Tuesday, December 18, 2012



in Ten Steps

Step 1 - Get hit over the head with a killer line, killer scene, or killer description. Write the shit out of it. Rejoice, for life is good and words are easy.

Step 2 - Outline. (head fills with the sound of droning and grinding. sometimes it smokes)

Step 3 - Write the story from the outline in measured increments (either scenes, chapters or word count goals). During this process, I keep picking up the damp towel under which I've hidden the Shiny New Idea that hooked me to keep myself inspired. Also, to make sure it's still alive.

Step 4 - 90% of the way to completion, wade through the existing story with a dull axe and a steak knife, hacking and slashing. Repeat this for too long. Glue the pieces back together. Proceed.

Step 5 - Crank out the ending. Rejoice. Then, from 24 to 48 hours after completion, wallow. There is no version of spent like the thin, sad version felt after finishing a book.

Step 6 - Edit. Smooth and polish, attacking my weak points* with extreme prejudice.

Step 7 - Send to beta readers. (paint smile on face and apply filter to online communications so that I appear cheerful and confident when inside I am ill)

Step 8 - Take grain of salt in preparation for next steps.

Step 9 - Review criticism** and revise as necessary. Some remarks can be erased as though they were never made. That's fine. But others must be addressed. Revise, polish, spell check and remove all flagged comments.

Step 10 - Wrap in a warm synopsis and a sparkling query and send into the world.

*Weak points vary from writer to writer. Sometimes dialogue is stilted or emotional interchanges feel false. Those must be seen plumped until the pop or feel genuine. Plot threads may be introduced in abundance, but then left to wilt. Those must be weeded out.

**If your readers return nothing but praise, find new readers.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Later, after she had finally rinsed the sriracha from her eye, she would reflect that she needed to be more vigilant in the kitchen. Then her eye, even as it continued to burn and throb and weep, wandered toward a recipe for Thai hot pepper noodles, and she knew this would not be the last time she upended a shotglass of milk onto her own face.


Also, Ow

Monday, December 10, 2012


If I knew what baited breath was, I could confirm that I have been suffering from it while waiting for the CARNIEPUNK cover to be revealed. The lineup for the CARNIEPUNK anthology is stellar, and the glimpses I've had into the other author's concepts and stories has had me squeeing regularly for the last few months.

So, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the moment you've all been waiting for - CARNIEPUNK.

The cover will be up exclusively at All Things Urban Fantasy for a few days, to allow readers to browse the contributing author bios at their leisure. The book is available now for pre-order at a number of sites (links on my books page), and it will be released July 30, 2013 both in paperback and as an e-book.

Friday, December 7, 2012


I've been going through a rare and very lucky phase lately wherein pretty much everything I see inspires me. Of course, this may be because I'm writing about crime, the loss of individuality and the future.

Alternatively, it could be because winter is my creative time. Outside it's dark and unbelievably cold, so there are no enticing distractions there. Inside, all I want to do is cozy up with a book, even if I have to write it before it can entertain me.

I wonder if other people write because they want to read something specific but haven't been able to find it in the vast marketplace. I wonder if there are true creative seasons, or times, or places. I wonder if I blog every time I'm faced with a knotted plot point and am too lazy to put the time into unwinding it.