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  • NECRONOMICUM #2 (NECRONOMICUM: The Magazine of Weird Erotica)
    NECRONOMICUM #2 (NECRONOMICUM: The Magazine of Weird Erotica)
    by Gary Budgen, Julian Darius, Richard Greico Jr, Nikko Lee, K. A. Opperman, Alice Renard, Rose Banks, Paul St. John Mackintosh, Michael Seese

    Contains Instabiable by Nikko Lee

  • Zombiefied Reloaded: The Search for More Brains
    Zombiefied Reloaded: The Search for More Brains
    by Carol Hightshoe, Cynthia Ward, Terry M. West, Christie Meierz, Dana Bell, Mary E. Lowd, Patrick J. Hurley, Francis W. Alexander, Liam Hogan

    Brainatarian by Nikko Lee

  • Coming Back
    Coming Back
    by James Arthur Anderson, Brian Barnett, Dave Fragments, Shawna Galvin, Vince Darcangelo, Ken Goldman, Michael Lindquist

    Contains A Mother Knows by Nikko Lee (paperback available at Lulu.com)

  • Wolf Warriors: The National Wolfwatcher Coalition Anthology
    Wolf Warriors: The National Wolfwatcher Coalition Anthology
    by Jonathan W. Thurston

    Contains Great Mother Wolf by Michelle Knowlton

  • People Eating People: A Cannibal Anthology
    People Eating People: A Cannibal Anthology
    by Frank Larnerd, Tony Peak, Geoff Gander, Shenoa Caroll-Bradd, Robert Hart, Nikko Lee, Kyle Yadlosky, Edward Martin III

    Contains Bouillon de Bebe by Nikko Lee

  • Valves & Vixens: Steampunk Erotica
    Valves & Vixens: Steampunk Erotica
    by Nicole Gestalt, Crysta Coburn, J.T Seate, Nikko Lee, V.C., Zak Jane Keir, Blair, Regina Kammer, Jim Lee

    Contains Boson's Mate by Nikko Lee

  • The Big Book of Bizarro
    The Big Book of Bizarro
    by Rich Bottles Jr.

    Contains Honey-Do by Nikko Lee

  • Between Love and Lust
    Between Love and Lust
    by Nikko Lee

    E-book

    Print-on-demand paperback

  • Templar and Other Stories of Suspense and Terror (Vampires 2, Volume 4)
    Templar and Other Stories of Suspense and Terror (Vampires 2, Volume 4)
    by J. Troy Seate, Patricia McCarthy, Nikke Lee, Andrea Saavedra, James Hartley, Edward McKeown, Mike Graves, J.E. Gurley, Zakk Erikson, David Bernstein C.C. Blake

    Contains Pure Delight by Nikko Lee

Wednesday
Aug262015

Pre-order Wolf Creek 

Good news! Wolf Creek is available for pre-order at Prizm Books. They even have a special going on until the end of the month. Just under a week left to use the 35% off coupon. Use coupon "BTS2015". Spread the word.

Saturday
Aug222015

Writing Wolf Creek Part 4 - Revising

Once the first draft is done I'm always torn between the urge to start working on revisions right away and locking the manuscript in a digital drawer never to be retrieved again. I knew when I finished Wolf Creek in November of 2012 that I had a lot of work ahead of me. I was also in the process of getting ready to make agent and publisher queries for my trunked dark fantasy novel.

The first thing I did was write a summary. I was well aware that my plot needed to be fleshed out. I also had written the novel with only Josh's point of view. It occured to me that I needed to add at least one more. Usually I write romance and include the points of view of the central couple. But Wolf Creek isn't a romance novel, so the second point of view was highjack by Andrea. She brought in the prospective of the Amazons and their concerns about the safety of letting the pack continue without a strong alpha.

Wolf Creek went through several rounds of revision. Each time I added more to the plots and deepened the character conflict.

I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop taught by Cynthia Thayer. I received great feedback about the first 5,000 words and learned a lot about dialog.

My first round of beta readers brought back little more than 'good job', 'I like it' and 'hope it gets published'.

On to the next daunting step of querying agents and publishers.

Saturday
Aug152015

Writing Wolf Creek Part 3 - The First Draft

The month of November became my favorite month when I discovered NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month is worldwide event that challenges everyone to write 50,000 words in one month. Some people write a million words. Some people only write a few hundred. There is an extensive community both online and in the real world that comes together every November to celebrate writing.

In 2007, I discovered NaNoWriMo after a local author put up a flyer to organize a writing group around the event. We started off with some two dozen authors at the first meeting. I was thrilled to finally be getting together with other people who loved to write. The organizer had even has his own success with publishing a novel and wanted to rekindle his writing enthusiasm.

Since then I've participated in NaNoWriMo nearly every year either writing a novel from scratch, continuing a novel I was in the midst of or editing. Nothing makes an author focus like a deadline and I took my November deadlines seriously.

I was busy writing my trunked dark fantasy series when NaNoWriMo came around after I had written the outline for Wolf Creek - then called Alpha and Omega. I'm horrible at titles and often use place holder titles - and even characters - until after the first draft. Gavin was first named Davin. The park ranger Ned started out his existence as Ed. 

In 2012, I dusted off my outline of Wolf Creek and started the month typing.

My time for writing is limited. Between work, commuting and socializing, I have less and less time to write. Often my commute is dedicated to writing when someone else is driving. Evenings were another good time to write. I aimed for 1200 words a day. Weekends were my make-up time.

This was the first time I had ever written a novel from an outline. Sometimes I would get stuck or my outline felt inadequate. Sub plots were added along the way. If I reached an impasse, I just started on the next scene. With a 50,000 word deadline in mind, the internal editor gets locked in a closet.

Three weeks into writing, I realized I actually didn't have an ending. Worse, I realized that my central conflict was not all that interesting. I needed a bigger bad guy. I needed more obstacles. I also realized that I didn't know my back story as well as I needed to.

Out of outline, shy of 50,000 words by several thousand, I started writing backstories for the Amazons, my guardians of humanity from the evils that go bump in the night. I wrote about the origins of the Silverbane pack and how werewolves along with the other tainted creatures came to be.

Anyone who has read Between Love and Lust will know my fondness for politics and history. I blame Colleen McCullough's Master of Rome series. Sadly, she passed away in January of this year. She took the complexity of Roman politics and brought it to life. Unfortunately, my attempts at politics and mythologies often ends up a convoluted mess.

By the end of November, I reached my word count goal but I was still a long ways away from a completed novel.

Next time, I'll talk about the all important step of walking away before coming back to revise and edit Wolf Creek.

Friday
Aug142015

The language of breastfeeding

My one mantra while struggling with breastfeeding Lil' Miss Bean was 'Feed the baby'. Whether you are a formula feeder, an exclusive breastfeeder, a supplementer, an exclusive pumper or any combination, the thing that all mothers strive for is a healthy and happy baby. And if momma can keep some semblance of sanity, all the better.

After a rocky start, we are still going strong nursing when together, pumping for daycare and sharing three meals a day of solid food - usually from the adult menu. I was a little disheartened when several of my relatives seemed surprise that I was still breastfeeding at 9 months.

'Oh, wait until she bites you.'

Actually, she already has, several time, with an ever increasing number of teeth. It just means she's more interested in playing than eating.

There's a litany of cautions offered to breastfeeding women by very well-meaning relatives, friends and perfect strangers.

'Oh, he'll need more than breastmilk.'

'She's fussy because she's hungry. Give her some real food.'

'Not sleeping through the night yet? Put some cereal in his bottle.'

'Breastmilk is for babies. You don't want her to depend on you to go to sleep.'

The list goes on. When my grand-mother seemed surprised that I was still nursing my little piranha, I realized that the cautions and advice come from long held cultural beliefs about breastfeeding. I wonder how many mothers were told by their male doctors to start formula or cereal as soon as possible.

There's some good articles about the history of formula and the marketing campaign behind it's rise in popularity.

Don't get me wrong. I was given formula and cereal from a very young age. I don't have any food allergies or any other of the myriad problems woman are warned will occur if their baby is not breastfed.

And that's the other extreme.

'Breast is best.'

This slogan is now plastered all over pediatricians and touted online as the only way to go. In an effort to promote breastfeeding, some people argue against pumping, a drop of formula or even a pacifier.

When I was struggling to get a pain-free latch from Lil' Miss Bean that would get her something to eat, these voices added to my guilt about not being able to breastfeed. For two months, I pumped exclusively. Never mind the two half bottles of formula I fed her when she was less than a week old just so I could get a break from the exhausting routine of pumping 2 minutes to bring down the milk, struggle to get a latch and keep baby awake for 40 minutes, pump 10 minutes, bottle feed, repeat 2 hours (from the start of the process).

'EBF for a year at least. Food before one is just for fun.'

I took this advice to heart. While I introduced Lil' Miss Bean to solids just before six months of age, I thought she wouldn't need more than a few bites. At first, she didn't. Around eight months, her appetite took off. She was waking twice a night to feed -plus a couple more times because she couldn't get back to sleep. I was exhausted. I was already going to add a breakfast meal when our daycare provider suggested adding some fruits and veggies at lunch. I can't imagine not offering her three meals a day and sometimes snacks even if she only eats a bite. More often she eats most, if not all, of her plate.

The current WHO breastfeeding recommendations are for 'exclusive breastfeeding until six months and continuing breastfeeding along with solid food up to two years or beyond.

In a perfect world, everyone would be willing and able to breastfeed. Pumping at work is no a picnic either. For a country seemingly obsessed with breastfeeding -from doing it to covering it up - you would think more employers in the USA would offer at least six months of paid maternity leave to meet the WHO's standard.

But if you can't or don't breastfeed, just remember...

'Feed the baby.'

There is no one right way of doing it and a lot of personal beliefs and biases in the language we use to talk about breastfeeding.

Saturday
Aug082015

Writing Wolf Creek Part 2 - The Outline

Like many writers, I started off writing at an early age - twelve years old - as a pantser or discovery writer. I would write and see where the characters took me. Often I would daydream my stories or scenes out while I rode the bus or during long car rides after I developed motion sickness and couldn't read in the car.

I made up stories whenever my mind had nothing to focus on. That's still the case, although I find that I don't have as much of that kind of time anymore.

Then I started revising and editing the first drafts instead of leaving them hidden in a notebook never to be shared. I realized that I needed to be a little more organized if I wanted a coherent story to share with someone else.

For a time I would dream out and outline a few scenes at a time, still not having a firm idea in my mind of where the story was headed other than a happy ending with the main conflicts resolved.

With Wolf Creek, I decided it was going to be written during NaNoWriMo. In order to maximize my writing time - one month is not a long time to write a novel while working full time- I decided I'd need some kind of outline.

Five years ago during a first aid and CPR course, I started my outline of Wolf Creek.

Oddly, I find that some of my best ideas come to me in the middle of meetings that don't require my full attention. Somehow having the background of things going on around me helps me focus. It is why writing time in a busy restaurant or coffee shop is often my most productive sessions.

By the end of the 4 hours class, I had my first rough outline of a novel. I knew how my main characters Josh, Andrea and Gavin would meet. I had my inciting incident - the death of Josh's old, father figure alpha. I had an antagonist, Josh's cousin Bryce. I had a loose idea of an ending.

After reviewing the outline a couple of times, I convinced myself that come November I would have no problem writing 50,000 words.

Next time I'll share my NaNoWriMo experience of writing the first draft of Wolf Creek.