On Vacation!

That’s right faithful readers, the Naughty Quillers are taking a three week vacation – virtually speaking. With the end of summer approaching, and for some of us the return to school for the little ones nearing, we decided to take a well deserved break. We’ve been going at this strong for over a year now, I think we deserve one don’t you?

But we will be back!

We’re going to enjoy these last days of the summer months before everything gets back into the swing of things. We shall return to action on September 4, 2017. So don’t go too far y’all, and mark the date on the calendar. We shall see you then, rested and bushy tailed – at least that’s the plan.

The Naughty Quillers (Doris, Jules, Kacey, Moira & Raven)

Fake News! #FabulousFriday @AuthorMoira

Happy Friday one and all, hope you had a great week, and also have a fabulous weekend. Let’s get down to business…

** WARNING **

The following is for Adult audiences only, as it may offend the weak willed and those with guilty consciences. It is my personal opinion, and only an opinion. It will contain profanity, several cliche’s, and likely sting those where it strikes too close to home. Enjoy.

First off, the title. I’m not talking about Fox News, Breitbart or whatever the hell it is that comes from the White House briefings. We’re authors after all, and all that crap is really nothing more than inspiration, and fodder for our next villain(s). It’s also a lot of shitty white noise that is unfortunately on nearly every station you tune into, even here in Canada. Personally I institute the mandatory eye roll, and go about my day.

No, what I mean by “Fake News” is the bullshit that certain authors like to sell, much like a bridge in the Sahara Desert. Sounds good, unless you really think about it or investigate even a little. These authors appear open, genuine, caring, and as having your back. In reality they are two-faced liars, scumbags, and would sell their own mother if it got them onto the New York Times.

The realists among authors, those of us who write for the sheer pleasure of creation, who enjoy talking to ourselves in public hashing out a story line, babble incoherently around folks who don’t understand about muses, and who will randomly tune out of conversations because they just thought of something that would make their story better, we know the odds of hitting the Times list are slimmer than fucking slim. But we all have dreams, and if it’s still sitting in the back of our mind in a dusty corner, so be it. We’re allowed to have our dreams too after all.

The fakers though will gladly stick a blade in your back, and climb over your still twitching corpse if it gets them even a millimeter closer to being “big time”. The worst part of it all is, while they are charming to you or in public, in private they are more vicious than a nest full of vipers. And you often have no clue until some unaware individual asks some random question, makes some strange remark, or gets in your face about something you are clueless about. Fakers will literally say anything, and they are usually the “victim” of the tale.

But they aren’t. What they are is cold, calculating, and willing to toss the innocent under the bus. They like to snuggle up to those in power, sell them their bullshit with sprinkles or even a cherry on top, and they always cover their asses. Sadly outing them is nearly impossible because they are slicker than a used car salesman. They are, I hate to say it but it’s really a great analogy, the current US government of the author world. They have followers who believe they spew rainbows and shit gold bricks. They can do no wrong, but you (the target of their malicious bull shit) are evil incarnate. And there’s shit all you can say otherwise. How the fuck do you proof you’re not the person they claim you to be? You can’t.

While the idea of keeping your head down, and staying out of the way seems the safe plan it will only hurt who you are as an author, and probably affect your bottom line. So instead I suggest you take care with your words online, find true friends who don’t care if you have a few screws loose – like the gals here on NQ do about one another – and do your own damn thing. Chin up, shoulders back, and tell the world at large to go fuck itself. You are your own superstar, and that’s all that damn well matters.

When one lying, conniving, bitch of an author goes down for the count another three will rise. Going head to head is not advised, and is honestly exhausting to even think about it. Instead be you, write your stories, and be gloriously giddy like a kid in a candy store each time you publish one. Live for yourself, not others. And remember this – no one can ever know you like you do. No matter what the shitheads may say, they don’t and will never truly know who YOU are. Wear that shit like a badge of honor.

Not the ride I was looking for #FabulousFriday @AuthorMoira

Greetings one and all, and happy Friday. Hope everyone has had a great week. Mine was decidedly strange, and truly should have ended on Wednesday. But I shall continue to slog through, it’s only a few hours more after all.

Today’s post is one that we’ve touched on prior here on NQ, but it obviously needs repeating. I’ve been reading a book which is the source of much angst currently in my life. Normally I can whip through an ebook in no more than two days, a paperback roughly three. This bugger has me currently at day four and I’m only half way through. It’s not a super long book by any means, 168 pages (print length), which for me is usually nothing.

But I’m having trouble with it. For one, the heroine has seesaw emotions that quite frankly have me feeling nauseous. I’m a roller coaster, slingshot, etc. riding maniac. The more something makes you scream the better. Yet this up and down with her emotions, one minute she’s terrified, two paragraphs later she’s all lovey-dovey, and then she’s angry, and then and then and then…

To top it off, roughly around chapter two, the hero in the story (and her future man) refers to himself in conversation with the antagonist. And not in a third person sort of thing, but as a separate person entirely. It threw me, completely. But so far it’s the worst thing that’s happen where he’s involved. The heroine on the other hand – she might just benefit from seeking professional help with her rather severe, and whiplash like mood swings.

While the concept of this book is also quite intriguing, the totality is thus far leaving me with no more than a bad taste.

Let’s be clear here authors. If your heroine/hero/secondary character, whomever, is in a traumatizing event – yes they should be a little out of sorts, and even moody. But once they have pushed through that initial trauma, unless you are specifically putting in some PTSD, quit with the emotional seesaw! Readers don’t like that shit. Other authors who read your works REALLY don’t like that shit. STOP IT!

The emotion of your character(s) needs to fit the situation. If it’s upbeat, light, and fun keep it that way. If you’re throwing them into danger than make sure their emotional state fits. Having your characters acting out of tune with the scene you’ve set in detail only confuses your readers, and makes it feel like slogging through the bayou on the hottest day on record. No fun at all.

So unless your one character knows something that the others in the situation don’t, or has had a horrid day, or ended up run over by a tanker trailer, try to keep their emotions on an even keel. Readers everywhere will thank you, and we on NQ won’t have to keep writing about it.

50 Wild and Crazy Romance Writing Prompts by Jules Dixon @JulesofTripleR

50 Wild and Crazy Romance Writing Prompts by Jules Dixon

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Something I love to do is write from writing prompts. For me they are short little snippets of wonderful to get my brain working before I try to write in something more important. They’re the appetizer of the writing world for a writer’s brain instead of their stomach.

And occasionally I like to make up writing prompts…and sometimes those prompts turn a little wild and crazy…and romancey…and strange.

I thought today I’d share the ones I’ve concocted over the last year. These are purely just ideas for authors to take and run with. If anyone decides to use one, I’d love to hear where you went with but no credit need to be given. At the bottom I wrote a 200 word take on one of them!

  1. Raincoats and Condoms
  2. Where she left off and he began
  3. A dress to be removed
  4. Making love in Madison, Wisconsin
  5. The two left shoes she found in the morning
  6. Hearts and Headaches
  7. Flirting his way into her pants
  8. Around the corner fate and a hotdog cart were waiting
  9. The storm grate ate her patent black Mary-Jane shoe
  10. Love is love is hard, but so is a dildo
  11. Night and the morning after
  12. A glimpse into his future wife
  13. Reflections of hate in a Starbucks window
  14. Birdseed and the woman in a pink hat
  15. Her cat didn’t like him
  16. Cherry was her name and her favorite fruit
  17. He forked and served her
  18. Alex Trebek turned her on
  19. Alex Trebek turned her off
  20. Forgotten love and ballet slippers
  21. How toothpicks got me laid
  22. Where there’s a will there’s Ms. Jade
  23. Hot flashes and fireflies
  24. I don’t bite. Oh, yeah, I do.
  25. Flowing down the river to Sexyville
  26. My last boyfriend did that, too
  27. He wore his tie like a cape
  28. She owned every color of Sharpie, but only used black
  29. The milk container, like my heart, was empty
  30. He thought the playground was a good place to meet women
  31. The yesterday before today’s tomorrow
  32. Quarters for the dryer
  33. She asked for water in a martini glass
  34. He loved her raspberry-colored shoes
  35. Making love to nothing
  36. Stretching her mind, body and soul
  37. Flip-flops and mimosas
  38. He’d always called her “Kate,” but her name was Kelly.
  39. Sushi doesn’t love you back
  40. She never made it to the post office
  41. Sea glass and seagull poop on her head, she had her mother’s luck.
  42. The neighbor mowed his lawn topless in January
  43. Her boob fell out while she bought tequila
  44. The maid of honor strangled the bride with a pink feather boa
  45. They agreed that Earth, Wind, and Fire had that “it” factor
  46. Never drive through South Dakota alone
  47. The elevator never came
  48. 48 spices and she only used pepper
  49. Love will find a way to muck up your life
  50. His sheets were like sandpaper

Her Cat Didn’t Like Him

The fact stood, Miss Wiggles judged men.

I’d invited Jason back to my place after a work function at Applebee’s. I hated Applebee’s, but since I liked Jason, I didn’t complain.

He seemed to have his shit together. Accountant. Good teeth and nice breath. Hair that looked like he went to a salon and not his sister’s house for a buzz cut. He’d paid for drinks so he had a few dollars in his bank account or at least room on his credit card. And a body that rivaled Michelangelo’s David, so I wasn’t complaining there either.

But Miss Wiggles hissed and caterwauled her way around the room, never taking her big blue eyes off of him.

We started making out hot and heavy on my couch when he screamed out, but not in pleasure, “Your cat just bit me!”

“Are you okay?” I shooed the thin white fluff ball away, but she made her way onto the back of the sofa.

He rubbed the spot. “I think so. Where were we?”

And with that question, Miss Wiggles answered him by jumping onto Jason’s head and clawing at his perfectly styled hair. Clumps of brown hair flew like confetti on New Year’s Eve.

Within seconds he was out the door and I was staring at a cat that looked smugger than an IRS agent.

In the morning, I found his phone pressed haphazardly in between two cushions.

Six messages from six girls.

I’d been saved by a rescued alley cat.

Miss Wiggles was a good judge of character.

The End.

So there you have it. Writing prompt gone wild.

Hope you have a great Wednesday! Happpyyy Humping! ❤ Jules

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The Ole WB Came for Me: How I Survived Writer’s Block with @JulesofTripleR #HumpDayHangout

The Ole WB Came for Me: How I Survived Writer’s Block

There are two words I won’t say out loud together.

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Writer’s.

Ahem–Block.

 

Heck, I hate even writing them! I’ll say WB over the real words any day.

But I’m gonna come out and raise a white flag. Yes. I had the condition and I’m not afraid to admit it. And I’m here to tell of my tale.

From July of 2016 until two days ago, I fought for words. There were days when a few/dozen/two dozen was good enough. Some of my writing friends would point out that I still completed manuscripts, and yes, I did start and finish two novels and three short stories since then, but I did it in a fugue that I’d never experienced.

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Since August of 2013, I’d been on a writing frenzy. Words clamoring to get out of me. I’d liken the writing deluge of words to beginner’s luck if I believed in that, but still, the words came and the words stayed for tea and cookies…and tequila. Lots of tequila over the years.

But then three years almost to the date of when I started really writing fiction and romance, I crashed. There were days I stared at the screen for hours. My mind became a white board of desolation. And there was no marker to even scribble a hangman or sunshine to be found. Anywhere.

I thought maybe it was Seasonal Affective Disorder taking me over a little early. Sneaky thing seasonal depression is, hitting a person in a different way every year. Sometimes I go down in January when the holiday’s high is over. Sometimes at the holidays I find myself tumbling when I’m overwhelmed or emotional watching my kids open presents. They’re 22 and 20, so really it’s them opening their banking apps and seeing I transferred money, but there are stockings.

And there have been a few years where I just become a pile of human goo for three months out of the year—November, December, January. Thankfully those really bad years been few and far in between, but they have happened.

But I didn’t know what I know now.

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Not only was I experiencing my regular depression, but I was fatigued, exhausted, collapsing mentally because I didn’t give myself breaks. Three years of writing almost every day. YES, every, damned, day. If I didn’t, I imagined I was behind. I fought to “catch up” and I am here to tell you…there is NO catching up. There is only moving forward, taking each day as it comes, and rolling with the muses fucking punches.

I traveled to Canada for a retreat that my publisher, Evernight Publishing, held for their authors. The event was fantastic. I met some of the nicest people on the earth, including Kacey Hammell of Naughty-Quills. Lovely woman. But I returned to Omaha, Nebraska more out of sorts and more overwhelmed than before. I dragged myself out of bed each day because I had other commitments. I’d planned a 25 author signing event. I had to do the right thing cause I don’t quit—obviously.

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I was elected Prez of my local romance writer’s chapter. I slid farther down the rabbit hole of self-doubt and anxiety. Full on distress.

Wasn’t easy to keep up the appearance of having my shit together, but I did it.

I thought maybe I needed more sunlight. So I got a sunlamp and basically stayed up for two days in a row after using it. Apparently, I was too sensitive. My doctor said, “Stop using it, you have a real chance of having a psychotic episode”. That didn’t sound like fun. So I put it away.

Then came the holidays and I kept busy with shopping and events, but I’d open my computer and… nothing. So few synapses in my brain putting out good thoughts or hell even any thoughts. I would have taken bad, too.

I took the last half of December off and went to Denver, Colorado for New Year’s. My hubby and our friend did their best to keep me going and getting out with the peoples of the world, but I was über miserable.

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But I had commitments, so I kept up. I showed up. I made up. I faced up. I tied up. Put up. Shut up. And fixed up. What I could.

My mentor, Corrissa James, did what she could to encourage me and help me through the rough days, and I thank her and the other writing friends who stuck it out with me and encouraged me. And then there are others who will probably read this and say—WTF? I never would have guessed in a million years.

And that’s one of my points. We can never know what’s going on inside another person. Don’t guess. Don’t assume. And please, for the love of god, don’t judge.

February came around. The month of love. One of my favorite times of the year. I experienced a little improvement early in the month and I put a few words to the page. More than January, but less than December because I pushed myself to just get shit done in December, but that backfired, too. In January, my holiday short stories received a couple bad reviews. I only know the number (1’s and 2’s ain’t good, my friends) but not the words of the review cause I don’t read them, but it’s enough to know my readers weren’t happy. And I wasn’t happy.

And then the plague came on last week. Nothing like the f’ing upper respiratory flu to knock you down until you think death would be the sweeter passageway. I fought through and by the weekend I was doing better. And I actually had some hope. My muse was calling out and strutting…

giphy-21And this week, that vixen demanded I write a new story in the same series as a story accepted by my publisher for their newest male/male alpha anthology. Shifter wolves with special abilities.

So I wrote. And over the last thirty-six hours, 9100+ words have poured from me. This isn’t a record for me, and certainly many authors consider that a light day, but it’s a good thing for me. A good omen. She’s baaaaack! I have some of my spring back. My brain cloud is lifted and I’m ready to face writing again without wondering what the day will bring.

So, if you’re in you’re struggling out there, a little of the old WB got you down. Keep the hope. Muses are fickle beings. And then again, sometimes you need to realize when you need a break and take breaks. And don’t push yourself. Be good to you, and that muse will be good to you, too.

**And note: I know I’ve made this semi-amusing but depression is nothing to laugh about. I know this cause I live and have lived it. So, if you’re experiencing any thoughts of suicide, hopelessness, or hurting yourself or others, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the US.

To celebrate my return to good writing days, here’s an excerpt (unedited) from what’s spilled from my muse in the last two days.

Mooncrest: Saving Honor

Her eyes widened. “No. I … you … we … not possible.” She inhaled small gasping breaths. “We’re … friends.”

He searched her pooling gray eyes to see if on any level she instinctually comprehended the truth, but she’d lost the ability to feel and trust. Only confusion and fear hazed her dilated pupils.

It was time to lay his feelings on the line, and even if she still rejected him, he’d keep trying. She was his. There was no turning back.

“Honor Creed, I’ve loved you for five long years, watching while another man put his hands on you, feeling in my soul your unhappiness, but there was nothing I could do about our torture … until now. Now, you’re free from him. I don’t want to stop being your friend. I want to be more to you. Mother Wolf told me when I was eighteen you were going to be the greatest love I’d ever know. You’ve been hurt. You need time. I understand. But—you and me—it’s gonna happen.”

Love, Jules AND Happy HUMP day, peeeeeeples!

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All Gifs from Giphy.com. 

 

It’s not easy, but stick to it #SensualSunday @AuthorMoira

Sensual-Sunday

Hello, and welcome to another #SensualSunday post. In today’s world, especially of late, distractions are easy to come by. For author’s this can be perilous since we naturally have inquisitive minds always looking for that next “something” to spark our muse and therefore our next story. It’s a slippery slope though, and one you will need to train yourself to avoid.

Sounds good, and simple enough, but how do we do it?

It’s definitely not simple, but there are a number of things you can do to help with the squirrel-on-red-bull syndrome. Below are some suggestions, by no means are they hard and fast rules, use them or parts as they work for you. Or merely use them as a launching point to figure out what would be best for the individual you are.

Create a schedule, and stick to it. This can be tough on occasion because we all know that real life likes to throw us a curve ball here and there to keep us on our toes. But making a schedule can actually have an added bonus, showing you where you might be a little lax. For example if you have allotted X number of hours a week to writing, but find that during the work week that time ends up being shaved due to one thing or another, adjust your schedule. This is particularly important if you are not a single individual living by themselves where you have additional flexibility to your schedule. If you are married, have kids, etc. you have to take into account their schedules, and all the extracurricular items that could throw a wrench into your well laid plans. Your first draft of your schedule will likely be much like a first draft of your newest WIP. It has holes that need to be filled, things to be rearranged for better flow, and tweaks made to make it efficient. Don’t give up, just be ready to adjust with life.

Get off social media. This is a biggie. Social media is a huge time suck that, while you might be able to now converse with a giraffe in their native tongue, it isn’t getting that book Social Media Web Signswritten now is it? Yes, as an author you do need social media to get out word about your latest release, stay in touch with readers, and also chat with other authors, along with making contact with folks who may be in a field/specialty you need some advice on for realism in your story. But keep on task, don’t allow yourself to be sucked into the vortex that is memes, cat vids, and latest so-called shocking and breaking news from sketchy sites that are “reporting” on things you want to happen but realistically know likely are not.

Lay down the law at home. This is a toughie, unless of course you’re single and live on your own dancing to your own piper. But it needs to be done. You support your family every way that you can, so they in turn should be supporting your career as an author. If this means they leave you be for an hour each night to do your writing, then it has to happen. Yes, there will be exceptions to this, but you also need to remain firm in your resolve that you want to progress in your career and that means occasionally locking yourself away for some writing time. There is also the other side of this coin, the family that finds your “career” as an author amusing, and assume it’s a passing faze. Yup, there are folks out there that truly think it’s “cute” when you proclaim yourself to be an author, usually at the point where you say the words “romance” or “erotic” or both. These folks don’t get it, may never, but it doesn’t mean you let them bulldoze you. Stay firm, do what needs to be done, and make the time to write just as important as little Timmy’s soccer game, or little Donny’s recital.

Make a plan for your writing time. Now that you have that hour block each and every night, you need to know what you are doing with it. Some days you won’t be in the mood to write, other’s may see your muse off doing whatever muses do when they aren’t screaming ideas at us at full volume with a brass band keeping beat. Doesn’t mean you Business plan for 2017can’t be furthering your career. Some nights it may mean doing upkeep on your much neglected website, others you might need to interact with readers, and then there will be times where you look at your current work and figure out if you’ve missed something that might be throwing your muse off and thus stumping you. There’s always tomorrow to get that wench back in line, and working hard to further your story.

Keep notes. While pantsers, and plotters, and everything in between have their own opinions on this I do recommend keeping at least some basic notes. Things like character appearance, important locations in your story, and anything that might be vital to the next book if you’re writing a series. It’s much easier to take a look through some scribbling’s than it is to search back through your last story to find out what color your second least important character’s eyes were. Something you may not have even mentioned, and would have put into your notes thus allowing you to develop him/her however you see fit in the next book in the series. Another plus to notes is where you’ve left off. If you’re the type of author who has two, three, or twenty WIP’s going on at once leaving yourself a quick note as to where you stopped in the story will assist you when you come back to it. A quick glance at the notes, a read through of the last paragraph’s and you should be able to transition back into whatever world you’re working on. Something helpful if you have stories in different genres, and times.

There you have it, a few things that might help you find a better way for you to keep on writing. Like I mentioned these are merely some tips, and maybe not for you, but maybe something above struck a chord and you found it useful. That’s our goal here on Naughty Quill’s, to not only help guide new authors through the confusion but also just maybe give a long time author another way to do something. We never stay the same, even in our writing, we are growing constantly which means that what may have worked in the past might not work where we are now in our careers. Don’t panic. Growth and change are good, ninety-nine percent of the time.

XO Moira Callahan

bare female body with red bow

Hump Day Hangout-A New Girl on the Naughty Block #HumpDayHangout with @JulesofTripleR

Hump Day Hangout-A New Girl on the Naughty Block

Waves to everyone! Hello out there!

SONY DSCFirst, a giant thank you to Naughty Quills for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this blog and to have a little voice in this great big world.**Mwah** and ❤ to all of you.

Second, I’m the new girl on the naughty block–Jules Dixon. I write New Adult Romance from the biggest small town you’ll ever visit, Omaha, Nebraska. This area is also known as the heartland of the USA, which is pretty fitting for penning stories of love and romance. I write about all versions/combos of love, but near to my heart is writing Male/Male and Female/Female romance, but hell, any romance that makes my heart tick-tick a little faster is fair game.

Today I’d like to talk about what you’ll be seeing from me and what you won’t be seeing here on the blog in the future.

YES!—Tips on writing, everything from plotting methods to character sketch ideas. Even things that I love in books, like tropes and common characters and settings.

No—Politics. As much as I have an opinion, you’ll never hear it. Hump Days will be for getting away and taking a break from it all.

YES!—Sexy snippets from my past and upcoming books and pictures that go with them. Learn about my worlds and who I see in them!

No—Bashing of writers or the writing world. This business is rough and has good and bad, but we don’t need to make it rougher on each other. I promise to only uplift and encourage.

YES!—Things that make me go…hmmm? Whether that is something that happened to me or something I read in the reading and writing world. If it sticks with me, you might see me hang it out here for thoughts.

No—Bull$hit/click bait marketing. As much as I’d love for you to buy my books, I’ll never ask you to. If you find me interesting and like what I write here, then you make the first move. I’m kinda shy, so I’ll never make a move on you. Promise.

YES!—Always to end with a funny hump day meme that will get you through your day with a smile.

Speaking of smiles, just so you can put a face with a name—here’s me.

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I go through hair colors as if a rainbow sits on my head. Right now the strands are kind of a magenta-raspberry blend with blonde, but there’s been purple and teal and hot pink and…well, maybe someday I’ll ask for a vote on the next color here.

 

 

So, next week let’s promise to have a date. Right back here. I’ll bring the tequila, you bring the limes. ‘Til then, here’s your hump day meme…

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❤ Jules

 

 

Does size REALLY matter? #SensualSunday @AuthorMoira

Sensual-Sunday

Moira here welcoming you to the latest #SensualSunday post. I have to say, to date, 2017 hasn’t been half bad. The weather has had its ups and downs, thermometer wise I mean, but I’ve been puttering along in my happy little writing bubble so there is that. Sadly my holiday time is coming to an end, which means that I shall be in full sloth mode (while writing) today. It might carry over into my evil day job tomorrow too – I have yet to decide, lol!

ruler macroBut enough of that, let’s get to the matter at hand. I’m sure many read my post title and scampered over here to see just what I might be discussing. First things first,

GET YOUR MINDS OUT OF THE GUTTERS!

Sorry, but this is not THAT type of post. Maybe another time. No, today I’m talking about books. There are so many readers out there, and I’m NOT pointing fingers at anyone – this is a general, blanket type statement, who whine and snivel about paying for books based on their page count. So, right off, let’s clear up some shit right quick…

  1. Authors who write for a publisher DO NOT SET THEIR PRICES, in fact, we have nearly Z-E-R-O (that’s a big fat goose egg) say in the matter. The only time that MIGHT be different (and I’m speaking from my experience with my publisher here) is if you make a special request that the price be set at 99 pennies, or a “Free Read” for a set time. More questions about this? See what several other authors who have posted on the Naughty Quills blog have said on this very subject.
  2. Reading corner - Window seat with cushions and a line of booksAuthors put in as much effort on a 58 page story as they do on a 400 page story, we don’t scrimp – at least those with a conscience/moral standard. We put the same blood, sweat and tears into that 58 page story as we do into a 400 page story. The ONLY difference is…you get the 58 page story sooner. That’s right, because it’s a shorter story you see it on virtual shelves sooner. That. Is. It.
  3. Authors cannot determine how long any story will be. “Sure you can!”, I hear someone spouting off – likely a non-author. No, actually we can’t. Could we force out another chapter or three? Sure. Would said chapter(s) likely be flat and unnecessary? Most likely. Would it change the price of the work? See #1 for that answer. An author can only write what fits the story-line. We can only write what our characters give us. We can ONLY write what works for the story, and what gives it flow, growth, and depth. Nothing more, nothing less.
  4. Authors are slaves to their muse. This is a fact. Without our muse we are nothing more than a carbon based life form requiring oxygen to survive on this blue marble in the universe – just like everyone else. We have to feed our muse, find inspiration in everything from the mundane to the insane just to thrive. We have many similarities 2D Man think bubbleto every other artistic individual out there. A dancer can’t give a performance of a lifetime without feeling the soul of the music and the story they portray. A painter can’t do justice to their subject if they do not see the imperfections that make it unique and all the more beautiful. So why do so many readers assume authors are any different? I have an answer for that but it’s not very polite, and could get me in deep shit, so I shall bite my tongue.

Do we wish we all have 400 page stories to tell? Sure. I for one would love to have a story so intense, so breathtaking, so deep and moving that it took me 400 pages to tell it. To bring it the justice it truly deserved. Do I have one inside? Maybe. But if it is there it’s not ready to be told, and until it is it will remain tucked away being nurtured by the stories I am telling, the works I read, and by all that I am learning on this amazing journey as an author.

Now, before this degrades into a full on rant let me leave you with some last thoughts. The next time you even consider bitching at an author for the length of their book versus the cost – STOP. The next time you think about whining to an author that they really need to write longer stories because you want to know some detail, see more on this/that character, whatever – STOP. We authors tell the story that needs to be told, however it needs to be told, nothing more and nothing less. It might be long, it might be short, and it might be somewhere in the middle.

words Thank you typography lettering decorative text cardInstead of being a sniveling little windbag why not thank the author for their hard work. The time they took away from their families, the stress they suffered, the sleepless nights their muse and characters caused, the grey hairs they’ve gained, the horrible eating habits they’ve endured during their quest to put everything on paper, the struggle to keep everything moving in the right direction, or just generally thank them for providing you with something you didn’t have before. A story that they created. If you can’t do that then it’s best to say nothing at all.

XO Moira Callahan

Elegant couple posing together.

Into the New Year we stride #SensualSunday @AuthorMoira

sensualsunday-newyear2017

Moira here welcoming you to another #SensualSunday post. First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR one and all! You can proudly proclaim from the rooftops that you survived #TheYearThatShallNotBeNamed. Which means it’s time to look to what comes next for you, me, and every other author out there.

Too many people view the date/calendar change to be a “new beginning”. Frankly that is flat out a horrid misconception. We’re not starting from scratch. The year(s) past are not whited out, no matter how much we’d prefer them to money in pocketbe, there is no “pass GO and collect 200 dollars” here. But we can look forward instead of focusing on the past. I’m not suggesting, nor would I ever because that would be idiocy, forgetting the past. The past helped shape us, shape our writing, and will continue to bring it’s lessons to bear as we continue forward.

No, what you as an author needs to do is to mentally wipe down the white board, start at the top, and reorganize how you want to go about doing your business of writing. What I mean by this is that look to what was working for you, what wasn’t working for you, and figure out a plan that will get you the good without so much of the bad. Will there still be stumbling blocks? Absolutely. But those too are lessons we all need to learn from. After all if we forget the past we are forever doomed to repeat it. Do we need daily reminders? Uh, hell no! But while you shouldn’t be focused on the fuck ups that were, you should be learning and growing from them. Lessons learned remember.

School white board, vector illustration.So as you stride into 2017 pick a task, be it small or large, and start working toward it one step at a time until you have achieved. Then pick the next, and the next, and so forth. It’s not about being the fastest in the race, it’s about keeping up a steady and consistent pace. Will there be authors out there pumping out books at a rate that is seemingly insane? Yup, but I’m pretty sure they never sleep. You, yes you, do not need to be them, you do not need to try to keep up to them, YOU need to do YOUR thing at YOUR pace and keep it going. After all, slow and steady will always win the race. Not that this is a race, because you are not in competition with anyone, least of all yourself.

Be who you are, be who you aim to be, and be the best version there is. It doesn’t matter what that might be, it does NOT matter what anyone else says, all that matters is that you are writing, and you are happy. Be happy.

From all of us at Naughty Quills, may you and yours have a safe & happy New Year. Bring on 2017!

XO Moira Callahan

Sensual kiss on the neck

All I want for Christmas #SensualSunday @AuthorMoira

sensualsunday-christmas

Moira here welcoming you to another #SensualSunday post. Since today just happens to be Christmas, it will be a short one – I promise.

Despite the horrific temperatures over the last little while, the general craze that comes around at this time of year, and the maddening hustle and bustle involved, it is Christmas. A time for family and friends, roaring fires, cozy jammies, hot cocoa (or something a little stronger), and a time to appreciate all you have. I’m not talking money or material items, I’m talking about the people you surround yourself with. They are the true treasures in life.

Yes, the lights, the tree, the gifts are all part and parcel for the day, but they aren’t the true gifts you’re receiving. The gifts we should all be appreciating right now are those loved ones, whomever they might be, whether they are near or far. So sit on back, talk a little, and give those you care for the greatest gift you can, your time and attention.

From all of us at Naughty Quills, we want to wish you each a safe, and truly amazing day.

Joyeux Noël, Frohe Weihnachten, Mele Kalikimaka,
Zalig Kerstfeest, Nollaig Shona Dhuit, Buon Natale,
Meri Kirihimete, Feliz Natal, Feliz Navidad,
Nadolig Llawen, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa,
and a very Merry Christmas to all our readers

You are the best gift we could ever ask for.

XO Moira Callahan