"Fear Not the Many Paths of Life." ~ Transecender Motto

“Fear Not the Many Paths of Life.” ~ Transecender Motto

Dear Readers, Friends, and Fans of the Transcender Series,

Many of you have been anxiously awaiting the release of Illuminosity, Book 3 of the Transcender Trilogy. My goal was to have it released this year prior to the holidays. Unfortunately, events not within my control have pushed the release date back a bit. Although I completed the initial draft of Illuminosity, the longest book of the trilogy, in early September, after a routine mammogram later that month, I was hit with a diagnosis of breast cancer.

This shocking news turned my world upside down. Thankfully, the cancer was caught very early and had not spread to my lymph nodes. In the last six weeks I’ve undergone a flurry of tests, two surgeries, and I’m about to begin a course of radiation therapy. Fortunately, I do not need to undergo chemo-therapy. The bottom line is: I am now cancer-free, feeling great, and looking forward to getting back to work full time on my writing.

For those of you waiting for Book 3, please know that even though the holidays are hectic, I’m working on the rewrites in every spare moment. I have a wonderful editor standing by to go over the manuscript when I feel it’s in near-perfect shape. The book will be released immediately after the final edits and formatting are complete.

Carrie Drazek has designed another knockout cover for Book 3 (with a glimpse of Ryder and Arumel). I hope you will love it as much as I do.  A cover reveal and announcement will be published as soon as we have a firm release date.

All of your favorite characters are back in Illuminiosity–Jaden, Ryder, Asher, Ralston, and the rest. A few intriguing new characters are also introduced as Jaden’s life takes some extraordinary new twists and turns. As with the first two books, Book 3 weaves elements of romance, adventure, fun, and even a few tears into an otherworldly tale of destiny and triumph.

Many thanks to all who have read and supported the Transcender Series these past two years. I appreciate your generous reviews, kind notes, and hearty recommendations to others. You are all very dear to me.

While working my way through the challenge of cancer, I’ve tried to keep in mind the Transcender motto: Fear not the many paths of life. Though this new adventure is not a path I would have chosen for myself, it has reminded me to live each day in gratitude. Tomorrow is promised to no one. I am so grateful for all my readers. Thanks for sticking with me!

May your holidays be filled with peace, happiness, and good health!

Much Love,


Re-Blogged from my Orangeberry Book Tour

Vicky's StudyI’d like to share some pointers I’ve picked up since embarking on my journey as a writer:


“That can’t be!” you cry. But alas, it’s true. Writing the book is the easy part. Whether you’re and indie or traditionally published author, expect to spend a large chunk of time marketing your books. You’ll find many aspects of it can be fun. Accept it as part of the process and enjoy!


An “Author Platform” is simply your internet presence, your visible “brand.” It’s what readers will find if they Google you, and it’s an efficient way to develop a loyal fan base. Generally, a platform consists at a minimum of a website, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter account, blog, and, optionally, accounts on LinkedIn, Pintrest, Google+, and/or Instagram. Don’t panic. It’s not as daunting as it sounds and it can be built over time.


The good news: being a writer is great fun and there’s no dress code! The bad news: you actually have to do the work. Make a schedule and try to write at the same time and for several hours each day. Don’t answer the phone, check your email, or raid the refrigerator. You’ll be amazed at how much you get done.


It’s unavoidable. Every writer experiences bouts of self-doubt every now and again and for no apparent reason. It’s an occupational hazard like black lung disease (only worse). The best way to handle it is to recognize it’s temporary. Focus on your accomplishments, read a piece of amazing writing, polish the chapters you’ve already written, call a friend who can be trusted to talk you off the ledge. Just relax until it passes.


“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” – Stephen King. I find reading invaluable for three reasons: it keeps me current in my genre; it keeps my writing sharp; and it’s a relaxing break from writing. Actually, I feel like I’m still working whenever I’m reading a good book, because I’m observing another author’s style, plot development, character growth, etc.


They say you’re not a real writer until your first bad review. Regardless, it stings like hell. Learning to shrug off a bad review is essential to surviving in this industry. Maybe the reviewer just didn’t understand your book, or didn’t really read it. Sometimes, though, the reviewer has a valid point, in which case we need to take our medicine, no matter how foul tasting, and try to benefit from it. My recommendation: grow some Rhino skin.


The best advice I ever received as a writer is: “Do whatever it takes to get that first draft completed.” Don’t worry about how inane or ugly it is. You can fix it later. It goes against our perfectionist tendencies, but it really works.


I’m constantly amazed at how much I learn every day just by reading other writers’ blogs, participating in author forums, or listening to readers. Remember, even after you fearlessly claim the title “Writer,” there’s always room for improvement.


Vocabulary and grammar are both important to writing, but rules of grammar are broken more often than they’re observed in novel writing, especially where dialogue is concerned. I do little things every day to expand my vocabulary. Grammar I leave to the editors.


Enough said!

Writer's Self Doubt

Okay, you’re cooking along on your manuscript. You love what you’ve written so far, the story’s gelling, and it looks like you might even meet your deadline. Then one day you plop down in front of the computer and what the?… it’s just not there anymore. Your mastery of words has evaporated, your ideas have turned to dust, and your brain is completely sucked dry of all creative juju. It’s even looking like the stuff you thought was so brilliant yesterday is actually a pitiful pile of banal blather that needs to be thrown into the trash compactor with wet coffee grounds poured on top. You begin wondering why you didn’t just become an auto mechanic like your aptitude tests all said you should.

Don’t despair, you just have a case of writer’s self-doubt. It happens to us all of us. At one time or another we all face the fear that our writing just isn’t good enough. So, what’s the cure? Some writers suggest that you simply write your way out of it. Well, hello? Writing’s the problem in the first place. Sometimes a different solution is required to remove the grotesque mass of creativity clogging goo from your stream of consciousness and to get your fingers tapping those keys again in that magical, enigmatic rhythm that causes delicious prose to literally pour onto the page like hot caramel.

Soothing Self-Doubt

Researching this subject, I was stunned at the number of articles on writers’ self-doubt. It’s an epidemic! So how do you wrestle the culprit to the ground and kill it? The short answer is: You don’t! That’s giving self-doubt way too much power over you.

The key is to relax and cut yourself some slack. Self-doubt is like the common cold—you can’t cure it, but you can soothe it and shorten it. Eventually it will go away by itself. Trust me.

Here are a few techniques to soothe and inspire you while waiting for your creative juju to return.

  • Embrace your self-doubt. Robert Hughes said “The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.” All talented writers have experienced self-doubt at one time or another. So, if you want to be considered up there with the greats, self-doubt is something you learn to deal with.
  • Focus on your accomplishments, and resist the urge to compare yourself to others. Re-read your good reviews and fan posts. Ignore the people who just don’t get your work. It doesn’t matter how amazing your writing is, someone is going to trash it. It goes with the territory. Keep reminding yourself of how much you’ve already accomplished and how much more you still want to do. Call your mom, she’ll tell you how great you are.
  • Find a good book on editing and polish up what you’ve already written. I love the rewriting process, because I always find a sentence or paragraph or scene that can be made better with a little shrewd editing. It builds confidence to improve on what you’ve already got, and it’ll give you something constructive to do until this passes. I recommend Stein on Writing by Sol Stein.
  • Re-read a great piece of writing. Dust off your favorite book of all time and be reminded of what inspired you to write in the first place.
  • Make a list of your favorite phrases, descriptions, and scenes of all time. Read through your list when you feel stuck. Find one emotion-packed word you can use or a phrase you can tailor to fit your own plot. Plug it into your story and start writing.
  • Watch Elizabeth Gilbert’s superb TEDTalk “Your Elusive Creative Genius,” http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html. She’ll convince you that the divine attendant spirit who really writes your books is just taking a little break … she’ll be back!

Most of all, be patient!

One of my favorite books of last year was TORCHED by Andrea Colt, a well-written and witty contemporary YA mystery/romance. Andrea’s new book WAVECROSSED is being released today, and promises to be another winner. Check it out!

wavex_blurb_450 (2)


A young-adult paranormal novel about selkies, tasers, kissing and secrets.

To Cassandra Kelleher, trust is a dirty word. A teenage selkie who grew up on land, all she wants is to free her family from the man who stole their sealskins long ago. With her twin brother Brennan losing hope and her window of opportunity disappearing like the beach at high tide, she’ll try anything.

Before long, however, Cassandra can’t tell whether her biggest threat is the man holding her family captive, a classmate who’s discovered her secret, or her own paranoia. Battling broken friendships and alarming romantic entanglements, Cassandra finds that trust could be the key to winning her family’s freedom … or losing her own.

Goodreads link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18246873-wavecrossed

About Andrea Colt


Andrea Colt grew up reading and squabbling with her identical twin. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, a fridge full of cheese, and two feline muses. Visit andreacolt.com to get to know her better.

 Author Links

Website: http://www.andreacolt.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/andrea_colt

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AndreaLynnColt

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/n5Tyj

REMINDER: If you haven’t yet voted for TRANSCENDER for the Orangeberry Hall of Fame, Please VOTE NOW! http://orangeberrybooktours.com/expo/2013/07/31/hall-of-fame-best-action-adventure/

I’m pleased to announce that TRANSCENDER: First-Timer is a finalist for the Orangeberry Hall of Fame. Please take a short moment and vote: http://orangeberrybooktours.com/expo/2013/07/31/hall-of-fame-best-action-adventure/. Voting ends September 5, 2013. Thanks for your support!

ob hall of fame finalist  (3)

Choosing your book cover is not simple, but it can make all the difference in whether your book gets more than just a passing glance. It’s not as complicated as some would have you believe. Articles abound claiming to have the “Five Critical Elements” or the “Ten Keys” for making your book fly off the shelf. But after synthesizing a number of articles on the subject, it appears to boil down to three closely interrelated and overlaping qualities: (1) The Pop Factor; (2) Genre Identity; and (2) Instant Connection.

 The Pop Factor: It’s not rocket science. Visualize a crowded book shelf. Does your cover stand out? Is it distinctive and eye-catching? If not, it’s likely to get overlooked. Period. This doesn’t mean you make your cover as provocative as possible. Rather, the goal is for it to be captivating and clear. There is also a more subtle piece to this distinctiveness factor–your cover must speak to your target audience. Which brings us to …

 Genre Identity: Does your cover follow the current trends in your genre or category? It’s great if you want to step out a little and forge some new ground while still appealing to your target audience. But genre confusion in a cover is a killer. If your category is YA and your cover looks like space opera sci-fi, forget it. It needs to appeal to teens (or adults who like to read YA). If it’s a mystery and it looks like a romance, people browsing the mystery shelves are not likely to pick it up. Do your research. What do the current best sellers in your genre look like? Which brings us to …

 Instant Connection: Call this the Three Second Rule. Experts say the average person browsing in a book store gives your book approximately three seconds before deciding whether to pick it up or move on to the next. Does your cover engage the emotions, or at least intrigue the reader enough to want to read the back cover blurb? Your cover may be distinctive and eye-catching, but if it doesn’t instantly pique the emotions of your target reader, you’ve probably missed the boat, and a potential sale!

 Covers that Score a Home Run: Two of my favorite YA covers (which also happen to be two of my favorite books this year) have nailed all three of these key factors: Splintered, by A.G. Howard and Cinder by Marissa Meyer:


 Exception to the Rules: Of course there are always exceptions to the rules. If it hadn’t been for all the pre-release hype for the wonderful  The Fault in our Stars by John Green, I never would have picked up this bestselling book. The cover doesn’t speak to me at all:

Fault in Our Stars

What do you think is the most important element of a good book cover? What’s your favorite book cover?


Are you a writer? Do you actually tell people you’re a writer? If so, do you get questions like “Are you famous?” “Are your books on the New York Times Bestseller list?” “Do you make any money at it?” In the past these questions intimidated me because, in my case, the answers are no, no, and none of your business.

Why do we writers find it so difficult to own up to our profession? Is it our insecurities? Is it that no higher authority has conferred the title upon us? Is it to avoid the probing questions that inevitably follow? For me it’s probably a combination of all of these.

When I graduated law school and passed the bar exam, I proudly proclaimed to anyone who would listen “I’m a lawyer.” My practical experience in the law at that point was paltry at best, but after years of law school and a grueling bar exam, I felt I’d earned the title, and I bandied it about like a badge of honor (though some people took it more as a condemnation than an accolade).

Law Books and NovelsWhy then, after publishing two novels, did I have difficulty saying: I’m an author?

After a bit of thoughtful analysis, I believe the reason is that writing is such an utterly personal endeavor. If you’re doing it right it’s like pulling your guts inside out and exposing the rawest, most vulnerable parts to the world. I passed off my writing as a hobby for so long because I didn’t want anyone to know just how vulnerable I really was. I didn’t want them to observe my innards laid bare and say “is that all you got?”

Lawyers experience wins and losses. Every loss is a blow to the ego, but many factors, other than sheer talent or lack thereof, contribute to legal defeats—maybe the case was a dog to begin with, maybe the client made the all the wrong moves, and so on and so on. In other words, lawyers are handed someone else’s mess and asked to tidy it up as best they can. An unfavorable outcome can’t necessarily be blamed on the lawyer.

Writers on the other hand create something from nothing. We whip words and imagination into combinations as yet unknown on this earth. But if some careless reviewer or tactless acquaintance deems our creation more repugnant than ravishing, our world crashes down. We feel we somehow we don’t measure up, and we have only ourselves to blame. How ridiculous is that?

Writing is art, pure and simple.

Some will appreciate your work, some will not. If you have produced a piece of writing—be it a novel, short story, article, poem, whatever—and you’ve done your best, that, in and of itself, is an amazing accomplishment! You have a right to be proud. Claim it, own it, and have the courage to ignore others’ opinions. Shout from the rooftops “I’m a writer!” Once you wear the mantle proudly, I believe you become a better writer because you now take your role seriously.

It took some time for me to internalize this. But at a recent cocktail party, the hostess introduced me to another guest by saying “This is my friend, Vicky. She’s a lawyer too.” I shook hands with the gentleman and promptly set the record straight. “Actually, I’m an author,” I said. “I haven’t practiced law in years.”

The man nearly swooned with envy. “That’s fantastic! I bet you don’t miss the practice of law at all.”

His reaction made me smile. You know, I haven’t missed the law for a minute!

Do you ever balk at telling people you’re a writer? If so, why? For those of you who declare it proudly, when did you first feel comfortable calling yourself a writer?

Illustration by DB Burns

(Illustration by DB Burns)

Today I’m stepping out of my little author cubbyhole and plunging into new territory – I’m starting a blog! That shouldn’t be so difficult for a writer, you say. Not so! We writers (or most writers I’ve met, at least) are devout introverts, vehemently opposed to change, frightened to dip our toes into the Olympic-sized pool of life with the towering diving board, preferring instead to sit in the safety of our backyard kiddie pools with our trusty garden hoses.

Well, in case you haven’t noticed, folks, the publishing industry has changed. These days an author needs to build a platform which, believe me, can be much scarier than standing atop the high-dive on “Splash” while the audience cheers for you to execute a perfect ten.

“What is an author platform?” the uninitiated might ask. It’s simply a buzzword for social media presence. Translation: authors must be highly visible, readily accessible, and closely connected with readers and other authors via the internet. “Why?” So people will buy your books, silly. That means an author must have two, or preferably more, of the following: an author website, a Twitter account, a Facebook fan page, a Pintrest page, a LinkedIn account, Google+, Instragram, and, you guessed it, a Blog.

Jumping into the mind-boggling morass of social media can be rather intimidating for someone like me who didn’t even have a personal Facebook page until 2011. But, since publishing my first book, TRANSCENDER: First-Timer twenty four months ago, I think I’ve done fairly well at building my platform … and, surprisingly, I’ve had a ton of fun doing it. Currently, I have a website (newly revamped), three Facebook fan pages, a decent Twitter following, and a modest presence (which needs expanding) on both G+ and LinkedIn. I’ve had some wonderful help along the way, but developing an internet presence turned out to be easier than I thought it would be.

Most in the industry agree, however, that blogging is one of the best ways to interact with readers and get yourself noticed on the web. Up until now, I’ve shied away from blogging for two major reasons: First what do I write about? And second, where will I ever find the time?

The answer to the first question came from my son, sage teenager that he is: “Write about things you’re interested in, mom. Do some book reviews, and have some giveaways, that kind of stuff.” The kid’s a genius! And, unexpectedly, the answer to the second question followed naturally from the first.

Since I already spend a good amount of time nearly every day posting on my Facebook pages, tweeting, writing book reviews, and/or participating in promotions or giveaways, much of that, especially the reviews, can be captured and posted on my blog without putting in a ton of extra hours. Plus, I put in a decent amount of time searching for ways to remain inspired and to perfect my craft as a writer. The juicy insights I pick up along the way can also be readily shared.

So, those are the types of things you will see here in the future. I expect to have as much fun with the blog as I have with my other forays into social media, and I hope you will enjoy the posts to come. Thanks for stopping by. Come again soon!

Note to authors:
If you’re interested in learning more about building an author platform, this is a nice post.
Bookbaby’s Blogging 101 is a free download to get you started on the road to blogging.
Also, the World Literary Café website has many resources to help authors bolster planks in their existing platforms, (register and click the “author” tab).


I’m a writer and author of novels, short stories and poetry. My TRANSCENDER TRILOGY blends science-fiction, fantasy, and romance in an exciting cross-dimensional adventure. My latest, The Weight of Air, is a short work of contemporary fiction presenting a tantalizing "Would I?/Wouldn't I?” dilemma.


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