Big Writing Decisions
I have some big writing decisions to make in the coming weeks.
A couple weeks ago, my newsletter subscribers got a sneak peek at a big project coming in 2023.
This project has huge implications for me as a writer, including:
-Branding decisions (what genres I have found myself in love with and wanting to write the most in over the coming year)
-Release schedule decisions
-Decisions about whether to self-publish or traditionally publish, primarily
-And decisions about how I am going to balance my life with my writing in general.
I plan to publicly announce more about my secret project in late October/early November 2022, but if you'd like to stay in-the-know early (and hear more writing news), come join my newsletter HERE. I'll send you a free book for signing up, and you'll be one of the first to know what big writing decisions I end up making.
Thank you all for being a part of my writing journey!
This week on YouTube, I'm sharing a week in the life of a full-time editor/author!
Day one's video is already up HERE.
Life as a full-time editor, a mom of two toddlers, a writer, a Reedsy Reviewer, and a wife keeps me on my toes, but I love it. I can't wait to share a glimpse with you!
Subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE for notifications when new videos pop up throughout the week this week, and feel free to drop me questions on those videos or in the comments here on this post.
Now that you've seen my 5-star rated reads from 2021, it's time for me to share my 2022 alphabet reading challenge - indie authors only!
An alphabet reading challenge can be set up many ways, but in my case, I follow the suggestions my mother gave me in high school. For this challenge, the suggestions are:
-Only choose authors you've never read work from before.
-Use the first letter of the author's last name (organized like the library system)
-Pick one book per letter of the alphabet (26 books total)
-*My bonus for 2022: Only pick indie authors.*
This challenge is in addition to traditionally-published books and new books by indie authors I already love that I plan to read in 2022.
The goal of it all?
To find new authors I love, and support indie authors in the process.
So, without further ado, here are my picks for 2022:
So there it is: my list for the 2022 alphabet reading challenge - indie authors only.
Have you read any of these?
Are any on your TBR list?
Let me know in the comments!
Want to keep up with my reading challenge and other featured indie author news throughout 2022? Sign up for my newsletter HERE to stay in-the-loop, and I'll send you a free copy of Splitting Dusk: A Splitting Worlds Novella as a bonus!
Dealing With Loss... As A Writer
I lost one of my most beloved family members this week. A family member who shaped many of the core characteristics of who I am since I was a child.
Loss of a loved one is impossibly hard in so many ways and for so many reasons. Dealing with loss... as a writer... has far more impact than I realized, though.
And while the impact is brutally painful, and the reality is that my perfectly controlled worlds will never be carried over into the plain of existence I currently inhabit, the impact of a loss on me as a writer shows me positive sides as well.
Experiencing loss makes us human. The never-ending struggle with grief following the loss of a close loved one is exhausting, but it's one that most of us battle through.
Some days will be better than others. 'They're in a better place,' some say, and yes, in this case I personally agree, but I'm not here to argue religion. "They're not in pain anymore," others will do their best to console, and yes, you know they're right, too.
But where do we, Fantasy readers, often turn when societal norms seem to fail us?
If you're like me, you turn to books.
Books where characters struggle with life, death, love, loss, and more in richly-detailed glory.
Why is that?
Because the writer poured a piece of their soul into those pages. We find in their words a connection to someone else who at the very least imagines a pain similar to our own. We know someone in this world exists who understands us, who can truly imagine what it is like to be in our shoes.
And those scenes, the ones that really mean something to us as readers, don't happen on accident.
They are born out of the raw reality of the writer's own soul. They represent the heartaches and joys, the highest highs and soul-crushing lows of their progenitor.
So while writing is the last thing, emotionally-speaking, that I feel like doing right now, it is, perhaps, the best thing to do. I'll take a pause, work through the emotions and the memories, and then pour those emotions into scenes which may one day be read by others seeking the same comradery and escape that I seek as I read today.
Hold your loved ones a little tighter the next time you see them. Each day is a gift. And gifts are all the better when shared with those we love.
Are you new to my writing/self-publishing journey? Check out my about me blog HERE
Are you self-publishing savvy? Or self-publishing struggling? Or, quite honestly, slipping back and forth between the two?
Yesterday I had the great privilege of speaking with AutoCrit Editing about not only my personal self-publishing journey with The Vow That Twisted Fate, but also about the self-publishing process overall.
There are so many different approaches to self-publishing (or "indie" publishing), that I humbly share my experiences as a fellow beginner "indie" author with the hopes that it will provide clarity for other writers in my shoes.
While most of my blogs are brief and related to my projects and supporting other authors in the indie author community, the response from yesterday's live was too overwhelming to leave at that.
Here are the key points that I discussed on my live with AutoCrit:
1.) Writing inspiration (in my case, a dream hijacked my 2016 NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month - plans) & my mentor, Lindsey (owener of Of Ink and Pearls Publishing)
2.) The five levels of editing (developmental edit, line edit, copy edit, proofread, galley proof) + Beta Reading & Self-editing using AutoCrit.
3.) Distribution Platforms (KDP, Barnes & Noble Press, Ingram) and Formats (AudioBooks, Print, etc.) as well as formatting/cover design
4.) Timelines (from revisions to print); what I wish I'd done sooner and why
5.) Budget (how much did it cost me to truly self-publish and what that went toward - overview)
6.) Reviews (trade reviews and reader reviews, what I did to set up review tours, and post-launch marketing)
7.) Marketing in general (*still navigating this part myself* - From pre-orders to Amazon bestseller to post-launch slow-downs)
For that reason, I am truly grateful for the money-saving, headache-relieving role that AutoCrit played in my self-editing process.
If you have any questions at all, or comments about your own experience self-publishing, feel free to drop them in the comments; I love hearing your feedback!
If you would like to try AutoCrit's self-editing software for yourself, you can do so by signing up for their Free Forever membership HERE.
Want to read the finished version of The Vow That Twisted Fate? It is on sale for only 99 cents (e-book) or $10 (paperback) on Amazon now thru October 4th 2021, so grab your copy today HERE.
One Year Author Anniversary
Today I've been doing some reflection. It's my one year author anniversary. At least, it was around this time last year (it's hard to tell an exact date at the end of June 2020) that I embarked on this incredible journey. So why not just claim today?
'Wait,' you may say, 'Have you literally only been writing a year?'
Allow me to clarify.
I've been writing my entire life; since grade school with crayons and construction paper and squiggly misspelled words. I've even released a couple flop books; ones I wrote in college and released unedited and unpolished.
In all that time, though, never once did I actually consider what I was doing to be more than dabbling in a hobby. Even when I self-published my first two YA books (the ones that flopped), I never expected anything to really come of it. I was young; I didn't know what I was doing, and I believed that the only way to make a living or be a 'real' author was to be traditionally published.
And yet here I am, celebrating my one year author anniversary.
'What's the difference?' you may wonder. Or maybe you're rolling your eyes and ready to walk away from this weird woman's blog.
The difference, for those who have made it this far, is that one year ago today I claimed being an author as an identity. Writing is a career. Technical writing or writing for entertainment are both important. But an 'author' is a title, a noun to describe oneself.
A year ago today I moved past the mental roadblock of 'I'm just a writer' (meaning I was just a person who also wrote), and accepted that writing is just a part of who I am. The Katherine D. Graham without writing, without expressing the dreams and stories inside, had something missing in her life. She felt unseen. Her dreams didn't matter.
I must thank my amazing husband, Jikyo, for being the one who saw me floundering a year ago and told me he believed I needed writing in my life. That I was a better person when I wrote regularly. And that my books were special (which meant a lot coming from the man who easily tears fiction novels apart).
So here I am, one year later, on my one year author anniversary. And here's the key highlights of what has changed:
-I've embraced who I am as an author.
-I am happier and more motivated.
-Two novellas, Splitting Dusk and Down Falls The Queen are now avaialable..
-My debut Epic Fantasy Novel, The Vow That Twisted Fate, comes out in just a couple weeks (July 9th 2021).
-The Vow That Twisted Fate has already received awards.
-I am so humbled and honored to be a part of an amazing author community on Instagram and Facebook that I couldn't be here without.
-My amazing mentor Lindsey Teske has walked me step-by-step through being a writer into becoming an author.
-And I have writing dreams for the future!
If you are reading this and feel stuck, whether it's wanting to pursue writing or something else, please know that your dreams are worth pursuing. Don't wait for Monday. Don't wait for tomorrow. Embrace the challenges to come and the unknown. And become. Become who you are meant to be.
Want to follow my writing journey? Subscribe to my newsletter (and receive a free novella) HERE.
Favorite Places To Write: In Bed
It's been a while since I posted about my favorite places to write, so I thought it'd be great to show another one of my favorite places to write: in bed.
I have been a night-owl my entire life. As a child, reading in bed when the house was quiet was the time I stoked my imagination for the days to come. I am also known for my uncannily vivid (although far-fetched) dreams--yes Uro, if you're reading this I do remember the 'burritos crawling away'. X-D
One key piece of advice my mother gave me was to keep a journal nearby with recollections of the most vivid dreams I had when I awoke--good and bad. As I grew older, more and more of the most unique stories I envisioned were ones I jotted down laying there in one of my favorite places to write: in bed.
If you're interested in reading more about some dreams that turned into novels I am publishing:
-Check out my debut Adult Epic Fantasy Novel: The Vow That Twisted Fate HERE.
-Check out my Kritinia Series: Shadow Child Novel HERE.
-Learn more about Spitting Dawn, a full-length novel in my Splitting Worlds series HERE.
-You can also see all my favorite places to write posts by following me on Instagram HERE.
My Written World
Here I share more about the worlds I write, lessons I'm learning as I strive to become a successful author, and my real-life travel and cooking adventures along the way.