Saturday, August 1, 2009

Blog Chain Blatherskite




I’ve often wondered how everyone else comes up with their blog chain topic. As for me, it usually falls into the category of what’s foremost on my mind. With that being said, here's the question:




Do you focus on one project at a time, or do you have many irons in the fire at any given moment?



When I was working on my first MS, it was my sole focus. I didn’t worry about query letters, or writing a synopsis, or plotting out any other work. I finished it at 95,000 words. I had big plans to work on the second book, and even have a folder with notes for it and a third also. All relating to the first MS. Then I started revisions. Being my first work, it wasn’t really revisions, but a complete rewrite of the first half. Saying it was bad is an understatement. It was awful, the writing that is.




I got very frustrated, and I had many people suggest I start on another project and go back to revisions after a break.

So I wrote a few short stories that I was lucky enough to get published. I plotted and started on several new works. I have never been back to visit my original MS. Not once. I have started referring to it as “my sock drawer book” (thanks Don). The only problem is this…I can’t seem to stick with one idea long enough to make any headway.





I guess the reason for the question is to get different perspectives. I do know a few of the chain gang are always multitasking. I’m trying to find my way back from too long off, and am looking for suggestions with this question that can help steer me in the right direction (rather selfish way to come up with a topic, huh?).






I’m the first in this go around, but be sure you visit Sandra ( http://ulbrichalmazan.blogspot.com/ ), who’s up next.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Blog Chain Blatherskite


Annie(http://anniewritesaboutwriting.blogspot.com/) chose this two part topic. Cole

(http://colegibsen.blogspot.com/) went right before me in the chain and Sandra (http://ulbrichalmazan.blogspot.com/ ) will be next.


I took off a few months from the blog chain, so I’d like to say welcome to our new writers. If your link is not to the left with the rest of the chain gang, please let me know and I will be happy to add your link. And away we go…..


Do you ever get inspired by a real-life event or news story and fear you're ripping off the story too much?

Yes and no. On more than one occasion, while doing historical research, I have run across some fabulous tid-bit, and just run with it. I’ve never worried about ripping off a story, as I always put my own spin on events, so much so, that they often don’t resemble the initial occurrence. I have also read quite a few authors that not only bring up an event, but will it will be a pivotal part of their plot.


Do you ever get inspired by a song or poem or line from a book and worry you're stealing that original person's idea?

I wouldn’t say that I’m inspired by a song as much as it sets the mood. I have an extensive library of music that I listen to while writing. I could give you a soundtrack to my first completed work, a historical romance. There is a different song for almost every scene. From what I’ve gathered, I’m far from alone in this writing quirk.


One of my favorite songs for writing is The Gael, which is the theme song to The Last of the Mohicans. I looked and looked for just the right video and low and behold…Scottish scenes! Now, if you listen to the song, there are so many emotions that it can evoke.


I would love to hear what everyone feels when they listen to this song. I think it will enforce previous posts about giving a group of ten a topic for a story, and all ten stories would end up being very different. No cheating though, just post what emotions you felt and then go back and read what others have said.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Interview with Nina Bangs about Eternal Craving


I was lucky enough to receive an advance reading copy of Eternal Cravings, the second in the Gods of the Night Series, by Nina Bangs, available April 28, 2009. The easiest way to sum up the book is Jurassic Park meets the X-Men and Underworld with a dash of Lord of the Rings thrown in.

As if getting an ARC of the book wasn’t good enough, Ms. Bangs agreed to answer a few questions about her latest book and the series for me.


Terri: “Eternal Cravings is the second in your Eleven Gods of the Night series. What inspired the use of the Mayan calendar ending December 21, 2012 as a catalyst for your series?”

Ms. Bangs: “People have always seemed to find doomsday predictions fascinating; hence the world’s continuing interest in Nostradamus and others like him. After noticing the growing number of people discussing the end of the Mayan long count calendar in 2012 and its apocalyptic implications, I decided it would be a perfect “ticking clock” for my series. During my research, I found other aspects of the Mayan civilization that I could use. The Mayans were masters of numbers, so I created a mysterious leader, Fin, whose existence revolves around numbers. He even calls the immortal villains by numbers rather than traditional names. And since the Mayans gave special significance to the number zero, I named the leader of the immortal bad guys Zero. Aspects of the plots will also revolve around Mayan creation gods. All in all, the Mayans contributed a great deal to the series.


Terri: “It seemed to me that in Eternal Craving, some of the dialogue was a bit "amped up" compared to your past work. It made me wonder if you had been censored by editors, publishers, or even yourself in the past?”

Ms. Bangs: “I intentionally put a lot more dark intensity into Eternal Pleasure and Eternal Craving. I wanted a raw and edgy feel to the series, so I decided the tone warranted moments of almost savage emotion. On the other hand, I always had to remember that my lighter romances were meant to be humorous, so I couldn’t include some of the dark elements that would distract from the feel of the books. I have to admit that I’m really enjoying cutting loose in the darker books. And it’s nice to take a break from always focusing on being funny.


Terri: “ Will you be doing a book tour to promote Eternal Craving, and if so, will there be dates and locations listed on your site
http://www.ninabangs.com ?”

Ms. Bangs: “Unfortunately, I won’t be doing a book tour. I can barely meet my deadlines now, so I have to stay focused. That means no play time. Which is a shame, because I love to meet readers. I will be signing at the Romance Writers of America Conference this year, though. So if you’re in the Washington, DC area, please stop by to say hi.”

I want to thank Ms. Bangs for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions.

Now on to the book itself…if you like powerful immortals, vampires, werewolves and testosterone driven men with endearing character flaws, you’ve got to check out Eternal Pleasure (http://terrirainer.blogspot.com/2008/07/nina-bangs-does-it-again.html) and Eternal Craving. The complexity of her characters and the research that went into this book is immediately apparent.

I am always amazed by Nina Bangs and her ability to weave a story around characters and circumstances so well, that you completely suspend disbelief and can’t put her books down.

Eternal Craving was no different. She has definitely stepped up not only her conflict and action, but the sexual heat that emanates from her male characters is YUMMY!

Dangerous and flawed men have always been on the menu with a good romance, but Ms. Bangs’ unique spin on the men in this series leaves me shaking my head in wonder and awe. Caveman mentality doesn’t even scratch the surface of what her male characters have to overcome; prehistoric dinosaur mentality is more accurate.

I would highly recommend Eternal Craving, not just for those who like romance, but paranormal too. I also think this is not your “momma’s romance”. I could easily see men enjoying this just as much as any woman.

Eternal Craving can be preordered through:

Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Eternal-Craving-Leisure-Paranormal-Romance/dp/084395793X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1239644672&sr=1-1 )

Barnes & Noble (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Eternal-Craving/Nina-Bangs/e/9780843957938/?itm=1 )

Borders (http://www.borders.com/online/store/TitleDetail?sku=084395793X )


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Blog Chain Blatherskite


This go around is not only exciting for me, but I have great news to share! Elana, who was before me in the chain (http://elanajohnson.blogspot.com/ ) is a quarter finalist in the Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award Contest! And guess what? So is another of our talented Blog Chain members, H.L. Dyer! Talk about being surrounded by talent! You can read an excerpt and leave a review (which can help them in the final judging) by following these links :





Okay, back to our blog chain. I was a bit over-excited this time around. Author of the soon to be released The Hollow, Jessica Verday (http://jessicaverday.blogspot.com/) started this chain and uber talented Mary (not sure how much I can say about her current project) Lindsey (http://marylindsey.wordpress.com/) will be the next link in this chain.
Here's our task:
WRITE! I want a short story people. 100 words, 300 words, 500 words, 1,000 words - whatever you're comfortable with! The only requirement I have is that the theme of the story have something to do with HEARTS. Someone stealing someone else's heart. Someone pining away for true love. A thief of hearts... Go wild!!
So here is my contribution...
Lissette watched the couple walk down the lit path through the park. She could smell them; each human had their own distinct perfume. Hiding in the shadow of a large Oak she licked her lips. It would be nothing to take them both, to feed on their warm pulsing blood until their heart stopped pumping. She knew he would come then.

A thrill ran through her cold body. It was as close to being alive as she’d been for centuries. The mere thought of the Gede made her feel. She hadn’t felt anything, aside from the hunger for blood, in so long. It was foreign, yet not unpleasant.

Unsure why the council of elders had an interest in this particular Gede, a God of death and libido, Lissette knew better than to ask. She had not survived alone in the dark underworld this long without learning to watch and listen. She had made herself an asset to the elders, but she also knew they felt no loyalty to her or any other of their underlings.

Deciding on an easier kill that would draw far less attention, Lissette scanned the vast park for a random homeless person. In a far corner of the park, about two hundred yards away, she could hear a man’s voice. She listened intently as he bragged to his companions about beating a woman and leaving her for dead. She could hear the man’s heart race as he relived the violation that he had inflicted before the beating. Just retelling it excited him. His two companions didn’t seem to share his rapid pulse. She could actually smell the fear emanating from one of them.

“Nothing like a bit of street justice to make a girl feel better” Lissette murmured to herself. Not that she really cared about the woman he had spoken of, she had done worse herself. She knew that this would make for a very angry ghost, one that she could easily control to draw the Gede to her.

It was over before either of his companions realized what was happening. She had started to drain the man before he could even register her presence. The other two men ran without looking back. Warmth flooded down Lissette’s throat. She could hear the man’s heart pounding in his chest. She listened as she drank, waiting for it to slow.

Seconds before she completely drained him, forcing his heart to stop pumping, she reached down, shoving her hand through his shirt, entering his humanly frail skin. Reaching up behind his rib cage, her hand instinctively found his heart, her fingers wrapping around the moist organ. She gave a quick yank and the arteries tore away. Pulling it from his body, she held the heart in front of his face. Lissette spoke to the man looking into his dimming eyes, “You belong to me now”.


She would wait; wait for Gerard, the strongest of the Gede, to find her. She knew he would come and she wondered what his blood would taste like. She had smelled it. It was unlike anything she’d ever experienced, the blood of a God. It made her light headed just thinking about it. Someday, she would grasp Gerard’s heart, beating and strong, unlike the slippery useless flesh still dripping in her fingers.

Preview for tomorrows blog chain post...

I usually tend to half way dread my turn in the blog chain. It's a tad bit daunting being in a chain full of VERY talented writers, and I always feel a bit intimidated by most of them. This time around, I have found myself so excited by our topic that I not only wrote the post days early, but I am having issues with patience about posting it!

That being said, I ran across the best pictures and decided I would post them today as a type of segue for tomorrows blog chain...and yes, they are a bit of a hint too! Be sure that you come back tomorrow and if the **Haitian Voodoo Priestess is reading this, I'll apologize in advance...



** http://terrirainer.blogspot.com/2008/09/open-apology-to-vodou-priestess.html

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My First Book Trailer

Okay, after the last blog chain post, I felt the need to create my own book trailer. Here's my second attempt, hopefully I'll get better at it!

video

Friday, March 13, 2009

Blog Chain Blatherskite


This blog chain was started by Heather (http://hldyer.wordpress.com/ ). Elana was before me (http://elanajohnson.blogspot.com/ ) and then Leah will follow (http://leahclifford.livejournal.com/ ).

Here’s the question:

What plans do YOU have to market your novel? How will you make sure the public finds your work?

As I read all of the informative posts before me, I was amazed at the creativity of my fellow blog chain gang. Everything from perfume, necklace and bracelet giveaways to guest blogging, radio interviews, book trailers and even an original soundtrack were mentioned or shared in this chain. Talk about creativity!

Well, I think that’s all good, and it certainly will take a ton of hard work and dedication. That’s why I can’t believe no one has mentioned my own personal marketing goal.

One word:

OPRAH!

You are pretty much guaranteed a spot on the best seller list if she so much as whispers the name of your book, so that’s my plan A.

Now, if I fail to get Oprah’s attention (I did say “if”), then plan B involves Kelly Rippa and her Trashy Beach Reads segment.

There you have it, my marketing plan. I’ll start working on that plan C as soon as I finish taking notes on this particular blog chain.

So how about you, know anybody that works at Harpo?

Monday, March 2, 2009

All Things Toilet

Okay, maybe I shouldn't have titled this "All Things Toilet", because really, there are some places I do not want to go again (http://terrirainer.blogspot.com/2008/01/sharing-and-poopnot-always-good-thing.html).

Now that you know we won't be speaking of "the poop incident", you can breathe a sigh of relief (I know you were secretly breathing out of your mouth in anticipation of the imagined smell).
Toilets, strange blog topic you might say...not if you're me. Yesterday was a day filled with the word toilet. Let us begin with toilet paper. Does anyone out there really give toilet paper a lot of thought? Sure, if you run out, it's fore-most on your mind. But normally, who would think about it, right? Uh, me, that's who. I think this is a recent occurrence. Maybe adult-on-set-toilet-paper-OCD. Let me explain.

I was always a Charmin type of girl. No thought there. It was soft, yet sturdy. Great combination. As long as you put it on the holder the right way (tears over the top, not under) then it was all good. Until we moved over a year ago. Apparently, when we upgraded in square footage, we downgraded in plumbing size. I got tired of clogged toilets, so I started my search for the "right" toilet paper.





Scott Soft is not only thick enough, but it also didn't clog my toilets. The only problem is, when my husband goes to the store, it's the small things (like the word "soft") that he over-looks. There fore I end up with plain Scott which is like wiping your arse with a minute amount of rice paper...no matter the colossal wad that you have in your hand.




Don't get me wrong, I love that I have a husband who helps out by going to the grocery store, but lets face it folks, when you get older, toilet paper becomes more of a priority. Gone are the days of wild carefree peeing and wiping with a wad of McDonald's napkins from your car, cause you were too drunk to realize you had to go before you left the bar. Not that I ever did this, I just heard stories.

Subject change...on to toilet seats. You would think that the toilet seat and the toilet paper would be related as much as I obsessed over the weekend about both, but alas, they are not even remotely connected. Let's try and make a long story short (I know, I know...as if I could).
My son has spent his own money to redecorate his bathroom. It's all done in hunting/wildlife. We started looking at toilet seats. Since he had spent his own money, we told him we would buy him a new toilet seat. Found the perfect one. Easy, right? Uh, no.


He has an elongated toilet seat (that sounded a bit...uh, bad). Hard to find a the seat he wants in elongated without paying double. I'm sorry, but I have a problem paying $70 for a new seat for a freakin toilet.


So, instead of writing, I spent about six hours looking for this ridiculous (yet cool) elongated fishing lure or deer seat. I'm still looking BTW.










So, that's how my weekend went. I hope everybody else out there was far more productive than I. As for today, I am getting ready to pick my daughter up from the high school amidst a circus of protesters. More on that next time!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Blog Chain Blatherskite


Yes boys and girls, it's that time again. My highly intelligent, well educated and overly talented blog chain writer buddies are certainly showing they have a darker side this time around.


I LOVE IT!


This one was the brain-child of recently agented (congrats) Leah Clifford (http://leahclifford.livejournal.com). Elana J was before me (http://elanajohnson.blogspot.com/) and since I am the last link in this chain, start back at the beginning with Leah for her wrap-up!


Here's our question:


What do you do to amp up the conflict? What pins do you stick in the little voodoo dolls? How do you torture your characters?


In some of the previous responses, it seems my writerly friends are much nicer than I. Can you imagine NOT hurting your characters? Well, some did like their characters so much that it was hard to do for them.


Hurting my characters was a problem for me in the beginning, but not in the way you would think. I, uh, was going to kill almost all of my characters, leaving Margaret, the MC alone and miserable. In fact, I even had her death scene at the end planned. I imagined horrible deaths.


*Sword through the gut, but it would take a few hours to die...

*Beaten to a pulp with head bashed in, surprisingly quick death, but really gory scene...

*Horrible death giving birth all alone...

*Father dying slowly, gasping for breath, in excruciating pain from poison...

*Snapping of the neck, that was short and sweet and well deserved...

*Dying alone, old and weak...


My writing teacher told me in no uncertain terms, "You can't kill off all your main characters!"


"Oh yes I can. It's my book, and I can kill anybody I want."


"Then you will not be commercially viable."


"Who cares? I'm writing this for me! And I am killing everyone!!!"


Yeah. How many of you guys laughed? Who the hell doesn't want to be commercially viable? Needless to say, after a while (I don't like to admit when I'm wrong), I had to tell this wonderful teacher that he was right and I was wrong. That wasn't the only thing I had to admit to being wrong about. That poor man got several emails after the class had ended. I may hate to admit I'm wrong, but I will do it.


So, we have established that I do want to be commercially viable. That being said, my historical WIP became a Historical Romance and I did still kill off a few characters (only three). I also learned that I can follow a formula while writing (I had to take out some of my sex scenes...funny thing about fidelity in a romance, a rape scene...he got his neck snapped anyway, and I didn't entirely kill Patrick...he still got stabbed and I still got to write my almost death scene).


Okay, so I have to keep my dark side in check. I call it my "social filter" while functioning as a person in the real world.


How about you? How dark and evil are you really? How's that social filter?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Environmental Writers Block

How many writers are so OCD, they can't possibly be creative unless everything is in place? Quiet, music playing, right frame of mind, etc.

Show of hands please?

Yeah, I raised mine. I have been giving writing, and the reasons that we don't, much thought of late. I have decided that, for me at least, there are two types of writers block. The conventional type that you often hear writers talk about, you see it in movies, you think about it when someone mentions dreaded writers block. NO IDEAS. Then there is what I have deemed environmental writers block. For whatever reason, your surroundings are just not conducive to the creative process. I'll break it down:

Conventional Writers Block-
*The voices went away
*The creative juices aren't flowing
*You can't seem to form a coherent thought
*No plot worth writing comes to mind
*Burning out due to revisions (AKA I want to hurl my PC out the window)

Environmental Writers Block-
*Kids always needing this, that or the other
*Phone ringing
*Laundry piled up
*House a mess
*Shopping needs to be done
*Dinner to be made
*Bills to be paid
*Shows to watch on the DVR
*American Idol is on (or insert your own reality weakness here)
*Any other thing that goes on in your daily life (illness, PC crash, school functions, etc.)

As you can see, the list for environmental writers block has plenty of room for you to add your own household detractors. I do know it's possible to want to write so badly, that you can block out anything. I have actually written a short story, that was published, at the playground inside Burger King amid the interruptions of my kids, and the squealing of the other rugrats there. It can be done.

I guess what I am trying to say here, more for myself than anyone, is where there is a will, there is a way. Period. Sometimes you have to take a step back, and only you can decide when that time comes, but when you really want to write, I am going to list things that I have found effective for me.

*Headphones (with or without music)
*Writing at night when everyone is in bed
*Wake up and write before anyone else is up
*Tell others when you are writing to only interrupt if the house is burning down
*Hyper-focus (if you are ADD/ADHD you'll be able to do this - trust me, I know)

If anybody else has a handy trick to keep environmental writers block at bay, please feel free to share!

As for me, I am going to get back to my writing...

Friday, February 20, 2009

100th Post!

Who knew? 100 posts. Just think, if I was actually a GOOD blogger, I would be way past that number. Alas, I am sporadic at best. Like my husband says, I am "consistently inconsistent" (yes, that should be on my tombstone)!

First, let me start by saying that I am still PISSED about my PC crashing. That being said, let me add that I can not stress enough how important backing up your information is. The pictures, documents and general information I had saved on my PC was astronomical. I still think of things daily that were on that darn thing.

Moving on to the "life goes on" portion of my post, despite taking my turn with the flu this week, I have started back on my current WIP. It's slow going, but I'm getting there. I had to download a few essential songs to the new PC, and I am ready to rock! I'm also a hopeless Facebook addict, as I know so many of you guys are too (I see how much you are on there, so don't try and deny you guys aren't just as addicted).

Now I am going to end this by thanking all of my blog chain buddies for putting up with my PC/life issues and to thank all my bloggy friends for sticking around! LOVE you guys (and I am so not a huggy-type person)!!! Off I go to try and catch up on the blogs I've neglected to visit.

:) Terri

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Blog Chain Blatherskite


It's my turn to pick the topic on this blog chain round, even though I missed the last one, which Elana started ( http://www.elanajohnson.blogspot.com/ ) and ended with Abi ( http://bloggingexperiments.wordpress.com/ ).


Since I missed the last chain entirely, I was stupid enough not to go back and see what the topic was (Homer Simpson "Doh" could be heard as I slapped my head).


***Unfortunately, it was pretty dang close to the one I picked, so there will be an alternative question for the members who don't want to just copy and paste their last post in their blog.


Have you ever had anything cause you to step back from writing? If so, what was the cause and how long did it take you to get back into the swing of things? If not, do you have any advice for other writers about not letting life get in the way of writing?

Oh dear God, where to start? I have neglected my writing on many occasions; here lately it’s gotten really bad! I think I should just make a list of issues of late, much like you would a grocery list.

1. Two of my daughters were diagnosed with a genetic birth defect which causes a Mal tracking Patella. The oldest is in a full leg brace, and between fights with the insurance company, Doctors and pharmacy, it’s been very emotionally draining.


2. My 13 year old son just got his first car (yes, I said 13), a 1976 Camaro. It’s a fixer-upper and he has done nothing but pester me to go to this store looking for this, that or the other for the car.


3. My husband has been laying off people at his work. Unfortunately, two of the men are disgruntled and have decided to lay in wait for my husband outside our house once that we know of so far.


4. My PC crashed and I lost about 7 years worth of pictures, documents, songs, etc.


5. We had an ice storm that caused my kids to be home for 3 days cooped up in the house.


6. I’ve had a viscous sinus infection that doesn’t seem to want to go away.


7. My cat got out and almost sliced his foot off (no idea how) so got to spend two days at the vet.


8.I had another BIRTHDAY (yuck) and turned 39.


9. Oh yeah, did I mention I have five kids???

This is just the last month. I have neglected my blogging, my writing, pretty much anything that I do for myself, because I have been so mentally taxed. I refuse to write more until I get a new PC. Even though I was able to wipe mine and reinstall Windows XP, there are still issues, and I think it’s only a matter of time till it quits working all together, so I haven’t even uploaded my writing folders back to it.

I often wonder how writers can keep it up even when life happens. I know many say that it is an escape, but I haven’t been able to take advantage of that escape for a few months now. Hopefully getting a new PC will light a fire under my butt, till then, I will just have to cheer on my fellow writers! YOU GO GIRLS! Check out Leah's ( http://leahclifford.livejournal.com/ ) post next!


*** Alternative question: Do you brainstorm with a friend when you are plotting, or do you prefer to be the only one who knows what your characters are going to do?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Blog Chain Blatherskite




Abi started this chain, which you can find here:



Elana was before me ( http://elanajohnson.blogspot.com/ ) and she is going to be a hard act to follow, what with her interviewer being a hot guy from EW and all....lucky dawg!




Abi's Topic is:
1. What writing related things have you done in the past?
2. What WIPs are you working on now?
3. Do you have anything brewing for the future?
4. Are you setting any writing goals or resolutions for 2009?


She was also thoughtful enough to let us choose what questions we answered, all of them, or just the ones we wanted to. Since my brain has been on an extended vacation for the holidays, I figured I'd jump into the deep end and go for it!


1. I have had several short stories published. I would say they were paranormal romance. I have also finished (operative word) a 95,000 word historical romance and promptly shoved it into a sock drawer. I also have several WIPs, in fact, I have a total of four that I have either outlined, actually started writing, or just loosely plotted. ADD is a BAD thing at times!


2. At the moment, I am working on a paranormal mystery/romance, although I have been a slacker since school has been out for the kids. They go back Tuesday...YEA!


3. & 4. Since the last two questions are future related, I'm just gonna lump them together. I, like most people, thought long and hard about the things that I would like to achieve in the upcoming year. I think the smallest goal for my writing is to finish my current WIP that I just labeled "Ghost MS", since it is currently untitled. The largest goal is to sign with an agent in 2009. I could say that I'll blog every day, or even every other day, but I always tell my husband that I am "consistently inconsistent", so I have no delusions that I could stick with that. I do, however, feel that finishing a WIP, revising and polishing it, and then querying isn't something that is unattainable for the new year, so there you have it folks. I must now be held accountable because it's IN MY BLOG!


So how about you guys, New Year resolutions abound, tell me about it!