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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from Emily Benet, author of the romantic comedy “Spray Painted Bananas”:

    Imagine that a character in your book walks into your workplace frothing at the mouth because they know what you’ve done.

    They’ve read every word you’ve written about them and they don’t like it.

    They stand there trembling with rage and you can’t run away because you’re looking after your Mum’s shop and if you leave it the character might start smashing the place to pieces.  

    ‘Your book is disgusting!’ the character spits.

    And you hold your breath and your heart is pounding and you’re praying for some seismic activity to create a crack in the floor which you or they could fall into it, but you live in London and you’ve never even felt so much as a seismic twitch in all your life.   

    I don’t have to imagine it because it happened to me.

    I was a Shop Girl working in my Mum’s chandelier shop. It was a place where customers liked to offload their life stories. By day I was a good listener and by night I was a blogger who’d recount these many hilarious and bizarre encounters. Sometimes it was too close to the truth and at other times it might have been a little exaggerated. I never thought the blog would be published as a book or that my customers would one day be reading what I’d written about them. 

    I discovered too late that it’s not enough to change the colour of a character’s hair if you’ve gone ahead and reported some of the real person’s exact words. I’ve learnt my lesson. Now I know you should only use one real-life trait and make the rest up.    

    With my new book, Spray Painted Bananas, I feel liberated. This time if anyone accuses me of using them in the book, I can genuinely say, ‘it’s fiction!’

    Spray Painted Bananas satisfies a desire in me to write something upbeat and funny. It’s a romantic comedy about Amber, a broke temp, who after years of scrounging free wine from wacky art gallery openings with her best friend Farrell, decides there’s no reason why she can’t become a conceptual artist herself.  

    People often say ‘write what you know’ because if you’ve experienced it, it’s bound to sound more convincing. Well I’ve yet to spray paint a banana. But as the saying goes, ‘never say never’!

    My book cover designer was only too eager to spray paint that banana on the front cover before he started playing with digital colour.

    Perhaps I should introduce him to Amber. She sounds just his type.

    Read “Spray Painted Bananas” on Wattpad:

    ‘Spray Painted Bananas’ is a romantic comedy about Amber, a broke temp working in a catering firm in London, who after years of scrounging free wine from wacky art gallery openings with her best friend Farrell, decides there’s no reason she can’t become a conceptual artist herself. A chance meeting with the wealthy, young art curator, Elliott Frinton-Smith, sets things off in a desirable direction. Now all Amber needs is a brilliant idea to grab the attention of the nation. Spray Painted Bananas explores love and ambition with the touch of the absurd and plenty of bananas. 


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from David Alastair Hayden, writer of the fantasy fiction “The Storm Dragon’s Heart”:

    I’m the sort of person who likes to know the story behind the story. I can’t help but dig deeper, take the cover off and poke around inside. When I stumble across a bit of esoteric knowledge, the best kind of knowledge, or even just read an interesting factoid in the news, I research it. Like I said, I can’t help it. My curiosity refuses to let me do anything else until it is satisfied. 

    So when Wattpad asked me to write this guest post, I decide to write something that I would want to read if it were me on the other side of the screen: the story behind the Storm Phase saga.

    Book 2 in the series, Lair of the Deadly Twelve, just hit the virtual shelves, but Turesobei’s story didn’t actually start in The Storm Dragon’s Heart. It started twelve years ago in my first novel, a monster-sized adult fantasy epic of 220,000 words titled Legacy of the Lost Gods. While my agent was shopping it around, YA became the next big thing and an editor asked if I would consider writing a lead-in series of books for young adults. I had hinted at quite a dramatic (and tragic!) history for one of the main characters, a wizard named Chonda Turesobei. So I decided that his childhood would make a great prequel to my existing adult novel. 

    As luck would have it, my agent and I split up before she found a home for Turesobei, the younger or the elder. A few years and a few other projects passed, and then I discovered the exciting new world of indie publishing and other modern opportunities such as the wonderful community here on Wattpad. I dusted off The Storm Dragon’s Heart, added most people’s favorite character, simplified the setting, added a whole new subplot, and sent it out into the world. Can you believe that good old Lu Bei, the diary that turns into a winged-daemon, didn’t even exist in the first version of The Storm Dragon’s Heart?! I know I can’t.

    Thanks to the warm welcome the novel received here on Wattpad and elsewhere, I decided it was time to write the sequel. I’ve written six novels now, but Lair of the Deadly Twelve is my first ever sequel.

    Lair of the Deadly Twelve was probably the most fun I’ve had writing a book, simply because I already knew the characters. Plus, having written 500,000 words in Okoro, the setting now feels like home. But it was also a challenge because it’s both a sequel and a prequel at the same time. I knew where the story had to start and where, thanks to my first novel, eventually the series has to end. But just like you, I’m discovering the middle along the way.

    I’m really pleased with the result and I hope you will be too.

    If you’re wondering if you’ll ever get a chance to read that first novel, Legacy of the Lost Gods, the answer is yes. Eventually, I will update it. If you enjoy reading Turesobei’s adventures, then you have plenty to look forward to.

    So if you haven’t read The Storm Dragon’s Heart, now on Wattpad in its entirety, please do! When you’re finished, you can read the first few chapters of Lair of the Deadly Twelve here as well some of my other books. You can buy both novels in ebook form from Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and iBooks. You can buy The Storm Dragon’s Heart in print. Lair of the Deadly Twelve isn’t out in print yet. 

    To keep up with news about my fiction, you can visit my website dahayden.com or sign up for my newsletter attinyletter.com/dahayden.

    Read “The Storm Dragon’s Heart” on Wattpad!

    STORM PHASE

    A teenage wizard burdened with a mysterious destiny, a cat-girl ninja he can’t help but fall for, and a bat-winged daemon that doubles as a diary embark on a journey of self-discovery in a world teeming with monsters and magic.

    Perfect for fans of Percy Jackson and Avatar: the Last Airbender, this enchanting Asian-inspired fantasy series delivers fast-paced adventure for readers young and old.

    BOOK 1: THE STORM DRAGON’S HEART

    Turesobei dreams of adventure and a chance to prove he’s no longer a child. Wizards should be careful what they wish for.

    Destined to become his clan’s next and perhaps greatest ever high wizard, Turesobei feels smothered under everyone’s expectations. And he’s fed up with people treating him like he’s still a child, especially his grandfather, the current high wizard. After foiling an assassination attempt on his treasure-hunting dad, his grandfather sends Turesobei on his father’s expedition to find a powerful artifact known as the Storm Dragon’s Heart. He’s supposed to blow off some steam and get a dose of real world experience.

    But disaster strikes, and their quest becomes a race for survival.

    Aided by a sassy ninja cat-girl and a mysterious diary that transforms into a bat-winged familiar, Turesobei battles sinister cultists, vengeful spirits, and a mad wizard from a rival clan who’s determined to use the artifact to destroy Turesobei’s homeland.

    To fail is to lose everyone he loves, but success carries a terrible price.


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    IMPROVE YOUR WRITING EVERY WEEK WITH WATTPAD

    Welcome to the Wattpad Weekly Writing Prompt!

    Start anytime.

    These are free writing prompts for Wattpad writers who want to be inspired and challenged. You’ll come away with new ideas, new techniques and, most importantly, you’ll generate lots of new writing. The prompts are posted every Monday on the Wattpad Blog.

    To join in: read the prompt and get writing – post your writing on the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Threadwhere I’ll give feedback as much as I can!

    The prompts are written by Alice Kuipers, bestselling author of Life on the Refrigerator Door, The Worst Thing She Ever Did and 40 Things I Want To Tell You. Visit her at www.alicekuipers.com:

    Week One

    Having a word count for your story forces you to use exact words and to hone your writing ability. Careful editing and rereading will help you select which words you need and cut away words you don’t. Many of the writing prompts I post here on Wattpad will have a word count. Word counts are something that every writer faces. Either in contents, during commissioned work, or when writing for submission when there are word count guidelines. Word counts include every single word, no matter how long the word, except for the words in the title of the piece.

    Keeping in mind the following word count let’s start with our first prompt.

    Using less that 500 words, write a scene that includes each of the following elements:

    A cell phone.

    A man who has a secret.

    An empty house.

    Post your responses here at the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread! I’ll read and give feedback as often as I can. 


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    THE JOURNEYS OF JOHN AND JULIA CONTEST:

    What would you say if you found out that beings with special powers were watching over you and guiding you through life? Julia would say, “No way. I don’t believe in otherworldly stuff.” John would say, “Awesome!” 

    Belief, however, is not required: 

    Start reading book 1 of the series, The Journeys of John and Julia in Chapter One: Genesis, and meet The Twenty-Two, a magical collective who have their eyes on John and Julia. After all, someone’s got to save the world from Niem Vidalgo Oten, the evil corporate overlord who’s got some pretty terrifying powers of his own. And John and Julia may just turn out to be the right ones for the job.

    Prize:

    Three winners will each receive one signed copy of The Journeys of John and Julia in Chapter One: Genesis.

    To Enter:

    Tell us who your favorite member of The Twenty-Two is and why.  Post your answer in the form of a comment on the contest rules & entry page.

    One entry per person. Entry must be an original entry in your own words.

    Open to:

    All Wattpaders everywhere!


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from Doug Brownlie, writer of the thriller “Consequences Unforeseen”:

    ‘I wonder how many of these guys, famous or not, have had 70,000 reads of their work these past 11 weeks?’

    ‘My goodness, I’ve just had a Wattpad Moment’….

    This statement has become a common phrase in our household since my book first appeared on what is now our favorite website of all. My wife uses it when she get’s a flash of inspiration for a proposal or presentation she’s preparing. My daughter uses it when she comes home with a great grade for a social studies essay, an English essay, a book report or PowerPoint she’s done for science. We have a good laugh when one of us uses it.

    I brought the catch phrase into existence (for us at any rate) when my cell phone would chirp as an email came in telling me I had another ‘like,’ another ‘fan’ or another comment. The two ladies teased me constantly, but the “Wattpad Moment” is here to stay!

    These Wattpad moments have come to mean a lot to us over the weeks since September 5th when my book first appeared.

    And it’s no wonder. When I posted the story back in September it was 17 chapters long and the number of people reading it in the first week quite frankly blew me away. Within two weeks it was close to 10,000 reads and comments and emails were coming at me from all over the world. One person Googled me, noticed that three chapters of the book were being sold on Amazon and bought the book. (The book was posted there to raise money for the Haitian earthquake relief fund).

    The encouragement and support have been overwhelming, and the result so far is that Consequences Unforeseen is now 35 chapters or parts and has over 73,000 reads. I have also published the start of a vampire tale inspired by some good story boarding by my daughter, so the Wattpad experience had encouraged her to put her creative hat on as well.

    For me there has not been a single negative experience these past fourteen weeks, and the positive lessons continue on and on:

    On the statistics side it has been an interesting analytical game for us to play in terms of the number of reads for each chapter as well as the overall total. This is valuable to me as a writer (and indeed valuable to any writer) because it gives me a great insight into the minds of the readers. It would for example let me know if there was a single point or part which had a definitive negative impact in the trend. This is very important since I decided to serialize the work and not stick it all up at once.

    Serializing on Wattpad

    The decision to serialize was probably the best route for me as a writer. The first 17 chapters were complete and ‘ready to go” but I knew there were many more things that my main character Bill Douglas had done and even more he still had to do.

    Waiting to publish the next 17 parts would have meant a fourteen week gap between first upload and the next 18 parts, and I believe that in this amount of time, people would have forgotten about Bill Douglas and all the momentum would have been lost. Now, uploading a new part every couple of days keeps me fresh as a writer and the audience asking ME for more, rather than me asking for more people to read the work.

    I have discovered, for me at least, writing is all about confidence and the positive feedback and encouragement leaves me feeling that I MUST post a new part when I said I will or I will be letting the audience down.

    The ‘task’ of writing has become a ‘joy’ and also become part of my daily planning activity where it used to be an ad hoc thing. This is a huge benefit to me and to the continuation of the book.

    I have had the self publishing experience with the first three chapters available on Amazon, the ‘writer’s site’ experience on a couple of other sites, and this Wattpad experience where nobody expects anything from you in return for reading your work. This has been a tremendous benefit to me.

    On Tuesday last week, my daughter needed a book for her English class at school and we went to Barnes and Noble to purchase it. No big deal you’d think. Am I right?

    We’ve all been to B & N many times before. Again, am I right? Rhetorical questions I’m sure, but for me this time it wasn’t quite right.

    The minute I walked in to the store on this occasion, I got the ‘chills’. I stopped a few paces into the book hall and tried to absorb the sheer magnitude of the lines and lines of bookshelves stretching into the distance. I wandered over to the start of the fiction section and glanced at the famous names right there on the first book case. I looked at the less famous authors’ works reaching all the way from one side of the room to the other.

    The voice in my head said, ‘I wonder how many of these guys, famous or not, have had 70,000 reads of their work these past 11 weeks?’

    A kind of despairing feeling hit me at that point because I considered what they had gone through to have their books sitting here untouched and unread for weeks at a time. Yes the famous ones might well have had big fat checks for their work, but still, there they were, their books just languishing on the shelf.

    There is a staggering statistic released by the Association of American Publishers that 50% of all published works that are shipped to the bookstores are returned to the publishing company to be remaindered or destroyed. Further, of the 65,000 new titles published per year, only 8,000 are considered to have book store potential.

    I realized right there and then that what Wattpad has given me and to all of us who are publishing work here, is a dynamic, ever increasing and GLOBAL audience that makes up its own mind.

    Yes, I make zero money for this privilege, but I know that if I were writing for a living, to this point, I’d be broke. The excitement of writing for me is in creating a living and vibrant set of characters, and being able to continue the journey with them, and not having to decide on a clever ending to conclude something that does not need to end!

    One final thing I’ve taken advantage of on Wattpad is the incredible number of really good books on here. I’ve enjoyed exchanging ideas and suggestions with other writers and in particular relished the thoughts and insights of others, writers and readers alike.

    Never a day goes by without an encouraging word or a thoughtful, insightful comment. These things make the experience a real pleasure and encourage it to be an enduring one.

    Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to read and enjoy my work. I will strive to make that trend continue.

    My best,

    Doug Brownlie

    Follow the star of “Consequences Unforeseen,” Bill Douglas, on Twitter!

    Read “Consequences Unforeseen” on Wattpad!

    She died too young, too soon and too beautiful: Love, death, retribution and unpredictable outcomes.

    An adventure filled childhood leads a man down the path of a death dealer, an assassin willing to kill for a living. Yet when he experiences the loss of someone once very close to him, grief could shatter the glass foundation he’s built his life on.

    It introduces an international assassin as he attends an emotional and personally shattering funeral of a long lost friend. Reflection and soul searching transports him and you to a time from his past. Critical events unfold and life changing consequences begin to emerge.

    It is a thriller, a love story and it will take you places you have never been and show you things you have never seen.

    This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


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    WATTPAD BRINGS YOU A GUEST POST FROM PETER ANSAY, AUTHOR OF PETER’S LOG:

    Hi Wattpaders. I’m Peter Ansay and this is part two of my guest post on Wattpad. Read the first part here. Do you think time travelling is something that can only exist in sci-fi? Would you call someone crazy if they believed in time traveling? Then you’d be surprised to find out that a lot of renowned scientists think that time travelling is possible, in fact it has already been done. Check out my exclusive interview for Wattpad below to know more.

    If you have any questions about the interview, let me know here or on my profile. Read my book and watch my videos on Wattpad to learn all about my mission.

    Thank you for everything,

    Peter Ansay

    Read “Collider World: Peter’s Log” on Wattpad!

    Mysteriously transported to a post-apocalyptic future, six people need to find a way to get back to the present and save mankind - and their own lives. This is Peter’s story and the events that led to the jump into the future.

    Watch the Series. Read the Comics. Play the Game.


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    IMPROVE YOUR WRITING EVERY WEEK WITH WATTPAD

    Welcome to the Wattpad Weekly Writing Prompt!

    Start anytime.

    These are free writing prompts for Wattpad writers who want to be inspired and challenged. You’ll come away with new ideas, new techniques and, most importantly, you’ll generate lots of new writing. The prompts are posted every Monday on the Wattpad Insider.

    To join in: read the prompt and get writing – post your writing on the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Threadwhere I’ll give feedback as much as I can!

    The prompts are written by Alice Kuipers, bestselling author of Life on the Refrigerator Door, The Worst Thing She Ever Did and 40 Things I Want To Tell You. Visit her at www.alicekuipers.com:

    Week Two

    It is essential to have tension in your writing. It is all very pleasant when everyone sits around enjoying a nice conversation, but it makes for dull reading. Especially if that’s all anybody does. This week I want you to ramp up the tension between two characters, thinking about how to make your dialogue sizzle on the page as your characters disagree with and surprise each other, revealing secrets, desires and passions.

    Using less that 500 words write a scene with two characters who haven’t seen each other for a number of years. What does each character want? Why haven’t they seen each other for so long? Can you convey this while maintaining tension?

    Post your responses here at the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread! I’ll read and give feedback as often as I can.


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  • 11/27/12--16:00: Obsession With Evil
  • Wattpad brings you a guest post from Matthew Iden, known as CrimeRighter, author of mystery thriller “A Reason To Live”:

    Great villains across the years—I’m talking about the really sinister ones, the I’m-squirming-in-my-chair-and-pulling-the blanket-over-my-head-right-now kind of bad guys—have all kinds of reasons for facing off with our favorite heroes and making their lives miserable. Greed, power, revenge, jealousy, rivalry…the list of motives goes on and on, and no movie or book is complete without eventually revealing to us, the readers, what they wanted from our hero (right before the bad guy goes tumbling out of the castle window to their demise or gets consumed by righteous hellfire. Hero kisses girl, fade to black).

    But greed, power, revenge, yadda yadda, are their goals, the outward manifestations of their scheming. A better question might be: what is the motivation for their evil? What powers their villainy?

    One word. Obsession.

    No matter what they actually want in life, the best bad guys around have an insatiable hunger that drives them forward. Their obsession gives them almost a supernatural stubbornness to battle the Forces of Good, pursue world domination, and fight against what—in this economy—must be a rapidly-shrinking budget for doing Bad Things.

    In honor of bad guys, everywhere, I present to you some of the most obsessed villains of our age:

    Skyfall, the latest James Bond installment, has former MI6 agent-turned-super-villain Raoul Silva lusting for revenge against his former organization. But it’s his sense of betrayal by spymaster M that is so great that it fuels an obsession to become her nemesis. This inner fury drives him to create an elaborate assassination plot that takes years to plan and execute…and turns him from a run-of-the-mill bad guy to Bond Villain.

    J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings fantasy trilogy probably give us one of the most pure forms of obsession in literature—in fact, an almost physical manifestation of the word—in Gollum, aka Sméagol. While many of Gollum’s actions in the trilogy are villainous (and I’m not just talking about his personal hygiene) it becomes obvious as the story moves along that it’s only Gollum’s seething desire for the One Ring, for his Precious, that moves him to do evil. This is raw obsession turned into action and, as Tolkien might have wanted us to understand, no good can come of it.

    In both George R. R. Martin’s blockbuster HBO series and his best-selling fantasy novels, Game of Thrones, Queen Cersei is woman tortured by multiple obsessions. She craves power, seeks revenge, strives to protect her children. Attempting to follow each of these dangerous paths tugs her in deadly directions, leading her to commit both villainous and virtuous acts (though a lot more of the former than the latter). She is complex, scheming, flawed…and one of the most intriguing characters in the story.   

    In my own novel, A Reason to Live, the burning obsession of an insane killer intent on reinventing his past sets off a series of violent confrontations that bring him into direct conflict with my hero, Marty Singer…a cop who is just as driven to stop him. You’ll have to read the book, though, to find out which brand of obsession wins out.

    Fade to black.

    Read “A Reason To Live” on Wattpad:

    “…a riveting and entertaining read. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.” - Karen Cantwell, author of the Barbara Marr mystery series (Take the Monkeys and Run)

    “…several nights I read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open.” - Misha Crews, author of Still Waters and Homesong

    “That was a hell of a ride! I loved it!” - Angie H., Goodreads

    In the late nineties, a bad cop killed a good woman and DC Homicide detective Marty Singer got to watch as the murderer walked out of the courtroom a free man.

    Twelve years later, the victim’s daughter comes to Marty begging for help: the killer is stalking her now.

    There’s just one problem: Marty’s retired…and he’s retired because he’s battling cancer. But with a second shot at the killer—and a first chance at redemption—Marty’s just found A Reason to Live.


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    COLLIDER WORLD ON WATTPAD: TIME TRAVEL

    Wattpad brings you a guest post from Peter Ansay, author of Peter’s Log:

    Hi Wattpaders. I’m Peter Ansay and this is part two of my guest post on Wattpad. Read the first part here. Do you think time travelling is something that can only exist in sci-fi? Would you call someone crazy if they believed in time traveling? Then you’d be surprised to find out that a lot of renowned scientists think that time travelling is possible, in fact it has already been done. Check out my exclusive interview for Wattpad below to know more.

    Watch it here!

    If you have any questions about the interview, let me know here or on my profile. Read my book and watch my videos on Wattpad to learn all about my mission.

    Thank you for everything,

    Peter Ansay

    Read “Collider World: Peter’s Log” on Wattpad!

    Mysteriously transported to a post-apocalyptic future, six people need to find a way to get back to the present and save mankind - and their own lives. This is Peter’s story and the events that led to the jump into the future.

    Watch the Series. Read the Comics. Play the Game.


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    IMPROVE YOUR WRITING EVERY WEEK WITH WATTPAD

    Welcome to the Wattpad Weekly Writing Prompt!

    Start anytime.

    These are free writing prompts for Wattpad writers who want to be inspired and challenged. You’ll come away with new ideas, new techniques and, most importantly, you’ll generate lots of new writing. The prompts are posted every Monday on the Wattpad Insider.

    To join in: read the prompt and get writing – post your writing on the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Threadwhere I’ll give feedback as much as I can!

    The prompts are written by Alice Kuipers, bestselling author of Life on the Refrigerator Door, The Worst Thing She Ever Did and 40 Things I Want To Tell You. Visit her at www.alicekuipers.com:

    Week Three

    This week we’re using an image prompt to help us think about language and description. When we’re setting a scene, often as writers we use the first words that come to mind rather than taking the time to actually experience or imagine a richer, more textured description.

    In the photograph for the prompt, you see a snowy landscape with footprints. It would be obvious to use the word cold, but when you touch snow, it doesn’t at first feel cold because it takes a moment for your skin to notice just how cold it really is. Also the word white probably springs to mind. But is the snow here truly white or various shades of grey, blue and yellow? Small details like this shift your writing from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

    Using less that 400 words describe the setting in this photograph. If you’ve never felt snow, or if it has been years since you’ve seen it, you’ll have to research what it might be like in a snowy landscape. If you live somewhere where snow is a regular occurrence, then take the time to really capture the essence of what a cold, sunny day is like, not just what you think it would be like at first glance. If you want to move toward a poem, please do, if you want to include a narrative, think about who or what might have left those footprints in the snow.

    Post your responses here at the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread! I’ll read and give feedback as often as I can.


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  • 12/05/12--10:28: The secret to writing a book
  • Wattpad brings you a guest post from Kathleen Tucker, writer of vampire romance “Anathema”, on 5 very important tips for any aspiring writer:

    Writing a book, whether it be fiction or nonfiction, is one of those aspirational goals that many have but few follow through with. Countless people have told me that they’ve always wanted to write a book or they started to write a book but …  and they drift off there. They’ll give all kinds of excuses. No time, no idea, they don’t know how to write, they’re afraid that they can’t do it … People throw so many obstacles in the way of themselves. The key is to realize that they’re only obstacles and obstacles are not twenty-foot high concrete silos. You can get around them, you can bust through them.

    The secret to writing a book is simple (it’s not really a secret and you may have figured it out already). You have to start and then you have to finish. There’s no way around those two factors. How you get to each of them and how long it takes will depend on you.

    I’m about to publish my fourth book and here are the few things I’ve learned. I believe everyone, no matter how they get to their start and finish points, should live by these:

    1.  You’ll never please everyone so don’t try -  For every person who loves Shakespeare, you’ll find a hater. If he can’t win universal love, why would you think that you could? You’re setting yourself up for failure with that notion. The key is to write the best book you can, find your fan base, and keep writing for those people.

    2. Don’t ignore your critics - Seems contradictory to point #1 above, doesn’t it? What I mean to say is that you can learn from critical reviews and better yourself as a writer and story teller. The review may actually help you when you write your next book. The trick is to take what you can and leave the rest behind. Don’t drag it along with you on your journey.

    3. You’ll have to sacrifice - Unless you’re one of those fortunate people who has time to spare, expect that you’ll need to make sacrifices in order to get that book finished. Writing a book is a lot of work.  When you get into fantasy novels and series, it’s A LOT of work. I no longer watch television (outside of my The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones episodes, of course). I don’t chitchat on the phone. I’ve had to make those sacrifices in order to make time for my true passion.

    4.  Aim to be both an exciting story teller AND a proficient writer - You may construct beautiful sentences but bore the hell out of your reader. You may have crafty plot twists but your words stir no emotion. If you really want to be in the game, work on mastering both of these skill sets.

    5. Write because you love to, not because it seems like a quick way to get rich - Did you know most published authors have part or full-time jobs outside of their writing career in order to make ends meet? Shoot for the stars but make sure your head doesn’t detach from your body and float off into outer space.

    These five points have kept me grounded in reality while chasing my dreams and spinning my own stories for you to enjoy. I hope you find them helpful!

    Read Kathleen Tucker’s “Anathema” on Wattpad!

    Evangeline has spent her teenage years in obscurity. Her foster parents have the emotional aptitude of robots and her classmates barely acknowledge her existence. About to turn eighteen and feeling like a social pariah, she is desperate to connect with someone. Anyone.

    When Evangeline meets Sofie after literally stumbling upon her café, she believes she’s found that connection. Willing to do anything to keep it, she accepts a job as Sofie’s assistant and drops everything to fly to Manhattan, where she is thrust into a luxurious world of Prada, diamonds, and limitless cash.

    With such generosity and kindness, it’s easy for Evangeline to dismiss certain oddities … like Sofie’s erratic and sometimes violent behavior, and the monstrous guard dogs. She’s even willing to dismiss her vivid dreams of mob-style murders, beautiful homeless people living in caves, and white-eyed demons that haunt her each night as figments of her imagination—especially when one of those figments is the gorgeous Caden. When she wakes up with bite marks on her neck, the fairy tale quickly turns into a nightmare. She slowly unravels the mystery surrounding Sofie and friends, and the reality of the bites and the “dreams.” What she discovers is far more mysterious and terrible than anything she could have imagined.

    In a world where everyone has motive to lie for personal gain, Evangeline must decide which deception is least likely to get her killed.


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    Tara West's Paranormal Powers Giveaway:

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    If you could have one magical power, what would it be? Would you levitate or maybe have the power to charm anyone?

    In Sophie’s Secret, Sophie and her two BFFs are each gifted with different abilities. Sophie can read minds, AJ sees the future, and Krysta speaks to the dead. You can read Sophie’s Secret Book One in the Whispers series, here on Wattpad. Books two and three are available at all major ebook retailers. 

    Tara West is giving away three signed print copies of her Whispers Omnibus collection or her new fantasy, Curse of the Ice Dragon. All you have to do is pick your magical power. Leave your answer here and three random winners will be chosen!


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from TheStyclarSaga, writer of vampire fantasy “Lailah”:

    I like a good human heroine; but I love a supernatural one more!

    My name is Nikki Kelly, and I am the author of LAILAH - the first book in thestyclarsaga.

    As the name of the book would suggest, the first story in the saga centres on a seventeen-year-old immortal girl called Lailah.

    When I delve into Fantasy Fiction, I can’t help but notice that so frequently the male love interest tends to be the supernatural and the heroine tends to be human.

    It got me thinking… Would an immortal teenage girl not go through the same turmoil as a regular teenage girl? Of course she would. She might just have a few more issues to contend with, such as not being able to die…

    Lailah is representative of this idea – nearly two hundred years down the line, she’s still searching for someone she never forgot, but can’t quite remember… As I said, a few more issues.

    But ultimately the inner struggle is much the same: working out who you are, who you want to be, and making choices that carve out who you will ultimately become.

    Being a big fan of all things fantasy, I have considered other teenage heroines that have inspired us to engage in their stories.

    Here’s the run down of my top 5…

    No. 5

    Buffy: Buffy The Vampire Slayer

    Buffy is the ‘chosen one’. She divides her time between slaying Vampires and generally killing all things dark and evil, managing to somehow balance her slaying career with High School. This is a heroine that can most certainly multi-task! Buffy makes my top 5 because she is a kick-ass, fearless blonde who knows her way around a wooden stake.

    No. 4

    Hermione Granger: Harry Potter

    English rose, Hermione Granger has to be on the list! Hailing from a family of ‘muggles’ in London, we watch her grow through her teenage years at Hogwarts. Studious and bookish, she’s less ‘shiny’ than some other teenage heroines, but her bravery and loyalty to her friends make her stand out from the crowd.

    No. 3

    Amelia ‘Amy’ Pond: Doctor Who

    Amy Pond became the eleventh Doctor’s travelling companion, twelve years after first meeting him as a little girl. She embarks on a journey of self-discovery, gets married and has a baby who **spoiler alert!** turns out to be River Song.

    We cheered her on as she helped save the world; we laughed with her as she wound up The Doctor; and ultimately we cried for her as she said, “Raggedy Man - Goodbye.”

    No. 2

    Katniss Everdeen: The Hunger Games

    Of all the teenage heroines, Katniss is by far the most independent, thought-out and skillful of the bunch. She shows love for her sister, Prim, by volunteering herself in her place at the Reaping; thus thrusting herself into the position of the female tribute, representing District 12, in the Hunger Games.

    During the Games, Katniss uses her talent with a bow and arrow to kill off the competition, plus her survival skills to avoid death via plants and other forest-like hazards.

    Her story has romance, even a love triangle, but what I like about Katniss is that for her, love is a luxury – before she can indulge, she has to first, fight. And fight she does.  She is a true survivor.

    In the top spot… No. 1

    Bella Marie Swan-Cullen: The Twilight Saga

    Taking the top spot, well it could only be Bella from Twilight. Whilst some might complain that she’s a little one-dimensional, I couldn’t disagree more. When we first meet Bella, she appears to be ‘the girl next door’ and even considers herself to be “utterly ordinary.”

    But throughout the saga, Bella demonstrates her intelligence, quick-thinking and pure grit.

    There was never anything “utterly ordinary” about this heroine.

    And yes, sometimes she gets ‘saved’ by the boy, but I have a soft spot for the ‘damsel in distress’ routine – whose knees didn’t buckle when Edward tilted his head with vengeful, glistening eyes, having found her with a broken leg because of James?

    She is courageous, determined and passionate.

    Because of all this, Bella does get her forever. And because our heroine made her forever happen, she gets the top spot on my top 5 run down!

    Read “Lailah” on Wattpad!

    Lailah. That had been my name. My first name. The only name. How had I forgotten it?

    On the first day of Christmas, I met a Second Generation Vampire. His name was Jonah. He led me to Gabriel, an Angel, whose face had balanced on the tip of my memory for as long as I could remember. The chance encounter catapulted me into the epicentre of a battle between a race of Pureblood Vampires and the Arch Angels.

    Until now, I had believed I was an insignificant, seventeen-year-old girl – albeit a tad on the immortal side – and all I had wanted was to find Gabriel. Then I was told that, in fact, I was the most deadly being to ever exist; that the fate of all worlds hung in the balance, as long as I was still breathing.

    As if that wasn’t enough to contend with, I found myself caught between the love and the light that I felt for Gabriel, my Angel; and Jonah, a dark soul, and an itch no less that I desperately needed to scratch, but in a place I couldn’t quite reach.

    However, whilst they sought the answer to what I am, they made a fatal mistake.

    They should have, instead, considered who it was that I would become – a far more urgent question.

    My name is Lailah. Every ending had a beginning. This is the story of the beginning of my end…


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    Which version of G.S. Banks’ “Dovetail Diaries” do you like better - 1, 2, or 3?


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  • 12/07/12--07:00: Celebrity Vampires
  • Wattpad brings you a guest post from Michele Drier, whose vampire romance “SNAP: The World Unfolds” is currently featured on Wattpad:

    People occasionally ask me where I get my story ideas.  I’m not sure I always know.

    When I was about eight years old, I read “The Secret in the Old Clock,” my first Nancy Drew mystery.  I was hooked.

    It was Nancy and Trixie Belden until Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, and Margery Allingham.  Lately it’s been Martha Grimes, P.D. James, Elizabeth George, Ruth Rendell, Robert Crais, Daniel Silva and Elizabeth Peters.

    I’m a mystery junkie who always wanted to write.  Like so many journalists, I had bits and pieces of unfinished novels in my desk drawers while working as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers. Finally, I decided if I were going to write a book, I’d better get at it, so my first book was a traditional mystery, Edited for Death.

    With the adage “Write what you know,” hammering in my head, it’s set at a newspaper. I wrote, rewrote, edited and revised it and it was picked up by a small press on the East Coast, Mainly Murder Press, and published October 1, 2011.

    It’s the first of a series, the Amy Hobbes Newspaper Mysteries, and I was plotting out the second book when lightning hit in the form of my daughter and son-in-law.

    They both read. A lot. Usually two or three books a week of paranormal, fantasy, urban fantasy and steam punk. And vampires. I knew if I had any chance of them reading one of MY books, I’d better write vampires.

    Then a conversation with my daughter showed me the light—or maybe the dark—path.  I was casting around, trying to find a hook for a different vampire book when she said, “Celebrities.” 

    “Celebrities?”

    “Yep,” she said. “They all wear huge dark glasses, they usually come out at night for parties and appearances, they ride around in limos with tinted windows.  They could be vampires and nobody would know the difference.”

    And SNAP was launched.  It’s the world’s biggest and best international media conglomerate covering celebrities and celeb gossip.  They do cover some of the vampires who are in the film industry, but the owners of SNAP are also vampires—a five-hundred-year-old family of Hungarian vampires.  They’re urbane, uber-wealthy, beautiful and sexy and when regular Maxie Gwenoch goes to work for them she’s thrilled—until she discovers they’re vampires.

    The first book of the Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, SNAP: The World Unfolds, follows Maxie as she gradually gets acclimated to vampire reality, and as she falls in love with Jean-Louis.  He’s the art director for SNAP. He’s sexy, beautiful, alluring and the second-in-command of the Kandesky family. He’s falling in love with her.

    I’ve done a lot of research for the Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, because so much of the series takes place in Europe. From Baron Kandesky’s headquarters at his castle in Hungary to Paris, Krakow and Kiev—places I want to travel to. And the series is absolute fiction, which means I get to make stuff up.

    I’ve had so much fun with the Kandeskys, Maxie and Jean-Louis, that it’s hard to leave them, even for a few months.

    One of the problems with writing in two different genres is that I have Amy Hobbes and her pals beating up my brain, wanting to come out.

    They’re hot on the trail of another mystery: why are field workers in the vineyards turning up dead? Labeled for Death will be released in late spring of next year. Amy’s stories have stricter guidelines.  Even though it’s fiction, police procedures, murder investigations and the role of the press all have to be real.

    I’ve always had problems with the “realies”, and now it’s even worse. I can barely tear myself away from Jean-Louis and Maxie, or Amy and her cops reporter, Clarice.  They inhabit worlds that are more fun.  They don’t do dishes, vacuum, buy groceries, pay bills and when I’m with them, neither do I, which leads to a few small problem areas.

    Living with these guys is so contagious that I’m going to keep doing it.

    Book Five of the Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, SNAP: Love for Blood will be released in December 15.

    And in 2013, Labeled for Death and two more Kandesky Chronicles are on tap.

    All of my books are available on Amazon.com in ebook format. Edited for Death, SNAP: The World Unfolds and SNAP: New Talent are also available in paperback at Amazon.

    Read “SNAP: The World Unfolds” on Wattpad!


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  • 12/07/12--08:37: Cover Creator on Wattpad
  • Have you tried the new Cover Creator/Editor on Wattpad yet? Test it out and send us your feedback at support.wattpad.com!

    To access: login to www.wattpad.com, click on “My Works”, then click on “Edit” under the story cover.


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    Front cover of The Kissing Booth


    Full cover of The Kissing Booth, spine and back, too!

    Congrats to Wattpadder Reekles on getting The Kissing Booth published by Random House UK!

    inevitability-of-consciousness:

    so I’m now able to release my book covers, and here they are! Eeep! I’m really happy with the cover, and I hope you guys like it too! Let me know your thoughts :)


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    Consequences Unforeseen Cover Contest:

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    EVA LAU SAYS ‘CONSEQUENCES UNFORESEEN’ NEEDS A NEW FRONT COVER.

    Now who’s gonna argue with her, right?!CERTAINLY NOT ME!

    So HAVE SOME CREATIVE FUN and design a new cover for the book. Winner will be chosen by an unbiased panel of friends from Wattpad and beyond and their selection (YOUR WORK) may be featured here on Wattpad as the new front cover of the book.

    If the book makes it to hardcover/paperback, the winner’s artwork will be presented to the publishers for possible selection as the actual front cover.

    The winner will be credited with producing the cover on the book introduction page and they can choose a chapter of their choice to be dedicated to them. As a token of my appreciation the winner will also receive a $20.00 value card for iTunes or Amazon.com.

    Contest runs from December 1st to December 31st. Please visit here for more information and then post your work here for a chance to win!


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from H.S. St. Ours, writer of the scifi-adventure “Sami,” book 2 in his Water Worlds series:

    Why do we love end of the world so much? I mean, for science fiction fans, why are dystopian and apocalyptic novels, movies and even conspiracy theories so popular?

    For example, right now we face the end of the Long Count of the ancient Mayan calendar, and popular culture has widely (and wildly) run with the idea that civilization as we know it will end on December 21, 2012.

     image

    This is likely a myth, of course, since astronomical timetable errors make the date itself questionable, but we won’t know for sure for a couple of weeks. Besides, isn’t it fun to worry? And as a crackpot theory, it’s keeping us entertained with lots of absurd but fun shows.

    image 

    The film, 2012 took full advantage of the timing of the date very nicely. I thought the story was lame, but as an earth-scorching epic, the vast destruction was hugely satisfying. I just love seeing whole worlds destroyed!

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    The TV show, Revolution, which I thought I’d hate but I love, is more dystopian than apocalyptic, of course, but despite the incredibly implausible premise, the idea that we can still build a civilized world without electricity is a noble fiction. The truth, I fear, would be much darker.

    image 

    Zombie films, like 28 Days, and others, still enjoy a strong popularity. Those stories have a deep link to the apocalypse, too. And everybody loves a good zombie story! Vampires and werewolves, on the other hand, are more the timeless story of eternal struggle, and that’s why they step over the line from science fiction to fantasy. They’ve finally jumped the shark, I think.

    image 

    My current favorite dystopian sci fi stories are Hugh Howey’s Wool series. If you haven’t read them, run, do not walk, to your Kindle bookstore. I am drawn to his sense that, no matter how dire the circumstances, the goodness of humanity will rise to the challenge.

     

    I guess that’s why the first two books (of six) in my Water Worlds series have a darker evil and, hopefully, uplifting characters to combat them. Young Moon lives in the epoch of the Day of Rocks, and with her family, she becomes a fugitive in a world turned upside-down. Sami, a hundred years later, is a child of the dystopian underground, and she struggles to survive with those who live in the vast tunnels, safe from the dangers topside.

    I say, give me a good asteroid strike and a civilization struggling to survive anytime. Now that’s science fiction adventure!

    H.S. St.Ours

    WaterWorlds.me

    Read “Sami” on Wattpad!

    Fifteen-year-old Sami Walker wasn’t born in the tunnels. She’s traveled all over, even as far as the Northern caves beyond Eastport. Only nobodies went farther than that. Story was, there were towns beyond the Dustbowl, but most folk thought that was just stories.

    It’s been almost a century since the sky fell and the world broke apart in a day, and still the people spent their whole lives underground, either in the Five Tunnels, or in the caves, shielded by living stone.

    Sami’s mom and dad are long since dead, and her friends, Sef and Glyn, vanished without a trace, over a year ago, or were chased from the tunnel by the Judge. Now her dearest pal, Simma, was leaving, too, to live under the water in tunnel Tee Two, with her mom and her mom’s new boyfriend.

    She used to feel safe in the tunnels. Used to feel at home. But now, she wasn’t so sure. Her only friend left was her dog Scout, a tunnel stray who adopted her over a year ago. But now, nobodies and someones alike were disappearing, and voices came to her in the dark, warning her of a great danger to come.

    In an adventure of courage and hope, Sami seeks answers and uncovers a mystery that spans worlds.

    “Sami” is Book 2 in the Water Worlds young adult science fiction adventure series.


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    IMPROVE YOUR WRITING EVERY WEEK WITH WATTPAD

    Welcome to the Wattpad Weekly Writing Prompt!

    Start anytime.

    These are free writing prompts for Wattpad writers who want to be inspired and challenged. You’ll come away with new ideas, new techniques and, most importantly, you’ll generate lots of new writing. The prompts are posted every Monday on the Wattpad Insider.

    To join in: read the prompt and get writing – post your writing on the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Threadwhere I’ll give feedback as much as I can!

    The prompts are written by Alice Kuipers, bestselling author of Life on the Refrigerator Door, The Worst Thing She Ever Did and 40 Things I Want To Tell You. Visit her at www.alicekuipers.com:

    Week Four

    Challenging yourself as a writer pushes your imagination and your skills. The prompt this week follows a few steps to challenge your writing ability.

    One thing we’ve been thinking about during these prompts is how to find new and original ways to say things. For example, in a poem, instead of saying ‘My heart bled’ find a more unusual way to describe the pain of loss.

    This week we’re going to use the prompt WINTER MORNING. And we’re going to write a poem – even if you don’t normally write poetry (I told you it might be challenging).

    First, I want you to list any words that come to mind when you see the words WINTER MORNING.

    Re-read what you’ve read. The words on your list are the words I do NOT want you to use when you write your poem. The words on your list are your first impressions, but I want you to dig deeper this week and find out what else you have to say. Forbid yourself the words on this first list. You cannot use them in your poem.

    Write a second list of NEW words using WINTER MORNING as a prompt – this list may be shorter, but it will be more original.

    Use these words to put together a poem.

    Remember, you don’t have to use rhyme, but you do need to think about language and how to bring ideas together in new ways. And it doesn’t have to be long. Sometimes, less is more.

    Post your second list and your poem here at the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread! I’ll read and give feedback as often as I can. 


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