Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Thursday, August 24, 2017
My name is K.T. Daxon (a pen name), and I'm a 34-year-old stay at home wife, mother, and writer.
Why do you write?
I write because my body and mind demands me too. Because growing up, my life wasn't always great or fun to be living in. The safest thing for me to do was to put pen to paper and let out other realities that I didn't get the joy of being in. I write because it's my escape.
What do you love most about writing?
I love that I can create a world or place that I would want to visit and travel to. In doing so, I hope that I can do the same for my readers. In the world, especially this country, depression is at an all time high. Because of the stigma behind it, many people are suffering in silence. I write, to help other's escape, and when I'm successfully able to do that, it's a success. That's why I love to write, to help others.
Do you have a full-time job besides writing? If so, how do you juggle the two?
I consider being a Navy wife and mother as my full-time jobs. While both are difficult and I get paid below even the cheapest minimum wage, I wouldn't trade it. Okay, maybe I would trade it for an easier Navy wife and mom life. But, I also believe we are given our struggles to build us stronger, for something much greater. I don't know what that is, but I'm optimistic. Struggling the three; mom, Navy wife, and writing aren't easy, but I get it done. My kids are at the age where they are somewhat independent, and I've raised them as such. When we go to the library; they play and I write. I multitask like a monster; meaning well. My kids get me, my husband gets me, and my writing usually comes last, but I do the best I can. Lately, I've been trying to shift some things around so that my writing comes higher on the responsibilities pole.
What is the craziest thing you've ever had to research?
In my story, my antagonist tortures a woman (can't disclose the reason *spoilers*) but, he makes her swallow rubbing alcohol. I'm really not sadistic, but I stepped out of my comfort zone. So, had to research the effects of that.
What is your most recent work? Can you share an excerpt with us?
I'm currently still working on Down to Sleep, my debut novel. I can share the blurb from that book:
A Romantic Thriller following the lives of College Sweethearts, Gabriella Lawsen, and Parker Warrick. When Parker decides to change their future plans together, and not include her, Gabriella finds herself confiding in a new employee at the Lodge, where she lives and works. Landon Marshall comes with his own dark past and is pushed to the limits when four years later, Parker returns to claim his girlfriend and the child he unknowingly left behind. Will Landon wipe his hands and walk away from the second woman he’s ever loved, and the baby he helped deliver, or will he fight for her, to the death?
What are your future writing goals?
I would love to write full time. I currently have ideas for a variety genres of stories. Just a matter of time to get to them all. I think I could very well make a career out of this.
What genre do you most enjoy writing?
I enjoy writing real time, realistic fiction. My current WIP is set in a fictional town but in our reality.
What is the hardest part about writing?
Self-doubt. I say it's the ultimate killer of writer's. The hardest part is squashing that and continuing forward. Only the best writers can do so.
How do you overcome your writing challenges?
My Twitter family is exceptional of giving me the confidence to keep going. I'll share a possible line or two (140 characters, grr) on Twitter and the responses usually give me the boost I need. So THANK GUYS and LADIES!
What is the most important thing about being a writer to you?
The most important thing, getting the story out. No matter if no one reads it or no one likes it. Getting the story out is the most important part.
What are some tips you can give other aspiring authors?
You have been giving the unique desire to develop a world of imagination, in any form, it's your duty to put it out there. Embrace that as a good thing, and give us your best.
What is something you wish you could have told your younger writer self?
If you could live in any fictional world, what would it be and why?
Hmm, I've seen this question before, and I don't know. Maybe, Divergent before it went crazy? I thought the idea of being separated into classes based on our personalities and morals was an interesting concept. But, I'm weird. Ha!
And lastly, is there anything else you wish to share with us before you go?
I just want to take this time to thank you, Rebecca, and my current writing circle for the motivation and joy each of you bring me every day. You are what crushes the self-doubt, and for that, I'm very thankful and blessed.
More About K.T. Daxon:
K.T. Daxon was born in Tallahassee, Florida and raised in a small fishing community along the Gulf of Mexico. After a few of life’s hiccups, K.T. graduated with a Bachelors in Education Studies from Ashford University. (Yay, student loans).However, instead of using her degree, K.T. married a sweet, and loving U.S. Navy Sailor and started a family. Four deployments, 2 beautiful children later, K.T. realized that it was time to expand her passion for writing. She wanted to move her craft from a hobby to a full-blown career.Over the years, K.T. has accepted employment with a small town newspaper; writing articles for local businesses, and participating in NaNoWriMo which is where her debut novel, Down to Sleep was originally created. K.T. has also dabbled in editing novels for clients on the site, FIVERR.While writing, family and friends are the foundations that hold K.T. strong; she also enjoys photography, reading, supporting other Indie Authors, traveling, and self-educating whenever she gets a free moment.Despite a late start in both the writing and editing world, don’t count K.T. out. She has big things in store, and she can’t wait to share them with you.
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Tell me about yourself:
Hi, Paul Saylor here, a writer with a day job. I squeeze in writing whenever I can between real world stuff I have to do.
What genre of books do you write?
Science-fiction and fantasy with action adventure or detective/mystery themes.
When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
I started writing in high school and did a bunch of short stories in college, however I didn’t find out I really wanted to write full-time until years after college.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’m not really sure. In high school, I was part of this special group class and had to do a project with a mentor. I don’t remember why, but suddenly I thought “I’ll start a novel for my project.”
How many stories of you written?
Unknown. I’ve written many short stories in college that are now lost. I did have one novel I completed and submitted to several literary agents and publishing houses, and after being soundly rejected, I threw it away. I do have four self-published stories on Amazon.com for the Kindle right now. Three are part of an ongoing project called The Road to Gatlen which is a serialized novel.
Tells about what you are currently working on? Can you give us an excerpt?
I’m working on a ten-part serialized novel called The Road to Gatlen. Currently three parts are completed and posted on Amazon for the Kindle. Excerpts can be downloaded at each story’s site as samples.
What is your writing process?
Normally, I start with a scene, just something that pops into my head from whatever source of inspiration strikes me at the time. From that scene, an outline will balloon into a whole story. Here, I am writing furiously writing notes to get it all down, as much as possible. Then I start filling in gaps with order to the story and details on the characters. Once the outline is done, I write a draft. The draft will be redone a few times by the time I reach the end of the story that my “draft” is more like “version 20”. Then I go through editing and rewriting. And finally, I proof at the end. Which, my stories still need help, hence why I’ve enlisted the aid of an editor.
Which authors most inspire your writing?
I have favorite authors, like John Le Carre, Len Deighton, Frank Herbert, and David Feintuch, but I’m not sure I’ve really drawn inspiration from any of them. I have sort have gone my own route in my stories, and they don’t fit the style or themes of any author I know.
How do you get into character when you write?
I tune out the world and play the scene in my head like a movie, only the “camera” can go into thoughts and desires. Then I try to translate that into words.
How do you world build?
This happens during outlining when I’m constructing the rules of the world within the story. Typically, I’ll write the outline first and what I want to occur, then building the world to suit the story.
What are some tips you can give other aspiring authors?
Never stop writing!
Before you go, is there anything else you would like to share with us?
As you may have noticed, I write stories, they aren't bestselling or anything, but maybe one day......
Often my collections of tens of thousands of words in the form of oddball ramblings disguised as serialized novels or episodic novellas. Favored genres are science fiction/fantasy of the adventurous kind and soon (soon being a relative term) to be some detective stories too.
Some random junk about me that nobody is bound to care about is that I live in the Sacramento area with my wife and two overlords (cats, DUH!), Boudica and Liara.
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Tell us a little about yourself:
Writing about myself is always the hardest part. J I grew up in Maine and cannot imagine living anywhere else, but I would love the chance to travel around the country. I live with my partner, Dan, three grandchildren, and three cats. One day, I would love to buy 100 acres of land, build a house right in the middle of it, and then adopt a couple of miniature donkeys.
How long have you been writing for?
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. In my early twenties, I wrote several novels, as well as children’s picture books, and sent them out for publication. I have a stack of rejection letters from that time in my life, but I never let it get me down.
What inspired you to be a writer?
Nothing inspires you more than reading great books. I love to sit down and escape reality with a great story, so it seems only appropriate to want to write them, too. I was also very lucky to have a very supportive mother who always encouraged me to write.
How many books have you written?
I have written one complete series of six books( that is my Rocky Isle Romance series), four standalones, one novella for Kindle Worlds, a novella for another series, and a children’s picture book. So thirteen actually published, but I honestly couldn’t answer how many I have actually written.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Finding the time to write is always the most difficult thing for me. Raising grandchildren means not much quiet time, but I have learned to get them into bed and then sit down for a couple of hours. Two will be in school full-time this year, so things should get easier.
What do you do when you have writer's block?
I always have more than one book going at a time, so when one is not working, I turn to the other one. I’ve been lucky that I’ve never gotten stuck on both at the same time.
How do you draft your work? Do you plot? Or do you just go for it?
I am so in awe of Susan Mallery who is a major plotter! I have tried, but no matter what I do, the characters veer off in another direction. Sometimes, you just have to let the characters speak for themselves.
What are some writing tips you have to share with inspiring authors?
I think the most important thing is to just do it. For so many years, I was a closet writer. I had to figure out the “why” of it. Why was I holding back? Why wouldn’t I let others read my work? Once I figured that out, I did my research on traditional vs. self-publishing and chose the self-publication route. I chose self-publishing because I am a massive control freak. J
Why is writing important to you?
For me (and I know it sounds corny), writing is a way of life. I’ve always done it and cannot imagine not doing it. It’s like breathing.
What are your favorite situations to put your main characters through?
My favorite situations are real situations that the average person could go through. Unplanned pregnancy, a past that haunts you, falling in love with someone unexpected, or having a learning disability. All of these things are what the average person can go through, so writing them makes them more special to me.
What was your hardest scene to write?
In my Dragonfly Wishes novel, the prologue starts out with Callie Daniels watching her seven year old son take his last breath. I cried all the way through writing it. There are other scenes that made me cry as well, but I promise is not the saddest book ever…it is actually a book of hope.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I wish I hadn’t given up so early. I was young and foolish. But, I have to say that everything I have done between there and here has made me who I am today.
Tell us a little about your most recent project, can you give us an excerpt?
I am currently working on the first book in my Moose Valley series. Moose Valley is a small town in Northern Maine with some very eccentric people living in it. In Moose Valley, you will discover a little mystery, mayhem, and romance.
Excerpt from Jade’s Promise, Book 1 in the Moose Valley Series (Keep in mind, this is unedited)
Royce Harrison poured himself another shot of whiskey and sat down at the Mahogany desk in his study. Leaning back in the leather chair, he lifted his leg and rested his foot on the edge of the desk. His mother would probably faint if she saw this and he laughed at the thought.
Paperwork was piled on the desk in front of him and on top lie the plans for the development of condominiums. The only thing holding him back was the actual land purchase, but if things went as he expected them to, that should be take care of by the end of next week.
Since he was eighteen years old, he’d been after that land. Oh, he almost had it, too. He thought Julianne was wrapped around his little finger, but then out of nowhere, James Ryder appeared. He’d strode into town like he owned the world and what little headway he’d made with Julianne had crumbled right before his eyes.
At eighteen, he hadn’t thought twice. He’d quickly asked Julianne to marry him and had been turned down flat. The land and everything with it had turned over to Julianne when her parents were killed after a run in with a Moose on slippery roads. If she’d said yes, the land would have already been in his name.
James and Julianne spent every second they had building up the lodge while he’d gone off to college. His parents had never said a thing to him about it, but he could see the disappointment in his father’s eyes every time he looked at him.
His father owned property abutting Moose Lodge’s and he’d tried to purchase it for many years before Julianne was even born. Her father had always said it would be a legacy to his children and turned every offer down flat. Now, if Royce could secure that land, he knew his father would finally approve of him. And he’d do whatever it took to get that approval.
A knock on the door startled him and he quickly pulled his foot down. “Yes?” he asked gruffly.
A maid opened the door and stated, “Mr. Frank Nesbit is here to see you.”
With a smile on his face, Royce said, “Then let him in.” Hell, maybe he’d have that land purchase taken care of quicker than he thought.
Frank walked through the door, clutching a piece of paper. “I got it. I’m shutting them down tomorrow.”
“For how long?” Royce asked.
“Until they get the septic repaired. That’s all I can do.”
“You’re giving them a chance to repair it? What the hell is this? I thought you were on my side?” he growled.
“Royce, I have to follow the law, no matter how much you don’t want me to. I have people I answer to, you know. I can’t just go making up my own rules or they’ll suspect that somethings going on!”
Royce sat back down in his chair. “So, how long do they have to repair it before they are shut down for good?”
Frank swallowed. “Once they fix it, they can open back up for business after I inspect it.”
“You’re not answering me, Frank.” Royce leaned back again and put his foot back up on his desk.
“There is no time limit. They could be shut down for two weeks and then reopen when it’s repaired. That’s just how it is and I can’t change it.”
“Goddammit!” Royce bellowed. “What the hell am I paying you for then? I thought this was going to be a done deal, Frank!”
“Royce! If I lose my position, how’s that going to help you in the future? Calm down, will you? These things keep adding up and they’re going to shut down for good. Don’t rush things. You’re only going to get yourself in trouble,” Frank chided.
“Just go. I’ll figure something else out,” Royce said and watched as Frank turned toward the door. “Oh, and Frank? I suggest you keep trying, too.”
Frank kept walking, but before he walked out the door, Royce heard the words, “Of course.”
That damned Ryder family was on his last nerve. It seemed like no matter what he sent their way, they dealt with it. Hell, they could fall into a bucket of shit and come out smelling like roses. Just didn’t seem fair, but he wasn’t going to let that continue. Knowing that drastic measures needed to be taken, Royce unlocked the bottom drawer in his desk and pulled out a cell phone.
Emptying the last of the whiskey, he set the glass back down on his desk and left his office. Slipping quietly out the back door, he followed the path until he reached the gate. Turning around he looked and listened for any signs that he was being followed.
Light glowed from two of the windows upstairs. He figured Amy and Evie were either doing homework still or talking on their phones. His parent’s suite was located off the west side of the house and he grinned. He never tired of saying he had placed his parents in the West Wing.
Elizabeth, his wife, was probably already soused and passed out in the den. She always claimed she was tired, but he knew better. Drink two bottles of wine within a few hours’ time and anyone would pass out. But, what did he care? It wasn’t like he had to sleep with her anymore. Elizabeth had long ago given up on their marriage and moved her room to the end of the hall. Didn’t matter to him either way.
As he unlatched the gate, he gave the back of his house one last view just to make sure no one was watching. Everything quiet, he followed the path into the woods. He might have been overdoing the precautions, but this was serious business. What he was proposing could put him away for life.
About a half mile into the woods, Royce turned on the flashlight and took the cell phone out of his pocket. He hadn’t used this one yet, but it was activated and ready to go. Quickly, he typed out a text to a number he’d memorized years ago. The text read: SOS on FlamesML. Within seconds, his phone rang.
“You’re prompt,” he said into the phone.
“It’s what I do. You sure you want to do this? Once you say the word, there’s no way to get in touch with me and call it off,” the gruff voice replied.
“I want the lodge gone, dammit. And, if the only way to get that land is to burn the lodge to the ground then so be it. I need that land,” he growled.
Hearing a noise behind him, Royce turned and his eyes went wide. “Listen, I got to go. Just do it,” he said before hanging up. To the person staring at him, he said, “How much do I got to pay you to keep your mouth shut?”
A laugh rang out and, as quickly as it started, it stopped. “I don’t want your money.”
Royce realized he’d made a big mistake coming out into the woods. Escape would not come easy, but he had to try and he turned towards the direction of his house. Before he could even take a step something hard crashed against his skull and he fell to the ground.
Before you go, is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
You definitely want to check out Melissa Storm’s new Kindle World, First Street Church Romances. My novella, Love’s Song, came out with the launch on July 19th. I’ve read most of the books now and let me tell you something…you have to read these books if you love stories that make you feel good!!! For more information on them, you can go to www.sweetgrovebooks.com.
About Penny Harmon:
Penny Harmon began writing at an early age and developed a great love of words over the years. After her children were grown, she took her writing more seriously and has published in both newspapers and magazines. In January of 2016, her first novella, Complicated Inheritance, was published and she is the author of the Rocky Isle Romance Series.
Penny lives in Maine with her other-half, Dan, two grandchildren, and three cats. She enjoys spending time with all nine of her grandchildren and enjoys working on DIY projects, especially those that involve making something new out of something that should have been thrown away.
During an accidental overdose, she discovers that maybe her son is not lost to her forever when she sees a vision and her journey to understand what happens after death takes top priority.
In the middle of Callie’s quest to deal with her grief, she uncovers a secret that she just can’t ignore. These secrets lead her on a journey to understanding more about life than she ever expected to know.
So readers, how do you draft your stories? Are you a plotter? Or a pantser? Or are you some hybrid of the two? Share your experience in the comments!
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Tell me more about yourself:
Hello! My name is Jacqueline Davis, and I'm a writer and teacher. I play the drums (used to be in a punk rock band and now play for my church). I love traveling and had the opportunity to write for two magazines about a trip on the Appalachian Trail. I've lived in two countries and have settled in Indiana, a very peaceful place.
Tell me more about your debut novel, can you share an excerpt?
Disorder is historical fiction, set in Victorian London. It follows the life of Katherine Whittemore, daughter of an asylum doctor. She is encouraged to visit Bethlem Royal Hospital, infamous London asylum, and she begins falling for an older doctor, even as those close to her warn against him. He has secrets, dark ones, and soon Katherine discovers he's not the only one. She suspects something is amiss in her home, a house she must now save, and wonders if it may mirror Bethlem in ways she hadn't before imagined.
The fire crackled and spat, yet Katherine Whittemore couldn’t shake the chill creeping through her. A flaming spark arched across the hearth, nearly singeing the edge of her skirt. She batted the small, glowing orb into ash with a gloved hand and resumed her uncomfortable position in the chair across from Mr. Bertram Snead. His massive desk, stacked high with tax and property accounts, stood between them.
Kat adjusted her hips on the cold wood of the chair. She sat under the taunting glare of ceiling-high shelves crammed with books, which were flanked by equally dusty windows in the office. The room seemed to be growing smaller the longer she waited. Mr. Snead’s eyes roamed over the sheet of paper his thick fingers clutched. A clock ticked. His heavy breathing grew louder with each passing minute.
He finally grunted and raised his eyes above the page, pinning her with them. “You certainly must be aware of what I shall say in this matter, and yet here you are, sitting before me with what I would assume is expectation.”
He placed the sheet of paper on the desk, finding space among the rubbish, and slid his chair back across the wood floor. The screech jolted her. He rounded the desk as he slicked his thinning hair to the side. He placed a hip on the edge of the desk, causing a small waterfall of paperwork to cascade slowly down one side of a stack of papers.
Mr. Snead pulled two fingers down the sides of his mouth, stroking his mustache. “How very odd that you come here today. Alone, no less.”
He looked beyond her as if expecting someone to appear.
“A pretty young woman, such as yourself, must certainly feel the need of a chaperone, if only to protect herself from the wiles of men.” A slow grin snaked up the side of his face.
What inspired you to be an author?
I never sought to be an author. A story idea came to me in 2011 and wouldn't leave me alone. I felt the urge to write it, to see where it would go. That journey ignited a fire within me to write. Now I am addicted to writing!
How many stories have you written?
Two complete novels. Disorder is published. Its sequel will be published this Fall. I am currently researching the third book in the series. I am also about one third of the way finished with an unrelated novel, this time in women's fiction. And then I have about a dozen other ideas, just begging to be written, one inspired by a recent trip to a ranch in South Dakota.
Is writing your full time profession? If not, what else do you do and how do you manage both jobs?
I teach special education full-time. I also am the theater director at a local high school. I stay pretty busy! I write when I can. I'm under the impression that people make time for what's important to them. Writing is important to me, so I make time for it. It also helps that my day job has vacations built into the year, plus occasional snow days! These give me time to focus intently on writing.
What is your writing process?
When an idea comes to me, I think about it for quite some time. I then research events related to it (since I primarily write historical fiction). These research facts lead to scenes I want to include in my story. I then think some more. I feel like a majority of my writing experience is formulated in my mind. When I reach a place that I feel I have enough to give a skeletal shape, I write each scene out on a notecard. I then put these notecards in order on a bulletin board, giving myself space to add more cards or rearrange them.
Why is research so important for writing?
Research is VITAL to historical fiction and important to all writing. Readers are smart. They know when authors are making things up. Readers are also learners. It is fun to learn about other times and places.
What is the craziest thing you've had to research?
All sorts of things! The history of Bethlem Royal Hospital is rife with stories, some haunting, some of torture. Doctors used to "treat" patients in horrifying ways, practices that gave them the title "mad doctors." It is sad to see how patients were once viewed and treated.
How do you create the world you are writing in?
I learn everything I can about it. I read books, blogs, articles, everything I can find. I also google map places and find old maps. I read historical novels as well. I surround myself in it. I then try to make it come alive through the senses: sight, smell, feel, etc.
How do you pull us in with amazing characters?
I begin with a spreadsheet of my characters that includes physical features, birthdays, fears, goals, desires, etc. I then allow the characters to develop as I write. Often I finish a first draft and realize a particular character's reactions or actions at the start of the story are not who they truly are. So, I revise, making the characters consistent, but also leaving room for growth, for that must happen. I also make sure each character has at least one flaw. To be believable, they need to function as humans do: with strengths and weaknesses.
What authors inspire you to write?
I am inspired by authors who make it happen amidst a busy life. I love a good, dark setting, love stories, books where I learn something. I love being swept away by a story, and I long to give that to others.
1. Read a ton! Reading makes you a better writer. A lot of my writing is inspired by what I learn while reading other authors' works.
2. Try your hand at different types of writing (informational, story-telling, etc) to see what flows the best and which you like the most.
3. Study the craft of writing. Learn all you can about how to write.
4. Get your first book, article, etc. edited by someone who knows what they're talking about. You'll learn a lot from this!
5. Don't give up. The journey of writing can have its ups and downs. Don't give up during the hard times. If you are writing, call yourself a writer because you are!
Is there anything else you would like to share with us before you go?
Just keep going! Work hard, don't give up. You can do it!
Jacqueline Davis is a teacher and writer from Indiana. She loves to travel and document her adventures. Her work can be seen in Backpacker and AT Journeys. With a degree in psychology, she is fascinated by the human mind and extensively researched mental illness and the history of Bethlem before beginning her Bedlam Series. Loving all things related to books, she reads at every chance. She loves getting absolutely lost in books and spends her days spreading this love to her students. Disorder is her first novel.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Tell me a little about yourself:
Hi! My name is Kennedy, I’m from southern California. I love reading, writing and watching netflix. Some of my favorite authors are Sarah J Maas, Leigh Bardugo, and Rick Riordan. :)
What inspired you to start writing?
I would have to say that there are two authors who have influenced my writing journey. My love for reading began when I came across the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan and I absolutely devoured those books! That love of reading soon flourished and I began to want to create my own stories and characters just like the ones that I loved so much. That desire to create was in the back of my mind for a while but it wasn’t until I read A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas that I was really inspired to write a story of my own. I remember finishing that book and just being in complete awe. The character development and the plot twists and the world building that Maas was able to create blew my mind. If I could write a book that was half as good as ACOMAF I would be the happiest person in the world!
Tell us a little about the first story you remember writing:
Writing for me is a passion that I only discovered recently so the first story I remember writing is my book The Taborda Chosen, which is a full length novel I’m working on. It’s a fantasy YA novel with some fairytale influence that chronicles the fallout when the royal succession in the kingdom of Arshile is cut off and a normal girl is chosen to become ruler instead of the royal heir. The main protagonist has to deal with her new position in the midst of an invasion from a rival kingdom as the struggle for power reaches a crescendo in this tale of love, deception, and magic.
Are there any teachers that inspire you to write? If so, how?
Absolutely! I have a teacher, Mrs.Parsons, who is so supportive of my writing. She is always so willing to write me letters of rec for writing camps and review my work, whether its for school or for fun.
You've written some short stories on Wattpad, can you tell us about this process and why you use Wattpad?
First I write out my story on google docs, which I really love because I don’t ever have to worry about losing my work if my computer crashes (one of my biggest fears) and then I upload them to my account on the site. I adore wattpad! It’s so easy to use and I just really love how its formatted. You can add pictures to each chapter and interact with readers and being apart of a community of writers is really refreshing. It’s also very encouraging when people leave comments and critiques, so it definitely helps my writing process to know what readers liked or disliked and motivates me to keep writing.
Where do you get your awesome book covers from?
I make them! I use a website called Canva that is amazing and so simple to use. I definitely recommend it if you ever need to make graphics of any kind.
Can you tell us what are some of the challenges you face in writing a short story? How do you work through these challenges?
For me writing a short story was a little difficult because there were so many elements about the relationship between Hades and Persephone that I wanted to explore and show my readers, but because of the word limit I had to leave some of those details out. In order to work through that challenge I had to focus on the main plot points and make sure that every detail I wrote about was crucial to the plot and the character development. But I’m actually working on making Blossom of Ash into a full length novel so I can include all the elements and twists and turns that I had to leave out of the short story version. :)
What things have you read that have especially helped with your writing?
Anything and everything Sarah J Maas has written! Hahaha, I just am so in love with her work and the depth and complexity of her plot lines and the character development has really influenced my writing. Every time I sit down and begin a new project or story I think “What would Sarah J Maas do?”
How do you balance between schoolwork, writing, and social life?
During the school year I’m super super busy so I try to write on the weekends but sometimes that doesn’t work out. I’m hoping to get a lot of writing done this summer to make up for it, but of course there’s summer homework and whatnot that always seems to get in the way.
What do your friends say about your writing habit?
They actually don't think much of it :) . Most of my friends don’t share my love of reading so they are sometimes baffled about why I always seem to have a book in my hand or why I want to make stories of my own.
What are your future plans?
I’m really hoping to finish my first story The Taborda Chosen (which is available on wattpad) and turn Blossom of Ash into a full length novel. Once I finish those ( hopefully soon ) and get some feedback from Beta readers, I plan to upload both manuscripts to Swoon Reads which is an imprint of Macmillan Publishing for the chance to get them published. If that doesn’t pan out I’ll probably send out query letters to agents and go the more traditional route as I try to get my novels published.
Do you have any tips for other aspiring authors?
Write! I know that sounds silly and redundant but for the longest time, I was really afraid to actually write about the ideas and characters floating around my head. I was scared that what I wrote down would never be as good as I wanted it to be. So, my advice is write! Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back and just put your ideas down on paper even if they may not initially live up to your expectations, because you can always revise later! Also, seek out people who can provide you with constructive criticism, they can provide a clear opinion and help make your writing even better. :)
How many stories have you written?
I’ve written two, The Taborda Chosen which I mentioned earlier and Blossom of Ash. I have lots of other ideas for projects in mind, but for the moment I’m focused on finishing the Taborda Chosen and making Blossom of Ash into a full length novel. :)
What do you love about writing short stories?
I love writing short stories because they are short and sweet! You are able to explore a set of characters and ideas and finish the story much faster than a full length book.
Can you tell us about your experience with your most recent publication with Book Loot? How did you manage to write a story in such a short amount of time for the deadline?
I had so much fun working with BookLoot! Eugene and Sara were so kind and very helpful with the submission process. I was able to write the story in the time frame because I had the idea for a Hades and Persephone retelling floating around in my head for a while, so it was just a matter of executing. By creating a basic outline of where I wanted my story I was able to write it within the time frame.
I know the story with Book Loot is themed based, but what else inspired you to write this story?
I grew up with the Percy Jackson series and so I’ve always loved greek mythology. I thought that it would be really fun to do a retelling of Hades and Persephone because in the myths he’s represented as a more neutral figure and not the gloom and doom death god that pop culture tends to portray him as. So I thought it would be fun to do a new spin on his persona. :)
Can you share with us an excerpt from one of your stories?
Sure! Here’s a link to my wattpad account where you can read all my stories
More About Kennedy Vega:
Kennedy Vega is a teen author from sunny southern California where she currently attends high school. Introduced to the power of the written word in the fourth grade, Kennedy has gone on to pursue an insatiable love for reading that baffles her parents at times. Much to her mother’s dismay, Kennedy can often be found in her room hunched over her laptop, furiously scrolling through Pinterest or buried in her to be read pile which has, if she’s being honest, turned into a mountain whose height is rivaled by only Mount Everest itself. Creating worlds, characters, and plot lines that connect and engage readers is Kennedy’s true passion and she hopes to major in creative writing when she goes to college in the future.
Some of her favorite authors include Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo, Rick Riordan and so many more! Kennedy loves YA books of any genre but she definitely has a soft spot for fantasy and paranormal novels. To read more of her stories visit her wattpad account, @KVega3, and if you ever want to chat about books be sure to follow her instagram account, @januaryrabbit.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
I am so excited to host her on my blog today!
Tell us a little about yourself:
I live in the south-west of the UK, near the city of Bristol. I'm married and I have two cats, and I'm an accountant by day and a writer by night.
How long have you been writing for?
I've been writing on an off since I was quite young as a hobby, but I never really managed to finish anything. Then about three years ago, I decided I wanted to give it a serious go again and joined an online writing critique site. My main aim was to try and see if I could actually finish a novel – and I'm pleased to say I succeeded!
What inspired you to be a writer?
Oh, I'm one of those people who has always wanted to write a book, for as long as I can remember. I've always been an avid reader, and spent a lot of my childhood with my nose in in a book.
How many books have you written?
I have one published book, Where Carpets Fly, and a sequel in the works. The sequel is complete but needs more editing. I can also lay claim to a few part-finished novels that may or may not see the light of day!
Do you have any places you go to write?
Well, I have a busy day job so I really just have to fit writing in as and when I can. So I don’t have a particular writing place. I write on my smartphone in my lunch break and when commuting, and at home I have a laptop and write in the lounge or a spare bedroom. I'm not picky really!
What do you do when you have writer's block?
I'm thankful to say I've never had a prolonged period of writer's block. However, I do get days where I'm just not in the mood. Normally, I just take a couple of days off and allow myself to relax – take some walks, read some old favourite books, or watch something mindless on TV – and after that I'm normally happy to get back on track again.
Where did you get the idea to write Where Carpets Fly?
I've always been a fan of both children's fantasy books and school stories – long before Harry Potter came into the world. I grew up on Enid Blyton and Narnia. So writing a fun, immersive fantasy story full of adventure but also including school and coming of age themes is basically me writing the book I wanted to read as a kid! It's got a bit of everything I enjoy reading about.
Flying carpets have always held a fascination for me. There's something exciting and exotic about them, and I wanted to capture that feeling in my world. I read a Diana Wynne Jones book about flying carpets (Castle in the Air – the sequel to Howl's Moving Castle), and I can say she's also influenced my writing.
Can you give us a little more details about Where Carpets Fly? Perhaps a quote or small excerpt you would like to share.
Yes, of course! Where Carpets Fly is about a teenage girl, Elina Faramar, who escapes life in her dull village to take magic lessons in the nearby city. And of course, unexpected adventures happen...
Here’s a snippet from the first chapter where Elina and her parents fly into town on their magic carpet:
They travelled along the main thoroughfare, through the cheerful yellow buildings, flying level with the top storey. Below them lay a street market with rails of caftans and shawls displayed under striped canopies.
Shops lined the main road, and people dashed in and out of the bakers, grocers and confectioners. People were dressed in either loose pants and flowing tunics, like Elina, or the more traditional red and yellow caftans which often came out at Festival. Elina’s stomach growled as they passed the baker who stood outside his shop with a floating tray of mini cream cakes, handing them out to passersby. Shame her Tangible wasn’t good enough to whizz one up to her.
Elina lay on her front again. A man strode up the road with a whole procession of crates levitating in front of him. He made it look so easy, and she’d struggled to get that stupid doormat off the floor.
Winding cobbled side streets showed glimpses of bookshops and household wares. Elina craned her neck and spotted a china shop and a musical instrument store. Beyond, sat an open square with a large fountain in the middle, where a dark-skinned dancing girl spun and twirled with coloured spiral ribbons. A young lad directed jets of water from the fountain over and around her, not hitting her once.
“Wow, look! Mother, d’you think I could learn to do that? It’s Elemental Magic, isn’t it?”
Her mother opened her mouth, but her father answered first. “Frivolous waste of time. I don’t expect to see any of that nonsense from you, Elina. You need to focus on Tangible.”
Elina glared at his back and caught her mother’s eye. Her mother gave a quick shake of her head, and Elina bit back the hasty retort that had risen. She didn’t want to risk her father turning the carpet around and going back to Darien.
Plaintive music drifted from the square, but they flew by in a few seconds.
“Oh, can’t we stop and look around?” Elina begged.
“No, I want to get to Clauda’s. There’ll be time to go out later in the day.” Her father pushed the rug onwards.
A street merchant’s display filled the road ahead and people crowded around, buying fireworks for the evening festivities. The salesman’s cheery voice projected far and wide. “Ladies and gents. Finest fireworks here! Make your display tonight go with a wallop!” He started letting off bangers to demonstrate.
A loud zap went off right underneath them, and Elina’s father cursed. Elina let out a giggle.
“Calm down, Mikal.” Her mother laid her hand on his arm. “It’s only a bit of fun.”
“I don’t want scorch marks on my biggest carpet.” Elina’s father glared at the salesman below, receiving a wave in return. “Up.” Once more the carpet rose above the houses. “Keep an eye out for Clauda’s place.”
Elina stared around. The glint of water in the distance must be where the docks were. There appeared to be some kind of seating under construction near the river. She couldn’t work out what it was from here.
Elina’s mother pointed. “Over there.” Aunt Clauda’s thin townhouse was visible, unusually painted light blue.
They flew closer, and the chipped brickwork and shabby paint stood out. A large garden sprawled beyond the house. Bougainvillea climbed the fences with abandon, and weeds ran riot. Vibrant purple and green caftans spun on a clothes line.
Elina’s father eased the carpet down onto the landing pad—a large clear rectangular area directly behind the house—until they hovered a foot above the ground. Elina jumped off and stretched her legs, unbuttoning her cloak in the morning sun. The scent of flowering grasses rose around them, making her mother sneeze.
What are some writing tips you have to share with inspiring authors?
The best tip I have is to find your tribe! I never managed to get properly motivated with writing until I found a group of fellow writers online to get feedback from and chat about writing with. Having other people to bounce ideas and problems off, whether online or in real life, is great.
And my second tip is never stop learning. There is a lot to learn about writing craft and the publishing industry, so take all the opportunities you can to improve.
Are you working on anything new? If so, can you share a little about your current project.
I have a couple of projects on the go at the moment. The first is the sequel to Where Carpets Fly, which is undergoing edits and critique at the moment.
And the second is a Fairytale Retelling. I belong to a group of writers who produce short story anthologies and I’m working on a piece for a future anthology.
Your blog site is really wonderful, can you tell us more about your blog Magic Writer?
Thanks! I started Magic Writer because everyone says writers need an online presence. I’d had blogs on different subjects before so a blog seemed like a good place to start.
Now I’ve built it up into two sections: one for readers which has fantasy book reviews and interviews with fantasy characters from indie authors.
And the other section is for writers and has a lot of information on general writing advice as well as a special section on worldbuilding.
I love learning about new fantasy worlds whether reading about them or creating them, so that’s the broad theme of my website.
Before you go, is there anything left you would like to share with our readers?
Well, when people ask me that, I always have to share cat pictures. Meet my furry writer buddies, Rafferty and Anushka. They both help and hinder my endeavours, depending on their mood.
Restless teen Elina is bored of village life. When she starts magic lessons in the city, her only concern is exploring the sights with new school friend Kara. However, life takes a darker turn. Her magic teacher is hiding a secret, and odd happenings pile up, like unsociable Simeon's shady dockside deals. But Elina’s questions go unanswered.
When Elina and Simeon develop a magical mind link, she suspects his involvement in foreign spy work. But an unexpected ship tour-turned-voyage throws her and Kara right at the mystery’s heart—in the volatile, dangerous country of Pallexon.
Alone and with no ID, things worsen when a terrorist act blows Kara’s cover. With her own freedom at stake, Elina must rely on her wits and magic to save her friend and unravel Pallexon’s secrets—before it's too late.
Friendships are forged and loyalties tested in this magical fantasy adventure from debut author Elise Edmonds.
Read now and let your imagination fly!
Thanks everyone for stopping by!
Sunday, July 23, 2017
I just had to post this on here. Over on my review blog we had the pleasure of hosting JM Sullivan. She gave us some amazing world building tips. I wanted to make sure to include the link on here to give all my readers a chance to check it out. The advice she gives is really helpful. Be sure to check it out! Click on the image and it will take you to the post!
Friday, July 21, 2017
If you have any tips, please comment below!
Why am I having such a hard time editing? My focus is not on par! #amediting #darkcomedy #writerslife pic.twitter.com/qk3CiiRpK3— 🌹Becca Cahill (@beccacahill) July 21, 2017
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
If you are counting only the stories I’ve written since I’ve become serious about being published, the answer is three. Right now, there are three complete full-length manuscripts on my computer and one in the works. I feel very fortunate that my first complete manuscript, Happily Ever Afters, will be the first one published. It’s being released September 19! Book #2 is on submission right now, and I’m excited to see where it ends up. Book #3, which is related to Happily Ever Afters, is in the final editing phase before I send it to my publisher later this summer.
Tell us about your new novel that will be released in September, can you give us an excerpt?
Do you have any tips you can give other aspiring authors out there?
Don’t give up!! I can’t say it enough. The journey to being published is full of rejection. Don’t let it stop you. Continue to write, continue to improve your craft, and don’t give up the dream of seeing it published. And if you feel like giving up, find a friend who won’t let you.
Which authors inspire you most?
Are you working on anything now? Can you share a little bit about it with us?
Rachel wrote her first novel when she was twelve and entered it into a contest for young author/illustrators. Unfortunately, the judges weren’t impressed with her stick figures. So she dropped the dream of becoming a world famous illustrator and stuck to spinning stories. When she’s not busy working on her latest book, she loves to travel with her family and friends. By far, her favorite destination is the beach, which tends to work its way into most of her stories. Between vacations, you can find her at home in The Woodlands, TX with her wonderful husband, their two adventurous kids and a couple of spirited pets, all of whom share Rachel’s love of the ocean. Well, except the cat and dog. They’re both afraid of water. Find out more about what Rachel has been up to at rachelmageebooks.com.