Tips to Edit on a Budget

Every book should have a professional editor – perhaps even more than one. But when you’re a new author or you write for a hobby, your budget is probably not accommodating to most editors’ costs. Though I would encourage you to search extensively to find somebody within your price range, you do have options for editing on a budget.

  1. BETA READERS
    Beta readers might just save your life when it comes to reporting typos, catching errors, writing ARC reviews, etc., but if you enough beta readers who are voracious readers, and perhaps are writers themselves, they may be able to help you with the more in-depth editing. Keep in mind, however, that your beta readers have to be able to look critically at your work – moreso than your average reader.
  2. FIVERR
    I have had great success and miserable failure on Fiverr, but it is still a potential avenue to find an editor, cover designer, or even someone to format your book within your price range.
  3. TAKING A BREAK
    After your finish writing, step back from the book. Return to it in a few weeks or so and do your own “line edit”. You’ll be amazed what you can catch on your own after you’ve left the story alone for a while.
  4. TAKING TIME
    Be patient. Maybe you can afford one round of editing this month, and another next month. Give yourself permission to wait and let your story shine to the best of its ability.

Those are just a few options! I’d love to hear your ideas. Chime in in the comments!

Four-Legs, Spring, and Bunny Ears

Greetings, friends! It’s spring in Maine. (Or so the calendar says – brrrr.) Baby goats are on the ground, the first litter of baby bunnies has been weaned, the second will be arriving next month, and lots of exciting news is just on the horizon . . . (Can’t announce it all today, but stay tuned.)

First, a book update.

Yes, Fate of a Prince is still coming. There have been editing delays, but a great editing opportunity arose and it is progressing once again. I’m still head-over-heels for these characters, so of course, I have to share these aesthetics again.

Kyden
Lance

*stares endlessly at the collages because I love these characters so darn much*

Okay. *clears throat* Moving on.

Anybody want some baby goat pictures to brighten their day?

The farm has been hopping! But not as much as it will be at the end of April when the next round of kidding starts.

Aanndd some baby rabbit cuteness . . .

Just wait until April when the farm is going to explode with cute baby animals and warm weather and green grass and . . . . .

Can you tell I love spring?

Anyway, what’s new with you? Spill all the beans in the comments! New book? Cute animal? Let’s chat.

Kiera COVER REVEAL

Kate Willis is re-launching her book Kiera on May 11th. And along with some cool bonuses (stay tuned), it has a super sweet new cover!

But before we get to that . . .

Blurb

Kiera’s life is pretty simple—garden, hang out with her best friend, babysit little Jade, and finish up homeschool highschool. But a global war and mandatory draft turn her eighteenth birthday into a nightmare.

Brennan, Jade’s adoptive dad, offers his last name and exemption status, leaving Kiera to question everything she’s ever thought about love. Even worse, she might actually be starting to have feelings for him. 

Life settles into a routine before shattering again, and Kiera is left with only one question… If God truly loves her, why is this happening?

Limited edition hardcover includes exclusive bonus content.

Add it on Goodreads!

Now . . .

. . . the cover.

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But of course, we can’t just dive right into it.

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Gotta build up the suspense.

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Kiera cover reveal

It is so pretty! I love the little details!

You can preorder the book and get the bundle by clicking on the image below:

Happy cover reveal, Kate!

Single Story Line Challenge!

I’m taking on the Single Line Story Challenge! I won’t even call it a tag, because it is definitely a challenge and requires thinking fast.

Let’s go!

Rule 1: Thank the person who nominated you. Thanks, Lily!

Rule 2: Write 5 single line stories that fall under any of these genres (you pick which ones).

Fantasy

Romance

Thriller

Mystery

Western

Contemporary

Historical

Drama

Dystopian

Adventure

Sci-Fi

Paranormal

Young Adult

Rule 3: Nominate 5 blogger/writers who you’d love to see participate and leave an open nomination for all writers!

Rule 4: You may do the challenge more than once.

All right. Movin’ on . . .

I’m officially bending the rules (maybe) and combining fantasy with romance. (Don’t worry, I’ll only count it as one.)

Fantasy/Romance

She never bargained on finding the portal her grandfather went to his grave swearing was real – and she didn’t bargain on falling in love on the other side either; a romance more impossible than the portal itself.

Yikes. Don’t worry. I came up with that on the fly.

Western

Because, why not? It’s not like I’ve ever written a western in my life.

He’s a gunslinger in a tight spot, she’s a mail-order bride getting in his way – saving her will cost him everything.

Historical

A homeless orphan on the streets of Virginia during the Civil War is trying to accomplish the impossible: find his family, who are scattered on both sides of the national divide.

Dystopian

A desperate synth on the run . . . and her hostage: a human boy who will show her her own humanity.

I actually had a piece of an outline already written for this idea.

Sci-Fi

A man decided to use his breakthrough invention to send himself to the future in the hopes of finding a cure for his dying wife . . . but the future may not be all he hoped it would.

Made it! Now to tag people . . . (No pressure, honestly.)

Sarah Baran

Chelsea R. H.

Kate Willis

And whoever wants to do it! 😉

What Makes You a Writer?

What makes you (or me) a writer?

News Flash: It’s not the number of followers you have on Instagram.

It’s not the amount of sales you’ve made on Amazon.

It’s not the reviews you plead with readers to leave, or the glowing report from your grandmother.

It’s not the comments on your blog.

It’s not the aesthetic of your writing space or the organization of your bookshelf.

It’s not the number of words you wrote (or didn’t write) last November.

It’s not the epic length of your new novel.

It’s not the fervor of your street team or the excitement of your beta readers.

No. It is none of those things.

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What makes you a writer?

It is the hours spent pouring your heart and soul onto a sheet of paper.

It is the blood you bled for the sake of words . . .

. . . the tears you shed for your characters (or somebody else’s).

It is the weeks you spent writing that story no one will ever read.

It is the dedication you put into your first draft.

It is the sweat you soaked your second draft with.

It is the private joke when you see a person who looks like your character.

It is the personal thrill when you write that perfect sentence.

It is the unseen accomplishment when you write something you’ve never written before.

It is the daring escape when you break into a new genre or style.

It is the gallant quest you undertake every time you sit down and put pen to paper . . .

. . . what makes you a writer . . .

is you.

And the longing within you that will never be silent.

What Christmas is All About

“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”

Calvin Coolidge

Merry Christmas one and all! I hope your day is filled with joy and with the reason for the season. May 2022 be a year of good health, bold dreams, and HOPE.

Oh, yes. And most importantly of all . . .

. . .

. . . I sincerely hope you are watching George C Scott’s A Christmas Carol tonight, because . . . it’s Christmas. And you have to.

A Christmas Carol (1984): Marley's Ghost on Make a GIF

Caption Challenge WINNERS!

We had our first (in a while) Caption Challenge two weeks ago with this picture:

Lighthouse, Sea, Sunset, Evening, Ocean, Horizon

And

the

winners

are

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Flash Fiction:

Kate!

A ship sailing far away
Can’t see through the storm
A shining light, beautiful and bright
Shining far away
Turn of tides
The wind may slow
When they turn their boat towards home,
The light leaves the sky
The storm gives a sigh
But the lighthouse keeps shining on

And for the six-word story:

Grace!

Lights shine across water, overcoming darkness.

Congratulations to both of you!

Now for the NEW picture. Ready?

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Snowflake, Ornaments, Christmas Tree, Christmas

Your entry should have something (anything) to do with Christmas. It doesn’t have to be strictly based on the picture. Think of it as more of a theme.

Comment with your entries – flash fiction, a six-word story, or both! Happy writing!

The Return of the Caption CHALLENGE

Yes! It is time to revive the Caption Challenge. We had so much fun with that a couple months ago, and I’m so happy to bring it back.

So. Here’s how it works. I’ll share a photo, you come up with a six-word story AND/OR a bit of flash fiction (90 words or less) and submit it in the comments. You have TWO WEEKS.

Ready?

Here goes.

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Lighthouse, Sea, Sunset, Evening, Ocean, Horizon

Have fun! Any genre you want (poetry, too), just keep it clean.

The Fine Art of Sticking With It

“Sticking with it” is an art I haven’t mastered yet.

But I’m way better than I used to be! 😂

Seriously, though, I was thinking today about when I first came up with the idea for Fate of a Prince, my upcoming YA fantasy. I spent so much time outlining it, I was afraid I’d never start writing it. AND I wrote the prologue weeks before I started writing anything else. Usually a bad sign. 🤷 Nevertheless, not only is Fate done and with an editor, the first draft of the SEQUEL is done. *happy sigh*

But sticking with something – a job, a new book, a project – isn’t always easy. Forks in the road, turbulence, bad weather, all make it hard to “hang in there”. One thing I’ve learned about my writing (actually, my whole creative process) is that if I’m not on a deadline, I NEED to give myself permission to take breaks. To stop and breathe. Go work on something unrelated. I need those moments of stepping back in order to dive in again.

So if you’re struggling with the fine art of sticking with it, here is your encouragement to keep going – it WILL be worth it. You never know the impact your story will have. ❤

And if you need a break, here is your permission to take one. Be kind to your creativity – you’ll thank yourself later.

Let’s chat! How is the creative life going for you lately? Writers’ block? Breakthroughs? Plot bunnies? Let’s here ’em!

When You Write Two Books in One Year . . .

Friends! I come bearing a book update! (Because I know you were all white-knuckled at the edge of your seats waiting for one….of course. 😂)

So, yes, the title of this post is deliciously accurate. In about a week, I will be able to say I have officially written not one, but TWO books in a year. So. Crazy. Exciting.

Let’s recap.

In the beginning of January 2021, I started writing Fate of a Prince, a YA magical fantasy inspired by a Christmas song (😉). The synopsis is as follows:

In a land controlled by the power of four immortal sorcerers, a young prince learns that he was chosen before birth to be among those sacrificed to the usurpers.

Lance always hated the sacrifice – now, having learned of his fate, he despises it all the more. And that his own parents could have marked him for death is unthinkable. There seems to be no hope of circumventing the decree . . . but his servant isn’t willing to accept that.

Kyden is a restless, nimble-fingered sorcerer, running from his past as fast as he can. He never planned to wind up indebted to the prince and working as a servant, nor did he plan on counting Lance as a friend – a friend he is not willing to watch die.

Then, on January 25th, I released my debut novel, the YA fantasy Promised Land.

I finished writing Fate of a Prince in just a couple months, and then set it aside to plot new ideas, outline the sequel to Fate, etc. Well . . . that outlining went pretty fast. And I started writing book two. Then I stopped. Took a break. Wrote other things. Edited lots of music videos.

Finally, I went back to it.

And . . .

. . . it’s almost finished.

*cue excited screaming* *don’t mind me* *just another excited author*

But alas, I can’t give you any details yet. But I CAN say I’m about to get Fate of a Prince back from my first editor, and then I’m going to be cramming to get it all done in a couple more months (while book two collects dust *cough*) AND THEN . . .

I can give you the release date. ‘Cause I actually already know it. 😉 I just can’t announce it until I’m 100% sure we’ll be ready.

So, while I get back to work, tell me what you’re working on! New WIP? Editing? Publishing? Let’s chat!