My Book on Youtube

Hey all, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve only got a quick few minutes so I wanted to post up the links to my youtube videos. These videos are both teaser/trailers for my book, Vox: Book 1 of the Monstrum Chronicles. I plan to eventually make a few more and get them up. Then advertise. We’ll see how the money holds out, ha ha.

Enjoy! Any questions? Feel free to comment and I’ll get back to them as soon as possible!

Good morning, and happy writing.

KSilva

Blood and Ink; Both Thicker Than Water

This morning, I read an interesting article on the Kansas City Star. The article was about the Ephron family, a family who has seen writing success in the mother and father, Henry and Phoebe, playwrights, three daughters, Nora, Delia, and Amy (authors of Julia and JuliaFrannie in Pieces, and One Sunday Morning) and now the last daughter, Hallie, who is coming out with her new mystery, Come and Find Me . You can view the article here: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/04/20/2813125/mystery-writer-hallie-ephron-finds.html

After reading, I began thinking about the gift of telling a good story through writing and if it could be something like a mere gene that is passed down from parents to children. The article describes Hallie, trying two other teaching jobs before deciding to enter the writing business with the rest of her family. And even then, she had already written four non-fiction books and a number of other fiction titles under a different name. Why I wonder? How is it that an entire family of writers can reach such critical acclaim for their works all in their own way?

It’s an intriguing idea. Writing is one of those things that can be taught, but that the writer has to morph their work into something for themselves. It has to be shaped by that one person’s perception, it needs to be brought to life by their own mind and through their own style… Style can be studied, I suppose, same as any other writing technique. But making the style and the piece of writing yours is a truly personal thing. And so I ask again, was this a writer’s gift gene that passed down through the family? If not then, what was it?

I’ve always believed in the idea of a creative gene of some kind being passed from older generations to new ones. My own dad is an artist, a painter and metal sculptor. I’ve tried to draw and paint but it never clicked with me. I turned to writing at a young age and have always stuck with it. My mom is crafty, loves to create, whether it be through sewing, re-upholstering furniture, or cooking. She’s always found a way to be creative. When in school, my brother loved to make movies and then edit them, adding titles, credits, and music… The creative gene has always been present in my family but it has taken different forms in everybody.

And so I ask again. How does a family entirely comprised of writers manage to make such a name for themselves in the writers world? Discussion is inevitable.

Good morning and happy writing,

KSilva

The Beauty of Revision

I love to write. This may come as little of a shock to you. However, revision and editing are my favorite stage in the writing process. I’ve created a rough draft, something with many, many issues. What’s better than sitting down with an even bigger cup of java and getting to read it all again, and make it better?

The first draft or two (in my case, three) are for creative purposes. I’ve so far composed three separate drafts for the sequel to my book. And in each one, the plot has changed substantially. And though I wish I was, I’m not at the end yet… I’m not even half way! But a large part of me wants to edit what I already have. Though it’s important to do it eventually, in my opinion it is something that should be saved for the end. Here’s a good reason why.

When you are composing, whether it be your first (or third) draft, you need to stay on a straight course. It’s like a road map you’ve planned for a trip. You need to stay on that road and keep the speed manageable. In my scenario, I’ve sat myself inside a Ferrari and am on a set of nice paved roads somewhere out in the country. There’s not another car in sight out there and I can go the speed I want… in this case, close to 80. But if anything comes up that halts the writing process, whether it be writers block or something else in your life, that car is going to crash. Hard.

As you can imagine, it won't be pretty either.

The best thing you can do is try to take your time instead of rushing through it. That way, you are assured you’re including everything that you want to include. If you miss things and think, “I can just add it in at the revision stage,” you may want to re-think and do it now. Chances are, you’ll be concentrating on what you’ve already got that you’ll forget to add whatever it is you forgot. Especially if it’s something at the beginning of the book.

When all is said and done, then you start revision and editing. And just like the rough draft, you take your sweet, bloody time with it, too. This is the process where you need to get things right or at least mostly right. If you’ve got someone taking a look at it for editing purposes later, make sure you’ve done as much as you can before handing it off. It will make you feel better. That way when they find a million and a half things wrong with your draft, it won’t be on top of the million and a half things you missed out on when you were rushing through it. 🙂

On top of all that, I find it’s important to keep writing other things and read other things during this process. It’s a refresher for your brain. I have a knack for getting annoyed with reading the same things over and over and that goes for my stories during the editing process as well. I feel like I’ve read the same passage so many times that I know where everything is, every punctuation mark, every word, every phrase. Problem is, I really don’t. And I’m imagining I do with the excuse that I can avoid reading that entire section again.

So, when you feel like your going to start tearing your hair out, take a break, go do the dishes and when you come back and sit down, read something else. Pull out the local newspaper, slide that book off the shelf that you’ve been meaning to get to but haven’t because you’ve been so busy writing… Odds are you’ll read something that will re-inspire you. That’s all it takes.

Good morning and happy revising,

KSilva

Sun vs. Moon

Ah, yes. The age old question that plagues many a writer. Does the inspiration come to you in the morning with a fresh potent cup of coffee, the rays of sun crossing over your fingers like silk as they dance over the keyboard…

Or do you take pleasure in writing in the evening, when the world has finally been invaded by the darkness, the moon is high and bright and the days distractions finally over so that you can concentrate?

Personally, as most people know, it really depends on the day. But for the most part, I’ve become quite the morning glory when it comes to writing. There is nothing better for me than feeding the cat, grabbing my coffee, and sitting down in front of the laptop to get some work done before the craziness of the day begins. Unfortunately this isn’t always the best time to get creatively inspired.

As I mentioned before in my first post, I have quite the pesky cat. Lemon Jelly proceeds to make this time of the morning the most difficult for me to get anything done. Take now, for instance. He is clawing at my closet door, trying to break inside. I’ve backed the computer chair up against it so he can’t pull it open but that doesn’t keep him from doing it anyway. Yesterday, he puked up a wonderful hairball on my white rug for me to clean, and I’m pretty sure the day before, he was clawing the armchair in the corner. By the time I’m ready to move, I’m pretty sure my security deposit will be shot. Thank you, Lemon Jelly. Thank you.

How can you not love him?

I also work a full time job in addition to my job as an author/writer. That’s nine hours of my day committed to something else, four days a week. So I have to pick my time to write carefully.

One thing that has made an impression on me is that any writing done in the time you have, is good writing. Doesn’t mean it’s going to win the Pulitzer prize though. I mean that getting any work done is progress. It keeps you motivated, it keeps your drive going. As long as I can say I’ve written for the day, no matter how much, I’m satisfied. That’s half the battle of staying in a good, optimistic mood while working on an extended project, whether it be a report, an essay, or… a novel.

Whether you write during the morning or the night, remember why it is you enjoy that time of day to write. My favorite thing about writing in the morning is the sun just coming up over the horizon. Every morning, I check the skyline and take pictures if it is truly amazing. Then I open the curtains, let the sun come in, curl up on the couch, and write. When it begins getting warmer, I’ll go out on the deck and do it.

If you write at night, try to relax into it. Make yourself a warm cup of tea, treat yourself to a cookie or something. Sit down with the computer like its an old friend. Then write. Open the window and let the night sounds in. Unless there is something going on out there you don’t want to hear of course. I opened my window one morning to a strange Amazonian rain dance or something of the like, with people shaking maracas and dancing around in circles like chickens, screeching at the sky. Definitely wasn’t expecting that. I live next to an arts center, so you never know what kind of program will be happening over there.

Music is also my saving grace when it comes to morning writing. As long as I can throw on a little something that relates to the topic I’m writing about, whether its trip-hop (one of my favorites), indie music, or even opera, I’ll be as perfectly happy as can be.

My point in this endless ramble? Create an atmosphere for yourself when you write, no matter what time you write. That way you are in your comfort zone and you are assured you’ll get something done, whether its a page or ten pages.

Good morning and happy writing.

KSilva

Hello! Hello!

Ah, my first blog. There is something so refreshing about starting a new blog. I begin to get ahead of myself, imagining all of the fun and amazing things that I can share with you about the glories of writing, the pleasures and pains within it, why it has transformed my life and made me the person I am. Where do I begin? What was the most memorable thing for me?

I admit I’m getting WAY ahead of myself. I’ll start with the simple facts.

My name is Katherine Silva, Katy for short. I am a newly published author at age 22, (and yes, I say this with extreme pride–don’t judge me! 🙂 ) I have been writing for as long as I can remember and have always wanted to become an author. My journey to get here has been an unforgettable one, a road with as many forks, ditches, hills, and detours as one could imagine. And the road is still going, forever winding into the horizon. The difference is I’ve finally found my vehicle to traverse it; my career, the thing that makes me unstoppable and keeps me going; my writing style.

Finding a writing style can take years upon years. I remember when I discovered mine. I was taking a creative writing class in high school during my sophomore year. The teacher was Ms. Hamilton. Though I only had her for one class, after which she vanished from Maine, never to return, I remember that she was one of the first people who showed me how much fun the writing career could be.

I, like many others, perceived the title of ‘writer’ to be associated with loneliness. Not only loneliness but the inevitable budding friendship with the bottle. Not sure how writers got the solitary drinker vibe. I figured if I did end up doing what I wanted to do, it would be a glorious existence of book signings, movie adaption deals, and thousands of adoring fans. And in my spare time, I’d get wasted. Can’t say my perception has changed much, except for no movie deals, and thousands of adoring fans. haha. I’ve got 92 fans on facebook! That’s something!

Where was I? Yes. Ms. Hamilton. She openly swore in the classroom, played music during our free writing time, encouraged us to pick a goal for the semester and stick to it. In short, we were pretty much in charge of ourselves. I was never happier. My goal was to write a novel. On top of that, I stupidly added writing ten poems and five short stories. Those I finished. The novel, I got 3/4’s of the way through but still received a top notch grade for my efforts. The thing was though that I actually finished it after I was done with the class.

A little bit of history on me is that I have a terrible time finishing my writing projects. My M.O. was to start three or so stories, get around twenty pages on one, maybe six on another and just come up with an idea for another before I’d abandon it and work on something totally different. This one, I finished, wrote the ending out instead of summarizing it. I even spent the summer editing it. And I realized, this can be fun. While everyone else was out tanning and relaxing, I was wiping sweat off my brow in my 90 degree entry way to my house, cranking out page after page on this creation.

That story is now tucked away in a drawer somewhere. I haven’t read it in a long time. The data copy is still on my parent’s old computer in the attic of their house. Since then, I’ve only managed to write two other stories the full way though. I finished another novel the next year, a period history that I wrote in 5 months. The other one is the book that I’ve now published, my supernatural horror novel, Vox: Book 1 of the Monstrum Chronicles.

The last book I figured I’d end up publishing was a vampire book. Despite all of the attention the genre has been getting recently, I actually wanted to write this. I’d recently gotten back into watching old reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Joss Whedon, what a genius you are! I was tired of seeing all of these new books coming out about vampires as romantic interests for teenagers as some high school drama played out. I wanted an adult vampire series, something that actually paid tribute to Anne Rice’s masterpieces of the Vampire Chronicles with a new edge. So I wrote.

…I got very off track. See. I do that. We’ll see if I can work on that.

Anyway, the only other things you’ll need to know about me that will more than likely have some bearing later on will be that I am an ailurophile. I love ale. No, seriously now, I love cats. I’ve grown up surrounded by two or three cats at a time. My whole family is comprised of cat people. At present, I have but one. He is a pesky, highly intelligent grey and white male that I’ve named Lemon Jelly. You’re probably scratching your head asking, “Why in God’s name did you pick that name?” For starters, Jelly was already his name when I adopted him from the animal shelter. Secondly, his eyes are a very brilliant yellow hue.

Second thing you need to know about me: I have a severe coffee addiction. Not enough of it means I’ll probably be as hyper as a Mexican jumping bean. When I’ve had my recommended dosage, I’m actually quite normal. Too much and I’m a Mexican jumping bean again. It’s a complicated addiction. haha

So there. My extremely random introduction to this blog where I’ve failed to tell you what the purpose of it is. Basically, I’m here to brag to you about my book, inform you of upcoming events, my current writing projects and so on and so forth. I’m also going to share with you some writing tips and strategies as well as musings that somehow relate to my writing. Some of it will probably be deep, some will be light-hearted and silly, a good deal of it will be great information you may want to save for a rainy day.

Well, I’d better stop. Until next time,

KSilva