Apr. 7th, 2017

jana_denardo: (kept tears)
F is for Flash fiction. Flashfic is harder to write than you’d think. The idea behind it is, of course, to be quite short so you can read it in a flash. I find it a very good training tool in many ways. I’m wordy by nature. I write long, too long, if I’m not careful. Most flash fiction is under 1,500 words and some is significantly shorter than that. It challenges you to be very aware of your word choice and story structure.

I need this. Almost every one of my short stories ends up having too much story in them and they don’t work nearly as well as they should. By accepting flash fic challenges, it helps you hone your craft (and maybe drive you a little insane). I first started these challenges in fandom drabble communities (a drabble being only 100 words). I remember one friend asking me why I bothered. She didn’t like drabbles, she didn’t see the point in fiction so small. I explained the discipline behind it as the reason I did it. Truthfully though, I prefer longer fiction. I’m a novel reader. I struggle with reading anthologies because I’m not overly fond of shorter fiction.

That said, I appreciate the lessons it has to teach me as an author. There are tons of flash fic challenges out there. The Facebook community, Queer Sci-Fi does one yearly for the last four years. I took the challenge in year two and three (placing into the final anthology). I skipped the first year as I had just joined the community and was a bit shy. I did just send mine in for this year. It is a contest. Will I win? Who’s to say? That’d be sweet but I enjoy being part of the whole process so it’s okay if I don’t. Their contest is rather hard actually with 300 words being the top word count.

Lex Chase has a challenge she runs intermittently and I just came up with a steampunk for that. I’m proud of that little story. And for the followers of Chuck Wendig, they’re well aware he often runs flash fic challenges on his blog. I don’t’ find the time to write for his challenges nearly as much as I’d like (it’s often weekly. There are other weekly flash fic challenges out there but I don’t really have the time/discipline to do those). If you don’t follow Wendig’s blog , I do recommend it. Word of warning fuck is one of his favorite words (for those of you who are more gently turned than I.) He does very good inspirational posts in addition to the flash fic.

So to the authors out there who haven’t given flash fic a try, do. It’s a very different challenge in comparison to other forms of writing.

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jana_denardo: (kept tears)
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Say hello to Layla. And I want to apologize for not having time to pretty up the links. My internet is hanging on by a thread and I didn't want to take the time only to find out it's dead again. So without further delay, let's hear from Layla!

Thank you for inviting me to your blog and helping to celebrate the release of Serpent’s Kiss, my fifth full length novel release. I must say, the journey into authorship has been an interesting one. I’ve talked in the past about how I got started, playing online roleplaying games and building a storyline and longtime characters into what became Guitars and Cages and the upcoming sequel Guitars and Choices, but I have to say that nothing could have ever prepared me for what being an author truly entailed. Let me say I was in for a bit of a shock that I’m still recovering from in some ways. So without further ado, here’s my list of the 5 things I didn’t know about becoming a published author but wish I had.

1. That I’d spend as much time learning to promote and build a brand as I would getting to write new stories.
2. That people will write reviews on a novel based only on the cover and sample chapter, and you can’t say a word, you just have to sit back and ignore it, or better still, learn not to read them.
3. That it isn’t what you write but how you write it, telling a story isn’t the same as creating a world and inviting readers to live in it for a few hours.
4. That your editor is your friend, you’re beta readers can become your biggest support group, and more than just getting words in the document goes into polishing something. There are many parts and people involved in getting a work out there and each and every one of them should be celebrated.
5. That there would be days when actual writing would have to be set aside for social media. I didn’t even have a twitter account when I wrote the first book, in fact, I wasn’t entirely certain what twitter was, or tumblr or pinterest, and I certainly didn’t have a website. I’ve learned so much about social meeting since my first release, and it’s been truly humbling to have to go to my daughter for assistance more often than not.

Serpent’s Kiss Excerpt

He caught sight of his mismatched eyes in the mirror as he headed to the living room, desperate to put the day behind him. As always, seeing those eyes reminded him of how defective he really was, and not just on the outside, but the inside too. His green eye was blind, save for those moments when it decided to peer into the soul of another and bring their future or past roaring like a waterfall of images through his mind.

The twisted part of him, the cold, sick, sadistic nature that set him apart as much as his stare, loved when those images spelled out pain, misfortune, and death, death was a high that left him without the need for drugs or the bottle gods. What kind of monster fed off the hurt of others the way vampires fed off blood, hell, he was worse than any bloodsucker, at least they spared their victims pain when they could, left them with pleasant, sometimes even erotic memories and licked the wound closed to hide where it had been. Him, he just busted lives open wide, sucking in all that delicious fear, doubt, paranoia, oh god but he loved when he got the paranoid ones, he’d fuck with them for days before allowing the visions to play out the way they were supposed to. Drop them a little hint here, a little clue there, let them know disaster was breathing down their necks and watch as they scrambled to do everything in their power to avoid it. Only there was never anything that they could do.

He was caught between self-loathing and longing for just the right kind of paranoid son of a bitch that might help him forget this day when his eyes landed on his couch. Sitting where he’d planned to drop his ass and rest was a woman with blood diamond scales running down her arms and the brightest ruby eyes he’d ever seen. Crimson lips parted to reveal a pair of brilliant white fangs and her hair was the color of sunsets, all red and orange hues spilling down her back. A pattern of scales ran up her forehead like a widow’s peak, and covered her cheekbones. Her ears were mere slits set against the silver and red prismatic colors and when she turned, he was sure he heard rattling and looked down to see a snake’s tail coiled on his plush leather cushions.

“What. The. Fuck,” he stammered, wishing he hadn’t taken off his gun.

She hissed, like lips peeled back, forked tongue darting out and flickering in his direction kind of hiss and he shrank back, ‘cause however messed up he was, she was way on the other side of normal.

“Your crass words are offensive to my ears,” she seethed, coils uncoiling and snaking toward him.

He took another step back, ‘til the backs of his legs hit the front of a chair and he dropped his ass in the lumpy thing.

“Apologize,” she ordered.

He opened his mouth to tell her to go to hell, but all that came out was a choked wheeze as something squeezed his throat so hard he was seeing red spots and haze.

“You were told to apologize,” a deeper, harsher voice ordered, and Darrell forced himself to focus, to grasp the coils around his neck and pull at the thick weight of them enough to catch a gasp of air.

Serpent’s Kiss Blurb
While searching for their missing sibling, Zaiden and his sister, Kaandhal come across the last pure blooded psy-clairvoyant of their kind. Unfortunately for them, Darian has no idea what he truly is and isn’t much interested in learning, or in helping them locate their brother, Zxex.

A bounty hunter by trade, who’s been all but banished from his family due to his visions, Darian’s a bit cynical about his ability to be of any assistance to them. Never-the-less, Zaiden brings him back to their home Rhumba, where Darian discovers that very little is what it seems.

With plots unfolding all around them and discoveries about his own heritage leaving Darian reeling, he is left with the choice of whether to embrace who and what he is, or spend every moment with them a prisoner on the fringes of their society.

Add in a pesky little bond that only seems to grow the more time he and Zaiden spend together, and several factions looking to gain possession of him and Darian is left wondering if his visions just might be the least of his troubles.

Book Trailer:
Buy Links
US Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y2RM5J3/
UK Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06Y2RM5J3/
DE Amazon: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B06Y2RM5J3/
JP Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B06Y2RM5J3/
CA Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06Y2RM5J3/

About the Author  photo headshot_zpsd7lrjclt.jpg

LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.
Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.

Layla Dorine can be found at:
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005197938547&fref=ts Twitter: https://twitter.com/layladorine
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/layladorine/
Tumblr: https://layladorine.tumblr.com/
Author Website: layladorine13.wix.com/layladorineauthor
Author on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9814124.Layla_Dorine

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