Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Break

I am taking a break from blogging until after the holidays. I will return on 1/7/13 with more How Author Write segments on Mondays and other things on Thursdays.

Here's wishing you and your a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Monday, December 10, 2012

How Authors Write- Elle Druskin

Today, I welcome fellow MuseItUp author Elle Druskin, Romance and Mystery author, to share her writing process with us.

    What do you write?
    This is a deceptively simple question with a complicated answer. I’m not sure the genre label is important. The one rule that cannot be broken in any writing is Write a Good Story. When I wrote my first book which was written for the sole purpose of trying to figure out how to write a book, I had no idea what I had written. It wasn’t going to be seen by anyone so it didn’t matter which genre it might turn out to be. At least, that’s what I thought. You can imagine my surprise when To Catch A Cop was published and nominated as Best Romantic Comedy of 2010 by The Romance Reviews.
I thought it was a romance. As it turned out, it was reviewed as romance and mystery. I never saw the mystery; I knew it was there, but weak, in my opinion. What did I know? Did it matter? I don’t think so. Readers can figure out the genre and some books are cross genre. A great story is a great story and the genre label will take care of itself as long as it’s a great story. That being said, I’ve mostly written romance and mystery. Currently, I’m focusing on The Liberty Heights series. That could legitimately be labelled romance, small town romance, romantic comedy and probably some other genres. I have a great time writing the series and fortunately, my editors are just as devoted to Liberty Heights and all the wacky things that seem to happen in the town. I was pretty tickled when a reader wrote to me after reading Animal Crackers (Book 1 in the series) asking for driving directions to Liberty Heights. What a disappointment for her that the town isn’t real, it only exists in my head but I know exactly how it looks, what the people look like, sound like and just about everything else so it’s real to me. 

Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs?
I have used all of the above. My first book was first person. I thought that would be easier for me to control and not run the risk of “head-hopping.” During the re-write, I added a third person point of view but the bulk of the book was told from first person. Reviewers commented that it worked well, that switching point of view did not detract in any way.

How do you get started with a book- is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story? 
I think I probably start with the germ of an idea. I don’t necessarily write sequentially but in bits and pieces that eventually are pulled together to create a coherent story. These scenes point out places where linking scenes might be needed to craft an overall book that hangs together. For the Liberty Heights series, I use secondary characters that may appear in previous books, but then I decide to bring them front and center and give them their own story. I use the characters who were primary in earlier books as secondary. I kind of like that because it allows all the characters to keep developing and for me as the writer, and for the readers, to learn more about them. They surprise me lots of times and I write the series!

Do you draft quickly?
As I said, I don’t write in sequence. I might have some ideas for scenes and as I am writing them, others start taking shape. I usually know what ending I am writing towards but not necessarily everything that might happen along the way. It just unfolds scene by scene. Whether or not this happens quickly or takes a fair amount of time doesn’t matter, as long as it ultimately results in a book that fits the series, adheres to the tone (Liberty Heights is more than a little bit quirky ) and still has fresh elements.

Do you do research before your first draft or during?
That depends on the type of book. I might need to do some research but it can also be done during the writing, or blanks can be left where I mark places that I have to revisit once I am satisfied with the scene development. As far as research goes, there is no substitute for quality literature. Surfing online is not research, sorry, but it isn’t. It might be a good starting point but not the end point. Research should mean reading quality literature that is most often found at a college library, consulting archives, or occasionally, spending time with a professional to gain insight into that profession. In terms of research, I think I’m a bit advantaged. For my doctoral work, I conducted archival research and oral history interviews so I’ve had a pretty good grounding in research methodology. That doesn’t mean you need a PhD to research material for a novel but it does mean a writer should be able to differentiate between a reputable source and let’s say a less than reliable source of information. It’s surprising how many people cannot differentiate.

Do you outline?
No. It doesn’t work for me. It’s fine for other writers who adhere strictly to the outline but I’ve found even when I tried, the final product was so different to the outline that there was no point in it for me. Every writer is different with a different voice, style and technique. If outlines work for you, that’s great. They just don’t work for me.

Do you work with CP's or Beta's? How soon into your draft do you let them see your work?
I use Beta readers. They don’t see a draft until I feel it is as good as it gets. Liberty Heights is particularly special and one of my beta readers said she laughed so hard reading Animal Crackers that she wet her pants, so we now have the “wet your pants rule.” If you don’t laugh that hard at least once, the book is not good enough. My beta readers know what to look for, believable characters, balance of narrative and dialogue, realistic dialogue, a well paced story that has twists and engaging characters. Happily, they’re as addicted to Liberty Heights as I am and continually ask me to write a new story and even make suggestions who they would like to see featured. They don’t always get what they want, but they’re always happy to read another story. There are 2 books published in the series, Animal Crackers and The Life of the Party. Book 3, Hanky Panky, will be out in December 2012. The beta readers have read Books 4 and 5, and happily, loved them both. Book 4 has been submitted so now it’s a case of Wait and See if accepted.

What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?
One of the cardinal rules of writing is to be a good reader. It’s a fatal mistake to stop reading because one is so caught up in writing. Reading is a pleasure, first and foremost. In terms of writing, reading teaches vocabulary, how to create tension, page turners, character development, and many other elements of the craft. I read anything and everything and generally, I read about 4 books a week. That includes fiction and non-fiction. The bottom line is reading is an investment in the craft of writing.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?
Plenty! I think I’ve learned a considerable amount in terms of balance in character point of view and how much information to reveal. One of my earlier flaws was giving away too much, too soon. It’s a mistake a lot of writers tend to make early in their writing career. Hold it back, let it unfold slowly and use that to twist the tension line.
What do you have out now, or coming out? Any upcoming events? A website we can find you and your books at? An author photo? A booktrailer? Anything else you want to share?

Here’s a brief synopsis of The Liberty Heights Series books.

Animal Crackers: You’re fired. Karma really slammed Manhattan workaholic Hayley Weaver. Out of work, out of money and out of luck. In desperation, she grabs the first job offered, house-sitting a movie star’s home. How tough could it be? Water the plants, take in the mail. Oops! Nobody told Hayley the house is in New Jersey and loaded with more critters than the Beverly Hillbillies. Local cutie and veterinarian Jake Marx is dying to meet a woman he hasn’t known since kindergarten. With Jake on animal phobic Hayley’s speed dial, the whole town is in cohoots to give Jake and Hayley their happily ever after.

Life of the Party:
Cruise director and party organizer extraordinaire Ellie Marx sweeps into Liberty Heights organizing a party for any and every possible occasion. Daddy baby showers, Not Quite Sweet Sixteens, beach parties with no beach. No problem. Nothing stops Ellie who’s on a collision course with foreign correspondent Zach Resnick. After ten years on the road, Zach’s finally home in Liberty Heights seeking peace and quiet to write a book. Cranky Zach doesn’t stand a chance with Ellie around because she’s determined to turn him into The Life of The Party.

Hanky-Panky: Kaboom! A gas leak destroys Dana Fremder’s apartment and business in Brooklyn. With nowhere to go, Dana runs straight to best friend Hayley Marx in Liberty Heights where a gunman is running loose. Or so Dana thinks. Voice over actor Hank Axelrod is loaded with sound effects that pop, whine and screech, irritating Dana’s overstretched nerves. Too bad for Hank and Dana, that Grandma Baumgart’s joyride on a skateboard results in a concussion, and an unshakeable conviction that grandson Hank and Dana are married. Nobody wants to upset Grandma. What can Hank and Dana do?
It’s Grandma as matchmaker along with Algernon the Meerkat. More romance, fun and mayhem in Liberty Heights.

You can find my books in lots of places.

My website and blog which includes interviews, my world wide beach blog, travel tips, excerpts from books, trailers and downloadable bookmarks can be found at:

I’m frequently spotted at Books and Writers Community. It’s a great hangout for writers and readers. You’ll find some very famous names engaging in all sorts of discussions there:

I’m also on Facebook and Twitter:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Today, I am thrilled to be a part of Aubrie Dionne's Colonization Blog Tour. So, without further ado, please welcome Lieutenant Crophaven.

Hello, Lieutenant Crophaven, it’s nice to have you here today!

Thank you. I have a lot of business to accomplish with the ship reaching its destination. So if you’ll keep this short…

Of course. We wouldn’t want to keep the most important lieutenant from doing his job! Just a few quick questions. Now: what are you looking forward to on Paradise 21?

It’s not really what I’m looking forward to, it’s about keeping control and preventing any sort of widespread panic when we get there. I want the colonization efforts to run smoothly, and for everyone to keep their cool despite the stressful situation of acclamation. That’s my job.

And it’s an important job! Let’s continue: what do you think of this new generation of colonists preparing for the tests?

A lot of them just plain aren’t ready. I’ve seen some of the pretests, and the results are less than desirable. There’s only a few that stand out in my opinion: Nova Williams, for instance has been working her butt off. She’s the daughter of two janitors on the ship, so I think she’s got a little chip on her shoulder so to speak. But that’s okay, whatever fuels a person to achieve their best. Sirius Smith is also another hopeful. He’s doing great at aerodynamics and navigation and would make a fantastic aviator. I’ll be interested to see where they end up.

What do you think of the pairing system on the ship?

It’s logical, efficient, and prevents a lot of drama. I like it. End of story.

What’s your favorite thing to do on the ship?

Prepare. I’m constantly evaluating our resources and planning ahead for the future. The most important thing is the survival of this colony. Since we lost contact with the rest of the fleet, this ship could be humanity’s last hope. I’m not going to let it fail.

Anything else you’d like to share with us today?

The latest results from the scout droids are in, and I need to get back to my work. You’ll have to read further on the subject in Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed

Forbidden love on a paradise planet that’s anything but paradise...Dionne’s Colonization will keep you guessing.” – Cherie Reich, author of Defying Gravity

 Finding a new home has never been so dangerous.

Andromeda has spent all seventeen years of her life aboard a deep space transport vessel destined for a paradise planet. Her safe cocoon is about to break open as Paradise 21 looms only one month away, and she must take the aptitude tests to determine her role on the new world and her computer assigned lifemate. As a great-granddaughter of the Commander of the ship, she wants to live up to her family name. But, her forbidden love for her childhood friend, Sirius, distracts her and she fails the tests. The results place her in a menial role in the new colony and pair her with Corvus, “the oaf”.

But when Andromeda steps foot on Paradise 21, her predestined future is the least of her worries. Alien ghosts from a failed colonization warn her of a deadly threat to her colony. And when Sirius's ship crashes on the far ridge in an attempt to investigate, she journeys to rescue him with Corvus.

Andromeda now must convince the authorities of the imminent danger to protect her new home. What she didn't expect was a battle of her own feelings for Sirius and Corvus.

Can she save the colony and discover her true love?

About the Author:

Aubrie Dionne writes science fiction fantasy with romantic
elements. Her writings have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade,
Emerald Tales, Hazard Cat, Moon Drenched Fables, A Fly in Amber, and Aurora
Wolf. Her books are published by Inkspell Publishing, Entangled Publishing,
Lyrical Press, and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. She’s also a professional flutist in
New England.

Please visit her website:
Twitter: @authoraubrie


You can buy the book at:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Updates and Upcoming

Can you believe that November is almost over? Where has the year gone?

This year I didn't sign up for NaNo. I was was super busy and forgot about it, then when November came, I didn't think I'd have the time to devote to it.

While working on a new idea for a girl highwayman story, my characters hijacked the story and told me it would be a paranormal romance (in modern time), in first person (I usually write in 3rd) and from one POV (I usually have at least 2). Well, my characters must have known what they were talking about, because in two weeks I had around 35,000 words. And I had edited them some. One day, I wrote a chapter, and then the next day I removed the entire thing and re-wrote it, as the first idea didn't work the way I wanted it to.

I was plugging right along, then I hit a wall. My characters had led me to this place where I needed to figure out what/who was my "big bad". So, I read. And read some more. And I started watching a series on Netflix. All the while, I was letting my subconscious work out the story problems. And slowly, the answer came to me. Now, I know what my big bad is, and where I need to go, and I am hoping my characters (and muse) keep throwing the words I need out to me.

Did you NaNo? If so, how'd it go?


Tomorrow is the release day for Michelle Pickett's Concilium: The Deaprture

Sunday I am hosting Aubrie Dionne here.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving, and a Winner!

I have so many things to be thankful for. A loving family, great friends, incredible support from the writing community, and good health, just to name a few.

Today, I hope that you and yours enjoy good times with family and friends, creating new things to be thankful for next year.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

And congratulations to Elizabeth, winner of Lorrie's book, WILD BLACKBERRIES.

Monday, November 19, 2012

How Authors Write- Katie Carroll

Today I welcome fellow MuseItUp author Katie Carroll. As I read through her answers, I found that Katie and I have more in common than just our fantasy stories and Muse.

What do you write?
I write YA, MG, and picture books in everything from fantasy to contemporary.

Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs?
I’ve worked in both 1st person and 3rd person. I do have one story with multiple 1st person POV characters. It really depends on what the story calls for.

How do you get started with a book- is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story?
I usually start with an idea. It could start from a dream, a scene in nature, a “what if” question, really anywhere. Usually the idea is associated with a character. Although, it requires more of a concerted effort on my part to flesh out a character versus developing an idea.

Do you draft quickly? Or are you more detailed in your draft?
I am a painfully slow drafter and am constantly working on ways to be quicker with drafts. I tend to work out in my head most of the major plot points of a story before I even begin writing. It took me a couple of years to draft my first novel and slightly less time for the second novel I wrote.

Do you do research before your first draft, during?
I might do a little research before I begin drafting, but a good amount of research is done while I draft. I often end up doing some research while revising as well.

Do you outline? How?
I don’t outline, except in my head. As I've become more familiar with my own writing style, I've realized I am a very plot driven writer. Outlining really isn't necessary for me to keep track of my plot; it’s all there in my head. I do, however, create what I like to call a “mess” for each story. The mess can be all types of things: marked up books I've used in research, scribbles in my notebooks about characters and plots, sketches of physical spaces in my WIP. I usually have a whole folder on my computer devoted to the mess as well, which can have anything from articles from the Internet to a calendar of events in the story.[The outlining in the head and notes everywhere is so me!

Do you name everything up front when you are drafting or do you leave comments for yourself to go back and fill in later so you don't lose the flow of what you are working on?
I tend to draft straight through without leaving out too much. Lately, though, I've been trying to push through drafts quicker, so I've been allowing myself to leave holes to come back and fill in later.

Do you work with CP's or Beta's? How soon into your draft do you let them see your work?
I have both beta readers and a critique group I work with. I like to give my beta readers chapters as I finish them. I use my beta readers more for cheerleading than for critique. My beta readers are there to keep me motivated by saying, “Where’s the rest of that book? I've been dying to see how it ends.” I like to have a full draft done before I engage my critique partners because I find too much feedback too early in the drafting stage is too debilitating for my drafting process.

What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?
Okay, confession time: I don’t really like books or websites about writing. I think they help lots of writers be better writers, but I just don’t personally get a lot out of them. I find going to conferences helpful in many ways. They keep me inspired and eager to write. There’s also something about seeing and hearing a writer in person talking about their process that resonates with me much more than reading about a writer’s process. For a supportive kidlit writing community, I've found author Verla Kay's discussion boards to be priceless.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing.
That every published author has his/her own path to publication and no one writer’s path is better than another’s. I think it’s important to cheer on fellow writers, but it’s equally as important not to compare your own journey with theirs. [What a GREAT point!]

What do you have out now, or coming out? Any upcoming events? A website we can find you and your books at? An author photo? A booktrailer? Anything else you want to share?

My YA fantasy Elixir Bound is currently available through
MuseItUp Publishing and on Amazon. [I love this cover!]

Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone.
For it is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings who will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.
Buy Elixir Bound for your Kindle, Nook, PC, and other devices from MuseItUp Publishing. Elixir Bound is also available at AmazonBarnes and NobleSmashwords, and other ebook retailers.

I also have a picture book called The Bedtime Knight coming out in November through the picture book app company MeeGenius! and illustrated by Erika Baird.  [This looks absolutely adorable!] 

With a little help from Daddy Knight, a young child learns how to turn the scary shadows of the night into fun imaginings. Read it yourself or have it read to you with the MeeGenius! picture book app.

My website and blog are at

Thanks for sharing your process with us, Katie!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gypsy Blood by Lorrie Unites-Struiff

Today, I welcome back fellow Muse author Lorrie Unites-Struiff. She's here to tell us about her Paranormal Romance, GYPSY BLOOD and a special giveaway she's running.

Hello again, everyone. Mary, Thank you so much for inviting me back to your blog. This is such a fun place.

Aw, thanks, Lorrie. I'm happy to have you here again.

Today, I want to tell readers about my novella, GYPSY BLOOD.

Oh, what a treat. I really enjoyed this novel. It's full of mystery, romance, and I loved the Romany plot line so much! You must have learned a lot of interesting things researching that.

When I researched the Roma culture, I was very surprised to find such a rich heritage and learn about these beautiful people. Their lore is one of the most fascinating I’ve ever read. Many live among us today in the U.S., Canada and abroad. They number in the millions.

Did you know Yul Brynner was Roma? Sir Charles Chaplin? Bob Hoskins, who spent his youth working in a circus and then became an actor? The TV program, Criminal Minds, had a story on last year about a gypsy family and a tradition. LOL. Of course, for that program, it was on the darker side.

There are British actors who have a Romany ancestry—though dating back to some generations ago. Sir Sean Connery and Sir Roger Moore.

Never the less, I’ve read about their customs, their beliefs, and have included many in my novella.
Come and meet Rita Muldova of pure Roma blood, and a detective for the Keyport Police Department. Meet her family: her mother, Anna, a great seer, and Uncle Dragus who plays the sweetest melodies on his violin.

Instead of going on and on, let me show you the cover, and you can read blurb and excerpt.

Everyone has secrets.
Homicide Detective Rita Moldova has a secret, a crystal amulet from her Roma bloodline that shows her the last image a victim had seen before they died. Now, a ritual killer is terrorizing her town and the crystal’s magic has suddenly stopped.
FBI agent, Matt Boulet, is sent to lead the task force and gives the group strange orders. Worse, Rita senses he is holding back a deep dark secret about the killer.
When she confronts her seer mother’s advice, she learns another secret about their clan that she finds impossible to swallow.
Rita swims through a whirlpool of confusion as the investigation continues. Can Rita deny the lore of the ancients? Can she deny her growing feelings for Matt Boulet?

The units arrived and sealed the crime scene.

Matt walked to her. “It’s a wash for tonight, let’s call in our troops. All the uniforms on the scene will keep our man away.” He took her hand. “Damn, your fingers are like ice.” He grabbed both her hands and rubbed them between his, the friction warming more than her fingers. “It’s late. Let me take you back to your car at the station. You look wiped.”

She let her shoulders slump. “Yeah, it’s been a long day.”

The SUV’s seat cushioned her sore muscles. Rita let her head fall back on the warm headrest with a deep sense of relief and closed her eyes. Matt turned up the heat, and delicious warmth flowed over her legs. A whisper of breath brushed her cheek, a hand slid over her waist. Her eyes flew open.

He laughed. “I’m just putting your seatbelt on. Don’t panic.”

Rita inhaled deeply and caught the faint scent of spice, pine, and man. His nearness tempted her to lay her head on his broad shoulder, cuddle, and sleep.

The grin he flashed…well, for a moment she could have sworn he had read her thoughts. She sighed with frustration.

They pulled up to the station and he walked her to the Rover. “Lock your car doors. You’re still dressed like you’re ready for action.”

The chilly car seat sent gooseflesh up the back of her thighs. With the door open, she quickly turned the key and hit the heater. When she glanced back up at him, she found his eyes devouring her from the top of her blonde wig, down her legs, then back to rest where the hem of her skirt barely covered her bikini panties. 

She cocked her head. “What?”

Matt shook his head, took a deep breath, and groaned.

Her gaze strayed to the noticeable bulge in his jeans. She lifted her eyes to meet his. That sinful smile surfaced on his lips again.

Watch your legs.” He shut the Rover’s door and walked back to his SUV.

For your reading pleasure this paranormal/romance/thriller-chiller/action/mystery is Available on Amazon at

Thank you for reading. Please leave a comment and to one commenter, I will put names in a hat and send you a PDF copy of my popular paranormal short story, Wild Blackberries.
Read more about my published works at,
My blog
Hope to see you there.

Thanks, Lorrie!

Monday, November 12, 2012

How Authors Write- Michelle Pickett

Today, I welcome fellow MuseItUp author and friend, 
Michelle Pickett, to share her writing process with us.

What do you write?
I write both adult and young adult urban fantasy, sci/fi and paranormal romances.

Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs?
So far I've only written in the first person POV, but I'm drafting a book that will be in the third person. I'm finding it a lot harder than I thought it would be.

How do you get started with a book- is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story?
It is usually the story that comes first for me. Although, sometimes the story and the main character show up simultaneously.

Do you draft quickly or are you more detailed in your draft?
I'm not a fast drafter. It usually takes me about six weeks to draft my first draft and another six to do revisions and rewrites. [Wow! That seems fast to me, but my drafts are all over the place!]

Do you do research before your first draft, during?
I don't usually have a lot of research that needs to be done, but if I do I tend to do it while I'm writing rather than before.

Do you outline? How?
I don't, is the short answer. I have a general idea and just go with that. However, I'm starting to see the benefits of having at least a loose outline to follow. I haven't found the method that works best for me yet, so I'm trying different formats. I've been reading some craft books on outlining. So far I've just been jotting down notes and keeping them in order in relation to the storyline.

Do you name everything up front when you are drafting or do you leave comments for yourself to go back and fill in later so you don't lose the flow of what you are working on?
I generally name everything up front, but that doesn't mean the name will stick. I've been known to change names a few times before finding the one that I "feel" fits.

Do you work with CP's or Beta's? How soon into your draft do you let them see your work?
Nope, I've never worked with them. When I started writing Concilium I didn't know they existed. Afterward, when I learned of them, I was never really sure how to go about finding one to work with. I have some family members and friends that read my work that I call my "Betas and CPs" but they really aren't.

What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?
Hooked, by Les Edgerton.
Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose by Constance Hale.
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, How to Edit Yourself into Print by Renni Browne, Dave King.
The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman, Becca Puglisi

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing.
I wish I knew about Beta readers and Critique partners and how important they are. I think Concilium would have been a much stronger book if I'd had some additional input from outside sources. It's hard to be objective when it's your "baby."

What do you have out now, or coming out? Any upcoming events? A website we can find you and your books at? An author photo? A booktrailer? Anything else you want to share?

Concilium was released in July. 

The sequel, Concilium: The Departure, is scheduled for release in November. Both are published through MuseItUp Publishing.

PODs, my debut young adult novel, will release in paperback through Spencer Hill Press June 4, 2013 (my son's 12th birthday!) [I think that is so awesome!]

I just signed a second contract with Spencer Hill Press for a young adult paranormal romance, titled Milayna, that will release in paperback in March of 2014.

Upcoming Events: I'll be at the 2013 Book Expo America in at the Javits Center in NYC signing copies of PODs.

Places you can find me on the web:
Book Buy Links:

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your process, Michelle!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Letter from MuseItUp Publisher Lea Schizas

MuseItUp Publishing may be a Canadian house but our authors come from all over the world, especially the United States where Sandy has caused horrific damage to our neighbours.

For the entire month of November, with any purchase made from our MuseItUp Bookstore, we will donate 10% of the purchase price to the Red Cross toward the devastation caused by Sandy. On behalf of all of us at MuseItUp Publishing we'd like to thank you for your support.

Lea Schizas
MuseItUp Publishing

Monday, November 5, 2012

How Authors Write- Margaret Fieland

I hope you all had a great week last week, and that you were all safe during the Hurricane.

Today, I am returning to my series on How Author's Write. You can find my first post, with Dianne Salerni here.  This week, I welcome fellow MuseItUp author, Margaret Fieland who shares her writing process with us.

What do you write?
I write poetry and fiction. I have a tween/YA sci fi published, and a chapter book accepted for publication, due out next year.  I'm working on two more: another tween/YA sci fi, and an adult sci fi.

Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs?
"Relocated," my published novel, is first person. The other, "The Angry Little Boy," is third person limited  -- one POV. Of the two I'm working on editing. the  tween/ya is first person. The adult sci fi is my first multi-person POV novel. It's got five points of view: the four characters involved in the main plot relationship, and the antagonist, the bad guy in a political plot thing.

How do you get started with a book- is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story?
It varies, but generally with a character and a situation, a setting, the start and the finish. The details in the middle tend to be murky. For "Relocated," I did plan -- but most of my planning was devoted to world-bullding. I had about a page of notes on the plot, most of which make me cringe when I read them over now, and most of which went out the window once I started to write.

Do you draft quickly? Or are you more detailed in your draft?
I generally draft quickly. Then I have to go back and edit. For the multi-person novel I'm editing now, for example, I wanted to weave together two four-person relationships and an antagonist. I started it out  as a YA, first person, with the same main character as "Relocated." I also drafted another version, multi-person, sketchy, focusing on the story of the adult foursome. I got as far as a beta reader for the first person YA version. She convinced me I was telling the wrong story.

So I went back, reread both versions, and went back to the drawing board. This time I decided to focus on the four characters in the adult relationship, plus the antagonist, as POV characters. My first draft was a lot better, but I skimped on the secondary characters, and had to revise to bring them more forward. I'm pretty happy with the current version, and am down to what I really believe are final edits on it.

Do you do research before your first draft, during?
As necessary. Since I don't do a lot of planning, there will most likely be research needed as I go along. I do do some research beforehand -- for example, on desert ecologies before I started "Relocated." I ended up having to research glass blowing and ceramics for the novel later on. I researched the International Court, Native American culture, and stringed instruments, among other things, for the multi-person POV novel I'm working on now.

Do you outline? How?
I generally have the beginning, the ending, the major plot points, and some notes about scenes.

For the 2011 Nano Novel, I had about two pages of notes, with notes on scenes. I followed them for more or less the first quarter of the novel and then it took off.

Mostly, though, I can't plan in too much detail, because my characters live and breathe for me as I write them. I don't know all of what's going to happen until I write it.

As to detailed scene planning. I often play a scene out in my head before I write it, and then I write it down. If it's the first draft, I'll make notes about the next couple of scenes as well.

Do you name everything up front when you are drafting or do you leave comments for yourself to go back and fill in later so you don't lose the flow of what you are working on?
I'm not much for going back. If I really need something, I'll make a note in the MS: ** FIXME ** :
Then when I need to, I can go back and search for FIXME.

Do you work with CP's or Beta's? How soon into your draft do you let them see your work?
Both. I have a writing partner. We exchange a chapter a week. As to Beta readers, when I reach the point where I feel it needs a whole read-through and comments. How do I know that?
Good question {grin}.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?
{grin} How to write fiction. I wrote the novel coming out next year in a weekend, then I spent the next year and a half or two years learning enough about fiction to make it into a publication-worthy novel.

But I might not have been motivated to study all that if I hadn't needed to get my novel right.

What do you have out now, or coming out? Any upcoming events? A website we can find you and your books at? A booktrailer? Anything else you want to share?

"Relocated" was published by MuseItUp Publishing this past July, and I have a blog tour starting at the end of October. I self-published "Sand in the Desert," the book of poems I wrote to go with "Relocated." Eight of the poems appear in the novel. I'm also one of the Poetic Muselings. Our poetry anthology, "Lifelines" was published in November, 2011.

I can be found online in the following places:
The Poetic Muselings website and blog:
Link to "Relocated" on the publisher's website:
Link to Sand in the Desert on Amazon:

It's also avail in print. Link to Lifelines Poetry Anthology:

Friday, November 2, 2012

New Pride by Laura Diamond

It’s here! My prequel novelette, NEW PRIDE, releases today. I’m SO stoked for it to run wild in the world.  
[Be sure to read all the way to the end for a chance to win a copy of NEW PRIDE from Laura!]

NEW PRIDE was born from my upcoming novel, SHIFTING PRIDE (coming December 7, 2012!). In SHIFTING PRIDE, the main character, Nickie, searches for her missing father, Richard…and NEW PRIDE is all about Richard’s journey to independence and new love.

New town, new love, new terror.


A shape-shifter without a pride, Richard Leone strikes a tenuous friendship with power hungry, Derek, from an unstable, rogue group. On a hunt in the forest, they encounter a gorgeous brunette, Molly, partying with friends around a campfire. Derek tells the rogue pride and they bristle at humans trespassing on their territory. Richard risks life and tail to protect his secret and the humans—especially Molly—while simultaneously trying to win her heart. When Molly is kidnapped, he faces taking on the rogue pride alone, but quickly finds he has to put his trust in Derek, not only to rescue his new love, but to ensure the rogue pride doesn’t wreak havoc on his new town.

About Author Laura Diamond:

Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist and author of all things young adult paranormal, dystopian, horror, and middle grade. Her short story, City of Lights and Stone, is in the Day of Demons anthology by Anachron Press (April 2012) and her apocalyptic short story, Begging Death is in the Carnage: Life After the End anthology by Sirens Call Publication (coming late 2012). Her debut young adult paranormal romance, SHIFTING PRIDE, is coming December 2012 by Etopia Press. When she's not writing, she is working at the hospital, blogging at Author Laura Diamond--Lucid Dreamer , and renovating her 225+ year old fixer-upper mansion. She is also full-time staff member for her four cats and a Pembroke Corgi named Katie. 

How to find Laura Diamond on the web:

YouTube interview:
In The DM Zone—Talking about SHIFTING PRIDE

*GROUP HUG* Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to celebrate with me and for helping me spread the word. This wouldn’t be happening without you. Yes, you! Without you, I’d have given up a long time ago. ;)

I hope you enjoy NEW PRIDE and SHIFTING PRIDE.   

A bonus: 

I will be giving away copies of NEW PRIDE to several lucky fans! Please click this link and fill out the form on my fan page to enter.