Flirty Author Bitches

How not to alienate the reader with too much overt history (Research part 4)

You’re an author. You’ve done all this fabulous research, you can see the era clearly in your mind and you’re writing like billy-oh. Here’s a big note of caution. Don’t show off to the readers. They’re here for the romance or adventure, the heart of the story, to be thrilled and saddened and get the satisfying ending they want. They don’t want to be bored or annoyed en route by you giving paragraphs of exposition about why people in the past did something or other. If they’re that interested they’ll go and find out for themselves. You wouldn’t explain why 21st century characters use an ipod, would you?

So, the sort of thing to avoid is:

Clarence had to hurry over the fields to get home to dress for dinner. Meal times were special occasions in a Victorian household and eating started with making sure that you were properly dressed for the event. While you could dress down slightly for meals at home, any outside dining event that took place after six o’clock was automatically a formal occasion. Ladies would have changed several times during the day and were expected to turn out for dinner wearing low-necked gowns, if such was the fashion, with short sleeves and gloves. Married woman opted for satin or silk while the unattached arrived in muslins or chiffon. Men always wore dark broadcloth and ‘fine linen.’

I’m bored with that already and I wrote the wretched thing. If you think your readers won’t get the whole ‘dressing for dinner tradition’, then you could include something about it, but make it light:

Clarence hurried home over the fields. There would barely be time for him to change, but he didn’t dare risk his mother’s wrath by turning up for dinner in his tweeds; he’d never be allowed to forget bringing such disgrace upon her table.

Another thing to avoid is introducing actual historical characters just for the sake of it, especially when their only function is for your hero to say “I met Oscar Wilde in the street yesterday. He didn’t look well.” And thereby establish himself as a Victorian man about town. There’s an award winning series of books, absolutely brilliant, where a couple of times just such a scene is included and it really creates a jarring, contrived note amongst a beautifully believable and realistic text. You can always get your characters to refer to well known people – all of us talk about celebrities or politicians around the dinner table or over the photocopier. Just make it natural and it’s got a chance of working.

“My wife says this country will never come to anything until we’ve got Winston Churchill out of office,” sounds much better than “I see they’ve elected Winston Churchill.”

The other reason you really don’t want too much historical information is that it would put you right off your historical leading man. He wouldn’t have used deodorant or shower gel, chances are he’d have had bad breath and dodgy teeth and what really went on below those lovely tight Edwardian breeches doesn’t perhaps bear thinking about. Can you imagine it?

Portsmouth 1804

Lieutenant Addison cradled his lover’s head, gently pulling the nit comb through his locks. “Look at this one, George. I’ve caught an absolute beauty, here…”

So what does the writer do? I’d say just don’t mention it. No gruesome details, but equally no flowery descriptions of how fragrant Lieutenant Addison smells as he steps off the Bellerophon after four months of blockading the French fleet. Maybe a subtle mention of how good he feels when he does get to take a bath ashore will imply the true state of affairs and not put off either his love interest or the reader.

Oh, and avoid making the language too realistically archaic. (Please avoid too many thees and thous and methinks as they’ll put the readers off and sound pretentious.) Subtle sprinklings all the way.

I need some Halloween mojo!

Six days until Halloween. There are palm trees outside my window and it’s 16 degrees out (that’s Celsius – I’ve lived in the states for 7 years now, and screw it, I’m going back to metric – it makes more sense!) Ever since moving to the US (Florida first, now California) I’ve had a lot of trouble getting into the fall/winter seasonal events like Halloween and Christmas. To me, Halloween is heralded by leaves changing colour, and then a crazy cold snap the day before trick-or-treating, requiring you to destroy your perfect costume by adding a bulky coat and/or snow pants. Christmas should involve snow and the potential for frostbite. Yet here, the time goes by in a season-less haze.

Aside from the occasional party, as an adult, I’ve never done much for Halloween. Usually the hubby and I go to a movie because I completely have no patience for handing out candy. But, I enjoy everything that goes with Halloween. I love scary movies, I love reading and writing paranormal books. And I was just taking a look at my “ideas” folder. Apparently my muse wants me to start writing some darker stuff, because here’s a sample:

Possible cannibalism
Ghost army
Dead body in passenger seat
Halloween Horror Nights (yes, standing in line at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights sparked an idea, one that I really, really like)
Dead body in cabinet
Futuristic slavery war
2 different ghost stories

And yeah, sure, there’s also the more innocuous files labelled “penis euphemisms,” “Christmas novella,” and “a cat named Bob Marley.” You’ll see Bob Marley in my upcoming release, as a matter of fact, in Pen Name – Doctor Chicken from Dreamspinner Press. So, I eventually get around to using my idea lists in books, but yeah, right now, the majority are dark, dark ideas.

Of course, ideally I’d like to write a Christmas novella or a dark, scary story when the environment around me supports that. I guess most authors end up writing their Christmas stories in June or something, and have to fake it. I do love living in California, but there’s something inspiring about the fall and winter that I feel I’ve lost. Damn you, California sunshine!

Any suggestions about how to get inspired for writing Christmas sweet or dark and scary books when in the land of perpetual sunshine? I mean, it barely even rains here!

Sins of Lust Rainbow Award Finalist

I don’t usually enter book contests but I always submit a book or two for the annual Rainbow Awards. It’s a contest highlighting GLBT books – and the competition is fierce. So I’m excited that Sins of Lust is a Rainbow Award finalist in the Gay Paranormal category. It means my book scored at least 36 out of 40 points. Last Chance won in the same category a few years back, and it’s nice to get another nod. Especially for Sins of Lust…since it’s a book of my heart. One I had to write.

It might not be everyone’s cup of tea – it has many fantasy elements, an elaborate world and exotic storyline…it’s a fantasy, mystery as well as a romance. And, I touch on subjects that might be uncomfortable for some readers. One judge remarked that it had a marvelous setting and unique plot. Too unique, perhaps, but I had so much fun developing the world. I’m glad I wrote wrote Uri-el and Razi-el’s story and hope readers enjoy their journey towards their their happily ever after.

Thou shall not kill.

For archangel Razi-el, he had no choice. He would break God’s commandment again if it were to save Uri-el from a demon’s talons. Yet even God’s most trusted archangel cannot avoid punishment. No longer Razi-el, he is now Izar, a Protector sworn to kill for the angels.

When a Protector kills an angel, Izar is summoned to work alongside Uri-el to capture the killer. Izar is shocked when his bloodlust spikes hot for the archangel. He knows better than to go after forbidden fruit. Refusing to give in to temptation, he ignores his body’s tempestuous arousal for Uri-el until a heated argument turns his blood into molten lust.

As they rush to find the killer, their passion plays into the demon’s plan. Izar will have to make a choice between life and death if he is to save Uri-el again.

Excerpt  and info

Love and Peace!

Viki Lyn

Viki Lyn: Award winning author of male/male paranormal and contemporary romances. You can find all of Viki’s books at the following sites: Amazon, All Romance Ebooks and GLBT Bookshelf.

Pride will be the death of him.

When psychic Nate Coleman dreams of a murder, he knows it’s a premonition. He can’t forget the image of his ex-lover with a bullet hole through his chest. Nate has no choice but to confront William and face the skeptical scientist’s ridicule.

Dr. William Ryner doesn’t believe in what he can’t prove. When Nate comes back into his life, it’s not to rekindle their love, but to bring up more of that mumbo jumbo that split them apart.

Despite William’s refusal to listen, Nate can’t ignore the premonition. And, William can’t ignore Nate. Before the gunman strikes, William must either trust in Nate’s ability or rely only on the facts, but if he does the latter, pride could be the death of him.

10 best things to do when you visit a new city

UK’s Female First online magazine offered my the opportunity to help them celebrate their 1oth anniversary. The challenge, come up with something that has to do with the number 10. Since I travel often, I decided to focus on that. Here’s what I came up with:

1. Use social media before you leave. You might be surprised to find a friend who lives there or will be visiting at the same time.

2. Find the used and rare books bookstore. Supporting independent booksellers.

3. Visit historical sites. Learn!

4. Ask the locals where to get the best lunch. Best food, best price.

5. Take that lunch–or the book you bought–to a local park. People watching is always the best entertainment.

6. Takes snaps of random things. You’ll best surprised how fun they are to show friends.

7. Hunt down resale shops. Better than a tourist shops, you’ll get unique items that reflect the city.

8. Check the newspaper for book signing, literary readings, free festivals, or concerts.

9. Check the library for events. A great way to meet authors and hear them read.

10. Check museums for films. Many museums run film festivals featuring the best in foreign films.

Traveling

I haven’t much to say this month. I’ve been back to the East Coast (from New Mexico) just a few days ago and I’m ready to go out again to Atlanta for Gay Rom Lit 2013. I’m writing this between unpacking, washing and repacking my clothes in addition to mailing out the SWAG to the Hotel and getting together small gifts for my table companions for the Dine with An Author Dinner at GRL.

This year I’m giving away copies of A Matter of Trust, the first in the Indiscreet Series and a bar of Lindt chocolate. I’m looking forward to seeing ninety-nine of my fellow authors at the event where we can mix with the fans and others who practice our craft. Last year was my first GRL and it was held at a hotel in my backyard in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This year I have to travel to Atlanta. However, I think I’m going to have a more productive conference this year because I will be able to mingle after hours and talk to both other authors and fans on our down time.

I bought spiral notebooks with my logo and refrigerator magnets to be given away as swag this year. Instead of giving away many small things, I decided to give away one big thing. I have shirts to iron, boxes to pack and mail and suitcases for myself and my husband who is flying with me to Atlanta so that he can visit with friends while I attend the conference. For those of you who are attending, I look forward to seeing you there. For those of you I won’t see at the conference, I”ll make a report of what I saw and heard next month.

My favorite month has inspired me

I have been SO ridiculously busy this month, and the second week isn’t even finished yet. LOL I’ve been cleaning, gardening, even walking my dog extra. But most of all, I’ve been writing like crazy. I think it’s the change in the air. Living in Florida is truly miserable until late September – mid March. Sometimes the heat is too much even in March.

Today is another of those fabulous days and I’m eager to share what I’ve been working on. Everyone is trying to save money, myself included. So, I wanted to do something to help my readers save money AND still be able to pay my bills.

I decided to put together a few boxed sets of some of my most popular books.

First, I put together the Lilith Mercury, Werewolf Hunter Collection. This is a collection of the first three books in the Lilith Mercury, Werewolf Hunter series, along with a clickable table of contents. This series focuses on the life of Lilith Mercury, a werewolf Hunter who is also half werewolf. Did I mention there are several sexy men in her life? This story has graphic violence, and graphic sex. It also has a new take on the origins of werewolves and vampires. There are many ups and downs in Lilith’s life and much more to come.

I wanted to give readers a significant savings, and still give them a reason to check out my Lilith Mercury series. (This collection is 248,567 words in length, if you were wondering.) At its introductory price readers will save $4.98. That’s enough to buy more books! Ha. Ha.

What scares you?

October is one of my favorite months. The fall weather is great, but that’s not my main reason for loving October so much. It might be cliche, but I still love Halloween.  The way I see it, you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the pageantry, mystery, and fun of Halloween.

This time of year always gets me in the mood for scary books, movies, and music. I’m not a big fan of the modern horror movie, however. Most of the “horror” movies I’ve seen are full of blood and gore, but few genuine scares. What I like is suspense. I often find that the threat of something is more terrifying than whatever it actually turns out to be. The Others, a movie from quite a few years ago, is an example of that concept. Throughout the movie, I wondered what was going to happen, and I was nervous despite the lack of bloody deaths. Another movie I found creepy was Pan’s Labyrinth. Although it’s not just a scary movie, it unsettled me quite a bit.

As for books, I like pretty much any type of paranormal creature. I love were creatures, zombies, ghosts, vampires…You name it, I’ll read it! If the book has romance mixed in with the scares, even better. Rick R. Reed is great for the romance/horror mix. Check out A Demon Inside and you’ll find out what I mean.

My go-to scary music is mainly movie soundtracks. There’s nothing like a soundtrack to have me looking over my shoulder to make sure nobody’s there.

Now that October’s here, I’m in need of some new creepy reads and movies. Anybody have suggestions? What scares you?

In the meantime, all of this spooky atmosphere has put me in the mood to write my own paranormal books, although I don’t generally make them all that scary. My zombie book, Sex and the Single Zombie, is more rom-com than horror. If you’re in the mood for a bit of Halloween without the scare, check it out!

Cassandra Gold

www.cassandragold.com

Gay romance with a heart of gold!

Caring, professional SWGZ seeks open-minded SGM for dating and possible LTR…

Since his death two years ago, zombie Peter Reese’s love life has been nonexistent. His attempts to meet a regular “live” guy through a blind dating website—without revealing an important detail about himself—have all blown up in his face. Now, his current blind date with “Shane1990″ seems destined to end the same way, until the handsome guy inexplicably decides to give Peter another chance.

Can Peter prove that nice zombies don’t always finish last?

http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/SexSingleZombie.html