My last guest post for my Strangely, Incredibly Good blog tour is
about telling your inner critic to take a hike.
Come check it out at Chick Lit Club!
This Is So Exciting!
What do you want me to talk about? Please discuss below, or send me a note via my Facebook Page. I’ll make sure those questions get answered during my blog tour. I’ll also be re-blogging some of the best interviews here.
I’m going to set up an event page for the June 5th digital launch, and hope we can all chat on that event page at my Facebook Author Page that day. We’ll have an online party like the ones I used to have on my Facebook Wall years ago.
My publisher & I are planning a Friday the 13th Strangely, Incredibly Good Novel Release Party as well, somewhere in the Montreal area. Details to follow!
Thanks again for your support and loyalty. You rock.
Can’t wait for you to meet Cat, Eugene, and Gram!
Thanks very much to Doreen Pendgracs for inviting me to participate in this fun blog hop about the writing process. I met Doreen through PWAC (Professional Writers Association of Canada) many years ago, and she has been a great supporter of all my writing projects ever since. Thanks Doreen!
Doreen’s intent is to educate, entertain and inspire writers and anyone interested in creative and cultural endeavours.If you’re a chocolate lover and love to travel, you will enjoy Doreen’s chocolate travel blog at http://diversionswithdoreen.com/. If you’re interested in her latest book, Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate, visit http://chocolatour.net/ for updates about the book, and chocolate tours, tastings and events. In addition to non-fiction books, Doreen also writes magazine, newspaper, and online articles and blog posts about travel, lifestyle, chocolate, volunteerism, and other topics for various publications. You can read some of her published articles on the “Samples” page of her static website at http://www.wizardofwords.net.
Okay, now it’s my turn:
Author Heather Grace Stewart
1) What am I working on?
I am excited to say that I’m currently “in final edits” on my adult fiction/women’s fiction novel, Strangely, Incredibly Good, with my publisher Morning Rain Publishing. Gosh, I love being able to say that! I got the best Christmas gift ever when they sent me a publishing contract for Strangely, Incredibly Good on December 23rd, 2013! I’m also thrilled that we haven’t revised much from my original manuscript. We’re just looking to clean it up and make it shine now. It is due to be launched on June 5, 2014.
When I’m not working on edits for that book, I’m coming up with the plot for my next book. I can’t say much about that. You’ll just have to wait. :D
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I hope that people will say it has more humour than most other women’s fiction novels. I also hope they find it’s more of an escape. It’s about a woman who starts an exercise routine and discovers a genie in her Wii machine! It’s definitely fanciful, but that’s what I set out to do. I wanted it to be based in modern reality, but allow for the characters to escape that reality – and take the reader along with them on that fanciful journey. It’s more adventure packed than some other books that are considered women’s fiction, I think, but then, I didn’t write it specifically for women – I wrote it for myself, and my friends and family, with hopes that many people from diverse backgrounds, men and women, would pick it up and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I write to entertain myself, first and foremost. It’s pure entertainment for me. When I’m writing a longer work of fiction like this, I’ve noticed the TV remains off for several weeks at a time, or, only one or two shows pull me in a couple times a week (I do need to watch some times to recharge my batteries after writing all day)!
The topics I choose to write about – in my poetry and in fiction like Strangely, Incredibly Good - are all themes I feel need more discourse in our society. I want to get people thinking and talking about these themes. Sometimes, I just want to poke fun of our society and get us all laughing at ourselves. Other times, I’m more direct, and I’m trying to incite change. This novel was really meant as an escape for the reader, and as a form of entertainment, but there are some themes and sub-themes in there I hope get dissected to pieces in Book Clubs across Canada and beyond. As long as you have some wine in hand and don’t take my book too seriously! The last thing I want is to cause cat fights at Book Clubs!
Side note: My main character’s name is Cat. This could get interesting. We could actually call debates over that character – debates over her actions and what they mean – Cat Fights.
See? I’m having waaaaay too much fun with this book. I may never watch The Bachelor again!
4) How does your writing process work?
The only hard and fast rule I have is to write something every day. If I’ve got a lot of marketing to do, or maybe I’m prepping a writing workshop like the one I just did at Queen’s University, I still set aside half an hour every day to write creatively. I don’t always like what I wrote, but I save it in a file, and work on it the next day, and the day after that.
When I was working on this novel, I got to my desk every morning at 7:30 a.m. and wrote until noon. That’s a little trick I learned when I read that Hemingway did that. Then he went fishing every day at noon. I choose to have lunch, Tweet, check Facebook, do yoga, take a walk, read, or do laundry! Then I get back to other work tasks.
The first week or so of writing Strangely, Incredibly Good, I just wrote. I didn’t edit at all. I tried to not even edit my sentences as I put them down, let alone re-read what I wrote and edit that paragraph or paragraphs. I just wrote. I had an idea, and I saw the beginning, so I wrote that. And then I kept going.
When I got to about 5,000 words, I took a look at what I had, and started plotting. I had cue cards, and a filing system, and filed items on plot, main characters, sub characters, etc. I plotted out how the story was going to end, but I did so in a vague way. My story wasn’t solidified yet. I still had to write and find out what was going to happen.
So, I got back to writing, and worked at a slow but steady pace. Some days I put down 1,000 words; other days, more like 1500. I never wrote beyond that because I never wanted my writing to sound tired.
Once I was finished my book, I spent weeks going over it and massaging it for language, plot development, and character development. Then I wrote up my query letter and started looking for a publisher. This is the first time I’ve found a publisher for my work this quickly. I sent my letters out in early November, and received this request for publication just before Christmas. It doesn’t usually happen like that, trust me. But it does feel meant to be.
This is one experience where I can say I’ve definitely enjoyed the journey, the writing, as much as the destination of getting published.
PLEASE visit the following three writers, who will be posting their answers to these questions next week, Monday, March 31, 2014. Not only are they talented writers, they have become dear friends. I feel blessed that they have become part of my life.
Joseph Hesch is a writer and poet who lives near Albany, New York. Many of his poems and stories are inspired by the spirit and history his 350-year-old hometown. But often, they capture the observations and feelings of a man who began to create verse and stories in middle age. His work has been published by numerous U.S. literary journals, as well as in anthologies such as Petrichor Rising, a worldwide collaboration with a small group of friends brought together on Twitter. Joe posts many poems and in-progress short stories on his blog, A Thing for Words A founding staff member with the dVerse Poets Pub community, and now a contributor to the Bardo Group, Joe has been named one of Writers Digest Editor Robert Lee Brewer’s “Best Tweeps for Writers to Follow.”
Author Elisa Lorello was born and raised on Long Island, the youngest of seven children. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and eventually launched a career teaching rhetoric and composition. Elisa spent six years in North Carolina, where she split her time between teaching writing to university students and publishing her own work. She has since returned home to the Northeast.
Elisa is the author of Kindle bestselling novels Faking It and Ordinary World, Why I Love Singlehood (co-authored with Sarah Girrell), and Adulation. Faking It, translated in German as Vorgetäuscht, also spent three consecutive weeks at #1 on the German Kindle Bestseller List.
When not writing, Elisa is an unapologetic Duran Duran fan, Pop-Tart enthusiast, walker, and coffee shop patron, and she can sing two-part harmony.
Author Arianna Merritt, M.Ed, is a Canadian Psychotherapist (registration in progress), Author of ‘Stand Tall & Speak from the Heart: How to Find Your Way’ and the Founder of
Arianna’s Random Thoughts. The focus of her work is centred around issues of expressive writing, self-worth, and perseverance. Arianna empowers individuals to reach their full potential through finding their voices and sharing their stories. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and on her website.
I missed a Thursday while visiting Kingston, Ontario on my Three Spaces book tour, speaking at Queen’s University and visiting two bookstores. But while there, I took some neat shots, and was hoping you’d be inspired to write something looking at them today. I’ll post two.
All you have to do is take ten minutes to get yourself started today. Just ten. You can take more if you have it, but at least get a paragraph down if you don’t have much time, and then write more tomorrow. I’d love a link to your post when it’s ready and will share it.
If you are working on another writing project, I encourage you to stick to it and keep writing! Let me know how it’s going here?
It’s Take Ten Thursday! For those of you who haven’t been following this blog in the last few weeks, I have started a series of Thursday posts meant to encourage you to take time out every day to write.
You don’t need more than ten minutes to get your creativity flowing. I hope you’ll write for more than ten minutes, but I’m trying to prove the point that, when we say, “I don’t have the time to start a book, a poem, or a short story, I have to work and then there’s driving the kids to xx activities, xx times,” we are selling ourselves short. Whether we think we are lacking creativity or that we’re the next E.L. James, we need to give ourselves those ten minutes a day to find out. Skip a shower if you have to! (I’m kidding. Sort of. There are waterproof note pads on the market. You could stick one on your shower wall. See? There are options to get those ten minutes in every day!)
Today, I’d like you to use this photo prompt and the words within the photo quoto to inspire your writing. Your story can be on the theme of Social Networking: In the Future,or you can simply write about a graveyard, or about the future. Just get some words down on paper or on your computer, and don’t over-edit. See what flows naturally. You can edit tomorrow.
I like to read these posts, so keep them coming, keep linking back to me, and posting the links here in the comments section. You can take until next Thursday to publish your piece – as long as you let me know where to find it, I will read and share them all as often as I can!
Sorry I was late this week with #TTT ! You owe it to yourself to take some time -make it a Fifteen Minute Friday – to write today. Not one minute this Valentine’s Day? Then set aside some time this weekend. After you’ve written something, please let me know in the comments, and link back, so everyone can find your blog post!
Welcome to Take Ten Thursday at Where the Butterflies Go! Thanks for dropping in.
Your writing prompt today is this photo, taken at our local winter festival.
Snow taffy and later, in Spring, ‘sugaring off’ or going to the ‘sugar shack’ is part of the culture around here. If it’s not something you’re familiar with a) you really need to come visit Canada and enjoy all the celebrations surrounding the maple syrup industry! and b) just write about your Winter Traditions.
Ready? Got a pen, paper, or a computer keyboard? Got 10 minutes? Good. If not, TAKE ten. Find a quiet spot and jot down whatever comes to mind for at least 10 minutes. Please take more time if you have it! Hear that? Your inner artist is asking you for some play time!
Today I’d like to start something with you readers called Take Ten Thursday. Ten sit ups? Ten Coffees? You can do those things too, sure, but I’m encouraging you to spend JUST TEN MINUTES today on writing.
It can be poetry. It can be prose. It can be the start of a novel. It can be the middle of your novel. It can be as short as a haiku, as old-fashioned as a sonnet, or as modern as lyrics to a mash up song.
Just Take Ten. Take ten minutes for yourself in a quiet room, all alone, and just write – and do not edit what you write.
If you can continue past ten, great, but what I want to teach you is that if you think you aren’t creative, or you think you don’t have time, just ten minutes can get you started.
You’ll need to pick up what you did tomorrow and add to it, maybe edit it a little (although it’d be great if you leave it alone and keep adding to it throughout your weekend, and only edit it on Sunday). That’s why I wanted to start this on Thursday. I’d like to see what you came up with by SUNDAY every week. Or, if you’re too shy to share, simply post a comment here telling me that you did the exercise and how it went.
Today, I’m writing a few paragraphs in my novel about a ferris wheel. So, I thought I’d make the first writing photo prompt one of Old Orchard Beach, Maine, where there’s a lovely ferris wheel on the beach.
Look at it carefully, and then use the photo to get you started writing. If you don’t feel inspired by it, try looking out your window. Don’t feel obliged to use my photo prompt. Do whatever it takes during your writing session to get something down on paper or on your computer.
I’m looking forward to hearing about how it goes in the comments below, and receiving LINKS here to your writing on your blogs!
Have fun with it!