What makes a good writer?

There are a ton of answers to the above question: time, patience, dedication, tried-and-true formulas … however, my favorite response is both simple and appealing.

A good writer must first be a good reader.

Honestly, this approach is how I wrote my first three books – and is probably partially to blame for my difficulties with book four. If you’ve followed along with my blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m a voracious reader. I used to brag that I’d read anything and everything, but after utilizing Goodreads for a few years, I’ve realized that I have a definite preference when it comes to what I truly like to read. My genre of choice is young adult fantasy, with a slow increase in young adult contemporary romance (a new development over the last year or so).

It’s not surprising that the genre I write in happens to be YA fantasy. After all, it’s a variation on ‘write what you know’. I’m by no means an expert on YA fantasy, even if I have read a lot of books in that category. It’s more that I focus on creating something I would want to read. I know what I like in my stories – action, tension, character growth – but also magic, fictional races, and medieval societies. I also know what I don’t like: the overused and cliche tropes or the story aspects that annoy me (personally, I’m not a fan of love triangles – which is funny, because I started my first book with one …)

In my opinion, if I don’t want to read what I’ve written, why on earth would anyone else want to? Again, this is where I’ve stabbed myself in the foot with book four: I’m not feeling it. I don’t particularly want to read it, let alone write it. I’m not sure why. Maybe I went a wrong direction with the plot somewhere. Maybe my intended destination for the characters and the story isn’t the correct one.

Am I going to give up? Heck no. Instead, I’m going to take a page out of my reading manual. I’m going to do what I usually do when I can’t get into a specific book; when I know I want to read it, but I just can’t seem to get more than a page read at a time.

I’m going to start another book. 😉

Granted, I’m stubborn when I read too, so don’t be surprised when I go back to the original and force my way through another few pages, because gosh darn it, I like the stupid book, I just can’t seem to get anywhere with it.

Obviously, I’ll be reading constantly during the process. I can’t call myself a good reader if I’m not, well, reading. 😀

This social media thing is hard. =/

Yes, yes. I know. I dropped off the face of the internet.

Again.

I don’t even have a decent excuse this time. Not unless you count my short attention span and tendency to get distracted by the smallest —  oooh, a new library book just downloaded to my kindle! 😉

Okay, I guess extensive reading binges do count as a decent excuse to disappear from social media. Though I’ve been posting ratings and the occasional review on Goodreads, so I guess I haven’t totally dropped off the interwebs. Here’s a brief glimpse of the 74 (yes, seventy four!) books I’ve devoured so far this year:

  • Reread the entire Court of Roses and Thorns series (including the newest installment)
  • Laughed myself silly at:
    • The Upside of Unrequited
    • All The Feels, All’s Fair In Love and Fandom
    • Noteworthy
    • The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You
  • Waited over a month for Geekerella to be available from the library
  • Drooled over the gorgeous writing in Star-Touched Queen
  • Finally read the Grisha trilogy (seriously, why did I wait so long for this?!)

So yeah. I’ve been a bit, uh, preoccupied.

But the one really awesome side effect of all this reading? My creative battery is now fully charged. That means I’m going to dive into Camp Nanowrimo this July!

You heard it here first folks. I plan to have the entire rough draft of my fourth book in the Blessings of Myrillia series completed by the end of July!!!

Stay tuned for updates, progress reports, and maybe even a snippet or two. 😀

P.S. Did you see my epic news in April? UnBlessed is an award-winning novel! Both the paperback and kindle versions now sport a shiny award seal!!!

amazonfullcoverwish01

If you’re still on the fence on whether you’d like to add this award-winner to your bookshelf, check out the first few pages free here – or read for free on Kindle Unlimited.

Dreams really do come true.

Dreams really do come true.

April 2nd is nearly over and despite multiple deliberate pinches (and one accidental stubbed toe), I have yet to wake from this glorious dream. In fact, I’m now confident that I won’t wake from this dream, because I’m living it.

My first book won a book award.

A real book award! One where my target audience read and voted without any input or interference from me – just them and my novel.

Yes, it’s a small book award. True, I only scored the bronze. But you know what? I still won a book award. I made it into the top five out of (at least) twenty-one finalists. Readers loved my book; they chose my story as one of their favorites.

And at the end of the day, I get to call myself an award-winning author.

Heck, I can say it at the beginning of the day too, if I want.

“Hi! I’m Crystin Goodwin, and I’m an award-winning author.”

Those are words I thought I’d never hear outside of my own little daydreams. Guess that means I have to pick a new goal to fantasize about …

… hmm. Maybe best-selling author? 😉

Sparkly UnBlessed

Want to see what all the hype is about? Hop on over to Amazon and pick up a copy of UnBlessed for yourself!

 

Finally!

Well, folks! It’s now official! My first novel, UnBlessed, is now in print! I’m officially a published author! Excuse me, while I go loudly freak out now.

*high pitched shrieking*

Ahem. Okay. Now that I have that out of my system, you can purchase my work immediately on my estore here:

https://www.createspace.com/4695914

*blushes* Yes, yes, I’m sorry about the sparkly, girly banner display. I’ve never made one before, and well. I kinda liked it. I promise to have a better one with the next book!

 

Amazon should have it linked up with the kindle version within 5-7 business days, I’ll post an updated link once it has gone live. In the meantime, here’s a disclaimer – or at least some rule abiding:

available on kindle

I wouldn’t want to violate any terms and conditions. So here’s the links with their associated logos:

a.com_logo_RGBhttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IR25KEE (US)

a.co.uk_logo_RGBhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00IR25KEE (UK)

a.ca_logo_RGB http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00IR25KEE (CA)

 

Just a heads up, if you want to purchase multiple formats – I recommend waiting to buy the print version from Amazon. If you buy the print copy from them first, the kindle edition is discounted to $2.99 as part of their matchbook program. Pretty neat, huh? I can add additional links to other amazon as requested. I only put up the ones where I know I have friends or family who want to buy my book. 🙂

 

Finally, UnBlessed is enrolled for expanded distribution. This means it should be available in mainstream bookstores, libraries and other institutions within 6-8 weeks. Granted, I’m not quite sure how that works-I think you would still need to tell your library or Barnes and Noble that you want them to order copies… *shrug* Just the fact that it’s possible is enough to give me goose bumps.

Soon … very soon!

Hello, readers!

Sorry about the delay in publishing, ran into a few snags in the proofing process. Never fear, though! I fully intend to have the book available for purchase in the next few days! I’ve just completed the (I hope) final edits, and I’m waiting for the files to be approved. With luck, I’ll have a direct link to my createspace estore page no later than Monday, and Amazon’s links should follow 3-5 days after!

Fortunately, I’m extremely pleased with the cover image, so here it is for everyone to drool over! Eeee! It looks so official!

courtesy of createspace.com

courtesy of createspace.com

Dreams really do come true

Well, folks, I’m halfway there.

I’d like to take this time to announce that my first novel, UnBlessed, is now available for purchase as an ebook in the Amazon store!!!!

*cue hysterical squealing here*

Never fear, the printed version is very close behind. I’m waiting for the proof copy (which should arrive on Thursday) to make sure the formatting passes inspection before putting it up for the general public. At this time, I’m only planning to release the paperback version – sorry to all those hardcover lovers out there!

I still can’t quite believe that this is happening. I’ve wanted to write my own novels for years … to think that the only thing holding me back was – myself. Crazy, huh?

Here’s hoping all of you wonderful people will give my book a shot! Enjoy!

Book ‘preview’

Here it is, the official back cover text from my novel, UnBlessed!

Sometimes, being different can be a good thing.

Other times it may be embarrassing or uncomfortable.

Then again, being different can be dangerous.

The world of Myrillia is an untamed, magical world inhabited by two dominant races. The Melior are elementalists, capable of commanding the power of the Elements. The Transeatur are shifters, capable of taking the form of their Guardian Spirit. The two races have been at war for centuries and the now dormant conflict is about to reawaken.

A young Melior female, Kisara Tenebris, goes about her everyday life, unaware that her world will soon shatter apart. Faced with an impossible choice, Kisara learns just what it means to be different.

Dangerous.