Pamela K Witte

Getting Personal! Gate Crashers’ Author Interviews

Said | Apr 26 2015

Jodi Meadows

click the pics for cool links

If isn’t personal what the heck is it?

Author Interviews That Rock

Introducing Author

Jodi Meadows 

And her thrilling YA Science Fiction Fantasy 

The Orphan Queen

A mini interview

OrphanQueen-HC-C-198x300

About Jodi:

Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a cat named Kippy, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut. She is the author of the INCARNATE Trilogy and the ORPHAN QUEEN Duology.

Here’s The Blurb!

Adventure, intrigue, and romance combine in a new fantasy duology from Incarnate series author Jodi Meadows. When Princess Wilhelmina was a child, the Indigo Kingdom invaded her homeland. Ten years later, Wil and the other noble children who escaped are ready to fight back and reclaim Wil’s throne. To do so, Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate the Indigo Kingdom palace with hopes of gathering information that will help them succeed. But Wil has a secret—one that could change everything. Although magic has been illegal for a century, she knows her ability could help her save her kingdom. But magic creates wraith, and the deadly stuff is moving closer and destroying the land. And if the vigilante Black Knife catches her using magic, she may disappear like all the others. . . . The Orphan Queen delivers epic fantasy, perfect for fans of Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.

And some other cool things I & A asks and Jodi tells…

I&A: If you could transport yourself into your book, where would you go/who would you be? 

Jodi: I think living in my book would be a very dangerous place. In INCARNATE, I guess I’d be okay being one of the unnamed people in the background, though I’m not sure what use I’d be to the society. In THE ORPHAN QUEEN . . . I’d probably be dead already. Book worlds are dangerous. I’ll stick to my real-life world of staying at home and wearing pajamas.

I&A: Was it difficult to create a world with special rules?

Jodi: Creating worlds is hard. There’s a new challenge every time, which I think is one of the reasons that fantasy writers tend to write longer series. After spending so long working out not just the rules, but the geography and culture and various naming systems, you really want to get some mileage out of that effort!

I&A: Do you listen to tunes while you write? 

Jodi: Yes, often. Sometimes I feel the need for silence, but a lot of the time I’ll have a specific song that puts me in the mood to write a certain story or type of scene. Usually I’ll end up playing one song on loop for hours and hours while I write, until it’s like white noise.

I&A: Your cover art is gorgeous, how did you feel when you first saw it?

Jodi: I was thrilled with the art for THE ORPHAN QUEEN. I saw several versions of the same idea and loved the concept of Wilhelmina in a mirrored cloak so much. It’s so right for her and this story in so many ways. I also love the details in the background: there’s a city on the right side, with mirrors reflecting the light; there’s a castle on the left; and the mountains with what might be the wraith coming across. I love how moody and atmospheric the cover is. It definitely sends out THIS IS A FANTASY BOOK signals.

And there you have it! A mini-view with Jodi Meadows!

No responses yet

Pamela K Witte

How a writer’s path to e-publishing became a hero’s journey.

Said | Jan 21 2015

Pamela K Witte

Pamela K Witte

I published an ebook this week— Jet Lee: Dragon Warrior, a small, but heartfelt project that has me brimming with pride!

Click the pics for awesome Pamela k Witte links!

My career as a writer has been quite a journey, and looking at Jet Lee Dragon Warrior on Amazon.com today, I can’t help knowing that my journey has been that of a true hero. I’ve traveled down a writer’s road filled with potholes, bumps and curves and it has been the most phenomenal experience of my life.

When Jet Lee Dragon Warrior came to me on a sleepless night, thoughts and ideas whirled around my insomniac’s brain, demanding my attention until a plot took shape. Jet Lee and his sidekicks wouldn’t leave me alone. Their story was short and engaging and awesome. So, I challenged myself to write it in six weeks. My critique group promised to keep me honest. Forty-two days later I had the first draft of a book. It was a quick read, action packed, fast-paced, exciting, and it had heart. It would be a wonderful book for reluctant readers, kids who dread complicated plots and humungous words. Quite pleased with myself, I sent it off to an editor friend who said it would be difficult to market…

JetLVSRedEyesSo, poor Jet Lee Dragon Warrior sat on my hard drive.

A few years later, while working as an author advocate, I was struck by the amazing phenomena that had recently become self-publishing and e-publishing. The concept that had once been a sort of murky, ambiguous form of getting your words out was now plausible and popular. I thought of Jet Lee, stuck away in my computer, and felt a project brewing. Knowing that any project worth doing is worth doing right, I decided to approach e-publishing with an ALL IN attitude.

Throughout my writer’s journey, I’ve made every effort to do things well. I started with the study of writing and reading books. I took courses, joined associations, went to conferences, learned to blog, mixed, mingled, gained name recognition and turned into an avid author’s advocate. All of these things paid off when I decided to try publishing myself.

While poising myself to launch Jet Lee Dragon Warrior, I developed a fun website, PamelaKWitte.com, that reflects both me and Jet Lee. I challenged myself to design professional marketing materials. I conquered social media, built Facebook pages, learned the intricacies of tweeting, networked, and jumped at any opportunity to work on new projects that would help me with my own. I became so proficient with design and technology that I joined the Book Store Building Team at SCBWI and spent many long hours launching their beautiful online bookstore.

Along my path to e-publishing I found an exciting, affordable illustrator, learned how to format a manuscript, took advantage of every person willing to read and edit my words. Then finally, I sat back in my desk chair, took hold of my mouse and clicked my way onto Amazon.com. When I found Jet Lee Dragon Warrior looking very real and legitimate, pride sizzled through every blood vessel and vein in my body. My heart thumped. My fingertips tingled. I knew I was my own hero and I smiled.

Jet Lee Final Cover

Children’s books are my passion. I’ve spent countless hours writing, reading and learning about the joys and pitfalls of writing a good kid’s book. My next goal is to have a beautiful, traditionally published hardbound copy of one of my adventures sitting in my office right beside my computer. E-publishing Jet Lee Dragon Warrior is just one proud step of my journey and it happily reminds me that I’m far from finished!

Jet Post Card-1

Jet Post Card-2

 

5 responses so far

lisha cauthen

Tech Yourself: IT’S CHRISTMAS, GUYS!

Said | Dec 08 2014

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of working like a demon.   It’s the holidays, for crying out loud. Let’s goof off a little.

AN ASSORTMENT OF iPHONE CHRISTMAS APPS THAT WILL JOLLY YOUR DAYS

elfELFYOURSELF by Office Depot, Inc. –Ah, the granddaddy of them all. Elf Yourself debuted nine years ago, can you believe it? One dance is provided for free, but there are twelve others you can purchase for a nominal amount. Put your friends’ faces on elf bodies and go nutz.

 

 

 

 

 

santaAppy Christmas–This is one of those repeat-what-I-say characters, but it’s SANTA! Who also morphs into a REINDEER! And has his own stock phrases and an advent calendar and a how-many-sleeps-until-Christmas thingie. HEAR YOUR OWN WORDS TOSSED BACK IN YOUR FACE, BUT MERRILY.

 

 

 

 

glinchDr. Seuss Camera–The Grinch Edition–Who doesn’t want to get Grinched? Pictures with cut-outs to stick your mug in, as well as whole-person matting. So it’s a couple of bucks–what are a thousand beautiful memories worth? *cough*

 

 

 

 

 

liteChristmas Light Displays–Put in your zip code or allow this app to find your location and get a mapful of local super-duper Christmas light displays. Really good when you’re dragging home from a day at the mall.

 

 

 

 

 

fracFractal Christmas–And when you’re sitting alone in the multi-colored glow of your tree, exhausted,  hungry and broke, try this red and green fractalizer. The perfect space-out app.

 

 

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM INK & ANGST

 

grincheeeee

One response so far

Pamela K Witte

Welcome to the AWESOME A Path To Publishing Blog Hop!

Said | Nov 30 2014

A Path to Publishing

Click the pics for groovy links.

Stick with us till the end for SOME AMAZING PRIZES!

Ink & Angst is excited to Host 2 amazing ladies, Jill Corcoran and Martha Alderson, on our blog today, along with the FABULOUS program they have put together to help authors get their book published and to learn how to revise their own novels in a manner that will make manuscripts shine!!

"Not only are these ladies brilliant, they are fun. They take the time to make a difference. They are genuine, the real deal." P.K. Witte

“Not only are these ladies brilliant, they’re fun. They take the time to make a difference. They’re genuine, the real deal.” P.K. Witte

First, check out this program!

VIDEO SERIES

Jill and Martha offer writers two video series with more in production!

1) PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month

8 videos, 5.5 hours + 3- hands-on exercises

Congratulations! You have written a draft of a novel. You’ve accomplished what many writers merely talk about and dream of doing – you have written an entire story from beginning to end. When you finish celebrating, it is time to revise: to re-envision and rewrite what you’ve written into a novel that agents, editors and readers will devour.

Writing a great plot involves craft and skill and know-how. Before you undertake a major rewrite, first consider your story from all angles with the help of step-by-step instruction and daily exercises. You know you’re ready to rewrite when you’ve checked all the essential elements for creating an exciting story with compelling characters and a meaningful plot.

2) How to Write and Sell a Picture Book with a Plot

7 videos explain how to plot, write and sell picture books + provide exercises on how to immediately integrate the concepts into your own unique story. Learn about all the different kinds of picture books, examples of character-driven and action-driven picture books, how to develop winning picture book concepts, what are the major turning points in every great picture book with a plot, writing, voice, character goals and motivation, how to revise, testing your theme and take-away, who to submit to and so much more…

Here’s How the Video Series Work

Each video includes an in-depth look at the specific elements promised and how to consider these essential story principles as you write, revise, rewrite, sell your story. Writing assignment(s) guide you with step-by-step instruction.

Whether you decide to watch all the videos in a row and then go back and do the exercises or jump right in to the 1st video’s exercise, work at your own pace and take more or less time on the step-by-step exercises. The series are designed to fit into even the busiest of schedules. Sign in and watch video lectures, complete homework assignments, and ask questions in a public forum on a timetable that fits your needs.

 Reviews of the series

“The amount of time, heartache, frustration, and hell that these videos are saving me from is immeasurable.” Kirsten Walgren Tulsian

“Don’t wait until you have a first draft to get the video series. If you have an inkling of a concept, get the video series. The videos will show you how to define your energetic markers. You’ll learn the difference between crisis and climax. The 8 videos constitute a ‘top to toe’ writing course. 
Jill Corcoran & Martha Alderson, thank you for giving me the opportunity to call myself a writer with pride.” Dolly D Napal

“I have been writing, writing, writing, and reading about writing, but I knew I was still missing the mark. How I write and rewrite books will be forever changed for the better. ” Wendy McLeon MacKnight

“I felt overwhelmed with my latest revision. I feel like a weight has been lifted and I’m just on day one.” Rick Rowe

Shout Outs:

* The 1st draft you let yourself write any old way. Now revise your story from every angle

* Can’t seem to #finish your #novel? Ready to give up? Before you do, revise!

* I’m finding the revision process FUN! Did I actually say that? Loving this process, thank you!  * Friends don’t let friends #revise alone

Now, Let’s introduce Jill and Martha!

Jill

Jill Corcoran

 Jill Corcoran is the founder of Jill Corcoran Literary Agency and co-founder of A Path A Publishing.

Martha

Martha Alderson

Martha Alderson, author of The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master, is known as “The Plot Whisperer” for the help she offers writers worldwide. She is the founder of PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month and the award-winning blog The Plot Whisperer

 

These ladies not only brought us these amazing author tools, but also offer another service with 2 levels of Participation (Participants and Observers):

Office Hours

2nd Thursday of every month

9:30-11:30am Pacific

on-line http://apathtopublishing.com/office-hours/

Active Participants and Observers

ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS: 8 authors each have 15 minutes to work with The Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson and Literary Agent Jill Corcoran on whatever you want help

with. Read part of your manuscript, query, discuss energetic markers, concept, brainstorm plot, characters, etc and receive feedback you can immediately apply to your work.

Active participants must watch either Plotwrimo: Revise Your Novel in a Month or How to Write & Sell a Picture Book Videos. This gives us a common language and baseline

understanding of underlying plot and story concepts for better communication.

Receive a critique of your First Pages, Query, Concept, or get help with your Characters, Where to Start your Story, Crisis, Climax, etc. It is your time…your choice

 ***OBSERVERS: 15 observer spots. As an observer, you do not participate/read your work, but listen and learn from others during these sessions.Active Participants and Observers

SO MUCH HARD WORK FROM THESE LADIES! LET’S SEE WHAT REVIEWERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THESE VIDEOS AND SERVICES

Jill & Martha

“Hanging out with Jill & Martha via APTP is almost as cool as having lunch together. They are that accessible and friendly!” P.K. Witte

Here’s the scoop from folks who’ve  shared their thoughts about their APTP experience here at Ink & Angst…

Keep reading till the end to find something VERY cool.

Wendy McLeod MacKnightWendy McLeod MacKnight

How did buying the Revise Your Novel in a Month videos and the Advanced Revisions Workshops change my writing life? How didn’t they change my writing life? For months before I stumbled upon Jill – who in turn led me to stumble upon Martha – I had been toiling away, writing, writing, writing, and reading the odd book about writing. I participated in a local small critique group. But for some reason, my work didn’t seem to hang together. I would revise with no understanding of what revision really was – wasn’t that just grammar and spell-checking? And if my beta readers were confused by my plot holes and leaps of illogic, well they could get in line – I was confused, too! And then these two ladies appeared on my computer screen and I realized that almost every single thing I had done to date was wrong. I had queried too early. I had no mastery of my plot or my characters. Wasn’t the universal story supposed to be for, well literary works surely not my work????? I remember thinking, about ten minutes into the video: I don’t have a clue what I am doing. And then magically, as if they had heard my strangled cry from the woods up here in Canada, one of them acknowledged that I (see I hadn’t even found everyone else yet, at least not really so it did seem as if they were talking just to me!) probably didn’t know what I was doing and that was okay. Phew!
And then there were scene grids and gorgeous plot planners and debates and perilous and thrilling pitch sessions and at the end, I felt like I had taken the best, the most practical, course on writing ever. Even this month, as I churn out my NaNoWriMo draft, I feel this great sense of calm whenever I hit a major bump or when I realize I don’t have a clue what my characters are doing. Don’t worry, Wendy, I tell myself. You’ll watch the videos, you’ll reread all of the places you highlighted in Martha’s books, every scene will address the 7 major points. You will use your plot planner and all will be well.
What I know for sure is that maybe, without Jill and Martha and the videos, I might have eventually written a book that hung together, I might have eventually found a literary agent, but they gave me a wormhole that, with some elbow grease, allowed me to zip forward light years. And who doesn’t want to zip forward light years? So you may wonder if the cost of the course is worth it, but I’m here to say: six months after finding Jill and Martha I began to have agents requesting full manuscripts and now have a literary agent. And that is all thanks to Jill Corcoran and Martha Alderson and these wonderful tools they are offering us!

Laura Fettig Johnson

 Odessa Quinn

APTP has been a complete writing experience for me. I am excited to revise my book, a process I have never felt excited about before. The Plot Revision series of videos has completely changed the way I am revising my novels. I am sequencing challenged, so the plot planner has been exactly what I needed to visualize my story line. I have a huge plot planner on my wall, making it easy to follow the story and make changes as I need to. Each video helped me think about a different aspect of my book. My characters are deeper and richer than I ever could have imagined. I highly recommend purchasing the series, it will help grow writers, no matter their skill level. The APTP Facebook group has become my writer support group helping with everything from “how do I decide who my main character is while writing my concept statement?” to “ugh, I’m having a day of distractions, help!” Both Martha and Jill are often available to answer question directly on the FB page. And finally, Martha’s Plot Whisperer gave me the tools I needed and a great reference guide for any question I have. The whole APTP experience has been amazing.

Zainab KhanZainab Khan

Jill and Martha’s programs are on par with the industry standards. Everything they teach in their videos and classes is taught in snippets by other agents and speakers at the various SCBWI conferences. You get the whole picture on writing picture books or novels through their programs.

The plot whisperer classes are superb. Jill’s and Martha’s positive attitudes keep the classes upbeat. It is a conducive learning environment. They accurately vet your concepts; then with dollops of kindness in tow, they are brutally honest about what works or doesn’t work in a manuscript. Their suggestions to bring a story to perfection are excellent.

I was fortunate to stumble upon their classes. Anyone who has taken their classes or watched their videos, knows their lectures and advice are spot on.

DeeDee Hare Keymel

I found Jill Corcoran a few years ago while searching for a MG agent and she was with the Herman Agency. She didn’t accept my book (now I see why) but I didn’t give up on her. I also found Martha Alderson and watched a few of her videos on YouTube. Again this was several years ago.
When these two women got together, it was the best thing to happen to a want-to-be-published writer like me. I have watched the complete set of videos and they have done wonders for my story. I am on my first re-vision but I see my story has more depth, scenes are more connected, and my characters are emotionally changed and charged.
Thank you, Jill and Martha.

DollyDolly D. Nepal

I was stuck with an uncompleted YA manuscript since 2006. Being on a small rock in the Indian Ocean doesn’t allow me to attend conferences or live workshops as I would like to. With their video series, online workshops, and ongoing support on the APTP Facebook page, Jill Corcoran and Martha Alderson provide us with all the tools we need to work from the CONCEPT, through the ENERGETIC MARKERS, to the end of our project. Hopping onto the APTP ship has been the best decision I’ve ever made.

beth2Beth Navarro

A Path to Publishing finally shone a light on the writerly things I thought would always be difficult for me. Energetic markers are the end of the ‘mushy middle’! Their pitch workshop was wonderful as well. I cannot thank Jill and Martha enough.

John NordlingerJohn Nordlinger

I’ve learned so much this year when I discovered these mavens of story telling; They’ve raised the quality of my tv and feature scripts as well as my YA graphic novel. They re nurturing and supporting, fun and entertaining.

Check out more amazing APTP features!

A PATH TO PUBLISHING services. A Path to Publishing Workshops: http://apathtopublishing.com/

“We often tailor-make advanced workshops for writers who have watched the series to ask questions and receive feedback on your own individual story.” ~Jill & Martha

Watching PlotWriMo & having an educational blast with Jill & Martha.

Watching PlotWriMo & having an educational blast with Jill & Martha.

A Path to Publishing Facebook Grouphttps://www.facebook.com/groups/apathtopublishing/ 

Everyone is welcome to join A Path to Publishing Facebook group created by Literary Agent Jill Corcoran and Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson as safe, smart, fun alcove for writers and illustrators to share and learn about the craft of writing and the book biz. This is NOT a place to sell your books but a wonderful forum for us all to advance our skills, our creativity, and our dreams plus learn about what Jill and Martha are up to at A PATH TO PUBLISHING.

Be sure to follow along and see what others are saying about these services and how they have helped them! Read individual reviews and more information about how this video series can help you.

Continue Blog Hopping for more fun and information!

December 1 https://www.facebook.com/nordlinger
December 1 http://writingclassesforkids.com
December 1 http://inkandangst.com/
December 1 taffyscandy.blogspot.com
December 1 Rebeccalacko.wordpress.com
December 2 http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com
December 2 http://1st10pages.com
December 2 http://thestorytellersscroll.blogspot.com
December 2 www.katherine-hajer.com
December 3 http://www.jordanrosenfeld.net
December 3 http://robyn-campbell.blogspot.com/
December 3 http://aditebanerjie.com
December 4 lje1.wordpress.com
December 4 http://writtenbymikey.blogspot.com/
December 4 www.PenInHerHand.com
December 5 www.ChristineSang.com
December 5 Susan P

AND NOW, JILL AND MARTHA ARE OFFERING SOME AMAZING PRIZES. SO BE SURE TO ENTER AND SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THIS EVENT AND THEIR WONDERFUL VIDEO SERIES!

Leave a comment on this blog, then

click on the fireworks to enter at rafflecopter!

fireworks14

And there you have it. Everything you need to know to get started at APTP. Check it out. Just do it. You’ll be glad you did!

Okay, obviously you still want more. Here’s a peek at something cool and practical…

APTP folks learn how to design Plot Planners !

Check this out. Then you’re done. Really. For real.

APTP Writers benefit from a visual representation of the plot and structure of their stories. The Plot Planner shows how the 3 essential elements of plot rise and fall together – the Dramatic Action and Character Emotional Development create Thematic Significance. When you begin planning your plot, the route you determine is likely sketchy with lots of gaps and dead-ends, but these will be smoothed over and filled in as you come to know your story and characters better.

MArtha's plot planner

Okay, Martha’s Plot Planner is just plain cute!

Stephanie's plot plannerPlot Plannerplot planner2

15 responses so far

Pamela K Witte

Getting Personal! Gate Crashers’ Author Interviews

Said | Oct 21 2014

Shallee

click the pics for cool links

If isn’t personal what the heck is it?

Author Interviews That Rock

Introducing Debut Author

Shallee McArthur

And her thrilling sci fi adventure

THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE

Okay Shallee, here we go!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  

I’m a writer of things fantastical and futuristic, fan of Africa, frequent changer of hairstyles, and am apparently fond of alliteration. 

Tell us about your new book. What is the blurb on your book cover or your quick synopsis?   

Here’s the quick synopsis: A girl who’s genetically enhanced to store her memories in external objects must hunt a memory thief with the help of the only person she’s ever forgotten. 

Just to get us started, how long have you been writing? In one sentence (it can run on) tell us how it felt the moment you learned your book would be published?

I’m the type that’s been writing since childhood, but I didn’t start writing full novels until college. As for the moment I learned this book would be published, it was sort of AHHHHHH! and WUT? and SQUEEEEE! and ij$%@fdjoi?!?! 

What inspired you to write THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE? 

A world where some people can remember everything with the help of Link bracelets… Where did this fantastic premise come from?

My husband had the idea of storing our memories of a special object IN that object. He thought it would be a cool fantasy, but my brain had already twisted it into a sci fi premise. It took a lot of thought and research to figure out a scientific way for it to be in the realm of possibility! I found it fascinating how our central nervous system—brain and spine—and our peripheral nervous system—everything else—do and don’t work together. That’s where I came up with the idea to have to nervous systems hook together in a new way, so the brain sent memories through the peripheral nervous system into something the person touched. It opened up a whole host of potential and problems I needed to solve, and I find that the best parts of a story usually exist in the problems! 

Why science fiction? 

Sci fi is what I’ve grown up reading, watching, and writing! I love all the possibilities available in dreaming of the future. I’m also a mega science nerd, so I love using real science in my books.

What attracted you to the idea of a futuristic mystery?

When I first got the idea of story memories in external objects, I immediately started thinking what conflicts would come into play. And, duh, it’d be so easy to get memories stolen if they were outside your brain! That lead into the mystery, and the idea involved technology we don’t have yet, so futuristic it was. 

Did you do special research on memory and the ability to retain/lose it?

Absolutely. I researched a lot of the basics of what we know about memories, and read a lot of articles and journals about current memory research. It’s really important to me to be able to extrapolate from real science!

How did you choose the unique setting for this story?

My setting is based on southern Utah and northern Arizona. I love red rock desert, and I had an idea for a scene early on where Gena, my main character, is dancing in a red rock canyon. So that’s what the setting became! And that scene is in the book, and it’s one of my favorites. 

If your villain could give one piece of advice to your readers, what would it be?

As the villain says in the book at one point, “Bitterness stunts vision.” I love my villain in a lot of ways, because s/he (ha! Not even giving you a gender hint!) has been through some real crap, and in a lot of ways, survived admirably. But s/he also scares the heck out of me, I won’t lie!

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

My freshman creative writing teacher in college said there are only two things you need for writing: have a take, and don’t suck. And really, that’s the basics of it. Have a unique take on an idea, one that readers find interesting and new, and then write that story so it doesn’t suck!

What is the most important thing for a writer to remember?

To trust your instincts. Instincts are very quiet, so you have to train yourself to hear. They aren’t the loud shouts of “you suck at this” or “oh my gosh, this is so horrible”—that’s insecurity, not instinct. I’ve found that I often have a vague uncomfortable feeling about certain things in a story, but it’s so vague, I tend to barely notice it. Nine times out of ten, my crit group nails that thing as something that’s not working. And then I realize I already knew that, I just didn’t pay attention to those instincts. I’m slowly learning to be more aware of those feelings.

Just for kicks… What are some of your favorite TV shows, movies?  

I heart Netflix for giving me access to my favorites, because they’re old! I love Star Trek: TNG, The X-Files, Fringe…it’s no wonder all my story ideas involve weird science!

 Other than writing, what do you like to do for fun? Hobbies?  

I live right smack-dab in the middle of the most gorgeous mountains. One of my favorite things is to gather up my family and go up the canyon. We hike, we wade in the river, we roll in the grass, we ride bikes along the river trail…it’s just as blissful as it sounds!

 As a kid what was your favorite book? 

I adored The Giver by Lois Lowry, because it taught me that a book could change the way you saw the world.The-Giver

I also devoured Anne of Green Gables, because I wanted to be just as imaginative and fun as Anne, and the next best thing was living in her world. 

Any closing words of wisdom for author-wannabes out there?  

Everything in our writing world seems to shout that you have to get published now, you have to write that book now, you have to write faster, you have to query more, you have to run run run or the publishing train will leave you behind, and if the traditional publishing train doesn’t show up, you should self-pub this very minute.

Don’t. Don’t do any of that. Stop running after publishing, and start embracing your writing. You don’t HAVE to query your first book—or any book. You don’t HAVE to self-pub just because you hate to put that book in a drawer. You don’t HAVE to do anything. Writing is hard, yes, but it can be a joy, too. Find the joy in it. Find the story you love, and write it. Write that one and the next one and the next one, because it takes a long time to develop your skill and your voice. Let it take a long time. Let yourself love it, let yourself improve. Publishing will still be there when you do, and then you’ll have even more to offer than you ever dreamed.

And there you have it! Personal and Real with Shallee McArthur! Thanks for the super-cool, insightful interview, Shallee

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    • On I&A: Getting Personal! Gate Crashers’ Author Interviews http://t.co/tiluOni5IW
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