Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Life is like a batch of edits

Edits. Revisions. Torture. Call it what you will, but they hit every writer with a different, yet powerful emotion--terror, sorrow, anxiety... I know a number of authors in various stages of the revision process, and a big, key theme is stress. Stress to meet the deadline, stress to do the edits right, stress to change something in their beloved story. It's this last one I secretly love.

Have I mentioned I'm a glutton for punishment?

Writers are attached to their stories and characters for good reason. We've lived with them in our heads for weeks, months or years. When the book goes to print, the attachment has waned for some, and strengthened for others. And each of these books went through an arduous editing process. Cherished scenes hit the cutting room floor. Characters we adored had names changed. And *gasp* we may have even had to add more. More! To an already perfect (in our eyes) story!

Life is exactly the same way. We cut out the junk that doesn't work. Toxic people, horrible jobs, extra weight, and our jeans from 10 years ago. We might not go so far as to change our names, but we change our hairstyles, our weekly dinner meals and our cars to name a few. And we're always adding--to our social circle, closet, pantry, credit card debt...the list goes on.

So why do authors resist the editing process so much? We experience this constant revising each and every day. I can't answer for everyone, but my initial reaction is to take a deep breath and ignore that inner voice that screams at me to panic. I know my editors--lovely ladies, each and every one of them--are asking for changes that make the story better. They expect more from me, believing I can deliver it.

Life is no different!

When you're open to change, the process, while at times painful, can alter the end result in the most amazing ways. I can't promise you'll win a personality or beauty contest, but I can assure you of one thing--you'll have to revise again. And again. And again. And just when you think you'll duct tape the entire head of the next person who dares ask you about the editing process and...ahem...what I mean is, just when you think you're done, you'll realize you're not. You can always improve on some area of your life. The trick is to know when you've hit that point where you're proud to display your latest efforts for the entire world to see.

It's not about perfection. It's about knowing when to improve things, or when you're at the best you can be. Embrace the opportunities to revise the areas of your life that could use a little polish. You and I both know you can deliver that. And don't be afraid of the process. Editing can be fun, I promise.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

You Might Be A Paranormal Junkie If...

Those of us who read paranormal romances know what the rest of the world doesn't--supernatural hotties just have that charisma, that element of danger, that sexy aura that can pull us into a story faster than anything else. I recently took stock of my book shelves and noticed they were filled with as many supernatural protagonists as there are creative minds in the writing world. Am I addicted? Possibly. Are you? If you answer Yes to any of the following, you might be too...

You might be a paranormal junkie if...

  • You can't handle your husband's Chia Pet-like back hair, but drool over the sexy were in your latest urban fantasy read.
  • You keel over at the first sign of a needle, but would think nothing of offering your neck to a vampire hottie.
  • The thought of ghosts freaks you out, but if they all looked like Patrick Swayze in GHOST, you'd create your own ghost hunting group.
  • You secretly wish the cop who just gave you a speeding ticket would turn into a shifter and take you away to give you his mate mark.
  • You know who I'm talking about when I say, "Sam and Dean."
  • You go to flea markets and rub every cheap, grubby bottle hoping to nab your very own dijinn.
  • You join your local Bigfoot Research group with the hopes of catching a werewolf mid-change.  
  • You're convinced the gorgeous guy you made eye contact with at the coffee shop this morning was actually reading your mind because he's psychic and fated for you. 
  • You get into a physical altercation with your best friend because she has the nerve to think your book boyfriend belongs to her.

This is by no means a complete list. And if you answered yes to most of them, you need to know one thing--you're in good company. All I can say is thank you to the muses of the many authors who make these heroes so real to us. I'll continue to give them all the shelf space they deserve. ;)

If you have any criteria to add, I'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

All About Gargoyles

Recently my poor husband was put in the awkward position of explaining gargoyles to his grandmother. She has a copy of STONE COLD SEDUCTION, and it's safe to say she's never read a book in the paranormal/urban fantasy genre. EVER. Like I said, it was awkward.

I thought I should probably come up with a short tutorial on gargoyles to clear up any confusion on the topic. This information will also come in handy if you ever have a philosophical debate about supernatural creatures.

Gargoyles are made out of stone. Yes, that means everywhere and no, it doesn't limit their movement. (If that sounds impossible, let me point out that vampires are dead and somehow they don't rot.) However, they're not stone all the time. Like shifters, they can change at will. When they're emotions run high and their control slips, you might also get a glimpse of a rock hard hottie. Just don't piss them off.

Gargoyles can fly and baby, it's all about the wingspan. From a functional standpoint, their wings have to support their weight. But let's be honest, we're not interested in functional, are we? Heck no. Size matters. The bigger the wingspan, the better the gargoyle is. At protecting. Their wings are weapons and means of transportation. They might also be erogenous zones, but you'll have to find that out for yourself. Ahem.

Gargoyles aren't all ugly. Quite the opposite. Michelangelo knew if you're going to carve a form into stone, you've got to carve perfection. Need proof? Meet Jax...

Gargoyles have feelings too. This one is important. They might be made out of stone, but their emotions are real. Maybe you have one in your garden, or you've seen one peering from the eaves of a Gothic-style building. Those guys are protection their space and do they ever get credit? Nope. Whether they look like a garden ghoul or Jax, they all deserve a little love.

Gargoyles fight for the good guys. People think they're evil, but they were created to guard against evil. Independent studies have proven the hideous faces gargoyles make repel evil spirits 5 times better than the mean, they can be ugly because it scares the hell out of evil.

The bottom line is that gargoyles rock (pun intended). They can be ugly or sexy, but they're all protectors. The next time you see one, you should definitely give him a hug. If you're lucky, he'll show you his wings. *winks*

So go forth and hug a gargoyle. Trust me, he'll thank you.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Book Boyfriend Giveaway

It's GIVEAWAY time!
I'm participating in a blog hop and offering you a chance to win an e-book of my latest release, Stone Cold Seduction. Check out the details below:

My Book Boyfriend Giveaway Hop Hosted is by Reading Between the Wines Book Club & As the Pages Turn Giveaway. The hop will run from 12:01 AM February 1st through to 11:59 PM February 5th, 2012.

What better way to celebrate the month of LOVE then with your favorite book boyfriend? Whether you have a valentine or not, the swoon worthy heroes we find in romances can’t be matched anyway! So why not put on those naughty underwear and curl up with one of these steamy reads this year instead? Make you Valentine’s Day perfect by joining the My Book Boyfriend Giveaway Hop where fellow bloggers offer you the chance to win some of their favorite book boyfriends!

So here's the deal: To enter, leave a comment below and tell me about your book boyfriend. Which sexy hero made your pulse race long after you read the last page? Don't forget to leave your email! For me, no hero compares to Acheron, the gorgeous, tortured hero with his own book in Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series. *fans self* Her heroes are all well-written, but Ash is something else.

Want an extra chances to win? Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and the blog and let me know in your comment (no more than 4 entries per person).
Contest is open to international entries.

 Check out these other blogs for more amazing giveaways: