Category Archives: Hades’ Boys

Not so summer hiatus

Well, my summer hiatus turned out to be not so much of a hiatus after all! Instead of focusing on programming languages, reading, relaxing and learning Japanese, I ended up getting frustrated at my programming languages learning (Yeah, I got stuck on a chapter, but I’ve got it down now) and wound up writing up a massive stack of on-paper notes for my Hades’ Boys paranormal romance / urban fantasy series onto my computer.

I’m really glad that I’ve been able to use some time to type them up though. I’ve been typing them now for a few weeks and I’ve amassed a rather frightening amount of words on screen. There are seven brothers, so seven books, and so far I’ve typed out 45,801 words in eight documents (one is a general notes document). I obviously have more notes for the earlier books in the series, as I’ll probably have to write at least the first three before fleshing out the remaining four. I also have more notes to write up, especially for the general notes document. And character bios to type up too.

I’d love to get these written, but, at the moment, I need to focus on building a bunch of releases that will cover me whilst I’m writing these stories. I want to write them all together, so my flow remains constant and I’m in the world and the characters. I don’t want to have to break into them by writing novellas and other stories, or editing during my writing phase for them. I suppose it’s all down to how much time it’ll take me to write them. The last thing I want to do is to release the first one without writing the rest. I don’t want to end up not finishing the series.

I’m thinking they’ll all be around the 100,000 word mark, which feels about right to me for this sort of story. Writing a 100,000 word story in first draft, when I have it planned quite well, usually takes me around four or five weeks. I write fast. Of course, that depends on any interruptions that might crop up. I never write when I’d have to break off to go on holiday (oh, what a shame! I need a good holiday…) or have other things pressing on me. If I had a straight run at these seven stories, and take into account a couple of weeks of planning time for each novel, and the maximum five weeks per novel to write… that’s 7 x 7 weeks… 49 weeks. Eep! A year then basically. Hopefully, I would get them done quicker than that. Even then, I would end up with a massive stack of editing to wade through the year after. Grr.

Maybe I’ll have to switch between writing the first drafts and editing the earlier stories to keep the ball moving.

At the moment, I have a decent amount of releases to cover next year, but I have other stories I want to write in that time. More about that later though!

Ja ne! (later!)

Posted in dark fantasy romance, Hades' Boys, paranormal romance, urban fantasy | Comments Off on Not so summer hiatus

Birthday, Books and More

Apologies for the lack of blog post last weekend but it was my birthday the week before so I was busy hosting a birthday BBQ on Saturday. What a nightmare they are! I spent the whole day getting everything ready for it, and then the whole evening running about after everyone. It’s a good job that I only have my immediate family come to them or I would be hiding behind the sofa wishing it was over before it had even begun. Koyo hid upstairs all night, glaring at anyone who dared to come up to use the toilet. My cat is rather scared of strangers, and since my family rarely comes over, that’s what they are to her. She particularly mistrusts small people (children). I ended the evening sitting on the floor of my living room, watching Cardcaptor Sakura movie 2 with my nieces and nephews. Normally we end up watching My Neighbour Totoro. Eldest niece did shout for Totoro but I showed her the pink box of Cardcaptor Sakura and she was sold. Good day in the end but so much hard work!

My actual birthday was during the week before. I had a great day courtesy of my hubby. He took the day off with me. I had pain au chocolat for breakfast (very bad), opened my presents, went shopping (but didn’t buy anything!), went to Starbucks for coffee, then we went to see Clash of the Titans (why is Perseus suddenly in love with Io? Utterly wrong. Just change mythology why don’t you? Also, pointless 3D alert!), and then shopped some more, and then we went back home and into Oxford for Yo!Sushi (I love Yo!) where I ate a lot of Pumpkin (Kabocha) Korroke and Edamame, Dorayaki, and Mochi. Totemo oishikatta da yo! (it was very tasty!) So all in all I had a great day.

Last week I spent most of my writing time working on the second draft of Ascension. It’s getting there now, and I’ve added the scenes in that I wanted to and fixed parts up. I have to polish a few more scenes to get some setting description in there, and tweak a bit, and then it’s ready for a check over for passives, making sentences more active, and generally neatening it up. I have another two weeks marked down for Ascension Second Draft in my calendar, so I think I have plenty of time to do the usual spit and polish on it.

It started out at the end of first draft at around 72,000 words, and it’s now nearly 86,000 words. I’m pleased that it’s grown because the story is more rounded now. I think there’s only a few bits that I need to watch for in my next stage of editing when I get back from holiday in June. Just stuff that I need to make sure sits right and makes sense, and that doesn’t leap out in a glaring way or doesn’t fit the characters.

The muse has been busy. A story that was going to be about vampires is now about angels. He’s really into angels at the moment and I was contemplating a particular plot when walking to work through London, and it struck me that it would work better as an angel story. I like the premise, so I’ll probably write it with angels instead. I’m not sure when I’ll get to write it. I’d really like to get Ascension finished, and Forbidden Blood finished too, and then perhaps I could write it. But then, I do need to do draft edits of Her Dark Angel and Her Fallen Angel, and also write Her Warrior Angel. I have far too many stories on the go! I really need to clean up house and get things into order. Maybe this new story will have to wait until then. I don’t want to, because I don’t like it when there is only editing work in my future, but I guess it’s my own fault for writing so many stories in one go! Of course, my Hades’ Boys are going to demand time at the end of the year as promised to them. I think I need to check my calendar!

I bought a couple new books on writing this week. I already have a stack of them and some are more useful than others, but it’s good to have them there as reference, and I’ve found some of them to be very insightful and helpful. I’m hoping these two will be the same and will give me some good pointers about writing, plotting, editing, etc. I think the thing I need pointers on most at the moment is securing an agent. No luck so far but I figured out the primary cause of the problem. The story was far too long.

The next story that I’ll send out to agents is Ascension, which is a demon/witch pairing for the hero/heroine so it’s a bit different, and it’s the perfect length for a first novel. Of course, I’ll mention my other complete novel in my query, and the ones I’m working on, because it looks better if I have several to offer.

I am absolutely shattered today, so that’s it from me. Have a great week everyone and I’ll keep you all posted on my progress with Ascension.

Posted in Ascension, forbidden blood, Hades' Boys, Her Dark Angel, Her Fallen Angel, Her Warrior Angel, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampire romance, vampires, witches | Comments Off on Birthday, Books and More

Editing Forbidden Blood and those pesky word counts!

It was another week of editing for me, working hard to get Forbidden Blood down from 121,594 words to a more reasonable 110,000. I’m not really one for editing and I tend to find it quite boring. Last week I did well, and was enthusiastic about it. This week started out very slow and I just could not be bothered with it on Monday, but I pushed myself and soon picked up where I left off last week, doing a good hard edit and draft. This week has been pretty stressful at work too, with a big project weighing me down and a lot of frustration, which didn’t help at all. It totally drained me and I just wanted to sleep.

I have decided that once I have this story done in second draft, and Her Dark Angel done in second draft too, that I’m going to give myself some much needed down time for a week or so. I’ll probably catch up with my Japanese learning, which has been suffering since November, and maybe do some reading.

Progress was good in the end this week. I’ve edited 215 pages now and have 45 to go. The current word count is now around 111,000 words, and I think I should be able to cut it down to around 108,500 and then improve a few scenes which will bring it back to 110,000.

I think that I’ll probably end up sending Forbidden Blood out to agents since I haven’t had any takers for Love Immortal (I think the length is hindering it since it’s 158000 words), and will use Love Immortal as a nice little enticement. Surely having two books complete is better than one?

I need to get the second draft done on Ascension because that’s not a vampire paranormal so probably stands more chance of being picked up right now and the length is around what every publisher and agent seems to be asking for these days (lord knows why though when I think 80-90,000 is very short for a decent novel). Ascension is currently only around 73,000 words, but it does need a bit of work. I originally wrote it as a 15,000 word short but it said it wanted to be a novel, so I asked some readers to take a look and they agreed, so I made it into a novel. By the time I’m done with it, it’ll probably be around 85,000 I reckon. I keep putting it off because I know it’s going to be hard work!

I’ve also been thinking up other stories to add into the pipeline. I really need to get writing my Hades’ Boys series though, even though I’m not sure what the market is for them right now. I don’t really care either. I’ve never written to market. I write what the muse tells me and he’s telling me a lot right now… mostly vampire romance novels and some werewolf romance novels… but there are demons, gods and witches in the wings too.

Posted in Ascension, forbidden blood, Hades' Boys, Love Immortal, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampire romance, vampires | Comments Off on Editing Forbidden Blood and those pesky word counts!

Heart of Darkness – third week of writing new vampire romance novel

Writing on my new vampire romance novel, Heart of Darkness, was much slower this week, or at least it felt that way. It was definitely more of an effort. I often hit a patch when writing a story where I feel as though it’s complete rubbish, or isn’t working, or I’m repeating myself, or some other negative vibe. I think all authors do it.

My usual trick is to read back over the story I’ve written so far and prove to myself that it’s fine, and all easy to fix if there are issues. The trouble is, this vibe hit me at 90,000 words. Now, I’m not going to take a week off schedule just to get over my usual writing jitters. Instead I just pushed on through and eventually found my flow again. The positive thing to come out of this week was that at the end of it my fingers weren’t ready to fall off.

I had actually ended up writing another 37000 words, but without the pain and insane rush!

So, the story is coming along well and we’re definitely into that wonderful downhill slide now. I have 3.5 chapters left to write, including one love scene and one major fight scene. Both of those are going to take effort, but I can’t see it taking me the whole of next week to write them, which means that by Wednesday, Heart of Darkness is likely to be finished in first draft!

At the end of last week I had reached 72200 words roughly and I had planned to write another standard 30000 words this week. If I could write 37000 words instead, then that was going to add to my fantastic feeling that I’ve had with this story and propel me towards the potential of writing a 120,000 word novel in only 3.5 weeks.

At the end of this week, the word count now stands at 109051, which is almost 37000 words this week. That’s rather exciting for me considering that I felt as though I was going at a snail’s pace this week and that I wasn’t going to reach 30000 let alone 37000!

The story will be all wrapped up around the 125-130,000 word mark and then I’ll set it aside and start the second draft on Forbidden Blood.

In other writing news, Hades’ Boys are making their voices known again and I’ve been writing down notes for their stories and the world it will be set in. I’m excited about them crowing for attention again as they’ve been away a while.

I’m also choosing to ignore the demands of other vampires who want their stories written and just noting down what they’ve been telling me about them and their stories for future writing.

I really have to concentrate on the second drafts of these three paranormal romance novels and planning the Hades’ Boys series and then I can think about writing new stories. It’s going to be tough and something is bound to test me and make me write when I should be editing, but until that happens, I intend to be strong and focused! I can get my quick writing jollies from the A Day in the Life series as I still need to write another five of those this year.

Off to whip up some blurbs for the next two A Day in the Life stories and then it’s domestic goddess time and after that some much needed PS3 time!

Posted in forbidden blood, Hades' Boys, Heart of Darkness, paranormal romance, vampire romance, vampires | Comments Off on Heart of Darkness – third week of writing new vampire romance novel

Romance novels, editing, writing and synopses! Oh My!

I’m in a plotting and planning mood right now. I think it’s a vague attempt to escape writing synopses for Love Immortal. It has been quite productive. I’ve plotted five of my A Day in the Life series short romance stories and have written three of them. I’m planning to write eight of them this year and have chosen which characters will feature. I have to plot another three, but it shouldn’t be too difficult since they’re only 4000 word scenes.

I did figure out my rough schedule for the year to see what it was going to look like. Conclusion: Frightening.

I will write the first draft of Heart of Darkness in February, and after that I need to schedule in two more drafts each on Heart of Darkness, Forbidden Blood and Ascension. And after that I need to proof all three, and write their synopses, etc. When I totted this up on a calendar, allowing for writing, editing and proofing my A Day in the Life stories too, it turns out that to do everything minus the synopses will take me until the end of September. Blech.

I hate it when I figure things out and it basically says – yes, you’re going to be editing, editing and editing until September! Congratulations! Of course, another story will come along and bump that date a bit because I’ll write it in some fevered attempt to escape editing hell. I think it’s a special circle of Hell reserved for writers… or at least writers who aren’t lazy and do edit and do several drafts on their stories to perfect them.

Of course, there’s only one thing for it. I’ll just have to get my head down and get on with it. I’m not going to rush things though. I like to be thorough with my writing and do things properly. If I get my head down I should be able to shave some time off my predicted timescales. A few days off each soon adds up when you’re talking second and third drafts on three novels. If I manage to get three days off each, I claw back a couple of weeks working time. It doesn’t sound like much, but I could probably write 40,000 words in that time. I generally write for four days a week on my journey to and from work, and at lunch, and can usually clock up around 5000-6000 words on each day. That’s 20,000 a week. So, if I knuckle down and get on with my editing and really focus, I could save enough time to write half a novel. Yay!

I really want to get on with my Hades’ Boys series too. I need to do extensive planning on it since it’s a seven book series where the main story arc runs through them all, with each story having its own arc as well. I haven’t written anything like that before, but I have written my three book Prophecy Trilogy, so I know how much planning needs to go into it. A lot! I might start doing bits for it on weekends when I can, but I don’t usually have much spare time then.

Ah, it’s a planning, plotting, writing and editing nightmare, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I just wish that doing second and third drafts didn’t take me as long as writing the first draft does! I could get so much more written and I’m bursting with new stories right now.

Posted in Ascension, forbidden blood, Hades' Boys, Heart of Darkness, Love Immortal, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampire romance, vampires | Comments Off on Romance novels, editing, writing and synopses! Oh My!

New paranormal romance novel and the year ahead

Just before Christmas I had another new idea for a story. I didn’t put it on the backburner as it was rather persistent. I believe that I mentioned it back in December and that I was writing notes for it at the time. Well, I finished writing the bulk of the notes for it and now I just need to get them into a coherent order and complete the outline of the novel. At this point, it feels as though it’s going to be somewhere between 90-100,000 words long. That’s a good length for a paranormal romance novel. It might end up longer.

The story now has a title: Heart of Darkness. It pretty much sums up the kind of story you guys are going to get. The hero is the dark one, a little out of touch with vampire society and balancing on the knife’s edge of becoming dangerous and little more than a monster. Of course, the heroine will bring him around and enlighten him about how things are done in this century, and save him from the growing darkness within him.

I don’t often write stories where both the hero and heroine are already vampires, so it’s nice to write something different. I don’t think Love Immortal counts on that front as they’re not precisely vampires. They’re more than that, and the heroine was human at the start.

I am gravitating towards vampires again, but I don’t mind. I know the market for them is probably saturated right now but I think that something different will always stand out amongst the crowd and be noticed. I’m sure that’s the case with this story. It’s quite dark. Yes, I usually write novels and stories that are dark, but this one has a new level, a little like Forbidden Blood has.

I do get to explore their society again, and I like that. I really enjoy having to think about things such as the rules they live by, the hierarchy of their society, the roles they have and how they live in our world without being noticed. It’s fun to tinker with these things.

Besides, the other series I’ve been planning for a while now and can only refer to as Hades’ Boys for now, is non-vampire (they’re demons/gods) and something I’m definitely going to write this year. I’ve been planning this seven book series for over a year now, on and off, and it’s time I gave it some more serious thought and plotted out the rough story arc of each book, and the overall arc of all seven paranormal romance novels. Believe me, it’s not as though I haven’t given this story some serious thinking time already. I have two notebooks worth of notes on the series already, but I’m nowhere near done on figuring everything out. It’s a monster of a series and I’m gagging to get going on it. It’s going to be a challenge to get it planned out in at least skeleton form and bordering on masochistic to write them all. I just need the main overall arc decided and planned, and the first three books fleshed out. The other four can be skeletons for now, which they almost are, and I’ll work on them as I go.

Of course, I can’t start writing this novel until I get other things done. I need to write a couple of my A Day In The Life short stories first, and finish writing synopses for Love Immortal. I think I should be able to start writing it in February, after which I’m going to focus on the second draft of Forbidden Blood. I have that printed out and ready for a nice sit down with some coffee and a read through. I might get out of the house that weekend and spend the day in Starbucks somewhere, so I’m not distracted from reading it. I do get distracted when I read at home. It’ll be a Saturday so I could probably go into Oxford with my husband when he goes to work and read it in a cafe there. I think it’s very important to have a good first read through as a reader, not an editor or author. It’s mostly about the storyline, characters, and any glaring holes at that point.

The other novel that needs my attention this year is Ascension. I think the second draft on this one will take longer than the one for Forbidden Blood. There’s definitely things I would like to change or add to in Ascension. I felt that way with Love Immortal and that took me weeks to do a second and third draft on. It will probably come after I’ve done the second draft on Forbidden Blood and written another couple of A Day In The Life short stories to clear the editing fuzz from my mind.

I’m off to plan a few shorts for A Day In The Life and work out my synopsis writing/submission plan for Love Immortal. Have a great day everyone!

Posted in Ascension, forbidden blood, Hades' Boys, Heart of Darkness, Love Immortal, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampire romance, vampires | Comments Off on New paranormal romance novel and the year ahead

Romance works in progress

It’s been a while so I thought I would have a catch up with you all. I’ve been busy this week reading a paperback version of the second draft of Arcadian to get a feel for it before I start the third draft / polish in July. It reads well and the feedback I’ve received about it so far from my five readers is positive, and the only things pointed out were things that I felt needed addressing anyway, so all good on that front.

I finished reading it on Wednesday, so yesterday I was going to do some Japanese but I bought my massive notebook for the seven book paranormal romance series which I’ll be writing next year and it was game over. All I did was read through the notes for the various brothers and start writing more. It’s mostly scene stuff right now but sometimes it’s notes about them, or about the heroines, or the world/enemy and that kind of things. I’m doing it again today, even though Friday is my official Japanese day. I tell you, once I start reading stuff for this series, I can’t stop my mind from working on it and thinking up more stuff. It’s wonderful to be so into the series considering that it’s going to take me a long time to write and that it’s a long series. Each book will be novel length, probably 80,000 to 100,000 words, and there’s 7 of them, so that’s a lot of work. It’s good that I can leave it for months at a time, come back to it and read the notes, and be so enthusiastic and excited again. Of course, my hubby doesn’t appreciate talk of my Hades’ Boys. I think he gets jealous when I start talking about how I’ve spent a lot of time with three of them but need to spend time with the rest. Lol. I swear I could spend a year just writing notes for these stories.

I’m on holiday next week but I don’t think my mind will give it a rest. It never does, even when I’m somewhere beautiful and distracting, like Prague. When I saw the Charles Bridge in Prague, inspiration hit me for a scene in the Prophecy Trilogy and I feverishly wrote it down. I always carry a small notebook with me so I can write things down as they strike me.

When I get back from Italy (I’m going to Verona) I’ll be working on the proof of Winter’s Kiss and on Ascension. I have notes for that story and a rough idea of the improved storyline. I just need to get it written now. It’s difficult taking a complete short story and expanding it. There’s a chance I won’t write the same for the other bits. Still, the hero will have me writing in his voice in no time. He’s that kind of man/demon!

It’s a hot day in the UK today. It was too warm even at 6:45am! Now it’s humid and horrible and it’s only 8:30am. I have a busy work day ahead of me so I better get prepared. I can’t wait for my holiday!

Look out for my new website this weekend!!! I’ve slaved over it and I can’t wait to get it launched.


Posted in Ascension, Hades' Boys, Prophecy Trilogy, Vampires Realm | Comments Off on Romance works in progress

romance ebooks lined up

Hi all! I’m so excited about releasing the Daughters of Lyra series after all the great comments on the covers. It was wonderful to hear which covers you guys preferred and which stories you were most looking forward too. My favourite is Heart of an Assassin. Yeah, I probably shouldn’t have a favourite but I do. It was the story that came to me after I had written the four stories that were originally going to make up the series. I just had to write it. I love the notion of a top assassin being in love with one of the princesses. I always love writing stories where the hero’s only weakness is the heroine. (In Heat, anyone?).

Speaking of stories where the heroine is the hero’s only weakness, I’ve finished my second draft of Arcadian and have made myself a print version via to test read the story again. It will be interesting to read it like a proper book. I’ll choose the six readers soon from the seventy (!!!) that submitted themselves to be readers. I’m flattered that so many people submitted their names. Unfortunately I can’t afford to send out 70 paperbacks of the novel. I’ll have to be subjective and choose people I have worked with before on my Ascension story.

Speaking of Ascension (there’s a lot of ‘speaking of’ today, isn’t there?), I’m finally getting close to being able to extend the story. I’m not sure how long the story will become or whether I will ebook publish it or send it out to agencies, but I am making headway on plotting out the extended version of the story. There is a lot that I think I need to cover. Things like the coven, the ascension itself, and counterbalances. Also, the hero needs to have his path realised–accepting that he is part-demon because it’s only the strength of his demonic side that gives him the power to protect and save the heroine.

I’m also getting back to thinking over a seven book series of novels that I want to write. I can’t really say much about it at this point but it’s urban fantasy / paranormal romance and you guys are sure to love it. I’ll only say that it’s seven books for seven very powerful and sexy brothers. Like Sons of Lyra on paranormal steroids. I can’t wait to begin writing it, but I’ve calculated that it’s going to take me around 2.5 to 3 years to get them all written and edited. That’s a long time without writing anything but the series!!! I’ll just refer to them as the Hades’ Boys for now.

I do need to go through my stacks of various notes for stories and see what shorter ones I can write for release as ebooks while I go off writing longer stories for print publishing. I’m sure I have plenty of paranormal novellas that I can write to keep you all happy 🙂

Better shoot. I have a lot to do today. Writing related and non-writing related. Things like summaries, mowing the lawn, and Japanese!

F x

Posted in Ascension, daughters of lyra, Hades' Boys, paranormal romance, science fiction romance, vampire romance, vampires | Comments Off on romance ebooks lined up

new series in the works

Well, everyone might be wondering why I decided to suddenly begin reading other paranormal romance authors. Normally I don’t pay much heed to what they’re writing. In fact, until I picked up a lot of the books, I only knew rough things about them – like J R Ward wrote vampires, Kresley Cole wrote a mixture of species, Lynsay Sands wrote vampires. That was pretty much the extent of my knowledge. I hadn’t even read excerpts or reviews.

Since the series idea I had was one that I was going to write for pitching to publishers, I decided it was important to check out the competition and see what got them published. I always begin with the first book in a series, the one that they had to pitch and hope it would be picked up.

I’d been planning my new paranormal romance series for about 2 weeks before I decided to do this. I’ve read a few stories now and have mixed feelings about them. I don’t think any of them write better than I do and I think the stories I have planned are just as strong, if not stronger, than the ones I’ve just read. I’m not being conceited. I just think that I’ve reached a point with my writing where I need to give it a shot. A while back I read a Feehan and a L K Hamilton story. Neither blew me away, but I knew my writing wasn’t at a level where I could compete. Now I’ve had a taste of writing series and I’ve found that I’m really good at world building, and that’s very important with series. I’ve also embraced the darker side of paranormal, the side I love to write, by writing some stories in my Vampires Realm series. All in all, I feel I’ve reached a point of “now or never” and if I don’t give it a shot with this new series, I’ll never know whether or not I’m good enough.

Of course, there’s a lot more world building to be done yet. Over the past 2 months, I’ve clocked up around 40+ hours of world building time. That’s basically me mulling over the series, the flaws and the strengths, the powers and the weaknesses, and everything else besides. I’ve got my heroes mapped out to a basic degree, enough that I know them, and my heroines almost figured out. I haven’t touched much on the enemy but I know roughly in my mind what they’ll be like. I have the world and the background pegged, and I’m very happy with how it’s evolving. I can’t really say much more.

I’m going to write all these stories together, back to back, and then edit them. Once the first book is in a polished state, I’ll send it out into the big wide world. I have a belief that having all of the books in the series completed is an advantage and it means that you’re serious about the series. I’m very serious about it. I only wish I could talk about it more!!!

Better go… before I say too much!


Posted in Hades' Boys, paranormal romance, urban fantasy | Comments Off on new series in the works