Revelations by Jennifer Carole Lewis
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: January 30, 2015
For millennia, the lalassu have existed at the fringes of society, hiding in the shadows. But someone is determined to drag them into the light.
Dani has spent years fighting against her family’s urges to take on the mantle of High Priestess for the lalassu. Stronger and faster than any ordinary human, she has no interest in being a guide for her people. She likes being independent and enjoys her night-job as a burlesque dancer. But a darker secret lurks inside of her, one which threatens everyone around her.
Isolated and idealistic, Michael works as a developmental therapist for children, using his psychometric gifts to discover the secrets they can’t share with anyone else. When one of his clients is kidnapped, he will do almost anything to rescue her. The investigation leads him to a seedy little performance club where he is shocked and thrilled to discover a genuine live superhero.
Michael and Dani must join forces to save those they care about from becoming the latest victims of a decades-long hunt. But the fiery chemistry between them threatens to unlock a millennia-old secret which could devour them both.
The clock is ticking and they will be faced with the ultimate hero’s choice: save the world or save each other?
Writing In the Cracks
There are days I dream of a quiet room with a wraparound desk, multiple monitors, a giant whiteboard full of index cards and a pleasant, but unobtrusive, sound system. Then there is the reality of trying to write at the kitchen table while supper is bubbling on the stove, my kids are threatening to launch a full on nuclear attack and my boss is texting me to do “just one more thing” for the night.
I am a full time mom and I have a full-time job. Which means that my writing must grow in the cracks of my life, like lichen on a cliff. I’ve had to learn to stop waiting for the “perfect” time, to say no to dealing with chores or last minute requests and teach myself how to write in small fits and spurts.
When I was in college and my first full-time job, I used to bemoan my lack of time for writing. I would come home and fling myself on the couch and curse that there were only two hours after supper. I whined that I didn’t feel creative in the evening. I protested that I needed long stretches of six to eight hours to commune with my muse. Looking back, I want to slap my former self and her delusions of being a special snowflake with her creative process.
Sometime later, I emerged from the miasma of sleep deprivation after my second child was born and I realized that I did not particularly enjoy my job and that my opportunities to make my creative mark on the world were quickly going to run out. So I decided to get a plan and make it happen:
1) Set Goals. I set myself the rather modest goal of 1000 words per week (terrified that putting a quota on it would quash my delicate creativity). I reasoned that I could surely find the time once per week to write a thousand words. Instead, what I found was that life has an ironic sense of humor and pinpoint accuracy when it comes to mucking up plans. I would set aside a two hour window and watch it erode with phone calls and other interruptions. Which led me to my next step.
2) Take Every Opportunity. Rather than waiting for my two hour window, I decided to break down my thousand words into smaller bites. I looked at my schedule and found my downtime: the 45 minute music lesson, which was useless for running errands or going home and the half hour to an hour when my kids were watching something cute and fuzzy learn valuable educational lessons on TV. Lessons, doctor’s appointments, anytime when I was stuck waiting. I started bringing my laptop with me and making myself write. Slowly my words started accumulating and I began to meet my quota. Of course, I found my grand first novel was slowly becoming incomprehensible, which sparked the next change.
3) Plan Ahead. I am a pantser by nature. Novels and short stories bloom inside my head and then as they emerge onto the page, they grow and change and become more than I could have imagined. Unfortunately, the gap between writing times meant that sometimes I couldn’t remember the brilliant inspiration which had struck last time or I would forget the work I’d done foreshadowing a particular event and end up cutting it. Or I would spend half my writing time staring at the screen and trying to guess where things should go.
I had to learn to become a plotter. On days when the creative juices are flowing and I feel more like I’m downloading the novel from some cosmic databank than like I’m actually composing it, I do masses of plotting and preparation. Then on days when I am less cosmically connected, I still have my notes to fall back on. Often they’re quite detailed, laying out exactly what needs to happen in each scene. Now if I only had fifteen minutes, I could get another 300 to 400 words further in the story without worrying about making mistakes or twisting the plot into an inescapable cavern. This was my big breakthrough in changing my writing from a hobby to a serious pursuit. But I still needed to improve.
4) Go For Portable. Having done all these wonderful notes, I had a different problem. Namely that hauling an entire whiteboard full of plot stickies wasn’t really a practical option for my lifestyle. Which meant that I was often trying to write without the resources I’d created for myself. I tried making them digital and just storing them in the computer but I quickly learned that I was a visual person who needed the notes in front of me. So I came up with what I believe is a fairly ingenious option: a photo album. Now my writing bag has my laptop and a photo album full of index cards. I have notes on my characters in one section, notes on the overall plot in another and individual scene notes in a third. If I decide to make a change, I can add a note to the relevant area right away. And I have all my research and notes with me, so I don’t get derailed by wondering what I did in a particular scene four chapters ago (which may have been written weeks or months earlier). I was finally starting to make some serious progress, but I still had one more step to go.
5) Get In the Mood. I’m human, I find it hard to go from worrying about whether or not I remembered to pack my son’s gym shoes to dark and sexy alternate realities. So I needed to find a technique which would help me to get my creative juices flowing on demand. I spoke with other writers and heard suggestions about using inspirational pictures, theme music or even creating a stretching ritual before sitting down the computer. I went with music, since that has always worked the fastest to transport me into imagination. I put together playlists of instrumental music on different themes: sad, joyful, powerful and sexy. But I found they weren’t quite what I needed. Instead, I found myself picking particular songs for different characters at different points in the story. Suddenly I could shift mental states quickly and easily. Following up my mood song with an upbeat playlist kept my energy up and my fingers typing faster.
I still use my mood playlists sometimes, but more when I’m plotting than when I’m writing. They create strong emotional reactions in me, sometimes stronger than I need. I’ve also learned to short cut by listening to my chosen mood song in the car while I’m driving to lessons, priming me to be in the right headspace.
My process is still evolving, but I’ve gone from failing to achieve a thousand words a week to often managing a thousand words a day. I don’t manage to write every day, which will probably be my next goal to work on. And I’ve discovered it’s not easy for me to edit one story while working on another, which gives me another goal. But I’m moving in the right direction and I’ve discovered that waiting for the perfect moment killed my creativity far more thoroughly than exercising it in less than ideal circumstances.
I may have glossed this over into a five point list, but I spent almost three years pushing myself before I realized I needed to start plotting. Writing a worthy novel isn’t easy. It takes a huge amount of work and dedication. But it is possible, no matter what else you’re dealing with in life. If creating something, anything, is your dream, then find a way to make it happen. My life may be infinitely more hectic than it was before, but I’m enjoying it a lot more than I was.
Jennifer Carole Lewis is a full-time mom, a full-time administrator and a full-time writer, which means she is very much interested in speaking to anyone who comes up with any form of functional time-travel devices or practical cloning methods. Meanwhile, she spends her most of her time alternating between organizing and typing.
She is a devoted comic book geek and Marvel movie enthusiast. She spends far too much of her precious free time watching TV, especially police procedural dramas. Her enthusiasm outstrips her talent in karaoke, cross-stitch and jigsaw puzzles. She is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction and always enjoys seeking out new suggestions.
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