Monday, November 14, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016--I've Joined the Rebellion

My first NaNoWriMo was back in 2007.  I wrote the first draft of what would become Courting the King in Yellow. I hit the 50K mark, I "won" NaNo on my first try--

And then I didn't come back for four more years.

When I did return in 2011, it was to draft the second Parted Veil series, Lovecraft's Curse. 2013's NaNo was the draft of Lovecraft's Pupil, 2014 was Lovecraft's Trial (which is coming in 2017), and last year was Harrowed (which I wrote with Jolene Haley).

I've always used the NaNo proper events to get a first draft of a full novel, one project that I dive deep into for the entire month (and beyond)--a singular focus.

Until this year. This year, I'm a rebel.

If you know me, then you know I'm not a rebel. I like rules, I like structure and I like deadlines. This is why NaNoWriMo works really well for me. The expectations are very clear.

But something happened this year. When I began planning out my month of writing, there were multiple projects that were calling out for attention. And so I listened to all of them. I'm currently working on an Orchard Pointe novella with Jolene, a short story for an upcoming anthology project, and edits for a novella set in the Parted Veil universe (starring the cast of Courting the King in Yellow).

It's weird.

I honestly don't know if I like it yet. I mean, I adore the community of Nano, and that's the exact reason I signed up again. The group on online writing pals that I've been fortunate to become a part of is truly amazing.

But not having that one, single novel driving my writing for the month has made for an inconsistent first couple of weeks. I am making progress on all three projects, but it's not the same as seeing huge chunks of a novel come together.

The most important thing is that I'm writing every day, however. That is always a good thing, and there will be many more words written before the month is out. As to whether or not the rebel life is for me, the jury's still out on that one.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Get Ready for NaNoWriMo with Jolene and Brian!

NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow, and I could not be more exited. Writing every day, chatting with a supportive community of fellow writers, and laying the foundation for a new project is always a blast, and this NaNo will be no different. Jolene Haley and I are writing a story set in the world of our upcoming Orchard Pointe series, and I can't wait to dive into it.

But before Jolene and I became writing partners, Jolene was a guest on the See Brian Write podcast. I asked her to come on the show because she is such a positive force in the online writing community, and she has a wealth of info on great writing resources for those participating in any of the NaNoWriMo events. We had a discussion about getting prepped for Camp NaNo, and Jolene provided some awesome tips and links to resources that I wanted to share again on the eve of NaNo 2016.

So, you can listen to the episode of the SBW podcast right here:

And here are the show notes for that ep, complete with links to many of the resources we chatted about.

Jolene Haley

NaNoWriMo Freebie Resources from Pen & Muse
Plot worksheet - for figuring out your plot 

Word count - For tracking your writing goals & actuals

Getting to Know your Character worksheet - For really nailing down your characters

Editing Worksheet - For when they are done.

Results for searching NaNoWriMo on Pen and Muse:

NaNoWriMo Sites

NOTE: I am getting the rest of the back episodes of the See Brian Write podcast moved over to Spreaker, and the new season will begin in early 2017. Stay tuned for more info!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Read My New Short Story "What Crosses Over" Right Now!

Today's an exciting day! I'm checking into the Haunted Hotel over at my pal Jolene Haley's website with a brand new short story called "What Crosses Over."

I absolutely love the annual writer and illustrator showcases that Jolene puts on. She brings together some amazingly talented writers and artists, and I am so grateful to have been able to participate over the past few years.

This year all of the stories revolve around a haunted hotel named the Thornewood, which has 666 rooms. I immediately signed up for room number 665. My thought was that room 666 would naturally be connected to some great danger or evil. But what about the rooms right next to it? That was a question I decided to explore.

So, I had a vague kernel of an idea, but I needed more ingredients for my story. I love creating characters, and I had decided this story would feature two main characters. I toyed with the idea of having it be two friends, or two people who were romantically involved. But it was a brief conversation on Twitter with my friend Jessi that led to the creation of the characters for "What Crosses Over."

I'm a big fan of the Soska sisters (also known as the Twisted Twins), who wrote and directed the excellent American Mary (starring Katharine Isabelle of Ginger Snaps and Freddy vs. Jason). They burst onto the horror scene with Dead Hooker in a Trunk back in 2009 and have become icons of the genre. I've since watched their show Hellevator, and it is indeed awesome--you should all be watching it.

The Soska Sisters
Anyway, that conversation inspired the creation of the main characters in my short story. I decided they would be a couple of freelance monster-hunting, magic-wielding, ass-kicking Canadian sisters known as "The Bards." And so, Lucienne and Maurelle Delacroix were born. As you'll see, the term "bards" is referring to their magical talents, which revolve around music (Lucie) and words (Mo). It's also a reference to my lifelong love of D&D. These two characters were so much fun to write from the start, that I connected their story to my Parted Veil series of books, opening the door for them to have many more adventures in the future. But it all starts at the Thornewood Hotel.

Outside of the characters, this story has clear connection to Lovecraft (as does my whole Parted Veil series), but also features nods to John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness, and Creepshow 2's "The Raft," segment, which was based on a Stephen King short story. There's also an Easter Egg to another '80s franchise in there--I'll let you find it.

I hope you dig the story, as well as the peek into the inspiration behind it. Now go watch everything the Soska Sisters have made. And if you like the larger ideas this story is hinting at, feel free to check out my Parted Veil series.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Come See Me at Bing Con This Saturday (10/22)!

I am very excited to be exhibiting at my home town con this weekend! Bing Con is an annual event that features local writers, artists, crafters and more who come together to raise money for the Bing Arts Center. The Bing is a local theater that is in the process of being restored, and the proceeds from admission to the show go toward the restoration.

Bing Con is taking place this Saturday from 11-5 at Trinity Church on Sumner Aver in Springfield. I'll have a table and will be selling my Parted Veil books, as well as my brand new short story collection, Intrusive Thoughts.

If you're in the Western Mass area, come down to Trinity on Saturday and say hi!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

INTRUSIVE THOUGHTS is Now Available in Print!

I'm very happy to announce that my short story collection Intrusive Thoughts (Volume One) is now available in print over at Drive Thru Fiction. Even better, it's a mere $6.99, so you should be able to buy it and get it shipped to you for $10 or so! And if you want the electronic versions (PDF, Mobi, Epub) as well, they're only $0.99 when you buy the print version.

About Intrusive Thoughts (Volume One)

They appear in your mind without warning. Panic-inducing visions of familiar people, places and events twisted into something sinister and frightening.

A child's imaginary friend;
A carnival photo booth;
A snowy winter's night;
A lovers' getaway;
A harvest celebration;
A walk in the woods;
A couple's dream house.

Once these corrupted versions of reality embed themselves into your brain, they will haunt you every time you close your eyes.