~~~GUEST POST BY JESSICA LEE~~~
Finding Your Sizzle Zone
As a writer, finding the right headspace where you can get lost in your character's world and voice is so critical. Yet, when you're a mom, and it's summer break, getting there can be a challenge. Plus, toss in the fact you're an author of romance on the spicier side…slipping into that zone can be much more difficult.
School is back in session now, and I'm working on getting my groove back, savoring those morning hours when it's just me, my laptop, and silence.
But that was not the case a few months ago when I was working hard on edits and revisions of Undying Embrace, as well as attempting to plot my next book. Finding the mood for scenes like the one below when the theme for SpongeBob Squarepants plays in the background is near to impossible. Thank God for earbuds! That and my playlist blasting through them to drown out the next Nickelodeon show. Yet music doesn't always help and isn't enough when one is interrupted because the child must eat, or there is a crisis in his room requiring my immediate attention. And not to mention once your child has learned to read and can sneak up on you, peek over your shoulder, and spy what you're tapping out on your keyboard. Not so great for the muse. Therefore attempting to tap into the headspace of your character's next love scene…nope. Not going to happen.
So even though I'm a fulltime writer and have my entire day to work, actually being able to sit down and do my job isn't always as easy as it sounds. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say there are times when the hours after my child is in bed become my most productive ones. Or the weekends when my husband is home, and I can escape with my laptop to Starbucks or Panera. But even now when I have my days free while my child is in school, I'm finding that writing once the sun goes down has become my favorite time. I like to escape to my bedroom, close the door, and climb up into the bed with my computer. Especially when I need the world to fade away, and it's just me and my characters getting ready to steam up the pages.
Where do you go when you need to find the right headspace for a project? Any tips or trick you can share?
Thank you so much, Literal Hotties for allowing me to guest post here today at your awesome blog!
Blurb: Arran MacLain is a vampire on a suicide mission, driven to kill his former partner who betrayed him and the Enclave they served. But two things stand in his way: Gabrielle, the human female who holds his heart, and the past that won’t let him go. If only death was enough to cleanse his soul.
Gabrielle Steven’s sister is missing. Her hunt for clues brings her face to face with the one vampire she can’t forget. Their missions combine and thrust them into the heart of evil. Will their passion be enough to overcome the pain from their past, or will their dark desires destroy them both?
The motorcycle rolled to a stop in front of her sister's apartment. Arran killed the engine and slid free of the bike, turned, and offered her his hand. His black and blond hair, punished by the wind, was wild and fell into his face, allowing only a hint of his sage green eyes to shine through. The way he looked at her, standing there—Elle swallowed, trying to find the moisture that had suddenly disappeared from her mouth. God help her, but he made her want to grab the nearest collar and chain him to her bed.
Elle pushed the helmet up and off her head and took a gulp of the cool air before taking Arran's offered hand. The roughened feel of his skin, the strength of his grip, the man was a stabilizing rod in the fierce storm she called her life. Arran squeezed her hand, sending a spark straight to her heart and mind. He had to have felt it too, didn't he? Their connection. The desire. It was too powerful to ignore. And it wasn't fair to either of them.
With his free hand, he took her helmet. After laying it on the seat, he placed his palm to her cheek, and she leaned into the small embrace.
“Are you okay?” The deep timbre of his voice was a caress down the curve of her spine. She closed her eyes, and for a moment, savored the lingering sensation of his words on her nervous system. The feel of his skin next to hers.
“Yes.” She opened her eyes, and he'd closed the distance between them. He placed both of his hands on either side of her face. The intensity of his stare, the passion that flamed there, threw a match onto an already kindled fire.
“You were amazing tonight, kitten.” The adoration in his words and his expression swelled her heart to near bursting. His thumbs stroked her face. The easy pace and gentle touch made her yearn for the feel of his fingers elsewhere and much deeper. “Are you sure you're fine?”
She opened her mouth to speak, but his hand slid lower. His thumb found her bottom lip and traced the curve. A shiver raced up her spine, sending a tremble through her. Her chin quivered. “I'm all right. Really,” she said. Through sheer will her words came out steady, while the frantic beat of her heart did its best to counteract her efforts. “Just a little post—”
Arran's mouth consumed hers. The night faded, the sound of the traffic, and every other person in the world, disappeared. She moaned and opened for him, couldn't wait to taste him again. He was a flavor she'd never get enough of. Hot cinnamon and the essence of raw male desire flooded her mouth. She arched into him, needing the feel of his hard body next to hers, while their tongues mimicked the images that flickered in her mind. The secret fantasies she craved to fulfill with him…if only…
Pulling away, she gasped. “I have to go.”
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Almost every author's bio states they've been writing since they learned how to read. It's what they've always wanted to do. Well, my journey wasn't so straight and narrow. I was a nurse for over twenty years and hold a bachelor's degree in science with a major in biology. So as you can see, my career path had originally gone in the opposite direction. I didn't discover my passion for the craft until after I'd had my son and decided to work part-time.
I've always loved to read but had never read a paranormal romance. Then one night at work on break, I began reading Karen Marie Moning's Spell of the Highlander. I couldn't believe what I'd been missing, and I immediately fell in love with the genre.
I wanted to write like that. I wanted to create worlds where others could find the same escape and fascination I did when I read my first sensual paranormal romance.
And I hope that's what I've accomplished in my work. Please dive in, hold on tight, and enjoy the adventure. Just be careful in the dark—you might find more than you expected waiting for you there.
Jessica Lee lives in the southeastern United States with her husband and son. She loves writing and can't wait for that quiet time each day when her son is in school, and she can get lost in another place and world with the fantastical, sexy creatures in her head.
She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, FF&P, and Carolina Romance Writers.