Something About Sheritta #20

3Where do you come up with the names for your stories?

At first, because I wrote more contemporary works, I simply looked through baby name lists online and picked one. I chose based on the way the name sounded, how it rolled off my tongue when I spoke it, if I could pull a nickname from it, and if its meaning suited the character. I also try to make sure that the names don’t closely resemble any other names in the story. So, if I’ve picked a name for the main heroine that starts with an “A”, then I won’t chose another name like “Aiden” or “Adam” to pair with her. I’ll move onto the next letter or find something that doesn’t resemble it too closely.
Since I’m doing a lot of historical pieces now, I try to find names that match with the century and locale of the story. I won’t name a French nobleman from the 18th century “Caleb” because that’s a much more modern and English name. However, it gets a little tough when everyone was named John or Edward. I sometimes have to get a little creative.

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Black Friday Sale! Signed Paperbacks!

In the spirit of Black Friday sales (not the trampling people in the stores thing, but the discount deals thing), I’ve decided to host a little sale of my own.

I’m clearing out my paperback stock of books for cheaper than I normally sell, even at book signing events. For $8 (some $10) I’ll be offering up signed paperbacks while supplies last!

Head over to this form, fill out which books you want, and a PayPal invoice will be sent to you. Once that’s paid, your order will be sent on its way to you within a week! Since I’ve been cutting back on book signing events, this will be one of your last chances to get certain paperbacks signed by yours truly. Don’t miss out!

For blurbs and more about the books, visit the links in this blog
or my Amazon Author Page

SALE ENDS NOVEMBER 27TH!!! 

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Happy Turkey Day!

So, I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and share about my memorable holiday experiences.

Thanksgiving, for me, used to be a wonderful holiday. Every year, I’d spend the week off from school with one (or sometimes both) of my parents. With my mom, we spent the whole day at my grandparents house and ate too much of my Granny’s famous potato salad and watched Christmas shows with my cousins. It was your typical Thanksgiving gathering.

d400b911c8ed170c0d647602d72ac29a--thanksgiving--louisianaBut spending Thanksgiving with my dad was a special treat. Over the Mississippi River and in Louisiana, they know how to have a party. My grandparents would have family from all over come to visit and stay at their house. Relatives from Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri packed the house. Women cooked last minute dishes in the kitchen while the men watched football in the living room. In the den, kids would be screaming and rolling around on the floor in their play. Teenagers and young adults would be in the “pool room” playing billiards or bashing out a few tunes on the old piano. I learned how to play the game in that room, but I could never master the piano. For the most part, I either helped in the kitchen (I made mashed potatoes one year) or played with distant cousins in the den.

3cda2d11-be9b-4d5a-9a2c-b1bbc7b3f4e5-GettyImages-1036967058When it was time for the meal, everyone would gather from every room and pray before piling into the kitchen. All variety of pies, meats, casseroles, breads, traditional Cajun foods, and drinks were set up buffet style and there was always the confusion about where the line would start and in which direction it would go. Everyone would scatter from there. Some in the pool room, some in the living room, den, dining room, hallway, or outside on the patio if the day was warm enough. Tables and folding chairs were everywhere and the roar of conversation dulled as mouths were stuffed with delicious foods. compliments and demands for recipes were thrown around in between bites, but the game was always on.

Continue reading

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Planets On The Move…

So, to begin, I’m gonna just clear the air.

I am a Christian, I believe in God, but I also believe in physics and that there’s a spiritual realm beyond what we can see. Being somewhat of an empathy, I think energies and vibes are also a real thing. However, I’m the last person to ask about crystal vibration stuff or what someone’s elemental sign means. I’m not THAT deep in it, and some of it sounds pretty “out there”.

However, I’ve recently been paying attention to the moon and how the planets are affecting different astrological signs (mine to be specific). The only reason I’m starting to give this study some credibility is because I’ve seen it manifest in my mood and temperament over the last month or so.

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To start things off, Venus was in retrograde October 5th through November 15th, exactly 40 days – which is a magic number in itself. When Venus is in retrograde, relationships and love are all open for reevaluation and reassessment. It’s supposed to be a time of reflection on yourself and your values. To up the auntie, it was in retrograde within the astrological sign of Scorpio, meaning that all of that stuff was even MORE intense and passionate… Most unfortunately, I felt it. ALL of it. I’m not willing to go into detail, but my feels were all over the place, and I’m still reeling from that.

Because of that, I started looking a little deeper into how the planets and such are affecting my life. I’ve paid more attention to the moon phases and taken them into account when in relation to the sign its in, and what the planets are doing. I’m not an expert and I’m having to Google a ton, but what I found was pretty poignant. Continue reading

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Something About Sheritta #19

CaptureAs a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

My natural impulse would be to say “a wolf”. However, I’m gonna wave my nerd flag for a second and say a wolverine. Why? Not because I like the animal in general, but because of one line I remember reading in a comic book when I was younger. It was a Wolverine Origins type of comic that went over the years Logan/James spent as a lumberjack or logger. According to the comic, this is the time when he got his nickname “Wolverine” because he was aggressively determined in everything he did, getting the job done no matter what it took, just like a wolverine when it was digging out its den. That was the observation of Logan from an outsider’s perspective, and I’d like to think that others who read my work or know anything about my process will compare my work ethic to the wolverine as well. If I set my mind to writing a book, to reaching a specific word count, or to find out all I can about something related to my book, I go full-board until I’ve achieved it.

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My Muses Running Amuck

For those wondering, yes I’m still writing. Is my release schedule wonky? Yes, that is true too.

The muses have not been particularly kind when it comes to progressing through the Legacy Series, and I believe that’s partly due to the nature of the project along with unreasonable self-goals. As you know, I aimed to release a new novella every month. On paper, and given my track record, this was doable. Totally doable. But I didn’t account for the human factor in that equation, and it’s turning into an “every two months” sort of schedule, which would have given me some breathing room between novellas… if November hadn’t happened.

NaNo-2018-Writer-Twitter-Header

For those of you who are involved in the writing community, or have friends who are writers, you might have heard of this thing called National Novel Writing Month. It’s both a painful and an exciting time for writers and authors everywhere. It’s the one time of the year we encourage one another and push ourselves to write 50,000 words in 30 days. It’s when we can pull out book ideas from the dusty attics of our minds, brush them off, and breathe some life into the characters we’ve wanted to meet for some time. It’s also a chance to revisit old projects and finally knock them out of the park – as I will explain in a moment. The idea is that 50k words is a little over half a novel (or a little longer novella), so if we keep on track to write about 1.5k words every day, we can have an entire novel written before the closing of the year. I think there’s an additional challenge for editing the novel in January, but I’m not 100% on that.

In 2015 and 2016, I “won” NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) with my novels Passions and Silver Screen (respectively) which I have since published. Silver Screen has been made into an audiobook, and Passions has gone on to be backed by Kingston Publishing, which will also have an audiobook format available within the coming months (super stoked about that). I took 2017 off because I was working hard in my Legacy Series and didn’t think I could devote the time and effort to writing a novel alongside that.

However, 2018 is a new year and I decided to jump on the bandwagon, now that I have a huge NaNo community to participate with on social media. I made a lot of author/writer friends in the last two years. With the completion of The Outlaw, book #11 in the Legacy Series, I thought I’d return to another series I had started, but never finished. You might have seen little snippets from my Bewitching Brews Series posted here in the blog. The first novel, Bewitching Fire, is finished and just needs some editing before publication, but I had been sitting on it for about a year in hopes that a traditional publisher would take it. They didn’t, and with Halloween on my mind, I decided that I’ll be self-publishing the series next October. Be on the lookout for it! So, for NaNo, I was going to go ahead and get the second book written to get that ball rolling… The muses had another plan.
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The Rose was the first book I had ever written and finished, topping at about 250k words (I had no social life as a sophomore in high school). I was so freaking proud of that book… And then I pulled it out from the files to read it 8 years later… Nope. It needed work. So, about a year and a half ago, I decided that I’d take on the monumental task of re-writing it, as I had done for Clouds and Escape (other books written in high school that have been published). The project became a little too much and I abandoned it in favor of other things… And like I said, November happened with NaNo and the muses… It was just a confusing time.

I picked The Rose back up and heavily modified the previously re-worked plot outline. I edited through the re-written 9 chapters from the other year and hit the ground running, sprinting for the 50k goal starting November 2nd… 11-13Well, I made that goal yesterday. In that time, The Rose has now been split into a duet (two book series), and the new storyline looks nothing like the original. But, this is a good thing. It’s better plotted, better written, the characters and their motivations finally make sense, and it’s been an incredibly satisfying process.

But, I’m going to rewind for a second and reiterate what I just said. I wrote 50,000 words in less than two weeks. 12 days to be exact… Let that settle for a second. It took me over two months to write The Outlaw, a 67k word historical paranormal western, but it only took me 12 days to write a contemporary romance. Now, I’m going to keep going and see how far this burst of inspiration will take me, but DANG! How did that happen? Who spiked my coffee? Why is The Rose so different from The Outlaw? Both books have characters I adore and have known for years (Ben Myers is the star werewolf in The Outlaw, and Belle Clearwater might as well be my twin).
Herkulaneischer_Meister_002-901x891Maybe it has more to do with the content. In a contemporary romance, I don’t have to watch my language so much. What I mean by that is I can use as much modern slang to get my point across. Whereas in a historical series like The Legacies, I have to be careful about words. I can’t say “his body felt electrified” before the discovery of electricity. Stuff like that.

Either way, The Rose’s partner in the duet, The Lion, is well on its way to being completed. Once it is, edits will be conducted, a release plan put into motion, and you might get to read it by this summer!
What does this mean for The Legacy Series? Not a lot. As soon as I’m done with The Lion, I’ll be heading on to #12 in the series, The Deviants and I’ll finally get to write about my homeboy, Logan. Release date for The Outlaw is pending due to delays with the editing that are not within my control, but it’ll be out before Christmas for sure.

What’s on the horizon? Long term, like I said, Bewitching Brews will be coming next year around October or September. The three books in that series will be conducted in a rapid release, so hold onto your broomsticks when it hits! The Legacy Series, along with audio releases will still be coming as quickly as I can get through them.
The-Future-of-MarketingBeyond that, there are other series and projects like The Vigilante Series (featuring John Croxen’s four sons in New York), The Wolf Sanctuary Series (which takes place in a completely different werewolf mechanics universe than I’ve done up to this point), and several independent books like Ghosts of the Moon (sort of linked with Silver Screen) and many more.

HOWEVER, things change. Plans fall through. That human factor keeps rearing its ugly head. SO, let everything I say be written in pencil with an eraser hovering over each word. Unless you see that preorder pop up on Amazon, take everything I say with a grain of skepticism.

For now, I’m just going to enjoy my birthday month, keep punching out these words, and look forward to a trip to another Civil War battlefield to close out NaNo.

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Something About Sheritta #18

20180603_094423Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?

It’s a little of both. I have friends who say that their characters really take over the story and dictate “no, I want to do this” or “I’m not gonna say that to this person”. I suppose I feel a little of that prodding but in a different way. When I’m about to write a piece of dialogue or plan out the plot, I start to feel more led by the character to stay true to their motives, intentions, and attitudes. I can’t have an independent and stubborn woman give into someone else, even if it would make the plot easier for me to control.

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Something About Sheritta #17

20180923_002828What do you do to unwind and relax?

Relax? What’s that??? Oh, that thing I do between books. Well, even if I’m not between books, I do like to take some time to chill. I usually get some of my favorite takeout food and watch a movie or show off of Netflix or Amazon Prime. I’m not a girly-girl, so manicures or spa days aren’t really my thing. And before you think it, reading actually isn’t always relaxing for me. I’ll try to read or listen to an audiobook, but find myself constantly comparing the style or quality to my own work and it can sometimes be more stressful than relaxing.

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Civil War Expedition: Chickamauga and Lookout Mountain

Here’s another short video blog of my visit to Chickamauga Battlefield and Lookout Mountain. I have to say that the Chickamauga park was pretty impressive, and the fact that they offer guided tours is so helpful in understanding what happened there. Lookout Mountain, I wasn’t so much impressed with, but only due to its size.

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Something About Sheritta #16

20180602_095917Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?

I used to be able to write with classical music or ambient noise in the background, but lately I’ve been finding that more difficult to do without stalling in my train of thought. So, now I prefer silence or the occasional white noise (rain, laptop fan, dog snoring, etc). The music used to help me really get deep into the scene, and my focus hasn’t shifted, but I guess something in my brain has and music is more distracting than helpful.

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