When the completely unexpected happens while writing…

I’ve always considered myself a plotter. There are certain things I HAVE to know before I can start writing. Usually, my process starts with an idea. Sometimes it’s a plot driven idea, other times it’s a character driven idea. This sets me up with the inciting incident and story question. I then jump to the climatic scene. Without that, I have no idea where the story is going. It’s like getting in the car and driving to the store without having any idea of where the store is and refusing to look at a map.

My next release, THE LOST SOUL, is the third book in my Raven Sister’s series. Each novella has it’s own storyline, however, one is dependent on the other. There is an arch that spans all four books and each one ends in a cliffhanger. This is a different kind of writing for me, since most of my series are all stand alones. When I finished writing THE LOST SOLDIER, wrapping up one piece of the puzzle, I left myself in an interesting situation. I had written myself into a corner, or so I thought.

Not to give too much away, The Raven Sister’s series is a paranormal/fantasy about 4 sisters destine to unite with quadruplet brothers separated at birth to form THE COLLECTIVE ORDER, a group of psychics who were once hunted as witches and burned at the stake in the past. In the present, each sister finds their soul-mate, their psychic abilities increase, as do the brothers. I ended the 2nd book with the hero of the 3rd book basically in a coma and the heroine needed to find him in the space between this reality and the past.

Wow. It still gives me a headache, lol. I knew what the climatic scene was, but all of a sudden, I had no idea how to get these two out of the past and into the present. And healthy. It took three false starts and a lot of phone calls to a couple of writer friends to come up with a solution. The funny part, was that the inciting incident was always right there in front of me. I had planted the seed in the first 2 books. All I really needed to do was step back and take a look at it from a different angle, and that’s when the surprising stuff happened.

This story took a very unexpected turn, but OMG, I had a blast writing it! Check out this link to an excerpt. Please follow me on Book+Main Bites Romance. I will be posting excerpts there of all my books! Also, please follow me on Amazon as well as Bookbub, so you never miss a new release or a special deal! Feel free to join me in my Facebook Group, The Talty crew, where I often give away ARC’s and run other contests!

A Road Trip for Inspiration

This past weekend my husband and I took a fun roadtrip so I could get a first hand perspective of a town for an upcoming book that I am co-writing with another author (Love Inked, The Twisted Love Series). It was a spur of the moment decision to head up and check it out and one I am so glad that I made! 

Sunday morning, hubby and I jumped in my car and hit the PA Turnpike to go west and then north to the little town of Centralia. Now, it might sound that exciting to go visit a small town in the middle of no where, but this town has some serious history. If you search Centralia PA, you’ll see it listed as the Town that is No More. Google lists it as a Ghost Town.

Why is that? Well, it’s because Centralia was once a up and coming mining town, and in 1962 while burning some rubish at the landfill, they started a fire in a mining shaft below ground. Today, the fire still burns underground (and is expected to burn at least another 200 years) and the entire town has been evacuated (expect about 7 residences who refuse to leave). The history is quite fascinating, and my visit there was awesome!

The series that I’m writing with Amy Manemann is a Romantic Suspense/Police Procedural series, and while the majority of it takes place in Philly, Centralia is going to play a big part in the upcoming books. Love Inked, Book 3 in the series will introduce the town, and Book 4 (Title not announced yet) the two female detectives will visit.

Now what’s in Centralia? Not much. A bunch of streets that have no signs, but navigation will tell you what their names used to be. A lot of plots of land overgrown between the roads, broken cement stairs that used to lead to homes, and lots of graffiti! There are a few homes left, and a municipal building along with a church and two cemetaries.

What I also found there was a whole lot of inspriation for our series. As I looked around, I could picture where things would happen, and I felt like Kali (the character) was ready to take on the investigation!  That little creek in front of me here, well let’s just say that you might see that again on the pages of a book.

All in all, my hubby and I had a great time. Not only doing the reseach, but just spending the day with each other. I’m blessed that I have a husband who is so encouraging and willing to help me out! Now I can’t wait to figure out my next location so we can visit that one too!

If you want to know more about my trip and the Twisted Love Series, join the Twisted Love Series Addicts Group on Facebook, and check out the first two books, Love Lorn by Amy Manemann and Love Torn, by me. Those two books give the back story on the upcoming Book Love Inked that releases on January 3rd.

 

 

 

 

My favorite question: Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?

My husband would tell you that he’s the inspiration for everything I write. Perhaps there is a little bit of truth to that. The things I write about are often taken right out of the things I see around me. For example: The Butterfly MurdersI first got the idea for this when a story broke in my home town of Rochester, NY about funeral homes taking bones, replacing them with PVC piping, and selling the bone marrow. I thought, what if someone was murdering people who had received organ donation? I know, it sounds dark, and it is a little bit on the dark side, but this is really a romance. A second chance romance. One of my favorite tropes. It’s really about two people who for whatever reason, spent time a part, lived separate lives, and came back together to help solve a crime and save the hero’s young son. I just got chills!

I also tend to write about the places I’ve lived, or visited, that I have strong ties to and the biggest one is Lake George, NY. Do you every close your eyes and you think of your childhood, specific memories stick out? When I think of my summers spent in Lake George, I can see the clear crystal waters. Feel the chilly air in August against my skin. Smell the fire crackling while we roast marshmallows and tell ghost stories. And I remember the feeling of climbing on the back of a State Trooper’s bike at age 8 and going for a ride down to the country store for an ice cream. I can feel how the State Trooper Helicopter swooped down low over the lake when I was 10 and I saw the entire SCUBA team moon me! What a treat for a little girl, LO.

I wrote a 7 book series set in Lake George, NY: The New State Trooper Series. Every single book is based on a location that has very strong memories for me. The first book in the series I borrow from the servants house we rented and my best-friend’s home at the time. I write about a big white hotel (changed the name) in the middle of Lake George, and a pub that was in my backyard where I used to pick big, plump raspberries. Each book has slightly different location on the 32 mile lake, but each one holds something special in my heart.

 

But, I also get inspired by mine and other people’s emotions. Their strengths and weaknesses. Their greatest moments and those times in life that bring into a dark place. My contribution to Love, Christmas 2 came to me when I thought of my best girlfriend who lost her husband and everything she has done over the last four years to help her children cope with the loss of their father, something I also know a little about since my father passed away when I was 17. The premise is based on a Hallmark movie, but the emotions are raw.

It’s often said that writers bleed on the page. I believe that is true. A little piece of me, my life experiences, my emotions, my perception of my past and my dreams of the future, all end up in my stories.

Do you believe in soulmates?

I’ve been married for 30 years and sometimes, when I look back on when we met, I think if there are two people on this planet meant to be together, it’s us.

But, the pragmatic person in me then thinks, well, if you, or your parents, your your husband, or his parents had made one decision differently, then would you have ever met?

I have one paranormal/fantasy novella series all about soulmates. Couples who are pre-destined to be together. It’s based on a legend I made about a Fairy Princess and a wolf and it turned into a four book series about a new creature called: Wolfairies. This is my first paranormal series and I’m honestly loving the world-building. It’s filled with action, mystery, and love.

Three of the four are available now. The last one will be out early next year. However, it’s best to read them in order since there is an overarching plot.

I hope you’ll check them out.

Amazon

Amazon

Amazon

Don’t forget to pick up your pre-order copy of Love, Christmas 2

Preorder now from Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

For 99 cents you will get a deal you won’t regret. How can you go wrong? At this time, the collection is on pre-order and will be released Oct 16th.

My book, A Christmas Getaway, is part of the collection.