The Next 1000 Miles

Catch Your Breath

In the oncoming vacation train heading right for me, I keep thinking of posts to write and plan and etc… For myself, and I think a lot of bloggers, there comes a moment when I think I have absolutely nothing else to say or offer to the viewing masses.

Then, one thing I was discussing recently with a budding author friend of mine was the moment when your first book is getting ready to enter the touch-up stages. Editing is nearly done, all that’s left is cover art, formatting and release. We both agreed the feeling is like going under water and having to plan your breaths so you don’t choke. I can remember, it was a nerve-racking experience feeling that moment on the edge and realizing I should jump, I had to jump.

In retrospect, I learned a lot from my own mistakes. One of the most prominent is the feeling I wasn’t ready and time was slipping away. There is never a “right time” for that first step in anything we do. Think back to any number of first-time experiences and tell me you were perfectly prepared for what happened next.

As an author, you learn as you go, like most of life. Never be too afraid to fail. We all do it to some extent, just catch your breath and realize the first step is the hardest. Each step afterwards gets easier and there is a silent community of helpful people standing behind you ready to help as best as they can.

The Next 1000 Miles

What to Get Your Author for Xmas

Hint #1: It’s Free!!

Answer: A Review

It may not seem like much, but to Indies, it’s almost better than currency. A review or a rating on places like Amazon, GoodReads, a blog or any venue of social media is like seeing the storm clouds part and sun shinning directly on us. As an Indie, my name is not out there; I can’t get into chain book stores; and I have a fan base that consists mainly of friends and family for the moment. The only thing that will help me continue my passion is having more people interested.

Think of a new restaurant that’s opened in your town. If you went there and the food was somewhere between good and great, would you tell others? If you don’t, how will they know? Same goes for books on an almost secret society scale. There are so many to choose from, no one will ever see them without guidance or persistence. We need our readers help or we’ll surely wither away.

So, for Christmas, rate the books you’ve read. Save a writer!

The Next 1000 Miles

Iced Tiddly-Bits

Yup, junk punches take a while to overcome no matter how you ice them. This leads into our next lesson, preparations of bad news.

Our novels and collections of the written word are very much like our children. We care for them, nurture them and at times grow tired of their shit. But, we love them all in different ways and when someone attacks them, instinct has us ready to tear body parts off. Alas, that is both illegal and counter productive.

So, we must learn to turn a cold shoulder and nothing more to those not enjoying the company of our children. Also, the ones who do respond are far easier to take than those saying nothing at all.

In short, let your tiddly-bits become as hard as ice, so the next junk-puncher breaks a knuckle as you smile and ask if that’s all that they got. It will get better. You will get better and your work will have a following.

{The title is quite the double entendre, no?}


Journey of 1000 Miles

Speeding the Last Mile

Ever left on a trip and that last fifteen minutes before you leave the house feel like you have a tornado in your brain? Do I have enough clothes, keys, cell phone, charger…toothbrush, etc? Lord, what have I forgotten?!

I am like that presently with the book closing up. Formatting is my hurdle, getting all of the documents ready, verbiage, acknowledgements, descriptions, etc. Exciting, but a little nerve racking that I’m going to screw something up.

Any published authors out there with any tips?

Journey of 1000 Miles

A Couple More Inches

How many authors out there have powered through and produced thousands upon thousands of words? Creating worlds upon worlds, character after character is no small task. After all the places I’ve developed, people I concocted and scenarios they’ve encountered I must have filled enough pages to reach from one end of the city to the other.

So, with all of these miles I’ve spanned, a couple more inches of space shouldn’t be too difficult. Well, when it comes down to writing a short synopsis of my book, it sure seems to be. I can write a book yet somehow the back of the jacket is killing me. The same thing occurs with query letters, it’s my Kryptonite.

What do you do in order to get your idea out clearly?

Journey of 1000 Miles

Step 500 … or so? Have We Gone a Mile Yet?

Okay, I was toying around and daydreaming about speaking in front of a small audience about my work the other day. So, I decided to just type into a Search bar Author Questions. I clicked on what I saw first and copied the question and gave answers. At least this gives a little insight into me. As an author, try to answer these yourself. Enjoy!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I think I’ve always enjoyed writing since I was in the 4th grade, so since I was 10. I wrote a short story for class and it was pretty horrible in retrospect, but at the time, I felt it was movie-worthy. Something of a Die Hard meets the French Connection.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Depends on the kind of book. Granted, I have only written a handful, but some call for more attention than others. The Time Travel book took a couple of months, but that was patchy time commitments. The Dusk series I have written has been an ongoing saga of years.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

When I am committed to writing, I generally take an hour a day. When I get thoughts I can’t get rid of then I put in hours on the weekend.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Hmm, quirk? I talk to myself as if I’m in the scene in the book while I’m in the car. It helps get the right flow out, for me at least.

How do books get published?

Through patience, persistence and putting yourself out there. (I have patience down, persistence is growing and I’m trying to put myself out there as much as possible. So, the publishing should happen any time now)

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Ideas can come from anywhere. I see a part in a movie where it takes my mind away, a concept I wanted to see but never have or simply writing about the thing that randomly circulate in my head at any given time.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

On this, I am simply gauging when I completed my first book. I started writing a book, Out of the Dusk,

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I’m a huge movie buff, love seeing all the different stories they can tell. I do also love when it’s nice enough outside to go for bike rides, walks, hiking and throwing the ball around with my daughter.

What does your family think of your writing?

It’s hard to know, I’m not sure all of my family has read my works. My parents are very supportive of my creativity and help me edit my thoughts.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Mainly, people have comfort words and bad habits. I used the word “that” waaaaay too much. Grammar gets in the way of good thought.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

In total, I have just (2) complete books. I have a revolving (4) others I comb through until I get one to bite. As for my favorite… I love Carter’s character, he was super fun to write. In all, the concepts I have for the Dusk Series are my favorite to conjure.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

A writer, Sandra Brannan, told me once to never stop writing. That would be my message to pass on. When you stop, it’s like a muscle and it takes longer to get creativity back into the shape you once had it. Each mistake or accomplishment makes you stronger as long as you keep writing.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I get a few nods from a couple of devout readers. Honestly, I am just happy to know people read it. No one has hated it yet, so I get encouragement to get published.

Do you like to create books for adults?

As opposed to children? I think some of my books would cause children to loose their innocence. So, yes, mainly adults.

What do you think makes a good story?

You need to have good dialog, a couple of strong characters and something that makes readers thankful to be on the journey with you. And when it’s over, they should hate you for stopping or not having more.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Honestly, I wanted to be a garbage man. Riding around and slinging bags of trash from the bumper of those steel beasts seemed like the best job ever.