Saturday, May 26, 2012

What Sparked the Idea for Wait Until Moonrise?

My latest paranormal romance, Wait Until Moonrise, was a long time comin'. The basic plot came to me way back in 1992 while I was driving home from watching Disney's animated film, Beauty and the Beast. By the time I got home, the main story of an invisible hero who can be seen only in the moonlight had pretty much gelled in my mind.

It was the scene when Belle and the Beast were dancing in that magnificent ballroom that sparked the story idea. If you've seen the film, you might remember the stars shining through the windows and the beautiful floor. I thought of a couple dancing, with the hero visible only as he passed through patches of moonlight--and vanishing when he passed through shadows. A hero who can be seen only in the moonlight--and the heroine is the only person who can see him...the idea intrigued and excited me. And it raised a lot of questions. Was the hero a ghost? If so, how could they be together?

The rest of the main plot fell into place so fast that my head spun. I could barely type it fast enough. Nicholas, the hero, wasn't a ghost but a cursed 18th century nobleman, condemned to a living death within the prison walls of his own magnificent castle. Two hundred years pass before the heroine, Bria, arrived, seeking her lost past in her family home. But what happened to Nicholas in those two centuries? Did he lose his mind? How was he affected by other people who lived around him, unaware of his presence? What about the sorceress who cursed him? Was she still alive?

These were just a few of the questions that occured to me. Eventually, I fleshed out the story and started sending it to publishers and entering it in contests. It came close to being published a couple of times, it placed in a couple of contests...then it won the 2003 Emily for best paranormal romance. I still couldn't find a home for it, so I moved on to other books. I eventually published my first novel in 2006, which was followed by six more books with Ellora's Cave.

Then I decided to try my hand at self-publishing. Border Heat, a romantic suspense, did well, then came Onslaught. During all that time, my mind occasionally went back to Wait Until Moonrise, and the time finally felt right this year. I pulled it out of a really old computer file, read it through and thought it was still a very good story. A couple of revisions ensued, then I released it into the world this past week.

I'm excited and nervous. This book is the book of my heart. I pray that it's well received. I'd appreciate comments, reviews...anything to tell me that that initial spark was worth building into a flame.

Wait Until Moonrise is available exclusively at Amazon.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Writing for Love...or Money?

In addition to writing novels and novellas, each month I also write ten to twenty non-fiction articles on various topics. This month, for example, I’m writing about heirloom diamond rings, how a new mattress can help fight allergy symptoms, and which wrist watches best complement summer fashions. Such articles keep me busy, supplement my income, and keep me up-to-date on fashion trends and home furnishing improvements. Plus they test my willpower when it comes to fine chocolates. But do such articles help me add detail to my fiction writing or does writing them use up valuable time that I want to devote to my storytelling tasks?

Actually, it does both. But like many writers, I know that fiction writing rarely pays the mortgage, so I need the income those articles bring me. While ebook technology has allowed many writers to earn more money than they ever dreamed of earning through the traditional route of publishing through a New York house, most writers still need another source of income in order to pay those monthly bills.

But for many writers, money isn’t the main goal anyway. Putting our words together in stories that intrigue our own imaginations is the primary reason that most of us write. We need to write our stories. We love it when other people read those stories—and pay good money for them—but most of us would write even if we never made a penny off our hard work. It’s fun. It’s necessary. Writing is like water to a thirsty person—only writers are pouring it out instead of taking it in.

So please remember when you read our words that most of us create our stories out of love. And if you find our stories worthy of your love, please spread the word about. Maybe someday more of us can give up our day jobs—and those non-fiction articles—and spend more time writing the fiction that completes us.