Why Maps and Meditations?
Both travel and meditation play a role in my fantasy books- but more importantly, they’ve played a big role in my life and who I am as a person. Here’s what I mean…
Mark Twain wrote: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views (...) cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
To me, that’s what travel is really about. Of course, I enjoy seeing new places, too- but it’s the exposure to new perspectives and ways of life that is most important.
As much as I love travel… I believe looking inward is more valuable than looking outward.
I like to focus on the “why” and the end goals of meditation… which includes all things self-improvement, life balance, and connection to something greater than ourselves.
How authors get paid
Oct 27, 2019 by Tamara Spell
Recently, there's been a lot of buzz around the story of the author who blew a $350,000 advance and ended up broke. Here are some important takeaways from that story, and some basic book money facts for novelists and anyone curious about how authors get paid.
Meet Little Girl: The wild child
Oct 18, 2019 by Tamara Spell
You've met the other four cats. Now, meet Little Girl, the aloof and unpredictable feline who inspired the character of Pixie the Wondercat.
You live or die by your first 16 lines
Oct 13, 2019 by Tamara Spell
Is this really a matter of life or death? In a way, yes, at least for your novel—because the first page of your book can determine whether it "lives or dies" in terms of publication and sales. As an author, here's why you'll want to make sure your first 16 lines are up to snuff, and what to include on that oh-so-important first page...
Two Twitter opportunities for writers
Sep 27, 2019 by Tamara Spell
Writers: did you know you can learn what agents are looking for -- and even pitch your book! -- directly on Twitter? There are official days and rules for this. But wow, it makes me wish I had started using Twitter years ago! Here are two recurring opportunities I just discovered...
Why use a pen name?
Sep 22, 2019 by Tamara Spell
Why do authors use pen names? Here are some of the reasons why... and, how I chose one for myself.
Meet June: The friendly guy who never learned to “speak cat”
Sep 03, 2019 by Tamara Spell
June is large and in-charge. He's super friendly, and tries his best to make friends with his fellow felines, even though he doesn't always seem to understand their cat signals. And, he's the inspiration for Gus, the Wondercat who loves mythology and sunshine spots — and of course, breakfast!
Why join a critique group?
Aug 30, 2019 by Tamara Spell
As a writer, how valuable is a critique group? And, what sort of feedback do you get? Here's my recent experience with a group near my new home...
Simplicity Challenge #12: Looks in relationships
Aug 30, 2019 by Tamara Spell
If you're married, what led you to connect with your partner? Or, if you're single, what are you looking for in a mate? Here's what my experience has been, and why I ended up finding much more relationship happiness after I changed my priorities.
The answer to my tension question
Aug 23, 2019 by Tamara Spell
Being a writer often means solving one problem after the other, and not getting discouraged along the way. A few weeks ago, I ran into a plot problem, and I needed to add more tension to my story. Here's how I'm doing that!
FREE Chapter Preview! The Cat Council
Aug 17, 2019 by Tamara Spell
Here's a preview into the world of the Wondercats! In Chapter 3, right before the cats receive their superpowers, they hold an emergency meeting of The Cat Council, to discuss a danger that's looming on the horizon.
Meet Cowboy: Little cat, big attitude… and the best friend a person could ask for
Aug 07, 2019 by Tamara Spell
Cowboy is, in fact, a female. As the only senior cat in the group, she's grumpy and doesn't like to share her space. But she's got a heart of gold and is totally loyal to her person.
What's your story type and why does it matter?
Aug 03, 2019 by Tamara Spell
What is a story type? And how is it different from genre, plot, or theme? Here's what I learned today, and how it affects my pitch to agents and editors.
How I repeatedly fail at being J.K. Rowling
Jul 26, 2019 by Tamara Spell
When I write my books, I repeatedly try to be like one of my favorite authors J.K. Rowling - but I usually fail. And, this has nothing to with selling millions of books, or earning millions of dollars... and much more to do with surrendering, and planning ahead.
Simplicity Challenge #11: Simple recipes
Jul 16, 2019 by Tamara Spell
Do you have a favorite site for recipes? One with ingredients that are actually in your pantry, and doesn't call for things like chaga mushroom powder... or every form of sweetener under the sun other than just plain old sugar? Here's my recent experience, and why I decided to create my own recipe...
Meet Luna: Unconditional love wrapped up in a bundle of fluff
Jul 09, 2019 by Tamara Spell
Next in the Wondercats bunch is Luna, the inspiration for the character Snowball. Luna's superpower is unconditional love, which disarms even the toughest of opponents, and can warm your heart on even the most difficult of days.
How I'm adding more tension to my book
Jul 06, 2019 by Tamara Spell
Tension is a crucial part of any story - it's the magic ingredient that makes a book hard to put down. But, have I created enough tension in the plot of my book? Have I made the stakes high enough? Here's a recent dilemma I've run into... and an inside look into my brainstorming process.
Meet Holly: The real-life hero cat that inspired Hazel
Jul 01, 2019 by Tamara Spell
Holly was a hero even without superpowers. Here's the story of how we found each other overseas... and how she saved the life of a young kitten.
Legends of DIA part 3: Underground tunnels and secret societies
Jun 30, 2019 by Tamara Spell
The odd stories and conspiracy theories of Denver International Airport don't end with just a demon horse and watchful gargoyles... In fact, there's a whole network of underground tunnels, a mysterious plaque linked to the Freemasons, and rumors of lizard people.
Simplicity Challenge #10: Fight back, or let it go?
Jun 30, 2019 by Tamara Spell
How do you react when someone does wrong by you? Here's what I've learned from recent discussions with a friend who's facing that situation, and handling it with beautiful serenity and simplicity...
Follow along: My book writing challenge
Jun 28, 2019 by Tamara Spell
What's it really like writing a book? Follow along here to get an honest, behind-the-scenes look into the whole process.