Saturday, September 6, 2014

Veil of Undoing.....The Unveiling

Beyond the veil, the Otherside, Otherworld, Underworld ... Faeryland. The place has intrigued us, captured us, and enchanted us since the beginning of storytelling. Legends and old wives tales warn us of the dangers, tantalize us with its promises, and give us a glimpse of the unending realm of the Fae. 

And now there is a new series, intent on sharing the sensual lure, and sometimes threat, of the fantasy realm of the Fae. 

I debated whether or not I would blog about this, but I have finally concluded that I wanted to write about it, and my readers would decide whether or not they wanted to read about it. So here goes, and I give warning that this is a little bit of tooting my own horn. It isn't loud, and you may enjoy it, so read a little before you run as though a troupe of redcaps were chasing you. 

I am proud to say that I am one of a handful of erotica storytellers to get the chance to write in a new, fabulous series: Veil of Undoing.

A unique look on the Faerie realm, and how it effects our own world is the main focus on this series, due to premiere in mid to late October. A few authors who will be joining us on this journey down the rabbit hole, are E.K. Sabins, Liman Thursday, T.C. Nocte, and more!

Our first compilation, a box set, will be out in time for Samhain (Halloween) and will (of course) be about the Wild Hunt! This has been a work of love, and the sexy Romance authors involved absolutely devoted a great deal of passion to put this together. While working with each other we created a few things to keep us in tune, and we wanted to share some of those things with you. 

If you're a visual person, get excited by checking out the pinterest board* we set up. It's filled with inspiration for our stories, the backgrounds of the lands, possible cover art, the list goes on. Check it out and indulge in the eye candy. 

If you're like me and have to hear it to fall in love, check out the playlist* at Grooveshark. Songs that inspire us through the short stories, meetings, and even a different playlist for our fight scenes! (I find the fight scene playlist works well for house cleaning too! Or general "Let's get this done!" times.)

And lastly, if you just want to get your hands on the box set for free, become one of our Advanced Readers. Everyone on our list will get a free copy of the box set before it goes live. We do expect you to write a review, either on your blog, or your favorite site where our books will be made available, but don't worry- we want you to be honest. No obligation for a good review, just a fair one that states what you liked, what you didn't (if anything) and who you would recommend it to. There is a deadline, since it is Advanced Readers, you have to sign up to get it before it publishes (the week before Halloween), so be sure to check it out asap.

*The playlist/Pinterest board is found on Grooveshark/Pinterest which have no affiliation with nor are they collaborating with J.D. Harding or the production of the 'Veil of Undoing' ebook series or its authors, nor does it endorse it or its contents in any way. The playlist/board is intended to be used as entertainment only and the artists, models, musicians are in no way involved with the works of J.D. Harding and are not associated with the production of the 'Veil of Undoing' series, or its authors, nor do they endorse it or its contents in any way. All artists, musicians, and photographers maintain rights to all songs, photos, and artwork found on either the playlist or the board and as such J.D. Harding or the 'Veil of Undoing' or any of it affiliates hold no copyrights to any such properties.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Write to Your Strengths

Writing to your strengths
   There are a lot of options for authors out there today, and not everyone can be good at everything. In fact, no one can be good at everything, and usually, we excel in only a few. So how can you choose between the thousands of genres? And even then, how can you choose between the subcategories within those genres? And who’s to say that you can’t do a little bit of everything? After all, isn’t one of the signs of a great author the ability to adapt, grow and learn new skills?
   Why yes, that just so happens to be one of the many things great authors have the capability of doing. Yet, if you look at the history of those authors, except in rare occasions, they took their time evolving. Stephen King didn’t go from great fantasy writer to one of the most amazing authors of suspense in our life time over night. He worked at it for years, and so must the rest of us.
   So how do you know what you are good at? It just so happens that there are a few pointers to keep you on track.

Does it interest you?

   This might sound like a no brainer, but there are a surprising amount of authors out there who try and write “what sells” instead of what they know, or even enjoy. As an erotic romance writer I run into a lot of questions about kinks, or niches, and while as a writer you will need your own niche to fill, trying to fill one you know nothing about will not only be frustrating, but you will offend anyone who has even half an inkling about the subject.
   The way around this? If you have your heart set on that topic, despite your lack of interest, and despite your prior knowledge, then you HAVE to research. And one night, spending three hours on Google isn’t going to cut it. You’re going to have to find people who do understand what you will be writing about and pick their brain. Whether that is in a book, or blog, or any other form you can get your hands on- just make sure you’re not basing your entire knowledge base on Yahoo answers or a Wiki page.

 Does it interest your beta readers?

   Another bit of advice that sounds like a no brainer, but again, it is surprising at how many authors don’t have beta readers to begin with. All you really need is one, a different pair of eyes to look over it and let you know what they enjoyed and what they thought needed work.
   The key to having beta readers is trust. You have to trust that they aren’t going to intentionally hurt your feelings. You have to trust that they know what they are talking about. You have to trust that they have your best interest in mind. If you don’t trust them, you aren’t going to listen to their advice, so what is the point? Not every change needs to be taken in, a lot of times a correction will be personal style- but when you work with your reader eventually the two of you build a relationship of understanding.

If you let it sit for a month and go back to it, does it still sound as good?

   This one is so important. Do you need to let every single piece sit for that long? No. But every piece needs to be left alone, untouched, possibly thrown in a cold, dark place with a lock and chain on it. At least over night.
   Stepping away and clearing your thoughts help you catch small things, editing mistakes and phrases used one too many times, but it also lets you step back. Like painting, sometimes changing your perspective helps ensure the whole picture looks as best as it can. (Another good reason for a beta reader).
   If you can nail those three things, you can write well in any topic or genre. It may take time, and even if you don’t want to hear that story you spent weeks studying material for, and months hashing out character arcs and plot twists for, just isn’t cutting the cake- take your time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. A solid writing career won’t either.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fariy Tale

What is a fairy tale?

Surely, as the title suggests, it is merely a tale in which fairies, or faerie like creatures play a part. Yet, there are a great many fairy tales in which there are no faeries in it all. In fact, most people will agree, when asked, that a fairy tale does not necessarily need a single fairy in it or even to take place in Faeryland(i.e. the Gingerbread Man, the Ant and the Grasshopper, and Bluebeard to name a few).

So what distinguishes this particular genre from folk lore, or epics, or even legends? Scholars everywhere have yet to agree on a single defining factor, so allow me to give the following conjecture (at least for the sake of this post): A fairy tale is a story with amazing places, events, and/or beings that allows the reader to learn more about the real world and the people in it through means of embarking (willingly or not) on a journey ‘once upon a time’.

‘Once upon a time’ is relevant in a fairy tale because it is the defining factor that separates it from a legend, or folk tale that may have roots in historical truth. A fairy tale doesn’t have to, and generally doesn’t beyond the nature of people and danger in general, have a connection to a real event in the past. And the journey doesn’t necessarily have to lead the characters into or through Faeryland. Nor do the characters have to come from Faeryland and the journey doesn't even need to take place on a grand scale. The discovery of a secret room, or dark forest, or even the downward spiral into the characters psyche can represent the journey.

All in all, a fairy tale is a chance to run away in order to find ourselves. That may very well be why fairy tales are so popular. Why, time after time, we create the same stories in new ways and new stories in the same ways.

But what of the Fae themselves? What is it about them that lure us into that darkened wood in the first place? Why are we so fascinated by the blinding brightness, or the frightening darkness they represent? Why, in the day and age of science and technology, are we enchanted by the Fae and the realm from which they call to us?

Perhaps it is because fairy tales are just mirrors in which we can see our own reflections, or the reflections of the people we most want to be (or don’t want to be).

Maybe this is why I continually step through the looking glass. For that small chance that after I have fallen down the rabbit hole and climbed back up I will have learned one more thing about me, or those elusively enchanting beings around me called people.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

We're All Mad Here

"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.

"You must be," said the cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."

If it must be, then it must be. Yet, given the choice, I think I would be mad and an author, then not mad and not an author. Which isn't to say that I couldn't be a writer and perfectly sane, but we've already established that we're all mad, haven't we?