The Thing About Writing


The thing about writing is that sometimes you get overwhelmed.  That's what happened me.  I've been working on my debut fiction novel, Forever Branded, for months now and I'm nowhere near being finished with it.  Well, I was until  I had a fit of writer's rage and deleted pretty much everything I written except for the first chapter!

Talk about morphing into a crazy person.  Or least that's what I felt like when that moment of What-did-I-just-do? hit me.  I know you're probably thinking I could have just recovered everything from my recycling folder and maybe I could have if I had typed everything and saved it to my computer.  You see, I'm a bit of a traditionalist and I like to write my works out my hand first in a notebook.

So, I pretty much shredded up everything into thousands of tiny little pieces and chucked it in my real recycling can outside of my apartment.  The realization that I had placed myself back at square one didn't hit me for a few days. But you know what, the thing about writing is that sometimes, starting over from nearly scratch can be a good thing.  After I got over my initial state of panic, I realized why I scraped it in the first place.

The ideas for the novel were coming faster than I could keep up with.  I would be writing one chapter and an idea for chapter 10 would pop into my head but if I took a break from writing the current chapter to jot down the ideas for chapter 10, I'd lose my flow.  So, I tried to keep track of the future ideas in my head but they just kept coming and eventually I forgot them and that's what ultimately overwhelmed me. I was frustrating myself trying to remember them and then forcing myself to fill pages with words and plots that I knew in my heart wasn't right or wasn't the initial plan I had fell in love with.

I've been so excited to get Forever Branded out (and I still am) that my mind got ahead of me a little bit (ok a lot).  And I'm not one of those writers who can juggle multiple ideas in my head while I work on another chapter, one or two sure, but three, five or ten and all the balls fall.  So, where am I now with Forever Branded?

Well, I've tweaked chapter 1 a little bit.  Nothing major because I pretty love how it starts.  It really opens the story up with a bang.  And I'm currently working on chapter 2.  The idea came to me last Friday night while I was laying in bed.  I had been sort of pouting about what I was going to do with Forever  Branded and how to progress from the tweaks in the first chapter and it came to me.

I feel a change this time around.  Future ideas are in my mind, but they're manageable.  I've found my fiction writing groove again.  I feel like I needed the whole mad writer experience to get me to this place of calm that I'm at now because it's been ages since I've written any new fiction.  I'm hammering out nonfiction articles throughout the week almost everyday.  So, I needed to find my fiction mojo and I feel like I have.

I want Forever Branded to be something that I will be proud of once it's done not for readers but just because it's my first full length book.  It's first fiction baby, if you will.  So, when I read it in its entirety by the end I don't want think 'oh gosh that was a big waste of time.'  I want my heart to swell with pride.

I'm this for the long haul.  I'm just glad that now the pieces are finally falling into place the way should.

Happy writing and reading friends,

The Banovic Siblings Review + Interview With Author Gillian Felix

I recently had the opportunity to review The Banovic Siblings: Friends & Liars by Gillian Felix.  It's volume 2 of her adult novel Family Portrait series.  The Banovic Siblings is a well written, fast paced and riveting tale that takes readers inside of the double lives led by siblings Kevin, Zax and their sister, Adriana.

After trying to keep his two worlds separate, Kevin, the oldest, finds himself being blackmailed into continuing his affair with his mother's best friend, Savi.  The only problem is that since rescuing and taking a beating to save Savi's stepdaughter, he feels himself starting to become more into L'Wren.  But will his feelings for L'Wren cause Savi to spill the beans about their sex and his drug dealing extracurricular activities to his parents?

Then there's Zax, whose best friend, Frankie, is more of a foe than anything else.  How far will Zax go for his supposed best friend, who has an underage drinking problem and is purposefully dating Zax's dream girl?  What will it take for Zax to really wake up and see Frankie who he really is?

Their sister, Adriana, a former child soap opera actor, gets herself involved in a relationship with college boy, Haze Lyndon, who had been hired by her father to help with restoration projects around Banovic Manor.  The problem is that Adriana,15, is too young to be dating Haze, 22.  However, Haze doesn't know that he is dating  minor as Adriana has fibbed about her age.  Her secret is soon found and her mean girl attitude puts her at risk of getting called out, but who will be the one to drop hammer, her classmate Leighann or Carys, a fellow college student who has had a crush on Haze for months?

Felix does a fantastic job of keeping readers on their toes.  The action and drama flow nonstop from the being to end.  You won't want to put this book down once you start.  The Banovic Siblings is available for purchase in paperback and eBook format on Amazon: click here.  Don't forget to pick up volume one, Changes, if you haven't read it already: click here.  You can also purchase her books on Barnes & Nobles here.

In addition to reviewing, The Banovic Siblings, I was also giving the chance to interview the author herself.  Check out my interview with Gillian Felix below.

Interview With Author Gillian Felix

How did you come up with the idea for The Banovic Siblings?
The Banovic Siblings is the second novel in the Family Portrait series which was originally written as a television series, I have 24 episodes written and parts of episodes 2, 3 and 4 make up The Banovic Siblings.

What is your next project?
I am working on the 3rd novel in the Family Portrait novel series, I may call it Bastard’s Brew. What do you think? By now people have gotten to know the characters and fans are starting to choose their favorite characters. Book 3 will feature more about the mysterious bad boy Kevin Banovic. It is scheduled to be released in March/April 2014.
The best thing about writing this book?
The friendship I've developed with the characters, sounds weird but I love them, they've made me laugh, cry and get angry.

What made you become an author? Have you always wanted to write? 
I have always written. As a kid creative writing was one of my favorite subjects. I got my highest marks in that subject. Growing up I was told you have to "get a real job". I've had 'real' jobs and it always brought me back to writing. I worked at a television studio writing Prime time news, it was fun at first but then it got depressing. I tried to put a positive spin on the stories but that's not what 'news' is about.

What do you prefer? Ebook, Hardcover or a paperback?
Ebook only cuz I can have as many as I want and not have to worry about physical space. Plus if I hate it I can always delete it and forget about it. I love the look and feel of paperback or hard cover, if I really love a book I will get it.

What is the best thing about being independently published?

I love the flexibility of being able to tell the story how I want to tell it. It’s a lot more work but you have more control. How successful you are depends on the amount of work you put in.  A traditional publisher is great but I see now a lot of big name authors are going indie. They get to keep more of the profits, and have more creative control. I’m also an entrepreneur so I enjoy the business part of it and forming connections with bloggers like you.

Were any of the characters from The Banovic Siblings inspired by people you've met, seen on tv or a movie or read about in books?
No all the characters are people I've made up.

What is your writing process like?  Do you like to sit down and write for long periods of time?  Do you map out your stories first or go with the flow?
 I write at a little desk in a corner in my bedroom most of the time. However I can write anywhere inspiration takes me. During the week I write at night from 9p-12a. On Sundays I write from like about 5p-11p. I would have liked to write more during the day but my full time job is marketing the book, and writing articles for my blog.

I take notes or jot ideas in my 5 subject notebook, and then I hit the computer for the manuscript. When I’m outlining I have a white board that I do scene breakdowns on like you would see in the writer’s room of a television series. (I've attached a picture you can use if you like, it's a teaser to fans for book 3 coming out in April).

I read in your bio on that you are a big supporter/advocate for women and children.  What are some of your favorite charities that you've been or are still involved with?
I am currently a volunteer at the Children’s Grief Center of New Mexico . I volunteer every other Tuesday.

I create awareness of women’s issues mostly child marriage by featuring articles on my blog and interview organizations on their role in making life better for women. These articles are published every Monday.

What were your top 3 favorite books of 2013?
Harmattan by Gavin Weston, Come As You Are by Teresa Weir, Saving Rain by Karen-Anne Stewart

What was or will be your first read of 2014?

My first read of 2014 was After The Rain by Karen-Anne Stewart.

If you're interested in finding out more about Gillian Felix, you can follow her on Twitter, follow updates for the Family Portrait series on Facebook and check out her website Plain Talk Book Marketing.  You can also find her on GoodReads.  And if you're interested in winning your own copy of her latest book, The Banovic Siblings, be sure to enter the giveaway below: 

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Disclosure:  I received a free copy of The Banovic Siblings to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Until Next Time,