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My Book, My Writing

Where Did That Come From?

Questions about my work in progress answered.

Where did I get the inspiration for my book, “Kya”?

The idea for my book actually stemmed from a nightmare. I originally was going to write just enough to turn that particular scene into something good. But it quickly became a full-scale project.

Did you imagine all your characters or get pictures from somewhere?

Yes, I do imagine my characters, but it helps me a lot to have a close visual so I can keep them in mind while writing. So for that I turn to Pinterest and add a close picture to my storyboard. I’ never use those pictures as official promos, but if someone wanted to see where I got the inspiration from, I might be willing to share those pinned pictures.

Is the story set in a real place? Or based on a real place?

It is set in a real place in America. Why I chose that particular place, I honestly don’t know. But the book being set in a real place in the future was vital to the story.

Are any of the characters based off real people?

I can definitely say that many characters’ personalities are similar to mine. I like to think that I’m a lot like Kya, Nick, and Leo, specifically. This book is very personal to me, so I put a lot of my personality traits and insecurities into my protagonists as well as a few of my antagonists. I really think that’s what is making this story much more real and important, unlike some other stories I’ve worked on. Sparr’a is actually a name from the dream I had.

 

Now here’s a question from me: I’ve toyed with the idea of making a series of posts with profiles of my characters – which I’d put on my website rather than just here on my blog. Nothing super revealing, just physical attributes, common phrases, powers, etc. My question is: is that a good way of promoting my book before release, or will it spoil my readers’ imagination of the characters and be more hurtful than helpful? Any thoughts?

 

 

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Writing Is…

What is writing?

Writing is HARD.

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There’s the idea brainstorming and the planning. Creating characters, places, settings, sometimes languages, lore, background stories, creatures. You have to identify each character’s relationship, goals, and roles. We make lists, profiles, author bios, blog posts, social media accounts, and outlines. We have to keep ideas flowing constantly. We have to work on the project itself while also keeping potential readers’ interest alive while they wait for the main event. Every day, we get our characters into horrible, dangerous, sticky situations then have to work them back out – while keeping the characters’ reactions believable, their actions true to character, and their means of escape plausible. We handwrite, we type, we research weird junk, we jot notes down, we read, we study other authors, we give advice and take advice from each other, we annotate, all so that the next time we plant our hands on the keyboard, what comes out is better than what came out the day before. And to top it all off, we are often our own worst critic which means criticism can pop up at literally any time and any place. Writing is hard.

Writing is infuriating.

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Constant planning and re-structuring. Trying to always bring your best to the keyboard. Plotting things out just-so. Then you find a mistake, or a plot hole, or maybe someone you talked to today is being a jerk and keeps referring to your book as you “so-called” career. Details keep a writer afloat but they can also cause us to feel a rage unlike any other. You’re going along smoothly and suddenly realize you’re done something out of character and have to rewrite an entire chapter. Or you confused your antagonist with your villain AGAIN. Or people on your media account just totally dissed that sample chapter that they were BEGGING you for a few days ago. Or you just can’t properly express the scene the way you want to. This stuff happens to us ALL the time. And what do we do? We go on. Be it good, bad, or hide-under-the-bed horrible work, we go on. Because we believe in this book, even if it’s driving us insane right now.

Writing is confusing.

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I can’t get my scenes to blend. My chapter titles sound goofy or weak. How the heck do I write my own interview questions, and what do I put in my author bio? How does Twitter work? What hashtags should I use on Instagram? Why did my followers love one post and ignore another? I feel like I’ve written this character totally wrong. Should I start promoting my book now, get an editor before the book is final, or design my own cover? Amazon, Lulu, Smashwords? And what goes in an author bio? If I was good at talking about myself, why do I make people up? I’m so confused!

Writing is tiring.

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Show of hands: who here is a writer who has never experienced fatigue, exhaustion, crabbiness, or insomnia as a result of keeping up with writing goals? If you raised your hand, you’re probably a newbie writer. Or maybe you’re just more sane than most of us. I do most of my writing at night and I have a “real life” during the day that consists of family stuff, running a farm, and two part-time jobs, plus being a friend and right now being a bridesmaid. But I have a plan to self publish next year. So I write until the pen drops. Then I type what I wrote. And I make blog posts, keep up a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and I network with other writers. I’m also the editor and ads manager for my best friend’s candle business. All the stuff writers do make us tired, weak, cranky, they make us consume way too much caffeine, stay up too late, get too little sleep, and makes us want to spend weekends alone, like hermits tucked into their shells because we just can’t take another waking, writing hour.

Writing is all-consuming.

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Time. Sleep. TV. Movie night. Friends. Girls’ weekend. Parties. Healthy food. Me-time. Hygiene. Vacations. Social interaction. Writing sucks all that away. Time goes super fast. Sleep happens whenever. TV? Is Rachel with Ross yet? Movie premiere, was that today? Friends – I think I have one named Dave. Girls’ weekend – we’ll pass out by 9. Parties – BYOL (bring your own laptop, so you can write and eat cheese puffs) Cheese puffs are healthy, because cheese is dairy. ME-time? Haha! I think I showered…Tuesday. Vacations are just an opportunity to write an accurate beach scene. Facebook IS “social” media. We write, we think about writing, we dream up scenes, we lose sleep and miss meals to write, we have friends drag us away from writing. When we don’t write, we get anxious about not writing.

Writing is daunting.

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Plotting. Outlining. Writing. Edits. Beta readers. Edits. Proofreading. Restructuring. chapter titles. book titles. Edits. Author platform. Social media. Marketing. Self publishing. Sale platforms. Reviews. Book art. Layout design. Book forms. Prices. Taxes. Copyright. Author rights. Launch parties. Talking to people. Promoting. Writing. Edits. Author bio. Media kit. Interview questions. Photos. Balancing life and writing and promotions and life. Business cards. Writing. Blog posts. Critics. Doubters. Haters. Jerks. Self-motivation. the list goes on. It’s daunting and stressful as hell.

Writing is lonely.

People who don’t write simply don’t understand us: they don’t understand why we want to write, how we’ll survive, why we’re so stubborn and blind to the facts, why we don’t have a “real job”, or where we “get off” not being better at social situations. Even the people who support us don’t comprehend the long hours, the struggle to create, the desire to show ourselves in our work.

All this said, what is writing?
Writing is:
Life
Air
Our way of life
Our dreams
Our voice for the voiceless
A new view for the world
Inspiration
Education
Connections
Love
Hope
Power
Change

Everything to us.

Who To Follow

Who I Follow Pt.4

Part 4 of Who I Follow! This one is a bit shorter, but I included 3 writer pages and this time two “fun” pages.

  1. Jamie Ralston on Twitter. I just discovered Jamie a few weeks ago and she is a treat to follow! From her everyday tweets about the life of a writer to her encouraging tips, clicking the follow button on this gal has proven to be a great choice!
  2. Devon Newport on Twitter. Another fun author to follow. Day to day author tweets and the best puns on Twitter.
  3. Gotham Writers’ Workshop on Facebook. Author tips, articles, and writing advice.
  4. Cory’s Book Jewelry on Twitter. Beautiful book-ish jewelry, handcrafted and magical! If you like book-related products, you have to check out this page!
  5. Tudor House Tea And Spices on Facebook. Tudor House is located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. My best friend worked there as a temp this summer and I was able to visit her there a few times. Tudor House is an amazing shop! They sell teas, spices, tea ware, books, local artwork, and much more! My personal favorite teas are Peach Blossom and Mango Mist; if you’re a tea lover, you’re sure to find something you love. They also have a great rewards project. Check out their Facebook page, website, or drop in next time you’re in Kalamazoo!

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My Book

Character Quotes!

Hi everyone! A few days ago I posted a poll on Twitter  asking what my readers would like to see in my next blog post and the votes are in for character quotes from my work in progress fantasy novel, “Kya.” So I’ve picked out some favorite lines, chosen by me and my writing buddy. Enjoy!

  1. “Kya,” she replied, as she grasped his hand.

    “Good grip ya got, for a girl.”

    “Excuse me? For a girl?”

    “Well you know. Most girls don’t have much of a handshake, let alone come ready to fight.”

    “Most girls are snowflakes, then. And I for one can’t afford to be one of those these days.” (Kya, Ch1)

  2. “My name is Kya! And you can pack up your ‘sweethearts’, ‘girlies’, and ‘chickies’ and take them back to whatever rock you crawled out from under!” (Kya, Ch2)
  3. “Personally, I hone the fine art of reading emotions. Not thoughts, mind you. Anger, fear, amusement, arousal,” he flashed Kya a smile. “Anything another person feels, unless they’re capable of blocking me.” (Cota, Ch2)
  4. “We’ve been here for two years, Baine,” Sparr’a answered icily. “Do you really think my memory is that bad or are you too stupid to know when it’s your turn to go in unless we show up?” (Sparr’a, Ch3)
  5. Cota sighed and ran his hands over his face. “Sorry, I’m sorry. Nobody’s pushed me like that in a while. Most people just assume I’m an ass and carry on.”

    “Well no one in this conversation is denying your ass-hood.”

    “My what?”

    “It’s just that I can see a reason for it now,” Mac smiled and winked before moving to get up, but Cota grabbed the back of her shirt.

     

    “No, no. Nobody calls my life a – an ass-hood, or whatever and just walks away.” (Cota & Mac, Ch5)

  6. “You can be a strong person without being strong all the time.” (Wes, Ch 6)
  7. “How can I say no to those beautiful, murderous eyes?” (Cota, Ch 9)

So there are some so-far favorite character lines from my WIP. Hope you enjoyed them; I look forward to sharing a lot more about these characters!
Do you have any favorites? What character(s) do you think you’ll like the most?

 

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Chapter 3!!!

If You Give a Moose a Blog...

Hi everyone! As promised, today I am posting the first draft of chapter 3 of my work in progress YA Fantasy novel! Please read and share! And please leave any thoughts you have, I’d LOVE to hear what you all think! Thanks!

Note from the author:

Sparr’a is Sparrow without the “ow”

Kya is pronounced Ki-ah

Chapter 3

By morning, Kya’s wrist was stiff and the edges of the A3 were puffy. She wore the same clothes she came in with – the last comfort of her old life. Her duffle bag had been returned to her at some point during the night, but as she searched frantically through it, she felt her heart drop when she realized what was missing.

“What did they take?” Nick asked as he retrieved a clean shirt from his own bag.

“The picture of my brother is gone.”

“Surprised? After what we know about…

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