Wednesday Randomness: Behind the Scenes

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Happy Wednesday, friends.

When we plan out the blog topics for the year, I’m always excited when a Behind the Scenes post comes around, and planning 2016 was no exception.

Now that we’re here and it’s time to write the post, though… “Can I be real a second? For just a millisecond?”

(Actually, my singing Hamilton lyrics is probably as good a look behind the scenes into my life right now as you can get – as my family can attest.)

Anyhoo… Truth is, as I posted about a short time ago, this year has been challenging for me as a writer, and I’m now just getting back to where I need (and want!) to be. So, sharing behind the scenes is a more difficult task than it has ever been, but I’m going to give it a shot.

My most current project is my next Bound book, Safeword Protected, so I’ll share a bit about it and how as an author I”m connecting with it.

B6 - SAFEWORD PROTECTED

Clara Turner loves her life—her career as a travel writer takes her to places most people only dream of. But with the birth of her cousin’s first child quickly approaching, Clara happily trades her fast-paced adventures for the quiet Irish village to be there for the new arrival. 

When Clara’s laptop acts up, her cousin decides to do Clara a favor and takes it to Niall Walsh, the village’s unofficial tech support. Clara panics at the thought of Niall—sexy, sets-her-lady-bits-tingling-from-afar Niall—discovering her secret stash of filthy kinkery living on her hard drive.

Niall lived the big-city life for years and dated the glamorous woman that came along with it before coming back home. He’s heard about Clara for ages, but nothing prepares him for the instant attraction he feels when he first sees her. He ignores it though—knowing she’s only there for a short time.

Besides, she’s the type of woman who fit in his past, not his present. He doesn’t have anything to offer that she’d want. At least, that’s what he’d thought…before he delved into her computer and discovered exactly what Clara likes. As he learns more about her, Niall realizes he can offer her something no one else can—the chance to explore her deepest desires instead of just watching on a screen. 

It should be easy–a hot fling before Clara’s job takes front and center again–but when the time comes, will either of them be able to slip free from the bonds that now connect them?

Writing Safeword Protected? it’s been both extremely frustrating and incredibly rewarding. The frustration stemmed for there “other stuff”, not the book or the writing of it. I will admit something here that I’m probably not supposed to. As an author, I do have favorite characters. Don’t get me wrong, I love them all , but there are some I just really, really love and seem to connect with. One day I may even share who tops the list, but for now, I will say Niall and Clara from Safeword Protected? They’re pretty damned high on that list. No matter what chaos and…stuff was going on, whenever I could sit down and work on Niall and Clara’s story… Well, it’s pretty much this…

LetMeLoveYou

Grabby hands and all.

Why do I love them so much? Hard to put into words (You’re an author, Jarman; get with the program!) Niall is a hot Irishman who is ready and willing to guide Clara though her initial exploration into the world of BDSM. So right there? Ticking some boxes, yeah? But there is something about the character that just makes me melt. I think I’ll let Brody, Niall’s best mate (who happens to be married to Clara’s cousin) tell it:

“Niall is one of the most loyal and loving men you’ll ever meet,” Brody added, gaze intent on Clara. “He would do anything for the people he cares about. He came home for his family. He places people, especially people he loves and cares about, above anything else.”

A hot guy is all well and good, but finding something worthwhile when you delve beneath the pretty surface and push past the flaws – because he’s still got to be real, right? Man’s gotta have layers…

And Clara…she’s very real. Has her faults, has the tendency to think things to death and often arrives at the wrong conclusion – usually the one that has her freaking out in a major way. There are times…

All right, I’m going to let you in on another secret, because we’re behind the scenes and all. 😉 Readers aren’t the only ones who want to wack some sense into characters, to just shake them until their brains come back online and they’re making good choices. But that’s good, right? Who wants to read a book about two perfect people with no conflict? It’s that conflict, those mistakes that the hero and heroine make – the human element – that makes a story really work, isn’t it? I think so. And over the years, the best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten has served me well in creating those real characters that I connect with and sincerely hope readers do, as well.

Trust the characters. Trust the story.

Not groundbreaking advice, really. I’ve heard similar things from pretty well known authors since I first had that knocked into my thick skull. But it took the right person at the right time to get me to see how necessary it was in the writing process. I still, with pretty much every book, have had those words spoken to me or have said them aloud to myself.

And that is it from me this week.

Make sure to head over to the blogs below to get a peek at what these incredible authors are working on. Also i want to welcome Torrance Sené to Wednesday Randomness blogging. Glad to have you with us. 🙂

Until next time,
~J


Bronwyn Green | Gwendolyn Cease | Jessica De La Rosa
Kayleigh Jones | Kris Norris | Paige Prince | Torrance Sené

Wednesday Randomness: Behind the Scenes of My Latest Project

Happy Wednesday!

Please welcome the final addition to our little Wednesday blogging group – Gwendolyn Cease. I’ve known Gwen forEVAH, and she is seriously the best. I’m so happy she’s jumping in to blog with us. 🙂 Welcome aboard, Gwen. MWAH.


Now, on to today’s topic – Behind the Scenes of My Latest Project.


What I’m working on now is my contribution to the NA anthology – If Ever I Would Leave You – with Bronwyn and Jenny. It’s a collection of contemporary Arthurian-inspired stories. My story is called The Deepest Cut. 


I’m not going to share the cover art or the blurb right now. That’s coming soon! 🙂  And I’ll break briefly here for a shameles plug. We’re looking for people to host a cover reveal with optional giveaway on their blogs in May. If you’re interested in joining in, we’ve got three dates to chose from, and we’d absolutely love any help we could get in spreading the word about this book. Click here to fill out the form. 


*ahem* Now, back to the behind the scenes peek….


So, if I’m not sharing the cover art and blurb yet, what am I am I going to share? Plenty, I promise. 


How the project came to be – Well, I had this kernel of an idea. It all started with the heroine, Anna. It is one of the rare times (for me, anyway) that a character popped almost completely formed in my head. Where she was going, what her story was, took me a bit longer to figure out. I knew it had to do with King Arthur, Merlin, and Knights of the Round Table and all of that. But how? Wasn’t too sure. I knew it wasn’t going to be historical. I really don’t do those, but would it be a contemporary twist, a fantasy set in another world, or something different? 


Well, I finally decided it was definitely going to be contemporary and started to get a more solid idea of what I wanted to do with it, playing with the idea of Arthur and the rest returning when there was great need.  One day, I was talking with Bron and shared the idea with her. She was the one who said, that’s an NA story right there, sister. And when I thought about it, I realized she was right (as she usually is). The conversation continued and we started talking about an Arthurian-inspired story she had been working on. We both had been talking about moving into self-publishing and, long story short, we thought it’d be a grand idea to do this together – write our contemporary Arthurian stories and release them together. 


THEN, we were talking later about how we do Merlin Club with Jen and wouldn’t it be cool if the three of us Merlin Clubbers did this. So we asked Jen if she was interested and she said sure. LOL 


And that, my friends, is how If Ever I Would Leave You was born. 


My Inspiration – Just because I’m not sharing gorgeous cover art with you yet doesn’t mean I’m not going to share some pretties. 🙂 Here is how I picture some of the important characters in The Deepest Cut.


When I first started thinking of Anna and Merlin, I immediately pictured Luke and Ruby from the short-lived British show Demons. So that is how they are in my head. 🙂 

Anna
The lovely Holliday Grainger, who has been in Merlin (Sophia, guys!), Robin Hood, The Borgias. This is exactly how I picture Anna. 


Merlin
You guys thought I was going to put Colin Morgan, didn’t you? LOL Tempting but nope. 
Christian Cooke does just fine as Merlin. 🙂 Just to prove that, I’ve given you clean shaven and scruffy Merlin. Both make an appearance in the book. 🙂 

Arthur
Alex Pettyfer. Gorgeous British actor. He’s a bit older than my Arthut but I don’t care. This is what he looks like. 


Morgana
I know, I know, pretty  much every depiction on screen or Morgana/Morgaine shows her as a brunette. I just couldn’t get Emily Kinney (Beth in The Walking Dead) out of my head when I thought about Morgana. So I figured, what the hell, MY Morgana is blonde. 


Lancelot
Joseph Morgan from The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. Isn’t he pretty?


Galahad
Landon Liboiron – He was in Degrassi and Terra Nova. Cutie, and hey Kris, he’s Canadian, eh? You sure grow them pretty up there. 


Mordred
Andrew Lee-Potts – Told you last week I have a wee crush on him. Well, he’s who I picture for the sorcerer with questionable intentions and motives,



My Writing Process at the Moment aka How It’s All Going – I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about this story, this collection as a whole, stepping into self-publishing…all of it. However, it’s a bit intimidating. It’s a whole lot of new happening right now. And, for me, that involves a whole lot of freaking. Although, there are those who will tell you I freak out about every project. Don’t listen to them. It’s all lies! (Maybe.) 

But I’m pushing though and getting it done. And loving it. Though poor Bron and Jen have to put up with my frequent whining and insecurities, and I adore them for that. 

So my “process” at the moment is…write like crazy, read what I’ve written, feel a bit unsure if it’s going to work, rewrite some things, add some stuff, reread, send to the greatest friends a girl could ever have to get some feedback, bite my nails as I wait (im)patiently for a response, second guess myself and everything I’m doing, give myself an internal pep talk (trust the characters, trust the story, trust the characters, trust the story), feel better after talking to friends…aaaaaaaaaaaand lather, rinse, repeat.

The Deepest Cut Playlist
Music is essential to me for writing (To be honest, a big reason to pop in the earbuds is to drown out the general chaos that rules this house!). A lot of times, I’ll listen to instrumental music, but sometimes, I’ll make a playlist that fits the book. 

Follow the link above to listen to The Deepest Cut’s playlist on Spotify, but here are the songs that, right now, put me in the right frame of mind for this book. 


“C’est La Mort” – The Civil Wars

“The Beacon” – A Fine Frenzy
“Like the Dawn” – The Oh Hellos
“White Blank Page” – Mumford & Sons
“Dark Paradise” – Lana Del Rey
“Maybe” – Ingrid Michaelson
“10 AM, Gare Du Nord” – Keaton Henson
“Breath of Life” – Florence + the Machine
“Home” – Phillip Phillips
“Gone, Gone, Gone” – Phillip Phillips
“Say Something” – A Great Big World
“Somewhere Only We Know” – Keane
“Calls Me Home” – Shannon LaBrae
“Need” – Hana Pestle
“In my Place” – Coldplay
“Only You” Matthew Perryman Jones
“Arms” – Christina Perri
“Wherever You Will Go” – The Calling
“Fucking Perfect” – P!nk
“Counting Stars” – One Republic

And that’s it from me. Go forth and find out what the rest of the gals are working on! 


Bronwyn Green

Gwendolyn Cease
Jenny Trout
Kellie St. James
Kris Norris
Leigh Jones
Tess Grant

Until next week!
Hugs
~J