My Writing Process

June 11, 2014 3 comments

I can’t imagine why anyone would be interested in what I have to say on this, but I was invited to participate in the My Writing Process blog tour by fellow lesfic author Yolanda Wallace. So, here are my answers:

 

#1 What am I working on?

I just finished two projects that will release in 2015: “Dragon Horse War: The Calling,” the first in a fantasy series scheduled for release in February; and “Riding Passion,” a D. Jackson Leigh sampler of erotic romance short stories anchored by a 15,000 word novella and tentatively scheduled to release in May.Image.

 

So this week, I also signed a contract for two books I’ll write for 2016 publication: “Tracker and the Spy,” the second in the Dragon Horse War trilogy; and “Swelter,” a romantic intrigue. I’m jumping into “Tracker and the Spy” right away while I’m still in Dragon Horse War mode. I wanted to time the trilogy so that the installments release a year apart and I’ll still have time to write my traditional romances in between.

   

#2 How does my work differ from others in the same genre?

My trademark is that I always have horses in my books. Sometimes they play a big role, sometimes a small role. For example, I’ve written about eventing ( Olympic equestrian competition), Quarter Horse racing, polo, etc. I didn’t set out to do that, but I’ve apparently attracted a lot of horse lovers who say they don’t normally read romance novels. Also, I have loved horses since I was a child and can’t think of anything sexier than a woman on a beautiful horse. Horses are empowering. It’s the only athletic field of competition I can think of where women and men can compete on the same level because the horse is the equalizer.Image

 

#3 Why do I write what I do?

I write stories because I’m a voracious reader and I wrote my first book because I was searching fruitlessly for something to read. This was before the explosion of lesbian fiction in this decade. Once I started writing, I couldn’t stop. At first, I thought it was because I really, really enjoy the lesbian fiction community. I’ve made so many friends all over the world and traveled to places I never would have had the courage to go. But the truth is, if I go several weeks without writing, I get itchy to get back to it.

I write romances because I’m a hopeless romantic. Even my fantasy trilogy centers on romantic pairings. My parents were very romantic with each other and I think that’s why it feels like home when I’m reading/writing in that genre.Image

 

#4 How does my writing process work?

Butt in chair, or rather on couch. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those writers who can sit down and churn out a 1,000 words when I have a spare hour.  It takes me a while to warm up and get rolling, so my more productive writing time is when I have an entire day. I work evenings as a newspaper editor in my real job, so my brain really kicks in and becomes productive late in the day. During my regular work week, I try to take care of things like laundry, housekeeping, shopping and yard work in the mornings. That way, my weekend is free for writing or finding a few hours to spend with friends.

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Pieces of Me by D. Jackson Leigh

September 17, 2013 3 comments

You read about the funny side of “Hold Me Forever,” now here’s the serious side. It’s hard to tell an emotion-evoking story without putting a bit of yourself in it.

Women and Words

Hold Me Forever coverCongratulations to onamarae! She won a signed copy of Hold Me Forever by D. Jackson Leigh.

Hey everyone! Look who stopped by to talk about some really important, super serious stuff. D. Jackson Leigh! She’s also giving away a signed copy of her latest book, Hold Me Forever.

Before I tell you how to enter, let me give you the hook up for how to find D. Jackson Leigh online. Check out her website HERE. Make friends with her on facebook HERE. And buy her books HERE(ebook) and HERE (paperback).

Now, about that signed paperback. Y’all know how it works. Simply leave a comment in the space below and you’ll be entered into the drawing. I’ll pick the winner on Friday, 9/20. I’ll notify the winner via email and I’ll post the name at the top of this blog. Good luck!

Pieces of Me
by D…

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Butter My Butt and Call Me a Biscuit

August 27, 2013 1 comment

Language is my music.

I’m not talking about the mechanics of grammar—a necessary evil in my affair with words.

I’m referring to the inflection, the regional euphemisms and the quirky idioms that add texture to our conversations and communicate who we are and where we’ve been.
That regional texture—whether it’s a Northern England clip, a soft Charleston lilt or California surfer dudette lingo—is the icing on my cake, the milk in my Cheerios, the red on my candy.

If you think I’m just porch-sittin’ (being whimsical), then consider this:

When Texas Gov. Ann Richards delivered the keynote speech of the 1988 Democratic Convention, she offered example after example of why the Republican Party’s “trickle down economics” did not work. However, little of her astute research is recalled today. Instead, she is remembered for her “that old dog won’t hunt” declaration that plunged her into the national political spotlight and put her name in history books.

So, when my friend Phoebe gave me a daily calendar of Southern expressions titled “Butter My Butt and Call Me a Biscuit,” my language-oriented brain latched onto a theme for the third in my Southern Secrets series.

Southerners love colorful euphemisms to soften the harsh realities of life. Instead of saying “she died,” we say “she passed on.” A man who has a wife and a mistress is “buttering his bread on both sides.” To someone who has gone against your advice and then comes to you for help, you would tell them to “skin their own skunk” or “you made your bed, now lie in it.”

The world of quarter horse racing in Cajun-rich Southern Louisiana is fertile ground for the Southern eccentricities in “Hold Me Forever,” which is scheduled for a September release by Bold Strokes Books.
Hold Me Forever coverClinton Casey is a grumpy old Texan who trains quarter horses at Louisiana racetracks. His daughter, Whitley, learned about horses from Pop and then got an education in lesbians and high-tech journalism at Louisiana State University. Mae St. John is an over-educated Georgia debutante with no job experience and no family … rather, no legitimate family.

They each have their own problems.

Clinton’s got more gravy than biscuits (more bills than money) after Alzheimer’s disease puts a leak in his crankcase (muddles his brain), so he takes out a sketchy loan against the farm and puts all his eggs in one basket—a promising bay colt named Raising the Bar.

So, even though Whit’s feeling like a sore-assed duck swimming in salt water (very hurt) after realizing her latest relationship was just spitting in the wind (going nowhere), she moves back home and works like a rented mule (you would never work your own mule that hard) to keep her dot.com business going and shoulder Pop’s training work, too.

Meanwhile, Mae is feeling like a hound dog without a porch to crawl under (a stray). She has neither home nor family since her grandmother, Big Mae, had too many toddies at the country club and drowned when she accidentally drove her Mercedes into a water hazard on the fifteenth fairway. When her grandmother’s will is read, Mae learns that the family fortune is gone and the bank has foreclosed on their house. Big Mae has left only a modest trust fund for the care of her poodle, Rhett, ten thousand dollars secreted between the pages of “Gone with the Wind,” and a letter confessing the father Mae grew up thinking was dead actually lives in Louisiana.

Seriously, while I had a lot of fun with the Southernisms, “Hold Me Forever” is about seeing people for who they are, not what they are. It’s about family, loyalty and trust. It’s about finding that person who fits perfectly in your life … someone who will hold you forever.

You can purchase “Hold Me Forever” at boldstrokesbooks.com, amazon.com, bellabooks.com or barnesandnoble.com.

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Indecision…it’s technical

June 8, 2013 5 comments

I’m in computer hell.

Nope. No crashes or lost files this time. Just time to update my electronics. It’s a dilemma that been keeping me up at night and surfing the web endlessly for at least a year.

By the end of 2013, I’ll likely buy a new eReader (my Sony already has about 100 more books than it is supposed to hold), a tablet (because I don’t have one), a computer (because my Inspiron 15 is breathing its last and XP needs to finally be put out to pasture) and a new phone (because I cracked the screen on my Android).

Since I haven’t won the lottery yet, I need to spend my dollars in the most efficient way, but I also don’t want to waste money on something that’s not going to measure up or last. I’m careful with my money because I have no resources but my own to depend upon. I’m not swayed by needing to keep up with the Jones and the company I work for offers corporate discounts on both Macs and Dells, so that’s no help.

The phone purchase is a given. I’ve been happy with my Android, but what if I decide on a Mac Airbook? Shouldn’t I get an iPhone instead so they can talk to each other? Macs do that, don’t they?

Do I need an iPad or would a Kindle Fire HD serve just as well? I probably would use it primarily for reading, but also for checking email and facebook. But would I find the Kindle Fire too heavy to hold while I read in bed every night? 

I’m frustrated with Windows viruses and reviews of Windows 8 aren’t glowing. On the other hand, if I pay more for a Mac, I still have to buy Word to go on it because that’s what I need to write books.

I could buy both a Dell laptop with touchpad and a Kindle Fire cheaper then just buying a Mac Airbook (which doesn’t have touchpad capability). And, I’ll still have to fork over even more money for an iPad … in the end, I’m talking about nearly $1,000 difference.

Okay, when I write that number, my bank account is screaming: WTF? You’re still dicking around over this?

Yes, I am. It took me two years to decide my first tattoo and eight years to decide a second (still can’t decide where I want the second).

That leads me to the really big question:

If I take years decide a tattoo and months to agonize over the purchase of electronics, why the hell am I sold on a woman the minute we get naked together? Hmm. Maybe I should go computer shopping in the buff …

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The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

D.Jackson Leigh

Out on the Panhandle author, R.E. Bradshaw, tagged me as part of the “The Next Big Thing Blog Hop.” The blog hop project is designed to introduce readers to writers and their work. I will be answering questions about one of my books and the author I tag will answer about her work in progress (or published work) next Wednesday.

What is the working title of your book?

I’m in the middle of writing “Hold Me Forever,” the third in my Southern secrets-themed romances, but my next book to be released is “Every Second Counts” in February. It goes to the printer this month, so that’s the book I’ll talk about.

Every Second Counts 300 DPI

Where did the idea come from for the book?

After my second novel, “Long Shot,” was released, I received several emails from readers who felt sorry for the character who didn’t get the girl. They liked the zen artist…

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No bull, it was a bad date

February 11, 2013 6 comments

I think most writers will tell you that their novels and short stories start with an idea as tiny as a grain of sand which evolves (hopefully) into a pearl only after much thinking and mulling and maybe a little research.

It may be a setting, or a character or an event that begins that rumination of thought, and I usually can tell you exactly what triggered each of my novels. I have to be honest, however, and say I really don’t know what made bull rider pop into my head when I set out to write an author’s challenge about airport body scanners for Radclyffe’s yahoo group.

Since it was maybe three years ago that I wrote that author’s challenge that is now the prologue for my latest release, “Every Second Counts,” I can only guess that it must have coincided with my research into marketing opportunities for my equestrian-based romances.
Every Second Counts 300 DPI

I sometimes have readers who tell me they don’t read romance novels, but they bought one of my books because they love horse stories. Horses don’t always play a major role in my stories, but they are always present in the setting.

With that in mind one night, I began to google “gay or lesbian” and “horses.” That turned up lots of hits on gay rodeos. Women in jeans and chaps. Ride’em cowgirl. Or maybe cowboi.

I haven’t made it yet to a gay rodeo, but thinking about that brought to mind the last time I was briefly single and trying to figure out how to date after being in 13-year-relationship. We now had this new thing called online dating and I decided to give it a whirl. When I found someone who sounded compatible and I asked her for a date, I wanted to do something different from the usual coffee meet-up or dinner and a movie. Her profile said she was athletic and adventurous, so I decided that I would take her to the bull riding competition being held at the local coliseum that weekend.

I picked up my date and we drove to the coliseum, chatting our heads off and getting to know each other. It was a good start. Unfortunately, it went downhill from there.

There are two separate bull-riding competitions. One event is part of a full rodeo. Those riders are often “all round cowboys” who also enter saddle bronc, bareback bronc, steer wrestling and/or roping competitions. I’ve been to rodeos and they’re fun.

Bull riding purists — usually the best bull riders vying for the biggest money — compete on a separate circuit that offers nothing but bulls and lots of testosterone. This was the event scheduled at the coliseum.

It didn’t take us long to figure out that the crowd was sort of like hockey and NASCAR fans who drink as much alcohol as possible, and act as obnoxiously as possible while they wait for the bloody fight or the big wreck. The people sitting around us were waiting to see a rider be gored or stomped by a bull.

After about an hour, we decided to leave. If we hurried, we could still make a late movie and salvage the date. But, there was a small snag when we returned to the parking lot.

You see, I still had my small horse farm south of Greensboro, NC, at the time, so the Ford F150 truck I drove was a necessity for hauling hay and pulling a horse trailer, not just a butch thing. It was a white, because white trucks show less road dust than a dark vehicle.

We had been so intent on chatting when we arrived, I forgot to note the letter identifying the area where we parked. There were probably 1,200 vehicles in the lot we thought I’d parked in and at least 999 of them were white Ford F150s. Apparently, a lot of other people knew about the road dust thing.

We spent – no bull – a full twenty-five minutes walking up and down row after row of trucks while I clicked the button on my key fob until it finally lit up and sounded the alarm on my truck.

We climbed into the truck and sighed. “I guess we’re too late for movie now. Would you like to go get coffee?”

“Thanks,” she said, “but I’ve got an early meeting tomorrow. Maybe you should just take me home.”

I like to think it was a simple lack of chemistry, not the disasterous evening, that kept us from having a second date.

Fortunately, fiction is always better than real life. So, you’ll have to trust me when I tell you that Marc Ryder in “Every Second Counts” is sexy and interesting and would never forget where she parked her truck.

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I’m Out and I’m Proud: Sweet wines and passion

February 5, 2013 Leave a comment
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