Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On Killing the Angel

The Bitch is Back
Staying on top of our writing isn't easy. No (wo)man is an island and if you are lucky you will have many, many distractions in your life. I say lucky.
I spent many years of my life doing theatre. It was my family; I had no time to date or start a family of my own.  That was cool for about 15-20 years. When the fun began to fade, I thought maybe an art which kept me closer to home would be good.  So I took up writing. Now here was flexibility. I filled notebook after notebook with short stories (this was pre-computer, only a friend or two had them) and even made my first sale. Then I met my future hubby, we courted and wed. Next came the patter of little feet.  I admit I took a very long break from writing. Around the time my son turned six, I felt comfortable enough in my role of wife and mother to return to it.
It seemed the perfect occupation for a stay at home mom and home schooler. Seemed, which leads us to the angel… the infamous angel of the Victorian era whom Virginia Woolf wrote about. The perfect wife who put aside all her personal needs to meet the needs of her family, yeah, you know her.
In Woolf's 1931 essay, "Professions for Women" (originally given as a speech to the Society for Women's Service and then posthumously published), she writes:
I discovered that if I were going to review books I should need to do battle with a certain phantom. And the phantom was a woman, and when I came to know her better I called her after the heroine of a famous poem, The Angel in the House. It was she who used to come between me and my paper when I was writing reviews. It was she who bothered me and wasted my time and so tormented me that at last I killed her. You who come of a younger and happier generation may not have heard of her--you may not know what I mean by the Angel in the House.
Well, we are of a younger and happier generation, but the Angel in the House still lives and she is one hell of a mean bitch.
I fight her each and every day as I look at the pile of laundry waiting to be folded and put away, or even when I decide to cook something simple (or order in) so I can meet a deadline.
So, spill it. Have you met the Angel? Share how you either killed her or put her in her place. Please leave a note, I love hearing from you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Very Sticky Wicket

There's an internet controversy going on -when isn't there?

This time about a YA novel, Save the Pearls.  I haven't read the book, and it's not on my list to read, but it has lead to a cautionary story.

The author in this case has written a book which supposedly will help young adults understand racism. Wonderful. We need to have greater awareness if we are to create a better world.

Unfortunately, in the process of tackling this important topic the author, Victoria Foyt, may have reinforced racial stereotypes.

So the question is how does one write about racism without falling into this trap?
One writer who I follow wrote about this saying that he has wanted to do a similar book but was unsure if it wouldn't be misinterpreted. This guy is a terrific writer, if anyone could write a great novel using this topic, it's him.

So I wonder. Are we all stuck writing within our own little fishbowls of culture, race or religion due to fear that by commenting on racism we will somehow make it worse? How do you approach writing characters that are of different  backgrounds from your own?

Do we comment on racism or perpetuate it?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Quicksilver Moonlight is Up!

I recently decided to break up one of my novel length stories into different sections and self-publish it. It's an experiment. I want to learn if serializing a story can help sell it in the long run.

Part One is a stand alone, complete in itself, but the story and the characters didn't want to end. And so I wrote more, it got longer and before I knew it I had a novella length tale ready to blossom into a novel.

It's a Regency Paranormal, taking place just after the Napoleonic War and it's my take on historical paranormal and gothic romance. In it ghosts and werewolves haunt the halls of Pembrook Manor.

I haven't written too much in this genre. There's "The Vision" which is also a dark romance, and then my work in progress - A Clockwork King.

Usually my novels are Urban Fantasy, but as of late I've been drawn to the Early Nineteenth Century.

As far as author branding goes, I consider myself a writer of dark fantasy, horror and sf. The key term would be dark meaning contemporary dark fantasy is as valid to me as historical.

Beth felt sorry for her brother-in-law, but that was no excuse for the way he had treated her husband, or the way he was treating her now: forcing her to stay in his house as a nurse to his ailing wife. Once she discovers his secret, she is thrust into a nightmare from which she may never escape.

Accused of murder, Beth Pembrook must rely on the man who stole her inheritance and who plans to marry her off to the highest bidder. Can she trust him?

Ghosts, werewolves and things that go bump in the night abound in this Regency thriller, part one of a planned series.

So it's up and available for reading at both Smashwords and Kindle.  I hope that you stop by.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

My News! No Man (Woman or Writer) Is an Island

It's going to be a short post. I'm very excited to make the announcement (finally) which I've been hinting at for the past few weeks.

I've accepted a position on the editorial staff of Damnation Books. I've long held great admiration for Kim Richards and the people she's chosen to work with her. When the opportunity presented itself I jumped at it.

It does mean some self-disipline to get my writing and promotion done along with the editing of other people's work; however, I believe that you get out of a community what you put into it.  Very often writing seems like a business where there is a need to ceaselessly promote one's own work and I think I will enjoy helping to promote others for a while.

Wish me luck!