Patti Larsen: Guest Post + Giveaway

To kick of the Giveaways we have a fab guest post from Patti about NaNo and a fantastic giveaway.

The NaNo Plan By Patti Larsen

This is a very exciting time of year when writers gather round the old keyboard and neglect friends and family for the written word. Seeing as I do the above for a living, I thought I’d share with you my plan that keeps me writing on track and on time as best as circumstances allow. Because there are always circumstances. The key is to set up for them and have backups for all the excuses that arise.

Let’s start with the plan I've developed over the years to help me not only develop ideas into working outlines, but to keep me moving forward and motivated to write on a deadline. It can be tough--those circumstances I mentioned show up in the form of partners/spouses, kids (if you've got 'em), pets (my cats are relentless), phone calls, TV shows and out and out procrastination. There are many more reasons NOT to write than there are TO write (and yes, I've been through the entire list myself, so I know all the excuses intimately). Fear is a powerful motivator to simply step away from the keyboard or pen and paper and go do something unproductive. 

Here's the solution I use: before I start writing, I make a calendar of the month. On it, I schedule in the time I can spend on writing (please be honest with yourself here--don't say you're plan is to write for eight hours if you have a full time job and three kids with your in laws coming for dinner!) The idea is to make your goals attainable. For NaNo, they recommend a very reachable 1,667 words a day. If you think you can handle that (say a half hour before work and an hour after supper), that's great. If not, schedule what you CAN handle. If you make yourself afraid of the amount you have to do, you won't do it. That's why it's a good idea to write every day for this month if you can. The last thing you want to do is get behind (also a motivation killer). In fact, if you can get ahead by a hundred words a day or so, you'll be laughing. And set up for those times when you CAN’T write despite your best intentions.

What happens if you sit down to write and can’t? You want to be doing anything BUT writing at that moment? I suggest the Ten Minute Rule. Set a timer for ten minutes. Tell yourself you’ll only write for that long and stop. It’s a great way to trick your ego, the source of all writer angst, into letting you access your creativity and just write.

Sometimes the ten minutes is up and you still don’t feel like it. Fair enough. Log your words and go do something that brings you joy. This is supposed to be fun, remember? Stressing over it will only make it worse. The thing is, though, the opposite usually happens. That ten minute doorway turns into two or three hours and a nicely rounded word count. Why? Because you’ve taken the pressure away by giving yourself permission to stop.

Amazing how the mind works, isn’t it?

Okay, here's the best part--as I go, I do a second calendar and track my actual writing time. The cool thing is, I then create a sort of competition with myself. I see how much I have scheduled and when I hit that mark, I usually decide to see if I can go one better. It doesn't always end up that way, but it usually does.

So what if you don't hit your mark? No problem. Use your actual calendar to bump what you didn't get done to the next day and keep going. By breaking the project into manageable chunks over the course of the 30 days, it becomes much less intimidating than looking at the big picture and not knowing where to start.

Have a plan. Be flexible. Give it ten minutes. Do these three things and no matter the word count you end up with at the end of November, you’re already a winner.

About the Author: Patti Larsen is a middle grade, young adult and adult author with a passion for the paranormal. Her YA thriller series, The Hunted, is available now. Book one of The Hayle Coven series, Family Magic, is also out now, with the sequel, Witch Hunt, due November 20th. She is a full time writer and a part time teacher of her Get Your Book Done program. Patti lives on the East Coast of Canada with her very patient husband and four massive cats.

You can find her:

On her website  

Patti has kindly donated 3 ebook copies of her novel Run and 3 copies of her novel Family Magic.

The Books:

Run by Patti Larsen


Alone, Reid gasps in one deep breath, another. It hurts his ribs, his lungs. He manages to roll over on his right side and regrets it. His shoulder screams in protest. Still, he is finally able to wriggle his numb hands loose from what holds him and claws at the cloth around his eyes.

Darkness. But not complete. The moon is up. Trees loom over him, the smell of spruce and fresh air so sharp it almost hurts. He jerks at the plastic ties around his ankles while. his vision swims through a veil of pain-laden tears. He manages somehow to force his screaming hands to work the ties loose and he is free.

Sixteen-year-old Reid thinks life is back to normal. His sister Lucy pulls herself together and cuts him free from a year of foster care. She promises to take care of him, that her new boss and her new life are what they both needed to start again. Until Reid is taken in the middle of the night, dumped in a wild stretch of forest far from home with no idea why he is there. Lost and afraid, he learns to run from the hunters who prowl the darkness, their only pleasure chasing down kids like him. And killing them.

Family Magic (The Hayle Coven Novels, #1)
by Patti Larsen 

Sixteen-year-old Sydlynn Hayle is the daughter of a powerful witch and a demon lord of the seventh plane. The trouble is, she just wants to be ordinary. Syd struggles to survive the minefield of her new high school while being torn between her attraction to football hero Brad Peters and the darkly mysterious Quaid Moromond. When her coven comes under attack, Syd is forced to face the fact only her power can save her family’s magic

There will be 3 winners, each receive one of each book.

All you have to do is fill out form

You can gain extra entries by:
Following the blog (+5)
Leaving a comment (+2)
Sharing the Giveaway (+1)


  1. Congrats on your blogoversary and 500+ followers! :)
    Ooh both books sound really awesome! Thanks for introducing me to this author.

  2. i love the look of these books and would love to win them and of course i love blog site and have liked it for a long time :D


  3. Thank you so much for the giveaway!! It sounds like an AWESOME book!!

  4. Thanks for the chance to win, and congrats on so many followers.

  5. Thanks for the great giveaway and great advice for writers.

  6. Congratulations on reaching 500 followers that's huge. Thank you so much for this giveaway both books look and sound great.

  7. Congrats on reaching 500 and thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Happy Blogiversary \o/ And well done on the 500 follower milestone, here's to the next 500, and the next, and the next.... :)

    Am following on GFC and am sharing on facebook (Yvonne Poole) have tweeted (earthmommaof6) Good luck everyone ♥

  9. Run looks very different from what I normally read and both books' blurb are rather intriguing to me!
    Thanks for holding this giveaway! :D

  10. amazing giveaway - thanks so much!!


  11. I really want to read family magic thanks for the giveaway :D

    GFC follower: Brittany Hiester


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