Monday, March 16, 2015

Guest Blog and Giveaway The Morrigan by Kennan Reid

Inspirations and Distractions: Overcoming and Succumbing to Writer's Block

My house will be clean, my closet organized and my car detailed and I still haven’t written a single word.  It’s the absolute worst feeling in the world; an itch you can’t scratch no matter how many procrastination-made brownies you throw at it.  When the dreaded Writer’s Block hits, it’s like a biblical plague spreading grasshoppers and wildfire across the land.  And the harder you try to fight it, the worse it seems to get. 

I discovered that it’s in the distractions that one can find the best inspiration to write.  Sometimes it may be mundane activities, your usual daily routine, but in that routine the imagination is unlocked.  Other times it may be an overheard conversation, a news story of some great event or daring person.  Or maybe it was a song...

Music can always inspire my writing and usually I have a song that sets the tone for the entire book.  For Return to Arèthane, it was the song “Amazing” by Johnette Napolitano.  When I first started out writing about these elves, I wanted the reader to experience them through the eyes of a human.  I had intended for my elf queen, Karawyn, to be the main character and Emily was only supposed to be a fly on the wall, allowing the reader access to these incredible and amazing creatures.  Of course, Emily took over the story, but the song created the atmosphere in which the reader meets and discovers Arèthane along with her.  For the second book, Arcade Fire’s cover of “My Body Is A Cage” offered a soundtrack for decisions and choices that would alter the elves and humans of Arèthane.  I listened to “Fires” by Band of Skulls over and over again while writing Always Me.  In each book I have written, there has always been a song creating a current of feeling beneath the words.

There have been too many times that I have sat before my laptop staring at a blank Word document, fingers poised over the keys and...nothing.  It seems the longer I stare, the harder I try to force it, the less the words flow.  But I’ve found that inspiration comes in the oddest and most inconvenient places.  Like the shower.  I’m not sure if it’s the white noise of the water falling or the isolation, but whatever the reason I do most of my writing while shampooing my hair.  In that small space, dialogues seem to always occur, my characters have their best conversations.  The exposition comes out in bits and pieces while caught in traffic to work every morning.  Knowing I was plagued by inspiration coming in inconvenient ways, a friend gave me shower markers and a handheld tape recorder.  Unfortunately, I can only seem to write and think, but not speak the words and so instead I started keeping notepads and pens in my passenger seat.  While maybe not the safest way, it gets the job done.  And I haven’t rear-ended anyone.  Yet.

The best distraction in which to be inspired is reading.  Stephen King had stated in On Writing that to be a good writer, you must be a voracious reader - read everything.  The good, the bad, all of it.  While this may help my writing skills, reading bad writing seems to inspire me to write.  It was what spurred me to write in the first place.  Having finished a pretty bad YA novel, I thought to myself, “I could do that.”  And since then, as I’m reading my mind drifts to what I would write in my own book, crafting scenes and chapters and seeing where the story will go.  But it’s only bad fiction that does this.  A good book will pull me in, suck me into that world and I will think of nothing else.  So next time, when a friend says, “Oh, you don’t want to read that book, it’s awful” pick it up!  Read it and you may find your block smashed by the need to do it better.

In On Writing, King had recommended that the writer must steel himself away from the television, the radio, other people.  Lock out the distractions and write.  But when you’re blocked, welcome those distractions and you may find yourself back in front of your computer sooner than you think.  Embrace the block!

The Morrigan
Damaged Deities
Book 1
Kennan Reid

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance


Word Count: 106k

Cover Artist: Najla Qambar

Book Description:

Morrie Brandon is the best horse trainer in Oklahoma, able to tame the wildest of beasts.  She's also the Celtic goddess of War and Sex, The Morrigan, abandoning her supernatural life for a simpler, more human one.   

When Morrie is hired by a secretive Scottish family to capture a killer horse ravaging their Highlands manor, the past she has spent thousands of years running from calls her back. 

Will Morrie learn from her past mistakes and embrace the bold goddess she truly is, or is it too late?

Available at Amazon

She’d heard the whistle before she noticed the man.  Without even looking up, Morrie knew Kade approached her on his way home from town, whistling a slow, sad tune as he hiked.  She could feel his presence. 
As soon as he noticed her, that tune changed, a grin creeping at his lips.
“Told ya the ol’ girl didna like tae be gripped so hard,” Kade smirked, stopping in front of her.
Arms crossed, Morrie expressed her lack of amusement with a dull glare. “That’s not what happened.  This rusted bucket of junk lost a wheel.”
“Ack, don’t speak o’ her so,” he chided, pulling his hands free of his coat pocket, frowning with fake concern.  He sidled around to the driver side, inspecting the damage. “Tis’ nothing, I can fix her right up.”
Morrie jumped off the back and stood behind him as he crouched down beside the truck.  Leaning his shoulder into the side, he lifted the truck up, giving enough space beneath the tire to straighten the wheel.  Morrie’s eyes widened with surprise.
“It’s a lot lighter than it looks,” she said, impressed.
With the wheel corrected, Kade stood up and faced her, dusting his hands off.  “Looks can often be deceiving, Morrie.  And I’ll be takin’ tha ride now, if ye doona mind.”
“Not if you’re driving,” she replied dryly, tossing him the keys.
Once inside and chugging down the road, the truck's cabin seemed much smaller than before.  Kade’s body filled it like an occupying force. 
Morrie kept her face free of expression as she watched the horizon, but still noted with an occasional glance the way Kade leaned back casually, his strong, tan hand hanging over the wheel while he rested his arm on the window.  Out of the corner of her eye she could see him looking at her, watching her more often than the road.
“Are you determined to wreck us?” she asked.
“I know this road better than my own home,” he replied with a deep voice Morrie only then noticed had a way of vibrating her ribcage. “Doona worry yer bonnie head, lass.  Ye’re safe wi’ me.”
“Somehow I doubt that.”
He chuckled, but she kept her face turned away from him, watching the landscape slowly pass by.
“Ye know, the shore’s a bit past the house on this road.  There’s a great restaurant there right on the water.  It’s about lunchtime anyway, what do ye say for stopping for a bite?”
“No, thank you.”
“They serve Dr. Pepper.”
She looked at him at that, knowing her face was bright and hopeful despite herself.  He had one dark eyebrow quirked, waiting. 
Opening her mouth to speak, Morrie struggled a moment longer with her basic urges before saying, “Well, I guess I am hungry.”
“I’m no’ too ashamed tae admit that hurt, Morrie.” Kade had his eyes back on the road, a smile playing at his full, soft lips, though his tone had been serious. “That a soda is more appealing tae ye than me.”
With her stunned gaze on him, a grin crept its way on her lips before she could hold it back, lightening her words.
“Well, it’s been two days since I’ve had any.”
“Ye could’ve had plenty last night had ye stayed in bed,” he quipped, his voice dropping seductively.
“Is everything about sex with you?” she asked, eyes wide.
“Canna help myself,” he muttered, a tone of genuine disbelief entering his voice. “When I’m around ye, I seem tae lose my mind.”
In a way, his admission was a surprising compliment, and Morrie couldn’t help smiling at it. 
He frowned.  “My god, is that a smile I see?” He made a show of looking at her, inspecting her face, which only made it harder for her to squelch the silly expression back down. “Doona hide it, Morrie, my dear, that’s the first time I’ve seen ye smile.  It's beautiful.”
“Don’t be silly,” she said, facing forward but her lips still upturned.
“Quite right, lass,” he adopted a playful serious tone. “Put that thing away, wouldna want the angels above tae cry with jealousy over its beauty.”
Morrie rolled her eyes and glanced at him.
Something odd happened inside of her, a weird sensation like she had been filled with warm, rich chocolate.  Every time she looked at him, at that bright smile he flashed and the warmth in his eyes, it seemed to stir that molten feeling.
“Just speakin’ the truth.”
"You speak with too much familiarity." She rested her head in her hand, watching him.  He locked eyes with hers and somehow their chocolate depths darkened, his voice husky when he spoke.
"I really canna help it," he answered. "I feel as though I know ye, as though I've known ye my whole life."
She felt it, too, an odd and inexplicable connection that seemed to justify her sudden lust.  And though the feeling was brief and fleeting, it sent a shock through her body. 
Unable to think straight, Morrie sat up and looked out, hoping if she focused on the storm clouds rolling in, it would help relieve the strange sensations at play within her.  Lips parted, she took a breath.
“How much farther?” 
Kade cleared his throat. “Not much.”
Thank the gods, Morrie thought.  Another half mile and she might end up ordering Kade to pull over and take her there in the cow pastures.

About the Author:

Kennan Reid traveled from the vast, open spaces of Texas to the vast, open ocean of California where she enjoys sitting outside in the sun, tossing a frisbee to her dog, Barnabas, and on occasion, writing a few words hoping one day they behave and become a book. When she's not pretending to be a romance author, she is writing young adult novels about elves, witches and reincarnation. The Morrigan is her first adult romance novel and after falling in love with the feisty goddess and her crazy sisters, will not be her last.

Kennan also writes Young Adult as Kelly Riad.  Other Novels include Return to Arèthane and Prince of Arèthane. 

For more information on Kennan visit:

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Kelly Riad said...

Thanks for having me on your blog!!

bn100 said...

nice blurb