Writing Tips – How To Write Avoiding Dialogue Tags

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New Cover for Slow Burn: A Death Metal Paranormal Romance!

Tempting secrets of an angel
Seductive mysteries of the beast

Derrick, a former spy, has been asked to protect the sultry Sonja, a death metal singer whose magical voice grabs him by the balls and won’t let go. He’ll protect her, all right…with every part of his body tight against hers.new-cover

“I’m burning for you, baby. I need inside of you. Beg me,” he growled, a low sound that rumbled through her chest, exciting her further.

Her touch hardened him and made his nerves very aware of the swell of her ass and luscious curve of her breasts.

Right now his fingers were walking a delicate, arousing line up her spine.

Sonja uses her voice to purge her fans of their darkness, their hate and hopelessness. But evil forces want to use her magic for their own ends. All she wants, at this point, is safety for herself and her band.

When Derrick and Sonja team up, Sonja does her best to resist the lure of safety he represents, until a radical league that wants her dead propels her into his arms. Will his help be enough? Or will she lose her heart to him, only to be killed in the process of saving the world?

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January Update!

I know it’s late but better now than never LOL!

Books mentioned: Soul over Matter – Dr. & Master Zhi Gang Sha and Adam Markel
Tools of Titans – Tim Ferriss

Music mentioned
The Room Colored Charlatan
Textures

Bourbon I didn’t actually drink on screen: Four Roses (Yellow label)

My patreon link if you’re seeing this ish on Youtube: https://www.patreon.com/AuthorSaschaIllyvich

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Looking Out to Look In – a #HoldOntoTheLight post

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With all the great information circulating around the #HoldOntoTheLight campaign you may be wondering where to start or if you should even just pick a post and read it.  Or if you should avoid the issues all together and stop staring them right in the face every time you look in the mirror.  I’m going to put forth an explanation about why some folks might not go into this topic when it’s obvious that it’s a necessity.  I am challenging real social constructs and ask that you do the same, keeping an open mind while reading my post.  

For the very reasons that I am doing exactly what I’m suggesting you not do, if mental issues are a thing in your life, this post is being written.

It wasn’t until I’d read Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani that I started to see others agreeing with thoughts I’d had about society and belief systems.  In his book, Vishen talks about two concepts that really revolutionized the way we look at society.

He talks about the Culturescape – the sets of rules on how we exist, basically.  Rules that we follow which help us move as a tribe and how to love, how to marry, who to marry, for that matter. The culturescape defines the rules for self esteem and self worth.  It’s deeper than that but keep this idea in mind for a moment.

Vishen also goes into details about Brules – Bullshit Rules that help guide and define us.  An example of a brule is “go to college, get a job after that, get married and live happily.”  In this changing world, that idea is so far fetched and outdated it’s not even funny.

You’re probably wondering why I’m bloviating about these two things when I said in my preface that I’d talk about the whole purpose of the #HoldOntoTheLight campaign.

Because I’ve seen an influx of posts on the subject matter from the 100+ authors Gail Z. Martin has pulled together to bring attention to this and I haven’t read a single fucking one.

Why?  Surely there’s some great knowledge in here.  There has to be some advice that’s solid and applicable to me and my life and my situation.  Some piece of actionable wisdom outside of my normal systems of reality that can help me hack my own mental issues.  Knowing Gail as long as I have, if she brings the authors, she brings the hype because she only knows quality.  So, why would I continue to rip myself off?

See, this is where we come back to the concepts of culturescape and brules.  The culturescape eschews even talking about this issue and for a very good (bullshit) reason. When the mind does what’s familiar, it stays safe.  It keeps the body safe, even if the habits are destructive.

IE – when I left my long term relationship, I realized my life was changing and I was very afraid of what the future held.  I was very afraid of sleeping alone, of going out and being on my own and coming back to an empty space.  Sure, I had sock monkey, but the few relationships I wanted so desperately to maintain had to disappear for a time.  I was afraid of not being able to get to the point I’m at now, because I didn’t know how I’d do it.  I just knew I’d do it at any cost.  That meant if my erratic schedule involved going to the cigar club, getting tight, sleeping until 4 PM the next day, or through most of Thanksgiving and all of Christmas because I’d overindulged, only to take up the next day and handle what work I do have, then so be it.

I had a lot of those nights.

Already, I’ve mentioned that I hit the bottle.  For me, that takes some effort.  I’ve already talked about the range of days and nights I spent in a virtual drunken stupor because I bought the wrong story. I didn’t define who I was, I let society do it.  Even my demons were upset (probably the reason I had them)  I didn’t want to hear other points of view that may have forced me to quit acting in a manner that hurt myself and those around me because I’m not supposed to deal with those issues in public.

Because of a brule – men don’t talk.  Which means, to me, since we don’t talk, we don’t face our demons  head on.  Refusing to read the posts other than the one I’m writing for this doesn’t hurt the authors, and it won’t hurt me in the way we were taught to think about pain.  But facing a fear and having to admit that “hey, I might have a problem and it’s not what you think” is a scary proposition simply because of the existing culturescape.

We deal with depression in this country with medication.  We deal with trauma by lying about it and covering it up with polite terms.  Does anyone remember when PTSD was called “Shell shocked?”

So you think I want to admit the possibility that I might have a screw loose?   I’m a man, I’m not supposed to even worry about nonsense like this.  But, let’s go deeper and start with the reasons.

Oh wait.  another brule comes to mind when talking about my pain vs. someone else’s.  As in, I had a friend years ago, good writer.  Former soldier.  Beautiful redhead.  Served in Iran and Iraq and has her own issues.  Far as my mind says, being shot at by the enemy because she has red hair and is a woman far outweighs my personal BS.  (She and I talked, when talking about pain, realize it’s not a dick swinging contest.  That’s what I took away from her.)

So, why am I still running?  Because I’ve been paying attention to the wrong things.   I won’t bother telling you, dear reader, that it’s better to go seek qualified help, talk to someone, etc.  First, it sounds patronizing and second, my main point in this post was more or less to point out the concepts of brules and culturescapes so that you can really examine your own issues and make the best decisions while being aware that what you may do to help you may seem odd to others.  It may go against what we were taught about our very existence and our roles as defined by the culturescape.  But in bucking the common trends, we may find our own happiness and comfort.

About the campaign:
#HoldOnToTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.
Please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Hope for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK), SANE (UK), BeyondBlue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
To find out more about #HoldOnToTheLight, find a list of participating authors and blog posts, or reach a media contact, go to
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A Hard Subject – A #HoldOnToTheLight post

holdontothelight-fb-bannerYup.  No idea what to write about on this topic because I kept asking myself the question, what’s stopping me from actually following through on letting my self destructive urges win and take me out.

No idea, nothing consistent anyway.  I can tell you that the one year I really was this close to leaping off the ledge, it was thoughts of a girl and a promise that stalled that potential disaster.

I had my world crashed down upon by the ending of my 12 year marriage.  We’d split (mostly) amicably, then left the apartment when financial prodding encouraged us.

Read, we were behind on rent.  It wasn’t the first time, and the last time we’d had to set up a gofundme campaign.  I swore if it happened again, we were done.

When I stayed with a friend of mine, I had gone so far as to tell the authors in my editing stable that I was getting awfully comfortable with the darkness.  I was drinking heavily, for me.  And I wasn’t caring.  Up at all hours, asleep at the other half, at the cigar club  letting myself take the fun out of a hobby.  I remember once calling my mentor at 4 AM,, California time.  She’s an east coast girl, and thankfully, keeps odd hours like I do now.  But it wasn’t a pretty phone call.  My bartenders noticed.  Those I did tell noticed.

When I say those I did tell, I mean no one.  I didn’t talk.  I told a few authors I just didn’t know what the future held, but I never used language to hit at my impending demise because I didn’t actually want to die.

I was lonely.

What fixed it?  How long did it take?

Problem with that is that I’m not sure a fix is possible.  Fast forward three years later, another broken heart, a lot of travel and I get my own apartment.  Tired of looking at my life the way I always had, I needed a change and decided to really jump into personal growth.  I’d stumbled across T Harv Ecker’s Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. That was painful – not because the book is bad, it isn’t.  But it turns out that getting rich, even in our industry, isn’t about how hard we work.   I mean that’s part of it, but real true wealth including the financial riches I’m after, come from a number of factors.

First, what goes into your head
Second, what comes out of your mouth.

What’s ignored is the behavior patterns ingrained from childhood.  Our self defeating demons that are just like everyone else’s until we through in being a writer or an artist on top of that.  Normal shit.  For me, I had a lot of limiting beliefs that were creating self sabotaging behaviors, including overindulging because, fuck it.  Why not?

A training based on that book came into town and I thought, “great.  This will help heal all the damage.”

It was really amazing, and I cleared a lot of dead weight from my shoulders.  I thought I was golden.  I confronted my demons, the ones that let me write romance from a place of true vehement anger.  My writing changed.  My outlook changed.

I discovered Mind Valley Academy and began going through their masterclasses.  I thought this was it.  This was the break from the cycle of insanity.

I was wrong.  But my mental state was shifting.  It wasn’t so dark anymore because I’d started doing the one thing that was the hardest for an alpha male to do.

I started talking.  Really, actually talking.  Not trying to pick up and sleep with women (did that too, can’t take the wolf out of the man…) but actively talking about what’s in my head and telling anyone who was getting close to me.  Then crying, letting the tears flow and then I stopped feeling embarrassed about that shit.

In doing all of this over the last three years, I think I wrote three brand new novels (finishing the Opeth Pack Saga) a few short stories and a new romance series featuring puma shifters and magic.  I had edited two earlier Opeth Pack books, edited a number of other stuff for two publishers, and probably put out 500,000 words over the three year period of traveling the country.  I was busy as hell while I traveled and dealt with this.

I started reclaiming my time.  I started using time I would normally be busy doing some useless thing, to just let it be empty.  Or filling it with more productive things that include learning and being okay with the fact that, at the end of the day, I did not have to kill myself for work, for a book or an ideal of what a writer is supposed to look like.  This decreased my stress.

But studying top preforming people like Tim Ferriss and the people he deconstructs only reinforces one thing, and I suppose that’s probably the key for this post.

Those of us in any creative field are prone whatever behavioral patterns and beliefs we are given until we learn to conquer them.  But if we don’t recognize that this is not something we are alone in, and we don’t do something about it, it’ll never change.

We are a lot alike.  Maybe this post will help, or maybe this one by Tim Ferriss himself can shed some light on things for you.

About the campaign:
#HoldOnToTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.
Please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Hope for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK), SANE (UK), BeyondBlue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
To find out more about #HoldOnToTheLight, find a list of participating authors and blog posts, or reach a media contact, go to
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Love’s Haunt cover

Aurelia, responsible for watching over her brother Les, has found her mates in the Opeth loveshaunt-187x300Pack, but cannot have them due to her allegiance to the Nobles.  Until she frees Les of that allegiance and makes him see that there is a mate for him, she can only watch from afar.  Les gives her heavy news about the fate of her mates, so Aurelia runs to warn Bianca and Viktor, only to fall in love with both the taller Hungarian and the shorter blonde with the fiery attitude.  As winter hits Albuquerque, it’s revealed that Aurelia has been inhabited by the Flower Maiden, a deity who spreads disease throughout wolf-kind, for a purpose.  She gets her male mate sick, then drains herself in an attempt to heal him, as the Nobles bring the war to the Opeth Pack.

Buy on Amazon

 

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Fall Into Love – Opeth Pack Saga

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