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Valentines Writing

 

Today I do not want to write. I want someone to bring me a gigantic pink cookie. I want to float on a boat to the Caribbean. I want to sleep until my body doesn’t need sleep anymore.  I want to wash my hair in chocolate. And I want my book to be done.

Yesterday my dad got married for the second time. I wasn’t there for the first one. It was short and sweet and now they’re driving the country, going where ever they’d like to go on this beautiful Valentines Day. I’m so happy for them and also so floating like a balloon in the sky for them. It’s tough to grow up even when we’re already grown.

Do you want to write today? Will you write romance? Will you write passionate kisses? Will you write about second chances at love? I asked my husband if he was getting me a Valentine and he said, “I did. I fixed the washing machine.” And you know, it was love because the pump in that thing was full of many things: sludge, legos, paper clips, sludge, hair, body parts, sludge, cars, plastic dinosaurs, sludge and probably black mold that will kill him slowly. We probably saved 500 dollars and a doctor bill for a dead washing machine repair man. That is love. It’s better than pink cookies and boats in the sun and sleep and chocolately hair.

What if today was the last day of your life you’d ever get the chance to write about love, what would you write?

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Interview with Rosalyn Eves

Today’s author interview is with the awesome Rosalyn Eves! Rosalyn has a new book coming out next month called BLOOD ROSE REBELLION Even though I know she’s super busy, she was kind enough to chat with me!

 

You have an awesome new book coming out in a few weeks! 
Can you tell us about it? How you came up with the idea? When is it released? 

BLOOD ROSE REBELLION is a YA historical fantasy—think the 1848 Hungarian revolution, but with magic. I lived in Hungary for a year and a half in my twenties and fell in love with the culture, so when I started thinking about a Victorian era fantasy, it seemed like a natural setting. The book comes out March 28, 2017.
What made you decide to start writing, and why did you choose children’s books?  

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was eleven and my fifth grade teacher told me I might be good at it. I’ve always loved young adult books—I love how intense the feelings are and I love the feeling of possibility when your whole life is still in front of you. That said, the first book I finished as an adult was a middle grade manuscript that I started for Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers in 2010.
Tell us about your experience getting into publishing. How long did it take you?

A long time! I wrote my first “book” in junior high, and another (really, a trilogy) in high school—but then I stopped writing while I finished college, went to grad school, and started a family. It was after my second kid was born that I realized that my dream of someday being a writer wasn’t going to happen if I didn’t start now. That was six and a half years ago.
What writing advice do you have for someone trying to breakout in the market?

Read a lot—in your genre and outside of it. And write a lot. There aren’t really any shortcuts for those two things.
When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?

I like reading (of course!) and watching period dramas on TV. I also like hiking and I’m lucky to live in a really gorgeous area for that.

Do you listen to music when you write, if so, what’s your playlist like?

I can’t listen to music when I write—it’s too distracting for me. But I did listen to a lot of Hamilton in between revision sessions on this.

If you had to live inside one story’s universe, which would it be and why?

I’d love to visit Lois Bujold’s Barrayar, which is such a fascinating mixture of high technology and an almost Victorian feudal sensibility.
Everyone writes about people they know. Who shows up in your books over and over?

This may be cheesy, but I think a bit of my husband shows up in the love interest—especially  his steadiness and his scientific mind.

Who do you think your reader is?
What do you imagine him or her to be like?

I think my reader is a lot like me at sixteen—more adventurous in books than in real life.

What are you working on now?

The sequel to Blood Rose Rebellion, which picks up about 8 months after the first.

Where can we find out more about you and your upcoming book?

http://rosalyneves.com/

 

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Magic Monday

 

For the first time in years I’m thinking about being in a critique group again.

I used to be in one.

For years I was with Rick Walton.

I met Cheri there. And Ken Baker and Randall Wright. The list goes on and on.

 

I always have so many excuses to doing this–I’m too busy, too tired, too behind.

But.

But this time, maybe, I’ll do something for me and my writing.

 

It’s scary.

It’s time-consuming.

It’s a lot of work.

But I need it.

 

What have you done for you and your writing?

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Three Thing Thursday

LoriAnne:

Quality or Quantity?

                In every writing class I’ve taken, the question of quality or quantity comes up. Each of us has to grapple with it.  I tend to go over and over the same first couple chapters, thinking I can’t move forward in the story until the first few on chapters are perfectly polished. Do I do this because I don’t  believe I know where the story is “supposed” to go? That I can’t move on there’s a perfect beginning? Do I not trust myself?

I get in my own way and don’t make enough progress toward finishing the dang draft, and in truth, spinning my wheels on those same pages doesn’t help me become a better writer.

 I came across a writing tip that was linked to a study about a high school pottery teacher’s teaching technique. How could he help his students produce better pottery?

He required half the class to produce one perfect pot. The other half was required to produce fifty pounds of pottery by the end of semester. The pots didn’t have to be perfect, there just needed to be fifty pounds of work.

What this teacher found is that those who had to do just one perfect pot got hung up. They threw the same pot over and over. Those who had to produce the quantity, learned what worked and what didn’t. By the end of the semester, they could throw a perfect pot.

So, the more chapters you write, the better your writing will become.  I’m too close to it right now, but I know that I’ve just got to show up every day and write something new. Soon, I hope, I’ll be able to ‘throw’ a better chapter.

Carol:
Ann Dee has decided to try things that scare her. She is brave. I bet she did a great handstand.
I love this challenge when it comes to writing.
This past year I started a murder mystery. I’ve never done this kind of book before, so that has been scary.
But there’s more about this project that scares me. This is a YA. How much of this raw story should I put on the page? How do I make the murdered character likable (for a while there, she deserved to be killed because she was acting so nasty)? What happens if my editor doesn’t like this book?
What are you working on that scares you?

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Tuesday

 

Today I went to yoga.

I went early at 5:30 and my friend convinced me to try to do acro-yoga which means I tried to do a handstand on someone else’s hands.

I was terrified.

I’ve decided to do terrifying things as much as possible.

Lots of things terrify me.

Doing handstands on people’s hands. Doing handstands on the floor. Telling people I can’t do something when they ask. Letting my house be a complete mess so that I can write. Having people pop in when my house is a complete mess so I can write. Writing in a way I haven’t before whether it be a different POV, a different setting, a different rhythm, a different genre. Sledding. Eating mushrooms. Thinking about death in a real way. Admitting I’m scared/lonely/overwhelmed/angry/anxious. Talking to someone who intimidates me. Talking to someone who I don’t know. Saying yes to something hard. Trying to do the splits. And on and on and on.

What terrifies you?

What terrifying thing will you do today?

I did try to do the handstand and I fell over and over and over again. Then my friend said, why don’t you try it this other way, and try not to think about it too much.

and then I did.

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ugh

I’m currently trying to revise a story I’ve been stuck on for close to a year. I’m starting to think that I may not even have a plot to this story. Do you have any idea what it’s like to write a plotless story?? It’s like drinking a cup of coffee with no caffeine.. only worse!

When I feel alone in the writing world, I like to google funny writer memes to make me feel better.
They are a good reminder that I’m not the only one drinking caffeine free coffee.

 

writingwriter2writer3writers4writers5writers6writers7writers8s

 

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Author Interview with Shaila Patel

For the next few weeks I’ll be doing author interviews with some amazing writers! Our first guest on the blog is Shaila Patel. She has a new book coming out NEXT WEEK! She’s been kind enough to give me an interview even though I know she’s super swamped getting prepared for the release of her new book SOULMATED.  Thanks a bunch, Shaila!

You have an awesome new book coming out this week called SOULMATED.
 Can you tell us about it? How you came up with the idea? When is the release date?

Thank you! Soulmated is a teen paranormal romance that’s coming out on January 24th, 2017. It’s Book 1 in the Joining of Souls series about an Irish empath named Liam Whelan who’s forced by his parents to find his empath soul mate. His search leads him to the States where he moves in two doors down from Indian-American Laxshmi Kapadia—who isn’t an empath and whose mother is overprotective and sheltering. Not only is Laxshmi not allowed to talk to her gorgeous new neighbor, but her mom is forcing Laxshmi to either graduate early to go to medical school, or have an arranged marriage right out of high school. As different as Liam and Laxhsmi are, they both struggle with parental and cultural expectations. The conflict really picks up when Liam decides that he wants to be with Laxshmi (whom he affectionately calls Lucky) despite the fact she’s not an empath.

As for how I came up with the story, I’d been thinking of how emotionally perceptive my mom was one day and thought that if there were such a thing as an EQ test (where the E stands for emotional intelligence), my mom would score through the roof. She’s always had this uncanny ability to read my feelings, so naturally, my writer-mind imagined what it would be like if empaths (people who read emotions) really existed. That was the nugget that inspired the story. Once that thought took hold, I couldn’t let it go! 

Tell us about your experience getting into publishing. How long did it take you?

I was actually quite lucky! I began writing Book 1 of Soulmated in January 2013 and hired my own editors to tell me what needed fixing. They taught me A TON. I also began networking, taking online workshops to better my craft and learn the business, joined the Romance Writers of America, and pitched to my publisher—all by mid-2015. I accepted an offer in August 2015, and the rest as they say is history!

What writing advice do you have for someone trying to breakout in the market?

The best advice I can give is two-fold: (1) Treat it like a business—invest in yourself, be professional within the industry, and network, and (2) Never compare yourself to other writers—learn from them and be encouraged by them, yes, but don’t let their successes or failures be the standard by which your judge yourself.

Do you listen to music when you write, if so, what’s your playlist like?

I love to listen to music while I write, but I typically play one song on repeat for a particular scene or chapter. I pick what moves me—it can be classical, alternative, heavy metal, opera, techno—you name it! It helps me create the tone and mood for the characters, and later, when I reread what I’ve written, I can’t NOT hear that song playing in my head. Soulmated actually does have a playlist at the end of the book of songs the characters are listening to or are interacting with in some way. Here’s that list:
Mindy Gledhill – “Bring Me Close”
Splender – “Yeah, Whatever”
Dave Matthews Band – “Crash Into Me”
Ed Sheeran – “Photograph”
Calvin Harris – “I Feel So Close”
Kaskade – “Eyes”
Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams – “Get Lucky”

What are you working on now?

I’m actually working on Books 2 and 3 of the Joining of Souls Series, as well as an adult contemporary romance.

Where can we find out more about you and your upcoming book?

You can visit my website at www.shailapatelauthor.com and sign up for my newsletter, or simply follow the links to my Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts.

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