NaNo is on the horizon

As you probably know, I participated last year in an exercise in group insanity called NaNoWriMo. This is short for National Novel Writing Month, and it takes place every year. I’ve participated three years in a row, as well as a handful of “Camp NaNo” sessions, which are mini versions of the event that take place in April and July, typically.

For the past three years, I have written a novel during each iteration of NaNo. (Vernacular time: NaNo is both the month and the project one is working on, WriMo is the person participating… At least, these are true in my world.) My books have been varied – a young adult dystopia, a redraft of that same YA dystopia, and a sequel to Falling Apart (it does exist!). For camp, I have written a variety of things, including the very first early stages of Falling Apart, and several short stories.

There are two ways to participate in NaNo. There’s the traditional way, in which one writes 50,000 words (ideally 1667 per day or more), that all collectively “go together” and become a single novel, and then there’s the rebellious way, in which one does whatever one wants. I plan to rebel this year. Now, rebelling doesn’t come without its rules – you still must write 50,000 words. My second year of NaNo, the year I rewrote the dystopia (that will never see the light of day), I was a rebel, because the 50k are meant to be new words on a new work. Last year, writing “The Sequel” as it’s fondly titled, I rebelled because it’s under 50k, so I made up the difference by working on a few side projects, including a short story and a fanfic that never got off the ground. (Speaking of which, I should dust that thing off… I really liked it.)

This year, I will be rebelling once again. Someone told me recently that she feels like I’m always rebelling, and that’s because it’s true! I hardly ever fit inside the NaNo box, but I still have three WINNER t-shirts to show for my concerted efforts (and successes). This year’s rebellion will be different from the others in that I’ll exclusively be working on my sexy shorts. My plan is to write an anthology of ten shorts, at least 5,000 words each. That’ll net me at least 50k, and I’ll hopefully once again earn myself a WINNER t-shirt.

There are two other categories that separate NaNo participants from one another. Planners plan out their novels, however carefully, and head into November with an idea of what they’re writing. Pantsers on the other hand fly by the seat of their pants, go in without a plan, sometimes without a plot at all. There are, of course, varying degrees of planner and pantser – some planners are meticulously planned to the last detail, some just have a general idea of plot points. Some pantsers have no idea what they’re even going to write about, some have a solid plot in mind with little else planned. I am a hybrid. I used to be a strict pantser, but last year I planned and found it both easier and harder to write. This year I think I may go in with a handful of general plots in mind, but nothing very detailed.

I’m curious if any of my readers are participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Let’s hear what your experiences have been like, and what your plan is for this year!

Fitting In

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes to fit in lately. Job hunting has given me a whole new perspective on this subject. I used to be the kid who always tried to fit in, no matter how unsuccessful I was. I liked fitting in, blending in, not standing out. It’s a knee-jerk reaction based on the way my family was growing up, I suppose. You were far better off if you fit in and didn’t stand out in any way.

As an adult, I’ve mostly shed that burden, and I am much more true to myself now. I have blue hair, a nose ring, and tattoos. I wouldn’t call myself very edgy in any way – I’m really just a soccer mom who looks a little less like a soccer mom than most people. (I guess technically I’m a swimming mom, but that’s beside the point.) My tattoos aren’t extravagant, or even very visible when I’m fully clothed for summer. In winter, you can’t see them at all. My nose ring is definitely visible, but it’s practically a part of my face at this point. As for my hair, I prefer purples and dark blues, which all fade out to a pale blue, so that’s sort of my default color.

When I go in for my interview this week, I’ll be backing off of my hair and nose ring. I’ll dye my hair a normal brown today. I’ll swap out my nose ring for something more low profile. My tattoos will be covered. I’ll basically go conservative for the interview. Once my 90 day period is up, assuming I ever get a job, I’ll be more likely to revert back to my usual self – dyed hair and all. Of course, I’m not one to rock the boat, so I might not. I hate asking permission for things, and I also hate doing things without permission. I’m a mystery.

Erotica is something nobody will take from me though. Building chairs, as I put it last week, isn’t as exciting as I had hoped it would be, but it’s going well. I have two stories releasing soon, and two more in progress, and a third in the outlining stage. Lots of good writing going on. I know that writing erotica isn’t the most conservative of pastimes, but that won’t stop me. With a pen name, it shouldn’t impact my actual day to day job at all.

Speaking of pen names, Pet is writing again! I’m so proud of him. Over 5k in less than a week, where our arrangement is that he’s to write 1k a week minimum. And Pet is looking for a good pen name, so expect to see me spreading the love once Pet decides on who he’s going to be.

So, dear readers, where do you fit in? Do you fit a mold, or are you a black sheep? Do you care? Are there benefits to fitting in? Standing out? What would you do if you were me?

Guest Post – Lemon Wedges by Briana Lawrence

Time for another book promo for one of my fantastic fellow Heatstroke Press friends (you have no idea how many times it took me to write “Heatstroke”! I must be tired… ah, Mondays).

This one is m/m! It’s titled Lemon Wedges, a companion piece to Blushing Apples.

Lemon Wedges
Isn’t the cover gorgeous?

There’s some fetishes that we’re allowed to wear out in the open. Others, we have to keep tucked away in our closets. Unbeknownst to the people around him, Kaeden is walking that fine line in stylish heels. But with the release of a new brand, “Lemon Wedges,” Kaeden is finding it hard to keep his desires behind closed doors, especially when his sexy roommate, Stephen, gets a taste of his fashionable little secret.

Warning: This book is explicit, gay erotica, and contains graphic descriptions of sex. Please be aware of this when you purchase and enjoy a slice of devious pie without feeling guilty.

This book sounds just delightful. And you all know that I love me some m/m stories!

You can find the beautiful Briana Lawrence at these places:

Amazon

Author site

Facebook

Elyse Shuldhiess - June 2015 (58)

Writing prolifically (or, quality vs quantity)

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about writing lately, particularly those who can write prolifically. I’ve been reading a lot about a model that helps authors make a serious income from erotica writing, and I’ve embarked on that path myself, thus the self-publication of Group Effort: Andrew and Cole and the upcoming publication of Group Effort 2 (full title hasn’t been announced yet). The person who put this model down on paper (whose name I don’t actually know), was a hugely prolific writer, publishing between 10 and 15 stories per month. I’m nowhere near that prolific, though I have finished GE2 this week and I’m nearly finished with another story.

I guess the major question that hangs out there when it comes to writing so prolifically is the question of quality versus quantity. There’s no way my beta readers can keep up with that volume, nor would I expect them to. The problem of course is that means that I risk publishing things that haven’t been seen by anyone but me, and I know more than anyone that I’m fallible. But if I can hone my eye so that things I’m putting out aren’t bad, or are pretty good, is it so bad if only I look at them? The great thing about publishing on Amazon is that if I find an error, I can always upload an update and everyone who’s read the book will get the update as well. On the other hand, I don’t really want to be putting out product that needs repeated updates, either.

There are lots of things to think about here. Quality can be high, but if it is, product takes longer to put out. If quantity is high, quality suffers. Finding a balance is difficult.

The model that I’m using puts it like this: you can either create a beautiful chair, one of a kind that everyone wants to own and is very rare, or you can create a functional chair, one that everyone knows works and is available to everyone, but isn’t particularly artistic at all.

I am starting to think that I want to build the functional chair.

I got into writing for the love of it, but I stay in writing because I hope to make money doing it one day. (Well, that and the voices in my head won’t shut up.) I don’t spend my hours on Pinterest, Facebook, and blogging just because it’s fun, but because I’m working hard to build a brand. A following. I want people to want to follow me and want to know what I’m up to, and the only way to do that is to participate in social media. Let’s face it – social media is a beast that isn’t going away, and writers may as well embrace it now. The sooner, the better.

So I’ve set aside time daily to crank out the words that are already in my head, time to brainstorm new ideas, and time to edit. You’ll see me posting more and more about the new books I have coming out, because I intend to get out as many as possible. Many of you know I’m currently unemployed, and that helps allow me to have as much time as I’d like to write. That said, I’ll be publishing GE2 next week, and possibly a story about a sexy doctor and his after work relaxation. I’m still toying with titles, so I don’t have any titles to give you just yet. I am also going to endeavor to make my titles a bit more obvious, so that my stories are easier to find. For example, I could have given Andrew and Cole a name like Taken by my Boss. It’s cheesy, but it gets attention from people who are searching and not taking time to read heavily into titles.

What are your thoughts about quality vs quantity when it comes to making a profit?

I’m also going to start posting the Amazon links to some of my books at the end of each blog post, so here we go: You can find Group Effort: Andrew and Cole at Amazon.

Guest Post: Belinda Burke’s Sophie by the Sea

Wow, we’ve just got all kinds of guests lined up this week. I’ll even have another one on Friday. My Heatstroke authors are all in their “new release” period and would love for you guys to hear a little about their books. Today, I’ll talk about Sophie by the Sea by Belinda Burke.

Here’s the blurb for Sophie:

Sophie has returned to her normal life – to the sea, and to her photography. She’s spent as little time as possible thinking about her encounter with Luka and his pack, if only to keep herself from wistful thoughts. There may be magic in the world, but so far as she can see it won’t make any more difference in her life.
So far as she can see, however, isn’t far enough. Sophie may think things have returned to business as usual, but the ocean has a surprise for her. A shark, who can take the shape of a man. A shark who calls himself Theron, and who can reach out and touch Sophie’s mind.
Theron is the lord of the sea, and he sees her only as his woman, soft and beautiful. He wants to touch her, taste her, take her…and then keep her, if she can pass his test. If not, shifter though he is, Theron is more shark than man. Sophie might be in terrible danger…
But that doesn’t mean she can resist.
Wow, that one sounds great, doesn’t it? I’m really looking forward to reading it. An excerpt after the cut.

Continue reading “Guest Post: Belinda Burke’s Sophie by the Sea”

It’s here! It’s here!

Today’s the release day for Group Effort! I’m so excited that I think I’ll post an excerpt. First, the blurb again: Andrew Collins hates the boredom of working as a mail clerk. It doesn’t help that Andrew’s domineering boss, Cole Whitfield, enjoys making him miserable. When Cole catches him being naughty on the job, Andrew is faced with a choice, spend one night as the entertainment for Cole and his friends or look for another job. Can Andrew handle four men at once or will he run from the chance at a night he’ll never forget?

Excerpt after the jump.

Continue reading “It’s here! It’s here!”

Guest Post: Destiny Dawn’s Blushing Apples

A warm welcome to Heatstroke Press author Destiny Dawn today, whose book is taking over this blog with a post about a new erotic short,  Blushing Apples. I have to say, this book sounds HOT.

Blushing Apples Cover

First off, isn’t her cover beautiful? It definitely piques my interest!

Elana really can’t help herself when she steals the first bite and it’s all downhill from there. After seeing the fruit every day, she thought one would be enough, but to her flustered surprise it’s not. All she can think about is the succulent apple in her hand and the taste across her lips. She hungers for more, and is willing to do anything for another taste.

Warning: This book contains situations involving feeding and threesomes. This book is fully adult and contains graphic descriptions of sex. Please be aware of this when you purchase and enjoy a slice of devious pie without feeling guilty.

Doesn’t that just sound delicious? I can’t wait to read it. Blushing Apples premiered on September 1st.

Destiny Dawn can be reached a number of ways.

Facebook

Author’s website

And Blushing Apples can be ordered here

Destiny Dawn

Thanks for visiting us today, Destiny!

Group Effort and more exciting things

It’s official! Group Effort: Andrew and Cole is now up for pre-order. And as an added bonus, you’ll find a few pages from the second in the series, Group Effort: Hunter and Williams.

Here’s what you can expect from Andrew and Cole: Andrew Collins hates the boredom of working as a mail clerk. It doesn’t help that Andrew’s domineering boss, Cole Whitfield, enjoys making him miserable. When Cole catches him being naughty on the job, Andrew is faced with a choice, spend one night as the entertainment for Cole and his friends or look for another job. Can Andrew handle four men at once or will he run from the chance at a night he’ll never forget?

My beta reader tells me this is the best story I’ve ever written. It’s short, hot, and taps in to some of the best fantasies.

I’ve built an Amazon author page as well, which contains a list of my catalog, an RSS feed of this blog, and a bio. I’m working on getting up a photo soon. There’s also a place for discussion about the books, which I hope people take advantage of. I do love to hear what you all have to say – I did mention that in my last post, after all. Find my author page here.

I’d love to stick around and wax poetic about how excited I am about these new things, but Hunter and Williams is anxiously waiting for me to add the most important scene of all, so I’ll have to end here. How do you like all of my news? Do you have anything exciting to share?