Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bear Claw by Crissy Smith: Blog Tour

Bear Claw
(Shifter Chronicles, Book 2)
by Crissy Smith

Genres: Paranormal Romance, Crime, Mystery
Beauty and grace meet muscles and tattoos. When what’s on the outside doesn’t match the inside, sometimes you just trust your instincts.

Jamie Ward is the leader of the Bear Unit for the Shifter Coalition. He uses his big, tough biker appearance to intimidate his suspects. It works for him, except in finding a mate.

A recent resident of Lake Worth, Arizona, Jamie finds himself at the local library where he meets the woman who might just be worth risking everything for, including his heart. If only he could get up the nerve to ask her out.

Brandy Brooks has a secret. She writes erotic romance mysteries under a pen name. Hiding her identity is second nature to her and she enjoys living in the shadows—until a sexy biker starts visiting her place of employment. For once in her life, she wishes to be seen. But Jamie doesn’t appear interested.

The two navigate carefully through the beginnings of a relationship that is interrupted by Jamie’s missing person cases and the threat of war between humans and shifters. They must work together to keep each another safe when their night out literally explodes around them.

Reader Advisory: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series.
Outlining and Planning for Paranormal Romance
by Crissy Smith

You know that feeling when you get so lost in a book that everything else around you just disappears? When you can let go of your stress and just relax?

I believe that every author strives to connect with a reader like that. It doesn’t happen often but every once in a while the bond is formed. I have a couple books that have grabbed my soul and I will never be able to give up. Some make me laugh, some help me escape, and some are tear-jerkers. But they all have one thing in the common. From the first word to the last they drew me into the story.

So to even attempt to write a novel that may help someone forget about a hard day or just have an evening to unwind, I try to make each story I write fun and filled with romance.

With my latest release Bear Claw: Shifter Chronicles, Book two, I set out to write an enjoyable paranormal romance with a twist of mystery.

Outlining Bear Claw I used a process that I’ve adopted after several years of trying different methods.

As any writer can tell you, there are several different ways to outline and I believe I have tried them all. I’ve found that working by the seat of my pants or without a plan, results in numerous rewrites and completely leaving out important parts of the plot. That’s not good. Another outlining style I've attempted is planning out every word and staying right within the outline. Oh boy! This took forever and made writing feel like a job. I already have one of those! I shouldn’t dread sitting down in front of my computer.

So after years of mixing and twisting different plot planning I have finally found what works for me. I share this because like I said, writing should be fun! To see your words come together and get an entertaining read out of it.

First I write my world building page. If this is part of a series I copy over from the other books and add the specifics for the current manuscript. Next I write my characters page. Names, descriptions, and personality traits. After that I write a short summary including what plot twists and facts that cannot be left out of the story.

Finally I start outlining the actual book.

Depending on the word count that I estimate or have agreed to (series books have to stay within the same word count) I write in my notebook how many chapters I plan. If the story is a novella I usually write 2000-3000 words per chapter. A novel and up have to be at least 3000 every chapter.

I outline specifically the first three and the last three chapters. Although I do allow myself to change up these chapters if that is the way the plotline is taking me. I’ve learned its okay to change with the manuscript.

Now that I have these chapter outlines complete I pick the chapters to include the twists of the story. I’m old school enough to think you need at least one if not two plot twists.

It’s time to start writing now. Since I do work a full day job my writing time is the weekends. From first thing Saturday to bedtime Sunday I am at my computer with very little disruptions. During the week since I have worked all day I try to finish any interviews, blog posts, and marketing so I don’t have to do that on the weekends.

What do you think of this outlining/ planning? What works for you? And readers have you been able to tell when authors haven’t planned out their books? I know I have. Especially when there has been holes in the plot and questions unanswered. This is actually what I am trying to avoid.

And you can get a look at my process with my latest release Bear Claw! It’s available now to give you a sexy shifter read with a touch of mystery.
Crissy Smith lives in Texas with her husband, daughter, and three Labrador retrievers. The three dogs love to curl up under her computer desk and nap while she writes. It doesn't leave a lot of room for her but what's a woman to do?

When not writing or reading, she enjoys hunting, camping and shooting. But she has a girly side too and is addicted to pedicures and coffee.

She has been writing since she was a teenager and still loves everything to do with the paranormal. Her stories and characters all have a place in her heart. She loves the alpha male, the dominant werewolf, or the Master vampire which find their way in most of her books.

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