February 2016 - further up and further in

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Novel Carousel

Thursday, February 18, 2016 10
The Novel Carousel

(Alternately titled: inspiration is fickle.)

Some writers have their one novel, their magnum opus, the one they've been working on since they could hold a pen. Some writers finish a novel, then move on to another one.

And then there's me.


I used to have only one novel at a time (which I would quickly abandon, but that's another story; pun intended). Then, for whatever reason, I got buried in all of the story ideas. (See above picture for reference.)

I wrote my 2011 fantasy novel, Silver Tears. Then it got a loosely-connected prequel novel. Then a loosely-connected prequel-prequel. Then a sequel to the prequel. Then it got about 5,000 other connected novels. And this was only the beginning.

I soon branched out from fantasy to sci-fi and contemporary. At the same time, my random short-story-turned-trilogy, the Because I'm Irish series, was flourishing and turning into three books. I had ideas for stand-alones. I had ideas for several series. I had ideas for flat-out SAGAS. 

This trend has continued. I have 96 boards on Pinterest, and approximately 45 of them are some sort of novel idea. (Yes, I just counted.) Some of them are finished, one of them has been rewritten, and some of them fizzled out almost as quickly as they began. 

The problem with having so many novels is that my brain is constantly at a toss-up as to which one it's going to focus on. I go through phases of inspiration where one novel is constantly on my mind. Can I predict it? Nope. Can I stop it? Nope. Can I write another novel when my mind is on another? Also a pretty big nope. 

This is a phenomenon... a phenomenon that I'm going to dub THE NOVEL CAROUSEL.


Instead of horses, my novel carousel contains ... my novels. It moves at its own will and in its own time. It's probably accompanied by that creepily-cheery music. (Actually, I desperately hope not.) And the most important thing is, it's almost always moving, taking my novels with it on a joyride (and me along with them). The novel carousel can be triggered by anything--a picture, a movie, a song--anything that reminds me of one of my novels. If the novel carousel lands on a novel, I get ridiculously inspired for it, and I almost have to write it.

In other words, inspiration is fickle. Example #1 of many: For my post on the blog this week, I was going to write about my current WIP, Evanescent Fireworks. But then I remembered that last week, my WIP was Here Comes the Sun. And before that, it was Spaceboy.

So, I'm not going to even try to pretend that I know what I'm doing. Here's the thing... YES, motivation and sticking to one project is so, so important. I definitely have stuck to one project, and I definitely will again. But currently, I'm stressed out and trying to give myself a little break. As per my New Year's goals, I'm trying to let myself write what I want when I want to write it. So, I'm just going to, um, sit back, and... enjoy the ride? Let the carousel spin as it may.


Do you have a novel carousel?

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Beautiful People: Damian & Fiona

Sunday, February 14, 2016 4
Beautiful People: Damian & Fiona
February is a month to focus on all the cute couples, both in real life and in fiction, and today is Valentine's Day! In honor of that, Beautiful People's questions this month are relationship-themed, so I'm focusing on one of my most enduring book OTPs: Damian and Fiona from Because I'm Irish. They've been around for four-and-a-half years, and they just might be my favorites. (But shhh, don't tell my other characters that.)


Let's do this.

1. How did they first meet?
They met at Wal-Mart. Fiona was grocery shopping. Damian worked there. Fiona stopped him to inquire about something weird she saw. What a story--it'll be so fun to tell the grandkids.

2. What were their first impressions of each other?
Fiona hated him. Damian was panicked that she was inquiring about semi-illegal activities, but he secretly thought she was gorgeous.

3. How long have they been a couple?
As of the third and last book, they've been together for a little over a year.


4. How committed/loyal are they to each other? Would they break up over a secret or a disagreement? Could stress drive them apart? Would they die for each other?
They're both extremely loyal and committed. They wouldn't break up over a secret or a disagreement, but they do both have some trauma and stress that ends up driving them apart for a little while. Yes, they would die for each other (though the possibility is painful to contemplate) (I'm not crying, you're crying).

5. List 5 “food quirks” they know about each other. (Ex: how they take their coffee, if they’re allergic to something, etc….and feel free to mention other non-food quirks!)

Damian really loves food. But beyond that, Fiona knows that...

1. ... really likes Cheetos.
2. ... only likes Swiss cheese.
3. ... will drink coffee in any form, but especially black (and he will drink the bottom of the pot of coffee, even if it has coffee grounds in it).
4. ...loves doughnuts, perhaps too much.
5. ...always manages to eat cereal at some point each day.


Damian knows that Fiona...

1. ... loves root beer.
2. ... only eats cheese and nothing else on her burgers (and occasionally bacon). (No, she isn't based off of me, why do you ask?)
3. ... once accidentally left a banana peel on her counter for three months when she went on tour.
4. ... likes to graze throughout the day and can often be found snacking on something.
5. ... really, really hates spaghetti. (Why does she? I have no idea.)


6. Does anyone disapprove of their relationship?
Damian's parents, particularly his mom, are skeptical of Fiona when they first meet her. As time goes on, they warm up to her. (I think.) Fiona's mom doesn't actually know about Damian until she meets him, and when she does meet him, she's so grateful that he's been helping her daughter that she can't complain too much.

7. What would be an ideal date?
A picnic, being outdoors, an aimless drive, and going on an adventure. They wouldn't plan much, just go wherever they felt like it, and they'd talk and laugh a lot. (Ugh. So cute.)


8. What are their personality dynamics? Similar? Contrasting? Do they fight a lot or mesh perfectly?
Damian and Fiona are often complete opposites. Damian's laid-back and Fiona's particular; Damian is funny and Fiona is serious; and so on. They're very contrasting, but also complementary. Their MBTI personality types are INFJ (Fiona) and ENFP (Damian) respectively, so they are similar in some ways, such as their loyalty and their emotional sides.

9. What have been their best and worst moments together as a couple?
Their best moments were when they first got together in Ireland. They visited the ocean, watched fireworks, and decided to give this relationship thing a go.

Their worst moments were all the times both of them were in mortal peril (which is a lot).


10. Where do they see themselves and their relationship in the next few years?
Honestly, they aren't sure. They're just taking things one day at a time. Marriage isn't anywhere on their brain right now, but that's mostly because they're trying to survive. Eventually, a few years later, they get married and have four children. (No, I totally haven't planned their married lives out via a Pinterest board.)


Happy Valentine's Day! 
Who's your number one book OTP (published or unpublished)?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Beautiful People: Valentine’s Edition

Friday, February 05, 2016 5
Beautiful People: Valentine’s Edition

Greetings, writerlings!

February is the month of Valentine's Day. To celebrate that, we've themed Beautiful People with couple-y questions. I personally can't think of a better way to spend Valentine's Day than getting to know our characters. Pick a couple of yours and grab some chocolate (or treat of your choice), then answer these questions!


But first, you might be wondering...

What is Beautiful People?
Beautiful People is a blog meme hosted by myself and the ever-awesome Cait @ Paper Fury. Every month, we post ten questions to help you get to know your characters better. They can be elusive and enigmatic, but we hope every question we post brings you closer to the answers about your wonderful beautiful people (your characters). 

How do I join?
Just jump in! Snag the questions, post them on your blog, and come back to add your link! I also recommend checking out the posts of the other participants. It's a great way to make new friends.

Please also give Cait and I a link back--whether through a regular link, or these shiny blog buttons (feel free to steal the one at the top of this post as well!):





And now, feel the love... with these questions!



  1. How did they first meet?
  2. What were their first impressions of each other?
  3. How long have they been a couple?
  4. How committed/loyal are they to each other? Would they break up over a secret or a disagreement? Could stress drive them apart? Would they die for each other?
  5. List 5 “food quirks” they know about each other. (Ex: how they take their coffee, if they’re allergic to something, etc….and feel free to mention other non-food quirks!)
  6. Does anyone disapprove of their relationship?
  7. What would be an ideal date?
  8. What are their personality dynamics? Similar? Contrasting? Do they fight a lot or mesh perfectly?
  9. What have been their best and worst moments together as a couple?
  10. Where do they see themselves and their relationship in the next few years?


How's writing? Are you doing anything for Valentine's Day (OR GALENTINE'S DAY?!?) Let me know in the comments!