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Beating Imposter Syndrome

by Rosie Wylor-Owen


Ambition isn’t simple. It’s a glorious hope of a better life, a contented life; maybe the ideal life that we’ve always wanted to lead, but it isn’t simple.

It feels that way when we first set out pursuing whichever dream we have latched onto with gusto. Isn’t it just a case of setting goals, taking a deep breath and diving right in?

I’ve wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember and the path to success seemed straightforward at first. Write a book and plonk it on Amazon, just like everyone else did. But before long, I realised that there was much more to self-publishing than I initially thought – I needed newsletters, advertising, a tantalising social media presence complete with engaging posts and hilarious tweets.

One thing was clear as time went on: the more I learned, the more I realised how little I knew.

Before I released my first full-length novel, Scorpio’s Grace in November 2019, I tested the waters by publishing a short story The Witch’s Touch. That soul-crunching combination of flinging my first piece of work out to the world for everyone to see, plus the realisation that I was woefully new to the industry, created a feeling I was all too familiar with. The feeling of unearned praise and bewilderment that someone might enjoy reading what I wrote: imposter syndrome.

My first 5-star reviews of The Witch’s Touch really sealed the deal. I was plagued with thoughts that the reviewers were just being nice or that their standards were so low that even my books looked good to them. From then on, every smidgeon of praise came with the same light elation and a side helping of despair. Because someone, somewhere was going to realise that every book I ever wrote was an overrated pile of garbage.

When I finished work on Scorpio’s Grace, my nerves were shot. This wasn’t just some short story; this was a full-blown novel. Over 6x the size, which would surely give everyone 6x the chance to realise that I was a fraud.

But as release day approached, the feelings of inadequacy got pushed to one side. Who had time for that when there was release parties to plan, newsletters to send and those side-tickling tweets to post?

By the time Scorpio’s Grace was released and had seen its first 5-star review, I had forgotten all about being an imposter. An occupied mind has little time to worry.

Two things happened when I finally took a moment to consider my self-worth again.

Firstly, I got a chance to reflect on what an amazing experience the release of Scorpio’s Grace had been. Organising the release and celebrating with author friends powered me through the process of publishing and scattered all thoughts of insignificance to the wind.

Secondly, I realised that if I hadn’t had the time to remember to feel like a fraud, perhaps I had worked hard enough to have earned just a little of my own self-respect.

Just like that, the 5-star reviews started to feel a little more deserved, and I began asking myself more positive questions. Questions like: are you really that bad an author if this many people enjoy your books?

Imposter syndrome affects a lot of creatives and it isn’t easily fought. For many of us, imposter syndrome will always be a factor in our lives, but we have a medium of control over how it affects us. Remembering past successes and taking a brief moment to enjoy some of those good reviews are crucial to building self-esteem based on realistic feelings of achievement.

As sure as the sky is blue, there will be a 1-star review on its way sooner or later to test our self-confidence without us constantly questioning our own abilities.

So, if Imposter Syndrome is preparing to strike, give yourself some credit. Remember a crowning achievement, read that good review or maybe, just maybe, gift yourself an unexpected compliment.

The battle to recognise our self-worth is never-ending, so our efforts to combat our doubts must be relentless. Grab a cookie, we’ve earned it!


Rosie Wylor-Owen is a book blogger at The Secret Library Book Blog and an urban fantasy author. Her books include Scorpio’s Grace, The Witch’s Touch and A Druid’s Secret, an upcoming novel in the Darkness Rising boxed set.

These are the best places to keep up to date on all Rosie’s magical antics:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosiewylorowenauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosiewylorowen

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rouli91/?hl=en

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/rosiewylorowen/

Her website: https://rosiewylor-owen.com/


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Is Giving Up An option?

Some days I just want to pack it all in. I could do that. I could choose to walk away from the world of writing and publishing and grab a “normal” job with a dependable source of income. It is a real option; a path diverting from a journey begun a few years ago exists, and one that I’ve discussed with author friends who have toyed with similar thoughts. But is it really an option? And when do you know when it’s time to call it a day?

From the start, I made many mistakes that have accumulated into thousands of lost dollars. I wrote my first book, Millie’s Angel, without adhering to any one firm genre, resulting in “a little bit of this and a little bit of that” kind of novel. Which might work if you’re someone like Norah Jones, but I wasn’t someone like that. I’m still not someone like that.

It didn’t matter that that title attracted an award or a whole bunch of five-star reviews from reputable review services (that I’d paid for). It didn’t matter that I went ahead and invested a whole bunch of my savings into promoting the book because at the end of the day, I’d screwed up my target audience – and this was before I could get them to actually buy the book. I had totally failed on the original cover too.

It was a beautiful, award-winning cover created by a talented artist. I shelled out a good chunk of coin for the creation and I loved it. Turned out, I could love it till the end of rainbows and back, but that fact didn’t move the book into the right hands and generate sales.

The universe has a way of throwing the right people on your path when you need them. Think about it; there are billions of people in the world doing their thing – how is it not orchestrated by some stroke of higher intelligence when you encounter the important ones? The ones meant to touch your life in some way … for a particular reason.

He might blush when working on these words before you see them, but my editor Paul Vander Loos is a part of an intimate body of people to have influenced my creative world. I learned a ton early on during his work on Millie. He went above and beyond to clean up that first manuscript when most editors would have thrown it back at me in disgust.

Not Paul. He rolled up his sleeves and got down and dirty with my words, and probably wanted to throw me off a cliff on more than one occasion. When it was all done and delivered, I could barely believe how much patience this man must have possessed to have persevered through my manuscript. The lessons were invaluable, the appreciation more than he could ever realize.    

I’m probably going to regret telling you this, but I was so wet-behind-the-ears and excited when releasing Millie, that I went ahead and made the DUMBEST decision ever and hired a publicist. Yes. As I write these words, I can still feel the sting of that one.

I invested about a thousand dollars without much of a result in return. She snagged me one radio appearance and an article in a magazine about balancing writing with a big family. She had wanted to use my background in domestic abuse as a publicity angle; a fact that didn’t sit well with me (but I went with it anyway). When a few of the bigger magazines sniffed around for my story, they had to bolt when they discovered I’d never chosen to press charges against my ex-husband.

It wasn’t long before I realized that brand new, unknown fiction authors do not need publicists. Unless they have a surplus budget and money to burn. I didn’t.

Not all was lost, though, because it was through that publicist that I was introduced to a lovely woman who would become one of my most solid author friends to date, Beth Prentice.

Beth knew more than me. I found myself engaged in weekly phone conversations, picking her brain about the industry and spending hours talking shop. It was through Beth that I’d learned the ropes that had eluded me, and, in the process, I discovered a true friend. She gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going, keep writing and keep believing in myself. As dumb as it was, I’d pay that publicist again in a heartbeat for Beth.

I then started to wrap my head around the industry a little more. It was enough to write my follow-up title to genre, deciding to hinge the series on the most prominent genre to flavor my first book: paranormal romance. Despite falling short on the original cover, the book fared well and attracted great reviews from readers, making an even deeper niche when I revamped the cover art some months later.

That’s another thing that had stumped me in the beginning – who were my readers, how do I find them, and most importantly, how do I keep them engaged between releases?

It started out pretty cheesy. I did what I saw most other authors were doing with their newsletters, delivering the generic style email every other week or so. I organized dozens of swaps, signed up for author cross-promotions, newsletter builders, author giveaways.

I thought that if I didn’t have something like the above-mentioned options to offer my readers, then I didn’t have an email to send. The problem with that is that your emails become ordinary pretty fast.

Since releasing those first two books, I’ve gone on to work with some wonderful people, collaborate and learn from some of the best in the Indie publishing industry, make a couple of strong connections and publish more titles. Yet, it wasn’t until recently that I really began to grow into myself as an author, and as a woman. I’ve discovered a part of myself I never knew was missing.

There is something about creating stories that strengthens your inner world. It’s like a journey of self-discovery and self-realization. Our deepest truths seem to spill onto the page through our stories, creating more than just a fictional tale, but a personal learning experience that fosters insight and growth.  

I currently have two completed manuscripts in a series banked on the hard drive and ready to go; the third underway (well, somewhat). I find myself caught in the “undecided” zone with this series, unsure about which way is best to let it fly. That’s the thing about this game; sometimes it’s hard to know which way to roll the dice – the place where we circle back to the question: do I keep going and invest more into the books or do I call it quits?

My readers, the ones that have stuck around, still receive my fortnightly emails. Only, these days I rarely offer them other book deals or giveaway opportunities. I’m offering them something different; something they can’t get in a builder-giveaway or another book sale lighting up their screen. I’m offering more of me.

As a result, I’ve weeded out the “easily offended” and stuffy variety of readers as well as the ones hanging around for the freebie or 99 cent deals, managing to forge an authentic relationship with others. This is despite offering them little in the way of new release fiction for the duration of 2019. I figure these readers are the ones I want around for the long haul, the ones that like who I am behind the shiny book covers and deals.

I had no idea if consistently creating newsletters without the offers would work, but I’ve found that approaching my readers in this way continues to pay off. I can feel their loyalty, their interest in the content I’m delivering to their inbox and their support through their responses.

Hopefully, when I’ve reached a place where I can breathe long enough to make a solid decision about what to do with my new series, these folks will be just as interested in the fiction I have to offer them. And all being well, I’ll arrive at a place where I no longer question if I’m on the right path, because writing has become a large part of who I am and I can’t imagine a life without creating books.

I guess I just answered the question most of us writers periodically ask themselves: is giving up really an option?

It’s not if you stay true to yourself, do what you are passionate about and honor your soul.   

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Sometimes the Memory is the Story…

My love affair with books began at a tender age. My brother and I were allocated a space along our parents’ bookshelf to stack our collection of books. I’d spend hours thumbing through them and dreaming myself into the pages before rearranging their order in a way I thought just. Come evening, I’d select one, climb onto my mother’s lap and listen to her read a story I’d heard a hundred times over.

Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, The Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk. These were just some of the stories I had come to treasure. To the child in me, there was something spellbinding about the notion of a child-eating witch concealed behind an alluring house made from gingerbread and candy. It was frightening yet exciting at the same time and I couldn’t get enough.

Moreover, my cherished collection of fairytales helped to form some of the fondest of my childhood memories with my mother. Those moments snuggling up with her on the sofa and gazing at the pages as she turned them have become a part of me. And the essence of those stories has become the foundation for my own journey as a storyteller.

My childhood obsession with fantasy tales didn’t stop at books. Long before Netflix and other streaming options were available, free-to-air TV was exciting. We had a choice of four channels and that was it. Sounds extremely limited to the Netflix junkie, but at least we avoided choice paralysis, which is a phenomenon I regularly face nowadays.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve scrolled through Netflix and clicked through to read a few blurbs only to become overwhelmed by the decision. This might sound strange, but I don’t like the idea of wasting “watch time” on a shitty show. I might spend up to 20 minutes scrolling, clicking, reading and procrastinating before finally giving up to move onto another activity – one that doesn’t involve too many options on offer.

Free TV in Australia back in the ‘70s and come Sunday, I’d curl up on the lounge with my mum and watch movies like Tarzan or an Elvis flick. My mother loved Elvis. Who could blame her? The guy oozed charisma. The best part about those years were the times my folks allowed me to stay up a little later to watch reruns of movies like Hans Christian Andersen, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, or my favorites, the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Wizard of Oz.

Miniature girls, flying cars, chocolate fountains and Oompa Loompas. Other worlds brimming with good and bad witches, talking brainless scarecrows, cowardly lions and a magic yellow brick road. Story heaven. That’s where I found myself while sprawled across the floor tangled in blankets and pillows before the telly way past my bedtime.

Midway through the movie I battled the tendrils of sleep clawing at me from behind my eyelids. I battled hard till the characters discovered their victorious resolutions and the credits scrolled across the screen. Then, I’d drop into bed feeling exhausted and satisfied, finally succumbing to sleep.

Looking back, I can see clearly how stories and books have played such an important role in my life. Stories have served as entertainment and inspiration. They have opened magical portals to unearthly realms and strengthened my imagination. They’ve taught me how to dream and about the beauty of love that exists in our world. They’ve also shown me the twisted depths of evil, vengeance and spite, as well as transporting me into the minds of characters I’ve come to love.

Stories demonstrate parts of the human condition we might otherwise miss because they stretch our perspectives, broaden our senses and nurture qualities such empathy and compassion. Following the journey of even a fictional character can impact us in unexpected ways, particularly when the story theme resonates.

The tween years saw me delving into the chirpy Sweet Valley High series. You know, the accounts of those gorgeous adolescent American twins Liz and Jessica? They had the most interesting life, what with their contrasting traits, boyfriends and other serious teenage dilemmas. For example, what to wear to the Prom night.

We don’t do Prom night here in Australia. We do the Formal. It’s probably something similar minus the corsage. My formal and I resembled an image not unlike Morticia – long black hair, red talons and a black velvety skin-tight mermaid style dress I bought in the city. Turned out, another girl wore the same dress. Oh, the drama! Not me, her. I couldn’t have cared less. She, on the other hand, took one look at me and ran into the bathroom crying. Lol!

Teenage dilemmas. Sweet Valley High eat your heart out.     

I was drawn to the dramatic, dark works of Virginia Andrews during my later teenage years. I’d read each book in The Dollanganger series several times over; the same holds true for The Casteel series. Ah, Heaven and Dark Angels. If there be ThornsSeeds of Yesterday. These stories are not of the feel-good variety that I enjoyed as a child, or a tween for that matter. They were satisfying nonetheless, even if they caused me to weep uncontrollably and feel an overwhelming sense of injustice and sorrow for the protagonists. How could Julian be such an ass?

Impact. 

Impact enough that I named my first born after one of the characters – and my Julian isn’t an ass. Well, most of the time. Nor is he a dancer as far as I know.

It wasn’t long before the racy and perverted pages of a Jackie Collins novel found itself in my hands. As in, all of them. I reread them a few times over too. God, how I loved Chances and Lovers and Gamblers. Gino Santangelo was like an Al Pacino in my mind … let’s not get into how much I love Pacino. He’s der bomb. Enough said.

“To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

  • Harold Robbins from A Stone for Danny Fisher.

A Stone for Danny Fisher is a story that looks at the effect of the Great Depression on a lower-middle class Jewish family. It’s also a story that will stay with you long after you finish the last page.

Captivating. Heartbreaking. Interesting. Inspiring. Impacting.

Some of my most comforting memories belong to bookstores. Real books with real pages. I can think of nothing better than to step into a bookstore and blend into the aisles for some serious book hunting. Rarely can I resist walking past a bookstore. The low-key independent ones are particularly alluring. They seem to emit a sense of warmth with their overstuffed shelves and nooks and crannies existing among the smell of real books wafting through the air. Much like hippie shops that are crammed to the brim with interesting and exotic items as the scent of incense curls into your being while you’re browsing.

Hippie shops stock some great reads, too. Usually, it’s where I head first – to the book section at the back of the shop to flick through the works written by some of our most enlightened philosophers and spiritual teachers. The Tarot cards and crystals are cool to look at too.  

Back to the traditional books and I have many authors to thank along my reading journey. Each book that has found me engrossed within its pages has laid the groundwork to create the writer I’ve become and the writer I will become as I continue to plow out my own writing career.

Authors like Anne Rice, David Baldacci, Sally Beaman, Dan Brown and Bryce Courtenay have made their mark, along with Thomas Harris, Jilliane Hoffman, John Grisham and Patricia Cornwell. I’ve enjoyed works by Julie Ellis, George R.R. Martin, Alice Sebold and Elie Wiesel. More recently, Elizabeth Hunter and Julie Kagawa. There are many more, but I’m afraid I might be here all day if I were to list all of them.

My reading tastes vary. I’ve never been one to stick with any genre. The same is true for my tastes in music and movies, although I am clear about my dislikes.

For instance, most American comedy flicks make me want to bang my head against a wall – it has to be pretty distinct and special from the standard to grab and keep me around. Which, let’s face it, rarely happens. I’m not into Bond movies and or anything that remotely resembles a Bond. And I don’t like Marvel movies much either (don’t hang me, Spiderman!).

I enjoy movies and stories that grip me, that make me feel something and that can keep my interest all the way to the end. I’m into stories that show me something different, entertain and teach me or stretch my perceptions in new ways. Mostly, I’m into stories that manage to etch a new memory I can’t forget.

Sometimes the memory is the story. Other times, it’s the moments in which the story is experienced. Either way, it becomes special.

Real books are like real people. You cannot replace the experience, the authenticity or the memories they create upon your life and imprint upon your soul.

What would we do without stories?          


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Soul Purpose & Connections for Creativity

“There are no accidental meetings between souls.” – Sheila Burke

At some point we’ve probably all contemplated our purpose during this lifetime. It is not unusual to find ourselves pondering the big stuff:   

  • What is my purpose?
  • What can I share and contribute to the world?
  • What is my legacy?
  • How can I make authentic connections?
  • What is my life’s meaning?

Sound familiar? It is logical that we reach a stage in our lives when we yearn for something more and meaningful—a time when we set out to seek answers about our world, our existence and soul purpose. In Maslow’s five-stage hierarchy of needs, this self-discovery phrase of life rests at the top of his five-tier pyramid model in motivational psychology. Self-actualization is the process of realizing personal potential and self-fulfillment, as well as seeking personal growth and peak experiences. It is the desire to become everything we can become.

Creative writing is a soul-calling or soul-urge. I have yet to meet a writer to have stated otherwise. I mean, just look at what we put ourselves through – We choose to sit for prolonged periods at a time to slave (and sometimes procrastinate) over words. It is like homework. To most people it sounds like tedious homework, and let’s face it, sometimes it can feel that way. It is during those doubtful moments that remembering why you began writing that will help to bring you back to your truth. Your why. For what reasons did you begin writing?

I’m going to assume that you write books because your soul urges you to create stories to share with the world. Writing is a soul-driven occupation navigated by the wings of passion. Each writer is driven by an unknown force to create and release their messages to the world. It is through creating literature that we find meaning and purpose to our lives. It is through the creative soul connections we encounter along the way that we find ease and divine symphony as we fuse together to create for a higher purpose.

I have discovered so much about myself since I began writing. I can vividly recall the feeling that encapsulated me when I sat before a blank screen to begin writing my first book. It was like nothing I’d ever felt before – an acute rush of tingles and exquisite surges filled my being. It was as if my soul rejoiced in the moment. It was a confirmation that I’d finally discovered my soul purpose; my life purpose. 

My writing journey has been a wonderfully fulfilling experience that continues to nourish and feed my soul. I still haven’t stopped learning about myself, others and the world. Since I began writing, I have almost become a different person. What I mean is that while I had been living an authentic life prior to writing, the act of producing words has somehow reinforced and cultivated my self-perception, driving home my beliefs and values. Below I have listed some of the points that have come to light and/or strengthened within me since I have been writing: 

  • I am worthy of having a voice and expressing myself.
  • What I have to say counts.
  • To value myself as a writer, a woman and a human being.
  • Not everyone will like what I create and that is perfectly fine.
  • Not everything I create will work and that’s okay too.
  • To own my truth and be proud of those truths even when others judge.
  • Living in fear is a life half lived. 
  • It is okay to give the kids a frozen pizza every now then. This will not harm them, and it doesn’t make me a bad mother.
  • Sometimes the tooth fairy is forgetful, but she always makes up for it the following evening.
  • The words I create have power to uplift spirits an inch at a time.
  • I can make a difference and I am strong and tenacious enough to keep trying, no matter what.
  • Regardless of what I am working on, I have an unlimited resource of creativity available to me that I can access any time.
  • Connections are important to soul growth and creating. I have learned to cherish, honor and appreciate those connections.
  • I am not perfect and that’s okay.
  • People will appreciate and respect my imperfections as well as the honesty I bring to my work.
  • Writing from the heart will attract the right audience for me.
  • Believe and trust in myself and the universe.       

 Can you relate to any of the above? Do any of these points resonate with you?

Words are power

Everything begins with words – our stories, thoughts, messages. Each word has its own vibration too. It is these vibrations that create the reality that surrounds us. Words create more than just stories; they inform our universe, our lives and our reality – and they teach us. Through creating words, I have managed to reacquaint myself more fully with my soul and to live a more authentic, love-driven and passionate life. In turn, embracing these rich inner layers will produce an unbridled fever that shines through my fictional and non-fictional writing.

Aside from the inner-growth, self-discovery and enrichment that your writing can bring to your life, we must acknowledge that our words can be extremely healing and enlightening to others. Too often we underestimate the power and importance of creativity. Therefore, there is a certain amount of responsibility that accompanies our work as writers. A certain amount of faith the universe has entrusted to us. This faith is also apparent within the connections that cross our paths throughout our writing journey. 

We meet many people in our lifetime. Some are good and others are not. People cross our paths all the time, whether it be through social meetings and mutual acquaintances, work opportunities, meeting someone by chance at an event or some other scenario. They come and go, and mostly they may drift into the background of your past, barely summoning enough effort to be thought of again.

Then sometimes our paths collide with someone special – a kindred spirit that seems to stir something deep within us as if our souls have known that person long before we encounter them. Perhaps long before this lifetime. Often, people will come together to create something profound and important. It is through these crucial soul connections that our own creativity is renewed and energized, which can bring positive change to the world. 

How do we know when we’ve encountered a profound creative soul connection? 

Have you ever met someone with whom you feel an inexplicable connection? Upon meeting them you may have felt an instant pull that defies logic or reason. Even before getting to know them, you sensed a special dynamic that you felt compelled to explore. I have been fortunate enough to have encountered a kindred spirit or two during my writing journey. These special people have come into my life for the purpose of collaborative creation and to produce change at a deeper level within myself. Personally, I think that is how you know when you’ve met someone crucial – you unite for the sake of creation and their presence in your life somehow evokes a personal change.

Meeting Catherine was like that. We met when I attended one of her workshops during the Wollongong Writers Festival. I remember looking over all the workshops on offer prior to booking. I was immediately drawn to Catherine’s. I took notice of the underlying feelings that accompanied me when deciding whether to attend the event, and honestly, cannot fully articulate why, but I knew that something profound and important would result from attending. Specifically, there was a deep sensation surrounding Catherine, and that was before we had met.

Catherine is unlike anyone I have ever known. What I mean is that from the start it felt as if Catherine was someone I already knew before we even met. She was familiar to me. There exists a unique and special bond between us that we are both aware enough to recognize and appreciate. Our union has brought change to both our lives in positive and meaningful ways. The combination of us may appear highly contrasting on the surface – we often find a sense of amusement in contemplating our union. We think in different ways and our work is distinct from each other. Yet, it is those offbeat divergences that complement one another, and it seems to work. It has resulted in writing Creative Writing Energy together; a title we are excited about because the topics are a shared passion. Moreover, we are honored to share the culmination of our connection to bring that positivity direct to you in the form of these words.        

Keeping that in mind, let’s look at some of the signs to be aware of that may signify a profound connection has entered your creative world:

1.       They change you on a profound level. You will gradually sense that there is something about you that will never be the same. You may begin to feel a significant shift in your inner landscape that often reflects in your outer life.

2.      The energy exchange that you have with a soul connection on a professional level will ignite your creative flow and bring a sense of “inner-knowing”. In short, these connections will make you want to be a better writer and person.

3.       They bring contemplation to your life and make you aware of the things you love and hate about yourself. These individuals will always mirror your own qualities. In the creative realm, embracing these qualities will bring more passion and integrity to your words.

4.       You know that you won’t forget them. We meet so many people over the course of our life. Our memories fade over time but soul connections cannot be easily forgotten. The imprint they leave on your soul, your work and life cannot be erased.

It is delicious, is it not? Soul work and life’s mysteries. The most important thing to remember when it comes to our creative soul connections is that when it happens, you will know. Writing doesn’t always have to be a solitary process. There is no mistaking the divine phenomena that exist when two souls come together to create for a higher purpose – you feel it all the way from your crown to the tips of your toes and it feels wonderful.

Therefore, the next time you sense something different or profound about someone you encounter along your writing journey, don’t be too hasty to push it aside. Allow yourself to submerge in the feelings and sit with the current of energies and acknowledge your intuitive powers. It is often these special connections that reveal to us more about ourselves and begin to shine a light on the path leading toward our higher-creative minds. It’s amazing what soul connections can help us to achieve as artists and as human beings.


Excerpt from Creative Writing Energy: Tools to Access your Higher-Creative Mind.


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Dreamtime Stories: The Sacred World of Creative Energy

Seven Sisters – A Dreaming Story

Since the beginning of time storytelling has played a vital role in the evolution of humanity. It is no secret that storytelling originated through visual drawings, such as cave depictions and paintings, before shifting into oral traditions that passed down through the generations. It is through stories that we seek to learn about the world and the universe, and it also helps us understand relationships.

Dreamtime Stories

The Australian Aboriginal culture is one of the world’s oldest cultures. Throughout the ages, this magnificent race of indigenous people has used Dreamtime to help them better understand the natural and mystical elements of our world, their people and their culture, as well as their history. Aboriginal children are told early in life about the structured and detailed stories embellished with valuable lessons about their elders’ journeys and accomplishments. In turn, as their children grow into adults, passing the Dreamtime stories to the younger generations becomes their responsibility.

The Aborigines believed that Dreamtime was the very beginning, and that the land and the people were created by the spirits. They believe the spirits were responsible for creating all that exists, including their totems and their Dreaming.

Dreamtime stories are more than myths, legends or fables. These fascinating spiels are far from fairytales. They are the Aborigines’ accumulated knowledge, spirituality and wisdom. The storyteller’s role is really that of cultural educator, channeling their spiritual Dreaming, which is demonstrated through visual art, oral storytelling, dance and music, as well as totems and lore. Together they form an all-encompassing mystical whole – The Dreaming.

Spirituality and Story

Aboriginal spirituality is deeply linked to the land. This ancient race of earthly worshippers believe that all objects are living and share the same soul or spirit as the people. A feeling of oneness, interconnectedness and belonging rests at the core of their beliefs. They learn to see with their “inner-eye” and view the world through the lens of their souls – which means there is no sense of separateness between the material world and the sacred world of creative energy. These relationships and the knowledge of how they are interconnected are expressed through their sacred stories.

While stories have been used to articulate the experiences and tribulations of our earliest ancestors to guide, teach and inform, and have existed to provide cautionary warnings to their predecessors, it also through storytelling that we have searched for the sacred dimension of life. We need to be ceaselessly reminded of the authentic nature of our lives, and we need our artistic inspiration to propel and transform those energies within and between us into messages that will continue to uplift and influence the generations.

It is well-established that when we raise our level of vibration, we attract influences from higher realms. While we don’t know for certain where artistic inspiration originates, this wonderous resource is available to us all and is the cornerstone of all creation. This is not a vague, mystical conundrum as many might think. In fact, just as the ancient race of Aborigines have practiced seeing with their “inner-eye”, thus, connecting with the source of all creative energy to produce their sacred Dreamtime stories, similarly the higher realms are available to every human being.

It is at this higher level of the creative process that we become a transparent agent for another intelligence to pass through us. From this perspective, we receive fragments of intuitive revelations and become hosts to energies much larger than we are, originating from mysterious and spiritual realms. Simply put, God speaks to us through art; and I’m not necessarily talking about God in the sense of any identity espoused by religion, but that deepest sense of God in the formless existence of the eternal perfect.

All people of the world are offered this unique gift to increase our perspective of the human condition, and these insightful nuggets are often left behind in the form of works of art, including stories. The connotations of this phenomenon are significant. It is when artists reach into those higher realms to express deeper levels of the human experience that art transcends art and has the potential to help awaken something within us.

So, how as modern-day storytellers can we raise our vibrations and establish a connection to the higher realms and use those mystical currents to inform our own version of Dreamtime stories?

The answer lies in a time before our lives became a fast-track series of fleeting experiences and modern innovations – the past.

Dreamtime Story Tools

Ground yourself and connect with the earth

The Australian Aborigines believe in their connection to the land. Humans have always been in close contact with the earth, but our contemporary lifestyles have served to disconnect us from the earth’s energy, making us more vulnerable to stress and illness. The Aborigines use the earth to recover wellbeing. By doing so, they pay attention to all four dimensions of our being – mind, body, spirit and land.

Aboriginal beliefs tied to the earth have been reinforced through modern research. Dr. James Oschman, biophysicist and pioneer Earthing researcher, states: “The moment your foot touches the earth, your physiology changes. An immediate normalization begins, and an anti-inflammatory switch is turned on.”

Aside from the physiological benefits to get barefoot and dig your feet into the earth, connecting with earth’s energy reminds us of our connection to the creative source energy. When we can quieten our thoughts, feel and connect with the earth, we can harness that energy to propel us through the invisible doors to higher realms.

Live from the Heart

Aboriginal spirituality is so incredibly diverse, but at the heart of their spirituality is an emphasis on caring and sharing. Being kind to others significantly improves our lives. I am not just talking about a polite exchange of courteous behaviour here; I am talking about the real stuff. Being authentic in every facet of your life, to yourself and those lives you touch along the way, creates a ripple effect from the inside out.

When we express love for ourselves and others, we are demonstrating love for all of creation. Practicing kindness and appreciation raises our vibration to a higher level, allowing the divine, eternal currents to flow through to us.

Release Your Dream to the World

The world needs its artists. Your Dreaming through story is a gift to the world that has the potential to change and uplift lives. By raising your own vibration and embracing the mystical currents and allowing them to flow through you and into your stories, you are helping to transcend the human condition into magical realms.

Like electricity flowing through wire. Only the zap is a remedy.


It’s time for You to your raise your vibration!

Tips like this and so much more can be discovered in our upcoming release, Creative Writing Energy: Tools to Access Your Higher-Creative Mindwhere you find a wide range of alternative methods and ideas that you can use to access your higher-creative mind and get those words flowing. 

Creative Writing Energy: Tools to Access Your Higher-Creative Mind is the first in a series for authors from bestselling and award-winning authors, Kim Petersen and Catherine Evans.

Click here and be the first to get access to Creative Writing Energy: Tools to Access Your Higher-Creative Mind as soon as it’s released – plus, join our clan and you’ll get more than just a book – you’ll receive a weekly writing prompt in the form of a wonderful Oracle Card that we’re creating for authors as part of our series, and you’ll become part of a loving writing community interested in maximising your highest-creative potential!

Give us Break – it only took a zillion takes to get this far filming our first video… oh how we laughed!
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writing

Transcend Through Story: Unlock Your Imagination

 

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“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

~ Albert Einstein

Every now and then, I am drawn into another realm, a wonderous and boundless kingdom where the only factor limiting the possibilities is the scope of my thoughts. I don’t need to go anywhere physically to enter this other world. I could be sitting on my outdoor lounge beneath the sun, or at the beach digging in the sand with my children as they play near the shore. I could even be punching the letters on my keyboard, just as I did when producing this article.  It doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing, I always have access to this rich and magical endowment that I can channel anytime and anywhere I choose – my imagination.

Our imagination is one of the greatest gifts we are given and it is as intertwined with the beautiful mystery of life as the certainty of the sun rising at dawn tomorrow. We can’t touch it or taste it, and we can’t hear it or smell it. There are no scientific analytics or mathematical formulas to support its existence, yet we all know it’s there – the invisible thoughts lifting us up and transporting us to other places.

It is imagination that forms the cornerstone of ingenuity. It is essential for the continued evolution of humanity and it is the foundation of all creation.

In his series of texts in The marriage of Heaven and Hell, the 18th century intuitive poet William Blake made this wry comment: “What is now proved was once only imagin’d.” As you consider the simplicity of these words of wisdom and allow them to seep into your essence, your imagination will begin to kick into action.

Take a look around. Everything you see and all you experience with your physical senses emerged from somebody else’s imagination. For something to exist in this world, it must first be anchored firmly into your imagination. Without this perpetual resource, life becomes stifled and creativity is halted.

During his lifetime, Blake was largely considered an outlier for the mystical undercurrents expressed through his creativity – and that’s a nice way of putting it. Yet Blake is now recognized as a seminal figure in the history of poetry for his rich symbolism that embraces imagination as “human existence itself”.

However, William Blake wasn’t alone in his radically insightful views. Throughout the ages, virtually all spiritual teachings speak of the power of imagination; and that invisible formless realm has been bestowed upon you as your birthright.

Our lives today mostly encompass a combination of fast-moving experiences strung together by a series of innovative moments playing out on the leading edge of existence. These are exciting times where revolution appears commonplace, in the form of the technology infiltrating every field from fast food to finances. We’re closer together yet further apart thanks to the internet, and each generation contends with profound social, economic and technological transformations.

A fast-track life with the world at your fingertips can often mean a ceaseless internal merry-go-round spinning around the edges of your soul. It can be overwhelming and stressful, and sometimes we lose sight of the important stuff like love, sacred connections and that beautiful essence peering out from behind your cagey eyeballs.

So, while you’re taking that look around at everything that was once in someone else’s imagination, ask yourself if you’ve neglected your own. Have you left it at the threshold of adulthood to gather the dust of the passing years? Or perhaps your deadlines have highjacked it along with your mortgage repayments.

Maybe. Maybe not.

No one could blame you if you have temporarily misplaced your wild imagination. We are in an age swamped with selfies and Instagram, little Tweets here, and bigger Tweets there. Did someone mention Snapchat? Yeah, I just heard the teenager throw me some backchat.

What’s new?

Your entire life is probably now chronicled on Facebook and you just must keep up with the latest cat memes and viral diarrhea – right?

You’ll also need to remember to pay your bills on time, feed your kids after dance class, follow the rules, and for heaven’s sake – who let out the damned cat? Catch a little Netflix before bed. You may manage something more, if you last that long, because you’re so tired working your butt off to meet the responsibilities that are mounting up somewhere around your hairline, that you feel like your brain will begin to emulsify through your ears.

Meanwhile, you have convinced yourself that it’s completely normal for your eight-year-old to watch adults play with Kinder Surprise toys and Frozen figurines on YouTube just so you can grab a quick five minutes alone and gather your whirling thoughts.

Okay. I might be exaggerating a little. Maybe that scenario doesn’t exactly apply to all of us, or all the time. The point is, most of us are so busy, our childlike imagery often becomes a distant memory we seldom entertain, excluding those Kinder Surprise-playing-grown-ups on YouTube, of course.

In his wonderful book, Wishes Fulfilled, Wayne Dyer says, “Today, quantum physics confirms the universe is made up of formless (spirit) energy, and that particles (that is, things) do not originate from particles.” Meaning everything springs from something akin to your imagination.

Everything.

Think about that for a moment. I bet while contemplating those words something deep within you recognizes the truth. It certainly gets my inner-bells chiming, especially when considering this observation made by the father of quantum physics, Max Plank: “Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and, therefore, part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”

I don’t know about you, but when I first read those words something unfurled and soared through my being at the realization that science cannot take us through the doors of the divine, no matter how hard we knock. The truth is we are as mysterious and beautiful as life itself, and the power of creation is within all of us. It’s within the places you choose to take your thoughts, and the ideas that seemingly spring from nowhere. And it lives, thrives and breathes through our stories.

Beneath my author name that appears on the banner on my website is the tagline “stories that transcend”. I chose that phrase because I believe story is the perfect instrument in which to nurture the endless creativity of imagination, and I believe it is through story that we can help make the world a better place.

It is particularly true that through fantasy and paranormal storytelling that authors can transport readers to other worlds brimming with magical wonders and spectacular ideas – stories born through the creative forces of imagination that provide an outlet to escape from the demands of modern life as we begin to consider the “what if?”.

Yet, as we ponder the magnificence of stories and imagination, and the escapism they provide to our busy lives, there’s something more at play here. It’s a golden opportunity to snatch back those moments when you dressed up in your favorite super-hero costume and flung yourself off the garage roof; or to reclaim those times when you lost yourself in a world of make-believe that felt so real, you couldn’t quite figure out the difference between the parallel realities.  Nor did you want to.

So, as you turn the pages of a great fantasy, paranormal romance or sci-fi book and immerse yourself in the characters, a tiny spark ignites the dormant embers of your own imagination, in turn reminding you of your own childlike imagery.

Then something happens – the story ends.

Once you’ve read the last line and your fleeting visit to a fictional world has come to an end, you’re often confronted with the reality of your life. The enchanting tendrils of fantasy begin to fade as the weight of the “real world” sets in. Too soon does the inspiration of a great story merge with the internal merry-go-round until it’s lost somewhere in the gray matter of your brain.

But what if you chose to hold on to that feeling? What if you internalized it just a little longer until you have convinced yourself for a few magnificent moments that anything is possible? And what if you danced with the galaxy twinkling beneath your rational thoughts till your essence soared like the inner-child playing make-believe?

Reading the words strung together to form a story created by someone else’s imagination, unknowingly gives us permission to unleash our own. But it’s when we really take the time to ponder this greatest of gifts that we realize the limitless possibilities that abound in us.

Through the mystical chords of imagination, story will help save the world. It is through transcending beyond your daily responsibilities and releasing your imagination that you will expand and enrich your own life.

Imagine that?

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Author spotlight, Uncategorized

Becoming Whole with Catherine Evans

 

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I was a child of the ’80s and grew up with a firm understanding of rules and boundaries and what those restrictions meant to my life. Breaking the rules had consequences I’d rather avoid. I didn’t want my mouth rinsed out with soap, so I didn’t use curse words. I didn’t want to see the hard end of a wooden spoon, so I didn’t chat back to my mother. And I definitely didn’t want to miss out on dessert, so I ate what was put in front of me at dinner time … most of the time. Swallowing and choking on brussels sprouts just wasn’t worth the sweet stuff. Sorry, ma.

Adolescence hit with a hefty side of rebellion. I was that girl – you know, the one that seemed to have all the bright ideas about pushing the boundaries. My geography teacher disliked me so much, she spent parent-teacher night bitching about me to my aunt who had turned up to discuss my cousins academic progress. That went down well. The phone line was red-hot that evening. Maybe I should have thought twice before slicking the teacher’s chair with superglue and darting wet paper bullets through straws all over her classroom.

Hmm. No comment.

Once I passed those rebellious teenage years and emerged into adulthood, I realized the rules for adults were slightly less forgiving and accompanied with much higher stakes. The government want to meet their revenue quota. I don’t want to help them achieve that. I don’t want to go to prison either.

I’m still a rebel at heart. I’m a risk taker, a visionary; a dreamer. I’ll take that leap and bound full-force into unknown territory – even when it terrifies me. For me, life isn’t about conforming or pleasing other people. I’m considerate, compassionate and sympathetic, but being subservient to those traits won’t allow me to shine. Loving and honoring the people in my life doesn’t mean that I have to deny that which lights me up on the inside.

This is how I’m wired. This is why I’m finding that I’m meeting new people that feel and share similar qualities as me – likeminded souls that run full pelt into love and care less about the opinions of others; deep thinkers unashamed of who they are or what they want out of life.

Those rules – the ones that are written, the ones that are not – still exist. We know them and live by them even when we question them. Without them, havoc would reign supreme. Or would it?

Catherine Evans has a vision to change the world.

Sound familiar?

It should because you’re here too and so is your legacy. Changing the world sounds like a momentous task, but I’m going to tell you that it’s not. It begins with the small stuff. It begins with you and me, and the choices we make daily. If every one of us can deliberately compel ourselves to accept all love, kindness, faith and hope, and reject all suffering, sorrow and depression, then perhaps that is how we begin to change the world – from the inside out.

Catherine Evans wants to become whole. She wants to do what lights her up inside and make a difference in the world. I am proud to call her my friend as much as I am proud to introduce her to you.

 

Meet Catherine

 

I write under two pen names, which in some ways is good because it allows readers to find the books they want to read (or more correctly, avoid the books they hate). But there’s a part of me that’s saddened by this.

 

Let me give you a brief summary of me. I’m the eldest child, born into a conservative Catholic family. I am an introvert who avoids conflict, a rebel who doesn’t understand societal rules and strictures. There are two sayings that resonate with me. One is – “Learn the rules properly so you know how to break them.” It hung on my office door for years. It’s one of my beliefs.

 

For me, the introvert avoiding conflict doesn’t go well with a rebel. My rebellions have been rather small and personal. For example, I rarely wear dresses or make-up, and have no clue about fashion. I have long hair that’s not dyed and going gray. I worked in science where most of my colleagues were men. I had sex before marriage. I have no kids. I gave up religion. I kept my surname after marriage – and if it wasn’t for my husband’s strongly held belief in marriage, I would not be married.

 

I hate labels, categories, boxes, systems, rote, generalizations, and rules. I hate mindless following.

 

I love deep thinking and deep discussions, especially where you disagree but keep talking to find out why. I love challenging myself and my thinking.

 

When I started to write for publication, I didn’t realize that books had genres and subgenres and that these had rules. How I didn’t know this is quite amazing because I had read books all my life. In my defense, I submit that I read widely without caring about the genre.  The only option is that the book is interesting. Libraries are set up so the non-fiction is categorized by topic, but fiction is just alphabetical order. To me, that means story books are story books.

 

Not so. I had to learn what box I wanted to write in when I didn’t believe in boxes. I went with romance because I found Romance Writers of Australia who offered help and feedback online. When I narrowed it down to romance, I thought I was right, but no. I learned that I wrote cross-subgenres, which made it hard to market your book.

 

By this stage, it was doing my head in. My stories didn’t fit into niches. I hated niches.

 

While I was writing rural romance incorrectly, I realized I could write erotica and there were far fewer rules with that. When I wrote about sex, and included swearing [cursing], and was thinking about publishing this, my family were appalled. They asked me not to use my name; not to tell anyone; to hide this side of me.

 

I became two writing personalities.

 

Over the past eight years I have realized that all the little rebellious parts of me have become Cate Ellink. The parts of me that conformed to my family/society wishes have remained with Catherine Evans.

 

I bloody love Cate Ellink. She’s written smoking hot sex. She lusts after footy players and dreams happy stories. She unashamedly explores fetishes, taboos, spirituality. She questions her thinking about society norms. She wants to change the world. Keeping quiet and fitting in is not really doing it for me anymore. I’m getting to the point where I need to become whole. I’m of the age where I really don’t give a damn about others’ opinions, and we need change in the world before it’s a catastrophe for humankind.

 

It’s difficult to buck the system. It’s even harder to stand strong when people belittle and ridicule you. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have readers and writers who don’t care what I write, they just accept me. That’s been such a strength to me, allowing me to think I need to be whole outside of this reading/writing world.

 

Now Kim is tempting me into the paranormal. It’s not somewhere Catherine or Cate has gone before, and yet I love reading paranormal and my belief is in the paranormal. When I write in that subgenre, I won’t be able to manage three distinct personalities. I’m going to have to join all my parts together, allowing the different names to distinguish which part of my mind you’re comfortable reading! But I’ll be me, Catherine, Cate and whoever else I write as. It’s as exciting as it is daunting.

 

Do you have any tips for me?

Find Catherine:

Website | Twitter | Amazon | Facebook 

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writing

So, you think you can write?

 

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“I should write a book about my life; it would be a bestseller.”

“Yeah, I’ve always thought about writing a book someday.”

So, what are you waiting for – do it.

If I had a penny for every time that I heard those words uttered since I’ve been a writer, I might be on easy street by now. Everyone thinks they can a write a book. In fact, writing is probably the only profession that is taken in such a nonchalant manner that just about every person with a high school education thinks they too have what it takes to write books. Any fellow authors reading this post know exactly what I’m talking about.

Perhaps it is because writing is an exercise in which we all participate daily. We’re writing through our schooling and further studies and scribbling on post-it notes at work. We’re scrolling our screens bursting with words and stroking our keyboards to pen a response. We’re jotting down last-minute grocery lists, helping our children with their writing homework, and maybe even pouring our hearts into a journal at the end of each day.

Naturally, you’re a writer. When I listen to a piece of music that moves me, I’m not inclined to believe that I could make music that will produce the same result. The same holds true when I hear the beautiful sounds of a vocalist or admire the brush strokes of a gifted artist. I don’t pretend I can design a kick-ass book cover just because I play around with graphics sometimes, or that I can fix the transmission in my car because I can drive.

My husband has no desire to write a book; and trust me when I say he has experienced a colorful life that could knock the socks off any great story premise. He is Dutch (do I need to add more?). He left Holland behind and set off alone on a global adventure in his late twenties with ideas to travel and see more of this side of the world. Europe was his well-worn backyard. The U.S didn’t appeal to him, and he loved all things creepy-crawly and poisonous. Coming Downunder was a no-brainer.

He lived in New Zealand for a year before landing a sponsorship visa in Australia, during which time he met me. Exciting notions to travel across Australia in his rather pimped-up campervan quickly fizzled after that – but not without a hefty side of soul-searching on his part. In the end though, I guess I proved too much to resist because he never did embark on that intended trip, nor did he return to his homeland. I may have altered his plans just a little, but he still doesn’t want to write a book. That old seedy campervan, however, could write some eyebrow-raising tales, I’m sure.

Ah, the European in my life.

The truth is, if writing a book was as easy as most of the population believes, then writing a book would be pretty ordinary and all those folks wouldn’t just be shooting off at the mouth, they’d be too busy writing that damned book. But writing a book is anything but ordinary. Authors are anything but ordinary for that matter. I always thought I was a little peculiar… until I met other authors. Then, peculiar took on a whole new meaning.

It takes a particular type of person to not only write a book, but to persist at writing books. They are a legion of people belonging to an idiosyncratic faction obsessed with storytelling. We are slaves to the written word; vessels of passion striving to convey our message through story; and craving to uplift and transport our readers to other worlds. We are the individuals that function between long bouts of solitary hours living in our heads and real life.

Writing and publishing books is no easy task. I won’t lie. It requires fire, passion and faith. When asked, I tell people that it takes a lot of self-discipline, a truck load of tenacity, the uncanny ability to cultivate self-belief, and a hot, burning desire to improve on your craft. In short, persistence is a fitting word here.

Thinking back, my journey into writing began with Golden Book fairytales. I’d devour them over and over as a child and dream myself into the pages of mystical worlds. Stories enthralled me from a young age. When I was about fifteen-years-old, I sat down and began writing my first chapter by hand – a fast-paced take on a trashy Jackie Collins novel. The story lasted two entire pages until I realized there was a lot more to writing a book than what I had imagined. It was then that I could really appreciate the process authors go through in not only producing a book, but creating a captivating story that lasted for more than two pages.

It would be a very long time before I arrived at the moment that I sat before a blank screen and began to write my first book, Millie’s Angel. Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing at the time. All I knew was that I had to write, and that somehow, I could do this – I could write more than two pages of a book, and I could make it as great a story as I could at the time. More than that, I had to do it for myself. At the time I had reached a pivotal moment in my life. For some reason I knew that I had to embark on a journey that would forever change my life-path.

For every writer there is an underlying urge to tell a story. It’s like an invisible haul on your subconscious mind that you don’t realize is there until you quieten your thoughts, sit with the feeling and listen – and then you do and something else begins to happen. Suddenly, you’re writing the words and your entire being rejoices in a delicious explosion of delight and wonder. Tiny, zealous tingles burst through your body, bringing you to a place of knowing and confirming that now is the moment you had been awaited – you are a storyteller.

The feeling is unmistakable, and one that cannot ever be denied thereafter. My writing has changed a lot since I wrote Millie’s Angel. These days, I have a better understanding of the industry. My writing voice is stronger and unique to me. I know what I want from my characters and stories, and I am my harshest critic.

I have learned more about storytelling, genre tropes and reader expectations, and strive daily to deliver my best work to the page. For me and my stories it’s about my characters. I want to take readers on a journey through the choices my characters make; to introduce them to their innermost thoughts and feelings as the story unfolds and propels them into a fictitious world driven on the edge of reality.

Recently, I was one of the hosting authors on a panel for the Sydney Writer’s Festival. One woman asked how it was possible to create a “real” character in a fantasy world. Since I was the sole speculative fiction author among our panel and currently working on an epic futuristic world governed by vampires, her question was directed at me. I told her that when you bring layers and depth to your characters, and provide profound moments between them throughout the story, it is easy to interject traits and circumstances that feel real, even when they’re facing an oppressing life beneath a group of psychotic undead individuals!

Becoming my characters means my readers can relate to them. By injecting truth in my words, I can find and maintain my overarching story theme, which always encompasses a profound message I wish to bring to the story. This is who I am, and this is ultimately why I am a writer; it is my way of bringing something good into the world; a sense of hope and love through the words and worlds I create and the stories I tell. The world can never fall short on too much love. I write stories not because I think I should, or because one day I thought it was something cool that I could do. It takes a whole lot more than a passing pipedream to be a writer.

I write stories because without story I am nothing. I am a storyteller despite the tribulations that often accompany the life of a writer. The embers persevere and burn strong in my belly. Every day the fire and passion scorch my veins, and it’s never-ending and strong.

 

 

 

 

 

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Uncategorized, writing

The Truth about Love, Sexuality & Creativity

“It is passion, more passion and that we need. The moralist who bans passion is not of our time; his place these many years is with the dead. For we know what happens in a world when those who ban passion have triumphed. When love is suppressed, hate takes place. It is passion and ever more passion that we need if we are to undo the work of hate.”

~    Havelock Ellis

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Photo by Josh Felise on Unsplash

 

I used to be a little girl with a little room filled with nothing particularly girly. There were no pink mermaid curtains draping the windows nor were there white frills adorning the bed covers. I loved climbing trees, riding bikes and erecting forts on top of the carport roof with my younger brother. Wrestling matches were fun too, till one of us was hurt enough to scream blue murder. I’ll be honest, a lot of time that person was my brother. Those were the times when the fun turned sour and I shot dagger-eyes and mouthed terrible things that made him go crying to our mother.

Tsk. Mamma’s boy.

Oh, brothers! There’s a whole lot to say about growing up with a little brother shadowing your every move. Almost three years separate my brother and me, and once upon a time he used to be smaller than me. But you know what? His lack of height had never stood in the way of his ingrained sense of protectiveness for me. He was loyal and courageous, and his love was fierce. I had seen that kid take on the meanest beefcakes in the name of love for me, and I always had his back too.

Although I would not have dreamed of admitting it at the time, my brother was my best friend, and for the most part, I adored hanging out with him. We spent hours creating new adventures and exploring uncharted territory as children. But sometimes, I had to retreat to a place of my own and turn my back on his pouting lips to leave him to his Matchbox cars. I had to shut the door to our room and delve into a world where he was not welcome or permitted. It was the delicate world of dolls.

Yes, dolls. Barbie dolls to be exact. I kept a bag beneath my bed filled with loads of Barbie dolls, one Ken doll, an assortment of accessories, and the biggest kicker of all – a Michael Jackson doll.

Every now and then, I needed to explore the soft feminine urges of the little girl I was and unleash my imagination with a focus on love. Romantic love. You know, the kind of love that springs from your fluttering heart and inevitably results in the happily-ever-after? It is the type of love that captures your breath and steals your soul. It wraps around every cell in your body till you can’t imagine a future without that person.

When you think about it, it is not so unusual that we begin to probe and delve into the beautiful mystery of love from such a young age, because it is love that governs your greater-self, your deeper-self. It is the part of you that connects you to all of creation, and this isn’t something you can ever know intellectually; you can only feel and be aware of it.

Our view of the world is usually less tainted as children. Those magical years when our imagination knows no restrictions are also the years when our memories are the strongest, and our perceptions are most pure. Somehow, we innately realize the knowledge that we are more than the flesh and blood peering back at us when we gaze into the mirror; we know that it is love from which we were born, and love that builds our whole existence.

Then time kicks in. The years pass and we settle into the dense 3D reality of our physical existence. We’re bombarded with societal rules and restrictions, beliefs and religions, fear, hate and worldwide threats breeding the rancid contempt in the bellies of our leaders and spilling into the population. It is greed, materialism, brutality and murder, and the ever-present outcries of injustice constantly influencing and informing our worldview.

The veil thickens and the invisible barriers are firmly placed around our lives, leading to those moments when we forget who we really are. They are the same moments we get to choose if want to continue living beneath the cloak of ignorance or embark on a journey back to the real stuff.

From time to time the curtain will lift to reveal a glimpse of the eternal source gracing all that is. It’s in those moments when you gaze from a mountain peak and your being soars with the beauty filling your essence; or those silent times when your soul lifts higher and you’re encapsulated with a sense of unconditional love; or even a simple gesture from a stranger that touches your heart in a way you hadn’t expected. However, most of all, it’s in the relationships we experience with other people.

In her book, A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson says, “In every relationship, in every moment, we teach each other love or fear.”

It is in demonstrating love toward others that we learn how to love more deeply. In exhibiting fear, we learn to be more frightened of life.

There exists one underlying force that connects us through our entire life. Despite the negative circumstances I mentioned above, humanity strives toward that feeling whether we realize it or not. It forms the basis in each one of our thoughts, interactions and tasks, it informs the words we utter and the way in which we see ourselves – Love.

Bold, fearless, glorious love.

It is love that forms the groundwork of most of our literature, art, music and drama, and love that has given birth to the endless inhibitions that humanity imposes on a false attitude toward sexuality – the most important expression of mankind. Sex is really life expressing love.

Love or fear?

You choose.

“In this relation between a man and a woman, in the sexual act, is expressed the complete physical, psychic, and spiritual hunger of being for another. No other activity or expression of mankind provides such a total outlet for love as the sex act.”

~ U.S Andersen.

When contemplating that statement, it’s easy to recognize how little sex is understood, and how abused, particularly when we consider how readily available sex has become in our virtual worlds. We live in an age where voyeuristic perversions are fostered by the exploitation of sex. The overexposure of sex has had a significant impact on changes in our sexual behaviors and continues to influence our younger generations.

At the other end of the spectrum we face the age-old taboos and condemnation surrounding the sex act. This is when people get touchy and uncomfortable about sex, but how could such a natural and wondrous part of being human become saddled with shame, ridicule and immoral ordinance?

When love is present, there is no such thing.

Love is the recognition of our true selves – the motivation for unity and the desire for fusion. It’s no wonder our stories are brimming with tales about love and romance. Even those authors who claim not to write romance are really writing some of the greatest love stories of all because it is love that flows from them and into their words; and love and passion, fueled with imagination, that embodies their creativity.

I believe every human is a creative. Every human can manifest and love; every being is ultimately cut from the same divine cloth. It’s the golden threads that weave your heart and soul together and bond you with the universal energy – that brilliant light shining resiliently from behind every negative thought and experience that lets you know you are loved.

Love and creativity are one and the same. Love is the source of creativity.

Through all our experiences – the good and the bad – there is one profound and complicated sentiment that remains a universal thirst. One element is instinctual to our nature that is continuously streaming through the veil that blinds us from the truth. It is the invisible link driving us to a common basis – love and sexuality.

When I was a little girl, my dolls fell in love in the stories I created for them. Now that I’m a woman, my characters fall in love through the stories I create for them. I fall in love every day through story, my beautiful interactions with people, sacred soul connections I cherish, gratitude and the simple pleasures of life.

Love is more than a word on a page or a choice; love is fundamental to being human, and you cannot evolve, thrive and appreciate without it.

It is through our divinity that we are created by the source of love. It is through our humanity we learn how to express, give and receive love in our physicality.

When we look past the taboos, the abuse, and the exploitation of sex, and nestle down and really search ourselves within, we can acknowledge and celebrate the magnificence of sexuality and all its forms of expression. In his wonderful book Three Magic Words, U.S. Andersen articulates this perfectly when he states, “The end of the sex act is not procreation – it is the expression of love!”

Free yourself. Love yourself. Express yourself.

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author interview, Author spotlight, Authors, Books, Box set, Feature, New Release, Paranormal Romance, Preorder, Supernatural Suspense, Suspense, thriller, writing

Rosemary A Johns: Vampires & Angels

Award-winning and best selling Author Rosemary A Johns has always been a rebel, a trait I can closely relate to 😉  She writes sexy British anti-heroes, savage vampires, and epic battles. Recently I had the pleasure to chat with Rosemary about her newest release, Vampire Huntress, writing and her incredible theater background.

  1. When did you write your first book and what inspired you to write it?

I became a traditionally published short story writer at fourteen and then a playwright, so my first published novel (BLOOD DRAGONS, the first in my REBEL VAMPIRES series), was at aged thirty-four!

I’d taken time out of writing to care for my son who’s an autistic savant: everything he sees he remembers. It’d sparked me to wonder what it’d be like to be a vampire savant and to live for centuries, remembering both wonders and horrors with the clarity of a photograph. Would it be a blessing or a curse?

BLOOD DRAGONS IS AVAILABLE HERE: 

 

2. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I loved bringing the emotion and voice from my theatre background into the novel format. Writing is a thrilling emotional rollercoaster for me; I immerse myself and live it alongside the characters. Publishing my first book was an amazing experience because seeing other people’s connection to that – there’s even a rock song inspired by it! – has been incredible. But it hasn’t changed that rollercoaster.

 

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Energizes!! In ‘first draft’ stage I go into a ‘zone’ and I see what’s happening like a film in front of me. This helped a lot when I wrote plays and screenplays. It’s frequently said that my series would make good films, and it’s been awesome to hear the audiobooks. I think they work because of this.

 

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Distractions! Usually, phone calls or just something small that jolts me out of that ‘zone’. You have to write each day, and it’s tough if you have to start all over again.

 

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Gorgeous covers for my books! I’m in love with the current covers for REBEL ANGELS!

 

  1. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

I love writing blokes. Actually, REBEL VAMPIRES is written from the POV of Light, a male British vampire. His voice had been in my head for about a year before I could write the series. People say he’s my male alter ego!

I think it comes partly from being a playwright, where you need to be able to write and understand the psychology of both genders equally, and partly from the fact that I grew up living in the grounds of an all-boys school where my dad was a teacher!

 

  1. Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

 

I think authors often do feel emotions strongly but it’s more about understanding people’s motivations – hate, greed, or love – and then being able to write those, than whether you experience them yourself. Emotion is at the centre of everything I write because that’s what makes you both fall in love with the characters and experience the adventure along with them!

 

  1. What are you working on now?

My new series – REBEL ANGELS! The first in the series VAMPIRE HUNTRESS is out now.

It’s a Buffy meets Lucifer addictive new series.

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Vampires and angels are locked in a deadly war.

Half vampire/half angel, Violet, is dragged into the supernatural world when her sister disappears.

Violet’ll have to rely on a sexy vampire geek, while facing off the harem boy angel threatening her sister.

And there’s only one way she’ll win: by letting out the monster… 

VAMPIRE HUNTRESS FINAL

VAMPIRE HUNTRESS IS AVAILABLE HERE: viewbook.at/VampireHuntress

The second book in the series VAMPIRE PRINCESS: REBEL ANGELS BOOK TWO by Rosemary A Johns is available on pre-order here: viewbook.at/VampirePrincess

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VAMPIRE MAGIC, which is set in the REBEL ANGELS world is one of the novels in THE SHADOW FILES!

Mages and witches battle in an eternal supernatural war…

Thanks for having me on today Kim, it’s been fun!

 The Shadow Files

 

Find Rosemary A Johns on the web:

Amazon ~ Website ~ Facebook ~ Bookbub 

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