7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy My Books

Seven Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy My Books

Now that I’ve been a published author for one full year, and I’ve spent these last twelve months marketing, blogging, and tweeting about why you should buy my books, I think it’s time to get real with you. I want to save you all the trouble. It’s time to tell you why you shouldn’t buy my books.

7 – I’m an indie author

Yes, it’s true—I’m an independent author. I don’t have an agent, I don’t have a publisher, and I pay for the production of my books up front. By now we’ve all seen, and maybe even read, at least one train wreck of a self-published book. It might have soured your opinion of indie books altogether, and I don’t blame you. But I can promise you that professional editors, cover designers, and formatters have worked on my books. While no books, not even traditionally published books, are entirely free of errors, I have taken every step possible to provide the best quality product for my readers.

But . . . if you think indie authors are just traditional publishing rejects, and have no talent to make it in the business, DON’T BUY MY BOOKS.

6 – I’m not famous

Only my dad and my friend’s six-year-old son think I’m famous. To everyone else I’m just another author trying to sell my wares. I’ve never made the NYT Bestsellers list, I’ve never been asked to speak at a writer’s convention, and I’m guessing the cease and desist letter I got from HBO means they’re not interested in adapting my novels. Okay, that last point wasn’t true, but you get my what I’m saying.

I might not have a long list of dedicated readers waiting in line at Barnes and Noble for my latest release, but one year into being a published author I do have a growing fan base. I’ve even received quite a few emails from readers all over the world, writing just to tell me how much they liked one of my books. So while I may not be famous in the conventional sense of the word, sometimes my readers make me feel famous.

If my “nobody” status bothers you, and you’d rather read a book from a well-known author with rave reviews, DON’T BUY MY BOOKS.

5 – I’m a shameless rule breaker. I break 6 of Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing. Somebody should stop me right now!

I must confess, I’ve always been one to bend the rules, but when it comes to my writing, I happily take those rules and break them whenever I damn well please. It’s not that I don’t know what the rules are. I know them very well. But if I want to use an adverb, a variety of dialog tags, or describe a setting, then I’m going to do it! I’m mindful of how and when I use them, but I can assure you, you’ll find broken rules scattered throughout my books. It’s like a rule graveyard in there.

So if you’re a stern believer in the rules of writing, please, DON’T BUY MY BOOKS.

4 – They’re not free

With the digital publishing age, millions of books are at our fingertips, and many of these digital books are free. Why would anyone want to pay money for my books when they can get a similar book for free?

You see, the trouble is that I don’t want to give my books away. Yes, I love writing. Yes, I would continue to write books even if no one wanted to read them. And yes, occasionally I will offer a title free for a day or two. But if I’m going to have fancy covers, editors, and formatters, I have to justify the cost of production with at least a marginal return on my investment. The good news is that, so far, I’ve earned more money than I put out to produce my books, which tells me I must be doing something right.

But if you’re offended that I’m asking you to pay to read my work, or if you’re irritated that any of my books cost more than 99 cents, DO. NOT. BUY. MY BOOKS. Like, ever.

3 – I like cliffhangers.

I love them! And while I don’t always employ the hard-hitting, mid-scene-cutting cliffhanger, I like to leave the door open for the next book. In some of my books I wrap up the main story and leave a teaser for the next, in others I leave some unfinished business. It’s just the way I write and if you’re going to read my books, be prepared for a cliff here and there.

The good news is that if you’re not too enraged by my cliffhanger, you can always go on to read the next book in the series. I promise the answers you seek will be right there.

But if you can’t stand a cliffhanger, and you would prefer a series to be a two-thousand-page book, then I warn you, DO NOT BUY MY BOOKS.

2 – Some people don’t like them.

If you’re still reading this post, then you’re either a glutton for punishment, or I haven’t done a good enough job of convincing you not to buy my books. This should do it: there are people who HATE my books. It’s true. My books have gotten one and two star reviews; endings have been called trite, characters unconvincing, and it has been stated that certain plots make no sense at all. Some people hated my books so much they couldn’t even get through them. To some people, my books are just that awful.

I guess I should quit torturing the world with my vapid prose and one-dimensional characters, but like any visionary mind, I’m driven by my passion and positive feedback. For every negative review my books receive, there are double, and even triple the positive reviews. For example, The Darkness of Light has a 4.7 average star rating on Amazon, and a 56% 5 star rating on Goodreads. And despite the horror show that some claim this book to be, people still keep buying it. Weird. I wonder when the world will catch on to my failures and stop encouraging me. 😉

So be forewarned, if you don’t want a book that some people don’t like, DON’T BUY ANY OF MY BOOKS.

Are you still with me? If so, this should be the nail in the coffin for you . . .

1 – I didn’t write these books for you. I wrote them for me.

I’ve tried to write them for you. I really have. But it’s never worked out. Initially, my debut novel, The Darkness of Light, was merely the result of a crazed mission to claw my way out of writer’s block. As I wrote chapter after chapter, publication was never on my mind. I was just happy to be writing again and completely in love with the story. It wasn’t until after I’d finished writing it that I started to consider publication.

The same is true with all my other books, even if the genre is a popular one. I started writing The Embers of Light with reader expectations in mind, but when I kept hitting brick walls I decided to stop focusing on what my readers expected, and focused on the story I wanted to tell. That’s the only way I can write. I’m sorry. And I swear that if no one ever bought another one of my books again, I would still want to write them.

So if you want something tailored specifically to reader expectations, DON’T BUY MY BOOKS. I guarantee they won’t always follow the guidelines of the genre, they won’t all have happy endings, and they won’t be predictable. If you can’t put it down, that’s not my fault. I warned you.

Here are the covers of the books you shouldn’t buy, just in case you get lured in by the pretty covers and intriguing blurbs. It’s happened to quite a few people, and I wouldn’t want you to fall victim as well. You might end up loving them and hating me for it. 😉

AllBooksAnd if that’s not enough, you can add this Amazon page to your block list.

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The Embers of Light Blog Tour Guest Posts

The Embers of Light Blog tour is happening now and I wanted to share the three guest posts I wrote for the tour.

Check out:

Villains Have Feelings Too

Writing Fact Into Your Fantasy

The Perfectly Imperfect Romance

ALSO ~ I have a newsletter now. So make sure to sign up HERE

Release Day for Kristen Strassel’s Too Many Reasons

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TOO MANY REASONS (A Spotlight Series Novel) by Kristen Strassel is here! Check out the excerpt and giveaway below! Kristen Strassel keeps her rock ‘n roll edge in this sexy contemporary NA. I’ve read this one and I love it.

TMR

 

Title: TOO MANY REASONS (A Spotlight Series Novella)

Author: Kristen Strassel

Age: NA

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: February 9, 2015

Goodreads Page

Amazon

Blurb:

Abby Gauthier is close to getting everything she’s worked so hard for. The band she manages, Sinister Riot, has been offered a major record contract. But it comes with a catch: the band must add Eli Jamison, winner of the talent show The Spotlight, to the lineup.

 

“You’ve been my favorite part of this city.”


Devon Sinclair is the singer of Sinister Riot, and he’s Abby’s best friend. She’s in love with him, but fears she’ll lose him if she makes the first move. Devon knows adding Eli to the band is a mistake, and he’s right. Eli’s interested in more than just making an album. He wants to take control of the band, and he wants to get to know Abby better. A lot better. When tensions between Devon and Eli threaten to destroy Sinister Riot, Abby must act on her true feelings or lose everything she’s ever wanted.

 

“I may not have been your first, but I’m going to make damn sure I’m your last.”

 

EXCERPT
“What the hell are you doing here? You scared the shit out of me.” He had a key, so it wasn’t like he didn’t have a permanent invite. But tonight? Come on.

“I wanted to make sure you got home safe.” He laid on the futon, one leg thrown over the back cushion. It didn’t appear that he was actually doing anything, but waiting for me. The cat was curled up on his stomach. Thank God Mallory still hadn’t come back. Or maybe not. She would have sent his ass packing.

“You could have just texted.” I took off my jacket and tossed it at him. Ziggy took offense, disappearing into some dark corner. I refused to sit next to him, instead I sank into the bean bag chair to unlace my boots. After dancing for a good part of the night, my feet were begging me to take them off. I hadn’t noticed until now.

“You didn’t answer me earlier.” He watched my fingers free my legs from the ties. Once I was only in my socks, I curled my legs under my body, but sitting practically on the floor made me feel too small and Devon too big. He was acting like an irrational asshole and I didn’t want to give him any more power. I practically jumped to my feet.

“Because I was out. With someone. And I didn’t want to be rude like some people and spend the whole night on the phone texting someone else.” Like Devon did with Lexi when he went out with me. I filled a glass with water and drank it all in one long sip. “Did I need to be concerned? Was I out with a serial killer?”

Devon scoffed. “No.”

“So what you really wanted to do was make sure I didn’t bring him upstairs with me.” I crossed my arms and started pacing in front of him. I wanted to ask him about all the things Eli had told me he’d said, but it just seemed petty. “What would you have done if I had?”

“You can do whatever you want, Abby.” He sat up, raking his fingers through his hair. “Where’d you go?”

“Magdalena’s.”

“Shrimp and grits? Hurricanes?”

I nodded. “Then I took him to—“

“The Apple Barrel.” Devon finished my sentence as he sat up. “All the things we like to do.”

“All the things I like to do, with any good company.” I stopped, arms still crossed. “Would you even be here if I’d gone out with anyone else?” I wondered if Devon had known about my date before he’d texted me tonight.

“I don’t know.” Our eyes locked in fury and frustration. “He didn’t even kiss you.”

“That’s not true.” My whole body shook.

Devon’s lips turned upward, a half-smile. “Your lip gloss is still perfect.”

“Maybe I put more on.”

“To come upstairs?” He shook his head. “No, you didn’t.”

“Why do you even care? Do you want to kiss me?” I couldn’t believe I actually said it. Out loud. A couple of drinks and one date and I was feeling really cocky.

In slow motion, Devon pushed himself up off the futon so he stood just inches from me. I didn’t move, or even uncross my arms. He rested his hands on my elbows, and looked down at me in a way he never had before. Like he was seeing me for the first time. My heart slammed against my ribcage for the second time that night, and I was glad my arms were there to keep everything in place. He ran his teeth against his lip ring, drawing my eyes to the motion. He closed his eyes and leaned forward.

I’d pictured this moment a thousand times, so some of it seemed very familiar to me: the chunk of hair that fell in his eyes as he lowered his face to mine, the way his bottom lip moved against his teeth when he felt unsure of himself.

No. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

I turned my head and his lips brushed against my cheek. “Don’t.” I could barely speak.

“Abby.” His fingers moved against the back of my arm and I shivered. His words were so soft, if we weren’t so close I might not have heard them. “You asked me what I wanted.”

Frozen in place, I stared at my shoes next to the bean bag. “I don’t want you to do this because you’re pissed off that I went out with Eli,” I whispered. Eight years I waited for him to finally make that move, and I think I had the right to lay some ground rules. If I was going to kiss him, it wasn’t going to be cheap and full of regret. “That’s not how I want this to be.”

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Kristen

Kristen shares a birthday with Steven Tyler and Diana Ross. She spends each day striving to be half as fabulous as they are. She’s worn many hats, none as flattering as her cowboy hat: banker, retail manager, fledgling web designer, world’s worst cocktail waitress, panty slinger, now makeup artist and author. She loves sunshine, live music, the middle of nowhere, and finding new things to put in her house.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

THE EMBERS OF LIGHT IS COMING SOON!

Get ready! January 28th will be here sooner than you think. 🙂

You can pre-order the paperback of THE EMBERS OF LIGHT, the second book in The Dia Chronicles Here.

And here are some teasers for you. We’ve got new conflicts, new characters, and lots of drama for you in book two.

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“Write Every Day” …Now I get it!

I had an epiphany this morning!

I’ve always hated the “write every day” advice that’s always stuffed down writers throats. WHAT IF WE CAN’T, HUH? What if we’re having a bad day, can’t think of anything new, or simply don’t feel like writing? Does that make us any less of a writer?

I always have a certain amount of guilt if a day…or two…or three goes by without getting anything written. And then that usually leads me to procrastinate even more. It’s a vicious cycle, really.

But what I realized this morning is that I SHOULD be writing every day, but ONLY when I am working on a specific project.

The problem is, if I take a step away for a few days, I end up losing touch with my characters, I forget where the story left off, and I lose momentum. I’m used to sitting down and doing 5+ hour stretches of writing, and THAT can be exhausting at times.

When I taught pre-GED reading at the Greenville Literacy Association, many of my students were adults who had difficulty reading a short story, let alone a novel. I would always tell them that learning to read is like playing an instrument, you HAVE to practice every day, even if it’s only for 15 minutes, if you want to improve.

I learned to play the guitar a few years back, so I know how important that 15 minutes of practice is, even when I really didn’t feel like doing it.

The same rule applies to writing. I need to stop forcing myself into these marathon writing sessions and, at the very least, commit to 30 minutes to an hour a day of writing. Even if it’s just cleaning up a certain chapter, I need to sit down and engage with my manuscript if I want to stay connected to it.

This is the new plan going forward. Even if I don’t feel like it, I will spend a minimum of 30 minutes each day writing. I might get only 100 words out, but that’s certainly 100 words more than I would have if I simply ignored my manuscript all together. I think THAT is what “write every day” means. I don’t have to knock out a chapter. Just a sentence will do.

 

 

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Available now on Amazon, Barnes& Noble, Kobo, and through select retailers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS REVIEW & GIVEAWAY!

website-fosad-pageFIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS

By Melissa Petreshock

I don’t think I can express just how much I loved this book!

The cover is what got my interest at first. It’s just TOO pretty to ignore. I love fantasy novels! Like, LOVE! But I usually prefer a more historical-type or otherworldly setting. What shocked me about this book is that, while it’s set in a futuristic “sovereign” America, the novel had an almost historical feel. The world in which Ms. Petreshock has created is a society full of archaic social conventions, where women have little to no power, and a hierarchy of male supernatural beings make all the rules. It was fascinating to learn about this world, and the author did such a great job at covering every little detail of this society so that it actually becomes believable.

My first thought as I read through this book is that it starts out like a supernatural, futuristic version of The Bachelorette. It may sound a little crazy at first, this woman must choose between three suitors, but it all makes sense within this world. And once you get to know the three suitors, you won’t be able to put the book down.

I also liked how the author gave each character his or her own distinct voice. Each character had their own way of speaking, whether modern or ancient, their own accent, and their own thought process that stayed very consistent throughout the story.

This book is engaging, entertaining, and has the perfect amount of heat to entice romance readers and fantasy readers alike. I am also SO glad that the author rounded out the story and gave me answers!

I will definitely recommend this book to others and keep an eye out for more from this author.

Enter to Win 1 of 3 ebooks of FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS here: Rafflecopter

Purchase Links

Amazon

Kobo

Goodreads

 

 

My First Two Months as an Indie-Author ~ The Good, The Bad, and The Unexpected

Today marks two months since the official release of The Darkness of Light! I can’t believe it’s been two months already, and yet, some days it feels like it’s been longer. Either way, it’s been a great experience so far and I can tell you with all sincerity that I have NO regrets about deciding to publish this book.

The Days Leading Up to Release

I think for any author, no matter how their novel comes to life, the days leading up to release are both exciting and utterly terrifying. You imagine your book coming to life, people buying it, reading it, and (hopefully) loving it. Then you have those moments of terror when you envision your book dying a slow death. Maybe no one buys it. Maybe it gets bad reviews from the start. Maybe the world never even gives you or your book a second glance.

Release Day

Luckily for me, many of my fears we unfounded. Release day for me was exhilarating. My blog tour started off well, with many bloggers giving my book good reviews, and I got lots of messages and tweets from people buying my book. But then the terror kicked in again…Oh my gosh, people are buying my book, people are reading my book, people are going to start telling me what they think of my book…

Again, this is a cycle of excitement and fear that happens to all authors, so I knew I wasn’t completely crazy.

Two Months Later ~ The GOOD

The first few days or weeks…or more…after a book release, chances are the author will be obsessively checking their amazon rank. Until royalty checks come in (or we make the NYT Best Sellers List), this is the only way we can gauge how well our book is doing.

I’ll admit, I did this for at least the first few weeks. I’d wake up in the morning and instead of checking twitter or Facebook, like I usually do, I would go straight to Amazon.

I was shocked that for the first month after release, and sporadically throughout the second month, my book was always in the top 100 of the US, UK, or Canadian Kindle store under the Mythology and/or Historical Fantasy categories.

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At that point I was so excited about being in the top 100 I didn’t even care if I made a penny in royalties.

During these last two months I’ve also had a book launch party, saw my book on the shelves of bookstores, received a lot of great reviews, had a newspaper article written about me, and had Anne Rice post on her FB and Twitter about the article. I can’t tell you how excited every step of the journey has been.

And Then I Got Paid.

This is the part everyone really wants to know about. Since releasing The Darkness of Light I have received 2 royalty payments. They weren’t enough to pay my way to Paris so I could move into a pied-à-terre, eat baguettes, drink wine, and write all day, but they were enough to satisfy me. In fact, they were more than I expected my first royalty checks to be. The notion that I have received money for writing a book still amazes me. While I can’t run away to Paris just yet, I have made enough to start covering the expenses of my next novel, and that was always my goal in the first place.

I knew from the start that I wouldn’t make a profit off this book. Any money that came in from it would go straight into producing the sequel. One of the keys to being a successful indie-author is to keep writing books. Chances are you won’t make a profit to start, but hopefully with the next book, and the next, and the next, you’ll begin to see higher royalties from multiple books being purchased at one time. That’s the hope, anyway.

So as far as the GOOD goes, I couldn’t have asked for a better two months and I have never regretted my decision to publish my novel.

Two Months Later ~ The BAD

Yes, yes. I’m sorry to tell you that, while it’s been an amazing journey watching my dreams come true, there have been some challenging moments, as well.

The Royalties ~ Yep, they are part of the good, but they are also part of the bad. The money I’ve earned so far has not been enough to get excited about. Sure, it’s helping me produce another novel, but if I had to earn enough money to live on, I’d be living in a box by now. As I said before, I am happy that I earned money at all. I don’t care if I make $10 or $1 million, but if I was under any kind of idea that I’d be rich from writing one book, I’d be very, very wrong.

The Work ~ Once a book has been released, there is A LOT of time spent promoting it, tracking sales, tweeting, searching book blogs etc… I don’t love this part. It’s incredibly distracting, and while it can be exciting, it takes time away from what I should be doing, and that’s WRITING! It’s hard to find a balance between promo and production. I still haven’t figured that one out yet.

The Reviews ~ This is the part authors fear the most, and I am certainly no exception. While I have received many wonderful reviews, the fear of a bad one was enough to drive me to drink. Three weeks after my book launched, I’d managed to convince myself to stop looking at the reviews. I knew a bad one was coming (it happens to every author) and I was determined never to see it. But then, one day as I casually browsed Goodreads and Amazon for another book I was looking for, I decided to check on my book and GAH! there were the bad reviews. I didn’t want to look, I promise you I didn’t, but I couldn’t seem to look away.

I read these reviews between my fingers, taking in every word like 1000 needles to the heart and, while I thought I’d prepared myself for bad reviews, as it turns out, I was NOT prepared at all.

It took me a full 48 hours to finally realize I was being ridiculous. First of all, I ASKED for reviews! I got on the loud speaker of social media, asked for HONEST reviews, and that’s exactly what I got. I have to appreciate the fact that someone took the time to buy my book, give it a try, and then commit more time to telling people why they hated it. :). Either way, it’s what I asked for.

I spent a lot of the next day reading bad reviews of the books I love, which helped me to realize (and truly understand) that not everyone likes every book. Who do I think I am, Virginia Woolf? Ummm, no. So, once I got over myself, I realized that I’d just lived through my worst fear and survived. (That’s the good part).

Two Months Later ~ The UNEXPECTED

There were some things I didn’t plan for prior to the release of my book. One of them was the pressure. It seems to come from everywhere all the time now. I have eager readers who want a sequel, friends at parties constantly asking when the next book will be out, slowing sales that scream at me to get another book out fast or watch my series die.

Of course, this pressure is completely internal. No one is hounding me to get things done and I have no deadlines to meet other than the ones I set for myself. Whenever I feel myself getting stressed out about writing the next book, I have to remind myself that I’m the boss and I make the decisions.

Another thing that came as a completely wonderful surprise to me was the support I’ve received. I’ve had so many people send me pictures of themselves with my book, I’ve had friends introduce my novel to their book clubs, and I’ve made many wonderful friends whom I may not have known had I not written a book.

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All in all, I’d say the last 2 months have been better than I ever could have imagined. I’ve definitely learned a lot along the way, which I hope will make my next publishing adventure a lot easier. I can’t wait to see what the next few months have in store for me and I am very grateful that I’ve managed to see my dreams come true. Now it’s time to aim higher. 🙂

The Darkness of Light ~ Available now on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and Through Select Retailers.

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Exciting News This Week!

Happy Friday!

What a crazy week this has been.

A few weeks ago my hometown newspaper interviewed me about my book. I didn’t see an article right away, so I figured they’d decided not to run it. Then, last night I saw it pop up. From a Writer’s Fantasy to an Author’s Reality

I was so excited to see the article, and then I discovered that I got a whole page feature.

1796957_10153926092550077_139378399_oWhen I was being interviewed I was asked what it’s like to see my book out there and get such wonderful reviews. The first thing that came to mind was something Therin Knite wrote to me a couple of months ago: It’s a process of disbelief.

And it really is. Everything that happens along the way, from the first draft to the cover proof to the actual book in my hands had been a series of moments that don’t feel real.

After I posted the article, Anne Rice shared it on her Facebook page. That was pretty amazing!

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And this morning I woke up to find The Darkness of Light ranked #14 in mythology and #96 in Historical Fantasy on Amazon

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Pretty crazy, eh?

I’m really grateful for the support from my community and fellow authors. Every step of the way still feels unreal.

Anyway, I’d better get back to the revisions on The Embers of Light! More details on that one coming soon!

 

How Did You Write A Book?

I get asked this question A LOT, so I figured it was time to write a post about it.

A Bit of Background

Well, first let me say that I’m not new to writing. I would say I’ve been a writer my entire life. I’ve always written short stories and attempted to write novels. When I was 25 I started writing under the pen name, Dahlia Knight. I had a website and wrote short erotic serials. I even had a few published on a Canadian sex therapy ezine :P. I also became a freelance writer and wrote various business reviews, web content, and ad copy for a few years.

Around the same time in 2008 I started to develop these characters that just wouldn’t leave me alone. They were Mara, Malcolm, and Corbin (the main characters in The Darkness of Light). I didn’t know their story at the time, but I knew who they were and I knew what I wanted them to be. I had no frikken clue how to write a book back then. Twitter and FB were just new and writers forums were sometimes a little sketchy, so getting information was hard. I’d write a chapter and feel like it was a complete uphill battle. I’d wonder how the hell I was going to create an entire novel when I couldn’t even make the chapters flow.

I ordered dozens of books on writing and read them over and over and over. Then, in 2010, while I was still toiling away at my manuscript, my mom passed away and I instantly lost my ability to write. I still can’t say why, exactly. A month after she passed I took down Dahlia’s website and completely abandoned my manuscript for 3 years.

The Reawakening.

For the 3 years I was in writer purgatory, I was back in school studying English Lit and History. I convinced myself that I didn’t want to be a writer and that maybe I’d get my PhD one day and become a professor.

That was the plan.

But then in early 2013 I was struck by a bolt of creativity. I woke up one morning and had such a strong urge to write that I didn’t even make a coffee, I just sat down at my computer and typed out a 7,000 word first chapter (*Note: a 7,000 word chapter is WAY too long). The funny thing is that while I was writing, I felt like I was in a trance and when I finally stopped and took a breath, I realized I’d just written the beginnings of a historical novel. I guess all those years of studying history paid off and I knew then that I’d not only gotten my creativity back, but I’d also found my niche.

How Did I Write a Book?

This is where the hard work comes in. It had been years since I’d written creatively and I’d forgotten a lot of what I’d learned from the many writing books sitting dusty on my shelves. So instead of reading about writing, this time I decided to just write and not care about what was right and wrong.

  1. I got a notebook and started plotting Mara, Malcolm, and Corbin’s story. I scribbled nonsense all through that notebook. I’d plan whole chapters and then scratch them out, I’d write several endings  that never came to be. I plotted and scribbled and plotted until I had enough to keep writing chapters.
  2. Then I researched. Being that I was writing a historical novel, I wanted to have some cold, hard facts to insert as I wrote. I knew I could go back later and perfect it, but for my own peace of mind, I needed SOME information to keep going. I think researching was definitely my favorite part.
  3. Then I wrote. With new ideas fresh in my mind, I started writing. Sometimes I followed the plan, sometimes I didn’t. It wasn’t always easy getting those chapters down, but every day I knew I was getting a few steps closer to a finished manuscript. Instead of thinking of the book as a whole, I thought of the chapters as scenes or mini stories. Every chapter needed a beginning, a middle or a conflict, and an end. Thinking that way helped A LOT!
  4. I took research breaks in between writing. I have a bad short term memory and would have to go back and re-research some of the information. This wasn’t really a bad thing, though, because a lot of the time I came across new info that inspired me.
  5. I wrote until my eyes were raw. Some days I almost went blind, really. But I was so obsessed with finishing the first draft, I couldn’t stop. It was really important for me to remember NOT TO REVISE during the writing process. If I changed things, I was NOT allowed to go back and fix earlier chapters. Sometimes I’d only put a few hundred words in a chapter. I knew what the scene was, but at the time I couldn’t get it out. So I’d write the plan and move on to the next chapter.

8 Weeks Later, I Had a Finished First Draft.

That’s right. It only took 8 weeks to write the very first draft of The Darkness of Light. But let me tell you, it was a complete MESS; virtually unreadable, but I was SO damn excited that I wasn’t about to just give up there.

I Took To Twitter and Googled My Ass Off!

Now, don’t forget that I’d basically forgotten all the ins and outs of publishing that I’d learned before, so I had to refresh. I started googling things like:

  • How many words should a novel be?
  • How long should a chapter be?
  • How to get published.
  • How to find an agent.
  • New author success stories.

I learned a lot from Writers Digest and various other writing websites. Then I took to twitter and started following other writers, agents, and publishers. THIS was probably the single best resource I could have ever found. I soon discovered that the twitter writing community is SO helpful. They tweet tips, articles, info, answer questions and are generally some of the nicest people in the world! Off the top of my head, the ones who have helped and inspired me the most are:

  • Ciar Cullen
  • Leigh Anne Kopans
  • Julie Hutchings
  • Kristen Strassel
  • Jamie Grey
  • Kat Ellis
  • Jessie Devine
  • Summer Wier
  • Caitlin Greer
  • Rayne Hall
  • Nat Russo

I suggest you follow these people if you want to learn a thing or two about writing.

Then I followed agents and assistant agents. My favorite agent tweets usually come from:

  • Eric Ruben
  • Juliet Mushens
  • Pam van Hylckama
  • Terrie Wolf
  • Lane Heymont

I suggest you follow them as well.  They offer a wealth of information when it comes to querying, agenting and publishing.

I Got Back to Writing.

After I nestled into the writing community, I got back to writing and plotting. I went through my manuscript and marked it up, jotted down notes and more ideas and then I wrote the entire thing again. This was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun. I actually had a story to work with and the more I revised, the better it got.

When I’d finally smoothed it out enough so that it was actually readable, I started letting friends read it. I got feedback, made changes, and rewrote some more until it was actually a finished novel! It made sense, it had a beginning, middle, and end and every time I read it, I loved it!!!

Now, this is only part one of the writing process. I’ll write another post soon on my experience with querying agents, editing, and publishing. None of that is important now, because you can’t do any of that without first having a polished, finished manuscript!

So just write the damn thing!!! Who cares if it’s any good. First drafts WILL suck. They won’t make sense, they won’t flow. You HAVE to create the puzzle pieces in order to put them together. Just write and don’t stop until you have at least 150-200+ pages of SOMETHING! Worry about rules and all the rest later.

If you’ve already written a book, does your process differ from mine? Share your writing story.

GOOD LUCK!

1597401_10153715021560077_1070423782_oThe Darkness of Light ~ Available NOW through Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Sony, and Select Retailers.

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You wrote a book! And someone isn’t excited for you.

Ignore the glum post title for a moment, please.

Tomorrow is the official release day of The Darkness of Light!!! While it’s been available through most distributors for almost a month, the blog tour begins tomorrow. I’ve never done a blog tour before, so I have no idea what to expect from it, but I hope it casts enough light on my book.

Okay, now to the blog topic.

I’m sure every author can relate to this issue. There’s always that one, or maybe two people in your life who could give two shits about the fact that you wrote a book. Others are excited for you, your friends gush about how much they love it, and then that one, seemingly underwhelmed person, mentally roll their eyes when the book is brought up. They become quiet, they add nothing to the conversation, they certainly haven’t read it, they don’t share or even like your updates on FB, and they don’t care to know what you blog about (which is why I feel fine writing this post).

I’m not so sure if I’m hurt by this or just utterly confused. Okay, I’m definitely hurt, but I’m definitely confused, too. How can a person who’s so close to me not mirror my excitement when everyone else does? How can this person seem indifferent to anything and everything that has to do with my book? I don’t think it’s a jealously issue. There’s nothing to be jealous of. I didn’t strike it rich with my debut novel and I worked really, REALLY hard to write it. So it’s not like it just happened TO me, yah know? Maybe it’s an annoyance issue. Maybe this person is irritated by the fact that I have something to be happy about.

Either way, I try not to let it get to me, but it does. It casts a dark shadow of uncertainty on me. It takes away from my own excitement. I feel it. And despite their assertions that they’re happy for me, the truth is in their action and reaction.

Maybe I’m being selfish, expecting people to react a certain way. Maybe I’m being ridiculous, letting someone else effect my emotions. Maybe…

Has anyone else experienced this or am I the only one?

 

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@TamzWrite

http://www.facebook.com/thediachronicles

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18628472-the-darkness-of-light