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”6a9872750cee4533944e94eb0d381008″ style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”>

<div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p>

<a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/6a9872750cee4533944e94eb0d381008” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div>

<span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20href=</span>

<!– end InLinkz code –>

[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”6a9872750cee4533944e94eb0d381008″]

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/6a9872750cee4533944e94eb0d381008

Who Are You?

Tell us something about yourself.

I’m Malacai Delaney, oldest son of Rob and Jill Delaney, brother of Shane and Keri Delaney, husband of Dr. Marnie Callahan Delaney, a lawyer. Everybody calls me Cai.

You’ve actually had quite a lot of air time in the series. Are you still a secondary character?

Yeah, well — you’ve got a point. I was the main character for most of A Death in Jericho because Shane was healing up from an accident. And you’ve been really mean to me.

Have I?

You have. I was nearly killed at the Colorado-Kansas state line. I guess I should thank you for not putting me in the City Hall shelter with the hundred who died there. Then I ended up running from the military in Wichita. I spent the night under a bridge. Then I ended up enslaved in Hutchinson, Kansas. I had to kill a man. Then I had to save Mike’s life by threatening to kill people. I’ve been disposing of bodies all winter as people go hungry or get sick and die. And now at the end of Worm Moon, you seem to have killed me off. You’re really a blood-soaked author.

I’m just telling your story as you give it to me.

Hmmph. Well, I guess I should thank you for leaving my life status up in the air for the next book.

Anyone can die in my books. As I showed in Winter’s Reckoning, even Shane could die. Since right at the moment you and the readers don’t know if you’re living or dead, let’s talk about you a bit. Who is your best friend?

Oh! I have three, well, four. I’d say Alex Lufgren, but we just became friends after Shane left and now that Shane is back, Alex’s allegiance has shifted. Brian Callahan and I have gotten really close this winter. We were enslaved together at Hutchinson. That can be a bonding experience. My wife, Marnie, is probably the person I’m closest to, even though I often don’t understand her. And, oddly, Shane is becoming a good friend. He’s mellowed since he was hurt this winter. For a really long time, we didn’t get along at all, and then when he came back, he scared the hell out of me, but he’s showing sides of his personality that are new and I’m enjoying that.

So you’re a lawyer, but you’ve done very little lawyering in this book series.

Not a lot of legal matters to settle, really. I think the law is for more civilized times than this winter. I was kind of looking forward to helping to re-establish a basis of law in America as things recover. I kind of feel like I’m missing out if I die.

I’m not telling you or the readers if you live. It’s your story, man! Tell me! Do you live? Will you have brain damage? Until I started writing the next book, I had no idea, and I’m not telling. But, in the interest of this interview, how would you re-establish law in America now that things are coming out of the crisis?

Well, I don’t get to go to the constitutional convention. That sucks!

You were busy being injured and potentially dying. Or suffering brain damage. And do you really think this convention will be a bunch of lawyers poring over a lot of boring legal tomes?

I hope not! You won’t hear this from many lawyers — and I think a lot of us didn’t survive to say it — but a part of what was wrong with America was too many laws. They overlapped, contradicted one another, made ordinary activities illegal under certain specific circumstances. The system had just become so complicated. If I’d gone to the convention, I would have wanted to keep a lot of the old Constitution, but made it more state-based, assuring the federal government couldn’t overrule the states. I don’t think that was ever the thought for the original framers and since we’ve been utterly transformed in the last six months, now’s a really good time to do a rebalancing. And….

Hold on there, Cai! You might not even be alive in the next book. We get that you want to start with a clean slate.

It’s an opportunity to make a limited set of laws that don’t contradict one another or the Constitution. Sue me if I get excited about practicing my profession.

So what have you been doing with your time during the chaos? Disposing of bodies and…?

Shane refused to lead up the internal community patrol. He fears his skills from overseas might hurt our neighbors. Those skills are darned useful on the wire, keeping strangers out, but he might be right that the boundaries are a little blurry for him. So Dad asked me to lead the community patrol. We really haven’t had any instances since.

Instances?

A mob tried to loot Dell Conophor’s house. They had a big truck garden and animals to provide milk and cheese. People who are hungry get weird and dangerous, even toward people they played softball with just last summer. That’s why we created the community patrol. But its existence seems to have fixed the problem. Or people were just so shocked that neighbors had to shoot neighbors to protect their family that they remembered their civilization.

You don’t do the border patrol?

I do. I do both. I want to be useful. Lawyers are kind of useless even at the best of times, but in a survival situation, my skills are pretty useless. So I try to help where I can. I’m sick and tired of burying people, though.

How does your faith come into all of this?

I believe everything falls within God’s will, even when we don’t understand it. The events in September, the EMP later, the flu that’s paralyzing teenage kids, the hunger and lack of heat — it’s all working together within His plans, but it’s not always going to feel that way to us. When I got shot, it felt like I must have been doing something wrong, but I was coming out of that, grateful to be alive and starting to feel better physically when this happened. Now I don’t know if I’m going to survive to the next book.

Tell me about being a father.

(Long pause). That’s why I don’t want to die. Rebuilding the world sounds like this great adventure, but rebuilding it for him or her — that’s the miracle, right? It’s just a couple more months. I can leave Marnie now and my kid needs both parents. I need to live for her.

Then tell me more of your story. You’re not just a secondary character, so your story matters, but only if you keep talking to me. When you stop talking, I have to do something with you. I can’t just let you hang around as a non-playable character. Not after you’ve given me such a rich story so far. Talk, man, and let’s see where your story goes.

Posted September 5, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , ,

Keeping it Short #MondayMusings #OpenBookBlogHop #Inspiration   1 comment

My Corner

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. Today’s question is: “Do you ever write short stories? What do you see as the biggest difference in the writing process between a short story and a full-length book?”

As a matter of fact, I’ve written a lot of short stories and am putting some into a collection I’m calling Living Vicariously in Wyoming. These stories are set mostly in Wyoming. The idea behind the title is this. When you read a short story or novel, no matter the setting, you’re living vicariously through those characters.

In a short story, unlike in a novel, there’s little room for character or plot development. You can’t take time to provide a lot of background information about characters. The reader only needs to know enough about the character…

View original post 419 more words

Posted August 29, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Talking Shorts by Daryl Devore   Leave a comment

https://daryldevore.blogspot.com/2022/08/daryl-devore-talks-about-how-her.html?sc=1661797904032#c4750570033517588450

Posted August 29, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Exploring Short Stories by PJ MacLayne   Leave a comment

Posted August 29, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Open Book Blog Hop – August 29th   Leave a comment

Stevie Turner

Welcome to another blog hop. The topic this week is:

Do you ever write short stories? What do you see as the biggest difference in the writing process between a short story and a full-length book?

I enjoy writing short stories more than novels. The older I get combined with the distraction of social media the more my concentration wavers, and writing short stories suits me better as I tend to become bored rather quickly with writing full-length novels. Many readers doubtless have similar concentration problems, and they might prefer reading short stories anyway.

The biggest difference in the writing process between a short story and a novel is that you will have fewer chapters in which to develop your characters and move your plot along. That’s okay with me, because then I don’t have to string out events with loads of unnecessary words. I usually find my stories tend…

View original post 493 more words

Posted August 29, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Open Book Blog Hop – The short and long of it   Leave a comment

Posted August 29, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Focused Writing   9 comments

Do you ever write short stories? What do you see as the biggest difference in the writing process between a short story and a full-length book?

Rules:

1. Link your blog to this hop.

2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.

3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.

4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.

5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz code –>

<div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”57c5fc6efd7d494ea9932b2e31fcb6a2″ style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”>

<div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p>

<a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/57c5fc6efd7d494ea9932b2e31fcb6a2” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div>

<span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20href=</span>

<!– end InLinkz code –>

[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”57c5fc6efd7d494ea9932b2e31fcb6a2″]

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/57c5fc6efd7d494ea9932b2e31fcb6a2

I’m a Novelist

I write novels. What’s more, I write series. Clearly, I like to write LONG. I’m not George RR Martin, but I love stories that take time to develop. That’s how I like to read them and that’s how I like to write them.

I’m Published in 5 Anthologies

I’ve written and published six short stories in the last few years. Why would I take time off from writing the novels I love to write shorts?

It’s all about sharpening my writer skills and asserting principles I feel passionately about.

I write Celtic-inspired high fantasy, apocalyptic, and coming-of-age novels. I want to write many other genres, but I don’t really have enough time to write a full-length mystery. But I can write a short story in a month and that’s a lot of fun. It’s something different and the anthology I usually submit to is a writing challenge for libertarian authors. I find it a wonderful exercise to try and show how libertarianism can peek out in a fantasy feudal society.

Different

I absolutely find shorts to be very different writing from novels. It requires focus. What are you trying to accomplish? As a discovery writer, that’s not something I normally start with. I usually write about 1,500 words before I know where I’m going with a novel. A short is not much longer than that. So I have to actually sit down and plan the story. No, that’s not my normal process, but it’s exercising muscles I need even as I write novels. I’m not going to become a plotter because I think my novel characters would abandon me, but I have a lot of fragment characters kicking around in my head that will sometimes volunteer for a short. They have a story too, but usually not enough to shape a novel around them.

I’d never been comfortable writing in first person present before I was writing to a word limit. Looking at my first fantasy short of Gateways, an anthology published by the writers’ cooperative I publish through, I was telling a story nearly twice as long as the story I eventually submitted. I wrote the story and I didn’t love it, so I sat down to re-write it after someone at the local writer’s guild read the story and said “first person present and give it a strong voice.” I rewrote it from the perspective of Duglys, a young man who lives through a tragic event, and tells the story to a group of travelers in a caravan he’s a horse handler for. Pivot of Fate has a wonderful voice that tells you a great deal about Daermad, the world of my high fantasy. The main character was a minor character in The Willow Branch, Book 1 of Daermad Cycle. Having broken the ice in first person present in a short, I have gone on to write an entire coming-of-age series in first person present.

I’ve since written shorts in alternative historical fiction, fantasy, a reformed fairy tale, a satire, a redemption story based on the Prodigal Son. The libertarian anthology I submit to is taking a pause and I really missed not writing a short story this spring. But who knows, maybe I’ll start writing shorts for my own book.

It’s not a technique I want to use all the time, but I do like the different skills I need to use.

I wonder how my fellow authors feel about this subject.

Posted August 29, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , ,

Editing is Writing   6 comments

How do you know when you’ve done all the editing you can on your story? Or that you’ve gone too far?

Rules:

1. Link your blog to this hop.

2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.

3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.

4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.

5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

<!– start InLinkz code –>

<div class=”inlinkz-widget” data-uuid=”cd4dc11cb3aa432eb4ff5db3120b5490″ style=”width:100%;margin:30px 0;background-color:#eceff1;border-radius:7px;text-align:center;font-size:16px;font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif”>

<div style=”padding:8px;”><p style=”margin-bottom:15px;”>You are invited to the <strong>Inlinkz</strong> link party!</p>

<a href=”https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/cd4dc11cb3aa432eb4ff5db3120b5490” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow” style=”padding:5px 20px;background:#209cee;text-decoration:none;color:#efefef;border-radius:4px;”>Click here to enter</a></div></div>

<span style=”display: none;”>http://a%20href=</span>

<!– end InLinkz code –>

[fresh_inlinkz_code id=”cd4dc11cb3aa432eb4ff5db3120b5490″]

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/cd4dc11cb3aa432eb4ff5db3120b5490

As Many Times As It Takes

Editing is the working part of writing for me. I really enjoy the discovery of the story on the initial writing. As a discovery writer, I don’t really know what’s coming until I get to it. But after my first pass, the story isn’t over. There are holes in my story that you could drive a truck through and they need to be closed. Since I’m writing series, I need to check in with secondary threads. So my first editing pass fills in the holes and asks if things can be left off. I prune and fill in, reshape and move around. I actually enjoy this part almost as much as the first draft.

The second pass of editing is where the real work of looking for errors — spelling, grammar, passive voice construction, words I don’t need–begins.

The third pass is more of the same, but I run it through Grammarly to assure I didn’t miss any grammar errors. The fourth pass involves letting the computer read it aloud. I find a lot of errors this way and sometimes I hear sentence constructions that need to be revised that I missed when I was reading silently.

Then I send it to my editor who says she goes through it three times. She makes suggestions in the comments section rather than changing my writing and letting me figure out what she’s done. When it comes back to me, I do another pass and make the changes I think make sense and then I let my husband read the manuscript with a highlighter in hand. Sometimes he catches some stray errors.

When Has Editing Gone Too Far

In all honesty, I think I do enough editing passes, but I’m aware that you can edit too much. At writer’s guild meetings, I sometimes hear other writers talk about how they wrote 30 pages and then just deleted it all. I don’t do that. Although I change my manuscript, I save large passages in a slush document for later use — maybe. Sometimes I find gold mixed in on another pass of the dross and it shows up in a later book.

Posted August 22, 2022 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

Tagged with , , ,

Valentine But

Books: fiction and poetry

Faith Reason And Grace

Inside Life's Edges

Elliot's Blog

Generally Christian Book Reviews

The Libertarian Ideal

Voice, Exit and Post-Libertarianism

CRAIN'S COMMENTS

Social trends, economics, health and other depressing topics!

My Corner

I write to entertain and inspire.

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

Deep Thoughts from the Shallow End of the Pool

Steven Smith

The website of British steampunk and short story author

thebibliophagist

a voracious reader. | a book blogger.

cupidcupid999

adventure, art, nature, travel, photography, wildlife - animals, and funny stuff

Republic-MainStreet

The Peaceful Revolution Liberate Main Street

atleastihaveafrigginglass

What could possibly go wrong?

%d bloggers like this: