Magic, Mystery, a little Whisky, and a Cat

Goddess Fish and Sorchia Present: Fox Tale

Sorchia and Goddess Fish Promotions feature a Paranormal Romance by Karen Hulene Bartell–Fox Tale. The author is offering a $25 Amazon Gift Card–Enter below. Visit and Comment at all the stops on the tour to increase your chances of winning!

Advice for Writers

by Karen Hulene Bartell

I’ve received little writing advice. However, I started life as an actor and received an immense amount of advice for that career.

The best advice I received was to keep at it–in that case, acting, but the same words apply to writing. Keep at it. Don’t quit. Keep honing your craft and, eventually, you’ll succeed.

The worst advice I’ve received was from an editor–translation: a frustrated author—who demanded I indiscriminately follow her redrafting of my manuscript in an attempt to overwrite my style with hers.

However, my advice for writers is to R E A D! Read everything that interests you. Read when you’re bored. Read when you can’t sleep. Read at the beach…in front of the fire…in bed…waiting for doctor appointments…

Then begin reading genres that are similar to the style in which you’d like to write. Analyze what works and what doesn’t. Find common denominators or rules of thumb between the characters or plots. What makes memorable characters? How does the author maintain the story’s fast pace or add to its suspense? Decide specifically what you like about each author’s style.

Next, start writing about what interests you. Express yourself as honestly as possible. Write about what you know, what you’re familiar with—even your childhood. Keep a notebook. Jot down ideas as they come to you!

Finally, start drafting a story that “grabs you.” Push through that first draft to the end, no matter how painful. (There’s a magic wand called rewrite that allows you to complete any half-baked thoughts later.) The point is to finish the first draft. See it through. Only then should you go back and develop your story.

Occasionally, you’ll find that the story–and even the characters—will seize the pen (AKA your imagination) and draft the story for you!

Sometimes, it’s good to take a vacation from your manuscript. When you return to it, you’ll find your thoughts will have gelled and expressing them comes more easily.

Then rewrite. If necessary, rewrite again and again until your story accurately expresses your message.

Finally, polish your prose. Go back and read each line out loud. The ear catches what the eye misses. Refine your words and phrases until they sparkle.

Before you know it, you’ll have found a genre, even–dare I say it?–your style!

How did I start writing? My first published books were cookbooks—now, thanks to Google, recipes appear online in milliseconds. Cookbooks may no longer be your entry into the published world, but I still recommend writing non-fiction before fiction, be it via textbooks or any form of technical writing.

Fox Tale–a Paranormal Romance

Heights terrify Ava. When a stranger saves her from plunging down a mountain, he diverts her fears with tales of Japanese kitsune—shapeshifting foxes—and she begins a journey into the supernatural.

She’s attracted to Chase, both physically and metaphysically, yet primal instincts urge caution when shadows suggest more than meets the eye.

She’s torn between Chase and Rafe, her ex, when a chance reunion reignites their passion, but she struggles to overcome two years of bitter resentment. Did Rafe jilt her, or were they pawns of a larger conspiracy? Are the ancient legends true of kitsunes twisting time and events?

Meet the Author

Author of the Trans-Pecos and Sacred Emblem series, Karen is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, wife, and all-around pilgrim of life, who writes multicultural, offbeat love stories. Born to rolling-stone parents who moved often, Bartell found her earliest playmates as fictional friends in books. Paperbacks became her portable pals. Ghost stories kept her up at night—reading feverishly. The paranormal was her passion. Novels offered an imaginative escape. An only child, she began writing her first novel at the age of nine, learning the joy of creating her own happy endings. Professor emeritus of the University of Texas at Austin, Karen resides in the Texas Piney Woods with her husband Peter and her “mews”—three rescued cats and a rescued *Cat*ahoula Leopard dog.

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