Monday, November 11, 2013

Day Eleven of NaNoWriMo

Guilty as charged! I was not able to write the past few days, however, I was able to get some more brainstorming and research in, including a mapped out timeline of each chapter, the plot points and any inciting incidents.

I'm continuing to read middle grade novels (one in particular that contains pranks in the book too!) in order to submerge myself in the middle grade novel tone of a male protagonist. Since my first novel is from the viewpoint of an 11-year-old girl, switching gears the second time around has proven to be quite a challenge. But I will admit, I am absolutely LOVING my new story and where it is going!

I am thrilled that the motivation NaNoWriMo provides has been so successful for me these past few days, and cannot wait to see what my novel becomes by the end of the month. I'm even more excited for you all to see it -- one day!

After 540 words, the total is now up to 6,028!

Today's excerpt: "They raised their long green bony hands and pointed their sharp fingernails at me.  I tried to stop and turn around but my back felt as if it were up against a wall, pushing me forward, the heels of my gym shoes screeching along the floor tile as the hallway got smaller and smaller. The sickly stench of burning rubber filled my nostrils..."

Best writing wishes to all!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Day Five of NaNoWriMo

After such an exciting win for the Chicago Bears against the Green Bay Packers last night, my adrenaline has been running ever since! Day Five of NaNoWriMo picked up after an intense ending to Chapter 3.  Chapter 4 begins with some awkwardness and self-doubt. Friendship lines are blurred and morality is questioned.

Here's today's excerpt: I leaned over and picked it up. My fingers burned as the temptation to rip it open coursed through my hand. I coughed loudly and shoved my arm in Ty's direction. "Here, I, uh, I think you dropped this."

An addition of 627 words for Day Five brings the grand total thus far to 5,491.

Please share some of your favorite, exciting or thought-provoking excerpts from your NaNoWriMo works in progress!

Looking forward to hearing everyone's personal journeys!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Day Four of NaNoWriMo

I'm thrilled to say that Day Four of NaNoWriMo was just as successful as the last three days. I completed Chapter 3 and threw a few wrenches into the mix for my main character. Can't make it easy for him, can I?!  The tension is building and the plot is thickening. Concluding the chapter led to an additional 697 words for a total so far of 4,855.

Today's excerpt: Rich stared at me. "Oh. Did I forget to mention that each prank has a catch?" He paused. "Flip it over."

A sharp chill crawled down my spine as I read the words on the back of my card.

Until tomorrow!

OH, and Go Bears!! :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Day Three of NaNoWriMo

Day Three of NaNoWriMo began with the sun shining; its rays streaming into my room. It was a beautiful fall morning in November. After several days of clouds, rain and cold weather, it was incredibly warming to see clear, blue skies and crisp leaves on the ground. After meeting some friends for brunch and running some errands, I felt in the mood for some baking.

Flipping open my laptop, the kitchen soon became filled with the fragment, delicious smells of sugar cookies. It was an excellent day for writing. Working on Chapter 3, I wrote until I reached 1,006 words and came to a perfect stopping point (for the mere sake of eating dinner).

Today's excerpt: I stopped and stared at my friend. "Before or after we braid each other's hair and paint our nails? He's not our friend, Ty. I'm doing this for the sole purpose of not being on his list of prankees in the foreseeable future."

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and is progressing along in their NaNoWriMo journey!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Day Two of NaNoWriMo

There's nothing better than curling up in my city apartment with my computer and a cup of hazelnut coffee to start Day Two of NaNoWriMo. With the scent of my pumpkin candle wafting through the room, I embarked on Chapter Two of my novel.

Today's excerpt: "I felt like I was in one of my zombie video games. Everywhere I looked, aliens stepped out of the shadows, one-by-one cornering me from every direction, until I couldn't fight any longer. Red filled the screen, followed by the chilling words "The End."

How are the rest of you progressing? Did Day Two come easier than yesterday? Has the journey sunk in yet?

Excited to hear everyone's thoughts!

Friday, November 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013 Has Begun!

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) kicked off today and I'm excited to announce that I am an active participant this year! As my first completed middle grade novel seeks an agent, my November will be filled with words, words, and more words. Hence: I am working on my second MG novel. I couldn't be more excited!

For those who are not familiar with the organization, NaNoWriMo is a community dedicated to helping writers start and complete a full-length novel (approx. 50,000 words) by the end of November. For myself, since I'm writing a middle grade novel, my word count will be around 30,000 words or so. The aim for any writer, though, is to ensure you write everyday. And no editing! A useful tip for any writer is to not find yourself married to your first draft words, otherwise it will make it that much harder to edit and kill your darlings.

I can't give too many details on what it's about yet but I will divulge that the viewpoint is from a male protagonist. The working title is: Dexter Fremont and the Blackmail Bailout.

Though I may not submit my writing through the NaNoWriMo website, I have added a word count tracker to my homepage so everyone can follow along in my journey to completing the book.

Each day I will attempt to come on here and paste a line or two from my novel, if not to prove I'm writing, but to entice future readers. :)

Here's todays: "Stop playing dumb, Ty. You know what I'm talking about, and it's not food. We basically just signed a deal with the devil. Actually, devils."

Who else is participating in NaNoWriMo! Please keep me updated on your progress as well! For those who want to follow me on the website, my username is: ksparks54.

Good luck, writers!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hold Tight is Released!

Congratulations to my friend, Cherie Colyer, and the release of her second novel, Hold Tight, in the Embrace series! (For a limited time only, check out her blog to snag a specially priced copy of Embrace!) 

What's one little spell?

When you’re new to magic, one spell can be the difference between getting what you want...and ruining the lives of everyone you love.

Sixteen-year-old Madison has just embraced her magical powers. The trick now is learning how to control them. She and her boyfriend -and fellow witch- can’t even enjoy a simple kiss without getting shocked when their powers collide. Instead of mastering her new skills, though, Madison is stuck watching her kid brother and doing chores.

But being a witch does have its benefits. With a simple spell, Madison instantly conjures the help she needs around the house. Or so she thinks. Her idea of “help” invites trouble of its own as a pair of dangerous yet enticing beings enter her life. When a classmate disappears soon afterwards, Madison discovers she's the next victim of a threat she's powerless to resist...and there’s nothing it won’t kill to make her surrender.

Caught in the crossfire between two dashing but deadly creatures, Madison must figure out which one to trust and how to rid her world of the other—before one of them destroys her and everyone she cares about.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Get Your 4 Minutes of (Literary) Fame -- Now!

**Spark of the month** --- * .... The 4 Minutes of (Literary) Fame

Recently, my friends and fellow writers, Kym Brunner and Cherie Colyer sat down and discussed setting up an event where aspiring and published authors could come together and share their works at an open-mic sort of night. 

Want to join in on the fun?


1) Join us at a local pub (live in the vicinity of northwest suburbs of IL? Then join in!), grab some drinks and a few delicious appetizers (I recommend the sushi!), and bring along your favorite, pre-published or published work to share.
2) Sign up in advance to obtain one or all of the following:

  • Reading pages from your story/book
  • Sharing your book trailer
  • Showing illustrations you've drawn (I write pictures books, so I always enjoy seeing the art!)
  • Revealing your book cover
  • Some other creative expression of your children's book lit book

3) Extend the invitation to your friends, family, dog, cat (okay, maybe not your pets...) but anyone who might find this interesting and fun is welcome to join!
4) Finito! You're ready for a night of literary fun! And some recognized fame...!


WHO: Any traditionally published, self-published or want-to-be published author or poet

WHAT: A good time of literary FUN!

HOW: PLEASE REGISTER IN ADVANCE! To be one of the stand-up authors SIGN UP HERE. We're limiting this first stand-up literary event to the first 15 authors who sign-up -- but we are definitely planning on setting up more of these events in the future! Nervous to present? Not ready to present? That's okay! Come out anyway and cheer on your fellow writers!

WHEN: Monday, October 21st, 2013  @ 7PM 

WHERE: Tokio Pub, 1900 W. Higgins Road, Schaumburg, IL  (

COST: Free! (although, we're hoping attendees buy a drink/app to thank Tokio Pub for hosting us!)

Hosted by: Kym Brunner ( // Cherie Colyer  ( // Katie Sparks (

*A table will be set up for attendees to provide bookmarks or other swag/giveaways, but to avoid those who attend to feel pressured to buy, we ask that you do not bring any books to sell. 
**However, we will be providing everyone with a list of stand-up authors names, book titles, websites, social media (Twitter/Facebook) accounts, and any other contact information should you be want to follow-up with them afterwards.