Tag Archives: writing

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Lover in…waiting

Now that I have my feet firmly planted in new soil, I’m back writing. Which means I’m working on the fourth book in the Darkest Kynd series. Spoiler alert: it’s not going to be about the character you think it is.

For those of you who like the way I’ve been setting up the series, you’re going to be disappointed. Not! It’s just that Kallen still has issues to work through and he’s not ready for his Chosen One.

Who is? That’s for you to wonder and for me to keep my grip on this runaway stallion!

As for his love match, she’s a good hearted girl-next-door like Angelia with a bite fiercer than Violet’s! Add to that a dash of claws and a new-found taste for freedom, and you can bet our hero is going to have a tough time with this one.

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I’ll leave you with that and plenty of time to get caught up.

Happy reading!

~S.C. Dane

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Confessions of a romance writer: An animal in human skin

Confessions of a paranormal romance author: Animal in a Human’s Skin #furry #freak #wolf #creativity #writing #excerpts

Camouflage is French for “mind your own business.” ~Anonymous (I don’t know who came up with this. I heard a friend say it, and thought it so clever he couldn’t possibly have thought it up himself. But if he did? My apologies. And hats off to you, K.B.)

Don’t you ever wonder where your imagination comes from? Why the fancies of one person’s mind can vary so greatly from another’s. Each one taking on a specific slant, a perspective leaning in a constant direction.
Like the too-close-for-comfort preternatural dramas of Stephen King, or the complicated sagas of JRR Tolkein. Both writers reveal a pattern, a legend to the maps of their minds’ inventiveness.
What does this tell me? It tells me that our imaginations are linked to our essential cores. That they are linked to who we are on the inside.
No matter what we look like on the outside.
What I mean is, yeah, we can look perfectly human, but there’s something else curled deep and safe inside of us: the inner self which can be truer to who we are than our own skins.
For some of us, that skin is camouflage. It doesn’t represent who we are on the inside. I mean, do you catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror and get taken aback? As if the image in the glass isn’t what you expected to see?
Or that maybe inside your hands, when you look down at them, there is something aching to push out?
Happens to me. Which is how my first book came about. I dared to cage my insecurities and stepped a tentative toe onto the damning evidence of the page. Where the written word transformed itself into the accusing finger, giving the “normal” public a chance to scoff and malign the creatures escaping my imagination.
Since it was my first story, I stuck to the cardinal rule of authors: write what you know.
Still shy and afraid, I wrote in privacy, guarding my computer screen while I transported the animals inside me to the brutal exposure of the open page
This is how Beth was born. A woman living in human society. A woman out of touch with that society. Yeah, she blended okay, but there was always something others were put off by.
Always something she was put off by, but couldn’t quite put her finger on.
That’s me. I live with humans, but too often find myself saying, “What the fuck?”
Because I don’t get people.
Neither does Beth. Since I couldn’t do anything about myself, I saved her.
I conjured a wolf-man to come and show her where her real world was.
Wishful thinking? You bet!

From Luna: Book One of The Luna Chronicle by S.C. Dane:

Sunrise found me in my usual spot in front of the picture window, sipping my coffee and gazing at my reflection as I fantasized about the stranger named Alec. I was running into him a lot, and he seemed to be searching me out as often as I was looking for him. No guy or teenage horny-toad had ever pursued me, not even out of curiosity. So, why didn’t I find the whole situation unusual?
Because this man’s interest stirred me like I’d only dreamed about. I wanted him. Scratch that. I craved him. Hell, I was getting goose-bumps just sitting in my chair thinking about him. It was all I could do to keep myself from throwing my virginity at him.
So, I had to be careful. I had no experience in this sort of thing, and I sure as shit didn’t want to scare him off with my weirdness. Forget that I thought the guy could be a wolf. That was just me fantasizing again. The reality was that I was the freak, so if Alec found me interesting, I was going to have to act as normal as I could muster. Which meant not stalking him like a hungry predator.

This is a scene from when Beth still thought she was human. Before she learned there were wolf-people and she was one of them. At this time in the story, she thinks she’s a freak because she just doesn’t think like the people around her. She prefers spending her time in the woods. It’s the only place where she feels closest to her “real” self, without understanding why.
Like many of us, she has to put on a mask to get through her day. She has to pretend to “get” the rules of human interaction. Only in the primordial cradle of the forests does she slough her mask, to run and play with wild abandon.
For Beth, these private sojourns into the woods are necessary to her spiritual survival.
As they are for mine. I need to touch the earth with my bare feet or I’ll go bat shit. Know what I mean? Or can you keep your beast happy without leaving the city walls? If you can, I’d love to know how.

I’ll share more of Luna, Beth, and a romance writer’s private inner workings later. If you want to read more about Beth, be one of the first to comment, and I’ll send you a free, signed copy of Luna: Book One of The Luna Chronicle. Or check out another female misfit in the serial I published here on my blog. Titled Wolf Love, it’s free for the reading.

Thank you for coming along for the ride.

~S.C. Dane

Animal in Human Skin: A paranormal romance writer’s confession.

I’m an animal in human skin. #socialmisfit #borderlander? #freethinker #furries #freebook And I am NOT crazy, or unstable, or a freak. I’m not unique either. There are a lot of people out there in the world who identify with animals. I just happened to tap into a way to live inside them, to look out from behind the eyes of the furry.
I love to write. It’s as crucial to my well-being as surrounding myself with animals who think like I do. It’s how I fell into writing paranormal romance writing.
I didn’t start out with that goal at all. I simply wrote a story made up of characters with touches of me.
Turned out, the only way for publishers to look at it was to cram it into a box and label it. Luna became the first book I ever wrote. Beth a.k.a. Luna was my first, and tentative, venture into the land of the furred-made-public.
I’ll delve deeper into that in my next blog post (look for it Tuesday, April 14, 2015).
For now, I need to apologize for the interruption in “Lover In Stone” serial. My publisher is taking a look at it, along with the sequel. In the meantime, I thought I’d use the break to connect with other “furries.”
Do you feel as if you shouldn’t have been born with bare skin? Are you missing your tail?
Tell me about it. Really. I wouldn’t mind a howl from another pack. If you’re shy, please visit my website http://www.paranormalromancebyscdane.com.  OR just click on the “website” link at the top right of this page. I think once you sniff around, you’ll realize this blog isn’t a trap, and you may venture forth. For the first couple of brave souls who leave comments, I’ll give a free, signed copy of Luna: Book One of the Luna Chronicles if they would like to have one (I swear this isn’t a trap and the books aren’t bait!!). That way, when I start sharing the inside poop on my characters, you’ll know who I’m talking about.

Thanks for sharing. Have a great day!
~S.C. Dane

“How To Throw Away A Perfectly Good Husband” #divorce #publishing #nomadic lifestyle

How To Throw Away A Perfectly Good Husband

I thought the title was going to be an introduction to this blog. Turns out—no. As I put my fingertips to the keys, I’m not sure what’s going to sprinkle across the page. I already wrote one blog on this topic, shared with you some personal stuff about being a paranormal romance novelist, a nomad, and a divorcee.

    For those of you who aren’t detectives: I didn’t post it. Instead, I got hit by my techie-gremlin again. What’s a techie-gremlin, you wonder? A snag in my computer experience that behaves like a sentient being. You think my toast has fallen peanut butter side down, don’t you? Probably it has, but there’s no denying the existence of this something. It’s like Jiminy Cricket hovering over my shoulder, only he has a magic wand to halt the internet. Every time I’ve tried to post something that later bit me on the ass, my techie-gremlin tried to interfere.

    He popped in again with the last post I wanted to publish about throwing away a perfectly good husband. I was having no problems navigating, playing, or adjusting my blog until I hit “publish.” I tried it several times, had success with other functions, browsed around on the internet, and returned to re-post. Nada.

    So, given this has happened too many times to ignore, I sat back and wondered if I shouldn’t be airing detes about my marriage. Or, if it’s all right to blab, maybe I need to rephrase things. For our purposes this time, I’m only going to publish the stuff I wrote about writing. So, release your breath, here it is:

… (this follows what the techie-gremlin didn’t want me to share.)So, I stepped off my porch. And I stepped. Until the individual steps became a walk, one which got increasingly easier as I gained momentum, as I felt the titillation of freedom only the open road can give.

Of course, the first book I ever wrote told so much about myself it was practically a personality profile. Living vicariously through my characters? Hell, yes. I did a lot of running and exploring out on the Great Heath of my home town, which is where my first novel began. Did I hope to be thrown a lifeline in the form a sexy wolf-man? Oh, my, who wouldn’t? The people who knew me and read the book, Luna: Book One of The Luna Chronicle, wondered if the reason I ran on the heath everyday was because I did have a wolf-man out there.

They weren’t far off in their suspicions. Writing the book was an adventure in escapism, so every time I headed out to the bog, Luna and her supporting characters came with me. As I ventured through the wind-stunted forests like a white-tailed deer, events in the storyline unfolded. By the time my lungs were wheezing, I was ready to return to the box of my house and sketch my imagined world to life: once written upon the page, Luna-Beth’s world became real.

Little did I know then that Beth’s leaving everything behind to follow her wolf-man would presage my own experience (minus the wolf-man, boo-hiss!). Like my title character, I could no longer stay in a world where I just didn’t fit.

My husband—bless his understanding heart for a thousand years to come—stayed behind while I traipsed forward, armed only with my intuition, a bit of courage, and raw faith that readers would love my characters as much as I do.

    Later, I’ll try again to share the madness behind my motivation. Here’s hoping I can. In the meantime, keep in mind that the title for this blog is more appropriate than the dress code at a Catholic school. I really did throw away a perfectly good husband when I set out to discover more of the world and my place in it. Maybe you’ve done the same. If so, I’d love to hear from you. Who knows, maybe a little dialogue will lull Jiminy Cricket and his magic wand to sleep. Winks!

~S.C. Dane

#Rejection—boo-hiss

A horrible word, rejection. It conjures all sorts of ill feelings in our guts, demeaning us and stripping us bare, so we’re left with just our hypersensitive skin to cringe in the face of any breeze. We’re demoralized, reduced to eating worms, or bawling plaintively how we’re not good enough for anything.

For some of us authors, it transforms us into turtles, where we slip our battered heads into our shells. Some of us wait out the storm, not moving until our broken egos muster the courage to stick our faces back out into the fierce sun. Others of us rally a war cry, rebounding instantly after the shock of the hit, and rail against “the bastards!” Or yet, we console ourselves with wine (whine) or pints of chocolate ice cream.

Inevitably, we hoist up the belt on our holstered six-shooters and aim again. We writers can’t help it. An innate force compels us to continue on, dragging ourselves through the arid wasteland of Rejection Desert. We write. It’s not only what we do, but what we are. We can’t stop, even after we’ve written drivel we’ll throw into the trash.

We scrap the words into the recycle bin and start again. And again. And yet again. For in the striving, we strike a vein of gold and run our excited fingers across the keyboard as fast we can manage. We churn out some really great stuff in these moments, these hours, and days. Though at the end there is no guarantee, just an objective assayer of our hard work who may or not deem our efforts worthy.

Still, we push on. The lesson is hard and rarely does our skin grow thick. We just figure out how to cope with the devastating blows, how to ignore the sting of the lash while we press on. If we’re smart, we learn from these rejections. We sharpen our queries, rake over our manuscripts to find fresh ways to say the same thing. All in the quest to avoid another rejection.

Never happens, though. Like seeds in a watermelon, they’re always present no matter how hard we try to avoid them. But like those seeds, they can germinate bountiful fruit if we know how to sow and harvest our rejections.

Me? I’m a gardener. Are you?

~S.C. Dane

TESTING ONE’S METTLE

Writers lead glamorous lives. We’re rich, for starters. Second, we sit around acknowledging our adoring fans, who stand in line for city blocks while we pen our names on the inside cover of the book they just love, love, love. In our down time, we scribble out another book, before we’re off to do whatever the hell we want.

Riiiiight. Then we wake up, and the moment the sleep faeries release their hold, we’re thinking how we’re going to juggle all we have to do in a day. We’re not rich, for starters. Most of us have to hold down regular jobs to pay the bills. Second, if we’re sitting around it’s because we’ve greedily carved out a half-hour of uninterrupted time to actually write. Sometimes it’s not to create either, but to market our names and books. No mile-long lines of adoring fans for us.

Scribbling out that next book? We’re doing that at 11 p.m. when the rest of the household is asleep. It’s the only time we have where we’re not getting pulled into one million different emergencies of daily family life. Then we’re up again at 4 a.m. for some quiet creative writing before the devilish demands stir for another day.

If that’s glamour, then I need to double-check my dictionary, and question my thesaurus.

Yet, somehow we manage to fabricate fantastical worlds and characters, all of them as real to us as dust bunnies under the bed. Perhaps our hectic and exhausting lives are precisely why we’re so good at escapism. We need these fictional worlds in order to keep on keeping on. They are the rich blood that nourish us, giving our grinding lives the verve we all crave. You might read them, but we get to write them.

Every time we escape into our stories, we authors get the back road tour. We get a view of the bones, the scraps. We know our characters intimately, and sometimes in those midnight deliriums of writing we’re living vicariously, as absorbed in a scene as the players in it, our pulses racing, our skin electric with anticipation, too.

These are the moments that keep us going. As is the dream of not just getting rich, but of doing whatever the hell we want, of not having to carve out that half-hour to write, but to indulge the full day. Will it happen? Possibly not, but there’s always the maybe, the dream we’ve reached for that just might come true if we hang in there.

So, we test our mettle, see if we’re on this steaming train for the long haul. What we will discover on this journey is whether we have the iron and steel to lay the seemingly endless track.

Thank the Great Conductor we have our midnight snacks served to us as delicious scenes and scrumptious heroes.

~S.C. Dane

#Muse Camp? I wanna go home!

Because it’s been a busy summer and I’m ready for things to slow down now. I feel like a bear in autumn whose inner workings demand the down time. Having stuffed myself so I’m replete, I want to curl up and feed off my fat stores. My brain has fed overly well this past summer. It’s fat with new knowledge, now it needs to kick back and digest.

But it’s not winter yet, and like the last run of salmon, another writing camp has shown up, splashing in a favorite stream to pique my appetite. So, I dive in with claws bared and emerge with a tasty morsel: Muse Camp. Hosted by Mary Caelsto, founder of Jupiter Gardens Press, where my novel No Little Thing has its home.

The moniker Muse is appropriate. She has interviewed several authors, asking them about their work, what inspired them, did they have any tips for other authors? So far, she has hosted Lynda K. Frazier, Stacy Juba, Naomi Bellina, and Jamie Saloff. This list may seem like a litany, but from these women I took away some helpful hints and a bit of inspiration. For example, Naomi Bellina was asked why she writes paranormal romance, and her answer could have been mine. She writes about the paranormal because she likes to imagine there is something extra in our contemporary universe.

Perhaps there’s something about dealing with the strange that makes us bigger, stronger, less fearful. Empowered.

Which is what each of these authors experienced, and I suspect, what a good many authors have felt when they received their first contract, or won a writing contest, or garnered a rave review. The rush of empowerment certainly infused my blood. I still feel ready to take on the publishing world. So long as I continue to hone my craft. And that, my friends, is why I tuned in to another Camp this season, even though I feel stuffed already.

I’m honing my craft, striving to improve my writing and marketing skills. It hasn’t been easy, especially from the marketing standpoint. So, Muse Camp was the shot in the arm it was intended to be. I am re-inspired, and I’ve re-tuned my ear to the power still humming in my veins. With just a couple of days left, I don’t really wanna go home. Not yet. The winter will be long, and I suspect there will be times during those long, dark days when my heart and brain will appreciate the extra nourishment.

~S.C. Dane—writer and bear extraordinaire.