Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Novice's Writing History


Blood & Tears Tattoos tops the charts as number one. It was my first attempt at writing a novel. In the fall of 2008, since both my children were now in school, I decided to get the stories out of my head. All of my ideas sprout from "epic" dreams but that is another blog topic. I typed and typed. I had no format to follow only a basic outline I scratched out first. This 80K word manuscript would have been completed in six weeks but hurricane Ike (yes, we had a hurricane in OHIO!) extended that to eight weeks. My home lost power for nine days.

It was a successful endeavor. I feel I created realistic characters worth falling in love with. Natalie Goode is the heroine who overcomes adversity with a positive attitude, strong work ethic and great friends. Did I mention she visits 6 years in the future?

Here is one comment from the Authonomy page:

Dear Rochelle, I love your idea of going 6 years into the future & tried to picture myself doing this - what a concept - I love it - would I change anything I'm doing now? I don't think so, but it sure is something to think about. :) I love your intriguing story. :) Your pitch is excellent, so set the hook for me to read your book. :) When you use short paragraphs & lots of dialogue, it makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm backing your book. :)  Thanks. :) Love, Susie :)

Click here to read the entire book for free. Once on the Authonomy site click on the "read the book" link and pick a chapter (there are many). Bookmark the site to make it easy to return.

2. Subterranean Captive. This was my first NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) Novel. Basically the goal of NaNo is to write 50k in 30 days. No biggie, right?  It was a new challenge for me and as you can see by the graphic I completed the goal.

Katherine 'Rin' Tate gets dumped by her boyfriend, has a rollerblading accident and gets kidnapped all within 24 hours. She is taken to another state and held in an abandoned quarry that has had a building built over it hiding the quarry from public view. Rin is petite and youthful looking, mistaken for a young teen and stuck with other children who were unfortunate enough to be with their parents when kidnapped. With a fighting spirit Rin formulates a way to communicate with the missing adults and starts to plot then execute an escape. But timing is everything, when the bad guys find out what she's up to will she make it to the surface alive? To read an excerpt Click here.

3. Started in early 2009, Virtual Haze, turned out to be challenging to write. No, I did not have writers block. It had to do with the content. Researching virtual reality systems and technologies was easy; writing about how a chemical haze transmutes my characters' behaviors was hard. This plot ventured out of my comfort zone and that was why I chose to write it I wanted to stretch my limits and skills. It turned into an action packed emotional roller coaster for Casey Kennedy.

4. Haunted Memories was chosen by fans from my Facebook page. They took a quiz and the outcome was a gripping story about life, death and memory loss. This was my NaNoWriMo winner for 2009 and I entered the completed work in a contest. I won a gift card and a free edit from Ellechor Publishing House. This was very exciting!

A brief synopsis: Stephanie has a car wreck and loses the last 6 years of her life. She remembers her childhood through college years but doesn't remember Eddie, her husband. For the next 4 years she relearns to love only to find out that she was married to another man. There are memories, one being a tragic memory, that her family are trying to protect her from. Memories that she is not sure she is willing to try and find until a young girl shows up and calls her "Mommy". Read more of this contest winner at: Haunted Memories.

5. Bliss Unaware (title subject to change) is a new experience for me because I shifted from third person to first. I wrote through the eyes of Cecily Belenus, an average high school senior, who was chubby, loyal and smart yet shy but was blissfully unaware of an unknown genealogy.

This was fun to write. It was my first real plunge into the realm of fantasies. Meet the Quirinis: a race of humans that are long lived, secretive and whose ancient familial lines have spurned such myths as elves, sennins, werewolves, demigods and vampires. Many ancient documents have recorded their existence including the Bible.

Normal humans, that would be you and me, can not see or hear them; although a few regular humans are sensitive to their presence. We call them psychics. It's funny to think mediums think they are communicating with dead souls when it's the Quirinis' messing around with them. Not only are we unaware of the Quirinus as a people certain animals have been kept hidden from us over the years. Ever heard of Nessie? Yep, that's one of them.

Cecily came to life and seemed to write the story using my fingers. Her fears, suspicions, triumphs and joys blend together on a journey to discovery.

Unfortunately this work is incomplete. I look forward to getting reacquainted with Cecily, Rayne, James, Evander, Laremy and all the other charming characters surrounding the Belenus household.

6. Sweeter Than Chocolate is what I call my novella but technically it's too many words to be considered a real novella. That's right, I tend to get long winded when it comes to a good story.

Liz Fairholm is the owner of the Sinfully Sweet Chocolate Boutique. She is single, pretty, smart and doesn't have time to socialize let alone date. So when one of her employees sets her up on a blind date with two handsome guys on the same night Liz finds she is in a chocolate covered pickle.



Read Sweeter than Chocolate right here on my blog:
Sweeter Than Chocolate Part 1
Sweeter Than Chocolate Part 2
Sweeter Than Chocolate Part 3
Sweeter Than Chocolate Part 4
Sweeter Than Chocolate Part 5
Coming soon the exciting conclusion...


7. The Chronicles of Eventide: I Am Mai (book 1). This is the story for National Novel Writing Month November 2010. Once again I won, writing over 50k words. I finished it February 2011.

In September 2010 (before NaNoWriMo) I started planning. This was to be an epic fantasy, a new world. How could my world compete with Middle Earth or Narnia and countless other places? I started with one word: Anaglacia. This became the continent from there the two main countries, Utholden and Ormanda, divided by the River Verden, quickly sprang to life. Villages, governments, creatures, religion, cultures and topography. I had a blast naming everything. I even let my kids each name a town.

Here is some trivia for you. Many of the names are derived from the Turkish language and I used them because of the meaning (and they sounded cool too). For example Ormanda means monarchy.

More trivia. Do you know what a palindrome is? Oh, google it. Never mind, I'll tell you. A palindrome is a word, phrase, number, or other sequence of units that can be read the same way in either direction like: Madam I'm Adam, level, mom or I Am Mai.

8. In Triplicate My NaNoWriMo for 2011, again, another 52k word winner. It started slow but as the month progressed the story and characters grew on their own. It is almost like it became a living breathing thing with a life of its own.

This story is hard to categorize. It has an underlining of science fiction, cloned humans, but could be considered New Adult as the story follows the life of Lauren McKay as she transitions into adulthood. I suppose it is similar to Blood & Tears Tattoos: contemporary romance with a twist of sci-fi.

Poor Lauren doesn't want a summer romance. She wants a summer job with a paycheck then it's off to New York City in the fall. Her career and future await. Everything is in place until her world gets rocked when an old flame appears. It turns out to be not one, not two but three Murphy brothers all with the same face.

I enjoyed creating three people with similar backgrounds and identical DNA yet giving them different personalities and interests and making them deal with the issues that would arise with people mixing them up.

9. Against the Laws was started January 2012 and completed 12-27-12, by the end of October I had 56,720k words. The goal of National Novel Writing month is 50k words. I added 53,646k but I wasn't finished. I needed to complete the book to give a copy to my 96 year old grandmother for Christmas. By the 27th this novel was over 134k words and 42 chapters long.

Against the Laws is a story of reconciliation, learning to trust and love, letting go of past hurts to embrace the future. Here is a brief synopsis:

In the small town of Emeryville, Idaho, a bank robbery goes wrong when the criminal runs into Melania Fitzgerald coming into the bank as he exits.  After two years of living on the road and evading the clutches of hired bounty hunters sent by the vengeful, controlling non-husband Carter Armstrong who is set on finding and restoring his property, she is thrust into the spotlight. Only one step ahead she has no choice but to trust three men: a sheriff, a hermit and another bank robbery victim.

10. The last weekend of October 2013 I had a dream about an unlucky-in-love girl. I decided to scrap the outline and research I already finished for another story and November first I started the first in the Fortuna, Texas Series: The Double D. It was fun to write with a cache of quirky characters. Imagine the puns and innuendo of an Austin Powers movie set in a small town similar to Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove and you will get a taste of The Double D.


The Double D Longhorn ranch hides a secret. Since inheriting the property, Jessie Davidson kept her grandma's hoard concealed but now she's found the courage to purge the unwanted items: romance novels, thousands of them, each signed with her grandma's initials. They fill a room from floor to ceiling, forming a solid wall, like the one Jessie built around her heart after the assault. She wants romance out of her life. She enlists B.J. Johnson's help to empty the room little by little. She dares him to read a few. B.J. accepts the dare and soon the men of Fortuna, Texas become addicted to paperback love and add their initials to a growing list of readers. This comedic story of Jessie’s personal development and business augmentation is filled with racy innuendo and a host of Easter egg Double D entendre nomenclature. This was my 2013 NaNoWriMo and is complete around 75K words.
 
10.The manuscript I am currently working on is book 2 in the Fortuna, Texas series: Plumb Twisted. Everything changes when Piper McCracken's father suddenly dies. She needs an escape and finds it at the Double D Ranch. She is hired by Jessie to be secretary but becomes personal assistant, intimate apparel model and friend.

Cole Dart is a shy, sexy cowboy and works at the Big Deal Ranch next to the Double D. He doesn't know what to make of the Chicago native who'd rather shoot guns and ride a horse instead of going shopping for shoes or doing her nails like other women.

An unlikely friendship between Piper and Cole leads to more when the romantic juices start flowing in this Fortuna, Texas love story.

As you read through some of these you will be able to see the evolution of my writing. Please
make comments on the excerpts that move you. I will answer all questions so don't hesitate to ask. Thanks for taking the time to take a journey down the path of my written history.




Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Nano Novel Completed

Elaine McCollum is truly my biggest fan. At 95 years old, and an avid reader, she tears up when I hand her my latest manuscript, In Triplicate. What an ego boost! She hasn't even opened the binder and looked at the title page.

I started In Triplicate on November 1st. On November 30, 2011 I had written 52K words. This novel was nowhere near completed yet my goal was to finish it before Christmas. My Grandmother's gift this year was a new book. I persevered and by December 22nd I concluded the work with a simple yet somewhat cheesy line:
With Walden Beckenbauer still at large, life held uncertainties, but one thing was for certain, as she clung to her new husband, she knew that no one could clone their love.
I have never given myself a deadline before and was surprised that when I put my fingers to work the words flowed like water when you turn on a faucet. The completed novel is 75k+ words. I printed the 140 or so pages and handed them to my grandmother unedited.

She told me that reading about sex doesn't do a thing for her at her age (which is good because I wouldn't want to know otherwise). She was wearing an Angry Birds hat (whom she said was her date) while telling me this.

If I cut out the sex there are 46k words. Just kidding there is no sex but a canoe load (come on, it's a story about summer camp) of kissing. I hope that's okay when you are 95.

Anyone care to read about Lauren McKay and the handsome identical triplets? I will post more if there is interest. I will definitely post my Grandmother's comments once I get her review.
Rochelle Bradley