Thursday, June 26, 2014

My friend has a new book out!

Broken World

When a deadly virus sweeps the country, Vivian Thomas sets out for California in hopes of seeing the daughter she gave up for adoption. When her car breaks down, she knows accepting a ride from redneck brothers, Angus and Axl, may not be the best idea, but she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it to her daughter.

Then the dead start coming back. Now Vivian has to figure out how to be a mother under the most frightening circumstances, cope with Angus’s aggressive mood swings, and sort out her growing attraction to his brooding younger brother, Axl. Then they pick up a pompous billionaire who may be the answer to all their problems. Trusting him means going into the middle of the Mojave Desert and possibly risking their lives, but with the streets overrun and nowhere else to turn, it seems he might be their only chance for survival.

Kate L. Mary is a stay-at-home mother of four and an Air Force wife. She spent most of her life in a small town just north of Dayton, Ohio where she and her husband met at the age of twelve. Since their marriage in 2002, they have lived in Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and California.

Kate enjoys any post-apocalyptic story – especially if zombies are involved – as long as there is a romantic twist to give the story hope. Kate prefers nerdy, non-traditional heroes that can make you laugh to hunky pieces of man-meat, and her love of wine and chocolate is legendary among her friends and family. She currently resides in Oklahoma with her husband and children.

Rookie Writing Mistakes to Avoid

Rookie Writing Mistakes to Avoid

Dan is back for his second post! And this one is on the
mistakes that rookies make.

It's a widely accepted belief, in the writing community,
that an aspiring author's first book will be absolute crap.
Sure, there are exceptions to this rule, but they're rare.
Most authors who succeed in finding publication have
at least one novel in the drawer already.

This would suggest that, for all our pretenses to the
contrary, writing is a matter of skill as much as it is art and inspiration. If we accept that much, then there are two important corollaries:
  1. Writing should get better with time (i.e. practice)
  2. A writer's current efforts should reflect how much time he/she has practiced

Writing Experience Tells in the Prose

It's no accident that most literary agents want part of your novel (often the first few pages or chapters)
along with the query letter. The letter itself is a test of writing, but so is the prose. Good, clear, 
professional-grade writing stands out. When a writer has years of practice under the belt, the prose
tends to be clean. It flows well. It's easy to read. And it introduces information at a reasonable pace.

Unfortunately, the writing samples from less-practiced authors are also easy to identify. Anyone who's
been part of a writer's group or pitching contest knows what I'm talking about. I'm happy to forgive a
couple of small mistakes in a writing sample. We all have different styles and editorial quirks. Yet when someone's writing isn't quite there yet, there are often some obvious signs.

THE REST OF THIS POST IS HERE. Have you visited the blog my friends and I share yet? There are
many other informative posts like this one there too. Check it out!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Today is my day on The Blog Tour, where writers and authors answer questions about their writing processes. My friend and critique partner Caitlin Sinead posted about her work last week here. She is an amazing writer; you should really check out her process too.

Before telling you my writing process, I thought I'll fill you in on with what #MyWritingProcess means:
“We writers share these things, but informally during workshops and at conferences (and, for a handful of established writers, in printed interviews), but not so much through our open-forum blogs. With the hashtag #MyWritingProcess, you can learn how writers all over the world answer the same four questions. How long it takes one to write a novel, why romance is a fitting genre for another, how one’s playlist grows as the draft grows, why one’s poems are often sparked by distress over news headlines or oddball facts learned on Facebook… “

1)     What am I working on?
I'm working on a novel called BE STILL. It's a weird arrangement in how the idea came about. I have one novel that I decided shouldn't be the original novel; it should be a prequel. So, now I'm writing the original novel for the prequel that I already have. It's a tragic New Adult love story.

2)     How does my work differ from others of its genre?  That's hard to answer without sounding boastful. Sometimes when I'm reading a novel, I feel like I'm a step away from the character. I can't grasp their personality. When something bad/great/dramatic happens to the character I can't feel for them in a way I know I should. I want to but can't. This can be easily compared to trying to have a relationship with a very guarded or non-communicative partner. It's frustrating because I never feel like I'm in. With novels, I feel like the fault is in the characterization; it's not deep enough, thorough enough. And the other fault is in the character not communicating their emotions enough...or simply not having emotion to communicate. Whatever the case, I hope I have delved so deep into the personality of my characters that it comes across on paper. And, I hope that I have written in my characters' emotions well enough that readers are able to feel a fraction of those emotions themselves.

3)     Why do I write what I do?
I write New Adult and Young Adult because I find that their voices plague me the most. They're the characters who pop into my head. I don't start out with a plot then try to fit the characters in. The characters come first, and they're always youthful (does that make me immature?), then comes the plot.

4)     How does my writing process work?
I showed my hand in the #3 question. Sometimes it's a daydream, sometimes it's a nightdream, but it's always a character. He or she always comes to me with emotion on his face: terrified, worried, crying, angry. There's always a story behind these characters (in my nighttime dreams it's usually a fairly defined story, but I've forgotten it - just the face, I remember the face), and my procedure is to figure out their story, their conflict. It takes a while. Sometimes I think I have it, and my character shakes his head at me, and it's back to brainstorming I go. When I have my plot, I outline. Then I write, very fast. Generally, it takes me about a month and a half to pump out a rough draft. It's really rough, but I LEAVE IT. That's a very important part of my process. Leave it. Many say for a month, but I wait at least two months. I feel like I lived that story, so it's hard for me to forget it. I leave it so that I can forget what each sentence was supposed to say. If I don't leave my project alone long enough when I go to revise/edit, I'll notice halfway through that I'm not editing, just reading. I'm not noticing confusing sentences because I remember what they're supposed to be. My mind, my memory, fills in the blanks. You can't fix it on paper when your mind is fixing it for you without your permission.

And that's it. I hope my answers were enlightening for you!

The blogger that I've chosen to carry on the mission is my oldest writerly friend Daniel Kaye. No, he's not old, he's just the first writer friend I made when I jumped online, after finishing my first novel, wondering if they made such a things as "internet writer communities." It's funny how naive I was then. He must have sensed how inexperienced I was in the new online writerly world, but he never let me know he thought I was silly.

Daniel Kaye grew up in London but now works and lives in Co. Cork, Ireland. He has been writing for a number of years and has been published in numerous anthologies both in Ireland and the USA, he has also published The Eleventh Hour, a collection of his short stories. Daniel's first novel I, Vladimir is due for release from Gentry Publishing in autumn 2014. He is currently working on his second novel, Anonymous Jack. 

He'll be posting on May 5, so be sure to check it out.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Wish granted!

Ever since I read my good friend's book COLLISION, I've been cheering it on. At first I said I couldn't wait for Kate to find an agent or publisher. Then she did. That was good news, but I knew the process was a long one. I knew it was a hopeless wish, but I did wish it would be put on the fast track. Imagine my surprise when it was! COLLISION WILL COME OUT IN MAY! Wish granted. :)
And to put the cherry on top of my whip-creamed wish sundae, Kate is letting me do a cover reveal. Here is the cover for this crazy good book and a synopsis.

COLLISION, by Kate L.Mary, is a New Adult Romantic Mystery and will be published May 2, 2014 by Etopia Press. (I've never done a cover reveal so please excuse any cover reveal etiquette I screw up)

When eighteen-year-old Kara Jones gets into a car accident on the way home from college, she’s left with more than a few bruised ribs, a busted cell phone, and a totaled car. After a slip-up at the hospital, she’s shaken to discover that her family isn’t all it seems. And now her mother’s strange behavior and willingness to do anything to protect her secrets—including pulling Kara out of school—have Kara floundering in the dark.

Enter Derek Miller, a former classmate who’s dealing with family issues of his own. His nerdy charm is too much for Kara to resist, and she’s even more amazed when he agrees to help her dig into her mother’s past. Together they investigate her mother’s old friends and boyfriends, hoping to discover who Kara really is. Instead, they find disturbing connections to the dark history of Kent State University, and an ever expanding maze of mystery surrounding Kara’s birth.

As Kara and Derek chase secrets, she realizes he’s the only person she can trust. But as they get closer to the truth, the disturbing answers reveal a web of evil far darker and further reaching then they’d imagined, leaving Kara to wish she’d never asked the questions in the first place, and to wonder if some secrets are better left untold…

Kate L. Mary is a stay-at-home mother of four and an Air Force wife. She spent most of her life in a small town just north of Dayton, Ohio where she and her husband met at the age of twelve. Since their marriage in 2002, they have lived in Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and California. Kate enjoys any post-apocalyptic story – especially if zombies are involved – as long as there is a romantic twist to give the story hope. Kate prefers nerdy, non-traditional heroes that can make you laugh to hunky pieces of man-meat, and her love of wine and chocolate is legendary among her friends and family. She currently resides in Oklahoma with her husband and children.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+
Kate L. Mary

Thursday, April 10, 2014

No, I'm not famous....

No, I'm not famous, but two people have found me interesting enough to interview. I feel special!
I was remembering these interviews the other day about how much fun they were to do. So, I thought I'd share :)

Check out the interviews here:
(Daniel has an amazing book coming out this fall called I, Vladimir.)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Let's Get Into Some Trouble!

Two writer friends and I have started a new blog called Trouble the Write Way.
Come on over and we'll get into some trouble together!!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Active Reading Part III is here!

Welcome to part III on Active Reading. If you've missed the other two they are here and here

Why do we care about active reading? Because it helps us analyze what we like and emulate it.
When we’re reading something we really like, we should try to glean as much as we can from it. Of course a novel should be entertaining to read, but it can also be a learning experience when we analyze the text. That’s easier said than done. How do we keep from losing ourselves in the story, you ask.

Constantly ask yourself questions. While you’re reading, the trick is to find ways to emulate the author’s success. Did a certain phrase make you smile, or did a group of sentences push you along to read faster? Analyze it and take notes (yes, keep a notebook handy or be prepared to highlight or bookmark your ereader). Do you find yourself mad or sad about a particular character’s action or a scene? That’s a good thing. Analyze why the scene pulled so much emotion from you. Look harder at what works and try to see why it works.

Still afraid you’ll be lost in the story and forgetting to ask those questions? Make a book mark with those questions on it. Every time you turn the page your eyes will go to it, see that list. That’s your time to analyze. If you’re on an ereader, just have a piece of paper for your fingers to fiddle with while you’re reading. On the piece of paper have the word: WHY? Because that’s the true question – why did I like that, why did that give me feels, why didn’t that do it for me as that should have been an emotional moment.

I used to love reading a book in which the characters goal is made clear, and his or her motivations for reaching that goal are obvious and believable. It’s part of the very successful GMC (goal, motivation, conflict) approach. Those three things are key to a successful book, but they can also come off as formulaic when it’s spelled out to the reader. Nowadays, I’m really happy when I come across a novel that has put forth the GMC in a new and exciting way. It challenges me to push harder to come up with an even more unique approach to achieve the GMC. There lies the challenge. Being challenged is a good thing when you’re aspiring to become a better writer. If you’ve read this far, I’m assuming that’s your ultimate goal.

One of your current goals in analyzing published novels should be to note the characters goals, their motivations and the conflict the author throws their way until you’ve mastered the process. When you've learned to spot GMC, writing GMC becomes as easy as tying your shoes, and it'll be easier to come up with different approaches.