Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Trials and Joys of Drafting By Hand

Today, the spotlight is on author Misha Gericke and her newest novels. She's stopped by to tell us about...Well, I don't want give it away. It's impressive. Keep reading and find out for yourselves...

Take it away, Misha!!

The Trials and Joys of Drafting by Hand

It’s actually rather strange. Every time someone asks me about my writing method, I have to casually mention the fact that I rough draft every single novel by hand. And people freak out.

The first time I did it, my mom kept saying that she didn’t think it was wise, because I’d never be able to write any substantial amount of words by hand. At that time, I was well over 40k words in.

People don’t believe when I rattle off my word counts either. They always think I over-estimate. I don’t. In fact, I only estimate how many words I’ve written when I’m doing sprints, and I don’t want to take the time to count exactly how much I’ve written.

But count my words I do. Every single day.

So today, I thought I’d answer some frequently asked questions. Starting with…


Easy. I have a problem with being too perfectionistic with my drafts. Which means that if I type on a computer, I’m always tempted to delete something I’ve just written in order to “improve” it. I’m putting “improve” in quotes, because my off-the-cuff improvements in-draft never improve on what I’ve written. In fact, after switching to pen, I realized that a lot of stuff I would have been tempted to take out because I haven’t planned for them, turned out to actually make the story work.

Doesn’t it make your hand hurt?

A little, if I haven’t hand-drafted in a while. (Usually because of edits and rewrites.) I minimized the pain by investing in a fountain pen I only use for drafting and writing (occasionally) story notes.

But… doesn’t it mean you have to rewrite all your drafts?

Yes. All of them. And you know what? It’s awesome, because I rewrite knowing what I want, which means that I can type an average story out in about six weeks at the most. If I’m not distracted by other projects that need to be done. This also gives me a much cleaner draft to edit.

Doesn’t it impact your writing speed?

Yes, it does. I type approximately four times as fast as I write by hand. I like this, though, because it feels like I’m lingering over my words more as I write. In turn, this gives my mind the ability to see more implications of what I’ve written.

You hand write for NaNo too? Yeah, right.

Actually, I absolutely do. My record is 50k words in a bit more than three weeks. Outside NaNo, my word counts lie somewhere between 15k and 30k. More if I’m typing rewrites at the same time.

Do you always win NaNo?

No, but usually, what stops me is not related to my writing by hand. (Such as my day-job going crazy and taking all of my writing time.)

Aren’t you worried that someone will just open your notebook and read what you’ve written?

Not with my handwriting, apparently. I read it fine, but I’ve given my drafts to friends, and their eyes all screw up within five pages. So I figure I’m safe.

Any more questions? ;-)

The Vanished Knight

The entity living inside Callan’s soul orphaned her at age eleven. By the time she’s sixteen, it’s ensured her being shunted from one foster family to another.

Her thirteenth foster assignment should be routine. Except... it's not. A psycho in medieval armor kidnaps her and she ends up in a magical world. There, she accidentally discovers a secret her parents had kept until the day they died.

Both actually came from this magical world, but left before Callan was born. To cover their tracks, they’d lied about everything. Even who they really were.

Driven to find out where she comes from, Callan’s trapped in a race for life and death. Walking away isn’t an option, but if she stays too long, the entity will find its next victim.

In this world where secrets are sacrosanct and grudges are remembered, finding the truth will be near impossible. Especially when Callan has her own homicidal little secret to deal with.

One with a taste for destroying her life.

The Heir’s Choice

After discovering her parents had kept a whole world secret, Callan races to discover her past. Not easy to do with an increasingly agitated entity living in her soul.

Going to her long-lost elvish roots should answer all her questions. Instead, she ends up in the middle of a nightmare.

The elves are on the verge of an apocalyptic war. Their enemy, King Aurek of Icaimerith, will only be appeased if Callan marries his heir. It’s either her life getting messed up, or an entire country’s lives lost. Simple enough, right?


Because when the entity wants the elves blotted out of existence, saving them gets taken to a whole new level of complicated.


Misha Gerrick has been creating stories long before she could write and is currently going after her dream of making a living as a writer.

If you’d like to see how that’s going, you can visit her on her blog (, where she also discusses all things related to writing and publishing.

Or, if you’d just like to know what she’s reading and get updates on what she’ll be publishing next (Sorry, no newsletter just yet.):

You can follow her Tumblr (
You can follow her on Twitter: @MGerrick1
And you can circle her on Google Plus: +MGerrick

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Visit To Maguire's Corner

Today, My Pet Blog belongs to author Heather M. Gardner and her romance series, Maguire's Corner, as part of her Series Blog Tour.

One Good Catch is one of the few books I've read this year, and one of my best reviewed. After reading this series, Maguire's Corner because one of those fictional locations I'd like to visit one day.

If you haven't yet checked out this series, you really should. Check it out:

Already Home (A Maguire's Corner Novel - Book 1)
by Heather M. Gardner
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books | All Romance Books
Published by: InkSpell Publishing
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Re-Release Date: May 30, 2015
Length: 176 Pages

Coffee shop owner Maggie Maguire doesn’t trust the new police chief her father hired to protect Maguire’s Corner. He’s a stranger, cold, bossy and annoyingly handsome. But, Maggie’s witnessed a serious crime and now someone’s trying to kill her. The man that aggravates her most might be the only one that can help her. 

Police Chief Jack Munro likes his new job and his new town, and unfortunately he also likes the stubborn but beautiful town sweetheart. His self-imposed hands-off Maggie policy is about to be put to the ultimate test when he must keep her close to protect her while he tracks down a ruthless killer. 

Determined to ignore Jack’s charms, Maggie attempts to help him unravel the mystery but when their lives hang in the balance she must decide how much she’s willing to risk to save the man she suddenly can’t resist.

One Good Catch (A Maguire's Corner Novel - Book 2)
by Heather M. Gardner
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books | All Romance Books
Published by: InkSpell Publishing
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: March 11, 2015
Length: 173 Pages

Ignoring a recent trauma that affects her everyday life, ER Doctor Kate Maguire engages in some high risk activities, but these situations aren’t enough to feed her edginess. She needs something more. When her brother’s high school best friend comes back to town, it’s her chance for a ‘no strings attached’ fling with the man who still headlines all her best dreams. 

Rhys MacGrath’s days of one-night-stands are long over. The pro-football player might be side-lined at rehab for a shoulder injury, but that doesn’t mean he can’t admire and desire the all-grown-up, so-damn-hot, version of the tomboy he once knew. His sudden interest in Kate might aggravate his best friend, but it’s her indifference that drives Rhys crazy. 

Everything heats up when Kate’s nosy nature puts her in the line of fire of an arsonist forcing Kate and Rhys to deal with more than just the sparks igniting between them.

About The Author:

Heather M. Gardner's love of books began on the hand-woven rugs of her small town library where her mother worked. There she had a never-ending supply of stories to read at her fingertips. As a teen, her favorite genres to curl up with were romance and mysteries. When she started to create her own stories, they were the perfect fit. 

Heather resides in New York with her best friend who is also her husband, plus her talented and handsome son. She is currently owned by four stray cats. Heather's a full-time mom, works part-time from home, a chocolate enthusiast, coffee junkie, cat addict, book hoarder and fluent in sarcasm.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

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  • $5 Amazon Gift Card

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Monday, August 3, 2015

One For The Road

Today is my last writing day before the first of my company comes, and I thought I'd spend part of it with all of you. I'm totally not using this post as a way to help me procrastinate from working on my WIP. I mean, it's not like I have absolutely no idea how to finish off those last few scenes in the damn thing. No, I totally know. I just...I didn't want to finish this draft too quickly—I've only been working on it for, like, 18 years months now, so I thought I would stretch things out a little bit longer. Make it last, you know?

SAID NO WRITER EVER, I'm pretty sure.

But yeah, the above paragraphs are absolutely true...except for the part about me not using this post to help me procrastinate. I'm absolutely doing that.

But also, I have some goals to review. Yay.

1. Win Camp NaNoWriMo, and by doing so, finally finish this never-ending draft of Second Nature.

Well, I did half this goal:

But, as it turned out, I required much more than 50,000 words to complete this draft, and I haven't figured them all out yet. As of this post, I have five unfinished scenes. I've been trying so hard to just get something on the page (I'm a firm believer that I can fix bad page, it's those blank ones for which you have to look out...), but it just hasn't happened yet.

I really wanted this draft finished before I took my month's hiatus, but unless there's a writing miracle happening in this house today, I'll have to be content with having a month away from those problem scenes. Not a bad idea, certainly, just not what I'd been aiming for.

2. Attempt to make some progress with my Goodreads reading challenge.

Yeah...I'm pretty sure I only read one book in July. I had intended to read more, but got sucked into Camp NaNoWriMo instead. I am even more behind now. Yay. Better luck this month?

3. Log some serious miles.

Well, unless 30.5 miles can be counted as serious (it can't, in case you were curious) I didn't achieve this goal, either. Again, it was eschewed for Camp NaNoWriMo. In past NaNoWriMo sessions, I've done a much better job of balancing everything out. Just not this session.

This would be the part where I come up with a set of goals for the current month, but as most of my month will be spent with my family visiting a few major theme parks and the beach, I'm going to do that this month. Goals, like writing and this blog, will be resumed in September.

But I will make one goal...

Don't throw up on any of the rides at Harry Potter World. 

So that's going to do it for me this month, which is weird, I know because it's only August 3rd. But this blog will not be completely abandoned. Coming up this week on My Pet Blog will be some uber-talented authors. Please make sure to stop by and support them.

Have a great week/month, everyone. See you in the fall.