After Action Report

NaNo 2014 winner badge


I came, I wrote, I conquered! I met my goal of 70k words (I’d started out with 60k goal, but it quickly went up), I wrote the first draft of DC Files#3, one little short story, and almost two thirds of a new paranormal book.
Ah, there’s nothing like NaNoWriMo to get my butt in the chair. 😉

Another great thing that happened recently:
I’ve been nominated in Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s Member’s Choice Awards for Best Military! Open Endings is in great company and I don’t expect to get far, but it’s still wonderful. 🙂
Here’s the link if you want to vote for Best Military (or any other category): M/M Romance Member’s Choice Awards

goodreads nomination

It’s December already and I can’t believe how many things happened this year (I’ll be blogging about it, for sure). It makes me hopeful for the next one!

NaNoWriMo Is Back!


Who’s excited? I AM!

I love NaNoWriMo! The whole experience, thousands of people working on their novels at the same time, the atmosphere filled with love of writing, commitment, excitement, and sometimes even some friendly competition if you’re into something like this.

I’m doing it for the third time in a row and I will do my best to make it my third win. Actually, I’m planning to take things further this year and shoot for 60k, not 50k. My Past Me is shaking her head in disbelief, but my Present Me is very excited for the challenge. I know I can write that much. I’ve never done it, but I know I can, it’s just a matter of, well, actually doing it. And if I make it, next year I will shoot even higher. Because NaNo is special. And it makes me want to do crazy things.
(I actually blame Beyond 50k part of the NaNo forum. People there are amazing for my motivation!)

Are any of you doing NaNo? What are you going to write? Please tell me in the comments!

And if you’d like to check out my NaNo Prep posts from last year, here are the links:
NaNo Prep #0: Why Bother?
NaNo Prep #1: Outline or Flatline
NaNo Prep #2: Organize Your Life Beyond Writing

Non-anniversary Anniversary Post

I’d been planning to write a post for my six-month publishing anniversary in August, but life and vacations got in the way. So now I’m writing a non-anniversary anniversary post. Just because.

As of now, I have two story published – Running Off the Edge, my debut, came out in February, and Open Endings – in July. It still feels surreal some days, like it has been something I daydream about from time to time. I check my Amazon pages, my Goodreads pages (and other sites) probably more than is healthy, but it also makes it more real for me.

Having my first story accepted gave me an enormous surge of creativity. I’ve written four stories this year (one of them is Open Endings), my wordcount for 2014 is well over 100k for now and still going strong. I get new ideas all the time.
Yes, I know, external validation shouldn’t matter that much. But hell, I’m a writer. Isn’t it like crack to most of us? 😉

So, seven months since my debut came out, I keep on writing. I keep on creating new stories. My to-write list is getting longer and longer, although I try to give my to-edit list some of my time and attention now, too. Just a few weeks ago I submitted another story, the first book in what I’m hoping to be my first published series.
I’m living my dream and it’s wonderful. It’s amazing. It’s what I hope to do for the rest of my life.

Even with all those edits waiting for me. 😉

Running Off the Edge: One Month Later

Wow. I can’t believe it has been a month already!

A few days ago I thought I should write a post for the occasion, summing up all the things that happened. I won’t lie, it’s mostly for my own sake, so I wouldn’t forget the details later on, but maybe someone else would find it interesting. I know I love to read about other people’s writing process and behind-the-scenes stuff.

If I had to pick one word to describe everything, it would be bizarre. There’s still a little part of me that can’t actually believe I got published, and I had several “WTF/THAT IS CRAZY” moments.

Seeing my book on MLR site, for one. Then seeing it on Amazon. Finding my book on Goodreads was an experience, too (I still haven’t claimed it there, though. I should do that). Not to mention hitting the bestseller list on AllRomance site! Wohoo!

Oh, yeah, and I guess you know you “made it” when someone pirates your book? Check.

There was also a lot of firsts. First guest post and first interview, first five-star review, first one-star rating (ouch)…

What I loved about the whole process, too, was how amazingly supportive the m/m writers community has been to me. Fellow writers offered congratulations, support, and helped to spread the word about my book. I was, and still am, incredibly grateful for that.

Last but not least, my productivity went up another level, fueled by all the excitement. Which is great, because I hope to have many more releases in the future. Here’s to living the dream! 🙂

It’s Happening! “Running Off the Edge” Out Soon!

I’m so, so happy to say that my short story, Running Off the Edge, will be published by MLR Press on February 7th, right at the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics! 😀


After the knee injury, Liam O’Connor, the former gold medalist, is no longer able to compete at the Olympics. He’s in Sochi as an assistant coach for another male figure skater and hopes to avoid Eric Lanney as much as possible.
Meanwhile Eric is back to compete for gold in pair skating, but is that the only thing that will be important to him? Maybe when the former lovers meet again in Russia, they will both learn that a gold medal isn’t the greatest prize you can win at the Winter Olympics.


I’m so, so grateful to Kris Jacen, my editor, and everyone at MLR Press, who took a chance on a new author. Thank you all!
And thanks to Lex Valentine for my lovely cover art. 🙂

Four more weeks!

My Creative Goals for 2014

It seems like they are everywhere right now, aren’t they? Blog posts, articles, podcasts, videos, all about the new year and the opportunities it brings to us. I love to read/listen/watch them, to be honest, they add fuel to my hope and good attitude towards 2014. I like the fresh start of the new year, even if I know, intelectually, it’s nothing more than a number, and that most of the new year’s resolutions are not met later on. I don’t really care. I like it.

And in the spirit of that, I’ve been doing my own planning for 2014. I want to share with you my creative goals for the new year:

1) Finish writing the first novel in my DC Files universe.
Tentative date: end of January
Later in the year: edit and send it out

2) Write the first novel in the new series I’m figuring out right now, set at the fictional college campus.
Tentative date: end of May (it may be my Camp NaNo project in April, actually)
Later in the year: edit and send it out

3) Write and edit at least two short stories/novellas.

4) Write an unspecified-yet novel as my NaNoWriMo project.
Not-so-tentative date: November

5) Edit the second novel in the DC Files series.
Tentative date: it depends on what happens with the first novel in that series

That’s pretty much it, that’s what I want to achieve in terms of my creative plans this year. Well, okay, it would be great to write even more, but I don’t want to commit to too much and then fail. I will revisit that list around June or July and we will see if I can add something to it. For now, I already think I’m aiming high. I better get to work!

What are your goals for 2014? Share them in the comments or connect with me on Twitter. 🙂

Chances Taken – Looking Back at 2013

2013 is the year of so many changes in my life, it’s almost making me nervous in retrospect. And those were good changes! Scary, but good.

2013 is the year I’ve finally taken my writing – and the idea of making writing my career – seriously. Sure, I didn’t write nearly as much as I promised myself I would, but I still wrote a lot.

I have a half-finished manuscript from the summer that I intend to finish in January.

I participated in NaNoWriMo and wrote 50k in a month for the second year in a row. And – unlike last year – I didn’t just let it sit on my hard drive unfinished. I kept writing and finally finished the story, officially making it my first complete manuscript of that length.

I also, for the first time in my life, sent out my short story for submission. And it got accepted.

It got accepted.

I’m still so happy just thinking about it! This is my dream coming true. This is me accomplishing that dream.

I will write about it later on, when it becomes official, but for now I’m just happy I took the chance and did it. It makes me really hopeful for the future and for my goals for 2014.

But I will talk about that in another post. 🙂

NaNoWriMo Check-in Post, Part Three & Some Notes From the End

Aaaand we’re done! 🙂 Congrats to every NaNo participant! We survived another year.

  • The third part of the month was the biggest one for me, word count wise. I wrote almost half of my NaNo novel in those last ten days, ending finally at 50 272 words. The story is not done yet, but it’s close and I just need to add some things here and there to have the first draft complete. Wohoo!
  • Story wise, I like how it turned out, even if I know I have to change some things at the beginning, because I went off the original plan a little bit.
  • Easiest to write was sex, again, but also some funny cameos from the secondary characters. I love when dialogue just flows.
  • Hardest part? Well, I know I can write out of order if I decide to skip a scene, but damn, coming back from writing the happy ending to the times when the characters were at odds was not easy. 😉

I’m so happy I’m still excited about this story! Sure, I’m tired after this month, but I also want to keep going and have that first draft finished before I let it cool it off while I work on other things.

Some Notes From the Edge End

I’ve realized that if I’d have more time during this month – like I had in the last part of it – I could, potentially, write more than 50k a month. Which is, in a way, a revelation for me, because I remember thinking that 50k is a pipe dream just over a year ago.
Maybe I would need a second project to push me through, but this is definitely something to think about next year.
(I think I blame Beyond 50k part of the NaNo Forum for that idea, a little bit. These people are crazy in a fun and inspiring way.)

This year I also let myself have two or three days off when I didn’t write a single word. Although it seemed like a good idea at the time, it actually hurt me in the long run. I broke the pattern and it was more difficult to get on with things later on.

And, finally, something that I guess many of the participants are thinking when NaNo is done: making the time to write every day (or almost every day) doesn’t have to – and shouldn’t have to – end when November ends. Hopefully I will stick to it.

Congratulations to everyone, again!

NaNoWriMo Check-in Post, Part Two

Yeah, okay, the second part of the month didn’t go according to plan. I was supposed to write more. I didn’t. That’s a short version. The longer one is below.

-> word count wise: last night, at the end of November 20th, I was at a little over 26k. Yes, I am behind. I expected to be behind, because I had a bunch of important things to deal with, but I was hoping to be, well. Less behind? 😉 I have a lot of free time coming up, though, so I’m not that worried.

-> story wise: I skipped two scenes in the middle, because they were blocking me. I had no idea how to make them interesting, so I set them aside and wrote the next one. And now I’m moving forward again.

-> easiest to write: sex. I actually texted my friend today: “When in doubt, write porn.” 😉

-> hardest to write: these two scenes I mentioned earlier. I know I have to come back to them, because they need to be there, but I decided to skip them for now.

-> what I’m excited about: I’m getting to know my main characters more and more and I like them both. We will see how I’m going to feel when they start making trouble.

-> what I’m worried about: being behind on my word count. I know I can catch up in the next few days, I just want to do it as fast as I can.

That’s it from me. If you’re participating in NaNo, how are you doing? Better? Worse? Or maybe you’re done already?

NaNoWriMo Check-in Post

Remember, remember, it’s “WRITE IT” November!

Wow, one third of the month is gone already! I’ve decided to post a little summary of how those first ten days went for me. I encourage you to share how you’re doing in the comments bellow.

-> word count wise: I’m at ~16800 words, which is about where I’m supposed to be, statistically.

During the first weekend of November my best friend was visiting, so I didn’t write much. It meant that I was behind even before I really started. I wasn’t too worried, though – back in October I planned out my entire month with estimated word count, taking into account my work schedule and other engagements, for exactly that reason: not to spend my time and energy worrying.

! TIP ! Plan your own way. Statistics are one thing, but it’s your own schedule you need to care about the most. There’s nothing wrong with catching up later. And it’s definitely good to know just how much you need to write that specific day to catch up for the loss days.

-> story wise: I needed to make some changes in the outline (my guys weren’t willing to make nice too early), but other than that, I keep moving forward.

-> easiest to write: flashbacks. Those scenes were practically writing themselves. Apparently the teenage versions of my characters are easier to handle than their adult selves. Who knew. 😉

-> hardest to write: political subplot scene I haven’t planned enough for. But I got through it.

! TIP ! “Background of the Thing” isn’t really good enough point in the outline. Shocking, I know.

-> what I’m excited about: I’m engaged in the story now. The beginning was hard, but at some point I just suddenly felt connected to my characters and to what was going on.

-> what I’m worried about: some upcoming days I will have no time to write.


Okay, that’s it, I’m going back to writing my story, not writing about writing it. 😉


If you’re participating in NaNo, how are you doing? Good? Bad? “I’m going to throw it against the wall and then burn it” bad?