Screenshot of a Word doc with a chart and many pages

Ideas Galore

When you have a lot of ideas, how do you keep track of them? Do you write them down in a journal? On scraps of paper? In a Word or Excel file?

I used to write ideas down whenever I had one and just leave it wherever I wrote it. So at one point, I had multiple little notes of ideas covering my writing notebooks and I’ve probably lost a few over the years.

So instead, I started keeping a writing ideas doc back in 2012. I list out the series, the title, the main character, a brief summary of the plot or whatever the idea is, and its status (idea, draft, editing, etc.).

Screenshot of a Word doc with a chart and many pages

It’s now 8 pages long and as you can see, some ideas are more detailed than others. I highlight the ideas I’ve already finished or started working on.

And that’s pretty much it! Once I’m ready to start working on them, I take the ideas and plug them into a new Word doc or Scrivener and start fleshing them out further.

How do you keep track of your writing ideas? Let me know!

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Black and white image of a manuscript with a pen sitting on top

Write, Edit, Repeat

I’ve been asked repeatedly how I can write a novel, or a series, or just write a book in general. So let’s talk process!

When you ask multiple writers what their process is, I’m sure no two authors will give the exact same answer. A writer’s process is as unique as they are. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for everyone else.

So if you’re looking for help in discovering your process, my best advice for you is: do what works for you.

Many (famous) authors have said that they write every single day, without fail, and usually in the morning. I tried to do that a few years ago and I failed miserably. It’s not that I don’t want to write every day… I would love to do that. But real life creeps in like an insidious disease, and it’s not always feasible to write every single day.

When Work and Writing Clash

In my personal situation, I have been building a business for the last 5 years. I’m self-employed, which comes with a lot of rewards but also a lot of risk. I consider myself extremely lucky in that my business has been successful since day 1 – I’ve never once run in the red.

However, building a business and being one’s own boss doesn’t tend to lend itself to a lot of free time, especially in the beginning. As much as I hated to do it, I had to place my writing on hold for the first year or two. I just didn’t have the time or energy to write after I’d been working 50+ hours a week, and by the time I did sit down to relax, my brain was on burn out.

Since then, I’ve gotten so much better at time management and configuring my business in such a way that I do have space in my life for fun and creative pursuits. I’ve also started giving myself permission to take time for me and make space in my life again for books and writing and reading, all of which I consider essential to my happiness and overall well-being.

Processing the Process

Black and white image of a manuscript with a pen sitting on topSo you’re probably wondering now what my process is. Let’s go through it.

I don’t write every day. I wish I could, and that is actually my ultimate goal. But instead of trying to pile too many things into too few hours, instead of pressuring myself with the “I should do this…” mantra, I schedule my writing time. I’m a great scheduler, and Google Calendar is my method of choice. So I take Sundays as my writing day.

Yep, all day Sunday.

I now reserve my Sundays for anything to do with writing, whether that’s working on a novel, writing a blog, drafting my next newsletter or scheduling posts for the Facebook page, or editing a manuscript. Anything at all to do with writing happens on Sunday, and I’m getting everyone used to the idea (slowly but surely) that Sunday is my day to write and please don’t try to contact me then.

Now that I have my writing time, how do I write?

I generally start with an outline. I’m definitely an outliner; I have to have some idea of where I’m going in order to move past the initial idea. My outlines rarely make it to the final stage without significant changes, so I don’t stick with the idea that the outline is a hard-and-fast rule the story has to live by. It’s fluid. It changes. That works for me.

Once I have something in outline form, I start writing. I’ve generally been a scenes type of writer, meaning that I usually break up the story or chapters into scenes and I write the scenes. This gives me the freedom to jump around, so if I’m stuck in one part of the story, I can skip to the next scene and write that while the rest percolates in the background.

However, I’ve also found that style can be problematic at times. Things get forgotten, or something falls through the cracks. So lately I’ve been trying to write in a more linear fashion. The jury’s still out on whether I like that or not, but it’s going fairly well.

Once I finish a full first draft, I’ll print it off and let it sit for 2-3 weeks, at least. This sort of resets my brain on that story and I can jump into editing it with fresher eyes.

After the reset period, I start editing, and I’ll go through multiple rounds of editing. My first book easily went through 10 major edits before I was satisfied. The second one didn’t undergo quite as many; I think it was only 3 or 4 distinct phases before I finalized it.

Once it’s been edited, then I may ask for a handful of beta readers to read it and give me feedback.

And that’s it! Then it’s on to the next novel, and the next. Write, edit, repeat.

What’s your process? Are you an outliner or do you wing it? Do you write daily? Comment and let me know!

Now in Paperback!

It’s here! It’s finally here!

Rise of the Aligerai is now available in paperback!

You can pick up the paperback copy from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Rise-Aligerai-Kira-R-Tregoning/dp/1492304948

The ebook version is still free from Amazon and Smashwords. The second book in the series will be available in paperback later this year (I’m projecting around October).

Thanks for all your support and thank you to those folks who have already bought the paperback and given me positive feedback!

Giveaway Begins Today!

Hey everyone! To celebrate the release of Rise of the Aligerai into paperback on June 1, I’m holding a giveaway! There are numerous ways to enter, and it runs for the next 10 days. You can enter by going to the Rafflecopter link:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b36f25762/

The Prizes: Two winners will each receive a signed paperback copy of Rise of the Aligerai. A grand prize winner will get a signed paperback and also a $20 Amazon gift card.

Sound like fun? Of course! Now go enter that giveaway and share it around to your friends and get them to enter too! You only have 10 days! Go, go, GO!

Cover Reveal!

I’m very excited to announce the redesigned cover for Book 1 in the Aligerai series! I had done the original cover myself, but I’m not anywhere near as good as a pro (which is obvious if you compare Book 1 original to Book 2). So I asked Regina of Mae I Design to redesign the cover for Book 1 and HERE IT IS:

Rise of the Aligerai full paperback cover art

Rise of the Aligerai ebook cover art

Please feel free to head to Regina’s Facebook page to tell her how fabulous she is!

December Updates

Hi all! Here are some December updates!

First off, happy holidays to everyone! I hope all my readers have a wonderful winter holiday.

Second, I’m hard at work on a new novel. It’s not part of the Aligerai series. Its working title is Eleanor and Elizabeth, though I’ll be looking for something a little more exciting further down the road. I’m about halfway done with this one and plan to release it early next year. As for the Aligerai series, I’m still about halfway through the third book and I’ll be working on that some more soon. I plan to release that one in late 2015, tentatively around September.

Third, I’m creating an email newsletter! You should all sign up for it. Why? Because you’ll get extra stories, deleted scenes, and access to newsletter-only giveaways. I plan to release a newsletter only once a month or when I have something to update, so I wouldn’t be inundating you with emails. The signup form is here and takes you to MailChimp: http://eepurl.com/3mLh9

Last, I’m mostly busy on finalizing the paperback versions of my first two books! When I’m finished, they’ll be available through Amazon. I hope to do some shows and appearances next year and I would also have the books available at shows for a show-only rate, but since I have no idea where or when I would be doing said appearances just yet, the paperback versions will be available online only.

I think that’s it for now. So don’t forget to sign up for the email newsletter to get cool extras! And happy holidays everyone. =)

New Interviews!

I’m excited to share that I have two new interviews to post! Much thanks to Duane L. Martin and Barb for inviting me to interview on their respective blogs. I really appreciate the opportunity!

The first interview is on Duane’s website here: http://www.duanelmartin.com/kira-r-tregoning.html

And the second is on Barb’s blog as part of her Writer Wednesday series here: http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com/2014/08/20/writer-wednesday-126/

Thanks to everyone who reads my books and random thoughts here on the site! I hope you all will check out Duane and Barb’s blogs as well to see what they’re all about.

Happy Saturday!

Author Interview Number Fifty-Nine Kira R. Tregoning – Fantasy

So I’m super late in posting this (sorry!) because I got caught up in other things and in setting up Featured Author posts on Fantastical Reads, but I was interviewed! Y’all should totally check it out. Much thanks to Alex of Library of Erana!

Library of Erana

Welcome to Kira R. Tregoning

Where are you from and where do you live now? Born and raised in Maryland! I still happily live there.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. I write mainly fantasy novels. They tend to fall under general fantasy or contemporary fantasy. I’m kicking around a sort of sci-fi novel idea, but it hasn’t gone very far yet. I’m also looking for an idea for a fantasy serial to post through my website or Wattpad so I could post chapter by chapter for fun, but I don’t have a good idea yet! My first book was Rise of the Aligerai and my latest is A Shadowed Soul, both part of the Aligerai series. I’m about halfway through the first draft of the third book and am working on two other novels as well.

Do you have a…

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It’s Ready!

The day is finally here! A Shadowed Soul is releasing TODAY!

It is available on Amazon and Smashwords for $2.99.

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Shadowed-Soul-The-Aligerai-Book-ebook/dp/B00KQPYGHM

Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/444651

Here’s a blurb of what is A Shadowed Soul all about:

Enemies old and new circle around the Aligerai, waiting for a fatal mistake. One of the Aligerai’s own remains trapped in the Chaos world of Metanoia. And the threat of the soul-eating demons and the end of Cora looms ever closer . . . Sita and her friends Ariene and Roxanne must stay one step ahead of their enemies and find a way to track and defeat the demon Pur.

So quick, go check it out! Tell me what you think or leave a review, or share with your friends!

Thanks to all the readers who have been waiting patiently for me to finish finalizing and formatting. It took most of the day today just to format for Amazon and Smashwords (they have different formatting requirements, so I don’t format once, I have to do it twice).

All links and info will be posted on the series page here as well.

Thanks again and I hope you all enjoy!

Release Update

Hi everyone!

OK, so I know I had said I would release A Shadowed Soul on May 31. Obviously, that didn’t happen.

What did happen was I got some last minute feedback. I’ve been working so hard to incorporate the feedback and make these final revisions. I had hoped to get the last of it done today, but it’s looking more and more unlikely that I’ll be able to get it all finished. I still have some 50 pages to go and then I have to check all the revisions for continuity and typos.

I deeply apologize for the delay. I know some of you have been looking forward to this because I’ve heard from a few people asking about it.  Know that I am working very hard to get it done and get it into the best shape possible. I will definitely release in the next couple of days, so stay tuned here for more info.

Again, I’m so sorry for the delay. I feel horrible about it. Thank you to everyone for sticking with me.