Friday, June 22, 2018

Writing with Kids- Juggling Parenting and a Writing Career with Athena Daniels

Writing with Kids….how do you juggle family life and writing (and sometimes a full time job)?

Thanks so much for having me here! This is such a great question.

I am a partner in a family business and have two young boys, so I need to fit my writing time around life. The time I have carved out for this is during the hours of 4 and 6 a.m. before my boys wake up. When I first started writing, this was the only time I could carve out for ‘me’ but this time has now become my most treasured time of the day. I wake up without the need for an alarm, make myself a strong coffee, light my favorite candle, and write away! I find it’s the time of day where my mind is the clearest, most focused, as it is not cluttered with the million details of everyday life. 

One afternoon, I was watching my son build a Lego creation that was years above his age level. He was seven at the time, and the set he was building cost hundreds of dollars and the recommended age was for a child twice his age. I wasn’t convinced he could do it. I doubted very much that I could do it. I had tried to encourage him to try a less challenging set, something recommended for his age group, but his determination was unwavering. My son worked hard for that specific set, doing jobs and achieving the merits at school that I had set as ‘conditions’. His passion and perseverance finally paid off and I bought him the set. When bag after bag containing gazillions of tiny pieces spilled onto the floor, I thought, ‘what have I done?’

My son was undaunted by the enormity of the project, working for many, many hours straight, following a complex manual to build it piece by miniature piece. His focus was astounding, his determination unwavering. He was only seven! It was a struggle for him to simply leave his project to eat his meals, and the moment he finished he was straight back to it. I knew his mind had stayed on his creation with every bite he took.

The expression on my little boy’s face when he finished it brought me to my knees. His smile lit up his whole face, his eyes were twinkling and bright. His whole body seemed to glow as he walked around his impressive accomplishment. He’d transformed, come ‘alive’. It was at that moment, something tugged inside of me.

Did I have that? What did I do that gave me a similar feeling? Sure, my job was necessary, it helped pay the bills. But I wanted that exaltation my son experienced simply through the focus of bringing something to life. I wanted to create something of my own.

I pondered on that for some time. I was busy, I had a full life, but I realised that no matter how much I crammed into the finite number of hours in one day, it did nothing about filling that hole inside of me. And now that I’d realised that something was missing, I knew I had to do something about it. 

When I look back, I see that I had spent my whole life searching. I am an eternal seeker of knowledge. An avid reader, I have several books on the go at one time, both fiction and non-fiction. I was taking courses, the qualifications and certificates could wallpaper a room. But what was I doing? What was the thing that lit me up on the inside the way my son’s Lego project did for him? And more importantly, what was holding me back from finding out?
The answer it turns out was as simple as it was complex. Fear. I was scared of making a decision. Of all the pathways my studies opened up, what if I chose the wrong one? What if I couldn’t do it? What if I failed?

I realised there is safety in not giving anything a go, of not risking your heart by putting it on the line. It would have been easy to keep doing what I was doing, saying I didn’t have time for anything else. There is a certain security in being the support crew, the encourager of the dreams of those around you. But was I really doing even that as well as I thought? I'd like to think I was, but if you remember back to when I was talking about my son I said I tried to encourage him to try something closer to his age. I see now, that what I was doing was actually discouraging him from trying something he really wanted in case he couldn’t do it. In case he failed.

That was a light bulb moment for me. I didn't want to inadvertently pass on the same fears that have stopped me following my passions. My words were saying one thing, my actions another.

I didn't want to be the lecturer, I wanted to be the example.

And that is the change in mindset that freed me, allowed me to embark on my journey as a writer. I gave myself permission to fail. To try something new. To have fun. But I also know there is no such thing as failure. Because failing means something has come to an end. Passion and following your dreams is what life is all about. There is no end. If something doesn’t give you the desired results, re-tweak it until it does. You have that freedom. It is your dream.

And once I understood this, not just intellectually, but in a way that I felt as the truth, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.

I took the plunge. I became a writer. I carved out the time. It is my passion. It lights me up on the inside when I release a book that I have spent countless hours making the best it can be. I put it out into the world and a piece of my heart, my very soul, goes out with it. I take that risk. Any feedback I receive I hope will be kind. Considerate. Helpful. So that I may grow to be a better person from following my dream. So that my words of encouragement to my children won’t be empty.

I hope you are following your own passion and didn’t wait as long as I did before you started. But if you did, that’s ok too. The perfect time is where you are right now.

As George Eliot once said, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

I wish for each and every one of us, the sense of wonder and accomplishment that a little seven-year-old boy once got by completing a Lego set.

Thanks so much for allowing me to spend some time with you. It has been fun being here with you all. ~Athena x

When Darkness Follows

Beyond the Grave Series

Book Four
Athena Daniels

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Sunset Coast Publishing

Date of Publication: 29th May, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9944029-7-4

Number of pages: 303
Word Count: 115K

Cover Artist: Damonza

Tagline: The only man who can save her, is the one she swore she’d never see again…

Book Description:

Rachel Sommers and her two best friends don’t believe anything will happen when they sneak onto a haunted shipwreck in the middle of the night. Why would they? Ghosts don’t actually exist… right?

But Rachel and her friends disturb something that night. Something demonic.

Something that lured Rachel to the ship. And now one of her friends is dead, the other is missing, and Rachel’s memory of the night is gone. There’s only one thing she knows for sure: whatever killed her friend has followed her home.

Over a century ago, an act of bitter jealousy and revenge tainted a crystal ball with an unstoppable evil. And when the deadly object eerily turns up in her bedroom, Rachel’s nightmare really begins.

Ex-Special Forces detective Daniel Smith takes the case the moment Rachel’s name appears on his screen. Rachel is the only woman he’s ever loved, but despite their explosive chemistry, she’s determined to keep him at a distance.

With Rachel’s life on the line, the disturbing truth about her ancestry and the cursed object she has inherited must be uncovered. But is it already too late? Daniel will risk everything to save the woman he loves, but how can he win this lethal game of cat and mouse against a killer that is not flesh and blood?

Amazon US       Amazon AU       Amazon UK

Amazon Canada       BN      iTunes


Rachel wrapped her arms around Daniel’s neck and kissed him back with a ferocity that surprised her. All the emotion, the turmoil, of the last two weeks, the last year, moved through her. She couldn’t remember why keeping away from him was so important. Something about self-respect and needing to be more than just an occasional fuck to someone.
Daniel crushed her to his body, his tongue delving inside her mouth, tracing across her teeth. He took control of the kiss, like the man controlled everything else in his life. The heat of his mouth set her blood on fire, and her body submitted to his natural dominance.
He groaned, holding her to him so tightly she couldn’t breathe. But she didn’t need her own oxygen when she could breathe his.
Daniel walked her away from the water to where the sand was dry and still warm from the sun. He fell to the sand, pulling her down on top of him. She laughed in surprise.
His sunglasses fell off his head as he looked up at her. He cupped the back of her neck, guided her head down and kissed her hard. She couldn’t think, couldn’t feel anything but him.
Her soft, white denim skirt slid up her thighs as she spread her legs and sat on his hips. His erection, firmly encased in his jeans, pressed against her lacy white panties. She rubbed against him, needed to, and his eyes flickered closed. He groaned, the sound sending fire racing through her veins.
“I want you so bad.” Daniel’s grip tightened on her hips, the roughness in his tone thrilling her.
This was what was familiar between them. This rawness and this uncontrollable desire.
“Tell me you still want this.”
Rachel nodded.
“I said tell me.”
The bite of authority in the command made her blood race. Her mouth dried, and she swallowed twice before she could speak.
“I want this.”
Daniel squeezed his eyes shut, and when he opened them, emotion swirled heavily in his gaze.
“Tell me you still want me.” His body went rigid as he waited for her answer, and her heart stuttered to a stop.
“I want you,” she said, the truth and a lie all at once. God she wanted him! Right now, in this moment, she wanted him more than her next breath.
Daniel sat up, cradling her in his lap, her legs wrapped around his hips as he kissed her again, long and deep. She thrust her hands in his thick hair, holding him hard as his hands ran up her thighs, his thumbs tracing along the seams of her panties and making her core clench with anticipation.
He lifted the hem of her top, his palm scorching the soft skin on her stomach as he moved to cup her breast. His expression looked pained, his chest rising and falling as his breathing grew labored.
As much pleasure as he gave her, she loved watching how much simply touching her aroused him.
“A year,” Daniel growled. “A whole fucking year.”
She cried out as his fingers found a hardened nipple and squeezed. Pleasure, white-hot and overwhelming, filled her, stole her breath.
His other hand slid the thin fabric of her panties aside, his thumb gently tracing along her slick entrance. Her heart skittered in her chest, her pulse roaring past her ears.
“You need this too,” he said, his voice a low rasp. “Don’t tell me you don’t.”
Tears burned her eyes, and she squeezed her lids closed to hide her reaction to his words. She needed him? Dear God! She fucking craved him.
And then he’d leave…
And she’d be left empty, wanting him. Frustration caused her to cry out at the same time his thumb slipped inside her, and the sound was disguised as pleasure.
Frustration and pleasure: those two extremes described what she had with Daniel perfectly.
Max barked, and they both looked up to see him bounding through the thick sand toward them. He barked again, and Rachel followed his gaze and noticed two people at the top of the sand dunes, making their way to the water.
“Fuck,” Daniel growled.
How like Daniel to always make her feel as though they were the only two people in the world. She pressed her forehead against his, his ragged breath warm across her skin. Before the couple could see them clearly, she rolled off Daniel and tugged her skirt back into place, her body still tingling with the feel of his touch.

About the Author:  

Athena Daniels is the #1 international bestselling author of the award-winning Beyond the Grave paranormal romance series and the romantic thriller Desperate.

In 2016, Athena was nominated for Author of the Year and Best New Author in AusRom Today’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

Her novel Girl Unseen won the Silver Medal in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite® International Book Awards and was awarded a Silver Medal in the 2017 Literary Titan Book Awards. Girl Unseen was an “Official Selection” in the New Apple Literary Awards, and was also nominated for 2017 Book of the Year in AusRom Today’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

The Seer’s Daughter was the solo Medalist Winner in the Suspense/Thriller category of the 2016 New Apple Annual Book Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing.

The Seer’s Daughter was also a finalist in the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards in Suspense and in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite® International Book Awards. Additionally, The Seer’s Daughter was nominated for 2016 Book of the Year and 2016 Cover of the Year in AusRom Today’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

Girl Unseen and The Seer’s Daughter are both 5-star Top Picks at The Romance Reviews.

Athena has a natural curiosity about the “more” there is in life and holds several qualifications in metaphysics and natural therapies. She is a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner, life coach, and feng shui specialist.

Athena lives on the northern beaches of sunny Western Australia. Find out more about her at, or follow her on Twitter @AthenaDaniels11 and on Facebook at /AthenaDaniels11.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

Athena Daniels - Author said...

Thanks so much for the opportunity to talk about how I balance a writing career around a busy life, and for featuring my latest release, When Darkness Follows! Athena x