When Characters take Control by Mae Clair

I’ve been thinking about my characters a lot lately and how more than a few have surprised me. For the most part these are secondary characters who demand a bigger role or—at the very least—venture beyond the part I intended for them.

In my first novel, WEATHERING ROCK, it was Rick Rothrock who turned out quite different than planned. If I ever get back to that series, I still owe him a prequel story. He earned it.

In TWELFTH SUN, my characters all behaved and played their roles. Maybe because there were so many, and they are such an eclectic bunch. If you’ve read the book (I won’t spoil it) you’ll understand the tongue-in-cheek reference in this paragraph. 😀

TWELFTH SUN has always been a pretty steady seller for me despite the fact it’s several years old, and only has twenty-three reviews. I can’t pinpoint a breakout character, but that’s probably because my lead, Dr. Elijah Cross, stole the show.
If I had to pick one book that was pure fun to write, it’s this one. If you’re looking for something breezy and adventurous to read this summer, give it a try. As a reader, you get to solve clues along with the characters.

An owl with glasses is reading a book in the woods ECLIPSE LAKE rolled around and I encountered my first incredibly demanding character—Jesse Carlisle. Originally slated as a secondary character Jesse evolved into one of the four leads of the novel. Yeah, four. Count ‘em. Interesting thing about Jesse…I wasn’t the only one he captivated with his personality. I’ve had multiple readers tell me he needs his own book. It’s on my list.

In MYTH AND MAGIC one of Caith’s brothers insisted on his own book. I actually started that story before succumbing to the call of the Mothman in A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS.

Which brings me to Mr. Evening who has conveniently taken on the role of my muse. He crops up in A COLD TOMORROW, book two of my Point Pleasant series. When I did a rough synopsis to send to my publisher, his role was pretty minimal. Well, give a muse control and…:)

Mr. Evening decided to expand his part, evolving his character into one far more complex than I’d envisioned. We squabbled a bit, but in the end I went back and rewove two plot threads to accommodate him.

But it didn’t end there.

He’s now worked things to ensure he’ll be back for book three and is beginning to whisper about becoming a continuing character outside of the series. He’s conveniently pointed out how nicely that would dovetail with some of the ideas I have percolating on the back burner. Grandiose plans, but he’s got me thinking maybe, just maybe…

Which of your characters has taken control?

Where does time go? by Mae Clair

Spiraling image of a clock face with big bold numbers reducing in size Wow, where does time go? I’ve been off the radar for a while, but have had a lot going on behind the scenes. I thought I’d share a project update with you, just so you know I didn’t get snatched away by the Mothman. :D

Here goes…

I was able to meet my March 31 deadline and send A COLD TOMORROW, the second book of my Point Pleasant series, to my editor—on March 31. Talk about down to the wire! A huge shout-out to my critique partner for working so tirelessly the last week of March and quickly turning chapters around so I could meet that deadline. You rock, lady!

The beginning of April, I participated in an author event at my area library. Forty-one local authors were represented. I only sold four books but I got to network with so many authors, both new and aspiring. I also did a fifteen minute presentation on the importance of social media branding for authors. That was fun and my small audience asked good questions.

Table display for author book signing by Mae Clair

Rave Reviews Book Club picked MYTH AND MAGIC as an April book of the month selection, and Twitter has been exploding with Tweets. I intend to blog on the whole experience in the near future, but in the interim, I have to say I’m overwhelmed by the attention this novel has received from RRBC.

On the writing front my publisher sent me the blurb for A COLD TOMORROW and I LOVE it! No cover yet, but I’ll probably be sharing the blurb in the near future. I also finally decided on a title for the third and final book. Thanks to everyone who responded when I did a post asking for title help some time ago. I’ll toss the title out there when I share the blurb for book two. I like it! 🙂

I’ve already received the first round of edits for A COLD TOMORROW and need to get them back to my editor by next Wednesday. I foresee a lack of sleep in the near future, LOL.

I’ve also been invited to participate in an anthology of short stories that will be offered for free on Amazon in hopes of exposing the work of the contributing authors to a wider audience. That deadline is April 30 and the theme is western. I’m polishing up something old I wrote years ago and reworking it as a quasi-mystery. I’m about halfway through on that one.

I also finished eight posts for a blog tour on A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS I have kicking off May 2. I still owe blog posts to a number of friends who said they would be happy to promote the book on their blogs. Any shout-outs on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ would be greatly appreciated come release day, April 26.

novel by Mae Clair shows young attractive couple kissing and ocean settingFinally, my publisher has reduced the price on TWELFTH SUN, a romantic mystery set at a lavish seaside estate. I’m not sure how long the reduced price will hold, but for now you can grab a copy for $1.99.

Reviewers have compared the book to Clue (the board game) and an Agatha Christie ensemble. The plot involves a younger man, older woman and an eclectic assortment of characters all engaged in a treasure hunt for a marine artifact. There are clues to solve along the way and a mysterious host orchestrating the whole thing. I’ll close by sharing the cover, blurb and purchase links. This is a fun, breezy read perfect for warm weather. I hope you enjoy!

TWELFTH SUN BLURB:

Reagan Cassidy is settled in her life. She has a thriving interior design firm, an upscale condo, two cats, and a goldfish. As a favor to her uncle, she agrees to team up with his marine archeologist friend to validate and retrieve a nineteenth-century journal, reputedly that of a passenger aboard the doomed schooner Twelfth Sun. Finding a hunky twenty-five-year-old coming out of the shower in her hotel room wasn’t part of the deal, but it’s hard to complain…

Dr. Elijah Cross is cocky and he knows it. He enjoys trading barbs with the lovely Reagan. Barbs, and some innuendo. He can tell she’d rather get back home to her business than stick around for the extended treasure hunt they’ve been talked into, but he’s fine with the situation. At least, until the “clues” start getting personal.

Reagan finds Dr. Gorgeous is as skilled in matters of the heart as he is behind the lectern. Throw in a series of clues which mean more to Elijah than he’ll explain, several odd-ball competitors out to win the journal, a saboteur, and a lavish seaside mansion, and Reagan has enough trouble keeping her head straight, let alone her heart.

WARNING: Younger man, older woman, nautical riddles and romance.

TWELFTH SUN IS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE FROM:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
iTunes
Google

Looking Back at 2014 by Mae Clair

It seems only natural that we glance back over the previous year as we get ready to transition to a new one. As a kid, I looked at New Year’s Eve as a so-so holiday. Sure, it was fun to stay up and watch that glittery ball drop in Times Square, but there really wasn’t much more to recommend it.

Champagne bottle resting on glittery gold stars and a clock face about to strike midnightWhen I got older, and met my husband, we enjoyed parties out with friends, ringing in in the New Year with large groups of people. But the older we grew, we gradually transitioned into New Year’s Eve being a quiet holiday at home. It has become “our holiday,” the one festive night of the year we celebrate solely alone…a late night candlelight dinner, champagne, just the two of us. As a result, I’ve grown to view what I once considered a so-so holiday as a charmed night. Not just for the romantic date-night ambiance, but also the bewitchment of one year bowing before the next. I’ve come to view that magical moment when the clock strikes twelve with a combination of whimsy, nostalgia and excitement.

I’m happy for the new writer/blogging friends I made in 2014, and the wonderful friendships I’ve maintained. I’ve discovered some great new blogs, authors and books, and am continually amazed by the peer-support in the online writing community. Guys, if I haven’t said it before—you rock!! What an amazing network!

Personally, I managed to pull off a few feats in 2014. It seems there’s always something waiting on my radar. This past year, I became a contracted author with Kensington Publishing when Lyrical Press was acquired by the New York house. I saw both of my two previous titles with Lyrical (WEATHERING ROCK and TWELFTH SUN) re-released through Kensington, with both titles going to print shortly.

Cover KindleI wrote my first novella, SOLSTICE ISLAND, and indie published it on Kindle. I also designed the cover for SOLSTICE ISLAND, which had me feeling pretty pumped up (Rah!). Strike a few more “firsts” off my list.

After that, I indie published ECLISPE LAKE to Kindle AND *gulp* print using Amazon’s CreateSpace. It took me a while to actually buckle down and make myself tackle the latter, but I’m delighted to have MY book in my hands at last. I remember how I used to dream of that moment when I was a little girl, laboriously writing stories out longhand in a loose-leaf notebook.

I submitted a romantic suspense/mystery novel, MYTH AND MAGIC, to Kensington which was accepted for publication. I just finished the galleys for that one, and if all goes according to schedule, MYTH AND MAGIC will release in June of 2015.

I am presently *thisclose* to finishing the first draft of my Mothman romantic suspense/mystery. My goal is to submit the ms to Kensington by February of 2015 then gnaw on my fingernails, er…work on something else, while I wait to see if it’s accepted.

book lying on it's spine, face-up with pages fanned openFinally, I am a voracious reader and devoured 65 books this year, the same as last year. I had hoped for more, but the learning curve with indie publishing took a toll on my time. All in all, not a bad year. I can only hope that 2015 will be as productive!

Have you already set goals for yourself for the coming year? Mine include launching a newsletter, doing my first book signing, and—of course—more writing. What about you?

The Unexpected Curve Ball by Mae Clair

Dear Friends,

In the event you haven’t heard the news my publisher, Lyrical Press, has been acquired by New York house, Kensington Books. Lyrical will become the digital imprint of Kensington. While this opens new opportunities and potential for Lyrical authors, it’s also created some unavoidable issues.

For the present, until contracts can be signed between Kensington and its new roster of authors, Lyrical has pulled their books from online retailers. As I had just kicked off a blog tour for TWELFTH SUN, I’ve had to cancel that tour. I’m grateful to Literary Nook, my touring company, for their understanding of the situation. The book tour wouldn’t have made much sense without the ability for readers to purchase my titles. Even though they already had bloggers and reviews lined up, Literary Nook willingly cancelled the tour and invited me to contact them again whenever I am ready.

If you had planned to visit me during any of my stops, that tour is now in a holding pattern. It may be thirty to sixty days before my titles are available again. Hopefully, sooner than later. The good news is that if I sign with Kensington, WEATHERING ROCK and TWELFTH SUN will be available through POD as well as digital format. As soon as I know more, I’ll share the news. None of this however, changes what I had previously planned for indie pubbing SOLISTICE ISLAND and ECLIPSE LAKE.

It feels extremely odd not to have my titles available for purchase right now, almost as if a safety net is missing. When the dust settles, whatever the outcome, I believe it will be for the better. Apparently, 2014 threw me a curve ball right out of the box. An exhilarating one, but a challenge nonetheless as I work to get everything back in order. That pesky New Year, LOL!

So, although I’ve had to cancel my tour temporarily, new adventures await on the horizon!

Best to all of you,
Mae

bluejacketcrop2

Embracing 2014 by Mae Clair

The New Year has arrived and with it my plans to look ahead. I learned a lot in 2013. In many ways it was a mixed bag of blessings.

I saw the publication of my second novel, TWELFTH SUN, and also participated in my first NaNoWriMo. I’m pleased to say I came out of NaNo a winner with a 50K+ rough draft of my Mothman-based story, Negative Reach. If all goes according to schedule, I hope to publish it in 2015.

The year wasn’t without its trying moments, however. My day job branched into new and demanding avenues which made me less visible online during the last quarter. I even had to drop off a few email lists because I couldn’t keep up with the messages. Fortunately, I love what I do, even when it’s mentally exhausting. In the New Year, I hope to achieve a better balance that allows me to enjoy my writing career as well as the one that pays my bills. 🙂

As always, I love reading as much as writing. In 2013 I read 69 books toward my goal of 75. Maybe I can actually hit that number in 2014. I discovered some wonderful authors, many of who became new friends, and I continued friendships with all the amazing people who have been my support base for so long. A super shout-out to all the followers of my blog. You guys rock! Thanks especially for the comments on my posts. I love hearing from you. Your opinions, thoughts and ramblings are a delight on each and every post I make.

So, what’s ahead in 2014?

bigstock-Patience-44287369

Yep, patience is going to be a big one for me as I tackle the following:

First up, I hope to indie publish SOLSTICE ISLAND, a romantic adventure you’ve likely heard about before. Hey, a voting-round on this blog actually helped determine the title! I’ve never indie pubbed, so I’m highly nervous and hoping I can figure out the Kindle formatting.

Something very cool I’m proud to announce…I designed the cover for SOLSTICE ISLAND myself. More news on that soon as I hope to release the novella later this month or February at the latest. There will be a cover reveal. 🙂

The week of February 9th, I will be the hostess on the Sizzle and Sass Facebook page and hope you’ll join me by popping in now and again. I’ll be the first to admit I suck at Facebook. I swear if there is a mathematical equation in the universe that deciphers how to fit FB into an already jam-packed day, it’s eluded me. I am, however, constantly on the lookout for a solution. One of my goals for 2014 is to be more visible on FB. I just wish I liked it better 😦

Also on the radar for 2014:

ECLIPSE LAKE
I feel like I’ve been talking about this one forever. A romantic mystery revolving around a missing person’s case, it’s on schedule for indie-publication in May/June of 2014. I’ve already received the first round of edits from my editor.

MYTH AND MAGIC
I’ll be sharing more updates on this in the months ahead. It’s another romantic mystery, set during October with an emphasis on Halloween. Naturally, I’d like to publish it in October of 2014, an ideal marriage of timing. Cross your fingers I can pull it off. It involves a couple who were childhood friends, had a horrible falling out, and are reunited at a corporate retreat when events take a strange and supernatural turn.

I’ve also got several short stories in the works that I’ll either be submitting to various publications or grooming for an anthology.

Of course, this is assuming all those carefully plotted goals and timelines cooperate. Then again, I’m known to be extremely hardheaded and stubborn when I want something, a trait inherited from my German father.

Finally, Mythical Monday will continue in full bloom. I can’t get enough of the odd trappings of folklore and eerie urban legends that lurk in the shadowed corners of history. I hope you’ll join me each Monday as I explore new tales centered around bizarre creatures, ethereal beings and peculiar beasties. I’m a cryptozoologist at heart.

So here’s to 2014 and my many wonderful friends. I’m excited and happy to share it with all of you. 😀

TWELFTH SUN Blog Tour by Mae Clair

It’s a new year. In the blink of an eye, the old one has faded into memory like parchment crumbled into dust. I would love to do a look back/look ahead post in the next few days (cross your fingers that I can pull it off), but in the meantime, I’m stepping into 2014 with a new blog tour for TWELFTH SUN. Literary Nook is taking care of all of the details and put together this beautiful banner. How do you like it?

twelfthsun

If you’d like to join me, Reagan and Elijah throughout the month of January, my schedule is below. You can also reference it any time in the future by clicking the TWELFTH SUN tour banner in my sidebar, or the link from my navigation menu. When the weather is chilly outside, what better distraction than a hot PhD and a summer coastal setting? 😀

TOUR STOPS:

January 2 
Literary Nook – Promo and Excerpt

January 6 
Bea’s Book Nook – Review

January 9
It’s All About the Romance – Promo

January 14
Dawn’s Reading Nook – Promo and Excerpt

January 19
Rachel Brimble Romance – Author Interview

January 20
KMN Books – Author Interview

January 21
Aspired Writer – Review and Excerpt

January 27
Musings of a Writing Reader – Promo and Excerpt

January 29
Harlie’s Books – Review and Excerpt

BLURB:
Reagan Cassidy is settled in her life. She has a thriving interior design firm, an upscale condo, two cats, and a goldfish. As a favor to her uncle, she agrees to team up with his marine archaeologist friend to validate and retrieve a nineteenth-century journal, reputedly that of a passenger aboard the doomed schooner Twelfth Sun. Finding a hunky twenty-five-year-old coming out of the shower in her hotel room wasn’t part of the deal, but it’s hard to complain…

Dr. Elijah Cross is cocky and he knows it. He enjoys trading barbs with the lovely Reagan. Barbs, and some innuendo. He can tell she’d rather get back home to her business than stick around for the extended treasure hunt they’ve been talked into, but he’s fine with the situation. At least, until the “clues” start getting personal.

Reagan finds Dr. Gorgeous is as skilled in matters of the heart as he is behind the lectern. Throw in a series of clues which mean more to Elijah than he’ll explain, several odd-ball competitors out to win the journal, a saboteur, and a lavish seaside mansion, and Reagan has enough trouble keeping her head straight, let alone her heart.

WARNING: Younger man, older woman, nautical riddles and romance.

Buy TWELFTH SUN at:
Amazon 
Barnes and Noble 
Kobo 
iBooks

Halloween and Twelfth Sun by Mae Clair

October has officially arrived, bringing with it the promise of pumpkins, colorful leaves and cozy hearth fires. As noted earlier in the week, I’m roaming to various blog haunts the beginning of the month, including two today.

My friend and Lyrical Press sister, Laura Lee Nutt is interviewing me on her blog. She came up with a host of unique questions, so in addition to talking about TWELTH SUN, we’re also discussing archeology, favorite books and antiquities.

Brynna Curry's 31 days Banner 2To celebrate Halloween, I’m a guest at Brynna Curry’s blog, In Shadows, for her 31 Days of Halloween festivities.

It’s a post I’ve shared before about nautical superstitions, but perhaps there’s a new one that’s struck your fancy. Why not join me and select one? Everyone needs a favorite nautical superstition, LOL.

Happy Friday!

Sizzle and Sass: A Kindle Paperwhite G*I*V*E*A*W*A*Y by Mae Clair

Welcome to October, friends. I’m a summer kind of gal, but I’m easily enchanted by the magic of fall. Who doesn’t succumb to the spell of jewel-bright leaves, cozy hearth fires and bright orange pumpkins? October is one of my favorite months, and this year I’m thrilled to be participating in multiple events celebrating authors, writers, and Halloween shenanigans.

ss180x600dFirst up, a number of my Lyrical Press sisters and I have teamed together as hostesses of a fun Facebook page called Sizzle and Sass. We hope to interact with readers and other authors sharing ideas, snippets of our works, games, giveaways, and more. And, of course, we want you to share as well, visit and comment often. 😀

Today is the official launch, and in celebration, we’re giving away a Kindle Paperwhite with our novels. I’ll be including a gifted copy of TWELFTH SUN. You can see all of the books in the banner strip on the left.

It’s simple to enter. All you have to do is like our Facebook page and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway by clicking here. The contest runs through October 26th, so share the news with your friends. We’d love to have you join us and check back often. Each week a different “Sassy Lady” will be hostess of resident mischief and fun including such events as Trivia Tuesday and What I Wrote Wednesday, plus posts introducing other authors and everyday rampant silliness. We want it to be a fun experience for everyone, so hop over, give us a “like” and enjoy our free giveaway for a Kindle Paperwhite. I’ll be Sassy Hostess the week of October 21st and hope to see you then if not before.

October is also “Celebrate Paranormal Month” on Lyrical Press’s blog with a different blog post and book featured each day. I’m participating with a post on werewolves along with my novel WEATHERING ROCK on October 10th. Join us for the entire month with a bounty of spooky paranormal reads.

Halloween LandscapeI’ve got a few other ghoulish visits up my sleeve during the month and will be sharing them as they happen. In the meantime, I’m extending awesome autumnal wishes to all. May your pumpkins be plump, your goblins gregarious, and your soups warmed by cozy hearth fires.

Happy Autumn!

My Address for the Day by Mae Clair

Whew! It seems like I’ve been everywhere this week (and for the last two months). Today marks the end of my blog tour for TWELFTH SUN with a guest appearance at Romance Lives Forever. I’m sharing a list of nautical superstitions, then taking a well deserved break. It’s Friday, the weekend is around the corner, and I’ve got a vacation coming up.

I intend to relax on the beach, read, and pen some notes as I plan my Mothman mystery novel which I’ll be tackling in November during NaNoWriMo. Look for some nervous posts from me about that one as the time grows closer. In the meantime, if you have a moment, hop over to Romance Lives Forever and say hello. Happy Friday!

Twelfth Sun Tour Banner

The Way of the Dinosaur by Mae Clair

Today I’m visiting with Lorraine Paton, a fab writer I met during the days of Six Sentence Sunday. Even though SSS has since gone the way of the dinosaur, I have fond memories of those days and, of course, Lorraine. 🙂

She’s trotting out a short series of interview questions for me today during her What to Read Thursday feature. If you’ve been following me around for a while (and I know I’ve been haunting a lot of blog spots, especially over the last two months since TWELFTH SUN released) you might be pretty confident of my answers.

But she threw something new out with her first query, something no other interviewer has asked before. Curious what the mystery question is all about? You can find the answer here (along with a few others as well).

800px-Pterodactyl_(PSF)

Image courtesy of Pearson Scott Foresman
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I promise it has nothing to do with dinosaurs, although if you’re interested my favorite is the pterodactyl.

What’s yours?