Author Archives: Madison Granger

The Fine Line Between Picky and Obsessive

I have always been one of those readers who will find an error in the story I’m reading. It could stem from my OCD, which I thought had eased up a bit the past couple of years. Whether it’s a typo or the wrong spelling of a word, it tends to take on a life of its own on the page, glaring at me, daring me to call it out.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from perfect. My two novels have their fair share of errors. I still cringe when I think about them. Why didn’t I catch them if I’m so observant? Good question. One reason is time constraints. When you’re working against the clock, you don’t have the time to make corrections and still make that deadline. Those errors you learn to let go. The others… I’m human. I try to catch as many as possible, but I have a feeling there’s always going to be a few that slip past me.

I also have a pet peeve. Well, it used to be a pet peeve. Since I’ve gotten older, it’s gotten worse. It drives me up the nearest wall when I see a word that has the incorrect spelling. The word is right, the spelling isn’t. Not a big deal, I know. I realize what the author is saying. I get that. But what does it say if the author doesn’t know he’s using the wrong spelling? That’s where I trip over that line. Especially since I’ve started writing myself. You PORE over a book, you POUR water out a pitcher. You guide a horse by the REINS, a king REIGNS over his subjects. I go through numerous books in the course of a week on my Kindle. Errors abound, and I cringe every time. Authors depend on beta readers and editors to find and fix errors. I know, no one is perfect, and I’m being obsessive. Did you read the title of my blog? I know, I have issues.

Don’t even get me started on the difference between a muzzle and a snout. That’s a whole other can of worms. 😉

Till next week,

~Madison

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Recharging your imagination…

I admit I haven’t been very productive this week, at least as far as writing goes. Instead, I’ve immersed myself in the world of movies. I think I’ve seen every movie that peaks my interest going back to 2005. Every action, adventure, fantasy, and sci-fi movie made. Ask me, I can probably tell you about it.

While I didn’t get words down on paper, I did get ideas. My imagination got a swift recharge. With a little creative juggling, I added names and places to my ongoing list for future stories. Paying close attention to details of creatures and monsters, I noticed the length and curve of the teeth of the Tei Tao in The Great Wall, and marveled at the characters and cities in Warcraft. I watched the expressions on the actors faces as they dealt with difficulties. All these little details serve as inspiration. I absorbed it all; to review and morph to fit my needs.

My mind is reeling with current WIPs to be completed, and ideas for future works. I know what I need to work on first, then get back to the others. So many stories, so little time. Guess I better get busy.

Till next week,

~Madison

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When it’s Broken… Fix it.

I recently sent my third installment of The Kindred series to my last beta reader. I trust this person’s judgment and value her opinion. She called me the other night, probably to prepare me before I received the manuscript in the mail. To be honest, I’m glad she did. There were more than a few things wrong with my story. She was afraid I would either get angry or hate her, or both. She couldn’t be further from the truth.

No one likes to hear they did a less than stellar job. But one of the first lessons I learned about writing was to put your ego in your pocket. No one is criticizing you to make you feel bad. They’re telling you how to make your story a better read. This is exactly what my friend did for me. She pointed out flaws, all of them obvious ones.

It’s embarrassing to be called on something when you knew better in the first place. Yeah well, me and hindsight have never been the best of buds. But, I do learn from my mistakes. Now I have quite a bit of rewriting to do. It’s not the end of times, and it’s not like I’m on a deadline. I have the luxury, for once, of time on my side. I can fix what’s broken, and do it right. All I have to do is shift gears and get my head back into the story. On that note, I’ve got a LOT of work to do.

Till next week,

~Madison

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My Need to Read

I’ve always been a dreamer. That’s not to stay I shirk my responsibilities. But when things get really rough, I escape… sometimes a movie, but mostly through books. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have books in my life. From the time I was small, I was always surrounded by them. The stories enchanted me, taking me to wonderful places I would never get the opportunity to go in real life, or teaching me things I would never learn in my everyday life. They were my portal to the unknown and the fascinating. To this day, they hold that power over me. They are my escapism, my center when life gets too crazy to deal with.

The past couple of weeks have been like that for me. Trying to learn something new, but no one has time to answer questions. Someone close to me suddenly pulled the rug out from under me. Figuratively, thank goodness, but it still hurt. A lot of little things mount up. I’m strong, up to a point. My mask is firmly in place, hiding the insecurities of a lifetime. I’m not as thick skinned as people think. I hurt, I retreat.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading. The bright side is that I found three new favorite authors. I finished their first series, and have all intentions of delving into their other works. I love finding a story that I get caught up in. The characters become my friends, and I live in their world for a brief time. When the story ends, I find myself at a loss. I don’t want to lose my new friends. I’m sure you all know where I’m coming from. Last night, I finished the last of a four-book series. That makes eleven books in less than a week. I find myself at the intersection of What’s the Next Book? and I have Work to do.

Play time’s over, time to get back to work. I have my own story to write.

Till next week,

~Madison

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A Little Fun, A Lot of Work…

I hope this finds you enjoying your summer. Living in south Louisiana I find days where the humidity matches the temperature tend to keep me inside, more often than not. I’ve never been much of a summer person, preferring the cooler temps of Autumn and Winter.

This past weekend I did get out, though. I attended Author’s Day at the South Lafourche Library in Cut Off, LA. I wish I could say it was a rousing success, and I met a lot of new readers. It might have happened, but the library management fell short on promoting the event, sadly to say.

Not to say that I didn’t have a good time, however. I made a few sales, and I did meet a few readers, enjoying the time to chat with them. It also gave me the day to meet the other authors. I got quite a bit of networking in, and hopefully made new friends. Unwinding at a local Mexican restaurant afterwards with most of the authors was fun, and the conversation was lively.

Future plans were made with authors Genevieve WilliamsEm Shotwell, and Danielle Dauphinet. Hopefully things work out, I would love to see them again. There’s talk of getting together for signings at other libraries and craft shows. One of the authors, Neal Bertrand, did a small video interview on each of us. You can catch it on YouTube HERE.

Other than that, I’ve been honing my formatting skills. The one thing I learned quickly is that I have a long way to go before I can say “I’ve got this.” There are a zillion details, and distractions are a definite deterrent. Details aren’t a problem for me. I’m a stickler for them… the distractions, well, that’s another story. Even though I turned the project in under the deadline, I found out that what I sent didn’t get to the publisher the same way. How that happened is beyond me, so it seems I have a lot more work to do before my next project.

Other than that, not a whole lot is going on right now. I’ve been trying to finish up some short stories that were started awhile back, and I’ve got an idea for a new book. The new guy is definitely going to have to wait, though. Too many unfinished projects tend to make me antsy.

On that note, I’m going to end here, and get back to work. Enjoy your summer, and make the time to read a few books. There are worlds waiting to be discovered!

~Madison

Moi, June 2017

 

Shifting Gears

This week I’m switching up on things. I did manage to get some writing in on one of my short stories. There’s also a new story brewing in my head, but I’m trying to put that one on a back burner for now.

Yesterday, I began formatting a book for one of the house authors. I’m excited to be taking it on, because I’m learning a new skill. I also feel like I’m contributing to the house in a productive way. It’s giving back to the publishing house that took a chance on me. Now, all I have to do is fix a few glitches… 😉

Today, I have a book signing at a library in one of my neighboring towns. While these haven’t always resulted in a lot of sales, it’s a chance to catch up with local authors, make new friends, and meet a few readers. It’s still a win in my book. I’ll let you know how it goes next week.

Till then, enjoy your summer and read a good book or three. You can go anywhere within the pages of a great story.

~Madison

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Back in the Saddle

And… I’m on a roll. Okay, it’s a small roll, maybe just a dinner roll, but it’s a start.

I finished my short story.

I finished my novella.

A Destiny Denied has come back from three of my four Beta readers.

Checked my folder of Sully and Larke short stories. Six files are in there; three are completed and three need to be finished. If I compile all six short stories into one volume, I can actually wrap up my book about Sully and Larke’s adventures.

I’m thinking to myself that things are looking up. All that would be left is editing, cover art, and then formatting and publishing. With luck, I’ll find a job soon and will be able to cover the expenses. Three more books published in the coming year. Goals!

I can sit back, and take my time finishing up Blindsided.

I had lunch with a friend of mine yesterday. He’s a writer too, and madly creative. When I told him about the progress on my stories, he looks me dead in the eye and says, “I’ve got one for your Sully and Larke stories. You see, there’s this succubus…” *headdesk* Guess I’m not quite done, after all.

Until next week,

~Madison

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Adapt and overcome

Last week I mentioned that I reclaimed my beast desk that sits between my living room and kitchen. Needless to say, I’m dealing with daily traffic of my family, and getting used to being around everyday noise. It’s been a little distracting, but not too bad. When my daughter isn’t working, she stays outside with her husband working on one of a thousand DIY projects. My granddaughter likes to sit at the kitchen table on her laptop, occasionally interrupting me to share one of her YouTube videos. I can’t complain. I’m interacting with my family. That takes priority.

I finished my latest short story, and am going through it, making revisions. I’m counting on that having put aside one of my other stories for a breather, I’ll be ready to tackle it once again, this time putting the finishing touches to it. If I can get my head back in the game that far, it’s a major stepping stone to finishing my other stories. I need to finish all the tales I’ve started. Doing that, I’ll have more than enough to compile into a volume, which is a future goal.

I’ve already started book four of my Kindred series, but shelved it for now. I really need to finish all my other projects before I go back to it. Blindsided isn’t slated for publication until 2019, so there’s more than enough time to finish it. It’s hard for me though, because I enjoy the Kindred world I’ve created. I love all of the characters, and enjoy bringing them to life as they tell me their stories.  Thank goodness Falcon and Ash are understanding. 😉

I’m still adjusting to the changes in my personal life, trying to focus on writing more. My days are beginning have a routine to them. I’ve started walking around my block a couple of times before I settle down to write. A Destiny Denied, book three of the Kindred series is with my Beta readers, and I’ve got a local book signing in a couple of weeks to look forward to. Life holds changes, while some things remain steadfast. I will adapt and overcome. I’m resilient that way.

Till next week,

~ Madison

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Making the most of time on your hands…

I had an interesting conversation with one of my friends not that long ago. He knows what I’ve been going through, and urged me to use all of my churning emotions, and channel them into a story. We talked for a long time; or rather, he talked and I listened. He’s a great friend, and I came away feeling better about myself, and my situation. I also had an idea for a new story.

Being a writer of paranormal romance and urban fantasy leaves the field wide open when you want to extract a little verbal revenge. What better way to deal with your ex-boss than to turn him into one of your characters? I’m not finished with the story yet, but it’s been interesting so far. If nothing else, this has been a great writing exercise. It’s keeping me busy, and focused on writing again. If I have time on my hands, the least I can do is get some writing done. Who knows? My Sully and Larke short stories may yet be compiled into one volume before too much longer. I just need to finish them.

I also decided to reclaim my beast desk. I’ve moved myself out of my bedroom and back into the area between the living room and kitchen. I now have an open writing space. Worry and depression are bad enough to deal with. Isolation only makes it worse. I can write, but I can also interact with my family. It makes for a healthier frame of mind, I think.

I’ve also been reading a lot. My Kindle app is getting one heck of a work out. I’ve developed a pattern. Write for a bit, read for a bit, repeat. So far, it’s working.

Till next week,

~Madison

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Rolling with the punches…

Roll with the punches

 Slang

To cope with and withstand adversity, especially by being flexible.

True to form, I was unrealistic to think I would be back on track within a week. No such luck. I find myself searching daily for a new job, hoping to find something fast because this single, older woman needs a paycheck to survive. With time on my hands, you would think this would be the perfect time to get some writing done. It would be, if I could manage to focus long enough on writing. Unfortunately, my head isn’t in a good place, and to write anything at all, it seems to be a requirement.

I’m hoping I find something soon, however, because I still want to get my novella published in December, and my third Kindred novel is set to be released next Spring. But, that takes money. Money to pay for cover artists and editors. Right now, those things have to take a back seat to rent, groceries, and bills. Such is life. No one ever said it was fair. I’m not complaining, either. I take full responsibility for my actions, and am trying to remedy my situation.

I watch my newsfeed on Facebook, and realize that on life’s path, I have simply stumbled. I haven’t committed suicide. I have my health. I’m not homeless. I have family and friends. I could mention a couple of other things, but I’m not here to ruffle feathers. Seems I’ve already done enough damage in that department. I’m strong-willed and stubborn, I will get through this, one way or the other.

And, I will get my head out of my arse, and start writing again. I’ve discovered something about myself in the last year and a half. Now that I’ve started writing, I need to write. It’s become an integral part of me. Which reminds me, I have a novella that needs to be finished before I worry about cover art and editing.

Until next week,

~Madison

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