Renee Writes

Posts in category Writer’s Life

Liebster Award – My Second Nomination! :-D

First of all, thank you to Allison D. Reid for nominating me for this award. It’s the second time I’ve been nominated since starting this blog a few years ago, so that’s pretty cool. 😀

Now to answer Allison’s questions:

1. What is your favorite book, or if you prefer, your favorite author?

This always changes with my mood, but so far Terry Goodkind is probably my ultimate favorite. I absolutely love his Sword of Truth series. 😀

2. Is there a country you have always wanted to visit, if so where?

It’s a tie between Scotland and Italy. Scotland because it’s just so beautiful, and I’ve always wanted to see it in real life. And Italy because my mom is of Italian descent, and it would be nice to see the place where some of my ancestors have come from.

3. What do you enjoy about blogging, and how has your blog changed in unexpected ways since you started it?

I originally started my blog to share my writing and gain new readers. Since then, it’s also turned into a place where I share what I learn about writing and the industry with other authors as well. I love blogging as long as it’s not something I HAVE to do and something I just do when the mood strikes me. I find I enjoy it a lot more when I’m not forcing myself. It’s another way for me to get my thoughts out of my head and maybe entertain/inform others in the process.

4. What’s your preferred writing and/or blogging space?

My desk is in the lounge room right next to a huge sliding glass door that overlooks our back yard. I love having the TV going behind me for background noise when I write/blog. When the weather is nice, I also like to take my laptop out onto the deck and sit outside to write. I haven’t had much chance to do that with the hot weather, but it’s cooling down now. Just have to wait for a rain free day. 😀

5. How do you find inspiration?

I don’t often have to go looking for inspiration. It generally comes to me in the form of dreams and a very vivid and overactive imagination. When I do need inspiration, usually for short stories, I use a plot generator to get my creative juices flowing. I don’t use one idea though. I usually read through a few of them until inspiration strikes and my imagination takes over.

6. What do you like to do for fun when you need a break from writing (or from your blog)?

Read… I read or play Star Wars: The Old Republic online. Or I watch movies with my family and play board games with my daughter. Sometimes we’ll even bake together or do science experiments, but that happens less often as she’s getting older.

7. What started you down the road of writing and/or blogging?

I’ve always liked telling stories I’d make up on the spot. My friends thought I was crazy, but they loved my stories. I never considered writing them down until I was in college. My English instructor suggested I get some of my work published. But it still took a while before I finally came around to making a career of it. Blogging came naturally as a result, I guess. It just made sense to have a blog as a way to keep my readers informed.

8. Are there any Indie authors you would recommend to readers looking for a good book?

Yes, definitely. If you like epic fantasy with a steampunk feel and assassins, you’ll really love Lindsay Buroker’s The Emperor’s Edge series. You can download the first book free on Amazon. I’m also really enjoying Joshua Robertson’s dark fantasy book, Melkorka. It’s taking me forever to read because I’m more tired than usual lately and I fall asleep almost as soon as I start reading (that’s normal for me when my immune system is out of whack). And I’m loving Allison’s Wind Rider Chronicles too. It’s Christian fantasy, but its themes are subtle and non-preachy if that kind of thing bothers you. It’s a really good story, and I definitely recommend it.

9. How do you keep yourself motivated?

I don’t have to be motivated to write. If I don’t write my anxiety and stress levels go through the roof. Writing keeps me sane, and I love it. There are days I don’t feel like getting my brain in gear, but I just tell myself I’ll write and paragraph and stop, but I very rarely stop after a paragraph.

10. What superpower would you choose and why?

Considering I don’t have a car, flying would be a good one to have. Even if I did have a car, flying would be awesome!

11. What four people would you invite to a dinner party; contemporary, historical, or fictional?

Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi most definitely. I mean, real Jedi in my house. How cool would that be? Jamie Oliver, because I’d need his advice and help with the menu. And my grandfather. I didn’t get to see him before he died, so I’d love to see him one last time. Preferably as a spirit and not a zombie…

I’m supposed to nominate 11 others, but just about everyone I would nominate have already been nominated recently, and the rest don’t have blogs. So I’m breaking the rules this time. I nominated people last time, so I think I can get away with it. 😉

 

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Weekly Fantasy Fix: Happy New Year! What’s Your Resolution?

 

The new year is always such an exciting time for me. I love the possibility of a fresh start (actually I’m sort of addicted to fresh starts…long story) and that’s what New Year represents to me. It’s a chance to reflect on everything you’ve accomplished in the last year and start making plans for the new one.

Every year I tend to feel as though I haven’t done much, but as soon as I start going through everything, I always realize I’ve done a lot more than I imagined.

So, let’s reflect. What have I done in 2016 (because I know it wasn’t as much as I was hoping due to being sick for so long)? I finished Part 3 of my Shadow Stalker serial and started Part 4. I’ve begun the process of re-editing Part 1. I’ve started the foundational work on two new novel series, one of which will be written under a pen name. I also started a short story I was going to submit for entry in Crimson Edge’s anthology, but I didn’t finish it in time. Now, I’m reconsidering that story idea for another series. I also finished the edits on my Makari’s Mission novella that’s being published in a charity anthology being released this coming April.

I’ve definitely accomplished a lot more than I thought. 😀

This coming year I will finish Part 4 of my Shadow Stalker serial. I also plan to write at least the first two novels in my A God’s Deception series and the first in my other series. And towards the end of the year, I’ll begin work on my new serial. I don’t have a name for that one, but it’s going to be about the origin of the shadow stalkers, so it will be pretty awesome! Oh, and I’m going to…yes, absolutely going to finish a short story for this years anthology that Crimson Edge will be putting out in 2018.

So are you taking advantage of this opportunity for a new start? What do you plan to accomplish in 2017? I’d love for you to contact me and tell me all about it!

Also in this issue:

  • Why Fantasy?
  • Time to get Caught Up!
  • Renee’s Works in Progress
  • Author Spotlights Available
  • Location, Location, Location: A Focus on World Building
  • And more…

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Grow a Thick Skin

grow-a-thick-skin

As authors, this is something we hear often, but I sometimes wonder if this is something that should always be necessary. When I hear it, there are times I feel those who say it are trying to give themselves permission to be rude and well… a jerk.

It is necessary when it comes to professional reviews and feedback. You will probably hear things you don’t like, but most of it will be constructive. These are the things we need to take to heart because it can help us greatly improve our writing. So if someone is giving you constructive criticism, even if you feel like telling them where to go at that moment, stop and consider what you can learn from them and thank them for the feedback.

You will also often get not so nice comments about your work, and it may not be constructive, but we have to remember that not everyone is going to like our work. Do you like every book you read? I know I don’t. And I’ve read things (like Twilight) that I loved, and a lot of other people hated. It happens and you can’t get around it. If people make negative comments about your work just because it’s not their thing, well… in truth, that’s their problem and not something you should concern yourself with. They don’t have to like it or read it.

There are others, however, who just say negative things about authors for the sole purpose of causing harm. Sometimes they even work in groups. These people are cyber-bullies. While you should just ignore what they say (at least online… as in don’t engage them publicly), it can be hurtful. If you’re affected, I don’t believe this is the time to “grow a thick skin.” Talk to friends and other authors (that you know and trust) about how you’re feeling, but do it privately. They can help you cope.

Growing a thick skin doesn’t mean you should ignore how you’re feeling when you’re being bullied or attacked on a public forum. What it does mean is that you shouldn’t let constructive criticism bring you down. Learn from it and allow it to make you a better writer.

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