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Behind the Scenes 2016

Last year, right before the release of The Assassin, I participated in a link-up of sorts, “Behind the Scenes.” Now that it’s been a year and 2016 is wrapping up, I thought it would be fun to revisit this and do it again.

Behind the Scenes in 2016

WHERE DO YOU WRITE?

I work at home, in my little office area. I spent a good part of this year writing in coffee shops in Austin. One of my favorite shops is right on the lake, which is a great back drop.

WHEN DO YOU NORMALLY WRITE? NIGHT, AFTERNOON, OR MORNING?

I spent most of the year writing at night. Lately, I’ve been writing in the mid-morning after going to the gym.

IS THERE A CERTAIN SNACK YOU LIKE TO EAT WHILE WRITING?

I try to drink water, but don’t be surprised to see me with Dr Pepper or a glass of wine in the evening.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU WRITE A NEW NOVEL?

It usually takes me a month and a half to three months to complete each draft. Still hard to tell how long it takes me to complete a whole novel.

DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WRITE?

Yes, or I listen to writing podcasts while writing. I typically stick with music because I don’t need to pay attention to the music. Podcasts are a little more info-based and require more attention.

WHAT DO YOU WRITE ON? LAPTOP OR PAPER?

Laptop. If I can’t do it on my laptop, I’ll take my iPad and work in Scrivener there.

IS THERE A SPECIAL RITUAL YOU HAVE BEFORE OR AFTER YOU WRITE?

No, but I need to start developing some for pre-writing.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET INTO THE MOOD TO WRITE?

I still don’t have an answer to this! I think being in the middle of a great plot is what makes me excited to keep writing. Sitting down to pick up and continue on a rollercoaster ride is always fun.

WHAT IS ALWAYS NEAR THE PLACE YOU WRITE?

A drink, probably my planner, and my phone.

DO YOU HAVE A REWARD SYSTEM FOR YOUR WORD COUNT?

Keep going for more words.

IS THERE ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR WRITING PROCESS THAT OTHERS MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT?

It’s amazing how one year changes everything. I’m currently planning the “ending” to the series (I’ll be taking a break to focus on some other things). What I have planned pre-break and post-break are very different tones of a similar story in the series. I’m excited for people to get their hands on these!

I can’t believe that 2016 is almost over. In two and a half weeks, a new year will be here, and I am so excited for what it has in store. 2016 has been an extreme year, so I’m ready for something new!

Black Friday Sale

Black Friday and the weekend will feature some new sales!

On Black Friday, you’ll be able to download The Assassin for free and Double Played will be $2.99!

Saturday and Sunday, The Assassin will be $0.99 and Double Played will still be $2.99.

Monday, The Assassin will be $1.99 and Double Played will go back to regular price. If you haven’t already, this weekend is the weekend to buy the books!

You can buy The Assassin here and Double Played here!

A Book Birthday + Giveaway

A year ago yesterday, my life wasn’t quite the same as it is now. One year ago, on a Sunday night, a nervous 21-year-old uploaded her novel on to Kindle. In order to keep myself from obsessively refreshing the page on the back end of Kindle, I went out with friends to iHop.

And continued to refresh the page on my phone there until Amazon said it was live.

Now, I have a second book out, and I’m in the middle of working on the third one. I don’t remember the exact moment where I realized I wanted to be a published author, but I do remember the moment I realized I wanted to be an indie author.

Now, years later, I’m an indie author, and I’m still going strong. To celebrate my first book birthday, I’m giving away two sets of my books. You’ll get a copy of The Assassin and a copy of Double Played.

In terms of my life in the past year, I feel like everything has changed (and I’ll talk about that more next week), but one thing that hasn’t changed? My love of writing and telling these stories. The thrill I get when I approach a big scene. The 100+ index cards that I use to plot a book out. It’s the details in making the story that brings me back every time, so I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

A few notes on the giveaway: It’s only open to U.S. residents, and it’ll end on Sunday, November 20th.

Meet My Main Character

I’m currently working on my third book in the Cassie Morgan Series. While I’ve been with Cassie for a long time now as a writer, I realize that many people don’t know her unless they’ve read my books. So, I’d like you to meet my main character.
At the beginning of The Assassin, Cassie is a newer FBI agent, following a rogue FBI agent who is suspected of numerous things, like illegal gambling (and yes, that’s a thing the FBI investigates, according to their website).
The main focus of the book is the Assassin, a serial killer from the 1990s who escapes from prison. Cassie is reassigned to the case to help catch him, and because she meets the victim MO of the killer, she becomes his target (which is the whole point of her joining the case). 
Regardless of what happens in the stories, Cassie is a strong woman. She obviously goes through some pretty big things in the first book, having to catch the Assassin while working with the rogue agent from the beginning of the book. 
When I started writing back in eighth grade (nine years ago), I didn’t know any of the “rules” for creating a character. Writing as Cassie was a very cathartic experience, and she was very much like me. 
Now, almost ten years later, both my character and I have grown up, so to say. Over the years as I’ve developed in my writing skills, Cassie has become much more than just a copy of myself. Personality-wise, I believe she’s very much like I am, except I feel like she’s a much bigger version of what I’d like to be. 
Cassie is just the badass I wish I could be.
After The Assassin, we have Double Played. Double Played, the story jumps forward by six months, and Cassie is struggling still with the aftermath of the first book. The time jump was intentional, as I needed time for Cassie to start recovering. While Cassie, by nature, is an over thinker, I think this really shines through in Double Played. It’s also in Double Played that she starts dating. 
I’m currently working on Justice & Lies, which is brings back a lot of events from the first book. It feels a little like a full circle moment, even though I plan to continue the series after. 

How I Fell in Love with Writing

I’ve told the story of my writing life several times now, to family and friends, but I realized I’ve never taken the time to actually write down how I fell in love with writing.

How I Fell in Love with Writing

As long as I can remember, I’ve had a love for stories. I loved reading as a kid (still do), and after my trip to Walt Disney World when I was four, I’ve really cherished my imagination. I loved making up stories as a kid.

It wasn’t until the next year that I ventured into writing something on my own. It was one day in science class that I wrote a scene. The scene was of a murder. While this scene doesn’t make it into the final version of the book, it was this scene that started The Assassin.

In October 2010, I made the Top Pick list, and a month later, I was reading my very own HarperCollins review. At 17, I was head over heels at what was happening with my book.

In 2013, I began working for a small press as a publicist. While I was in college earning a degree in public relations and advertising, this seemed to be a great mesh of two things I loved – publishing and publicity. During my time with the company, I realized that I wasn’t totally thrilled with how publishing companies worked.

Two years later, a week before my 22nd birthday, my book was finally released. There’s this giddy feeling about releasing a book, but it’s also terrifying. Releasing my book also solidified my love of writing even more. If this feeling was something I got to keep, I was set for life.

I hope to always be writing, until the day I die.