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Archive for the ‘The Writing Craft’ Category

You know what I hate about writing? Getting stuck. I have all this wonderful stuff in my head. All these great story lines and characters and places I want them to go, and they just refuse to move. They stand there, staring at each other like dummies. Why does your brain do that? Why do you just get overwhelmed and not able to move?

On the other hand, I hate it equally as much when there is nothing. Absolutely nothing. Where I just sit there, looking at the last thing I wrote and wondering where the heck I was going with that idea. Those are the times where you just want to delete everything and start over. Don’t do that! Whatever you do, don’t start editing now! Wait until your story is finished. I can’ tell you how many times I have fought the urge to cut out something only to come back days or months later and realize just how much it added!

I know when you are stuck there is a big part of you that just want to give up. Get up and take a walk or watch a movie or even check your Facebook. When you are burnt out, taking a break is a good idea. However, sometimes you just need to force yourself to start writing. Starting is always the hardest part.

I know it sounds foolish, but sometimes I just start writing stream of consciousness. Things like ‘I don’t want to write today’ and ‘I am so bored’ or ‘This is not going to help’. But it does help. It gets my fingers moving and my brain on the right track.

Other times, when I have too much going on, I take the time to write it all down at once; just a splurge of words on the page, disjointed and chaotic. But it helps me to get it out and makes me feel like I can stop remembering everything because it is written down somewhere.

This is the same reason I have started carrying a notepad with me everywhere I go. When I get a great idea, I write it down. That way I don’t forget or stress myself out trying to remember until I get home. Even a couple jotted down words can remind you of a whole story line you might have forgotten about. I know I’ve had inspiration form dreams that had I not written it down I would have never remembered even an hour later.

Inspiration can hit any time, and so can writer’s block. Getting over writer’s block is sometimes just as simple as writing something, anything. So, the next time you feel stuck and out of ideas, or overwhelmed by them, take a minute to just free write. You may be surprised at how much it really helps.

By the way, don’t fret about spelling, grammar, etc. You can always fix it later. If you focus too much on the details, you will lose your flow.

Author Bio

Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to summer nanny by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.smith7295 [at] gmail.com.

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Photo Credit Sharon Drummond

Dealing with a case of writer’s block often feels worse than suffering from the seasonal flu. Fortunately for most of us, we’re able to get through the creative sickness on our own and eventually find our way back over to the creative side of things. Yes, even the greatest writers have trouble finding the right words to say from time to time, but when writer’s block grows into an infectious plague and terrorizes ever word we try to pen, that’s when things get much more serious. How can we work to become successful writers if we can’t find the right words to say?

Authors, journalists, and bloggers often suffer from writer’s block. Writing something new each and every day can feel like a tremendous weight to carry, especially when your career depends upon it. When we’re required to be creative all the time, the pressure and anxiety can build up so much that it becomes impossible to bear. So when writer’s block takes hold, what’s a writer to do? Well, the good news is that there are always ways to work and navigate through a nasty case of writer’s block. Sometimes all it takes is a few resources to help make us well again. Whenever you catch a nasty case of writer’s block, here are four reliable medicines you can utilize.

Favorite books

Turning towards the inspiring works of art that made you want to become a writer in the first place often brings you back to those initial moments of inspiration you felt about writing. If you’re ever unsure of the right words to say, read through your favorite books and stop on the lines that tug at your creative soul and re-read them over and over again. Believe it or not, you’re planting a seed for creativity by doing this. No, you don’t have to read through every book on your bookshelf to make it work, but reading the authors you admire most will sometimes awaken a creative bone in your body you forgot you had.

Short Naps

Whenever we’re uptight and tense, often the best thing to do is walk away from the situation that is causing us stress. No, I’m not saying you should abandon your work entirely, but if you’re absolutely stumped and unsure of the words to say, that’s your brain’s way of signaling to you that you need to give yourself a break. If you aren’t focused on the task at hand, your work is inevitably going to suffer. Taking a short nap is a great way to give your mind a break. For just an hour or so, allow your brain escape, relax, and contemplate the thoughts racing through its pathways. By the time you wake up calm and relaxed, you’ll be able to come up with the right words to say.

Nature Walks

Being cooped up inside in front of a computer all day isn’t good for nurturing a creative mind. Should you find yourself in the middle of a sentence unable to type one more word, stop what you’re doing, put on a pair of walking shoes, and go outside and behold the world around you. Humans are meant to walk around and experience nature, and some of the greatest writers of our time – including Mark Twain and Henry David Thoreau – wrote about the profound inspirations and influences of nature. Indeed, catching some rays of sun will likely warm your creativity right back up to where it’s supposed to be.

Fellow Writers

When I’m absolutely stumped at a creative crossroads, I’ll call upon fellow writer friends and trusted colleagues to help me out. After reading my work, they’ll sometimes suggest a minor change in the structure, phrasing, or organization of my work, and like magic, I’ll be able to get myself right back on track. Having someone else look over your work helps bring a strong sense of clarity and perspective to your writing, which inevitably helps you navigate right out of that writer’s block.

We all feel at a loss for words at some points in our life. As long as it only occurs every once in a while, writer’s block is something we should be able to navigate through with a little time and a lot of patience. Should you find yourself a creative standstill, however, perhaps you should reach for one of these four reliable medicines.

Maria Rainer is a freelancer blogger who believes that online learning is at the cutting edge of higher education. In her mind, the online degree path is an ideal one for students who want an education that fits the needs of a web-centric society. Please write her some comments!

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Evil Stalks the NightRevised Author’s Edition is special to me for many reasons. It was my first published novel in 1984 and as it comes out again on June 1, 2012, rereleased from Damnation Books for the first time in nearly thirty years, it’ll bring my over forty year writing career full circle. With its publication all fourteen, and one novella, of my old books will be out again for the first time in decades. Sure, it’s been a grueling, tedious two-and- a-half year job rewriting and editing these new versions but I’m thrilled it’s over. I have my babies reborn and out in the world again…and all in e books for the first time ever. Now, perfectionist that I am, I can finally move forward and write new stories.

I’ll start at the very beginning because, though Evil Stalks the Night was my first published novel, it wasn’t my first written one.

That first book was The Heart of the Rose. I began writing it after my only child, James, was born in late 1971. I was staying home with him, no longer going to college, not yet working full time, and was bored out of my skin. I read an historical romance one day I believed was horrible and thought I can do better than that!

So I got out my borrowed typewriter with the keys that stuck, my bottles of White-Out, carbon paper for copies, and started clicking away. I’d tentatively called that first book King’s Witch because it was about a 15th century healer who was falsely believed to be a witch but who was loved by Edward the Fourth. At the library, no computers or Internet back then, I did tedious research into that time in English history: the War of the Roses, the poverty, the civil and political strife between the Red (Lancasters) and White Rose (Yorks); the infamous Earl of Warwick and Edward the Fourth.  Edward’s brother Richard the Third.  A real saga. Well, all that was big back then. I was way out of my league, though. Didn’t know what the heck I was doing. I just wrote page after page, emotions high believing I could create a whole book. So naïve of me. Reading that old version now (a 1985 Leisure Books paperback) I have to laugh. Ironically, like that historical novel I’d thought in 1971 was so bad, it was pretty awful. That archaic language I’d used–all the rage back in the 80’s–sounds so stilted now. Yikes! Yet people, mainly women, had loved it.

And so my writing career began. Over 40 years ago now. Oh my goodness, where has the time gone? Flown away like some wild bird. It took me 12 years to get that first book published as I got sidetracked with a divorce, raising a son, getting a real job and finding the true love of my life and marrying him. Life, as it always seemed to do and still does, got in the way. The manuscript was tossed into a drawer and forgotten for a time.

Then years later I rediscovered it and decided to rewrite it; try again. I bundled up the revised pile of printed copy pages, tucked it into an empty copy paper box and took it to the Post Office. Plastered it with stamps. I sent it everywhere The Writer’s Market of that year said I could. And waited. Months and months and months. In those days it could take up to a year or more to sell a novel, shipping it here and there to publishers, in between revising and rewriting to please any editor that’d make suggestions or comments on how it could be better. Snail mail took forever, too, and was expensive. But eventually, as you shall see, it sold.

Now to Evil Stalks the Night.

In the meantime, as I waited for the mail, I’d written another book. Kind of a fictionalized look back at my childhood in a large (6 brothers and sisters) poor but loving family in the 1950’s and 60’s. I started sending that one out as well. Then one day an editor suggested that since my writing had such a spooky ambiance to it anyway, why didn’t I just turn the story into a horror novel…like Stephen King was doing? Ordinary people under supernatural circumstances. A book like that would sell easily, she said.

Hmmm. Well, it was worth a try, so I added something scary in the woods in the main character’s childhood past that she had to return to and face in her adult life, using some of my childhood and my young adult life–my heartbreaking divorce, raising my young son alone, my new love–as hers. It was more of a romantic horror when I’d finished, than a horror novel. I retitled it Evil Stalks the Night and began sending it out. That editor was right, it sold quickly to a mass market paperback publisher called Towers Publishing.

But right in the middle of editing Towers went bankrupt and was bought out by another publisher! What terrible luck, I remember brooding. The book was lost somewhere in the stacks of unedited slush in a company undergoing massive changes as the new publisher took over. I had a contract, didn’t know what to do and didn’t know how to break it. Heaven knows, I couldn’t afford a lawyer. My life with a new husband, my son and my minimum-wage assistant billing job was one step above poverty at times. In those days, too, I was so clueless how to deal with the publishing industry.

That was 1983, but luckily that take-over publisher was Leisure Books, now also known as Dorchester Publishing. A publisher that quickly became huge. Talk about karma.

As often as has happened to me over my writing career, though, fate stepped in and the Tower’s editor, before she left, who’d bought my book told one of Leisure’s editors about it and asked her to give it a read. She believed in it that much.

Out of the blue, in 1984, when I’d completely given up on Evil Stalks the Night, Leisure Books sent me a letter offering to buy it! Then, miracle of miracles, my new editor asked if I had any other ideas or books she could look at. I sent her The Heart of the Rose and, liking it, too, she also bought it in 1985; asking me to sex it up some, so they could release it as an historical bodice-ripper (remember those…the sexy knockoffs of Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen Woodiwiss’s provocative novels?).  It wasn’t a lot of money. A thousand dollar advance each and only 4% royalties on the paperbacks. But in those days the publishers had a huge distribution and thousands and thousands of the paperbacks were printed, sent to bookstores and warehoused. So 4% of all those books over the next couple of years did add up.

Thus my career began. I slowly, and like-pulling-teeth, sold ten more novels and various short stories over the next 25 years–as I was working full time, raising a family and living my hard-scramble life. Some did well, my Leisure and Zebra paperbacks, and some didn’t. Most of them, over the years, eventually went out of print.

And twenty-seven years later, when publisher Kim Richards Gilchrist at Damnation Books contracted my 13th and 14th novels, BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons, an apocalyptic end-of-days-novel, and The Woman in Crimson, a vampire book, she asked if I’d like to rerelease (with new covers and rewritten, of course–and all in ebooks for the first time ever) my 7 out-of-print paperbacks, including Evil Stalks the Night–I gave her a resounding yes!

Of course, I had to totally rewrite Evil Stalks the Night for the resurrected edition, as well as my other early novels, because I discovered my writing when I was twenty-something had been immature and unpolished; and not having a computer and the Internet had made the original writing so much harder. Also in those days, editors told an author what to change and the writer only saw the manuscript once to final proof it.  There were so many mistakes in those early books. Typos. Grammar. Lost plot and detail threads. In the rewrite I also decided to keep the time frame (1960-1984) the same.  The book’s essence would have lost too much if I’d updated it.

As I finished the final editing I couldn’t help but reminisce about all the life changes I’ve had since I’d first began writing it so many years ago. Though it was actually published in 1984, I’d started writing it many years before; closer to 1978 or 1979. I’m as old as my Grandmother Fehrt, my mother’s mother and who the grandmother in the story was loosely based on, was back then. While I was first writing it so long ago, I was a young married woman with a small child holding down my first real job and trying to do it all. Now…my Grandmother, mother and father have all passed to the other side. Many other family and friends I’ve left behind, too. I miss them all, especially my mom and dad. It’s strange how revising my old books reminded me of certain times of my life. Some of the memories I hid from and some of them made me laugh or cry. This book, though, is the most autobiographical of all my novels as it contains details of my childhood, my devastating divorce, and what my life was like when I first met my second husband, Russell, who’s turned out to be my true love. We’ve been happily married for thirty-four years and counting. Ah, but how quickly the years have clicked by. Too quickly. I want to reach out, at times, and stop time. I want more. I have so much more life to live and many more stories to write.

So Evil Stalks the NightRevised Author’s Edition (http://damnationbooks.com/people.php?author=79 ) republished by Damnation Books/Eternal Press will be out again for the first time in nearly thirty years on June 1, 2012, and I hope it’s a better book than it was in 1984. It should be…I’ve had over thirty more years of life and experiences to help make it so.

Written this 1st day of June, 2012 by the author Kathryn Meyer Griffith

 

***

 

A writer for over 40 years I’ve had 14 novels, 1 novella and 7 short stories published with Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, the Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press since 1984. And my romantic end-of-the-world horror novel THE LAST VAMPIRERevised Author’s Edition was a 2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS FINALIST NOMINEE.

My books (all out again from Damnation Books http://damnationbooks.com/people.php?author=79 and Eternal Press http://www.eternalpress.biz/people.php?author=422): Evil Stalks the Night, The Heart of the Rose, Blood Forge, Vampire Blood, The Last Vampire, Witches, The Nameless One short story, The Calling, Scraps of Paper, All Things Slip Away, Egyptian Heart, Winter’s Journey, The Ice Bridge, Don’t Look Back, Agnes novella, In This House short story, BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons, The Woman in Crimson, The Guide to Writing Paranormal Fiction: Volume 1 (I did the Introduction) ***

You can keep up with me on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1019954486, my Author’s Den www.authorsden.com/kathrynmeyergriffith  or my My Space www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith

 

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Book description: 

Alan Watt wrote the first draft of his novel Diamond Dogsin just under 90 days, and later sold the North American rights for $500,000 to Little, Brown in a bidding war. The book became a national bestseller, won a slew of awards and is soon to be a major motion picture.Get the first draft down quickly! The 90-Day Novelis a day-by-day guide through the process of getting the first draft of your novel onto the page. The 90-Day Novel was workshopped at LA Writers’ Lab over three years and has helped hundreds of writers complete their work. Some of his students have gone on to become bestselling authors and win major literary awards.The 90-Day Novelis structured into three parts.

Part One describes the process of getting your story from imagination to the page and prepares you, through a few simple, powerful writing exercises to access the story within. Part Two is The 90-Day Novel, a series of 90 daily letters that will guide you through the hero’s journey. Writers often tend to get stuck halfway through, mired somewhere in their “idea” of the story. The 90-Day Novel will show you how and why you got stuck, and how to get to the end of your first draft. Part Three is a compendium of stream-of-consciousness writing exercises designed to help you access the primal forces in your story, as well as the Structure Questions that will invite up images at key stages in your hero’s journey.

The 90-Day Novel teaches you how to distill your plot to its nature, and clarifies the mysterious process of assembling vague disparate images into a coherent narrative. Working in this way, story structure (which is often taught as a formula) becomes a springboard, setting you free to explore the far reaches of your imagination. “There are no rules,” Watt tells us. “Stay out of your left brain, and let your unconscious do the heavy lifting.” The 90-Day Novel clearly articulates the process of marrying the rigor of story structure to the wildness of the imagination, and in the process reminds us of something we so often forget…that writing is actually fun.

My thoughts:
From all the books on writing I’ve ever read–and they are in the dozens–I can honestly say this is by far the best. The best way to describe this book is: plotting for right brainers.
Why for right brainers? Because Watt teaches you how to plot in an organic, stream-of-consciousness manner. Think of it as Writing the Breakout Novel meets The Artist’s Way. What really struck me about this method is the idea that we can’t solve a problem at the same level of consciousness that created that problem. What this means is that often it is impossible to plot a strong, compelling ending of a novel unless we’ve gone through the journey with our characters, that we must allow our characters to play and trust our subconscious to do the work. Watt also advises to keep curious all throughout the writing process, so that new questions emerge while our world takes shape.
An important point Watt stresses is that ” it is character that suggests plot,” and that stories are about transformation and a “shift in perception.” According to the author, at the heart of every story is a dilemma, which isn’t meant to be confused with the problem.  Watt goes on to explain the difference between the two: “Problems are solved, while dilemmas are resolved through a shift in perception.”
The 90-Day Novel is an insightful, revealing, must-read for any serious novelist. This is a book I’ll continue to use every time I start a new novel. The exercises are spot-on for getting me in touch with my subconscious and creativity. Finally, in addition to being insightful and practical, the book is also highly inspiring. Every novelist has those moments of self doubt, and Watt tackles these too.

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When I was in first grade, I had an art teacher who shamed me into crying in front of the entire classroom.

She had given us an easy assignment. Handing out blocks of wood, she asked us to draw faces on them. I loved art, and happily got to work drawing a man’s face. When I’d finished with his features, he looked more alien than man, I thought, so I painted his face bright blue. (I blame my mother: she had been reading to me from her science fiction novel rather than any of those boring children’s books.)

My teacher went down the row of student desks, nodding and smiling as the children held up their wooden faces for praise. And then she got to me, and nearly went into one of those whirling fits of rage I now associate with Roald Dahl characters.

“You painted your face blue?” she shrieked. “You can’t paint a face blue! What kind of face is that?”

“It’s an alien’s face,” I said, tearing up.

I might as well have said “Satan.” The art teacher hauled me over to sit in the corner and made me do another face while the rest of the kids tittered.

Now, this story happens to be true, but if I were writing fiction, I could have chosen to relay from a different perspective. For example, I might have written it from the teacher’s point of view, or from the point of view of the town sheriff, who is called into school after the art teacher is found dead…or after an alien invasion, during which the art teacher and several other people in town are abducted! Then I might have used multiple points of view.

Wrestling with point of view is something that writers do every day in fiction, and it’s one of the most frustrating—and fun—aspects of writing. Sometimes it takes several drafts before you get the point of view that works for a particular story; for instance, if you’re writing about an alien invasion, you might want what’s called an “author omniscient” point of view, which basically means that you’re relaying the story from on high, from multiple points of view or even in multiple time frames. If you want a scarier, tenser read, you might choose a first person point of view, where the narrator doesn’t really know what’s happening, leaving the reader to ride along on her coattails as she figures things out.

In Sleeping Tigers, my first novel, I chose what’s called a “limited third person” point of view—this means that I can only be inside the main character’s head, and nobody else’s. I did this because I wanted to create a tight emotional connection between my protagonist, a young woman named Jordan, and my readers, while still having the freedom to write lush descriptive passages of other characters and the setting (San Francisco and Nepal, in this case).

For my next novel, The Wishing Hill, to be published in spring 2013 by Penguin, I created the story of two women who are bound in ways they don’t suspect, so I decided to alternate points of view between them. That lets the reader discover their complex interconnectedness even before the characters themselves know what’s going on. Now I’m writing a paranormal mystery; for that one, I’m using a first person point of view to ramp up the scare factor.

Take a closer look at the book you’re reading right now and check out the point of view. Think about how the story might have been different if the author had chosen a different one. Did the author make the right choice? What would you have done?

About the author:

Holly Robinson is a journalist and comic whose work appears regularly in national venues such as Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, Huffington Post, Ladies’ Home Journal, More, Open Salon and Parents. Her first book, The Gerbil Farmer’s Daughter: A Memoir, was published by Harmony Books in May 2009 and was released in paperback in June 2010. It was a Barnes & Noble memoir selection as well as a Target Breakout Book.

Ms. Robinson holds a B.A. in biology from Clark University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She and her husband have five children, two cats, a single gerbil and two very stubborn small dogs. They are currently renovating an antique house north of Boston, and will probably never finish it.

To learn more about Holly Robinson, please visit www.authorhollyrobinson.com

Sleeping Tigers
By Holly Robinson

Jordan O’Malley has everything she ever wanted: a job she loves, a beautiful home, and a dependable boyfriend. When her life unravels after a breast cancer scare, Jordan decides to join her wildest childhood friend in San Francisco and track down her drifter brother, Cam, who harbors secrets of his own.

When Cam suddenly flees the country, Jordan follows, determined to bring him home. Her journey takes her to the farthest reaches of majestic Nepal, where she encounters tests—and truths—about love and family that she never could have imagined.

Funny, heartbreaking, and suspenseful, Sleeping Tigers reminds us all that sometimes it’s better to follow your heart instead of a plan.

Get it for the Kindle and in paperback.

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I was asked to write about how I’ve managed to write ten books in the past three years and the system I use to keep myself organized and productive.

The first part would be having the ideas to write about.  I actually have a note book filled with ideas and partial plots. This way I never run out of stories to write.  If a scene pops into my head I scribble it down so when I get to that point it’s there and I’m not struggling to remember.

When I’m racing with the keyboard to get a story finished (not usually as fast as my muse would like) if I come to a part that doesn’t work or I’m drawing a blank on where to take the characters at that point, I leave it blank to come back to later.  Most times there are two or three scenes missing in each story when I’ve reached the end.  I close the file and set it aside for a month or more and then when I go back to sigh over the silly typo’s and mistakes it’s easier to put those scenes in after reading the entire plot.

I have also abandoned a story I’m working on if another one keeps distracting me with scenes and plots.  It just makes more sense to run with one that is playing out in your head from start to finish.  As a result of doing this I have written complete books in a month that just kept flowing for me.

The great part to having all these ideas and hoping from one to the next is I never get tired or frustrated with one particular set of characters.  If they’re not co-operating and helping me get them on the page then I have several other options sitting on the side lines waiting for their stories to be told.

The downside to doing this is I always end up with multiple books signed and edits due one right after the other.  If I could just figure out how to get through that editing crunch of having releases close together in a smooth, stress free way I’d be a much happier me. J  I had one release in January this year and have books coming out in March, May, July and September so far.  Editing mayhem…

 

From Beltane Magic – Book I the Magic Seasons

Step into a world of magic and passions….

 

Take a dash of spice, heat it

Add a flash of magic and watch the sparks fly

Toss in a killer that’s targeting women

Add a handful of witches from all paths to stir it all together…

Each were willing to spend their lives alone and safe; until they’re touched by Beltane Magic.

Can they survive their pasts to be together as they struggle to find a killer before the wheel turns again?

Extended Blurb:

Leena is a woman that is gentle in everything, her personality and moods. She always feels maternal with her closest friends and would go out of their way to look after any one of them. Her ability of controlling the elements and knowledge of plants make her magic abilities strong and unbreakable.  She is a leader at work and in life, always working hard to keep those around her close, but never allowing anyone to get too close. 

To the outside world she is just Leena Duncan, a quiet woman who works a normal job and lived a quiet life.

A few times a year she can openly use her magical gifts at celebrations within a small community of people she calls friends.

Having lived through the horrors that can come from the hands of someone you thought loved you; she decided never loving again would prevent more emotional scarring.

It takes one man at a rainy Beltane celebration to change everything she is comfortable with and one killer to change her safe world.

           

Owen is a man that reflects humor and cavalier vibrations to others, he is gentle and caring as is his ability to draw negative and heal others. If you didn’t know him, you would never realize he came from violence.  Knowing how the real world can be, he has vowed to never put himself into the position, or allow anyone else that could open up the world he has carefully sealed shut forever.  

He creates worlds and puts them on paper to entertain others.  After years of using his imagination he finds out his friends can do things he thought only his mind created.  

For his entire adult life Owen Grey has always played it safe and kept to his own world of writing, never getting too close to anyone.

Having lived a nightmare growing up he would never take the chance of repeating history.  He may write about happily-ever-after, but knows it is pure fantasy and doesn’t exist.

Until her . . .  

Book II – The Solstice Heat  to be released in March 2012

Book III- Harvest Dreams to be released in May 2012

About the author:

Jacqueline Paige is a world class multi-tasker being a mother to five adventurous and unpredictable children, a cafe manager and having a colossal imagination that allows her to step outside of reality into a world of paranormal romance —with just a touch of suspense.

Jacqueline lives in Ontario, Canada and avoids the ever changing weather of the region she lives in by creating other worlds to fall into in her stories of all things paranormal.

Her first book was published in 2009 and since then has published ten.  She is always writing and currently has more than a dozen stories in one stage or another of the writing process.

http://jacqpaige.webs.com/

http://jacqpaige.blogspot.com/

Excerpt : From Beltane Magic

http://jacqpaige.webs.com/beltanemagicexcerpt.htm

Purchase links: 

http://www.classactbooks.com/From-Beltane-Magic-by-Jacqueline-Paige-PDF_p_320.html

http://www.amazon.com/Beltane-Magic-Seasons-ebook/dp/B006XNI92O/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1331129184&sr=8-5

 

 

 

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I’ve always loved to read.

If I’m waiting somewhere and I’ve forgotten a book, I’ve been known to read the back of a match stick booklet, or every single item on the menu. In high school, college and early in my working life, I’d often read a book a day. I was voracious, devouring authors across almost every genre—romance, suspense, mystery, horror, fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction—I’d read it all. There was always a book in my hand and two or three in my backpack. When I started to drive they were tucked in the glove box, tossed in the back of the car, or sitting on the passenger seat beside me.

Back then, I couldn’t imagine a time when reading would get lost the shuffle of a busy life. I couldn’t imagine a life without reading.

This obsession with reading is what compelled me to write, to dwell in my own imagination, and bring my own worlds and characters to life. But as I sank deeper and deeper into writing, I stopped reading.
It happened so slowly I didn’t even notice.

I was working full time, with an hour commute each way. Plus, I was writing on the side. Writing brings with it a host of other time consuming activities, like critiquing, and beta reading. So I guess you could say I was reading, sometimes I even enjoyed what I read. But reading a critique partner’s work, chapter by chapter, isn’t the same as getting lost in a book. It doesn’t fill your creative well. Or at least it didn’t fill mine.

Since there are only so many hours in a day, and those hours were spent working, commuting, sleeping, writing and critiquing—reading evaporated. I literally didn’t have time to read.

I didn’t notice the affect at first. I was riding high on the drug of writing my first book and involved in several critique groups both online and local. When I realized it had been months since I’d read a book for pure enjoyment, I shrugged the realization aside. Serious writing, required serious sacrifices, I told myself. I couldn’t afford to cut back on the time I spent writing and critiquing, not if I wanted to get published. The reading, however, wasn’t necessary. I could do without the reading.

I was so naïve.

The months turned into a year. And then two and then three. I went from reading a book a day, to reading maybe a book a year. As that third year without reading bled into a fourth, my creativity dulled. Everything I read from critique partners sounded vacant, and dull. Everything I wrote felt stagnant and boring. All those exciting premises churning through my mind, tarnished. Like wisps of smoke on the wind, they blew away. All the sudden I was left with no interest and no energy for writing. There were no images, no stories, and no characters in my mind. No words demanding their time on the page. My mind felt empty. My creativity gone.

I struggled for months with this strange apathy, forcing myself to write even though the enthusiasm was gone, forcing myself to critique even though everything thing about every story irritated me. Because my critique partners’ work couldn’t pierce this mental fatigue, I didn’t think other fiction could either. Instead I turned to television and dulled my mind even further.

The only reason I started reading again was because I lost electricity one day. With no television, I had no way to occupy myself, so I picked up a book for the first time in years. The book was Vanished by T. J. McGregor and it revitalized me. I got lost in that book—lost in an imaginary world, with imaginary people. And when that ride was over, I reached for another book and took another imaginary ride. And then another. What followed was a reading glut like I hadn’t enjoyed in years. Not since I started writing.

And wonder of wonders my creativity surged. Suddenly new ideas and new characters started spinning through my mind. The words that streamed from my fingers onto the computer screen were vibrant and thrilling. My critique partners’ chapters were brilliant.

My creative well was full again.

Since then I’ve made time for reading—allowing myself a major reading glut every couple of months. And with each reading glut my creativity has soared. It was the Black Dagger Brotherhood that inspired Forged in Fire, my paranormal romantic suspense. Without that reading glut, without that inspiration, I would never have written Forged, which means I wouldn’t have been able to quit my day job in order to write full time.

So it’s fitting that my first resolution this year is to read more. At least a book a week. I have a brand new Nook Tablet and I’m filling it with books: Christy Reece’s Last Chance series, the fourth book in Maya Bank’s KGI series, and the first two books in Elisabeth Naughton’s Eternal Guardians. Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Linda Howard, Lara Adrian, Caris Roane, they are all either downloaded into my Nook or about to be downloaded.

What do you have on your Kindle or Nook or sitting on your bedside table?

About the book:

Beth Brown doesn’t believe in premonitions until she dreams a sexy stranger is gunned down during the brutal hijacking of a commercial airliner. When events in her dream start coming true, she heads to the flight’s departure gate. To her shock, she recognizes the man she’d watched die the night before.

Lieutenant Commander Zane Winters comes from a bloodline of elite warriors with psychic abilities. When Zane and two of his platoon buddies arrive at Sea-Tac Airport, he has a vision of his teammates’ corpses. Then she arrives—a leggy blonde who sets off a different kind of alarm.

As Beth teams up with Zane, they discover the hijacking is the first step in a secret cartel’s deadly global agenda and that key personnel within the FBI are compromised. To survive the forces mobilizing against them, Beth will need to open herself to a psychic connection with the sexy SEAL who claims to be her soul mate.

Forged In Fire is a smoking hot adventure with an irresistible alpha hero. Danger, action, suspense, and a steamy romance make a story that’s impossible to put down!”
–Patti O’Shea, National Bestselling Author of Through a Crimson Veil

About the author:

Trish McCallan has been writing for as long as she can remember. In grade school she wrote children’s stories, illustrating them with crayons and binding the sheets together with pencil-punched holes and red yarn. She used to sell these masterpieces at her lemonade stand for a nickel a book. Surprisingly, people actually bought them. Like, all of them. Every night she would have to write a new batch for her basket.

As she got older her interest changed to boys and horses. The focus of her literary masterpieces followed this shift. Her first full length novel was written in seventh grade and featured a girl, a horse and a boy. At the end of the book the teenage heroine rode off into the sunset . . . with the horse.

These days she sticks to romantic suspense with hot alpha heroes and roller-coaster plots. Since she is a fan of all things bizarre, paranormal elements always seem to find a way into her fiction. Her current release, Forged in Fire, was the result of a Black Dagger Brotherhood reading binge, a cold, a bottle of NyQuil and a vivid dream.

Visit her Website.

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