Changing Horses (Um…why didn’t I think of this earlier!)

Cowboy Lassoing a HorseChanging Horses

or

Why didn’t I think of this earlier!

I want to indie publish something else— and soon! I’m not a marketing wizard, but I do know it would work to my advantage to keep my name out there with IR fans.  While my short story BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE  doesn’t appear to be taking the interracial romance world by storm, I’m sure I’ve got some eyes on me. People wondering — hmm, what’s up with this Venice chick?  Is this short story all she got? I’ve come to understand many readers aren’t interested in shorts, and some folks who do buy them, like them hot, hot and hotter!

I’ve told you guys about TENDING DEACON’S GARDEN, and explained to you all how my hero wanted me to give him his chosen name of Chase. I said, I’d probably let him have his way, and I said I’d be writing Chase and Lani’s story next.  I’ve got a strong outline and a few scattered scenes done for this novella, it seemed like a good idea to give the project the green light. Honestly, I’m not one of those speedy writers, and yes—building up my productivity is something I definitely need to work on. Deacon’s Garden, which I’m still planning to publish in 2013, is going to take me a while to whip into shape. The thing is, I realized that potential readers are going to see another short story coming from me if I roll out a novella.  I’m wondering–Is this my best move at marketing myself?

I’m glad I got BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE out in 2012. Indie-publishing in 2012 was my goal, and I made it. I learned the ropes (okay, I’m still learning the ropes!), and I sold something that I wrote, with very little marketing. (I’ll get those November sales numbers up later this week.)

Here’s where I’m taking this–

Lately, I’ve been reading that IR fans are not happy that there are some many IR authors not putting out what the fans are craving—novels! They want a long read, they want a stories they can get lost in, and they want characters that aren’t cookie-cutter, but who have depth and layers.

Hmm, they want novels?

have a novel that I’m currently revising. I’ve got a good story they could get lost in and my hero and heroine have tons of depth and lots, and lots of layers

See where I’m heading here?

There’s an old Tower of Power song that says “Don’t Change Horses in the Middle of Stream”—but I’m gonna do it–

I’m changing horses!

A few weeks ago, I was happily revising the 10th chapter of my WIP novel I SEE YOU —and it hit me.

I SEE YOU should be my next published work.

I wrote the draft for I SEE YOU during a month long Novel-writing boot camp given by the folks over at Savvyauthors.com—a great place for new writers to take very inexpensive courses/workshops, and hang out with new and established writers. I had no idea that the deal was for people who signed up for the boot camp to commit to churn out 2000 words A DAY, mind you. I have to say, this was the ‘there’s no turning back now’ moment for me. I had failed several NaNoWriMO efforts in the past, and I was in the middle of remodeling my kitchen and bathroom. In my heart, I knew I had it in me to not go running for the hills when it came to this writing challenge. I had to stand up for what I wanted, and I was ready, house remodeling insanity be damned.  At the end of thirty days, I had a story I LOVED — and still do.  Now, for about a year after writing that first draft, I just couldn’t kick start getting to work on revising the twenty-four very drafty chapters I ended up with. I was happy with my story, but didn’t have confidence in my writing to complete it.

Well, that’s how things were going until June– when I took another leap of faith.  I started revising chapters and sharing them with a small group of folks who not only encourage me to keep it moving, but who give me great insight into reader POV of my novel.  (thanks, TST ladies!)

I’ve already revised ten chapters of I SEE YOU, and as soon as the holidays are over, I’m going to push myself to revise one chapter every week. That kind of schedule should get me through the remaining ones pretty quickly. I know I’ll have to work on a 2nd, 3rd, and … well, more run throughs to get I SEE YOU ready to send off for editing, but– this makes sense.  I can put all my work and energy, and focus on ONE project. This switching up on projects works out for me on lots of different levels! I guess, being able to switch direction like this just might be one of those great perks of being an indie-writer. 🙂

With life pulling me in so many different directions, it’s nice to know when I come back to the writing table; I’ve got one project to make happen. This is absolutely the right move for me. I feel like I’ve got a tight hold on the reins and I’m ready to take this ride!

Taking Leaps, facing challenges, oh, and not running for the hills, apparently, are all a part of this writing gig.

I SEE YOU, another contemporary, sweet IR from me, has tons of drama, and some LOL moments, too. Just like life!

EEK FLASH! Now I have to come up with a clever and kick-butt synopsis. Ouch!

🙂

Feeling good.

~venice

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Chase? Really?

Chase? Really?

or

What is in a name?

So when TENDING DEACON’S GARDEN came to me, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to call my hero. He’s a bit of a modern cowboy and I played around with a few names that might be a good fit for him. Names like Wes, Luke, Jake, Reese—ya know. I couldn’t decide, but I needed a name just to get the story going, certain I’d only be using it to sketch out my draft of the story. Until I could decide which one I wanted for him. So—I used Chase.  Yeah, I know, it’s so romance-novel-ly, but I was having some fun.

Now– my hero won’t let me switch it out. He tells me ‘my name is Chase’ and he’s adamant, won’t budge or negotiate with me for something more low-key. Heck, I don’t know much about cowboys, but apparently they are as stubborn as the ones I’ve seen in movies and on TV.

What’s a writer to do when her hunky alpha male puts his boot down, y’all? I’d like to think I know what’s best for my story but does Chase know what’s best for him? Will I miss the opportunity to really get to know this guy and the essence of who he really is by finding and replacing everywhere ‘Chase’  appears in my draft with Wes, or with ‘Luke’?

Is there a chance I will forever change the heart, mind and soul of this man by giving him the name Jake?

I can’t be the first or last writer who has had a disagreement with one of their characters. I wonder if there are writers out there who went ahead and blocked out a character’s demand, published their book only to regret that they hadn’t listened to that demand?

Let’s face it, the guy might be wrong. Maybe his character will soar to new heights and have more depth with a moniker like Houston or Buck. He acts like I’m trying to call him Chester, or Palladin.

Perhaps it’s all because Chase has been Chase for quite a few months now. And while I’ve created the world he’s been living in, and the romantic tension that is driving him looney—I’ve also given him the chance to find true love and a happy ever after. Maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised that he’s fighting so hard to be the one my heroine gives all her sweet lovin’ to.

While the jury is still out on this, I’ll let him keep giving me that hard stare as I begin working on this novella, and just maybe he’ll convince me – he really is Chase and not a Wes, or Jake, or a Luke.

~venice

Twelve Hours

Twelve Hours!

That’s how long it’s gonna be until my first indie published book, a short story titled BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE shows up for sale on Amazon.

Wow!

My intention, when I first started this blog back in March, was to talk about my journey to indie publishing. As you can see, it didn’t exactly happen that way. But—I did end up publishing something in 2012!! Amazing! It’s been a few months of one thing after the next working to distract and put mental and physical roadblocks in my way, so I don’t mind admitting that I’m a bit shell-shocked that I just hit that publish my book button.

I’m wise enough to understand this is a single step. I hope, of course, lots of folks buy and read BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE—hey, I’d love that!!   BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE was supposed to be an entry for a short story contest for a new-on-the-scene interracial romance publisher.  I went back and forth weighing if as a new writer, I’d have a better chance to get publish by looking for publisher or if I should jump on the bandwagon and go the indie publishing route.  That new IR publisher sending out a call for writers didn’t appear to get off the ground, and well— that fallout was the last bit of encouragement I needed to leap into the indie pool.  In some upcoming posts, I’ll share more about writing BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE, which is Vol#1 in my new series called LOVE BLOOMS, which I’ll be talking about, too. I just had to put a marker – right here and now that, sigh—I’m twelve hours to officially becoming a published author.

How cool is that!

~venice

Let’s Do This!

I’m New Here!

I write romance.

I will write romance.

Stories about how the whole world tips, curls, furls and jerks to bring two lonely souls together.

I write IR.

For now, these are the love stories I want to read and write. I can think of a whole lot of reasons why this is so, but you know what? I’m not going to fill up this first post with them.  For now, I’ll say that for me – like the folks finding their destiny in the arms of the one unseen forces have catapulted them into—this is the story of me arriving at the discovery of me being an IR writer. And it feels just as right as finding my true love.

I read IR.

It’s so strange. A few years back, on one of my regular late into the wee hours searching the internet marathons, I ran across an IR book. A real hunk on the cover caught my eye, as did the story synopsis. But, not really sure about my ‘interest’ in reading romance period, I had never been drawn to the genre; I just saved it to my Amazon wish lists.  I did however have a co-worker who was avidly reading them and she occasionally would point out a great IR read to me. The door was cracking open for me.  *creak* My initial hesitation about reading IRs—well, I’ll save reflecting on the reasons for that in another post.

:O

I got a Kindle for Christmas!! I got a Kindle for Christmas!!

See where this is going?

🙂

A couple of years and lots of interracial romance books later…

I’ve got a short story, “BLACKOUT IN THE GARDEN OF LOVE”, which I’m indie-publishing any day (minute) now!! Two more short stories drafted (one of them almost completely outlined) AND a rough draft for a novel “I SEE YOU” I plan to publish in late 2013.

And…

This blog.

LOVE BLOOMS!

There are many interracial romance writers out there.  What makes me so special?

As a writer—I’m growing here, but think I know what kind of stories I want to write. I’ve even found a tag for them.

‘Vibrant Interracial Romance’

What do I mean by ‘vibrant interracial’ romance? I want my stories and characters to resonate — to set off an empathetic vibration in my readers because life has taken them down into some of the same valleys and has them hoping to reach the same mountain tops.

I also want to share with you all my journey to becoming a published IR author.

While I primarily write sweet, sensual, inspirational romance, I have been told my writing can slip into gritty every now and then. And I’m not averse to using a curse word here and there. Just so you know. My critique buddy, Mae Clair, has used the term ‘slice of life’ to describe some of my work, and I guess that’s not only a great compliment, but a realistic description of some of my scene work and dialogue. Thanks, Mae! (More about her coming—Mae Clair who’s first book “Weathering Rock”, a PNR, got picked up by Lyrical Press, is already available on Amazon, B&N, Nook, and ITunes — Congrats, friend!) We’ve shared an amazing journey together; every writer should be blessed to have a writing pal to keep it moving.

Of course, I’ve got tons to learn. About writing, about marketing, indie publishing and what it takes to be a writer putting out books that touch reader’s hearts and or make them think.  But there isn’t anything else I want more than to write stories that connect with you guys. I feel blessed to have the job as my mission in life.

And I plan to have some fun making that happen!

~Venice