Young Adult Dark Urban Fantasy Author ~

Posts tagged “novel writing

On Writing

A series of random thoughts.

Writing is akin to hearing a thousand voices screaming at you all at once and you trying to decipher which ones you should listen to, and which ones you should ignore. Life’s a bit like that too.

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Best Of: Author Excerpt Series

There are so many incredible writers, so much talent, and too many books to ever try to read them all. I thought, in light of that fact, it would be nice to share some of the best of the best. Quick little hints of what lies inside the pages of some of the books from my favorite authors.

Neil Gaiman:

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones


The ARCS Are Out.

So … I’m official, I guess.

Anyone who’s been reading my blog with any regularity over the last three years knows I’ve been working on my novel, TIED for quite a while. They know I went on submission about a year ago with a mixture of fear and anxiety. Somehow I made it through with a publishing contract.

Fast forward another year later, and I’m holding the print copy of TIED in my hands.

The official ARCS went out to bloggers and reviewers on Monday. The email from my publisher came over that morning, and I kind of ignored it. *continues writing TORN ignoring that TIED just released to over 200 people who are going to pick it a part.*

Wednesday night, UPS delivered the print copy (the ARC), and I just kind of stared at it while everyone else jumped around, giving me high fives, and ooh’s and aah’s.

When an author receives an ARC (ebook or print or both) the last and final round of edits are made. Small stuff really. Punctuation errors, acknowledgement page, etc … nothing too big or time consuming—or so they tell me. 😉

I haven’t started the edits yet. I’m still staring at the book.

IMG_3332

I guess I’m really doing this. Where’d the last three years go?


We Who Make Stories …

“We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort. And that is why we write.”

~Neil Gaiman — The Graveyard Book

** I am a such a Neil Gaiman fan if you guys haven’t noticed.

Neil Gaiman, signing

Neil Gaiman, signing (Photo credit: Jutta @ flickr)


Fantasy Is Hardly An Escape …

“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.”

~ Lloyd Alexander

Omega Point Dark Fantasy Mysterious World

Omega Point Dark Fantasy Mysterious World (Photo credit: Liqueur Felix)


THE 8 Rules for Writing

I know most writers have seen, read or heard of Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules for Writing. Obviously you guys have figured out that I am huge fan of his work—I am also a huge fan of his advice.

Here it is:

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman (Photo credit: davextreme)

  1. Write

  2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.

  3. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.

  4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.

  5. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.

  6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.

  7. Laugh at your own jokes.

  8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.


Imagination, Not Invention …

Only in men’s imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life.

~ Joseph Conrad

English: Joseph Conrad Print Collection portra...

English: Joseph Conrad Print Collection portrait file. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


St. Valentine’s Day

“No, I don’t think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That’s what’s wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.”

Gone with the Wind

One of THE best lines ever written in my opinion. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. 😉


Wait … Should I Write That?

There is a moment now and then when writers may catch themselves and think … wait, should I write that? 

My fellow writer, and friend, Elena Ransley wrote a post titled, Just because I write it, doesn’t mean I did it.

I think her words are both honest and true. There is a fine line writers walk between fiction and fact. Fantasy and reality. So much of who we are is embedded in our stories. Our words, our voices, our hearts … our sometimes crazed imaginations. Elena writes,  “Just because you write about an axe murderer, doesn’t mean you are slightly unhinged and could lose it and carry out your protagonists actions in the middle of the night – just because you think it, doesn’t mean you would do it.”

People judge you as a person when you put your stories out there. And we can judge ourselves as words fly from our fingertips in a flurry of ideas. Whether you write horror or paranormal romance, people will either love your work and sing your praises, or wonder if you are indeed unhinged.

Does it matter? As a writer who has chosen to share their work with the world–it probably shouldn’t. It’s the risk you take when you decide to go public. It’s the reason every writer hears those few words of caution, “Grow a thick skin. You’re going to need it.”

Not everyone will praise or even like your work. Some people may hate your genre, your ideas–your imagination. And they will judge you. But we can’t please everyone and we can only write what moves us and hope our words resonate with readers.

So I leave you with this to ponder:

“Writers are not just people who sit down and write.  They hazard themselves.  Every time you compose a book your composition of yourself is at stake.”  ~E.L. Doctorow

So the question is, Are you willing to put yourself out there? It’s the risk all writers have to take. The difference between owning what you love and hiding it. The difference between being public or private. Published or tucked away in a drawer.

SO WRITE ON WRITERS. Take your best shot. 😉

*** Re-posted from April 2012 ***

 

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop!

Light the fireworks: www.shotsforpassion.com -...

Light the fireworks: http://www.shotsforpassion.com – New domain name for my blog! (Photo credit: Shots For Passion)

Here’s how the THE NEXT BIG THING blog hop works. I get tagged to answer a bunch of question about my current book, (while simulataneously getting more word out), thanks to J.A. Belfield for the tip, and then I tag YOU, and you get to share in the love on your own blog to get the word out about YOUR WIP.

I’m supposed to tag eleven bloggers, but I’m cheating a little and tagging all of you who have WIP’s to play. Why? Because there are a lot of you. Yay me. 

I questioned being involved in the hop considering my current WIP is kind of under wraps, while my current finished book is on its way to publication–but, I thought this would be fun.

SO …. I’m going to pretend that my current finished novel is actually a WIP–even though it’s not. K? K! 😉

Here goes:

What is the working title of your book?

The title of my book is TIED, and it’s the first book in The Fire Born Novels series.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

This is one of those questions that’s hard to answer. Ideas sort of pop into my head and I run with them. Some work, some don’t–The Fire Born worked.

What is the genre of your book?

I write young adult dark/urban fantasy, paranormal romance, with bit of mythology mixed in.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

No clue. If I had to choose, it would probably be from people who aren’t even actors. 😉 I think it’s really hard to peg the right face/personality to a character you’ve dreamed up in your head.

What in one sentence is the synopsis of your book?

Yikes! Honestly, I don’t even think I’m allowed to tell you guys that yet—-under contract and all that. BUT–soon, so very soon.;) So, I’ll leave you with the hook that’s flying around on all my social media pages:

How far would you go … to protect the one you love?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency/publisher?

All of The Fire Born Novels will be published by J. Taylor Publishing.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Hm … first draft took three months. All subsequent drafts took — forever. Seriously. A longgg time.

What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

I wouldn’t. Funny–I was just thinking about this. My play off fantasy and paranormal feels a bit different than what I read–and I read a lot. I guess the readers will have to decide ultimately. But, my intention is always to speak from my own voice and let it roll. Whatever comes, comes. I’m not aiming to compare my books to anyone else’s.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Another loaded question that’s difficult to answer. I’m not sure that any one particular thing inspired me, necessarily. A ton of factors led me to continue to write this book and see it through to the end. Not all my novels have made it to completion. TIED spoke to me in a way nothing else has. So I guess you could say, the story itself inspired me.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The blurb will be out very soon, and I can’t spoil that, so I’ll just say that if the hook I mentioned before intrigues you–just wait 😉

*** That’s it for me. Anyone want to jump in and let us know what all your blood, sweat and tears are pouring into? Leave me a link so I can check your book out!! 😉 ***