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Behind the Scenes: My Writing Life

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millwdgraphicfindoutGoing From Word One to a Career as a Novelist

To help celebrate National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), Webucator (a national training company) asked me to answer some questions on my writing life. If you’ve always wanted to write a novel, it isn’t too late to try it this year, sign up with NaNoWriMo and give it a whirl.
What were my goals when I started writing?
I started writing very young. I wrote plays for my sisters and I to perform, and I had a sixth grade teacher encourage me after I submitted an essay on a disastrous bread baking episode (the dough bubbled and leaked from under the bowl while it was supposed to be rising). Mostly, I just wanted to share my stories with others. Even when I wrote for my high school newspaper, and took creative writing in college, I didn’t think about actually being the kind of writer with books on the library shelf. It wasn’t until I was 20 that I decided I wanted to see a story of mine published, but I never even considered giving up for more than twenty minutes after a particularly stinging rejection. My very first published (not written) novel, The Fairy Tale Bride, is free on all platforms, to thank the universe for letting me share my work with readers.… Read the rest
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Posted in Crazy or Genius?, Lesson From the Backlist, Million Word Adventure, My, How This Business Has Changed, My, How This Business Has Not Changed

Home is Where the Adventure Begins

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doublerainbowHome At Last!

I am home, at last, after an entire summer away, having a big adventure. My husband and I drove across the country, from Maine to California, and back again.

We stopped to see sights both iconic (the Petrified Forest) and ironic (The Jolly Green Giant statue). I have pictures to prove it, and I will share them soon.

I even got to travel the Trans-Canada highway for the first time ever (highly recommended; there are many places where you can stop and just take a break by the water).

We managed to help one son transition from East Coast to West Coast into a long-coveted job, and spent quality time with our grandson.

We had a blast living in San Francisco in a furnished sublet, able to walk to the ocean/bay in any direction we wished.

Unfortunately, I did not get nearly enough work done, especially not writing work.

I have so many travel stories to share with you on the blog, in addition to continuing the Secret Shopper Mom Mystery series with License to Shop, the next Molly Harbison mystery shopper novel. Not to mention the new YA fantasy serialization I have been outlining and working on for a couple of years now.… Read the rest

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Storytellers Unlimited Is Open!

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Authors and Readers…Getting Lost in the Story

I’m excited to report that I’m a part of a new venture — Storytellers Unlimited. The tagline is my headline — doesn’t it just say it all? Authors and readers getting lost in the story, together.

Three other authors and I started this group as a way to find our readers, and to find out what it is that readers want, need, and can’t live without. After all, when it comes right down to it, we’re all readers and story lovers first.

Over the next few months, we’ll be asking readers to tell us what you want (we’re not psychics, although two of us write about psychic characters). I really hope you will go and participate in the conversation.

To stay informed about what we’re up to (contests, special deals, new releases, polls, questions, giveaways, you name it), I invite you to subscribe to our newsletter.

Kelly McClymer Fast Facts Kelly McClymer

Kelly is a writer, a mom, and a reading tutor for children with dyslexia. Plus, she is totally addicted to her iPad. Curse you, Steve Jobs.

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Posted in Crazy or Genius?, My, How This Business Has Changed, My, How This Business Has Not Changed

Great Ideas Come from the Heart

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Ten authors. Thirty plus audiobooks. One contest.

Ten authors. Thirty plus audiobooks. One week. One contest.

Good Ideas, vs Great Ideas

I often think I have great ideas. Ask anyone who has known me longer than a few hours. They can tell you that I frequently start a sentence with, “I just had a great idea!”

Not that the ideas are always that great, of course. But I do love that burst of excitement that comes with an idea that seems a real winner. Having had a few great ideas that panned out in my life, I can definitely say they are fun…in the same way roller coasters are fun, even when your heart dips into your stomach and you wonder if you’ll survive the trip this time.

Telling a great idea from a good idea isn’t always easy, but the great ones tend to stick with you. If they don’t work at first, they come around and sneak up on you another way, until everything comes together and magic happens.

I can also say that my greatest ideas always come from the heart. Like this newest idea I had to promote audiobooks, which, along with 9 other authors, I’m unveiling today.

Kelly McClymer Fast Facts Kelly McClymer

Kelly is a writer, a mom, and a reading tutor for children with dyslexia.

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Posted in Crazy or Genius?, My, How This Business Has Changed, My, How This Business Has Not Changed

An End is Just One Step to a New Beginning

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a picture of a sign that says Welcome The Author's World NINC 2013

What I saw when I got off the plane in Myrtle Beach!

Sometimes It’s a Book That Ends, Sometimes It’s a Conference

The 2013 NINC (Novelists Inc) conference ended October 27th. I left the beach on the 28th. That’s two weeks ago and I’m just now ready to blog about it.

Kelly McClymer Fast Facts Kelly McClymer

Kelly is a writer, a mom, and a reading tutor for children with dyslexia. Plus, she is totally addicted to her iPad. Curse you, Steve Jobs.

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Posted in My, How This Business Has Changed, My, How This Business Has Not Changed

Writing a Picture Book Is Fun

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Playing with Word and Pictures

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Caleb the Sleepy (his due date was the 29th of April, so he was entitled to a few more lazy days).

Okay. The whole Boston thing has me bummed. I’m turning off the news and turning to something fun: writing Caleb’s book.

I’ve been struggling with the way to start. Going from a novel that allows you 250 words to a page (and lots of pages) to a baby book, where I must rely on pictures and very few words to carry the story is a challenge. But I’m enjoying it.

I took a lot of pictures when I visited his mom pre-Caleb’s arrival, and I’m playing with Photoshop to make them work in the story.

Yesterday, in the car, I came up with the first few lines (probably the first few pages, considering this is a baby book and pictures matter most):

Caleb came home with his mommy and daddy on a windy day in March.

Caleb slept a lot at first, because he was born early. Sleepy Caleb.

He has the same "Fascinating!" look in his eye that his mom had at his age.

He has the same “Fascinating!” look in his eye that his mom had at his age.

One day, Caleb stopped sleeping and started looking around.Read the rest

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Making an Audiobook: Interview with Audiobook Narrator Leah Frederick

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The UnintendedBride_2400x2400Please welcome Leah Frederick to the blog today. Leah is the narrator for my first released audiobook The Unintended Bride. [I know, I know, why am I doing them out of order — it wasn’t on purpose, it is just the way things happen.] Amazon and Audible have teamed up to let authors and narrators work together to make audiobooks through the ACX program. This means the author and narrator are the two people who do all of the work. I provided the manuscript, the narrator provided the audio talent and expertise. So far, I’ve listened to three of my books several times to ensure high quality audiobooks. Two more are in the pipeline, and two more will be finding narrators soon. This made me naturally curious to know how it worked from the narrator’s end. I asked Leah a few questions and got some very interesting answers.

Kelly McClymer Fast Facts Kelly McClymer

Kelly is a writer, a mom, and a reading tutor for children with dyslexia. Plus, she is totally addicted to her iPad. Curse you, Steve Jobs.

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Posted in About a Book, My, How This Business Has Changed, My, How This Business Has Not Changed, Pardon My Gossip

Audiobooks — The New Frontier for Indie Authors?

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A good book makes an hour on the treadmill seem too short.

A good book makes an hour on the treadmill seem too short.

Is Listening Really Reading?

I have a confession to make: I have become an audiobook junkie.

Back in the day, when an audiobook cost $80 dollars and came with a tray of cassette tapes 20 strong, I had to be highly motivated to check one out of the library. Even when my family purchased the last Harry Potter on CD for a long car trip, it was not a lightly made purchase.

But then along came .mp3, digital media, and now I love listening to books when I’m in the car, out walking, or running on the track at the Y.

In the car, I listen to Book Radio on Satellite radio when I can (bits and pieces, but I love it anyway). On our summer trip across the country, my husband and I must have listened to ten books in various genres. Some good, some not so good. All better than most of the choices on FM radio.

I hadn’t considered turning my books into audiobooks, though. It seemed like too much work. Until Audible (an Amazon company) performed its magic and created ACX — a platform that allows authors and narrators to team up to produce and sell audiobooks.… Read the rest

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Posted in Crazy or Genius?, My, How This Business Has Changed, My, How This Business Has Not Changed

A DIY Retreat With Style and Economy

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A nursery waiting for paint...and a baby.

A nursery waiting for paint…and a baby.

When Is It Time for a Retreat?

The Northeastern winters get tough on me. I’m not fond of trudging through snow. I start to feel housebound. I have tried many things to keep myself in a healthy and creative mindset: going to the Y, curling up with a great book by the wood stove, trying delicious sounding soup and stew recipes.

But sometimes nothing works and I find myself sitting under a blanket wishing I were in Hawaii (I’ve never been, but in my mind, that’s the place where creativity reigns unfettered).

I begin to search online for writer’s retreats, or spas where I might spend two weeks having someone else make my meals, wandering around warm snow-free walking paths, joining a yoga class every morning…and, most of all, having hours of solitary focus on my writing. It always sounds like heaven…expensive heaven.

Running Away on the Cheap

This year, I knew I needed to find a way to get away. I trolled my usual suspects, but there was no way I could afford them. Then I got an email from Virgin America about a sale. I could nab an inexpensive ticket to San Francisco.… Read the rest

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My ‘The Authors Corner’ Interview Link!

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sunflower with a smileI was scheduled to talk to Elaine Raco Chase on her blogtalk radio program, The Authors Corner, on Thursday night, but Elaine had an emergency and had to cancel (everything is fine now). We rescheduled for Saturday and had a blast talking about mystery shopping — something it turns out we both have experience with. Although I think Elaine could have been a better candidate to turn into my mystery shopping sleuth Molly because Elaine had some real adventures in her shopping experiences. (You’ll have to listen to the show to hear what I mean.)

You can find the show to listen to here: The Authors Corner 2/10/13 and you’ll find me on at 9:30 — but why not listen to the whole show, because Elaine is very good at prying secrets out of authors.

Kelly McClymer Fast Facts Kelly McClymer

Kelly is a writer, a mom, and a reading tutor for children with dyslexia. Plus, she is totally addicted to her iPad. Curse you, Steve Jobs.

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I'm planning to write a million words in four months. If you want to help cheer me on, The Million Word Adventure will tell you how.


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