Monday, August 11, 2014

I have the Answers to your Questions!

Okay, here are some of the questions I've gotten over the past few days. I didn't answer all of them, because some of the questions I received were duplicates. Thank you for sending in questions! Sorry for some of the long responses. I'm a little wordy at times. :)

1. My question is with as many books that you have already published at what age did you start writing your first novel? and was it a high school project?

During my Creative Writing class my junior year of high school, I wrote the scene in BlackMoon Beginnings where Ryanne fell into the dream world for the first time for a short story project. It was only supposed to be 3-6 pages, but my story was over 15 pages. The only feedback my teacher left on the story was that it would make an interesting YA novel.

After I graduated, I sat down and wrote my first book in June of 2012. I was eighteen. I couldn't find a job, so I decided to write instead. I turned that short story into a novel. I wrote BlackMoon Beginnings and Scorching Secrets in two months time. I began Descending Darkness in August, but it took a little longer to write that book because of my college classes.

I published my first book on February 16th, 2013 when I was nineteen. Honestly, I published that book because of a project for my college English course. For a month, I had to immerse myself into a new community and do something new. I immersed myself into the self-pubbing/blogging community and published a book for my "something new." My writing and publishing journey both began because of a school assignment. 

2. What inspired you to write and publish books?

As mentioned before, I probably never would have started writing if my teacher didn't suggest it. It didn’t give it much thought before it was suggested to me. It took me a while before I decided to publish. It took me months before I even let my mom read my books. Haha I know it surprised a lot of people when I took the leap and decided to publish. I've never really been one to do anything that would bring attention to myself. It was very out of my comfort zone initially. 

3. Do you have any particular favourite books or authors that inspired you to become a writer yourself? I was also wondering what you have been reading lately- I read all of the books on your Need A Book page and particularly enjoyed fangirl. Do you have any others you would recommend?

The first books I bought on my Kindle were from Shelly Crane, Samantha Young, and Amy Bartol. They introduced me into the world of self-publishing, and they're probably the sweetest people you'll ever meet. I don't think they know it, but they had a large influence of my publishing decision. They were all very helpful whenever I e-mailed them questions early on. 

Fangirl is probably one of my favorite books. If you haven't read any more of Rainbow Rowell's books, I'd suggest those. I'm currently reading Heather Lyon's Fate Series and Barbie Girl by Heidi Acosta. I really like Samantha Young's Tales of Lunamorte series. I've read each book like five times. Haha 

4. Where do you get your inspiration for your books, and what made you decide to pursue this style of writing (which is awesome by the way)?

First off, thank you. Being my age, I didn't think anyone would take my books seriously if I wrote anything but young adult. If you followed me in the beginning, I didn't even mention my age. I didn't think anyone would want to read a book written by a teenager. I've always read Fantasy and Paranormal, so that influenced my writing style a lot.

As for the inspiration for my books...I have absolutely no idea. Sometimes my book ideas come from dreams, sometimes they come from music, sometimes it's just the strange rambling going on in my head. I don't have anything that inspires me specifically. I believe that inspiration strikes when it's meant to. You can't look for it...it comes to you.

I'm trying to branch out of Young Adult and into New Adult. I was so inspired by the song "What Would You Do?" by Bastille. There's a story in there I really want to tell, but it definitely wouldn't be YA. I'm a little afraid that readers won't take it seriously coming from me at the moment, so I'm waiting a little before I start writing it.

5. Do you base your characters off of people you know or do you just come up with characters at the top of your head?

For most of the characters, I just come up with them off the top of my head. I combined some of my friends characteristics for Emma and Natalie. I'll admit, I put a lot of my personality into Ryanne--not the physical characteristics (though I am short and have wavy/curly hair), but I am just as clueless as she is and I did take gymnastics and piano lessons when I was younger. I wrote what I knew for her character. I didn't realize it until after I published it and some of my friends started noticing similarities though. 

For Colton...I just like Colton. Haha When I read books, I always imagine the main guy looking how I described Colton, so I decided to make my own character. For Bryce and Lainey, I just wrote them how they told me to write them. I don't really plan anything before writing, so sometimes their personalities surprise me.

6. How do you come up with the characters and personalities? who is your FAVORITE character in redeeming laney and who is your favorite character in the phrofisized and then between both books, who is your ALL TIME favorite character??

Honestly, I just write what the characters tell me to write. I don't put much planning into my character's personalities beforehand, because I like the element of surprise. Every time I write a new character, it's like meeting a new friend. I get to know them over the course of the novel. 

My favorite character in the Prophesized series? That is such a hard question. All the characters in that series will forever have a special place in my heart because they were my first characters ever. While writing this newest book though, I've really come to love James and Larkin. Liam is probably my favorite character to write though, and I absolutely love Colton because...it's Colton!

In Redeeming Lainey, I really really really love Tyler. I want to write a story about him. I want to dive into his back story because his life isn't all sunshine and rainbows. I want to show how his relationship with someone (if you read the book, you'll know) started. Also, I think he's a good friend to both Bryce and Lainey.

My all time favorite character...oh goodness, that's a good question. I don't think I can pick just one. I fell so hard for Bryce and Lainey. I love Tyler's personality and his backstory. On the other side, I love Ryanne and Colton, and Liam's personality and backstory. Emma's a great friend, and James and Larkin are more complex than I expected. I also really like Aurialyn in my upcoming Fantasy series because of her attitude and Owen and Levi from this contemporary novel I'm writing because of their friendship. So, in conclusion, I really love all my characters. :)  

7. How do you stay focused on one book at a time? Or rather, one scene at a time? Also, how do you place scenes in a book? Do you start out with a well written plot or does it just come when it comes?

I don't. 

I write multiple books at once. While writing the last Prophesized book, I finished my Guardians of the Chosen book and am another Fantasy novel (see question #11). I wrote Redeeming Lainey while I was writing Reaching Retribution. I worked on my other stand-alone contemporary novel while writing Descending Darkness. I always finish my books, but I jump between novels all the time.

I don't usually plot. I find plotting a little restrictive. If a novel idea is very strong, but I know that I don't currently have time to write it, I will plot some notes, but I know that when I get time to write that novel, I won't follow those notes exactly. I like the surprise that comes with not knowing where the story is going.

I just write. 

8. What inspired the story of Redeeming Lainey?

I think I got the idea for Redeeming Lainey shortly after publishing Scorching Secrets. I remember writing the prologue while I was at UtopYA Con 2013. As for what inspired it? I'm not really sure. I saw a picture (previously posted on my blog) and everything fell into place after that.

Also, I have experienced losing loved ones to cancer, so I was able to draw on those emotions to write some of those scenes. 

9. Why did you end the prophesized series? And will you make more books like it..?

All good things must come to an end. ;)

As a writer, you come to a moment where you realize that it's time for the end. I don't know how to describe it besides there just being a "feeling." When I started that series, I only expected there to be three books, so I was surprised when I wrote the third book and it turned out that there was more story to tell.

10. I'm a huge fan of the Prophesized Series and Redeeming Lainey. Are you coming out with any new books soon? and is there going to be a book #5 for the Prophesized series?

I'm glad you've enjoyed my books so far! I'm always writing, so I have a lot of material to work with. Currently, I've started four different novels (three of them are series) and I've plotted a fifth stand-alone novel with a lot of puns and Disney messages. 

I am working on a fifth book for the Prophesized Series, however, it is NOT a continuation of the story in the sense that there is one plot line, rising action, resolution, etc. The last book is told through varying point-of-views telling each character's story of what happened after Reaching Retribution. My goal is to have that book out by the end of 2014...but I've had some issues writing it recently, so I'll keep you updated on the progress of that.

11. What's your new fantasy series going to be about?

I'm currently working on two other fantasy series right now. 

The first one is my Guardians of the Chosen series. That's a tentative name. The book is told from Elsie's perspective. After a tragedy back home, Elsie moves from Indiana to live with her Aunt and Uncle in North Carolina. There, she discoveres that her life isn't as black and white as she once thought. Every eighteen years, the gods choose four girls to fight against the Helixawren, which are beings released from Tartarus by Choas and Nemesis. The series will cover the span over three novels as these girls try to come into their powers with the help of their Guardians and finally close the gates of Tartarus once and for all before Choas and Nemesis become too powerful and break free.

My other series is more fantasy-ish than anything I've written before. The story is told from varying points of view: Aurialyn, Zayden, and a few sections from the King. Aurialyn is this short blonde girl from Chicago (may possibly change the City later) who never felt like she fit in anywhere--there was alwas something different about her. Zayden is a Xyraphen, a member of the King's royal guard, who was sent on a mission to bring Aurialyn to the Kingdom after she was nearly attacked by these daemons called razarons. With the help of Calix, Zayden's best friend and a shifter, they journey to find Aurialyn's true identity and place in the magical Kingdom of Deniaton. This book deals with ancient traditions, an impending war, feuding brothers, a magical Ball, and forbidden love.

Both of these series are in the very early stages. I have the first book in the Guardians series written. I'm about 40K words into the Deniaton one. I really like both of those books though.  I hope you will too when I finally get them finished. 

12. Dude, why Karkin?!?

I'm so sorry. It had to be done. :( 

13. What Hogwarts House would you be sorted into?

Team Hufflepuff. No shame. :)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Have any questions?!

Since I haven't updated my blog in a while, I was thinking about doing some sort of Q&A for early next week.




Does anyone have any questions they'd want to ask me? I'll answer any questions (to an extent) about me, my writing, school, characters, future projects, etc. Basically, anything is fair game.

If you do have any questions, you can comment below or send me a message either on Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail. I'll take questions until Sunday night! I won't put your name in the post I type up. I can't wait to see some of your questions :) 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Redeeming Lainey is Live

As a few readers have already figured out, Redeeming Lainey is live a few hours early. After many HOURS of formatting today, I think I have finally finished everything. There are still a few issues, but I don't think of any of them take away from the novel. (Ignore the Table of Contents on the Amazon versions. I don't know what happened there.)


Synopsis 


When Lainey left the little farming town in Iowa on her eighteenth birthday, she thought she was finally free. She didn’t have to live in fear anymore wondering which day was going to be her last. For those two years, she was able to live in peace. She’d made a new friend, was going to a school she loved, and was setting the path for her future career.

That all changed with one phone call from her mother.

With the push of her best friend, Randi, Lainey goes back into the town she once promised was forever in her rear-view mirror. The dark memories of her past loom around every corner, and Lainey can’t seem to conquer the demons inside of her in order to fully move on.

Bryce, on the other hand, had moved on. During middle school and high school, Lainey was his best friend, and it tore him apart when she left with only a note. A simple note saying good-bye and have a great life.

Without his best friend around, Bryce’s life quickly spiraled out of control. He got into drugs, had some trouble with the law, and found himself partying a little too hard. Sweet Annabeth brought him out of that stage in his life, and ultimately saved his life.

With Lainey back in town, Bryce is at a loss at what do. She wants nothing to do with him or the town, but he is the only person who knows her full history and may be able to help her. Knowing that Lainey’s a flight risk, and with one wrong move, she’d pack everything up and leave again, Bryce steps out to help her find the one thing she doesn’t know she needs.

Redemption. 



Here are the links


I'm going to disappear now as you all read! I get really nervous during releases. This book means a lot to me, so I hope you enjoy it!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Redeeming Lainey Release Date

It's a little sudden, but I'm going to be releasing Redeeming Lainey on 

Saturday, July 19th!




Synopsis: 


When Lainey left the little farming town in Iowa on her eighteenth birthday, she thought she was finally free. She didn’t have to live in fear anymore wondering which day was going to be her last. For those two years, she was able to live in peace. She’d made a new friend, was going to a school she loved, and was setting the path for her future career.

That all changed with one phone call from her mother.

With the push of her best friend, Randi, Lainey goes back into the town she once promised was forever in her rear-view mirror. The dark memories of her past loom around every corner, and Lainey can’t seem to conquer the demons inside of her in order to fully move on.

Bryce, on the other hand, had moved on. During middle school and high school, Lainey was his best friend, and it tore him apart when she left with only a note. A simple note saying good-bye and have a great life.

Without his best friend around, Bryce’s life quickly spiraled out of control. He got into drugs, had some trouble with the law, and found himself partying a little too hard. Sweet Annabeth brought him out of that stage in his life, and ultimately saved his life.

With Lainey back in town, Bryce is at a loss at what do. She wants nothing to do with him or the town, but he is the only person who knows her full history and may be able to help her. Knowing that Lainey’s a flight risk, and with one wrong move, she’d pack everything up and leave again, Bryce steps out to help her find the one thing she doesn’t know she needs.

Redemption. 



I've been away on a mini-vacation for the past few days which is why I haven't released this information sooner. I posted it on my Facebook page, but I know not everyone who checks my blog is a fan of that page. I have a lot of things coming up, and I realized that this weekend is about the only time I can get the book out before I go back to school. 

Because of that, Redeeming Lainey will be published on Saturday, July 19th!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Friday Fun Facts on a Saturday!

I forgot to post a Fun Facts last week and almost forgot this week. I'm at that point in the summer where I don't realize what day it is anymore. I didn't realize that yesterday was actually Friday, and that today is in fact Saturday.

This week the topic for the Fun Facts is:

Reasons Why I Write


1. Because I freaking love it.

2. Sometimes when I'm sitting down doing absolutely nothing, my eyes will get really wide and everyone around me knows not to disrupt me when I have this look. Apparently, that is my thinking face. That look means I have a brilliant idea that surpasses all other ideas I've ever had. When you get that idea, you just have to write it down.

3. Because I love puns. When I set people up so I can use my hilarious pun or play on words, they don't usually follow. They all forgot to read their scripts with their morning bowl of cereal, so I write them down. I have an upcoming book that'll have a lot of puns and Disney references. It's going to be cute.

4. I'm a Sagittarius, and according to this post I found on Tumblr, I'm a tough cookie to befriend. (It's pretty true though.) To make up for that, I create my own fictional friends. I like spending time with my fictional friends...most of the time. Sometimes they're pretty stubborn.



5. I get to create something out of nothing. Watching a simple idea flourish into something much bigger is an amazing feeling. Remember when you were younger and you planted a seed in science class. Everyday, you'd water that little tiny plant hoping that you'd see the first sprout of green pushing through the dirt. When a flower finally bloomed, you were overcome with this sense of accomplishment--like I helped the seed become a beautiful flower. I guess you can also relate it being proud of your child's accomplishments. I don't have kids, so I'm going to stick with the flowers.

6. It's cathartic. It's the way I express myself. I don't like being vulnerable, so when I'm angry or upset, I write. I've written some stories that'll never see the light of day, but it helped me feel better at the time. Also, if I'm really mad at someone, I can make them a character in my book and later kill them off. It's that "pen is mightier than the sword" saying. Haha I write for me. Each time I sit down in front of a computer, I discover a little more about myself.

7. I'd probably go insane if I kept all these ideas in my head.

8. Because I can. I don't like it when people tell others they can't do something. If you want to write, just do it. I love writing, and I'm going to keep doing for as long as it makes me happy.

9. When I go long periods of time without writing something feels wrong. I feel empty. I don't know when writing became so important to me, but it's turned into something I have to do. I wake up in the morning, and I just want to write. Well, I first want to go back to sleep, but when I wake up fully, I want to write. I get fidgety if I don't write for a long time. I get cranky, sadly, because all these ideas start to fester in my mind.

10. Above all else, I feel like I have a story tell. Even if no one likes it, sometimes a story just has to be told.

*****
If you have any ideas on what my next Fun Facts post could me, leave a comment below. I'm open to all suggestions.

I hope you all have a fantastic day!


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Prophesized Teaser for Teaser Tuesday!

Because of the amount of requests I've received recently, I decided to give you all a little tease at the last Prophesized book I've been working on. I have three character stories done, and I've started writing another one yesterday. This book is getting longer than I initially planned. I probably won't do another teaser until after Redeeming Lainey is out, so I hope you like it!


This is unedited and subject to change before publication. 

“No, this is right,” I state adamantly. “We’re supposed to be here right now.” With the where figured out, I just have to figure out the why. Colton’s hands move to my waist as he steps up behind me. His arms tighten around me as he pulls me off the stool.
I let him move me, but I’m not going to let him distract me from what I came here to do. “You know this is where we officially met,” he whispers in my ear, his lips ever so gently brushing against the sensitive skin there.
“Really?” Okay, I briefly let him distract me.
“Yeah, you almost got run over by a car right outside that window,” he points to the front of the store.
“That feels like so long ago,” I say. “Like lifetimes ago.”
“Then you came in here and sat in that chair, all beautiful and confused,” he reminds me. I can hear the smile in his voice “Claire knew right then and there about my feelings for you.”
“Well, I wasn’t too subtle with my gawking,” I laugh and lean back against his chest. “When you were checking out that book,” I freeze.
That book.

Thoughts? I was asked to post a Colton teaser. Colton's POV was a little too spoilery, so I hope this was okay. Haha I'm sorry for any errors. This is the first draft, so it still has a lot of editing to go through.

I'll release the title for this book with the release of Redeeming Lainey. I'm going to get back to writing it now. I'll post a blog post in a few days with Redeeming Lainey details. I hope you all have a fantastic day. :)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Fun Facts and UtopYA Con Sale :)

I really wanted to keep my Fun Facts this week, so I decided to write this post a day early. This week my fun facts are about my experience with:

 UtopYA Con


1. This is my second UtopYA. Last year was amazing, so I immediately bought tickets for this year's convention. This year will have double the amount of people as last year, so it should be interesting.

2. At the convention last year, I got asked for my autograph for the first time ever. MY autograph. It totally surprised me. I'll always remember that.

3. I'm a total fangirl. Last year, I kept seeing Shelly Crane, Samantha Young, and Misty Provencher just walking around, having a jolly ol' time and I could do nothing but gawk. I was in the same building as them. It was very strange for me. I got the courage to talk with Amy A. Bartol after one of the panels, and I almost cried. She (though she didn't know it at the time) helped me make the decision to self-publish my own novels.

4. I'm really awkward around new people, so I hope no one comes up to me. Haha If you are coming to the convention and you do find me...well, I'm sorry for any weirdness that comes from me. I can't help it.

5. Book conventions are extremely fun. You're surrounded by people who are just like you, and everyone makes you feel welcomed. If you have a chance to go to one, don't pass the opportunity up! You won't regret it.

6. I'm really excited for this year's convention. It's going to be way different than last year, and I can't wait for what's in store! I'll update my blog early next week about this weekend :)


Since I'm currently in Nashville for the UtopYA Convention, I've decided to put all my books on sale for the weekend. Considering each book is usually $2.99, I'd definitely get the books now if you haven't read them yet! They probably won't go on sale again for a while. These prices will stay until Sunday night.

Because my WiFi connect is very sketchy, I'm going to post this early. I have already changed the prices, but I know they won't be available for a few hours. Keep checking throughout the day!


If any of you are at the convention and you want to find me, look for a really short girl (shorter than Ryanne!) with nerdy glasses and long, messy wavy hair. I'm 20 years old, but apparently I look younger than that. I'll probably be standing or sitting in the back of every room I'm in, avoiding eye contact with everyone.

That's all I have for right now. Thank you for stopping by my blog, and I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fun Facts #1: Inspirations

I asked the lovely people on my Facebook page if this would be a weekly thing they'd be interested in reading. I'm trying to update my blog more often because I've only posted one blog entry a month lately. On Fridays, I'm going to give "fun facts" about book related stuff and non-book related stuff. I'm not sure how long I'll keep this up or what I'm going to talk about each week. If you have anything you want to know about, let me know! I'm up for whatever!

This first week, I'm going to talk about: 

Inspirations


1. My biggest book inspiration is MUSIC. I always listen to music when I write. I get into this zone when I'm writing where I just close my eyes and let the music move me. When I get into that zone, I can easily knock out 5K-10K which is a good amount for a day. I create playlists on Spotify for each book I write. I've been thinking about making them public, but I haven't decided yet. 

The Prophesized Series


2. The initial thing that inspired me to write was sheer boredom. During my junior year of high school, my creative writing teacher told me that my short story would make an interesting YA novel. I didn't think much of it until after I graduated. During that summer, I was really bored, and remembering what she told me, I decided to try my hand at writing.

3. Dreams. I tend to have really weird dreams. Maybe I eat too late before bed. Maybe I just have a really weird/vivid imagination, I don't know, but I tend have strange dreams. I wrote a few of those dreams into my novels. 

4. Conversations I've had with friends and family inspired a few of the scenes in the Prophesized Series. All of the movie arguing (Evans vs. Hemsworth) is based on real arguments that I've had with people. I love the Marvel movies, Harry Potter movies, etc. so I really wasn't that creative when I wrote those scenes. haha

5. I love the outdoors (when it's not freakishly hot). There's a fort near my house where I go to walk the trails. Being surrounded by all the trees and animals helps me think. It clears my mind and lets me sort out plot details when I'm stuck. It inspires me. Because of that, the Prophesized Series has a lot of forests scenes.

Besides that, I have no idea what inspired me to write that whole series. I just sat down at the computer and wrote for days. I annoyed my family because I wrote that series before I had a laptop, so I was literally hogging the family computer, but I couldn't stop. I just wanted to keep writing. I wrote BlackMoon Beginnings and Scorching Secrets within two and half months and started the third book when I went off to college. 

Redeeming Lainey


6. I get on Pinterest a lot. I create boards for all my projects. Sometimes I create them after I finish writing, but I tend to create them while I'm in the process of writing them. I like the visuals. However, for Redeeming Lainey, a picture inspired the entire book.


























I don't know what it was about this picture by Yell Saccani but I wanted to know that girl's story. I wanted to know more, and the longer I looked at the picture, the more I started to think about it. Thus, Redeeming Lainey was born. I gave Victoria from Whit & Ware Designs that image when she was designing my cover. :)




To be completely honest, I'm not sure what inspires my stories. I hear a line in a TV show and a scene flashes before my eyes. I hear a chord of a song and imagine a setting where I would hear that. I see a picture online of a character and I know their backstory. I don't look for inspiration anywhere, because inspiration is all around me. It strikes randomly and when it does, you just have to go with it. 


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