I'm a romance novelist, a co-founder of NA Alley, and the owner of Forward Authority | Design Services. You can find my Mark of Nexus series (NA paranormal romance) at major e-retailers. :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

I Need YOUR Help!

Hey, guys! To celebrate my third blogiversary (coming up in May), I want to do something different—something to pay it forward—but I need your help. It involves a blogfest, new writers, and pretend time travel. Intrigued yet?

I want to compile a free e-book for writers who are just starting on their road to publication, using advice from the most brilliant, up-and-coming voices in the industry: you guys! Here’s what it would involve:


Please write a letter/note to yourself when you first started writing toward publication. The only thing I ask is that you keep it under 800 words, including as many (or as few) of these elements as you like:

   - A lesson you learned the hard way
   - Something you didn’t expect about the industry (positive/negative)
   - A writing-related resource you could never do without now
   - One thing you’d change about your journey
   - One thing you’re glad you did
   - Your number one tip for pursuing publication
   - Anything else you feel is worth passing on


   - The name you wish to be credited as
   - The title (if any) you wish to follow your name, i.e. author of the series
   - One major link where people can find you, i.e. website, blog, Twitter, etc.


   - Whether or not you give me permission to use your entry in the e-book compilation. Don’t feel bad if you don’t want in. We’d still love to read what you have to say!


Please note: I won’t be editing the entries, other than to proofread for misspellings or duplicate words. Try to have it pub-ready when you post it. :)


The lovey and talented PK Hrezo is going to be joining me as co-compiler! As it turns out, she had a similar idea awhile back, but didn't have time to plan it out. I took it as a great opportunity to work together!  


Anticipated FAQs

Q: Do I have to be published in order to participate?
A: It may be easier to answer the questions if you’ve been published (either independently or traditionally), but it’s certainly not a requirement. We’re just looking for friends with experience navigating the authorial waters. You do not have to be published.

Q: Do I need a blog to participate?
A: No, you do not need a blog to participate. Feel free to e-mail me your letter directly or post it via a social media like Facebook or Google+.

Q: How will the book be available?
A: I will format it in PDF, MOBI, and EPUB, and then I’ll make those files available for us all to share. If you guys want, I could also make it a free EPUB on Smashwords, and then distribute it to a few other retailers that accept free titles.

Q: When should I post my letter?
A: Anytime during the week of May 19th!

Q: What can I do in the meantime?
A: Kindly spread the word! You can do this by posting, utilizing your social media channels, rocking the button in your sidebar with a link to this post, etc. Also, I'd really appreciate it if you used the link-up below to sign up. It will help me compile everyone's posts the week of May 19th. I would hate to miss anyone!

Thank you so much! ♥

Monday, April 14, 2014 Posted by Carrie Butler 65

Monday, April 07, 2014

[Game] My Writing Process

Four things:

1. Sadly, I don't have enough time/sanity to do A-Z this year, but I'll definitely be cheering for those of you who do. Go, go, go! :)

2. Do you want to win SIGNED paperback copies of Strength (Mark of Nexus #1) and Courage (Mark of Nexus #2), along with a bunch of other YA/NA paranormal goodies? Check out Jessie Lane's release giveaway!

3. NA Alley relaunches today with a split focus—a website that will act as an informational hub (my design) and a blog that will act as a promotional epicenter. Be sure to check it out!

4. Speaking of NA Alley, the lovely and talented Juliana Haygert has invited me to take part in a posting game about the writing process. Cool, right? Let's get started!

The Questions


What am I working on?

I just started Loyalty (Mark of Nexus #3), the last book in my NA paranormal romance/urban fantasy series, with hopes of a late summer release. And since I can't decide on a secondary project, I'm also working on two other manuscripts—a YA fantasy/fairytale mashup and an NA contemporary. Whew!

How does my work differ from others of its category/genre?

The Mark of Nexus (MoN) series differs from other New Adult books in that it's speculative (instead of contemporary), there's no real focus on sex, we see quite a few battles, and the dialogue skews humorous. As for other paranormal novels, I like to think my supernatural element is fairly unique—it doesn't involve vampires, werewolves, fey, etc.

Not that there's anything wrong with those things. If you can pull that off, more power to ya!

Why do I write what I do?

NA: The way I envisioned the MoN series, the characters were at a pivotal point in their lives, caught between newfound freedom and consequence. I plotted everything out before I learned of the New Adult stigma (way before the category became a 'thing'), so I didn't know any better. It wasn't until I started getting feedback on my queries—notes suggesting I age my characters up or down to fit the mold—that I realized so-called 'college fiction' was a hard sell.

Of course, that didn't deter me. I refused to compromise the integrity of my story and ended up signing with a small press. After that, I continued the series independently. No regrets here!

Romance: I really have no idea. I'm somewhat of a cynic in 'real life,' so this is always a mystery to people. LOL What can I say? I appreciate the emotional range of romance.

Paranormal and Fantasy: 75% of my stories turn into some kind of speculative work—usually, without my consent. Maybe it's the fact that I love reading/watching things in this genre. Maybe it's the fact that my imagination thrives without boundaries. Who knows! The point is, I'm sure I'll be writing it for a long time. :)

How does your writing process work?

     •  Inspiration: Something (figuratively) strikes me—a song, a story on the news, a picture, etc. That's when my imagination takes over, toying with the idea, unfolding a world around it.
     •  Brainstorming/Outlining Frenzy: This involves a mess of notes and Scrivener.
     •  Drafting: Once the actual writing starts, I go total trance mode. When I'm interrupted mid-chapter, I usually snap out of it pretty disoriented! LOL
     •  Critique Partners: A few trusted writing pals read over the manuscript and provide me with invaluable input.
     •  Revising: Time to take that feedback into account and make changes.
     •  Beta Readers: Here's where readers/bloggers give their overall impression of the story.
     •  Revising: More things to take into account before I send a clean draft out!
     •  Editors: Content edits, copy edits, etc. This is the hair-pulling phase where I feel stupid for missing little things, but I feel more confident once it's done.
     •  Final check: I read the book so many times, I convince myself that I never want to read it again. Ever. I can recite long passages from memory. I obsess over the notion that I've missed something and will end up publicly humiliated. Eventually, I cross my fingers and send it out into the world!
     •  Lather, Rinse, Repeat: Time to start a new project...

My turn to pass the torch! The three writers I tag to tell us about their writing process next week are:  

      •  Melissa Maygrove is a wife, a mother, a nurse, a freelance editor, and a romance writer.  As of March 2013, she added 'published author' to that list.  Her debut novel, a western historical romance titled COME BACK, is set to be released May 12, 2014.

     •  Angela Brown is a lover of books—from classics to steampunk and everything in between. Plus, she's in pursuit of making her full-time passion more than a part-time gig.

     •  Elizabeth Seckman is the author of  the Coulter Men Series: PAST DUE and HEALING SUMMER. The third book in the series is coming soon. She is also the mother of four boys...well five if you count their father. He's the orneriest of the bunch! She graduated from Marshall University with a degree in Counseling and Rehabilitation. She is a life time resident of West Virginia...though she was an Ohio buckeye (yeah!) at birth. She is a full time day dreamer and part time laundry wench.  An eternal optimist and follower of the Christian faith, she still enjoys Jello-shots and a good laugh.

Question of the Week:

What's your favorite part of your writing process?

P.S. The audiobook for Courage (Mark of Nexus #2) is now live!


     ►  Audible
     ►  Amazon
     ►  iTunes

Monday, April 07, 2014 Posted by Carrie Butler 34