Quick and Dirty Tips for Writing a Kick Butt Author Bio

One the most stressful parts about starting out as a writer was writing my author biography.  Making up worlds and characters somehow seemed much simpler than having to talk about ME.  I’m not all that interesting, that’s why I make interesting people up!  As someone who runs a review blog, I know the importance of a great author bio.  Here are a few tips that I’ve picked up along the way as both an author and blogger that I think help make for a kick butt author bio.

1.  Give yourself time. 

Seriously.  Don’t try to do this in a night.  Rough draft that thing and let it simmer. Continue reading

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The Whys and What Ifs of Adaptations

It’s no secret that I love fairy tales, both in their “original” form and adaptations. Whether it’s a modern adaptation that takes place in a big city like Los Angeles, or a more traditional retelling, I love reading – and writing – them all.  One of the main reasons is that it’s both fun and challenging to really delve into a story and ask two super important and magical questions: Why? and What if?

Why?

The great thing about so many of the earliest versions of these tales is that there is hardly ever a character motivation stated for anything.  Every now and again a villain hates a heroine because of their great beauty, but usually the reader is just left wondering why in the heck someone did what they did.  That is, if the reader takes the time to wonder…we accept most of these stories at face value because we’ve heard them so often. Continue reading

Why I Craft (And How That Relates to My Writing)

This past summer I had the good fortune to stay with my mother (whom I love dearly and is one of my best friends) and enjoy a relaxing, extended vacation. After a hectic school year, we both needed time off to recharge our batteries.

So as we enjoyed some leisure time by the pool and binge-watching our favorite shows, both of us found ourselves drawn to crafts. She worked hard on knitting and crocheting some beautiful pieces and some functional washcloths. And I decided to create some cross-stitch fan art for one of my favorite shows, the BBCAmerica series Copper.

Home Sweet Bloody Home

Continue reading

Gearing Up for National Novel Writing Month

It’s almost the middle of October (I know, what?!) which means that soon November will be upon us and with it the insanity of writers the globe over attempting to write a 50 thousand word novel in a month.  It’s fun, crazy, and more than just a little stressful, but National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) can be a great way to kick start a new project.

2013-Participant-Facebook-Cover

Attempting Elizabeth was actually a NaNoWriMo novel and though it went through lots of revisions after the month ended, there was a lot of great stuff written during November of 2011.  There’s really something to be said for writing as much as you can and checking your editing brain at the door.  I didn’t get to fully participate last year because I was finishing up AE and working on Atone at the same time so my writing schedule was off, but this year I’m already signed up and logged into the NaNoWriMo forms and my fingers are itching to get started. Continue reading

What the Imagination Movers Taught Me About Self-Publishing

I have two little kids. This means I end up watching a lot of children’s television and listening to a lot of cds that include multiple versions of The Wheels on the Bus. This is generally painful. However, there is one children’s show I can be found watching even when my kids are off doing other things – The Imagination Movers.

Movers

They’re basically the most awesome thing ever: four guys from New Orleans who decided to put their musical skills to use as an “alt rock band for kids and their rockin’ families.” They don’t write “kiddie music,” they write damn good music that just happens to be for kids. And I buy their albums for me and just happen to let my kids listen to them, cause I’m cool like that. Continue reading

Lessons from My Students: Write What You Want to Write

I’m back to school now, which means that you are probably going to be hearing a lot about my students over the next few months. This is not a bad thing, though, because those 18-year-olds actually have a lot to share. So this semester I think I’ll write about some of the lessons I learn from them or because of them. And I hope those lessons will help us all.

I am currently staring down the barrel of my first-year college students turning in their first drafts of papers. It’s a scary time for them and the deluge of panicked emails and text messages has already started. Students love asking me to “just one more time tell me what you want me to write for this essay.”

I’m ready for that deluge, though, because I am armed with my standard — and incredibly frustrating for them — response: I’m looking for whatever you want to give me. Continue reading

Fairy Tale 2.0 – Modernizing Your Favorite Tales

I love fairy tales. I love reading them. I love reading and watching adaptations of them.  I love writing adaptations of them.  As a reader/movie & television watcher I have yet to come across a fairy tale adaptation concept that I was completely unwilling to try.   Of course there are ones that end up working better than others and some that could have worked and didn’t for various reasons. But I’ve never heard a fairy tale adaptation idea and thought “Nope, no way.”  My usual response is more along the lines of “Say what now? Veeerrry interrrreeesting…tell me more.”

"Sleeping Beauty" by William A. Breakspeare

“Sleeping Beauty” by William A. Breakspeare

Why? Because fairy tales are infinitely adaptable.  The themes and characters are often a part of our broader culture consciousness—and not just because we all watched Disney movies as kids, but because these stories have been told over and over in so many ways for centuries and they tap into how humans think and feel. Continue reading