Friday, August 31, 2007

Mercy begins...

I've officially started the follow-up book to the currently unapproved Destiny Kills. Mercy Burns (my working title) features Mercy, the reporter sister of the hero in the first book (she's also mentioned a few times in that book) and Luke, our sea dragon hero who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and who is now kinda mad and determined to get revenge. Sounds like fun, huh? :) I really like the starting few lines of this one, but I'm not so sure about the other bits yet. There's been lots of deleting so far, even though I'm only 8 pages in, but that's not entirely unusual. I'm still trying to get a feel for the heroines voice (and trying to make her not sound like Riley, which is a little hard after so many books in Riley's world.)

Of course, I've also got ideas for riley 7 hitting thick and fast, but I'm missing an idea for the big bad, so until I get that, I really can't start writing. I may be a seat-of-the-pants writer, but seven books in, I really need at least some idea of where I'm going. I do know where the emotional plot is going in the next three books, but I still need the big bad. Looks like I'll have to start googling old myths and legends again :)

Monday, August 27, 2007


Yum Cha was delish, Freya enjoyed her prezzies, and a fun time was had overall. I went home determined to sit at the computer and write, but the muse and I had a fully belly, and I'm afraid I dragged my heels a good part of yesterday afternoon. Actually, I was cruising the net looking for nice places to go for a holiday--it seems to be a recurring theme of late. Maybe the muse is trying to tell me something. Like, give me a friggin' break! lol.

Anyway, it was late afternoon before the muse got serious, but I think I rewrote the beginning of the last scene a half-dozen times before I found one I was reasonably happy with. Even then, the writing was stop-start. There were some moments where everything flowed, and I loved what was hitting the page, and then there were other bits where I thought, nope, that's not right, and I hit the delete and rewrote the words more than a few times. And of course, I had to stop and watch Australian Idol in the middle of it all. (and as Mel said, the judges had to be on drugs last night, because they were raving about people I thought were either just okay, or absolutely sucked.)

Anyway, the upshot of it all is that I finally managed to finish Riley 6--YAAAAAAYYYYY!

Now I can let it sit and brew for a couple of weeks before I go back and edit. Then we'll see just how big a pile of do-do it really is. Lol.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

sad news and hill tops...

First off, I'd just like to send big hugs and kisses to Robyn, who lost her gorgeous little dog yesterday. She'll be sadly missed, Mz. Robyn, and I'm sorry I wasn't around to lend a shoulder.

Yesterday, I flew up to Brisbane to do a signing at Rosemary's. Lots of people were there, and it was fun not only catching up with Rosemary and Wendy, but chatting fellow author Kylie Chan (who totally deserves to have her books released in America--hear that Harper Collins!) Because it's a two hour flight each way to Brissy, I took my alphasmart along, and did some writing on the plane and in the airport. And you know what? Without the distractions of email and web, I actually managed to get ten pages done. Which means the final fight scene has been completed and I'm rolling down the hill towards the end. YAY!

We're off to yum cha today to celebrate fellow lulu Freya's birthday, so I'm not sure how much writing will get done, but either way, this book is going to be finished in the next day or so. Woot!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I feel that little train...

you know, the one that chugged up the hill chanting I think I can, I think I can...

I'm in the middle of the final fight scene and the words are finally coming a little easier (having said that, you watch, tomorrow everything will crap out again). Kade's a bloody mess and is about to get thrown out a second story window, and Riley is about to confront an image of herself. Which should make things interesting. Better yet, I've rolled over the 95000 word mark, and I'm slowly creeping toward the magic 100000 mark that this story needs to be. Even if I'm slightly under that, I'm hoping once I edit it, it'll go over. And usually, once Anne (my editor) gets her hands on a story, more pages get added through corrections and clarifications, so I'm no longer that worried.

I know what I have to do with the final fight scene, so then it's just a matter of tying the loose ends up. And don't worry, this one won't end in any sort of cliffhanger--emotional or otherwise. Once was mean enough. :)

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

the snail pace continues...

normally, once I get to a fight scene, I zoom along. Usually it's the romantic/emotional scenes that cause me problems. (which says a lot about me, I guess. But then, I was a tomboy as a kid and never one to pursue 'girly' activities.) Right now, however, I'm writing the final fight scene and the muse is struggling with it. It just all seems very dry and mechanical--not a new feeling, because the whole damn book has felt that way. Of course, when I've gone back to read the beginning of it, it actually reads okay. I think I've done so many rewrites of the last couple of books that the muse's confidence has been shaken. I just can't believe I'm writing good at the moment. But then, don't most authors feel that way about their stuff?

Anyway, Kade and Riley have just entered a warehouse and are about to get their butts further kicked by the big bad. Iktar may or may not come to the rescue--haven't got that far yet. I'm still hoping to get this thing finished by the end of August--and given I've only got 25 or so pages to go, it is a totally achievable aim. I just got to boot the muse into a higher speed than snail pace...

oh, and I didn't resist temptation. I watched the first three episides of Robyn of Sherwood, and they were good.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

slowly, slowly moving on...

This story seems to be taking forever--and I'm hoping to hell it doesn't read as slowly as it's being written. (I can see lots of rewrites in my future...) But at least I am getting there. I hit the 360 page mark tonight, so I'm really only 40 or 50 pages off the end. Though I'm not entirely sure I actually have 40 or 50 more pages of story to go. Still, if I get somewhere close, I'll be happy.

I think half the problem is that the muse knows where she's going. I wrote the ending months ago--in note form, granted--but it's still an ending. And the muse hates that--it's part of the reason I don't normally plot. If I plot, the muse considers the story already told, and wants to play elsewhere. Right now, she wants to play with Riley 7. We've got lots of good things (meaning bad things for Riley) planned, and she wants to get to it. But without book 6, there is no 7, because a lot of the stuff that happens in books 7 & 8 is set up in six (and also in 5). So, 6 has to be finished.

I'm still hoping to get this finished within the next week. A task that would have been easier if Amazon hadn't delivered my DVD's so quickly (I really can't get over just how fast Amazon UK are--none of this ten day rubbish like Amazon US. They're brilliant.) Anyway, today I got the complete series of Robyn of Sherwood--the best telling of the Robyn Hood legend ever, as well as Alias Smith and Jones, an old US western series that was both smart and funny. Right now, I'm considering them my treat for finishing, but I was never one to deny myself a treat, so who knows how long that will last. lol.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

home again...

well, the RWAustralia conference was just brilliant. As much as I love the American conferences, they just don't beat the aussie ones. I guess that's partly because I just about know everyone at the aussie one, but also because it's much, much smaller (230 compared to over 2000). It's much easier to talk when there's not so many women gasbagging! :) Of course, my sunny opinion of the conference this year was probably helped by the fact that my room was upgraded at no cost, and I ended up with a one-bedroom suite! How cool is that? :)

Jenny Cruisie was a brilliant speaker--warm, funny and informative. Writers never stop learning, and Jenny certainly made me think about some of the stuff I do. Which is a good thing (despite what my brain might say at times... lol). Anne Stuart was also fab, and she and Cruisie made a fantastic double act. Sydney itself pulled out a brilliant weekend weather wise--it was so very nice to come up from Melbourne and temps that barely reached 10 degrees C into temps of over 20 and sunny blue skies. But I still love Melbourne--we have better restaurants and service. lol.

And despite all the fun that was had, I still managed to get some writing done. Woohoo!

here's some pics :)

here's the now-traditional shot of me and Mel. This was taken at the awards night on Saturday (where Mel won the Emerald with The Wolf Within)

fellow lulus--Chris on the left, Robyn on the right--in a very serious discussion

the drinks that started it all off....Freya (left) and Mel (right) taking pictures of the other lulu drinks

Mel, Robyn and the Emerald award at the awards night

another shot of Mel and the award

I'll be putting more pics up on my website tonight or tomorrow :)

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

more stop than start...

I finally got a decent bit of writing done, though as the title suggests, there was a whole lot of stop-starting involved. The problem was, I was writing one of the big fight scenes, and while I normally have no trouble with them, this one involved one of the main characters getting their stomach sliced right open. Now, I love google, but yesterday it just wasn't in a giving mood. Finding emergency first aid details about a stomach wound was more difficult than I thought it would be (though I did find some fascinating articles about neck wounds, arm wounds, head wounds, & thigh wounds that I'm sure will come in handy in the future.) I eventually found some basic instructions in a medical journal, but other than that, everything I found said get them to a hospital ASAP. Well, gee, even I'd figured that one out. What I needed to know was what to do when their intestines were spilling out everywhere....

Yes, yes, I'm gruesome woman at times :)

Anyway, the scene is written, and if I've made any medical mistakes, it's not through lack of looking, okay? Now I've just got to write the aftermath scene at the hospital, then get Riley back to the other investigation. I was actually hoping to have this book finished by now, but if I can get it done in the next couple of weeks, that still gives me plenty of time to let it sit before I do corrections and hand it in.

Tomorrow I'm off to the RWAustralia conference in Sydney, so I may not be online as much for the next four days. So if you send me an email, and don't get a reply, that's why!

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Monday, August 06, 2007

it was one of those weekends...

you know, the one where life says, nope, your mine, no writing for you, young woman (okay, so I'm not exactly young, but hey, I don't think of myself as old, either. Even if I am getting there)

Friday I was running around checking out dog kennels (the dogs need to stay somewhere nice when we go away), buying birthday presents for my mum, and stocking up on food for the weekend. Saturday was mum's birthday(Happy Birthday, Mum!), so mum, my sister and her family came over for lunch. Saturday night I yakked online with the Conflux folk, who were running a mini, online conference in the runup for their conference in September. Then yesterday was lulu day, and all the girls made the long track up to the country for a spot of critting and a lot of yakking. And cake. And chocolate...

So, all in all, it was quite busy. But I did manage to get a little writing done last night. I'd tabled my new short story for the lulus to crit, and with their comments still fresh in my mind, I thought I'd try and finish it. Which I did. So now I'll let it sit until the next lulu session, let the girls see the end bit, then edit and choof it off to Miriam for an opinion. Hopefully, it'll get accepted for the anthology (can't tell you which one yet, because it may all fall in a hole)

and in other news...Aussie Idol is back. Yaaaayyyyyy! (and even better, Dicko is back as one of the judges--woot!) :) They've got singer/songwriters in again this year, and, so far, it looks likes they've got some fab talent. Time, of course, will tell. I can't wait!

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

release day!

Embraced by Darkness is officially released today! WooHOO!

And I've already received several emails from readers (one who was emailing at two in the morning, having just finished the book!) who were desperate to know if this was the last in the series (and hoping it wasn't.) The answer, of course, is no. There's another four planned. What happens after book nine depends on Bantam and whether you all like the direction it's going to go. (Not that it's going in a bad direction, it's just that Riley's life will continue to get worse before it gets better. But it does get better, I promise!)

And of course, with the book released, I've been checking the net and Amazon to see what is being said. I don't expect a whole lot to be out there just yet, but I have gotten my lowest ever amazon ranking with it--159! woohoo! (I know, I know, with the way amazon ranks things, it could just mean I've sold a whole two books, but it's still fun to watch the numbers go up and down)

I also received a review from the lovely ladies over at Coffee Time. You can read it in full here, but they say, in part;

Ms Arthur’s fifth guardian novel is just as fabulous as the first. Her expertise at depicting the interaction between characters like a smart-mouthed clerk and a bossy werewolf insures breathless excitement on every page. Fast paced and attention grabbing, Embraced by Darkness is a must read and a necessary possession.
~ reviewed by Brenda.

Cool, hey?

In other news, don't forget I'm featured author over on Coffee Time's Reader Retreat, so head on over there if you feel like chatting, or if you have some questions about the series. Just hit the link on the right (down slightly), and it'll take you straight there. You have to join, but it's free.

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