Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Doubt and Determination / 13th Floor Blog Tour

Dwarves are getting all desperate because of all the ladies that have come but have not accepted to go out in a date with any of my minions. I told the little guys that daily baths and heady colognes were not guaranty of success but I don't think that made them feel better. Thinking this is their last chance in a while, they have cluttered the main entrance of the cave. They plan to dazzle my lovely guest with gifts of precious stones and gold. Somewhere they heard diamonds are girls' best friends. As if diamonds would also make them look like this Thorin Oakenshield. Ha! Ha-ha... ahem.

Anyway, meanwhile the Cassanova dwarves' plans are in doubt, I'm determined to spare my kind guest any trouble. She's entering the cave like a Rock Star, through the backstage door. (Yes, there IS a backstage door to the dragon cave. Mythic creatures cannot be too careful in modern times.)  So ladies and gentlemen, here she comes -behind the smoke curtain- the one and only



The 13th Floor series stalled several times as I started to write it. The protagonist in the first book isn't a chatty guy. Marc would glower and grunt, but I couldn't get him to talk. I tried all the techniques of finding your character's voice, but none of them worked. I wrote out some history, a day in his normal life, and a few mundane conversations. Marc refused to play along.

What sort of writer was I that couldn't get my own character to speak? I doubted my ability to get a grasp on any story at all. Wallowing in self-pity wouldn't get me anywhere, but for several weeks, wallow I did. What if I couldn't write a male protagonist? What if I fell into a rut and I couldn't climb out? I almost gave up on the series.

Yet where the popular techniques of finding your character's voice didn't work for me, I discovered a different route. I went to the secondary characters, and through them, the story blossomed. My villain loves the sound of his own voice and believed the tale was all about him. Marc's lady friend, Mae, was much kinder. She helped me see what lurked beneath Marc's tough, silent exterior. With her help, Marc's voice became clear, and the story poured out of me.

Each novella in the series held its own challenge. The two biggest ones came with books four and five.

In 1304 – THE HARBINGER, I take the reader out of our world and to Olympus. While it's fun to write about a legendary place where the gods make their home, I still needed the story to link to the others. At first, I couldn't see a way to do it. I was going to ruin my series halfway through because the Greek Gods demanded a challenge. And really, you don't say no to someone who can wield a lightning bolt or turn you into a poodle.

The story itself appeared separate from the rest of the series. I agonized over how I would connect it. Bring a character or two from the other stories up to Olympus? No. That wouldn't make sense. Did I want to bring a fight with the gods down to Earth? No, that wouldn't bode well for anyone. Besides, there was enough going on already in the city of Carmine.

Hm, oh! What if the gods already knew that? What if my protagonist's presence on the 13th floor was planned long before the events of the series took place? A connection! Instead of trying to move characters or places around, I found an answer that was there all along. (And no, I can't tell you. You'll have to read the series to find out what it is!)

With the fifth book, I wrote a hollow first draft. I couldn't get a grip on why it didn't feel right. Harriet is my favorite character in the series. I heard her voice clearly, and I knew her story. Yet why did it feel wrong? Was the series going to fail before I even made it to the end? What a pathetic writer I was to not even be able to write about a character I adored.

This time, it was my critique partner that shone the light on the problem. It wasn't only Harriet's story. It was Harriet's and Kiral's tale. It wouldn't be complete without his point of view. She was right. I rewrote the novella from two points of view, and it came together. I hope you're lucky to have critique partners as wise as mine.

I'm certain that I'll struggle and wrestle with my doubts with every story I write. Yet with each trial, I will prevail, because I'm determined to be a writer. There will always be a way to overcome problems even if you can't see them yourself. Be patient, flexible, and listen to your peers. Always persevere.




Title: The 13th Floor Complete Collection
Author: Christine Rains
Genre: paranormal romance

Release date: October 13th, 2013

Blurb:
Six supernatural tenants
Living in a haunted apartment building
On a floor that doesn't exist.

Six novellas telling their tales.

A retired demon acquires a price on his head.
A werewolf is hunted by her pack.
A modern day dragonslayer misses his target.
A harpy challenges Zeus for the soul of the man she loves.
A vampire is obsessed with a young woman he can't find.
A banshee falls in love with someone who's death she has seen in a vision.
And a sweet ghost must battle a primal monster to save them all.

All the stories take place at the same time intertwining their lives together on the 13th Floor.

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Author Bio:
Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not writing or reading, she having adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. The 13th Floor series is her first self-published series. She has eight novellas and twenty-one short stories published.

Website - Blog - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads 

Ooops! Dwarves and diamonds are here, but just to wish talented Christine the best of luck and great success with her series!


 (What do you think, girls? Diamonds make Tassin, Sessin, Milin or Pancholin look more like Thorin?)

48 comments:

  1. Haha not sure the diamonds make them look more like Thorin (sorry guys) BUT who doesn't like the sparkle of a few diamonds and remember it's what's on the inside that's important.
    Congrats to Christine, this sounds like a cleverly woven series and one that I am hoping to read soon.

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    1. Thank you, Suzanne. And great advice for the dwarves too.

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  2. I am not a fan of diamonds. Emeralds for this girl. Just the same, who doesn't love the dwarves. And if only they discover cloning they will realise just how popular they really are.
    This sounds like a truly wonderful series. Right up my alley. Thanks Christine, and thank you to Father Dragon for the introduction (and further temptation).

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  3. Diamonds help!
    At least no one turned them into poodles.
    Wise critique partner, Christine. The good ones are awesome and can help us out of any corner.

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    1. That they are. I'm very lucky to have the CPs and beta readers that I do. And even more so that no one was turned into a poodle!

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  4. I love the art and design... grabs me in to it.

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    1. That's a grand compliment from you, Jeremy! :)

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  5. Ah yes, diamonds would love me if they ever came to visit my fingers :)

    ..........dhole

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    1. Hahaha, we'll have to make an appointment then. :D

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  6. Thank you so much for being a marvelous host, Father Dragon. And thank you, kind dwarves, for your welcome and well wishes. Boy, I'm a little blinded by all those gems!

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    1. It was a joy to have you at the cave, Christine. The dwarves are totally in love with you and you're welcome here any time you wish! Dragon Hugs!

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  7. Throw some diamonds at that girl. I'm still hoping they turn her series into a television show. :)

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  8. I loved reading about your writing process, Christine. The 13th Floor series is awesome! Agree with LG - it would make a great TV show. ;)

    Poor little dwarves. They tried so hard. :(

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    1. Thank you, Melissa! I would love for it to be on AMC or HBO. If we could get Joss Whedon for it, even better!

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  9. Diamonds can't hurt. :)

    And I'm so glad you pushed through with the harder stories, Christine! It's an amazing collection, and I do miss the 13th Floor, even though you had your poor critique partners on the tight schedule with you.

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    1. Maybe the dwarves ought to give you some diamonds for how hard you worked with me. :) I'm very lucky to have great CPs. You're the best!

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  10. Oh the dwarves were really friendly, so the gifts definitely worked I',m dazzled :D Woot! Congrats Christine. Really interesting to read how you managed to intertwine the stories in the series together!:)

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  11. This was very encouraging to read, especially since I struggle with doubts about my own writing. Thanks, Christine!

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    1. And thank you, Dana. I'm glad it helped to encourage you. :)

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  12. Tell the dwarves they are beautiful as they are, when the right dwarf lady comes along, she will think they are perfect without the diamonds and such...though they do help ;)

    Excellent post Christine! I can't wait to get to these stories!

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! And I agree with you about the right lady dwarf.

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  13. Super success story, Christine. Glad you persisted. It has paid off.

    As to those dwarves, maybe they need an online dating service?

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    1. Thanks, Lee! I think that's a good suggestion for the dwarves. :)

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  14. That's quite the welcome you received, Christine. I hope they're keeping their hands to themselves? I love it when a story, or a piece of the story slips into place. Interesting how you did it. You never know what's gonna work.

    Hello Father Dragon!

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    1. Thank you, Gwen! Enthusiastic as the dwarves were, they are gentlemen, er, gentledwarves. Besides, their hands were full of diamonds!

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  15. It is hard to say no to diamonds...

    I wouldn't want to be turned into a poodle, Christine. I've been enjoying your series so far. I'm still in the Alpha, which is very fun.

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  16. Diamonds? Yes, please!

    What a great success story!

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  17. Love the premise of this series. Excellent advice on finding a character's voice... or advice by example. Whatever. Thanks for shoring your stories.

    Diamonds, huh?

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  18. Timely message on persisting and trying all the angles, thanks, Christine!

    And the dwarves are looking pretty handsome...

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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  19. Well, I don't know about Thorin, but the dwarf on the far right is kinda cute. I like his beard.

    Christine, I enjoyed reading how you developed the stories and I didn't know there was a connection between them all. Clever. I do like the idea of a of supernatural creatures living on a floor that doesn't exist.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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    1. I'll tell Sessin he has a new fan. He'll be thrilled. Thanks Sia!

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  20. Christine! Awesome visit to the cave, and diamonds all around. Wow, impressive! The characters do lead the story, and eventually, when we quit trying to tell them - the tell us! Critique partners also so very, very important to the completion! Starting your book soon, can't wait! Just a few more tasks to complete and it's time to read!

    Trick or Treat and Happy Halloween - dear Dragon Father, and your lovely dwarves! Sending kisses -- the chocolate kind, their way!

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    1. Happy Halloween to you too, Yolanda. Dwarves thank you for the kindness, but send marshmallow kisses instead of chocolate. Dragon is allergic to chocolate. :)

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  21. Thank goodness for CPs. I think all this shows you have the tenacity to make it as a great writer. You already have!

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    1. I'm very lucky to have the CPs I do! :) Thanks, Nick.

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  22. Hi Al and Christine,

    I do understand how eagerly you've been waiting for my comment. Yay, your wait is over! :) Perseverance, resilience, determination and your passion for the written word. Christine, my human and I are thrilled for you and your inspiration will be embraced.

    Dwarves, diamonds, a dragon and a dog. Life doesn't get much better than this.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)

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  23. Congrats, Christine!!
    Diamonds!! What a treat!

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  24. Great tour and I hope to read the collection.

    Those dwarves will find love, I'm sure.

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  25. yowza for christine!! i have 2 to go? love this series! she hit homeruns with all of them!

    and father dragon did an awesome job hosting too!
    love the sparkles!
    happy november!

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