Summer Time Blues

I’m going to be honest with you. I hate Summer. It’s way too hot and muggy. The whole project involves yard work, mowing, and sweating. I dislike all three, especially the last one. Now, when I was a kid I loved Summer. Mainly because, I didn’t have to go to school and could read all night. Yeah, even way back then it was all about books for me. As I sit here hiding from humidity next to a fan and air conditioning blowing on me, I can be truthful and say I miss those days.

 

Now, instead of wishing I could stay up all night reading books, I wish I could stay up writing them. I say that as someone with a deadline staring him habitually in the rearview mirror. Like a lot of people my age, I wish I could channel half the energy I had back then. If I could, maybe I could work a full time job and still manage to write into the wee hours of the morning. Okay, I’d like to work some reading in there somewhere. Hey, writers are readers first and foremost.

 

This may sound crazy, but I find it hard to write during the summer months. Maybe it’s the sunshine and a need to be outside. Though, if you remember from above, I hate heat and sweating. Seriously, I just seemed better able to create during the fall and winter. I don’t know why, but I just do. I also get a creative charge out of storms too. Yeah, I’m kinda weird.

 

But, weird defines authors. We have our times when the juices just seem to flow. Usually, mine hits just before it’s time to wrap things up and go to bed. Again, I think this goes back to when I was younger. I could stay up all night painting and do some of my best work. Growing up and becoming a productive member of society did away with all that. Up by dawn, go to work, come home, piddle around house, eat, shower and if I’m lucky, knock out a paragraph or three before bed. You guessed it. Rinse and repeat daily. All this monotony makes Jack a dull boy. Extra credit if you can get the literary reference there.

 

It’s true, though. The longer I write, the more it seems that instead of easier, the process has become harder. It isn’t that I am unable to form words. It’s just harder for me to get enthused by the project. Each word is a struggle. I see the scenes in my head, but squeezing them onto a screen is a chore worthy of Hercules.

 

To write, everything needs balance. Right now, my balance just isn’t what it used to be. I constantly find myself looking for my ‘Happy Place’. Wherever that is. Whatever that is. I seriously can’t remember either one of those things. And, summer isn’t helping. I won’t go into the episodes of LIFE that keeps cropping up and getting in the way. We all have them, so you get where I’m coming from. I don’t know if there’s an easy fix for this, or not.

 

More than likely, it’s just one of those things I have to work through myself. I know I’m not the only author who fights this particular demon. We all have those moments of frustration and self doubt. It’s not that I doubt I can write. I’ve done it before so know the ability resides within me. It’s more of a question of do I want to write. Since I’m so freaking messed up over not doing it, I must. Otherwise I wouldn’t be agonizing over it in a public setting like this.

 

Do I see myself just giving up? Not any time soon. But, I do feel like I need a recharge. Discover the feeling of joy I once felt turning on my computer and spilling my imagination across a document. It’s difficult to feel joy when you’re busy being a grown-up.

 

Because, let’s face it. I don’t write grownup books. Sure, they’re Romance, but they’re the Romance of youthful exuberance. They’re the adventures we dreamed we’d go on when we were kids looking at our futures with wide-eyed innocence. The innocence of the ignorant quite frankly. Ignorant of how the real world really works. Ignorant that one day summer won’t mean freedom. It’ll just be another part of the year where the day job gets in the way of you being that person you thought you’d be lying on the beach and hoping the day would never end.

 

So, before I fade into preparing myself for yet another Monday, I cordially invite you to take a trip back to those days when the world was yours to hold and you could be anything you wanted to be. I invite you to be a Vampire, a Werewolf, a Slayer. Anything you want to be, just as long as you’re having fun. How? Well, inside one of my books, of course. It’s where anything can define who you are and can always can be.

Just step through either of the two links below to start your adventure or find me on your favorite online bookseller.

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Desert Breeze Publishing

 

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/brands/J.-Morgan.html

 

Amazon

 

http://www.amazon.com/J.-Morgan/e/B0032R8BFE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1403484497&sr=8-1

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Waterfall Woman, a Character and a Muse Rolled into One!

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I steal people! I believe I’ve confessed to this before, but it bears repeating. So what do you do when you’re a people thief who turns their friends’ entire personality into fictional characters? You interview them! In a series I like to call Character Muses Where Are They Now?, I will tag some of my favorite inspirations and ask them probing — no, not that kind of probing — questions.

 

But, who to start with? Well, after some deep thought, I went with the first one to pop up in my IM window. Seriously, one of my most favorite characters is Waterfall Woman from my Love Bites series. To me she is the glue that holds my dysfunctional vampire/slayer family together. She’s my fangy Yoda if you will. It doesn’t hurt that she’s also one of my dearest friends, and adopted sister to boot. Hey! I didn’t even have to kidnap her to get her on here either. In my line of work, that’s always a bonus. So without further adieu, allow me to introduce you to the real Waterfall Woman, Susan White. Cue the applause sign thingie, Stud, and none of your backtalk or its back into my psyche for you.

 

Jmo: Susan welcome to the Giggles. Did you bring cookies?

 

Susan: Have I ever not brought cookies? Well sometimes pie, maybe cake… cheesecake? This time, I definitely brought cookies. Peanut butter fudge delights.

 

Jmo: Mmmmm… Cheesecake. Peanut butter fudge delights sound even better. Uh, we better get to the questions before the drool prevents me from asking any. Susan, as a writer yourself, how do you approach creating characters? Have any of your friends found their way into your stories? I’m just asking to justify my own actions, by the way. Feel free to answer while I get a glass of milk for those delights.

 

Susan: Like many writers I do tons of research and talk to many peop…. ok that’s BS, I just write down what the voices in my head tell me to. And well, I’m a procrastinator of the highest order. I have a badge and everything. So many of my stories, and the characters that are insisting I know them, are still trapped in my head. Maybe I should let them out… Yes, if I actually write my stories down, then my friends definitely find their way into my stories. They’re the ones I know best, and who know me better than anyone. You will definitely find yourself in my stories… if I ever write them down. Being a little off center helps too. Did you hear that? Never mind, definitely those voices again. Oops I think there is drool on your shirt.

 

Jmo: No, that’s peanut butter delight slobber. Sorry. So, what did you think when I came to you and said I really wanted to back this character on you? Since, you know me so well, were you skeered?

 

Susan: I was a teeny tiny bit skeered, as you know me well, warts and all. But as a brother of my heart, I trust you completely. You would never ever hurt me. I know this to the depths of my soul.

 

Jmo: When I went into Waterfall in Love Free Stake Hard, I didn’t envision her past that book, but she kind of took over and her role in the books grew. That’s the scary thing. How well do you think I captured the heart of Susan and grafted it onto Waterfall Woman? Are you the Yoda she is?

 

Susan: I’d like to think that you captured me very well but I’m not sure I’m as noble and vibrant as Waterfall Woman. I love her as a character and would even if she weren’t based on me. Honestly, my favorite character so far is Joan lol. I am very flattered and honored to have such a character as Waterfall Woman based on me though. Me? Sage and Wise? Hmmm I dunno really. I’m definitely getting older, that’s for sure lol. Like anybody I’ve had ups and downs in life but I try to be as kind, compassionate and caring as I can. Does that count?

 

Jmo: Every time. So, if you had to pick one aspect of Waterfall Woman to have, what would it be? You already have one Bird Brain, so you can’t pick him. Sorry.

 

Susan: lol Yes I do have the Bird Brain. He’s actually sitting here near me now checking his email and talking to Yoda, one of our two dogs.  Hmmm that’s a toughie. I think I’d like her ability to help people. I do what I can, in my own way, but I love that she helps people, well people, vamps etc. Does that make sense?

 

Jmo: Yes it does, because the biggest part I stole from you was your heart. Your love and caring for others is the basis for who Waterfall truly is.

 

Susan: Then I’m even more honored that she is based on me. I really truly believe that love is what makes the world go ’round. Unconditional love is extremely important to me. Do people know that Walking Bird is based on a real person btw? I’m asking because if anyone has wondered if he would really cook and eat the road kill… well yes, yes he would. And no I’m not deflecting at all. Ignore the wet eyes and sniffly nose please. That’s just my allergies acting up.

 

Jmo: Don’t sniffle. Here’s a napkin. Just blow around the peanut butter smudges. Heck, I stole your whole family when you get down to it. I would say more but that might give away too much. You can find out what I’m talking about when Bite Marks Two comes out. But, aside from the ultra manly Walking Bird, I used your son, Chris, for Stalking Shadow, the hero in Bite Marks One. Again, we don’t want to give away too much there either because some dastardly stuff happens in that book.

 

Is there any part of you, you wished I had included when creating your alter ego?

 

Susan: Actually, I can’t think of any. I love all of my family, including my chosen family, with my whole heart. You’ve got that covered. Sometimes when I read the books I’m in, I think you know me better than I do lol. I also laugh out loud so much that I almost wet my pants.

 

Jmo: Don’t go incontinent on me, sis. The knowing you better thing is because the floppy haired dude from Ancient Aliens sold me an alien brain reading device off his website. Before I go to finish off the rest of those delights, one last question. If you could be Waterfall Woman for one day, what would you do?

 

Susan: That one is easy. I’d help as many people as I could with as many issues as I could. I would also make sure they all knew they were loved and cared for. Kind of boring I know.

 

Jmo: Not boring at all. That’s because you really are Waterfall Woman, and thanks for stopping by, Susan. And, if any of you would like to learn more about Waterfall Woman, feel free to check out the Love Bites and Bite Marks series. I promise you a roller coaster ride of romance and fun. I’ll even include some handy dandy links so you don’t get lost on the way to the bookstore. Don’t feel bad. I always end up in the teen fiction section for some reason. I blame Percy Jackson for all the good it does me. He stopped returning my calls.

 

Any parting words for our readers, sis?

 

Susan: I love floppy haired dude by the way. Well, I guess I’d just like to say, let all those you love know you love them while you can and….. read the books! lol They really are awesome. All of them. Every J Morgan book has a special place in my heart as do you my brother from another mother. Muuuuah and a hug for all who needs one.

 

Jmo: Who am I to disagree with Waterfall Woman and hugs back? I like hugs a lot, by the way. Til, our next adventure into the Giggles, have a good day and happy reading! Now, where did I put those peanut butter delights?

 

 

Love Bites and Bite Marks

Available from

Desert Breeze Publishing

 

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/brands/J.-Morgan.html

And

on

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/J.-Morgan/e/B0032R8BFE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1381366196&sr=1-1

Mashed Up Romance

I’m going to be honest with you. When I went to bed last night, I had no idea what I’d write about. My brain had literally been killed by the heat and the work week. Yeah, it was one of those weeks. Don’t ask. Neither of us needs a rehash of all that. Really, we don’t.

 

This morning, a totally different story.

 

I don’t know if it was divine inspiration, or HBO shoving ‘Pitch Perfect’ down my throat 8 times on three different channels last night, but an idea greeted me when I finally crawled out of bed. Mash Up!

 

Okay, how does a ‘Gleeism’ apply to a Blog by a guy who writes romance? Simple! Romance is the ‘Mash Up’ master. It takes everything readers love and meshes them into a damn fine story time after time. Huh? What yo talking about Jmo?

 

Romance, especially modern Romance, is all about presenting a story that appeals to any reader. Seriously, it doesn’t matter what you love to read, Romance can give you a story that you’ll love. Let me give you a few examples.

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Westerns. My good friend Paisley Kirkpatrick mashes the Old West with Romance in such a way that readers who normally would only read the Western genre could easily slip into the old west and feel right at home. I say that with confidence because she exhaustively researches her books before writing it. The historical details are right on the money. You read about a mining town, you better believe it’ll be historically accurate. Same with wagon trains. Trust me when I say, she goes beyond the norm to make sure her readers walk away feeling like they just stepped out of the Old West. Before I scamper off onto my next tangent, she adds a level of Suspense and Mystery to her books. That’s a Mash Up hat trick of goodness.

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Suspense. Again, I’m going to touch on one of my fellow authors. Melanie Atkins goes to the same extremes crafting her stories by researching police techniques and everything else that it takes to create a story steeped in police lore. When you enter one of her books, you feel like you’ve just spent the night riding along with a detective. What about the Romance? Trust me, she has that covered. Not only are her facts top notch, she works some magic that keeps you breathless from her thrilling plots, but her characters make you fall in love right along with them.

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For my last example, I’m going to a true master of the Mash Up! Jennifer Hartz in her Future Savior series doesn’t stop with combining Science Fiction with Romance. Oh no! She combines elements of SciFi, Fantasy, Inspirational, and Romance. Oh my! Out of all my fanatical reads, Future Savior is my all time fan boy pleasures. Jennifer has taken world building to a whole new level. If that wasn’t enough to knock your socks off, she gives you multiple timelines all at the same time! Past, present, future, she rips you across time and makes you like it. Like C.S. Lewis in the Chronicles of Narnia, Jennifer presents the perfect spiritual allegory in such a way that the message is subtle and gives you a warm toasty feeling that makes you dig deeper for understanding. And, the Romance? She doesn’t give you a slam bam thank you ma’am. No, her characters’ romance is a continuing story toldover five books with all the twists and turns that real life gives you. So, when you get right down to it, she mashes SciFi, Fantasy, Inspirational, Romance and real life, and you can toss in a little Contemporary. Now, you see why she’s my idol.

 

So, what about me? What do I mash together like a big bowl of cheesy bacon mashed potatoes? You knew it was going to be about me eventually. Wink.

 

I mash together whatever I can. Like Jennifer, I started off building a world. I make that world so real in my head that I live there much of the time. It’s the world we know, but slightly left of normal. My Love Bites world is a mash up of our world, ancient mythology, ancient aliens, the usual paranormal elements, but all swirled together into something new, yet old at the same time. That’s my first Mash Up.

 

With Love Bites and Bite Marks, I wanted to craft stories embodying all the things I love. Romance, the Paranormal, Fantasy, Comedy, a little SciFi and High Adventure, with some Tom Clancy type espionage elements thrown in to keep me hopping. Hopefully readers hopping too. Why all that? Because, when I read books, those are the things that hold my interest. So do I write Paranormal Romance? No, I write a Frankenstein version encompassing all of the above.

 

The Vampire stories are more story driven with plots that cross over all the books in the series to give you a broader view of the world I’ve created. My heroines and heroes main job aside from falling in love is to keep the world safe. Hey! That makes them superheroes. My Vampire Avengers! Guess I better add another genre to my Mash Up. If you’ve read my books or this blog before, you probably already knew that, but it slipped up on me. Funny how that happens.

 

The Southern Werewolf Chronicles is an extension of the Love Bites Universe, but it deals more with a single relationship. It is the continuing love story between Maddy and Nicholi. It begins with their unlikely reunion after a European Vacation gone furry and continues from there. So, with it I’ve mashed up Contemporary Romance, Paranormal, Comedy, and Romance with a Southern Flavor. Each book tells a snapshot of their lives growing to love each other and understanding what that love means to two people used to depending on only themselves. Something anyone in a lasting relationship has to come to grips with.

 

My Amor Immorati series, I’ve gone to the other side of Paranormal. For one thing, Comedy isn’t the main story element. In each book, two so far, I’ve mashed up specific genres to tell my stories. Immortally Yours combined my love of Ancient History, Fairy Tales, Detective Novels and Fantasy in the form of bigger than life heroes. Set in the modern world, it falls under the ultimate mash up genre, Urban Fantasy. Book two, Immortally Damned examines Religious themes and redemption. Immortally Yours dealt with the same theme but approached it from a different angle. That’s what’s so great about these mash ups. You can literally tell a thousand stories and be original about with each one because of the tools you use.

 

Mash ups are more than a musical term. It’s a tool. A tool any artist can use. I can say artist, because authors paint pictures like a painter uses brushes or pencils, or like a singer, D.J. or musician uses their individualized instruments. The creative process does not limit what you can do with the tools you’re taught to use. It’s limited to what your mind can conceive. Romance authors are the quintessential artists. We love so many genres as readers, that when it comes time for us to become writers, it’s natural for us to gravitate to those things we endeavor to paint portraits of love in the minds of our readers. We can do it in the present, the past, the far flung future, or worlds you’ve never seen before.

 

That’s why when someone asks me what I write, I’m proud to say that I write romance. It’s not only the language of love. It’s the language of imagination gone wild.

 

Before I go, a couple other Mash Up Authors you should check out.

 

Gail Delaney: Her Phoenix series is just amazing. If you love Science Fiction, it is not to be missed.

 

Gloria Clover: ‘Children of the King’ is quite simply the most wonderful adventure I’ve been on all year. A Mash Up of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Inspirational, this series is a true delight.

 

Jordan Bollinger: Duty with Honor mashes together suspense, spy thrillers and romance. If you love James Bond with a Scarecrow and Mrs. King mentality you’ll love this tender tale of love and espionage.

 

Now, go forth and mash up your reading!

Jmo.

Comedy in Two Parts

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If I remember correctly, I’m supposed to be doing something about comedy this week. Of course, this has been one of those weeks that makes you forget your own name, so who knows? Since I’m brain dead, I beg your forgiveness for any rambling drivel you may be forced to endure on my behalf.

 

Comedy is the exaggerated norm. That is I guess the first Law of Jmoism. Without a normal base line to go from you can’t achieve comedy. Comedy works because first and foremost you present a believable character or situation and extend outwards from there.

 

I love Big Bang Theory. Sure, it’s a sitcom about unbelievable characters, but if you go back to that first season and the beginning episodes, the writers gave you characters you could believe in. They might have been outside most peoples’ circle of friends, but they presented them first in ways that you could understand and empathize with. After they hooked you, the craziness began.

 

That’s how I do it. In my books, I attempt to introduce you to characters, who are unabashedly raw, human, flawed. Sure, they’re vampires, werewolves and ghosts, but at their hearts they’re just like you or me. But, not that guy. Yeah, you over there in the corner. Put that away and move on. Shoo… Shoo…

 

Now, where was I? Oh, yes.

 

See what I did there. I started off serious. You were probably thinking that this guy, meaning me, was about to make some profound point or another. Then, he, me, moves on to talking about werewolves and such. You were still on board, but might have been wondering where this was leading with your finger cautiously hovering over a bookmarked icon on your toolbar. Wham! I end it with some insanity about a guy in a corner? But! You kept reading, because it might have been mildly amusing, especially when you began to think about all things this jerk in the corner might have had to put away. I bet your mind might have even dipped into a gutter or two. Mine did.

 

But, that profound point you were waiting for me to make is this. Comedy is seriousness laced with the ability to make your imagination work overtime. It’s just like horror. The lights dim and you imagine all sorts of lurky things coming toward you in the dark. Comedy is horror’s opposite. Instead of the dark, it’s mimes in sunshine coming at you. Okay, bad example, but you get the idea.

 

The second Law of Jmoism is that you can’t be funny all the time. Comedy in huge doses just doesn’t work. For one thing, it makes you one dimensional. Do you laugh all the time? Man, I hope not. People might think you were crazy for one thing. For another, life is about the good, the bad, and then you have the Facts of Life. The Facts of Life. Loved that show, but I’m not digressing as you may think. The facts of life is this, you have equal, or sometimes unequal parts of good and bad in your life. Laughter allows you to deal with the bad. Sorrow allows you to appreciate the good all the more because it is fleeting at times and needs to be cherished.

 

So, if you’re planning to attempt comedy, trust in balance. There is balance to more than just the Force. Latticework in your funny when it’s needed. To break a heavy situation. To hide insecurity. To showcase a character’s snark or personality, but understand this. If your own thing is one liner after one liner, it won’t work. It took me awhile to figure that out, so feel free to learn from my mistakes.

 

Exaggerate the norm. Let’s go back to that. Enhancing a character’s personality quirks is just one tool. I’ll refer back to Sheldon on Big Bang for this one. We all know someone who is introverted and maybe just left of center. Which is why we love him as a character. Here’s the thing. After five years of watching him, we see evolution in his character. He is not the same guy we got to know in the beginning. As writers, we need to strive to have the ability to do that in our characters. If your hero or heroine is the same person they were on page one, as they are on page two hundred, you just failed.

 

How to twist a character, though. What you talking ’bout Willis? Serious, but funny? That just seems like a contradiction in terms. Well, it is, but it works. To show you what I’m talking about, here’s a few of my tricks.

 

In Love at First Stake, I had Donatello Ravell, be allergic to human blood. Savannah was the ultimate Buffy. She was trained to kill Vampires, but really not experienced enough to get the job done.

 

In Were Love Blooms, Madison Lee is the ultimate Southern Belle, but a European vacation gives her something they didn’t cover in her Southern Belle handbook. A raging case of the werewolf cooties. Nicholi Grant, the hero in this story, is the consummate straight-man to her Lucille Ball. Like I said above. Comedy without seriousness doesn’t cut it.

 

Love Free Stake Hard, gives us Deme, a four thousand year old Vampire, who has never truly lived. It’s up to our human heroine, Dela, to show him that a life not lived is not really a life at all.

 

Each of those three examples start off at that norm base line I talked about. Normal people in normal, or in my case, paranormal, situations thrust into situations that can’t help but lend themselves to comedic episodes. You twist the serious until you laugh at it or cry from experiencing it.

 

I know I’ve harped on that sorrow and cry business, but that is the heart of comedy. Avoiding the stuff that you can’t face without going insane.

 

A Southern Deb who suddenly becomes a werewolf? To her, it’s the end of her world. To us, it’s a chance to laugh along with her until she realizes her curse just might be the thing that she’s needed to make her stronger.

 

A first time Vampire Slayer, who might not be up to the challenge, but who is up to falling for the Vampire she’s sent to kill? Again, end of one world, beginning of another.

 

These aren’t just stories, they’re examples of looking on the bright side and finding happiness.

 

And, that just might be the point of Comedy.

 

Til, next week…

 

Happy Reading!

Jmo

The End, as Jmo sees it

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end…

I know. I stole that from the Doors, but it applies. It also happens to be the perfect lead in for my last blog on Writing the Jmo Way. Just like you only get one chance to make a good first impression, you only get one shot at leaving a reader either breathlessly wanting more, or saying to themselves, ‘I wasted three days of my life reading this drivel for that!’ I’ve been there and said it, so know it’s true.

So how do you write that one amazing ending that totally leaves jaws dropping and with that eternal of I wonder what happens next burning a reader’s lips? There is a simple answer to that. It ain’t easy!

Too many factors go into the equation to give a pat answer. Each book is different, with its own set of problems. If you’re working on a single book, it narrows the field. In Romance, we strive for a ‘happily ever after’ most of the time. Other genres might not be so forgiving. Or, giving, as the case may be.  I write series. Series gives you the option of continuing the story so you can draw out that HEA. In the case of Love Bites and Bite Marks, I get to play with the best of both worlds. You get the individual happily ever after of my hero and heroine for that book, while you get to keep wondering what happens next as the plot that runs through the series keeps unfolding.

Why a continuing plot? Because, I hate to turn characters loose. Savannah and Donatello kicked Love Bites off. I loved them so much, I wanted to keep visiting them. They’ve popped up in nearly all of the books. Not only do I get to glimpse inside their continuing and growing relationship, the reader does as well. With Book three’s hero and heroine, I found something special. Deme and Dela have a specific role to play with their continuing and definitely growing relationship. And, no, I’m not telling you what it is. If you’ve been reading the series, you know. If not, consider that a tease to make you start reading. This is a writer’s blog after all. Just a spoiler, Book Two of Bite Marks will mark a big event in their relationship. Ebil ain’t I?

Back to what this blog is all about. The End!

What goes into crafting an amazing ending? First and foremost, it has to be satisfying — and true to the heart of the book. That last bit is the important part. The most important part! If you slap a kiss and a walk off into the sunset at the conclusion just because you think that’s what readers want, you’re cheating three sets of people. Yourself. Your readers. Your characters. Sure, you want your characters to have that, but is that the end result of what they’ve experienced? Some relationships take more that the span of a single situational experience to reach an ‘I love you forever’ moment. They might get to the ‘I love you,’ but realistically does every book deserve the wedding, and horse drawn carriage to end it. It’s an easy fix, but is it always the right fix?

In my Southern Werewolf Chronicles, Were Love Blooms ends with the I love you, but I hold off on the I love you forever. The characters feel it, but I leave room for them to explore their relationship before thrusting either of them into a big wedding and a future defined by the heat of the moment. I, personally, as the author went into the first book wanting to write a story about two people who find each other, then get into discovering if the ‘I love you’ means they can spend their lives together. Because love does not always equal compatibility.

Each book, there’ll be three, has a different theme. Were Love Blooms was finding true love. Were the Moon Don’t Shine was about what you’d do to keep true love alive. Book Three, which is still brewing in my head, will be about those two people discovering if they can survive all those little irritating things that all couples have to work through. To me, that’s what love is all about. Not the heat and passion, but the ability to love someone enough to stick around and let that love grow in spite of the constant nagging that someone left the toilet seat up again. It was the cat, and I’m sticking to that story.

Another key ingredient to a satisfying ending is remembering to tie up all those pesky loose ends. Subplots can get lost along the way. In the rush to finish a book, it can be easy to forget that you left Timmie in the well or whatever. A first draft is the race to finish. A second draft is the jog to finish well. Third draft? Well, that’s the slow walk to finish grammatically well. When we inevitably fail on that last one, we become an editor’s headache before we become a reader’s comma spliced migraine. Okay, maybe I need to reverse that. Editor’s migraine does sound more to the truth. The thing is as an author we need to remember what we’ve set in motion and make damned sure we finish what we start, no matter how small that might be. The devil, or in my case, the werewolf is in the details.

Even though my worlds are paranormal and exaggerated comically in nature, I attempt to base them on the real world. What each of us has gone through, or are going through, every single day of the week. In that way, I hope readers can relate to what I’m peddling. That means when they close the book, the end might be the end, or the end for now. How satisfying that is, I leave up to them to decide. For me, it’s as satisfying as I can make it limited to my observations of the human condition.

That’s the thing. Books are only as good as an author makes them. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I’m left wondering what I did there. That’s the reason we do multiple drafts, and if we’re smart, have people in our lives who read it before it reaches the online bookshelves. If it doesn’t satisfy them, then we know we need to go back to the drawing board. In this case, honesty is the best policy, so surround yourself with people not afraid to hit you where it hurts. Egos are made to be bruised. From personal experience, that drawing board can crack down the middle before we finally get what we want. Nay! Need.

All this basically means this. The End is hard work. It isn’t something that just falls into place magically. It should be the first thought you have when you type out that first line. Where am I going? How do I get there? How does all this lead to where my characters need to be? Hey, what happened to my bag of Oreos? Those are some other good questions you should ask yourself throughout the course of writing your book. Especially that last one. Those bags come up missing an awful lot.

To sum up this whole blog series, writing isn’t about telling a story. It is about totally immersing yourself into a story from beginning to end. For me, if you’re not living the story as much as your characters are, you’re not doing it write. I’ve probably said this before but it bears repeating. Writing is acting on paper, or its modern age’s equivalent, on the screen. I am my characters. I cry when they cry. I bleed when they bleed. Most of the time, I snark when they snark. And, when it’s all said and done, I’ve told the best story I’m able to. If I didn’t think that, I’d be even later on my deadlines than I already am. Because, for me to send a book to my editor, I have to honestly believe I couldn’t do it any better. If you can say the same, when you type out ‘The End’, then you’re not a writer, you’re an author.

Thanks to everyone, who has taken the time to stick with me through this drawn out process. I hope I’ve imparted some knowledge to you, or kept you mildly entertained. Either way, have a great day, and happy reading!

The End,

Jmo

Inteview with the Jmo

 

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Welcome to the second blog from Giggles from the Darkside. What have I got for you today? Something slightly insane. I’m sitting in a dank dark motel room on the outskirts of… Heck, I don’t even know where I am. Last thing I remembered was taking candy from this woman standing in front of a white van. Crap! I knew I should have listened to my parents. Kids pay attention. Don’t talk to strangers! Ever!

With my public service message out of the way, I guess it would be prudent to get to the heart of this blog. Quite frankly, I’m a little nervous, and would like to get out of this joint before I ended up putting lotion on its skin. The guy with the sharp teeth is motioning for me to get on with this. Since, he’s the one who’s got me pink fluffy handcuffed to this chair, I better listen to him.

 Here with me, under duress–me, not him– is my guest Demetrious de Mecini, world leader and Vampire. Dressed superbly in  a pink and purple floweredy shirt and khaki shorts, he is the epitome of the quiet cool only James Dean, or Buddy Hackett, could pull off. So, let’s give him the appropriate response someone of his personage deserves. You know, before I become a midnight snack in a cheap No Tell Motel in the outskirts of… Where am I again? Oh, it doesn’t matter.

 Jmo: Demetrious, welcome to Giggles from the Darkside.

 Demetrious: Please call me Deme. All my friends do.

 Jmo: Uh, okay. Deme, I understand you wanted me to help you set certain facts straight.

 Deme: That is correct. When we enlisted you to chronicle our unfolding history, I did not realize that you would do so in such a comedic way. Some of my family are not as amused as I’m sure your readers are.

 Jmo: Hey, guy. You wanted humans to empathize with you. The only way that’s going to happen is if, I show you guys warts and all. You can’t ask someone to write about you, and not expect him to write the truth and whole truth. In fact, I believe I had that written into my contract.

 Deme: You did, which is why our lawyers aren’t conducting this inquisition.

 Jmo: Inquisition is such a harsh word. Couldn’t we say friendly chat.

 Deme: No.

Jmo: Then, inquisition it is! So, what would you like my readers to know?

Deme: First off, we are not buffoons for your entertainment.

Jmo: Dude, you kinda are. They wouldn’t be reading it, if they weren’t entertained.

Deme: I expected a dignified historical account. Not some sensualized expose of the purest tabloid kind. We are Vampires! Not some alien come to earth to anally probe New Age spouting celebrities.

Jmo: I understand that. If you look at the books, they don’t paint you buffoonish. You guys are the heroes. You’re fighting for all of us. I think that makes y’all pretty freaking awesome. The readers do to. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be going print. Not to mention the fact book seven will be coming out this year.

Deme: Print you say? I must have missed the email.

Jmo: Yeah, book three comes out later this month.

Deme: If I’m not mistaken that book is the one Dela and I act as the protagonists in.

Jmo: That’s right. You two rock the world, dude. Big time.

Deme: Then perhaps, we shall allow you to continue to chronicle our exploits. But, no more of this sensationalism for sensationalism’s sake. Record the facts as they are presented to you.

Jmo: You got it. If these handcuffs allowed me to, I’d cross my heart and everything.

Deme: That won’t be necessary. One other matter before I go, Donatello would appreciate it if you’d scale back the Star Wars references. He finds them disturbingly immature. Instead, he suggests you quote from the classics of cinema. Casablanca, The Ten Commandments, Joe Dirt.

Jmo: I’ll see what I can do.

Deme: See, that you attempt to do so. You would not like Donatello to come visit you for a conversation on the matter. On that note, I must be off. Things to do. Disney Land to see.

Jmo: Hey, what about me? I’m still handcuffed.

Deme: Oh, I nearly forgot. Think of this as your Christmas Carol. Someone else wishes to speak with you. She should be along shortly. Oh another thing that has slipped my mind. Do you happen to have the address for one Gail Delaney? Dela asked me to get her autograph. She is a huge Phoenix fan.

Jmo: Uh, I don’t think so.

Deme: Too bad.

Not believing this one bit, I sat there and watched him leave. Characters were so temperamental. I wondered what he meant by someone else wanted to talk to me. Not counting my wife, I couldn’t imagine who I’d peeved off enough to lock me in a cheap motel room.

Well, while I try to figure it out, feel free to check out all the Love Bites books now on the new and improved Desert Breeze Publishing website!

 DESERT BREEZE PUBLISHING

 

To be continued!

Will Jmo discover the identity of his next vistor?

Will he free himself from bondage?

Will he discovers he likes bondage?

Stay tuned,

as next week,

we’ll find out the answers to those questions and some we haven’t thought of yet.

Crazy to Begin With

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As an author, I think insanity is a given. You have to be crazy to live inside your head, then decide to let those inner dreams become reality with the written–typed?–word. I’m not sure how I jumped from casual dreamer to an author. Like most things in life, it just happened. Now, writing isn’t so much a vocation as an addiction.

Yeah, addiction pretty much sums it up. Why? Because, since I started, there hasn’t been a day I haven’t written something. It might have only been a line or paragraph, but something has jumped from my head to either a screen or a slip of paper. I confused friends and coworkers talking about characters like they’re real people. Believe me, when you start talking about so and so shoving a stake into you know that guy, heads will turn. I’m surprised someone hasn’t shoved me into a comfy psych ward. Once the people around you realize you’re an author, they let you slide. Writing is an insanity they can ignore. Being from the South, being eccentric is a required past time.

So what do I write?

I write comedies, usually of the Paranormal variety with a whole lot of Romance thrown in just to make sure I got my bases covered. What can I say? I like things that go bump in the night and a healthy dose of romance to make everybody go awww Since, I’ve been at this for a few years, you could say I’ve gotten good at making people laugh, or I just don’t know when to quit. Both are good things, if you ask me.

Why do I write?

To give people an escape from the real world. Talk about driving you crazy. The real world will do it every time. People need to get away from the daily grind. Whether with a movie, TV show, or movie, humanity knows instinctively they need to recharge with whatever medium makes them happiest. For me it’s Books, but I’m not adverse to taking whatever I can get. If I, as a writer, can give a reader a few hours of forgetfulness, then I’ve done my job.

So, what do I have?

At the moment, I’m working on three series. Love Bites/  Bite Marks, which is my foray into the world of Vampires, again with a comedic twist. The Love Bites world is a mixture of Romance, Comedy and High Adventure. Dare I say a roller coaster that will leave you wobbly in the knees before the last page. Okay, I’ll go ahead and say it.

Secondly, I have The Southern Werewolf Chronicles. This trilogy is Romance at its Southern Finest. Image small town life with some fur thrown in. Go ahead, you can do it. Close your eyes. There was that so hard?

Lastly, I have Amor Immorati, an Urban Fantasy series that takes you from the heart of Fairy to the mean streets of New Orleans and beyond. If you like Immortal warriors, Vampires looking to reclaim  their souls, or men with the bodies of a beast and the heart of a teddy bear, these books will satisfy your thirst for the darker corners of the Romance World.

What else do I have?

Well, you never know what I have up my sleeve.

Like I said, to be an author you have to be crazy to begin with. It is just my hope that crazy is just what you’ve been looking for.