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Drinking the Blood of Your Darlings

In Stephen King's On Writing, he offers some of the best writing advice he can. He tells us to kill our darlings--meaning, of course, that we should get rid of anything that doesn't move the story along or contribute significantly to the plot. Sometimes our darlings are sentences, sometimes single words or perhaps even entire paragraphs or pages (I haven't yet killed entire chapters, but I've come close). And sometimes "killing your darlings" means killing off a

Balancing Blood and Gore

I could easily open a vein and let blood, gore and vampyric violence pour out of me for page after page after page. But I don't. I hold back and here's why: while people may not bat an eye at the really bloody scenes, they will demand reason for them. After all, you can't write a book about the act of acquiring sustenance (just imagine 240 pages about some guy eating a cheeseburger. *snore*) and, what it boils

Fresh Blood

A lot of people have written about vampires. So how do you stand out from the crowd? Well, you make your vampire a halfling (otherwise called a dhampir) who hunts down vampirekind for profit, like Barb and JC Hendee have, or you make your vampire a fat, wise-cracking vampire taxi driver, like Andrew Fox did. You make your vampires somehow different from all the other vampires out there or you make them similar, but put them

Darkest Before Dawn

People can argue all they like about the importance of an author's website, but I believe that having one gives your readers information and gives you the thing that can make your career: exposure. (And blogging doesn't hurt, either.) My website is a darling little creation by Mike Coombes at Kissing the Frog. I love it. It's dark, mysterious--just what I want to convey on my main site. As time goes on, I'd wager, my

Lightbulb of Doom

Have I mentioned yet how adding "of doom" to the end of any noun makes it sound much cooler? The same works for "of chaos", though "of doom" adds that delightfully dark element of mystique, don't you think?

Anyway, last night I had an epiphany. After writing over 26,000 words of Eighth Grade Bites (the first book in my YA vampy series), it's time to lay it aside and work on something else. Now, before you jump

The Horrors of Katrina

Hurricane Katrina has been weighing on my mind quite a bit this week, as she has most of the country. I lived in Biloxi, MS for nearly a year and visit New Orleans often. I feel drawn there, hope to live there someday. I feel a connection to every historic corner. It's part of my soul.

That's why it pains me that so many people are declaring it to be a lost cause before relief efforts have

Conceding to the Voices in My Head

At times, I get the silly notion in my head that I'm the one writing my books. But all it takes is a weekend of yanking, pulling, tugging on words to get them on the page to remind me that I a merely a Medium for the voices inside my head.

Oft times those voices (ie, the voices of my characters) are speaking so quickly that I have a hard time getting their stories down. But sometimes,

Friends to Die For

Writing is a very solitary experience--something most writers are perfectly comfortable with. I'm one of them. But every once in a while, a writer befriends other writers and a spark ignites. A spark that says, "These people get it."

If someone had told me that I would ever join a writing group, I'd have mocked them with bubbly laughter and then sicked my flying monkeys on them. But a few years ago, I began frequenting Writers

Dead Quiet

I'm not a patient woman. In fact, I'm probably the most impatient woman ever known in the history of man(and woman, of course)kind. I tap my foot while waiting for a webpage to load (with the help of cable internet--the fastest known internet on the planet). I drum my fingers while heating up a slice of pizza in the microwave (20 seconds?! Are you kidding me?!). And a three minute long commercial is enough to make me pull

Sinking My Teeth Into It

Over the past few years, I've learned that writers are each comfortable creating fiction in their own, unique way. Some require complete silence, some noise, some coffee, some a certain area in which they find comfort to get "in the zone". People fascinate me. Personally, I can write in near-dark with music blaring, people chatting away nearby, traffic rushing by outside my window and a lack of anything in particular to drink. (I've given up my beloved Diet