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Make Powerful Intentions and Reach your Goals

Happy New Year!

Hello, my wonderful blogging community, fellow writers and avid readers.

I make vague resolutions at best, that evolve my aspirations into intentions and goals. And the reason why I’m not so hot for resolutions, is because they’re as fragile as glass. Treated like promises, that ultimately shatter into a million fragments and scatter to the wind. Never to be recovered, or fulfilled – leaving only bitter disappointment. It’s how I imagine Cinderella felt, a rich world of wishes and dreams at her fingertips only to vanish at that notorious strike of midnight.

Cinderella giphy

Instead I promise to honour myself with love and care. To grow in new ways that allow for my writing journey to unfold.  Whatever will be, will be… helped along by my hard work and determination.

Even though I’ve taken a couple of weeks away from blogging, I’ve loved reading everyone’s reflections about last year and how they plan to approach 2019.

It’s got me thinking about my own journey and how far I’ve come in one short year. So here are the highlights:

I attended two writing events packed with advice about the publishing journey and submitting. I pitched to an agent and met up with fellow blogger, the wonderfully talented Amelia over at the Uninspired Writers.

I’ve had my submission package critiqued by the superb agent Sallyanne Sweeney and an editor from firefly publishing house. Where I received critique that strengthened my novel and helped me accept that my books are better suited to the adult genre and not YA.

I began submitting to the US where I received a few personalized feedbacks about great writing, but told my concept isn’t strong enough. Hopefully, novel 2 will have more success.

Entered PitchWars.

Entered two PitMad events over at Twitter and had interest from 1 agency and 1 publishing house. (See, they liked my concept – proving it really is subjective.) Unfortunatly, they were not the right fit for me.

One of my short stories was shortlisted in a competition by the Henshaw Press.

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Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

And I got to work with two new betas, giving me three amazingly supportive girls.

Uninspired Writers

Ari Meghlen

K.M. Allan

My love and eternal gratitude goes out to each and every one of you. I can’t thank you all enough for the support and encouragement I’ve received. So here’s to a new year, with new mountains to climb. Let’s take in the sights together.

Why not share your hopes and dreams for 2019 with me. What’s one thing you aim to accomplish this year? You know I love to hear from you, so please drop me a comment.

Until next time, Much Love.

Lorraine Xx

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.
snowflake Christmas ice photo

Writing Deadlines and keeping the Christmas Cheer

With the encroaching Christmas holidays, deadlines become a predominant factor in most of our minds. They add additional pressure to an already fraught time of year. Manifesting stress where it’s not needed, this is something I’m guilty of. I pile on extra jobs and beat myself up for not accomplishing each and every single one of them.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

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On top of the extra demands of December: Shop, wrap, cook, clean, preen. We authors often juggle work, family, and the demands of writing, promoting, blogging and social media.

Realising how insane all of that sounds, I thought this week’s blog could help lighten the load by shinning a little comedy and sprinkle a few well-meaning quotes into the mix. Sit back and enjoy!

“At times, it is better to “just do it” than to “do it right”. One reason new year resolutions don’t work is that we expect too much from ourselves. Rush, meet your deadlines, you can always continue from where you stopped next year.” ― Asuni LadyZeal

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“A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.” – Garrison Keillor
***
“I love Christmas. I receive a lot of wonderful presents I can’t wait to exchange.” – Henny Youngman
***
“A deadline is a negative inspiration. Still, it’s better than no inspiration at all.”
― Rita Mae Brown
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“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” ― Diana Scharf
***
“If the novels are still being read in 50 years, no one is ever going to say: ‘What’s great about that sixth book is that he met his deadline!’ It will be about how the whole thing stands up.”
― George R.R. Martin
So my fellow writers, take a leaf from some of the greats and relax over the deadlines. By all means, keep writing and work towards your goals, but at the end of the day: Pop your pajamas on, watch a Christmas movie, drink hot chocolate and enjoy the festive season.
As always folks, thanks for reading. What sort of deadlines do you place on yourself at Christmas and how do you relax and unwind at the end of the day? Tell me all about it, you know I love to hear from you.
Until next time, Much Love. xXx
Author Lorraine Ambers Web-Banner YA fantasy book review romance

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6 Tips For Adding Tension

This week I’m sharing the fantastic blogger Kate’s; 6 tips on creating tension in our writing.

K.M. Allan

Have you ever read a book you couldn’t put it down? A story where you couldn’t flip the page fast enough, or wait to dive back into its chapters, resenting all life distractions until you can read “The End”?

While novels like this are no doubt filled with worlds you connect with, terrific or terrifying characters, real dialogue, and surprising plot twists, they also contain the one thing that makes your readers eager to see what happens next: tension.

Adding tension to your story is like putting frosting on a cake. The frosting is arguably the best part of the cake, and tension is like that for your story. It draws the reader in; they want more, right until the last sentence, when all the delicious cake story has been devoured.

So how do you get this awesome tension baked into your MS? By giving these tips a try…

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Love Inspiration Dreams

Writers: Thanks a Million

Today I’m filled with appreciation and love for my fellow writers. All the bloggers, all the twitter writing community, my Facebook friends and my adorable Instagram peeps.

Wonderful people spread over many virtual places. But just because we aren’t connected in a skin and bones, face to face way doesn’t diminish the respect or gratitude I feel towards you all.

I know that we all take the risk as writers to bare our souls, to delve deep under the surface of emotions, to expose that which makes us human.

Thank you message in a bottle

I’ve struggled this week with a chest infection and the knock on effect of poor mental health. I burrowed away with low energy, a rattling chest and crippling doubt.

Yet the inspiration and positive vibes from my community kept me strong and pulled me out the other side.

So thank you all.

Each week I get such a fantastic response from you all, you share your experiences, your views and most of all your personality. I owe you all my humble admiration and love. Because sometimes we need to simply spread the joy.

Keep dreaming and aim high.

Tell me about your week, how is the autumn season beginning for you. Much Love Xx

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard YA Fantasy Romance Novel

Review: Red Queen by Victoria Averyard

Blurb.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard YA Fantasy Romance NovelTHIS IS A WORLD DIVIDED BY BLOOD – RED OR SILVER.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart . . .


I award this novel 4/5

Review

If you love fantastic fantasy worldbuilding with a slight dystopian feel, mild romance and a strong heroine, then this novel is for you.

The worldbuilding in this novel was immersive, elaborately designed and vivid. The separation between the powerful Silver bloods and the poverty stricken lands of the ordinary Red’s created a world that made me long to see the powerful tumble.

Mare as the main character is likable; her flaws are relatable and even lovable. She feels her mother looks down upon her compared to her angelic sister. Yet Mare is only trying to do what she can for her family and best friend. The beginning of the book is enchanting and Mares dedication to her loved ones hooked me from the start.

Once Mare enters the world of the Silver’s things change, although the plot still pulls us forward with awful antagonists and superb action scenes, the complexity of the two princes and their roles to play alongside Mare. Unfortunately everything came across as obvious. Especially, without giving away spoilers, the main plot twist – I saw it from miles away, hence the four stars.

That being said, the novel is a worthy contender on my bookcase and I’m eager to delve into book Two. Even if the reviews claim the series goes downhill from here, shame, but I’m still invested in Mare and her cause.

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

Have you read the Red Queen series? If so, what are your opinions on the series.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, Much Love Xxx

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.

Dear Manuscript: It’s not you. #pitchwars

I’ve been assessing my position from the query trenches with over 50 rejections. Phew! That was hard to admit. But I’m ok with that number because I’m constantly strengthening my work before sending back it in the world. Today I thought I’d share some of the reasons why manuscript gets rejected which have nothing to do with writing abilities.

Book Petals Love Writing Novel Author Lorraine Ambers

Recently I entered Pitch Wars, a competition to be mentored. On average I’m competing with 300 authors for each mentor I’ve submitted to, meaning my chances are slim. This echoes the same stakes as sending a submission to agents. Competing with hundreds of other applicants for the chance to win an agent.

Now I love twitter, it’s fast paced, honest, and has some great tips for writers. And what I love most are the amazing threads that come up offering a glimpse into the minds of mentors and agents.

One of this year’s Pitch Wars mentors is Adalyn Graces. She tweeted: ALSO, if you get 0 requests, it isn’t always because of your submission material. Some possible reasons:

-We are writing or plan to write something with a similar concept.

-The concept just isn’t right for us in that moment

– It could also be a mood thing. Or that a mentor only wanted to request 10 manuscripts out of 300. Literally there’re so many reasons. It’s never a bad idea to get more eyes on your work to see what you can strengthen, but sometimes it’s not about your material.

 

The Magicians - Quentin meme

Another Pitch Wars mentor, Kim Chance (read her interview with Ari Meghlen) tweeted: No requests in NOT an indicator of the quality of your work. There are just SO many factors that go into the decision to request or not. The talent this year is incredible and the mentors are so proud of you and your hard work.

Over at Jason Hine’s blog he sheds some light on why our stories are loved but just not enough to be chosen. For peace of mind and inspiration I suggest you take a look.

https://www.jasonhine.com/blog/2018/9/5/pitchwars-insights-reading-for-the-one

Last weekend I attended a Writers & Artist writing event, where I met the fellow blogger M.L. Davis. She’s a fantastic writer and superb beta partner. Together we absorbed the advice from  a panel of agents answering some of the elusive questions surrounding their Slush Pile and demystifying the process.

About 80% of the queries/ cover letters end up straight in the bin. Simply because the writer hasn’t taken the time to do their homework. So be sure to address the letter to the correct agent and make sure they represent your genre.

Sometimes the concept or voice is too familiar to them. Perhaps they’re already working with someone who’s wrote something similar. Maybe the planets aren’t aligned or they woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Every agent, publisher or mentor is just a person with individual likes, dislikes and ideas.

Keep writing. Don’t stop believing in yourself and chase your dreams. I have faith in you.

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

What are your thoughts on receiving rejections? And dare you admit to how many you’ve had. I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time, Much Love.

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© Author Lorraine Ambers and http://www.lorraineambers.com, 2018.
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Writers – Do You Feel Like A Fraud?

“The stories we tell literally make the world. If you want to change the world, you need to change your story.” — Michael Margolis

I often hear writers talk about how young they were when they started writing, how they’ve always been avid readers. And I admire them for that, but my journey was different. In the past, that cast a shadow over my confidence, adding to my writers fraud like complex. Oh my, I’m not a real writer… I haven’t been writing since I was five… or I didn’t complete my first MS at 16.

writer author Lorraine Ambers desk fantasy romance YA

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” — Maya Angelou

The first story I wrote was in junior school about an alien coming to earth. The story flowed; words filled the pages of my little red text book. The problem was, I couldn’t stop. I struggled to fit an ending into the alotted time of my English lesson. I remember rounding the story off with a blunt, awful ending. I felt defeated and decided I was a terrible writer.

Quote - Those who tell stories rule the world

As a teenager, I stuck to crafting cringe worthy pop rifts and filling journals with my darkest fears and faraway dreams. I didn’t once consider myself a writer. Yet I’ve always crafted stories. I’d stare off into space and daydream: Plotting, planning, defining characters and building worlds. I had no idea that I was writing stories in my mind. I had no need for pen or paper, because I was playing out the tales in my imagination.

“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” — J.K. Rowling

Dream Big and Let Nothing Hold You Back
Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

We have all lived different lives. Beauty doesn’t lay in the repetition of tales, it’s in the uniqueness. Never compare yourself to others, instead revel in your own journey. No matter how difficult or ordinary it may seem… there is splendour in each tale told.

Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” —Robert McKee 

Tell my something about your life that’s special, extraordinary or perfectly simple. I’d love to get to know you a little better.

Until next time, thanks for reading and Much Love xx

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

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Enjoy the Writing Journey

Dreaming big and working towards goals is great. But what happens when our ego takes over and all we can think about is when? When will I get an agent? When will I be published?

What happens when anxiety sets in and all we can this about is why? Why am I being rejected? Why am I not good enough?

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Ultimately thinking like this will result in doubt and a feeling of failure.

Stop!!!

Take a moment to remember why you started writing in the first place. What do you enjoy about writing? I’m sure no one wrote their first flash fiction or poetic prose with an endgame in site. We did it for fun, for passion, for joy.

Enjoy the journey - Benedict Cumberbatch
– Benedict Cumberbatch

Don’t let your aspirations stifle that wonderful energy. While our dreams as authors may be similar, our paths and unique abilities never are.

 

Allow the ego to set daily intensions: Maybe to hit a word count. Perhaps edit a chapter. Or learn how to use a particular social media. But don’t let it plot, plan and pinpoint every turn in your future. That will lead to disharmony and stress, because nothing is for certain.

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What we can take control of is this moment. So relax and enjoy the process. Choose to enjoy your family, saviour the dog walk or curl up on the sofa and read. Realise that life is good now, it’s the only time that truly matters.

Do you struggle with waiting for the outcome? Maybe you’ve wrestle with desire and a feeling of being imcomplete.

How do you deal with those emotions? Please share your journey with me, you know I love to hear from  you.

Until next time, Much Love xx

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

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Being a writer takes guts, so own it.

Four years ago, I join a creative writing class and started my first novel. Back then, I would never have imagined myself as a blogger, of having a platform of this scale, and I certainly didn’t see myself as being an author.

I would have blushed and mumbled that I was taking a writing class, whilst secretly writing a book. And in private I would aspire about being an author.

The Magicians - Quentin meme

If this is where you are, stop! You’re not aspiring to anything… if you write, you’re a writer. It takes blood, (probably from a paper cut, but still) sweat and tears to pour your heart and soul into your work. It takes dedication and sacrifice, to set aside time to write away from family and work commitments.

It deserves acknowledgment, and not from an outside source:

Oh, when I get good feedback I’ll feel successful – no you won’t.
But, when I get an agent or a publisher I’ll feel validated – no you won’t.
If my social media hits 10k+ I’ll feel amazing – no, No and NO YOU WON’T.

The Magicians - Margo Meme

Because until you make the choice to feel those things now, in this moment, to own your creativity as a writer. To validate your achievements, no matter how small. To know that even if you don’t get an agent, a publisher or make a healthy amount of sales on amazon – YOU ARE STILL AN AUTHOR! And heck, I’m proud of you.

It’s important for you to realise is that it’s ok to dream big. The next time someone asks you what you do, say: I’m an author and smile. Own that feeling of pride. Most people dream of writing a book, but do they have the stamina to stick with it. Who knows, but guess what? You did! You’re the one revising, editing and repeating.

This isn’t a hobby, a whimsical what if.

If you’re in it to win it, own it. Because you deserve it! You’re worth it!!

The Magicians - Alice Meme

Be the High Queen or High King of your destiny. Have faith in your future and walk tall knowing that every small step you take, is carrying you towards a future of infinite possibilities. Enjoy the process, reach out and make connections with your fellow writers, interact with your followers and take a moment to truly relish in your unique ability as an author.

 

The Magicians High king and Queen meme

Be brave my fellow authors and seize the day.

Yes, I’m a huge Magicians geek. The show and books it’s based on are fantstic. Have you watched the show? If so, who’s your favourite character. I’d have to pick Margo.

As always thanks for stopping by. You know I love your comments, so tell me; are you still hiding in the shadows, or have you decided to own your place as an author?

Until next time: Much Love.

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

 

Dream Big and Let Nothing Hold You Back

Dream Big and Don’t Hold You Back

When I started on my journey as a writer, I never imagined I’d be where I am today. I have two complete manuscripts; I have made great friends with some amazing bloggers, critique partners and fellow creative writers. I’ve watched them grow and flourish, just as I have.

Becoming a writer was a challenge for me. I had to channel my daydreaming energy into something tangible. I needed to focus and direct my energy into what I wanted most.

Girl Butterflies Chase your Dreams

I’m not the first, or last to be daunted by trying something new. To move away from the comfort of their current position and pursue a passion. To push themselves to achieve more. It’s scary starting out!

I had to overcome my negative thought patterns and self-doubt.

  • Where would I find the time?
  • Family comes first – I’m being selfish.
  • What if I’m not good enough?
  • What if I fail?

Do any of them sound familiar to you?

Inspirational quote

In the end I simply started. I joined a creative writing group and wrote a little each day. Ten minutes a day grew to half an hour or more. Two years later and I’d finished the first draft of my first book. Then I dipped my toe into the sea of social media. And began blogging, and two years later I’m still here, still persevering.

Believing that my dreams, to be a traditionally published author, will come true. Even when my fears creep in, trying to drown me in doubt, I ignored them and carried on. Why? That’s simple… I love writing! And you know what, your five minutes a day could flourish into something too.

You’re allowed to start a new hobby, or learn a new craft. You’re allowed to make mistakes, you’re human after all. The beauty of failure is that’s how we learn and grow. This is your life; it’s time to live it.

So give it a try… what do you have to lose?

I believe in dreams, fantasy, reality and all things in between. Follow your passion. Do it today. Make the choice to change, and know that from this moment on, every step you take will lead you towards a brighter future. If you’re brave enough to follow your dreams, they will start to come true.

Tell me about your dreams and aspirations. Or about any dreams you’ve already acomplished. As always, thanks for reading. Much Love x

Author Lorraine Ambers - YA fantasy romance writer

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