• #WhyIWrite

    Life Lessons Gleaned from Novel Writing

    By Carolyn Astfalk After I’d given birth to my first child, I vowed I’d never allow any task or experience to intimidate me again. After all, despite my worries and fears, I’d just delivered a little human being, sans medication no less. If I could do that, I could accomplish anything. But time has a way of dulling memories, especially those surrounding childbirth. (Thanks be to God.) When in November of 2010, I decided to give National Novel Writing Month a shot, I was intimidated. Surely fifty thousand words in thirty days would be less daunting than childbirth, right? But the bold sense of empowerment I’d felt after my son…

  • #WhyIWrite

    6 Must-Haves For Nurturing Relationships With Readers

    I love my readers!  They say such nice things about me, like: “Grubb thinks big. And it comes across in her novels. They’re packed with action and romance and great dialogue. But she never compromises. There’s a moral line she doesn’t cross…but they aren’t stuffy or stilted in any way.” Or, “Entertaining and made the time fly. Hard to put down. I normally read 50-75 novels a year and most of them I read and forget. This one has stayed with me. Quirky romantic hero, well-defined characters, and a great story. There were a few typos and other grammatical issues, but easy to overlook when the story is so good.…

  • #WhyIWrite

    Why I Write — By Paula Kelly Ince (A Series By The Writers of 10 Minute Novelists)

    When I read this quote from Philip Pullman everything inside me shouted; yes! Fiction is my first love – I fell in love with fiction long before I fell in love with any boys or girls. I come from a large, chaotic family and whilst we all love one another, there is always some sort of drama going on, always has been. I was the eldest of five, on top of which my parents were emergency foster carers, so we regularly had neglected and abused children arriving on our doorstep at various times of the day and night and staying for anything between a few days and several months. Story…

  • #WhyIWrite

    Why I Write: A Guest Post By Vickie Miller

    I write for many reasons, some of which you wouldn’t understand. But most of all, I write because it’s freeing. Growing up, there wasn’t much I could do. My family was poor. We lived far away from the center of town for many years. There were too many mouths to feed. And I was a nerd. Reading was my favorite sport. Can it be a sport? There was little else that interested me and I didn’t know how to draw. So, when the moment came in third grade where the students were required to enter a writing contest as an assignment (is it really a contest if entry is mandatory?),…

  • #WhyIWrite

    Fantasy: The (Not So) Easy Genre: A Guest Post by Joanna Maciejewska

      Everybody says that writing fantasy is easy. You don’t have to do research, and you can create just about anything your imagination conjures. It’s all nonexistent anyway, right? As a writer of speculative fiction, both fantasy and science-fiction, I can say from my experience: quite to the contrary. I think fantasy is one of the most difficult genres to write. While other genre writes can set their novels in known places, fantasy writers have to research everything. To create their setting they need to understand politics, physics, economy, geology, climate … and the list goes on. Of course one could point out, that many of the fantasy settings, especially…

  • #WhyIWrite,  Perils of a Mom Writer

    Why I Write: A Guest Post By Carolyn Astfalk

    I only recently pondered why I write. I simply knew that I had to write, so I did. My love affair with the written word started with clumsily-illustrated stories and spelling bees and grew to student newspapers in grade school, high school, and college. My affection for pen and ink led me to try my hand at calligraphy. During summer visits, I sat spellbound as my aunt, my mother’s only sister, analyzed my handwriting as well as written samples from my family members, friends, and teachers. My penchant for fiction grew out of Nancy Drew speed reading competitions with my best friend and blossomed into the memorization of S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders and my love for Margaret Mitchell’s…

  • #WhyIWrite,  Beautiful Words,  Creativity,  Self Talk

    What Is Beautiful To Me by Katharine Grubb

      What is beautiful?  It is beautiful to stop and take deep breaths. To understand that your breathing not just helps your body but it also calms you down. Your deep breaths soothe your mind. Deep breaths free you up to think and act clearly. Deep breathing is a pacifier, a soother, a psychological binky.  You can wrap yourself up in your own breaths and rest deeply. You can breathe the toxins out of your body. You can breathe out the bad thoughts and the invasive poisons. What is beautiful? It is beautiful to choose to be free and walk in truth. What’s beautiful in the journey of truth is…

  • #WhyIWrite

    Why I Write By Katharine Grubb, Founder 10 Minute Novelists

       You may have been like me. You may have always needed to write. You may have been like me and you had five children under eight years old and all you could think about is a story.  Or maybe you wondered why if you could tell a funny story about a bunny at bath time, why you couldn’t tell something more complicated and interesting for others? So in your desperation, you checked a book out of the library and you read it while you were nursing the baby.  Or when you sat at the playground or watched the children play in the back yard. You thought about writing even though…

  • #WhyIWrite

    Pushing Your Own Boundaries: A Guest Post By Patricia D. Eddy

     May has been a pretty terrible month for me. April too, for that matter. You see, I sent my latest book, A Shift in the Air, off to my new editor, and she…well…she ripped it apart. Now, let me be clear. She was incredibly supportive and not at all mean about said ripping, but I’m still finding little shredded pieces of manuscript all over the virtual floor. I wrote about the struggle several times in an author’s reality, I did it, Breaking up is hard to do, and Editing: the good, the bad, and the ugly, approached the whole thing with a “suck it up, Buttercup” attitude. I could do…

  • #WhyIWrite,  Beautiful Words

    Beauty, Truth, and the Power to Transcend: A Guest Post by Carolyn Astfalk

      Sometimes we recognize beauty on sight. Where beauty exists in the natural world, it’s often easily discernible. Other times, we have to dig to see the beauty or observe from a different perspective to grasp its intricacy or totality. Whether we readily recognize beauty or not, its creation isn’t a slapdash affair. It can be a complicated, messy process that requires deliberate planning, execution, and revision. However difficult it may be to infuse our art with beauty, it is critical to its acceptance and appreciation. Truth and beauty create transcendence, and it’s transcendence that resonates with readers. Beauty, in its universality, becomes personalist. “In so far as it seeks…

  • #WhyIWrite

    Why I Write: A Series By Members of 10 Minute Novelists — By Tyler Omichimski

    I have a cheap and easy cop-out for this one: I write because I don’t know how not to. I started writing when I was five or something, writing terrible things that were filled with deus ex machina and what would have me castigated for flagrant copyright violations. Fortunately, none of that got published. I also read. Reading is like a religion to me. It’s a challenge. Friends and family have joked, in the past, that I don’t read so much as eat books. I read fast. That’s thanks to my dad reading the entirety of The Hobbit, and then the entirety of the Lord of the Rings trilogy to…

  • #WhyIWrite

    Why I Write: A Series From The Authors Of 10 Minute Novelists Featuring Melissa Graham

    From Melissa Graham: About 10 years ago, I was in a very bad place. I was young, married to one of the most selfish beings I’ve ever met, and had two very young children. I’d lost my home, my possessions– including a car, which is an absolute necessity in this city– my security, my confidence, my independence and, worst of all, my identity. Barely into my twenties, all I had to my name was the love for my babies and the pity of my family. While my children and I were stuck in my parents’ house, their father was absent, doing whatever he did to pass the time, except when…

  • #WhyIWrite,  Craft,  Creativity,  Cultural Relevance

    Why I Write: Literature’s Role in the Teen’s Journey to Self-Acceptance, A Guest Post by YA Author Ellen Mulholland

    Back in the late 70s and early 80s, I was a high school English geek. I was the nerdy girl who loved and debated every book we read. I was the good friend who helped with essays and theme analyses. I savored each minute of class and could have spent the entire school day reading and writing. We read the greats –Austen, Knowles, Steinbeck, and Lee. Stories about courage, love and discovery. We discussed characters’ journeys and authors’ themes. We explored friendship and family; and I fell in love with Elizabeth Bennet, Gene Forrester, Tom Joad, and Scout. Inside my own middle-class upbringing, I understood that every teen embarked on…