"You're too young to know what love is. You don't love me. You're infatuated with me." -- Sir Aric, The Prince's Knight

Sunday, June 27, 2010



What inspires me?
For a writer, inspiration can be found just about anywhere. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing – sometimes it’s even hard to pinpoint where an idea came from, but here are a few things that inspired the books I’ve written.

Demon’s Torment
I’m an active member of an online writing community (Writing.com). A while ago I entered a scary story contest that had to include certain words in it. The words were: red dress, party hat, cake, surprise, balloon, and confetti. Now how do I get a scary story out of that? By throwing a macabre birthday party for a demon, of course. Daemon (the male lead of Demon’s Torment) was born! Of course, he’s changed a lot since that short story, becoming a kinder, gentler demon – though he can still be scary from time to time! The short story actually appears in the final book in an altered form. Yes, I kept the creepy birthday party idea.

Tied to a Demon
I’m pretty sure this one came about simply because I wanted to write another demon book. This one would be a shorter length, and heavier on the romance, plus I wanted to set it in a fantasy world. I decided I wanted a witch to summon an unwanted demon and deal with the consequences.

Royal Guard
This is the one I’m currently working on (hoping to submit it to my publisher soon). It involves a crippled knight being reassigned to become a spoiled prince’s bodyguard – yes, it is a romance, and a bit of a departure for me. I wanted to get away from demons for awhile and try something new. This idea came to me after looking for another contest to enter. This one just wanted a story about a bodyguard. I never wrote anything to enter in that contest, but the idea would not leave me alone, especially when I came up with the m/m romance angle. Having a crippled knight fall for a prince sounded like a great story to me.

I like thinking back over the things I’ve written and remembering how inspiration struck me. It’s sometimes amazing what a person can come up with, especially when they least expect it.

What do you think?
What inspires you?

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Ugh. I meant to post this about a week ago, but I just recently moved, and started working at a new place, so life has been hectic to say the least.


Ambiance is all about setting the mood. Paranormal often involves things that go bump in the night. Even though my books deal with romance, they still have elements that add to the ambiance. I like things that send a chill down my spine, things that make it difficult to turn out the lights. As a writer, I’ve given myself goose bumps – that’s the best way to tell when a piece is truly scary. I try not to make my creatures too scary. After all, I want people to like them! But there were a couple of spots in Demon’s Torment that gave me chills while I was writing them. If I can’t move myself, how do I ever expect to move others?

So how does one write an ambient scene? Having a character stumble through a dark room is good. Added details make it better. Perhaps the flashlight glances off something strange – a picture that looked different a second ago, shadows that move. Face it, darkness is terrifying. These days I’m scared of zombies hiding under my bed, even though I’m really too old to think there might be monsters living under there. What about strange creaks and groans? Lots of old houses have them. In the dark, a commonplace noise takes on horrifying implications.

What do you think?
So what scares you? Ever read a truly terrifying book that had you leaving the lights on?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Paranormal Creatures


First of all, what, exactly, constitutes paranormal? Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranormal) describes it as an experience that defies normal experiences or scientific explanation. UFOs and ETs are lumped into this category, although in the realm of writing, those are more commonly referred to as science fiction. But still, a lot of creatures appear in paranormal writing and lately, this genre has been saturating the market. Take a trip down the fantasy/science fiction aisles of any bookstore and most of the books you’ll find will actually be paranormal. Sadly, this usually isn’t recognized as a major genre, falling under the category of fantasy. 

My two favorite paranormal creatures are vampires and demons. These are the creatures I like to read about and they’re the ones I prefer to write about. With two published demon books out, as well as a planned series consisting of at least six books about vampires, this should be easy to see. What’s my obsession? Far from being the monsters first depicted in old movies, both vampires and demons have become undeniably sexy. And I’m not the only one that loves reading about bad monsters trying to do good, searching for redemption.

There are less werewolf books out there. This creature seems to be perfect for the realm of e-books though. Take a search online and you’ll come across plenty of books about shapeshifters. I’ve never been a big fan of them. I’ve tried taking a stab at my own werewolf story, but that project has stuttered, stalled, and been shelved indefinitely. While I like to think I create strong heroes in my books, there’s something about the completely alpha male of the pack that turns me off. My werewolf character is a bit of a challenge because I want him to be a dominating presence, even though he’s far from an alpha male. 

Witches rank with werewolves for me. I hate them. I generally won’t read anything involving a witch as a main character – with good reason. The few books I have tried didn’t endear me to such a character. It’s probably the magic; fine in a fantasy setting, not so great in the Manhattan of the new millennium. This is ironic, though, considering both Tied to a Demon and Demon’s Torment feature witches as the main heroines. I’m a contradiction like that, so apparently I can make witches work for me. And some writers out there pull it off. Kim Harrison comes to mind. I also enjoy L.J. Smith's witches.

Finally, there are ghosts. This is perhaps the creature people think of first when hearing the word paranormal, thanks to TV shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures. I’m trying my hand at a book featuring a ghost, but it’s been put on pause while I work on some other projects. Ghosts don’t seem to be used too often, especially as main characters. More often they’re the scary monsters no one sees – the poltergeists and cold drafts.

What do you think?
Your chance to sound off. Which paranormal creature is your favorite and why? Did I forget or neglect to mention a creature that you’d like to talk about?