Character Exploration

What secondary characters do I wish I could explore?

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(Me to my muse.)

This is a dangerous topic to discuss. My muse has a habit of running away with me when I’m supposed to be focus on a specific story. But, I thought it would be fun to talk about the various secondary characters in all of my books that I wish I could’ve explored further or written something for.

I picked just three either individuals or couples. There were a few others but if I give my muse too much temptation, I might get myself into trouble.

1. Silus/Zeb

The first one who came to mind was Silus and Zeb from The Sin Bin. Remi’s cousin and Scottie’s little brother who develop a romance in The Lion Tamer. I’ve always wanted to write their romance, but things just didn’t work out there. Maybe one day.

2. Jesse

The second person who came to mind was Jesse from Found You.

Here’s the intro you get to Jesse in the book:

Jesse had lived in Key West for almost twenty-three years. He’d arrived on Dusk’s seventh birthday, having drifted ashore in a banged-up life raft, looking like a cross between Santa Claus and a starved pirate. The man had claimed to have no memory of where or when his boat had sunk or what his last name was. No one knew his true age or name, though he appeared now to be in his late sixties. A jack of all trades who had done stayed on the island, doing odd jobs to make ends meet.

I have ALWAYS wanted to delve deeply into the mysterious past of Jesse and what led up to him getting shipwrecked in Key West. Maybe one day.

3. Remi/Sara

A couple we see in The Sin Bin books. I’ve written a flash fiction for them at one point. But I think it would be brilliant to dip into their backgrounds. Remi and Sara both have some interesting family dramas to cope with. We only get the slightly hint about them in the series and again in Forged in Flood.

Honorable Mentions: Ahmed from The Misguided Confession, Dr. Gen from The Caretaker, and Bishan’s siblings in The Grasmere Trilogy.

My Editing Process

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I’m pretty sure my editor doesn’t think I have a process.

(She might be right. Love you, Liv!)

So…here’s what usually happens for me throughout editing.

  • It starts while I’m writing. I generally send each finished chapter to two of my betas. I find it helps me with keeping tracking of things, though that’s not always successful either.
  • Finish the book! (Yay! Collapse in a heap. Throw confetti. Have a nap.)
  • Do a round of edits.
  • Send to my last beta who works magic for me.
  • Do another round of edits.
  • Do a third round with Grammarly.
  • Submit my book to my publisher after whining endlessly about writing a synopsis.
  • Multiple rounds of edits with my editor and publisher.
  • So many rounds.
  • All the edits.

 

 

Choosing Favourites

AKA how many times can I use the word favourite in a blog post.

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One question I see a lot is ‘What’s your favourite book you’ve written?’

And I always try to avoid the question. How do you pick your favourite? Or maybe, the truth is how do you admit to having a favourite? Gasp. Horror.

I do have a few books that are at the top of my list.

From The Blackbird Series:

Lorcan.  Lorcan is definitely my favourite from the Blackbird Anthology. I adore Ronan and Lorcan. They were such fun to write. And they had the most interesting time together.

From The Sin Bin:

This one is tricky. I love the entire series and all of the couples. I think The Caretaker is my fave, though. There’s something about Freddie and Tens’ relationship that just stands out to me from the others.

From my Standalones:

Hmm. I had a rough time with this one. My standalones are all so varied and even in different genres. But of them all, Found You is probably the one I’d choose.

it was fun to write and some of the lines still make me laugh so hard.

From my Cozies:

Oh, this one hurts. Cozy mysteries are my preferred genre to read and to write most days. I think Poisoned Primrose is going to be at the top of my list. To be honest, it’s at the top of  the entire list (even though I put it last.) And it all boils down to Motts, the main character. She’s the best character I’ve ever developed. I adore her and the story.

What am I reading?

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My goal for 2020 was to read at least a book a week. I did brilliantly in January. And then didn’t read a thing in February. Ahh well. I’m going to try to catch up since I’m in between WIPs.

So, here’s what I’ve been reading lately.

1. Lavender Blue by Laura Childs – I have mixed feelings about this one but overall I enjoyed it.

2. Thicker than Water by Becca Seymour – Adored this. 5 stars!

3. Follow My Lead by Louisa Masters – Also adored this one.

4. Julia Chase’s Kitty Couture series for a second time. Such a fun cozy series.

5. Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda

What am I reading?

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I have not read as many books this year thus far as I hoped. Well, I’ve read a lot of cosy mysteries, but not much else. Sometimes with my reading, my autistic obsessive passion kicks in, and I’ll fall down a rabbit hole of reading ALL the same things over and over.

And usually, throughout a year, I’ll read a lot of non-fiction.

Not so much in 2019.

But I thought I’d share my top three so far, which might change.

I wouldn’t say these are my favourite non-fiction of all time. I did enjoy them for different reasons, though Jason Fox’s book probably makes it into my top ten non-fiction of all time. Or, maybe top twenty. (I’ve read A LOT of non-fiction over the years.)

  1. Battle Scars by Jason Fox – Solid 10 out of 10 read. Not a book everyone will enjoy, but I found his battle with PTSD to be inspiring.
  2. Newsletter Ninja by  Tammi Labrecque – makes the list because not only was it highly useful but it made me laugh.
  3. Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind edited by Jocelyn Glei – so, I have mixed feelings about this book. It did give me a powerful new perspective on adjusting my daily schedule in a way that works for me and encourages my creative process. On the other hand, I found a lot of it to just…be nonsense (from my perspective.)

I’ve read a lot of military memoirs up to this point so far in 2019. One was because my hubby got it for himself and I wanted to read it. He’s a slow reader so I got it first.

How about you?

Do you read a lot of non-fiction?

Judge a Book By Its Cover

Just a fun post this week with a few of my favourite book covers from 2019 thus far. I couldn’t include all the ones I loved and there is no particular order here.

Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune by Roselle Lim

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The Bride Test by Helen Hoang  (A fellow Autistic, yay!)

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Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole

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The Candle And The Flame by Nafiza Azad

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Broken Bone China by Laura Childs

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Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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A Divided Mind by M. Billiter

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Zed by MV Ellis

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There have been so many beautiful and/or interesting book covers this year. What have been some of your favourites?

 

Find Your Joy.

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Can I be honest?

2018 has been a bit of a trash fire of a year, hasn’t it?

Stepping away from the chaotic whirlwind of bad news has been a struggle. Being creating in 2018 has been even more difficult. It’s important to write, even in the middle of the muck.

I think, more than any other time, it’s also important to find happy moments and pursue them.

For me?

This weekend, that meant baking, reading, and video games.

Baking? That went brilliantly. I made Mary Berry’s recipe for profiteroles, photo evidence above. They tasted AMAZING. They also didn’t last the weekend lol. Yum.

Reading? I finally got around to reading Alison Weir’s Jane Seymour, The Haunted Queen, which I enjoyed immensely. I love a good historical fiction. And this one was definitely half fact and half fiction. Brilliantly done though.

Video games? I’ve gotten completely obsessed with the latest Assassin’s Creed game, Odyssey. Epic, brilliant, amazing. Love it so much.

Now, I’m back to writing on my new work in progress–an urban fantasy. Should be great fun.

How about you? What moments of joy are you finding for yourself this year?