Rediscovering the Joy of Writing and Two New Reader Giveaways


Today I’m a guest over at On Top Down Under Book Reviews, helping them celebrate their blog’s 4th anniversary. I’m sharing more about my experience writing The Haven #2 and also offering up a giveaway. Check out the post at this link: Creativity, Disappointment, and Rediscovering the Joy of Writing. Be sure to comment there to enter the giveaway before October 18th.

Here’s a full list of their other anniversary events and giveaways.


This week I’m also taking part in the massive Halloween Giveaway hosted by Diverse Reader. There are more than 40 prizes up for grabs and some fun posts by an amazing list of authors who are answering questions such as:

What’s your favorite thing about Halloween?
Tell us the best costume you ever wore for Halloween?
What’s your best Halloween memory?

What’s your favorite Halloween or scary story and why?

Stop by and check out all the fun, and be sure to enter the giveaway. The authors’ posts are divided into two sections: Part one & Part two (check out mine in part two).

The contest ends on October 20th.

Good luck!

Writing Life: The Rewards of Patience


Photo License: CC0 Public Domain

“That’s the magic of revisions – every cut is necessary, and every cut hurts, but something new always grows.”  ― Kelly Barnhill

“The writer must have a good imagination to begin with, but the imagination has to be muscular, which means it must be exercised in a disciplined way, day in and day out, by writing, failing, succeeding and revising.” ― Stephen King

“The best advice I can give on this is, once it’s done, to put it away until you can read it with new eyes. When you’re ready, pick it up and read it, as if you’ve never read it before. If there are things you aren’t satisfied with as a reader, go in and fix them as a writer: that’s revision.” ― Neil Gaiman

I recently hit the point in revising HOW TO HEAL A LIFE where I’m even more connected to the story and the characters. I’m adding those extra little touches that allow for deeper meaning and emotional impact. I’m learning far more than I knew I was missing about who these characters are. At the same time, I’ve been strengthening their interactions, tweaking the overall story arc, and filling in any plot holes.

It feels really good to be at this point. I wanted to wrap this book up MONTHS ago, but I’m so very glad I stuck it out and kept on plugging away at the revision phase instead of calling it “quits” too early. I would’ve been seriously disappointed in myself. Especially when it came to this book. Seth’s journey is a difficult one, but I always hoped that would make the book all the more emotional and powerful for the reader. I wanted to give his story the attention it deserved. 

Now it’s coming together to be what I’d always envisioned for his story, and I couldn’t be happier.

I have a bit more to go with the revisions, but for me, this is one of the most rewarding parts of the writing process. I can’t wait to do my next read-through and see the full effect.

The journey was never over (aka the reminder I needed when I hit delete)


I so needed to be reminded of that right now. Not that I had to do anything as drastic as starting over, but I did decide to cut scenes from The Haven 2 and rework several others. Usually I’m pretty confidant about that decision, at least when I’m this far into a novel and I know the changes will make the story stronger, but it’s still disconcerting to hit that delete key.

Status Update


MORE THAN MOST Scene Board (with several layers of my review check marks). Image: (c) Sloan Parker 2014

Completed Manuscript of MORE THAN MOST

Completed Manuscript of MORE THAN MOST. Image: (c) Sloan Parker 2014

Well it’s been a while since I posted anything. I didn’t mean to completely ignore my blog, but it was for good reasons, I assure you. I’ve had my head down in my writing cave for several weeks now, and I thought I’d take a quick break to do a status update on my current projects. So here’s where things are:

    The second book of Richard, Matthew, and Luke’s series was submitted to my publisher. I’m waiting to hear back on that, so I don’t have any news to share regarding a release date. I hope to know more soon. In the meantime here’s another brief snippet from Richard’s point of view: Sadness overwhelmed me. For Dominic and his friends in the nursing home. And for Matthew. If he outlived Luke and me, what would his final years be like? Would he have anywhere to go? Would he end up at someplace like Legacy Village? Not if I could help it. If nothing else, I’d leave him a stockpile of cash. There had to be a number of nicer nursing and retirement homes in the city. Could money buy the kind of security I wanted for him? It hadn’t done anything to protect Anne. And neither had I.
  2. MORE THAN EVER (MORE #3) – tentative title
    Matthew’s book is half drafted. This is the fastest I’ve ever written a first pass. There’ll be quite a bit of revising to do on it, but getting the initial draft done is the hardest part for me so I’m thrilled with the progress. And I’m very excited about this story. Matthew is really finding his way, and the threesome are moving into a new phase of their relationship.
  3. THE HAVEN #2 (No title yet)
    The outline is finished, and I completely love Seth and Vargas together. They are both so vulnerable, and it should be an incredibly emotional ride for them. This is actually the next book I’ll be working on, but I wanted to get a draft down of More #3 while the ideas were fresh in my mind. The goal is to finish the rough draft of More #3, then complete The Haven #2.
  4. THE HAVEN #3 (No title yet)
    I’ve got a few notes down for this story. I’m pretty sure I’m set with who I want the couple to be (and how they’re going to meet and get together), but I’ll wait to share more on that until I’m further along with writing book 2 in case I change course for any reason.
  5. Also, I may be writing a short story that I can’t get out of my head, but we’ll see if I can fit it in somewhere in the next few months.

I’ll keep you posted on news about the release of More #2 and my other progress. Thanks for checking out what I’ve been up to.