Tag Archives: Witches For Hire

Hello Again, Release Day!

This post is later than planned because I had to chase down the garbage truck dude and then take my dog out because he was deeply offended at being left behind.

So today, Witches For Hire, the first in the Odd Jobs series, is stepping out into the world.

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This is a weird release for me because it represents the sliver of my brain dealing with the bitterness and loss of the so-called ‘right path.’ I haven’t always had the healthiest coping mechanisms for this, and my characters(Especially Jeremy) are worse. Digging yourself out of that hole to find a light of some hope can be hard as hell, but Witches For Hire is the start of that. Each following book will be another step toward more trust shared among the main characters and acceptance of pasts that they can’t change leading to unbreakable bonds. So take your pick out of the links here:

DSP Publications

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Itunes

And enjoy!

Double Your Sales

Alrighty, after exorcising some demons in the last post, on to the good news! Witches For Hire(heavily revised to a Georgia setting) has found a home at DSP Publications, which is an imprint for Dreamspinner’s stories that aren’t outright romance. No worries. There’s still humor, a long-term poly relationship developing in the background, and I tend not to go George Martin on my main characters.

WIP updates will come later this week.

Adventures In Full-Time Writing

Expectations:

Every day will be a Willy Wonka wonderland of writing mixed with extravagant meals that I finally have the time to cook.

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Yeah, nope.

Reality:

So…much…pizza. At first, having all day to write is wondrous, and I’m all ‘Yay for all the awesome meals I’m gonna make like I’m a friggin Iron Chef’. But then days became monotonous routines of waking, eating, break, writing, break, sleep, writing.

After two months of this, I questioned whether I made the right decision and perhaps I should return to the temp job. Witches For Hire screwing up my writing schedule by demanding to be rewritten didn’t help my confidence either. Since I’ve gotten behind, cooking has taken a back seat unless it’s simple pasta dishes and baked seafood. I’m also on a first name basis with the workers at Thai and pizza places in my area. My joints cried uncle from the weight gain, so I started dancing again. A few weeks into intense booty shaking, I had less belly and more writing. It turns out that what I really needed was a hobby. When my first royalty check arrived, I bought some workout clothes, shoes, and drawing supplies because I figured, why not two hobbies? My daily routine is still wonky, but I don’t question my choice to go full-time anymore.

Lessons:

I somehow formed the mistaken belief that being able to write at all hours of the day meant quickly achieving the perfect ability to translate what’s in my head on to paper. Reading reminds me that no matter how many hours writers have to work, no one achieves perfection even when they create amazing story and characters. I also had to redefine what I considered personal writing failures. If I don’t write first thing in the morning, that’s okay. My writing schedule doesn’t have to be strict, and there’s still a mental need for days off.

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What I was probably turning into.

Writing:

My editing is still too slow, and that causes a traffic jam in upcoming wips. Witches For Hire rewrite is finished, and I’m 2/3 into its final edit. The Orwell who’s rushed to the front of the line while aggravating as many villains as he can is Kevin. He’s a wonderful character to release stress with because he cares even less about authority than Sebastian, is a strong enough fighter to perform the offhand backhand, and plays the family fixer before any trouble his siblings cause reach catastrophic levels of needing James’s or Diana’s help.

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This move will always be hilarious to me.

#WIPInsanity

Alrighty. My thirtieth birthday is on the eleventh, and what better way to celebrate than to make April one of my crazy goals months. This means multiple first drafts, and by golly I will finish editing Witches for Hire. Yes, there will be an Orwell story in the mix, but I don’t know which one is taking the second slot. While the optimistic goal is finishing all of my checklist, the main one is to see where I’m at production-wise. I’ll try to post my progress here and on twitter, but there will be a few days of radio silence when I’ve reached ‘fuck-it-all exhaustion’ and I’m binge watching Supernatural while eating ice cream. I know this sounds unhealthy, but I love testing my mental limits.

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There are worse habits.

Mo’ Writing, Mo’ Problems

Totz my sexy dance song.

The hurdle of this month is finding balance between ‘Hells yeah, I’m going bonkers with this first draft’ and selling a story. They are not jiving together the way they should. Concentrating on publishing has meant that I rack my brain trying to finish a rough draft(Witches for Hire stopped fighting me and is finally finished), or I can’t see my writing as publishable when I focus on having fun. This post is to remind me that I can do both and stop being a dingleberry about it. If anything is too off the wall, I can fix it. I’m experimenting with a few new habits like doing WipOfTheWeek instead of BookInAWeek(total failure by the way because my cold rebounded). This way I can relax, and maybe ease up to adding more pressure on myself until I’m working with full mojo again.

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I know all about mixing business and parties.

Under Pressure

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Levelling up is my religion!

Of course by my own hand because if something feels easier, I gotta up the stakes. So, the plague is slowly dissipating, but I’ve hit a slowdown. The easy thing to do is rest a few more days, but, eh, fuck it. During this week I’ve run into writing advice that would be great for Healthy Me and insane for Drippy Sinuses Me. Some of the advice is from Aleks Voinov about productivity, and an old blog post about a writing challenge called Book In A Week.

Since I don’t have anything to lose with Sebastian’s edits almost wrapped up, I’m tackling the Book in A Week challenge while also finishing Witches for Hire that got stalled by my plague. That’s the thing I love about writing. I’ve spent days coughing up a lung, but I never forget there’s always more I can do.

Always the Hard Way

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Mountain shmountain

Today’s wip update is brought to you by an insomniac drinking way too much Baja Blast.

Current stories:

Witches for Hire – sitting at 50k after NaNo boost.

Keep Calm and Drink Tea – Werewolf story about a polite occult shopkeeper who’s trying to keep monster hunters off his tail while ducking Dracula’s plans to add another pet to his monster kennel. This one is 41k, and I have no idea how long it’s going to be. Loose guess is 60k.

My two YA problem children, a.k.a., ‘Why oh why am I working on stories without sex in them that I’ll probably have to write under another pseudonym?’:

The Strongest Sword – So far only an 800 word beginning about a young man who’s the heir to the throne in another world where a tournament to be king will happen in two years. MC has to decide if fighting for the throne is worth risking his life when the king shunned his mother for marrying a human. This story was inspired by the fact that I am so tired of shounen stories with good chemistry between male leads never going anywhere. I also wanted to do a portal fantasy because I’ve loved those type of stories since I was a wee ogre introduced to anime.

Santa Kills – Slasher about a teen girl who witnesses a guy dressed as Santa kill her neighbors when she’s sick with flu. She passes out, tells her parents what happened, but there’s no sign of the bodies. People start disappearing around town, and then the bodies pop up in the town’s Christmas decorations.

My New Normal

Usually on Nov. 19, my NaNo updates look something like this: “Oh my god, I am so far behind. I only have 15,000 words. Why did I do this? I have to write 10,000 words today to keep my head in the game. I should have started on the 1st instead of 4 days ago.”

This years’update: It’s day 19 and I have 52,249 words written. How the eff did that happen? Am I sleepwalking and doing speed? Screw it, celebratory booty dance because I totz won that shit!

Current theme song.

This year’s NaNo put me in a lot of good places. I have less doubt about writing fast and not churning out crap,  and my daily wordcount for this past week is now at 4k. While I still haven’t figured out why certain stories make me write like a demon and others flounder, I am better at spotting problems. I thought Witches For Hire stalled because I couldn’t see the book’s ending, but it turns out not knowing how the whole series will end is what hampered me. That ending came to me a couple days ago and made me hit a 7k sprint. Like I said, my brain is weird.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m in a great mood that I’m seeing a bunch of other writers who have troubles this month killing it this year, but a lot of writers are being bitten by the success bug. I also have to leave you with this pic.

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Yes, I am total smugness right now.

Do Not Try This At Home

Seriously, I’m kind of an idiot for trying to write 150 stories, but I’m stubborn as hell. Here’s a few things I remember so I don’t go crazy.

  1. My brain is a damned dirty liar.
  2. No matter how many times I say I’ll do something later, that later is usually the next day or next week.
  3. I can make all the New Year’s goals I want, I usually break them and planning future wips based on how fast I’m churning out work turns out more accurate.
  4. I jump around wips a little bit, but I only justify that if my output is consistent.
  5. Line cutting is allowed if I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I will finish that story in a timely manner. If I can’t see every scene in my head perfectly, it’s not worth it.
  6. If I know my brain is lying(it usually is) about having the story down pat, I put an outline in evernote and it gets in line like all the other ones.
  7. Trial and error is okay. I experiment a lot trying to increase my speed, and some strategies work and some don’t. As long as I move along quickly when they fail, it’s not a waste of my time.
  8. My workspace can become a disaster area, but it’s arranged so that no matter how much junk compiles, I can still work.

 

Now on to Witches for Hire.

Most of the themes in this story are about trust. I have a wizard(Clive) who has burned his bridges in another world and is starting a new life in the earth realm, an amazon(Edarra) learning to control her strength since she has one warning left before she’s deported, a witch(Simone) working as a secretary and keeping mum about the danger her family is in because of secretive werewolf bullshit she married into, and a cynical witch(Jeremy) who is visibly in pain every day but snaps at any personal questions.

These 4 have a lot of secrets but this series will start off answering some about Jeremy. He’s an earth-born witch who’s the son of a politician and can’t go a day without wearing a suit. He’s worked multiple jobs with Simone and their bosses have a habit of disappearing or dying. This isn’t great news for Clive who is forced to hire them from the employment agency as goodwill towards his green card. Jeremy doesn’t help things by being an arrogant bastard. He’s powerful and people break into their workplace just to get their hands on his spellcasting supplies. Of course it’s booby-trapped and not even Clive is allowed in Jeremy’s office without supervision.

This character is a lot of fun to write because unlike Sebastian(Grumpy Pants), this fella gladly crosses the line into unlovable asshole with no regrets. I just had to go through the extra effort of making his douchiness justified. This is where my jerkhood came through.

I have a thing for sappy love stories, I admit it. But every once in a while I like looking at the consequences of having a soul mate. What if you meet them early in life? What if you meet them when you’re a total fuck up and you now associate them with the worst of yourself and the destruction you caused? That’s what happens to Jeremy. He runs into his old flame, Desmond, while investigating a case. Desmond is a famous magician who’s created a lot of enemies since he boggarted his way to the top of the witch chain in New York. Jeremy can’t avoid him because of a sex spell they cast when they were teens. This becomes such a point of contention between them that Jeremy skirts death by putting off their ‘meetings’ for as long as possible.

Deep down, Jeremy is terrified that if he gives Desmond the relationship he wants, they’ll go down that path again and more people will die. But over the years, Desmond pulls his act together and he wants to give their relationship another go since they’re not dumb teens practicing dangerous magic anymore. Desmond is also aware that his love puts a target on Jeremy’s back, so he has to figure out how to win Jeremy over without causing major damage around them. Add in the fact that their magic skyrockets when they have sex, and it’s a high wire act not to repeat history.

I had to do the opposite with the sex scenes in this story than in my other tales. Instead of character building with each scene, I had to keep them hot but crash and burn them five steps back in their relationship every time they touched. There’s just not enough trust in each other or themselves, and neither one knows how to deal with that. Then there’s the frustration of knowing this is the best person for you. It’s like the most delicious chocolate chip cookie in the world, but it has raisins. You have to pick out those nasty wrinkled butt fruits but when a perfect chip melts in your mouth, plucking out those nasty bits almost seems worth the trouble. The more Jeremy opens up to his co-workers and Desmond, he gets less raisins in his cookie. I’m not saying he’ll become a saint but there’s a lot of progress to make with him and I’m enjoying the ride. I can’t wait to write the scene when they end up in bed and they get things right instead of adding to their misery.

Jeremy

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Desmond the Great

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This is their theme song so far in the story.