Thursday, September 3, 2015

Four Things No One Tells You When You Write A Book - Guest Post

I'm excited to have my first guest post - Anna Kyle, whose new paranormal romance Skye Falling was recently released by Red Moon Romance. She was even awesome enough to provide a taste of the novella after the post below!

Anna Kyle wrote her first story at age 12 on her dad's old manual typewriter, and though the technology has changed, she hasn’t stopped since. She lives in the Midwest surrounded by family and friends and dogs and horses. They’ve forgiven her (mostly) when they appear in her stories.

She reads everything she can get her hands on, but romances, especially paranormals, are her favorite. Vampires, humans, Fae, shapeshifters, or demons, it doesn’t matter—Anna’s heart goes pitter-pat for the Happily Ever After. Hot heroes + strong, funny heroines = awesome.

You can find Anne Kyle at her blog and on Twitter.

Four Things No One Tells You When You Write A Book

My first book (novella), SKYE FALLING, was published last week. The second, OMEGA RISING, will be out in the next six months. Books 3 and 4 in the Wolf King series will follow that (once I’m done writing them!). Yahoo! I’m still a newbie, debut author (I picture that as a wobbly foal, unsure yet how to run) but I’d thought I’d toss out a couple of things I learned along the way. 

1. It’s hard, like really, really hard to write a book from beginning to end. Once you’ve accomplished this tremendous feat - and it is tremendous - bask in the glory…for a day then put it away. Because the work is just beginning. Your completed manuscript is a lump and needs to be formed, molded, pummeled into a cogent story. But before that happens you need distance (for SF it was a few months, Omega Rising was a month). I’d read that tip but didn’t really believe until I experienced it. Believe it. Your amazing brain will keep the book simmering in the background as you throw yourself into another project. When you return to your story, suddenly the parts that aren’t working are easier to see, solutions bubble to the surface, plot twists get twistier, you're better able to kill your darlings.

2. Cheerleaders are awesome when you embark on the difficult journey of writing a book but know what’s even better? Critiques. I’m not saying find some a-holes who pick apart your baby. Kick those people to the curb. No one needs those guys. Exposing your words to someone else for the first time is nerve-wracking, even vomit-inducing. I’m talking about honest feedback said in a (hopefully) kind manner. Oh, and it probably shouldn’t be family. Family members are cheerleaders. You can find groups online through social media. Google critique partners or form a group of your own. You cannot write in a vacuum. If the crushing doubt doesn’t get you, overconfidence will. My personal monkey-on-the-back is Doubt, yes capital D. Balance is key.

3. Study the craft of writing. You may have an innate talent for creating wonderful stories but getting it down on paper requires work. Go to conferences. Participate in webinars (pricy but worth every penny). I subscribe to Writers Digest and found it to be super helpful. There are online forums like Janice Hardy’s Fiction University. My two favorite books on writing are Stephen King’s, well, “On Writing” and Donald Maass’ book “Writing 21st Century Fiction” but there are TONS of books on the subject willing to drop pearls of knowledge on us. Read as many as you can.

4. Writing is lonely. Find support. This is different from cheerleaders or critique partners. I’m talking when it’s 11 o'clock at night and you're stuck on a scene that just. Doesn’t. Work. We all know that feeling. Ugh. I HATE that feeling. I’ve found support on Twitter. Maybe you use Facebook, or Snapchat, or Reddit. Whatever. Reach out. Even just venting to other writers because they know exactly what that feels like helps. I met folks through participating in NaNoWriMo last year and all of us were freaking out. 50,000 words in 30 days? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? But a lot of us did it while sharing word counts, doing word sprints, or flat out whining to each other. (My urban fantasy book is still waiting for me to get around to fixing it). Just knowing other people are out there struggling with rewrites, edits, scenes, somehow shares the burden. At least it did for me.

Now for a peek at...

Sand whipped into the air. A whirling vortex sprang up and halted the shifter’s forward progress and then lifted him four feet above the beach. Stunned by what she’d created, Skye dropped her hand and the wolf landed on the beach with a thump. Sand coated every inch of his body, but before he could act on his growl’s implied threat, Skye hurriedly lifted him back into a new sand tornado.

She’d practiced her power regularly, in secret as advised by her father, but had never been able to marshal this kind of force before. Skye could snuff out lanterns and blow papers off her father’s desk but not much more. The wolf’s surprise had turned to anger in his second ride. His eyes were narrowed against the stinging sand, but Skye could see their golden glow. The enormity of what she was about to do hit her.

She could stop it now and be returned to her father or, the lesser possibility, the torture of the Dark Fae. Both meant death.


That small word meant life. Not a tough decision. He strained to get to her and shouted, but the roar of the wind whipped his voice away. She summoned a life jacket onto his torso, followed by a pair of orange water wings around his arms. He glanced down and roared helplessly as he comprehended what she planned. He pointed a finger at her, then pointed down. Yeah, like she’d do that. Stupid wolf.

“It’s not personal, wolf,” she said, pleased her voice was calm. Skye raised her shaking hands. With a flick of her wrist she flung him out into the deep lake, far enough that she’d have a chance to escape but not so far he would succumb to hypothermia. She winced as he bounced across the lake’s surface like a skipping stone. Once. Twice. Three times before she could see him bobbing in the waves. It was done. No going back now.

She hoped he could swim and wished for a moment she had sent a raft with him. Skye took off toward Union Station in the pre-dawn shadows, ignoring the enraged wolf’s cursing dwindling in the distance. Her fingers wove as she ran and her soggy dress changed to her standard gray tunic and leggings and boots. Fear gave her an added boost of speed as she zigzagged through the city just starting to wake up. The first train out was at 6:00 a.m., only an hour away.

Anna Kyle (2015-08-25T04:00:00+00:00). Skye Falling (Kindle Locations 227-231). Red Moon Romance. Kindle Edition.

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