Random Thoughts From An Avid Author

The World Through A Little One’s Eyes ~ An Interview With A 10 Year Old

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Me: So, thanks for letting me interview you today, Little A. Are you ready to answer these tough questions?

Little A: {Rolling eyes} Yes, Mommy. You said I could have a bowl of jellybeans after this though. You promised. Don’t…forget. {Leaning in REALLY close} Sometimes you forgettttt. (Touche’ Little A, Touche’)

Me: So, tell me, what has been the greatest disappointment in your life? Please elaborate.

Little A: {Laughing} Something fake, like a fake disappointment? No wait…I’m a little disappointed the Easter Bunny didn’t bring me Pokemon cards. But, that’s okay. I forgave him already.

Me: A monkey, a ghost and a horse with tap shoes on walks into a movie theatre…who sits down first, and why?

Little A: Whattttt, are you saying?! Well, the monkey because the ghost and horse are too slow, but the monkey is fast. Like, REALLY fast.

Me: What’s your take on the rising gas prices in the US?

Little A: Seriously?! Well, I guess it’s because the world makes dumb rules sometimes. That’s why.

Me: Please spell LACHRYMOSE, and provide me with the definition as well.

Little A: L-a-c-a-m-o-s-e. A wizard’s spell that makes you feel stupid when you shouldn’t feel stupid. You should feel smart, but I don’t, because I can’t spell this word right…

Me: Why do you think Chick-Fil-A misspells the word “chicken” in their TV commercials?

Little A: Because the cows didn’t go to college…

Me: Do you know what it means when someone says, “Don’t toot your own horn, Billy!”

Little A: Does it have to do with passing gas? If so, it means walk away before you pass gas to be polite to others in your realm.

Me: Do you know WHY the dish ran away with spoon after the cow jumped over the moon?

Little A: They ran away together because they loved each other. Silverware has a tendency to do that, or in this case, I think they do…That’s my take. {shrugs shoulders}

Me: So, I know how much you love Imagine Dragons. If you could have dinner with Dan Reynolds, what would you wear, where would you go to eat, and would you hug him or offer him a handshake? I don’t think he believes in cooties…

Little A: I would wear normal clothes, of course. Like shorts, and stuff. We would go to Chick-Fil-A, and I’d give him a handshake. I’d hug him after dessert. I think the time would be right then.

Me: Who’s your favorite? Mom or Dad? Wait…don’t answer that. Your Dad might read this, and it would make him sad…

MomandLittleA

Me: Tell me, what is the meaning of life?

Little A: Can I ask Siri this question? No? Well then, life is just life. Live it, and live it good because we only get one.

Me: If Hogwarts was real…and I’m not necessarily saying it isn’t, but it might not be, but we like to believe that it is…what house do you think the Sorting Hat would choose for you and why?

Little A: Ravenclaw because it’s EPIC.

Me: How old do you think you’ll be when you get married? What do you think her name will be?

Little A: I’ll be 92 when I get married. Her name will be…{hanging upside down in the chair out of boredom}…

Me: If you could be invisible for one day, what would you do? It has to be legal, by the way.

Little A: It has to be legal?! Darn it…I would go knock on people’s doors and scare them. Maybe give them chocolate…melted chocolate…

Me: Luggage is to vacation, like tools are to…?

Little A: What? Say it again? Work, I guess. Tools are to work, because I don’t know of anyone who uses tools to play with. You shouldn’t play with tools. Especially if they are Dad’s tools…

 

Mom Love Times A Million ~

VSK

Random Thoughts From An Avid Author

A Query Letter Is Like A Bear Trap…

QueryLetter

If you are an aspiring author trying to catch your first big break, feel free to scroll down to my signature at the bottom. You already know that a query letter will make your head spin like a scene from “The Exorcist”. ‘Nuff said…

For the rest of you, here is my enlightening story of trying to chase down that one big “YES!” that will ultimately change my life as an author.

Yes, I have been told, “You are an author, Val! Why do you need a publisher?”

I am an author, a writer, a poet with words…and yes, I have three self-published books on Amazon. It’s been an amazing ride from the very beginning,  but there is a deep longing that still pleads for one step further. To walk into Barnes & Noble and see my book on a shelf would be one of the most amazing feats of my life, aside from giving birth to my children. Thankfully, drugs were involved with their “birth-day” (thank you sweet, amazing Jesus for epidurals!), but watching their life begin before my very eyes is the most mesmerizing feat I’ve experienced yet.

A query letter and/or synopsis is a paper, an introduction to who you are and what you’ve got to offer. Kind of like a resume’, but like a billion and one times harder to spit out on paper. I can sit down and write a chapter for my book, my mind usually flying faster than my fingertips. <—-I LOVE that feeling!

But with a synopsis letter, I just sit there and stare at the screen. There are no characters to imagine, a plot to think through, scenery to describe…it’s a letter. I don’t do letters. I’m an author of STORIES, not LETTERS.

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Yes, I get the significance of such a letter to a literary agent or publisher, but the last few responses I’ve received from potential agents praise my current manuscript, saying “This storyline has potential….”, yet they say no because:

1) My synopsis is too long

2) My synopsis is too short

3) I need to hire an editor to edit my synopsis because….

4) Pigs haven’t learned to fly yet, and rainbows aren’t made of licorice

We are authors. We write stories. We don’t write documents…

We write novels to share with the world. It’s a story that plays itself out in our head.

I have a hope and I have dream. I am not seeking out a publisher to prove myself worthy, I am seeking one out to spend more time writing what I love.

There may be plenty of people who can write a killer query, but their story stinks. There are a select few who can write a poor query, and their novel is epic!

I thought the purpose of writing was to share the words that our minds poured out onto paper. If someone has a great story with real potential, this should be the focus.

A child doesn’t win the science fair because he put his name on his report in the right font size, he wins because he has created something worth recognizing.

I’ll get off my soapbox now, but not before saying…

Writing_Quote_8 permission-to-make-mistakes-card

Keep writing, never give up ~

VSK

Random Thoughts From An Avid Author

It’s Christmas At the Kings…and Imaginary Worlds

H & P….curious, eh? We do theme trees each year, and this year was my children’s choice.

Yes, the inside of our home has been transformed into the magical world of Harry Potter. As an author, I was thrilled when my children chose these magnificent books as the theme this year! I love Mr.Potter…having read the books more than a handful of times each.

Wands, potion bottles, owls, parchment, quills and ornaments to commend Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw…all here. My kids worked so hard on this amazing tree!

In other news…

I have a new book releasing on December 10th, Absent Yet Present. It’s a novella, meaning a short read, but the proceeds made from this book will be donated entirely to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This novel was written in memory of my boys’ best friend who lost his life to cancer two years ago at the young age of 10. I released the book trailer recently, and have already received incredible feedback. Take a peek here…

 

I am finishing the final edits to The Glass Castle Dream. As soon as this sweet little number is done, I have several publishing companies to beg and plead with contact about my manuscript. I received such incredible feedback while writing this amazing emotional love story online, my fans validated my reason for trying to get this novel on bookstore shelves and perhaps the movie theatre. I would NOT be here today without you!

I have been asked by several individuals as to when I plan on writing another online book. Well, I do have a story line already in mind, but I’ve got to complete my current project before moving forward.

Earlier this year I published my very first novel, The Gift of Fate, which is the first book in the Fatum Saga. I had pushed the second book in this amazing series aside to finish The Glass Castle Dream, but am finally back into the story, moving light speed ahead with a slew of new & old characters as this novel comes to life. I have become so attached to my characters that I find myself falling into their tangled stories nearly everyday when time allows. I adore the characters in the first book, but the 2nd book in this series is full of so many new faces, tribulations…and of course, romance! Swoon! Just wait, this new novel will rock your world in a profound new way. The Power of Suggestion is coming…..

And last, but certainly not least, this is why my blog has been so empty lately. Instead of writing posts, I’m working on books…for all of you. Pandora, Chai Tea and Peanut M&M’s have been my best friends over the past month.

I try and stay away from reviews online when it comes to my novels, but yesterday I took a peek. I was amazed and overwhelmed to see that The Gift of Fate is rated 4.56 out of 5 stars. WOW…speechless. As an author, I think the book is awesome, but I’ve seen how I’ve grown as a writer over the past year and a half. I can’t wait to get the second installment of this story in your hands now because of it.

Thanks for your continued support, the love you show this Southern author, and the willingness to put up with my sometimes, quirky ways. I don’t really mean sometimes…I mean always. {wink, wink}

Writing Like A Madwoman,

VSK

P.S. YES, I will be going to see the epic finale of this. Sorry, I am a Twi fan…for life.

Book Reviews, Taste of "The Gift of Fate"

The Gift of Fate Novel Giveaway and Review!

THE GIFT OF FATE – BOOK 1 (FATUM SAGA)

Young adult fiction and fantasy that will take your breath away!

Seventeen year old Jillian Marie Mathers uncovers her true calling in life one cool autumn night. With the belief that she is veritably crazy, she soon discovers she holds a very special gift instead. The gift of fate. Ariel Housen opens the beautiful world of the Fatum to Jillian, and the darkness is finally lifted from around the crevices of her mind as she learns and copes with who she truly is from the inside out. Along the road of self discovery and absolute survival, she finds herself yearning for the love of a curious young man named Connell Davall. For Connell is undoubtedly the answer to her own life’s questions. Questions Jillian never knew existed until she looked into the deep blue eyes of her saving grace.

A twisted story that is beautifully woven with petals of romance and dangerous corners, The Gift of Fate is a page-turning love story and dark thriller that will leave you wanting more.

Yes, this book blows my mind….why? Because when I sit back and flip through the pages I smile at the AMAZING feeling of having written and published my very first novel earlier this year. It is the most amazing feeling in the world…seriously, amazing.

I am frantically in the midst of completing the second book in this awesome Fatum Saga entitled, The Power of Suggestion. In the meantime, I have decided to give away an autographed copy of The Gift of Fate along with a super cool bookmark as a celebration to what I hope becomes a long and awesome writing career. I live and breath writing, and feel honored to have the power to share the stories in my head with you.

Not to mention, the incredible review that was given to me by a wonderful book blogger in Canada earlier this week. ReadingInWinter.com gave The Gift of Fate 4 out of 5 stars which warms my heart! Take a look at her review here.

Here is a SNEAK PEEK at a portion of The Power of Suggestion. A much richer, darker and more intense realm of the Fatum Saga. I have truly enjoyed writing this second book, and uncovering the hidden depths of brand new characters and magical worlds, that will intertwine perfectly with The Gift of Fate. I hope you love it as much as I do!

The Power of Suggestion

“As I stood in awe, the sound of footsteps drew my eyes away from the backdrop and onto the face of an attractive young woman. Her hair was a gorgeous platinum blonde, perfect ringlets falling effortlessly around her face, her eyes a vivid emerald green. She was wearing a dark red strapless dress that swept the floor around her, flowing beautifully from the curvy frame that held it sweetly. She was stunning, completely ravishing as she nodded to Sierra and stood in front of me, our eyes locking instantly.

“You must be Alexandra. Pleasant to meet you finally, I’m Krista Rose.” She offered her hand to me, the sparkling diamond cuff accentuating her soft, pale skin.

“Nice to meet you, Krista,” I replied, wondering whether I should bow to her, my head spinning with a million thoughts all at once.

Her hand was warm, gentle. The same trickle of desire running down my spine that I had felt when my hand had slipped into the mysteriously handsome man’s only moments earlier. The feeling was indescribable; almost hypnotic like a strong drink that burned from the back of your throat all the way down to your toes. It felt amazing. I wanted more of it.

Withdrawing her hand from mine, she walked over to Sierra, pulling her into a hug, kissing both of her cheeks gently. “Wonderful to see you again. Safely. Come, the others are waiting anxiously for you both.”

Sign up for your chance to win!

The Gift of Fate Giveaway

Random Thoughts From An Avid Author

Choosing a Path Within The Dark Forest of Life

Life is full of unexpected paths. It is within these paths that we often find our purpose…our meaning in life.

I have stood at the foot of several intertwining paths in a dark and dank forest wondering which direction to walk throughout my life. What would I find upon each path? Uncertainty, love, betrayal, kindness? Yet if we knew what our path held, we would miss out on the deepest depths of life and lessons of livelihood we would’ve never had the chance to face.

This brings me to the subject of parenting and family devotion. Becoming a mother or a father means putting a tiny hand within yours and walking the path your child leads you on. They become the navigator on your journey through life. Your compass is now possessed within the curious eyes of your child.

You must be there to protect them from the peering eyes of the forest and the winds that rustle the leaves of timidness, but you must allow them to tread the path they deem fit even if you wouldn’t have chosen it for yourself.

I wrote this poem today, which I in turn shared with the mom community of the incredible company I work for. My husband inspired my reason for writing it.

My husband sacrificially walked a dark path of howling wolves, growling bears and torrential downpours in the cold surroundings over the past year. Even though his teeth chattered from the bitter wind that whirled around him and sleep often bypassed his tired eyes, he pressed forward because he had 8 hands that held him close. We walked the path with him…because, well…that’s what families do.

There is always light at the end of a path. A welcoming glow that warms your face as it greets your presence. When you walk from the grips of its clammy hands, you can turn around and look back at how you weathered the storm.

Perhaps you walked a warm path, with beautiful wildflowers, butterflies that softly landed on your nose and the breath of spring washing herself over you. When you reach the end of your chosen path, you find a backdrop of despair and humid air that laps at your feet.

This reminds me of my VERY favorite movie, Alice In Wonderland. Alice must walk through Tulgey Wood. A place that moves her to tears as her path is erased…and she longs to return home as fear envelopes her.

Have you ever felt like Alice? I have. But I always remind myself that…

My path is my own. It teaches me strength, joy…humility. I have weathered cold nights amongst the trees of an unfamiliar forest and I have basked in the warm beauty of nature as the sunlight washes over the road before me.

Never ever be afraid to tread the many paths you’ll walk through in life. For each one of them teaches you a lesson that will emblazon its presence upon your heart. Just reach for the hand of someone you love…and walk together.

* Dedicated to my one true love. I’m so proud of you and where you now stand, your hand intertwined with mine. There is no greater gift than to call you my very own.

Walk Forth ~

VSK

Uncategorized

I’ve Got My Bucket List, Do You Have Yours?

Bucket List ~ A bucket list is a list of things such as activities that you are going to do before you die.

I am impressed when I see someone who has an exceptionally long bucket list. In all honesty, mine is pretty short and simple.

I am simply blessed to live a life with such an exceptional husband, three beautiful kids, parents who have given me the world and instilled a slew of values, a family who understands my faults and loves me anyway and friends who see my quirkiness and odd sense of humor, but still believe that I am from Earth…not Mars.

Did you ever see the movie The Bucket List? Amazing movie that still makes me cry. One of my very favorite quotes from the movie was spoken by Edward Cole.

The simplest thing is… I loved him. And I miss him. Carter and I saw the world together. Which is amazing… When you think that only three months ago, we were complete strangers! I hope that it doesn’t sound selfish of me but… the last months of his life were the best months of mine. He saved my life… And he knew it before I did.

My Bucket List:

  1. Go backpacking in Europe. Discover the minuscule pieces of history there, not just the big ones.
  2. Write a book…and publish it.
  3. See the Northern Lights
  4. Swim with the dolphins
  5. Be able to financially support our family so my husband can quit his day job…so he can follow a certain dream of his. 🙂
  6. Bury the hatchet with all the enemies / people you had conflict with in the past or now.
  7. Get a tattoo (yep, sorry mom and dad.)
  8. Be an extra in a movie
  9. Financial independence (pay off our house and cars; this is partially already done!) 1 car
  10. Go whale watching
  11. Run at least 3 miles a week
  12. Write a second book
  13. And publish it.
  14. Try things I’m afraid to do (i.e. skydiving)
  15. Go to Turks and Caicos for a 2nd honeymoon (working on it for later this year!)
  16. See Wicked in NYC
  17. Kiss the Blarney Stone (and take my husband golfing here as well!)
  18. Cruise to Alaska
  19. Take a cooking class
  20. Help someone in need (This can and will be repeated throughout my life.)

Do you have a bucket list?

~ VSK

Uncategorized

Step Inside Your Dreams – Book Giveaway

On Leap Day of all days…my dreams turned into a blessed reality. Before I get to that, let me start at the beginning…

In January 1999, I married my best friend at the age of 20.

Eleven months later on New Year’s Eve 1999, we found out we were expecting.

At 21, I became a mother to two beautiful twin boys who were born much too early at 30 weeks.

Our third and final son. Born happy and healthy in March of 2004.

Life has shared its ups and downs with me. There were days that I would shout for joy and others that would leave me shattered and alone.

Yet each day was a piece of the puzzle called “My Life”. The good and the bad decisions I’ve made along the way have shaped me into the woman I am today. And even in the torrential downpours, I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything.

Ever since I was a young girl, I have loved writing. My mother has saved numerous short stories that I composed as early as first grade.

When marriage and motherhood walked graciously into my life, I pushed writing aside for a while. My focus was my family…but the dream of publishing a book never faded from my mind. Ever.

Several years ago I was given an amazing opportunity by two women who not only believed in my work as a social media guru, but as a woman who was chasing her dreams. Rebecca Griffin and Teresa Garland who are the co-founders of IntelliGender. I couldn’t ask for better bosses…or friends. These two women inspired me that my dreams were never unreachable. From the very beginning of my writing career, they were always cheering me on.

I work from home and interact with nearly 11,000 moms on Facebook, hundreds of women on our blog, Twitter and Pinterest accounts. All while juggling being a wife, a homeschooling mom to my three boys and a budding author.

On February 29th, 2012 I published my very first young adult fiction novel, The Gift of Fate, book #1 in The Fatum Saga. An amazing dream that I thought would never be reachable, but despite the craziness of life, I brought my DREAM to life. Read a free, short portion of the book here.

What are your hopes, dreams and aspirations? Have you always wanted to be a musician, an author, an artist, to own your own business, to travel to Europe, own a home, purchase a brand new car? When a dream enters your heart, your mind…your soul. Allow yourself to follow it.

Life happens. Timing is not always perfect. Resources are not always available. But nothing is ever impossible. You simply have to believe in yourself…and be willing to step inside your dreams.

The Gift of Fate Giveaway

Enter to win a free, signed copy of The Gift of Fate

To Enter: Leave a comment below telling me what your dreams or aspirations are. Please leave your email address in the comment or make sure it is visible in your profile.

Extra Entries:
1. Like me on Facebook
2. Subscribe to my blog feed. Must be verified to count.
3. Follow me on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway using the text below. You can tweet once daily for an extra entry each day.
Enter to win the #GiftofFate #book @ValerieKingBook http://bit.ly/yg9ixv
4. Leave a comment on my YouTube page
5. 5 Extra Entries if you blog about this giveaway. Please leave an address where it can be found.

Giveaway will end on March 9th at 11:59pm Central. The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced here as well as emailed. The winner will have 48 hours to contact me or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway open to US residents.

~ VSK