Thursday, 16 August 2012

Are There Any Original Titles Left?

I'm currently doing final edits on my novel Underlife, which will be out in a couple of weeks, and then after that I'll be writing the final couple of chapters and starting edits for the fourth Serenity book, Dominion. But I've always been one to plan ahead!

I have a new series planned--a paranormal series based around spirit guides and the ability of their humans to shift into the shape of their animal. The series title will be 'The Spirit Shifters' (this met with polar responses when I first put it out there, but it fits the series best), but I'm struggling with a title for the first book.

I'm planning on writing this novel during NaNoWriMo. Because 50K in a month isn't much of a challenge to me (I write full time now and so producing 2K a day should be fairly easy if I've set my mind on something) I've decided to set myself the rough draft of the full novel (about 70K) as my NaNo goal.

I love writing, but I also like to write knowing what my book is as a whole. I'm not a huge plotter, but because I want to write this book as a series, I've found myself plotting more than normal. Of course this is not my first series. However, when I wrote Alone, it was only at the suggestion of my then publisher that I wrote book two. Book two ended in such a way that it was impossible not to write book three... and so the story continues.

This novel, however, will be a series, and I want to learn from mistakes I've made from NOT planning the Serenity series--such as certain 'world building facts' that have made certain plot lines difficult to work out. I'd like to put this planning into good use by also planning ahead to link the covers and the book titles.

The main reason for this post is that I'm struggling for a title for the first book, which ultimately makes it impossible for me to plan for any future books as well. It's not that I haven't thought of one--believe me, I have! Several in fact! But none of these titles are original and, even worse, some belong to series novels already.

So what do you think? Does a title need to be completely original, or is it okay if a couple of other books are named the same?

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Jumping Genres by Stacy Eaton - 'Whether I Live or Die' Blog Tour!

Today I'm thrilled to welcome Stacy Eaton to my blog. Stacy is a full time Police Officer, so she's able to write her  fiction from a real hands on perspective.
Stacy has a couple of things in her fiction that tie into mine - her first novel 'My Blood Runs Blue' is a paranormal novel about both law enforcement and yes, you guess it, vampires! The second is that her latest novel, Whether I’ll Live or Die, which was released on July 13th, is a fictional story about a young woman named Amanda who deals with the pain and emotional issues of Domestic Violence. As most of you know, this was also the situation of my own main character, Serenity. 

Anyway, Stacy is here today to talk about jumping genres, so I'll shut the hell up and let her talk! Take it away, Stacy!

 Jumping Genres by Stacy Eaton

I met Marissa Farrar after I read her novel “Alone”. A paranormal novel that I really enjoyed! The fact that it contained aspects of domestic violence really interested me too.

As a writer in the paranormal genre with two book published in the “My Blood Runs Blue” series, I jumped genres to write a more general drama fiction novel called “Whether I’ll Live or Die”.  Some people don’t believe in genre jumping, but I actually enjoyed it!

Since my life as a police officer is filled with everyday drama, I enjoy writing in the paranormal world. Taking a step away from real life and adding in tidbits of fantasy helps me alleviate the stresses in my life.  So why did I jump genres and write a general fiction novel when I am already known in the paranormal world?
Because this story needed to be told… that’s why.

Marissa did a great job in her paranormal series weaving the victim of domestic violence into her story, and I have praised her both personally and publicly with reviews.  I needed to take this topic a step further and dig deep to make sure that people understood the seriousness of this problem in today’s society.

I found that one of the biggest differences in writing the two different genres was keeping my mind in real life. Not adding bits of fantasy that are so regularly a piece of my thought process was a bit difficult at times, but this story is so intense and emotional that after I started moving through it, I never thought again about adding fantasy to it. This was a story that needed to be real, 100%!

There are some writers that don’t believe in jumping genres. They believe that you can only stay in one. To me that is saying, Hey… This is your ride at the amusement park, and I know when you are up at the top of your roller coaster, you can see all the rest of the rides, but you’re not allow to get on them. You have to stay here and keep riding this one. 

Guess what… NOT!  If I want to jump off this coaster and go jump on that twirling thing that spins me so fast I want to puke, then guess what I’m gonna do it!  And guess what… I did!

Whether I’ll Live or Die is a very emotional and gripping story about Amanda, a young woman, who is pulled from one relationship to another, always looking for love, but finding abuse instead. As her years pass, the abuse because much harsher.  Officer Nicole Nolan is a new police officer who has to learn the ropes of life on the streets and the legal ramifications of domestic violence in our society.

The story is intense… and there is one final destination, but will it be Life or Death?

As a paranormal fan, when was the last time you stepped off your roller coaster and tried a different ride? Don’t you think it might be time to try it out, just once?  Try it… you might like it! I know I did!

Thanks so much, Stacy! I know I'm a bit of a genre whore and not only write in different genres, but even in different names! It's a great way of stretching your writing muscles! I hope everyone will check Stacy's books out at Amazon: or Barnes & Noble:

You can find out more about Stacy by following these links to her 

Twitter: @StacySEaton