GUEST POST: MY WRITERLY BUCKET LIST
Plenty of people have bucket lists, right? I had one in my early twenties, but I never called it a bucket list (that was before the movie made the term much more popular). Instead of creating one new list that meshes better with my adult self, I've started thinking of separate lists. There are different aspects of my life, and they all deserve their fair share of attention, right? =) So this is my writerly bucket list: The list of things I hope to experience or achieve one day as a writer. I'll elaborate on them as we go, and I'm sure the list will continue to grow beyond this post.
BY MARA VALDERRAN
- Go to a coffee shop in New York City and spend the day writing and over-caffeinating. Because sometimes stereotypical can be fun.
- Finish writing a series. I hope to finish writing every series I start, but it's still a goal. In reality, I'll probably finish writing the Shifted Realities series next year since it is a three book series, as compared to the five book Heirs of War series.
- Write all the stories in my head. Right now I have one contemporary that might turn into a thriller, a sci-fi series, a superhero serial, and an urban fantasy series all battling for attention in my head. The voices! They multiply. =D
- Write a romance novel. Why? Because I don't read romance. Because that means stretching very far outside of my comfort zone and challenging myself as a writer to do something I think I might not be good at.
- Write about my grandfather's WWII experiences. I'm not a non-fiction writer by any stretch of the imagination and am terrified to do this one. It's in another country from my comfort zone. But it also means a lot to him, and that makes it important to me. Now to just find the time to research. Did I mention I'm not a history buff either? ;)
- Meet Terry Goodkind. I love him as a writer. The Sword of Truth series is such an amazing work of fantasy, and Kahlan is one of the best female characters I've ever read. I think he blended humor, romance, intrigue, war, violence, action, and magic together wonderfully, and I look forward to rereading the series. Just being able to shake his hand would be a dream come true. Getting to sit down and have a conversation with him would be so mind-blowing, I don't even think I can dream about it.
- Get 100 reviews on each book I publish. It doesn't sound like much, but reviews are so hard to come by. I've given away over 100 copies of Heirs of War and have a hand full of reviews to show for it. It can get frustrating. So 100 is probably a pretty lofty goal.
- Have a signing. This is actually about to come true at the Vegas Valley Book Festival, so I'll elaborate with:
- Have a signing in NYC. This is a big one, I know. But I love New York. The energy of that city is contagious, so getting to sign in the city would be beyond my wildest hopes and dreams as a writer. That's the moment where I might start thinking I've had some success. Or if I ever get interview by Craig Ferguson (love him!).
- Have someone write fanfiction for one of my complete series. I've already had someone ask to write fanfiction for Heirs of War (I had to say no since the series isn't finished yet. Booo!), so I am soclose! But I love fanfiction and I am a huge fangirl, so I love the idea of someone sharing the passion I've had for other series with my series. Mind blowing!
- Get to meet the members of my street team. I have an amazing street team. I really do. They are some of the most enthusiastic, patient, supportive, and passionate readers I've ever come across. To have them in my corner is amazing, and I'd love to be able to give each of them a hug for all they've done for me.
- Participate in a panel at a book festival or convention. I don't care how big it is. This would be awesome. I could talk about writing and fictional characters all day long. =)
- Never quit writing. It might sound simple, but it really isn't. Choosing to be an author is a tough gig. There's a lot of give, and not a lot of return. I recently joked with a friend that I felt like the most underpaid employee ever, because I don't even make a penny per hour at the rate I'm going. I work at this probably 10-16 hours a day. It might be marketing, it might be writing, editing, blogging, etc. But the work to be done is always there, looming. And sometimes that one terrible review can be enough to make you want to crack and give up. So persevering, continuing to write even though things get tough, that's my biggest bucket list item. My late uncle's motto was "Never give up" and that's something I try to keep in mind with this career.
- Once I complete every item on this bucket list, create a new one. Why? Because I never want to stop dreaming. =)
ABOUT HEIRS OF WAR:The NA fantasy series Heirs of War has taken Wattpad by storm with over one million reads, and the second installment has arrived. Catch up on Heirs of War (#1) for just 99 cents now!
Heirs of War #1:
When seventeen year-old Zelene finds herself thrust into a world of magic and prophecy, she discovers fighting destiny might not be the toughest battle she has to face. Now she must join with three other girls, complete strangers linked only by blood relation, to fight a war they know nothing of and rescue the twin sister she's never met.
The adventure continues with Heirs of War, Crown of Flames...
Heirs of War #2
Cover Art by Gretchen Byers
Weeks have passed since Ariana and Alec escaped from Kellen's dungeon, but danger isn't far behind them. The guilt of his past weighs heavily on Alec’s shoulders, and his secrets only push Ariana further away. As they travel through unknown lands and encounter multiple threats, their biggest challenge might be trusting one another.
The world appears to be going on regardless of the risks Ariana faces. The Duillaine insist that they are doing everything they can to find Ariana, but their actions betray that claim. Despite the danger and the war closing in around them, all of Anscombe seems to be more interested in the upcoming Imbolc festival and Terrena’s betrothal than rescuing Ariana.
Tired of waiting for the Duillaine to help her twin, Zelene starts plotting on her own and finds a surprising ally in Rhaya, even as the Cynewards prepare to make a move of their own. But Zelene’s plans go awry when she finds herself with a new ability, a mysterious new friend, and more enemies within the walls of Anscombe than she thought.
Mara Valderran is an author of young adult and new adult books, but she's more than just a madwoman with a writing box. She is an avid reader and fan of all things sci-fi and fantasy. She loves roller skating and movies, though typically not together. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and demanding cat. She hopes to one day meet Daniel Jackson from SG1, or at least the actor who played him. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, playing video games, or counting down the days until DragonCon.
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