Monday, May 13, 2013

How Author's Write- Heather Greenis

Today I welcome MuseItUp author Heather Greenis, as she shares her writing process and an excerpt from her new release.

What do you write?
My novel, series is classified as a Mainstream Saga.
Natasha's Dream
Natasha's Diary
Natasha's Hope
and concluding with Natasha's Legacy

Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs?
I've used third person, but with 1st person inner thoughts. The inner thoughts came as a suggestion from my editor. Great idea!

How do you get started with a book- is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story?
This series came to me through a dream. For some reason I couldn't get the characters from my head. I was inspired enough to begin writing. The dream became the ending of the first book in the series

Do you draft quickly?
I wrote, allowed people read it, and did major rewrites. I kept a pad of paper and pen in the car and wrote notes as my husband and I talked. Throughout my manuscript I had notes. I would get an idea in the book and go back to a previous book in the series in order for the sequence to make sense. I spent over ten years writing the Natasha Series. During this time I worked full time outside our home and took breaks while family read the entire series. [Wow! That doesn't seem too bad for a four book series, though.]

Do you do research before your first draft, during?
I do research throughout. The series is set back in time so I'm continually researching, 'Has this piece of technology been invented yet?' The novel is fiction, but I want it realistic.

Do you outline? How?
I do outline. I make bullet points within my manuscript with a different colour and larger font. When I reach these points, I write, and eventually rewrite the scene. I'm hoping in time I get better at this.

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 name things as I go along but I'm not afraid to change names later. I love the "find' option of the computer. Find 'X' change to 'Y'. Done. [Yes, that is a great feature to use. I use it to find those extra spaces I don't want, too!]

Do you work with CP's or Beta's? How soon into your draft do you let them see your work?
This is embarrassing. I'm not certain what those are. {No embarrassment. My fault for not being clear!] I allowed people (family) to read this series far too early. That is actually a regret, (how many times do they want to read it) but I know being my first attempt at writing, it was a necessary evil. My series went through a lot of edits before the first book in the series was emailed to publishers for consideration.

What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?
I began reading different authors looking for a writing style. No one in particular and no one truly well known. I admit I read some amazing books.

While looking for potential publishers, I scanned websites and I found some Q&A pages regarding writing. Why manuscripts are rejected was a huge help for me. What not to do. I was definitely guilty of some of the faux-pas and did more editing before sending the attachment.

The version of the manuscript that was originally sent to MuseitUp did not have current editing from my family

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?
The wait time. Publishers state the wait time before you will hear from them but I found this to be underestimated. This is not a quick process and I'm not as patient as I'd like to be. I want to know yesterday. Patience is a virtue. [Yes, yes it is. And not one of my strong ones!]

I'm sure the list of 'I wasn't aware of that' will grow.

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?
The second book in my saga, "Natasha's Diary has been submitted and I'm waiting for that much anticipated response.

Natasha's Hope will be submitted within the next two weeks.

I am doing the final edits to the last book in the series and hope to submit Natasha's Legacy within the next month.

I have another book in progress but it doesn't have a title. Knowing what I have learned from my MuseitUp editors, this book needs some major editing before my family of readers will have the opportunity to read and make suggestions and comments.

Natasha's Dream will launch June 21, 2013 from MuseitUp Publishing:

Heather would love to share with us her cover art, but she hasn't received the final cover at the time of this post. She'll let me know when she gets it, so I can share it here.

An excerpt:
Natasha reached for the towel and stood as Goldie followed Vicki toward them. The dog stopped within a foot of Vicki and Natasha and shook her body. The spray of water flew. Stewart, Natasha, and Vicki received a dog-induced shower.

“Goldie. That’s a bad dog,” Stewart scolded. He turned toward Natasha. “My humble apologies. That was a natural reaction for the dog, but she was standing a bit too close to you.”

“I shall pay more attention to my surroundings. I’m not accustomed to the behaviour of domestic animals.”

Picking up the towel she had dropped, Natasha wiped her face and then wrapped it around Vicki, rubbing her shoulders in attempt to warm her.

“Natasha? You share the same name as the princess,” Vicki remarked.

Natasha froze, horrified the truth would be revealed. Her eyes shifted to the ground, avoiding eye contact with either Stewart or Vicki. As her mind raced for an acceptable explanation, she wanted to cry. She must respond with haste.

“Mother was with child when the castle announced the birth of the princess,” she lied as she dried Vicki with the towel. “Adoring the name, she christened me with it. It is not a pleasing name to my ear, especially being so close in age to the princess.”

Stewart rested his hands by his side and leaned back and relaxed. “I’m ashamed to admit, although I’m aware there are royal heirs, I didn’t recall their names. I never felt the need to commit such knowledge to memory since we do not attend court. It’s not as if the royal family would ever lower itself and converse with us mere commoners,” Stewart remarked with indignation.

Hurt by the truth of his words, Natasha felt as if a dagger were thrust into her heart. It was impossible to defend her family. Her father would indeed be livid to discover his daughter was consorting with a commoner. She would be chastised.

“I must depart for home,” Vicki informed them. “Momma is baking.”

“You must not say a word to anyone about Natasha, Vicki,” Stewart warned. “I will introduce them in due course. You must keep our secret.”

“Why?” Vicki asked.

“Vicki. I do not speak of events that happen to you.”

“I promise.”

Stewart stood and walked up the slope, watching his young sister run toward home. With her mind drifting to the conversation with his sister, Natasha didn’t notice him return. She didn’t hear him speak until he touched her hand.

“What is the matter? You must tell me the cause of your grief.”

“I’m not grieved, but I have lost track of the hour. I must leave in haste.”

“Allow me to escort you home.”

“You are most kind, but that isn’t necessary.”

He took her hand and brought it toward his face.

“Thank you for being so kind to my sister.” Keeping his eyes locked on hers, he leaned forward. “May I?” he asked.
Natasha was ecstatic. She could never allow herself the experience of his kiss on her mouth, but would feel his lips upon her hand. She nodded her head ever so slightly in agreement, her emotions locked inside. His lips touched her fingers. As the feeling of euphoria filled her entire being, she was unable to stop the slight smile from appearing on her face.

“Until tomorrow,” she whispered.

She turned and walked in the direction of her home. Certain Stewart was out of sight, Natasha jumped into the air, thrilled by the kiss. She wished to scream in delight and to tell the entire world how excited she was. Exhilarated, she brought her hand to her face and kissed the area Stewart’s lips touched. She ran all the way home.

Thanks so much for hosting me! 

Anytime, Heather!


  1. The post looks great.
    What would we do without that 'find button'?

    An update. i received an e-mail from my publisher MuseitUp late Friday night. The second book in my saga, "Natasha's Diary' has been accepted with a launch date scheduled for December 2013. - Heather

  2. Heather, I can relate to so much of what you say here. Good luck with the launch in June. Anne

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Anne. And yes, there is so much here that I relate to, too!

  3. Writing definitely teaches you to be patient - patient with your story and your characters, with the editing process, with the submission process... I do relate for everything you said there Anne and wish you good luck with your Natasha series!

  4. So true, Marie. Patience is so important in writing.

  5. Thanks! I was watching television on Friday night as hubby worked on the computer. When he asked me to mute the TV, I thought he wanted my opinion on an e-mail he was preparing to send. Nope. He read the acceptance e-mail to me. Being a bit of a softy (more than a bit) my eyes watered. The he gave me a congratulations kiss and hug. I was on cloud nine. Two down, two to go...for this series. - Heather

    1. What a great guy you have there! That was so sweet!!!!

  6. Thank you so much for hosting me. Great day and great comments :-)


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