Sunday, August 6, 2017

Everyday Dragons

On the outside, I sit quietly at the table, sipping at my tea. My dress is a bit funky, but classic, my presence polite and demure.

But in my mind, I've just felled four beasts and a demon with my mad ninja skills. My hair is chopped crudely, tied into braids to stay out of my face. The right sleeve of my shirt falls in tatters where a close call almost claimed my arm.

On the outside, I smile politely at passersby, blush a little at the cute boy who winks my direction.

Inside, I sharpen my sword as the dragon horde circles around me, jeering and taunting me to fall.
My eyes narrowed in determination, I take a deep breath and bellow, “Who's next? Have you no champions, no brave creatures to best me?” and I laugh.

I laughed at what the boy just did; making a spectacle, obviously wanting attention. Silly boy, I think, Doesn't he know he could just say 'Hi'?

“I!” Roars a powerful voice, and the great dragon himself charges forward.
For a moment I am daunted; I did not expect him so fast, so soon. But I have called this battle out, and am determined to see it through. I take my ready stance as he beats his wings upon the ground, terrifying, intimidating.

“Sorry if I distracted you,” The boy smiles from the table beside mine.
I smirk, shaking my head lightly to myself at his antics.
“Oh no,” I say, “That napkin holder clearly had it coming. Mine's been giving me the stink-eye too.”
“Wait, yours has eyes?” He asks in feigned shock, “They're evolving!”
And we share a laugh.

His eyes spark with inner fire, and I raise my shield to ward off the imminent blast. This dragon is huge. How will I beat it?
“You puny little knight. I can snap you up in the space of a spark!”
“So you say,” I taunt back. “Yet here I stand. Don't tell me you're all talk. I'm disappointed!”
He looses an angry roar, and in that second I see my opening. I drop my shield.

“I'm Anna, by the way,” I extend my hand, offering him the opening he was looking for.
He tells me his name, his eyes warm with triumph as he takes my hand. “So what do you do?”
“I'm a writer,” I say, gesturing to my papers and notebooks, and explain a little of what I do.
“You write adventures? What about romance?”
“Oh,” I glance away shyly, “A little of that too.”

Unhindered by my shield, I rush straight for the beast, even as he lowers his head to snap me up, as promised. I kick on more speed.

“So what do you do for fun then?”
“writing isn't supposed to be fun?” I arch a curious brow, watching his neck turn red.
“Well, other then that,” He laughs politely.
I give him my short list: music, dance, art, kids, video games, etc.
“Oh... so, do you have kids?” The 'oh crap!' light flares in his eyes, and I hide my disappointment behind a wistful smile.

At the last second I jump, going headlong into the fiery maw of the dragon. His teeth snap shut, and the sound of his gulp resonates over the shocked horde.
First stillness, and then rejoicing as the riot of foul creatures celebrate the demise of another knight. It goes on for long minutes as the dragon drinks up their praise. All is going his way, at least until-

“No, not yet,” I say and watch him relax an iota. I wiggle my bare ring finger. “Kids aren't in the cards just yet.”
“Ah,” He says with a frown, not sure he wants to pursue the topic. How unfortunate.
I gather my notebooks and tea.

Inside the dragon, I thwart the sting of fire and bile, shoving my blade toward the esophagus wall. I rip it sideways as a roar vibrates my painful cocoon. Focusing through the pain I force the blade around, cutting a way out, gouging my foe.
His roar fills the cavern, echoing even after he falls slain.
I fight my way out of the remains.

“It was nice talking to you,” I smile as I leave my seat. “Good luck with the napkin holder apocalypse.”
“Uh, yeah sure. You too.” He smiles uncertainly.
I head outside to my bus.

Using my sword, I pull myself to a standing position. Acid eats my skin, dripping from what's left of my clothing. I blink stinging eyes at the horde, staring them down as best I can.
“Who's next?” I growl.
Their knees quake, their eyes roll, then I hear the thunder of feet as they claw over each other to get away.
A solid, if painful, victory.

I ponder my day as the bus pulls up to my street. Poor boy. He was nice enough, I suppose. Just not up for the adventures I write.
Paws scrabble behind my front door, and whining ensues as I try to push my way inside.
“Hi baby,” I pat my dog on the head, as he gruffs and snuffs a greeting. Heaving a sigh, I set down my burden on the entry table. My dog cocks his head at me.
“Well, that was an adventure,” I tell him. “How was your day?”

Friday, October 7, 2016

Interview with EL Roux!

I'm so excited to know you better! Thank you for being one of the amazing people in my world, and thank you for the interview. And thank you, also, for being a guest at my launch party!

I’m really excited myself! My first Facebook interview!

So tell me a bit about yourself?

I’ve been writing for years now, but nothing I really felt would be book worthy until last year when I started my Revival series about women from the past who save the future. As for everything else, I’m still in school (6 years now) trying to figure out how prosthetics and orthotics play into my future. I have a cat, a compulsion for coffee and chocolate, and try not to get too involved in possible futures with all the exciting technology being developed today.

What is it that you write?
My first published novel will be a Science Fiction Romance, but I have a few Paranormal Romances in the works as well.

What else do you like to do?
I taught fencing for a while and really hope to get back into that in the future, but for now I like to spend time with my family and close friends when I’m not writing, studying or reading!

What is your favorite way to story build and brainstorm?
For my Science Fiction Romance novel’s I tend to have a few ideas playing in my mind at the same time and like to think about the ways they’d interact. Usually the ideas come from science articles I read on line on new and exciting discoveries in space, technology and medicine.

As for brainstorming, I’m mostly a pantser (non-plotter), so I tend to have a general idea of how I want to story to play out and the world the characters will occupy but no real path or idea of conflicts along the way that might occur. The few times I’ve attempted to plot, I either push through what I had thought would be the whole novel only to find it’s only half of it or my storyline diverges entirely. I do tend to spend some time figuring out motivation for my characters, and how the world they live in works.

How do you create your characters?
That’s a very difficult question for me as a pantser. My characters tend to evolve over the course of writing that the hard part is going back to the beginning when editing and adding the information needed. Usually I have an idea of what type of job the person needs to fill and then work backwards from there. I try and be inclusive when writing and make a diverse group to pull from that don’t represent stereotypes. In Unexpected Revival, one of the hardest parts of my novel was creating characters that worked together and didn’t reflect only one race, ethnicity, sex, and orientation. With that strong base, the other novels characters were easier to develop.

What was the best feedback you've ever gotten from a reader?
The Science Fiction Romance field used to be very small so getting beta readers or critique partners in the field was virtually impossible. Out of all the advice I’ve received so far, the best advice always makes me rethink why something is happening, or ask myself why I needed an event to happen. Anything that helps me improve my storytelling and character development is always a plus!

Tell me more about your writing: What was your first published work?
My first published book is Unexpected Revival and is due to be released in January 2017, and is about a woman who died in 1999 and finds herself revived over 1000 years later to help stop an alien invasion that would wipe out most of Earth’s population. There’s aliens, space ships, a changed Earth, space stations, fighting, genetic manipulation, and love of course. It’s pretty exciting

Do you have a favorite project so far? What makes it so?
I have to say that the Revival series is my favorite project so far. I already have several of the books planned out, or started in the series. It’s great because of the revival (think a form of cryogenic freezing), I have characters from a diverse timeline that I can create and plunk into a story set even in their future. I’m enjoying the possibilities.

What's next on your agenda? What can we look forward to in the coming year?
I’m hoping to have the second book in the series, Unwanted Revival or Unwelcome Revival depending on how the timeline plays out in Unexpected Revival out in June 2017. And the third book hopefully released by January 2018.

Why did you decide to write and publish?
I love creating stories and seeing how the character’s flush out. My first desire to write came about wondering my none of the historical romances I read had people going to the bathroom and wondering how that could play out. Then I read a book that had it in there and realized it could be TMI in most situations. But most of my writing is driven from the types of stories I would like to read and not really finding them, so I decided to create them myself. I wish to publish them for the same reason, to share my unique stories with the world so that others might enjoy them as well.

What do you think is your driving force behind your writing? What keeps you going?
For me, once I started it was really hard for me stop. My first attempt at a novel was through Nanowrimo and reaching the end of a story is like no other experience. Even now, after having written several novels, getting to the end of a story is a pure adrenalin rush. I get super excited and have now even learned to enjoy the editing process.

The mother of all questions: Tell us about a favorite book?
I am a sucker for dark romances where the characters have had horrible pasts but find love in the end. It’s that hope and emotional connection that is my favorite type of book. Of the traditionally published authors Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward that really hits the spot for me. In the self-published arena the one that was such a rollercoaster of an emotional ride was The Last Hour of Gann by A. Lee Smith. This book is not for the faint of heart, and deals with several issues that were hard for me read that involve the heroine and her sister, but it is worth reading and is an amazing book.

Anything else you'd like our adoring masses to know? 
Yes! All author’s love reviews! Even if their bad they let us know how we’re doing from a broader audience then we would hit through beta and ARC readers, plus it helps other readers see our work. So please, if you’ve just finished a book be sure to rate it and leave a brief review

And you can come meet me and other authors in the area at a Free Reader Event in Bellevue on Saturday, October 15th at the Bellevue Westin!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Climbing ladders

It's exhilarating to see life goals realized with your own eyes.

When I set out to make a career in writing stories, I did so with a clear plan of what I wanted to accomplish in the first 5 years. In the first 5 years, I wanted:
  • to publish 6 books.
  • I aimed to have a readership of at least 30 people who actively participated on my sites and read my books.
  • I wanted to host two Q&A sessions with my readers, and
  • I wanted to develop myself into a positive anchor in my community.
With life being the rollercoaster it is, I've had to cross many goals off in red, unfinished as their deadlines passed me by. But despite all that red ink, I can honestly say that I have progressed. Though not exactly as planned, I have hit many major milestones.

2016 is my fourth year in business, and I am beaming with pride to say that I have published my 6th book!

A Risky Gamble is more than just the continuation of a series (My first official sequel), it is a banner moment in reaching my goals. And you can help me reach the rest.

In two days I will be hosting an official launch party for A Risky Gamble, via Facebook. It's an online party, so you may participate from home. You can sign in for an hour here, or twenty minutes there. BUT: There will be 2 major opportunities to speak with me during Q & A interactive sessions! One of those sessions is a fbLive coffee date, where you will actually get to see my smiling face!

What I need from you:

- Log into the event and say you'll attend ( Click here to reach event)

- Tell your friends about me and my books, and share this party with them. I'm still short of my 30 reader goal, and I'd love to meet new people!

- Participate! Share a post about your favorite characters or moments. If you haven't read venture yet, ask me about it. Ask me about all my books!

- Stop by the Q&A or the fbLive session and say hello, ask a question, give me a thumbs up!

You all have given me the motivation to continue in this course, even when the going got tough, and you matter to me, beyond expression. Help me keep going! I'll have to make some new goals soon!

You can pick up a copy of A Risky Gamble on Amazon, Nook, and all other major retailers.