Wednesday, July 24, 2013

POV switches

Someone recently asked me a question on POV switches and what made me decide to incorporate them into my book. I answered their question, but thought it would also make a good blog post.

3rd Person POV Switches
These are the most comment that readers are used to - particularly in Paranormal Romance writing. Often, the perspective changes between the man and the woman, typically separated by a section break or a new chapter. I have actually read books that switch POV's from paragraph to paragraph and I found that excruciatingly jarring.

3rd person style:
Sarah didn't know how to react when Thomas walked into the room. He was ripped like the incredible hulk and all she could think about was latching onto him like Velcro.

Then during the next chapter, it may switch. The author may either redo the scene from his POV, or just carry on where it left off:
Thomas saw Sarah across the room and his stomach wound up into a tight knot. She still had the same lovely smile he fell in love with ten years ago.

Then you have what's popular in NA books, especially.

1st Person POV Switches
These are books that allow readers to know what's going on in everyone's head by switching in 1st person. Usually, like above, it's broken up by section or chapter breaks. I've read books where each chapter begins with the person's name the POV is in.

1st person style:
When Thomas walked into the room, I wanted to tell him how much I've missed him, how he still gave me butterflies and that no man had ever kissed me the way he did.

When the POV switches, it's Thomas's turn to talk about whoever that "I" person is. ;-)


Those books work really well when the switches are consistent and close to 50/50, or if a different POV is sprung at the end as a bonus. Some authors are now breaking up the books and doing each book from a different POV, but that's another story.

WHAT I DO:

Because the POV switches would not be constant, it would be jarring to have them all in 1st person. I decided to write the books the way I wanted to read them, and there are severe limitations to 1st person writing. You can only know the MC's perspective. You only know what's happening to them because you are reading the book through their eyes.

Yeah.

This is a problem because I'm a sucker for those stories and old movies where the audience knows things the characters don't. I've also read books that made me want to get inside someone else's head. But the bottom line is: I have sub storylines going on that you will never know the details about unless you are there to experience them as the reader, and that requires 3rd person POV, because my protagonist is not present (or conscious). I prefer it that way.

This is not commonly done, but it is done. I think when readers complain about the switches, it has to do with the types of books they are conditioned to reading, and most tradpubbed books color in the lines and don't often take big risks. I think it draws out the suspense and can aid in creating chapter cliffhangers. Like in "Twist" when Silver and Logan are in the woods and the two men show up. Scene cut. bwahaha.

But guess what? Some scenes wouldn't be as dramatic if they were only described by a character as to what happened - like someone's death or two characters forming a curious relationship. My sub characters are as equally important to not only me, but the story as a whole. This is Silver's story, but who we are is comprised of all of the people around us that influence our life and change it. Every scene with Logan and Silver would eventually dull away how special their scenes are if I didn't have other things going on.

Additionally, here's another thought:

When you watch a TV show, movie, etc. does the story follow the lead character 100% of every scene? I think that's what makes it so involving to watch. You get to know what the bad guys are talking about in a conference room, or meanwhile in the city, the lead character's woman is involved in some traffic accident and loses a valuable medallion. These pieces of the story all fit together, but I don't need to see the lead character(s) in every single scene.

IN CLOSING:

That is the route I chose with my writing. I baby-stepped readers in the earlier books with small POV switches, but I've done it in every single book, all the way back to Sterling. I think they are some of my favorite scenes in SEVEN YEARS because you are going to see the HEA's point of view and it will give you some big insight to where he's coming from.

How does an author decide what is the best route to go? It's a personal decision. If you do POV switches, there were always be readers who complain, so you have to prepare for that. It's fine, because there are others who truly love those scenes and appreciate that style because it's a refreshing break out of the MC's head. You could try writing it both ways and have someone beta read to see what works.

Yes, I am a little saddened when someone remarks that they didn't see the point of having to see the death scene or see those characters. I wrote those scenes all the way back to Twist because other people have lives too, and readers can connect to that. Those who didn't really care about this character and skipped over his scenes in earlier books were in for an unexpected shock when the impact of the death came. Yeah, maybe you did really care more than you thought. I think that was a perfect example of how we take for granted the people in our lives - that they'll always be there, and it's not until they're suddenly taken from us do we realize how much they meant and all the things we should have told them. So it was important for me to honor that storyline by not having it as a heresay within the books, but allowing the readers to know them on a more personal level.

Sometimes you take chances, and it either works or it doesn't. There is no right or wrong.

Cover is coming along

SEVEN YEARS went to my paperback guy yesterday, and I spent time reviewing choices for scene break flourishes and going over the specs. I'm not sure when I'll get the manuscript back since I sent it in early, but I decided to get going on the full paperback cover. I already have the front design, but needed to work on the whole tamale.

I'm editing MAGERI 5 along the way, but also taking long breaks to get a bulk of the design work done. The concept alone to brand the series can be hard enough, but actually working on the cover can be labor intensive, time consuming, and the cause for grey hairs. In the end, it's 100% my cover and that's what makes the entire process very cool and so worth it. I've been fooling around with the back matter this morning and now that I have made adjustments, the only thing missing is back text. But I'm so excited about this series because you're going to have a little eye candy on the covers. I wanted to put men on the covers because I've spent the last 4 books hunting down female models. I wanted to be able to devote a solid 2 hours per day staring at studly men, just so I can wipe my brow and say, "Damn, this job is hard."

Feel me?

The cover reveal will be at a later planned date, and I'll announce that as it happens. I'm SO excited to get this book in my hands with the first proof, and hopefully it won't require a lot of heavy touch-ups.

ON A SIDE NOTE.....

It's been tough working full time writing. Not for reasons you might think. I have a workforce relations complaint and no HR department. My cat has become attached at the hip and if listening to weed whackers outside isn't bad enough, I have to listen to her meow meow meow meow, roughly translated as: "Pet me non-stop or I will meow."

Otherwise, it's been great. It's surreal at times because this is something I've wanted for more years than I can even think. Not just to be self-employed, but to write as my profession. There is no need for me to go through a publisher to say "I've made it". My brother has been an author for umpteen years and publishes on his own. These are different times, and many authors no longer want to sell away their ebook rights, agree to a 'non-competition' clause on a contract, or make less than they could earn on their own. If I had a FT job, it might not be a big deal, but this pays my bills now, so all things are considered. A publishing deal might be tempting down the road, but I would never want to put all my eggs in one basket with my only hit series. I think it's a great option once you have more titles under your belt. But come on, Hollywood. A Mageri movie! You are totally missing out on something great. ;-)

I think my fans have even selected a cast. coughChrisHemsworthcough
Just sayin'.

Having time to do fun things is also amazing. I've even seen two movies in the theater, and that breaks my record for theater visits in the last five years.

Although prices are so bad that I was thinking about putting my hot dog on layaway.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Mageri Store

I thought it would be fun to post some items for sale that are related to my books. I know there are a few readers who have tried to win my giveaways, and while I have hosted a lot of them (especially bookmark giveaways), I wish I could give something to every fan, but it's just not possible.

So, this seemed like a good way to allow everyone to have a little something Mageri, if they wanted.

I'll take requests. If there are any specific items (key chains, jewelry, etc. you'd like to see) let me know.
Also, please let me know of a phrase you would want to have on an item. I'm so busy writing and editing my books, that coming up with these ideas is sucking away my brain cells. Plus, I figure readers know better about what they'd like than I do. So post a reply here and I'll keep it around for consideration.

Ideally, I'd prefer to have text items to make it simple. They come out clean and are great conversation starters, as well as inside jokes. ;-)

Images sometimes don't print out the way they look on the computer, but I'll still add a few for variety.

Btw, you might need to adjust your filter settings on the site. It may default as "safe" or "moderate", but any items I have tagged as RATED R (due to language), you won't see unless you change the settings. Please don't ask me how to do it, Zazzle is very new to me. :-)

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE STORE


Announcement: Seven Years Release Date

I am officially announcing the release date for SEVEN YEARS as October 22, 2013, barring no meteor strikes, chicken flu, alien invasions, dinosaur experimentation gone awry, or Twinkie recalls.

It's not as far away as it seems; it's almost August! I've completed the front cover, but I still need to design the full cover and have the interior formatted. This will require me to request proof copies, and there are other things I need to plan. This gives me enough time, and I'm SO excited to be able to bring you a new book THIS YEAR!

If you are a BOOK BLOGGER/REVIEWER and want to get on the list for an ARC, please email me with your website address and you will be considered. :-)


Be sure to add to your Goodreads bookshelf 

The cover reveal will be organized for a future date (clearly not a past date). Seven Years is a sexy romance with a paranormal twist. Prepare for sexual tension, humor, heartbreak, and swooning. Each book in this series will focus on a new couple.

Mature content. 17+


Monday, July 15, 2013

99 cent Sale

STERLING IS ON SALE UNTIL JULY 23.
99 pennies. Cheaper than a cup of coffee, cheaper than a bucket of popcorn, cheaper than dirt.

STERLING AMAZON (US) - http://amzn.to/17ZkRdq
STERLING AMAZON (UK) - http://amzn.to/18D8kfn
KOBO: http://tinyurl.com/ke4hjsa
NOOK: http://tinyurl.com/m56g8f8

What if immortals lived among us?

Zoë Merrick lived an ordinary life until she was brutally attacked and left for dead.

She survived, saved by a stranger who witnessed her undergo a physical transformation. That's not the only thing that's different. Zoë is unable to control an unexplainable energy coursing through her body.

Justus De Gradi is a man who can teach her that control. He's handsome, arrogant, and not entirely human. He reveals that she is a Mage - an immortal made of light, not magic. She must now make a choice: Rebuild her life in the human world with the man who saved her, or live with Justus and learn how to use her extraordinary gifts. Justus has sworn an oath to protect her life, but can he guard her from the one man who has a right to claim it?

Zoë learns the price of freedom...
and the value of loyalty.

Urban Fantasy Romance Series and epic love story.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Dannika took a simple story about a girl who was changed into an immortal being and turned this into something much bigger."
- The Book Diaries






Begin the journey before the journey ends.

 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mageri 5: Draft 1 is Complete

Start date: May 29, 2013
End Date: July 8, 2013
Word Count: 130,099


I wish I could say the final expected installment of the Mageri Series wrapped up memorably. You know - a glass of wine, a plate of caviar, a cigarette with a Cognac.

Actually, as I wrote the very last paragraph, the phone wouldn't stop ringing. I threw my hands up in the air. "Really? Now??"




And that is the unpredictability of life.

This was actually a tough one because of all the loose ends I needed to tie up. Will every single question be answered? No. LOL Go back to that unpredictability part directly above. To explain everything would leave little to the imagination. I also may want to revisit the series, perhaps a spinoff, perhaps...who knows? I do have plans for a post-novella (or Mageri World novel depending on how big it gets).

I've loved these characters and enjoyed watching them grow. I wished I could have written an entire book about each one. I'm humbled that so many readers have connected and bonded (and claimed) these guys. I'm not weepy just yet. I had my moments. I think it will hit me when I finally publish and push this little boat in the water and watch it set sail.






Nothing is ever really the end.



Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end, right?





Don't cry, Little Bird.

There are always new beginnings, stories, characters, fits of laughter, snorts, swoonworthy signs, and calls to your friends at 3am saying, "I can't go to work tomorrow. Oh. My. God. I can't believe what I just read."


...and Kindle hurtling.



What now?

Well, lucky for you guys I don't have
<-- that problem.

I'm working on the SEVEN SERIES to get it out as soon as possible. My plans in 2014 are to work on the SEVEN SERIES along with an Urban Fantasy series that will have the same vibe as Mageri.

In the meantime, I may be done with draft one, but there are revisions to be had. This process along with the self-edits are tedious, but necessary. I'm on a deadline as the plan is to have this to the betas by October and the editor by November. I also have to work on that cover and yadda yadda, I know you've heard all this before.

So do a wee bit of a jig. One major hurdle can be checked off the list.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Reviews


Many readers are offered "incentives" for writing a review. It works, which is a great thing. Readers have something to gain while in return, help the author get noticed among a broader audience.

While this has been tempting, I'd like to think you guys will be inspired enough by the story and writing to actually *want* to post a review for any book without perks. Proactive vs reactive. I think we should change that mode of thinking and in the longrun, it benefits everyone. So yeah, I'm taking it to the streets. :-)

Never done it before? SO EASY. You find the product, scroll below the reviews and click on WRITE A REVIEW. It only has to be 20 words.

I receive a flood of emails and PM's on a daily basis from readers who are currently reading (or have read) the series and are loving it. Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know because it means a lot to receive that kind of feedback!! I hope you'll feel a little brave about posting a review on Amazon. Reviews aren't meant to be a breakdown of the plot; they are your opinions.

And your opinions count.

While I expect many may disregard the importance of online reviews, it matters more than it used to. If I walk into a bookstore, I don't rely on a customer walking by to tell me what they thought of the book I'm holding, or to make a recommendation. I browse, touch, smell, crack open the pages, read, stare at the pictures, and hold it for thirty minutes while walking around before I purchase. Ebooks are sooo different. Reviews matter because it's often the first thing a customer will look at. Visibility in the rankings matter because without them, the books are not seen. Authors hope their fans are inspired and fired up to write a review because it's going to help others with making the decision to buy the book. For Indies this is extremely important because we don't have publishers giving us front store displays or marketing our books through ads that aren't available to Indies. Ideally, I'd like to keep writing and publishing full time. That's the goal because I have loved writing since I was twelve and want to keep producing this reservoir of stories I have bottled up. 

I've been extremely fortunate with having an awesome group of Mageri fans who aren't afraid to wave their flags and show their love. Some avidly post reviews, others share my posts or announcements, and some spread the word and loan out my books. Love. Love. Love. 

What readers may find happening within the indie community is how much time indie authors spend in social networking. We lurve you guys and will response to your messages, questions, and become more than just a face plastered on the back of a book jacket. I think that's one reason readers have found the indie community to be so vibrant and engaging, not to mention the discounted books and amazing stories you would otherwise never read.

There's a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes, a lot of expenses, a lot of headaches, and a lot of 2am hair-pulling 'wtf am I doing up so late' ramblings as I continue typing out just one more chapter. lol
But I love being a writer. I love being Indie.

Have a great week! <3