Sunday, September 30, 2012

Never stop writing...

An author friend of mine, Jean Joachim, told me to write and keep writing. It was the best advice I have ever been given. So, yesterday I wrote 4,300+ words and so far today I am over 2,100 words. 

I am excited to say that my book is coming along a lot better than I could have ever dreamed and my plan for publishing in time for the holidays is within my grasp.

For anyone out there with writer's block or simply feeling discouraged, here are some things that have helped me:
       1). Don't stop writing. In the beginning I opened multiple Word windows and had different stories on different pages. I have since combined the majority of those into the main body of the book. It helps to put all of your thoughts on may use them later.

       2). Get someone to read your stuff. Not the entire story and not so that they can edit it for you. Have someone read some of it so that you know that your ideas are being conveyed properly.  I had my mother and aunt read a portion of my book without telling them that it was an Urban Fantasy. Both of them read Koontz, Patterson, Childs, Higgins-Clark, etc. After reading the 2,800 word excerpt they were calling me and asking for more. 

                b). Get someone who is not related to you to read it for clarity. Family members tend to love what you do, just look at how many parents allow their kids to go on American Idol when they know full well that they can't sing!

        3). Copyright your story. This should have been #2 but I am writing these in the order that I have done them. There are some simple ways to Copyright your story. An old trick is to send it to yourself in certified mail and never open it. Another way is to file the paperwork with the Copyright offices. There is also a new way to do it online. My Free Copyright (dot) com will copyright all of your blog or website's content every time you post or update.

         4). When you feel a block coming on, go online to look at blogs. Be very careful that you don't start reading stories that are closely related to yours so that you don't inadvertently start to write that story. See what other authors are doing for promotions...and what reviewers are saying about the books they've read. Look for cover ideas. A book IS judges by it's cover, regardless of what people say.

         5). Write the story that you want to read next. If you find it entertaining, odds are that others will as well.

Happy writing!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blood is Darker Than Water

This is not a love story. My life as an average high school student changed drastically the first day of my senior year. I am now running for my life and trying to decide who’s really on my side. I only have one ally and even she is secretive to the point of deception. Everywhere I turn, I feel like I am being stalked and my blood runs cold. 

Coming soon...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Beginning

I started writing the Saint Clair Blood Descendants in my head between 3 and 5 years ago. Every time I was in between reading books or had a few minutes to spare while waiting in line somewhere, I would think up another scenario for my characters. Although I love books where the places/times/universes are fictional, I have been inspired by fantasy writers whose stories are in modern times. I feel like I can identify with the character who just got caught in a traffic jam more than I can if they had to hop on a dragon and get to work...not matter if the character is an elf or vampire or witch. But, there is always something missing in fantasy books.

As an African American reader/author, it is hard to find a connection to some of the characters in fantasy books. It seems that most of the heroes and heroines are fair skinned and blue-eyed, which is fine, but I wanted to identify more with them. In my mind, my characters have always been all colors so that everyone can sit down and lose themselves in my story. But, having a story in your mind is not like having it on paper.
Writing has never been hard for me. I have a degree in History so researching and story telling has been something I had to do for years. But writing a novel, something that is a creation of my mind and not of past events, is a daunting task. The moniker 'Just do it' was easier said than done.

One day I was reading a book in a very long series and (I want to check with the author before I use her name and series just to be sure.) up until a point in the series, there were no characters who looked like me. No dark brown skinned characters at all. Again, this is fine. I was a die-hard fan of her books and her stories and was waiting with bated breath for the next book to be released. I was surprised to find that she added an African character in her book...and not as a villain. I was overjoyed and sent her an email immediately, to let her know how much it meant to a fan and to thank her. And (drum roll please).........she emailed me back! I love her for that and started to formulate my story again...that was July 2011. Then, I did what most people do with their great story ideas...NOTHING!

Saint Clair Blood Descendants series is a true expression of faith in myself. I have at least 3 books planned out in my head with no definite end in sight. The first book, "Blood is Darker Than Water", will hopefully be completed in time for the holidays and will be sold on Amazon, Barnes N Noble, Smashwords, Kobo and any other site for independent authors. I will also be providing an online excerpt of the book in a future posting.
Thank you for visiting my site and getting to know a little bit about my project. I hope you enjoy it.