THE END. And book 2 is off to my editor

I did it. I finished my second novel, book 2 of the Deadglass Trilogy. I love these characters and this world, but can I say that 11 months is too long to spend working on a single book? These last two months have been great in forcing me to make dedicated time to write; there is nothing like a deadline to get the creative juices flowing. For my next book, the 3rd and final novel of the Deadglass Trilogy, I plan to spend the first month PLOTTING, the next three months writing, and an easy two final months to edit. I’ve been a panster, but it would be so much easier to plot. Recently author Rachel Aaron wrote an excellent piece on how she writes 10k a day (10K EVERY DAY??!?!!?!?!) based on knowing exactly where the scene is going and what needs to happen first. Since I wasted a lot of time writing scenes that got thrown out with Hearts of Shadow, I really, really want to try her method of how to plot a novel in 5 steps.

Do you plot? Do you have a method that works wonders for recovering pantsers? I’m going to use Cherry Adair’s plotting board too. Wish me luck.

Meanwhile, my editor sent me my very first copyedits for the short story Hearts of Fire that will debut as an ebook in July 2012. It’s a prequel to Hearts of Darkness. Copyedits make it all seem more real. I expect Hearts of Darkness copyedits in a few weeks too. Busy, busy December.

I still need a shiny new blog design, but who has the time? 😉

Thor and Writing

I’m switching it up this week, obviously, as yesterday I wrote about a fabulous book you should buy and today I’m talking about writing. Rules are made to be broken and all. Last night Mr. Kira and I went on a hot date to see Thor. I love comic book movies, especially when they are well done. The Shadow and The Phantom were favorites when I was a kid. I’m not a fan of the Sin City type movies, which are visually appealing until they turn gruesome. Thor was excellent. They had a challenge keeping the characters in their silly costumes without making it too farcical. Here are the top three reasons Thor worked:

1. The Hero’s Journey:

Classic story arc, with Thor showing remarkable transformation from egotistical, rash boy to wise, humble warrior. He won the audience’s support by showing loyalty to his friends and family early on (His Save-the-Cat moment). I should start doing point-by-point plots of movies like this.

2. Complex Villain:

No Snidely Whiplash here. The villain had hopes and dreams that the audience could connect to, and suffered betrayal and loss of identity that we could sympathize with. I know he comes back in the sequel (The Avengers) because we saw him in the teaser at the end of the credits. I hope he gets redeemed, because I still want him to have his HEA.

3. Well Motivated:

The inhabitants of earth (Jane & co) acknowledged the silliness of certain situations, behaviors and costumes and questioned their actions. They had motivations to make taking in a delusional, violent man somewhat believable. I didn’t get the sense that the characters were engaging in TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) moments.

The eye candy didn’t hurt either. 😉

Have you seen Thor? What did you think?

Must read: The Iron Duke, now on sale!

I’ve made it no secret that I love Meljean Brook’s steampunk romance The Iron Duke. I’ve told all my friends. I’ve pushed it on my family. It’s the best steampunk romance I’ve read yet, and the best steampunk book I’ve read period. For those of you who have missed out on the awesomeness, Amazon is having a sale: The Iron Duke for only $6! Get it while the getting’s good. 🙂

Four Question Friday

The Kensington marketing department asks new authors to fill out a handy-dandy questionnaire. Strangely, I’m stumped on some of the questions. Do they want me to answer seriously? Am I supposed to answer as a reader might expect a bad-ass Paranormal Romance Author to respond? Or should I give the real scoop on me, the person behind the author facade. I guess it comes back to this: is Kira Brady a brand or a person? And if she’s a person, is she me, or a character I get to make up?

Today’s four question are taken from the marketing sheet, and I doubt they are top secret.

Question 1: What is your writing routine?

Author Kira: After an hour of yoga and a visit with my masseuse to get my body and brain in alignment, I sit down to my typewriter ready to channel the muse. Pedro, my cabana boy, mixes me a Kraken sidecar before joining the bluegrass punk band that serenades my writing sessions. I slip the IV into my vein and attach the end of the tube to the typewriter ink cartridge. There is no ink but blood. Words flow effortlessly from my fingertips to the blank page, almost as if imagined into being by a divine hand. The blood dries black on the bleached paper, belying its heavenly origins; These words were crafted in a darker place. By the time the fiddle crescendo winds down, five thousand words grace the page. I am spent. Weakly, I motion for Pedro to release me from the machine. He slips the iv out and sweeps me up into his arms. Carrying me out the double french doors into the fresh island breeze, he gently lays me in a hammock beneath the coconut fronds. I rock gently to sleep as the waves of creativity wash upon the shores of hard work, and dream of writing the next scene.

Real me: I put the baby down for a nap, make some tea, sit at my computer, and turn on Write or Die. If I’m lucky, the baby will sleep for an hour.

Question 2: What music are you really into these days?

Author Kira: Bluegrass punk and anything in a minor key.

Real me: Raffi.

Question 3: If you weren’t a romance novelist, what would you be?

Author Kira: Aether Mage.

Real me: Laundry Fairy.

Question 4: What do you think love at first sight is?

Author Kira: A divine spark from the universe that occurs when following one’s personal legend.

Real me: Shallow.

And a question for you, dear reader: What book would you most like to read again for the first time?

Book love: Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

Sometimes you come across a book that seems like it was written just for you. I feel this way about Rampant. It’s like Ms. Peterfreund plucked from my mind these themes and issues I’ve been mulling over recently, put them into words, and crafted a beautiful tapestry out of them. The themes of female empowerment, virginity, and what it means to be a woman in the modern era are not new, but I’m looking at them with new eyes now that I have a daughter. Strong themes separate out the truly unforgettable books from the simply interesting and enjoyable books. Don’t get me wrong, this is not some feminist treatise. Rampant is a beautiful adventure of a teenage girl coming to terms with her heritage, her sexuality, and her own inner power.

I’m not doing it justice. Suffice to say, I really, really liked it and think you will too. There are killer unicorns. Love, lust, betrayal. Best friends, boy friends, parents with issues. Magic and mayhem.

Ms. Peterfreund’s voice is captivating. It’s one of those that just tumbles you in from page one, and sweeps you along until you put your head up for air and realize three hours have gone by and you’re almost done with the book. I stayed up late finishing it. If it weren’t for my mama duties, I wouldn’t have put it down.

I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel, Ascendant.

What have you been reading, mes amies? What should I be reading, when I’m done with Ascendant? Have you tried Ms. Peterfreund’s delicious books?

Romance Extravaganza this Saturday

It’s time for the third annual Romance Extravaganza hosted by the King County Public Library. There are many good things about having a head librarian who is also a romance author; putting together awesome events like this is one of them. The keynote speaker this year is Susan Wiggs.

Saturday, May 7, 11:30am–3pm
Covington Library

Meet some of your favorite best-selling romance authors and new rising stars of on a day dedicated to romance readers and book lovers.

Meet the Authors

11:30am

Susan Wiggs, NY Times Best-selling Author

12:15pm

Book Signing Party with all participating authors

1pm

Women’s Fiction and Contemporary Romance Panel – Susan Wiggs, Susan Mallery and Cherry Adair

2pm

Rising Stars of Romance including Delilah Marvelle, Jessa Slade, Shelli Stevens and Theresa Meyers

Books will be available for purchase.

Tea with Cherry–special refreshments and loveliness provided by Cherry Adair.

Refreshments also provided by Covington Friends of the Library and the Greater Seattle Chapter of Romance Writers of America.

Writing Getaway to PDX and Afternoon Tea

Last Wednesday to celebrate my first sale and to get a much needed writing retreat, my Critique Partner and I took the train to Portland (Oregon) and back. We got up super early to take the 7:30 am train, which took about 3 and a half hours. Sleepiness impeded my writing ability, and the coffee on the train was crap, but I still wrote around 2,000 words on the first leg of the journey.

The weather in Portland was overcast, but dry, which in the Pacific Northwest is considered fairly decent weather. We walked to Powell’s–a book mecca for those of you unfamiliar with the place. The romance section has been moved into the cafe area, so while we had a snack and wrote we had a fine view of the shelves our books will someday grace. I forgot to take a picture.

Powell’s, unfortunately, does not have a nursing facility for the public, so we had to leave in search of greener pastures. Nordstroms came to my rescue. This was my very first day away from the baby, but as we are still nursing I had to find a place to pump. Nursing in public I don’t have a problem with; pumping in public is another story. Mooooooo!

We walked to the historic Heathman Hotel where we had a celebratory afternoon tea. My CP and I are huge afternoon tea aficionados. We take every opportunity to celebrate with afternoon tea: birthdays, page goals, contest wins, rejections, and just because. Our favorite place in Seattle is the Queen Mary Tea Room. This was my first trip to the Heathman. The ambiance was very English with dark wooden paneling, a giant open fireplace, and a large ornate chandelier. Tea was excellent, and we ate ourselves silly. The scones, in particular, were scrumptious. I had a vegetarian selection and English Breakfast tea. I should have written down the menu options. They included cucumber sandwiches, homemade marshmallow, and chocolate cake.

 

We wrote some more, and walked back to the train station, where we, you guessed it, wrote more. All in all I wrote 5,000 words, which I think is a record for me. It was a fabulous time.