3 Weird Things I’ve Done to Research My Novel

It’s no secret that all writers are on numerous watch lists because of our search histories. Okay, maybe we’re not, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we were. For older works I’ve searched such things as how long does it take a human eyeball to decompose and how long would it take someone to die if you buried them alive.

If you’re saying that happened no where in my Hemlock Mpreg Universe books – you’re right, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t searched weird things or done other weird forms of research for my Hemlock Wolf Pack Series. Even before writing the series someone looking through my search history might have assumed I was a zoologist student, but now if I type ‘W’ into the search Wolf/Wolves/Wolf Packs are just a few of the thing searches suggested to me. That’s not even the weird parts yet.

Without further ado here are 3 weird things I’ve done to research for my novels.

1.Watched Old Boy Band Music Videos/Concerts

Yes, even something as small as Zoey’s favorite boy band took some research to put together. The Grim Howlers play small, but important roles in Omega Magic and Healer’s Oath. And I have it on good accord that we haven’t seen the last of them either. The boy band will make an in person appearance in book 5. To prepare for this I started watching old boy band concerts. Of course, I fell into the rabbit hole and ended up on some popular/favorites from my younger days. I turn 30 in May. I’ll bake you a virtual cookie if you can guess who I was watching.

2.Nagged Relatives for Childhood Stories

My earliest funny childhood memory is morbid to my now adult self, but it was hilarious to the 8 year old Maggie. My brother (then 3) would freak out whenever someone said they got ‘fired.’ The poor brat thought they meant they were set on fire. Til this day we don’t know where he came up with the idea. -No. That isn’t my sly way of saying I told him. I thought it was funny that he was clueless, but I didn’t come up with it.-

As someone who writes M/M Mpreg Romance I’m obsessed with the parent/child bond and the unique experiences each person has. I’ve explored this theme and the theme of siblings throughout my series. No, I haven’t borrowed any story from relatives, but hearing stories I wasn’t a part of does get my creative juices pumping.

3.Walked Around the Baby Section of Stores Despite Not Having A Baby

I will do just about anything to get inspired to write. While writing Omega Magic I was stuck and needed to do something to get into the groove of things. I found myself at Walmart and walked past the baby aisle. Two seconds later, I was exploring the world of baby clothes, diapers, car seats, snacks, and everything in between. I was wondering/deciding which items Logan and Jessie would choose for their baby and if it would hold up to a baby dragon shifter. The answer of course was a resounding no. Nonetheless by the time I left the store I couldn’t wait to get home and write!


Camp NaNoWriMo: Day 3 Recap: The Day I Wrote Anyway

This morning the universe conspired to keep me away from the keyboard or at least away from my Camp NaNoWriMo project! But alas, as a writer I have learned to laugh at the universe and jump over boulders. lol

But no really. If this morning happened during any other month (well maybe not Novemeber) I would have stayed away from my book for the day! But it’s April. It’s Camp NaNoWriMo! So, I carried on like a good like book zombie. After switching the weight of todays and tomorrows word count I only needed to write 900 words to stay on track. There was no way 900 words was going to stand between me and staying up to date!

What I accomplished today:

Today was all about chapter 3 and 4! Both of which are finished. I think tomorrow I’ll be ready to go ahead and work out the rest of the plot. If not tomorrow then definitely Friday which was my original plan. I sprinted past my word goal for the day and came in just at 2k words. I can feel myself settling into my main characters and really getting inside their heads.

Snags Along the Way:

Today errands sprung up out of nowhere and a reader messaged me to say Healer’s Oath isn’t showing up on Amazon.au! I’m so sorry if any of you reading this have been patiently waiting in Australia for Healer’s Oath! I’ve contacted Amazon to find out what the problem is. I’ve published four previous books without any problems and this morning I discover Amazon is hiding my book from a whole country!

How today went:

Starting Word Count: 6,578

Ending Word Count: 8585

Total Words Written: 2007

After thoughts:

I’m a little on the nervous side about figuring out just how many chapters book 5 will have. Once I do I’ll have a better idea of how long the book will be. If the chapter lengths so far tell me anything I think it’s going to be *slightly* longer than just 50k words.

Happy writing fellow campers!


Camp NaNoWriMo Recap: Day 2

At 6:31 I was awake, but dreading sitting down at my keyboard. I have a huge love/hate relationship with starting a new novel. I’m always itching to write, but getting the ball rolling is easier said than done. It’s hard to get out of your own head and quit thinking about the finer details and just get some words on the page. That’s what Camp NaNoWriMo is all about: Getting words on the page. Which is exactly what I did today!

What I accomplished today:

I whipped chapter 2 into shape! Then I wrote chapter 3. Most of my word count came from chapter 3, but chapter 2 was my victory for the day. I’ve barely started chapter 4, but I’ve already had one fight! Yay! I love writing fight scenes. There’s nothing quite like a fight scene to get the blood pumping and the words flowing.

Snags Along the Way:

Today I was just tired. I’m in the process of refining in my caffeine intake and it’s trying to kick my butt. Chapter two was still a struggle. It’s the first chapter I’m writing in the POV of my second (Alpha) main character. In most books I have more trouble tweaking the omega partner to fit what I need, but this Alpha is just a cave-Alpha today and doesn’t want to play nicely for me. Let’s hope Blake likes a cave-Alpha in the bedroom! 😉

How today went:

Starting Word Count: 4242

Ending Word Count: 6,578

Total Words Written: 2,336

After thoughts:

I hoped to be a little further along by this point, but I’m happy to be on track to finishing camp this month. Now, that chapter 2 is out of the way I can work on the rest of the book! I definitely will be tweaking the plot after I finish the next few chapters. Overall, I’m starting to find my flow.

Happy writing fellow campers!


Now Available: Healer’s Oath Book 4 of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga

Just when the Hemlocks thought Jeb was through causing trouble, they discover their work isn’t over yet.

When omega Lee Knight wakes up in a strange bed he doesn’t remember crawling into, his life takes a turn for the bizarre. It’s not only the strange house and faces he doesn’t recall. It’s everything he experienced before waking up. His whole life is gone. Unsure of even his own name he must trust the man who calls to his soul to guide him through the perils of his past to reclaim his memories and the lost part of his soul.

Alpha Bane Hemlock is best known for his medical practice and loyalty to his pack, but when new information and old memories test the bounds of kinship, he’ll have to decide what’s most important to him. Hours after meeting his true-mate he’s faced with the most challenging medical dilemma of his career. The true-mate he spent centuries waiting for doesn’t recall their first meeting. Their connection is undeniable, but Lee’s amnesia leaves Bane knowing more about his mate’s troubles than even Lee does.

When medicine and science fail to provide answers from Lee’s strange amnesia, he and Bane must journey to the Other World to discover a remedy. When the past and present collide, what does the future hold for these true-mates?

Catch up on the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga with Healer’s Oath!


Camp NaNoWriMo Recap: Day 1

I was up early this morning and ready to get a jump on things. Last night I dreamed that Blake (my omega main character) came to my house and ate all of my avocados (my current breakfast addiction.) I got so mad at him, but then he said they were his pregnancy craving and I couldn’t be mad at a pregnant person. It wasn’t until I woke up I realized that he wasn’t pregnant yet. Yep, it’s day one and my characters are already dream trolling me. #Lifeofawriter

What I accomplished today:

Chapter one was more or less written before today rolled around, but I needed to flesh out a few of the finer points of the beginning of my novel. I took most of my writing time today to smooth out Blake’s rough thoughts (my whole series is first person pov.) Chapter one is done!

Then I moved onto chapter two. I won’t go into a lot of detail about Blake’s love interest because of SPOILERS, but at the start of the day he wasn’t as well fleshed out as Blake. He still needs some work and so does chapter 2. That’s future (Tomorrow) Maggie’s problem, though. I know the goal of NaNoWriMo in general is just to write, but I’ve always had my own style of doing things. If I’m not satisfied with the beginning of a novel I can’t move on.

Snags Along the Way:

Whether you’re participating in Camp NaNoWriMo or writing a book any other time of the year you’re going to hit a few bumps in the road. Okay, usually it’s more than a few. I’m usually the no excuse get your words done sort, but I’m the first to admit life loves tossing curve balls at my head during the start of a project.

This time it was a sinus headache from the heater and of course nicotine issues. For those of you who don’t know I quit smoking after 15 years on January 13th of this year. I’m still on the gum and sometimes still struggle to get things done. Before I quit, I chain smoked my way through every book I wrote.

Healer’s Oath was well underway by the time I quit. Yes, there was a learning curve to writing without smoking. I write slower now than before, but not as slow as I worried I would. Though, this book is still a learning curve for me. It’s the first book I started without smoking. Now that it was time to put my nose to the grindstone I caught myself reaching for my smokes every time I paused to think about a line. My word count for the day reflects as much.

How today went:

Starting Word Count: 2739

Ending Word Count: 4242

Total Words Written: 1503

After thoughts:

Today wasn’t the grand start of Camp NanoWriMo I had in mind, but I’m still ahead of schedule. The hardest part of writing a novel is getting started. In a couple of chapters I can sink into calmer waters and really get some words onto the page!

Happy writing fellow campers!


5 Ways to Overcome the Dreaded the Post Novel Writing Slump

Whether you’re writing your first novel or your fifth at some point you have or will experience the post-novel slump. If you’re an avid reader maybe you’ve experienced that empty ‘I can’t believe it’s over and it’s time to get back to the real world now’ feeling after reading the last page of a great book. That’s close to how I felt when I finished writing and publishing Healer’s Oath. I spent almost a year looking forward to writing Doctor Bane Christopher Hemlock’s story and months writing it when the time came. Caught up in the experience I didn’t realize after the excitement of publishing wore off I’d miss him and his true-mate Lee Knight as if they were real people. I should have. This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced the post writing slump. I hit the big publishing button on my Amazon KDP dashboard and celebrated! Doctor Bane Hemlock’s story was in the hands of readers in time for me to consider participating in Camp Nano with a pen pal. I was ecstatic! But- I’d forgotten the slump on the other side. Yikes! With only a few days to break the slump I knew I had to get to work on some serious self-care. Camp Nano was the perfect motivator to get book 5 of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga under way. If you’re wondering if I’m participating this year – Yes, I am!

Today in honor of the commencement of writing book 5 of my series I’ll share 5 ways to overcome your post novel writing slump!

1.Get Some Rest!

This may seem obvious, but as a writer it’s not uncommon to give up sleep to finish the story you’ve worked so hard on! Writing is mentally demanding and your brain has went from 90 miles an hour to a complete stop overnight! Take some time and recharge your batteries! Sleep in! Take a nap! Spend a lazy day binge watching your favorite feel-good show! Your brain and creative soul will thank you!

2. Read a Book! (Or 10!)

Most writers took to their craft after falling in love with reading and storytelling. If you’re anything like me your personal reading lays neglected on the nightstand while you bring your own story to life. I always describe the reading frenzy I dive into after finishing a novel like refilling my brain with words after pouring all of mine onto the pages of my book. Reading also reminds me why I write in the first place. I love the experience of sinking into a story and being transported to another world. I love storytelling and imagining readers sinking into my book that way!

3. Reconnect with Friends or Mingle with New People

If you’re rolling your eyes at me because you’re an introvert and need to recharge your batteries alone, don’t worry! I’m not saying to drag your writing slump rear end to a club or other crowded place. Reconnect with people who make you happy. That friend you canceled lunch with last week? Call them!

If you’re looking for a new experience to grow your social circle, but not break your introverted habits look into finding a pen pal. I’ve connected with a few since I started writing Healer’s Oath and they have made my transition through my post novel slump so much easier! Learn about someone else and their part of the world! I know you collect random facts and tidbits to use in your novels later. Pen paling is a great way to reach out and research at the same time!

4. Write Something Horrible You Never Share

Does the thought of writing while in a slump make you cringe and shake your head, but your head doesn’t know how to quit telling stories? Don’t be afraid to write a few bad chapters of a book that doesn’t go anywhere. It’s like a brain dump to get all the bits and pieces out and make room for new ideas. I’ve used this technique after every novel and my bad writing I wouldn’t share with anyone else has inspired some of my favorite stories of the Hemlock Mpreg Universe.

5.Get Active

I know exercise can feel like a daunting prospect when your brain is rebelling against your favorite past time, but even a quick walk around the block can clear your head. I love the feeling of music pounding in my earbuds while I exercise. It blocks out the rest of the world and allows my mind to wander into new ideas, characters, and settings! It’s amazing the things that come up when you get in your body and out of your head.

If you haven’t read the latest installment of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga be sure to check out Healer’s Oath today!