Working on the revision…

Finished revision of Ch1 for Stronger. I’m quite pleased. The first scene didn’t need a whole lot of work except for smoothing out the voice, because it hadn’t changed a lot from the very original scene I wrote in 2002. My voice has evolved quite a lot since then, so it needed to be updated to match.

Other things were that I finally decided to change the city the book is set in. I’d been considering doing so for awhile but when I ended up swapping Alex from male to female — which resulted in most of the primary characters in the book being bi or gay — it made a lot more sense to set it in San Francisco rather than LA. Also, it helps that I actually know a lot of people who either live currently in SF or the surrounding area.

Also descriptions from friends, including some who have been to both, sounds like SF is pretty close to Seattle in tone, which I am familiar with, and LA… is decidedly a different creature altogether.

It’s interesting to see the number of things that change both subtly and not with Lex being a woman. There’s a part of the second scene where she and Aster are arguing about how when it came down to fighting against a rebellion, Lex had just lost a very dear friend in the fighting. Her response to this was to lock Aster in her room to keep her from fighting, because she didn’t want to lose her, too. The undertones are really incredibly different with the gender switch.

And other things have a different tone, too. The rivalry between her and Eric is different — there’s the jealousy that Eric wasn’t chosen to be their leader’s protege, but there’s also resentment there because Lex is a woman, and Latina at that. And there’s doubts that she can lead the Dark Court because she’s a woman.

I kinda expected there would be differences going back and revising, but I don’t think I quite realized how strong they would be! I think the original story was good, but there is a whole different level of depth here, and I’m quite pleased with it.

It’s done!

Stronger than the Night is complete at 108k words. 😀

I am so stoked about this. This is the first full-length novel I’ve completed since 2006, when I finished A Passion Draconic. I had the novel sitting around 80k when I came back to it in mid-July. I didn’t do much on it from mid August to September because of an issue with POV in one scene (and instead of realizing it was POV, I kept attributing not working on it to other things), but… almost 30k in three months. Woohoo! That’s more than I’ve written in the past couple years!

I still have a lot of work to do. It needs a lot of editing. In part, I need to pare some scenes down, because I had this nervous twitch, so to speak, where every scene needed to be a certain length (because I was doing one scene per chapter vs. several scenes per chapter), and I think there are some that are artificially inflated. I also, obviously, have to complete the gender switch for A/Lex and that’s going to be a little more complicated than just changing pronouns. But I have faith it is going to be much more awesome because of it!

However, edits are going to wait! Because November is NaNoWriMo, and I will be doing it. Or at least attempting it. The suicide lesbian zombie story I have been planning on writing for, oh, ten years, is finally going to get written. I’m in the process of outlining it and have some 30-odd scenes. It’s going to be a different flavor of story than the rest of my work, but I’m hoping it will still be awesome. 😉

Current projects

So I actually have been writing lately. 🙂

I finished up revisions on a Shadowguard prequel, Severed Spirits Rising, the other day. I’ve been sitting on it for, man, a couple years now. I had some really nasty crap happen right around when I finished it that resulted in me leaving it be. That, and the fact that Shadowguard has not sold as well as I would like; as much as I love the setting and characters, I can’t justify spending the time with it right now.

I found that it was on the upper end of acceptability for Tor.com, so figured, hey, what the hell? It’s just sitting on my hard drive. So I fixed up the ending and my writing buddy Robert spent all night going over it with me and tightening so it fit the word count limit. We’ll see where that goes. I’m trying not to get my hopes up, since I’m competing with authors like Catherynne Valente here, but hey, what the hell, right? 🙂

As far as other writing, I’m working on Stronger than the Night again. This one has come and gone so many times over the years. It’s in the same setting as the Shadowguard stories but told from a different perspective; where Shadowguard focuses on Arielle and the FBI side of the world, Stronger comes at it from the side of the “monsters”, the paranormal underworld. Initially, I wrote it nearly ten years ago, when I was 17, but I’ve changed and grown a lot as a writer since then. (I should certainly hope so!) I started rewriting it a few years ago but stalled out with all the drama.

I picked it back up again to finish recently. And I made a massive change to the story. I’ve made a somewhat interesting revelation recently, which is that I’ve had a very hard time writing romances, or romantic subplots, with men. It’s not that I have anything against it, but I’ve been wanting to write love stories between women for years now, and I kept putting it off because — it won’t sell, or nobody wants to read it, or I shouldn’t write it because people in my crit group think I shouldn’t.

And I was thinking about Stronger and a thought came to me. What about changing the male lead’s gender? What about making him a woman? I initially disregarded it but it kept nagging at me, because Alex always was a more feminine sort of guy. Feminine man but he’d be a slightly butch woman. And then I realized that it fit in with the rest of the theme of the planned series. The rest of the books? Book 2 is a lesbian romance, 3 is a gay romance, and 4 involves a transgendered woman as love interest. Starting off with a straight relationship didn’t give a good idea of the rest of the series.

Plus, it’s something a little different in the sea of dark broody alpha males. 🙂

I have a couple other things up my sleeves but they’re taking backseat to Stronger right now. I have twelve scenes left and then I’m finished with the book! And then I get to jump into revising the first half of the story, which needs some fairly massive work.

But there is progress! 😀

She’s back…

“Guess who’s back
Back again
Shady’s back
Tell a friend
Guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back
guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back…”

*hums the rest of Eminem’s Without Me* 😉

I’m not even going to comment on how long it’s been since I’ve blogged here. Bottom line is, way too fucking long. Last year was stressful and busy as all hell, and while this year has had its stresses, my biggest problem has been getting my fibro pain under control. My doc upped my pain prevention meds and also wrote me a script for breakthrough pain medication — so yay on that front!

Writing-wise, I’m currently working on The Shadow Unveiled, the sequel to The Twilight Deception. It picks up immediately where the first novella left off, and involves a lot more emotion as Jackson and Arielle’s relationship deepens. It’s wicked fun to write. 🙂

In other good news, I have a R&R from Total E-Bound for one of my erotic shorts. It needs a bit more sexing up, but that shouldn’t be too big a deal as I can see a couple places to add scenes that will deepen the overall story. I wouldn’t do it if it were going to be gratuitous; that’s one of my biggest peeves in erotic fiction.

Oh, and I’ve also changed the layout of the site with help from my dear husband. If you’re reading this via RSS, check out the main page at http://www.nonnymorgan.com 😀

I am alive…

Really. I promise.

*sigh*

It’s been a very hectic month and a half. Every time I turn around, something else has gone wrong. We keep having car trouble (Stitches the Shitmobile can’t decide whether or not it wants to be dead or alive), one of our kittens has a bad infection and is being treated with antibiotics for it, and sundry other things have managed to sneak up and clock me one over the head.

Needless to say, I haven’t been getting much in the way of writing done. My World of Warcraft characters, however, have been gaining levels at a fairly decent clip. 🙄

I’m trying to get back into the swing of things, though. I’ve been making some good progress on Stronger than the Night the past week or so, mostly thanks to getting back with my group of writing buddies. I’d had a nasty falling-out with one person due to several miscommunications compounded by external stress, which left the whole group splintered. Thankfully, said person and I talked recently and seem to have worked things out. *crosses fingers*

I really ought be working on the sequel to A Passion Draconic, but seeing as how Stronger is already in progress and most of the way completed… it makes more sense to give it priority. (I think.)

Coming Soon… (Okay. Really soon.)

Wasting the DawnIf you remember me talking about the erotic short story I was working on for Forbidden Publications… this is the cover. Dayna designed it for me; isn’t it cool? 😀

A bit about the story:

Five years after Irina’s death in a tragic accident, Gareth and Rhiannon still grieve for the loss of the woman they both loved. Every year, they stand vigil upon the anniversary of her death.

But when a freak occurrence brings Irina back from the grave for one night only, all three must face their regrets and unspoken passions–before darkness claims her forever.

It’s coming out January 29th (Monday!) along with the rest of the books in FP’s Valentine’s Day collection:

Sela Carsen: The Virgin Courtesan (historical; sensual)
Stacy Dawn: Apple of His Eye (contemporary; mainstream (aka nonerotic)
CJ England: Angel Eyes and Demon Lies (paranormal; carnal)
Dayna Hart: Wings of Love (fantasy; mainstream)
Loribelle Hunt: Be Mine (contemporary; sensual)
Crystal Jordan: Twice in a Blue Moon (paranormal; carnal)
Jennifer Leeland: Naughty Notions (contemporary; carnal)
JT Schultz: Cupid’s Target (paranormal; sensual)
Shelli Stevens: Cabin Fever (contemporary; carnal)

A Passion Draconic Available Now!

A Passion DraconicA Passion Draconic has been released from Liquid Silver Books. (YAY! *squee*) The blurb:

Healer-Priestess Shaiandral would rather let the Dragonlord rot than save him. But when her Healer’s oath is called upon, she must rise above the contention between their two shifter tribes and travel to his realm.

When she arrives, the Dragonlord Veren is dying of a magical toxin. Shaiandral makes a sacrifice of her own blood to raise the required energy for healing, but her actions raise a demon from Veren’s flesh. A demon that can become incorporeal at will and is impossible to fight.

The demon gives her two options. She can either sacrifice her Oath-bound virginity to heal Veren–or she can become his new host. At first Shaiandral refuses, but faced with a choice between losing her virginal power or losing herself, she chooses the lesser of two evils. Taking hold of the rising energies, she threads them into a complex weave. Just when she thinks she’s failed, Veren takes a deep breath, returning to life. Using the power released in her orgasm, Shaiandral forces the demon into a wilting red rose, binding him forevermore.

Except Shaiandral has caused more problems than she’s solved. The sacrifice has left her with a sudden, consuming lust–and an inexplicable attraction to Veren, a man she should hate. Now, a demonic infiltration threatens both their realms. Can they overcome their differences and work together to stop this threat before the demons take hold once more?

Interested in an excerpt? Clicky!

(I’ll have a contest of some kind up in a couple days or so. ;))

One down…

I finished my short story for Forbidden Publications’ Valentine’s Day collection yesterday. It ended up about 8k long — so much for my 5k estimate — and I’m rather pleased with it. There’s some things I want to go over and punch up, but overall, I think it came out quite nicely. 🙂

Now that that’s done, I’m back to working on Stronger than the Night, as well as preparing what equates to a series plan. I need to figure some things out on that end first, though. All in all, I’m a busy kitty. 😉

I’ve been Snarked

Okay, not really. For all that people have quivered over the prospect of submitting to Miss Snark’s Happy Hooker Crap-o-meter, she really hasn’t been that snarky, outside of the hooks that seriously deserved it. (A good majority of the commenters, though, are another story entirely.)

What Miss Snark said about mine: “This is unfocused and a recitation of events. Use the XYZ to get the important factors on the page, then start over.”

I appreciate the time and effort Miss Snark has taken to run the Crap-o-meter and comment on everything, but I’m not sure how useful this has been for me. I haven’t read all of the hooks, but there have been others she’s said were unfocused and unsuitable that bear a striking similarity in structure to “winning” queries posted by other authors and agents–ones specialising in romance, fantasy, or other genre fiction.

The “hooks” that she’s liked (that I’ve seen) … I was not at all impressed by, and probably would not have given a second look. But, then, I don’t like the vast majority of literary mainstream fiction. I find it boring.

I’m not sure what to take away from this. I’ve had the query critted by several different people, who have liked it. It seems to be in line with what I’ve seen on SF/F blogs and such. I think I’m going to chalk this one up more to taste… and that’s not a bad thing.

But I think it’s something important to keep in mind. One person’s trash is another’s treasure and all that. 😉

Whee!

So, I officially have a release date for A Passion Draconic:

January 22nd, 2007.

Yay! 😀