Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! Another wonderful indie author! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Audrey Rich!

Where do you live and write from?

I live and write in Sunny South Florida in the USA but I’m originally from New York City.

Why do you write?

My soul calls me to write and my characters definitely beg for their stories to be written.

When did you start writing?

I’ve always loved to write and put together stories in my head but I earnestly began to write in 2011 after one late night I opened up Word and the words spilled from my fingers. There wasn’t even an inkling that I would choose to become a writer.

But it was an answer to a prayer for a career change that led me to embark on my writing adventure until the moment the characters came to life in my head and the words appeared on the screen and the writing bug burrowed itself into my heart.

What genre(s) do you write?

Currently I write YA, NA, and Dystopian Contemporary Romances as well as Fairytale retellings and I’m co-authoring a Sci-Fi story about aliens with a friend.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Definitely an improviser (pantser) but I can follow someone else’s outline. Depends on what is going on in my life. My debut novel was completed in three months so not too slow but there are times that it takes me forever to write a word.

Tell us about your latest book

My latest book, Queen of Mermaids, is the first of four books, which is Season 2 of the Kingdom of Fairytales series will be released on January 29th 2020.

It’s the after the happily-ever-after of The Little Mermaid. My character is Princess Blaise, daughter of The Little Mermaid and she’s a proud member of the Anti-Mermaid League. The irony of it all.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Indie publishing because despite having an acquiring editor who liked my writing and the plot of my first book, I decided that I wanted complete control of my publishing career. I wouldn’t mind working with a traditional publisher in the future when I would have more control but for now managing my own books and career works for me.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Definitely many projects that need to be polished and written but I believe I will focus on the stories from my YA series that will lead to my NA/adult Contemporary Romances because these characters’ stories need to be written.

I working on the final edits of Igniting Our Love and finish writing Denying Our Love, which are both part of my A Stonehaven High Series.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

My goal is to continue improving how I tell my stories by writing every single day.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

The best piece of advice is to write what your heart and soul call you to write instead of trying to ride the trends that are popular at the moment.

_______________

Find Audrey online

Goodreads

Facebook

Blog

Amazon 

Bookbub

Instagram

Twitter

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! From the land of Alice in Wonderland’s cat… er, I mean Cheshire, England! 🙂 Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome V.L. McBeath!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in Cheshire, a county in the north west of England, UK,

Why do you write? / When did you start writing?

It was never my intention to be an author. I only started writing about ten years ago as a result of researching my family history. During the process, I unearthed a number of revelations about the lives of my ancestors, which made me think they had quite a story to tell. I argued with myself for months as to whether I could write their lives as a family saga but eventually decided to give it a go. I told myself that if it was no good, I wouldn’t share it with anyone.

It took about five years before I realised I hadn’t done too bad a job and so decided to work towards publishing it. I put the first main book out in March 2017 and the final part of the series in July 2018. After spending so much time writing, I found I actually quite enjoyed it, and so decided to carry on.

What genre(s) do you write?

The first series (The Ambition & Destiny Series) is a historical family saga, set in Victorian-era England. I also have a series of historical murder mystery books (Eliza Thomson Investigates).

What does your writing routine consist of?

Most of my writing takes place in the evening. I spend most mornings at the gym, and once I get home I tend to work on the publishing and marketing side of the business. I also have a non-writing consultancy business that takes up varying amounts of time.

Of an evening, I usually give myself an hour to be sociable with my husband (LOL) and watch a bit of TV, before disappearing back to my office to spend 2-3 hours getting some writing done.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

Obviously for the first series, all the inspiration came from my family history. The fictional elements that were worked into the story were based on my best guesses as to what might have happened between the real-life events.

For the murder mystery series, my amateur sleuth Eliza Thomson was inspired by two characters in The Ambition & Destiny Series. One was Harriet. She was a fabulous character to write about but as a woman who longed for an education and a place in what was obviously a man’s world, she had a very difficult life. In contrast, another character, Charlotte had a wealthy, dotting father and wanted for nothing that money could buy. Eliza was ‘born’ when I wondered what Harriet would be like if she’d had the same opportunities as Charlotte.

As for the murders, I suppose some of my inspiration comes from people who have annoyed me over the years!

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Definitely a planner, although with The Ambition & Destiny Series, not so much as I first thought. My original outline spread the story over nineteen chapters, and I expected to produce a short novella. In reality, the story ended up as a five-book series, with something like 400 chapters!

For the Eliza Thomson Investigates series, I have to plot everything quite meticulously to make sure I plant the right clues and red herrings as I go along and make sure Eliza can work out who the killer is at the end.

In terms of speed, that depends on the book. The historical fiction ones take longer as there is a lot more background research to do to ensure historical accuracy. Once the books of either series are plotted, however, I can now get the words written quite quickly.

Tell us about your latest book

I’ve been fortunate that The Ambition & Destiny Series has done a lot better than I initially expected, leading many readers to ask if there would be more books in the series.

As far as the main storyline is concerned, that ended in 1910 and won’t be extended. I have had a couple of ideas for spin off books though and I’m about to release a new book based on the lives of my great x4 grandparents.

Set in 1808, The Young Widow is a standalone story that can be read either before or after the rest of the series. It is currently available for preorder at a special introductory price and will be published on 27th January. In addition, as with the rest of the series, it will be available in Kindle Unlimited.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Indie!

As I was contemplating publishing my first series, I wrote a whole blog post on why I wasn’t even going to bother going down the traditional publishing route. Everything I’ve learned since hasn’t changed my mind.

In short, it’s about control. Being based on my family history, The Ambition & Destiny Series was special to me and I didn’t want to hand it over to anyone who might want to change it.

In addition, traditional publishers now do very little that authors aren’t expected do for themselves anyway. If I have to get my work edited before I submit, build up a marketing plan and have social media followers before a traditional publisher will consider me, I might as well do it myself and keep all the royalties.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Yes, I’m still working on the Eliza Thomson Investigates series and the fifth book in the series is also available for preorder, although it won’t be released until May 2020.

I also hope to start researching another spin off book in The Ambition & Destiny Series.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

You can’t edit a blank page.

When you’re working on a first draft, just get the words down. It doesn’t matter if they’re not exactly right, if you repeat yourself, or if there are still gaps. That’s what editing is for and where the ‘magic’ happens. So my philosophy is to get the words down first and worry about them later.

I always do several rounds of self-editing before I send it to my professional editor and the difference between the final version and the first draft is incredible.

Follow me at:

Website: https://valmcbeath.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VLMcBeath

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/VL-McBeath/e/B01N2TJWEX/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/vl-mcbeath

Sunday Surprise


And it’s the first guest of the year! One more for the show! Ladies and gentlemen, please wlecome Wendy Rose Williams!

Where do you live and write from?

Seattle, Washington

Why do you write?

It makes me happy, brings new insights, and helps transmute energy for myself and others. Writing and publishing is an important part of my life purpose.

When did you start writing?

I began writing December 2012 to help process a rapid and profound spiritual awakening. Published my first non-fiction book December 2016.

What genre(s) do you write?

I write metaphysical fiction & non-fiction – books and short stories.

What does your writing routine consist of?

My writing routine varies depending when I have clients and speaking engagements scheduled. I like to do 4-hour afternoon sprints with my writing partner after having morning clients. I love to block off full days and even a week or two for full-time writing as I get deep into the energy. It’s most efficient for me to write in that manner vs. an hour a day. (I’m now self-employed – when I was working a traditional job, writing an hour a day on weekdays and more on weekends worked best.)

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

My strengths are taking complex spiritual topics and presenting them in a straight-forward manner that’s easy-to-understand and relatable for readers. I’ve developed this quality by working closely with test readers and incorporating their feedback. My writing has also improved by reading it aloud as I now record my books as audiobooks.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

My inspiration comes from my own spiritual experiences which I then fictionalize in a series called “The Flow.” The most interesting and universally applicable of my client’s past-life regression sessions form the basis of the “Regression Healing” non-fiction series. (I’m a hypnotherapist specializing in past-life regression, a Certified Spiritual Teacher and Reiki Master energy healer.)

Yes, I include myself in my stories in various roles.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Improviser – slow

Tell us about your latest book
My latest solo book is about a broken-hearted ghost from Colonial America who refuses to go Home for over 300 years, and what it took to get her to the Light.

https://www.amazon.com/Flow-Plimoth-Plantation-prequel-ebook/dp/B07TXXFPXQ

My latest short story, “The War Dog,” is about the unexpected events that occured when I fostered a dog 3 years ago.

https://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Sent-Stories-Touched-Miraculous-ebook/dp/B081ZG5LQC

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

I love being an Indie because I get to determine my product including the content, cover, pricing and timing from start to finish.

I’ve had two short stories published by Transcendent Publishing in multi-author collaborations. “Heaven Sent” was published 12/5/19. It was a great opportunity to have the publisher’s help getting to #1 in 7 categories internationally and to receive 76 reviews in less than a month’s time. I hadn’t known how to do a formal Advance Reader Copy process, how to do Facebook Live on launch day, etc.  All proceeds from the book benefit animal charities.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Yes! I’m excited to complete and share “Regression Healing II: Joe & Marilyn” in 2020.

“A Seattle hypnotherapist turns to past-life regression therapy to resolve puzzling memories that predate her birth. However, when she realizes she’s seeing the world from the point-of-view of Joe DiMaggio, she struggles to accept the famous ball player’s identity as well as the energy flow between them.

The hypnotherapist flounders trying to heal her experiences as the Yankee Clipper until a young woman struggling with overwhelming memories from the same timeline is referred to her for help. Her new client has significant recall from her past life as Marilyn Monroe, including as Joe DiMaggio’s second wife.

The present-day “Joe” recognizes she needs to step to the plate to help them both release the old energy. Can they forgive one another, compounded by the extra heat and scrutiny potential famous past lives are often subjected to?”

But first I’ll be publishing 3 short stories on Kindle:

“Jack’s Journey Home”

“The Car-Whisperer: Trust Your Intuition”

“Ramona Falls: A Path to Forgiveness”

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

To write the truth, to the best of my ability, even when it’s painful to face at times and to share publicly.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Let go of ‘what will other people think,’ and set yourself free. Have FUN with your writing!

_______________________________

Find Wendy online:

https://www.wendyrosewilliams.com/

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Sunday Surprise


And it’s the last guest of the year! From the West Coast of the U.S. of A. please welcome Melania Tolan!

Where do you live and write from?

Portland, Oregon, USA

Why do you write?

Good Question… to clear my head, therapy, keep sane, because I love it!

When did you start writing?

Over ten years ago, when my husband told me to start writing all the crazy stories in my head instead of telling them to him. And then he bought me a laptop.

What genre(s) do you write?

Urban Fantasy mostly, but have some contemporary NA romance in the works.

What does your writing routine consist of?

Oh boy, I wish I had a better routine. Mostly, I write when I can as I’m a mother and also work a full-time non-writing job. Either I get up around 3-4am in the morning, work-out for 15 min, make Irish Breakfast tea, and then write for an hour before I have to get my daughter up for school and start my other job. OR I wait about 30 minutes after my daughter goes to bed and write until 9pm.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

I think my biggest strength is world-building, at least this is what I’ve heard from the editors I’ve worked with and reader’s feedback. I see these fantastic worlds and beautiful creatures in my head like a live 3d movie and then I have to know why does this place exist? When I write, I feel like I’m there and I’ve developed this ability by practice, practice, practice. Before I published my first fantasy short story three years ago, I’d already written over 1 million words.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

Nature is my muse. Whenever I get stuck in a plot or feel like I’ve written myself into a corner, I go hiking or outside for a walk. The fresh air clears my head and the increased blood flow to my head which helps me work through story and get it back on track. Plus I live in the Pacific Northwest where the hiking is pretty spectacular.

My other source of inspiration is movies. I love fantasy movies like Lord of the Rings or Underworld, but then I can binge on Hallmark movies all weekend too.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I have tried to outline, but still end up improvising. Part of the joy of writing for me is figuring out what is going to happen next while I’m writing. If I know too much ahead of time, it kills the story for me. And my writing speed is relative. I get about 3-4 books written in a year, which for some that seems insane while others think that is too slow.

Tell us about your latest book

The Witch’s Sword is book 4 in the Silver Witch Chronicles. In this book, Everly Greene must complete her final mission, retrieving a magical sword that once belonged to an elven princess. She travels into the dangerous Otherworld where she faces elves who have other ideas. She is an abomination which they must kill and their magic is FAR more powerful…

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Indie all the way. I want to be able to control when the books come out, the covers, the contents, and the pricing. Also I love working independently and not being pressured by a publisher’s deadline.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Book 5! I’m currently writing the yet to be titled final book in the Silver Witch Chronicles and hoping to get it out in April of 2020. Then I have another witch trilogy coming late Fall 2020, with a couple of projects in between.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

My goal is to write better stories that have all the feels and the way I achieve this is by reading books with stories that I love and writing more. I’ve taken so many classes on craft and read craft books, but really the best way I learn is by doing. The more I write the better I get.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Like the Nike logo says “Just Do It!” Seriously, though… stop talking about writing and how great this story idea is that you have, sit your butt down and write it. It’s not going to be perfect, but keep writing.

___________________________

Find Melania online

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Wednesday Weekly Roundup


And since it’s Christmas, I shall leave you to your celebrations and only share some words of wisdom, writers on writing or whatever you want to call them. More next year!

17. Never give up. Quitting guarantees failure. Never stop running in the direction of your dreams. Fight for your right to pursue the best career in the universe. Every successful author I know once toiled in obscurity and you will too.

18. Dream big dreams. Be ambitious. Aim high. You are smart. You are capable. You must believe this because if you don’t believe this, you can’t achieve. Salvador Dali once said, “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.”

19. Know that your writing is important. Books are important to the future of humanity and you are the creator of books. That makes you special. It also burdens you with a considerable responsibility. Your writing is unique. No one else can create what you have within you. Your writing is the manifestation of your life, your dreams, your soul and your talent. You are special. Others might think you’re suffering from delusions of grandeur but so what? What do they know? They can’t see inside you. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Don’t be discouraged if others, including those who love you the most, don’t understand the vision in your head.

20.  Find success and satisfaction in the journey of publishing. Know that the measure of your importance and your contribution to book culture and your contribution to humanity cannot be measured by your sales alone. The moment you reach your first reader, you’ve done your part to change the world and that’s just the beginning, so thank you for everything you do and thank you for taking the time to join me here on the Smart Author Podcast. That concludes episode eight.

Mark Coker

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
Toni Morrison

You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.
Madeleine L’Engle

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.
E.L. Doctorow

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.
Louis L’Amour

And a special gift from the Infinite Bard – two free stories instead of one! Happy Holidays, everyone! 🙂

Sunday Surprise


And it’s another guest! Cheerful, busy holidays on this side of the pond, don’t we? But this guest is from the other side of the Atlantic pond – or is it an ocean? Anyhow, ladies and gentlemen please welcome J.L. Hendricks!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in Southern California, near Disneyland and write from home. On occasion I have been known to head out to a Starbucks to write. I just got back from a month in Edinburgh Scotland and I wrote at a small café there called, Café Florentin.

Why do you write?

Because there isn’t another way to get those pesky voices out of my head. LOL Actually, I always have stories bandying about in my head and writing is the best way to explore those stories and see where the characters take me.

When did you start writing?

I started writing early 2016 and published my first book in April of 2016.

What genre(s) do you write?

I like to bounce around. I have written Clean Scifi Romance, Clean Paranormal Romance, Clean Urban Fantasy, and now I’m starting on Clean and Wholesome Cowboy Romance.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I wake up early, like about 5am get coffee, read my bible, and then get started writing. I get to write for about 3 hours before I have to start my part time job of assisting other authors with their author business.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

I write clean books, which we don’t see enough of. And I like to write them in fun genre’s that are usually full of not-clean books. LOL And I feel that I come up with some really fun and lighthearted stories. When I read a book I do it to escape. So what I write is something that I would like to read when I’m trying to escape the serious nature of life.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

Inspiration comes from all around. I love to people watch, which can lead me to making up stories about the people I see, and then that situations that I made up may end up in a future book. This year I’ve traveled to Edinburgh twice and that city as well as some other places in Scotland will be making a lot of appearances in my Urban Fantasy books for 2020. I also have a super secret romance about a couple who meet in Scotland. I can’t wait until I can find the time in my schedule to write that one out. Edinburgh provided probably 2 years worth of inspiration, maybe even more.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I do tend to write slow overall. I can times when I can’t keep up with my mind, because the story is just pumping out. But I also like to do a very loose outline, more like a few pages of beats. Then I let the characters and story tell me where to go.

Tell us about your latest book

My latest book will be published Dec 26th. It’s the first in my new pen name, Jenna Hendricks. It’s set in Montana in a small town and it’s surrounding ranches. This is a clean and wholesome cowboy romance with a kick. (pun intended) LOL

If you like no-nonsense cowgirls, clean stories, and heartwarming attractions, then you’ll adore this contemporary Christian cowboy romance.

Second Chance Ranch is the first book in the touching Triple J Ranch contemporary Christian cowboy romance series.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Indie publishing because at first I had no way to even approach the traditional market. Now, I’ve learned that unless you are Nora Roberts, you’re going to make very little. Most Trad Published authors have to work full-time jobs in order to make ends meat. I’m getting closer to supporting myself by self-publishing.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Yes, there is an urban fantasy series that will publish sometime in the first half of 2020. It’s going to be a trilogy and I want the entire series completely finished and edited before publishing it so I can do the rapid release approach with it.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

My goal is work full time as an author and support myself. I don’t have to be rich, just make enough to pay my bills and put a little bit away for retirement. Basically, replace what I was making when I worked in Corporate America.

I am constantly looking at new ways to market as well as changing up what I’m writing based on what the readers want. I still want to write something that I’m proud of, but I have to mix that with what can sell.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Learn from my failures, re-evaluate and come back with something new.

_______________

A Ritual of Fire: An FBI Dragon Shifter Adventure (The FBI Dragon Chronicles Book 1)

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Author Central

 

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! From this side of the pond again, please welcome Rebecca Pauliniy!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in Bristol, in the South West of England, but I’m originally from Devon (even further South-West!) which is where lots of my stories are set.

Why do you write?

As a child, I always wanted to create my own stories, especially after reading books so quickly that I was always running out! As an adult, the characters and stories have just always been very keen to be heard.

When did you start writing?

I can’t honestly remember – I know that at the age of 7, when we were meant to writing about what we did at the weekend in English lessons, I was writing made up stories about my visits to Planet Odd!

What genre(s) do you write?

I started off writing young adult – probably because I was one when I started writing full length novels – and now write young adult, romance and women’s fiction. There’s always some romance in whatever I write though! I would love to write historical fiction one day, but haven’t yet found the historical period or the time to research!

What does your writing routine consist of?

There’s not much routine, if truth be told! I am a full time primary school teacher, and so write when I can around that. Often it’ll be an hour in the evening while my husband makes dinner, a few hours at the weekend and large chunks during the school holidays! I like to do writing sprints as I can easily end up procrastinating.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

Hopefully writing characters people care about! I definitely find myself invested in the characters, so much so that even if I’m finished with a series, I’ll still daydream of ideas and end up writing short stories about parts of their lives. I think reading a lot helps with the character development!

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

I definitely think there are parts of me in some of my characters, although I’m not always consciously doing so! A rebellious teenage character was definitely a way of having a bit of fun when I was very well behaved in real life! My current series was inspired by location, more than any particular event or character, and I’ve loved setting books in the seaside area where I grew up.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

When I get down to actually writing, I’m think I’m pretty fast, but the getting down to it can be hard! With a full time job and baby on the way, it’s about finding time to get the words out of my head and onto the page! I’m definitely more of an improviser, although I have started to write very brief chapter titles to remind me where I should be going, and to avoid getting lost halfway through the book – although I still sometimes go off on a tangent.

Tell us about your latest book

My latest published book is ‘The Worst Christmas Ever?’ which tells the story of Shirley ‘Lee’ Jones, a lawyer whose life gets shaken up just before Christmas when she discovers her husband is cheating on her. She makes a spontaneous decision to stay in the quirky, small-town of Totnes and finds friends, a career change and a new man who help to make it a better Christmas than she could have imagined. Available at: mybook.to/worstchristmas

The sequel is currently being edited, and the third is halfway complete, so there is lots more to come from this Devon series!

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Indie – I like being involved in every element of the process, even if it means there is a lot for me to learn all the time!

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I’m working on the Devon series, including a Christmas short story to catch up with the characters from The Worst Christmas Ever?. I’m also publishing the third in my young adult trilogy, ‘Camera Shy’,

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

I would love to have people as excited to read my books as I am to read so many authors out there! To do that, I’m just writing, publishing, advertising – and learning as I go!

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Get your bum in the chair and get writing! Or words to that effect You can’t do anything without getting the words on the page first.

___________________________________________

Find Rebecca online

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Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! I did announce it, didn’t I? Here’s the first of the Holiday visitors to this blog! I met her in Edinburgh (where I unfortunately missed her tarot readings) and she was kind enough to answer my writerly questions… Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Marielle S. Smith!

Tarot for Creatives: 21 Tarot Spreads to (Re)Connect to Your Intuition and Ignite That Creative Spark (Creative Tarot Book 2) Kindle EditionWhere do you live and write from?

I grew up in the Netherlands, raised by a Scottish dad and Dutch mum, but I now live and write from Cyprus, a small island in the Mediterranean Sea.

Why do you write?

I don’t feel right when I don’t. Nothing aligns or makes sense, I’m all out of sorts, and become impatient with life and everything and everyone in it. It’s not pretty… I have stories and knowledge inside of me and I just need to let it out.

When did you start writing?

I was always making up stories and writing little poems and such. I don’t know when it started; it was always there. I don’t know myself any different. The only thing that has changed over the years is that I no longer keep it a secret.

What genre(s) do you write?

I write mostly nonfiction at the moment, which springs from my day job as a writing coach and editor. I also co-write LGBTQ+ romance under a pen name, and I’m working on a YA fantasy series.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I try to write first thing in the morning, but depending on how much other work I have on my plate, it might become the first thing I do after dinner. Aside a few exceptions (because life happens), I do something writing related every day, whether that means writing new words, editing old ones, working on a cover or blurb. To me, it all counts, and as long as I get an hour a day in at the least, I am very happy.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

Seeing the bigger picture and then bringing it all together, which is one of the reasons most of my editing work consists of developmental editing. I do a lot of outline critiques and it’s so easy for me to see how similarly separate story aspects can be linked.

Honestly, I have no idea how I developed this specific quality. My brain has always seemed wired to connect the dots. I used to become impatient during meetings of whatever kind because it often took an hour for the entire group to reach the conclusion that I already envisioned about fifteen minutes into the meeting. The moment I have all the necessary pieces of a puzzle, I’m there. It’s the same reason I spent most of my school-going years bored. And why I tend to win at Rummikub, I guess.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

My nonfiction inspiration I get through my coaching and editing work, and through journaling about my own writing practice. It’s all about listening intently and then providing what is needed (or trying to). That said, I have certain principles and beliefs about the world we live in, and a particular way of understanding our place within this world, and those are present in my work. The same goes for my fiction. I might not always explicitly comment on what’s going on in the world right now, but I will write the kind of world or society I would love to belong to.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I am a pantser turned plotter, but I’m not a rigid plotter: I always leave room for the story to surprise me. I’m either fast or slow, depending on the project. I’m fastest at nonfiction, and slowest at fantasy. And no, that doesn’t surprise me at all 😊

Tell us about your latest book

The 52 Weeks of Writing Author Journal and Planner is my latest project. In it, I’ve brought together everything I’ve learned over the past few years as a writer and writing coach. It’s the ideal tool for the writer who is tired of being in their own way and ready to start digging for some honest truths about their writing goals and practice. It’s designed to help you get clear about your writing through consistent reflection, planning, and tracking. It also provides a safe space where you can figure out how to set goals that honour both your dreams and the reality of your day-to-day life.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

For me, indie publishing is the way. The freedom is everything to me. It’s not for everybody and that’s OK, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can write whatever I want and publish whenever I want. What’s not to love about that?

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Yes! I’m working on a new book in my Creative Tarot seriesSet Yourself up for Successwhich will be published the first of January. I’m also working on a book on imposter syndrome with fellow editor and writing coach John Robin, and I am aiming to finally finish a project called Representation Matters in 2020, which will be a book aimed at writers who want to include more diverse characters in their work. I’ve taught university courses on representation for almost ten years before I left academia behind, and it’s about time I put all that knowledge into something useful for fellow writers.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

To leave a legacy I’m proud of, by publishing only books that are aligned with me and what I have to say.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Claim the title. If you write, you’re a writer. If that title feels too much for now, claim the verb. Tell the world you’re writing. You don’t have to share your work with anyone yet, but do yourself the honour and let them know you write.

________________________________________________

Find Marielle online:

Website

Instagram

Amazon Author Central

Book links to all Amazon shops can be found on this page

Sunday Surprise


And it’s a guest! I met her last summer in Edinburgh and was delighted to see she has translated some of her titles in English! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome C.C. Mahon!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in France, in Fontainebleau forest, which is 35 miles south-west of Paris.

Why do you write?

When I was younger, books saved my life. They were a haven from life. Now I want to create such

a haven for other people who might need it. And I can work in my PJ!

When did you start writing?

Like a lot of writers, I started young and wrote throughout school. Then I stopped because it wasn’t

deemed « serious » or « productive.» I’m happy to report that I stopped being serious and found

(again) the joy of writing a few years ago.

What genre(s) do you write?

I write urban fantasy and supernatural thrillers.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I sit in a chair or sofa with my laptop. My two dogs lie down near me, then the cat sits on my

keyboard.

What do you feel are your strengths as a writer? How have you developed these qualities?

I can describe people and settings with few words. I write short because I’m impatient, but at the

same time, I want to give a few elements of description. I think readers like those short descriptions

that let them imagine a lot.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

I hunt for inspiration, run after it, and clobber it. I try to not put myself in my stories, because this is

not about me, but about the readers.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I outline but will deviate from the plan while writing.

I write reasonably fast, at 5k words/day.

Tell us about your latest book (add link if published)

My latest books in English are translations from my french best-selling series, « Club 66 ».

The action is set in Las Vegas, where a young woman—Erica—came to escape her past. After

changing her name, she opens a night-club for supernatural beings. All is well until Erica’s barmaid

is killed, and Erica has to find her courage to protect her team, and her new life.

The series is on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081D4XSK5

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

I worked for years as a translator for trad pub, and do not want to go back there. I am 100% indie, and very happy.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I’m translating the 4th book in my Club 66 series and writing a stand-alone in French before writing the 6th and 7th Club 66 books (in French, then in English).

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

I want to have happy readers who tell their friends about my books.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

« Finish what you’re writing. »

You can’t do anything with unfinished novels, and you learn so much by finishing a project.

Find C.C. online:

https://www.facebook.com/Ceeceemahon

https://www.facebook.com/ccmahonautrice/

https://www.instagram.com/c.c.mahon/

Sunday Surprise


And in spite of the new blog schedule, I won’t give up on sharing words of wisdom, writers on writing or whatever you want to call this. I’ll try not to post them when there’s the Backstage Pass on the other site, so while I fly to London to watch a Bollywood movie and meet friends, I leave you with the usual collection of quotes. Have a great Sunday!

The work, once you’ve released it into the world, no longer has anything to do with us. We create the work, and then send it on its journey, but we do not control the journey—or the reaction to the work.

Our stories cease to be ours the moment someone else reads them.

Our job is to write and release, to create the best stories we possibly can, and to continue to create the best stories we can.
Since we need to eat, we must manage our businesses and our copyrights, so that we get paid for our work. We can control where it goes and who sees it.

But we cannot control how people will react to it. And if they decide they love our work—whether we love that particular story or not—we need to honor that. And if they hate it, we need to make sure we do not let that hatred influence our future work.
The easiest way to do that is to realize that once the work is in the wild, it is no longer ours. It belongs to everyone who reads it, everyone who reacts to it.

Kris Rusch

In this industry, it is true that readers and critics will often look at your work and compare it (negatively) with the best there has ever been. They’ll say, “Yeah, that David Farland is good, but he’s no Tolkien.” If you’re really fortunate, they might even think that (according to their own tastes) you are the best.

But I think that comparing yourself to others can be unhealthy. The truth is, as a writer, I don’t want to be the next Tolkien or Rowling or Shakespeare. I want to be unique—me. Ultimately, that’s all that I ever can be, and so I try to gather as much wisdom as I can from other writers as I struggle to become the best version of me ever.

David Farland

I finally came to the realization that despite the wisdom and good intentions of these publishers, at the end of the day, they can only make an educated guess. The dirty little secret in publishing is that publishers are just throwing spaghetti against the wall. Publishers don’t know what readers want to read. Only readers know that and often, readers don’t even know what they want to read until it comes out of nowhere and smacks them upside the head. I imagine the hundreds of thousands of authors who came before us just like us who stared into this abyss of failure, whose dreams of publication were crushed by publishers. I imagine the millions of books that would die with those authors, unpublished and unread. I imagined the literary masterpieces hidden in those books that would forever be lost to humanity, undiscovered like buried treasure because these writers were never given a chance.

Mark Coker

So right from the start with fiction writing, we are in a battle with the world around us and ourselves. I could spend an entire chapter listing all the crap we all were trained about fiction writing. I did some of it in books called Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing. All of us took in most of that crap in in one form or another.

You know. From things like: “You can’t make a living writing fiction.”

And then there is the big one: “You must rewrite everything.”

(I bet that hit a few belief systems right there. Taught belief systems.)

We all learned chapters full of silly stuff that actually has nothing to do with the creative process in fiction writing.

Dean Wesley Smith

Wouldn’t it be nice? But alas, there are no recipes. We have no Julia Child. Successful professional writers are not withholding mysterious secrets from eager beginners. The only way anybody ever learns to write well is by trying to write well. This usually begins by reading good writing by other people, and writing very badly by yourself, for a long time.

There are “secrets” to making a story work — but they apply only to that particular writer and that particular story. You find out how to make the thing work by working at it — coming back to it, testing it, seeing where it sticks or wobbles or cheats, and figuring out how to make it go where it has to go.

Ursula K. Le Guin

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