Panic Room

No. I’m not talking about the movie or even the place – I’m talking about giving yourself room to panic when situations are going utterly nutso and you think you might crack.

For me, panic sets in about a month or two before a conference and increases the closer I get to con date. This can be financially (how am I going to pay for this?) or travel related (how am I going to get there?) or even emotionally (why am I leaving the safety of my home?). It can also come in the form of having too much to do to get ready for a conference and not knowing where to start. It overwhelms when you continue to chip away at the list and more things spring up. Panic is that feeling in your gut that you’ve forgotten to do something very important or that you keep putting off doing stuff in hopes that it goes away. (I find the procrastination method to be the least effective in gaining control over panic.)

I think some of us need to panic. There is a built-in mechanism that switches on whenever we step across that threshold out of our comfort zones and into the abyss. I try very hard to suppress this by talking myself down and saying “it’s all good.” As far as I know the first time I did that successfully was this weekend and you know what? It really was all right. I panicked right up until a few weeks ago knowing I was stepping into a situation that I’d never been in and not knowing what to expect. I gave myself that permission to speculate, wonder and imagine things as they might be, to let myself fall into the fear-inducing agoraphobia that keeps me prisoner most of the time, and allowed my emotions to give me those dreadful arrhythmias that convince me I’m going to die any second.  Finally, I just said to myself, “this is crazy. You are only making yourself feel this way because of the unknown.” Once I did that, my panic seemed to ease and I was once again sailing smoothly. As a matter of fact I didn’t even pack my car or my overnight case until the morning of the conference. You know what? Everything worked out just fine – with the exception of forgetting to pack a bra for yesterday morning, but I was only driving home and it was only a 30 minute trip so I really wasn’t too upset about it.

My next source of great panic is getting everything ready for AAD13 in Savannah, GA in August. I only hope I can be as calm and collected as I was with the Twisted World Con. Considering Savannah is a hell of a lot farther drive for me than 30 minutes, I better make sure I pack those bras now.

-Kat

 

 

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March Madness is Here!! And I’m Giving Mega Prizes Away…

In honor of March Madness (and no I don’t follow basketball) I’m going to be giving away crazy ass shit on this blog hop. Detail will follow at the end of the blog, but for now…I want to talk a bit about the MM that is unrelated to hoops.

It used to be that March was the time of year when the bathing suits came out and me and my friends would rush to slather ourselves in baby oil, Crisco or butter (hey, it was the early 80’s and we didn’t know about sunscreen back then) and lay out at the beach or backyard to start working on our summer tans. See, in Florida that was so doable in the early part of the year. Hell, I remember doing that in late February on a few occasions. Thanks to a little hydrogen peroxide and sunlight hair would begin to turn blonder. By the time spring break arrived, we were totally babealicious and ready to “cruise the Strip.” – If you lived at all near Panama City Beach, Florida you knew what this meant, along with AEA Weekend. In recent years, MM has changed–altered from those carefree day to something a bit more dicey….

…yes, folks I’m talking about March in New Jersey.

To really appreciate the “bridge” month – that is the weather equivalent of limbo —  one has to live here. It can be sunny and 60 degrees one day, and the next you are shoveling two feet of snow off your driveway and your car looks like a bump in the landscape. This year has been particularly frustrating since the weather people ….er…um…meterologists… have not gotten it right once. You’d think with all the hi-tech gadgetry, dopplers, satellites and GPS they would get a lock on systems and figure it out. But no, good old Mother Nature has stayed one or two giant steps ahead of them all season. It makes it a bit difficult to make plans when you don’t know from moment to moment if you’re going to need an shorts or snow shoes. Commuting to work on an ice rink is not my idea of good time, though in all honesty I have to commend the road crews for staying on top of things this year.

Then cabin fever sets in.

Like Jack Nicholson’s character in The Shining I feel like busting out of my house and saying, “Here’s Johnny.” I long to take a walk on the trails with my hubby and dog and just enjoy being outside. The days he has gone it’s been too cold for me to linger outside for too long. You know the type of cold I’m talking about – the one that cuts through your 27 layers of clothing and goes straight to your bones. It’s really beautiful country up where I live and is quite relaxing to walk along the many trails that cut through the woods and hills. However, that’s an activity better saved for April, when March Madness has ended and the weather is a bit more on the predictable side.

New Jersey is definitely an “outdoors” state. There are so many things to see and do when the weather cooperates. Festivals and plays, gardens and farmers’ markets, boardwalks and beaches, tiny bistros with dining on pretty patios. It’s all here.  Parks and playgrounds. And events. I don’t think a week goes by when there isn’t some sort of outdoor happening within easy driving distance. This year the local St. Patrick’s Day parade was on the 9th and had nice warm, weather for all to enjoy. There have been some years when the pipers nearly froze their kilts off. Not a pretty picture. Makes marching in step all the more painful I’m sure.

This year my March Madness as taken another turn as I attempt to write several books in a month. I know what you’re thinking…she really is mad! Well, perhaps I am, but just think of it as taking all that pent up energy from being indoors all winter and channeling it to a greater, more entertaining purpose than breaking down a door with an ax.

To prove I am just as mad as a hatter, I’m giving away those prizes I mentioned above.

To one lucky winner I will give away a book of their choice from my backlist.

One winner will receive copies of one of my series. (In ebook)

Yet another winner will get my entire backlist – that’s three different author names and about 23 books. Wow!!! What a prize.

Winners will be selected from the list of people who reply, so if you reply please leave a name and email where I can contact you. It’s very disheartening to try and contact a winner only to discover there is no way to get a hold of them. If you mention you are going to Authors After Dark in Savannah this summer, I will enter you into an extra special drawing to meet me for drinks during the conference. (If you are under 21 your drink will consist of non-alcoholic beverage of your choice.)

Special notices: Due to the nature and subject matter of some of my titles all entrants must be at least 18 years of age. If you would like to comment on the blog, but are not eligible to enter the contest, please mention it in your reply. If you do not, I will assume you are good to go.

Contest closes on March 31st. Drawing to take place on April Fools Day – just to keep it interesting.

Good luck and let a little March Madness into your life.

-Kat

MarchMadnesssquare

Release Day for Mystics and Warriors Book 2: Sacred Sacrifices

All right, so I messed up on the release day. I thought it was the 17th, but apparently it is today! I’m both happy and sad over this. Happy because it’s finally out – sad because most of my scheduled promos and blog tours are for the end of the month. *sigh* Normally, I do admit my mistakes, but things were a bit confusing due to the fact the release date was moved a few times, so I can hardly be blamed for messing things up in the long run. I can only spin so many plates and juggle so many balls before the whole thing comes tumbling down. But enough about the author, let’s get to the reason I’m writing this blog…the book.

When I set out to write the sequel to Bad Religion, I knew I wanted to tell Jerella’s story and how she came to love and depend on two men to help her tackle the oppressive and evil theocrats. I also knew going into the book that both men would be on opposing sides of the conflict. What I didn’t know when I started writing and didn’t figure out until about chapter five or six is that the men had been former lovers. Well, if that just didn’t put a whole new spin on the emotion conflict of the story. I knew then that I really needed to listen to the characters and pursue that storyline as well. It wasn’t just about defeating the bad guys– or putting a serious dent in their plans — or Jerella’s journey to come into her full Sophatic powers. It was also about healing the past and moving forward. I always knew the title of the book, but it seemed that this new direction deepened the significance of Sacred Sacrifices and made it so much more meaningful. And before you ask…yes, I am one of those authors who really looks for the true meaning of their titles. I couldn’t just slap anything on the cover and call it good enough. It has to resonate with the story inside to a degree that it becomes impossible to separate the title and book.

The more I wrote Veric and Keis’s back story the richer the book became. I have to say I’m really quite proud of this title. It has everything I ever imagined it to be and more. I hope readers will enjoy Jerella, Veric and Keis’s story as much as I did. As with all my books, this has it’s fair share of intrigues, explosions and high tech gadgets. It also has a daring rescue, hot sex and trans-dimensional creatures. So much fun to write.

Here’s the blurbage for your enjoyment:

Sophite adja Jerella Montegro has crossed the length of the Sangrah Provinces to connect with a Unarion she’s only           communicated with in her mind. Hunted by the theocrats on an order of execution, she has risked everything to come to the aid of the
psychic sect she’s only heard of in stories. To bring them into the rebel fold with the Sophites and Drumas, it’s worth any price—including her life.

Unarion psychic Veric has spent the last few years mourning the betrayal of his lover, Keis, to the theocratic guards. Now, with
the construction of a tower near the borders of his homeland, and the rift of a nexus opening in the city of Rimfel, he needs           Jerella’s help to defeat the theocrats and their sinister plans once and for all.

Guard General Keis has given his all to the uniform he wears if only to bring his secret agenda to fruition. With Jerella and Veric in his crosshairs, he can’t lose. For what’s the promise of the future without a few sacrifices?

http://www.loose-id.com/mystics-and-warriors-2-sacred-sacrifices/

For those wishing to purchase it on amazon.com or nook the link is not yet live, but it will be available in those formats soon.

Now, the only think I have left to do is to figure out how to get the info on my website. *taps fingers on desk*

-Kathleen

 

Excitement and Confusion

If I were a dog, I’d be one of those ones who sit in the middle of the floor and constantly chase their tail in hopes of one day catching it. No lie. Hand to God. The good news is that I just do this when I write and I don’t actually spin in circles because that would look silly and probably get me a one-way ticket to padded corner doing the Thorazine shuffle.

Now you are probably wondering why I am so excited that I’d chase my tail amid happy barks. Well, there are two reasons. 1) After working night shift for 19 years, I’m finally going to jump ship and go to days. Yep, the old body said enough and I had to listen. I’ve already worked a couple of shifts and have to tell you I feel amazing. I’ll miss all my friends on the the night shift, but I think my health is more important than any other consideration. After all, I want to be around to write all the books floating around in my head.

Which brings me to 2) the more I’m writing on the second book of my steampunk/shifter series the more I can’t wait to get through the third book so I can get to the fourth. You see I’ve committed the unpardonable sin of falling in love with a secondary character–one who is in league with the villain. And if we are to believe his story…he worked for the villain of book one as well. SO CAN’T WAIT TO WRITE THIS CHARACTER IN HIS OWN BOOK. I’m just saying.

This derailing of my attention for a secondary character most likely stems from the fact he is not only dedicated bad boy, but physically scarred. What is it about me loving scarred heroes lately? Maybe I find their histories so much more interesting than the heroes without physical imperfections. However, I will say that every hero in this particular series has scars whether they show on the outside or not. Some of them just hide it better than others. Like Gideon in book 2. His scars are emotional and run very deep. It will take a special woman to bring him out of his buried despair…but oops, she has just as many as he does and their goals are on a collision course that has no choice but to destroy them both. So much fun to write. But then I’m mean to my characters that way.

So now you understand where the excitement and confusion comes from. I’m excited that I’ve found a backstory for my 4th hero, but am confused  because I want to skip over the other books and write this one. Can’t happen. I must go in order. There is political intrigue and a war brewing so I must keep the other elements in a linear fashion.

Sometimes it’s very frustrating not being able to write as fast as I read – or think. *sigh* I think I have enough projects in this one series to keep me going for a while. Wish me luck.

-Kat

 

Midsummer…Summer…Summer….

Now, if you are anywhere near my age, and listened to The Cars when you were in your teens, you might get that little play on the title there…If not…well, you might have some research to do. Hint: Magic.

Some people say the Beach Boys remind them of summer, others might think Black-Eyed Peas or Alice in Chains. I think it all depends on your musical tastes and what you enjoy listening to when you’re outside barb-b-queing or laying on the sand, frying at your favorite beach. For me, it’s different periods of my life that are linked to certain music and what summer it reminds me of. Point in case, Neil Diamond reminds me of my childhood summers. We lived down the street from this family who my parents were best friends with (they were probably a good ten years younger than my parents) but the act of just burning trash in built in fire pit in the backyard at either house, often evolved into a block party. To this day I can’t hear Sweet Caroline or I Am I Said, without feeling a bit nostalgic for hot, Michigan days and cool nights. Of grilling hotdogs with a metal stick over the open flames and playing with sparklers when it wasn’t even the Fourth of July.

Ah, those carefree days are long gone. The knowledge of knowing you had absolutely nothing to do but what your imagination might conjure kept you going for that three month period and straight into Labor Day. Damn, we had it good as kids.

In high school, I started putting my summers to better use and worked at an amusement park. What a great first job for teenager. There were some days I couldn’t wait to get to work. All my friends worked they and it was so much fun…I think everyone should enjoy their job that much. Rock music played all through the park, piped in from the owner’s office overlooking the midway. Generally the day kicked off with Rush’s Spirit of the Radio or the Motels Only the Lonely. To this day the smell of fair food mixed with the calliope of a merry-go-round takes me back to those sweet days. Every summer the workers of the two amusement parks that used to be in my hometown get together for what they call the Non-reunion Reunion. I only learned about it last year. Much to my surprise my old friends of Panama City Beach had been trying to locate me for a long time. It took the modern miracle of Facebook for them to finally catch up with me. And though I will not be able to attend the reunion, I am very glad they found me.

During college, my summers were chiefly spent at the beach (when you can roll out of bed and hit the Gulf of Mexico, this is not that much of a hardship) and waiting tables. Life was good. I was young and wild and free …so the song goes…and enjoyed every moment of squeezing out life in any way I could. Life seemed an endless summer back then…*sigh*

It’s been a long time since summer has represented more for me than the opportunity to drive to work unfettered by the horrible Jersey snowstorm. Something happens when we pass from carefree youth to responsible adult: the summers seem to get shorter, the opportunities for fun fewer. You become so bogged down in the everyday that before  you know it, autumn has come and you still haven’t gotten together with your closest friends to have that cookout you discussed two years ago Christmas. And the music…it all starts sounding the same…

To that I saw…Take back the season!!!

You’ve worked long and hard to get where you are…why not reap the rewards of a life well-lived? Why wallow in complacency when you can bask in sunshine of renewal. Midsummer isn’t just a time of year when the day is longest…it is the day of greatest power. Take of your shoes and run through the grass barefoot. Catch fireflies in a jar or watch them dance like tiny fairies over your yard. Hang some Chinese lanterns in your yard and grill out after dark and listen to the night birds. Run through a sprinkler or douse your mate with a garden hose. Do all those things you loved as a child, but thought you were too old to enjoy as an adult.

You are never too old to enjoy the summer. This year…make your own music.

-MK Mancos/Kathleen Scott

Making Tracks

Finally after being stuck on one spot for months, I’m finally moving forward on the sequel to Bad Religion. The title of the next book in the series, Sacred Sacrifices pits Jerella the Sopha adja against the Unarion psychic, Veric.

If you remember from the first book, Jerella was powerful if not a bit on the spoiled side. Well, she still is powerful and she’s learning to not be spoiled. If that’s possible. Their foe is the Guard General Keis. He has a few surprises of his own in store for our intrepid couple. None that I’m going to spill here, mind you, but they are really nice and yummy good.

I’ve also been kicking around with what to do with Queen’s Menagerie. I mean I know I would send it out again after it was rejected for representation, but just not to whom I was going to send. Was I going to try the agent route again or was I going to send it to a publisher. Well, I’ve always had trouble looking the conflict in the eyes in that book and calling it good enough, so I really was up in the air about which way to go. Then viola. It came to me. As I woke up this morning I noticed the fix was in my brain and the knowledge of where to send it was firmly lodged in my heart. I will not reveal that at this time, but I think it was supposed to work out this way. Round about, yes. But it feels right. And that’s all that matters as far as the Secret is concerned. So, on to the next project making me crazy these days.

All of them.

I have a high fantasy romance rolling around in my damn brain. I might have to work on that one. Along with the Victorian paranormal erotic romance and the next in the Scicia Saga. Ergg. Too many ideas, not enough days off to write them all.

I’m a  very busy girl.

Laters, folks.

-Kat

Where Does the Time Go?

All right. I looked up from my desk and noticed it was November and I haven’t written anything here since I opened the blog. Not good. But I do have an excuse- if I’m not writing here, it means I’m busy writing books.

Hey that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Anyhoo, there will be some changes around here shortly. I’ll get some links up and add some new and exciting sales and releases. I’ve had a talk with another wordpress blog I started with some friends under the name Kate Davison (Reading, Writing and Ruminations) and I think me and the format have come to an understanding. There are still some things I need to learn…it might be worth it to pick up a WordPress for dummies – if they have anything like that, or a book that’s like a tutorial. Most of the time I just cut myself loose and click buttons to see what happens. However, that way lies danger since I’ll get sucked into the muck, mire and morass and not get any writing done. As it is, I’ve been two hours getting information together so my website can be updated. (I really am the Queen of Procrastination.)

Long Live the Queen!

Not any more. Even though it isn’t quite time to start making those New Year’s Resolutions, I think mine is going to be that I stay updated on all my sites. I know it’s a tall order, but five or ten minutes a couple times a week is probably better than taking half a Sat. morning away from my writing when I’ve got projects up the wazoo to finish and getting no where on them fast.

Intellectually I know this. In practice, I’m upate fail personified. It’s been so long since I’ve logged in to Twitter that when I signed in a big white blank page came up. Does that mean I’m locked out? Probably.

Sigh. Think I’ll take a walk with the hubby and dog and get my mind right. A good, big dose of fresh fall air will do me good.

Laters,

Mystic Kat