Friday, May 30, 2014



Author Christy Santo
Pic captured via Google search
Christy Santo is the author of "Switching Stations, Switching Stories" that she self published in March 2014. Her testimony of when she knew she wanted to be an author captivated me. Christy knew from quite an early age that she wanted to be a writer. According to her site, when her mother typed up Christy's imaginative story of and elephant in New York and her seeing it go from "mind to printed word", she knew she was hooked! Check out Christy's Writing Process Blog Tour posting here


Currently, production is at a standstill. I completed the first draft of the second book in the Going off Dreams series a few months ago. Now, I have to go through and complete the initial edit and then have it sent for professional services. When I originally published Going off Dreams I didn't have the manuscript professionally edited before publication - which is a huge mistake. And now I am also considering other alternatives within the self publishing realms, such as professional book covers and marketing services. Part of the standstill is due to finances (I'm currently looking for a job) and the second is the dread I feel editing the manuscript for book two entitled For All in the Hope. I love the story, I just have a hard time going in and changing things.

Image captured via Google search - link

I have also been constructing the manuscript for a side-shoot series
explaining Arden's lineage and more back story of the different mythologies within the realms and character developments. Arduinna: Guardians of the Forests is still a work in progress (WIP) as I've only written a handful of chapters. After completing a pretty dark scene I decided to take a small break to regroup and work on character and plot developments more. I am really excited about what is to come though! 


I'm pretty sure I should pimp out my genre and get into how my plots are unique. Honestly, I don't really know that they are. I mean - they are to me and I love them. I love reading about different mythologies and how they could relate in today's world. However, in the Going off Dreams realms the mythologies (as of right now) stay out of the Earthly realm. Instead, they take individuals from our realm to theirs. 

When researching different mythologies, I kept running into similar stories. I enjoyed taking the puzzle pieces and developing the realms and plots. It's become so much more than what I had originally thought. I feel like I am just the conduit of a bigger story about to explode. I also incorporate different Biblical story plots as well. I remember reading the Bible and the messages, characters and stories just sticking with me. Again, they are testimonies that we can relate to even today.

What I love about my genre(s) are that they give you the tools to escape our realities. And really, that's what the story is about - escaping to a world with more possibilities. It divulges in sensual desires, so it's definitely for a mature reader. Going off Dreams also deals with many stressful and intense situations and much like life, with the not so good times, there are great times too with plenty of playful banter. 


When I first started writing the story, I had an initial dream about an apocalyptic nature and wanted to write about it. I didn't write the dream exactly as it had occurred, but I took aspects of the dream and manipulated them. I really enjoyed the character development, and took what I read and worked it into the grand scheme of things. As I researched more, I kept diving deeper and deeper into the Mythical and Biblical worlds. 

Why? Because I write what I would want to read. Of course being the naive first-time self published author, I thought the book would take off. But the realization that it takes a lot more work than just writing, editing, and publishing it. That is probably about 20 to 30% of the self-publishing aspect. The other percentile is building, marketing and advertising your work and yourself. I really believed that I could make the income from the first book to sustain and to continue to produce the rest of the series (and possibly more). However, this hasn't been the case - especially since life tends to get in the way of things from time to time. 

I've had a couple people that think it's great that originally I had this ambitious thought that one day my characters would be or could be portrayed at such events like Comic Con. One of my motivations was to continue the stories because I wanted to see my characters come to life (not just in my head). I still have this hope.


This is assuming that I actually have a writing process... and we all know what assume really stands for - just kidding! My writing process as I've mentioned previously starts by researching different mythologies. I'll have definite things that I want to include in the initial plots, I'll keep them in mind when researching mythologies and different perspectives within the characters. Then I'll write the scenes and work on the progressions. After the first manuscript is written, I have beta readers read the first rough draft and give me their input. I then begin the first hard edit taking their suggestions into consideration.

Image captured via Google - link

After I originally published Going off Dreams I realized there were A LOT of mistakes. So then we paid to have it professionally edited. I utilized this time as well to coordinate the talents of others to help me relaunch including a new cover. I also made the book trailers with Microsoft Movie Maker with the aide of Its A Family Affair Productions (music) and Rt. (Route) 77 Productions (photography). I have already learned so much and can now implement this for the rest of the series and any other works.

During the process I write a lot of notes, mostly I keep them in a word.doc where I can cut and paste. I have also started to save pictures that help to motivate or work as a muse or inspiration toward the characters, landscapes or such. I frequently check back within my notes. This is where I will keep bullets of what I need to include, thoughts that I've had, and even the research that I've gathered. The notes that I have for the first book I went through so many different names. Originally Xylo's name was Katherine because I had read somewhere the association with wood. But then when researching and learning new details, I read where Xylo was a reference to wood and had to listen to how it was pronounced and thought it would make an interesting name. Originally Katherine became Katheryn, the main protagonist, but she is referred to as Eryn. In the series Eryn is transformed into the goddess Nyx - which I always knew I wanted to use. Her main love interests when through a lot of different names. I tried using regular names and they weren't working. Originally Eryn was going to be married and her husband's name was Alex. That was rewritten as her younger sister was engaged to be married to Alex. Within the alternative realm, originally Eryn was suppose to fall in love with Paul - but it wasn't working and through a lot of research I finally felt that Tobar was unique enough to suit him. Name developments were fun for me because I would look up names based on characteristics of the particular character. With the internet at your finger tips the possibilities are unlimited.

Image captured via Google search - link

Sometimes music will inspire me to write as well, I did post about my Audioinspirations. Usually I try to write in a more secluded place, where I can escape and really focus on what I am writing so I can relate the different experiences and senses. I usually will listen to the music when editing, this helps me in a couple different ways. It might sound foreign to some people, but when I listen to music I can process editing more efficiently (I think), it's like I can stay out of my head more. Or, I use the song to help me reach a certain feeling or sense that I can further develop the writing. There have been times when I have been writing for hours and don't even realize it. When I've come out of the 'writing coma' I realize the time.
Usually part of my writing process is more just getting the thoughts out. A very rough patch of what's going on in my head or where I want the story to go. Then, I will go through and pick at it, rearrange, cut and paste, read and reread it again and again until it feels right. Especially with intense scenes, I tend to just run through it and then when I would reread it, it felt patchy and I wasn't portraying a complete picture. I really would try to take certain scenes too and try to write in detail about different senses, in an attempt to make the reader feel like they are there and personalizing the story and experiences for them. I really want the reader to invest within the realms and characters because I love them and I want readers to love my characters too.

What I am going to implement with the next book, to include in my writing process, is professional editing services; I really want to try to find one editor that can continue within the series so they get a better grasp and could benefit the stories in a more professional way. This time around too, it was suggested to invest in a professional book cover, marketing, and advertising strategies.


Cathrina Constantine
I originally met Cathrina through the blogging and social media realms. She too was born and raised within her respective state of New York, where she continues to live with her husband, five children, two Labradores and two cats. To say she's busy is an understatement. Her first published work was Wickedly They Come and most recently she published Tallas.
Cathrina Constantine Official Site
Constantine Blog
Cathrina Constantine on Goodreads
Like on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
+Cathrina Constantine Google+

Siren Allen
I first met Siren through the blogging and social media universe as well. She lives in Mississippi with her husband and enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews. Siren is the author of deliciously steamy romances. I love her perspective that she states on her site: that she likes to believe that she is the Queen and her siblings are her minions. Check her out!
+Siren Allen Google +

Check Out These Great Authors