Tuesday, July 23, 2013

[Guest Blog] Vigilante Nights by Erin Richards

Vigilante NightsVigilante Nights
Erin Richards 
A "good boy" will do anything for vengeance when a gang rite kills his twin sister. Will Lucas win, or follow his sister Silver into the darkness?

After a hideous car wreck, Lucas wakes from a coma to find that his world is gutted. Not only is his beloved twin sister, Silver, gone forever, but Lucas is broken in body and spirit. He will never be a college athlete, and is robbed of what he now realizes was the most important bond of his life. Although they weren't identical twins, Lucas and Silver shared a bond so fierce it defied reason, and was nearly supernatural.

After her death, that bond seems to endure when Lucas sees Silver everywhere he turns. Either he's crazy, or Silver is trying to tell him something about the California gang initiation they stumbled into that cost Silver her life. Lucas is bent on revenge, turning on Raymond, Silver's former boyfriend; the one Lucas never wanted her to date. He forms a posse of vigilantes to take out the gangsters responsible for Silver's death, but he risks not only his own life, but the love of the new girl on his block, who knows more about Lucas and Silver than can be accounted for by mere chance.

"my escape from writer's block prison" by Erin richards
What does “writer’s block” really mean? It could mean the inability to solve a subplot issue or something in your personal life is affecting you from putting words on the page. It could mean a day or week where you stare at a computer screen. Or it can be months or years with the inability to write. Most writers experience it to some degree. For me, I spent two years blocked, never knowing if I’d escape the walls. It’s easy to say, just sit down and write. Not so easy to walk the talk!

After writing nearly three novels, that dreaded writers block hit me. For two years, I thought about writing nearly every day, but my muse had fled. I couldn’t even open a file on my PC. The idea of it brought back the bad memories of the day I “quit” writing: the day before I told my husband (now ex) I wanted a divorce. Writing had gotten me through one of the worst years of my life, but it refused to slide me past it.

After D-day, I forged a new life on my own, with plenty of time to write. I refused to walk away from three novels that begged to be published. I still had a dream of holding my published book in my hands. Yet, the only thing outside my day job I managed to write was a grocery list.

I remained a member of the Romance Writers of America, and went to my first RWA conference seeking inspiration. The conference was exciting and awe-inspiring. I came home pumped and ready to write. No dice. All I got was blank stares from my computer. I decided I needed that break to really move on with my new life, to not think about writing. My muse would come home when she had sowed her wild oats.

A year later, my muse unlocked the doors to my prison. Let’s call her “Nagging Epiphany.” She taunted me about not giving quarter to the turmoil that started my writers block:  “Finish what you started. Don’t live your life only to wind up with regrets.” I realized I was frittering away time when I had a lifelong dream to fulfill.

I clicked on the Chasing Shadows file on my computer. How bad could it be? The novel had been edited and beta-read last I looked. “Do it,” Nagging Epiphany cajoled. So I did one final edit and submitted it to a few publishers. “Good riddance, Writers Block. Don’t let the door hit you…”

Story ideas streamed into my head and begged for liberation. I had the idea to write an urban fantasy based on bad luck and the number thirteen (story for another blog post). It took off like a hot rod on nitro. No sooner had I started the UF novel, than I received an offer to publish Chasing Shadows. To find out that my “first” polished book would be published gave credence to my decision to never give up, never look back. Writing was in my blood. It had just taken a long vacation to sort out its life.

Now when people “suggest” I take a vacation from writing, I reply, “I can’t. It won’t let me.” Three published books later, I’m hooked.

If you’re a writer and you get the dreaded writer’s block, don’t despair. Give it time to sort itself out. If you’re meant to be a writer, you will always be one, even if you need a break or two.

Erin RichardsAbout the Author 
Erin Richards writes SF&F romance and young adult fiction. Her YA debut novel, VIGILANTE NIGHTS, releases from Merit Press (F+W Media) on July 18, 2013. Erin has also published two adult romance novels: CHASING SHADOWS, a romantic suspense (EPPIE award finalist), now available in print for the first time (July 2012); and WICKED PARADISE, a fantasy romance, was released by Crimson Romance (F+W Media) in August 2012, available in eBook and print format. 
Erin Richards lives in Northern California. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, photography, and American muscle cars.

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