Hello everyone!

It is that time again, time for NaNoWriMo!

Now, for those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Its held every November, where a ton of aspiring authors (and published authors too!) challenge themselves to write a 50,000 word novel in just one month.

I discovered this for the first time last year. I know, I’m behind in the times. However…there are things I like about this and things that I don’t. I don’t believe in writing an entire novel in one month…its just not my thing. I also think 50K words for a novel, either YA or adult, is just not enough. But I love that it brings all these writers together, motivating and inspiring each other. I love that everyone holds each other accountable.

So last year, I created my own sort of challenge. I challenged myself to write 45K of a novel that I had already started, The Reawakened. It was already at about 20K when I started NaNo, so I had a solid backing for that. I wanted to focus on writing, yes, but developing the story, the characters, focusing on becoming a better writer that month, not just spitting out all those words. Fast forward a year later and that novel became The Awakened, the first in a duology, the novel that I’ve been editing for about six months and been querying for a couple months as well. You guys may know it well because I talk about it so much.

Now its my sophomore year of NaNoWriMo. I was hesitant to participate because I’ve been slumpy in my reading habits and I’m been unable to write but I’ve been motivated. I need to get over this overemotional, miserableness that has been me the past couple months. So I’m ready for this, and what better to snap me back into the life of writing than NaNoWriMo.

So I invite you guys on my journey!

It is going to be great. There will be a few posts a week and you guys can watch my journey as I tackle my new novel.

Now, my novel for NaNoWriMo is untitled…which will have a fun part in the posts on the blog. I was going to work on the sequel to The Awakened but I decided my focus for that world is editing and querying. Instead I decided to jump into my untitled young adult/new adult contemporary romance baseball novel. Its going to be great, and I’ve only written…500 words for it.

So here are my goals!

1. Write 40K words of this untitled novel. 50 would be great but 40 is my goal :) I will consider myself a winner if I write 40

2. Come up with a title. No, really. And you guys can help ;)

3. Develop, develop, develop. Develop my characters, my story, my fictional setting, etc.

Don’t forget you can join in on the fun, and check out the official website here.

Here is the plan on the blog, where you can follow my NaNoWriMo journey!

November 1st: About My Novel and Where I Write!

November 4th: Meeting the Main Characters of my Novel: Evie, Lucy, Jesse, Alex, and Connor

November 6th: Let’s Talk About Setting: Macon, California

November 8th: Actual Writing Advice from Actual Authors

November 11th: Character Interviews

November 13th: Treating Writing Like a Job

November 15th: Its the Halfway Point! Update, Struggles/Successes!

November 18th: The Inspiration Behind The Untitled Novel

November 20th: Character Playlists

November 22nd: Free Write: Lucy and Evie Celebrate Thanksgiving

November 27th: Meeting my Characters in Artwork

November 29th: My Sophomore Experience with NaNoWriMo

November 30th: Excerpt from my Novel…So Far

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Happy Writing!

Hello everyone.

Today, I have a vlog for you. I have prided myself in the fact that I don’t hold back. I am a blogger of books and writing and all things nerd girl but I’ve never held back on the person that I am. I”m open and honest because I think of each and every single one of you as my friends and I know that some of you have noticed that this blog has been a lot…slower than it used to be.

I wanted to write an entire thing but I realized I’d ramble so I did a vlog. Where I basically proceeded to ramble. But I wanted to fill you in, and I felt like a vlog was more personal.

So here it is: an update on my life, my well being, the blog, and everything. Its not…too long so please watch and I hope you all stick around. :)

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I honestly didn’t think I was capable of coming up with a longer title than that, but I proved myself wrong. Whoa! I’m impressed with myself.

Now, today, I’m here to share some info about an author named Erin Rhew and her books, The Prophecy and The Outlanders, mostly about the second one in that sentence. The Prophecy is Erin Rhew’s first book of her Fulfillment series, and recently went through a cover change and a republishing and you can learn all about that here. Definitely check that out and then head back to learn more about Erin and the SECOND book, The Outlanders.

But first, about Erin :)

Erin Rhew

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Erin Rhew is an editor, a running coach, and the author of The Fulfillment Series. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the “Grammar Police.” A Southern girl by blood and birth, Erin now lives in a rainy pocket of the Pacific Northwest with the amazingly talented (and totally handsome) writer Deek Rhew and their “overly fluffy,” patient-as-a-saint writing assistant, a tabby cat named Trinity. She and Deek enjoy reading aloud to one another, running, lifting, boxing, eating chocolate, and writing side-by-side.

You Can Find Her At:

Website / Twitter / Facebook / GoodReads

Purchase:

The Prophecy / The Outlanders

About The Outlanders

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With King Jesper dead and Prince Wilhelm mortally wounded, Halfling prince, Nash, and the Fulfilment, Layla, assume the throne of Etherea. They must contend with a new Prophecy Candidate who asserts her position, and Layla is surprised to find her fate intertwined with this challenger. Facing a myriad of choices, Nash and Layla’s decisions affect not only their own futures but that of two kingdoms.

Unbeknownst to the Ethereals or the Vanguards, a slumbering menace stirs in the south, awakened after centuries of slumber. The mysterious Outlanders, a force shadowed in mystery, sit poised to tip the balance of power, sending ripples of fear throughout both warring kingdoms.

Elder Werrick proved a formidable foe, but Layla may yet meet her match in the monstrous Outlander queen. This mistress of the dark’s plans, rooted in revenge and ancient lore, now threaten the livelihood of all three kingdoms.

Racing against time, Layla travels to the Borderlands—home of the Voltons and Ecclesiastics—to discover as much as she can about the war, the First Ones, and the prophecy itself. Lives teeter in the balance, kingdoms sit on the cusp of ruin, and a beast, greater than any she’s ever faced before, plots a catastrophic attack.

Release Date: October 21st, 2014

The Giveaway 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Now its time for the guest post, which I’m really excited about because Erin shares some insides about being a published author and the journey that it takes to get there!

Guest Post: “Things I Didn’t Know About Being a Writer”

I think most new writers start out a bit naïve about the process. When you look around, books just seem to sell. A big named author releases a new novel, and BOOM, it’s a bestseller. No one ever mentions all the behind-the-scenes mayhem that contributes to that bestseller or how many rejections that person received before he or she hit it big.

                  The first thing I didn’t know about being a writer was the process of publication. I just thought I’d write the next great American novel (as each writer aspires to do), and it would be published. Wham-bam! Just like that. But noooooo, there is a long hard road that must be hoed on the path to publication. First, a writer must send a query letter to prospective agents or publishers. And wait. Note: Waiting is the theme of a writer’s life, which is tricky for someone with ADD. Sometimes the rejections are instantaneous, and sometimes you receive them a year later. You think, “If only this person would READ my book, they’d love it.” And then, angels sing the day you get a request from someone to see more of your work. Elation fills you as you think this one may be “the one.” More waiting—sometimes as long as 6 months. And then there is the rejection—the heart wrenching, soul-crushing rejection. The person actually read your book and still said no. It’s a knife to the heart. But the day comes where someone says, “Yes,” and you jump up and down, squealing like a maniac, in the middle of a pet store. ;)

                  I don’t think I realized how many people aspire to be authors. There are so very many of us. Thankfully, the process of publication has shifted. People have options for their books—traditional, small-press, and self-published. Some choose self-publication and end up with small press contracts. Some choose small press and end up with traditional contracts. While others choose self-pub or small press and are happy to stay that way. And some dabble in all—like Jennifer Armentrout. There are also new ways, besides querying, to receive contracts. #PitMad on Twitter and other similar contests are new avenues by which an author can get his/her work seen. I think it’s a special time for authors with this smörgåsbord board of opportunities and options.

                  Writing itself is a fairly solitary process. But after having been through this process, I realized just how much support a writer needs. First, I needed a support team to help me get my writing done. I call them the Dream Team! They kept me on track and motivated while I wrote and then later as I queried. When I cried over rejections, they told me, “Stay the course! It only takes one ‘yes.’” I also needed help from my critique partners: Mary Waibel, Meradeth Houston, Michelle Pickett, T.C. Mckee, and Deek Rhew. Since they are all writers as well, they could help hone the more industry necessary portions of my piece (reduce adverbs, maintain a consistent POV, etc.). Once my book got picked up by a publisher, I received the help of professional content and line editors who shaped and molded my story into something better. And when the time finally came for marketing and promoting, I really needed other authors, bloggers, and book reviewers to help get the word out about my novel. So, what starts as a solitary endeavor grows into the work of an entire village.

                  Here’s a little slightly off-topic-but-still-related story: I didn’t know writing could lead you to your soulmate. Deek started out as my critique partner. I received one of his short stories to critique as I am the resident “grammar nerd” of our group. Editing his piece began a friendship that over a period of time grew into something more. Now, we’re engaged and getting married soon. Without writing, I would never have met him. So, being an author can change a person’s life in a myriad of ways! You never know where “the one” might be hiding! ;)

                  I think the biggest thing I didn’t know about being a writer is how much time I would need to devote to marketing and promotion. Even the traditional publishers are leaving most of the marketing work up to the authors. Gone are the days of authors being given high-powered publicists with their hands in cookies jars around the world. Now the authors themselves must do that work. It takes away from writing time. Whereas I used to sit and write for a solid hour, I must now promote for 30 minutes and write for 30 minutes. My process is slower. I’m not churning out the stories as I once did. Time flits away from me like a fairy I can’t seem to catch. I feel stressed, always behind. But at the same time, I’ve met amazing people. I’ve created lifelong friendships and invested myself in amazing people.

                  If you have written a book and are looking at any level of publication, I encourage you to pursue it. It’s worth the sacrifices. You’ll grow and change in ways you never imagined. And more importantly, you’ll never have to say you didn’t try. Always chase your dreams!

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Thank you SO much Erin for being a part of this post, and everyone, get out there and get your hands on a copy of The Prophecy and The Outlanders today!