Tag Archives: Kit Campbell

Toddlers and Writing: Like Oil and Water – Guest Post by Kit Campbell

Kit Campbell author photoToday I’m thrilled to introduce a special guest blogger. Kit Campbell is the brains behind the business end of Turtleduck Press, and she’s also the author of our newest novel, Shards.

And? She’s doing all that around a small child. Here she is to explain how.

I think most people who are not parents don’t really think about what it’s like to have children. That’s not a dig or anything like that, but why should they? Children are something in the future or something that you occasionally see at holidays and then can return to their respective parental units.

Even parents don’t really think about what it’ll be like in the future. It’s hard, when you have an infant, to picture what he’ll be like as a toddler, a preschooler, a teenager, an adult. So, while I knew when I had children that I would have less time to work on my stories, I wasn’t quite prepared for what I was getting into.

I should probably preface this by saying that I’m fairly new to this whole parenting thing; my only child will be a year and half just after the new year. I have, in this last year, managed to partially rewrite and completely edit my debut novel Shards, which was just released this past Sunday.

How did I manage this? Very carefully. And by “very carefully,” I mean by careful use of what little free time I have left. I like to imagine that, as the small, mobile one gets older, I’ll get some free time back, either by him learning to concentrate on things or by eventually sending him off to school. I may be deluding myself, however.

Right now, I have to do all my work while he’s sleeping. And I do mean all—not only my fiction work, but also my normal, daytime job, which I do from my home office. I also need to do some things around the house or yard while he’s asleep too, usually things that involve dangerous chemicals or sharp implements.

I’ll tell you one thing. I have learned to focus like nobody’s business.

Sometimes I can get some work done while he’s up, usually things that I can be interrupted during and not lose my train of thought. But he’s at this stage where he wants to know what I’m doing at all times and, if at all possible, also do what I’m doing. Or steal what I’m doing and run off with it. (He also wants to eat all my food. Anything I don’t want to share has to be relegated to nap time.)

He can occasionally be distracted by being turned loose in the backyard, though if he notices the laptop within range, he’ll be back. Sometimes he can be distracted if I give him whatever food item he’s been coveting and stay where he can see me. (But hide the laptop behind a plant. Or a stack of dishes.) He is, however, never distracted when I ask his father to watch him and then hole up in the office. He will stick his face up against the glass door and run his tongue along it until I let him in.

I once wrote 50,000 words in a month while working full-time and taking graduate-level engineering classes. Who would have thought that one toddler would prove more time-consuming than that? But it’s probably good for me to have the structure, and despite the decrease in productivity, I wouldn’t go back to the way it was before. Life’s a little more interesting through all the chaos.

About Shards

Shards by Kit CampbellEva Martinez is just trying to finish her religious studies degree before her mom guilts her into coming home, when Michael saves her life. There’s definitely a spark between them, but Eva needs to focus on her studies and upcoming trip. Turns out Michael knows a lot about her major, but there’s a lot he’s not telling her too. Will Eva discover the truth about herself before it’s too late?

Kit Campbell has never met a mythology she hasn’t liked. This sometimes leads to issues, such as the occasional Norse God of Thunder showing up in the Garden of Eden. She adores weaving in the possibilities forgotten magic can bring to a story, and enjoys making up new creatures, such as large, venomous monsters that hunt in packs.

Kit’s stories have been published in half-a-dozen anthologies, and her YA novella, Hidden Worlds, was released by Turtleduck Press in 2010. Shards is her first full-length novel.

Kit lives in Colorado in a house of ever-increasing chaos. She can be found around the internet at kitcampbellbooks.com, @KitCampbell, and on Goodreads.

More Reading

Kit’s doing a blog tour this week — if you’d like to read more about Shards, all the links can be found at Kit’s website here.

And, in totally unrelated news, I’m blogging at Turtleduck Press about being addicted to stress.

 

Turtleduck Press Cover Reveal: Shards

I’m excited to unveil the new novel release from my indie publishing house, Turtleduck Press. Shards, by Kit Campbell, is an urban fantasy/paranormal romance featuring an inquisitive Latina university student and a handsome guy who’s keeping supernatural secrets…secrets that have to do with her, and with a past she doesn’t remember.

Intrigued? Here’s the cover:

Shards by Kit Campbell

Shards comes out on December 1, and Kit will be guest posting here that week. In the meantime, you can read more about Shards over at Kit’s website.

(Apologies for the brevity of this post. I’m deep in the throes of novel editing…)

The Lucky 7 Meme

The Lucky 7 MemeI’ve got something different for you this week — a snippet of my novel work-in-progress, or WIP. I won’t be doing this often, but memoir writer Elaine Smothers has tagged me in something called the Lucky 7 meme, so I thought I’d share. Update: As I was writing this, I was also tagged by fantasy writer B. A. Matthews. We crossed ships in the night…

Here are the rules:

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP

2. Go to line 7

3. Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs, and post them as they’re written .

4. If your WIP doesn’t have 77 pages, you can post 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs from page 7.

5. Tag 7 other writers and let them know.

Here’s my contribution, an excerpt from a YA science fiction novel set on a spaceship. Since page 77 happens to be the a short page, you only get 7 lines.

Ashmita struggled to get her thoughts in order. “Miz X doesn’t own…what did you call them?…drones. But she does essentially own people – that’s where Peter and I came from. Spencer, what does it take to make a drone?”

He looked up at her and swallowed. “Anybody can be made into one. It requires brain surgery and steroids. Expensive, but not difficult. And the profit is huge.”

“And what then? Can they think? Can the procedure be reversed?” she asked, already suspecting she knew the answer.

Since this novel is still in the first draft stage and I’m planning on sending it through the traditional publishing route, that’s all you’ll see of it for quite a while. Hope you enjoyed the sneak peek.

For the next Lucky 7, I’m tagging:

1. KD Sarge

2. Kit Campbell

3. Erin Kendall

4. C. S. McClellan

5. NEW: K.A. Levingston

…help, I’ve run out of writers I know who haven’t done this meme yet! If you’d like to play, just leave a comment to that effect and I’ll add you to the list.

See you on Friday with my roundup of the best links of the week!

Tag, Who’s Next?

Via Turtleduck Press author KD Sarge, here’s a meme that looked like fun.

So the way it works: answer the questions, come up with eleven of my own, and tag more people to keep the game going. Sort of a chain letter but better.

Here we go…

1.) Of your characters, who would you most like to have as a real-life friend?

Kitty from the historical paranormal novel. She’s smart and bookish and clever-tongued, and she’s not afraid to buck tradition.

Of the stories you can actually read, I’d have to pick Taqulittuq from my short story in Winter’s Night. Facing grief and fear, she digs deep to find courage.

2.) Which would you not want to be around anywhere but in the pages of a book?

Sefu, a villain from my fantasy series. He’s frighteningly stoic and self-possessed, and worse, he’s smarter than my heroine and outmaneuvers her without even trying.

3.) When a song bowls you over and you have to hear it again and again, what is probably the reason? (Great voice, real emotion, clever lyrics, et cetera)

It’s all about the voice. I’ll fall in love with voices even when I can’t understand the words. Case in point: the Corsican a cappella group Barbara Furtuna. Swoon.

4.) Of everywhere you’ve been, where was your favorite place to be? (Home is a perfectly acceptable answer!)

A little valley in Norway at the end of a steep-walled fjord, with the valley rising steeply up to mountain peaks on both sides. I’ll have to write about my travels in future posts, assuming there’s interest.

5.) Where do you want most to go?

Um…besides everywhere? Nepal, India, Greece, Italy, the Arctic…yeah.

6.) What is the meaning of life? (okay, okay–YOUR life.) What do you think your life is about?

Making the world a little bit better. One of the ways I do that (or try, at least) is through writing. If I can inspire, or give courage, or comfort, or move a reader, I’ve succeeded. Then I try to do it again. ;-)

7.) What’s the best thing about what you do for a living?

I get to work with words. It’s not writing fiction, but editing non-fiction. There’s something very satisfying about solving a thorny puzzle and making something clearer for the reader’s benefit.

8.) What do you do when you need inspiration?

Depends. If I’m stuck on a particular plot point, I’ll write endless brainstorming notes. If I’m feeling uninspired generally, I’ll either set a timer and stare at the file until the timer goes off, or else fill up the creative well by going elsewhere (a book, Pinterest, my knitting, whatever).

9.) When you need some time for you, where do you go?

This is a bit sad, but usually the Internet. I’ve also found solo walks to be good for the soul.

10.) Plotter or pantser?

I’m a plotser. I like to leave plenty of room to explore, but I plan out character backstories and the broad structure of the acts. (Acts are the most brilliant invention ever, by the way. Except maybe a recent discovery via Jennifer Crusie: scene sequences.)

11.) To close with a (fairly) easy one–talk about a book. Any book. :)

Wait, that was supposed to be the easy one? This is getting long, so I’ll just refer you to my nostalgia post about Madeleine L’Engle instead. Ha.

~

There! Hope you enjoyed that and learned something about me. For another writer’s answers to the same questions, see fellow Turtleduck Press author Kit Campbell’s blog.

To pass on the meme, I shall tag Kat Anthony and and K.A. Levingston. Because I’m a nice person, there’s no pressure to complete the meme! If you’re not Kat or K.A. but you’d like to do the meme anyway, leave a comment and I’ll add a link to your responses.

And now my questions:

1. Where do you get your ideas from? :-P

2. If you have some terrible old stories that will never see the light of day, which one do you still have a soft spot for?

3. Where in the world would you live if you could live anywhere?

4. Where would you love to visit, but not live?

5. What’s the most awe-inspiring moment you’ve had (that you’re willing to share)?

6. Who’s your captain — Kirk, Picard, Captain Jack from Torchwood, Jack Sparrow, Malcolm Reynolds, other?

7. Which author’s universe would you love to write in if you could?

8.What was your gateway drug into your genre of choice?

9. What’s your favourite hobby, creative or otherwise, when you’re not writing?

10. Are you a morning person or an evening person?

11. What was the most memorable meal you’ve ever had?