I Don’t Know if You Know This…

But writing is difficult. Incredibly so, some days. Enough that I want to give up sometimes, because I get convinced no one is going to read my work.

Books are work. Some people don’t realize that. I mean, you walk into a book store, snatch your fave author’s latest book off the shelf, pay for it and leave. But as you’re doing that, or sitting down later to read it, do you ever consider the time and bloody effort it took to write it? If not, don’t worry. Most people don’t.

Writers get frustrated. We wonder why other authors are selling more or making more money or have more Instagram followers than we do. I’ve been blessed to have a muse who works cheap and doesn’t complain about the time we put in, but I get tired. And I wonder if it’s worth all the effort.

I wonder if I’m any good at what I’m doing. Especially when I don’t get reviews on my books. Or when people say they’re reading something I wrote and then never comment on it. Is it worth all the effort? Why put myself through it?

Because I freaking love it, damn it. Not gonna apologize. Since I made the decision to only publish my books on Kindle Vella (super easy to access them, by the way – they’re all available through the Kindle app on your phone or tablet, or go to Amazon and look my name up), I’ve been able to write and publish more. I have 14 books up on Amazon now. Four of them are being written; you can read the chapters (episodes) that are currently posted, and I’ll add more as I finish them.

But as much as I love it, it is hard work. And authors don’t always get a lot of validation, either. We don’t make much money from our work, even though we wish we did. I’d love to go down to two days a week at my job and write more, but that’s not going to happen any time soon. This isn’t a pity post. It’s a post to say, hey, next time you pick up a book, stop and appreciate the work that went into it. Leave a review. Send the author a message on Instagram or Twitter (lf you liked it. Let’s not be a jerk, okay? Plenty of that out there already on book sites).

Anyway. Thanks for reading. I hope you’re enjoying the book you’re currently reading.

💖💫📚

My work space.
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DESTINY HAS ARRIVED

Good afternoon, everyone! How are you today? Is it spring yet where you live? I live in west Michigan, on the Lake Michigan side, and it’s definitely spring, if a little chilly yet.

I thought I would share some background about my new YA fantasy novel, Destiny. It’s book one in my new series, The Traitors War, and its about a group of young people trying to navigate the changing landscapes of their home kingdoms and their continent of Pentallia as war approaches, from both within Pentallia itself and from across the Argentum Brine sea to the west.

I got the inkling for this story back around 2005, and had some of the main characters, such as Lisette, Conrad and Bannan right from the get-go. Others got added in as I started a big three-ring binder and added notes and pictures of characters taken out of magazines (this was before Pinterest). As time went on, I added more notebooks and ideas, and gave up the binder, instead splitting the growing number of notebooks into ones for places and characters.

I sent a very early version of Destiny to a small agency back around 2016. The agent was very nice, but declined that story (titled Peril at Stormsurge). I set it aside when I got the idea for Lift and the Flying Ponies. It was always in the background, though, and even as I worked my way through the Flying Ponies books, I fussed with what I called “Pentallia.” I wrote two more versions, neither being what I was looking for. They centered more around Princess Anora Cardiff of Castle Frayfight (whom you will meet in book two), and I knew that wasn’t where the story needed to start. Anora was never meant to be the main character, either.

Once Spin, the third and final Flying Pony book was published (spring 2020), I went back to “Pentallia” in earnest and started rewriting it yet again. This version made its way to my husband Ryan, but it still wasn’t the story my characters and I wanted to tell. Thus, in late August of 2020, I again sat down to rewrite it (this was probably the seventh incarnation of “Pentallia” at this point). Finally, the story clicked with both my muse (whose name is Glucinda, by the way. If you happen to know where that name came from, you get two cookies!) and my characters. I finished it during late September and immediately started editing and polishing.

The book was now titled Clandestine, and it was sent to my editor at One Wicked Wordsmith in late December. From there, it went through some more editing to add in details about Pentallia. Once we were happy with that, it was sent to Kate Conway, who owns Wicked Whale Publishing, and who puts my books together for me. We decided the series should have crowns on the cover, and I actually have a water colorist who will be doing my future covers for The Traitors War. It was decided the title was too long; no matter how Kate placed it, it looked too awkward, and it was renamed Destiny.

From there the book was added into Amazon and ARCS (Advanced Reading Copies, or proofs) were ordered and a few were passed on to people for early reviews. Once corrections were done based on the ARC (and there are always corrections), the book was made ready for publication, and as of today, is now ready to meet the world.

I hope you enjoy Destiny. I hope you find yourself immersed in the story, and that you click with at least one of the characters. Book two is now done and through the first round of editing, and I’m hoping for a spring 2021 release.

Have a wonderful week!

The Middle Blues

So this is what’s going on: I’m a little better then halfway through Tilt, the second book in The Flying Ponies trilogy, and I’m tapped out. I’m just done. The muse is sitting in her garden, sipping tea, and I just don’t feel like writing.

This happens. It happened with Lift, too. It usually happens to me right around the middle of the book; I’m tired of working on it, the story isn’t flowing, and when I open the story document, I sit staring at the screen wondering if there are any cool pins on Pinterest to look at.

It’s also known as the dreaded writer’s block. It happens to every writer, at different stages of their work. Mine tends to hit in the middle of the novel. How do writers deal with it? They each have different strategies. There are even writing books devoted to writer’s block. I’ve learned that giving myself and the muse a couple days off really helps. I also listen to songs that remind me of the story and the characters.

I really should be writing Tilt. I should be staring at that computer screen. I definitely shouldn’t be watching The Big Bang Theory, which is exactly what I’m doing while typing this. Ah, well. I know where Tilt is headed. I have a solid idea of the ending, which will lead into Spin, the third and final book in The Flying Ponies trilogy. And later on today, I’ll head into my office, boot up the laptop, tell the muse to hop to it, and stare at that screen.

And maybe, just maybe, the words will flow, and I’ll be closer to that ending that I can see glimpses of.

This image and quote are from (where else?) Pinterest.