in the spirit of opening paragraphs--Dolorosa

In the spirit of those opening paragraphs and how often they change, I thought I'd post Dolorosa's opening for you. For those of you just tuning in, Dolorosa is Miserere's sequel.

Let's see how many times this one morphs and changes over the course of the novel. I think I'll name this chapter Resurrection ...

A sky full of winter threatened snow with a steel wind. Eight corpses swung from the ancient oak tree just beyond the Citadel gates. The dead Katharoi did not turn their faces away from the north. It was as if they watched for the war to come. Or Catarina’s second coming, thought Rachael Boucher.

an edited scene from Miserere

One thing I like to do when I'm working on a novel is make up short conversations between the characters. This gives me a chance to let them say whatever pops into my head. I don't worry about setting or context. It's a My Dinner with Andre sort of thing where I just let them talk to see where the conversation leads. I uncover a lot of character motivations using this technique and sometimes, it reveals subtleties of characterization that I might otherwise miss.

This is from one of my earlier scenes [read: edited scenes] between Lucian and Rachael. This scene predates the events in Miserere. They are discussing Catarina:

Rachael met Lucian’s black glare with a challenge of her own. “Don’t you see, Lucian? Cate only loves you insofar as she loves herself. She sees you as an extension of herself.”

“You’re very perceptive about other people and their intents. Tell me, what do you see in yourself?”

“This isn’t about me.”

“Yes,” he said. “It is.”

“Then tell me what happened.”

“I’ll tell you a story.”

“No stories. I only want to know what’s real.”

“All stories are real.”

bad to the bone and fighting tough

I just squealed when I saw Corrine's question for the blog tour and grinned the whole time I was writing the answer. She gave me an opportunity to talk about the one character no one has mentioned too much so far and that's Rachael.

Head over to Lost for Words and see why I'd want Rachael as my back-up during a street brawl ...

Also, there is still time to submit your flash fiction in our big giveaway! Go here for the rules.

M is for May and Miserere

Two months until the publication of Miserere: An Autumn Tale and let me tell you, my friends, I'm pumped.

There is a ton of stuff to do and my head is spinning, but in a really good way.

And I'm scared to death. I thought I'd get that in there too. All these years of pounding the keyboard, research, and reading and re-reading and editing that manuscript . . . and suddenly, people are going to be reading my book.

Or at least I hope so.

So I thought I would ease you into this thing, give you a peek, talk about Miserere and some of the characters.

Everyone has seen Michael C. Hayes rendition of Catarina, Lucian, and Rachael. Michael thoroughly encapsulated the stories in their faces. Over the next few weeks, I'll be giving you tidbits and telling you why Michael's artwork means so much to me.

The first thing I loved about this cover was the armor, especially the armor on the women. Michael gave my two strong female characters exactly the type of armor they would wear: plate armor and chain mail.

Catarina's armor is more stylistic than Rachael's, but that is a direct reflection of Catarina's personality. Catarina understands an intimidating appearance is necessary to inspire awe in her troops. Rachael, on the other hand, would prefer the lighter chain mail, which would provide more ease of movement.

Catarina and Rachael were both were raised at the Citadel and schooled in diplomacy and warfare. They are deliberate in their actions and firm in their convictions. They are ambitious and powerful.

And at the beginning of Miserere, both women are in twin spirals toward madness.

There is a reason that Lucian is on his knees between them.

Stay tuned . . .

cover art for Miserere

For those of you who don't know, authors have no input regarding the cover art of their novels. For me, that was a good thing, because I never, NEVER could have conceptualized something this good. Night Shade is known for its lovely cover art, so I wasn't concerned about the art for my debut novel, Miserere. I knew it would be good.

I wasn't prepared for awesome.

 

Isn't it awesome?

The art is by Michael C. Hayes, and you can find more of his work here.

I love the way Rachael is looking at Lucian and how both women are positioned with their backs to one another. I also love the way Lucian is between them, looking at neither of them. Each face captures the essence of the character and the colors are sensuous and moody like the story.

I'm absolutely thrilled!

What do you think?