Archive for November, 2010

50,000 words under the sea

I passed the 50,000-word mark on this months’ NaNoWriMo novel a few days ago. Due to circumstance and other projects, I haven’t written anything more since that happened. I did learn a few important things this NaNo, however.

Choosing to write historical fiction was both a really good and a really terrible idea. For me, writing something historical is always fraught with terror and frustration. I want to get all of the little details correct. (When I come across things I know to be factually inaccurate in historical novels I’ve read, the mistakes tend to pull me out of the story, for one thing. Also, I’m a tiny bit obsessive.) It means I get bogged down in the research, and writing the story itself is nearly impossible. But giving myself a deadline meant I pounded out that story. I’ll have to go back and edit a lot and fact check and obsess some more, but the skeleton of the novel is in place, which is probably more than I would have been able to say if I had written this novel on my own time. But writing was frustrating in a lot of ways because I found myself getting hung up on the details—”Would a man in 1927 really say that?” “Yes, but what is she wearing?”—and the story didn’t always progress how I intended it. (Which is maybe a weird thing for a writer to say; I have control, after all. Except maybe I don’t because I wanted the novel to be darker, more detailed. I’ll have to go back to fix that.)

Still, it’s hard not to feel good about having a first draft well underway. (I’d guess I still have about 25K words to write to finish the whole draft.)

in which I babble a lot

I was interviewed over at Michele n Jeff Reviews about all manner of things from my writing habits to my current WIP to ebooks to the best thing to do with limes. I hope you enjoy.

And speaking of projects in progress, this weekend, I’m working on edits for my new book, The Boy Next Door (coming from Loose Id after the new year). I am armed with a bag full of sweet treats that resulted from a late-night run to Chelsea’s legendary Donut Pub and, hopefully soon, also coffee. Mmm.

Then tonight I have tickets to see the new Harry Potter movie on IMAX. Full day! Pastries, edits, teenage wizards!

new review of Kindling Fire with Snow

Four kisses from Michele n Jeff Reviews:

The story is sweet and romantic, and the protagonists are engaging and as well developed as is possible for a short story. There is a sense of genuine affection and attraction between the two men, which translates convincingly, successfully involving the reader in the outcome of this tale of rediscovered love. The end of the book left me wanting more Seth and Kieran, which is the true mark of a satisfying read.

Thanks, Lisa!

You can buy the book here!

if you are even a little interested in steampunk…

My very awesome real-life friend Tilda Booth’s debut novel is out today from Samhain. It’s a steampunk romance (m/f) novella. I read an early draft of it and can verify that it is a really fun read. There are gadgets and science and adventure. It’s part of the Silk, Steel, and Steam anthology, with two other steampunk stories; Tilda’s book is also available as an ebook standalone. (Not that you shouldn’t check out those other stories.) Here’s the blurb:

The plan: Kidnap H.G. Wells. Definitely not part of the plan: Falling in love.

A Silk, Steel and Steam story.

The year is 1897, the place, a Britain that could have been, but never was. H. George Wells is helping lead Britain into a new Golden Age, driven by technological advances and discoveries of the human brain. Then one night a beautiful woman abducts him at gunpoint, and she seems to despise everything he’s worked for. Despite his outrage, he can’t help but be intrigued by this adventuress and her passion for her cause.

Jane Robbins, agent provocateur, has reason to fear her country’s march towards a new world order. Using her wits and her arsenal of spy gadgets to infiltrate Wells’ house, she delivers him to her employer, who plans to use him as leverage to halt the coming Utopia. But when Wells’ life is threatened, she must choose between saving him or sacrificing him to the cause.

Scientist and spy, they are irresistibly drawn to each other even as the future pushes them apart.

Warning: This book contains gadgets, guns, death rays, dirigibles, sexy scientists and a smoking hot Victorian spy who’s as much steam as she is punk. Don’t blame us if it makes you want to slip a pistol into your garter and abduct the man of your dreams.

all that jazz

As of this evening, I’ve written the first 15,000 words of this year’s NaNoWriMo. I made what might be an ill-advised decision to write historical fiction—it’s an m/m romance featuring a vaudeville actor and a mobster in 1927. It’s tough because I’m researching simultaneously. That is, I did a bunch of research in October, but I’m also currently reading two books and have a gazillion tabs open in my browser with info about slang and fashion. But now that I’ve gotten into the meat of the novel, it’s really fun to write, so I have high hopes.

I’ve found a lot of really great photos. The above is a photo of Times Square in 1920. Most of my novel takes place in or around Times Square, which at this time was bustling both with Broadway theaters—more shows opened in 1927 than any year before or since—and nightclubs and speakeasies. And this, of course, is Rudolph Valentino, the epitome of male beauty in the ’20s. Good-looking men were referred to as “sheiks” after Valentino’s best-known character. In my head, my mobster character, looks a bit like Valentino. I’m not really new to the Jazz Age or writing historical fiction (though all of my attempts at the latter are unfinished or otherwise languishing on my hard drive) and I’ve been wanting to write a novel set in that era for a long time. One of the things NaNoWriMo is really great for is forcing oneself to write that thing you’ve always wanted to write.

Anyone else participating in NaNoWriMo? Any strange discoveries or triumphs?