Writing Process- as Individual as a You Are

by Veronica Forand

Quantity over quality. That is the debate. To write a million words or several brilliant words.

In this market, even the top authors who had been getting by with one book a year are feeling the cry of their readers for more. Some writers have mastered the art of writing fast. Their brains are wired to spew words onto the page with relative ease, or they have the discipline to sit their asses in their chairs for long stretches of time and meet their wordcount goals nearly every day. And the results are solid, and in some cases great.

Then there is me.

I can not spew. I obsess, cross-out, obsess some more, and then somewhere in the middle of the night gain inspiration and type three thousand words in one sitting. The next day, instead of forging forward, I obsess over the words I wrote and usually re-write them. My pace on a good week produces two thousand words per day. On bad weeks, about two hundred words. Overall, I need three months to create something I want my name on. For some, that schedule seems fast. For others, I’m driving in the slow lane. It doesn’t matter. That is my method. It may evolve over time, but for now. I’m content with that pace.

Last year, all writing stopped while I dealt with life issues. It left me with four weeks to draft an 80,000 word novel. I did it. I’m a total people pleaser and wouldn’t have missed the deadline for pretty much anything. The result? The worst book I ever wrote. As a thriller writer, logic needs to be immaculate in my books. This book, however, didn’t just defy logic, it mocked it. The result was confusing, and the language was basic, as there was no time to add complexity. Jane didn’t heave open the door, punching a perfect circle into the drywall from the doorknob. Jane opened the door.

The problem was not only that the story lost flavor and heart, but I had stopped enjoying the process when I rushed. I love spending an afternoon playing with words, placing the perfect verb in a sentence or rephrasing something that sounds ordinary and adding something special to it. A unique metaphor or one of those fancy literary devices I can never pronounce.

After a well-deserved rejection by my editor, I tried to fix the book with two rushed rewrites neither of which were much better than the original because again, I didn’t spend time on creativity and art. In fact, writing had become such a chore, that impatience was woven into my words. Readers, however, are adept at knowing when an author writes with heart, and when they aren’t.

My goal is to never create a story that lacks my passion for the story again, even if that means writing a few fewer books. I spent months fixing my story. The same characters are more fully developed and the plot is complex and intriguing. It’s a book I’m proud to send out into the world.

So the moral of the story? Try different methods, but when the story begins to suffer, go back to your own process, no matter how slow or crazy it may seem to others. Stories need heart and whatever your process, never lose that one key ingredient.

 

Veronica Forand … romantic  thrillers to keep you up at night.

 

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The Magic of Story

by Kathryn Jane

Authors are frequently asked where their story ideas come from, and I usually shrug and say, I have no idea. They just happen somehow.

Then I heard Nora Roberts say, it’s magic.

Brilliant.

And it’s true! I have no idea where the words com from,  how they form and become a story, but here’s how they showed up for me the other night.

Unable to keep my eyes open, I went to bed super early. Yep, was dead to the world almost as soon as my head hit the pillow at 8pm. But at 11:00 I was suddenly wide awake, tossing and turning , but loathe to get up and disturb the sleeping hubby.

Instead, I spent two hours letting words race around in my head–a jumble of everything from song lyrics and poetry, to potential book titles.

Then I started to think about the characters in the next book of my Intrepid Women series. Up until that night, whenever I tried to write Broughton and Alexandra’s story, the words I put on the page were as uninspiring, lackluster, and limp as old socks.

Until a couple of hours of trying to be still, and not thrash about.

Like magic, Broughton’s words (the book’s opening line), came to me and I nearly laughed out loud. “Yes!” I shouted inside my head, then slipped into my comfy sweats and heavy sweater, pulled on woolly socks, and crept to my laptop in the living room.

I quickly opened a new word doc and typed the fabulous line. But it didn’t stop there, because the magic happened. Words poured forth while I fought off the gleeful laughter (still trying not to wake up my sleeping hubster in the next room).

When I crawled back into bed at four in the morning, my fingers were tired and my mind empty, but the book is well under way.

I can’t share the amazing  line yet, but here’s a picture to stir your imagination 🙂  … oh and when the story begins, Caleb Broughton is mountain climbing, and just about to come over this ridge…

 

 

 

 


Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com


 

Soul destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self, in an entirely foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.

#UpbeatAuthors

by Kathryn Jane

I belong to a Facebook group called #upbeatauthors. It was the brainchild of an author who was feeling (like many of us) overwhelmed by the negativity on social media. Her idea was to have a safe place where we could go to share positive outlooks, and uplifting words.

A whole bunch of us jumped on board of course, and we’ve grown to nearly three hundred members.

What do we do there?

Our leader has posted a theme for every week right up to the end of the year, and on Mondays, we post something positive, related to the theme.

Want to know the coolest thing about this group? In the beginning, many of us struggled a bit to come up with something to write, or share by picture, but as the weeks have gone on, so has the participation, and the ease with which the positivity flows!

Also cool, that when I remember to put my #upbeatauthors post on my own page, it often gets shared around Facebook, so I feel like I’m contributing to making the world a happier place. (Call me Pollyanna if you must, but I’m happy there!)

Here are a few of my favorite posters:

 

Your favorite historical figure

Ways to show the important people in your life that you love them in simple ways

Places you would like to go, and why

How to work smarter


Living in the moment/mindfulness


Turning a negative into a positive


When one door closes, another opens


Ways to be kind to yourself

 

How to deal with busy holiday season

 

Watch for a new #UpbeatAuthors post every Monday on my Facebook page, and see if you can resist the good feeling that comes from a positive heart!


Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com


 

Soul destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self, in an entirely foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.

 


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The Intrepid Women Collection (books 1-6) by Kathryn Jane (e-copy edition)

Maggie’s Revenge by Jacquie Biggar (e-copy edition)

Partners: Odyssey of The Phoenix by McKenna Sinclair (e-copy edition)

Season of Promises by Vicki Batman (e-copy edition)

A Midnight Clear by Jeannie Hall (e-copy edition)

Too Many Women in the Room by Joanne Guidoccio (e-copy edition)

Truth Be Told by Marsha R. West (e-copy edition)

$10 Amazon Gift Card donated by Marsha R. West

Betrayed!

by Kathryn Jane

Betrayed:

Powerful Stories of Kick-Ass Crime Survivors

Some months ago I was asked if I would like to contribute a short story to an anthology. But not just any anthology. This one was being produced to benefit survivors of violence, and ALL the proceeds would be going to help those in need.

Seemed like a good idea for a worthy cause, so I said yes.

That’s when things got really wild because I started to see the names of the other authors participating. OMGoodness! Cream of the crop thriller writers were signing on.

Surprised is a mild word to express how I felt. But really, considering the woman at the helm was Pam Stack, of Writers on the Air, I should not have been surprised. Pam interviews amazing upper echelon writers all the time.

But pinch me, I am part of this team, and my story is one of twenty-two between the covers of this awesome project.

And speaking of covers, isn’t this one by participating author, Elle J Rossi, spectacular?

Oh, and besides the short stories, did I mention a complete novella by the amazing Allison Brennan is also included?

I hope you pick up a copy so you can enjoy a great read. Every cent of the purchase price goes to a wonderful charity that supports survivors of domestic violence.

Buy now as an eBook

Available in print within 24 hours.


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Print Edition of Cats, Vol 1, by Kathryn Jane

The Rebel’s Redemption by Jacquie Biggar (audiobook edition)

$5.00 B&N Gift Card donated by Marian Lanouette

Season of Promises by Vicki Batman

A Midnight Clear by Jeannie Hall

$10 B&N gift card donated by S.A. Taylor

$10 Amazon gift card donated by Marsha R. West

Vermont Escape by Marsha R. West (e-copy edition)

 

by Kathryn Jane

I had a blog almost ready for posting, but it wasn’t a good fit for today, so instead, in the light of the tragedy in Las Vegas yesterday, I will simply share what I believe to be true.

Kindness and Love are the answer to all the troubles in the world. I know, it seems way too simple, or farfetched, and some might think the idea is beyond stupid, but I believe it down to the soles of my feet.

And I practice what I believe. I do my darndest to be a good person. To never be unkind.

Hard task?

It was for a while, because I grew up surrounded by negativity. Judging other people and believing the worst about others, was all I knew. But over the last few years it’s become easier and easier, to the point I don’t have to think about it, and I rarely have to reword a comment to make it positive instead of negative.

No small wonder this Maya Angelou quote resonates so deeply with me.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

I know better, I do better, and I celebrate.

 

 


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Size 7 Lia Sophia trio of rings donated by Marian Lanouette

Notecard Collection donated by Sharon Wray

All She Wanted by Kathryn Jane (e-copy edition)

The Rebel’s Redemption by Jacquie Biggar (audiobook edition)

Partners: Odyssey of the Phoenix by McKenna Sinclair

A Midnight Clear by Jeannie Hall

Hearts Unloched by Claire Gem

Too Many Women in The Room by Joanne Guidoccio

$10 Amazon gift card donated by S.A. Taylor

$5 Starbucks gift card donated by Vicki Batman

Act of Trust by Marsha R. West

Kindness is the ultimate headline, don’t you think?

By Kathryn Jane

 Here most of us sit in front of our monitors and televisions, watching disasters unfold, and what I’m seeing time after time, in spite of the horrible click-bait type of headlines, is Kindness!

 I’m seeing:

 People of all races, ethnic backgrounds, and stages of financial security helping each other.

 Posts of gratitude by those reasonably well off, who have been hit by Hurricane Harvey just the same way the poor were hit

 People regardless of socio-economic background gobsmacked by the kindness offered them by fellow human beings.

 Video footage of men and women reaching out to each other in a time of need.

 Groups, whole groups of people hooking up their expensive hauling rigs and driving INTO the fire zones to rescue horses and pigs and llamas and any other critter who needs a ride out before the flames wipe out their homes.

 Facebook pages where people can reach out to ask for or offer help. Where strangers from miles away facilitate a meet up wherever it is needed.

 A woman driving 14 hours to deliver a vanload of feral cats and kittens to a specialized shelter. These are creatures only alive and on the planet due to human neglect. Yet not only was some wonderful person in Quesnel looking out for them, providing them food every day, but another wonderful human stepped up when that lady was being evacuated, went into an evacuation zone and trapped these half wild cats, then brought them to safety.

 Men and women driving long hours, then lining up on a highway, with their trucks and boats, waiting to get into a hurricane ravaged landscape to rescue strangers. Nobody seemed to care what color the rescuers or the rescued were.

 Strangers combing neighborhoods, using everything from boats to totes in an effort to rescue pets left behind due to circumstances beyond the control of their owners.

 Big strong men holding tiny babies in their arms without any apparent consideration of color, race, ethnicity, or whatever making any damn difference to how gently those babies were held, or how grateful the mothers were for the help.

 Kids selling lemonade so they can send money to other kids who’ve lost their home in a wildfire in a place far away.

 What I’ve seen and continue to see?

 Humans being kind… on my television, and my monitor, every damn day.

 And that my friends, is a good thing.

 


Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com


 

Soul destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self, in an entirely foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.

 

 


 


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Partners: Odyssey of the Phoenix by McKenna Sinclair

Second Act by Marsha R. West

A Midnight Clear by Jeannie Hall

Touch Me by Kathryn Jane

Bug Stuff and Other Stories by Vicki Batman

Too Many Women in the Room by Joanne Guidoccio

Snowed by Veronica Forand

Hold ‘Em in audiobook format by Jacquie Biggar

$10 G/C by S.A. Taylor

Photographic Notecards by Sharon Wray

Painted Rocks, Joy, and Childhood Revisited

I grew up spending my summers at the beach, and one of our favorite pastimes was collecting rocks and shells, and painting them.

Well, imagine my surprise when I recently discovered adults all around the world have taken to painting rocks, and tucking them in fun spots for other folk to find. Rocks with messages, or not. Rocks with great artwork on them…or not.  The point is to spread a bit of love.

So last Tuesday, my besties and I on our “girls playday,” painted rocks, and on the weekend I took them to the beach where the Sea Festival was happening, and I left them here and there, in plain view.

I could only imagine the childlike joy of finding such a special gift—something another human being had created with love.

Guess what we’re doing this Tuesday? Yep, painting more rocks, and this time I might leave a couple at the hospital, or in odd spots around town. My goal in life is to make people smile, and I’m tickled to find this new way that will hopefully bring a moment of joy to a total stranger.

 

 


Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com


 

Soul destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self, in an entirely foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.


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Readers Wanted

 

 

Welcome to our brand new  Sisterhood of Suspense Readers’ Forum on Facebook!

Join us for excerpts, cover reveals, and ARCs.

Meet and interact with a great group of writers. Ask about our books, our writing process, our pets, or even our favorite places for vacation. 😀

Help us out when we need a character name, a hero hometown, a kind of dog…

And did I mention giveaways?

Click here for the  Sisterhood of Suspense Readers’ Forum!

Favorite Authors

by Kathryn Jane

Have you ever attended the RWA National Conference?

I’ve been twice, RWA2014, and RWA2016, but I won’t be there this year because, well, reality. Between airfare, accommodation, and conference registration it would cost this Canadian about three grand, and that’s almost three month’s rent!

But as we slip into July, and the buzz has begun, I find myself thinking about my “best” conference moments.

It’s an incredible feeling to be in the same room as the authors you’ve been reading for years. Authors who have moved you to tears, made your heart swell with happiness, or perhaps inspired you.

I am grateful:

For laughter with Sam, AJ, Beverly, Stephanie, and Debi.

For time spent with Loreth and Toni.

For finally meeting my Sisterhood of Suspense peeps in person.

For the first ever meeting of the Seasoned Romance group.

For the incredible fangirl moments when I nearly brushed elbows with Roxanne St Claire, Kristan Higgins, and Jill Shalvis.

For the privilege of sitting in a room jammed to the roof with fans listening to Nora Roberts speak candidly about writing–a gracious, and down to earth woman, with a voice I could listen to all day.

I absolutely love that she breaks the rules of writing, and does it so perfectly we don’t notice or care. I reread The Bride Quartet, and The Chesapeake Bay trilogy (plus one), at least once a year.

And I’m addicted to her JD Robb In Death series. It’s 45 books long now, and yep, I reread it at least once a year because I absolutely love Eve Dallas and Roarke, and all the other characters.


So what about you? What are you grateful for?

Are you going to Nationals?

Who are your favorite authors? Who would you like to meet? Listen to?

Do you reread books? Series? Which ones?


Award winning author, Kathryn Jane writes the popular Intrepid Women Series. Novels filled with mystery, suspense, adventure, psychic abilities, and romance. Think MacGyver, Criminal Minds, and James Bond…with a dash of I Love Lucy.

Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com


 

Soul destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self, in an entirely foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.



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#SummerReads

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I am not my childhood

by Kathryn Jane

I’ve taken a side trip from my Romantic Suspense series by writing a Women’s Fiction.

A novel about a woman of heart, courage and integrity. A woman who could have been irreparably damaged by the man who raised her.

But wasn’t. At least not for the long haul. Oh, she made some monumentally  bad decisions as a teenager and young adult, but she eventually learned from them.

And when she became privy to the details of her own childhood and the secrets she’d unknowingly lived with, instead of breaking under the weight of what she learned, she built herself a new life.

She found purpose. And she found a way to realize her lifelong dream in spite of all hope being stripped from her soul.

She became a warrior for her cause. And she changed lives.

She fought for her dream and she won.

She is a testament to women everywhere who do what needs to be done, say what needs to be said, and live with the consequences. Who overcome what appear to be insurmountable odds and obstacles.

She is much more than a survivor.

She is not her childhood.

And neither am I.


Award winning author, Kathryn Jane writes the popular Intrepid Women Series. Novels filled with mystery, suspense, adventure, psychic abilities, and romance. Think MacGyver, Criminal Minds, and James Bond…with a dash of I Love Lucy.

Kat loves crisp sunny days, the warm breath of a horse, cats with a sense of humor, the smell of the ocean, and her very own charming prince—in no particular order.   http://kathrynjane.com


 

Soul destroying questions and equally stunning answers have Dusty digging deeper than she ever thought possible, and when she discovers her Self, in an entirely foreign landscape, she begins anew, more determined than ever to achieve her lifelong dream.