I have the pleasure to host Morgan Straughan Comnic today and am delighted to have an interesting guest post to share.
Top Ten Things I Did Not Know I Would Have to do as an Author
Morgan Straughan Comnic
Writing has been a comfort to me, a thrill, my way of communicating and being myself. Words allow me to tell the stories in my head, the craft of my on-going imagination and share the excitement of the characters with the world. I love this experience every time, this feeling, this freedom. However, like most naïve fifteen year olds, I assumed once my book got accepted by an agent, I would be set to go and all the motions would magically roll on their own. As I got older, I realized I had to work harder on my work with my editor, to edit my work so it is the best it can be for all my readers. I figured all I had to do was edit it, await for the release date, smile for the camera, and write the next book. Simple, right? Boy…did I live in a dream land! Still, there are some components I never would have dreamed I had to worry about when getting my work published, when I became an official author to the world. Although none of this stuff by any means is bad, I wanted to overdramatically declare: “WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME?!”
Here is my top ten list of things I wish I would have known before becoming an author (in no personal ranking or order):
#1. Social media is your best friend.
Okay, I knew I would have to make a website, but when I started writing my book ten years ago, social media did not exist. MySpace came out two years later! I do like my social media, but I never realized how many there are and how effective they are to reach out to fans and grabbing the attention of readers. Again, I like using my social media, but with so many, it is a lot to walk into being new.
I am not afraid to make contests, giveaways, and spread the word about my works and updates, however, I never realized to what extent! I feel like I need a business degree sometimes to keep up. I cannot imagine what my publisher has to go through!
#3. You go through about three sets of edits.
Time to sharpen your editing skills and note taking! You will be getting to know your work in a way you never first imagined…
#4. Guest Posts.
I really like doing guests post and having guests, but it was just something I did not know I got to do!
#5. Be friends with other authors, but remember, they are also competition.
0.o This was a shock to my system! I have met several beyond nice, supportive authors and I enjoy discussing writing styles and publishing with them and I want to continue to do this. Yet, I never considered other authors at “competition,” but I have heard of some stories to see this can be true. Sort of scary to think about, but I still believe authors should support each other!
#6. You may have to “Love it and kill it.”
This was a HARD concept for me! Sometimes, you can love a part or a wording and no matter how many times you ignore it or beg your publisher to let you keep it, that it is your baby, you have to cut it… It feels like a part of your soul is being ripped out of your chest.
#7. Characters may change.
You figure your characters are the only part safe in your manuscript, right? WRONG! I have not had to “love it and kill it” to any character that was mentioned more than twice or that had any importance, but I did have to completely change a name of a character due to it confusing my publisher. It did not rip my soul out, but it was strange. Just to prove to you that nothing…or no one is safe from the wrath of edits!
I knew reviews would be coming, but oh fudge biscuit! I never realized how nerve-wrecking it is! *Knocks on wooden desk* So far, I have not had a negative review, but my publisher warned me they will happen and I have to be brave and objective. I respect and understand that and appreciate her concern for me, but man! I am dreading it!
#9. Handling the “You wrote a book?!” exclamation.
Being that my book has been released for about three months, which is not overly long, I am still getting this a lot, especially from family. I am grateful for the praise, but I also get embarrassed. I have said my blurb so many times that I have caught myself reciting it in my sleep as I am slowly waking up! The praise is overwhelming sometimes and I am still figuring out how to react properly, being grateful and informative and never boastful, but I get told I am too modest and that writing makes me a star…-_-;; Yeah…The mix of emotions with this is not what I was expecting.
#10. Inspiring others.
I work at a middle school and since I published a book, it is amazing how many people, students and adults, have given me their ideas for stories, told me they always wished they had written a book, or have short stories for me to edit. My students often send me stories and poems that I edit and the smile on their faces, the light, the fuel writing brings in their eyes after I edit it and continue their story, makes me realize that even if I sold only one book or it was ripped apart by reviews, me writing a book and all the time, stress, and learning I had to go through to get it published was worth it to inspire students to know that they can dream big and achieve anything they set their mind to.
Thank you so much for having me!
(note from ELF...the author had very cute emoticons for some of the comments but for some reason Blogger and I had a difference of opinion about whether they would work...so I had to remove them...sorry!)
By Morgan Straughan Comnick
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Blurb: If God gave you a mission, would you answer His call?
The Lord has given Stary, a high school freshman, a mission: extinguish the evil residing in the murderer of two teens—Maren and Umbra. Stary never imagined that her strange visions meant that she was the Spirit Warrior for God and now with her powers activated, she must train to use them and try not to get caught by the murderer who has the ability to hide and conjure up the dark powers from the fallen angel himself—Lucifer. If Stary fails, not only will she lose her life, but Maren and Umbra will lose their entry into heaven and the world will be exposed to the madness of the murderer for the next forty years until the new Spirit Warrior is born.
Excerpt from Chapter 4
Maren patted my hands, smiling sincerely, about to answer my silent questions. “Every forty years, someone is born with a gift to communicate to spirits and ghosts. Oh, there is a difference—”
I finished her sentence by impulse. “I know. Spirits are land angels that have to stay on Earth to finish something they left unfinished in their life before they can move on to rest their soul. Ghosts are jealous of the living and their hatred forces them to stay on Earth, so they haunt or scare the living for a type of cruel revenge. But most of them can’t truly hurt a human.”
Maren and Umbra looked impressed, almost bewildered, not speaking for a minute. I only sat there, my head held up high with confidence, an all-knowing grin on my face. I’ve always liked to read about the world of the non-living for some reason, which helped me here. I sat there, still as a statue, soaking in the amazement on their faces.
Maren finally spoke up. “Very good Stary…Anyhow…someone is born with a gift to talk, see, and help ghosts and spirits move on or stop them from interfering with human life. Many of the Spirit Warriors do not know they have this gift at all. We need someone to help us. We have tried to search on our own for two years, but to no avail. The Lord said we could ask you to help punish or save the murderer from their own evil, in any way. We are…genuinely ready to move on and rest in peace together in heaven. I also want to be with my family again. Sadly, we cannot find our murderer, even with our connection and powers. They must be full of too much malevolence. It may be too late to save them from themselves.”
Too late? Like they couldn’t be stopped? No, if that was the case, they wouldn’t have asked for my help if that was true. Was it too late to save the murderer from their own evil? And God wanted me to do the mission? But I’m only fifteen! I can barely lean forward in a car without hitting my forehead on something!
“A Spirit Warrior, which is your official title, is the only one who can take the evil out of our murderer. It is a long and painful process, which will end up being their punishment. If they are lucky, they will live and have no urge to follow darkness again. Hon, if you can get the evil out, we are allowed entry into heaven’s gate and can rest in peace forever and you can be allowed to live your normal life again with your spirit powers only if you are needed again. But Umbra and I have to find him or her on our own. You have to stop them and talk to them. Sometimes that method has worked. If the murderer finds out about you however…they will try to stop you at any cost I am afraid to say, love…” Maren gulped and stared at me with moisture in her eyes. It was similar to the look my momma gave me before I went into surgery when I was small—a fear of someone you care for being harmed.
Oh great! I hoped the killer wasn’t too smart. MAN! This was a lot of information to take in. “Maren, why do you only say murderer?” I asked, the singular noun bugging me.
“Because, when one is killed by another human, that person’s negative energy becomes a part of you until heaven’s golden light shatters it. Every person has their own and different negative energy. Umbra and I have the same glow surrounding us.”
I nodded to show I understood the sad reality; they were killed by the same person…
Add the book to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19274927-spirit-vision
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About the Author:
Educator of young minds by day, super nerdy savior of justice and cute things by night, Morgan Straughan Comnick has a love for turning the normal into something special without losing its essence. Morgan draws from real life experiences and her ongoing imagination to spark her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys doing goofy voices, traveling to new worlds by turning pages, humming child-like songs, and forcing people to smile with her "bubbliness." It is Morgan's mission in life to spread the amazement of otaku/Japanese culture to the world and to stop bullying; she knows everyone shines brightly.
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Giveaway rules: Giveaway is open internationally and ends on April 4, 2014. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter and announced on the widget as well as emailed; they will have 48 hours to respond. Failure to respond will result in a new winner being selected. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter, or any other entity unless otherwise specified. Number of eligible entries received determines odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Paper Crane Books and sponsored by both the press and the author. Void where prohibited by law.
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