SLCC Panel: So I’ve Written a First Draft: Now What?

The panel I’m most excited about at Salt Lake Comic Con this week is definitely “So I’ve Written a First Draft: Now What?” (Saturday 9/23, 7 PM in room 150G). I’m a weird sort of writer. Putting the first draft on paper is often like pulling teeth (even though once I actually start writing, the time flies by). However, cleaning up that brutal first draft is where my passion for my craft really shines — I guess that’s the editor in me.

Last year, as part of the blog tour for Steel Empires Book 2: Steel Magic, I wrote a post that covers the panel topic! So if you can’t be in Salt Lake City this weekend, head over to author Cara McKinnon’s blog to find “So You’ve Finished Your Novel: What Next?

Hopefully the other panelists have some added words of wisdom to share from their experiences, which I’ll try to include in my con report when it goes up next week. Until then, we can have our own panel here! (Because being online is more entertaining than packing, which just pisses off my cats.) What do you do when you’ve finished your first draft?

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Book excerpt: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #14

It’s been a whirlwind two weeks, but today is the last stop of the Steel Blood blog tour! If you missed any stops along the way, you can find the full roster at my Guest Blog page. For our final stop, author Weston Kindcade was kind enough to discuss his thoughts about Steel Empires Book 1: Steel Victory and host a short excerpt from Steel Blood for me.

[The Brit] raised one hand and bit a thumbnail, then flicked his thumb at the robed Qin. He didn’t get the insult, but his friend did. The man in pants threw the first punch, snapping the Brit’s head to the side. But the Brit recovered at once and tackled his aggressor. They both crashed to the street in a mess of limbs, leaving the robed Qin shouting above them.

It was like watching a train wreck, exactly the sort of political bullshit Victory had been concerned about dealing with. But she had expected pointed jibes over state dinners and cocktail parties, not brawling in the streets. This was embarrassing for everyone. She passed Mikelos her overnight bag and waded into the fray….

Head over to Kincade’s blog to see the rest and make sure to check out his fiction while you’re there. I hope you’ve enjoyed taking this journey with me!

Steel Blood is available in hardcopy and ebook formats at the following online retailers:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Raw Dog Screaming Press


Seriously, it’s the end of the tour. What are you still doing here? I have cats to snuggle and writing to get back to.

Oh, you want more?

Check back here on August 21st (or better yet, subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss anything) for a fun contest announcement! You’ll have a chance to win a hardcopy or ebook of your choice from the Steel Empires series!

Not your typical vampire: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #13

Author Jennifer Loring asking me the ever-important question about writing in the fantasy genre. What makes my vampires and other supernatural creatures stand out from the crowd? How did I put my own spin on the mythology while still making my characters recognizable? Take a quick look:

My vampires fit the mold in that they’re essentially immortal creatures who drink blood to sustain themselves and can’t be out in direct sunlight. They are apex predators who have evolved to be humanity’s greatest hunter. But rather than slathering monsters, for the most part my vampires are part of a civilized society that would much prefer a cold beer to the hot blood of an unwilling victim.

Along with vampires, I also discuss werewolves, who have been a part of this series since the first book, and weredragons, a recent newcomer to the pantheon on the Steel Empires. I hope you check it out.

While you’re there, take a look at some of Loring’s available work! She’s a prolific author who writes in a variety of genres, so there’s sure to be something for everyone.


Tomorrow is the LAST STOP of this blog tour!! It’s been a wild ride, and I appreciate everyone who’s joined for the fun. We’re closing things out at Weston Kincade‘s blog, with a final book excerpt. Obviously a Romeo & Juliet pastiche has to have the requisite “No, sir, but I do bite my thumb, sir” scene!

Author Interview: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #12

The weather is spectacularly stormy here in my corner of Maryland today. I can only assume that the star of Steel Magic, storm-mage Toria Connor, is perturbed that all the attention has been on Victory lately as the main character in Steel Blood.

Too bad for both of them, though, because today the focus is on me! Fellow Seton Hill University Writing Popular Fiction grad Jacob Baugher interviewed me on his blog today, for the latest stop on the tour.

What is your writing kryptonite? 

The biggest obstacle to my writing time is definitely my Netflix addiction. My queue is enormous, partly because some shows I literally don’t have time to watch during their season, even with DVR, and partly because there are some shows that I just have to keep watching now that I’ve started, no matter how outside my genre (ScandalReignHawaii 5-0). On the other hand, Netflix’s new ability to download episodes has been amazing, because during the months of the year when I’m drafting a new book, I can limit my Netflix time to my treadmill time. Watching an episode takes about the same amount of time it takes me to speed-walk 5k, so everyone wins!

Check out the rest of the interview on Baugher’s blog, and while you’re there, drop him a note and tell him to get back to working on his novel! I read the beginning of it when he was still a student, and I’m anxiously awaiting the day it gets published. (There’s a violinist, which means it already has a special place in my heart.)


Tomorrow, I’ll be visiting author Jennifer Loring to talk about what makes my supernatural creatures stand out from the rest!

But I’m not a horror writer!: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #11

Yesterday, we got a look at the more “human” side of my main character, the vampire Victory (over here, if you missed it). And while I love that scene, it’s not unique — being a vampire is just part of who Victory is, which also includes being a partner, a mother, a politician, a mercenary, etc. Today, fellow RDSP author Maria Alexander asked me to talk about why I write urban fantasy for a primarily horror publisher. Well, it’s because I think the monsters are people, too. A quick look:

Urban fantasy allows me to explore that sense of “otherness” using the supernatural, just as science-fiction has been teaching us about humanity through the lens of alien races for decades. Though still incorporating elements of monstrousness, supernatural creatures can be an equal part of society in open-world urban fantasy. That unique facet draws me in, and challenges me to create well-rounded characters no matter their species.

While you’re there, be sure to check out BOTH of Alexander’s award-winning RDSP novels, Mr Wicker and Snowed. She’s also much better at using her blog as an actual blog than I am, and there are some great gems. (Not that any of you have complained about my book reviews, thankfully.)


Tomorrow, author Jacob Baugher asked me to answer some interview questions about both my writing and Steel Blood!

Book excerpt: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #10

Author Anna Zabo offered to host a short excerpt from Steel Blood on their blog for this stop of the blog tour!

The scene takes place near the beginning of the novel, when Victory and Mikelos have arrived in the Qin Empire’s colonial city of Jiang Yi Yue. As a vampire, Victory was prepared to wait on the ship until night fell to safely transfer to the palace and begin her mercenary contract as a bodyguard to the Qin princess. But the British delegation would have none of that, and arranged for alternative transportation.

Sound interesting? Click the link above to get the full story!

While you’re there, I highly recommend checking out Zabo’s work. I literally devoured one of their entire series in less than a week, and they are definitely one of the reasons I have to claim to be a romance fan now!


If you thought this excerpt humanized Victory, tomorrow I’m stopping by fellow RDSP author Maria Alexander‘s blog to talk about why I think monsters are people, too.

Sunday inspirational interview at the Tower of the Archmage: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #7

One of my life goals is to eventually see the Steel Empires series adapted into a table-top RPG. A lot of my history and passion for gaming has gone into this series, which the Tower of Archmage captures nicely in it’s Sunday Inspirational post, featuring an interview with me! A quick look:

Let’s jump right into it: How has gaming influenced how you write?

JLG: As a table-top gamer since high school, I think the other players have influenced me more than the mechanics of gaming itself. Gaming involves working together with other people to solve problems, so I’ve never been one for the “lone wolf’ protagonist. My characters are surrounded by friends and loved ones and allies of convenience, who must all work together to solve conflict or escape their current situations. The variety of characters, played by such variety of people, that I’ve experienced over the years definitely helped me realize that relationships are just as important as plot.

If you’re interested in gaming, be sure to follow the Tower of the Archmage blog for all sorts of cool tips and ideas!


Tomorrow, it’s Victory’s turn in the spotlight — she’s being interviewed at the blogs of fellow RDSP authors Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts. Meanwhile, I’ll be interviewing the main characters of their upcoming novel, Hounds of the Underworld, which releases this Wednesday!