Writer Porn

IMG_1752I don’t have a problem when it comes to shoes. Or nail polish. Or clothes or purses or Hummel figurines. I buy a lot of books. I even read most of them but that’s not a problem.

My problem, like many other authors out there, is an addiction to writer porn. My latest binge is shown here.

There is nothing like the feel of opening a new notebook to start a new story. Or using a pen for the first time. Or the scent of a freshly sharpened pencil. I need all the shades of Post-its. I’m going to colour-code something someday and I need to be prepared. I don’t make many errors, but the large eraser pack was on sale. It was like getting two erasers for free! I’m saving money in the long run!

It used to be so much worse, back in the day when you could buy letter-writing stationery. I had boxes and boxes of the stuff. I eventually used it all but let me tell you there were some serious debates as to whether or not the letter-recipient was worthy of the “good” stuff or should only receive the “cheap” paper. Then home printers came onto the scene, and you could get themed letter paper (like for Christmas letters) but that era too has passed.

Paper is getting harder to find so I’m doing my part to sustain the market. If the particular Hilroy notebook pictured above ever stops being sold, I’m going to burst into tears. It’s my favourite. Yes, I have a favourite sized notebook. If you don’t understand why, ask a writer near you.

STAR DRIVER – a guest post by Lynn Rae

playingthepartI’d like to introduce fellow Liquid Silver Books author Lynn Rae, whose new release “Playing The Part” is just out.

I love books with actor heroes (shocker, I know!) so this one looks like lots of fun. I asked Lynn which three actors she would most like to play chauffer to, and hers what she said.

Star Driver

By Lynn Rae

When Elle asked me what celebrity I’d like to drive me around, in a spin on the plot of my new book Playing the Part, my mind immediately turned to Katharine Hepburn. I’d have had a great time listening to her tell tales from old Hollywood and I bet she’d have been willing to stop for a burger on the way. But since she’s no longer with us, it seems safer if I’d pick some living stars to play chauffeur.

For a driving tour of Los Angeles, I’d like it if Steven Spielberg would take me around. His insights into filmmaking and the landscape of the area would be fascinating. We could talk about computer generated images, World War II, genetic engineering, and what galaxy he thinks E.T. came from.

A gal has to eat, so the person who I’d choose to take me on a restaurant hop would be Simon Pegg. He’s sharp-witted and I think he’d get into the whole pub-crawl aspect of the thing. We could stop by food trucks for great fusion tacos, hit a froyo place and load up on the weirdest toppings, and then wind up the evening in an old-school diner for good coffee, a slice of pie, and some conversation about what it takes to translate humor from the written page to the screen.

Finally, I’d want to spend some time with Cate Blanchet. This would of course entail a visit to Australia, a place I’ve always wanted to go. She could give me a tour of Sydney and we could chat about the making of both the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit films and she could give me the inside scoop on all those fabulous clothes she wears.

About her new book PLAYING THE PART

Independent Melanie Sheraton has to hustle for odd jobs in her small town to eke out a living. When the opportunity to act as a driver for some movie folks comes up, she jumps at the chance to earn an extra paycheck. What she didn’t bank on was one of her passengers invading her imagination, something she resists since no movie star would ever be interested in her.

At a crossroads in his professional life, action star Thomas ‘Wheeler’ Locke is in Ohio for a role he hopes will launch his career in a new, serious direction. Instead of concentrating on his acting, he finds himself growing more and more distracted by his feisty driver and her irascible ways.

Dancing around the attraction growing between them, both Mel and Thomas struggle to maintain their distance as the time for filming grows short. Will a reunion at the movie’s London premiere bring them together, or will their disparate lives keep them apart?

Available at Amazon, Liquid Silver Books, and All Romance E-books.

12 Monkeys – a love letter

Image result for 12 monkeys television Don’t call me on Fridays – I’m busy. In fact, I’m busy all the way till 2043.  That’s when James Cole (played by Aaron Stanford) originates as he travels back to 2015 to visit Dr. Cassandra Railly (played by Amanda Schull) to stop a plague that decimates the future. It is freaking brilliant television.

Here’s the first season to date in a nutshell. In the future, remnants of humanity have found a way to send a man back in time to stop a plague that kills off nearly everybody on the planet. Cole (the traveller) is instructed to go to Dr. Cassandra Railly, who not only was a scientist who tried to find a cure, but was the one who left a message for Cole to come find her in the first place. The first clue to the plague’s origin comes from a sign they find implicating the Army of the Twelve Monkeys. The series tracks events through Cole’s point of view, so the story jumps from 2043 (his time) to 2015 (Cassandra’s time) to whenever other time he visits, with a few flashbacks along the way.  Time travel has the potential to be very messy and confusing but don’t worry because Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett handle it all masterfully.

What I like about this show:

1. There’s a plague, but no zombies. I hate zombies.

2. Time travel. More importantly, time travel done well. I haven’t found any real anachronisms yet, and that is rare. Also, the split story lines are well-integrated. They aren’t complete separate so you only care about half of the players. Fickett and Matalas know what they are doing.

3. Great casting. I’ve been a fan of Aaron Stanford since Traveler. Amanda Schull, Barbara Sukowa, Noah Bean and Emily Hampshire are new to me but are rockin’ it. It’s great to see Demore Barnes again after The Unit. And then there is Kirk Avevedo. (SPOILER ALERT – Kirk, at one point I may have yelled at the television “You had better not be permanently dead!” but I think that was half for Ramse and half for your characters on Fringe and Band of Brothers. Thank you for surviving.)

4. It’s well paced. Every scene has a purpose and (so far) I haven’t seen any storylines being dropped without being resolved. Of course I have my preferred story arcs to follow but the other plotlines never drag. There’s always lots of action, forward momentum, and if there is an unexpected plot twist I’ve learned that I can trust 12 Monkeys to deliver on it and not keep me hanging indefinitely.

5. It’s already been renewed for a second season, so I don’t have to worry about losing the best new show of 2015.  (In the US, 12 Monkeys airs on SyFy, but up in Canada we get it on Showcase.)

 

LEADING MAN about to waltz into your heart

leadingmanIt’s here! It’s here! After months of waiting, and far too many hours researching dancing on YouTube, I am delighted to introduce the romance of Nick and Ashleigh. Both of them were first introduced in Screen Idol but it was time for them to get their own stories. I love Ashleigh, a fiercely independent, passionate woman who will only give her heart to someone who deserves it. Nick is a great guy with a bad track record when it comes to women, but when he makes up his mind, he and Ashleigh can become a Hollywood couple of legend. So without further ado…

Nick needs a dance instructor to help him with his new role and Ashleigh seems perfect. Their relationship quickly heats up … on the dance floor and between the sheets. But when Nick learns about Ashleigh’s connection with his ex-girlfriend, he wonders if their relationship is real or staged.

Find the e-book at Liquid Silver Books, Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Google Play and ARe.

Happy Pi Day

March 14 – 3.14 – is Pi day, for obvious reasons. Well. obvious to a math geek.

This year is extra special. While Pi = 3.1415926,   this morning it was actually 3.1415926. 3 (March).14 (Day) 15 (Year) 9:26 (Time).

Cool, huh?  Have a slice for me.

LEADING MAN – sneak peek #2

leadingmanLess than a week till you can be reading LEADING MAN. Let me introduce you to Ashleigh Jessup. She teaches dance, owns her own business, and will soon be limping after her first lesson with Nick.  Currently 20% off if you pre-order it from Liquid Silver Books.

Find the e-book at Liquid Silver Books, Amazon, , Kobo,and  Barnes & Noble.

****

Another dream ruined, squashed beneath her feet like a dropped Churro on the Santa Monica Pier. Ashleigh Jessup figured she should legally change her name to Goldilocks these days. She already had the blonde hair, and she’d seen every commercial building in a twenty-mile radius and found them to be either too big or too small. None of them were just right for her new location.

She had three months before she had to either renew her current lease or find a new and permanent home for Jessup Dance Studio. Ashleigh was still stunned her business had outlasted her lease. When she first opened her doors, she hadn’t been sure she’d make it a year. To have been successful for five shocked everyone, her most of all.

She picked up the real estate listing she’d dropped and studied it again. The strip mall property in front of her had the identical floor plan as her current place. Ashleigh wanted much larger. Ideally, with one main studio area and one or two smaller private rooms which were rentable as private classrooms. This one wouldn’t do.

“No go?” Caitlin Kelly yelled from the car.

“No go,” she replied. Ashleigh climbed back into Stella, her trusty little Nissan, and started her on the second try. She was sure the car would last until Lease Day. If Ashleigh didn’t move, she’d have the funds to buy a brand new one, making a major down payment and ending up with tiny monthly payments. If she moved her business, it would be the reverse. Either option was good so long as she got a new car out of the deal. Even Nissans didn’t last much longer than fifteen years; Stella was half as old as she was.

“Too bad. It’s a good location,” Caitlin sympathized.

“It’s not as good as the Duncan Building.” Ashleigh sighed as she recalled her dream studio. She’d made an offer on the perfect space four months ago but had been outbid at the last minute. Since then, nothing she’d viewed had compared.

“It’s gone. Move on.” Caitlin took a draw on her iced green tea. Her friend had a personal interest in Ashleigh’s potential new studio, being as she’d have first dibs on the private studio. Ashleigh had been Caitlin’s personal instructor for going on ten years, back from when the two had met in college. Caitlin had branched off into music and acting as well as dance but she continued to work with Ashleigh regularly. “Where to now?”

“Home. Tomorrow is another full day of classes.”

“Saturdays suck.”

“Saturdays pay the bills,” Ashleigh corrected. “Technically we could look at one more but honestly, I’m too wiped and it’s half an hour from here. I say we blow it off and order in some Pad Thai, unless you’re on a budget this week.”

“No budget, but it’ll have to be rice and veggies for me. I’m working next week.”

Ashleigh jammed the gear shift back into Park. “Excuse me.”

“I got the part!”

“You’re supposed to tell me stuff like that.”

“I got the call when you were checking out the building.”

Ashleigh beamed at her friend. College had been a lot of fun, but after graduation, Ashleigh and her group of friends settled in for a long haul to achieve their dreams. It was great to see everybody’s hard work finally paying off. “Call Sydney. Chris is working tonight. We’ll celebrate.”

Their mutual friend Sydney Richardson ran a charitable foundation which had gained public support since its inaugural gala back in February and was now doing well. Not to mention, she had a super-hot, super sweet boyfriend. Caitlin had another acting job, and they were beginning to come with near regularity. She also might have a super-hot boyfriend but she was being awfully cagey about it. Ashleigh’s own business was booming. There wasn’t much that could make things better for her. Except a super-hot boyfriend of her own.

It was a shame there weren’t listings for that.

LEADING MAN – sneak peek #1

leadingmanOnly twelve more days until LEADING MAN makes its way onto the world’s stage. Or, you know, the Internet. Here is your first glimpse of Nick Thurston, hero of the day, and leading man with a serious problem. Available March 16th from Amazon. Currently 20% off if you pre-order it from Liquid Silver Books.

***

“Naked is better.” Nick Thurston was deadly serious in his declaration. “I would rather have a scene with full-frontal nudity on an outdoor stage in January in Alaska than go to one more dance class with that—” Damn his parents for teaching him not to curse when referring to a lady, although the lady in question didn’t meet the moral definition of one.

“Woman,” his salt-and-pepper haired lawyer suggested.

“She is not a woman. She’s some kind of handsy, tap-dancing nightmare. The world may know I have two left feet but I swear she has at least four arms because one of them is pinching my ass while the other is picking my pocket.” He glanced over at the man who had shepherded both him and his parents from their first-roles to superstardom and was not impressed to find him laughing. “Brian, I mean it. This isn’t a little mutually fun flirting. It’s sexual harassment and regular harassment and I am done with it.”

“Nick, I believe you.”

“Then fix it. I’m one of the producers for ‘The Last Bachelor.’ I should have the ability to fire her for harassment, shouldn’t I? At this point I’d be willing to buy out her contract in order to be rid of her and take the financial hit to replace her. Find me a loophole, please. Or some Kevlar slacks if you can’t—my backside is one big bruise.” Nick ran his hands through his lightly gelled hair, which reminded him he needed to refresh the sun-streaked blond highlights he added for the summer. He leaned against the bookshelf along the wall. He winced and stood up straight again. He wasn’t kidding about the bruise.

As much as he griped, Nick wasn’t certain there was much the man could do. Brian had done his best to talk Nick out of hiring his then-girlfriend Sandrine Gold as their choreographer, insisting Nick had enough on his plate with his role and financial contribution in the production. Nick brushed aside Brian’s concerns, insisting he wanted to be involved in all aspects of the play, including hiring the stage hands and specialists. He wasn’t going to miss any part of the next phase of his career.

Nick loved playing Ares on Olympus and was thrilled the hit drama was heading into its fourth season. The Spartactus/Game of Thrones/Hercules mash-up was a lot of work and a lot of fun and he wouldn’t trade it for the world but the simple truth was he wanted a change from togas. The hiatus after the show’s thirteen-episode third season offered him the perfect opportunity to try something new. In this case, Colby Sinclair, one of his former co-stars from his Paradise Point days, had moved into directing and had called Nick with the offer of a lifetime—the title role in a revival of a Richie Washington play. Actors were fans too, and Nick was a huge admirer of the unfortunately short-lived playwright.

“You realize this wouldn’t even be an issue if you hadn’t signed up for a role which required dancing. You know I love you, Nick, but…”

Nick sighed. “But I’m lucky I don’t trip over my own feet. I know. Everybody knows.” It was a joke at this point. He could do many things. He could put on a passable Australian accent, and had for “The Year It Rained.” He could decorate a cake with bakery precision after “Sugar on Top.” He was an admirable tenor. But absolutely, in no way, shape, or form, could he dance. His brain and his feet had a feud which began at birth. They’d eventually hit a détente. His feet conceded on walking and running, but refused to cooperate beyond that. Nick had driven Russ Vukovich, Olympus’s former fight coordinator, to tears when it came to sword fighting footwork.

Brian was one of the highest paid contract attorneys in the city. If anybody was capable of finding a way to save Nick’s bruised ass, it would be him. Nick pulled out a stack of contracts and set them on Brian’s wide redwood desk.

“There’s got to be some way around this,” Nick pleaded. “It was bad enough when she kept hinting it was time to meet my parents after a month. Then I had to deal with her at work and to top it off, she’s a crappy teacher. I have no idea how she ever got her reputation for being the best instructor out there. I’ve had lessons for six weeks and I haven’t learned a thing. I don’t know a single step. I might even be dumber than when I started. We only have another month ’til the curtain rises. Colby and I are having fits.” Nick would eventually recover from a single career disaster in a medium he didn’t plan to return to. Colby, on the other hand, would likely never get another meeting with a potential backer if his first venture flopped as badly as they feared it would.

Nick wandered around Brian’s office while the other man lifted the stack of papers on his desk. He looked over the Los Angeles cityscape and solemnly vowed to the Our Lady, The Queen of Angels, he would never, ever do another production with dance numbers if she got him out of his current situation.

Brian flipped in a few pages, and stopped at a section Nick had marked with a Post-It. “According to this, you are paying Sandrine for choreography and instruction. I see no reason why you can’t be rid of her if you pay her fee.”

“Thank you, God.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Funny.”

“Of course, this leaves you with another problem. The curtain lifts in a month. Who can you get to teach you that quickly? Essentially, you’ll be starting from scratch,” Brian said. “I can make some calls but you’ll be paying through the nose at this late date. Does the production even have the budget for this?”

“I’ll cover the cost if I have to. Thanks for the offer but don’t worry about me. I have a line on somebody who is highly recommended.” Okay, “highly recommended” was a stretch but he wasn’t about to admit he needed more help on top of the contract extraction. Nick had already tried his next top seven choices and no matter how much money he threw at them, they remained unavailable for a short-term, last minute engagement. He was getting desperate and when he’d mentioned his situation to his Olympus co-star Chris Peck, he got an unexpected suggestion. Since he was desperate enough to consider it, Chris promised him a meeting which might lead to his salvation. He’d find out tomorrow but he was happier knowing he’d go into it with Brian’s blessing.

“Nick?”

“Yes?”

“What are you going to do before you offer your new choreographer a contract?”

Nick knew the answer to this one. “I’m going to have you look at it before, during, and after it’s signed.”

“Good boy.”

Now all Nick had to do was find a dance instructor to offer it to.

New month, new goals

It is the first day of a new month, and the first day of a new week (unless you have one of those whacko calendars where the week starts on a Monday – those things are just wrong) and it is the perfect time to set some spring goals. Six weeks from now will be mid-April, and I have already submitted an order for all the snow to be gone by then, so my hibernation will be over and I will emerge into the world like a butterfly. Since I want to be in shape for my new reveal, I need to do some stuff to make it happen.

1. Drink one litre of water every day.

2. Walk a minimum of twelve miles per week, preferably fifteen.

3. Use up my hot yoga pass.

4. Whiten my teeth.

That seems doable. What are you doing to gear up for spring?