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Posts Tagged ‘Dark Moon’

Me and Alex Adsett - super agent

Me and Alex Adsett – super agent

I haven’t posted for a long time, and one of the reasons is after advice from my brilliant agent, Alex Adsett, I became a bit of a writing hermit (when I wasn’t doing family stuff, working or doing presidential things for Romance Writers of Australia!) and was concentrating on finishing the Witch-Were Chronicles so we could go out with them and try to get a publisher as interested in these stories as we are.

And guess what? After a year and a half of hard work, writing my writerly fingers to the bone and wearing out a computer (and frustrating my family when I wouldn’t answer them as I was too caught up in my characters and their problems 😉 ), the wonderful Kate Cuthbert at Harlequin Escape, proved to be just as interested as Alex and I are in this world of Were, Witches, Shifters, powers gone wrong, curses and a prophecy that could destroy them all.

I now have a 4 book contract with Harlequin Escape for the Witch-Were Chronicles – so, really, hard work and being a writing hermit truly does pay off!

You can see Alex’s post announcing this exciting news here:

The Witch-Were Chronicles sells to Harlequin Escape

Or simply read what she said about the sale here:

AAPS is excited to announce that the amazing Leisl Leighton has signed with Harlequin Escape to publish The Witch-Were Chronicles. This four-book series is paranormal romance at its best – brilliant world building, strong heroines, and sexy heroes, with ancient curses haunting the werewolf packs of modern Australia.

Leisl is the much-loved president of the Romance Writers of Australia, and has previously published two titles with Penguin Destiny.

Escape will publish all four books of The Witch-Were Chronicles later this year as a digital box set. This means that Leisl’s fans and new followers can binge-read the whole series in one go – no waiting.

Harlequin Escape is the digital-first imprint of Harlequin Australia, and this represents AAPS’ first official sale to the Escape imprint.

 

I am really excited that these books, tentatively titled, Witch, Healer, Blood and Ghost, will finally go out to readers later this year and hope that everyone will fall in love with my Witches, Weres and Shifters as much as Alex, Kate and I have.

Happy reading everyone and stay tuned for more news on the Witch-Were Chronicles – I will share publication dates, covers etc as they come to light.

I love series, whether in book form or on TV or at the movies. I love when there are characters to follow and a story arc that encompasses episodes or books that requires me to remember events and references from former episodes/books to help give depth and greater understanding of what’s going on. I love the cleverness of the writing when something is references in the VERY FIRST EPISODE and then the payoff for that is in the last episode/book. It blows my mind and makes me go back to watch/read the series over and over again to enjoy it all over again, and if it’s really good, get even more out of it on each read/viewing.

It’s nice to know others think that series are pretty hot shit too. Check out what Kristen Lamb has to say about why she thinks series are amazing, are coming back into popularity (although for some of us, they were never ‘out’ in the first place) and why we need them. Love this.

Series and psychopaths: the author sadist and why authors love the pain.

I am reading a lot of posts at the moment on various loops with people setting themselves goals for the year. It’s the time of the year when people do set their goals for all sorts of things, which is all very good. I think goal setting is essential to long term success, as long as you are sensible about it. Goals are a reflection of what we dream for ourselves – and if you are a creative person, you are already half way there because it is in your nature to dream.

Dream

Dream – dreamstime.com

However, the goals you make do need to be achievable to a certain extent, otherwise you are always going to fall short and fail at whatever it is you are trying. I really love this picture I found on dreamstime.com – it sums up completely how I think your goals should be set.

This being a writer’s blog, I am of course going to talk in relation to writing goals, but this is true for goal setting for any pursuit.

Goals like: I want to finish writing a novel/I want to enter a competition/I want to submit to an editor/agent are all good, reasonable goals that are all about head down bum up and personal determination. Goals like: I want to become a NYT best selling author or become a world famous author like JK Rowlings, are perhaps a little more out of your control. They still may be achievable, and certainly could/should be on your list as one of those pie in the sky kind of goals, but they shouldn’t be what makes up your list. Goals like: I want to get a perfect score/come first in that comp or have everyone love my books, are most likely not achievable as you can’t control how people are going to feel about your writing, no matter how good you get at it (case in point, this blog from NYT bestselling author, Nora Roberts).

©Romeo1232 dreamstime images

©Romeo1232 dreamstime,com

I know when I started writing, one of my dreams was to be published and now that dream has come true after a lot of hard work and perseverence (head down, bum up). Now that dream has turned into being continuously published, having print books as well as digital and making a career of some sort out of my writing. This dream is part pie in the sky, part head down, bum up (fingers on keyboard). Pie in the sky, because some of it is beyond my direct control ( whether editors will continue to be interested in my writing and I’m writing something readers want to buy in an overcrowded market), head down bum up because I need to keep working at my writing, doing the actual writing, taking advice from my critique partners and writing groups and agent and working on that, building my author profile through social media etc etc etc. With perseverence and plenty of head down bum up, I should achieve the pie in the sky because my goal isn’t unreasonable and isn’t completely out of my control, and if traditional publishers won’t publish what I’m writing, I am educating myself about self publishing and will make certain I’m in a good position to give that the best go I can – and that is in my control. It speaks to the D.R.E.A.M picture above – I am dedicated to my writing, I am responsible about it (making sure I do it), I educate myself to improve and find out more about the industry, all of this indicates my attitude is good and I keep myself motivated to do it by being with and talking to others with similar goals and loves.

Some of the lists I’m reading about from other writers are a good mix of goals in the person’s control and a few pie in the sky ones thrown into the mix, but some are completely made out of pie in the sky – and in my experience, these last are the people who always end up giving up. I have to say I think this is because they can’t achieve any of their goals. A new writer saying they want to become a NYT bestselling author by the end of the year when they haven’t even submitted to an editor or finished their first manuscript is perhaps a goal that isn’t going to be reached. It would be like a 40 year old who had never run before saying they were going to win the 100m at the next Olympics. Very unlikely to happen unless your fairy godmother happened by and hit you with a zap of magic that gave you the legs of a champion runner half your age.

So, when goal setting, mix some sense in amongst your dreams.

Best New Author AusRomI have to admit that I’m not in the mood for setting goals for the year to come right now. The last part of last year was pretty tough on the personal front and on the professional front and it’s really left me feeling drained, however, I do feel I need to give myself something to aim for. My overall goals haven’t changed – I want to write and edit up for submission a few more books and submit them and put this on repeat until I achieve my overall goal of an established, ongoing writing career – something that does seem to be a little more achievable now than it did part way through last year because I’ve recently been nominated as Best New Author on AusRom and have also made it into the finals for Best Paranormal Romance ARRA Finalist Badgein the ARRA (Australian Romance Reading Association) awards – so people are liking what I write. Very nice to know. 🙂

So, that will continue to be my goal for this year on the writing front – at a minimum, finish writing the Dark Moon series (I’m editing up book 3, Blood Moon at the moment and have a few chapters of book 4, Ghost Moon, written) and finish writing the romantic suspense I’m working on and submit them to my agent. At a maximum I will also finish re-editing the first book in my Seer’s Blood series and resubmit that as well. Plenty to get on with, but it is achievable and working toward the ongoing goal.

How about you? What are your goals? And when setting them, remember to D.R.E.A.M big, but also dream sensible.

I have been invited by the fabulous Jennifer St George to participate in the Meet the Character Blog Hop. You can read about her chosen character, the fabulous, sexy and mysterious Nicolo Capitini in Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon here. Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon

Jennifer writes sexy romances set in exotic locations and is one of the rising stars of Destiny Romance.

The rules of the blog hop is that I introduce a character from a book I’m writing or is about to be released and answer the set questions about them. Then I have to tag another person to continue the hop. The character I’ve chosen is River Collins from Healer Moon, the second in the Witch Were Chronicles which started with Dark Moon.

MEET THE CHARACTER 

1.) What is the name of your character? 

River Collins

2.) Is he fictional or a historic person? 

He is fictional – although he feels completely real to me. 

3.) When and where is the story set? 

The story is set just a few years into our future and is set in Melbourne, Australia. 

4.) What should we know about him? 

River is a Werewolf who has had to suppress his true nature for most of his life when he and his twin sister (Skye Collins) were kidnapped from the Pack they were a part of by their grandparents to keep them safe from the people who had killed Skye and River’s parents. Skye is the heroine of Dark Moon, the first in the Witch-Were Chronicles, and when we meet River in that novel he is most definitely not himself. He has been drugged to help him deal with the anger of his wolf at being forcibly repressed for close to 20 years, and despite a few moments of clarity, seems to be living in a fantasy world. He has a talent for and love of gardening and spends much of his time in the garden doing beautiful landscapes.

DarkMoon_cover5.) What is the main conflict? What messes up his life? 

In Blood Moon, River is off the drugs, but after years of having his wolf repressed, he finds he can’t change into anything but a half-man, half-wolf monster that is so full of rage, it wants to kill everyone, especially the woman who is meant to be his mate, the Pack’s Healer, Bronwyn Kincaid. He is fighting himself at all times and his wolf’s desire to be with his mate – which he knows can’t happen, because he is broken and dangerous. Add to this the fact that the insane Witch from Dark Moon responsible for his parents’ death is after him to use the schism in his nature to help her destroy his people and take all the magic for herself, and there is more than enough for him to be messed up about.

6.) What is the personal goal of the character? 

To save his Pack and his mate and to protect Bronwyn from him and stop the mating from coming into being. He thinks the answer is to get away from them all and kill himself so that he won’t be a part of destroying them – which is more difficult than it sounds, because they are keeping him constantly under surveillance, aware that he is a target. He’d also like to find some way of killing Morrigan, the insane Witch who has made it her life’s mission to destroy the Were.

7.) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it? 

It’s called Healer Moon and is the 2nd novel in the Witch-Were Chronicles, the first of which, Dark Moon, was published this year.

8.) When can we expect the book to be published or when was it published?

I am still polishing it and writing Blood Moon and Ghost Moon, the 3rd and 4th in the series, but hope that it will be ready to be submitted next year. 

So, that is River’s story. And next week it will be time to hop to Sasha Cottman’s blog to find out more about her chosen character.

sasha cottman author picAbout Sasha

Born in England, but raised in Australia, Sasha has a love for both countries. Having her heart in two places has created a love for travel, which at last count was to over 55 countries. A travel guide is always on her pile of new books to read.

Five years ago, Sasha accidently enrolled in a romance writing course. Other than Pride and Prejudice she had never read a romance book before. She soon discovered that the world of historical romance allowed her to combine her love of history with the passion of romance writing.

You can find out more about Sasha at: http://www.sashacottman.com,

Follow her on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/sashacottman,

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sashacottmanauthor    

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7136108.Sasha_Cottman

Letter From a RakeSasha’s award winning debut, Letter From a Rake and its follow up, An Unsuitable Match are out now at all major e-retailers.An Unsuitable Match Hi Res Cover Pic

 

 

DarkMoon_coverI’m a guest over at SE Gilchrist‘s Blog where I talk Trick or Treating, Halloween mythology and why I set Dark Moon’s climax on All Hallow’s Eve/Samhain. I’d love you to visit and leave a comment.

 

 

Halloween pic-Freeimages.com

Halloween pic-Freeimages.com

Last week I had Carla Caruso on discussing the superstitions around Halloween, which I thought was fascinating. I always love learning about things like that, the origins of belief and how they have come into being. I always try to weave a little bit of this into the make-believe worlds in my novels, because I think it adds something of the human experience to what I create out of my own little mind. Dark Moon is set around Halloween, or Samhain as it is known. The eve the veil opens between worlds and the dead can be seen. The time I chose to set it was essential to the plot and the build toward what happens – in a way, Samhain is as much a character in the plot as the other secondary characters.

I love to share this fascination with mythology, legends and superstitions with my children, to help encourage their imaginations but also have an understanding of the world around them however it comes. To expand their minds and keep them open to new ideas – or ancient ones.

 

Darth and Chewie

Early Years – Darth and Chewie

Many people say that Halloween is an American thing, that it’s commercial, a reason for businesses to make us buy stuff that we don’t really need. As we discovered from Carla last week, this isn’t true. Maybe it means this to many people, which is why they resist the fun of it, but at heart it is an Irish tradition based in Paganism (you can read all about that here), a celebration of harvest, of beginnings and endings, a tipping the hat to those past and an acceptance of all life has to offer. There are some lovely mysticisms and stories woven around the traditions of Halloween, of the carved pumpkins and the reason we dress up. But for me, Halloween is also about the gorgeousness of make-believe.

Zombie Skeleton and Glow in the Dark Skeleton

Zombie Skeleton and Glow in the Dark Skeleton

 

Of pretending unreal things could be real. Of looking into mythology and seeing fun and life and meaning. Of expanding imagination and having FUN.

Yes – the ‘f’ word – Fun. I love Halloween because for that one night, kids and adults can dress up and walk the streets together in friendship and the spirit of exploration and enjoyment. Yes, there is the whole trick or treat thing, with the expectation of lollies. But for me and my kids, that’s not the most enjoyable aspect of the night. It’s meeting others who have taken the time to dress up and have fun with make up and costumes and make-believe, chatting with strangers and hearing exclamations of delight (or horror as the case may be) of those who open their doors.

Little Monsters

Little Vampire Monsters

It’s also about my kids understanding choices and that everyone is entitled to theirs; that just because someone hasn’t joined in by greeting them with lollies at the door, doesn’t mean anything other than they just don’t want to. Or that they have other beliefs that don’t include celebrating All Hallow’s Eve. Which is A-Okay.

Another delight for us is the costume preperation – deciding what to dress up as and then finding things to make those ideas ‘real’ for the night. My favourite bit is the make-up. I love dabbling in make-up effects and have had lots of fun in the past turning my youngest into a fearsome vampire and Freddy Kruger

My Little Monsters

Last year’s Skullman and Freddy

(both his choices). My eldest doesn’t like the make-up, but the youngest LOVES it as much as me (lucky for me).

This year, the youngest has decided to go as a Zombie. And not any pale skin, black lipped, black eyed zombie most kids go as. He wants the full on desiccating zombie effect. And so I have watched YouTube videos on how to do the zombie ripped skin effect.

Zombie ripped flesh effect

Zombie ripped flesh effect

If you have the right equipment (mainly liquid latex, tissues and an array of costume make-up colours and of course, facke blood and lots of it!), you can create quite realistic effects. I did a test run on my son’s arm the other night – what do you think? For a first try, I don’t think it turned out too badly. Perhaps a little more blue for a bruised skin effect around it, but it was quite easy and didn’t take too long either.

So, on Friday night, I will be doing Zombie make-up on my son and his cousin – and if I’ve got time, I might do up my sister and me too. I even bought some white contact lenses to give that truly ‘crazy walking dead’ feel. I’m going to a friend’s 40th birthday afterwards – it might just be fun to turn up as a zombie. And it might just give me a chance to share a little bit of the mythology of Halloween and zombies with other people if they’re interested. Can’t wait.

Romance Writers of Australia