THE BUILDING OF EMOTION, OR HOW I GOT HOOKED ON K-ROMANCES

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Recently I watched the man-on-man movie BROS. About a minute of the movie, half way through, was dedicated to the confession of feelings/emotions from one lover to the other. That complex interaction took eight, thirty minute episodes for the BL (Boy Love) K-drama, SEMANTIC ERROR (available on Rakuten Viki). I can’t stop watching it, wondering how the storyline was constructed, how the direction and editing was done–so genius.

If I’m ever going to be an exceptional writer of romance, the slow burn of emotions is what I’m aiming for.

This month, I’m re-editing all my work, and republishing it. I’ve spent over twenty years working on sci-fis and over the last ten years publishing my novels (stand-alone contemporaries with elements of science and sci-fi) and two series (LEGENDS OF THE GOLDENS (mostly urban fantasy) and AGES OF INVENTION (mostly historical, time travel, sci-fi).

I have worked hard with my published critique partners to make my stores accessible to my audience (a scientific generalist author with three advanced degrees needs to do that).

What makes my work stand out to me (as opposed to other sci-fis (both hard and soft/social sci-fis)) is a knowledge of how things really work in our physical reality and an ability to communicate such. I also increase the intensity of my characters with internal dialogue that is so prevalent in asian webtoons, webnovels, and screenplays.

What I’m most focused on in my stories as romances, is illustrating how no matter how negative the behavior of some, there is always a positive to come out of it. Yep, you got it. I’m addicted to HEA (Happily Ever After), as should any rabid romance writer.

Besides fixing my over ten novels to be republished with what I’ve learned over the last ten years, I’m preparing to send my last completed novel (SPACE FOR US, a sci-fi romance (SFR) and space opera) out to hundreds of agents and editors for the first time. SPACE was a three-year project in which I worked on all the items of improvement listed above. What makes this different from other hard sci-fis (instead of angular metallic spaceships) is the propulsion system is based on buoyancy. SPACE FOR US literally tells the story of how boundaries fall and space is created for relationships to evolve (whether it’s a relationship between two people, or two civilizations in nearby solar systems). Buoyancy as a motive force for spacecrafts comes from buoyancy cubes kept within the fuselage of my spaceships. Another name for buoyancy cubes is the name I’ll give to this series of novels: SQUARE BALLOONS.

The heroine in SPACE FOR US works at a military base in aerospace forensics (as did I) and the hero is what I always wanted to be, before writing novels, that is: an astronaut.

I really enjoyed my secondary character who’s an A.I. and the growing humor that ensues as our artificial conscious being gets used-to her human avatar body.

At present, I’m working on two new novels: THE CHARIOTEER (an A.I. growing up to thwart the actions of a corrupt government that created it) and THE WALL BETWEEN US (as a continuation of the SQUARE BALLOONS SERIES, fleshing in the society and romance of the alien Sledanis from Proxima Centauri. The Sledanis are people who marry-in/live-in relationship clouds, but when they return to Earth to spy on us, they end up isolated in individual bodies and must learn all over again how to form healthy relationships).

How could I end this post without the assurance that LEGENDS OF THE GOLDENS has at least one more novel coming after DANCING DRAGONS (VAMPIRES IN SPACE, where our Aminali golden hybrid brings a big old vamp, Drake, to his knees).

WEB-NOVELING

With the pandemic and all, I’ve fallen behind in all the tasks on my writing list. I want to take down FORBIDDEN PLAYGROUND and DANCING DRAGONS from my LEGENDS OF THE GOLDENS SERIES of paranormal romances and post them as webnovels.

I’ve decided the best way to take care of my unfinished, unpublished (or to-be-republished) works is to distribute them (dialing down the sexual content) as webnovels to my YA/NA audience and maybe they can help me find my unique audience. Since I need to edit the works and arrange the chapters optimally, I thought this might be the best and most efficient way to do it.

So far, I’m publishing one chapter at a time of my WIP on Royal Road (https://www.royalroad.com/author-dashboard/dashboard?id=53303). I’m calling it KISSING: THE RPG GATEWAY DRUG, and it’s about an artificial intelligence becoming aware and growing up in the midst of government agents who want to shut him down.

Other stories BROKEN HALLELUJAH (a contemporary romance about a firechief with PTSD and his best friend, an emergency physician who’s out of his reach, to be married to his best friend).

If my mostly written novels get some audience feedback, I’ll publish BAZOOKA TIME MACHINE and OTHER (both sci-fis) in the same way.

I’ve chosen three publishers (Carina, Blushing Books, and Sourcebooks) to send my space opera SPACE FOR US to, so that’s basically my plan for my unpublished novels.

BROKEN HALLELUJAH

As I come back to writing and publishing my books, I’m tying up loose ends by preparing several stories to be published and republished on my Amazon buy page. Artist and friend, Barbara Marker, has made a cover for BROKEN and will be working on new covers for FORBIDDEN PLAYGROUND and DANCING DRAGONS of the LEGENDS OF THE GOLDENS series of novels (about psychic alien vampires that return to Earth to lay claim to what they believe is their planet).

Following is the cover for BROKEN HALLELUJAH, a contemporary romance between a fire chief with PTSD and his volunteer emergency physician (a Tanzanian woman, a dark-phase African albino with a mysterious past). BROKEN will be out soon.

Now That I’m On A Vacation From SFR Writing . . .

My New Adult, SFR, space opera, SPACE FOR US, got a second recommendation by finaling in the New Adult category on RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal online chapter’s OTFS (On The Far Side) contest as an unpublished work.

Sometimes I get my award-winning cover artist, Fiona Jayde, to work up a cover for me, to inspire and just in case I don’t get picked up by traditional publishers (and have to self-publish).

As a finalist, I’m asked to make corrections my judges suggest and write a two-paged, double-spaced synopsis of the MS.

Take a look at all the wonderful agents, editors, and authors that are willing to judge the finalists:

2020 On the Far Side Contest Final-Round Judges

Note: Final-round judges subject to change.
CategoryJudges
DARK PARANORMALAGENT: Jessica Watterson, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency
EDITOR: Carrie Lofty, Carina Press
PUBLISHED AUTHOR: Kari Cole
LIGHT PARANORMALAGENT: Claire Draper, The Bent AgencyEDITOR: Amanda Barnett, The Wild Rose Press
PUBLISHED AUTHOR: Kathy Lyons/Jade Lee
FANTASYAGENT: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary & MediaEDITOR: Mara Delgado-Sanchez, St. Martin’s Press
PUBLISHED AUTHOR: Jeffe Kennedy
URBAN FANTASYAGENT: Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein, McIntosh and Otis, Inc.
EDITOR: Angela Kim, Berkley
PUBLISHED AUTHOR: Dani Harper
SCIENCE FICTION/ FUTURISTICEDITOR: Lynn Raposo, HQN and Graydon HouseEDITOR: Kate Sederstrom, Bloomsbury
PUBLISHED AUTHOR: Amanda Bouchet
HISTORICAL AGENT: Sandy Lu, L. Perkins Agency
EDITOR: Christa Désir, Sourcebooks
PUBLISHED AUTHOR: Catherine Stein
EROTIC AGENT: Miriam Kriss, Irene Goodman Literary Agency
EDITOR: Mary Cain, City Owl Press
PUBLISHED AUTHOR: Elizabeth Schechter
STEAMPUNK AGENT: Kaitlyn Johnson, Belcastro Agency
EDITOR: Evan Yeong, Harlequin
PUBLISHED AUTHOR: Bec McMaster
YOUNG ADULT AGENT: Jim McCarthy, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret LLCEDITOR: Sara Schonfeld, Katherine Tegen BooksPUBLISHED AUTHOR: Maria V. Snyder
NEW ADULT AGENT: Ameerah Holliday, Serendipity Literary Agency
EDITOR: Candace Havens, Entangled Publishing
PUBLISHED AUTHOR: L. Penelope

And the finalists are:

2. Announcing the 2020 OTFS Finalists!Announcing the 2020 OTFS Finalists!
Reply to GroupReply to Sender
Jul 6, 2020 10:27 PM Arianna James
Hello, fellow FF&Pers!
I am excited to announce the 2020 On the Far Side Contest Finalists! Please join me in congratulating them !

Dark Paranormal
Demon Demonologist by Janet Burnett
Guardian of the Grove by Erin Kane
Spock Under Your Skin by Kat Turner 
Light Paranormal
Blue: The Rose and Sword Book One by Emma Clive
Mirror Bound by Emma Clive
A Pinch of Magic by Diana Rivis
 Science Fiction/Futuristic
Exiles in the Shadows by Susan Haire
What They Stole by Sophia Krich-Brinton
State of Never Being by Mary Stone 
Fantasy
Kiss of the Shadow Queen by Ren Benton
Lady of the Ravens by Clementine Fraser
Hunted by the Wolf by Melanie McCarthy 
Urban Fantasy
Praetorian Rising by Lisa Knight
Bless Your Heart and Other Souther Curses by Heather Leonard
Key to the Lair by Heather Leonard 
Historical
The Witch of Mayfair by Clementine Fraser
Cursed Crown by Kellie Michelle Parker
The Oakleigh Bride by Michele Wyan 
Young Adult
The Absolute Novice’s Guide to Time Travel by Miranda Darrow
Piper Girl by Carla Luna
If I Let You Go by Sandi Van Lieu 
New Adult
Space for Us by Susan Burns
Bound by Blood by Kristina Castillo
Knightborn by S.E. Purdy  

Finalists listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name.

~Arianna

Taking A Vacation From Writing

My WIP, A Broken Hallelujah (written three Novembers ago for NANOWRIMO), has too many scenes that portend what’s happening in Atlanta and all over the US.

I have several other irons in the fire (can’t write that because it’s a cliche, but it’s also true!).

I’m thinking of re-educating myself to write screenplays/scripts like I enjoyed reading in my youth (adapting my novels to the theatre audience).

To learn a little about A BROKEN HALLELUJAH, view my last post, and for visuals view my Pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/snrubnasus/a-broken-hallelujah/

But for now I’m taking a rest.

a 4 out of 5 review for OPEN SEASON

Madison had always looked up to Greg as a role model and motivator, but she knew her feelings for him transcended those and were more personal than she would want to admit. Greg Gervaisie was the world’s number one tennis player until a limo accident incapacitated him, leaving him on the sidelines. Just like everyone else, he was struck by Madison’s beauty and her determination to rise to the top of her career as a tennis player. However, her nonchalant attitude towards him was a cause for concern.

Madison’s father, Armand, would do everything just to pacify his adorable daughter, but her staunch disapproval against his wish of marrying Berneen Gervaisie, Greg’s mother, was something he couldn’t accept. The fact that the two women he loved most couldn’t stand each other bothered him.

The plot of Open Season on Love and Death is intriguing and dwells on issues that are common in most families, especially as it relates to interpersonal relationships in romance, love and marriage, thus it will be easily relatable with most readers. Likewise, the characters are also fairly developed. The background of the book hovers around tennis sports and of course, love, romance, and sex.

Official Review from ILoveUniqueBooks.com (4 out of 5 stars)

WIPs

For non writers, WIPs means WORKS IN PROGRESS.

SPACE FOR US is out to beta readers (editors who read for content flow) then it will be out next year, God willing, by a New York publisher. Of course in the event no agent or editor picks up the book, it will be self-published. [MS is back from betas and going through final polish, see self-pub cover below].

short blurb: FLY ME TO THE MOON, but don’t murder me on the way! An astronaut flies an alien captive back to her parents at their moonbase in order to find out how to reanimate all the people she’s put down with her psychic powers.

A BROKEN HALLELUJAH is in the formative stages with my read and critique group. short blurb: He’s a black firechief of East County, California, originally from Atlanta. She’s an emergency physician who works with him. He doesn’t date white girls, and she’s very light-skinned. In fact, she’s a dark phase African Albino from Tanzania, but our hero doesn’t believe that story, would you?

OTHER, a YA (Young Adult) SFR (Science Fiction Romance) is in line for a final polish.  short blurb: He’s a wetware android trying to find his humanity in the midst of rescuing the inhabitants of New Gaia, a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri. She’s a human teen living on New Gaia in oppressive servitude to a culture that uses nanobot makeup to force the truth out of all its members.

BAZOOKA TIME MACHINE is an Adult SFR in line for final polish. short blurb: She’s a dragon-tattoo, kick-ass gal, but not all human–a wetware android in charge of the hardware robots and the alien time machines. With all that, she’s become obsessed with a human woman, rescuing her from death over and over in time. Happens that one of the hardware robots has fallen for her and travels in his time machine to mess up her romance with the human. [as of June 2020, will be put on the backburner with the intention to morph it into a screenplay.]

SPACE FOR US

Space for Us

Here’s the cover of my new SFR space opera, SPACE FOR US. No, it’s not on pre-order or published yet, I’m just excited to get my final cover out before I finish the polish. As you can see, this is the MS that has just gotten a recommendation from the San Diego Writers & Editors Guild.

Here’s information on the book:

Title: SPACE FOR US (as part of THE SQUARE BALLOON SERIES}
Genre: NA/Science Fiction Romance/Space Opera
Length: 86,000 words
Author: S.B.K. Burns

The First Lady’s mind is missing.

The President sends his Aerospace-plane test pilot, Shepard Monroe, to exchange Jade, a captured human/space-alien empath, for the missing engrams of The First Lady.

Siding with The Resistance, Shep and Jade escape in a stolen spaceplane with the reluctant help of its funky AI, Gracie—with the hope of preventing an interstellar war with The Sledanis, Jade’s psychic people, who return to Earth to claim it as their own.

After Jade gets Shep in touch with his emotions, they finally come to terms with what, or who, they really are.

Now, they only exist as holograms, so they just want to be put back into their real bodies—but what if they were always only simulations?

Out for Beta reads then on to chosen agents and editors.

OPEN SEASON ON LOVE AND DEATH

Finally, my romance, a tennis contemporary, OPEN SEASON, is in pre-order. It will be live on August 31, 2019.

Find it on my Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/S.-B.-K.-Burns/e/B00GFWV5PQ/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

This novel is a compilation of my experience with tennis-buff dad (who was in the forefront of international invitational tennis in Philadelphia and the United States). And along with my scientific background (https://theunionofopposites.com/about/site-authors-resume/) and my interest in SFR, not surprisingly, it involves police forensics and elements of suspense.

Twenty-year-old Madison Weller finds herself at her first quarterfinals of a Grand Slam event. The only two irritants thwarting her run for the championship are Berneen Gervaisie, who has Madison’s father and his wealth centered in her crosshairs and her attractive son, tennis great Double-Gee Whiz, Gregoire Gervaisie, seven years her senior.

Is he the good guy his fans think he is or the self-important celebrity she suspects? Madison knows she’s playing with fire as she razzes him to his emotional limit. She’s only hoping she knows what to do with him when she gets him there.

 

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