behind the scenes

Outside of Writing

If you know me, you know I have been writing for a long time. I wrote the first draft of The Assassin when I was in eighth grade. I was thirteen at the time and I’m celebrating my twenty-sixth birthday in November. That’s literally half of my life (almost). While most of what I talk about here is book-related, there are plenty of other things I do in my life besides writing books. I have a few other interests and I’m currently doing a lot of other things in my life, so I wanted to share what I do besides writing.

Outside of Writing

1. I have a weird love for severe weather

Having grown up in tornado alley and still living in Texas to this day, I’ve seen some weird weather in my life. While I never want anyone to die because of severe weather, I love watching the coverage. If you’ve ever had a tornado near you, you’ve probably witnessed your local meteorologists interrupt TV to provide information about the storm. Watching this coverage is a bit of a pass-time for me. Whether the tornadoes are here in Texas, Alabama, or Wisconsin (they had some this past weekend), if I can find coverage, I’ll watch it. Other people binge Netflix shows, I binge tornado coverage.

2. Building Websites

Before I started writing novels or even taking it seriously, I had a love for building websites. In high school, I took a coding class and I wish I would have stuck with it. I still love tinkering with websites, so when you see things change around here, that’s why. Expect another change by the end of the year.

I still love creating dummy websites to design and play and test new things with. It’s a weird creative expression I don’t often get out.

3. I am a planner

I love, love, love writing things down in my planner. I use the Happy Planner, which allows you to add pages and customize your planner. I have a section designed for content and book deadlines and I’m currently working to make plans for the rest of the year to bring more content like this to my website.

4. Country Music is 80% of what I listen to

What else do I listen to? Some pop and R&B and Broadway musicals. But mostly country.

5. Reading is still my favorite thing to do in my free time

I get teased by friends because I’m always suggesting when they’re bored, they should read a book. Most just laugh at me for loving it, but my house is full of books. When it’s time to move, packing up my books is the worst part of the process.

Outside of writing, I do a lot of other things to take up my free time outside of my day job. What are some of your favorite pasttimes?

A Look at 2018: The Writing Recap

I can’t believe that 2018 is already over. This year was such a split between the beginning of the year when I was completing a draft every few weeks and the second half of the year. Between January and July, I can think of at least four drafts off the top of my head that were started and finished. Then I moved in August and it killed my writing.

A look at 2018: the Writing Recap

After so many years of working on my main series The Cassie Morgan Series, I took some time this year to focus on something new. That’s how I ended up writing a new series – The Emily Burnet Series. I’ve taken a break over the past month or so to just not worry about writing, but I’m hoping to get started back up next week. When I move in January, I’ll be jumping back in full-steam ahead. I look forward to the late nights of writing again.

Related Post: My Writing in 2017

The main focus of 2018 and the first half of 2019 will be The Emily Burnet Series, which starts with Airtime & Alibis. With more information coming in the new year, Airtime & Alibis tells the story of a journalist who works with a police officer to find a missing woman – someone she went to school with. The series takes place in Austin, Texas, which is where I live. Knowing a city so well allows a lot of fun ways to bring it into the story and I’m excited to build it into the series.

In the new year, I’m excited to introduce you to Emily, like I did Cassie.

Even as I focus on this new idea, Cassie Morgan has been bubbling in the back of my head. While I’ve been writing, I’ve also taken the time to organize some thoughts and plot lines for both series. Between getting organized and the amount of reading I’ve done this year, I’m really excited to flex my creative muscle again in the new year.

Related Post: How I Fell in Love with Writing

This second half of 2018 has definitely been a transition period as I rearranged things to make 2019 a better year. While this year didn’t have anything big in the limelight, I made some pretty big moves in stories that make me really excited for 2019 and what it will hold.

If you haven’t already, I highly suggest signing up for the newsletter for the first news of the year. 2019 is gonna be legit, y’all. I can’t wait.

Behind the Scenes 2018

Behind the Scenes was a linkup I joined in 2015 and did again in 2016, but skipped out last year. Given that I’m planning to ramp back up in 2019, I thought it would be fun to see how things have changed since 2016. I’ll be sharing recaps of my year this week, so I hope you enjoy!
Behind the Scenes in 2018


This year, I’ve written in just about every situation – at work during my lunch hour, at coffee shops, the Austin Public Library, and in bed. I’m getting ready to move in January and I look forward to getting back to my writing desk and a dedicated space to tell stories (and I’m hoping to share some pictures of the new space once I move).


When I have my desk, I can go late into the night writing. Many nights it would be midnight and I would still be plugging away at the words, often aided by a nice glass of wine. This year didn’t feature any 10,000 word days, but we might have to make up for that in 2019. I’ve also snuck in some editing in at my lunch hour for my day job, which is at three in the afternoon. I am definitely a late-night writer.

Behind the Scenes - a recap on habits of an indie author. Click To Tweet


Water or wine. If I’m at a coffee shop, a cold brew is usually called for (but only one or two – any more and I’ll make myself sick). I try not to eat while I write, but I have snuck in some writing while eating lunch or dinner.


At the beginning o the year, I was crushing it with a new draft about every 45 days. Then in June, I started a new job and in August I moved in with family temporarily (for personal reasons) and the writing train slowed down. Once I move in January, I plan to focus on writing and revving back up.


I’ve listened to music, watched Youtube vidoes, binged on podcasts, and chased tornado coverage on the internet – all in the name of something to listen to while writing,


Latptop. Always the laptop.


There really isn’t, I just write.


I don’t do anything special to get writing, I just sit down and write. If I’m struggling, I might take a break and go on a walk, but I often keep powering through. I like to break my writing segments up into 15-minute chunks. If I’m really on top of my game, I can get 500 words done in that time. I use the target window in Scrivener to keep myself going, and I love hitting the goal and resetting it to push myself farther.


A drink, probably my planner, and my phone.


I don’t, I just expect myself to keep going.


This new series I’m working on, I want to rewrite the first three books before I get the first one out. I’m hoping I can do this to cut down the time between releases. Then after I release the first three short stories, I’ll go back to The Cassie Morgan Series. At this point, it’s been eight months since I’ve worked on those books and I’m really itching to go back to them.

Read past years of Behind the Scenes: 2016 | 2015

Sign up for the latest news and exclusives!


Coming in 2018

A new year is here and it feels so nice. Often times, I feel the new year can be hard for me, but this one is different. I feel like I’m in a good place. Especially after the last two years, which were rough, I’m feeling optimistic – and that goes for my writing as well. So today, I’m sharing what’s coming in 2018.

Coming in 2018

Since 2017 saw no new titles published, I’m hoping to publish some this year. It definitely hurts not to have new material for people to read, but it’s not a race – it’s about patience. Today, though, I want to recap exactly what I’m hoping to accomplish in my writing this year. I’m focusing on two series that I think I’ll be working on, but a lot of things can change in twelve months. I can’t wait to come back in December and see what actually happens!

The Cassie Morgan Series

I’ve mentioned multiple times that I’m trying to get both Justice & Lies, the third book, and Hit List, the fourth one, done at once so I can publish them back-to-back. Given the way Justice & Lies ends, it makes sense because Hit List picks up shortly after the end of the third one. My hope is that these two stories are so intertwined, you could pick up Justice & Lies, without having read the first two, and still feel like you understand what’s going on.

Currently, I’m 54,000 words into a Hit List draft, with probably 15,000 words to go, My hope is to be done by the end of January, but after that, I’m taking some time off from the series. We all go through creative burnouts, so it’s important to see those for what they are. I’ve been working on these two books for a year and a half straight now, and I need a break!

Hopefully, I’ll come back to them in April or May, but I don’t anticipate coming in before that. I’m hoping for a September or October release date for Justice & Lies, which would be over two years after Double Played came out.

The Short Stories

I’ve also mentioned these a few times – the short stories, but these stories are still so… abstract. I’ve got two ideas I’m toying with and I’m not totally sure which direction I want to go in. One is much darker than The Cassie Morgan Series, more in line with something like The Girl on the Train or All the Missing Girls. Then my second idea is more light-hearted, almost cozy mystery type. I suspect at the end of my writing career, I’ll have written both, but for now, I’m not sure which direction I want to go in.

I do want to try some new ways of publishing – with the short stories, I’m hoping these can be faster and I can promote them more. All the “traditional” rules that I follow as an indie author, I’d like to throw those out the window and just see what I can do – experiment with these short stories.

Either way, as I have a goal to read a whole entire book series that consists of 46 books (right now) this year, I’m also hoping to write a lot of words, and of course, I hope you stick around for the fun!

My Year in 2017: Writing Edition

Hello end of the year! 2017 was a insane year for me, but throughout it all, I still had my writing. This year didn’t quite end up the way I thought it would.

My Year in 2017: Writing Edition

The year was spent working on two books – two books I thought would be out by now.

Justice & Lies is the third book in the Cassie Morgan series, and over some rewrites, it drastically changed. The main plot line didn’t really change – I’ve had that pinned down for a few years, but the order of events shuffled around. Given how tight the time frame is between Justice & Lies and Hit List is, one change can have a huge impact on both books.

While I’ve rewritten both books a couple times, I’m almost done with a rewrite of Hist List. A big part of my editing process is just rewriting the whole draft a few times – it allows me to get a better understanding about what I may or may not need in a book and it allows me to keep stories tight.

I’m hoping this is the last rewrite, but after – I’ll still be doing some heavy edits to make sure all the details line up across both stories – and with previous stories.

This year has involved a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make sure 2018 features some really awesome stories. There isn’t much else to say except stay tuned!

izmir escort bodrum escort