Characters, indie author, NaNoWriMo, New Release, Planning, Querying, Writers Epic, Writing partners

New stories, meeting goals, and other thoughts…

Here we are, mid-October (prep-tober!), thinking about Nanowrimo, writerly goals, and where 2020 is heading…

Regardless of where 2020 is heading, I’m happy to say that I’m meeting the goals I planned back in January. In a world where so much is out of our personal control, making your personal goals come to fruition is satisfying, to say the least.

A quick review: I planned to perfect and publish three novels which I had finished and previously queried. I’ve been thinking back on my year of querying. Maybe other writers give it a longer timeline. Maybe others query more publishers and more agents than I did. Maybe they weather rejection after rejection before receiving anything positive. And those efforts would eventually pay off.

In my experience, perseverance garners results, but results take time.

Don’t get me wrong: the traditional publishing route is of course a great path to success for authors. But I’ve no regrets for refocussing from my querying efforts and choosing to become independently published. I have the privilege of designing my own books and covers, of choosing my own marketing strategies, joining a supportive writing community, and making connections with other independent authors. Best of all, my ideas and the stories I have to tell are 100% mine, start to finish, and that means so much to me.

All that being said, this brings me to Nanowrimo… November 2020 marks my tenth year of participating in the challenge! It’s been an excellent outlet for both good and bad story ideas. It’s given me a collection of unfinished WIPs, which were good writing practice. It’s also given me two of my published novels of 2020.

This year, I’m planning another sequel to Finding Grace. I gave my debut novel a somewhat open ending and side characters with a little much dialogue, both of which inspire sequels.

Stay tuned for more to come on that!

Characters, NaNoWriMo, Planning, Writers Epic

I’m a Slacker

I participated in Camp Nanowrimo in both April and July this year. This was the first year I decided to join Camp, and I used it to push myself to finish two WIPs I had simmering. Well, it’s been three months since April’s Camp, and almost a week since I finished Camp in July and here I am with an update. As I said, I’m a slacker. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this graph!CampNanoGraph

This is my July Camp Nanowrimo word count graph and is typical of what my Nanowrimo graphs look like. I used to call it my “come from behind” strategy, but now… slacking is the only excuse I can offer. Writer’s block? Slacking. Interruption and taking unnecessarily long to get back to work? Slacking. Doing literally anything else when it’s supposed to be my carved-out writing time? Slacking.

But somehow I made it. I didn’t quite make the word count goal I had set for myself. But I finished the first drafts of both WIPs. So, I consider that a win!

And I’ve been thinking about this word “slacker.” Procrastination has a bad rep, for sure. And I’m not saying that I condone it, really. In general, I think if there are things to be done, then do them already.

But also, it is okay to give yourself some slack.

Is your project taking longer than you would like? Does it need to sit on the back burner for a while? Do you need to leave it alone and look at it again with fresh eyes? All of these things are okay. It is okay to take your time. Sometimes good things take more time.

I started writing as a kid, and worked on project after unfinished project. Eventually I came to a point where I was given the advice to choose a story and finish it. This advice has helped me greatly! But I think all those unfinished stories helped shape my writing into what it is now. And who knows? I may someday revisit all those characters I created and give them some good stories.

And I’ll probably continue to be a slacker.

A look inside, coming soon, New Release, Story Aesthetic

Let’s talk about book trailers

Raise your hand if you read a novel and it plays out as a movie in your head. Me too! Which is why I love the idea of book trailers. Movies have them and if books are movies on paper (but better—as a book nerd, I’m obliged to say that), then books should have them too. Granted, they are so much work to put together. Especially if you’re in the writing business and not the movie-making business.

Thankfully, I have a somewhat artistic eye, a decent movie making program, and a lot of help. And stock video. I will forever be grateful for stock video (and stock photos for that matter).

As a reader, I like to watch book trailers. They’re an excellent visual for getting a sense of the story. Amazon’s “look inside” feature is great for getting a sense of writing style. And reviews are a nice glimpse at how other readers feel about the book. The perfect trio.

With this in mind, I’ve decided my novels all need their own trailers, if possible. You can view the trailer for Finding Grace here.

A trailer for The Tempo of Kindness drops Friday, June 19, 2020. One more month until release!

Happy trailer watching!Tempo of Kindness trailer

Characters, coming soon, New Release, Uncategorized

Do we judge books by their covers?

Tempo of Kindness Front CoverPersonally, I judge books by their covers all the time. If I choose to read a book based on the cover alone, it’s a compliment to the cover designer, really. And I’ve had some success finding really good reads based on the cover alone. And sometimes the last page…

Did I just admit to reading the last page of a novel before starting at the beginning?? Whoops. Secret’s out, I live for spoilers. If like the end of the story, then I’ll take the trouble to read it. If I like the cover, I’ll take the trouble to read it.

Well, whether you do judge a book by it’s cover, or it’s last page like I do (or the carefully worded back cover description that’s meant to sell the book), here’s a look at the front cover of my upcoming novel, The Tempo of Kindness.

So much work went into making this look like the vision in my head–mostly by my husband. Fun fact, he admitted he would not choose to read this book based on the cover image, because it “screams romance.” It is, however, his favourite of my novels.

So, even if you do judge a book by the cover, take a minute to look inside…

Enjoy this sneak peek at the interior of my novel. The beginning of the story, and the beginning of Beau’s coming of age.chapter 1

coming soon, New Release, Writers Epic

New Book Release: The Tempo of Kindness

My novel, The Tempo of Kindness, releases July 21, 2020!

beau cover coming soonTempo of Kindness was inspired by one small story element: a broke young man who makes friends with a crow. It began as a Nanowrimo project. The story grew and, true to my usual style, became a coming of age and romance.

It’s a story about a young man discovering his place and his purpose, with the help of his grandma, a sassy florist, and a nosy crow.

An unsuccessful musician, Beau stays with his grandma for the summer after the passing of his grandpa. Finding she has next to nothing, he’s determined to help her. When he’s at his lowest, he shows kindness to a crow and they form an unlikely bond.

In comes Kate, who’s a successful florist and a young friend of his grandma’s. Intrigued by Beau, his crow friend, and a mysterious discovery, she insists on befriending him. Perfect for a summer read, this novel is a blend of romance, drama, humour, and a heartfelt message.