Author Insight Premier Episode – Go Indie Now

Author Marnie Cate has created a new series for Go Indie Now! Check out the premier episode of Author Insight, where a small group of authors – J.M. Northup, Mari Collins, me, and your fabulous host Marnie – talk in-depth about some topics like strangest thing to research and character names that we didn’t like or didn’t really want. Hope you enjoy it!



Books and Jewelry Giveaway

To celebrate reaching 300 subscribers on YouTube, I’m giving away jewelry and books! To enter the giveaway, comment directly on my video with (1) what video(s) you’d like to see in the future and (2) what prize you’d like to win! Watch the video to see the prizes in store for you. Giveaway ends Wednesday, June 7 at midnight Eastern Time.



Monday Thoughts on Creativity: Ambiance Travel

Somehow I thought Mondays would become extinct in the new year. No such luck.


I couldn’t find a quote that expressed my point accurately so I made my own. 🙂

We would all love to go and write wherever inspires us, both in general and for specific works. Maybe you’re writing something that requires a dark atmosphere, or maybe your piece takes place on the beach and the sound of ocean waves would make a difference to your descriptive powers. Maybe you’re dying to visit a fantasy world and write there for a while. Even if your ideal surroundings are nearby, you can’t always be where you want to when you want to.

Enter YouTube!

I recently found some videos that have been making a big difference in my writing motivation. Sleep Ambient HD is technically meant to help you relax and sleep, but take a look at the images, especially the moving ones, and listen to all the great sounds that would come naturally in each place. Have a video up on your computer full screen while you write in your notebook, or put your Word/Pages/Scrivener doc next to your chosen scene. Hear the sounds of the area and see it while you write. I’m loving the ability to feel like I’m in these places while I sit in the comfort of my own home. I like the autumn bridge video, the forgotten shipwreck, the clear Caribbean ocean, and this entire playlist, particularly gentle balcony rain. I like them all, but these are especially useful for me right now.

If you want to sit by the fire, Virtual Fireplace has loads of fires in different atmospheres. I’m in love with this pub fireplace scene, I’m using this very soft crackling fireplace a lot, or how about the Green Dragon Inn from The Hobbit?

Speaking of fantasy, the channel ASMR Rooms lets you spend time in Harry Potter settings! Spend time at Hagrid’s place, the Gryffindor common room (or Slytherin for that matter), or in the Great Hall…at Christmas!

Pair any of these videos and their ambient sounds with music you love and you’ll experience a kind of inspiration you’ve never felt before.

There are tons of channels that make these kinds of videos and I’m so happy they do. I feel like I can spend time in whole other worlds whenever I want. There are so many times I don’t have time to go somewhere or I’m not able to, whether physically, monetarily, time wise, or because it doesn’t exist in real life. Now there are no limitations to where I can go and get inspired for my writing. Even if I want that coffee shop vibe at 1 a.m. on a Wednesday, I can have it. Just press “play”.

Official NaNoWriMo YouTube Guide!

If you haven’t already heard, I’m partnered with NaNoWriMo this year as a YouTube Guide! I did NaNo videos in 2014 (daily), 2015 (weekly), and now 2016 (twice per week). Wednesdays my videos will be hosted on NaNoWriMo’s YouTube channel and Saturdays I’ll have videos on my own channel. All of these will be added to my NaNoWriMo 2016 playlist for easy access. Here’s my schedule of videos:


I’m also going to do some short videos on Facebook that will be about a minute, give or take, and those will be different from my YouTube videos. Can you tell I’m pumped about this?!

Add me on NaNoWriMo’s site so we can be writing buddies and encourage each other.

If the blank page is something you’re not looking forward to, here are six tips to help you get past blank page syndrome:

It’s T-minus one day to November 1, so get your coffee stocked up and your notebooks at the ready. Here we go!


WOW, I can’t believe that Anatomy of a Darkened Heart is now a year old! What better way to celebrate and thank you all for your incredible support than to have a Kindle book copy giveaway? Watch my video below for details (really easy to enter the giveaway) and for all the massive thanks you deserve.

Video Summary: Writer Gaming and All About the Reading Tag

What videos did I put up this week? I have two for you!

I was tagged to do the “All About the Reading” tag, which was very fun. What do I hate in a book? When I read, do I care most about characters, plots, or a beautiful writing style? What about a favorite quote? All those questions and more are answered in this video!

As you probably already saw all over my social media, I’m so excited to have worked out the issues I was having with recording my gaming, and now the first ever episode of my Writer Gaming series is up. Thus begins our adventure into American McGee’s Alice and our discussions about dark books, writing, and all things Alice!

Welcome to Writer Gaming!

Ta-da!!!!! The first episode of my Writer Gaming  series, starting with American McGee’s Alice. In this one we play through the tutorial part, learn the basic storyline, and I discuss dark games and some of the symbolism in this game. There is so much more to come!

Midweek Gaming Update

As promised, here’s my midweek update on the technical problems I was having trying to record my first gaming and reading/writing chat video. Spoiler: it’s good news! 🙂

See you on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time!

Gaming is Still Coming – Tech Issues

I promised you gaming, and gaming you shall get. Here are two things you need to know:

  1. Windows Movie Maker is completely and utterly rude
  2. I think I’ve figured out a workaround

<Rant begins here:

I had to use my six-year-old computer to run American McGee’s Alice, which I don’t mind at all. In fact, that computer works very well! And thanks to fellow author Joshua Robertson’s excellent advice for what software to use to record my gaming (Dxtory for screen recording and Audacity for voice recording), the hard part was done.

And then there was Windows Movie Maker.

Alice and I were quite mad.

Editing the footage should be the easiest part. Well, it is on a Mac with iMovie, and it appeared to be similar on Movie Maker. Not so! Granted, I’m probably working with a buggy, outdated version, but the problem I had made no sense. I couldn’t put my cursor anywhere but the beginning of the footage or else the audio would jump to an earlier section of the movie. Which means I couldn’t split or edit the audio either because it gave me the same issue. Um…weird. There is no excuse! So after lots of messing around to try to work with it on my Mac among other attempts to fix the issue, I’m videoless. Well! Not a happy Christie.

Rant over./>

I think I’ve found a workaround, so I’m going to try it out this week and update you on my progress. If all goes as planned (which obviously it hasn’t so far) I’ll have the video ready for June 25. I plan on recording a quick video midweek to let you know whether I’ll be able to make this work or not. It must! I’m determined.

Thanks for your patience and support. It has been so lovely to see people say across platforms that they’re looking forward to watching my gaming vids. Thank you so much! 🙂