Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Looking to You, 2015

I actually started writing this yesterday, then scrapped the entire post because it wasn't saying what I wanted it to say. But then I woke up to a certain email, and to my critique partners being the marvelous, beautiful souls that they are, and so I turned on my trusty laptop and sat down to write.

I've seen numerous posts about New Years resolutions, and they've all gotten me thinking. I don't want to write a resolutions post (but believe me, I'm certainly making resolutions! They just feel a little too personal to share on the World Wide Web).

So instead, I'm just going to say I'm looking to you, 2015. I have high hopes for this new year. I'll be back in college, but actually pursuing my degree, rather than simply getting all of my general education out of the way (and that is SUCH a relief. It sucks to have to take some of the same classes I took in high school. My high school was a college prep school, so the bar was always higher). I'll be moving out in the fall to one of two colleges I am thrilled to pieces (and also woefully not ready) to have to choose between. I will, God willing, get an agent for my epic fantasies, and I will, God willing, get a book deal.

But that's all I have to say about that.

2014 was a strange, hopeful, yet ultimately disappointing year. It started with a bang: I was in PitchWars, and PitchMadness, and Cupid's Lit Connection Blind Speed Dating contest...I was getting requests, I was getting rejections. They often say not to talk about requests and rejections, so obviously I won't  be listing every single thing that happened (and most of which I'll save for my Agent Success Story post, whenever that may come), but I'm going to be a little honest here: I've queried my book a lot. I've gotten lots of requests, and just as many rejections. And so, on this final day of 2014, I lay my pirates to rest. They've been good to me--they got me all of my critique partners, they've gotten me some of my writing friends--but I am glad to close that door.

I'm entering 2015 with a new novel, this one about war and remembrance and overcoming darkness and friendship and sweeping love and heartbreak and betrayal and honestly I could keep going on and on about all the things it IS but I won't because this post is already long enough.

2014 was a learning year for me. I know I didn't set out for it to be a learning year, but now that I'm looking back on it, I know that's what it was. And I am so glad for it, despite everything.

I hope that 2015 will be a growing year, a successful year, in every sense of those words. I am so thankful for everything I've been through. I am so thankful for my critique partners and writing friends who have been there every single step of the way and kept me sane when I couldn't do that for myself. They are the best friends I could ever ask for, and I am going to hold onto them with everything I've got because they mean so much to me.

So, here's looking to you, 2015. May you bring growth and success and be as fulfilling as I hope you will be. And because it wouldn't be a true post without some music (and even though it's not Monday), here's a gorgeous piece of music I've had on repeat for a while. It's called Before Time by Thomas Bergersen.


Over and out,

Katie

Monday, December 22, 2014

Monday Music 64

Happy holidays, everyone!

This will be my last Monday Music post for the 2014 year. It's hard to believe it's nearly over--and this year has been a strange one.

I don't know why it is, but the first half of every year seems to draaaaaaaaaaaaag on but then the second half flies by faster than I can blink. 2014 was a good year, but it was also a lousy year, so I'm not too sad to see it go.

Without further ado, here is your Monday Music selection! This week's is called Tales of Ice and Blood by BrunuhVille. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday Music 63 & Some Thoughts on Support

Hi everyone!

Support. It's a topic near and dear to me--and I know it's near and dear to all the writers I know, and most likely all those I don't.

Being a writer is lonely. You spend hours holed up in your office/bedroom/living room/what-have-you, pouring your heart and soul into characters to give them life on the page. You play with your emotions to give your characters emotions. You live and breathe their lives, their stories. You swoon with them, you cry with them, you laugh with them.

But through it all, most of the time, you're writing alone. That's why support is so insanely important. Even if it's just one person you can turn to, hold onto that person with all you have because you will need them when the time comes. And I don't mean a spouse, a sibling, a child, a parent, etc. Those people can do wonders, but they don't understand the hardships of being a writer. They don't know how hard it can be to pull yourself away from your pages, or to forego all aspects of a social life in favor of writing.

What I mean are other writers, in any stages of the process--newbies, querying, agented, on sub, published...The list goes on. It's so important to have people to turn to when your well is running dry, when you're feeling stressed about the publishing world, or when you've written yourself into a corner you can't seem to get out of. Get involved on Twitter (I've met fabulous friends through there!), AbsoluteWrite, WriteOnCon (when it's in session), NaNoWriMo, How About We CP (I met my CP Anne through this!), blogs (many authors/writers have contact forms on their blogs/websites!), contests like PitchWars, or other avenues I may have overlooked.

I guarantee you will not regret growing your social circle of writers. And if you can't find any, come to me! I'm happy to help you look (though I'm afraid I can't take on any more critique partners, sorry!).

And now, without further ado, here is your Monday Music selection! This week's is called Flares by The Script (one of my favorite bands). Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday Music 62

Hi, everyone!

This week's Monday Music selection is called Evanescence by Arn Andersson. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, December 1, 2014

Monday Music 61

Hi, everyone!

I can't believe it's already December. There are only 31 days left of 2014, and this year definitely did not turn out like I thought it would. Looking back, at the beginning of this year, I was in PitchWars for my pirate fantasy. Now, at the end of this year, I'm beginning to query a new manuscript, my demon fantasy. (What is with me and breaking villainous stereotypes?)

Anywhoo. Onto your Monday Music. This week's selection is a mashup because I can't seem to be able to get enough of them. This one is by Linkin Park and Fall Out Boy, called Numb Yesterday. (Can you guess which two songs were combined? Hehe.) Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Friday, November 28, 2014

Hasta la Vista, Teenage Me

As my 20th birthday grew closer and closer, I began to think more and more about what's changed since I entered my teenage years.

I moved from California to Arizona when I was twelve, in seventh grade, as an awkward, short girl with hair never far from a ponytail. When I was fourteen and a freshman in high school, I went through a horrendous period where I was bullied incessantly by two girls who had once been my best friends. They met through me, then turned on me, and I still don't know why. But I survived through an inner strength I didn't know I had, my friends who I'm still in occasional contact with now (I say occasional because college has a way of messing up life), and my books and writing. Looking back, I'm thankful I went through that, because I'm now a stronger person and I know that my two younger sisters--if they ever have to go through a hell like that--will always have me to look to for help. My junior year of high school was the hardest, but by the time my senior year came along, I was a confident eighteen-year-old halfway to a two-year college degree.

I think year nineteen was the one that brought about the most change, both internal and external. I had my first "real" boyfriend (high school relationships don't count in my book). I had to learn how to be friends with just myself while my friends got married or moved on to schools while I remained at home (for reasons I don't really want to get into). (As a side note, one of my former best friends who bullied me is now married.) I had my first real heartbreak (that I'm over now, not to worry) and in turn I broke someone's heart, too. I wrote a book that I will always love when I was eighteen, and I wrote a book that rewrote me in the process just a little over a month ago. I met my critique partners, who have become the closest friends I am so incredibly grateful to have. I know they'll be with me for the rest of my life, in some way, shape, or form. I've learned things about myself, about what I want and who I am and what I believe in. I've learned how to be strong not just for myself, but also for my family and my friends.

In fact, I am still learning all those things, and so many more. I'm learning while some friends were your best friends, they won't always remain that way but they will always hold a special place in your heart. I've learned that if something doesn't sit right with you, it's time to move on, no matter how much hurt it may cause. I've learned that fear is something you can overcome, if only you take the necessary plunge.

And so, as I say goodbye to my teenage years, I say hello to my twenties. I know they hold much more than I may be prepared for. I know things will not always be easy. I know I'll probably have my heart broken, and I know I'll probably break hearts in turn. I know that, whatever life throws at me, I will always be strong enough to pull through. Because I believe in myself, and no one can change that.

Over and out.




Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Monday Music 60 on a Tuesday

So Monday kind of got away from me. Mondays have a way of doing that, methinks. But I have a perfectly legitimate reason! Two CPs got back to me with notes on my manuscript THE WAYWARD DARK AND NEARLY FORGOTTEN on Sunday, so I've been editing nonstop. The book is so pretty, if I do say so myself.

On another note, if you haven't yet read BOOMERANG by Noelle August (the pseudonym of Veronica Rossi), you need to fix that ASAP. It's a New Adult contemporary, so not usually my cup of tea, but I read the first chapter before I bought it and fell in love. I bought it months ago, and I'm honestly not sure what took me so long to get to it! Because I inhaled it in one day. I stayed up way late to finish it and I'm still thinking about it days later. In fact, I'm hoping to re-read it, despite my teetering TBR pile! It's a fabulous addition to the New Adult genre. I definitely recommend it!


Mia is someone I can relate to, despite our somewhat different circumstances, so it made it easy to get into her head. And then Ethan, the other point of view, was swoonworthy.


Now, without further ado, here is your Monday Music selection. Because I'm talking about a genre that's not epic fantasy (*gasp* THE HORROR!) I thought I'd share a song by an artist I recently discovered, because it's not really a song that inspires the fantasy in you. (Although, it is on my Wayward Dark playlist...) It's called Moments by Tove Lo. Go listen. Go read the book. I'll wait here to squee with you.


Happy Tuesday and Thanksgiving!

Katie

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Music 59

Hi, everyone!

Because I've blogged two times since last Monday (see here and here), I'll spare you a long post and jump right into one of my favorite pieces of music. This week's selection is called City of Sails by Marcus Warner. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Sunday, November 16, 2014

When the Muse Calls But You Can't Answer

I actually wasn't going to write a post about this, because I feel like I'm complaining enough on Twitter and to my CPs (bless their souls for putting up with my texts containing "merrrr"s and emoticons).

But I know I'm not the only one to feel this feel, and this isn't the first time it's happened to me. No, far from it. In fact, it happened to me for over six months. I would write up summaries, plot out books, come up with characters, and fall flat. I couldn't keep writing. I'd write the first chapter and then I'd ask my self what the f*ck I'm writing and I'd stop. It happened over and over and over again.

I don't know how some authors can just slam out one book after another. When I write, I'm so torn up inside by my characters that I feel them long after I've finished writing them. It's a little hard for me to start up a new story with new characters shortly after finishing a WIP. I'm trying to break this habit, because I do want to keep writing with the time I have, since come spring I'll be back in uni.

But I just can't break the habit of starting new stories and being unable to follow through until the draft is complete. Maybe what I need to do is what I was saying to one of my CPs this morning: Just keep barfing up ideas until one of them clicks and sticks. I know I want my next WIP to be a standalone. I know I want it to be an epic fantasy. I'm just waiting for the right characters and world and plot to rear their beautiful heads.

Anyone else suffer from this? How do you combat it?

And now, I leave you with a very random but hilarious gif, simply because I want to make your day better:


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

When Writing is Work

I have a confession to make: it's hard for me to be able to take a "day off." If I'm at home with free time, I find it nearly impossible to not feel the insatiable need to write, simply because the work ethic is so deeply ingrained in me.


It doesn't matter that I've just finished a manuscript. I can't edit it without my CP's notes, so I find myself with a conundrum: Either I can take a break, or I can start another manuscript because taking a break is like wasting time to me, even if it's not and I know it isn't. Writers need to read to recharge, to let their creative juices get a break, to let their emotions simmer.

And yet, no matter what stage I'm at in writing, I find it nearly impossible to take a break and read. I have books piled on my desk, lining my shelves, all waiting for me to get to them. And I want to get to them, to read them and swoon or laugh or get really, really angry. But no matter what I do, as soon as I sit down to read, I ask myself why I'm "wasting time." Why I'm not taking this free time I have to write another manuscript.

It goes full circle, again and again and again, and nothing I seem to do breaks that vicious cycle. Even if I feel burned out, or tired, or like the manuscript I'm beginning is going to be a hard one to write for reasons I don't even know.


Do you ever feel that way? Like no matter how hard you work, you just HAVE to keep plugging away, HAVE to keep working, HAVE to be doing something that seems "productive"? It's so frustrating. And if you do, how do you trick your mind into letting you take a break?


Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday Music 58

Hi, everyone!

It's a blustery day here and I woke up with the WORST crick in my neck, but I think that's just natural for writers and readers because we tend to sit in some interesting positions. (It's not just me, right?)

On the writing front, my fabulous CP Anne has the first chapters of my Sekret WIP and is reading them. I'm so exciiiited because she's the first CP to actually read the book after I've finished and edited it (to the best of my ability). Hopefully she's not too traumatized.


As for what Sekret WIP is about, I've talked about it a little bit here and here, but not much. The current working title is THE WAYWARD DARK & NEARLY FORGOTTEN (though my critique partners and I continue to call it Sekret WIP... Heh). My snazzy PitchWars mentor Stephanie from the 2013/2014 year helped me come up with that beauty. Someday soon (I hope), I'll put the official summary under my "Books" page here on the blog.

Now, before I can blather on any longer, here is your Monday Music selection! This week's is called The Eternal Rest of a Ronin by Really Slow Motion music. It's goooooorgeous, so I suggest plugging in your headphones and blasting it as loud as you can stand.


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, November 3, 2014

Monday Music 57

Hi, everyone!

I can't believe it's already November. I mean, where has October gone? I kind of feel like it just popped its head in for a brief second and then disappeared.


But hey, it's now November, which means NaNoWriMo, Mockingjay Part 1, and my birthday. (But, to be honest, I'm more excited about Mockingjay than my birthday. Have you seen those trailers? It's going to be killer to wait for Part 2, because I think Part 1 is going to be all about getting Peeta out of the Capitol. Ech hem. Moving on.)

Without further ado, here is your Monday Music selection! This week's is called Centuries by Fall Out Boy. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Monday Music 56 On A Tuesday

Yes, this week's Monday Music is on a Tuesday. Why? Because I ran out of time before my trip to visit Sarah, so I wasn't able to set up a scheduled post to go up.

The trip was FANTASTIC. It's so nice meeting in person someone you've spoken to for ages and shared your work with many times. It's so easy to fall into the flow of friendship. From the moment Sarah picked me up in the airport, we were chatting nonstop. And let me tell you, it's strange now that I'm back at home to resort to texting when Sarah and I chat now. The nice thing is, though, we both now feel comfortable enough talking on the phone if we need to brainstorm! (It's a bit awkward, we both agreed, to talk on the phone without ever having met the person you're talking to in person.)

There we are at the Maymont Park, two more graces to add to that statue, because we're fabulous. 

I definitely recommend to any writer to become friends with your critique partners and then go visit them! You seriously won't regret it.

And because I've blathered on enough, it's time for me to shuddup. Take a guess at what I plan on doing. (Hint: it involves writing. *GASP*)

Without further ado, here is your Monday Music selection. This week's is called Triton by Fringe Element. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Tuesday!

Katie

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Music 55 & A Rambling Update

Hi, everyone!

First off, you may/may not remember how back at the beginning of September, I was preparing to start writing a new WIP. It had been months--yes, literally months--since I last sat down to write a novel, and I was worried I'd not be able to finish another one after Hearts.

I'm happy to say that I proved myself wrong, and finished the WIP I talked about here. So yes, I managed to write another novel. And now I'm giving myself a little break to let the book percolate in my head. It couldn't be at a more perfect time, because on Wednesday, I'm flying to Virginia to meet for the very first time IN PERSON my fabulous critique partner and one-of-a-kind friend, Sarah. I've known her since last August, so over a year now. We met through WriteOnCon, when I was a wee baby writer and still out in the world under a pen name. She read the manuscript IN THE MIDST OF MONSTERS, which later, during PitchWars, turned into A SEA OF HOLLOW HEARTS, and has been a champion for them both from the start.

I think critique partners are an integral part of every writer's journey, and I have been so tremendously lucky with mine. They've all become amazing friends, and I couldn't imagine not having them in my life. I don't know where I'd be without them. (Probably a wreck right now.) They're there whenever I need them, whether it be a text or a tweet or an email I fling their way. They're my biggest cheerleaders when I'm feeling low or uncertain, always there to boost me back up.

This book came at a strange time in my life. I'd just moved from Arizona to Idaho, leaving behind a job and friends and plenty of familiarity. I took this fall semester off from college because I felt burned out on school and wasn't sure where I wanted to go in life. I was, to put it mildly, wandering in the darkness, and I think that's a major part of what formed the book I've just finished writing. (Well, technically I wrote "the end" last night, but I digress.) This book is dark and gritty and honest. I don't hold back with my characters and what they deal with, what they go through, the journeys--both mentally and physically--that they have to take. There's friendship and there's romance and there's heartbreak and betrayal and a dozen other things. But most importantly, this book is about overcoming the darkness inside your soul and learning to shine through it all.

It's a whole different ball game from Hearts. Don't get me wrong, I love my pirates, and they will forever hold a special place in my heart, and I'm still querying that book, and I will still champion that book until the world is sick of hearing me brag about my nutsy pirates and their crazy adventures. But while that one is dark, this book is gritty. It tore me apart and put me back together again. I cried and I swooned and I laughed and I cheered for my characters. And I hope that one day, hopefully someday soon, I can share these stories with more people than just my lovely critique partners and beta readers.

And so, before this post can travel into novel length, and before I get even more emotional, I'll leave you with a piece of music that has been playing on repeat while I wrote this novel.

So, without further ado, here is Souled and Delivered by Evan Frankfort.


I hope you enjoy this piece as much as I do.

Happy Monday!

Katie

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Meet My Character

I was tagged by the fabulous Melody Marshall to participate in the Writerly Meme (Meet My Character) blog tour! I'm going on a whim here as to what we're supposed to include, but it seems to be on the right track. So without further ado...


1) What is the name of your character? Is she a fictional person or a historic person? 

Her name is Eleri Marqtoven, and she is definitely fictional (though she'd beat you with a shoe if you said that to her).

(And, just as a side, her name is pronounced El-LAIR-ee, so the emphasis is in the middle.)

2) When and where is the story set?

It's set in a fantasy world, taking place primarily in the country of Gricia, on its northern coast. It's an epic fantasy, so there's really no time frame in comparison to our day and age, but it's set nine decades after an exile.


3) What should we know about your character? 

She's the youngest of ten children, in a family of hellhound breeders. She knows she's fabulous (thanks, Megara ;)) and she takes no one's shit. I remember tweeting a few times about what a bitch she was, so I guess she's that, too. But she definitely has a soft side. 

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?

I wouldn't say it messes up her life, per se. But the demon queen comes to her valley and bam, everything changes. She begins to train with an assassin and discovers things about herself that really change who she is as a person. But the overall conflict driving the changes is that the demons were exiled and they want their country back...and they're months from doing so. 

5) What is the personal goal of the character? 

She wants to prove to herself, to her father, to her family, that she is much more than a silly girl in a pretty dress, and she knows no bounds to achieve this goal. 

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it? 

There are actually two working titles, but neither of them I'm thrilled to pieces with. The first is WAYWARD, WICKED SOULS and the second is A DARKER KIND OF FIRE. They both encapsulate the story, but I'm waiting till my critique partners read it and see if they have any suggestions. 

There's nowhere you can READ more about it (unless you're following my Twitter, because I sometimes share lines), but you can check out the Pinterest board for it. I update that quite often. =)

7) When can we expect the book to be published? 

Someday, somehow... Haha! Right now, I'm just working on finishing it and getting an agent. We'll see what happens after that. 


And now I tag the marvelous EM Castellan, who's a wonderful friend and invaluable cheerleader. She writes YA fantasy and lives in an English castle. 

Happy writing!

Katie

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday Music 54

Hi, everyone! I hope your October is going well. I can't believe we only have less than three months left in the year!

Anyway, without further ado, here is your Monday Music selection! This week's is called Lords of Lankhmar by Audiomachine. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Music 53

Hi, everyone!

This week's selection is called Malukah by Epic Score. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Music 52

Hi, everyone!

This week's selection is called Emergence of Empire by Immediate Music. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Music 51

Hi, everyone!

This week's selection is called Memory Box by West One Music. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Music 50

Hi, everyone!

Holy crap! We've reached the 50th post. It's crazy how long that means I've been doing this.

Anyway, here is your Monday Music selection! This week's is called Osiris by Valentin Wiest. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday Music 49

Hi, everyone!

This week's selection is called Resist by Far From Heavens. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Front and Center

I'm going to be 100% honest: I haven't truly written anything in over six months. And yet, I'm still calling myself a writer? It makes little sense, even to me.

Now, that's not to say I haven't done anything. Believe me, I have. Countless ideas and plots and summaries and characters and outlines have been dreamed up, but they always whimper and die within a short period of time. This probably has to do with the thirteen days of hell January of this year, when I holed myself up in my room and rewrote probably 90% of my book, A SEA OF HOLLOW HEARTS. It was worth it, and I don't regret it, and I've gone into this whole spiel before so I'll spare the recap.

Anyway, I've tried and failed to write many times since then. I've even tapered out on my querying and nudging. A month went by before I sent out another batch of queries, and unlike previous ones, this included only five queries. Maybe it's because so much has changed over this past summer. And when I say a lot changed, I mean a lot. Familial changes that uprooted everything normal; social life changes that I don't regret in the slightest but seriously sapped up a lot of my time; a job that I loved and was SO sad I had to give up in order to move with my family from Arizona to Idaho. That job--and the people (specifically one person) I met there--made my summer turn out so much better than I could have ever hoped for.

And no, looking back, I don't regret any of it. I wasn't as active on Twitter, my blog was filled with dust bunnies, only updated because of the queue I set up back in May when I thought I wasn't going to be home at all from May to October. I didn't really keep in touch with my internet friends as much as I should have (bless my critique partners/absolutely wonderful friends for putting up with my texts, though!). I attempted and failed Camp NaNo because of said job and said person.

But all of this boils down to the plain and simple fact that I'm scared I don't remember how to start a book and follow it through to the two blessed words "The End." It's not that I can't outline, or can't come up with characters, or can't even come up with a plot. As a matter of fact, right now I have a blank Word document open, waiting for me to start typing away at the story that's been eating at me for a while.

What scares me most of all about that is what if this continues after I sign with an agent, or get a book deal, and I'm expected to write another book or--she says with hope--the sequels to my pirate quartet? Because that's definitely most scary of all. I used to think it was because I didn't have time, but I have scores of time now in Idaho and nothing's happened. I used to think I couldn't write a book unless it had pirates in it, but I tried that and I know it's not true. I used to think I wouldn't be able to write another book that didn't center on Kaia and Alek, but I know that's not true, either. I mean, I have multiple manuscripts eating up space on my hard drive. (I'll never delete them because they serve as reminders I wrote scores of books before ASoHH.)

I guess it just comes down to me. I've lost my writing mojo; the juice I ran on has run out. So how can I get it back? Is there some magic phrase or some such thing I can say to get my fingers on the keyboard and actually typing out a story? I've read books in my favorite genre (epic fantasy) that have gotten me aching to start a new tale. I've seen favorite authors of mine rise up in their careers and felt motivated to keep plugging away. I've talked to my critique partners and they've been more than encouraging, and yet I'm still not writing.

This turned out to be a lot longer than I'd anticipated, but it feels good to get my fear off my chest and out of my head. I hope I can find the strength to start a new story, because writing means so much to me. I love impacting people with the words I write, and I love the thrill of telling stories and creating worlds and fleshing characters into people. But if anyone has any advice, I'd be thrilled to hear it.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday Music 48

Hi, everyone!

This week's selection is called Royal Destiny by Selectracks. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Music 47

Hi, everyone!

This week's selection is called End of the World by Brand X Music. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Music 46

Hi, everyone!

This week's selection is called Bird Planet by Two Steps From Hell. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Music 45

Hi, everyone!

This week's selection is called The Field of Roses by ADN Compositions. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, August 4, 2014

Monday Music 44

Hi, everyone!

This week's selection is called Final Stand by Natanel Arnson. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Writing Process Blog Tour

Hi, everyone!

I was tagged by the stupendous EM Castellan to join her in this blog tour of my writing process. Eve is a fabulous writer represented Erin Niumata of Folio Literary Management, writes YA fantasy, and (of which I am eternally jealous) lives in an English castle! She also happens to be a dear friend and a beta reader of mine, for which I am eternally grateful. And, if you want to get to know her more (which you totally should), you can follow her blog or her Twitter.

What am I currently working on?

Currently, nothing, and that makes me a bit sad. I've started two new novels in the past month alone, but time is fickle and so is my motivation. I have both of the novels outlined, but am finding it difficult to sit down and get more than 10,000 words on either. Maybe it has something to do with the fact I'm moving in less than a month, or that I'm trying to get as many hours in at work as possible before I go, or that I just got back from a trip to visit my grandmother, but lumped all together it's just excuses for not writing!


But, I am working on planning yet another novel (it takes me a long time to decide which to write next and to buckle down and write it) as well as still querying A SEA OF HOLLOW HEARTS. So at least I haven't given up entirely.

How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

The one I'm planning will be the one I focus on for this post, so we'll go with that. It's another YA epic fantasy, but it's set in a completely different world than I've come across before. It mixes in fairy tale elements in a dark and sinister kind of way. What inspired it was a mixture of several things, the first of which being the suffragette movement of the 19th and 20th centuries. Now, the book doesn't have so much to do with males vs. females, but two fantastical races, one of which is treated as lowly as women were before the movement hit full force. So I guess you could say it brings new elements to fantasy books that haven't really been played with before.

Why do I write what I write? 

The answer for this is incredibly simple: Because the world we live in is too small. I want to write stories with an epic scope, and though that is possible in this world and has been done before, it's not in the way I want it to. Another part of the reason is because I love creating worlds. The magic system, the politics, the history and the society and the geography... It's all fascinating to me, and I like being in charge of it all.


How does my individual writing process work? 

In the beginning, I generally have a vague idea of a character or a world or a conflict (generally centered around destruction). When I have that, I shift to the core of the story: what is driving the characters, be it something they have to find (which is generally the moving force of my stories) or to save something (generally on a grand scale). I then shift to writing a summary, generally around 200-300 words, and that helps me narrow down my story into a coherent plot. During that entire time, I am jotting down notes of scenes or plot points or characters the protagonists meet along the way. 


All of that is done by hand (save for the summary, which I always type up). And then I start outlining by hand. I tend to start with the Seven Point Plot Structure so I make sure I have a total story arc, and once that is complete, I do a deep outline of the entire book. I don't outline by chapter because it's hard for me to follow it that way (though I do want to try doing that one day), but instead write anywhere from five to ten pages of outlining notes, which opens doors for me and allows me to discover things about my characters and story that I wasn't aware of while writing notes. 

After that, I start writing! My outlines are always guidebooks, but that doesn't mean I have to follow them word for word. That generally causes the stories to take even more directions I wasn't aware of, opening me to characters I hadn't already thought of or telling me who my characters are in a way I hadn't thought about them. I generally have a vague idea of who a character is before I start, as well as their internal arc, but very rarely do I come up with the entirety of a character before I start to write because I like letting them surprise me. 

So there you have it. And now it's time for me to tag some friends! 

The marvelous Hannah Hunt, who's been a writer friend of mine for years, since the days of Inkpop, a writing community that is no longer active. She writes fabulous YA sci-fi with a futuristic edge to it.

The irreplaceable Anne Tedeton, who was my second critique partner, and one of the best writers of YA urban fantasy ever. She takes elements that have been ground into dust and makes them shine like diamonds. She's one you definitely have to watch out for! 

The stellar Megan Grimit, whom I met on Twitter through a pitch contest. She's the mastermind behind the #CPMatch, writes YA horror set in places like phantom trains, and is represented by Mandy Hubbard

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Music 43

Hi, everyone!

This week's selection is called Dance with Dragons by BrunuhVille. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Music 42

Hi, everyone!

This week's selection is called Never Let Go by Must Save Jane. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Music 41

Hi, everyone!

This week's selection is called The Black Flag by Stephen J. Anderson. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Music 40

Hi, everyone!

This week's selection is called Song of the Exile from the King Arthur movie. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Music 39

Hi, everyone!

This week's selection is called The Milky Way by Cristian Onofreiciuc. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Music 38

Hi, everyone!

This week's selection is called Ghosts by Gabrielle Aplin. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday Music 37

Hi, everyone!

This week's selection is called African Skies by Stephen J. Anderson. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday Music 36

Hi, everyone!

Just wanted to remind you all I'm back, writing, and working because I got a new job! Whee! I'm also doing Camp NaNoWriMo, which I think you all should participate in. During the 2013 July session, I wrote the first draft of A SEA OF HOLLOW HEARTS, and I hope with this July session, I can write another manuscript.

Now that I think about it, it's kind of insane how much has changed between last July and this one. So. Much has happened. I didn't have any critique partners and few writing/book-related friends. I didn't know Sarah, Melody, Julie, Anne, or Eve, and now I can't imagine not having them in my life. They've become wonderful friends I hope will stay with me for years and years to come. I hope every writer out there can make friends as amazing as mine.

Without further ado, here is this week's selection! It's called Destiny Awaits Us by Christian Baczyk. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday Music 35

Hi, everyone!

This week's Monday Music selection is called The Last Hope by Dos Brains. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, May 26, 2014

Monday Music 34

Hi, everyone!

This week's Monday Music selection is called Hidden Memories by James Paget. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Music 33 and Update!

Hi, everyone!

I'm back! Bet you weren't expecting that. There are many reasons as to why, but I'm not going to go into them. Just rest assured I'm happy and safe and sound and have a full summer ahead of me, although I'm not going to be working at the lodge.

So without further ado, here is your Monday Music selection. This week's is called Dead V by Nightcall, featuring Dreamhour. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday Music 32

Hi, everyone!

Hope your weekend went well. Here is your Monday Music selection! This week's is called Fields of Blood by Two Steps From Hell. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday Music 31

Hi, everyone!

This is the last week before I leave for my summer job up in Wyoming, where I'll have little internet so I won't be able to update the blog with new happenings. Thus, the following Monday Musics won't have much in the way of my blathering and blabbering. I know, you're all sobbing into your pillows.


However, you will still find new songs posted, because music is the best and you deserve to listen to it. And without further ado, here is this week's Monday Music! It's called Roslin and Adama from the Battlestar Gallactica soundtrack. Hope you enjoy. 


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday Music 30

Hi, everyone!

It's the start of a new week, which means the start to dozens of opportunities. It's amazing how much life can change in the matter of a single week.

And something that I've been reminding myself of lately is that it only takes one. One agent saying she/he loves your book and wants to rep you; one editor saying she/he loves your book even more and wants to publish you; one yes on your part to drastically change your life in ways you've dreamed of but never imagined could actually happen.

So just keep working. Just keep going. Giving up won't get you any closer to your goals. It may be easier, but the good things in life rarely are.

And without further ado, here is your Monday Music! It's the finale music from season one of Game of Thrones. Hope you enjoy!



Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Music 29

Hi, everyone!

Remember last week when I said that my summer would consist of summer courses, traveling, and writing? Well, that's changed. A lot.

Let me start from the beginning: Monday after writing that post, I got a phone call after class asking for a phone interview. It happened, I waited, and Tuesday morning the job was offered to me. Wednesday morning I accepted it. Why? Because it's an adventure, because I've always wanted to work out of state, because I happen to love the West and Wyoming seems to me to be a good place to experience it.

So that's where I'll be from May 15 through October. I hope to make new friends, have new adventures, and finally draft my YA Western (and Julie will be happy about this, hehe). I've begun outlining it and creating characters and hell, this is one fun manuscript I have planned. I also hope to finally finish critiquing manuscripts, because school has sapped what time I would have dedicated to that.

But I'm EXCITED. I've never done anything like this before, so I think it's fitting I do it before I really get into university. So, you guys have any advice for me? And without further ado, here is your Monday Music selection! This week's is called The Fire by Sons of Midnight. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Music 28

Hi, everyone!

Can you believe Easter is THIS Sunday? Where has the time gone?! It's crazy how fast the time has gone.

This summer is going to consist of a biology class to get it out of the way before I transfer. I also hope to FINALLY draft (and hopefully completing!) my Western clockpunk-ish YA adventure crazy story. And, if I have time, drafting my OTHER book which will remain completely mysterious for the time being. Just know I'm completely excited about both of them. And, hopefully, I'll finally have an agent by the time summer ends. 

I saw Captain America 2 yesterday and HOLY CRAP was it epic. I recommend everyone goes to see it, like, right now. The only thing that I was waiting for the entire movie was for Hawkeye to appear. 

Anyway, I think this is enough rambling. On to your Monday Music selection! This week's is called Angels by Skylar Cahn. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday Music 27

Hi, everyone!

Today, it's actually starting to feel like spring. We had snow (yes, snow!) on last Wednesday night and since then it's been cold and blustery. Now, however, walking across campus was wonderful, with birds singing and the sun shining and a light breeze that lifts my hair off my neck.

It was beautiful, to say the least. From what I recall, there are still random snowstorms in the East, so I hope those go away soon. I'm ready for spring.

Anyway, onto your Monday Music selection! This week's is called After the Fall by Two Steps From Hell. It's one of the first sings I ever discovered by them, and I absolutely love it. Hope you do, too!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Music 26

Do you ever get scared of change?

I've been thinking about that a lot lately, what with this summer coming up and things (hopefully) changing for the better. My best friend has applied to University of Las Vegas for fall 2014 and I'm transferring to Virginia spring 2015. It will be the first time either of us has been away from our families and each other for a long period of time--and believe me, this is going to be a long time. What we both want out of life are in far different spectra of the world.

This summer, we wanted to hang out a LOT because, as stated above, we won't be able to anymore once we transfer, depending on how future summers turn out to be. But I've applied to out of state summer jobs that I'm praying I get, and they would keep me away from home from May to September, maybe even October. Now, for those who may not be sure, most colleges and universities start their semester in mid to late August. That would mean by the time I come back, my best friend would be gone.

Isn't that scary to think about? The person who's been there through thick and thin (excluding my family, but please don't think they haven't been there, because they have) will no longer be a mere short drive away. She won't be able to come over for cookie dough and James Bond marathons. Sure, we can call, but we'll be in entirely different time zones. Most of the year, I'd be three hours ahead.

But something I've realized and am holding onto as tightly as possible is this: Change brings about new normals. So sure, I won't have the same things I used to, but I'll make new friends and new memories and discover new things I didn't even know were available to me. And that's what's most important.

Now, without further ado, here is your Monday Music selection! This week's is called Tocs the Wanderer by Applauzium. Hope you enjoy!



Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Music 25

Hi, everyone!

There isn't much new to report. I've started applying to out of state summer jobs, which I really hope I'll be hired for. I've started plotting a new WIP--finally--because something finally clicked and I feel like I can actually start working on it. Like I finally have room for more characters in my head and in my heart.

Also, I've decided to undergo some minor revisions on HEARTS. You may/may not remember what it was like back in January, for Pitch Wars, so to give you a little recap: I decided the manuscript needed an entire overhaul, and that's exactly what happened. The plot changed, characters were removed, characters were added, stakes were raised, and the end result was so.much.better than I could ever have imagined.

This time, it's only minor things. An added scene here or there, stronger world-building to really solidify it, minor edits to make sure what I have down is what needs to be down. I refuse to give up on these nutty pirates and their crazy adventures, because they mean too much to me. I'm excited to see what the end result is.

And now, onto your Monday Music! This week's selection is called Legendary Quest by PostHaste Music. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday Music 24

Hi, y'all!

Last week was spring break and it was nuts. Busy, busy, busy, with lots of new things. For the first time ever, I went skiing and discovered I'm terrible at it. I will say, however, that I'm fantastic at falling down. It's a real art, let me tell you. Also, I got a cartilage piercing in my left ear. A pretty diamond that my hair loves to get caught in, so it hurts. A lot.

On the writing front, I don't have any new WIPs to report, but I am now a part of the Write for Apples blog! Dee asked me to contribute by writing a series called "Teen Speak," wherein I help Young Adult authors hone their teen protagonists' language, thought, what have you.

"But wait," you may say. "You're nineteen, Katie! You turn twenty this year! You're in college! How could you give advice on Young Adult?"


Just kidding. It does make a lot of sense. I am in college, but that doesn't mean I don't remember what it's like to be in high school. That doesn't mean I don't have plenty to say on the subject. I also have two teenage sisters, one in eighth grade and another a sophomore.

So don't worry. I'd like to say I know what I'm talking about. And if you want to take a look at my first post to clear your mind of any doubts of my competence, click here. You won't regret it. Really.


Now, onto your Monday Music selection! This week's is called Reversal by Alexander Lo Lacono and Andries De Haan. Hope you enjoy.


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Music 23

Hi, everyone.

So I've been thinking about doing this for a while, and I think it's finally time I decided to do so. And the thing I've been thinking about is taking a break from social media--all of it.

Don't get me wrong, I like Twitter and I'm a little obsessive about my email (even though my inbox scares me right now), but I've begun to notice something. The more time I spend on it, the more stressed out and depressed I feel. Weird, right? I mean, we go on social media to connect with people. I've met some AMAZING friends through Twitter and stay in contact with my critique partners and writer buddies through email.

But there has to come a time where I learn to draw a line, and I think this is finally it. So for the next week, I'm planning on staying off Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook (though I'm hardly ever on there to begin with), and email. (Although, since I'm still a querying writer, I'll check my email in the evenings only).

And I think this comes at a perfect time. I'm currently doing Lent (and if you don't know what that is, a quick Google search will clear up any confusion) so it seems like the perfect time to step back from social media. I want to get some writing done, some critiquing done, some for-fun reading done! My TBR pile is monstrous!

So this is my sayonara! My hasta la vista, baby. My adieu to you, and you, and you (at least for a week). I hope, after this hiatus, I'll come back feeling refreshed and relaxed and ready to keep going with writing and all school-related things.

And now, without further ado, here is your Monday Music selection! This week's is called Eidolon by Fired Earth Music. Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday Music 22

Hi, everyone.

This is late in coming, and I apologize. An illness I thought had gone away came back a week later--a week before my spring break! So this is just awesome, because it leaves me scatterbrained and exhausted. Perfect for midterms, right?

Anyway, on to your Monday Music! This week's selection is called Take Me Away by Globus. I love the variety of the piece, and if you pay careful attention to the lyrics, they're a story in themselves (as all the best songs should be). Hope you enjoy!


Happy Monday,

Katie

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Music 21

Hi, everyone.

Last week, I failed to post because I was out of town for the weekend and didn't get back in until midnight Monday, and after that, time just got away from me. It has a horrible tendency to do that.

Anyway, a quick update on writing is due, I think. This past week was the Blind Speed Dating contest, hosted by Cupid's Literary Connection. My Pitch Wars TeamPPU (Julie and Melody; you can find them under "My Awesome CPs" tab) and I all decided to enter, and this led to us being chosen by the bouncers! It was kind of crazy that all of us got picked, but oh so awesome.

After we were chosen, we had a day to spiff up our query and first 250 before Cupid posted them on her blog. (Here's mine, Julie's, and Melody's, as well as a writer friend Hannah's.) Then, there was a week for the entries to go up, during which the Honorary Cupids (aka the agents) were allowed to shoot entries with arrows, selecting either partials or fulls. All four of us got shot (never thought I'd say that and have it be a good thing). It kind of left us like this:


Now begins the wait as the agents read our manuscripts and get back to us. As for me and my writing, I haven't done much of anything due to homework taking up all my time, and when I do have time, I dedicate it to critiquing my CPs' manuscripts. (They're all awesome, by the way. I can't wait until they're published, so you can all share in the awesomeness.)

And I think that's about it. So, without further ado, here is your Monday Music selection! This week's is called Dark Doo Wop by MSMR. Hope you enjoy. 


Happy Monday!

Katie

Monday, February 10, 2014

Monday Music 20

Hi, everyone!

Did you see that last episode of Supernatural, "The Purge"? Because holy melon, it was INTENSE. It had a perfect mixture of laughs ("Sweet potatoes!"), creepy monsters (that tongue thing freaked me out!), and brotherly angst. And right now, all I feel like doing is telling Sam to go sit in the corner and think about what he's done. Because that boy...I want to smack him. (Just to clarify, I'm a Dean girl.)

But it got me thinking: That's the kind of reaction writers are supposed to get out of readers. They should feel emotionally scarred after reading/watching something happen to characters. They should feel so emotionally invested in the characters that they feel they need to smack them upside the head or hug them and wipe away their tears.

I guess you could call this a warning in advance. I plan on being brutal to my characters. Just picture me like this:


Anyway, on to your Monday Music! This one is called Underneath by Adam Lambert. I discovered it last night (somewhat late for a Monday Music selection), but it's amazing. So listen and love. 


Happy Monday!

Katie