Books 2 and 3 Finished…

This is a pretty exciting time. I’ve finished the first draft of both Book 2 and Book 3, and I’m now just editing and polishing prior to upload. That’s why it has been such a long time since my last post… not only have I finished Book 2, but I’ve been nose to the grindstone writing Book 3!

It won’t be long now before they are up online ready! (By “not long” I mean by mid-October. Earlier if possible!)

And already, I’ve started outlining Book 4.

Tyla :-)

Finish Line in Sight for Book 2 – Across Worlds

It gets pretty exciting at this stage. I’ve written the final scenes (sob) and now I’m going back through the manuscript, editing and tweaking and writing a few small scenes/fill-ins.

When I started this, I didn’t realise how rich and exciting Eve’s world would become – or how much I would enjoy writing about it, and creating more adventures for the people who live in it.

Part of the fun of writing about completely different worlds is that you can make anything happen. Oh sure, there are ‘rules’, and characters have to live within limitations – even Superman had his kryptonite.

By this time next week, I should be ready to let the manuscript simmer for a while, as I move ahead with Book 3.

Now I’m off to bed to relax and read some Nora Roberts….

It Doesn’t Pay to Cross Eve…

It’s been a busy week here at Château Grey. Those of you who are familiar with Eve’s world will know that the original name of the series – and the title of the first book in the series – was HUNTING EVE. That seemed appropriate, since she spends such a lot of time avoiding (or facing up to) her pursuers.

The only problem was… Iris Johansen came out with a book of the same name: Hunting Eve. That was causing all sorts of problems. I wasn’t sure what to do about it or whether I should worry at all (after all, there are a lot of books out there, and quite a number of them have the same title).

Then someone made the suggestion that I could simply rename them to CROSSING EVE – which fitted beautifully with the theme I was following and solved the problem. As her enemies are finding out, it really doesn’t pay to cross Eve.

Now as long as nobody decides to use the new name, Eve and I will be happy!

Anyway, just in case you were wondering why the series has undergone a name change… that’s the reason.

And now I’m going back to writing more scenes in Across Worlds, Book 2 in the <cough> CROSSING EVE <cough> series. This is just a few weeks away from completion, and I have scenes to write…

P.S. Soooo glad I didn’t build a whole website around the ‘Hunting Eve’ name!!!

Across Worlds – Book 2 Progress

I remember once reading advice to authors that went something like this: “When you are creating a series character, leave some unexplained years in their past. Make sure there’s plenty of room for mystery – for someone to come out of the past to surprise the reader, or an event that he/she didn’t think significant, but which has great importance in future books.”

I didn’t really have to worry about that with Eve! She has SO much mystery in her past, and links to fascinating people and creatures; it was a foregone conclusion that she would discover many secrets.

The main concern I have is one that I share with many other authors: the worry that I will never be able to tell it all! That’s a nice worry to have, really. So I’ll just put one foot in front of the other, adding new wrinkles to Eve’s world, and enjoy every step of the journey.

Right now, Eve is in a desperate situation. (Which is exactly where I like to see my main characters!) So I’d better turn my attention to her plight – and see what she can do to get herself out of trouble. Because it has to be HER – not somebody else.

Back to the computer!

*** The planned release date for Across Worlds, Book 2 in the Hunting Eve Series, is mid-September 2014. However, I’m ahead of schedule, so I’m hoping it will be even sooner! ***

A Writer’s Life

A month ago I was talking to a friend about Eve’s progress in Book 2. (She checks in with me every so often to see what is happening.) “At the moment,” I told her, “She’s… [this bit edited. No spoilers allowed]… and I’m not totally sure how I’m going to handle it.”

Last week, my friend checked in again. “What’s going on with Eve? Have you got her out of XXX yet?”

I had to hang my head and admit that no, I hadn’t.

“And why not?”

Well, because…  I was thinking of making up an excuse, but in the end told the truth. Something had come up that stopped me writing for a week. (A legitimate reason.) Then I told myself I needed a few days to get myself back in the zone… and before I knew it, more than three weeks had gone by while poor Eve was still languishing.

This week, Eve is back on track and heading head-first into more trouble. This time, she has no idea how much pain she’ll be in. And will Hunter be able to find her in time? I haven’t decided yet. However, it is time for them to get together and have a fiery scene. The anticipation of it all!

A writer’s life is like that. Ups and downs… one moment it’s flowing; the next we hit the wall. But it feels so nice when you’re back in the zone.

Eve, here I come.

A Scrivener Love Affair

I’ve found that both authors and readers like to hear about the writing process, so I thought I’d jot down a note or two about the way I work. Right now, I’m finding there is an enormous productivity boost because I’ve started to use Scrivener. It took me a while to make the switch. After decades of using Microsoft Word! I was used to the familiar toolbar at the top; the way the pages scrolled… and well, just the LOOK of the page.

Scrivener is very different, but it’s PERFECT for authors.

scrivener

Let’s take research, for example. When I started writing the Eve series, I spent weeks on research (especially about kitsune, which was a very different character. I’d never read anything about a kitsune before I started digging around to see what kind of world I’d plunge Eve into.) I copied and pasted a ton of information into various Word documents – the world of faerie, including powers of those mystical beings; the habits of wyr; vampires and spirits, and a whole truckload more. So many pages of info! A lot of it, I printed out, because that was simpler than sorting through a dozen Word docs opened in individual windows.

Then somebody said how much she loved Scrivener, and especially how much easier it was to organize research. Hmmm. For some reason, I decided at last to explore this program that writers were supposed to love so much. I downloaded the trial – and clicked through to buy my own copy the very next morning. Now I don’t know how I’d live without it. Summaries, synopses, a corkboard with plot notes, a place for research and photos – I was in heaven. (I AM in heaven, because now I’ve been using it for several months.) I can work in split windows, and have the research right next to the manuscript.

If you’re interested in writing, don’t hesitate. Go check it out. Download the free trial, and learn how to use it. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be hooked from the start.

O Scrivener, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways… :-)

Another Good Read…

Just finished reading another of Juliet Marillier’s books: Flame of Sevenwaters. Here’s my (quick) GoodReads review…

Flame of Sevenwaters (Sevenwaters, #6)Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I like everything I’ve read of Juliet Marillier’s work. Flame of Sevenwaters is another good one – she does a good job writing about strong women. Well, actually, she does a great job with all her characters: good and evil; human and fey. Another 5-star read.

View all my reviews

Heading into 2013

writing_thinkingHave you noticed how many writers welcome in the new year with enthusiasm and a publishing plan?

I’m one of them. So much seems possible when you have a whole year stretching out in front of you. Sure, there’s a lot to do when you’re plotting novels (or even plotting a whole series), getting those novels written, then publishing and promoting.

But when you’re sitting at the computer at the beginning of a fresh new day at the beginning of a new year, all you can think about is…

…the story.

The story is all-important. Who are these characters? What do they want? What are their fears, their strengths, their weaknesses? Who is intent upon thwarting them, so they can’t reach their goals (or at least have a HUGE amount of trouble reaching them)?

Even if (some days) I find it hard to get started, once I get rolling I can lose hours in the world of my story characters. I might sit there with my stomach rumbling from hunger, or with my tongue dry from thirst; I might feel the kinks in my shoulders from sitting over the keyboard for too long… but I will think: just one more page. I don’t want to stop now…!

And when I finally get up from the computer, stiff and hungry and thirsty, I glance back at the screen showing the page from my current novel and think: I love writing.

It’s just the beginning of 2013. By the end of it, I will have at least three more books about Eve’s world up online – plus a few more books, exploring a different world and a different cast of characters.

It’ll be interesting to look back at this in January 2014 and see what I’ve managed to accomplish. If nothing else, I will have had the joy of sharing a journey with the story people I create. (And punishing evildoers like Katsu.)

Tyla.

Inventing Eve’s World in the Hunting Eve Series

Right now I’m well into writing Across Worlds, Book 2 in the Hunting Eve series. It’s kinda fun to look back and think about how I created Eve’s world. I re-read some of my earlier posts, and wow, I can’t believe how much more I know about the characters now!

Some authors plot their books in great detail before they start to write. They create detailed character profiles, and even write some sample scenes before they get under way in earnest.

I’m not that kind of writer. When I started the Eve series, I had a character in mind – a human girl in her late twenties in a fairly ordinary family. Oh, she does have some strange skills or abilities that she can’t really account for… but she writes them off as something handed down from her Nana Alice, who was a gifted psychic.

I pictured Eve feeling restless, somehow uneasy, because she knows something bad is coming… but she doesn’t know what. And of course, she has no idea how to avoid it. I knew she would be whisked off to travel to the Otherworld to live in a kind of melting-plot of species: wyr, vampires, shapeshifters and faerie. I decided that she would end up in a funeral home in this strange little pocket of the universe, using her skills to make the Dearly Departed look good.

First, I had to GET her to the Otherworld. Part 1, Book 1 (First Crossing) was going to be all about Hunter getting Eve to safety. Once she reached Elm Crossing, that would be the end of Part One. [Note: after listening to reader feedback on Part One, I added an extra 8,000 words showing Eve getting to know her new world. It is now a novella-length episode of 20,000 words rather than 12,000 words. I like it better now; I hope readers do too!)

Parts 2 and 3 of Book 1 would see Eve developing her skills and facing up to those who were hunting her… and, of course, developing her relationship with Hunter!

I knew her best friend would be a kitsune called Ken. A kitsune is a fox spirit, who can manifest as a fox or a human. Kitsune often like to take the female form, so Ken ended up being kind of like a gay friend. He loves to dress up in female garb (only he could do more than dress up: he could manifest in whichever female form he chose, which makes life very interesting – blonde, brunette, redhead: take your pick!) Ken is a master con-man and trickster, true to his kitsune nature, and enjoys drawing the bad guys into his web and making them pay.

I love Ken! And after feedback from readers, I think he is a favorite with a lot of people.

As I wrote, I dipped into the paranormal world according to what I wanted to know. The great thing is that you can invent a special little corner of the universe (or another dimension, or another plane) where creatures can have whatever talents you wish. I took what I wanted from myth and folklore, and made up the rest. What fun!

Hunting Eve by Tyla GreyI deliberately didn’t go too much into the past of any one character in the early books, because I wanted to be free to develop them later. And that’s what is happening – Eve found out a LOT more about Ken in Part 3, and in Book 2, Across Worlds, Eve will meet her Earthstar grandfather, and we’ll meet Hunter and Rona’s parents…. who were not exactly your Parents of the Year.

Time to stop blogging, and continue writing. I’m having SUCH fun with Ken’s current scene…

Tyla :-)

P.S. Just in case you haven’t started the ‘Hunting Eve’ series… I’ve now finally issued Parts 1, 2 and 3 as a full-length novel: Hunting Eve, Book 1 of the Hunting Eve Series.  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A6JI17E

Crossbreed – Hunting Eve Series Part 3, Book 1 now available

Hunting-EvePart3_175There’s nothing more exciting than seeing your latest book go live!

After sacrificing some of my NaNo time to give Crossbreed, the third episode in Book 1 of the series, a final polish and a kiss for good luck, it’s now available for readers!

With every book, I find myself getting more and more drawn into Eve’s world. As a writer, it’s so much fun to explore possibilities – and especially to give grief to the characters!

In Crossbreed, Eve and Hunter are torn between exploring their relationship and keeping Eve safe from the evil nogitsune, Katsu. I’ve given poor Ken a hard time in this novella-length episode, but… I can’t say too much!

Anyway, here it is… I hope you enjoy it!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A62ZYW6

And now, back to my NaNo words for the day… Book 2, Across Worlds,  is well underway!

Tyla. :-)