27 February 2013


Hey all,
Today you will be entertained by the fantastic Adrienne Monson!  (She likes donuts, so she's okay)

Her debut novel, Dissension, Is hot off of Jolly Fish's Press!  I just finished the novel today, and loved the fast pacing and intricately told story.  Check it out.

You can stalk Adrienne here

And now, sit back and enjoy getting to know Adrienne.

If you could eat anything for breakfast, what would it be?
Doughnuts! Not the greasy kind, but the moist, dense, cake-like kind. I also love traditional breakfast food, like eggs, pancakes, bacon - but I like to eat that kind of stuff for dinner. :)

Do you prefer leather or cloth seats in cars? Why?
I had a car with leather seats in high school. I loved that car, but seriously don't miss those seats! In the summer, my shorts-clad legs would stick to the seats and the leather would almost burn any of my bared skin. In the winter, I had to wear gloves to drive, or suffer the "frozen fingers syndrome".

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Greek Islands. Hands down.

What is the most interesting job you've ever had?
I guess working at Cold Stone creamery. It involved a little bit of everything: making ice cream, waffle cones, and brownies. Running around on your feet almost the whole time. Being extremely friendly to customers. Singing and dancing for tips (that sounds questionable, doesn't it?). Doing payroll. 
Suffice it to say I learned quite a bit from working there.

Tell us about a strange writing habit that you have.
Not sure if I have any. I do my best writing late at night, when I'm kind of tired. I like to listen to music on Pandora while writing as well.

What is your favorite quote/saying about writing? What does it mean to you?
“I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I'm afraid of. ” ~ Joss Whedon. 
To me, that means the possibilities are endless. You can grow as a person by writing. I wrote a short story for a Halloween contest in 2012. In it, I wrote my biggest fear: being covered from head to toe by spiders. It creeped me out as I wrote it, but I was able to face that fear anyway. 

What scene of this novel proved to be the most difficult for you to write?
There's a scene where a couple of vampires kill a mother and her newborn baby. I didn't go into details with this scene and felt it wasn't graphic in any way, but it still made my eyes misty as I wrote it.

What scene turned out exactly as you imagined it?
When Leisha and Tafari are on the boat. (Can't give more details than that, but you'll know it when you read it!) That part is almost exactly the same as what was in the rough draft.

What aspect of your life has most influenced your writing?
Reading, reading, and more reading! Don't get me wrong - you have to live life, get out and observe other people's interactions to understand how to write characters and life in general. But when it comes down to it, reading will broaden my imagination more than anything. 

Why should people read your book? What does it have to offer them?
(Besides the simple fact that it is awesome?)
(Thanks, Jo Ann!) Dissension is fast-paced with lots of action, suspense, and characters you'll love. Besides that, it has a deeper undertone to help you grow along with the characters.

If you could write a spin-off novel about a side character, who would you choose?
Samantha. I already know what her story is after the third book, I just don't know if I'll write it yet. :)

Tell us why you love this story.
Most of all, I love the characters. (None of them are based on me, so I promise I'm not narcissistic! :)) This story changed as I got to know the characters and their reactions to different things. Likable characters make a story more real to the readers.

25 February 2013

Fight Club-Manuscript Style

Have you ever considered your work in progress and known deep, down inside that it is kicking your trash?  If you kept score (which you don’t, because who does that, right?) it would read:
Author: 2
Manuscript: 17

Last week in Kempo class, I got to spar.  Sparring is fun.  I’m a black belt, and this girl is about to go for her black belt, so we got to play without gear.  Don’t get excited, we still used control, and only walked away with bruises.  Lots of bruises—it doesn’t help that she kicks like Chuck Norris in training and has absolutely no padding on her.

This girl fights in a very different style than I do, which always makes for an interesting match.  She can (curse her) kick me in the head with ease, and uses her legs to keep me at bay.  On the other hand, I’m totally willing to take a glancing blow to get past her accursed legs so I can punch her in the face.  More than once.

We traded a lot of blows, and I’m not sure there was a clear winner—we were just practicing and trying out wild and crazy things that we don’t normally get to attempt.  Basics are key, and believe me, when you forego them to try something fancy, you’ll get burned about 99.9% of the time.  As a man I call Scary Gary says, “Fancy’ll get you killed.”

I feel pretty much the same way about Season 4 of Babes in Spyland.  Except for the fact that I’m pretty sure that up until the very end, the story was totally winning.

It took me FOREVER to finish Season 4.  The dumb thing is only about 30,000 words long—12 episodes.  It’s not that hard. I’ve written three other seasons before this.  (Hello, I can write that many words in 14 hours) The characters are established.  The world is solid. The basic plots points never changed…but for some reason, I just couldn’t get it out.  Even though my basics were there, I was unable to string the story together and have it work.

And all I could ask myself is, “Why?”

Well, the more colorful version was more like, “Why, cruel world? Why has my writing muse abandoned me to some sappy romance writer?  Why am I being punished?  Did I not sacrifice enough characters to you? Did I not delve deep enough into the realms of emotional torture and let them off easy?  I’ll do anything to make it up to you…anything.”

It didn’t help.  The story and I had about a hundred sparring matches, and I swear I only won about six of them.  And somehow, I ended up with all the bruises, and the story seems fine. Pretty much unaffected.  Of course, that could be because I brushed it off and set it back on its feet after I beat it into oblivion.

Seriously, my frustration level has been off the charts.  Anybody else ever have this problem? What do you do?  I had to throw more and more time at the story before I stuffed it into the right box and made it talk.  Anyone else have a better suggestion? Because I could sure use it. I have one more season to write, and it can’t take that long.  Something will be destroyed. Probably my sanity.

19 February 2013

Under Construction

Hey everyone,
I'm messing around with tabs and some other stuff, so ignore the random bits and pieces that may be popping up and then disappearing.

Beware, if the entire internet goes down it will probably be my fault.  I have mad skills. Really mad skills.  And I click the mouse way more than I need to. Sometimes I end up in very strange places.  I'll have to tell you about it someday.

18 February 2013

Hey all,
Remember Melissa Lemon, author of Snow Whyte?
Well, she's back again, releasing her first romance novel, Blue Sky.
Let's see what she has to say today, shall we?

If you could eat anything for breakfast, what would it be?

Well, if it didn’t affect my kidneys, I’d have a biscuit with eggs, bacon & cheese.

Do you prefer leather or cloth seats in cars? Why?

I prefer cloth. Leather is too cold in the winter and sticky in the summer.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would love to see some of the castles in Germany.

What is the most interesting job you've ever had?

I used to work for Kaibab Industries inspecting mats for picture frames. We used razor blades to get out small “imperfections” or slivers. They had a basketball court in the warehouse so break time was awesome.

Tell us about a strange writing habit that you have.

I’ll write a whole sentence or more and decide that it’s pretty crappy. Instead of highlighting it all and deleting it at once, I hold the backspace key down forever. Then I decide it wasn’t that bad and type it again.

What is your favorite quote/saying about writing? What does it mean to you?

I don’t have a favorite, but I love to read through the goodreads writing quotes pages. http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/writing?page=1

What scene of this novel proved to be the most difficult for you to write?

The scene where Lewis pretty much tells Sunny he never wants to see her again.

What scene turned out exactly as you imagined it?

The scene where Sunny and Lewis first see each other and Sunny fights for her life as Lewis chases her up the stairs.

What aspect of your life has most influenced your writing?

Human relationships.

Why should people read your book? What does it have to offer them?
(Besides the simple fact that it is awesome?)

People should read Blue Sky because it is different. I’m not a huge fan of the romance genre because I haven’t found a lot of variety and I don’t appreciate reading the same story over and over again. Blue Sky is a unique love story and also has fabulously real and quirky characters. I hope that if you read any of my books you will find someone to fall in love with.

If you could write a spin-off novel about a side character, who would you choose?

Jack. He’s one of my favorite characters ever, and I know he has a story to tell also. He needs to find a good, strong woman. I’m working on that for him. :)

Tell us why you love this story.

I love this story because it is the first novel I ever wrote. I spent years revising it and holding onto it, not willing to give up on it as is sometimes necessary with first novels.

Thanks Melissa!
You can purchase Blue Sky from Amazon.  
Check it out, everyone.  I'm not a huge romance novel fan, but Iiked this one!

10 February 2013

Kicking the Hobbit: Bored of the Rings

(I see a lot of live performances, but don't usually review them. But this one holds a special place in my heart.)

Synopsis: (hijacked from Desert Star Playhouse's web site)
Science Fiction geek Walter gets a “Dear John” from his fiance because he spends too much time fantasizing about "Star Wars" and "Lord of the Rings." Now Walter must journey to Middle-Earth with a zany band of misfits to return balance to the the world...and his girlfriend. Come along on this hilarious adventure to find out if Walter can defeat the Dark Lord Sharon and become a hero to couch potatoes everywhere.

Why did I watch this movie again?

Uh, hello...LOTR, Star Wars, geeks, Middle-Earth, parody? What part of this doesn't scream win?

5 out of 5


It's always amusing to see what these Desert Star team will come up with. I'd have to say that I pretty much loved all of the characters. They all made me laugh, they all made me cringe, and—as they were supposed to—they all kind of reminded me of me.

5 out of 5

Did I care what happened?

Yes. Although the plot for Walter to take the ring back to his girlfriend to see if he could re-win her heart didn't pull me along nearly as much as Ken Jennings' random answers in the phrase of a question did. Whoever wrote this play was great, and this character in particular was hilarious.

Each character had something they wanted, and they were all equally ridiculous in their desires. So nice job.

4 out of 5

Plot Holes

A production like this only uses a plot to string together a rather impressive number of jokes. Which it did fine at.

3 out of 5

How many times did I yawn?

No yawning. Princess Leia made me roll my eyes a few times, as did Hillary Clinton/Gollum. But I think they did that on purpose.

At one point the dialogue seemed to slow down, but it picked back up pretty quick. And I laughed a lot, which was the whole point!

4 out of 5

Cool Factor

I'm going to change this to the Funny Factor.

I went to this show expecting to be completely entertained by geeky references, Mormon references (because they always toss them in), political zingers and ridiculous circumstances. I pretty much got all of that.

4 out of 5

The End

The end—when Walter gets back into the real world—made me laugh pretty hard, because we got to then see who all of the characters in his “Dream” were based on. And some of them were really funny.

4 out of 5

Overall Enjoyment

I laughed. Out loud. Multiple times. The switch from an Orc attack to a Dork attack really entertained me, and my not so inner geeky self loved it!

4 out of 5


That's a Brown Belt

03 February 2013

The Thing About Writing

Today is Super Bowl Sunday.  Yes, I watched the game.  Seven years of living in Denver at the beginning of John Elway’s career when I was a kid, and every Sunday afternoon to kill because my parents were usually away doing church stuff, ended up in a bit of a football addiction. It lasted quite a while, actually. And even now, when I haven’t watched another game all season, I’ll snuggle down to watch the Super Bowl.

The game this afternoon started off well, but quickly got old as the Ravens seemed to effortlessly (and mostly unopposed) glide into the end zone.  It should be noted that I didn’t care who won—I just wanted a good game to scream at.  So effortless is not acceptable. I want hard hits!  I want scuffles after the play! I want Hail Mary’s.  I want turnovers! I want a close, nail-biting game that literally keeps me on the edge of my seat.

Yeah, so the first half of the game didn’t provide that.  Good thing for the commercials, or I may have stopped watching. Oh, and the comfy couch I was sucked into.

We’ll skip the half-time show.

First play of the second half and I started ignoring the TV.  Then the power went out at the stadium.  Somehow this reset the brains of the 49ers and they suddenly remembered they were here playing for the championship of their sport.  The BIG game.  Then things finally got exciting.

As I watched the 49ers fail to get into the end zone at the end of the game, I had a thought.  Those guys have an entire season of football behind them. They’ve played their hearts out for months to get to this position, and most of them would feel it a privilege.  However, watching them, I thought, “How sad to have your entire year be defined by this one, last play.”  And they didn’t pull it out.

I thought about it further, and drew a few too many parallels between the game and writing a novel (like the dull start, the bizarre half-time show, the lack of intensity and then the rush to the end) before breathing a sigh of relief, knowing that I, as a writer, do not have to bank my entire career on a novel I’m forced to write in a few months, and a climax that I got exactly five minutes to work out.

Sure, authors have deadlines, writer’s block and distractions, but we generally get time to make that scene just right.  To tweak the emotions of our readers a little to the left, or tug at their heart strings through a series of encounters with our characters.  And even if you’d like to change it after it’s in print, it’s not like you spewed the words forth and people read them as you typed them, noting all of the tense mistakes, bad grammar, mis-used semi-colons and the extreme occurrences of ellipsis.  We get a chance to fix it.  We could have twenty chances to fix it.

All you authors out there, take a deep breath, hold it, close your eyes, let a smile creep to your lips, then exhale.  Because even with all of the struggles that come with trying to become a successful author, the career has its advantages.  No Hail Mary’s, and no opposing team to bat your words down as you type them.  (Ignore your editors for a moment)  Revel in your process, and tighten those laces so your work in progress is the best it can be.