Sunday Surprise


We won’t have 12 interviews, but I’m still introducing you to the other authors in the upcoming bundle. Only 6 days until release, yay! In the meantime I managed to read a few of the bundle’s books and  his is a fun romp of magic schools and crazy gods (much like the ancient Greek gods of mythology) on Martir, where both the magic and the crazy gods are real! Ladies and gentlemen, I’m very proud to present you Timothy L. Cerepaka!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in Cherokee, Texas in the United States of America.

Why do you write?

Because writing is one of my favorite activities. It also helps that I’m making good money doing it, too.

When did you start writing?

When I was 12, so I’ve been writing for about a decade now.

What genre(s) do you write?

Under Timothy L. Cerepaka, I write epic fantasy/swords and sorcery. Under my Lucas Flint pen name, I write young adult superheroes.

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

My goal as a writer was to make a living, which I am currently doing. So I guess I’ve already achieved it.

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

Write to market. That advice helped me go from making mid three figures a month to making lower-to-mid four figures a month consistently.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I’m a discovery writer, which means I don’t use an outline. I’ve tried outlining in the past, but I just find it too much of a waste of time, time I’d much rather spend actually writing the book.
I’m a fast writer. One of my most recent books took me a mere 10 days to write, though my average is around two or three weeks, depending on the length of the book of course.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

The Mages of Martir series (which The Mage’s Grave is the first book of) is actually a sequel series to my Prince Malock World series, which you can also find on Amazon and other retailers. You don’t need to have read any of the Prince Malock books in order to understand Mages of Martir, but you will understand the world and characters a lot better if you do.

Barb sez: I confirm you don’t need to have read the other books – I haven’t and I enjoyed The Mage’s Grave! 😉

Tell us about your latest book

My latest book is Powers, the second book in my newest superhero series, The Young Neos. I just uploaded it to Amazon and it still isn’t published yet, so I can’t give you a link, but it should be available for purchase soon.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Yes! The third Young Neos book, Counterparts, is scheduled for a May 2017 release, while I have another superhero series that I will probably release in the fall, depending on how things go. I don’t want to say much about that series yet, however, except to say that it is unrelated to my current series.

On the fantasy front, I have a few ideas I am batting around, but my fantasy books don’t sell as well as my superhero books, so I don’t know when I’ll get around to actually writing any of these ideas. It may not be until 2018 that I put out another fantasy novel, but we’ll see.
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Find him online

Timothy L. Cerepaka

My website
Join my mailing list and get two FREE ebooks!
Follow me on Twitter
Find my books on Goodreads

Sunday Surprise


And it’s another author from the bundle! We’re back to the U.S. of A.! And we have the same aim (quit that DayJob) and the same weaknesses (marketing hell…)! And he does write a lot! 🙂 And I love his covers! 😀 Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Joseph Robert Lewis!

Where do you live and write from?

Maryland, USA

Why do you write?

I love all sorts of art, from drawing and music to woodworking and landscaping. But the only one I seem to be any good at is writing. But beyond that, I really love how easily writing allows me to explore all sorts of people and places and ideas, real or imagined, all using the exact same old laptop and comfy chair. My hope is that my writing will make my readers happy, just genuinely happy, whether that means being entertaining and funny, or letting them explore different types of characters and plots that are less mainstream.

When did you start writing?

I first started wanting to write a novel in high school, and I continued to want to write a novel through college, but I didn’t actually weld 100,000 words together until sometime in my early 20s. But since then, I’ve learned to write more consistently and to complete books in much less than two decades.

What genre(s) do you write?

Science fiction and fantasy.

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

Right now, my selfish writing goal is to be successful enough that I can quit my day-job and write fulltime. It’s challenging to write several novels each year just in the narrow span of free time between a fulltime job, raising two daughters, romancing my fiancé, staying in shape, and taking care of the house. And the cats. So, in addition to trying to write great stories that readers will love, I’m also trying to learn more about marketing. So far, all I’ve really learned is that I don’t particularly like marketing, and that I’m not particularly good at marketing.

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

Write. Finish. Publish. The tricky thing about any skill is that you really only get better through practice, which is fine for tying shoelaces or making hummus, or any other activity that only takes a minute or two. But when the activity takes several weeks or months to complete just one attempt, the idea that writing a whole novel is “just practice” can be a little disheartening. But it’s true. You can’t spend forever trying to write the one perfect novel, because you’ll never succeed and you’ll never get any better. You just have to keep writing, finishing, and publishing, and trying to learn from your mistakes along the way so the next one can be a little better.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Over time, I have come to embrace outlines as completely necessary. After spending months researching ideas and kicking ideas, I eventually reach a point where I think I have all the pieces for a good story, and then I have to sketch out a chapter-by-chapter outline with as much detail as possible. That way when I sit down to write, after a long day at the office and a long evening of checking homework, making dinner, and cleaning the house, I will know exactly what I want to write next and quickly get into a writing headspace. Regarding speed, all I can say is that I’ve released about two millions words and two dozen books in about six years, so make of that what you will.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

Elf Saga: Doomsday is the first book in my Elf Saga series. It’s your basic epic fantasy, sword-and-sorcery tale of knights and dragons, but with a little twist. All of the main characters are women from different nations and cultures, it’s written with completely modern language and dialog, and it’s funny. Can I say that about my own book? The reviews all say that, so I’m going to say it too. It’s funny. So if you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Supernatural, or Archer, then you will probably like Elf Saga.

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

My latest book is “Elf Saga: Solarpunk”, which is the fourth and final book in the Elf Saga series. Each book in the series is set 33 years after the previous one, so this one is 100 years after the first one, Doomsday. Solarpunk takes place in a more modern era, with gunslinging elves who watch movies about dragons. The heroines find themselves confronting a massive ecological crisis involving spirit creatures from beyond the stars, metal-eating insects, and plagues that bring together alchemists, shamans, musicians, and mermaids on a strange quest not to save their world, but to transform it. Plus, it’s funny.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

My new project is a science fiction series full of aliens, spaceships, cyborgs, and dinosaurs! I’m writing it as an old-fashioned serial, which I’ll start releasing soon, maybe once a month, and then I’ll have larger story arcs bundled together into larger volumes as well. Inspirations include Farscape… yeah, mostly just Farscape. But also the Transformers comics, the Legacy of Kain games, the Black Sails show, and a lot of other random titles!

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Find Joseph online

Web Page

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Sunday Surprise


And here’s another bundle author! This time from the U.S. of A. and I even had the pleasure to meet her – although both being introverts, our conversations weren’t worth listening to… but our books are worth reading, I promise! 🙂 So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Sabrina Chase!

Where do you live and write from?

Seattle.

Why do you write?

My favorite writers don’t write as fast as I read–and I like telling stories. Then I discovered it was even more fun having readers!

When did you start writing?

I think I was around 13, probably a school assignment. That poor teacher probably wondered where the spaceships came from. I make no apologies for my love of spaceships.

What genre(s) do you write?

Science fiction and fantasy of all flavors (steampunkish alt-history, high fantasy, YA adventure)

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

My goal is writing that sucks the reader in, transparent and immersive. Readers should not even be aware of the page or the writing, just the story. I also want my books to be the kind that people read again and again for pleasure, like old friends.

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

Use all five senses to really draw the reader into the world you’re creating. Never forget you are competing for the reader’s beer money (i.e. deliver entertainment and value).

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Improviser, or pantser. I vary on speed, never as fast as I want to be… there are too many books I want to write.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle.

Firehearted was the very first book I wrote. It started off just as a short story, but one of my beta readers got quite agitated and insisted there was more and I had to write it. I used things I learned from my military history hobby, filing off the serial numbers of some historical battles and using them in the story. At heart it is about how different cultures have different descriptions of honor, but they all have the concept of honor–and understanding the core allows for mutual respect. Also, pet tigers are cool!

Tell us about your latest book.

One Blood is the continuation of the story started in The Scent of Metal, which was my revenge-for-Pluto book. Pluto is really an abandoned alien ship! And a computer geek explorer wakes up the AI by accident. Find it on Amazon.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Soul Code , the sequel to One Blood with more evil aliens and rescued AI ships!

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Find Sabrina online

Website

Twitter

Author Central

Goodreads

 

Sunday Surprise


As promised, I shall start introducing you to my fellow bundle authors! And the first is ahead of me, down under, so I thought it would be perfect to introduce her first! 😉 Although she was the first to answer my questions probably because she’s ahead of the rest of us… And hey, we have the same writing guru (altough we did different online workshops from his list)! 😀 Anyhow, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Diane J. Cornwell!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in a country town in Northern New South Wales, Australia, about 2 hours from a major city and an hour from the closest beaches.

I love the peace and quiet, and slow pace of a country lifestyle, which is so different from the fast pace of cities.

Why do you write?

To amuse myself.

When did you start writing?

In primary school.

What genre(s) do you write?

So far, I have written in Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Cosy Mystery.

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

My goal as a writer is to continue to learn how to write stories that immerse the reader from start to end without putting the book down. Basically write every story as a Page Turner while leading the reader on an emotional journey.

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

Best advice? “Keep writing and keep learning” from Dean Wesley Smith.

The next best advice was from Boy George talking about singing. He said “Break their hearts.” I took this to mean let the reader feel the emotions of the characters in each story.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I outline just enough to know where the story leads, then wait for my muse to change direction as the action unfolds. And enjoy the story as I write it.

I would say I am a slow writer, as I only write in the mornings, averaging 500 to 700 words per hour. If I am not interrupted by family and friends, or chores requiring my attention, I can keep writing for 3 – 5 hours.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

Rider is the first in my Tracker series.

It came about during a Dean Wesley Smith workshop course on Genre differences. One assignment gave us a male protagonist who works with horses and an female assassin antagonist, in a big city setting, searching for a missing person. I had to come up with story outlines for Romance, Mystery, Science Fiction and Fantasy.

I let my muse play with the four outlines since I was out of my depth with Romance and Fantasy. Fun, to say the least. Yes I got the assignment done, and finished the Genre workshop.

After the workshop, I was planning on writing the SciFi story, but a Series course was developed by Holly Lisle, so I changed tack and chose to work through the series course writing in the new fantasy world I created based on the fantasy outline during the Genre course.

Thankfully, I am still amusing myself after writing Rider, Guard, Judge and Mage. Now I am writing the fifth Tracker story, I hope to tie up all loose ends developed over the four stories. I want to end the series positively, in case I want to add more stories to the series in a year or two, but I can’t guarantee there will not be any deaths of main characters or even minor characters.

When I have completed the Tracker series, I still want to write the Science Fiction outline from the workshop. And if I have time, the Romance and Mystery outlines at some future date.

You can visit the Tift Publishing Tracker Series page to see the covers and blurbs of the rest of the published Tracker series, and follow the links to the different distributors. However, I don’t expect the fifth book will be ready for a few months, as I have to finish writing it, then get it edited while the cover is created and approved. As soon as possible, the cover will appear on Tift Publishing home page and Coming Soon page, advising the publishing date.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I definitely don’t have a problem writing outlines from one or two ideas. There are always ideas popping into my head. If I think they are worth following up at a later date, I write down enough of the idea outline, 2 – 3 sentences, to remind me later what I was thinking, then promptly forget it while I work on current WIPs. Otherwise I would not get any stories completed, because I would jump from one idea to another.

An example of other projects is, while writing one scene, I wanted a talisman for the assassin, so I stopped writing to make a tatted bangle with beads. I had to borrow a jewellery making book from the library to work out the clasp. Once done, I went back to the scene and added the details of the tatted bangle. Then had to add the bangle onto the assassin’s arm in the cover images. Here’s a link to my djmills writer blog page with images of the bangle.

Story reveal here so stop reading if you want to read the stories.

SPOILER ALERT

SPOILER ALERT

My assassin, Misty Locke, is not a mage. Can’t do any magic at all. So, mages can stop her from killing them, if they are quick and agile.

She can not receive images in her mind from dragons and tracker horses. As she rides a tracker mare, Sweetie, but can not “hear” Sweetie communicate, and can not receive dragon images in her mind, I worked out how she could receive a talisman so that she can “hear” both trackers and dragons. The dragons would gift her a talisman, with the magic in the beads to allow her to receive dragon images.

The side benefit was she could also “hear’ her tracker mare, Sweetie, when she touched the talisman. You can read about the dragon talisman on my writer blog.

This was done to keep true to the culture in the Tracker series world. Now I am thinking about tooth extraction of citizens of Convane by medic mages or ordinary citizens. Fun and games.

If you want to learn more on my creative efforts you can follow my writing blog.

Or my DianeJCornwell author blog announcing new releases and sales, and other information for readers.

You can also sign up for the Tift Publishing Newsletter to announce each release and other publishing news, or by clicking the Tift Publishing link on the other two blogs.

Sunday Surprise and Happiness is…


And some writerly quotes, words of wisdom, writers on writing, whatever  for pondering on Easter Monday! 😉

Let the writer take up surgery or bricklaying if he is interested in technique. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut. The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory. Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by error. The good artist believes that nobody is good enough to give him advice. He has supreme vanity. No matter how much he admires the old writer, he wants to beat him.
William Faulkner

Forget perfection. You can’t control success. You aren’t anybody else. You are you. It doesn’t matter if anyone believes in you. Let their disbelief charge your batteries. You can believe in you.

Focus on today. Not tomorrow. Not next year. Make something. Create something. Act in defiance of reality’s accord. Spit in the eye of any who expect you to do differently.

Relish in the unmitigated thrill of doing what nobody wants you to do.

Nobody wants you to be an artist.

But you do, so fuck them.

Chuck Wendig

I think the really productive pulp-speed writers at a deep level don’t care about the finished product. They did the best they could while writing. That was all they could do, so them move on.

The lack of caring comes from the fact that real pulp-speed writers of any era love the process of writing. Some love it for the challenge, some love it for the creation, some love it for the fear.  So when a story is finished, all the things they love about writing are done.

So they move on to the next story.

They just let go.

Very few writers have that ability. That’s why there are so few pulp-speed writers and so many writers who want to produce more but never seem to be able to.

Have fun with the writing. It is the first step to picking up production as a writer.

Dean Wesley Smith

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
Oscar Wilde

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
Bernard M. Baruch

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday Surprise


Words of wisdom, writers on writing, take your pick and go WOW! Have a great Sunday!

But if you don’t write, the world will never know what you might have done.
I realized back then that I had to take complete responsibility for my writing.
I had to set up times to write.  I needed to make sure that I stayed on task.
I hoped that someday I would get fan mail from readers who would be eager for my next book, and maybe that would help inspire me, but I knew that that day would never come unless I practiced my craft, all alone, with no audience but me.
Over the past few years, that realization has grown.  And you don’t have to just write the novels, you have to sell them.
Your publisher cares whether you sell, of course, but not nearly as much as you do.  It’s like horse racing, where you’ve only got one little horse.  The publisher might be backing you, but he’s got dozens of horses all in the same race.
His chances of winning are excellent.
So we have to take responsibility for our writing—not just for writing our own novels, but for editing them, writing the blurbs that sell them, getting cover quotes, and marketing them both in person and on the web.
Yes, agents and editors may help, but ultimately we must be responsible.  Writing a book is only part of the job.  It may take a couple of months.  But promoting a book well can require years.

David Farland

The bigger the issue, the smaller you write. Remember that. You don’t write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid’s burnt socks lying on the road. You pick the smallest manageable part of the big thing, and you work off the resonance.

– Richard Price

The key there is: I cannot be pinned by expectation.

Some people think outlining a book robs the book of its magic. Some people think the business kills the joy of making words and creating art. But for me, the great thing that will siphon the joy out of what I do — the pesticide that murders the butterflies flitting about in the dark shrubbery that is my heart — is expectation. Not my expectation. But yours.

And now we come full circle because once again, I say:

Nobody wants you to be an artist.

Not the people who love you. Not the people who hate you. Not the people who don’t know one whit about you. Nobody wants that for you or your life.

I want you to think about that for a moment.

I want you to focus on that for a moment.

Take the idea like a pebble or a pearl, tuck it in your mouth, swirl it around.

This is what that does for me:

When I sit down and I start to write, I take a secret thrill in what I’m doing. Because this is forbidden territory. This is verboten. Everyone has built a fence of expectation around what I’m doing and yet, here I am, having climbed the fence. I’m making art and the world doesn’t want me to make art. I’m in a secret garden stealing your vegetables. I’m traipsing about someone’s home in the dark while they sleep. I’m mixing potions. I’m making monsters. I’m tap-dancing on the edge of a cliff, and the world can watch me kick off my shoes, pirouette, and lift both middle fingers in the air with a smugly self-satisfied look on my big beardo face.

Chuck Wendig

But to yell at your creativity, saying, “You must earn money for me!” is sort of like yelling at a cat; it has no idea what you’re talking about, and all you’re doing is scaring it away, because you’re making really loud noises and your face looks weird when you do that.
Elizabeth Gilbert

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.

– Stephen King

Violate conventions and you are marked as an outsider. A rude outsider, at that.
Donald A. Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

If you want little, give little; if you want much, give much; if you want all, give all.
Matshona Dhliwayo

Sunday Surprise


Words of wisdom, writers on writing, something to keep your minds busy while I’m away! 🙂 Have a great Sunday!

Like Delilah Dawson said in this very inspiring series of tweets – there’s no top of the mountain when it comes to writing/publishing. Even if I write the bestselling-est of bestsellers, I’ll probably write another book after that, no matter what. The writing, for me, is something I have to get out and process and create. It’s going to happen anyway. I need to write. Would it be great to get billions of people to read my books? Hell yes. But those are the possible perks, not the targets.

Alex Segura

Burnout is a kind of creative constipation. You get tired of doing it. The work feels only like work. Clarity seems impossible. The stress outweighs the joy.

You’ll hit it. You might hit it early in your career trying to get published. You might hit it in the middle of your career after all the business baggage has been slung over your shoulders. If you’re me, you might bump up against it again and again with the standard peaks and valleys of the authorial life. I periodically run parallel to burnout like someone running alongside the ocean — if I turn my head just so I can see the shark fins, I can see the rippling lines of a threatening undertow, I can see the SURLY OCTOPUSES OF ENNUI THREATENING TO ENROBE ME IN THEIR TENTACLES AND DROWN ME IN THE BUBBLING DEPTHS OF MY OWN LASSITUDE.

Question is, what do I do about the OCTOPUSES OF ENNUI?

As my nemesis Jaye points out, you’ve got options. Nab a new hobby. Take up yoga or meditation. I like photography, as you might see with my Macro Monday experiments. Take a walk. Take a vacation. Have an adventure. Vent frustrations with fellow writers (seriously, this can be a huge help). Punch a punching bag painted to look like the politician of your choice.

All of those are good at scraping some of the barnacles off.

Chuck Wendig

Authors as a group tend to have a “don’t rock the boat” attitude. And with good reason; rock the boat, and the captain kicks you out.

But if you say nothing, nothing changes.

In this business, as in life, no one is going to just hand you anything. Because none of us deserve anything. You have to work hard, and fight for whatever you can get. Fighting for something when the outcome is uncertain is a scary thing. That’s the definition of bravery.

Joe Konrath

So many writers come to class with one question dominant in their mind. “How do I make a living from this?”… it saddens me that it so often overshadows the more relevant questions of “Why am I writing” and “What am I saying” and “How do I keep it honest.”

– Celine Kiernan

I really want writers to start thinking like long-term professionals. Learn copyright and don’t sell all your rights to a traditional publisher.

And don’t only sell your book in one store.

And have more than one or two products to sell.

You will be stunned at how small, seemingly below-notice cash streams can add up into larger numbers over time.

So today was fun for me, as I said at the top, because two new cash streams started up just today. Two in one day.

In my world, that’s a fun day. (grin)

Dean Wesley Smith

Sunday Surprise


Words of wisdom, writers on writing to start the year well. Enjoy.

Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of defining your accomplishments by what other people did better. Someone climbed Mt Everest before you did, but by God, if you climb Mt Everest, you deserve a cookie. And “better” doesn’t mean “first”. “Better” may not even be what you think it is. Is it sales? Or critical acclaim? What? Go you and do what you need to do with your art because you need to do it.

Don’t get caught in the trap of believing you need to be first in line to be noticed. Who cares who drew the first comic on an iPad? Does anyone even remember? Of course not. Because that turns art into artifacts, and you’re not creating artifacts, you don’t need to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for Most Comic Book Pages Drawn While Hanging Upside Down Like a Bat.

You’re trying to connect with your readers by telling stories that have meaning to you and to them. Believe in what you are doing and the rest will follow…or not.

And if you never get that acclaim or those big sales, well, you did something real. And artificially trying to make yourself a Special Snowflake forever because you did it FIRST isn’t real.

Just tell your story…Climb Mt Everest. It doesn’t matter if someone else got there first. It’s your journey.

Colleen Doran

“Now comes the big question: What are you going to write about? And the equally big answer: Anything you damn well want. Anything at all… as long as you tell the truth… Write what you like, then imbue it with life and make it unique by blending in your own personal knowledge of life, friendship, relationships, sex, and work… What you know makes you unique in some other way. Be brave.”

Stephen King

Write books, authors. Write stories. Channel your emotions, your fears, your vulnerabilities into your work. Swallow the hurt and give voice to a song. In your books, which is what you are here for in the first place. Everywhere else? Post about cats and beards and the cupcake you had instead of dinner. Better to be banal than a bitch. Because readers will flock to the cats and the cupcakes and possibly bring you baked goods and collars with your cover art as collars to singings. But they’ll get a front row seat to watch the bitch go down.

Every. Single. Time.

Heidi Culliman

You can focus on social media and platform-building and brand-making, and it will yield you SOME return, sure. But… drum roll please…

It won’t yield you nearly as much as just concentrating on writing as many awesome books as you can for invested, functional publishers.

When a publisher asks you, “What’s your platform?” consider turning that question around and asking the publisher about THEIRS.

(…)

Be the best writer you can be. Online, be the best version of yourself. Have fun, be kind, work hard, have empathy, and hope for luck.

If you’re building a platform to sell books, don’t. If you’re altering yourself to fit a brand, dont. (Unless you’re an asshole, I guess.)

This is also not to say writers shouldn’t promote their own books! You shoul! I follow writers and *want* to hear about new releases!

(But I aldo don’t want those writers to pummel me in the crotch with ceaseless sales pitches, either.)

Anyway. Yeah. Platforms and brands are not magical solutions, so do not make them your focus, Okay? Okay.

NOW LET’S ALL GET DRUNK.

Chuck Wendig

In a recent yoga class, my teacher talked about the difference between having fun and enjoying yourself. Fun, she said, was an activity you do to escape your routines. However, enjoyment is the act of finding happiness in your routines and responsibilities. Therefore, another element of a good hobby is that it becomes a part of your daily or weekly habits, instead of something you use to run away from your writing (or life). This is why drinking, drugs, gambling and social media are so dangerous. They can provide fun via instant gratification, but long-run they don’t bring us joy. Better then to focus on habits and hobbies that help us be more plugged in to our lives–ones that allow us to enjoy ourselves.

Jaye Wells

Sunday Surprise


And it’s another guest! Don’t we have a December full of gifts? 😉 Lots of new authors for you to discover – because you’re gifting books for Xmas, right? Anyhow, I’m happy to introduce you this young lady! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Nat Kennedy!

Where do you live and write from?

I am from central Washington, in the high scrub desert. It’s dry and either hot or cold, and sometimes that offers months of staying inside, writing away at stories.

Why do you write?

I love writing. This, I am sure, is a typical answer. I mainly write what I write, gay erotic fantasy, because I can’t find enough of it to read. So, I write what I want to read. The characters are usually up beat, usually heroic, and though there’s angst, it’s rarely relationship angst. I want my lovers to love.

When did you start writing?

At a very young age… Seriously, I started writing in the early 2000s (I cut my teeth on fanfiction.)

2016-01-002-edge-of-desperation-ebook-coverWhat genre(s) do you write?

Fantasy, of the gay and sometimes erotic variety. All types, urban, to high fantasy, and I’ve some dark fantasy planned as well.

What does your writing routine consist of?

I get up at 5 am to write before work. I tend to work very well with deadlines. I am a NaNo Guru. Sometimes, if I’m rough drafting, I write in every scrap of time I can fine. But if I’m editing, I need larger chunks of time to work with.

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

My characters come across as real, relatable people. And my worlds jump from the pages, enough that readers feel immersed in them. I remember, years ago, reading a story and finally ‘seeing’ how the author made the details flow seamlessly into the narrative. No info dump. Important information evolved through the story. I then worked to emulate that. And I am doing okay, though there is always room for growth.

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

Mainly I find my inspiration from the holes in other stories I wish the author had written. I want to know about some background character. Or a hinted gay love story… why wasn’t that developed! So, I then think of the feelings that story invoked and sometimes steal that and plop it into my own world. I am inspired by negative space.

I don’t put myself in my stories. I’m far too boring.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Outline and plot it all, darling! And I am fast at rough drafts, slow at the edits depending on how good my outline was. I have improvised in the past, in fact my current novel I’m editing was improvised, and it needs so much work. I have vowed to outline always from now on.

Though, if a story does take me right, when the outline takes me left, I’m not afraid to go off outline.

2016-01-002-center-of-deception-ebook-coverTell us about your latest book

My latest book is the second in the Wielder World series, Center of Deception.

Though it’s the second in the series, I’d written books 1 and 2 (novella length) to be able to read in either order. The Wielder World is a series of gay urban fantasy. People have the power to Wield the Nerve of the World and do some amazing feats of ‘magic’. Women can do so with no repercussions. Men, however, pay a price for their power.

It’s the events in Book 1 from August’s point of view. How he got wrapped up in the male Wielder Cult. How he meets Kyle and Reggie from Book 1, and sets the seeds for future romance and hints at a greater threat to men in the Wielder World.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Wielder World is self-published because I like the power self-publishing gives me, also it’s a much faster process. Traditional routes take years. I also enjoy the self-publishing community and am honored to be a part of it.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I am editing Wielder World 3, the follow up novel called Afflicted to the Core, and I just finished a rough draft for a new high fantasy novel, the first in the World of Two Moons series.

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

Eventually, I would like to take writing full time. I’d like to build a fan base, have people excited for my next novel, and maybe, hopefully, get some fan fiction written about it. That would be quite the delight.

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

Read good books. Study them… why you liked them, how they did that thing you thought was awesome. And write often, if not every day, several times a week. Never give up. Learn to accept rejection. And write what you love, because even if people don’t buy it, at least you’ll enjoy reading it! 😉

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About Nat and where to find her

Nat Kennedy grew up living in a poorly populated desert landscape. With no neighbors in a 1 mile radius, she had to make up her own fun.

Nat strives to create plotty and imaginative fantasy worlds, with the added benefit of gay and non-mainstream romance–steamy to tame. From couples to threesomes, including fantasy hermaphroditic races, love abounds.

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Random Friday


For lack of other randomness, I shall let random writers dispense random writerly wisdom… Enjoy these writers on writing! And publishing! And… all the best to all the writers out there!

I do not believe in the assumption in this business that feedback from anyone can really help you. That’s not how a writer learns, folks.

So going to a beginning writer workshop and listening to other beginners tell you what you did wrong is like going to a person who does your hair who never finished high school and ask them for legal advice. You would never do that, right?

So why ask other uninformed and ill-informed and beginning writers what is wrong with your story? The only answer you can possibly get is dangerous, likely wrong, and usually destructive to your belief in yourself and your art.

Just say no, as Nancy used to say.

Set up a networking group and learn craft from major professional writers and keep writing. Trust your own art. Believe in yourself.

A ton more fun that way.

Dean Wesley Smith

 

And that’s what I’ve been having the most trouble with these past two weeks. Once again, my brain has difficulty wrapping itself around the idea that there is more than one path to success in this new world.

I’m aware of it: Hell, I preach it here on the blog almost every week. But apparently, deep down, I’m still stuck in the (almost literal) ruts of my “upbringing” in traditional publishing. When I default for myself, I default to the One True Path idea—and I default hard.

So, this blog is really not for you. It’s for me. It’s a reminder that in this modern world there is no longer One True Path. There are as many new paths as there are writers. The internet has opened the world to all of us, and we can pursue the careers we want—or at least, the parts of the career we can manage.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

 

The main question I’ve been asking myself is this: What do I have control over? Or at least, what do I have the most control over? Where do I have choices, and how do those choices affect my success? Basically, the idea is that there are four main areas that a writer has the most control over that directly affect his or her success, each of these being a leg of the table:

  1. What you write
  2. How much you write
  3. How much you learn
  4. How you market

Rather than abstract terms like “content” and “productivity,” I prefer concrete words that are more actionable — which, of course, is a fairly abstract word, but we’ll let that pass for now. There are so many ways for a writer working today to spend his or her time that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. These four legs are what I think constitutes a very sturdy table. If you are negligent in any of the legs, well, it can make your table pretty shaky after a while. A lot of writing with a poor marketing strategy often results in lackluster sales. A lot of learning without actually producing much — like the workshop junkie who goes to lots of classes but doesn’t actually write unless compelled to do so by a teacher — is equally out of whack.

Scott William Carter

 

I’ve decided that the next time a writer asks me for that one piece of advice I’d like to give every writer, I’m going to tell them this:

Buy a hat.

No, not because I have some milliner friends who need the support. But because writers, and particularly brand new beginning writers, need to understand the separation of church and state.

Your writing is not the same as your writing business.

These two things have some links between them, but I’ll say it again:

Your writing is not the same as your writing business.

When you have finished your book and it’s time to release it into the world, you must, must, must at that time take off your writing hat and put on your publishing or business hat.

Perhaps you have a pair of steampunk welding goggles instead. Or a leather workman’s apron.

Whatever metaphor or physical object works for you. For some writers, I actually would recommend that they go get a hat or something that reminds them of the difference.

I am not speaking to just indie writers here. Traditionally published writers need to make this same separation.

Writing isn’t the same as business.

Leah Cutter

 

When you’re just starting out, your craft is poor, and it’s endless frustration. You have amazing ideas that are never as good on paper as they are in your head.

Then, as you develop, you eventually get to the point where you can execute your ideas on paper about as well as you can see them in your head–and at that point, you start to feel pretty good about yourself.

But if you keep going, and keep improving your craft, you’ll eventually get to the point where the stuff that comes out on paper is SO much better than what it started out as in your head that you never *quite* believe that it came from you–and you can still improve from there.

That’s really what, for me, makes writing a total kick in the head.

– Stephen J. Cannell

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