Writing Marathon 2013

I know it’s after midnight, but with 2013 coming to an end, and my promise to get my WIP in this year, I’ve put everything aside so I can get the final tasks done.

It’s all coming together, but it’s going to end in a final marathon, and I thought…what better a way to do this than with friends! So, if you are a writer and you want to ring in the New Year with a leap forward on your WIP, you’re invited to the party, and please share word with all your writer friends in case they might want to do the same.

#writingmarathon2013 on Twitter will be the live feed, starting at 11am (CENTRAL time) on December 31st. You can drop in at any time to share some words of encouragement. All you have to do is share a tweet with the hash tag #writingmarathon2013 in it, anytime between 11am and midnight. Say something about your goal, your progress, your beverage or music of inspiration, or maybe look over the feed for the pick-me-up you need.

I like to write in shifts of 1-2 hours, with changes of location and half-hour breaks between, and I will be doing that from 11am all the way until midnight. Every hour, I’ll tweet something and do a bit of interacting before diving into another hour of writing. Having fun while we do what we love is only requirement.

I have a New Years party to go to for an hour or two, but that will be my only long break, so I will otherwise be around all day to keep the party going. You can participate however you’d like, whether that means coming for an hour, or coming back a few times throughout the day, but it’s my hope that supporting one another with a writing event will be a great way to keep us accountable and putting in whatever time we can to our projects.

Come midnight, if I’m still not finished (since I am so close to being through my revision task-list), I’m going to keep going until I am, and anyone else wanting to keep going can join me. (Those who could not join but who want to pop in after midnight are welcome!)

Baileys, champagne, wine, coffee, what have you, let’s do what we love most and set the stage for an awesome writing year ahead! My first sleep in 2014 will be one where I know I have finally finished and submitted my first novel.

Whatever your goal is, let’s all start together with a strong leg forward, and let’s do it together!

Author in the Spotlight: Jeanne Arnold

Today I’m pleased to welcome Jeanne Arnold, one of my fellow Champagne authors, as my guest!

Jeanne Arnold Author Image

Jeanne is an author of young adult romance. At a young age she found her creative outlet in art, and for years her fictional characters came to life in drawings and paintings, until they demanded a voice. Now they grace the pages of her stories. Jeanne shares her time with her fictional teenage counterparts and her human family in Central New York. Stubborn will be released by Champagne Books on January 6th, 2014, followed by The Haunt of Thirteen Curves in June, 2014.

***

SEVEN SPOTLIGHT QUESTIONS:

#1: Why do you write?

Writing gives me an outlet for my creative imagination. For years my characters and stories came out of paintbrushes and colored pencils in the form of illustrations. I was a writer long before I actually typed a story. I wasn’t fully satisfied as an artist, so when I stumbled on writing, I realized it was a perfect fit for me.

#2: What was your earliest writing experience?

I filled notebooks with themes, illustrations and short stories in second grade. I wrote radio shows and newspaper editorials and read them into a tape recorder. I remember the day brainstorming was introduced. I wanted to get down to writing; however, there was a process I was expected to follow. I was frustrated and impatient with the limits put on my creativity. I didn’t want to follow rules. I’ve always fought against creative limitations, even in the art world, and maybe this is why I didn’t find my love for novel writing until later in life.

#3: Describe a day in your writing life:

Everyday, apart from editing or promotion work, consists of me sitting in the kitchen at my laptop from early morning until the Late Show. I’m passionate about writing and it tends to overshadow everything else. I’ve become a full-time writer while taking care of a full-time family. I’m constantly trying to find balance.

#4: What authors influenced you and how?

I’m a fan of the classics, particularly authors who wrote strong female leads. Every author I read influences me with their writing style, imageries, character’s voices, romantic elements. Early on I loved historical fiction, which grew my interest in history and characters from different times. I’ve recently finished a young adult romance set in the depression era and my forthcoming young adult novel, The Haunt of Thirteen Curves, has a historical twist.

#5: What are some things you learned to help with your success?

I’ve learned to move on from rejection, success, frustration…everything. I tend to move on abruptly when I finish a novel. I close off the characters and story. Within a day I begin my next project with a new outlook and a new set of possibilities. As a result I’ve finished ten books in three years. I try not to compare or second guess my past work. I’ve learned that perseverance is everything in this business. Solid research, working with every last free hour I have and pouring my heart into my work, is what gets the contract, the gratification, and the next opportunity.

#6: Describe your writing method:

I’m an unconventional writer. My method evolves and is ever changing. I don’t follow many rules or lay out a plan when I begin a novel. I have a different method for writing and researching from book to book. Sometimes I have a title before I begin and the story develops along the way. Sometimes I have the entire plot mapped out in my head and I’m able to sit down and type without notes or direction. My characters are always alive inside me waiting for their turn. Once I begin their story, they become so real I forget I’m writing them.

#7: Tips for aspiring writers:

Research, ask questions, and most of all, have patience.  Investigate every aspect of publishing from querying literary agents and editors to formatting submissions to finding out what the market is looking for. When in doubt, ask questions. Patience is essential. You need to have it, make it, borrow it, buy it, or steal it.  If you don’t carry patience, you will struggle.

***

Check out Jeanne’s Latest book:

Stubborn-Jeanne Arnold-cover

***

Stubborn is a young adult romance novel, set in present day Williston, North Dakota, the epicenter of America’s latest and most explosive oil boom. It will be released by Champagne Books January 6th, 2014.

***

With a train ticket, a bad attitude, and an unfortunate scribbling of obscenities across her forehead, seventeen-year-old Avery Ross is tossed out of the frying pan and into the fire when she’s sent from New York to the vast oil field region of North Dakota.  When a green-eyed boy with a sultry Texan accent comes to her defense, Avery has no clue that his actions will lead her into a passion-charged summer, full of temptation and loss.

Defiant and relegated to work at her aunt’s boarding house, Avery discovers a connection between her aunt and the striking boy. He and his brothers are seeking revenge for the wrongful death of their sibling, and Avery becomes entangled in their battle over oil rights, loyalty, and love.  Avery falls for the brooding, younger brother, Gabriel Halden, against her aunt’s forewarnings and creates more tribulations than any of them could anticipate.

***

Excerpt:

I was pretty confident the vulgar obscenities scribbled across my forehead with black indelible marker got me this righteous seat on the Empire Builder heading to the flat, endless, barren nowhere land of the Midwest. But I could have been wrong. I was known to be wrong.

I’d inadvertently kicked my ferocious texting habit cold turkey and wiped out all my summer plans in one unfortunate, random weekend. My parents wouldn’t listen when I swore to China and back that I was sober at my best friend Janie’s end-of-school party when some drunken joker, whose lame advances I probably shot down a gazillion times, decided to use my face as a canvas. I insisted that I simply fell asleep following a demanding cross-country meet.

I failed to see what was so horrible.

I failed to see why I was being punished.

On top of that, it wasn’t my fault I got caught cutting the last week of my junior year of high school after somebody spread a venomous rumor about me that I couldn’t stomach to repeat.

Since my original outburst when I learned I would be spending the summer of my seventeenth year with my Aunt Meggie in North Dakota, I held silent, communicating only with gestures and grunts. I could hardly swallow the truth. They were sending me to help out in the wake of the oil boom. Whatever that meant. Don’t get me wrong, Meggie was my favorite aunt, but who in their right mind would want to spend summer vacation maintaining a boardinghouse for lowly oil field hands?

Those thoughts ran through my mind as I stood on the platform in Syracuse, waiting for my train to nowhere.

“Boom!” My sister’s high-pitched voice squealed. “Boom, boom!”

I held Brianna’s squirmy body in my arms for the last time. She wore her fairy princess dress and talked excitedly with her chubby hands. They flailed like an angry bird, until she found my ponytail and yanked hard.

“Banana, hush,” I whispered sadly. I would disappear out of her life in a matter of minutes. “Will you call me on the phone, Banana? I’ll miss you so much. Give sis a hug and a kissy.”

She angled my face, her tiny fingers splayed over my cheeks. Her lips pecked at mine. Thank goodness she couldn’t read my forehead.

I set her down on the bench and avoided my mother’s evil glare. I’d given up asking for a sibling long ago, perfectly content with my only-child status. Still, I fell in love with my baby sister the second I met her, despite the fifteen-year age difference, thanks to my parent’s carelessness.

The grinding, squealing train came to a halt.

Brianna smacked her palms against my bare knees. “Boom, Avy, boom!”

A burst of resentment shot through me. I sprang off the bench and hurried for the train, catching sight of my father strapping an arm around my mother like a belt.

“Avy! Go boom!”

“Avery! Avery Norah Ross. Get back here, young lady!” my father bellowed.

I streaked up the steps wearing a self-satisfied grin and boarded the train. I wasn’t going to let my parents fold me in a phony hug. God only knows what I would have said. They were making me leave my sister, my YMCA job and my friends, spoiling any chance I had to find a real boyfriend before my senior year.

I didn’t shed a tear when the train took off, although my eyes pooled with anger as I waved to my three-year-old sister from the hazy, rounded window. I scowled spitefully at my parents, irritated by what they’d done to me, for making such a rash decision to send me to the middle of freaking nowhere for two months.

That’s when I began plotting the most outrageous payback in the history of the world. It would take me a little time, but I would give them something to really cry about.

***

Check out Champagne Books for this great title:

***

Connect with Jeanne:

Webpage: www.jeannearnoldbooks.com

Blog: www.jeannearnoldbooks.com/blog

Twitter: twitter.com/jeannesbooks

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Jeanne-Arnold-Books

Fan email address: me@jeannearnoldbooks.com

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/jeannesbooks

Tumblr: jeannesbooks.tumblr.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/jeannesbooks/boards/

***

A time to celebrate

Happy Holidays to all!

I’m days away from submitting my debut novel, which I have labored on a few hours every day for the last 15 months. Between that, many Christmas feasts, and squirreling away by the fireplace with coffee as often as possible, it should be quite an enjoyable week.

Happy writing!

Author in the Spotlight: Clare C. Marshall

Welcome to Clare C. Marshall, who is my guest today!

smallclareClare C. Marshall grew up in rural Nova Scotia with very little television and dial up internet, and yet, she turned out okay. She has a combined honours degree in journalism and psychology from the University of King’s College, and is a graduate from Humber College’s Creative Book Publishing Program. She is a full-time freelance editor, book designer, and web manager. She enjoys publishing young adult science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels through her publishing imprint, Faery Ink Press. When she’s not writing, she enjoys playing the fiddle and making silly noises at cats.

***

SEVEN SPOTLIGHT QUESTIONS:

#1: Why do you write?

Why do you breathe? If I did not create, I would have nothing. I would leave nothing behind.

#2: What was your earliest writing experience?

I don’t remember any earliest writing experiences because I’ve always been a writer. I was always writing stories, stapling pieces of paper together with coloured paper kid-illustrated covers. From an early age in school teachers would always encourage me to write, but to a fault: my stories often got out of control and I was always given extensions to hand in final copies.

#3: Describe a day in your writing life:

Well, my writing time depends a lot on my client work. My client work comes first. So generally in my everyday life, I will do my client work, and then do my own writing/publishing pursuits.  Sometimes my writing time  is preceded by making large quantities of coffee or drinking energy drinks, but usually only if it’s a weekend. A lot of my writing gets done in the late of night, or if I’m not very busy, early in the morning when I get up.

So while I don’t have very structured times to do my writing, when I do plan a writing session, I make sure it gets done, because planning to do some writing is half the battle.

#4: What authors influenced you and how?

A number of authors growing up influenced me, but here are a few.

Maggie Stiefvater: writing for teens doesn’t have to be juvenile, it can be poetic;

George R. R. Martin: his obsessive world building really influenced me while I was writing The Violet Fox.

K.A. Applegate: Loved her Animorphs and Remnants series. Just because something is for teens doesn’t mean it can’t be heavy and epic while maintaining its charming humor.

#5: What are some things you learned to help with your success?

Time management, mostly, since I not only publish my own books but I am a freelance editor, book designer, and web manager. Learning how to format books and create/manage websites has also helped me considerably, as I would otherwise have to outsource these things.

Also: the art of sitting down and forcing myself to get stuff done!

#6: Describe your writing method:

I tend to write the middle first, and then the end, and then the beginning. Or a little bit of each. Then, I stitch the narrative together. Then I have to re-read the draft several times to make sure there are no plot holes or other plot mistakes!

#7: Tips for aspiring writers:

-Don’t wait for permission to do what you want to do.

  • -Stop making excuses or waiting for the “right mood.” If people in any other profession waited for the right mood to get something done, nothing would get done.

-Once you get going on a project, it will get easier to finish it.

***

Check out Clare’s Latest book:

starsinhereyes_01

Burn hot and cold.

Read minds.

Disappear at will.

Dream your own death.

Welcome to Sparkstone University, where some students are more gifted than others.

When Ingrid learns she’s been accepted at the hyper-secretive Sparkstone University, she is sceptical. It’s an honour to attend, apparently, and yet barely anyone has ever heard of the place.

And everyone seems a little too happy that she’s there: especially when she meets Sunni and her group of friends. They seem to already know Ingrid. As if she was expected. Expected to save Earth from an imminent alien invasion. Like she has superpowers or something.

As if magic and mutations exist. As if aliens are really planning to attack.

That just sounds ridiculous. There’s no such thing.

…right?

Wrong.

***

Buy Here:

***

Connect with Clare:

Webpage: http://faeryinkpress.com

Twitter: @ClareMarshall13

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/faeryinkpress

Fan email address: clare@faeryinkpress.com

***