Author Archives: Andi Marquette

To your health

Hi, gang –

Well, I’m still a bit of a Writer McCrankypants. My apologies for that. This project, as excited as I am about it, is rather stressful as all these disparate elements have to come together so that I can launch it to the best of my abilities (and then do the whole thing again with yet another project in the pipeline…LOL).

Remind me again why I do this job? Oh, I remember.

Because I luuuuuuuv it!

As I’ve been working on the project I’m about to launch I’m also finishing up a short story for an anthology. That one’s been a bit of a pain in the butt. Sometimes stories almost write themselves. Other times, they’re divas and require certain things just so, taking scenes out and re-doing them, and a whole host of other issues. This was one of those. Who knows why. It just was. I’m just about done and then I’ll leave it for a few days and go back and read it and see how it all feels.

Anyway, the past couple of months have gotten me thinking, because not only have I been totally swamped in the writing world, but also in my non-writing world. Yes, friends, writers have non-writing lives, too. Like anybody else, we have shopping, cleaning, and laundry to do (unless you’re all super-famous and can hire that out), cars to get fixed, animals to take care of, jobs to go to, family and friends to check in with and/or take care of, home repairs, doctors’ appointments, haircuts, bills to pay, taxes to do (ARGH)…

Which means for those of us who write and work full-time day jobs, there isn’t a whole lot of time for either. And that got me thinking about much larger things that maybe writers and other creative pursuit-types don’t think about.

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Playlist, Land of Entrapment

Hi, all!

OMG I’ve totally been going nutso over in Spotify with playlists. I just did one for the first in my mystery series, Land of Entrapment. It’s 30 songs (OMG WTF SHE WENT CRAY CRAY OVER THERE)/artists that served as a soundtrack for this particular book.

As I noted over on Women and Words, each one of my projects tends to have its own soundtrack, though some songs/artists have crossover with more than one project. Speaking of Women and Words, I posted the playlist for my novella, From the Boots Up, over there. Here’s the linkie dinkie.

Anyhoo, here’s the playlist for Land of Entrapment.

It may take a little bit to load fully on your device, so don’t panic. Here’s a URL for it, too, in case you just can’t stand it and you have to go to Spotify RIGHT NOW, dang it. If you don’t have a Spotify account, you can log in with Facebook.

And now, here’s some MOAR INFO about Land of Entrapment:

K.C. Fontero left New Mexico in the wake of a bitter breakup to take an academic fellowship in Texas. With a doctorate in sociology and expertise in white supremacist groups, she’s well on her way to an academic career. But a plea for help from her ex, Melissa, brings K.C. back to Albuquerque to find Melissa’s troubled younger sister. Megan has disappeared with her white supremacist boyfriend and K.C. knows she has the expertise to track the mysterious group, and she knows she’ll be doing a public service to uncover it. What she doesn’t know is how far into her past she’ll have to go to find both Megan and herself and the deeper she digs into the group, the greater the danger she faces.

Winner, 2009, Golden Crown Literary Society award, best lesfic mystery
Winner, 2009, Lesbian Fiction Readers’ Choice award, lesfic mystery

Here’s an excerpt.

MOAR FUN STUFF!

Interview with K.C. Fontero, the main character
Interview with photographer Sage Crandall, K.C.’s love interest

And there you go. Happy reading, happy writing, happy listening, happy Friday!

Writer McCrankypants on formatting manuscripts

Greetings, my peeps. (I almost said minions, but that might be taking liberties)

I’m in a strange twilight zone of writing. I’m not really between projects, but I’m hung up on one and it’s preventing me from really jumping into anything else. Not to suggest I’m not working on anything else because I am doing some work on the fourth installment of my Far Seek Chronicles (that’s the sci fi). I’m also working on a few short stories, and those require a different kind of focus than the longer stuff.

Anyway, I’m preparing a book-length manuscript for a typesetter, which is detail work and makes me super cranky, but it’s necessary work. While doing that, I sent some of the scenes out to an expert in the field to check and make sure I’m not Writer McLooneytoons with my take on certain things. Fortunately, he works fast and he’s been awesome and I’m pleased that I wasn’t completely McLooney but I still have to do some re-writes to correct some of the things in those scenes.

Which also creates more cranky in Andi Land.

So what exactly does it mean, this preparing a manuscript for a typesetter? Or for uploading onto the ebook virtual reality deck? Well, intrepid reader, clickety click onward to find out!

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Some writing tips

Hi, peeps –

Every now and again I’ll re-post some links to blogs I’ve done regarding writing craft.

So here you go:

On point-of-view

On headhopping

On dialogue

A discussion on sex, erotica, and story

Okay. Hope some of that is helpful.

Happy reading, happy writing, happy Friday!

These Boots were made for readin’

From the Boots Up

Hiya, peeps!

So you may see some bloggers ’round these parts doing some From the Boots Up pimpage for me today. It’s a bit of a “book blitz,” and I’d like to thank Debra over at Book Enthusiast Promotions for helping me out. Thanks, D!

At any rate, I know. A lot of you have already read Boots. Hope you liked it.

But some of you haven’t. And if you haven’t, well, I’ve got some stuff right here that hopefully will whet your appetite to do so. AND I’m giving away a copy (it’s an ebook) through Rafflecopter. If you want in on that, here. Notice how mysteriously it’s worded:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That said, HERE’S SOME NEWS.

I’m giving those of you who have read it a Boots reminder because in a couple of months, I’ll be releasing the follow-up. That’s right, friends. More Meg and Gina, this time in a novel-length work. I’ll be unveiling the cover next month along with some other teaser stuff (hee hee) to get you all jazzed (hopefully) for it. So stay tuned for that.

Got that? The follow-up to Boots is JUST AROUND THE CORNER.

So go on and check out some of the goodies I’ve posted with this here blitz to get you in the mood (hopefully). And thanks for reading.

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Another thing authors shouldn’t do

Hi, kids! Here’s Auntie Andi with yet another “Things Writers Shouldn’t Do.” This one falls in the public relations department, though it’s also a good example of what could happen if you don’t adhere to one of the golden rules: “If you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.”

That’s a good rule for just about anything in life. But let’s see how it applies in the writing world.

As many of you know, I’ve talked quite a bit in the past about what not to do as a writer. For example, I don’t recommend responding to reviews (see why here). And here are some other things I suggest authors not do.

And here’s another suggestion.

Don’t bash your fellow writers. Especially not in a public article.

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Where were we? On setting and place

Greetings, peeps!

So, I’m Andi and I’m a setting whore.

That is, I love me some setting. I love a setting that an author threads into a story in ways that make me feel the local flavor and color, see myself walking down a particular street, and enjoy a view the main character does. I love a story in which setting comes alive, as in Alexandra Fuller‘s astonishing works about Africa and Wyoming. I also love a story in which setting is a strong secondary character — a vehicle for the other characters, like Carl Hiaasen‘s Florida or Tony Hillerman‘s Southwest.

It’s also hard to write setting well. You don’t want it to weigh down your narrative, but you want it to stand out when it needs to. Maybe you want it to confine your characters, like in a dungeon. Or a cave in a blizzard. Or a snobby cocktail party. Maybe you want it to liberate them, like a distant river that marks the boundary to the kingdom of Rin, where your characters will find sanctuary from the evil queen of Tandix. Or the sight of an island after a long voyage at sea. Or a view of home from a mountaintop.

Could be you want it to instill fear in your characters, like the Grexen Swamps within which dwell the legendary Faljin trolls. Or that really dark, creepy subway tunnel from which just emanated a scream. Or the gleaming white of the official’s hall, where judgment will be meted out.

Or you want it to make your characters feel safe and loved. Like in grandma’s kitchen, which always smells like enchiladas or maybe fried chicken and okra. Or your pickup truck, which you’ve had for years and that has gotten you out of lots of tight spots. It still looks good, even after all these years.

You see why setting is important? It influences what your characters are and, in some cases, who they are. It can change your characters — make them rise to an occasion or fail. It can create adversity (think about the recent Robert Redford movie All Is Lost) or offer succor. Think about the rich settings of The Lord of the Rings movies, or of the Star Wars movies. Setting isn’t just landscape. Think about the movie Misery in which the character is held prisoner in a house.

Setting isn’t just a backdrop. It’s a vehicle for characterization and narrative. And it’s also an intrinsic part of a character. And it’s not just something you see. Setting has sounds, smells, tastes. It evokes feelings. So when you’re writing setting, think about that, too. So let’s go chat a bit more about this, shall we?

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GCLS Writing Academy and other cool stuff

Hi, peeps –

WHEW. So I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire right now, and things are crazy in some respects. Had a chat with the designer for the cover of the follow-up to From the Boots Up, and we’re both kind of stoked about a particular image and we think it’s going to be awesome-sauce. Here’s hoping. :)

Just finished up a short story that I’m going to submit somewhere. We’ll see how that goes. I’m also working on another romance and the fourth in the Far Seek Chronicles. So I’m keeping busy. Heh.

Oh, for you lesfickers, would you like some hot n’ steamy intrigue-filled F/F reading? Then maybe check out the series Mariel Cove. You can find out all about that over at Women and Words today. One of the writers, Noel Meredith, stopped by to chat about the development of the series and how it works. Hit that link to get more info.

Also, if you’re a new or relatively new writer, heads up. The Golden Crown Literary Society (lesfic galore) conference is coming up, slated for July 2014 (here are the deets).

But what I’d like to note about the GCLS is that the organization has launched a WRITING ACADEMY. That is, a year-long intensive writing program that addresses the basic mechanics of grammar and writing structure as well as elements of writing fiction (e.g. dialogue, setting, characterization…you get the gist), what a writing life is like, and publishing. The program includes a mentoring element. Here’s some scoop from the GCLS website:

The GCLS Writing Academy is a year long program for new or relatively new writers who have at least half of a novel written and who want to learn the critical components of quality writing, plus various related topics such as researching your novel, the writer’s life, and the path to getting published.

Over the course of the year, the students ‘begin at the beginning’, covering the basics of grammar and writing, and then move on to the foundations of quality writing, research methods and sources, genre specific skills, the life of a writer, preparing to be published, and ends with a three month mentoring experience.

Sound like something that’s right up your alley? Well, hit the link and apply. Deadline is fast approaching. March 1, 2014.

If you’re accepted, you need to schedule your flight to the GCLS conference to arrive a day early for Writing Academy orientation/workshop on July 9. Read the info at the link.

Something to ponder, yes? Happy writing, happy reading, happy Friday!

Valentine’s Day stuff

Hi, all–

Hope everybody’s super-groovy.

As a little reminder, in case you haven’t read it, here’s my freebie Valentine’s Day story Floral Designs.

Author Jove Belle and I are doing a 2-hour gabfest at the Virtual Livingroom this Saturday the 15th 1 PM-3 PM EST (US time). We’ll be chatting to each other and taking questions from anyone who wants to chime in. We do have a topic we’ll be discussing (JUICY, people! JUICY!) but we’re not going to tell you what it is. We’ll spring it on yuh Saturday. Here’s the rundown of what’s up at the VLR this weekend:

VALENTINES WEEKEND

AT THE VIRTUAL LIVING ROOM

Coming this weekend Saturday 15th February and Sunday 16th February from 11:00 to 21:00 EST

The following authors will be discussing ROMANCE

D. JACKSON LEIGH AND LARKIN ROSE
ANDI MARQUETTE AND JOVE BELLE
CHRIS PAYNTER AND CP ROWLANDS
KATE CHRISTIE AND AMY DAWSON ROBERTSON
DK HAWK AND RRROSE
JAE AND LOIS CLOAREC HART
ANGELA PEACH AND JADE WINTERS
AJ ADAIR AND BARBARA WINKES
MJ WILLIAMZ AND PJ TREBELHORN
DIANA SIMMONDS AND J-L HEYLEN

And DEFINITELY tune in to Women and Words on Friday, February 14th. We’ve got author Lynette Mae in the house discussing her brand new book, Rebound! Seriously. Hit that link for the trailer.

Happy Thursday!

It’s baaaaaa-aaa-ck! Walking Dead!

PEOPLE!

WALKING DEAD resumes Sunday February 9th. Check your local listings so you, too, can get swept up in the madness.

As many of you know, I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the ZA (Zombie Apocalypse, for those of you not briefed). You can see that here. And here. And here, here, and here. Oh, geez. Here, here, and here, too. Oh, and this one is about SEX.

Damn. I’ve blogged a lot about the ZA. That’s not even all the blogs. Maybe I should get out more.

Anyway. Here’s a sneak peek from the upcoming f*ck-up-ed-ness that is sure to be the second half of season 4.

And here. Find out how long you’d live in a ZA. Take this quiz here. And you can download the “Dead Yourself” app to see how’d you look as a zombie.

All right, peeps. PREPARE!

Happy Friday!

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