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January 30, 2012

AAD Author Spotlight: Guest Post by Kristen Painter + Giveaway!

Advice for Writers by Kristen Painter

If you’ve ever dreamed about being a writer, I can tell you very honestly, I totally understand. I dreamed about it too. I’ve written stories since I was kid, made up even more in my head and have always felt like the characters that occupied my brain were a lot more interesting than most of the people I knew.

But how do you go from dreaming about becoming a writer to actually becoming one? Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.

1. Be Prepared To Work Hard

Right now you’re probably thinking that you already know how to work hard. I thought that too. And I did know how, just like you do, but what I didn’t know was that my version of hard work and the published author version of hard work are two very different things. When you have a deadline, there is very little that can get in the way of that. I’ve worked through birthdays and holidays, skipped hanging out with friends, missed movies I wanted to see, forgotten to eat and lost countless hours of sleep.

It also helps if your significant other understands that meeting a deadline sometimes means they’ll have to order delivery if they want to eat, do their own laundry if they want clean clothes and not look at you too closely because you may not have remembered to shower today. There is a lot of sacrifice involved in writing.

2. Know When To Listen To Your Inner Editor

One of the things that fell by the wayside when I sold was my critique group. There just wasn’t time to write a chapter, turn it over to them for a week, then mull over their comments, makes the changes and write the next chapter (rinse, repeat.) Instead I had to learn to listen to that small inner voice that told me a scene wasn’t working or a character’s motivation was off. That instinct that tells when something’s wrong with your story? You have to learn to listen to it. That takes practice, the ability to trust your gut and the power to be confident in your work.

I also had to learn to shut that voice out. Like when I’m faced with a blank page and a great idea and that voice tells me I’ll never do it justice. Have you heard that voice? Has it kept you from writing? Tell it to shut up, because here’s the secret: you won’t do that idea justice. Not on the first pass. But who cares? Writing isn’t about the rough draft, it’s about the polished, finished product. No one ever wrote a perfect book in one try.

3. Open Yourself To Constructive Criticism

If you have friends and family members that want to read your stuff, great! Just don’t rely on them to tell you the truth. Even if they mean to, they’re going to temper their words with their love for you. And while that kind of positive feedback is great for your budding writer’s soul, it sucks for getting sold.

Find a group of writers, whether online, through your local library or an RWA chapter, that will let you join them and put your work out there. Criticism often feels like a personal attack when you’re a newbie writer, but it isn’t. I promise. Learning to use those criticisms are how you grow and improve your craft. Be willing to critique others work too! That’s another great way to learn how to write.

4. Lastly, Don’t Give Up

If you’re serious about becoming a writer, you must purpose in your mind now that you’re not going to quit. Why? Because I’ll tell you another secret: the people who get published are the people who don’t quit.

It will be tempting to quit. The rejections will pile up, friends will say you’re wasting your time, you’ll start to doubt yourself. It gets ugly. You’ll have days where writing seems about as useful as taking a vampire tanning. You’ll probably get angry, frustrated and feel like if one more person says another word to you about your writing, you’ll snap.

If you get to that point, great! You’re in good company, because many other writers have felt that way too. Now take all those emotions and write with them! Torture your characters instead of your doubters. Killing off characters is very cathartic and it’s totally legal. (PS. This is how I ended up writing Blood Rights.)

Writing is a tough business. There are days I wonder why anyone does it. And although I can’t answer for anyone else, I can tell you why I do it. The readers. I love readers and the times when I get to talk to them, either at book signings or conferences or online through my Facebook page, those are the moments that make writing the best job in the world.


Thank you, Kristen for stopping by today and sharing this post with us and our readers. 

Kristen is also giving away a copy of Blood Rights, the first book in her House of Comarré series to one lucky GCReader. 

The lacy gold mapped her entire body. A finely-wrought filigree of stars, vines, flowers, butterflies, ancient symbols and words ran from her feet, up her legs, over her narrow waist, spanned her chest and finished down her arms to the tips of her fingers.

Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle’s body bears the telltale marks of a comarré—a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world…and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.

Now Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign.


  • Winner must be 18 or older to enter this giveaway.
  • Follow Rafflecopter below.
  • Winner will be announced on our Facebook and Twitter page.
  • Winner will be chosen at Random.
  • Giveaway ends February 6th. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. WOW! This sounds like a really great read. I love love love the cover...very beautiful. Thanks for such an awesome giveaway!

  2. Hi!

    I haven't read any of Kristen's books, but Blood Rights sounds like a really good read and that cover is to die for...Love it!
    Thanks for the Giveaway
    Sharonda (SexxyBlogger)

  3. I LOVE this cover!! I think she gave some really good tips for writing in the interview. I don't personally write, but I have friends who do and those are things they try to work on. Thank you for the giveaway!

  4. Sounds awesome. But I have to say that the cover is so good, that alone would make me get this one. Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. What a fantastic giveaway. I would love to win and read this book. Best cover of the year. One of my favs. This book and series look awesome. Kristen is a new author for me and would love to win and read this book.
    My question for Kristen is Do you have anything new coming out soon?
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  6. As an aspiring writer, the advice was great and very much appreciated. And Im so excited about this book! The premise sounds so intriguing and a little sexy. Love the cover as well.

  7. What a wonderful post! Definitely some great advice to learn from :) This book has been on my wishlist for months. I absolutely cannot wait to start this series :)

  8. Thanks for the great giveaway!!! the book sounds so cool! I also love the cover it's interesting!

  9. Thank you for the great giveaway!! I've been wanting to read this series for a while, I love the cover designs!

  10. Thank you for the wonderful advice, Kristen. One of the scariest feelings when writing is that I won't be able to do my idea justice. I'm totally going to have to track you down at AAD. :)

    Thanks for the giveaway, GCR!

  11. Great tips Kristen, thanks so much! I have had this series on my wish list for awhile, I have heard such great things about it. I also love the covers, everything about this series appeals to me, thanks for the contest! Book Savvy Babe

  12. Chrisbails - the next new thing I have coming out is a short story connected to the House Of Comarre series, Forbidden Blood. It's a prequel of sorts.

  13. A well timed observation -- "No one ever wrote a perfect book in one try." I am plodding through the 2nd draft, frequently awed at how much my 1st draft sucks.

  14. That was a great post. I have had my eye on this series so reading up more on it now really caught me wanting it more. Thank you for persevering and getting this series in print.

  15. Love the writing tips. I'm trying to adhere to them all. :)

    This book sounds amazing and the cover is gorgeous! Crossing my fingers.


  16. Good writing tips, future writers need all the help they can get I think. I know I appreciate it. Oh and LOVE the cover.

  17. What an interesting story idea - humans bred to feed vampires.
    Beautiful body markings. I think I'd like this book.

  18. Good info on being an author! The book sounds great!

    books4me67 at ymail dot com

  19. What a great post! In fact, it lists all of the reasons why I'm NOT a writer! I'll leave that to the experts :) I am, however, a voracious reader and I'm dying to read Kristen's books! Thanks so much for the giveaway:)

  20. I can't wait to read Kristen's books! Thanks for the chance to win!

  21. Great post, and I adore the cover of Blood Rights. I'm looking forward to reading it, and the more I hear about the House of Comarr series, the more I'm excited to get started on it.

  22. WOW this book sounds awesome and I absolutely LOVE this cover keeping my fingers crossed for this win !

  23. Being open to criticism, is a important yet hard part about writing. Its crucial to have a person who is unbiased read your work to get a honest opinion.

  24. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good.

  25. I know it can be really hard to listen to even constructive criticism; authors need thick skin!


  26. Great writing advice! I've had this series in my wish-list for awhile now. I can't wait to read it! The covers are simply amazing. Thank you for the chance to win! DeAnna S.

  27. Great advice! I'm no writer yet, but these are practical for any level of author. Thanks for the giveaway!!!

  28. Thanks for sharing your advice. It was very informative.

  29. I seriously can't wait to read Blood Rights and I am still so in love with the cover. Especially how her markings are in gold, which is the main color, it's just so gorgeous. I love how this is a vampire book but also focuses on Chrysabelle and her family, how they are a special race who feed the vampires. That is just so unique and such a great twist.

  30. I am very excited to read this book it sounds great. It gives a new spin on vampires and I really like the main characters name. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Rachel V

  31. Wow! What an amazingly original story idea! This sounds like a fantastic read! Thank you for the chance to win!

    Thanks! =)

  32. Sounds interesting! Does Malkolm drink from her?? Ohhh can't wait to read it!
    thanks for the giveaway!

  33. This book sounds great! It's been a while since I've read a good Vampire story. Thanks!!

  34. Thanks for this giveaway. I've been wanting to read this book for a long time now. And I'm in love with that cover.

    Kelsey d

  35. *Appreciate giveaway! Helps those like me on fixed income or SSI {perm/multi disabled: wheelchair/home-bound} who need & enjoy to read, attain books can't normally afford!
    *Blog is '411 fun-fest'! Interesting & fully covered many pertinent subjects!
    *Preview certainly whet my appetite & looking forward to "Sink my Teeth Into" following adventurous, twisting & romantic journey thru magickal paranormal world created!

    )0( Warmest Blessings )0(

    *Paranormal Romance is Magickal*

  36. The cover is gorgeous! The book sounds very different from what I have been reading. Can't wait to get my hands on it!

  37. Book sounds great!!! Thanks for the chance!

  38. Thanks for the giveaway! I've wanted to read these books ever since I came across them in early December.

  39. Very helpful writing tips and I enjoy free advice. (-; Its the critique that I would probably struggle with.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  40. This book sound so interesting and different. Thanks for the chance to win it!

  41. The tips are so helpful and will be using them as I continue to work on my own book(:

    And I cant wait to read this book! Just reading about it makes me want to jump right on in!

  42. Thank you for sharing those tips! The book sounds awesome, thanks for the opportunity to win!

  43. Thanks Kristin, I needed to read this right now, today, sitting at my computer playing instead of writing the next chapter.

  44. Book sounds great. Thanks for the chance to win

  45. I would love to read this book. Thanks for having the giveway.


  46. I'm not an aspiring author but thanks for sharing your honest advice to those who are. I think it's always hopeful when authors give insight into writing.
    I have been dying to read Blood Rights since I first saw it, but I haven't been able to get it yet. Thanks for the chance to win!

  47. I have been so wanting to read this series. I have heard so many great things about it. Thank you for the chance to win. :)

    - Beckie @ Bittersweet Enchantment


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