March 2015.

 

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What inspires you to write?

I’ve gotten this question more than a few times. And to answer it fully would literally take me forever, because I get inspired every day. I’m constantly writing little notes in my journal, in my phone, or on whatever scrap of paper I can get my hands on. My inspiration come for movies, TV, books, friends, family, life… I’m constantly watching and listening.

But, enough about my writing inspiration. What I want to know is… What inspires the authors of some of my favorite books? Here’s the hard part of answering that question… I can’t just call them up and ask. So how do enquiring minds get a glimpse at their favorite author’s literary muse?

Well, here’s what I think… In the first few pages of some books, there are quotes from a different books. I like to think that authors inspire other authors. And although, a single quote may not have sparked that author’s entire book, it inspired them enough to include it in their published work.

Here are a few quotes I’ve found in the first few pages of some of my favorite books.

The Book of Negroes – Lawrence Hill

I have set before thee life and death,

the blessing and the curse.

Therefore choose life.

–Deuteronomy 30:19

So geographers, in Afric-maps,

With savage-pictures fill their gaps;

And o’er unhabitable downs

Place elephants for want of towns.

–Jonathan Swift

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Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

–Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”

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Paper Towns – John Green

And after, when

We went outside to look at her finished lantern

From the road, I said I liked the way her light

Shone through the face that flickered in the dark.

–“Jack O’Lantern,” Katrina Vandenberg in Atlas.

People say friends don’t destroy one another

What do they know about friends?

–“Game Shows Touch Our Lives,” The Mountain Goats

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When Everything Feels Like The Movies – Raziel Reid

I guess I am a fantasy.

–Marilyn Monroe

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The Infinite Sea – Rick Yancey

My bounty is as boundless as the sea,

My love as deep; the more I give to thee,

The more I have; for both are infinite.

–William Shakespeare

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Eve – Anna Carey

Maybe I really don’t want to know what’s going on.

Maybe I’d rather not know. Maybe I couldn’t bear to know.

The fall was a fall from innocents to knowledge.

–Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

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These are just a few of the quotes I’ve found at the beginning of books. Are there any quotes in the first few pages of your favorite works?

Good luck and good writing

Katherine

 

 

 

 

 

 

red queen 2

This book is yet another YA novel I devoured in just a few nights. Victoria Aveyard’s novel Red Queen is a refreshing take on the young adult dystopian society genre. In this book you get it all, Kings and Queens, love and betrayal, struggle and my favorite… revolution.

I feel in love with the main characters Mare and Cal, not so secretly rooting for their underdog romance. I even found myself talking to them… “Mare! How can you be so blind!” Ooh, but that’s what makes this book so good! You think and feel exactly what Mare Barrow’s feels, on her rollercoaster through friendships, death, being red, being silver, being… Mare.

The last pages leave my heart aching, not just for the main characters, but for the fact I’ll have to wait for the sequel!

I give this book a 4.5 out of 5.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-confused-puzzled-young-girl-holding-exercise-book-her-head-symbol-school-problems-image29902455So you’ve written a book and are thinking of publishing it? Awesome! Have you decided yet on how you’re going to publish it?

As a writer who is new the experience of publishing, I have to say… Publishing a book makes my head spin! I’m guessing though,  my current state of confusion isn’t uncommon to many newbies in world of book publishing. I’ve researched, I’ve networked, and it seems everyone has a different opinion on how best to publish a book. So how do I choose? Independent/self-publish or a traditional publisher. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no ‘best’ way. Only a best way for each individual writer. Which still doesn’t answer my question! Indie or Traditional?

I haven’t picked my publishing route yet, but I’m getting closer to figuring it out. Here are some questions I’ve come up with to help me decide. I hope they’ll help other writers too on their journey to getting published.

 

Questions to ask yourself about what method of publishing is right for you…

  1. What’s your goal when having your book published? Are you looking to see if you have what it takes to sell it commercially and become the next J.K. Rowling? Do you just want your friends and family to read it? Or somewhere in-between?
  2. How much money and/or time are you willing to invest? Some traditional publisher may pay for the whole thing. Are you willing to give up a percentage for that? You’ll have to shell out costs yourself if you self-publish. Although, there are many ways to keeps cost lower.
  3. How much control of the marketing, editing, and design do you want to have? This goes back again to; what are your goals? Publisher may want to make changes. Are you willing to accept changes and criticism of your work?
  4. Agents and publishers will take a percentage of your book sales. Is it worth it, to you, to pay for the benefits they offer? Be honest with yourself about whether or not you could effectively duplicate what they offer and if that coincides with your goals.
  5. Do you have the time, experience, or skills needed to market a book after publication?
  6. Is the validation of been chosen by a traditional publisher important to you?
  7. What’s your financial risk tolerance? If you self-publish you get 100% of the profits…And 100% off the losses. Risk might be lessened by going with a traditional pub, but you’ll pay a percentage for this.
  8. Are you willing to wait to find the right traditional publisher? Submitting queries and manuscripts can be daunting… Not to mention the inevitable rejection letters.

I hope this list of questions helps… Don’t get discouraged! Remember… Every famous writer started out as a no body.

Good luck and good writing.

Katherine

 

 

 

 

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I wrote this blog a while ago when the weather was still pretty cold but, I think it’s funny sooo, I’ll post it anyway.

I was born in Canada. I’ve grown up in Canada. And there’s a 99.99% chance I’ll always live in Canada. That being said, I’ve seen my fair share Canadian winters. So, here are few tips from me, on how to do winter like a true Canuck.

 

 

 

 

  1. Tip number one. Stay Warm. Some of the younger crowd may think it’s ‘not cool’ to dress in warm layers. Well… Do you know what else is not cool? Frostbite!
  2. Which brings me to my next point. Know how to properly defrost frostbite. Your first reaction might be to warm up your frozen parts as quickly as possible. This is a bad idea! Remember to use cool water to warm things up by adding warmer water SLOWLY. Unfortunately, I know this from experience.
  3. Do not eat like a bear going in to hibernation over the winter months. Over accumulation of that extra that wintery layer can be troublesome to get rid of come summer. You know, summer? That 8 week period that separates Spr-inter and F-inter.
  4. Embrace winter by partaking in winter sports and activities! There are so many fun and exciting things to do in the winter, for those brave enough to try them. Like skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding, snowmobiling, shovelling snow, fort building, slipping on ice, removing the snow from the roof of your house, tobogganing, ice carving, shovelling more snow, snowshoeing, ice fishing and so much more… snow!
  5. After a day of invigorating outdoor winter actives come inside for an unmistakably Canadian beverage, such as Timmies double double or a hot chocolate. Prefer something a little stronger? Rye is Canadian and can be mixed with almost anything. To also comes in maple flavor. :)
  6. Know that Canadian’s derive a good portion of their patriotism from the two activities we do most in the winter; hockey and beer. Um, yes… Beer is an activity.
  7. Last but not least… The most important rule of surviving a Canadian winter… Even if you think winter is over and it can’t possibly snow anymore… Don’t EVER take your snow scraper out of your vehicle or put your snow shovel in to storage. OR the snow will come back! And other Canadians will blame it on you.

Happy Wintering :)

Katherine