On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Celta Thursday, Heart Fire Cut, Tiana and the Turquoise House

Celta Thursday, Heart Fire Cut, Tiana and the Turquoise House:

"Turquoise House, I will need a meditation room, as soon as possible, can you direct me to an appropriate chamber?"
"I have prepared one for you, dear Priestess," said the House. "Down the right, the last door on the left. The windows face the back gardens."

"Thank you."

She walked through the sparsely furnished entry room and reached the hallway running the length of the house and turned right. A stray wisp of wondering where her sister had worked and her brother-in-law had suffered crossed her mind, but she said nothing aloud. Their time here was over and she was sure that Garrett wouldn't care to ever see the place again.

Of course the whole house had been sterilized since then. The hallway was wide enough for two normal sized people and she went to the door, pressed the latch, and opened it on a pale peach gem of a room. The wall of the room facing the grassyard was a window of medium square glass panes. Currently they were tinted smoky gray, blocking light and fogging her vision. Fine.

In the room were two simple black comfort chair-lounges, of some sort of woven material, like one might see outside on a terrace. Still, they appeared top of the line. But she only needed one. She went to one and folded it up, set it against the wall with the door that would be behind her.

"Please lock the door, Turquoise House and notify me if anyone wants inside this room. Please hold all but urgent calls from my Family or GreatCircle Temple."

"Done!" he caroled.

"Thank you." She eyed the comfort lounge – a piece of furniture that would conform to her body – dubiously, as she was accustomed to meditating as she sat. But the wooden plank floor was bare with no large pillows in sight. "We will have to order some big pillows, and for more than this room." She and her two friends loved such cushions.

"Wonderful!" said the Turquoise House. "Varying patterns and textures..." He hummed quietly to himself.

She angled the chair toward the windows, the foot part raised, the upper part one level down from upright. Tentatively, she moved onto the piece of furniture. It was unexpectedly solid for such a light frame and mesh, and the minute she leaned back, she felt the spell take hold and curve into support of her back, along her ankles and legs, around her derriere. A sigh escaped her.

Arms rose the exact amount for comfort and she grinned. Her very own comfort chair, as pillowy softness seemed to cradle her neck and head she knew she'd enjoy living here, even for a short while. Perhaps she might make enough to purchase a chair like this...or even this one, since when she left it would be well-used and maybe she could get it at a discount.

Then she regulated her breathing and began descending into a meditative state. She sank deep, deeper, deepest into a trance, letting her cares, the anxiety at this project, the nagging sense of foreboding, fall away as if they were blocks of stone tied to her body and the ropes frayed and broke.

And as she found her still center, she pulsed in the blissful moment of being one with the flow of the world. No thought but feeling infused her...the ancient, slow gong from the core of the planet of Celta itself, with an odd hollowness in the rising note beneath her. The slow warming and awakening in the soil around her, bulbs about to stretch sturdy shoots upward, the push from roots to grow. Then she felt the House itself and smiled. She swore the air around her fizzed with rainbow evanescence...and she, too, was rising in her mind, spending shorter in that time-without-time than she wanted, but she accepted reluctantly that this session was over.

"FirstLevel Priestess, FirstLevel Architect Antenn Moss Blackthorn is outside the door and ready to knock," the House said.

"Call me Tiana." When she used her voice again it was a breathy sigh. She couldn't care. "And, please, let him in."

She heard the door open in a fast shove and lifted her lashes to see Antenn stride in, an intense expression on his face. **There you are. You're mine.** The thought sliced through her drifting thoughts like lightning through mist. She shook her head to clear it, and her whole body tensed to suppress a surge of shocking heat that tingled all her nerves.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Belated Celta Thursday: Chapter notes from Heart Choice

Belated Celta Thursday: Chapter notes form Heart Choice: (I don't usually do these, so they're unusual)

25 – Being on the road and using his Flair to track exhilarated him...

So Mitchella and Drina spent the time together and at the end of the day they walked the halls. Drina exuded satisfaction. **Soon you will be gone and this will be mine. All mine.** Later that night, Mitchella....Mitchella kept busy as long as possible so she keep from dwelling on Straif and Antenn. She knew from her links with both of them that they were fine. She finally quit her office and dragged herself up to her guest suite. She knew from her links they were fine. She was a welter of nerves and she didn’t want to go to sleep for fear something would happen to them while she slept. To her surprise she found Drina sleeping in the middle of her bed – Drina and Mitchella arguing over whose bed it is and whether the other wants to share it. "It’s my bed and I intend to sleep in it. You may share it." Though Mitchella knew to a cat there is hardly ever any compromise. “My feet are cold.” Drina warmed her feet and they fell asleep in harmony with each other.

26- Arrival at mine, mine stuff, hearing, on the trail home, ending with arrival of Straif at the hearing. And since it took two days – the third night...can’t use Flair to hurry the animals up and get back...Straif noticed an easier way to go than T’Ash, because T’Ash is the best with stones, but Straif is better with tracking so he finds a shortcut and they get back a day earlier so he shows up at the hearing.

The day before, Straif was due home, Mitchella was summoned by the noble councils to a hearing...no, someone comes and says, come with me...they come to the Residence, yes, and they convene it there in the Residence. T’Reed and some other people. She’ll say this isn’t fair becuase of the open house stuff and they’ll say this is a preliminary survey. If they’re doing a preliminary she can force it. Everyone who comes will be of higher status than she.

Staif comes home and sends everyone away.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Heart Duel Original Opening

Heart Duel original first chapter, as you can see, most of it turned up in the 3rd scene :): Celta, 403 years after Colonization, Summer
When Holm Holly saw his mother perched on the side of his father's desk, her hand in her husband's, Holm tensed for the emotional blow.

He grumbled inwardly. He'd known someday that this moment would come, but, as usual, they'd surprised him. It must have been T'Ash getting wed or Ruis Elder's love match.

But Holm had just run out of time. And he needed time. He wasn't ready to start his wooing. She wasn't ready.

"Please, sit, son," his father, T'Holly, rumbled and gestured to one of the large, comfortable wingchairs stationed in front of his desk.

Holm stared balefully at the chair. It represented all the reprimands of his childhood. When he became T'Holly and succeeded to the title and the estate, that chair would go.

He reminded himself that he respected his parents and had sworn a loyalty oath to T'Holly as GreatHouse Lord. But Holm's mind sharpened as he sat. He had to play this game of wills smoothly.

His father cleared his throat. "Your mother and I have been talking . . ."

Holm's gut tensed. The worst news always began: "Your mother and I have been talking." Whether it had been problems with manners, responsibilities, his tutor, his psi power -- his Flair -- he'd always sat in this chair and heard those words. Though his father said the words, Holm knew who prompted the little talks. He stared at his Mamá. She didn't meet his eyes.
His teeth clenched in anticipation.

His parents exchanged glances, then his father turned his pewter-gray gaze again onto Holm. "You're thirty-seven, and while that isn't the great age here on Celta as it was on Earth, it is time you married."

Holm would give a great deal of gilt for a stiff drink right now. He sucked in a deep breath, trying to keep his face impassive. "None of my three Passages, the emotional storms that freed my Flair, indicated a HeartMate. I want what you have." Maybe that would earn him a little more time.

His Mamá looked at him with sorrow in her turquoise eyes and moved closer to his father.

"We know you don't have a HeartMate, dear." She sighed. "Many don't." She nodded with determination. "But it's time you wed. A fine marriage can be had with a good woman. Love can follow, I'm sure." Her voice faltered at the end, since being a HeartMate, she couldn't know personally. She swept her hand wide as if encompassing the city. "The Alders have a perfectly happy marriage, and your Aunt Leea loves her husband . . . ."

T'Holly continued for his HeartMate. "We need to know the Holly line will continue. We need heirs. At least two sons from you." His father was being less than his usual diplomatic self. The fact that T'Holly found the topic distasteful didn't stop Holm from resenting him.

"A few daughters would be nice, too," D'Holly murmured. She flashed the charming smile Holm had inherited. "As many as you can engender."

A growl rolled from Holm's lips before he could stop it.

His father raised winged silver brows and looked down his nose. "We expected this reaction."

He tapped a crystal set into the desk. A calendar-moon holo materialized between Holm and his parents.

The ResidenceLibrary spoke. "An appointment with the matchmaker,

GreatLady Saille D'Willow, has been made for Holm, HollyHeir. The meeting was expedited for two days from now, on Quert. It is to be a full session, no gilt limit."

Holm winced. The globe spun faster until it disappeared in a flash of blue-white light.

"We want you to be happy, dear, that's why we're sending you to the foremost matchmaker on Celta. D'Willow shouldn't have any difficulty finding you a suitable wife." His mother sounded troubled but determined.

"But you don't want me to be as happy as yourselves, with a HeartMate marriage," Holm said.

His father snapped into straight rigidity. "You know, if you had a HeartMate, we would do everything in our power to welcome her to the Family."

Holm narrowed his eyes and let a faint smile play on his lips. "Would you?"
"Of course," D'Holly said.

Holm lifted his brows. "By your Words of Honor?"

T'Holly scowled. D'Holly furrowed her forehead. "Yes, by our Words."

"By our Words," T'Holly echoed. "Not that it is applicable. D'Willow's matchmaking ability is the best. She doesn't personally see very many." He cleared his throat and handed Holm a sheet of papyrus. "Perhaps this will help her, and you."

Holm didn't have to read the papyrus to know what was on it. "A list of eligible women from Families with whom it would be advantageous to form a close alliance?" he mocked.

"Don't take that tone with your father," D'Holly said, in reflexive defense of her husband. "I'm sure several of the ladies listed are women you could come to love. I quite like Hedara of GreatHouse Ivy and am very fond of Gwylan of D'Sea."

Holm had heard such names before in the form of dropped hints. He stood. "Speaking of alliances, I trust that this appointment with the matchmaker didn't also include an alliance."

"It's a straight gilt payment," his father gritted.

"Good." Holm went to his mother and lifted her free hand to his lips. "I will follow your wishes in this." But he didn't smile at her like he generally did.
He'd go to the matchmaker. Better to keep his parents in the dark about his mate. A situation they didn't know about, they couldn't meddle in. He'd have to revise his plans, move sooner than he'd wanted. "I trust you will be satisfied with my choice of a wife."

They wouldn't.

He squeezed his Mamá's hand and dropped it, then left.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Heart Thief Cover Story: Belated Celta Thursday

Celta Thursday: Heart Thief Cover: Yes, belated. I was in England when my (new) agent saw the cover of Heart Thief. She was very pleased because it was a "single element" cover, in this case a green emerald heart against a silver background (and the background in the first editions was metallic).

I asked her what it was like, but I don't think she had the cover in front of her, because she couldn't tell (I was at an internet cafe at an odd hour, in Winchester, I think).

This is the hardest cover to show up okay on computer screens, the toned down one works best.
smile emoticon

But the story about Heart Thief is that I had no emerald heart in the book. I had an emerald necklace, but no heart. I had a gyroscope that became the emerald heart. I rewrote the book to include the heart.

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