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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 April 3 posting of the IWSG are J.H. Moncrieff, Natalie Aguirre, Patsy Collins, and Chemist Ken!

Happy April! I nearly forgot to post today, mostly because my work schedule changed and I was confused about what day it was. I can apparently write entire books but I can’t keep track of the day of the week. 😉 But here I am!

I wasn’t nearly as productive in March as I wanted to be, so I’m hoping April will be better. I’ve started working on a new book but I was hoping to be much farther along with it–and I would have been, except for a lot of procrastination. My goal for spring is to ‘spring’ into action more and write, write, write instead of spending so much time distracting myself. We’ll see if my enthusiasm blooms with the flowers this month.

April 3 question: If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be? (examples: fight scene / first kiss scene / death scene / chase scene / first chapter / middle chapter / end chapter, etc.)

I think I would use my wish on any climactic scene that I write. I’m always afraid the peak of the story won’t live up to the reader’s expectation when they finally get to it. I know what I want to write while I’m aiming for it, and it seems really dramatic in my head, but when I write it, it’s usually nowhere near as sweeping and all-consuming  as I hoped it would be. Usually, I can kind of get what I expected, but I’m always worried about it not meeting the hype I’ve been working up to.

How about you? What scene would you like help writing?

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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 March 6 posting of the IWSG are Fundy Blue, Beverly Stowe McClure, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard!

Happy March! I’m eagerly awaiting the coming of spring–I’m thoroughly done with the cold and snow now, thank you very much. How’s the weather where you are?

Let’s see, what am I insecure about this month? I just sent off a new submission to my publisher (the sequel to Hidden) so I’m chewing my nails waiting for an answer. In the meantime I’m trying to work on another book, both to keep myself distracted and keep the ball rolling. I feel like I’m struggling to do anything creative-wise lately, though. Just a lot of mental blocks at the moment. I know the best way over them is through, but it just seems so hard. And I’ve been epically lazy, too. I’m sure the laziness is only making the blocks worse, so it’s a vicious cycle. I need to focus and put more effort in. It’s not a matter of not having the time, it’s using the time I have wisely instead of procrastinating.

Ah, I love this once-a-month chance to whine and moan and stomp my feet. 🙂

March 6 question – Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?

I don’t think I’ve ever written from the antagonist’s point of view, so I’d have to say the protagonist. However, I do like stories, and TV shows, and movies, where the antagonist is the main character, or where we at least get a big first-hand view of their side of the story. I’m a sucker for a good anti-hero. I just haven’t written one.

How about you? Which do you like to write–or which do you enjoy in other people’s art?

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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 #8: Worst writing advice I’ve gotten

Hoo boy, this is a doozy of a topic this week.

First of all, it’s important to remember that all writing advice is just that–advice. And advice is not the same as technicalities, which are the things that are actually the backbone of writing: things like grammar rules and spelling, plot construction, and the parts of a book that make it a whole, like your protagonist and antagonist, conflict, climax, and resolution. Yes, even some of those things can be bent a little, but I seperate those things from the creative part of writing. There’s a difference between how to technically write a book and how to artistically write a book–and it’s the latter we all tend to get advice about the most. The former can be learned.

What works for one author artistically may not work for another. One writer’s style is completely different from another writer’s style, and it would be hard for those two very different writers to give each other creative advice. Even when ‘experts’ dole out advice, take it with a big fat grain of salt. The trendsetters could tell you how books about sharks are gonna be SO huge next year, so you waste all year writing about sharks and then next year everyone’s into dolphins. Advice should be considered, but not necessarily held aloft to the exclusion of everything else.

That being said, a few of the worst pieces of writing advice I’ve ever gotten are:

  • Write what you know. Books would be insanely boring and repetitive if all writers only ever wrote about things they specifically know.
  • Never write about (various taboo subjects). Taboo subjects tend to make controversial books that sell well, because people love controversy. Taboo subjects can also be handled in a respectful manner that sheds light on the reality of the subject.
  • Read everything. Read good books that you like in the genre you want to write in. Also, it’s very easy to fool yourself into thinking if you’re spending all your time reading that’s also writing. You got to do the hard part, too.
  • Write every single day. Anne Rice made a GREAT post on her Facebook about this last week.

But, this is just my advice. Take it or leave it.

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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 #6: Five authors (alive or dead) I’d like to meet

This was a fun list to make!

  1. Stephen King – I don’t think anyone who has read my blog for any length of time is surprised by this. Stephen King was the reason I started writing at the tender and impressionable age of 13, wanting to be a horror writer just like him. I really want to meet him, and the fact he’s getting older makes me nervous that I won’t (and he makes far less public appearances now). I would love to just say to him “Mr. King, you’re the reason I started writing as a teenager, and now I have my own books published.” As eloquent as this seems in my head, in real life I’m sure I’d be a quivering, stupid mess and wouldn’t get the words out right.
  2. Anne Rice – She’s also getting older and it makes me nervous. I’d love to tell her what sort of impression her Vampire Chronicles had on me, even though I’m sure she hears it often. Her writing style and her boldness at a time vampire books weren’t a ‘thing’ yet, and her enduring impression and legacy as an author are things I really admire, and I’d love to just be in her presence for a few moments.
  3. Anne Lamott – My favorite author who writes about writing. She has a wicked dark sense of humor very much like my own and I think meeting her in person would be a delight.
  4. Edgar Allen Poe – Of course my black, morbid, horror-loving self would like to meet the old school master. I know in life he wasn’t exactly the greatest guy to be around, and possibly a raging alcoholic, but it’s a fantasy, I think, for anyone who writes or enjoys horror.
  5. Laurell K. Hamilton – The author who introduced me to urban fantasy, which is where my desire to write both paranormal and romance that’s a little more edgy and dark than traditional romance collide.

What writers would you like to meet?

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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?