Writing – where do you start #amwriting #stories #creativewritng

I have been writing for so long now that it is hard to remember where I started, but writing does start somewhere—it starts with a daydream.

Daydreaming is awesome.

There is something wonderfully fresh about a new daydream. When the blank space opens up to allow the industry of imagination to begin. The ideas that take hold can go in many directions.

That’s OK.

When it starts you have no preconceived  ideas or constraints.

dog dreams

You know it’s the one

Life is full of daydreams.

Some are better than others. Some are worthy of a second look.

You know it’s the one when your conscious and subconscious keep coming back for another visit.

You explore it, you examine it. After a while you just know it’s right.

It's the one

You have to start somewhere

When you find a new story, it is so hard to know where to begin.

Do you plan? Plough right in? Decide the end? Character profiles?

Aaaarrrhhhh!

chasing dreams

Finding your flow.

After a while you stop worrying about the plan, the beginning, the ending, your characters, because they all just sort themselves out.

You strap in, get ready, and prepare to enjoy the ride.

wild ride

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Author interview – Laura Daleo @AutLauraDaleo #authorinterview #bookboost

Today I have the pleasure of introducing author Laura Daleo who will be sharing her thoughts on reading and writing, and details of her Book, The Vampire Within.

Laura on Writing

Where do you get your ideas? My ideas come from listening to music

Why motivates you to write? I love telling stories

How many hours a week do you spend writing? I have a day job so mostly on weekends

Best thing about writing? Getting lost in the worlds I create

Your biggest writing distractions? My day job

What are your favorite books or sites you go to for writing tips / advice? I really don’t have a particular place – if I want to research something, I Google it

How long does it take you to write a book? Usually about 1 year

Have you ever cut anything from your book and why? Never

Least favorite thing about writing? Finding the time

What do your friends and family think about you being a writer? They think it’s fabulous

Most important things a writer should spend money on? Advertising and marketing

Least important things a writer should spend money on? Paying for book reviews

How do you measure your success as a writer? I tend to look at the number of followers, readers and subscribers, and if this number keeps growing

What advice would you give to yourself if you were starting the writing journey again? I finished my first book, Immortal Kiss, in 1996 and really didn’t pursue it.  I would tell myself to go full speed ahead, be persistent, and get that book published!


As a reader

What is your favorite genre(s)? Tell us more about why you love them? Dark fantasy. I love reading about a character perceived as evil and where the author has made them vulnerable so I would care about them.

What is your favorite book quote? “Listen to them—the children of the night. What music they make!”

Favorite book hero and / or villain and why? Vampire Lestat – he paved the way for vampires to be individuals

If you could have a signed copy of a book by an author (dead or living) what book would it be and why? Interview With A Vampire by Anne Rice – She changed everything for vampires with this book.


About your Book…

You are living in your latest novel. Where are you living, and what is it like?

Los Angeles was all pretty normal until I woke up one day craving blood, with no idea why.  I set out on a quest for answers. I visited a physic, checked out a vampire club, traveled to a vampire haven, met a ton of vampires, and took part in a magic ritual just to find out what was wrong with me.


The Vampire Within

Brandon Cass is not your average teenager. He has a taste for blood. As his hunger for blood strengthens, Brandon sets out on a quest for answers.  He comes face-to-face with the dark force which controls him and learns what he must endure to reclaim his soul.

About Laura Daleo

Laura Daleo was born and raised in San Diego, California. Her love for writing began in junior high. She is best known for her love of animals and shares her home with her three furry kids.

You can also follow Laura on her Website: www.lauradaleobooks.com

And Twitter@AutLauraDaleo

 

Why readers love the underdog #writing #amwriting

In all aspects of life, people are drawn to the underdog.

  • the geek who saves the planet and gets the girl/boy, while the jock is passed by.
  • the outsider team with part-time players who topple the mighty favorite with the money and star players.
  • the ‘David’ meets ‘Goliath’.
  • the poor farm boy / girl who becomes the great warrior / saves the universe / becomes the hero of the quest.

There is a reason why we love the underdog, and it all comes down to psychology.

As a writer, understanding the reasons and psychology behind our love of underdog characters can greatly help us when we are crafting our work.

Why do we love the underdog?

1. Challenge

As the saying goes, no pain, no gain.

The greater the effort required, and the closer, more nail-biting the ending is, the greater our sense of fulfillment and achievement. While there’s nothing wrong with natural talent (who doesn’t want it), stories are not made out of millponds, we need challenges that require a gargantuan effort to overcome.

And our trusty underdog delivers.

2. Reverse psychology

When we back a ‘winner’ that gives us the same euphoric winning feeling. So, while the underdog by definition is the least likely to win, we have been conditioned by the stories we have read, watched and heard to expect the underdog to win.

3. Pleasure at others misfortune.

Yes, humans are sick bunnies. This is the whole reason why shows like ‘the office’ are so popular. We love watching other people fail from the comfort of our safe lounge chair. Evil hands are rubbed together as our hapless hero faces an uphill battle just to stay afloat.

4. Equality

You are all sighing in relief now! No, humans are not completely evil. While we love to wallow in the misfortune of others, there is a huge thrill when the underdog perseveres, overcomes their many misfortunes, and endures challenges along the way….as long as they succeed.

And in those few stories where they don’t succeed, we often feel cheated.

Life and society is full of ebbs and flows.

Great civilizations rise and fall, and the only thing that is certain in the uncertain nature of the world, is that nothing stays the same.

The top team will not remain the top team for ever.

Good and evil.

Power and poverty.

Every dog will have its day.

How we love to love the underdog.

Author interview – J.S.Frankel @JessSFrankel #authorinterview #bookboost #YA

Today I have the pleasure of introducing author J.S Frankel who will be sharing his thoughts on reading and writing, and details of his Book, The Incredible Aunty Awesomesauce

Jess on Writing

Where do you get your ideas?

I get my ideas from everywhere! From the Internet and recent news, from throwaway lines other people say that stick in my head, and I am a HUGE YouTube watcher. I love music and music videos, and I can honestly say that no less than seven songs have inspired novels I’ve written.

What motivates you to write?

I want to tell a story, plain and simple. I love watching my characters grow.

How many hours a week do you spend writing?

I’ve never counted, but I’d say at least four hours a night, almost every night, so…about twenty-five hours, give or take.

Best thing about writing?

The best thing is coming up with an idea and running with it. I love to see a book come to life.

Your biggest writing distractions?

Music videos, noise…I like a quiet atmosphere, but with my wife and two children always talking, it’s hard. Still, they are my family, and family comes first.

How long does it take you to write a book?

For one of my novels—they average out at 67500 words—the initial draft takes only about three weeks. I know that sounds short, but I write fast and hard and long. And I am consistent. At that three-week point, the novel is readable, but by no means publishable. There are lots of mistakes in grammar and punctuation, plot bunnies, dialogue I’d like to make more interesting, etc. So I spend another two weeks or so tweaking it and then send it off and hope for the best.

Have you ever cut anything from your book and why?

Only passages that didn’t advance the plot. The late Elmore Leonard once said to trim the fat and leave the meat—or words to that effect—and that’s what I do. I’m very much a minimalist writer, and my editors have always said, “Say what you want simply, and if it doesn’t advance the plot, cut it out!” Sound advice, methinks.

Least favorite thing about writing?

Editing. It is the devil, but a necessary evil.

What do your friends and family think about you being a writer?

They don’t ask; they know it’s something important to me. My wife only asks if my books are selling—she’s from Osaka, and the people from that region of Japan are very practical.

How do you measure your success as a writer?

Success is relative. Some would say by how much $$$ you earn. Others would say, “You wrote the book. You made it!” Me, if I can improve from novel to novel and the readers tell me I’ve improved, then that’s enough. Sales depend on so many factors and don’t indicate how good a writer is. Just my take on that.

What advice would you give to yourself if you were starting the writing journey again?

Start earlier! I didn’t begin writing until I was forty-eight, and I got published a year later. (I’m almost fifty-seven). If I were smarter and had possessed greater foresight, I would have started fifteen years earlier, but my family took precedence then, so…that’s how life goes.

Jess on Reading

What is your favorite genre(s)? Tell us more about why you love them?

YA, Science Fiction, and Adventure. Loved them as a kid, love them now. I read them because they let my mind go free, and I can let go from the mundane life I have for a short time.

Your most influential books?

Gone South, by Robert McCammon. It’s a novel about a journey of self-discovery for Dan Lambert, the MC, but also for a few of the supporting characters, and McCammon weaves his story well.

If you could have a signed copy of a book by an author (dead or living) what book would it be and why?

The Voyage of the Luna 1. It was a story written in 1949, I believe, and it was the first S/F novel I ever read, probably when I was around seven or eight. Sure, the science was wrong, but it didn’t matter. That novel got me started in reading and put me on the path I’m walking today.

About your Books…

You are living in your latest novel. Where are you living, and what is it like?

Oh, this would be me as Sam Aushumness, the protagonist of The Incredible Aunty Awesomesauce, a YA Fantasy novel. The setting is contemporary Portland, and I’m sixteen, short and skinny and sort of shy, and all I want to do is to spend time with my girlfriend, Kym Kim—yes, that’s her name!—and get through school without being beaten up.



The Incredible Aunty Awesomesauce

“You have no concept of how bad I can be.” Meet Aunty Awesomesauce, the baddest aunty in the galaxy.
Don’t mess with her in the kitchen. Don’t mess with her outside.
Don’t mess with her–ever.

About J.S Frankel

J.S. Frankel was born in Toronto, Canada and grew up there, receiving his tertiary education from the University of Toronto and graduating with a double major in English Literature and Political Science. After working in Toronto for three years, he came to Japan at the age of twenty-six and has been there ever since.
Married and with two sons, he resides in Osaka. His novels, all for the YA set, include Twisted, Lindsay Versus the Marauders and it’s sequels, Lindsay, Jo, and the Tree of Forever, and Lindsay, Jo and the Well of Nevermore, all courtesy of Regal Crest Enterprises. He has also written the Catnip series (five novels), Mr. Taxi, The Titans of Ardana and its sequel, The Titans of Ardana 2: Battlefield, along with Picture (Im)perfect and more novels, courtesy of DevineDestinies.com.

Future projects for Devine Destinies include Cyber Sprite, The Auctioneer, What The Gods Allow, and Outcasts 2, all for Devine Destinies. Fight Like A Woman–for Regal Crest–will be out next year, although a release date has not been specified.

You can also follow Jess on Twitter: @JessSFrankel

Writing update #amwriting #amreading

It’s been a crazy few months and a lot of ‘real life’ issues have taken me away from my writing and blog.

Between renovations, preparing to move from one side of Australia to the other, and a todo list that sat in the hundreds, I had very little downtime.

Last Sunday, I finally got on a plane and officially moved from Perth to Brisbane for the foreseeable future. Now I can look forward to nine months off work as I take some extended leave. Plenty of opportunity to get back to writing and blogging and to look after my health. I have a new writing desk with a new view, and although I’m going to miss my old home and my little writing pod, I’m already getting a good vibe about my new writing space.

I think where we sit and write is really important to our creativity. A writer, or any artists for that matter, needs a space they call their own, where they mentally feel ready to submerge themselves in their chosen craft. My cats have already commandeered half my desk, but I’m used to that, and they have become part of the scenery 🙂

It’s going to be another week before I can let them out to play so the best they have is watching through the window.  They have already engaged in a bit of territorial wailing with our new neighbors cats… I have some turf wars to look forward to!

I’m going to kick-off my return to blogging with a series of author interviews. Details to follow.

I also have a lovely motivational reading list ready so I’ll be writing reviews as I go.

And of course the usual writerly observations and posts.

Happy reading and writing 🙂

6 Reasons Why We Write

I want to spill ink onto pages that will break your heart, then mop up the careless mess into words that might fix you.

When we write, we do so for a myriad of reasons that can shift depending on our mood, our environment, events that have happened, or even our time in life.

Sometimes, it is just a bone deep desire that we can neither quantify nor explain. Sometimes we write for a broad spectrum of needs, and sometimes for only one.

So, why do we write?

  1. To express how we feel.

Writing at its most fundamental level, is a expression of our inner-most feelings. It doesn’t matter whether you are writing an extreme horror, or a children’s book. We pour our feelings out onto the pages, and may put ourselves into the mind of a psychopath, a soldier, an abandoned child, or a miss-understood teenager. We use our imagination, or our experience, or both, to live through the eyes of that person for a time.

2. To move people

A writer who can move people is a word magician. As a writer it is our aspiration to make our reader feel. The greatest writers can take readers on a roller-coaster, from the highs of joy or humour, to the lows of the darkest, most desperate, despair.

3. To create

When we write we create, be it another world, or another life, with a rich tapestry of interactions. We can create beauty, and we can create terror. Here we become the master of a universe, an all powerful being with the responsibility of life and death.

I often think that my characters possess minds of their own, and yet they are the by-product of everything I have seen, done, and experienced, whether through my own reality, or the reverie of other’s books.

4. To provoke thought

Perhaps the greatest legacy of a book is its ability to provoke thought. Through writing, we may come to question our own lives, behaviour, or even our society. We may also allow our mind to ramble in a non-judgemental way that seeks simply to understand.

5. To forget or escape

Writing, just like reading, is a mechanism of escape. Perhaps you have had a stressful day, and you need to let those issues rest. Perhaps you simply enjoy the vibrant imaginative world that lets you experience a dark, wondrous, or incredible other life.

6. To remember

Finally, we also write to remember, or perhaps more, so that we do not forget. Maybe it is our childhood, a feeling, a time, or a by-gone era.

When we write, we capture moments that are little snapshots of our inner self, and by doing so they are immortalised forever, or at least until the legacy of their electronic presence or paper fades.

Why do you write?

Book Promotion! Divided Serenity #FREE today #scifi #mystery #dystopian

It’s promotion time again!

Book 1 is Free, and book 2 is 99cents

Happy reading!

Divided Serenity (Book One) #FREE

US: https://amzn.to/2PQ9Lju

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Divided Serenity (Divided World Book One)

He had waited ten years for revenge, they had waited eons.

John Tanis dreams of killing the man responsible for his exile.

Once loyal to the civilized Aterra, Tanis now fights for Shadowland. But the mysterious arrival of technology outside the wall heralds change.

With the dividing wall failing his new loyalties will be tested, and he must choose between revenge and saving the people he once loved.


Serenity Falling (Divided World Book Two)

Revenge is only the beginning.

Hannah thought her work in Shadowland was complete. Station 54 was operational and Aterra was once more safe. There is just one problem…no one in Aterra knows, and Bill is determined to proceed with the war.

With the door to Aterra closed, Hannah and the team head to Thale, the largest and most prestigious of the five great fortresses. But the mysterious return of a badly beaten Marcus has everyone on edge.
The people of Aterra remain ignorant of what is happening beyond their protective wall, but Theo and Nate are determined to uncover the details of Bill’s covert operations in Shadowland. That will mean infiltrating Bill’s private home. And what they uncover will make them question who is really to blame for the enduring conflict between Bill Bremmer and John Tanis.


Revealing Serenity (Divided World Book Three) 

Revenge at any cost.

With the wall once more inoperative and their weapons disabled, Aterra’s war on Shadowland is over.

Bill’s plans may be in disarray and his internal power slipping, but he is a man who knows how to adapt. He still holds the mighty Jaru war-tribe under his tenuous control, and now sets his sights on the fortress leaders as future allies in a common quest for revenge against John Tanis.

But Bill isn’t the only one interested in the Jaru war-tribe and their despot leader Ailey, and the mysterious Outliers have plans of their own.


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Want to read the whole trilogy FREE on kindle unlimited?

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Over 900 pages!
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Divided World: The Complete Trilogy, Books 1-3


What readers are saying about the trilogy…

AMAZON 5STAR REVIEW

GOT + high-tech = best of both

AMAZON 5STAR REVIEW

A fast, exciting if bloody read!

AMAZON 4STAR REVIEW

A tense, gripping dystopian novel

Goodreads 5STAR REVIEW

Not a new concept – haves vs have nots, but the characters are rich, and the writing is crisp, clean, and colorful. The story is engaging, and using the characters to move the plot forward keeps the pages turning. Any book that entertains while forcing you to consider new possibilities is a winner, and Divided Serenity fits the bill.

AMAZON 5STAR REVIEW

Great book with an intriguing plot

AMAZON 5STAR REVIEW 

A great read – a great mix of adventure with a deeper intriguing universe

AMAZON 4STAR REVIEW

Medeival meets technology