Posts Tagged ‘Mimi A. Williams’


Give love the good, hard spanking it deserves this Valentine’s Day

with Beautiful Monster.

Monsterblue

Find me at:

Twitter: JaredSAnderson3

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6517308.Jared_S_Anderson

Beautiful Monster fan page: http://www.facebook.com/beautifuldamnation?ref=hl

Beautiful Monster is available in eBook and Paperback at Damnation Books: http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615727742

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beautiful-monster-mimi-a-williams/1112783047?ean=9781615727759

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Monster-Mimi-A-Williams/dp/1615727752/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1354247199&sr=8-5&keywords=Beautiful+Monster

and everywhere books are sold.


Though I’ve been taught to never start writing a book without having my beginning, middle, and end in mind, I have continually insisted on sitting down and blindly tapping away at the keyboard, trusting the plot to work itself out as I go. And sometimes, the story does just that…but sometimes it doesn’t, and when it doesn’t, as I’ve recently learned the hard way, it’s a mess.

Since deciding that the book I’m currently working on might be stronger if it were written in the third person point of view (and I have to virtually start the book over anyway), I’ve refused to make that mistake again. Therefore, I’ve spent the majority of the past week or so working on an outline for the book.

Here’s what I’m learning:

1) My characters need a little structure. What I mean by that is, although I love the surprises my characters present to me as I write along, I need to keep them under control, to a point. As any writer knows, characters have a way of taking the story into their own fictitious little hands, and guiding the plot their own way. Sometimes, this is a blessing. Other times, it’s a curse. I’m finding that giving them freedom, but within the confines of the stories structure, works out well as long as the boundaries are set in place.

2) My outlines never go exactly as I plan them. Even with a solid outline, the characters bring their own attitudes and actions to the story, the same way actors do with their scripts, so for me, having an outline really doesn’t limit my creative freedom.

3) Outlining is a great way to know what comes next. Nothing sucks worse than getting 35,000 words into a story and suddenly wondering now what? I’m finding that having an outline in place eliminates this problem, and for me, that is awesome.

4) Outlining is hard, damn it. There seem to be two types of writers: those who excel and plot, and those whose strength lies in characterization. I am of the latter persuasion. I just kind of “get” characters. I understand how to make them move and speak, and I usually instinctively know “who” they are and what they want. Creating a strong plot to cast them in, however, isn’t so easy for me. I don’t know how other writers operate, but I see glimpses of story ~ small, seemingly unrelated flashes of action, dialogue, or events. It’s my job then to put these slices of plot into some kind of order, and to ultimately tell a solid and cohesive story. This, for me, is usually pretty challenging, but although it’s difficult (for me anyway), it saves me a lot of trouble in the long run.

5) Process is unique to every writer. I’ve talked to many writers about their process, and none of them use exactly the same methods. This is both a blessing and a curse for the beginning writer. On one hand, it’s great because the possibilities are endless, and the new writer doesn’t feel restrained by the advice of other writers. On the other hand, every writer needs to develop his or her own process, and that takes time, practice, and requires a few (or a lot of) dead-end attempts.

6) Process can change from book to book. For me, some stories work just fine without an outline. When I was writing Sterling Bronson for Beautiful Monster, I rarely referenced the outline, although we had one made up. Sterling just kind of did his own thing, and since he divided his time with Brenna, Mimi’s character, there wasn’t any room for dawdling. The book I’m currently working on now however, needed to be outlined. This one is a more layered storyline and I don’t think there’s any way I could finish the book without a solid knowledge of where I’m going with it.

7) Finally, what I’ve learned from outlining is that whether or not you map your stories out at all, the most important thing in writing anything is still to simply sit down and do it. It doesn’t matter how you do it…just that you do it. I’ve heard of writers who spend so much time working out convoluted character development sheets, learning every detail of each character to the point of what this character’s favorite kind of socks are, that very little actual writing gets done. My advice: outline, even if it’s very skeletal…but let the story come to life as it’s being written. Let the details fill themselves in as the characters and the plot invent or require them.

Until next time,

Happy writing!

(What a typical outline of mine looks like!)

outlining


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Of the many difficult aspects of writing that exist, none has surprised me more than the difficulty I’ve had with finding the right titles for my books. The title Beautiful Monster didn’t come into existence until the very last round revisions that Mimi and I did on the novel. First, we called it, very simply, An Evil Heart, deciding that would do just fine until something more powerful came along.

Then, for the longest time, we called the manuscript Gallery of Dolls, in reference to the abandoned mine shafts Sterling Bronson takes his victims to. I was never happy with that title, though, and probably drove Mimi crazy with my fixation on finding just the right name for this book. It sounded too much like The Valley of the Dolls to me.

Then, during the book’s final round of revisions, Mimi’s character, Brenna, said something about “the monster behind the beautiful mask…” and I knew that, somewhere in there, was our title. We played around with it a little before settling on Beautiful Monster. This kind of focus on the title of a book can be completely in vain though, as many publishers will change the title of the book if they don’t think it’s a marketable one. Still, my obsession doesn’t cease.

title

Now, I am re-writing the novel formerly known as The White Room, which I recently changed to Cadence, which now is simply known as untitled. I don’t know why having a title is so important to me. I somehow feel like I can’t fully envision the book without the title intact, and yet, I usually don’t come up with the titles until the end of the process.

It’s my hope that as I’m plugging along, the perfect title will present itself to me when the time is right. I’ve been told by many other authors that this is how it usually goes, and I believe it.

If anyone else has a problem finding titles for their work, I found a useful article on the Writer’s Digest website that addresses the issue. I plan to look it over and incorporate the information: http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/write-first-chapter-get-started/7-tips-to-nail-the-perfect-title

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Have a great weekend!

All best.


Some Nightmares Hide Inside a Dream-Come-True

What happens when the man of your dreams becomes your worst nightmare? College
student Brenna Carlson has fallen madly in love with the new man in her life,
Sterling Bronson. When she awakens, naked and chained in Sterling’s basement,
his deviant plans for her become clear. Brenna must choose between playing along
with his savage game, or risking her life to escape.

“Finally, a serial killer women can sink their teeth into.”

-Tamara Thorne

author of Haunted, Moonfall, and Candle Bay

Beautiful Monster by Jared S. Anderson

&

Mimi A. Williams

Available in eBook and Paperback at Damnation Books: http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615727742

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beautiful-monster-mimi-a-williams/1112783047?ean=9781615727759

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Monster-Mimi-A-Williams/dp/1615727752/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1354247199&sr=8-5&keywords=Beautiful+Monster

and everywhere books are sold.

Follow us Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/beautifuldamnation?ref=hl


It’s almost Halloween and that’s the deadline for our “Name That Serial Killer” contest on Facebook!

To enter, like us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/beautifuldamnation to see the thirteen questions we’ve come up with to test your knowledge of all things serial killer.

The winner will receive a free copy of Beautiful Monster, signed by me and my co-author Mimi A. Williams.

For more good Halloween reading, be sure to check out Jenn’s Bookshelves, where my friend and favorite horror novelist, Tamara Thorne, has done a guest blog: http://www.jennsbookshelves.com/2012/10/25/mx3-guest-post-tamara-thorne-discusses-fear-of-the-unknown/

Thanks to all the readers! Have a safe and happy Halloween and don’t take candy from strangers…unless it’s the really, really good kind!

****

Beautiful Monster is now available in eBook and paperback editions at Damnation Books: http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615727742
Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Monster-ebook/dp/B00948Q0DK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1347132178&sr=8-2&keywords=Beautiful+Monster+Jared
and Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beautiful-monster-mimi-a-williams/1112783047?ean=9781615727759

Or at your favorite local independent bookstore!


Dear Readers,

Hello, and welcome to Friday. It’s been a busy week and I have been slacking on my blog updates. Right now, it’s nine in the morning and the thunder is so loud that poor Gypsy, my female poodle, is a trembling mass of nerves. She hates the thunder. Sven, the boy, doesn’t seem to mind. I don’t mind it either. It’s what got me out of bed this morning as far as I’m concerned, thunderstorms are a great way to start any day. I do like my weather to be wicked…

Anyway, a few updates. I am this week’s guest on author Joseph Spencer’s blog. He asked me some great questions about Beautiful Monster and writing in general. It’s interesting how we often don’t even know why we write what we do until someone asks us about it. If you want to check it out, the interview went live earlier this week: http://www.josephbspencer.com/uncategorized/meet-market-jared-anderson-beautiful-monster

Also, this week, I did a little Beautiful Monster promo for Lee Brazil called, Crawling Into Bed with Sterling Bronson. This was a fun and unique experience that was great to be a part of:  http://leebrazilauthor.blogspot.com/2012/10/crawling-into-bed-with-sterling-bronson.html

Also, Tamara Thorne, my friend, fellow horror writer, and one of my longtime heroes had written a blurb for Beautiful Monster. It got left out on some of the earlier print runs of the Beautiful Monster paper back copies, but this morning, I noticed on Amazon that the publisher has now gotten it on there. I am very pleased by this! I was so excited I took a picture of it!

The picture I took is a little crooked and a bit blurred, but you get the idea. “Finally, a serial killer women can sink their teeth into.” That’s what Tamara Thorne had to say about Sterling Bronson, our serial killer in Beautiful Monster. I can’t even describe how cool it is to have someone whose work I’ve loved since the ’90s write a blurb for this book, and tell me she loved it and couldn’t put it down. I am flattered beyond words.

Also, this week, I’ve been concocting questions for the “Name That Serial Killer” contest that Mimi and I are doing for Halloween. The winner will receive a signed copy of Beautiful Monster, and, (per Mimi’s insistence!) a saran-wrapped “plastic doll” of their very own. (If you’ve read the book then I’m sure you get it.) Planning this contest has actually been a lot of fun, plus it gives me a great place to put all of the serial killer knowledge I acquired when doing research for Monster. To test your own knowledge of all things serial killer, join the contest by liking us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/beautifuldamnation?ref=hl where we will be posting information for the contest. We plan to hold the contest as close to Halloween as possible.

If you’re in the Salt Lake City area, Mimi will be doing a book signing for Beautiful Monster at The King’s English on October 23rd. I won’t be attending as I am several states away, but I will be there in spirit…and Mimi has tons of book plates that I’ve signed. So, if you’re close, be sure to stop by and get a signed copy of Beautiful Monster and meet Mimi A. Williams, who authored Brenna Carlson, the only chick who gave Sterling Bronson a run for his money. This is what The King’s English had to say about the book: “Beautiful Monster, by Mimi A. Williams, and Jared S. Anderson, is an insightful look into human dynamics with two damaged characters: one who needs love for self-value and one who can’t feel love at all.” Well said!

I managed to finish chapter seven of Cadence (formerly known as The White Room) yesterday. You’d think that fine-tuning a book you’ve already written would be an easy task. It isn’t. The main character was one of the biggest problems, so as you can imagine, the whole book basically needs to be rewritten. The voice is entirely different now, so even the scenes I am able to copy and paste need to undergo serious reworking. It’s tedious, and to be honest, unpleasant, but I’m still hopeful I can have it completed between December of 2012 and January, 2013. When it’s finished, I will submit it to my publisher and hope they like it enough to publish it. If not, I will just keep plugging along. On top of Cadence, I am also working on a sequel for Beautiful Monster with Mimi, and am about seven chapters into another solo project…PLUS, I have this killer new idea for a great book germinating in the back of my mind.

There are a lot of things to be written yet… I just wish there were more time in the day.

Finally, on a sadder note, Tom Piccirilli was diagnosed with a brain tumor and has undergone surgery to have it removed. Author Brian Keene has put up a page on his website for readers, friends, fans and peers who would like to help out Tom Piccirilli and his family: http://www.briankeene.com/?p=12584

In closing, Beautiful Monster is getting spectacular reviews, and I’m grateful to everyone who has read and loved this book. Thank you, thank you, thank you! For now, I need to get back to my writing!

All best.


Hello, friends!

Now that Beautiful Monster is available in both eBook and paperback editions, I’ve gathered up all the links you can visit it at. I’d like to give special thanks to everyone at Damnation Books. I couldn’t be happier with the work they’ve done, and I count myself as being very lucky to have a great publishing company that works hard for their authors and makes sure to do everything they can to ensure their success. It’s a truly crazy and unpredictable time in the publishing industry these days, and to get noticed at all is a nearly impossible feat. So thank you, Damnation Books…for not only giving us a shot, but for your support, marketing, and high-quality standards. You’re a tireless team!

* * * *

To purchase Beautiful Monster on Kindle, visit Damnation Books at:  http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615727742

or, Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Monster-ebook/dp/B00948Q0DK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1347132178&sr=8-2&keywords=Beautiful+Monster+Jared

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For a real-life paperback book, go to Damnation Books at: http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615727742,

Amazon at:  http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Monster-Mimi-A-Williams/dp/1615727752/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347132178&sr=8-1&keywords=Beautiful+Monster+Jared,

or Barnes & Noble at:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beautiful-monster-mimi-a-williams/1112783047?ean=9781615727759

* * * *

To watch the book trailer on YouTube, made by my co-author, Mimi A. Williams (who did a great job!) go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNt8ZQFUC2o

* * * *

To visit us on Goodreads.com, go to: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15996952-beautiful-monster

Or at Library Thing: http://www.librarything.com/work/12998464

* * * *

Also, we have a Facebook Fanpage for Beautiful Monster. To follow us, give us a “like” at: http://www.facebook.com/beautifuldamnation?ref=hl

* * * *

We will also be on Shelfari at: http://www.shelfari.com/books/31463312/Beautiful-Monster

* * * *

I think that’s it for now. Thanks to all of you who have supported this book. For those of you who have followed my merry journey toward publication, you know this has a been a long and arduous path…but it’s been worth every second I put into it. I wish all of you the best on your own journeys, and may some of your own dreams come true along the way.


In honor of the release of Beautiful Monster, the twisted, kinky, thriller/horror novel by me and Mimi A. Williams, we are posting this blog, which began as a conversation between the two of us, and turned into a kind of interview we did on each other. We’ve been amazed by the interest people have taken in this project, so what we wanted to do was give a kind of inside look at the making of this book, and show people where we were coming from with this. I hope you enjoy it.

Beautiful Monster is available in eBook format right now at: http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Monster-ebook/dp/B00948Q0DK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346515405&sr=8-1&keywords=beautiful+monster+jared

And at: http://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615727742

The paperback version will also be available in just a few more weeks.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this, and for all the folks who have supported us and this book.

MIMI: It’s HERE!!! Can you believe it? How long have we talked about this book becoming a reality? I’m so excited that I’ve been doing the happy dance for weeks!

JARED: Me too. And it happened a lot faster than I thought it would.

MIMI: One of the most amazing parts of this book – to me, anyway – is that we finished it at all. There was so much personal chaos for both of us at that time that I seriously doubted we would get it done. I remember sitting in your office, writing that last chapter, while you were packing boxes around me and taking things out to the moving truck. It was kind of surreal.

JARED: It definitely wasn’t easy, but you have to admit, we did pretty good. We didn’t get into any serious fights.

MIMI: I think I only threatened to strangle you once. Okay, maybe twice.

JARED: Ha ha. But you never did.

So for those who don’t know, Beautiful Monster is the book we’re talking about. It was accepted for publication by Damnation Books a few months ago, and today it is officially released. Mimi and I started talking about writing this book almost two years ago, when she was mentoring me on my first novel, The White Room. We found that we had an almost magical synergy when it came to writing, and when she suggested we collaborate on a novel, I was all for it.

MIMI: Ha ha! I thought you suggested it! Oh well – not that it matters now!

JARED: Beautiful Monster is a story about a serial killer and his victim. We wanted to capture both sides of the predator/prey scenario, so we wrote it in alternating chapters, Mimi writing from the victim’s point-of-view, and I took the serial killer’s side of the story. It was a lot of fun and we’re pretty proud of it.

MIMI: Initially, I wanted to write a story about a kidnapper and a victim who develops something like Stockholm syndrome -but she actually falls in love with her captor. Jared talked me out of that when he suggested we make it about a serial killer instead. My character pretends to be in love with her captor as a way of staying alive. But Jared’s character is bonkers – that’s a technical psychological term I think.

JARED: He is bonkers, and I am nothing like him, by the way! Sterling, my character, becomes more interested in Brenna, Mimi’s character, as the story deepens, when he learns that she possesses a virtue he’s never been able to take from anyone else before: virginity.

MIMI: Brenna is kind of naive. I was really naive at her age, too. But she has a good heart. She is a genuinely kind person who wants to do the right thing. One of the most fun – and most frustrating things – about writing this book, was knowing all the rotten things Jared had planned for his character to put my character through. It was a challenge because I couldn’t allow the character to know, and I really did want to warn her and keep her safe!

JARED: Planning out all the horrible evil things to do to Brenna was a little unnerving at times for me, too. I really like Brenna, so some of the stuff Sterling does to her was pretty horrible for me to write about. Mimi, what would you say is your favorite scene in this book?

MIMI: For as terrible as this will sound, one of my favorite scenes is when Brenna confesses to Sterling that she is a virgin. She is so vulnerable and so strong at the same time. The reader knows this guy is scum, but her heart is golden in that moment and she is willing to risk his ridicule to be true to herself.  What I want to know, given all the horrible stuff Sterling does, is what was the hardest (or one of the hardest) scenes for you to write?

JARED: I would have to say the hardest part to write for me was when he took his first victim to up to “the gallery.” I had no idea how corpses “behave,” and that’s where our friend, the mortician, really helped me out. I had a hard time learning all the facts about death, because, I think, it’s human nature to not want to look at death that closely.

I was disturbed by a lot of the things I learned from the mortician. So, the hardest part for me was becoming intimate with death and the process of dying, and then turning around and trying to put it on the page in a believable way. I think that the knowledge I gained from that experience also has a silver lining, though. I was relieved to learn that the actual act of dying (excepting violent circumstances) is not necessarily an unpleasant thing.

What about you? What would you say is one of the most significant things you’ve taken away with you as a result of writing this book?

MIMI: One of the most significant things about writing this book for me was that, through the entire process, I was able to do something that I normally do by myself, share the process with someone else, and come out of it in the end not only remaining friends, but actually with a better friendship than when we started. There were some scenes in this book which, if I’d had to write them alone, might have been enough for me to just stop writing. The support of my writing partner and friend – you – made getting through some of those more difficult scenes bearable.  At times when I wanted to hold back and not remain true to the emotional elements of the story and the character, you wouldn’t let me slack. There were moments that were downright brutal, but I think this book is better because you pushed me, and I think I’m a better writer as a result of that.  So tell me what you will remember most about writing this book.

JARED:  I’ll remember the way the story developed. It’s interesting to think back to the beginning ideas for this book and realize how far it’s come since then. I’ll remember those times the character just kind of sprouted wings and started telling the story themselves. I’ll remember how interesting it is that, even when you have an outline, the story kind of takes off on its own and develops itself. That’s almost a kind of magic to me. It’s fascinating. What about you? What do you think is the most fascinating aspect of this story? Was there anything about it that was somewhat magical for you?

MIMI: A lot of it was magical! I can remember thinking about a scene, wanting to include something, and you would call me up and say, “Hey, what if we did this?” and we would have exactly the same idea! That was weird, but fun! It was interesting, too, the way the characters would cross from one writer to another – I would write a scene with Sterling and you would tell me that it was exactly how you would have written it, or you would write a scene with Brenna and the dialog would be spot-on!  So what did it feel like to you when we read those last pages that I wrote at the last minute right before the big move? As we sat out on the patio at your new place and finished the read-through – how did you feel?

JARED: There was a lot going on at that time and I think I overlooked a lot of obvious flaws with the story because of that. As far as how I felt about reading the final product, there’s always something really intense about that. On one hand, you’re ecstatic because it’s finally finished. On the other hand, you’re sad because you know it’s over.

To be honest, it took me a long time to fall in love with this story. For one thing, I didn’t think it was marketable, so I never let myself get too attached. I thought it was too violent and too borderline-pornographic to ever get picked up. Also, I hated Sterling. It wasn’t until the Fiend showed up several chapters into the story that I began to understand him and was able to sympathize with him, but the whole time I was writing the book, I worried that I may never love this story.

The day we read it beginning to end was the day I learned my fears were empty. I realized I did love the story that day, and that I actually had loved it for a long time. As we finished the book, I also remember thinking, this is one of those memories in motion, and I knew I would never forget it.

What part of this story, or the process of writing it, did you like the least?

MIMI: I hated writing the rape scenes. They were brutal on me emotionally, and the first couple of attempts were weak and ineffective because I was so afraid to go into the scenes with real, genuine emotion. I hated, too, that you would call me out on those scenes and make me face them as a writer. Those chapters were tough, but I think ultimately, they are real. Readers might be offended – and I hope they are. It’s an offensive subject, but it’s very real for many women, and I was just as honest as I could be about that most horrible experience. I hope it rattles the cages of some readers and helps them to build a little empathy for anyone – male or female – who has been sexually assaulted.

So what are you most looking forward to now that this book is a reality?

JARED: The thing I am most looking forward to, now that the book is out, is to, in a sense, move on to other things. I love this book, don’t get me wrong. But I’m excited about some other projects I’m working on, and I am looking very forward to being able to put my focus on them. I have many more stories to tell, and they need to get told now. Beautiful Monster has been the point of focus in my life for almost two years now, and I’m eager to let it go into the world and do its own thing now. That last round of revisions was a far sweeter thing than it was bitter. There was a sadness that we were finished, yes, but I was ready to be done and that eclipsed the sense of finality for me.

That being said, I still feel a strong sense of this story not being entirely finished. This book is finished, but the story as a whole seems unfinished. You and I have talked about writing a sequel, and possibly, a third installment. Now that we’ve seen Beautiful Monster to this point, how do you feel about a sequel (or a trilogy) now?

MIMI: Honestly, I agree. I don’t think this story is over, and we did leave the ending just vague enough to invite that opportunity. I didn’t think I’d ever want to go back to these characters, but now that I haven’t lived with them 24/7 for a while, I think I’m ready to look at a second, and even a third book.

So, my friend, any last thoughts as we launch this baby out into the world?

JARED: All I have to say is that it’s been a pleasure. This has been a dream come true for me, despite a few small nightmares along the way. Overall, it’s been an incredible experience, and I’m excited about the future. I’m grateful that someone believed in us enough to give us a chance. We worked very hard for this.

MIMI: We did work hard, and I am also very thankful that Damnation Books was willing to take a chance on us. For as surreal as some parts of this journey have been, I think it has all been worthwhile – so much so that I think we should do it again! Are you ready?

JARED: I am ready!


After spending a year writing a book, another six months revising it, and having somewhere between seven and ten people re-read it, you’d think all the typos, redundant words, and other various errors would pretty much be nonexistent. I’ve learned that this is not at all the case.

After Beautiful Monster was accepted for publication, it underwent a three-round series of editorial revisions… on top of the four, maybe five rounds Mimi and I did ourselves before submitting it. Last night, we finished the final revisions, and the feeling that followed was bittersweet. On one hand, I was relieved. For over a year and a half, my whole life has been this book. Needless to say, I am very tired of reading it, looking at it, and thinking about it. On the other hand, however, there’s a certain sadness. The book is done. Final. There is nothing more to be said on the matter, and whatever becomes of the book from here on out is pretty much out of my hands. That is a surprisingly sad realization.

It’s been a hell of a ride. I’m not sure I’ve ever learned as much about writing, the publishing industry, and  myself, as I have these past several months. In one way, it feels like it took forever to get to this point. In another way, it feels like it has all happened so fast. In just over two weeks, the book will be available in e-book format and in paperback. This feels unreal to me.

Last night, when Mimi and I realized we had completed the final round of revisions, we both just kind of stared at each other for a minute… and then we got giddy. The sadness of it didn’t really hit me for a few hours afterwards, when I realized that this was the end of the line for this book. But there’s still a lot to look forward to.

We’ve already begun the sequel for Beautiful Monster, and we both have several solo projects going on, too. We still have some marketing things to do for this book as well, but still, the story is complete.

So while my life in writing isn’t over, this book has reached its final conclusion. It’s too late to change anything now even if we wanted to, and that’s okay. I think we wrote a good, strong story, and I think lovers of horror, suspense, kinky sex, and various kinds of creepiness will like this book. The only thing left to do now is to decide how I am going to celebrate! I am open to suggestions…

Check out Beautiful Monster on the upcoming releases page at Damnation Books at: http://www.damnationbooks.com/searches.php?category=upcoming


As we get closer to the release of Beautiful Monster (September 1st, 2012!), I begin thinking more and more about the sequel. Mimi A. Williams (Kim Williams-Justesen~ my mentor and co-author), and I decided shortly after the manuscript was accepted for publication, that we’d like to make this a three-part story. Whether or not this will be of any interest to the publisher or not, we don’t yet know, but if the only reason we do it is for ourselves, that’s reason enough for us.

We’ve outlined the second novel, which we are planning to call Beautiful Liar, and I have written the first scene of my first chapter. As I get going again, there’s only one thing I’m not looking forward to: seeing the world through the eyes of my deranged main character, Sterling Bronson. Sterling came into existence as the result of more than a year’s worth of intensive research on serial killers, sociopaths, narcissists and a variety of other psychologically disturbed social deviants. I know Sterling well, and this is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, knowing him makes him easier to write. On the other hand, he disturbs me.

Writing fiction seems to be a lot like acting in many ways. When you’re inside the mind of your characters, you really become these characters, and when you’re writing a true monster of a man, as is the case with Sterling, this is not always a pleasant thing. For one thing, you subject yourself to the possibility of nightmares. I have had many disrupted nights of sleep because of Sterling, and I was glad when we finished Beautiful Monster because of that. Now that we’re going again, I have already dreamed of him twice. In one dream, he was just standing on a bridge looking at me, nothing serious. In the most recent dream, however, he was digging up the floorboards in a house to show me all the bodies he had hidden there. For the sakes of the more sensitive readers, I won’t go in to details, but the point is, Sterling is back to his old self again, and eagerly showing me the worst side of his nature.

I’m not complaining. In fact, I feel truly blessed that someone finally believed in me enough to publish one of my books. And that it didn’t take the statistical seven to nine years of rejection after rejection is something I’m truly grateful for. There’s just a small part of me though, that wishes it had been a different, more pleasant novel of mine that caught the eye of a publisher. I didn’t write Beautiful Monster with any real expectation of it ever being published. I thought it was too graphic and too offensive to ever get picked up… but, go figure, it’s the one that made the cut. Again, I am neither complaining nor apologizing. I’m just not looking forward to seeing life through a maniac’s eyes again. I don’t like wondering what kind of mentality is required to take a human life. I don’t like wondering what someone’s flesh, under the blade of a knife, would look like as it separated from itself. I don’t like thinking about the last words a person might utter as their life is being taken away from them. I don’t like the fact that in order to believably write this character (again), I need to really understand the wicked twists and bizarre kinks of his mind.

But I’ll do it. I’ll do it because I want to tell this story. I’ll do it because, despite the horrors this character is composed of, I’ve somehow come to like him, and I want to see how his story plays itself out. I will do it because I was lucky enough to be given an opportunity to prove myself, and if I treat it like a hobby, everyone else will treat it like a hobby, and I don’t have time for another hobby. I’ll do it because it’s my job. And… I’ll do it because if I don’t, I’m afraid of what Sterling might do to me!