Adventures in Fiction Writing: When Sh*t Gets Too Real

A girl and her sharkosaurus.

When I started writing the Kira Brightwell series four years ago (Crap, has it really been that long??), I was excited to dip my toe into a new genre after writing only fantasy. I figured something like crime fiction would be a good fit for my strengths: action and quirky/snarky dialogue. The main difference from my fantasy projects is that it would take place in the ‘real world’. No problem, right?

Wrong.

See, one of the things I find the most liberating about writing fantasy is that the entire world comes out of my own head. Locations can be wherever/whatever I want or need them to be, and I can invent magical systems and creatures as I go along. Basically, there are no limitations. (That being said, it has become a bit of a challenge over the years to keep track of my ever-expanding Lasniniar series to make sure I’m sticking to my own canon, so I don’t end up getting stuck in a Lucy Lawless/Simpsons situation, lol.)

Originally, when I started planning the first Kira novel Split Decision, I was determined to use a real-world location. I was all over Google Maps, checking out Street View to see where locations within the story were in relation to each other and what they looked like, local crime rates, checking out colleges and universities, etc. (I’m sure Google gets very confused by my sketchy search history sometimes, which has included research for multiple ways to break into a car, how to break out of handcuffs, and footage of various MMA moves and holds, among other things.)

The whole real-world location thing was really starting to stress me out and stop me in my tracks. I had this crazy fear of someone calling me out on an inaccurate detail of what might possibly be their hometown. Then Mark saved me by suggesting I create a fictional town instead (La Valentia), framed within a real-world location (California). This hardly a new idea in fiction, and it really saved my ass. Suddenly, I felt like I had enough room to breathe again with an imaginary location that could be built to fit my needs and I would know better than anyone else.

…But then there was Kira. Continue reading →

Posted by Jacquelyn in Behind the Books, 0 comments

Halloween in Lasniniar? Plus, a Kira novel that wasn’t meant to happen…

Halloween in Lasniniar

A few years ago, I took on the challenge to write a Lasniniar Christmas-themed story. You know, just because. The reason I say it was a challenge is because there isn’t any Christmas (or organized religion) in Lasniniar, but hey, what do you know? They celebrate the winter solstice. (Convenient, right?) Anyway, I had so much fun with A Solstice Tale, I ended up writing another two Solstice-themed adventures featuring Iarion and Barlo (which always seem to turn into mystery misadventures for some reason).

This year, I wanted to try something different. I love Christmas (as much as someone who has worked 15+ years in retail is capable of doing so), and there might possibly be more Solstice adventures in the future, but I wanted a new challenge.

So what about Halloween? Continue reading →

Posted by Jacquelyn in Behind the Books, Writing Updates, 2 comments

It’s happening!

Not much new to report… Still plugging away on getting all the pretty, new versions of my ebooks up and running on all the online retailers. It’s a bit of a slog, but all of the Kira Brightwell titles are up and starting to appear around the interwebs.

Starting to work on my fantasy titles next, followed by getting all my paperbacks in line. *deep breath* Then it’s on to large print, and additional international ebook distribution in my ongoing quest for world domination, lol. (And I’m also trying to squeeze in some work on this Legends of Lasniniar project I have on the go… I’ll probably be talking about it in next week’s newsletter [nudge, nudge, wink, wink].)

Talk to you soon!

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Posted by Jacquelyn in Publishing Updates, Writing Updates, 4 comments

“How hard can it be?” (Famous last words…)

So there was this item for GISH (Greatest International Scavenger Hunt) this year. It was something along the lines of, ‘A housecat happily sporting a mustache.’ Unless specified, these items are meant to be actual photos, no Photoshop or filters allowed. Well, when I saw this item, I thought, ‘No problem.’ I mean, I already have a cat, and a fake, stick-on mustache. (Who doesn’t?)

First, I showed the fake mustache to Xena to see how she would react to it. There was lots of sniffing involved. I trimmed it down to the right size for her and (briefly) tried sticking it below her nose.

Yeah. She wasn’t a fan of that. At all. (“You want to put something right under the place where I breathe? Hard pass.”)

So then I thought, ‘What if I put the mustache on a stick and hold it a short distance in front of her nose while I take the picture?’ I went off and made a mustache on a stick deal, believing my problem was solved.

…Turns out when you put something furry on a stick and show it to your cat, they immediately become convinced it must be a toy. Now Xena wasn’t recoiling from the mustache, she was attacking it and trying to eat it. *sigh*

Long story short, what I thought would only take a few minutes involved another round of pleading, cajoling, and distracting with catnip before I finally got the money shot. (And yes, I was laughing pretty much the whole time.)

(MUSTACHE SIDE-NOTE: My dad has always had a mustache or mustache/beard combo. Always. When I was about 2 years old, he decided to shave it off for some reason. I spent pretty much the entire day balling my eyes out and begging him to put it back on, lol. Scarred for life.) Continue reading →

Posted by Jacquelyn in Publishing Updates, 0 comments

A New Start

So I’ve been pretty quiet for awhile lately… Mostly because I’ve been crazy-busy working on stuff that I didn’t want to share until it was ready to go. (You know what they say about the quiet ones, lol.) Let’s see… Where to begin? …Oh, right.

My New Website

So, yeah. This is my new website! I previously maintained two separate sites for my books: waywardscribe.com and katirwin.com. Both of these sites have been stripped down to links pointing to here, where (almost) all the content was moved.

If you’re looking for my pages on Writer Resources, those are still being maintained here on waywardscribe.com. (I still need to get on top of updating them with new info/experiences. It’s on my seemingly never-ending list of sh*t that needs to get done.)

This new site covers ALL my writing work in one place, with room to grow. My plan for blogging (which I’m usually sporadic about at best) is to aim for a casual, weekly update post to check in with what I’m working on, and any news I might have to share in any genre I’m writing. (Of course, my newsletter group will always get first dibs on new project/release info. 😉 If you’re interested in joining, click here.)

Speaking of any genre…
Continue reading →

Posted by Jacquelyn in Publishing Updates, Writing Updates, 0 comments