Friday, October 28, 2011

Delay of Release

The release of Relinquish will be put on the back burner for the moment as my enormously talented sister-in-law, creator of my Defiance Rising book cover, is going to have her hands full very soon.  This is a decision on my part that comes with a great amount of joy. 

I will keep you posted as to when Relinquish will be set to release, but until then I will be publishing my newest teen Immortals novel, Immortal Rose, within the next week or so.  A highly anticipated release!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Immortal Rose Book Blog

Hi Everyone,

I have started a new blog to not only give you a teaser for my upcoming release but also give you some backstory on my main character Roseline Enescue. 

Take a look.  Would love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Immortal Rose: Amy Miles Books

Upcoming release for Immortal Rose is nearing. 

As a teen fantasy author, it is my joy to let my mind run wild with ideas.  Immortal Rose is one of those. 

I started out with the desire to write a book about Immortals.  I know what you're thinking.  "That theme's been done before."  True, very true.  But that didn't stop my fascination with the idea of living forever. 

What would it feel like to know there wouldn't be an end?  Would your days run together with dreary repetition?  Would you even want to get up in the morning, knowing that this day would be the same as all the rest?

Well for my lovely main character, Roseline Enescue, this is something that weighs heavily on her mind.  Not because life is boring.  Quite the opposite.  Her life is filled with pain, misery and fear.  Will there ever be an end to her torture?

With her humanity stripped away, forced to marry a monster and kept prisoner in her own home, Roseline lives in the shadow of the most feared man in Romania's history...Dracula.  Although she doesn't live up to the vampire myth that'd been created to describe her husband, Roseline flees the stigma and her husband.  

Sounds a good teen fantasy huh? gets better. 

Keep posted for new info on the release date of my new teen fantasy book, Immortal Rose. 

Are you promoting your book?

The work of a self published author is never done.  Press releases, interview, blog posts, book signings, etc.  The list goes on and on.  Just publishing your book isn’t enough.  There are over a million books on Amazon Kindle right now.  What do you think the chances are of people stumbling across yours?

If you have a book that isn’t getting the notice that you think it deserves, please check out my blog

I offer free author interviews, free book reviews and a growing list of writer’s resources. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Book Review: Danielle Bannister

Pulled by Danielle Bannister

If you love books about soul mates and love overcoming all obstacles then I highly recommend reading Pulled.  The imagery is fantastic, the characters so real you begin rooting for them from page 1.  I downloaded Danielle’s book last night and finished it in less than 24 hours, which is really saying something for a busy mom. 
Pulled is Danielle Bannister’s debut novel, and a darn good one at that.  Thanks so much Danielle.  Let me know when your sequel is ready!  I’ll be waiting.

Book Description:
Pulled is a love story of Twin Flames connecting. When college freshman, Naya walks into her first acting class two years after the freakish death of her parents, she becomes consumed by a mysterious pull coming from a facially scarred classmate named Etash. When he is cast as the Romeo to her Juliet, sparks fly. These star crossed lovers discover that fate has other plans for them. This is not the first time they have been 'pulled' together, nor will it be their last.

Pulled is available through Amazon.  Ebook price is only $1.49

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Are your dreams too big?

I was raised to have dreams, to believe that anything is possible as long as you put your mind to it.  I’m still a firm believer in that saying, but in my opinion people tend to overlook what it takes to succeed.  Dreams are great, they push you when you’re tired and simply can’t stand to hear another bad critique, but you can’t live on dreams alone.

Hard work, consistency and a willingness to be pushed down in order to grow as an author is what it takes to succeed.  My first book was published back in August and it amazed me how my mental attitude changed.  For so long I couldn’t figure out how to become the author I wanted to be.  I was a writer, a lover of books…but I couldn’t call myself an author until I was finally published. 

As soon as I did I’ll admit I got a bit giddy.  Who wouldn’t?  I’d finally reached my goal…well the first of many.  It took a few weeks for that novelty to wear off.  Then reality set it.

People I knew kept asking how my sales were doing, and as much as I wanted to be able to tell them I was well on my way to being the next Amanda Hocking, I was far from it.  Why?  No one knew me.  I didn’t have a platform to stand on, so my sales stuttered to a halt. 

This is the point where some authors will give up and decide their dream simple wasn’t realistic.  To that I say, dig in and work harder.  Blog.  Email.  Self Promote.  Learn how to build a platform.  TELL PEOPLE ABOUT YOUR BOOKS!

This is what it takes.  You can’t sit back and wait for people to find your book on Amazon.  Trust me, it won’t happen unless you attract readers.  You have to take an active position in furthering your career.  Get out there, meet people, show off your shiny new book and network. 

Work, hard grueling work is what it takes.  Dedication is key.  Dreams are fine but you gotta have an action plan.  I do…how about you?

Promote with Blogs

One of the best tools that you have as an author is a blog.  People use them, people love them.  They have become the universal tool for promotion and the best part is that you can create one for free.  Blogger has been a fantastic tool for me, but there are others that are just as easy to use. 

I realize that most people feel like they simply don’t have the time to add yet another “chore” to their busy days, but you can’t afford not to.  Blogging doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and you don’t have to do it every day.  Write a post every three or four days to keep yourself up on the search engines. 

Pick a theme and go with it.  Work it to your benefit.  Tell everyone and they’re dog to subscribe to your blog and begin your promotions.  Post your blog on as many sites as you can, but don’t be obnoxious! 

If you don’t have a blog, please consider starting one.  With each day that passes that you remain blog free you remain follower free too.  Networking, one on one and social media is our present and future.  This is one bandwagon you definitely want to jump on!

Creating a Movie Poster

A fun way to help promote your new book is to create a movie poster.  Post it on your blog, share it with your friends, do whatever it takes to get your name out there.  If you’ve never had a chance to play around with then I highly suggest you give it a try.  Who says self marketing has to be all work and no play?

Here’s the website I used to create my own poster for my new novel, Defiance Rising.

Friday, October 14, 2011


If there's one thing that I have learned in my short career as a writer is that it is EXTREMELY easy to get overextended.  Marketing, rough drafts, editing, formatting, publishing, interviews, book reviews, blog posts and so on.  I could literally spend 24 hours a day trying to get everything done and it still wouldn't be enough.  So at what point do you say enough is enough?

I read an article not long ago by a blogger/author Joe Konrath that spoke of putting immense importance on getting your books on a much shelf space as you can.  Until then, don't sweat the promoting. Just write.

I like his theory.  Of course he's got YEARS on me and about 40 novels as he has the time to blog.  Me?  Right now I should be writing on my book, or answering my overflowing in-box, or posting interviews, or doing book reviews...but instead I sit here, rambling because my mind is burnt out!

I've been working hot and heavy on my upcoming book, Immortal Rose, and it's coming along so well...if I only had more hours in the day!  But...I can't write, market, blog, etc all the time.  My brain needs a break at times. 

So, I'm going to shut down my lap top and turn on the Cardinals game and cheer them on to a victory.  Go Cards!  (I'm not actually a baseball fan but since I live near them...)

What do you do to relax when you're overextended?

Your opinion matters

As a soon to be published author I'm excited and terrified of the reviews my book will receive.  I'm sure this is normal with all writers.  A book is like your baby.  You labor over it, help it walk on unsteady feet and then let go and hope it takes off running.  But what if it crashes and burns?  Oh the fears and doubts we writers experience.

My new book, Defiance Rising, is my baby.  I've spent the past 2 years writing and re-writing.  Cutting, pasting and hacking at my chapters.  My book has changed more times that I care to think about...but each time it's gotten a little better.  The ups soar higher.  The downs are more dramatic.  My characters are more well rounded...I hope!

But after 2 years of laboring over my it enough? Will people love my characters as much as I do?  Will they reach the ending and beg for more? 

My Defiance Rising book is the first of three.  I'm 3/4 through the second book and I've begun writing the 3rd.  It's so exciting for me as a writer to see the progression of my characters.  To see them stumble and fall, to get back up and press on.  I've fallen in love with them and I so desperately want my readers to feel the same way.

Reader reviews are the lifeblood of writers.  Their opinions are the only ones that count because they're the ones keeping you going.  I told my husband the other night that if only one person, that I don't know, says they enjoyed my book then it will all be worth it.  Soon I'll get to see if I was right.

Following your dreams

I had a talk with a girl I know this afternoon about following her dreams.  She's got this "crazy" idea of what she'd like in life but hasn't truly pursued it.  Are you like that?  You've got that one thing that just lights up your life like a million Christmas lights, but you're afraid to do it?

Maybe your parents wouldn't approve or other people would think it's silly.  Who cares?  If there is something that makes you happy, truly happy, then don't let anyone keep you from it. 

Did that sound a little soap boxy? 

I've learned some hard lessons over the past couple of years.  Life has a way of knocking you where it hurts.  But the amazing thing is that tough times and tears can teach you a lot about yourself.  Life taught me to believe in myself. 

I've spent years writing.  It was my passion but I let fear and doubt hold me back.  Then I had a wake up call that changed my life.  I'd let life hold me back and I was done hiding in the corner.  So what did I do?  I wrote my first "official" book.  Been working on it for the past two years and I'm only a few weeks away from publishing it as an e-book.

To be honest...I've never been happier!  Taking that leap of faith and choosing to believe in myself has brought me to this point, on the verge of being able to call myself an author and I'm ecstatic.  I've finally realized that I was born to write.  I no longer wonder what I should do with my life or what job I should try to apply for.  I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be and it feels amazing.

So I want to encourage you to follow your dream.  No matter how small or big, how crazy or impossible it  might seem.  You are worth the time and effort. 

What I'm reading

Despite the fact that I'm SUPPOSED to be editing my book (sigh) I've managed to read three books in the last week. be honest it was 2 1/2.  I had to re-read the ending of The Deathly Hallows to remember how Harry still managed to be the "Boy who lived."  Then I got into a series called Fallen.

Fallen was interesting to me.  Fallen angels?  Forbidden love?  Sounds good to me!  I raced through the first book and went right onto the second.  Enjoyed the first...not so much the second.  It felt more like it was too busy building the story than actually moving the story.  I've got the third book on hold so I'm hoping it can be redeemed.  Other than the lull I really enjoyed how the books were written.  Very well done. 

What's on my nightstand (the bit of exposed floor next to my bed)? An Amanda Hocking book.  Really looking forward to it but I've decided that sleep in kind of an important thing to me tonight so I'll hold off for now.  It's tempting though!

So what are you reading?  Anything good I should check out?

Why I write

Have you ever stopped to think about what drives a writer?  To push beyond the normal limits and create new characters or worlds that have never existed before?  I have.

Why do I write?  I want the people that read my books to feel something.  To fall in love with the hero who deals with their inner struggles.  To root for the underdog.  To want to be swept off their feet just like the lucky heroine.  To feel a longing when the last page turns. 

There is nothing better than a page turner that keeps you racing for the end, only to make you beg for more.  The agonizing months waiting for the sequel to hit the shelves just so you can find out what happens to your favorite characters.  That's what make a book good.  Some characters stick with you.  Those are the ones that I want to create.

I don't want my characters to be card board cuts outs of the latest best sellers.  I want quirks and faults.  I want real failures and real triumphs.  Real characters with real problems. 

What do you think?  Are you tired of cliches?

Movies...inspiring or pathetic?

I've been noticing a trend lately. Movies seem to be diminishing in quality.  Am I the only one that thinks this?  How many times in the last couple of years have you gone into a movie thinking that it's going to be a great 2 hours out of your life only to leave thinking you just wasted $15?  I've lost count of how many times!

So what's the deal?  The quality of picture hasn't changed. Well, except for this crazy push to make EVERY movie a 3-D.  Not my style.  The sound is just as crisp.  The actors are just as good, for the most part.  So what's changed? 

Are we, are movie goers, looking for more than the movie industry can give?  Perhaps.  Maybe we've all become so desensitized that the romance isn't romantic enough, the jokes aren't funny enough or the blood isn't gruesome enough.  Or...maybe we as people have changed. 

When I go to a movie I'm looking to be entertained.  Most of us are, but in different ways.  My husband goes to just watch the movie.  I go to pick it apart piece by piece to make sure it all makes logical sense.  I want to know "who done it" in the first 25-30 minutes of the movie.  If it's too obvious I'm bored.  If the characters are too stupid, I'm bored.  If the dialogue is too cliche, I'm bored.  If they've mixed two movies together to create a "new" one, I'm bored.  Why is that?

I'm a writer.  Plain and simple.  I notice people's actions, their facial expressions, their body language when they are emotional.  I want reality when I watch a movie.  My husband just laughs at me and reminds me that "it's just a movie" but to me, it's like a book.  Writers have just as hard a time making their words believable as a big motion picture does.  In fact, it's harder.  We don't have the luxury of having some gorgeous couple to imply the emotions that we try to express.

So, dear readers, are you a movie lover of late?  Do you go to just watch or do you look for the flow of reality like me?  I'd love to hear your opinion!

Happy writing!

Constructive Criticism

Constructive criticism is vital to any writer.  Hearing that your story isn't "perfect" can be a bit hard to take.  But what makes you a great writer is how you use that advice to grow. 

I've had the pleasure of getting to know an amazing writer, Jessica Patch.  I've learned more from her in four days than I'd learned in 2 years of doing research on Google!  Thank you for being willing to take the time to teach me and hold my hand through some painful rewrites.  I'm know I'm only beginning!

Jessica showed me how vital it is to pay attention to word count.  If you're like me, an overly descriptive writer, then you know how hard it is to stay within those word count limits.  My first attempt at writing my novel brought me in at nearly 50,000 words over.  That's huge!  So I shredded, rewrote, cleaned it up and I'm still over!

Funny thing is...after speaking to Jessica I realized that I'm still 30-40,000 words too heavy.  That's amazing!  So in reality I had nearly 90,000 words too many in my novel.  That's an entire book! 

So...for those of you that see every detail and want to share that with the world, I'm here to say it's rough to cut back.  Brutal might be a better word.'s vital to your survival as a writer.  Once you're as popular as Stephen King then you can feel free to write entire chapters that seem to be filled with nothing but stuff and fluff!  Until then, cut back.

Pay attention to how many times you use the same word.  I was able to delete nearly 400 words from my novel just by deleting the word "just." Do we really need to say "He stood up" or "She sat down"?  Isn't it implied that standing or sitting means up and down?  These are simple tricks that have helped me cut nearly 4,000 words from my book so far!

Take a look at your writing and see how many fluff words you can unload.  You'll be amazed at how many words can form contractions that you simply breeze over when reading.  They count so pay close attention!  Make it a challenge to see how low you can get while still keeping the essence of the book.  It can be a lot of fun!

Good luck!   Let me know how you're doing!  And start searching for a critique partner that will be honest in their critique.  Their advice can be priceless!

Taking a Breather...

Do you ever find that there are times when you simply write too often?  I have.  Some days all I can think about it getting through the day so I can put my thoughts down on a word document.  But others, I don't even want to look at my laptop!  Creativity is fickle like that!

Sometimes we just need to step back and take a breather.  That's exactly what I did over the weekend.  I finished my homework for my writer's group that will be meeting on Monday but I got very little else accomplished.  I will share my homework assignment next week since I don't want to spoil it for some of the members who take a peek at my blog from time to time!

So when you start to feel overwhelmed, bogged down by words or a have muddled mind take a step back and do something completely different.  For me that typically means grabbing a new book from the library.  I're probably thinking that it's still too similar but for me reading is relaxing!  Do whatever makes you happy and when the time is right you will come back to your homework, short story or novel with renewed vigor. 

Happy writing!

Dealing with disappointment

As a writer it's fair to say that you need to expect disappointments.  There will be doors closed in your face, countless No's before you get that miracle yes and of course the lovely reviews of your fans that simply didn't fall in love with your book.  I was told from the beginning that I needed to grow thick skin to make it in the writing world.  Oh how true that is!

I've always been one of those people that takes things too personally.  Not that I meant's just always been that way.  I can get my feelings hurt or get my dander up starting out on the writing journey has been an adventure. 

Agents will turn you down with an impersonal email stating that you are not a right fit for their agency.  Publishers will simply not want to read your unsolicited manuscript because you can't get an agent.  It's a terrible cycle of unfairness...but that's the business.

And what about competitions?  Oh my.  I'm there right now.  I entered a writing competition a couple months ago, made it to the second round and realized that my book simply wasn't ready to be judged.  Of course by that time it's too late.  You can't do any editing so you sit and wait for the inevitable...the announcement that you are out of the running.  You tell yourself that you're prepared...and yet when the time comes you still feel that sharp pang of disappointment.

If you want to make it as a writer you need to be your own cheerleader.  When you get shoved, relentlessly, off the horse you brush yourself off and get back on.  Sure having others surrounding you to give you a high five along the way is great...but you have to learn to do that for yourself.  I'm convinced that too many great writers gave up before they found their big break.

So...the next time something doesn't pan out for you remember why you wanted to be a writer in the first place.  Write down your goals...your dreams.  You can even leave Post It's of encouragement around you house...of course if you don't live alone this might be bothersome to the other occupants!

You are not defined by your failures but by the way you get back up.  The largest leaps of growth that you will ever experience are in times of trial.  Enjoy the journey, get past the failures and embrace the successes no matter how small they might be!  As long as you are growing you are succeeding!

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Firelight just might be the next big thing since Twilight.  It's getting rave reviews...but I didn't know any of that when I picked it up off the shelf two months ago.  Nor did I have any clue who the author was.  But now I do and I LOVE her!

Sophie Jordan is also Sharie Kohler who writes Historical Romance as well as paranormal books.  I fell in love with her through Firelight but she already has a well established career long before Firelight hit the stores.

Firelight is a young adult paranormal series about a teenage girl, Jacinda, who is more than human.  She's a draki, a descendant of dragons.  But she's different than the rest of her pride...she's a fire breather.  Her pride wants her to mate, to produce more fire breathers but Jacinda wants control of her own life.

She goes on the run with her family into the human world.  Although she can transform into a human state she is most comfortable in her draki skin.  Forced to live in a dry desert, she slowly begins to lose her draki self...until she stumbles across Will, a draki hunter who saved her life in the beginning of the book.

Jacinda will struggle not only with blending into the human world, dealing with the lingering effects of her pride but mostly with the growing love that she has for the man whom she should be hiding from.  Firelight is a great book!  Beautifully written, fantastic imagery and downright thrilling!  I can't wait for the second book to be released.

As a side note...because of my love of Sophie's writing I went on a quest to read all of her books.  In doing so I jumped genres over into the historical romance.  Now I'm a hopeless romantic and love to read about couples falling in love, but I gotta admit there were a few scenes that made me blush!  But her intimate scenes aside I have to admit that Sophie Jordan has got to be one of my favorite authors to read. 

If you need help learning how to "show" a scene instead of telling it...pick up one of her books!  She's fantastic.  I've grown as a writer just in reading her work!  A must read!

The Limit by Kristen Landon

The Limit was a book that made me stop and think...always something I'm looking for in a good read.  The story line is based on a thirteen year old boy named Matt who is forced to go to a work camp to work off his parent's out of control spending.  In a world where the government creates a spending limit for each family, over spending runs rampant.  The penalty?  Send your oldest child to work off your debt while the parent's keep right on spending.

Matt soon discovers that his work camp isn't all it's cracked up to be when kids on his floor begin to suffer from terrible headaches.  He goes on the hunt for the real purpose behind his work camp, finding out that sometimes things are not always as they were created to be.

In my opinion The Limit is well worth the read...especially for kids in that age bracket.  As a 20's mom I was still able to enjoy it, even though the slang terms are a bit new to me.  I guess I'm getting older!

The Maze Runner and Scorch Trials by James Dashner

The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials are a must read in my book. If you love sci-fi, government conspiracies and the challenge of trying to "figure it out" then these books are for you.  I read The Maze Runner back in 2009 when it was first released and instantly fell in love with its uniqueness.  I had hoped that The Scorch Trials would be good but it far exceeded my expectations!

The book begins with a teen boy who awakens to find himself in a large glade with dozens of boys staring down at him.  The boy, Thomas, has no memory of how got to the glade or even who he is past his own name.  Despite his uneasiness with his new surroundings he quickly discovers that the glade is not a safe place to live.  The glade is surrounded by large stone walls with doors that lead out into a maze.  Each night the doors close to keep out the grievers...hideous monsters that attack anyone that dares spend the night in the maze.

As Thomas adjusts to the strange life in the glade he begins to realize that he knows the's familiar to him.  Conflicts arise as a new arrival brings about drastic changes, forcing the gladers to make some hard decisions.  This book is action packed!  I loved it from start to finish.  The ending definitely leaves you begging for more.

The sequel The Scorch Trials expands on the government conspiracy theory.  Thomas and the survivors of the maze trials are forced out into the real world to deal with the survivors of the Flare, the name given to the madness that attacked people after solar flares messed with their minds.  Crazy obstacles stand in their way as they fight to survive, including black goo that practically eats your head right off, an insane lightnight storm and a whole city full of crazies!  Action packed with a small smattering of romantic issues as well as more thought provoking mysteries to unravel.  A must read!

The final book in the series, The Death Cure, is set to be released in 2011 and I will definitely be waiting for this one to arrive! 

Crave by Laura Burns and Melinda Metz

Crave is your typical vampire story told with a twist.  I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It was another one that I started early in the morning at the gym...worked out 30 minutes longer than I had planned because I was enjoying it so much.  Last night I decided to lounge in a bubble bath and then moved on to my comfy bed to finish off the book.

Crave is a young adult romantic fantasy about the life of a high school girl whose only dream has been to be normal.  She can't run, can't dance and can't go to parties because a rare blood disease leaves her too weak to enjoy life.  But when her step-father starts Shay on new treatments she finds that she is getting much more than a new burst of energy...she's living the life of handsome vampire named Gabriel.

The plot doesn't really keep you guessing but it's still an enjoyable ride as Shay discovers Gabriel locked away in her step-father's lab.  They go on the run and despite knowing that Gabriel is dangerous she chooses to remain by his side as he regains his strength.  The ending is predictable...although I must say I was disappointed with how abrupt the ending was. 

All in all a good read.  Well written.  Sure it's another vampire book...but at least this one made me think.  I do hope there will be a second book because I wasn't satisfied with this ending.  I wanted to know more.

Guess that's a good thing!

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

For those of you who might be a little tired of reading about vampires and werewolves...I have to say that you need to read one more.  Nightshade by Andrea Cremer is well worth the few hours of lost sleep!  I picked this book up around 9am and by 2am that next morning I had finished it...while somehow maintaining my other motherly duties!

Nightshade is a young adult romantic fantasy that revolves around the love triangle of Calla Tor, Ren Laroche and Shay Doren.  Calla is the alpha wolf of the nightshade clan and is destined to be the mate of Ren who is the alpha male of her rival clan.  Calla struggles throughout the book to accept her relationship with Ren...especially when a human, Shay, steps in to mess everything up.  As Calla begins to step beyond the boundaries set by the elders she begins to see that the history passed down to her people wasn't as accurate as had been assumed. 

This book has a nice mixture of suspense, action and a smattering of romance.  I found it to be an easy read, enjoyable and left me wanting more.  The second book Wolfsbane will be released in July 2011 and I will be waiting for its arrival!


Every writer I have ever met could be considered quirky.  I say that with love of course since I happily add myself to that category.  We're different...set apart from the mundane world that many people are simply happy gliding through.  But not us.  We're driven to be something make the world a better place through words.

For a painter: It's the longing to see brilliant colors splashed across a blank canvas.  For a musician: It's the skillfully mastered piece that makes even the angels in heaven smile.  For the chef among us: It's the wafting smells that entice our stomachs to take a tiny bite of perfection.  For writers: It's the opportunity to sweep your reader into a fantasy world where reality doesn't have to be quite so brutally black and white.  We live for that next life changing novel that so beautifully enraptures us that it's painful to say goodbye to your beloved characters.

We writers are unique.  We are passionate.  We are talented but more than that we have a voice that we are driven to share with the world.  Sure most of us will never become a household name...but that's ok.  We don't write just for recognition.  We write because we must.  Because we will burst if we can't pour out our souls onto the page.  We have something to say...and that gives us purpose in life.

So what drives you?

Lost your mojo?

Nothing can be more frustrating for a writer than to be stumped for an idea.  This is not normally a problem for me but today I just feel like I'm in a rut. On a typical day I could write for four straight hours and never realize that so much time had passed.  Today...nothing!  It's like I have this bottomless void in my mind.  I'm having the biggest brain fart of my entire life!  It's kinda creeping me out to be honest!  I guess it's a good thing I had already planned on spending my evening editing my manuscript. 

So what do you do when the words simply won't come?

Bite off more than you can chew?

Thousands of people across the country share the same dream...taking that leap from writer to author.  It's a grand goal...but not one that can simply be achieved through a pretty smile or directionless purpose.  To become the author that you long to be you have to set goals, milestones that you can mark along the way.

I look at the journey of a writer much like an overweight person that is desperate to shed those unsightly pounds.  They strive so hard for their main goal that they completely overlook the journey.  Or they get so overwhelmed by the 100lbs that they need to lose that they forget to celebrate the 2lbs they lost this week.

It's all about perspective.  Are you looking at the big picture or are you dissecting it into small, attainable goals?  Either way you can reach the prize but taking the small baby steps will make the journey much more relaxed and enjoyable!

So you have had an epiphany and you're sure that you've got the next best selling idea.  What next?  Well logic tells you that you can't simply sit down and write the book.  It takes planning, detail and a lot of blood, sweat and tears before you complete your manuscript.  For some that might mean only a couple months invested...others a lifetime. 

You're goal may be to have your newly published book in your hands, the smooth glossy cover sliding like silk under your fingertips as you lovingly caress your masterpiece...but there are many steps between an idea and a finished product.

So...words for the wise (and it's only because I've been there too!) set a small goal for tomorrow.  Maybe it's sketch out one scene or create a full 3-D view of one character that goes beyond the general hair and eye color.  Create mannerisms that will endear your character to your readers. 

Or perhaps you need to work towards finishing three paragraphs by the end of the day.  If you're adventuresome try for an entire chapter.  Whatever your goal might be, make sure it is realistic.  Plan out your day, set aside "me time" to write and work towards that goal.

If we writers don't schedule in our writing time it's easy for it to simply disappear like vapor in the wind.  Set your mind to it and do it.  Be your own champion.  Believe that no matter how many doubts might be tumbling around in that brain of yours that you are worth taking the time to invest in yourself!

My personal goal for tomorrow: return to a manuscript that I began a couple weeks ago and write another two chapters. 

What's your goal?

Blurry eyed and yawning my head off...

Do you ever stay up too late to write?  You stare blankly at the vivid white screen and think for the millionth time that you should be in bed.  Sometimes it's easy to blow past your bedtime.  For me, the wee hours of the night are my best opportunities to write.  The house is quiet, the tv is finally off and I can focus all of my attention on the blank page in front of me.  But when your eye lids begin to droop and your concentration plummets into the depths of sleep deprivation then it's time to call it quits.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is simply call it a night.  Forcing yourself to stay awake will only accomplish the obvious...typos, forced creativity and probably a whopping headache to boot!  It's just not worth it!  Write down your final thoughts for the night and get some rest.  You'll feel refreshed and ready to make a new start tomorrow.

Best tip of the day: if you want to be a great writer then get some sleep.  without a rejuvenated mind how can you possibly hope to perform at your peak?


This is an area that I greatly struggle with.  Some people that I speak to enjoy writing and do so as a once in a while hobby.  But for me it's a need, an addiction akin to the likes of some of the best drugs on the market.  I've always been like that...whether reading or writing.  I live to create a new world in my mind.  But reality tells us that life must go on.

So how do we gain perspective in our lives?  How do we set goals that enable us to achieve everything necessary to keep our lives in order?  Set mini goals.

For me, as a housewife and stay at home mom, my "job" is to take care of the house and be with my son.  I can't do that too well when I'm focused on a computer screen all day long.  So how do I manage to make it all work?  Well, to be perfectly honest, some days are worse than others.  I do have a tendency to push aside necessary chores in order to get that last bit of inspiration typed out.  It's a flaw...sigh...but something I am working on.

My goal for each day is to try to have my house at least look respectable in case visitors were to drop in unannounced.  No it's not always to my husbands standards, which I know is an area that I need work on, but I do my best.  So I set aside strict times in which I can write.  When my son's at school or in the evenings when my family has gone to bed.  I set aside "me" time for writing.  That way my life can proceed as planned and everyone wins.

So how about you?  How do you fit it all in to your busy day?

The Wonders of Great Feedback

Humans, born with a need for praise, long to hear words of affirmation. What better way to get that as a writer than to join a small writers critique group. I have been a part of a local group since November and I like I LOVE it! Once a month we get together to share how the past month has inspired us to continue putting words to paper. We encourage each other, share in the trials and joys of great characters and stumbling road blocks...but we are in it together.
Nothing serves as greater encouragement than to have fellow writers who share the same passion you do. Personally I was beginning to think that I was a misfit in my town. No one I knew even cared about reading, let alone writing as a fun hobby. I was a loner...until I found my group. Now...I fit in with the other obsessed writers!
Some people are writers because they enjoy dabbling in tossing a few words together on a blank page and waiting to see what comes from it...others are born to write. They are compelled...a deep seeded longing within their soul to feel their fingers fluttering across the keys, or clenched tightly to a ball point pen. I am one such person. If I couldn't write daily I feel like I would simply burst! Is that the way you feel?
So last night my group met and I was given such glowing praise for my homework that I just had to share it with you in a separate blog. We were given a name and told to have at it. The response that I got simply made my night. Heck it made my entire week!
I encourage you to find a group that will help you to grow, encourage you to work on the areas that you need strengthening and allow your creativity to soar! Have fun!

Who am I?

It's a fair question right?  Don't most people spend their entire lives trying to sort out that very question?  Well, I'm a wife to an amazing husband of nearly 8 years and mom to a hilarious 4 year old.  My life is never dull.  Just the way I like it.

I am many things to many people, but deep down I'm a writer.  Apart from my family, nothing could make me happier than losing several hours to one my stories.  Each night when I grab a few hours of peace to myself it's like a glimpse of heaven.  Truly amazing.

Writing comes from the soul.  It's not what you do but who you are. 

Starving Writers Unite!

So you want to be a writer?  Be discovered and make millions while people stand in line at midnight to buy your long awaited best seller? too!  But that isn't least not in the beginning.

Some people spend years working on a book, collating their ideas into disorganized file folders, before they ever finish their book.  Once it's done...then what?  Do you pay to have your book self-published?  Do you go directly to the major publishers or search for an agent?

Those are the questions that writers face day in and day out across the world.  They have a voice that needs to be heard, but it's easy for that voice to fade into the background.  What do you do in the mean time while you wait for your big chance?

Many people work outside jobs, while yawning long into the night as their creation comes to life.  Others try to advance as freelance writers, hoping that with each published piece they will be one step closer to a larger bank account and making a name for themselves.   So what have you done to stay afloat while you chase your dreams?

I'm one of the lucky ones!  My husband is a very hard working man, supplying our family with an income that allows me to remain home with our son.  Without his hard work I would be a starving artist just like many of you.  Although my next meal is not dependent on getting an article published or waiting on that weekly paycheck, I do understand a little about the late night writing fests.

As a mom, I'm swamped from the time I wake up till the time I fall into bed.  Some days I would gladly trade my laundry pile for an office job!  I'd love to throw down my dish towel and quit!  But unlike many of you, I don't have a boss that I can walk out on.  My job is my family.  I write for myself, but the rest of my day is devoted to providing a safe and well run home for my husband and son, a job that most days is very rewarding.

So I write, to relieve stress, to relax and some days to simply escape the monotony of housework.  I can create a world in which I am the hero, well maybe not me, but you get the idea.  I can explore strange new worlds, face a fire breathing dragon, or fall in love all over again. 

So to all my fellow starving writers, I tip my hat to you.  Keep fighting for that dream!  And who knows, someday you might be the next J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer or Stephen King.  And maybe, just maybe, I will be standing in the midnight line waiting for your newest novel!

Ready, Set, GO!

How many times have you sat behind a blank computer screen, staring into the depths of the white page and felt like the blinking cursor was mocking you?  Yeah, I've been there a time or two.  So how do you come up with that gripping idea that will send thousands of great ideas swirling around in that little brain of yours?

I've read that anything in life can be used as inspiration.  A dew kissed flower on a spring morning, a doe standing in a rolling meadow, a high speed chase through your town or a silly joke your child told you as they bounced on your bed.  Whatever sparks your interest can be used, but maybe it won't fit into your current story.  So my advice, start a file.  I know, I know...some of us are not that organized, but even a disorganized file can be a life saver later in your writing career.

Write down the dreams that inspire you.  Most people forget their dreams by the time they wake up, but occasionally one will linger in the recesses of your consciousness.  Those can be prefect starting points.  Keep a notebook next to your bed.  When those early morning dreams wake you, sneak into the bathroom, turn on the light and write every detail you can remember.  The story will come later, but if you get the essence of the dream down on paper then you can always pull those images up again later.

Once you have your idea, do what your English teacher made you do in school, brainstorm!  See, and you thought you would never need anything you learned in school!  Brainstorming is a writer's best friend.  Once I started writing my own stories I found this to be exciting instead of mind numbingly boring.

So you've got your what?  Write!  And then write some more!

I'm a passionate writer.  When an idea hits I am consumed with it until it's all written down.  Sometimes that might only take 10 minutes, but other times it can be a 3 day project.  I grab 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there throughout my busy day to jot down my ideas.  Keeping a notebook nearby at all times is a must.  I've found my most creative time is late at night.  If I don't write it down, it's lost!

If you are a beginner then start small.  Focus on writing something each day.  It could be a poem, a short story or maybe just a couple paragraphs.  Writing is like any other job, you have to perfect your skill before you can join the big leagues. 

Think about joining a writer's group, to not only get support but also constructive criticism.  In my writer's group we are given homework each month.  I know what you're there a test at the end?  Nope!  This is an exercise to get your brain working, nothing more. 

You can do it at home.  Think of a name of a person and a place....then create a short story from that.  You decide the date, the life story of your character, the trials they must face and create a real or fantastical world for them to live in.  There is no right or wrong answer.  Just give it a try and see what happens.  Who knows, you might have just found the basis for a new book!

Words of wisdom for the day: never give up on an idea just because it seems stupid.  Some of the greatest ideas have been formed, not from a brilliant idea, but from hard work and creativity!  Write down anything that pops into your  mind and see where it takes you.  

Happy Writing!

Writer or Dabbler?

For years I had found solace in the firm grip of a ball point pen.  Then once I was old enough to learn to type I morphed into an avid writer.  It's it amazing how much faster you can get your thoughts down on the page when you're not trying to make all of those perfect loops on paper?  My hands no longer cramp...although I do have a sneaking suspicion that someday I will have to deal with the reality of wrist problems...BUT that's a long way off. 

So, that being said, I want to put forth a question to ponder.  Are you are writer or a dabbler?  Do you enjoy spilling out your thoughts onto paper?  Do you feel your pulse race as a new idea swirls around in your mind, forming an enticing image of what could be?  Do you hide out in libraries, scouring for that next great book that might help to unlock the dreaded writer's block that has formed a steel cage barrier around your mind? you just enjoy the occasional jotting down of random thoughts?  Perhaps dabbling with a rhyme that might someday become a poem, with a bit of help.  Or maybe you read a compelling book and think to yourself "someday I would like that to be me," but you never follow through?

Whether you are a writer or a dabbler we all share a common love of words.  Some say that a good book is worth more than it's weight in gold...and I wholeheartedly agree with that!  A good book can whisk you away to a life that you may have dreamed about but never quite felt confident enough to pursue.  So many people are held back by fears...but writers can step out of those limitations and become their character, to live vicariously through them.

Nothing gives me greater joy, apart from my family of course, than to sit for hours lounging on my couch with my laptop propped on my lap and my fingers flying across the keys.  Creativity flows through your veins like a drug.  When inspiration hits, you just have to write...even if it's on the back of a restaurant napkin.  I've got a few of those floating around here somewhere!

So if you're one of those people who have dreamed about pursuing the dream of writing I encourage you to do it.  What do you have to lose?  Take that leap, stop dabbling and become the writer you were born to be.  Yep,  I said it.  If writing is in your blood then you gotta do it!  Even if you're the only person that ever lays eyes on your it for you.

A source of inspiration

Dreams!  They're fun right?  Sure but they only linger for a short while.  Most of us can barely remember our dreams come morning.  My mother was one of those people that dreamed in abstract.  Nothing was ever as it seemed.  It wasn't uncommon for her to tell me about dreams of purple skies, pink elephants and blue strawberries.  Weird huh? 

For me, that has never been an issue.  My dreams are as real as they come...which makes it fun since most of the time I know that I am dreaming.  Can you change your dreams?  Many people say you can not.  I guess I'm lucky in that aspect...perhaps that's the writer in me.  My greatest inspiration for my books come directly from my dreams.  It's like a movie unfolding right before my eyes.  It really makes writing effortless and oh so enjoyable when you're not banging your head against a brick wall for an idea!

I see every detail from many angles.  I see the story line laid out before me...and if I don't like the way it's going I simply change it.  Now of course that doesn't happen every time.  I'm just like everyone else.  When I'm trapped in a nightmare and my legs feel like jelly when I try to run away to safety, my mind switches off and allows me to simply feel the fear.

BUT...other dreams, my creative dreams are like a blank canvas to an artist.  I can paint any scene that I want, change the plot midstream and after I awake I can finish writing the conclusion.  Many nights I have spent lying awake, staring blankly up at the ceiling as I finished out the final details of my newest creation.  What's my next step?

I race to the bathroom, huddle under the light and scribble down every detail as fast as my cramping fingers will allow.  These details will later be stored as book ideas.  Remember that file system i mentioned in a previous blog?  Yep...mine is extensive. 

When I find myself stumped on one book I flip to the next until my inspiration returns.  As a writer, writer's block is a fact of life...but that doesn't mean you simply stop writing.  You push through, switch up genres or simply write for the fun of it. 

So where do you get your inspiration from?