We've already heard a bit about him in the previous books, of course. Getting into his head was a refreshing change from the other four characters. He has a positive optimistic outlook on life, making the best of things, but harbors bitterness over what happened to him and his best friend Roman at the ashram. When he finally discovers that Wynter escaped the Light and is living what he believes is a dream life in Washington, it raises all kinds of self-doubt in Xay.
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Monday, September 21, 2020
Wynter and her brothers are ready to rock venues all over Seattle. No one can deny the natural chemistry Rule212 has on stage. Behind the scenes there's tension brewing.It's not easy to work, play, and live together. Family means everything to Wynter and she'll do whatever it takes to keep it together.But something at the very heart of this family is ripping it apart. They are finally learning that things went wrong years before they were born. No secrets or lies—it's one of Caleb's house rules. So why does everyone keep breaking it?
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Firstly, because it was the first book where I was starting from scratch. While I wrote half a million stream-of-consciousness words a few years ago that became the basis for all ten books, once I put the scenes in order, I only "completed" 8 books before I started publishing book 1 on Wattpad. I don't really mean completed, as I was rewriting and editing (and adding thousands of words to) the books as I published them, but essentially the plotting and two-thirds of the writing was done.
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Gone are the days when writers had to spend hours in the library researching how to care for their character's pet python, or on the phone exploring the price of a plane ticket, or at the bookcase in the next room flicking through classic novels to find the perfect quote.
Everything's at our fingertips - and not just for researching our stories, but for editing and publishing our books as well. Here I'm focusing on some of my most-used tools and websites, and they're all free. Some do have paid services that expand the options available, and for others you will need to make an account (often, signing in via Facebook or Google is possible).
I've mentioned a couple of these tools before, and added lots of new ones.
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
I bought myself a new guitar, which I'll write about soon, but here's my daughter - then (age 2) with the Rock Band controller guitar, and now (age 10) with the new, actual, real guitar. Despite no amp she says it's already "too loud". Four+ months of remote learning at home has apparently lowered her tolerance for noise.
Sunday, August 16, 2020
It's not really a spoiler to say that in the forthcoming and final book of the Wynter Wild series (The Beat Goes On), Xay Morant is going to launch his singing career. He's a rockstar through and through (or will be, he hopes!) - and I've put together this playlist to give you an idea of the kind of music he sings. Follow me on Spotify to find more playlists for the Wynter Wild books:
If you don't listen to anthemic rock music (as opposed to the indie rock of Rule212), these songs might be an eyeopener. They're mostly from current but not particularly huge bands (in some cases, unknown bands) including a couple of covers. In style and lyrical content they represent the spirit of Xay's music. Cigarette-lighter songs included!
Monday, July 27, 2020
Saturday, July 25, 2020
Monday, July 13, 2020
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Friday, July 3, 2020
In this book, Wynter puts together her first all-girl (well, not quite) band. While she'd love to be playing just about every song with the amp turned to 11 to maximize distortion, the Mail Order Chicks play mostly 80s and 90s British pop. This story also sees the genesis of the rock band she puts together with her brothers.
"Distortion" refers to how the siblings' mother, Miriam, has affected her children by her actions years ago. Particularly for Indio, he believes the ongoing absence of maternal love is what has formed him, rather than the abandonment itself:
Thursday, July 2, 2020
Little Sister Song (Book 1) is available here.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Monday, June 29, 2020
Monday, June 8, 2020
Monday, April 27, 2020
Friday, March 20, 2020
These days the voices available for this sort of software are pretty good. They sound human, although they don't always do correct phrasing, but it's good enough to get a feel for the rhythm of your prose and to pick up typos and repeated words.
Friday, March 13, 2020
For those of you less familiar with babies or who don't remember (like me!) what they are like at different ages, click on the image above for a 20-second video of a baby the same age as the one you might be reading about if you're reading my books.
Saturday, March 7, 2020
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
After the 2019 awards I was vocal about two major problems (as I saw them): that previously published authors won two awards (I wrote about this and the outcomes here), and the rules book was misleading, contradictory, repetitive, and dense, with valid questions from Wattpadders seeking clarification going unanswered by Wattpad staff.
This year the Wattys have changed in two major ways, one of which makes business sense and the other is just common sense:
1. Only novels 50K are eligible (no non-fiction, poetry, graphic novels, novellas, short stories) - Given Wattpad is looking to publish the winner(s), they won't make money from anything shorter than a novel. To recognize these other types of writing, they will have other contests later in the year.
2. Only finished stories are eligible. Last year, one of the judging criterion was (obviously) plot - does it have a beginning, middle, and satisfying end? It befuddled me at the time how this was supposed to be judged when the story was unfinished.
So far, so good.
But I have gripes.
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Sunday, February 9, 2020
Saturday, February 8, 2020
In my next post I'll show you some of the other characters' homes and hangouts.
Anaconda, MTIn Minor Key (book 8), the family visits the two homes in Montana where the boys grew up (at least, the last two homes they lived in - they moved around with Miriam before this).
Friday, February 7, 2020
Early on I found houses to match each of the places Wynter and the boys have lived in. I looked for houses the right size and price (using Zillow estimates for the year in question, where possible), and in the right location. This helped me enormously in visualizing my scenes. Zillow also sometimes has photos of the interiors (when they've recently been on the market).
Below are screenshots of some of the homes mentioned in books 1 to 8. They're not necessarily perfectly matched to the way I ended up describing the buildings, but most are real homes in the actual neighborhoods given in the books. I've listed them in the order they appear in the books, not the order they were lived in.
Seattle house, Columbia City, Seattle WA
Monday, February 3, 2020
The silly season is over, the child is back at school, and I've finally managed to get Duet out there. The book is available on Amazon Kindle at these links
or purchase from Smashwords in multiple formats.
As always, I truly appreciate the support of my readers and ask you to please consider writing an honest review at Goodreads. It's the best way to support indie authors!
Friday, January 31, 2020
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Monday, January 27, 2020
Saturday, January 25, 2020
Fellow writers might also be interested in my earlier post, Personality Typing for Made-Up People.
I did personality tests on my characters about one year into writing, when they already pretty well established in my head and on the page. I thought it would be interesting to see how closely they matched the established "types", and also knew it would generate some ideas for how they deal with stress, and with each other (particularly what causes conflict).
I became interested in this method of personality typing a couple of decades ago. 16Personalities is a useful summary site to familiarize yourself with the 16 types and take the test yourself if you want. (Not all sites use the same "shorthand" descriptor, e.g. "debater" for ENTP, but the idea is the same.) It's up to you whether you find this psychological approach useful for real people, but as a writer I do find it useful for character generation - or, in this case, for delving deeper into characters I'd already created.
I'm writing these posts in the midst of editing (and uploading to Wattpad) book 8, so there may be minor spoilers if you haven't read that far. Read about: