Monthly Archives: April 2013

Living in my Head, and Getting Lost when I go to the Bathroom.

I’m in another world, thinking thoughts and plotting plots, always somewhere in The Khekarian Series. Being busy in my thoughts elsewhere frequently causes me to miss things that are going on in my daily existence. It certainly did not help me much in school. Nowadays I don’t get into trouble for it, which is fortunate, however I do it to such an extent that I bump into the realization in strange ways.

I might be watching a movie and be well into it – yes, enjoying it, too – then I’ll put the thing on pause to go to the bathroom, and while away, I won’t have to foggiest clue what it is I have been watching. Seriously, not a clue. Of course, I’ll pick it up again when I come back into the lounge room, but for that time away, I honestly don’t know.

I even got lost once, following my husband. That was embarrassing. [Continue reading…]

Despite all my Fiddling…

Thanks largely to friendly forces in the blogosphere, and a few at home-base, too, I knuckle down every day to write and edit and polish and weave. Book two of The Khekarian Series (science fiction/fantasy if you must) [see here], The Imperial Son, is well on its way to being completed on schedule.

Despite all my fiddling about with threads and chapters recently [see here], it’s nice to tell you I am not going backwards. Nor am I at a standstill. Of course all that fiddling was necessary, it’s one of those things, a book is very rarely written from beginning to end in a neat line.

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I Love Fat Books

I love a fat book. I have no problem putting down any book I am not enjoying, but if it’s a GOOD book, I hate it if it’s thin. I slow down my reading. I count the pages until the end and then break it down into daily parcels in an attempt to make it last longer. Of course, if it’s a fat book, I’ll do the same thing on nearing the end, but a fat book at least delivers a lot if you are enjoying it. You feel as though you got your money’s worth. You feel as though you’ve been on an adventure. A proper adventure, lasting days or even weeks, not a scant few hours.

A fat book is better than a movie, sometimes. You go to sleep at night, wondering what’s going to happen in the morning, exactly as the characters would. You are, in effect, travelling with them. A film gives you all the visuals and no reading effort, but at the end of the day, you go to sleep thinking about the movie as a whole. It’s over, you enjoyed it, but you know how it ended now. With a book, you still have that anticipation, that worry over how the hero’s going to make it through in the end – if he or she will make it in the end. You’re wondering how. You don’t know, at that stage, how you will be at the end of it. Will you be elated? Brought low? Defeated? Or will you win? Will you come away absolutely delighted and wanting more, or will you be disappointed. You don’t know.

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A Half-post. Told you so.

This is probably my least significant post to date, so I humbly ask for tolerance. Basically, I’m fiddling again, changing my times around and I thought I should let you know.

Currently, I’m posting my little chats on Tuesdays in Australia, which is Mondays in America, referred to by me as Tuesdays (Mondays). I also post on Thursdays (Wednesdays). I thought it might be a sweet-spot, you know, easier for people to read on that day, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it probably doesn’t make much difference, so I’m sliding Thursdays (Wednesdays) along one day to Fridays (Thursdays), back to where I had it originally.

Yes, I could have told you all about it yesterday, only I didn’t – and for devious reasons.

[Read on…]

Blog? Blog??? Wot’s dat thing? It’s like that.

A Change is as Good as a Break. Sounds like a Plan.

Sometimes you just can’t keep going. No one can work 24/7/365. Writing is very flexible in its way and I adore it, but sometimes I’ve got to step back. Not to think out problems, not to “stare at the wall” in my method of focusing on an issue, but just back, as in take-a-break back off and do something else. Clear my head, breathe fresh air, smell the roses, all that.

So, here I am blogging while trying to get Book Two out in The Khekarian Series. I really don’t want to take the time out from writing to produce snippets for this blog because it takes my thoughts outside the story that is so important to me. Yet the blog is very important, too. If I want to make a success out of what I do, it will help if I’m out there somewhere, introducing myself. How will people find my book if it’s buried under a stack of others on Amazon’s lists? Hundreds of books get published there every day. I have to wave my own flag, I am my own PR agent, simple as that.

But, hey, you know what? Blogging is fun. I get to be me and I get to chat with some wonderful people from all around the world. I also explore other blogs and find like-minded individuals to interact with.

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Weaving a Tale and Timing a Weave, and Sevi Giving Trouble Again.

Note: This is an old piece brought forward. The book I was working on at the time was The King’s Sacrifice, book 2 in the Khekarian series, and is now published.

One good long scream saw the morning in. Some days are like that. Then I had two cups of coffee and stared at the computer as though blaming it for everything. After that, I backed up my file in a separate place because I was about to hack to pieces a good half of my manuscript to date. The thought of discovering that, no, this doesn’t work either and I’d have to put it all back together again was too daunting. Backup would restore all if necessary.

I suppose I ought to explain.

Writing is like weaving. It really is. I like to run with three threads at a time, side by side in each chapter. Sometimes, by necessity, I run with two, sometimes with four, both rare. Most often, it’s three.

The Khekarian Series tells a story that reaches across the galaxy, sometimes the storyline running side by side, far, far away from each other. So then the chapters alternate, evens picking up one side of the galaxy and odds telling what’s happening at the other. Each side, of course, with three different threads. Or two or four.

That means with each book, I’m handling up to eight threads, but usually six, all needing to be interwoven and balanced with each other. Some threads merge together, others split, so there’s flexibility going on, too. In all of this, timing is important. When the whole story is racing forward over days and weeks – theirs, not mine – then each side (evens and odds) just takes the story forward, it doesn’t matter. But when one side slows down to the hours in a day and the next segment will also be there, you can’t have a different chapter in the middle of that racing forward by weeks. You end up with a “hang on a minute” realization that one side has covered a vast period of time while the other has dragged forward only a day.

It will not do! That balance really is important. Well, to me, anyway. This applies to the individual threads within each chapter as well as between the chapters themselves. One segment cannot move forward unless all segments up to that point have let go of the moment. [continue reading…]

ONE Character Went His Own Way – And The Whole Dang Series Followed.

This is also about how one book became a series. That’s right. The whole Khekarian Series came about because ONE non-vital character took a turn I did not expect. That’s a big WOW. Seriously. How can so much come out of one little change, one little display of independence by a secondary character who simply came forward to be a little more interesting than bland?

Way back in the formation years (so long ago now, I’m not telling), I had in mind a psychological thriller/science fiction. It was a blood and guts thing, a story of oppression and sexual abuse. Hey, I was just a kid when I first concocted all this, it’s been with me a long time, so a little leniency, please.

Anyhoo, it was ONE BOOK. The Bad Guy was simply a monster on a killing spree. No one could stop him, those who tried, died. Nice and bloodthirsty. Aleisha was a victim of sexual assault just trying to survive and get out. So… apart from some sexual assault further along (and the Bad Guy’s focus is now elsewhere), the only thing that remains is her wanting to survive and get out.

The original might have worked, only I wasn’t getting anywhere with agents and publishers, which I took to be because I wasn’t politically correct and that I wasn’t allowed to have women as victims of sex abuse anymore (dang!). I didn’t at that time realize the publishing industry has gone to the dogs and NO ONE in the field dares take on anything outside their own box of “what works for them”.

No matter. Point is, I couldn’t sell it (it was blinking hot, too). I thought it was a problem I had to fix. So I fixed it. The change came about in stages. [Continue reading…]

Why this Blogging Author is a Different Writer to the Book Writing Author. Oh Blog! Please don’t judge my work by my blog!

You may have notice – I hope you’ve noticed – I write differently when I write on my blog. I guess all authors do. I write as though I am writing a letter, saying hello and talking to someone. I’m very much on the page. In my fiction, of course, I don’t exist. I’m simply not there.

This is as it should be. As a reader, you want to lose yourself so completely in a story, there’s no room for an author, no room for anything else but the story. For the duration of the read, you are IN the action, caring and feeling, wondering and hoping, chewing your nails occasionally, fearing for the Good Guys, secretly liking the Bad Guys (it’s alright, I won’t tell anyone) and speculating how it’s all going to end.

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Fantasy is Where Belief Runs Out. I’m calling the Khekarian Series Sci-Fi – You can call it what you like.

For each of us, fantasy is where belief runs out. It’s on the other side of the demarcation line from reality, that line in the sand between what we accept as real and what we don’t. In other words, it’s subjective. We each have our own levels of belief on a wide array of topics. We each have our own demarcation lines.

To me, the Khekarian Series is very much a work of science fiction. I base every aspect of my work on realism and on areas of the unknown we are still exploring – scientific theories, if you will. I study everything, my research is immense (and very enjoyable).

To me, fantasy means talking horses or sponge monsters that show the intelligence equal to our own and whiz around in spaceships they cannot possibly manipulate. I’m sorry, no matter how much a person may love it, reality just doesn’t happen like that. I enjoy realism too much to write that way, it has to be feasible (even if it challenges our acceptances – the glory of discovery is often the surprise it carries in).

While many may agree on my definition of fantasy, some people do not agree with my definition of science fiction. Primarily this is because I have included psychics (documented – pros and cons – down through the ages, and therefore real whether you agree with them or not), and the alien nature of my aliens 😀 because I have made one species multidimensional beings.

In this post, I cover both these aspects and tell you why I put them into my story.

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Why a Good BAD Guy is effing GOOD. Yum.

This is going to be about sex appeal, isn’t it? You have a problem with that? No? Good.

We all like sex appeal. A little bit of danger is pretty nifty, too. Doing anything your mother warned you against can be fun and the whole shebang can take place in your imagination, so you can go wild anytime you want to.

No one likes a boring Bad Guy. Being a thug just will not cut it, either. Not on its own. In the same way, no one wants some pure-as-snow Good Guy. Most people enjoy real characterization that they can identify with to whatever degree. We want to understand the good strengths of the villain just as we want to understand the weaknesses of the hero. None of us are perfect. That means we can kind of be heroes, too, because we have the same weaknesses, or at least something like them. Or you can side with the Bad Guy – it’s all good fun.

[Continue reading…]