Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Guys, I'm thrilled to welcome my dear friend and amazing author KATIE LEE to The Hook today. Her debut novel, WHAT ENDURES, is now available (see below for links to purchase!) 

Hi, Katie! Please tell us a little about yourself and the novel you’ve written.
I’m a new author, and this is my first publication. I’m very excited about the book “What Endures” which is a contemporary romance, but not your typical romance novel. It’s a great love story about the strength of real love, what it can withstand.
It’s about two people – Jason and Megan – who go through a terrible crisis where Jason’s memories are wiped out as a result of a car accident and they have to rebuild their lives again. But through this rebuilding, they get to discover what love really is.
What genre do you prefer to write? Why?
I like writing Contemporary/New Adult romances. I love a good love story and I’ve always been fascinated about why two people fall in love, why a relationship works. I’m the annoying person who asks couples how they met. And I think love stories give us hope that we can find that connection that goes beyond ourselves, that gives us the strength to face whatever life throws at us.
Complete this sentence:  Nobody knows this about me, but I really love to cook.
Do you have any writing rituals? Self-imposed rules?
I always break my rules! So no, I don’t have those any longer. I try to write when I can and to be efficient about it.
Regarding writing, what one piece of advice do you consider most valuable? 
I once read somewhere – can’t remember where now – but it basically said that you can never be afraid to “kill your babies” – the babies being your words. I think that’s awesome advice. Never be afraid to cut out things that don’t work, and to edit in a way that works for your story and characters.
What do you believe to be the high points of being a writer? What about the low points, if any?
The high points are creating these great characters – and playing with them! Because trust me, I like putting my characters through the ringer! They need to work for their happy endings! I also love feedback from readers. The low points are writer’s block (ugh!) and parts of the publishing process that can be as I put it – soul killing.
What are you working on currently?
I’m working on Book 2 of a 3 book series about the insanity of Hollywood – the lies and manipulation – and how you can find true love in the midst of it.
What is your favorite quote (any topic)?
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. (Teddy Roosevelt – and oddly enough, I work in a building named after him!)
You’re on a desert island, which three books (other than your own) would you have with you to read and re-read until you, hopefully, are rescued?
Wow. Just 3? How about I just take my one Kindle? That’s cheating? Sigh. OK.
(        Anne of Green Gables, The Princess Bride, Any book that tells me how to build something (raft, fire, etc) so I can get off the dang island!
How can we find you? Provide links to website, photos, etc.
Twitter - @KatieLeeAuthor
My book is available August 1, 2013 and can be purchased here –

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Mystery of The Writer - Demystified.

Let's say you've just finished indulging in your favorite meal. You're full. You're satisfied. Momentarily content. A half an hour passes and suddenly you find yourself hungry again. And not just any run-of-the-mill hunger. You're damn famished. No, you didn't just eat Chinese and no, you don't have a tapeworm. What you have, my dear, is something far more exasperating. You have the analogy of The Writer. The blueprint behind why he/she does what he/she does.

Most Writers write because they simply cannot stop themselves. It is a need that can't and/or won't be avoided or effectively ignored. Not for any decent stretch of time, anyway. It is the bottomless pit, the itch incapable of scratching. The relentless void of a calling that is destined to remain unrequited.

Recently my fellow writer friends and I have been talking about what drives us toward a face-off with the blank page. What it is that nudges us to carve a story out of a raw chunk of words. And we have collectively agreed that we are among a mutated mass of individuals, zombie-like in our demeanor, following the dictates of a craft we admittedly both love and hate. We neither devise nor edit the rules. We swallow frustration like it's cold well water and we've gone days without a sip. We suffer rejection, criticism and disappointment like nobodies business. We are the Rocky Balboa's of the literary landscape. All together now - ADRIAN!

The typical writer is born, not made. He is easily recognizable - the infant behind the nursery glass clutching a tiny notepad and pen. As he grows, The Writer can often be spotted sitting on the sidelines curbed or benched while his adolescent peers are indulging in a healthy game of sport. That far-off look in his eye isn't the manifestation of depression. Nope. The Writer is actually plotting a scene or making friends with a brand new character appearing inside his head. Madness, you say? Perhaps, but it cannot be soothed. And sometimes even The Writer himself doesn't see it happening until its too late. He may miss or dismiss the signs. He assumes that it's completely normal to read a book while simultaneously re-writing the passages. Doesn't everybody do that? He has yet to understand. He did not come to this earth as one of its civilians.

If only.

An idyllic life awaits those not remanded to becoming the future word jockeys. So what becomes of them? What fate is in store for The Writer whose brain doesn't cease manipulating monologues and crafting colloquial catchphrases? He will be join the brother and sisterhood of the Writership. And he will do what he was conceived to do. God help him. God help us all.

Listen to the very wise words of a friend and fellow Writer, Krista Krueger, as she so perfectly describes the plight of the wordsmith.  "Most of us can’t just write.  We do it when our families are sleeping, in the dark of night and the blue beginning of the day.  We do it at work instead of eating.  We do it as the pile of laundry grows around us.  We do it because we love it, are obsessed with it and devoted to the art of creating our own worlds and characters that become real to us."

So there you have it. The jig is up. A Writer is as a Writer does. Or maybe it's the other way around. A Writer does as a Writer IS. Have pity if you will, but whatever you do keep quiet about it. The Writer works best in complete silence. You're welcome.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Just Right or Maybe Not

So, yeah, that Goldilocks chick was pretty persnickety, wasn't she? You guys remember her, don't you? The sassy little lass who broke into someones house and helped herself to their furniture, their food and their beds. She was on a quest for rightness. And apparently it's perfectly fine to break and enter as long as its in the name of research.

She comes to mind lately as I'm seeing much in the way of this elusive search for "just right." We don't know precisely how to describe it, yet we typically know it when it we find it. When I'm reading, whether it be books or manuscripts, it's the same deal. Some works are too long, too short, too hot, too cold, too hard, too soft. For me. Therein lies the beauty of subjectivity. What's just right for me may be all wrong for you. Not such an attractive thing, really. Especially for the writer desperately seeking their publishing home.

Though technically non-intruders, most authors tread carefully into the editorial houses hoping for a shot at the proverbial porridge - publication. They hope, often against the odds, of connecting with an agent or editor who will not only appreciate the fruits of their labor, but who will also deem it just right for their list.
You haven't cut your writing teeth until you've been on the receiving end of the letters explaining why you were passed over. The subjectivity in those rejections can send you spinning. For example: one person may decide the work is too frothy while another may find it's not frothy enough. One may claim it lacked humor and yet another may say they'd hoped for something more serious.

Yup. Spin away. Such is the way the writing world turns. It can be a challenge to decipher who or what to believe. In a sea of Goldilockses how does a writer know which one to trust? I think its a matter of finding what is also just right for you, as the creator of the work. Editorial advice can be a valuable asset but on the other side of that coin it can also bring with it intense confusion. It's at moments like this when it's best to turn to your gut-o-meter (You know all about that thingy, guys. We've talked about that one before.) Check inside yourself and decide which sage words of wisdom feel most sagey. What rings true to you?

So, yeah, take what you can from the subjective masses - bears at times - and keep on truckin'. Or take a nap. But for Pete's sake, do it in your own bed. You never know where that strange mattress has been...

Monday, July 1, 2013

Books, Bikes and Bunny Ears

I met a little boy today whose name is Hunter. Hunter is this many (I know you can't see me, but I'm holding up the contents of one hand.) Thick-cheeked, round-bellied, a gap where his bottom front teeth should be, Hunter has an immediate and urgent goal. To learn to tie his shoes.

"No Velcro anymore," he explained. Naturally, no self-respecting kindergartner would be caught dead with them. I'm told that just last week he mastered the two-wheeler, sans the training wheels. This kid was no slacker.

I watched as he sat in our reception area, heel resting on the lip of the chair, chin bobbing right and left of his scraped knee, tongue peeking out of his mouth indicating complete concentration. Hunter's mom tossed a carefully placed word of encouragement at him now and again, reminding him about bunny ears and patience.

I read his frustration. And I can relate. When we want to know how to do something, we don't give a hoot about any damn bunnies. We just want to fast forward to that awesome moment. The one where we get it! That moment when we finally know.

But, I've learned that in life the learning is just as important. Just as special a time. It's the precipice between milestones that turn little boys into young men. That gives youth a proper segue into adulthood. And the lessons we glean in those in-betweens are the stuff that often goes unnoticed. Chances are Hunter won't remember the day he learned to secure those laces. He'll only realize that he knows. That's how it goes. It's part of the human condition. One accomplishment to the next, we forget the steps in the middle.

Thirty minutes after he arrived, Hunter and his mother left. He hadn't quite gotten the hang of tying those shoes, but he was close. It ought to be any day now. Another goal met. The magic in the Velcro moments gone forever.

I'm all about the learning, too. My bunny ears are back. After having been an associate agent and then an ex-associate, I am now interning with a new literary agency - Booker Albert Literary. See here: I imagine it's a lot like riding a bike. And hopefully I'll be popping wheelies real soon.

I'm so happy to be a part of this wonderful agency. Bunnies, look out below!