Thursday, December 17, 2015

Winding down for the year

The time has come for me to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my online friends. It has truly been a pleasure hanging out with you. Thank you so much for all the love and support I've gotten this year. You make me feel very happy and blessed.

Please be safe during the holidays and celebrations. If you drive, do so carefully, as others can be crappy drivers this time of year. Wishing you and your families many blessings.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Drastic measures


I have been stuck with book 2 for ages now. I've read many of my fellow bloggers say that book 2 can be the hardest book to write and I had disagreed then, but I agree now. Fresh ideas were simply eluding me.

So, I did the only thing I could do. I started over. Yes. I tossed my rewrites aside this weekend and decided to do the crazy thing and start the story over . . . from scratch. Since doing that, I've been spoiled for choice with possible story ideas. Granted, the story is going in a completely different direction than my original outline. But I think this might be for the best. Who knows, maybe some scenes from the original might just be salvageable.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The winner is in!

The winner of my first (on the blog) giveaway is Alex J. Cavanaugh! Congratulations, Alex! Whoop, Whoop. I will email you shortly.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Don't be afraid (IWSG)



Thank you so much to Alex, his co-hosts and the entire IWSG team for having made 2015 such a great year. You guys are amazing. 

Today I'm not going to share my insecurities, even though I have plenty. Instead, I want to encourage everyone to embrace who they are, as a person and writer. Don't be like me, afraid of everything. Be proud to be a writer. Be proud to be yourself. Just when I think I'm comfortable being myself, someone mentions something I don't want to hear and my confidence as a person and writer goes crashing down. Please, don't let others change who you are. Be you. Unafraid and unashamed.

The Insecure Writers Support Group was created by the talented Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh so that writers can share their insecurities and/or encourage others who need support with their own. You can visit Alex Here, or if you want to join us in discussing our insecurities on the first Wednesday of each month, you are welcome to join by going Here.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Getting personal . . . How much do you read a day?


"If you don't have time to read, you don't have time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that." - Stephen King.

Hey! I like Stephen King. But I feel like he's talking about me in the above quite. I enjoy reading. I love writing. But how much does one need to read a day for it to be considered reading? The past few months I've decided to keep my reading for bedtime. Because it's so late, I don't end up reading a lot. Maybe a few pages, sometimes a whole chapter. Do you think that's enough? I do.

I bring this up because me and my cousin have been talking about books. We don't read the same authors, but she reads a lot more than me, even though she has an actual day job. She probably averages a book a day, while I probably read a book a month. I know, know! I can feel you rolling your eyes at me. But is reading a book a month acceptable for a writer?

Well, I have a reason for it. When I write, I don't read books in my genre. Mostly non-fiction. However, when I edit, I can read anything I like without it competing or messing with my own ideas/ creativity. When editing, I tend to read a lot more, than when I'm writing.

So, how much time do you spend reading a day? Am I a bad reader? Let me know.


Exciting news!
Everyone who leaves a comment on this post will be entered into a draw and one person will win an e-book of The Amaranthine, by yours truly. Just mention in the comment whether you would like an E-pub or Mobi version. The winner will be announced on Thursday. Good-luck!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Not for everyone

Every writer has their own process of creating their works. I truly believe that. What starts muddling things up for me, is when the legends in writing start giving advice and instead of holding true to our own unique creation processes, we change what works, to do what the legend does. After all, their works are legendary. What makes me qualified to ignore their expert advice? I have the answer. The fact that my brain works differently.

When I decided that I would like to be a published writer, I started reading up on the craft of writing. All those books advise you to find a critique group, or ask a few fellow writers to critique your work and after that, find beta readers to go over your manuscript again. So, that is exactly what I did. I won't lie, their feedback was invaluable. I learned a lot.

Having said the above, my personality and writing doesn't do well during those two processes. I was so insecure during the critiquing process of my first book, that if someone said I should add a clown, I did. After all, this was my first book, what do I know? It was nobody's fault, but my own. I didn't know better.

Having now been through the whole process and having published a novel, I want to do things a bit differently next time. So, no critique partners this time around. Just me and my editor. I may try the beta readers process again, but I also may not. Still not decided on this one. If people hate my book, because they didn't like the story, or how the novel unfolded and it's true to my vision, then fine. I can deal with that. But presenting a book I'm proud of and which holds true to my artistic vision is the most important thing for me at the moment. No more people pleasing. I just can't please everyone.

I'm still stuck with book 2, but I'm slowly returning to a functional human again. So, hopefully the rewrites of book 2 will come along better now.

So, do you prefer working with critique partners, or without them?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Update

Hello friends. How is everyone doing? Well, I hope. 

November hasn’t been such a good month for me. We had some family drama, then my aunt died, making my mom the last of her family. Also, I was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. I’m still undergoing various tests to figure out which one exactly. I’ve had problems with my hands, especially my fingers for months and I was referred to a rheumatologist and I finally got an appointment yesterday. I still don’t know how I feel about having an autoimmune disease, possibly rheumatoid arthritis.

It’s just been an emotional three weeks and I was too much of a mess to keep up with blogging, or my other social media obligations. But I hope everyone is doing good. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

See you soon

Hello friends

Due to personal reasons I will not be online for a while. Please take good care of yourselves.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

So what? (IWSG)



Book 2 hasn't been playing along. It's in worse shape than when I initially started. Is that even possible? Apparently. But, so what? Every book is different, or at least for me it is. This book might take a little longer to whip into shape, but I can do it.

I have noticed that we writers tend to be way too hard on ourselves. Maybe because we have this idea that everything should be perfect, or at least, our writing should be perfect. While achieving that idea of perfection, we drive ourselves crazy, literally. "My writing is terrible." "I'm a failure." And we believe those lies. All because our writing doesn't want to work out how we want it, at that moment.

I don't know about you, but I think we should give ourselves a bit of a break. Yes, our first drafts are a mess, but the second and third won't be. Next time you find yourself freaking out, ask yourself "so what?" So what if I can't find the right word for this sentence now, I will later.

Have a great day, everyone.

The Insecure Writers Support Group was created by the talented Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh so that writers can share their insecurities and/or encourage others who need support with their own. You can visit Alex Here, or if you want to join us in discussing our insecurities on the first Wednesday of each month, you are welcome to join by going Here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Big Bang theory, my favorite

I've never mentioned this before, but I'm a huge The Big Bang Theory fan. No matter what mood I'm in, Dr. Sheldon Cooper and his crazy antics always cheer me up. Sure Penny and the other guys are great too, but Sheldon is definitely my favorite. My mom and I hang out together and watch reruns of old episodes everyday. It's become our bonding time:) The new season is yet to seriously make me laugh though. But I have these little gems I can watch over and over:)




Awesome!





Hilarious!





So, what do you think?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Larry Crowne - my "go to" movie

Picture from www.gstatic.com

Even though the movie Larry Crowne wasn't loved by film critics, it is loved by me. I saw it last year for the first time and loved it. It is a good clean movie that makes you feel good after you watch it. I don't always like big blockbusters, but rather the smaller, unknown films. I'm just weird like that.

What is it about? Larry (Tom Hanks) is fired from his latest job because he doesn't have a degree. So, he goes back to college to get a degree, which leads to hilarious experiences. Julia Roberts was great in this as well. She plays the surly professor Mercedes Tienot.

The moral of the story is that it is never too late to try something new, or to better your life. There is tons of humor, but you have to be smart to get it. When I feel crappy, or sad, I watch Larry Crowne. Needless to say, I've watched this movie a few times this year and it always cheers me up. Every time I watch it, I laugh.

Friday, October 23, 2015

THE JOYS OF SELF-PUBLISHING

It's my pleasure to welcome the wonderful and talented Karen Walker to my blog. Karen is a kind woman that always has an encouraging word to share when you need it the most. Please, show her some love. 


Thank you, Murees, for hosting me today.

Two words – control freak. That’s me. I am an extremely organized, detail-oriented person and I want things done the way I want them done. Now, over the years, I’ve mellowed quite a bit in this regard. But, for the most part, I like to feel as if I’m in control, even if I’m not.

Truth be told, I really wanted to be traditionally published. Back in 2009, when I finished writing my memoir, I spent 1 ½ years sending query letters. I wasn’t successful and ended up self-publishing my memoir. This time around, I was more realistic. I still wanted to be traditionally published, but I knew the likelihood of that happening was very small. So I had a plan B in place. I only spent a few months in the query process and then began the self-publishing journey. Yeah, I can have creative control.

The only downside as far as I’m concerned is the money you have to spend to get a professional book. I’m talking paying for editing, copy editing, proofreading, cover design, interior design, photography for author photo. These are things a traditional publisher handles for an author. But after that, unless you are already a best-selling author, you won’t get much marketing support, so you’re on your own, just as if you self-publish. If you are a traditionally published author and I’m incorrect about this, please say so in the comments.

I worked closely with the photographer (Kathleen Mesmer, www.kathleenmesmer.com) and designer (Mark David Gerson, www.markdavidgereson.com) who put my cover together. It was a collaborative creative effort and it was so much fun. I had input as well on font choices, whether to capitalize initial words in first paragraphs of chapters, and other things along those lines. The finished product is something I feel proud of, not just because I wrote it, but because of how it looks. It feels as if it is truly mine.

I am lucky enough to be able to afford to pay for the services I can’t do myself. In addition to the above-mentioned editing, etc., I had to pay to have my book formatted as well. This is something I know many Indie authors do for themselves. That would have made my self-publishing experience less than joyful for me. I’m not a techie person.

I think we are so lucky to be living in a time when a writer can go to a site like Create Space and upload something they’ve spent time and energy on so they can share it with the world. Self-publishing has come a long way even since 2009, when I published my memoir. It’s lost its stigma. There are still some self-pubbed books that are not well written and not professional. But the same can be said for traditionally published books. We, as readers, have to do our homework when we choose what to purchase.

Thanks again, Murees, for having me here today. Here’s the scoop on The Wishing Steps.

Three Women and a Single Story That Unites Them Across the Millennia

“Totally engrossing. A must-read for today’s wise woman!”Rev. Kathleen McKern Verigin, minister/priestess

Brighid, Ashleen and Megan: Bound through time by a curious light, a mysterious voice and a call they dare not ignore. Yet in obeying this strange force, the women must face soul-searing trials that call into question everything they know and believe — about themselves and about the world around them.

“Guaranteed to inspire you to a deeper level of spirituality and a new appreciation for Goddess.”Rev. Clara Z. Alexander



Karen Helene Walker is a widely published essayist and author of the 2009 memoir, Following the Whispers. When she isn’t writing, you will often find Karen performing in nursing homes and retirement communities as part of the Sugartime or Sophisticated Ladies musical groups, traveling with her husband of 20 years, Gary, or relaxing with a good book at their home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Visit the author’s website at www.karenhelenewalker.com



The Wishing Steps is now available in both print and ebook versions at: Amazon.com. You can also purchase it as an ebook on Kobo, I Tunes, and at Barnes and Noble.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Yes, on the rooftop


Saturday morning I was happily enjoying my sleep, when I was woken by a loud noise on the roof. I didn't pay much attention to it, because there have been large birds landing and resting on it for weeks. However, that changed when my mom answered the phone and started screaming. Me and my siblings all rushed out of bed and toward my mom, who was screaming there was a man on our roof.

My first instinct? Grab my baseball bat and head outside. I didn't see the guy, as I was trying to calm down the dogs. But my brother headed out to check it out and luckily, most of our neighbors were already in front of our house, trying to find out how the heck the dude got on it in the first place.

Apparently, he was being chased and having run through various neighbors backyards, saw our carport, jumped onto it, and then our roof. Hah? Yes, apparently that made sense to him. My brother and the neighborhood watch demanded he get off the roof, after enduring his crazy ranting.  After twenty minutes the police came and they took him away.

I know what you're going to say. This would make an interesting detail for a story. But honestly? I just wish crazy crap like this would stop happening to me, or my family. But such is life, right? Of all the things I thought could happen, I didn't think of some random person coming to hide on our roof.


Monday, October 12, 2015

In two minds

Today I'm in two minds. The realist in me wants to finish as much as I can on the day -job front so that I can put all my focus on book 2. Unfortunately, more and more works seems to pop up everyday. The creative side of me finds it hard to switch back to writing mode after doing hours upon hours of data. My mind simply doesn't go from realist to creative in a matter of minutes. It takes me a while.

Lat night I ended up only doing half a page of rewrites, which for me isn't good enough. But I guess every bit helps.

How is your Monday?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My insecurities are still there (IWSG)


Thanks to Alex and his co-hosts. You guys are awesome!

Hello everyone. Sorry I'm posting so late. I didn't forget, I was trying to multitask and failed.

Today, as a newly published author, I can say without a doubt, that my insecurity didn't miraculously disappear because I published. In fact, I feel more insecure. Why? Well, now I have to market my book. I have to ask people for help, especially reviewers, and I fear they can/ will say no. My oldest sister mentioned that this is the process where I learn the other part of the writing business, which is very true.

I have also been thinking of getting an author photo on my social media pages. I really want to do it because I want a more personal connection with my followers and potential readers. I like seeing what my favorite authors look like. That's just me. I might get a picture in the future, just not now.

I started my second round of rewrites on my second book. Things aren't going as fast, or smooth as the first one, but I expected it. I just have to keep going and stick it out. Also, trust my own judgement. I keep thinking "what will my readers think?" when I want my characters to experience something drastic. Like I said, my insecurities are still there.

How are you doing today?

The Insecure Writers Support Group was created by the talented Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh so that writers can share their insecurities and/or encourage others who need support with their own. You can visit Alex Here, or if you want to join us in discussing our insecurities on the first Wednesday of each month, you are welcome to join by going Here.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The author photo

I can't help but wonder, does an actual author photo make you more credible as a writer? I'm wondering this because every where I look writers are using professional authors photos on their blogs and social media and not just their books anymore.

I know one of my blogging/ writing hero's Alex. J. Cavanaugh doesn't use an actual author photo, but he's super awesome and I think the exception to the rule. I can't help but wonder whether the fact that potential readers don't know what I look like makes them feel like they are taking a risk on an author that won't even show their face.

I use a pseudonym and have never showed my face because of my family asking me to consider their privacy. Because me and my siblings always hang out a lot, they don't want people associating my writing with them, which I understand. We're very private people. Did I mention they've told all their friends and co-workers that I've published a book?  But I don't think the general public will come up to me and ask about my book. Mostly people don't pay much attention I think. Besides, I'm a nobody in the writing community. I'm the furthest thing from famous.

On the other hand, the idea of showing the world what I look like scares me. What if people use my photo for porn adds, or something crazy like that. Even worse, what if my my looks scare off potential readers:)

I have done research online and I can't come to an accurate consensus. One group says an author photo is essential for the modern day, as it gives readers the ease of mind to know that they are connecting with an actual person. Another group says you don't have to. It shouldn't make a difference, or that author photos are an 80's thing (what? I don't believe that).

Personally, I like interacting with people on social media who have an actual face. It's nice to know who you are communicating with, (of course I realize they could have bough a stock image and be using that). Okay, yes, I'm very paranoid. I was thinking of using an author photo for my Amazon page, and for blogging and social media, not on the inside of my book covers. Those shall remain plain.

What is your opinion on using an author photo? What do you think I should do? Any advice?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Doing my happy-dance for writing

Forget about being on top of the world. I'm on top of the plant.

Today I feel like I'm on top of the world. Why? Nope, I didn't sell a million copies of my book. But what I did do was get some serious writing done last night. I haven't written anything new in months and lost all confidence that I would be able to in the future. Last night I proved myself wrong, and I'm so happy, I'm doing my happy-dance.

It is surprising how much confidence one can lose when you doubt yourself and your abilities. I was honestly so afraid that I wouldn't ever be able to write anything again. I have been in editing and revision mode for almost a year now. Luckily I haven't allowed myself to get depressed. Every time I feel the depression creep up on me, I remind myself that I juts achieved my life goal, so there is no reason to be depressed, and if I do get depressed I would be ungrateful for all I have achieved. Honestly, chastising myself doesn't always work, but mostly it does. I'm planning on doing some more writing today:) Yay!

Do I have a new goal you wonder? Of course, to keep on writing and publishing. But not just that . . . but to actually write the stories I want to without thinking what will others say/think. I want to truly embrace my inner artist and gain more confidence as a person/ woman. Believe it or not, but I have a huge problem with self-confidence, much to the annoyance to the people around me.

How are you doing today?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Mesothelioma Awareness Day













Today is Mesothelioma Awareness Day and a special lady, Heather Von St. James, is celebrating her 10 year cancer-free anniversary. Congratulations! You can read her story hereHeather could’ve celebrated this milestone in a million ways and all she asked was for me to make others aware of what Mesothelioma is. 

So what is Mesothelioma? 
It is a type of cancer caused by being exposed to asbestos fibers. Asbestos fibers just so happens to be invisible to the naked eye. The scary part is that it can affect anyone. So many old buildings still contain asbestos. My neighbors across the street still have an asbestos roof. For more info on Mesothelioma, please go here

Heather is such a remarkable woman, who looked cancer in the eye and beat it. She is a wife and mother, who wants to save as many lives as she can by making others aware of this disease. 

I wish her so much happiness and further years of great health. 






Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Getting back and workloads

I am finally back to blogging after being on my promotional tour. Thank you again to everyone who helped me spread the word. It was definitely an amazing feeling having so many people help me. I didn't have to bribe anyone, honest:)

Having my book out in the world is a lot less stressful than I thought it would be. I'm not temped to check my sales regularly, or my author rank and so forth. I simply don't care about that right now. I set a goal for myself and I achieved it. Everything else is a plus. Work on book 2 is currently stalled. Though I'm not currently working on it, it hasn't stopped me from jotting down a few ideas. At the moment the book is at 66 000 words. Book one was closer to 90 000 words. So, I feel book 2 needs at least 12 000 more. I have a few scenes I had been holding back, and the experts say never to hold anything back for the next book.

I googled my book, just to make sure there aren't any pirate copies out there, and I kept stumbling onto sites that are apparently giving a PDF version of my book away for a free download. I know I should be freaking out, but I'm just trying my best not to have it stress me. In the modern day you can try and control everything, but things like this will happen. I can try to get those sites to stop, but tomorrow there are just three more. I have no idea how I'm being so calm.

My workload on the day-job front has increased exponentially. My brother is coming closer and closer to the deadline of his PhD and because I'm the one responsible for the data, a lot of stress falls on me. I have actually done all my bit already, but brother (the saint that he is) trusted his students with a large amount of data and now . . . I need to breathe, or I will freak out. . . I have to go back over everything they have done and do it right. They didn't do as they were told and now . . . I'm doing their work as well. But such is life, right?

What are you up to these days? Do tell.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Dynamic Writing 1 by Tyrean Martinson and what I'm up to

I want to give a shout-out to the awesome, Tyrean Martinson and her book, Dynamic Writing! Her book definitely needs some love. Congratulations, Tyrean!

Dynamic Writing 1- 161 Lessons for Middle School Students by Tyrean Martinson – is a full year curriculum for home or classroom use, studying journal, essay, fiction, and poetry writing. Available in paperback at Amazon. The First Fifteen Lessons Are Available for FREE at the website.



* * * * * 


Thank you so much to everyone who have helped/ is still helping me spread the word about my release. Thank you! And the amazing support I've been getting . . . THANK YOU!

I received 2 large batches of data, so I will be back to work. I'm beta reading a book for a friend, and trying to shape the second book in my Thelum Series into shape. I still don't have a proper title yet, but it's in the works. I've rediscovered my love for blogging and will be getting into a regular blogging schedule soon, so you will be seeing me around more often.  Thank you again! 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Amaranthine is now available!

Its here! It's finally here! My first release is out in the world and I'm not freaking out. I can't believe that this day has finally come.  I could not have done this without Janie Goltz, my amazing editor and Jennie Bennett, my fantastic cover designer. Thank you for all your support. Virtual hugs for everyone!

Title: The Amaranthine (Thelum Series)
Author: Murees Dupé
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 8 September 2015

Blurb
Claire is sassy, human, and an outcast of society―who only wants to know where she belongs.

Alex is arrogant, selfish, and an immortal warrior―who thinks he’s prepared for everything.

Claire knows the world of immortals is where she belongs. As her guide and guardian, Alex finds it hard to resist Claire’s subtle charm. Can the two overcome their differences and embrace their passion for each other, or will the possibility of true love be lost to both forever?


Find your copy here:

E-bookKindle * Nook * Kobo * IBooks * Scribd * Inktera (Page Foundry) Oyster * Tolino
PaperbackAmazon * Goodreads

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Special IWSG Announcement and getting hold of my nerves (IWSG)



The IWSG Short Story Contest 2015

After the success of last year’s IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond, we decided to create another book. This time it’s a short story competition with the top ten stories getting published in the anthology.

Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free.

Word count: 5000-6000

Theme: Alternate History/Parallel Universe. That’s right, we’ve decided to go the speculative route. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines, except erotica or graphic violence.

Story deadline: November 1st 2015

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to TheIWSG at gmail dot com before the deadline passes. Make sure to include your contact details.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges:
·         Laura Maisano - Senior editor at Anaiah Press for their YA/NA Christian fiction
·         Russell Connor – Author and owner of Dark Filament Publishing Startup
·         Candace Havens  - Author and Editorial Director for the Covet, Edge and Select lines at Entangled Publishing
·         Dawn Frederick – Literary agent and the founder of Red Sofa Literary
·         Alice Speilburg – Founder of the Speilburg Literary Agency
·         Michelle Johnson – Founder of Inklings Literary Agency and Writers' Center and Bookstore owner
·         Kendare Blake - Author
·         Lydia Moëd - Associate agent at The Rights Factory

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title. The winners will also receive an exclusive badge to display on their blog.

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word!

* * * * * * 

Today I am one of the co-hosts for the IWSG. Yay! My fellow co-hosts are Heather M. GardnerChristine RainsDolorah at Book Lover and Julie Flanders

I don't like trying new things. Mostly, because I'm afraid of screwing it up, and having everyone laugh at me. Also, I'm afraid of failure. There are many things I have failed at in my life, and honestly, I just don't want writing to be one of them. As you know, I will be publishing my first book soon, and I am terrified. I am all nerves. I do admit, it has gotten better, because I have been exercising, and so many of you have advised me to just chill. 

However, I have this obsession of doing things perfectly, even though I know there is no such thing as perfection, at least not for humans. But, what if there are spelling errors neither me, or my editor picked up (my editor is awesome by the way)? What if people hate my book? What if . . . What if.  

The truth is, I'm just really nervous. But this kind of anxiety and fear is also good for me. I have to learn to control it if I want to make "writing" my career. I have to experience this insecurity to learn and grow from it. It isn't a nice feeling, but I have to live and learn. 

If any of you think you can't write a book, or that you can't make your writing dreams come true, you can. If I can write a book and get it publish ready, so can anyone. All you have to do is believe in yourself and be determined to follow through. 

The Insecure Writers Support Group was created by the talented Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh so that writers can share their insecurities and/or encourage others who need support with their own. You can visit Alex Here, or if you want to join us in discussing our insecurities on the first Wednesday of each month, you are welcome to join by going Here.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Getting back in the swing of things

Last night I decided to stop procrastinating and tackle my second book's rewrites (Thelum Series). I originally wrote it shortly after the first book and back then I was in the zone. I had the finer details for both books in my mind as I did the drafts for the second book. Well, last night I had to rewrite an important scene (if not the most important scene in the second book) and I was at a blank.

I knew exactly what had to happen or how it had to happen. What had me a little unsure was that I was a little uncertain about the main character's voice. I couldn't use words she wouldn't have used in book 1 and she had to think the same way, as in book 1. But I know I will get it right. I just have to get back into the zone. In order to do that, I just need some alone time. I can edit in public, but when it comes to the actual writing . . . I need to be alone. Solitude makes me happy. I have been in editing mode for so long.

As for my pending release, I'm scared. I don't really know what to expect. So many people have offered to help me spread the word, I'm in aw. Knowing that actual people will see my book is kind of freaking me out. I'm used to being the wallflower.

Also, to get rid of my anxiety I have opted for regular exercise. Yes, don't look so shocked:) I am dancing around the house these days, or walking again. I must admit, by body does feel much happier when it gets exercise. So far my depression is hiding, probably because my anxiety and nerves is kicking it's butt.

Don't get me wrong, I am not ungrateful. I'm just a chicken and most new things scare me. Have a great weekend.

Monday, August 24, 2015

I have the best friends

Thank you to everyone who offered to help me spread the word about my release. I am so grateful and humbled by your kindness. If you ever need help promoting, or spreading the word about any of your books, or projects, do not hesitate to let me know. I love helping out:)

Thank you, again.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Release date and anyone want to help me spread the word, please?

I have finally finished freaking out and could think rationally. I have decided on my release day being 8 September 2015. Yay! I still have to get the proof for my print book, but that's supposed to come this week (as I chose the express delivery option), which would give me plenty of time to make changes, if I needed to.

I also thought of ways to market my book and even though I'm plenty excited and want to get as much publicity for my book, I'm not going to have a blog tour. But, I wanted to ask if anyone will be willing to help me spread the word about my book, please? Don't worry, I will provide you with the post and you can post it on the 8th of September, or any day after that (I'm not picky). I'm trying to keep things as casual and relaxed as possible.

I feel a little weird asking for help with my own release day. Usually I like helping out others. I'm not very good at asking for help:)

Does anyone have advice for someone getting ready to publish their first book? I would appreciate it. Have a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

My cover reveal

I felt brave today, so I thought I would finally release my book cover. I hope you like it.



I don't have an exact release date pinned down yet, but it will definitely be in September:) Cover design done by Jennie Bennett. Thank you, Jennie!

At this moment I'm both excited and fearful. I can't believe how everything has come together. Thank you, my friends, for always encouraging me and for believing in me.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Why do I do it to myself (?) and an award

Last week I was in work/ formatting hell, which was my own fault. Last week my brother gave me a large workload to complete before this week, because tomorrow, we are going to gather more data (insert eye roll here). So, I worked on the data during the day and my formatting during every other free time I had. I worked late very night, as expected. But what put me in hell wasn't the workload. Even though I knew exactly what I had to do with the formatting, I allowed insecurity and self-doubt to drive me to tears last week.

While formatting, I had an idea to look up some formatting articles and see what they had to say about formatting your book for print in Microsoft Word. Needless to say, most people were harsh. A few people even suggested that you can't get a professional looking book using MS Word. Well guess what? I was using MS Word and even bought two e-books perfectly explaining how to format my books in MS Word. Because I didn't have enough faith and belief in myself, I allowed all my hard work to come undone, because of what a few people suggested. I should have thicker skin by now, right? Wrong!

I didn't blog about my problem last week, because I didn't see why I had to infect the rest of the blogesphere with my negativity. And after many tears and sleepless nights, I made peace with the fact that I think my book looks good and that I didn't use any fancy software. Some people might feel I'm a disgrace to the self-publishing community, but I don't care. I'm happy with the final result. Having said that, I still haven't decided on a release date yet.



While I was losing my mind last week, Deanie Humphreys-Dunne awarded me with the Dragon's Loyalty Award. Thank you, Deanie! You are very kind.

The rules are:
Display the award logo on your blog.
Pass the award on to 15 deserving bloggers.
Let them know in a comment about nominating them.
Post 7 things about yourself.

My nominations
If you've left a comment on my blog this month, please feel free to accept this award. I don't pick favorites on my blog:)

7 Things about myself
I'm afraid of heights.
I could eat potatoes every day.
I don't like exercise, though my body probably needs it:)
I'm also not a lover of snakes, or anything reptilian.
I love music. I can't imagine life without music.
I used to be a ballet and modern dancer. (Contradicting myself on the whole exercise thing:)
I have a tattoo.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Meet R. Mac Wheeler

Hey everyone! Today I have the awesome R. Mac Wheeler on my blog. His writing is a well kept secret, (until now). I have read his Lycan Council series and really enjoyed it. Take it away, Mac. 


* * *

Thank you, Murees, for inviting me over to meet your friends.

I thought the best way to introduce myself is through the worlds I’ve created in my multiple series. If one sounds interesting…drop by my author page. I’ve been known to share a free e-book. Click contact.

Paranormal-Urban Fantasy
Four-foot tall but full of vinegar, Caitlin Janecek totally hosed herself. A privileged
member of a secret society she has no interest in, Cait shared an overly-honest
opinion of her queen’s clan in her junior essay, which placed her under a magnifying glass. No more free time—she’s tracking vampires, battling hunters, integrating loose ghouls into the clan, acting the queen’s go-to gunslinger.




Carter McCown is a two hundred year old shifter. A wolf. A lone, wolf. Turned during the
Northern War of Aggression. He’s not very friendly. Downright antisocial. Hates politics. So he can’t imagine what propelled him into vampire Red Court business, embroiled him into the Lycan Council. But he’s making powerful enemies, even more powerful frenemies. The latter may be all that keeps him alive.


Suspense
A slacker, an autistic genius, two brawny bond jumpers—not the makeup for prolific soldiers against cartels. Definitely not blood brother material. When the shotguns blast,
the windows blow out, heads are bashed, no telling why the only one of the team hospital bound is always the laid back, designated driver.



Margarite is terribly average for parents who demanded superlative then left her an orphan. Her key asset is her six-foot height, and a love for the dojo. Her genius brother
created a super-bacteria and entangled her in a war against terrorists striving for global pandemic. If her shrinks can keep her mind in the game, she may survive.



Science Fiction
Toni is just over three feet tall. In the fourth millennium there’s no excuse for that not
being corrected in utero. An orphan, she grew up fast, tough, and smart. She designs ships that confound the brightest who say multiple FTL drives is impossible. She won’t share her specs. That paints a target on her back. But the wee sly one more than survives.



Other-world Fantasy
Justen is single-born—in a world of twins, one always male, one female, who share a
telepathic connection. Ostracized among other royals for his bizarre birth, half a soul, a single consciousness, he battles to be accepted. He is turning to arcane powers considered taboo, which further alienate him. But he’ll need those skills to survive the coming war.


High Fantasy
Ogre Ike is a gentle giant. One of the first in memory to bond with a dragon. He’d like
nothing more than to be left alone to his craft, but his village and clan propel him into leadership. To survive racial war, goblins, trolls, daemons, and orcs against the humans and little people, he must turn the mistrust to keep peace.


Again, thanks, Murees, for the forum. Meet me over at www.rmacwheeler.com

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The dreaded writer's guilt (IWSG)


I read an interesting post/article by Colleen M. Story about writer's guilt recently and I truly connected with a lot she had to say. Especially the points she made about I don’t have enough to show for all the time I’ve spent and I don't write enough.

I often feel guilty for spending so much time and attention on my writing. Let's face it, when you've spent six years writing in every spare moment you have, most people want to know what you've written and whether you're successful and rich . . . yet. I tend not to care anymore. But then there's the other scenario. We tend to compare ourselves to other writers and their efforts and then the real guilt trip starts. We can be hard on ourselves and even mean. We start chastising ourselves. Asking questions like, why haven't I reached the success of writer/ blogger X? Why does X have all the luck? Why can't I be more like X? How does X fit in so much writing time and I can't?

The truth is, like I recently discovered, there's nothing wrong with me (my family might disagree), or you. We are all different and the same goes for our writing and the ways we create our art. Our processes differ and some of us might achieve success (insert your own personal concept of it here) sooner than the rest, but that's just how it goes. We have to stop feeling guilty because we don't measure up to other people's standards, when all we have to do is measure up to our own.

Let's not feel guilty because we write, or because we should be doing a hundred other things, aside for writing. Each of us brings something unique to the writing table and we should embrace that.

The Insecure Writers Support Group was created by the talented Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh so that writers can share their insecurities and/or encourage others who need support with their own. You can visit Alex Here, or if you want to join us in discussing our insecurities on the first Wednesday of each month, you are welcome to join by going Here.

Friday, July 31, 2015

My first guest post (Why I chose to self-publish)

Today I'm over at Rachel's Ramblings doing my very first guest post about why I chose to self-publish. I'm so excited. Rachel is a very cool woman. I just adore her!

Feel free to stop by and check out the post:)  Thanks!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Losing my mind a little

Last night I felt a little crazy. Yes people, I do get a little crazy from time to time. Of course the type of things I loose my cool over might not be what the rest of you might think is acceptable.

Last night I was ready to catch up on blog comments and do some much needed research on self-publishing, when our Internet provider decided that I was not going to do any of it. Normally when I know the internet will be off, I finish things ahead of time and I guess I get my planning right. Last night, for no reason, the internet was off and I could feel my eyes twitch. But it's okay, I got a little reading done and got a few ideas for a book, so I guess it wasn't all bad.

I noticed that when I'm not connected to the internet, or have the temptation to check blogs, or other forms of social media, my concentration is better and I end up getting more things done. I know many bloggers have mentioned that social media can be addictive and a distraction, but I thought I would be immune to social media and other distractions. Well, I'm guilty of getting distracted rather easily.

These days I only check Twitter and Pinterest (which is now only for my personal use) regularly, and of course I check out what is going on in the blogging world (This is where I spend most of my time). I rarely use Facebook, Goodreads and Google+ these days. I prefer Twitter because I can just scan through my lists and know what everyone is up to, without giving up too much of my time. Also, I spend a lot of time reading and replying to emails. See, it's not that bad :)

How do you cope with social media? How much time do you spend using it?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I'm not lazy . . . all the time

Since Monday I had actually worked on how to create an e-book. I followed Misha Gerrick's advice and once I learned how to format my "practice manuscript", things started falling into place and the fear I once had about whether I could actually do my own formatting actually paid off.  Thank you, Misha!

I'm starting to think I can actually publish my book this year. But I'm leaving that thought there. I don't want to get ahead of myself, or jinx it.

Also, on the work front I am still battling those articles for my brother. I had to work with a headache all of yesterday, but I kept pushing on. It's just not in me to do a mediocre job of anything, aside for dieting of course. Okay, you got me, exercise too, but that's another story.

My dog is so much better now. He is back to his playful routine and waking me in the middle of the night every few hours to go do his business. That's unfortunately a side effect of the Addison's medication . . . It makes him drink a ton of water and then he wants to urinate more regularly. At least he goes outside less regularly now than before. Before, I barely slept during the night, because he had to go out so much. But having said that, I love my dog and wouldn't trade him for anything. He's perfect, Addison's and all.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Procrastination station

My manuscript is back with my editor for final edits and even though I should be self-editing my second book, I’m hiding from all things writing. I’ve never been one for procrastinating, but lately I have acquired the bad habit. Even if I don’t want to edit, I could be practicing my formatting, or even thinking, or working on marketing ideas for my book (The Amaranthine), which I still hope to publish this year. We shall see. I just have to be more productive. 

On the day-job front, my brother has handed me a flash disk containing thousands of scientific articles, which I have to catalogue and organize, to make it easier for him to find when he starts reading and referencing articles for his own PhD. At this point my eyes feel like they are throbbing in protest, but it has to get done before the end of the month. See, being a research assistant isn’t easy, even if you work from home.

On the annoyance front, certain extended family members have taken up the task of trying to find me a job, as they feel I’m not doing anything worthwhile with my life. Can you believe that? They don’t believe what I do for my brother is seen as work. My mom and siblings were just as upset as me when they found out. Without realizing it I am annoying people by working from home. Who Knew? Some people can be so nosy.

So, how is your Monday? 

Friday, July 17, 2015

War of Six Crowns Blog Tour (Strong Female Characters)

I am so lucky and honored to have Misha Gerrick on my blog today. Congratulations, Misha! You did it!



This is actually a post that I’ve been wanting to write for a while now. I’ve recently been reading a lot about people — women specifically — calling for stronger female characters.

And… well… rolling their eyes every time some industry exec or (sorry guys) man in general points out that there are oodles (okay I’ve never heard a guy say “oodles”, but bear with me.) of strong female characters out there.

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeellllll…. Yes. And most of them are in YA Dystopians of some sort. Which, of course, is a general indication of how hungry women really are for strong female characters. The thing is… I’ve been watching things (because I do. Much more than people think.) and I’m just not always sure if execs get it.

I know for one fact that South Africa’s pre-eminent film critic (who’ll remain unnamed) doesn’t. When Charlize Theron pointed out that she loved acting in Mad Max because there are so few interesting female roles out there, he couldn’t jump on the “oh, but there are oodles bandwagon fast enough.

And I don’t really blame him. Because we live in a world where female characters act as window dressing so often that most people can’t tell the difference. Especially the people who get to make these calls.

They seem to look at the YA Dystopian action girl heroes and think: “Great! So to get the female demographic into this series with the male demographic, we then have a hero, and put in an action girl to appeal to the girls. She’ll be the Strong Female Character.”

A clue:

Noooooooo. *shakes head emphatically*

A female character isn’t strong because she can hit a guy so hard that his aunt gets dizzy.

A female character is strong when she makes a choice to keep going even if everything is stacked against her. A female character is strong when she somehow keeps surviving when people somehow in control of her life try to stamp it out of her.

It’s a woman who escapes an abusive husband.

It’s a woman who has no choice about living with one, but who keeps going.

Yes, I love Katniss. And I think it’s awesome that she’s paved a way for so many strong female characters after her. Who can (and do) kick ass.

I just think that there are so much more to female characters that just don’t get the attention they deserve. So many kinds of strength that get disregarded because for some reason, people don’t think that “gritty” characters will be liked as well. Or because people who make these decisions deem that the more subtle sorts of strength will be completely lost on the audience.

Personally, I’d rather take a chance and write my strong girl who’s scared and unsure, but who keeps on making decisions about her own life.

Instead of the hugely confident, kick-ass girl who’s there, but seemingly only to validate the guy in the story, and who seemingly never has a mind of her own.


Synopsis
After discovering her parents had kept a whole world secret, Callan races to discover her past. Not easy to do with an increasingly agitated entity living in her soul.

Going to her long-lost elvish roots should answer all her questions. Instead, she ends up in the middle of a nightmare.

The elves are on the verge of an apocalyptic war. Their enemy, King Aurek of Icaimerith, will only be appeased if Callan marries his heir. It’s either her life getting messed up, or an entire country’s lives lost. Simple enough, right?

Wrong.

Because when the entity wants the elves blotted out of existence, saving them gets taken to a whole new level of complicated.



Misha Gerrick has been creating stories long before she could write and is currently going after her dream of making a living as a writer.

If you’d like to see how that’s going, you can visit her on her blog, where she also discusses all things related to writing and publishing.

Or, if you’d just like to know what she’s reading and get updates on what she’ll be publishing next (Sorry, no newsletter just yet.):

You can follow her Tumblr (http://mishagerrick.tumblr.com)
You can follow her on Twitter: @MGerrick1
And you can circle her on Google Plus: +MGerrick

Monday, July 13, 2015

Synthetica Blog Tour (Synthetica Playlist)

Today I have the fantastic Rachel Pattinson on my blog. She is really cool. Take it away Rachel.



If you'd asked me a few years ago what my favourite music was, I would've answered Green Day, My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy without any hesitation. I'll admit it – I was definitely an emo in school. If it was dark, had strong lyrics and the band had grungy-looking frontman, I was sold.

But now? My music tastes vary as much as my taste in books – Taylor Swift, Hozier, Mumford & Sons, Christina Perri, The Pretty Reckless, George Ezra, King Charles, Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Of Monsters and Men, anything from the eighties - you get the picture. If it's got a good beat, I'll listen to it. I don't really mind what genre it's from, so long as I can nod along to it (I'm actually listening to Blondie as I write this).

While I'll always love Green Day and MCR, I began to realise that it was only through listening to other songs and genres of music that I felt truly inspired to write. Green Day is great for dark, emotional scenes – but what about my romantic scenes? My happy scenes? The scene where my MC is simply hanging out with her best friend (just before something dark and emotional happens, obviously)? Whenever I switched on the radio, I found myself imagining new scenes and making up conversations between characters to whatever song was playing at the time – and that was when I realised if I wanted to get to the heart of my story, I'd have to change my writing playlist. So it was with this new attitude towards music that I started to write Synthetica.

I also promised myself when I began Synthetica that I would have fun writing it. I knew that if I didn't have fun, I would never get it finished. So instead of pigeon-holing myself into listening to my type of music, I decided to play anything I liked the sound of, and luckily, this gamble paid off. I have never had as much fun writing anything, as I have writing Synthetica.

So, without further ado, here's my (current) writing playlist*:

Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men
Wings by Little Mix
I Am Not A Robot by Marina and the Diamonds
Centuries by Fall Out Boy
Wake Me Up by Avicii
Hey Brother by Avicii
Let It Go by Idina Menzel (Don't judge me - this is an awesome song!)
Are You Satisfied? by Marina and the Diamonds
If I Had A Heart by Fever Ray (thank you Vikings, for this one!)
The Hanging Tree from the Hunger Games soundtrack
Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
Hollywood by Marina and the Diamonds
The Great and the Good by Max Raptor
Do You Hear The People Sing? from the Les Miserables soundtrack
Demons by Imagine Dragons
Solo Dancing by Indiana
Hideaway by Kiesza
Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson
Take Me To Church by Hozier
I Bet My Life by Imagine Dragons
Heaven Knows by The Pretty Reckless
Although I know that I'll probably change my writing playlist again for my new WIP, there are songs that I have no doubt will remain staples for the whole Synthetica series. There were a couple of songs that I listened to, and immediately thought of scenes for the second and third books in the trilogy, so I know I'll definitely be revisiting them while outlining those books.


*I've actually cut it down to the songs I listened to the most - my original playlist is over 2 hours long, and far far too many songs for me to list here...




Rachel Pattinson graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a BA Hons in Publishing Media. Born and raised in the north of England, she shares a love for anything to do with tea, cake, bread and butter, rain, the dark, lakes, fells and Lord of the Rings. She now lives in Norfolk with her partner in crime, and is currently working on several new projects, including the sequel to Synthetica.

Or follow her on Twitter: @REPattinson1

Discover more about Synthetica:

Amazon  |  Kobo  |  Nook  |  iBooks  |  Smashwords  |  Goodreads