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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Hello everyone.
Christmas is upon us and the New Year is just around the corner. I can't believe how this year is almost over and what a year it has been. My year in a nutshell:
January, I finished my first novel ever.
February, went to my very first winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC.
March, went to Vegas for the first time.
June, I graduated from community college and celebrated my fifth wedding anniversary.
July, I joined Willamette Writer's Association.
August, I attended my first ever Writer's Conference and talked to several agents. Oh and I started to blog. *squeal*
September, I passed my RHIT national exam and went on the most amazing vacation tour of Virginia with my friend.
December, attended my first ever Writer's Fair and met some awesome local authors. I also discovered that my genre was romance, ahem, I mean paranormal romance. (sounds more interesting.)

That about sums it up. I started this blog five months ago and to date I have five followers, two comments and over 200 hits on my page. I'm absolutely shocked that so many people have visited my site and read my rambling. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for your support. It really means a lot to me.

*sniff, sniff*

Okay moving along, books: I just finished The Cowboy and the Vampire.
*cover photo courtesy of Facebook *
What a fun ride. After reading over 40 vampire novels in the last two years, it was quite refreshing to dive into this different take on the world of the undead. Plus after meeting the authors, it just made it all the more exciting. Its like a good Western but with a bite. (pun intended) Great story, excellent plot, fabulous characters. I highly recommend it. And you can buy it by clicking here

Right now I'm reading Delcroix Academy: The Candidates by Inara Scott So far I'm hooked and I have to exercise great will power to refrain myself from reading it continuously throughout the evening. I have to make time for writing as well.

Speaking of writing, that has been going quite well. In the last five days I have written over 16,000 words and a total of 45 pages, never mind all the holiday stuff, work, and life in general. My goal is at least 25K words but am aiming for 30K by New Year's Eve and I'm really hoping ya'll are gonna hold me to it!

Next week I'm on vacation from work and will use that time wisely to achieve my goal. Which means I won't be blogging again till after the first of the year. So Merry Christmas and we'll see ya in 2011.
Cheers,
Melania

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Writer's Faire and other things....

Hello my lovelies,
Bless you all for your loyalty to this aspiring author/blogger. May karma bring you an abundance of goodies, especially during this holiday season. Speaking of holidays, I about peed my pants when I looked at my work calendar this morning and realized that Christmas is next week. I KNOW, Right??? Thankfully I have all my shopping done which consists of a few gift cards for family that live far away. For those close by I either bake something or give a homemade canned something.

*Spoiler Alert* This year its Salsa. *End Spoiler*

Okay so anyways...back to writing. The last three days have been super productive. I just love it when all the words come so easily and my fingers tap away at a musical speed. YES. YES. YES. Me loves it indeed. So for those who haven't read my blog in a while, let me catch you up. For those who have, bare with me.
So about three weeks ago I decided to revisit my first novel Six Roses and spend some good quality time polishing it up and making it shine. This has been a really great experience this far.

The biggest accomplishment to date is that I have finally found the voice for one of my characters. This is HUGE, because I have been struggling with this ever since I started writing almost two year ago. I've rewritten one book twice (Six Roses) and I've more then half way done with another. All them my main character has the same voice. BORING!!!!!

When I decided to re-write SR (for the third time) I also decided to change some of the chapters and write it from the other main characters' point of view. This actually forced me to start playing with the voice-thing, because the two that I'm working with is a 500 year old vampire and a 18 year old gypsy apprentice (also male). Very different voices indeed. Yesterday I finally nailed the gypsy boy. I had written a whole chapter from his view point and suddenly realized that the voice had changed. It was VERY different from the main female character. You have no idea how happy this makes me!

Okay so other news is that last week I went to the Willamette Writer's Faire and I got to meet some of the most amazing published authors that are local to either Portland or the Willamette Valley. I even bought some books. For your viewing pleasure here are the ones that caught my attention and I actually had some conversations. You can click on the title to go to their website.

1. Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall "The Cowboy and the Vampire" I only had enough money in my purse to buy this book and of course they were kind enough to sign it for me. For all you vampire lovers out there, this one is golden. I'm half way done with it and currently am battling with myself as to whether to write or read. I'm at 50/50 compromise at the moment, but will probably finish it this weekend.
2. Inara Scott "Delcroix Academy: the Candidates" This is a children/YA book. Very Percy Jackson and the Olympians meets Harry Potter and parties with Gossip Girls. In fact the author shares the same publisher/editor as Rick Riordan. I talked to her the longest. She was so nice and gave me so many tips and sources for beginner writers. She also gave me the first chapter to read. Of course, I was hooked and as soon as I got home I ordered it on Amazon.
3. Erin Cole "Grave Echoes" This is a mystery that is based here in Portland. How cool is that?! I haven't had a chance to read it, but it's on my list to read after I'm done with the ones I already bought. She was a delight to speak with and I look forward to diving into her suspense-filled world.
4. Kaylin McFarren "Flaherty's Crossing" This is a Romance and I'm adding it to my list because the main character is Irish. I kinda have a thing for the Irish. :) It actually looks pretty good. Maybe I'll save this one for vacation.

That's about it for now. Wow this is my longest post yet!
Cheers.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Love is in the air

It's 3:30 in the morning and I really should be asleep instead of confessing my newest realization on the worldwide web. So here it is....

There's a small slight itty-bitty minuet chance that I might be a Romance writer.

*crickets, crickets*

I love Romance. Not to be confused with breast-heaving Fabio-on-the-cover paper backs. Those have their place in the Romance family. Not big into sex scenes, however I do enjoy reading them on occasion when it fits the story. I like a good boy-meets-girl-falls-in-love. How it all happens (the courting, the foreplay, the passion) is what really excites me. Make it a forbidden romance and I'm hooked. That's right, folks, I'm a shameless romantic at heart.

With that being said, I DO love a good fantasy novel that is full of action, suspense, and romance. My goal is to create a story that has the perfect balance of the three, basically a reflection of something I would want to read.

So there you have it: Early Morning Confessions and Realizations by Melania Tolan

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reading, reading, and more reading....

I've been working on Six Roses for the last couple of days or shall I say been attempting to. However, I've found myself completely immersed in different author's blogs. The one that has captivated my attention is Aprilynne Pike, fantasy YA author of Wings and Spells. She started her blog in May 2006 and it wasn't until November 2007 that she got her book contract through Harper Collins. It was May 2009 that her debut novel Wings came out. Yesterday I read all of her 2006 posts. Today the 2007. Two more years and two more days to go. It's been interesting seeing her posts change over the course of two years. Her blog gives me great hope.

The other blog that has peaked my interest is Jeaniene Frost, a phenomenal urban fantasy author I discovered recently (read a short story of hers in the anthology Death's Excellent Vacation and was hooked at first bite. Waiting for the first book of her series Halfway to the Grave to be ready for pickup at the library.) She gives a timeline from the moment she started her writing to publishing process. It took her over four years from the time she started writing to when her first book published!!!

Does this discourage me? Absolutely not. Getting a book published is a dream of mine. Getting there will be extremely challenging at times and there would be days I want to give up. BUT it can be done and in the case of Jeaniene, she didn't know anything about the publishing industry and look how far she's made it.

Yes sometimes it's necessary to take a break from writing and read what the professionals have to say about it. Hear their story and their struggles. It really inspires me to push forward. Who knows maybe this time next year, I might be posting something to the affect of "OMG, I got a book deal!"

Cheers!

PS. I'm currently reading Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol. Can hardly put it down.