Dawn Montgomery

Archive for March, 2012|Monthly archive page

March Madness

In Goals on March 31, 2012 at 12:31 am

I like to keep things up to date, so I thought I’d give a quarterly summary of what’s going on in Montgomery Land.

January:

  • Hits 5 years as a professional writer (time flies, huh?)
  • Begins Round of Words in 80 Days (self-directed writing challenge)
  • Edits for Primal Hunger
  • Become a full-time writer
  • Moves from Alaska to Texas
  • Vacation in Seattle, Washington
  • Receives my release date for Primal Hunger of 3 Feb (on my birthday: Jan 24)
  • Go to a horse ranch with the kids
  • Moves in to the new apartment

February: 

  • Primal Hunger releases 3 Feb (My EC debut and first published novel)
  • Go pick up car in Dallas
  • Continue the Round of Words in 80 days challenge
  • Wins Entangled pitch contest (they have my partial)
  • Large load of our stuff arrives from Alaska
  • Kids start at their new schools
  • Husband gets a temporary job
  • I retire from the military

March: 

  • Finishes No Dragon, No Problem (Submitted and Accepted with a release date of 27 Apr)
  • Wins Harlequin Presents pitch contest. A full and synopsis is requested
  • Submits Presents partial
  • Receives second (and much smaller) load from Alaska
  • Sets up a PO Box (Yay, professional address!)
  • Posts on Sidney Bristol‘s blog
  • Putters out on the Round of Words challenge
  • Edits for No Dragon, No Problem
  • Joins a FANTASTIC group on Facebook called According to Ditter. Just awesome!
  • Signs up for the next Round of Words in 80 days.

Quite a busy quarter, eh? Two books down, eight more definites to go this year. 🙂 I’ve agreed to write four more dragon books (Once Upon a Dragon is my current work in progress). Feral Hunger and Ravenous Hunger (both working titles) conclude the Hunger trilogy. And finally, a novella that involves beauty and the beast…but not in the way you’ve ever imagined. 🙂

So what other projects do I have brewing? A Familiar Kiss is almost done with edits. I finished Rise of the Wolf on the 29th of March. A synopsis and polish are needed before I submit it. My Nightmare Gale trilogy is going strong. I don’t plan to have those done until close to October/November time frame.

Other than that, I’m writing in 20 minute sprints with 20 minutes up and around. I’m in the pool two-five times a week. My back is already thanking me (and so are my jeans…LOL!).

In April we’ll celebrate the release of No Dragon, No Problem. I’ll have a guest here on April 2, 2012 (the incredibly talented Tina Donahue! with a contest RIGHT HERE…so stay tuned!). I’ll keep you all posted on the status of my other submissions. There will be a fantastic contest on the According to Ditter reading group (on Facebook, just look up Ditter). My order of submission for the next few projects (please note that submission date does not equal release date) are as follows:

  1. Rise of the Wolf (m/m/f … a wolf, a cougar, and an empath walk up to the roof…)
  2. Once Upon a Dragon (m/f … What does a princess do when she wakes up chained to an incredibly sexy man who tells her he’s a fictional beast?)
  3. A Familiar Kiss (m/f … A witch without a familiar is like a living timebomb of magic. What happens when a blood brother’s demon summoning sets it off?)
  4. Feral Hunger (m/f … She is the enemy. He is damaged. Their mating should have been impossible.)
  5. Dragon Begone (m/f … WTF Dragon book 3)
  6. Taming Beauty (m/f/m … What would you do to save the humanity of a woman? Sometimes beauty hides the darkest beasts of them all. Dark BDSM wicked fairytale.)

Of course, this list is subject to change at any moment!

Keep Writing!

Dawn

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Time to be Brave

In #amwriting, Write Talk on March 24, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Every author has an Achilles Heel to suffer. No book is the same, but over the years I’ve noticed that I have problems with one thing…the beginning.  Some authors need a title, or character names, the ending, or a middle scene to get started. Not me. I need that key opening scene.

Here’s the rub…I usually end up deleting most of the first chapter and changing it by the time it’s done. So why suffer through making that first chapter perfect? I, honestly, don’t know. Crazy, right?

A hard deadline is approaching, and I’m sweating it. Not because I’m slacking, but because there is something about the beginning of this book that I don’t like, and I can’t figure out what it is. It’s in my every waking (and sleeping) thought.

Writing those first words on a blank page is one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. No joke. And I’ve done some pretty tough things in my life. I really do sweat it. Doing it again for the next book…and the next…well, that’s just gotta be crazy. 🙂

I love writing. I love getting to know my characters, the stories of their lives, the workings of their mind…I love putting them in near-impossible situations and learning how they get out of them.

I just have to get those first words down.
Do you have a hang-up that gets you down?
Back to the writing cave for me.

Keep Writing!

Dawn

Switching it Up

In #amwriting on March 19, 2012 at 5:39 am

With No Dragon, No Problem coming out in April, my sites have turned to penning the next book. What was going to be Every Dragon for Himself will now be Once Upon a Dragon. So why am I switching it up? I got hit between the eyes with a hilarious introduction to the princess and dragon of this story. I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s a good thing I hadn’t done more than rough out the books here on the writing blog (and not in an email to my editor).

This next one is going to be just as fun as the first one.

I can’t wait! Keep Writing!

Happy Monday!

No Dragon, No Problem

In #amwriting, Publishing News on March 12, 2012 at 1:34 am

There are some things that are worth the wait, my friends. I know I’ve been out of the loop, but truth-be-told, I’ve been working. On this:

No Dragon, No Problem‘s unofficial blurb and such.

One bound man. One desperate princess. A 500-year curse. And dragons? WTF may never be the same .

Blurb:

Five Princesses, Five Dragons

A coincidence? I don’t think so.

In the fairytale kingdom of Werthing Ton Fallorian (or WTF for short), fairytale folk have gone insane. With the imps of lust and wickedness on a rampage, no one is safe.

The Motive

Princess Tasminia deSoto has had it with her stepmother’s horrid matchmaking. Tricking the princess into a surpise wedding with the narcissistic Baron Winterwood from a neighboring kingdom (of the same name) is the final straw. If only there was a dragon to be sacrificed to…

The Idea

Desperation forces her to enlist the aid of the notorious Dash Ryan, illusionist and con artist for hire. Surely the wildly entertaining (and sexy) rogue can come up with something believable. And if a princess can find a little sexual education on the side…well…that’s just a plus.

The Twist

Dash Ryan has a few secrets of his own. Secrets he’s more than willing to exploit for just a taste of the Princess’s sexual awakening. But will one taste be enough?

Less than twenty-four hours after submission, my editor contacted me with a resounding YES on the novella. She opened the doc to read a few pages, and couldn’t put it down. I received edits today, and that’s a ridiculous turn-around time. So, ladies and gents, No Dragon, No Problem will be hitting your virtual shelves in late April, early May. That’s unheard of. So I’m pretty excited.

In other news, I have another book to finish by the end of the month, so I’ll be heading back underground. Looking forward to coming back up for air soon enough.

Until then…

Keep Writing!

Dawn

Enter the Dungeon!

In #amwriting on March 1, 2012 at 9:11 am

I’m deep in the heart of deadline city. It’s this eveeeel dark place in my soul where self-doubt and creative insanity whips up the great storm of chaos. Which means crunch time=cranky Dawn. When I get to this part of any book, my husband jokingly (mostly) quotes Robert Heinlein…

There is no way that writers can be tamed and rendered civilized or even cured…the only solution known to science is to provide the patient with an isolation room where he can endure the acute stages in private and where food can be poked to him with a stick. If you disturb the patient at such time, he may break into tears or become violent.

So very true, no? The truth is, I’m not aware of my hyper-fixation until my husband (lovingly!) drops the quote. I’m sure there are ways to deal with it, but the truth is, the last part of any project is exhausting. It completely envelops my thoughts, driving me to dream of an apocalypse of some sort, an inability to escape, and no one to help me win…Hmm. I doubt it’s an accurate portrayal of my state of mind ;). A writer’s journey is usually isolating.

You can be at the super coffee shop of the giant book chain with thirty people chattering around you, and still have to pound out the words. Word sprinting/speedwriting (or whatever your choice of words) is still just you writing. There may be people cheering you on, but like the cheering crowd at the end of a marathon, they’re not as invested as you are. If you drop out of the race, the only one who knows is you…and those you tell ;). The cheering will continue for others and you’ll be left in the dust.

Some of you are thinking this is depressing. It’s not. Hear me out.

I’ve run marathons, performed (and lost) in competitions, finished novels, novellas, poems, short stories, completed self-defense courses that were monumentally difficult, and did it all because I wanted to. Yeah, I have to write. I’ve always done it, and need the creative outlet, but no one can push me to be a writer. I have to do it on my own. The hard reality is…when it’s time to get it done, only you can do it. But you know what? You can. Just like the marathon runner who gets his second (or third) wind, you can see the finish line.

It may hurt (you may want to kill off all your characters b/c you’re so frustrated, or delete the file b/c you hate the book so much…don’t do it!). It may be one of the most difficult things to endure, but when you can see the finish line, your mind and body move on autopilot, and the finish line becomes your ONLY focus. You fall on training, desperation, adrenaline, what-have-you to get finished.

The author usually falls into one of three categories at this point (your mileage may vary):

  1. Butcher (the craftsman, not a rampaging serial killer…well…)
  2. Director (music, film, stage, or baby shower…trust me)
  3. Investigator (being dogged by rabid hounds from hell…while sinking in quicksand…without a lifeline)

Let me explain.This has nothing to do with whether you plot a story or write it by the seat of your pants. It has to do with a way you tidy things up at the end. We’re going to assume, for the purposes of this exercise, that you are under a self-imposed deadline (mostly because a number of you have asked questions about how to get started in your careers). So here we go:

Butcher: A butcher is an incredible profession, and one that gives a thorough understanding of anatomy. This type of author knows exactly where to hit every pulse point of the book, where the choice cuts are, etc. He wastes nothing. This type of author will write every single bit needed, exploring every possible outcome (in their mind, on paper, etc). He knows some of the words are headed to the grinder…and is okay with that. This type of author believes in getting every bit of the book down and then editing the hell out of it to get it under wordcount (UNDER wordcount? I’m lucky to make it to the wordcount minimum first time! I have to ADD in description, motivation, emotion.)

Director: This is the type of author I wish I could be, but will never come close. She spins her tale with grit and determination, sure, but can remember almost everything about the book. Knows the theme, the way a minor character’s statement in chapter two can be woven in at the end. Makes the characters dance in the final throes of bookwritinggasm that leaves her breathless. She finishes the book with a grin on her face, knowing, of course, that there’s work to be done, but looks forward to it with a refreshing (if a bit exhausted) expectation. It may not have been the best performance or most efficient tidying ever, but she’ll tackle edits with that in mind.

Wistful Sigh. Unfortunately, I’m like the third one.

Investigator: This is me. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a plotter. No two book-writing processes are the same for me. Ever. I have to pin my characters to the interrogation chair with a 3000 watt light bulb in their face. Make them sweat, b/c hey…I’m sweating too. We gotta get this book done, right? We’re in a race against time…or in my case…my attention span. This means I have to feel it out as I go. Once I start on a book, it’s a scramble all the way  to the finish. I’m dogged by the hounds of self-doubt, grit, determination, and circumstance. While grit and determination are almost always positive motivators, they all look the same in the rabid maw of looming deadline. Circumstances aren’t areas I can always control, but if I can outrun the first three…I stand a better chance. When it’s all said and done…it may not be perfect, but it’s something to work with. The rest I can weave and coerce through edits.

We recently discovered that I can only work on one project at a time to be efficient.

So here we are…full circle. I’m now finishing up No Dragon, No Problem. That’s it for the week. Then next week it’ll be another project. All the way through the end of March. I’ll update my round of words goals and such on Sunday. We’re in the home stretch of the challenge, and I have theme deadlines I have to meet.

So…things will be quiet for a few weeks. I’m almost done. Three weeks. I can do it!

Keep Writing!

Dawn

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