Tag Archives: writing

My Writing Process

Thanks to MK Chester for including me in this fantastic blog tour. It’s a great way to meet new authors and discover their books. The tour was started by Laurel O’Donnell weeks ago and it’s all about writing – why we write and how we write. Here we go!

promo11) What am I working on?

I’m working on the sequel to my award-winning romantic suspense REFLECTION (A Whitney Steel Novel). RETRIBUTION is the continuing story of reporter Whitney Steel, former FBI agent Blake Barnett (aka Neely), and two of the most bad-ass villains you’ll ever have the pleasure to meet on paper–Nathan Shaw and Pablo Sanchez. Here is the blurb:

THE WAR HAS JUST BEGUN…

Once the top leader of the Sur del Calle cartel, Colombia’s largest drug trafficking organization, Pablo Sanchez has declared revenge against Blake Barnett, the FBI agent who’d killed his twin brother over a decade ago.

After one failed attempt forced him to flee the United States, Pablo has a bold new plan and he’s even more determined to kill Blake and his fiancée, Whitney Steel.

From Las Vegas to the militant infected jungles of Bogota, Blake has no choice but to risk his life and infiltrate the cartel’s inner world and eliminate the ruthless drug lord.

But the price of failure is higher than ever as he’s forced to use the woman he loves as a pawn in a deadly game—where the events of the past and present collide.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I think my work differs from others in its genre because I’m a cinematic writer. I write as if watching a movie so my books are an action-packed-steroid-induced thrill-ride combined with sizzling romance. I also try to use some type of controversial topic in all my books. Human cloning is one of them (REFLECTION) and has caused lots of debate over the years. It gets people talking.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I enjoy reading the suspense and thriller genres. I always have. I’ve been a huge fan of the romantic suspense genre since I was in my teens. So why not write what I love? <smile>

4) How does your writing process work?

When I start working a novel, I always begin with only a title and the main characters names. Next, I plot out one or two plot points either on a white board with post-it notes or more recently I’ve been using Scrivener (great writing software). I proceed to write the first chapter without knowing much about my characters but quickly learn who they are by the third chapter. At this point, I use Deb Dixon’s Goal Motivation & Conflict tools to increase the internal and external tension in each scene which easily leads me to plotting out the remaining plot points.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy the rest of the tour. Next week, author Mary Waibel will post her writing process blog. Mary is the author of THE PRINCESS OF VALENDRIA series- a set of fractured fairytale fantasies- Quest of the Hart, Charmed Memories, and Different Kind of Knight from MuseItUpPublishing, and Faery Marked, book one of THE FAERY SERIES releasing Summer 2014 from BookFish Books.

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Publishing Purgatory – One Door Closes…Another Door Opens

1904072_818802294802142_1770238198_nI’ve been asked many times about my journey to publication. So here is my story…

I began my publishing adventure with my romantic suspense, REFLECTION, back in 2008 when I landed my first agent. Signing the agent contract was so exciting. A big-time-thrill-ride especially after I had queried hundreds of reputable agents. Finally it had happened!

Well not quite…

Three months later, the agent decided to close her agency due to personal reasons. At first I was devastated, all my hard work down the drain, then I remembered, “one door closes…another one opens.”

I’m not the type to give up. This was my dream. And I was going to make it happen. So after a short break, I began my agent query process again in early 2009.

Two months passed, and I received a representation offer from Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. I was literally jumping up and down. I knew Marsal Lyon was one of the best in the business and Jill loved and wanted my book! I think I cried and happy-danced for days.
It had really happened!

But…

The economy crashed in 2010 and publishers were hit hard. Some disappeared, some restructured, others decided it was time to jump on the e-publishing bandwagon. Things were changing.

In my opinion, getting published by one of the “Big Publishers” is part luck—part timing. Timing was not on my side.
I kept my rejections from back then and all the rejection letters had wonderful things to say about REFLECTION but 95% mentioned the word, “economy”. Urgh!

What was my best rejection?

“Thank you so much for sending REFLECTION by Kim Cresswell, for my review. I can definitely see why you are working with Kim. She crafts a very intriguing story with great sexual tension, and lots of action. Unfortunately, however, after many reads and much discussion, the overall consensus was that the story is lacking a big hook to make it stand out on our list.” (Warner Books)

After exhausting all major traditional publishing avenues, we began sending REFLECTION to e-publishers.

Then I received a fantastic letter of praise from a “biggie” e-publisher suggesting I rewrite REFLECTION to fit their line as a category romantic suspense and re-submit. I can say there were many sleepless nights trying to decide if I should rewrite REFLECTION. I wanted to be published so badly.

In the end, I choose not to rewrite my book. The story was a mainstream romantic suspense and it was going to stay that way.

As authors, sometimes we need to bend, need to make tough decisions about our writing career.

For me, it was ‘passing’ with the “biggie” e-publisher and going with a small press publisher. Did I make the right decision? At the time, I believe I did.

With the release of LETHAL JOURNEY last November, I went a different route with this story and self-published. As an author, I want to experience everything and it’s been an interesting adventure.

This past week I received my rights back for my debut romantic suspense, REFLECTION. The book will be re-launching on May 23rd under my KC Publishing Imprint! I can’t wait.

If I could change any part of my publishing journey, would I? Not a chance. What I have learned over the years about the industry, my writing and about myself—is invaluable.

Rone Award Nominee ~ REFLECTION by Kim Cresswell #ian1 #romanticsuspense

2013_RONE_Nominee_200I’m thrilled to announce that my award-winning romantic suspense REFLECTION is nominated for the prestigious InD’tale magazine’s 2014 RONE award “spotlighting the very best and rewarding excellence in the 2013 Indie and Small Publishing Industry”.

reflection333x500A reporter’s determination to expose an illegal human cloning project places an innocent child in the crosshairs of a master criminal.

Voting begins April 7th until April 13th. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to vote. 🙂

VOTE HERE to vote online!

If you don’t want to subscribe to vote online, you can still vote via email by sending the following message to: anasmith @ indtale.com (remove the spaces)

I’d like to vote for REFLECTION by Kim Cresswell for Suspense/thrillers (Week 5) April 7-13

A Quickie (interview) with Author Kim Cresswell #IAN1 #suspense #thriller #truecrime

kimblueaprilWhat are you working on right now?
I’m working on two books: The much-anticipated sequel to my award-winning romantic thriller, REFLECTION (working title – Retribution). I can’t wait to share more of Blake and Whitney’s story with the world. I’m also writing Deadly Shadow, the first book in a four book supernatural thriller series. This series is going to be exciting!

Can you tell us what genre you write?
I write a variety of different genres; mainly suspense and thrillers. I also write true crime short stories. Real Life Evil – A True Crime Quickie (Book One) released was in January 2014. You can also find more of my true crimes stories in Serial Killer Quarterly, a new e-magazine published by Grinning Man Press.

What is your all-time favorite book?
My favorite book would have to be Waiting Wives: The Story of Schilling Manor, Home Front to the Vietnam War by Donna Moreau. “In 1964, as the first B-52s took flight in what would become America’s longest combat mission, an old Air Force base on the plains of Kansas became Schilling Manor — the only base ever to be set aside for the wives and children of soldiers assigned to Vietnam.” It’s an incredible story about determination, strength and love!

Is there anything you want to make sure potential readers know?
If you enjoy edge-of-the-seat suspense, loads of action, and hot romance, you will enjoy my cinematic writing style. I write as if I’m watching a movie and I hope readers enjoy the show. (I highly recommend having some popcorn on hand.) 🙂

Is there a message in your writing you want readers to grasp?
I think there is a message in my books: No matter what life hands you, you are strong and can and will overcome!

Why do you think what you do matters?
Being an author does matter. I’m a huge supporter of freedom of speech. I also try to use some type of controversial topic in all my books. Human cloning (REFLECTION) is one of them and has caused lots of debate over the years. It gets people talking.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in your book?
Quite a lot—especially in Lauren Taylor, the heroine from LETHAL JOURNEY. She has my drive and strength incorporated into her character and a few more character traits.

Who influenced your writing once you began?
I wonderful woman I meet online. Her name was Christina Harris. She was a friend, my writing mentor, and a two-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Finalist. She taught me a lot and really helped me write LETHAL JOURNEY. I couldn’t have done it without her. Unfortunately, she died before I finished writing my debut romantic thriller, REFLECTION.

 What is your favorite quote?
“In the middle of the world, make one positive step. In the center of chaos, make one definitive act. Just write.” ―Natalie Goldberg

Book Talk ~ Ingredients of a Great Thriller

Every now and then you read a novel that has you glued to the story because the action is moving at warp-speed and you’re swept away not wanting to stop reading until you know how it turns out.

The tension rises and you ride along with the characters feeling every blow right up until the climax.

In my opinion, the main ingredient in a bestselling thriller is emotion. If you feel the story in your heart and gut then the author has done his or her job.

A great thriller is unpredictable. What if the FBI agent leading a murder investigation is the killer?

A great thriller has deadlines—the ticking clock. Will the FBI agent be caught before he kills again?

A great villain is a must-have in any thriller—a villain that stirs feelings of hatred, fear, disgust and sometimes empathy in the reader.

A main character who is worthy to fight the villain and hopefully win.

The setting and the action must also be believable for the reader because if the reader doesn’t believe, the story ends.

In Lethal Journey, my heroine, Lauren Taylor, is a New York district attorney. She’s taking on the most important and dangerous case of her career, prosecuting mob boss, Gino Valdina and it’s not going to be an easy journey for her.

As the story progresses, it’s unpredictable, has deadlines, a villain who evokes fear, hatred and empathy, and a heroine and hero who are physically and emotionally worthy to battle the villain to the end.

Lethal Journey900“Lethal Journey, a fast-paced novella hits all the points of a romantic murder mystery. The protagonist is Lauren Taylor, the prosecutor in the trial of a Mafia crime boss who once before slid out from under the punishment he so deserves. Her father is the district attorney, both enmeshed in a tragic family history they can’t leave behind. Eric Brennan is the tough police detective, who moves in and out of Lauren’s life as their sometimes love connection flourishes and then falls apart. There are other great characters in this drama who deftly fill in the blanks as the plot of murder, deception and tenuous connections twist into a knot that defies the reader to solve the mystery and unearth the true antagonist. Be prepared for a surprise ending that will blow you away. –Fran Orenstein, Sunwriter

On sale at a special price for a limited time! 

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Book Highlight ~ The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard + $10 GC Giveaway

Title: The Forgotten Ones

Author: Laura Howard

Genre: New Adult Fantasy

Series: The Danaan Trilogy #1

Published: April 28, 2013

Allison O’Malley’s plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she’s been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison’s mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn’t trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother’s sanity.

Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.

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Ingredients of a Great Thriller

Every now and then you read a novel that has you glued to the story because the action is moving at warp-speed and you’re swept way not wanting to stop reading until you know how it turns out.

The tension rises and you ride along with the characters feeling every blow right up until the climax.

In my opinion, the main ingredient in a bestselling thriller is emotion. If you feel the story in your heart and gut then the author has done his or her job.

A great thriller is unpredictable. What if the FBI agent leading a murder investigation is the killer?

A great thriller has deadlines—the ticking clock. Will the FBI agent be caught before he kills again?

A great villain is a must-have in any thriller—a villain that stirs feelings of hatred, fear, disgust and sometimes empathy in the reader.

A main character who is worthy to fight the villain and hopefully win.

The setting and the action must also be believable for the reader because if the reader doesn’t believe, the story will end.

In Lethal Journey, my heroine, Lauren Taylor, is a New York district attorney. She’s taking on the most important and dangerous case of her career, prosecuting mob boss, Gino Valdina and it’s not going to be an easy journey for her.

As the story progresses, it’s unpredictable, has deadlines, a villain who evokes fear, hatred and empathy, and a heroine and hero who are physically and emotionally worthy to battle the villain to the end.

333x500

Pre-order Lethal Journey, my new “short novel” thriller at the special price of $0.99 and SAVE $3.00!

chapters.indigo.ca – Kobo eBook: http://ow.ly/pwbti
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iTunes: http://goo.gl/eIsBBw
B&N: http://goo.gl/enh1HJ

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