I’m On To The Next One, On To The Next One

What’s next?

Question gif

That’s the question writers always have rattling around in their heads, isn’t it? Sometimes you might have half a dozen new plot ideas floating around in your brain soup and sometimes the ol’ skull bowl will have been drained bone dry. It’ll fill up again eventually, though. The stream of ideas is never truly dammed up.

One thing is a constant in the life of the diligent writer (0r any creative pursuit, really) – regardless of where you are in your current project, there’s always going to be a Next Thing. There will always be the need to make the Next Thing.

I tend to be someone who has too many Plot Bunnies frolicking through my Mind Fields at any given moment.

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know that I run quite a bit. In the Not Winter months, I’ll log about 10-20 miles over the course of the week. The portion of that running time not spent on keeping myself from collapsing into a wheezing heap is devoted to plotting stuff. Plotting whatever my current WIP is, but also thinking ahead to what the Next Thing is going to be. A lot of time out on the open road has turned into wild Plot Bunnies.

bunny piano

But now it’s decision time. My YA Superhero manuscript, THE MANY FOES OF AURORA OVERDARK is done and it’s being queried right now (and eternal thanks to a number of my fellow Scribes for their invaluable input into the final product). It’s time to start the Next Thing. I had three ideas I was kicking around for the OVERDARK’s successor:

Weird Western with demons and this kinda Hellfire-punk technology and stuff. The Dark Tower is one of my favorite book series, so I’ve always wanted to try my hand at writing a western-themed story (really hope they don’t butcher the movie, btw).

Lady Heroes of the Multiverse – basically female trope heroes joined up to save the Universe. Multiverse hopping is a thing that’s done a lot in comics, and by golly do I love my comics. Also, I recently read Michael Underwood’s first GENRENAUTS book and that kinda got me excited to do a multiverse team thing.

Those two came up from the usual On-The-Run-Brain-Bubbling.

The third one has a bit of a story. If you’ve listened to fellow Scribe Kristin McFarland and I’s podcast The Young Podawans, you’ll know that we discuss What We’re Drinking at the beginning of each episode. One week I had a beer called the Ginga Ninja and on the side of the can was a mini story about The Brewmaster and his Ninja Wife. I said to Kristin on that episode “I want to write this book.” 

12oz (211x413)

And I think I’m going to write that next. I’ve got a little Brexit inspired plot starting to brew (lol) around the Brewmaster and his probably not Ninja, but some kind of soldier wife and also his husband who’s also integral to their beer making / soldiery business.

So what’s the point of this post besides “look at these ideas I have and and have to pick one waaaaaah”?

It’s interesting where we get our ideas from. The impetus for some of my previous books were a D&D campaign from high school, a ghost girl from a comic book, and now a story on the side of a beer can.

And not just that inspiration can come from anywhere, but that it can come at any time. Some people do their greatest thinking in the shower. Like I said before, I do a lot for my plot brainstorming during my runs, but I also have a 30 minute or so commute to and from work everyday and I find that to be a good time to mull over new ideas as well.

Thinking gif

I think it’s vitally important for writers to carve out not only writing time, but thinking / plotting time. The ideas for the Next Thing need a place to be cultivated, whether they’ve come from the random mundanities of everyday life, plumbed from a lifetime of stories we’ve consume, or a little bit of both.

So, I guess I’ll leave this post with a question:

When and where does everyone else do their plotting and idea brewing? We all have so many different commitments and needs pulling us away from our stories, and I’d really love  to know how people find the time in their lives and keep the stream of ideas still flowing.

The Wai-ai-ting (for Query Responses) is the Hardest Part

Hello again friends and fellow writerly type people!

Last time around, I wrote about what I thought makes a great query letter. Well now you have that great query and you’re sending it out to all the those lucky agents who are just dying to rep you and fantastically fantastic manuscript.

GO YOU *waves pom-poms*

But in the meantime, you have to wait.

And wait.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand waaaaaaaaaaait

What do you while you wait for a response? Well, I have some suggestions, my dear readers. And no, one of those suggestions is not to obsessively stalk QueryTracker to see where agents are in their slush pile and how many requests for fulls they’ve sent out and hey I sent my query out before this guy who already got a response and OMG ITS BEEN A MONTH NOW I HAVENT HEARD ANYTHING



No, I don’t suggest you do that. *peeks at two tabs over*


Here’s what you may want to do instead!

Querymania is Runnin’ Wild!

Exciting news, folks – I’m back in the query trenches again! (screams internally) We’ve all been there before and some of us will be there again. It’s difficult. It’s demand. It’s downright  daunting. But in the end, we all hope it will also be rewarding. It’s taken about a month for me to get the letter for THE RADIANCE OF BLACK into something worthwhile (in my most humble of opinions, at least), and I think it’s as good as it’s going to get.

I thought, while it’s timely and topically, why not write about query letters this week?  So without further delay, I’m going to outline what I think are the essential things a powerful and engaging query letter should have AND I’M GOING TO DO SO USING WRASSLIN’ GIFS!


*snaps into Slim Jim*


Bayley Dancing

The first thing you should lay out in your query is The Hook or logline. This is the so called ‘Elevator Pitch’. Basically what you want to do is show what this story about and what sets it apart from all the other hopeful manuscripts floating around in the literary purgatory that is The Slush. You want something catchy here, something that pops from the page. Something enticing that will make your would-be agent read onward. A story they NEED to know more about. I’ve read numerous articles about how some agents will just read logline and if it doesn’t hook them, that’s it. One. Two. Three. You’re out. But if it does hook, they read on. Your query lives to see another paragraph. I think The Hook is the make or break part of the query. The rest of it might be awesome, but if you don’t set the tone with something exciting, then you might find yourself already fighting a losing battle.



My dear friend and sister in ALL CAP NO PUNCT Julie Hutchings had a book come out on Friday.

Running Away
You bought it already didn’t you? 

Batman glare gif

Well Julie was kind enough to stop by the bloggy and do an little interview with yours truly. My questions are not so great, but her answers are as amazing as she is. SO READ ON BE AMAZED!


THE MASKED SONGBIRD Soars – An Interview with Emmie Mears!

A special treat for everyone on the blog today – we’ve got an interview with the inimitable Emmie Mears, to celebrate the release of her debut novel THE MASKED SONGBIRD which come out FREAKING TOMORROW! 

Lumpy princess excited gif
So read onwards my friends, and enjoy my five scintillating questions for Emmie and her beyond wonderful responses!


The Querying Two: Literary Boogaloo

I told myself at the beginning of the year I would do more posts on this blog about the journey from starting my first novel OF FATES CONVERGED to (god willing) getting it published, but I don’t think I’ve really kept that promise. Actually the most effort I’ve put into this space since the beginning of the year is the SPN vs Buffy posts, which have been pretty great, but are not in the spirit what I had originally started this blog for. And I still haven’t even finished those, as I’m up to S9 of SPN.

And they have gotten more hits that anything else I’ve posted though, so…

Emma Stone Frustrated gif
But I digress. 

So where are we at right now with the books and the publishing and all that? 


The Great Buffy vs Supernatural Challenge – Part Three – Five, I Guess?

Well folks, it’s been a while since we’ve done one of these. There was a little (re: massive) boo-boo on my behalf where I lost like a months worth of edits to FATES, so my blogging and TV watching was put on hiatus while I tried to redo what I lost. But that’s a blog for another day.

As Shauna embarks on the final season of Buffy, we’ll be doing a recap of Seasons 3-5 of Supernatural, which to me was one gigantic story arc spread out over three years. I’ve read Season 5 was actually supposed to be the end of the show, and if so, I think they would have ended on a perfect note.

And I would have won this stupid bet too.



This time around we’re going to do at little tour of my highlights of these seasons. And don’t worry my friends, there will be many many gifs along the way.Oh so many gifs.


Not Just Fantasy Novels, But Comic Reviews Too


In case you haven’t seen me post about this on Twitter, I’ve been writing a series of comic reviews for my dear friend Emmie Mears‘ on her awesome brainbeast Searching for Superwomen. Each and every week I review the books that came out featuring some of the greatest female characters and creators in the industry.

This week I write about the latest adventure of WONDER WOMAN as she battles against her evil sibling the First Born, HARLEY QUINN’s own special brand of domestic terrorism and I write way too many paragraphs in praise of the new MS MARVEL and her creators. So if you guys like what you’ve seen here, please drop on by and give it a read (and give Emmie some much deserves traffic to boot!)

The Many Lives of an Opening Line

A couple of posts ago, I discussed writing my second novel, THE LUMINOSITY OF BLACK and the need to return to the first one, OF FATES CONVERGED, for more edits. This includes a complete rewrite of the first chapter.


Not something I was really happy to have to do again, but as my fellow writers know, it’s imperative that the opening few pages of your novel catch the reader immediately. This is especially so for the writer trying to query a novel for the first time. Nailing down the opening for FATES has been the most challenging thing I’ve dealt with in my extremely short writing career.

The Telegraph just released a list of some of the greatest opening line in literature. There’s a ton of great ones in there, but may favorite has to be from Stephen King’s THE GUNSLINGER. This line (and novel) blew me away when I first read it back in junior high and was one of the true drivers me wanting to become a writer later in life. Reading The Dark Tower, especially the first four books, was when I was first like ‘damn I real want to make something like this.’ So what is that great first line from THE GUNSLINGER?

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.

So simply, but so perfect. The line does the job that it’s supposed to – it sets up the action forthcoming and hooks the reader with an interesting premise. Who is this man in black and why is the gunslinger chasing him across the desert?

Boom. There it is. Perfect.

Now I’m not saying I’m going to be able to craft an opening line or chapter of FATES thats ‘s great as the ones mentioned above, but I’ve will need to find one that’s engaging to the reader and gives them an attachment to the main character, Alexia Anarita right from the get-go. So I thought for this post, maybe it would interesting to take a trip down memory lane and see how FATES’ opener has evolved and where I’m at with it now.

The Great Buffy vs Supernatural Challenge – Part Two

*Checks to see when I posted Part One of this series.*

Two weeks ago, huh? That’s not bad, I finished Season 2 much faster than Season 1. Let’s see what Twitter has to say about this.

*Opens TweetDeck*

That’s fine, I didn’t expect to get caught up to Shauna, but…


Dean Winchester Laptop Close Gif

Well I’m still proud of myself for watching this season much faster than the last one. And reason is not that I had more free time, but that Season 2 was much better, in my option, than Season 1.