Monday, January 30, 2012

Building Up & Breaking Down

It's kind of a funny thing I have going here with my main characters. I find myself building up relationships only to have them break down in the worst way after a chapter or two. Conflicts are running amok (love that word) and the ultimate betrayal of friendship is right around the corner.

In Mongolia, during the period when this story takes place, they sometimes had an honorary brother called an anda. It is a huge thing to break trust or betray your anda so when it happens in this story, it's not something to be taken lightly. I will show how the love of a woman can tear down men and make them mortal enemies until death; no matter how close they started out.

Some people say it seems a bit unbelievable. I say, if it is possible, it has been done; we just don't know it happened. Someone needed to tell this story of love, betrayal, and the ultimate sacrifice. I'm just glad Temujin allowed it to be me.

Until next time, WRITE ON!!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Crying in My Cocktail

Wow. Chapter 12 really took a toll on me. I haven't been able to write anything for two solid days because it's bothering me that my protagonist has embraced his angry side and unleashed it on women and children. I may go change some of that chapter up later. It's just a wee bit too brutal there, possibly...

I hope you are all enjoying the book and blog. Writing has proven to be exhilarating and drains me creatively. I have a series of paintings I am about to begin work on so the book is going to slow down a little bit. I'm guessing down to two or three chapters a week as opposed to the four to five I am writing right now.

I am still on schedule for a late April-early June release and will be doing the cover art and typesetting of the book myself. Anyone reading want to vote on a font for the text? It will be serifed so no arial or helvetica :)

I must run now!!

Until next time, WRITE ON!!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Excerpt Chapter 12

An excerpt from yesterday's chapter:

I walked up and put my mouth to his ear and allowed myself to revel in the fact that he was trembling in fear of me before I hissed, in a low whisper with a deep, guttural sound, “No. I told you I would spare your family. Watch what I do to your brothers and be thankful you loosed your tongue.”

    With that, I turned and strode to the smallest child remaining in the line. I raised my sword and cut off her head in one motion. Her father screamed and made promises to end my life before I had him gagged and moved on to his wife. I told my man to hold him so he could watch what his actions had brought down upon his family. I knelt down to the weeping woman and raised her chin.

    I looked into her eyes and asked, “Do you love your husband?”

    She nodded.

    “Did you love your child?”

    Again, she nodded.

    “Do you know why I am going to kill you?”

    She began to cry harder and nodded her head vigorously.

    “Let your husband know what a filthy pig he is and how you are dishonored by his actions against my wife.”

    She screamed, “I cannot believe you would do this to your family! You have brought down the anger of God by stealing another man’s wife! Why must you have been so full of greed? You have disgraced us all!”

    I cut her throat and let her fall into the dirt.

My character took a terrible turn for me yesterday and his actions seemed a bit despicable to me at first. When I talk of him murdering children, I get a little sick. However, he promised to make those men never forget his name and to make sure that no one would ever dare touch a member of his family again. I'm guessing this did the trick if those men went and spoke of the atrocities committed in the name of vengeance.

Jamuka makes his first turn in this chapter as well. We shall see what he does with his newly recognized feelings and how he decides to win the heart of the woman he loves.

Writing chapter 13 today, possibly. I may let it stew a day or two...

Until next time, WRITE ON!!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Today is all about revenge. We are going to slaughter them all. They have stolen her and we are going to get her back with much bloodshed. There will be no mercy. :)

I can't wait to get started today and have been building this up for a few chapters. Let's see how it goes!

You may get an excerpt tomorrow :)

Until then, WRITE ON!!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Cruising Right Along

Well, chapter 10 is complete! I promised you a list of the chapter titles thus far and I am delivering on that promise today.

Chapter 1 - The Business of Wives
Chapter 2 - Of Plots and Abandonment
Chapter 3 - Metamorphosis
Chapter 4 - I Run, I Hide, I Die
Chapter 5 - Slaves
Chapter 6 - Escape
Chapter 7 - It's Me Again
Chapter 8 - Training
Chapter 9 - Marriage
Chapter 10 - Bloodlust
Chapter 11 - To War

That's all I have written/started so far. When we get to the part about revenge, there will be much bloodshed in the honor of love and retribution. I am so in tune with Temujin right now, I feel his anger and desire revenge as much as he does.

I hope everyone reading this blog will be looking forward to the resulting book. I am almost halfway there and the story took over. A minor character had the nerve to walk in and make himself a major character without my permission but he adds a certain something to the story line and could not be denied his desired status.

I am falling in love with each of my characters and when I kill them, it will hurt. You'll understand why when you meet them.

Until next time, WRITE ON!!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Unbelievable! Chapter 9!

I have completed Chapter 9! It has all the components of a truly thrilling chapter: Love, Loss, Sex, Arguments, and Rage.

This poor couple just needs to be left alone so they can finally be together! There have been so many things that have come between them. I may give them a whole chapter dedicated to loving one another. Then again, what fun would that be?

I may give a short list of chapter titles here soon so you can get an idea of how the story flows.

A problem that I am experiencing is, I am living through my characters, in my story. I am filled with loss when a loved one dies, filled with love when they share kisses, and filled with anger when they want to kill. I don't know how to shake it after I stop writing for the day but maybe this is the basis of excellent writing. I cried for a full hour last night because of the end of Chapter 9.

I wonder how many other writers have this same crux to work through and how they do it. Do you give in to it and allow it to consume you or do you have a way to get your head out of your book and back into reality?

Just being 34 years old, I have probably only read a few thousand books in my lifetime, but I constantly find myself being drawn into the world I am reading about and feeling what the people in the stories feel. It becomes a hard slap back to reality when the story is over but I do it over and over again. Why?

I have been lucky to find a living fairy tale in my significant other (may every woman be so lucky) and often find myself comparing my love to that of Cinderella and Prince Charming :)

Well, Chapter 10 is on the agenda for today, gotta run!!

Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chapter 8 is Underway

Chapter 8 is now well underway. It's odd, but this story is now writing itself. My protagonist is having a time of it. His dreams keep giving him warnings of the future but he is having a hard time deciphering what they truly mean. Symbolism is running rampant.

Did you know that Temujin/Genghis believed he spoke to God? With everything he accomplished in his life, that might just be believable, eh?

I like twists and turns thrown in here and there where a good story is concerned and since I don't need ALL of the details (because this is mostly fiction from my own head) it's fun to write and let my imagination run rampant.

In my opinion, excellent fiction always has some link to reality. While some of the characters are real people, and most of the relationships are true, it's what your imagination can do with what's left out that makes all the difference.

Let's take JFK as an example. We all know he was shot. We all assume his assassin was captured. However, conspiracy theorist say LHO was a patsy. Now what IF it wasn't LHO at all? What if LHO was an alien and so was JFK? What if JFK was a rogue alien who was too much in the public eye and needed to be silenced?

Let's say that JFK was an alien enemy and LHO was his best friend and the only person other than JFK who knew the truth. LHO was then not trying to kill Kennedy, but was trying to kill the aliens plotting to kill JFK. LHO just missed his target because he was afraid to shoot innocent people an couldn't tell who the aliens were until it was too late. Now you have something to write about!!

Stories are all around us every day. You just have to be willing to take the leap and write about what you can IMAGINE the story to be from the missing or suspect information.

Well, I am off to allow my fingers to tell more about the greatest love story of all time.

Until next time, Write On!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chapter Seven is Written

Chapter seven, It's Me Again, is written. Tomorrow is a cleaning day so, HOUSE BEWARE! Ha!

I am lucky to have an unscheduled day this week and hope to get at least chapter 8 out of my head and on to paper.

Well begun is half done!

Talk again soon!

Write On!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Story Behind the Book

In my first semester of college, back in 2004, I was required to pick a historical figure and write a research paper about him or her. I was lost as to subject matter so I asked around. I got a lot of responses but my favorite one was that I should write about Genghis Khan. When I asked why, the person responded, "Because the man conquered more of Eurasia than anyone in history and it will give you a lot of subject matter."

I ran with the idea because I agreed and had always been interested in powerful people (the next semester, I chose Queen Elizabeth I). I began my research by reading everything about Genghis that I could get my hands on. I discovered that the person who made the suggestion only knew of Genghis's conquests and nothing about his actual family or relationships therein.

I wrote my paper and got an A.

During my great many readings on the subject, I stumbled upon an odd sort of fact: Genghis had a best friend that ended up being his mortal enemy. I wondered at why. I thought to myself, "There MUST be a story there. Real or imagined."

This is where the idea for the book "Yassa" came from. I have always been an avid reader and my overactive imagination decided to take my thoughts and run with them.

After changing my major, taking a leave from school for health reasons, and completing my Graphic Design degree just last May, I am excited to say that "Yassa" is finally going to be a reality.

Everyone has at least one great book in them. I have many more than that.

Today is a writing day. Getting my story out of my head and onto paper is the biggest challenge so far. I will write all of chapter 7 before giving up to sleep.

Stay tuned, blog readers!!

Write on!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Welcome to Yassa Book 2012's Blog!

Welcome to the blog that is all about the book! Yassa. My name is Jo Michaels and I am the author of this whirlwind love story. Here I will update folks on the progress of the book and what sort of walls I come across. I may also write about how I move past certain obstacles that end up in my way for one reason or another. I have an elite team of readers providing me with feedback on a weekly basis and hope to find a fantastic editor sometime in the future.

I fully intend to do the artwork and typesetting for the entire publication myself. Publication date will be set at a later time but I am fully scheduled for a late April/early June release (digitally). Check back here often for excerpts from the book and to keep abreast of the latest feedback from my glorious readers.

I am going to start you all off with a bit of a teaser. Here are the first two paragraphs of the book:

            He screamed, louder this time, as Temujin cut off another one of his fingers. I involuntarily flexed my own in response to the act. I had never seen a man fight like my friend had last night. It was like something other than his own mind was working his muscles, causing him to strike and slash like a harbinger of death. It made me appreciate that I had made a friend of him and not an enemy. When he began to peel back the man’s skin from his body, I almost vomited. I took a few steps away and turned my head.
            We had snuck into the Merkit’s camp under the cover of darkness and took them by surprise. There was little fighting. Temujin had been given 20,000 soldiers by the great Wang Khan, leader of the Kerait tribe, in order to decimate the Merkits. Temujin did so with excellent war tactics, stealth, and swiftness. Wang Khan came to watch. I believe it was so he can use Temujin as a weapon of war. After our escape from slavery, Temujin has proven himself a mighty warrior with a very steadfast composure. If the legends are true and he was born grasping a blood clot, a sign one is destined for something very great, he would be a mighty weapon in anyone’s arsenal. Wang Khan has recognized this and, I believe, is cultivating it for his own gain.

If you like what you have read here, make sure and mark your calendars, nook readers!! More is coming soon!

Write on!