Friday, September 16, 2016

Writing Tips and Updates

People have been asking me about being a writer and published author. It's a great career, but it comes with a lot of hard work. There are tons of things that go into writing, finishing a manuscript, and publishing, but today I’m going to share a few tips for finding the right writing space.

First: Comfort. You can write from anywhere, literally. I’ve proven it’s possible to write in an office, a restaurant, and almost any kind of vehicle, and manage to be comfortable. See, as a writer, once the ideas start pouring out, I really don’t think about much else. I just want to write. If you’re looking for a place to write or be creative, look for something that’s not sleepy-time comfy, but a place where you can focus on writing. Make sure to give your spot a few tries before you move onto something else. Experts say it can take up to ten tries for a person to get accustomed to something new, and aren’t experts right about everything? 

Second: Lighting. Lighting is very important, especially, if you’re going to write or read what you’ve written. So, make sure you have good lighting or your eyes may fall out. Just kidding about that, but eye health is important and my eye doc says to use a good amount of light when writing and reading.

Third: Bathroom access. This should go without saying, but if you’re planning a long writing session, or are drinking tons of coffee to get that manuscript ready, be prepared for potty breaks. Enough said.

Fourth: Distractions. You may have the best of intentions trying the new techno-dance club/art gallery, but if you are looking for a space to think and write, this may not be for you. Even when the writing is flowing, if there’s a lot going on I’m like a cat with the biggest mother-load of catnip and will lose my mind. The focus needs to be on the writing, so try to limit distractions, mmkay.

Fifth: Supplies. Yes, of course! There is nothing worse than suddenly being struck by an idea, or finding the perfect writing spot only to have nary a writing implement. Make sure you carry pen and paper, or learn to use the note-taking feature on your phone. It may not be perfect, but at least you have something to capture your amazing ideas before you forget them completely, which will happen when you least expect it. Trust me, it’s happened more times than I care to mention.

So, there you have it. Five things to consider when looking for a writing space. Now, it’s back to finishing the next Harper & Mackenzie novel and sending it off to editing. I’m so excited about this book, and would love to share the title with you, but I’m still working on the manuscript, so it could change. I’d be disappointed to get you worked up about one title only to have to change it. Just know, I’ve been reading the reviews, comments, and am working hard to bring you an entertaining follow-up to Red Ochre Falls. I’m enjoying where the characters are going, and look forward to sharing it with you and the world. I hope you’ll stay tuned.

Cheers,
Kristen


Writing Tips and Updates

People have been asking me about being a writer and published author. It's a great career, but it comes with a lot of hard work. There are tons of things that go into writing, finishing a manuscript, and publishing, but today I’m going to share a few tips for finding the right writing space.

First: Comfort. You can write from anywhere, literally. I’ve proven it’s possible to write in an office, a restaurant, and almost any kind of vehicle, and manage to be comfortable. See, as a writer, once the ideas start pouring out, I really don’t think about much else. I just want to write. If you’re looking for a place to write or be creative, look for something that’s not sleepy-time comfy, but a place where you can focus on writing. Make sure to give your spot a few tries before you move onto something else. Experts say it can take up to ten tries for a person to get accustomed to something new, and aren’t experts right about everything? 

Second: Lighting. Lighting is very important, especially, if you’re going to write or read what you’ve written. So, make sure you have good lighting or your eyes may fall out. Just kidding about that, but eye health is important and my eye doc says to use a good amount of light when writing and reading.

Third: Bathroom access. This should go without saying, but if you’re planning a long writing session, or are drinking tons of coffee to get that manuscript ready, be prepared for potty breaks. Enough said.

Fourth: Distractions. You may have the best of intentions trying the new techno-dance club/art gallery, but if you are looking for a space to think and write, this may not be for you. Even when the writing is flowing, if there’s a lot going on I’m like a cat with the biggest mother-load of catnip, and will lose my mind. The focus needs to be on the writing, so try to limit distractions, mmkay.

Fifth: Supplies. Yes, of course! There is nothing worse than suddenly being struck by an idea, or finding the perfect writing spot only to have nary a writing implement. Make sure you carry pen and paper, or learn to use the note-taking feature on your phone. It may not be perfect, but at least you have something to capture your amazing ideas before you forget them completely, which will happen when you least expect it. Trust me, it’s happened more times than I care to say.

So, there you have it. Five things to consider when looking for a writing space. Hope you got a little something out of this. 

Now, it’s back to finishing the next Harper & Mackenzie novel and sending it off to editing. I’m so excited about this book, and would love to share the title with you, but I’m still working on the manuscript, so it could change. I’d be disappointed to get you worked up about one title only to have to change it. Just know, I’ve been reading the reviews, comments, and am working hard to bring you an entertaining follow-up to Red Ochre Falls. I’m enjoying where the characters are going, and look forward to sharing it with you and the world. I hope you’ll stay tuned.

Cheers,
Kristen


Friday, September 9, 2016

End of Summer Reads

Greetings! Summer is coming to a close, and now that the kids are back in school, I’m back to work. So, I’m sharing one last end-of-summer reading list with you before I jump into the autumn thriller/mystery season. Fall is amazing. It’s a time of vibrant landscapes, pumpkin spice lattes, soups and stews, football, and it’s a time when writers can justify wearing yoga/sweat pants all day. Even though a lot of us have probably been wearing our jammies or yesterday’s workout gear all along, it is not universally accepted until the weather turns chilly. Then, who cares? We’re all too busy looking at pumpkins and leaves to notice. 

So, here goes. I’ve picked some books I want to read, and a couple I wouldn’t normally read, but probably should. Perhaps, you’ll find a book you come to love somewhere on this list. In any case, enjoy the day and whatever you’re reading!


Bay of Sighs by Nora Roberts

The title of this fantasy romance sounds so intriguing I may just buy the book to have it in my library. It helps that Roberts is an amazingly versatile author. She’s written enough books to fill several libraries, and can move between genres, like it’s no big deal. The third book of The Guardians Trilogy is coming in December, so there is plenty of time to read Bay of Sighs and Stars of Fortune before Island of Glass launches.



Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton

A new series from a couple of solid authors. Evanovich made a splash with the humorous Stephanie Plum series, and is collaborating again with Phoef Sutton (they co-authored Wicked Charms) to launch the Knight and Moon series. Looks like a fun one. 



The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

Comedy is subjective. What one person might find funny another may not. I find humor in a lot of things, but a lot depends on the situation and my viewpoint. What I’m saying, is while I don’t watch Amy Schumer, I have found some of her clips and a couple feature articles about her funny. She’s kind of a big deal right now, so it might be an interesting read.

Notes from Barnes & Noble Overview (from B&N site)
“In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationships, and sex and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is—a woman with the courage to bare her soul to stand up for what she believes in, all while making us laugh.”



Sweet Tomorrows by Debbie Macomber

The conclusion of the Rose Harbor series received a number of positive reviews, I read more of those now that I’m an author, and this might be a series to consider binge reading as the summer heat wanes.

Notes from Barnes & Noble Overview (from B&N site)
“With Debbie Macomber’s trademark charm and wisdom, Sweet Tomorrows brings to a close the journeys of cherished characters who feel like old friends. Macomber has created an enchanting place in the Rose Harbor Inn that readers will never forget.”



Saturday, July 23, 2016

Summer Reads

I began blogging about summer reads a few years ago and have just enough time between chapters and kid camps to share some new suggestions. Grab a good book, spread a beach towel and enjoy the summer! Feel free to share your recommendations too.

The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

Evanovich fans should try this new series with FBI specialist Kate O’Hare and international con man Nicolas Fox. O’Hare caught Fox after a long search, then the FBI recruited him to help take down some of the world’s most dangerous criminals. Now, O’Hare has to work with the thief she stalked and captured. Fox and O’Hare share witty banter, and explore their romantic feelings, as they race to stop ex-Serbian military officer, Dragan Kovic, before he endangers thousands of American lives. I just finished The Pursuit and would say it’s a great summer read.



The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

I picked this up in a local bookstore and just started reading. So far, I like main character Flavia de Luce, an 11-year-old sleuth with a brain and some pluck. I’m interested to follow her on her investigation of a murder in the English countryside circa 1950.



Stone Cold by C.J. Box

After finishing my first C.J. Box thriller, I immediately went out and bought another. I enjoyed Box’s description of wide-open spaces and the dangers inherent in the remote Wyoming wilderness. In this book, Game Warden, Joe Pickett, has been assigned the task of looking into a suspicious ranch owner in the remote Black Hills of Wyoming. Danger lurks beneath the surface and it’s sure to be a wild ride to the end.



Monday, June 27, 2016

Summer Entertainment: Books & Movies

Summer is the perfect time to get swept away in a good book or movie. Over at NPR, they've come up with more than 100 movie and book recommendations and staff picks. It's worth checking out just to see the graphics of all those book and film covers. My to be read and watched lists just grew exponentially. Thanks for all the ideas, NPR. :)





Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Track time…

Why are there so many cars in Red Ochre Falls?

Because my life is filled with cars. 1) I married a car guy who plays and works with cars. 2) My husband and I went to High Performance Driving School (before children, and it was so much fun we still talk about it). 3) After kids we bought a minivan, which I drove long enough I started fantasizing about other cars—any car other than mine with crumpled tissues, sticky cup holders, and pulverized cereal constantly accumulating on the interior.

My life, and these car fantasies, helped me write about the vehicles Mattie and Garrett would have and want to drive in Red Ochre Falls. Of course, my husband was more than happy to act as research liaison, looking at car specs and answering questions along the way. It was a lot of fun to dream of Maseratis and Hellcats while toting my babies around in an aging box, but once the first book was written, I started thinking of ways to add some new twists to this aspect of the series.

Enter, track season. The days, nights, and weekends my husband gets his fix watching all kinds of cars racing at all kinds of tracks, under all kinds of conditions. He also takes his old beauty (the car, not me) to the track. It’s a family affair and I bring the kids to see him when they aren’t in school. I sometimes drive, having taken our ‘ten-foot’ track car around GingerMan Raceway after an all-nighter on a hotel couch soothing a teething toddler. Thankfully, we survived, and turned in some good lap times.

Since the 2016 season is now in progress, inspiration is everywhere. I’m getting some great ideas watching everything from 1970s era classics to modern hot rods and Formula 1 cars running hot laps. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll have my own sports car. If our little driver-in-training has anything to say about it, it’ll probably be fast, like a Hellcat.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Cancelled Shows: Clearing the Slate

The entertainment news got worse the more I read my feed yesterday. In an apparent effort to clean house, ABC and Fox cancelled a number of shows ahead of next week's upfronts (the time the networks reveal upcoming schedules, pilots, renewals, and other good stuff-hopefully). 

I linked to Deadline Hollywood's brief about yesterday's slew of cancellations, so you can read what's cut and a few reactions. 

The biggest, not biggest, surprise seems to be ABC's Castle. But since the original writers left, and maybe even a little before then, it's been circling the drain. While we will miss the fun-loving, and occasionally suspenseful detective show, it's probably time to move on. Besides, our time here would be better spent working. Yes, I said working. I may as well get back to night writing, since I've got a new book coming this year. Plus, it's just not a good time for me and TV right now, I've already canceled several shows from the DVR. Shows that let us down, or went in such strange directions we scratched our heads for a week or two, then dropped them altogether. If it works, maybe I can complete the next Harper and Mackenzie manuscript before the kids are out of school, and Suits comes back on USA this summer. All we ask is the writers don't mess with Mike, Harvey, and the gang too much, mmkay?


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