Monday, June 13, 2011

I’ve Got a List & You’re On It

I have a list for practically everything, and if you follow me around the internet enough, chances are, you’re on one. Whole notebooks full of lists, piles of stray sticky notes that litter my desk but better not dare to end up on the floor. I have a stack of notebooks filled with nothing but book ideas I don’t have time to write for at least the next three, almost four years.

To me, lists are a good good thing, but there are some lists you do not want to end up on.

The first of such lists is quite a pretty thing to behold. It’s all written in purple girlie swirls on pale pink cardstock. The title of the top of this list reads:

The Wrong List

It always gets a look from people who dare to venture into my batcave office. “Why is it the wrong list?” they ask.

The thing is, there isn’t a right list. This list just contains people who have been in my opinion notably wrong. Usually on the internet. Now I know what you are thinking.


People are always WRONG on the internet, including myself. I know, I am not going to start a crusade against everyone who has ever tweeted an inaccurate fact EVER. The Wrong List is reserved for big time capital offenders. People who say things like, 99 cent e-books are RUINING American Literature and Twitter doesn’t help you sell books. Also there is a special place on the back for every author I have ever caught saying they make no money selling e-books so they don’t see how anyone else can or what the big fuss is.

Here is a hint, YOUR EBOOK COSTS ELEVEN DOLLARS. Which is like twice as much as some of their mass market paperbacks.

Yes people did actually say those things, and now they are on my list! See how it works?

The next list is my own personal HIT LIST. While I don’t actually plot anyone's demise, I do keep a detailed list of every writer I hope to one day do something better than.Some of these things are silly. Like I hope to sell more books than @XXXXXXXXXX wait you actually thought I was going to name names! No way baby, I don’t have a career death wish. (OK I do just not for this alright?) A lot of those goals are smaller, and I even managed to cross some things off my list like have more twitter followers than so and so,get it?

If I didn’t have a list, I would never be able to keep up with all those life goals.

Other lists currently on my desk: A rough draft of tomorrows to do list. Yes I do a RD! I tend to over extend myself and I like to make sure its possible before moving it over to the dry erase board.

I also have a list of people who are going to kill me if I don’t mail out the PIGMENTS OF MY IMAGINATION posters (me and @geovalentine) and no less than half a dozen shopping lists that never made it to the grocery store.

Ahh to see inside my head!

Ut-oh some NYT best selling author just got added to THE WRONG LIST!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Writing Process Demystified #1

If you have spent anytime crawling through the trenches of the World Wide Web, looking for information on how to become a more better writer/blogger/rejectee then my new Sunday special is for you. Likely, you have discovered by now that no two writers have the exact same method of getting those font sized twelve, double spaced, nuggets of pure lust down on the page.

The key to any amount of measureable success (in the form of completion- and not that other kind of success which we will discuss later) is knowing what you need to function at peak performance. If I had the power to make, and leave for you all, your very own fortune cookie saying “To write is to know thine self.” I would, but since they would be expensive and entirely unpractical, this blog can be like the fortune cookie for your soul. Or whatever other bad food metaphor you would like to substitute.

The Writing Process Demystified #1: REM for your writing.

The time I like to write, and the time I am best at it refuse to line up. When I was a young kid (think Junior High) I used to write every day after school. I did it almost every day for three whole years of my life. Some overly writer types will tell you, that you should write every day, and while I will for the sake of this blog refuse to agree or disagree I will tell you this: 15 years later and my body is still programmed to sit down and do nothing but write for that exact same time, in that same time zone, every day without fail.

Just to clarify, it’s not like I walk around like a zombie until I sit down at my laptop, or in my case locate some paper and pen, and hammer out some words without being able to process what is going on in the world around me. It is just that I have never not been able to write at this time, because my body seems to know what it should be doing even if I don’t. (Save for days where the table is too clean, the world has ended etc. etc.)

Since I know not everyone does not have the luxury of having trained themselves to plug along like a high speed train from Las Vegas to fantasy land BEFORE they say--knew how to use most of the truly awesome forms of punctuation. I am going to offer some ideas for how to improve the amount of quality time you spend writing. Just like sleep, you sleep better in REM then when just fall asleep. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could just play a song and slip into that deep deep sleep- or you know, your creative mind?

Well the truth is you can.

Some writers are babies, we need routine.

Routine doesn’t have to mean the same time, the same amount of time, or anything like that. After achieving what vaguely resembles a life I can tell you I don’t always have available 4pm CST M-F to write. So I have invented ways of recreating that feeling, tricking my body into thinking it is that time. Even if it’s 8pm or 2:47 AM. The key is, when the time devoted can’t be the same, it helps me if everything else is.

I relate my writing routine to putting on my favorite pair of old pajamas. Comfortable. Warm. It gets me ready for bed like this process gets me ready to write.

Step One: Acquire the tools. Yes I have mad OCD, I like to line up my pencils, and other writing utensils and nicely. And I like to have everything I will need to work i.e. paper, ink, notebook-both kinds, and caffeine (more on this in next weeks Demystified: The Truth About Oral Fixation). Laying out whatever you need to write saves you from getting up, wasting time, and ruining the mood.

AND you NEVER want to RUIN the MOOD. Just saying.

Step Two: Play Music. I am not writing JACK without a playlist about him. But if you ask my critique partner Karen, she would tell you that was a deal breaker; she has to have SILENCE. If you are searching for your own writing process, I recommend my way over hers. Not because it’s MY WAY but because when you live with other people SILENCE is a ridiculous expensive commodity, and there are even FEWER places outside the house where you can achieve it.

Step Three: Hit play. No, not the music you already did that in step two I am talking about the movie in your head. Don’t have a movie in your head? Get one. Some people are ploters, some people are seat of your pantsers, I like to think of myself as a 3D movie in my head film director. The good news is, my way works for both the people with the fifty page outline and the people who make it up as they go along. It sounds so easy when I write it, but really all it is, is this: Think about what you are going to write before you do. But don’t think about the sentence structure; don’t get hung up on the words. Pretend for a minute, you are watching the film of the century and you want to absorb everything. Pretend you are seeing it for you blind best friend/ spouse/ mother sister WHOEVER. Pretend you will make their EXISTANCE if you can just adequately describe the way the sun seems to bounce off the sea, or the way the main character’s eyes shine when she realizes some sort of startling revelation. Now pretend your special someone can’t hear or smell or touch either and include all those senses. (Heh!) If you already have a living, breathing, version of your world and your characters in your head ready to unpause at a moments notice it is considerably easier to write about them.

Now remember, the only ones writing process I am an expert is my own. I even manage to goof up that one from time to time, but I’d love to hear about yours. Leave a comment, let me know, and I might bring it up later.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Blog of SHAME



There is something important you should probably know about me. First—I tend to ignore my blog when I am stressed and things don’t seem to be going my way. Second, things are REALLY not going my way right now.

Actually, I shouldn’t say that only select FEW things aren’t going my way but those few things are making life mostly too difficult to blog however. Tell me to shut up I am whining.

I am supposed to be posting chapter three of PIGMENTS OF MY IMAGINATION it really will be here by the end of the weekend, and the book will be following shortly there after. But now that I am jinxing myself I will likely get hit by a bus before then.

Some upcoming things so mark your calendar:

Vlog “Vampire Money” my 1st writing Vlog ever 6/29
SKELETON LAKE release by 7/31

Also there will be many other promotional things and contests to win. Lot’s of people have already received their PIGMENTS bookmarks. I’d love to send you one too, comment below for your chance to win. I will pick one lucky winner (at least) after I am no longer hopped up on cold medicine.

Am I even making any sense?

I am having a twitter follower contests as well.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Can I tell you how not excited I am to write this blog? There are very few things I would rather be doing than writing this specific blog and they go like this:

1.) Die
2.) Contract and incurable disease (see one)

So that’s that, now on to the drama. The new official release date for PIGMENTS OF MY IMAGINATION is, no later than June 25th… That is worst. case. scenario. There were quite a few reasons this happened. The first is, I got sick. I work outrageous numbers of hours a day on writing, editing, and everything that goes with that—and it’s not conducive to getting sick when I am at the wire. The second reason is, the only person who could have potentially gotten through me that and on schedule had a death in the family. My #1 does so much for me, including holding my hand. There are also a dozen other reasons I’d list but I’d burn the steaks I am cooking on the grill.

ANYWAY I hate talking about that sort of thing, now on to the good stuff.

*GOOD* Chapter 3 will be available for your viewing pleasure early this week. Soon.


SKELETON LAKE is a dark young adult paranormal romance. It will be available July 2011 (the end of July)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chapter Two of PIGMENTS & Other Free Things

No matter how many times I post my work on the internet I am still flood with the brief feeling that I am going to vomit. I must be in to that sort of thing, because I like doing it.

Want an easy way to score yourself a PIGMENTS OF MY IMAGINATION bookmark? Tweet about the book and one is yours! Comment here and one is yours!*

*Now here are the stipulations. I will mail internationally with the understanding it will take me longer to get it out. I hate the post office and it hates me, I have stamps and envelopes standing by for US addresses. Since something INSANE could happen, people like free I am going to put an outrageous cap on the number of bookmarks I can give away. This time we will say 100

Until the book is released at the end of the month, I am also running a blog follower contest! If you invite someone here and they become a blog follower comment and let me know it was all your doing. (Honor system) and I will send you something else also very awesome.

PS- If you won a poster bare with me, the mailer tubes I ordered for them ended up being the wrong size.



     As far as dark underground lairs went, the basement of the Chateau De Mont was crowded and typical. The micro windows that lined half the walls of this coffin were shut and covered in a thick brown slime. They let in little light and were likely killing the soul of William Blake. His shoulders hunched so far over that they nearly touched his knees when he sighed. At nineteen he was far too old for this sort of thing. He was also the youngest person in the room by nearly twenty years.

He wondered idly, lips pursed in a thin line as he sketched the faces of the few men he had never seen before, why The Illusionists didn't spring for classier digs. They were rich enough. They were also evil, and this was likely as close to a dungeon as they were going to find in Galveston, Texas. As it was, he didn’t know how they got a basement this deep on an island at all, but it was always best to avoid asking questions.

Michael, who stood before the room, composed, benevolent, was less William's father and more of a tyrannical overlord. With his hair the color of a panther's and his deep set eyes, he certainly looked the part.

Wistfully, William dreamed of castles with drawbridges and moats, but his fingers never stopped their hurried slide across the paper before him. His mouth twitched upwards as his blond bangs fell further into his eyes. Then he caught himself and chomped down so hard on the inside of his cheek that blood pooled in his molars.

He couldn't laugh, he couldn't even smile. If William even looked like he had enough time to daydream his father would further pile on his assignments then demand even more, and he was almost positive that would be the end of him.

 William just wanted to think of castles in peace. He could almost smell the murky stone hallways, but that was probably just the basement. He hadn't thought of castles since he had drawn one when he was six, which was sadly one of the first memories he had. William had copied a stone fortress he had found in a book with uncanny accuracy and far more skill than a child twice his age should have. It had a red door and a tower. He had been more proud of that painting than anything in his life, and William would recall forever the face Michael had made as he put his fist through it.

A waste of time, his father had called it. Because William's only subject should be people, he should only do portraits, for then and for the rest of his life--or the rest of Michael's life, but William was starting to suspect his father was far too evil to just die.

There was no air conditioning in the basement, but it was cold and William didn't think he was sweating. So when the face below his charcoal pencil blurred as something dripped between its eyes, William assumed he had made an unfortunate error. His light eyebrows knitted together as he wiped his hands across his pants. His jeans already bore half a dozen other smudge marks.

When another drop landed mid-thigh William knew it wasn't him. His head shot up, and the ceiling sagged beneath him, bulging and dripping from its center. Swearing, he lunged for his notebook on the table in front of him. He managed to save it, but he wasn't quick enough to keep himself from being completely soaked.

With his black t-shirt now clinging to him awkwardly, William did his best to right himself. He kept his sketches at arm’s length, water sliding down no further than his wrists in wayward little rivers. The sound of the water hitting the linoleum floor with eerie little splashes was almost deafening.

Every set of eyes in the room, all of which had previously been avoiding him, were now turned his direction. All but Michael’s, who slammed his book closed and abruptly ended the meeting. Even though the leak was in no way William's fault, he knew he was only an empty room away from being blamed for it anyway.

He hung his head and desperately wished he had the power to disappear. Unfortunately, he never met anyone with that specific gift. Cold water still dripped from his neck and arms as he realized that his day had just gotten a whole lot more complicated. William hated complicated. Complicated meant bad things for him as far as Michael was concerned. Most children didn't tread through each day hoping to avoid even one conversation with their father, but for William it was best to be quiet, do as he was told, and avoid Michael's gaze at all cost.

He knew Michael was glaring at him right now. Though the basement could have doubled as a meat locker and he was still drenched, William could feel the fire that threatened to burn him to cinder. He felt it across every bit of flesh, deep into his bones.

There were flames behind Michael's eyes that smoldered like no man’s eyes should. What Michael did with those eyes was evil. So many horrific deeds has been done with that power, so many that William had lost count, and all he could remember was a lifetime of terrible, terrible things. Things all done with nothing but a thought and a glance.

William knew that what he could do was not as inherently bad as what Michael could do, but he still used it to do awful things. He had convinced himself that was worse. He had a choice between being good and being what he was, he told himself. Even if Michael gave him no choice at all, he liked to believe it was true. He hated himself for it, but he refused to admit he had no free will because no one could live without it for long, and the years under his father’s control were starting to eat away at him.

Most of the attending members of The Illusionists had immediately fled the room. They, like William, knew that even if they were innocent they would likely still feel the fire. Though it had been weeks since anyone had been completely burned alive, no one believed Michael would change, and they knew it was only a matter of time.

William flung himself back into his wet chair and waited for the inevitable. His skin still felt hot, but he knew it was unlikely he would ever totally feel Michael's special form of damnation. After all, if Michael hadn't needed him, he would have done away with him before he was born. Sometimes William thought death might be easier; it would surely be less painful.

As Michael stomped closer, William tensed. He could feel his middle starting to kindle. He tried to look away. The moldy gaping ceiling, the slime covered window slits, the blue lint on his shirt, anything was better than Michael's red eyes. Even if they didn't show scarlet in a way that most people could see, William knew what they really looked like. He could see plainly what was truly there.

William counted the seconds until words began to fly from his father's mouth, stinging words to match scorched skin and his scorched soul. He waited, but the hate and pain never came, and in a moment the heat was gone.

It felt as though the ceiling had collapsed upon him all over again. As the fire had burned him, he had easily forgotten he was still wet. But the fire had only been real in his mind, as it always was until it destroyed you. It had done nothing to dry him.

Oliver Buchanan had intercepted his father, and William loved him for it. Oliver had always been more of what William thought a father should be. He was kind, encouraging, and as a senior member of The Illusionists, he managed to redirect a fair amount of Michael’s anger. Just as he was doing right now. William suspected Oliver always knew the right things to ask.

Oliver had gentle gray eyes, and a matching gray beard. He never looked like he should belong here among the wicked, but with his easy smile, William was sure he could belong almost anywhere he wanted.

Not daring to spare another moment on the two men, William snatched up the rest of his belongings. Quickly and soundlessly he ran through the basement doors and up the narrow stairs to the ground floor. He could smell the fresh air as soon as he reached the lobby.

William knew he should be heading home. Michael, who never let him attend a real school, was many things, including a merciless headmaster. The sun beckoned now, through large and pristine windows, and William craved the company of living things. A clicking noise escaped his mouth as he weighed his decision. The hotel staff didn't even look up as he strolled by the front desk.

The revolving door whooshed with his mind as he made his final exit. The sun was even warmer than he had imagined, summer refusing to relinquish its hold to fall, as it was still weeks away. Mature elm trees lined the sidewalks in front of the hotel, their leaves a luxe green that William desperately wanted to paint. He wished that he had brought his watercolors and that the color reminded him of things besides the pigment of lying eyes.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Writers are easily distracted, just like YOU. (ME)

I have a backlog of blogs I have set aside to share with you on days I am really needing to unplug; oddly this is not one of them. That’s because the next blog on the pile is titled “The Books I’m Not Good Enough to Write Yet.” and that is sort of epically depressing. I don’t want to share that, I don’t even want to know that, I want to stuff my fingers in my ears and tune it out LALALALALALAA of course then I’d have no fingers to tweet with so it wouldn’t be worth it.

What was I saying again?

Oh yeah, writers are easily distracted. I’d say, on the scale of distract-ability, 1 being always, adult onset ADHA like my husband distracted, and 10 being me. I can write in my notebook with one hand, while the TV is blaring, with one ear bud in playing Fall Out Boy,and dinner in the oven, all while tweeting with my other hand—no sweat. This is Angela Write Now’s natural habitat. Anxiety inducing for most, I find comfort in the familiarly of the stress. I am great under pressure, I am always under pressure, but I always preformed until this week, and I knew it was coming.

In a world where all I had to do was write, and even edit I’d never crash, I’d never burn. In real life, I made the decision to publish my books on my own (and with a few of my bestest friends) and that requires a different kind of work than I am used too, and it’s harder on me than I thought it would be. I haven’t really be all forthcoming about everything that is going on behind the scenes, that’s just me. I like it to appear effortless.

When I changed my careers game plan, I thought at first I’d try it and see how it went. It was a bit of a contest really, but the more I learned, the more I saw, the quicker I realized that wasn’t at all how it worked. So then I came up with a new plan. This plan involved putting out six books, including Pigments of My Imagination in 2011.

NOW BEFORE YOU GET ALL BENT OUT OF SHAPE I should admit that, all  but one of them is written, and all of the ones that have been have had most of their editing/revision done. So breathe. No fainting or obscenities. I work quick, I’ve written over thirty books.

The reason I chose Pigments of My Imagination for my first release was because I had long ago come up with the idea and had no plans of a sequel. Zilch, but as of this last edit I can say the possibility is now there UGH—still unlikely. The other reason I chose it, was because it was a good midway point for my writing. I think I have two modes, me, and Angela Kulig darkside. She’s a bitch but relatively harmless. She just writes books like Skeleton Lake. More on that later.

OK, what even was the original reason behind this blog? Even I don’t know anymore.

Oh yeah. I need to be completely distraction free Friday- all day, and maybe even the rest of the weekend. I am the chick who tweeted her way through the 3 Day Novel Contest and laughed about it afterwards. So not being on Twitter is going to KILL ME.You will still see me, because I will  have some auto things and maybe some things sent from my phone. I will still be checking email and coordinating with my editor Allison Ridley but that is it. Please don’t be offended if I don’t reply to your @’s till Monday.

Speaking of MONDAY that happens to be the day I post chapter 2 of Pigments of My Imagination.

Also Monday is the return of #writingatgunpoint

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Congratulations! If you are reading this; you are not a bottom dweller.

I wish that I could assure you that just by reading my blog, you will instantly become a better writer; that you will be the next Amanda Hocking or that agents will get back to you right away. I just can’t. I can’t even make those things happen for myself at the snap of my fingers, but there is something I can promise you, and it’s this: If you have made your way here, then it is likely you seek out other writers. That is good news because it means you are less likely to publish an ebook with the worlds worst cover (friends don’t let friends use clipart!) that you are less likely to write the wrong sort of query letter (YOU SHOULD TOTES REPRESENT MY EPIC MIDDLE GRADE FANTASY THRILLER SUSPENSE SOFT ERROTICA ALMOST ENTIRELY COMPLETED AT 250,000,000 WORDS. I AM AWESOME AND HAVE A DOZEN UNNESSISARY SEQUELS PLANNED) basically you are far less likely to make preventable mistakes.

Today I had some ones ebook land in my lap. I wont tell you by which means the birdie ended up there, but I will tell you this. It was that bad. The kind of book that SOME people think the indie and self service types are all writing, and I had to wonder; how did this happen? Will it happen to me? Will it happen to you? Not likely. I can’t promise we are all on our way to instant best seller status, but you would be hard pressed to make all of these errors.


1) Error One Book Cover: This particular number had a completely unrelated stock photo (landscape) it did not even fit across the whole virtual cover, and it was BORING. Some people will fight me tooth and nail on this, but if you want to sell your book to more than just your friends and a hand full of other writers it needs to be in a pretty, or at least intriguing package. I don’t care how rich and creamy the center is. Keep preaching that people should be able to see how awesome your book is through the crap, I’m done listening because no matter how well you did, you would have done better.

2) Too much dialogue. Sometimes people should have just written a script. The book I read today made me need to double check I hadn’t stumbled into reading bad fanfiction by an 8th grader from another country. Dialogue is a great way to break up action, or so I have been told. No where do people discuss those who just write conversation pieces.

3) Failure to hook the reader from the beginning. The first sentence of this book contained a lot of words, and they were all written in English yet somehow they didn’t seem to go together in anyway that made sense. It was run on, it confused me. Give me crap, and I go looking for crap. Give me magic, and I look for magic. I wont tell you which side of that you should be on, but I read the thing six times and it made less sense each go.

So now the lesson: Today make friends with writers! And remember: Friends don’t let friends use clipart!