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A light day. December 13, 2015

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in baking, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, Burden of Truth, Counsel of the Wicked, Happy Holidays!, Rebel Mage, scores, Ta-da, the-end-is-near, to-dos, upcoming work, WIP, wordcount, writing.
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Baking:

  • three dozen carob chip cookies (because allergies)
  • made the dough for speculoos cookies

Writing:

Total words today:  751 words

Total words on Burden of Truth: Book Two of The Rebel Mage

Convention Schedule! September 21, 2015

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, appearances, SFSE, writer, writing, writing-mom.
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I’ve gotten my schedule for Speculative Fiction: Southeast 2015 (this weekend! Come see me and a bunch of other cool people!)

When I’m not on a panel, I’ll be at my table on Author Alley.  Friday, I’ll be on Author Alley from 4PM until my first panel at 6PM.  Saturday, Author Alley opens at 10AM for VIPs, and 11AM for everyone else. I’ll be there on and off until 4:30. Sunday, Author Alley opens the same times as Saturday, and I’ll be there most of the day.

Panels:

Friday, 6:00 to 7:00 PM: Once Upon a Time.
With plot, character, and setting prompts from the audience, these panelists collaborate in the best camp game ever: turn-taking storytelling!

Friday, 7:00 PM (Tentative) Guest Reader with Phantasmagoria
Since Friday will be a regular schedule for me until we leave for the convention, this will largely depend on if there is enough coffee in the world.

***

Saturday, 12:15 to 1:15 PM: I Want to Verb Your Noun
With the increased popularity of erotic romance and erotica, more and more authors are trying their hand at added sex to their stories . In this panel, we’ll discuss the differences between romance, erotic romance, erotica and pornography, and talk about how to incorporate sexual scenarios into a story.

Saturday, 1:30 to 2:20 PM: Reading/Signing
What I read will depend highly on what the ages of the attendees are — I’ll have selections from Counsel of the Wicked and The Rape of Persephone.

Saturday, 4:30 to 5:30 PM: Fifty Shades of Fanfiction
As long as there has been storytelling, there’s been fanfiction. From the archives of Fanfiction.net to the pages of Archive of Our Own, from the countless sequels to Pride and Prejudice to the estate-authorized adventures of Sherlock Holmes, fanfiction has been written for anything that has a fanbase. Even Virgil’s Aeneid is nothing more than one man looking at the Iliad and the Odyssey and asking, “Hey, what happened next?”
In this lecture we’ll discuss ins and outs of creating fanfiction. We’ll touch on the ethics of fanfic, the essential legalities, and the dreaded Rule 34.

Saturday, 5:30 to 6:30 PM: Signing Party

Saturday, 8:00 PM to 10:00PM: VIP Party

***

Sunday, 12:45 t0 1:45 PM: Neither Fish Nor Fowl:Writing Across Genres 
Hey, you’ve got your romance in my science-fiction! No, you’ve got your science-fiction in my romance! What is a writer to do when the hard science-fiction story demands a love scene? Or the romance suddenly involves werewolves, elves, vampires, aliens or Bigfoot?
You combine genres, that’s what. In this panel, we’ll discuss the hallmarks of the romance genre, and see how it fits into, and plays well with, science-fiction and fantasy.

New Year, New Novel! January 6, 2015

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in Hidden Things, upcoming books, why-the-writing-is-slow, writing, writing-mom.
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Okay. Today’s the day.

The kiddo is back to school, the husband is back to work. I have a synopsis and everything is set in Scrivener. Look, I’m going to write the thing!

Hey… wait… what do you mean it’s 2:30???? But… I only wrote five words!

Sigh…

I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work.

 

Nano. October 14, 2014

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in 2014 plans, edits, Hidden Things, Nanowrimo, The School, upcoming work, writing.
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I’ve been asked several times now. Am I doing NaNoWriMo this year?

And the answer is…. a definite maybe.

I’m working on edits for The School, and I have two short stories that need to be in by 11/15. But I also have a novel I’m DYING to work on, and the synopsis is done, so I’ll just be pouring words out of a bucket onto the page, really.

But we also have a trip coming up for Thanksgiving…

So…. maybe.

Cart before the horse. September 9, 2014

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in happy-happy- joy- joy, Heart's Master, KermitArms, upcoming books, writing, yippee.
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I did something tonight I don’t usually do. I went out to dinner. (I’m gluten intolerant, which makes eating out a game of Russian Roulette.) But my sister and brother-in-law and the cutest nephew on the Eastern Seaboard are in town, and we went out to dinner with them.

Left Universal Citywalk in a monsoon, which passed just as we bought and donned ponchos. We drove out onto I-4 underneath a gorgeous double rainbow. It took forever to get home because we caught the storm on its way north (it’s now sitting on top of my house).

Once we were finally home, I turned on the computer and checked my email. Apparently, we had the celebratory dinner and rainbows before I knew we were celebrating, because in my email was a contract for Heart’s Master!

Yippee!!!!

 

Finished August 31, 2014

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in Sable Locks, short story, Ta-da, thirty, to-dos, upcoming work, WIP, writing.
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It’s all done but the title.

The short story/novella/how-the-heck-long-is-this-anyway? that I’ve been calling Berlin is now done.

It’s also now a short novel, at 46,000 words. (Yes, in romance writing, that’s a novel.)

I just need to come up with something better than Berlin as a title. Because the first one was House of Sable Locks, and the third one will be Men of Mortal Seeming. (Yes. May the Little Tin Gods of Artifice help me, I’m writing a trilogy.)

Titles usually don’t give me trouble. But this one, I need to sleep on. And sleep on the next part of my Oh-my-God work schedule, a short story entitled Ghost Writer. Once that’s done, then I get to my edits on The School. When those are done, only then do I get to writing Hidden Things.

I’m going to be insane by Halloween. Watch me.

 

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. August 5, 2014

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in 2014 plans, a-writers-life-is-never-dull, Best laid plans, Best planned lays, to-dos, upcoming books, why-the-writing-is-slow, writing, writing-mom.
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Back in May, I had this to say about my plans for the summer workload:

Looking at the list, it looks like there will be work on short stories over the next week and a half, then synopsizing of Hidden Things over the summer (which is almost done — I was working on that when I got the “when can you have this to us?” email for The School).

I’ll need to see what’s broken in the synopsis of Holy Orders, but that can wait until I sell Heart’s Master.  And I need to go through The Sea Prince and see what’s holding me back on working on it. That, I think, will be my summer project after I finish the synopsis for Hidden Things. Then I can either launch right into working on finishing that in August, or shove it back to the back burner and work on The Willow Sword or Hidden Things. Probably Hidden Things, and leave the YA for my beginning of 2015 project.

Wow. Looks like I have a plan.

Boy, was I am optimist!!!

Short stories in a week and a half? Umm… no. I never did get to Wolf Skin. That plot seems to be headed more towards what will happen in The White Raven. So Lorchan (the MC) finally told me his story. I’ll get to it, eventually. It needs more research.

Berlin? That short story sequel to House of Sable Locks? Yeah…. 28K words and still not finished. Looks like I have a novella sequel on my hands. And I haven’t finished the synopsis to Hidden Things, either.

So… school starts this coming Monday. Which means that I’m going to finish Berlin over the next few days so I can launch right into Hidden Things come Monday morning, finishing the synopsis as I go.  (Because that worked so well with Heart’s Master… right.)

I have a revised plan. Let’s see how long before I have to revise it again.

 

 

 

 

How I Write a Book April 14, 2013

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in a-writers-life-is-never-dull, except-for-when-it-is, writing.
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My ideas come from everywhere. I’m a big fan of the “what if… what then?” line of thinking. But for some reason, the ideas of mine that have really had legs have been things that popped up in dreams. Which is funny, since I don’t usually remember my dreams. When I do, I usually have an image of something unusual, which makes me ask myself “Okay, who is this guy and why is he chained up in the middle of an abandoned ruin?” That question got me the rest of Princes of Air — if you’ve read it, you know that’s Niall. When I get these scenes, I have to write them down. HAVE TO. Because if I don’t, my very fickle muse decides that I don’t really want them and sends them away (in other words, I forget whatever it was that I dreamed.) What I do with them after depends on what answer I get to the “Who are you and what are you doing in my head?” question.

Boy, that makes me sound like a real head-case, doesn’t it? And it doesn’t help that I can somehow mentally keep track of epic plotlines that span the course of years, have a cast of thousands, and have extended years in the writing (which is happening in my fanfic universe. Over 200K words so far, not done yet, and not a note in sight. WHEE!!!!)

Most of the time, though, I do write down what I think is going to happen. Note that — what I THINK is going to happen. About half the time, the characters laugh at me and go off on their own, leaving me frantically typing and going “What are you DOING? You’re not supposed to be doing that! You’re supposed to have DIED in that scene!” (Yep. That happened. Twice. Same character. Little b*stard just did not want to lay down and die!)

In a perfect world, the characters behave. Mostly. And I get the story that I thought I was going to get. For the most part. Which means that I occasionally have a synopsis all ready to go when I pitch the story. It doesn’t happen often, but I love it when it does!

When it doesn’t happen, and the characters run away with me, I usually put the story aside and work on something else while I read the roadsigns and try to figure out where I went wrong and where this story really is going. Sometimes, this takes longer than other times — I handed a novel in to my editor last summer that my earliest story notes say I started in 2008. Talk about a left turn at Albuquerque!

I write historical-paranormal-steampunk-just-TRY-and-categorize-me erotic romances. Which means research. Lots of research. As in, my major annual expense is research books, for anything I can’t find online. Why do I do that much research? Because bad research drives me straight up a tree. There’s a certain book that was popular about ten years or so ago, that was made into a certain movie with Scarlett Johannsen, and that a certain writer might have seen because there was a certain Benedict Cumberbatch also in said movie. I certainly didn’t see the movie for the story, because they got the history wrong. I don’t want my book to be the one that people look at in ten years and say “That’s not right!” So I make sure I get it right. (And then have editors tell me “I know that in period they called it a Turkey carpet. But no one else is going to know that. Can we change it to Turkish carpet?”)

Current research books go on the shelf over my desktop. The rest are on the bookcase next to my desk, categorized by subject (and yes, there is a sex category up there.) I have a notebook for each project for things that I copy out of a book (with proper MLS formatting, because I am mildly OCD, and that’s how I take notes.) For things I find online, I use Pinterest — I have board for steampunk research, for Victorian research, for costume research, and for Inspirational stuff. (Inspirational as in “the Biltmore mansion is my inspiration for the palace in this story,” or “Benedict Cumberbatch in “To the Ends of the Earth” is my inspiration for the character in that steampunk pirate story.”)

My first reader is my husband, and people wonder how we stay married through it. Answer? He’s a grammar snark of the first degree, and he is always right. And understands when I tell him to get stuffed because I’m leaving that RIGHT the way it is. I have a fantastic crit group in the Erotica Readers and Writers Association, who have never steered me wrong. I also have two beta readers who I trust implicitly, and who tell me when I’m barking down the wrong well.

When I get the story back from them, I read it again. At that point, if I’m ready to through the manuscript out the window, then I know I am well and truly done.

THE NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP March 7, 2013

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in Tales from the Arena, upcoming books, WIP, writing.
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Welcome to the blog hop!

What is a blog hop? Basically, it’s a way that readers can discover new authors, because with bookstores closing and publishers not promoting new authors as much, we need to find a way to introduce readers to authors they may not see in their local bookstore.

Here you have the chance to find many new authors. You’ll find information about me and my upcoming work. But that’s not all! Also see links below to other authors you might like to check out.

I’d like to thank fellow author Tof Eklund for tagging me to participate. Here are links to Tof’s blog, and the sites for Autumn Harvest and The Unconventional.

http://www.tofeklund.net/

https://bigworldnetwork.com/site/series/autumnharvest/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Autumn-Harvest/2232791078005180

http://www.spectaclepmg.com/books/uncon/

In this particular hop, I and my fellow authors, in their respective blogs, have answered 10 questions where you get to learn about our current work in progress as well as some insights into our process, from characters and inspirations to plotting and cover decisions. I hope you enjoy it!

Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions. Here is my Next Big Thing!

1: What is the working title of your book?

The working title of my current work in progress is Tales from the Arena. It started much like Princes of Air did, with a short story. Unlike Princes, though, I could see that there needed to be more to this. I just needed to find the more.

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

Same place all of my really good ideas come from — deep in my subconscious. I had a dream. It’s rare for me to remember my dreams, so when I do remember a dream, I pay attention. This time, I dreamed about a man being strapped into some sort of machine, and basically being tortured. But he was very obviously enjoying himself, so I gave it some thought, and came up with the world in which this took place, where Rakesh (that guy in the machine) is one of the Collared — deep masochists who contract to serve in the Arena for five years, as playthings for the genetically engineered, sadistic super-soldiers who basically saved the world. And he’s in deeply in love with the man who was doing this to him, but he can’t leave the Arena to be with him, because what is  fine in the Arena is illegal everywhere else. They can’t ever be together the way he wants.

3: What genre does your book come under?

Science fiction BDSM erotic romance. There is a happy ever after ending (actually, there are three — this is three stories making up one novel, just like Princes.)

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Hrm… assuming that they could ever MAKE this into a movie, the only one I’ve gotten in my head so far is Rupert Graves, who is very clear in my head as Vi-Rin, Rakesh’s love interest.

What surprised me is that there aren’t any characters in this one that are based in ANY way on Benedict Cumberbatch.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

One sentence? I’m lucky I did it one  paragraph!!!

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

I’m hoping to send this one off to Circlet Press when it is finished. All of my other books (with the exception of two) have been through Circlet. I love them to bits, and they’ve been really good to me.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m hoping to put -30- on the page and call it a draft by June 1st, so I can spend the summer getting crits and editing.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

There’s a very Kushiel’s Dart vibe to this one, I think. Which tickles me to no end, because I want to grow up to be Jacqueline Carey (and I’ve told her that!)

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Like I said, this one came to me in a dream. No idea what the source was or what inspired it. I’m not looking too closely, either! Like the centipede, if I think about how I coordinate ALL THOSE LEGS, I might not be able to do it any more!

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Well, I’ve had to come up with interesting BDSM of the future. One scene (that one from the dream) involves nerve induction. Another involved using the Collared as a canvas… and painting designs on her skin with conductive paint (I’m still — pardon me — working the kinks out on that one.)

Below you will find authors who will be joining me by blog, next Wednesday. Do be sure to bookmark and add them to your calendars for updates and exciting developments.

Lynn Richards: http://lynnrichardsromance.blogspot.com/

Wynter Daniels: http://www.wynterdaniels.com/

Happy Writing and Reading!

How many shades of what? March 12, 2012

Posted by Elizabeth Schechter in ex-cathedra from my navel, fandom, fanfic, MFU, Sherlock, writing.
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My brain doesn’t want me to work on anything productive today (by which I mean paying copy). Instead, it wants to play, and write fanfiction.

I’m an odd duck among writers. I love fanfiction. I know there are writers out there who think fanfiction is TEH EVIL OMG!!!! I’m not one of them. I love fanfiction. I write it, I read it, and if it ever comes out that there is fanfiction of one of my works, I will know that I’ve made it. It means that someone likes what I write enough to want to play in my world. How is this a bad thing?

Well, okay. It’s a bad thing when someone tried to take advantage of the author (which supposedly happened to Marion Zimmer Bradley. I say supposedly, because I’ve finally heard the other side of the story, and the question of who took advantage of whom is open to debate).

And now we have the incredible popularity of 50 Shades of Gray, which the author admits started as Twilight fanfiction.  I haven’t read Twilight, and based on the reviews I’ve read, I’ve no intention of reading 50 Shades of Gray. Therefore, I am not qualified to have an opinion on the subject either way.  So I’m not going to get in to the ethics of sanding off the serial numbers on a fanfic and cashing in on someone else’s fanbase. It’s a sticky situation, and I’m not sure where I stand.

As I said, I love fanfiction. I’ve written fanfiction for Man from UNCLE, for Gatchaman and for Sherlock, all three of which offer some really challenging characters to write (try getting into the heads of Solo and Kuryakin, or Condor Joe, or Sherlock — I still haven’t mastered Sherlock, so I write from Watson’s POV).

I think it is a fantastic training ground for young writers. Getting a handle on someone else’s world, on someone else’s characters, that can be challenging. Doing it well can be even more challenging. But there is something relaxing about not having to make all the rules. If you play in someone else’s sandbox, you come into it with an established structure and a world already built. You can focus on telling the story you want to tell. For me, that’s playtime.  And for a number of other writers, too. Elizabeth Bear writes some really nice Man from UNCLE fanfic (including one that I cannot find anymore that was a crossover with Torchwood). Cecilia Tan writes Harry Potter fanfiction.  And  Melanie Rawn used to write the most amazing Star Wars fanfiction under the name Ellen Randolph (sadly, not on the web and no longer in print.)

So,  whenever someone says “You’re not a REAL writer, you just write fanfiction,” I can point them at my Amazon author page and say “Oh, really?”

Fanfiction is fun. I’m all for having fun.