- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.UVsgb4Gv.dpuf Erin's Alter Ego Writes Books: February 2012

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Okay, so apparently my story is going over 65,000 words

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update - apparently the length that I thought Extraordinarily Average was going to be isn't, so it's a bit longer now and  I still have two more scenes to write that I added in at the last moment. It was one of those decisions that I made while writing what I thought was the final scene, but decided that it would be so much cooler if I did this.

So, that means that it'll probably be about 72,000 words by the time I'm done with it. So I'm not quite there yet, but I am fast-tracking my writing to get it done so I can start editing.

But I promise it'll be worth it. This ending will be so kickass you won't know what hit you. Muahaha.


Monday, 20 February 2012

So you wrote a romance novella AND a picture book?

The short answer: Yes.

The long answer: Yes, because I had two stories to tell.

The why is a bit more interesting and I've had so many questions asking why (actually, I've had none, but I'm preemptively answering future questions. Pretty cool, right?).

Embracing Her Wolf and Bedtime at the Zoo are complete polar opposites of the literary spectrum. I know this. But they came from two different places in my heart and in my life.

Embracing Her Wolf was a bit of an experiment. As mentioned before, I've always had trouble finishing stories that I've written. I even have a draft of a book saved on this computer that is 345 pages long and I just can't bring myself to finish it (that's a post for another time, because that book will be making a comeback - hint, hint). So, after finding out how great and wonderful it is to self publish your books, I also saw that there were varying lengths of books. What better way of getting back into writing than starting on a novella? And a paranormal romance to boot - that's where I was mentally at that time. Well, six months later, I FINALLY released it in its current form. It was the first piece of writing that I ever fully sat down and edited from beginning to end, had my husband read it, edit it again, send it off to friends to read it, edit again, again, and again until I was about to tear my hair out. In a novella of 17,000 words, it took me just as long to edit it as it did to write it. The joys of editing.

Bedtime at the Zoo grew from a single print ad I did for a class. The very first picture I drew was of the bear holding his teddy bear, getting ready to sleep. From there, I added and added to it, and compiled all of these pictures into a storybook. It was a labor of love for four months, constantly drawing and tweaking the drawings. My art direction assignment turned into a full-blown copywriting assignment as I had to write the words to go with my book. I'm very proud of the final outcome. And it's great to make something with your hands every once in a while.

So, without further ado, I've approved the printed version of Bedtime at the Zoo for print through CreateSpace and Amazon (still waiting for Amazon to post it to the store) for $7.99. To celebrate, I've also lowered the price of the eBook to $1.49 as well on both Amazon and Nook.

Thanks for the support guys. NEARLY done with Extraordinarily Average. Should be up and running soon!

Erin xx

Saturday, 11 February 2012


I have to admit it.

Writing the last 20% of Extraordinarily Average is proving to be incredibly difficult. I don't know if I'm just really tired or I'm out of luck. My husband and I are both feeling it at the moment (he works in video games and is trying to get his own work off the ground, so hopefully there will be some news about that coming up).

Instead of meeting my daily writing goals, I'm barely making it to even a third of the way daily. Which just prolongs the agony of writing this specific part.

It's been hard and it has been slow going.

I'm just feeling uninspired. Take a cue from one of my favorite songs: "Uninspired" by 8Stops7:

I might be a bit scatterbrained at the moment due to my distress at being unable to write quickly and well at the moment, so I apologize if I'm not very linear with this post.

My lack of inspiration leads me to a question: how do you find inspiration when you don't have any? You'll find a lot of it on the web. I've been to writing and reading seminars where writers discuss what they do and even chatted with some authors about what they do when they've hit a wall.

I've been told the same thing over and over again: get inspired and keep writing no matter what.

Easier said than done, right? Oh yes indeed.

In advertising, they tell you to get out and do something that's not advertising related. Go ride a bike. Go to a concert. Paint your life story in paint drip splatters. Go be a barista. Be a Michael Jackson impersonator. Just something different to give you experience from which to draw inspiration. Because if you're too caught up in what advertising has been doing, you'll never look forward to seeing what you could do to make it that much better.

It's the same way with writing. Or at least I think so (certainly doesn't seem to be working now!). I can definitely tell that the writing flow easier after a good day versus a bad day.

It's our life experiences that inspire us to do what we want. It's the people before us that pave the way for us to take in their work (not copying or plagiarism, but some that takes us to the next level) and it's how we keep ourselves going when it seems like there isn't a light at the end of the tunnel. I read a great article by Malcolm Gladwell for The New Yorker about Steve Jobs and his inspirations. There is also a great video series about how the best inventions were just tweaks and copycats from the originals (I can't find it now, but I'll add it if I find it).

I also find TEDTalks to be great as well for just seeing how people got to where they are.

But basically, experience and then do. That's the only way you'll get ahead.

So, without further adieu, I'm going to try and get back to writing.

Wish me luck.


P.S. I had some great conversations with some writers and bloggers in the past week. Thank you, you guys. You're a part of my inspiration.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

The importance of reading when you're a writer

I've always been a voracious reader.

I remember being in second grade and I finished my first long chapter in a day - The Boxcar Children. I devoured it in a matter of hours, not even going to recess that day. I was so excited about the series that I went out and bought the next six in the series. But the appeal of their story ended there.

I credit my nerdy fascination with sci-fi and fantasy with the first time I watched Star Wars when I was 9. I was over at a friend's sister's birthday party - her name escapes me now - and she loved the series, so they watched the whole original (best) trilogy over the course of the party. I hadn't seen it before because I tried watching Star Trek and, well, it just seemed so weird to see aliens like that. They were ugly and their storylines were so confusing. But watching Star Wars - that was a turning point for me.

Suddenly, I wanted to continue that that universe, to tell my own stories of stuff that doesn't happen in our world. I sat down and crafted out stories about Luke Skywalker and his enduring adventures with Ewoks (hey, I was a little girl, after all and the Ewoks had this whole teddy bear appeal for me).

In fourth grade, I was introduced to the Redwall series when my teacher purchased The Outcast of Redwall, featuring a ferret on the cover. I had no idea what it was about, but I wanted to know. So I bought the first book - at three hundred odd pages, it felt like such a huge read for me. I read them every chance I got. During recess, after school. I fell into a rhythm and I bought the next book in the series every weekend.

From there, I graduated to other books. The Chronicles of Narnia, The Dragonriders of Pern, The Sword of Truth series (which I was way too young to read at the time), Ender's Game, Anita Blake, Stephen King... the list goes on and on.

And, as strange as it was, I would write my own stories. First, it was just expansions of the universes created in the books I was reading, but then I moved on and started writing books with my own characters and my own stories to tell. I'd shut myself up in my room and would clink at my keyboard for hours. I think that's part of the reason why I can type so quickly.

But above all else, I knew that I wanted to tell my own stories. I knew what I wanted to read, I had my own preferences with how things were written. I knew styles. I had my own pet-peeves of what other authors did.

I took all of their inspiration and mistakes and fused it with my writing. And I think that helped me more than any writing class ever would. Reading, that is.

Unfortunately, I had the bad habit of starting a story and then never finishing it, whether or not it was because it took me so long to write the books or I lost interest or my writing style changed. I have a print out of all of these old books in a binder at my parents' house. Probably only two living souls have seen these stories.

And then I fell out of practice with it. I went to college. Suddenly, I had a myriad of other things keeping me from writing. Projects, tests, exams. My very future depended upon how well I passed my classes. Reading took a back seat. So did writing. After all, so very few people actually got published, how could I ever make a living doing it?

And then, the strangest thing happened. Last year, my parents bought me a Kindle for Christmas. At first, it was a toy, just a strange thing that I never really used. But then, I bought a book on it for $.99. That's right, less than a dollar. It wasn't until I read that book (thank you, Rhiannon Frater, for Pretty When She Dies) and I started researching the writer that I realized she was self-published.

And I looked into it. The world of digital publishing meant that I didn't have go through a publisher. It meant that I could tell my own stories, the way I wanted. I had tried sending stuff off to publishers before, and I had always been rejected. But with this whole self-publishing thing - I didn't have to worry about it.

Suddenly, something clicked. This is something I want to do, have been preparing for it ever since I sat down to write out how Luke Skywalker ended up with a girl who was raised by Ewoks.

And so, I'm trying this out. Going back to what I enjoyed doing when I was little. Sure, I'm not making a living doing it. Right now, I'm averaging about 5 book sales a day. But Chris hears about each sale as it happens, usually through email and we have our little :-) celebrations.

It means a lot to me that I'm writing. And it means a lot to me that people are reading it.

Thanks for the support.

P.S. I've spent this entire post talking about writing in the past, I just wanted to give a quick update on my next book. I'm at 52k words right now and should been done with a first draft by the end of the month and then I'll send it off to some friends to edit it. So give me until March for Extraordinarily Average.