Friday, November 22, 2013

NaNoWriMo Spotlight: Serena Akeroyd

Please welcome a fellow wrimo, Serena Akeroyd!

Have you participated in NaNaNoWriMo before? If so, how many years? Have you won? This is your chance to tell us a bit about your Nano experience. Are you new and nervous? Are you wanting to be published, or just playing for fun? Seasoned and ready? Tell us! 

I've participated twice. Once a few years back, when I wasn't really sure if writing was my thing. Safe to say, I didn't win! Then, last year, when I started to take writing seriously, I took part.

It was hard keeping up with the pace, because while I'm a fast writer, having to write some every day to keep within schedule was tough. This NaNoWriMo will be even harder. Last month, I wrote a 58 thousand word novel so, to do another 50k, back to back, is going to be extremely tiring! 

How did you find out about NaNo and why did you decide to do it? What type of story do you plan on writing this year, and what have you done in the past? 

I can't even remember how I discovered NaNo; it was just something I fell into, because I needed to be pushed into writing and putting that over everything else in my life. NaNo gives you an excuse to do just that and it's helpful to know everyone is suffering and that everyone is trying. 

Early this year, I started to write a crime novel but because primarily, I write romance, I gave it up. I'm actually in the throes of a romance series titled Naughty Nookie and I'm publishing a story a month! So, my crime story for NaNo will be written alongside another tale. I'm going to have a headache this November! 

For seasoned participants: what advice would you give? 

Every one approaches things like this in a different manner, you just have to give it your best. The only thing I would say is to pace yourself. I don't agree that you should just write for the sake of writing. Some of it has to make sense otherwise it isn't a story and you're just torturing yourself for nothing. So have an outline and work within the parameters of your story. 

Where are you from and what is your age/age group? 

I'm originally from the UK and I'm 25.

What makes you different? Do you collect My Little Pony figures? Stalk famous people? Secretly raise cats for the lady next door? Be creative. I know there is something unique you can share! 

I have a dog named Trever. 
My pen name is an amalgamation of two old family names. A surname and the Christian name of a great-great aunty! Not sure what she'd have said about that; considering some of my stories can be risqué! 

What is something you’ve learned about writing from your favorite author? 

This sounds horrible, but more than anything, NOT to repeat the dialogue tag 'said'. I said, she said, they said. Yuck! Plus, not to go overkill on adverbs. She said quickly. They said briskly. He said roughly. It grates on the nerves!

Thanks for having me on your blog, Heidi! Good luck with NaNoWriMo!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Book Release: "Beast Within," by Caitlin Hensley

Today I am very happy to have a good friend of mine here to celebrate the release of her newest book! Miss Caitlin Hensley, writer of YA paranormal, and many other things, has appeared on my blog several times, and as always I am thrilled to have her here. Make sure to read all the way to the end and enter the drawing for a free e-copy of Caitlin's first book Paranormal Legacy!

Hi Caitlin! When did you first start writing? Have you always wanted to be a writer?
To be honest, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. My dream has always been to see my name on the spine of a book, and now it’s come true! :)

Do you outline your books, or write as you go?
I usually type out a rough outline, then spend some time composing character backstories and searching for reference pictures on the Internet. After that, the actual writing begins, and I fill in details and expand the plot as I go.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?
I love listening to movie soundtracks, especially the ones from Pirates of the Caribbean and Star Trek. The more epic the music, the easier the words tend to flow.

For you, what’s the hardest part of writing?
When I’m editing one of my books for the last time, after editing it about a bazillion times before that, I have a hard time focusing. As I’m sure you can imagine, reading a book that much can get pretty tiresome…

What’s your favorite genre to read?
I’ll read just about anything, really. Paranormal, fantasy, contemporary, dystopia, you name it! Right now, I’m reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

November is National Novel Writing Month. Are you participating this year?
I love NaNo! And yes, I’m participating. I wasn’t sure if I would, but in the end, I couldn’t resist the urge. I’m working on a YA contemporary romance, and though this is the first time I’ve written in that genre, I’m having a blast!

What’s the title of your latest release? What genre does it fit into?
It’s called Beast Within, and it’s the third book in The Inhuman Chronicles. It’s YA paranormal-fantasy.

Can you share an excerpt with us?

Sure! Here’s a bit from chapter one:

“Tell me about your dream,” Luke says.
“Well . . . I was in the woods,” I say. “Only there was snow on the ground, everywhere, really deep. And . . . and I was holding Todd’s body in my arms.”
At this, Luke stiffens and sets down his glass. I drop my gaze to the tile and keep going. It’s too late for me to stop now.
“There was a huge hole in Todd’s chest, like he’d been stabbed, probably with the sword that was on the ground beside us. Because it had, you know, blood all over it.”
“Oh my.”
I glance at him again. His face has turned gray. “D-does that mean anything to you?” I ask.
He swallows. “No,” he says, the word catching in his throat. “It means nothing at all.”
Disappointment crashes over me. I was counting so much on Luke having the answers, but he’s as clueless as I am. Now what?
He jumps up from his barstool, so suddenly that my heart stutters in my chest. “Like I said, I don’t know a thing about it. Now why don’t you let me see you to the door? I’d like to return to bed.”
I stand up and ball my hands into fists. “Did you hear a word I just said? This is serious, Luke.”
“Oh yes, I’m sure it seems that way to you. Everyone believes their dreams are important.”
“That dream wasn’t just my imagination,” I say tightly. “It was real.”
He gives a funny little smile. “Was it?”
The urge to whine at him is strong, but I suppress it. I study Luke. He’s staring at a clock mounted on the far wall instead of at my face.
He’s not an idiot, I realizehe’s pretending not to believe me.
“What are you hiding?” I ask, folding my arms. “You should know, it’s really obvious.”
“I haven’t the faintest idea what you’re talking about,” he says. “Now come along, and I’ll show you to the door.”

Any advice for other writers?
Write for yourself. If you worry too much about what other people will think of your book, you’ll never get the first draft written. Just concentrate on reaching the end of your story, and THEN you can consider other people’s opinions.

Where can people go to find information about your books?

Amazon  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Blog

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Monday, November 18, 2013

NaNoWriMo Spotlight: Lyndsi Watson

I am particularly excited for you to meet today's guest, because she is a good friend and coworker of mine, miss Lyndsi Watson!

Have you participated in NaNaNoWriMo before? I've known about NaNaNoWriMo for a couple years but I've never tried it. 50,000 words in one month? Only crazy people attempt that! And this year, I want to be one of those crazy, insane writers.
How did you find out about NaNo and why did you decide to do it? A certain coworker (cough, cough, Heidi) persuaded me to give it a shot. She mentioned t-shirts and I signed up.
What type of story do you plan on writing this year, and what have you done in the past? I'm thinking about attempting a YA fantasy. I've never tried writing fantasy before, but I'm excited to see what happens.
What are you expecting? Oh, some bad hair days, sleepless nights from staying up writing or brainstorming. Maybe some bursts of inspiration which result in random dancing. I mostly just want to have fun because somewhere along the way, I forgot that writing and creating worlds and characters is fun. I've been stuck thinking that I can't write anything, not even a single sentence, unless it's perfect. So I'm using NaNaNoWriMo to cut loose.
Tell us one thing that is totally unique to you. What makes you different? Oh geez. I can never think of anything for this question! Um...when I was in first grade, I ran into a metal pole on the playground and cracked my cheekbone.
What is something you’ve learned about writing from your favorite author? Lots of authors say to write, write, write and read. One of my favorite authors reminds me to also live. You gotta go on crazy adventures and embrace life, no matter how ridiculous or fantastical it might seem. Sitting in your room with a pen or laptop won't give you ideas or experiences to draw off of. Go on an adventure and call it research for your next writing project.

Friday, November 15, 2013

NaNoWriMo Spotlight: Tameka Armstrong

Hi everybody! Get to know my friend and fellow writer Tameka Armstrong!

NaNo 2013 will be my 9th year participating! I've won every year I've participated! So far of those past 8 novels, 3 of them are completed. At first, I did it for fun, but now I'm seriously considering getting published, and am thus polishing my 2012 NaNo novel for agents! I am seasoned and more ready than I can handle! My Imaginative Writing teacher told my class about it waaaay back in my pre-freshman courses at my future high school. My friends and I decided it'd be a fun challenge, and I've been hooked ever since!
I've done everything from Urban Fantasy to Chick Lit to Mystery Thriller. This year, I plan of going the UF route again, simply because it's my favorite genre to both read and write.
My advice is . . . Daily: 1-6-6-7 gets you to NaNo heaven! Seriously guys, 1667 words a day is all you need to make it to the big 5-0 by November 30th! You can do it! Don't give up! Even when you eyes are itchy, your butt is numb, and the plot bunnies are eating you alive, you will succeed if you keep striving for 1667 (and beyond!) a day!
I currently live in Tennessee, and I am 21 years old.
For the longest time, I thought "uvula" was a naughty word, and to this day, I still get those "I just said a bad word" butterflies in my tummy whenever I say it out loud. Silly, I know.
One thing I've learned from my favorite author (if we're mentioning names, it's Kelley Armstrong [pay no attention to the last name resemblance between me and her]), is that no matter what you write, write it for yourself. Write something that you would read over and over again, because when it comes right down to it, you deserve to enjoy yourself. You're writing, doing what YOU love! Have some fun and LOVE YOUR WORK!
I have a blog (, but it's quite inactive. I'll be working on it more in the coming weeks though, so feel free to add it

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NaNoWriMo Spotlight: Jennifer Don

For today's NaNoWriMo author I have Jennifer Don here, introducing herself!


This year marks my third consecutive year of participating in NaNoWriMo. I found out about it three weeks before it happened, way back in 2011 and decided ‘why the heck not.’ I wasn’t a seasoned writer then, I don’t think I’m that now, but at least now I know what to expect. I’ve won both times in my past attempts and I’m looking for this to be my third win out of three. 
When I found out about it, I jumped straight into the deep end, with no plan in mind as to what I was going to write. I had a simple image that seemed to stand out and I ran with it. Of course, I wasn’t alone having managed to persuade my friend, Dominique, into joining me, knowing she had a book sitting that needed working on. Together we bounced off each other and kept each other going. I think that turned out to be one of the more important aspects of that first year – having someone to buddy up with, to keep you writing, to keep you going when you felt you couldn’t go any further. That first year, I was rather foolish, and crazy. I mean I would have had to have been if I managed to pull 50,000 words out of a hat within the first five days of the month without even knowing what I was writing at the time. Who does that? Being published isn’t everything for me. It’s not the end all or be all aspect of writing, though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t write to be published. There is a difference. I write more because I have a story to tell, and because I give me a greater sense of freedom than I could possibly ever have in this world. It allows me to create my own worlds, and it allows me to have them run as I’d see fit. Basically it makes you feel like playing god, without all the hassle that goes along with it. NaNoWriMo, I encountered by chance. I can’t remember where I saw from, or why I even jumped at the chance to participate and truly challenge myself. I must have been looking a query letters on an agent’s blog, or something like that when it came up. But I knew when I looked at it, that I wanted to see if I could amount to the challenge and to see if I could really do it for myself more than anything. I wasn’t doing it to prove a point to others; I was doing it to prove a point to myself. That point being that if we believe we can do it, and put everything into it, then there’s nothing to say we can’t achieve it. And this year, I am continuing on with a series of books that I’ve started. I wrote the first half of book one during NaNo ’12 and having finished that completely only 5 weeks before the start of this year, I knew that continuing that series onwards would be the best thing. The chosen genre seems to have fallen into Young Adult Fantasy, and seems to be more of a coming of age type series of books in a Dystopian world setting. – All of which is new to my own style, but the challenge is what is needed. My advice to fellow participants would be to always write for fun and pleasure. If you see those word targets as being something you must achieve, then you only put more pressure on yourself. If you reach them, then fine fair enough, but when you write for the love of writing and not for the words, then you may just find the stress vanishes and you slip into the story far easier than you would have thought possible. Facebook Author page- Goodreads Author page- Amazon Author page – Wordpress blog page – Twitter page -

Monday, November 11, 2013

NaNoWriMo Spotlight: Rebekah Wolveire's today's author!

Author’s name: Rebekah Wolveire Location: North Ridgeville—Elyria Ohio Age: 31 Have you participated in NaNaNoWriMo before? Yes If so, how many years? Have you won? I have participated for three years and won all three. This is your chance to tell us a bit about your Nano experience. 
I’m not new, but I am nervous as this year I am living with more people, and I am not sure if I would have enough time to come up with 50K. (more people means more distractions, at least with me.)
Are you wanting to be published, or just playing for fun? 
I write version A (draft 1) for myself, but I eventually want to be published.
Seasoned and ready? 
I am rebelling and working on a project I already started, so in a sense I am ready. (I have been working on every other project lately so I haven’t touched my NaNo project for almost a year, so in that I am not ready yet.) How did you find out about NaNo and why did you decide to do it? 
I used to be into counting pages, but I did some research and found out that editors and publishers counted words. I googled writing sites to improved my writing and I discovered NaNoWriMo.
What type of story do you plan on writing this year, and what have you done in the past? 
This year I am finishing my mystery novel. I normally write horror: paranormal/occult. The first two years I started from a scratch, but last year and this year I am rebelling by focusing on a project that I have already started. (My projects are usually 100,000 words or more, and I typed over 100K last year with two different projects so 50k can be done. What advice would you give? 
I have noticed there are two main groups one that write so much (1.5k to 5k) every day and those who write once or twice a week (10K to 20K). I have pulled both, but I think 2k to 4k a day is easier than trying to pulling a 10k (It can really burn you out.) If you can keep an idea that really sparks your attention. Some people even stop in the middle of a sentence or a scene just so they are fired up the next time that they write. It’s not a competition. Do not be afraid to lose. Make time to write. Take a notebook when you can’t get to a computer, and write whenever you can. (I don’t have kids, but I have relatives and cats that need and take my time. However I have chatted with mothers and fathers who write two hours after their kids go to bed. I knew this one mom had her kids writing with her.)
Tell us one thing that is totally unique to you. I wanted to be a pop singer before I wanted to write. I hardly write about music, because it is a very emotional subject to me. I also want to bring a seductive horror back to vampires. (I feel that Meyers took the horror away from vampires by making them sparkle. I also think she made them creepy by having them stalk teenagers. If any adult stalks a teenager now they are legally and morally wrong.) Do you stalk famous people?
I don’t stalk, but I do have celeb crushes and I use them in my head when creating a character. Secretly raise cats for the lady next door? I live with three cats, but none of them are just mine. (I had two cats within the last six years and they both died, because I think my neighbor is poisoning the mice.) What is something you’ve learned about writing from your favorite author? 
This is a different twist. I learned that you cannot look at yourself at the same levels as a main-streamed published author until you become one. Example Stephen King had said that no rough draft should take more than six weeks. (However he doesn’t live with the people that I do. There are many times where my family would rather have my cooking and baking than my writing.) My Facebook page My writing blog (I have a lot of tips for writing and NaNoWriMo on this site.) Twitter: The Whispering Path E-copy The Whispering Path Paperback Or

Friday, November 8, 2013

NaNoWriMo Spotlight: Nadia Kilrick

Today I'd like to introduce you to Nadia Kilrick!

Hi Nadia! Have you participated in NaNaNoWriMo before? 

I have taken part in NaNoWriMo four years. I think. Even so, I've never acquired one of those fancy little badges that screams out to the world that I won. Strangely enough, I wrote a 65,000 word novel in less than three weeks in 2012 but it wasn't my NaNo novel. I missed it by a few months, or I finished ahead of the crowd - guess it depends on how you look at it. *snicker*

How did you find out about NaNo and why did you decide to do it?

You know, I cannot remember how I first heard about it. Although, I have a faint memory of reading about it and thinking something like, "Pfft, silliness!" and moving on. I'm not sure what brought me to the site the first time I participated, and even though I didn't finish, I'm glad I took part.

What type of story do you plan on writing this year, and what have you done in the past?

It depends. I'm working on the third novel in a contracted trilogy right now and if it isn't finished by then, I'll finish it. Additionally, I have an inspirational romance in the works (presently, under 20,000 words) that I plan to finish this year. I expect NaNo will be the perfect opportunity to finish that one and to wrap up another psychological thriller that is partially done. We'll see...

For seasoned participants: what advice would you give?

Even though I haven't actually 'won' NaNo, I'd have to say the best way to finish is to set a time each day to write and stick to it. Find friends to sprint with every day. You'll be amazed how much you can write when you are writing against the clock with friends. There are groups on Facebook and Twitter sprinting every day and night - connect with some of them. Finally, do not back up and edit! Leave that for later. Any mistakes you've made or scenes that need tweaking will still be there after you proudly download your "I WON" badge.

Where are you from and what is your age/age group?

I'm from the Emerald Coast of Florida. I'm old enough to have ten grandchildren. *wink*

Tell us one thing that is totally unique to you. What makes you different? Do you collect My Little Pony figures? Stalk famous people? Secretly raise cats for the lady next door? Be creative. I know there is something unique you can share!

Unique. Hmmm. I'm certain I'm not the only person that does this but I collect roosters - glass, wood, metal and live ones. Too, I can't seem to pass up a stack of vintage linens, lace or afghans in thrift stores. I've just got to have them all! So, if you ever see me sifting through bins in thrift/junk stores around the Southeast, just know that I'm in the zone, searching for the perfect...

What is something you’ve learned about writing from your favorite author?

Naming my favorite author is always tough for me. I think because it depends on my mood for the day. Some days, it's Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee, equally. I love their easy way with words. In my opinion, they wrote as if they were telling a story to friends while sipping tea on the porch. And, Jane Austen, quite brave for her time. Other days, it's Dean Koontz. Him, because his stories make me uncomfortable. Always, the writings of the Apostle Paul. Notably, the Corinthians. Like them, we have to make our stories easy to read, take chances, give readers something to think about, step out of our comfort zone and do it all with honesty and love – love of the work, as well as, love of the world around us and those who inhabit it.

Nadia is a published author! You can get her books and more info about her by following these links:

Ziggy Returns: A Short Tale

People of Kilmservy Village