Archive for December, 2013

A short time ago, I posted a blog titled “Yule Beckons”. I ran a contest with it, at the end, stating I would give away copies of all my books to one lucky commenter.

Drumroll, please…….

Congratulations, Jodi Lee!!!!!!!!!!!!

Drop me a private message on FB (https://www.facebook.com/pages/KateMarie-Collins/217255151699492) with your email address and I’ll send them your way!


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It’s the time of year that I love. The days are short, the nights are long, and the morning has the ground covered in frost.

Please note, I love it more NOW since I don’t have to drive my youngest to school in the mornings. I can wait, nursing my tea or coffee, for the sun to clear my windshield for me.

The winter solstice is more than just the longest night of the year. For me, I tend to get very reflective around this time of year. I look at what I’ve been given over the last year. This year, the list is LONG.

I have not one, but five books out:

Daughter of Hauk….Son of Corse….Kick the Can….Mark of the Successor….The Strength Within….

I have two anthologies with a proofreader, plus four more books I’m in the process of writing.

I got a new cover for “Daughter”


I’ve got a great job, with an amazing boss.

My family continues to thrive.

And my weight continues to drop.

What is coming up for me? There’s a trip to Portland to visit a prison book club, 2 or more novels to be released, a potential appearance at a writing conference, a potential book signing event at a local occult/pagan shop, and hopefully good sales.

There’s three ways you can make an author happy, did you know that? Buy their book, review their book, tell your friends to do the same. It’s that easy. 

Amazon – Kindle/Daughter of Hauk:  http://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Hauk-Raven-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007KDWYP4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1331798695&sr=1-1


Amazon – Kindle/Son of Corse: http://www.amazon.com/Son-Corse-Raven-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00EHV6CBY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377528426&sr=8-1&keywords=Son+of+Corse


Amazon – Kindle/Mark of the Successor: http://www.amazon.com/Mark-of-the-Successor-ebook/dp/B00CSW21ZA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1368648504&sr=8-3&keywords=Mark+of+the+Successor


Amazon – Kindle/Kick the Can: http://www.amazon.com/Kick-the-Can-ebook/dp/B00DQVXV4C/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1373215489&sr=1-2&keywords=Kick+the+Can



So, in the spirit of the season, I’m going to give away a copy of EACH of my books to one lucky commenter! Post a comment that’s relevant to Yule, being a Wiccan author, or what you like most about my blog to THIS POST! Winner will be announced on Dec. 20th, just in time for the Solstice!

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In a recent interview, I was asked if I used beta readers or crit partners. I have both, and firmly believe every author should.

A beta reader is there to catch the glaring plot holes. The stuff that just doesn’t make sense. If your hero is walking around a bug infested cellar and brushing cobwebs aside like they’re nothing, he should not then freak out at the sight of a spider five chapters later. They give me feedback on flow, pacing, and the story in general.

A crit partner is different. These are the talented individuals who will go through your manuscript line by line and let you know if phrasing is awkward. Spelling, punctuation, and fine details do not escape their notice. They’re going to catch you if you change a character’s name, used the same city from a completely different book, skip a chapter (jumping from 5 to 7, for example), and argue with you if something is physically possible to do.

I’ve got a group of four beta readers, and 4 or 5 crit partners. The crit partners and I work on a mutual basis…we do this for each other. If comments come back from two or more of either the beta readers or crit partners, chances are I’ll change that spot only because something’s not reading right.

Why do you need them? Simply put, the more feedback you can get on your book before you send it to a publisher, the better. Publishers are looking for reasons to tell you no. They only want to put out the best books, the ones that will sell. If your story has plot holes that you didn’t catch, it’s going to get rejected. The more honest feedback you can get, the better. For both that one book and your writing in general.

Okay, you say, but how do I find good crit partners and beta readers? Start with other writers (published or aspiring), whose work you like. Be willing to not only take critiques with grace and an open mind (they’re not trying to cut apart your baby, but make it better), and return the favor. Beta readers can be friends, but they have to be ones who aren’t afraid to tell you something’s not right. 

When you find good individuals, ones that you work well with, don’t abuse them. You can agree to disagree, yes. But don’t fly off the handle at them in an email about them not getting the point of the story. These people are doing you a favor! Don’t repay it by refusing to listen.


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