Monday, January 28, 2013

Author Intimidation Syndrome(tm)

Yeah, that's right -- I was all over the OK Corral in AZ.

Oh, faithful three readers, I have fallen prey to a terrible malady. It all began when I took a break from writing my latest novel to travel to Florida and then through Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. (Yes, I feel very cosmopolitan.) During this time, most of it sans Internet access (my IUD was almost incapacitating), I eagerly slurped up a dozen or so e-novels by my favorite authors.

When I returned home in early January from this whirlwind winter break, a new semester quaked and the tsunami of class preparation slammed into my tender person. Now, three weeks later, I find myself with some free time and could easily slide back to writing The Tithe. Only... Only... I can’t.

I reread the last chapter or so. I tinkered with an adjective here, a metaphor there. I got into the writerly swing of things by revising another book. But come time to jump back into The Tithe, I found myself cowed by the magnitude, the silent condemnation, the mocking rhythm, of that darned blinking cursor.

I don’t suffer from writer’s block. No, I suffer from something far less understandable and more, well, embarrassing: Author Intimidation Syndrome™. Yes, my friends, I am currently too intimated by the awesomeness of all those authors I read to dare pretend I can compare to their talent. How can I possibly write like Jim Butcher, like Ilona Andrews, like Terry Pratchett? Sure, I pen a mean research article, -- I tear up academia with my mad verbal virtuosity, yo – but how can my novels’ stilted dramatic pace, their fascination with emotional minutiae, their uneven application of witty verbal repartee, compare with the silk-smooth rhythms of fiction’s literary giants?

The first step is admitting it: I have AIS™.

Sure, I know the cure. It’s the same, extremely sage, advice my sister, Lauri, gave me when I told her a few years ago that I had been planning for a couple of decades to write a novel: Shut up and do it. I’m a firm believer that most of writing is forced labor (albeit beloved labor) with only the occasional, fairylike sprinkling of creative inspiration. Even braced with that knowledge, I find it so easy right now to continue “doing more research” by reading ever-more novels.

Cowardice: the most visible sign of AIS™.

Meanwhile, my characters patiently await me on the page. Sure, as soon as I either resolve my bout of authorly insecurities or else force myself to move on in spite of them, I’ll return to my literary babies. I just hope they’ll understand that even the most loving parent suffers from crises of confidence now and again. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hunted Dreams is on the Horizon!

My homemade cover, which
I'm sure will look nothing like
the publisher's

Ohmigosh, ohmigosh, ohmigosh! I just received in my email inbox the first round of revisions to Hunted Dreams, the latest installment in my Hunted Series. I have a special fondness for this book, not only because the main character is a strong, self-rescuing fat woman (yeah!), but because I really started stretching my creative muscles when penning this book. The shero, who remains unnamed for the first part of the book, is trapped in an endless cycle of nightmares, which adds a surreal, dark, grisly touch. I admit I was thrilled and challenged when writing scenes in which she’s trapped in an L.A. alleyway, the Pacific Ocean, dinner parties (my personal hell), a giant Venus flytrap-like plant, and, of course, hell.

And, my faithful three readers, a character from Hunted Past plays a significant role in this Hunted book. Plus, the hero is seriously hot. Just sayin’.

My glorious editor at Soulmate Publishing told me to expect to see Hunted Dreams published in the springtime, so start saving up! I have it on good authority that your brother, your significant other, your neighbor, your boss, your Zumba instructor, your co-volunteer at the animal shelter, and your Pit Bull would all like a copy. Plus, in the frenzy of book buying, don’t forget you! I guarantee you’re going to like this one.