That time I went back to middle school

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On Tuesday, December 4th, I had the privilege of speaking to the 7th and 8th graders at a Wisconsin middle school about writing, publishing, and other ways they could join in the publishing industry. It was so much fun. The kids were amazing. While I know most likely want nothing to do with writing a book (and some were likely bored), they were so respectful and paid attention to what I had to say. Others are interested in writing and I was glad to be able to give them a little bit of knowledge to help direct them.

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Not only did I talk to them about these three aspects of the author industry, I tried to make as much of it as possible applicable to all of them. First, I presented to 3 classes of 7th graders before having a few hours for a break and then finished the day out with 3 classes of 8th graders. Needless to say that they were glad to have someone in the classroom to listen to who wasn’t a teacher.

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In the afternoon, the 8th graders would all come into the classroom and were like, “We don’t have to write today.” I heard that before every single class. Sorry folks, but you do. 😉  I gave each class a chance to ask whatever questions that they wanted, and whatever time was left, I gave them an assignment (which they handled with grace, of course). They were given three scenarios to write up to practice “Show, Don’t Tell”, and some read their work out loud, and it was really good.

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So, why does this impact me so much? I was their age when I wrote my first book. When I was in 8th grade, we were assigned to write a scary short story (I think it was around Halloween) so I wrote the scariest one I could think of, or most intense. At the time that was difficult for me. However, I loved the story and wanted to build on it, so that short story became the first chapter in my novel. I wish I would’ve known then more about publishing (although at the time publishing a novel wasn’t nearly as easy as it is today with ebooks).

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Back then I knew very little about the craft of writing a good story, but I wrote everyday (by hand) and worked on my craft. Since then, I’ve learned so much more, and I hope that I can inspire others to follow their dream and give them a bit more knowledge than what I had at their age.

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I hope I was able to impact the group, but one thing was certain, they sure reminded me what it was like to be back in school again. It reminded me a lot of the few years I substituted a while back. Good luck to all of you! You’re amazing!

Who Doesn’t Love a Book #ScavengerHunt?

HOLIDAY FACEBOOK
SCAVENGER HUNT
December 7-10

https://bookwrapt.com/holiday-scavenger-hunt/

Does the Christmas season already have you in a rush? Ditch your lengthy “To Do” list
for now play this fun and easy hunt! You could be the winner of our $90 See’s Candies
Holiday Gift Pack or win an Amazon gift card!

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With 36 authors participating—many hosting individual giveaways of their own—our
holiday tree is surrounded with prizes for some lucky booklovers to unwrap!

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Authors Participating in the Hunt

Alex Gordon • Amanda Uhl • Ani Gonzalez • Anna Durand • Anne McClane • Anne Stone
• Aubrey Wynne • Cailin Briste • Carrie Pulkinen • Christine Grabowski • CJ Warrant •
Debbie White • Donna R. Mercer • Greta Boris • Heather Karn • Holly Cortelyou • Jacqueline Diamond • Jacquie Biggar • Jim Stein • Joanne Fisher • Karen Michelle Nutt •
Kerry Adrienne • Kerry Blaisdell • Kristine Smith • Leigh LaValle • Maria Geraci •
Monique McDonell • PE Kavanagh • Peggy Jaeger • PG Forte • S.L. Sterling • Soraya
Naomi • Stella Marie Alden • Stephanie Queen • Taylor Marsh • Aileen Harkwood

It’s #Christmas time, which means it’s time for a Christmas #Sale!

You read that right! It’s time for my annual Christmas sale on all of my Christmas books! Currently there are three, with plans to add a new one to the line up every year. Next year’s book is already underway (what better time to write a Christmas book than at Christmas time?).

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This Christmas Collection was never planned. The first book, First Christmas, was planned, but I never intended to write more than that one book in this world, but by popular demand, I’ve given two more of the characters books. Now that I’ve started, so many other characters have decided that they want their own books as well, and who am I to say no? After you finish Evergreen Christmas, you’ll have to take a guess at who’s next!

In each of these books I try to leave a piece of Christmas magic behind with a bit of a message for the season. It’s my favorite time of year. It always has been. I’d say it’s hereditary actually. Most people don’t know me long before they realize how much of a Christmas addict/fanatic I am.

That being said, I hope you take the time to read these books and find the messages within, as well as enjoy the adventures along the way. Like my other books, these are paranormal romances, and they feature ice dragon shifters, elves, polar bear shifters, and more!

You can access them here, at my Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Heather-Karn/e/B01JCXJLCI

#NaNoWriMo Update. What Exactly Am I Working On? #Goodquestion

The story I’d planned to do for NaNoWriMo was a fairytale retelling featuring dragon shifters. I’m not going to tell you which fairytale yet because that project is still on the docket and I’m not quite ready to drop that info, especially not when the writing of it keeps getting pushed back. It was supposed to have been completed earlier this year (much earlier) but it hasn’t happened yet.

So, anyway, that project got bumped for one that I thought up during my lunch walk on November 1st. Yes, the day of NaNoWriMo I up and decide to change my project. That thought was terrifying since there’s a limited time to get 50k words and I didn’t even have a plot for this book. That’s normal since I’m a pantser, but usually I have SOME idea of what’s going to happen. Here, again, I had two characters and that was it, but as the story began to unfold, everything started falling into place. By the end of Day 9, I had over 36k words. As a rule I don’t write on Sundays (I need the break and I consider it work), but I also took Saturday off too. My mind would not let me concentrate on words.

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Now, I still have no idea how long this book is going to be, but the plot is coming together nicely, and I think you’re going to love it. The cover is ready to be revealed, but I’m going to wait a bit longer. So, be looking for that reveal in the coming months!

But the best news of all? I completed NaNoWriMo last night with just over 50k words! And still the story isn’t complete, so now to try and finish it by the end of the month. It’ll take a lot of work, but I think I can somehow manage it. But we’ll see. It’s been an adventure, and while bits and pieces show themselves as I write, I love being just as surprised as those who will read it by the twists and turns.

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I’m slowly decorating my apartment for Christmas, which has only helped add to my love of writing, mostly because I love writing by Christmas tree light. So, decorating is a must. In the meantime, I’m going to be writing like crazy to get this story finished! Keep a lookout for cover, blurb, and release details in the coming months! (And I hope you enjoyed the above teaser…I wrote it in a car, but quit because writing was too hard with all the bouncing.)

Updates…lots of updates to come

New Year’s resolution for 2019: Keep up on this website! I always have lofty goals for it, but they never pan out as I’d hoped they would. So, next year I’ll be trying harder to focus on this site. Until then, updates from this year are going to be coming your way!

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In the meantime, today is Evergreen Christmas’s release, and I’m so excited about it! Jolly’s book turned out different than I expected, but it’s oh so Jolly. To celebrate, I rearranged my living room furniture to prep for Christmas decorating. Hopefully I can start that tomorrow. It truly is my favorite time of year. So far only the tree is up, but it’s not decorated at all. One of the best aspects of the winter is that it’s dark early and I can turn on my Christmas tree and have that be my main source of light when I write. This is one of the major reasons my best writing is done in the winter. (As of today, the tree’s location has moved, but I wanted it up, so I made room for it.)

Another update is that I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this month, and so far I’m killing it! Last night I had just over 36k words written in 9 days. It’s been a while since I’ve written that quickly. We shall see if it continues. Maybe today I’ve written 200 words, but I’ve been busy with the furniture moving. I haven’t said much about this book, other than it has a dragon and a phoenix. More will come when I know more about where this book is going, like if it’ll be one book or multiple. It wasn’t the original NaNoWriMo project, but I’m glad I decided to switch to it.

Well, this one will be short and sweet. More to come soon!

My body hates me…

So, a few years ago (before I started writing again), I was an avid exerciser. Well, that quit shortly before I took up the addiction that I call writing. Since then, I’ve been a couch potato and an even worse snacker and chocolate addict. I’ve been wanting to start exercising again, and today I finally made it happen. Hopefully it’s here to stay!

This morning I woke up early and spent some time doing some small exercises on my Wii Fit Plus (which I love, by the way). Tonight when writing was going slow, I decided to hop back on it and see what I could do. I’m quite a bit disappointed that I can’t keep up with how much I could exercise before I quit. I want to be able to do it all like before, but I keep reminding myself that I can build back up to it. When I first started last time I was in pretty much the same position, but I kept going and didn’t give up. I was in great shape and ate healthy. Now I need to start that journey all over again, but I can do it!

I’m a writer, so why am I telling you this? Because it’s important to take care of all aspects of your life. I’ve let writing take control of too much of mine. I need to take at least a half an hour every day to build a healthy me. (And I need to stop being lazy and cook decent meals). Keeping balance in our lives will create healthier versions of ourselves. I really am addicted to writing, and so much of my life has suffered for it (especially the kitchen-anyone want to keep me company while I tackle that mess?). Now I’m putting everything back in place little by little. If I don’t, I will go crazy.

In May I’m running a 5k with my sisters. That has helped motivate me to start this process all over again. I’ve run two 5ks before, and I loved them. I really am not a runner at heart, but I love the feeling I get when I finish, like I’ve truly accomplished something. That is kind of the way it feels when I have a book go live.

Well, my break is over. Time for a few more planks, lunges, and squats. If you don’t hear from me again, my body revolted. Night all!

Where have I been?

That is a good question! And the answer is: busy. A lot has happened since my last post. I had big plans for where the website was taking me, and then the worst thing that can happen to a writer with big plans happened: I got burned out, bad. For 2-3 weeks I couldn’t even write. When I was finally able to write again, I couldn’t even think about marketing without high stress and near panic attack taking me, so I avoided it and just kept to writing. Slowly I came out of it until now. There are still a few things I won’t touch yet, but my spark is back! And I’m determined not to let it happen again. Therefore, when I feel myself starting to burn out, instead of pushing ahead like nothing is wrong, I’m going to slow down. (I should point out that my day job adds a lot of stress to my life, and any book stress just adds to that and overwhelms me).

In the meantime, I’ve had several book releases! If you haven’t followed me on social media about these releases, let me tell you about them! “First Christmas” released last July, which is when the burn out started. “Cookie Christmas” released last November, followed by the long awaited “Redemption” in January. “Freedom” releases in two weeks and a new favorite, “Gargoyle’s Kiss”, is scheduled for release next month.

weregal bookscapeThe Weregal Chronicles first trilogy got a cover makeover and I love the new covers! I participated in a few author signings in my hometown of Hale, MI last year, and we’ll see if I can fit one in this year! My hometown is very supportive and I can’t thank them all enough. I was also able to attend an author event in Kalamazoo, MI in the fall, The Great Lakes Book Bash, and this time I went as a reader with my sister, Melanie. We had so much fun meeting and getting to know so many great authors.

Well, I think that’s all the big news for now. I’m going to update everything before I leave the site (I hope). I’ll be back again soon!

-Heather