Let’s talk #NaNoWriMo #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Happy Tuesday, folks, Doris here🙂

As the title says, let’s talk NaNoWriMo. In case you’re not familiar with the acronym, it stands for National Novel Writing Month and happens every November.



To quote the site itself:

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. 

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.

I can see you rolling your eyes and scratching your heads now. Why on earth would you want to do that, and is it even possible?

I can assure you it is indeed possible. I have participated in Nano for  the last six years and won five of them. All six novels are now published books, so, yes, you can do it, and you can produce a publishable novel. Just don’t go and rush that first draft off to your publisher on December 1st, will you.  Make sure you fix all your mistakes and that it actually makes sense.🙂

Easy for you to say, I hear you say. You write fast, and you’re a seasoned writer now, so yours would make sense. Hmm, okay check what I said up there. I first joined in six years ago. I’ve only been published five come this November.

I well recall the first time I attempted this. It seemed an insurmountable task, but several of my writing friends signed up and I thought to myself, “Well, why not. No doubt, I fail, but hey. I’ll have given it a go.”

All I knew before I started on November 1st was, that my hero was a firefighter and that he would meet my heroine in Amsterdam, where she was on a hen do weekend. She had to approach him for a dare and ask him for his boxers.


Source: Pinterest

That was it.

I had decided to blog about my endeavours and I would post a new chapter every day.

With some trepidation, I sat down to write, and you know what…. something magical happened. Whether it was the fact that my friends were eagerly waiting for every new chapter, or the thought that the world over clueless folks like me were sitting down at the keyboard attempting to do this thing, or the various stats and the handy word counter, which works wonders for my motivation… who knows.

I suspect it was a combination of everything of the above and the fact I discovered that I am indeed a panster. I write best when I have no clue what’s going to happen. I love the thrill of discovering what happens next along with my characters, and I tell you that was a real revelation for me.

I also learned that I need to listen to my characters. They are always right, and no matter what crazy thing they throw at me, it’ll come right in the end.

And that, for me at least, is the magic of Nano. You have to tell your inner editor to take a freaking hike and simply write.

Don’t agonize over it. Just see where those characters take you and hang on for the ride. And what a ride it will be, especially the first time you do it.

Worry about it all making sense when Nano is over, but you might well surprise yourself, and even if you don’t. If you feel you’ve  written the biggest drivel ever known to literature… that’s 50,000 words you didn’t have before and some of them, at least, will be salvageable.

And if you don’t win it? What then?

Well, then you take however many words you did manage to write and see  where they take you after the event. They are x amount of words you wouldn’t have had otherwise.

I didn’t win Nano the second year I did it. I had a brand new baby, edits, and two releases that month, one of them my debut novel, so in retrospect, it wasn’t surprising that I didn’t manage to finish. I did write just over 36,000 words though and finished that story off later, so I still classed that as a win for me.

I am, of course, once again participating this year, and I’m looking forward to see what will happen. If you want to join me, become my buddy here.

Go on, go for it. What have you got to lose?

That’s all from me today.

Do stay naughty, folks.

D xxxx

That Hair…

Ravennas Monday MumblingsWelcome to Ravenna’s Monday Mumblings!!

I admit I had NO CLUE what to write for today, so I went to my fellow Quillers and asked for a topic idea.

Today we’re going to explore hair. Specifically, facial hair on men. Yay or nay? A little? A lot? Top of the lip only or full beard? The choices are endless, and of course it’s a personal preference so there is no wrong answer.

For myself, I don’t mind some stubble or a neatly-trimmed, barely-there beard or mustache. But the full beards kinda gross me out. Same with mustaches, although some men just look better with them. Like I said, it’s a personal preference.

Let’s explore, shall we?

Here are a couple of classic 70s longer hair, mustached, looks. The silly ad aside, I personally think the look on the left is a lot sexier than that weird bob styled hair on the right.

george-harrison-70s wella-balsam-ad-70s

How about some comparisons?

leo-with-and-without keanu-reeves-with-and-without alex-trebeks-evolution

Which Leo do you like better above? Clean-shaven or just a hint of hair? I think the hint gives him a dangerous quality, myself. Like bad-boy dangerous.

But I have to admit I like Keanu better without the hair on his face. He has a thin face to begin with and the hair makes him look gaunt.


Alex’s transition over the decades isn’t very striking, other than the graying of his hair. Personally, I think he looks better with the mustache.





And does Tom look even half as gorgeous without that mustache? No way! 



What are we seeing today?

man-bun-beard   leo-man-bun

Well the man bun is certainly popular. Personally, and I know most of you will not agree with me, I think they look ridiculous. Sorry, folks. Like I said, this is really a personal presence.

jaime-dornan-without jaime-dornan-with-beard

Which Jamie do you prefer? I like him better clean-shaven. He simply doesn’t have the right “bad boy” look to pull off the beard and mustache look.

long-hair-beard-mustache sexy-longer-hair-and-facial-hair

The dude on the right has the longer hair I still love. Glad to see that’s making a comeback. But the dude on the left just looks sloppy. Is it the hair color? The shape of his face, or the fuller beard? I can’t tell. I simply don’t like the look.

goatee bald-bearded-mustached

Goatee, anyone? NO. And the bald look with a full beard? Maybe…

bushy-beard hagrid mountain-man

There are full beards… and then there are FULL BEARDS. How do they keep these things clean?

shades-are-cool just-enough-beard

Who doesn’t look cool in shades??

And those eyes!! DANG!! 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this pictorial post! I’ve love to hear your opinions on facial hair.

Until next week, Happy Writing!!

Give it your all #SensualSunday @AuthorMoira


Good morning everyone, and welcome to another #SensualSunday post. As of three minutes before I started writing this I had no clue what my post this week would be about. So I sat here staring at the blank page, blinking cursor, and my brain let out a slight grinding sound as the old cogs began to turn.

Here on Naughty Quill’s we’ve talked about a great variety of items. But one that maybe we need to discuss more is how to maintain your drive when life knocks you sideways without warning.

We’ve all had speed bumps in our writing. Any author that says otherwise is not being wholly truthful with you. Whether it’s an unexpected plot twist, writing yourself into a corner, no time in your schedule, life kicking you somewhere extremely painful, or your muse taking a vacation with no idea of when she’ll return, we all have them. It’s a fact of life as an author – there will be days where staring at your WIP does nothing more than make you want to scream and tear your hair out. There is no easy cure, but we’ve all touched base here about different ways to get around the speed bumps that we encounter.

The best advice I can probably give any new, or even established author, who is coasting along in a rut right now is this. Your story is a piece of you, it’s demanding to be told, it deserves to be told. It’s not always going to be easy, if it were there would be more speed bump on asphalt road with yellow and black signauthors out there putting out top notch quality works ever single day. You have to work at it and never, ever give up.

Yes, you will have times in your life where turning on your computer, or opening your notebook is the last thing on your mind for whatever reason. That. Is. Fine. But eventually you will need to dust it off, crack it open, and become reacquainted with your WIP. Scary, I know. But keep this in mind, it’s yours and that makes it pretty damn special, and definitely unique.

I’ve had a nasty six plus months where my writing time went from every single night and weekend, to next to nothing. My day job threw a wrench into everything because shit like that happens. I haven’t let it stop me though. I’ve been working steadily to slowly wrench things back into some semblance of control, and have at last regained my weekend writing time. Not that I always want to write, but I do it because I need to, I have to, it’s in my blood. Yes, I’m usually beyond exhausted mentally from the week before and it’s stressful thinking about the fact I have a WIP that I wanted to have out (at the latest) by last June that I’m still working on.

Did things go according to plan? Obviously not, but that’s okay because life isn’t fair, life isn’t easy, and life goes on. Am I going to get this WIP done? Hell to the fuck yeah! I don’t have a set date, but every single day I put in more words means I’m one step (or at least half a step) closer to being finished. That is progress. It may not be the progress I had before shit hit the fan in my day job, but so what? I did mention that life isn’t fair and doesn’t always go according to plan.

Keep on moving forward. Don’t give in, and don’t give up. Your story deserves to be written because it holds meaning for you to tell it to the world. Head up, shoulders back, and throw a big old middle finger to the universe. Obstacles may knock you down for a time, but you are strong enough to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and continue forward. It may take two, three, or twenty times longer than you thought it would, but who the fuck cares? All that matters is that you:


XO Moira Callahan

Young muscular warrior with a sword at the mountains

Keep on Writing!! #SatisfactionSaturday (@KaceyHammell)

Good morning all. Kacey here again. Happy Saturday!

Today’s post is a short one unfortunately. I have been focused the last couple of days on my mother. Her father is quite ill and it is a difficult time for her. Mom is my best friend and I’m trying to give her as much strength as possible. And I’m not as focused on my writing at the moment. Though on one hand it’s hard to be focused, on the other hand it’s keeping me distracted too.

But I won’t dwell on the details too much. That’s not what this blog is for. I wanted to post this morning to encourage all of you to keep on writing. If you’re struggling at this time, or you’re stuck on a plot hurdle that you haven’t been able to conquer yet — keep at it! You CAN do it. And for all you aspiring authors who have yet to finish that story or to get that yes from a publisher — do not give up. Keep going. Keep writing. Keep dreaming.

You can do it.

And remember to embrace those closest to you. Never lose sight of the importance of family, even when you’re following your dreams.


Until next week,

Kacey (2)

What’s in a name: Freaky Friday with Michelle Roth

…. so I was laying down to go to sleep and I had one of those moments where you suddenly remember there was this super important thing that you were supposed to do. Yup. It’s today’s post for Naughty Quills. It’s 1 am, so if I start to ramble on, someone should just cut the power on my mic like they do at the Emmy’s.

I’ve been stewing about this since the age of thirteen. I might have mentioned that my grandma got me hooked on romance with a trash bag full of old Harlequins. The first romance I ever read? Summer’s Pride by Angela Wells.

To this day, the story stands the test of time. There’s an internal conflict, an external conflict. Suspense. Drama. But something has always nagged me about the book. The character names.

The hero’s name is Rico. He’s a suave, sexy .. doctor, I think? I can’t remember exactly. We’re doing well so far, yes?

The heroine? Merle. Yep. Her name is fucking Merle. Now, this book was copyrighted in 1990 originally.. which is a long time ago. But… Merle? This makes me think of a blue haired lady that you’d run into at church. Not a 20-something year old woman in the prime of her life. I re-read the book a while back and cringed every time he said her name in the heat of the moment.

I have a few simple guidelines I follow for picking out names:

  1. The name is not overly complicated like Martin Anthony Christopher Waldschmidt-Jones II.
  2. It rolls off the tongue when being screamed out in bed.
  3. It doesn’t have a stupid spelling like Hayzley or Madysynnnn.
  4. It’s not a name combo that I google and can come up with 40000 hits on.
  5. It doesn’t inspire incredibly unsexy thoughts.


You’ve got a rough, tough bartender. He’s a wolf shifter. He’s raw, animalistic. Ronan Kelly is a nice name. The first name is unusual, but the surname is relatively common. It’s not a confusing mix, nor is it spelled ridiculously. Definitely something you could scream out in bed without wincing.

Once I have one name, I think about a complimentary name. Since his is kind of uncommon, maybe hers shouldn’t be. My female character is a sassy southern woman. She’s a little wild, but not over the top.

How about Moira Devereaux? That’s sexy, free spirited. None of you pictured an old lady clutching at her pearls, either, right? Ronan and Moira. Those names sound okay together, right? They don’t rhyme or sound too close to each other.

It’s a small detail, but.. those details matter. The romance market is flooded with tons of people doing the same exact thing we’re all trying to do. Stand out.

I get that we’re artists. We want our books to be unique and riveting. Once a reader stops being engaged in your book, they rarely re-engage. I’m not suggesting that you limit yourself but maybe we need more Ronan Kelly’s and less Fenyx Rainwater Von Hovercraft III’s in the world, eh?

*music fades in. microphone gets cut*



Raven Rambles on Edits and ignorance

Hi peeps, Raven here.

Sorry if this is late. I’m deep into final line edits for a book. Now I don’t know if it’s just me, but I respond to any edits like one of Pavlov’s dogs. I have to respond.

Immediately. Or even sooner.


(source, pinterest)

Okay I couldn’t find a cute dog and a book so I got a cute cat and a book instead)

It doesn’t matter if I’m deep into a complicated storyline, or three weeks behind with the ironing (especially that) the minute I see that Email, I respond with a fast beating heart and a desperate urge to see what needs doing. That minute. Not in an hour or when I’ve written the next chapter or ironed the next shirt.


I have no idea but I can’t do anything else until I’ve tacked the edits in question. I suppose it’s a bit like homework. Do it, do it well and then you can do something else.

That’s one reason why this post is late.

I have edits. And not just edits but Final Line Edits. (not for EP) This is a complicated set with two people having gone over them, and the odd comment from my actual editor. To say I’m giddy and suffering from rainbow colored-itis is an understatement.

Different people work different ways and one of those is very different.

Which brings me to the point (well one of them) of this post

Never be afraid to ask questions.

Some of the jargon and abbreviations were beyond me. So I asked what they meant.

Both of fellow authors and my editor.


I’m happy to say it wasn’t just me who scratched her head at times.Seriously I was in a tizzy.  (filtering anyone?) But now I’ve got it sorted and can crack on.

But sorry, everything else has suffered meanwhile.

Hopefully normal service will be resumed by next week—well as normal as it ever is around me.

So, is it just me, or do edits affect you in any way? Does anthing else? And what about asking for help?


Take care, (pass the gin please)


Love Raven xx

Learning as you go with @aprilzyon

Hello, my darlings and welcome back to another Wicked Wednesday. I would like to pick up on a couple of previous posts.

We all need our support groups, that’s for certain. In this world as authors, you need to have someone in your corner, someone you can talk to and pitch ideas with but also someone you can trust.

I know that others have touched on this topic as well, but I want to expand on this a bit. You need real friends; this is true, but you also need to be wary of the ones who call themselves your real friends. Always walk away from those people who are so happy to carry tales to you of what XYZ person has done this time or always seems to know every controversy that is happening in the author world at every given time.

Why? Because if this person is telling you tales of someone that they are “friends” with then what secrets are they telling that other “friend”? These are the people who are always so willing to listen to what “drama” is happening in your life and are so ready to tell you what is going on in someone else’s life. You know the kind of person I’m talking about. That “Crusader” who is always so incensed because someone has done something to hurt or offend their friend for some reason.  They will take great delight in taking someone down at the knees just because of some harm is done to their friend but what they likely aren’t telling you is what they are saying behind your backs. What slight might have been said and done to you is likely nothing compared to what has been mentioned and hidden behind your back.

Because to be perfectly honest, people like that do exist, and they are out there, and they know how to cover their asses. Believe me. Right down to deleting their Facebook accounts. They do this so that when you offer up your passwords to other parties so that they can read FB messages between yourself and the other person to prove just what an “amazing friend” this person is to them and what they’ve actually said about YZX to you while carrying tales about you to YZX around it shows as “unknown user”.

Yep, been there and done that and watched it happen time and again. How it continues to go on, I simply don’t understand it, but that’s not for me to decide.

All that I’m saying is when someone comes to you, and they claim to be your friend, yet they want to bash and talk about other authors – just walk away. There is already more than enough hate in the author world. It’s time for us to freaking get past it! We need to work TOGETHER not tear each other down. We need to be a community and communities support each other.

If we are friends, I don’t want to hear the latest gossip about XYX, I don’t care. Not my circus, not my monkey. All I want to know about is how you are doing, how I can help and how the writing is going and where your next book is going. I have learned my lesson and don’t need another primer on that one, thanks.

I guess that’s it for me.

Love lots,



Today’s images are brought to you by Hottest Men with Tattoos on Facebook.

Agree to disagree… #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)


Happy Tuesday, folks, Doris here. Today’s thoughts tie in with Ravenna’s excellent post from yesterday. No, don’t worry I’m not going to turn political on you, but it did make me think. Social Media can be a minefield, and you never know which topic, or which discussion will bring out the easily offended brigade.


I have been on the fair end of such disagreements in my time on Social Media, I tell you. From trolls to plain opinionated folks, who are spoiling for an argument, to personal, hurtful attacks, and sensible debates, I’ve had them all since I first ventured onto the good ole internet.

On the flip side of that, I also made lifelong friends, learned lots, and met some truly interesting and inspiring people, so it’s not all bad. Far from it, I’d say.

One of the most valuable tools in your arsenal is the art to agree to disagree.

I don’t mean you walk away from an argument every time. Some disagreements are worth having, and, like in the case of when I was the moderator of an on-line breastfeeding board, misinformation needs to be addressed.

I’m sure you can imagine some of the things that went on on that particular board. I recall one very enthusiastic formula feeder—to this day I have no idea what she was doing on there in the first place—who took every comment I made to mums desperately trying to carry on breastfeeding as a personal attack on her.

Jeez, that was hard work, and eventually, I had to ban her because it was exhausting and added nothing to the discussions mothers seeking support for breastfeeding their babies were there for.

What then followed was a barrage of abuse aimed at me on other boards on that particular parenting site from this person. So, not fun. I hasten to add I was a volunteer breastfeeding counsellor with La Leche League at the time, so I did know what I was talking about.


Agreeing to disagree didn’t work with this person, and banning her was the only way to go in the end.

That is certainly the best way to deal with trolls or anyone who turns abusive. But, what happens when you have a disagreement with a person you know, and class a friend? Well, things are not as clear cut then, are they? Especially, if you value their friendship.

I’ve posted on here before, as have my fellow quillers, that walking away from something toxic in your life, someone unsupportive is sometimes the best thing to do to save your sanity.

Never more so than when you’re an author, because that will sap away at your creative juices, and no one needs that.

We all need our friends, however, and if you are friends you ought to be able to agree to disagree. I have a wide variety of friends from all walks of life, social status, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, faiths, parenting styles, etc.

It’s what makes the world such an interesting place to live in. While it would no doubt be far more peaceful if we were all singing from the same hymn sheet, so to speak, it would also be incredibly boring, don’t you think?

Variety is the spice of life, and differing opinions discussed in a sensible manner make the world go round.

Variety Many Different Doors Choices to Choose Alernative Paths

So, in closing what I’m saying is this. Be sensible on Social Media, don’t set out to offend, but do not be afraid to speak your mind also. Those who know me will know I have very strong opinions on a lot of subjects, and I’m not afraid to voice those opinions if need be. However, I also don’t make a point of shoving said opinion down people’s throats. It’s a fine balance we tread at times as authors. The need to market our brand, while staying true to what we believe in. Do I always get it right, or have the answer to what that fine line is? Heck no. We all have to find our own path, and most of us muddle through as best we can.

That’s all from me today.

Do stay naughty, folks, and remember to agree to disagree. It’s the adult thing to do.

D xxx


Authors And Politics And Women… Oh Yes

Ravennas Monday MumblingsWelcome to Ravenna’s Monday Mumblings! 

I know what you’re thinking, as you sit there and roll your eyes. Politics and religion are two taboo subjects on social media, so why is Ravenna venturing into this dangerous territory?

Well, if you’ve read any of my posts on this blog, you already know I not only venture into dangerous territory, but I say what’s on my mind even if it pisses everyone off. And right now, I’m the one who’s pissed off. So be forewarned. This is a post that runs toward the political, but only because the REAL issue behind the politics is too important to ignore.

Where we tie this into writing comes from a written tongue-lashing I had the unfortunate occasion to read by a woman whose words I’ve long admired. She tells it like it is, too, and she tries to teach authors how to behave on social media. 99% of the time I agree with her. This time, I do not, and here’s why.

jfk-signing-equal-pay-actThis particular Presidential election in the USA is the most important one in my lifetime for two reasons. One, we have a candidate from a major party who is a woman. And two, we have a candidate from a major party who has made no bones about professing how much he objectifies and disrespects women.

Why do I have a picture up there to the right from the 1960s? Read on. You’ll understand. And by the way, it’s a picture of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, signing into law the Equal Pay Act, June 10, 1963. Five months and twelve days before he was assassinated.

I know I’m playing with fire by doing this, so let me stop here and say this isn’t about who you support or who I support in this year’s election. This is about an author’s brand. You see, the woman I refer to a few paragraphs up there is a social media maven who pretty much blasted authors this past week for being too “political” on social media. She said it would hurt our “brand.” I respectfully disagree.

rosieSince the dawn of time, women have had to put up with the kind of disrespectful, misogynistic mind games one Presidential candidate has played his entire adult life. That is well documented, for you fact checkers out there. He collects trophy wives and girlfriends, wearing them like a badge of honor. The words we heard recently in an interview with some silly frat-boy TV host were outed for what they were – condoning of sexual abuse because this particular candidate is rich and can get away with it.

You see, it’s not the actual words that people are objecting to. It’s the premise behind them.

This is nothing new for this candidate. He’s been this way since he hit the media spotlight, decades ago. But he wasn’t running for President before. We could ignore him. And most of us did. Maybe we shouldn’t have? And that’s where the lines become blurred between acting “political” and standing up for women’s rights. And that’s what upset me about this particular social media guru’s recent blog post.

We aren’t being political. We’re speaking out against blatant dismissals by men (and women!!) of this candidate’s words. We’re speaking out against the direct and indirect condoning of a Presidential candidate who brushes off admissions of sexual assault as “boys will be boys” talk.

map-of-states-sufferageNow before you comment on the other candidate’s past, or her husband’s past, let me remind you that her husband is not running for President, and we’re not talking about her past. We’re talking about the sly, sneaky, underhanded sexual abuse women have had to deal with all their lives. The kind our mothers, our grandmothers, our great-grandmothers, and all our female ancestors have had to deal with. The kind we’re afraid to speak out against because we’re conditioned from an early age NOT to speak out against it. The kind that someone who wants to lead this country has not only admitted to, but is proud of.

Take a look at that map to the right up there. A good, long look. More on that in a moment.

It’s bad enough that men are joining him in the “boys will be boys” defense. But there are also women doing the same thing. Female authors who are blasting other authors into smithereens on social media because they refuse to agree with their viewpoints. Perhaps THOSE are the authors to whom the maven addressed her comments? The ones who are arguing with others online for not agreeing with them? I’m not sure. I only know that to NOT speak out against this ongoing abuse against women is wrong.

This isn’t about who should win. It’s not about who is more qualified in both public service and experience in foreign affairs to lead this country by serving in the highest office of the land. It’s about taking a stand for WOMEN. Something we rarely get to do in this country as a collective whole.

Or when we do, our outrage is blamed on our periods, our hormones, or on the suggestion that perhaps we’re not getting laid enough or in the right way. You see the problems with that? I hope you do. We aren’t allowed to stand up for a cause without having the very aspects that make us female tossed back in our faces, as if they somehow are to “blame” for us wanting equality with men.

Remember the picture up there of JFK? That Equal Pay Act was signed into law 53 years ago. FIFTY THREE. And there is STILL inequality in the workplace. If you want to brush that off and blame it on my uterus, you need to get your head out of your ass and do some serious research.

19th-amendmentWomen won the vote less than 100 years ago. Think about that for a moment, okay? Thousands of years of history as a people and it took THAT LONG to give women in some counties an equal voice at the polls.

Remember the map up there? It shows which states in 1919 felt women should vote. Go take another look. It’s that important.

The Equal Rights Amendment came along five decades later. FIVE DECADES. It took fifty years after we won the vote for the ERA to reach Congress. And even after all that time, it was not ratified in all fifty states. Let me repeat that.

IT WAS NOT RATIFIED IN ALL FIFTY STATES. Did you know that? Were you aware of that? Many of you weren’t alive yet, but I was. Go and read about it, and then come back and tell me you still think women have equal rights in this country, or that we’re treated as respectfully as men.

1970s-33-728As a writer, as a FEMALE writer, I have an obligation not only to my readers, but to women. Before you sit there, clucking your tongue, your fingers itching to type something along the lines of, “But why do you write erotic romance, then, Ravenna?” let me remind you that romance stories are not about sex. They’re about the power of love. If you’ve read any of my books, you already know the men do not treat the women like objects, or if they do, they don’t do it for very long. Because my heroines wouldn’t put up with that shit. All my books are about the power of love bringing a couple or a triad together in the middle. They’re about respecting the other person. They’re about lifelong committment to each other.

I also have an obligation to my readers to be who I am online. My brand is not a mask. This is actually me in real life. If you talked to me in person about anything, including writing, the words you see typed on my Facebook posts and in blog posts would be the same words you’d hear come out of my mouth. My “brand” is me. Right or wrong. No matter whose standards you’re comparing my words to, this is who I am and this is what I stand for. If that makes me political, or if some feel that hurts my brand, so be it. I can’t be a phony, or put on a fake face. And certainly not this time. Not this election. This one is too damn important.

womens-rights-are-human-rightsMy sisters didn’t fight this long and hard for the tiny victories we’ve won only to have them yanked out from under us by a man who has no interest beyond his own gratification, or his own bank account.

As a writer, my words are my strongest medium. And you’d better believe I will use my WORDS to speak out for what is right. If that bothers you, you’re free to stop reading them.


Until next week, Happy Writing!

Retrospect #SensualSunday @AuthorMoira


Moira here welcoming you all back to another #SensualSunday. This week I thought I’d do a little reflection on my career as an author. The myths and the reality. But I then realized that could be one hell of a long post, and honestly I’d get distracted part way through and who knows where we’d end up. So I thought next, what about simplifying it?

This month my publisher (Evernight Publishing) turns six years old. Now I’ve only been signed with them for just a smidge over two and a half years. But this light bulb had me thinking back to those first days, and to the last couple years of my journey. It hasn’t always been smooth and it hasn’t been without its trials, but it’s definitely been a ride. So here are my top 5 points of reflection.

Business cartoon showing two businesspeople looking down from a cliff. On the other cliff is a sign that reads, 'leap of faith'.#1 – Taking the leap
When I wrote my first book I had zero intention of submitting it. Truly. It was more of a purging to get it out of my head, and down on “paper” than anything else. But I let a friend read it who then convinced me I should send it in. Which then led to much debate about where I should send it in to.

I did my due diligence, did my research, and it finally came down to personal preference for the publishing house. The biggest reason I chose Evernight was the fact the authors there couldn’t say enough good things about the process, the people, and the general atmosphere. There are hordes of e-book publishers out there, not going to lie, and plenty look great at first and second glance. But too many didn’t hold up under the third glance of deeper scrutiny.

So, publisher chosen, manuscript polished to the best of my ability, and finger hovering over the Enter key about to send forth my first (and only at this point) “professional” work the nerves kicked into high gear. And, before I could talk myself out of it, I did it. Quickly proceeding to hyperventilate for the next twenty to thirty minutes wondering just what the hell I’d done.

#2 – Fumbling along the path
One thing everyone should know is, writing is not always easy. There are days where your fingers can’t keep up with the words flowing from your brain. Then there are days where you’re going Guantanamo Bay on your muse to get a syllable from the wench. There are sleepless nights, there are random bursts, and then there are marathon sessions that lead to even more sleepless nights – but at least these ones are productive.

There is no guidebook on what to do, what to say, or where to turn during your early days. One of the biggest reasons we seven got together to start Naughty Quills actually, to give the newbies out there some clue as to what they are getting into, what they could possibly expect to run across, and general advice for many situations that potentially may crop up. 3d Old man reading a mapWe all had to fumble around in the dark, and while we can give you some clues we definitely don’t have all the answers. Hell, most days we’re lucky if we have even a single answer, lol!

#3 – Trust your gut
This is a multi-purpose tool you should utilize. The saying “if it seems too good to be true” is exactly what this is all about. Going into any situation should you feel that something’s wrong, out of place, or generally just not what you expected do not even second guess yourself – step on back and review. While it may be a great option for someone else, it may not be best for you. And no matter what they say, or how they cajole you to get you to go along, if you’re not feeling it – GET THE HELL OUT!

For this is about you. You are the one writing the books. You are the one that knows what your goals are. You are the only one that can decide what is best for you. Believe in yourself, believe in your instincts, and do what is right for you always. You may lose “friends” over it, but if it keeps your career on the path you prefer, who the fuck cares? They aren’t the ones paying your bills, or sitting up late at night arguing with your muse about how a scene is playing out. They do NOT get a say in your career.

#4 – Ask questions
This applies to so many things, because the only way to better yourself and your knowledge is to ask the question. Everything from your research into your next story, to figuring out proper etiquette on social media, to discovering what your publisher (if that’s the path you picked) does and doesn’t like to get for books.

The best place to ask most questions is of the authors themselves. We’re a huge society who are more than willing, in 99% of cases, to assist newbie’s. After all, we were all in that same position at one time – wide eyed, terrified, and having no clue what was coming next. But you the newbie also needs to be aware that you have to come to the table Number 7 funny cartoon giraffeprepared. Be specific if at all possible, it saves everyone time that we all can be using to write.

#5 – Stand tall, chin up, shoulders back
You’re an author. This is a major achievement. While you may not have all the answers, or even an eighth of them, you’ve achieved something huge. There are thousands of people out in the world who can lay the same claim, but they aren’t you. You are unique, you are special, and only you know what it took to get you to this point. Celebrate it!

No one knows what tomorrow will bring so enjoy all the good, and amazing you’ve accomplished each day that you can. You are an author. That is no small feat that you’ve tackled. Enjoy the moment, enjoy the rush, and definitely enjoy all that comes from it. But stay humble. The world has enough diva’s in it. Remember where you came from, how you got here and be proud of everything, but don’t let it go to your head.

No one knows what tomorrow will bring after all. And the higher your horse, the harder that fall will be when it comes. And it always comes…

XO Moira Callahan

She's sexy and dangerous