Coming Home

Yup, yup. The baby is coming home. Her roomie is graduating and moving away. I am glad to have her back because she is a lot of help for me especially when I’m going through all the health issues I’m going through. (Getting old sucks.) I know Rott’s not exactly jumping for joy, but he seems okay with it. And the babies (cats) will be ecstatic. They adore her! I don’t relish sharing my computer or getting used to having another body in the house, but those annoyances are really small to be honest. The pros outweigh the cons in this instance and I’ll get used to having her underfoot again. She is my baby girl after all. (Who will be 23 on May 16! Where does time go?)

I’ve been doing a lot of ads for authors going to GayRomLit lately so I made Winterheart Design a little “commercial” so to speak. When I uploaded it, it couldn’t be seen. Grrrr. Used to be YouTube would email you if the music wasn’t something they had a license for. No more emails apparently. Grrrrr.  I changed up the music and the commercial for Winterheart Design is now live on my YouTube channel. Still…grrrr.

I’m off to a dr’s appointment now so I’ll post my Monday Marcus and skedaddle.

Shirtless in jeans…oh, yum.

Oh, yeah. In case you didn’t see my Facebook page…Loose Id requested the full manuscript of my NFL story. Woot! Now I need to hurry and finish it! Have a great Monday everyone!

Research

Have you ever had to do research? For an essay or term paper? For a book? For information about something you knew nothing about, but now need to know? I’ve done all of those things, most recently, for a book.

Like a lot of Americans, I’ve been a football fan. I’m from NoCal so I’ll admit to being an Oakland Raider fan. My brother is a referee and he’s been a big football fan since before I was born so when I eventually started watching he taught me a lot about the game. I used to watch religiously, but now I don’t even watch the Super Bowl.

But now that I have a football story I’m working on, I think I’ve learned more about the game than I ever thought I’d know. First, I asked a co-worker some questions to help me solidify my plot outline. Then, once I started writing, I had to do some research. Mostly about the draft, but I’m sure at some point it will be about something else. I’m going to pull out the snippets that involve football and see what my co-worker thinks. If Michael thinks the football related parts sound okay, I’ll just keep moving along. If something’s not right though, I’ll have to go back and fix it.

For now, I still have a long way to go. I have about 10K words on a book that could go as high as 60K.  I have almost half of the first part of the book done. I’ve got a few bits and pieces of the latter half done as well. A couple of scenes. But all that research is stuck in my head now. Mostly, I found this fascinating list of a dozen of the highest paid rookies. Ten of the twelve were NFL players and they told how much these guys signed for and how much the signing bonus was. WOAH. We’re talking some serious numbers although there was at least one on the list whose numbers were lower due to the salary cap instituted some years ago. The guys in my book would have signed before the cap so I gave them numbers like 32 million and 40 million with a few million in signing bonuses. That’s so much money I just can’t even imagine it.

Once this story is done, my next bout of research will be emailing with a co-worker’s son who is a professional ballet dancer. Instead of salary caps and signing bonuses in my head, I’ll have ballet moves. And that information will reside in my head until that book is done and the next bout of research replaces it.

Writing paranormal stories means I can make up whatever I want. No research. Just world building. I do that in my head. I lay down to take a nap and start planning the creatures and how the world works. I do this over and over for a few weeks until the world is pretty fixed in my mind. Then I write.

For now, I’m enjoying my football story. It’s more serious and more dark than any contemporary I’ve ever written. It deals with coming out, risky sex, HIV and AIDS as well as the media. I mess with these two heroes quite a bit before I let them have a Happily Ever After. I’ve sent the partial (the first three chapters) to the publisher and now I have to wait to see if they want the book. I hope they do. I’ve wanted to get in with this publisher for quite awhile but I never had the right vehicle before. Cross your fingers for me!

Before I head in to work, here’s a Marcus for this Monday morning.

Ah, one of my favorite photos of him! Sure brightens up my rainy Monday morning. I hope everyone has a great day!

One Down More To Go

I finished the expansion and revision of Mating yesterday. I was so glad to have it done! Now, I’ve just got a partial to finish, my Father’s Day story and Fire Storm. I honestly can’t wait to get back to the Darkworld. I’ve missed it while writing all these contemporaries. But Runaways is out now (came out on Friday) and I’m sure Mating won’t be too far behind now that the hard part is done.

Writing has been going smoothly for the most part, if a little slow. Being tired a lot has slowed down the process for me. I’m still doing cover art, videos and now promo graphics for ads. And an occasional website. I’m about to start one for author Tim McGiveny. I’ve been looking at templates for his and I think I’ve got one he’ll like so it’s time for me to have him get his hosting. New websites are always so exciting!

The promo ads are a new thing for me sort of. I’ve done a few in the past but now I’ve put up some samples for GayRomLit. I quickly made some examples of ads in the different sizes yesterday at Ethan Day’s suggestion. He then pimped out the link and thus far I have one bite for creating an ad! Yay!

Nikki (aka Motley) will be coming home soon and to be honest, I’m really glad about that. I could use her help with some things and I missed her this past year while she was living with a roomie. Which reminds me that I was supposed to email her a to do list because she’s going to help me whip my website into shape since I haven’t had the time to do it. My book pages are a mess.

The day job is going really well these days. I have help now (yay!) and it frees me up to do some of the things that got backburnered when we were short staffed. For one, I need to work on cleaning up some stuff in our cemetery software database. Ugh. It’s a nasty task but it needs to be done and until recently, I haven’t had the time.

Another thing I’ve been doing at work is blogging! Yes, blogging. And coordinating the blog. Finding guest bloggers can be daunting when your topic is specific. Every now and then I actually have to write a post myself. Last Friday, I did that while in the midst of an IT emergency…our internet was down! Luckily, it was the carrier so there was nothing for me to fix other than reboot the firewall. The internet was down for only an hour or so but afterward I couldn’t reach the company blog because of a router issue with the carrier. Waiting around for them to fix stuff sucked. But I finally got the blog post up at 5 pm before I went home.

So yeah, been busy. Nothing new there. LOL And now I need to head off to the office where I have a lot of stuff to do today. I’ve got a full plate for sure! First, before I leave, here’s a Marcus!

Oh, yummeh! Have great Monday!

Unhinged

I was writing last night and wrote the line that my hero was so overcome by his passion for the other hero that his brain had come unhinged. I think I have a little of that today. I feel brain dead for sure. I read a novel, did about a dozen covers (some mockups and some finals), did a few website graphics, and wrote a few thousand words this weekend. Oh, and we watched The Big Year. Funny movie. Really cute. Now, it’s Monday and my brain definitely feels unhinged. So I’m just gonna give you a sample of what I did this weekend, hand you off a Marcus and toddle off to my office. Since my boss didn’t call me over the weekend I guess our office pool didn’t win the MegaMillions either.

I love it when authors are easy to work with. Makes my life a whole lot easier and means I can actually do that many covers in a weekend. So kudos to everyone I’ve been working with lately!

Now, time for a retro Marcus (ie one I’ve posted before) who will guarantee that at least something will go right for me today. 😉

Here’s a little tip for some of you who like my M/M books, on April 10 All Romance eBooks will have Breathe Me In as a FREE download in honor of Earth Day. So mark your calendars and go get it for FREE! Have a happy Monday everyone!

Half Full

Normally, I’m not so much a glass half full person. Especially, when something bad has happened recently. Last week, the publishing world lost a true talent. And I (along with a lot of other people) lost a dear friend. William Neale, a fellow MLR Press author, died last week of a heart attack. I won’t dress it up in pretty words – it was a huge, painful shock. I’d spoken to him only days before. We’d planned for me to do the cover and book trailer for his next release. We hadn’t gone into details other than Bill telling me again that I don’t charge enough for the work I do. Now, I wish we had gone into some details so I’d know where to start when that book does come out, posthumously.

At any rate, last week wasn’t such a good week. And then I got edits for Runaways. Well, most authors like to say that they are in “edit hell” when they are working on edits. I’m not one of them. I look at edits as a glass half full, in direct opposition to how I usually see things. Edits are an opportunity to make my work better. I have three really amazing editors who take very good care of me and help me polish my work to the perfection that you see (at least grammatically) when you buy one of my books. Kris Jacen at MLR Press, Jillian Bell at Ellora’s Cave and Mary Wilson at Pink Petal Books are my heroes. And when they send me edits I can barely contain myself.

When I see edits in my email, it’s like Christmas morning for me. I can barely wait to open them. I usually force myself to finish whatever it is I’m doing before opening the edits but I squirm in my seat the whole time I’m finishing those tasks. I always finish my edits early, mostly because I can’t stop working on them once I have them. I LOVE edits! I love seeing how the finished product will come out. And I love hearing what my editors have to say about my work.

So despite the fact that I couldn’t focus on my edits for a couple of days after Bill died, I did get my second round edits for Runaways back to Jilly this weekend. The lure of the edits called to me even in my grief. And I imagine Bill was chuckling at me the whole time. Glass half full indeed.

Now, how about a Marcus to bring some cheer to this cold spring morning?

Oh, so handsome there in formal wear. Certainly cheers my morning right up! Have a great Monday everyone!