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The Keeper’s Vow
by Francina Simone
GENRE: YA Epic Urban Fantasy
All Katie Watts wants is to pass her junior-year, at Hamilton Private, with as little effort as possible—devoting time to knitting hats, breeding gerbils, becoming a movie critic, or even just sleeping. No wonder she isn’t ready for a world with vampires, werewolves, and nightmares.
Her life is shattered to pieces when Tristan gets stabbed in her front yard. She has no idea where he came from and worse, he hears her thoughts—and when she can’t take anymore, she starts to hear his. No one is who she thought they were. Her father is keeping secrets and when she searches for the truth, she ends up homeless.
As the truth claws its way to the surface, Katie and Tristan grow closer together and they find themselves connected in more ways than she can believe. But is honesty worth more than the peace blissful, ignorance brings? Especially if it sparks a chain of events that will end the lives of millions? Can she live with the truth that begins with her dead mother and ends with The Keeper’s Vow?
A Mother’s Gift
Could he really read her mind, or was it just a coincidence?
His eyes flashed in her direction.
Not a coincidence.
“Do Will and Lucy know you can read their minds?” she said as he slowed down enough for her to drink and walk at the same time.
“I can’t read their minds,” he said.
“But you can read mine?”
“Yeah,” he said.
“Nope,” he said.
“How is that possible? Why is that possible?” she said.
His face was still expressionless. “Gift from your mom.” He stared straight ahead.
Katie knew that wasn’t possible. Her mom died giving birth to her. Not exactly enough time to send gifts—let alone some jacked up ability to read her only daughter’s mind.
“You still believe everything your dad told you? Nothing about yesterday made you question a few things?” he said, making an abrupt left turn.
“What’s that supposed to mean? What do you know about my mom?” It was strange saying that word. Mom. It was something she didn’t have but had always wanted—like a cat, E-Z Bake Oven, a sixty-piece oil pastel set. Something she’d grown out of and would never have. A mom.
Tristan held her gaze for a few steps, then stared ahead for a whole block before making another left turn. He didn’t say anything else.
Thoughts on Being an Organized Writer
I honestly wouldn’t consider myself super organized, but I have picked up a lot of tips and tricks over the years to help me sort and hold onto story ideas while I’m writing a novel, and keep those random new ideas in a safe place until I’m ready for them.
Let’s talk about the Smartphone
Now I know a lot of writers have one and a lot don’t. I know for sure a smartphone is one of your best tools if you cater it to yourself. The best App I’ve found for keeping my ideas organized, my author bio, blurbs, links, PR information, you name it I’ve probably got it on this app—Evernote.
Evernote is the best because you can organize everything by notebooks. You’re an audio kind of person? Take verbal notes, copy and paste links, pictures, it really is the ultimate organizer. Especially because you can use it on your desktop and phone. I usually make a notebook for every book for story ideas, a notebook for PR related information, a Notebook for my YouTube video ideas and writing tip ideas, and in those notebooks are countless “notes” all organized as separate papers by date.
You really can’t go wrong with a pocket sized on the go organizer that almost never runs out of room.
Let’s Talk Old Fashion Pen and Paper
I’m not a huge fan of keeping notes on pen and paper (even though I do) because they get lost, I sometimes don’t realize the importance or relevance of a note until months or even a year later. And let’s face it—paper isn’t permanent and it’s bulky and troublesome on the go. I do however LOVE to outline on a giant drawing pad. I’m talking about the 2ft kind that takes up too much space on the table so you use it on the floor. Pen and paper never fail me when it comes to book organization. I’m a BIG believer in having internal AND external plots in a story and depending on your story is how the balance shifts. That can be a lot to keep track of in your mind or during an edit. I like to use the visual approach of the drawing pad doubled with color pencils to define plot events. Green for internal, Blue for External, Red for romantic/relationship. This helps me organize the book in a way I can’t see or even realize when it is just words on a screen.
Ultimately it boils down to what works for you. Learn your shortcomings and allow the amazing tools of today and yesterday to make you stronger. And most important, find a way that isn’t stressful to you. If you’re stressed about making notes or organizing them, whatever your doing is working against you and not with you. Chuck it and look for something more pleasing and natural. Remember, it’s all about finding yourself as a writer, and there is no one right way to do any of this. Find your way, and rock it!
Francina Simone is a writer of Epic Urban Fantasies brimming with Magic and Moral Ambiguity.
From the time Francina Simone entered kindergarten, she loved to read and share words with her friends. When she was in the fifth-grade, she was scared to read aloud and so the teacher concluded she wasn’t very good at reading—Francina read anyway.
Francina left her middle school book club behind for the daunting and exciting life as a high school freshmen. She was quickly told Young Adult books were childish and she should concern herself with finer literature—Francina read them anyway.
Francina waved good-bye to her high school life and strutted into University with her YA books and graphic paper to take notes. She witnessed the birth of a YA trend where publishers flocked to sell their stories to teens…stories that were underdeveloped and glaring with structural issues. The message she heard as a consumer was simple—common belief is YA readers aren’t good enough readers to discern quality stories or they are too childish to tell the difference.
Francina dropped her degree in chemistry and decided enough was enough—and set out to write the quality* stories her fellow readers deserved.
After her formative years she moved to Japan, with her best-friend and husband, land of some of the worlds best story-tellers and creators of unique manga. There she worked on her stories and the quest to understand what authenticity* in story means.
Now she lives in Boise with her husband, son, cat, and Catahoula. She spends most of her time battling the terrible-twos and puppy-dom. But when things are quiet—you can hear frantically typing away; her mind far away with her characters in their quest to make the right decisions in a world brimming with magic and moral ambiguity.
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