Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Different Outlook On Writing

One month of blogging…

Today marks the one month mark of my official blogging experience. I had no idea what to expect or really what to do. I’ve written notes and different things online for years but this was completely different. This was me, Ashley, not a character I made up. I think that’s been the hardest part about this is I am displaying my actual thoughts and feelings for the world to read and judge. With character writing while most people use it as an outlet it’s not entirely us. There are underlying truths at times but for most of it the reality of that prose is about our character we created or are working to develop, not necessarily the author’s views, thoughts and opinions.

That’s one thing I have pondered a lot about with my book being out there. There are parts of BLOOD PURPLE that are very dark and horrible. Someone might read a chapter and think, holy shit, does Ashley really think like this? That’s one of my fears. No, I don’t think like that or condone the behavior but I do think it makes for a good read, good plots and great character development. What I wanted my readers to see was the bad guys; they aren’t just ‘bad.’ Something happened to make them that way, I want my reader to in some parts identify and feel empathy for my bad guys.

I think that is where I am different in some ways. My bad guys are just likeable. You want to root for them, feel for them. You want them to have something happen that makes them redeeming. When I sat down to write this book it started out in first person and was going to be just about Nikole. After three chapters I was like, Nope this isn’t happening I’m not feeling this. So I went and changed them to third person and decided it was important to capture the point of view of all the major players. That’s why when you read my book, well, books ‘cause BLOOD YELLOW will be out with-in a few months, I hope. You will see the bad guys in a new light. You will be inside their head, feel their pain, see their victories and their failures.

Usually when you read a book the narrator or main characters keep everything focused on the one or two good guys and you associate only with them. You don’t have that chance to develop connections to the others.  It is my goal to make you love all of my characters, every one of them. Those of you that know me and my crazy mind know that I don’t want happy endings all the time. I really dislike that every story ends with a happy ever after now days. I realize you read a book to take you away from your everyday life but in reality it isn’t always sunshine and roses. There needs to be depth. That’s why when you read this series you will need to read it from start to finish because the answers won’t occur till the end. And even then, I know how my series ends already and it won’t be what you are expecting. I refuse to be the typical cookie cutter author. Yes there will be romance, there will be sex, there will be what is needed to make a romance come to life but there will also be pain, suffering and obstacles. Because that is life and these characters are very real, on page.

Another thing I refuse to do as an author is continuously add characters to keep a story going or to make readers feel bored with predictability. In BLOOD YELLOW I added two characters that were not in BLOOD PURPLE because I had to. They were in my head and needed to come out because in order for the story to develop properly they had to come alive as well. But in BLOOD GREEN, there will be no new characters. I am not going to add to my world over and over just to keep a series going. I believe in life there are enough stories for one family to stay entertained and survive for decades and that’s how it should be in fiction as well. The course of these books lasts over a four month time span. BLOOD PURPLE ends and BLOOD YELLOW picks up on the very next line for the prequel, and then shoots to three months later. BLOOD GREEN will do the same except there will be no prequel it will just hit you bam.

So this was a bit of rambling but that’s what a blog is right, a ramble. What you should take away from this is when you sit down to read BLOOD PURPLE, I want you to think about the bad guys, think about Hazma, Haydar, Dominic, Derrik, and Leigh. Really focus on what made them the way they are.

And also, for those of you who are saddened that some characters were killed off, don’t worry you will get to see more of them. I love flashbacks, I think it helps bring depth and perception to characters and I think it’s also a good way for our old friends to come back to life without it having to be a dream.

Don’t forget that I am holding a give-a-way to celebrate BLOOD PURPLE, all you have to do is read my lovely new take on Vampires and email me at or inbox my Facebook account to let me know your favorite character or scene and why by October 25th 2012. More details the better.

Happy Reading and remember – get lost inside the book because novels are the best adventures you can escape with.

Follow me on Twitter @ashleynemer
XoXo Publishing - PDF

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

First Time Jitters...

First time jitters, everyone gets them even on the second, third, and fourth go around. It’s the coping with these jitters that drives me insane. First there is the fluttering in your stomach. Will it work, will you be successful? Will all your efforts pay off? Will you come out looking as good as you did when you started? How long will it last, will it be over in a quick flash or will it be drawn out for you to enjoy.

Next the racing of the heart. Anticipation, excitement…nervousness. That moment of greatness is approaching and what is it we all want, the big and final score. Will we make it this time?

First time jitters…yes we all get them, no matter what the topic, cause, issue or event. We go through the stages of panic.

That’s what I’m experiencing right now. It started last night when I sat in my comfy chair on the couch to start the push for my book release. I was semi-cool and nonchalant … semi. That was, till the publisher told me to go look at two websites. That’s when I lost it. Yup, all cool calm and collectiveness went out the window as I, Ashley Nemer, became a published author.

Now that was the easy part. If I just wanted be a published author I’d call this a slam dunk. But I want more. I see the big picture, the next step, the brighter tomorrow and I’m going to climb my way through the challenges.

So where does that leave me now? Release day 1, T-plus 14 hours from my ground breaking publication. Nervous as all hell. I can barely eat and my mind is going a million miles a minute. I can’t stop watching the ticker on my website click away as strangers surf through my world. It makes me stop and question, “Do all authors go through this?” I’d like to think yes, but we all know I’m a bit different. It’s that uniqueness I think that brings a little flavor to this new author, if I do say so myself.

At this point I’m on the downward slope of Release day 1 and my hands still shake, my stomach’s still in knots and the only thing giving me sanity is my Sister in Crime sitting next to me making me laugh.

Thank god for lifelong friends.


XoXo Publishing

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blog Hopping...

One of my fellow contract authors at XoXo Publishing asked for participants in his blog hop so, I volunteered. Today's blog will be about my WIP, or work in progress. Blood Yellow. Good news, Draft #1 was finished at 7:59 AM this morning. Exciting!!! Broke the 50K word mark too. Very happy about that. This is the second book in my series titled, The Blood Series (thank you Terrie N. James for that btw!)  Anywho let's get this ball rolling. There are some set questions to which I answered below but I want to throw some extra info out there.

Blood Yellow is quite a good little book, Beta readers love it, and it's jammed back full of twists turns and wonderment! I'm very excited to get this product out there. Blood Purple, Book One in The Blood Series hits the Market this coming Tuesday and I'm hoping Blood Yellow will follow shortly. 

With out further ado...I give you, My Work In Progress Questionnaire.

1.      What is the working title of your book?

Blood Yellow: Book Two of The Blood Series

2.      Where did the idea come from for the book?

When I was writing the first book, Blood Purple, I knew that my story I had to tell would have four major parts, this is part two of four.

3.      What genre does your book fall under?

Paranormal Romance.

4.      Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Honestly I don’t know which actors I would want to play my characters. My people are of Lebanese decent so it would need to be someone of the Arabic race so I’m not sure there are any real main stream actors who I would select.

5.      What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Their family is being torn apart by evil, will they be able to come together to protect what’s theirs and fight off the uncle who wishes them dead?

6.      Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I look forward to working with XoXo Publishing in the future, they published book 1 so hopefully book 2 will follow suit.

7.      How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I started in January and finished this morning. However I took a few months off to work on the final edits of Blood Purple for its release next Tuesday the 25th of September and parts of the first of the year off for family reasons. If I sat down and added up the time actually spent on writing and planning I would say so far start to finish it takes me about two months to produce 50,000 words.

8.      What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I’ve asked my Beta readers this question and everyone comes up with the same reply, there is just no other book like it around. We compare it to the Midnight Breed series for the simple fact that’s a whole new take on Vampires and their origins so in that sense my world is similar but in reality there just isn’t any current work of fiction like this.

9.      Who or What inspired you to write this book?

This book was inspired by Blood Purple, the first book. However my original source of inspiration would be the act of studying my own heritage and my great love for reading PNR

10.  What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

My world takes what you know about vampires, past and present and wipes the slate clean. I’ve created a whole new race one you’ve not seen before. We wonder how human came into existence, thus causing the battle of evolution and creationism, well my world gives you an alternative. Algula created humans and the Gods, yes Gods, created the Algula. 

Blood Purple, coming out September 25th, will you be one of the first to experience a whole new Vampire?

Check out Aaron Speca's Blog here

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

When my book was just an Idea...

How did Blood Purple come to be?

April 1, 2011 I became a statistic, It was for the first time in many years that I was part of the ‘unemployed’ citizens of America. What did this mean? It meant I had a LOT of spare time on my hands. In between the constant online job applications and reading about how to find work I came up with an idea. An idea I hope changes my life. I had just finished re-reading John Matthew’s book in the BDB series when it kinda hit me, I think I could write a book with vampires.

I was chatting with Ann, my nurse friend when the idea spurted a root in my mind and I asked her opinion. Obviously she loved it as she became my very first Beta Reader. Now there are hundreds of vamp books out there and I wanted mine to have something different, a competitive edge, something to differentiate it from JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Ann Rice, Charlaine Harris and so on. So I went into Google and typed in “Arabic Vampire.” Hardly anything showed up, two words Algula and Ghul. That’s it. And those two sites provided very little information at all.

Now you might ask, why Arabic Vampires? Well, my aunt and I had been for the previous year discussing our heritage in Lebanon. The stories of our family and the original Christian tribes that were in Lebanon or the territory now called Lebanon really. What happened with them and where they are they today. So with both ideas on the forefront of my mind I thought, Why not combine the two.

Ann helped me research names. I wanted the name’s meaning to be part of the personality of the character. There were hundreds of name sites so Ann and I picked one Arabic name site and rolled with it. I bounced my ideas off her and slowly we ended up with our first characters: Zayn, Nikole, Hashim, Afaf, Haydar, Nasir, Ikram and Tamman.  Then we had to pick a back story for each one. The hard part was I wanted Haydar to be a father and have children but I didn’t want them of Arabic origin in names, so we found a reason to move him to England and that birthed his wife Sarah and the kids, Leigh, Derrik and Dominic.

Next we had to pick a city in Lebanon. Once again Google is my friend. Ann asked me, “What kind of city do I want?” I had to stop and really think about this. You see my aunt explained the tribes were chased out of their homelands and pushed into the mountains during the Muslim invasions of the 600’s. So we set out to find a city in the mountains. I wanted a city with a past one I could work into the antagonist’s story. Zahle, Lebanon is located in the mountains and burned down in 1777 it was a perfect fit.

Now the essentials had been thought out and discovered and it was time to sit down and write. All in all around April 25th the first three chapters of Blood Purple had been born.

I found a new job and summer life got busy. I stopped writing and focused on other things. In August I was talking with my friend Teri and she demanded to see the first three chapters that I wrote. She told me they were fantastic and to keep writing. I still think she was crazy but people have told me the book is well written and a good read.

Would I change anything? I’ve been asked this before and initially my answer was no. After some feedback from a bit more of my friends I think I would have re-written the initial three chapters. When I started Blood Purple my writing was very raw and it starts off a bit slow. Chapter 4 picks up and the action begins and the rest of the book is an easy fast read. So in hindsight I think that’s what I would have to say. But you know everyone has things they wish they knew then that they knew now. It’s my first book; it’s a great first book. The second one is even better. (I’ll be blogging about that next week.)

Blood Purple, coming out September 25th, will you be one of the first to experience a whole new Vampire?