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Most of the time what I do as a writer is organic. It flows from my head to my fingers in a non-interrupted stream of consciousness.
It turns ugly, because I have to think and by thinking I mean skull scratching, throwing things at the wall, so angry I can’t breathe all because I can’t *figure out, * or *fix* a particular scene.
And when i’ve thrown all my pencils and my last notebook, I pull out my old standby: cold calculation. Like a Math Professor, who does quantum physics while he creates crossword puzzles, I methodically plot out the scene needed.
When I’ve done all I can, to make my werewolf loving, tight jean wearing twenty-year-old caffeine addict as realistic possible, I send my work off to a beta reader.. or two.
Then I wait.
And just when I’m convinced I will never hear back from anyone ever again… I get a knock on my door. (Yes, my favorite beta reader lives nearby!~)
Thoughts race through my head. Was the story tightly focused enough? Will I be able to fix the plot after they’ve ruthlessly shredded it to bit? Did my characters interact so well that when they were facing that mob of zombie werewolf vampires from the planet Alakazambia that my reader fell asleep? Instead of a tight review I can use for weeks on end, I get a …. compliment.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Sheryl, you’re supposed to be happy right now.
AND I am..
“This is so you. YOU drink coffee like this,” she tells me.
NO, No no. I drink one cup of coffee a day then i’m done. Kaput, finished. *I* shared my eye color with my heroine. Which by the way is a beautiful shade of hazel with flecks like real cinnamon floating haphazardly throughout. I gave her a love of woodworking, the joy of sanding and staining. That was me. The coffee? I coldly made that up.
“No. The coffee was you. I could so see you drinking that. ”
I look nothing like my character. She’s skinny and wears long t-shirts with cartoon characters on them. She drinks non-fat latte with an extra shot of caffeine. I’d die from that. I have fat reserves to replenish people. I can’t afford to drink anything nonfat. Her coffee is considered yuck in a cup.
Then I get that look. The one that says.’ I know you better.’ And maybe she does. If she wants to see me as a latte drinking, skinny twenty year old with hazel eyes. Who am I to judge?
So I shrug and close the door gently behind her. I open up my laptop and go back to my cold-blooded calculation on how to get a mermaid out of the ocean without threatening her with a great white shark.
Ah. The joys of being a writer!
Sheryl Winters lives in a small town in Alaska. She grew up in the midst of old country story tellers, so you might say writing comes naturally to her. She is known for writing paranormal romances with a twist. Her writing inspiration often comes from the great outdoors of Alaska and she enfolds bits of it into her stories. For further inspiration, she has raised a menagerie of cats and dogs to the aged spirits they have become.
It comes out wrong.
No matter what I write…
It takes a turn for the worse..
It’s days like these that i’m reminded
as I pick up my pen to try again,
Of one tiny fact.
All I ever have to do is the best that I can.
It doesn’t matter if someone else thinks I can do better.
They do not live in my head.
They do not live in this body.
It’s simple folks.
Pick up your pen and try again.
When you read a good romance, for a brief shining moment, your world is changed. It’s broadened expanded, it’s different. When I’m writing. I’m am 100% in love (if for a brief platonic period of time) with that hero. That gun toting horse riding, shining example of bad boy deliciousness. And the beauty of writing is such that I’ve also fallen for that shy, plain, turnip hating girl who has the courage to stand up to that bad boy. You know the girl; she’s had the hots for the hero for the last five or ten years or was it just overnight? Either way, I’m in love because they are in love.
When your writing, your applying pen to paper, shaping those two characters so that eventually I (and you) can understand why they’ve fallen in love. Why they care so much about each other that they would fall off a horse, rob a bank, or just admit they love each other in front of the entire town.
So tonight when you’re busy doing routine chores. I dare you to put the dishes back in the sink, to turn off that tv.
Go find a new book.
Go fall in love.
Here’s what’s coming!
Release Date: October 6, 2014
Target Reader: Adult
Back of the Book
Thrust out of their homes by a human High Priest on a vengeful mission, the Natives of Derlund no longer have a place to call their own. One escaped capture, however, and now she, Hyla, is the only one who can save her people.
For, Hyla, though, saving her nation isn’t her ultimate goal—returning to the Pool of Souls is. Becoming its Guardian and preserving their faith is her heart’s desire. The perils of her current journey, though, could leave her unable to fulfill that dream.
To find her way back to the Pool, Hyla must live among dangerous, powerful humans willing to defend the Natives, and must submit herself—her Talents—to them. While her protection is paramount, plots to end Hyla’s life will push her to her physical and emotional limits.
On the edge of sanity, her courage tested, and convictions nearly broken, Hyla’s final test of loyalty to her faith comes with the death of one she could have loved.
Several years ago, I attended a Writer’s conference. The room was packed. Filled with aspiring writers, several hundred in fact. All on the edge of their chairs, eager to learn more about the golden globe of publication.
There were several speakers, the topics were great: geared towards helping each participant move forward but there was one thing that troubled me about this writer’s conference.
The theme was meant to discourage every person in the room.
“The chances of getting published is less than 5 percent.”
And I heard it in numerous classes.
What a terrible thing to tell a group of people.
Dash their hopes, smash their icecream on the floor. One participant left crying. I met her outside. She said she paid a lot of money to come to these classes for nothing.
She believed them.
And they were wrong.
You know what it takes to get published?
The only thing in life that stops you is yourself. Don’t let yourself stop you.