Friday, 19 November 2010

Killer Valentine Ball--From Non-fiction Writer to Successful Author


November is the spookiest month--partly a hangover from the mystic terror of Hallowe'en, partly the weather. The "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness" disintegrates into a time of ghoulies and gales while the dark nights engender primitive fears and fantastic imaginings.

If you enjoy the pleasurable terrors of curling up in front of a roaring fire with a chilling horror story, C.A.Verstraete is an author who takes frightening to the nth degree. She describes her latest book Killer Valentine Ball, newly released by Muse It Up Publishing as "horror with a macabre sense of humor."

Praised by inspirational blogger and book reviewer J. Aday Kennedy, this is a short story which will appeal to teenagers and adults alike.

A journalist turned fiction writer, Christine is used to writing every day.
"It's a habit." she says. "Don't wait for a muse. Just put butt to chair, fingers to keys, and start typing. Something will happen, words will appear. It can be magical. Enjoy it."

That's all very well but as a journalist and features writer myself, I know that there's a great difference not only in the type of writing needed to produce fiction but also in the self discipline. Christine's article explains it well and she uses her experience to motivate and encourage those of us who are slow and sometimes not-so-steady writers. Over to you, Christine.

Making the Switch from Nonfiction to Fiction
Christine Verstraete

Being trained in journalism is a good thing for writing nonfiction, but it can be a bad habit to overcome when it comes to writing fiction. Yes, I had an advantage in terms of knowing sentence structure, grammar, etc, but fiction has its own style.

Early writing partners will attest to my complaints that I just didn't get it. I didn't think I could make the transition. I don't know why. As I mostly wrote for newspapers, I was used to "just the facts." Stringent writing. No exaggeration.

Then one day it clicked.

I practiced. I kept writing even when I read other "better" works that made me want to throw in the towel. I started with short stories and kept writing, going on to completing a children's mystery and an adult mystery.

Sure, I still sometimes struggle. (Who doesn't?) Sure, there are still authors far better than I am, whom I read for enjoyment and to look at their writing style.

Look around and you'll always find someone thinner, richer, better looking, more talented, etc. So? The bottom line: you can't let surroundings, outside criticism, self-doubt or anything else stop you from reaching your goal.

That's the real lesson I learned in transitioning from one writing genre to another: just keep writing.

Making the transition and finding your own writing "voice," does come over time. Yes, some writers have quick successes. Some take longer to peak or like me, are "late bloomers."

That's okay. Writing is not a race. There isn't a timetable. You can start at any age. The only requirement: keep going. Be the Energizer Bunny. Write until you sign The End. Write and submit until
someone says yes, then start all over again.

Thank you so much Christine for visiting Slow and Steady Writers. I have thoroughly enjoyed both your book and your visit. Looking forward to catching up with more of your work especially your children's mystery
Searching for a Starry Night, A Miniature Art Mystery, which was #1 on Kindle for Miniatures books and a 2009 EPPIE Award finalist for best YA/children's ebook by the Epic Foundation.

Find out more  about C.A.Verstraete
For more information about Christine, her writing and a story excerpt, visit the first stop on her blog tour with Nancy Famolari 
And don't miss the great fun interview with Ron Berry on November 16.
Tomorrow she visits author Roseanne Dowell.
And More about Killer Valentine Ball

The Killer Valentine Ball
Author: C. A. Verstraete
Cover Artist: Delilah K. Stephans
Word Count: 3,094
Pages: 15
ISBN: 978-0-9865875-6-6
Price: $0.99
Warning: Light gore

And More about Christine


  1. Great advice, especially "Be the Energizer Bunny." That's the big one--you've just got to keep going and going! It can mean the difference between being a writer and being a published writer.

  2. Too true Brenda. Guess I need to get me some rechargeable batteries :-(
    Thought that was a great article too.


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