Natasha Raulerson

It’s An Author Thing: Part Two

Remember that dreading of the manuscript thing we talked about in the last post? Yeah. That It's An Author Thinghappens. We all know it.

It’s an author thing.

I opened Scrivener, with the full intent of not touching my current WIP today and instead plotting something new that’s been bouncing around in my head for a while. Those little plot bunnies are devious sometimes and will not stop hippity hopping until you flesh them out. Doesn’t mean I’d write it quick, fast, and in a hurry, but it would give me a break from my current MS and let my brain decompress.

When you open Scrivener, your most recent project opens with it. In my case, my current WIP. I noticed, not only did I leave off in the middle of a paragraph, but in the middle of a sentence. I don’t usually do that.

It's An Author ThingMy eye twitched. A compulsion hit. I just wanted to finish the sentence.

Then the paragraph.

Then the next thing I know I’ve written 600 words in this scene.

When you don’t want to write, but the compulsion forces you to write, and then you’re happy because not only do you want to write more, but the words are actually flowing really, really well.

It’s an author thing.

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Natasha Raulerson

Why I’m Bowing Out Of Pitch Wars This Year

It’s been a minute since I’ve made a personal post. After this semester I may go through and change out the layout so that the reveals and such are under one tab and my stuff is under another. Or would that be too confusing? Not sure. We’ll have to wait and see.

Natasha Raulerson Pitch Wars

When the brain isn’t braining.

Anyway, a lot of people already know that the main reason for my up-in-the-air, no-brain-today, trying to fix up my schedule stuff, is because of the fact that I am indeed preggo in my eggo. That still isn’t stopping me from doing the things that need to be done. I’m writing, I’m still going to school–until the end of the semester, at which point I’m taking off till after the kiddo is born–and making sure to keep active and do things. As much as I’d like to sit down and not brain all day, it’s just not my style.

So why then, may you ask, am I bowing out of Pitch Wars? il_570xN.867436260_e6v9

Well, the kiddo’s due date is October. That’s right. Not just smack dab in the middle of the competition, but getting down to the nitty gritty deadline of having those manuscripts, shined, polished, and ready to go for the agent round. Pending on what I pop, I wouldn’t be much help to any mentee. They’d be stressed, I’d be stressed, I’d be in labor, ya know, it’s just not a good mix.

I know what you’re thinking.

Why not co-mentor?

There’s plenty of awesome people out there to do it with, and while I would love to, my co-mentor would essentially be doing all the work. Let’s think about this, even if I was past due and the baby cooked a little longer than necessary, I’d still be in my 8th/9th month. Last trimester hell, full of hormones, mood swings, the dire need to not be pregnant anymore, exhaustion, and a multitude of doctors visits. Yeah. That wouldn’t be a good mix for an already stressful and emotional competition. My co-mentor would be doing 90% of the work and that’s just not fair.

So sadly, I have opted to step down, have the baby, and return next year full of win and awesome to help a fellow writer take their novel to the next level.

I really hate to bow out of the competition, but I’m also realistic, and super excited to be a mom. I want every mentee to have every awesome chance at landing an agent, and this year, I’m just not a mentor that would be able to devote their full energy to it. You guys deserve better than me half-assing it.

Now, that doesn’t mean I won’t be around to help you guys out. Especially since this is my last semester. I might do some critique giveaways, some newsletter (sign up by clicking the link) stuff to give tips and tricks, and maybe even Vlog some stuff that might help. I’m still here, right up until the kiddo says he/she is ready to come into the world. Then I’ll probably go dark for a few weeks, but I’ll be back. Maybe I’ll talk to Brenda about hosting some Pitch Wars games, and still being a really active part of it. I hope that I am, but I know that sometimes you just never know what’s going to happen.

So good luck to everyone gearing up to participate this year! Per usual, it’s going to be a wild ride!

 

Natasha Raulerson

2016: A Year Of Hopes, Goals, and Working My Ass Off

Happy 2016, everyone! I hope you rang in the New Year with much merriment and happiness! I thought I’d add in a little Jensen to make it just that much  better. Because Supernatural. That is all.

If you haven’t noticed by now, I might have an addiction problem when it comes to that show.

Yup, I got off topic! Already. Maybe 2016 should be the year in which I focus.

Seriously, sometimes I’m like Doug from UP. Oooh! Squirrel!

First off, I want to say how grateful I am for all the awesome things that happened in 2015.

I got an awesome agent, went to my first writing conference, met so many wonderful authors, agents, and industry professionals. I was also asked to participate in so many wonderful writing contests that help writers, including Query Kombat, New Agent, and Pitch Wars. Man. Those were all such awesome experiences. It’s a great feeling to give back to the writing community and hopefully help someone take their work to the next level.

My personal life was pretty good too. Got re-engaged to by the awesome Man-Thing while on vacation in the Keys. Got to have some fun at Fantasy Fest, see Hemingways Home.

All in all, I gotta say, 2015 was pretty amazing for me.

Now 2016 is here and it’s going to be even better!

So what are my goals and resolutions? Funny you should ask. Oh, wait? You didn’t. I’m gonna tell you anyway. 

1.) Be kinder to people. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think I’m some uber raging bitch. I have a temper like everyone else, I get mad like everyone else, but the common courtesy of the world has dwindled and I find myself getting really frustrated because of it. Talking on cell phones while checking out at a register, which slows up the whole line, cutting people off in three lanes because you went the wrong way and apparently it’s easier to do that than go down and make a U-turn. Etc and so on. Maybe, just maybe if I’m kinder to people by nodding and smiling, saying hello, helping to carry or a bag, etc that kindness will pass on and maybe the world around me will be a little less douchey. Seriously though, people who use their cell-phones at the movie theaters and attempt to ruin my Star Wars experience, yeah those people I’m not going to be nice to. There’s a special place in a special hell for people like that.

2.) Be more organized. Winging it is no longer allowed in my life. The Man-Thing has a saying called The 7 P’s:  Proper, prior, planning prevents piss, pour, performance. In other words, if you make a plan ahead of time, you’re more likely to succeed. Boy, oh boy I would never have admitted he was right, but life is busy now. School, family time, writing, etc. Winging it just doesn’t work anymore. It’s always been fun, but I’ve learned that my 30k writing curse is because I don’t storyboard. If I storyboard first, I get a better idea of where I want things to go. For this, I have ordered an Erin Condren Life Planner that will hopefully help me be better with The 7 P’s–and not distract me with all the pretty.

3.) Be more confident. Last year I had a thing about telling people that yes, I’m an author, and yes I have an agent. I almost felt like it was bragging and I never want to become an elitist who’s nose is so far up in the air that I think my shit don’t stink. Ever. Seriously, if you see me doing this, slap me. I give full on permission right now. However, there were people that I talked to on a regular basis who had no idea that I’d made such a huge step in my career. I maybe felt like it was a fluke, like the world would see me as a fraud or something. I don’t know. I am an author. I’ve worked my ass off to get here. I’ve realized it’s okay to tell people I am an author, and I have an agent, and my first book is on submission. It’s okay to hand out my cards without being sheepish and promote myself to build a better platform. That’s not bragging. It’s networking and confidence. Time to believe in myself a little more. 2016 is the year to do it.

4.) Writing Stuff.  I finished the rough draft of a new romantic suspense series. I need to edit that, write the other two books in the series, and I’ve got some new ideas poking around up in my brain. So deadlines are my friend. I have to make sure to follow The 7P’s to hit my word count by deadline. Same thing with edits. I’m uber excited to share these new ideas with you guys when the time comes!

I’m trying to find a blogging schedule that works for me. Most days, I feel like it’s just that I don’t particularly know what to blog about. My life isn’t that interesting, y’know? Of course I’m always willing to do cover reveals and blog tours, so there’s never a short supply of that. Right now, I’m going to try and go for a twice monthly update of the blog. We’ll see how that’s going by next month.

5.) Graduate with my Bachelors. If all goes well this will happen in Fall, but it depends on if I hit the marks on all my classes. We’ll see. I have a tendency of thinking I fulfilled all my requirements and realize that I in fact, did not. It will either be Fall 2016 or at the latest Spring 2017.

Over all, I really just wanna be a better person than I was last year. Wiser, healthier, kinder, confident, successful, creative, etc.  A better writer.

I’m an Author In Progress.

Welcome to 2016!

What resolutions do you guys have?

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Release Day: UNEASY IN NEW ORLEANS by Carol Carson

It’s a Big Easy Mystery with Uneasy In New Orleans

UNEASY IN NEW ORLEANS has everything you love about the French Quarter, delicious food, sexy men, mystery, gossip, trouble, and dead bodies…Well maybe not all of what people love about the city. However Finnigan Jones is dealing with all of these things and more. UNEASY IN NEW ORLEANS is the first in a new series called the Big Easy Mysteries from multi-published author Carol Carson.

To learn more about Carol Carson and her books check out her new website!

UiNO_BlitzBadgeGiveaway:

Grand Prize: 2 Winners Will Receive 2 $35 gift card to Amazon or B&N

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Uneasy in New Orleans

About UNEASY IN NEW ORLEANS

FINNIGAN JONES HAS A PASSION FOR COOKING AND A PECHANT FOR TROUBLE.

Dead bodies aren’t on Finn’s New Orleans walking tour of cemeteries and haunted houses. Ditto disappearing bodies. Now she has to explain to Detective Jack Boyle how her missing corpse has turned up in the Mississippi putting her smack-dab in the middle of a murder investigation.

Unfortunately, another of Finn’s odd jobs is taking questionable photos for Jack’s PI brother, Tommy. After she snaps shots of a dubious pair of lovebirds, they stalk her, then kidnap her. Now Finn’s dealing with two lunatics intent on killing her. Or driving her crazy. She’s not sure which.

Because lunatics and smokin’-hot brothers aren’t enough trouble, she’s gossiping, yes gossiping, with a chef ghost at culinary school, cat-sitting her aunt’s six felines and attempting to corral her wayward teenage sister.

All Finn wants is to survive school and become the best chef in the world.

FINN’S LIFE IS ABOUT TO GET EVEN MORE COMPLICATED.

Excerpt

She heard a faint noise. She wasn’t alone. A tall stranger whose face looked familiar came toward her, his strides long and deliberate. “You the one takin’ pictures of me?”

“No,” she automatically lied.

His tone left little doubt about how he felt about her.  ‘Dislike’ would be too kind.

‘Outraged and highly motivated to harm her’ seemed more likely. Which was when she remembered why he looked familiar. Franco, the wandering husband she’d photographed last night in all his pants-around-his-ankles glory. It took a nano-second to register the thought that he shouldn’t have known where to find her before extreme terror kicked in.

Closer to the stairs than Tommy’s office, Finn managed to dash past him in her rarely-worn heels.

He grabbed at her but she ducked. She reached the outer door and twisted the doorknob. He yanked her from behind, and pulled her toward him. A nasty blast of stale breath hit her in the face. The knob slipped from her sweaty hand. She wrenched her backpack off and screamed. She swung it and connected with his head. He grunted and lost his grasp on her.

Finn took advantage of the moment and wrenched open the door. She scrambled out to the landing. With one foot on the first step, he jerked her by the back of her sweater. She screamed bloody murder again and swung around to hit him.

Tommy appeared and yanked Franco up, smashing him in the jaw. The man stood in the tiny space swaying. Finn took advantage. She swung her backpack. This time, Franco sidestepped. And she hit Tommy full force.

He lost his balance, arms cartwheeling in the air as he reached for the rail. He missed and tumbled down the steps, crashing against each riser with a horrible thump until he lay crumpled at the bottom. Franco raced down the stairs, hurtled over Tommy’s prone body, then disappeared up the dark alley.

Finn flew down the steps, her backpack forgotten. Tommy lay at the bottom, his eyes closed, his jaw clenched.

She knelt by his side, her breath jerking in and out. She patted his cheek, and prayed he wasn’t dead. She couldn’t take two dead bodies in one day, no matter how insensitive it sounded.

He opened one eye and squinted at her, his face pinched. “Hell, I, I broke my…damn it all to hell…my damned leg.”

 

On Sale in Digital Now:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Smashwords

Add UNEASY IN NEW ORLEANS to your TBR pile on Goodreads!

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Author Bio:

Multi-published author Carol Carson was born and raised in central Iowa. She is a former finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart contest and is an avid bookworm who actually enjoys doing research. Her other passions include travel, American history, the Kansas City Chiefs, the St. Louis Cardinals and dark chocolate. She has lived in Colorado and Kansas, and currently lives with her husband in a log home on the outskirts of St. Louis, Missouri. Write to her at carol.carson@centurytel.net or check out her website at carolcarsonbooks.com

Connect with Carol: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon