Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tag! I'm it!

It's been awhile since I actually wrote a post---Kim's interview on Sunday only sort of counts---mostly because I've been alternately busy and sleeping. And I wish I could say I've been busy writing, but I've mostly been gaming. But, you know, it's important for me to have a well-rounded life that doesn't just consist of working. Or something. I've actually been running games recently, which is interesting, but it requires more work than just playing, especially if one is obsessive like me. But I have made a resolution to do more work on Archangel Errant, and I plan to be doing lots of edits on Catching a Man in August and September.

Anyway, one thing I've been wanting to post about is the cake I made for my coworker at the end of June. Way back in May she told me she wanted a chocolate and peanut butter cake. So my plan was to make the chocolate cake from my birthday cake (because it is the most amazing cake ever) and the peanut butter frosting from these brownies. But then, less than a week before I planned to make the cake, I found a recipe for a buckeye cake. As a good former Ohioan, I could not ignore this, so I decided to add the peanut butter cheesecake layer and the chocolate peanut butter glaze to my original plan. 

This went... less well than intended. You see, I ran out of baking spray. (In my defense, it's very hard to tell you're running out.) And I said, "Well, I'll just flour the pan instead. It'll be fine." Yeah, it was not fine. One cake stuck to the pan and fell apart, and the other was waaaaay less done than the first one and made a total mess. This was especially sad because the cake was so, so delicious, and I had to throw it out instead of eating all the crumbs. I had similar falling-apart problems with the cheesecake, and I way overestimated how much chocolate glaze I had. 

But I persevered! I made a box cake to replace the delectable-but-fragile one and managed to get the cheesecake in between the layers. And the result was quite pleasing to all involved. Well, except me, but I got over it and ate it even though it was full of salt. 

The other thing I've been putting off. A fellow Red Adept author did one of those chain blog post things and tagged all of RA's Team Fantasy. As the charter member of this organization (and the one who pays for the buttons), I feel it is my duty to comply, even if I do so almost 2 weeks late. So without further ado...

1. What are you working on?

I've got 2 WIPs at the moment. I'm waiting on my editor for Catching a Man, the first book in the Valeriel Investigations series, which I've announced and am hoping to have out in November. You can see more details on the Valeriel Investigations tab. Cover reveal is coming soon!

I am also working on book 3 of the Earthbound Angels series, Archangel Errant. Really. I'm working on it. I swear. It will get done. Eventually

2. How does your work differ from others in your genre?

Sometimes I think Earthbound Angels doesn't really. It's just another urban fantasy about angels. But, then, I have been reading reviews of UF books lately, looking for new ones to read, and one was commenting that UF books tended to fit the pattern of the kickass "strong female heroine" solving a murder. Or sometimes there's a strong male heroine too. And I realized Earthbound Angels doesn't really fit that pattern at all. Oracle especially is more world-building and philosophy than mystery. And Carrie does not ever kick ass. 

Valeriel Investigations, on the other hand, I created because I wanted to make something as different as possible. I read Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder, and I was just so amazed that she successfully made a military dictatorship the good guys. I wanted to do that, create a world that was totally different. So I made a totally fictional fantasy world that was like the 1950s with a few exceptions. 1. Women are oppressed, even moreso than they were in the actual 1950s. 2. The government is a monarchy, and the nobility are the elite of society whose exploits everyone follows in the paper. 3. Healthcare is socialized, but police investigations are privatized. So if your family member is murdered, you need to have investigation insurance and hire a corporation to solve the crime. Too different? Maybe. We shall have to see.

3. Why do you write what you do?

I've always come up with stories, and I think for the most part they reflected what I was reading. So since I read mostly fantasy, that's also what I write. Since the early days of the UF genre, I wanted to write one. Valeriel Investigations is the outcome of my many attempts to write a "supernatural detective story." For the most part, I write the plot ideas that I come up with that manage to spin themselves into full stories.

4. How does your writing process work?

Very slowly. Basically, I whine about how much I don't want to write until I get up the willpower to actually write. Then once I do that for awhile, I get more into it and don't mind so much. I've been making an effort to go into a writer cave and even go so far as to unplug my internet. (For some reason when I do this in a place my phone expects to have wireless, it won't connect to 4G, so all my notifications are stopped.) I try to write 1,000 words at a time these days. Perhaps someday I will get into a more motivated period and write more. But generally 2,000 is a super lot for me in a day.

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