by Sheritta Bitikofer
SolaFide Publishing’s So You Want to be Published 2015 Finalist
Release Date: Coming in 2016
Genre: Paranormal Romance
At eighteen years old, there was only one thing on Katey McCoy’s mind. Escaping the small town she’d grown up in and finding herself anywhere but there. An orphan from infancy, she had hopped around from foster home to foster home with no real idea of what it meant to be part of anything. But on her birthday, under the moonlight in a graveyard, she met a mysterious stranger who would alter her life forever. Logan introduced her to another world she never knew about, filled with loups-garous (werewolves), vampires, and prophecies. Being a loup-garou himself, he shows her what it means to be part of a pack, and slowly, Katey begins to see her place in the midst of it all.
Guest Post by the Author
Ever since I could remember, I loved creating stories and playing pretend with my cousins. My stuffed animals all had their own names and backstories, and each had their own adventures that related to one another in some way. In elementary school, I drew comic storybooks for my favorite teachers and wrote mediocre plays for my classmates to put on.
In my later years, when my cousins no longer wanted to play and I outgrew stuffed animals, I found other interesting ways to channel my love for creative storytelling. I participated in online role-plays as a variety of different characters and even wrote a few short stories. I recently found said short stories and I laugh at my terrible spelling and poorly structured sentences.
Once puberty took hold, my creative passion didn’t fade away with childhood. It was only altered to fit my new thirst for deeper character development and intricate plots.
In the ninth grade, I began my outline for Enigma. It was the first story that had a definite start and solid ending, but it was the book that took the longest to write. Its progress was interrupted by the completion of fourth other novels that I have since gone on to publish with Amazon Kindle and CreateSpace.
Finally, in 2014, I came back to Enigma and finished it. There are no words to describe the satisfaction I felt.
I have gone on to publish seven other novels, but I wouldn’t have had the courage to even begin their outlines if it weren’t for Enigma. The world I created of loups-garous (werewolves), vampires, and an ancient prophecy, had been only the beginning. After completing Enigma, I have since outlined four more sequels, a twenty-part backstory series of all the characters, as well as many more additional series that feature other characters within the same universe. All said and done, Enigma is the first of fifty-eight novels, novellas, and short stories that are in the works.
Yeah, I know. That’s a lot.
But I’m not here to brag. If you’ll permit me, I’d like to share six important things I’ve learned about being a writer, author, and storyteller.
1.) If writing and storytelling is your passion, you can’t stop. Believe me, I tried once. I refused to write a single creative piece for three solid years and I put myself through hell because of it. I’ve seen a lot of these online quizzes that says “Find out if writing is your calling” or “You’re a writer if…” and so on. In my opinion, if you’re meant to be a writer, then you know it. You live and breathe stories. You can’t get them out of your head and if you don’t put those ideas to paper, you feel like you’ll burst. That’s how I felt for three years and it’s not fun. Do yourself the favor and write if you feel driven to. You’ll go mad otherwise.
2.) Writer’s block is all in your head. It’s debilitating only if you let it be. You may think “Oh, I don’t know what’s should happen next” and that’s fine. But don’t give up on a book idea just because you can’t blast through one plot point. If you just sit down and think, you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish.
3.) Never disregard an idea. The reason I have sixty some-odd stories to write about is because I never ignore inspiration. I’ve developed an entire book just after listening to one song on the radio and thinking “Wouldn’t it be cool if…”. I’ve gotten inspiration from the craziest places. Some of them come from my husband out of the blue and those can be annoying, because I can’t get them out of my head, even though they sound absurd at the time. I think the weirdest idea came when I was scrubbing floors at my first job at Subway. I was thinking “I hope some cute guy doesn’t come in and see me scrubbing away at the floor like this”. A guy didn’t come in like I feared, but a whole story was spun off of that one fleeting notion and out of it came my novel Clouds, which is now available on Amazon in both eBook and print.
4.) Support is integral to success. In the beginning, the only person that really believed in my passion for writing was my boyfriend – now husband. My parents didn’t want me to go to school for Creative Writing, they thought I’d never make any money at being an author. They’ve changed their tune since then and although I’m very far away from being a stay-at-home author, they remind me of how proud they are every time I talk to them. If your family doesn’t support you, then get with a community of writers who will encourage you and give you constructive feedback on your work. Their opinions can be invaluable in your goal to becoming a best seller.
5.) Read what you want to write. You’ll never crank out something as profound as Hemmingway or Dickens if you keep reading Hunger Games. No offense meant to those who are part of that fandom, but you get my point, right? What you read and immerse your mind in will translate into your writing. Once I went straight from reading Pride and Prejudice to writing in one of my first novels and found I was unconsciously copying Jane Austen’s style. Also, don’t be too afraid to read something above your reading level. You may learn a new word that can boost your own writing up a notch, and then you’ll seem even more credible in your readers’ eyes.
6.) Never stop learning about the craft. And never be too proud to ignore advice, criticism, or lessons from other authors or writers. I’m always eager to learn new ways to develop characters and structure exciting plots for new stories. Attend conferences that are packed with informative lectures. If you can afford it, enroll in online classes for creative writing. An example is the Master Class course taught by James Patterson. I began this course a while back and I’ve gleaned tons of useful tips to apply in my writing.
And above all, have fun. Write for yourself, not necessarily for an audience. If you can help it, never water down your stories to fit what you expect someone else to enjoy or to conform to what the current market wants. Writers lose their uniqueness in doing that. Be yourself and do what you love.
About the Author
Sheritta Bitikofer is an author of eclectic tastes. Her mornings are spent dancing to Frank Sinatra and singing to hard rock bands. At work, she’s often found without shoes on or running to get her coworkers’ drinks from Sonic during happy hour. And when the day has been hard, she unwinds with a good book and chili cheese fries before snuggling on the couch with her husband. And on some weekends, she can be found at non-profit medieval historical society events either painting or shooting a bow. Every given chance, she devotes herself to the art of romance writing of all genres, especially with supernatural/paranormal themes.”
Sign Up for the Latest News from Sheritta!
Want to stay informed about Sheritta's books? Sign up for her mailing to get the latest news on her latest books!