meeting the mentor

The romantic hero in my current WIP has a mentor that has always been very clear in my head. Imagine my horror when I arrived at the scene where this mentor, Dave appears and there were no words on the page that described him. Dave is an important player in the story and was introduced as a faceless, formless, energy who tossed out a few words and the hero gallops off after his lady-love.

This is the point where a novelist must giggle. It is also the point where we thank our stars we are revising (again!) prior to handing our text over to more than a few trusted friends.

At this point in the story, the reader knows Dave is in his 50’s and the father of one of the other characters.  He will be described again through the eyes of another character but here’s how the reader first sees him:

In his standard uniform of brown twill pants, and a green, beige and white plaid flannel shirt, Dave seldom gave the appearance of a master mechanic. Grease and oil barely ever stained his clothes and even his fingers bore few traces of stain in the calluses or around the nails. It took little effort for Dave to change from marine mechanic to jaunty sailboat captain for the monthly romantic rendezvous Dave stated were requirements to keep his prostate healthy.

It doesn’t quite do justice to the image I have in my head, and some of the words are really lame, but what do you think?

Key of Solomon

Key of Solomon by Cassiel Knight is the first book of the new Relic Defender series. It’s a paranormal romance of the Angels and Demons genre and it can be found at the Samhaim Store which I’m going to have to check out in case there are more fun books like this. It’s only available as an ebook right now.

It’s a kick-assitude story of choices with mystical and historical elements. There are a variety of paranormal characters and some fascinating world building. Even some of the settings are paranormal like the Chicago strip club-that-allows-belly dancing where we first meet Lexi and Mikos.

Once Lexi (and readers) meet Rocky-the-changeling-imp the subtle shifts from dark and dangerous to surreal entertainment begin. The angel-demon politics are a bit bent, the dark angel wings are majestic and the vampy-cat-demon wears some great costumes that could horribly clash with her hair and eyes, if she was human.

It’s a quest story with surprising twists and Lexi is a sensual and reluctant heroine who can curl up in a chair and pout a bit that she really just wants to finish the quest and return to her life. If she really has to save humanity in the process, oh well, there are one or two humans worth saving. This reader would have liked a little more belly dancing.

The suspense is not where it was expected (which I liked) and the world building was fascinating. The novel has some great quotes and is lightly peppered with clichés delivered with precise timing. The story had its own style arc from dark and tense to surreal and suspenseful to wild and wacky while still being dark and tense.

It was an interesting and entertaining read and bodes well for future books in the series.

brave writing

Last night I met with my new critique partners for the third time, the second time where they actually had chapters of my novel to critique. It was affirming that they agreed with my self discoveries this past month about my own writing. It felt wonderful that I could present clear and honest encouragement about their writing as well.

Our only point of contention is whether my heroine is dry for the initial cute-meet with the romantic hero or if she looks like a drowned rat after having fallen into the icy Columbia River. I’ll be considering this because first contact is always a big deal, not just for the characters but the readers.

Today I had that on a personal level (not by plunging into icy waters)  because I met with the editor who’s worked on my memoir. I researched editors (I have many contacts) for the past two years and finally approached Marian Pierce.  She checked out my website and agreed, yes, it was a project that interested her.

The initial meeting was fun and professional but still two strangers meeting for the first time. She was impressed at the scope of the story and the extent of work I had already invested into the project. Today we had already exchanged emails regarding the overview of what we would attempt to cover in our two hour meeting.  I was pleased to know there were some things she thought were absolutely stellar and others that were horribly clunky.

It was a glorious moment in the day as I walked along the side of the Active Space building. The sun shone, the temperature in the 50’s, the breeze light.  Then I reached the corner and turned. Marian was standing on the street chatting with a friend. Then she saw me and her face lit up and she came toward me and embraced me in a hug. (I LOVE HUGS!)

“I feel I really know you, and your parents,” she said. And we laughed and made our way up to her friends bigger office, with couches, and had tea, and chatted about how to make the details of my life well presented in words.

Two hours later the little voice in my head was trying to count how many times she used the word “brave” in reference to me (six?) while being tickled that my stronger voice appeared around page 60 (instead of page 135 as the first editor claimed).

Then there was the topic of half a chapter that could be a whole book of its own. Yes, I am considering two other (brave!) memoirs. But the delight was how Marian stumbled over how invested she was in my story and wants to see it in print. She’ll discount her rates and invest hours into getting it polished. This is so awesome! I’m imaging future events where readers want to hug me! How cool is that?

The primary issue is, I know many consider my memoir as the ultimate horror story while also being the ultimate love story. The difference is – I think it is a rather common story.  Therein lies its power, it’s so common it is untold.