Excerpt Sunday – Autumn Fire

From my Work in Progress Romance novel, Autumn Fire.


The dream shifted, and Sam was staring at Jon and Dori again in their kitchen, laughing and teasing each other. The sunlight seemed to drown them all in ethereal light, so bright that Sam could barely see Jon’s face. He saw Dori’s clearly, but not Jon’s.

He was heading out, beckoning Sam to come with him. When they’d gotten in the car, Sam could feel them driving – rolling through an endless tunnel of white light, cocooned in an unknown void. When the impact hit them, shattered glass littered around him, cutting through flesh and singing through the air. When he looked up, darkness killed the heavenly light, and Jon was slumped over in the driver’s seat, the metal fragment piercing his brain, spilling out his blood into the car and onto Sam. Sam could feel his own pain dulling when he’d seen his lifeless friend.

Over and over again he saw Jon die. The dreams, the memories, the fear played on an endless loop, trapping him in an amber web of his own terror, his own guilt that his young friend had died that day and some higher power had spared him.

Suddenly, he felt very wet, and he wondered if he was covered in blood, but instead, Sam was weeping, almost endlessly, the cries of horror and agony coming out in small whimpers, echoing through the black corridor as his friend laid lifeless beside him.

He couldn’t save him. Sam had saved him once from alcohol addiction. He’d saved him and helped him, and Jon had finally become a wonderful man – a soldier, a caretaker, and a loyal friend. Sam couldn’t save him from this. No matter how much the dream looped, Sam couldn’t save Jon from a fate like this.

He was gone. Jon was gone and Sam still couldn’t breathe or think the moment he realized his friend was gone, that he’d seen his death wedged in his mind like a cancer, haunting him and making him weep.

“Sam!”

He’d inhaled a sharp breath and his eyes opened in surprise. His cheeks were wet, and he turned to Dori, whose hands were on his shoulders, bringing him awake.

“You were crying,” Dori said. “I’m sorry; I didn’t realize you were sleeping.”

“No, it’s okay,” Sam said in a small, crackled voice.

“No, it’s not. Jesus Christ, Sam. Is this every night for you? These dreams about my brother?” she asked, and she slid next to him on the couch. Her thighs lightly grazed against his, and he felt stilled from the touch.

“Yes,” he answered her, unsure of how to feel about her closeness and worry. He’d always dealt with his demons alone, and he couldn’t burden her with knowing that her brother’s death had literally changed his life. And not for the better. He’d struggled every day with it, the memories, the trauma – and he couldn’t tell this sweet woman that her brother’s death had brought him so much struggle and pain.

© H.K. Rowe

Advertisements

Excerpt Sunday – Autumn Fire

It’s a little late in the day, but here it is! I had to tackle many things today but I finally found a moment to update. 🙂

From Autumn Fire, my 2014 NaNoWriMo novel ~


After her brother’s accident, Dori was plagued with dreams of him. He’d be facing her in a sunny field, and she couldn’t see his face. The sunlight was so bright she had to squint, but she knew he was smiling.

Jon was smiling and telling her that he loved her. She remembered the hug he forced on her before he’d left that day of the accident. She wished it burned in her like a tattoo. Only now it was a dull ache.

Sam, on the other hand, was in such a critical state that he’d never made it to Jon’s funeral. Maybe he had been there in spirit. The accident left him unconscious mostly, on medication and slowly healing from his injuries. He’d broken his legs, had several injuries to his ribs, and he’d been in surgery to repair his ruptured lung. He’d scraped his face in spots where he’d need surgery, and he’d broken his hand.

Many people came to Jon’s funeral. Not including her dad though. As usual, Dori and Jon’s father was still gone. Dori wondered if he’d show up at least to make peace with his son, to do one last good act as a father when he’d never been one to them before.

She at least wanted to see her dad’s new wife and family. She wondered if they were better then them. At least they were alive. One part of their remaining family was dead.

“The best part,” Dori said, and even though her brother had struggle with his alcohol addiction, he’d kicked it. It was thanks to Sam’s friendship of course, but Jon did most of the legwork. He worked harder than all of them to fight and defeat his demons.

He was going to be a brilliant soldier too, and protect and serve their country. He was truly a good man, and Dori felt it terrible and unfair he had to die like this in a car accident.

The driver who’d hit her brother’s car had shown up to the funeral. He looked haggard and unkempt. She didn’t know what he was doing here, but he never said a word to her or her mother. He looked over at them and averted his gaze. He’d walked up to her brother’s open casket, made the sign of the cross, and said a prayer.

©HK Rowe

Goodbye November – Update

*waves*

Hello! Yes, I’m coming out of weeks of being a hermit to update this blog. I’ve been furiously writing my new story Autumn Fire so I could make the NaNoWriMo word count, and I’m happy to say that I have won it this year. There were some times where I got really behind and didn’t think I’d make it, but I came through. I feel very accomplished, which is definitely a confidence booster that I needed lately.

Winner-2014-Square-Button

Real life has also been hectic, with Thanksgiving and small road trips here and there. I finish off the month with another small Thanksgiving dinner today with my mother, sister, brother-in-law, and young niece today. It’ll be good times with more turkey and apple pie.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be celebrating my birthday, where I will be doing my first ever Goodreads Giveaway for Unbridled to give out five free signed paperback copies. During the giveaway I will be posting links here.

This blog will go back to a regular schedule, hopefully with regular topics. I am determined to switch gears and finish working Killer Orange to release early next year. Christmas is approaching so I’m hoping for a little more time off from work and things to focus on it. Who knows? The holidays get very busy but I’m pretty adamant to get this done. I think I found a good editor too.

I hope everyone is doing well and that those who participated in NaNoWriMo came out with some great stories.

Cheers!

H.K. Rowe

NaNoWriMo Progress & Writing Process Meme

I don’t know how you guys can keep up with your blogging during NaNoWriMo. Pretty much any available free time I have is devoted to my book this month, and though I’m slightly behind on my Word Count, I’m just entranced by my book this time around. It’s such a contrast from last year. I don’t know what was going on with that novel last year, or maybe I was just insanely busy, but I have been more enthusiastic about delving into Autumn Fire and working it out.

The big factor was changing up my lead female character. She’s more dynamic, more interesting, and I’ve been able to get in her head a lot better than some of my female characters. I’ve paid closer attention to her, her strengths and her weaknesses, and just her personality as it unfolds.

My male protagonist is a little more wooden, but it’s for word count right now so maybe I can finesse him during the next draft. Until then, it’s about the words!

I’m going to try to keep up with the blog at least on Mondays. I’m going to try Fridays too, but no promises!

I hope everyone is doing well with their word counts.

*

Finally, I found a Writing Process meme that I quite enjoyed. I know several writers talk about their writing processes here, and honestly, it’s not my thing. I have a hard enough time talking about my book. I don’t know why that is. I just find it more practical to concentrate on the book instead of talking about it to people for guidance. I’d like to think every writer has their own processes that fits them, and mine is not going to be helpful to anyone else.

So here goes:

1. What am I working on at the moment?

For NaNoWriMo, I’m working on a romance story called Autumn Fire. It’s a May-December relationship between an older man and a younger woman. I’m currently editing another romance story called Killer Orange. I also have several unfinished works, a fantasy novella that I haven’t looked at in over a year. I’m also working on a 7-book series to hopefully be released next year. The first book is complete, just needs some finesse.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’m not really into the defined sense of a genre. I like my novels to have several genres: romance, fantasy, paranormal, action, etc. I guess that’s where I differ. I am heavily influenced form Jane Austen and VC Andrews in my writing. I like relationships building from the Austen influence, and I like the dark and disturbing themes and conflict of the VC Andrews novels. My first book, Unbridled, was heavily influenced by my love of VC Andrews, especially Flowers in the Attic.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I want to share stories, and writing is my escape. I’ve always enjoyed sharing stories and writing about the scenes in my head. If people like my stories, even if it’s a handful, I feel like the writing is worth it. Not only to myself but for others’ enjoyment.

4. How does my writing process work?

I work six days a week, so most of my writing happens at night. I usually write after dinner and up until midnight sometimes in my little studio on my trusty Windows PC. If I want to write in bed, I have my Macbook. I’m a night owl so my creativity really soars in the evening. Although I get inspired and ideas during the day, I always have my notebook handy to write down what I think of. I also keep a dream journal near my bed so if I get inspired by dreams or whatever, I write them down so I don’t lose them in that lucid state. I back everything up on my Google Drive, which is the best system. I’ve transferred so many stories there that I’ve been afraid of losing.

I’m not going to tag anyone but feel free to steal this meme if you so desire.

Cheers,

HK Rowe

NaNoWriMo – It Begins…

Hello, everyone! I hope everyone had a great Halloween. I dressed up as the TARDIS from Doctor Who. Well, it was a Tardis-girl costume. 🙂

I guess I’m a day late but I definitely have been working on NaNoWriMo even before it started. Friday I uploaded a cover and summary, and now I’ve met my word count goal for day 2.

Here’s the cover:

autumnfire-cover

Summary:

Dori and Sam have always had a strange bond; they’ve both lost someone special in a car accident: Dori’s older brother Jon and Sam’s best friend. After Sam loses his job, he becomes homeless, prompting Dori to take him into her home. Dori is ready to help Sam heal from his demons, but is she ready to give up her carefree life and fall in love with an older man?

And of course, here are the widgets!

 

Participant-2014-Facebook-Profile

Find me if you want to be my buddy! My name is quirkyslayer.

For those of you who are doing NaNoWriMo, good luck and happy writing!

Cheers!

H.K. Rowe

NaNoWriMo – Character Change

So I’ve been struggling for the past two weeks to connect with my female protagonist in my head and emotionally. I’ve struggled defining her and giving her depth, like a real relate-able person, but trying to come up with scenes and actually formulate her as a person.

I can’t even picture her. I mean I CAN, just that she can’t come off as real to me.

So before bed, my mind was racing as the night was winding down, and I was panicking a little bit that I couldn’t grasp an overall feel to my story idea.

I began thinking that red-headed antisocial and kind Dori was just too boring. She was not interesting enough to be my protagonist. I couldn’t even picture her to DRAW her, and that’s when I really knew I was in trouble.

Ultimately… I changed her. Dori is now no longer a white redhead with long hair. She’s now a Mexican-American with short shoulder length, soft brown hair and deep dark brown yes. She smiles and engages openly with people with sarcastic quips, but she’s still guarded. She doesn’t commit to relationships, but she’s open about her sexuality- an independent and free-thinking woman. She has friends, but she doesn’t consider them close, just fun acquaintances. She’s even coming out more fleshed out in my head, and I can’t wait to draw her!

So… I think I have my character. I’m going to take a few character tests I’ve seen floating around online and flesh her out. But it’s amazing how she became more fleshed out in one night of pondering rather than two weeks of pulling my hair out, trying to make Dori Version 1.0 fit!

Cheers.

H.K. Rowe