30 August, 2016

Like water, like glue

Some stories flow like water. Tragedy of Ice was like that for me. I sat down a year ago, back in February 2015, and hammered out the whole manuscript in under a month.

Some stories are like glue, though. Comedy of Rain is like this right now for me. I started it during NaNoWriMo 2015, and the writing has oozed along, getting stuck along the way, building up obstacles, and meandering in ways I don't want it to go.

I wish I knew why some stories are more like the latter, as I think it would help me get through the massive difficulties I've faced with getting this one down on paper. I don't know what it is about Comedy of Rain. I have bullet points—bullet points!—detailing everything to do with the final chapters, and I just can't seem to sit down to write anything past 200 words at a time at this point.

It's sluggish, but more importantly: frustrating. I know exactly what I want to write. I write when I am in front of the screen, but I can't do more than those painstaking 200 words at a time.


But ultimately: I am writing. So unless a block happens altogether, I'm still making progress, and that's what matters.

15 August, 2016

Author Spotlight: Louise Ross

In the last few years of being on a critiquing website, I've had the pleasure of meeting many a great and aspiring authors. I don't know why I never thought of it before, but I'd love to start shining a light on some of those marvelous folks in our writing community. Beginning today, I'm going to start with Louise Ross.

Louise is a writer of speculative fiction, and is currently working on Distilled, which is a Fantasy novel about a cocky alchemist who must learn to trust before he is captured by mercenaries and delivered to his murderous brother. She's been writing for three years, and is working towards filling her bookshelf with her own published novels.

To start off our interview today: which writers inspire you?

Louise: I have always been fascinated by Speculative Fiction. As a child, I discovered Diana Wayne Jones and read every book I could find. From there, my father introduced me to his collection of Sci-Fi. Most of it was classic Sci-Fi like Asimov, Herbert, and Bradbury. Recently, my focus has been Magical Realism and Urban Fantasy. I keep watch on authors like Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, and Ilona Andrews.

Interesting! Now I'm always curious: for your own reading, do you prefer eBooks, or traditional paper/hardback books?

Louise: I prefer audiobooks first and paper books second. As a child, my father would read my sisters and me bedtime stories when he didn’t sing us to sleep. I guess I still enjoy being read to.

Have you used, or would you ever use, a PR agency?

Louise: This is an interesting question. I have never honestly considered self-publication. I love writing, but my life outside writing is so crowded that I do not think I could manage the business aspect of self-publication. If I ultimately decide to self-publish instead of traditionally publish, I would need to rely on others to help me. That would probably include a PR agency.

What’s your views on using social media for marketing, and which of them have worked best for you?

Louise: Social media can be an effective marketing tool, but I don’t feel like viewing social media as a marketing tool works. By that I mean, when I find interesting authors and follow them, I am interested in tidbits that are not marketing specific. I am interested in progress reports and blog interviews. When I follow a writer who only posts marketing notices or who posts too often, I unfollow them. I assume others are the same. To me, social media is to be social first and market second.

Alright, last question. Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Louise: Writing is a gift. The curse is the desire to be published and famous without the immediate success. I never needed to be an overnight sensation. Therefore, writing is still a gift.

Thanks, Louise. It's been great hosting you. :)


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Louise Ross dreams then writes it all down. When governments are destroyed, wars destroy the land, and tech takes over, her stories explore the struggles of the common man to overcome. 

To learn more about Louise and her works, you can follow her on her websiteGoogle+, and Twitter.

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Ash Litton

Ash Litton is a writer and lover of sci-fi, fantasy, and all things fictional. She is the author of No Signal, Thoroughbred, Evening Hallow, Comeuppance, and Cabover Cabaret, and works on other Appalachian Dream Tales between her ongoing novel projects.

When she's not writing, she's drawing, and when she's not doing either of those, she's dreaming up new projects to work on. Born and raised in rural West Virginia, Ash has always wondered what things lay hidden in the hills around her. She attended West Virginia University, where she studied the English language before returning home to her family in rural West Virginia.