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Preview of The View from the Balcony

Here’s the first page of my (unfinished, not final) upcoming novel, The View from the Balcony, which will be the fourth book in The Fandom Collection. In this book, we meet Rachel again ten years after Front Row. She’s grown up with a husband, daughter, and career, but she hasn’t outgrown her love of music and going to concerts.

I should’ve known when my day began with wet sheets that this was not going to go as planned. I had trained for this. I was ready. I had been buying tickets for years. This was the rush. How fast could I order the best seats possible? My fingers shook as I navigated to the page for the event in question—a blast-from-the-past boyband reunion show that my friends and I couldn’t miss. I cut this too close. Usually I tried to be ready at least five minutes in advance, but my daughter, Cora, had wet her bed again, and I couldn’t just leave her in soaked clothes.

“Cora! Are you kidding me right now? Aren’t you potty trained yet?” I was pissed, no pun intended; and in retrospect, it wasn’t one of my finer parenting moments.

Her little face with her flushed squishy cheeks and giant dark brown eyes that matched her father’s begged my forgiveness. I melted into submission.

“Sweetie, I’m sorry for yelling.” I tugged a new pair of Dora the Explorer undies onto her and gave her a squeeze. “Want me to make you some pink milk instead of white milk this morning?”

She clasped her hands and danced in place, the curls of her fine, light brown hair billowing around her shoulders.

After serving the strawberry milk and glancing nervously at the clock on the oven, I leapt back onto the couch and manned my station. The staccato tapping of my fingers on the computer keys were as practiced as my favorite musicians on their instrument of choice. My fingers flew across the keyboard as I logged onto the website, back to my scheduled task of the day. I had two minutes to go before these concert tickets went on sale.

I hadn’t worked out the logistics with my husband yet, but he’d be fine with it. The tickets weren’t that expensive. Just over a hundred for the best seats.

Camp NaNoWriMo 2017 and Scribophile

For those of you who don’t know, Camp NaNoWriMo is the summer-camp–themed version of NaNoWriMo. Instead of writing 50,000 words in a month, you can set your own goals. Much like summer camp, writers are broken up into cabins of up to 12 people. You can either be assigned a cabin randomly, or you can start one with friends.

This year, one of my cabin mates set a goal in minutes instead of words. Intrigued, I went to check it out and noticed that you can now choose whether to set your goal in words, hours, minutes, lines, or pages. “Winning” Camp has always been a challenge for me—meaning, I’ve never hit my goals in April or July when I participated—so I thought maybe setting my goal differently might help.

Since I’m working on revisions of my next Fandom novel (which, not surprisingly, I wrote during NaNoWriMo this past November), I decided to go with pages. My draft is sitting at 181 pages right now, so I set my goal to 180 pages. It’ll be interesting to see how that affects my motivation this month. It’s currently April 4, and I’m sitting at 0 pages. Time to get going…

Another resource I’m using to help this draft along is the website Scribophile. Feel free to add me if you’re on there too! On Scribophile, you can post your work chapter by chapter and get feedback as you’re going along. Of course, I’ll still use my beta readers/editors once I’m done, especially for the overall story arc, but it’s nice to get additional outside feedback as well. Not only that, but I can stretch my editorial muscles by leaving feedback for other writers, too. It’s pretty fun.

In my next post, I’ll share a preview of my work in progress, The View from the Balcony.

Win 1 of 5 signed copies of Flowerantha!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Flowerantha by Bek Castro


by Bek Castro

Giveaway ends April 13, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Career Map

In my last post, I mentioned that during the UW Writers’ Institute this year, Nina Amir closed the weekend with a talk called “Create Your Successful Author Career Plan.” She went through ten (assuming I wrote all of them down fast enough) questions to answer as an author when planning your career. I’ll list them out here, and then I’ll answer them myself.

  1. What do you want to achieve?
  2. What are you passionate about?
  3. What do you feel compelled to do in the world?
  4. What are your values?
  5. What topics do you want to write about?
  6. What theme connects all your books?
  7. What products and services could you offer?
  8. How do you want to be known as an author (branding)?
  9. Do you have a website?
  10. Do you have a platform?

Continue reading Career Map

My Takeaways from the UW Writers’ Institute

This was my third year attending the UW Writers’ Institute. Just like in the previous years, the best part of this conference was being around so many people on a similar journey as I am. It’s such a supportive, encouraging, and nice bunch. I can’t help but bristle at the word “networking,” but it’s hard not to connect with these people. I’m excited about the new connections and friends I made, and I’m rooting for all of them.

Last year, I wrote about my favorite part of the conference and highlighted points from the Sunday keynote. And in 2015, I wrote about what I learned at my first writers’ conference.

In the past, I enjoyed attending the sessions on craft, but this year, I focused more on the marketing ones. As always, I kept a list of snippets that resonated with me from each session. And now I’d like to share those with you.

Continue reading My Takeaways from the UW Writers’ Institute