Tag Archives: writing

It’s NaNoWriMo time!

It’s almost November and you know what that means…National Novel Writing Month! The goal is to complete a 50,000 word novel by the last day of the month. Or is your like me, the FIRST 50K words by the end. I’m very excited to get started on my project this year. It’s a story I wrote a couple years ago but never fully finished. A stand alone that wasn’t standing very well. It’s called What the Fae? One day, my dear friend Karen mentioned making it a series.crest_square-b23dbe8d9b80265765b27ccd9b5d4811

At first I was like…no, it couldn’t be a series. But then the thought wouldn’t go away, sticking around in my head, nagging me to take it seriously. And then I saw it. Not a series but a trilogy. My heart exploded with excitement. (not literally or I wouldn’t be here to tell you about it) The part I had already written was basically book 2, with the first scene of book 1 and the very last scene of book 1. So for NaNo, I plan to write the middle of book 1. I’m finishing up a class at SavvyAuthors.com where I plotted out all 3 books so hopefully the writing part will go smoothly.

So, I’m doing my best to finish Lip Smacked, the sequel to Pucker Up, by the end of October. I don’t think I’m going to completely finish it but I’ll come close. In December, I plan to finish the missing scenes and then edit it so that I can send copies to my awesome beta readers.

Are you participating along with the thousands of other writers all over the world? I’m all signed up at NaNoWriMo.org so if you are participating and want to add me as a writing buddy, my username on that site is ruthless527. We can encourage each other on those days you just don’t think you got it in you.

Good luck to those brave writers taking up the challenge. Write on!

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Writers of the Future book signing

photo (22)One of my favorite aspects of being a writer is all the creative and talented people I’ve been smart enough to surround myself with. Andrea Stewart is one of those people. She truly is gifted in imagination and the craft of writing speculative fiction. She is a recent first place winner of the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest and had her short story published in the annual anthology. And yesterday, she and a few other winners—Stephan Sottong,Tina Gower, and Timothy Black— had a book signing at the local Barnes & Noble.

I read her short story, Dreameater, as soon as I got home last night. Wow! It’s about the relationship between a young daughter and her dysfunctional, supernatural mother. Of course after reading her other work I wasn’t surprised at how good it was. To read a review of Dreameater, check out Kody Kline’s blog20130501-095631

Andrea is one of those people that when you meet her, you just know she’s going to make it big in this industry. Her stories are unique and fantastical and totally gripping. Plus, she’s also one of the most humble and thoughtful people I’ve ever met.

You’ll also love her book, Dragon Maiden: A Short Story. Andrea Stewart, remember her name. She will be big one day!

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RT Convention 2013 – the workshops

As I mentioned in my last post, I attended the RT Convention at the beginning of the month and had a fabulous time. Not only were the parties spectacular in the evenings, but the afternoon was filled with wonderful workshops, and not just for writers, but readers and booksellers as well.

This is Len, the cover model I've been stalking since my first RT convention

This is Len, the cover model I’ve been stalking since my first RT convention

One workshop I attended mainly out of curiosity was one about writing realistic BDSM. Now, I never read past the first few chapters of 50 Shades of Grey( I was beginning to wonder if the character had a real medical condition with all the blushing she did) but I thoroughly enjoyed a BDSM Snape/Hermione fanfic story, For the Potion Master’s Amusement. It’s a long but gripping story and if you also ship this couple – 50 points to Slytherin! The presenters of the workshop debunked a lot of myths society has about this lifestyle that some books have perpetrated.

Speaking of 50 Shades of Grey, the author E. L. James was at the RT Convention to support a friend and I heard from the Twitter rumor mill that she stood up during one of the workshops and demanded the panel to stop trashing her book. I wasn’t there and have no idea what was said, but I applaud her for standing up for herself. She could’ve sat back and smiled, counting in her head all the millions of dollars in her bank account now because of her books and just ignored the obvious petty jealousy of the others. That’s probably what I would’ve done.

Another workshop I attended was American Idol – Writers Edition. It’s a contest held by the Seymour Agency that awards the winner a one year contract/mentorship with literary agents Nicole Resciniti and Louise Fury of the L Perkins Agency. Before the convention, I sent in my first 3 chapters of my current WIP, What the Fae?. The contest is about finding a unique writing voice. Out of over 80 entries, I made the top 20. And after reading the first pages of all the finalists and being scored by a panel of judges(agents and editors) and votes from the audience members,  I was awarded the prize, and a bouquet of flowers. So exciting!!

Me being an author

Me being an author

Then, if that wasn’t exciting enough, I was able to sign and sell my book Pucker Up at the Giant Book Fair along some amazing authors like Richelle Mead. I totally talked to her and got her autograph, too. It was a surreal experience to autograph my book for readers. I also autographed a few shirts, tote bags and even someone’s Kindle. One person wanted to get her picture taken with me, too. You’d think people actually knew who I was. So much fun.

I know this is just the beginning. Soon I’ll have a mile long line of fans waiting to see me and have their own fangirl(or boy) moments. So now, I am busy writing away to get What the Fae? finished and in the hands of my two new agent mentors and hopefully have it ready by the next convention. Life is good!

 

 

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RT Convention 2013 – The Parties

Me, René and Amanda

Me, René and Amanda

Last week I embarked on my yearly pilgrimage to the RT (Romantic Times) Convention held in Kansas City. I attended with my friends, René and Amanda. It’s 4 days of being submersed in books and romance and people who “get” you. Writers, readers, booksellers, librarians, agents, and publishers get together to celebrate the written word and have a great time. During the day we attend workshops, but at night, we party!

Amanda, Me and the Cave Men

Amanda, Me and the Cave Men

The first night’s party is always hosted by publisher Ellora’s Cave. Considering they are known for their hot erotic romance books, they know how to throw a party. The tables are full of SWAG (Stuff We All Get) based on the party’s theme. This year was disco. This year, some of their cover models, or Cave Men, danced the Hustle on stage. Many attendees wear costumes and everyone has a blast when the DJ cranks it up!

René and I in our pretty dresses

René and me in our pretty dresses

Night 2 is always the Fairy Ball. This year it was combined with RT’s 30th Anniversary. Everyone wore formal attire and a presentation of Romance Author Legends took precedent. It always amazing me at the elaborate and beautiful costumes people show off.

The third night belongs to Heather Graham and the vampire ball. The night starts off with a skit performed by Heather and friends and then the dancing starts. Of course, more costumes and great times. There were a lot of zombies this year too.

Heather Graham

Heather Graham

The final night belongs to Harlequine. It’s a little tamer than the others, most likely because by this point, everyone is partied out. But, the bags of books they give away is pretty cool. René won a bag this year, only to worry later about how she was going to get her stash home. Don’t worry, she managed.

Amanda getting her groove on.

Amanda getting her groove on.

Next year my friends and I plan on dressing up in costume for each party. We said that last year, too, but we really mean it this time. RT Convention 2014 is going to be in New Orleans. I’m so excited because I’ve always wanted to go and now I have a good excuse. So, if you want to go to a convention to learn about writing or party with some fabulous authors, RT is the place to be.

Next post I’ll talk about the wonderful workshops I attended, what I learned, and what I won.

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The great experiment

My love for writing began a few years ago when I had immersed myself in Vampire Academy fanfiction. I read hundreds of stories, always subconsciously searching for one story that I could never quite find, at least not in one submission. That’s when it occurred to me to write the story myself. Writing and posting that first chapter was one of the most nerve-wracking and exhilarating experiences of my life. Would anyone read it? Would anyone like it?feather_pen_141556

Well, people did read it and even thought it good. The encouragement and feedback I received spurred me on. Every night I cranked out another chapter, eager to know what my readers—I had readers!—would think of the latest installment. As I wrote the story, I incorporated some of the suggestions left by the readers and, of course, let the characters lead the way. What a wild ride that was.

So, I decided to try that again only using my world, completely new characters, and different storyline. I posted the first chapter of What the Fae? on Wattpad. Each Monday I’ll post a new chapter. The goal is reader collaboration to help mold the story. I know where I want the characters to end up, but there are a million different ways to get there and I hope readers will suggest different routes to take.

I figure this experiment will be a great success or an epic fail, but that’s the point. I’m trying something different and that’s what counts. Of course, I’m still working on the sequel to Pucker Up, tentatively titled Lip Smacked, and my short adult story, The Collector.

So, go check out What the Fae? and tell me what you think.

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My first mistake of 2013

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who downloaded a free ecopy of The Tenth Life of Mr. Whiskers this weekend. Ninety-three downloads put Mr. Whiskers in the number one position for free Teen Short Stories. Whoo hoo!! If you missed out, don’t worry. It’s only $0.99 at Amazon.

So, as I mentioned previously, my good friend, Kody, agreed to give up soda if I wrote an adult story. And believe me, he let me know almost every day for the first week what a major sacrifice he was making to encourage me. I don’t take the threat of whoring oneself out for a Mountain Dew lightly, so I wrote my story. Okay, it was a short story, but I wrote it. Yay me! It’s a thriller with killers and body parts and stuff. A bit of a change from the young adult genre I’m used to, comfortable with. But the concept was great, the ending superb. I knew he was going to love it. So I sent it to him for his feedback. You have no idea how nervous I was while waiting to hear back from him.

You know what he said?

It was okay.40133

I still have a bruise on my forehead from where it hit my desk in utter defeat. My voice wasn’t much different from my YA writing, he figured out the ending right away, and my POV switch was too jarring. Ugh! But you know what? That’s perfectly acceptable because at least I took a chance and dared to jump out of my comfort zone and do something different. So what if I made a ton of mistakes writing my first thriller. I’ll keep writing and researching and learn how to write a thrilling story. I’m not giving up. What I’ll do with it once it’s done, I have no idea. But that’s not the point. The point is I’m doing something different. And different is good.

 

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An interview with Kody Kline

This year, I decided to give back to all the amazing writers who play a part in helping me improve my craft and get my books published by featuring them here. First up is fellow Stonehenge member, Kody Kline. He is constantly pushing me to broaden my horizons and challenging me to step outside my comfort zone in my writing. In fact, wemade a deal that he would join me in ditching the soda drinking habit (he’s a self-professed Mt. Dew fiend) and I would write a story geared toward adults. We’re both still going strong.

photo

Not only is Kody a fascinating man, but a talented writer who has already indie-published a short story, The Saraithian Rising, and a book of poetry, Poetic Trash, both available on Amazon. The beauty and passion that spills off the pages of his work has quickly made Kody one of my favorite authors and I’m honored to call him my friend.
So, I sent Kody a bunch of questions to get to know him better and here are his replies:
Q1. What story are you working on right now?A –  I generally work on several stories at one time.  My main project is a fantasy trilogy, the Etherium: Rise of Fire is the first installment.  My other works consist of short stories of the scifi realm and stories that tie into the world of the Etherium.

Q2.  If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be, what would you talk about, and what would you eat? 

Nick_Cave

Nick Cave

A –  I can’t limit the answer to just one person: Nick Cave, he’s a true musician, and has influenced my life; Gary Oldman, an amazing actor; Audrey Tautou, she’s just the most adorable person ever; Jean-Pierre Jeunet, my favorite director, who makes beautiful films, and I would love to crawl in his mind; and Andrew J. Robinson, because he played my favorite antihero of all time, Elim Garak.  We would talk about anything, conversations go where they desire, not where you desire, and we would eat food.

Q3. What is your favorite book as a child and as a man and why?

A – My favorite children’s book was There’s a Wocket in my Pocket, by Dr. Seuss.  I couldn’t say why, I just loved it.  As an adult, the Count of Monte Cristo is my favorite book of all time.  The story is impressive in that no part is superfluous.  Every piece is a part of an amazing puzzle, and the way it is written, well, it’s just easy to fall in love with.  The characters and world are vivid and tangible.  And not only is it a revenge tale, but the way Edmond obtains his revenge is stirring.  A masterpiece of literature, to which I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around how Dumas organized the story in his head.

Q4. When and how did you discover you wanted to be a writer?

A –  I’ve always had an overactive imagination, and an ability to carry my created worlds and people in my head.  The Etherium is something I’ve held for fifteen years or so.  It is hard for a pesron to look into themselves and see their weaknesses, but I went through a point in my life that was extremely difficult and faith breaking.  When I emerged on the other side, I recognized I lacked the courage to write my stories.  While reading a Philip K. Dick story, I said to myself, I can do this: and I just started– haven’t looked back.

Q5. Who are your greatest influences when it comes to how you write and/or what you write about?

A –  For fantasy, my favorite author is David and Leigh Eddings.  Their work is what I, at first, modelled my style after.  Their worlds and characters are well devised, and every time I read their stories, I still laugh, cry, and enjoy the experience.  This is what I set out to create myself.  But as I continue to evolve as a writer, I let my own voice take over, and honestly, most of my inspiration comes from the aether, dreams, and the blessed spirit.

Q6.  Why do you think Alan Rickman is one of the best actors of all time?

Alan-Rickman

Alan Rickman

A1 –  I don’t.

Did I mention he can be a smartass? Let’s try that again. A2 – haha! While I do think Rickman is a great actor, he’s not on my personal list of best ever.  Don’t get me wrong, I love his work, and will always look forward to watching one of his films.  But there are just several other actors who I find more enjoyable.  That is personal taste and what makes our world superb.

Q7.  If I challenged you to write a story that was neither science-fiction nor fantasy, what genre would you write and why?

A –  Probably a suspense, murder story.  When it comes to movies, one of my favorite genres is serial killer stories, mind trip movies, and it would be fun to see if I could make my own skin crawl, and write a character who is extremely calculating, methodical, and horrible.

Q8. Are there certain characteristics that you believe all great heros should posses, or all memorable villains?

A – Heroes should be selfless, willing to sacrifice themselves to do what is right, what is necessary.  They are humble, honest, sincere, and virtuous.  Villians, well, they are the fun ones!  No remorse, passion, and intelligence are the factors I look for in a memorable bad guy.  But I move towards Antiheroes, personally.

Q9.  I like to write stories about strong female characters who don’t need a man to rescue them. Is there a common theme or message central to all your stories?

sarcoverA –  I love strong female characters, and I think it’s a shame there are not more of them.  But, we are slowly awakening as a society.  Hopefully, this will become more prevalent.  In my fantasy world, woman are on equal footing as men, and they join the ranks of Raithian Knights.  My main character will actually fight a woman, who is both strong and sensual.  While I appreciate a strong woman, I don’t think this excludes their feminity, their grace, and their beauty, so I still pay attention to this as well.  Overall, woman are amazing…

If you’d like to learn more about Kody, visit his blog.

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