Saturday, March 30, 2013

Podcast Interview & Audio Book Release!

Allison and Michelle the Authors Are Rockstars! site recently did a special edition to feature a cool podcast interview for the release of IN THE ARMS OF STONE ANGELS audio book with Audible. This is the finished digital audio book product of the process I went through on Audiobook Creation Exchange or ACX where I self-published my own audio book.

You can listen to the podcast HERE and learn more about the book, and hear from the amazing voice actor, Michelle Ann Dunphy on how she approached this project and got into character. Yes, she is THE Michelle mentioned at the start of this post. Check her out. She brought my character, Brenna Nash, to life. I love how the audio book turned out.

For anyone interested in reading more about the process of self-publishing your own audio book, you can visit my group blog THE KILL ZONE and link to that post.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Ten Things I Learned from my Cat About Writing

By Jordan Dane

I'm convinced cats are noble beings reincarnated into a beautiful and graceful creature with four legs and plenty of attitude. No one owns a cat. They allow you to live with them. They tolerate you. Their fierce independence is one of my favorite qualities of theirs. At the mere drop of a string, they are ready to play. And when they are happy, their purr sounds like a fine-tuned engine.
Here are TEN things I learned from my cat(s) about writing:


    1.) Be suspicious of every character you meet, even the ones you live with. That keeps the tension going and readers won’t know who they can trust either.       

    2.) Suspense is all about anticipation of something bad about to happen, like when my cat stares behind me and makes me turn around. Without even a word, my cat can make me think a serial killer is creeping up on me. How do they do that? I’m still working on adapting that technique for my writing.

    3.) If a scene gags you, think what it will do to the next guy. Cough it up and get rid of it. Some things are meant for the trash. When it’s a pile in front of you, you’ll know it when you see it. Then just walk away. This works in the litter box too.

    4.) A cat knows pace. If there is a back story path that meanders across the top of a sofa or winds around legs in a prodding fashion, that is all well and good, but why not walk OVER people to get where you need to go and take the most direct route?

    5.) Take naps. If you’re prone to writer’s block, a nap can’t hurt. There is nothing like a nap or basking in the sun to rejuvenate your perspective. Cats are specialists in looking out for numero uno. Learn from a master and take heed. Getting stressed out over things you can’t control is a waste of time and a distraction from your writing.

    6.) Be a good observer of your surroundings. Narrow your eyes and really take a look around. Don’t take anything for granted. Everything is interesting when you narrow your eyes. Try it. (People who Botox should avoid this.)

    7.) Look before you leap. If you pay attention, you’ll land on your feet with style and grace.

    8.) Be flexible. It feels good to S-T-R-E-T-C-H yourself.

    9.) Curiosity never killed anything.

    10.) Climb your way to the top. Be fearless and maybe even cop an attitude. You can’t reach your dream if you think small and stay safe. Dare to take risks and have an adventure.  

    I’d love to hear your cat stories. I have two rescue cats – Pinot Grigio (yes, we named him when we were looking at a wine menu) and Foochie Focker (don’t ask).

    What has your cat taught you?

    Indigo Awakening by Jordan Dane voted the winner of "Best of 2012" Paranormal Category by BookTwirps 

Friday, March 1, 2013

5 Ways to Add Depth to Your Fictional Relationships

My Australian Cover

In Indigo Awakening (Book #1 in my “The Hunted” series for Harlequin Teen)—there is a love triangle that is layers deep. I’m a sucker for love triangles, but I wanted the one in Indigo Awakening to be a little more than a girl’s attraction to two very different boys. At the apex of this triangle is a very strong girl, Kendra Walker, the leader of an underground movement of Indigo children and feelings run high when beliefs and ideologies are tested.
Lucas Darby is psychic and becomes mentally linked to a girl he hears in his head after he escapes from a mental hospital. Kendra thinks she has made contact with another lost Indigo, but after she realizes that Lucas is a powerful Crystal child, she sees the future she always dreamed would be possible. And for Lucas to connect with the “hive mind” for the first time, the link is intoxicating and seductive. Kendra is older than Lucas, but for him their connection is as intimate as making love for the first time. It changes everything for both of them. Since Lucas is evolving into a Crystal child, the next evolution of mankind, Kendra is motivated to be with him so she can be a part of a new, more powerful movement. She is a modern day Joan of Arc on a mission to save the Indigos, but someone else is her rock when it comes to protecting her Indigo children.
Another boy, Rafael Santana, has helped Kendra build a safe underground oasis for the homeless Indigos. Rafe has feelings for Kendra that he’s never shared with her, but he’s also driven to protect Benny, a 10-year old boy he loves like a little brother. This conflict will drive how he reacts when Kendra’s Indigo revolution threatens the home he wants for Benny. After she focuses her attention on Lucas, Rafe becomes jealous, but in his quiet way he deals with it until the conflict between the Indigos and the Believers blows up, the fanatical church zealots who hunt Indigo kids to stop the next evolution of man. Rafael’s love for Benny collides with his loyalty for Kendra and changes everything.
Kendra must choose how far she is willing to go to save her Indigo family—the one she has and the one she’s dreamed about. Lucas, the powerful Crystal child, represents the future she had always hoped for, but Rafael is the heart and soul of the past she started with him—the boy who made her dream possible.
Key steps to adding depth to your fictional relationships:
1.) Give a strong character vulnerabilities that conflict with what they might want and force them to choose. There are consequences to actions. Someone’s gotta lose, even in love.

2.) Give them choices that test their emotions. Their choices shouldn’t be easy. For example, make them choose between their personal happiness or the greater good. This is classic and always relatable.

3.) Pair them with opposite types of characters to enhance the conflict potential. Opposites attract for a reason. Fireworks, baby.

4.) Create internal conflicts or flaws that make them struggle with their external goals and the goals of the character(s) you’ve paired them with. Conflict is key to any great story. But add depth to your character by layering the conflict inside them first.

5.) Give them a noble cause that is a roadblock to their personal happiness. What would they do? Not every character would make the same decision.

Discussion Questions:

1.) What would you add to this list?

2.) What are some of your favorite literary or film love triangles? Please share your thoughts on why they resonated with you.

"Dane's first offering in her new series, The Hunted, is sensational. Indigo Awakening has strong characters and a wild and intense story, matched only by the emotions it will generate within you. Readers will love this book and eagerly await the next adventure. Fantastic! A keeper."
4.5 Stars (out of 5)
—Romantic Times Book Review Magazine