Friday, August 21, 2015

Todays Muse - 

   I've struggled with a new post for a while. Yes, it's been quite a while. 
   Struggling to write without readers through the creation process has been difficult. Over the years I've lost the advanced readers I had due to life, changing schedules, busy lifestyles and the quick response needed from the readers by me. I guess I got too used to sending out a few chapters and having responses within hours. :) When I know something's working and the readers were waiting for more, it kept my imagination and my muse at its peak, ever striving to write faster, better. 
   After losing those readers, I've struggled more, uncertain scene by scene with what could be working and what might not be working. I've scenes stacked upon scenes unused because of it.
   Being honest sometimes about why I'm struggling with a book, or why I'm struggling with scenes and why it takes longer to write the books isn't always easy, even with editors and my agent. It's been a six year battle, and admitting to myself the problem I believe is the hardest part.
   My muse becomes more energized, my imagination broadens, and the characters become eager to show themselves when there's others to love them as they develop. 
I've always said I never wrote alone. That the muse guides the story but my readers help to draw the muse free.
   After six years of struggling I guess I've accepted that I nor that muse, will be satisfied until I find another set of readers with the time and love of the story to read sometimes multiple attempts of a scene, to have the time to discuss the stories, books and characters. It's a search that isn't always easy. My schedule is horrible. Usually late at night, with rewrites based not so much on the readers opinion of the scene, but how fast they come back with that opinion, a feeling that comes from reading them and the anticipation or excitement the reader feels.
   My past group was incredible. They were completely honest in those opinions, and one didn't even care much for erotic romance. I knew when that reader at least nodded at those scenes in a, okay, I didn't skip through it, then I knew I could on. One liked softer heroes, one liked harder ones. Their differences worked in such a way that the characters would open up in my imagination, challenged by the readers, determined to make each one love them. When the book was finished, not all the readers entirely loved it, but I knew by their responses and comments that what I felt was important in each book had come across. And the characters were satisfied. The characters haven't been satisfied in a while. My imagination I think, demands that challenge. The characters demand it. As they develop, grow, to draw out every part of who and what they are, is rather like being unable to see the forest for the trees. 
   As a writer I'm too close to the story and the characters and I know it. I know what each character feels and I think its there, clear to see, but perhaps the scenes that I meant to show it aren't as clear as I believed they are.
   I think all writers struggle with the rituals they have to draw out the books and characters. Mine are advanced readers, another might be not having it seen until its finished. Some have a complete plot to start with, and God I envy those. I can make a beautiful plot, scene by scene, but do you think my characters are going to allow me to follow it? They laugh at my plots once they start developing their own voice and characteristics.
   Especially my heroes. They can irk me to the point that I want nothing more than to show them just how their heroines can bring them down. Sometimes, they irked my readers to that point and the responses I received from their irritation with the heroes was like feeding a fire gasoline where my imagination was concerned.
   So, I'm on an advanced reader hunt. Wish me luck, because that's never easy. :)

Lora Leigh
loraleigh2@aol.com

27 comments:

  1. I've read your books for a few years now and somehow I never realized that you had a blog. I love your stories with the strong men and the even stronger women. Women who are able to accept the men who understand what they need and are able to give it to them. Women who are able to take care of themselves but realize how much richer their lives are because of the men. Thank you for bringing these characters to life. I know it can't be easy.

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  2. I'm glad to see you're back! I'm also happy to see you communicating with us fans again. It's more frustrating waiting around for a new book when you have no idea when, or if even at all, that book is coming out. So please continue giving us messages when you feel able to.

    I wish you all the luck in finding new advanced readers that work out for you but don't forget the importance of proofreading. Also, I look forward to reading your future books (the Breeds are a favourite with David and Amber holding the greatest interest for me at the moment)!

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  3. Blessings....
    I am not sure if my first comment was processed, if this is a duplicate I apologize.

    I enjoyed reading BREEDS, picked up the first one at the library in April, read through the series by May had to wait for Bengal's Quest, picked it up Sept.9th and read through it in one day whilst commuting to and from work. I enjoyed it

    Question: Will you be writing Cassie's story? I can't wait, loved the teaser of whom I believe is her mate, already love him can't wait to dive into the complexity of character and the Synergy between him an Cassie you foreshadowed.

    Stay blessed
    Rhapsody

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  4. So...maybe I'm late to the party, but, having read through the Breed series again, I have to echo the last post...what happened to Cassie?

    Presumptuous, I know, but I always imagined the closing HEA for the entire Breed Series would be Cassie's story. Maybe a prequeal with Leo and Elizabeth.

    No pressure, just a polite inquiry.

    Good luck on finding your advance readers.

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  5. I wish you luck on finding your advance reader group. As a writer early in my own writing career, I have discovered just how hard it can be to find someone that will give you fast, detailed and honest feedback in the format you need it to be for you to consider it to be usefu! I have had too many instances where the comments have been one or two words. They don't give you the detailed feedback that you need to make sure that the feelings/emotions and beat/flow you are trying to convey are coming across. You don't need to get fan feedback or family feedback not that everything is great! You also don't need the unnecessary feedback stating that the chapters were horrible or had excessive amounts of sex because they don't like the genre that you write about. I feel your pain and hope that you can find a group of advanced readers that "get it" and can give you what you need which is a completely honest and detailed feedback that is turned around quickly.

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  6. Don't give up! Because a world without the Breeds or the Mackay's is a world I do not want to be without....These two storylines have been a part of my world since their very first book. Just finished reading Nauti Seductress, awesome book btw.... and the teaser at the end leading us into Angel's story....is tomorrow to soon to have it published? Anyway, lol....I am hooked, and I hope to see Angel's story on the bookshelf and my Kindle really soon.

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  7. So glad you are back and talking to fans again. Love your books and really missed not having updates or knowing what was going on. Also can't wait for Cassie's book. Hugs!

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  8. I love all your books and can't wait for more. The characters and plots draw each reader in that it's hard to put the books down. I purchased Nauti Seductress today and just finished it. Can't wait till the next book in this series. Great job!!! Write on.

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  9. I love all your books and can't wait for more. The characters and plots draw each reader in that it's hard to put the books down. I purchased Nauti Seductress today and just finished it. Can't wait till the next book in this series. Great job!!! Write on.

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  10. I first discovered your books when I picked up Dawn's Awakening as a new release when i was trying a book to capture my attention. I wasn't sure if I'd like it since it was not the type of book I was into. After reading it, I glomed your back list and have never missed a book. I look forward to each book and the one's to come.

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  11. If you need readers, please consider me. As a handicapped person my life is sitting home reading all day everyday. I have loved all yours books and my iPad is filled with them. The one thing that drives me crazy is when proofreaders have failed in their job, and mistakes make it through publishing.
    Bev
    bshoringa@icloud.com

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  12. I would love to be an advance reader. I love when I get pulled into the story and feel as if I am there. I go through the agonies and the wins with each of your characters. You are an amazing author and I would love to be a part of your pilgrimage to get the stories completed.

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  13. I would love too be an advance reader. I love your books re read them so many times. You bring the reader in the book .

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  14. I would love too be an advance reader. I love your books re read them so many times. You bring the reader in the book .

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  15. Wow, I didn't see this post till now. If by some chance Lora you're still looking for advanced readers, I've been reading you since Ellora's Cave was a monthly subscription. As for Honesty, well, I'll be honest with you, I promise. If you want proof, I'm better contactable via shaerra@hotmail.com than my gmail acct, which I hardly check. :)

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  16. I would definitely like to be an advanced reader... send me anything!

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    1. oh lols my contact info vat dot nguyen at gmail dot com

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  17. I just read your blog if you need advanced readers to give you their opinions, please consider me. You may email me at maxtina2004@gmail.com. I have read your books for many years.

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  18. It's March 2016. I am guessing your search for advance readers has not produced the people you need. If you are still looking it's something I would be interested in doing. I read quickly but I am a stickler for continuity and consistency in books.
    Please get some people working on your website to keep it updated. It would be acceptable if your publishers helped in that respect. You're a prolific writer, with GreT sales potential. That being said they can help take some of the necessity of weekly updates or monthly off your shoulders and free up writing time. Good luck with your reader search, I hope you find some to keep your Muse busy!

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  19. I absolutely adore your books! Working in the media industry I don't get much time to read but yours I LoVE to the point where I often re read them! I'm still ever hopeful and ever waiting for Dogs story as well as Cassie's - It's the books my imagination yearns for :)
    I understand the need for advanced readers. Getting caught up in your own head can blind you. As the others have said I am more than willing to be an advanced reader (rmincks@hotmail.com)
    Good Luck Xx

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  20. Hi Lora,
    I am just on the last few books if your Breed series, which I LOVE. I was hoping that you might have a few more coming out soon; however, I ran across your blog and was saddened to find this. I would love to help you out as an advanced reader if you are still looking. Usually it takes me about a day or two to finish your books. If you are still looking please feel free to contact me at ewink@shaw.ca.
    Sincerely,
    Erin

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  21. hola, no se si sera extraño que un extrajero visite tu pagina, pero solo quiero decirte que adoro tus libros especialmente la saga castas, espero que hallas encontrado tus advanced reader. mucha suerte

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  22. Hii Lora!!!

    I really do pray and hope that your muse does get back its juice and stamina and that all these uncertainties works themselves out. I know you can do-and that you will. You are an awesome writer-and I am hard to please. I have definitely hooked on this series especially and is eagerly awaiting all the other characters that I know your mind is bursting with scenes and matchings to bring to us your readers. All the love from the Caribbean-Jamaica to be exact. Will be rooting for you!!!.
    I am definitely open and willing to be an advance reader if you are still looking. My contact: ramona_fareal@yahoo.com

    And I am Jodie-Ann by the way.

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  23. I LOVE, LOOOOVE THE BREEDS SERIES!!!!!! Love the really angsty stories like Kiowa/Amanda, or especially Del-Rey/Anya (So Wonderful!!!).
    I would love to help be an advanced reader. Is there a new or updated tool you can use so readers can annotate ideas, opinions, or grammar edits? What about using either MS-Word Online through Office 365, or Google Docs, both allow the author to control the viewers and people who can comment or markup content for the author. Then you could just send out a group text (facebook or otherwise) to alert your advanced readers to have at it. This would have a link to the content. I'm thinking if you needed it, it would cost less than a $100 to ask a local technical writer to train you on various collaboration tools--that might give you more of that quick reader feedback & turnaround. BUT then again, you may have your own collaboration tools.

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  24. Please continue! Cassie and the parallel between Gideon and David "going crazy" at a young age. David's mate is Amber because he growls at her. Sharone being less stoic with a mate. Ashley settling down one she is mated. Brim needs someone.

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  25. I've read every breed book and anthology there is and my life must have turned upside down just as you wrote about your need for new readers. I hope you were able to find them because I've just now been able to start reading again. I was so excited at the prospect of "catching up" on your books and honestly never realized you had a blog. To be fair I don't read blogs often as I'd never get off the computer. I'm thrilled you have a new book coming out and chagrined that even after a year and a half I find myself waiting in anticipation yet again. Good luck!!

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  26. I've read every Breed novel and have worked as an English tutor/writer for some time. I'd love a shot at helping you out. I've been reading your novels for ten years and I think it's something I'd be good at. I have a Goodreads profile if that helps. :) (I also know I'm waaaaaaaay late on the uptake, but in my defense I somehow only just put it together that my favorite authors have blogs.)

    Phoebe
    pjfharper@yahoo.com

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