The Worlds of Terri Pray

The highs and lows of chasing a writing dream. From fantasy to erotica and beyond as seen through the eyes of Terri Pray.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

One of those days

What a lovely start to the morning, my daughter is full of it, throwing things, slamming doors hitting anyone and everything. She’s on her third time out of the morning and it’s not looking like it is going to improve any time soon. There are days I really struggle trying to write and be a parent at the same time.

I love my daughter, and my son, it’s just that on occasions I am not a very good parent, I can’t give them everything they way, I can’t stop work every single time in order to play and with the length of the school holidays it is really beginning to show in how Sarah reacts. Only about 6 more weeks though and she will be at her new school all day long. Which will make life a lot easier, though I am sure we will start o see the same behavior in some respects with Jack. We already do. He’s as active as she is.

To say we have some long months ahead of us would be an understatement. She’s eating when she is bored, which right now is a lot of the time. She drifts from thing to thing, never quite sure what she wants to do unless it’s hurt her brother. I wish she would calm down. Her lying is starting to get to me. She’ll do something, I’ve watched her do it, then blame her brother, dad, me anyone else, then kick or scream when pulled up on it. We struggle to keep calm about this, but I admit I am looking forward to Gen Con as a break from the kids.

However I am trying to find a little focus, those quiet moments when it will be easier for me to write without exploding at Sarah, which can be very tempting at times. Especially when she looks at me, smiling as she slams the living room door hard enough to rattle the frame and lies immediately afterwards about having done it.

No acceptances this week, but I did well for the month of July as a whole. Four in one month is pretty good, and signing up to write a book for the new series eXtasy is putting out, which I suppose actually brings it up to five not four.

I’ve got some poetry written, done a little work on Erien, written some erotica, but right now my brain is fried. It will pass as soon as I can focus. By tomorrow I will be back on track, even if I do have to sit down with the note book and draft out a few ideas to get my brain back in gear. Hate it when this happens, but writers block happens to all of us at some point, or so I believe. Just need to write past it, which I have done before.

Well Jack is in bed and I have only Sarah now who is trying to glue herself to the tv despite me turning it off a dozen times and telling her outright to back it up. There are days I just want to scream and today is one of those days.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Long Week

I’m still here, it’s just been a very long week on a personal level. My husband and I have finally put to rest a long court battle and it went in our favor to a large degree.

However it’s over now I can go back to writing and will be catching up with some things in the next few days.

I also had a chat with my Mum earlier today, passing on to her the pictures from my daughters 5th birthday last month. She’s not handling the distance very well at this time and it is something I can understand. She’s never seen Jack, hasn’t seen Sarah in years, except on pictures and web cam. Now that our cam has died that has reduced her chances of seeing her grandchildren even less. It’s something we are working on.

On a lighter note I received my copies of Focused on Love earlier this week and the book will go on sale on August 15th. Also spoke with Scott of Final Sword Productions and we’ve arranged for a prize for a draw at Gen Con. A lovely silver celtic broach that will be on offer as an optional draw for anyone buying copies of Dragon Prince or Not So Noble Tales. I believe I will be picking up another one as a prize draw with the release of Fae Born.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Stolen Moments

The story went live today, feel free to check the link and take a look.

http://ultimateconfessions.com/fiction.html

My Father and the Great Sean Bean Ploy.

I love my Dad, I really do, but for years now I’ve had a crush on Sean Bean. There I said it, ever since he did the Sharpe Series for Granada TV in the UK I’ve been a huge fan. Now being from England I got to see the original series the first time around long before it made it to various cable channels over here and tapes. However they have not played it over here since I moved (The swines as my Dad would say)

Think about this, Sean Bean in a Uniform of the Green Jackets from the Napoleonic War. Rogue of the first degree, playing the bastard son of a whore who is given a field commission for saving Wellington’s life (this is before Sir Arthur was made the Duke of Wellington btw). He’s a hunk, what can I say. Better than that he plays a real rogue and I’ve had a thing for rogue’s ever since I first saw Harrison Ford as Han Solo, and lets not get started about him as Indiana Jones. Oh the hat, the whip. Okay, enough of that.

Now Sean Bean is filming a new Sharpe Episode, Sharpes Tiger (I believe) set pre the Napoleonic war and I will have to wait to see it!

I do, however, have the books by Bernard Cornwall. Warning, these are not romances. My reading tastes are as varied as my writing can be at times. The Sharpe series is a must for any historical military fiction fans, they do follow the actual battles of the Napoleonic war and the military details are, as I understand it, very accurate. I’m very lucky that my Dad sends his copies on to me as they are not always easy to get hold of in the USA, though Barnes and Noble will order them for you.

So now my Dad is teasing me about ‘Well you will go and move to the colonies’ and how ‘it must be true love if a visit from Sean Bean won’t change your mind’.

My husband vs Sean Bean.

Dad you really know how to push the lines there.

*sighs*

Sorry Sean, you’re a hunk, a rogue, a dashing figure in that uniform, but I’m very much afraid my husband still wins out.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

July is a GOOD Month

Wow, just when I thought things couldn’t get any better I had an email announcing that a short piece of Ds erotic fiction called “Sunday Morning” which I submitted to a new ezine called Oysters and Chocolate has been accepted for publication and will be in the August edition.

That makes four acceptances this month alone. What will next month bring? I already have three releases for next month, now one story in Oysters and Chocolate! Time to start aiming for releases and publications in September. I’m going to be away for a week in August but that doesn’t stop me from striving to write, finish off projects, get more pieces accepted. It takes time, but I know I can do it now. Every small piece accepted helps. Every new reader seeing my work might then take a look at something else I have written. This piece might bring more sales for Ettore’s Women and A Small Lesson.

Now I’m looking at Rome, the new HBO series and wondering if that would make a good setting for a few stories. I can barely watch tv now without seeing ideas, opportunities and more. It’s not going to be easy to get all the ideas down on paper, but given the time and support I get I know it can be done.

What else will happen this month? How many new pieces of good news will land in my lap? I don’t know but it’s going to be fun finding out.

See “Sunday Morning” by Terri Pray at www.oystersandchocolate.com in August.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

It's more than just writing...

Yesterday I get the news that I had some poetry accepted, today it’s a short story accepted by a new website that is updating later this week called Ultimate Confessions. The short story is titled ‘Stolen Moments’ and I am hoping it is one enjoyed by all who read it.

So what else will the month bring? I’ve got a few short story submissions in at other websites that I am waiting to hear back on. Perhaps I’ll get lucky and hear about them soon. However I still have to keep writing, keep submitting and then moving straight on to the next piece. That’s part of the trick, isn’t it? Write, submit and move right on.

I got into a discussion a few days ago on a list I am on with another writer. One who, to my knowledge, has only been published in a few zines (I may be recalling incorrectly here) She mentioned how she would only target large houses as she was too lazy to do her own marketing. My jaw just about hit the floor. From everything I have been given to understand unless you are a NY House A list author you better damn well be prepared to do the vast majority of your own marketing or be prepared to pay someone to do it.

How many smaller houses now ask you to prepare a marketing plan? How many require you now to commit to marketing time? How many NY houses are going to pick up someone with no following and no drive to market?

What does she think giving interviews, running newsletters, blogs, doing book signings and attending conventions could be if not marketing? Sure many of us actually enjoy doing that, myself included even if the thought of going to Gen Con has me borderline shaking in my boots, but it’s still marketing. And I’m only a novice at this. I’ve got a hell of a lot to learn. But damnit I’m picking up a small readership basis now. I have people who *shock* actually buy my books and some of them even send copies to me to sign and for me to mail back to them.

It’s not always easy to accept that writing and book and having it accepted for publication only means the start of a long hard journey. The days of if you write it they will buy it are over, unless you are Stephen King…

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Poetry Accepted

Well I’ve been making fun of my own poetry for a long time and sent off a piece for consideration to Justus Roux a few weeks ago. Today I received an email from her accepting the poem ‘Beautifully Undone’ and that it would be on her site in October of this year. Needless to say I was stunned. I’m not used to having poetry accepted, come to think of it I still do happy dances every time even a flash fiction piece is accepted.

I’ve also got a short story going on Justus Roux soon, though I am not sure when the story is going onto the site. However as soon as I see it there I’ll announce it. Keep an eye out at http://www.justusroux.com/ for some wonderful short stories and erotic poetry.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Big Announcement

I’ve been busting to announce the news since Saturday but now I can. Chippewa Publishing accepted a short SF/Dark romance story called Family Heirloom from me. Now why didn’t I send it to extasy? It’s certainly not because I don’t believe in the company, I do. However this story doesn’t fit within their guidelines either on length or really on content. There are occasions I write something that is neither long enough, fits into the genres published or simply would do better elsewhere. That is why Family Heirloom was sent to Chippewa.

Just as I send short pieces to webzines, ranging from horror to fantasy, erotica to romance.

Currently I have five stories waiting on publication with eXtasy with plans to submit more. My faith in the company hasn’t wavered, but if I submit everything I get the chance to write to them I’ll end up with a back list of stories waiting to be published of two years or more worth before the end of the year. It’s my own fault for writing too much and not any fault of eXtasy’s.

I’m waiting to hear back on one story with eXtasy that is in the submission pile, along with several stories I have submitted to other websites/zines. A couple of horror pieces, a few short erotica pieces, and I have ones backed up that I haven’t submitted anywhere as they are too short, or just don’t fit in anywhere right now.

I tend to write shorter pieces when the heat hits the way it has done over the last few days, or poetry which I have done a fair amount of recently as well. Not sure what I will do with the poetry but it is interesting to write on occasions. Keeps me focused, or lets me work out a few things in my mind. Also gives me something to share on my list. I do want to write a short story for the list to send out for the weekend. Something that is for them alone. It’s a way of thanking those who have joined it, giving them a little exclusive something.

So there it is, there’s the big announcement. Terri Pray has joined the ranks of the Chippewa authors…

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Bursting with news, but can't say yet

I’ve some news but I can’t share it yet, so watch this space for details. It’s good news btw, so don’t worry about it, just watch for the announcement.

Next month is going to be hectic for me, I’ve three books being released in print, plus attending Gen Con so I am going to be all over the place in August. I should still be able to log on enough to make a blogger update and let people know just how the convention is going. It’s something I am really looking forward to doing.

Sam is healing up slowly, he still hurts but with medication being changed and his resolve strengthened he is once again facing the world head on.


Now for the rant, and it’s not writing related.

Whatever happened to honesty? I mean honest apologies made and them accepted or rejected not simply mouthed pleasantries to push people off then nasty comments behind people’s backs?

I really wish I knew, perhaps it is an art form that has been forgotten?
Ah well, I need to earn not to let people being two-faced get to me. I have grown a thicker skin in the last eighteen months and those who have the courage to be honest with me will go a lot further then those accepting what they wish to reject and then being pains behind my back.

I’m not perfect (there’s a shock) and do make mistakes, but I try damned hard to say sorry and I don’t say the words unless I mean them. Hmm perhaps that is another dying art? Who knows anymore?

Not worth the effort. I had thought about talking to the people involved but what would be the point? They are set in their ways, they don’t believe they do anything wrong by being this way and to be honest it would end up with me loosing my temper. So I live, learn and move on.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Bombs in London

Today I was reminded what it meant to be English.

It’s July 7th 2005 and today in the city of London terrorists struck, bringing a proud city to a standstill. Those self same people behind the attacks on 9/11 that remain forever in our memories struck my home soil, the country I was born and raised in. Though the attack was smaller, caused less loss of life and may be something we re-cover from more rapidly than the USA did, it still has left the country reeling. Four bombs, three on the underground, one on a double decker bus of all things. 37 dead as I write this, over 700 injured, men, women, perhaps children injured, limbs torn, lives ruined in the name of a religious war that I seriously most Muslims in the UK want nothing to do with.

My family still live in the UK, I have my parents, grandmother, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends I grew up with scattered mainly through the north west coast of England. Though they live 200 miles away from the blasts my thoughts still went to them, wondering if they were alright, if security had been increased, if their daily lives would be affected. The same happened with 9/11 here, they were frantic trying to get hold of me though I lived a thousand miles away from the nearest strike zone. We worry about each other, it’s part of being a family.

They are fine, by the way. My Dad spent the day in Liverpool due to work where he said the attitude there is a ‘try it here we dare you’. That hasn’t stopped there being extra security all over the place, nor police on every corner.

Let me give the people behind this attack a little hint.

The English are a heavily celtic breed, we’re stubborn sods and we don’t back down or slink away in fear easily. Better than you have tried to knock us down. Terrorists who knew our sense of home, strength and determination have tried and failed. So what makes you think you can succeed where they did not. What makes you think four small bombs are going to send a people cowering in fear when years of bombs from world war two only banded us more tightly together. Are you really so arrogant to believe you’re actions will do anything more than fortify the resolve of a nation?

I may no longer live in England but I can tell you now, of the people I know the majority will shrug, make a few jokes, mourn, then come back a hundred times stronger than they were before.

To those in England who lived through this day, remember… don’t let the blighters get you down because only by doing that, only by defeating the spirit that has thrived in England through the years can they ever hope to win.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Balancing Act

With two children under five and a husband whose health often means that help around the house can be sporadic I’m often asked how I balance writing with being a wife and mother. The simple answer is I sometimes don’t.

I own a lap top, and use that primarily for my writing. It’s always on when I am in the living room, or I take it into the bedroom for some dedicated writing time away from the distractions of the net, housework, phone and kids. That might sound selfish to some people but how many parents take their children to work with them? Do you take them to the office, restaurant, factory or hospital? No, most don’t do that, most either stay at home or place their children in child care so they can go to work and pay the bills. This is no different.

I love writing, it’s fun for me, I have this chance to explore new worlds this way but it’s also how I pay the bills. It is employment. Don’t ask me what else I do for a living as if this is a hobby, or make assumptions that I live off my husband’s income (we don’t). Because this is work I do sometimes leave the kids in the care of my husband. There are times he cooks, cleans, keeps them out of my hair, then there are times I slowly write a few lines here and there in between looking after my kids. Those days I am on a deadline or have a story that won’t let go are the days they loose me for a time.

I’m lucky, I have family and friends who accept this is a part of who I am. They cheer me on, support me time wise, put up with me stumbling into bed at odd hours of the day and night. So if there is a balancing act it isn’t one I’m doing, but the one my family manages in order to allow me to remain a part of their lives whilst I work.

Update

Sam’s health is still dodgy but we’re getting help in place so I can attend Gen Con in August. We’re also trying to work it so I can focus on writing again for a few hours a day. The lack of being able to do that has left me honestly cranky.

I’ve got a dozen stories running around in my mind and I need to settle down tomorrow, focus and work in order to make sure I keep everything on track before I head out to Indiana in August.

November I should be at World Fantasy Con in Madison, Scott is also planning to attend and the event takes place in his home town which will make life a lot easier.

I did enter a short story into the Dark Romance competition, which I am looking forward to seeing who wins. The deadline I think is today for new entries but I put mine in on Friday I believe. It will be interesting to see how that works out for those who took part. Other than that I haven’t been that busy recently. I need to get something written in time for Thursday so I can go to the local writers group. However for that I tend to take something that falls into more general romance guidelines. They aren’t really fantasy fans, and I think my erotica would shake them up in the wrong way.

Tomorrow Sam goes back to Physio and if matters do not improve then his trip into the Cities at the end of the month will be cancelled.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

BDSM and More

There have been a few assumptions of late that I only write BDSM novels. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whilst BDSM erotica is one of the genres I love writing I also indulge in many others.

The three Magic Carpet Books I have out are Contemporary erotic romance, the is a trace and I mean the barest trace of ‘Dominance’ in Sweet Deceptions. However it is a bare trace that comes through more as an Alpha Male than an active dominant. No reference to the lifestyle is made and there are no ‘scenes’ in the book that reflect BDSM play. Both Whispered Secrets and Focused on Love (now due out August 15th) lack any signs of BDSM in them.

Two out of my four books currently on sale with eXtasy have elements of BDSM. Ettore’s Women and A Small Lesson are both D/s – BDSM novels. Green Dreams and Ruby Kisses are not.

Dragon Prince, the first of the Erien Tales is a cross genre fantasy – adventure – romance novel. Fae Born, due out towards the end of August/September is the second in the Erien tales and falls into the same mix of genre’s.

I do have a special love for writing BDSM based stories, I enjoy exploring the dynamics that those relationships bring, the alternative views into life, the problems and the honesty I see in some D/s relationships. I’m also not above writing heartless characters who dominate for what it brings them, following the darker side of such a story or relationship. It’s intriguing for me.

Ask me, if you are not sure what I write then ask me, if you have a particular preference story wise or genre right ask me. I don’t bite… well not that much.