Monthly Archives: June 2013

Clarion West Write-a-thon 2013

thai writing

In the summer of 2011 I embarked on an adventure of untold proportions – that is, I took the leap into the deep deep end of fiction writing. Until this point, I had told myself I didn’t write fiction. Nope, nope, nope. But I had always yearned to write fiction, because there is something that happens when I become immersed in a story. Some writers create worlds that are so fantastic and lovely and heartbreaking that even after I’ve finished the last page, some of that world lingers inside my body. I am changed in the most beautiful ways, and I want to do that for other people. So I jumped off the bridge and into the pool of the Clarion West Write-a-thon.

I think it was Alice Walker who said, “write the stories you want to read.” I would add to that, write the stories you want to be. I am writing myself into being, populating my landscapes with strong female characters who kick ass.

Clarion West is about supporting writers and community – there is the community of writers, and there is the community that supports each writer. You are my community, and I love the spiral feeling of support from inside and out. Every donation makes a difference, even just a few dollars. Stories change lives. Think of the last one you read that changed yours. Imagine how many more stories are out there, waiting to be told and heard. There is a wonderful TED talk about the The Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Adichie and why we need more voices, more diversity in storytelling, more stories. The Clarion West six-week workshop supports writers to do just that.

Please consider sponsoring me this year. Also, it’s not to late to join the fun! You can also sign up until June 22nd, when it officially starts.

ETA: If you are sponsoring me for 2014, this is the link.

Thank you.

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Stripes

The prompt for 52 Photos Project this week is STRIPES! Most of the images below are from my travels, but a couple are from my own city.

Pillow cover in Chiang Dao, Thailand, the city of stars:
hilltribe keychain

Swiftsure, boat on South Lake Union, Seattle
swiftsure

Rubber Ducky not open for visitors, Seattle
rainbow ducky

Incense Coil, Temple, Hoi An, Vietnam
incense coil

Bueno feste, Venezia, Italy
happy holiday

Licorice stripes, Venezia, Italy
dolci

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Interview with Author Patricia Eddy

self-published

My friend Patricia Eddy just self-published her first book. She asked if I would do an interview for my blog, and I was delighted to oblige. I met Patricia online, through Twitter, and she is a very motivated person as you will learn from the interview below. I got to see an earlier version of this book, and let me tell you, if you are into steamy stories with lots of action, you will not be able to put this one down! Without further ado, let’s get started.

1. Give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:

By the Fates, Freed
Paranormal Romance
A witch, imprisoned by evil. A warlock fated to love her. Will their love survive as she learns to trust again? Or will an ancient evil destroy them both?

2. Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
This book is primarily for lovers of paranormal romance with a side of mystery. There’s a hot warlock, a story of transformation and bravery in the face of danger, and true love. Oh, and some steamy sex.

3. How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
Honestly, I don’t remember! Most of my titles just come to me about midway through the writing process. I had this sense that the world would be heavily influenced by Fate when I started writing and that evolved into Fates, and then By the Fates.

4. Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
My cover artist was Ravven. Honestly, I clicked on her website because she shared a name with my main character. But then I saw her work. It had the sense of darkness I wanted for the series. There are some mature and dark themes in this series so I knew I couldn’t go with a cutesy cover. I also knew I didn’t want the classic romance angle either. Ravven’s work spoke to me. The process was amazing. She hit Raven on the head with the first draft. Ealasaid took a bit of work, but I am so happy with how it turned out.

5. Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
Oooo. Hard question. I love them all. Ealasaid speaks to me because of her transformation and because I’m in her head the most. Raven is smoking hot and fiercely protective of his mate. I love writing him because that alpha male persona is so sexy when paired with a woman who is just as strong if not stronger! The supporting cast though is really exciting me for the next two books in the series. There will be a novella from Ami’s perspective before the second book comes out. I feel like she has the most growth potential as a human and because of what she goes through in this book.

6. How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
Hmm. Marcas, I suppose. He’s less appealing simply because he didn’t get a lot of love or attention in this book. I almost forgot he was there a few times. He had potential and he was a necessary character, but as Raven was the stronger of the two warlocks and the male protagonist, Marcas didn’t get a lot of chances to shine.

7. If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?
I think I’d flesh out the supporting cast more. Marcas, for example.

8. Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
This was originally intended to be a novella trilogy.
I wrote the first draft of the novella in 2.5 weeks.
I’ve sketched out three different endings for the series (though I’ve already decided which one I’ll use.)

9. Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
I’m a triathlete. I’m not sure that I’m a talented one, but I’m working on it. 🙂

10. How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
My website will always have up to date information: www.pdeddy.com. I’m also very active on Twitter @patricia_eddy.

11. What can we expect from you in the future?
I’ve sketched out an authoring plan for the next year. In the late fall, I’ll be releasing the first book in the vampire series, tentatively titled Secrets in Blood. Ami’s novella (set in the By the Fates universe) should be out in January and the second By the Fates book, By the Fates, Fought, should be out in April 2014. I’m aiming for a book release every 5-6 months.

12. What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Talk about it! Add it on Goodreads, write a review on Amazon, share it on social media!

13. Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

Self-publishing is awesome. The tools online make it supremely easy. Write, edit, format, and publish. That said, I hope that everyone who considers self-publishing will strive to be as professional as possible. We all (indie authors) win when we try to put out our best work possible. I’ve read self-published books that are so much better than traditionally published works and I’ve read self-published books that are rife with spelling mistakes. So write. Edit. Format. Publish.

There are so many tools out there for free or cheap that can help. You can write in your word processing program of choice. Most, these days, will create a PDF for you for free. Once you have a PDF, a cover (even a simple one), and a synopsis, you can publish on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Kobo for free. You don’t have to spend a dime to get your book in the hands of readers. You CAN spend a lot. Every author considering self-publishing has to decide for themselves how much they want to put into their process.

14. Tell us a little bit about your writing process (e.g. do you plot, how often do you write, what do you do when you get stuck, etc.).

I write A LOT. Every day. Some days I end up with 200 words, others 2000. I’d say my writing process is as varied as it can be. I didn’t plot By the Fates, Freed at all. That probably got me into a little bit of trouble during the writing as I tried to turn it from novella to novel, though.

Now, with the vampire series, the next two books in the By the Fates series, and the other shorter works I have in progress, I’m trying to outline and plot more. I don’t always stick to the outline, but just having it on screen helps when I get stuck.

If I get blocked, I go back and edit. There’s a lot of advice out there that says “Write first, edit later.” That’s great advice. You CAN get too mired in the editing process that you’ll never finish the writing. But honestly, it doesn’t work for me. So when I write, it usually goes something like this.

Sit down, bang out 2000 words.
Next day, re-read those 2000 words, edit a bit. Then try to kick out another 1000 words.
Edit a bit. Write another 1000-2000.
Rinse, repeat.

So with that, by the time I’ve finished the book, the first chapter or two has seen at least 4-5 edit passes.

15. Who are your favorite authors to read?
Lindsay Buroker, Ilona Andrews, Kevin Hearne are my top authors right now. I will read anything they release.

16. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I might have said enough to approach babbling status. 🙂

17. Would you share a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

“If you say the word, I will stay, damn the Council,” he murmured, and took me into his arms.

I did not want to enjoy his embrace. I wanted to be mad at him. But I could not help it. I sighed and let his warmth envelop me. Damn him for the feelings he stirred in me, this overwhelming desire to be close to him.

“If there was a greater purpose in what was done to me, I would have it known. Go.” I turned my face upwards. The scent of him — cedar and the sea — enraptured my senses and I inhaled deeply. His lips parted slightly and his eyes darkened. I could feel his magic dance over his skin and transmit his thoughts. He wanted to kiss me. But I knew he would make no move to do so. He squeezed his eyes shut and started to release me.

I wouldn’t let him let me go. I remembered the first time he had kissed me. I’d been terrified and shackled, but his kiss had made me feel safe and free. I tightened my arms around him and brought my lips to his. I lingered for a breath. His body molded itself to mine. The warmth that spread through me and the surprise that registered on his face lifted my lips into a smile as I drew back so I could look at him.

His brown eyes sparkled in the morning light and his breath quickened. Sparks seemed to dance over his skin and the unmistakable scent of him settled around us. His magic enveloped us in warmth.

“What…was that for?” His voice was hoarse and he was holding on to me as if I were a lifeline.

I swallowed hard. “For me.”

“I do not understand.”

“Whatever you are keeping from me…it frightens me. I worry I will not survive it.” I laid my head on his chest. “You kissed me before you freed me and it made me feel safe. I wanted that feeling again.”

Raven’s fingers curled around my chin, urging my head up to look at him. He cupped my cheek. My body shuddered when his thumb brushed across my lips. “I promise you, allera, you will always be safe with me. You have nothing to fear. I will return as quickly as I can.”

On his way out the door, he turned to smile at me. “You continually surprise me.”

How can readers contact you?
Website & blog: www.pdeddy.com
Facebook: Patricia Eddy Author
Twitter: @Patricia_Eddy
Amazon Author Page
Smashwords
Goodreads author profile

Book Links: (* American, UK, etc.)
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Smashwords
Goodreads

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May Sarton

pink flowers

May Sarton has put into a few graceful sentences what I’ve been attempting to express with this project. This is what Slow Bloom is all about.

“It does not astonish or make us angry that it takes a whole year to bring into the house three great white peonies and two pale blue iris. It seems altogether right and appropriate that these glories are earned with long patience and faith … and also that it is altogether right and appropriate that they cannot last. Yet, in our human relations we are outraged when the supreme moments, the moments of flowering, must be waited for … and then cannot last. We reach a summit, and then have to go down again.
Maybe patience is the last thing we learn.”
~May Sarton; Journal of a Solitude

And thank you to Karyn Schwartz, proprietess of Sugarpill on Capitol Hill in Seattle, for bringing this to my attention.

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Crimson

The challenge this week from 52 Photos Project is crimson. Here are a few of my faves:

Red VW bug

STOP {you can be happy}

mirror ball and poinsettas

hotel

red anemone

dahlia and bee

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Teenage Pals

heart graffito

My friend Karina asked me today, “Who were your teenage pals?” She was referring not to the actual people I hung out with, but rather the authors and musicians who threw me a rope and created a bridge that let me walk from there to here. The names on her list included Dorothy Allison, Rita Mae Brown, and the Indigo Girls.

The Indigo Girls’ second album, eponymously titled, was given to me as a gift upon graduating from high school. It was a bookend, as it were, to the end of one time period and the beginning of another. And that album has become a talisman and a touchstone for me. I spent the summer drinking it in, sweating in the heat of SW Florida and wondering what ghosts had to do with anything. I wondered if I would ever go “all the way to Paris, to forget your face” … and failing, just like Emily did.

“I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind, got my paper, and I was free.” Funny thing was, in my town, the Indigo Girls weren’t on the radio, but when I got to college, it was practically a requirement that every student at Oberlin have this playing on their cassette deck. And here I am, 20 years later, learning again and again:

There’s more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

I didn’t come out a bi until I was a sophomore in college, and queer literature was a ways off from my young, teen mind. I started with Judy Blume, working my way through her oeuvre, but stopping abruptly at Fifteen. I never crossed that line and to this day still have never read that, nor Wifie or Forever. But as I navigated middle school, I learned I wasn’t the only girl worried about when she would get her period and be just like every other girl. I loved that her stories had girls I could relate to, Jewish characters, and people who just seemed real.

As I entered high school, I began to read more science fiction and fantasy. Piers Anthony’s Xanth books provided comic relief, while his Blue Adept showcased a classic underdog. I had a friend who was a BIG fan of Stephen King, so I read many of his books, terrifying myself half out of my wits. I still remember noticing every sneeze and sniffle while I was reading The Stand, which I think was his best.

Like Judy Blume, Madeleine L’Engle ushered me through the early teen years. I instantly fell in love with Meg in A Wrinkle in Time, a smart girl who adored her family. And even though I probably first read that book when I was about 10, I revisited the Time Trilogy throughout my teen years. Being smart and a girl was a difficult combination, and here was proof of others like me. I devoured all L’Engle’s books, including the journals she wrote later in life. They were like tiny lighthouses on a farther shore, just visible enough that I could orient myself.

And finally there was Ursula LeGuin. It was in her book, The Dispossessed, that I first learned about anarcho-syndicalism. I wrote an essay for the Optimist Club on “Freedom: Our Most Precious Heritage”, and it won second place. The conclusion I drew was that a completely free society would be totally anarchic. And I know somewhere in there I mentioned that women did not earn equal pay to men. I only mention this because as a winner, I had to read my essay to the Optimists – and the only women in the room that day were my mother, my teacher, and the mothers of the two other students who had won. I didn’t realize what I said until later, and then I was glad. And terrified.

I was thinking more about music, but music has never been central to me the way words have been. And then I remembered one more thing. My twin sister and I shared a bedroom, and one night a week we would listen to a call-in radio show with a psychologist. I can’t remember his name, but we used to listen to the show in the dark and comment on his advice. I’m not sure it was formative in the way that those books were, but there was something indefinable about it, as we formed our own characters from that inchoate darkness.

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