writing

The Top 5 Questions I Get Asked About Being a Writer

[Question Mark Illustration by Pixabay, via Pexels.com.]

I’m pretty low-key about telling anyone I’m a writer. (Mainly because I feel like what a lot of people think being a writer entails is far more romanticized and exciting than the reality. I mean, it’s interesting to me, but there’s a reason why writing isn’t a spectator event. All the exciting/interesting stuff is going on where no one can see it.)

Inevitably when I do cop to being a writer, I tend to get the same round of questions (to which I provide awkward answers), so I figured I would throw them up here.

Now of course, there is no One True Way or Writing Police to keep everyone on the same path (which would be pretty boring). So this is just how I roll. Continue reading →

Posted by Jacquelyn in Behind the Books, 0 comments

How I fell ass-backward into writing

I’ll always have my backup career as an ice cream taster (aside from the whole lactose intolerance thing). [Photo by Brenda Smith.]

I never wanted to be a writer growing up.

I mean, I was always into reading. Like, really into reading. My parents are both big readers, and they did everything they could to encourage the same in me. There were bedtime stories (Noddy [affiliate link], complete with my dad’s off-key singing of the songs), library books (pretty sure my mom cleared out the then-paltry Young Adult section before starting to bring home adult fiction when I was in around fifth grade), book orders through my school classroom, and monthly visits to my local bookstore for the release of each new title in the Sweet Valley Twins [affiliate link] series. (Team Elizabeth 4 life! Lol.)

…And once I got into adult fantasy, I was unstoppable. Every summer, we would go to the cottage for a week, and I would go through at least one novel a day. I remember walking through the halls of my high school with a 700-page book under my arm and someone asking me what class I was reading it for. I got a blank stare when I explained I was just reading it for fun.

But yeah. I never thought about being a writer. Somehow, it was never on my radar. Continue reading →

Posted by Jacquelyn in Behind the Books, 0 comments

Adventures in Fiction Writing: When Sh*t Gets Too Real

A girl and her sharkosaurus.

When I started writing the Kira Brightwell series four years ago (Crap, has it really been that long??), I was excited to dip my toe into a new genre after writing only fantasy. I figured something like crime fiction would be a good fit for my strengths: action and quirky/snarky dialogue. The main difference from my fantasy projects is that it would take place in the ‘real world’. No problem, right?

Wrong.

See, one of the things I find the most liberating about writing fantasy is that the entire world comes out of my own head. Locations can be wherever/whatever I want or need them to be, and I can invent magical systems and creatures as I go along. Basically, there are no limitations. (That being said, it has become a bit of a challenge over the years to keep track of my ever-expanding Lasniniar series to make sure I’m sticking to my own canon, so I don’t end up getting stuck in a Lucy Lawless/Simpsons situation, lol.)

Originally, when I started planning the first Kira novel Split Decision, I was determined to use a real-world location. I was all over Google Maps, checking out Street View to see where locations within the story were in relation to each other and what they looked like, local crime rates, checking out colleges and universities, etc. (I’m sure Google gets very confused by my sketchy search history sometimes, which has included research for multiple ways to break into a car, how to break out of handcuffs, and footage of various MMA moves and holds, among other things.)

The whole real-world location thing was really starting to stress me out and stop me in my tracks. I had this crazy fear of someone calling me out on an inaccurate detail of what might possibly be their hometown. Then Mark saved me by suggesting I create a fictional town instead (La Valentia), framed within a real-world location (California). This hardly a new idea in fiction, and it really saved my ass. Suddenly, I felt like I had enough room to breathe again with an imaginary location that could be built to fit my needs and I would know better than anyone else.

…But then there was Kira. Continue reading →

Posted by Jacquelyn in Behind the Books, 0 comments

Halloween in Lasniniar? Plus, a Kira novel that wasn’t meant to happen…

Halloween in Lasniniar

A few years ago, I took on the challenge to write a Lasniniar Christmas-themed story. You know, just because. The reason I say it was a challenge is because there isn’t any Christmas (or organized religion) in Lasniniar, but hey, what do you know? They celebrate the winter solstice. (Convenient, right?) Anyway, I had so much fun with A Solstice Tale, I ended up writing another two Solstice-themed adventures featuring Iarion and Barlo (which always seem to turn into mystery misadventures for some reason).

This year, I wanted to try something different. I love Christmas (as much as someone who has worked 15+ years in retail is capable of doing so), and there might possibly be more Solstice adventures in the future, but I wanted a new challenge.

So what about Halloween? Continue reading →

Posted by Jacquelyn in Behind the Books, Writing Updates, 2 comments

A New Start

So I’ve been pretty quiet for awhile lately… Mostly because I’ve been crazy-busy working on stuff that I didn’t want to share until it was ready to go. (You know what they say about the quiet ones, lol.) Let’s see… Where to begin? …Oh, right.

My New Website

So, yeah. This is my new website! I previously maintained two separate sites for my books: waywardscribe.com and katirwin.com. Both of these sites have been stripped down to links pointing to here, where (almost) all the content was moved.

If you’re looking for my pages on Writer Resources, those are still being maintained here on waywardscribe.com. (I still need to get on top of updating them with new info/experiences. It’s on my seemingly never-ending list of sh*t that needs to get done.)

This new site covers ALL my writing work in one place, with room to grow. My plan for blogging (which I’m usually sporadic about at best) is to aim for a casual, weekly update post to check in with what I’m working on, and any news I might have to share in any genre I’m writing. (Of course, my newsletter group will always get first dibs on new project/release info. 😉 If you’re interested in joining, click here.)

Speaking of any genre…
Continue reading →

Posted by Jacquelyn in Publishing Updates, Writing Updates, 0 comments