Monday, September 29, 2014

High school ideals

When I was in high school, I thought I was in love with my high school history teacher. I was 15 going on 16, my dad wasn't much involved in my life, and I didn't have a male influence in my life. Looking back, I realized that he was my ideal man, the type of guy I wanted to be with. Was I in love with him? No. But I definitely had a huge crush on him and to this day, I can't talk to him or contact him without getting nervous.

Usually, girls look to their fathers for that ideal man. They look at the relationship he has with their mother (or significant other) in order to base her values and definitions of respect, loving, trust and the like based on that relationship.

I had that with my grandfather up until I was 14 years old, when he passed. I lost a bit of myself when that happened, and I turned into a girl that needed vocation, a daughter who talked back and acted like a brat.

I dated the wrong guys but I was always fine on my own. I dated a controlling insecure mam's boy who had no ambition in high school. I dated a commitment-phobe tattooed vegan who lived on his own and barely paid for any dates - dates we rarely went on.

Lucky number three was my husband. God, the man frustrates me, infuriates me and drives me crazy. But he is my soul mate. He knows me better than anyone. And in 5 weeks, we are supposed to have our first child together - a girl.

I know, deep down, that regardless of what happens to me and my husband, my husband will be involved in my dayghter's life consistently. He's reliable, dependable and stable. I know I can count on him. As such, he'll be her ideal man. And though we both have fiery tempers, we respect each other. We annoy each other and argue and love each other and laugh at each other and compete with each other and just everything. Is our relationship perfect? No. But it's the type of relationship I can only hope our daughter will one day be lucky enough to have.

In the end, I found my ideal man. He wasn't my father or my high school history teacher or Johnny Depp (though he came close). My husband is my ideal man, and somehow, he wants to be with me. Which means I'm his ideal girl.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Branching out

So I've been toying with this idea for the past few months.

I think I'm going to branch out into non-fiction.

I have a bunch of ideas I can write about, including writing/building a readership, pregnancy, and maintaining a healthy relationship.

If there's anything you want me to write about or have any questions regarding, let me know in the comments.

I'm excited at the prospect but nervous as well. But I think this is what I'm supposed to do.

I'll let you know more when I have actual books for you!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Strategy session: Anthologies

As a self- published author, I have to do practically everything when it comes to marketing, selling, and ensuring my work generates some type of profit. (I'm lucky I have an amazing cover designer and different betas to help me so I don't get too crazy-overwhelmed.)

I've tested many different strategies but I'm scouring publishing books for more ideas because I want to try everything. You never know what will work for you, what won't, and in my mind, I really don't have much - if anything - to lose.

One such strategy is bundling related work together. It's an interesting theory and one I'm going to attempt with a couple of series, and something I was already planning on doing with the 3 series I have out now (well, technically 2, but the third will be released next month!)

I have an anthology of erotica coming out by tomorrow (which is why I don't have the link to share with you now). No, I'm not using a pen name (though that could change in the future) and no, it's not expensive. In fact, it will be released for $0.99.

A lot of my readers are young. A lot of my readers are adults. I'm not marketing my book the way I would with my other works, but it's out there and I definitely want to provide new readers with quality work and the opportunity to read my other novels that aren't erotica. I also want the readers who already follow me to know I bridge out in different genres and if you're interested, you're interested, if you're not, you're not.

So how am I supposed to bring in new readers? By making some of the stories included in the anthology free. If they like one story, they might be willing to shell out a whole $0.99 for 6 more stories.

It's a new strategy to market my books. I'm definitely nervous but I remind myself that I have nothing to lose. And I'll definitely let you know my results.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Stranger: Book 2

I just finished outlining Stranger: Book 2 (title reveal at the end of this little blog), and I feel so accomplished.

Now that the story that I've been kicking around in my head for the past 3 years (3 years!) is on paper, I feel lighter, relieved, and done. For now.

I still have to write the thing, but only after I finish writing Sacrifice.

However, just getting a general plot into a way more detailed, organized body is just the best. I feel mentally drained too, but maybe that's because I haven't been sleeping well the past couple of days (I am seriously so over this ridiculous heat - it's freaking September already!).

Regardless, I'm excited to start writing Sophie and Jane and Will and Depogare again. But I'm also excited for the little break I get right now to let the plot marinate and the details to develop.

I think you'll like Stranger: Book 2, or as I like to call it, Finder.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Just write

I've been writing a lot. By hand. It's how I've written all of The Dark Paradise books.

The craziest part is, usually I get a better feeling - as though creativity is surging through me, and by extension, my writing utensil - of the rush I get from writing with a pen. But for whatever reason, when I've been writing Sacrifice, the words come easier with a pencil.

I don't really question it. You can't question the little things you do for writing, to get past writing blocks, to make the words come faster and prettier and easier. You do what you have to do to write.

So, I guess that's my advice about writing. Don't think about it. Don't worry about it. Just write. Just get the words down. Even if it's forced. Even if the words don't sound right and it doesn't feel natural. Just write. Whether that's with a computer, with a phone (like with the first half of Catalyst) or with a pen or pencil. Just write.

I promise when you finish your word count goal for the day, you'll feel so satisfied. So complete. So accomplished. And honestly, it's one of the best feelings in the world.

Monday, September 15, 2014


Can I take the time to write as a stepmom/wife rather than a writer, for a moment?

My husband - like most men - deals with a lot if stress. He tends to keep things to himself because he doesn't want to stress me out, but I know.

All wives/girlfriends/partners know.

Sometimes, I find out things he should know as a parent that people don't tell him. Usually, they're things that will only add to the stress he already deals with. I tell him regardless because I respect him as a father and my husband, and I want to offer him the opportunity to make a decision about whatever it is he needed to know about.

But I can see it in his tense shoulders and hear it in his tired voice that I've added to his stress, and even though it was the right thing to do, I think sometimes my timing is off.

I just need to find the right timing and maybe I won't feel as guilty. I can still tell him the things he needs to know but maybe I can wait until after he gets home from a hard day of work, a hard day of helping his family move, and after getting some food in his super-hungry (and super-sexy) body.

It's all about timing. It's something I really need to work on. But I do try. I'm getting better.

Thank God my husband is patient, and doesn't mind putting up with me and my misguided if well-thought out intentions. Lord knows, he has a few things he needs to work on too. 

We balance each other out, and that seems to work for us.

Friday, September 12, 2014


I am obsessed with adaptions/re-imaginings/retellings/etc.

I love them.

I recently decided to do a retelling of Peter Pan, to be released some time next month. It'll be dark and very, very unique. I had written the story but something was missing. And then I got the idea to shift little things in order to adapt it as a retelling.

And then I got excited.

Whenever I get excited, I know I'm on the right track with my writing.

I'm not sure how people will respond to this particular retelling. It's different, and I know everyone says that about their work. But I promise, it's not typical. I don't want to reveal too much, but I will. Eventually.

Anyways, I love reading them too. I love the way authors reimagine worlds and characters and story lines. I love the feeling of things being different yet being the same too. It's thrilling and comforting at the same time.

Even if the writing is subpar or the author isn't well-known, I give it a chance, especially if the storyline is intriguing. The one thing I ask is to be creative with your characters, certainly, but please leave characteristic trademarks - things characters are known for, things that makes these characters recognizable throughout time - the same as the original.

As such, I can absolutely promise you that my Captain Hook will have a hook as a hand. Not a fake hook. Not a tattoo. But a hook as a hand.

And you know what? You're going to fall in love with him just the same.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Brats v. Bamfs

Sometimes, I can be a brat. I have no idea why my husband puts up with me.

I'm petty and immature and selfish and downright childish. I wish I could say I have no idea why I behave this way, but that wouldn't be true. It's the same reason why children act like babies and throw tantrums: I want attention.

The problem is, I'm 24 years old with 2 step-children and my daughter on the way. I need to set an example. I need to be a role model, both for the boys and my girl.

I can't be a brat and expect them to not be. If I want to teach or change something, I need to look inside and start with me first. Even if people are disrespecting me for reasons I can't help or change, I need to hold my head high.

Would Angelina Jolie or Beyonce really act like brats because they have haters? Because life isn't fair? Hell, no!

They'd turn it into an opportunity. They'd take it as a compliment and never think about it again. They'd be bamfs, not brats.

This is something I'm constantly reminding myself. This is something I'm constantly working on. But my husband looked me in the eyes today and told me: "You are too beautiful to let ugly bitches bother you."

Peasants, my lovelies. Queens don't let peasants get to them, and if, for whatever reason, they do, don't let them know they get to you. They're peasants.

Thank God for my husband. For his patience. For being hard on me. And most of all, for teaching me. And I'm grateful I'm receptive enough to learn. That's what a partnership is, really.

There's no way I'm perfect. I might even have my occasional bratty day. But I know my husband will be there to set me straight and there's no way I'm gong to let ugly bitches mar this beautiful face.

Monday, September 8, 2014

On procrastinating the writing part

Can I tell you guys a secret?

I haven't written in a long time.

I've been on a roll, publishing material I wrote a few years ago. I've been on a roll editing and coming up with cover designs with my amazing designer, Katya.

But I've been procrastinating with my writing.

And I know you're all waiting for the conclusion of The Dark Paradise trilogy, you're waiting to see what happens in Stranger, Book 2, and you want some new material along with edited updates of the old material.

I get it.

I realize that looking at writing as a business without adding the creative passion makes it hard to be creative and passionate, even about releasing old favorites.

So I started writing today. I'm a little over one-third finished with Sacrifice. My intention is to finish a first draft by October.

And with Stranger, Book 2? My intention is to finish an outline by the end if this month.

Also, look for the start of a new series next month, along with a release of a favorite from Fictionpress.

I have a plan, but without writing, it doesn't feel right. 

I know, however, that by writing every day - even if I don't feel creative, even if the writing is forced - my juices will flow and it'll become as easy as it was a few years ago.

No more excuses. No more procrastinating.

I'm supposed to give birth in early November so I need to get it together if I ever want it to really progress.

And if I ever want to get more successful, I need to progress. Which I will. Because I absolutely have to succeed. There is no other way.