Werewolves have gained enough power and status to not only reveal themselves to the world, but to seize power. With humans working for them, even during the days after the full moon when their bodies…
Draft two of KG is rattling around in the back of my mind, but for now, I’ll be working on Were for Camp NaNoWriMo; check out the About page to get a little more familiar with what to expect!
it’s official; the first draft of keeping grounded is finished. i’ve already sent it to a few friends to critique, so i’m pushing away the urge to edit some of the parts i knew more or less how to fix (or what needed to be changed to keep up with continuity because i had an interesting idea for something to happen later in the writing process) until i hear back from all three of them for the first round, when i’ll have a few different perspectives to really slash and hack and tear into the meat of the story with.
but that means that i get to spend my birthday in my pajamas, playing pokemon and relaxing, and not rushing to finish the word goal! which is really the best birthday gift to myself, behind some cupcakes from the new gourmet place that just opened up on the main street of my hometown!
(but now i have time to get to work on were)
other places to track news and character/plot/other cool and interesting stuff info:
So expect a bunch more excerpts, headcanon, and other character-related nonsense coming in!
Tamer and her mother got into a huge fight around Valentine’s day once, and decided to take it out on each other by having a spicy cupcake bake off; Tamer’s cupcake was so good that her mother decided to put it on the menu as an After Valentine’s Day special for bitter lovers.
milo normally doesn’t do anything special for valentine’s day, because most of the girls he’s been with have not been anything serious; he’ll pick up some cheap chocolates and a nicholas sparks movie (and won’t roll his eyes too many times while it’s on), but once he’s involved with romy at the ages 18 & 20, he feels like he needs to step up his game and be more impressive. he nervously cooks a nice dinner, agonizes over wine choice (researching online and sending out a legal friend to three stores to find the perfect bottle), and pesters tamer about dessert choice. eventually, when she snarkily offers to bake cupcakes for romy, knowing her taste in cupcakes, milo pounces on the offer. tamer amends the offer to coach him through making and decorating the cupcakes himself (in the hopes that he’ll hate it and never bother her about this again), and he still accepts. so he presents romy with sloppy but tasty cupcakes. in subsequent years, he just buys her fancy beers and cupcakes, and they explore new restaurants around the city.
romy holds onto the german idea of valentine’s being an adult holiday, and is perplexed at children being instructed to give each other valentine’s cards and gifts in elementary school. but she doesn’t follow the ginger cookie tradition, since she’s in america for a few years by the time she feels old enough to actually participate. she usually just does dinner and a movie (a homemade dinner, of course), and will use it as an excuse to dress up more than usual. though she doesn’t really have romantic feelings towards her partners, she enjoys going a step further at this holiday to make sure they know they are appreciated and loved, even if it’s not in a hallmark card pink-and-white-hearts kind of way.
oliver sings to his valentines! every year, he’ll pick a new song to sing to them, depending on the partner; even if he’s with the same person for more than one year, he’ll pick a song that suits their romance in the span of time from the last holiday. that’s something he will continue to do as a ghost, but he’s given up getting great chinese or italian takeout to eat in bed over cheesy movies. nearly every person he’s been involved with has thought this was a really great way to spend the holiday.
tamer thinks valentine’s day is kind of silly! the business booms when the holiday rolls around, and it gives her a chance to play around with winter and red flavors (but she refuses, once she opens her own bakery, to sell red velvet on valentine’s, because wow how cliche and boring), but it’s just not an important holiday to her. she’s never been in a relationship that’s lasted more than a few months, and they’ve never fallen on the holiday, so she will just make homemade valentine’s cards—usually collaged magazine cutouts on a large colored paper heart. she refuses to make her friends cupcakes for free, because she’s all cupcaked out. they are free to purchase cupcakes, just like everyone else. the only way they get something for free is if they happen to come across her in the testing stage and have to give critique, or get kicked out.
I figured out how to make a fancy background for full screen writing. So here, friends, enjoy a sneak peak! And my amazing taste in wallpaper!
“Milo’s being seen to there,” Joanna said, pointing. “He’s still worn out, but they’ve been givin’ him juice boxes. Lots of juice boxes.” Joanna frowned. “I’m not sure if he needs them, or of he just really likes juice.”
what was your inspiration for this? what gave you the idea?
This is one of my favorite stories, actually! When I was a senior in high school, I would walk home with my buddy (who actually created Milo and Trinity in their earliest forms); one day, we started talking about Superman’s outrageous disregard for causing property damage in his battles against evil, and how ridiculously high taxes in Metropolis had to be—after all, their golden savior is known for punching bad guys straight through buildings, and it’s not like he’s making a lot of money on a reporter’s salary!
So we started tossing around the idea of a group of metahumans who dressed up in costumes and went out and fought bad guys, but who would be fined for causing property damage, for instance, or whose criminal thwarting really only boiled down to saving the local butcher shop from a common robber, and being grateful to get free hams in thanks. We initially set up the team so that they were just starting out, with Trinity and Milo being established members, and Romy joining in later. Tamer wasn’t a part of the first version, and I haven’t even created Oliver yet, but there was one other character who has been so thoroughly scrapped that I can’t remember anything about him except that he was Greek. We actually created a really ugly Proboards roleplaying forum for them! We kind of rehashed the basic idea a few times, always sticking to the same basic theme, but switching up the setting, or the circumstances of the team, until I decided that it made sense to use them for my first novel.
So I went through one early stage of this manuscript, trashed it, and settled on this one, and I think it keeps pretty well in touch with the initial concept, except, you know. Better. It still kind of plays around with the idea of “realistic” super powers, and how people can’t just go around smashing cities to pieces and expect them to be fixed in time for next week’s villain (does Supes even offer to help with repairs after he’s done smashing the bad guys? Inquiring minds want to know!), while throwing in some new elements that I’ve picked up from other media, or tossing ideas around with friends, etc.
Thanks for your question! There’s still a little time left in the Q&A for any last minute submissions!
are your characters based off of people you know? do your characters have some aspect of yourself or ideal you?
None of them are really based on real people, but they do all have traits I’ve picked up from people I know! So, for instance, Romy isn’t just someone I know with furry ears slapped on, but her sense of style might be inspired by girls I saw walking around my campus, or her speech quirks might be based on typing or speaking styles I’ve encountered. Milo and Tamer’s taste in Really Bad Movies is inspired by some of my old roommates. Stuff like that!
They all have a lot of aspects of me, I think; I take little pieces that I think would fit the character, because it’s easier to write what you know—I don’t think anyone would look at any of these characters and immediately peg them as being a version of myself, but they could see Tamer’s humor and bluntness in me, or Romy’s literary mind, or Oliver’s anxiety and coping mechanisms. I try not to make them too much like an idealized version of myself, but if I were going to say any of them were like that, it would definitely be Romy. So I try extra hard with her not to give her special treatment, or anything like that! I might be a little too hard on her to compensate, but. As long as it makes the story interesting, I’m okay with that!
Thanks for your questions! The Q&A is still going on, open to everyone!
Are any locations in your story based on real places?
Most of them, actually!
Keystone City is not a real city, as far as I know, but it’s really basically Philadelphia, mixed with a little aesthetic of Chicago (the modern, glassy buildings with sharp edges) and New York (the early American architecture). I didn’t want to set the story in Philly, because I know how easy it is to mess up locations; Central U is also very closely based on Temple University, my alma mater.
There is a cottage in the Poconos that the team visits on a mission that is based on my memories of an old cottage my paternal grandparents used to have up there, but it’s been about 12 years since I’ve been in the area, so! I do have some vivid memories of the loft in the cabin, and a large rock at the end of the street, and of the lake near by, and these things all became anchors for creating the scenes.
In the final part of the manuscript, the city is going to play a bigger part than just appearing in transitional scenes, for reasons I don’t want to give away, so I’ll have a real chance to develop it more in depth—and maybe have an excuse to visit Philly for “research!”
Thank you for your question! The Q&A is open to everyone, and will be going on all day today!
Plotting, or thinking it up as you go? Character sheets? What's your editing process like, and is there anything you'd do differently if you could go back and begin again?
Very thorough plotting! All the times I’ve tried to just freewrite, it ended up dying out after maybe two chapters; I have a notebook where I jotted down all the major plot points I wanted to see happen, and then tried to fill in the gaps. That doesn’t mean that scenes don’t pop out unexpectedly, but overall, it’s all pretty planned!
I have sheets in Scrivener; they all look something like this:
I have one for each of the members of Team Seven, some less in-depth ones for secondary characters like Marc Allen, Joanna Smith, and Hanna Cohen, and some building blocks for ideas about characters in the distant sequel. Looking at them again, I can see why I made them for myself; half of this stuff I had forgotten! These characters have been through so many iterations that I lose track of what facts go with which versions!
I am holding off on big edits until the end, because like what happened in the beginning of January, if I go through and read too closely, I’ll end up hating what I’ve written, and won’t get finished ever! Usually what I do is edit what I’ve already written, before continuing on with the new sections; that’s how I work with short stories and essays, but for this, I’m just writing frantically now, and I’ll worry about editing (and even really reading what I’ve written) until I reach the end.
I can’t think of anything I’d do differently, no! I mean, I first came up with the idea to use these characters in a novel in maybe 2010, because I knew I needed to buckle down and get started, but this is now the third version of this manuscript, and the one I’m really pleased with. Maybe if I had known in 2010 that this was the winner, I’d have started four years earlier, and maybe I’d be a published superstar by now, but! Alas, time travel is not yet a thing.
Thank you for your questions! The Q&A is going all day!