Exciting News and a Contest!

Book 2 cover

 

Exciting news!

I finally have a release date.

The second book of The Seeker Files

“In Search of Healing”

will be released on

May 15th!

 

Here is the blurb for “In Search of Healing”.

Having survived her first few months at HSI, Agent Aletta is settling into her partnership with Lirim. She is coming to terms with her newfound gift and the threat to her welfare is finally over. Or is it?

Aletta had left everything behind to start over at HSI. But her past is not content to remain where it belongs, in the past. Drawn reluctantly back into her past, she and Lirim race against time at they try to figure out who is behind the attacks on the Canticum Opera Company.

Struggling to fully harness her gift and running from her past, can Aletta and Lirim figure out who is targeting the Canticum Company before time runs out?

 

Are you excited? I know that I am!

 

However, my first book, “In Search of Justice” is in need of some love.

book cover

It’s all just fun and games until someone dies.

In a world where supernaturals and humans live side-by-side in peace, that peace can be suddenly shattered. That’s when HSI (Human-Supernatural Investigation) comes into play.

Agent Aletta Sheridan has been with the department for only a little over a month when she’s handed a new case. A murderer is on the loose in Isenton and it’s her job to track the killer down.

Fiercely independent, Aletta is forced by her superiors to partner with another agent. With only a handful of clues to follow, will they be able to stop the killer before anyone else dies?

 

So I propose a contest.

Here are the rules:

  • Read my book. It’s available on Amazon, just click this link: In Search of Justice. It’s free if you have Kindle Unlimited and it’s only $2.99 if you don’t.
  • Leave an honest review on Amazon. I’m not looking for an ego boost, I really want to know what people think of it.
  • Come back to this post and leave a comment letting me know that you’ve done these two things

 

But if this is a contest, there must be a time limit and some prizes. So the time limit is 10 days, it will be closed at Midnight on April 30th, 2018.

Here are the prizes:

  • 10 reviews – I will post a sneak peek for In Search of Healing
  • 15 reviews – I will post an interview by the main characters from The Seeker Files
  • 20 reviews – I will post the first chapter of In Search of Healing
  • 25 reviews – I will post a never before seen bonus story from Lirim’s viewpoint.
  • 30 or more reviews – A random reviewer will be chosen to name a character in my third book in the series: In Search of High Society

 

If we pass more than one milestone, the prizes accumulate. So if we hit 15 reviews, I will post the prizes for both 10 and 15 reviews. And so on and so forth.

 

So let’s see if we can’t hit the grand prize and win all of them! I’m looking forward to reading your reviews.

I have decided that limiting it to April 21st is too short of time, so I have moved the deadline to the end of the month. Looking forward to reading your reviews 🙂

Featured post

Part 2 – Envelope

Ely spent the better part of the afternoon on the porch, enjoying the beautiful day and her novel. She made herself a light dinner but took it back out to the porch to eat and watch the sunset fade into night and the fireflies emerge. It wasn’t until she found herself dozing off that she got the motivation to get to her feet and head inside.

fireflies2

Settling her dirty dishes in the sink with a promise to wash them in the morning, she glanced around to make sure that she hadn’t left anything out. Satisfied that everything was handled, she noticed the pile of mail on the table and sighed. It probably contained more bills that she was struggling to pay. Although she was proud of her landscaping business, it had been costly to get started. This was the first year that it had actually been in the black, but there was still the backlog of bills that were due.

She thought about simply leaving the mail til the morning, but knew that she would just worry all night if she didn’t know. Resigned, she grumbled as she crossed the kitchen and scooped up the mail. She swiftly sorted through it: junk, junk, bill, local flyer, bill.

She paused when she reached the last item, a large manila envelope. Her name was printed on it in bold letters, the strokes sure and firm. She frowned, wondering what in the world it could be. She’d been accustomed to receiving letters like this while settling her grandparents estate, but she had finalized all of that months ago. She glanced over at the return address, only to find a strange black key stamped in that corner and nothing else.

key.jpeg

The postmark was too blurry to make out, so she turned her attention back to the key. It was nagging at her for some reason. She couldn’t shake the feeling that she’d seen the exact same key somewhere else before. She held it for several minutes as she debated back and forth about opening it. She had a feeling that whatever information this envelope contained would be life-altering. Squaring her shoulders, she finally came to a decision.

 

Hahaha, cliffie. I’m so evil guys, sorry. If you want to know what happens next, leave me a word 🙂 Happy Thursday!

August Challenge – Start

So, I know I haven’t blogging a lot lately, life gets crazy busy in summer. When I first started blogging, wordpress had a daily prompt thing, so I thought it would be fun to write a story using those daily prompts. Well, found out that they discontinued that, so I’ve had to rethink things a bit. I’m still going to be writing the serial story, but you, dear readers, will be the ones supplying the words. If there is more than one word to chose from, I will select the one that moves the story along best in my opinion. If there are no words suggested, I will pick the prompt until a new one is suggested. So come on and play with me. Now, on to the story. Today’s prompt will be start.

 

For some reason, when your life changes irreversibly, you always expect it to be with a bang. A car crash, a natural disaster, winning the lottery. Something big and flashy that clearly lets you know things will never be the same again. Maybe it’s because we’ve watched too many movies, you know, the kind where you can clearly tell who the good and bad guys are by listening to the music. I don’t know. But still, you don’t expect your life to be changed in quiet moments, a whisper on a passing breeze, in the still of a night, a flower blooming. The kind of change that if you blink, you might miss it. This is how is starts for Elena. A moment that could’ve gone several different ways, until all of a sudden you’re miles away from where you started and wondering how in the world you reached this place.

Elena’s change started on a idyllic summer day. It was a hot day in July, one of those days where the sky is impossibly blue and the drone of the ever industrious bees act like a lullabye. Elena, or Ely as she preferred to go by, had managed to finish up her latest landscaping job and had the rest of the day. Driving her old farm truck, she only paused at the top of the drive long enough to collect the mail before heading towards the house.

plains-ga-historic-house-victorian-architecture-turret-white-clapboard-porches-picture-image-photograph-copyright-brian-brown-vanishing-south-georgia-usa-2013

Although the house was too big for one person to live alone in, she found that she couldn’t give it up, memories of summers spent there with her grandparents too precious to let go of. It had been her safe haven when her parents had died in a car accident when she only thirteen. They’d taken her in and loved her through the heartbreak and grief. They’d been such an amazing couple, devoted to each other and showering love on her even though they were past the age to be raising children. Still, they had raised her and supported her all the way through college.

She was twenty-five when the time she was dreaded came and they passed away only days apart, peacefully in their sleep. She was happy that they hadn’t suffered, but she missed them more than she could say. Since then, she’d spent most of her time getting her landscaping business of the ground and trying to care for the beautiful aging house. Climbing out of the truck, she scooped the mail off of the seat and looked over the house. It was almost time to paint again, a full three day job for just the exterior and that was only if the weather held. She shrugged and let it go. It was rare for her to have time to herself, so she was going to spend it relaxing and maybe even reading the newest novel from her favorite author.

Going inside, she dumped the mail onto the counter and poured herself a glass of lemonade, snagging her book before heading out to the porch. What she failed to notice was the manila envelope with her name on it and only a strange symbol for the return address. Who knew that such an innocent looking package would have the same impact as dynamite?

 

So, what do you guys think? Want me to keep going? Happy Wednesday and Happy Colorado Day!

Envision – Book Review

When you set off on a journey, you never know what you will discover along the way. When I first started writing the Seeker Files, I had no idea where my journey would take me or the wonderful people that I would meet along the way. One of these people turned out to be Jennifer Benson, my amazing editor. Although I was originally just looking for beta readers, she saw the promise in my stories and helped me to polish them, for which I am truly grateful.

But during this process, we became close friends and she shared with me a story that she had been working on. It was stunningly beautiful and tempted me to read it over and over again. One thing I cannot do is write short stories, I simply don’t have the knack for it (In other words, I talk too much, lol). But the sheer amount of imagery and feeling tucked into the story will leave you craving more stories from her. I am so proud of her following her dreams and publishing it and hope that she will continue to grace us with more stories in the future!

 

 

When two sisters receive their mysterious inheritance, their lives are changed forever. Mara rejects her heritage and disappears while Anastasia accepts it and flourishes. Then rumors about the missing sister begin to swirl. Anastasia swears she didn’t kill Mara, but her story is too fantastic to be believable…or is it?

 

So, will you read it? Happy Thursday!

Being Real

The internet has given us freedom that we could’ve never imagined. It has opened worlds to us that would’ve been impossible even a few decades ago. Behind the safety of a computer screen, we can become anyone or anything. It gives us a degree of separation that helps buffer us from the reality of the situation. But in doing this, we’ve lost a bit of ourselves. In our rush to show the world our amazingness, we try to hide our flaws away. But in my opinion, our weaknesses and flaws are part of what makes the sum of us. We are not complete without our scars. So I’ve decided to be totally honest with you guys today.

I’ve been absent from my blog for a while. That is because there has been a lot going on in my life. Now, I am not trying to excuse myself, but I thought that I would share what has been going on.

  1. I published the second book in my series in May. After publishing it, I was hit was major anxiety and depression. Who was I to be a writer? What if everyone hated it? Was I just kidding myself that I was cut out to be a writer?

These and many other questions assailed me during this time. With some time and sleep, I was able to work through it, but the biggest help that pulled me through this time was my reason WHY I write. I write because I love my characters and stories and want to share them with others who will hopefully love them as much as I do. While it would be nice to reach J.K. Rowling fame, if my stories resonate with even one other person, I’m happy.

2. I was working with an editor on reworking my first novel “In Search of Justice”. Now, there are two things to realize for this. One, I wrote my first novel in just under a month. After hiding my writing for years, I decided that I was sick and tired of hiding my writing and challenged myself to write a mystery AND publish it in time for Halloween. After all, I’d seen much worse on Amazon. When I sat down, I was fortunate enough to have the plot for a six book series pop into my head. I did as I challenged myself and managed to write and publish a mystery in just under a month in time for Halloween. I was so wiped out after it happened. So after recouping and writing the second book, I decided that it was time to go back and polish up the first book. Second, I absolutely hate grammar. It has been my arch-nemesis since 7th grade. I would have meltdowns about it. I love to write, but grammar is a struggle for me. So the rewriting/polishing part really took it out of me.

3. During the last part of June, first part of July, we discovered that my aunt, my father’s sister, had lung cancer. We were unsure what stage it was, but we were worried that it was quite advanced and maybe had even settled in her bones. After several weeks of uncertainty and testing, we were relieved to discover that it was only stage one and only on one spot in one lung. We were very thankful for that.

4. Since December 2016, I have been learning American Kenpo Karate Jiu-Jitsu or Kenpo for short. We test every two months to advanced rank. This month, I tested for Advanced Blue, which is about halfway to Black Belt. I find testing extremely stressful, even though I love the art itself, so I’m always wiped after a test. On a positive note, I did pass the test 🙂

5. I have started on Book Three of the Seeker Files, In Search of High Society. After fighting with Aletta and Lirim for several weeks, I went back and wrote a prologue before returning to where I was. Apparently they just wanted me to properly set the stage, because it’s been going swimmingly since.

6. And finally, two days ago, my smartphone died after it threw itself off of a table. Because of a low paycheck, it will be a few weeks until I can get a new one. I am in technology withdrawal, lol.

 

So where am I going with this? I honestly don’t know. I try to be upbeat and positive in my posts. I try to wear a happy mask for the world and honestly, most of the time it’s the truth. My life could be so much worse than it is and I am truly blessed. But I also think that when we try to hide out struggles, we are cheating those we engage with the chance to share theirs and also the ability to encourage others that they will get through things. So please, share with me. What are some struggles that you’ve encountered lately?

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

How to Find Your Writing Style – Author Toolbox

Nano Blog and Social Media Hop2

 

Now, this may seem like common sense. You already know how to write and you have your preferred methods. Doesn’t matter if you are a pantser or a plotter, you know how to write and you’ve most likely been doing it for some time now. However, you pause for a moment, maybe she’s talking about actual style, like APA, Chicago, or MLA. While I would like to cover the differences and uses of them someday, that is NOT what I am talking about. I am talking about your own personal writing style. Everyone is different and beautifully unique and your writing style reflects that. So I want to dig a little deeper into it and maybe you’ll find something that resonates with you.

 

I was homeschooled along with my 3 brothers from Kindergarten through 12th grade. This enabled me to find out some unique things about learning styles and how to teach them as my mother put together our curriculum. So let’s start off with the basics. There are three main learning styles: Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic.

 

Visual: You learn best by watching and reading. You tend to absorb information through observation, watching and reading and then turning it over in your mind before storing it away to be pulled out at a later time. This is my learning style

3-visual-learners

 

Auditory: You learn best by listening. You tend to absorb information better that is presented orally, maybe has music, or from watching a video than from reading about it. Many times, auditory people will turn their face away from you or close their eyes while you speak. This is not an insult. In fact, it’s a sign that they are paying close attention and are tuning out other distractions so that they can listen to you fully. My older brother is an auditory learner.

Auditory

 

Kinesthetic: You learn best by doing. You tend to absorb information best when you can jump right in and participate. Your type of learning is hands on and you’re usually not afraid to join right in with whatever is going on. My middle brother’s learning style was this one.

5-kinesthetic-tactile-learners

 

One the other hand, no one tends to be just one learning style, although they do have a primary learning style. For example, I am primarily a visual learner, with a secondary auditory. So when I write, I usually have no problem writing and searching info, but if I have music playing in the background, it helps me focus better.

Learning styles

 

So what does all of this have to do with writing? Well, now that I’ve explained the three types, I’ll share some tips that might help if you get stuck while writing. So for this post, I’m going to keep the focus fairly narrow, although I could go on about this all day. Learning styles are one of my favorite topics 😊 Still, I’m just going to go with character development for the purpose of this post.

 

 

Visual

 

In this case, internet and magazines are your friend. When you create a character, explore names and their different meanings. For example, your character is European, what country do they come from? Look for names that come from that country and a meaning that fits the main characteristic of your character, like strength, bravery, wisdom, cunning, cowardice, darkness, wanderer, etc. Or go onto an internet browser or Pinterest and search for images that draw you in. For example, does dark hair catch your attention more than other colors? Maybe you want to make your character unique, so you look for uncommon traits, like different colored eyes. If there is a place that is a mainstay in your writing, take the time to figure out all of the visual details. Urban or country? Indoors or outdoors? New or old building? Bright colors or earth tones? Work your way all the way down to the small details, like the tread pattern worn on the carpet and the type of bulb in the light fixtures. When you have visual images fully filled out, you can fully visualize how your characters will move through these settings.

 

Auditory

 

Focus on the auditory aspects of your character. Can they sing? What sort of voice do they have, raspy, smooth, dry, smoky, sultry, even, cracked? What sort of music do they listen to? Classical? Heavy Metal because they are going through a rebellious phase or simply because they can lose themselves in it? Indie? Pop? When they walk, what do their footsteps sound like, a smooth tread, a heavy tread, hesitant with a slight drag to it from an old injury? Do they dance as they walk or simply plod along? If you have a main place in your writing, think about it. Do the hinges squeak when the doors open or are they silent? Do certain spots on the floor squeak, a leftover from when cousin George spilled something in that spot? Are you in an urban or country setting? Each place will have their own unique soundtrack to explore. Also, I suggest listening to music as you write. Each character will have their own unique song/soundtrack that will develop as you get to know them better.

 

Kinesthetic

 

Now, you say, how can I possibly turn this into writing? I mean, I’m writing a space opera, how in the world am I supposed to do space things? Or I’m writing fantasy, so where would I find a werewolf, etc? Well, actually, this isn’t as bad as you think it might be, in fact, you’ll probably actually have some fun with this. You get to act. Stuck on how to do character development? Get physical. Find a wall and measure out the heights that you’re thinking about for the different characters and mark them with something removable, like sticky notes. This way, you can alter as needed. Do the heights work together or is there too much of a difference or a similarity? After all, heights that are the same are boring unless you’re trying to sneak into a cloning facility where everyone is 5’7.83” tall and that’s your characters height. Trying to figure out how your character would walk or react in a certain situation? Try it yourself. For example, your character might have a slight limp because one foot is an inch shorter than the other. Find something that is an inch thick and foot sized, then strap it on one foot and try to walk across the room. Your character has a food allergy or will only eat a certain type of food, try cooking with these limitations and get a feel for the flavors. Your only limitation is your imagination. Run wild.

 

 

So I could write about these three styles all day, but in the interest of length, I shall stop here for now. Hopefully these tips helped and please let me know of your own experiences. Happy Wednesday Everyone!!

Friday Feature – Author Laurel McHargue

So a big welcome to a fellow Colorado writer today – Laurel McHargue. In addition to being a guest on my blog, today is a special day for her. It is the 35th anniversary of her graduation from West Point Academy. That is amazing and I’m glad that she was willing to share her journey with us. So on to her story 🙂

West Point Senior Photo

 

Why My Goal is to Publish in Every Genre

By Laurel McHargue

 

When my high school guidance counselor told me I shouldn’t apply to Smith College as an early decision applicant—I should have several backups in my pocket—I wasn’t mature enough to realize she was projecting her own insecurities onto me, as if I needed more than my own at the time. But I applied the way I wanted to, was accepted, and got to know myself as a person separate from my parents over three challenging and eye-opening semesters on the picturesque Northampton campus.

What I discovered was how little I knew about myself.

I accepted a job through Smith’s summer work placement program after my first year. The job? Housekeeper, light fare cook, and companion to a 65-year-old Smith grad. I hadn’t cooked a day in my life up to that point. The fourth of five girls in my family, I was often dodging too many helpers in our kitchen, but I never minded hanging out in my bedroom with a good book. I was fairly sure I could follow a recipe and not kill anyone with the resultant meal.

And what a wonderful opportunity! I’d live for six weeks with a woman who’d be my mentor. She had worked at Harvard Business School before retiring. She would help me discover my purpose in life.

Wrong.

She had no time for me—ME!—and no interest in mentoring a young Smithie. She barely acknowledged my presence. So I cleaned her ashtrays and accompanied her between her apartment in Boston’s Prudential Center and her little place on the beach in Connecticut and didn’t kill her with my cooking.

And I decided I needed a change.

My parents had raised me to believe I could do and be anything I wanted, yet I knew I’d never really been tested academically, physical, and emotionally. I wanted to be tested.

I had my meeting with the Dean of Smith in November of my sophomore year, a requirement for anyone leaving the ivy towers of the Seven Sisters College, to tell her I’d started an application to the United States Military Academy at West Point and would leave Smith at the end of the semester to prepare. I was fairly confident my application would be approved.

She told me I shouldn’t leave. I was making a mistake. Didn’t I see how well I was doing at Smith? She told me I really shouldn’t make such a drastic move. It wouldn’t be a good fit for me.

Huh.

She was almost right. As a woman in the fourth class to see women at West Point, I experienced the wrath of many cadets, grads, and professors who believed women shouldn’t be marching alongside the men of the Long Gray Line. I came close to failing out of West Point because my plebe English instructor, an Army Captain, told me I couldn’t write.

But I could, and I did, and after graduating from West Point in 1983, I served in the Army for nine years on Active Duty and over three more in the Army Reserves. But what does any of this have to do with my goal as an author?

The answer is simple. First and foremost, I want to publish in every genre because it will be a challenge. Second and aftmost (thought I’d made up that word, but alas, I did not), I’ve been told I shouldn’t.

After publishing “Miss?” and Waterwight, an author friend told me I should adopt a pseudonym for publishing The Hare, Raising Truth because clearly, my niche is educational writing and The Hare is, well, rather naughty. Not naughty enough to check porn off my “to do” list, but not nice enough for a middle school classroom—though many of my former 7th grade students would disagree.

Different writing conferences I’ve attended also have promoted the “niche” message. “Market yourself as a (fill in the blank) writer.” “Be the ‘go to’ author for (this specific) genre.” And what has been my response to these messages?

Pshaw!

Every genre presents its challenges, and I’m a firm believer that a life filled with challenges will never be boring. As I work on Waterwight Breathe this year, the last book of my Waterwight Trilogy, I write with full awareness that I’m doing something I “shouldn’t” do. I’m writing it in first person present tense, whereas my first two books remain consistently in third person past tense. Why?

You know why. It’s different. It’s a challenge. I haven’t done it before, and after reading The Hunger Games Trilogy, I was inspired to try it. I wrote The Hare, Raising Truth in second person perspective for the same reason, and Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone voice was a powerful inspiration behind each creepy scene. It was great fun to write.

So while many will stand by their advice that I shouldn’t write in multiple genres, I believe I should, and I will. If Neil Gaiman can do it, so can I. And hey, is someone going to knock on my door and drag me off to jail for breaking any “rules” of writing?

I think not. But if I do find myself behind bars for daring to color outside the lines, just think of the story I’ll write about it. It’ll be a challenge.

 

~~~~~

 

Award-winning author Laurel McHargue, a 1983 graduate of The United States Military Academy at West Point, was raised in Braintree, Massachusetts, but somehow found her way to the breathtaking elevation of Leadville, Colorado, where she has taught and currently lives with her husband and Ranger, the German Shepherd. She established Leadville Literary League, a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote local literary endeavors and the arts, and hosts the podcast ‘Alligator Preserves’ about storytelling and the human condition. She blogs about life, real and imagined, at leadvillelaurel.com. Find her at the 2018 Denver Comic Con June 15-17.

 

Links:

Laurel’s Amazon Author Page

Laurel’s website

Laurel’s Twitter

Laurel’s Facebook

Alligator Preserves Podcast

 

DCC 2018

Friday Feature – Blogger Katie Huey

Here is the blogger of the blog 52 Beautiful Things, Katie Huey. Go check out her blog, it’s amazing!

katie

I started my blog 52 Beautiful Things in 2013. We had just postponed my upcoming wedding because my grandpa died and my fiance had gotten laid off. My personal life felt shaky and uncertain. Always a cheerleader for the positive in the world, I decided to make my search for beauty a public thing. I needed to put words to the good. As the years have gone by I’ve gone through lots of ups and downs – got married, bought a house, lost my dad, and dealt with grief. I’m starting to realize that’s how things work – a bittersweet mix of good and bad, joy and pain, ugliness and beauty. It’s impossible and impractical to live in awesome all the time. Yet, we can find beauty in despair, confusion and pain if we start to look.

The blog continues to be an outlet for me and I always am tickled when readers share how my perspectives inspire, challenge or connect with them. Things are scary out there and the world needs more light. Looking for the beauty in the ordinary things keeps me grounded – it’s a bonus when my words help others in their journey as well. I’ve yet to make money on this platform, but the purpose of seeking good and connecting with readers keeps me coming back each week to write more.

More of my writing projects can be found here.

​You can check out her blog here

Or connect with her on  Instagram and Twitter
Happy Friday Everyone!

Facing Your Fears – Author Toolbox

Nano Blog and Social Media Hop2

I haven’t been a published author very long, just a little over six months at this point. If you had told me even I year ago that I would have published not one, but two books, I would’ve looked at you skeptically and probably walked away.

Let me share a bit of backstory with you. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I don’t even remember learning how to read and I know that I’ve been writing for just as long. Now, I can’t look back at my early stories without rolling my eyes and groaning a bit. They were basically one long run-on sentence with very little in the way of grammar. Still, I am fond of those early attempts because they show my love of writing.

However, when I was fifteen, I completed my first novel. It was my pride and joy and I had spent countless hours working on it. Filled with youthful surety and confidence as only a teenager can be, I sent my manuscript out in search of a publisher. Unfortunately, I fell into the trap of a vanity publisher. After waiting months to hear back, I was told that they could indeed publish my manuscript, for the hefty sum of $4,000. Needless to say, I was crushed. Afterwards, I stopped showing my writing to anyone. I didn’t stop writing, but I stopped sharing it with anyone, including my family.

It’s been over a decade since that happened. I set aside my dream of becoming an author and pursued other goals. I finished college, became a librarian and then an entrepreneur, traveled overseas, and even have started the journey to becoming a black belt. But I still felt empty inside, unfulfilled. And despite everything, I never stopped writing. Some stories were good, some not so much, but I couldn’t deny the urge to write. Last year, I got fed up with hiding and decided to go big. I wrote my first novel in just under a month and published it. It was one of the most exhausting things that I’ve ever done, but I had never felt so alive and satisfied.

So now that I’ve practically written another novel in this post, what does all of this have to do with facing your fears? I want to share with you what I’ve learned and hopefully some tricks that will help your overcome your fears.

1) Embrace your uniqueness

Now this may seem patently obvious, but please bear with me. So many times when we’re writing something, fear loves to whisper in our ears. We start to doubt ourselves, what makes us qualified to write something? Who are we to think think that we have something special to say? Why do we think we can put a new spin on something that’s been written about a hundred times before? But the truth is, we can show something new, something unique. People see the world differently. Ten people can see the exact same situation and then tell you ten entirely different versions of the event. No one can see the story like you can. And when you stay true to yourself, that genuineness will draw others to you and your writing. So don’t try to be what’s popular or mainstream. Be yourself and tell your story your way. That’s what people really want to see.

2) Staring down the blank page

For me, the hardest part of any story is starting. You’ve had a story running around in your brain for weeks. Your characters have become your constant companions, whispering their stories into your ear day and night. So you pull out a pen and paper or sit down at the computer and…. nothing. Your characters have fled into the ether and all you’re left with is a gnawing in your gut and sweaty palms. The blinking cursor seems to be growing ever larger, mocking you with the pristine whiteness of the page. This moment can be pivotal, as you can either walk away or gut through it. Don’t give in to the blank page fears, your story deserves to be told. So take a deep breath and shove aside the worries about having the perfect hook and first chapter. All of that will come later. Right now, just start writing. It doesn’t even have to be the story line. Describe a character, write a scenery element, describe one of your characters favorite foods. Once you get words on the page, even if it’s only a handful, the fear of the blank page will magically diminish. Your characters will cautiously creep back and before you know it, they will be as loud and insistent as ever, wanting their story told right.

3) Perfectionism

This is one of the biggest fears of any writer. I can literally tear my work apart, criticize it until I’m to paralyzed, until I can’t write anything at all. In fact, I’m the hardest critic of my work. What you need to learn to do is turn off the inner critic. Instead, just write. Write the whole story. When you reread to clarify the story in your mind, turn off your inner editor and just focus on the story. Instead let the story flow and write until it’s done. There will be time to go back and edit, time to go back and fix all of the small mistakes, but don’t take away the joy of writing by focusing on making it exactly right. That will come later. And truthfully? Most of what seems glaringly obvious to you, other people will not see at all.

Bonus:

chained

Have fun. So many people think that writers are chained to their desks, scribbling or typing feverishly. They are stereotyped as being odd, super introverted, having weird quirks. While this is maybe true for a few, for the vast majority it is simply not. Authors tend to be fully engaged in life, always looking for something new, something that they can take and share with others through their books. They have stories that they want to share because they add color and joy to their lives. So live each day to the fullest, engage with the world around you, because you never know what you will find that will be worth sharing.

I really appreciate being invited to join in this blog hop by Author Toolbox. If you want to learn more check it out here:

To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, click here.

 

Also, I would like to share real briefly, I just released the second book in my series The Seeker Files yesterday. If you would like to check it out, you can find it here: In Search of Healing: Seeker Files bk 2

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

 

It’s Finally Here!!!!

Hi Everyone,

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been rather absent from my blog for the past couple of weeks. Although it was partially because I was exhausted from the A to Z Challenge, I was also busy getting “In Search of Healing” ready for you 🙂

Book 2 cover

 

I’m so excited to announce that it is finally live on Amazon: In Search of Healing

 

Having survived her first few months at HSI, Agent Aletta is settling into her partnership with Lirim. She is coming to terms with her newfound gift and the threat to her welfare is finally over. Or is it?

Aletta had left everything behind to start over at HSI. But her past is not content to remain where it belongs, in the past. Drawn reluctantly back into her past, she and Lirim race against time at they try to figure out who is behind the attacks on the Canticum Opera Company.

Struggling to fully harness her gift and running from her past, can Aletta and Lirim figure out who is targeting the Canticum Company before time runs out?

 

Who’s excited to read?

Let me know if you’ve published something recently, I always love to discover new authors. Happy Tuesday everyone!

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