September 22, 2011


Good morning!

I wasn't planning on having to do this, but I need to go on hiatus. I'm sure you've noticed my absence on your blogs and lack of posting here so I think it would be best for everyone if I took a break and came back fully refreshed and ready to blog/network on October 1st.

I really want to get this round of revisions finished for BLEED FOR ME and so I must focus. I will miss you all and will [hopefully] have some great material and good news when I come back :)

Keep writing. Stay safe.

September 20, 2011

Who Inspires You?

My very first inspiration came from Stephenie Meyer. She made writing a novel look easy by writing her very first in three months. After that she got an agent and then a publisher and continued to herself a success with the Twilight Saga.

So when I was 21, I decided I'd try it. Four manuscripts later, I've found that this isn't the case.

Writing a novel is not easy.

I also found out that I needed continued inspiration. Ms. Meyer did not keep me going. So who inspires me now?

The very first would have to be The Piedmont Writer (a.k.a Anne Gallagher). Many of you follow her blog and probably get inspiration from her. She is down to earth and persists at everything she starts. I am in awe by her WIP list and her determination to make it in this business. Just by looking at her WIP list I get motivated and inspired to keep going. When times are tough, I turn to her blog. It's simple. It's elegant. But it's full of information and advice.

My second choice would have to be the lovely ladies in my writing group. They offer words of encouragement when I don't deserve it and tell me to keep chugging along. They even help with plotting and making me realize that "No, you're character really would not do that." You ladies are awesome.

Third, my inspiration comes from you: my followers. You keep my head on straight and help me work out my frustration with my WIPs. you let me vent, make me laugh and sometimes even cry with how great you all are.

I have so many people I am inspired by, it's a wonder why I've stopped writing this week ;)

So thank you. You inspire me!

September 14, 2011

WIP Report


What to say about my work in progress. Quite honestly, it's been Hell. I have rewritten the entire novel, cut over thirty percent of it, added characters, cut characters, changed their appearances and more. After all this, I am down to the last three chapters of the novel and have nowhere to go.

I'm stuck.

I know what I want my characters to do, how I want the story to end, but I am just the author. I have no control over my characters and it seems they are finished with me.

My deadline is October 1st. Self-imposed of course, but LET ME OUT will be back from the critique group that day and I need to start revisions on that and get it out to agents. I need my characters to get back in the game. I need to finish this book. I need to put this stress behind me.

What helps you when you're stuck?

September 11, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

Revisions for BLEED FOR ME are winding down and things are getting very stressful/exciting for my characters!


Torrhent has just survive through the worst attack on her life and has convinced herself she's better off dead in order to save others.

She turned to face him, talking to his back. “Thank you. For everything.” For keeping me alive, she kept to herself. “I hope you get your sister back.”

Taigen didn’t move and Torrhent forced her feet forward. It was another four hundred miles until New York, but there had to be a police station somewhere along the way.

September 8, 2011

Stay in the Game

The publishing industry is constantly evolving and we as writers are expected to do our research to stay in the game. That research includes the publishing routes writers take upon themselves.

Self-publishing is a very personal choice. No one has the right to tell you how to publish your book, but do you know what you’re getting into by leaving a traditional publisher on the sidelines?

If you’re considering self-publishing, you have to research and you have to be meticulous. Otherwise, without the tools a traditional publisher or an agent offers (editing, copyediting, marketing, legal guidance, etc.), you may look like a fool. Your dedication to succeed is the deciding factor. Self-publishing is a great resource for new or advanced writers to get their work into the world. Without the stress and disappointment of finding an agent or waiting years for your book to hit shelves, you can take your career into your own hands. But there are a few things to consider before you take that final step.

Interviews from four authors will give you insight into the following questions when comparing a traditional publisher to self-publishing:

* How long does it take for my book to become available to readers?

* What are my royalty rates?

* What level of self-promotion is involved to sell my book?

* What level of editing is required to self-publish my book?

* How does self-publishing help already-published authors?

Sherri A. Dub, self-published author of her paranormal romance, Goddess Cottage, chose to take her career into her own hands because the slushpile was taking too long. She states, “I knew my book was ready, as it was requested, in full, by a major publishing house, but they chose to praise it and pass” (Dub Interview). This led Dub to utilize and pay $219.00 for an ISBN number, a cover and to format her novel. Dub’s novel was made available on iBooks, Sony, Nook & Kindle on April 21, 2011 at $1.99 with a second novel, The Witch Ball, and a third novel, following suit later in the year. However, there are no royalty figures available as of yet for Dub as it can take between 60-70 days in order to receive payment from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple and Sony. The writer spends a good chunk of free time, when she isn’t writing, promoting her first novel. “I do daily promotional work on Twitter, and Facebook” (Dub interview), she states and lists Twitter as her greatest resource, reporting over one thousand followers. Dub feels she is doing well with over one hundred downloads of her novel and advises, “If you have a large writing group of peers who are encouraging you to do this and you have honed your craft, then I say go for it” (Dub interview). Even with this amount of success, Dub is still on the hunt for an agent and looks forward to pitching herself at future writing conferences. Sherri A. Dub can be reached through her website:

Romance writer Sherri Smith, writing as R.M. Sotera, has numerous novellas traditionally published electronically. Her decision to self-publish came after she realized she had to evolve as the industry evolved. “In all honesty, it appears that building a name for oneself through E-Publishing and Self-Publishing is a good step in securing the ultimate goal of a traditional publishing—if this is an author’s goal” (Smith interview). Smith continues to query agents in the hope that one of her manuscripts will catch an agent’s eye, but is currently succeeding electronically through eXtasy Books and Evernight Publishing. Smith reveals that even though she has gone through a traditional publisher for her work, the release date for her novellas, after the contract is signed, is only two to three months. According to Smith, e-published authors can be paid monthly, quarterly and semi-annually, depending on the publisher, but Smith reports that $55.00 is the most she’s made in one month through this route. The writer attributes the amount of money she personally makes to promotion. “I’m sure I could do better if I had the time needed for promotion, but with my full-time job and allotting writing time in my schedule, online promotion is a big problem for me” (Smith interview). Smith is one of the authors who have considered self-publishing, eager to get her name out there as any author is, but she goes on to state, “At this time it isn’t feasible because I don’t feel that I have the time to put the amount of leg-work needed into self promotion” (Smith interview). She can be contacted through her website:

Self-published author and self-publishing guru Kris Tualla is another one of those authors who tried the traditional publishing route, but found that her books were not what the publishing houses were looking for. The main reason: her Norwegian heroes weren’t Scottish. Thousands of writers are praised for their writing capability, but hit the “your book isn’t sellable” wall. Tualla’s answer: self-publishing. Spending over ten hours a day promoting her books while writing three to six hours on her next manuscripts, this writer has published her books both in print and electronically. Tualla pulls in about $75.00 a month with her books, spending between $4.88-$5.00 on the print-on-demands and absolutely nothing for her e-books. How’d she do it? CreateSpace from Amazon. With offers like free membership, flexible royalty models, free CreateSpace ISBN, and a print-on-demand option, CreateSpace is the “juggernaut” of self-publishing (Tuall interview) and perfect fit for Tualla. With an art degree in her background, Tualla created her brilliant cover designs herself. By studying traditional covers for those key elements, this writer took every aspect of her career into her own hands, but warned writers that, “No writer can edit themselves” (Tualla interview). Because of this, Tualla uses four separate readers for plot consistency, characterization, GMC and setting while using a completely different set of readers for copyediting. Before even considering releasing her manuscripts to the masses, the writer buys her own book for one last edit, folding down the corners of every page that has a missed mistake. Her first rule before self-publishing: create a well-written product (Tualla interview). Currently in the works with a traditional publisher for her sixth, seventh and eight novels (a trilogy), Tualla offers a 5-day self-publishing intensive for members of who want to learn the ins and outs of self-publishing. She can be reached through her website:

And lastly, our very own multi-published crime author Robert S. Levinson has nine novels published to date. Taking six months to find an agent and a year to land a publisher, Levinson takes the brunt of his promotion upon himself, even with publishers Forge and Star/Gale at his back. This author reports that it generally takes between twelve and sixteen months for his novels to become available to the public and receives industry standard royalties of the cover price.

But how can self-publishing help already-published authors?

Even though Levinson still writes and submits to his publishers, he has taken his backlist (those books no longer available) and self-published them electronically on Amazon’s Kindle and other e-book outlets along with authors such as Carolyn Jewel, Kevin J. Anderson and L.L. Bartlett. Websites such as Smashwords and CreateSpace are helping traditionally published authors keep their titles available after the publisher has given back the rights to them. Once the author has those rights, it’s fair game.

If you’re still not sure self-publishing is right for you, consider one last route before uploading that file. Jessica Faust of BookEnds Literary Agency is just one of the thousands of literary agents who have opened their own e-publishing house. Beyond the Page Publishing is out to help both agented and unagented authors to publish electronically. They offer expert editing services, cover design, distribution through major e-book sellers, copyright application, pricing consultations, and marketing guidance. What the agent gets in return: 15% commission from your sales. All you have to do is submit your query to Beyond the Page is a traditional publisher. However, they are strictly electronic. Other companies such as Carina Press and Sapphire Blue Publishing follow the same line and since they are strictly electronic, the guidelines are a little more relaxed and you’ll see sales a lot sooner than with a traditional publisher.

Whether you’re a new author or a veteran, writers all over the world are working to stay in the game by self-publishing. Either you can take your career into your own hands or wait another year to see your book on the shelf. The choice is up to you.

September 6, 2011

Change of Plans

I'm always trying to find better ways to keep organized, especially if it comes to my writing. A while ago, I did a post on the way I do outlines. Shown here:

You can see these because they've changed....a lot.

There is a lot going on in this WORD document, which I was completely fine with until I started planning out my story board. Comments are great, but without being able to make each comment a different color, I was getting confused on what needed to be worked on and which scenes were important to the story. 

Now, I've discovered Platonium!

Not really, but you'll see what I mean with this picture:

Sorry - had to black out my scene descriptions since this is a WIP :(

By using Excel, I was able to include a lot more information in my outline than in Word. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE WORD. I use it for everything, but when it comes to organizing my writing, I'm converting to Excel.

In this spreadsheet I've listed:

1. Chapter #
2. Status of chapter (Revision 1 = First round of major revisions, Revision 2, etc)
3. Pages of chapter
4. Word count in chapter
5. Scene number within chapter
6. Scene description
7. A column asking how the scene moves the plot forward (haven't filled that in yet)
8. Timeline (what day of the week the scene takes place on)

And then some color coding. The colors are where my story board takes hold. Blue is set up for the main plot turning points. Red for subplot turning points and yellow for those scenes that I need to clear up a timeline for. There seems to be A LOT of stuff happening in one day and I don't think it would be believable. There's only so much one person can handle.

What do you think? Do you utilize technology for your notes and outlines or are you old school? What are some ways you keep your information organized?

September 4, 2011

In Which I Reveal My New Pen Name!!!

...Drumroll Please...

Ta-Da! What do you think?

This decision was a hard one to make. It took a long time to pick a name that kept a piece of me and told readers that I write suspense. I'm excited to start new and make some amazing stories!

September 3, 2011

Write a Post, Help a Dog

 NOTE: This post is an exact copy of the Piedmont Writer's post today

I never post on Saturday but I found this on The Eagle's Aerial Perspective blog this morning.

Pedigree is resurrecting its insanely successful Write a Post, Help a Dog program. In 2010, 391 bloggers wrote about the program and with each post, Pedigree donated 20 pounds of its Healthy Longevity dog food to shelter animals. In all, 7,820 pounds of food was donated to two shelters renowned for their care of senior dogs: Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco and Castaway Critters in Harrisburg, Pa.

How you can help in 2011

Simply spread the word about Write a Post, Help a Dog 2011 and once again Pedigree will donate 20 pounds of food for each blogger's post. Here's all you need to include in your post:

The Write a Post, Help a Dog program is aimed at raising awareness and food for the more than four million dogs that wind up in shelters and breed rescues each year.
For each blog post mentioning the Pedigree Foundation from now until midnight ET on September 3, Pedigree will donate 20 pounds of its new dry Pedigree recipe food for dogs -- its best recipe ever -- to a shelter, because every dog deserves leading nutrition.

The Pedigree Foundation -- a 501 (C)(3) nonprofit organization is committed to helping dogs by providing grants to shelters and rescues and encouraging dog adoption. This year the Foundation has already raised more than $376,570 against its goal of $1.5 million to carry out its work to fund grants that not only help shelters operate, but to further shelter innovations.
The Pedigree Foundation depends on charitable contributions from individuals to carry out its mission to help dogs find loving homes. In addition to writing a blog post, here's how you can help:

Donate online at
Apply for a shelter grant from the Pedigree Foundation by completing a form at
Purchase Dogs Rule Gear at where the proceeds go to the Pedigree Foundation to help loving dogs find a home. SPECIAL OFFER: Get 10 percent off Dogs Rule Gear by using the promo code BlogPaws10 from August 22 - September 30.

Now, the deadline for this is TONIGHT, and the link is at The Eagle's Aerial Perspective blog. So please go there, link up, copy and paste, or blog what you can to help this fabulous cause.

September 1, 2011

Let's Take a Poll to Pick My New Name

*********My new name has been chosen and will be revealed this upcoming Sunday!*********

Ok, stalkers. I need your help. I don't write under my real name, at least not my real last name. Why? Because I don't like it. (I love you, husband!). So I've been using my mother's maiden name, McIntyre. However, my writing has nothing to do with Scotland, Scottish people, Scottish accents, Scottish traditions, etc. NOTHING.

I need a last name that says I write suspense. I want it short and catchy. I want people to remember it and I want to like it :)

Therefore, I am hosting a poll. PLEASE participate in the poll to the right of this post. There you will find the names I've dwindled my long list down to. If you have a name you'd think I like, please comment in this post. I appreciate your input and will even award prizes :)