Awaken Jaime Guerard: Answering Questions From Instagram!

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One More Thing…

I was about to sign off for the night (it’s 11:00 pm right now) but something was itching at me, so I’m back online and posting this now.

Today was one of those days where there is just not enough hours in the day to do everything. I got up really early this morning to blog and then worked all day. I came home, spent time with the kids before starting on edits on Lost. I was thinking (just a few moments ago) how much I admire writers. The writers who work full time/ part time, have families and after everyone is asleep get on the computer to write until the wee hours in the night/morning. The authors who don’t sleep and only live on caffeine to get them through the day…you all are the ones I look up too!

So many times I feel like giving up because it’s so much work. But then I think…I’d be giving up my passion, my dreams and goals. I’d be giving up on these characters that are stuck in my head and want to have their story told. I’d be letting everyone down and letting myself down.

It’s so easy to say, “I’ll work on it tomorrow.” Or “I’ll just watch this movie and then start on it.” But that never happens. Now, don’t get me wrong…I’ll NEVER quit writing. This is what I’m meant to do! I love it and it’s what makes me happy.

I love the quotes:

“Never give up on something you really want. It’s difficult to wait, but more difficult to regret.”

“I’m not telling you it is going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”

“Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.”

So again, authors near and far, authors who I know and others that I’ve never met…you all are amazing and all the work that you do is inspiring! Keep it up and never give up on your dreams!

Good night everyone!

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote

2014 Is Here…So What’s Next?

2013 is gone and 2014 is just beginning! I’ve had some amazing things happen in 2013 that I’ll never forget, but the most memorable was publishing my first novel. Back in 2008 when I began writing Awaken, I never would’ve thought I would call myself a published author.  It’s an incredible feeling! I’ve worked many years for this accomplishment and I have many of you to thank for making my dreams become a reality. Thank you to all my fans, friends and family who keep me going everyday and who love my story as much as I do.

So the big question is…what’s next for 2014!?

A LOT! I have a lot of goals and visions for this next year! Of course the first on the list is finish Lost and publish it! For those of you who don’t know I’m editing Lost right now and I hope to publish in the spring. If you haven’t picked up a copy of Awaken (the first novel in The Awaken Series) you can CLICK HERE to get your copy on Amazon or CLICK HERE for B&N.

I’m going to be sending my novel off to some publishers who have expressed some interest in Awaken. **Dramatic pause, as I bite my nails** And one of my goals of this year is to possibly query some agents and publishers and see where that takes me. This will be my first time doing all of this so wish me luck!

Another resolution that I have (something that I’ve neglected in 2013) is blog more! This sounds easy, right? WRONG! Scheduling times to sit down and blog is a lot of work and it’s not always easy. I do miss writing out what’s happening in my life and talking about where my novels are at. However, marketing and blogging is a full time job and sometimes it’s really hard to find the time. I’m turning it around and you should see more of me this year! So I better here from you as well! 😉

2014 I’ve told myself that I will start to do book signings. I’ve had to turn many of them down last year (life was just getting in the way) but I do plan on attending book signing and I’ll let you know when and where I’ll be so you can come out and see me!

Something else that I’ve told myself will happen this year is have book 3 (in the Awaken Series) all done and edited. I know it’s a lot but I think I can do it. I have so many novels in my head and I can’t wait to start writing them but I need to focus on this first series before I start diving into more novels! However, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t begun to write some of them last year *wink, wink*

And last, is read more this year! You would think that all I do is read, but that’s not the case. As much as I love reading (and as big as my TBR List is) finding time to read is very difficult to do when I work full time, write my novels and have a family. Time is scarce. However, I’ve already started on my reading list and I can’t wait to read all the novels that I have on my bookshelf!

So that’s it. That’s some of my goals for 2014. I’d love to hear your goals! Make sure you comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

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Where have you been?

Hi all!

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted in here (sorry about that), but I’m going to start blogging again, and wanted to send a quick post to let you know what’s been going on with book 2, in the Awaken Series.

Right now I’m editing Lost (book 2) and I have plans to publish Lost in March 2014, which is exactly one year from when I published Awaken. I’m really excited about where the novel is at, and I can’t wait to show you the cover soon!

If you have any questions for me please leave a comment below. So for now, I’m off to editing! Have a great day everyone!

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The Do’s & Don’ts

For all you writers out there you might want to listen in for a moment. I need to talk to you about something very, very important right now…you ready? Are you sure your listening? Okay, well here it is…don’t fill your pages with a bunch of meaningless, everyday “stuff”. What I mean by this is, don’t in every single chapter, all the way through the entire book, write what your character ate at every single meal…WE DON’T WANT TO KNOW THIS!

Now, the flip side to this is, you do have to make your character believable so you will need to have some meals placed in there occasionally but just make sure you have a point to it. Whatever you put in each chapter make sure that it’s building your storyline and has a purpose.

I know sometimes its really hard to write certain chapters and fill up your book. Nobody wants to read a 250 page book that lacks substance, they want a solid story. So if you’re having trouble coming up with things to say or different scenes perhaps you just need to step away from writing for a few days and come back to it.

Also, the reader wants diversity. Don’t write the same “type” of scene for three chapters. Example, don’t write, in three chapters, your character learning how to play golf (perhaps that’s a bad example but you get the picture). If you have to write it like this make it interesting. Build in emotion or build intensity (if that’s the type of manuscript you are writing). Make the reader want to find out what will happen. Make the reader fall in love with your characters!

I only bring this up because I recently read a book (no I’m not going to tell you which book it was) and almost the entire 500 pages was stuffed full of what type of foods the characters ate, what it smelled like, what it tasted like, etc. There was no back story to justify putting it in there. I felt like the writer didn’t know what to say and so she threw it in there to “fill up the pages” with something. It didn’t grow the story in anyway. So if your characters are eating please give them something interesting to say.

Pick A Name…Any Name

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So it’s Saturday morning and I have only had about three hours of sleep. Why do you ask did I only get three hours of sleep? Well…the simple answer is, my mind just wouldn’t shut off! Remember the post titled Get In My Head? Don’t worry, it’s nothing like that post. It’s just that as I near the final days of the big “waiting game” the pressures of it all begin to pile on and my mind begins to fill up with everything I still need to accomplish.

The big hurdle that I’m facing right now is the name. About two years ago I came up with the perfect name. I was dead set on it until recently. While I was searching B&N, I discover a book (that was just released) with the same name I was going to name my MS. For all you authors out there who have had a similar experience like this one, you know what I’m talking about when I say that my heart sank. I literally sat at he computer for a good half-n-hour with my mouth hanging open as I silently screamed NOOOOOOOO! You see, I’ve been working on this current MS for four years and it took me two of those four years to settle on a name in the first place.

Since that decision to put that name to rest and re-name my book it’s been a very tiresome process. Every time I think of something else and google it I find many books with the same name. It would be okay if the book was years old or not in my genre but all the names I come up with are taken.

So here begs the question…do I give up?

No, silly! 

Of course I wont give up, but what I do need is a little help. Perhaps, some of you creative thinkers out there might have some great words that you could through my way. My last post I gave a small sneak peek into my book. You can see that here. Read it and if you think of anything that might help me out please send me an email. You can email me in the contact me page here.

BIG NEWS! To anyone who suggest a name and I actually pick it, I will give them an advanced copy of my book! So again just send me a message in the contact me page or send me a personal message on my facebook.

It’s All Part Of The Process

Hello all! It’s me again. I know I haven’t blogged in a week (been busy) but I’m back and ready to talk out my thoughts or write about them – however you want to see it.

So this week has been a lot of editing and researching. The editing process – well…hmmm…big over dramatic sigh – it’s a process. You know the old saying, don’t put the cart before the horse, well that saying rings true now, more than ever. Let me elaborate. You know when you work on something and you spend an ungodly amount of time perfecting it to the point where you finally think to yourself, it’s finished! Well, let me tell you friends, it’s only the beginning. What you just did was set the foundation for your story, put up a few walls and now (when an editor digs into it) it gets bulldozed to the ground and then you have to rebuild it back up again from the rubble.

I’ve recently sent my manuscript out to my second editor to polish it up and get it ready. What I didn’t expect was to get it back and see that every page was covered in red! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely thankful that I haven’t released it yet only to wake up the next morning to a critic ripping me apart, bit by bit (I’ve had nightmares about this). However, it does hit you right in the gut and you begin to think to yourself, will it ever be ready? I know the answer to that question is, yes it will, it’s just a very long process and sometimes I begin to go a little crazy…waiting and waiting and waiting.

With the research I’ve done, I kind of put it into two categories The Helpful category and the I’m Going To Beat My Head Against The Wall category. 1st the “help full” category is just that, helpful. It’s nice to get insight on how other’s have “done it” and then put it to use in your own work. The flip side to this is that you can completely have a mental breakdown reading what other authors say; I got an agent! I got the first copy of my book in the mail! I got a book deal! I’ve sold 10,000 copies in one day! You tend to (at least for me) start believing that your work is complete and it needs to be out there now. But like I said it’s a process and I have to keep telling myself to be patient.

The great part, and the thing that has made all the time I have spent worth it, is seeing the imperfections work themselves out and start to become what you had dreamed the story could be.

I’m beginning to see the finish line and when that day comes, when I can finally say “It’s complete”, I will look back on all the work and all the stressing and all the countless hours of asking myself “why not now” I will be able to say that it all happened at the right time.

    

Pass The Info Please!

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I’m taking a break from editing my MS, for the moment, to clear my head before I get back to it. Sometimes you just have to step away and refocus before you can go on. So I thought I would talk a little bit about my writing style and how I wrote this current MS.

A lot of people have made comments like: I have a story in mind but I’m not sure how to start it. Or possibly the most common question: What are some of your writing secrets?

Without taking too much time, let’s just dive right in shall we?

When I got the concept for this story I was living in a small town in Northern California and was a stay-at-home-mom who has never wrote anything since high school. I’ve always had a creative mind, having stories and songs come to me but never really took the time to write it out. So to say I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing, is no exaggeration. I was walking into this blind. What I did know was I HAD to write it! So that’s what I did. I sat down and wrote. I wrote and wrote until my eye crossed.

Starting out I had a good idea of the structure of the book and major details (there are three big events in the first MS that needed to happen) but everything else needed to be thoughtfully planned out (it was kind of all bunched up in my head, like a big ball of yarn or a sticky bowl of noodles). I’ve heard many authors give advice as to what tools they used to plot out a story. For those of you that need to plan it out ahead of time, there are many different programs that can help. I, on the other hand, haven’t used anything like that. I guess my brain works differently.

I just take it one chapter at a time, think about what needs to be in it, how I need to get to the major event and what characters need to be introduced. From there, I just write. When I started, I was into my second month, on my second chapter trying to get it perfect, when my husband said to me, “you’re never going to finish if you keep editing it”. And he was right. For all you new writers out there, just write it out, even if it’s terrible. Just get the concept out and onto the paper. This is what I call vomit onto the page. Because that’s what it will be on your first draft, vomit. It’s not going to be pretty, it’s not going to flow right but if you don’t do it then you might not ever finish.

Another reason why I’m glad I listened to my husband about waiting to edit until the very end, was this, I had wrote several things (details) that I thought were extra fluff and at the time I thought I should possibly delete. But then I remembered what my husband had said about not stopping and just keep writing. So instead I highlighted it in red and went on. When I went back to read my work and start on the editing process I went over all the lines that I was going to take out and realized that those little details (that I thought were extra fluff) really needed to be in there to tie in with the ending! So just because you’re not sure why you wrote something doesn’t mean that in the end you won’t need it.

In conclusion, if I was to give you one piece of advice for anyone who wants to write, it would be this, don’t talk yourself out of it. It’s so easy to do. If I had listened to those inter thoughts, ‘you’re not good enough to write’ or ‘you don’t have enough time to do that,’ then I wouldn’t be here at the final stages of the publishing process. I never want to look back and ask the question, what if?

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Get In My Head

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I was in bed the other night when my husband turns to me and asks a question that he wishes now he never asked, “What are you thinking about?” Now, for all you men out there who want to know what your women in thinking, let me give you a little insight as to what my husband would say to you…

“STOP! YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO!”

Normally, I would take offense to this but in that very brief minute, what ran through my head was this:

It all began with me signing (in my head) one of NSYNC songs (don’t judge me). That went straight to (what I refer to as the snowball effect)…Jessica Biel & Justin Timberlake just got married…Jessica had a pink wedding dress…I’m kind of hungry…what should we have for dinner tomorrow…maybe I should read my book…I wonder if I should go make sure that my boys are covered up under their covers…it’s kind of cold in here tonight…I’m getting tired…etc.

There is more but I think I will spare you the rest of the details.

So as you can see, I guess I can’t blame him from stopping himself every time he wants to ask me that question.

So why (do you ask) did I tell you all of this? Well I’ll tell you! When you’re a writer, all day long you think in dialog. You wake up to sentences running through your head, you make breakfast daydreaming about a scene in your manuscript, you sit and listen to a lecture and realize you are trying to pull something out of the speech that could be used in your MS (happens more often to me than not) or you watch a movie and take notes in your head about how a specific idea can be used. That’s what happens to me on a daily basis.

So for today, I’ve been getting the itch to start writing one of my other novel concepts (even though this current manuscript that I’m working on isn’t out yet). I don’t know if other author’s experience the same thing but my mind has a tendency to just not stop creating, working & dreaming up stories. I guess it can be a good thing because I have 16 chapters already done for the second book in my current series I’m on now but it could distract me also. So for now I will put that “itch” aside and keep working hard on this MS.

Perhaps, writing on this blog will sustain my desires to start new projects before I release my current work.