My New Year’s Gift to You: An eBook copy of “Off to War”

I hope everyone survived Christmas and is doing well. Especially looking forward to 2017. I know I am. New possibilities and new routines. Perhaps a new normal. In some ways, I feel I’ve been in a rut. In others, I know I need to buckle down and nail down a better routine. All of which I hope can be accomplished in these next couple of months and set the tone for this next year.

But I do want to start off this year with a gift for my readers…I am offering my novel “Off to War” for free (on ebook) through Amazon! I am really excited about this and hoping many people take advantage of this offer!

What is that one about again?

What happens when a battle wages within a woman’s heart?

The impulsive Elizabeth is passionate about many things. Above all, her long time beau and friend, John. When he enlists in the Union army as a surgeon, she sneaks onboard his train. Determined to follow him through thick and thin, this high society woman joins the Sanitary Commission.

Constantly in fear of being discovered and sent back home, she keeps a low profile. Until she catches word that John has gone to the front to save some critically wounded soldiers. Despite the dangers of musket and cannon fire, she knows the decision she must make to ensure John makes it back alive.

Another interesting tidbit…

As some of you know, I use pinterest mostly for the purpose of building character and history boards for my books. So, you can follow this link to see who I would cast for the different characters in “Off to War” as well as some photos from the period: https://www.pinterest.com/saravturnquist/off-to-war/

And so…

Keep a sharp eye on amazon December 31st and January 1st. Be sure to secure your copy. I’ll do my best to share more tidbits about the creation and process behind “Off to War” along the way.

FEATURED GUEST: Author Debra Daugherty

An early very Merry Christmas to you, my readers! I can’t hardly believe it’s nearly here, can you? But it comes regardless of whether we are ready or not. So, I find myself reflecting on the season and what it means to me. And trying to take hold of the moments I can with friends and family to truly enjoy them. I pray the same for each of you.

Today I have author Debra Daugherty on my blog talking about her novel The Dragon’s Ring. It sounds like a really intriguing story. Let’s dive in and learn more about Debra and her process.

Welcome, Debra. First, tell us a little about your novel:

THE DRAGON’S RING is a romantic fairy tale. If the knight, Sir James Trueblood, captures a unicorn, the King will give him permission to marry his daughter, Princess Isadora. Sir James begins his quest, not realizing Isadora is following him in disguise. On his journey the knight is trapped by a witch and faces a ferocious dragon. He slays the dragon and takes the ring it guarded. With the dragon’s ring he captures a unicorn, but then learns the gentle creature will die if not set free. Now he has to make a choice, marry the Princess or free the unicorn.

That really intrigues. Especially my childhood love for unicorns. What was the inspiration for The Dragon’s Ring?

I love fairy tales for their happily ever after endings. I also love the idea that a mystical, magical creature like a unicorn might once have existed. For years I collected figurines of unicorns and displayed them in a glass curio. Wanting to write a story both my nephews and nieces would enjoy, I ended up with THE DRAGON’S RING. My story has a princess, a unicorn, and romance, as well as a witch and dragon, something for everyone.

You can say that again! Did you always want to be a writer?

Being a writer was on the top of my list, even as a child. I also wanted to be a teacher, airline attendant, travel guide, secretary and astronaut. In real life I was a waitress, clerk typist, beautician, café worker, caregiver and secretary. And while participating in all these professions, I also continued to write. That was the one constant in my life.

You’ve certainly done some interesting things. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

My grade school published a monthly newspaper with stories written by the students. I loved when my stories and poems were chosen to be in an issue. I found I enjoyed the attention and praise from my family when they read what I have written. So my desire to be a writer stemmed from an early age, third grade. It helped that my teachers liked my work and gave me encouragement.

I know from experience that there are things we all enjoy about the writing process and things we don’t enjoy so much. What part of the writing process do you dread?

I loved the writing process, how the words flow from my fingers to the keyboard and a story takes shape. Revisions are hard. Sometimes I have to “kill my darlings,” eliminate chapters, change scenes, even change POV’s, to make the story work. It’s hard to let go.

Once I am satisfied that my work is ready to submit, it is time to Query. Writing a query letter, finding the right words to pique an agent or publisher’s interest, is harder than writing the novel.

So query letters are another writing process I dread.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?

Try to write a little bit every day, and read. To be a great writer, you need to be an avid reader. Join SCBWI, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Attend conferences. Read books on writing. Two of my favorite books are Harold Underdown’s THE COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO PUBLISHING CHILDREN’S BOOKS, and Ann Whitford Paul’s WRITING PICTURE BOOKS. Connect with authors on Facebook and twitter. Join a writers group and have your work critiqued. Participate in workshops, in person and online. And don’t give up your dream, no matter how many rejections you have. Every writer can relate to rejections. I have a drawer filled with them. Treat rejections as a victory. They show you are putting yourself out there.

All wonderful suggestions…thanks! What are you currently reading?

I’d like to mention a novel I finished a couple of months ago. It’s a young adult fantasy novel, “Token and Omens”, written by a friend whom I met at a writer’s conference, Jeri Baird. We actually critiqued each other’s work at this conference, and hers were some chapters from this now published book. Her writing is amazing!

With the holidays keeping me active, I haven’t jumped into any new novel. I may reread “Token and Omens” again as I enjoyed it tremendously the first time. Come January, I’ll be heading back to the library for some PB mentor text reading for research and checking out the latest books by Philippa Gregory. I never tire of reading about Anne Boleyn and the Tudors.

For the time being I plan to devote my time reading, writing, and revising some of my works-in-progress.

I find I need to listen to music to “set a mood” for my writing. What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

I actually don’t listen to music when I write. I find it distracts me. However, I don’t write without some noise in the room. My dog, Honey, lies under my desk and snores while I work.

Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?

I write when the mood strikes me. This could me at 6:00 AM, mid-afternoon or even 2:00 in the morning. My favorite place would be sitting on a deck overlooking the ocean, but as that will probably never happen, I’m content with sitting at my desk and typing on my keyboard.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It depends. I wrote THE DRAGON’S RING in three days. This was nearly 20 years ago. I sent it out to a few publishers, then tucked it in a drawer until 2012. After meeting Ilana Oster and her friend, Sarah Schoon, while touring England, I decided to return to writing. These ladies from my tour group happened to be writers, and while sipping tea in a quaint café in Grassmere, they encouraged me to join SCBWI and renew my writing. When I re-examined THE DRAGON’S RING, I found it outdated. My princess sat at the castle while her knight went on the quest for the unicorn. I decided Princess Isadora needed to be the heroine and rewrote the story. In this new version, she follows her knight and saves him, more than once and without his knowledge. It took months to revise, but this is the story my publisher liked. This is the story that was published, so all the hard work was worth it.

Interesting…I always let my manuscripts rest, but that’s quite a rest 🙂 Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

I don’t want to give away any secrets or the ending, but can tell you that I included a Dodo bird in this book. The Dodo bird is vital to the story.

Do you have any current projects you are working on? Care to share?

In November, 2013 I participated in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write a novel in a month. My YA novel had over 155,000 words, so I divided it into three novels for a series. My teen sleuths travel to London, Paris and Rome, and in each city they encounter a mystery and murder. (I still find it hard to believe I wrote three books in one month.) Since then I’ve been revising, having my work critiqued and edited, and have been submitting the first novel to agents and publishers. In 2014’s NANOWRIMO I wrote a fourth book for this series. My teens head to Edinburgh, Scotland where a ghost sends them on a quest for the Holy Grail. Spoiler alert – they find it!

I also have several picture books and a few Middle Grade stories that I am continuing to revise and submit.

Thank you so much, Debra, for joining us to day!

With Christmas two days away, I know everyone is busy doing last minute shopping and baking. I’d like to wish everyone a happy holiday and a blessed and joyous new year!

Thank you, Sara, for including me on your blog. I enjoyed answering your questions, and am grateful for this opportunity to connect with your readers and to share with you, and them, my book and writing experiences.

The Dragon’s Ring

Buy Links

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01J73OAUG#nav-subnav

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-dragon-s-ring

Smashwords  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/654404

B & N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dragons-ring-debra-daugherty/1124830909?ean=2940157045517

Clean Reads: http://cleanreads.com/romance/416-the-dragons-ring.html

More About the Author

Debra Daugherty is a Central Illinois resident who enjoys living in the country with her two dogs, a Chihuahua named CeCe, and Honey, a rescued American Stratford Terrier. Since 2012 she’s been a member of SCBWI, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her publishing credits include a picture book, CALAMITY CAT, 2013, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; a young adult romantic fairy tale, THE DRAGON’S RING, 2016, Astraea Press/Clean Reads, and two short stories in Guardian Angel Kids’ e-zine. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, browsing in antiques shops and traveling.

Connect with Debra and her books

Email: ddaugherty329@gmail.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/dmddeb  or @dmddeb

Websites: http://ddaugherty329.wixsite.com/authordebradaugherty

www.writing-for-children.webnode.com

Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/DebraDaughertyauthor

Goodreads Author Page: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7579797.Debra_Daugherty

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ddaugherty329/my-love-of-writing/

Tumblr: http://authordebradaugherty.tumblr.com/

Amazon Author Central/Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/debradaugherty

After #NaNoWriMo, I Propose #IReadDecember

An idea entered my brain today…and I thought I would share it. Yes, I do share most every idea that enters my mind, but that’s neither here nor there. So, this is the long and short of it: after the tons of hard work and intense writing sessions of November for NaNoWriMo, I propose an “I Read December”.

Isn’t it a little late in the month to be “starting” something?

Well, not for me. I’ve been delaying any editing…putting it off because of other things on my “to do” list and lack of time. My free time has actually gone to reading already. I have finished two novels this month. Both in one day each. I am a fast reader, I just rarely have the time to dedicate to my first passion. But I am prepared to throw myself wholly into it and give myself permission to not look at any of my manuscripts until January.

Are you not itching to get into editing mode?

A little bit. I am so excited about the next book in line to be published. And I’m excited about the novel I just finished during NaNoWriMo. But that book needs to “rest”. For those of you who haven’t heard of this process, let me expound on that idea. For a writer, it is important to step away from the manuscript between important phases in the life of the manuscript to let it “rest”. What we mean is really to let you give yourself some space from it. When you are “in” the work too much, you get so close to it that you can become blind to mistakes and weaknesses. Taking a step back for a couple of weeks or even a month can give you some better perspective on it when you go back to it.

So, what are you reading?

I just finished Melanie Dickerson’s “Silent Songbird”. It was wonderful, as have been all of her books. Her ability to write in deep point of view and engage the reader while keeping the work easy to read is amazing. Next I’m diving into something on craft. I think I’ll read “Revision & Self-Editing” by James Scott Bell. Because I think next month will be Edit-like-a-Crazy-Woman January.

What about you? Are you reading anything interesting?

FEATURED GUEST: Author Eli Celata

Hello all, are you done with your Christmas shopping? Are you tired of hearing that question? I am too. But I have decided that my top priority is to take moments each day to just rest and enjoy the season. My second priority is to enjoy my family. And, after those things, is the rest. There will be time for the other things. But I won’t remember who got what in 2016 five years from now or how well it was wrapped, but I will remember that I enjoyed my kids. And they will remember that mom was present.

Aside from the ongoing Christmas season challenges, I have the pleasure of hosting another Clean Reads author on my blog today – Eli Celata. Eli has stopped by to answer some of my questions and introduce us to her newest release. So, without further ado, let’s hop right in:

Welcome to my blog, Eli. First, tell us a little about your novel.

“High Summons” is my debut. It’s basically an ode to everything I love about my native city but also about YA literature in general. My main character, Jon Blythe, is a multiracial college kid from Boston who has relocated to Rochester for college. Raised by his mother, he has only one thing from his father – magic. Well, he has the monsters too. The dark and devilish figures that he sees out of the corner of his eyes. The ones who horrify his mother.

When Jon comes across a man setting one of the monsters on fire with his bare hand, he jumps in blindly hoping for the answers he’s been denied. However, the man – Jordan – might be a wizard, but he’s also a demon-hunter, and if Jon wants to keep his magic, he will have to risk everything and track down the rogue magic users set on burning Rochester to the ground.

Interesting. I love science fiction/fantasy though I write Historical Fiction/Romance, which means I read primarily in my genre. But I find the sheer creative genius of your genre so appealing. What was the inspiration for High Summons?

While the original drafts were an ode to my wanderlust, HIGH SUMMONS as it is now written memorializes the best parts of my home city of Rochester. From Rochester’s diversity and embracing of different cultures, there were so many nuances I only recognized once I was off at college. The fantasy came from my love of mythology, theology, and folklore.

Very personal inspiration for this novel. My debut novel was also very personal at it’s core. And it was a book I never expected the world to see really. I never thought I would be a writer until later in life though I have always written as a creative outlet. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Both my parents are avid readers, so I was a 3-year-old being read middle grade books at night alongside my siblings. My sister and I would spend hours telling each other stories which grew more and more complex, but it wasn’t until I realized we had a very different desire in the endings that I took to writing.

Fun. One thing that helps get me in the right headspace to write is my writing playlist. What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

My Twitter is a mass of music tweets. Each time I start a new book, I make a playlist. Currently, my main playlist is for a WIP for my WARLOCK OF ROCHESTER series titled #Gatekeeper. It’s a mix of symphonic metal, classic rock, and Sia. As I also have an unrelated adult dystopian bouncing around, Amber Run’s “I Found” joined the track, but it’ll get its own list soon.

How long does it take you to write a book?

The length of time depends on the type of book and my other responsibilities. Over the summer, I can probably get one done in two months from start and outline to submitting manuscript. Once I’m back at Binghamton working on my PhD, it can slow down to a full ten months.

Wow! Two months is amazingly quick! Even ten months is rather fast considering. Can you tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

Jon’s multiracial. The cast is really diverse with Jon coming from a single parent household in Boston while his friends come from as far as you can get from a city in Puerto Rico to Midwest to well-off Rochester urbanite. That’s the wonderful part about writing a story set in a diverse “college town.” It also adds to the tension when Jon goes from this eclectic and accepting friend group into the demon hunting community which has its own prejudices and ideologies.

Do you have any current projects your working on? Care to share?

Weird dystopian novel involving a secret library and a twist on the classic soldier/pacifist romance – it’s been on my shelf for a while, but I’m caught on the ending. I can’t seem to keep my pacifist from reverting to her old – much more violent and megalomaniac inventor – ways, and that would definitely upend any chance of a Happily Ever After with the romantic humanist corporal.

Thank you so much for joining us today. And I am so eager to hear a little more about High Summons, are you?

High Summons

Jon Blythe is sick of waiting for his Yoda. After years of hiding his magic, he’s ready to retire from his mortal life, drop out of college, and jump into the world of demon hunters. He just didn’t really expect a bleach blond bookstore clerk with light up toys for weapons. Unfortunately, Jordan is Jon’s only hope. When rogue magic users come to Rochester with a malicious plan, the odd couple strikes out to save the day. Jordan might not be what Jon expected, but between demons and Econ homework, the demons win every time. Wild nights drag Jon further from normal into the world where his father vanished. Maybe he’s becoming an addict. Maybe magic just comes with a price. Either way, he’s hooked.

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/High-Summons-Eli-Celata-ebook/dp/B01I2RNIHY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1468001355&sr=1-1

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/high-summons

Smashwordshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/648921

iTunes: https://itun.es/us/MEqCdb.l

More About the Author:

Eli Celata was born in Rochester, NY and currently attends Binghamton University as a doctoral student in Biological Anthropology. When she isn’t studying bones or working on interdisciplinary experiments, Eli writes science fiction and fantasy.

Connect with Eli:

Twitter: @Celata_E

Website: elicelata.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/EliCelata/

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/EliCelata/

Christmas: I Need A Silent Night

I find myself yet again this year in the midst of craziness. Is this what Christmas is for the parents of littles? I see the joy of the magic of Christmas in them. I love experiencing the wonder of the season through them anew, but this hustling and bustling is for the birds. December is halfway over and it seems as if I’m stuck in a time warp somehow. Christmas doesn’t seem real this year.

NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is a wonderful thing in my life. It has allowed me to complete two novels (one this year, one last year) in record time. But it’s difficult to explain what it does to my enjoyment of the holiday season. Every spare moment goes to writing. And things are ramping up for holiday festivities and families are enjoying Thanksgiving. As well, I try to spread out my Christmas shopping across November and December (really trying to be done with the bulk of it in November so I can enjoy December), but no more. There is no time to fit that stuff in with NaNoWriMo absorbing my spare time. These are all things I must consider before committing next year.

Gift Giving

Gift Giving is one of my love languages…most certainly. But I am one of those gift givers that likes to find something that a friend/family member would love/enjoy and get that for them. I don’t like this obligation or this tit-for-tat thought to gift giving. The social expectations inherent in the process is, of course, something I understand. But I’d rather give a gift because I saw it and thought of you and wanted you to have it. You know? It’s all become too commercial for my taste.

Taking Time

This is where I am ultimately lacking. I have been going here, doing that, making this, spending that…barely spending time just being. Or resting in the reason for the season. The family togetherness, the joy of humanity in harmony, and the coming of the Eternal Light to earth on one cold Bethlehem night. I fear this is true of so many parents, especially those of littles – stopping to just be in the moment and appreciate it for all it holds.

So, let’s make that our goal for the remainder of this holiday season…to stop, at least once each day, and just take it in – our children, our homes decked out in their red and evergreen glory, the laughter, the joy, and the eternal peace we have been offered.

SPOTLIGHT: Elaine Cantrell’s “Fortuna”

Hello, all! I hope this blog finds you well along in your celebrating and enjoyment of the season. I have a special spotlight for you today – a fellow author, Elaine Cantrell, and her book Fortuna. So, please, let’s dive right in.

Fortuna

Aimee Sherwood never dreamed that following her fiancé into the witness protection program would land her in a haunted house in a town that’s downright creepy. She’d have laughed if she had been told the guy who lives down the road might be her soul mate, not the man whose ring she’s wearing. Life in West Virginia is nothing like life in Los Angeles, but between bean ball battles with Marilyn Monroe, remodeling a crumbling farmhouse, and starting a new online business, life in the country is anything but boring.

 

Enjoy an Excerpt

From the hallway, Rocky led them to the back part of the house. “Here’s the kitchen, hon.”

“Much nicer,” Aimee approved as her eyes swept the room. “The kitchen must have been redone in 1920. Is that a woodstove over there?”

June scowled and Cade laughed.

“Hon,” Rocky reproved.

The bedrooms were no better, but the bathroom . . . “There are no words,” Aimee whispered. She kicked the claw-foot tub and dislodged a rain of rust particles. They made a pretty pattern where they drifted across the dirty floor. What did the floor look like? Was it black and white? No, maybe gray and white, or maybe brown? “Rocky . . .”

“Don’t worry, hon.” He patted her shoulder. “We have outside facilities. I told the contractor he’d need to work on the bathrooms first thing.”

“No, he’ll need to shore up the entire thing first, or it’s going to fall down and kill us.”

Cade’s eyes were full of laughter. “Hey, Rocky, where are the outside facilities?”

“Look out the window.”

Aimee rushed to the window and looked out. She saw an outdoor shower with absolutely no way to conceal oneself. Not far away she saw a small, crooked hut. No! It couldn’t be. Her grandmother had told her of such things, but . . . “Is that hut an outhouse?”

Buy Links

http://www.amazon.com/Fortuna-Elaine-Cantrell-ebook/dp/B01B5P9EF0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1454292353&sr=1-1&keywords=fortuna+by+elaine+cantrell

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fortuna-elaine-cantrell/1123328090?ean=2940157912277

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/fortuna-12

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/611196

More About the Author

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She holds a master’s degree in personnel services from Clemson University. She is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators and is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest. When she isn’t writing or teaching, she enjoys reading, traveling, and collecting vintage Christmas ornaments.

Connect with Elaine

http://www.elainecantrell.com

http://www.elainepcantrell.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/elainepcantrell

http://www.twitter.com/elainecantrell

http://www.pinterest.com/elainecantrell

‘TIS THE SEASON: Seasons In Our Life and How We Care For Them

seasons-blog

Welcome to such a joyful time of the year. A season of giving, a season of celebration, a season of merriment. All around us are markers, reminders of this special season: decorations, carols, shopping craziness, you name it! There is no escaping it. It makes me think of the seasons of the year, how they come and go, whether you mean the four major seasons of the year or the more personal seasons we walk through in our lives. Those can last years, months, or sometimes just weeks or days.

How do you define your season of life right now?

By the holiday we’re in? By the political atmosphere? By your health? By the social climate? All of these things can and do make up where we are in life, but none of them are strong enough, I think, to define us in and of themselves (unless we let them). Do your circumstances define you or do you define your circumstances? Remember that hot water hardens the egg yet softens the potato…it’s all about what you’re made of and how you respond to your environment…what you do with what you’re given. I’m not saying that will be easy. Quite the opposite. It may be rather trying. But there is hope.

The difficult season…

I would encourage those of you in those difficult seasons of life to take care of yourselves. But also to think about looking outside of yourselves to be of service to someone else. You never know how much that will feed your spirit to give what you can as you can. I’m not saying sell everything and give it all up…I’m saying take what steps you can to serve someone in your life, your community, or across the world in a very real way the is meaningful to you. WHILE taking care of yourself. You can pour into others if you’ve been drained and have nothing to give.

The season of plenty…

Just like Joseph from the Bible preparing for the famine, store up for that season of need. Don’t you forget to take of yourselves either. And, as you are more able, be generous in service and in love. These things will gird you for the harder times. And may even prolong your season of plenty.

Most of all…

Know that God doesn’t waste a hurt…and neither should a writer 🙂

What season are you in?

 

FEATURED GUEST & GIVEAWAY: Author Rachel Jones

Hello again! I hope you are all finding yourselves in the swing of the holiday season. I love the lights and the music and the glitter…okay, maybe not the glitter getting everywhere. But I just love this time of year. So much joy and goodwill!

On today’s blog, I am welcoming another author, Rachel Jones. She is dropping by to answer some questions and tell us about her book, Taking A Chance On Love. And she is offering a GIVEAWAY (details below)!!

2572Welcome, Rachel! First, tell us a little about your novel.

From childhood, Virginia Manning has planned for a career as a concert clarinetist. Blindsided by family circumstances, her plans are interrupted, taking her down a path she would never have chosen. As a music teacher, Virginia’s relationship with the football coach goes from problematic to romantic. After Blake’s brush with death, a scared Virginia runs away looking for the contentment music has always brought to her life.

Blake Oliver has experienced disappointment and pain, so he opts for a fresh start in a small New England town. Accepting the position of football coach, he isn’t looking for love when it finds him. When Virginia leaves to pursue a performance career, Blake realizes it’s not where you live but having someone to love that matters. His only problem is making her understand that as well.

I always ask about inspiration because I find the initial spark that ignites the story intriguing. What was it for Taking A Chance On Love?

I’m an accomplished musician and I love the arena of performing arts. I wanted to show how someone intent on following their dream would fare if they had to follow a different path.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?

I wanted to be a teacher or a nurse. I taught in the public and private school setting for ten years before changing my profession to nursing.

So you have been living out your dreams! That’s great! When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I came to this realization after I finished my first manuscript, which I began at age fifty-seven. My writing began as a personal challenge. When I completed that manuscript and received a contract offer, I decided I wanted to pursue a writing career wholeheartedly.

We all have things that enjoy about the writing process and things we like a bit less. What part do you dread?

Listening to the comments from my critique partners, although I know their suggestions usually make my writing better.

Speaking of…do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?

Set measurable goals. Write every day. Even a small word count of one hundred per day will grow to seven hundred words by the end of the week – words you didn’t have at the beginning of your week. Hone your craft. Read books and attend writer conferences or take online courses.

Great suggestions! Thanks! I know reading is a big one. Books on craft, but also reading fiction, absorbing others’ work. With that in mind, what are you currently reading?

I’m reading holiday stories. I’ve just started Melissa McClone’s “A Thankful Heart”.

One of the things that gets me in the writing mood is music. What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

I prefer to write in a quiet atmosphere. I know many writers listen to music while they write, but I have found I get pulled into the music and out of my writing. If I did listen to music, it would be classical music.

Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?

Early morning, whether waking up or just coming home from work. My favorite place to write is in my office where I have everything I need to spend hours creating my stories.

How long does it take you to write a book?

At the present time with a full time job, it takes me twelve to fifteen months. I expect that to shorten in a few years after I retire from my nursing profession.

Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

In his college days, Blake was a great athlete. He also possessed a polished singing voice that he never shared because of the memories associated with his singing.

Do you have any current projects your working on? Care to share?

I am close to finishing my third novel about a concert pianist struggling with illness and grief issues. The storyline includes a widower trying to build a new life amid family responsibilities that could pull him from his life in San Francisco back to Georgia permanently.

Thank you again, Rachel, for coming on the blog and for chatting with us today!

Taking A Chance On Love

taking-a-chance-on-love_500x750

 

Buy Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Smashwords

iTunes

More About the Author

A registered nurse by night and a writer by day sums up Rachel’s present life. This award-winning author spends her limited writing time composing stories about strong women and sweet romance. Her books reflect her love of the performing arts, and her career in healthcare has influenced the threads of medical drama woven into the storylines.

When she’s not working or writing, Rachel loves traveling, sewing and making music. She lives in Kennesaw, Georgia with her husband of thirty-eight years.

Giveaway

Author Rachel Jones is offering 2 eBook versions of Taking a Chance on Love. To enter the giveaway, simply comment on this blog post anytime between Friday, December 2nd and Friday, December 9th (by 11:59pm CST). Please feel free to ask a question, make a general comment, or respond to this question:

Have a hobby you wish you could turn into a job?