Friday, June 13, 2014

ALPHA MALES AND THE JOURNEY TO CUCKOO TOWN


My apologies, I've been off line most of this week dealing with physical therapy issues. Shoulder is very sore and not happy typing. I'll be a bit sporadic the remainder of the month.


My guest today is romance author, Elisabeth Staab. She talks about how to maintain sanity writing to deadlines and dealing with two young children.

I started writing King of Darkness; book one of the Chronicles of Yavn series when my youngest was a newborn. Something to do when the kid was napping, I said. Easy, I said.

What began as a hobby became a job when I sold King of Darkness and had deadlines. Deadlines, and a new child, and geriatric pets, and edits all at the same time.

As time passed, those babies who napped so beautifully for three hours every afternoon, turned into toddlers who ran in opposite directions from each other every chance they got. Oh, and my youngest was a climber (emergency room visits happened).

Meanwhile, two secondary characters who’d met in the first chapter of King of Darkness began to make “You’re hot and I want you but you’re a jerk but I want you but you’re the wrong species…but I want you” eyes at each other, in what would be an ongoing dance that would last for three books.

Now, I loved Lee and Alexia, and with them dancing there on the perimeter of King of Darkness and then Prince of Power, I thought I had it all locked down when it came to writing Hunter by Night.

Except Lee was a stubborn alpha male with secrets. Alexia was a strong-willed young woman who wouldn't stand for being disrespected. These two had more baggage than JFK.

So my day job, which involved spectacular benefits like unlimited hugs and all sippy cups I could fill, kept me plenty crazy. Add to that, the bickering, frustrated characters going back and forth in my head, and the book I kept writing and re-writing because it wasn't quite right… I got a little nuts.

So in order to avoid becoming that person who wears pajamas all day and plays music on their lips, I did a few things to (try) and stay sane:

·        I brought the funny – laughter releases endorphins and improves well-being. It wasn't always the best thing for productivity, but cruising sites like The Bloggess or a few minutes of YouTube comedy videos really improved a gal’s outlook
·        I Pinterested Hush now, that is too a word. Pinterest started out as a place where I would pin my book covers, the covers of other books I enjoyed, and the occasional attractive man in a suit. Next thing you know my six year old and I are chuckling at funny cat pictures and hours have gone by. Okay, Pinterest is a giant black hole, but it’s a giant black hole of win.
·        I Socially Networked – I’m not saying I’m the wittest grape in the bunch, but I do love to Tweet. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, it’s mostly strange things my kids say, manchest, and—of course—pictures of furry things. Sometimes I’m funny, usually it’s apparent I haven’t yet had enough coffee (or that I've been talking to short people all day).
·        I called people – I talk to adorable little Neanderthals all the livelong day. I need big words with syllables sometimes. Authors can be isolated, and that’s crazy-making. I was lucky to have author friends to chat with when I needed help with plot issues, or just to vent.
·        I One-Clicked I convinced my husband last year that I needed a smartphone in order to improve my level of productivity. Eff productivity, I needed a smartphone so I could read while standing in line at the post office. Truth? I probably write to support my book addiction, and if I stopped buying ebooks tomorrow I would have enough reading material to sustain me until 2016. Now let’s all enjoy a good chuckle over that notion, because that’s like telling me to stop buying food.


Luckily, with these techniques and a lot of coffee, Hunter by Night got done, and I truly believe it turned out exactly as it needed to. Maybe it was all the comedy, or maybe it was the characters. Maybe it was all of the hugs. Who knows? Maybe it was all of the above.

  • So what about you? When you need to save your sanity, what do you do?


                                                                                                                                                          

She wants out
Party girl Alexia Blackburn is only hanging around the vampire compound until her best friend—the queen—has her baby. After that, nothing is going to stop Alexia from getting back to daylight, safety, and feeling like a normal human being. But leaving the vampire world has one big catch…
He needs her to stay
Head of vampire security Lee Goram has hated and distrusted humans for centuries. Feeding on vampire blood has kept him strong…but now it’s killing him—and he’s horrified to discover that Alexia may hold the key to his cure. He’d rather die defending his king than admit his weakness, but time is running out for the great vampire warrior…Excerpt





                                                                                                                                                   

Elisabeth Staab started hunting mutant hedgehogs back in 1842… Oops, wrong
bio… Elisabeth Staab digs coffee, saucy stories, and sexy things that go bump in the night. Once, she ate dinner in a jail and liked it. She lives in the Washington DC area with her incredible family and does her best to juggle life while ignoring the laundry. 

You can find Elisabeth: Website, FB, Goodreads, and Twitter. You can also sign up to receive her Newletter Here



5 comments:

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Apropos to read this post during the day of a full moon :-)

Nice to meet you Elisabeth!!!

Kat Sheridan said...

The books sound great! And yeah, Pinterested is totally a word. It's like my magical calming viewscreen of pretty, witty, and yummy. When I'm really on the edge of losing it I either bake something or kill a fictional character. Plus, never underestimate the power of naps, either for yourself or whoever is stressing you!

Elisabeth Staab said...

Thanks for stopping by, guys! I love naps! If only my kids would let me take them.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations, Elizabeth!
I have enough reading material to last my entire lifetime.
I stay sane by playing my guitar every night.

cleemckenzie said...

Keeping one's sanity is often a full-time job in itself: family, writing, sleep (whenever) and did I mention family? You did some perfect things to keep you stable and writing. I usually take off on a long hike with a notebook tucked into my backpack.

Funny, witty and helpful post. Congrats on your book.