Tag Archives: Inspiration

Overcoming the Pitch Wars Rejection

So, Pitch Wars has come and gone. If you don’t know what Pitch Wars is, you can read all about it here!

But, I did not make it as one of the 2019 mentee’s. In fact, I didn’t even get one request!

I was hopeful in the first few weeks that I would get a request. I was confident that I would. Forbidden had gone through multiple revisions, I felt like my opening pages were strong. I worked with my CP to clean and polish my query letter and synopsis, and then…there was nothing.

By the second week of Pitch Wars, I had resigned myself to believing that I was never getting a request.

Despite the hope that maybe – just maybe – I would get a request at the last minute, it never came. Just yesterday, the Pitch Wars mentee’s were announced, and I’m so happy for everyone who got chosen!

But I’m also sad, too. I’m sad that I didn’t even get one request – which is all I really wanted when entering Pitch Wars. I’m sad that I didn’t get any feedback on what wasn’t working for the mentors – was my query letter bad, were my opening pages not good enough, was it just something they didn’t connect with on a personal level?

While I had a feeling I wasn’t getting picked, it still hurts. And now I’m going through the typical grieving process everyone does when they’re faced with rejection. But I’m determined not to let it get me down, and you know why? It’s because Pitch Wars is not the only way to success.

Pitch Wars is not the golden ticket to success. It is not the only way to find an agent, or to get your work critiqued. While waiting to hear back, I heard so many stories from other people about their journey in past Pitch Wars events. Everything from people who didn’t get a request who now have agents or book deals. To people who got their agent but unfortunately had to part with them. Or even people who got multiple requests and still are unagented.

Pitch Wars is not the end-all-be-all in writing.

Everyone’s journey is different. Everyone’s work is different. My work will not connect with every person out there, and that’s okay.

So I’m going to let myself be upset about being rejected. I’m going to allow myself to take a bubble bath, put on a face mask, and try to recharge from all the soul-crushing anxiety that Pitch Wars brought about. I’m going to watch my favorite movies and read my favorite books. I’m going to binge-eat all the chocolate in the pantry.

And when I’m done doing that, I’m going to get back on my feet and begin querying Forbidden to literary agents. Because I’m proud of all the work I’ve put into this book. I’m proud of how much I’ve grown in the last year and a half since starting it.

Being rejected in Pitch Wars does not mean I will never be successful. It does not mean I’m a bad writer. It does not mean I don’t know how to tell a story. It means that this isn’t the path I’m meant to take.

And I’m okay with that.

September & October Recap 2019

So…it’s been a while. Hi! Sorry I haven’t posted a blog in a long time. Which is something that I’m very sad to say I missed out on. For some personal reasons and the business of life, I had to set blogging aside. That said, I’m back again! Though I don’t know how frequently I’ll be posting, I’ll try to keep up with these monthly recaps again.

So far in my life, last time I updated, I got engaged! My fiancé and I went looking at venues in the beginning of October and finally settled on one! We’re very excited to be planning our wedding! This past week I’ve been really sick, so I’m trying to recover. Luckily I’m starting to feel better!

What I Wrote:

Back in September, I was 18k words into my YA Foreign Princess WIP. I am very happy to say that I officially completed writing that book! I also went through several rounds of revisions for my adult fantasy romance, and submitted it to Pitch Wars! I made a lot of progress and am very proud of myself.

What I Read:

Total: 14

Between September and October, I read fourteen books!

Before I Disappear by Danielle Stinson ★☆☆☆☆

I really, really did not like this book. I felt like the plot was very jumpy and all over the place; the story didn’t make any sense, and it was really repetitive. This one was not for me.

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin ★★★☆☆

I wanted to love this book, I really did. This book had so much hype built around it and I was very excited to dive in. While I was enjoying most of the book – it was the end that really lost. I found the entire last act of this book to be very contrived, full of conveniences, and the ending had no emotional impact for me. I didn’t hate this book, but I definitely didn’t think it was worth the hype.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★★★

My CP gifted this book to me for my birthday and I LOVED it. It was a very well-written, well-plotted, and well-placed read with a great cast of characters. I highly recommend this one!

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman ★☆☆☆☆

I saw this at Target several times before I finally decided to pick it up. Unfortunately, I just didn’t connect with this story the way I wanted to. There was nothing creepy or thrilling about this, and I felt like I was reading the same kind of thriller I’ve read dozens of times before.

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Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly ★☆☆☆☆

Another book I’m really disappointed by. I wanted to love this one, especially since it was in my anticipated reads, but I found this book to be so…I don’t know. The characters weren’t interesting, the plot was silly, and I discovered that I really don’t like my fantasy to blend in with realism. I just didn’t connect with this one, and had to force myself to finish.

The Babysitter by Sherly Brown ★☆☆☆☆

I bought this as a two-in-one book at Target. Unfortunately, this was another thriller that I just didn’t find to be “thrilling.” While the writing was fine and the story fast-paced, the biggest problem with this book was that the main twist is given away in the prologue. Our antagonist also gets their own POV, so there was never any mystery behind their actions or motivations, and it just didn’t sit well with me.

The Affair by Sheryl Brown ★★☆☆☆

Because this was part of the two-in-one book, I went ahead and read this one, too. While I liked it a little better than The Babysitter, this one still just wasn’t something I couldn’t connect with.

Party Games by R.L. Stine ★★★★☆

If you didn’t know, I love R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series. This is the first book in his new relaunch of the series, and I picked it up a couple years ago when it first came out, but never got around to reading. While yes the plot is a little predictable, and the writing geared at a younger audience, as a lifelong Fear Street fan I just couldn’t help but enjoy this book.

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Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica ★★★★☆

This is one of those rare books that I enjoyed almost every minute of. I liked the characters, the writing, the plot – almost everything. While I wished the ending would’ve been a little more impactful, I did enjoy this book a lot.

One Night at the Lake by Bethany Chase ★★★☆☆

When I picked this up, I actually thought it was a thriller! Turns out it was Women’s Fiction, which I don’t normally read. Whoops! That said, I was enjoying this book – until the final twist. I just have so many conflicting feelings about how this book ended and I’m not sure how to feel about it.

The Good Sister by Gillian McAllister ★★★★★

Like Every Last Lie, this is a rare thriller that I enjoyed from start to finish. The court-room drama, the twists, and the constant guessing kept me on my toes!

The Missing Season by Gillian French ★★☆☆☆

Oh man, I’m disappointed. I specifically picked this one up, thinking it would be perfect book for spooky season. A new girl moves to town only to learn about the urban legend of “The Mumbler”, a man who kidnaps and kills bad kids on Halloween? This should’ve had everything I wanted and instead…it didn’t. The urban legend plot is shoved the side instead, and most of the book revolves around Clara adjusting to her new life and finding friends. It was such a bore.

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A Game For All The Family by Sophie Hanna ★☆☆☆☆

Again – this book should’ve had everything I wanted in a thriller: a compelling mystery, intrigue, perhaps a ghost? No. Instead, I got a boring plotline with an annoying main character. I struggled to push myself through this one, and was skimming by the end.

Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young ★★★★☆

This has been one of my favorites of the year – and this book had everything I could’ve wanted! An interesting main characters, a boarding school, mysterious things happening, strange behavior…I really enjoyed this one! I struggle to give this one 5 stars since I wasn’t blown away, but I highly recommend reading!

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What I’m Watching:

My fiancé and I started our rewatch of Lost and we’re already halfway through Season 4. Gonna be honest and say that Lost is one of my all-time favorite shows! What’s yours?

I also watched You and I started watching Designated Survivor. I’ve never really been into political thrillers before, but this one intrigued me.

Currently Reading:

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How I Did: September & October Goals

At the beginning of September, I gave myself several goals:

• Finish writing Foreign Princess WIP
• Organize list of literary agents
• Get submission materials ready for Pitch Wars
• Submit to Pitch Wars
• Plot out adult fantasy WIP sequel

I’m happy to say I completed 4 out of 5 of these goals! The only one I didn’t get around to was plotting out my sequel, but I’m pretty sure that’ll still take a while. Since I finished my Foreign Princess WIP in early October, I decided to spend the rest of the month taking a writing break!

November Goals:

• Plot out new adult fantasy romance WIP
• Plot out YA Alice in Wonderland Retelling Idea
• Do one more small revision for Forbidden
•Begin querying Forbidden
• Reread my YA Thriller and decide if I want to pursue working on it or not
• Plot out Forbidden sequel


How is everyone’s fall? What was everyone up to while I was gone? Let me know!

XOXO – Devon

Writing Advice I Wish I’d Learned Sooner

I’ve been writing almost consistently for fifteen years now. Once I realized I could put my ideas down on paper, I’ve never been able to stop. The last fifteen years of my writing journey have been a whirlwind of learning my process, learning the writing craft, getting involved in the writing community, and so much more. But in all that time, there are three things I wish I’d known before I ever started on my writing and publishing journey. If I could go back in time and tell my younger self these three pieces of writing advice, I absolutely would.

So, what three pieces of advice do I wish I’d learned?

1.) Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
2.) Read – and Read a Lot
3.) Writing is Rewriting

I’m sure you’ve heard these pieces of writing advice before. But when I first started writing, we didn’t have the internet to look up common writing advice, or search Youtube for “newbie author mistakes”, and so on. Through trial and error, I made huge writing mistakes, but had I known these three tips beforehand, I’m sure I could’ve avoided them – and I want to help you avoid them, too!

1.) Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

This tip isn’t just limited to writing. You’ve probably heard it in regards to many different areas of life. But for me, it really means one thing: Don’t put all your hopes and dreams into one story idea.

I wrote my first novel when I was twelve, and fell head over heels in love with the idea. So much so that it took over my entire writing life. I rewrote that first novel – from scratch – about eleven times. I queried it endlessly. I even wrote the sequels. And as you can imagine, my journey through the query trenches resulted in…nothing. No response, no literary agent.

I finally had to trunk it.

But this led me down a path of wondering what to write next. Sure, I had other ideas in my head, but for the last almost ten years of my life, I had only pursued that one novel. I’d never branched out, never written another idea. I didn’t even know if I was capable of writing another novel.

But I was.

It was a very long and hard journey in teaching myself how to write another book. While I don’t regret rewriting that novel over and over again – it definitely helped me develop my own process and a writing habit – the anxiety, depression, and overwhelming sense of failure of not knowing if I was capable of writing another book is something I wouldn’t want to wish on any writer out there.

Remember: just because you have to put your project aside and work on something else, it doesn’t mean you’re giving up. Put all of your heart and soul into the book you’re writing, but don’t limit yourself to that one idea. You do have other ideas inside of you, and you are capable of writing them.

2.) Read – and Read a Lot

If you haven’t read my “How Reading Made Me a Better Writer” blog post, I’ll link it here, as it goes more in-depth on what I want to touch on for this tip.

I’d been an avid reader most of my life. It wasn’t until I hit my late teens and early twenties that I suddenly lost my love of reading. I wanted to read, but nothing on the shelf caught my interest. I wasn’t interested in fantasy either, which had become widely popular. I was only reading – maybe – a couple of books a year.

It wasn’t until one day that I realized I wasn’t “leveling up” as a writer. My writing reached a level where it wasn’t improving. I didn’t know the popular tropes and clichés, or why some books were bestsellers and others weren’t. I realized that if I wanted to be a professional writer, and have a life in this business, that I needed to bust my butt and actually pick up reading again.

So I did.

And I vastly improved in so many ways. From my writing craft, to my knowledge of the interest – everything about me and my writing improved. Since then, I’ve become an avid reader once again, and I read several books a month now. Reading can do so much for you, not as just a wonderful hobby, but

As Stephen King says, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.”

3.) Writing is Rewriting

For the longest time I never understood this concept:

“What do you mean I have to rewrite the book?”
“I just finished the first draft. You mean I have to write everything all over again?”

Those – and other misconceptions – wracked my brain whenever I heard this piece of writing advice. But guess what? It’s true.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to write your entire book from scratch, like I’d been led to believe. What this really means is that the first draft of anything you write will be crap. It will have awkward phrasing and prose, character motivations might not be clear, the dialogue might be stilted and awkward, crucial descriptions might be missing…and the only way to fix these issues to rewrite what you’d already written.

But having all of that in your first draft doesn’t make you a bad writer. Every writer in the history of writers has had to revise their books. It’s just part of the process.
When I first started writing, I didn’t understand this. I thought my first drafts were fine after a little reread and some editing – but I was very wrong.

Every novel needs time to sit after you’ve finished writing it. Every writer needs to come back to their project with a clear mind, so they can see what is and isn’t working within the manuscript, and that’s why getting feedback from outside sources is so important, too.

This is a concept I wish I’d understood years ago. If I’d known this sooner and given my earlier manuscripts time to sit and get feedback on them – and then give them the revisions they deserve – I wonder how much of a better chance I’d have had at hooking a literary agent. This is one piece of advice I’ve had to learn the hard way, but I’m so glad I understand it now.

Learning these three pieces of writing advice have helped me tremendously, and I hope they help you too!


Have any other pieces of writing advice you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO – Devon

Book Unhaul #1

After several years, I’ve finally done my first book “unhaul”. This isn’t a traditional unhaul, where I’ve donated these books or given them to family and friends. I’m actually keeping most of them in case I ever want to reread them or use them as a reference for anything. However, these books are leaving the bookshelf to be hidden somewhere out of view.

There’s currently three bookshelves in our apartment. One is in the bedroom, where I keep most of my books. The second is also in the bedroom, but we use that one for comic books and other knickknacks. The third one is the living room, and we keep our boxset books and other special book series on the shelves in there. But this third bookshelf also has a lower cabinet beneath it, where I can hide anything unsightly I don’t want to see anymore. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, all of these books are being “unhauled” from the good bookshelf to the bad one.

Please remember, if these are any of your personal favorite books, then that’s okay! We all have different opinions and tastes, and what doesn’t work for me, might work for you!


Books I May Reread in the Future

Keeper by Kim Chance
The Other Child by Lucy Atkins
Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson
Little Sister by Isabel Ashdown

Books I Liked, But Not Enough

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser
The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
The Third Twin by Ken Follet
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Books I’ll Probably Never Reread

The Bargaining by Carly Anne West
The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mathers
Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mathers
Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline
My Sweet Audrina/Whitefern by V.C. Andrews

Books I Just Didn’t Care For

The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy by Jenny Han
Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy
Eve the Awakening by Jenna Moreci
Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart
The Window by Amelia Brunskill

Books I Really Didn’t Like

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
The Alpha Drive by Kristen Martin
Shadow Crown by Kristen Martin
A Line in the Dark by Malinda Cho
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry
The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green
Chain Letter by Christopher Pike
They All Fall Down by Roxanne St. Claire
People Like Us by Dana Mele

Books I DNF’ed

Cradle and All by James Patterson
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Sea Witch by Sarah Henning
Enter the Dark House/Return to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Books I Gave Away

The Cabin by Natasha Preston
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

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I decided to give away the last three books for a few reasons. The Cabin by Natasha Preston was a complete disaster for me, so I knew with 100% certainty that I had no interest in hanging onto it. The Bones of You I read several years ago during a vacation, and while I remember thinking it was okay, it just wasn’t memorable enough for me to want to hold onto it. The same thing goes for Pretty Girls. I decided to put these into the Little Free Library in our town, so I hope someone can appreciate and find more enjoyment in them than I did.

 


What books did you unhaul recently? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO – Devon

4 Reasons to Join the Writing Community

Writing is a lonely process. Most of the time, us writers are holed up in a room, all alone, with our own thoughts, dreams, and ideas. It’s such an isolated process that it can be hard to remember there are other writers – and people like us – out there. Since joining the Writing Community two years ago, I’ve connected with so many amazing writers, and found a place where I can fully be myself.

So where do you join the community?

It’s all over the place! Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc…However, Twitter is the best place to be the most active. So many writers have accounts, as well as literary agents and publishing houses, and it’s the easiest place to interact and communicate.

But what benefits are there to joining the Writing Community?

1.) Community

There is a community full of writers out there. People who are on the same journey as you – whatever level you may be at. There are those who are writing their first novel, or their second; others who are ready to self-publish or already have. Whatever path you’re on, there will be hundreds of others just like you.

Like I said before, writing is a lonely process. But finding a community that you can connect with, where you can talk to like-minded people, makes the writing process a little less lonely.

2.) Connections

Being part of the community also means making connections with people. Other writers, editors, freelancers, critique partners, beta readers, and literary agents – they’re all people you can meet, and it’s important to get to know them.

Well, you don’t have to get to know all of them.

But making a few meaningful connections with other writers who can become your critique partners, or getting to know what an agent likes or dislikes by their tweets, can build meaningful connections that are guaranteed to help you along the way.

3.) Advice

Another amazing part of the community is learning advice from other writers, agents, and editors. So many of these writers tweet out daily writing advice, or agents will tweet things they frequently see go wrong in writer’s query letters or manuscripts.
Twitter can be a goldmine of advice.

Follow writers like Delilah S. Dawson, Susan Dennard, or V.E. Schwab for advice on writing.

4.) Platform

Whether you’re self, traditional, or small press publishing, one of the most important things you will have to do as a writer is build your author platform. By building an audience of people who are invested in you, and your work and brand, you’re already making a name for yourself in the publishing world.

Marketing is harder than ever these days, with so many markets oversaturated with products; but by ensuring you are active, and actively making connections with people, you’ll only continue to grow and build your platform. Follower count isn’t the most important thing – but building connections is.


If you’re interested in joining the community, follow along with hashtags like:

#WritingCommunity
#writingcommunity
#amwriting
#amediting
#authorlife
#writerlife

Do any of these tips help you want to join the community? How do you interact with other writers? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO – Devon

The 10 Best Gifts for Writers (Birthday Edition)

With another birthday come and gone, it got me thinking: what are some of the perfect gifts for writers? If you’re a writer looking for ideas for yourself, or you have writer friends with a birthday coming up and aren’t sure what to get them, then here’s a list that’ll hopefully spark the perfect gift idea!

1.) Gift Cards

You can’t go wrong with a gift card! They’re simple, yet so effective. Gift cards to places like Barnes & Nobles, Amazon, or Target are the perfect place to stock up on more books or favorite writing supplies.

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2.) Books

Or, if you know exactly what your friend likes to read, then get them a book! Books make the perfect gift; just make sure you know exactly what your friend wants, or you could end up accidentally getting them duplicates of books they already own!

Another great book gift is to get them a special edition of a book they already love, or even a box set of their favorite series.

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3.) Journals

What writer doesn’t love a journal? Whether they like to use it for, you know – actually journaling – or writing down plot ideas, blogging schedules, or writing routines, you can’t go wrong with a journal!

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4.) Writerly Mugs

Whatever their favorite drink, a mug is always fun. Writing quotes, grammar rules, Shakespeare insults, you name it – there’s bound to be a writerly themed mug for it!

Cafépress.com has some of the best mugs available!

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5.) Bookends

Writers are known for having lots of book, and book ends are perfect. Not only will they spice up a bookshelf, but they’re pretty cool to look at, and they’re the perfect writer themed decoration to liven up any room.

(I personally have my eye on the Game of Thrones Dragon Eggs Bookends)

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6.) Writer Coloring Books

Forget about the stigma of adults coloring! Coloring is one of the most relaxing and stress-releasing activities there is. In the past couple of years, some awesome YA themed coloring books have been released, and they’re an amazing gift!

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7.) Wick and Fables Candles

I haven’t personally used these, but I’ve heard they’re amazing! Candles inspired by your favorite books and favorite characters is sure to brighten any writer’s day! Not only can you shop for individual candles, but you can also subscribe to their monthly boxes!

Seriously, who doesn’t love a good candle?

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8.) Owl Crate Subscription

For just $29.99 USD, you can buy your friend a subscription to Owl Crate! They also offer three and six month prepay, if you’re feeling generous. Owl Crate is the leading young adult subscription box on the market. They gift you every month with a new YA release, bookish keepsakes, exclusive items from authors and publishers, and so much more They also offer Owl Crate Jr. for the Middle Grade readers out there.

I haven’t personally used Owl Crate, but I’ve heard nothing but good things, and even I’m tempted to sign up!

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9.) Masterclass Subscription

With a payment of $180 for an all-access pass, or $90 for a single Masterclass, you can gift your writer friend with this amazing opportunity. Detailed classes taught by Dan Brown, R.L. Stine, Judy Blume, James Patterson, and so many other successful writers have available classes on the Masterclass website. Not only is the price point affordable for such a class, but you get life-time access that never expires.

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10.) Workshop

Writing Workshops can range from $100 – $800 or more, and cover a myriad of topics like: Writing Women’s Fiction, 12 Weeks to a First Draft, Advanced Novel Writing, Focus on the Short Story, and so much more. There’s bound to be a topic your writing friend is interested in, whether they’re looking to get a certification, or level up their writing craft.
While Workshops are on the more expensive side, they’re definitely a more personalized and special gift. You can look more into workshops with resources like:

Catapult Classes
24PearlStreet
Writer’s Digest University
Gotham Writers Workshop

I personally asked for a specific workshop as a birthday gift, and I’ve really been enjoying it!

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Whatever your budget, or your writing friend is interested in, I hope this list gives you a better idea of finding the perfect gift for all your writer friends out there!


Have you personally bought any items on these list or taken a Masterclass? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO – Devon

Interview with a Writer: Kelsey Atkins

Are you interested in getting to know more of the writers who are part of our amazing community? As part of my blog series, I’ve interviewed some of the writers in an effort to get to know them better, as well as share their stories!

Today, I’m introducing Kelsey Atkins onto the blog! Kelsey is one of my CP’s, and her feedback on my work has been so helpful! I’m excited to share Kelsey’s story!


#1. What got you into writing? How and when did you first start?

I started to enjoy writing at a very young age. I’ve always kept a journal and even wrote a few short stories when I was in middle school, but I didn’t start seriously writing until I was out of college. Writing was never something I thought about doing until I had a story to write. As soon as that first story planted itself in my brain and demanded to be written, I began my official writing journey and have been at it ever since.

#2: Where do you usually get your ideas?

As cliché as it sounds, I get my best ideas from dreams. Occasionally an idea will randomly pop into my head or develop from something I saw or heard, but the best ideas come from my subconscious.

#3: What current project are you working on right now? What was the inspiration for this project?

My current project is a dystopian novel set in a fantasy world. This is my first dystopian, but I stayed near my comfort zone by adding a fantasy element. I can’t remember where the idea originally came from, but I do remember it started out more as a feeling than an overall idea. I tried to write a different story before I chose to work on this one, but it kept tugging at the back of my mind, begging to be written, so that’s where my focus currently lies.

#4: Traditional, Self-Publish, Small Press? What path to publishing are you pursuing/have pursued and why?

My first book was traditionally published and I will continue to seek that route for my future novels. This is such a personal choice for each writer and for me it came down to needing to have someone in the industry believe in my work. I also wanted the support a traditional publisher provides as well as help navigating my way through marketing and book signings. The financial support is a huge bonus too!

#5: What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever received?

“There are no rules for writing. Find what works for you and stick with it!”

I really struggled to complete my first book because I thought I had to write it linearly from beginning to end. I thought I had to have an outline and do my best to stick to it. When I finally let go of all that, writing came so much easier. It took me five years to write my first book, but after I developed a process that worked for me, it only took me four months to write my second novel and eight weeks to write my third (thanks to Camp Nano and awesome cabin mates).

#6: When are you most creative?

My creativity hits whenever it’s inconvenient such as in the shower or while I’m driving. One of these days I’ll need to invest in a voice recorder and waterproof notepad, but until then I’ll continue jumping out of the shower with soapy hair, pulling over on the side of the road, or trying to convince myself I can remember whatever great idea popped into my mind.

#7: What authors inspire you the most?

Honestly, the authors who inspire me the most are those in the writing community who have yet to be published or have just started their publishing journey. The journey is LONG and hard and exhausting. It would be so much easier to give up after the first ten rejection letters and even easier to give up after the next twenty, thirty, or however many may come. It is so inspiring to see the writers who believe in themselves and their work keep fighting every day to make their dreams a reality. Persevering through the criticism and the let downs is so hard and takes an immeasurable amount of strength. Those who fight the good fight every day inspire me the most!

#8: What’s your most anticipated read in the next few months?

I don’t often read new releases so I couldn’t even tell you what’s coming out in the next few months, but I can tell you I am really looking forward to Sarah J. Maas’s new book!

#9: What are you currently reading?

Right now I’m working my way through several beta reads but am also reading Tower of Dawn which is taking me much longer to get through than the other books in the series.

#10: What’s your favorite book or book series?

This question is almost impossible. One of my all-time favorite series is The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, but there are several close seconds including A Court of Thorns and Roses, The Tiger’s Curse, and of course Harry Potter!

#11: Favorite childhood book?

The first book I remember really enjoying growing up was The Golden Compass by Philip Paullman. In high school, my favorite series was Harry Potter!

#12: Biggest book pet peeve?

Love triangles are geometric romances from hell! I never have and never will enjoy them. Reading one is the equivalent to nails on a chalkboard for me which is funny because several of my favorite books have at least one written into the story somewhere.

#13: What book has made you cry?

I know there are plenty that have made me cry, but the only ones I can think of off the top of my head are The Shack and Where the Red Fern Grows. I try to stay away from books that will make me cry, but it doesn’t take much to elicit an emotion response from me, so I tend to cry at some point in most of the stories I read.

#14: Favorite writing snack or drink?

I’m not a huge snack eater when I’m writing because I don’t like to stop writing to take bites. I do enjoy having coffee or iced tea while writing and I usually reward myself with chocolate or a milkshake after a good writing spree.

#15: What’s your biggest fear? Writing related or otherwise – or both!

My biggest fear has always been drowning! I don’t have a lot of fears associated with writing because it’s something I truly love and enjoy doing, but I do get nervous when I share my work with others.

#16: What other hobbies do you have outside of writing?

Most of my time is taken up by a rambunctious five-year-old, but when I have some free time to myself, I like to read, listen to music, color, crochet, and play Final Fantasy (my guilty pleasure).

#17: Biggest real-life pet peeve?

Mean people! I can’t stand it when people treat others with anything other than kindness. We all have bad days and rough lives; it doesn’t give anyone the excuse to take it out on someone else. Mean people are especially frustrating in the writing world. I’ve seen far too many unfair negative reviews of books simply because someone was upset about something that had nothing to do with the story.

#18: Any final words to aspiring writers out there?

Keep doing what you love and never give up! The best part about writing your own story is that it can be anything you want it to be. Take the critiques, listen to advice from those you trust, but never compromise who you are or the heart of your story!


All About Kelsey

WSYOawJN.jpgKelsey Atkins is an elementary and middle school teacher who loves to write. Her work with young adults in the classroom inspired her to write the Finding the Light series. Kelsey grew up in a small town in Idaho where she grew to love the outdoors. She currently lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, son, and fluffy Samoyed. When she isn’t teaching or writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, hiking, and volunteering at church.

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Twitter: @AtkinsAuthor