July 2013 - Tianna Holley | Tianna Holley

Not All Writers Follow the Rules

Posted by on Jul 30, 2013 in Uncategorized | 6 comments

Although I love to write, I could never teach a writing class.  Even when I home schooled my children, I sent them off to creative writing classes instead of teaching them myself.  I did follow the guidelines in their grammar books and forced my way through the chapters on outlining and the writing process that everyone should learn.  I believe everyone should know how to use a topic sentence and know how to write a proper paragraph.  It’s the planning process that I disagree with.  It’s not wrong.  It’s just not for everyone.

I’ve always had a problem with outlining and planning, even in my early school years.  Most recently, my husband got me to realize how much I truly hate the process, as we are complete opposites in our personality, and bless his little heart, he tried to help me when I started writing Unexpected Metamorphosis.  It did not end well for him.

I still remember that night perfectly.  I was telling him my ideas for the story and where I was taking the main characters.  (It was more of a moment where he was supposed to listen and not try to fix anything, but he noticed I was not following the “proper” process and felt that he needed to help with that.)  As I was rambling on while trying to get the story placed properly in my mind, he pulled out his laptop, pen, and paper.  It seems he had taken an interest in my writing and had read articles online about how to write, and I was not following any of the steps (NONE).  He needed to fix that because, surely, that would make my writing and life better.

The moment he started talking about outlines and the planning process, I openly cringed, and he lost me.  I did not want to hear about it or even talk about it.  An organized planning process stifles and suffocates me (as do most lists of rules).  My poor husband took my distaste personally, and that is how the night ended.  He has not offered to help me again when it comes to how I write, and I believe he is one step closer in understanding my random personality.  (He’ll never truly understand.)

After reading the comments on a post about outlining, I now realize I’m in the minority (as usual with how I do things) when it comes to writing.  Most authors depend on outlines to keep their stories from getting away from them.  That’s the opposite of how I think.  I let the characters take me to new places I had not planned.  In fact, I did not plan most of the scenes between Alissia, Grady, and Luke.  I did not even come up with Luke until the night I started typing about him.  If I had outlined my story ahead of time, I doubt one of the main characters would have come into the story.  I did not have a clear plan when I created Luke, but he soon took center stage in the story.  (He does seem to have that strong personality.)

If you are an author reading this post, I’m curious to know what writing process you choose to follow.  Does the mere thought of an outline scare you, or are you a strict follower of the use of an outline?

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Family Adjustments Since Becoming an Author

Posted by on Jul 26, 2013 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

My adorable little five-year old crawled into my bed this morning to snuggle, and he started the conversation with, “When I grow up, I’m going to be a publisher.”  He continued with talk about book cover design and that he wants to change his name in case he ever decides to write a book.  He then decided he would write one about robots.

In the end, I was quite amazed at how much he knows about the publishing industry.  As the day has progressed, I have begun to think about how much change this family has endured now that I have become an author.  Before I became consumed with the life of Alissia Roswell, I home schooled my children and was a full-time mom.  Now, I spend the majority of my time at my desk typing at the computer, and this fall will be their first year in a public school.  My oldest daughter is a bit nervous about this, but I believe she will adapt.

Then there’s my husband Daryl.  He is doing more around the house and is having to get used to less homemade desserts.  Although I still love to bake, my time is more limited in the kitchen.  Luckily, I have two daughters that share my passion of cooking, and I can sometimes talk them into cooking dinner or baking something sweet, yet healthy.

Social media has become a necessity in my life for marketing and networking, and I now find myself answering emails, tweeting, and checking my Facebook more often than I would like.  I’ve got to learn time management when school begins since that is when I plan to focus on book two of the Alissia Roswell series.  I have a time limit and plan to stay on schedule.

Although our lives have drastically changed now that I have become an author, I’m pleased by these changes in my family.  My children are becoming more independent, and my husband is getting more involved with running the house.  I never planned to write a novel.  In fact, I did not know myself until the week I started typing.  The story came to me, and it had to get out.  I was driven to write, and at first it was for myself.  I did not plan to try to have it published until about halfway through, when my friend and I realized it was a great story worth sharing.

I believe a lot of families go through changes like ours.  You may not have become an author, but it could be something else.  I would love to hear about it in the comments section if you would like to share your version, and I look forward to the discussion.



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Book Review of Red and Grey

Posted by on Jul 22, 2013 in My Reviews | 0 comments

I was recently given a proof copy of Red and Grey, written by Christine Brant, and I must admit that I stayed up until 6:15 in the morning to finish reading it.  It’s been a while since I enjoyed a book this much, and I highly recommend it to other lovers of fantasy romance.  I even appreciate the beautiful cover design!

Although the story has some references to Little Red Riding Hood, it is done in such a creative way that I could not help but smile as it all started coming together.  It’s filled with magic, mystery, and romance, and it kept me intrigued all through the night.  It was well worth only getting two hours of sleep before my busy day began. I finished the book with a smile–and a little guilt and worry from the light starting to come through the window and the sound of birds rising from their slumber.

I easily bonded with the main characters and enjoyed the romance in this novel.  I can’t wait to see what happens next and will be watching for the next book from Ms. Brant.  This is her debut novel, and she is such a gifted storyteller.

As for my conservative parent’s rating, I will label this one R because of one slightly graphic sex scene. There were about two curse words in the book. Other than that, the characters held an old world belief when it came to sex outside of marriage.  They did not believe in it.

Be sure to click on the link below to read a detailed description of Red and Grey.  While there, you can also read the first portion of the book.  Here’s an interview I did with Christine.  Hope you enjoy!

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I Finally Get to Hold the Book in My Hands

Posted by on Jul 17, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

My son opened the door first thing this morning to let our little dog Gigi out, and guess what he found on the porch.  It’s here!  It’s finally here.  Although I’m happy, I thought I’d be ecstatic about getting to hold my novel for the first time, but all I can think about is the rest of my list of things to do.  The pile on my desk is a bit high, and I’m trying to get caught up before the children go back to school next month, and then I get to focus on the next book in the series.  That is what I’m looking forward to, going back to writing.  That is the fun part of being an author.  The rest is work.

I’m ready to immerse my mind in the life of Alissia once again and let her story flow through my fingers onto the keyboard.  Her story is already in my head, wanting desperately to get out.

I guess if I had to search for an emotion today, it would be a sense of feeling blessed.  Becoming an author was not really my plan.  In fact, I had no idea I would start writing a book until about four days before I started typing, and once I started, I was not doing it to get published.  I was doing it for myself.

Unexpected Metamorphosis has changed my life in many ways.  Where I once spent my days homeschooling my children, I now spend my days at a desk handling marketing, networking, designing, blogging, publishing, and writing.  It fits my Type A personality well.

I hope you will read my novel and leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon, and I await your comments also.  All authors want to hear how their writings affect others.  I love talking to someone after they’ve read Alissia’s story.  Each person comes away with different thoughts.


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The Game I Like to Play with My Readers

Posted by on Jul 9, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When I started writing Unexpected Metamorphosis, it started out much simpler than the end result.  I had a vision in my head.  (No, I don’t outline.  That does not go with my random and just do it personality.  Even the thought of doing an outline makes me cringe and did while in school.)  Over time that vision grew, and the story evolved into a wild adventure.  I greatly enjoyed my dedicated plot reader trying to figure out what would happen next or how the story would go.  She would call me after reading the latest typing, and I would laugh at her attempts to figure out where I was taking Alissia and the other characters.

I hate reading a book that I know the ending before I get to it.  The best reads are the ones where the ending is a great surprise, and I never saw it coming.  As a writer, it is a game I like to play with my readers, and I like to throw little surprises of intrigue and mystery along the way.

I also like to keep things real, well in a nonliteral way.  What I mean by that is this book is definitely fantasy, but my characters don’t just happen to stumble upon a quick fix or there just happens to be what they need nearby.  Instead, when there is trouble, they have to deal with it, but don’t let that scare you away from the book.  Although there is plenty of trouble, mystery, and unknowns in Unexpected Metamorphosis, there is also plenty of complicated romance and fun scenes where you will smile and laugh.  (I know this from the feedback and even watching some of my readers as they read.)

If I had to describe this novel with one word, it would be adventure.  I took an ordinary woman with a pleasant lifestyle and took her on a wild adventure with many unexpected twists along the way.

If you have not read the first two chapters by now, please click the link on the menu at the top of this page.  Once you have finished reading, you can click here to add it to your read list on Goodreads.  You can also follow my author page by clicking here.

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