Friday, March 29, 2013

A Panter's Preparations for Camp

If you're a writer and you've signed on for the grueling task that is NaNoWriMo, or you know someone who has, you're probably aware that Camp NaNoWriMo begins on April 1st this year. No foolin'. The day after we're trying to emerge from food comas induced by Easter. Swell.

Pansters, as a general rule, do not plot. We do not prepare. We dive in and weather whatever comes at us. We're the origin of the phrase "Come what may*". *Um, probably not.

I hit my writing goal of 20k on The Crusader's Maiden last week. All is well and set in that book. Getting that many words is all the prep work I've done for camp. I'm ready to move forward. I think. I'm working on a couple of projects right now. A straight historical romance (I have to admit, I'm actually a little bit terrified of that) and a paranormal western romance. To be fair to the editing I've been doing and my goal to have 20k for camp, I haven't worked on the PWR for a while.

It's a fun story, even though I'm not very far into it. However, I'm equally intrigued by book 5 here and how the characters are so at odds right from the start.

Do I think I'll make my 40k word count goal? Well, it's only a 1333/day goal. That's not bad. I'll give away one my author secrets here: When I sit down to write, even if it's not every day, I always strive for 1,000 words. I've had days when 1667 for NaNo was a real struggle. I think just over 1300 will be easier. If the characters keep cooperating like they've been doing. Never count them out.

I am, however, prepared for the weekend--always. Okay, I'm not. Because I'm supposed to bring mashed potatoes to Easter dinner and I haven't been to the store. Well, I'm prepared for the sleeping in parts of the weekend.

Other L&L novels have sprung forth from the loins of NaNo. The Sky Pirate's Wife was the November 2011 project. The Turncoat's Temptress (now on Amazon and B&N) was the June Camp NaNo project. I started to write The Siren's Sentinel for camp in August, but it was too taxing and just easier to write it a little at a time. However, in tradition of NaNo, it was the project for Jano, sponsored by Sleuth's Ink, a mystery writer's group, who "NaNo" in January.

Writing a novel in a month may not be your thing, but it sure helps me get most of a novel out. I'm as prepared as I'm going to be. Dr. Pepper, wrist brace, Tylenol, and ice packs ready to go.

Monday, March 25, 2013

My Heroine's Conflict

It seems like I'm always killing someone's parents. That doesn't seem very nice considering Mother's Day is just around the corner. But I have a long list of characters who are parentless. Maybe it's just one, maybe it's both.

The reason I bring this up is because the heroine of The Crusader's Maiden, Bliss, just finished a scene where she had to dig up an object she buried after her foster father and all his friends were massacred three years before the story starts.

She buried it where his grave should be. Trouble is, she couldn't actually find enough of him to bury . . . gruesome yes, but avenging the death of the only man she knew of as a father will carry her through the story. Finding out the mysteries of her past will also be a driving force. Combined with why he hid things from her, she has plenty of GMC. All will be revealed by the end of the book and who her parents really were.

To share a little of the graveyard scene:

 “You buried them out here? By yourself?” Lo walked out into the courtyard.
“There wasn't anyone else to do it.” She put the toes of her boots right up to the edge of the bottom door facing, but didn't go any farther. Long ago blisters—turned into calluses as she tried to fend for herself out here—stung as she thought about each shovelful of dirt that went into the graves.
He faced her, eyes strangely illuminated by the moon. “You didn't wonder if they might rise out of these graves and get you?”
“It wasn't a vampire, Mr. Bonham. There wasn't enough left of them to reanimate.” She grasped the door frame. What right did he have to come here and question her about what had happened that night?

Even stepping outside is a feat she has to overcome. Not that she's a shut-in or anything. She does go outside, just not to the courtyard where she buried eight men. She's spent her entire life in one area and doesn't know much about the outside world. It's going to be a task for the hero, Lo, to get her away from there. And he needs her, but doesn't know how to convince her of that. I can't wait for that need to turn into a real relationship instead of her beating the holy, ever-loving hell out of him. Her foster father taught her well.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Title's Worth

I'm terrible at updating this blog. Well, I've been busy. True, legitimate excuse.

I'm terrible at titles as well. Names I can handle and we'll get into that, but titles baffle me. I could never come up with those flowery ones like Love's Wanton Desire and make it stick to a book. I mean . . . I don't really want to read that. It better have quite the blurb to hold that title up.

When I started the L&L series, before it hit series status, the original title of The Treasure Hunter's Lady was (get ready for it) The Rainbow Serpent. Only because it had to have a title (why didn't I just say Untitled?) to get a folder in my online critique group. Really, Untitled would have been better.

THL didn't get a real title until I had a solid plot idea for The Sky Pirate's Wife. Since I'd already decided to write that one, I wanted the first book to have a similar title. It took me a while to come up with the treasure hunter bit.

Here's something you may not know about the books. The first noun in the book is a male in all of them except number 4 (The Siren's Sentinel). It's always something he (and in Emer's case, she) isn't, but that the second noun is.

I confused you, right?

Take The Treasure Hunter's Lady. Abel's not a treasure hunter, although Romy accuses him of it multiple times and he eventually stops denying it. Romy, for all her faults however, is a lady.

The Sky Pirate's Wife--Van Buren is no sky pirate, he just has a bad reputation. Sophie becomes his wife right away.

The Turncoat's Temptress, well, this one is a little trickier, because Basil sort of did turn his back on the group that raised him. But he had to in order to save Nora, who has always tempted him.

The Siren's Sentinel, a whole lot murkier. Sirens, much like temptresses, are women who draw men. Emer is undoubtedly one of those women, but she's not a danger to them like the Guardians believe. As for that Sentinel bit, I'm not giving it away other than to say, Ransom is there to watch over Emer.

And finally, the big reveal, the final title for the final book, the one I was previously calling The Maiden's Match. You can scratch that, erase it from your Internet and caffeine stimulated brains. The final book will be called:

The Crusader's Maiden

Because . . . Lo is on a mission to find something, and Bliss earned the nickname 'the Maiden' from a ghost story.

Whew. So glad those title worries are over.