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Don't Have Time To Write?

Don't Have Time To Write? guest post by Ed Lin

I’ll be honest. I look a little askance at people who say they want to write but they just don’t have the time.
Don't Have Time To Write? guest post by Ed Lin
If you feel compelled to write, you can’t really do anything else. Not happily, anyway. Think about all those hours you use to binge on your favorite series. Or scrolling through social media. Or...reading blogs about writing. Um, yeah.
In the salad of my youth, before I even had a novel-length manuscript, I would try to write short stories. Sometimes, about once a month, I would get an idea that was so strong in my mind I wouldn’t be able to sleep until I had written at least a first draft of it.
My point is that it’s not really a question of having enough time to write. If your desire to write is strong enough, you will find the time. Maybe you’ll eat lunch at your desk at your job so that during your deemed lunch hour, you’ll hunker down in a conference room or nearby cafe to write on a legal pad or laptop. Maybe you have a kid who wakes up at 5:30 in the morning and you have to make breakfast, pack a lunch and take her to school. Get up at 4 and do the writing beforehand (have some coffee saved in the fridge). Maybe type away late at night after everyone in the house has gone to bed.
I have done all those things. I still do some of them. There is no wrong way to do things when you want to write.
Oh, I should also add that hand in hand with writing comes reading. Always be reading at least one book. Don’t have time to read? See the above. If you truly love writing, you love reading. You also love going to author events. If a writer you like is visiting a store near you, go to it. You don’t necessarily have to buy her book--only if you want to ask questions one-on-one after the event.
All writers generally want to help aspiring ones, even though sometimes we seem to be not in great moods. Why? Because all along the path to publication, writers who were more established helped us out. Someone responded positively and provided a cheerful blurb. Or somebody helped find an agent or editor.
I have been lucky enough to have experience those things. I still try to help others.
My advice: Find the time, put in the work and get the manuscript done. Then find the people who will lend you a hand.
Don't Have Time To Write? guest post by Ed Lin
Ed Lin, a native New Yorker of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards and is an all-around standup kinda guy. His books include Waylaid and This Is a Bust, both published by Kaya Press in 2002 and 2007, respectively. Snakes Can't Run and One Red Bastard, which both continue the story of Robert Chow set in This Is a Bust, were published by Minotaur Books. His latest book, Ghost Month, a Taipei-based mystery, was published by Soho Crime in July 2014. Lin lives in Brooklyn with his wife, actress Cindy Cheung, and son.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website 🔗Goodreads 🔗Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗


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Interview with Simon Rose

Interview with Simon Rose

Tell us about your latest book.
The Shadowzone series involves the discovery of a grim dystopian version of Earth that’s ruled by a totalitarian dictatorship, the threat of a deadly virus, and a race against time to save the lives of millions. Here’s a synopsis for each of the novels.

While watching intense flashes of lightning during a violent storm, Ben experiences mysterious and disturbing visions of another world, one very different from his own. In the chain of events that follow, Ben encounters Charlie, a girl from a dark version of Earth, a planet doomed by the effects of environmental catastrophe, where the leaders will stop at nothing to complete their deadly mission. 

Interview with Simon Rose

On a doomed version of Earth, the sinister schemes of the Ministry are moving ever closer to completion, with dire consequences for the inhabitants of two worlds. For Ben and Charlie, an unlikely alliance, unexpected reunions, and the mysterious prophecy of the Chosen One offer a glimmer of hope, with the ever-present prospect of betrayal, as they embark on an unpredictable journey into the unknown. 

In a dark parallel world, following attacks by its most determined opponents, the Ministry has been forced to change its plans. Yet the ruthless Director-General is prepared to sacrifice anyone to achieve an entirely new beginning, no matter what the cost. In a deadly race against time, as events spiral out of control, Ben and Charlie must risk their lives in a desperate attempt to save two worlds from destruction. 

Interview with Simon Rose
How was this book published? (traditional, small press, self pub, etcc...)  Why did you choose that particular publishing route?
The Shadowzone series is self-published. My first eleven novels were traditionally published, although my seven writer’s guides were self-published as paperbacks and as ebooks. I hadn’t self-published fiction before and thought it was time that I did. The Shadowzone books were finished and I believed that they were as good, if not better, than my other work. I also asked some people to read them to confirm this and then decided to go ahead with publication. A lot of traditionally published authors also self publish as well now, so it’s quite common practice these days. 

What formats is the book available in?
All three novels in the series are available as paperbacks on Amazon and as ebooks on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. The ebooks are available in ePub, Kindle, and pdf formats.

Who are your favourite authors?
When I began my career as a writer I was influenced by the earlier books in the Harry Potter series. However, I didn’t want to write about wizards, dragons, or magic, but rather about the things that I was interested in, such as time travel, the paranormal, superheroes, ancient mysteries, or history. I was also influenced by Phillip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass, along with some other excellent fantasy and science fiction works.

Interview with Simon Rose
What advice do you have for other writers?
It can be a very long process not only to write a book, but also to get it published. Don’t be afraid to revise and revise over and over again. Most authors go through many revisions before their work reaches its final format. Remember too that your book will never be to everyone’s taste, so don’t be discouraged. A firm belief in your own success is often what’s necessary.

Read as much as you can and write as often as you can. Keep an ideas file, even if it’s only a name, title, sentence, or an entire outline for a novel. You never know when you might get another piece of the puzzle, perhaps years later. You also mustn’t forget the marketing. No one else is going to see your book if it doesn’t become known to potential readers. Do as many readings, signings, and personal appearances as you can. Get your name out there and hopefully the rest will follow. For newly published authors in particular, books don’t sell themselves and need a lot of help.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
You can learn more on my website at www.simon-rose.com or online at the following social media sites:

·        Facebook
·        Twitter
·        LinkedIn
·        YouTube
·        Google +
·        Pinterest

Where can a reader purchase your books?

The books can be purchased at most of the usual places, as follows:

Paperback: AmazonCreatespace

Into The Web
Paperback: Amazon, Createspace

Black Dawn
Paperback: AmazonCreatespace

Do you believe in writers block?

I don’t really have writer’s block in terms of having ideas but do sometimes need motivation to work on a project and get it finished. If I’m having trouble getting started I simply work on something else, whether it’s a short story, some marketing work, planning a class, and so on, just to get me working at the computer. That helps me to get started on a creative writing project if I’ve been putting it off.

Interview with Simon Rose
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.

I’m currently working on a historical fiction novel for young adults set during the English Civil War in the 1640s. The novel’s about half finished, but I still have a lot of work to do. I’m also working on sequels to Future Imperfect, published in 2016, and The Sphere of Septimus, which first appeared in 2014.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I don’t take many breaks from writing or doing all the marketing, but it doesn’t really feel like work so I’m okay with that. I do have two children that have kept me busy throughout the time that I’ve been writing. My dog also insists on going for walks on a daily basis, although I always seem to be thinking about stories while we’re out. I also watch movies, keep up to date with current events, read a lot, and enjoy the company of friends whenever I can.

NaNoWriMo: A Path to Enlightenment?

NaNoWriMo:  A Path to Enlightenment? Guest post by Nancy Schoellkopf @nanschoellkopf  @iReadBookTours

I know, you read that title and thought, what—is she kidding?  Well, maybe.  In my humble opinion, the road to enlightenment is paved with laughter!  But hear me out.

You may have heard the old adage, “Before enlightenment:  chop wood, carry water.  After enlightenment:  chop wood, carry water.”  I’m not a Buddhist, but I’ll venture they’re saying that the mundane necessities of life go on, despite flashes of spiritual insight.

NaNoWriMo:  A Path to Enlightenment? Guest post by Nancy Schoellkopf @nanschoellkopf  @iReadBookTours
Now allow me to amend this bit of wisdom.  Before Nanowrimo, write.  During Nanowrimo, write without attachment.  After Nanowrimo—well, we can get to that later.

Since high school, I’ve considered myself a serious writer, and hey, serious writers want to write big things like novels.  But I was bogged down by that infamous internal editor who sat on my shoulder as I scribbled in my notebook, telling me to re-write that last sentence, throw out the first paragraph, or wait a minute—you stop writing right now and go do more research, because, honey, you are not qualified to write what you are writing!   Give it up!

I did continue writing despite this nagging voice.  I published poems and short essays.  But a novel remained an elusive goal. 

Then I heard about Nanowrimo, that crazy month when we would-be novelists challenge each other to write a 50,000-word novel in thirty days.  I thought, sure, I can write 50,000 words in thirty days.  But will it be a story?  I didn’t know.   But I went ahead and took the leap. 

In Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg says, “Sit down with the least expectation of yourself; say ‘I am free to write the worst junk in the world.’”  Nanowrimo gave me that freedom.  I wrote long exaggerated descriptions and didn’t worry if a discerning reader would find them boring.  I let my characters run wild on the page, saying outrageous things to each other, taking enormous risks with their physical and emotional safety.  I let the words have their way with me.  And guess what?  I discovered that my imagination leaned toward story.  I had no idea on November 1st how the novel would end, I didn’t even know if it would have an end, but by the time Thanksgiving rolled around, I had a big messy but beautiful manuscript and yeah, it was a storyteller’s dream.  It was filled with intrigue and passion and crazy magical twists and turns.  I was happy.

After Nanowrimo?  I now believe in the wisdom of writing practice, of sitting down with your notebook or your laptop and letting your hands dance.  Natalie Goldberg again:  “One of the main aims of writing practice is to learn to trust your own mind and body; to grow patient and nonaggressive.”  The practice of Nanowrimo taught me this kind of trust, a trust in my own ability to open up so I might put my heart on the page.

Is this enlightenment?  No.  I have a long way to go before I get there.  But it’s fun, it’s exciting and ultimately very satisfying.

I wrote the three novels in my Avian Series during National Novel Writing Months, 2010, 2011, and 2012.  Revision and editing came later of course, but even that was fun. 

Yellow-Billed Magpie, Red-Tailed Hawk, and the recently released Ghost Owl—three stories of spiritual promise—are all available at Amazon and on Kindle.  I hope they touch your heart.

NaNoWriMo:  A Path to Enlightenment? Guest post by Nancy Schoellkopf @nanschoellkopf  @iReadBookTours
Nancy Schoellkopf is the author of the Avian Series of novels including Yellow-Billed Magpie and Red-Tailed Hawk, as well as the short story collection Rover and Other Magical Tales. She has been telling stories and writing poems for many lifetimes. It goes without saying that she’s needed a second income, so this time around she happily taught amazing children in special education classes in two urban school districts in Sacramento, California. A full time writer now, she enjoys lavishing attention on her cats, her garden and her intriguing circle of family and friends. 
Connect with the author:    Website  ~   Twitter  ~   Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram


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Book Showcase: Deliverance By Kristy Centeno

Book Showcase: Deliverance By Kristy Centeno

Title: Deliverance

Author: Kristy Centeno

Genre: Paranormal, New Adult

Purchasing link: http://amzn.to/2xizPfK

About the book:

Book Showcase: Deliverance By Kristy Centeno
He’s been locked away his entire life.
He dreams of freedom.
The only way he can accomplish his goals is by breaking free of the chains tying him to a dark past and gloomy existence. But there’s one catch. He’s not human.
And he’s never set foot outside his jail.

Devoted to saving his peers as well as his own life, he sets out to find the one person that can help him achieve his objectives. He knows where she will be and what she will look like, but what he doesn’t anticipate is the fact he finds himself caring for the girl whose life he’s put at risk, more and more each day.

He has no name.
He has only known hatred and violence before her.
However, she will teach him to have faith in humanity, even if she can’t trust him.
Together they will embark on a journey to bring down a corrupt system responsible for the loss of many innocent lives. But when he finds his feelings compromised, can he still move on knowing that doing so will put an end to the life she once knew? How far is he willing to go to be free?

About the author

Kristy Centeno is the author of the Secrets of the Moon saga and Keeper Witches series.

She has always had a passion for books and after years of being an avid reader, she decided to transform her desire to write into a reality and thus, her first novel was born. When she’s not busy taking care of her five children or holding down the fort, she finds time to sit and do what she loves the most: writing.

Book Showcase: Deliverance By Kristy Centeno


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Excerpt: Wild Hearts by Vivian Wood

#Excerpt: Wild Hearts by Vivian Wood with #giveaway

Title: Wild Hearts
Author: Vivian Wood
Publication date: November 14th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

WARNING: The below excerpt contains sexually explicit content. 

Excerpt: Wild Hearts by Vivian Wood
About the book:

In order to find love, you must set your heart free.

All her life, Faith has lacked a true, deep connection to someone. Her parents are long buried, her friends are too busy, and all she has is her job in corporate law to make her feel grounded. Each day is like the last with no telling if there will ever be something more for her. When a distant aunt passes away and leaves Faith her land, Faith has to put her empty life on hold and travel across the country to settle the estate.

A West Coast girl used to a fast paced lifestyle, Faith is ready to be entirely unimpressed by what she finds on the Georgia coast. That is, until she meets Alex.

Strong, tall, and decidedly anti-social, Alex is everything that Faith has been dreaming of her whole life. The fact that he scowls as he shows her the wonders of her new land doesn’t bother her… not like seeing him without his shirt does, anyway.

Alex has a lot of ground to cover before he can learn to trust someone again, but Faith is a lovely temptation. Slender, raven-haired, and smart as hell, she calls to him on a primal level… if he can get over the ghosts of his past.

Distrust, uncertainty, fear of change… In order to find their way to each other, they will each have their own demons to overcome.


Alex wasn’t sure if she kissed him or if he kissed her. All he knew was that suddenly his lips were on hers, and they were softer and sweeter than he could have ever dreamed.
He felt her hands on his chest, and somehow his arms were around her waist. They fit perfectly in that deep curve right above her hips. He wasn’t sure, but he thought he felt the tip of her tongue against his. Alex let out a noise in the back of his throat.

She closed her eyes as he began to work the lotion into her back. Alex started at her shoulders and slid a finger underneath the strip of her halter top. He worked his way down, across her shoulder blades. She let out a moan as he hit a tense muscle in her lower back.
Alex paused, and a flicker of embarrassment washed over her. She expected him to stop, but instead he did it again, deeper. She moaned again, and the rest of her body started to respond.
His touch didn’t just release that tight muscle in her back. It started a fire throughout her entire body. Damn, she thought. She could drift away, let this man touch her all over like he was touching her right now.
His thumbs expertly glided across her lower back as he worked out the kinks. Faith’s breasts tightened, and she felt her nipples pebble. She sucked in her breath, head bowed, and could see her nipples as they responded to him.

Alex’s gaze dipped down to Faith’s lips, glazed with a gloss and smelling of Christmas. He wished he’d had the time, the mind-set, to enjoy those lips the first time he’d tasted them. His eyes continued downward to her breasts. From this angle, he could see straight down the button-up gingham shirt to the pink lace bra below. Her cleavage was deep and deliciously tempting, though he was disappointed he couldn’t make out her nipples. When they’d hardened in that little swimsuit, he was so turned on he could almost taste them between his lips.
He was tempted to kiss her to the point it was almost unbearable. To nibble on those lips and run a thumb across her breasts. Hell, I even know what she tastes like. But this time it would be different.

“Alex,” she started, but he couldn’t hold himself back anymore. It took less than a second to close the distance between them. His lips were on hers, exploring. Faith parted her lips farther to welcome his tongue against hers. God, she tastesd sweet.
With one hand, he cupped her chin upward to him. The other pulled her close against him. His hardness slipped with ease between the heat of her soft thighs. Those little shorts really are good for something besides a tease.
Alex needed more, wanted more, and by the way Faith responded, he knew she did, too. He started to walk her backward, through the open bedroom door.


There's also a FREE prequel - Broken Dreams:

Excerpt: Wild Hearts by Vivian Wood
About the Author:

Vivian likes to write about troubled, deeply flawed alpha males and the fiery, kick-ass women who bring them to their knees.

Vivian's lasting motto in romance is a quote from a favorite song: "Soulmates never die."

Be sure to follow Vivian through her Vivian's Vixens mailing list or Facebook group to keep up with all the awesome giveaways, author videos, ARC opportunities, and more!

Author links:
Vivian’s website: http://vivian-wood.com
Add Vivian on Facebook: http://bit.ly/2oD56WQ
Vivian's Vixens on Facebook: http://bit.ly/2wMWjSX
Add her on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2AFIzfJ
Add her on BookBub: http://bit.ly/2wzompJ
Add her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/viviankwood

Get a FREE Vivian Wood secret office romance by copying and pasting this into your browser window: http://vivian-wood.com/get-news.

Excerpt: Wild Hearts by Vivian Wood


POV: My Final Frontier

POV: My Final Frontier. Guest post by Val Muller

Before I received any acceptance letters for my writing, I knew my work was missing something, but I wasn’t sure what. My characters were interesting. My prose was sufficient, even descriptive. My plots were engaging. So, what was wrong?

POV: My Final Frontier. Guest post by Val Muller
Everyone who read my work reacted with mediocre praise. They agreed it was “good,” but something was missing. No one could put their finger on it.

Luckily, as the rejection letters kept coming (and my writing kept improving), a few editors started leaving personalized feedback. A few of them mentioned that I needed to learn about point of view. Like many inexperienced writers, I wrote in either first person (which is naturally limited to that character’s perspective) or omniscient point of view. I had never considered using third person limited, or switching by scene.

After researching several sources on POV, something finally clicked. I received my first acceptance letter, and before long I had acceptances coming in multiple times per month. Now, when I work with students, I ask them to consider point of view before they begin writing. Here’s what to keep in mind:

1.      Generally, a short story is told through only one point of view. First person tends to be the easiest perspective to write in, since it necessarily limits the narrative to one character’s perceptions. If a short story isn’t working, I often rewrite it in a different point of view, and sometimes, that was the missing element. Some characters might know too much; others, too little. Some characters have a voice not suitable to tell the tale; others change the way we perceive the tale. What about telling it from the perspective of the villain? What about a character who doesn’t know as much and thus would add a veil of mystery, forcing the details to reveal the story as it unfolds? It’s more of an art than a science, so it’s important to consider various perspectives and their influence on the tale. 

2.      No head-hopping. One of my first editors got on my case about this one. I had finally “mastered” point of view (so I thought) and decided to use third person limited, switching perspectives as needed. But I still didn’t get it. 

When using third person limited, it’s okay to switch perspectives by chapter or scene, but each hop should have a purpose. More importantly, a writer needs to be consistent in staying in one particular point of view for the scene. So if my main protagonist is the point of view character for a chapter, she can only speculate on what other characters might be thinking or what their motivations might be. This is what adds tension to scenes: sometimes readers know (or suspect) more than the point of view characters. 

What this means is for each chapter a writer plans, s/he must careful consider the most appropriate point of view, balancing voice, tone, style, and plot. 

3.      Everything should be intentional. Someone asked me if, when I read books, I tend to re-read them, or simply read them once and move on. I told them that as a teacher, I do re-read classics and modern classics as I teach them. The reason? Each time I read, I find some different detail, a hidden gem that helps add to the meaning of the work as a whole. I don’t tend to re-read “beach reads” or genre fiction simply because it seems the biggest consideration is plot. I don’t trust that the authors have put enough consideration into their work to allow me more insight during an additional read. Whether you’re writing an entire novel in first-person point of view or very carefully switching perspectives by chapter, it’s important that you have carefully considered how each choice will impact the reader. After all, there are so many books out there that we can never assume a captive reader.

All writers go through their journey differently. For me, point of view was the last step I had to master. But maybe for you it’s characterization or plot. In any case, don’t wait to improve your work. Seek articles on writing. See if there’s a creative writing class you can take or coach you can work with. I have learned at least one important skill from every single editor and teacher I’ve worked with, and those are the layers that build up to provide a solid foundation to a life of writing. 

POV: My Final Frontier. Guest post by Val Muller
Teacher, writer, and editor, Val Muller grew up in haunted New England but now lives in the warmer climes of Virginia, where she lives with her husband. She is owned by two rambunctious corgis and a toddler. The corgis have their own page and book series at www.CorgiCapers.com.

Val’s young adult works include The Scarred Letter, The Man with the Crystal Ankh, and The Girl Who Flew Away and feature her observations as a high school teacher as well as her own haunted New England past. She blogs weekly at www.ValMuller.com.

The Girl Who Flew Away:

The Man with the Crystal Ankh:

POV: My Final Frontier. Guest post by Val Muller


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