The Ghosts of Yesteryear is Out!

The Ghosts of Yesteryear is now officially out!!

Yes, you heard right! Book #3 of the International Monster Slayers series is now available in paperback, hardcover, and ebook. You can head on over >>here<< to find retailers. I’m super excited to share this story with you, my fellow agents. This is the longest book in the series so far, and there were so many scenes in this one that I had been wanting to write for quite some time. If you desire a signed copy, I will be at the Mom’s Group Vendor & Craft Fair in Cloquet, Minnesota on November 4, 2017. Come and meet me! I’d love to see you.

A few extras have been added regarding book #3 as well. I’ve updated the statistics page, posted the playlist, and the Pinterest inspiration board is now public!

And next up, NaNoWriMo is right around the corner! Am I ready? Well, I’m being a rebel (throwing in writing, revision, and editing goals), but yeah.

Good luck to all of the participants!

Books 1-3 Giveaway

Current theme song: “Shadows” by The Afters

Current stage in process: Prepping for launch of IMS #3, writing IMS #4, writing secret project, wrapping up the TCOML book trailer!

Lots of stuff going on! As you can see from my “current stage in process,” I’ve been pretty busy! I’m getting everything ready for the launch of The Ghosts of Yesteryear in October, I’m nearing the end of the first draft for IMS #4, and in the near future I hope to be making an announcement about the secret project I’ve been working on. And of course, look for a trailer for The Curse of Moose Lake soon!

Also, there are giveaways for the first three books currently going on at Goodreads. Find them here:

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Curse of Moose Lake by Bethany Helwig

The Curse of Moose Lake

by Bethany Helwig

Giveaway ends September 21, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Bite of Winter by Bethany Helwig

The Bite of Winter

by Bethany Helwig

Giveaway ends September 21, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Ghosts of Yesteryear by Bethany Helwig

The Ghosts of Yesteryear

by Bethany Helwig

Giveaway ends September 21, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

As always, I’m thrilled to share this series with you. Stick around! There’s more to come!

Onwards!

Current theme song: “None Shall Live” by Two Steps From Hell (BWAHAHA)

Current stage in process: Editing IMS Book #3, prepping IMS Book #4

Wow, the last couple of months have been crazy busy! A lot of work went into launching THE CURSE OF MOOSE LAKE, book #2 is getting ready for its own publication, the first draft and revisions of book #3 have been completed, and the research/outlining stage of book #4 has begun! Phew! I’ve taken a minor break to reorient myself and will be continuing work on book #3 soon so it can be handed off to my editor/beta reader.

As for NaNoWriMo…well, let’s just say I realized my limitations and decided to focus on getting book #3 completely done before trying to dive directly into book #4 without a safety vest (a/k/a outline, research, etc.). I still wrote a little (the prologue and about a page of the first chapter) and it’s hard to not write during November but, alas, this is the way it must be.

I’ve got another event coming up on November 25-26 at the Historical Society in Moose Lake, Minnesota! If you’re in the area, stop by to get a signed copy of TCOML! If you don’t get the chance to make it, there will be another opportunity to get a signed hardcover in the next Goodreads giveaway scheduled to run November 24-December 14.

Also! The title of book #2 and blurb will be announced this week so stay tuned!

 

Launch Day!

First of all, it’s launch day for THE CURSE OF MOOSE LAKE! A lot went on today including the launch party in Moose Lake itself. I just wanted to say thank you to Joe Jitters for hosting the event and for everyone who came. I had a lot of fun (and some delicious cookies).

Also! The playlist for TCOML and Pinterest board have been made public so feel free to have a listen/look at some inspiration for the book.

Stay tuned for more information about upcoming events and the next volume in the series!

 

Updates

Current theme song: “Under Pressure” by David Bowie, Queen

Current stage in process: Preparing for book launch of THE CURSE OF MOOSE LAKE, finishing Book #3, prepping Book #4 for NaNoWriMo

Hello there! A LOT has happened recently and despite being tired, extremely busy, and running on caffeine, I’m so excited! Let’s run through the highlight reel, shall we?

I’m publishing a book!

Yes, that’s right! THE CURSE OF MOOSE LAKE will be released on October 18, 2016, and will be available all over the place. For more information on what it’s about and where to find it, you can go >>here<<. I’ve been running around getting everything ready and several teasers have been released for your enjoyment. In fact, the first three chapters are available for free online!

Chapter One     |     Chapter Two     |     Chapter Three

Several quote teasers released as well via Twitter which you can find >>here<<.

There is also a book giveaway going on from October 13-21 on Goodreads! Enter for a chance to win one of two signed copies of THE CURSE OF MOOSE LAKE.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Curse of Moose Lake by Bethany Helwig

The Curse of Moose Lake

by Bethany Helwig

Giveaway ends October 21, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

I’m almost done with the first draft of IMS Book #3!

That’s right. The end is in sight! At least for the first draft. Then comes the revisions, then the editing, then the beta readers, then more edits…

NaNoWriMo is coming!

And I’m so not ready! Hahahaha.

helpme

Apart from that little fact, I still plan on trying to participate. My original goal had been to start IMS Book #4 and I’d like to stick with that goal if I can. I may not have an outline or done any of the research I wanted to, but hey! At least I generally know where the story is going. I know where it starts. I know where it ends. I know chunks of the middle. The rest will write itself, right? Or more likely, I will get even less sleep and try to do all of the above-said things before November 1 comes.

Stay strong my fellow writers! Drink all the caffeine! We will endure!

 

 

Remember the Doom of the 30th of June

Current theme song: “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Current stage in process: Writing Book #3 of YA series; working on TOP SECRET STUFF

 

REMEMBER THE DOOM OF THE 30TH OF JUNE!

I suppose without any context this dire warning doesn’t make a lot of sense, but by the end of this story it sure will.

A couple years back I was in a gleeful writing spree for a week. I made some rather impressive daily word counts (actually setting a new record which I have not yet again broken). It was pure creative magic and the words just flowed.

magic

Then the 30th of June happened.

Me, being a complete idiot, only had my story (which was then getting close to 100 pages) saved on a single flash drive. I’d plug into my laptop and write away each day. Why did I do this? I have absolutely no idea. Some form of stupidity gripped me for whatever reason and I’ve regretted it to this day.

So what happened? The worst thing possible. I plugged in my flash drive on the 30th ready for more word magic when nothing happened. The flash drive wouldn’t register. I unplugged it, plugged it in again, and still nothing. Cue repeating this procedure multiple times in a growing panic. I tried plugging it into my desktop. I tried a family member’s desktop. I tried everything conceivable in the array of knowledge I had collected from working on computers since I was a wee lass.

*Cue dramatic drum roll* And SURPRISE! Nothing worked.

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Frantic to save my near 100 pages of inspired writing, I looked up companies that work with such problems and extract data from broken flash drives. My father and I did our research and picked the most promising one. Although groaning about the inevitable $200 fee I was surely to pay, I sent it in. I NEEDED my book back.

Turns out there’s more than one kind of flash drive out there and I picked the kind that’s vastly more difficult to extract information from. They had a special kind of technology but it would cost a heck of a lot more than $200, money which I did not have. I was faced with the mortifying prospective of losing all of that work and rewriting the book from the beginning.

So, what happened? I took the hard road.

Unable (and rather unwilling for the price) to pay to try to recover the data on my stupid flash drive, I cried it out and decided if I wanted to write that book then I’d just have to start all over again. So, while the beginning was still fresh in my mind, I made a very detailed outline of what I had just written. At the time I couldn’t bring myself to actually start writing again. It took me several months before I was able to get back to that story, sit down, and write a beginning which in my mind had already been done so spectacularly the first time around. It’s hard to recreate that magic.

But I wrote it. I rewrote that beginning I had worked so hard for and, by golly, I finished that book. Now I make sure to create regular backups of my writing and in various locations, dreading that the doom on the 30th of June will somehow come back to haunt me.

Moral of this story? BACKUP YOUR WORK. Trust me. You’ll thank yourself in the end. But if the worst does happen, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back to that book. You CAN do it even if at the time it feels like the end of the world.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go backup my latest project. And REMEMBER:

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Stressed Out

Current theme song: “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots

Current stage in process: Writing Book #3; waiting on beta reader comments for Book #2; on submission for Book #1

Things have been crazy lately. We got a new dog (the devil’s offspring, ugh), one of my best buddies is moving out of state, work has been hectic to the point I want to pull my hair out, and I got so wrapped up in writing Book #3 that I didn’t have time to sit down and read a book to post a review two weeks ago. Yikes! Needless to say, I’ve been pretty stressed.

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So! Book stuff. Book #3 of my YA series is coming along nicely! I didn’t manage to hit my 100,000 word count goal for Camp NaNoWriMo this April but I did win the usual NaNoWriMo goal (50,000) so that’s something at least. I’m putting it on a short hiatus right now to give my poor brain a break, what with all the crap that’s been going on lately, and reevaluate certain plot lines in the story. Once I’ve had time to recharge, I’ll be jumping right back into it to churn out the second half. So, how does one recharge? Let’s just say there will be a lot of books from the library, Pinterest browsing, and a Supernatural marathon.

After I’ve had a breather, I hope to come back to writing and this blog with new enthusiasm! So, see me then! Changes may be coming.

 

Camp NaNoWriMo

Current theme song: “Wolf” by First Aid Kit

Current stage in process: Writing Book #3; waiting on beta reader comments for Book #2

Camp NaNoWriMo has begun and I’m in the thick of it.  Because of that, this post is going to end up relatively short.

I’m currently working on book #3 of my YA urban fantasy series and have been pushing myself to reach a daily word count goal higher than I’ve ever set for myself. I’ve been making good headway but I’ve reached the point where my mind hits the brakes. I’m incorporating new ideas and plot threads I hadn’t considered when I outlined but become apparent when I’m writing the actual book so it slows me down until I can figure it out.

I realize I keep mentioning this YA urban fantasy series but haven’t said much on what it’s about. The idea for the series came to me when I decided I had enough of YA stories that focused solely on romance. Romantic relationships are not the only inspiring and touching relationships out there. Family is extremely important to me and a cornerstone in my life. So I decided I wanted to write a story focusing on a sister and brother where their main goals aren’t looking for their soul mates but protecting each other.

Their relationship is the core of the story in which they work for a secret government agency to both defend and slay a plethora of mythical creatures. It’s Supernatural meets Men in Black. Out of all the novels I’ve written to date, I’ve had the most fun with this series.

BONUS PICTURE (rough concept art of the main characters):

Hawk_Phoenix-website

Well, that’s it for me. Time to drink an excessive amount of caffeine and keep on writing. To everyone else participating, keep going! You’re doing great! Who cares if you haven’t taken a shower in a while or have eaten nothing but Sour Patch Kids? Look at all the words you’ve written!

you-can-do-this

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Where’s Waldo? Author Edition

Current theme song: “Mountain At My Gates” by Foals

Current stage in process: Waiting on beta reader comments for Book #2; continuing to outline & do research for Book #3; preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo in April!

The edits for Book #2 of my YA urban fantasy series are complete! I’ve passed the torch and am waiting for feedback from my trusted beta readers. In the meanwhile, I’ve been hoarding books from the library for research and working on my outline for Book #3. While I usually spend more time in the brainstorm phase, I want to see if I can push myself this year. I’ve made the decision to write Book #3 during Camp NaNoWriMo in April. If you haven’t heard of NaNoWriMo before, I implore you to head there straight away and discover what you’ve been missing. It’s a wonderful month full of writing support and energy during November. There are also two months of ‘camps’ during the summer, one of which I will be participating in.

In preparation for April, I’ve been planning several vacation days at the beginning of the month so I can get off to a strong start. As long as I have a fairly solid outline, I should be able to maintain momentum throughout the month. However, I also need to consider the best place for setting up my little writing camp, which leads me to today’s post.

Where do authors sit down and work on their craft? Are they elusive beasts hiding away in their secret sanctums? Are they wanderers moving from cafe to cafe? Are they standing next to you on the subway jotting down words on notepads or iPads? Each writer is different and certain locations work better for some than others. For some examples of writer caves/sanctums/offices, Tor put together a gallery of famous author writing spaces. I’m a sucker for those kinds of articles. I’m always curious to see where other writers work.

As for myself, I’ve had my share of ups and downs trying to find areas that are right for me. When I started my first novel, I was in high school. I was a PSEO student at the time, so I was able to finish most of my homework at the beginning of the week and then would have loads of free time. I would write at terminals in the library, at the back of science class, in my notebook when I didn’t have access to a computer. At home, I commandeered the family’s computer and turned it into my own little workstation.

Author-Station-1

(Note The Lord of the Rings extended edition DVDs on the left; I would play The Two Towers on repeat on a laptop beside me while I wrote my second novel for the first series I ever created. Also, see that Dr. Pepper? It’s very important. That’s key writing fuel there.)

After high school, I went to college and as part of my degree (Digital Cinema—that didn’t pan out) I got my very own Macbook Pro. I wrote most of my third novel on that laptop in a comfy chair at the central campus building outside a Japanese restaurant while I waited for my next class to start. I loved that laptop. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I bought the latest model after I finished my bout in college and got a job.

But while I did a lot of writing on that laptop, the majority of my editing was done at my central command station.

Author-Station-2

(While the Dr. Pepper is strangely absent in this picture, I assure you there was still a high level of consumption. Also, I use a lot of Post-its. A LOT of Post-its.)

The layout of this setup hasn’t really changed over the last four years. Right now I face a wall when I’m at my computer and it makes me feel too closed in, which is why I do the majority of my writing on my laptop so I can move wherever I feel works best to get the creative juices flowing.

A couple of NaNoWriMos ago, my sister and I picked a day to jump around town to places I thought might have ideal writing conditions. We started in a Starbucks, wandered through the local college campus for awhile, left when the crowds got to big, ate lunch, and finally landed in an empty section of the public library where we spent the rest of the day. I got a lot of writing done that day and blew past the 50,000 word goal. My last NaNoWriMo was much less exciting. I took a week off of work and sat at home, moving between the couch, kitchen table, recliner, and back to the couch again. I beat the word goal within a week and a half and finished Book #2 of my current series. While I only had my dogs for company and it was much more low key, the important part for me was writing in a spot where I had a lot of open space in front of me. I think this year I’ll try to get a mix of going out to local coffee shops and staying at home.

No matter where I decide to park it and write, the pressure is on! Good luck to everyone else participating in Camp NaNoWriMo! See you out there.

BONUS PICTURE:

Author-Station-3

(This was the door outside my writing station. You have to watch out for those velociraptors, guys.)