Coming out of the dark - before going back in!

I know it's been a little over a week since I posted here and I think it's time to do some major updates to let everyone what's been going on.

Last week I stepped a bit away from things to focus on Friday's book signing event. When it came around, it was exactly what the doctor ordered. I got to meet readers of all ages and enthusiasm. I even connected again with the dean from my former college which is pretty awesome. I did overestimate how cold it was and nearly froze in the shade, but next time if it's during this time of year I'm going definitely bring some layers! Overall, it went pretty well and I hope everyone enjoys the book.

The signing gave my mind a break from Within the Shadows of Mortals and when I came back I had an angle for where the story was going.

I'm a pantser as they call them. I don't really do any pre-planning or synopses or outlines before I write because it kills my creativity. I do have an existing idea in mind when I start to write and I basically just let my characters take the story where it goes while I following behind at a safe distance and record their actions. I sent off Ariya: A Kiss of Ashen Twilight to a pub that called for anthology submissions but I'm still going to make some notes on where to add in the mythology that developed in 'Mortals'.

To give you an idea: Ariya follows a fairy named--you guessed it--Ariya who ends up being the last of her fairy race named Aziza (from the Dahomey/Benin region of Africa). She escapes near death from an elemental and ends up in our world where she clashes with the members of the Ashen Twilight House and the patriarchs. Within the Shadows of Mortals continues her story as the basis of the elemental is revealed as well as the hero Jace and his family's past which ties into the current feud between the house and the shifter rens.

I'm hoping to reach at least 70k on this one...if I can do 80-90 then woo hoo! Usually my stories end up on the short end, but as I'm writing this one it's turning out to be longer than my usual fare...which is goooood.

At the same time, I got my dad's PDA working and I downloaded MobiPocket to it and went insane with all the ebooks I had in my virtual TBR pile. So I'm slowly going to work on getting that pile down starting with The Seattle Barista Killer which is an awesome werewolf detective novel by Murdoch Hughes. I'm really loving the lead character and his wit. I'm going to try and finish Blood Price, too. For some reason I speed read faster on the PDA than I do on paperback. No idea why. In any event, hopefully I can get to everything in a timely manner while balancing the book.

Personal goal for finishing Mortals? Hmm...I'll say the end of January. Hopefully, I make it.

I got a few more ideas while working on that one including a contemporary romance novel with a musical theme. I've been really into my classical music lately and I'd love to express how music affects emotions. I logged it in my WIP file on my computer to return to later. Then there's the continuation of The Eye of Alloria which I'd like to turn into a YA fantasy with a romantic triangle. Agh. Too many ideas. For now I'll just take one at at time so I won't get overwhelmed.

Looking back on 2007, I feel like I've accomplished a lot. Melissa and I opened Lavender Isis and helped our authors and readers connect. I published a short story in book format, an illustrated novella and a novel. I ended my relationship with a certain publisher and am now finding out I wasn't the only one suffering mentally, emotionally and physically in pulling teeth to get them to do their job. Got bad reviews, got good reviews and got fabulous reviews. Did lots of promotion and got to know some fabulous readers, fellow authors and industry folks. Learned a whole lot about the inner workings of the industry and I'm hoping to take all this and reach for the stars in 2008.

I set a few personal goals for myself in 2008 including working with Harlequin, working with a lit agent (if it's God's will) and getting a publishing deal, releasing Cimmerian World hopefully with my dream small press publisher (where it's at now ;-)) and, of course, finishing Within the Shadows of Mortals and Cimmerian Girl. That should take care of the first half of the year. ;-)

But for now, as I look back, hearing about one reviewer has added me to her list of fave authors and how another reviewer is waiting for the next installment of the Cimmerian series to be released, and plus hearing about how a friend had heard of my book because his sister was reading it...I can pretty safely say that I have achieved this writer's dream.

Now I'm waiting to see where 2008 will take me!

Coming up near the end of the year, I'd like to post my Best of 2007 list primarily in books but probably also in other entertainment as well. So stay tuned for that!