Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Feelings and Frappuccinos


Here's the truth of it. I am happy alone in the dark with my keyboard and some coffee. That is my comfort zone. I live mostly in my head with my characters and that's alright. My hubby gets it. He entices me with Frappuccinos and we work it out.

However, as an author, I paradoxically long to connect with others through what I'm reading or writing or watching. Talking about books or movies...that is so energizing for me!  I wish I could just have a monthly coffee house meeting with all of you! 
Alas, you are all spread throughout our little blue marble. So its a struggle to really reach out and connect with other lovers of books, avid wordsmiths, book dragons...if you will.                                                                           

Recently, I finished a steampunk, zombie, romance trilogy. Yes...I said that right. It seemed like such a natural transition after writing my Gothic romance books.  There is a lot of crossover between the two genres on an emotional level.

It occurred to me that some of you might have experienced an unexpected crossover into a genre you might not normally read.  Did a friend get so jazzed about a book you just had to read it?  What led to your little reading digression...and did it stick?

I used to be just romantic suspense and then I saw The Woman In Black, a movie of the Gothic mystery persuasion.  I loved it so much that I sought out similar movies and books...totally addicted now. Sound familiar or are you a die hard fan of your chosen flavor of storytelling?  

Writing steampunk this time around was so exciting for me!  The alternative history crowd is such a great community of artists, inventors, seamstresses, and of course, authors.  The TeslaCon and other conferences are definitely a draw. Who doesn't love cool weapons and luxurious materials? 

The journey from concept to completion for these novels continues to be a wild ride!
Click to learn more...
I'd love to share with you the raucous ride our heroine, Charlotte Blackburn takes in the series. From debutante to dissenter, some heroes are born ladies.  I will be hosting some launch parties and what not when the first book releases in January BUT...

I will have some free goodies for all of you in a few weeks!  I've written three novellas to introduce book one of The Blackburn Chronicles, The Tremblers! They will be available for download soon. Ill keep you posted!

+RaquelByrnes

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Time in Pages


I've been asked to write a few novellas to accompany the release of my YA Steampunk series next year.

They can be any character or event in the series. So...yay! Between 2500-5000 words long.  Whoa...what?! 

At first I was concerned at the time frame. I have until summer, but they want a few and thats a tight timeline for all the different ones I have in mind. 

Then I started writing...OMG this is hard!  I don't have enough time/pages to do what I want with the little vignettes and backstory.

There's so much more to the characters and the world. I know, I spent years creating and fine tuning them both. 

BUT...I can DO this...right? *sigh*

So the average novella is 20 pages which is around 5,000 words. Thats a lot, right? I handwrote out a story beginning. I thought I was being brief but I'm at page 11 already so I have to slash, slash, slash!

I guess it feels like time measured out in pages is a bit constraining. I have to cut out extraneous things like too much setting description, etc. And that's sort of difficult if your world is a steampunk post apocalyptic version of New York...like we're talking major world building needed here.

I'm hoping it works out.  I have in mind 5-8 novellas so hopefully I will get the process down pretty soon. 

Never realized how challenging this would be. Hats off to the other authors out there whose free novellas I gobbled up and loved...you guys rock!

+Raquel Byrnes 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG, Reading Changed Me

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG

This month's Insecure Writers Support Group topic is:
How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

The truth is...A LOT

I was always a voracious reader. I was the kid in school reading as she walked to class, totally oblivious of people saying hello or...to my utter dismay, opening doors. I chewed through tomes in just a couple of days always on the prowl for a new series to swoon over. Often quoting characters and expecting others to understand my nerdy references. Yeah...that kid.

Now I am an adult version of that kid. I still read like its going out of style. I still tend to get lost in a book even in a crowded room.

BUT...reading took a little of an unexpected turn for me. It became a learning experience on how to write. 

As an author, I can appreciate what an author is doing in terms of technique. When I read, I notice things like dialogue, world-building, character development, story arc...and I learn a ton from each author.

Reading helps me identify what works and what doesn't. What I like and why I like it.  And hopefully, improve my own writing.

I figure the more I take in great writing...better writing...than my own...the more I learn.

Because of this, my choices in books has changed to reflect my taste for higher quality products. The YA genre in particular is pumping out some amazing series...I am truly excited as a reader and fan!

So now, happily, I have an actual professional reason for my book hoarding! Yay me!

Please take a look at some of the other insightful posts by the Insecure Writers Support Group...you never know where inspiration might strike.

+Raquel Byrnes