Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Year in Review - and other observations from a caffeinated introvert

This year has been a freight train careening off the tracks. Just when I think I can hold on to it the freaking thing rips off leaving me behind. But it’s been a fun year, with a lot of up’s and down’s and loop-de-loops.

December has been slower, at least. I’m settling into my new Day Job and figuring out my writing schedule. There were contests and revisions and holiday parties with friends and family. I even cooked part of the holiday meal without landing anyone in the Emergency Room (go, me!).

Still, this year has been remarkable and here’s why:

158,693 words written 0.0 (I'm still in shock - check out how I did Nov, Oct, and Sep)
109 blogs posted (June saw the highest number of posts with 15)

16 weeks where I posted 3 blogs a week

200 + new Twitter followers

5000 blog views

5 contests entered (Is there such a thing as ‘too many contests’? See my thoughts here)

30 books read

2 WIP’s completed

1 conference attended

My personal life didn't sit dormant all year so I could accomplish all those great writerly achievements. No, sir.

My husband and I ran the Goofy Challenge + a 5k (42.3 miles in three days) and then promptly got the flu

There was travel for fun mini breaks: ST. Louis, Tampa, Savannah

My sister graduated, moved in with us, got married, moved out

My brother moved in with us

I got laid off

I found work in SC for the summer (travel travel travel)

I found a new, full time Day Job

Through it all I was able to accomplish all the writing goals I set out for myself. I missed some milestones and self-imposed deadlines along the way, but the end result was success.

It’s time to celebrate our achievements and to look forward to another great year. I, for one, am going to read, watch some cheesy movies, and hang out with friends (not concurrently, of course).

How do you plan to celebrate?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

10 Things I Learned This Year

Things I learned this year:

1. NaNoWriMo is not for me. It’s just the worst possible time of the year for me. I’ve cranked out high word counts for weeks on end before…but with the holiday, travel, shopping, and work…nope. Not gonna work. And I’m okay with that. I don’t think I’ll officially participate going forward…but that doesn’t mean I wont be writing every chance I get in Nov.

2. Setting goals helps you achieve your goals. Okay, I already knew that but this year I was reminded. I committed to several goals, in writing, including 2 full rewrites, 1 first draft, and building my online platform. I accomplished all of my goals.

3. New Adult can be anything! The category has exploded to include genre fiction and I like that. I enjoy a steamy, college age romance as much as the next person. But I love that we are starting to see those story elements pop up in genre fiction too. The possibilities are endless.

4. Conferences are totally worth it. They cost a pretty penny but man o man are they awesome. See my post on RWA ATL 13.

5. I need to rest. I’m a do-er. I feel at peace when I have several demands on my time. It’s hard for my brain to compute the concept of ‘rest’, but I do, in fact, need to rest. After I finish a WIP I need to take time. When I plan to change gears from one project to another without allowing the necessary down time I disappoint myself and that’s not good.

6. I can do more than I thought I could. Yes, it’s true. I can kick myself in the arse and produce.

7. Participating in blog tours is a fun way to meet more authors. So maybe you can’t attend every signing in the world. You can always meet authors online via blog tours. I signed up to participate with a few organizations that facilitate blog tours - a YA group and a Romance group. I get emails about upcoming opportunities to participate in tours and when a book sounds interesting I jump on it. I usually ask to do an author interview because I love picking author’s brains. I highly recommend it if you have a blog. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to give back to the writing community.

8. Participating in contests is a great way to meet people. There are many great things about contests but one of the coolest is the sense of community they create. I was lucky enough to participate in a few contests this year and I met some amazing, talented, hardworking writers and bloggers. *waves*

9. Shelving a project is not the end of the world. You probably recoiled from the screen and screamed ‘blasphemy’. But, the truth is some projects aren’t right for the marketplace at this time. Shelving them doesn’t mean you are giving up. It means you are waiting for the best possible moment (I blogged about it here). It’s hard to consider shelving a project in the era of self pub. There are so many terrific publishing options for books that aren’t commercially viable at the Big 5 (or are we still saying Big 6? IDK). But before you hit ‘publish’ I urge you to consider shelving it. I was amazed at the freedom I felt after I decided to shelve one of my projects. I can always go the indie pub route later. Now, I’m letting that book baby sleep so my brain can be free to explore new projects.

10. Hard work is the only path to success in this industry. Okay, I might have already known that but this year I lived it. Drafting this year was painful. And the edit notes I received from CP’s and Beta’s forced me to completely rewrite TWO MS’s. But the hard work has been worth it. I’ve gotten terrific feedback from my CP’s and Beta’s and am hoping the hard work shine’s through when I query widely next year.

What writerly lessons did you learn this year?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Santa's Coming!!!!!!!!

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Holiday and Merry Christmas.

Hope you are able to spend this time with friends, family, and terrific stories.

Oh, and lot's of good food.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Fave Books of 2013

As we near the end of the year I feel the need to celebrate the ‘Best of’ 2013. For me, that means BOOKS!

Yummi yummi books. I don’t care if they are Adult books, Middle Grade books, Young Adult books, or even New Adult books. Add in a little SFF, a touch of paranormal and a lot of HEA or HFN and I’m one happy camper.

So no year-end celebration is complete without a ‘Best Of’ book list. Here are some of my favorites.

Note, not all of these books were released in 2013. This is a list of my 10 favorite books read this year (in no particular order):


MG Fantasy: Exile (book two in the Keeper series) by Shannon Messenger

The KEEPER series is a fun, MG Fantasy with elves who travel by light and take care of rare animals like T-rex and Sasquatch. I loved the first book and I couldn’t wait for Exile.

EXILE picks up where KEEPER left off. EXILE is fun, light, and glitters with new animals, like an Alicorn (think unicorn + Pegasus but with lots of sparkles), and new challenges for the young friends.

NA Romance: A little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers

The first few pages grabbed me tight and I couldn't put it down. The book is not trashy lit-porn. It is, instead, a hot steamy love story that pushes A LOT of boundaries.

It's the first in a series of three companion novels. The first two are out now and I loved them both but A Little Too Far was such a surprise it definitely belongs on this list. Loved it!

A Paranormal Romance: Wicked as They Come by Delilah S Dawson

by the dazzling Delilah S Dawson. She’s very active on Twitter and has recently become my hero when she blogged awesomeness about Sexism in SFF. If you haven't read it yet you should check it out.

I did’t know what to expect from WICKED AS THEY COME. The novel is two parts romance, one part steampunk, and one part paranormal. I wasn’t sure if I’d like the paranormal elements but Dawson did a fantastic job making blud sucking fun again.

The world building is fabulous – I mean, come on, bludbunnies – and the dialogue is snappy. One of the best elements of this book was the romance. The scenes were steamy without being trashy. The sex served a purpose and wasn’t just ‘sex for the sake of sex’ - which I hate in fiction (IRL...that's another story).

YA Sci-Fi: Taken by Erin Bowman

TAKEN is Erin Bowman’s debut. She’s an active blogger and you can follow her on twitter.

TAKEN is a YA dystopian novel that weaves a dark, thrilling, tale about a boy who’s life changes when his brother is taken on his eighteenth birthday. I love stories like this and I loved TAKEN.

YA Fantasy Paranormal: Transparent by Natalie Whipple

Transparent is a story about what happens when super powers happen to real people. Unlike so many stories out there, Transparent feels real. The characters remind me of my own family and I loved them, imperfections and all. It's a wild tale with adventure, crime, and greed beautifully told. I highly recommend Transparent. And it's sequel comes out in a few months *does happy dance*.

YA Fantasy Paranormal: One by Leigh Ann Kopans

I’m sure you’ve heard of ONE by Leigh Ann Kopans. Her book, and journey to publication, has made some waves throughout the twitterverse. I’ve been a long time follower of Leigh Ann and was really looking forward to ONE, her debut YA SciFi/Paranormal Romance Adventure of Awesome. Think X-Men, but cooler and more vulnerable.

The book is a fun, fast read. I loved Merrin and Elias. When I started reading ONE I couldn’t stop. I think I finished this book in less than 20 hrs. So when I say it’s fun, I mean it.

YA Romance: Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

If you couldn’t tell, I’m a nerd. A band-o, comic book reading, super hero loving, book loving nerd. But like most people, I think I am also cool. Cool and nerdy. So I immediately connected with the characters in this book.

I really enjoyed THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD. Four out of five Kitties of SUMMER. It’s a fun, light-hearted fling that won’t leave you disappointed.

YA Fantasy: Of Triton by Anna Banks

The ‘Serena’ trilogy by Anna Banks. Currently published through book two (Of Poseidon and Of Triton). A tale of mermaids, shark attacks, love and loss. It’s been great so far. I can’t wait for the third installment.

YA Paranormal: Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

The ‘Sweet’ Trilogy by Wendy Higgins. Currently published through book two (Sweet Peril and Sweet Evil). The love interest in this series will get you hot – it’s his job. This is a tale of demons and their struggle to do right (and wrong) to their human counterparts. Love love love this!

On Craft: Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

This books is not just for screenwriters. This masterful guide breaks down stories and storytelling in ways that opened in my eyes. I had more 'ah-ha' moments while reading this book than I have in a long time. It's absolutely a 'must-read' for any serious writer.

Did you read any of these books this year? What did you think?

What were some of your favorite books of 2013?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Is Contest Fatigue a Thing?

Is there such a think as too many contests?

If you are a querying writer, a literary agent, or an editor, the answer is probably yes.

There has been a lot of buzz among the online writing community about contest fatigue. Some agents think there are too many. Some writers think there are too many. And recently, bloggers hosting contests have complained that the events are pulling in less viewers than years past. Is this a sign of growing apathy towards contests? I don't know the answer to that.

But I do know contests play a vital role in the writing/publishing world.

As a growing writer seeking representation (like me) I think it’s important to try your luck at contests. It’s a brave way to get your name out there and it’s a spectacular way to get expert advice. But – remember, agents are reading these entries as they would your query letter. You do not want the agenting world to get bored with your pitch before you query them.

Here are four tips for avoiding Contest Fatigue:

1. Choose wisely – first and foremost, pick the contests that make the most sense for you. If you wrote an Adult Thriller then you probably shouldn’t submit it to a YA contest. Be sure the participating agents actually rep what you write. That way you avoid wasting your time, and the time of the lovely people hosting/participating in the contest.

2. Be ready – make sure your work is scrubbed. Don’t even think about submitting something hot off the NaNoWriMo presses. Edit that biotch. And then edit it again. In other words, don't use contests as a CP. I recently submitted an older version of my work to a contest that included some pretty lame errors. A lot of the critique I received on my work was around those embarrassing errors. What type of response would I have gotten had I submitted my scrubbed work?

3. Have a full query packet prepared – or ‘Be Ready’ part 2. Some contests will require you to have a query and the first chapter. Other will require a log line and 250 words. Some contests will require you to paint your body red and jump on one leg (but those aren’t the contests we’re talking about today). Regardless of what the rules call for you should have a complete query package at the ready. This means you should have a polished MS, query letter, and synopsis. Even if the contests doesn’t call for a synopsis you should have one ready to go. You never know if one of the participating agents will request one (this has happened to me and it caught me completely off guard. I vowed to never let it happen again).

4. Space out the contests you enter – or ‘Choose wisely’ part 2. There are a lot of YA contests going on in 4th quarter. A lot of the same agents participate in each contest. And participating in these contests is a big deal. They attract a lot of lurkers (don’t believe me? Check out the success stories section of MSFV. There are several about lurking agents). Sounds great, right? It can be. But it can also work against you if the agents lurking have read your entry over and over again. Spread out your entries so they are over multiple quarters or months. Don’t jump on every single contests offered in the month of March. If you do, chances are people will tire of your pitch. If you know you want to do PitchWars next year maybe avoid some of the other contests going on just before it.

Are you getting tired for contests? How do you avoid contest fatigue?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


I'm excited to host Sara Wolf's LOVELY VICIOUS on my blog today. Look at this cover? Isn't it amazing/creepy/dark/lovely?

LOVELY VICIOUS is the first in a series by Sara Wolf. Here's the blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, nine weeks, and five days, and after what happened last time, she intends to keep it that way. Since then she’s lost eighty-five pounds, gotten four streaks of purple in her hair, and moved to the Buttcrack-of-Nowhere Ohio to help her mom escape a bad relationship.

All the girls in her new school want one thing – Jack Hunter, the Ice Prince of East Summit High. Hot as an Armani ad, smart enough to get into Yale, and colder than the Arctic, Jack Hunter’s never gone out with anyone. Sure, people have seen him downtown with beautiful women, but he’s never given high school girls the time of day. Until Isis punches him in the face.

Jack’s met his match. Suddenly everything is a game.

The goal: Make the other beg for mercy.

The game board: East Summit High.

The reward: Something neither of them expected.

**This book contains language, some of which may be unsuitable for younger readers.

Sounds great right? Add it to your Goodreads shelf here.

Buy here: Amazon: B&N: Kobo: Smashwords:

Sara and the lovely people at Romance Addict Blog Tours are offering a fabulous giveaway. 5 eBook versions of LOVELY VICIOUS are up for grabs. Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 16, 2013

I Can Haz Productivity: #NanoWriMo recap 2013

As some of you might have noticed, my 'month in review' post for November is late. I usually post my monthly word count recaps the first week of the following month.

My November post is late because I didn't win Nano and I'm struggling with what that means. I didn't come close. I actually wrote fewer words during Nano this year than the year before. Oh well. I can't bring myself to be disappointed but I can bring myself to a conclusion: NaNoWriMo is not for me. It's just not. That doesn't make me any less of a writer. In fact, I feel very accomplished in spite of missing the 50k word target.

November was a wild month, as it is for most people, with travel, and holidays, and family, and work. It's difficult to fit writing into your daily life in a non-holiday month. And although thousands of writers finish Nano each year, it's not a good fit for me.

I still had a very productive month: I spent time in Florida and Missouri. I ran a 5k with my family and competed in the Baker's Dozen auction (which posted in November but the auction took place in December). I was so honored and thrilled to be a part of this huge event. (Don't know about the Baker's Dozen? Check out details here. Visit my piece here.)

I've said it before, but I'll say it again, contests are wonderful, humbling experiences. I learned a lot. Met a lot of great people via Twitter and had a great time.

November was also the end of my parole from Corporate America. I started a new job and that means getting up earlier, spending hours on the computer doing stuff OTHER THAN writing, and dressing pretty (I haven't forgotten you, yoga pants. We'll always have the weekends. *looks longingly at yoga pants*.) It's a fun job and the people are fantastic.

All in all, I didn't have much time for writing. No, scratch that, because it's all about priorities. I prioritized other areas of my life above writing. That's not to say I didn't write. I did. But other areas of my life had to take center stage last month. No shame in that.

Happy Employee Shot - taken before heading to my first day at the new job

Sunrise from my new cube

So what did my month yield? The productivity is as follows:

12 blog posts
2 novels read
1 contests entered
And words, lots of words *does happy dance*

For a grand total of 13,340 words. That’s my Not the best month ever - and no, I did not hit my 800 word a day goal, but any month with words is a great month. Check out how I did in Oct, and Sep, and Aug

This brings my total ‘tracked’ word count for the year to 149,587! *blinks* *blinks some more* I just can’t believe it. I feel so legit because that’s a lota words.

How are your writing goals coming along?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Are You Afraid to Shelve Your Book Baby?

Alright, all those writers who have finished their first novel. Yay!

But, today we need to talk about a terrifying idea: shelving your baby.

That’s right. We need to talk about it because NaNoWriMo is over but fifty thousand words does not a novel make.
You may have heard a million stories on the interweb about writers who were discovered after writing their first MS and your thinking, *maybe* *just maybe* it's your destiny to be discovered that way, as well. Before you get lost in months and months of cuddling with your first-born novel baby let’s examine three common myths about shelving your WIP:

Myth 1: This is the book of your heart and therefore MUST be published:

I’m going to rip this Band-Aid off. No mercy: Nothing MUST be published. Nothing. And just because this book is close to your heart doesn’t mean you are entitled to anything. That’s right, I said entitled because chances are you believe that you are almost there. You’ve finished the damn book (which may, or may not, have nearly killed you) and now you are part of a small percentage of people who can say “I’ve written a book.” But there is still a business to publishing and finishing the book is only the first step in publishing.

Why you should stick that crying, goo-covered book-baby on the shelf:

Finishing the book was the first step. Next you’ll need to revise the heck out of that book. In order to revise you will need fresh eyes. When I say fresh I mean can’t-finish-this-sentence-without-reading-it fresh. You need to be so far removed from your MS that the smallest mistakes are glaring. Things spell check can’t catch should jump out at you. In order to get this perspective you need space. I know, I know, you’re thinking ‘but I’m a new book-mom. I can’t leave my baby alone for weeks. What will people say about my book parenting skills?’

Actually, no one will say that but that doesn’t stop you from thinking it because you’re scared. Here’s the thing, everyone steps back from their work. It’s the best way to get fresh eyes. I take 4-8 weeks off between books. That’s not to say you have to stop writing at all. No, keep writing. Write everyday. Just don’t write/revise/edit anything to do with your completed MS for a few weeks. Stick on the shelf and change gears.

Myth 2: This is the only book idea you have and anything else you write will be forced:

I hear you. I really do. Five years ago I finished my first MS and I panicked. I thought ‘This is it. This is the only idea I’ve ever had. Nothing else will come to me.’ So I spent years (yeah, I said years) revising that baby thinking ‘If I could get this right I know I could get published.’ And maybe, someday, it will be published. But I spent all my creative energy on that book-baby out of fear (not love). Think about that. I was afraid nothing else would come to me. I was afraid this was my one shot.

*hugs* *pats back* I know it can be scary but you are a creative, hardworking, artist. You are a writer, the real thing. Repeat after me: You are not a one-book-wonder.

Why you should punch fear in the face and shelve that book:

When I finally took the leap, and shoved that bratty book-baby into time out, I was free to imagine wonderful new worlds. I was flooded with ‘what-if’s’ that turned into great outlines. I’ve written more. Dreamed more. Learned more. All because I allowed myself to move on. It’s scary. I get that. But believe in yourself. Believe that this is not the end for you and see what dreams may come.

Myth 3: A few famous authors were discovered with their first MS. I am going to be one of the few who get discovered that way, too:

*crosses arms* *taps foot* Look. I know you want to be the exception to the ‘no one ever gets discovered on their first novel’ rule (remember above when I said I held onto my first MS for YEARS!?!). But here’s the hard truth (no mercy!): You are not the exception – probably. It’s a very rare few who are discovered with their first MS. It does happen, but it’s so freaking rare. Chances are good that your first attempt will not be good enough to snag an agent or editor’s interest. Sucks, I know. You love your book-baby and you want it to succeed.

Why you should knee your ego in the balls and shelve that book:

Confidence is great. It’s what sent you down the novel writing path to begin with (because, let’s face it, this takes some serious balls). But when your ego is getting in the way of your evolution as an artist then there’s a problem. When your ego tells you ‘you are the best writer in the world’ kick it in the nuts and say ‘settle down, ego. I’ve got some work to do.’

I’m not saying you should ball up your newborn book-baby and throw it away. I’m saying shelve it. Step away. Write something new. Write something outside your genre. Force yourself to learn and grow as a writer.

Fear is the enemy. It creeps into your life in small, insidious ways. As writers we must be ever vigilant in our battle against fear.

Where you afraid to shelve your MS? How did you overcome that fear?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

On Rejection

Since this time of the year seems to be ripe with contests, auctions, and querying I thought I’d take a moment to discuss rejection. If you’ve followed this blog you might recall a few of my previous posts on rejections: Dealing with Disappointment, and Taking Criticism.

But I think it’s worth discussing again because rejection is an ever present part of this business. Whether you’ve failed to make it to the next round of a contest or you’ve received a form rejection from an agent – rejection stings. But it’s not the end of the world. Here are a few reasons you should go on in the face of rejection:

1. You are not alone. Everyone (and I do mean EVERYONE) has been rejected. Even JK Rowling. So consider yourself in good company. Several people tweeting under the #Pitchwars hashtag noted how they didn't make it into the contest last year but went on to get an agent five months later.

2. You can learn from it. Find the opportunity in every challenge. Ask questions – when appropriate or offered. Recently, Authoress hosted the Baker’s Dozen contest. Only 60 total entries were allowed to proceed to the final auction round. For those who didn’t make it to the auction round she offered a three page crit at a small cost. It was a golden opportunity to learn the reason why your entry didn’t make the cut. Um, that’s invaluable information. Yes please!

3. You can improve your MS. Baker’s Dozen and Pitch Wars are two contest juggernauts. As each contest deadline was nearing the hosts posted details and/or helpful hints that writers could use to polish their MS before submitting. But even if you polished your MS until is shined bright like a diamond you may still get a rejection. Learn common rejection reasons and improve your MS.

And last, but not least, you should always go on in the face of rejection because this business is highly subjective. Personal tastes and opinions vary from agent to agent, editor to editor. Just because your work didn’t resonate with one individual doesn’t mean it’s complete garbage. Keep learning and growing and keep seeking. Never give up!

Have you overcome rejection? How did you keep on keeping on?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Being Professional Means Being Thankful

I know we just wrapped up November with a delicious bow made of stuffing and sweet potatoes but that doesn't mean we should stop being thankful. And with all the contests going on this time of year (Nightmare on Query Street, Baker's Dozen, Pitch Wars, etc) I think this needs to be said:

We writers should be gracious, thankful, and kind to the generous authors/bloggers/agents/editors who offer up their time to run/administer/participate in contests.

Contests are fun and fast and have become a staple of the pre-agented writer community. But every so often someone will post a pissed/angry/bitter rant about a contest.

Don’t. Just don’t be that person.

It’s no fun getting rejected but it does you more harm than good to bitch about it on the web.

Go lick your wounds in a dark corner of your home or neighborhood with a fluffy kitty and an ice cream cone. I'll bring the wine.

Just don’t do it online.

This is a business and professionalism is important. That's not to say you can't be yourself and let your personality fly. Just think before you post. Use common sense.

You wouldn’t go online and post negative reviews about a company that didn’t hire you (or maybe you would. The point is, you probably shouldn’t).

And Please, PLEASE be kind to all those wonderful people who sacrifice their time and energy to host, organize, and participate in contests.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Contests are Fun (see I can do it too): #PimpMyBio

If you’ve been one twitter in the last several days you’re feed has probably been swamped with #PitchWars posts. They are a everywhere.

If you’re not familiar with #PitchWars it’s a terrific contest hosted by the amazing Brenda Drake. Contestants apply to be mentored by established authors/editors.

If chosen, the mentor will read a completed MS and offer feedback over five weeks. After the feedback round the work will be eligible for bidding by agents. It’s a really cool contest. Check out more here. Or follow the hashtag on twitter.

The mentors created fun posts detailing why mentees would want to select them (check out the mentor's blogs via Brenda Drake). Some crazy mentee decided they would do the same and started the #PimpMyBio trend. I thought I’d jump in.

Here are five things you didn’t know about me:

1. I love Adventure Time.

I love EVERYTHING about it. Lumpy Space Princess is one of my favorite characters. If you choose me as a mentee I know we will be mathematical together.

2. I come from a big-ish family.

I am the second of 4 kids. There was a good deal of teasing when I was a kid so there is practically nothing you can do or say to offend me. Tough love? No problem. I have a thick skin.

3. I’m a huge nerd.

Band nerd? Yes. Comic books? Star Trek and TNG? Totally yes. Star Wars? You betcha (except for the prequels). Superhero movies. Yes. Anime? Yep. Cosplay? I’m getting there…*puts on Sailor Moon costume and runs around house*.

4. I can’t cook. My cats use my stove as a bed, see.

I once gave myself food poisoning. Which was a good, ultimately, because now I direct all my creativity to writing.

5. I can have entire conversations using nothing but movie quotes.

Which makes me an awesome friend and just generally fun to have around. It’s a ridiculous skill that I’ve honed over several years of marriage to my husband (who also loves quoting movies).

Want to learn more about other contestants? Check out these other brave writers via the Mentee Blog Hop.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Just wanted to wish you well before I fall into my inevitable carb coma.

Have a terrific Turkey Day!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Author Interview: Priya Kanaparti aka The Goddess of Multitasking

One of my favorite people, Priya Kanaparti, has been kind enough to visit the blog.

You may remember Priya’s work from this debut interview. She is an indie author whose book, Dracian Legacy, is scheduled to re- release in Feb 2014. Priya is very active on Twitter and Goodreads where she's been known to drop teasers of her current WIP's (note: yes, I said WIP's as in multiple. She's the goddess of multitasking).

She’s been very busy lately and has a lot of news to share.

1. Okay lady, it’s been a while since you were last on the blog (when your debut, DL, was first released). Since then, your book has been picked up by a publisher. What has that been like?

PK: Oh my goodness, it’s been beautifully crazy! Lol. The publisher I finally decided to work with is super amazing. They are called Reuts Publications and I completely fell in love with their people and their process! I’m super excited to have the final version of Dracian Legacy out to the world once again in Feb 2014!

2. Reuts sounds fabulous and I love their website. Congrats on working with them! Let's see, the publisher has you working on edits for DL before it re-releases. That’s one WIP. A little birdie told me you are working on a few other ideas as well? Is that true? If so, share here :)

PK: I’m always working on Multiple projects! Always. But then again, that might be why I’m not able to produce finished stories as quickly. Lol. Let’s see so right now, I’ve finished the edits for DL, completed Dracian Origins (Book #2 of Dracian Series) and sent it off to my Editor, along with Forever Kinda Love (which is a Mature YA Contemporary Romance.) Phew!

Now that all of those are off my plate, I’m super excited to start my next project. Butterfly Pieces. This is a New Adult Contemporary Romance which I’m planning on releasing sometime in 2015. I’m taking this up as my Nanowrimo challenge. So I won’t be working on other projects, until December starts.

3. Wow, Priya (or should I call you Super Woman?!?!).
With all these ideas in your head and all the demands on your time how do you manage your writing? Do you have structured writing times? How do you decide which project to work on?

PK: Lol. Thanks…? My writing times have always been kind of structured. What I mean is, I try to get two hrs of writing every night, M-Th. This usually starts after my 3 year old is in bed and snoring away. But my ‘set time’ is on Saturdays and Sundays when I sit down from 9:30 p.m. until 3 a.m. the following morning. Usually I make up a lot of my writing during these 5 hr blocks.

As for deciding on projects, I usually go with which ever story is calling to me first and how refined a story is in my head. I don’t use calendars or dry-erase boards. They are all just up in my head. lol

4. I know you are a Pantser at heart. But do you use any special word processing software to help you with your projects? I hear Scrivener is a writers’ best friend.

PK: Lol. I’m a total punster, BUT I’m getting better, in the sense, I’ve been writing my first draft more or less in outline format, where I sit down and write out scenes with dialogues. I don’t worry about showing vs. telling or worry about removing a scene. Usually my first draft outlines these days have been around 800 words per chapter. And I don’t use any software. It’s Microsoft word all the way :)

5. If you could go for a night of drinking with any fictional characters, who would they be and why?

PK: DEAN from My Dracian Series. I want to know WHY he motivated me to write a story. Because if it wasn’t for Dean, I don’t think I’d be writing J. That’s the truth.

I don't blame you. I love love LOVE Dean. He's such a cutie.

PK: Thank you sooooo much for having me on your blog Colleen!

Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s always good to catch up. And congratulations on all your upcoming work.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review: EXILE (a Keeper novel) by Shannon Messenger

EXILE, by Shannon Messenger, is the second book in her Keeper series. Shannon is writing up a storm working on both an MG series (KEEPER) and a YA series (LET THE SKY FALL) at the same time. Pretty impressive. Shannon is active on Twitter and has a popular blog.

The KEEPER series is a fun, MG Fantasy with elves who travel by light and take care of rare animals like T-rex and Sasquatch. I loved the first book and I couldn’t wait for the second.

EXILE picks up where KEEPER left off. EXILE is fun, light, and glitters with new animals, like an Alicorn (think unicorn + Pegasus but with lots of sparkles), and new challenges for the young friends.

Here is the blurb:

Sophie is settling in nicely to her new home and her new life in the world of the lost cities. And it helps that living at Havenfield means getting to spend time with rare, precious species--including the first female Alicorn, who shows herself to Sophie and trusts no one but her.

Sophie is tasked with helping to train the magical creature so that the Alicorn can be revealed to the people of the lost cities as a sign of hope, and Sophie wants to believe that the recent drama and anguish is gone for good.

But the secrets buried deep in Sophie's memories remain, and before long she's back in incredible danger, risking everything to find the answers to questions that could save not only her life, but the life of someone close to her...

I give EXILE five out of five kitties. I adore the fantastic world Shannon has built here and look forward to the next installment in the story.

Have you read KEEPER or EXILE? What did you think?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Write it Forward: #NaNo shove

Time for an inspiration break. If you're like me you need a bit of a shove to get NaNo back on track.

First, remember that anytime can be a good time to write. Write by hand if you have to. Write on your phone and email it to yourself. Lug your laptop with you everywhere.

Next, don't let your goals stress you out. *takes deep breaths*

And last, but not least, BICHOK: butt-in-chair-hands-on-keyboard.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Another Day, Another Day Job – the end of my parole from Corporate America

I realized that this week marks my last week of freedom from the Day Job. You may remember when I blogged about getting laid off, or paroled as I called it.

At the time, getting laid off felt like failure – much the way a rejection from an agent can feel like failure. In reality, getting laid off was anything but failure.

I’ve had a good deal of time to myself over the last few months and I realized something:

I’m absolutely grateful for it. The time off has been a gift. I a gift I spent on me.

I rested.

I finally caught up on some long overdue sleep. It cannot go without saying how much our bodies need sleep. I’m so thankful I had time to rest.

I read.

Oh boy, I read a ton of books. Well, 15 to be exact. It felt good to get lost in books without having to worry about being late for something. I’m grateful I had the time to read.

I wrote.

A lot. I wrote more than 111,000 words since I was laid off. I finished two MS’s and started work on a third. I’m grateful I had time to dedicate to my craft.

I spent time with friends and family.

My sister got married and I was free to spend as much time with her as possible. But that wasn’t all. There were meetings and parties and lunches. I am grateful I had so much time to spend with friends and family.

I interviewed.

I spent a lot of time interviewing for prospective jobs. I had a few great offers but in the end I selected the Day Job that will best fit for my life. I’m eternally grateful to my colleagues and network who helped connect me with the decision makers.

None of those things felt like failure to me.

Next week I will begin life at a new Day Job and all the madness that goes along with it.

I can say, with a thankful heart, that I come to this next challenge fresh and ready to learn.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...