How to Plan a Writing Retreat, Part 3: Food

If you’re going to plan a writing retreat, you’ve got to get rid of the distractions.One of the biggest obstacles to good writing is that pesky need to eat. Here, our Head Chef (my incredibly talented wife, Renée White), enlightens you about the challenges faced by the cooks.

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How to Plan a Writing Retreat, Part 2: The Schedule

So you’ve got your writers’ retreat going, but what do you do from there? Without a structure, the whole thing will deteriorate into drinking and board games. Yes, I know you’re all a bunch of nerds.

This post is all about supporting the goals listed in my first article. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you take a few minutes and head that way. If you’re ready to move onto the next topic, learn about the food requirements. Continue reading How to Plan a Writing Retreat, Part 2: The Schedule

How to Plan a Writing Retreat, Part 1: Goals and Rules

So you’d like to plan a writing retreat. Good, because an effective retreat is like Disneyland with no lines, unlimited food, no screaming kids and only interesting people. Oh, and you don’t have to go outside.

But you’re going to need some goals. Let me help you with that. Continue reading How to Plan a Writing Retreat, Part 1: Goals and Rules

I’m scared of blowing it.

When I was in middle school, I didn’t get along with my classmates. I was miserable, but relatively smart. I was bullied. I got in fights sometimes. I don’t know anyone who did well in middle school, but I really sucked.

Then, I learned about the math and science program at a boarding school in Birmingham. I studied, applied and got in, after a grueling set of exams and interviews. I was just so happy to be away from the horrible place I’d been living. I’d say I burned all of my bridges before I moved away, but I didn’t have any.

Once at the boarding school, however, I pissed away all the good things that had been given to me, and I failed out. Okay, so I withdrew before I could fail out, but that’s a technicality. Now, whenever I meet a scientist, I think, “I could’ve been one of you, if I wasn’t so lazy in high school.” I used to feel compelled to prove myself. Continue reading I’m scared of blowing it.

My dream was to sell a book. We did.

My heart is full and my life is good. Solaris officially announced that my book, EVERY MOUNTAIN MADE LOW, will debut in 2016.

Featuring Pullman-esque world building and set in a future Alabama city known as ‘The Hole,’ Every Mountain Made Low tells the story of Loxley, a young autistic woman whose family have the ability to see the restless dead. But for Loxley, the spirits of the deceased can see her back; they’re drawn to her like a bright fire, and their lightest touch leaves her with painful wounds. She avoids them as best she can, but she can’t say no to the spectre of Nora, her only friend, who was alive just hours ago. Swearing to take blood for blood and find her friend’s killer, she finds herself drawn into a conspiracy that will see her hunted down by the brutal enforcer of the corporate interests who reign over the hellish city.

For every GEARHEART fan who wondered what happened to my writing career, there’s the answer. I thank you all for graciously sticking with me on my journey.

For all of my friends who read my stories and gave encouraging words, thank you. For my agent, who exhibited many forms of genius during this sale, thank you.

Most of all, thanks to my wife and parents for taking care of me during my writing career. We’re at the beginning, but I’m sure I’ll impose on you again soon!

Powerful Writing Music: Kaki King

I love writing to music. I carefully curate my playlists for each book, for each mood. For example, I’m working on a space opera right now, and so I’ve selected several bits of electronica for intense scenes, for ambient scenes and sad scenes. I keep it carefully compartmentalized for emotional content. There’s no point in getting super amped-up if I’m supposed to be writing a quiet confessional. Likewise, sad piano music wouldn’t get me through a laser-strewn dogfight.

Continue reading Powerful Writing Music: Kaki King