Thursday, July 14, 2016

Authors helping authors

This time, I'm going to take a few paragraphs to speak directly to current or future authors.

One of the best words of advice I can give you: Don't go at it alone. There are other authors in this world, and you need each other. Sometimes, only a writer can lift up another writer. Finding other authors isn't about the competition or the bragging, it's about learning together. There will always be writers whose words are greater or lesser than your own. But when you help each other, you grow.

The other day I was talking to my muse -- Brandy M. Miller. She helped me realize that my current work-in-progress didn't have to start where I started it. Linear isn't always best. Sometimes, it's OK to go back and begin partway through the story, filling in the details as you get there. And while I know the rewriting will take a lot of work, it's going to result in a book people will actually read cover-to-cover. Much better than putting out something I don't even want to read based on the first chapter.

Because of Brandy, I got through Dragon's Destiny. So today, I'm helping her in return -- and hopefully helping some of you. If you need to talk to someone about your book, consider this: It might seem like a lot to spend for some help, but her advice is priceless.

Even if you aren't looking for professional assistance, I'd encourage you to reach out to your fellow authors. Pick their brains. Offer to proofread for them, if that's your forte. You never know just how things might come full-circle.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Making progress

Hello, readers!

Well, here's another much-belated update for you. While I haven't been doing what I'd intended to do, I have been making progress that is inspiring me to move on to my next goal: I've gotten back to writing.

This time, it's a series of stories I hope to publish into an anthology, and a cookbook-in-the-making. It isn't Shifter, sadly, but I'm feeling that each passing day is giving me new ideas to make that one into a better book. Sometimes, you have to take a step or two backward to gain a little perspective.

And getting back into writing is definitely a move in the right direction. It's how I got myself back to finishing Dragon's Destiny (can you believe it's been almost two years since publication???) As you know, great works of any kind -- literature, art, etc. -- don't happen without time, dedication and effort. I want my next book to be the best it can before I'm ready to share it with the world.

I will make sure my next post is not as far in-between as these ones have been lately.

Until then,
Heather Kennison

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Hello readers!

It's been a crazy couple of months since I've last given you an update. So here it is: I've moved to Idaho! A job position opened up, and after much thought, I applied and I accepted an offer. I've been working here since Feb. 1, and things have been busy.

I'm still creatively writing, though. On and off. I will try harder in the future, but for now I am still trying to get settled into my own place. As you probably know by know, I finally have Internet, so I don't have an excuse to not work on Shifter besides the fact that I'm super stressed with everything that's going on. So I'm currently working on not being stressed, and from there I can move forward with my next project.

Change is hard, but I think that overall it's for the best. Despite the stress, I am enjoying many things about where I'm at in life's journey. I just have to take its challenges day by day until it gets easier.

As always, thank you for your support and your patience.

Heather Kennison

Monday, January 4, 2016

The pain of editing

I've forgotten how long the editing process is.

You see, I dove into 2015 with ambitions of finishing my second book and submitting it to a publisher or an agent. The thing was written, I just needed to re-write it. But I forgot how painful that process is, and in many ways it was worse because I poured so much of myself into this book.

Writing is one of many forms of expression, but sometimes finding the right words to convey a thought, feeling, or idea takes a little time -- something I hadn't anticipated at the beginning of last year. I have to admit that I did put it off for a little while. Once I'd discovered the contest which I'd hoped to enter was cancelled, I didn't know where to go.

I had some help, and I made solid progress. While Shifter isn't quite where I'd like it to be, it's getting there. There are a couple of scenes that I know need serious help, but overall I like where it's taken me. I've gone through it twice now since completing the first draft, and much has changed.

So here's the next step: Get up the courage (and the motivation) to go through my beta readers' comments. This, too, will be somewhat painful. And yet, I know this is the sort of help my book needs before it can make a splash wherever it goes next.

In the meantime, dear readers, please have patience while you wait for my next few books to be released. I am trying so hard not to let you down with the stories themselves.

Until next time,
Heather Kennison

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Did someone say 'NaNoWriMo?' -- Some help to get you started

The time is nearly upon us!

For my fellow writers, you know what's coming in November: National Novel Writing Month. This annual challenge isn't for the feint of heart. It takes a lot of commitment and stubbornness to write 50,000 words of your novel in one month. But I have faith in you, and if you continue reading, I have some advice to help you prepare.

While my first attempt in 2010 was a disaster, I think I've learned a lot since them. I drafted my second and third books (still unpublished) in November the last two years, and, believe it or not, I'm ready to tackle book four. But just because I'm writing a book in a month doesn't mean I can't start inventing now. So, where to begin, you may ask?

The first thing you need is an idea. It can be anything, really. Sometimes I recycle ideas I've come up with in the past but never fleshed out. But if that doesn't work, you can find inspiration from dreams, other books or movies, real life, or other authors such as yours truly.

Next, start with something simple -- a basic outline. My friend Brandy M. Miller wrote a blog entry that I found very helpful in my "plotting" last year: In fact, I timed myself using her method and found it didn't take me much time at all to come up with my starting point.

Her next blog entry ( gives you a format for fleshing out more of your characters and story outline. I found it really helped having a play-by-play for each character in each section of my book. Of course, they probably won't go with the plan anyway when the actual writing begins, but at least you can try.

The final steps Brandy suggests were ones I never got to last year, but think would have saved me from having to stitch a lot of plot holes after the fact: This entry deals with questions.

Of course, remember that a first draft is always far from perfect. And the editing is always the hardest part. Still, I'm intrigued to begin again this year and see how everything pans out.

Until next time.
Heather Kennison, Author

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sixty-three percent

Hello, faithful blog readers!

I realized I have been obsessing over a percentage. Today when someone asked me how things were going on my next book, I answered that I am 63% of the way through the rewrite. You see, I've calculated that I need to rewrite roughly 3% of my book each night in order to reach my goal. And my current goal (so I've informed my writer's group) is to reach 80% by August 29. It's been a while since I've done the math, and I've skipped a day here and there -- and will miss more due to an upcoming wedding -- but overall I'm sticking with my 3%.

But here's the problem: the 3% of Chapter 16 might be a whole lot easier than the 3% of Chapter 22, for example. So some parts slow me down, while others I breeze through. I'm just hoping that if I keep my eye on the goal, I'll get there. Don't give up on me yet.

In the meantime, I am also needing to rewrite my Western short story, which you will be seeing sometime before "Shifter" comes out.

Also, I wanted to say two final things. First, a reminder that "Shifter" is not intended for the same audience as "Dragon's Destiny"--so I do not recommend it for children younger than 13, but I think anyone in high school or older will be able to appreciate the themes as well as the mild adult content (language, etc.). Secondly, thank you, thank you, thank you for anyone who's bothered to (or plans to) leave a review of "Dragon's Destiny" on Amazon! You guys are amazing!

Heather Kennison

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

It's been one year!

Fifty-two weeks ago at this time, I was nervously answering questions from my future readers during a release day event for Dragon's Destiny. It's hard to believe how time flies.

And yet, despite having a year's experience under my belt, I'm still new to self-publishing. Just today, I discovered a clever marketing scheme that might help me with my next book if I decide to self-publish again. In the world of authors, I'm very much still considered an amateur. Everyone's got to start somewhere.

Tonight I'd like to reflect on the origins of Dragon's Destiny. The idea for the story originally came to me in high school, and somehow I knew even then that it would be my first book. It had potential, but it wasn't ready yet. The story was originally set in modern times on Earth, where Amadeus was able to pass off his birthmark as a tattoo. However, I knew later that this time period and setting didn't quite fit with my plot.

It took me several years to start writing down my idea, when the Inklings Theme House at Whitworth University inspired me to tackle National Novel Writing Month. I wrote about half of the book, and quit there. Fortunately for my readers, that wasn't the end. I'd begun and never completed several novels before, but Dragon's Destiny was different. It was the Elko County Writers, over a year later, who inspired me to finish this time around.

Interestingly enough, "the dragon" -- the unnamed entity mentioned throughout the book -- was never a part of my original story. To this day, it's hard to explain where he came from. The character of "the dragon" was developed from my beliefs and faith in God, and everything fell into place from there. I remember writing the dream scenes and secretly hoping I, too, would be granted a vision from the dragon. Alas, I was not so fortunate. Instead, I found the dragon in my book granted me many insights about life and faith that I'd never had before.

While Dragon's Destiny definitely has themes of faith and fate, I believe it has something for everyone regardless of their personal beliefs. If you are a Christian, however, I would encourage you to look a little deeper into the messages behind Dragon's Destiny -- maybe you'll reach the same conclusions I did.

Finally, if you haven't read my book yet, now is a great time. Dragon's Destiny is available on Kindle for free now through Friday. Get it here:

As always, thanks for reading.

Until next time,
Heather Kennison, Author