Category Archives: Blog Hop

Love is in the Distopian Air: Dark Urban Fantasy Style

Happy Valentines Dark Dreamers,

In honor of love and you know, not so much love, my 2 main characters, Rowan and Devon, sent Valentines to each other over at Once Upon a Bookcase. Go check out their, um, feelings for each other and other Valentine fun. Also enter for a chance to win a huge stash of free stuff.

Characters Sending Valentines with Suzanne Van Rooyen, Courtney Sloan and Amy McNulty on Once Upon a Bookcase.

Val Blo Hop

The Valentine’s Blog Hop is in full swing! Running from February 12-15, the hop features some terrific authors, being hosted by some of my favourite book blogs.

The Valentine’s Blog Hop is in full swing! Running from February 12-15, the hop features some terrific authors, being hosted by some of my favourite book blogs.

Check out each of the posts to learn about new and upcoming releases, the #Wo2016 group and win FABULOUS PRIZES.

More links will be added as the bloggers post them! Still have Sarah Ahiers, Jodie Andrefski and more to come! ❤

February 14

Characters Sending Valentines with Suzanne Van Rooyen, Courtney Sloan and Amy McNulty on Once Upon a Bookcase.

Interview with Suzanne van Rooyen on Reading is My Treasure. 

Excerpts with Jessica Gunn, Julia Ember and Pintip Dunn on It Starts at Midnight. 

Interview with Julia Ember on Ya Book Traveler. 

Interview with Vicki L. Weavil on Read, Write, Love. 

February 13

Interview with Nina Rossing and Pat Esden on Stay Bookish. 

Valentine’s Q&A with Bethany Morrow on Candid Cover.

Interview with Jessica Gunn on Reading is My Treasure.

Interview with Pintip Dunn on Ya Book Traveler.

Character Valentines with Pat Esden and Melissa Giorgio on Read, Write, Love. 

February 12

Interview with Vicki L. Weavil on Candid Cover! 

 

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Our First Writing Wednesdays

Dear Dark Dreamers,

These last few months I have been a part of a talented group of authors who all have books coming out in 2016. All are either new adult or young adult, and we write in everything from dark urban fantasy to romance to thrillers. These people are as amazing as their upcoming books. Together we are pushing each other to be greater and get more done by blog hopping once a week. Basically every Wednesday, we’ll post what we’ve been doing writing or publishing-wise during the week, anything we’ve learned, and what we hope to get done in the next week. It’s just a fun way to keep on track with writing goals week-to-week and push for more.

This week has been amazingly productive and busy.

1st– For the last few weeks the publisher and I have been working like crazy artistic bees on cover ideas for Book One of The American Scion series, OF SCIONS AND MEN. We’ve decided to push the envelope and not do a traditional style cover. As of the end of last week, we have settled on concept art, and it’s off in the hands of an exceptionally talented artist. I now know who the artist is. I cannot wait to share this amazing idea and work with the rest of you.

2nd– I am hard at work on Book Two of The American Scion series, THE SCIONS OF WRATH. So far I’ve written about 10k words this week. So, it’s going well and my structure is shaping up well. I was having some trouble with chaptering my inciting event chapters. But I lucked out and this week was my critique group’s meeting. Not only did I get some great suggestions, I also seem to have made some fellow writers white-knuckle as they read the events of this chapter. So, yay!

I’ve gotten a lot done, but I’ve got to push for more. Time to crack the whip, and I’ll hope you’ll all join in.

Yes, Readers, may I have another.

Yes, Readers, may I have another.

From now to next Wednesday, I want to get another 10-15k written. Also, I want to get some more marketing ideas under my belt and set up. This is the part I need to learn the most about. It’s a strange new world, and I need to jump in educated but with both feet.

Image courtesy of  Jeroen van Oostrom at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Wife, Mother…Writer?

Yep, I’m all three. On a good day, the three meld into this gorgeous dance of inspiration and productivity. On a bad day, they crash into a glass of wine.

Here's to a more sane tomorrow or the apocalypse, either ends the hell that was today.

Here’s to a more sane tomorrow or the apocalypse, either ends the hell that was today.

Many friends and colleagues have asked me how I manage all three, and I wish there was some great sage wisdom I could impart to enlighten the masses and stamp on a tee-shirt. So far, the best I’ve got is “Hold on, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.” I make it work by sheer force of will and an unhealthy dose of insomnia. But that doesn’t get things done. To get things done, I’ve had to utilize some very unsexy skills like extreme time management and using my wait time. These two plans have given me far more writing time than I could otherwise get. Adding the fact that my husband J.P. Sloan is also a worker by day and writer by night, we have double trouble with time management allowing us time to write. We both have to schedule time to write, usually right after our 7 year old goes to bed around 8-8:30. It is even how I’m writing this blog post right now. Scheduling a “working writing time” not only makes sure we can get it done without trying to hit the “I’m too tired button” in our lives, but also helps train our brains that during this time our writing brain needs to be active. I’d heard that from authors before, but didn’t really believe it until I started using it. Our brains feel like they actively switch to a different mode and the words flow much easier. But that only gives an hour or so a day; far from the time needed to be a real writer on a large scale.

So in my busy wife, mother, teacher life, my writing time also has to use that under-utilized section of everyone’s schedule called “wait time”. Wait times are those points in our day when we know we can’t travel to do anything else and we know we are just going to have to sit there and do nothing. This could be in-between two meetings or classes. Or my personal favorite, the doctor/dentist office. As we all know, when we go to the doctor they always see us immediately. NOT. We have to wait and wait, often for much longer than we would like. Usually the only options during this wait time is to watch their interoffice TV, stare at the cracks in the wall or read three year old magazines, again. But we know this time is coming. If we plan for it we can use it to get stuff done and thus free up time for later. So, when I look at my schedule and realize there’s some wait time in my day, I make sure my book stuff is with me and bang out a word count. Now I’m less frustrated with the wait and have time to spend with my family later and not feel guilty.

But guilt and family time are two big obstacles in the busy writing momma’s life. I need to make sure my son is feeling loved and supported. I need to be there for his events and celebrate and grow with him. I am not willing to sacrifice my son and family to my writing, not very PC and Woman’s lib, but there it is. But I’m also finding a balance and a pride from my writing as well. Especially as I watch my son. My guilt has eased as I watch him take more and more interest in writing and writing well from watching his father and I work. He is only in second grade but has already won two writing contests for his age group and school. For his martial arts belt tests he has to write an essay at each level and each time his is singled out for praise. He sees our dedication and love of writing, and instead of resenting it, he wants to work on his writing as well. He is already hoping to be published one day and working to that end.

And that came from balancing being a wife, mother and writer. It is not only my manuscripts that benefit from my dedication, but my son as well. Keeping this going takes a lot of effort, but each smile and success keeps me going and keeps the fight worth it.

So no great sage advice here. Just a reminder that we influence those little ones. It is not just about giving or taking time, but also showing them when actions are worth more. For them we walk the tight rope every day. If we show them cord, they may just decide to walk it with us.

If you want to read from other authors on balancing parenthood and writing, find them on Sharon Bayliss’s Blog Hop below.

1.

Sharon Bayliss

2.

Balancing Act

3.

James Wymore

4.

Amy Bearce, On the Journey Blog

5.

Clare Dugmore Writes

6.

Missy Shelton Belote, Author

7.

J. P. Sloan’s Fistful of Fiction

8.

Black Cat Blog

9.

Jessika Fleck, Writer

10.

Courtney Sloan’s Dark Draftings

11.

Julie Coulter Bellon

12.

Katie’s Stories

13.

Kids, Writing, and Why I Quit Sleeping

14.

Eliza Tilton

15.

Andrea Berthot, YA Author

16.

Kate Foster, Writer

17.

The Unspeakable Horror of the Literary Life

18.

Kimberly Ito – Author of Fiction

19.

Kristen Terrette, Smiling in the Chaos

20.

Kimber Leigh Wheaton

21.

Vicki Keire Writes

22.

Jennifer Tressen

23.

Live, Love, Laugh

24.

Christine Rains

25.

Shelli Proffitt Howells – A*Musings

26.

Alex Taylor – Author

27.

Treefall Writing