Moving right along…

Today was the pre-release of my first solo novel, The Bastille Family Chronicles: Camille (informally known as The Camille Chronicles).

Camille ebook cover

I’ve had a pretty positive response (and sales!) so far, for which I am grateful. I got teary-eyed when I saw that one of the purchases was from someone I haven’t been in touch with for over four years…yet he took the time to buy my book. I felt so loved at that moment. I’m also getting some buzz in various college alumni groups, sorority groups, and the like. Whee!

(In case you missed it, the pre-release event is going on through Saturday, August 2! Free autographed copy of the book; you just pay shipping.)

Anyway, even though the official book release isn’t until August 4, I am already working on the next book in the series. I have lived and breathed Camille Bastille since November 2013 and, quite frankly, I’m tired of looking at her. 😀  Time to move on to another sibling; I already have drafts for two of them, plus a secondary character, so I will let my reading public decide which will be published next. I am also working on the stand-alone Bastille Family novel, which I started as part of Camp NaNoWriMo. And planning my upcoming book tour this fall. And keeping up with my exercise regimen. And taking naps.

Life is good. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by.

Camp NaNoWriMo–Day 21

Target goal: 50,000 words

Target daily goal: 1,615 words

Today’s word count:  0

Total words written:  7,722 words


I went on a bit of a writing rampage this weekend and wrote over 2,000 words in one sitting. It was great.

I’m really getting into the backstories of two characters who are only mentioned in passing in the Bastille Family Novel series, as these characters are pivotal to how some events play out in the upcoming six books. It’s kind of a “sins of the father” type of deal, which gives me a lot to work with.

I’m enjoying the research, and getting into the periods in which certain parts of the book are set. Segueing from 1940s speech patterns to 1970s, to 2000s, is a bit of a challenge, especially since I’m dealing with a certain part of the population that isn’t really affected by broader linguistic changes (e.g., slang, etc). While doing some research I forgot about a major historical occurrence,  and I need to work that into the story at least a little.

Even though I won’t reach the 50,000-word goal, I at least have something substantive to work on after Camp NaNoWriMo is over. I do have to thank the Camp for providing the space for me to get started.

No writing today because I am beginning the pre-launch for The Camille Chronicles tomorrow. Make sure to check your inboxes tomorrow morning for an informative post, and a special something from me to my subscribers.

Thanks for stopping by.





Back in the Saddle! Camp NaNoWriMo–Day 17

Target goal: 50,000 words

Target daily goal: 1,615 words

Today’s word count:  1,477

Total words written:  5,717 words


WHEEEEE!! I have finally gotten The Camille Chronicles in the paddock, and am awaiting the upcoming pre-launch. Now, I have turned my attention back to Camp NaNoWriMo (as well as Clarion Write-A-Thon, but that will be a separate post).  I obviously need to focus on one major project at a time; my writing suffers, as you’ve seen, when I have it scattered hither and yon.

Today, while waiting for my mom in a doctor’s appointment, I actually got some writing done (Shoutout to the Samsung Galaxy Note!). I found that joy again, in the pure creation, and it was good. It was a nice respite from the business of self-publishing (you know: setting up distribution rights, EINs, royalty calculations, etc).

Anyway, I’m still delving deeper into the character of Lucien Bastille. I’ve figured out my betrayal moment and am working my way to that moment. His character’s backstory also requires a lot of research, as the time period and location lend to certain weather conditions, illnesses, and all that.

I’ve done 1,477 words so far, and I’m still writing. I may be up very late tonight because the book is flowing. Reunited…and it feels so good!

Thanks for stopping by.


I’m so excited!

I got the final cover for my book today. WHEE!


Camille ebook cover

I am so excited! I have been nailing down the details for my pre-launch, and regular launch. I just added another spot for my fall book tour.  And I’m back to exercising regularly.

As you can see, a lot has been going on.

I’ve only done a few hundred words on my Camp NaNoWriMo project, and none on the Clarion project. Camp NaNoWriMo ends in two weeks; I highly doubt that I’ll make the 50K mark. I have a little more time with Clarion, and half as many words to achieve.

I plug away bit by bit, but I have not worked on them as I should have. Accountability has gone out the window.

Right now, I’m basking in the closeness of the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Won’t you join me? 😀

Thanks for stopping by.

Death and Dying: Building A Character Through The Ultimate Adversity

The words are coming in dribbles, for both Camp NaNoWriMo and Clarion Write-A-Thon. Maybe a spurt or two.

Perhaps I am affected by the agonizing wait for The Decision 2.0, if only to see who my beloved San Antonio Spurs will smack down in next year’s NBA Finals. 😀 And yes, I am rooting for the demise of the Miami Heat (although I love me some Pat Riley), because I’m petty when it comes to NBA hoops (although I will root for Shabazz Napier, whose style of play I enjoyed throughout his UConn career); plus, I’m very partial to four-year players).

ANYway…while working on the Camp NaNoWriMo project, I figured out the form of betrayal (mentioned in a previous post) that will catapult my character into the rather unlikeable person he becomes in subsequent books (albeit only mentioned in passing). Death has a way of doing that; not my character’s death, but the effect of death on his life.

What is it about death that completely bends and alters a character, much as it does a real-life person? Is it the finality of it all? The unknown (because everyone does not believe in any semblance of an afterlife)? Depending on the manner of death, it could be the suddenness, or even the lingering; each manner has its pros and cons. It could be the tallying  of life’s balance sheet and coming to the conclusion that you may just end up in the red. Or the realization that there is still so much to do, even if you’ve done a lot.  That effect is more pronounced in the taking of a life, be it accidental or intentional. No one ever recovers from that, unless you’re an assassin or psychopath, in which case it never mattered in the first place.

No one ever fully recovers from grief.

I’ve had death touch my life more than I preferred, so this may be yet another way of me working out some long-buried angst. Writing is much less expensive than psychotherapy.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must get back to researching diseases of the 1940s. I’m also reading City of Beads, the second installment of the Tubby Dubonnet novels, by author Tony Dunbar.

Thanks for stopping by.


Camp NaNoWriMo: Day 7

Target goal: 50,000 words

Target daily goal: 1,615 words

Today’s word count:  818

Total words written:  4,240 words


I hope you all had a pleasant Fourth of July Weekend (if you are in America). If you don’t live in America, I hope you had a pleasant weekend anyway. I spent a lazy weekend binge-watching my favorite TV shows and movies, and doing a bit of work on my Camp NaNoWriMo novel.

I didn’t get that much done, only 818 words. But while working on the current chapter, I tried to get into the head of one of my main characters. I tried to figure out what, exactly, would cause a pleasant person to turn cold, and to have an obsession. I’m toying with death, but I’m thinking more of a betrayal; the type of betrayal that goes bone deep. I haven’t figured out what type of betrayal that would yet be for this character. That’s part of the fun, figuring out motivation and letting the plot play out accordingly.

Anyway, I have a bit more work to do before I pack it in. Thanks for stopping by.


Camp NaNoWriMo, Day 4

Target goal: 50,000 words

Target daily goal: 1,615 words

Today’s word count:  1,700

Total words written:  3,422 words


I did get some work done on the Camp NaNoWriMo project (yay!): 1,700 words. This book is a bit more challenging than the Clarion Write-A-Thon project, interestingly enough, because I’m getting deeper into the psyches of characters that are being introduced to the public in more lighthearted novels. In addition, I’m delving into the always-complicated web of family dynamics.

Anyway, it’s good to be back at work on this, now that most of the urgency surrounding The Camille Chronicles is over,

Thanks for stopping by.


Clarion Write-A-Thon Day 13

Target goal: 25,000 words

Target daily goal: 775 words

Today’s word count: 871

Total words written: 8,218 words


I’m baaaaaaack! Is it really Day 13 of the Clarion Write-A-Thon? I guess more time passed than I’d thought. :/

I managed to do 871 words today, which is not that great, but it’s something. At least I made over my daily goal.

My story is starting to amaze me in the direction it’s going. Stories always do, when you let them tell you where they want to go. One of the things I’m also finding surprising is the character arc of my main character. Taking her from a somewhat naive, privileged person to someone who is realizing that the world isn’t as she always thought it was, is very interesting. This is going to be an eye-opening ride, since I haven’t been that naive and trusting in a very long time.

Now, onto Camp NaNoWriMo!

Thanks for stopping by.


Brain Strain, Best Intentions and “Five Minutes”


Yesterday was a testament to the foil of the best-laid plans.

I’d been feverishly at work on the finishing touches to The Camille Chronicles. My rationale: I was THISCLOSE to finishing, then I would be free to concentrate on my commitments to the Clarion Write-A-Thon and Camp NaNoWriMo.  The sooner I finished, the more time I’d have to work on those other two projects.

Yeah, right. Man plans, God [or whatever deity you prefer] laughs.

I worked on tightening up the story, collaborated with my graphic designer on final touches to the cover, and then back to the story.  Then my eyes started getting droopy around 10 p.m., and I was so tired. I’d gotten a decent amount of sleep the night before, but I couldn’t deny that my eyes were starting to burn like they did during final exam times in college. So I told myself that harmless phrase of self-delusion: “I’ll just close my eyes for five minutes.”

I woke up around 3:45 a.m. :/

In retrospect, I should have worked on The Camille Chronicles for a while, then forcibly stop myself and move to the other projects. This is what I’ve been doing for the past few days. But then, I would just continue to string along three unfinished projects instead of focusing to give the attention to finishing one, so I could move on to the others. It’s like the process of getting out of debt: you pay off one bill, then take that money that would normally be used to pay that bill and contribute it to another bill, and keep that cycle going until everything is paid off. In this case, the currency would be time instead of dollars. I didn’t do that for the past few days. I kept paying the minimum balance, if you will, and carried three balances instead of working to get all of them paid off.

This also made me wonder about brain strain. Writing is a very mental exercise, as is anything that requires more thinking than physical labor. I used to get a similar fatigue when I was a full-time editor, poring through manuscripts and advertisements line by line for typographical, grammatical, punctuation, and subject/verb agreement errors. If an athlete can overtax him or herself to the point of straining a muscle, then it stands to reason that I overtaxed my brain to the extent that it was strained. This reminds me of a line from one of my favorite books, Firestarter by Stephen King: “The brain is the muscle that can move the world.”

I will catch up on Clarion and Camp NaNoWriMo this weekend, and I will finish The Camille Chronicles by tomorrow. And I will rest my brain by taking a walk to the farmers’ market later on today. I just have to keep reminding myself that accountability and pushing oneself are one thing; pushing oneself beyond reason is quite another.

Thanks for stopping by.

Camp NaNoWriMo (July 2014)– Day 1

Target goal: 50,000 words

Target daily goal: 1,613 words

Words written today: 1,109

Total words written: 1,722


Today is my first day of Camp NaNoWriMo. I’d signed up last April, but didn’t finish it. I didn’t even write one word. I was determined to do better this year.

This book is going to be a stand-alone, more serious book about the Bastilles, the family upon which the Bastille Family novels are based (the first book in the series, The Camille Chronicles, comes out next month). In it, I will delve deeper into the family history that I alluded to in the books, namely the larger-than-life presence of their grandfather.

In some ways, the book will be easier to write because I’ve already planted the seed in the Bastille individual novels. But it will be more difficult because while those books are a bit more lighthearted, this book will be a bit darker in places. This book will appeal to those who may like dark examinations of human and family dynamics.

I had to push to make my word quota for the day; I kept getting hung up on a character’s age, versus his life timeline (birth of first child, marriage, parental age, etc). I’ll figure it out tomorrow, when my brain isn’t so tired.

I’ll keep you posted with my progress; blogging about it helps keep me accountable, so thank you to whomever is reading my brain droppings. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by.


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