Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Building My DarkWorld (Originally posted at Frogenyozurt.com)


When I began writing Crimson Dawn, my only intention was to write a vampire novel with characters that I could relate to.  I wasn’t looking at anything beyond finishing that one story and proving to myself that I could write something more than poetry and short stories.  Not only did I finish Valeria and Irulan’ tale, I took a look at a few supporting characters and began to think about their lives or the lives of their races.
Before I knew it, I was working on another novel surrounding David, a young vampire that Valeria saves and eventually takes in.  The motivation behind writing a YA story was my teenage daughter and niece.  Both are becoming avid readers and questioned me as to when they were going to be able to read Crimson Dawn.  I almost fainted.  Crimson Dawn is very much an adult read but it made me feel good to know that they actually wanted to read my work.
I sat down and thought about what could I write but keep it in the same world that I had established so they could experience the characters they’d heard me talking so much about.  David was the perfect solution and so I began Freak Among Freaks.  As Val and Irulan’s adopted son, I could stick close to my initial characters and give readers another view of their personalities as parents.  I’m also able to show the Darkworld through the eyes of a teenager who is just trying to get trying to find his place in a world that dislikes him just because of who he is; a teenage deadborn, which is highly frowned upon.
David’s first outing in Freaks runs parallel with the events in Black Moon Rising and wasfinished long before I got half-way done with B.M.R.  I wanted to have David stand alone, but also show that he was very much an integral part of the family that Valeria and Irulan created.  Merging the two stories at certain points let me accomplish that…at least I hope.  I guess the readers will be the judge of that in time.
Once I got Freaks established the next character to come under my radar was Valeria’s no-nonsense C.O., werewolf Marcus Daniels.  I love the fact that he trusts his Sentinels judgment even if it doesn’t make sense at the time and really wanted to have him shine in a story but it just hasn’t come to me yet.  So instead of focusing on the man himself I began to look at his family.  I established his nephew and heir apparent Thade in name only in Crimson Dawn so that left me a blank canvas to work with.  But like Marcus, his story hadn’t come to me yet and after writing a male driven Freak Among Freaks, I wanted to get back to a take charge female character.
I came up with a god-daughter that I named Still Waters and Ascension: Wolves of Goose Creek began to take shape.  Still is just as smart mouthed as Valeria but there is an uncertainty about her that Val will never have. The host of a movie review show called Reel Time, Still is an outspoken lesbian who is quick to speak her mind on all things except the fact that she’s a werewolf.  She’s a wolf that doesn’t really know how to be one at times.
Born the daughter of an alpha, Still grew up apart from pack life and thus has no desire to be a part of one. Fate has other plans for my ‘in the closet’ were and before she know it, an accidentouts her and turns her world upside down.
Not only does her viewing audience find out she’s a werewolf, Still is forced to move back to the small South Carolina town of Goose Creek where she was born, but has nothing but bad memories of, and has to decide if she’s going to claim her birthright and become the packs first female alpha.   The small town doesn’t exactly welcome her home with open arms and soon Still is challenged in ways she never thought possible.  In the end she has to decide if trying to live up to her family’s name or being true to herself is more important.
The first draft of Ascension is done and once I get Black Moon Rising, book two of the Darklife Saga completed then I’ll start rewrites on it.  After I had a werewolf story established I went back and re-read the parts of Crimson Dawn that dealt with Valeria and Irulan’s time in the FaeLands and knew that I just had to write a full on Fae story.  Something that would showcase the steampunk vibe I wanted to fashion for my Fae.  With two adult titles established, I wanted to craft another story that was teenager friendly.
After some brain storming I began to see a pattern in my works and wanted to come up with a way to explain it all ( I’ll let readers find out what that is for themselves over time).  After lots of idea jotting and erasing, the words of a prophecy took shape.
And the time will come when three will be born who will lead the world down The Road to Was and restore the Earth as it was before The Great Divide.  The sisters three, born of one mother will be recognized as so: one child of man, one child of Sidhe, and one demon kin they will be…Words of the First Morrigan.
Once the prophecy was written the ideas for a trilogy began filling my head.  I would write one book for each sister.  After that trilogy, the importance of not only the sisters but every other major DarkWorld character, would play out in a uber cross-over trilogy; thus bringing an end to all the titles.
The first sister to get a story is Theory Cunningham, the child of man.  Her story is titled theRoad To Was and takes place in the mortal realm and the FaeLands.  It sets up for the other two stories to take place predominantly in Faerie.  I’m not going to go into as many details about Theory’s story right now because I feel like I have already given spoilers to my four or five books and the very vague ending of god knows how many.  But I did it for a reason, to show readers and potential writers how much one idea can grow.  Without Crimson Dawn none of the other characters I have created and come to love, would be possible.
With so many titles set in the same world, I have a big job ahead of me making sure there are no continuity issues, but I’m going to thoroughly enjoy the task of making sure they fit together seamlessly.  I hope that my established readers and many new ones continue to follow the adventures of my characters because Crimson Dawn, as I have shown you, is only the beginning.
If you haven’t already, be sure to head over to Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, or wherever books are sold and get the book that started it all, Crimson Dawn: Darklife Saga from Copperhill Media.  If you’re a fan of ebooks and have a reader other than a Kindle (I’m a Nook girl myself), you can find it in multiple formats athttp://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-crimsondawn-588569-139.html.  Want to give Val and Irulan a quick read before you grab a copy of Crimson Dawn, you can check them out on Smashwords or Amazon in the DarkWorld shorts: Never Again: An Irulan Short andUnSpoken: A Val and Irulan Short.
To read more about Crimson Dawn and most of the works I mentioned, head over to mywebsite http://www.ronniemassey.com/ or check out my other post here athttp://frogenyozurt.com/
Now for a treat, here’s a preview of the next DarkWorld story titled, Faeries Wishes and Jaguar Kisses: A DarkWorld Novella.  Allow me to introduce Lawless, a character that will play a big part in the third D.S. novel.  Even though the story establishes a new character, it wouldn’t be a DarkWorld story if my favorite vampire and Sidhe didn’t make an appearance.  Enjoy and look for it to show up on Amazon during the first week of December.

Faerie Wishes and Jaguar Kisses: A DarkWorld Novella Preview.
The constant whirr of numerous tattoo gun’s drowned out most of the grunts coming from her customer but with the last poke of her needle, Lawless’s client jerked, putting a sharp dip in her otherwise perfectly curved line.
“Seriously!  What the hell?”  She exclaimed and pulled his arm for a closer inspection.  “You’ve got tattoos covering like forty percent of your body and you haven’t learned how to sit still?” 
Every eye in the colorful building turned to stare at Lawless and her unfortunate client.  It was unlike her to lose patience with a customer.  She was of the opinion that the client is always right, even if they wanted something as asinine as the pledge of allegiance tattooed across their forehead.  
“I wouldn’t have a problem sitting still if you weren’t trying to tattoo my bone,” he barked.  “Everyone I talked with said you were the best around.  I can’t tell.”  The heavily tattooed bald man twisted his arm to get a better look at skull that was little more than half done.  “How in the hell are you going to fix that?”
The three other guns went silent as everyone waited to hear her answer.  Lawless pulled her long braided hair behind her neck and leaned back; adjusting her glamour to hid the red tint that was surly creeping up her honey cheeks.  “It will be fine.  By the time I get done with the outline and shading you won’t even notice.”  She sounded confident and sure but inside Lawless was on the verge of tears.  Running out of a line was a mistake an apprentice made, not the owner of the hottest shop in North Carolina.
Since Mystic Guns opened two years ago, Lawless and her carefully selected artist had made it the destination for every singer, actor, rapper, and paparazzi hounded celeb-utant, to come to and get inked.  They didn’t build that reputation by screwing up tattoos that were little more than generic flash.  In a business where over seventy five percent of your clients came from word-of-mouth, she couldn’t afford even one dissatisfied client.
Her customer repositioned himself in the reclining chair and closed his eyes.  “Remember, I want the flames to come all the way up behind the cross.”
“Don’t worry.  I know exactly what you want,” Lawless mumbled as she eased her foot down on the pedal that controlled her gun.  The thin needle flew up and down in the tube, sputtering black ink onto the paper her ink cap rest on.  She jerked her head and dipped the tip into a cup of water, shaking it back and forth until the water was murky.  Once her gun was free of the ink, she uncovered a small cap that was filled with clear ink and dipped the needle into it.
“What color is that?”  Her less than enthused client wondered.
“It’s not a color per say.  It’s part of the wash,” Lawless answered as she shook the tip free of excess ink and loaded it with black again.
“But you’re not done with the outline yet,” he said with a slight quiver.  He leaned up and tried to take another look at his arm.  But Lawless eased his head back onto the thick leather bound headrest.
 “Just sit back and relax,” she whispered.  “Let me do my job.”  While he wasn’t the customer she’d seen her dreams that was in need of the special tattoo, Lawless was eager to make up for her goof and the man had a nasty case of asthma.  Once she was done tattooing her spell into his skin, his lung function would improve immediately.
That is, if, she got done.  As soon as she began, her mind wandered again and the needle dug into the already nervous clients arm.
“Shit!”  He yelled and pulled his arm away.  “Have you been drinking?  You’ve been drinking haven’t you or worse you’re high.  Jesus H. Christ there’s a stoner working on my arm!”
The shop went silent again and Lawless pushed away, discarding her gun and pulling off her black nitril gloves.  Heavy footsteps got closer, crossing the small wooden connecting bridge between the two workstations that took up one side of the building.
“Are you sick or something Lawless?”   An olive skinned man sporting a buzz cut asked under his breath, trying not to draw more attention to the situation.
“No I’m not sick Becker, but I can’t be here right now,” she huffed and stood up…
…The second Lawless walked through the curtained archway she felt a tingle of magic race across her skin then she heard a bass heavy blast of music.  Her expectations for the club rose a notch.  Most didn’t take the time to incorporate containment spells into the building.  She kept going, rounding a corner until the wide hallway opened into a large expanse that separated by four stairs.  The staircase curved around the width of the dance floor was broken into sections by long marble columns that were at least thirty feet high.
She took one look around and her expectations plummeted.  The walls were painted to look like a humans’ perception of the FaeLands.  There were small dragon fly winged faeries dancing on large mushrooms and leprechauns peeking behind the end of rainbows painted on the walls.  There was even one adorned with a scene of King Author seated at his legendary round table surrounded by his knights.  The themes didn’t stop with the paintings; the staff was fully decked out in medieval regalia.
 The bartenders were wearing hats that looked like they belonged in Sherwood Forest.   Humans dressed like elves that looked like they’d escaped from a Lord of the Rings convention were moving through the crowd taking drink orders.  The music changed into techno heavy tune and Lawless felt something brush against her cheek.  She ran a hand under her eye and pulled it away to find it covered with glitter.
A passerby smiled and pointed towards the ceiling, “Pixie dust.  Isn’t it cool?”
Lawless groaned and almost turned to leave but her reason for coming popped into her head and she sighed.  The inside of the club was a bit much, but she shook off the momentary shock at the over the top d├ęcor and made her way to the crowded dance floor.  More than one person grabbed her arm and asked her to dance but she dismissed them and continued towards the bar at the far end of the space.  She wasn’t there to dance; her only concern was finding a body to keep her bed warm and the memories of Irulan away.
Lawless pushed her way through the writhing, sweaty bodies and leaned against the bar.  She didn’t have to wait long for service.  A blonde vampire hurriedly slid the shot he prepared to its owner and moved to stand in front of her.  “What can I get you?”
“How about a Blue Suicide,” she yelled over the roar of the music.
The vampire tilted his head back and sucked his teeth.  “Are you sure you can handle a drink like that little lady?  That’s Everclear, one fifty one proof Bacardi, and Blue Curacao.”
“Little lady,” she said with eyebrow raised.  “I can drink any man under the table on my worst day.  Just fix me the drink,” Lawless huffed. 
Another bartender took notice of the exchange and pointed.  “Bullshit.  A lady like you drinks one of those and we’ll be mopping up the floor after you lose your lunch.”
Lawless clicked her tongue and smiled.  “A lady like me-are you sure about that dead man?”  She asked and clutched her pocketbook tighter.

Sex scenes-Fun to read but a headache to write…at times


Well I think my headline says it all.  Sex scenes are almost expected in today’s romancenovels, be it paranormal, or otherwise.  I can’t remember the last time I read a romance novel that didn’t have one and to be honest I would probably be stunned if I happened upon one minus the heat.  With that said, no matter how fun or stimulating they are to read, writing one can be a pain in the posterior.
Now, I don’t think a novel has to have sex in it to be successful.  I love reading books that areclassified as young adult reads.  The Twilight Saga is by far one of my favorite series (I have a Cullen Crest tattooed on my wrist), and I absolutely love Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies Series.  Neither one of them is heavy on the sex by any means.  Bella and Edward’s long awaited coming together is pretty tame compared to what I find in my paranormal romances and urban fantasies (and what I write) and I thought it was very appropriate for the genre.  So while I can very much enjoy a book without all the bumping nasty, I do think the racy scenes are necessary if the situation and the genre calls for it.
But while I think they are necessary in the right setting, I have the hardest time writing them sometimes.  I found myself either eliminating them all together or leaving them till last.  I skipped ahead and finished Crimson Dawn and let it sit for three months before I found the mojo to write Val and Irulan’s first time together.  Part of it was because I thought that the words I was going to put on the paper wouldn’t do the scene I had in my head justice.  And part of it was because I didn’t know where to start.
There was no lack of personal experiences to draw from, I was just coming up blank.  Once I finally bit the bullet and sat down to write it, I realized that those blanks I kept drawing were because of issues with terminology.  Love scenes have to fit the characters and using the wrong word just kills the mood for me.  Val was opening herself up to a new experience so she wouldn’t use some of the harsher words used to describe…well I hope you know what I mean.  (And if you don’t then drop me a line and I’ll fill you in.  But for this post I’m gonna try and keep it pg.)  But in the same token, she was sure of what and who she wanted, so she wouldn’t shy away from expressing herself.  Her actions and words had to convey both of those points.  I took to Google to find more creative ways to say what I wanted.  I found plenty of blog post and articles but still had trouble getting my words right.
So there I was, still  struggling to write a sex scene and describe my characters bodies and actions without making my novel sound vulgar or trashy, or even worse cheesy as all get out.  I went back and read some of my favorite scenes from books I had read.  They ranged from sensual to spicy to down right scorching.  With all those for inspiration I sat back down and started again with no luck.  Everything I wrote either sounded to silly or too crude for my heroines.  For all my wanting to write the scene and knowing that having them come together was a perfect fit for the story I was telling; I just couldn’t find the right words no matter what I did.
My scene eluded me until I called my cousin one night to pour out my heartache at my inability to write the scene.  I pouted and complained and bashed my abilities as a writer for close to twenty minutes until my cousin finally burst into laughter.  I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I called her, but laughter wasn’t it.  Once she got over herself and calmed down, she reminded me of all the sex scenes that I used to write in high-school and how easily I churned them out. (long story, maybe I’ll tell it to you guys sometime in the future)
I laughed at the memory and remembered how much fun I had coming up with them.  Once I voiced that, my cousin said, “Bingo, you had fun.  Sounds like you’ve tried to hard to make the scene perfect, you’ve forgotten to have fun while you write it.”  And she was right.  I love writing. I sit at my computer with my music blasting and throw myself into a story no matter what it is.  But when it came to that scene I put too much thought into it and made it a chore instead of something fun.
Once I got over myself, the scene, appropriate terminology and all, practically wrote itself.  Once I was done I wondered what all the internal fuss was about in the first place.  I had given myself many a headache for nothing and silly me has gone and done it again.
In my last post I gave readers a small preview of my latest DarkWorld story titled, Faerie Wishes and Jaguar Kisses.  I am very pleased to say that it is 98 percent done and the cover art is almost complete as well.  It’s firmly on track for uploading to Amazon by next Thursday.  Why is it only 98 percent done do you ask?  Well it’s because of a pesky sex scene that refused to come to me.  After jumping that hurdle with Crimson Dawn, I had no problems whatsoever writing the scenes for Ascension, and a few other short stories in between, but once I got to the scene for Faerie Wishes, my brain turned to mush again.  I have written and edited everything twice but the love scene between the two main characters.
I thought that I’d be 100 percent done with it by today but when I sat down to write last week that one last little bit proved to be a headache.  I stepped away from the story for the weekend and told myself that I would start fresh Monday.  Well Monday came and went and the headache only got bigger.  I text my ex and asked her if she thought I should just leave it out all together.  She text me back and told me to quit stalling and get over it already.  And then she, like my cousin a few years ago reminded me to just have a fun and quit thinking so hard.
After I was done texting, I sat back down to write but instead of the scene, this post started taking shape.  I got it halfway done and then went back to my story.  JACKPOT!  It was only after writing this post and reminding myself to remember what I found fun about said scenes, was I able to go back and commit to it.  The 95 percent completion that I had on Friday has grown to 98 and by the time that you read this I will be well on my way towards 100.

Dang gone sex scenes.  Fun to read but a headache to write at times…if a writer lets them become one.

I’ll be back Friday with another preview of Faerie Wishes and Jaguar Kisses.  To read about that story and any other titles in my DarkWorld, including Crimson Dawn: Darklife Saga Bk 1, you can check out my posts  on http://frogenyozurt.com/ or head over to mywebsite, http://www.ronniemassey.com/ .