One of my favorite things to do when I discover a new author, is to head to their website and learn about their craft. How do they write? What is their routine? What works and doesn't? What have the learned and/or celebrated? It's fascinating to learn how others work because everyone is so different. Some are "pantsers" who don't plot anything in advance and just sit down and write. Others are "plotters" who like the name, plot out the chapters before writing. Some are half-and-half, a little of both. Some are turtle writers, who take their time. None are right or wrong. Maybe I'm just nosy, but mainly I think I am always looking for ways to connect with other writers but also for new ideas. You never know when something can spark a idea, that turns into a full-blown story. After all, my debut story, Challenge Accepted, was fueled by my husband's worn and faded Toledo Mudhen's hat.
My routine is actually pretty loose. What I've recently started doing--which has helped me a lot with organization-- is to create a google sheet where I tracked dates, word count, and how many words are left until I reach my goal. And yes, I color code the shit out of it because color coding is my jam.
Once I get this set up, I sit down and write. As I said before, a single idea, quote, movie, photo, interaction with strangers, etc. can spark an idea. The motivation for Take a Chance on Me actually stemmed from seeing a couple hiking. They were so in sync--playfully swatting at each other and flirting with such ease, I knew they had known each other for a long time. Bam. I created Kate and Brody and my original opening scene (which got edited out) was of them hiking and Kate saw a rattlesnake (a real concern in Arizona) and Brody giving her shit for freaking out. Anyway, I digress.
I just signed a contract for my sixth book to be published (Omg, yay) and I’ve learned quite a bit about my writing style and what works for me. If you know me at all, you wouldn’t be surprised to know I’m a “panster” and don’t plan each chapter. I’ve tried that--but when I would get to the middle, the original plan would be meaningless because my characters would end up doing what they want. It’s cheesy, I know, but it doesn’t make it less true. My upcoming release next June, Whiskey Surprises, had an entirely different ending when I wanted to sit down and write it. It was a bit of a shock (but definitely better for the characters) for me to see how it ended. But besides the initial meet-cute, and the general happy ending, the middle is all the fun part.
Maybe I’m just nosy when I read (stalk) how other writers go about their craft, but I’m always looking for a new idea. So, I wanted to share three things I’ve accepted as I’ve grown as a writer.
If you’ve read this far, awesome. Writing is amazing and heartbreaking, so different for every person, and one of the best things in the world. There is no right or wrong way to write. So if you have the itch, or want to try it out, just do it. Write.
I am beyond thrilled to announce I have two books scheduled to be published Spring 2019. The Game Changer and Evening the Score! Both of these stories are close to my heart and I am so excited for you to read their stories. Here's a quick blurb about them!
The Game Changer | April 2019
Cleat Chasers Book 2
Pretending to date your best friend is a great idea, right?
Greta Aske has a lot going on: fear of student loans becoming too much to afford on a teacher’s salary, worrying about her brother’s divorce, and going on a string of bad dates that has her giving up on men, at least for the time being. Her focus becomes saving as much money as she can and getting good grades. Her life contains a little too much drama and she needs a break. The perfect solution presents itself: pretend to date the campus’ playboy. That’ll keep the guys away for sure.
Aaron Hill is desperate to save his baseball career, because with his dad fighting cancer, he damn well knows he can’t ask for a single penny from his parents. Baseball is his past, present, and future so when a scandal breaks out threatening his future in the MLB, he turns to his best friend for help. They stage a fake relationship to keep him out of trouble. It’s perfect, really. Greta’s taking a break from dating and Aaron needs to focus on training. Nothing could go wrong.
The issue is… the deal was that neither would fall for the other. It was all staged and they had to stick to the plan. But, when lines are crossed, what’s real and fake blurs and they are forced to face their fears. Is Greta the game changer Aaron needs?
Evening the Score | May 2019
Out of the Park Book 1
Enemies to lovers
Fiona Davis and Gideon Titan have nothing in common--except their mutual dislike of each other. She’s an over-talkative college senior unsure of what she wants to do with her life. She volunteers to coach a baseball team at the suggestion of a charity close to her heart. He’s a down-trodden MLB player desperate to save his career whose manager volun-told him to coach the youth team to rediscover his love of the game.
She hates his attitude and extravagant, multiple-car owning lifestyle. He hates her constant need to prove herself and the way she snorts when she laughs. They both hate the six days a week they’re forced to see each other. What starts with a snarl boils into a sexual tension they both resent. The only time they aren’t arguing is when they’re naked—thus enemies with benefits begins.
They did it all backwards: enemies, co-coaches, lovers, then to some version of friends. It couldn’t be a break-up when the season comes to an end, because they were never together. But it feels like one. Maybe, just maybe, somewhere along the ride the feelings became real and someone has to take the first step. There’s not a chance in hell it’ll be Fiona...unless he can prove he’s worth the risk. But that means making sacrifices and that’s asking too much for two people who know what it means to lose.
Hope you're excited as I am!
Catchy title, huh? I wanted to give a quick end of summer update as so many exciting things happened. The biggest--my brother got married and it was incredible. I cried. All of us cried (except my brother--we did have some bets going on about him though). I love my sister-in-law and am so excited she joined the family!
Cheesy post alert: the hubs and I have been together 10 years. We've been married for five, but we started dating back in 2008 and holy shit.
I may or may not be obsessed with this cover. It perfectly captures the tension and chemistry between the two characters, Brody and Kate, and there might be a kitchen scene in the book that starts like this... but I am beyond stoked to rerelease this crazy, friends-to-lovers story that will make you laugh, and maybe cry.
Are you a on-click buyer? Click here!
Want an excerpt? Keep reading for a quick and perfect scene where the two longtime friends finally agree to go on a date. There were shenanigans and a bet going on...
“I have to bat. Don’t punish me too much, please?” She puppy-dog eyed me before jogging off. She hit a solid single to right field and jumped up and down, so excited that she slipped off the bag.
“You good?” I shouted, not even trying to hide my laughter.
“Emotionally bruised. That’s all.” She brushed the dirt off her ass and ran like a fool when the next person hit a triple. She jogged up to me, out of breath with her hands on her knees. “Lay it on me. What do I have to do?”
“Go on a date with me. Don’t overthink it.”
“Wait, that’s it?” She looked up at me with a furrowed brow. “A date?”
“You? On a date? With me?”
“Yes, that is typically how it works, right? Or is that not what people do anymore?”
“But…Brody.” She shook her head and kicked the dirt, running her foot back and forth. “It’s you.”
“What does that mean, exactly?” Anger crept up my chest.
“You don’t do ‘dates.’” Her little air quotes pissed me off.
“I don’t really care what I do or don’t do. You lost the bet. Your punishment is a date. End of, Shorty.” I ran a hand down her arm, squeezing. “Turn off your overactive brain.”
A smile broke through her barriers, and she bit her delicious lip. “Okay. When?”
“You’ll get details at a later date.” I puffed my chest and tried not to appear too smug.
“Oh, so your people will call my people?” She snorted, shoving me in the side.
“You realize I do have people, right?”
“Oh, my God. I forgot. You do.”
“So, I need to hear a yes.”
“Sure. I guess. I don’t have a choice.” She grumbled and picked up her glove to walk to her car.
“No, you don’t.”
Want to read more? Go here to check it out!
You get the picture. Everyone has those set of things/actions/sounds that drive them wild. This is just a short list but I opened up Pandora's box today. I needed to research more pet peeves for this awesome character I'm writing and I tend to incorporate my own... because they drive me crazy and are easy to write about...but I wanted something different. #Regrets
I stumbled upon the worst, cringe-worthy pet peeves I will not be able to unread. Since I'm a caring person... I'm going to share the top ten horrifying pet peeves I can't get out of my brain.
1. The feel of chalk. (cringgggge)
2. People who take home milk from the work refrigerator.
3. The sound when people clip their toenails.
4. People scuffing their feet when they walk.
5. Heating up fish in the communal microwave.
6. People biting their nails.
7. The sound when someone with long nails scratched their skin. (gahhh)
8. Loud swallowers.
9. Creepers at red light. The people who stare at you waiting for the line to turn. (Yikes)
10.When you think you know the flavor of the jellybean... and it's totally different and your mouth dies a little bit.
The first and last one get me the most... but now I have so much fuel and ideas for this character's pet peeves.
So, any of these one of your pet peeves?
How much do authors put tidbits of their life into their stories? There was a trend on Twitter awhile ago that dove into how much writers intentionally or accidentally put themselves into their stories. It got me thinking. Naturally, it's easier to write what you know, but what is true? Four major things stuck out about the three books I have out right now.
Restaurants: I clearly love food. Is that obvious yet? Every time characters go out to eat, drink, coffee, desserts (okay, they eat a lot in my books?) the place is based off a real location, I always change the name though... and almost all of the places are either based in Phoenix or my college town in the Midwest.
Jobs: Another "food" thing. Next book, I'm not writing about one damn food scene. That's my goal. But really, waitressing, education, technology, corvettes, landscaping, bartending... I've had a lot of odd jobs and these are fun and easy to write about because I know them. It is equally fun and challenging doing research on jobs I have zero experience with (like all the college or professional sports, but, it's definitely NOT a hardship looking up baseball and football players for hours...)
Sports: If you didn't know, my husband works for a MLB team and baseball is essentially a part of our household just as much as our dogs are. Due to the hubs' obsession, I've slowly turned into this baseball fanatic who can spout random stats and facts. I even started listening to radio broadcasts because I freak out if I miss a game. I'm that person now. We play on a co-ed softball team, watch MLB TV every day, and talk about players like they are our friends. It's totally normal.
In conclusion, my next book the characters won't eat anything and I'm going to have them hate sports just to challenge myself.
I published my first book in February 2017 and cannot believe it has been a year since I officially became an author. There have been tears of joy, tears of frustration, sadness, exhaustion, and just about any other emotion you can imagine. But it's all worth it. I'm lucky enough to have friends and family (and amazing husband) who support my insane ambition to keep writing. It's baffling to see how much I've learned in a year. Seriously... I had no idea what the heck I was doing when I self-published. I've been reflecting on the past 12 months and wanted to write out 12 things that I've either learned or realized since I entered into this beautiful, crazy publishing world.
1. The first draft is ONLY the beginning. There are so many steps after typing the end.
2. Editing could very well be the death of me. I'm getting marginally better, but it's comparable to pulling my own teeth out.
3. I am a 'panster' rather than a plotter. (This means I sit down and type the story as it comes--letting the characters decide where to go)
4. Less is more. There's no need to over-explain every detail
5. Reading your favorite genres is the quickest way to get motivation back.
6. Reading outside your favorite genre helps you grow (as a writer & a person!)
7. My day isn't complete if I don't write at least for twenty minutes. I get restless if I skip. It's not such a part of my routine, it's natural to make time for it.
8. I have pet words (who knew?) that I use TOO DAMN MUCH. I also cuss a lot.
9. The writing community online is amazing and so welcoming.
10. Self-promo is the definition of awkward.
11. There are pros and cons to both self-publishing & traditional publishing.
12. Never underestimate the power of a playlist--music means more to me now as a writer than it ever had before.
I'm excited to see how much more I'll have learned in another year from now. Regardless, I love being a part of this publishing world and am so blessed to have these experiences.
My story was a spotlight on Romance Junkie's website. Check out the post here!
From Innovative New Adult Romance Author—Jaqueline Snowe
A sassy bartender who’s seen it all wants nothing to do with the campus playboy— but when they are paired together in class, sparks fly. Can the player change his ways for the right girl?
Follow Jenna and Aiden in this enemies-to-lovers story.
LET LIFE HAPPEN
Re-Released in January of 2018. Let Life Happen, the first book in the Isaac’s Bar Series, was picked up by Liquid Silver Publishing and is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.
Everyone has that one friend—the ridiculously hot one you swear you would never develop feelings for. Mostly, because it would end in heartbreak. When Aiden Chad walks into a room, people stop and watch him. Who wouldn’t stop and stare at the Sigma President with his chiseled jaw and perfect smile…and those abs. There’s something about a player like Aiden that makes girls say, “I can change him.”
On the other hand, Jenna Smithson has never been like most girls. Why would she start now? As a bartender at the local, college bar, she has seen it unravel enough times to know exactly how it always ends. For the first time in his life, Aiden encounters a girl who won’t fall at his knees or fall into bed with him. Instead, Jenna gives him a dosage of good, genuine friendship and treats him like a normal person. She calls him out on his shit and his charm gets him nowhere. And this, this makes him question his entire lifestyle. Her sassy attitude and foul mouth, combined with his attitude and humor, create sparks hotter than the Phoenix sun they live under.
Want to read an excerpt? Check it out here!
A note from the author:
This book is a love story to those couples who met in college, trying to figure out what they wanted to do in the world without a clue how to get there. The names of characters and places are made up, but the setting is all true to Phoenix, Arizona. This was an ode to a city I grew to love.
The hubs and I live in a city. You expect a little riff-raff now and again but the oddest things always happen to me when I'm alone.
A guy singing his heart out to me? Check.
Following my dogs around, guessing their names? Check.
Someone asking me to help buy underwear for them? Yup.
Aggressively asking for money and insisting I give them my credit card? Also check.
But my Monday started off in the most dramatic fashion.
I thought my car was stolen.
It wasn't-- and for the sake of not embarrassing myself too much, let's just say I parked somewhere unusual and forgot about it. So, I'm already running 15 minutes late (due to crying about the 'missing car') and cheer in delight when finally I spot it. I hustle to it, but someone else is running in my peripheral vision.
Hm, this guy must be running late too! I'll give him a sympathetic smile. I turn. I smile.
Mistake. I made eye contact with a vagrant and he now stood right to my car on the other side. He wanted me to take him to the bank. Like, he tried to get in my car and have me cash his check at the bank.
It was the most bizarre proposition I've experienced. I believe my words were along the lines of hell to the no. He got the picture and thankfully I never felt threatened, but weird, uncomfortable, confused? Yes. All of those things. He walked away and I sped out of there and made it to work only ten minutes late.
In conclusion, it was the most Monday of all time and I'm glad today was much better. Cheers to a happy hump-day tomorrow!