Book Two Release Date: Nothing Worth Having is Easy

Book Two Release Date: Nothing Worth Having is Easy

It’s been a while since my last update. A lot has been happening personally and professionally, which has made blog updates challenging—but in this case, no news is good news!! I am thrilled to say that Triangle: Book Two of the Azellian Affairs now has a release date! We will be learning more about the continuing adventures of Tamara, Merran, Alarin and the rest of the Azellians and their supporters in the late summer of 2018 (very likely September). A sneak preview of the new cover is attached to this blog post, and I will be updating my website to reflect the new book (plus release date) in the next few weeks, as we start to finalize everything.   

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What if I’m Not Good Enough: Challenges of Writing

What if I’m Not Good Enough: Challenges of Writing

As I take a break from the production piece of Triangle: Book Two of the Azellian Affairs, I find myself reflecting a bit on writing. One aspiring writer I met recently worried that she couldn’t write stories as good as the ones she was reading. I, too, still face this concern. With every new book it pokes at me—I’ve just gotten better at facing it, because fear doesn’t change my behavior any more. 

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Climbing Another Mountain: The Journey of Writing a Sequel

It’s been months since my last blog post, as I have been completely and totally buried in editing my second novel. When I began this journey to publication years ago, I had thought the biggest mountain to climb was getting published in the first place. While, yes, that was a challenge requiring courage and support, little did I know that the process of editing a sequel was going to be quite so vigorous. 

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Remembering the Editing Process -- Take Two

Much like childbirth, one forgets the pain—and utter joy—of any huge creative endeavor. I don’t know what other artists feel like, but it is a mix of emotions that face me as I get the first edit of Book 2 back from the editor and see what she has to say. 

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Visit From a Bird of Prey

Last week, as I walked out of my house, I had a very powerful nature experience: a magnificent bird of prey hovering over a freshly killed rabbit. Dogs and I both froze in the doorway, my brain racing to figure out what I was looking at, the dogs frozen because that’s when they do when faced with something new.

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The Fantastic Everyday: Cars and Empathy

This weekend, I got a chance to enjoy an annual ritual: attend the Denver Auto Show. Dealerships from all over the Denver metro area trot out their flashiest and best cars. You get to view, handle and sit in everything from a Ford Fusion to a Lamborghini. I didn’t realize I enjoyed nice cars until I had a boyfriend who was a motorhead, but once having discovered it, I learned that cars are fun.

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Get to participate in the look of an entire series!

Creating a look for a series has a whole different set of challenges and joys to recommend it. When I first started, I was looking for some symbolic and interesting art that suggested what was going on in the book. It’s taken me several months to realize that a series is a different set of thought processes than a single book and that having the input of other people is very important.

I’m beginning to launch the process of starting the second book and am taking a moment to review the first one and what I’ve learned so far. Where do I want to go with the series? What look do I want to create? What would be fun on the cover, giving hints about the story behind it, but also is eye-catching? I recently discovered 99 Designs, which runs a contest for designers all around the world to compete for a chance to design a cover. I’ve seen some beautiful artwork based on a short paragraph I gave them about the story…and they responded. And best of all, it’s led to some really great concepts for covers!

For the next four days, I’m going to be running a poll to help me decide the direction of the covers for my series. I want to know what you like! And of course, I’m showing the work of some very talented designers in the world of 99 Designs. Some of these designers have really floored me with their talent and insight—they all created these pictures from a description I wrote about the story. There are some really amazing artists listed here. Which is your favorite? 

The voting link is here:

https://99designs.com/book-cover-design/vote-bkwok5

Tell me what you think!

It's HERE...The Book is Launching

So many changes since I last posted an update! It’s official…my book is launching tomorrow!! After a long journey and lots and lots of details I never knew went into publishing, I have finally reached that milestone…I am published! And Alawahea: The Azellian Affairs Book One is now fully birthed into this plane of existence. To help send this baby of mine on its way, I am also starting a blog tour this month. That means I will be visiting twenty  five or so different blogs over the next month, offering free excerpts, interviews and in general enjoying the wonderful and amazing writers/readers out there who are willing to feature Alawahea on their blogs. Such excitement! I can hardly wait to see how avid readers interact and play with the story.

I will be posting each week with updates on each of the stops. The possibilities are endless…I’m very excited to see how this all plays out! And for those of you who can be there, I look forward to seeing you at the launch. For those of you who can’t, you’ll be with us in spirit. Lots of love to all of you, and see you all in the world of Azelle!

Dissolving Myths: The Editing Process

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IMG_0312

Now that the primary jobs I have (my “day jobs”) have eased up a bit, I’ve started to focus again on my writing and the editing process. One of life’s biggest mysteries has always been that I have never carved out time to write. Yet it’s something I just love to do! Why do we typically block ourselves from doing what we love? We create so many excuses! So many “reasons” why NOT to do something, when it’s really that we’re just not willing to give ourselves the time to do something that is so fulfilling, so caring toward ourselves. We allow ourselves to get distracted by the little things in life—whether it be our children, our spouses, our jobs, our hobbies, the news, the plight of those around us—all of those things are nothing more than a distraction from this bigger picture. What do we love? And will we allow ourselves to just do it?

For me, writing is one of the ways in which I express that love. I’ve been writing since I was eight, and been doing it constantly since then. I might take a year off here, a year off there, and the writing might change shape and not look like a novel, but I have been writing since I could write.

There has been nothing more fascinating for me than the actual process of writing and editing. I had told myself, as part of the “excuse” for why I didn’t send my writing in, was the fear of what the editor would say. What if it’s bad? What if they tear it apart? It’s my baby!! I can’t stand the idea that someone might tear apart my baby!

Except that’s not how it worked. My wonderful, amazing, incredible editor instead pointed out the places I already knew the story had holes—which was why I went to her in the first place, for help in realizing the story around the holes. Her questions told me immediately that there were spots I hadn’t explained adequately. Her comments highlighted the areas I hadn’t fully visualized the character, so there might be inconsistencies. Her perspective helped me visualize the somewhat squashed timeline that I had to expand. And her ability to see the overall picture with completely fresh eyes—I wasn’t there to explain the story, so it had to stand on its own—well, all of that was hugely invaluable to me. And in the end, the second edit produced something I had hoped to see: a stronger story that would pop on its own. We are a team, my editor and me…and together we are going to see this story brought into the fullness of what it can be. Thank you, Donna! So glad I found you!

The Journey to Publication

Sara headshot 1 edits
Sara headshot 1 edits

I’m so excited for publication! Today is the launch of my new website!! It’s finally happening; the unfolding of a dream I’ve had since I was a young child. Publishing a story….it’s been with me a long time, the whisper of possibilities in my ear, the ideas about what could be. It’s time to let that out, to see what’s hidden in the whisper of the infinite.

Such a journey it has been—after spending most of my life telling myself I couldn’t do it, and coming up with a thousand reasons why not, I’ve finally woken up to the realization that all of it, the excuses, the reasons, the hundreds of piled of “because’s” were just more stories. Entertaining, but only true if I allowed them to be true. Why not spread my wings and fly? We’ve forgotten that we could have fun with our lives. I’m ready to remember what that feels like!

As I work through the editing/rewrite process all the way to the finished work, I’d like to share the process, the fun and the joys of it all. Allowing loved ones to read what I’d written, getting an editor who would support me in my vision, starting a website, revealing to friends on social media that I’d done these things, getting involved with an entrepreneurial mastermind group….so much support from everyone. My story was that no one knew what I really wanted, that I was hidden from the world. Yet when I told everyone I was stepping onto this path, there was no surprise from anyone. I write. It’s what I love to do. So I’m doing it, following my heart…and the possibilities are infinite.

It’s time to see what we can create when we play! Are we ready for creative power of what if, what then, what more?