Posts Tagged With: writing inspiration

Give a warm and bloody welcome to horror author, Mandy White!!!

Image of Mandy WhiteSo glad to have you here today Mandy! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

~ I’m a Canadian horror writer from Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I love the outdoors and prefer the wilderness to the city.

What do you do when you are not writing?

~ When I’m not writing I can usually be found outdoors. I live a block from the beach so I spend a lot of time at the lake, fishing, swimming and boating. I also love to garden and spend most of my summer making my yard beautiful.

Most people would KILL to live near the beach (no pun intended. LOL!) Do you have a day job as well?

~ I quit my day job about eight years ago when a disability made me unable to do that job anymore. I looked for alternative ways to earn money. Six years ago I became a freelance writer and since then, writing has been my only job. I made the transition from content writer to novelist three years ago.

So when did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

~ I have enjoyed writing ever since I was a child, and always dreamed of being an author someday. When I reached the age of 40 I realized that ‘someday’ was never going to arrive unless I made it happen. I finished my first book in 2010. It was ‘The Jealousy Game’ – a short self-help book on dysfunctional relationships. It is my only non-fiction book.

How did you choose the genre you write in?

~ I don’t know if I chose it or it chose me. I’ve always been a fan of the macabre and an avid reader of horror books. It seemed natural that I would want to write the type of books I would be interested in reading.

Where do you get your ideas?

~ Ideas are everywhere. Everything I see on a daily basis is a potential story idea. Where most people might see a pretty flower garden, I’m imagining bodies buried underneath. I also get a lot of ideas from dreams. My novelette ‘The Immigrant’ is based on a dream I had almost twenty years ago. My first novel, ‘Avenging Annabelle’ is also based on an idea from a dream.

I hope those ideas let you get some sleep! 😀 Haha. Do you ever experience writer’s block?

~ Never. I have too many ongoing projects to ever get writer’s block. If I get stuck on one story, I put it aside and switch to another. I think the reason a lot of writers get blocked is they try to force something that isn’t there. It’s like trying to remember something that’s at the tip of your tongue but the harder you try, the more elusive it is. When you stop trying to remember and focus on something else, it pops into your head. For me, writing is just like that. Switch focus and the blocks disappear.

That’s great advice! Do you work with an outline, or just write?

~ I’m primarily a pantser. (write-by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer) I find that most stories develop as I write, so outlining isn’t something I spend much time on. Sometimes I will write a rough outline if I know what’s going to happen in a story, so I don’t forget important details.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

~ Stephen King is one of my favorites. I also read a lot of Dean Koontz. The thing that I like most about Koontz’s work is the way he makes the implausible seem plausible. I think the book that stands out most in my memory from my childhood is ‘A Wrinkle in Time’.

Oooh I love ‘A Wrinkle in Time!’ Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

~ As an independent author, I had to learn as I went and made a few crucial mistakes in the beginning. The first was being too eager to publish and putting out an unpolished work riddled with typos. The second was not hiring an editor to polish that work and eliminate those typos. I fooled myself by thinking I could effectively edit my own work. The third mistake I made was thinking that a book’s cover didn’t matter. The first edition of The Jealousy Game has a hideous generic template cover. Avenging Annabelle’s first cover was a poorly done cover I made myself.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?

~ There is one thing I would definitely change if I could: With my first books I focused entirely on publishing the print version rather than the ebook. I didn’t understand the value or importance of ebooks. Like many new authors, I thought that only ‘real’ books counted. As a result, I was very disappointed with my sales. (what sales?) The fact is, ebooks outsell paper books by a huge margin. It is also easy to make corrections in a digital version. Sure, you can correct a paperback edition just as quickly but once those typo-riddled paperbacks are out there, you can never take them back. Now, I always release the ebook first and follow with the paperback only after I am satisfied all the bugs have been worked out.

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?

~ I don’t devote a lot of time to marketing. I’d rather be writing. I rely mostly on readers finding my books linked together on Amazon. The best marketing tool for a book is another book by the same author. I do a lot of networking through social media, particularly Facebook. I have met a lot of great people on Facebook and I’m incredibly grateful for all they have taught me. That, to me is far more valuable than any sales pitch I could come up with.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

~ I am an indie author and also an independent publisher so this has never been an issue. I have full control over every aspect of my publishing.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

~ My latest book, The Feeder, is a gruesome and bloody novel that straddles the line between thriller and horror. It is about an individual obsessed with avenging a murdered twin sister. It is not for the squeamish, as several readers have observed. There is a monumental twist right in the middle of the story that I guarantee you won’t see coming.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

~ I interweave little details from my own life into almost all of my stories. It’s fun combining reality with imagination to create a realistic tale.

That is definitely a fun way to write! What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

~ I think the chapter I had the most fun writing was ‘Bluie Louie’, the chapter in which my killer’s very first murder takes place. It begins innocently enough, with a visit to a sleazy ex-boyfriend to ask a few questions and ends with Louie dead in a pool of blood with his eyeballs carved out.

Oooooh, definitely gruesome! How did you come up with the title?

~ ‘The Feeder’ is the nickname of the serial killer in the book, named so because of the killer’s habit of feeding victims parts of themselves while they are still alive.

What project are you working on now?

~ Right now I am working on a series of charity anthologies for MS with WPaD, a group I have called Writers, Poets and Deviants. WPaD Publications is also my publishing label. Our next release will be a fantasy collection to be published July 1, 2013.

How fantastic! Will you have a new book coming out soon?

~ Aside from the three charity anthologies WPaD has planned for this year, (fantasy, post-apocalyptic and holiday, in that order) I also intend to resume work on ‘Phobia’, the novel I wrote in rough copy during last November’s NaNoWriMo. Phobia is about a reclusive woman who is afraid to leave her home due to agoraphobia and a host of other fears. When things start to get weird in her home she has to decide which is more frightening, the inside or the outside.

I’m intrigued! Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

~ I would like to do more work with Sammie, the main character of The Feeder. That’s something that will probably happen. I already have an idea for a sequel.

Can’t wait! What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

~ The toughest criticism is the stuff that’s true. I learned about ‘show, don’t tell’ the hard way. The best compliment is when readers say they couldn’t put the book down.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Do I ever!

~ If writing is what you want to do, then do it. Just do it. No excuses.

~ Throw away any previous assumptions you might have had about publishing. The rules have changed. If you want to succeed in today’s publishing industry, then you need to learn the new rules.

~ Seek out people who are doing what you want to do, then watch what they are doing and LISTEN to the advice they offer.

~ Be smart. Don’t stumble blindly into publishing. RESEARCH! Failure to do the right research makes you easy prey for the many vulturous vanity presses that pose as ‘publishers’. If someone offers to publish your book, then asks for money, you are being scammed. If you are offered a publishing contract, seek professional advice before signing because not all contracts are alike. Find out what you are signing before you get stars in your eyes.

~ There is nothing wrong with striving for success, but be realistic with your expectations. Understand that royalty checks aren’t just going to start pouring in. Writing is not a get-rich-quick scheme – it is a slow, gradual process. It is quite possible to make a nice living from it but patience is key. The best way to sell a book is to write the next one. And the next.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

~ I guess I’d just like to say thank you for reading. I am grateful to each and every one of you. If you find any of my stories offensive and disturbing, I hope it’s in a good way.

Thanks so much for being here today Mandy, and sharing with us your life as an author!

Go here to Mandy’s Amazon author page to check out all of her books!

And follow Mandy of facebook here.

And Mandy’s twitter handle is @MandyWrite

Readers! Don’t leave quite yet! I’ve just finished reading Mandy White’s new horror/thriller novel, The Feeder and I wrote an amazing 5 star review here. Check it out!

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Categories: Meet the Author! Interviews with Awesome Indie Authors! | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE NEXT BIG THING!

The Next Big Thing …

Welcome to The Next Big Thing. My author buddy, Suzanna Williams, recently tagged me for a ‘chain’ blog entitled ‘The Next Big Thing’.
The deal is: I answer a few questions about my current work-in-progress, then I invite other authors to do the same. A bit like a chain letter, except it is only focused on an author’s work-in-progress.
Suzanna is the author of a young adult sci-fi action adventure titled Shockwaves. You can find her answers about her latest book by clicking here.
Suzanna was tagged previously by Katherine Lowry Logan, the author of The Ruby Brooch, a time travel romance.
Read about her work-in-progress here.
The authors I’ve chosen have been tagged can be found below my answers. So here goes:

What is the working title of your next book?

MER: volume 2. (This is just a working title until I make a decision on what the second book in the series will be called.)

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Besides the fact that I love anything fantasy, involving mermaids and magical creatures, it all started with a late-night conversation with my hubby. We were talking about current trends in young adult books and movies and I was like “There are so many vampire, werewolf, and wizard type books…what about merpeople?” And thus, MER was born.

What genre does your book fall under?

Young adult fantasy with a touch of romance.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

This is a very hard question, because I have so many characters in my book, a lot of them being children and teens. BUT I will say that Russel Crow would be a great Lord Emrys, the children’s father.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

MER is a dark and magically gripping tale of the Castlecray children, who are forced on a treacherous journey where bed-time stories come to life right before their eyes.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

This was a very hard decision for me at first, but for now I will am self publishing the MER series. If I get a fantastic offer from a big-time publisher, then it may be a different story.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

It took me nine months to write MER, the first book in the series, and I am shooting for six months for book 2! Wish me luck!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

This is also a very hard question, because I believe my book is very different from any other. But if I had to choose I would say J.K. Rowling’s HARRY POTTER and George R.R. Martin’s A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, which are two very different styles.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My family. My daughter, who is absolutely obsessed with fairy-tales and anything mermaid and my husband, who is my biggest support system!

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

This series is geared towards young adults, but it is great for and loved by many people of all ages. It has a little bit of everything, from knights who fight for honor, a rebellion war and slimy crag trolls, to magical creatures, ancient prophecies, mermaids, and romance. If that doesn’t get you, check out the book trailer here done by Director Jeremy Womac and Monsoon Productions. It is amazing!
The authors I’ve invited to join in the fun are: James Eggebeen, a fantasy writer after my own heart, and Bethany Aan, a steamy erotica/romance and sci-fi writer.
I hope you’ll visit their websites and check out their books. Their answers will be posted on their blogs on Friday, March 1st, along with the names of the authors they’ve tagged. Look for #BlogNextBigThing

Categories: Indie Publishing, Inspirations, Jade | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WRITING INSPIRATION FOR THE HOLIDAYS OR ANYTIME

With the holidays right around the corner, and all that comes along with it, like get-togethers, drowning in waves of presents, brightly colored wrapping paper, bows and glitter, you may find it hard to stick go your normal writing regimen. I know I have. And that is why I’m putting together a post about writing inspiration and motivation. We will hear from three very talented authors and their inspirations. Where do you find yours? Is it going off to be alone and listening to music? Taking a walk? Chocolate?
Here are some of my personal faves:

1. Get comfortable and kick off your shoes! I know it may sound silly, but being barefoot helps me to relax and sluff off the hustle and bustle of everyday life, especially during the holidays.(It also doesn’t hurt that I live in the desert where it’s 80-100 degrees most of the year!) So yes, here in the southwest, going barefoot is completely acceptable. So get comfy, and put on your coziest pair of pajama pants, kick off your shoes (or put on your fluffy bunny slippers, for those of you in colder climates) and get to writing!

2. Visualizing to music. I like to put on whatever music suits me at the moment (whether it be the classical Pachelbel’s Canon in D, or the hip-hop hit Let me Love you by Ne-YO.) I close my eyes and let the music take my imagination away, creating scenes of my novel in my head, like the trailer for a hit movie. It really is much cooler in you brain than it sounds! Haha! This is a great way to dream up new possible scenarios for your story. Warning: this can cause a goose bump effect.

3. Get some fresh air! After an all-day writing marathon (or even just a couple of hours), you just have to take a break. Leave your lap-top, pen and paper, and head outdoors or somewhere you can stretch your legs. I like to take a walk (well it’s really more like pacing up and down the street in front of my house where there is a gorgeous view of the mountains.) This is where I come up with some of my best ideas! As I walk, I take deep cleansing breaths-in between arguing plot points to myself. (My neighbors are probably like “there’s the crazy lady again, talking to herself.” LOL!)

And honestly, I feel more inspired to write during the holidays. I think it’s due to that warm fuzzy feeling created by all of the twinkling lights, warm fireplaces, and oh-so-good comfort foods. Unfortunately this is the busiest time of year for most people, and it can get a little hectic; all the more reason to come up with your own writing inspirations to help you get your creative juices flowing!

Now let’s hear from three amazing authors and learn about their writing inspirations and techniques.

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Mandy White, a horror/thriller novelist.

Mandy, why and when did you start writing?  I have always enjoyed writing, but was shy about showing my work. Five years ago I started working as a freelance content writer and graduated to novel-writing from there.

What are your writing inspirations? And what motivates you?  Any quiet time is good for inspiration, because I can escape into my head where the stories are. I work out a lot of story ideas while I’m walking my dog or driving.

Do you have a unique technique for writing motivation that someone may have never thought of? I do a lot of brainstorming while relaxing in a hot bath. I usually bring a pen and notebook with me and take notes whenever ideas come to me.

Oooh, a hot bath. That’s a great idea! Do you write during the holidays, and if so, how do you find time? I find writing is a good distraction from the stress of the holidays. We don’t have large family get-togethers, so our holiday season is reasonably sane. The best time for writing any time of year is early in the morning while the rest of the house is still asleep.

Quiet mornings are the best! Awesome ideas Mandy!

Her featured novel : Avenging Annabelle –  A Canadian thriller

Avenging Annabelle

A desperate father seeks justice after his daughter is abducted and he is wrongly accused of the crime. Meanwhile, a dangerous predator is still on the loose, already making plans to take his next victim. Annabelle appears in Jim’s dreams, showing him things – things he doesn’t want to see but must if he is to solve the mystery of her disappearance and have his vengeance on the one responsible.

Thank you so much Mandy White! Now, how can we get our hands on your book, Avenging AnnabelleAvenging Annabelle is currently enrolled in Kindle Select, so the e-book is exclusive to Kindle at the moment here. Paperback and hardcover editions can be purchased from Lulu.com here.

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Jolea M. Harrison, an epic/fantasy and science fiction writer.

Why and when did you start writing? At a very young age I decided I had stories to tell. There were these constant images going through my head and so I started writing down what was going on in them. These images, sometimes just a single one, evolve into novels if I let them.

What are your writing inspirations? What gets you in the mood to write?  Music inspires me to write, but I can’t listen to it when I’m writing. It’s too distracting, but if I get stuck in a scene I’ll turn on my iPod and listen to something new or music I haven’t listened to in a while. And movies – There will be times when I’m in a movie theater, watching the latest blockbuster and out of nowhere I’ll see something from the film that triggers my imagination and off I’ll go. The movie is forgotten. This can be extremely annoying…and expensive.

LOL! That can get expensive! Do you have a unique technique for writing motivation that someone may have never thought of? I live near Washington DC and go into town as often as I can and frequent the numerous art galleries there. One of my favorites is the Hirshhorn, as well as the Corcoran Gallery and the National Gallery of Art. These are places where quiet contemplation is encouraged, so I can sit in front of a sweeping masterpiece, I like landscapes, but sometimes portraits as well, and dream of what is happening and why. Nowadays I use my phone to jot down thoughts that come into my head. It’s great because no one looks at me oddly while I’m sitting there staring, when in fact, my mind is on another planet.

Wow! Art is a great idea for inspiration! Do you write during the holidays, and if so, how do you find time? I do some form of writing every day – whether it’s creation or editing or formatting – I’m usually immersed for some period of time in the creative process. Some may not think formatting especially creative, but coming up with the perfect look for your words qualifies in my mind. Writing is built into my daily schedule, so finding time for everything else becomes the problem. I still have to put up my Christmas decorations, and shop! I generally try to get all that done by Christmas Eve, lol.

Good luck on getting that Christmas shopping done, Jolea!

Her featured novel: Chosen – 1st book of the Guardians of the Word fantasy series

Chosen

Chosen is a fantasy adventure – location; Hell, Purgatory, the Demon’s Lair, and Hell is everything it’s cracked up to be. Dynan Telaerin finds himself on a corpse-strewn hillside, charged with saving the soul of his ancestor, desperate to avoid the monsters and minions who want to eat his soul. Chosen is the first book of the series, The Guardians of the Word. The Chronicles are Chosen, Myth, Telepath, Legend, Union, Adept, Seer and King

Thank you so much! Now, where can we get your book, Chosen? You can pick up Chosen – a free digital e-book from Amazon and Barnes and Noble at these links: Amazon – here. Barnes and Noble here.

Thanks for having me on your blog! Your welcome Jolea Harrison!

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Mathieu Gallant, an open-minded multi-genre author, specializing in Science-Fiction and Apocalyptic and Horror.

Mathieu, why and when did you start writing? I’ve always been a writer at heart, but as chasing the dream of becoming a professional, I started about five years ago when I realized I might be able to finish the first draft of the book that would become Darkness Falls and When the Levee Breaks.

What are your writing inspirations? And what motivates you to write? I find inspiration in a dark, quiet room that allows me to really think deeply without interruptions. I think finding some time for quiet contemplation is a gift in the hustle and bustle of today’s wired world. I think more people should put time aside in their schedules to enjoy a bit of life unplugged.Also, I watch the news on TV, read news online and generally try to remain knowledgeable about the happenings in the world around me. I try to discuss the information I’ve gathered with others to get an idea of what people think about it.

Do you have a unique technique for writing motivation that someone may have never thought of?  I find using a writing journal is an extremely important aspect of my inspirations, for a few reasons. First, writing ideas down means I won’t forget them later on. Second, sometimes the act of brainstorming in a journal can be the catalyst for new ideas. Also, I find writing by hand is a great way to counter that dreaded bout of writer’s block. When using the journal for this purpose, don’t be afraid to write ANYTHING that comes to mind. Jot it all down because you never know when something important will come out. Resist the urge to self-censor and just let it all out. You won’t be sorry.

A writing journal is a fantastic idea! I think I may try that myself. Do you write during the holidays, and if so, how do you find time? I’ll write any time I get the urge, holidays or not. Lately it seems there’s a lot of competition for my attention, so late nights are best for me. I love sitting at the kitchen table with the lights off, staring out my back window at the lights of the city. There’s plenty of inspiration there.

Great stuff from Mathieu Gallant! His featured novel.

Darkness Falls from the Outage series. It’s a mix of sci-fi and apocalyptic. Here’s the blurb, straight from Amazon:

Darkness Falls is a frame novel, a story within a story. Primarily, it tells the story of one man, Robert Hendricks. We first meet him in 2179 onboard an alien star ship approaching Earth. He is the lone human on the ship and it will be the first time he sees his planet in over 150 years. He has been away so long, in fact, that Hendricks has very little in the way of actual memories of his home. The only thing he knows for sure is that his feelings about going back are far from positive. This is a problem for his extra-terrestrial hosts, the Gulran. The Gulran have a growing interest in this sector of the galaxy and Earth is vital to their plan. With Hendricks as an ambassador the Gulrani High Arbitor, Gorak, thinks the mission has a good chance of success. Without the human’s help, he’s not so sure. In order to ensure a positive outcome – but also to help his troubled friend – Gorak hypnotizes Hendricks and, through his recollections, travels back with him to the Earth of 2026. For Hendricks, the end begins with a total blackout of North America. It doesn’t take long for him to learn that the line between order and chaos is as thin as a stream of electrons flowing down a copper wire.

Thank you so much Mathieu! Now, how can we get our hands on your book Darkness Falls?  It can be downloaded at Amazon.com here. It’s also available in a few local bookstores in Saint John, New Brunswick.

The sequel to Darkness Falls, When the Levee Breaks, will be available soon after the new year.

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So now you’ve heard it from three amazing authors with really unique writing inspiration techniques; from relaxing in a hot bath to art gazing and keeping a writing journal. And don’t forget my favorite, kicking off your shoes! Haha!

If you have any other interesting methods of writing motivations and inspirations please leave a comment so others can take away that precious knowledge! Thanks for reading with us today and have a fantastic holiday!!

And may the power of words be with you!!
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Categories: Inspirations, Writing Tips | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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