Saga Part 8

April 27, 2009 at 1:05 am (The Saga, Writing Journal) ()

Brave New World

In the world of the Internet, 6 years is a very long time. Lot has happened. Social networks, blogs, twitter. I feel as though I am starting from scratch.

May 1st I start a class on how to create a Blog Book Tour. First assignment is to have a blog that is updated daily. I suppose I could have used one of my existing blogs, but they focus on mystery, marketing, and book reviews. But that isn’t where I want my focus to be. I want my focus to be on finishing my Darkhour Vampire books. So I decided to start a new blog, but what do I want this blog to be about?

Blogs started out as online journals, people writing down what was going on in their lives, their feelings, their opinions, and some were clever and interesting and people started reading them. Then people started creating blogs that dealt with one subject, a source of information for others about a a topic of interest, then others began using them as a marketing tool. The problem with blogging is that you have to have something interesting to say, something of value to read.

So what do I have of interesting to say? Well I am already writing a self help blog, describing ideas about marketing. I am also using a blog to publish and store  my book reviews. I am also promoting other mystery writers On Wings of Murder.

What I haven’t done is the personal journal style, but I’m not sure how interesting my comments about writing will be, or how valuable. I remembered how I enjoyed my column at Suite101, writing about vampires, vampire literature, and interviewing vampire authors. I’d like to revisit some of the authors and find out what they have been up to in the last six years. Update some of my articles from then and republish them.

The term Urban Fantasy didn’t exist in 2000.  This is a whole new genre and one I am looking forward to exploring. I hope you will join me on this journey of discovery and adventure.

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Saga Part 7

April 26, 2009 at 1:16 am (The Saga, Writing Journal) ()

Crash and Burn

In 2002, my daughter and my three-year-old grandson moved in with us, into what had been a cozy two bedroom bungalow. As I wrote in my bio for my first book, ”Linda lives on the beautiful Oregon coast with her husband, four domineering cats, and an office full of dragons.” Although we had no ocean view, we did have a beautiful deck surrounded by woods and when it was quiet, you could hear the waves crashing in the distance.

With my daughter moving in, I lost my office, and became primary babysitter when my daughter went back to work.

From 1998, my health had gradually gotten worse. I slipped getting out of the shower and broke my knee, I got planters fasciitis and couldn’t walk, my chronic back meant I started using a walker. I finally applied for Social Security Disability and was declared legally disabled Jan. 2003. I was dealing with major depression which meant I wasn’t writing.

Because of finances and  my health problems, my husband, I, my daughter, and her soon-to-be-new husband, and grandson decided to move into a large house in the foothills of Willamette Valley near Salem.

Then the government recalled Xanax which had been the one drug I found that helped me move. Later we discovered that the second best choice Celebrix was causing me kidney problems. They dropped all arthritis medication. And within a few months I was in the hospital because it hurt so much that I couldn’t even get out of bed. They put me on the big guns, morphine and percocet.

Morphine and percocet in such high doses cause changes in the mind. Beside my sleeping almost constantly, I lost the ability to think, to fantasize. I couldn’t write. All I focused on was getting to the point where I didn’t need help getting in and out of a chair or up from the toilet. I set a goal of being able to use the walker to enter the birthing center for my granddaughter’s birth July 3, 2006. A goal I reached.

Slowly my health began to improve. My book with Wings ePress was still in print, but the other two weren’t because I hadn’t marketed them. I decided that I would like to republish them and this time do some marketing. So I submitted them to Wings ePress and they were accepted. THE MURDER GAME was published September 2008 and EYES OF TRUTH published January 2009. Once again I was a published writer.

Six years without writing.

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Saga Part 6

April 24, 2009 at 1:15 am (The Saga, Writing Journal) ()

Vampire Expert

Current wisdom at the time, 2000,  said an author needed a web presence, in other words a Web page and a domain in their own name. Blogging wasn’t invented yet. They also recommended that you become a recognized expert in your field.

I got my own domain name and created my first website.

But how to become a recognized name, an expert. I developed a college class on eBooks and Internet publishing. I also became an editor for Suite101. My bi-weekly column focused on vampire eBook authors and their books. I interviewed the new vampire authors and reviewed their books. I also wrote articles about the history of vampire literature and how it had developed.  The whole market was expanding rapidly. According to Michele Hauf,  compiler of the Ultimate Vampire List, publication of vampire books jumped from less than 20 a year to over 50 in 2002, the year my vampire novel was published.

The old marketing adage is to provide content, something that people need and can use. So my idea was to promote vampire eBooks. I started a list.

e-Vampires.net – Where to find the best blood sucking fiction on the net.

The list was organized by publisher and included a brief synopsis of the story.

With so many new books, it was a lot of hard work  to keep current. Too much work. Eventually both my Suite101 column and e-Vampire.net were removed from the net.

I’m very glad to discover that Michele Hauf, who started The Ultimate Vamplist around the same time, has had the staying power. According to the site, she has 4000 books listed, including my own.

The Ultimate Vamplist <http://www.vampire-books.com>

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Saga Part 5

April 23, 2009 at 1:28 am (The Saga, Writing Journal) ()

No longer a minister’s wife, but still a prude.

I was no longer a minister’s wife, but that did not change things.  Even after my daughter read my books and told me she liked them, I found it uncomfortable to think of people reading the sex scenes I had written. I tried to overcome my shyness by joining an erotic critique group. It opened me to a new world, but didn’t do away with my reservations.

Still I went ahead and submitted CAPTIVITY, the first book in the Darkhour Vampire Saga.  It was accepted by www.Wings-Press.com and published July 2002.

I gave a copy to my best friend. She liked it, but her husband was terribly shocked that I could have written something like that. Our relationship changed. My worst fears realized.

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Saga Part 4

April 22, 2009 at 1:55 am (The Saga, Writing Journal) ()

Becoming a Working Writer

A couple of years go by. My husband lost his ministry and decided he was tried of playing the game of church politics and officially retired, taking a job at the local tribal casino in accounting. Quite a change.

I lost my job and because of the increasing health problems with my back and knees, found it impossible to find another. I went to Voc Rehab for help, telling them I wanted to be a writer. They helped pay for some classes on web design, creating a business plan, and doing business on the web. In doing some research, I discovered the relatively new eBooks and e-publishers. As an experiment, I submitted THE MURDER GAME to an e-publisher. I had originally written THE MURDER GAME on spec for Harlequin, but they rejected it because the hero wasn’t  Harlequin enough. I had then gathered over 40 rejects from agents, before I gave up in frustration. I submitted to book, and within three days, it was accepted for publication and I had a signed contract.

Unfortunately, the company went out of business before the book was published. So I tried again. This time it actually was published, but a couple of months later, the publisher closed its doors without even letting me know.

But it didn’t discourage me. I got busy and finished EYES OF TRUTH and submitted it to Twilight Times Books. Not only was it published as an eBook but in trade paperback. The foreign rights were sold and it was translated and published in Romanian.

I designed some websites to promote my stories. On one of them www.Playmurder.com I downloaded a .pdf copy of an article on murder mystery games I had written for Writer’s Digest. Because of this article,  I was  approached by www.host-party.com about creating a murder mystery game for their new site.

My writing career was taking off.

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Saga Part 3

April 21, 2009 at 1:00 am (The Saga, Writing Journal) ()

The Minister’s Wife and the Erotic Writer

I started writing the Darkhour Vampire stories for my own pleasure. At their core were my own uncensored erotic fantasies. I held nothing back.

When I finished and re-read them, they seemed really good, too good not to see if I could get them published.

But there was a small problem. At the time I was a minister’s wife. The thought of members of my husband’s congregation reading the books horrified me. It was one thing to fantasize in the privacy of your own bedroom, but to display those fantasies for the whole world to see and to judge you by, that is something else. Yes, I admit I am a bit of a prude, at least on the surface.

So what did I do about the problem? I decided I was too close to the books to judge fairly, so I put them up on the shelf for awhile, turned my attention to another book, this one a fantasy mystery.

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Saga Part 2

April 20, 2009 at 12:34 am (The Saga, Writing Journal) ()

Wade demands the story be told  of how he was first bitten.

My daughter graduated from High School in 1986. She moved out on her own. And we moved to Lincoln City, on the Oregon Coast, where my husband took a ministerial position. In the Spring of 1998, my computer died. As someone who is addicted to the computer, it was a real challenge, especially since I was desperately seeking some diversion. To easy my cravings, I began going through old stories, trying to plot new ones, using a pen and paper.

Suddenly Wade Kain came to my mind. He was the cop from “Mother’s Love.” He had been involved with vampires, but didn’t remember what happened. He literally demanded that I tell the story of how he was first bitten. It was one of those magical times that a writer hopefully experiences at least once. He wrote the story. It flowed from me in a wonderful flood of creativity. I told the story of how Wade and his friends went camping in the Oregon woods, only to be found by a group of vampires. Cassandra took him back to her lair to be her sexual plaything.  I played out my own sexual fantasies. Another vampire entered the story, Donovan, a 180-year-old vampire, who had died at the Alamo and now was a psychiatrist. He was the one who made sure that Wade didn’t remember anything about vampires.

I completed the handwritten  rough draft. Then I began to work on the story of why Prane and her children were hiding from her husband Stefan. The third story would be “Mother’s Love”. I had just started to write what happens after Prane and Wade meet when my computer was returned. Immediately I  sat down at the keyboard and didn’t get up for 12 days. I had a 54,000 word novel. But I didn’t stop there, I went back to the first story and soon had another 50,000 word novel.

Over the next six months, I completed four novels, all over 50,000 words, and started on the fifth. An amazing feat. But even more amazing is that when I read them, they seemed to be really great. Usually I write and I rewrite, adding layers and layers, changing and tinkering. But as I read these stories, they held together. They were good! The best thing I had ever written.

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Saga Part 1

April 17, 2009 at 10:52 pm (The Saga, Writing Journal) ()

The Beginning

Although this is a brand new blog, my involvement with vampires goes back a long ways. The first short story I ever wrote was about the only psychic crew member of a space  expedition who lands on a planet of telepathic vampires.

But that isn’t where Darkhour Vampires begin.

My daughter’s teenage years (1982-1986) were not easy on her mother. Not bad, mind you. Just difficult. Perhaps that is why Prane was born. A mother of two typical teenagers, who just also happened to be a vampire.

I liked the idea of being a mother with super human powers. I liked the idea of having a secret identity. An identity that was cool and neat, besides being just plain old Mom. So I wrote “Mother’s Love”. Prane witnesses a murder and is herself shot. The gunman sees her “fang out”. She must find the gunman before the cops do and keep him from talking about vampires . The setting was straight out of our lives. The kids went to the same high school as my daughter, North High, in Salem Oregon. The shooting occurred in our local Safeway parking lot.

There was something very satisfying about the story, but I never did anything with it. I wrote it and its sequel “Neighborhood Watch” mostly as therapy.

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