Monday, July 29, 2013

Hell's Writing Kitchen

Good Morning, Good Afternoon, or Good Evening!

I've moved my blog to a new sight for the time being. I'm doing a writing challenge from now until January 2014, and if you have any kind of goals you'd like to meet between now and then, you're welcome to jump in.
By posting the tricks and dedication it takes to reach my word count goals, perhaps you'll be able to squeeze your goals into your own schedule with a little more confidence.
Please, come see what it's all about on
Hell's Writing Kitchen

Friday, April 19, 2013


Let me begin by saying I was first published a helluva long time ago. I was eleven years old in fact. That one little event shaped my life, top to bottom. 
I'll skip all the in between crap and fast forward to eight years ago. I had given up screenwriting and I'd closed my little flower shop (the day job) to write Romance.
I then studied romance.
I wrote romance and some other things.
And I studied all the while.
Then I got an agent.
Then I wrote some more.
Then I published.
Then I made money.
Then I started wearing the crazy hat.

Kind of like the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter books, the crazy hat talks to you.
It tells you to write faster.
Readers ask you to write faster.
And when the money is good, spouses become the embodiment of encouragement. They become enablers. They think they are enabling the writing--they are enabling the crazy hat.

The crazy hat helps you do all the math to prove that twelve books in a year is absolutely doable.
It proves it with magic algorithms that consider hours in the day, typing speed, and the consumption rate of both caffeine and chocolate. It proves you can do it. You know you can do it. You start telling other people how dedicated you are to doing it.

You promise readers the next book in the series will be out in a specific month. When the hat is particularly convincing, you might even set a date, a CONCRETE date. You mistakenly believe that the pressure of that deadline will lift you like the perfect surf and land you on the beach in the exact spot where you'd planned to land. Then, the weather in your life changes along with the extended forecast. Horrified, you sneak onto your website and change the date and hope no one notices.

Then they notice.
And there is nothing you can do about it except put on the crazy hat and enlist its aid to summon the muses. You pay your teenager to duct tape you into your chair. You pay other people to block you from the internet and all its distractions. You read about the process of other writers/artists. You learn every trick in the book and you use them.

And the story comes.
And it's brilliant. 
And it keeps coming. And you love it.
And you sing praises to the crazy hat. You know you'll finish the book by a certain date and you plan a launch party.
And still the story comes. And comes.
And that book you planned to be short and sweet has so much more behind it than you thought. And you know the readers will be cheated if you don't tell it all.
So you keep writing...

Everything I've learned about fiction writing has brought me to where I stand today. I'm grateful for everything I've learned thus far. I will learn evermore. But no matter how many hours I keep my fingers on this keyboard, the absolute truth is the book will be finished when it's ready to be finished. 

I've written a book in three days. I've written one in three weeks. I've written some in three months. No matter how well I plan, there is no magic formula I can use to say when a book's FINAL draft will be done. When the final edits will be in. When the book will be available to readers.

Do I still have crazy hat goals? Yes. Do I believe I can write 12 books in a year? Yes. If I didn't believe the crazy hat, I wouldn't be a writer.

Will I hit my crazy writing goal tomorrow? Absolutely. Will I get my first draft finished by my expected date? Very likely considering the rate I'm writing. So, can I guess when the next book will hit the shelves? Not on your life. 

The crazy hat lies.
I wear it anyway.

*Thanks to all of you who keep checking back to see if something new is out.
Thanks a MILLION to all of you who read my books in other genres while you are waiting for your favorites. You have made my career a smashing success.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Happy April Everyone!

Ain't it grand?

For Writers: the greatest service I can do for you today is to lead you to Kristin Lamb's blog. I was stuck in a very real writer's block of my own and this post has just blown down my brick wall much more effectively than any big bad wolf could have done. Do yourselves a favor and go read it.

*I'll give a tiny spoiler here--my problem arose from the belief that I had become a Master Writer at this point. This post wasn't a glass of icy water thrown in my face, but it was just as refreshing. I have high hopes that I can finish my current novel, Bones for Bread, before my readers forget who I am.

For Readers:
I have a new computer, which I named The Blue Goose. I have done a little spring cleaning in the recesses of my brain, and I'm ready to take on the world again. It happens every spring, it seems. I tend to want to weed out some pesky habits, cut out some social media or discussion loops that just take up too much of my attention, etc. 

But this year, I'm going in the opposite direction. I'm adding, not deleting.
This blog for instance. Please don't go peek at the last article I posted. Just trust me when I say I haven't been around for a while. I could blame it on a dozen higher priorities, but when it comes right down to it, I haven't been organized enough.

So I'm getting organized. I'm taking up the blogging pen once again, and I'm going to work with the knowledge that the busy brain is a more productive brain. I'm going to get as many gray areas functioning as possible, hoping that the extra heat will keep my creative centers humming.

Tell me. What does SPRING do to you? Or have you even been paying attention? Now that the smell of boiled Easter eggs has faded, you have surely realized it's springtime, right?

So, what's your plan?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Magical Courtyard--The New Neoclassical Era

Isn't the term New Neoclassical redundant?
No. And here's why.

There have already been a few neoclassical periods in history. In literature, it came in the 17th and 18th centuries. In architecture, the 18th and 19th centuries. And another one in music came in the early 20th century.

Well, we've gone full circle. We're ankle deep in the new Neoclassical Age of Literature. We've been flung back to the old ways of writing, thanks to the advent of self-publishing.

It's a wonderful thing. Let me tell you why.

A long time ago, when writers gathered in Paris for inspiration (and alcohol), when artists were drawn to the Latin Quarter as if they were new vampires being drawn by Dracula, artists created with a sense of freedom. They sought their muses. They experimented with subject matter and mediums until they found their own voices, their own niche in the world. No one would presume to tell a painter how to paint, and no one would dare tell a novelist what his Great American Novel should be about.

Then art began to make money. A writer or painter didn't need to die in order for their work to fetch a nice sum. There was profit. Fiction wasn't just for some with discerning tastes. It was for all.

Then the publishing industry became more than an industry--it became a racket. It was the natural way of things. When writers put their pitiful needs for food and shelter above their art, they started writing what would best make them money. The Industry was happy to tell them what to write. And even the big names today write what will keep them comfortable. 


Now, it's 2012. Self-publishing has arrived. And those who write in popular genres can make more money than we could have with traditional contracts, for the most part. Are we writing what will keep us comfortable? You betcha. But as we run through the halls of the new establishment, opening doors of opportunity we'd never dreamed of, we've stumbled upon something amazing.

All hallways have led to a magical door. And when we shake off the awe and open that door, we find, in a fairy-filled courtyard, that we've been given the most glorious gift an artist might be offered--the ability to create what our souls dictate. We are back to those days of Hemingway where no one will tell us we cannot write a depressing story about an old man who catches the fish of a lifetime, only to have it end badly. No one can tell us we can't write a hero who cooks and sells meth (Breaking Bad). No one can stop us from handing our most beautifully bizarre creations over to the reading public, to let them love or hate them as they will.

We've become the artists of Paris again.

And writers aren't the only ones running these halls. The readers are in here too, reveling in their new found freedom, opening doors to worlds they might never have seen if the Industry were still under the control of the Committee. 

And I predict that this New Neoclassical Period will cough up some remarkable classics--creations we might have missed, might have never been born, if it weren't for this little money-making scheme called self-publishing.

So, if you're an artist--act like one. Dig deep. Go nuts. And get it all on the canvas.
If you're a reader--welcome to our happy halls!

L.L. Muir

Thursday, November 1, 2012


How do you all feel about anti-heroes? Not antagonists, not bad guys, just heroes who don't fit in the mold of romantic hero?

I'll be writing an anti-hero in December, when I start the third book in the ROMEO and JULIET series. I hope my romance readers aren't too thrown by the change. Maybe I should warn them ahead of time that I will, indeed, be changing back.

NOTICE: If you're a fan of my romances, note that the ISOBELLE book will not be a typical romance. Have a little faith in me because you're going to want to read it. It may possibly be the most romantic book I'll ever write. I'm excited to get started.

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


So, here's the deal.
I'm getting old and want to see what the hell I'm reading, so you'll have to put up with larger type.

For those of you who are wondering what will be coming out and when, here are the current pans in the fire. I usually have 
one project in creation stage=still writing the first draft,
one project in revision,  
one project in the hands of editors, and 
one project being prepped for launch.

As of this moment:
Creation: Wicked Enough (novella--Ivy and Wickham's story) 
               & also, Bones for Bread
Revision: Not Without Juliet
Editors: nothing 
Prepping for launch: Christmas Kiss (this should be on virtual bookshelves by October 8th)

I'm dancing as fast as I can. Thanks to all you readers who are waiting, both patiently and impatiently. I've been told by my editing staff that Christmas Kiss is uber cool! So, we've got that going for us!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Oh Crap! Another one of THOSE showers!

Good morning ROMEO fans!

Yes, I have, indeed, enjoyed another one of THOSE showers. If you don't know what I'm talking about, see the previous post.

Good news: it's in the same series as ROMEO, JULIET, and ISOBELLE. But this one will be IVY, a novella, and contains a letter written to Jillian from her Grandmother--The story of Ivy and Wickham, and his twin brother Walter. And you'll never believe who delivers the letter!

And for those of you who did not know that Isobelle was going to get her own book, well, consider this the big reveal. It will come right after Juliet, but you may get Ivy's story to tide you over in between.

Say hey if you, like me, love to be tided over.


Friday, July 6, 2012


First off, you should know that yes, I do bathe regularly. I swear I do. However, I do not do so lightly...

It is a fact that every epiphany I've ever been granted came while I was in the shower. Nearly every character breakthrough, every clever title, every major twist that has landed with angel accompaniment into my humble brain, has done so while I was in the shower.

Why is that frightening? I'll tell you.

When I take a shower, while working on book A, the UPS man of genius drops off a package for book G. G for hellsakes! And in the scheme and schedule of things to come, G wasn't even on the radar! G CAN'T be on the radar. If I put G into the schedule, something has to get bumped. And the people waiting for books  B thru F are going to be un. happy.

I hate making readers un. happy.
My job is to make them happy period.
I'm the Happy Spreader.
(Okay, so I spread other things from time to time--no, not sunshine, more pungent--but the majority of my day is spent asking myself 'what does the reader want' and 'why don't I give them that'.)

So, you see why I am afraid to get in the shower?

I'm headed to the fray of spray in a minute, and let me tell you, I'm freaking out.
I'll let you know how it goes, maybe in the comment section.

Maybe I can hum the whole time...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Drawing for Chocolate Winner.....

Congratulations, Susan W!
You've won some lovely See's Chocolates for participating in the Angels and Demons Blog Hop!
You'll be contacted shortly for a mailing address.

For the rest of you, you'll just have to read SOMEWHERE OVER THE FREAKING RAINBOW with the snacks you bring from home.

And no matter what book you're reading, or who wrote it, be sure to leave a review if you loved it. Reviews can help your favorite authors WRITE MORE BOOKS. Trust me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Angels vs. Demons Blog Party

Welcome to Writer's Block-buster Blog!

If you're hitting this as part of the blog hop, then you'll appreciate short and sweet so you can get on to the next stop. And be sure to hit them all. Prizes await!

My question for you: 
In this exciting sub-genre of paranormal romances, do you prefer your hero or your heroine to be the immortal in the story? (In cases where only one is an angel or demon.) And please, don't let the cover of my pretty book sway you--the book with the lovely female angel.

Leave your answer in the comments so your name can be added to the drawings. One of you will also receive, from me, a lovely box of gourmet chocolates to eat while you read your next angel romance. Hint, hint.

Here is a little excerpt from the book: 

      She’d imagined all kinds of cravings, for all kinds of flavors during her short existence, but never for the taste of someone.
      He was looking at her lips so intently she didn’t dare move them. His lashes were incredibly long, golden brown. His nostrils flared suddenly and the entire world tilted with his face as he moved forward. His mouth met hers as smoothly as...breathing.
     She focused all conscious thought to the rise and fall of his chest, to his nearness, and she could have wept for her lack of taste in her mouth or sensation in her lips. For the first time, she mourned for the depth of experience lost to her. 
     This wasn’t the smell or feel of peaches, or the taste of corn coming apart in her mouth. This was mortality beneath her hands, against her fingers...and completely out of her reach.

NOW, hop around the party, people, and win yourself a Kindle Fire or a Nook!