Dawn Montgomery

Posts Tagged ‘A Familiar Kiss’

Rest

In #amwriting, Challenges, Goals on February 12, 2012 at 10:16 am

It’s another check-in day. We’ve been unpacking boxes, rearranging furniture, and all the crazy that comes with moving. My nighttime writing sessions have been a no-go since I’m usually too exhausted to stay awake. πŸ˜€ I finally had that day or two of rest I’ve needed since this adventure began back in January. Three days in a row of sleep for 12 hours at a time (which may or may not be due to having MY BED back -and/or- bone weary exhaustion). Yep, I think I’m finally rested. Last night was a seven hour sleep fest so I’m definitely back on track. πŸ˜€

So what did I accomplish this week?

  • Got the kids all their shots and back in school (YES!)
  • Won a contest for a $25 Amazon gift card. OMG how awesome! Thank you Evanne!
  • Unpacked most of my bedroom. I now have a desk and place to write YAY!
  • Worked through a plotting issue with A Familiar Kiss
  • Submitted Destitute and Undead to Entangled Publishing (the pitch win)
  • Became a Coffee Time Romance author (so cool!)
  • Thief‘s outline was completed.
  • Entered another pitch. Will find out next week if it’s selected by an editor for an online live pitch session
  • No Dragon, No Problem is at 6323 of 20k (started it on 3 Feb, I need to get in gear!).
  • Created my author page on Amazon.com
  • Joined up with the Platform Building Campaign
  • Updated my website, the books section on this one, and my work in progress page
  • Only produced 3k words this week (thank you #1k1hr on twitter!). Not good, but I’m giving myself a break and calling it a planning/spring cleaning week

You know, I think that’s enough for any writing week. No wonder I was so tired.

So what’s on the agenda for next week?

  • Complete A Familiar Kiss and get it to my editor by the end of V Day
  • Complete No Dragon, No Problem
  • Complete Chapter One of Feral Hunger/Primal Intent (the title gods are debating on this one)
  • Complete Chapter Two of Enraptured

What are the goals for the rest of the month?

  • Complete one chapter ea on two novels per week
  • Submit Chloe’s Kiss to the submission call
  • Finish and submit Thief and A Clockwork Conspiracy (this one’s tentative)

Guess I’d better get on the ball. πŸ™‚ I’ll be running several #1k1hr throughout the day, every day, from my twitter account. You’re welcome to follow along. I use Tweetdeck so I can create a #1k1hr column. This shows me any time another group is running.

Goals for the week:

A Familiar Kiss Rewrites
No Dragon, No Problem
Enraptured Chapter Two
Feral Hunger/Primal Intent Chapter One

That’s it for me!

Keep Writing!

Dawn

This is a BLOG HOP! Check out other awesome Writers HERE.

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Whirlwind

In #amwriting, Challenges, Goals on February 8, 2012 at 12:01 am

Bwahahahaha. Despite Journey’s anthem, I’m going to have to stop believing…in a week without some near-catastrophic event that sends my family into a frenzy of panic. Some days I’m the center of the storm, trying to keep everyone calm. Other days I just want to curl up in a ball and wake up four months from now when this work to writing transition is finally complete.

Did I mention that I got a TON of writing done this week (despite the odds, I might add!)?

Sunday was a no-go writing-wise. We had to shop for new school supplies since our stuff had yet to arrive (shopping in a mega-mart on Superbowl Sunday? WHY did I think that was a good idea?). Monday was a ton of paperwork, and delays on getting the kids into school. Monday night I wrote until I couldn’t keep my eyes open. So far, so good, yeah?

Tuesday. Oh Tuesday, you’re becoming my Monday. I’m starting to hate you like I hate sesame seeds when they stick in my teeth. Three appointments for three different kids, only to find out that the school district was confused about how an out-of-state school transferred discharge paperwork (Anchorage ISD faxes discharge paperwork to the next location instead of allowing the parents to hand carry). But I digress. In the middle of this adventure, I get a phone call from the moving company. Our large house shipment is here (a BED! YES!). They want to deliver tomorrow (YAY!) but don’t know if they can do a split delivery (Uh Oh!). Some phone calls need to be made, etc.

Long story short…movers will be here tomorrow delivering ONLY the stuff we need and storing it for 90 days until we can have the large stuff (like the outdoor freezer, lawnmower, etc) put in our own storage (YAY!).

You’d think this would trigger happiness. Contentment. Excitement? Nope. Complete domestic meltdown. Kids want to skip school (NO!) to stay home and (get this…) “help.”Β  Husband is acting like a loon b/c he has to take the kids to their schools tomorrow while I wait on the delivery peeps. The house has to be clean (come on guys! We are STILL living out of suitcases!).

Kids and husband are squabbling…and for what?

Nothing. No reason what-so-ever. Everyone is ready for this move to be over. No one more than I, I assure you. Throughout this process I’ve done my best to keep quiet. Not complaining about the folding chair and makeshift desk, or lying in sleeping bags on the floor, or the insane drive to and from Dallas for our car.

So tonight…I told them to be quiet. Stop worrying. I had it under control. They weren’t allowed to say another word about their stuff to parents or each other. There was some serious grumbling going on, but it died off after a few hours.

“After all,” I said, “It will all be over sooooon.”

With that cryptic remark, I gave a creepy, hollow laugh and stared at each of the boys, in turn. They then decided the stress had broken me, so I was left alone to write. Ah bliss.

So that leads me to my mid-week update for A Round of Words in 80 Days.

What have I worked on?

  • I sent in my submission for Entangled Publishing’s pitch contest. Didn’t receive a confirmation email so I’m not sure if I should stress or not (Destitute and Undead ended at a little under 15k. Glad I rechecked the edits before hitting send. I was a little heavy handed with the commas).
  • I’m 5200 words into book 1 of my WTF Dragon series (blame Kim Knox for this one. She said go crazy and let loose. It was a dare, and you know how I am about those!).
  • Received my first reader review for Primal Hunger. So awesome! I got 5 stars out of 5 on the Ellora’s Cave site. So cool! Heidi said she was hoping Primal Hunger would become the start of a series. I get to say I got the green light on it, right?? LOL. So yeah, you’ll see more of the *Hunger-verse in the future.
  • Tore apart A Familiar Kiss (yesterday’s post showed how that went down πŸ™‚ ). I should have that puppy to my editor by V-day.
  • I’ve become a coffee time romance author! They’ve asked me to post on the blog, and I can’t wait! I’ll get all their widgets and stuff up on my site this weekend. I also set up my amazon author page. Love you guys for suggesting them for me last week!
  • Final outline of Thief. I needed a different arc to make it more contemporary.

Goals for the rest of the week:

  • Decompress
  • Unpack
  • Set up my office/bedroom
  • Finish No Dragon, No Problem (WTF Dragon #1)
  • Start Thief
  • Try to ignore my stress over Destitute and Undead‘s submission. LOL!

I hope this post made you laugh (I know I was laughing). Reading it out loud to my family brought out some pretty awesome chuckles, so I think it’s a win with them too.

Dawn

This is a BLOG HOP! Check out some other authors HERE!

*Note: the Hunger-verse is a tongue-in-cheek series name. I call it the Sheon Wars, but that’s not as lighthearted.

Walkin on sunshine

In Write Talk on February 7, 2012 at 2:14 am

It’s Monday night/Tuesday morning and I’m up. Completely and totally awake. I had fallen asleep, but when something wakes me up, it’s almost impossible for me to get back to sleep.

Nights like this are equally wonderful and cringe-worthy. I can (occasionally) create a large amount of wordage during in a short time. It might not be my best work, but it will be interesting to read the next day. Most of the time, however, I use this time to reflect. Not on my life, for which I have no regrets, or my current situation. I reflect on characters. Let my mind wander. This, btw, was something I picked up from my drama teacher years ago.

Most of the time I see a book as though I’m watching a movie. No joke. I’ve chatted with plenty of writers over the years, and I have to say that there are as many ways to write as there are stars in the sky. I won’t judge your way. Don’t judge mine. If it’s working, I’m not changing. πŸ™‚

I put characters in situations, desperate ones usually, and I let them go through their normal reactions. If they’re acting out of character, my mind will freeze, kind of like pause. I’ll sit and figure out why. Most of the time it’s an easy fix. I get to know my characters this way. Other times, I’ll think about a story I’m working on and trek down the plot trail poking holes at all the inconsistencies and silly things I tend to put in my books.

Sometimes I’ll let a story idea spin out in my mind. If I can clearly see the end, it’s something I jot down for later. Otherwise they slip through my mind like favorite commercials or songs. Most of the time I won’t remember those bits, but if I do…I know it’s a keeper.

So what am I reflecting on tonight? I’m in the middle of an awesome story for my Changeling editor (A Familiar Kiss). I wrote the novella, and everything about it seemed wrong. The characters, situation, and relationships were crammed in 25k. Everything seemed rushed. So last night I sat down with a notebook and pen (old school, right? :D), and jotted down a few questions.

  1. How many characters do I have in this book? Answer: 10. In a 25k novella? There’s a problem…
  2. Where does the book drag? Answer: Chapters 1, 2, 5, 7, 11
  3. What don’t I like about the book? Answer: The character introduction at the beginning of chapter one. It bugs me. I don’t want her best friend there, but I need him to be involved. He just doesn’t seem to add anything to the initial scenes.
  4. What are my key plot points AND in what chapters do they happen? (ooooo. Asking those writerly questions! Don’t groan. You’re gonna like this. Promise πŸ˜‰ ).

So what does this mean (I wish I had my scanner)?

Well…I wrote each chapter number down on a legal pad. Then I set up three columns.

Stars were put next to chapters 1, 2, 5, 7, and 11.

1st column: I went through the book and wrote down which characters made an appearance in each chapter. Chapter one had four characters (hero, heroine, best friend, villain sidekick). Chapter two had five characters (hero, heroine, best friend, healer, bodyguard). Chapter five, seven, and eleven had more than five characters. The rest of the chapters had three or less characters. Not necessarily the SAME characters, but three none-the-less.

2nd column: I wrote down key plot points for each chapter. Three things I paid attention to were

  1. Did each chapter begin with a hook to keep the reader’s interest? If so, what was it (just jot down the notes. It can be as vague or as specific as you like)?
  2. Was the plot point of the chapter strong enough to carry the story? Where did it fail? Did I have multiple plot points in one chapter?
  3. Pace and end of chapter climax. Was the pace consistent? Note where there were any snags. Does the chapter end in a climax of some type? Shock. Surprise. Awe. The point is to keep the reader intrigued enough to turn the page instead of setting aside the book or powering down the ereader to pick up later. If there is no climax at the end…note what the chapter DID end with.

So what did I find out? In my trouble chapters at least one of the three questions questions weren’t answered. At LEAST three. In one chapter all three questions weren’t answered. Ugh. No wonder I hated those chapters. I found that a few other chapters outside my trouble chapters needed work too. And that’s okay…here’s why:

3rd column: Here’s where we fix it using: A wish. Duct tape. Sweat. Those are the three things you’ll cover. Let me ‘splain.

  1. Go into this part as though you didn’t have to rewrite your book. As though you were in the middle of brainstorm sessions. Pretend that it’s not going to cause you heartache or stress. Just look at this as though it’s wishful thinking (I know I’ll be wishing someone else was rewriting the chapters. I hate rewriting far more than creating something new). Write down what you’d like to see happen. (Drop best friend out of this chapter, Ratchet up the sexual tension when blah blah)
  2. Now that you’ve made your wishful thinking list, you can compare it with what you already have. The best friend drink sharing moment at the beginning is going to have to go. Which leads us to the next part. Sweating it out.
  3. There’s no way to keep the best friend scene at the beginning. So I can salvage a great deal of the chapter, and in four sentences or less, let the readers know why she’s there. No large info-dump. No annoying flashbacks (I happen to not like writing them b/c they tend to take over my stories). So a six page scene involving the best friend becomes: Only Brandon’s desperate call would bring her out tonight. The slur in his voice told her he was already gone. Alcohol stopped the visions for a while, but they always came back with a vengeance. Magic was funny like that. Is it the best four sentences evah? Not yet. That’s what revisions are for. πŸ™‚ Remember, this is the rough draft. The initial chisel and hammer work on stone or marble. It’s not perfect. Just down on the paper. Make sure you do this for all the problem chapters in your ms.

For me, sweating it out is the hardest part of the equation. I absolutely hate cutting chunks of character out of my books, but like the surgical precision of competition One-Act-Plays, pace is vital to keeping audience interest.

So now I know where I need to cut, add stuff, and modify. That leaves me with a plan for tomorrow. And with that…I’m heading to bed.

Keep Writing!

Dawn

Starting a New Project

In #amwriting, Write Talk on January 20, 2012 at 8:52 pm

There’s something about a new story that thrills and terrifies this writer. So many ideas flow through my head. A Familiar Kiss is sitting on my harddrive screaming at me to finish it, but I am dying to write a tattoo story for EC’s theme request.

There’s also a very fun project for Changeling that I want to get done. A fairy tale book (YAY!). I spent most of today in edit-brain (creativity stomped into a tiny box while my internal editor goes crazy. A common result for me after intense editing sessions. My oldest son calls it my “mushy brain” stage.).

I’m sitting in a hotel room with three kids, one food blog chef husband, and minimal supplies (did I mention no car until Feb 9th?). Editing (and rewriting a great deal of the product) is killing me on this tiny screen. I’ve got my laptop, but no printer (yet…hurry up and get here!!!) so A Familiar Kiss is going to have to wait until I can print it out.

So now it’s between the fairy tale story and the tattoo one. How do I pick? Well, I pick based on fairness. EC just got a book so it’s time to turn one in to Changeling. This isn’t a play to either publishing company (I LOVE both publishers and my awesome editors), but a shout out to my loyal readers.

Some of you are loyal to one company or the other. If it wasn’t for you guys, I wouldn’t be living my dream in the middle of beautiful San Antonio. I owe it to you all to make sure I’m giving you the best I can every time. Times are hard, so the last thing I want is to have anyone waste money on a product I phoned in.

A Familiar Kiss was originally intended for Changeling, and if I don’t tighten up the manuscript and cut the chaff, I won’t make it under CP’s wordcount limit (three characters have already faced the chopping block, and I shudder to think what else will have to go). Sometimes it really is easier to start from scratch than to rewrite a book. The fairy tale story will take AFK’s place as my next delivery.

So here’s my choice…my new work in progress is Thief, a modern Beauty and the Beast tale of lust and love.

If you’ve read this far you deserve a lollipop, and a long break from my rambling. Go forth and read something wicked.

Here are a few in my queue:

Note: All links are to the publisher websites. They are not affiliate links, and these books are ones I’ve either read (and want to read again) or will soon be reading. This isn’t a ploy to get you to buy books. I’m simply showing you what I’m going to be reading this weekend. πŸ™‚

Magnetism by Kim Knox (the entire series is fascinating! a matchmaking planet :D)

Ty the Sexy Dragon by Lexxie Couper (I got to beta read this one. OMG hawt! This weekend I’ll get to read the finished version. So cool!)

Leashed by Jet Mykles (I LOVE the leashed series)

I autobuy anything by Laurann Dohner (So far everything she’s written has rocked me!)

Edits are done

In Write Talk on January 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm

First round of edits completed for Primal Hunger. Edits in a novel are a bit rougher than I’m used to. There’s definitely a formatting learning curve for EC. I’m adapting and taking notes. πŸ˜€

Now it’s time to work on another book.

Which one? Ah, now that’s the question. I think it’ll be tearing apart A Familiar Kiss and getting it ready for my other editor.

Keep Writing!

Dawn

Day 2, and I’m home…

In #amwriting, Challenges on January 18, 2012 at 5:52 am

Writing this post a day early so I can spend tomorrow writing without internet. I have about 15 pages of handwritten notes to transcribe. Edits for Primal Hunger have dropped in my lap. Reading the book again was such a treat. Azros is hawt.

My list for January is simple:

* Primal Hunger edits *

*Finish A Familiar Kiss rewrites and submit to editor*

* Finish and polish Enraptured for submission *

Now onto other news. We’ve done it. We’ve moved from Alaska to Texas. πŸ™‚ I’ll be working my butt off to get more books out there for you guys. Thank you for the awesome comments, emails, and instant messages I’ve received. You guys are amazing.

To answer a few questions…

Yes, there will be more Kitchen Witch books. No dates yet, I’m afraid.

I won’t revisit the Bound universe. It was one of my first walks into paranormal, and I didn’t like the limits I put on the universe.

There’s been a lot of interest in a possible Hellhound series. Just wanted to let you know I’ve heard ya!Β  I’ve got several books planned for this year, so I’ll have to put it on the backburner for 2013.

There are several titles that used to be available through the now-closed publisher, Aspen Mountain Press. I have no interest in resubmitting them to a new publisher, but the plan is to edit and expand the stories to release as free reads on my website.

Keep the questions coming. πŸ™‚ I’ll answer them as soon as I can.

Keep Writing!

Dawn

This is a blog hop! Check out more writers HERE.

3 and 6

In #amwriting on January 11, 2012 at 5:37 am

Some days life feels like a train, moving along at max speed, tracks clear, and the sun is shining. Other times it’s blocked rails, blizzards, and miserable conditions. We spend so much time focused on our destination, that we never take time to enjoy how we get there.

I’m so desperate to get all my paperwork done that I haven’t taken a breath in about the past three days. The engine’s chugging along at max speed, and I’ve avoided most derailings with a little ingenuity (duct tape) and gentle persuasion (baseball bat).

It’s also three days until I leave Alaska. And six days until I’m a full time writer. πŸ˜€

Enraptured

AFK

New Year!

In #amwriting, Challenges, Write Talk on January 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Welcome to 2012!

This is a whole new year. This year I’m facing medical retirement from the armed forces. From here I’ll move on to writing full time.

I’ve signed on for a new Round of Words in 80 days challenge.

My goals aren’t set in stone, but, then again, they shouldn’t be. January has six major milestones:

  • Submit A Familiar Kiss to my editor
  • Complete Enraptured by 31 January
  • Move my family from Alaska to Texas somewhere around mid-January
  • Find a new place to live in San Antonio
  • Say goodbye to the military
  • Post a new free read to my website.

In order to meet the writing goals, I have to write approximately 1350 words a day. Since I know things like airplane rides, stir crazy children, and wonky schedules are going to affect that, I have to juggle to make it happen.

My free read will be up on my site the day I officially begin my full-time writer status: January 16th. A beautiful and noble day, and one selected by the PTB. πŸ™‚

I’ll reevaluate my goals midway through January, and again at the end of the month. February will be a new set of goals.

Have a wonderful start to your week! Expect an update on Wednesday.

Keep Writing!

Dawn

Time Flies, 2011 in Review

In #amwriting on December 28, 2011 at 2:24 am

I’ve heard it said that a mother’s work is never done. This month has flown by! Here we are, three days from the new year. How did it happen so quickly? I’m currently working on Enraptured, a co-written series with the incredibly talented Lacey Savage. It’s coming along nicely. A Familiar Kiss is near completion. My goal is to have it and Nexus to my editors before the New Year. Primal Hunger’s cover is still phenomenal and I’m so thrilled to see my name on an Ellora’s Cave cover. Just amazing.

January brings me to Alaska with my family after a 15 month deployment. It’s hard knocks for a while, and injuries make recovery difficult. There are some pretty bad moments for a while, but I channel all that fury and uncertainty into the series that would become the Rift Wars. My injuries put me into a medical evaluation system. Lots of red tape and paperwork to sort through.

February and March are touch and go, health wise. So many medical appointments and briefings. I learn to adapt to a new lifestyle, and find alternative sports options. My sons and I realize we are really great at archery. I learn to ski, and Rift Wars becomes an obsession. I’m now writing several hours a day. Oh how I had missed writing…

April rolls around and I get back into the writing game. Send out a few submissions, receive amazing feedback (but no bites), and realize that my writing had changed significantly since my return from overseas. My work was darker and less apologetic. I receive some amazing fanmail that keeps me going.

By May and June the family helps me realize there is no going back. My life had altered, and we had to figure out what was going to happen next. I need a new career. After talking it over with SuperChef (husband), weΒ  come to the conclusion that it is now or never. Time to get moving again on the writing train.

In July, I contact Lacey Savage about a crazy book series idea. We iron out the details and decide to go for it later in the year. So I set my sites on a publishing company I’d wanted to be a part of from the beginning: Ellora’s Cave. First novel submission is a feedback rejection, and I immediately begin working on the next submission.

By August,Β  Primal Hunger is submitted to an editor at Ellora’s Cave and a full is requested in less than a week. Insert OMG and Squee fest. My second novel submission ever, and it’s showing promise. Now to get it all polished up and pretty. My annual Holiday short submission is away to Changeling Press and approved. I love the winter contest they have every year.

September: The Other Klaus is written, polished, and submitted. I start working on Feral Intent, a sequel to Primal Hunger. The Other Klaus is accepted. WOOHOO!

October/November blend together in excitement and incredible change. Primal Hunger is accepted (and title is changed from Primal Heat to Primal Hunger). Contract information is completed, and I get to announce to the world that I’m an Ellora’s Cave author!Β  SuperChef celebrates record-breaking traffic on his recipe blog. He’s getting some serious acclaim from several incredible cookery sites. I get notice of a pending retirement. My career as an Airman is almost over. With that comes an emotional rollercoaster of epic proportions. Fourteen years. <Poof!> The family and I agree to settle down south where the weather is less intense. We settle on San Antonio, Texas.With two days to spare, I complete NaNoWriMo for the second time, ever. I get together with Lacey Savage and we work out all the details of our trilogy. We decide to start working on them the second week or so of December. Not a bad month…

The insanity doesn’t stop! I begin work on Enraptured. December 10th, The Other Klaus releases. I forgot how much I loved release day. December is tense while I transition from the military (OMG the paperwork…I forgot how much I’d had to sign to come IN. Getting out is just as crazy!). We’re still in the process of packing up a house for the move, house hunting, etc. The first three weeks in January will be just as intense, as we’ll be moving a household from Alaska to Texas. Family meltdowns and worries collide in some pretty potent mixes. Some of the best parts of the month: Christmas… just incredible! I also got to have a wonderful writing session with the fabulous Leila Brown! The Other Klaus came out! And I was just naughty enough to get a little extra in my stocking this year.

Throughout the year, I celebrated a ton of wonderful releases by my great critique partners, Kim Knox and Lexxie Couper. Don’t believe me? Check out Kim’s Smokin’ Hot Planetary Bodies series, or Lexxie Couper’s Sizzlin’ Ty the Sexy Dragon novella.

So what’s in store for 2012?

January will be busy. Enraptured will be finished, edits for Primal Hunger are expected, we’ll be moving to Texas (yikes!), and looking for a house. Internet will be sketchy, but that’s why the book gods created Barnes and Noble. My oldest son and I are getting our hair dyed something ridiculous, and I’m getting my fingernails done in funky tips as a retirement gift to myself.

In February I have two books releasing from Changeling Press. Will give you more information as soon as it becomes available. I officially retire as a Technical Sergeant of the United States Air Force at the end of the month. The kids get back into school. The new life officially begins. Despite the change in income and such, I expect it to be much like the old life…only more writing. And no more asking permission to go on a road trip. Or filling out paperwork if I want to go to Oklahoma. Or sending other men and women to war in my place b/c my body can’t do it anymore. Hmm. So far, I see far more positives than negatives. Enraptured should be polished up and submitted. By then, we’ll be working on the final book in the trilogy.

I have five books planned through May. Primal Hunger is slotted to release some time early 2012.

May your 2012 be prosperous, awe-inspiring, and non world-ending. πŸ˜‰

See you in 2012!

Keep Writing,
Dawn

Cover Love

In Publishing News on December 6, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Will you get a load of this? Primal Hunger has a rawr cover.

What do you think? Delicious, huh? No date for release yet, but I’d expect an early 2012 launch. πŸ˜€

In the meantime, I’m working on two novellas: A Familiar Kiss and Nexus. Both are making me growl with frustration atm. I keep getting distracted with the looming move. 34 more days until I say goodbye to the EDJ/Alaska and hello to Texas/full-time writer.

I would say that I’m going to miss all the traveling, but to tell you the truth…I just want to spend some time with my family and do the mom thing. I’ve missed so many things. Globe-trotting is fun, but the cost just isn’t worth it to me any more. Muah! Enough of this seriousness!

The Other Klaus comes out this week! I’ll post the release on Friday!

Keep Writing!

Dawn

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