Thursday, February 20, 2014

Launching my website and introducing a new pen name

So, I logged into Word yesterday and realized that I hadn't worked on my upcoming novel Alabama Skye since November 2. That doesn't mean I haven't written. As a matter of fact I got about three quarters through a first draft for a new manuscript I'm writing. I took part in NaNoWriMo for the first time this year. I was challenged. I worked hard. Did I complete the whole 50,000 word goal? Nope. I got about 35,000 words on paper...but they're good words. I like them. 

What's been keeping me so busy as of late? Well...

My family and I moved from Germany back to the states. We're back home actually. Well for the most part. We aren't in the same city but we are back in the same state. This is both good and bad...probably more good than bad, but a lot of my heart is still back in Europe. I've brought with me a kernel of an idea for another novel backed up with a ton of research I was lucky to collect with the help of my German friend and landlord. I am interested in writing a story about the German king and emperor, Frederick Barbarossa and his family. It will be a modern day tale with a lot of history and even a ghost or two thrown in. The title for this is Red Beard and the Ravens...but more on that later. There's much more for me to share with you before we get into that.

I have a publishing contract in place for Alabama Skye. Right now I'm aiming for a finish date of May 1st. Then, if I can manage that, I'll hand it off to my beta readers and, with any luck, it will be published sometime in June. Alabama Skye is really my main priority for right now. I already have my cover art, thanks to my wonderful daughter who happens to have a talent for photography, and I have all the pieces of the story. Now comes the time to make sure they fit the way they're supposed to.

Now...back to NaNoWriMo. Like I said earlier, this was the first year I participated and I will definitely take part in it again next year. I decided to use the month of November to flesh out an idea I'd been playing with for a bit. This is where the new pen name comes in. I'm a huge fan of literary fiction. I love James Lee Burke, Karen White, Fannie Flagg and so many other authors. They write meaty novels with a story line you can sink your teeth into. I also like to read books that have a bit more humor to them as well. Sometimes I like something a little more light-hearted, a little less serious. Something that's just fun. With a bit of prodding from my husband, I decided that it might be fun to try my hand at writing a bit of this lighter stuff, and come to find out, it's been a whole lot more than just a little entertaining.

I've always been intrigued by Greek mythology. My grandfather on my dad's side is Greek and I was introduced to my roots at a very young age. When I was seven we even had a beautiful, sleek, gray cat named Pandora, and there were a few occasions that I can remember where I found myself at the Greek festival held at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Denver. Mrs. Fredericks, my seventh grade literature teacher pretty much sealed the deal for me though when she introduced us to a semester long unit of Greek mythology. I was hooked. This is the direction I headed when I decided I wanted to write a new book. Is Greek mythology funny? Not really...but it is a bit bizarre and a whole lot of far fetched. It's imaginative, magical, mystical...and there's a lot there to play with.

If you happened to read this blog back in November you might recall an introduction I made to a new author named Leigh Scott. Well, that's me. I wasn't sure how I wanted to go about this whole new genre/new pen name thing. I've decided to combine all of my novels in one place, (this blog and the new website I've just launched) and keep it simple. Because I kept coming up with so many fun ideas, I know I will write more than one my first series has been born! The Goddess of Tornado Alley to be specific, and the first book will be called Dead Beat Dates and Deities. I'm hoping to have it published in late 2014. Here's the synopsis of book one. Read it and let me know what you think.

Twenty-nine year old loan officer Frances Reed, more commonly known as Frank, is smart and beautiful, on just this side of plump with a fondness for caramel macchiatos and white cheddar cheese popcorn that borders on addiction. She’s been on more than her share of dates but has yet to find her prince among an army of toads. Her love life is helpless and she’s sure she’s doomed to live her life without finding that special someone she wants to fight over the remote control with.

During another disappointing date, this one at a restaurant in the local mall, Frank drinks one too many margaritas and decides to ditch her suitor while he’s in the bathroom. She consoles herself with a sale at her favorite lingerie shop but gets a concussion instead of a push up bra when she falls headfirst into a decorative Aphrodite fountain. While unconscious, she has a ‘dream’ in which the statue comes to life to reveal that Frank is a descendant of the goddess herself. With Frank being as romantically challenged as she is, Aphrodite is less than pleased.

Believing this encounter to be nothing more than a hallucination, Frank decides to dismiss it…until her paramedic falls instantly in love with Ella, Frank’s best friend, and a spark is ignited between her mom and her doctor. It soon becomes apparent that people fall in love when in Frank’s presence. Using her newfound ability, Frank starts up a wildly successful online dating site that puts her little town of Sparrow, Nebraska on the map.

What in the world is a goddess born from the sea doing in Tornado Alley? And why can Frank make love connections for everyone in town but herself? 

I have a new website. You can find me at  Please stop by and leave me a message. I'd love to hear from you.

Along with finishing Alabama Skye and Dead Beat Dates and Deities, I am going to try to blog here once a week. I seem to think of things to write about on a daily basis. I might come up with something interesting to share with you. Who knows? Stranger things have been known to happen. :)