So June was a bit of a quiet month for my blog. After my last post on the joys of revisions, I took a little break, but then a second round of revisions came in so I was right back around to working through those and (for the most part) ignoring the internet. During that almost-week I had off, I managed to read a book, which I quite honestly don't do enough of these days.
I've got a real thing for romantic suspense at the moment, but, like with other genres, I've gotten so picky over the years that there's only a few authors I'll read. I guess its the down side to being an author and continuously trying to better my own work, its hard for me to turn off the internal editor. So unless a book really sucks me in, I find myself being super-critical of it. Not very fair on the author or myself since all I want to do is simply enjoy a good book, but that's the way it is.
Anyway, I'd heard lots of good things about Maya Banks and her KGI series, but it was a case of never getting around to reading any of her work, even though I intended to. So since I was wanting to read a good romantic suspense and find a new author to add to my small clutch of favorites, I decided I was finally going to give the KGI series a chance.
I've started and put down quite a few books lately, but only a few pages into The Darkest Hour, I knew this book would have to take a drastic turn for the worse to make me put it down. With a plot centering around a man finding out that his wife who he'd been mourning for a year was alive and being kept prisoner in South America, following her rescue and then their attempt at picking up their life while the person responsible for the wife's apparent death was still after her, and the hero keeping a secret that could destroy their relationship... well, this wasn't going to a light read.
The intensity from the very first pages was awe-inspiring, and it never let up for the entire book. The characters were rendered so well, you couldn't help but feel for them. In the case of the hero, Ethan, he'd made some mistakes that had burned him deeply, but was determined to act like everything was fine, that everything would be fine. Until it wasn't anymore and he had no choice but to deal with the fallout.
For the heroine, Rachel, though she'd literally been through hell, lived through unimaginable horror that would break most people, and while she saw herself as weak and weepy and unable to cope, there was actually a quiet strength about her that was very believable. And all of this was propped up by the formidable Kelly family, who had their own minor stories going on in the background. Maya Banks started the KGI series off with a bang, and I can only hope that the rest of the series (of which there are something like ten books) is just as good. I'll be getting my hands on the next couple shortly, and am really looking forward to seeing where things with the Kelly family takes us.
If they are as good as this first one, then I'll have found another auto-buy author to add to my small list of favorites. For people who love intense romantic suspense, I would definitely recommend The Darkest Hour.
Monday, June 29, 2015
Sunday, June 7, 2015
1st Circle of Revisions: Limbo
Your editor has your book, you know the revisions are going to turn up in your inbox any day now. Your moods go up and down depending on your caffeine levels. You know she'll want some changes made, and some days you can believe these will be minor story arc and character tweaks that won't take too much effort. Other days, you won't be able to bring yourself to check your email in case its there, because the changes won't be changes at all, but major re-writes that will make your brain feel like you took it out and massaged it with a Cuisinart food processor.
Eventually though, you have to look and--ohmagoshohmagosh its here! Do I open it right now? But I have to pick up the kids from school. What if it makes me cry and then I have to do the school pick up with puffy eyes and I have to hide behind a pair of novelty-sized bug-eye sunglasses even though its raining and the other mothers give me that sympathetic look and speculate that my marriage must be terrible-- Whatever. I have to know. I have to read it. Why is it taking so long to download and-- OH GOD THE HORROR!
2nd Circle of Revisions: Lust, Desire and Fervor
Clearly the only answer to getting these revisions done is to do all of them right now. All twelve pages of the editorial letter. You put on your
You stalk to the computer like a boxer heading for the ring, ready to bring down his toughest opponent. You pump your fists, jump up and down on the spot a few times to psyche yourself up because yeah, man, we're ready to DO THIS. Make those revisions your bitch, you'll pummel those editorial notes like a boss, like Rocky dominating in the ring. ADRIAN!!!!
4th Circle of Revisions: Greed
Something happens when I start writing or editing. I get hungry. Like, hungry-hungry-hippo hungry. Like, a famished lion spotting a herd of gazelles hungry. I need braaaaaiiiins. I mean, my brain needs food. Not just any food. We're talking the heights of culinary decadence. Chocolate. It was in the bottom of the cupboard underneath a half-empty box of corn flakes that went out of date three months ago. Does that corner look like it might have been nibbled on by a mouse? Whatever, chocolate is chocolate and at a time like this, beggars can't be choosers. Tea. Yeah, I made it an hour ago and have reheated it three times already and its in that weird stage where its nowhere near hot, but also not cold and might be a little slimy. But I'm on a roll and I'm just going to keep drinking it. Now I need something crunchy. I haven't been to the supermarket in a week and any chips I buy immediately get hoovered by the little people who conspire to break my concentration with a cleverly divided timetable of perfectly choreographed interruptions specifically designed to snap the last threads of maternal patience I'm clinging onto.
Found seaweed crackers someone brought to the last party I had at my house. There's something really wrong about an ocean plant being on a cracker, but desperate times call for desperate measures and maybe if I scrape the mold off the top of the sun-dried tomato hummus also left over from the same party, I won't even notice the taste. That cloudy red wine I kept meaning to throw out will probably compliment the palate perfectly.
So my plan to do all the revisions in one epic sitting of author-awesomeness the likes of which the world has never seen failed miserably. What the hell was I thinking? *head-desk* Almost half way through and my book now looks like a slightly literate monkey chewed on the Chicago Manual of Style and decided this made him an author and subsequently wrote the most profoundly terrible drivel the world has ever had the misfortune to read. Damn my own shortcomings that I can't even submit a book to my publisher that doesn't require revisions akin to hacking through the Amazon with a plastic spork! Damn I say!
6th Circle of Revisions: Heresy
I curse you gods of writing! That's right, you heard me. Why, WHY GOD did you afflict me with this torturous urge to write? But not only to write, but to drive myself to share my affliction with others that they might read the verbal refuse disgorging from my brain through my fingers? I will not be your puppet any longer. I can quit. I don't need this. Addicted? Never! I can give up and do something better with my life, something that will fill me with a sense of purpose. I'm going right now.
7th Circle of Revisions: Violence
I could pick up this computer and toss it through the window. I could rip my keyboard right out of its pretentious little USB port and take it out to my driveway and reverse over it a dozen times, because clearly the tools of my trade have turned against me. But I won't stoop to your level, you evil little succubi of self-confidence. I'm taking a break. Sure, I've only got fifty pages to go, but I'm going to prove that I'm still the one in control here. So, what to do...? Outside. Outside is good. There aren't any screens outside with their little cursors blinking at me with that obviously condescending tempo heralding my impending failure. Okay, fresh air. Breathe. See? Feeling better already. Garden is looking a little straggly. Like keeping the house clean, anything beyond the four walls of my study have ceased to be of worldly import since those revisions arrived. Wait. Where are my favorite flowers? Those pretty purple ones that always make the rest of the boring garden look a little brighter. Slugs. Are those slugs? Oh, that is not even-- Where's the shovel. No, blow torch. Get me a blow torch, stat! Die you little bastards. DIE! Hubby wants to know what I'm doing. Gardening, clearly. What's that now? Deferred anger issues? Um...
8th Circle of Revisions: Fraud
Its not illegal if I employ someone else to do the last of these changes, is it? Just one problem, I can't afford to pay anyone unless they're happy to barter for half-eaten chocolate bars or stale corn flakes. Fine. So I'll just have to push through the last of these changes and for better or worse, send it to my editor. How long will it be before they realize that I'm not actually a real author, I was just pretending. That's right, I can't hold it in any longer. I have to tell the truth. I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm making this crap up as I go along. I figured if I told other people I was an author, eventually it would be true. But I made the one mistake con-artists never should, I bought into my own lie. Oh god, they're going to figure it out. I'm done for. It'll go viral. I'll have to change my name and move to Ittoqqortoormiit in Greenland... Yes, that is an actual place, hopefully with no internet connection where I won't have to witness the jelly-like-splatter exposure of my author-fabrication.
9th Circle of Revisions: Treachery
Almost done. Wait, really? But it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be and everything has come together into a complete picture that almost makes sense. But how can this be? Did I seriously do all that work? Addressed every single editorial note in an articulate way that might have actually made the book better? Hang on, I don't remember doing that chapter. Was it somewhere between the box of Krispy Kremes and half a bottle of vodka? Because those few hours were definitely a little blurry. Could someone else have hacked my computer and done it for me? But why? What could they possibly hope to gain from a play like that? Wow, this book isn't half bad. *near-hysterical-laugh* Send it. Send it now! Clearly there's some treacherous conspiracy going on here, something involving the government, probably. Yeah, I noticed that white van driving past my house four or five times this week. So it had a sign for a courier company on the side, but don't think I didn't notice how it slowed down every time it got near my house, never mind that intersection right out the front.
Write an accompanying email to my editor so I sound like a perfectly adjusted person who made these changes without breaking a sweat or shedding a single tear. Attach it. Send it.
Now to hide in the closet with container of double chocolate fudge ice cream.
Emerging Back Into The Real World
And we shall never speak of it again.