Sep 7, 2020

Exciting News!

Every time I begin working on a new book, it feels like I'm standing at the starting line of a marathon. I know that somewhere out there, way beyond my reach, is the finish line, and I wonder if I'll ever reach it. As I've mentioned in previous blog posts, I am no planner. I get my characters, get a general plot idea, and then the book writes itself. Hopefully. 

I'd been working on writing another magical tale based off of Jack and the Beanstalk, but turning it to a YA version, instead. It was fun, but required a lot of hard work. And thinking. I have six kids (including a toddler who is basically three children in and of himself, haha!), and sometimes, writing my book required too much brain power. I finally put my book aside in February and began working on another book that I was really wanting to write.

My current YA romance is called, "Lucky in Love." It was fun, romantic, and it came easy.  The marathon suddenly got easier for me, each chapter a sprint with an obtainable goal. Now, seven months later, I am nearly at the finish line! My book is finished, has been through some beta readers, and is currently in the process of going through my editor. I am so excited to have this book in my hands! The plan is to have a box of books shipped to my house in time for Christmas, which means completing my edits and formats by early November. 



There is no medal for completing the marathon involved in writing a novel, but even better is holding the finished product. I'm so excited to get this book done! My characters were fun to write, and I hope my readers enjoy them as much as I have!
 


Apr 19, 2020

Coronavirus and writing

How's everyone out there doing? It's crazy how the world has shut down everywhere while we try to deal with the coronavirus. I know a lot of you are overwhelmed out there, trying to juggle home and school, but if you find yourself wanting an escape from the stress, fear, or uncertainties that life is throwing out at us, I am putting all three of my e-books on sale for $0.99 starting Thursday. Get your books here!





I don't know about the rest of you, but my writing has really suffered during this crazy time. With the stress of trying to keep our family sane during school at home, it's been rough trying to sit down and create. I've picked up my November NaNoWriMo project--a Jack and the Beanstalk retelling, but only manage a sentence or two here and there. When school comes to an end in 6 or so weeks, maybe I'll be able to pick it up again, but until then, I'm going to try to just take one day at a time and breathe.

I hope all of you are doing well, and can find bits of joy and happiness in your day!

Jun 27, 2019

FREE BOOK!

In anticipation of the release of my 3rd book later this year, I'm celebrating by offering "The Trouble with Prince Charming" for FREE for THREE DAYS ONLY!! Today (June 27) until Saturday (June 29). Grab your copy while you can here!
This is a clean, Young Adult (YA) urban fiction with just a splash of magic, a lot of romance, and lots of laughs.

"The Trouble with Prince Charming comes with a best-seller quality and an indie price tag!" --Kameo Monson (read the whole review here)



May 17, 2019

Pantsing vs. Plotting

There are two types of authors: plotters and pantsers. Plotters outline their whole book, chapter by chapter, before even writing their book. Pantsers, on the other hand, fly by the seat of their pants, writing and discovering their story as they go.

I happen to be a pantser. I didn't think I was, but the more I've written, the more I've learned that this style works best for me. My very first book took a LONG time to write. I hit a bunch of road blocks because I would get stuck, stop writing for sometimes months before figuring out how to solve the problem, and then continue on once I knew exactly what needed to happen. I kept a list of who was in what chapter, how often I felt they needed to appear, and used this map as my guideline. It got frustrating and messy, but I finally finished.

While I was writing its sequel, someone in one of my writer's groups mentioned that they never wrote the story in sequential order. They'd write the scenes they WANTED to write. I was blown away by that idea, because I'd push through the difficult parts with the hopes of rewarding myself with the fun scenes I was looking forward to. But the problem with that was that sometimes, I'd lose my inspiration, and the scene became something else I'd have to force. I decided to jump in and write the scenes I was most excited to write. My book was still mapped out, but looser this time. I just wanted to focus on the parts and conversations I was dying to write, and it was so much more fun and satisfying. Filling in the blanks from one scene to the next wasn't as difficult as I'd feared, and it made me excited to keep going back and writing instead of dreading that one scene I just couldn't get past.

For my most recent book, "Evan the Horrible," I took pantsing a step further. I really had no outline in mind, but rather characters whose story I wanted to tell. I knew I wanted a guy who came from a troubled background to transform, who had a good influence help him to see who he really was and help him reach his potential. I began writing my book without much idea of where it would go, except that he would befriend Cassie Reynolds (from my Magical Troubles series Books 1 & 2), and develop into a love interest. As I wrote the first scene, I gave Cassie a desk partner who had a dragon tattoo on her arm and short black hair with purple tips. And then I immediately took a step back. Why was some random girl more developed than my main character? This girl, Jazzy Allen, was WAY more interesting than Cassie ever was, and I knew I'd found my main character. So, I scrapped Cassie with the intent of bringing her back into the story to link it in as Book 3. It never happened.

Once I decided Jazzy was my main character, I knew she needed a backstory. Why would she have a dragon on her arm? Why the purple tips? What type of person was she? I spent a few days writing down who she was, and then as I began discovering more about the guy, I realized he was way too dull as well. I needed someone who'd be as fun and full of life as she was. And then it hit me. Why not use Evan Rice from Book 2? He was obnoxious and fun and hilarious to write, always ready with a quick comeback or snarky remark. And he could transform as my original character was supposed to do. Since I went with Evan, I needed to discover why HE acted the way he did. There had to be some explanation to his obnoxiousness.

Writing Evan and Jazzy's characters was an amazing experience. It was so much fun discovering who they were, what their parents did, what they liked, and what their future plans were (even though most of it never made it into the actual book). By creating character outlines, I came to really know these two better, and that was what made this book so easy to write. Instead of years, it took only four months. I'd write the scenes I wanted, and when I got stuck, I'd think, "What would Evan do to get out of this?" and then I'd let him tell the story.

Being a pantser means having the story ever evolving. There are many pages of cut paragraphs, conversations, and magical scenes that never made it into the book, moments I was so excited to develop, but other things happened and changed the outcome. What began as a story that was supposed to portray a growth through influential friendships became more of a transformation to the reader, seeing Evan for as he truly is. I'm so excited to have you guys read this!







Mar 22, 2019

Creating Exciting Characters

Writing "Evan the Horrible" has been such a fun and different experience. I first accidentally created Evan in my book, "The Trouble with Prince Charming." He was just an obnoxious side character meant to annoy my main character for a few minutes, and then be on his way. But for some reason, he kept showing up, torturing Nikki and causing disturbances wherever he went. He was by far the most fun to write. I never struggled with him; it was as if he had come to life and was dictating to me what he would say and how he would act. Never had anyone been so easy to create!

While working on my book, I had the idea come to me of a young adult modern-day Beauty and the Beast story, but instead of being angry and unkind, what if the beast was just unlikable and...ANNOYING? Evan Rice was it! I had to have Evan star in his own book.

Next, I needed to find Evan a love interest. That was difficult. I mean, who'd want Evan to get a girl, considering how obnoxious he was? He needed someone who could take what he dished, and dish out her own. She needed to be strong, sassy, and sarcastic. It needed to be Jazzy Allen, a heart-broken girl who found strength in the dragon tattoo on her arm. 

The chemistry between these two works. What first starts as hatred slowly evolves to friendship, and then gradually, very gradually, eases into a little bit more. The way they think and interact with each other has been fun to create. Lots of bantering and lots of sarcasm makes for some very humorous writing.

These characters were unlike any I'd created before, which made them fresh and exciting. Going on a limb and trying out something new has been a great experience. I can't wait to finish my next book so you all can officially meet them!


Jan 24, 2019

The Trouble with Prince Charming

In my debut young adult novel, The Trouble with Fairy Godmothers, all Nikki Baker wants is her first kiss. Her fairy godmother can't get her that kiss until Nikki finally learns to accept who she is. When she finally does, the world of possibilities seems to finally open up.

In the soon-to-be released Book 2 of my Trouble series, The Trouble with Prince Charming, Nikki starts dating the school's most eligible bachelor. The problem? His popular friends need to accept her first before life can start getting easier.



This book was so much fun to write. These new characters jumped from the pages, some even unintentionally taking over. In fact, I have one character who was so particularly full of life and so much fun to write about, I decided to dedicate an entire book to him (or her!).

I love hidden irony, so see if you can catch anything after reading both books and let me know what you've found!

Jul 27, 2018

Dream come true

Well, it's finally happened. After eight years of dreaming, writing and editing, my book, The Trouble with Fairy Godmothers, is finally getting published!!

Check out my book on Amazon!


I first got the idea for this book when I was in the hospital on bedrest with my third child. It was a great way to pass the time. As life grew hectic and my family grew from five to eight, it was a way to find some sanity and rediscover my identity. It has been rewritten and revised and rewritten again more times than I can count, but it finally reached the level where I feel proud of what I've created.

My nerves are on edge publishing my very first book, because reality is that it won't be what everyone is expecting or wanting. But on the flip side, it's exactly the type of book I love to read myself. The important thing is being true to yourself, and that's what I've done. It's been an exciting journey learning about the writing process, creating a book cover, and learning to self-publish. I'm excited to continue on with this journey, because hopefully by next year, the sequel, The Trouble with Prince Charming, will have a chance to meet the world, too.

Meet some of my characters:

Nikki Baker is a 15-year old high school girl determined to emerge from her gorgeous older sister's shadow. It proves to be more difficult than she thought, especially since her klutziness is amplified by a troublesome fairy godmother.

Harriet Snodgrass is an uptight, no-nonsense, anxious-to-get-it-done fairy godmother who struggles getting her spells just right. Trouble always seems to be around the corner when her magic comes into play, but it’s most certainly never her own fault. She’s quick to laugh at the failings of Nikki, but don’t mistake it for good-humor. She’s just as quick to put you back into your place.

Ryker Stone is that guy you secretly had a crush on growing up. He’s hot, popular, and bad to the bone. Nikki and her friends call him The Untouchable. Not only is he way out of their league, no one has ever been privileged enough to date him, either. It’s no wonder, too, with his shoulder-length auburn hair, killer smile, and steel-gray eyes that melt your organs into puddles.

John Schmelzer, aka Barfy, is the school’s biggest nerd. His greasy hair, always peppered with dandruff, is frequently combed straight down his forehead. His braces foam daily with a surplus of spit, his glasses are about a century out-of-date, and his flannel button-up shirts are always fastened clear up to his neck. He also happens to be Harriet Snodgrass’ top pick for Nikki’s first kiss.

Jolene James is one of Nikki’s best friends. She’s gorgeous, fun, and also the world’s biggest flirt. With her around, it’s nearly impossible to snag a date, because you can bet she won’t be too far way, eyeing that guy for herself.

Cassie Reynolds is Nikki’s other best friend. They both share a paralyzing fear of guys, making it hard to come to terms with the magical changes that soon begin. She is an artist who excels at drawing caricatures, and frequently gifts her masterpieces to her friends. She’s got a big heart, but jealousy is one of her weaknesses.

Shawn Adams is Nikki’s other friend, famous for his friendly high-fives. He’s fun, goofy, and an all-around good guy with a knack for suddenly appearing to lunch with a tray full of desserts. He’s interested in Nikki, but friendships tend to make things way too complicated.