Friday, January 29, 2016

Guest Blog by Kyle Shoop






I write for two reasons: (1) to entertain and (2) to fulfill a lifetime goal of mine. But I never actually thought I would write a novel, let alone a whole trilogy. Now here I am finishing up the last book of my Acea Bishop series. But when I reflect on why I set a goal of one day writing a novel, I think there was always an intrinsic part of my nature meant for me to eventually end up a writer.

In eighth grade, my English class was required to join a state-wide writing contest. Only a handful of students from all of Washington State would win the “Gold Key” award. From the moment the mandatory contest was announced in class, many serious students began conjuring up what their approach would be to write that award-winning masterpiece. I was not one of them. Instead, I forgot about it until the day before it was due. I hurriedly wrote a couple pages about a science project that had gone awry the week before, and guessed at which category my entry fit into. (I recall having no idea what some categories even meant and just randomly checking one off.) My story was entitled "Dissecting Chucky." Chucky was the name I gave my fetal pig in science class. The required dissection in that class did not go well, probably due to same lack of effort which I had put forth for my English class’s writing competition. Anyway, I won the Gold Key award (as well as several bad looks from straight-A students). But instead of recognizing the internal creative juices I had, I chalked it up to good luck.

Several years later, when I was in college for my undergrad, I was in a class which was a complete letdown. The class had promised to be a venue for creative minds, but it was unfortunately not that. Due to that class, I ended up making lifetime goals. The goals were: to record a music album (I play guitar), write a book, and learn how to paint. Years later, I completed the first goal. However, I ended up instead writing and recording three CDs instead of one. At the end of my last album, I wanted to take a break from music. However, I did not immediately remember my goal to write a book.

Then one night, I had a dream. That dream was the first two chapters of my first novel, Acea and the Animal Kingdom. From there, my imagination took offcreating the plot, conflict, and setting of a trilogy. Since that initial dream, I’ve been writing to entertain my readers and allow them to escape into the worlds which I’ve worked so hard to create. My wife taught elementary school for several years, so my goal was to write a story which would appeal to both parents and childrensomething they both would want to read together. My series centers around twelve-year-old Acea Bishop, who awakens to find that he’s been kidnapped from his home on San Juan Island and brought to an ancient, magical kingdom full of real animals. In trying to escape and to make his way back home, he unlocks the mystery of the kingdom’s history and reveals things about his past which he never imagined existed.

Writing the trilogy has not happened without sacrifices. In addition to writing, I am also a practicing attorney. So, finding time to write (in addition to spending time with my family) is difficult. This can be emotionally taxing, and I’ve learned that a book’s dedication is not just a gestureit’s hard-earned. In addition, my decision to be independently published naturally leads to additional financial obligations. But I’ve been very enthused and motivated by the outpouring of positive responses I get from my readers! These positive responses from readers of all ages make the sacrifice well worthwhile. 

Books one (Acea and the Animal Kingdom) and two (Acea and the Seven Ancient Wonders) of are available now in paperback and e-book on the Amazon, Kindle, iTunes, and Google Play stores. Kyle is currently completing the last in the series, Acea and the Adventure Thru Time, which is anticipated to be released within the next year. For more information, please visit Kyle's website.

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No witches, warlocks or vampires...
just a sexy tale about trying to live the Hollywood dream...
Luigi's Chinese Delicatessen by Jim Vines



Friday, January 22, 2016

Guest Blog by Nik Krasno



Imagine you live in a society where private property is a curse, business or entrepreneurship is a criminal offense and likewisenon-working parasitism. You can't leave the place nor change its principles. Surrealistic? Science fiction? That's where I livedin the USSR, the biggest and most "glorious" empire. And then it all started to crumble. I was off to Israel for a few years and when I came back it was a different world. Also surrealistic, improbable, but different.

                For many years I was virtually living on the plane traveling back and forth between Israel and Ukraine (plus some other countries), thus sharing my time between family and business. Not for a second the feeling of a unique phenomena unfolding in front of my eyes left me. The transition from pre-communist Soviet republic to an independent, Wild West capitalistic, corrupted pseudo-democracy was fast, furious and ruthless to those who didn't know how to adapt. On the other hand, these turbulent times benefited modest Soviet citizens, who were apt to grasp what was going on and use the new rules, or more precisely, total collapse thereof, to their personal favor. It's no wonder that every ten years of her short, twenty-five-year-long history Ukraine undergoes a revolution.

                Within a remarkably short period huge factories, built during decades by the Soviets and employing tens of thousands of employees, ended up in private hands for a much lower than market price. Being a commercial lawyer, you are very aware and exposed to the dark side of things, which usually represents a good material for a high-voltage thriller, noir or action book.

                Having all of the above as a background, at some stage I started to think that a story of a fictional billionaire who uses real schemes or scams for enrichment could be of interest to those who wonder what happens in places once sealed almost hermetically by an iron curtain. I thought revealing the unbelievable magnitude of corruption could also be thrilling. These ideas evolved into a plot-line for a book that I conceived. Five or six years ago, there was a series on Israeli TV about Russian or Ukrainian oligarch (extremely rich individual having considerable behind the scenes political influence) coming to Israel, buying a football club, marrying Israeli woman and so on. It was pretty naive and clichéd in my opinion, but stillso popular. I thought the oligarch theme was intriguing and that I could come up with a much more realistic story. My general assumption was that people were always curious how someone made countless fortunes. Many watched with interest movies about Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs. Their stories may just look trivial in comparison with those of their Eastern peers.... 
   
                So from time to time I was writing down scenes and outlining the plot. One day when I was having a beer with a friend (a published non-fiction author) and I shared the idea with him. He was pretty enthusiastic about it. We decided to go for it. About a year later we had the first book: Rise of an Oligarch. Were it not for him, I doubt I would've found time or confidence to finish it on my own. I knew I had a story, but I wasn't sure I wanted to be a writer or whether I was capable to become one. Hmm, I doubt it even now, as despite many positive reviews, my books are not yet New York Times bestsellers. 

                And then I've discovered that writing is addictive. Since I was so eager to find out what happens next with the protagonist and having garnered enough confidence, I just sat down and wrote the sequel myself (Mortal Showdown, released in June, 2015). I'm currently working on a third installment that might conclude the trilogy and which shall contain a certain surprise, call it a gimmick. I hope to air it rather soon, so don't bite your nails.

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No witches, warlocks or vampires...
just a sexy tale about trying to live the Hollywood dream...
Luigi's Chinese Delicatessen by Jim Vines



Sunday, January 17, 2016

Guest Blog by Luna Saint Claire





I wrote my first novel because I had to. It was a compulsion that propelled me each day.

There is most certainly a circle of life. In high school I wrote tortured poetry. I never fit with the popular girls who tittered about boys, and hung out smoking cigarettes at the mall. I was an artist, listened to the edgy new music with potent lyrics, and I dressed eclectically bohemian wearing only silver and turquoise jewelry. I was never happy with the way I looked. I was darker skinned, with long thick black hair. I looked nothing like any of my classmates in Syracuse, New York. I had been adopted as an infant from the Mohawk tribe. I was a Native American.

In college I made friends and fit in. I discovered I was actually an exotic beauty. I preferred progressive music to popular, I painted, and I was inspired by Tolkien and Hesse. I took advanced philosophy courses and studied comparative religion. I began to feel somewhat intellectual—which was trendy. I remember my mother being startled that I enjoyed One Hundred Years of Solitude, and insulted when she asked if I understood it. My father, on the other hand, began reciting verses when I announced I was taking a course in Milton’s Paradise Lost. All the while, I continued taking ballet classes that I had relished since childhood, secretly wishing for a magical career on stage.

A year after graduating with an MFA in painting and art history, I was fortunate a friend suggested I call her cousin, a renowned costume designer, for a job. I had not considered myself skilled, but she assured me I had the right combination of art, photography and fashion acumen needed; and besides, I had amazing style.

In only a few years, I was promoted to costume designer and working on feature films, living in L.A. I met my husband, not surprisingly a philosophy professor. I substituted ballet with yoga. I never wrote tortured poetry because I couldn’t have been happier.

Two fleeting decades passed. Engrossed in our careers, we didn’t have children, doting instead on nieces and nephews. We traveled and invested in art. On Friday evenings we had date-night, drank a bottle of red wine, and danced to blues rock. But something small gnawed at me. I was middle aged and I felt my life was conventional and had become circumscribed. It hit home when an acquaintance reminded me how heads used to turn when I waltzed into a room like an exquisite butterfly—I felt I had become invisible.

Everything happens for a reason. A new yoga studio opened. The teacher, a charismatic Argentine guru, made me feel as if anything was possible. Charming and magnetic, he appeared innocent in his motives, gaining my trust with affection and compliments. Truth is, he targeted me. Vampires are real. I’m not referring to the paranormal kind that drink your blood, but rather, narcissistic sociopaths who use manipulation and compulsion to seduce their victims. Infatuated, I became entangled in his life as he used his mesmerizing sexuality to manipulate everyone around him in his pursuit of women, wealth, and celebrity.

For seven years I was a victim of narcissistic abuse. I could not escape his compulsion. It was like being addicted to a narcotic. Thankfully, like Jonathan Harker in the novel Dracula, my husband understood I had been compelled. It took perseverance and patience, but I eventually broke free. As part of the healing process, a friend in AA assigned me the first Step: to write. The words flew out of my fingertips. It was tortured and painfully revealing, like my high school poetry. When she read what I wrote she suggested I write the book. After three years, I published The Sleeping Serpenta woman’s struggle to break an obsessive bond with her yoga master.

Like an injured lioness, lying in her den licking her wounds, I remained sequestered in my darkened room in front of a desktop computer with my headphones on for at least eight hours a day, every day. I wrote continuously in a stream of conscious. Unsure if I was writing a memoir in first person or third person omniscient voice, I often mixed up the point of view. In one year I had completed a trilogy. I had made an Excel spreadsheet to use as a timeline and created a bible of characters listing their characteristics, fashion style, music they listened to, and cars they drove. I researched everything on personality disorders and read books where characters are narcissistic, sociopaths or psychopaths: Dracula, Anna Karenina, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Bastard Out of Carolina, American Psycho, and Wuthering Heights. I pinned everything to Pinterest boards, including kundalini yoga kriyas and Argentine recipes. I listened to Liquid Mind on Pandora non-stop. At the end of the year, I cleaned it up as a first draft and gave it to beta readers. I had planned on a trilogy, but the feedback was unanimous: there wasn’t enough arc in the first book to ensure readers would read book two and three; it needed to conclude in one book. I edited it down to one book, tweaking the dialog, and tightening the story.

I love to write. It’s Zen. Even editing is Zen. When I put the marketing hat on I feel like a hustler. Switching hats makes me crazy; it's a schizophrenic feeling. But it has to be done. I post at least once a day across all social media channels. Each one is specific, so I do them separately which assures I get it all correct. I spend time counseling other victims in dozens of abuse groups on Facebook and Instagram. It’s important for me to help others and many end up liking my Facebook Page, following me on Instagram, and some have bought, read and reviewed the book. I also post blurbs, excerpts, and reviews on dozens of book promotion blogs on Facebook. And, I spend time on Goodreads. I read books, newsletters, and take webinars on social media marketing.  I’m not sure someone else would be doing this for me if I were traditionally published. I can only tell you...all I want to do is write. 

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No witches, warlocks or vampires...
just a sexy tale about trying to live the Hollywood dream...


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Guest Blog by Alp Mortal



The reason I write now is somewhat different from the reason I began writing. Cast your mind back to 2008: the UK entered the Credit Crunch, and on March 31st, 2008, 400,000 people lost their jobsmyself included. Not so quickly coming to the realization that the situation was hardly likely to improve anytime soon, I stuck around, getting more and more depressed as prospects grew thinner and thinner. A friend suggested retraining to teach English as a second language and then hop on a plane to China. That easy?

Actually, it was that easy. But I didn’t hop on a plane to China; I boarded a train for Toulouse. I speak French and I felt more confident trying to get things done in a country where at least I spoke the language. Turns out to have been the turning point in my life.

Backtrack to the last few days in London prior to leaving for France. My best friend and I were having dinner. He said, “Are you planning on writing a journal?” 
I replied, “I’ve thought about it ...” 
“Try something different; by all means write a journal but instead of doing it ‘diary-fashion,’ why not write a story that incorporates all of the people, places and events that you will hopefully encounter?” 
“?” 
“Give it a go...”

In December 2008, I was 43 years old and had never written a word of fiction in my entire life. I had, however, spent 25 years writing technical reports, so the act of writing was not alien, but fiction was a dark ocean, threatening to engulf me. I also had no home, no job, no carbut I felt free for the first time in years. I also had just one suitcase, a laptop and a certificate that said I could teach English. 

Goodbye, UK!

Roll forward to February 2009 and Toulouse. I was failing to get teaching work and had decided to pack up and try something else. Seated in an Algerian café, enjoying what was probably going to be my last coffee and pastry before heading off somewhere else, I looked across the small square and noticed an old gentleman, seated in the window of his studio, working on a violin. BAM!

It was like an adrenaline rush; the story (The Dog and The Eagle) hit me between the proverbial eyes like a locomotive. Two years later, I had finished a 1,200 page crime thriller trilogy that incorporated as many of the people, places and events of my travels up to that point as was possible. (That trilogy is waiting to be re-edited and republished.)

In September 2010, I found myself back at a Buddhist retreat in the Vosges Mountains of Francea work exchange that turned into an odyssée. On Christmas Day 2010, I took up residence in a small, neighboring cottage, which had no power, phone or Internet connection, and spent the next three years working the land to grow my own food (also generating a surplus to exchange for things I couldn’t grow), and generating my own power so that I had enough electricity in my batteries to have light and laptop for three hours every evening so I could write.

At the end of 2012, two years into the self-sustainable lifestyle, and loving it, I was talking to a friend who said, “Why don’t you publish your stories? You can do it yourself these days.”

I don’t know why I had never thought of it before.

Later, after a few searches and some research, I had an Amazon KDP account, and within a few days, I had published my first title. I became addicted to the process, publishing everything I had already written up to that point within the following few monthsall of it unedited for the most part. What a rush! For the first time, in a very long time, I felt liberated...totally energized.

Writing had transitioned from an interesting way to record my travels, to a path to achieve a kind of enlightenment. The stories wereand mostly still arethe ongoing narrative of the journey of a 50-year-old gay man, seeking only to be and remain happy.

At the beginning of 2015, I moved to the United States, to set up an indie publishing company with three of my friends (all indie authors). A very different kind of experience. I love Jeffersonville and Louisville, but hate the fact that you have to drive absolutely everywhere (though drive-thru ATMs and drive-thru pharmacies are pretty cool).

Now, in January 2016, I have just returned from the United States and I am back at the Buddhist retreat in the Vosges, looking after the house and the cat for the owners while they take a break. Still writing, publishing and marketing; also with a publishing company to co-manage (The Carter Seagrove Project, LLC) which is the driving force of my life right now.

I find that I cannot go a day without writingit is a drug; it makes me insanely happy; and I still incorporate as much of my journey into the stories as I can. However, whereas the early stories incorporated a lot of my experiences up to that point in an almost autobiographical way, now I have transitioned to using the feelings and emotions I felt/feel as the essential fuel of the story I am writing, which itself has become more of a matrix and less of a linear-style narrative.

It never feels like a sacrifice despite having sacrificed almost everything to get to this point. I have no permanent home, no car, and no reliable income. I have one suitcase, a laptop and a Kindle. If you can’t carry it, you don’t need it! If needs be, I could write on the Kindle, so I could afford to kiss the laptop and the suitcase goodbye.

Happy to the point of deliriumhow?

I think about this a lot. Many of my stories deal with "issues" and the process of "resolving" them. I resolve nearly all of my issues through writing them out of my head. However, we all have issues and they don’t all resolve neatly, so staying happy is about being honest about how I feel, confronting my fears, exchanging my energy, and helping as many people as possible in as many ways as possible.

Personal mantras: Energy follows intention. Honor your gifts.

I used to write one story at a time. There may have been times when I had a story waiting to be reviewed and a new one on the desktop being worked on actively. That changed. Now I have at least twelve manuscripts open on the desktop at any one time, and I spend my time flitting between them all, sometimes adding a single word, a sentence, a chapter, or ten thousand words, but it would be rare to spend the writing day focused on just one project.

Input hungry? Yes, I am. Typically, I will be writing to music (the story will dictate the type of music I want to listen to); often opera/classical, rarely vocals because they distract me. I’ll have a stack of short films and any number of Youtube vloggers latest posts to watch throughout the day. I’ll be flitting between at least six books on the Kindle.

How do stories arrive? Often, a line of dialogue will pop into my head. For example, "four shot tall latte, please," is the opening line of The Great Dane Saga, which is 150,000 words and waiting to be re-edited and republished. One line of fairly innocuous dialogue gives rise to a tome of 500 pages? Yes. And that is just one of many examples. That said, the latest story that I’m working on (The (mis-)Adventures of Captain Du Bon Le Phare) arose as a consequence of reaching for a tube of my favorite harissa pastethe name of the brand sparked a thought that has turned into a steampunk-ish style chronicle of an anti-hero. Will it become a series? I would not be surprised.

Literally everything comes into the realm of inspiration. The death of a coral reef, reported on the Internet, spawns a safe sex fable (Juxtaposition). One of my favorite films, Dead Ringers, gives rise to a dark story of sibling rivalry (The Two Piece Jigsaw). Emma Kirkby’s rendition of Dido’s Lament births an epic love story (Grand Affair). Finding a Stone Age arrowhead in my garden produces a fantasy series (The Map Stick). Every story has a trigger, and it seems to me that of late, almost everything is giving rise to a new story.

Writing is my entire Universe (which also involves posting 100 tweets a day); and when I am not writing my own stories, I’m collaborating with my best buddy, Chamber Mars, to produce the Inspector Fenchurch Mysteries (as Carter Seagrove), or I’m translating Chambers’ two series Zac Tremble Investigates and The Life & Times of Johnny Santé into English; or I’m co-editing the work of Morgan Starr and Shannon M. Kirkland; or quite possibly, designing/co-designing a new book cover or book trailer, processing the edits on the latest audio-book recordings sent in by the voice talent, working with other artists to produce original abstract art narratives for some of the stories, which will be used for book trailers/short films.

And there are the films! Principally, Tonight It’s You, a short film being made between The Carter Seagrove Project LLC and ASPD films. We expect to release in early March 2016. Writing has led to the formation of so many partnerships and friendshipsprobably my least expected outcome of self-publishing...but the most cherished of them all.

The journey of the last three years of self-publishing has been the most satisfying that I can ever remember.

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No witches, warlocks or vampires...
just a sexy tale about trying to live the Hollywood dream...
Luigi's Chinese Delicatessen by Jim Vines


Friday, January 8, 2016

Guest Post by E.P. Clark



When I was about six, my parents read me a story called “Whisper the Winged Unicorn.”  In retrospect, it may not have been that great, but for me it was a life-changing experience, because the six-year-old me wanted to be Whisper, wanted to live in Whisper’s world.  Soon I was spending as much time as I could walking around and around, preferably on top of something high and difficult to balance on (first the edges of truck beds, then fence tops, then barn walls) and telling myself stories: first about Whisper, and then about all the other horses, unicorns, and other creatures that were filling my imagination to overflowing.  By the time I was seven I’d even learned to read (I’d been very skeptical about reading as an activity prior to this) in order to be able to feed my craving.
            
So it was pretty much set, in my mind at least, that I was going to be a writer.  The problem, as I’m sure my comrades of the keyboard will understand, was that my technique was in no way adequate for my ideas.  By the time I was in my mid-teens I already had the seeds of the world that I’ve ended up using in The Midnight Land, my first novel, germinating in my head, and when I was 18 I started writing my first novel based on that world.  Fortunately, that draft has been consigned to dead-laptop oblivion, as has its sequel and the sequel after that (I might suffer from a touch of graphomania), but I spent the next 10+ years working on and off on various novels, novellas, and short stories, a few of which were published (most of which have, quite rightly, been allowed to return to the soil from which they came), where they are nurturing the new seedlings that are springing up from that loam.
            
As all this was going on I’d also decided to buckle down and get a degree and a job.  I radically over-fulfilled the plan, getting not one but three degrees: a BA in International Studies, an MA in Russian Translation, and a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures.  It was while I was working on the last that I got my idea for The Midnight Land.  I was reading medieval Russian literature and came across that phrase, which was frequently used to refer to Russia and the north, and I knew that I’d just found the title for my next short story.  I immediately sat down and started writing it, thinking I’d finish it that fall and submit it somewhere over winter break.
            
Two years and a considerable amount of pain later, I had a thousand-page first draft, along with a pressing need to finish my dissertation and get a proper job.  So I put away the novel and concentrated on graduating and finding academic employment, two experiences that, to borrow from Dick Francis, opened up vistas of writing pain that I would have much rather had remained closed.  Writing cover letter after cover letter, research proposal after research proposal, updating and proofreading my CV, writing and submitting articles for publication, and trying to get in what I could of my dissertation whenever I could, while also teaching and grading, and then, when I finally got a job after 10 months of this, realizing that 1) the job didn’t pay enough to live on, and 2) it was time to start all over again, because my contract didn’t even last all the way through the semester (seriously—my first contract ended before the last week of the semester, which meant I wrote, administered, and graded my final exams, and submitted my final grades, while I was not technically under contract with the college) was the kind of thing that either breaks you down, or makes you stronger.  Honestly, I’m not sure which it has done for me, but after several years of the contingent academic labor life, fortunately on the “upward” rather than the “downward” track, my writing discipline is now rock-solid.  Cranking out all those tests, lesson plans, articles, and most especially job materials, often while under a strict deadline and with the possibility for failure—“failure” being one misplaced comma or extra space between words, since that’s the kind of thing they say can doom you—looming large in my mind, made me break through all the barriers between my keyboard and my subconscious, so that when I started working on my fiction again, I was astounded at how quickly and easily the words flowed.
            
Once I’d decided to return to fiction, I decided to look into self-publishing, since I’d become pretty disillusioned with the editing process as I’d experienced it as an academic, and I was also tired of getting piles of rejection letters every week.  I figured it was one thing to get paid to go through that kind of thing as a job, but I didn’t need to do it in my leisure time as well, and I didn’t want to spoil my relationship to my art with those kinds of pressures.  I spent more than a year polishing up The Midnight Land in between my full-time job of teaching and research and my other full-time job of applying for more teaching and research jobs, and then, just as I thought it was ready to go to press…I had a brilliant idea for the last book in the series.  So I spent the next year and a half working on that instead, and ended up with another 1000-page manuscript, plus lots of key insights about the world I’d created, which I went back and added into The Midnight Land, before finally, finally deciding to go ahead and publish it on Amazon.
             
I hit a slight snag at that point when I discovered (duh!) that my manuscripts were way too long to be published as is, and needed to be broken up into multiple volumes.  I’d originally planned a trilogy, called The Zemnian Trilogy, and I still am planning three more-or-less stand-alone stories with three different central characters, but each story is being split up into multiple volumes, so it looks like I’ll end up with a trilogy in seven volumes, if not more.  As a huge J.R.R. Tolkien and Douglas Adams fan, I actually quite like the idea of having a book that is composed of multiple books, and a trilogy that is made up of more than three books.  I split The Midnight Land into two volumes, breaking it off (again, partly as an homage to Tolkien) at the most dramatic moment I could find.  I’ve released Part I (The Flight) in both Kindle and print form, and Part II (The Gift) in Kindle form; I’m hoping to release it in print form soon.  Now I’m working on The Breathing Sea, the next installment in the series, which like any good Russian novel will no doubt will be just as loose, baggy, and monstrous as its sisters.

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You can connect with E.P. Clark on Facebook!






No witches, warlocks or vampires...
just a sexy tale about trying to live the Hollywood dream...


Here's Me Giving Nicolas Cage Get His First Film Award (from 1981)!!



Just for fun...

Here's a video of yours truly presenting Nicolas Cage (at the time he was Nicolas Coppola) with a Best Actor prize at the Beverly Hills High School Student Film Awards, in May 1981.





* Please excuse the not-so-great quality of the video.







No witches, warlocks or vampires...
just a sexy tale about trying to live the Hollywood dream...

Friday, January 1, 2016

Guest Post by Virginia C. West



Never in a thousand years did I imagine I’d ever become a writer. Actually, up until very recently, I wasn’t too terribly certain I even was a writer! I most definitely enjoyed writing when I was a wee lass. I wrote some short stories in school and I always got high praise, and I wrote relentlessly in my daily diary for years, but I never dared to consider myself an actual writer.  My passion has always been music (I play a pretty mean guitar, I’m good with lyrics, and I have a voice that gets the job done). At the age of twenty I got the notion that I was meant to be a singer/songwriter in the vein of, say, Alanis Morissette or Avril Lavigne.
One day in early 2009—not long after my boyfriend Nathaniel committed suicide—I heard a little voice in my head say, “Pack up your shit, get on a bus, get yourself to L.A., and GO MAKE MUSIC!” Well, that’s exactly what I did. My journey began in April 2009. It’s nearly 7 years later and I’m still in L.A. and I’m still making music…but I’m also doing a lot of writing.
As I said, I’ve always kept a diary of some sort—especially the days, months and years after landing in L.A. In early 2015, after reading several pages of my diary, my BFF Karen told me, “You need to publish this!” I thought she was crazy.  I mean, who’d want to read MY diaries; and did I really want to share my innermost thoughts and feelings—my whole damn life!with the world?  I mean, come on, it's some pretty raw shit. For better or worse, Karen talked me into it. She said, “Those diaries have a definite entertainment value, but they’re also a cautionary tale for anyone thinking of taking a chance on Hollywood.” I mulled it over for a good long while and eventually realized Karen was right. I also figured I had nothing to lose. Karen, who's a writer herself, walked me through the whole self-publishing thing. It wasn't nearly as intimidating as I thought it would be. Now, all these months later, I’m pleased to announce that Diary of a Rock & Roll Chick (Book One) is available to anyone who wants to read it.
I have other writing projects on the horizon as well. I’m currently working on three short stories, which I’m enjoying the hell out of. I’ve also decided to tackle a novel, which I’m presently outlining.
Oddly, I’ve found that writing prose offers me a sense of peace and a sense of accomplishment that music has never quite given me. Not sure why that is. But it’s pretty awesome creating worlds, and characters, and situations—and I don’t ever want to stop doing it!
My biggest problem is finding the time to write. I currently work a “regular” job in addition to the occasional music gig. But I find that if I dedicate 45 minutes to an hour each day, usually in the early morning, I can have a decent word count over the period of a week. I wish it could be more, but that’s just not feasible right now. But who knows—if Diary of a Rock & Roll Chick takes off, if I can make a few bucks from it, I can cut back on the day job…and I can dedicate much more time per week to my new found love: writing. I'll admit, that’s a bit of a dream, but I don’t care. After all, a girl’s gotta have a dream!

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You can follow Virginia on Twitter and Facebook!




No witches, warlocks or vampires...
just a sexy tale about trying to live the Hollywood dream...