Cougar Christmas Calamity

December 10, 2020 at 7:53 am (General) (, , , )

So I’m doing the final touches of Cougar Christmas Calamity, hope to have the ebook out by the 20th. I have little one today, and then they want me to take her overnight tomorrow, so not sure how much I’ll get done.

We did go out and do some weeding yesterday and she helped me sort through files. Then she raced around the yard. It’s supposed to be warmer this afternoon so we’ll do the weeding out back this time.

Right now I’m working on getting my 3 vampire books into print also. I need to create the print covers for each of them also and for Cougar Christmas Calamity. So I hope to get all of this done this weekend. I did get 500 words done on Bite of the Vampire, a YA. It’s at 22,000 words and I do have a cover for it. I would like to finish it up! My YAs are shorter, so I’m shooting for 50K+ and so I’m nearly halfway done on it.

I need to write the synopsis for Silence of the Wolf novella. I was thinking about it last night. I think Max, of an earlier novella in Green Valley will be the hero and the heroine will come bounding into the story as a wolf. Have no idea why, what, etc. lol

Okay, off to get ready! Have a super lovely day!

Terry

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
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Picking a story to write…

December 4, 2009 at 2:14 pm (General, Lori Devoti) (, , )

I have been in a weird place the last couple of weeks. First, I haven’t been on deadline. It has been MONTHS since I wasn’t on deadline. This, I’m afraid, left me in a kind of euphoric stupor…yay! no deadlines….plenty of time to do…nothing.

But then time keeps moving–darn it. And I do have things to do. I have a class I’ll be teaching in June for Write by the Lake, a manuscript to revise (not contracted, but two editors requested revisions), and a short story for my debut at Book View Cafe (I’m giving away a short story in January…assuming I get it written.), and I bought two new writing programs to play with…Snowflake and Liquid Story Binder.

I can not tell you how much time I have spent playing learning Liquid Story Binder. BUT it has been work…it HAS. Except, there’s a problem…I have plotted two stories and decided neither of them are right for the free story I need to write. The first turned out to be a novel and not even a romance novel. The second a Nocturne Bite. And because of contract considerations I can’t publish a story appropriate for a Bite without first submitting it to Nocturne. So, back to the drawing board again. I need something different…something fun, maybe almost experimental (for me) and not so complicated I turn the thing into a novel.

This just isn’t as easy as it sounds….but I think I have it…and hopefully, next week I WILL write it.

How about you? When thinking up stories which is the bigger issue…too many ideas or not enough?

Oh and check out my covers! Three, count ’em three….

Lured, January 2010 Nocturne Bite--Werewolf paranormal romance,   The Hellhound King, Silhouette Nocturne, February 2010, Hellhound shapeshifer romance   Amazon Queen, Pocket Juno, May 2010, urban fantasy w/shapeshifters

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Writer in Residence

September 1, 2009 at 7:13 pm (Deborah Cooke) (, , , , )

This is a little bit O.T. but I am the writer-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library this fall. It’s the first time that the TPL has offered a residency focussed on the romance genre, so I’m pretty excited about the plan.

There’s more information about the residency and its associated programming here – the blog, of course, will be accessible to everyone independent of geographic location.

Today, an interview I did with Metro Morning on the CBC aired – it’s also available for download from the CBC website here.

And there’s an article on the CBC site about me and the residency, here.

So, if you’re in Toronto, please come out to the residency events, or bring your manuscript in for critique. And if you’re not in Toronto, please participate online!

See you at the library!

Deborah Cooke

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July Update from Deborah Cooke

July 15, 2009 at 5:35 am (Deborah Cooke) (, )

It’s July and there’s not that much new in my world. I think that’s symptomatic of summer, even though it’s not that hot this year here.

I’m writing.

I’m weeding.

I’m sitting on the porch, drinking iced tea when I can.

I’m reading. This last because I’m not attending RWA’s National convention in Washington DC this week, so there’s a window of opportunity to attack my mountainous TBR pile. The casualties are piling up fast – I’ve certainly become a fussy reader! But I’ll talk about the keepers on my blog, Alive & Knitting, when I come up with a batch.

Meanwhile, you might want to check out an alternate “conference” happening in the blogosphere. Drop by the Galaxy Express this week for the Parallel Universe Event being hosted there. There will be workshops and guests and authors commenting from the RWA National conference. And yes, I have a workshop on Worldbuilding, coming up on Thursday there. It’s not just for Science Fiction Romance – worldbuilding is important no matter what kind of fiction you write.

Stop by and say hello!

Here’s the LINK for my workshop on worldbuilding.

Deborah Cooke
Alive & Knitting blog

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Guest Author – Lisa Hendrix of the Immortal Brotherhood Series

January 8, 2009 at 6:44 am (General, Guest Bloggers) (, , , , , , , )

I hope you’ll all join with me in welcoming Lisa Hendrix, author of the Immortal Brothershood series.  I first met Lisa on Facebook.  We chatted about book covers and very kewl music videos, and so I put her on my “to read” list.  I am so glad we met! What an awesome book.  If you love romance with a historical twist, if you love the doomed, tortured shapeshifters, and if you love a heroine who can take both of those and tie their hero’s into knots, then this is the series for you.

So without further ado, (hanging head in shame for stealing her guest’s thunder) I  introduce Lisa Hendrix and The Immortal Brotherhood!

Well, foo.

I was going to write about brainstorming/where we author-types get our ideas, but Teresa beat me to it. Bad hostess. Bad. No cookie. 😉

So…hmm. ‘Scuse me while I //ahem// brainstorm a moment.

Ah. I know. I can talk about the other place some of us get ideas. The Idea Store. You know, the one where you go in, browse the section on— immwarlarge-186x3001What’s that? You don’t know the place? Well, it’s on the corner of Third and— Huh? What do you mean you don’t believe me. I am highly offended. Taking umbrage, even [Aside: Doesn’t taking umbrage sound like something you do at the cloak rack in dark restaurant? “I got confused and took his umbrage instead of my own.”] I’ll have you know, I’ve spent good coin at the Idea Store and…

Still not fooling you, eh.

Okay, I admit it. There is no idea store. But that is an answer I’ve used when a particular annoying sort of “wanna-be-but-doesn’t-want-to-be-bothered-with-the-work” writer starts pestering me. You know, the one who has “this great idea” and wants you to write it so s/he can collect half the royalties.

Usually, I kindly redirect them. If I’m slightly grumpy, I tell them to sit down and write it all out in detail and then we’ll talk—knowing, of course, that they never will, because it they wanted to write it they wouldn’t be soliciting strangers to do it for them.

If I’m utterly out of patience, however, I’ve been known to say something like, “No, I’m sorry. I have an exclusive subscription with the Idea Store, and I’m not allowed to accept ideas from anywhere else.” Then I step back and wait for the wheels to start turning. You can see them: “Idea Store? Maybe I can just sell the idea to them and they’ll find someone who wants to write about Great Aunt Ethel’s encounter with the ghost of Charles Dickens’ bear012secretary and I’ll still make a million dollars.” Then reality hits. “Oh.” And then I’m like, “Excuse me, I have to go pick up my dog at the groomer,” and I’m out of there. (A secret: I don’t have a dog.)

But that’s only when I’m utterly out of patience. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


Getting a little more serious, most of my ideas get worked out in exactly the sort of brainstorming Teresa was talking about. You have a kernel of something—a news clipping, a song title that you think could be turned into a good story, a specter of a scene stuck to the inside of your skull like the scum in an old coffee cup—and you start trying to turn it into something bigger and more useful.

But that’s still begging the question, because what people really want to know when they ask where you get your ideas, is: where does that first kernel come from?

The answer: Anywhere. Everywhere. People who don’t write, especially those who don’t write fiction, think there’s something magic about the idea gathering process. Nope. In reality, they have the ideas, too. They just don’t recognize them as such. They hear that same song title, and may even imagine two lovers dancing to the music. But then they drop it, a passing thought lost forever.


A writer’s mind, however, grabs onto those dancing lovers and twiddles with them. How did they end up dancing? Did she ask him or did he ask her? Who are they? Rewind tape. Ah, I see: she’s older and a bit plain, and she’s surprised that such a young, hunky fox would even talk to her, much less dance with her. How did he learn to dance so well, anyway? Something fishy about that, for sure. And why is that other man watching them so intently. Is he her husband? Her ex? A government agent who thinks she’s about to be assassinated by the dancing hunk? What happens next? And then? And then? A writer scribbles it on paper or mumbles it into a digital voice recorder or texts themselves with the thought, and then keeps churning it over.

IMMORTAL OUTLAW MECH-1


Literally, we can’t leave the kernel alone, sometimes playing the idea out in our heads over and over until it has to come out on paper. (I’ve asked other writers about this and found almost unanimous recognition of the problem/gift.) Undoubtedly, if a shrink ever got hold of us not knowing we were writers, we’d be labelled obsessive. A note in our files would say “Subject suffers from uncontrolled fantasy life, hears voices, and imagines she’s going to make a living from them.”

The idea for The Immortal Brotherhood series landed in my mind as a dream. Now, I’ve long been one to lay in bed half-awake, thinking things through, but this was a case of waking up from a sound sleep with a crystal clear image in my head: a huge, blond man in formal evening wear. I knew only two things about him: he was a bear during daylight hours. And he was a thousand years old. (Those of you who’ve read IMMORTAL WARRIOR will recognize Brand, except for the clothing.) Naturally, my brain couldn’t turn loose of something that juicy, so over the next days and weeks, my imagination ran with questions: How had he gotten turned into a bear? (cursed by a witch) Why was he immortal? (same, part of the curse, so the torture would go on and on) Was he alone? (No. He had this raven on his shoulder, who had once been his best friend) Were there others besides those two?

The answer to that last was a resounding YES, and thus the brotherhood was born. Then I had to work out who all these guys were (Vikings), how many there were (nine—a number goldeneaglesignificant to the Norse gods), and what animals they were (ever try coming up with nine animals that Vikings would have known about in 850 AD that are sexy enough to be romance heroes? I mean, really, a were-boar? Eew.) I had to figure out who’d cursed them and why, and how the curse would play out, and something to make each story different, and an over-arching story that would carry through all nine books, and…

Somewhere in the middle of this, I realized that to get to the guy in evening clothes, the full story would have to cover the thousand-plus years he’d been under the curse. That the other men’s stories would each play out in a different century. That the captain of the crew (my dream guy) would be the last of the warriors to break the curse, and that his friend would stick with him the whole time, even if they never saw each other in human form all those thousands years.

Well, thank goodness for critique partners, the internet, a husband who’s willing to listen to me ramble through scenes aloud even when he has no clue what I’m talking about and who’s also pretty good at asking the kind of question that makes me come up with answers.

And that’s why we (mostly) don’t end up in front of that shrink, because we take that obsessive and uncontrolled fantasy life to a critique partner and talk about it and realizes there’s a whole story, not in the hero and villain, but in the hero’s horndog sidekick and the woman who sets out to seduce him.

Just like Teresa said. (Good hostess. You can have your cookie now.)

Every time I hear this song now, I think Of Lisa’s books ~ Teresa, who is happily eating her cookie now!

—-

Lisa Hendrix is the author of IMMORTAL WARRIOR and the upcoming IMMORTAL OUTLAW (June ’09, Available for Preorder at Amazon and other online sellers), the wife of a patient man, the mother of two impatient children, and a long-time patron of the Idea Store. You can find out more about were-bears, were-ravens, were-eagles, and the other beasts of the Immortal Brotherhood at her website, where her January Jumpstart contest is also live right now.

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Shapeshifting, how real is too real or is it ever?

April 21, 2008 at 3:00 pm (General, Lori Devoti) (, , , )

Posted by: Lori Devoti
Man shifting into werewolf?

Bones popping, characters going into heat, females rolling over and exposing their bellies in an act of submission–all of these can be found in shapeshifter novels. How real is too real?

There are three basic types of shapeshifters in most novels.

  • Illusion: The person/god/being doesn’t “really” shift; they just project a shape different than their own.
  • Magical: The beings actually change form into another shape, but magic does all the work. One minute they are human, the next wolf/coyote/dragon/etc. (note: I’m putting shifters who need something like a selkie who needs his skin generally in this category.)
  • Scientific/Realistic: The beings actually change form, but some weight is given to keeping this realistic. Body mass stays the same, and usually it’s pretty darn painful.

In addition to variety in how “real” the change may be, authors vary on how “real” other aspects of the shifters’ senses, skills and instincts may be. Does a cat shifter see better at night? Are canine shifters color blind? Do both go into heat? How about life in the pack–is there one main alpha and other characters exhibit submissive tendencies? All of these things vary from book to book, author to author.

On the realistic end I’d put the Kitty books. In the first book Kitty shows some submissive behavior that can be a bit unsettling when looked at from our modern (human) female eyes, but it fits with what a submissive female wolf might do. I tend to keep my shifters somewhere in the middle. They shift magically (no groans or popping), but they have canine sight (especially in canine form) and tend to have some characteristics you would expect in pack animals. On the illusion end there are books like Jana Oliver’s Time Rover series . Her shifters don’t physically change, they, according to Jana, “alter the way you perceive them (as compared to actually altering their form).”

So, that all said, what do you prefer? How much reality can you stomach? Or how much magical convenience can you swallow?

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