End of the Year Recap and Plans for 2017

It feels like yesterday that I was writing my recap for 2015, and now we’re moving forward into 2017. I almost don’t believe it. As I forge ahead, looking at the future and what I want to accomplish, I lovingly look back at what I have done in 2016. While I didn’t publish the one book (Bond to Break) that I had hoped to due to unforeseen circumstances, I did get to publish the first three books (Tainted, Crushed, and Haunted) in a series that is close to my heart. I also exceeded my writing goal and completed seven new books, 3 being the final ones of the Demon Within series, two being YA contemporary romances, and the last two being the first of a brand new fantasy series.

As for 2017, I’m going to focus on releasing the books I wrote in 2016 while also writing another six books for 2018. I’m also going to start looking into expanding my editorial team to include a few more beta readers since my schedule will be pretty full. If you are interested in becoming a beta reader for me, please contact me here. I’m looking for people who love all types of YA, are honest in opinion, and are avid readers. You do not have to proofread for errors, but I would like people who can read and respond fairly quickly (2-3 weeks.) All beta readers will get a print copy of the book, swag, and a ton of gratitude.

I want to thank everyone who has been a tremendous help in my somewhat daunting publishing schedule. With the help of Jan, Katie, Jamie, and Courtney, Destined for Love, Stolen from Me, Tainted, Crushed, Haunted, and O Unholy Nights made it out into the world, and I couldn’t be happier with them. You are all so invaluable and amazing.

Also, a special thanks to all my readers near and far. Without you, this journey wouldn’t be as amazing. Here’s to a new year full of happiness, love, good books, new and old friendships, and so much more!

XOXO,

Ginna

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Love Triangles

#TeamDemonBoy, #TeamAngelBoy, or #TeamCami?


love-trianglesWith the release of Tainted, I’ve had a few people comment on the relationships in Cami’s life. One thing’s for sure—people either love or hate love triangles. If you hate love triangles, I want to let you know now that while there is a love triangle in the series, it’s not what the books are about. The main focus of the series is self-discovery, exploring the gray areas of good and evil, overcoming adversity, fighting for what is important on a personal level, and much more.

Every relationship in Cami’s life is important. They’re not there just to add angst and drama. They serve purposes that might not be clear from the start, because Cami’s world is still full of secrets, lies, and misunderstandings. It’s the relationships that Cami has with others that drive her through her life. From her relationship with her guardian to the relationship with (spoilers ahead) her demonic father, it’s these relationships that help her discover who she is and what she wants/needs to do in her life.

The thing about Cami’s relationship with both Evan and Dylan is that while both boys hold a piece of Cami’s heart, they’re so completely different and special in their own way. And like everything, her relationship with both boys is ever evolving and changing like her whole life. It’s not about who she loves or who she should/wants to be with, it’s about how these specific relationships affect her life. In Tainted, it’s the beginning—everything is new. But in Crushed, things have had time to settle and you get to see the layers unfold. But why a love triangle, you ask? I don’t have a clear cut answer. Cami is young and as things progress and change, so does Cami. You’ll just have to wait and see how things unfold. In the Demon Within series, anything is possible.


 

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Writing Stolen from Me Thoughts and Facts

Stolen from me eBook small

With the release of Stolen from Me upon us, I figured I’d share what I loved about the next part of Nate and Mira’s journey as they figure out their place in the creature and Human Preservation Agency world. Good versus evil is a running theme through my novels, and while things have never been clear or black and white, Stolen from Me shines a light on good and evil within a person and how they handle it.

I loved writing Stolen from Me and exploring the darker sides of my characters. With Nate Burnham, the Human Preservation Agency altered him into a killer—or what Dr. Prudence referred to as a “better killer” since he was capable of murder before the HPA brought him in as we saw in the beginning of Altered to Kill with the incubus. Stolen from Me focuses on Nate’s struggle with trying not to kill and learning how to survive in what he thinks is a kill or be killed world.

On the other side of things, Mira Everson has been quite the opposite of Nate. As an enchantress, she’s innately benevolent, and she encourages Nate to be the boy she fell in love with. Unfortunately, she finds herself in a downward spiral as she starts to recognize the real evil in the world. She battles with her humanity and starts to question if it’s worth being good when the bad guys seem to always win. Out of all my characters, Mira has the biggest transformation which you’ll see in the second installment of the Finding Nate series.

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Apart from what I loved exploring with Mira and Nate, I figured I’d share a few more fun facts and tidbits to watch out for while you read.

  1. Stolen from Me was the book that sparked the idea for the Destined for Dreams series. It was written before all three books and stories, and I went back and rewrote Stolen from Me after the fact to tie things into the Destined for Dreams series.
  2. You get to meet one of my favorite characters in Stolen from Me. His name starts with a T, and I’ve considered giving him his own series.
  3. I introduce a creature I’ve never written about before.
  4. Dreams are pretty prominent in all of my books, whether or not there’s a nightmare inflictor involved.
  5. I love the unexpected side effects caused by Nate giving Mira a fresh start in Altered to Kill. The scenes capturing his reactions were interesting to write.
  6. If you’ve read Destined for Dreams, you know the connection Nate shares with the Creature Council. Nate is the last one to know.
  7. Creatures on the west coast tend to be more aggressive because they haven’t had any sort of Creature Council protection until recently.
  8. I’m not able to share my favorite quotes because they contain spoilers.
  9. Some of Evie’s old friends make an appearance.

I hope you look forward to reading Stolen from Me! You can pre-order today or purchase your copy on April 12th!

Links: 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Stolen-Me-Finding-Nate-Book-ebook/dp/B01CRI5QVK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/stolen-from-me-finding-nate/id1097632650?mt=11

Barnes&Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stolen-from-me-ginna-moran/1123600170?ean=2940152945249

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/stolen-from-me-finding-nate-book-2

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/625947

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Destined for Love Q&A and Other Stuff

QANDA

A few people have asked me questions about Destined for Love and a few other novels, and I figured I’d compile them into a blog post for easy finding. If you have any burning questions, feel free to leave a comment, send me a message through my contact page, or reach out to me through one of my social media pages—just don’t call me. I hate talking on the phone. 🙂


1. Why not use Valentine’s Day in Destined for Love?

I had originally considered using Valentine’s Day, but as it turns out, Nadia spent Valentine’s Day with the HPA. I don’t write about holidays in many of my books and never set an actual date for anything to keep the story evergreen and as readable as possible so it never feels outdated. It’s a fantasy world, so I used that to my advantage to create a creature world holiday. To vaguely answer as to when Lovers’ Day is, it would take place sometime between March and April, before the start of Altered to Kill.

2. Will there be more stories from Hunter and Nadia after this?

As far as I know, no. This is the last story that takes place for Nadia and Hunter. Of course, I know never to say never, but at this time, I don’t have anything planned. The rest of my writing year will focus on the Finding Nate series, a few standalone books, a new series, and editing the final spinoff companion series that features Mason Sullivan, Hunter’s brother. I might schedule some time to write a Mira and Nate short story or novella, but nothing is planned at this time.

3. Will Nadia and Hunter meet Mira and Nate?

Without spoiling too much, the simple answer is yes. Their stories take place in the same world within months of each other, so you can expect a run-in or two.

4. What’s with the new enemies in the creature world? Wasn’t the Human Preservation Agency awful enough?

I love blurring and blending the idea of good versus evil in a lot of my novels. In the Destined for Dreams series, you see mostly the good among the creature world, but that’s because the evil that is the HPA outshines all the other stuff. In the Finding Nate series, the darker side of the creature world comes lurking out of the shadows. It all depends on what character you ask and what you define as good and evil. New enemies keep things interesting for me and hopefully you, too.

5. Why aren’t there any vampires or werewolves in your series? They’re the most common creatures in paranormal books.

I thought long and hard about introducing both of those creatures, but ultimately kept them out of the Destined for Dreams and Finding Nate world. It doesn’t mean there aren’t creatures with the specific qualities to be considered a vampire or werewolf, but the creatures would fall under another name.

6. Some of your covers look different. Why did you change them?

You caught me! The covers for Hunter’s Curse, Escaping Fate, and Destined Together have all been changed slightly. I had the model portraying Jacqueline’s hair darkened to better match the Destined for Dreams cover. For Escaping Fate, I had the background fine-tuned to match my vision of what Alyssa Callaghan’s visions look like and opted for an image title to match the other books in the series. Lastly, two of the models on the Destined Together cover have been replaced with different poses of the same model, and Jacqueline’s eyes have been lightened to reflect a color more true to her character. I hope you like them!


That’s all the questions and answers I have for you at this time. I hope you enjoyed reading them, and again, if you have any questions of your own, reach out to me! I love to chat.

XOXO,

Ginna

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Character Bio-Alyssa Callaghan

When plotting out a loose storyline for Destined for Dreams, Nadia Petrov was supposed to be a complete loner, but when I actually sat down to write the novel, she had a best friend from the very first page. Alyssa Callaghan’s character was a lot of fun to write because of her seer ability. While Alyssa isn’t all-knowing—her visions are based off the decisions of others—she’s definitely someone you’d want on your side.

Nadia and Alyssa are a lot alike because they both see things in their own worlds—nightmares or visions—that they can’t see in real life while living in their community. They also see the worst of the world, from people’s fears to the consequences of bad decisions, and the darkness that shadows over them through their abilities is what bonds them together.

Now without giving too much away, I’d like to share Alyssa’s character bio with you.

 

Alyssa Callaghan

Name: Alyssa Callaghan
Age: Seventeen
Hair Color: Red
Eye color: Green
Ability/Creature: Seer—predicts the outcome of decisions/ can narrow down the best possible outcome for a specific decision.
Family: Considers Nadia and Dmitri family.
Fears: Alyssa is afraid of her past and of losing the people she cares about. 
Strengths: She’s reasonable and not quick to make decisions. She is a good judge of character and brave.
Quote: “My advice is to just not make any decisions yet. First think about the future you’d have with Hunter and if it would be worth risking everything you have for it.”

I hope you enjoyed this look at Alyssa Callaghan! If you have any non-spoilery questions, please leave a comment. I love hearing from you!

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Happy Halloween!

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Take the time to gather dark inspiration from this spooky holiday! It’s a great time to step away from your current project to write a short story or scene to scare yourself or your readers. Here’s my contribution to Halloween stories.

Stolen Soul

“Let me in, Violet. I’m not going to hurt you.”

I press my ear to the rickety wooden door and listen. A guttural moan vibrates the wood against my cheek, sending an icy river of dread down my spine. My breathing is fast and labored, like I’ve been running for miles, but I haven’t left this spot in hours.

I dig my fingers into my palms. “You’re lying.”

The moan grows louder and something thuds on the door. It creaks on its hinges and I stumble and trip over the coffee table. I land hard on my back, the air knocked from my chest, and dark blue stars sparkle in my vision.

I curl my knees to my chest and smash my cheek into the cold ceramic tile. The door shudders as a heavy weight falls against it. It’s not going to last much longer. My step-brother, Chase, traded his soul to a necromancer and now he’s rotting on the porch.

“I just want to talk. Don’t make me break in.”

I cringe when the front window shatters. I swallow the lump in my throat. “Leave me alone. I have nothing to say to you. I warned you, Chase. We should’ve just let them go. I can’t save you now.”

Chase laughs. It’s lifeless, almost maniacal, and the sound punches me in the heart. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. I lost the coin toss and the plan was to trade my freedom to bring our dead parents back, but I couldn’t go through with it. I knew my dad would understand.

But Chase, he couldn’t fathom being on our own. He tried to offer his freedom instead, but the necromancer denied him—said it was too late and she had her heart set on me. So Chase did the only thing he could think of. He offered his most valuable possession: his soul.

A rotting hand reaches through the window. Greenish-brown flesh catches on the glass and rips free. It splats on the floor and I cover my mouth with my hand as the stench of decay smothers my senses. Chase’s finger snaps when he turns the lock. The sound of cracking bone sends bile up my throat and I press my lips together and squeeze my watery eyes shut. Now’s not the time to get sick.

The door bangs against to wall and Chase hovers in the doorway. His blue eyes are glazed in milky white and his nose is hanging by a thin piece of skin. His green shirt is stained with brown fluid and a hole in the side reveals a pussy, rotting wound.

He grins, one of his front teeth missing. “You’re wrong about that, Violet. You can save me.”

I don’t move. There’s no point in running. Being a servant to the necromancer means he’ll always find me. I stare at the leather band on his wrist, identical to the one I’m wearing. “It’s too late.”

Chase pulls a dirty wad of paper from his back pocket. The skin on his broken finger catches on his bloody jeans and his finger falls to the tile next to me. He drops the crumpled paper on my lap and waits while I straighten it out.

It’s the contract I was supposed to sign before Chase traded his soul, except instead of saying freedom like it did before, it now says soul. Chase wants me to trade my soul for his.

I can’t do it. I won’t.

I shake my head. “This is my eternity you’re asking for.”

“I’m not asking.” He bends down and grabs my hand. He tugs a knife from his pocket and before I have a chance to fight him off, he slices my palm. Pain swells in my hand and I scream. Blood drips through my fingers and lands on the contract on my lap. My heart hammers and I can’t breathe. This isn’t happening. It can’t be.

My blood seeps into the paper and darkness closes around me. It’s like I’m separating in two and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. The world shifts and Chase throws me over his shoulder.

“How could you?” I whisper.

“I did what I had to, Sis. Don’t take it personally.”

My heart shatters into a million pieces as the thought of eternal servitude crosses my mind. All my hope is lost. All that’s left is the relief of the darkness closing around me.

Hope you enjoyed Stolen Soul! Have a Happy Halloween!

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Finding the Time

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Time management is crucial for writers with busy lives—work, school, parenting, spouses, pets, friends, family, maintaining a home, among a number of other things take up a lot of time. The lack of time may be the reason a person doesn’t write even though they’d like to do so. Since it’s impossible to get more time in a day, it’s up to you to make the time and use the time you do have as effectively as possible.

Not everyone can sit down at a computer and have the words pour from their souls, so it’s easy to waste time staring at a blank screen. So, my first tip is to never sit down without a plan. Personally, I don’t like to outline each chapter. I start off each story with a short paragraph containing a loose plot and that’s it. I think of everything else as I go. But, every morning when I’m getting ready for the day, I think about what I’m going to write and how the story will progress. When you think ahead about the next scene you’re going to write, it increases your chances of being productive when you do have a moment to sit down and put your fingers to the keys. If you have a smart phone or tablet with microphone capabilities, use the voice memo to record notes because it’s much faster than typing. I sometimes even talk-to-text my scenes and transfer them to the computer later. It puts you ahead of the game. file0002053556247

After you spend your day thinking about what you’re going to write, dedicate a certain amount of time, at the same time, to write every day. It doesn’t have to be a long time, fifteen minutes would suffice, but what it does is guarantee that no matter what, you’ll write at least something that day. Getting in a routine and holding yourself accountable increases your writing success. The last thing you want to find yourself doing is telling yourself that you’ll write tomorrow or over the weekend, because chances are, you’ll say the same thing when the time comes.

Setting daily word goals is a good way to hold yourself accountable. It’s important that your goals are obtainable too. You want to exceed your limit, so don’t force impossible numbers on your writing. My minimum daily writing goal is 500, but I never stop there. Once I reach 500, I add another 500 until my time runs out. Base your goal on your average word count for the amount of time you set—and don’t fret if you don’t make it because at least you tried. It’s better than not trying at all.

file761283458686Another suggestion to finding the time to write is to disconnect the internet and don’t turn it back on until you reach your daily writing goal. The internet is a time-suck and if you’re anything like me, one click leads to another, and then an hour passes before you realize it and then you have to get off the computer to do something else. Also, get your writing done before you watch TV so you don’t get sucked into binge watching an entire series you’ve recorded or stream.

My last tip for finding the time to write is to stop making excuses. If you find yourself saying you’re too tired to write at the end of the day, wake up thirty minutes earlier and write in the morning instead. If you don’t want to sit at a computer if you were on one all day, take your writing to a notepad and type it over the weekend or use a talk-to-type tool. Once you stop making excuses and get into the habit, writing will be easy. Completing a story is rewarding and worth the time.

How do you manage your time? Share some tips on making the time to write in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

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Breathing Life into Characters

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One of my favorite things about writing a novel is breathing life into my characters. It’s not every day that you get to give someone a name, an appearance, and a personality. But there’s more to it—you want your characters to be authentic, to feel as real to your readers as they do to you. So, when creating a character, I always think about what makes them real to me.

Is it how I imagine they look or is it the way they sound? Is it their struggles or hopes and dreams? What makes a character real to you will make the character real to your reader. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re imagining your characters.

 

 

 

What is your character’s full name?
That’s right—they need an identity.

Does your character have a nickname?
Nicknames can show a character’s personality or portray their relationship with another character.

How old are they?
Age isn’t only a number—it’s an important factor for your character’s voice.

What do they look like?
Physical descriptions help readers imagine your characters. Writing your character’s physical description down for reference also helps, because you don’t want your character’s eye color to switch halfway through your novel.

What is their clothing style?
Everyone has a style and you want it to be consistent, so get to know your character’s closet. Jeans and T-shirts? Dresses? High fashion? There are so many possibilities.

What are your characters word choices?
Word choice helps aid your characters voice. Each of my characters has their own vocabulary and keeping a list of words and phrases can be helpful.

What habits do your characters have?
If someone were writing about me, I’d expect my signature move to be tucking my hair behind my ear because I hate it in my face. What do your characters do that sets them apart from each other or brings them together?

What else do you want your readers to know about your characters?
You can write about their interests, fears, hopes, favorite color, favorite food, jobs, family, etc. Let the reader really get to know your character. It’s what they want and expect.

Another hint for creating characters is to not force yourself into a box. It’s okay for your character to grow and change—it’s what they’re supposed to do—so take the time after you write your novel to answer the questions again to see the progress of your character. It can also help in the editing process. Know your characters like you know yourself…or better.

What questions do you ask yourself when creating your characters? If you’re a reader, what do you like to learn most about a character?

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Rejection—I’m just not into your book

pink dog

You’d think after being rejected over a hundred times, that it’d get easier, but rejection is and always will be hard. Whether you get turned down for a date, a job, an idea, or a novel, no likes to hear no, sorry, you’re just not what we’re looking for. It makes you question yourself, hinders your confidence, and after being rejected, it’s hard to put yourself out there again.

The truth about rejection is that while it’s disappointing, it isn’t about you as a person, and while it’s easier said than done, you shouldn’t take it personally. Take the opportunity to grow from it.

What I learned from rejection:
1. Opinions are subjective and no one is going to like everything. It’s just a simple fact. I don’t like everything myself, so I can’t expect someone else to.
2. You can do everything right and still be rejected. Rejection occurs for many reasons—another client has a similar piece of work, the genre is impacted, just not interested, etc. Rejection happens. Don’t let the circumstances define you.
3. Sometimes you need to take a break. If rejection starts making you want to quit, it’s time to take a vacation. Write something new, relax, and remember why you love your novel.
4. Never give up. If you give up, you can never succeed.

To help get through rejection, I find that discussing it with someone else helps ease the pain of it. With saying that, what has rejection taught you?

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