Pacific Northwest Writers Blog Hop

I had a different post planned for today, but I was hit up by fellow Pacific NW author Michael G. Munz, author of Zeus Is Dead and several other novels (learn more about his books here) for the Pacific Northwest Writers Blog Hop. Not only did this sound like fun, but it bumps my other post to next week, freeing me from coming up with a new idea. procrastinate So Here's my contribution to the hop...

1) What am I working on?

My immediate goal is to finish editing the second book in the Clockwork Cat series and get that to my agent by the end of October. Why the end of October? Because we all know what November is.


TheGirlWiththeClockworkCat-NikkiMcCormack-500x750[2]I know a lot of authors aren't into the NaNoWriMo write 50,000 words in a month thing. I love it! I won't wax eloquent on why here, I've done that in several blog posts previously. If you really want to know why I love it you can learn more on some of those old posts (My NaNoWriMo Tips and Lessons Learned and Confessions of a NaNoWriMo Addict (and Lessons Learned)). For a short answer, The Girl and the Clockwork Cat started life as a NaNoWriMo novel and that alone is reason enough for me to keep doing it. I already know what I'm writing this year and, after all the editing and book promotion, I'm dying to get started.

2) How does my work differ from others in its genre?

In the Young Adult category, I think having a really strong female protagonist without having a heavy romance is fairly unusual. In all my work, I like to establish the women as self-sufficient and strong before I let them get too involved in romance that might take away from their own self-discovery.

November Silence: Head Down in the Steampunk NovelOn the steampunk side of things, the low-key gradual development of that technology throughout the series is also uncharacteristic of that genre. It has been a source of disappointment for some readers who are heavy steampunk devotees, but hopefully I can win them over by the end.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I love working in fantasy and science fiction, mostly because there is boundless opportunity to explore creativity while still giving ample opportunity to research and learn. In The Girl and the Clockwork Cat, for example, I spent days researching Victorian London and learning everything I could about that time, but the fact that it is fantasy gave me the ability to take what I learned and turn it into something new.

4) How does my writing process work?

I do actually outline in a sense, but not in the typical sense. When I get an idea, I bounce it around in my head for a while. When I have a good feel for my primary character(s) and I know, at the very least, what their goals are and where I want the book to start and end, I begin making notes and sketching out pivotal scenes. Sometimes I'll rough out a more detailed timeline, but most of the time I let that information live in my head and start writing, allowing it the story to move dynamically while I work. And there you have it. My contribution to the Pacific NW Blog Hop. Don't forget to drop by Michael G. Munz and follow through to some of the other authors on the blog hop.

Now to keep the blog hopping I'm passing the torch to another Pacific Northwest author.

CDevine_Headshot41414_smCeejae Devine

Ceejae Devine focuses on personal spiritual experiences, which is something she never imagined she’d be doing because she’s not religious and she doesn’t fit most people’s ideas about what it means to be spiritual. She is a feminist and a single parent with two daughters who are both strong in art, math and science. Ceejae spends most of her time following thoughts to see where they lead, and she’s been making surprising discoveries. She is currently fine tuning her memoir and developing a mini-book called “Critical Revelations About Contemporary Spirituality.”

Ceejae's links: Facebook, Twitter, Website


Holiday Madness and Almost Kisses

The holidays this year have been incredibly busy. There's been dancing and iaido as usual, with kendo now added to the mix, but you have to fill in that summer caving, horse riding and kayaking time with something. (Wait! Did I actually have time for those things when the weather was nice?) There's enormous time sunk into holiday parties, visiting family, and planning out unnecessarily complicated gifts for loved ones. Then, just to keep things exciting, you add in a car accident (yeah, I realize now that this wasn't the best idea) some whiplash and all the accompanying insurance hassle, car repairs, and rehab that come with it. Suddenly, you find yourself slipping in five minutes at the computer and wondering where all the writing time went. 129090611271933535

Rather than succumb to madness, I've opted to accept that this period of time is going to be chaotic for me. There will be opportunity after the New Year (assuming the world doesn't end because some poor Mayan got sick of working on the calendar) and what better way to kick it off than with a blogfest dedicated to the almost kiss.


The 4th Annual NO KISS Blogfest!

Here are the rules:

No Kiss Blogfest Jan 2, 2013!

Things You Should Do To Prepare For The Ultimate Non-Kissage Festivities!
  1. Sometime between now and Jan 2, 2013 write a post about the No Kiss Blogfest to let everyone know you are participating and that they should too. Why? Because it's awesome! (Please link back)
  2. Sign up for the No Kiss Blogfest by filling in the Mr. Linky here. Because Mr. Linky is awesome.
  3. Tweet about No Kiss Blogfest, using the hash tag: #nokissblogfest because #hashtagsareawesome
  4. After you've recovered from New Years Eve, write a blog sharing your Almost Kiss, No Kiss Blogfest entry (either one from your WIP, one you just wrote, one from a book, movie or tv show, or even a really hot almost-kiss picture)and post on January 2, 2013!!! Because reading your posts are awesome! (Don't forget to link back)

Get ready for the steamiest day of 2013! It's going to rule! Join the fun, sign up here!

Don't forget to tune in on my blog for my entry in the No Kiss Blogfest.

Happy Holidays!


Falling In Love Again

So here it is, the season to be romantic (because really, who wants to go outside in this weather).  I bet your thinking you know what this post will be about. It’s almost Valentine ’s Day and love is in the air after all. Whatever you’re thinking, you’re probably only partly right. I turns out that I suck at romance, at least in the real world and in my books the characters are usually so busy trying to survive, they don’t have time to go buy their sweetheart a box of chocolates and some roses at the local trader. I talked to my mom about this and have been assured that this is a family trait passed down from both sides. I really had zero chance of being born a romantic thinker.

Romantic FAIL

That said, I do have love in my life, bursting, beautiful bunches of it all over the place. I just don’t know exactly what to do with it.

I think I could take a lesson from my cat. He has love all worked out. He wears his heart on his sleeve and keeps the love flowing all year round.

I’m working on the romance thing. Maybe some therapy sessions would help. Until I figure it out, however, there are a few kinds of love I do grok. At the top of that list would be the love of a good story. I love to read them and I love, really love, to write them.

A couple of weeks ago, I started a completely new book after spending well over a year writing and editing a few books in the same world with all the same characters. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still love that world and those characters, but there is something truly magical about discovering a new world and falling in love with a whole new cast of characters. This is the kind of love I know how to work with.

Perhaps, someday, I’ll find a way to draw that passion out into the real world. Until then, I guess I will keep stumbling along.

Also, in keeping with the holiday theme, my query for The Girl and the Clockwork Cat is in the running for the Agent Blind Speed Dating Event at Cupids Literary Connection here. Please drop by and share the love!

Cliffhanger Blog Fest Entry

Brenda Drake's Cliffhanger Blogfest

Here's how it works. On your blog site, write a new scene or post a scene from your current project that is no more than 500 words, which has a rocking cliffhanger (pun intended). It can be any genre. Just leave us hanging, craving more, and cursing your name for making us want to turn a page that isn't there. Easy peasy, right? Right. 


Here is my entry from my alternate world romantic fantasy: Torment.


Indigo stared at the place Eldrian had been a moment ago.  With him there, even the beasts weren’t enough to drive her away.  With him gone, icy fingers of dread crept up her spine.  Now that she was alone, she wanted to be anywhere else.  In scant seconds, everything changed and all she had left of him were memories and a pair of boots.

Looking down at the oversized boots, she smiled wistfully.  Though she barely knew him, something about him simply fit her.  His arms felt like home more than any place she had ever been.  What did she really have to go back to?  Jayce would be a constant reminder of this exotic man who made her feel so vibrant.

Her pulse raced when she stepped close to the pillars, but the shimmer was gone.  He was gone, and she couldn’t follow.  In that moment, she knew she would have abandoned everything to go after him.  Placing a hand on either side of one pillar, she closed her eyes while she pressed her forehead against the rough gray stone.  If only…

The sound of movement behind her shattered her musings like so much glass and her heart bounded into her throat.  Turning, she saw what she most dreaded, one of the hounds ambling around the corner in the canyon.  She looked directly into those sightless eyes and sudden terror cluttered her thoughts.  Escape!  She had to escape this dead end.  If it got any closer, she would be trapped.

She bolted, running for the space between the beast and the far wall of the canyon passage, managing to dart past the thing.  It gave chase and she knew there was no way she could outrun it in shoes that didn’t fit.

Remembering Eldrian’s last words, she bit down hard on the healing split in her lip.  The sharp pain helped her remember the moment Jayce struck her, the surprise, the hurt, and the anger.  She remembered running away from him to the fountain in the Healer’s Courtyard.  The images and sensations rained down on her.  It became hard to breathe and she staggered.  Looking over her shoulder, she saw the beast lunge and she closed her eyes, yearning for her home more than she would have ever thought possible, yearning for Jayce, for anything but this.