Tag Archives: Owain Yeoman

Welcome 2013!

Hiddey-Ho – J Monkeys, here.  As Suze said, she, Katy Lee and I are typing away during the final hours of our retreat.  It’s been so productive, I’m borrowing Suze’s laptop while she reads my brandy-new 15 page synopsis of my WIP.  I’m giddy waiting for feedback.  But for today’s post: Welcome 2013!  Over the last few weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how 2012 went for me and what I want 2013 to look like.  Last week, I gave you my 2012 report card; this week let me set up for the new year.

 Here are my 2013 goals:

  1.) Finish all that 2012 stuff that didn’t get crossed T’s or dotted I’s last year.   (PS: our mini retreat this week has given me a HUGE jump on this goal already!)

  2.) Find a better balance between my variety of responsibilities – motherly and writerly.

  3.) Develop a plan and work the plan.  Whether those are marketing plans or the daily get-stuff-done plans, either way, I’m going to be crossing LOTS of stuff off my lists this year.

  4.) Master social media.  Right now, I’m just a guppy when it comes to this whole social media stuff.  I can barely tweet.  I ignore Facebook entirely too much.  Goodreads seems to have WAY more functionality than I know about.  And I’m not very Linkedin, either. 

  5.) Market books.  2013 is going to be the Year of Marketing for J Monkeys – I can tell you that much.  I produced a ton of product in 2012, not that you’d know it because I have done a terrible job of marketing it.  I’ll update you all of my marketing results as each quarter goes by.

  6.) Write two novels.  I’ve got one well underway and plan to have it written by the end of March.  That’ll give me nine months to plot and write the other one by year’s end.

  7.) Either stop dreaming about Alexandar Skarsgard or write a hero who looks a LOT like him.  Alex and I have adventures two nights a week.  Not those kinds of adventures, get your mind out of the gutter!  But we fall in love, save the world and have lunch pretty often.  I’m a visual person and I need to be able to see my hero.  The hero for my current book is based on actor Owain Yeoman (Wayne Rigsby on The Mentalist) and even though I think to myself every night before I go to bed “Dream about Hayden,” I still dream about Mr. S.   

Today’s Secret: I love to have goals.  Even if I don’t achieve them, I like to have something concrete to shoot for, something to measure against later on.

Today’s Question: What about you?  Do you like to have goals?  Do you go back and look at the goals you’ve set for yourself and see how you did?


Chairman of the Board

Hi everyone!  Vivienne Ylang here, again this week.  J Monkeys is off at a book signing today (12:00 – 3:00 at Hidden Treasures, the most wonderful store in Agawam Ma.  Everything is made by local crafters.) so she asked me to fill in. 

I blogged last week about my excitement in starting a new project.  This week, I thought I’d share some of my preparations with you.  Now, before you ask, I am a plotter, not a pantser.  Those wonderful writers who say they can’t wait to see what the characters have in store for them, have a talent (or psychosis, depending on your point of view) that I don’t have.  My characters are completely subject to my whims (God-complex anyone?) and as such, I need to understand them in order to write them.  That takes prep work.

Before I begin writing this story (I don’t even have a working title yet!) I do quite a bit of work.  I have pages and pages of character backstory written – much of which may never find its way into the book other than to flavor the characters.  Things that happened in the characters lives that shaped the way they see the present, scenes of times when they were happy, everyday interactions, things like that.

I write character bios, too.  I have a standard template that I use with the character’s name, birthdate, age at the start of the story (gotta pick a date that the story begins…) a physical description, height, weight, likes, dislikes, fears, quirks, strengths, flaws – you get the idea.  And then I answer a few basic questions about them.  Where did they grow up and go to school?  If he has unexpected free time, how does he spend it?  What would she die to defend


The Golden Girl

And the last thing I do to keep my characters alive in my life (for a little while) is create The Board.  My corkboard sits next to my desk and I fill it with 3×5 index cards.  Each has a picture of the character and their vital stats.  I’m a visual person, so it’s much easier to give my characters an actual face than it is to keep them all consistent in my head.  Sometimes my characters look like modern actors or other public figures, sometimes they are people from other times.  For example, I always imagine Bea Arthur as Dorothy from The Golden Girls, but I found this picture of her as a young woman and she was stunning!  You will someday find that young stunning Bea Arthur in a story of mine, believe me!

And since I’m in complete control over the characters on my board, that makes me Chairman of the Board!  😉

Today’s Secret: Don’t tell anyone, but the hero in my upcoming story has Owain Yeoman’s face and Joe Manganiello’s chest and abs.  Honestly, how could I not include those phenomenal muscles?  This could be the closest I get to touching them…probably will be, no need for that restraining order, Joe.

Today’s Question: How do you make your characters real, without inducing schizophrenia?