Category Archives: WRITING

I don’t want to write, I have to write.

I love social media.  I love connecting with people all over the world about topics that mean a lot to me.  I love having virtual friends and getting opinions from people I’ve never met.  I love that it brings pictures like the one above into my life.

Unique names – memorable or annoying?

Let me first say that I don’t want to come off as a hypocrite – many of my characters have strange unique names, however, I do strive mostly for balance in my fictional naming conventions.  At the moment, I think the appropriateness level of dynamic names is directly proportional to the genre.

Here’s hoping

Trying to figure out what to work on next. While I will be devoting quite a bit of time to marketing Major Pain (just waiting on the final cover image – all set with book trailer and final manuscript!), I’ll definitely have time to write or edit.

Under Pressure

I’ve had this post in my head for awhile. It’s hard to communicate because it’s announcing I feel like a failure, which isn’t necessarily part of the ‘branding’ I’d like to associate with my name. Once upon a time, circa 2005-2010, I was a writing machine. Seriously. I was not only churning out original work, but a fairly high level of fanfiction as well.

This weekend.

Although I’m experiencing some technical difficulties at home (no steady internet since Tuesday – the horror!), I am hoping to finish up the book trailer and review trailer for Major Pain this weekend. With a cover almost finished and the manuscript formatted, I am on track to do a soft release later this month and a bigger release in November.

Glad to know I’m not alone

As an “adult,” there are some things I would not like to admit to.  Jealousy.  Obsession.  Anger.  But these are all emotions I experience.  Maybe one day I will become a more zen person, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.  In real life, I love expletives and while I celebrate friends successes, sometimes I do get jealous.  The secret above is one I could have easily written. 

Edit for Structure and Content First

Too often, writers start their editing by polishing up every sentence – and then end up cutting out huge chunks of their material later. It’s much more efficient to do your big picture editing first: that means looking for:

  • Chapters or sections that need to be cut out – perhaps they’re too advanced for the piece, or they’re a tangent to the main point
  • Missing information that you need to add in, like a whole new section or chapter
  • Scenes or sections that need to be radically revised

Major cuts, additions and rewrites need to happen before you start digging down into the individual sentences and words.

More on parenting vs. writing.

I was reading a magazine the other day and happened across this gem from author Candia McWilliam (A Case of Knives, What to Look for in Winter), who said basically, each of her children cost her an unwritten book – a price she felt male authors didn’t have to pay – because of the time and money she spend raising them.

As a 30 something who’s been married almost 10 years (and 11 years with Hubs), the question of kids does come up now and then.  Hubs and I are on the same page, but I understand why others would wonder, ‘why haven’t they procreated yet?’  It’s basically for statements like the one above.  I don’t know if I would be able to *not* blame my hypothetical children for these unwritten books.  Of course, it seems highly immature for me to blame kids for my future and unrealized successes. 

In which I release a free e-book on KDP Select Amazon (the experiment).

So, part of this blog is to help prep for an inevitable audience and totally successful bow into self publication.  This week’s lesson involved the first attempt I’ve made ‘giving away’ a book on Amazon (by enrolling in the KDP Select Program.  For those who don’t know, this basically means you will sell a book ONLY through Amazon for 3 months.  Given most of my sales come through Amazon, I did not feel I was giving up significant sales elsewhere).

For reasons I’ll later get into, I’ve decided to break away from my YA name, Courtney Brandt, and build a new platform for myself under a pen name, Ann Benjamin.  As Courtney Brandt, I have 5 self published titles (all centering around a high school marching band).  The first book in the series, The Line, has been out for quite some time and was the perfect title to give away.

My Books Are My Kids (not really, but sort of)

So, let me start of by saying, I’m not going to be a mother.  I don’t want to be.  I respect those that have maternal instincts, but I really have no desire to have a child.  Whatsoever.

“You’ll change your mind.  You’re still young.”  I get those two a lot, but after being married to my husband for almost 9 years (and together for over 10), I think if I wanted to procreate I would’ve done so by now.

I realize this behavior puts me outside of what society considers normal.  So, I put some thought into why I felt this way – why don’t I want to have children?  Why does anyone have a kid?  Why does anyone feel their DNA is so important they need to recreate part of themselves to leave for the next generation?  There’s a biological drive to, sure, but I’m okay with enjoying practicing this side of things.  I like lists (and have the notebooks to prove it), so, after some thought, here’s why I believe being an author has greatly reduced my desire to have kids: