Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I'm not so great at teh drawing.

But I'm learning, and that's what counts, yeah?

According to DeviantArt, I've been a member of the site for two years. I joined because I wanted to teach myself how to draw (something other than stick figures in compromising positions) and I wanted to keep an art journal of sorts tracking my progress. Currently, I'm around 200 hits away from reaching 10,000 views, which surprises the hell out of me. Usually when I draw something new, I post the direct link to the picture--bypassing the front page. Reaching 10k views there means people are actually interested in what I'm doing. Who would have thought?

I think I've improved a bit over the years, and I'm just now finally getting to the point where I'm edging away from my favorite head angle. Most of my drawings still require source pictures, but I've managed a few original characters here and there.

I figured I'd share a few of my pics here. Starting with the very first one. :)

1st try by ~rpm77 on deviantART
Man, I *still* cringe looking at this. I very nearly chucked the whole idea of learning to draw.


Gaara 2 by ~rpm77 on deviantART
Gaara. One of my favorite characters of all time. I'm actually thinking of drawing him again. :)


Akabane 1 by ~rpm77 on deviantART
Akabane. It's all about the hat.


HG 1 - line art by ~rpm77 on deviantART
Mmm. Muscle.


Lelouch 1 - Shading by ~rpm77 on deviantART
This is still my favorite picture out of all I've done.


Mookyul - shaded by ~rpm77 on deviantART
Clothing folds! I was so proud.


Viral Red by ~rpm77 on deviantART
A bit of anger.


Colors by ~rpm77 on deviantART
A bit of angst.


Hand of Destiny - Line Art by ~rpm77 on deviantART
Hand practice.


Audrick's face - inked by ~rpm77 on deviantART
A character from my royal alien rock star yaoi. :)


Sketch - Kamui 1 by ~rpm77 on deviantART
And Kamui. Was stressed out and basically chucked all my responsibilities so I could draw him and relax.


So that's a peek at the progress I've made, such as it is. If you'd like to see more of my stuff, you can at http://rpm77.deviantart.com/ . I'm also giving away a prize if you can screencap my front page when it hits the 10,000 views mark. More information on that is listed on the page. :)

PS-- I apologize for the number of images in this post. Usually I try to go light on the pictures, but in this case I just couldn't help myself.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day weekend chat

I'll be participating in a multi-author chat this Memorial Day weekend at Literary Nymphs. A massive list of authors are going to attend, which should make the whole thing crazy and fun. If you jump into the chaos and happen to spot me, wave!

Also, if you do sign up for the group, you might want to set your membership to "web only." These events can easily top a thousand messages in 48 hours, and that's a helluva thing to find in your inbox.

Posting the official announcement below:

Thinking that Memorial Day weekend is going to be a drag, with nothing to do? Have we got a treat for you!! Literary Nymphs is hosting a 3 day M/M chat!! Yep, that’s correct – I didn’t type it wrong! 3 fun-filled days with some of your favorite M/M authors, starting Saturday, May 23!! Is your favorite author on our list?

Just a sampling of the authors on tap: Maura Anderson, Mickie B. Ashling, Victor J. Banis, Jeanne Barrack, Laura Baumbach, Alex Beecroft, Lee Benoit, Mychael Black, Ally Blue, TC Blue, Pat Brown, James Buchanan, J.M. Colail, Jason Edding, Erastes, Catt Ford, Christine France, Kimberly Gardner, Cassandra Gold , Amber Green, Andrew Grey, Kate Hill, Jan Irving, Winnie Jerome, Ali Katz, K.C. Kendricks, Sean Kennedy, Shayla Kersten, Marguerite Labbe, Lynn Lorenz, Viki Lyn, JB McDonald, Rowan McBride, Syd McGinley, Z.A. Maxfield, Chrissy Munder, Jet Mykles, Deirdre O'Dare, Elle Parker, Zathryn Priest, Luisa Prieto, Isabelle Rowan, Lee Rowan, Cassidy Ryan, John Simpson, Jenna Hilary Sinclair, Joely Skye, K.Z. Snow, Jaxx Steele, Kate Steele, Katrina Strauss, Ariel Tachna, Julia Talbot, Carolina Valdez, Jaye Valentine & Reno MacLeod, Stevie Woods, Amanda Young and who knows who else will show up!!!

When? Saturday May 23 – Monday May 25, 2009
Where? http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LiteraryNymphsChat/

Don’t miss out – see you then!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lone reviews!

Been getting reviews from Lone. Responses have been interesting:

  • Elisa cried.

  • Emerald Jaguar hated Seth.

  • I’m not sure whether Critter Nymph actually shed tears or not, but the reviewer recommended a box of tissues.

All in all, the responses have been good. A special thanks to all the readers who dropped me a note once they’d finished the book. I’m always a wreck right after a book release, and hearing from you guys definitely relieved a lot of that stress. :)


PS-- The print edition of Lone is now available. You can pick up both editions at Amber Allure.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Writing as Therapy

I’m not one to hash out personal problems with writing. When I was a kid I kept a journal off and on, and one sporadically in college and law school. That was as close as I ever got to consciously trying to work my issues out on paper. When I write fiction, it’s usually to escape, and to get myself an HEA (Happily Ever After).

A few weeks ago, my mom officially became a five-year survivor of cancer. As the doc told us that five years is usually the magic number for cancer patients, and that chances of recurrence were now much, much lower, I released a breath I’d apparently been holding for half a decade. I was so grateful I didn’t even put up a fight when she asked to watch Twilight as her celebration present.

With any luck, we shall never again speak of sparkly vampires in this blog.

But it was a very good day. And since then, the loss of that subtle bit of tension has relaxed me in a dozen different little ways, and I've been remembering a few snippets here and there from when she was first diagnosed.

One of those snippets was a story I’d started called The Companion. If you’ve been following me since I started writing on the Evolution Forum, you might remember the blurb I used to have for it on my website. It was labeled as an “in progress” story and I was ticking along with it, sure that it was going to be done in short order. Then my mom got sick and I dropped it. After a few months I even took its description off my site.

Alexander, one of the main characters in the story, had a grandfather who died of cancer. Taking care of the person who raised him shaped a huge part of his personality, and he’d wake up in cold sweats remembering. In the end I just couldn’t deal. Hit too close to home for me. Unlike a lot of other writers out there, I just wasn’t strong enough to delve that deeply into my own feelings and experiences.

Or so I thought.

In the last week, as I looked at the books I already have out, I realized I’d been doing exactly that.

Take Chasing Winter, for instance. In the beginning of that novel, Jesse is fun and full of life. Then he’s crippled by an accident and his entire view of the world changes. He’s cold, bitter. It takes him a long time to learn to live again.

I’ve never been hurt physically like Jesse, but I did have to drop out of law school due to an illness. In hindsight I see that law school wasn’t for me anyway, and not because I couldn't hack it--my grades were good and I would have made a fair to decent lawyer. But I sure as hell felt broken in the aftermath of me leaving.

In Want Me, Joel’s secure life is turned upside down, and even though it’s a wrenching journey, he finds talents inside himself he didn’t know he had. I’ve been there. Although without a crazy ass hottie trying to seduce me at every turn, which was probably a good thing. Probably.

Lone, my newly released werewolf novel, features a character who’s dealing with someone close to him finding out who he really is. That’s happened to me. I’ve been in the other person’s shoes, too, having to absorb that someone wasn’t who I’d believed, and then having to decide if the “new” person was still the person I cared for.

Even though I don’t dive into a story intending to tackle a deep-seeded personal issue, I do go in with the intent of making my characters as real as possible. Realistic responses to stress, believable emotions, etc. In order to achieve that, sometimes I have to take a good hard look at personal experiences I’d much rather forget. As far as the story goes, such introspection is totally worth it. Everyone knows what it feels like to be rejected. Everyone knows how it feels to want something so badly it twists your stomach into knots. Everyone knows what it feels like to be alone.

In that way, every writer has a connection to their readers. It’s all about building a believable bridge from the story to those basic emotions.

If I get a bit of a catharsis while doing it, bonus. If a light bulb happens to go off in my head and makes me go “Ahh, I get it now,” even better. But it’s not something I go hunting for, and I can say from experience that most of the time that little light doesn’t even flicker until I’m re-reading the story years later.

But I figure it must help, even if I’m not aware. Maybe in some little way it makes me stronger, and the stronger I am, the more passion I can embrace. The more passion I can embrace, the better everything around me becomes.

Huh, sorta like Ace and Spade. I just realized that.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lone is on sale!

Click the cover image for more information about Lone


Seth Anderson has finally found sanctuary in Brier, Iowa. Even better, he's found Rafe: a strong, giant of a man who owns the town pool hall. Seth has never been so close to anyone. When he's asked to give a series of lectures in DC, it seems only natural that Rafe come along. But in a few surreal days, his true nature is exposed and he brings both their lives crashing down around them.

Because Seth is not only a werewolf; he's also something much, much worse.

Available now at:
Amber Allure (http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/Lone.html)


Friday, May 1, 2009

Feed the Fetish -- Werewolves

My novel Lone releases this weekend, and I figured we could dedicate this month’s Feed the Fetish to werewolves. Because, ya know, they’re wicked cool. And savage. Wild. Hot…


Two pictures and a vid below. :)


Werewolf + Muscle = Win!

now a werewolf by ~madatom13 on deviantART


Okay, technically he might not actually be a *werewolf* because I've never seen him shift, but he *is* a wolf demon who leads a wolf pack that consists of other wolf demons and actual wolves. That's close enough, right? Oh, to hell with it. With abs like that, Kouga makes the list.

Kouga by ~atechnogoddess on deviantART


The wolves in this video are nothing like the wolves in my novel. But it's Rammstein. They rock and they rock hard.