Sunday, September 27, 2009

Retirement Plans

I'm not sure at what age I started looking for retirement from my day job. I'm a school teacher and I love the teenagers I teach but that doesn't mean I don't want to retire. I dream of being able to write all day long and not worry about money. Dream is the correct term.

The Reality is I have four children. One has graduated from college and paying for his used up what we thought would be enough to pay for all of them. Reality is that my husband and I didn't research college costs when our children were little and then keep up with the dramatic and ridiculous increases in tuition fees. Who could know his college would cost forty times what mine did?

Currently I have two sons enrolled in college and we're struggling along to help them stay there. For middle class families like ours and average students like my children, there are no grants, no scholarships and no help. We're on our own.

My husband is retired from teaching but continues to work at another job to see that our children can go to school.

Now I usually use this blog to talk about writing or my books so I don't want to disappoint you. Please buy my books and help my boys pay for college. If you buy six or seven copies of each it would be even better. Maybe you can give them to everyone for Christmas and stock up for those last minute birthday presents. Perhaps you can deduct the cost from your taxes as a donation to a scholarship fund for hard working and not very rich kids. Thanks.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Spice of Variety

Most writers are also voracious readers. We love the written word and not only when we're the one penning, I mean typing, it. Visit your favorite author's blog regularly and sooner or later you're going to read about her TBR pile. That means To Be Read for you lucky folks who read every book as soon as you get it. I have a small stack compared to some people I know. I glanced at it before starting this post, thinking about which book I might start next. Not that I'm ready to start another one.
Currently I have two different fantasy novels started. The Wells of Ascension is the second book in Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series. He's a must read writer if you love fantasy. The other fantasy novel is the fourth and final book in a series by Greg Keyes. The Born Queen is wrapping up his series, The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone. I usually don't read two of the same genre at the same time. More likely if I'm reading two books one is a fantasy, my favorite, and the other is either a romance or a suspense novel. I even through an occasional horror or even a western in there as well as a literary offering. I have some favorite authors in all those genres but am open to trying new ones. My daughter even talks me into sampling her young adult books.
I believe it's important for an author to venture outside their chosen genre in her reading. Reading suspense has taught me to make my own story telling more edgy. Reading romance helps me keep my dialogue interesting and realistic. The few literary titles I select remind me how school reading requirements need revamped but also often introduce me to dark insights into human nature I can incorporate into my characters. The young adult books remind me how each chapter must move the story forward or you'll lose your audience quicker than your teen can text message 'r u maken food 4 nune?'
So what do you think? Is it important for an author to read across the spectrum or does it make a better romance writer to read only romance? Should a fantasy author stick with their own area? There are hundreds of books I would read if I had time. Do you as an author read what you don't write/

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happy Mom

I'm a little off topic today but my third son came home from college this past weekend. Those of you who are parents know of those times when your children suddenly leap to a new level of maturity. This son did that sometime in his last year of high school. It is so wonderful to deal with your children as adults. In my writing I find myself more likely to give my protagonists strong supportive families rather than dark upbringings. I love the relationship between parents and their adult children. I hope I can be as good a parent and a daughter as the heroes and heroines in my books.

Here's James at his graduation and my other sons helping his celebrate. Two of these boys are my beloved stepsons and the younger three are mine. I wish I could spread the joy of this day to all families.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another One Pushed Out of the Nest

Only minutes ago I sent out the second book in my fantasy romance series with TRWP, The Tigers of Salubria. Tiger's Mate is the story of another legendary warrior and the heroine who tames him.

To Tame a Tiger will be released in May of next year so it's a little early to post any excerpts and this second book hasn't even been accepted yet. Wish me luck.

My next project is to edit the third book in my fantasy series, The Futhark Chronicles, with Medallion Press. The first book, The Keepers of Sulbreth is being released in January, 2010. Can't wait for that one. I'm starting Beneath the Mountain after the weekend. Between now and then I'm working on promotion and catching up on my TBR pile. I currently am yearning for my latest Elizabeth George, Careless in Red.

Look for an undated website, a few extra blog posts, a little more presence on facebook and twitter and updates on Goodreads.

I feel like I'm on a mini vacation.