Altered to Kill Character Bio: Liam Schultz

Liam Schultz

Name: Liam Schultz

Age: 17

Physical features: Dark hair, dark eyes, tan skin, over six feet, thin and sinewy, facial scruff.

Style: Lots of black clothes, boots, hoodies, occasionally jeans.

Favorite activities: Playing guitar and singing, driving, music, performing at open mic night, song writing.

Fears: Not being strong enough, losing Mira, having his memories rewritten again.

Strengths: Level headed, great critical thinking skills, open-minded, adaptive.

Weaknesses: Being human, easily persuaded

Quotes: “‘Please, stay.’ His face hovers close, and through the shadow, I can see the outline of his eyes… ‘Mira, I know you’re with my best friend. I get that, and I respect that. But, I can’t stop myself from caring about you. I just wanted you to know. You’ve been in my life for so long, and I want to keep it that way. Please, stay with me. Please.’” I love the words Liam tells Mira when she’s recovering from the ceraste venom. He speaks his mind, unsure whether or not she can hear him, and does it because he’s unsure of what happens next. It shows how much he cares for her, even if nothing can happen between them.

Fun facts:

  • The song Liam sings to Mira in the car when she gets hit with a dart is one he wrote specifically for her. He thinks it was after Nate died, but Mira knows immediately that it had to be when she and Nate were still together since Nate never died. She’ll never mention it to him.
  • Liam blames Nate for all of their misadventures, even though it was the HPA’s fault.
  • Mira’s enchantress blood is what sways him in making the decision to help her find Nate.

I hope you’ve enjoyed Liam’s character bio! Do you have anything else you’d like to know? Leave your questions in the comments.

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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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Stories Deserve to be Read

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I’ve debated with myself over the last few years about self-publishing and whether or not it was for me. It was always my dream to snag a great agent who loved my books as much as I did and have my books sold to a publishing house that could nurture and grow my career.

After spending five years in search of that perfect agent, it just hasn’t happened yet. The publishing industry is so subjective that you could have a well-written, fabulous read that goes unnoticed for one reason or another. It happens.

So with that thought, I’ve decided that I can’t let my novels—these stories and characters I love so much—stay locked away in a folder on my computer.  They deserve to be read, it’s why I wrote them. I hope you enjoy my novels as much I do. I’ll post more information soon about when my first novel will be released. Stay tuned.

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Rejection—I’m just not into your book

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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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When Fingers Meet Keys

pens strokedI’ve been writing for myself for many, many years. My imagination is hectic, scattered, confusing, excited, sometimes dark, sometimes funny, but always non-stop. It’s all over the place and overflowing with ideas, stories, thoughts, and dreams, and when I sit down at a computer and my fingers meet the keys, it’s like everything falls into place how it should. That’s how writing always feels to me. It’s my calling and passion, and now I’ve decided to let people into my unpredictable imagination…so explore if you dare.

Why Young Adult?

I wrote my very first unpublished (you can thank me later—it was awful) novel at age eighteen. I had graduated high school just six months before and my voice sounded just like I did. That youthful, honest, spirited voice never left me, even ten years later, and I still love writing for teenagers and those young-at-heart. You could say that no matter how hard I tried to grow up, I didn’t—at least my imagination didn’t.

More about me…

I love writing fantasy and contemporary works within YA. While things like ghosts, demons, zombies, and aliens scare me on the small and big screen, I enjoy writing about them. I also love writing about real life and the light and dark we live with. I find creative balance writing for multiple genres.

Besides writing, I enjoy binge watching television, playing with my toddler, hanging out with my husband, cuddling with my dogs, and designing all sorts of neat things for Silver Starlight Designs, the design company I co-founded.

I hope you enjoy my imagination as much as I do! You can also check me out on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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