ask me anything || answering your questions about The Blood Race

hey, sweet friend!


ok so who else is having a hard time processing the fact that it is already november, already thanksgiving, already ALMOST CHRISTMAS? what happened???? how are you holding up???

so many of you guys have been so incredibly supportive and amazing and just THERE FOR ME through this amazing kick off to my new series The Blood Race. i could not be more blessed. i am so grateful for you. so i hope you think about THAT this thanksgiving when you count your blessings - there is a very happy, pumped-up writer pecking away at a laptop in the frigid mountains of Vermont, AND IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT. (in a good way ;))


OKAY, NOW LET'S GET DOWN TO IT. there's a few things you should know if you enjoy my writing at all:


- i'm giving away SIGNED COPIES of TBR! + epic fantasy quill pens & ink, steampunk journals, fantasy bookmarks, etc, etc. if you haven't already entered, GO DO THAT HERE. please. it would make me really happy & i hope you win something. :) (Ends Dec 17th!)

- book 2 is in the hands of my editor! (who is a total rock star.) I get so so so excited at this stage of the process. there's quite a bit of fun, and a heck of a lot of learning involved - both great things. PLUS, the editing stage means it's one step closer to being in your hands. ;)

- i'm filming my first TBR Q+A video! It's something I've been thinking about doing for a while. so many of you have asked me so many great questions about my series, I thought why not take this to the YouTube channel? (which I am attempting to dedicate more time to in future. someone please cheer me on & send coffee) So, the question is, do YOU have any questions? because now is the time to ask me anything about The Blood Race down in the comments below! fire away! have at it! JUST DON'T ASK ME WHO MY FAVORITE CHARACTER IS, THAT IS SO MEAN. that's like asking a mom of 2 which kid is her favorite. 


okay, that's it on my end, guys - enough about me! how's your week going? HOW'S YOUR NANO NOVEL COMING??? are you doing nano? in advance, no i am not, and i am in awe of those who are. hats off to you guys. OH, and which holiday do you get more pumped for, thanksgiving of christmas??? (yes, there is a right answer)

I LOVE YOU GUYS!

lOVE,
kATE


wandering: venice



venice. venice was a life long dream, and everything i had ever imagined italy to be.

we arrived by train, and wove our way through the maze of cobblestone streets to find our b&b; a gabled Victorian with a rooftop view. everything was bustling; bright flags whipped in the wind, water taxis sped by, and vendors sold paintings and carnavale masks on the streets. our gps wasn't working, but between my husband's navigation skills, and my precious little crash-coursed italian, we found our way to our lodgings. stopping every hundred feet or so to admire the view, or snap a photo.

venice was grabbing pizza and pasta (like you do), eating gelato, and listening to the bells chime from Saint Mark's square. It was wandering in and out of shops, admiring vibrant blown glass, hand-crafted puppets, and intricate masks. it was strolling around Saint Mark's with eyes wide in wonder, waiting for the sun to go down.

it was jumping in a gondola after dark and listening to the quiet swish of our gondolier's paddle strokes; laughter echoing from cafes, accordion music trembling in the stillness. it was staying up late and laughing and talking and more gelato and watching the only american movie that happened to be on.

venice was tiramisu by the water, watching the boats come and go. it was taking a taxi around the island and seeing it all from the water. it was arriving at the airport by boat. at a dock. which has to be one of the coolest things i've done.

venice was, in short, beautiful beyond belief.



is Italy on your "must see" list? have you already been? (if i haven't already convinced you, venice needs to go on your must-see list ;)) where was the last new location you explored like an over-caffeinated indiana jones? i want to hear all about it in the comments below!!


lOVE,
kATE

Book 2 Celebration Giveaway!


Hey sweet soul!


SO I FINISHED BOOK 2. not gonna downplay, I am preeeetty darn pumped about it. It's off to my editor, and I think it's pretty safe to say that I cannot WAIT to share it with you guys. the sweet reviews and messages of support I've gotten from you guys on The Blood Race has been....pshshhh, just absolutely mind-blowing. as a writer, my greatest desire is for readers to enjoy my book - and get something out of it; to be impacted in whatever way they may need the most. in essence, to bring the light. and also for you to just be like "HOT DANG THAT WAS A GOOD READ WHERE IS THE NEXT ONE I NEED IT IBFIGBERGN"

which....is what a lot of you have been saying. so if you're one of those, don't worry - I've got you covered!

In fact, this is what this post is all about: CELEBRATING BOOK TWO

because this December, I'll be doing 3 things:


#1 Revealing the TITLE of book 2 in The Blood Race series
#2 Revealing the COVER of book 2
#3 revealing a very, very exciting little extra surprise that book 2 contains (this one I REALLY cannot wait for)


SO, what better way to celebrate all of this than to do a giveaway? (yeah, there's no better way. don't even waste time thinking about that one)


This is the deal:




I'm giving away signed copies of The Blood Race (plus some other cool prizes) to 6 winners. (So there's SIX chances to win, not just three.)


2 awesome peeps will receive the first place combo - which includes: a signed copy of The Blood Race, an epic fantasy quill pen + ink set, & a fantasy bookmark

2 fantastic peeps will receive the second place combo - which includes: a signed copy of The Blood Race, AND, a gold-trimmed steampunk journal.

2 amazing peeps will receive the third place combo - which includes: a signed copy of The Blood Race & a super sweet fantasy bookmark to go with that.

and, of course, I'll make it easy for you... you can enter right here:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


the giveaway runs Nov 1 - Dec 17! oh, and remember to share it w/ friends if you love me. 


i love you guys so so much. i'm so blessed and touched by each and every comment, review, and read you guys give me. storytelling is really my life... this is what i do. i wouldn't know how to live any other way. so the fact that you guys are picking up what i'm putting down? nothing could mean more.

enter & win something & have a happy day




lOVE,
kATE





the comparison game: why its toxic & why we have to stop playing


artists; we have a lot on our plates - on the daily. we're thinking about the next thing we're going to make while simultaneously working on the current thing, editing it, refining it, making it better. there's a good chance we're working a job to keep all this going - to fund our art and put sandwiches in our mouths while we do that. we're working on keeping our social media updated and nice looking. we're writing emails and planning events and answering messages and thinking of new marketing tactics.

we have a lot to think about; a lot is going on in our flippin brilliant brains.

honestly all of this, if not tended to in a self-loving way, can lead to big time burn out. feeling empty, hollow, and like you honestly have nothing left to give. like you're ready to throw in the towel but you're just getting started.it's a roller coaster - and a lot of us deal with this on the regular. so the last thing we need, on top of juggling everything else you're doing, is to be playing the comparison game.

what do I mean by that, the comparison game?

constantly holding your work up to someone else's; your writing, your songs, your paintings, photos, comics, graphic designs, etc - comparing them to someone else's to see how you measure up alongside them. and lets face it, we almost always come out on the bottom. and then we start our vicious cycles of beating ourselves up and nitpicking ourselves and ultimately losing something very important that we NEED in order to even make good art: joy. we lose the joy in our craft that we actually loved before... but now, suddenly, its sub-par. because, in our minds, its not as good as his or hers. [side note: most of the time this is a fallacy anyways... there's a good chance they look at your work and think the very same thing]

why do we do this? why do we torture ourselves?



well, first because we're artists, and we all know artists are mad to begin with. no, honestly i'm just joshing here because i don't know why exactly this is something i choose to torture, drain, and exhaust myself with on occasion. why do i have my eyes on other people's marks and not my own? i don't know. insecurities, feelings of inferiority, existential crisis's... maybe a little of each???

it's a rut. it's a rut we fall into as artists. and it's a tricky little bugger to climb out of. i'm still working on it myself, and i feel as if i have company in this place. i feel like maybe this isn't something only i wrestle with. maybe a lot of us do.

i can't tell you exactly how to get out of this whack-a-mole game of "i wish my thing was better" or "i wish my art was more like"... but i can and i will tell you what helps me sometimes... and that would be to learn to appreciate your own work.

make a list. write it out - eleven things you like about HOW YOU do what you do. how *you* uniquely execute your craft. because this is the very reason you shouldn't be comparing yourself to anyone; we all have a gift. we all have a unique voice, something new and fresh to bring to the table. your writing doesn't need to sound like anthony doerr. your photographs don't need to look like brandon woelfels. your writing should sound like yours. your photos should emulate your own vibe.

"but i'm just a noob. i want to develop my style so much more!!!!1"

and that is 200% fine. but you don't need to copy someone else in order to develop more yourself. instead, wander, explore - take a walk or meditate and see what things naturally come to your mind that inspire you. emulate those things - those are the things that light you up. you can't run off someone else's fuel; you have to find your own.

i just want to say that i speak from experience here. i spoke of a rut - well, i'm writing from the rut. i'm a perfectionist in many ways. i compare and nitpick and i play the game. but i am actively trying to stop playing it. and that's the first step.


ELEVEN THINGS I LIKE ABOUT HOW I DO MY ART:

1. i like that i don't have to think about what i write. it just happens.
2. i like that people have told me they can see my story in their head like a movie. 
3. i like the way i feel when i write. 
4. i like that i have created characters that i, and readers, have fallen in love with
5. i like that my writing has made my mom cry
6. i like the way i write about the places i travel to
7. i like the vibe of my photographs
8. i like the way i write kick-butt action scenes
9. and kiss scenes
10. i like that i have published a novel
11. i like my ability to think of titles



OKAY, NOW IT'S YOUR TURN. comment below and list 11 things that you personally LIKE about your art. or maybe your not an artist, but you still struggle with comparison... then just tell me 11 things you like about your flipping awesome self. :) 

s/o to keira for the conversation on twitter/insta that inspired this post & to olivia for the idea about making lists of things you like about you xx

ALSO, Keira has a new, beautiful blog - so go check that out if ya love me. :)




lOVE,
kATE