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.

Random Thoughts From An Avid Author

Why I Want To Be Published…And Why Surfing With Zombies Is Cool

We live in a world with “I wants”. Lots of them. Some wants are selfish and others are necessities. Over the years my “wants” have turned into the dreams of my children…beautiful dreams of becoming gracious young men in an often ugly world.

I have been immensely blessed in more than a million ways. Loving parents, a devoted husband, three beautiful children, a job that I love, and a life full of lessons that have taught me what gratefulness is painted with. Through pain and heartache in my life, I have allowed my wants to be His. And in the end, He has given me an even bigger “want” than I could ever fathom. Each and every time.

Let me give you an example….

My world crumbled in late 2008. The walls of uncertainty came crashing down around my husband and I when he lost his job. Seven months of severe depression, uncertainty and sheer darkness took over my life and the life of my better half. There were many nights I spent awake, my mind searching for some type of hope…change…relief. Yet night after night I was left empty. As time pressed on I realized I had two choices. I could stop trying to fix our broken life, tattered finances and suffering relationship, or I could continue to chisel away at trying to fix what I “wanted” to change.

So, I quit hammering and I laid it all on the line. Giving my burden, my hurt to the only One who I knew could give me what I really “wanted”.

And seven months to the day, He fixed my “wants” in an unbelievable way.

There are countless recollections of my “wants” being met…and countless times they were not. When I look back on the missed opportunities and hollow heartache of certain situations I clearly see why my “wants” went unfilled. Although anger may have originally grasped my heart of hearts then…here and now I know there was deep meaning in each of them.

This leads me to here.

I have dreamed of becoming a writer since I was a young girl. When I finally built up the courage to put the very first words of an unimaginable story on a page last year, the rest is history. Why did I wait nearly 33 years to do this?

Over the last year and a half I have come to realize the harshness of the writing world. A big black, massive hole of struggling authors trying to fulfill their “want”. I am encircled by this blinding world of trying to find a literary agent and a publisher. In reality though, I’ve come to know MANY great and talented writers, marketing groups and literary fans who leave me countless comments and fulfilling emails that fill my heart to the brim with thankfulness.

I have exactly what I’ve always “wanted”. I’m a writer, a storyteller, an author…a woman with millions of words coursing through her mind and spilling aimlessly across thousands of pages that entice, enlighten and grasp the hearts of people all over the world.

This afternoon I had to take a moment and remind myself…I know what I “want”. What every author “wants”. To write a book or books that line the shelves of bookstores all over the world. To become an author that people will flock to in order to grasp your personal signature between the pages of your mind poured out into a 300 page book that they will tell you they devoured in just two days. To receive a phone call from a movie company begging to buy the rights to your book. To stand on the set of said movie and choose the actors and actresses you envisioned when you first imagined your now world famous novel.

I get it. And yes, I “want” it.

But I also “want” to surf with zombies. Or these cool dudes who are doing…something…I don’t know what…but it looks cool!

I finished writing another book today. A book that is oh so very near and dear to my heart. The Glass Castle Dream. Some of you know it very well, and I have to admit, I sat here at my desk in tears this afternoon as I wrote the final words.

When I see Facebook posts like this, I can’t help but “want” what I dream about so often. Why I wrote The Glass Castle Dream, and ultimately what I’d like to happen with it. And if I remember correctly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with dreaming. So dream I will…

Never stop “wanting” and allow yourself to dream…always ~

VSK

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

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Rejection, Tonsillectomy and Novellas

I struggled with whether or not I should write this post. But then I thought, “Put yourself out there and quit sitting in the corner sulking. What are ya, a baby?!” That depends…the past few days have been full of uncertainty, big decisions and little luck finding a Leprechaun at the end of a rainbow with a pot of gold. Okay…maybe not the latter.

My youngest little man has been suffering with constant sore throats and strep over the past 6-12 months. About every 4-6 weeks, those darn tonsils start giving us trouble.

Science lesson 101: Where are your tonsils and WHY do we have them.

Tonsils are the two bumps or rounds of tissue located in the back of the throat, and are made up of what is called lymphoid tissue. Lymphoid tissue produces lymphocytes — white blood cells that help fight infections. Traditionally, doctors would consider the production of lymphocytes a good thing, since it would seem to help people fight off illness with greater ease. But, many people suffer with constant bacterial infections and snoring at night, benefit from having them removed.

This is the boat we now sit in. We are “rowing” towards March 30th when these little mounds of infectious tissue are removed from my son’s throat. As a mother hen, I am a bit nervous about putting him under and having the doctor messin’ around in his mouth with a bunch of sharp knives, but the constant rounds of antibiotics and sick days on the couch need to come to an end. I am convincing myself of this through tears of uncertainty. Mr.Tissue and I have been friends for the past few days….

I really didn’t tell anyone except for a few family members…but I submitted my manuscript, The Gift of Fate, to a publisher a few weeks back. Even though I self-published, I wanted to see if there was any interest there. Well, there was…at first.

As an author, it is VERY difficult not to get your hopes up, especially when your story is acknowledged and there is a positive feeling that perhaps…this is the one. As many of you authors know, rejection is part of the game, but acknowledgement doesn’t happen often either. Most of the time your emails get sent out into some black hole that I KNOW resides above Barnes & Noble’s headquarters in New York. A swirling dark cloud of hopefulness from a world full of writers trying to follow their dreams.

Nope. A total let-down. I cried through a half bag of chocolate chips, a Dr.Pepper and threw a temper tantrum on the floor as my dog watched from afar, rolling her eyes at me yesterday.

It made me sad, it made me mad…it made me wish I had, a box of ziploc bags made by Glad.

I will NOT give up on writing though. I am passionate about it. I think I have a great story to tell, and I have a million more waiting to be written down. This is where the idea of novellas came in…

Short stories to a totally awesome series, now there’s a thought, Val!  After eating that bag of chocolate chips, I wrote down an idea for a novella…a slew of novellas actually, telling a sweet little tale about something totally unique and undeniably different than anything out there.

I am nearly complete with the 2nd book in the Fatum Saga already. Perhaps starting a new novella series on the side would be beneficial in polishing my writing skills as well.

At this point in time, I don’t need a publisher. I need to simply write and share what my heart feels. I’m going to STOP doing this…

And start doing this….

Happy Tuesday!

XO~

VSK

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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

Random Thoughts From An Avid Author

Swimming Upstream…and Other Random Pieces Of Useless Information

As the title states, I am at a loss for a GREAT blog topic today! Writer’s block? Yes, perhaps. Although, does that actually exists?

For those of you that still choose to read my rambling on such days, MUCH love to each of you.

I hit the “publish” button on The Gift of Fate today. Less than a week and I’ll make the huge announcement (and will release a super cool, utterly delicious movie book trailer). After months of bringing this bad boy to life, I am guessing that my brain shifted into neutral today after months of driving at the speed of sound for nearly a year. I can finally say YES, I am an actual published author. Whoa….music to my ears. I believe this feat calls for a Venti Soy Chai Tea Latte today despite the nearly $8 price tag…maybe a large chocolate chip cookie to go along with it.

For anyone who would like to do a book review of The Gift of Fate or an author Q & A on your blog, I am willing to send you a free .pdf or epub copy of my book in exchange for such. Or, if you are also an author who is longing for a review or Q & A, I am always open to doing the same for you. Just ask…I won’t bite. As long as I’ve had lunch first. 🙂

Here are your random pieces of useless information for the day! Enjoy every morsel.

Papaphobia is the fear of Popes.

Punctuation was not invented until the 1500’s.

Julius Caesar was self-conscious about his receding hairline.

One legend claims stealing someone’s shadow (by measuring it against a wall and driving a nail through its head) can turn the victim into a vampire.

Approximately sixty circus performers have been shot from cannons. At last report, thirty-one of these have been killed.

On average, there are 333 squares of toilet paper on a roll.

Leonardo da Vinci could write with one hand and draw with the other at the same time.

TTFN ~

VSK

Uncategorized

The World of an Author

My world starts out as a single letter…and grows into a make-believe world full of diverse characters, a plot to keep you entertained and a twist that you never ever expected.

I love living inside my head. It’s full of ideas (not just hot air). 🙂

I was cleaning out my home office two days ago. Shredding old bills, throwing away things I’ve held on to for years…when I ran across something that turned my “world” upside down.

The first chapter of a novel that I wrote nearly 10 years ago lay underneath a pile of file folders. I had completely forgotten about it. I sat on the floor in a sea of papers and allowed myself to fall into the world I had created nearly a decade ago. The writing is horrendous. It is so amazing to see how far I’ve come with my writing style and general awareness of great story-telling. You artists, authors and musicians know what I’m talking about. 🙂

But, the story itself fits PERFECTLY with the Fatum Saga I am currently writing. The Gift of Fate – Book 1 releases in two months. The Power of Suggestion – Book 2 is well underway, and I hope to have it released by year end. I’ve been searching for a great, well-versed story for Book 3…an idea. I found it…in a pile of bills, stuck at the back of an old filing cabinet. The writing style needs changing, but the story couldn’t be more perfect.

Coincidence? No. Fate? Yes. Book 3 has been discovered. Book 4 will leave you breathless. Like my tagline says…

Stay tuned….

~ VSK