Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins

I’ve been a fan of Jeff Goins for many years. I wept through Wrecked, found my voice through You Are a Writer, and was motivated after reading The Art of Work. So of course I was going to buy his latest, Real Artists Don’t Starve! 
I bought it on audible because I couldn’t wait to consume it! With my day job and writing in the evenings I knew my best option was buying it so I could listen to it on my drive to and from work and while I walked. 
This book is just what I needed at the right time in my life! I’ve been struggling with the whole marketing world for my writing. And feeling guilty. And overwhelmed. 

After reading Real Artists Don’t Starve I feel like a weight has been lifted and that Jeff knew exactly which direction I needed to go, with real life examples to empower me along the way. 

The research, ideas and advice in this book not only are amazing but truly reflect Jeff’s heart for other creatives. 

I suggest everyone go out and buy this book!! And a second one for a creative friend of yours. 

Real Artist Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins
-Heather 

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V.E. Schwab and Madeleine Roux – YA Authors come to Boise, Idaho!

As a young adult author and voracious reader, I try to make it to as many YA book signings, readings, and discussions  as I can.  Next week, here in downtown Boise, Idaho I will get to attend an event for two amazing YA authors – Victoria Schwab and Madeleine Roux.

Our local bookstore, Rediscovered Books has brought both authors in for one night of discussion of both their books and their creative processes. I find listening to how other authors navigate this world of creativity and business fascinating and enlightening. I am excited to hear about their journeys from aspiring writers to popular YA authors.

Even though they write in YA genres a bit darker than mine, I still think there is a lot for me to learn. I am in awe of the worlds they have created in their books, and am looking forward to hearing how they came about.

The event will be much larger than can be handled in the bookstore, so it will be held at the downtown Boise Public Library! Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. MST.

Victoria Schwab

Madeleine Roux

Rediscovered Books

http://www.rdbooks.org/event/ve-schwab-madeleine-roux

Happy Friday!

-Heather

 

Anxiety and Waiting for the Editor

The End

I love writing the first draft of a book. It’s my favorite part of the process. So when I get to The End I go through withdrawals of a sort. That sense of urgency, that daily need to finish one more chapter, is over with. It feels like I’ve reached the peak of the mountain and am looking down the other side. I’ve accomplished the goal, made it to the top, finished the book. Now What?

Editing!

When I finish writing a book, I go through it several times (my first one I edited completely at least fourteen times!). Then it takes me a day or two to get up my nerve to e-mail it to my editor. I eat lots of chocolate before I hit send.

It’s not that my editor is mean or horrible. She’s actually quite amazing. I’ve learned a lot from her. I’ve gotten better at commas (better, not perfect), I’ve learned to watch repeated words (most of the time – it’s amazing what fresh eyes on a manuscript can find!), and my story structure is getting more organized and flows more naturally. I’m improving with each book. It’s an amazing feeling, this learning and growing.

Anxiety

After the downward spiral from finishing the book, the time spent editing, the nervouseness of sending it to the editor, I find myself having chest pain. I ease off the coffee and chocolate, blaming the increased use of caffeine I used during the editing process.

Nope. Not the caffeine. When I finally get my book back from the editor and see that it doesn’t look like a scene from a bloody horror story, my chest pains go away. Stupid anxiety. I know this happens every time. And each time I try to control it, but it still rears it’s ugly head.

But it’s getting better. With each book I learn more and get more confident, and the anxiety decreases. I’ve found many other writers have anxieties throughout this process as well. I’m thankful to all of them for sharing their stories so that people like me can hear and have hope to keep on writing!

Now I’ll go enjoy some coffee and start my next project.

-Heather

 

 

#nanowrimo 2016 winning and Flow!

November 30th and I’ve finished NaNoWriMo 2016 with 50,620 words! Even though this is the fifth Nano I’ve won, it is still quite a natural high. Every time I finish a novel and write The End, I feel like I’ve just reached the summit of Mt. Everest.

This month offered a variety of challenges that threatened my nano word count. I started the month with a migraine that lasted several days and ended it with food poisoning. Also the first weekend in November my kids and grand baby moved back from Japan.

I decided that if I was going to finish (failure was not an option) I needed to maximize whatever time I could find. At work I reserved the conference room to use on my lunch hour so I had a full hour to write undisturbed. I was able to get a good 1200 -1400 words in each lunchtime.

In the evenings I never knew when I came home if my kids and grand baby would be waiting for me. So the nights I was free, I concentrated on writing as much as I could. With such small snippets of time I needed to get into the flow of writing quickly.

I’d been reading the book FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. In it he explains many concepts about flow and enjoyment of life. I noticed that getting into the flow of writing, that place where I’m totally immersed in my fictional world and can write 1200 to 5000 words in a few hours, is total enjoyment for me. Which of course, since enjoyable, encouraged me to write anytime I could find. I didn’t have any issues with so-called writer’s block, or procrastination.

Csikszentmihalyi also talks about this flow experience as not only affecting our enjoyment of life, but to our contribution to the world around us:

“Flow is important both because it makes the present instant more enjoyable, and because it builds the self-confidence that allows us to develop skills and make significant contributions to humankind.” FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

-Heather

 

 

Cyber Week FREE e-books!

CYBER WEEK DEAL!

Now on Amazon you can download Books 1-3 of my Recycling Humanity series free! The box set is free from November 28 through December 2, 2016.

The Recycling Humanity Collection contains Books 1-3: Recycling Humanity, Starlight Max, and Biolab Zeg. Start your space adventure today!


As humanity adapts to life in space, the newest high school graduates on Jupiter Station find themselves in the middle of a power struggle to lead the migration to New Earth.

rh-boxset-ibooks


#nanowrimo Day 14

I love NaNoWriMo because it’s not only awesome motivation for finishing a novel, it helps to let more people know just how important our creative sides are. Placing importance on creating words everyday, revealing more and more of our story, and falling in love with our characters are all amazing ways of expressing ourselves. 

When we are in the flow of writing we immerse ourselves into the world we are creating. As we learn about our characters and what is important to them and what motivates them, we in turn learn more about ourselves.

-Heather 

#nanowrimo is almost here!!

I look forward to NaNoWriMo every year! I love the support and the camaraderie that takes place all across the globe. It’s such a motivating time with writing buddies cheering you on, famous authors giving daily advice, and so many forums to join. 

This year will be quite a challenge for me since my kids and my new granddaughter will be visiting for the month of November. (I’m so excited to spend time with the cutest little future writer!!!) And I’m starting out with a migraine. But I love a challenge and survived and won NaNo before with full Lupus flares- so I got this!! 

To keep myself even more accountable I’m going to blog my NaNo progress this year! Even if it’s just a sentence or two every day. 

For prep I’ve created my main character and generally envisioned the others. I’ve had some major fun world building and I’ve set up some interviews with local experts to flesh out details in my story as I go.

Speaking of flesh, this week I’m interviewing our local coroner. How could I resist? Their motto is “Our day doesn’t start until yours ends.” I love the dark sense of humor!!!  I love diverse characters as well as diverse jobs- and they’ll need coroners in space right? 

-Heather

#amwriting #nanowrimo

The BIOLAB ZEG novel is available!

Today, August 10th the third novel in my Recycling Humanity young adult science fiction series comes out on Amazon! To celebrate this book launch (and my birthday!), the e-books of Recycling Humanity and Starlight Max are only 99 cents each! This special price will only be good through August 17, 2016 (in case you’re reading this in the future).

Biolab Zeg description:

A SECRET BIOLAB. DANGEROUS MERCENARIES.

ONE GIRL MUST LOSE EVERYTHING TO SAVE THE REST OF HUMANITY.

Time is running out for the last remnants of humanity. They must migrate to another solar system in order to survive. 17-year-old Sadie Kerum has been training to become an engineer and pilot, but she’s not very good at either job. Secretly, she’s found her passion working on the hidden Biolab Zeg, where Dr. Evans, a terraforming expert, is training her.

While helping rescue a shipful of orphans near Biolab Zeg, mercenaries attack Sadie’s ship. She must risk revealing her carefully held secret in order to save her precious cargo.

But the mercenaries aren’t the only dangers she must face. Sadie is soon caught in the middle of a deadly power struggle between people that want to alter humanity’s future at any cost. Only Sadie can sort through the secrets and lies to save humanity from the danger from within their own leadership.

 

I hope you enjoy these novels as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them! If you want to know what’s coming up next in the Recycling Humanity universe (I’ve got more exciting plans in the works), and get a free short story (which I won an Honorable Mention for in the Writers of the Future contest!) – then sign up for my newsletter at my website www.heatherleeyder.com or e-mail me at author@heatherleedyer.com and let me know you want to be added to my newsletter and updates.

-Heather

Court of Fives by Kate Elliot

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Kate Elliot’s first young adult novel, Court of Fives. Everything from the world building to the amazing array of characters made this an enchanting read.

The intricate Fives trainings and competitions made the book fast-paced and riveting. I loved how Ms. Elliot wove the theme of Fives throughout the book, giving hints to deeper meanings for the levels and symbols of the games.

The interactions between Jess and Kal on and off the Fives court gave the novel heart and took us inside the lives of two very different classes of people in this world. Jess is tough, strong, and loyal to her family, even when it is not deserved. Kal works hard to avoid living a life his family wants for him.

I look forward to the next book in this series, Poisoned Blade, which comes out on August 16, 2016. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick this one up at WorldCon that week and have Kate Elliot sign it! #MidAmeriCon2

 

Pre-order – BIOLAB ZEG!

YA SF book lovers!

With my Recycling Humanity’s third book in the series, Biolab Zeg, I’m trying something new. Pre-orders on Amazon. I’m hoping to get more reviews this way, so that the Recycling Humanity world is visible to more readers!

I love this post-apocalyptic world and the kick-ass young women and men that are making it a better place despite all the challenges I keep throwing at them. Biolab Zeg gets us even closer to the Migration toward humanities’ new home, and gives us yet another flawed but strong young woman to go through space adventures with.

As the date gets closer to the August 1, 2016 availability, I will give updates on how it’s progressing. Right now it looks like only the e-book is up for pre-order.

If anyone is interested in a free e-copy of Biolab Zeg in return for an honest review, email me at author (at) heatherleedyer (dot) com!

Thank you, awesome readers!

-Heather Lee