Wednesday, January 18, 2017

RPGs & Writing - Imagination and Friends

I'm kicking off a series of posts about how playing role-playing games (RPGs) has affected my writing. This topic not only excited me, but other authors I know. I'm eager to have some of my writer friends share their experiences through guest posts too.

I've always loved writing stories. It can be a lonely venture, though. I used to play imagination games with my friends where we'd play out stories. Back then, I had never heard of RPGs. I didn't play my first Dungeons & Dragons game until I was in university. But I was already addicted to something else before then.

I loved playing PBeM RPGs. What are those, you ask? Play by email (or play-by-post) RPGs are games groups of people as their characters interact together in a predefined environment. Many groups have rules about not only the parameters of the world but also the conduct of the players and subject matter allowed.

I played in all sorts of groups. Most of them in Yahoo Groups. Fantasy, science-fiction, dystopian, and tons of Harry Potter groups. Yes, I do love playing in that world!
What I liked most about these RPGs was that I didn't know what the other players would come up with next. I loved the twists and turns, the weird surprises, and the amazing stories we created together. Since I'm a pantser, I reveled in it.

With all these different types of worlds, I was able to experiment with different writing styles and various characters. I discovered that I loved to write about relationships - be it romantic, friends, enemies, etc. It was the characters who attracted me and drove me to become the character focused writer I am today. (One of the most character driven groups I had been in was a dystopian called Descent Into Sin. Deep, dark stuff.)

While these RPGs helped to mold me into the writer I am today, there was something else I loved about them: the friends I made. These friends encouraged me to write more of my own original work and gave me the strength to submit it to various venues. I had my first short story published because of their support. And even to this day, over fifteen years after I started in my first PBeM group, I'm still in contact with some of these amazing people. Not all of them write or play anymore, but they have never ceased to be fantastic cheerleaders and super friends.

Have you ever play in a PBeM RPG? A tabletop RPG like Dungeons & Dragons? What were your experiences like?

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I would like to extend an invitation to any writers who have played RPGs. I'd love for you to guest post on my blog about your experiences. If you're interested, please leave your email in the comments below, or email me at

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Backworlds Returns with Freefall

The first shot of a new war echoes through the galaxy. Craze has high hopes for what the alliance with an old enemy, the Foreworlds, will do to defeat a worse enemy, the Quassers.

The test of a highly-advanced weapon, created by the efforts of the alliance, pushes tensions over the brink and kills thousands. To make it worse, the Foreworld ambassador is keeping secrets.

Conventional warfare against the Quassers isn’t working, and if the alliance ends, Craze has become the most hated man in the galaxy for no reason.

With nothing left to lose, Craze sets in motion one last chance for survival.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Word Witch Wednesday - 2017 writing goals

It's a brand new shiny year. Time to start things off with a cheer. This begins by reviewing last year's goals.

2016 GOALS

1. Write the rest of the Totem books and start to publish them. Well, I wrote six of them and started on the seventh. Two things got in the way of this goal: my health and marketing. I'm telling myself to be satisfied that four are out and two are coming, and I haven't set a deadline to stress myself with for the last three.

2. Revise and submit the Sasquatch Susies series to my publisher. Done. They were published. My publisher closed. So I have no idea how the books did.

3. Read and review 100 books. Done! I did include books I read with my son. I believe children's books need love on Goodreads too.

4. Write and submit six short stories. Done. I was short-listed three times for pro markets, but I didn't make it.

5. Blogging. Finding a balance between writing and blogging. I still haven't found it.

2017 GOALS

1. Write the final three Totem novellas and publish them.

2. Write the second two books in the Of Blood and Sorrow trilogy. I'd like to say I'll publish them by the end of the year, but they will be two full sized novels, and I will not publish one until the other is done.

3. Self-publish the books I had with my publisher. I'm allowed to keep the covers at least!

4. Read and review 100 books. I hope to keep this up for the rest of my life!

5. Write and submit six short stories. I can't say I have time to write one every month, but sometimes a great idea for a flash piece hits me, and I have to scribble it down. I'm still aiming at the pro markets.

6. Continue to study and try out different marketing techniques. Slowly but surely, I'm learning. I'm trying to figure out what works for me. And I will definitely share with you what I've learned.

7. Improve my writing speed and focus. Last month, I used writing sprints, and they've been working for me. It silences my inner editor and the words flow. I don't know if I could ever get to 5000 words an hour, but that much a day would be amazing.

What are your goals for the year?

A reminder from your friendly neighborhood polar bear:

Monday, January 9, 2017

Shattered Spirit (Totem #4) Release & All It Takes cover reveal!

A haunted house isn’t going to stop Ametta Dorn from doing her job.

Frustrated that her family has left her out of the search for the missing totem tokens, Ametta Dorn loses herself in her work. She’s offered a dream job of a complete interior renovation of a famous Cremaschi house. Not even discovering the house belongs to Lucky Osberg can dampen her enthusiasm.

Lucky’s plan to spend more time with her as she works goes awry when the spirit who protects his home tries to murder her. Ametta won’t be scared off, despite being tempted to run and never come back. She was going to flee Alaska and pursue her designer dreams anyway, yet that means giving up on Lucky and the totem that is just within her grasp.

Add it to read on Goodreads.

To celebrate the release of Shattered Spirit, the first book in the Totem series, Dark Dawning is FREE!

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I’m thrilled to reveal the cover for Clare Dugmore’s dual-POV contemporary romance ALL IT TAKES, scheduled for release February 14, 2017, and announce that it’s now available for pre-order for delivery to your Kindle on release day.
Title: All It Takes
Author: Clare Dugmore
Genre: Romance
Release Date: February 14, 2017

All It Takes is one night to change the rest of their lives.
Graduating Uni, travelling Europe and buying her own place – these are on Megan Green’s to-do list.
At just twenty-two, becoming a mother isn’t.
Fast cars, expensive clothes and bedding a different women every night – this is how Kian Murphy spends his time when not in the MMA ring. Pre-natal scans and birthing classes are not on his agenda.
After a chance meeting and passionate encounter, Megan finds herself pregnant with Kian’s child. But with a womanizing reputation, and a temper that often leads him into trouble, Kian is hardly boyfriend material, let alone father material.
Now Megan and Kian must work out if they have All It Takes to turn their one-night-stand into a relationship that will connect them for a life-time.
All It Takes is a dual-POV new-adult, contemporary-romance about responsibility, love and discovering who you are in life.