Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Polishing Your Novel

I finished the first draft of my novel, so it's essentially a diamond in the rough.  As much as I'm dying to go back and read it from start to finish, to begin removing the raw edges, I've decided to shelve it for a week first so that, hopefully, I can look at it with a fresh perspective. I know without a doubt that it will need quite a bit of reworking from a story line perspective, not even thinking about proofreading, which is quite a task in and of itself.  
What will I do in the meantime?  Start outlining the plot of my next book, the second in the "War Gods Series." 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Completed First Draft of Novel

I did it. Today I typed the last words of my newest fantasy adventure novel.  At long last, my first draft is completed, and I'm celebrating!  After blogging this morning, I figured it was time to crack down and crank out the grand finale, and that's what I did--what a feeling of accomplishment!  Now, of course, I need to read the novel from start to finish and do a great deal of reworking.  I also need to come up with a title for this yet unnamed work. 

During the coming weeks, I'll be writing about my process of reworking a rough novel into a final piece, with focus on the proofreading. First though, I'm going to take advice I read from some author somewhere and let the novel sit for a week or two so I can look at it with fresh eyes as I read it from start to finish.  Good night.

Writing the Ending of a Novel

I've written over 200 pages, so why is it so hard to write the ending?  Why do I keep putting it off?  These are the questions I find I've been asking myself a lot lately.  As a general rule, despite the chaos in my life, a house full of kids (I have 6) and my numerous interests (which don't include a warm fuzzy feeling when I've cleaned my house), I've generally been pretty good about writing three pages a day on my novels.  Well, that is until recently.

So, what happened?  I've always been a firm believer in "slow and steady wins the race."  Why the change now?  I think it's because I'm close to the end of my novel, or at least the end of the first draft.  I know I'm not alone in this.  I've talked to others with the same problem.  Is it that after investing so many hours in crafting a riveting story line, we can't figure out how to end it?   I don't think so.  At least, that's not the case for me.  I know what is supposed to happen, but conveying that to the reader is another matter.  I think it's more a matter, almost, of saying goodbye to an old friend.

Writing is an escape.  I travel to far off places, eat exotic food, and meet exciting people when I write, despite the fact that I'm still in my den with one or more sick kids.  My characters keep me company.  Maybe ending a book is a little like saying goodbye to an old friend.  Of course, that doesn't mean I can't have new adventures with my characters in other books.  I even plan to, but still, up a novel, is not only exciting, but a little sad.  Maybe that's part of why I have trouble with the end.

Of course, there's also the perfectionist in me that comes into play.  I've spent so long developing characters and plot that I want that I want the finish to be perfect.  This is probably the biggest factor contributing to my procrastination of ending my novel.  I think though, that it's time I take a leap, write an ending, and I can always fix it after I finish it.  
Time to go now and finish that novel--later!

Thanks Readers

Thank you everyone who downloaded my books last week, whether it was my young adult novel, "Destined Love is Immortal," or my children's picture book about stranger safety, "Dragon at the Cabin," your support is greatly appreciated.  If you enjoyed them, please take time to "like" them on their page at Amazon, tag them, and/or write a review.
Above all, if you enjoy my writing, please tell a friend!  I love to write, and I do so hoping that you will enjoy reading what I've written as much as I had fun putting it down on the page.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Teach your kids that what looks fun might be dangerous.  My kids' rhyming picture book about stranger safety, "Dragon at the Cabin," is FREE today & tomorrow.  Get your copy now! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Paranormal Romance Book for Teens FREE 11/12/12 & 11/13/12

Today & tomorrow you can get a FREE copy of the young adult paranormal romance book, "Destined Love is Immortal," from Amazon.  It can be downloaded to not only a Kindle, but also your PC and many phones.

One reader writes:
"Fantasy isn't what I usually read, but Ms. Williams has crafted a book that held my attention, so much so that I read it in one sitting. In many ways Shawna is a typical teenager, insecure about her appearance and highly sensitive to peer pressure, but so unlike a typical teenager when it came time to be truly brave. While the relationship she encounters in Belgium seems incongruous, Ms. Williams is able to show that huge gaps can be narrowed when genuine caring helps both characters to rise above their own viewpoints and have compassion for what the other is feeling and experiencing. There are lots of exciting fight scenes, and the description of places Shawna visits make you feel you're right there. The reader gets a travelogue coupled with adventure. What could be better?"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Paranormal Romance Book Author Interview

Writing is my passion.  It's an escape.  Through my books, I invite the reader to escape with me, if only for a little while, and if I've done my job right, they'll leave my world smiling.

As a marketing and French major and mother of six, I hadn't always thought to be an author.  I've had a number of diverse jobs, from spending nearly a decade in corporate America, to finding host families for high school exchange students from all over the world, to owning and operating my own martial arts school.

I didn't always dream of being a writer.  In fact, I hadn't even thought of it before beginning my first novel, Destined Love is Immortal.  As a pre-teen in middle school, I'd enjoyed reading, but when the homework load got heavier and I had a lot of assigned reading first in high school, then in college, the last thing I wanted to do when I had free time was pick up a book.  Holding a job which required a lot of proof reading later also did nothing to make me want to read.

So what made me eventually start reading and then writing?  When my youngest son was born, he had to be hospitalized for over a month.  That's when I began reading again.  It was a desperately needed escape.  Eventually, I heard an interview of a famous author talking about how she'd written her first book with a house full of kids watching cartoons in the background the whole time and I thought, "Hey, that's me!"

I write young adult novels, primarily of the fantasy genre, as well as children's picture books.  When I read, I prefer the fantasy and paranormal stuff, so that's what I chose to write.  Generally, whether I'm writing a novel or a children's picture book, I try to include a moral to the story, so that while being entertained, the reader also has something they can take away from my book and apply to their real life.  

When I opened my first dojang (martial arts school) my instructor told me, "Teach what you know."  Being five months pregnant, opening a business as a martial arts instructor, I was nervous and unsure of myself, even though it didn't show outwardly.  The advice worked, and my business was a success, through the day that my family relocated out of state and I sold it.  I've found the "Teach what you know" advice to be sound, except now, as a writer, I write what I know.  

I've traveled extensively in Europe, and I combine my real life adventures with fictitious characters and an exciting plot line to make memorable and entertaining stories.  My novels take place it locations I love, and I have contacts there who graciously answer all of the questions I have when it comes to getting the details right.

I love to read teen scifi and fantasy novels, and my husband says I'm an eternal teenager.  Moreover, I love to spend time with teens.  First I did this through placing high school foreign exchange students, and now through the time I spend as the organizer of our church youth group.

My first novel, Destined Love is Immortal, is about a teenager girl whose life is going very poorly.   She gets dreams at night of fighting in Belgium, amongst other things.  In fact, her dreams are much more than that, a fact which she learns much later.  Deciding to escape her life, she goes to work in Belgium for a year, and things really get exciting when she comes face to face with an ancient war god.   Destined Love is Immortal is a book with moral values, and the kid of book I would want my teens to read.

In addition to teen novels, I also write picture books.  Basically, I've written these to teach my younger kids lessons they need to know in a fun, silly, not-scary way.  Currently, only one of these is published, Dragon at the Cabin.   It's a rhyming picture book about stranger safety, similar in style to the popular Dr. Seuss books.  The book shows that while going with a stranger may look fun, it is NOT and can actually be dangerous and scary.  However, this message is presented in a fun way.  My books are for sale on as ebooks and the teen novel is also available as a paperback from createspace.