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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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2017

 

Dear Everyone,

Happy New Year!

Some things:

  1. Hopefully things will get back to normal around here.
  2. I just ate many of these things because Sister’s BIL works for Nabisco and she brought us a garbage sack full so I feel like I should do my duty and contribute to the family more this new year.
  3. I have a new book to work on, a book with Carol to revise, a memoir project I’ve been posting, and really bad hair.
  4. My goals for this year is to have no zero days (google it–beware of language). My dear friend Shar told me about this and maybe we’ve discussed it on here before. It was a post that someone put on Reddit that went viral. The basic concept is that you never go a day without doing SOMETHING towards your goal. You want to get in shape? Do at least one jumping jack or one sit up or one really painful lunge if the day gets away from you. You want to write a book? Write a sentence if that’s all you can do. Want to be a yoga master? Wear yoga pants all day. You get the idea–Make sure no day goes by with you doing ZERO towards reaching your goals. This is something I can get behind.
  5. Last night I read this article and cried and cried. I think writing has so much power to connect us whether it’s through middle grade novels, picture books, memoirs, articles, notes to each other, or essays like this one. I’ve never lost a child but people close to me have. My own mother lost a child and sometimes it was hard to understand her grief. Now my sister has lost one and others I know and this small piece of writing has opened up my heart just a little bit more.

That’s all for today. Much love in the slush and gray of January.

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HAP-pee New Year!

Yes, I’m late!

As always.

We had an illness in the family that left one of us in the hospital for 6 days and another one of us caring for the sick daughter’s baby for 6 days.

But this is still a New Year! A Yippee, Let’s Go! year. A We Can Do Anything

Each year I write out a million goals. Last year, though, I held back. I made only 70. (I’ve mentioned I’m not one of those gals who feels badly when she fails to reach a destination. I love the way I feel when I set a goal and imagine accomplishing it.) How’s I do? Not so well. It was a tough 366 days.

This year, well, I’m still writing out the things I want to do–but I can safely say I have more hopes and dreams than a human should have. There are house goals, garden goals, personal goals, etc etc.

I found these from 2009:

  1. Read 200 books
  2. Write three novels
  3. Rewrite lost in Peace for St. Martin’s Press
  4. Blog????

And then here were Rick Walton’s goals. Hahahaha! I love him. And miss him.

  1. Read 200 picture books
  2. Pick up three novels
  3. Rewrite *A Million Little Pieces* for St. Martin’s Press
  4. Comment anonymously on Carol’s blog????

It’s been a hard year. A lot of people I love have died. People I’ve loved have lost loved ones.

Here are 3 of my millions of aspirations–just in the writing category!

  1. Finish rewrite with Ann Dee, rewrite for an editor, and draft of mystery before January’s end, and send in for review to Steve.
  2. Write a true NaNoWriMo–meaning, accomplish the 50,000 words. Now, if I am rewriting a novel then, I will set the goal as I did this last year and just do the best I can. (I sent in the partial murder mystery and I’m hoping my editor likes it. I’ll let you know if she bites!)
  3. Write a picture book with my daughter Laura.

 

We know we have at least 3 readers out there. If you’d like, put your goals here. Share as many as you’d like. Unless you’re crazy like I am. Then that means there’s not enough room.

Ann Dee and Kyra? Submit your goals, too. I’ll save them this time.

😉

 

 

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Merry Christmas!

Yes–I’m saying that early–and speaking for all of us here at TUW.

We’re taking a break and spending the rest of the month just relaxing, preparing to open presents and who knows what else? Getting massages and living the high life, probably.

We suggest you take this month to love one another, have fun, and of course, get massages, too.

Really, I’m already preparing my goals for next year. What shall the New Year bring? Or better yet, what will I bring to the New Year? And how will I end this year? So many plans. Best wishes and may you end this year with love.

Happiest Holidays, Friends.

 

Carol, Ann Dee, Kyra, LoriAnne, Cheryl and Lisa

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Kra Leigh, Queen Bee

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Late Monday

From our WIFYR Newsletter

Everyone is invited to attend a NaNo reward party on Saturday, Dec 3 at 4pm. The address is 11192 South Automall Dr. Sandy, Utah. There will be treats. Come whether you win or not. (And, BTW, you still have time to get some words!)

The WIFYR Website will be up and running in December. Drop by and see the awesome faculty we have for 2017.

Our WIFYR Launch Party will be Friday, Jan 20, 2017 from 7-8:30pm at the Provo Library. More information on how to get your free tickets coming soon.

Agent Erin Harris at Folio will be giving a writing workshop on Feb 22-25. More details to come!

Agents and Editors for WIFYR 2017

Ben Grange Agent

Ben has been the assistant at JABberwocky since September 2015. In April 2015, he graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English literature, and emphases in Shakespeare and creative writing. Four months later, he picked up and moved from Utah to New York, where he interned at at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management for three weeks before starting at JABberwocky. Before working at JABberwocky, Ben did internships at Dystel & Goderich, the Bent Agency, A+B Works Literary Agency, and Shadow Mountain  Publishing, where he gained a range of experience in the publishing industry.

Amy Jameson Agent

Amy Jameson began her career in publishing working with renowned literary agent Lynn Nesbit. During her seven years at Janklow & Nesbit Associates, Amy had the privilege of working with acclaimed authors such as Michael Crichton, President Jimmy Carter, Tom Wolfe, Gore Vidal, Joan Didion, Jeffrey Eugenides, and many others. She also sold audio and first serial rights for several years at J&N while building her own select client list. In 2004, she left Janklow and partnered with her husband Brandon to form A+B Works. Amy has always had a passion for young adult and middle grade fiction.

Emily Feinberg Editor

Children’s book editor at Roaring Brook Press, a Broadway music lover, and a dog fanatic. She works on mostly picture book, chapter book, and middle grade titles, though she would never turn down a chance to look at a humorous, realistic young adult novel. Feinburg is looking for quirky, voice-driven picture books and middle grade and nonfiction for young readers. Young adult fantasy is not her thing. Her recent titles are upcoming nonfiction picture books Coyote Moon and Highway Hawks by Maria Gianferrari. She also recently acquired Marina Cohen’s The Inn Between, a supremely creepy middle grade story about a haunted Nevada inn with a strong emotional hook.

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Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee

I’m sorry I haven’t been posting lately.
Things have gotten crazy in the writing world for me.
Revisions of my latest novel are never-ending. Been making goals to get it sent to my agent, and never reaching those goals.
Then there are revisions for Reaper. HOPING THAT BOOK IS FINALLY DONE.
And of course, been working on my Nano novel. But lately I haven’t been successful. {I blame the election. And also my work schedule}

So yeah.

I know I keep saying this, but I do plan on getting some interviews up on the blog within the next few weeks with some Awesome Authors. I have a couple in mind that I think would make for an interesting interview or two.

How is NaNo going for everyone else?
Is anyone taking off their writing for the Holiday?

Also!

I’ve been actively using Instagram and trying to promote my book and Fellow Authors’ books. {If you’d like to follow me on IG my user name is KyraZLeigh}

I’d like to get my write nights up and running again. Would that be something people would be interested in participating in? Just get together and write our little hearts out? Me and fellow author Kate Coursey used to get together to write every few weeks, and it was very inspiring. {Partly because she’s such a fantastic writer and partly because she’s one of the smarter people I know!}

Anyway….

I guess that’s all I have to say for today.
Happy Thanksgiving!

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