Tuesday, July 17, 2012

200-Page Party!

This is big for me.  Today, my manuscript reached 200 pages!  Even though I still have a few chapters to go, already this is the longest, most complete piece of work I have ever done.  All my previous writings usually fizzled out at around page 50.

So to celebrate, I decided I'd post my synopsis of the book, as well as the customized playlist I've been writing to.  This is about as much as anyone's going to get out of me until the book's finished, so enjoy!

The Synopsis

It's taken him five long years, but Ethan Calhoun has finally paid off his gold dredge.  In a tough town like Nome, Alaska, dredging is one of the toughest ways to make a living, but Ethan's a tough man.  With plenty of hard work and a little luck, this summer is looking to be his most profitable season yet.

The arrival of Ava Faraday catches him right between the eyes.  Ava is tough, beautiful... and the last thing he needs.  Ethan has worked hard to put his difficult past behind him, but when he's around Ava, he's forced to face a side of himself he'd tried to forget.

Ava has long convinced herself she's better off on her own.  Exiled from what was once her home after the traumatic death of her mother, she's learned the hard way that people can only be relied on to do one thing: let you down.  She's spent most of her life adrift, doing what she can to survive, but lately it's become increasingly clear that all she's doing is spinning her wheels.

An unexpected cry for help gives her the excuse she needs to return to the only place she ever really belonged.  But what is supposed to be a fresh start is complicated by her inescapable attraction to the charming Ethan Calhoun.  He's gorgeous enough to be tempting- and just kind enough to be dangerous.  Wary of her overwhelming desire to trust him, and unwilling to risk her fragile heart, Ava knows the best thing to do is put as much distance between them as possible.

But a storm is brewing.  The son of Nome's most successful dredging family has been watching Ethan, and he doesn't like what he sees.  How dare an out-of-towner start scooping up gold on his turf?  With the help of someone on Ethan's own crew, he has a plan to get rid of Ethan- and Ava- for good.

The Playlist

You can tell a lot about the storyline of a movie based on it's soundtrack.  What does this playlist reveal about the book?

1) "Flower", Moby
2) "Gold In These Hills", Brandon Michael Kinder
3) "Cold Hard Bitch", Jet
4) "Witchy Woman", The Eagles
5) "Black Magic Woman", Santana
6) "Stormy Blues", Billie Holiday
7) "Tumblin' Down", Jenna Andrews (Quick Note: if you want to know what Ava Faraday looks like, find a picture of Jenna Andrews; I based Ava's appearance off of her!)
8) "One Of These Nights", The Eagles
9) "Black Cat Bone", Lee Rocker
10) "Heartache Tonight" The Eagles
11) "Runaway", Bonnie Raitt
12) "Luck Of The Draw", Bonnie Raitt
13) "Mystery", Indigo Girls
14) "Wonder", Megan McCauley
15) "Trouble", Pink
16) "Fuel", Metallica
17) "Reindeer Herding Song", Pamyua
18) "All That We Let In", Indigo Girls

Monday, July 16, 2012

Everything Old Is New Again (Sort Of)

I've noticed something (no, no, not that; the doctor said it was benign...).
I've noticed that in my writing, and in the flashes of inspiration I occasionally get, certain... "themes", for lack of a better word... keep cropping up.  Certain types of characters, certain situations, certain things I think just rage sexy.  This is probably not all that uncommon, and is probably not even all that interesting, but just for giggles, I thought I'd share what those things are.

Recurring "Themes" That Ramble Around In My Head

1) Tough main characters.  I don't know why.  I just think tough is hot.  Especially in women.  I don't think I could write about a heroine who is nice and sweet and just trying to find someone to appreciate how nice and sweet she is.  No offense to anyone who writes about heroines like that; I just couldn't do it.  I would hate her.
And of course, if the heroine is going to be tough, the hero had better be just as tough, if not tougher.  My ladies need a man who can keep up (feel free to read as much into that as your dirty little mind wants).

2) Blue collar professions.  By this, I mean my characters don't work in no stinking office.  The hero of my current novel is a gold-dredger.  The heroine of my next novel is a construction forewoman.  I guess it ties in with my "tough-is-hot" complex.  No offense to all you office workers out there- I'm sure you can be just as *bad* as anyone else- but working with your hands is tough.
And therefore, hot.

3) Music.  I have a soundtrack for my current book (maybe I'll share someday).  I have one for my next book.  The heroine of my current novel is a self-made blues singer (I'm just giving all kinds of stuff away, aren't I?).
Music just catches me right in the solar plexus, I don't know what else to say.  The right music puts me in the right frame of mind for what I'm writing about.  And if my characters aren't musical themselves, you better believe they know good music when they hear it.

4) Alcohol.  Wow, I hope my mother never reads this.  But my characters, much like I myself, like to drink.  Some of them like to drink a lot.  And no fru-fru girly drinks either; my heroines take whiskey, thank you.  Neat.  Maybe over ice, if it's really hot out.

5) Violence.  Before you ask, I had a lovely childhood.  But let's face it, folks, sex and violence usually go hand-in-hand (that, and sex and politics, but that's another show).   
That does not, repeat, not mean my heroes are ever violent with my heroines (or other female characters, either).  A man being violent with a woman isn't sexy; it's weak.  And my heroes are definitely not weak.
That said, my heroes do know how to handle themselves in a fight, and fight they will, usually to protect my heroines.
Not that they need the help, mind you, because my heroines can all kick some pretty wild tail on their own. 

6) An Obsession With "Place".  I love traveling.  I love getting lost and winding up somewhere new.  I love "forgetting" my GPS smartphone at home and having to navigate by wits alone.  And I have incurably itchy feet (isn't there a powder for that...?).
All of those things find their way into my writing.  Maybe it's just me, but when I read a book where the setting isn't explored at least a little bit, I feel like there's something missing.  I go to great lengths to pick a setting that I find interesting and compelling, and I'm almost neurotic about making sure I flesh it out as effectively as possible. 

I find this all mildly amusing to think about.  I hope you found it at least as mildly amusing to read.