Right now I’m working on researching my current project (the vaulting one, yes). This is exactly the same system I used when researching Anderson Stables, too. So I thought I’d share my process for anyone who may be curious.
Usually the first thing I do when I get an idea for a story in a sport I’m not personally experienced with, is to watch as many videos of and about that sport as I can find. For Anderson Stables that involved watching lots and lots of Grand Prix livestreams and Olympic playbacks. For this new book I’m watching as many vaulting videos as I can find on Youtube.
Next, I always go online and find the official rulebook for both national and international competitions. And then, because I enjoy spending lots of money on paper and ink, I print those out so I always have something physical to reference. And then I read them. In their entirety. Usually to help me fall asleep at night.
Not really though. I do read them, and they can be dull and difficult to read at times, but I find it a very informative experience. I want to make sure I know the little details before I start seriously working on a story, even if all those little details don’t make it into the book.
That’s usually my research strategy for anything I decide to write in my equestrian romance genre. For Anderson Stables I also took a trip down to Florida to experience part of the Winter Equestrian Festival, but I don’t expect to do that very often. Full time jobs and money tend to restrict one’s abilities to take a bunch of trips even when it’s technically for work.
Hey everyone, don’t forget that you have until June 15th to get in any questions you would like to ask of the Anderson Stables cast of characters so I can interview them!
In honor of the final Anderson Stables book being released this summer, I’ve decided to do an interview session – with the characters from the Anderson Stables books.
What kinds of questions will the characters be answering? Well, that depends on what you want them to answer!
That’s right, you get to ask the questions! You can ask whatever questions you want of whichever character you would like.
Submit questions right here as a comment, or via a comment or message on Facebook. Submissions will be closed after June 15th, and I’ll be posting the interview right here on July 1st.
Let’s have some fun!
When it comes down to it, I essentially have three identities I keep up on a regular basis. There is the “real world” me, the one who works the full time job she thought she would quit someday but she now suddenly wants to turn into a real career. Then there are the two writer versions of me.
One, of course, is the version of me who writes m/m equestrian romance. But my truest love is actually fantasy. When I’m not working on a romance story, I’m usually working on a fantasy one. I’ve been mostly absent here because the publishing process is actually pretty slow paced. The final Anderson Stables book is in the production process as we speak and will be out this summer. Over the last couple months I’ve gone through several rounds of edits with it, and instead of waiting around to hear back from the editing team between rounds, I’ve been working to self-publish some of my fantasy writing (when those books are actually ready I’ll share my alter-ego for the curious).
I ran into an interesting problem with Amazon during this process. I have had my fantasy books available on Wattpad for quite some time, so when I decided just to publish better edited versions of the same stories, Amazon flagged my titles for being stolen because they were freely available online.
I cleared the situation up with them, but I can’t decide if I’m annoyed or appreciative. It’s definitely good that they make sure people aren’t publishing things they don’t have rights to, but I know I’m not the only one following this strategy. It does amuse me that I was more or less accused of stealing my own writing though. Made for an interesting couple of days.
I am of course still planning to write my vaulting book, but the fantasy itch came over me very abruptly and it doesn’t let go very easily.
So tonight I sat down with the intention to start writing Book 4. Until now I had been plotting out the major scenes, which can be a process.
What took so long was the research I needed to do to properly plot the entire book. Not a ton of research, but enough to delay most of the work.
So I finally sat down to start writing the first scene or two. I pulled up my writing playlist on my phone and hit “shuffle.” Immediately, instead of getting the first scene to start flowing, I got other creative magic flowing. I started thinking through the other major scenes in detail.
Which can be good, but I wasn’t writing those scenes yet. Eventually I forced myself to focus on the beginning (which is always the hardest thing to write anyway) and got just short of 2,000 words out in two hours.
But it’s so interesting to me how music can inspire so much. I spent a while before I finally got to work just trying to get myself to sit down and write. Then I started the music and BOOM. I was in the super zone.
Moral of the story: music is a creative potion and a fantastic muse.
I can’t say I’m very happy with how this story turned out, and I intend to redo it when I finish the other stories I have planned. I just wanted to share something with you. The goal of this piece is just to give readers an idea of how Dustin was feeling during the first book.
So here is the first version of Dustin’s Book 1.
Just a quick update for you tonight.
I will have another short free read for you all this weekend. I’ve been slowly working on the next installment.
Writing is, unfortunately, going very slowly for me in general. I’m pretty sure that part of the reason is the miserable New York winter. It just puts everyone in that blah, tired mood.
The other issue is that I recently started a new full time job that is rather exhausting. The stress of learning new things and dealing with new people makes me just want to go straight to bed or mindless TV when I get home – or both.
But my New Year’s resolution was to keep my self-imposed deadlines as strictly as my publisher-imposed ones, so I’m getting ready to give myself a kick in the butt this weekend. Days off from the “real” job will be marathon days for my eventual full time job. Won’t get there if I don’t work for it.
I hope you all have a great week!
Here’s probably the most important scene of Book 1 from Dustin’s point of view. Enjoy!