Saturday, December 31, 2011

Interview with Shawn Keenan

Do you outline? If so how closely do you follow it?

I’ve done it both ways now and I can see the benefits of each practice. Going forward I intend to adopt a hybrid-approach. I didn’t outline The Buried Covenant at all, and I wrote it linearly. For me, the story was so much about a journey and the emotions of experiencing that journey, the path just seemed to lay itself out for me as I went along. Of course, there were plenty of opportunities to go back and add better and more meaningful scenes and moments once I realized where I was going. On the novel I’m finishing now, I did outline and that helped me incorporate various levels of plot. There was also a lot of traveling, and the outline helped me keep that straight (like, where are they now!) However, the last third of the outline got chucked when I got to that part of the story. You have to be ready to change on the fly, because a good story takes on a life of its own.

Has being a novelist changed the way you read and appreciate novels?

Very much so. I know the second I’m reading a good book because I get irrationally jealous. I want to have written what I’m reading. Or at least something as compelling, something that would make me feel the way the book I’m reading is making me feel. One of the weird things about writing your own book is that it’s difficult to feel it. And it’s impossible to be surprised or kept in suspense. You have to learn to trust your instincts and hope some of the great books your read have infused you with an innate understanding of how to build those intangible ties to the reader that you as the writer can’t feel for yourself.

How much do you draw from your own life when constructing your main character?

One of the things I love about the young adult books are their ability to take you back to that time in your life where you were still figuring out who you were going to be. I can’t help but draw on my internal journey of becoming who I am today when I’m writing about that process for my main characters. Of course, I’m not nearly interesting enough to carry an entire book, so my main characters have to be different from me in most ways. That’s a great part of writing: getting to create imaginary people and live in their heads for a little while.

How do you get to know your characters? Do you write out a bio, they just come to you or do you have certain facts you always decide on first?

I usually start with a strong characteristic that needs to be at the core of their personality and I’m careful not to betray that, even in the early drafts. Many traits manifest themselves as I put the characters into situations that they have to react to or solve. If I write about a character doing something that doesn’t fit or doesn’t ring true, then I know I’ve written them the wrong way. I added a few short bios to my website for The Buried Covenant to help me flesh out some of the characters’ motivations. The dangerous part about doing in depth bios is, then you want to write those stories as well!

Do you tend to reach the word count you want exactly, overshoot or undershoot? How does it effect your editing?

For the Buried Covenant, the first draft was about 130,000. Several stern edits brought it down to its currently svelte 98,000 words. Initially, I was disappointed to have ‘wasted’ so much time writing things that didn’t stay in the final draft. In retrospect, I can see that those excised passages left ghosts behind that still flavor the story. They had to be there before they couldn’t be there. There’s a danger in writing too succinctly in your first draft. You have to give yourself room to create, knowing there will be cutting later. I like to have a general balance to my chapters, so you aren’t reading a two-page then a thirty-page chapter. And I love a cliffhanger ending whenever I can get one. Your fingers should go straight to turn that page as soon as you finish a chapter, ready to read the first sentence of the next one.

Thank you for joining us and to everyone reading!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Daniel Nayeri Interview and Giveaway Hop!

A big welcome to Daniel Nayeri, co-author of Another Faust and Another Pan and author of Straw House, Wood House, Brick House, Blow!

Are there any other art forms that inspire you when you are writing? Do you listen to music, look at art pieces for ideas or watch dance and gymnastics?

That's a great question. Yes. I have about three songs I pick for each story I write, and I listen to them on repeat--one song at a time. So basically, for a month, I'll only listen to one of the songs on repeat, something close to 500 times. I've always enjoyed hearing things in repetition. It creates a rhythm that I can zone-out to.

What is your biggest and hardest to ignore distraction? How do you cope with it?

My day job. As an editor, I spend all day reading brilliant authors and working with insanely talented illustrators. First of all, they're incredibly intimidating. Second, I could easily take a dozen manuscripts home every night and forget to eat dinner. I try to keep the worlds separate, however. I'd rather spend longer at the office reading manuscripts than bring them home. I wake every morning and write my own stuff for a couple hours before I head off to work. That way my mind is still blank. I also try to read a lot of books that other houses publish (especially graphic novels and adult fiction), so I can keep up, and so I'm not always reading in one category.
All that said, I'm constantly on stimulation overload. The other distraction is video games. I play everything on every system (Dark Souls and Gears 3 right now with a side of Dungeon Defenders and Fifa), so I limit myself to an hour a night and weekends.

Is there one piece of advice you wish someone would have given you before you started writing?

Everything other than sitting down and writing sentences is the literary equivalent of a diet fad. Sit down and write. That's all there is.

Do you write in or out of sequence? What part of your novel comes first? What comes last?

Completely in sequence, beginning to end. I outline as well, so I know where it's going.

How do you choose your main character? What about perspective? Do you tend to write in third or choose the character telling the story based off of part of your plot?

I often develop the story I'd like to tell first. Sometimes, I'll think of a world, and then I'll think of the person who would be least capable of dealing with that world. Or similarly, if I have a plot in mind, I'll look the person who is most averse or uniquely disadvantaged. I start there. I think of the biggest hurdles I can think of, without going for the easy ones like "a blind visionary," or a "writer who can't think of anything to write."

When you are reading, what makes a character compelling to you? Is it the same aspects that make a character you are writing compelling?

All my favorites characters are a little tweaked, a little obsessed. I like people who're wildly successful or wildly broken or wildly uncomfortable or wildly hard to deal with. But all a little wild. Characters like Johnny Ringo and Doc Holliday in the movie Tombstone, Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop, Ignatius Reilly in A Confederacy of Dunces, Don Quixote, Philip Marlowe, Yotsuba, Queequeg, you get the idea. People who are completely not-with-program. I like that. I like to write those types as well.

AND we are adding in a giveaway to celebrate the upcoming New Year! 

To win a $20 Giftcard to your choice of Amazon, Barnes&Noble or The Book Depository comment on this blog post telling us which of the following short story trailers is your favorite! These are the four stories featured in Daniel Nayeri's Straw House, Wood House, Brick House, Blow!

A big thank you to Daniel Nayeri for joining us and to everyone reading! As always, you are what makes blogging so special!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Shana Norris

Hi, everyone! I'm excited to be the newest member of The Writer's Voice. I'm Shana Norris and I'm the author of four young adult novels.

I've always loved books. When I was three, I would make my parents read my favorite books to me so many times that I had them memorized and would then "read" them aloud to myself. Each month as a kid, I would beg my mom to buy me the newest Baby-Sitters Club or Sweet Valley Twins book, and some of my favorite memories are of my mom taking my brothers and sister and me to the local library on Saturdays to check out a huge stack of books--which I would then quickly devour. :)

It wasn't until I was in middle school that I found out that people were actually paid to write these books. Ordinary people, not glamorous mythological creatures like I had always imagined authors to be. And writing books was their job! I decided that was what I wanted to do one day, so I wrote all the time. I filled tons of notebooks and any little scrap of paper I could find with stories.

Most of my early stories were Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley rip-offs, so those will never be published since I don't want to be sued! But I've moved on since then into writing about my own characters and ideas. I didn't originally intend to be a YA author. Eleven years ago, when I first started trying to get published, I was sure I'd be an adult fantasy author. I loved reading fantasy books by Sara Douglass and Elizabeth Haydon, so I wrote books like those and sent them out to agents and publishers. I never got any interest in them. Then I started writing women's literature because that was another thing I loved reading. Still no luck.

In early 2005, I was about ready to give up ever trying to get published. I decided to write something just for me, just for fun. I wrote the first draft in three weeks and loved the book so much, I revised it then started sending it out to agents to see what would happen. A year later, I had an agent and a few months after that I had a book contract from Amulet Books for Something to Blog About, the book that turned me into a YA author. My second book Troy High was also released by Amulet Books, and I now have two self-published ebooks as well, The Boyfriend Thief and Surfacing.

I live in eastern North Carolina with my husband and our houseful of pets--we have two dogs (Chloe and Zoey) and five cats (Bandit, Elmo, Kit, BC, and Butter). We're planning to add some chickens to our brood next spring and the Husband is trying to talk me into a goat too. We'll see!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Our Happy Holidays Giveaway!

The Writers Voice

Here at The Writers Voice we have all been getting into the holiday spirit and to show you how much we care we decided to have a Happy Holidays Giveaway!!! We came together to gather our prizes and we will be having 28 prizes and 15 winners!
YES, that's right, 15 WINNERS! 
Update: NEW PRIZES have been added!
One copy of Everblue by Brenda Pandos (choice of paperback or e-book)
One copy of Two Moon Princess by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban (e-book)
New total winners: 17!

Here is a preview of what is up for grabs!
For the full list check out our entry form!

Enter using our Rafflecopter here: (it may take a few seconds to show up)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There are a few prizes for everyone!  
Marked by Kim Richardson, The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos, Raven by Suzy Turner, Smokeless Fire by Samantha Young and Promise by Kristie Cook are all currently free of Amazon for kindle and all kindle apps! 
 If you would like a free copy of Anathema by Megg Jensen you can stop by this link and enter the code: SF99Y

Happy Holidays!
and a happy new year...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Monique O'Connor James

What would you like for readers to take away from your novel/novels?

I’m really hoping that my readers connect with my characters and can feel what they are feeling. Jamais Vu is about second chances and everyone deserving them. It’s difficult to write a paranormal novel that leaves you feeling better about the world, but I hope on some level I do that with each one of my books.

What part of your first novel did you find hardest to write?

My first novel, The Keepers, had a lot of personal ties to me in it. It wasn’t autobiographical, but it did reflect some of my personal experiences. In the book Jess loses her mother to breast cancer. I also lost my mother to breast cancer and sharing those emotions with a character was difficult at times, but I feel better emotionally for having done so.

Was there ever a moment when you wouldn’t trade what you do as an author for the world? 
What was that moment for you?

Probably the first time I was sent a contract (for The Keepers). I ran outside crying and my husband thought something was wrong. But to be honest, every time I get an email or a message saying that someone really connected with my story…well those are the times I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

What makes you feel like you’re reading or have read a truly amazing book? 

If I’m still thinking about the book or its characters a day later, then I know the book impacted me. I love a book like that, one that you almost grieve when you finally finish!

Is there one book that has had an impact on not only your writing, but on you personally?

The only thing that comes to mind is that I read Anne Rice’s novels when I was 13 and from that moment I wanted to push myself to write a full length novel. Of course, it was years later before I actually did it, but she gets the credit for that.

Tell us something most people don’t know about you!

Because I’m loud and outgoing people think it’s easy for me to stand up and talk in front of a crowd, but the truth is any time I’m forced to speak publically, I’m screaming inside. It’s one thing to entertain the room when you aren’t the focus of attention, but something completely different when all eyes are on you. I’m working on that though!

Here is the book blurb: 

A gunshot echoes, thrusting Darby Lambert into a near death experience. Inside the confines of an ambulance, she meets “the man in white light”. He takes away the guilt, but makes her question everything. “You will see them,” he whispers, as he catapults her back into the real world where she is plagued with dreams of demons, nurses, and rock stars.

Why has He sent her back? Does she have the courage to rectify her sins? Given the chance, could you erase it all? 
Sounds amazing right??? I know I will be reading it!
Thank you so much for joining us today and to everyone reading! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Phillip W Simpson on Hot Cover Guys!

The following is based on true events:

Picking the cover for your novel is an exciting time. In fact, the whole process of cover design from concept and brainstorming to drafts and then finals is especially exciting. What will it look like? Will it be amazing? Will I love it? All these questions and more surge through an authors’ mind.

In my case, I had another issue to contend with. Was the dude on the cover hot enough? Ok, let’s make one thing clear. I am a happily married man. What on earth do I know about dude hotness? Approximately nothing, but allow me to elaborate. I do know enough to recognize a good looking guy. I know for instance that Brad Pitt and Robert Pattison are good looking. But are they better looking than other good looking guys? Beats me. Wouldn’t have a clue.

So the publisher sends me the cover proof. Do I like it? “Like it?” I say. “Love it!” It looks awesome. But then a niggling thought intrudes. It’s a YA book for both sexes. I want the guy to look like the sort of guy that other guys want to be, well, like. Not too good looking otherwise they won’t be able to relate to him. I also want girls to look at him and think, yep, he’s good looking. Attractive in a dark and broody way.
So basically, this wasn’t an easy decision to make.

I noticed (without taking part of course) that there was a whole thread on Goodreads devoted to guy cover hotness. I read it with interest. What made one guy hotter than others? After careful study, I determined that it was completely random, woman are fickle and there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of consistency going on.
At that point I sat down and considered the cover proof in front of me. It was this second issue (i.e what the girls thought) that I had trouble with. Was he good looking enough? I had no idea. I asked my wife who shrugged and said “yeah, I guess.” I asked other female friends and got pretty much the same response. What settled it was when we asked the publisher’s teenage daughter. Her eyes widened and she made a noise that sounded like yes but it was hard to tell with all the heavy breathing. Right then. He’s hot.

The publisher agreed, the designer agreed, our marketing manager agreed (all female I hasten to add). I was still the only one a bit confused. 

In the long run, it doesn’t matter because I got a cover I love and the dude on it looks pretty tough. And that’s what matters. Right? Right?

Thanks again!

Follow me on Twitter!!/PhillipWSimpson

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Growth of the Young Adult Genre by Shannon Delany

The Growth of the Young Adult Genre

By Shannon Delany (13 to Life, Secrets and Shadows, Bargains and Betrayals, Destiny and Deception (January 2012, St. Martin's Press), Rivals and Retribution (August 2012, St. Martin's Press) and Spirited: 13 Haunting Tales (March 2012, Leap Books)

When I was a kid, there was no YA section in the book stores or libraries. No Young Adult label or genre.

Don’t get me wrong, we had some amazing books that fit in that category (A Swiftly Tilting Planet; The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe; and Arrows of the Queen all jump to mind). We had other great stories staring teenage protagonists like Where the Red Fern Grows; The Red Pony; and Old Yeller and long before that Shakespeare wrote that play about those two crazy kids, what were their names...? Oh yeah. Romeo and Juliet. And, I swear, if Pyramus and Thisbe of old myth weren’t teens, well...They just had to be. With the secret love, the mishap with their rendezvous, the scarf, the blood, the lion and the tragedy...

Yeah. Definitely YA drama.

Young adult stories have existed for about as long as our species has been telling tales and creating literature. But YA only truly became a powerhouse (and a heck of a moneymaker) very recently. There was a time teenagers were considered small adults and were married off or thrown into employment early on and so leisure time simply didn’t exist. There was also a time when books were not nearly so plentiful, accessible or affordable.

I think of those eras as the Dark Ages of reading.

Lots of people point to JK Rowling as the leader of the YA movement. I like to think of her as the one who helped solidify it through the popularity of her series, not the brilliant creator of an entire genre. She opened a door the industry was only starting to realize existed in the wall of imagination and gobs of us, thousands of YA authors, have come through that opening. I certainly appreciate her holding that door.

Having been a teacher I appreciate most of all the fact more teens are gobbling up imaginative writing (whether it be fiction or creative non-fiction) and opening their minds to new worlds and possibilities. Even reluctant readers can find a novel that speaks to them, like Speak, Crank, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Struts and Frets, Ender’s Game or The Hunger Games. There is truly something for everyone (and plenty of books being banned as a result—that’s right, the only thing that’s truly taboo is the existence of a taboo). No topic is untouchable. No story too bold to be considered for its potential mass market appeal. That all resulted from the genre’s blossoming over the past ten years or so.

Every YA novel seeks to be a unique individual. Like its readers. And none of them is truly the same although all have a few similar characteristics--like their readers.

Now even authors of adult fiction are jumping into YA, realizing they can grow an audience for their backlist of books and get the emotional payoff of re-imagining their teenage trials and tribulations (or at least painting their memories with a more colorful brush for the public’s amusement). YA has even given birth to the “New Adult” genre that seeks to capture those who have gotten past most of the teen drama but are deep in the drama of the 20-something set.

For a genre that only started to be recognized as an individual relatively recently, YA has grown up quickly and had offspring early. It seems oddly fitting somehow... ;)

The Onyx Talisman Release

I'm happy to announce the release of the third and final installment to the Talisman Series: The Onyx Talisman

"Alora looked back and the corner of her lip turned up. “It’s always darkest before the dawn, Julia. Good luck.” Her words sent chills up my spine as she vanished." 

Unrest stirs deep in Scotts Valley. Filled with uncertainty, Julia anxiously awaits Nicholas’ return. Phil, hurt and unsure of his place as a sober vampire, holds the pieces of Julia’s fragile psyche together, secretly hoping Nicholas stays away forever. Scarlett bides her time, plotting for the perfect moment to prove herself and earn redemption. But somewhere in L.A., Alora conspires to reclaim her talisman and strip Julia of everything she holds dear. 

Little do they know, a war is coming and more than one vampire would like to see the Prince of Vampires overthrown. As more and more vampires show up from nowhere, addicted to her scent, Julia must pick her allies carefully before it’s too late. Can Julia bargain with fate? When the time comes, will she even have a choice? Find out how it all ends in this explosive grand finale of The Talisman Trilogy.

I feel like I just ran a marathon. This book had me on my own roller-coaster the last four months for sure. From the drama in my own life to racing the clock to release it before the end of the year, The Onyx Talisman demanded to be written. I'm sure someone is going to ask how I formulated the ending. I had the main "key" ingredient aka: Julia's "secret" ability since inception of the books, but the innards.... well.... I just told hubby "This book was written one shower at at time," because I always get my best ideas during my morning shower. The heat, the shush of the water, the lack of children demanding juice and assistance in a lost blankie... that must be it. Anyway, it's my best so far and it's getting excellent feedback. I hope you get lost in my series as well. For a limited time, book #1, The Emerald Talisman is free on Amazon!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Courage of Teenagers

It took two fifteen-year-old boys to convince me to follow my heart and start writing full time. Fifteen’s this great age. You’ve survived the battle arena of middle school and probably made it through your first year of high school. And in some part of you that maybe doesn’t hover on the surface, you know—absolutely know—that you can do something great. Something amazing. Something only you can do.

Yeah, maybe a person or circumstance in your life has shoved that knowledge down to the deep end of the pool and tied it there with a big rock, but you still know it’s there, it’s true, and it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks because you know it.

Look around at the adults in your life: how many of them still know this, carry it around in their pockets? One? Two? Zero? We get old and we get tired and we forget that we ever felt this way once.  I mean, adults write sentences like “It’s never too old to be what you might have been” precisely because they have to see it spelled out in black and white to even remember what you know at fifteen: that you are invincible and can do whatever you set out to do.

Four years ago I found Eragon by Christopher Paolini. I was standing in my Costco, looking at the books table (the coolest part of Costco.) As I browsed, I overheard these grandmas talking.

 “Wrote it when he was a teenager, and he’s a real nice kid. He home-schooled with one of my grandchildren.”

Well, you can bet that caught my attention. This gorgeous book was written by a teen? Whaaat? Anyway, I bought the book and loved it. I hadn’t fallen into a world like this since I was a kid riding in a van to Alaska. (I had only Lord of the Rings for thirty days of driving. I rationed it out to one hundred pages a day; those pages were the best part of each day.)

And now, here’s this fifteen-year-old author giving me another great world (with way more dragons!) I finished his first book and bought and read the others, and I thought to myself, Wow. This kid, he’s like, fifteen, and he didn’t have any issues with writing a freaking long book. He just did it. And then did it again.

That same year, I noticed another fifteen-year-old knocking out a couple of novels every couple of months. And I thought to myself: Wow. Where do you get that kind of belief in yourself and your abilities that lets you just do what you want to do?

And it’s like this light popped on, blinding me: when you’re a teenager, you know that you can do anything. Seriously, Teens. Can. Do. Anything. As a late-bloomer, I’m probably not the best person in the world to convince you of this fact, but look: someone else said it too! (Better than I did.)

So on March 20, 2009, I told myself: “No more ‘I’m-going-to-write-a-novel-someday;’ I need to just write. Like those fearless fifteen-year-olds. Forget ‘someday.’ This is someday.”

You know how adults or teachers say that their kids teach them so much? (Yeah, we do say that, and if the adults in your own life aren’t saying it, that sucks—they should, because it’s true!) So anyway, it took a pair of undaunted teenage boys to teach me that if I wanted to do something bad enough, I needed to just start. Today. 

No matter what your age is: be that fifteen-year-old version of yourself.  And if you are fifteen? Do what you know you can do. Do it now before you get old and forgetful and busy doing things that don’t really matter to you anyway. Take it from a late-bloomer. Nuff said.

Thank you, Chris Paolini, for showing me that it’s okay to do what you dream of doing and that if you weren’t too young to do it, then maybe I wasn’t too old. And the other fifteen-year-old? That was my kid: the ‘JWS’ to whom I dedicated my first book. Because if it weren’t for him and Paolini and their teenager-ability to just do stuff, I wouldn’t be writing novels today. And that would just be sad.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Interview with Mara Purnhagen, author of Past Midnight

1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or was there
something else you wanted to do as a career?

Yes, I always wanted to be a writer. I was writing stories before I could spell, and I’ve always kept journals and written short stories. I have binders full of stories and two novels completed that will never be published. They were projects I completed because they were personal to me, and I’m not sure I want anyone else to read them.

2. Is there one author that you have read every book that they have written?

There are several! I love Anne Tyler, Richard Peck, Laura Lippman and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I’ve read all of their books.

3. In your opinion what is the best movie adaptation of a book that you've read?

I’m not sure. I’m really looking forward to the Hunger Games movies, though- from the clips I’ve seen so far, it looks like they’re going to nail it!

4. When you are browsing book stores what is the first section you go to?

I always go to the children’s section first. I love to find books for my kids. Then I wander into the YA section, usually armed with a camera. I take pictures of the covers, especially if the book is written by someone I know. That way, I can post the picture on Facebook. Then I make my way into fiction and finally, magazines. It’s a good, two-hour process for me!

5. If your book was being made into a movie do you already have actors in mind for each role? What bands/singers would you put on the soundtrack?

Not sure about actors, but I do put together a playlist for each one of my books. I listen to music as I write. Here’s a partial list for the book I’m working on now:

1. Exile Vilify by the National (there is always at least one National song on all of my playlists—they’re my favorite band).
2. Kingdom of Rust by Doves
3. Midnight City by M83
4. Typhoon by Crooked Fingers
5. Tamer Animals by Other Lives
6. Take the World by She Wants Revenge (I see this song as the final one, perfect for the last chapter)

6. When you're creating characters do you incorporate traits from people you know?
Sometimes. It’s more like including an inside joke. For example, a restaurant in the Past Midnight series is called Giuseppe’s. My husband used to play in a band, and they came up with fake names. His was Giuseppe (in real life, it’s Joe).

7. If you had the chance to have a sit down with any author alive or deceased who would it be and why?

I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of my favorite living authors in person, so I would go with someone who has already passed on. That’s tough, though! Can’t I host a big dinner party and invite a dozen of my favorites? No? Then I have to go with William Shakespeare, for the simple fact that I want to solve the mystery of who he was!

Thank you for having me!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Writing the Nice...and the Naughty

Happy holidays, everyone!

This is the season for giveaways and blog hops, good causes and good will. It's the season of reflection and gratitude and (okay) shopping 'til we drop. For most people, this is the season that brings out the "nice" in all of us.

As a writer, I find writing "nice" characters pretty easy. We know what constitutes nice, don't we? Good manners, consideration of others, being a good listener, extending offers to help, etc. all fall under this umbrella.

Now, writing "naughty" characters, well...that's a bit more challenging!

I thought I was in the minority of writers because I don't have an easy time writing villains. Imagine my surprise when I mentioned this issue to my writer friends and discovered that many of them also struggle with this. How interesting!

The thing is, most of us don't naturally associate with the dark evil that comprises typical fictional villains. We don't look at other people as dispensable tools and assume we were meant to rule over them all (okay, maybe on our bad days...). Writing that level of "naughty" takes a heavy dose of creativity and putting oneself in a foreign mindset. Sometimes that's easier said than done.

So how do I get into the mind of my villains? Well, for me, I found it easier to write the villain in my Daughters of Saraqael trilogy, Grolkinei, by giving him a range of emotions. It made him unpredictable and, thus, an effective "naughty" guy. It also made him more real for me.

In my upcoming Firstborn trilogy, I went in another direction for my villain. Eirik is a cold sociopath...a remorseless male who cares only for himself, but is smart enough to surround himself with others who will bow to his every wish. He is as outside of my personality as a character can get, I think.

So why am I enjoying writing him so much?

Ah, well. I guess that's a topic for another blog. For now, I hope you'll all enjoy reading and writing both the nice and the naughty, and I wish you all the best throughout the holidays!

Do you prefer writing naughty or nice?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

D. G. Smeall and Poetry from Montana Skies

Before I delve into the mysteries of POETRY and its wondrous revelations to my soul, I would like to say thank you to Emma Michaels and all the writers out there who have decided to embrace us Poets as well as other writers.

I began my writing experience as a poet in junior high school.  I enjoyed Creative Writing but found myself unable to complete sentences on occasion.  That was when an instructor suggested I might like to dabble in poetry.  So I gave it a shot, it worked for me and took me on a journey that I am still on.  My passion for the written word began to blossom into full sentences, eventually to short stories and now I am working towards the novel and children’s books genres.

My writing has evolved me as a person.  I was just 13 when I began writing seriously and i was an awkward teen (aren’t we all?); but my teenage years were complicated by
my disability and need to improve communications skills along with social skills. What disability you might ask?  I am deaf and visually impaired, due to a congenital birth defect, but I don’t let it stop me from doing what I want to do in life: WRITE.

So over the years, (I am in my 50’s now), I have sought avenues for expanding those communications skills.  Writing seemed a natural venue for me.  It lets me speak to people without expectations on either side.  How I come up with my topics for my poems,  it is just anything and everything about life that touches me.  My soul cries to express what it feels inside of me.

There are poems about life, nature, family, our five senses, disabilities revealed for any human to grasp (“step inside my parlor, said the spider”, I thought to myself) and just about any topic is what I write about. For today, I thought I’d share one of my favorite poems: Montana Skies, which I wrote in 2008, about a small piece of my childhood, incidentally one of my brightest times in my childhood.  So enjoy and thanks for giving me the opportunity to share about my work.  See you in the trenches of writing!

Montana Skies (copyrighted 2008) by D.G. Smeall

In the early morn, the cow moos plaintively,
“Come milk me.”
I stretch my arms overhead, reach for the light
Above my bed.

I am ready to seek out my chores
Yet I hesitate.

Ma makes the morning jangle of burner plates
Shifting to relight the old stove’s fire,
I sit up, draw on the cowgirl boots
Pa bought me last year.

I tug on my shirt, red plaid,
Old flannel faded and worn,
Oversized a man’s once,
It houses pockets all over and on
Its back.

I shuffle out the back door,
On to Old Betsy in the barn,
Mooing her morning greeting

I shift the stool to beside her,
Pump her milk inside the steel pails alternately,
Squish, squirt, squish, squirt
The beat goes on until the brim of both pails is full.

I stand, setting both pails at the back wall,
Lest Betsy knock them all,

The purple majesties of the Montana morning
Peek through the barn’s door,
Warning that sun is coming soon.

I hasten as there is more to be done.
I pick up my feet and run . . .

“Ma, I need to get the henhouse done.”
I holler in the back door to her,
Out she comes, bearing the bat,
In her daily chase with Prat,
The barnyard rooster, bantam
That he is.

They twirl and whirl in ballet form,
Teasing and taunting,
Ma swinging and Prat racing ahead --

I slip in the henhouse of ten,
Lovely hens aroosting on their nests,
Warm eggs await my touch and take.

“Caw, caw,” they say when the egg
I take away.

I cautiously pack them in my pail, enwrapped
In cotton wads for careful carrying
To the bunkhouse kitchen.

There Ma is finishing the huge stack of pancakes, biscuits, and eggs for all
To partake.

I set the eggs on the sideboard, wash my hands and join the guys
At the picnic table set in the midst of our company of hired hands.

Time is racing by, the clock ticks the hour of six.
Soon the sounds of sheep calling will greet us all,
So we race through the meal in record speed.

Ma taps my shoulder, “It is time.”
I put my plaid coat back on.
Old brown beer bottles with cutoff rubber gloves
Serving as nipples, warm
With cow’s milk to fill an orphan
Lamb’s belly.

There are 10 bottles, 5 on front and 5 on back.
I stand and shift from foot to foot as
Ma loads the bottles in their nooks,
“Go now,”

They call, the lambs, for their ma --
Their moms no longer answer,
They’ve been orphaned and adopted in a night.

I am their mother now.
I sit in the front braceyard,
Indian style,
‘Baa, Baa, Baa” I call,
“Come to me, babies, I have your food.”

They reply, running in leaps of joy and jaunty jerks
To snap onto one of the nipples in my shirt.

They suckle till the bottle fails
To give no more.

Now it is time for one more run-through.
Another 10 and 4 to feed
Before the school bus comes.

Ah but there are 25 lambs and where
Did the fifth of the second born go?

I hunt him down,
Wet fluff, smelly and dank,
He looks like a skanky pig,
Tis my last lambie.

Hangy down ears,
They flop and flap
When he runs,
He is so small and
Runt he was called by
The Hired hands.

“Won’t last,” they said.
He did outlast most of them all.
Gave me joy and laughter for three summers.

Underneath the Montana skies,
Pearly shades, wanton skies,
With heavy rains, thunderstorms,
A warning is born.

Tis yet another season
More orphans yet to
This year and another.
Soon time has come
Another hangy down-eared one
Must his place take.

Yet this winter I won’t be there
In my red plaid shirt,
Ma and Pa have split ways
And the city streets will
Hold sway.

Life in the city is not at much all
Like Montana skies, proclaiming its
Glories to all.

I miss them all, the sheep, the lambs, the musty pigs,
The dirty hired hands, the wool bags stuffed,
The feathery hens snobbishly greeting,
And Prat who preened in the henhouse yard.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Interview with Julia Karr

Hello Julia Karr! Welcome to The Writers Voice! 
Tell us something about your book that we wouldn’t know just by reading the blurb.

It's not ALL about sex! : D

What’s your favorite non-essential item on your desk?

My Edward Gorey Mystery! mug that holds my pens.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing a novel?

Getting the first draft done. It's easy to start on a novel, but to get through the middle to the end you envision - that's the challenge!

What's a typical day like for you?

I have a full-time job outside of writing, so, I get up - feed my cats & dog, write a little, and then go to work. When I get home, I write some more, feed my cats & dog (and myself) and then write or read before going to bed.

Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?

I love to travel. Often I take short day trips to places I like, or go somewhere brand new!

What was one of the most surprising things you learned when creating your book?

I think what surprised me the most was that my characters had minds of their own and often took the story in directions I hadn't anticipated. It was fun! And, kind of a roller coaster ride at times.

Thank you for joining us today on The Writers Voice!!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Witch Rising: Black Wood

I'm mostly known as the writer of the young adult series, Ancient Legends. What most of my readers don't know is that I also write teen fiction. With my new novel, Mortal Star, hitting eBook stores in January, I thought it was about time to introduce my teen series, A Witch Rising, which is about a fourteen-year-old girl, Emily, who's spending Christmas in Scotland because her parents are going through a nasty separation. Emily soon discovers that she's a witch and that her new home, Ravencourt Manor, hides a very important object that's a portal to another world. After opening the portal by mistake, bad things start to happen and Emily has to embrace her legacy in order to save the ones she loves.

Witches, trolls, nymphs and Silverfurs are surely the figment of one’s imagination. That’s what Emily Jones used to think until she moves to Scotland shortly before her fourteenth birthday to live in her deceased grandmother’s manor. Ravencourt Manor's just as creepy as she remembers it with plenty of creaking noises, rattling doors and a hunched shadow that roams the manor’s garden at night.

In the hope to bring her separated parents back together, Emily opens a portal to Black Wood; a world of dangerous and alluring nymphs dwelling beneath the streams ready to drown her, where the sinister guardian and keeper of the Black Heart and cursed trolls are waiting, desperate to be released. And so Emily’s long and dangerous fight against the evil Muriel begins.

Will Emily learn to use her grandmother's legacy in time before the evil Muriel regains her full powers to summon and unleash her deadly servants on the world?

BLACK WOOD is the first book in the teen series, A WITCH RISING, and suitable for readers 12+.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Interview & Giveaway Quinn Loftis

Hi everyone!  This is Devyn Dawson ---->
I had an opportunity to interview Quinn Loftis this month, she is a great person & author.  I hope you will enter for a chance to win her book.  The synopsis is below the interview - ENJOY!  & Merry Christmas!

Blood Rites is the second book in a very exciting young adult series "The Grey Wolf Series" by Quinn Loftis.  The first book The Prince of Wolves will keep you on the edge of your seat as well as laughing over the snarky comments.  In a short time, Quinn has done very well at getting her book noticed.  Once you take a look at Blood Rites you will understand why.

Quinn, I’m so happy to have you as a guest on my blog!   Some interviews can be boring - so I thought I’d ask some more interesting questions…. here we go

1.  What is your favorite outfit to write in?  Most writers write in scrubs, but you’re also a nurse so wearing scrubs to both jobs might be strange.

I am a big blue jeans fan, I pretty much live in them. I love jeans with holes, I have one pair that have tons of holes and are super comfy that's what I like to write in, and fitted long sleeve t-shirts in the winter, short sleeve in the summer. I'm an almost 32 year old who dresses like an 18 year old on a Saturday morning after a late Friday night…only not nearly as cute LOL.

2.  Are you a roller coaster kinda gal?  If so, what is your dream roller coaster?

LOVE THEM!!! I haven't been to Six Flags in forever but last time I went they had the Batman rollercoaster, which was partially indoors. It was pitch black and stinking awesome. The faster the better!

3.  Most writer’s and nurses are addicted to caffeine - what is your poison? (no play on words, lol)

I'm a Coca Cola Classic junky. I know I need help but I just can't seem to give it up. There's just something about the taste of Coke and knowing it's stronger than battery acid to keep you going ha!

4. Blood Rites is the second book in the Grey Wolf series, if you could go back to when you started the series, what advice would you give yourself.

I would say, "Self, learn what the stink Show don't Tell means before you write your first book…LOL," Okay so I will admit I had a lot to learn after writing POW, and I still have TONS more to learn, but looking back I can see where my descriptions have improved, the dialogue is better and more toned down, the plot in BR was much more involved and the characters were more engaging. I hope that all of these things and others just get better and better.

5.  Do you have a writing ritual?

I get in my comfy chair, set my lap top on a cushion in my lap. Hook up my head phones to my iphone and turn on the playlist for the book I'm writing. I have a play list for each book. I've been looking for new music for Just One Drop so if anyone has any good recommendations e-mail me or face book me!

6.  The reviews on Blood Rites have been really great.  I know that fans sometimes email writers with ‘suggestions’, what has been your strangest suggestion?

To be honest I haven't had any really strange suggestions. I have a lot of AWESOME ones, people have really given me great ideas on where the books can go, but really so far nothing too far out there. I love hearing from people and what they thing I should do with a character, even if I don't do exactly what they suggest it often opens up a door for a new direction and I love that.

7.  How do you find time to write with such a busy life?

Very little sleep. Hence the Coca Cola addiction J

8.  How many books are going to be in The Grey Wolf series?  Do you know how it will all end?

As of right this minute (so it could change by the end of this interview), there are going to be 4 books in the series, but I'm thinking there could be as many as 6, it just depends on the direction I decide to take it. That said, I don’t' have a clue how it's going to end lol

9.  What is your favorite holiday tradition?

I love making hot chocolate and then loading up in the car and driving around looking at Christmas lights as night while listening to Christmas music.

10.  Final question, it is multi-part… ready?  As a child what was your favorite book?  As a teen?  Now?

As a child my favorite book was any of the Ramona Quimby books by Beverely Cleary, as a teen it was A Wrinkle in Time and all the books in that series, and now the Harry Potter Books are neck and neck with Pride and Prejudice and The Mercy Thompson Series and Alpha and Omega Series by Patricia Briggs (I know weird combo right?)

How can our readers learn more about the Grey Wolf series?

Check out my site at, twitter @quinnloftis, Facebook Quinn Loftis Books

Here is a brief synopsis of Blood Rites -

Blood Rites

With the challenge complete and the corrupt Alpha of Coldspring defeated Fane is now free to complete the mate bond with Jacque and perform the Blood Rites. Although the challenge is done, the affects are far reaching.  Once it is known that Vasile one of the strongest Alphas in the world is in America, specifically Coldspring, TX, there is one Alpha who cannot over look the significance of this. An Alpha who happens to share Jacque's DNA, but is this the one she needs to fear?

With her mom driving and her two best friends, Jen and Sally in tow, Jacque set off for her happily ever after. She will soon realize a plan has been put in motion that will change her course and possibly tear her from Fane's grasp forever. It will take a wolf pack, her mother's love, her two best friend's unrelenting determination, her own will to survive and the undying love of her mate to bring her home. The question remains, if she fights, if she endures, who will she be, what will be left once she is back in her mates arms?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Memories of an Austrian Christmas

When I was six years old I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a Christmas with my relatives in Austria—my Oma and Opa (grandmother and grandfather) on my mother’s side of the family, and my uncle Christian, (my mother’s younger brother). Unlike the American celebration of Christmas on the twenty fifth of December, the Austrian celebration is on the twenty fourth, on Christmas Eve. There is a long tradition they hold to that says that the Christkindl (The Christ Child) comes to Earth on the twenty fourth of December, and that is the reason they celebrate on that Eve. Saint Nicholas or as they call him in Austria, Niklaus, actually comes before Christmas, either on the fifth or the sixth of December with his opponent the devil, known as Krampus. Together they come to the villager’s doors and ask the children whether they have been good or bad during the year. If the child says they were good, Niklaus may reward them with a small token such as an apple, orange, cookie, or some nuts. If the child says that they were bad, Krampus will try to catch and spank him or her. This may sound politically incorrect, but to the Austrians its all in good fun, and Niklaus will send the child running before Krampus has a chance to get them. Unfortunately, I missed this holiday event because I didn’t arrive in Austria until the week before Christmas. Even so, my mother has filled me in on how fun this tradition was for her as a child.

Waking up Christmas Eve morn, I can still faintly remember the sounds and the smells in the air. Oma and my mother clanking around in the small kitchen downstairs while preparing the food for the day, and the smell of marzipan mingled together with ginger, allspice, and cinnamon filling my senses. Full of joyful wonder I got up and headed down the old squeaky staircase of my grandparent’s small Vienna flat. Half way down I could see the living room, and with great bewilderment, I looked for the Christmas tree, but it was nowhere to be found. Even a few days earlier I had wondered why there wasn’t one up. But with all the excitement of being somewhere different for the holidays, I had forgotten to bring it up.

I went into the kitchen and asked my mother why there was no Christmas tree? My mother conversed with my Oma in German, and than in English said to me, “Go now and get dressed. We could use your help in here.” I decided not to pursue asking about the tree, seeing how busy they were making marzipan and ginger cookies and a brandy soaked, ladyfinger and whip cream cake.

Later on that day I was glad that I hadn't brought up the tree, because after coming home in the evening from doing some last minute shopping with my Uncle Christian, my sister and I were pleasantly surprised to see, standing in the small, dark livingroom, a beautiful Christmas tree set aglow with real candles on its branches and under it toys for my sister and I.

I never questioned my mother about why the tree was put up so late in the holiday until I was an adult and that is when I found out that it is tradition for the Austrians to put the tree up without the children knowing as late as possible on Christmas Eve. The children are sent out to play or do errands and then when they return in the evening they are surprised with a tree and unwrapped presents under it.

Today, my Oma and Opa are no longer with us, but I will never forget that extra-special, cozy Christmas I was able to spend with them. As a matter of fact, I still have a gift, a stuffed, little yellow lion with a red and white ribbon (the Austrian flag colors) tied in a bow around its neck; a present that my Oma had handmade for me that Christmas Eve more then thirty something years ago.

Check out Victoria's book websites @ and

Monday, December 12, 2011

Severed Blog Tour Stop

I don't know if you've heard, but the final novel in my Cloud Prophet Trilogy dropped on November 25th!!!! Severed was the culmination of a writing journey I started back in late 2008.

If you've read my other book, Sleepers, you may have noticed some common threads between it and the books in the Cloud Prophet Trilogy (Anathema, Oubliette, and Severed). Only two people emailed me, questioning those similarities. I honestly thought I'd hidden them so well that no one would notice.

What's so exciting about Severed is that even though it's the final book in the Cloud Prophet Trilogy, it's NOT the end. I don't believe in endings. Don't you always wonder what happens on the other side of that final page of a book? Happily ever after only exists in fairy tales. Those of us who live in the real world know that life's not that simple. If you're anything like me, then you have the drive to know the unknown.

I'm not one of those authors who sits back and says to herself, "Yep. Did a good job with the series. Time to take a break." Nope, not me. I've already got something new up my sleeve.

I'm officially letting the cat out of the bag on this blog. The Cloud Prophet Trilogy and The Swarm Trilogy are connected. To show everyone how, I'm releasing a short story soon, called The Initiate. It's a prequel short story that will tell us where the legends started. Eloh, the goddess in the Cloud Prophet Trilogy, is the main character in The Initiate - and she's human. Makes you a little curious, doesn't it?

I'm hoping to have The Initiate up for sale by the end of the year. But, while you're waiting, feel free to take a peek at the book trailer...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Interview with Megan Crewe!

Hello Megan Crewe! Welcome to The Writers Voice! 
Would you mind telling us something about your book that we wouldn’t know just by reading the blurb.

You wouldn’t know from reading the blurb that THE WAY WE FALL is written in journal format. I wanted to give readers the sense of living through the story as my main character does, not knowing what else might happen after she stops writing for the day, and to fully capture her feelings as her world starts to fall apart.

What’s your favorite non-essential item on your desk?

My tube of heavy-duty hand cream. Very important because I hate the feeling of dry skin on my hands!

What was the most challenging aspect of writing a novel?

I think the hardest part for me is finding the right ideas. To be able to write a book I’m happy with, I need an idea that’s different enough from what’s already out there that I don’t feel I’m rehashing old ground, that presents new challenges for me so I don’t get bored, that has enough to it to fill at least 250 pages, and that I find personally deeply provocative. I have tons of ideas that fit some but not all of those criteria. Once I come across one that has everything, I can usually overcome any problems that emerge during the actual writing.

What's a typical day like for you?

I spend most of the morning writing or revising. Then I take a break for lunch and internet surfing. I’ll get done writing-related business like answering e-mails and promo work. In the later afternoon, I either have another writing session, or I go out to my day job, depending on what day it is. And evenings are mostly for relaxing, and non-writing activities.

Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?

As with most writers, I love reading and usually have a book on the go. I try to read widely from a variety of genres, which stops me from burning out on any one type of story. I enjoy a lot of the other arts as well, especially music and movies. I’ve been taking kung fu classes for the last five years. And I love traveling overseas and am often planning a new trip, months in advance.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned when creating your book?

I learned how incredibly carefully deadly viruses are handled in the lab—with more precautions than even occurred to me, and only very select people allowed to work with them—but also how easily mistakes can be made despite that, through human fallibility. It was scary and startling to find out how close to the catastrophe I write about in my book we may have come several times in the past.

Thank you for joining us today on The Writers Voice!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Happy Holidays Everyone!!!

Today instead of a blog post I wanted to use my day for a fun Holiday gift/ giveaway/contest--Whatever you choose to call it ;)
What’s up for grabs you ask? Well, how about a copy (PRINTED) of Insight, Embody, and Image – wait I’m not done yet WITH a 25$ Amazon gift card! (and a few book marks of course!)
What do you have to do – you ask? Just fill out the form below. Contest starts today and ends on Dec 15th – the winner will be chosen by random. Org :)!

Some say that dreams are the doorway to the soul. Willow Haywood is no stranger to that doorway. Each night she shares a blissful, silent dream with a stunning blue-eyed boy. With each new moon she is haunted by a painful nightmare shared with a different boy, who’s always hidden by the shadows. In her waking hours she must battle her sixth sense. The one that allows her to feel others emotions as if they were her own. This insight is exhausting and frustrating causing her to draw inward, only trusting her family and few close friends. Oddly, this sense also attracts ghostly images that seem to appear out of nowhere. With a touch, they take her to wherever they may be, allowing her to change their emotion. This alone would cause most to go insane, but Willow filters her aggression by painting, capturing the emotion she changed. One August night a nightmare came days after the new moon. In this dream the shadowed boy marked her wrist with star, leaving her father no choice but to share a family secret that would tie all of the odd attributes of Willow’s life together. Now, she has no choice but to outrun the fate that is closing in around her. In an attempt to lure her, the shadowed figure captures her closest friends. In order to save them, she must weave through broken myths, half truths, and the undeniable power of the Zodiac. With each step she takes Willow comes to realize that she has lived before, her path is one that she chose, and this trial is simply the beginning.

Not many Scorpio’s are known for their patience, and Willow Haywood is no different. Her only desire is to love Landen Chambers and redeem the lost souls of Esterious, but the path to that desire is long, dark and dangerous...
Before Willow’s life had a chance to balance the sudden revelations and grief she had to endure to get to Chara a disturbing discovery is made. A photo, one that shows Willow blissfully embracing the flawless image of Drake Blakeshire; giving her not only proof that she had lived before, but that she had loved him.
Running away from the memory of Drake’s hypnotizing touch, and the prophecy set before her seemed like the logical thing to do. That is, until a dark dream reignites her passion to save the hopeless dimension of Esterious. Willow struggles to find patience – to learn everything she needs to know before she faces
Drake again, but her eagerness is dangerous and one step in the wrong direction takes everything and everyone away from her – the only way to survive this trial is for Willow to remember who she is and what she really wants out of this life. The question is….can she do that?

There is an ominous darkness, one that that is so dense and mind numbing that you can feel the chills race across your skin as the energy of the hatred behind it hovers near you. They thought that it was over…that he was dead….they never imagined that he was more powerful dead than he ever was alive.
A war is on the brink of erupting in the dark dimension of Esterious, the victory Willow had a few days ago was nothing less than vague memory. With each thought she has she fights the images of Drake’s dark eyes, his words… his promises. Doubt seeps into her soul as she stares forward and what could only be the hardest battle she has faced thus far.
Venus is meant to be the planet of love and peace….but when it falls into retrograde its influence changes. Matters of past relationships will surface; choices will be made with the mind and not the heart. Gateways to an evil that cannot be fathomed will open. Willow and Landen’s only defense is to hide their family away, and lock themselves in the palace that was once ruled by Donalt. The energy is heavy and dark within these walls…there is a presence that lingers and strikes at will. Cruel illusions are placed before Willow, but that is not even hardest part…what is hard is standing in room with Drake and Landen and listening to others tell you of lives that you cannot recall…for them to tell when and how you are going to die.
Every prediction and theory is about to be proven wrong…and the choice before Willow’s heart holds the lives of millions at stake. The question is will be she be able to see through the illusions before her and make a choice…she can live with?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sallie Lundy-Frommer Guest Post

Inspiration, where does it come from? I’ve heard people say, you should be able to find inspiration in a grain of sand. Well, I don’t know about that. My inspiration to write came from my dreams. One could ask, where do dreams come from? Are they manifestations of waking desires or fears? I don’t know. What I can tell you is I wrote this book out of a great need to satisfy the characters. I can’t speak for anyone else, but having dreams on almost a nightly basis revolving around the same characters where I observed their lives was a new experience for me. My only course of action was to start writing, or seek professional help... :-D

Writing Yesterday’s Daughter has been a marvelous and scary ride. This novel has led me to learn a lot about myself. I am a creative person. Before writing this book, I viewed authors with some deference. The process just seemed so mysterious to me, the idea that someone could have incredible stories and characters in their heads. They’d have to be extra special people right? I firmly placed authors in the creative bucket with artists, designers, and such. And I definitely didn’t considers myself part of that group.

Perhaps this creativity was always a part of me and I had ignored it. Whatever the cause for my being a late bloomer, I recognize it now. Not only do I recognize my creative side, I’ve embraced it and learned to enjoy the journey of telling the story, to putting pen to paper, to giving birth to characters and worlds uniquely my own.

The writer in me has changed me. I see and listen to the world differently. I’ve noticed that sometimes, and it seems to happen without warning, that I will see or hear something that will spark my creative interest. Whether it’s an interesting name, pictures of an exotic location, a look between two people; it can be anything that triggers ideas for writing. For some, this may all be indubitable, but not for me. I’ll be very interested to look back in ten years and see what this new creativity has spawned.

 See what is coming next and hear more from Sallie here:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Emma Michaels: I am a writer AND an author.

I am a writer AND an author.

I did a Project to Published (advice for bloggers who want to get published) post on my personal blog earlier this year and have now realized I was wrong about one of the things I said. I talked about how a writer is someone who writes for themselves and that being an author means you want writing to be your career and have at least one publication. It was only a sentence or so in a post but it had been explained to me multiple times that, that was how it worked. You were a writer until you are published. Well, I now have a new definition for me personally and wanted to share it.

You may have noticed after reading this that the name of this blog is The Writers Voice and not The Authors Voice. Somehow I think that without realizing it I may have already known what I am about to say here and only recently discovered.

I may be an author, with my career and my goals all pertaining to creating novels and other works for others to enjoy but I am also a writer. I write because it is the only thing I can imagine ME doing. With my crazy imagination that kind of says a lot. I can imagine that a basket is actually a dragon and have a plot come from it, I can see a feather and have a series planned or a tribal mask and suddenly, I have a sequel to my first novel. But I just can’t imagine myself being happy if I am not writing. I am a lifelong adventurer who hasn’t gotten to see the world so created her own that she could explore any time. While some of my novels or stories that I have created may stay in my mind and not make it to publication (though the feather one was just signed on by Bokheim for next year! YEAY!) they are still a part of who I am and a part of my writing experience.

So in short. My new definition of a writer: Someone who feels like they are denying their soul if they are away from a notebook, laptop or typewriter for any extended period of time. Someone who knows that when someone says you have your head in the clouds, they are right and what a view of the world in its entirety from up here because we can see so much more. A writer is someone who realizes that when you live without books you get one life and when you are a writer or a reader you can live infinitely no matter how many years you are given. 

So off to more adventures! So far there are two books planned for next year and if I can manage to finish this one in the next few months then there might be three!!!

What does being a writer or a reader mean to you?