• Who We Are

  • Schedule

    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

  • Snarky’s Tweets

  • Kinetic’s Tweets

  • Dreamer’s Tweets

  • Wicked’s Tweets

  • Eerie’s Tweets

  • Mighty’s Tweets

The 7 Evil Dwarves are back with a new Swamp! #7EDs

On the tail end of our journey through the writing workshops over the last month, I wanted to see if you all have checked out the reswampped home of the 7 Evil Dwarves (www.7evildwarves.com)? We’ve added some new stops.

Since I spent most of June doing writer marketing stuff, release stuff, and setting things into place for the second PSY-IV Team book, I also threw in remodeling my site, which in turn bled over into reswammping the 7ED site. We’ve let the mud creep up over the last few months. Some of the dwarves have huddled inside their shacks refusing to venture out into the common areas, so we as a group decided it was time to get ourselves back in shape. (Okay, yes, maybe I pushed…a little…with a bulldozer…but the results are worth it, right?)

To ensure we stay on track, we set up a new blog schedule. Every day a dwarf will post. Doesn’t matter how long or short, they will post so our visitors know we aren’t a ghost swamp.

We added a page listing all our author interviews (in alpha order, because my CDO kicked in). These interviews are us asking writers we admire questions, so check out the list and feel free to spend some time in the Swamp Guest Archives tab.

You’ll notice we number a bit more than 7, but we have a couple of dwarves who hold honorary positions, so we’re not kicking them out. We each have a page, so take the time to give the hairy eyeball to each one.

There’s a tab–Writings of the Dwarves–this is a must see. Here you will find all our literary accomplishments, along with links to access them. Our goal, to add a few more names and titles by this time next year.

You’ll notice there’s a tab titled, SWAMP TALES. This requires constant checking because we have gathered around the campfire and began a story–just for you readers. Each of us takes a piece in round robin format. Of course, at the time of writing this post, it’s a bit snarly, but I’m sure we’ll find our way out…soon…or else!

Then there’s another page for all those writers out there who are looking for some helpful sites and communities. Doesn’t matter your genre, feel free to click and play.

Take your time, mosey around my place (www.jamigray.com) and check out the first chapter of each book, sign up for my newsletter. (So far, I’ve only sent out one and I’ll probably send one more out later this year, which means, that’s what? Two a year. Shouldn’t crowd your in-box too much.) Then check out the nooks and crannies at the Swamp.

Let us know what’s working, what isn’t, and what you might expect but didn’t find.

 

I Survived RT 2014…#RT2014

Yeah, yeah, another Romantic Times Booklovers recap, but bear with me as I get my feet back under me from the nuthouse of May. Not only did this month (which is fading in the rearview) see me type THE END of Shadow’s Curse (coming Fall 2014), but we had SHADOW’S MOON hit the shelves! Plus, HUNTED BY THE PAST is scheduled to follow along on July 11th, so it’s been a little (okay a-frickin’-lot) crazy. When you’re a newbie author, promo items fall squarely on your shoulders, so I’m trying to wrangle a virtual book tour and post all over the web-a-verse for SHADOW’S MOON, and get a head start on HUNTED’s own twisted promo paths.

Enough of my babbling, on to the actual post–RT2014 in New Orleans, was it what I expected or not?

For those who haven’t been following, this was my first time in NOLA and my first time at a convention the size (think GODZILLA SIZED) of RT. I even did a book signing, first ever again. Yep, a whole world of firsts. Keep in mind, everyone will experience the same thing very differently, and if you’ve noticed some grumbling around the writer social sites about the organization of RT, don’t be surprised.

RT had some great points, the location was awesome. Of course, I’ve never been to the Big Easy before, so I was truly excited about that. Loved the Ghost Tour and the fantastic story telling skills of our guide. Got a love a city where a Liberal Arts major can not only earn a paycheck but have fun doing it.  LOVED Cafe du Monde, so long as you hit at 2 am or after the line rivaling the Mississippi disappears. Did a psychic reading–nope not sharing, I want to see if it all comes about or not. Tons of great architecture (sue me, I love buildings).  Jackson Square, very cool, the Mississippi-muddy, just like everyone says. People and food–fantastic! Of course, refused to suck the head of animal with beady little eyes. Made him turn away while I devoted his tail.

Regrets–wish I had more time, wanted to do a Swamp tour, Plantation tours, see a little broader views other than the French Quarter. If you have a sensitive nose (I do) be prepared for Bourbon Street. Everyone knows why it’s famous, so I’ll leave it to your imagination on why if your nose is a tad princess-y you should tread carefully.Next time, I’m going as a tourist. There’s so much history and I want it all.

RT Conference–holy moses! I knew it was big, but hadn’t quite expected what I got. The noise level at the convention hotel remained at a deafening dull roar the entire time. I think my ears are still ringing. People, real live humans, were EVERYWHERE! I had to hide in my room for a few times just to breathe before diving back in. Elevators, by the way, don’t like handling over 2600 people in a given 15 minute time slot. However, I did get plenty of aerobic exercise.

Featured authors–I had hoped to touch base with some of my past guests (Faith Hunter, Kevin Hearne, Cynthia Eden, Jennifer Estep) or even some of my fan girl type writers (Charlaine Harris, Jeanine Frost, Kresley Cole, Stephanie Tyler, Nalini Singh) but after watching them being mobbed by fans, I just couldn’t add to it. I think it’s because I’m an introvert, I hate to push myself forward if I think someone already has enough going on. The authors were just unbelievably gracious and positive, I was so impressed and no disappointments there. They were incredibly patient with their fans, truly thrilled to talk to all these readers. However, during the Book Fair (Yep, we’ll hit that big red, topic button in just a minute), I did send my Knight to get a book or two signed. He braved the crowds for me. (Sigh).

Panels–here’s where my expectations and reality began to disagree. I think I had mistakenly considered the fact the conference offered various tracks (Craft, Industry, Reader, Specialty) which meant if I stuck to those tracks where I could get something new out of it, I’d learn a well guarded secret or two. Nope. Don’t get me wrong, the panels were good. Sometimes there were a few at the same time, then it became which one do you really want to go to as a determination factor. There was a speciality course I was really, REALLY looking forward to, then on the first day, I noticed it was no longer showing up anywhere. I checked under chairs and behind walls for a cancelation notice of the course and found–nada. My OCD kicked in, and I was quite bummed. Once I stopped pouting, I picked the other course I had been considering. It went well, but still…  Then the panels on craft kept themselves fairly general, with information I’ve heard/read before, with a few  personal views thrown in. Those did help reassure me, my writing career was not plunging off the cliff into a whirling vortex of death. The industry panels–whoo baby. Talk about conflicting information. Depending on who was talking, their views on publishing/writing, crap, you’d need a Magic 8 ball to get better answers.  My overall take away–the path of publishing is not GPS comparable–forge your own trails using whatever works for you and your stories.  I did enjoy the marketing ones, mainly because the speakers were bluntly funny and didn’t hold back. LOVED them.

Big, Red, Hot Topic Button–The Book Fair on Saturday:

Yes, I’ve read various points of view on this. Yep, I was there, in the Indie room with over 200 hundred, very talented authors. Yes, our supposed table space was severely under estimated. Yep, the doors opened late. Yep, the AC failed miserably (you would too–New Orleans, largest book signing EVER((it’s making Guinness World Record)), lots and lots of people). Instead of going over all of it, here’s what happened to me. I was very nervous about this. First ever book signing. No one’s going to know who the hell I am, nor will they want my books, what if I have lipstick on my teeth? What if…what if…

You know what made my entire experience? The other authors. Talk about an awesome community. I sat next to two beautiful women, KT Grant and Katie Graykowski. Those two made my time there fun and a blast. Add in Kendall Grey and yes, I had fun. Kendall had readers who were lining up. So Katie and I did what ever we could to keep them entertained. We helped them laugh, provided free AC (via hand fans) and chocolate. We even encouraged them to check out KT’s sheep. I sold three books, but you know what, I count it as a success because:
1. I got to meet Sunny and Susan in person. These two readers were so AWESOME, they almost made me cry. Their obvious enjoyment of my books just made my day.

2. I made new friends with KT, Katie, Kendall and other writers, readers, bloggers around me. I got to listen to what they’ve done and experienced which in turn, sent home just how big the writer/reader community really is.

3. Writers are funny as hell. And completely fearless!

4. The RT staff (who volunteer) have to be hoarding patience pills, because I’m not sure I could’ve handled the crushing crowds they faced.

 

Were their downsides to the signing? Yep, there were, but the one I had the biggest concern with was the two plus hour wait in line for readers to pay for their books. Seriously? That’s a bit much. However, I know the RT people are getting tons of feedback and re-evaluating how the set up the check out process next year.
As for the division between “Traditional” and “Indie”, here’s my take: at some point in the near future, every writer will wear both hats at some point, because it circles back to what I mentioned about the industry message: the publishing path is yours to forge, just make sure you use the right tools for you.

With all that being said, will I be back next year in Dallas? Probably not, but only because I can’t afford too many conferences each year and I’ve already made promises to some friends to do the RWA one in San Diego. However, Mighty will be there. She’s pretty persuasive, so I might show, you never know.

 

Come back next week, because I have  a new author to intro! Keep an eye out, I’ll be making rounds in June and July with Shadow’s Moon and Hunted by the Past!

Crazy=Nano? Not For This Nut Job

Eerie mentioned it before me, it appears to be that time of year that all of our writing friends go off the deep end and commit to the horror/wonder that is Nano. I chose not to participate this year even though I am planning on getting a large word count in November. You may be thinking “why not join Nano when it aligns with your goals?”

I’ll tell you why: I’m neurotic. There are certain things that drive me nuts. Having to write exactly such and such words a day without a day off for thirty day straight makes me want to write about as much an article on the best cupcakes in the world makes me want to diet. I don’t like being held accountable to someone else’s lofty goals. I have seen people go far beyond the 50,000 that most people commit to. Hell, even Snarky texts me giant word counts, often. That is a lot of pressure.

I have admitted on this blog regularly that I will often have a few weeks of productivity followed by periods of zilch. That’s fine. I always want to be better, but having a group of computer friends seeing my word count of lack thereof makes me ostrich. Ostrich is where I bury my head in the sand and ignore it all together. Though it really isn’t different than my texting Wicked and Snarky word counts, there is a certain accountability in those texts but there is also a lot of flexibility and a lack of judgment.

I honestly believe I will have a more successful month if I am not doing Nano. So to those of you that have done your training, strapped on your writing shoes and are racing towards the finish line, know that I am at the finish line holding an awesome homemade sign that says something along the lines of “don’t look back, there are zombies!” So many people walk away from Nano in a great place in their writing. I am hoping that you are one of them. In the meantime this nut job will be busy on her own manuscript.

Sidekicks

This is a post that I meant to write weeks ago. Sadly I got caught up at work and then had the plague for two weeks. Okay, it probably wasn’t the plague considering I am still alive but as I didn’t go to the doctor we can’t know for sure. Anywho, a few weeks ago I had some of my closest friends visit me from Arizona. These people understand my schedule and went about their sightseeing during the day and I would meet up with them during the night for plays, dinner, and general debauchery.

Given that I am nocturnal they probably realized had I accompanied them for general sightseeing in the morning I would have been a real Debbie Downer. Luckily, they understood this. It was during this trip that I realized the importance of a good sidekick. Okay, I realized this before, but the trip helped me to really define what I think is important in a sidekick.

I am on the third rewrite of my work in process. The first draft needed a setting change, some major revisions on my male lead, and had a sidekick that was too involved. The second rewrite was lacking secondary characters and thus had no momentum, I kept getting stuck with the ol’ “uh, what next?”

The current draft that I am working on isn’t all rainbows and ponies but it is much easier than the previous two. The first reason is because I am plotting more but the second reason is because I have found my perfect amount of secondary character action. A good sidekick is present for what is necessary to make the relationship realistic but does not drown out the story arc with their needs. They don’t need to be a part of every scene as long as they serve a purpose in the scenes they are in and let your lead characters evolve.

My friends had more fun with night owl Camille and would have hated morning Camille because she whines…a lot. Still I played a major part in their Chicago trip story because when I needed to be there, and when they wanted me to be there, I was. Friends are a great way to bring out the best and worst in your characters, if you use them well they really help a reader see what is endearing and what is flawed in a character. I would say that my flaw from this blog post was referring to myself in third person. I’m introspective like that.

Sorry Snarky, I’m impeding on your day, but you love me so you’ll forgive my late post. 

But Is It Fried?

So,  I had a surprise test at work the other day. I ended up getting a high score but when my boss went over one of the questions I got wrong, it got me thinking. The question was simply: describe the chile relleno. I described it is as a chile stuffed with cheese, breaded, and then deep fried. Apparently by describing something accurately, I had made it unappealing. My boss informed me that it was best to describe it as “egg washed” because it sounded “lighter” and “fresher.”

Now I will agree that describing something as egg washed as opposed to breaded does make it sound light. On the other hand if you stuff something with cheese and deep fry it, it’s not light, delicious yes, but certainly not light. Like they say if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s  still a pig.

At this point you’re probably asking yourself, but Camille, what does this have to do with writing? Let me tell you. When I write my characters I tend to love them, as I should, in this I find it very easy to “egg wash” their issues. By that I mean that in describing a character, I can make them more appealing to the reader, whether they deserve my discretion or not. Many authors do this because hey, that bad boy alpha male isn’t so attractive when he’s just a jackass. Now if he has some redeeming qualities perhaps we can overlook the fact that he’s filled with cheese and deep fried.

Here’s the problem, egg washing doesn’t work if there isn’t really a lighter side to the character. Saying a character is sensitive or has a good side doesn’t work if it doesn’t actually exist.  So let’s keep it simple. If something is heavy, it’s heavy. Not everything about your characters needs to be likeable, in fact it’s unnerving when your character is a child of the corn. 

Bed Bugs, Kerfuffles, and Word Counts, Oh My!

This week has been filled with some fairly mundane excitement. Sounds like an oxymoron I know but it is what it is. In the beginning of the week we had a bed bug scare. Everyone cringing at the word bed bug, I feel you. Good news is my apartment was inspected and we don’t have any. Thank god because I prefer my creepy crawlies and bloodsuckers to appear only in novels. Wouldn’t that be a charmed life. Also there has been some discord with the neighbor. I was slightly involved in that I said something rude when I was being verbally abused.

Things aren’t back to normal yet but I’m sure it will blow over. At least I hope so because I prefer my life to be drama free. Still it was enough to upset my writing schedule. Jami, Amber and I have been very good about participating in “Word Watchers/Authors Anonymous” aka texting daily word counts but none of us has been perfect. The bug scare had me spending the night unpacking. Yes, I moved four months ago, no I wasn’t completely unpacked. Reading online that vermin enjoy clutter fixed that real fast. The household cats seem to enjoy the room now that it is spaciously free from boxes and that is great because anyone who knows me, knows that I live to serve cats.

After the altercation I was too wound up to get a good word count. I don’t like confrontation (again except in novels) so my reaction was stress. I cured it with a Twinkie and watching Supernatural which didn’t ease my stress as much as I had hoped because a favorite character was killed off *sigh.* Jami and Amber have had less unusual excuses such as family in town, work, sinus infections, kids. I am the weirdo with city problems.

Whereas I don’t miss school at this point I would say that I miss having it as an excuse. I’m sorry I can’t do yadda yadda yadda, I have homework. While it was legitimate it was also a crutch. Not everyone is going to be Stephen King and get 2k every day unless an act of God intercedes. That’s fine because I’m still way better than I was last month and last month I was better than the month before. So if you’re having an off day and skip your word count, don’t be too harsh on yourself. Life’s little problems will pass and you’ll be better tomorrow. At least you better be because rumor is Amber has a whip and Jami will supportively tell you that she understands while telling you to get “something” down. I’m not sure which I’m more scared of: the whip, or disappointing Jami. El Oh El.

I Have to Do What?

So, I have hit the quarter mark in my third rewrite of my WIP. Huzzah! I know it’s early but I finally feel like the book is going in the right direction so I’m pretty stoked. I have a self- imposed deadline to finish this sucker by the end of September, because I have a list. Ugh, lists are the devil but they are often necessary. Why, you may ask, is the list necessary? Because finishing the book is only the first step in what I hope will be my grand career. So here goes:

1. Finish novel by the end of September.

2. Edit said novel.

3. Send to critique group.

4. Edit said novel again.

5. Write a kick ass query letter. Send out, and repeat as necessary.

That is only one list in the grand scheme of things. On top of trying to finish and send out this manuscript I also have some plans with Wicked aka Jami Gray. We are going to New Orleans in May for the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. My hope is to have a contract by then but we’ll have to see what happens. Now in anticipation for the Convention and hopeful publication I have another list.

1. Start writing on my own personal blog.

2. Create website, which includes bribing my more tech savvy friends to help a girl out. In essence I know what I want for a banner but I need someone who is more skilled than I to make that happen. Also, there’s all that setting crap up, thing.

3. Get headshots for said website. Luckily on that front I know a guy (my dad enjoys photography in his spare time).

4. Get business cards (who knew a writer needed business cards).

5. Work enough to pay for all of the above and still have time to write.

I think all writers know that the yesteryear of writing a book in seclusion and then sending it out to a publisher and moving on to the next one is sadly gone. We need to promote ourselves and build an audience. We all hope that our book will go out and become an instant bestseller. Reality is rarely so kind, recall my previous post about dumb questions “Why don’t you just write the next Twilight/Harry Potter/ 50 Shades?” It is important to look at publishing as a business. I would write even if I didn’t plan hope that it would be my career, though in all honesty I would write less because it would be a hobby without deadlines.

The goal is to work sans pants so everything I am doing right now is to reach that goal. I’m hoping it will be fun along the way but it may be a hot stressful mess. I’m okay with that as long as everything gets done. It will, I am determined.

 

 

 

I Really Liked It, But…

I joined the Dwarves just over a year ago and they were my first experience with a critique group. Luckily they seemed to like me and have kept me around even though I moved across the country. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first met up with the group but I was pleasantly surprised overall. The first meeting I went to I was given the option as to whether or not I would like to give critiques to the other members. I thought it was a test, so I did them.

I am still not sure to this day whether it was an actual test, but my critiques failed miserably. First of all I had never met these people and I didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. I believe that I started every criticism with “I really liked it, but…” I recall feeling rather flustered when Snarky snorted around the fifth time I said this. Luckily Snarky has grown on me and I no longer hold it against her (or do I? All those murder plots we sit around and talk about? Bet you never knew you were on my list Snarky! Bwahahahaha!). Seriously though, I deserved the snort.

Now I am at a point where I can tell my group, hey guess what ya’ll I didn’t really like all of it. Mind you this was a year ago and if you asked me whose I really liked and didn’t,  I couldn’t tell you. What I can tell you is that, just like when you’re reading books, you’re not going to like everything you read to critique. Now comes the hard part: do you not like it because it’s not your genre of choice? Do you not like it because you’re not a fan of first person?  Do you not like it because if you read another book about demons/vampires/Aunt Flo/Steve/zombies/BDSM you’re going to scream?

All of these are valid feelings to have about a book but then you have to ask yourself if it’s relevant. I myself don’t read a ton of Science Fiction. So if I’m critiquing SciFi I have to question if the reason it’s not clicking for me is because it needs work or if it’s because it doesn’t have the same flow as an Urban Fantasy (of which I read a lot). If there are more holes in the plot then a colander then my input is valuable. If I dislike something because it’s not my bag it’s not helpful to the writer.

Another thing I brought up is not liking something because of the choice of POV. Not enjoying a certain POV is fine, but again unless the POV makes it impossible to get into, it’s a style choice. The one I would argue not to use is first person present tense. I write in first person past tense, and I have never met a reader who enjoyed present tense. It’s jarring. Not to sound too PC but if that’s your style choice you can tell me to shove it where the sun don’t shine and I will accept that as your choice.

The last example I used is probably the hardest to tell someone. Clichés! Dum, dum, dum! (dramatic music). When a person is writing commercial fiction it is hard not to fall into a cliché because we are often writing to a formula. I myself could read a million books about demons/vampires/Aunt Flo/zombies/BDSM as long as there is a good twist to the story. The dwarves are a very talented group but there are times when we all need to be reminded to spice it up.   

Personally I think that joining the critique group has helped me tremendously not only as a writer but also as a reader/critic. It is easier to find flaws in your own work when you are able to see it in others. The key to getting the most you can out of a critique group is to put your big girl (or boy) britches on and be willing to listen and implement. If you are unwilling to do so or if the people in your group are unwilling to do so it’s probably not a good fit. That is not to say that you should take every piece of advice, you are the creator of your own world and you have total control over said world. What it is saying is that nobody has the perfect manuscript, and if you’re unwilling to offer or receive productive feedback a critique group would be pointless. So remember don’t feel the need to sugarcoat everything. People want honest opinions, that is not to say being a total dick is appropriate either because I’m sure your mama raised you better than that.

 

Disclaimer: Dwarves, despite the fact that many of us write about zombies, vampires, demons, etc. I was not passive aggressively calling anyone out so when my spies tell me what ya’ll talk about at the next meeting it better not be me. Okay, I know the rules, if I’m not there I’m fair game, but it shouldn’t be about oh “that bitch hates zombie books,” because we all know that isn’t the case. 

Alarm Clocks Have Never Been So Fun

I have a confession: I have writer ADD. I start to write and I go oooh ooooh there are new dresses on Modcloth or there’s a new Longmire! Sorry guys there’s something about a tough as nails sheriff who never loses his hat, that gets me. Sadly (and happily) my typewriter (laptop) allows me access to all of these wonderful shiny things. It’s easy to get distracted, in fact it’s nearly impossible not to. On a brighter not I think I have found a cure.

Amber aka Snarky had emailed the swamp to tell us about a sprinting method. I will admit I don’t remember the exact name of the method so if you know it, feel free to comment. The gist of it is simple: set an egg timer and write for twenty five minutes straight. Take a five minute break even if you’re in the middle of the scene, come back and do twenty five more. Repeat as necessary. I will admit I do not follow the exact directions.

The only egg timer I have is built into a knife block in the kitchen and my roommates would start to worry if I was constantly carrying a set of knifes into my bedroom. I use an online alarm clock instead that makes a noise that sounds like either aliens are attacking a military compound or that the hounds are about to be released. I hope it’s the hounds, I love puppies.

I digress, the other thing I do differently is I leave for a lot longer than five minutes. I putter about making chili, reading a novel, working out or taking a nap. The miraculous thing is that I keep coming back for another twenty five minutes and that’s likely due to the huge word counts I have been able to accomplish. Let’s just say that I have been kicking ass and taking names (for my series bible).

The beauty of it is that I think we all have the mentality that we can endure for certain amounts of time. I know I can sit my ass down and be productive for twenty five minutes straight. I can resist the lure of the internet during that time because I know in a bit I can go check out what is happening on Twitter.  The other plus is that even though I’m trying to be a reformed panster (look ma! I outlined!) I still feel like I’m pansting when I let go for twenty five minutes. So far I don’t see a downside.  Maybe I will when edits begin, but now everything in rainbows and kittens. 

I’m Sorry. What Was The Question?

Well it’s another day and another dollar here in the Windy City. The weather has been lovely, though to me anything below 120 in July is amazing. Enough talk about the weather. I have come across an annoyance in my life that I never had when I kept my writing to myself. Now that I have graduated college with a degree in English Literature I often get the question, so are you going to be a teacher? The answer is obviously no to me as I don’t have teacher certification and that is an entirely different degree, still I get it, easy mistake.

I then explain to the well wishers that I plan on making a living writing books. The fun really begins then. Have you written the book? Have you heard of self publishing? Is it like Twilight? Is it like 50 Shades of Grey? Why don’t you write the next Harry Potter? Now as someone who has researched this business and is doing it, I understand that these questions are completely nuts. I can’t express how nuts I think they are because the people asking are just trying to be helpful.

Now let’s go over them one by one:

 Have you written the book?

 I am currently on the third rewrite of the book. Sadly this sucker isn’t like a five page research essay that I can bust out in a few hours. Readers seem to enjoy characters shooting the shit, but rather dislike bullshit used to make a word count. 

Have you heard of self publishing?

No I’ve been living under a rock the past two years. Yes, I’ve heard of it. It’s not the path I would like to take at this time but I also recognize the advantages to it. Our very own Snarky Dwarve has had some great success as an indie author and I’m sure she would be happy to tell you all the benefits. Still not my choice at this time. I leave that door open as situations and mindsets do change, and mine is just as likely to change as anybody’s.

Is it like Twilight?

I am not currently writing a young adult novel. Twilight does have some of the qualities that I would classify as Urban Fantasy, my genre, being that it is fantastical creatures set in a modern setting. At the same time I will admit to not particularly enjoying the books myself. I have read all of them but they’re not my bag. Beyond that, if you write something with the goal to hit a trend, that trend will likely be over by the time you get your manuscript ready. I write Urban Fantasy so whereas I recognize that it too is hot at the moment, it’s what I love to read and write. It’s not forced, it’s what I have always desired to write.

Is it like 50 Shades of Grey?

No, just no.

Why don’t you write the next Harry Potter?

I wish. Not even from a financial stand point, simply as a fan I wish that had come to me.  Again though, write what you love and what comes to you rather than looking only to the trends. Perhaps one day I will have an idea for a great middle grade novel but it’s not at the moment and whereas I wouldn’t turn the money down I’m not greedy. No author is.

To expand on my last statement: yes, most authors dream of the day they hit the New York Times Bestseller list. The fact is though that even if they do, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be millionaires. Most writers would be happy eking out a comfortable living. Hell, I’m a single girl with no dependents, I’d be happy to be eking out minimum wage from my writing. I like Ramen Noodles and Scott toilet paper as much as the next person.

In conclusion, despite these silly questions that we all have to deal with. The interest is there. People who don’t write are fascinated by this idyllic image of the “writer’s life.” All of these questions may seem annoying to the writer but they open the door for honest discussions about the creative process and for educating people about the publishing industry.  People are curious, they want to know. So my question is: what are some of the strange things you’ve been asked when you’ve confessed to being a writer? I know my list is short. Hell I could go on all day but my dad is in town and I have to go to the Zoo tomorrow, which is fine as zoos are bitchin’.

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