Trudging Through Sludge

It creeps under doorways, rises through vents, incorporating everything and everyone in its path, zapping them of energy, physical and mental. It’s a destroyer of focus and productivity, causing its victims to write at a snail’s pace, stare at blank screens, and abandon projects. I call it the Sludge, and I’ve been trying to wade through it for ages now.

Sludge

I briefly escaped it when I traveled across the country to write in a cabin with a bunch of other writers (several of whom were also traveling to escape the Sludge.) I hoped that maybe while I was away, the Sludge would get bored and move somewhere else. But no, it had waited patiently back at home, and was there to greet me again when I returned.

I tried to convince it to go with threats of Camp NaNoWriMo word counts, but it laughed in my face and gave me the flu. It knows I can’t write when I have the flu. Then the dreaded Spring Break arrived and the two teamed up. There’s no wading through a combo of Sludge and Spring Break—what was originally the thickness of molasses hardened into clay. I’ve written very, very little during the last three weeks.

There’s a trick to fighting the Sludge though, if you’re patient. You know how in old movies, the protagonist would fall into quick sand, and the more they struggled, the deeper they would sink? Eventually they would realize that if they stopped struggling, they’d float back up to the top where they could reach a vine or outstretched hand that would bring them back to safety. The Sludge is kind of like that. The more you stress about how little you’re writing, the harder it becomes to write, until eventually, you’re not writing at all.

I’ve found that I do better if I stop thinking about it much. If I just ride along on the surface of the Sludge and let it carry me to wherever it’s trying to go, it will eventually float me to a branch that I can use to pull myself out. I stop worrying about word counts, and just ask myself if I’ve written at all that day. Or heck, if I’ve even opened up my document and looked at it, if I’ve thought about it at all while showering or doing the dishes—if I haven’t abandoned it completely, that’s good enough for now. And eventually, if I keep at it in just such a way, the Sludge will slink away for a while and let me get back to work.

Have you ever been taken over by the Sludge? How did you handle it? Or, if you’re currently trudging through it, I hope this has helped you to know you’re not alone, and eventually, you’ll find your way back out.

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File Jan 15, 5 15 03 PM.jpegWhen she’s not writing, revising, or banging her head on the keyboard (it’s all the same, right?), Megan Paasch can be found playing her ukulele (badly), knitting (rarely anymore, unfortunately), or herding two amazing, but rowdy little boys (pretty much constantly) with her husband. A native to the Pacific Northwest, Megan earned her B.A. in History from the University of Washington. (Go Huskies!) Her favorite history subjects were, and still are, Women in History, the Tudors, and the Celts. You can read more about her here.

Writers Need to Start with Why

When my husband started working as a general manager of a hotel that had recently been bought by new owners, he dedicated a good portion of his “not-working” time to understanding how to help people unite. It didn’t take long until he came across Simon Sinek – first TED talks, then supporting YouTube videos and daily email hints, etc. Soon he was listening to the audiobook Start With Why. Many of our subsequent conversations fell along the lines of why it’s important to start with asking why.

When I started a new job, I found myself going back time and again to those conversations and listening to the audiobook myself, which is summed up well by this graphic:

golden circle

Though these conversations about why began outside my writing life, as tends to be the case more and more, things that are pertinent to one aspect of my life trickle into my writing life. In studying Story Genius by Lisa Cron, I came across the following:

“While we might know what is happening, we have no idea why it matters or what the point is. Because the point doesn’t stem from the events; rather, it stems from the struggle they trigger within the protagonist as she tries to figure out what the heck to do about the problem she’s facing. That invisible, internal struggle . . . not only connects the novel’s surface events to the protagonist’s internal progress, giving those events meaning, but it’s also what ultimately lets you know what those surface events will be (read: the plot).”

Thinking about this led me to reflect on one of my favorite books, Me Before You. 

writers need to start with why

In Me Before You, Jojo Moyes allowed the reader to see why Louisa needs a job, to see why she stays when she has every reason to leave. But through Louisa’s eyes, we also get to see why Will hates her, why he then tolerates her, and then why he wants to be better with and because of her. We see his struggle with being quadriplegic, with knowing that the good days won’t stay good days. As we come to learn about Louisa’s why & we know about Will’s why.

Have you thought about your own life and writing? For the latter, here are a few tips to really hone in on a character’s why:

  • What is the character’s purpose?
  • What is the character’s cause?
  • What is the character’s belief?
  • Why should the reader care about this character?

What techniques have you used to discover and convey your character’s why? 

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profileTasha Seegmiller is a mom to three kids and coordinator of the project-based learning center (EDGE) at Southern Utah University. She writes contemporary women’s fiction with a hint of magic, and thrives on Diet Coke, chocolate and cinnamon bears. She is a co-founder and the managing editor for the Thinking Through Our Fingers blog as well as the Women’s Fiction Writers Association quarterly magazine, where she also serves as a board member. Tasha is represented by Annelise Robey of the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

Crush Your New Year’s Writing Goals

Every year, I make a list of New Year’s Goals. Yes, Goals. I don’t call them resolutions, because that just seems too concrete and causes too much pressure, setting me up for failure from the very start. Still, even then, some of my goals pan out . . . aaand some of them don’t. But I’ve started to notice a pattern throughout these successes and failures, and I thought I’d share some tips with you that I will be trying this year in the hopes of producing a higher success rate, especially when it comes to writing goals.

crushwriting.jpg

1) Focus on small habits, not the ultimate result.

I think the biggest favor you can do for yourself is to NOT make your resolution the same as your end-game, like “write a novel,” for instance. A goal like that is too daunting, too big. It’s also too vague. There are so many steps involved in writing a novel, and so many life “things” that can get in the way. Instead, a better goal would be to “write every day.” Don’t set a word count. Don’t say you’re going to write 1000 words every day. That’s also setting yourself up for failure. There will be days where you are definitely NOT going to make your word count goal, and you need to make room for that.

In fact, even better, don’t even set your goal to write every day. Make it something more tangible. Just say you’ll work on your novel every day. That can include anything: research, pre-writing, outlining, revising. . . .  And that’s GOOD, because all of those steps are going to get you closer to achieving that end goal that I told you to ignore: to write a full-blown novel. In order to reach that end goal, you need a game plan, so it’s that game plan you need to focus on the most. If your main goal focuses on the process of achieving that end result, you will be much more likely to reach it.

 

2) Failure isn’t an excuse for giving up

No matter what you do, there are probably going to be days, weeks, even months, where you are unable to work on your goals. Everyone goes through periods when they find it difficult to write. You might call that failure. “My goal was to write every day, but I haven’t written for weeks, therefore I’ve failed, therefore I might as well quit.” No! No no no no no. Don’t quit. Just start a-new. Start where you left off. It’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up about it. If you quit, then you’ve failed. But if you can accept that you’ve had a set-back and then pick yourself up and get back to work, you’ll know you have what it takes to succeed.

 

3) Flexibility is Key

Remember that a year is a long time. Things change. You change. The goals that you set in January may no longer apply in July. And that’s okay! I like to reassess my goals every few months to see what’s working, what’s not, and to think about what I need to do differently. It’s not failing or giving up if you decide that you need to take a different path. The point of a New Year’s goal is to improve yourself. Or to change yourself. Or to finally get the thing done that you’ve been wanting to get done. And in order to do any of those things without going crazy, you need to embrace flexibility. Go with the flow. If you don’t take a rigid stance, you’ll be more likely to succeed. At least, that’s my experience. Maybe it’s just because I tend to rebel against rules and rigidity. You may be different. But either way, you need to be willing to reassess and change if need be.

 

I hope these tips have helped. I will fully admit that I haven’t had a great track record for meeting the goals I’ve set each year, but a lot of that is because I haven’t followed my own advice. This year, I plan to. And I hope it helps you as well as me. Happy New Year, and good luck!

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When she’s not writing, revising, or banging her head on the keyboard (it’s all the same, right?), Megan Paasch can be found playing her ukulele (badly), knitting (rarely anymore, unfortunately), or herding two amazing, but rowdy little boys (pretty much constantly) with her husband. A native to the Pacific Northwest, Megan earned her B.A. in History from the University of Washington. (Go Huskies!) Her favorite history subjects were, and still are, Women in History, the Tudors, and the Celts. You can read more about her here.

How to Write When You Just Don’t Wanna

Can we all just agree that the last two weeks have been the worst? I mean it. No matter what side of the political debate you fall on, the aftermath of this election has taken a toll on all of us.

I’m not here to get political, but I do want to address this toll and the effect it has had on our writing. Many—MANY—of my friends and colleagues have expressed how hard it has been for them to write lately. Many haven’t been able to write at all. I’ve seen several posts over social media bemoaning the looming end of NaNoWriMo and how behind everyone is because the election stress threw such a wrench in their ability to focus.

I’m one of them. At 22,000 words, I’m over 10k behind where I should be right now. I have massive amounts of writing to do if I’m going to hit 50k by the end of the month. I could just give up. I mean, it’s just an arbitrary contest. It’s not like my career is hinging on whether I can write 50k in 30 days. And everything else going on in the world right now feels much more important to me than finishing my draft.

Besides, I’ve failed NaNo before. Several times before. It’s not a big deal. But here’s the thing: at the beginning of this month, I made a promise to myself that I was going to REALLY DO THIS this time. I was going to finish this novel this month, come Hell or high water. Well . . . some might argue that Hell and high water are here, and now I’m struggling to keep my promise. I do still want to reach my goal, but when it comes to actually sitting down to write? I . . . don’t wanna.

I. Just. Don’t. Wanna. I mean, I do, logically. But I don’t have the mental energy for it. I’d rather take a nap, thank you very much, and hopefully not wake up until the year 2020 has come around.

Despite this, however, I’ve been managing to push myself through this writing slump, and so I thought I’d share some tips for how to get words down, even when you just don’t wanna.

donwannawrite

1) Allow yourself a few day’s break

This seems counter-intuitive. “Wait, so in order to get yourself to write, you . . . didn’t write?” Yup, I didn’t write. I gave my brain and emotions some time to try and work themselves out, with the promise that after a certain amount of time, even if I still didn’t feel like I was in a place where I could write, I would try to write anyway. That day came, and I turned off all social media, and told myself I couldn’t get back on until I’d written 4k. And amazingly, I wrote 4k. I’m still not sure how, but I did. And you probably can too if you really set your mind to it. But first allow yourself that break.

2) Break it down into small chunks of time

Not words. Time. You’ll probably surprise yourself by how much you’ll get written in that small amount of time. One thing I’ve done on days when I’m especially having trouble focusing, is I’ve set my alarm to go off once every hour. When it goes off, I drop whatever I’m doing (or not doing, as the case has been lately) and write for five minutes. If I hit flow, I’ll keep going. Sometimes that’s all it takes. It’s like a little shove on the back of the sled to get you to the start of the slope. Once you’re there, your sled will tip, and gravity will carry you the rest of the way down.

3) Multitask

I’ve become quite the fan of writing via dictation, and the bulk of my NaNo draft has actually been written via this method while I’m doing other boring tasks, such as folding laundry, picking up clutter, and waiting in the carpool lane to pick up the kids from school. Somehow, for me, I’ve been finding it easier to break through the I-don’t-wannas this way. It’s not for everyone, but if you haven’t tried it yet, I recommend you do.

4) Find a second creative outlet

Set aside some time every day to work on something else creative and/or relaxing that has nothing to do with your draft. Adult coloring books are great for this. Also crafts, such as knitting, crochet, or other needlework—basically anything that relaxes you but also stimulates the creative side of your brain. Sometimes when I do this, I’ll find my mind wandering off to work on my story without me, solving plot problems, coming up with new characters, all while in a nice, relaxed, state of mind rather than while stressing out over a blank page.

5) Don’t panic

If none of this works for you, and you just can’t do it, don’t beat yourself up about it. Stress is a nasty beast that sometimes takes longer to defeat than we would like. Allow yourself the extra time you need. Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, go to bed at a decent hour, and take lots of bubble baths. Your ability to write has not left you forever. It will come back when it’s ready.

I do hope these strategies help you as much as they’ve been helping me. I will point out that they don’t work one-hundred percent of the time. Some days I just have to throw in the towel and admit that writing isn’t going to happen. But even if it works only a third of the time, that’s better than not at all. Also, if you have any tips of your own, please do share them in the comments. I’d love to give them a try.

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When she’s not writing, revising, or banging her head on the keyboard (it’s all the same, right?), Megan Paasch can be found playing her ukulele (badly), knitting (rarely anymore, unfortunately), or herding two amazing, but rowdy little boys (pretty much constantly) with her husband. A native to the Pacific Northwest, Megan earned her B.A. in History from the University of Washington. (Go Huskies!) Her favorite history subjects were, and still are, Women in History, the Tudors, and the Celts. You can read more about her here.

How Great Starters Become Great Finishers

I’m great at starting projects. It’s like starting a new adventure. And there’s nothing I love more than adventure.
But….well, I’m less than stellar at finishing things.
Years ago, I was in a thrift store looking in the craft section. I came across a large Ziploc back filled with folded fabric with an 80’s sewing pattern painstakingly pinned to it. Someone, somewhere realized they were never going to finish that nifty 80’s plaid dress (which might not be a bad thing), folded it up, put it in the bag, and let it go.
Oh, this is me! There are too many projects I’ve had to let go because I didn’t finish them. (And many more that I hold onto thinking that someday, somehow I’ll manage to finish them.)
Lately, this idea of becoming a better finisher has been on my mind. So, I turned to my brilliant friends for some advice. I asked them, “How do great starters become great finishers?” 
#1: Recognize the things you DO finish.
“I think many of us (the “so many ideas!” people or the “I need variety!” people) buy in to this perception that we just don’t finish things and we tell ourselves that all the time. But guess what? We do finish! We finish brushing our teeth. We finish eating breakfast. We finish each day. We finish lots of tasks and if we start giving ourselves credit, maybe we’ll stop running the old lines about not being able to finish anything.” –Julie Pullman
I love this! I do finish things, dangit. But because I haven’t finished some things, I tell myself that I’m just not a finisher. I buy into this idea that this is the person I am. And that’s a bunch of stinky baloney, if I’ve ever smelled some. (And boy have I ever. One time one of my boys got sick after eating old baloney. That kid probably won’t ever touch that mystery meat again.) 
#2: Make achievable goals you can actually finish.
              
If you’re making your goals too big and impossible then you’re setting yourself up for failure. And you’ll keep believing that lie, that you’re not good at finishing. (When the truth may be you’re just not good at making goals.)
“For me, it’s all about planning and setting goals. It’s easy to get bogged down in the nitty gritty details and feel like you’re not moving anywhere. If I break my project up into smaller goals it helps.” Terral Fox, founder of Unshoes
“Yes. One step at a time. I just focus on one scene or chapter, one smaller piece of a bigger goal. If you focus on what you can manage the task will get finished!” –Cindy Fowler
#3: Keep yourself motivated.
             
·       Make a poster of inspiring quotes.
·       Create a Pinterest board for your novel. (Here’s mine!)
·       Read inspirational books about writing.
·       Get support from other writers. 
·       Track what you’ve accomplished.
·       Reward yourself for accomplishing milestones and goals.
               
“I make lists and have little rewards.” –Jennifer Moore
               
“I give myself little rewards. Like if there is a book I *really* want to read, I don’t let myself read it until I’m done with said project.” Cortney Pearson
              
#4: Tell others your goals.
Make yourself accountable to others. 
“Deadlines that are upheld by other humans. We can be terrible at motivating ourselves but it is amazing what we’ll do to save face with someone else.” –Keith McIff
#5: Establish a new discipline or schedule.
              
If you really want to become a finisher, you’re going to have to make changes. One of my favorite quotes is, “If you want something you’ve never had before, you have to do something you’ve never done before.” 
“Discipline. A new routine takes a while to establish, and then becomes comfortable. During the time of establishing, you have to be strict with yourself.” –Sarah Dunster
“Lists, lists, lists. And no internet.” –Krista Jensen
“A daily list of things to accomplish on that goal, on each day.” –Linda Boyden
“I’m just stubborn–so that probably isn’t transferable! But breaking a big project down into manageable parts and making a list of things to check off helps me a lot.” –Rosalyn Eves
“Unplugging the Internet seems to work for me.” –Dennis Gaunt
#6: Forgive yourself for past mistakes, for failed goals, for missed dreams.

Stop dwelling on what you should have been able to finish. And just start finishing!
“It really is hard to keep at it, sometimes. It really does come down to one foot in front of the other, or, rather one word after another. Dogged determination is sometimes required, since quitting is often an easy out.” –Kelly Ramsdell Fineman
“Just do it! I know it’s a shoe commercial, but it works for me. I’m a straightforward person and I like this straightforward message. All the mind games in the world won’t help me get the job done, I just gotta sit down and do it.” –Julie Daines
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Erin Shakespear writes middle grade fantasy full of quirky creatures, magic, and strange adventures. With six kids, her days are full of quirky creatures, magic, strange adventures, and…loads of diapers. She also likes to dabble at photography, and pretending she’s a grand artist. 

12 Ways to Write When You Don’t Have Any Time

I have an absolutely lovely writing desk that was purchased from an antique shop and is a fabulous addition to my home. But because of my busy schedule, I don’t ever seem to have time to sit down and use it. Instead I find myself writing in various places, a habit that I think I developed when my children were wee babies and I was constantly running from one thing to another (they have grown up a bit, but the running hasn’t stopped). Today I’m sharing various ways that I and some of my other writer friends manage writing on-the-go, especially during those particularly busy days.* All you need to accomplish your writing in these ways is something portable — your phone, tablet, laptop, or perhaps a notebook and pen — and the will to do it. Note that some of these ways are mostly good for getting quick words down, while others are more amenable to longer sessions of writing or revising.

*For a couple of these, writing locations may be less about hectic schedules than personal preference; see #9 especially.

1. Waiting time is writing time
We write while waiting for a job to spit out of the copy machine at work, while waiting for that staff meeting to start, while sitting in the doctor’s office waiting room or in the E.R., during pre-curtain time at performances, while waiting in the car for our kids or to pick up food at a busy drive-thru, or while standing in long lines at the coffee shop or at Disneyland.

2. Travel time 

Travel specifically can come with its own waiting/writing time. We write while riding shotgun during long car rides. Airport layovers and flights are ideal for writing — in the words of one of my critique partners, “Being stuck in a chair with no internet? Heck yes!” (Note: you may want to pop in your earphones if you have potentially chatty seat mates.)

3. Outdoors inspiration
Inspiration can strike anywhere, and beautiful scenery can not only make for a great adventure but also serve as inspiration for setting or simply perk up your mood. We write on the tops of mountains and on our balconies, while canoeing or river rafting. We dictate dialogue while riding horses (yes, according to one of my writer friends, it can be done).

4. Dictate some dialogue
Dictate, do I say? We aren’t limited to writing on paper. We use our memo apps on our phones or a specialized app (like Dragon Dictation for iPhone) to record notes or to play around with dialogue. Long freeway commute? Cleaning the bathroom? Changing a diaper? Walking the dog? Dictation comes in “handy” when we need to write hands-free (pun intended).
5. Solo lunch dates

Not to portray ourselves as completely antisocial, but we love to occasionally take our laptop out on lunch dates. What better way to pass the time waiting for our food than to hammer out a scene and then have something yummy arrive at our table as a reward. Alas, this doesn’t work so well for fast-food restaurants.

6. Playtime

If you’re a parent, do not feel parent guilt for writing at the playground. We find a nice bench on which to plunk ourselves down with water and snacks. If you try this, be prepared to take breaks, as even the most well-behaved children can have Lord-of-the-Fly moments when running around in packs. (I wrote a large portion of my fourth book during a weekly playdate at an indoor play place one winter.)

7. Coffee shop detours
While I love dedicated writing sessions at the coffee shop, I say “detours” here because this is a post about those super busy days. Some of us love to pop into a coffee shop while running around town. We take twenty minutes to enjoy the boost of a caffeinated beverage while managing to write a few hundred words.
8. Library detours
Coffee shops aren’t the only suitable place for a little pit-stop when running around town. We love to duck into the library for a few minutes of quiet, a comfy chair (or even an actual desk!), and books all around for lovely sources of inspiration.

9. Under the covers of darkness
Some of us do a fair share of writing not while running around, but while in bed. Some of us prefer to write in the fetal position. Writing under the covers happens to be one of my personal favorites. I spend the last few minutes of nearly every night typing out those last ideas of the day before I fall asleep. I keep my laptop right next to my bed, and when I wake up in the quiet of my house of 5 a.m., I write (Insomnia isn’t always a curse). Oh, and did you know that you can invert the colors of your screen so it’s not so hard on your eyes when you’re writing in the dark? I discovered this nifty feature just a few months ago, and it blew my mind! (We think this is great for movie theaters and for those times you have to sit with your child for hours in the middle of the night when they wake from a scary dream about birds.)

 

10. The magic of bath crayons
Relaxing in the bath? Not a problem. We love to outline ideas on the porcelain with a set of bath crayons, which by the way, also work wonderfully in the shower. If you wish for something more portable and also private, use a waterproof notepad like Aqua Notes and whisk them away with you when you step out of the tub or shower. 🙂

11. Come to think of it, write on anything you can
I mentioned a portable writing device at the beginning of this post, but there are so many other things that will work. We’ve used kid’s placemats or napkins at a restaurant, scribbled down ideas on a diaper (we think it was a clean one) and have even written on our hands, arms, jackets, and pants legs when in a pinch.

12. Last but not least, potty time is…you guessed it…writing time

Yup, I’m going there, and according to at least one of my critique partners, I’m not alone in *ahem* not flushing down this opportunity to be productive. People read magazines, books, and newspapers while sitting on the toilet. My husband plays his guitar. And I write.

p.s. I finished the draft of this blog post while waiting for my son’s choir performance to start. How fitting is that? At least it wasn’t on the toilet! 🙂

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Helen Boswell loved to get lost in the pages of a story from the time she could sound out the words. She credits her dad, an avid fiction reader, with encouraging her to read ALL OF THE BOOKS on his shelves from the time she was a teenager. An author of both YA urban fantasy and NA contemporary romance, she loves to read and write characters that come to life with their beauty, flaws, and all. She is the author of YA urban fantasies MYTHOLOGY, THE WICKED, THE ETERNAL, and NA contemporary romance LOSING ENOUGH. You can find out more about Helen at www.helenboswell.com.

 

Why It Helps Me to Write on the Dark Side

A writer friend of mine once shared with me why she wrote the type of stories that she wrote. She first began writing while she was on extended bed rest due to a difficult pregnancy, both factors of which combined to make her severely depressed. The story that she wrote was funny and uplifting with a happily-ever-after ending because it was exactly what she needed to cheer herself up, and that’s the type of story she’s written ever since.

Every writer’s story is different (pun intended), and maybe you don’t have one specific life event that spurred you on to write the stories that you do. But I’m a firm believer that the best writers write from their hearts, and it’s useful to think about your motivation to writing what you write. Why? Because this will affect your characters’ emotions and motivations as well.

I’d like to think that my stories have uplifting messages. There is hope if my characters look for it, but my stories also always incorporate dark elements. For instance, I always have romance as a key element of the story, and while one main character is bright, the love interest is always damaged because of something dark that happened in his/her past. Even my brightest characters have something dark within their backstories. After polling some of my writer friends, I discovered that I’m not alone. Cumulatively, our characters and stories have dealt with issues such as mental illnesses, alcoholism, sexual assault, drug abuse, domestic violence, anorexia, gambling, manslaughter, child abuse, bullying, and so on.

I love writing dark stories. I don’t think I could ever pull off anything different.

Channeling darker experiences helps me connect with the emotions that my characters need when faced with similar challenges. Even if the exact experiences aren’t identical, it could still elicit the same emotions and motivations in your character. Being taunted by bullies in high school made me wish I was invisible and led me to be extremely introverted and self-reliant. I share these qualities with one of my characters who is misunderstood because of her paranormal abilities. 

Writing about darker experiences helps me understand and put them in their proper place, a place that allows me to cope with these things in real life. Conducting research on drug abuse and alcoholism for my characters helps me understand the people I love that are struggling with drug addiction and alcoholism. Helping one of my characters work through her experience with sexual assault was the only thing that helped me, fifteen years later, put my own demons to rest and allow me to find peace and forgiveness.
I write romance because I remain a hopeless (or is it hopeful?) romantic. I believe in the happily ever afters, and accordingly all of my stories have HEAs. Perhaps most of all, having that bit of darkness in my stories gives me the power to turn things around, to write for my characters those happy endings and outcomes, even when the ones from real life were not.

What about you? Why do you write what you write? 

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Helen Boswell loved to get lost in the pages of a story from the time she could sound out the words. She credits her dad, an avid fiction reader, with encouraging her to read ALL OF THE BOOKS on his shelves from the time she was a teenager. An author of both YA urban fantasy and NA contemporary romance, she loves to read and write characters that come to life with their beauty, flaws, and all. She is the author of YA urban fantasies MYTHOLOGY, THE WICKED, THE ETERNAL, and NA contemporary romance LOSING ENOUGH. You can find out more about Helen at www.helenboswell.com.