Paranormal/Fantasy Romance Author

A to Z

Z is for Zzzzzz

A to Z Challenge: Z

Z is for Zzzz… as in what will happen to my blog after this challenge. Up until April I was struggling to find content beyond my book news. After this challenge, the same will happen again. Hopefully I’ll think of something.

It’s been great doing the A to Z Challenge. I’ll definitely have a theme the next time I decide to do it. Random is fun but it was hard coming up with some of the letters. I hope everyone had a fun A to Z Challenge.

Thanks for reading,

~ Renee

Y is for Yippee… or Yikes

A to Z Challenge: Y

Y is for Yippee… or Yikes. It’s almost time for me to head out to the mainland. Wednesday is getting closer and closer by the second. The closer I get, the more stuff I remember I should do before I leave the comfort of my stable internet connection.

Most other things are fine, but the internet connection is my biggest concern. My livelihood and the majority of my obligations require internet access. I plan to get on-the-go access, but I haven’t yet. As well, I have no clue what’s going to happen in May. I can’t make concrete plans because I’m at the mercy of family. I just have to hope I have time to check my email.

I also hope I can get some writing done while I’m out and about. Maybe some reading too. May will be a month of maybe’s and hope so’s until stuff does or does not happen.

X is for Xenophile

A to Z Challege: X

X is for Xenophile… in case you haven’t noticed from a few of my posts already, I qualify as a xenophile of Japan. And xenophile was the only X word I could think of. 😛

Okay maybe attracted is the wrong word… sort of. Do anime/manga characters count? They are Japanese after all… sort of… partially. Some of them are… kind of. Just ignore the random hair colors and impossible cleavage on some of the female characters (kitty ears and tails too) and they could totally count as Japanese.

If I had to trace my fascination to a particular source in my past, it would have to be the years I spent on Kadena AB in Okinawa, Japan as a kid. I got introduced to Japanese culture during elementary school. It was really different from the elementary school I attended later in Texas. Really, REALLY different. I preferred the Japanese school.

Add to that all the anime and Japanese cartoons that got translated and imported to the US — some of it without me even realizing it had originated from Japan — in the 80’s and I was pretty much sold. I’m not talking Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z — besides that was 90’s. Before that. Grimm’s Fairy Tale Classics, Noozles, Voltron (no, I didn’t realize when I was watching it that it was from Japan. I figured that out later in life.), Maple Town, the butchered Warriors of the Wind (re-released in the 2000’s in its entirety under it’s real title Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind) and a few others I can’t think of right now.

W is for Wonders of Duct Tape

A to Z Challenge: W

W is for Wonders of Duct Tape… so back earlier in the challenge I talk about Handicrafts. While trying to figure out what I wanted to do for my W topic, I ran across a video on Youtube and thus we have the Wonders of Duct Tape:

Make a Beach Bag out of Duct Tape

Make a Purse out of Duct Tape

Duct Tape Phone/Money Pouch

Duct Tape Bracelet

And many more.


V is for Visual

A to Z Challenge: V

V is for Visual… I’m a very visual person. Considering how visual I am, I’m surprised I’m not an artist. I didn’t have the patience… or something like that. At a young age I started drawing. I had Garfield down to perfection. One accusation of tracing later, I gave up drawing. Every time I tried to go back, it seemed like too much work to start from scratch and train myself. It would take me forever to get to a level that would satisfy me.

My visual tendency is one of the main reasons I love anime and manga as much as I do. The art style of both catches my attention every time. The old adage “you can’t judge a book by its cover” isn’t totally true with manga. Nine times out of ten, if I like the cover art (usually done by the interior artist unlike American comics), I like the story in the manga. There have been a handful of instances where I found the art style less than enticing but still enjoyed the story but that hasn’t happened often. Or the opposite where the art is nice but the story left much to be desired.

I find a lot of times, in my writing, I have to see something acted out for me to be able to describe it accurately. Getting up and acting something out, finding clips online, people watching — all of it helps. I rely a lot on porn for most of my sex scenes to add variety and so I can get the movements and reactions correct. Not just Tab A in Slot B but hand positioning, body positioning, breathing, sounds, speaking, interaction with their surroundings — all of that helps me craft the scene so my readers can experience it to the utmost.

U is for Unlimited

A to Z Challenge: U

U is for Unlimited… as in the reason I write. Unlimited possibilities. Unlimited character traits. Unlimited worlds to be created. Unlimited relationships to be explored. There are billions of books in the world and I love the fact that I am among those who add to that number.

I love to write and create and see my imagination take shape in my books. True the books don’t always come out the exact way I imagined them but it’s still fun to see where my characters will take me. The sky isn’t the limit. It’s the starting point for a journey into beyond. All I have to do is find the right words to describe it all.

T is for Teaser Tuesday

A to Z Challenge: T

To is for Teaser Tuesday… and timing. The authors of my RWA chapter decided to get together and do a joint promotional effort on Facebook called Teaser Tuesdays. Each of us will post a tiny snippet from a new release or coming soon title and then link to ten other participating authors — a fan page hop.

And I say timing because today is the very first time we’re doing this. Very nice that it happened to fall on the A to Z Challenge day for T, huh? I love how things just work out like that.

So stop by my Facebook fan page to start the hop and I hope you enjoy what all we have to offer.


S is for Set My Mind To It

A to Z Challenge: S

S is for Set My Mind to It… I am a champion procrastinator. Even when I say I’ll get a jump on something, I still leave it until the last minute and then rush. I’m one of those people who works well under pressure. In fact, I think I do better work under pressure. More than likely it’s because I’m not stressing small details or over-complicating the situation and just getting it done.

That said, when I set my mind to something it gets done — completely and without fail… usually on time. I’m pretty sure I procrastinate the way I do because I’m always looking for the best time to do a certain task. I know. I know. The best time to do anything is now because later isn’t promised. I get that. However, I’m the type who focuses on something completely when I start on it. As such, I want to make sure I have a chunk of time to do it without conflicting with anything else.

I read novels in one sitting (we’re talking 4-8hrs of reading — depending on the length of the book — with only potty breaks) and will watch and entire TV series from start to finish in one loooooong run. Most of my peers get distracted easily. I tend to have mental blinders and will keep going until the task is finished. Any interruption leads to extreme grumpiness partly due to being interrupted but mostly because of low blood sugar.

Usually what ever task has my attention at the time probably keeps me from eating. It’s not that I forget to eat. I just lose track of time and don’t realize I’m hungry until the headache sets in.

I could change this habit if I set my mind to it, but I figure why bother? It works for me. So long as everything gets done — and it usually does — it’s all good. A little rushing keeps me on my mental toes… is what I say now, but I’m sure I’ll complain about leaving things to the last minute next time I have to rush on something. 😛

R is for Rambling

A to Z Challenge: R

R is for Rambling… This like G is going to be a stream of consciousness post. Unlike G, I have tons for R and couldn’t pick just one to focus on. While I should probably leave something for future A to Z Challenges, I figure why should I? There are tons of R words in the English language and I can always pull something from Japanese too if I have to. Soooo…

Reborn / Rebirth – My name “Renee” means reborn. The same “ren” as in “Renaissance” — the rebirth. I like that my name means reborn since that was what I was after I switched to using it. Renee is my middle name… much like many others born in the 70’s and early 80’s. It was a thing. I’ve gotten over and gotten tired of people telling me, “That’s my middle name too.” Yeah, I know. It’s old. Anywho, I digress. I started using my middle name in high school because I got sick of everyone butchering my first name. As well, I learned that I could do that since it is technically my name. That was a glorious day… myself being reborn as someone with a name people won’t mispronounce.

Relative – As in it’s all relative. Everything is subjective based on people’s pasts. I have to keep that in mind while I’m writing. Something I might find funny might not be for the person reading the book. What I place value in, others might find worthless. It happens. I’ve learned to keep an open mind (or try to) and see things from the other side as well as all possible outcomes. Devil’s advocate tends to be my favorite role… but that’s my cynical side coming out to play.

Resident Evil (the movies) – I have never played the games. I leave that to the hubby. I’m a freak out gamer — ie. when things start trying to kill me, I freak out and start pushing buttons randomly until the thing dies or I kill it. For games like Resident Evil, that doesn’t always work out in my favor. But the movies require no button pushing or remembering to stock up on ammo. While I know the movies diverged from the games quite a bit, I love Milla Jovovich. She’s a fun actress and one of the top reasons I keep going to the movies. I’m looking forward to seeing how they get out of the corner they wrote themselves into with Resident Evil: Retribution.

Reading – I need to do more of it. My to-be-read pile is such that I really should stop buying books but I can’t. Even if I started reading one book a day, it would probably take a few years to put a dent in my pile. Not to mention, doing that would mean not writing my own stuff for a good long while. That’s one of the drawbacks to being an author — I don’t have as much time to read as I once did. Before I was published, I would devour several books a week. I practically lived in the library and used bookstores. I might have to start a one to one ratio of reading and writing — finish a book, read a book. Since I write at a good pace, I might be able to put a sizable dent in my TBR pile.

Rock Steady ~ The Whispers

Q is for Quartet

A to Z Challenge: Q

Q is for Quartet… what? It’s the best I could do. 😛

Danse Macabre (Camille Saint-Saëns) ~ Raven Quartet

I have a deep love for stringed instruments — pianos, violins, guitars, harps, koto, etc. I don’t know what it is. I just love the sound. So it’s no surprise that I like Danse Macabre so much.

The first time I heard it (that I recall) was in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 4, Episode 10 titled “Hush.” Anyone who watched Buffy knows this episode well — the gentlemen. The song playing in the background when Giles does the slide show is Danse Macabre.

I didn’t learn the name of the song, or find the lovely performance by the Raven Quartet (the iTunes version is much better), until after I watched Grimm Season 1, Episode 5 titled “Danse Macabre.” Fun episode. Made even more so because I finally, FINALLY learned the name of this song. Thank you Yahoo Answers.

It’s gothic and moody and I love having it playing in the background while I write vampires.


P is for Pinterest

A to Z Challenge: P

P is for Pinterest. I swore up and down that I wouldn’t let this particular social network drag me in. I said the same thing about Twitter way back when. And like Twitter, I now I have a PinInterest account:

I already have 20 boards started– some for my books but the majority for just random stuff I felt like pinning. I’m sure I’ll have more boards as I find stuff I like and need new categories.

The way I figure it, I was destined to end up at Pinterest sooner or later. When I’m on Facebook, all I do is like and share pictures. So why not get on the social network built specifically for that? I’m still on Facebook. It’s a great source of current events… though I have to verify 99% of what crosses my newsfeed before I believe and share it.

As soon as I get some free time, I plan to create a Pinterest business account for my two promotional blogs. But that’s a ways off. For now, I’m just having fun searching for random things and pinning the things I like. I felt all accomplished the other day when I “collected” all the Clow Cards from the anime Cardcaptor Sakura. Check ’em out:


O is for Oh Yeah

A to Z Challenge: O

Anyone who ever saw Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is very familiar with this song…

Oh Yeah ~ Yello

Sure the video was trippy but this song will be forever tied to John Hughes for me.

N is for Naughty

A to Z Challenge: N

N is for Naughty… as in what I’ve sunk into since being signed with Changeling Press back in October 2010. I’m not saying I wasn’t naughty before them. But my naughty was contained behind euphemisms and allusions.

I wrote Mainstream Romance and thought I would never cross into Erotic Romance. I would cringe over certain words and couldn’t write them. That was the main reason I was all about euphemisms and allusions. I didn’t write closed door sex scenes but I wasn’t about going into minute detail either.

M, the publisher at Changeling, assured me it would get easier and I didn’t see how. Coming up on my third anniversary with the company, I can tell you she was completely correct. If you read my first Erotic Romance Rite Men for Maya and then jump to my most recent Erotica piece Assistant’s Position 1: Before and After Work, you can see how far I’ve come… teehee.

Erotica was another doorway I thought I would never walk through and yet I find my muse running there more often than not. A simple phrase can spark an entire little rendezvous that begs to be written and suddenly I have a 6-10K word piece ready for publication. That’s how I Need an F came about. The two sequels I have planned came from reviewer BadBarb suggesting there might be more to the story. What do you know? She was right.

Based on the stories that have crossed my computer since October 2010, I can tell my muse was waiting for this particular flood gate to be opened. Luckily I’m able to switch back and forth between Mainstream and Erotic. I would have hated to lose my euphemisms. It’s fun to do a hot sex scene with only euphemisms and allusions without it turning into purple prose.

M is for Manga

A to Z Challenge: M

M is for manga — Japanese comics. I have a ton. Okay maybe not a ton. But I’m sure it’s close. I know the movers weren’t happy with me. 😛

I read shoujo (storylines aimed at girls, which means Romance) and yaoi (m/m romance). To give you an idea of my collection size, check out the manga section in your local B&N. That’s it. Whereas they have multiples of certain volumes so they can sell them, I have nothing but singles. I would post a picture of my shelves but I don’t have a camera with a wide enough lens or enough space to back up (without taking out a wall) to get it all in one picture.

Five 25×54″ DVD-shelves-turned-bookshelves sit behind my desk and two 30×54″ ones sit in front of my desk. Now granted, the 30x54s are half normal books and half trade-sized manga. But the ones behind my desk are all filled with normal sized manga. Each shelf holds on average 34 books (give or take one or two for the double-sized volumes) and the cases are five shelves high. Then add in the books I bought recently that are sitting on the floor…

Well you get the picture. I really like manga. I’m a Japanophile and love the culture. Because the culture is different from the US, the fiction troupes are different as well. That means whole new territory for storytelling. Of course, after reading as much as I have, I have figured out all the troupes (or the majority of them), but it’s refreshing to get away from the usual cliches.

I’m currently reading Black Bird by Kanoko Sakurakouji, Kamisama Kiss by Julietta Suzuki, Dawn Love Spell by Mayu Shinjo, Dawn of Arcana by Rei Toma, The Betrayal Knows My Name by Hotaru Odagiri, The Wallflower by Tomoko Hayakawa and Crimson Empire: Circumstances to Serve a Noble by QuinRose & Hazuki Futaba. As well, I toss in the random one-shot yaoi from time to time.

You have to remember these are stories told over several volumes. Some long (longest to date is The Wallflower at 30 volumes and STILL going) and some short. As such, reading multiple series all at the same time is normal because there can be anywhere from a one month to a one year gap between books… which really sucks when the author/artist leaves you on a cliffhanger.

And cliffhangers are par for the course because these stories were originally published in magazines before being collected into books and the author/artist has to find a way to keep the audience coming back for more. It would be like releasing a book one chapter at a time and whether the full book gets printed is based solely on the sales of the magazine that month and popularity of the story within that magazine.

One of my writing goals is to one day have one (or all) of my books translated into manga for sale in Japan. That I would totally LOVE.


L is for Last Unicorn

A to Z Challenge: L

The Last Unicorn is an amazing part of my childhood. My teachers had movie days to keep us kiddies quiet for a few hours while they caught up on work. This was one of the movies they played.

I love all the music of this feature, but I especially love the opener. It’s one of those songs that makes you feel uplifted and inspired. Or that’s how it makes me feel. This movie is definitely on my re-watch list.

Though I tend to re-watch the old DVD rather than trading over to the remastered version because the remastered version removed the handful of curse words. There aren’t many. Probably two or three and hardly noticeable. I don’t know why the publishers tampered with it like that and don’t appreciate it.

It’s a classic. Leave it alone. But so long as I have the original DVD release with the full, uncut film, I’m happy.

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