The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Thank you, Marilyn Pappano, for tagging me for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. I think.

The Next Big Thing blog hop poses a series of questions to writers about their current WIP. Since Marilyn–author, critique partner, Mentor extraordinaire, darn nice woman–likes my upcoming TWRP book, MAKE ME HOWL, that’s the one I’ll be talking about.
What is the working title of your book?
MAKE ME HOWL.
Where did the idea of the book come from?
I’d just read a light paranormal, and thought, “That’s so much fun! I want to write something just like that, but different.” So I did.
What genre does your book fall under?
Light-ish Paranormal. (I tend to make up my own genres. Got a problem with that?)
Which actor would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Sorry. Not my job. I write ’em, you turn them into movies.
Actually, I have no idea. My characters are real to me, and it’s hard to find someone I’d like to play them.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Ugh. I didn’t know this was going to be work. 😦

Because she was born with an active werewolf gene, when Jazzy Cannis meets Chase Holliday, she believes she can take a bite out of life and move on, until she learns two things: werewolves mate for life, and Chase Holliday plans to wipe werewolves from the face of the earth.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
The book will be published by The Wild Rose Press.
How long did it take you to finish the first draft of your project?
About nine months or so. I think. 🙂
What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?
Wow. This is hard.
Well, it’s a little humorous and a little paranormal. Who writes like that?
Who or what inspired you to write this story?
My inner snark. (That’s what I call the voice in my head with the sharp comebacks. I TRY to keep under control.)
I figured if I wrote a modern-day, got life by the tail woman who had a biting sense of humor and a killer sense of style, I could let Ms. Snark have free reign.
So I did.
What else about your book may pique readers’ interest?
In Jazzy’s world, werewolves are either born that way and learn to control the “gift” by the time they’re three, or they’re bitten and are like rabid dogs during the full moon.
While being born a werewolf is somewhat of a curse, it has its good points, too. For instance, werewolves are almost always successful in business. The higher up a werewolf is on the royal bloodline, the more successful they are.
So now that I’ve answered the questions, I’m supposed to tag some other authors to find out what’s THE NEXT BIG THING they’re working on.

Vacation

Hey, Susan here. I’m on vacation in the Southwest. Right now, I’m in Tucson, Arizona, and we’re leaving this morning to go back to Santa Fe. (My favorite place on this trip.)

What does a writer do on vaca? I’m not sure about other writers, but for this one, it depends on–

  1. Where I am in the current WIP. (WIP=Work In Progress.) If I’m in a part that I’m excited about, I write. If I’m dragging, I vacation from writing, too. 🙂
  2. What I have planned for  future WIPs.
  3. How much downtime I have.

I was hoping to find a place to set a series I’m planning to write, and I just might have done that. Or maybe not.

Anyway, when I’m on vacation, I learn. I’m always amazed at the things I don’t know, and visiting different places is a great way to learn. On this trip, I got excited about Saguaro Cacti. They grow here, around Tucson, like cedar trees grow in Okie-Land–except people like them more. I don’t blame them. They’re beautiful! They have mountains covered with them.

Yesterday, I learned (from my walking buddy back home) that Arizona is the only state where the Saguaro grows. AND the only other place in the world where it grows is a part of Mexico.

I take a lot of pictures while traveling. I’d probably do it anyway, but as a writer it comes in very handy. Especially if I can find those pictures when I need them. (I’m not the most organized person in the world. 😉 )

Why take a lot of pics? Because I like to. And, I just might want to set a story in a locale I’ve visited. Having pictures is a great way to remind myself how a place looked like, smelled like, even felt like.

It’s also a wonderful way to share with other writers. (Hey, I’ve been there. Want to see my pics?)

I happen to be a flower lover, so I take a lot of pictures of  the flowers and vegetation when I’m on vacation. Again, gotta have it when I write a story.

Yesterday, we went to the Kitt Peak National Observatory. It’s a million miles high and, as usual, it was my job to hold the car on the road on the way up. My man drove (or we’d never have gone.)

I don’t have a way to record my actual emotions on the drive up (pure, unadulterated terror) but when I see the pictures I took while there, the memory of that emotion will come back. (My toes tingle and curl–sometimes all the way to my shoulders.)

We saw a couple of “Beware of Snakes” signs, even six thousand feet above the earth (who knew snake could climb mountains?) and a bunch of lizards. Most of the lizards were two, three or four inches long and about as big around as a pencil. But we saw a few that were six or seven inches long and bigger around than a first grader’s pencil on an eating binge. (Do first graders still use fat pencils?) When the lizards got that big, their tails were a beautiful, iridescent green.

No, I didn’t catch one to bring home. They probably had teeth. (I didn’t look.) And those puppies could jump. Oy!

The funniest thing I’ve seen on this trip? When we were leaving a building after seeing one of the humongus telescopes, I heard something pecking on the glass. I glanced around and saw a crow so big, he could have beat up Heckle AND Jeckle with one wing tied behind him.

Anyway, Bigboy was pecking on a floor-level glass window, trying to get a moth on the inside of that window. He looked so puzzled that he couldn’t catch the little bug. LOL.

When Bigboy Crow saw us, he took one hop, landed on a nearby rock wall, and then just stepped off into space. (That curled my toes.)

The moth? He lived to see another day.

Now, a few questions Terminally Curious asked me to post. What do you like to do best on vacation? Where’s your favorite place to visit–someplace you’ve been before or someplace new? Do you write or just chill while you’re gone?

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A Batty, Motley Rose

I got one of those emails this week. You know the one from the agent, the editor, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Now don’t feel sorry for me, because I don’t. If anything, I am more determined than ever to get published. No agent of doom, no editor of woe is going to stand between me and my dreams. On the way home from my DJ, I came up with this poem and thought I’d share it with you all. It’s a little tongue in cheek.

The inspiration for this poem came from some research I have done for my current WIP. Did you know Meat Loaf once said that it felt as though they were creating record companies solely for the purpose of Bat Out of Hell? The other two iconic groups I mention in this poem suffered early critics who brutally panned their music. They persevered and today are household names…at least our house. In the case of GNR, they shifted rock music away from glam rock back to metal. But if you read the band’s biography or listen to their later interviews, that was never their intent. They just wanted to make their music, their way.

I don’t necessarily want to turn the world upside down, I just want to tell my story and have someone read it, love it.

So here’s the poem. Hope it makes you smile.

A note received one spring morn,
Damned thing should have made me mourn.
Rejected, facing desolation,
Turned to others for inspiration.

Of the agent thought, “What an oaf!”
That’s when I recalled Meat Loaf
Whose album, Bat Out Of Hell,
Deaf producers damned to hell.

Or pre Jungle Guns N Roses,
Critics warned, “Hold your noses.”
“Great hair,” they said of Motley Crue
“But their music will make you spew.”

So the agent wasn’t smitten.
Yet, another chapter I’ve written,
Still confident in my prose,
A stubborn batty, motley, rose.