Tink...tink...tink...anyone out there? Hi! I'm Barbara Donlon Bradley - Author - editor and slightly crazy - ask anyone in my family. I hope to use this blog to talk about writing, editing and whatever pops in my head. Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Shameless promoting! Latest update on the Vespian Way

I'm excited to let everyone know that Phaze is releasing my entire Vespian Way series in print to get ready for the release of my fifth book in the series - Hesitant Desire at the end of May.


Blurb for Hesitant Desire: Heather swore she’d never go back to Aruka after a mission had gone bad. The planet had an archaic view of women and Heather fought against those views, angering one man to the point of whipping her. Now Earth has requested she rescue a missing woman on that planet. She wants to say no, but Storm has already accepted for her, as long as he accompanies her. They hoped it would be a quick in and out assignment but didn’t expect to run into the man carrying such hatred for her all these years. Now they have to try to finish their mission while evading the man who’s only goal is to make Heather pay for her crimes.

Dominated by Desire was released on April 9th!

Blurb for Dominated By Desire: Heather can’t believe she is the only person on Earth that can protect Storm, the ambassador from Vespia. It has something to do with some pheromone the Vespian male exudes. Although everyone tells her she is immune she doesn’t agree. There is something about the man that makes her desire skyrocket whenever she is around him.

Storm finds the Heather fascinating, bright violet eyes that hold a world of emotions in them. He finds himself drawn to her, wanting her with a depth he never experienced before. When she becomes the focal point of several kidnapping attempts he realizes she’s going to need his protection, the perfect excuse to get to know her better.

Passionate Desire was released on April 23rd!

Blurb for Passionate Desire: Storm and Heather’s story continues…
Kuarto hates getting sucked into the passionate releases of a couple he has suddenly developed a mindlink with. The only time the three of them merge is when they’re climaxing. They can’t stay away from each other and it is interfering with his work. If things weren’t bad enough a beautiful woman crash lands in his backyard. He goes to the site to rant and rave but learns her memory is gone. Until he can release her memory he has to explain her presence so pretends she is his mail-order bride. Passion flares between them as he does his best to figure out who she is.

Toki was sent to speak to Heather’s brother but she loses her memory when her ship crash lands near his house. Memory or not he is a handsome man and she is drawn to him. They become intimate quickly and she can’t get enough. By the time her brother and mate come to find her she knows her feelings for Kuarto are real and she has to choose between a job she has been groomed for all her life or the man who is her destiny.

Animal Desire should be released on the 30th and Unwanted Desire should be released at the beginning of May.

Animal Desire Blurb: Heather is now six months pregnant and finds her mate a bit overprotective. She can’t help if she glows when she is frustrated. Things get a little more complicated when she is called home because of Ialog. He released information, making it look like she is being mistreated by the Vespians. How is she going to hide her pregnancy? She left Earth sterile.

Storm isn’t happy about her leaving the safety of Vespia, but wants to show that Heather is happy and safe under his care. He knows Ialog and is worried the man is going to try to take his mate from him again. His fears become very real when Ialog kidnaps her. Now he has to find a way to bring her home.


Unwanted Desire Blurb: Heather and Storm’s story continues:
Sam can’t remember her past. The only reason she knows her name is because of a necklace found on her. Her lack of memory makes her perfect to work undercover as an event coordinator for Carlos Mason, an entrepreneur who has ties to the seedier side of business. When someone makes an attempt on Mason’s life Skye Latimer is assigned to be her bodyguard. Now Sam has to deal with trying to get her memory back, an annoying man she finds she can’t ignore and find something the government can use against Mason.

Skye Latimer has been told to keep Samantha safe at all costs. He doesn’t know why, but it doesn’t matter. He is the best. Getting close to her was easy. Keeping his hands to himself is another matter. Now Skye has to fight his growing attraction to Sam, try to figure out who she really is as well as keep her from being forced to do whatever Mason has planned.

Hesitant desire is supposed to be released in e-book as well as print at the end of May.

Be on the lookout!


Barb:)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Writing Down the Bones: First Person Vs Third Person

When you start your manuscript you need to ask yourself if you want to write in first person or third person. Although most fiction works are written in third there are a few exceptions. Murder mysteries are well known for being in first person.

There isn't a steadfast rule that says you must write in third person. I think most of us do it because it is easier to switch between your main characters when you want to switch the point of view.

But if you're going to write in first person you have to stick with it throughout the scene (and most stick to the one character through the whole book) you're working on. Writing it all in first person then suddenly switching to third will confuse your reader.

I have noticed if you decide to write in first person you will learn point of view very quickly. You can only convey what is going on through the eyes of your character and no one else in that scene. POV purists will tell you that you have to do that with third person as well, but I have seen authors switch in the middle of a scene - in fact I'm guilty of it myself - if there was something I wanted to convey and it only takes one line I will switch POV's for that moment. It's a lot more jarring when you switch from first person to third person.

I know, you've read books by very famous authors who head hop all the time. Big name authors can break the rules, but those of us who are just starting out shouldn't. Publishers want a clean manuscript. They don't have the time to teach an author the art of writing and if your story is good but needs a lot of editing and there is another manuscript that is good but doesn't have to be cleaned up that much guess which one the editor is going to buy?

The decision to write in first or third is up to the author. It depends on how you want to convey the story. Once you decide though stick to it. Don't confuse your readers, your editor or yourself by switching back and forth.




Monday, April 15, 2013

Writing Down the Bones: Past Tense Vs Present Tense

Past tense or present tense - which one will work best for your manuscript? I have found it easier to tell a story in past tense. But I think it comes naturally for me because most of the books I read are in past tense.

I know it can be a little confusing when writing dialog, character thoughts, and description. When and where should you use the present tense vs the past tense?

The best rule of thumb I can give you is the one I use - if in dialogue use present tense. Description is normally in past tense.

Here's an example:

"And Bob stands there while she dumps the whole jar of pickles on him." - how many times have you retold and used present tense to retell a story? As a writer you need to trust your instincts on something like this.

Bob stood there while she dumped the whole jar of pickles on him. - I took the quotes away and turned it into a description so I used past tense.

But what about thoughts?

Most publishers want you to use them sparingly so I'd try to stay away but if you feel the need.

Bob stood there. Please tell me she's not going to dump that whole jar on me. - Bob stood there - past tense because it's a description. Please tell me she's not going to dump that whole jar on me. - internal dialogue - changed to first person and present tense.

I hope this makes sense to you as you write. The one thing I'm trying to say is to watch your tenses as you write. You should be sure if you are writing in present tense you need to stick to it. Same thing with past tense. 


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Writing Down the Bones: Editing Galleys

As I write these Writing Down the Bones posts you'll find I bounce around a little, depending on what I run across as I'm editing. This post is a perfect example. I've been working on editing the galleys for Dominated By Desire for its print release.

Never had to deal with anything like this before. When I sold to Harshell Word Factory and Melange the print copy released the same time as the electronic so whatever changes I made before publication went into both versions. Phaze releases the electronic version and based on sales they might release the print version. Dominated by Desire had been out a little over a year when I learned it would be released in print.

First I did the happy dance. Then I noticed that the release date came and went. Hmmm. I saw a memo that said something about galleys, but didn't give it a thought. Never dealt with those before. Those galleys showed up in my e-mail box for me to go through and proof.

You know what it taught me? You can always catch something you missed in the edits you did before. I was grateful there weren't too many but I found misspelled words, missing commas, things like that. And my editor and I went through that book with a fine tooth comb. How did those little buggers get through?

It's the author's dilemma.

As the writer you don't always notice the misspelled word, or even the wrong spelling but the right word, whether or not you have commas in the right place or overused words. After awhile you see what you think is on the page, not what is really there. That is why having a set of new eyes is important. Your editor or critique partner don't know the story as well as you do and will help you catch things you missed. Understand though that they aren't perfect.

Happy to say that the galleys are done And Dominated by Desire will be out on April 9th. And you know what? I wouldn't be surprised if someone reads the book and still finds errors. We're only human.

Barb:)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Writing down the Bones: Talking Heads

Now we're not talking about the band The Talking Heads and I'm sure that dates me a little but I do love them.

Talking heads is when you have too much dialogue and very little description.

Here's an example - an excerpt from Book 8 of the Vespian Way. Heather and Storm have gone undercover as Nusi - Heather and Luprin - Storm:


“A poor excuse. I expect regular contact on regular intervals if you know you’re going to be out of communication.”
“Yes, sir.”
“Is Nusi there?”
“Yes, sir,” she responded. They knew better than to lie.
“You are now co-leader of this group. You two will share the duties and responsibilities over what happens together.”
“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.”
“Don’t make me regret this decision.”
“I promise you won’t, sir.” Heather grinned. Now she was his equal. Something that was being communicated to every member as they spoke.
“I expect your updated itinerary first thing in the morning.”
“Yes, sir.” Storm turned off the machine and turned toward Heather. “You found that funny.”
“How does it feel to be on the receiving end?”
“I’ve been there before.”
“Not in a long while.” She pressed a few buttons and revealed the bed. “Nice.”
“And you have been?” He hooked his fingers in her skirt and pulled her toward him.
“More times than I care to count.”
“That is because you don’t follow the rules.”
“I do too.” She jammed her hands on her hips. “Was I wrong in deviating from not contacting headquarters when I saw the opportunity to tag them?”
“I’m not saying that.”
“I always tried to follow the commands passed down from headquarters, but they aren’t always in the field to see what is happening. If I thought I could do it better, or quicker than I did it.”

That is pretty much nothing but dialog - a couple of tags here and there and I hope they make it easy for you to figure out who is talking

To make the scene three dimensional you need to add the place where the characters are. What they might be wearing, or feeling. Show what they are seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching - the five senses. The five senses don't work in every scene - like tasting, if they're not eating you can't always use that but try to work them in as much as possible.


“A poor excuse." Fridon's voice filled the room they were in. "I expect regular contact on regular intervals if you know you’re going to be out of communication.”
“Yes, sir.” Storm kept his face from reacting to the fact his second was now yelling at him. He had trained him well.
“Is Nusi there?”
“Yes, sir,” she responded. They knew better than to lie. The system had probably picked up her heartbeat and let him know there were two people in the small wagon, which is why he asked for her in the first place.
“You are now co-leader of this group. You two will share the duties and responsibilities over what happens together.”
“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.”
“Don’t make me regret this decision.”
“I promise you won’t, sir.” Heather grinned. Looked like she had already shown that although she broke the rules earlier it was a smart move. Now she was Storm's equal. Something that was being communicated to every member as they spoke.
“I expect your updated itinerary first thing in the morning.”
“Yes, sir.” Storm turned off the machine and turned toward Heather. Who was grinning from ear to ear. “You found that funny.”
“How does it feel to be on the receiving end?” She couldn't keep the laughter out of her voice.
“I’ve been there before.”
“Not in a long while.” She pressed a few buttons and revealed the bed. “Nice.”
“And you have been?” He hooked his fingers in her skirt and pulled her toward him.
The heat of  his hands as it brushed against her skin had her thinking more about the bed than their conversation. “More times than I care to count.”
“That is because you don’t follow the rules.”
“I do too.” She jammed her hands on her hips, her desire forgotten for the moment. “Was I wrong in deviating from not contacting headquarters when I saw the opportunity to tag them?”
“I’m not saying that.”
“I always tried to follow the commands passed down from headquarters, but they aren’t always in the field to see what is happening. If I thought I could do it better, or quicker than I did it.”

Now the scene has more descriptive info. The small details I added should help fill in the blanks about what they were thinking and where they were. Made it more three dimensional and a little easier to visualize. Once I finish the manuscript I'll go back and polish it even more and I plan on posting the scene again so you can see the different changes I'll continue to make on it.

Barb:)