Why the ‘Brief Hiatus’ is Now a Semi-Permanent Hiatus

Well, friends… I did it. I had a MAJOR life epiphany. I did not want to blog this any sooner, as I was afraid that the feeling was temporary; I am so prone to mood ups and downs that completely change my thinking. But no! This epiphany came several months ago, and I have not let go of it since.

So, what is it, you ask?

Well. Here it goes.

I realized that I am alright. I am more than alright. I’m content.

Anyone who read my posts from over the summer knows that I was anything but content at that time. I was carping almost daily about how all I wanted in the entire world was “Rowlingian” or “Kingian” success with my Eternity series, and trust me, what I published on the internet was NOTHING compared to what I was writing in my journal at that time. The whining was UNBELIEVABLE. But more on that in a minute.

Looking back at that time now, at all the whining, all the consternation, all the shameless, neurotic hoping, I realize that I was unhappy, first and foremost, which I kind of already knew, but I also realize that much of it was spoken by the desperate inner-child within me, the one who just did not want to let go of college and face the responsibilities of adulthood. I realized that I needed to believe that I was going to suddenly become mega-famous, be adored and revered as a literary titan, and be saved from my mundane, everyday life because I was in a rut, and I had no idea how to dig myself out. I wanted to live that life so I could be free of the stresses of student loans, finding a job, working a job… I would get to sit on my butt and make millions of dollars and have everyone ooh! and aah! over me. What could be better than that?

Well, lots of things, as it turns out. I wanted all of that, I wanted that life, but that just ain’t where I’m at anymore.

So, how did this epiphany happen? Well, through two things: A sudden health crisis that lasted for one month and is still kind of ongoing, and because of my work.

The first epiphany-trigger is legitimately embarrassing: I had a routine appendectomy. For me, a person with WILD health anxiety, to suddenly be besieged by a potentially life-threatening health situation was my absolute worst nightmare. In fact, as the anesthesiologist was preparing to put me under, I looked back at him as I laid down on the operating table and said, “This is my worst nightmare. You have no idea; this is my absolute worst nightmare.” Everything went beautifully, and I was discharged home within the day. Well, physically, I was mostly fine, but emotionally, I was a wreck. Panic attacks every day, frantic Googling of complications from appendectomies… I thought I had blood clots that would turn to pulmonary emboli and smother my lungs, or make my brain stroke out, or stop my heart in its tracks. I thought a tiny bump on my arm was going to turn into MRSA. I thought every ache and pain was an abscess or herniated scar tissue. I was an utter basket case, to say the least.

But that was not the crisis. At least not completely. The crisis came when, after returning to work, I had the WORST headache of my life. It lasted for days. Now, being a person afflicted with health anxiety, I immediately thought “BRAIN ANEURYSM” which is ACTUALLY my worst nightmare. It always has been, as long as I have had health anxiety, which has been many, many years. So, I went to Patient First, hoping that the pain in my eye was some kind of infection or better yet, just a really bad migraine. But no. Once there, I was informed by a histrionic doctor that my pupils were uneven, which suggested a TIA, and that I was at immediate risk for a stroke. I needed to go to the hospital RIGHT AWAY FOR A CT SCAN, LEST I WISHED TO HAVE A STROKE AND DIE. I mean, really, this guy was running through Patient First to call the hospital and tell them I was coming over, that it was an emergency, blah blah…

Don’t panic. I am going to say now that not only was this doctor wrong, but that he was an idiot. At the ER, they informed me that my pupils were fine, and everything else in my perfectly healthy 23-year-old body was chugging along nicely. But the anxiety got the better of me. For days, I believed that histrionic doctor was right, the other doctors were wrong, and I was going to have a stroke. I returned to the ER on two separate occasions, and on the second (and the last), they did a CT scan (which came back clean) and a spinal tap (which hurt like crazy and made me scream and cry like a little kid but also came back clean.)

So, as I am recovering from these procedures, as I am laying in the throes of a horrible panic attack, I started thinking to myself, “Well, what if I really HAD been having a stroke? What if this were my life? What if this were it?” And that is when I realized that I have been hoping and praying and desperately wishing my life away. I have not been present, at all.

Yes. It literally happened just like that, which I thought was weird, because I don’t normally believe in epiphanies like this.

I returned to work a week later, to my beautiful Pre-K children and my amazing co-teachers, who were so happy to see me, who had been sending me messages through my entire illness, reminding me that they were all there for me, they all missed me, and they couldn’t wait until I came back. Every day since going back to work, even when I have wanted to pull my hair out (days like that are inevitable when you work with children), I have been telling myself that this is where I am meant to be right now. I work with children, several of whom have special needs, and every day, they do something that either totally makes me feel things like a human (my way of saying “touches my heart”) or they accomplish something that to us may seem so little but to them is huge, or vice versa. I love walking into my room and being barraged by hugs and gleeful shouts of “Ms. Tori!” I love being immediately pestered about drawing Rapunzel and Elsa and Sheriffs of Mars, or braiding hair, or helping them build a garage for the cars out of the blocks. I love how they are so eager to do everything from art projects to Math worksheets to huge class discussions about our Letter of the Week or Popcorn Words. As I was laying in bed recovering, I made a mental list of all the things I love about my job, and the aforementioned points are only a few of those reasons. I realized that I have been taking that stuff for granted in a way that is almost offensive. Working with kids is difficult, to say the very least, but, if you’re doing it right, you get back SO MUCH. These are little, adorable, innocent souls who just want to spend time with you, who love you unconditionally, who will probably not remember you (at least not well) in the future, but who love you every second of the present.

Right now, I am continuing to experience rather severe abdominal pain, which has resulted in two ER visits AND an MRI, and yesterday, when the pain became so excruciating at work that I could barely stand, one of my little girls walked up to me, hugged me, and said, “Ms. Tori… What I want more than anything in the entire world is for you to get better.” And I held it in then, but later, I cried over that, because is that not the most lovely, adorable, perfect thing that has ever happened? I am lucky to experience moments like that, certainly, but I am lucky just to be a part of their lives, even if only briefly. And when I move on from this job, when I go to grad school, get my PhD, and move on to teaching big kids, I will find being a part of their lives, even if only briefly, just as fulfilling. The greatest teacher I ever had was a college professor. He changed my life in one two-minute interaction. If I can encourage a student the way he encouraged me, if I can intervene, however discreetly, when I know they need guidance, then I will continue to feel that I am doing meaningful work.

How does all of this relate to my former dreams of being mega-rich and mega-famous? Well, I realized that the world needs more teachers than it needs mega-celebrities. And also, as I am getting older, I am looking at myself more objectively. In college, I felt the need to be the loudest, most opinionated, most read, most intelligent, smartest girl in the room. I thought I was always right, that having an opinion on LITERALLY everything was required if I wanted to impress people. Having opinions is important, I know that still, but I don’t feel the need to take up all the air in the room, to bloviate about why my opinion rocks and someone else’s stinks. I don’t feel the same egocentric streak in me, the one that whispers that the solar system revolves on a Tori-centric model, that the Earth’s gravitational pull is a direct result of me and my brilliance. I don’t feel the need to embellish or to outright lie in order to make myself seem more intelligent or cooler. I don’t feel the need to one-up every story with a bigger, better story of my own. I don’t have time for people who are still stuck in that mindset, who can’t step back and observe themselves, who need attention and recognition and props and kudos and oohs! and aahs! I recognize those traits not as a sign of “coolness” but as a sign of great insecurity. I don’t find many things impressive, not that I really ever did. If people brag to me or to the world about their supposedly wonderful lives (which happened ALL the time in college and continues to happen today), I don’t buy it. I don’t have time for that kind of silliness, for braggers and liars and man-children or woman-children. I try to be kind to those people, to ask them about their lives, but I sift through their answers for what is true and what is more than likely false, and I have discovered that I am freakishly skilled at making the determination between truth and fiction. I don’t look back at any decision I ever made and think, “Well, maybe I should have done this differently, because then I could have done X, Y, and Z, or maybe I could have been here, or there, or everywhere.” I don’t live in the past. I have never been one to look at the social media pages of people I used to know, and I still don’t do that, not because it’s painful for me to look back, but just because I simply don’t want to. I don’t have the mental energy to give to old friends or old flames, or to old times, even. I don’t regret a single thing I have done over the past year. I don’t regret a single decision I have made, or a single moment of unhappiness or uncertainty or angst or anger. I am happy now, so I regret nothing.

When I read my journal during my recovery, which was a chronicle of my senior year in college, I saw some great things: my passion for learning, my love of being involved in school, my love for and loyalty to my friends, my sadness, my fear. But I also saw what makes older people cringe at my generation: I saw self-entitlement, a belief that God or Fate or the Universe should reward me for past struggles by making me famous, or that everyone should be looking at me all the time, and talking about me, and thinking about me. I saw a belief that everyone else was the problem and I was just an innocent victim of Evil, Horrible, Awful Circumstance. I saw a belief that I should be able to sit on my butt and wait for some miracle to save me from adulthood, and I cringed reading all those entries, the same way I cringed back then when I thought about working a 40+ hour work week, paying my own bills, taking control of my future, and getting my head out of the clouds. I am still terrified of adulthood, of leaving this dream behind completely, but I am also actively taking responsibility for my own life, for my own happiness, every single day.

This sounds crazy, I know. This sounds like something that could only happen in a wannabe-inspirational movie. But I know that A LOT of my post-graduate friends, from Stevenson and from other schools, have had similar epiphanies. Hell, my friends who DIDN’T go to college made these strides and came to this conclusion a LONG time ago. I know a lot of people who HAVE NOT had similar epiphanies, who still operate their daily lives under the delusion that the world revolves around them. And I don’t say any of this because I think I deserve props for my “maturity” or for my new way of thinking. Like I said, I am still struggling with this new mindset, I still fight that egocentric inner-child that wants to believe the world revolves around me. I don’t write this because I think other people should feel this way, or because I am defending my generation a little bit. Well, okay, I am defending my generation a little, because we are so often called little narcissists or perpetual children. But there are a large facet of us (I think there are WAY more of us than we let on) who grow up and change their thinking, or who have never thought that old, immature, egocentric way before. There are also MANY who do not outgrow this thinking, and I recognize that, too.

So, what does this mean for Eternity? What does this mean for T. Rudacille, the writer? Never fear. I will ABSOLUTELY be finishing the series, and I will ABSOLUTELY continue to write. But I will not spend time self-promoting, simply because I just don’t want to. There are many, many Indie Authors working 40+ hours a week, taking care of families, seeing to their responsibilities, and still self-promoting, and believe me, I commend them. But I can’t do it. So, this blog is going to sit on the way, way, way back burner for a long time. Or, if I do write, the content might be very different. Or it might be the same. I don’t know, we’ll just have to see. I am going to write my books, my blog, and whatever else, simply because I love to write, not because it is going to save me from the big, bad adult world.

This is goodbye, for a while. One day, I might re-join the cybersphere, but in the meantime, I am going to keep my ducks in a row now that I have gotten them in a row. I am going to hope that I continue on this path, and that tomorrow, I don’t wake up aching to be J.K. Rowling. I am going to try to remember what it was like to write just for the sake of writing. In short (too late, I know), I am going to just live out here. Cuz I am happier and more content than I have been in a long time. I am good. Really good.

So I must be doing something right.

-T. Rudacille (Tori)

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That Time I Poured My Heart Out in a Query Letter and Then Felt Dumb For Doing It So I Had to Blog About It To Make Myself Not Feel Like a Weirdo

Friends, I did a silly thing. Yesterday, all I ate was a yogurt and a piece of pizza with ranch dressing on it and a few fried pickle chips, and then I went out drinking with the girls from work. Now, these saucy minxes can drink me under the table easily, because in my old age (23, thank you), I am a lightweight who drinks less than half of a big Blue Moon and gets mildly tipsy. I blame my empty stomach and the fact that I was on an antibiotic. Everyone else blames me being, well, a lightweight.

So this morning, I wake up, and my head is pounding, my ears are full of liquidy mush, and my body feels heavy and dead because I barely slept last night on account of my anxiety convincing me that though it was only half a beer, I was dying of alcohol poisoning or a deadly interaction of antibiotic and alcohol (there was NO WARNING ON THE BOTTLE!). But despite all of that, I actually found my mind quite alive and alert. And racing, especially after I poured some coffee on top of the booze left in my really upset stomach.

I never drink. Can you tell?

This morning, (and really, all this week), I have been kind of angsty, thinking about how my ultimate dream is to write for a living, and how I want my Eternity series to be the thing that puts me on the map, because I feel like it has that potential. Truly, from an objective standpoint, I feel like it has a lot going for it: genre-bending, so it is appealing to a lot of different tastes; a strong female protagonist (or an antagonist, as she has been rightfully called, as well), who is unlike most other characters, a strong male protagonist who is young and idealistic and appealing to the YA crowd, plus all the action and sex and love and awesomeness. Oh! There’s also the philosophical question of what we would do if we were given a second chance. And then there’s the apocalypse angle, the dystopian angle, the war angle… When I read it, I can picture it being a film or a television series, as I am sure all authors can, in this age of the book-to-film craze. But regardless of how literally every author thinks about it, I have dreamed relentlessly about it since I first began the book three years ago. The funniest part of this is that in my young, 20-year-old mind, I had fully convinced myself that I would be uber-famous within three months, and I would not have to make the anxiety-provoking move to the school I had just been accepted to. I was a homebody with a terrible case of social and general anxiety, so the idea of becoming a mega-celebrity author with a million-plus reader readership was preferable to moving away from home and having to actually like, make friends. I know, it makes perfect sense to me, too.

But I digress. Kind of.

Though I have certainly become a lot more realistic in my ambitions (I have come a long way even from this last summer, when my dreams of fame and fortune were motivated by the fact that I could not, for the life of me and my English degree, get a job, and I was dead broke and really depressed because school was over, and I missed the friends that I had made despite my social anxiety and wah wah wah), I certainly still dream of what I once referred to as Rowlingian and Kingian literary success. So every day that the Eternity series has still not been like Harry Potter or The Shining or, at least in terms of the amount of readers and money, Fifty Shades of Grey, has been rife with me telling myself that there is more I have to do, that I have to spend money that I don’t have to get noticed, and that my work is maybe perhaps kind of not that good.

It is good. It has its flaws. I mean, DUH. I write and edit the books by myself. But I do think (and people who have read them agree, for the most part), that Eternity is pretty cool, and believe me, I appreciate that, and that is what drives me, as I have said before. I love that people dig it as much as I do. Isn’t that all we should want as authors?!? Yes. Yes, it is.

But I got angsty this morning and decided to try, for the millionth time, querying an agent with my self-published book. I have been told that once they hear your work is self-published, agents close out of your query real quick, so instead of abandoning the endeavor like a normal person, I wrote a really honest, kind of weird query letter, and I want to explain myself here.

I talked about why I self-published. It was, first and foremost, because, at 20 years old, I had no idea how to query an agent, or even that I should. Secondly, I come from a family of writers, and they and their friends told me that agents want authors who have built themselves a readership. I did not realize that they meant the book with which you gathered your audience will not be the book that gets you an agent or a publishing deal. I took advice and did not do my homework to see if other people in the industry agreed or disagreed with that advice.

I talked about the modest success that I have had with publishing. I have moved close to 8000 copies of the first two books, and as we know from my previous posts, I have recently published the third book and moved 200 free copies in one day. Though some Indie Authors (and MOSTLY all traditionally published authors) don’t get out of bed for less than 10,000 copies or 20,000 copies, or 50,000 copies or whatever, I am excited that one person downloaded my book, let alone 8000. For me, that’s monumental and super cool, so I talked about that.

I said that I am 150% open to advice from an agent, if I am so fortunate as to find one. I am open to whatever will make the book most marketable, and yes, I am even open to editing (even though the idea makes me sad, but it’s necessary.)

Most importantly, I tried to pitch why representing my self-published title is worth this agent’s time, and on that point, I spoke from the heart,as objectively as I could (and I know that sounds oxymoronic). I said that I feel my work is capable of something big, all while accounting for the fact that every author believes that. I talked about how I love these books, and I am passionate about them.

I mean, I sounded weird, and I was my usual awkward self, and I was way too honest, and I should probably just stick with the normal, boring query letters that I normally send. But I know that agents and publishers are iffy about self-published works, and I wanted to talk about why my self-published work, though it is self-published, is still capable of being successful. So maybe instead of listening to the “abandon all hope, ye who query here” mentality that I have had these past few months (and by “months,” I mean “years”) where I say that every query is going straight to the virtual Trash Bin because my work is self-published, I need to start spinning why my self-published work is worthy of representation, while also making it clear that I am open to negotiating how best to make it marketable outside of the self-publishing mediums.

I know it sounds like I am turning on my Indie Author roots by saying that I am looking for an agent. But I have been told that “self-published authors” and “authors with agents” are not mutually exclusive categories. Therefore, I don’t feel like I am biting the hand that has fed me. But if I am, y’all can let me know.

I am going to go down a liter of water now and watch Gilmore Girls til my eyes don’t work. #HangoverCure.


If you like this post, hit the “Like” button, and be my friend follower.

I’m T. Rudacille, author of the Eternity series. The first book in the series, The Shattered Genesis, and the second book, The Bargaining Path, are available for FREE in the Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords stores, and The Shattered Genesis is also available in paperback on Amazon! Also, The Irreversible Reckoning, the third book in the series, is available for 99c on Amazon, but for free everywhere else. Brownie points if you report the lower price!

http://www.amazon.com/Irreversible-Reckoning-Eternity-Book-ebook/dp/B00RHVL7DY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422723780&sr=8-1&keywords=the+irreversible+reckoning

The Irreversible Reckoning… IS HERE!!!

So after a rather successful preorder drive, it is with great pride that I share with all of you the news of THE IRREVERSIBLE RECKONING‘s release in the Amazon store today. Right now, it is 99c, but as soon as I upload it to Smashwords tonight, you can procure it for free (and brownie points if you report the lower price to Amazon!)

However, I must issue a disclaimer now, so I can feel like a responsible author: There is a lot in this series, but in this third installment, especially, that can be considered a “trigger,” and I would like everyone coming into this experience to be expectant of that. And also, I can almost guarantee you that the ending to this one is going to rip out your heart. I know it sounds crazy to issue a warning, but one of my favorite professors in college gave us a similar warning before we read one of our books for her class, and I am glad she did, because though I thought it was silly at the time, she was right when she said the book would make us angry, uncomfortable, and sad, and that it would have us thinking in the gray area, not the black and white.

So with that being said, you can head over to Amazon to download your copy or you can download from Smashwords this evening! And if you need to talk after you’re done reading, I am here for all of you. I will give you virtual hugs, be your virtual shoulder on which you can cry, and you can throw virtual objects at me in rage after you read the last few pages.

For both the potential trigger and the potential trauma, I offer my apologies! Happy reading, and again, THANK YOU!!!

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*DRUM ROLL AGAIN* The Irreversible Reckoning Official Release Date and Description!

I know what you are thinking: “Oh, my goodness, I cannot believe that she is posting so soon, given how prone she is to publishing one post and then disappearing for weeks on end!” Well, I am nothing if not unpredictable, so here I am, with yet another post on the third book in my Eternity series. As I revealed last week, the title of this installment is The Irreversible Reckoning, and it is available for pre-order TOMORROW, December 28, 2014!! Actually, it might be available today, considering how weird Amazon is, and considering the page is up when I searched for it. Yay! I’m so excited.

Here’s the funny thing about Amazon pre-orders: They actually require you to submit your official manuscript ten days before the book is released. See, originally, I put in the release date as my older sister’s birthday, January 20th. But then, they required the manuscript on the 10th, and there was no way that was happening, given that I am a freakishly obsessive editor, though my published stories would dispute that fact, as I still find many, many errors in them even after I painstakingly read through them three, four, or five times. But I digress.

To make up for that totally random story, let me say that The Irreversible Reckoning will be available for purchase (and it will download to your Kindles if you pre-order it any time between now and then) on JANUARY 28, 2015! So, one month from today. I know I promised that it would be December or January, and I am so sorry that it is so late in January, but please know that it is because I am trying to ensure that the manuscript you receive is as close to perfect as I can humanly make it. I want to make sure that the story progresses exactly as I want it to progress, and that it sets up the truly epic last two books in the series. I am not just holding out on you to make your anticipation grow, because I know I’m not one of those authors who is well-known enough to play around with my reading audience like that 🙂

So, to make up for the late date in January, I reveal to you, just in case you haven’t been to Amazon yet, the official description for The Irreversible Reckoning:

“It is the third year after the Landing on Pangaea, and Brynna Olivier has lost her daughter, her sister, her brother, her friends, and her first love. Hoarded onto the Lapsarian Maximum Security Prison Ship, she must survive amongst the worst of Pangaea’s criminals, while also contending with her new arranged marriage to Adam. Meanwhile, Alice, Quinn, and Violet try to escape the clutches of the Old Spirits, with Quinn and Alice using their evolution to slaughter every enemy in their path, and Violet using her wits to outsmart Caspar, who has treacherously changed his allegiance.

Twenty-five years later, Brynna is both Adam’s Queen and the Queen of the Lapsarian. Fighting for her life every day has inevitably resulted in her taking many lives, and now, she is unrecognizable, to both herself and to all those who love her. Quinn and Alice battle against the Old Spirits, all to avenge their second family that they lost. But as Alice’s rage and dedication to the cause only grow more violent over the years, Quinn begins to long more and more for the log cabin of which they dreamed in their youth. Violet is kept imprisoned in the city of Blancstizia, with Dr. Miletus and her wife, Macie. Together, their combined medical knowledge is much needed as a new, brutal plague begins to wipe out Old Spirit families left and right.

Three new voices begin to tell their stories after the Fall of the Red Anarchy: Grace, a teenaged Old Spirit child imprisoned after trying to escape her arranged marriage to Caspar; Lara, Tyre’s most favorite imprisoned woman; and James, Brynna’s lost love. Each is connected to Brynna deeply, in a number of profound, mysterious, and sometimes devastating ways.

Their world is shattered. Their family is broken apart, perhaps irreparably. Their lives have faced a reckoning that can never be undone, and yet there is a larger, more violent reckoning to be had. Despite it all, Brynna, Quinn, and Violet continue to fight for their lives, their family, and their freedom in this third installment of the bestselling Eternity series.”

Hopefully, this is enough to hold everyone over until the 28th. Let me just take a moment to thank everyone once again who has read the first two (very long) installments of this epic saga, are pre-ordering this third installment, and are looking forward to the fourth and fifth installment. I write this series because I love these characters, and I love this story, and I know every author says this, but if I didn’t have the readers, constantly giving me feedback and constructive criticism, and telling me that they love these characters and this story as much as I do, I don’t think I would finish it. You all are everything, and I hope, more than anything, that the story I have written for you is worth the wait. I really think it is. 🙂

-T.


If you like this post, hit the “Like” button, and be my friend follower.

I’m T. Rudacille, author of the Eternity series. The first book in the series, The Shattered Genesis and the second book, The Bargaining Path, are available for FREE in the Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords stores, and The Shattered Genesis is also available in paperback on Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/Irreversible-Reckoning-Eternity-Book-ebook/dp/B00RHVL7DY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1419724610&sr=8-1&keywords=the+irreversible+reckoning

*DRUM ROLL* The Eternity 3 Title and Cover Reveal… Merry Christmas!

There is absolutely no better way to end this temporary hiatus than to reveal, for the first time ever, both the title, the cover, AND the pre-order date for the third book in the Eternity series. I’m not going to make a big speech here, but I have to thank, as usual, my publicist, cover designer, former roommate, BFF, and badass partner-in-crime, Alex, for her epic cover-making skills!

So, without further ado…………………………………….

toribook3

Gahhhhhhhhhhh! You know what I love most about this cover? The continuity with the first book.

toribook

I mean, look at the colors! They MATCH!

AND… the BEST news, this title will be available for pre-order on December 28! So when you get your new Kindles and Nooks and computers, this will be right there at your fingertips to pre-order onto them. BOOM! Christmas cheer!

So, for the lovely fans I have accumulated for this series that I love like a firstborn child, for you fans I love to death, Happy Holidays from me, and sorry for falling off the map here for the past couple of weeks. Work and grad school applications and the holidays have taken their toll upon me, but I hope that this reveal makes up for it!

Upcoming: The official synopsis for The Irreversible Reckoning AND the official release date!


If you like this post, hit the “Like” button, and be my friend follower.

I’m T. Rudacille, author of the Eternity series. The first book in the series, The Shattered Genesis and the second book, The Bargaining Path, are available for FREE in the Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords stores, and The Shattered Genesis is also available in paperback on Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/The-Shattered-Genesis-Eternity-Rudacille-ebook/dp/B009KC6XBO

http://www.amazon.com/Bargaining-Path-Eternity-Book-ebook/dp/B00JOOQYT4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1411496318&sr=1-1&keywords=the+bargaining+path

Yet Another Brief Hiatus

Hello, all!

I must once again address all of my lovely followers, new and old, to proclaim that I will be taking a brief break from blogging (pardon the alliteration.) I have just started working again this week at my old job in childcare, and the hours are so long and strenuous that by the time I come home, all I am able to do is plop down on my bed and watch hours of Gilmore Girls or struggle through a few pages of Eternity 3. On top of trying to finish the third book (which is clocking in now at 450 typed pages, so it is almost done, YAY!), I have to finish my grad school applications (BOO.), take my GRE (Double BOO.), and keep this house a-running.

So, as usual, I will tell you all about the posts that will be featured here upon my return in a week or so!

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(Image Credit: blogs.commons.georgetown.edu)

1. A post about fantasy world-building… How exactly did I make Pangaea, the land to which Brynna, James, Penny, Quinn, Alice, and Violet escape? Was it difficult? Was it easy? And what’s up with the Pangaean language? (Hint: I am lazy, so I play around on Google Translate a lot.) Also, I am not nearly as good at it as George R.R. Martin (Pangaea ain’t got nothin’ on Westeros and the Free Cities), but I needed a picture for world-building, and Martin is the man in that category.

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(Image Credit: Watchdog.org)

2. Have you ever been watching a movie, or a TV episode, or reading another person’s book, or even just watching a commercial, and been like, “OH MY GOD. That is EXACTLY what happens in my book! They’re going to think I plagiarized!!” Well, if you have, you know it is an uncomfortable phenomenon, and if you haven’t, I am going to make you experience it. It’s the WORST.

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(Image Credit: Pinterest.)

3. FANTASY CASTING! Picturing famous people as the characters in your own books. Yes, I picture Elizabeth Olsen as Brynna, and if you’ve kept up with me in other mediums (which I know a lot of you have, and thank you for that! 🙂 ), you know who I picture as Brynna’s hot, sexy old men. But I’ll tell you here, too.

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4. I will finally finish the post I started two weeks ago on the Review post I promised for Grave Encounters and Grave Encounters 2. Yes, I know, it’s about bloody time. (Ha, horror movie puns.) I am going to rave about one, and RANT about the other. Believe me. It’s going to get so real.

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(Image Credit: Pinterest.com)

5. I am a science-fiction romance, thriller, fantasy thriller author, so I am going to talk about writing genre-bending fiction, and why it is so awesome. And weird. And challenging. But mostly awesome.

Thank you all so much for being patient with me while I go through this period of adjustment. I promise that when these posts come to fruition, they are going to be amazing, mind-blowing, epic, sexy, freaking sweet… All that stuff.


If you like this post, hit the “Like” button, and be my friend follower.

I’m T. Rudacille, author of the Eternity series. The first book in the series, The Shattered Genesis and the second book, The Bargaining Path, are available for FREE in the Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords stores, and The Shattered Genesis is also available in paperback on Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/The-Shattered-Genesis-Eternity-Rudacille-ebook/dp/B009KC6XBO

http://www.amazon.com/Bargaining-Path-Eternity-Book-ebook/dp/B00JOOQYT4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1411496318&sr=1-1&keywords=the+bargaining+path

Controversy: Allow Or Avoid It? On THAT Scene in The Shattered Genesis

Have you ever written something, then published it, and then gone back and looked, and thought, “That’s actually really controversial, and I don’t know if I am accidentally condoning something that I really don’t want to condone?” That has happened to me a million times since writing and publishing The Shattered Genesis. The story revolves around nothing more or less than a large group of survivors starting life anew on a mysterious alien planet. Sometimes, the common thread between all the story lines gets very fine, and it is just a collection of almost vignette-like moments that form a cohesive whole only by deepening the relationships of the characters. Sometimes, moments occur that will affect the rest of the series. One of those moments is of this controversial variety, and it is one with which I struggle constantly.

Here are minor spoilers.

After James and Brynna arrive at Don Abba’s house (Don is the leader of one faction of Earthean survivors, and he has aligned himself with Adam, the King of the free people of Pangaea), they discover a lawless, almost anarchic system in which there are no rules. Don has wild parties every night, and at those parties, he and his people consume an otherworldly substance called Peace Fruit that, at least a first, provokes a heightened state of euphoria similar to MDMA but without the risk of overdose. James and Brynna consume this one night, him willingly, and her through a contact high, and though their night is magical, the following morning is not. James suffers a common side-effect of this plant, in that it re-surges in his system, erases any rationality, calmness, and humanity, really, and after he and Brynna have a particularly nasty fight, he attacks her. Physically. Almost sexually. Brynna only escapes because Adam shows up to pull James off, and once he does, Brynna does physically hit him back for attacking her.

But at the end of it all, once he comes to her, in tears, on his knees, she takes him back. Yes. She takes back the man who hit her while he was high.

This is problematic, even for me. I could have changed this scene to make it less terrible. I could have changed it to make it easier for my reading audience to forgive James for this terrible assault. But I couldn’t. For some reason, whenever I went back to delete this scene altogether, or even just to tweak it, I couldn’t touch it. Why? Am I trying to teach women and men that it is okay for the latter to be forgiven in the event of physical abuse? No. I’m not trying to teach anyone anything. This is just the way the scene turned out. This is the way it resolved. So, how do I justify keeping Brynna and James together after this incident occurs?

Well, it had nothing to do with, “This was his first offense,” or “he said he would never do it again.” It has to do with the fact that he had no idea when he consumed this drug of its terrible side effects. No one did. He was given this under the pretense that it would induce relaxation and euphoria which would then result in amazing sex, because that’s what Don told him. That’s what James’s friends told him. I have frequently drawn parallels in my mind to how in real life, when women and men are abused, sometimes they talk themselves into staying with their abusive partner, “He/she was drunk,” or “he/she was high,” and how that excuses the behavior, because it allows a woman or man to tell himself or herself that it will never happen again. I justify James and Brynna still being together because James was ignorant to the effects of this mystical, magical, foreign plant, whereas we, out here in real life, here on the Earth, are totally familiar with the effects of alcohol and drugs, and how they can be the catalyst, but not the base reason, for abuse.

Brynna says that she is afraid of James being stigmatized after this event, but as she learns, many others had similar side effects. In fact, she learns James consumed three berries of Peace Fruit, which would make whatever side effects he were meant to suffer even worse. If I am trying to say anything here, it is that there are more to pharmaceuticals than meets the eye, but I don’t even think I’m saying that.

Let me pair this scenario with another that occurs in my second book, The Bargaining Path. Violet, Brynna’s sister, and her new friends, Caspar, decide they want to get revenge on Violet’s mentor who has just kicked her out of the Medical Program. Together, they consume “Devil’s Touch” (which I based off of Devil’s Breath, a real-life natural substance that practically erases free will and replaces it with almost complete suggestibility. Look it up, it’s terrifying), and together, they attack this woman, holding her to the ash-circle that keeps these really gnarly evil tree creatures away. Violet assaults this woman. She does so under the influence of mystical, magical, weird, unknown drugs. If I hold James accountable, must I also hold Violet accountable? Or, if I don’t hold James accountable, must I also not hold Violet accountable?

I do not condone abuse. I do not condone staying with one who is abusive. I love the scene in the second book where James expresses his fear that, with his new strength and stronger temper, he will hurt Brynna, and he asks, “If you thought I would hurt you, you would leave me, right?” And she says that she would. Know that I am not just sticking up for my characters and my story when I say that if Brynna thought James was a physical threat to her, she would be gone. Gone, gone, gone. But as she says, it would be hard for her. She would be relieved to be away from one who could harm her and the people she loved, but it would be hard. James recognizes his own dangerous flaws, and she recognizes them, too. With her dark past, she would not suffer abuse if James were merely drunk or merely high. She gives him a second chance because he and several others did not know what would happen. She barely knew, and she is practically omnipotent, for goodness’ sake!

If it had happened on Earth, Brynna would have left. If it had been booze or pills or cocaine or anything we “Eartheans” know that had resulted in his abuse, Brynna would have left. I want to clarify that these strange and mystical circumstances were what kept her with James, and that is all.

I am clarifying this for myself, so I can stop thinking that I inadvertently sent a message with which I do not truly agree. Brynna and James fight (verbally), and lie to each other, and betray each other, and hurt each other emotionally, but it is not just James hurting Brynna. Brynna hurts James, James hurts Brynna. They love each other, they fight, they break up, they find their way back to each other. They have established their relationship on this foundation of need, of this recognition of a desire for constancy. They survived the end together and began to reestablish their lives in this new and dangerous world together. They do genuinely love each other.

But if James were a constant physical threat to Brynna, if he were abusive, she would leave. And if she were abusing him, he would leave.

For the record, no one has accused me of condoning an abusive relationship, or of writing (and therefore glamorizing) an abusive relationship. But I want to say my piece on this in case anyone ever does, because this is an issue that is very important to me, and I would never, ever, ever condone abuse. On Pangaea, in these totally weird circumstances, James can be forgiven. On Earth… Not so much. At least not for me.

(Wouldn’t it have been so much easier if I had just changed this scene?? Curse me and my stubbornness. Rather, curse my story’s stubbornness. They really do take on a mind of their own, don’t they?)


If you like this post, hit the “Like” button, and be my friend follower.

I’m T. Rudacille, author of the Eternity series. The first book in the series, The Shattered Genesis and the second book, The Bargaining Path, are available for FREE in the Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords stores, and The Shattered Genesis is also available in paperback on Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/The-Shattered-Genesis-Eternity-Rudacille-ebook/dp/B009KC6XBO

http://www.amazon.com/Bargaining-Path-Eternity-Book-ebook/dp/B00JOOQYT4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1411496318&sr=1-1&keywords=the+bargaining+path

The Conundrum of Quinn and Alice: Character Favoritism or Lack Thereof

I don’t know if this is just me, or if this is all writers, but I suffer terribly from something I like to call “character favoritism.” I don’t know if other writers have experienced this, or if this only happens to people who write more than one first-person narrative point of view, but it occurs when you have one character that you absolutely love writing, and then you have others that as you either try to write them or even think about trying to write them, you start inventing thousands of other things that you would rather do instead. In the Eternity series, I love writing Brynna’s narrative point of view, and sometimes, I don’t mind Violet’s, but Quinn’s? Every time a Brynna section ends, and it is time to begin Quinn’s (pardon the rhyme) I find myself having to crawl back to my laptop while whining like a three-year-old all the while. Internally whining. Well, sometimes externally whining.

This is character favoritism. I could write for hours in Brynna’s point-of-view. I could write her story for ages, because she is my favorite character that I have made, and her storyline is the deepest and richest for me to write. I am sure that I am not the only one who experiences this issue. I shouldn’t feel as guilty about it as I do, considering that if one takes away the fact that this series is my baby, and I want it to be the greatest it can possibly be, and if I can’t put love into these other characters then the book as a whole is going to suffer, and once all of that is taken away, they’re just fictional characters, then one would realize that feeling guilty about it is ridiculous. And I need to get over myself in a hurry.

If I could go back in time and rewrite The Shattered Genesis, I wonder if I would choose to write Quinn’s narrative point of view. It is no secret that Brynna is my favorite character to write. Though I have never addressed the matter before, I think that the writing is above average in Brynna’s narrative voice, while in Quinn’s and Violet’s, it is lackluster, and I feel that the depth of Brynna’s storyline is always significantly deeper than Quinn and Alice’s. I flesh out Brynna’s plot points down to the finest details, and with Quinn and Alice, and with Violet, too, sometimes, I struggle to even break the surface of what I view as their mundane, adolescent problems. And yet not all of their problems are mundane, and not all of them are adolescent. And if they are adolescent, they are still deep and important; they are the struggles that all adolescents and post-adolescents must face. Like when the three are trying to choose their careers, and Quinn and Alice choose military training (which tests them individually and as a pair) and Violet chooses a career in Medicine. In this postapocalyptic world, on this completely different planet, Quinn, Alice, and Violet are faced with choosing their path in life, something that all 18 year old kids must do, regardless of planet and regardless of the state of the world. This is an adolescent problem, but it is a deep and important one; it is rife with potential for a deep, meaningful storyline. It was during those scenes that I actually enjoyed writing these characters’ narrative perspectives, but right now, as I come off the heels of some truly excellent Brynna scenes in Eternity 3 (working title, obviously) I face the struggle I faced in all of The Shattered Genesis and at least a quarter of The Bargaining Path.

Everyone who has glanced at this blog even briefly has heard me whine about my attempt to write a young-adult novella that is in the same universe as the Eternity series but takes place on Earth. I have decided to shelve that project until I have finished the third book, because I hope by the time the third book is published I will have a bigger audience who will appreciate the crossovers and cameos within, and the parallels between the Eternity and Eternity: Earth series. But I can say this: The narrative was just starting to gel when I shelved it, and the only reason why I have put it aside for now is because I am far more gripped to write Eternity 3 than I am to struggle with this novella, and as my novels have thus far run about 500 pages each, I figured that I should indulge my desire to start that goliath of a project before the terror I inevitably feel at the prospect of it convinces me not to continue. So, how does the young-adult debacle fit into this? Because Quinn, Alice, Violet, and Nick are young adults, and even now, as they face the consequences of the end of The Bargaining Path, they must face problems to which a young adult can relate. But Gooooooodddddd, they all bore me. Violet is alright most of the time, but Quinn and Alice? The struggle is real, to say the least.

Don’t get me wrong: I love them together. I think they are adorable. The scene in The Bargaining Path where they talk about having sex for the first time is one of my favorite scenes. And they had some sense of agency in the second book that I feel they did not have in the first. But now, there is not much that I can do with them unless they escape from their imprisonment and go on the lam together. But where would that lead?

Honestly, I think that is what I will do, but then, what will I do with Violet? Will she have to escape, too? I suppose she will, and then what do I do with all of them together?

Every time I ask the question of “what do I do?” it always settles itself. I don’t outline these books in any way. I have two or three key plot points that I include, and the list grows as I keep writing, but I don’t sit down before I write the books and plan it all out. I just open the document and start writing, and I have an uncanny ability to tell when a scene, even if it is extremely well-written and affective, is occurring too early or too late, so I will copy and paste it into a separate document to be added at a better time. I never know when that better time will be, but I know that there will be one. So, I need to stop whining in this blog post and just keep writing. Even though I am going to whine after this is done through both the early Quinn portions and the early Violet portions, I just have to write them. I know that these two have fans in the wider Eternity fandom (which consists of three people and family members) so I don’t want those people to get offended; I love all my characters, but one (Brynna) has more love than all the others, and I can’t change that. It’s hard for me to write the others because I don’t relate to them. However, because I don’t relate to them does not mean that I can’t write them so that they are relatable. I have no hate for my own characters, but when I love Brynna, James, and Adam so much, it is hard for me to switch out of her epic headspace and her deeply emotional storyline to focus on Quinn, Alice, and Violet, who always seem to end up being totally boring.

This is my fault, I know, because I’m the author, and if anyone is going to make them not boring, it’s going to be me. But it just seems that whenever they find themselves crawling out of their rut, I always watch them slide right back into it, and then all I want to do is whine when it’s time to write “Quinn” and “Violet” in bold and underlined print to signify the start of their chapters.

I am not ashamed to admit that Brynna has my heart. I am sure other writers suffer from Character Favoritism and Lack Thereof, or maybe it is like picking between children, and no other writers suffer from this condition. I am not ashamed to admit that, because despite my favoritism, I do not neglect Quinn, Alice, and Violet; I try my damnedest to make them interesting. But it’s hard when I’ve got Brynna, this strange, unique creature, with this strange, unique worldview, and these strange, unique relationships, and I have to leave her for these traditional creatures, their somewhat unconventional worldview, but their still rather traditional relationships.

To answer my question: I would never eliminate them if I went back in time to when I was writing the first book, because there is so much that I have written involving them that I love. Giving them their own narrative perspectives might be killing me now, but I know that there is purpose to it. There is a purpose to them.

I just have to invent that purpose. *Sigh*

Upcoming Posts

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Image Credit: Washington Post

1. Pictures and Stuff from the Sweetlife Festival 2014! 

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Image Credit: Harry Potter Wiki

2. Pictures and Stuff from my Grad Trip to Universal Studios! (I am going to be so broke when I come back).

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Image Credit: babywolf.com

3. Graduation Post! More than likely going to be very emotional. Or as close to emotional as I can be. So prepare.

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Image Credit: narsobi.blogspot.com

4. An update on the fiasco of writing this young adult book, All Gone.

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Cover Designs by: Alex Piluk, the greatest best friend/twin separated at birth EVER.

5. A brain-storming session for the third book in the Eternity series, in which I hope I don’t give away anything too crucial.

 

Life is a little hectic right now; I graduated college on Friday (yay!) went to the Sweetlife Festival at Merriweather with my boyfriend, his brother, the aforementioned best friend/twin separated at birth, and my younger sister (who is also like my twin), today is Mother’s Day, and tomorrow, I am going to be flying out to Florida for my graduation trip at 7AM! I will try to tweet while I’m gone, but we’ll see how it goes!

Don’t think that I’ve abandoned this blog or that I have stopped shamelessly self-promoting. When I get back from Florida, all I have left to do is find a job. So I’ll shamelessly self-promote, blog, and write my books instead.

Just kidding. Or am I?

Have a spectacular week, everyone!

On The Hilarity of Writing Sex Scenes… But Why They’re Important

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Image Credit: MissDior, Fanpop.com

I was once told by a rather hysterical reader of the first two books in my Eternity series, The Shattered Genesis and The Bargaining Path (both available for free on Amazon, Nook, Smashwords!) that there was too much sex in the books. Strangely, from the tone of this reader’s voice, I gathered that the abundance of sex scenes wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, it was merely exhilarating, and maybe a little exhausting? I don’t know, I just took “too much” to mean excessive, but you can never have too many sexy sex scenes, right, so long as there is a story, too.

I don’t know why, but I’ve had the idea for this post in my mind for a while. Maybe it’s because writing sex scenes is such hilarious business, regardless of who you are or how mature you claim to be. For instance, I think, for a 23-year-old, I’m pretty mature, if one can measure maturity in terms of completion of undergraduate college, entry into the “real” world, and like, not laughing at fart jokes. Well, most fart jokes. But regardless of my maturity, I still find myself either outwardly laughing or cringing when I try to write sex scenes. The second I start to write about James sliding his hand between Brynna’s legs, or Brynna grasping hold of him (‘cuz that’s how I always phrase it) I immediately picture my parents, my teachers, my conservative friends, my grandmother, the Pope, and other random spectators standing behind me either snickering or gasping.

Anyone who has read my book knows that the main character, Brynna, is romantically involved with a man, James, who is twenty-three years her senior. James and Brynna have lots of sex. And it’s not the implied, “He ran his rough hands up my smooth thighs, kissed my lips, and… then we awoke the next morning, gently asphyxiated by the sheets that were snaked tightly around us from our night of wild, passionate love-making…” No. I’m not gratuitous, either–I refrain from mentioning bodily fluids, because though I am sure some people are into such things, I find them to be unnecessary details that are off-putting at best–but I’m also not a “caress-of-inner-thigh, fade-to-black” kind of gal, either. And do you want to know the best part of it? Even though I laugh or cringe sometimes, I love writing a good sex scene. Even if I have to laugh at having to choose between writing “erection” or “bulge in his pants,” and even as I struggle for hours trying to find a sexy word for “vagina” and “penis” that isn’t totally creepy like “manhood” and “womanhood” or totally ridiculous like “cockpit” and… “cock”… by the time I’m done writing the scene, I realize that I have done exactly what I set out to do, which is to show James and Brynna as a healthy, happy couple who enjoy a healthy, happy, sexy-as-fuck (ha!) sex life.

So, let’s say that this person who said there was too much sex in the book was saying that the sex is a detraction or a distraction (or a detracting distraction?) Why do I include them in the book? Well, because part of Brynna’s character development involves evolving from a young woman who is scared of men and physical/emotional intimacy into a young woman who embraces her sexuality and enjoys having sex, to put it far too simply. One of my favorite sex scenes I have ever written came (ha!) in the second book, when Brynna tells James how badly she wants him all the time. She says that regardless of where they are, sometimes she just wants to rip his clothes off and screw his brains out (though she puts it eloquently, of course, it’s Brynna). My intention here is to show that Brynna takes charge of her sexuality and is unashamed of her wildly intense sexual desire for her partner. She owns that she wants him.

I write sex scenes and include them in the books for no other reason than that they show Brynna, in her unconventional relationship with this older man, taking control of and enjoying her sex life. I am going to get real philosophical-like right now, and say that sometimes in our society, females are demonized for wanting sex, for having sex, and sometimes, for just the opposite. Alice, another character in the novel, constantly chastises herself for still being a virgin after dating the same guy for three years, and she is always gently assured, by either her guy or Brynna or any of the other characters, that as long as she is making that decision for her sake, then it is the right decision. If there is one message I want to be conveyed by these characters and their sex scenes (or lack thereof) it is that no matter the personal choice one makes on this matter, as long as one is preserving his or her health–physical, emotional, and spiritual–then it’s all good.

And besides, regardless of word choice (manhood < penis, cockpit < vagina, and what about clitoris and balls? Why do I find those words so unsexy?! And what about for “butt?!” “Ass” is too much, but “butt” (ha!!) is like elementary school, and we’re writing sex scenes here!!) sex scenes make the story just a little more exciting. I seriously don’t mean that as a pun.

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Image Credit: http://sciencenewsinquotes.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/penicillin-not-the-pill-may-have-launched-the-sexual-revolution/

Make love, not war, man. This post was so 1960’s. The sexual revolution, man… No, but seriously, SEX IS GOOD AND NATURAL. Let’s treat it as such, shall we?

 

 

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