And the only reason I can write about it now is that I appear to be coming out on the other side, as in the "unblocked" side, because once again my characters are talking to me and it's not gibberish, it's actually stuff making sense. Where it had taken me thirty-seven days to write DARK REFUGE, one of my favorites in the Spirit Wild series, I opened the file for DARK TERROR on May 28, a full six months ago, and up until last week I was only 30,000 words into what should be closer to 90-100,000 words when completed.
I'm suddenly closer to 70,000 and the only reason I'm not working on it right now is that I realized I'm running out of November and wanted to get my newsletter out, and along with it an apology. I was sure I'd have this finished by the mid-summer, and as the days went by and I found myself deleting entire chapters and rewriting them, I realized that wasn't going to happen. My beta readers probably think I've gone into hibernation, but since this has never happened to me EVER, I didn't realize what was going on for much too long.
I don't know what caused it--it might just be the fact I've been so damned tired the past few years, writing non-stop and frustrated with low sales and wondering how to fix what must be broken. For some time now I've been trying to convince myself that I was ready to go the indy route. That's been a difficult decision to make, not to pursue work via a NY publisher after literally a twenty year struggle to get published in the first place, but the business has changed so dramatically that I realized it was no longer fun dealing with the corporate mind of publishing.
So, I'm finishing up Dark Terror and it's turning out amazing, considering how much crap these characters have put me through. Part of the issue has been dealing with new characters--I've got a couple of Berserkers who've come into the fold and a psychotic demon trying to blow up the world. (Did I mention that my mind has been in a very dark place for the past year? It appears to be showing up here, in DARK TERROR.)
I got to thinking that he was so feral in this picture, sort of the way I would imagine a Berserker who had never shifted to his human side if he finally got the Tibetan grasses and, for the first time, stood on two legs. And I liked him so much that I hunted around and found some other shots of the same guy, because Reko (that's his name) and Ari are twin brothers, born to a female Berserker as wolf pups and now, years later, they're the very last of their small pack. They've been trying to find the Chanku they've heard of because they know if they do, they can finally get the nutrients and shift, but instead they end up with Reko shot and Ari calling on a goddess he no longer believes in to save his brother.
And the story takes off from there--and praise the Goddess, it's finally taking off! More to come.
Another author who writes wonderful M/M romances is Heidi Cullinan. I had read her book, DANCE WITH ME a year ago and loved the characters and the setting--a
dance studio where the owner was once a world famous dancer who'd blown his career when he tried something professionally in front of an audience that totally DID NOT work. And no, I'm not telling! Anyway, when I saw that a second book in the series was out, ENJOY THE DANCE, I snapped it up. Not at all disappointed. Heidi writes
When I signed up for her newsletter, 'nest' was a freebie, and it's every bit as good as 'rock'. Warning--they both touch lightly on incest--boys who are possible step brothers but not physically related in 'rock', and first cousins in 'nest'. Normally I don't want any part of incest-type stories, but these were handled so perfectly that it became a meaningful part of the story. Needless to say, I'm reading a lot more on my iPhone than usual, but that's the only way I could get Drake and Sunday's books!
(oh...did I marry well...my husband just walked into my office with a glass of wine for me. Wonderful man. Truly wonderful...)
Okay! Contest time--and I have a wonderful surprise--my editor just sent me a few ARCs of HUNGER, the latest anthology with books by Eve Langlais, A.C.Arthur, and me. The final book in my Feral Passions series DANGEROUS PASSIONS, is in this one, when the last of my men of Feral Passions finally find their mates. I think it's a perfectly satisfactory ending that may even allow me to continue on with other stories down the line. For now, though, this is the final one with the guys at the resort. I have to admit, that after writing about Feral Passions, I really want to go there...
And that's it for now. I hope you all have had a good month of November--we ran away for an overnight trip to the coast last week and it was wonderful. The sunset photo at the top was taken from our little rig. I think the breaks we've been taking have really helped me get back on track with my writing, but for now I'm going to get my newsletter posted and watch the entries come in. PLEASE do not put your entry in the comments section. I will delete it and you won't be entered. The CONTEST ENTRY FORM is the only entry I will take and I did the header for it in dark red this time to see if that will help. EVERY month someone enters in the comments section. Please don't! I really don't have the time to police the form, and it's not safe for you to put your personal information in a public forum like that. The form is private. I'm the only one who sees it.
On that note, I hope you're ready for the Christmas rush! We had a quiet Thanksgiving but all the family will be together for Christmas. Here's to a wonderful holiday, no matter how or what you celebrate. Just remember to find time for yourself, put your feet up, read a book, and remember that you are just as important as everyone else.
All my best to you,
Kate, who is back to writing and feeling so damned good about it!!