Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Creative Visualization . . . Who Knew?

Alright, I know that to some, the concept of creative visualization may seem far-fetched. Trust me, I thought so, too. I probably sounded something like Charlie in Breaking Dawn when Bella tells him to picture her healthy, to which he says sardonically, “You want me to visualize?” Yeah, that was me. Skeptical.

I’d heard people talk about visualization before, and initially thought the whole idea sounded a little hokey. Then, I started working on Once Broken. Easily the biggest creative project I’ve ever tackled, the task was overwhelming in the beginning. But I took a step back and tried focusing on the end goal. What was an abstract idea began to take shape, and then I realized what I was doing . . . I had clumsily stumbled into using that hokey technique.

So, I put it to work. I visualized my overall goal: Finish the book. Easy enough, right? Then, I started to give my goal more detail: How I wanted to publish, how I wanted it to look, how I would feel when this monumental task was finished. On the days when I felt like I’d never be finished or when I just didn’t feel like writing, I’d whip out this handy little mental picture and keep plugging away.
Here’s why I think it works (at least why it did for me) . . . Picturing your ultimate target and giving it life is a huge positive in a sea of negative. You feel like you’ll never finish – or worse – maybe people will hate it when you do. Visualization is a positive activity that helps overcome those obstacles. Is visualization the key to success? No way. There’s also hard work, blood, sweat, tears, and many glasses of wine. But visualization is a useful tool to have in your arsenal.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go visualize making it onto the bestseller lists . . .

Monday, October 28, 2013

Goodreads Giveaway!

I'm hosting a Goodreads giveaway from now until November 22. Just in time to get a paperback edition of Once Broken to read over the Thanksgiving holiday! I'm giving away three copies to readers in the United States. Sign up today!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

One Last Teaser

Release day is upon us, and I can't tell you how excited I am about that! It has been time consuming and a ton of work, and there have been times when a Sam Adams Octoberfest was needed to keep me sane. But self-publishing is so much fun and is a learning experience like no other. I can now do things with a Word document that I never thought possible (thanks to some tutelage from my patient husband and lots of studying). :P So! Here's one last snippet that I want to share with y'all before Once Broken goes live. This is from the Prologue and helps provide a little insight to Remi's beginnings as a hunter. Enjoy!

The light from a pair of headlights came upon us as a car drove up the driveway and came to a stop behind the truck. I tried to stay on my feet, but wobbled and fell to my knees. Without a word, the werewolf – if that’s really what he was – gathered me up and carried me toward the car.

“Is she alright?” A man’s voice came from somewhere to my left. He had an accent that was familiar to me, that of a native Spanish speaker. His question was so full of concern, I wondered if I was supposed to know him somehow.

“Yes.” I felt the werewolf’s answer reverberate through his chest. Looking up at him, I saw him nod his head toward where Dominic had fallen. His lips were set in a grim line, saying so much without another word.

The other man drew a cross with his fingertips, head to chest and shoulder to shoulder. The reverence of the gesture put a tightness in my chest and brought tears to my eyes.
He walked to my husband’s body and looked for a moment before nodding his head. Coming back to us, he explained his decision.

“Listen closely. This will have to be reported to the police, and this is what we’re going to tell them . . .”
I tried to focus as the dark-haired man told me how to be secretive about what had just taken my husband’s life, but I was preoccupied by the horror of what I had seen.

Up until then, I had been content to accept the world around me at face value and never think twice about it, just like any other person. Of course I had seen creepy creature movies and read the legends woven in popular stories, but like almost everyone else, I believed the stories to be nothing more than mere fantasy. Entertainment.
Well, it sure as hell wasn’t entertaining anymore.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Taste of Dove Creek

Here is the opening of Chapter Two, where the town of Dove Creek is explained. As you can see, it's a lovely little town . . . Riiiiiight. Enjoy!

Dove Creek has long been a hub of supernatural activity. Back during the oil boom of the 1970’s, the town population swelled to its all-time high. Almost overnight, it became larger than anyone ever thought possible. The oil gushed and the money flowed. Talk started up about how Dove Creek could come to rival Westview, the city on the other side of the lake. This tiny town was moving up in the world.

Then the murders started.

At first, people believed there was a serial killer on the loose. A body here, a disappearance there . . . They could find a way to justify the rising death toll. The local law enforcement even found a suspect: Wilson C. Scott. He was tried and convicted, framed for murders he didn’t commit and got a middle initial in his name just like every other notorious killer.

And the murders didn’t stop.

People fled Dove Creek just as fast as they had flocked in. Coupled with waning oil prices, the dark mark of death overshadowed any hope the town had of becoming a full-fledged city. The only people left were the ones whose families had been here for generations; my family and Gabriel’s family were among them.

There were a few people who decided to stand up and do something rather than cower in the church pews and pray like the rest of Dove Creek did – and still does. People in this town know that there are abnormal occurrences and creatures that by all accounts shouldn’t exist, but they don’t acknowledge them. Not out loud. There’s a church on every corner. There are enough seats in the pews for every man, woman, and child, and that’s not counting the choir lofts. It leaves little doubt that people know something isn’t right about this town.

Why this town? A long time ago – no one knows how long exactly – a Crossroads settled in right around Dove Creek. This is a supernatural Crossroads I’m talking about, not a place where two roads intersect and people pause and stare at each other over their steering wheels at a four-way stop. Don’t think of a crossroads as a fixed, tangible thing. It’s fluid. It’s a place where the various planes of existence blur together ever so slightly, where the veil between them is at its thinnest.
Demons figured out a way to crawl out of the Plane of Perdition to torment the Mortal Plane. It’s been Old Testament around here ever since.

Friday, September 27, 2013

First Snippet!

Edits and revisions are really coming together, so I wanted to share a little snippet. This is from a scene in the first chapter where Remi has a wee run-in with the law. Hope you enjoy!

Trying for wide-eyed ignorance, I blinked like a deer in headlights. “Am I under arrest?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

The deputy read my rights and handcuffed me like a common criminal. Of course, in his mind, that‘s exactly what I was. He picked up my bow and quiver, and ushered me to the patrol car.

“Do you have identification with you Miss . . .?” He asked as he put me in the backseat of the car.

“Missus,” I corrected him. My name was still my married name. “Remington Hart. My ID is in the glove compartment of my jeep.” I told him all of that as politely as I could manage.

The deputy went and ducked into the passenger side and retrieved my driver’s license, then came back and settled into his place behind the wheel.

“That’s a helluva name for a lady, if you don’t mind me sayin’ so.”

My father is who named me. He had been dead set on my big brother being John Junior, but my mother had other ideas. So, he insisted that he get to name his second son whatever he wanted. Mom agreed with little reserve, not knowing his designs on naming a child after his favorite gun maker. Needless to say, I came into this world quite without the necessary tools to be classified as a son. The name my dad had chosen seemed fitting nonetheless, so there I was: Remington Jean.

I suppose my mother should count her lucky stars that my father didn’t name my brothers, or they might’ve been dubbed Sig and Colt. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I Wrote a Novel! Now What?!

The concept for the Dove Creek Chronicles came to me a few years back. I did a little research, kicked around some ideas, and even did a few character sketches, but I ultimately stalled out. Honestly, I was daunted by the prospect of trying to get my book published. The thought of being among the names I read on a regular basis was intimidating (and still is!). I mean, authors are to me what rock stars are to most people. If I ever have the honor of meeting Anne Rice, I’ll probably fangirl all over her. And George Martin? Don’t get me started.
Not every author is so successful or well-known, but I admittedly put them on a pedestal as a whole. So what could a publisher possibly want with little old me and my small-town fantasy series? It doesn’t fit snugly in any one genre, and vampires have been done to death (how’s that for pun-tastic?) -- though I like to think mine are pretty original. Don’t misunderstand, I wasn’t writing myself off for failure, but what if I wrote this first book and then another, only to have them thrown into slush piles? What a waste of time!
Last year, I started coming across more and more articles about the new wave of self-published authors who are not only selling books, but making full-fledged careers out of writing and publishing. I saw that writing my story was certainly not a waste of time, and would even allow me to live out my dream of becoming an author. So I started up again. In every spare few minutes I could grab after working full time, being a full time mother to a brand new baby, and just doing life, I wrote. I still do that. It’s worth it.
In a few weeks’ time (fingers crossed!), Once Broken will be ready for publication. I absolutely can’t wait! I’m excited and terrified, hopeful and grateful, and everything in between. It just goes to show: Dreams really do come true. So if you’re going to dream, dream so big that it hurts. Then go out and make it happen. Life is too short to leave it full of what-ifs.