When Cheating Is Okay

Okay, that was more clickbait. But ya see, I have been trying to do this thing where I write a blogpost every week, and got caught up in the Holy Daze. So I am CHEATING and printing an interview from Summer’s Book Blog. Contrary to my claim (and best intentions), I’m still struggling with the KDP Select program, and Angels’ Prey won’t be available for at least another week. But it WILL be out sooner rather than later, and I will host that five day giveaway.

Here’s the interview. More soon.


1. What has inspired you to start writing?

Since I was able to pick up a magic marker, I’ve been writing. When I was six I read Little Women, and simply HAD to be Jo March scribbling away in the writing garrett. (Some of my “early writing” can only be described as Alcott fan fiction.) I got lucky and had parents who always encouraged my sibs and me when it came to the arts. We were That Family who did not have a television. Know what I mean?

2. Who are some of your favorite authors/books?

Top three books: Vladimir’s Lolita, Gabo’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, and Dostoevsky’s The Idiot.

3. Do you know yet when the next book for Reaching Lily will be out?

Not sure. It’s outlined and the first few chapters are done, but I’ve been wrapped up in my Day Job, which is exhausting; social service doesn’t leave you much energy at day’s end. I’m cutting back my hours within the next couple weeks, and would like Finding Lily (yep, that’s the title) to be out in the next six months. But no promises! I’ve got another project in the works.

4. What has been the hardest thing for you about writing?

Oh, it really comes down to time, as well as this weird thing about my habits. I will have NOTHING by way of words for several weeks— total block— but then, all of a sudden, I sit down and write 100 pages over a couple days. I have epilepsy, and this weirdness is called “hypergraphia.” It’s kind of a rush, and comes in handy. Often 25% sounds like manic rambling, but I get to keep a good chunk of it. Helps with deadlines.

5. Was Reaching Lily based on any experience you have had?

My theory is that characters/plot of any book have some piece of the author in them, no matter how much we try to do otherwise. It’s like Jung’s theory that most everyone who turns up in a dream is some aspect of yourself, personified. Though there are a few lines people in my life have said, and I thought, “Oh, totally something so-and-so would say.” Then there is the sex factor, but we won’t go there. Heh.

6. Who do you picture as Lily and Dorian?

Lily’s easy-peasy: Zooey Deschanel. Dorian, on the other hand, is a total shapeshifter, and I’ve pictured him in so many different ways. He’s deliberately written that way, right down to his name (The Picture of Dorian Gray). Ian Somerholder? Colin Farrell? Chris Pine? Maybe young versions of Benjamin Bratt, David Boreanz, and Jimmy Smits…Jimmy always rocked the fancy suits in NYPD Blue. For his voice/personality I totally get David Duchovny playing Hank Moody.

7. What is favorite and least favorite thing about writing?

Favorite: TOTAL escapism! Love getting into that meditative zone where the whole world just shuts down and your head’s all tingly; that feeling when your writing time is up for the day that you’ve been far away. Least favorite…going to re-read your piece the next day and deciding it’s total crap. Stephen King’s trick of shoving first drafts of books in a drawer for three months is brilliant.

8. Do you have a favorite place to write?

I have a giant recliner and a lap desk I use. If it’s a rainy day, that’s pure creative heaven for me. Also, the one time I went to St. John, I wrote more on the porch of our getaway than ever. I want to go back. That’s half the reason I’m sending Lily there. Which brings me to your next question….

9. Do you do a lot of research before you start a new book?

Usually it’s incidental. Setting is a great big play land for me. When I’m talking setting, I am going beyond location. It’s the time period, arts, literature, fashion, media, religion, pop culture, and characters’ lifestyle based on what they grew up with and all that surrounds them. Often this means I get to read up on a bunch of stuff as it turns up in my stories, which is wicked fun. Had a great time with Dorian’s clothing, for example. Google “world’s most expensive necktie,” and get ready to fall down a rabbit hole of Rich Guy Stuff. When I’m writing historical fiction, obviously I do quite a bit of fact-checking. As far as erotica, specifically? When stuck, I have been known to take advantage of the generous offerings of Redtube for a little inspiration. Just for the sake of research, of course 😉

10. Do you have a playlist that you listen to while writing?

I don’t listen to music while I’m writing, because it shapes my stories and rhythm of words into something different that what needs to happen. However, I have soundtracks/playlists for my stories while I’m NOT writing. Sometimes it’s stuff my characters do/would listen to. Other times, the tunes simply reflect plot. It’s a way for me to stay in touch with the piece when I’m not actually writing.

11. What are you currently working on?

A present for all you ladies! I have a re-release coming out called ANGELS’ PREY: Book I of the Dark Alchemy series. It’s a paranormal MMF, which had a one-month run a couple years ago, but the publishers (Noble Books) collapsed just as it was picking up steam. So, I’m self-publishing this time, and hosting a five-day Holiday Giveaway for readers. From Solstice —assuming I can figure out this program by tomorrow— until Christmas, Angels’ Prey will be available for free. Seasons Greetings to reading friends!




Okay, I’m not even going to pretend for one second that the title wasn’t clickbait. In point of fact, last night I went surfing for “most common searches on the web.” The Lord punished me for my slippery behavior by not so much as waving the SPOILER ALERT flag about the series finale of Sons of Anarchy. Articles are all titled things like “Should Jax Have Taken that Final Ride,” “Sons’ Cast Opines About Jax’ Suicide,” whatever. Not like the death was a surprise; I mean, Kurt Sutter was touting SOA as “Hamlet on wheels” since Season One, and there goes the punch line. Everyone dies.

See, we don’t have television, here, or internet (I use my cellphone), so I REALLY REALLY REALLY would have liked to see Charlie Hunnam drive into the semi or whatever happens, while Jimmy Smits plays the violin. You know, Nero, Rome, Fire, yadda yadda? Kurt Sutter knew, too. Anyway, now I know the end. And so do you. Come to think of it, maybe I should’ve posted SPOILER ALERT in the title of this entry.


On Sunday I shared my NOT “happy, floaty, goofy, ecstatic blog about my release date,” and figured that a week from December 4th (which would be today) I’d be back to all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Luckily, my mood fluctuations did not disappoint, and it ended up being a pretty awesome week, after all. Thirteen minutes after I published that post, I got a gmail notification. An special someone who went by the handle, “New Fan” sent me the following missive:

Congratulations on your publication! It was AMAZING!! An author as promising as you should be able to read their own work on an ereader/kindle. Go buy yourself one and give us some more juicy reads! xoxo an anonymous fan

Once I’d finished grilling people I’d assumed to be the overly-generous parties in my life, I came to the sweet and humbling conclusion that the $200 deposit in my Amazon account truly was a gift from an awesome person I never met who just really loved The Lily.

That’s just…well that’s the bees’ knees.

Also, I’ve had a few sweet notes from readers, and some decent reviews on Goodreads. My favorite was:


The first glimpse we get of a heart broken Lily is as she is fleeing from her life. After finishing the prologue, I knew this was going to be a book much different than I’m used to. I say that in a good way. My first thought was WOW the author gave away a lot of information. The author’s writing only intrigued me more going forward. I enjoyed the pop culture references & often found myself laughing. I thought it was also very different that Lily would be telling her story & then make a comment about something that happened in the future. I loved that Reaching Lily was very character & story driven with a splash of the very naughty Mr. Dorian Holder. I definitely wasn’t ready for the book to end when it did. That would be yet another trick Vivacia K. Ahwen had up her sleeve.

Yes, I’m getting back to work on the sequel. Last night I dreamed about an obscene phone caller, who grumbled a bunch of dirty stuff in my ear. “Mr Ahwen” informed me that I was saying “Who is this? No, who is this, really?” I failed to tell him that a fictional character had rung me, because of Crazy. Oh, and for the record? Dorian Holder truly DOES have a sexy voice; that wasn’t just Lily’s starstruck opinion. (I am not as into her not-boyfriend as she is and consider myself pretty objective. That was why it took me awhile to realize who was on the other end of the phone.) Meta as the whole nocturnal visitation was, it wasn’t half weird or upsetting as the MC from a novel I wrote ten years ago. I had set The Land of Nod aside for a few months a mere two chapters away from finishing. Kassandra actually hunted me down and SHOT me. It hurt. I finished writing the book in a week.

But part of me is curious to see what Dream-Dorian will do if I don’t heed his “deep-throated purr.” I kind of want to meet him.

Speaking of being shot, I got thirty-one Botox shots in my head, and twenty-five years of chronic headache pain (I have epilepsy; it’s an unfortunate side effect) vanished. So strange. Like the world got so quiet and still. Once you’ve heard pounding for that long, the sound doesn’t register, anymore. Once your in pain that long, it just becomes a part of life that you accept. Ever since migraines hopped into the headache soup a couple years ago, I’d been seeking a solution, and thought the Botox was bunk, but was willing to try anything. Anyway. Shit works, y’all. Though my eyebrows are doing a sort of Cruella Deville thing. I’d gotten to the point where I thought I was having early onset pre-Alzheimers from my forgetfulness, word loss, misunderstanding sentences, and growing confusion about just day-to-day basics. My neurologist, who is so the man, told me that can all be sideFX of chronic pain. Appears that’s a true story, because now I’ve got the memory of an elephant. Isn’t that the best?

Also, a bunch of broken links and Vivacia McWrongnames have been fixed. So, yay.

It ended up being a lovely week, so here’s to the Happy-Floaty-Goofy’s. Also I have some pics of the book release cake one of my dear brothers bought me which I meant to post, but the baristas are trying to close here, they’re giving me stink-eye, and who can blame ‘em? So, eh. Maybe next time, Dear Reader.