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This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. The first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. The awesome co-hosts for the February 6 posting of the IWSG are Raimey Gallant, Natalie Aguirre, CV Grehan, and Michelle Wallace!

February is upon us. Happy (early) Valentine’s Day! Apart from the usual flogging myself to write more, edit more, publish more, I’m not feeling particularly insecure this month. At least, not about any one specific thing. Insecurity is the background noise of my writer’s life, so I’m used to that part by now.

I want to make it a great 2019 and I’m trying to focus on that right now. January was an absolute shit show for me professionally (as in my day job) and personally, so I’m going to pretend January was just a trial month, now the real subscription for the year starts. I’m also choosing to believe all the bad stuff got itself over with right away in January, so the rest of the year will be smooth sailing. I’d rather do it that way anyway, get it over with at once instead of stretching it out over the whole year!

How was your January? Are you ready for the rest of 2019?

February 6 question – Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?

I’ve definitely talked about the fact before that I’m simply not creatively inclined outside of writing. At least, not in ways most people think when they think of ‘creative’ things. I like to do interior decorating, but for my own tastes, I doubt I could design a space for anyone else. So, I love decorating my own house. Sometimes I enjoy cooking. I’ve been threatening to try out candle making for a few years now, so maybe this will be the year I finally give it a go. I’m not very handy or crafty, either.

What outlets do you have?

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Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge

Each Wednesday from January 9 – December 18, 2019, Long and Short Reviews is hosting a weekly blog hop.

Blogging is a fun way to meet people and get to know them. We’re offering a weekly “prompt” for authors, non-authors, bookish folks and others to share something weekly and gain new friends and visitors to the blog. There’s no pressure to write something every week (though it should be fun and a challenge), but we do ask that if you do post something, you share your link on the weekly post we’ll put up at our site (it will be the top post on the home page each Wednesday morning) — the link list will be open for new links for 48 hours. Other bloggers will also share their links and you can hop over and see what they have to share.

January 30th – Characters I’d Name a Baby After

Ha! This is a funny question because when I was pregnant with my son (and didn’t yet know he was a boy) if he was a girl, I wanted to name him Mina Gabrielle. Mina, of course, from Bram Stoker’s Dracula (though her full name was Wilhelmina and I didn’t want that), and Gabrielle after Lestat’s mother in Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. I was a tad bit obsessed with vampire novels, can you tell? I think I would still name a girl Gabrielle because it’s such a pretty name.

I ended up naming him Cain Evan, and though Cain is the first vampire in some vampire mythologies, it didn’t come from that. It didn’t really come from the Bible either, though I happened to be reading Beowulf at the time and Grendel was described as being Cain’s descendant. That’s where I got the name from and in that story it WAS referring to the Biblical Cain so…it’s Biblical by the way of fiction? And, you’re going to laugh very hard (and I’m going to show my age), but the name Evan came from a character in Miami Vice. *hides face*

I also toyed with naming him Vaughn Vladimir. Vaughn just because I liked the name and Vladimir of course after Dracula, but that was vetoed. I think if I ever had another son (which is doubtful at this stage of my life) I would name him Gabriel-if I didn’t have a girl and name her Gabrielle–simply because I like that name a lot. I also think at that point people would just think I’m naming all my kids from the Bible so maybe not. I wrote a fourth Siren Song novel (which has never been released) and named June’s daughter Antigone–Tiggy for short–and I think that would be a cool name too.

So yes, I would totally name babies after characters…and have!

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The #evernighties Thursday Weekly Author Blog Challenge is a once-a-week blogging adventure brought to you exclusively by Evernight authors. Each week, we answer a new question (listed below and borrowed from MFRW.org) and the answers will be featured on the Evernight Reader’s Group on Facebook, as well as our own blogs and social media platforms. Check out the group or follow the #evernighties tag to see how other authors answered this week’s question!

Week #4: What I would do if I couldn’t be a writer

Wow, this is an interesting question. Of course, I don’t HAVE to be a writer, no one is forcing me. And like all writers I have my moments where I just want to give up. But I know it’s part of who I am, it’s part of my being and my personality, it’s essential to who I am. The thought of not having that–of not knowing who and what I am–is kind of scary.

I don’t know that I would do anything else creative because I’m not that good at any other creative pursuits. Maybe I would try to be, but I don’t know. I suppose I could learn an instrument, or learn how to draw or make art. But would I have the same passion for it? I don’t know. I’m assuming with this question I just suddenly couldn’t be a writer anymore, as I am, in my life now. That would be hard, and I feel like I would lose a big part of myself. It would leave a hole behind that I’d find hard to fill. I suppose for a while I’d just focus on my job and try to figure out what I want to do next, where I want to go. Maybe I would try to find a job that helps me travel and see more of the world.

I would probably still do something connected to writing–teaching, or being in the publishing business, something of that sort. What would you do if you couldn’t be a writer?

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The #evernighties Thursday Weekly Author Blog Challenge is a once-a-week blogging adventure brought to you exclusively by Evernight authors. Each week, we answer a new question (listed below and borrowed from MFRW.org) and the answers will be featured on the Evernight Reader’s Group on Facebook, as well as our own blogs and social media platforms. Check out the group or follow the #evernighties tag to see how other authors answered this week’s question!

Week #3: How much of myself is in my writing

This is a really interesting question this week, and the answer is kind of complex. It’s one I like to think about as a writer, though.

First, I think I put a good bit of myself into my writing as far as passion goes. Whatever I’m passionate about/into at the time happens to be what I usually write about. I mean, I think it would be hard to write about something you’re not really interested in. So I do tend to focus on subjects, places, and things that I’m fascinated by. I assume most writers do, and that’s the biggest part of ourselves that we put into our writing.

I also sometimes add personal preferences to my stories. My characters might have some trait or habit that I have, or they like (or don’t) like something that I do. No one character I’ve ever written is EXACTLY like me, but sometimes I give them a bit of my personality. I think that’s natural as a writer too–it’s part of that “write what you know” advice we get whacked over the head with. I might pull from my own memories or childhood to give a character a backstory, but again, no character is a carbon copy of me.

And of course, my characters sometimes end up in places I’ve been and I draw from those experiences. Life translates to fiction, after all. I think it’s fun that way.

What about you? Do you put yourself into your characters?

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This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. The first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. The awesome co-hosts for the January 2 posting of the IWSG are Patricia Lynne, Lisa Buie-Collard, Kim Lajevardi, and Fundy Blue!

Happy New Year! I missed the IWSG last month for the first time ever, because life was keeping me away from blogging (and writing) but I’ve promised myself this year I’m going to be more diligent about both–call it a resolution, if you will. I tend to be a happier person when I’m getting words down, whether they be in stories or blog posts–and I’m determined 2019 will be happy!

I guess my insecurity this month is focusing on the new year–another writing year–and wondering if I’m EVER gonna at least make a living off it. I’ve got a lot of books published but I’m nowhere near making enough money off them to pay the bills, which is what I want eventually. I know sometimes it takes a lot of books, a lot of hard work, and a big old dash of luck, but it gets frustrating. It gets disheartening. Sometimes I ask why am I still doing this, when it feels like I’m getting nowhere? Of course, I know if I DON’T keep doing it, that’s a surefire way to get nowhere forever. So…I’ll keep on keeping on. I don’t want to be famous, I just want to make a career of it!

Well, okay, it would be nice to be famous too. But that’s not the actual goal.

Do you ever get frustrated and disheartened?

January 2 question – What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?

Hmm, well, I don’t mind anyone wanting to talk to me about writing. It’s my favorite subject, after all. I guess my favorite questions focus on specific aspects of my books or my writing techniques–I love to talk shop. I love when non-writers are curious and want to know when I devote time to my writing, how I do it, and how I come up with ideas. I’m always very flattered and grateful when someone is genuinely curious about my writing.

Least favorite–I would have to say, the impossible questions. When someone asks me “can you tell me how to write a book?” (I’ve gotten that one a few times!) it’s not a question I can easily, or even non-easily, answer. It’s a huge, complicated process and it takes a lot of work and practice. Also, everyone writes a book their own way. And, not a question, but I greatly dislike the “I have an idea for your next book!” conversation. I can’t just write any old thing, and most of the time their ideas aren’t even in the generes I write. I appreciate it, but no thanks.

I hope everyone had a great holiday season! Happy New Year!