Monday, June 20, 2011

Check it Out: K.A. Tucker

Hi everyone! I've got yet another great author to introduce (or re-introduce) to you! Today we have K.A. Tucker, author of Anathema!

A Writer’s Approach to Writing.

Every writer has their ‘right way’ to write a book. A way that makes sense to them, that’s comfortable, that (hopefully) saves them from months of agonizing revision and rewrites. The trick is discovering what that perfect method is.
So how did I find mine?

September 30th, 2009. That was the day I began writing what would become Anathema. My second daughter was 3 months old and had (finally) drifted off to sleep, and I was stretched out in the family room with an archaic second-hand Dell laptop and an idea. I began adding to that idea each day, during my girls’ naps and in the evenings, after they had gone to sleep. I had no method. I just wrote. It made sense for me at the time. It’s all I knew.

Until revision time came…

I started revising all wrong. I worked on line-editing - trying to smooth out sentences and correct typos, all while this little voice in the back of my mind kept nattering, “yes, you know the difference between their, there, and they’re… but is the actual story any good?”
I finally accepted that I had no sweet clue how to write a novel, even with 110 000 of my own words staring back at me. That’s when I decided I needed to get help. For some, that means going directly to an editor. For others, it’s a writers’ critique group. For me, it was an online course.
In August of 2010 I began a course by Holly Lisle, called “How to Revise your Novel.” I think the title is self-explanatory. It was online, it was at my own pace, and it was delivered in a very easy, non-English class format (you want to see my eyes glaze over? Start throwing terms like ‘predicative adjective’ and ‘reflective pronoun’ at me).
Every single night after my kids went to bed, I cracked the course lessons, as painful as some of them were. And believe me, some of them were downright stab-me-in-the-eye-with-a-fork painful. In the end, I had stripped out 50 000 words of meaningless, pointless crap from my manuscript and rebuilt with another 30 000 of ‘good stuff’ in. It was an eye-opening experience I don’t ever want to go through again.

Why do I mention this course here? It’s not meant to be a plug for Holly’s course (though I highly recommend it!). It’s because during this course, I also stumbled upon my perfect writing approach. The ‘right way’ for me to develop a story. It was derived from a combination of Holly’s teachings, common sense, and my own practicality.

How do I know I’ve found it? Because the night I sent Anathema to the editor, I began working on the second in the series using my newly discovered method. Within two weeks I had a solid outline and within two months the first draft. And the entire process was comfortable. It felt right. My new-found approach gives me the level of structure I need to effectively tie the plots and conflicts together from the beginning, all while not handcuffing my creativity. It’s my perfect balance. It may not work for others - in fact, I can guarantee it won’t for many - but it’s perfect for me.

I’m not going to sit here and outline my perfect writing approach. It’s mine. My precious.

Just kidding. :)

The purpose of this guest blog was simply to highlight that there is no one right way to approach writing a novel but there IS one right way for every individual writer. You all have a perfect approach waiting to be discovered and when you do, expect magic.

Have you found yours yet?

Thank you to Book Goggles for hosting me today :)


Evangeline has spent her teenage years in obscurity. Her foster parents have the emotional aptitude of robots and her classmates barely acknowledge her existence. About to turn eighteen and feeling like a social pariah, she is desperate to connect with someone. Anyone.

When Evangeline meets Sofie after literally stumbling upon her cafĂ©, she believes she’s found that connection. Willing to do anything to keep it, she accepts a job as Sofie’s assistant and drops everything to fly to Manhattan, where she is thrust into a luxurious world of Prada, diamonds, and limitless cash.

With such generosity and kindness, it’s easy for Evangeline to dismiss certain oddities . . . like Sofie’s erratic and sometimes violent behavior, and the monstrous guard dogs. She’s even willing to dismiss her vivid dreams of mob-style murders, beautiful homeless people living in caves, and white-eyed demons that haunt her each night as figments of her imagination—especially when one of those figments is the gorgeous Caden. When she wakes up with bite marks on her neck, the fairy tale quickly turns into a nightmare. She slowly unravels the mystery surrounding Sofie and friends, and the reality of the bites and the “dreams.” What she discovers is far more mysterious and terrible than anything she could have imagined.

In a world where everyone has motive to lie for personal gain, Evangeline must decide which deception is least likely to get her killed.

Just to let you know, you can buy K.A. Tucker's book on amazon, smashwords, & Barnes & Nobles!

Also, don't forget that there's a book giveaway!

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