The what and how of writing — Writing process blog hop!

The wonderful Jen McConnel tagged me in this blog hop; here’s her writing process post. As for me…

1) What am I working on? I’m plotting two projects at the moment: the third and final instalment of the What Kills Me series and a stand-alone psychological thriller set in a high school.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? Readers have told me that the What Kills Me series breathes fresh life (so to speak) into the vampire genre. I didn’t try to make it unique. I wanted to write a superhero’s journey, an adventure novel about a normal girl thrown into the most extraordinary circumstances.

3) Why do I write what I do? I was obsessed with supernatural and horror novels when I was a teenager. I used to wait months for new releases of Christopher Pike books, devour them in a few hours and be upset that I had to wait for the next. I figured that when I grew up, I could torture teenagers the same way.

4) How does my writing process work? For What Kills Me, I imagined key scenes throughout the story. A girl crawling out of a well covered in blood. A fight scene in a Taipei alley. A spectacular and shocking conclusion. I see my books very cinematically; I have moments that I see very clearly in my mind.

Plotting allows me to plan for twists. It allows me to see where I can put in red herrings, moments of irony, and foreshadowing. Plus, What Kills Me is the first of a series. Since I’ve plotted parts of Part Three, I know what bread crumbs to leave in Part One to lead up.

Music for crushing bones and beheading vamps? The What Kills Me playlist!

imagesPeople often ask me what I listen to when I write. I listen to all sorts of things, including park noises, ocean waves, action movie scores. I often write in coffee shops so the soundtrack drowns out the outside noise and gets me in the mood.

So, in honour of the What Kills Me series, I’ve put together a butt-kicking, bone-crushing, deception-facing soundtrack that might put you in the right mood to follow Zee’s adventure.

Which is your favourite track? Also, if you have any suggestions to add to the playlist, let me know!

Listen at:

Killer Fashion — costume design in I Am Forever

30d58efb804e09b634f22af4270476c9A version of this post appeared on Jennifer’s amazing site, The Bawdy Book Blog. Entitled, Die-Hard Fashion: Style in Wynne Channing’s I Am Forever, I talked about how I wanted the clothing to be part of the story; I wanted it to reflect the emotions of the characters or their evolution. I’ve been pinning images via Pinterest to create a style storyboard. Here are a number of images that I pinned and how they inspired the wardrobe in Book Two. Continue reading

Will there be a third book in the What Kills Me series? Oh yeah.

Tens of thousands of readers have gone on the adventure and I’m happy to say that What Kills Me is a three-book series. I’m plotting book three right now.

In What Kills Me, Book #1, Zee falls into a well filled with blood and emerges a vampire. She finds herself hunted, accused of being the legendary destroyer of the immortal race.

Book two, I Am Forever, continues her adventure and her evolution as the most powerful creature in the world. Two vampire factions are at war and Axelia is caught in the middle, with both sides trying to use her for their own gain.

In book three, the final installment in the series, Axelia comes face-to-face with a terrifying threat to both humanity and the vampire race. Everything that she will have been through prepares her for this ultimate battle.

I know you have a lot of questions:

  • What happens to Zee’s family?
  • What was up with her nightmares? And those red eyes?
  • Is there more to the ancient legends?
  • What are the rebels really after?

To find out, you’ll have to stay tuned! Thanks for the great support and keep those wonderful reviews coming (they’re awesome motivation)!

I AM FOREVER — the sequel to What Kills Me — coming soon

Title for blog

Naming your baby is hard. For inspiration, you may flip through baby name books and test every moniker, from every origin, with every meaning.

When I was searching for a title for the sequel to What Kills Me, I perused book stores and looked at other titles. I did word association. I made a list, then scratched them all out. What Kills Me, Just Joking Still Here. What Kills Me, Oh That Butthead Paolo.

A month or two ago, artist Liliana Sanches was already working on the book cover for Book Two and I was under pressure to produce a title. I was lying in bed, afflicted by insomnia, and three words popped into my head.


I am proud to announce that I Am Forever continues Zee and Lucas’s adventure with the Monarchy. The fight for survival has new meaning now since everyone’s lives depend on her. Zee has a tenuous relationship with the Empress and the Monarchy; she has ever reason not to trust them — she’s been bit before. Will they lock her up for all eternity?

Can’t wait to hear what you think of the title. I Am Forever will be available later this year. Stay tuned. I’ll keep everyone apprised of the book’s progress.

If you haven’t yet read the best-selling, top-rated book, What Kills Me, here’s where you can find it:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iTunes | Goodreads

A synopsis to catch you up: An ancient prophecy warns of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race.

So when 17-year-old Axelia falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer. Hunted by soldiers and mercenaries, Axelia and her reluctant ally, the vampire bladesmith Lucas, must battle to survive.

How will she convince the empire that she is just an innocent teenager-turned bloodsucker and not a creature of destruction? And if she cannot, can a vampire who is afraid of bugs summon the courage to fight a nation of immortals?

Delusion and deception: Year of the Snake Blog Hop!

yearofthesnakeAccording to fortune tellers, this year of the snake will bring change and tumult. As part of the Year of the Snake Blog Hop organized by the marvellous Wendy S. Russo, participants must find a passage in their work that embodies the spirit of the snake: a symbol of wisdom and cunning, but also delusion and deception.

In What Kills Me, the society of vampires is all about deceit. Zee trusts all the wrong people. And it always ends in death:

“You’re a sweet girl,” he whispered.

He brushed a strand of hair from my face, his finger tips tracing a soft line across my forehand and down my cheek. I became shy and showed him the top of my head. He lifted my chin so that we met eyes, our faces inches apart.

I had stopped breathing. I felt like at any moment, I would melt into the floor. As he leaned in, I fixated on his parted lips and I felt his hand slip around my waist. I thought he was going to kiss my forehead. Instead, he rested the side of his mouth against my temple and whispered in my ear.


“Yes,” I said, breathlessly.

“Now that I have you here all alone, what do you think I’m going to do to you?”

His voice was low, his breath cool. I swallowed. “What?”

“I’m going to kill you.”

Buy What Kills Me

Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iTunes | Goodreads

Here’s a list of all of the participating authors in the Year of the Snake blog hop! Check them out!
Katie O’Sullivan
Raven Bower
Cindy Young-Turner
Rebecca Trogner
Lindsey Loucks
Sue Ann Bowling
SM Boyce
Constance Phillips
Stephan E. Train
Stevie Carroll
Kelly Seguin
Wynne Channing
Rebecca Hamilton
Sherry Soule
Renee Reardon
Wendy S. Russo