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!

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.)