This is the second day of my Week Of Guests, and I'm pleased as could be to introduce you to Jami Gray. I've known Jami since my Black Opal Books days, and it's always amazed me that someone so sweet (and a little bit goofy) could write such hard-edged heroines. But she is and she does. Her book Shadow's Edge is free right now, and if you like urban fantasy, you should definitely check it out.
Here she's sharing her writer's dream...
I have a dream. It includes a beautiful book-lined office where a thin 32-inch screen perches on a beautiful cherry wood desk. An intriguing complex story line graces a pristine whiteboard nestled next to an impeccably kept filing cabinet where character sketches, world building details, and future plots are all in their assigned spots waiting to be used. The only sounds you can hear in this oasis will be whatever music my Muse and I have agreed on that day. No telephones, no cell phones, no other distraction would dare to intrude into this writer’s paradise.
That’s my dream.
Here’s my reality—we turned an extra bedroom into an office and I have to share it. My roommate happens to be my techy geek husband (aka the Knight) who has more electronics than NASA. The book-lined walls are limited to three bookcases on one wall, while the remaining holders of books can be found in my bedroom and the living room, and then, there are the three desks.
One is the lovely banker’s desk I inherited from my Knight’s dad. This is my main perch point. It’s dominated by my big Mac (not the kind you can eat), a beautifully decorated skull, pens, notebooks, Kleenex, my desk calendar, two coasters for drink options, headphones, and my little Mac.
Behind me is the second desk that served as a lab table at a local university in a previous life. The lab table currently holds critiques from my writing partners on my latest WIP, a monitor I can hook my little Mac to, and pens. I’m considering getting rid of it.
Why would a writer need two desks? Because as much as I would love to say otherwise, my writing doesn’t quite keep away the pesky bill collectors or satisfy the healthcare gods, so until recently, I had a job-that-pays-the-bills. That job gave me the ability to telecommute for fifteen years. It also meant I needed two desks. One to remind me of the cubicle world I came from, and the other to hold my two Apples (Big and mini) I use for writing. Yes, I know, another set of two (I have lots of those: 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 computers, 2 desks, 2 cars). But the Big Mac stays home, while Mini Mac, being so much easier to carry, allows for escape options. Now, this secondary desk is taking up space, but I haven’t wanted to take on the challenge of re-configuring the office. It’s on my to-do list.
The third belongs to the aforementioned techy geek husband. Don’t get me started on what’s on that surface. We’ll be lost in the chaos for days.
The office has next-door neighbors—the Prankster Duo. My two boys are inches away and sometimes even the walls and locked door can’t seem to keep them out. The other day I gathered the men of the household and said, “I am going to write in the office. Pretend I’m not here, okay?” They all agreed and then suddenly suffered from severe memory loss. I sat down, put on the headphones to drown out the battle cries I knew were going to erupt within the next few minutes, opened my latest work in progress, only to jump out of my chair when my youngest came up and hug tackled me.
When they do sweet stuff like that you can’t yell, it’s just not…mom like. I took out one ear bud and raised a brow in question.
“Hey mom, did you know that I just got (insert some gamer speak about armor and weaponry here)?”
“Umm, really? That’s great, sweetpea, but see this,” motion to softly glowing screen in front of me, “I’m writing, remember?”
A quick peck on the check and he’s gone. I try to get back into the groove, only to have the door swish open and our two newest editions, the Fur Minxes, trot in. They want to play. I remind them, this is mommy’s alone time, then proceed to maneuver my chair in such a way as to not run over tails as both girls decide the space at my feet is perfect for a combined 100 pounds of canine to occupy. Back in front of the screen, music playing, I’m back…until the phone rings.
This is my reality. This is why some days I’m reduced to picking up the smaller laptop and driving to the nearest Starbucks and hiding out for hours on end. Otherwise, it’s a never ending round of interruptions.
Most people dream of winning the lottery so they can travel the world. I dream of winning the lottery so I can have my own office.
During the school year, it’s a bit better. The knight is out slaying dragons, the Duo is out raising havoc under someone else’s watch and the Minxes hone their skills for possible cage matches in the backyard. I work on my adult responsibilities of getting my-soon-to-be-job-that-pays-the-bills up and running, then utilize the rare flashes of free time. Writing a paragraph here or there, sketching out the next chapter, or tweaking the last scene. But even so, I still have to make sure I hit a solid word count each day (1250-1500). Lately that word count happens five out of seven days, and I consider that triumph.
It took me years to get over the guilt of bailing on my hubby and kids to carve out time to write, but now I find it’s essential. Not just for my writing but for my sanity. Where others may use such time to read a book, workout, shop, or hang out with friends, I use for my alternate personality—the writer.
So for now, until we score that big pot of lottery gold and I get my dream office, I will hold my dream close and defend my two desks and the Mac duo from the scourge of interruptions, carving words out one inch at a time!
Pick up SHADOW’S EDGE for FREE for a limited time and dive into the shadows of the Kyn…
THE KYN KRONICLES (Urban Fantasy series w/Black Opal Books)
WRAPPED IN SHADOWS, Kyn Kronicles .5
(Things That Go Bump For The Holidays Anthology)
The magic of the holidays can be hell…
Celebrations abound during the holidays, but this Christmas an engagement celebration goes horrifically wrong. What appears to be a simple murder/suicide hides a vicious surprise. The type of gift Raine and Gavin, elite member of the Kyn, didn’t want humans to unwrap, because revealing the monsters in the shadows isn’t the way to spread holiday cheer.
SHADOW’S EDGE, Kyn Kronicles #1
Everyone fears what hunts in the shadows—especially the monsters…
When the supernatural lurks in the shadows of the mundane, hunting monsters requires unique skills, like those of Raine McCord. A series of deaths threatens to reveal the Kyn community and forces her to partner with the sexy Gavin Durand.
As the trail leads to the foundation haunting Raine’s childhood, she and Gavin must unravel lies and betrayals to discover not only each other, but the emerging threat to them and the entire magical community.
SHADOW’S SOUL, Kyn Kronicles #2
Some nightmares are born of love…
A simple assignment turns into a nightmare when Raine McCord follows Cheveyo to the Southwest on a consulting gig. When the most feared beings of the Kyn kidnaps Cheveyo and leaves Raine for dead, her ability to heal her mind and spirit hinges on the one man who can touch her soul, Gavin Durand.
Unraveling the Southwest Kyn’s web of secrets and hidden vendettas will either bring them together or tear them apart forever.
SHADOW’S MOON, Kyn Kronicles #3
Even wild hearts can be broken…
Tracker, Xander Cade, confronts an enraged Shifter in a crowded human nightclub, fraying the thin secrecy shielding the supernatural community from public scrutiny. Danger stalks the pack and she must protect her alpha and mate, Warrick Vidis, even if he doesn’t want it.
If they don’t find a way to trust each other and accept their rare bond they risk losing everything-their pack, their friends and each other.
SHADOW’S CURSE, Kyn Kronicles #4
Death and chaos can devastate even the best-laid plans…
After tragedy strikes the Northwest Kyn, leaving the houses in chaos and the Wraiths hungry for blood, the fallout threatens Natasha Bertoi’s carefully laid plans. When the Council sends Darius Abazi, the one man guaranteed to skew the odds, she faces her toughest opponent yet.
As death stalks the Northwest Kyn, can Natasha trust Darius, a man well versed in subterfuge, to uncover the truth before treachery destroys them all?
Coming Fall 2015:
A collection of Kyn shorts, including WRAPPED IN SHADOWS
PSY-IV Teams (Paranormal Romantic Suspense series w/MuseIt Up Publishing)
HUNTED BY THE PAST, PSY-IV Teams #1
Sometimes death is the only way to out run the past…
Changing the past is impossible, a fact ex-marine, Cynthia Arden, understands all too well. Struggling with the aftermath of a botched mission, a panicked phone call brings her home to face a killer’s game. Unfortunately, the distracting Kayden Shaw returns as well, the one man she thought would stand by her, until he chose his job over her.
To survive, will Cyn risk her heart or lose the man she loves and her life?
Coming Spring 2016:
TOUCHED BY FATE, PSY-IV Teams #2
Trusting him with her secrets is dangerous. Trusting him with her heart could be fatal.
As a specialized consultant for the Department of Defense, Risia Lacoste understands the bargaining chip of a well-kept secret. When her current assignment threatens to unearth her deeply buried skeletons, she’s forced into a high-stakes game of lies and loyalty where even her ability to foresee the future can’t predict the winner.
Darkness lies under the skin of every man, and PSY-IV Team operative and touch empath, Tag Gunderson, has the demons to prove it. Scarred by betrayal and disillusionment, he’s not Risia’s top pick for a partner in the game, but he’s all she’s got.
As the game draws them deeper into a pit of intrigue and their list of enemies grow, will Risia trust Tag with more than her secrets or will his demons destroy them both?
You can find all the buy links for both
The Kyn Kronicles and PSY-IV Teams,
in all formats at:
Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. She can be soothed with coffee and chocolate. Surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and two female labs moonlighting as the Fur Minxes, she escapes by playing with the voices in her head.
You can find Jami at:
Black Opal Books: www.BlackOpalBooks.com
Muse It Up Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/JamiGrayUFWriter
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.com/e/B006HU3HJI
Here's the rest of the week's schedule...check back soon!