When the Muse Strikes

It has been an exciting week for me, I have been writing, attended a Romance Writers meeting and brainstormed with Melissa Pearl.  It is nice to have so much creativity around me at the moment because life seems hectic.

Tom HardyI discovered Tom Hardy quite by accident, having watched This Means War.  I know, I am a bit behind the 8 ball, but no more.  I looked at him, and I saw the hero in my Cursed Love story.  I can imagine him in a business suit, no nonsense business man, in jeans and t-shirt as a charming and flirty man.  Yip, I have a new muse.

LaVerne Clark really is at fault for prompting this more by showing me her Pinterest page, full of hunks, including Tom Hardy.   Hmmm, definitely need to raid her Pinterest page!

On Saturday, a quiet day at home on my own, I was chatting with Melissa about issues I was having with Cursed Love and trying to make some aspects come to life.  Within 10 minutes we had enough ideas for me to really get excited.

And while driving yesterday, I came up with some conflicts that would really make the story move, and a possible “black moment”.  Fingers crossed I can work it into my plot.

What was really inspiring, is getting together with the Nelson group of Romance Writing New Zealand Group.  It is fantastic to be able to share your experiences with writing and know that someone else in the group knows what you are going through.  We all of the common interest on writing and romance, so we are able to really help each other with our writing experiences.

So this week, once I have completed two articles for a new website, I intend to get some character goals set up for Cursed Love, and work towards getting a plot together, and also continue working on the Erotica, which is fast becoming a fast paced romance!  I don’t mind, it is fun writing it and I am enjoying the feistiness of the characters.

What plans do you have for the week?

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NZ Book Month – Love, Life and Hiroshima by LaVerne Clark

Jenna Thomas stormed into my head the moment I started thinking of a premise to a superhero-themed novella. Why superhero? I’d heard of a submission call that excited me like nothing else had in a long time. Rushing to my computer, I swept aside the current WIP I’d been labouring over and let the words pour out on the new. Pretty soon, I had my first pivotal scene; how my heroine came by her abilities; the setting – and then I hit a brick wall. Jenna dug her toes in and point-blank refused to be cast as a superhero. No matter how much I tried to manipulate her, or how much pleading and whining was involved, I couldn’t get her to budge. There was no way on earth she was going to be flying around saving people left, right and centre. Jenna shunned the limelight, preferring to keep her distance from the general public as much as humanly possible.

“Fine then,” I finally snapped, throwing my hands up in surrender. “Show me who you really are then and why I should write your story.” As I sat at my computer sulking over the fact I wasn’t going to be writing a fantastic superhero story after all, she revealed her story to me and I was captivated.

Jenna’s family originated from Hiroshima, Japan. They’d lived quiet, ordinary lives until that fateful day of August 6th 1945, when the atomic bomb was dropped over their city, changing everyone’s lives forever. After the initial horror had passed, it became apparent a new one was on the horizon – radiation poisoning – and Jenna’s family fled to New Zealand. Trekking halfway around the world, they thought they’d escaped the repercussions of the war – but the radiation from the fall-out had affected them after all. It sank deep into their molecular structure and changed their DNA forever.

For most of the family, it presented itself as cancer, killing them off one by one. But for a select few, it brought strange abilities instead. For a long time, Jenna was sure she’d been dealt the dud-hand – and then she met Nick – and for the first time, she thought she might have had it wrong.

Although the horror of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were well before my time and in a different part of the world, I remember seeing the black and white photos described in a scene of Affinity as a young girl and they haunted me. I didn’t know how much until I met Jenna, and I could see them in my mind’s eye as clearly as the first time I gazed at them in shocked fascination.

But along with those feelings of distress and sorrow, I experienced equal ones of awe and inspiration. Amongst the awful photos were occasional ones of hope and beauty. The people of Japan affected by this terrible event were undoubtedly angry at what had been done to them, but I never saw hatred in their eyes. Maybe it was because they were sick of the fighting – or more likely they were just too devastated. Whatever it was, it affected me personally and Jenna’s story is a result of that long-ago memory.

Maybe we can’t all have special abilities like Jenna does, but what we do all have at our core is the ability to empathize and care for one another. We have the capacity to forgive atrocities and get on with life – and that to me is an incredible ability worthy of any superhero, don’t you think? J

AUTHOR BIO

Like the heroines in my stories, I married my own gorgeous hero and have been blessed LaVernewith a school-aged son and a toddler-aged daughter. I’m passionately involved with the charitable organization, “Greyhounds as Pets” after falling in love and adopting my own ex-racing greyhound, and became the Area Coordinator for my region. Perhaps, in the back of my mind was the old adage of owners looking like their dogs, but sadly, my legs don’t seem to have got any longer and my waist hasn’t shrunk to minuscule proportions, but on a good note, at least my nose isn’t any longer! I’m a member of Romance Writers of New Zealand and live in the beautiful coastal town of Nelson at the top of the South Island, the sun capital of the country.

BLURB: Affinity

In the wrong hands, Jenna Thomas’s legacy could be a curse—in her mind it already is.

As a child, a routine x-ray awakened an abnormality in Jenna’s DNA giving her the ability to “call” creatures and take on their attributes. Labeled a freak since then, Jenna’s learned to keep everyone at a distance. But all that changes the day she saves a young boy from drowning, and the story goes viral.

Nick Hawke, an off-duty policeman, witnesses part of the drama. Captivated by Jenna’s exotic beauty, he decides to investigate, not sure what to believe. Jenna puts his cynicism to the test—even as the attraction between them grows.

As word of her extraordinary rescue spreads, a dangerous man who will stop at nothing to control Jenna’s abilities draws near. With her feelings for Nick putting him in danger too, can Jenna risk everything to protect them both?

 

BUY LINKS – AFFINITY

The Wild Rose Press

 Amazon 

GUARDIAN OF THE JEWEL

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon

NZ Book Month – LaVerne Clark

LaVerneI first met LaVerne Clark through KiwiWriters, then later met face to face in regular writing groups.  She has since convinced me join Romance Writers NZ.  I consider LaVerne  a close friend and one of my greatest supporters.

With two books now out – Affinity and Guardian of the Jewel available through Wild Rose Press – and another two in progress, I had to ask her some real questions like:

 

 

 

When you aren’t writing, what do you do for a job?

I’m a mum and wife, so life is pretty hectic. I swear, I’m busier now than when I was working as a picture framer in my other life!

 

When do you generally write your story, and where?

I’m almost counting down the hours until the clock strikes 8pm, when the children go to bed. Does that make me a bad mother? Probably I have two laptops – one in the lounge and one in my bedroom – and write between them both, updating the USB stick each time. I have a playlist using a really cool, FREE app called Spotify on both, plug myself in and am away.

 

What made you decide to write in the first place?

Like most writers, I have a need to write. I love the whole creative process, but my favourite part would have to be going through edits and tightening the story until it is the best I can make it.

 

Why do you write about the topics you do?

I’m a romantic at heart and truly believe everyone can have and deserve a happily-ever-after if they’re only brave enough to open themselves up for it. Everyone wants to be loved. Isn’t that what we all strive for?

 

Where would be your ideal place be to write?

I would love to have my own office. Somewhere where I could shut the door and have everything at my fingertips at a moments notice. At the moment, if I want to print something out, I have to get the printer out, hook it up after fiddling with all sorts of assorted plugs, print whatever it is out, then put it away again.

 

If money was no object, would you write full time?

Ooo – yes please! That is my goal. Isn’t it every writer’s goal?

 

Tell us a little something about the book you are currently working on:

I’m waiting to hear back from my editor about my first full-length story, (cross fingers for me will you?) and am polishing up and finishing off another that’s been on my mind for quite a while. It is a contemporary fantasy romance set in the Central Plauteau area of NZ and involves the Tarawera eruption, a Maori bone carving with a strange power and a villain determined to get his hands on it.

Thanks Karen! That was fun

 

Check out another post from LaVerne on how she came to create Affinity – posted on 30th March 2013

End of Year Wrap Up

How did I go?  Well, to be honest, it was a rough year!

January saw me editing Medusa’s Garden, and I was struggling with it.  My depression returned and I spent the first part of January trying to work it out, and had the BGAC to attend to.  I helped a friend shift house, and was up to Chapter 4 by the end of January, and rambled on a bit about driving at night!

February started out with my goals, as usual, and nothing was crossed off.  Doesn’t surprise me really.  I came to a realisation, that life has always been about obstacles and overcoming them.  Still trudging along with editing Medusa’s Garden, but progress was good, I actually finished editing it in February.  An entire week was devoted to Blogging about KiwiWriters, a group I am fanatical about  🙂

March was all about NZ Book Month, and I interviewed a couple of my writer friends about their books.  Cherie Le Clare, Simon at SteamPress and Cassie Hart.  Evil Editors Unite is my favourite challenge and this took up most of March for me, editing Of Kings Queens and Noblemen and Ice Planet – both at the same time!  Major undertaking, but caused some mental health issues.  I purchased Moods and Moods II on CD, and now listen to them a lot on my computer while writing (they are playing as I write!)

In April, I discussed my propensity to dream – A LOT!  I thought about having a blog devoted to dreaming, but no one seemed interested  🙂  No worries, have a dream journal now anyway.  My depression returned, although I was not entirely certain why.   I blogged about Writers Block and Forced Writing, neither of which I like, but had to face.  I found time to publicly thank those who had supported me through my depression and played a blog game, all about the letter M.  The end of April brought about a community Tragedy with the death of a local school girl.

May found me thinking how Actions speak louder than words.  Depression still played a part in my life, but I am able to recognise it now too.  I introduced a poll on Medusa and whether I should keep her human, human with supernatural abilities, or the snake haired monster.  The end result was keeping the snake haired monster.  I started rewrites on Medusa’s Garden, because a friend had found a home for it at… wait for it… Entangled Romance.  It meant a serious rewrite, but I was writing again!

June was taken up with rewriting Medusa’s Garden, and I used HalfNoC to try and clock up my 25k that I would need to finish it my 31st July submission.  I learnt to recognise stress and that I really didn’t need it!  Memories from my past came back to me, and I blogged about Grandad and his Caravan.  I also advertised my writing friend, LaVerne Clark’s latest eBook, Affinity.

I was still working on Medusa’s Garden in July – and even had a storyboard created.  I didn’t post much during July, I was frantically trying to get Medusa’s Garden finished!  And I got it done, and submitted!

August was the End is Nigh – a completion challenge over at KiwiWriters.  This time I would focus solely on Of Kings, Queens and Noblemen.  Discovering a fine line between balance in life and insanity was a topic of discussion.  I decided to have a go at creating an Author Platform and creating Brand Catherine Mede.  It was an interesting exercise!  And I found out more about Showing and Telling!

September was a quiet month, I finished editing Of Kings, Queens and Noblemen. I heard back from Entangled and Medusa’s Garden wasn’t accepted, which was fine, because I REALLY didn’t like the romance version!  I like the original tragedy of the tale.  I made a decision to attempt romance writing in a serious fashion.  Still having issues with depression, but there was light at the end of the tunnel!

In October I focused on Ice Planet and escapism of writing.   I was nominated for a blog hop, and I actually enjoyed doing this one – it was The Next Big Thing.  It really got the creative juices flowing.  I worked on working out my depression Triggers and looking back now, I can recognise that this is when I started going backwards again.

November saw me still plodding with Ice Planet, one of my triggers, but I was determined to conquer the demon.  I did some serious thinking in November and wandered where I wanted to be in life.  I also came away with 4 plots for romance novels!  Then tragedy struck again, and Mark Fowler was killed in a Motorcycle accident.  Fortunately I had a post all ready to go for the end of the Month, a blog from Anna Harte about Above Ground, her latest book.

And so December found me once more contemplating my life and my goals.  Christmas found me in a mixed state of mind.

So here is what I have done this last week.  Nothing.  Here’s what I have done today – finished off 29 scene cards for Ice Planet, including 4 chapters that need to be written, but at least I have a plan now.

Recap on my 2012 Writing Goals

1. Edit Ice Planet – Getting there, but not quite

2. Plot out and plan my paranormal romance story – very excited about this!

3. Edit the Gothic novel (Tobias and Arabella – aka the bloody gothic novel)  Didn’t even look at it in the end.

4. Finish writing “Son of God” – On the back burner, I do want to finish this project.

5. Edit Medusa’s Garden. – finished and reworked!

6.  Revise and edit Medusa as a romance novel(!?!)  Did this and submitted it.  Was rejected

7. Edit “Of Kings Queens and Noblemen”.  Finished editing it, will need another go over!

My Writing Goals for 2013?  Well you will have to wait and see!

Affinity – LaVerne Clark

Hey there guys, a lovely friend of mine, LaVerne Clark has just had her second book released and she is having a party over at her blog – check it out, here TODAY!

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Its a romance story about a woman who has an unnatural ability – here are some details:

In the wrong hands, Jenna Thomas’s legacy could be a curse—in her mind it already is.

As a child, a routine x-ray awakened an abnormality in Jenna’s DNA, giving her the ability to “call” creatures and take on their attributes. Labeled a freak since then, Jenna’s learned to keep everyone at a distance. But all that changes the day she saves a young boy from drowning and the story goes viral.

Nick Hawke, an off-duty policeman, witnesses part of the drama. Captivated by Jenna’s exotic beauty, he decides to investigate, not sure what to believe. Jenna puts his cynicism to the test—even as the attraction between them grows.

As word of her extraordinary rescue spreads, a dangerous man who will stop at nothing to control Jenna’s abilities draws near. With her feelings for Nick putting him in danger too, can Jenna risk everything to protect them both?

You can purchase LaVerne’s Affinity over at her blog – http://www.laverneclark.blogspot.co.nz/