New Audiobooks

All in my Head, More than a Promise, and Stranger in my Bed all have audiobooks now!

Below you’ll find all of my audiobooks, available on Amazon, right on the book’s page, and Audible.com.

And guess what? If you’re not already a member of Audible.com, you can get a free audiobook for signing up at their site for a free trial month; just pick an audiobook below and click on it to visit Audible.

 

All in my Head audiobook

Stranger in my Bed audiobook

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Point Hope audiobook

More than a promise

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A Cowboy for Christmas audiobook

 

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New Year Updates

So… I didn’t publish a new novel in 2017, but I had four audiobooks in production. I got to approve two of them today!!

More Than Memories and Stranger in my Bed will have audiobooks out soon.

And there’s on in production for All in my Head and Embers of Hope. Luckily Embers of Hope is scheduled to be finished soon too, since it’s the first book that goes with More Than a Promise. 

I also published several translations last year, so there’s almost 20 out now. Which reminds me that I haven’t been good about updating my site pages with new translations…

Last year was busy! I took up tattooing and had to give that my full attention for a while. I went through an apprenticeship and have been working part time tattooing–I’m still working out how to balance everything, but it’s making more sense. I love creating across several mediums, and sometimes that pulls me in lots of different directions.

While I didn’t publish anything last year, I did work on two novels. One is romance/women’s fiction–a married romance that will focus on her story and growth the most. Sometimes I write a novel like this in a month, but I haven’t been clear on the direction in the story, so it’s a longer journey with this one.

The other work-in-progress is a fantasy novel. I’ve written a few short stories in that genre but nothing in depth in like this, and I have a lot to learn! It’s a fun process but I know this book will take longer to write. It’s called The Mermaid Necklace and I’m so excited about the story and everything I’m learning about fantasy.

Here’s to a productive, fun, and adventurous 2018!

XXOO Kristen

Happy Autumn!

Happy Halloween (if you celebrate) and happy everything autumn! It seems like almost everyone I know says fall is their favorite time of year. Or maybe we all feel that way as it draws near, and we sip our pumpkin latte and pull out the fun decorations.

I need to decorate for a birthday/autumn/festival party next weekend. My mind has been focused more on the yummy treats I want to make.

I also love to get out into the woods this time of year and hunt for chanterelle mushrooms. Hiking is fun in the summer, of course, but it feels magical to go out in the bright yellow and orange leaves, walk between the towering evergreens,  maybe in the mist or rain, and see how the forest changes.

So… I have been very bad about updating my blog this year.  Instead of working on a novel, I focused more on my painting and even began training as a tattoo artist.

I still plan to write! I just wanted to expand my horizons, and I love expressing myself in many creative ways from writing to painting to tattooing. Life got super hectic while I was training, but now it’s settling down a little bit, and I have to say I love tattooing!

You can check out my work at https://www.instagram.com/kchaneyart – there’s some pretty Oregon creek photos too.

One of my designs–I love nature themes:steelhead with color

 

 

It’s a perfect day when I can write and tattoo, or write and paint, and basically explore lots of ways to be creative. And it never hurts if I can sip hot apple cider or a cinnamon-chocolate-mocha while doing what I love!

Hope you’re having an awesome autumn with lots of creativity, and/or yummy drinks, or a hike on a misty trail surrounded by a rainbow of fall colors. 🙂

6 Years!!

I was looking through my Facebook page the other day and something hit me: I started that page and this blog back in March of 2011, six years ago!

It’s been a fun ride since then, and I’m so grateful not just that I get to be an author, but that I am living the life that I am. I’m a super creative person in several formats, and being self employed and working at home allows me to draw, paint, and explore other art forms. I like painting Oregon landscapes in acrylic and oil, drawing flowers for body art in temporary jagua ink, and I’m starting to explore things like wood burning and even tattooing fruit.

And of course I love to create new stories! It’s an amazing journey, and each novel is a process where I enjoy writing it, getting to know the characters and their arcs, and learning more about storytelling.

Seems like I should celebrate 6 years of blogging!

I posted an audiobook giveaway on my FB page, with 5 copies of Point Hope up for grabs.

And I have a bunch of my Kindle ebooks on a 99 cent special for a while, including Covetous if you haven’t read it yet!

I’ll come up with some fun things throughout the month of April too.

So my next novel…. a past/present time split story

I’ve been painting a lot so far this year, and I’ll share those below, but I wanted to tell you about the novel I’m writing. It’s about a woman in a dying marriage–Lily can grasp the issue but doesn’t know how to get around it. She desperately wants a baby and her husband Mic is dead set against it. She wishes for a different life and wakes up on the Oregon Trail with Mic and their children. That’s all I’m sharing for now! I’m 20,000 words into the book, and I’m not sure how long it’ll be. So more to come…!

Here’s a few of my paintings; I love painting Oregon forests and the beach. And the last pic is my newest tattoo–very Hawaiian themed this time!

 

NaNoWriMo – a novel in a month

National November Writing Month… I’ve wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo for several years now, but I’m usually in the middle of a writing project when it starts. If you write year round, it can be trickier to plan a novel and start it on November 1. This year, however, I got an idea on Oct 30, and decided to jump in.

I’m still amazed that I did, but I finished on November 28 with 50,000 words.

What was the biggest thing I learned? It takes passion and excitement about your story to write that much in that short of a time. Because I’m also a freelancer, I had other writing and editing projects too. So my actual word count was around 80,000 for the month.

The second lesson was to use my creative time–I often worked on my novel at nine at night, when I have a really creative hour or two.

As far as my novel writing method, I’m not sure I’d recommend it to other authors, and especially not newer authors. But here goes:

I get an idea out of the blue (which actually means different things in my life suddenly mixing together) and once I see the story line, I start writing. With this story, and some before it, I busted out 10,000 words in the first day in my giddiness over the idea.

So at that point, I usually pause and realize I need some structure. I start putting in headers before my scenes (marked with Header 2 in Word) and open the Navigation Map, which displays an outline to the left of the text. I’ll start jotting down scene ideas too, right in the manuscript, so I have something to jump into when I sit down to write. I like keeping it all together in one file.

I write in a mostly linear way, but if I don’t feel too motivated on a section, I’ll jump to a different part. Then later, when I feel more focused, I go back and figure out why I wasn’t excited about that problem scene–because when it’s working, I love to write.

I haven’t always used this fly-through-the-novel method. When I began writing in grade school, I would create an outline and type it up on my electric typewriter. Then I’d write chapter by chapter, and if I changed the story, I retyped the outline.

Later on, I went through a phase in my twenties where I’d plan my novel, write it, and then go through a long revising stage where I’d rearrange the story and add quite a bit. A few times I even changed entire novels from third to first person and then back to third.

I think it’s all that writing that got me to my present method. But even though I jump right into it, I do have the story and characters clearly in my head. I even start by writing the book blurb. And on that note, here’s the blurb for my NaNoWriMo novel, Covetous:

Two couples are found murdered in their beds. The only link comes from their phone records, leading Detective Hounder to Lucy Marshal.

Lucy and her live-in boyfriend might be next on the hit list. She doesn’t know who she can turn to. If Luke knew the truth about Lucy, he would have more motive than anyone, but does he know? Her best friend Emma is someone connected to this mess—and hiding now. Her other close friend James was still in love with one of the victims…and involved with Lucy without knowing her connection.

She wants to hold onto everyone but can’t control the web she’s weaved around herself. Lucy can’t trust anyone anymore, not herself, and not the stranger leaving messages for her.

You may have noticed… it’s not like my previous novels. This is more of domestic thriller. (Murder mystery psychological thriller–is that a genre?)  I’m currently polishing the story, and adding to it because 50k is a pretty short novel, and then I plan to submit to agents. 

Will I try to write another novel in a month? We’ll see; maybe if I get another awesome story idea… like the sequel for this one.  

10 Easy Steps to Write Your Novel

My newest writing guide is out! This project began when I tried writing a blog post about how to write a novel, but I quickly realized just how much I had to say on the topic. It turned into a 100 page guide on the entire process. Take a look at the table of contents below!

(More info on all my books for authors under Authorpreneur Press)

10 Easy Steps to Write Your Novel: The Quick Start Guide to Novel Writing.

Print for only 7.99

10 easy steps novel

The “Quick Start Guide” to outlining and writing your novel!

Helpful exercises with each step.

Tips for beginnings and more advanced writers.

Have you ever wondered how to write a novel? Have you started and got frustrated? Or have you written a few novels but still want to streamline your process and learn more about structure, plot, characters, setting, and putting it all together? Do you struggle with outlining? 10 Easy Steps to Write Your Novel covers developing ideas, conflict, characters, setting, big plot points, outlining, the writing process, writing scenes, and editing and revising.

Table of Contents:

  • Step 1: Develop your Idea
  • What about a title?
  • Developing “Sparks”
  • Questions to Consider
  • A Solid Foundation
  • Developing Your Idea Exercises
  • Step 2: Develop Your Conflict
  • Conflict Exercises
  • Step 3: Add Your Characters
  • Play Around with Character
  • Character Exercises
  • Define Your Characters
  • More Character Exercises
  • Step 4: Define Your Setting
  • Using Setting to Shape Story
  • Setting Exercises
  • Step 5: Outline your Big Plot Points
  • My Novel Structure
  • Expanding the 7 Plot Points
  • Step 6: Plan Act I to the Door of No Return
  • Outlining
  • What about Prologues?
  • That Opening Line
  • Beginnings
  • Genre Beginnings
  • “The Beginning” Exercises
  • Complications
  • The Door of No Return
  • Step 7: Plan Act II to the Midpoint
  • Act II Exercise
  • Low and High Points
  • Midpoint
  • Step 8: Act III: Plan the Middle to the End
  • Taking Action
  • Dark Moment
  • Climax
  • Resolution
  • Ending Exercises
  • The Last Line
  • Step 9: Writing
  • Writing Scenes
  • Should you write every day?
  • Should you set a daily word count goal?
  • Should you write in order?
  • Should you edit and revise during the first draft?
  • Staying in the flow
  • Keeping up your momentum
  • Celebrate your progress
  • Step 10: Re-writing & Editing
  • When should you share your work?
  • Critique Groups?
  • Start with the big issues
  • Checking Smaller Elements
  • Should you have a theme?
  • When is your novel finished?

Marcus and Avery on my mind

So whenever I’m working on a novel, the characters basically hang out in my head. I see them going about their day and think about how they think, talk, feel and dream. I’ll get scene ideas throughout the day or even think about how they’d react to what’s going on in my life. That has taken on a life of its own as I work on In My Dreams… I’m starting to feel like Avery in the first book! The reason is both Marcus and Avery feel so real to me. I can see the way Marcus’s eyes light up and how his face changes when he laughs good and hard, and I hear his comments. I’ll be picturing something for the story and hear him say, “That girly? Really? Dude, you’re turning me into a girl.” Or, “You think I’d hold back like that? When did my mouth get so PG?”

And I imagine Avery going through my crap with me – I’m pouring a lot of my emotions into her right now. My life took some crazy turns and I’m starting over in many ways, and she’s like a friend going through the same thing. When my emotions try to eat me alive, she’s there feeling it too. She’s gotta figure out who she is even while she cares about other people so much; it’s hard to see where the lines are. She’s surprised sometimes as she thinks, “Holy shit, I can do this.” But it’s still hard for her to own that.

So this is going to be one interesting sequel – I want it to be as raw and intense as the first one, or maybe even more so. There’s a crazy wild amount of possibilities too, now that Marcus is back in his body and they both have to figure out their relationship and their separate lives again. Of course they don’t want to be separate. Can you imagine having someone in your heart and mind 24-7 and then you can’t hear them anymore? It’s like falling off a cliff in the dark. That twirling free fall is a good metaphor for the emotions pouring out of them and into the story.

And this story isn’t about just them. We have all these other threads to pick up with Kristina, Kyle, Nash and Jazz. And some weird things happened when those guys started talking, and now some of them have their own chapters and are feeling certain things for each other… Yeah, a big hint there, but I don’t want to give away too much just yet!

First Tracks Series:    All in my Head     In My Dreams