Sunday, October 28, 2007

games ahoy...

I felt the need to run around and shoot things this weekend, so I got Pete to load up a new shoot-em-up on my computer. There's a few he's got that I haven't played, mainly because I really haven't had the time lately. But with Riley 6 handed in and a slightly more relaxed schedule ahead of me, I've finally have the chance. I love shoot-em-ups--but only the kind where you don't have to think too hard. I hate the ones that throw up puzzles and make me think--games are my relaxation from the strain of writing ('s an excuse, but hey, it sounds good :) ). Duke Nukem was one of my favs, simply because it had a sense of humour, but the more recent ones like Soldier of Fortune, Unreal, Half Life and Far Cry feature good game play and great graphics. So, what did Pete load? A game charmingly called FEAR--and can I just say that the bloody thing is living up to its name? I've only reached the third level, and it's already creeping me out. Pete reckons its not a game to play at night, and I think I'll be heeding his warning. And that weird little kid who keeps popping up gives me chills...

When I wasn't running around shooting things, I spent time watching DVD's. The Magnificent Seven TV series, to be precise. I bought it mainly because it had Michael Biehn in it, and I just love that man. Luckily, it turns out that the series wasn't all that bad--not fantastic, but very watchable. It also had Eric Close in it, who's not too bad on the eye either :)

Between the game and the DVD, I did surprisingly get a little writing done--six pages, in all. The plot track that carries through this book and the next has began, and tonight someone walked into Riley's life who she's going to have a mighty hard time getting rid of. Does she want to? Oh yeah. Well, maybe.

And that's about it for spoilers tonight.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

the greys are gone...

I didn't do any writing on Thursday. I had to go to the quack for the usual yearly check-up, which generally means sitting in the waiting room for several hours bored senseless, because our doctor never runs to appointment times and I'd forgotten to bring a book. I went to gym afterward, and decided while I was there that I'd really had enough of the grey. I may be heading towards the big five-0 at a rate of knots, but that doesn't mean I actually have to look like it. So, I jumped into the car, drove back to Wallan, and walked into the local hairdresser and said do something. And she did. :) I now have a new colour, new foils, and a new cut, and all is good.

Isn't it amazing just how much better you feel with a new hair do?

I did write yesterday. Because I'd managed to write 5 pages on Mercy Burns on Wednesday, I decided to open Riley 7 and have a go at that. I'm still switching between the stories, just to keep the muse on her toes. I have to admit, it was a bit of a struggle at first, but I think that's mainly because the bad guys are still forming for me in this one. I'm not entirely sure where I want this story to head--although, oddly enough, I do know how it ends. But then, I know how book 8 ends, too, and I can tell you, it isn't pretty. If you think I've been mean to Riley up to now, just wait to you read that book. lol.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

so okay...

it took me a bit longer to read through The Darkest Kiss than I thought it might. Half the problem was the fact that Sunday was such a glorious day, and I just couldn't make myself sit at a computer and read. We may be in the middle of the worst drought in recorded history, we may not have any drinking water a year or two down the track, but when the sky is so blue, and the day so warm, it's sort of hard to worry about things like that. Especially when the spring flowers are everywhere and the garden is such a pretty place to be at the moment. Which is why we're putting water tanks in--we want to keep the garden that way, and having water tanks might be the only way we can water soon.

I haven't got much else to report. I haven't done any writing, but hope to start that again today. I did order a heap of stuff from Cafe Press, just so I can make sure the quality is okay. I'd hate to be selling stuff that is dodgy--not that I expect it will be. Cafe Press has been around for a while, and I haven't heard any complaints about it. It'll be interesting to see if the designs look as good on clothes as they do on paper, though. If they don't, expect to see a lot of sudden changes!

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

edits are bye-bye...

well, not quite, but all I have to do is a final read-through, then I can attach them to an email and send them off to my editor. As I said in an earlier post, there wasn't anything major in this lot of edits--which is a huge relief, given Destiny and Embraced had more than their fair share. I didn't want to go three bad books in a row. This time around it was more clarification stuff--you know, I'd written something but didn't follow it through logically. Plus there was the usual spelling goofs. In one case, I switched spelling of the bad guys race mid-way through the book and hadn't noticed. And yes, I did edit the damn thing before I sent it off. Several times, in fact. Just goes to prove, we authors are blind when it comes to our own work--thank heaven for tough editors. :)

There's no other writing news, thanks to the fact the Darkest Kiss edits have been taking up all of my writing time. But I've still managed to keep some fun 'online' time to myself, and have set up a small Cafe Press site. It's only a basic site at the moment, and there's only two Riley designs available there, but if it proves to be popular, I'll roll it over to a premium site so there's more choices. (I actually want a large mug in both designs, so I may just take up the premium option anyway). I'm also in the process of shifting over my website to the new design. Justin from Stonecreek Media has come up with a wonderful template--it's along the same lines as what I have now, but much, much fancier. It may take me a week or so to shift the content over, but I'll let you all know when that happens. I'll be shifting the blog, too, which not only means that this site will no longer be active, but my blog will finally fully match my site.

Back to writing tomorrow--yay!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Bantam just sent me the cover for The Darkest Kiss, and I have to say, the cover artist has done a brilliant job once again:

isn't it beautiful? :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

edits ahoy...

I received my edits for Riley 6 today. Anne always sends me an email first--I think so its not so much of a shock when I see the full printed version attached to the manuscript, which is always filled with little red squiggles everywhere. Squiggles that are a bonus to the edit letter. lol. It's actually not as bad as I thought it might be. Most of the comments relate to stuff I simply hadn't fully thought through, and can be easily corrected. The remainder will require some rewriting, but not a whole lot. Overall, I did pretty good on this one. :) Now I just have to wait for the manuscript to arrive on my doorstep, and get down to work.

I did manage to get some writing done on Riley 7 today. Only three pages, but overall I'm very happy with that. I did some fine-tuning--the bad-vampire she's following in the first chapter somehow morphed into a zombie, so I had to go back and fix that. And then she suddenly had a gun, so I had to go back and add that. But I also got a couple of plot ideas jotted down, and the story is finally starting to form in my head. I also got some brilliant ideas about the romantic entanglements in this one. Can't say any more, because that would spoil things, but the muse is rubbing her hands with glee and that's always a good sign. I'm back writing Mercy tomorrow. I'm not sure how long I'll keep switching between the two, but for the moment it seems to be working, so I'm not complaining. :)

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

it feels like summer...

right now in Melbourne. Blue skies, gloriously warm days. Not a rain cloud in sight. Of course, this is not good news in many ways, simply because we desperately need the rain. The eight year drought is rolling into year nine, and there's no end in sight. We've had enough of the wet stuff to make everything green and bring the major city dams up from 27% to 40%, but things are still pretty dire. Especially for many farmers, who haven't got half the rain that we city people have. They're already warning people to get ready for massive hikes in fruit, meat and milk, simply because the price of feed is going through the roof. I wouldn't mind paying steep prices if the money went to the farmers, but it doesn't. The supermarkets and distributors seem to grab the majority and the poor old farmers get practically nothing....but I guess that's a rant for another day. Along with the rant about our do-nothing-lets-hope-the-rain-appears state government...

Onto some writing stuff. The muse is still playing games. I sat down to write Riley 7 today, and ended up writing 5 pages on Mercy instead. I have to say, I'm loving this story so far, and I really don't want to let it drop. So I'm thinking that I'm going to write both--Mercy one day, Riley the next. Maybe the muse will settle into some sort of rhythm, and we'll get some decent writing done. And if we don't, well, at least there's some decent TV shows coming back on. The Bionic Woman, Heroes, & Life all appeared this week, and the cute boys from Supernatural are back next week. Yay!! I got the season 2 dvd of Supernatural the other day, so if I disappear for a few days, you know I'm doing a marathon. It's research, you know :)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

good news...

As I noted over on my website, there's been some most excellent news on the Riley front...Bantam have pushed forward the release date for The Darkest Kiss (Riley 6). It'll now be released at the end of April rather than the end of September. Yay!

And while we're on the good news front, Piatkus have picked up the as yet unwritten Riley 7, and will be releasing it in the UK and Commonwealth, so more yays!

But with the good news, comes the bad--the release date for Destiny Kills has been pushed back. I currently have no idea when it'll be released, but as soon as I do know, I'll announce it on my site and blog.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Conflux, LLB...

Conflux 4 turned out to be fabulous. As I said in an earlier blog, I've never been to an Aussie fantasy con before, and I really had no idea what to expect. I didn't know anybody there, either, having little involvement with the fantasy community before now (reason--there just weren't any fantasy crit groups near me when I started writing, and the only online site I found was the Delrey one--which I stayed on until they started charging. Plus, of course, my books are only now being released in Australia.) There were some great guests there, including the fabulous Kevin J Anderson and his wife Rebecca Moesta (I did their workshops on increasing writing productivity, and it was brill), Graham Joyce, Garth Nix and Simon Brown. There were lots of interest panel discussions and one very funny debate on the benefits of being an evil overlord versus the hero. But it was great fun meeting and talking to everyone, and I met some lovely people I hope to remain in contact with (waves to Jane). All in all, well worth the effort, and I hope to get back there next year.

Onto other stuff....Laurie from All About Romance/Laurie Likes Books has written a wonderful article on Urban Fantasy in her 'At the Back Fence' weekly column, and the Riley books are featured rather heavily in it. Head on over there to check it out, and feel free to participate in the conversation, because Laurie's asked a heap of interesting questions at the end of the article.

I also managed to get some writing done. Eight pages on Mercy, which isn't a whole heap, but its better than nothing. The reason I didn't get more writing done was actually because I spotted the new Dick Francis (Dead Heat) when I was up in Canberra, and I just had to get it. It was fabulous. Like a lot of his more recent novels, it's more character driven rather than action (which is not saying there wasn't action--there was), but it was still a great read. Evidenced by the fact that I finished it in three nights (reading only a couple of hours each night). I haven't read that fast in ages!

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