Tag Archives: Lisa Burton

Back to normal???

Otto woke me up before six a.m. this morning. I took my time feeding them, fiddled around with social media, then headed for the writing cabin.

I was very close to the big boss battle and wanted to get into that.

This one is called The Viral Blues and was intended to be the second story for Lizzie and the hat. It kind of spun out of control and became a lot more than that.

I had all these characters wasting away, trying to draw unemployment, so I decided to put them back to work. This means there are a team of main characters.

My first obstacle involved section breaks for point of view changes. I’m not a fan of this, but imagine two cars full of heroes chasing one car full of bad guy. They’re all doing heroic things, and I need to change POV from car to car. I worked on this for a long time, but had to add a couple of section breaks to pull it off.

One of the things to keep in mind here is that everyone was someone’s favorite. If they come into this book, they deserve a starring moment for their favorite character. Honestly, this was a fun challenge and I think I met it.

Things are rough around the edges, but I finished the story today. I need to do some serious work on it before I send it to critique members, and it may be a couple of weeks before I can do that.

An interesting new challenge presented itself today. I’m on record (probably over at Story Empire) saying I like brief endings. I’ve used terms like “drop the mike and walk offstage,” and “happy for now,” to describe my opinions. This book wouldn’t let me do that.

With that many lead characters, the denouement took longer than I planned. Everyone needed to get something out of the deal now that their adventure is over. Some could be dealt with quickly, but some needed more attention. Then Lizzie and the hat had a bit of drama over their payment, but I like how it worked out.

Then it occurred to me that I was at one of those pivotal points. I have a marketing idea that is either pure genius, or about as idiotic as anything I’ve ever tried. I’m adding my back of the book material, but instead of blurbs I’m noting which stories the various characters appeared in.

My hope is that if someone just met Clovis, for example, they might want to check out The Playground.

Then… I decided to do something I never do. There is going to be an epilogue. There is one loose end that I really don’t have to tie up, but decided to do it anyway. I have a solid idea for it, and I promise it will be fun. I’m selling it to myself like it’s one of those ending scenes after one of the Marvel movies.

I just started writing the epilogue, when I got interrupted.

Lisa Burton

“Hey! I’m home.”

“Back here. How was your adventure?”

“Honestly, it was rugged. Why do you insist upon breaking me in all my stories?”

“That’s what heroes go through. As powerful as you are, you have your own Kryptonite. Readers need to know that about you.”

“I survived, despite your best effort.”

“I’m so happy. I have some great ideas for your posters, but I didn’t expect you home so soon.”

She hugged me, then sat on the edge of the desk. “Well, someone decided not to write me into the epilogue, so I got an early start.”

“You had plenty of moments, and they couldn’t have accomplished this without you. I decided maybe it was up to someone else to clean up the loose ends.”

“It is good to be home. How’s Bunny doing?”

“He’s huge and fat as ever. I’m sure he missed you, but it’s hard to tell with rodents.”

“I’m going upstairs to see him.”

“I don’t blame you. I think I’m done for the day anyway. I’ll have to finish the epilogue later.”

***

That is the saga of my day. Summer is going to be a period of editing, getting artwork together, preparing blog tour posts, and loose ends. (Hopefully reading) For those keeping score, I never tracked word count today, but it feels like about 4500 words.

Back to the grindstone tomorrow.

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Help a guy out

It looks like the voting has already started. I signed up for one cover war, plus two character battles.

You can vote for Voyage of the Lanternfish in cover wars here. (Open already)

You can vote for everyone’s favorite, The Root Monsters, in character battles here. (Starting tomorrow.)

The root monsters have a little something to say in the Fantasy Sound Off Board.

The Hat has a little something to say in the Urban Fantasy Sound Off Board.

The Hat is entered in the character battles in his genre too. You can vote for him here. (Voting starts the 17th. Hint, it’s a Lisa Burton poster of her wearing The Hat.)

OWS CyCon is an online convention. It promises three days of fun, adventure, and learning. While you’re visiting, check out my author booth. There are a selection of Lisa Burton posters and a few of my books available.

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War of Nytefall, Rivalry on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hey there, all you night-stalkers and day-walkers. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio. The only show that brings you interviews with characters from the books you love.

I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my special guest today is Mab. Mab is a new kind of vampire called a Dawn Fang. I know what that is, but our listeners might not. “Welcome to the show, Mab. Let’s start with the Dawn Fangs.”

“Thanks for having me. Although, I admit that I’m not comfortable being so exposed. Dawn Fangs are a new breed of vampire in Windemere. There are a lot of differences such as us having a heartbeat, being able to eat regular food, and not being able to use magic. We still have abilities, but their closer to natural talents than spells. The biggest change, and what causes a lot of trouble, is that Dawn Fangs don’t lose their powers in sunlight. Your world believes vampires get destroyed by the sun, but in Windemere, they used to only grow very weak. It’s pretty handy, but it does come with some complications.”

“It sounds to me like you’re missing the old ways. Would you rather return to the days of vampire one-point-oh?”

“Yes and no. Don’t get me wrong because I really like my new abilities and I get to work with Clyde again. Been decades since we were running our small gang. It’s the situation that I’m not a big fan of right now. I expected him to come back and we’d go back to taking whatever we wanted. Now, he has to think about the future of the Dawn Fangs and that doesn’t leave much time for the fun stuff. I mean, he’s turning out to be a pretty good ruler, but I’m not really sure where I fit in.”

“Sounds like we need to talk about Clyde. You two had a relationship once.”

“Long ago, Clyde and I were partners in crime then partners in everything else. It was love and respect that kept us together. Honestly, us being romantic partners wasn’t that different than anything else. Just more kissing and bed antics. Felt like a natural progression to what we already had. Feel like an idiot being so clinical here. That was a long time ago. Then I caught him in bed with Chastity who had used her magic to look like me in an attempt to help our relationship. That caused a lot of fighting and nearly broke the gang up, but Clyde and I managed to settle things.”

“My bio says Chastity was trying to help you. Seems like an odd way to help, but vampires are a bit different.”

“Vampires are different, but we were all mortal at some point. Even after centuries, most of us remember the emotions that once controlled our actions. As angry as I was at Chastity, I can’t say I was innocent. I went to her for help in spicing up my love life and made a joke about her impersonating me to do the things I didn’t feel comfortable doing. She thought that was a request and tried to help. Chastity and I get along now, but I did try to fight her a lot after that incident. Never won because she’s a master of charm magic, which she’s gotten better at since becoming a Dawn Fang. One spell and I do whatever she wants because I just cannot find a way around that. It’s pretty frustrating.”

“Keep fighting, I suppose. Besides, I don’t think robot girls can be charmed out of their pants. Not that way, anyhow.”

“Like I said, we got over it. Immortality means you really shouldn’t hold grudges, especially when you might have to work with the other person. Chastity is still a great source of information and, now that I can eat real food, she runs a popular bakery. I mean, the Scrumptious Siren has other things like the bar and brothel, but I’m a sucker for chocolate. Not like she charges me . . . or knows I snatch things from the shadows.

“Besides, we all took Clyde’s disappearance pretty badly. There was an event in my world called the Great Cataclysm, which changed the face of Windemere. Clyde had been swallowed up by the ground along with a city dedicated to the Durag the Sun God. Took me fifty years to get permission to look for him since we had a war going on in the aftermath and everyone else thought he was dead. I was the only one who thought he was still alive. Although, I didn’t realize what I was unleashing when I went to free him. To be fair, he was just waiting for me to turn up before he busted out and slaughtered a lot of Duragians before they could kill me.

“How do I explain this? Clyde came back very different. He’s the first Dawn Fang, so he turned all of us. It was an accident with me, but everyone else drank his blood willingly. Chastity was the first actually, which made it hard to keep hating her. When you think there’s only three of your kind, you tend to reconsider your issues with them. I wish that was the extent of the complications that my life would take. Should have seen what was coming, especially since being a Dawn Fang meant our old way of life was long over.”

“How so, Mab?”

“It’s hard to remain a carefree thief when you’re involved in politics and a civil war. Our enemies don’t really like that we exist because they think we’re going to try to wipe them out first. Well, Clyde is probably going to do that out of spite, but they really should have tried to leave us alone. It hurts to have old friends now be enemies and not being able to go back to your old home. We all worked out of the city of Nyte, but we can’t step foot in there without a battle. Then, the womb-born showed up and that threw a new wrinkle into our lives. Who would have thought Dawn Fangs could get pregnant and give birth to actual children? Once we got through that mess, this Vampire Queen steps out of rumors that are a couple centuries old and takes Clyde away. We have no idea where he is. I only have a vague idea of who and if that harpy is calling herself a Queen then I’m a friggin’ Goddess.”

“Sounds like you need to bail him out – again.”

“I can’t let someone have Clyde when they don’t deserve him . . . I mean, he’s my partner and I refuse to let him down. The biggest challenge is finding the Vampire Queen’s hideout and then it’s all about battling our way there. She’s going to make it difficult since we’ve heard that she has an army of assassins and followers. Clyde should be able to hold out until I can get there, but it’s going to take time. I have the ability to travel through shadows, all of which are connected by this monster-filled void. Only problem is that I need to know where I’m going and that requires time. A lot of time. Why couldn’t that idiot just punch and murder his way out of trouble instead of leaving me to save his ass? Strongest of the Dawn Fangs and he gets himself kidnapped without a trace. He better have a good reason for putting me through all this worrying and anger.”

“Will you use some of the Vengeance Hounds to help out?”

“My friends are definitely onboard. Doesn’t matter if I want them to stay behind. The Vampire Queen took one of our enemies too, so we have to work with a few of them. That whole enemy of my enemy is my friend. There’s going to be some friction, especially between those who never got along in the first place. I’m not really in the mood to play peacekeeper, so they better settle things themselves. Too much trouble and I’m leaving all of them behind. My brother can lecture me about teamwork and how I can’t take on an entire army by myself when I get back. Not like I have to fight since I can just sneak in, grab Clyde, and get out. That is unless the Vampire Queen is expecting that. Guess having a team does mean I can focus on saving Clyde instead of wasting time with everything else.”

“While it all seems pretty complicated, it sounds to me like you’re going to dive back in. I’m a sucker for a good love story, even if it’s kind of sick and twisted. I wish you all the possible luck, and I’m sure our listeners do too.”

“Love story? What do you mean love story? I didn’t say I was still in love with Clyde. We’re partners and protect each other. I’m sure he would be just as angry and worried if I was the one kidnapped. Love is a pretty strong word anyway and comes with a lot of weight to it. No, Lost, that isn’t the signal to stop! Don’t you dare cut off your psychic powers before I can-”

“You can read all about Mab and Clyde in the War of Nytefall series by Charles Yallowitz. The newest book is called War of Nytefall: Rivalry. I’ll post all the pertinents online after I log off.

“Charles has always been a great supporter of this broadcast. I don’t believe there is a single episode he didn’t reblog, tweet, and share somehow. Let’s return some of that support today and share my interview with Mab all across the internet. If your character appeared on Lisa Burton Radio, Charles was there for you.

“For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

Blurb-

Seeking the pleasure of revenge, an ancient rumor will reveal herself to be a deadly legend.

Lurking within the shadows for centuries, the Vampire Queen has been drawn to the conflict that surrounds Clyde. Only whispers have been spread about this elusive figure, who has amassed a kingdom that can rival Nyte and Nytefall. All that she is missing is the strongest vampire to crown as her king. In one fell swoop, she has taken the most powerful of her kind, including Clyde and Xavier Tempest. Hosting a tournament where the rules seem to change at her whim, the Vampire Queen threatens to shatter the already strained world that lurks beneath Windemere’s surface. Yet, there is more to her desires, which seep from a soul that is pulsing with fury. For her kingdom can never be complete until she holds the head of the one who wronged her centuries ago.

Can Mab stand against her ancient rival and save her beloved partner?

Sales link-  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QHLW76N/

 

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After spending many years fiddling with his thoughts and notebooks, he decided that it was time to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house with only pizza and seltzer to sustain him, Charles brings you tales from the world of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and drawing you into a world of magic.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter: @cyallowitz

Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

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1400 words today

I turned my attention back to the group story that still needs a name. Lizzie and the hat took care of a bunch of zombies, but the main focus was on Clovis and Gina.

They had to clear out a building where the virus is being loaded into vaccines. I probably need to go back through and ramp up the creepiness factor, but I like how it came out.

My favorite part was when they all got back together. The hat was absolutely manic, and laughing himself silly. I liked the part where he said, “If I had a bladder, I’d wet my pants.”

My heroes were forced to torch the building holding the virus, leaving one contaminated person inside. Since he’d never survive the virus, it was a bit easier for them.

I also revealed the big bad for the first time. This is the paranormal entity that’s behind all these shenanigans. She got away this time.

Still 1400 words isn’t too bad.

I also spent a big part of my morning monitoring that Facebook lounge post about Lisa Burton. It cut into my writing time, but all in all it was a good day. A good weekend for that matter.

Tomorrow, I have to go back to the job that actually pays me. I think I’ll call it a weekend and goof off this afternoon.

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Is it productive? It feels productive.

I have no idea how many words I wrote today. This is because it spreads across two different stories.

I woke up about 5:00 this morning, and dug right into Serang. I wanted to show Yong on the mend from his spider bite, but not completely healed. This may haunt him for the rest of the book. Right now he’s yelling at Serang for not doing chores and exercises.

Their next move is to leave town with a caravan, and I wanted to set that up before I stopped.

Then I called my parents. I always talk to them on Sundays, and kind of look forward to it. Sundays aren’t the best writing day because of it, but I like keeping in touch with them.

After we finished, I made a fresh pot of coffee, then turned to my critiques. I made a lot of changes to the unnamed project, and think it really improved it. There were some redundant words, a few verbs that could be improved, but it really helped in the overall feel of the story.

This also served as my review of whatever I wrote there last, so I moved the story ahead. Gupta is wounded, and the hat popped him to their secret cabin for a bit of first aid.

Turns out Lizzie’s ancestors collected things from their adventures with the hat, and those are in the cellar.

This led to a fun bit of research, and I swear one of the articles I found online was titled “So, you want a flamethrower.” Yes. Yes I do, at least a fictional one.

Lizzie and the hat popped Gupta back and joined in the action once more. This time with archaic weapons at their disposal.

Lisa is still all screwed up, and they caught her using a Nazi hand grenade to curl her hair. Haven’t decided if this should become a poster or not. There are a lot of great poster ideas in this story.

About the time Old What’s Her Face showed up, I’d shifted to Clovis and Gina. They were invading a building to clear it of zombies. They suspect this is the lab where the Marburg virus is being spread from. (They are right, but haven’t confirmed it yet.)

This gives me a place to start tomorrow morning. If it all goes according to plan, I may even reveal the main villain tomorrow.

One of these days I’ll have to come up with a title for this one. I keep thinking one will reveal itself, because it’s happened before. About all I have now is Mustang Sally. There’s going to be a woman, a super Mustang, and then there is the musical connection in these tales.

Right now it’s time for ball with bulldogs.

Tomorrow, I’m participating in something called a character takeover on the Fantasy and Sci-Fi Readers Lounge. My time slot is 12:30 – 1:00 Eastern Time. There seems to be some debate whether this is adjusted for Daylight Savings Time, so I’ll check in frequently. (Kind of like to see what others are doing in their slots anyway.) This is a Facebook thing, and Lisa Burton is the character that’s showcased. This is the link if you’re interested https://www.facebook.com/groups/FantasySciFiReadersLounge/ Maybe I’ll share some old Lisa posters with book links.

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Tolerable productivity

It was another good day, but doesn’t compare to yesterday. Yesterday was one of the rare ones.

My goal was to work on edits to the Serang story. After I got off the phone with my parents, I didn’t feel like it. I accomplished a lot of procrastination today. Editing is one of my least favorite things.

I caved and added to the nameless project. It isn’t as much as yesterday, but it was a good day. It came to about a half chapter, maybe a bit more.

This section involved rescuing our heroes by using Gina’s backup plan. This top secret spirit of vengeance made a mess of the zombies, and that was before the bad guys pissed him off.

Hint: this one includes a lot of my previous characters. This one seemed to be a fan favorite at one time. Hint #2: the voodoo ritual took place beside a lake.

These guys are heroes, but against 75 to a hundred slobbering smelly zombies they needed a bit of help. Plus Lisa is out of commission.

Lizzie and the hat rushed the crane that manipulates the electro-magnet. It was operated by a type-one zombie. These are more Voodoo centric and aren’t the same thing Walking Dead fans might be thinking about.

They reached him about the time the “spirit of vengeance” arrived on the scene. This required some ducking for cover. Eventually, they got to the crane and we had adventures in operating the most complicated piece of equipment in existence. Typical Lizzie and the hat banter accompanied this scene, but their friends didn’t get crushed by an old Impala. A few zombies did.

Lisa is still out of it, but the extinguishing of the magnet will allow her to start on the road back. (She’s going to be so pissed at me when she gets back to work.)

Gupta got shot during the firefight, and Lizzie and the hat popped him to their secret cabin for some first aid. I’m now debating what kind of archaic old weaponry Lizzie’s ancestors might have stored there. This really is for a humorous scene involving Lisa (Still out of it), but I don’t know whether to include it or not.

We looked at my open browser windows a week ago, and that was kind of fun. Here’s what’s open right now:

  • Entertaining Stories. (Naturally)
  • Two different pages for that online convention. I did sign up for it, but have no idea what I’m doing.
  • Oils in Witchcraft and Hoodoo.
  • Hoodoo candle magic.
  • The Gutenberg Bible.
  • Psalms and Verses in Hoodoo.
  • Grumman F2F airplane. (Oops, another hint.)
  • Stinger missiles.
  • Photographs of crane interiors.
  • Coban medical wrap.
  • Injection vials.

This could only be one of my stories, right? I was particularly happy with my Voodoo/Hoodoo ritual. The secret to these is to do some research, then make it all up anyway – but based upon that research.

I did move on to the Serang edits. I worked through two of three critiques. These need to be done, but I also needed some whiny time. I could have moved the team-up story further down the line. I could have dealt with the last Serang critique. A little of both isn’t bad, but I’m left with that feeling of not getting something off my list.

No idea what I’ll do tomorrow. The same projects are still on my list. It might be smart to slow down the team-up story. It’s at around 35,000 words right now. I don’t want to bring it in under 50K.

There will be some words dedicated to the wrap-up. Gina promised the participants rewards, plus we need to see the positive result of their effort. Quarantines need to be ended even if it’s just a blurb on the television. Gina and Gupta aren’t “contractors” in this tale. They don’t get rewards.

I’m thinking about doing a self imposed quarantine at the mansion for all the characters. This means they’re going to get exposed to one of the viruses.

Lisa and Jason Fogg seem to be immune to everything, and the dog gets a free pass. Would a brief section of being too close for comfort and bickering be hard for readers to digest? I haven’t seen this done at the end of the story before. It’s usually a getting acquainted section at the beginning. I could trickle in knowledge that their efforts paid off. What do you guys think? You’re all readers.

There is a risk in dragging this part out. I have a lot of characters, and only the main ones will get focus in this part of the story. I’ll probably limit this to Lizzie and the hat, Lisa Burton, and briefly Clovis.

For this reason, maybe my best bet is to shift over to Serang tomorrow.

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Some days I hate to stop

Today was a writing day. When I have the place to myself, dogs excepted, it’s usually a decent writing day. Today was no exception.

I decided to work on my nameless team-up adventure. It feels like about 4000 words today, and I hate to stop. Old What’s Her Face will be home soon, and that stops it anyway, so it’s time to blog.

My characters did some spying with a drone, discovered that the bad guys raised the stakes with what amounts to a biological weapon, then identified a likely place to investigate further.

The new site is swarming with zombies, and the team was beaten back. A couple of the girls commented on Jason’s bare butt as he tried to help them avoid getting killed.

Lisa Burton was taken out of action by a huge electro-magnet. Computers and magnets don’t get along too well.

Gina decided it was time to fight fire (undead) with fire (undead). This led to a fun Voodoo ritual, and the game changed directions for a bit. That’s right at the point where I stopped, and there is a lot more to this part.

Clovis had to face a small bit of his past, in the form of zombies that he’d already made dead once before. He isn’t phased by much, so I doubt it will slow him down. I probably need to beef this part up a little.

Like I said, sometimes I hate to stop. It makes for a good place to pick it back up again.

Sundays I call my parents, so a lot of my quality time goes into that. This makes late morning a great time to address some of those Serang edits I need to get to. I’ve decided to do this in two parts. First, fix all the grammatical things, then go back to paragraph one and edit for content. To do this, I’m going to identify the key points, do word count between them, then assess if the between parts get beefed up or cut back.

Serang has been a little tougher to write, but it’s a great experience. It’s kind of a fictional biography, and there are some things from Lanternfish that cannot be changed. I’m enjoying the challenge of this one, but they are different challenges than the other story.

I’m off Monday too, so I’ll probably leap the team-up story ahead some more. At least that’s my goal.

I started my day with some sourdough toast, and it was great. I’m having a meatloaf sandwich now, and it’s great too. All in all, it’s been a great day. Hope yours is too.

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