Farewell 2017 – And Good Riddance

Unfortunately 2017 was not a very productive or really a very good year for me at all. You may have noticed a general lack of updates from me, and for that I apologize. I had some personal and health struggles that made writing very difficult as I simply could not focus or force myself to be creative when I wasn’t feeling it. I am, however, very positive about everything going into the new year.

I will say that the fourth and final book in the Anderson Stables series has been accepted for publication. I have no definite information about a release date as the editing process hasn’t even begun yet. That is one thing giving me hope for making more progress with my writing in 2018.

So, because the acceptance of the final book got me excited to write some more, I started tossing ideas around in my head about what I should write next. I’ve always had some other story ideas in a similar theme to Anderson Stables – m/m where the world of horses brings the main characters together. I had been torn between writing about the sport of combined driving (like the sport of three-day eventing but with high-tech off-roading carriages) and vaulting for a while. Both had a lot of potential, but I had been paying more attention to driving competitions recently simply because they are pretty intense to watch.

But then I stumbled on an incredible video on YouTube of a French vaulting team and I decided that yes indeed I am writing about vaulting next.

Here is that video, so you can see where my inspiration came from:

 

 

Updates and Upcoming Changes

11892049_811909688906776_7563319516146177509_nI know I haven’t been posting here, but I have been working on my fantasy writing (under another pen name). There are some big things happening soon, though.

First, I am writing the final book of the Anderson Stables series for National Novel Writing Month in November. Expect lots of updates and fun things all month.

Second, I’m going to be moving my domain, sashakayriley.com, here to WordPress. Currently I have this blog site and a plain, boring, stagnant website. Moving everything to one place will make everything easier to update for me, and easier to keep up with for all of you.

I may get side-tracked, as I often do while writing, so there may be a free read or two coming before the end of the year. No promises, though.

That’s just about everything. Stay tuned!

Thoughts on the Romance World

089Any of you who have been reading my Anderson Stables series may have noticed that I stay away from the level of eroticism many other authors seem to enjoy. Trust me, I’ve tried to write it, but it just doesn’t feel right. Every other aspect of my characters’ lives are written for the world to see, don’t they deserve some privacy?

I, personally, find sex scenes in books to ruin the entire flow of the story – unless done with more emotional detail than physical. Reading feels like meeting new friends, and when those new friends suddenly want to make porn in front of me, that’s really unsettling. My own characters are even better known to me, and making them “perform” for readers doesn’t feel right. Whenever I’ve tried, it has felt like the worst invasion of privacy you could think of.

And I’m writing a romance, not erotica. I’m frequently disturbed to find such graphic scenes in books described as being romances and not “erotic romance.” It seems to be almost expected that romance in general will contain detailed sex, especially in the m/m world. Whatever happened to a nice, sweet love story?

That being said, readers who are looking for erotic romance should be able to find it easily. I don’t want readers finding my books and assuming they will have those scenes, only to be disappointed. Everyone deserves easy access to the kinds of books they want to read.

I prefer sweet romances, so I don’t plan to ever write anything erotic. I’m here for the love story.

On Plotting, Music, and Creative Magic

648So 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.

Free Read: Dustin’s Book 1, Part 2

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.

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Quick Update

678Just 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!

Free Read: Dustin’s Book 1, Part 1

Here’s probably the most important scene of Book 1 from Dustin’s point of view. Enjoy!

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