Sunday, November 4, 2012

Guest Blog with Courtney Rene

The Road to being a Writer
By Courtney Rene

The road to being a writer…you hear people, writers, whoever spout off about their journeys and all the trials that went with it.  But, let’s face it if they, we, or I didn’t enjoy what we do, we wouldn’t put ourselves through it.  The journey is part of it.

Like most journeys mine began when I was a small child, early, early on when I wrote a silly story about a pig and won a young authors award for it.  I can’t express the excitement and pride that I felt seeing that silver sticker embossed on the cover of my hand drawn and crayola crayon colored book.  It was also the door that opened up the writer’s world for me.  It was only a tiny crack, and I didn’t realize it at the time, but that feeling of accomplishment was my beginning.

I wrote here and there after that, when I HAD too for school, but that was it.  I was too busy reading everything I could get my hands on.  Then my senior year in high school I got stuck having to take a composition class.  I dreaded that class like you have not idea.  I was forced to write within lines and confines and I hated it and bucked those lines as often as possible.  I have the grade to prove it too.  But as much as I loathe admitting it, I also learned the rules, the grammar, and the map to writing.   Yes, I still struggle mightily with grammar sadly, but thank goodness for spell check! 

I began to write seriously several years ago.  I broke down and took a writing class through the Institute of Children’s Literature and began to see what I could do, for real.  Not for a grade, not for money, but for me.  I learned, and I researched, and I failed more times that I care to admit, but I pressed forward and slowly but surely I began to make my way up that ladder a rung or two.  I found my way into magazines, and anthologies, and finally books. 

One of the hardest things for me though, was learning that not everyone is going to enjoy what I write.  I may love a story and think it’s wonderful, but some people will hate it and not be afraid to say they hate it in no uncertain terms. That was very hard and still is sometimes.  It hurt my feelings and almost made me stop writing.  Rejection is difficult in all things, but having your work that has your blood, sweat, and tears inside, rejected and criticized was crippling.  But since I am not a quitter, and I am stubborn as all heck, I learned to find the constructive help within the hate and used it to learn.  I actually love hearing from people now.  The good, the bad, the in between, I want to know what people think.  If someone didn’t like something, I want to know why so that next time I can do it better.  I don’t pretend to be perfect.  I am way far from it, but I try to get better every day. 

I look back on some of my first published works and see so many things I could have done better.  I see areas that could have been expounded upon or added more depth too, areas that seem rushed.  That is what time and practice are for after all. 

So yeah, my journey to being a published writer was not a cakewalk, but I am still kicking.  I am still learning and I am still churning out stories.  Some that are good, some that are great, and some that still need some work.  But then again, who says my journey is over?  . 

Shadow’s End
Book 3 in the Shadow Dancer Series
Courtney Rene

Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Press
ISBN: 978-1-936403-97-4

Cover Artist: Genene Valleau

Book Description:

The adventure and the struggle continue for Sunny, as the fight for control of Acadia is near.  Battle lines have been drawn, not just by King Gideon, but also by the rebels that were once Sunny’s allies. 

Due to unexpected trips to the ice realm and the fire realm, new allies are found to help build the Army of the Sun.  There are new worlds explored.  New friends and new enemies made. 

Ready or not, Sunny must prepare for what is coming as well as decide where she belongs within it all.  But…what about prom?  What about Leif?  What about home?  How can she, just a seventeen year old girl, rule a whole world?  She’s not even sure if she can get through finals. 

About the Author:

Courtney Rene lives in Ohio with her husband and two children.  She is a graduate and member of the Institute of Children’s Literature.  Her writings include magazine articles, short fiction stories, several anthologies, as well as her novels, A Howl in the Night and the Shadow Dancer series, published through Rogue Phoenix Press.  For a complete listing, visit

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1 comment:

Christine Young said...

Hey Courtney, interesting article. And now I have to proof I'm not a robot. Usually I fail. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.