Thanks for the support

Thanks for the support

Hello friends, just an update from last weeks blog (in case you were wondering how I’m doing) I’m feeling much better. Hopeful. Stubborn. Determined. I’m sure I’ll end up down in the dumps again one day, but it’s so nice knowing I have so many hands reaching out to help me back up.

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So many of you reached out to me with encouragement and support after my last post. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated it. All your messages of support made me feel like I wasn’t alone and just maybe people actually appreciated my writing and connected with my voice. I used to feel like I was just shouting into a void with this blog. I know that’s not true now.

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So many of you supported my need to take a break that the pressure I was putting on myself just drifted away. The next morning, I was filled with the urge to write. When my writing didn’t feel like something I had to do anymore, the joy naturally drifted back into my heart.

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Sometimes it’s hard to admit, or even recognize, that I need support, but it really did make a difference. I loved the interaction with all of you who read my blog post and took the time to send me a message. I honestly had no idea how many people were reading along. It touched my heart. Thank you to everyone who reached out to me. I was overwhelmed by the amount of beautiful, inspiring messages…and only one dick. Ha ha! There always has to be one, doesn’t there?

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To allow people to support me in other ways, someone suggested I set up a Patreon page–which I’ll be launching in a week–for anyone who wants participate as I move along this writing journey of mine. It does feel awkward to me to allow anyone inside and show them my work before anyone else sees things or to accept financial support. Even when I had my middle-grade fantasies published through a small press, I had a hard time accepting money for my books. I think I gave away more than I sold. But I’ve realized that I need to get over that. I should feel proud of my work, time, and effort. Support will allow me to spend more time writing, attending writing workshops and conferences, and purchasing resources that will allow me to improve my craft. I want you to know though, that just because I’m starting this Patreon page, you shouldn’t feel obligated to contribute. Believe me, your words of encouragement are enough. I won’t disappear from all the ways we interact now. I’ll still be tweeting like a madwoman (I have an addiction!), and I will keep writing on this blog. But individuals who want to become patrons of mine will have more access to my work and my process.

I’ll be offering rewards for my patrons. What will these rewards be?

1) Access to early drafts. You’ll be able to read my chapters (and tell me what you think, make suggestions.)

2) You’ll get to see extra materials that won’t be included in the book. (Scenes I’ve deleted. Ridiculous lines that I can’t believe I wrote. See the ridiculous scribblings I put in my dream journal. A behind the scenes look at where I find inspiration.)

3) Q&A’s – Ask me anything! Want to know about my creative process, when I write or are you curious about whether I have any weird writing rituals, you’ll be able to ask.

4) My super patrons will find their way into the acknowledgments of my finished work (if it ever gets published. No promises there but I’m a stubborn daughter-of-a-gun so, while it might be 84 years from now, if it happens, I won’t forget you.)

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5) Access to signed copies of any of my work that gets published.

6) Name some characters for me or help me name the book. Sometimes I struggle with character names and titles for my books. I’ll be looking to my patrons for help.

 

 

If you have any other ideas for rewards, I’d love to hear them. You can comment here, tweet me, or leave a comment on my Facebook or Instagram page.

Thanks again for all the love you sent me. I’ve brushed off the dust, and I’m ready to do this!

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https://www.patreon.com/KAliceCompeau

Author Interview 📚 Christina Kaye

Author Interview 📚 Christina Kaye

Hello friends, I’m proud to bring you my interview with the award-winning author, Christina Kaye! I’ve read a number of Christina’s page-turning books, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them all. 

The first book I read was LIKE FATHER LIKE DAUGHTER, and I loved it so much I went on to read the entire FLESH & BLOOD TRILOGY. 

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Click here to get your copy!

So, here we go…

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Author Christina Kaye

Q: What is your favorite thing about writing?

A: I write suspense/thrillers, so I love coming up with interesting, new, and exciting twists for my books.

Q: What is the most difficult part of the novel writing process for you?

A: I have a bad habit of “info dumping” in my first manuscript drafts. I tend to get a bit verbose sometimes and go a bit overboard in trying to expose my characters’ backstories.

Q: What inspired you to write Like Father Like Daughter?

A: I watched a documentary one night about a girl whose father was a serial killer. It made me wonder…what would life be like if your father was a murderer? And then, what if you were also accused of murder yourself? That’s how I came up with the idea for this book.

Q: How long did it take you to write Like Father Like Daughter?

A: About eight weeks for the first draft. Then I spent about 2 months editing with my editor. So in total about four months.

Q: Do you plot out your stories, fly by the seat of your pants, or some combination of the two?

A: Usually, I just let it flow and write as the ideas come to me. But I’m currently working on a manuscript for a psychological suspense novel with 3 different characters written in all three POV’s. With all of their stories to keep track of, I typed up an outline and it really is helping.

Q: How do you select the names for your characters?

A: Every time I hear a name I like, I type it in my “notepad” on my phone. Then when I go to write a book, I just refer to my list of favorite names and go from there. But, I will admit to using an online name generator from time to time.

Q: Are you working on anything new?

A: Yes, as I said, I’m working on a new psychological thriller about a psychic with a dark, secret past who is hired to help two men (a detective and a search and rescue coordinator) find a missing six-year-old girl. It’s my favorite novel so far. So fingers crossed!

Q: Do you prefer to write in the morning, afternoon, night, or whenever you find a spare moment?

A: I usually write at night, but with a full-time day job as a paralegal, I have to just write whenever I have the time.

Q: Do you have any writing rituals?

A: Not really. I know some authors write to music, etc., but I can’t do that. I need absolute silence in order to write.

Q: What do you think makes a good story?

A: I think if you can create characters that readers will care about and want to root for, and combine that with a story that is somewhat original and intriguing, you can capture and hold the readers’ attention to the very end.

Q: Dogs or Cats?

A: Dogs. Although I do have one of each.

Q: Savory or Sweet?

A: Savory/salty/cheesy.

Q: Beach or Forest?

A: Beach. Always the beach!

Q: When you’re not writing, what do you like to do with your free time?

A: What free time? With a full-time job as a trial paralegal, two teenage daughters, a dog, and a cat, not to mention my writing, I rarely have any “me” time. But when I do, I love to read.

Q: How can readers keep in touch with you? Do you have a website? Are you on social media?

A: I try to be very accessible.
www.xtinakayebooks.com
Facebook/xtinakayebooks
Instagram/xtinakayebooks
Twitter/xtinakayebooks

Q: Do you like to hear from your readers?

A: Yes! Good, bad, or indifferent, I love talking to readers whenever possible. It teaches me what I’m doing right and what I can improve upon.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you?

A: I also help other authors perfect and refine their queries before sending them to agents/publishers. All the information about those services is available on my website.

Thank you, Christina!

Well, I hope that you all enjoyed the interview. The next time you’re looking for a great thriller to read, remember Christina Kaye! 

Dealing with Self-doubt

Dealing with Self-doubt

 

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Oh man, do I understand this quote! Self-doubt is forever getting in the way of my creativity. I’d even go so far as to say it is the only thing getting in my way.

I have no shortage of ideas. My idea book is so full that I bet if I wrote every day and lived to be 150, I wouldn’t’ be able to get through them all. So what is stopping me?

Writer’s block? No, if I sit down and get going, I always have plenty to say.

Time? Please! I waste more time on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and everywhere else! I have time, and when something is important to someone, they always find the time.

I’m always dragging my feet because I don’t feel like my ideas are good. Or my writing sucks. I feel like I’m a nobody and no one in the world gives two shits about what I have to say.

I struggle to believe in myself. I struggle to feel worthy. But I’m going to keep on trying. I’m going to put those words down on the page and try to believe that I can do it. It could be true that no one else will ever think my words are much of anything, but shouldn’t I?

I’m not sure how to do it, but maybe if I just keep moving forward, I’ll inch closer to believing that I’m worthy.

 
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INFP me.

INFP me.

I’ll never forget the first time I took the Myers-Briggs Personality test and learned I was an INFP. It was a little creepy how well the test knew me, but it was also a relief to read that there are others out there like me. Even though I tend to be a loner, I felt so much less alone.

To be honest, I’ve always been embarrassed by the way I am. I remember always crying at movies when others didn’t, desperately trying to stop the tears from forming then falling, and when they did, quickly trying to wipe them away before others saw. One time, when I was little, I vividly remember watching an episode of Highway to Heaven. In the episode, a homeless boy wishes that someone would love him, Jonathan comes to him to make his wish come true. It had a happy ending. I cried and cried. My sister laughed. Her laughter stung.

I learned to be embarrassed by who I am. “Too idealistic, too altruistic, impractical, taking things personally, and hard to get to know” these are the weaknesses of the INFP.  These are my weaknesses.

Yes, I am hard to get to know, and it takes a long time before I show people the real me. There are only a handful of people who truly know me. So when I finally let someone in, and they disappoint idealistic me, it hurts immensely.

I’m so thankful to be a writer. I could let the pain and shame about how I react consume me. But now, I take to the page and turn all the negative feelings I have for myself into works that I’m proud of.

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Do you know your personality type?

Are you an INFP, like me? How do you work through your “weaknesses?”

You can find out more about the INFP personality type here

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I hope I never Roseanne my novels

I hope I never Roseanne my novels

This didn’t start out as a blog post idea, or anything to do with writing at all really. I was washing dishes and thinking about the show Roseanne. Wanting to watch a few episodes, actually, but Netflix doesn’t have the beginning seasons anymore just those later ones. 😞

Oh man, I LOVED LOVE that show. Well, the first few seasons anyway. What happened after that? Does anyone know?

 

Remember the episode where Becky farted at school? Ahh! I die every time I watch it. Darlene kills me every time. Or how ’bout the episode where Roseanne is in the car accident and comes home all hopped up on painkillers. Hilarious! Remember when Roseanne and Jackie had a fight and Darlene goes to Jackies and she’s drunk. HA HA HA!

This family reminded me of my family and still does. I’ve got a great big ol’ teddy bear of a dad like Dan Conner. There were two older sisters and a little brother in my family. My mom was a lot kinder than Roseanne, but she sure loved her kids. I had a cool single (for a while anyway) Aunt that I looked up to.

Then, the show got weird. It changed slowly at first, and by the end, you wouldn’t even know it was the same show except that it had all the same characters actors–well except for Becky.

I think the worst thing that happened was that the show didn’t stay true to the characters personalities. I know people change and grow over time, but they all changed too much. Invasion of the body snatchers different!

Becky started out as the smart, studious one and then was this blond bimbo. What?

Darlene was a witty, bad student, tomboy-type then was all of a sudden the smart one and teasing Becky about being dumb.

Who knows with DJ!

Jackie was this cool chick who turned into a whiney obnoxious character, and somehow it seemed like her nose got bulbous. Or maybe I just got nit-picky because I grew to hate her.

Roseanne was this fantastically funny and smart mom, but the fun went away, and she was just plain…mean.

And Dan, okay, I loved Dan throughout. I don’t remember wondering about Dan (other than the affair which turned out not to be true according to the final episode, so I don’t know if I count that)

Did they get all new writers who had no idea who the characters were and had never seen the previous episodes? Did they forget what it was that made so many of us love and identify with the Conners, to begin with? What the heck people? Who F-ed up that incredible show? And how do I avoid that in my writing?

I know that last episode “explains things, ” but it didn’t make the time we spent watching those later episodes enjoyable, for those of us who hung on until the end that is. I’m sure the majority of fans tuned out long before the finale.

I guess it’s important to remember who my characters are and not to force them to do anything they wouldn’t do. Yeah, they may change and grow but in a way that stays true to who they are inside.

https://www.patreon.com/KAliceCompeau

How to read more

How to read more –

I’ve admitted before that I’m a reluctant reader. I don’t ravenously devour books. I don’t have the kind of swoony love affair that others seem to have with them. Now, when I do find a book that grabs me, I fall head over heals in love. Like those Matthew McConaughey movies where he’s this big playboy until he meets that one special girl.

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When I find that special book, you know what it’s like? It’s like I’m Angela Chase obsessing over Jordan Catalano!

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Unfortunately, there aren’t many Jordan Catalanos leaning against lockers waiting to steal my heart (Ah, I love the way he leans). For me, the book world contains a lot more Brian Krakows.

Now, I LOVE to tell stories. I think people assume that all writers love to read, but it’s just not true for me. They are two different activities. I mean, I like to eat but don’t necessarily like to cook. Ya know what I’m sayin’?

But I know I have to read to be a better writer. It’s studying. I have to do it because I want to be the best at what I do, so I’m willing to put in the work. (Keeping my fingers crossed each time I open a cover that love is waiting inside!) And I’ve been reading a lot more. A LOT more! It’s gotten easier. How? Well, I’m glad you asked.

I’ve made a list of all the things that make it easier. I’m sharing because maybe it’ll help other reluctant readers.

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1) No guilt over how long it takes me to read a book. I’m always slow. And who cares? What does it matter how fast you travel from cover to cover? Maybe us slow readers are the ones who are stopping along the way to smell the roses. Besides, anyone who cares how long it takes you is kind of a jerk.

2) If a first chapter is painful to read, toss it aside! It’ll only reinforce your belief that reading is a horrible task. Reading isn’t horrible, the crap book is.

3) I take recommendations. This is how I found THE WHEEL OF TIME series. I’m enjoying it, and I plan to finish the whole thing (slowly).

4) When I do take recommendations, I don’t care to pretend I think it’s awesome or even that I’m willing to finish it. “Good, but not my cup of tea” is a good line to throw out there.

5) Read outside the stuff you’d find at Barnes & Noble. There are a lot of good books published by small presses that don’t make it into the stores as well as good self-published books. Did you ever consider that you just may not like the stuff that’s meant to sell to the masses? Sure, there’s some self-published crap, but then you return to number 2 on the list -you don’t have to read the whole thing! And a lot of times, the ebooks are free or 99 cents on Amazon. That’s better than picking something up at a bookstore, paying a lot more, and it ends up being crap too. I’ve started quite a few books I hated recently and was glad I got them at the library instead of the bookstore. You don’t have to have a big bookshelf to impress anyone.

6) I require absolute silence when reading! I’ve learned not to try to read anywhere women gather and have unreasonably loud conversations. There are always these loud moms roaring on about their Disney Cruiseline vacations and who booked a more lavish trip! And by the way, WHY do people talk so loud? Especially when the person they’re talking to is sitting right next to them? But loud-talkers are a whole other topic. I used to constantly try reading in places that weren’t silent, and I’d end up reading the same line over and over. It was frustrating! Once again it reinforced the belief that it was the reading I hated and not what I now recognize as a hatred for overly loud people. I want to fall into a different world, and I can’t do that when some lady is bragging about the size of her husband’s SUV.

7) Most importantly – I read what I want! For the longest time, I was embarrassed to read middle-grade fantasy in public. Then I stopped caring what other people thought.

So that’s it. I hope it helps.

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https://www.patreon.com/KAliceCompeau

The End

The End

Endings. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched a movie or read a book  (this especially goes for books since I put a lot of energy into reading them–I’m a slow reader) and the ending is a real let-down.

I get so mad. And most of the time it doesn’t feel like it was just an ending where I’m left thinking, “Oh, I wish this would have happened instead.” No, it feels like the author or writers were like “Eh, I’m bored of this…and…The End.”

A book can be so good and then it just drops off…

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And it seems like this has been happening A LOT lately with the books I’ve been reading. Is it just bad luck? Maybe.

But they’ve taught me a lesson. I need to put a lot of effort into my endings or it will sour the entire feel of the book.

I want people to finish my book and be laughing, crying, grossed out, happy, but never let down.