Kick Ass Girls!

If you’re not aware, my debut novel The Doors was published by Fire and Ice, an imprint of Melange (you can find the link below if you’re interested in taking a look at a YA with a twist!)

Today marks the promotion of the new project by Fire and Ice #kickassgirlsofya. We’re celebrating the strengths of our female heroines and you can get involved too! Check out the calender below and hold steady for more info. I’m running the Instagram event from 8th April and it’s one that you won’t want to miss!

If you want to take part, here’s the link for my Instagram account and I hope to see you there: https://www.instagram.com/alicejblack/

KickAssFinalCALENDAR

 

 

Elena talks about her Writing

Name: Elena

Age: 33

Where are you from? Ripley, NY, USA

Tell us a little about yourself ie. education Family life etc. I have two sisters (twins) who recently had babies just six days apart! I am a speech therapist and have my Master’s degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences. I love my job!

When and why did you begin writing? I have always loved writing and began when I was about in 3rd grade. I always had stories floating in my head!

Do you have a novel/collection published? Would you like to tell us about it? Not yet…

What inspired you to write your first book? I was walking home from school in 7th grade and had an idea for it. It literally popped into my head. Maybe an angel gave me the idea like in The Bishop’s Wife…..

Do you have a favourite character from your book? If yes, who is it and why?   My main character is Charlotte, a teenager who lives with her stepmother who gradually becomes an alcoholic. She is my favorite character because she has overcome a lot in her life. I also like her friend Lara because she has juvenile arthritis and has to use a cane or wheelchair and makes Charlotte appreciate what she has.

Is your book part of series? If so what can readers expect to find in your series? It’s not yet but it could be

Do you have a specific writing style? Hmmm….not really

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?   Sometimes I am not sure where to go with the story and don’t work on it like I should

What are your current projects? My Charlotte story, a story about a non-Jewish persecuted person in World War II and a kid’s ghost story

Can you share a little of your current work with us? It’s too long

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Not really, it’s pure imagination!

What books have most influenced your life most? Do you have a mentor? I love Eva Ibbotson, Roald Dahl, Bruce Coville, Ray Bradbury, Tolstoy….   I don’t have a mentor though

Have you ever been able to travel in regards to your books? What was it like?   No, unfortunately

Do you have any advice for other writers? Keep working on it no matter what!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?  Read my work!

What book are you reading now? The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury and Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Do you remember the first book you read? If not tell us what your favourite book is and why.   It’s Spring!

Other than writing do you have any hobbies? I love to read, walk and hike. I also enjoy movies

Do you have a day job? If so, what do you do? I’m a speech therapist

What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching? The Simpsons, Disney films, I love Lucy, The Addams Family

Favourite foods /Colors/Music.   Lasagna, silver and purple. I like most kinds of music (except country). I listen to classical when I write

 

Twitter:  Elenaspeech

Purchase links for my novel: Hopefully coming soon!

Inspiration comes in the most Mundane

I often find that inspiration can be lacking. I think all writers go through this at some point. Sometimes we are so focused and have so much to do, yet trying to think of a story idea to work on can lead to frustration and apathy. I have struggled with this from time to time. I always find that the longer I don’t write for, the harder it is to get back into the swing of it and generate new ideas.

Currently, I’m working on my no zero days policy which is going well. Some days I write thousands of words, sometimes hundreds, sometimes just enough to call it a no zero day. While those days disappoint me I always have to remind myself to take each day as it comes.

I’m trying to enter a lot of short stories at the minute as well as editing my novel and I find that my biggest source of inspiration for this is my partner. I bounce ideas off him or tell him what the call is and he’s usually really great at getting my brain sparked and getting me writing. We seem to be on the same wavelength and we both wonder at odd things and pose silly questions to each other, you know those ‘what if’ questions. It never fails to get me thinking and that’s what I need. That’s what everybody needs. Something–or someone–who sparks your creativity.

A couple of things I do to spark my creativity:

* talk to my partner.
* pay close attention to my dreams.
* ask myself and others and situations the question: what if.
* look at my everyday life and the people in it.

I keep a notebook of my ideas, things I might want to work on in the future, things that interest me but I don’t have time to work on. It means that even if that spark hasn’t worked for me at this point, I know it might in the future. Sometimes just going back through that notebook is enough.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Working and Writing

I don’t know about you, but I’m not lucky enough to be able to write full time. I don’t expect to be able to write full time either and if I’m honest, I think I would become a major expert at procrastinating should it ever become the case! I work full time in order to support myself and my partner. I am lucky enough to actually really love my job. I am a support worker in a job where I meet new people regularly, work with some of the best colleagues I could ask for and I’m given full autonomy to make my own decisions and get on with my work. No two days are ever the same and I like that. I absolutely love it.

On the other hand, my job does get pretty tiring. I work a shift pattern of earlys, mids and lates. It’s a pattern that just recently came in too so I’m still trying to get used to it but after a full month run through I have to say I quite like it. The problem I’ve found so far is that, through my early shifts I come home still full of energy and raring to write. Which is obviously great.

The mids, I’ve found so far, have been the worst. The shift spans the middle of the day meaning I don’t really have a lot of time before or after work. I come home tired and struggle to write anything at all. The lates give me a little more time in the morning to write but of course it means I need to drag my ass out of bed and make a sustained effort to stay awake and write! (Okay, it’s not that bad considering I’m really a morning person!)

On top of this shift pattern, if you remember I’m going for a no zero day. So far I have succeeded (except one day in January) and I’m proud of myself but at the same time (particularly when I did those mid shifts) I found that I was maybe writing a couple of hundred words, if that, per day. And that really bums me. When I write I like to sit down and really crank out the word count otherwise I don’t feel like I’ve achieved much. Of course it won’t happen everyday but so far this month, my word count is pretty atrocious compared to January.

I have a lot of short stories on the go with ideas spinning through my mind as well as edits on a novel and I get frustrated when I don’t have time to sit and write (or edit). This weekend I’m off and as well as everything else (housework, DIY, gym, socialising), I hope to get some major writing done.

Do any of you work full time? What is your day job? How do you manage writing and working full time? If you don’t work, do you have any suggestions for us?

Post-publication and cats

Life post publication is still a little bit surreal. I still can’t quite believe my novel is out there and that people are buying it and reading it. I haven’t had any reviews for it yet though the people that I have spoken to ensure me that they are enjoying it. Still, I feel a little uneasy, you know? Having a review would at least be something concrete and give others a way to judge the book and hopefully encourage them to pick up a copy.

I’m getting quite involved in some anthologies at the minute too. So it means that although I’ve finished Nano and I’m taking a break from longer writing, I still have something to keep my brain ticking over. I just entered a short story to Sirens Call Publications this morning about a man stuck in a mental asylum who is desperate to get out. I’ve also got another short to work on today if I have time (as it’s due tomorrow) about spirits but considering I’m at the beginning of a twelve hour shift, I’m not convinced I’ll have time to get it done!

I’m looking forward to tonight too when I finish work as we have a night of bad food (burgers) and movies planned which should be nice. Then I only have a few more days left at work before I have a week off. It’s my six year anniversary with my partner and we’re celebrating my going to visit the Harry Potter Studio. I cannot wait, you would not believe! It’ll be awesome just to get away and to not have to drive it a brilliant concept too hehe.

We’ve also recently adopted another cat into our family. It belongs to my sister but her situation has changed dramatically which means she can’t keep her. At first it was a bit sketchy and she hid under the sofa out of claws reach of our other kitty for over thirty hours. She came out overnight last night and ate all of her food and used her litter tray which is a big improvement. And this morning I was in for a shock when she crawled out from under the sofa right in front of our kitty and done a few laps of the living room (with kitty following like a lost puppy dog) and then came for a cuddle before going back under. It’s slow but it’s progress!

For now it’s more work and contemplation on writing.