Let’s Talk #Writing and What It Takes to be a Writer! #amwriting #ASMSG #IARTG


writing writers

 

People ask me all the time how to write.  I think it must be one of those secret desires in people, to know how books get written.  People are fascinated with it and stare at me like I’m their favorite candy.

 

The truth is that writing is different for everyone.  It’s a very personal experience.  Ever since I was little, I’ve been writing.  By the time I was in high school, I had filled several journals, diaries and notebooks. Stories, poems, prose all poured out of me.  It’s like a tick, only with ink.

 

I write because I have to.  If I don’t write, my body will start to twitch and the voices will just consume me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to write and I feel so blessed by this gift.  The voices, or characters as I call them in polite society, speak to me and I write them down.  Many times, more than one character vies for my attention (think Real Housewives but in my brain).

 

When I met the Walking Man (the homeless man who inspired Princess of the Light), I knew that it was up to me to tell his story.  He was my daily inspiration and when I didn’t feel like writing, all I had to do was think of him out in the cold.  The words just flowed out of me.

 

Princess of the Light is published and next month celebrates its third book birthday.  Does that mean that the voices stop? No way! They are even louder and body-slamming each other for my attention. They want their five minutes in the spotlight in future books.  I’m writing book two as fast as I can but it’s not fast enough for Than, head demon. He wants his revenge and nothing will stop him… or so he thinks.

 

I write because I love it.  I love seeing people respond to my writing.  I love making a difference and spreading the Light.  I love inspiring others.

 

I write, most of all, for my survival.  I need to write like I need oxygen to breathe.  It is a part of my body, mind and soul.  Without writing, I am not quite myself.

 

If you have a story begging to be told, get writing! You may be like me and your very survival may depend on it!

 

Princess

 

Title: Princess of the Light

 

Author: N. N. Light

 

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural, Spiritual Romance

 

Tagline:

Mary’s the Princess of the Light but her only hope is to make a pact with her enemy.

 

Blurb:

Mary Miller receives a startling visitation from Gabriel, the Messenger of God. The Archangel reveals an astounding truth–Mary is the Princess of the Light and even more amazing, her destiny is to battle Lucifer’s army of demons and restore the balance of good and evil on Earth. It’s getting harder to fulfill her new role and keep her identity secret while juggling her personal life, and when Than, Lucifer’s second in command, amps up the attacks on her, she knows she needs help.

 

Joe Deacons is everything she’s ever wanted in a man. And as providence would have it, in a moment of great need, he’s the Warrior of Light–the one who can help her defeat the forces of darkness.

 

Not so simple when they confront Lisbeth, a demon hell-bent on usurping Than and Lucifer himself.  When Lisbeth wages war and several innocent people die, Mary must form an alliance with her enemy in order to destroy her.  But will this be a grave error or the choice that saves their world?

 

Excerpt: 

I sunk into the water, and let the suds and scent of lavender engulf me.  The stress of the day finally began to melt away.

 

My body jolted.

 

I was in the middle of the desert. There were grass huts and women with hajjis walking quickly around me. Something whizzed past my ear, and a deafening explosion rocked me off my feet. I instinctively curled my body in a fetal position.

 

I listened for the screams to start, but it was eerily silent. I glanced around, but all I saw was water.

 

I was still in the bath. What had just happened? Was that a vision? Had I fallen asleep?

 

My headache was a dull thud now.

 

A knock on the washroom door made me gasp. I sat upright in the tub and heard my roommate, Amber, call in, “Mary, are you okay?”

 

“Yeah, I’m good. Just must have fallen asleep.”

 

“Hey, Amber, what time is it?” I looked down at my pruney fingers and wondered how long I was in the tub.

 

Amber said, “It’s five thirty.”

 

I leaned forward and turned on the hot water. The bath water had gotten cold while I had drifted off.

 

I leaned back as the warm water ran over my toes and closed my eyes, wondering what I should wear tonight. I wanted to look beautiful for Joe. I began to picture every outfit in my closet, and tried to imagine his reaction to it.

 

A shiver ran down my back and I faintly hear the water splash over the edge.

 

I opened my eyes and tried to scream. All that came out was a reverse gasp, and I pulled my towel in to cover my body.

 

A small child was in the tub with me. He couldn’t be older than five. Blood was running down his face, and his body was covered in sand mixed with congealing blood. He was clinging to my towel, and I didn’t know whether to let go of it or yank it back from him. His dark hair was wet with fresh blood. My heart filled with sadness and I quit trying to scream.

 

As I clung to my own towel, I didn’t know what was happening or what I should do.

 

The little boy raised his head and more sadness poured into my heart. His eyes were dark pools of grief and despair. They pleaded with me, begging me to help.

 

How? I mouthed silently.

 

I jumped when he began to move slowly toward me. He lifted one arm and spoke in a language I didn’t recognize. I knew I didn’t know exactly what his words meant, but I knew what he was saying: He was hurt and needed help.

 

The closer he came, the more my fear eased and the pain increased. He reached for my arm. His hand was bloodied, and it sent a jolt of electricity and agony throughout my body. I tried to pull away, but his grip was locked on my arm. His eyes turned black and murky, and a voice not his own spoke.

 

“Princess, help my people,” it said.

 

I shook my head.

 

“Let go!” I tried to scream again.

 

The little boy disappeared, and I jumped out of the bathtub, wet towel still wrapped around my body, and crumbled to the floor. The blood was smeared all around me, and I looked at my arm. The blood was still there, too.

 

I whimpered, scrubbed at my arm until it was raw, and yet I could still see the blood.

 

Buy Links:

Free on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

 

Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

 

Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

 

Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/5008419

 

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23009005-princess-of-the-light

 

couple N N Light

 

Author Bio: N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N. Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

 

They’re blissfully happy and love all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

 

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

 

Sign up for their author newsletter and get exclusive content and prizes ow.ly/jWec308TabL 

 

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

 

50% of the proceeds of Princess of the Light go directly to food banks (US and Canada) in order to feed the hungry and help those in need. With only 7,500 books sold, N. N. Light will be able to set up a monthly endowment for the local food bank.

 

They’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

Bookbub  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-n-light

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNP_W_Light

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

iAuthor: http://www.iauthor.uk.com/princess-of-the-light:10294

Nine Quirky Facts Mrs. N Doesn’t Want You to Know #ASMSG #IARTG #AmWriting


nine-quirky-facts

 

Mr. N here, Mrs. N is off working today (and doing a superb job, too) so I thought it would be the perfect time to spotlight my beloved. Mrs. N is a gifted writer and at times, she’s too shy to toot her own horn. So, as her soul mate and writing partner, I’m qualified to do it for her. 😉 Shhh, just don’t tell her. It’ll have to be our little secret.

 

The first story I ever wrote was about a princess who escaped her ivory tower and became best friends with a purple dragon named Patsy. I know, the name could use work and I was a rebel even back then. I wrote it for English class and got an A+. Ahhh, my first review. 🙂

 

I have a hard time writing in the company of others. That’s why I can’t write in a coffee shop or surrounded by people. I feel self-conscious and my muse shuts down. I have to be alone with no prying eyes peeking over my shoulder.

 

I get distracted easily. Thus, no television on but music is a must for my writing environment. If there is something that catches my eye, I have to force myself back to my writing. Otherwise, procrastination takes hold and I’ll never get anything done.

 

I free-write a lot. I talk about the freedom and flooding of ideas that happens every time I free-write. The act of just letting my fingers do the talking is one of the best ways my characters emerge.

 

When I was 16, I won first prize in a poetry contest paying tribute to our veterans. I won $50 and invited to be on a float. I spent the money on books and politely declined to appear on the float (painfully shy).

 

I use life experiences to create real, honest characters in my writing. I’m a firm believer that life is filled with inspiration.

 

Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella is my first foray into contemporary romance. I’ve been a reader of romance since I was twelve and the pressure was on. I normally write paranormal romance but I loved writing this novella. Sally’s story flowed out of me faster than I could write it down.

 

I got caught up in the “proper way” of writing almost two years ago and as a result, lost my writing fire. I listened to a few people who told me I was doing it wrong. The thing is, each writer has his/her own writing style and I have my own way of telling a story. It’s what makes me unique. I’m happy to say that I am back to writing in my own style and happier than I’ve ever been!

 

I write flash fiction and poetry as a warm-up to writing a novel/novella. I start with a writing prompt and let my muse take over. It gets the ideas flowing and my fingers write faster than I can keep up. I then keep them for later book ideas. Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella came from a flash fiction story I wrote back in March 2015.

 

A few bonus facts:

 

I love to read books. It’s a passion of mine and I continue to discover new authors.

 

I love to bake goodies and my new favorite thing is to add boxed chocolates to brownie batter and bake. It adds such a depth of chocolate flavor and sophistication.

 

I’m a happy positive person, most of the time. Sometimes I get frustrated and tired but then I give myself a shake and am happy again.

 

PTSOL

 

Title: Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella

Author: N. N. Light

Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, New Adult Romance

Blurb:

Torn between two men, Sally must follow her heart and decide if love will lead her to the city or the countryside.

Twenty-Two year old Sally Rayton returns to the family farm she deserted four years ago to bury her grandfather. Her plan: to settle her grandfather’s estate and return to her life in the city with her boyfriend, Trevor Mattson.

Her childhood friend, Jack Smith, has other ideas.

Jack convinces Sally to transform the farm into a brewery and fulfill her grandfather’s dream while keeping the Rayton Farm in the family. Sally works side-by-side with Jack while Trevor is hundreds of miles away in the city. The more time she spends with Jack, the stronger her feelings are for him.

When Trevor shows up to propose to Sally right before Christmas and finds her in Jack’s embrace, she must make the biggest choice of her life: true love.

Excerpt:

Jack looked where she pointed.

“Sally…” he began.

“Yes?”

“Are you planning on selling it when the farm’s made a profit?”

Sally sighed.

He turned her body around, his gaze penetrating hers.

“I don’t know,” she whispered. “I know Grandpa wanted me to keep it in the family.” She furrowed her brow. “I’m not a country girl; my heart belongs to the city.”

“Hey, it’s okay.” He moved a step closer. “Farming is hard work and you have to love it to make it successful.” He put a hand on her shoulder. “Don’t beat yourself up for following your heart.”

Sally winced.

“What?”

“Jack, I’m not sure what my heart wants. Part of me loves being here, carrying on the family name.”

“But…” Jack raised an eyebrow warily.

“But I have a life in the city. I’ve almost finished my degree –”

“You have Trevor,” Jack interrupted her. He shook his head.

“What’s wrong with that? Yes, I have a life and a boyfriend in the city. I’ve told you a thousand times my dream is to open my own sidewalk cafe.” She folded her arms over her chest. “Don’t you want me to be happy, Jack?” Her voice sounded hurt, even to her own ears.

He closed his eyes and rubbed his forehead.

“This isn’t going how I wanted it to.” He glanced up at her. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to imply anything. It’s just –”

“What?” Sally cocked her head to one side.

The telephone rang inside.

“Shit, I have to go answer it. I’ll be right back.” She ran into the house.

“Hello?”

“Hi beautiful.” Trevor.

 

Buy Links:

Available at Amazon Worldwide exclusively: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01581XM50

 

FREE on Kindle Unlimited!!!

 

Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/5697490

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26134330-planting-the-seeds-of-love

 

couple N N Light

 

Author Bio: N. N. Light is the best-selling husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N. Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

They’re blissfully happy and love all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

 

They’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

 

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNP_W_Light

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-n-light

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

 

 

 

Give Thanks to Those Who Rekindle Your Fire #inspiration #grateful #WednesdayWisdon


thankful-spirit-rekindle

Every once in awhile, our inner fire (Light) dims and almost appears to go out. The darkness surrounds us and we’re not sure what to do. We’re feeling sad, depressed, just plain discouraged. Then, a brief encounter happens and that person’s fire (Light) rekindles our own.

I’ve had this happen on several occasion but the most recent one was a brief encounter with author C. S. Boyack. I was working with him on a character interview. I decided to have it be Lisbeth (big bad from Princess of the Light). My writing fire had dimmed and I wasn’t writing. In fact, I had almost ditched the whole series. C. S. ignited something inside me and I’m happy to report that I’m back to writing book two in the Princess of the Light series.

I’ve already thanked and thanked him for his help. He told me to stop or else his head wouldn’t fit through the front door. lol!  I’m so grateful to him (just silently) and others like him.

I bet you have a few people who have rekindled your inner fire at just the right time. Take a moment and reach out to them. Share your gratitude and say thanks.

We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

MRS N

Keeping Things Balanced: A Writing Guest Post by @WestonAndrew + a Birthday Top 10 #amwriting


ixbanneradamazing

For those of you who tune in regularly to N. N. Light Author Promotions, you’ll be aware that one of my previous guest posts related to World Building. Entitled – Keeping Things Real, it highlighted my approach to the process of constructing an imaginary framework in which to set an adventure. I likened that process to preparing and cutting a rough diamond. Starting with an overview of the world I’m going to create, I begin to work from the outside in on its various facets: Where it’s situated; who its inhabitants are; what’s their history; what level of technology do they posses, and so forth and so on.

Having already covered that, this time around I thought I’d expand on Keeping Things Real, by introducing you to the next stage of my world building process:
“Keeping things balanced.”

What do I mean? People who have enjoyed The IX have often commented on the rich descriptive prose it contains. I say, “thank you” for that, because I put a lot of work into creating a visual image that the reader can connect to. I think that’s especially important when you come down to the flora and fauna of the world in which your story is set, especially if – as in The IX – your heroes and protagonists are flitting about, here and there, on one adventure or another.

So, how did I manage to keep things balanced for The IX?

That’s easy. I created visual templates to work from. The reason? Something I learned in the military. “Prior preparation and planning prevents poor performance.” Such an approach ensured I never strayed from what I originally set out to portray. For example, say hello to an early idea of what Arden – the home planet where The IX is set – should look like:

arden-template

In creating a visual reference, I give myself a template to work from. In this case – a once beautiful world that thrived under a red sun. Now recovering from the ravages of a long and bitter war, it is only just reclaiming the majesty it once had. This, and other images and sketches, helped me transpose my initial ideas into the places you read about. My aim? To ensure there was sufficient detail so that you could envision yourself there. Let me highlight what I mean.

If you’ve read The IX, you’ll no doubt remember that various members of the Ninth journeyed through the lavender grasslands of the Sengennon Strait; lost themselves in the purple-green woodlands of the Tar’e-esh forests; basked in the majesty of the Garnet Mountains. Did you ever conjure those places in your mind’s eye? Did they look anything like this?

sengennonstrait-copy

tareesh-2-copy

garnet-copy

These are the preliminary references I used as a benchmark from which to create the full reality of Arden. (Now, don’t be fooled into thinking I only had these odd few pictures). As I hinted, I built up an extensive library of such images so that the places, the people and the technology you read about – and the ships – all contain the details you would expect in a factual reality.

Of course, when you incorporate so many elements you have to keep things to a realistic scale.

For example, I have all these pretty pictures of the places mentioned in The IX, but, just how far is it from Rhomane to the Starport, or to the Tar’e-esh Forest? How close is the astrometrics lab to the Starport itself?

As a writer, you need to know such details so that the events you describe within your narrative have that ring of authenticity. Fans will know Lieutenant Mac McDonald led a military expedition to the Starport to recover drones left there in storage. Some of his compatriots provided long-range cover from the astrometrics complex on top of Boleni Heights. Marcus Brutus headed an expeditionary force to the Shilette Abyss, a journey that took his pioneers through the Tare-esh Forest.

What were the distances involved? Over what terrain? Some used futuristic hover craft, others used horses. How long did their respective journeys take? How do you keep a track on timescales?

Have a look at the maps I devised to help me keep things in perspective.

ixtemprhomanemap-copy

ixtemprhomaneshilette-copy

Even though they’re basic, I know some of you might think…“Wow! That’s a lot of detail before you even put pen to paper.” Well, I agree. It is. But remember the analogy of a rough diamond I used earlier? This amount of attention pays divides as you write the story itself. It cuts and polishes your gem of an adventure and – as I’ve said before – adds those touches here and there that can make the narrative sparkle.

And when you get a professional to back that up? (Take a look at the map included within the front section of The IX. Devised from my sketches by cover designer, Roy Mauritsen, it adds that element of shininess that makes you think of my head).

ixtemprhomaneprofessional

You see, my ethic goes a little bit like this: My job is to give you – the reader – a place that you can escape to and lose yourself in. The easier it is for you to relate to the characters and visualize the world in which the story is set, then the deeper your connection, and the further your journey will take you. The further you go, the more you’ll appreciate what The IX is all about. And we’re both happy.

If you value your readers, you’ll be prepared to put the work in so that their fantasies seem so real, it’s almost as if they come true through the pages of your book. 🙂

**********

andrew-weston-2016

My name is Andrew P. Weston – though I’ve been called a lot worse by my wife when I’ve dared to say the forbidden words all women hate to hear…“No, you can’t have that.”

(Light blue touch paper and run…)

As an author, I make things up all the time. So I thought it might be a nice idea to use this “Top Ten” post to find out a little more about the real me – warts and all.

Oh really?

Yes. And we’re going to do this in a rather novel way.

What do I mean? Well, November 12th (today) is my birthday, making me a Scorpio, allegedly, one of the most mysterious signs in the zodiac. A great deal seems to be said about people born under this star sign, as exemplified by an advert my wife, Annette, spotted on a media site earlier this week.

scorpio-t-shirt

As you can see, the t-shirt is covered by quite a few astrologically based statements associated to Scorpios. But, are these statements true, or are they myth?

Let’s find out, shall we, by taking a little look at ten categories, working from the top down…

(And bearing in mind, I have to keep this rated PG –13) NO – you won’t be forced into listening to me lie about my feats of Olympian sexual athleticism.
Now, if we were talking about Greek comedy, I’m your man 😉

Has incredibly high standards

It’s true. I do have incredibly high standards. And it’s not just because I served in specialist roles within the military and police. It’s just the way I am. The thing is, it’s not one-sided either. While I do my best not to expect the impossible from people around me, I do demand those standards from myself – all the time. Which can be a real pain if things need to be done in a rush…because, you’ve guessed it…they still have to be perfect. (Bummer).

Great Kisser

As long as it’s not a certain part of other people’s anatomy…? Maybe.

(I never suck up to anybody, you see)

But if you want an honest answer, you’ll have to ask my wife. (Though everyone does comment on how happy she always looks.) I haven’t the heart to tell them that’s down to constant medication. Ah, the rigors of living with a Scorpio.

Fun fact: The Greek custom is to kiss people when greeting them and saying goodbye. I simply don’t do that. Kissing is for my wife…and my wife only.
(She’d only hunt them down anyway, and you’d never see them again. Then there’d be police, and questions, and…)

Kills haters with success and breaks them with a smile

My goodness this one is spot on. And as an author, I’ve very glad I’m a Scorpio. I’m in a position now where I’m starting to get noticed. That’s very rewarding, but it does attract the “haters”, those who want to elicit a reaction by writing / leaving inflammatory comments in things like reviews.

My advice? Never, ever respond to them openly. Let your continuing application to your craft and your motivation to improve provide the impetus to silence such scoundrels with the success that will come. Then, one day, somewhere far down the line when you’re terribly rich and famous, you can smile in secret behind the smoked glass windows of your limo and not give a fig about them at all.

Human Lie Detector

Most definitely. And here’s the weird thing, I can taste the mood of a room as soon as I walk in. I think it has something to do with one of the other categories we’ll discuss – being observant – as well as some form heightened perceptions. But it’s always been there, and it’s something I’ve always been able to do.

Imagine the fun I had in the police. As a detective, you attend all sorts of classes on human behavior and psychology. There are myriad “tells” that come in clusters that help you spot when a person is being economical with the truth.
And when you arm a Scorpio with such skills…? (Are they quite mad?)

Another fun fact: I sometimes play a little game when my wife and I go to parties. Spot the Walter – Walter Mitty – those charming characters who couldn’t be honest if their lives depended on it and are always out to impress with exaggerations and complete fabrication.

(Not that I do this all the time, of course, but it certainly helps liven the more tedious evenings up).

Introvert – but can socialize like an extrovert

This is spookily true with a capital spoo.

When many of my friends first got to know me, they never realized I’m an introvert. But that’s down to the way I can flip a switch in my head if I “feel” in the mood, or the circumstances are right.

Remember those police courses I mentioned? Like everyone else, I always thought there were introverts and extroverts. Full stop.

It turns out; there are introverted introverts; extroverted introverts; introverted extroverts; and extroverted extroverts…and all sorts of sub-categories in-between.
I’m an extroverted introvert. When I walk into a room of people I don’t know, you wouldn’t actually realize I was there. I’ll blend into the background and flit from shadow to shadow as if I don’t exist. But, if I meet someone I click with? Lights – camera – action! Cast of Annie, eat your hearts out. (Minus the ridiculously curly ginger hair of course)…

Observant

Yup! As with the lie detector category, it’s one of those things I have always had a knack for. And again, my previous occupations helped enhance that skill and turn it into something rather exceptional.

In the military, in particular, you had to notice all sorts of little details that other people tend to overlook. And thank goodness, for it kept me alive on a number of occasions.

You can imagine how this helped as a police officer too. I served in a crime management & intelligence bureau for a number of years where it was essential to spot patterns that others had missed. Interesting work and sooo satisfying, bringing baddies who thought they’d gotten away with it, to justice.

Want a fun fact: Although life gets quieter, you never lose the knack. I have to be very patient, especially at this time of year leading up to Christmas when I pretend I’m not paying attention to Annette’s unsubtle HINTS about certain items of clothing, jewelry, DVDs, or the music she likes. Hee hee.

It really does take a lot of discipline, as her little face sometimes screws up in frustration, thinking her suggestions have gone over my head…

(But the look on her face when she opens her presents and realizes I was paying attention all along? Priceless) All together now, aaaah.

Very good sense of humor

True, true, true, true, true! My humor is so intergalactically broad you could fly starships along it. The trouble is, it’s often gotten me into trouble too. My working environment didn’t help in this regard. Serving in the military and police force hones your humor. You have to be thick-skinned, broad-shouldered, trigger-fast and snappy just to survive. But, oh boy is it worth it. I’d love to expand, but this is PG-13.

Private – occasional loner

It’s like someone has been following me around. True again.

My wife and I have lived in Kos, one of the smaller Greek islands in the Dodecanese, for eight years now. We have a small circle of friends, both Greek and British. While most know all there is to know about Annette, very few are aware of the exact nature of my previous occupations, the places I’ve been, or the things I’ve done. Many people here don’t even realize I write books now, or that they’ve been international #1 bestsellers. (True).

I mix when I want to, and don’t feel the overwhelming need to regularly attend coffee mornings just to be sociable. I’m not being rude or standoffish, I just like to keep myself and my business to myself…which makes it a bit difficult doing things like this, eh?

Still, I can hide behind my screen. It has sandbags and barbed wire and a trench. And laser cannons. Why would I want to come out?

Fun fact: When we meet new people, they often complain that we end up talking about “them” all the time and they haven’t had the chance to find out anything about us.
(Just the way I like it).

Wants to be the best at everything

Myth. Though I can see the misconception.

I think it relates back to the #1 item about the standards expected of me. Ever since I was little, I was pushed to succeed. From the age of 4, I attended swimming training every morning before school. That bled over into other sports. By the time I joined the military, I’d represented my school, college and county (I think the American equivalent is a “state”) at rugby, swimming, athletics and various martial arts. I’d also been selected for international trials at two of those disciplines.
It was the same academically. I have a voracious thirst for knowledge and could read before I attended school. Add to that a sticky mind, and it was little wonder I managed to eat my way through various scientific curriculums, my chief subjects being mathematics, physics, astronomy – and in later life – criminal law.
To be honest, I don’t think its wanting to be the best so much, as wanting to do my best. If I start a project, be it learning a new language or picking up a new skill, I never give anything less than 100 %. As a child, teenager, young adult and now – apprentice doddery old fart – I’ve never been any other way (You can probably see that from the preparation and detail I devote to my stories).
While I appreciate some might think such an outlook adds a lot of needless pressure to life, I look on it as being normal.

Hell, I’m nearly 56, but I still train every day and teach martial arts on top of all the other stuff I do. Life’s for living. I’ll rest when I’m dead.

Question: The pulsating vein I have on the side of my head…Is that normal or down to the excessive amounts of medication I imbibe?

Protective of the ones I love

So true it hurts.

Not to be nasty, you understand, but you do not want to make my wife or children feel threatened. You just don’t…Not ever. Think about what I used to do. I would gladly serve prison time to even a debt if the magnitude was serious enough…That’s all I’ll say. The end. Goodbye.

So, there you go. A little look at the truth behind astrological myth. I can honestly say I’ve never paid much attention to things like astrology. I’m too levelheaded. However, having realized how accurate this picture is, I might just change my mind J

Until the next time you visit my asylum, do take care…

ix-audiobooklarge

Title: The IX

Author: Andrew P Weston

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Perseid Press

Book Blurb:
The IX:

Roman legionaries, far from home, lost in the mists of Caledonia.

A US cavalry company, engaged on a special mission, vital to the peace treaty proposed by Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln.

A twenty-first century Special Forces unit, desperate to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.

From vastly different backgrounds, these soldiers are united when they are snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing. Thinking they may have been granted a reprieve, imagine their horror when they discover they have been transported to a failing planet on the far side of the galaxy, where they are given a simple ultimatum. Fight or die. Against all odds, this group of misfits manages to turn the tide against a relentless foe, only to discover the true cost of victory might exact a price they are unwilling to pay.

How far would you be willing to go to stay alive?

The IX.

Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure.

Excerpt:

Ephraim entered another cipher into the console before him. All three main wall screens skipped channels to present a series of starkly different vistas. A palpable shock ran through the entire gathering. Several people gasped out loud.

The first monitor showed the rim of a burnished orange-red sun emerging from behind the bulk of a majestic disc. The star’s corona burned brightly, casting a warm scarlet glow through the upper reaches of the atmosphere of the world below it. The planet itself appeared etched in liquid flame around its edges, while the majority of its mass was cast in mystery and shadow.

The middle display revealed a similar scene but from a different perspective, this one being positioned above the terminator of sunrise and sunset. To the left of the picture, cotton-candy clouds swirled through a sea of sapphire-blue radiance. The crystal lens of the expanse was infused with vaporous trails of soul-wrenching tranquility. On the right, darkness dominated. Ebbing reluctantly under the relentless advance of dawn, it gradually surrendered its secrets. Noctilucent particles manifested themselves amongst the gloom, followed closely by the tallest mountain summits. Like beacons, they revealed tantalizing glimpses of the glory to come.

The final screen faced out into a Jovian sea of purple-blue grandeur. An ocean of midnight silk upon which the luminescence of a billion astral sprites had been cast in random abandon. Each pinprick blazed coldly with an unadulterated purity that struck the hearts and minds of the gathered assembly with the force of a sledgehammer.

Captivated, Ephraim became lost in the moment. Somewhere out there, a lifetime away, our real home sails serenely through the heavens . . . How ignorant we were of the dangers that exist, just a cosmic stone’s-throw away.

“Are these satellites able to show us Arden in greater detail?” Marcus asked. “What is the term you use? Can they . . . zoom in and remain clear?”

“They can indeed, my friend. For example . . . .”

Ephraim presented them with a vision of remarkable scope. A solitary peak pierced the night. Protruding toward the sunlight like a symbol of hope, its alpine cap strained to free itself from the twilight mists congealing about its slopes in a miasma of serpentine possessiveness.

The image wavered, and a closer view of that same pinnacle resolved itself. Now, the cobalt-blue frown of a granite leviathan stood forth in pristine clarity, peeking out from hoarfrost-covered brows. A snowy crown adorned the apex, and where the rock face greeted the dawn, it glittered cruelly, burning as if the entire edifice were ablaze within a skein of ice and flames.

Above the slopes on one side, a huge bird of prey stretched its wings and soared amid the very epitome of serenity sublime made manifest.

Everyone leaned forward. Ephraim chose that moment to switch satellites.

A contrasting swathe of undulating greens and blues made everyone start. The picture flickered and intensified. The panorama scrolled across verdant forests, swaying grasslands, and undulating plains. The luxuriant fertility of the temperate zones faded as the scanners moved on, toward the equatorial region.

The gaping chasm of the Shilette Abyss hove into view. Once there, Ephraim manipulated the controls to skim east. Less than a minute later, he held position above a point where the two sides of the canyon seemed to bulge toward each other. Changing resolution, he smoothly zoomed in to present a live-time image of the mining site from less than two hundred feet up. People could clearly be seen, walking to and fro about their business.

Marcus suppressed a laugh.

Several others cheered.

Mohammed and Saul stared at each other, the implications of this latest development written clearly across their faces.

“These places you’re showing us appear remarkably bounteous and free of infestation,” Saul commented. “Do you think this confirms our latest suspicions? That something here in the city appears to be the Horde’s target, and they’ve congregated in one location to get it?”

“Hazarding a guess? I’d say that was highly likely. But we can discuss that at tomorrow’s briefing. By then, we’ll have uploaded the specs of the rotational frequencies that Mac and his team use. Combining them to the already existing filters the satellites employ will give us an accurate assessment of exactly where on the planet our enemy is congregating. Be in no doubt — the addition of the Satcom-net will provide us with a huge tactical advantage we never dreamed of.”

“Such as?”

Ephraim scanned through the contents of his personal screen again. Then he glanced back at Brent and Asa. Each of them was privy to the information it contained, and both were grinning like maniacs.

Buy Links:

Now available in Audio:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/IX-Book-1/dp/B01MCZ7XEU/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1478062836&sr=8-1

Audible http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/The-IX-Audiobook/B01MCZ83B8/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1478545349&sr=1-1

E-book and Print:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/IX-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00RM54QBA

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/IX-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00RM54QBA

Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ix-andrew-p-weston/1121115575?type=eBook

B&N Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ix-andrew-p-weston/1121115575

Author Biography:

Andrew P. Weston is an ex-military ex-police expat from the UK who now lives with a large amount of cats in a medium sized house on a small Greek Island.

An astronomy and law graduate, he has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, the British Science Fiction Association and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

Publisher: Perseid Press

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-P-Weston-Author/102335216581151?ref=hl

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/andrewweston/

Andrew P. Weston Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

The IX Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

 

Writing Partners: How @RuthACasie Became a Best-Seller #amwriting #POTLReads


pen-and-ink

 

While writing is a singular thing, input and brainstorming with like-minded spirits is not only enjoyable but mind expanding. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across a plot issue that I couldn’t see my way through. At times, it takes an objective viewpoint, someone who isn’t tied to the story or characters to get me out of the weeds and into ‘the light.’

I have three close writing friends that have become my writing partners. We eagerly read each other’s manuscripts, brainstormed when we wrote ourselves into a corner and talked each other off the ledge when we wanted to give up and burn the pages. We are a strong but mighty group. Each of us focused on a different sub-genre. This isn’t usually the way a critique forms, but remember, we were friends first. For our group, each author brought a different strength ranging from conflict identification, point-of-view development, character growth, and voice. Their insight worked as well for my medieval romances as it did for Lita Harris’ women’s fiction, Emma Kaye’s paranormal romances, and Nicole S. Patrick’s military romances.

Once our stories were polished we each queried agents and editors, pitched at conferences and cheered each other on. We celebrated our publishing successes with wine and chocolate.

We wanted more. We enjoyed working with each other and decided to augment our writing by self-publishing short stories. With the help of Julie Rowe, who taught us the art of short story writing, we put together our first anthology. Because we each write in different genres we decided that some ‘thing’ needed to tie the stories together. We decided each story had a keepsake. When we were finished, we proudly titled our work, Timeless Keepsakes and published the Christmas anthology November, 2013.

 

books

 

Project Delivered! The thing was, we had such a great time working on this project that we decided we wanted to do it again. We got a better understanding of the industry and saw that our diverse sub-genres in one book were outside the norm.

We decided our characters would all meet in a specific place so we could mention them in each other’s stories. While our stories are individual and the characters in them the author’s, this format required us to work together— closely. We bounced scenes and characters off each other. For me, I had to develop a contemporary voice.

Our second book, Timeless Escapes was great to work on. We met at Nicole’s house and over homemade crumb cake, wine and chocolate we each developed our stories. We looked for places where we could stumble upon, meet up or encounter each other’s characters.

While we couldn’t always get together we developed a weekly Hangout call and at any time someone would reach out to do sprints (we used Chatzy.com)

After the fifth anthology we found we had difficulty keeping to the short story word count. Our characters had more to say. Writing novellas was our next step.

 

tsp-7-books

 

With our loosely connected stories, we thought a small town setting would work well and created Havenport, Rhode Island, a Newportish type of town.  This project has been awesome from creating a map of Havenport to Candy Apples, the town gossip who announces each of our stories.

We’ve grown as authors over the three years and as business women. We realized we needed to manage the finances and have an equal stake which led to the development of our business, Timeless Scribes Publishing LLC.

As equal partners, we each brought our expertise to the company, Emma our production officer and proof reader, Lita our financial officer, Nicole vendor management officer, and me marketing officer.

The company is an outlet where each of us can self-publish our own books. We work off a contract with the company and get royalty statements.

Our newest book is a collection of novellas. The stories all take place in Havenport and each one has a ghost just in time for Halloween.

giphy-haunted-cover

Haunted Havenport

 
by Ruth A. Casie,  Emma KayeNicole S. PatrickLita Harris

 
Published: October 25, 2016

 
Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

 

Blurb:

A multi-author romance novella boxed set.

 

Get the latest with Havenport Herald’s very own gossip queen, Candy Apples.

 

Gossip with a snarky, tart bite…

 

Ghosts Take Over Havenport!

 

Not real ghosts, don’t be silly people! Halloween is right around the corner and folks are gearing up for the annual Halloween ball at Havencroft Manor. I know I have my costume all picked out, how about you? Let’s hope Mrs. X can come up with something new this year, she almost split the seams of her Naughty Nurse costume last year. Yikes!

 

***

 

The Witching Hour will soon be upon us—anyone think Havencroft Manor’s most famous dearly departed will stop by for a visit? Such a haunting tale of love and betrayal makes this gossip columnist stand up and take notice. Keep reading, and we’ll take a stroll down memory lane to find out all the juicy details.

 

***

 

The room above Serendipity is open for business. Looks like they kicked off rentals with a séance on behalf of our favorite philanthropist. Rumor has it, he has a ghost problem. Some say he’s trying to get rid of the problem, while others are convinced he’s trying to bring The Ghost of You back to life. With the Goddess’s help, I guess anything’s possible.

 

***

 

Sorry, ladies, but looks like our hunky veterinarian may be off the market soon. A certain divorcee was hired to spruce up his bachelor pad, but from the look of things, my money’s on them turning it into a family home instead. Should be cozy with their latest rescue dog and the soldier’s spirit that tagged along. So long as A Spirit’s Bond doesn’t stand in their way, should be fun to watch.

 

***

 

They say the new widow in town has a way with ghosts. In fact, one may have followed her into town. To help or hinder? Hard to tell. Maybe the ruggedly handsome carpenter fixing up Havencroft Manor will find a way to help out a Kindred Spirit.

 

***

 

Come to think of it, maybe I spoke too soon about those ghosts.

 

Don’t forget to stock up on candy and have a Happy Halloween!

 

~Candy Apples

 
Add to Goodreads

 
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 

 

Ruth A Casie close

 

Author Biography:

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. Writing with the Timeless Scribes, Ruth also writes contemporary romance with enough action to keep you turning pages. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance. She hopes her stories become your favorite adventures.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http:// www.ruthacasie.com

 

Email:  mailto:ruth@ruthacasie.com

 

Personal Blog:  http://www.ruthacasie.blogspot.com

 

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+RuthSeitelman

 

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthACasie

 

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/RuthACasie

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/13GwuQ1

 

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ruth-seitelman/6/6b7/964

 

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/

 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4792909.Ruth_A_Casie

 

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We’re celebrating books and authors all October on the POTL Blog. Follow #POTLReads on Twitter to not miss our recommendations and to offer your own! Spread the Word! 

He’s a What?! Writing Your Characters Into a Corner by @LiviaQuinn #amwriting #guestpost #IARTG


hes-a-what-livia-quinn-gues-post-header

But I thought the problem was… 

I listened to an author speak a couple years ago at a workshop. She said, “Write yourself into a corner.” My first thought was, “I couldn’t do that. What if I couldn’t get my characters out of the hole I’d put them in.” Recently I realized that I’ve been doing just that unconsciously, or my characters have, for several books now. For a writer, it’s a very scary place to be but if I want my readers to be surprised I must be surprised as well.

In Eve of Chaos I brought the heroine and several characters to the brink of death, not knowing what was going to happen. Blame it on the Moon was the most terrified I’ve been since I’ve been writing. And yet, I’ve had readers tell me it was their favorite book.

When Destiny was overrun by creatures leaving our hero, a mere-mortal, to fight them, save the town and the woman he loves I had no friggin’ idea how a human was supposed to win over enemy zombies, flying heads, and other variants much less how to save the lives of my main characters who were suffering from the effects of the Para-moon. I usually let the characters lead me to solutions but at the end of Blame it on the Moon, Jack was blindsided with a change that no one saw coming—except me. Unfortunately, even that didn’t go as planned.

As book 5, Take These Broken Wings began I thought I knew what Jack’s problem was. But as the story progressed Jack was no closer to a solution until we got to the climax and suddenly events unfolded. I remember emailing my writer friends wide-eyed with wonder, “You’ll never guess what happened to Jack!” In Jack’s words, “To say I was surprised about the latest revelations would be like saying Wolverine’s fingernails were long enough for a manicure.”

 

The Destiny series could be likened to a Paranormal soap opera, similar to Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series or the world of Darynda Jones. Jack and Tempe’s Paramortal arc—their coming of age—is finally complete with book 5 but their story and Destiny’s continues. So here I am again after the events that happened at the end of Take These Broken Wings, thinking, “Zeus’ Rechargeable Bolts! now what?” A mysterious stranger has shown up in Destiny and his presence is certain to bring turmoil. Life is much more interesting when you don’t know what’s coming down the pike don’t you think? Its always nerve-wracking not knowing where my characters will lead me but I’m confident we’ll work through the challenges. What a ride!

 

Broken Wings EBOOK 06252016 copy

 

Title: Take These Broken Wings (Destiny Paramortals #5)

Author: Livia Quinn

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Southern Urban Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

Welcome to Mayberry, or should I say Middle Earth?

 

I’m Jack Lang, the Sheriff of Destiny, Louisiana. After my sexy redheaded mail lady zapped me, this seemingly normal small town turned into a never-ending stream of supernaturals – fae, dragons, vampires, djinn—not to mention some plain ol’ kooks. Ironically, I was all set to accept the dark side when I discovered the secret in my own DNA and, well, to say I was in shock would be like saying Wolverine’s fingernails were long enough for a manicure.

 

There’s one thing that can get me back on the job – a murder investigation. But I’ll also have to deal with supernatural hitmen, dragon hunters and being in the doghouse with my girlfriend. If I don’t get a handle on “My new life” before long, I’m going to lose the respect of the Paramortals, not to mention the woman I love.  Maybe I should just holler uncle now. Things can always get worse.

 

After all, this is Destiny, and ludicrous is its middle name.

 

Book 5 is the completion of Jack and Tempe’s Paramortal arc, an epiphany of sorts, but the story continues. If you enjoy the Paranormal Urban Fantasy Cozy worlds of Kristen Painter, Darynda Jones or Molly Harper, try the Destiny Paramortals series.

 

 

Excerpt:

Tempe’s father, Dutch finds his son, River, in the supernatural watering hole…

 

Dutch

My eyes narrowed and I rose at the mention of my ancient family name.

 

River’s eyes flared red, a warning, and he grated, “Who are you?”

 

The being in front of him was taller and wider than River, closer to my size and was covered in a flimsy grey cloak that swirled in a non-existent breeze. Ah, a weather fae, I determined at once. A hooked beak poked out from under the gray cowl and talons where the fingers should have been held the hood in place. The pungent foul odor identified it as a harpy, a vengeful lot that often traveled in groups though no one stood with this one.

 

The hole in the center of his “face” sounded like a washing machine as it pushed air in and out. At his hip a blue sword stuck out from under the layers. Not good. Weapons were supposed to be surrendered at the door except under certain extenuating circumstances. I stayed where I was, for the moment.

 

Thick cottony lips opened, the words came through its hole of a mouth, like it had been dredged up from the depths of the Isle. “I am Lord of the Wind. I’m here to reclaim my power from your family.”

 

Well, that’s a new twist. Millenia ago, harpies had been stripped of their power over hurricanes and strong storms, but it had nothing to do with my family, I thought as he drew the sword from the sheath with a clang and pointed it at one of the entrances. A stout gust entered the room. He’d used the sword to command his magic, like a wand.

 

River stood with one arm on the counter, not even jostled by the stiff wind, though others were struggling to stand. I stepped toward River. The creature’s head turned in my direction and a voice like a grating debris-filled torrent rasped, “You need your daddyyy to fight your battlllesss?” Tables rolled to the floor around us, and I sensed the harpy was frustrated that he’d been unable to budge us. River was steady as a granite mountain and… he was growing.

 

River crossed his arms over his chest and said, “Listen, Lord Blowhard. Not only don’t I need my father, but it’ll take a more than one of your impotent wind farts to take down a member of our family. My sister could take you in her sleep.”

 

The being bristled and the wind increased at River’s words. I stepped forward, addressing him. “Who told you we have your power?”

 

The harpy’s sparring partner approached and whispered into his ear, sending a glance toward the corner where another hooded figure sat at a table against the wall. His boss? Or just an interested party trying to prevent the fae from experiencing the fate of Morpheus?

 

The wind picked up under the blowhard’s gray rags and his mouth closed in a disgruntled line, but he lowered his sword and backed away, not releasing my gaze until he reached the table. Then pointing the sword one last time at River, he said, “We will finisshhh this later at a time of myyy choosssing.”

 

With a scraping of chairs, the so called Lord and his sparring partner cautiously backed out of the Moat, trying to save face, though Gods truth, it made them look like cowards.

 

River’s reaction was even worse. “What’s wrong with now?” he roared. Yes, he was itching for a fight, his voice shaking with rage, the first emotion I’d heard from him in weeks. Any other time I might think that was good but though he appeared to be in control, I felt the building energy he held under tight rein. What would it take for him to snap? I put my hand on his arm to bring him back to himself. He shrugged it off and stomped back to the bar.

 

My spine tingled a warning and I scanned the room to see where the threat was coming from. There in the corner, lounging against the wall near the fighters’ table was a black hooded figure. I felt his gaze though the shadow from his cowl disguised his features. His black-gloved hand moved across his chest and I caught the glimmer of something between the folds.

 

His mouth turned up in an evil grin and he drew the material closed but not before I got a brief look at the necklace hanging against his chest with a dragon’s eye in the center. I steeled myself not to react as he rose and sauntered out.

 

What was a dragon hunter doing in the Moat of Morpheus.

 

Buy Here:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com//dp/B01GK2MOB4

Amazon UK  https://kdp.amazon.com/amazon-dp-action/uk/bookshelf.marketplacelink/B01GK2MOB4

Amazon CA https://kdp.amazon.com/amazon-dp-action/ca/bookshelf.marketplacelink/B01GK2MOB4

All Romance https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-takethesebrokenwings-2140770-140.html

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/take-these-broken-wings-2

Itunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/take-these-broken-wings/id1118777289?mt=11

Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940153209159

Page Foundry  http://www.inktera.com/store/title/d4e2e093-1630-4de2-a54c-62861bf58f41

Scribd  http://www.scribd.com/book/313905436

 

Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copy

 

Author Biography:

Love happens…when you least expect it. So does the weather. So magic in one form or another, and storms, are at the heart of most Livia Quinn books. A DC native who lives on the bayou in Louisiana, Livia has stored up a wealth of quirky stories from her jobs as a mail lady, sales person, plant manager and small business owner that she’s anxious to share with her readers. Visit her soon on her new website https://www.liviaquinn.com

 

Social Media Links:

Blog: https://liviaquinnwrites.blogspot.com

Email liviaquinnwrites@gmail.com

Website: http://liviaquinn.com

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/liviaquinnwrites

Twitter    http://twitter.com/liviaquinn

Pinterest http://pinterest.com/liviaquinn

Goodreads http://bit.ly/22VXuev

Livia’s Author Central page http://amzn.to/1T5qmhN

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LiviaQuinn

Linkedin http://bit.ly/2dbYAP2

Instagram http://instagram.com/liviaquinnauthor

Independent Author Network http://bit.ly/2dlAr8L

Author Central http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KPDXXE2

 

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We’re celebrating books and authors all October on the POTL Blog. Follow #POTLReads on Twitter to not miss our recommendations and to offer your own! Spread the Word! 

How To Know Which #WritingTips to Follow and Ignore #amwriting #TuesdayBookBlog #ASMSG


Peanuts Writing Advice

Writing advice/tips are everywhere.  Everyone is an expert, even Lucy from Peanuts.  How do you know what to follow and what to ignore?  The simple answer is to listen to your inner voice and to trust your instincts.  Let’s look at a few examples.

One of the most asked pieces of advice people ask is, “How do I become a writer,”.  In one camp there are the intellectual people.  They say that you must study grammar and writing via classes and workshops.  While I understand their concept, when it comes to creative writing (novel/prose/poetry) that logical approach doesn’t work.  William Shakespeare didn’t take classes at Oxford to become a writer.  He wrote his experiences and what he observed in Elizabethan times.

Another camp are what I call the free spirits.  I fall into this group and my simple answer is, “If you can write something down on paper and share it with others, you are a writer.”  Writers write.  You either are or you aren’t.  It’s not as complicated as people make it out to be.

schedule

 

“I never have time to write.”  This is a big issue for many writers and trust me, I understand.  I have struggled with this too and I can tell you that what works for me may not work for you.  Each writer’s life is different and each person has their own time perimeters.

I read an article a long time ago talking about writer’s block.  It showcased 20 writers and their helpful tips for overcoming writer’s block.  One of the tips really made me see writing in a whole new light.  She said, “I always tell my writing students to write 300 words every day.  It is basically a page and everyone has time to write one page.”

I thought about it and it soon became my writing goal.  I promised myself to write 300 words every day.  I put a sticky note up in my writer’s nook and looked at it every day.  I can tell you all that I was true to my word and kept that promise.  I wrote 300 words each and every day.  Some days I did more and some days I struggled to make those 300 words.  I did it and I felt so proud of myself.

Ask yourself, what word count would be appropriate for me?  

Don’t say 1,000 words if you cannot do it.  Commit to a word count and make sure that it is not too lofty.  Don’t make it too easy for yourself, either.  This is a writing goal and it must propel you forward.

 

time management for writers

 

Time management is another key tip I learned from that article.  Being a writer is all about time management.  Many of us do have a day job, families and responsibilities.  Making time for writing can be hard but when you make it a priority, it becomes easy.  Schedule a block of your day/night in your time management planner and call it “writing”.  Tell your family/friends/roommates so that they know not to bother or interrupt you.

My writing time is in the afternoon from 1-4 pm.  I chose that time of the day to write because it works best for my life.  I shut off all the distractions and I concentrate on writing.

Writing advice is everywhere and it can be overwhelming.  Trust me, I’ve been there.

The best advice I can give you is to read everything out there, figure out what works for you and then trust your inner voice.  It will always guide you and never steer you wrong.

Remember the writing profession is constantly evolving.  Learn something new today.

 

POTL 2nd anniversary

 

E-book Sale:

During the month of September, Princess of the Light is on sale for the super-low price of $.99 USD. 100% of the proceeds during this time will go directly to our local food bank to help feed children and families in need. This is the first time Princess of the Light has ever been this low and who knows when it will be this low again.

 

Tagline:

Mary’s the Princess of the Light but her only hope is to make a pact with her enemy.

 

Blurb:

Mary Miller receives a startling visitation from Gabriel, the Messenger of God. The Archangel reveals an astounding truth–Mary is the Princess of the Light and even more amazing, her destiny is to battle Lucifer’s army of demons and restore the balance of good and evil on Earth. It’s getting harder to fulfill her new role and keep her identity secret while juggling her personal life, and when Than, Lucifer’s second in command, amps up the attacks on her, she knows she needs help.

 

Joe Deacons is everything she’s ever wanted in a man. And as providence would have it, in a moment of great need, he’s the Warrior of Light–the one who can help her defeat the forces of darkness.

 

Not so simple when they confront Lisbeth, a demon hell-bent on usurping Than and Lucifer himself.  When Lisbeth wages war and several innocent people die, Mary must form an alliance with her enemy in order to destroy her.  But will this be a grave error or the choice that saves their world?

 

Buy Links:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/469480

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/princess-of-the-light-nn-light/1120170709?ean=9781502438454

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Light-N/dp/1502438453

Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/princess-of-the-light-1

Indigo: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/princess-of-the-light/9781310880230-item.html?ikwid=princess+of+the+light&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

iTunes/ iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/princess-of-the-light/id913013798?mt=11

Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/5008419

 

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23009005-princess-of-the-light

 

couple N N Light

 

Author Bio: N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N. Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

They’re blissfully happy and love all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG, Independent Author Network and Marketing for Romance Writers.

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

100% of the proceeds of Princess of the Light go directly to food banks (US and Canada) in order to feed the hungry and help those in need. With only 7,500 books sold, N. N. Light will be able to set up a monthly endowment for the local food bank.

They’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

Bookbub  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-n-light

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNP_W_Light

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

iAuthor: http://www.iauthor.uk.com/princess-of-the-light:10294

Writing for Shared Universes: Guest Post by @WestonAndrew #amwriting #books #SFF


hellboundLARGE

 

As some of my readers will be aware, as well as being the creator of the IX Series (The IXExordium of TearsPrelude to Sorrow – TBR) I also devised the rather dark and devilishly intense character of Daemon Grim.

 

Now, this guy is none other than the Grim Reaper himself, Satan’s chief bounty hunter and go-to guy in times of trouble, and you get to read about his trials and tribulations in the #1 international bestseller, Hell Bound, and the sequel due toward the end of this year through Perseid Press, Hell Hounds.

 

The thing is, there’s more to the Reaper than first meets the eye, as his exploits form part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell shared universe.

HIH

 

Don’t know what Heroes in Hell is all about?
Heroes in Hell is a series of shared world fantasy books, within the genre Bangsian fantasy, created and edited by Janet Morris and written by her, Chris Morris, C. J. Cherryh and others. The first 12 books in the series were published by Baen Books between 1986 and 1989. The series was resurrected in 2011 by Janet Morris with the thirteenth book and eighth anthology in the series, Lawyers in Hell, followed by four more anthologies and two novels between 2012 and 2015.
Of note is the fact the stories from the series include one Hugo Award winner and two Nebula nominees.

 

The shared world premise of Heroes in Hell (also called The Damned Saga) is that all the dead wind up together in Hell, a devilishly wicked arena where anything and everything can go wrong in the relentless pursuit of their various ends.

 

Here’s the list of recent releases since 2011:

Lawyers in Hell
Rogues in Hell
Bridge over Hell
Dreamers in Hell
Poets in Hell
Doctors in Hell
Hell Bound

 

So, why would I want to contribute to a shared universe? The answer is simple– For the challenge.

 

Think about it. With the IX Series, I can basically do whatever I want. I can have as many protagonists and antagonists as I see fit. Run them through hoops. Put them here, there, everywhere and make them fit just about any situation I care to conjure up. On the other hand, when it comes to writing for Heroes in Hell, I can’t do that.

 

A shared universe is governed by its own fundamental forces. It has its own rules, as to where and when its sets. Principles govern it subjects regarding their interaction with each other and the realms they live in. Simply put, there are limitations on what you can and cannot do, especially if your story includes characters ‘owned’ by another contributor.

 

Daemon Grim, for example, is leader of the Hell Hounds, (a select cadre of damned hunters) and the Inquisitors (Satan’s special interrogators). Because these individuals are of ‘my’ devising, I have a pretty long leash on what I am allowed to do with them – as long as I stay within the guidelines governing the Rules of Hell.

 

However, Grim and his cabal regularly interact with other notables, such as the Undertaker, the Kigali, and the Sibitti. These particular creatures ‘belong’ to other authors so I have to follow an adopted procedure.

 

First, I need permission to use them in my own stories. Second, I have to agree not to involve them in anything that can change their nature or cause permanent repercussions. And finally, I have to ensure they ‘stay in character’ when they interrelate with others.

 

For example, in Hell Hounds, there’s a scene where Grim faces off against the Sibitti. As personified weapons of the plague god Erra, the Sibitti have a distinct way of fighting. So I need to ensure I stay true to their modus operandi.

 

Do you see the challenge in this? I can’t simply think up a fight scene – my specialty – and go with my natural flow. I have to adopt the specific current those characters I’m borrowing adopt when in battle, and ensure I reflect that appropriately.

 

This is particularly apparent in the yearly themed compilations Heroes in Hell is famous for. Look at the list of recent releases from 2011, and you’ll see topics as diverse as lawyers and dreamers to poets and rogues. Grim, for example, was introduced in the 2015 Doctors in Hell anthology. The next selected theme – due for release in Fall 2016, is Pirates in Hell, a calling completely at odds to that of a doctor, as I’m sure you’ll agree. Do you see the variety this affords?

 

But you might think…hang on, doesn’t that make the larger books you write a little disjointed? Well, it could, if I didn’t keep a careful balance. Let me explain:

 

When Janet invited me to write for Heroes in Hell, we came up with the idea of leapfrogging the novels with the anthologies to keep things tight and integrate Grim more fully into the universe. So, Hell Bound follows on immediately after the action in Doctors. The forthcoming Pirates short story – Pieces of Hate – carries on Grim’s adventures three months after the events in Hell Bound. In turn, Pirates will lead into Hell Hounds, and so on and so forth. Do you see the forethought and planning this involves?
You might wonder, why on earth do I put myself through it?

 

That’s easy. I want to improve.

 

As writers, we owe it to ourselves and our readers to become the best we can be. Now, I’m a disciplined and focused person. I work hard to develop and nurture my own distinct “voice” which I hope is apparent in my work. The trouble is, when we rely solely on our own preferences, we can sometimes limit the extent to which we can mature.

 

I like contributing to the shared universe because the various themes touch on topics I wouldn’t normally consider. Doing so accelerates my learning curve and broadens my skills and experience. In the end, it’s you – the reader – that benefits.

 

Intrigued?

 

Well, if you want to find out more about the diversity of writing for a shared universe, check out some of the latest releases in Heroes in Hell. Some great writers contribute to every edition, and their various styles ensure there’s always something in the anthologies for everyone.

 

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

Perseid Press: http://www.theperseidpress.com/

 

Andrew Weston

 

Author Biography:

Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

An astronomy and law graduate, he is the creator of the international number one bestsellers, The IX, and Hell Bound, (A novel forming part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with two of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for http://Astronaut.com  and Amazing Stories.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

 

Publisher: Perseid Press

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

 

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-P-Weston-Author/102335216581151?ref=hl

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/andrewweston/

 

Andrew P. Weston Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

The IX Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

 

Failure: Life’s Most Important Teacher #inspiration #affirmations #writers


failure Henry Ford

Say the word failure to a group of people and watch their expressions.  Most will cringe, some will say that everyone fails and one will smile.

Failure is not something that we, as human beings, are proud of.  In fact, we hate the word.  We wish there was no such thing as failure.

But without failure, there is no growth.  Without growth, we cannot have wisdom.  Without wisdom, we cannot be successful.

See where I’m going with this?

As a writer, I have had to deal with a lot of failure.  It’s the nature of the business.  You try something and fail.  No one bites and you go back to the drawing board to try again.  Princess of the Light started out at over 145,000 words.  It got edited, edited and edited some more.  Certain characters, words and scenes were cut away.  The end result was something truly beautiful.

Did it hurt that my first attempt was a failure?  

Sure!  It hurt to kill off my darlings, as Stephen King opines.  But with each one, I grew wiser as a person as well as a writer.  I learned less is more and that was a hard lesson for me to learn.  But I’m wiser and am on my way to success.

Are you dealing with something and are afraid of failure?

Instead of being afraid of failure, flip your perspective and think of it as an opportunity to grow in order to gain wisdom.  You’ll be amazed by how less failure hurts when you have this new perspective.  Life is filled with challenges and with each failure, you are one step closer to success!

How do you deal with failure? Share in the comments below.

MRS N, the Writer

#Writers, Embrace Those Writing/Revising/Editing Deadlines #amwriting #amediting #writingtips


Writing Deadlines

 

Deadlines.  All writers/authors have them.  No matter who you are or what you are writing, you have deadlines.

I’ll let you in on a little secret.  Are you ready?

Deadlines can be very inspirational. 

Check out this illustration above and raise your hand if you can relate.  I raised my hand and you should too.  Deadlines don’t have to be scary or impossible.  In fact, you could be producing some of your best stuff under a deadline.  Let me explain.

Throughout the writing/revising/editing process, I have had to be under deadlines.  Some of them were intense and others were pretty easy.  I add and/or delete scenes.  I’ve  added conflict where there was none before.  I’ve switched POVs and even deleted a few characters.  Each of these changes needed to be done under a deadline.  Truthfully, each of these changes were hard for me to do and at times, I wanted to quit.  But thanks to my supportive and loving husband, MR N, I stayed the course and met each deadline.

How did I do it?  Here are some ways I faced down my writing deadlines and was victorious:

  • I created a plan.  Most of my deadlines were thirty days.  I approached it the same way I used to approach tasks when I was a manager at a bookstore.  I wrote down everything that needed to be done and in the order they needed to be completed.  I looked at the time I had to set aside for completing the tasks (in addition to my other priorities aka life).  I had six hours a day for five days a week for four weeks which equaled somewhere around 120 hours.  I divided the time I had available by the tasks I needed to do to meet the deadline.  Sounds simple, right?

Here’s an example from 2014: When I was changing my POVs from six to two ( I know… lol) for Princess of the Light, I had given myself ten days to get it done.  My book was 465 pages at that point and that meant I had to go through 50 pages a day (or 8 pages an hour).  I know it sounds like a lot but I’m very proud that I completed it in nine days! I got on a roll and just rocked it out!

Instead of focusing so much on all that you have to get done, focus instead on what you have to do today.  It doesn’t seem so daunting and it really works!

  • Minimize the distractions. I know how distracting email, social media and the phone can be.  You know me, I adore Twitter!  It can suck hours of my life away without me knowing it.  But when you are against a tough deadline, try your best to shut down as many distractions as possible.  Here’s a trick I learned.  For every two hours I wrote/edited/revised, I gave myself 20 minutes on social media/email as a treat.  I didn’t get burned out and it allowed me to celebrate all of my hard work.

 

Deadline Approaching

 

  • Listen to your favorite music.  I find that Pink Floyd really helps me to write/revise/edit.  No matter what the music may be, put it on and let the words flow.

 

  • Tell your Critique Partners, writing friends and/or significant other what is going on.  Not only will they understand your disappearance and lack of emails, they’ll help you get through it.  Writing/editing/revising is hard work and it will take all of your energy to get it done.  Let them be your cheerleaders and venting buddies.

I can’t tell you how many times I cried on MR N’s shoulder and vented my frustrations.  I also vented to a few close writer friends and their insights was invaluable.  Promise me, though, to NOT vent on social media!!! Unless it is a closed group that no one can access, it is better to vent via phone or email. 🙂

 

diamond

 

  • Let the stress of the deadline wash over you.  Think of yourself like a diamond.  You started out as a dark piece of charcoal and the more stress you were under, the more brilliant you became.  Look at you now… a sparkling diamond that everyone clamors for.  Your writing is like that too.  The more editing/revising you do, the chaff is stripped away and a beautiful priceless story is left.

 

I hope these tips helped you to face your next deadline.  Face it, head-on!

Do you have any tips/techniques for overcoming deadlines?  I would love to hear from you! Together we can all learn to defeat those deadlines!!

Until next time,

MRS N, the Deadline Defeater 🙂

#WritingTip: Finding Your Writing Voice #ASMSG #amwriting #IAN1


Writing Voice

 

What is one of the most important components that makes a writer unique?

His/Her writing voice.

Each writer has a singular writing voice. So many writers crave to be best sellers so they try to copy someone else’s writing voice. I am saddened by this because each writer has a special story inside begging to be told. The story needs to be told in his/her own writing voice.

What is our own writing voice and how do we find it?

Read the quote above.

“Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are.”

It doesn’t say your writing voice is supposed to mimic [insert famous author’s name here]. It’s a reflection of you and everything you are. Think about it for a minute. You are unique and you have experienced life with all its ups and downs. Your perspective on life is very different from mine (or anyone else’s). Every experience, every emotion, every belief is wrapped up in you and it defines who you are.

Your true writing voice reflects you. Let it do what it was meant to do.

“The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences.”

I know many writers will disagree with this statement. I ask you to hear me out for a second. I’m talking about your writing voice, not your book. In order to tell a story, as a writer, we need to have a clear understanding of grammar and a firm hold on the English language. It’s called honing your craft and it is necessary to be a successful writer.

When I say the job of your voice is not to make well-shaped sentences, I am talking about letting the story speak for itself. Free your writing voice of the shackles of grammar and syntax. I believe (and this is my own opinion here) when you’re constantly worried about the sentence structure and creating the perfect paragraph, you’re strangling your writing voice. The creativity and emotion that drives your writing voice needs to have nothing holding it down. Release your writing voice and just let go. Fixing the grammar comes later in the revision and editing stages.

“In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.”

When readers read from the perspective of your writing voice, they should get a glimpse into your inner soul. Writing is a very intimate profession and while a great deal of us writers are introverts, we have a keen sense of the world around us. We are revealing a small portrait of our lives through the guise of a story. We pour everything we are and hope to be into our stories and our writing voice should reflect that.

As many of you know, I wrote Princess of the Light as a result of a personal encounter with a homeless man. I wrote Princess of the Light using my own writing voice (not another famous author’s) and so much of me is in the pages of my story. I never wrote it to make a million dollars or to be a best selling author. Although, those are lovely things. 🙂 I wrote it because my heart and soul burned with the message of spreading the Light. Nothing more.

How do I find my writing voice?

The simple answer is to write. The more you write, the stronger your writing voice becomes and it will be easier to spot. I know you are scratching your head confused. Want a few exercises to help you? Here are five for you to try:

– Keep a diary. Record everything that happens throughout the day and be sure to add in your own perspective.

– Free write. I do this a lot and it really helps me concentrate and listen to my writing voice.

– Blog. I found the daily act of blogging to be very helpful in discovering my writing voice. There is something so freeing to blogging. You put words together on a certain topic and you get immediate feedback.

– Ask your writing mentor, critique partners, writing group members and/or closest friends to describe your writing voice. While it is often hard to spot it in ourselves, others will find it easy.

– Read. While you are reading, ask yourself what the author’s writing voice is like, why you love/hate it and then write it down. There are millions of books out there filled with writing voices for us to discover. On the job training has never been easier to obtain.

My writing voice is a reflection of who I am and it took a lot of hard work to get to this point. It’s easy to copy another writer’s voice. You see it every day, especially if you’re a voracious reader like me. Take the plunge and release your writing voice. Don’t be afraid; you were born to do this. 🙂

MRS N, the Writer

#TBT: My First Blog Post #amwriting #blog


Today is Throwback Thursday all over social media and I thought it would be fun to share with you my first blog post.

I remember writing this blog post and feeling such fear. Fear of what? Fear of rejection, fear of people laughing at me, fear of the unknown. I know it’s funny now, after the hundreds of posts I’ve written since, but back then I was petrified.

I had a dream and I shared it with the world. Now, my dream is a reality and I’m dreaming bigger dreams.

My advice to all: never give up and believe in yourself.

Enjoy the walk down memory lane. Let me know what you think. 🙂
A WRITER’S DREAM
Posted on July 10, 2013 by MRS N, the Author

mickey writing

 

When I was six years old, I wrote my very first story. It was only three sentences long but to me it was the start of my love of writing. I don’t even remember what I wrote but I remember the feelings it evoked. Pride, fear, elation and wonder filled my soul. It was better than any candy in the world! I was hooked!

As time went by, I learned how to be a better writer and storyteller. I loved taking an idea in my head and creating something out of it. Moreover, people enjoyed my stories and that was the best part.

When I graduated high school and went onto higher learning, people asked me what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. First it was the guidance counselor. I replied simply that I wanted to become a writer. She wrinkled her nose at me and said that I better become a journalist instead.

I knew that being a journalist was realistic but it wasn’t me. I hated the news and my stomach turned at the mere sight of blood. So I told her that journalism wasn’t for me.

My family asked me and since I didn’t want to seem different, I replied, “Maybe a psychologist.” They seemed satisfied with that and I liked learning about how people click. I had been to a few in my teen years and they all seemed to be nice people with fancy cars and houses.

I was studying for finals one night and was feeling miserable. My soul was not happy and I knew that I needed to write. So, I started writing and two hours later, I had written a short story. I put it in my desk drawer and went to bed.

That night, I had a dream. I was in a bookstore and I was signing books. The people were so excited to meet me and I looked happy. One person after another said how much they loved my book and how they were making changes in their life to become better.

I woke up smiling and knew that one day I would be a writer. I didn’t know how or in what way but I was determined to become a writer.

Years have passed since that day and I have taken many detours. Many people thought that I would not become a writer and even tried to drive it out of me. It wasn’t practical and the failure rate was huge.

I searched inside myself and found that no matter what went on in my life, I always had my gift of writing. It got me through some very hard times and made me a better writer.

Today, I am so proud to call myself a writer and am writing my first book. I have always believed in myself and here I am, living my dream!!!

Thank you, Walt Disney, for inspiring me to dream!!!!

Run, Don’t Walk Toward Your Dream Life #inspiration #dreams


Dreams

 

Every one of us has a dream life.  It could be retiring to an island paradise or traveling to Paris.  It could be writing a best selling novel or composing the next great symphony.  It could be climbing a famous mountain or being one with nature.  It could be getting married and having children.  It could be a dream career or not working at all.  No matter what it is, I encourage you to run towards your dream life.  Be confident.  Be the person you’ve always dreamt of being.

I am thrilled to say that I am living my dream life.  It started the day I first started writing, Princess of the Light, and it continues to this day. I’m proud to say I’ve published three books and writing my fourth.  With every step of the publishing process, I am having the time of my life! I love being an indie author and the total freedom it gives me.  Sure, it is hard work and sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed.  But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

What is your dream life?  What is it that tugs at your heart?  Whatever it is, go after it!  You will regret it if you don’t at least try.  It may seem impossible at first but trust me, with confidence and determination, your dream life will become possible!  Once you get a taste of it, you will crave more and dream bigger. 🙂

Start today!  What are you waiting for?  You never know until you give it a go!

MRS N, the Author 🙂

To Pen Name or Not: That is the Question #amwriting #writingtips #writers


pen name cartoon

 

One of the first questions a writer needs to answer is whether to choose their given name or create a pen name.  What is a pen name?  A pen name is a name invented by the author or publishing house.  Pen names have been around for hundreds of years.  Here are some famous pen names:

Ann Landers

Anne Rice

Anthony Burgess

C. S. Forester

Charles Moulton

Christopher Pike

Dr. Seuss

Ellery Queen

J. K. Rowling

Joseph Conrad

Lemony Snicket

Lewis Carroll

Mark Twain

Robert Jordan

Sidney Sheldon

Toni Morrison

Voltaire

There are several reasons why these famous people and many more take a pen name.  They range from being more marketable as a neutral name to wanting to become someone new.  As many of you know, N. N. Light is my pen name.  I chose it for many reasons.  Here are a couple:

– Privacy

-Mystery

-Intrigue

-Flows off the tongue

I wanted to choose a pen name that had a nice ring to it and allowed me to keep my writing life separate from my private life.  I brainstormed with MR N and we came up with N. N. Light.

How did we come up with it?  Both of our names start with N and Light is simply who I am at the core.  🙂 See… N. N. Light.

So you want to have a pen name too?  Here are few tips:

– Pick a name that is easy to say and something people can remember.  The worst thing is to have a pen name that no one can pronounce.

-Use initials if you want your gender to remain mysterious.

-Do a little research and make sure the name is not taken.  This is as easy as going onto Amazon and typing in your pen name.  If nothing comes up, chances are you are good to go.

-Try it out on your friends and family.  See what they think.

-Say it aloud several times.  Does it roll off the tongue?  You’ve got a winner!

-See what it looks like in print.  Create a mock book cover and see how it looks.

If you make the big plunge into pen names, I think you will find it fun!  If it works for famous authors, why can’t it work for you?

Have you decided on your author name?  What are some of your favorite pen names?  Let me know in the comments below!

I remain your steadfast yet mysterious MRS N or better known as…

N. N. Light

#AmWriting: Is Writing Fiction Easy as Most People Think #writingtips #ASMSG #IARTG


writing novel

 

I get asked a lot about the craft of writing and usually the first thing they ask is: What kind of writer are you?  Fiction or Non-Fiction?

I smile and reply, “I write fiction.”

They shrug and usually say, “Oh, that’s easy to do.”

Really? Have you done it???

I want to scream that at them but instead I just smile.  Most people, who are not writers, do not understand the process of writing.  They think it’s easy, like unpeeling a banana or taking out the garbage.  But in reality, it is one of the most difficult things a writer can do.  You’re creating a whole new world and you have to describe it with such detail that the reader will be sucked in.  You’re creating characters that have to appear real to the reader and yet, each character has to jump off of the page.

hemingway on characters

When you are writing fiction, you are bypassing reality and it is a true shock to the system.  I remember when I was writing Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella, the characters filled my head and I would suddenly be inside the story.  I  watched television with MR N but then my vision would blur and I was transported into the scene I was working on earlier that day.  I became Sally and was feeling what she was feeling.  MR N would nudge me and I would shake my head to clear it.

Let me be perfectly clear, I love writing fiction and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  The process of writing a novel is hard and many people just don’t get that.  So the next time someone asks you about your writing, be proud of writing fiction.  It’s hard work and can overtake you.  But the end result is truly a thing of beauty! 🙂

Keep writing!

MRS N, the Author

I write fiction

Ways to Support the Author in Your Life #ASMSG #IARTG #IndieAuthorsBeSeen


My fellow author has some very insightful advice for authors, their circle of friends/family and followers. Saying something as simple as, “You can do it” or “You matter” goes a long way to supporting an author.

MRS N aka N. N. Light

Legends of Windemere

Yahoo Image Search Yahoo Image Search

Many of us have seen the above picture and it’s right.  That is a great way to support an author that you enjoy and want to see them continue.  Yet, there is another area of support that I wanted to touch on.  What do you do if the author in question isn’t a favorite, but part of your non-cyberspace circle?  Maybe a spouse, a sibling, a friend, or somebody that you interact with outside of a computer.  Is there anything else you can do besides the following phrase?

“I support you and know you can do it.”

This is a powerful phrase, but you have to be ready to back it up with actions such as simply telling others about the book or even beta reading if asked.  Don’t say it and follow up by asking about the author’s Plan B, grilling them about sales made, pointing…

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Feeling Overwhelmed? Take a Single Step #inspiration #stress #motivational


journey

 

Are you feeling overwhelmed?  Do you have a work or school project deadline looming?  Do you feel the stress and anxiety building inside your heart?

STOP!  Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.  In.  Out.  In.  Out.  Open your eyes and smile.  Go ahead, I’ll wait here.

Now, do you feel better?

Feeling overwhelmed is a natural occurrence and trust me, I have been there.  My first reaction to a looming deadline is to feel overwhelmed.  A thousand thoughts of doubt fill my head and I usually have to take a nice long walk to clear my head.

I read an interview of Ernest Hemingway back when I was taking an English Literature course at University.  In the interview Hemingway stated that editing was a bitch but in order to make his masterpiece appeal to the masses, he did what his editor wanted.  “Some called me a prostitute and maybe that is true.  I’m a rich prostitute, though.”

I am not saying that I agree with Hemingway here (and please don’t call me a prostitute) but I agree with what he’s trying to convey.  Editing hurts but it is all for the greater good of the book.  I want each of my books to be THE best book the world has ever seen!

When you are feeling overwhelmed, stop and look at what is causing you to feel this way.  Figure out what the next step is and take it.  Take it step by step and you will soon feel confident and on your way to success!

MRS N 

Revising the First Draft: 3 Tips to Succeeding #amwriting #writingtips #MondayBlogs


 

Revision

 

Writers are filled with trepidation but I think the one area we spend far too much time bemoaning is the act of revision. We poured our heart and soul into the first draft. We shunned our friends and family in order to be focused on writing. We lost sleep and ate more than our fair share of chocolate. Everything came second to completing the first draft. We re-read it with pride and think to ourselves…

What perfection! Every reader is going to swoon and it could very well win the Pulitzer. 😉

We send it off to our editor/critique partner and wait for the compliments to start rolling in. We wait patiently and our hearts drop as we see the dreaded red pen comments.

This makes no sense.

Where did this character come from?

Drop this whole scene.

Revise. Revise. Revise.

Revision is where the true essence of a story reveals itself. The first draft is only the starting point. Revision is like a roller coaster ride. You start off slow and make the climb to the first descent. Everything is going smoothly and then your world is rocked as you plummet. The adrenaline rushes to your head as you fix one thing after another. With each revision, you ride the roller coaster and your story gets better. It doesn’t matter how many times you revise; what matters is that the revision works.

As a writer, I hate revising. Truthfully, it’s an ego thing. I know, I know, it sounds bad but I’m just being truthful. Those are my words, my characters, my dialogue, my story. I wrote it so it has to be perfect, right?

Wrong.

I’m too close to it to see its flaws. I need an unbiased person to help. That’s where an editor comes in. He/She sees what needs to stay and what needs to go. He/She points them out to me and I can make the necessary changes.

When I was working on Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella with my editor, I chucked my ego and really listened to him. He wasn’t trying to crush me as a writer. He loved my story as much as I did and wanted it to succeed. I took his nudging advice and made my story even better. I got rid of the fluff and concentrated on the key aspects of the plot. Sure, it was hard and at the end, I was mentally exhausted. The result, though, is a beautiful story about family, falling in love and figuring out life in your early-twenties.

Are you suffering with revisions? Don’t know how you’ll make it through? Here are three quick tips to revising with ease:

-Take off your writer glasses. As writers, we see our work differently than others. Yes, this is your creation but in order for the world to love your story, you have to be willing to change things. Don’t be rigid. As Stephen King says, “Kill your darlings.” I hear groans all over the world but there’s truth to that statement. As a writer, you have to be willing to delete your favorite scene, character and subplot. It’s all for the betterment of the story.

-Put on your reader glasses. All of us are readers and we have an affinity for books. We have studied the craft of writing and want to tell our story in the best way possible. It’s all for the reader, right? So don your reader glasses and look at your story with fresh eyes. Pretend you don’t know anything about this story or any of the characters. As you are reading, take notes. If a question pops into your head, write it down. When you are through reading, go through your notes. Was there a missing character or did something not make sense? Fix what needs fixing, no matter how much it hurts. At the end of the day, you want nothing to stand between your story and the reader.

-Read through your editor’s notes three times before revising.  Why three times? The first read is to see what the notes say. You may be offended or hurt by what is said. Don’t take it personally. Keep reading through. When you are finished with the first read, walk away. Take a few days off. Let the notes sink in. Don’t start revising.

The second read is to start brainstorming. Reworking scenes and characters takes time and when you read through the notes a second time, you will start to brainstorm how to make it work. Trust me when I say this takes time. Let your mind work through it.

The third time you read through the notes is when you come up with a plan of attack. Outline what needs to change and what needs to stay. If you need to flesh out a character, write down how you plan to do that. If you need to delete/create scenes, map out how the plot will change.  This is also a perfect time to make sure you understand clearly what your editor is trying to tell you. If you have any questions about the notes, please take my advice and ask your editor to explain. You need to be on the same page, so to speak.

Revising doesn’t have to feel like going to the dentist. It can be fun, even, if you know how to approach it. Your editor is not out to get you or tell you what a horrible writer you are. You are a wonderful writer and have created a beautiful story. Revising is just trimming away the excess to reveal the Hope Diamond within.

Do you have any revision tips/tricks you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear from you! Comment below and if you liked this blog post, I’d appreciate it if you’d use the share buttons below. 🙂

 

Actions not Mistakes Define You #inspiration #amwriting #MondayBlogs


Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. As human beings, we are bound to make mistakes.  I had a friend of mine ask me the other day if I regretted self-publishing. I shook my head and said no.

“Don’t you feel less of a writer? Don’t you wish you had been published by one of the big five?”

I paused for a full minute before replying. “No,” I started. “The publishing industry is changing and more people are self-publishing than ever before. They are taking creative control over their book and it is empowering. Sure, it is more work to market your book but it is worth it.  I was inspired to write Princess of the Light and to share it with the world.  I am all about feeding the hungry and spreading the Light, not selling a zillion copies.”

We then moved onto other topics but it got me thinking.  There is this stigma about self-published authors and it’s a pity. No matter what avenue a book takes, it should deserve the same opportunities. Equal opportunity reading, that’s my policy as a reader.

As a writer, I have made some mistakes. Do I regret them? Sure I do but they don’t define me as a person or as a writer.  Each mistake taught me a valuable lesson and I am a better writer for it.

You have make mistakes too. Don’t let your mistakes define you!  You are a beautiful person with the Light shining within you. Learn from your mistakes and don’t repeat them. Your actions define you!

MRS N

Humility: An Exercise in Staying Grounded #inspiration #humility


humility

Are you exercising humility?

This morning, I learned all about humility. As a writer, I’m used to rejection but when I look deep down inside, I hate it. Rejection fills me with self doubt and I start to wonder what I’m doing wrong.

I had a rejection letter in my inbox this morning. I read it twice before reading it to MR N. He looked me with a serious look.

“Why do you look defeated?” He raised an eyebrow.

I shrugged.

“We talked about this already. As much as we would’ve loved to be a part of this opportunity, with our business growing, we just don’t have the time. Right?”

I nodded.

“So what’s the deal?” He looked at me with concern.

“I just wanted to be the one to tell them no.” I pouted.

He hugged me.

Sounds really selfish, doesn’t it? I wanted to do the rejecting, not be rejected. I feel ashamed for thinking this way and I almost didn’t write about this today. But we’re all friends here and I wanted to share with you my thoughts and feelings.

A little while later, MR N said something profound.

“We have to be humble, my love. If it wasn’t for this, we wouldn’t be as successful as we are right now. Humility has to rule in our hearts.”

Humility. A life lesson that every person learns, whether they want to or not. I equate it to having cold water thrown in your face. It wakes you up and makes you rethink things.

Are you exercising humility?

Life gives us teaching points and they can come from anywhere. Be open to learning new things and understand that there is always someone with more insight and experience than you. It’s not about being the best but being open to what life has to teach you.

Exercise humility. Keep in mind that there’s always someone superior than you. Even a child can teach you something new.

MRS N

Meet Award-Winning Author Michael Samuels #AuthorInterview #selfhelp #books


It’s January and many people are striving to improve themselves in 2016. Award-winning author Michael Samuels has written a series of self-improvement books that inspired me in 2015. His first book, Just Ask the Universe, changed my life. I asked him if he would like to sit down for a candid interview and he agreed. It’s my pleasure to introduce Michael Samuels to the Princess of the Light blog. Take it away, Michael:

 

What book do you wish you could have written?

I really wish I could have written Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  That book has inspired millions to use their thoughts to manifest their reality.  It was the seed that started it all for a lot of very successful people.  Plus it’s sold millions and millions of copies.

 

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

My list is vast, but off the top of my head the following have been HUGE inspirations for me, especially in writing Just Ask the Universe. Wallace Wattles, Dr. Joseph Murphy, Rhonda Byrne, Anthony Robbins, Thomas Troward, Robert Collier and Pam Grout.  They are my mentors.

 

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

Besides making unbelievable children, I cannot believe how many people I affected positively with Just Ask the Universe.  My words, written on my laptop, in my den, at night…have touched people all over the world.  There is no feeling to describe it.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Writing screenplays full time that get produced into feature films.  Being paid big bucks by Hollywood Studios to take their ideas and turn them to screenplays.

 

Have you always liked to write?

As far back as I could remember, I’ve always written something. Whether screenplays, stories, poems, lyrics…I’ve always loved to write.  Just took my twenty something years to hone my skills…which I’m still doing.

 

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Steal like an artist.  When you see something you really like – a quote, a billboard, an idea in a magazine – text it to yourself to use in your works.  But don’t plagiarize.  Use the idea and form it to your own verbiage.  I’ve been doing this for years.

 

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I have read every single review for Just Ask the Universe a dozen or so times. I cannot believe I have over 647 reviews and ranked number 4 on Amazon in spiritual.  I never respond to good or bad reviews.  I leave it up to the critics to determine if my work is good or not, which it generally has been. Take negative reviews to heart and lose sleep over them.  KIDDING!  Laugh it off.  When you create something, anything, someone will have something bad to say about it.  It’s normal. It’s healthy. Read it and move on and know that it won’t affect you or your work one bit.

 

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

Flying. Ugh, I hate flying.

 

Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?

My den. With my laptop on a pillow on my lap.  Travel Channel or Food Network on in the background.

 

Do you write naked?

Nope, but I do write in my PJs.  An Under Armour t-shirt, ADIDAS sweat pants and socks.  So cozy!

 

What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

I’ve never told a fib.

 

Have you ever been in trouble with the law?

Nope. I’ve always talked my way out of every speeding ticket I’ve ever had.

 

Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

I once made a Supercomputer to get me out of pickle using a paper clip, scotch tape, an ice cream cone, some spit, and some vitamin C tablets.

 

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

Never smoked in my whole life. I do enjoy a White Russian once or twice a year when I’m feeling frisky, but I generally do not drink at all.  My life is pretty plain. I don’t eat carbs or sugar. My life is what you call – vanilla. A vice for me is a piece of dark chocolate.  Sometimes I like a good craps game, otherwise I’m an angel.

 

What is your biggest fear?

Flying. Ugh! If I could drive everywhere I would. Being in a metal tube with people I’ve never met, 35,000 feet in the air, is not my cup of tea. I’ve flown thousands of times – I just hate it.

 

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Manifested everything in his life. Except being dead.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

To teleport from NY to LA. Anything not to fly.

 

If you were a super hero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?

Aerophobia Teleportation Boy. Fear of flight, so he teleports everywhere instead.

 

What secret talents do you have?

I have a massive, enormous tongue. Like Gene Simmons is jealous of the size of my tongue.  I can touch my nose with it.

 

What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

Sell a Hollywood screenplay and get the movie made. Write a Star Wars movie and get it made.

 

If you could have any name in the world, what would you choose?

Slubberdegullion Blazebeast Embermouth the third.

 

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

Nope. I love my body too much and I’m incredibly cautious.

 

Just_Ask_The_Universe_cover

 

Title: Just Ask the Universe

Author: Michael Samuels

Genre: Self-Help / Spiritual

 

Book Blurb:

Just Ask the Universe is not a book of New Age gobbledygook filled with empty promises. Angels won’t fly from above and touch you while you’re reading. You will not be asked to practice unusual or tedious rituals. There will be no preaching or sage advice and there will most certainly be no channeling of your inner chakras or dressing like Friar Tuck.

Just Ask the Universe is a realistic guide to personal development. By creating a blueprint for self-growth and commanding your subconscious mind, the Universe will manifest all your dreams.

For over two decades, Michael Samuels has studied and methodically tested hundreds of books on self-improvement, spirituality, and the metaphysical. Just Ask the Universe accumulates the wisdom from “thought teachers” like: Wallace Wattles, Anthony Robbins, Rhonda Byrne, Joseph Murphy, Robert Collier, and Napoleon Hill, and compiles it under one unified lesson: if your thoughts are clear and in harmony with your mind and the truth of your surroundings, your life can be filled with all the richness the Universe has to offer. As a culmination from these teachings, Michael will show you how to use simple and fun techniques to create a more desirable future. This approach, coupled with real-life stories, will teach you how to achieve personal power to overcome any barrier.

Regardless of what your present circumstances might be, by following the principles in this book, you will be able to gain power over your destiny. The Universe is listening. All you have to do is just ask.

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

Late one night, I saw an infomercial for Anthony Robbins’s Personal Power II program. I knew I wanted to change, but I didn’t believe in buying the snake oil. Here was a guy who lived in a castle in California earning hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and there I was, living in my parents’ house, lying in my unmade bed, criticizing Tony and belittling his success. I was jaded beyond belief, yet I still mustered up the courage to buy the program. Within thirty days, my entire perception of this world altered. My thought process was transformed. The Personal Power II program awakened my thirst for self-improvement.

There was one turning point in the program in particular that has stuck with me to this day. On or about day 14 of the program, Tony asks you to list your goals— personal development goals, “things” goals, and financial goals. At the time of listening to the program, I followed Tony’s orders and wrote down everything I wanted in life.

My goals covered a wide gamut—from the type of person I wanted to be perceived as among my family and peers, to the relationship I wanted to attract into my life. I listed the way I wanted to travel, the homes I wanted to own, and the number of sales I wanted my family-owned business to earn per year. My pen didn’t stop for two hours. I got engrossed in writing down as much as I could. I will never forget those two hours of my life. They’re among those rare times that you think about consistently that make you smile inwardly. I know a lot of people have had such moments, and this was one of mine.

After I had written down everything I desired my perception
changed instantly. I went 
about my life with a brand-new outlook. My new positive mental attitude was not just about accomplishing an
objective but about the value of life I learned on this new road.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Just-Ask-Universe-No-Nonsense-Manifesting-ebook/dp/B0060CJ9DQ/ref=zg_bs_156573011_4

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-ask-the-universe-michael-samuels/1115719944

 

Author Biography:

With a degree in English, a second degree in Finance, and a Masters in Business Administration, Michael Samuels has attracted everything into his life because he followed successful people and their thought ideologies. His first book ‘Just Ask the Universe’ is ranked 4th in the world under Spiritual on Amazon and has sold over 100,000 copies. His second book ‘The Universe-ity’ won Best Self-Help book for 2013 Rebecca’s Reads Choice Awards. Michael lives in New York with his wife and two children.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.samuelsbooks.com/

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18846682-just-ask-the-universe

Blog http://michaelsamuelsbooks.blogspot.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Just-Ask-the-Universe-193688950720679/

 

 

Writing Tip of the Year: Brainstorming #amwriting #ASMSG #IARTG


brainstorming

 

Brainstorming is one of the best-kept secrets writers have. I thought it might be fun to reveal some of the techniques and tips to effective brainstorming for this week’s Writing Wednesday Workshop. Let’s get started:

Definition according to Wikipedia: Brainstorming is a group or individual creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its member(s). The term was popularized by Alex Faickney Osborn in the 1953 book Applied Imagination. Osborn claimed that brainstorming was more effective than individuals working alone in generating ideas, although more recent research has questioned this conclusion. Today, the term is used as a catch all for all group ideation sessions.

 

My definition is a little more relaxed: Brainstorming is the creative activity by which writers write down ideas, plots, characters in order to map out a book/article.

 

It sounds simple enough but many writers get stuck on the application of it. I believe they get hung up on what they learned in English class years ago and think it has to be a very structured thing. The truth is what works for one writer may not work for another. Some like to use bulletin boards while others like to use lists. There is software available too that can help you. Myself, I use sticky notes and notepads. When I come up with an idea, I write it down. Later, I compile them together in an organized fashion.

I have found over the years some tips to help you get started:

– Let go and empty your mind. Think of brainstorming in the same way you think of free writing. You are an artist with an empty canvas. Close your eyes and let your mind paint it for you. When you let go, you allow the ideas to flow and all you have to do is get them down before they disappear.

– Free write. I have found this extremely useful when plotting out characters and conflict. Sometimes the ideas get stuck in your head and need an outlet to be freed. This is also useful when fleshing out characters.

– Get some exercise. Go for a walk or just up and down the stairs. Getting away from the computer screen can do wonders for you. When you are concentrating on something else, your mind is free to wander.

– Have pen and paper around you at all times. I can’t tell you how many times I have been struck with an idea and I never have a pen. I have a pad of sticky notes and a pen in every room in my house. If I am going outside, I always have a pen handy.

– Never edit your brainstorm ideas right away. This is a big no-no. Write them all down and let them percolate for a few days. What sounds like a horrible idea at first may turn out to be brilliant later on.

– Talk with your CPs and/or writer buddies. Sometimes talking about your book with others can inspire you. A friend may have an idea or suggestion.

– Listen to music to get you in the mood. Brainstorming doesn’t have to be boring. Writing a love scene? Put on some love tunes. Writing a death scene? Listen to some classical/jazz/heavy metal music. Let the music inspire you.

I open the workshop to my fellow writers. What tips do you have to help with brainstorming? We’re all one big support group! I know I love learning something new to help my writing!

Brainstorming is fun and I love how creative I can get with it. Don’t overthink it; just let it flow.

Have a great writing week!

Until next time,

MRS N aka N. N. Light

*** This is was the most viewed writing post on this blog for 2015. I found that interesting. Go forth, writers, and brainstorm! ***

It Pays to be a Wise-Ass: Guest Post by Jeff Lee #books @jfredlee #amwriting


 

It pays to be a wise-ass.

 

A little while ago, I was being interviewed for an article to run on a news blog serving the Northern California suburb where I grew up. The article was about local kids who’d gone on to do something with their lives, and the interviewer wanted to know what was it that separated me from most other writers.

 

“Two things,” I answered. “One, I’ve been writing professionally for more than forty years. And B, I’m an inveterate wise-ass.”

 

In my case, the two overlapped beautifully.

 

A couple of years ago, I retired from a career in advertising. And just so you know, it was light years away from Bewitched. Spent four decades writing ads, commercials, billboards, brochures and what-have-you. For everything from cars and motorcycles to Mexican Restaurant chains, airlines, toys, and heavy equipment manufactures. Even helped a successful, socially challenged Seattle businessman advertise for his future Mrs. wealthy recluse.

 

All of which was done under insane deadlines and then pitched to clients who couldn’t wrap their brains around why they needed to spend money advertising in the first place. Let alone laying out good funds to run stuff that was patently silly.

 

Like an ad for an imported line of ATV’s, showing a rider at night in driving rain, on his little 4-wheel, slogging through a seriously mud choked field, beneath a bold-type headline that read, “Take it where the sun don’t shine.”

 

Or an ad for a company that makes those little mini bulldozers you see on construction sites. The ad had to talk about how tough, rugged, economical and dependable these mini-dozers were. And it had to speak to cement and concrete contractors, since it was running in their industry’s trade magazines. Best of all, it was due yesterday. What the hell do you do? You grab some photos showing one of these little machines zipping around with tons of wet cement in its bucket. Under which, the headline says, “Enough to make any concrete guy good and hard.”

 

Or an in-store banner for a line of imported dirt bikes, whose manufacturer supported this segment of the motorcycle market with a little free factory-sponsored tech support for amateurs racing their particular bikes in the dirt. No visual this time. Just a huge banner hung in dealerships around the country. Picture an all black background, with huge, dayglo green letters, proclaiming, “You gotta be nuts to moto without a good supporter.”

 

The whole thing taught me how to work under the pressure of a deadline.

 

And how to be funny as hell, on command.

 

And most importantly, how to be fearless as a writer.

 

If you can put words on paper in a way that tells a story about characters the reader can come to know and care about, you’ve got a brain.

 

If you can do that AND make your reader laugh out loud from time to time, you’ve got a sense of humor.

 

And if you can accomplish all of that without worrying about what your great Aunt Sylvia’s going to say; or what your BFFs think about it; or the reviewer for the local paper (who hasn’t liked anything printed since Gutenberg), then kiddo, you’ve got a spine.

 

Ultimately, there’s only one person on the planet your writing has to please.

 

And you look them square in the eye every morning while you’re flossing.

 

Take a look at the sample included here, and see what I mean.

 

Trust me, I’m really pleased with this hunk of writing.

 

ATT_1436563587019_IMG_skr7yn

 

Title: Chump Change

Author: Jeff Lee

Genre:   Humor, Comedy, Crime, Murder, Mystery

 

Book Blurb:

You think being the Bounty Hunter and Repo Guy to the Stars is easy? Just talk to “Fish” Fishbein. If he isn’t trying to round up a heavily lubricated ex-rocker, he’s flying down the freeway in a repoed Wiener Mobile, chased by the pistol-packing deadbeat who owns it.

A bail bondsman hires him to track down a crew of unwise guys who blew off their court date to snatch L.A.’s monthly parking meter take — 300 grand in quarters. Then they start dropping like flies. And Fish has to catch the killer.

Maybe it’s the city’s armed and dangerous Parking Meter Czar. Or his brother-in-law, a corrupt televangelist who needs some serious coin to bankroll his foray into Bible-based porn. Or the Rev’s wife and co-minister, who’s several clicks beyond crazy about toddler beauty pageants. Or, it just might be the defrocked talent agent who’s dying to make Fish a reality TV star.

With more than seven tons of quarters at stake, bodies are dropping faster than turn-downs on America’s Got Talent. And if Fish and his hog-riding buds, Kenny and Einstein, don’t nab the killer in a hurry, they could get eliminated themselves.

   Chump Change is author Jeff Lee’s third book in his Adventures in La-La Land series, following The Ladies Temperance Club’s Farewell Tour and Hair of the Dog. If you enjoy the whacko characters, situations and fast pace that Janet Evanovich, Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard bring to the party, check out all of Fish Fishbein’s big adventures.

 

WARNING: Contains some of the most hysterical explicit sex scenes ever written. 

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

This is a scene from my most recent book, Chump Change, a fast-paced, hysterical mystery that pokes a ton of satirical fun at the L.A. life, crime, murder, sex, porn and the entertainment industry. “Fish” Fishbein, the book’s main character, has just repoed a restored old Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile, and is being chased by the pistol-packing deadbeat who owns it.

 

“Fish checked the outside mirror on his side of the Weiner Mobile and everything looked pretty normal.

 

The San Diego Freeway was its usual congested mess for this, or any other time of day.

Except for one ancient, thrashed looking beater, a disco-era Caddy, headed in the same direction as the Weiner Mobile.

 

And in one a hell of a hurry.

 

It was only about a hundred yards behind him and closing fast.

 

Passing slowly under the Sunset Boulevard overpass, he watched the back window on the old Caddy’s passenger side roll down.

 

Now the top half of a really husky looking guy in a satin N.Y. Giants fashion statement was fighting to lean out of the opening.

 

Fish kept his eye on the old car as the rear seat passenger reached back in and brought out a pistol big enough to snuff a grizzly.

 

Or at least make it reconsider a life choice or two.

 

Then he saw the guy’s gun hand jerk skyward and almost instantly, a pair of huge ventilation holes opened up in the rear and front of the Weiner Mobile.

 

“Gun!” Fish shouted. “Everybody on the floor! This crazy son of a bitch is shooting at us!”

 

He yanked his cell phone out of his pocket and dialed 911.

 

“L.A. County 911. What’s the nature of your emergency?”

 

“The nature of my emergency?”

 

Most times, Fish had a problem trying to keep his inner wise-ass from coming out to play.

 

Like now.

 

“Yeah, I’m trying to win on Wheel of Fortune, only Vanna won’t sell me any freakin’ vowels.”

 

Like most federal, state and county employees, Fish’s 911 operator was required by law to check her sense of humor at the door when she clocked in for her shift that morning.

 

“Sir, are you aware of the penalty for making a false 911 call in California?”

 

“Look, my name’s Morris Fishbein. I’m a repo guy and I’m headed North on the San Diego Freeway, about half a mile past Sunset,” he blurted into the phone.

 

“I’m in a vehicle I just repossessed. The deadbeat owner and some of his friends are right behind me. And one of them just took a freakin’ shot at us!”

 

“Can you describe your vehicle?”

 

“Yeah, it’s a restored old Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile with personalized plates that read MEAT MAN. The whole thing’s painted tan and yellow and it looks like a giant hot dog.”

 

“Tan and yellow, sir?”

 

“Just picture a thirty-foot-long penis on rye.”

 

Buy Links:

Amazon link: http://amzn.to/1KEN8U3

 

Jeff Lee

 

Author Biography:

Born near New York City and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jeff Lee has spent his entire writing career in Los Angeles. For more than 35 years, he has been a copywriter, producer and creative director for some of the advertising industry’s most recognizable agencies, winning numerous awards for his creativity and wise-ass sense of humor. Typical for his industry, none of those ad agencies are still in business, but Jeff appears to have pretty solid alibis for the deaths of each one.

Retired from advertising, Jeff now spends his time on his own writing, having produced four novels – The Ladies Temperance Club’s Farewell Tour, Hair of the Dog, Chump Change and Bird Boy. Each of these books debuted to rave reviews, garnering all 4 and 5-star reviews.

Trained as a cook in the Army, he still enjoys being creative in the kitchen, and admits that few things in life compare with the thrill of discovering you’ve just given a nasty case of food poisoning to 140 heavily-armed troops.

 

Social Media Links:

FB Author Page: on.fb.me/1QPczqQ

Website: bit.ly/1uHEmSo

Twitter: @jfredlee

Goodreads: bit.ly/1MCCM8p

 

Princess of the Light by N. N. Light: Inception #ASMSG #IARTG #amwriting


Many people ask me how did I come up with the idea for Princess of the Light. Today, I thought it would be fun to share my first free-writing session back in 2012. I hope you enjoy it.

 

My book idea is a simple one.  It has to be fictional and it is about a girl, maybe Mary, who suddenly wakes up one day to discover that she is the Princess of the Light and she carries the same Light as her namesake over 2,000 years ago.  It is about her journey to understanding her place in the world and how she can change it.

I haven’t decided yet about whether it is first person or third.  I tend to lean towards third because then I can play the narrator.  I can introduce other characters and fill in the blanks.

Intro: Mary awoke as the alarm blared in her ear.  She slammed her hand down and the alarm was silenced.  She opened her eyes to see her bedroom in the same disarray as when she left it.  She sighed and threw back the covers.

Another day, another dollar, she thought as she walked to the washroom.  She glanced in the mirror and laughed at the huge sleep line her pillow must have made on her face.  She washed her face and brushed her teeth.  She grabbed the remote and threw on the morning news.

“Another bombing has killed at least 45 in the Middle East.  No word yet as to who is responsible.”  The smiling newscaster reported and again Mary sighed.

Why Lord, does the World have to be filled with so much violence? Her question hung in the air without a response.  It just didn’t seem fair, she thought.  If the World is nothing but violence, what is the point?  Everyone from the Eskimo to the Russians will just kill each other and that will be that.  What’s the point?

The more she thought about it, the more her heart ached.  It ached like this on that fateful day back in 2001 when the Twin Towers were attacked.  She thought it odd that she didn’t know anyone in New York and yet she felt such sadness and could feel their pain.

She shook her head to clear it and hopped into the shower and got ready for work.  When she was all dressed, she made her way to the kitchen to grab something for breakfast.

The news had shifted to sports and she was glad.  The distraction will be better.  (Not sure where she lives yet) The baseball team had won and she was happy.  She loved baseball.  It was something that her dad had loved and he took her to many games when she was little.

The thought of her dad made her well up.  She missed him so much!  It had been 5 years since he died but it was like it was yesterday.  It’s not fair, Lord! She yelled in her head over and over until the tears had subsided.

She blew her nose and then proceeded to make her breakfast.  Cereal was her go-to breakfast.  It was quick and easy and she loved it!  She grabbed her favorite mug and made herself a peppermint hot cocoa.  She never liked coffee even though her mother tried to get her to drink it.  She went back into her living room to watch the news and eat.

Suddenly the phone rang.

“Hello?”

“Hi Mary, it’s Julie.”

She laughed her herself.  It was her best friend, Julie.  She knew that Julie was calling to ask about her date last night.  She was always the first one to call to see how a date went.  Even though Julie had been married for 10 years, she still wanted to be single.

“Oh, hey Jules, what’s up?”

“Don’t give me that!  You know what is up!”

Mary laughed and tried not to spill her cereal.

“Okay, okay, I’ll give you the scoop.  His name is Joe and he is an urban planner.”

“Joe?  Really?  Are you pulling my leg?”

Mary knew what she meant.  Joseph and Mary.  Just like in the Bible.

“No, I am NOT kidding!  That’s his name.  We had a laugh about it over dinner.”

“Uh ah.”  Julie had a long pause.  “Go on.”

“Anyway, we met at the bar and had a drink.  He was really nice.  He has nice eyes and a great smile.  We had our drink and went over to the restaurant and sat down.”

“Wait, what did he drink? You’re leaving out some details.  OMG, is he there?”

Mary gasped!  “Of course not!  I am trying to eat breakfast while talking to you.  Do you know how hard it is to eat cereal and talk with you?”

“Hard?”

Mary laughed again.  “Yes, it is.  Oh damn, I am running late.  Why don’t you meet me at the Bookstore and we can go for lunch.”

“Okay, what time?”

“You’d better call first, say around 2.  But call at one and see, okay?”

“Okay Mary, have a great day!”

“I will!  Bye!”

Mary hung up the phone and bolted the rest of her now soggy cereal.  So much for being able to withstand milk.  She grabbed her purse, hot cocoa and cell phone before shutting off the television.  She locked the door and made her way to the car.

Copyright ©2014 N. N. Light. All rights reserved.

 

What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Princess 

Title: Princess of the Light

Author: N. N. Light

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Inspirational Fiction

 

Tagline:

Inspiring spiritual growth one person at a time

 

Blurb:

Gabriel, the Archangel and Messenger of God – yeah, that Gabriel – visits Mary Miller. He tells her, as the key, she is destined to spread the Light and vanquish the Darkness. Her first assignment is to restore the soul of the Walking Man. Sounds simple enough — until she’s thrown into the face of evil. And then, Joe Deacons enters her heart. This battle just got a lot more complicated. She must complete her mission without losing all she loves.

 

 

Princess of the Light is available at the following retailers and makes a great Christmas gift:

 

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/469480

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/princess-of-the-light-nn-light/1120170709?ean=9781502438454

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Light-N/dp/1502438453

Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/princess-of-the-light-1

Indigo: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/princess-of-the-light/9781310880230-item.html?ikwid=princess+of+the+light&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

iTunes/ iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/princess-of-the-light/id913013798?mt=11

Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/5008419

 

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23009005-princess-of-the-light

 

 

 

 

Who Are You? #inspiration #NaNoWriMo #perseverance


perseverance
Photo Credit: Chronic Babe on Pinterest

Who are you?

When life gets tough (and it will/does), who do you become? Do you break down and crumble or do you hold your chin up and keep going?

A lot of my writer friends are participating in NaNoWriMo. It’s where writers/authors write a novel in 30 days. It’s tough, grueling and my hat goes off to each of them.

Perseverance is staring at an obstacle in the face and saying, “I’m going to defeat you. I’m stronger than you and will be the champion.”

Who are you?

I am strong.

I am resilient.

I try my best.

I value my life.

I am not perfect, I am the perfect me.

I never give up.

I am empathetic.

I am a warrior, ready to conquer.

I am not broke.

I am loving.

I take things one day at a time.

I am independent.

I am human.

I’m a survivor.

Focus on who you are and then go out there and do it!

MRS N