Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Best of Write with Fey for 2014

I love to create mashups of my best posts for the year. It’s neat to see which ones received a bigger response, because you can never tell these things when you’re writing them. I also like to share these best posts again for anyone who might’ve missed them the first time around.


So here are the TOP TEN posts from Write with Fey this year:



These two posts were the most challenging to write, but I’m glad I did it because the topics are so important, and when you’re writing about characters with a disease, disability, or disorder it’s essential to get it right.


I was happy that this post received a lot of comments and that many said they wanted to write a car accident scene because of it. :)


I couldn’t wait to share this post, because heroine’s of steel are my favorite heroines to write about. There are 25 things in this post to help writers create such a heroine.

4.    Writing is Hard

Here is a post I was surprised to receive such great feedback for.

5.    The Mob

This post is the most different post I’ve ever done for a specific type of character, because I had to cover things like crime, guns, and victims.

6.    Vampires

I never thought I would share a post about vampires, but ten years ago I never thought I’d write about vampire characters. Plus, mortals can’t get enough of vampires.


In this post I provide a list of ways writers can use a character’s past life in their story. And I was thrilled that everyone answered my question about whether or not they believed in reincarnation.


This is another post that received wonderful replies. I believe that you have to let bad things happen to your character to make your story real.


I enjoyed writing this post almost as much as I enjoyed writing actual wedding scenes.


In this post, I discuss the characteristics that make the Sunshine State unique for anyone who might want to write a story set in Florida.


BONUS ROUND:

My 5 Favorite A to Z Posts:

3.    Inheriting the Writing Gene (A post about my mom and her influence on me.)


I hope you enjoyed this list!

***************************************************************************************

2015 UPDATE: 
From now on my blog will not just focus on writers and authors but also bloggers and readers. Check out the details:

Writers: I will still share writing tips but these posts will be on Mondays now.

Readers: On the occasional Wednesday I will share fun posts and insight into my stories. I will also be interviewing avid readers about their passion for books. Since January is full, look for the first Reader Interview in February. 

Bloggers: Along with Reader Interviews, I am also bringing Blogger Interviews. The first one will be on January 7th. You won’t want to miss it. Trust me!

Authors: And of course I'll still be hosting authors. :)


Happy New Year!!! I hope to see you in 2015!


Friday, December 26, 2014

Author Interview with Taylor Anne

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Today I have Taylor Anne, author of Heat Flash and A Christmas Santa, telling us about an anthology she contributed to with a book that is the first in a three book series.


Please tell us about your current release, Taylor Anne.

The Beginning of Time is a short story published in Journeys – Bayou Writers Group Anthology Vol 1. This story is the prologue to a three book series about a diverse group of people from all walks of life. Three women meet early in life and form a lifelong bond. It touches on the struggles and trials and loves of everyday life. This is the beginning of their stories.


BOOK LINKS:

1. What inspired you to write this book?

I was wanting to let women and men know that everybody struggles with day to day life and the trials that are thrown at them. Abuse, infidelity, cancer, infertility, loneliness, anger….Those are just some of the struggles life gives us. The key is in your attitude and how you handle each situation. Always – Always keep a positive attitude and take life one day at a time. 

2. A positive attitude is a must. Is The Beginning of Time part of a series?

Yes, The Beginning of Time, is the first book of three. Time, Devotion, Perseverance. Release date on those books will be announced at a later date.

3. Did you do special research for The Beginning of Time?

All the time! Research – OMG. Everything I do is research. This story really drew on my personal experiences, as well as those of my family friends. The retreat house in the book really inspired some of the people’s emotions and stories. When you get together for four days with a group of women (and a little wine) you really open up to each other and realize we all deal with the same basic issues in life. I am thankful for the retreat house and the hostess there for all she has done for us.  

4. Are any of your characters based on real people?

Loosely based on real people. I’ve basically taken people’s emotions, physical characteristics, personality traits and combined them into unique characters. I want people to pick up this book and say, “Wow, she wrote my story.” There’s a little bit of you (the reader) in every story.

Taylor Anne having fun!

5. If you could give your book to anyone in the world to read (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

I plead the fifth….I cannot answer that question on the grounds that it may incriminate me… uh—my characters. <wink wink>

6. I'll let that one pass. What is the silliest thing you ever did while writing a story?

Let me tell you a short story. Me, Brandy, and our DH’s were at a concert one night. The sexy guitar player was removing his guitar strap and well, I kinda lost it. Just yelled out above the crowd, “Take it off. Take it all off!” Brandy died laughing, and DH just looked at me, shook his head, and smiled. (He gets a kick out of watching me have a good time.) Later on we see the band members at the bar. Sexy guy is leaning against the bar and Brandy pushes me forward. “Go take a picture with him.” So, I do. Standing there seeing our reflection in the mirror, it hit me. That would be the perfect scene in a book I am currently working on. Silly, yes…but that what happens when Brandy and I get together and drink free wine.                    

7. That's hilarious! Free wine can certainly do that to you. Have you ever experienced something unusual that influenced a story?

A character influence instead of a story influence. Picture this: Brandy and I are in an Adult “Novelty” Store looking for a birthday present for a friend. She is intently checking out the blow-up midget doll when the door bell chimes and heels clack on the wooden floor. We turn to see this androgynous person wearing red stiletto’s sashaying through the aisles, working it like I wish I could. Brandy’s mouth is wide open, the midget completely forgotten. He stops in front of the women’s lingerie, whips a teddy off the rack, and says to his friends, “Does this match my heels for the party tonight?” Brandy and I look at each other and exclaim, “Morgan.” And that is how his character came about.

8. Character influence can come from the most unlikeliest of places. Tell us about your writing process.

If I am writing in the morning, I like to have a hot cup of coffee next to me and quiet eighties music playing in the background. Later in the day, the scene changes. Ever hear the saying “write drunk, edit sober?” <winks> Okay, that’s not exactly how I do it, but sometimes that glass of wine helps set the frame of mind.

Turn up the music, fill my glass with wine (or coffee), and write.  Music and wine – the answer to (almost) everything.


BIO:

Taylor Anne lives in Southwest Louisiana with her husband. God and family come first. After that, it’s all about having fun and enjoying life. Add music, wine, food, cats, laughter, and a positive attitude – enjoy life!  Taylor holds a full time job and writes Romantic Suspense in her spare time. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Bayou Writers' Group. 

AUTHOR LINKS:
Goodreads /Twitter @tayloranne1234


Thank you for spending the day after Christmas with me, Taylor Anne, and for being my last author interview for the year.


Please leave a comment for Taylor! And have a beautiful Friday!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Writing About: HOPE

Break? What break? I still have two more posts to share for this year: an author interview and "The Best of Write with Fey for 2014," so if you're around...stay tuned!

This is not my traditional Writing About post that features tips and advice on different characters and scenes. If you’re looking for help on something specific, check out the list of posts I’ve done HERE.

This post is serving as my last Writing About post for 2014. But have no fear! I have more planned for 2015! :)

I’m diverting from the normal format I use though to discuss hope.

I believe hope is a driving force. Even when I’m going through a hard time (And if you read my IWSG posts, you know I’ve had many struggles this past year.), I always wrap hope around myself like Monarch butterfly wings. With hope, I am able to squash any hardships. With hope, I can persevere. With hope, I can continue to write.


If I didn’t have hope, I would’ve stopped writing after all the rejections I got for my unpublished series. (Are you tired of me referring to my supernatural-thriller series as that? I am!) But I truly believe that I wouldn’t have received the ideas for those four books if I wasn’t meant to share them. I tell all writers who feel beaten and let down by rejections the same thing.

Have hope and you will publish your stories!

Have hope and you will reach your goals for 2015!

HAVE HOPE!!!

“Hope” is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tunes without the words—
And never stops—at all—“
-Emily Dickinson



QUESTION: Do you have hope?


MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!

Here's a rock version of Carol of the Bells by August Burns Red. Enjoy! :)




Friday, December 19, 2014

Author Interview with Ashelyn Drake (aka Kelly Hashway)


Today I have Ashelyn Drake (aka Kelly Hashway) on my blog to tell us about her TWO books: Perfect For You and Into The Fire, which released on the same day! Both of these sound like winners to me. Welcome, Ashelyn!

Please tell us about your current release.

Perfect For You is the story of a girl who has to choose between the guy she’s falling in love with and the guy she’s been crushing on for the past two years. Here’s the blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Meg Flannigan isn’t very self-confident, but what girl would be after her sophomore-year boyfriend dumped her by making out with another girl in front of her locker? 

Now a senior, Meg catches the eye of not one, but two gorgeous guys at school. Sounds good, right? What girl wouldn't want to be in Meg's shoes? One cute boy happens to be her boyfriend, and the other? Well, he wants to be. And Meg? She't torn between Ash, the boy she's been with for nearly five months, and Noah who is pretty irresistible. 

But Meg is playing with fire. Pitting two boys against one another, even if she doesn't intend to, could end badly if she isn't careful.

Title: Perfect For You
Author: Ashelyn Drake
Genre: Romance
Category: Young Adult
Length: Novella (165 Pages)
Format: eBook only
Published: September 9th, 2014

BOOK LINKS:

***

And Into the Fire is about a Phoenix who is about to be reborn for the first time:

Seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman’s life is a perfectly normal one until Logan Schmidt moves to Ashlan Falls. Cara is inexplicably drawn to him, but she’s not exactly complaining. Logan’s like no boy she’s ever met, and he brings out a side of Cara that she isn’t used to. As the two get closer, everything is nearly perfect, and Cara looks forward to the future.

But Cara isn’t a normal girl. She’s a member of a small group of people descended from the mythical phoenix bird, and her time is running out. Rebirth is nearing, which means she’ll forget her life up to this point—she’ll forget Logan and everything they mean to one another. But that may be the least of Cara’s problems.

A phoenix hunter is on the loose, and he’s determined to put an end to the lives of people like Cara and her family, once and for all.

Title: Into the Fire
Author: Ashelyn Drake
Series: Birth of the Phoenix (Book One)
Genre: Fantasy/Mythology
Category: Young Adult
Length: Novel (258 Pages)
Format: Print and eBook
Published: September 9th, 2014

BOOK LINKS:


1.    How did you pick the title for your books?

      Both guys in Meg’s life think they are the perfect guy for her and try to convince her of just that. Of course that makes things even harder for Meg. Perfect For You just seemed appropriate. For Into the Fire, the title came to me before that actual story, which is so rare for me because I usually struggle with titles.

2.    Gosh, I wish two guys were fighting over me! Why did you choose the setting for your books?

      The setting in Perfect For You is Treemont High School, which is actually based on my high school. The layout of the grounds and building are the same. I relived a lot of emotions from my teenage years when I wrote this book, so setting it in a school like my high school seemed fitting. The setting in Into the Fire is completely fictional. I named the town Ashlan Falls, and now that the book is published under my pen name it kind of makes me cringe because it’s so close to my pen name. Still, the town is very tiny, like the town in the old TV series, The Gilmore Girls.

3.    I actually think it's neat Ashlan Falls is close to your pen name. How did you come up with the names for your heroes and heroines?

      My characters always come to me with names. I have no idea why that is, but I never have to wonder what to name them. I’m thankful for that.

4.    What would women find irresistible about your heroes?

      Well there are two main males in Perfect For You. Meg’s boyfriend, Ash, is the quarterback of the football team, gorgeous, and extremely loving. He’s sexy but doesn’t know it, which makes him even more appealing. Meg’s crush, Noah, is one of the most popular guys at Treemont High. He’s confident, a bit of a bad boy, and goes after what he wants. Both guys make Meg feel like she’s the center of the universe. For Into the Fire, Logan is the tough player who really has a heart of gold and is grieving the death of his mother. I fell hard for him.

5.    I'll probably fall hard for Logan, too. What would we find in your heroines’ purse if we went snooping?

      Meg always carries lip-gloss, just in case. She’d also have a tennis keychain, a picture of Ash, her cell phone, a mirror, gum, and cash. Cara would have cinnamon gum to cover up her Phoenix scent, a bikini so she’s always ready to swim, her cell phone, car keys, and cash.

6.    If you have a pen name, can you explain how you came up with it?

      Ashelyn Drake is my romance pen name. I actually took letters from my full name Kelly Hashway and threw in my middle and maiden names too, just to give me more letters to choose from. I kept pulling letters until names appeared. Then I Googled each to make sure no one else had that name already. I’m the only Kelly Hashway and I like that. I wanted my pen name to be one of a kind too. That’s actually why I added the “e” in Ashelyn.

7.    What are a few things we would find in or on your desk?

      I have my laptop, of course, a Halloween flowerpot full of flash drives, a notebook, my day planner, purple and green pens, and my cell phone.

8.   Share three random facts about you.

      1. I’m only 5’1” but my driver’s license says I’m 5’3” because the guy at the DMV felt bad that I was so short.
      2. I struggle with anemia.
      3. I can recite the alphabet backwards, and faster than forwards. ;)

9.   Your advice to new writers.

      Don’t be in a hurry to get a book published. Some of the best moments are the ones along the journey. Once your book is out, it’s out. Enjoy the process of meeting new characters, writing their stories, and perfecting your craft. Achieving the end goal is great, but so is the road leading up to it. Don’t forget that.


About the Author: 

Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets. Hashway is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Kelly Hashway Links: 

Ashelyn Drake Links:


Thank you for taking the time to create this mega interview for Write with Fey, Ashelyn! I am always happy to host you and look forward to your future releases. :)

Please leave Ashelyn a comment about one or both of her books!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Writing Tips Part Two

I am sharing my final 25 writing tips. If you missed the first part, you can view it HERE.

Writing Tips Part Two

26.    Write a good beginning to hook your readers and an ever better ending to satisfy them.

27.    Never be afraid to rewrite. Your book will most likely turn out better!

28.    Aim for realistic goals when you’re writing, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t reach it. We all have our off-days and some days may produce more or less writing than others. A goal is meant to encourage you, not to torture you.

29.    Write outside of your comfort zone whenever possible. This will strengthen your writing and may even reveal skills that you never thought you had.

30.    Write every day! Or at least try to write every day. A paragraph written is a paragraph closer to THE END.

31.    After you spend months or years (in most cases) writing a book, it is always a good idea to put it down for awhile. Give yourself some space from the characters you’ve been writing about. Give your brain a vacation!

32.    If you are tempted to add more than three commas to a sentence then that sentence may be too long. Read it aloud to see if it flows, rewrite it, or split it in half.

33.    To prevent a reader's confusion with multiple perspectives, create a sequence that a reader can follow to know which character’s point-of-view will be next.

34.     Always make it clear whose perspective you’re in right away. State the character’s name within the first few sentences.

35. Show the entertaining parts that engage readers, and tell the less entertaining parts your readers just need to know. The key to showing AND telling is not to be excessive with either option, but to find a balance.

36.  Be more specific by cutting out these phrases at the beginning of sentences: There was/were, There is/are, and It was.

37.  Don’t repeat the same word(s) in a single paragraph or in the same scene, because a reader will most likely notice, and then the scene you wrote won’t flow as well. Search a thesaurus or use Google to find alternative words.


38.  If you ever get stuck while writing, read the last chapter or two to get back into the groove.

39.  Skip the part you are struggling with and write a different event you are in the mood to  writing, but don’t forget to go back to write what you skipped! 

40. Use a Sans Disk Flash Drive every time you update a document.

41. Create two separate accounts on your computer, just as you would if you shared your computer. In this case, you’ll have one account for Internet use and one solely for writing. I do this, so if I need to delete the infected account, my writing will be safe.

42.  Create a professional email address for when you send out e-queries.

43.  If you’re writing a series, each book has to grow. What occurs in each story, and the stakes that threaten the protagonist, have to be bigger and better every time. And the last book in a series has to tie all of them together while also giving an epic grand finale. 

44.  Memoir Writing Tip: What you don’t ever want to do when you’re writing a memoir is to add in something because you think it makes your story more interesting. Remember to always tell the truth!

45.  Children’s Book Writing Tip: Try to include a positive message, if you can.

46. Be open to criticism. If an editor or agent scribbles a note on your query letter or in the margins of your story, pay attention to what it says because the fact that they took the time to actually jot it down for you is a big deal.

47. Don’t ever let anyone discourage you, especially yourself! You have to remember that you won’t sound like other authors because you are unique, and what you write is amazing in its own right.

48. Be brave! No one can tell you what you can or cannot write in your book.

49.  Keep learning about the craft of writing. There are many books written by authors about writing and the writer’s life. Joining a writer's group or association/organization can also teach you a lot.

50.  Don’t listen to all the writing rules you hear. They are not law.


I hope you enjoyed my writing tips and found a few to test drive. Every Monday or so I share a writing tip on my Facebook page. If you are interested, you can follow my page HERE.

SHARE: Your #1 writing tip.


Popular Posts!

Join!

Follow!