Friday, 27 February 2015


I’m in the middle of reading a series, and I’m enjoying it (not naming names, since I don’t have all positive things to say and I don’t like bashing others). The stories are well written, the charters are pretty interesting, the back stories are complex. The series has a high number of books in it, and on book #3 I decided to take a break from reading it. The reason why? I feel like I’m reading the same characters over and over with different names. The female leads are insecure (until someone pisses them off, then they bitch them out). The male interest sees their new love interest and pretty much pisses a circle around them (NO ONE can touch them, and they can’t even hug their male friends without a smart ass remark). Then some psycho ex comes along and fucks everything up. But it all works out okay, then they get pregnant and married.

It’s a common romance troupe, and there is nothing wrong with that AT ALL.  It’s just a little too much for me to read it in more than three books in a row, so I had to put it aside.

And then I realized I’m doing the same damn thing.
insult animated GIF

I have a self-admitted nice guy complex. I have no idea where it comes from (but I’m sure a psychologist would figure it out pretty quickly). Insignificant, which will be released this summer, is about a nice guy. I have another novel —where the MMC is a nice guy—that will hopefully be released in the fall. And my next novel, Incomplete, is about yet another nice guy.

It gets worse.

When I started writing Insignificant and wasn’t aware I was making a series, I made two of the characters in the story dickheads.  But once I realized each member of the band Goldenrod had their own story to tell, guess what happened?  The dickheads got a nicer. Way nicer.

I felt so stupid. I’m slamming someone for writing about the same characters over and over, and I do the same thing. A woman with some issue from her past and down on herself, nice dude comes and helps her feel better, and surprise! He has a pretty big secret too.

Yesterday, a different author (whose work I love) had a really nice facebook status. She thanked her readers for buying her most recent book, and basically apologized that so many people didn’t like her male main character. She then wrote her reasoning for making him the way she did.

I understood why she felt the need to explain herself.  I write flawed characters, no doubt, but I want people to like them. I fall in love with my characters as I tell their stories, and while I understand not everyone is going to love them too, I imagine getting feedback that everyone hated them would feel the same as if someone told me they hated my child.

But another part of me was sad that she felt the need to apologize.  She has so many books out in different genres. One of the reasons why I am drawn to her work is because she doesn’t recycle the same character over and over again. She’s had male leads that I loved, and others that I thought were kind of douchy, but it didn’t matter, because she made the story good enough to keep my interest.

I need to be more like her.
So now I have a new writing goal. I want to someday write a character that I know is a total asshole.  Just don’t expect it any time soon, and in the meantime enjoy all the niceness. Or don’t, whatev.

Monday, 23 February 2015

How Rude

This post may come off as more of a rant... and for that I apologize in advance. 

I have impeccable manners. Always. I drill my children to be considerate of others. When we're at a restaurant, I stop my conversation to thank the waiter. I let the person behind me with only 3 items go ahead of me at the check out. At the movie theater, I put my phone away. 

What brought this post on was a few events that have happened to me recently. We went to the movie theater a couple weeks ago. My husband, myself, and our two boys (10 and 8). We went to see SpongeBob, which let me tell you, is even worse on the big screen. Anyways. It was packed and we had to sit at the bottom section. But it wasn't bad cause we got the very back row, so the entire rest of the section was open in front of us. We're sitting there, minding out own business, eating popcorn and whatever, and a group of people walk in. Two grown men and about four kids. So, I look over at my husband, because you know what's going to happen. They walk in front of us, and one of the adults looks back, realizing he's in our way and scoots down. Wow. Okay, maybe I was wrong.  But no... his friend does the opposite. He stops directly in front of my eight year old. I'm not joking when I tell you he stood there talking to his friend. Stood. There. My son looked at me and was like, "I can't see.". 

Something else about me. I'm a nice person. Almost to a fault. But fuck with my kids and I have zero patience. So, my face got heated, I could feel the flush forming on my cheeks, the tell that I'm about to lose my shit, and I said, "Excuse me!". Of course the idiot didn't hear me, and I said it again louder with no result. Hubby, who was sitting a couple seats down, then takes matters into his own hands, gets assholes attention, and said asshole finally sits down. And the funny thing is, he didn't apologize... assholes friend did. So now I switch seats with my son cause he still can't see even with the guy sitting in front of him. 

Crisis averted, right? Nope! Now it's time for the wives to finally show up with popcorn and drinks. And guess where they sat? On the other end where there is nobody else behind them... next to their children? Oh no, that would make too much sense. They sat right in front of us. So, I said, "Jesus Christ.", got a dirty look from one of the stuck up women who cares about nobody but herself, and my son and I moved seats... void of rude ass people in front of us. 

You may think I sound like a bitch for making a big deal out of this, and I know in the big scheme of things, it's not a big deal, but really? There's nobody else in the hundred other seats, and they have to stand and sit directly in front of the only four people who are there? I just don't understand people and their selfishness. I would never do something like that. I'm considerate of others. Maybe I'm a pushover or something, but I actually treat others how I would want to be treated. 

Next, I loved the movie 50 Shades of Grey. I saw it three times. If I, or other people want to talk to others and say good things about it, let us. If you hate it, start your own blog, or your own post or whatever, about how you think it glorifies sexual abuse. I cannot stand people who try to take over other peoples shit with their venom. This happens all the time on social media, and it drives me insane. 

Seriously, if you can't contribute something positive to a conversation, don't say anything at all. And by say, I mean type. Just because you're hidden behind a computer screen, doesn't mean people suddenly want to hear what you have to say. It's rude to assume people care about your negativity... and well, you know what they say about assuming.  

Lastly, what the hell is wrong with people who think they can steal an author's hard work and pirate it? This may come down to me being naive again, but up until recently, I had NO CLUE this was an issue. I've been learning more and more about it and it makes me sick. And for shits and giggles, I went to see if I could find any pirated copies of my book, and I found it on several sites. WTF? I stared at the screen for a minute before I freaked out. Then I laughed. Then I got a beer, then I talked to my girls. I mean, really, I have one book out... for three months. How desperate are people? It's ridiculous. Don't be a douchebag and illegally download a copy of a book. It's a simple as that. 

Okay, that should be all for today. Things like this that happen are reasons I love books so much. I can get lost in an imaginary world and pretend assholes don't exist. On that note, I have a book to finish. And please, if you go to the movies, don't be the person who sits in front of an eight year old boy and completely blocks his vision... an angry author may write a blog post about it. 

Now, please enjoy this clip that cracks me the hell up every time I see it. 

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Alpha AKA Asshole

Asshole, control freak, domineering, douche, tosser (now there’s a UK-ism for you) and arrogant. Just a few words, which spring to mind, associated with Alpha.

I’ve been wondering recently what makes an Alpha male.... Alpha. So I asked the girls what they thought and everyone has their own version.

But, the main points made all pointed to the fact that Alphas, or at least in romantic fiction, are actually complete twats you’d never really want to be with in real life.

This leaves me with an issue because I’m married to a classic Alpha. Ex RAF, runs his own business, is self-assured, confident, dominant, and has a presence when he's in a room.

My husband has very little time for fools, he’s decisive, he’s protective, he’s downright annoying and he’s always fucking right (and he usually is, hence the annoying). His love is fierce and passionate.

Now, I’m no wilting flower, and that may be where the difference comes in. I need a strong man to handle me. I’m a raging bull at times and I need to be reigned in. He handles me well. I’m feisty and flighty and lack confidence in public (not at home). He holds me up, bolsters me. Every day without fail he tells me I’m beautiful, but it’s not just words, he makes me believe it, even when I’m in baggy sweats, with ratty bed hair.

He makes me feel, desired, protected, loved. His dominance does not stifle me, his confidence inspires me, his protection secures me and his love is endless. Ultimately he supports me. So, if this makes him an asshole, I’m glad I married one.

Okay, that being said, he’s a real life Alpha, not a romance novel Alpha.

I’m writing, what I think is an Alpha male in Noah, but is he a romance or the real life version? What’s the difference? I hear you ask. Okay so that’s hypothetical but I’m going to answer it anyway.

Marianne came up with the best definitions on this so I’m going to steal her words.

Real Life Alpha:

Alpha males are confident, have their shit completely together, are driven to succeed but don't give a shit if they fail, they just pick themselves back up and succeed next time. They always dress snappy. They listen to other opinions and take advice when they believe it's warranted. I.e. they have advisors they trust in business. They're always intelligent, dominant but not aggressive.

Romance Novel Alpha:

They're argumentative, bully their women and underlings. They don't listen to anyone but expect everyone to do as they say. Usually don't have a sense of humour but are broody and stern. He doesn't have faults that he would admit to. Always succeeds and has never experienced failure, or so rarely that he falls to absolute pieces of the girl doesn't want him. Don't have very high morals and fucks everything in a skirt. They are hugely arrogant, and are always right. Thinks no means yes.... Etc. etc.

Which leads me to being confused. LOL. I've read plenty of novels with typical romance Alphas in and fell head over heels for most of them. Some are also tossers. But what I think is reading is escapism. It doesn't matter if you are completely content in your own life, living in Hell or anything in-between. Reading gives you a release, lets you live a life you'd maybe never get the chance to, maybe would never want to. Therefore I think the romance Alphas give us a glimpse of a life we wouldn't aspire to, because lets face it, many of them are really fucked up and who needs that in their life, but it doesn't mean we don't dream about having that type of man. They also give us hope. Hope that we may change the drug taking bad boy living next door, or maybe have a rich billionaire sweep us off our feet, we know it's unrealistic, we know the chances are slim to none. But we all need daydreams in our lives.

I think Noah is a mix of both real and romance Alpha, but I’m so in love with him I think I may have rose tinted glasses on. I want him to be a strong male, but not an asshole. My editor is booked for June, my cover has just started being worked on, so it looks like release will be sometime in July/August 2015. Maybe you can tell me which Alpha Noah is then…

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Judging a book by its Cover

Lately the women of All Over Ink have been discussing book covers – stock photos, cover artists, design, fonts, color… you name it! We’ve been going back and forth, asking each other’s advice, throwing around different ideas. I always thought it would be a lot of excitement and fun choosing a cover design. But as I’ve discovered, making a decision is extremely anxiety inducing! Because people do judge a book by its cover!

Book covers have one chance to create a great impression. We want them to attract the eye, but more than that, we hope they’ll give readers some clues about what’s inside the book and establish our genre or category of the story.  We look at designs that can evoke the mood of our stories, whether that’s striking or brooding or dreamy. And we want our covers to give some portrayal of what the story is about.

We’ve all worried about whether our titles and sub-titles are exciting enough, and ‘blurb’ has become a dirty word! Creating a fabulous blurb has taken on a holy grail-like nature. Then there’s whether the font works. Some books have fonts so light they’re difficult to read on my kindle, which has created some kind of font paranoia for me.

Cover models are a favourite topic! It’s almost impossible to find the guy or girl who exactly fits our characters! Then we worry about whether our cover models have been overused and whether we need to book a custom photo shoot so we have unique images.

We’re attracted and affected differently by individual covers, but one thing we agree on, is that a badly designed cover is unfortunately like a red light. It’s difficult to avoid the cover affecting our perception of the book, even though logically we know that's unfair.

For authors about to self-publish, it’s frightening to realize there are a multitude of websites devoted to pointing out unattractive book covers. We don’t want our books to end up on one of those sites, nor to look out of place, shabby or amateurish next to the other books in our genre. So we continue to discuss and fret over our models and design ideas. And as I’m discovering along this journey to self-publishing, there is always the next thing to lose sleep over!

In our searches the past months, we have found so many talented designers out there! Their skill and professionalism is amazing. A special mention must go to Anna’s terrific cover designer of her first book. Kari, of Cover to Cover Designs did a truly awesome job with Make Me Forget!

So, after having spent so many months writing, editing and painstakingly revising our work, we are now almost ready to invest in nice covers and hope our covers will be something we're proud of!

Wish us luck!