*dance dance dance!*

Friday, August 28, 2009
That little happy dance is me celebrating dropping the signed contract in the mail to Siren-BookStrand for my latest Tymber Dalton book, "Safe Harbor." Woot!

What's next?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Whew! Turned another manuscript in to Siren on Sunday. Was sort of like giving birth. *LOL* (Only without the blood, contractions, hospital visit, epidural, and the screaming at the end is me on release day when I see it for sale. *LOL*) It's a hot BDSM stand-alone mmf romance, but three of the characters also appear in "Love Slave for Two: Beginnings (Book 0)." (And they might get their own book at some point in time, they keep popping up and saying hello to me. *LOL*)

What's next? I get asked this a lot.

I'm working on several projects, listed in no particular order. (I'm always working on several projects.)

  • "Steam," the sequel to "Boiling Point - dragon shape-shifter menage story for an anthology, a continuation of the Alexandr brother series and a prequel to the "Triple Trouble" shape-shifter series.
  • Good Will Ghost Hunting series - Working on book 3. [6 books planned for series]
  • Brimstone vampire series - Working on book 3. [6 books planned for series]
  • "Tony's story" (The Reluctant Dom, Domme by Default character) - Yes, he IS going to have his own book. [third book, not technically a series, just related characters]
  • Love Slave for Two series - Turned "LSFT: Beginnings (Book 0)" m/s in and we're in the editing stage. Working on book 3. [5 books planned including the prequel, possibly 2 related shorts as well]
  • Deep Space Mission Corps series (Love at First Bight) - Working on book 2 in the series. [4 books currently planned for series]
  • Triple Trouble series - working on book 4. [at least 6 books in the series]
  • As of yet unnamed teen paranormal romance series - Working on book 1. [3 books, possibly more]
  • As of yet unnamed "space" book, possibly series - whew, this one's HOT, even by Tymber's standards! *LOL* [probably a stand-alone, but would lend itself to a series]
...and several other projects in various stages of notes/ideas/writing. But the above listed ones are the "priorities." (The ones where the "voices" are screaming at me the loudest! *LOL*)

Review: 5 Stars - "Good Will Ghost Hunting: Hell's Bells (Book 2)"

Monday, August 24, 2009
Woot!

Rainbow Reviews has given "Good Will Ghost Hunting: Hell's Bells (Book 2)" 5 stars!!

http://rainbow-reviews.com/?p=1745

This is an exciting and at times mesmerizing story of a group of ancients ~ archdemons, guardians of earth's civilization, living their lives in the guise of mortal men....Hells Bells is the second book in Lesli Richardson’s Ghost Hunting series, and stands very well on its own. I haven't read the first book, but am now sufficiently intrigued to buy a copy...There is plenty of humor ~ some dark and some quite light...I really enjoyed this book. Lesli Richardson has come up with some truly interesting, well developed characters and situations, and I look forward to reading the continuance of this series.

"Love at First Bight" book trailer featured!

Woot! My trailer for "Love at First Bight" is featured this week over at Raina Jame's website!

http://rainajames.com/blog/index.php4

Writing How-To: Solid foundations.

Monday, August 17, 2009
This whole ripping up my carpets to put down new flooring experience has taught me a lot. Including giving me a perfect metaphor for writing. (Bear with me.)

The flooring we picked is like linoleum, but it's not. It comes in planks, like laminate wood flooring, but it doesn't stick to the floor, it has overlapping edging strips that stick to each other. So the floor doesn't have to be perfect, but it has to be solid and fairly smooth.

With me so far?

By contrast, when I did my kitchen floor a couple of years ago, I had to rip up the old sheet linoleum that was stuck to the concrete sub-floor. Meaning days of scraping the leftover backing off the concrete so I could put down the peel-and-stick linoleum tile I used in there. It HAD to be dang near perfect, or the tiles would lift.

Now, that job was a damn sight harder than this new flooring. Yes, it's a pain in the ass to pull up carpet and padding. We have to move furniture around like one of those frigging tile puzzles where you have to keep shifting tiles around to unscramble the picture, but you can only move the tiles certain ways. Add to this I have a small house FULL of furniture and six dogs who want to "help." And the new floor has to be laid straight (it looks like dark bamboo) or it will look really weird.

And while concrete sub-floors don't need a lot of prep, I've found as I pull up the carpet tack strips along the walls, usually the nails holding them down (the house is over twenty-five years old, and I don't know how old the carpet is, but we've been here for over twelve and it's the carpet that was here when we moved in) rip out a chunk of concrete when they let loose. So I do need to patch around the edges. If I don't, sure as God made little green apples, my dogs will find those little indentations and rip up strips.

I also have to start each initial row I lay by staggering the length of the strip so it doesn't look fake. My hallway is done, and it looks fantastic. (Although my dogs hate it because now they can't run down the hallway without sliding into the closet door at the far end.)

What the heck does this have to do with writing?

Your prep work needs to be properly done. This means you can't just slap something together and hope it turns out okay. If you slack on the basics (research, grammar, punctuation, point of view, continuity, etc.) then the final result will look like crap, and it'll be a LOT harder to go in and fix things once you're finished. It's much easier to adjust things causing problems as soon as you see them.

I mean, some things, yes, you can fix at the end. I can caulk any edges of my flooring to hide gaps. I can wait until the end to fit pieces into the door jambs. (I can fix misplaced commas and remove/replace overused words.) But if I screw up and don't lay a row properly during installation, it will throw off everything I try to lay after it.

Everyone has their own way of writing. Whether they are a "pants-ster" or a "plotter," whether they throw everything including the kitchen sink in at the beginning and write quickly with plans to trim later, or slow and steady writers who edit everything before they move to the next chapter, that's fine.

What success stories have in common is that they take the time when they begin to do the prep work necessary to make sure their floor (story) looks seamless at the end. Maybe you do a room, realize you need to do more prep work for the next room, and take time to do that. You might realize three chapters into your new work that you don't know nearly enough about one of the topics and have to do research. That's fine. Better to do it sooner than to write yourself into a corner you cannot escape from later.

One of my current WIPs is stalled because it's part of a series. As I was writing and showing it to my friend (who is also an editor and has seen snippets of scenes I've written for later books in the series), she said, "Weren't you going to do X in book six?"

Aw, CRAP!

Yes, I was. So now I'm left looking at trying to figure out how to change the manuscript to preserve a THREE-BOOK STORY ARC. (Actually, it's a six-book story arc, but this WIP is book three in the series.)

Fortunately, this was caught early enough that I don't have to rip up any large sections of "flooring" (to continue the metaphor) but it means I need to step back and figure out how to proceed so I can preserve the originally planned story arc. I know there's a solution, I just need to work it out.

So how solid are your writing foundations? You cannot slap something together -- and you especially cannot send it out for submissions -- without making sure it's as "perfect" as you can make it. Believe me, if you don't take the time to do this, editors will notice. (And so will anyone who walks into your house and sees your floors laying at a wierd angle! *LOL*)

Need your vote! & 5 Cherries for "Good Will Ghost Hunting: Hell's Bells"

Saturday, August 15, 2009
Woot! The second book in my demon series, "Good Will Ghost Hunting: Hell's Bells (Book 2)" received 5 cherries from the Whipped Cream Erotic Romance review site!

And...

It's up for book of the week, but I need your vote! (Please please please! Picture massive grovelling here...)

You can find the review here:

http://whippedcream2.blogspot.com/2009/08/good-will-ghost-hunting-2-hells-bells.html

Snippet:

"I enjoyed this book a lot, even without the back story from the first book, which I have gone back and bought. I love the sense of history and myth that Lesli Richardson has woven into this series. The characters are fully developed, and I was able to feel the depth of feeling that the characters have for each other... I am waiting for the next installment to see what the next ploy Bera comes up with will be, and what happens in each of the characters’ lives. There is also a wicked sense of humor to this book, although it is dark humor."

You can vote at:

http://www.longandshortreviews.com/WC/recentrev.htm

You can buy your copy of "Good Will Ghost Hunting: Hell's Bells" from Lyrical Press at:

http://www.onceuponabookstore.com/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=65

Thanks!!

Writing How-To: The list of lists...

Thursday, August 13, 2009
What writer hasn't made a butt-load of lists in their life? I think it sort of goes hand in hand with the whole "I'm a writer" gig.

Thanks to the magic of Twitter, I was led to this writers "list of lists" (The (Nearly) Ultimate Resource: 176 Tips for Writers) and thought it was a hoot because, frankly, I've done quite a few of them myself, although not all of them, but one of them hit home particularly hard:

65. Approach writing with gratitude, not just with a ‘must do this’ attitude.

Wow.

Considering this IS my evil day job, and I spend anywhere from eight to fourteen hours a day doing it, there is the rare occasion I whine, "Man, why the hell isn't this scene coming together!" I mean, yes, I'm living my dream, working my dream job, no complaints there overall. But the big picture sometimes gets lost.

So today, I'm going to quit reading lists and following links (yet another tip on the list) and get back to work with an attitude of gratitude. (I actually think that last part was a line from The Secret, but hey, it works.)

Release Day: Three Dog Night (Triple Trouble 3)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Woot! It's release day! The third book in my Triple Trouble shape-shifter series, "Trouble Comes in Threes" (writing as Tymber Dalton) is now available from Siren-BookStrand:

http://www.bookstrand.com/product-threedognight-14722-200.html

Blurb:

[Menage Amour: Erotic Paranormal Menage a Quatre Romance, F/M/M/M, Shape-Shifters]

For Elain Pardie, every night is a three dog night. With Ain, Brodey, and Cail Lyall as her mates, Elain's biggest worry is getting through her wedding. She doesn't want to let the cat out of the bag to her mom that she's living with three Alpha wolf shape-shifters.

Between learning about her new way of life, a creepy, mysterious stranger in town, and a hot-to-trot feline shifter with her sights set on Brodey, Elain's got her hands full. Not to mention her strange need for a hunt is back with a vengeance. Can life get any crazier?

Ain, Brodey, and Cail suspect it can: someone's killing shifter mates. As a cousin and his new mate move in, Ain's worries mount. And while trying to untangle secrets of Elain's distant past, Ain discovers a connection to an old family that could threaten not just their happiness...but their very lives.

Writing How-To: Tag, you're it!

Monday, August 3, 2009
Dialogue (or dialog) tags tend to trip some writers. Add to the mix that the US tag standard differs from the UK, and it can add to the confusion.

CORRECT: "I don't like spinach," she said.
CORRECT: She said, "I don't like spinach."
INCORRECT: "I don't like spinach." she said.
INCORRECT: "I don't like spinach." She said.
INCORRECT: She said. "I don't like spinach."

http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/dialogue.shtml
http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/writingexercises/qt/punctuation.htm
http://web.njcu.edu/sites/faculty/egarvey/Content/punctuating_dialog.asp

Another problem, besides improperly punctuating the tags, is the tendency to tag with "unspeakables."

"Don't do that," she slapped him.
"I like that," she smiled.

Both of those are wrong. You cannot use an action that is not "spoken" as a tag. Smiled is the biggie and one that even I sometimes, if I'm cranking with a story, will forget and add in. Easy fix, though.

She slapped him. "Don't do that!"
She smiled. "I like that." (Or, alternatively: "I like that." She smiled.)

Some publishers have house styles that will also chop certain things like breathed, sighed, moaned, or gasped as well. Some will allow them. Sometimes it depends on the editor you get.

Here's the thing, one of the fastest ways to pick out a newbie writer is to find one whose characters rarely "said" or "asked" anything. They scream, chortle, yell, yodel, and choke every line. (You get the point.)

There is NOTHING WRONG with "said" and "asked" as dialog tags. Nothing. And you will get far more mileage out of your dialog by bracketing it with actions that put the dialog into crystal clear context. Or if it's a dialog exchange by two characters, let them talk and let the reader put it into context. You don't need to "block" action for the reader. They've got a good imagination, trust me. You don't need to put a dialog tag on ever line either, especially if it's just two characters talking and easy to keep up with them. An occasional tag will suffice and tidy up your writing.


http://murderby4.blogspot.com/2009/05/dialog-tags.html
http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2006/04/elements-of-dialog.html
http://speakcoffeetome.blogspot.com/2008/05/dialog-tags.html

Happy Anniversary, Honey!

Sunday, August 2, 2009
Pardon my mushiness, but it must be said.

Twelve years ago, I married the sweetest man in the world, a man who rocks my world and owns my heart and soul. My soul mate, my best friend, my rock, my love.

I made him promise me forty years and that I haven't started counting yet. *grin*

Happy anniversary, babe. (I still haven't started counting, by the way. LOL!)

Teen/YA paranormal/supernatural read suggestions needed.

Saturday, August 1, 2009
Because the stupid voice in my head (aka "the Muse") won't shut the hell up, I've now got a paranormal teen/YA story percolating. (Don't these kids know I write erotica? Why are they picking on me?) I have read the Twilight series, but I need some other suggestions in the genre so I can read and figure out what to do.

I mean, really, what I write normally I don't want my mother reading much less my teenaged son. So I need some good examples of supernatural and paranormal writing to read to see what's going on in the genre.

Any and all suggestions welcomed!

Guest Blogging: Seductive Musings Today!

I'm a guest over at the Seductive Musings blog today. Please stop by and check it out, you can enter for a chance to win gift certificates, and you can find out more about how "The Reluctant Dom" and "Domme by Default" (me writing as Tymber Dalton) came to be!

http://seductivemusings.blogspot.com/