Archive for the ‘books’ Tag

FRIDAY MUSINGS   Leave a comment

If you follow me on social media you know what a rough year it’s been for me and my family. We lost my step-father in March after a brief, unexpected illness and his birthday is coming up on Father’s Day, so yeah…that will be a sad day for me. My mom (now gone) married him when I was fifteen so I always called him my dad. He was a kind, generous man who loved life and football, especially the University of Michigan Wolverines! He is sorely missed. IMG_0656

Dad 1928-2016

Then, we lost our 14 year-old cat, Zeus to cancer a few weeks ago and I still miss her.

IMG_1104

ZEUS 2001-2016

We are struggling financially and are looking for ways to cut bills. We take the bus/Metro when we can (not always feasible in Los Angeles), have cancelled cable and eat meatless meals most of the time (pasta casseroles are our go-to meals).

YUM

We’ve had some good things too, both kids are graduating and looking for jobs. One has a part-time job and another one has a summer job but hasn’t been able to find housing (it’s 300 miles away from us) yet.

I’m still trying to make it as a full-time writer and am one step closer thanks to getting into the writing contest, Query Kombat with my historical, middle grade manuscript inspired by the British invasion of The Beatles. In the contest it’s called, THE BRITISH ARE COMING. I’ve already made friends and had a blast on the Twitter feed so it’s a win for me even if I don’t get any requests from agents.

WRITING WITH A FOUNTAIN PEN

I am trying to find editing clients (have extensive experience editing as a teacher/educator and editor) but it’s slow at the moment. I have a sale going on and will edit your manuscript for half-off, includes three passes of your query/logline too! See website and look under Editing Services tab at: http://www.kathleensallen.weebly.com

If you know any writer who is looking for a “big picture” editor, send them my way! I’d love to be able to pay bills and not get evicted this coming month. Yes, it’s a real possibility and not a joke. I wish it was.

BIG BANG NERVOUS

If you can help me and my family out by engaging my editing services, we’d appreciate it. I’d love to be able to help my kid pay for their first month’s rent too.

And if you or a friend isn’t in the market for editing, maybe you’d enjoy a new book. Check out my Amazon page. Most of my books are in eBook and print. Many of my books are listed on my website with links to the actual books.

We made it so far and I’m sure we’ll make it again. It’s just difficult right now. But I never lose hope that something good is around the corner and that’s what keeps me going.

TOOTHLESS PICTURE DAY

 

Thanks for listening.

NEVER GIVE UP GIF

Best,

Kathleen

 

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Monday Musings   Leave a comment

In case you’re interested, I put up a new page with my fanfiction stories in it. Right now it’s only one, THORNFIELD MANOR: JANE EYRE AND VAMPIRES. https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8183575/1/Thornfield-Manor-Jane-Eyre-and-Vampires

I like writing fan fic and may do more. I also like doing retellings as evidenced by my current novel I’m querying with agents, IN DARKNESS WE DWELL which is a young adult Frankenstein retelling with Jack the Ripper elements and has a female main character.

Thornfield Manor Cover

I have done two retellings of Little Red Riding Hood, one is a short story on Kindle called, LITTLE RED http://www.amazon.in/Little-Red-Kathleen-S-Allen-ebook/dp/B008EM2W1G  and one I just finished writing and editing called, BLOOD RED. In this one the wolves are persecuted by the humans. It’s a YA fantasy.

I’ve also written a young adult retelLITTLE RED COVERling of The Phantom of the Opera that features a male aspiring opera singer and a female opera ghost who possesses him. That one is MUSIC OF THE NIGHT. I’ve recently revised it and aged it down from a New Adult age to Young Adult. I will be querying it soon.

My WIP is a young adult fantasy retelling of Romeo and Juliet also a fantasy.

And, of course, there’s my zombie short story on Wattpad, a retelling of Grimm’s fairytale, The Robber Bridgegroom. Mine is THE ZOMBIE BRIDEGROOM and you can find it here: https://www.wattpad.com/user/KathleenSAllen/about

ZOMBIE BRIDEGROOM COVER

What are your favorite fairytales or retellings?

 

BRENDA DRAKE HAS A NEW TITLE!   2 comments

Here is the book trailer from Entangled teen for Brenda’s new title! Check it out!

Posted July 3, 2015 by kathleea in Uncategorized

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Cover Reveal!   1 comment

COMING SOON FROM SAMHAIN PUBLISHING!

SWAY BOOK JACKET-MELANIE STANFORD

Ava Elliot never thought she’d be come a couch surfer. But with a freshly minted—and worthless—degree from Julliard, and her dad squandering the family fortune, what choice does she have?

Living with her old high school friends, though, has its own drawbacks. Especially when her ex-fiancé Eric Wentworth drops back into her life. Eight years ago, she was too young, too scared of being poor, and too scared of her dad’s disapproval. Dumping him was a big mistake.

In the most ironic of role reversals, Eric is rolling in musical success, and Ava’s starting at the bottom to build her career. Worse, every song Eric sings is an arrow aimed straight for her regrets.

One encounter, one song too many, and Ava can’t go on like this. It’s time to tell Eric the truth, and make a choice. Finally let go of the past, or risk her heart for a second chance with her first love. If he can forgive her…and she can forgive herself.

 

AUTHOR BIO:

Melanie Stanford reads too much, plays music too loud, is sometimes dancing, and always daydreaming. She would also like her very own TARDIS, but only to travel to the past. She lives outside Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband, four kids, and ridiculous amounts of snow.Melanie Stanford AUTHOR PIX

LINKS:

 

melaniestanfordbooks.com

 

@MelMStanford

 

www.facebook.com/MelanieStanfordauthor

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25701546-sway

 

samhainpublishing.com

Posted June 18, 2015 by kathleea in books, fiction, writing

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The Writing Process: LET’S START AT THE BEGINNING!   Leave a comment

So far I’ve talked about getting ideas, plotting or pantsing and let’s say you’re ready to start writing. You’ve pantsed your way here or plotted until you can’t plot anymore. You type or write: Chapter 1. What’s next?

What you need is a great hook. A first line that will blow your readers/agents/editors out of the water! Most agents will read your first page but if it’s not stellar they won’t read further. What do you need for a great hook/first page?

You need stakes. No, not the pointy ones Buffy uses or the ones you eat. The first page needs to set up a couple of things. It needs to let the readers know your setting/time period. Writing a contemporary adult romance is completely different than writing a young adult science fiction. If you’re writing historical the setting might be easier but if you’re writing a science fiction novel you better mention space, aliens or spaceships (or whatever) in the first page. A horror will not read the same as a fantasy.

Okay, setting/time period, what else do you need? You need to either foreshadow the main character’s conflict or state it. Readers need to know what’s at stake for your main character right away. And don’t forget VOICE. The first page should sing (well, not really sing) with your main character’s voice. You also need some sort of inciting event. Why now? What’s happening to your main character? Avoid backstory or information dumping. Put your main character into the story and show us what’s going on.

Here’s what you need:

A great first line/hook

Mention of main character in first page

Setting/time period to set the tone of the rest of the book

Inciting event-what happened and what’s your character’s motivation?

Conflict/Stakes

Voice

Here’s an example from one of my books (you knew I’d pick one of mine, didn’t you?). This is the first page of my YA book, WITCH HUNTER

http://www.amazon.com/Witch-Hunter-Kathleen-S-Allen-ebook/dp/B0053TGGVK/ref=sr_1_76?ie=UTF8&qid=1433437152&sr=8-76&keywords=witch+hunter

Chapter 1

Molly O’Claire’s foot half skimmed the gravel before the car had stopped. “Here! Stop the car!”

The Atlantic Ocean in all its glory stretched out for miles in all directions. Foam tipped waves washed up onto sun-drenched sand and washed out again to leave imprints of bubbles behind. Blue skies interlaced with cirrus clouds spoke of fair weather in the days ahead. Molly sighed with the sheer beauty of it. She kicked off her shoes and waded into the cold water.

“Isn’t it beautiful, mom?” Molly’s red hair blew wildly about her face. She held it back with one hand as she laughed.

“Come on Molly, Sarah is waiting for us.” Her mom waited impatiently by the jeep.

Molly waved to show she heard her then smiled as she spotted a starfish on the beach. She picked it up and tossed it back in the water.

“Come on, let’s go.” Molly retrieved her shoes from where she had thrown them and walked barefoot up the slight hill to the Jeep. She brushed her sandy feet off before she climbed back into the passenger side.

“That was awesome, “she said as she buckled her seat belt. “I love the ocean. I hope you get the job so we can live on the beach. Maybe I can find a part-time job too, you know babysitting or working in a store.”

“I hope I get it too. I want us to be closer to Sarah, and you know how I feel about you working when you are in school.”

“I know. School is my job right now,” she grinned at her mom. “Hey, can I practice driving?”

“No, not right now. You don’t know these roads.”

“Neither do you,” Molly said under her breath. Her mom glared at her. Molly smiled back. “We haven’t seen Aunt Sarah since she moved back to Salem two years ago,” she said as her mom pulled off the shoulder and back onto the road.

“I do miss her even though I don’t always agree with her choices.”

Now let’s see if it meets all the criteria.

Hook: We can see Molly is excited about something and we are interested to know what.

Mention of Main Character: Yes, first line mentions her.

Setting/Time Period/Tone: It appears to be contemporary and present day.

Inciting Event: It sounds like Molly’s mother is going on a job interview and Molly is staying with her Aunt Sarah in Salem. We’re not sure what’s going to happen but we’re intrigued.

Motivation of Main Character: Since we haven’t gotten the conflict yet (although we know it’s coming) we aren’t sure of her motivation yet.

Conflict/Stakes: We’re not sure but it must have something to do with the visit to Aunt Sarah.

Voice: Yes, the voice of the main character comes through.

So, did it work? Most of it. In retrospect, stating the conflict sooner might’ve been helpful.

I didn’t talk about point-of-view and that’s another post

Tell me how you feel about the beginning of your story in the comments!

Now go forth and write your killer first page!

Posted June 4, 2015 by kathleea in Uncategorized

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My Writing Journey   Leave a comment

I decided to blog about my writing journey. I put a post up yesterday on a different blogging tool about my process. Today I’m going to break it down step by step.

My journey begins…

It all started at the age of three when I learned to read. Wait, too far back.

It all started at the age of eight when I wrote my first book of poems. Nope, still too far back.

Okay, it started when I was fifteen and had my first poem published. Better but not there yet.

When I was seventeen I wrote my first novel, Robinshire Castle about twin brothers, who happened to be Dukes of Cornwall (well, one was, Colin and Connor were their names). A seventeen-year-old girl came to the castle to be a governess to Colin’s daughter (can you sense a Jane Eyre theme here?). She falls for Connor (the evil twin, duh-duh) who killed his sister-in-law and attempts to kill the daughter because Colin is set to inherit the castle. Long story short (oops, too late) the girl saves daughter, pushes Connor off a turret and marries Colin and becomes a Duchess. THIS WILL NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY.

I started getting poems published, short stories and flash fiction. Time goes by (hums) and eventually I wrote my next novel, WITCH HUNTER, I did as part of a Master’s in English degree. I worked on it for two years and ended up self-publishing it because it was a novella not a novel. I self-published AINE and FAERIE FOLK around the same time and PLEASE TO SEE THE KING, a book of short stories based on characters from English/Irish ballads. Next I published, FITZROY: THE BOY WHO WOULD BE KING about the illegitimate son of Henry VIII. It’s a top seller in the UK.

I’ve published with two small publishers, two YA fantasies, LORE OF FEI and WAR OF FEI with Muse It Up Publishing. Two murder mysteries, IF IT’S MONDAY, IT MUST BE MURDER and IF IT’S TUESDAY, IT MUST BE TROUBLE, and a YA contemporary;  HOW TO BE ALMOST FAMOUS IN TEN DAYS with Gypsy Shadow Publishing.

I am on the lookout for an agent, (that elusive beast rarely seen in captivity) with my latest novel, a young adult gothic horror. Check out my website for more info on my writings. You can also see my inspiration boards on Pinterest.

Website

Posted May 17, 2015 by kathleea in books, fiction, writers

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