This week, sadly, my beloved laptop breathed its last. Insurance would call it wear-and-tear. I like to think of it as being loved by a writer. Either way, it's fatal. So I have had to change up my normal routine. And I also had to get my research brain into working order. What is the best option for me from now on? Do I get another laptop, or do I try going for an i-pad or tablet? There are so many pros and cons, but how does a writer know what will be the right fit for them?
And that's before I even looked at all the applications that I use. For example, I write with Scrivener. It's a tool for authors which helps us to compile our books as we write. I would be lost without it, but did it even have an option apart from laptops? I had no idea! And as I started my research, I found out all these new tools. Things that I could have been using all this time had I just taken the time to investigate. So I have made an alternative plan for this year. I set up my new writing tools, and I set a reminder in my calendar: Find out what new writers' tools are around and upgrade your stuff. So my goal for this year? It's time to get techie and upskill my gear and my skills. Thanks, old laptop, for giving me the last writing prompt that I needed.
Let's find out what skills these authors are bringing to the world!
This month's authors: Janet Walden-West Janet is a lover of contemporary romance and urban fantasy - and that's just the beginning! She loves dogs, creates writing trends, and has been a finalist for a Golden Heart®. Because she's amazing, I wanted to find out how she does it all!
As a lover of dog shows, do you have any stories to share or in your books, perhaps?
Every one of my stories has an animal of some sort, usually canine. They just sort of sneak in. In SALT+STILETTOS, Brett, the heroine, is owned by a couple of Scottish Deerhounds who have definite opinions about her new love interest. I don’t have Deerhounds, but I have shown other Sighthounds for their owners and one day I will add a couple to my Australian Shepherd pack.
You're also a prolific writer including books and blogging, what drives you to write?
I joke that I write in order to get the voices in my head to be quiet. However, there’s a lot of truth to that joke. My characters tend to pop into existence fully formed, their story playing out like 3-D Surround Sound movie scenes when I close my eyes—if you see writers sprawled on their couch, eyes closed but pen or laptop at hand, I promise we really are working. Getting the scenes I visualized from my imagination to the page is an exhilarating (mostly) process.
When you started writing, who was your inspiration, and has it changed over time?
I began writing as a sort of personal creative therapy. That gradually changed, first adding contest judges, critique partners, and mentors, and now readers. I write the stories I want to read and hope that book-lovers will see themselves represented on the page and enjoy following my characters as much as I enjoyed writing their adventures and Happily Ever Afters.
What is the hardest part of being an author?
Writing is very much a hurry-up and wait career. We have to wait for the stories to develop, then push to write as quickly as possible and get them out to critique partners and agent. Then wait again for those notes to come back, so we can hurry to make revisions. Wait, a bit more for a spot on a publisher’s schedule. And finally hold our breath, hoping the story resonates with readers. The last is honestly the best part of being an author, too.
Janet is everywhere—her website, Facebook, Bookbub, Instagram, and Twitter. Twitter really is her writer-home though and she loves chatting with readers about book boyfriends, binge-able shows, coffee fixes, and dogs.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janetwaldenwestauthor I hope you can take a moment to offer support for her by checking out her books and websites, and I extend my thanks for being interviewed!
Liz Butcher Liz is an award-winning horror, paranormal and fantasy writer based right here in Australia. With a string of books in her name, I was keen to hear how she stayed so focused.
Having previously written short stories, and now novels, what is different or the same in the process for you? I find the two very different! Depending on the length of the short story, you don't go into as much detail with the characters and their backgrounds. Yet writing short stories is a wonderful way to learn concise writing. So for me, it's a very different writing process between the two. Your stories have a horror theme. What is the attraction to this genre?
I've loved all things horror for as long as I can remember. So long, that I'm not even sure what the initial attraction was. As a child, I was always reading books on the paranormal, and then when I read my first Stephen King book at the age of ten (much to my mother's horror!) there was no looking back. If you could give a new author one tip, what would it be and why? Back yourself. It's a long road that requires absolute dedication, even when you don't feel you're achieving your goals. So you have to believe in yourself - and do it for the love of it!
What does your writing space look like? I'm so excited, as we've just bought our first home, so it's the first time I can really create my ideal writing space. I bought a nice, broad desk with lots of drawers to hide my stationary fetish, and even though I use a laptop, I like space to spread out all my notes, etc. I have my box of index cards filled with ideas, my diffuser (I love a nice-smelling space!), a terrarium hubby put together for me, and a glass dragonfly my mother gifted for me as a birthday present (to represent my Poppy). I also have a bookcase with all my non-fiction books (fiction books are in the spare room, my Moon phase wall chart, some photos of my daughter and a rotating display of her artwork, and her very own children's armchair which she sits in when Mummy's working back. There's also the guitar I never have time to play, the telescopes I wish I used more, and the exercise bike I really should use more... On the side of the bookcase hangs the funeral notice for my Poppy who passed away a year ago, and beneath my degree. On another wall hangs a framed copy of my first novel, Fates' Fury, which was also a gift from my mother for my birthday. Fortunately, it's a large enough space that I don't feel cluttered in! It's a work in progress. Liz likes to engage with her readers via: Website: https://lizbutcherauthor.com.au Twitter: https://twitter.com/lunaloveliz Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lunaloveliz/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Liz-Butcher-1394868604152823/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13845425.Liz_Butcher Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/lizbutcherauthor/ Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00X6XN5O6 I hope you can take a moment to offer support for her by checking it out, and I extend my thanks for being interviewed! I wish to thank you for taking the time to read and engage with me! Happy reading everyone! VK Tritschler
For lovers of romantic suspense and set on the beauty of the South Australian Coastline! Grab your copy of The Risky Business of Romance here: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FZL8CZQ Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-risky-business-of-romance BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-risky-business-of-romance-vk-tritschler/1137491464 Itunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1527882999
A novice fairy godmother falls in love with Prince Charming. What could possibly go wrong? AVIANA WILLOWBROOK has no idea that her mother is a living legend until the day the tattered old copy of "The Fairy Godmother's Rulebook" arrives in the mail on her twenty-first birthday. Estranged from her mom, and living in Beverly Hills with her father, her stepmother and two super-achieving stepsisters, Aviana is unhappy and directionless. Hotel heir and tech billionaire, NASH NOLAN doesn’t know Aviana exists until the day she transforms into a fairy godmother. The chick with the phobia about being pecked to death by a pack of winged creatures suddenly has a pair of unruly wings of her own to deal with. As if that isn’t enough, Aviana's first assignment is to spark a romance between her wicked stepsister and the tall and handsome tech billionaire who’s been her crush forever. Will Aviana use her powers to help her wicked stepsister find happiness, or will she use her pixie dust to make sure Nash is destined to be hers?