What a year. For those of you that don’t know I moved back home to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I won’t say it’s been good, but it hasn’t been all bad either. Hey, at least I’m where most of my family and friends are, that’s a plus no matter how I look at it
In the year that I was unemployed I started to really write. In 2013 I wrote 8 books, all more than 50 thousand words, a few over 100 and I am proud to say that as of Dec. 31st 2013, there were 25,486 downloads of my books. YEAH! I am so…humbled, thrilled, excited, happy. The list of adjectives go on and on. But while I write, I also read.
My reading was like my movie watching, I’ll watch damn near anything as long as it’s good, and in the past it was the same with books. I read a little bit of everyone, and a little of every genre. That is no longer the case. I am an addict for adult romance, and particularly fond of the paranormal kind. Currently my favorite authors are J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood until I die) and Larissa Ione (Who I strongly suspect is J.R. Ward) but I found a few new authors that kept me going this past year and while I re-read some of my 2012 favorites, I also discovered, Darynda Jones, and her wonderful Charley Davidson Series and Shelly Laurenston’s Pride Series. The grown up, wanna-be sophisticated part of me want to say I sat down and read: Shakespeare, Tony Morrison, Ernest Gaines, hell, even my all time favorite author, Stephen King, but I did not. I did watch a couple of episodes of Under the Dome but I didn’t like the changes, and I did try to read Anna Karenina but couldn’t get down with Tolstoy writing style. I get points for reading Cassandra Claire, Infernal Devices.
And so while I was not reading Pride and Prejudice or any other great author or classic, I did laugh so hard reading The Mane Attraction (book Three of the Pride Series) that my husband kicked me out of bed…until I finished reading all eight books because I couldn’t stop laughing in the middle of the night. I did find a new man named Reyes Farrow in the Charlie Davidson Serires, he’s the paranormal equivalent of Christian Grey and Gideon Cross. I cried at the end of Clockwork Princess, Cheered when Quinn and Blaylock finally hooked up in Lover at Last, and was held captive for weeks on end reading the Anita Blake Series by Laurell K. Hamilton (22 books written over 20 years. I read a few more than once.)
So all told I read 63 books last year, more if you count the ones I read two or more times.
I love to read and I love to write and when I’m not driving 40 hours straight across the country, I’m doing one or the other.
Check out full list here.
Kimberly Odum Wells
So, I decided to start writing after researching a favored author. I’d purchased my first nook and was obsessed with young adult paranormal romance novels and couldn’t find my next fix quick enough. I found a series of books, My Blood Approves, written by Amanda Hockings and for reasons unknown looked her up and found out she was a self-published author. I also found Penelope Fletcher, who write the equally wonderful, Ray Wilder books. She is also a self-published author.
I moved on from young adult paranormal to just plain adult paranormal and TWILIGHT-like books were replaced with THE BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD, by J.R. Ward. It’s obsession at its best and worst. After reading and re-reading the BDB books and anything like it, I decided to give the self-published and often times free books a chance, after all it was the reason I started writing, and downloaded a very popular series. I read the first few pages and was like–I can do better than this.
I never intended on writing a werewolf book, I thought the market had too many after the sparkly vampires were on the scene, but since this was going to be an adult book I sat down and started to write. Like the rest, I was finished in a week with the first draft, but I couldn’t sit still long enough to do a proof reading so I picked up on a book I’d started the summer before. The original story was about fairies but I changed it to werewolves and LUPA was born. I wrote the story with a clear end in sight and I typed until I was finished. Or so I thought.
I have received emails and comments and every review states, “I can’t wait to see what happens.”
So it seems I was not finished. Currently I am working on book two of my first book, and I also have to finish a fifth book to a series, and proof the adult werewolf book that started it all. After that I can focus on a sequel to LUPA. I already have a title: NONAKRIS. (I think)
As always, I’d like to thank everyone take time to read anything I write. I love to write and I love a good story and with each comment I am inspired to write something worthy that time.
I’ve written a lot since I released Wlia: Mothers of War Trilogy. Heck, I’ve re-written Wila so many times I almost want to count the revisions as new books as well. I’ve gotten good reviews and the only complaint seems to be my lack of proofing the book. Each time I receive a review or email from a fan about my lack of ability to find the errors, I have mixed emotions because I have literally read the book no fewer than ten times and still, I just can’t seem to catch everything. I do know I proof read like I write…fast. There is no defense, I can only say, each and every time I will strive to do better because readers deserve no less.
Oh yeah and grammar. I do receive the occasional comment on grammar. I write like I talk (speak???) and I have poor grammar. Working on it.
Anyway, before I write about the revisions I’ve made to Found I’d like to thank everyone who have read or will read or is reading the book. When this all started I didn’t think it would become an addiction but it has, and with the kind words and glowing reviews (in spite of poor editing and grammar) I write almost everyday. It’s inspiring and rewarding in a way I never imagined. THANK YOU!
Found: Second Edition. I received a few emails, facebook and blog comments about the second book. The book was always meant to be three and I have about half of the second written but was sidetracked by five completed books and three unfinished ones. I’m a little scatter brained when it comes to writing and I find myself dropping one story to start another, but after making a move from Cali (California) to Ali (Alabama), I decided to finish book two, titled Guardians. But before that, I decided to try and find all those errors that plagued the second revision. In fixing those I decided things needed to be changed, taken out, or just added brand new, which made me release it, not as a revision, but a second edition. It changed how the second one will turn out, but that’s a different story all together. Anywho, I read, re-read, tweaked out the book cover, and uploaded to Smashwords, the new edition last night and will keep my fingers crossed that it is better. Check it out and let me know.
Once upon a time….
A note from me
The first book that was mine, really truly my own, was a book of fairy-tales that I’d received as a birthday present when I was about nine or ten—I think. It included Rumpelstiltskin, Puss in Boots, Rapunzel, Jack and the Bean Stalk and Why the Sea is Salty. There may have been others but my forty year old mind doesn’t remember what they were. My love for stories goes back further than that. My mother read to me and my sisters long before that book of fairy-tales, which started the love affair for all her girls. We’re all mothers now and our children love to read. What a great legacy.
My favorite book fairy-tale is The Twelve Dancing Princesses and my favorite movie fairy-tale is Cinderella. I don’t care who made it or the different versions, if a movie has been made on the premise I love to watch it. Everyone knows the story of the kind girl forced to work in her own home as a slave to her evil step-mother and sisters, but not everyone has read about the dancing princesses.
I don’t know when I started thinking of Lupa as a fairy-tale, Now they’re called paranormal romances or contemporary romance. Is it because that sound more grown up? More modern? Well, let me be the first to call a spade a spade. I like the word and I’d be honored for anyone who reads this book to walk away and think of it as a fairy-tale. I do. There’s bad language and a few steamy scenes but anyone who’s read the original Grimm’s fairy-tales know that there’s a little watering down going on in the studios of Walt Disney. Not for language or sex, but kids being boiled alive and eaten by trolls and birds flying down and eating the evil step-sisters eyes is pretty disturbing too.
I started this story the summer of 2012. It was not a book about werewolf; it wasn’t even a paranormal book until I was about a hundred pages into the original writing. You see, I was obsessed with young adult paranormal romance novels when I decided to write my first book. This story started out the second story I’d ever sat down and tried to put to paper. I loved the first line. “I woke with humidity already wreaking havoc on my slightly overweight body.” It’s not the first line anymore but the whole story came from that one line. The sentence popped into my head and hours later I had the beginnings of a manuscript. I got side tracked, wrote a couple of other books and went back to this story after the new year of 2013. I still loved it. Loved it more than the other stuff I was writing and so I decided to dust it off and finish it. The only problem was I was now into werewolves, where when I’d originally wrote the book I was into fairies and had already incorporated fae mythology into the storyline. Silly person that I am thought I could just find and replace fairy with werewolf.
The manuscript was 78,000 words. I tossed about half and a werewolf story was born. It only took me a week to finish. 113,089 words in five days! What can I say, I love a good story, even if I’m writing it and this was so much fun. The story is fiction of course. I don’t know any werewolves personally. But some of the characters I may have borrowed from my childhood. The main character started out me (remember it didn’t start out a paranormal romance) and ended up a whole different person. I’m glad. I like Marie Elizabeth Josette Freeland.
Okay…so there are two things in the story that are really from my life. One is the story of Josette’s name screw up. I love movies, books and am obsessed with all royalty not just the British one. And I wanted my son to have a distinguished and powerful name, which for me meant more than the measly two we’re ordinarily given by our parents. The formula was simple; a family name, a name from a character in a movie and one from a book. I named my son Reuben Thaddeus Osiris Odum. Reuben is my grandfather; Osiris is the Egyptian god of the underworld (I first read about him in Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice)…and Thaddeus? Thaddeus is the name of the father of the main character in the movie Boys in the Hood. If you’ve seen the movie you know his name is Furious. What can I say? I should have done some fact checking on that one. I wouldn’t have named my son Furious anyway; although Hrothgar (Beowulf) and d’Artagnan (The Three Musketeers) were in the running. No shit.
The other true story is about the fork in the water with an electric charge. My sister called me in the kitchen one day and asked me to pick up a fork lying on the countertop next to the sink. I knew something was up. It took me a long time to reach over and try. But I did and I was shocked. After allowing me to try to figure out what the hell was going on for a few minutes my sister finally pointed to the frayed cord of our can opener lying in the puddle of water the fork was sitting in. I don’t know how we got the fork out but it’s a good memory I have of my sister.
Last but not least…I hope.
I’ve been told I tell a good story. I’ve been told this by several people for awhile now so I’m going to have to agree. Anyone who know me knows that when I’m confident in something I’m the first to toot my own horn. Being told I’m a good storyteller makes me want to duck my head, kick the ground and say “Aww shucks,” while blushing a nice bright red. I’m not quite sure why.
But I do know why people would think so, or rather, why I am. It’s because I love a good story of course. And I when I tell a story, other peoples story, be it a book or a film or an episode from a TV show; I want people to get as excited as I was when I was watching or reading it. I want people to cheer the good guys, I want them to hate the villain and cry when true love is loss or found. I want people to want to go home and watch the move or pick up the book or research the subject matter, as I do all the time. Which leads me to—the story itself.
I like history and I like mythology and legend. I know as much as the next average man does about werewolves. But I wanted to add something else. Something that, for those people like me who like to read any and everything; would make a person go to their computers and pull of character names to read the real story.
Odin, Thor’s father, had two wolves Geri and Freki. If you want to know the rest you’ll need to read it on your own. You’re welcome.
I can’t end without saying something about Stephan King. I’m a fan. Enough said
I love history, jewels, pomp and circumstance and beautiful ball gowns. I don’t know if it is the reason I am utterly fascinated with Her Majesty the Queen of England Elizabeth II but I’m sure it aids it. If I had money I’d move to Great Brittan, become as citizen and be forever more her loyal and faithful subject. I’d move as soon as Prince Charles became King because I am most definitely Team Diana. A place where there is a Queen Camilla is just…wrong. I’d move back for King William and Queen Catherine’s reign.
I know her life is sometimes, if not always, anything other than the fairytale that I imagine. It still seems so other worldly. And while I watch documentaries on her life or read the latest this or that online about her family I cannot help but place her in the realm of make-believe. Maybe it’s because I’m American. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl. Maybe it doesn’t matter. There is just something about the quiet regal woman that makes me daydream and puts me in the place that I often go when I watch a good movie or read a good book.
My first book has all the things that I love. A Queen who wears long flowing gowns and no shoes. She has knights and a guard. There are angels with large white wings that protect her and are utterly devoted. People bow and curtsey to her and she wears a crown that changes with her mood, it can be covered in diamonds or become a wreath of spring blossoms around her lovely head. There is pageantry and fealty, oaths and vows. There are unbreakable bonds. And sappy love. All of which fascinate me.
The ceremonies that take place in the book are based on those I’ve found from all around the world. If you care to dig there is real history and folklore within the book. The color of the wedding dress. The significance of the number 7, the wedding ceremony, the name of the characters; all based on some tidbit of information I came across when I started because sometimes history and fairy-tales are one.
Like the Queen.