Writer’s Block? Ask your readers for help!

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By DelSheree Gladden

CollegeDegrees360 / Creative Commons

CollegeDegrees360 / Creative Commons

One of my biggest pet peeves as a reader is a lackluster ending to a series I’ve put hours upon hours into. Because of that, in my own writing, I struggle to write those final few chapters to end a series. I want it to be perfect. I don’t want to forget something important or leave unanswered questions. I don’t want to disappoint my readers.

So, I freeze up.

Wicked Revenge GOLD FRONTWickedHungerwickedglorywickedpowerNormally, I’m a pretty fast writer. Not so much when it came to finishing my Someone Wicked This Way Comes Series. Originally intended to be a three-book series, I couldn’t wrap everything up at the end of book three and extended the series to four books. I knew the path I needed to take to the ending. It was the details and fear that were holding me up. For over a year.

My poor readers messaged, tweeted, emailed, and tagged me to ask when book four was coming. They tried to be patient, but they weren’t used to waiting on me so long. I just couldn’t get over the fear of disappointing them to get any substantial writing done.

After months of agonizing over whether I had everything straight, and even rereading the first three books to refresh my memory, I still wasn’t getting anything done. A few more messages came in, asking if I had a release date yet, if there was any news … gently prompting me to get a move on.

Suddenly it hit me: If I didn’t want to disappoint readers, why didn’t I just ask them what they wanted?

I don’t mean what ending they wanted. I needed to know what questions they needed answers to. What were they still wondering about after three books? What essential information would they be upset over if they didn’t get all the details? So, that’s exactly what I did.

I posted on my various social media accounts asking readers what questions they wanted answered in Wicked Revenge and what information absolutely had to have.

They told me. I ended up with two pages of notes from readers. Their questions. Their guesses. Things they had wondered about. Details they needed. What they hoped would happen to the characters even after the story ended. My readers are pretty awesome, so I wasn’t surprised that they were willing to respond and help me out. I was surprised by the effect of their responses.

Seeing how much they cared about the characters and story motivated me just as much as getting their lists of questions that still needed to be answered. I had my checklist of what needed to be wrapped up, and I had a crew of readers I knew were eagerly waiting to find out how the characters they loved were going to fare in their final battle against destiny, lies and inner demons. They gave me everything I needed to finally stop being afraid of disappointing them and actually give them the story they wanted and needed to read.

The relationship writers develop with their readers is so important. Yes, on some level I write for myself, but I write for my readers just as much. Publishing today isn’t what it used to be. A big change is the ability to easily interact with readers, to learn about them and from them. Writing has become more symbiotic, and it’s amazing to be able to ask a reader what they need out of a story and then be able to give it to them. It’s not always that simple, but if you’re stuck and unsure of where to take your writing, don’t be shy about asking your readers for help. They love being a part of the process just as much as they love finally getting their hands on the final product.

DelShereeGladden4DelSheree Gladden wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published. Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their seventeen cousins close by. When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing and trying not to get bitten by small children in her work as a dental hygienist.
Check out her latest books, get updates and sneak peeks of new projects at

 

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Thursday Teaser: The Oblivious Girl’s Handbook

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Being oblivious to all the signs that your life is about to fall apart doesn’t stop it from happening to Sara Taylor.

obliviousgirlshandbookThe Handbook Series, #2

By DelSheree Gladden

I was tangled in a tornado of fabric when a low hissing sound caused me to freeze. Did we have snakes around here? How would one get up to the second floor? Some climbed trees, didn’t they? My heart rate was suddenly stratospheric.

I hadn’t bothered to turn on the bedroom light in my furious dash, and had only the light from the main room filtering in through the open door to surveil the room around me. Deep, angular shadows in the blankets at my feet made it impossible to see anything clearly. It seemed to be entirely too much fabric covering the floor to only contain two sheets and a light blanket, but I couldn’t see anything but bedclothes.

Until something moved.

I screamed, stumbling back in terror that I was about to be eaten by a python someone had stupidly released into the wild when they got tired of keeping it as a pet. My frantic movements did nothing but tangle my feet in the blanket even more. I was falling before I could process the fact that I’d lost my balance. Fabric tightened around my feet. I hit the floor hard, rattling the dresser handles and knickknacks on top of it.

Another hiss, this one even angry, followed by some kind of growling, homicidal yowl I could barely hear over my own screaming. I tried to get away. Being eaten by something the night I was walked out on seemed fitting, but I refused to let it happen and scrambled across the floor, blankets and sheets trailing behind me. I was reaching for the bed when pain flared across my ankle and I screeched at the attack.

Panic threw me onto the bed. Clawing at the blankets, I hauled them up on the mattress, praying the snake-demon trying to make me its dinner couldn’t climb, or jump, or whatever it might take to reach me. I had just barely yanked the last corner of fabric to safety when something sprang at me. Any screaming I might have done before were mere whimpers compared to the sound that tore from me in that instance.

Batting my arms, flinging portions of sheet, kicking out blindly, I fought off whatever was trying to kill me. I refused to die tangled up in sheets Joseph may or may not have screwed some other girl on.

Harsh, irritated banging burst through the apartment, scaring me and my attacker. We both froze, me with hair in my face, glasses nowhere to be seen…and some kind of big-eared, beige-brown colored cat glaring at me with one paw extended toward me, claws extended to match its bared teeth.

I was so stunned to realize it was a cat trying to shred my arms to ribbons, and not an escaped jungle snake, that I completely forgot what had startled us into stillness until the banging started up again and the cat bolted for my closet. Completely confused by what had just happened, I still had someone banging on my door. Throwing off blankets as I tried to get to the edge of the bed, my uncoordinated escape sent me falling off the side and slamming into the ground with one leg still wrapped from ankle to knee with the displaced top sheet.

About The Oblivious Girl’s Handbook

Alone except for the Siamese cat her boyfriend left behind to teach her a lesson, Sara has no clue how to survive on her own. She knows her friend Monroe would gladly step in, but pride forces her to either sink or swim as Christmas approaches, even when sinking seems the most likely outcome.

Where to get it

The Oblivious Girl’s Handbook is coming as a novella in the Christmas, Pets & Kisses box set and as a full novel on its own, November 1, 2016.

Pre-order the box set now:

About the author

DelShereeGladden4DelSheree Gladden lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. The Southwest is a big influence in her writing because of its culture, beauty, and mythology. Local folk lore is strongly rooted in her writing, particularly ideas of prophecy, destiny, and talents born from natural abilities. When she is not writing, DelSheree is usually reading, painting, sewing, or working as a Dental Hygienist. Her works include Escaping Fate, the Twin
Souls Saga, The Destroyer Trilogy, the Something Wicked This Way Comes series, the Date Shark series, the Ghost Host series, the Handbook series and the Aerling Series.

Visit her:

And follow her on Twitter @DelSheree.

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Teaser Thursday: The Crazy Girl’s Handbook

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By DelSheree GladdenCrazyGirlHandbook

We looked both ways before crossing the street. Both boys held my hand and Thor stayed right at my heel with the leash wrapped around my wrist. The second we set foot on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street, the boys took off and Thor made a valiant attempt at following them. Problem was, his leash was still looped around my wrist so I could hold the boys’ hands more easily. So when he lunged forward to follow, I didn’t have any control of the leash to stop him from taking me down.

Pain blossomed in more than one spot as my elbows and palms hit the cement and my head whacked into the decorative stone edging that lined the grass. Thor yelped as my dead weight kept him from getting any farther, then doubled back to see what was wrong and stomped all over me at least three times before settling on my head. By the time my senses cleared, I was so tangled in leash and puppy I couldn’t even figure out where to start. My head and arms throbbing didn’t help at all.

“Thor, get off,” a firm voice said.

I thought I wanted to die when I got gum in my hair, or soda ice down my shirt, or an ice cream pedicure. Those were nothing compared to having to be rescued from an over-enthusiastic puppy by Roman Carpenter while covered in dirt, grass, and blood. It was a miracle I didn’t give up right then and just start crying. I loved my nephews, but I was never going to be able to show my face in this neighborhood again.

The heavy weight of the squirming—and rather large—puppy was finally removed from my face. I heard Roman ask one of the boys to hold the leash, but I kept my eyes closed out of pure shame. Not until a pair of hands pressed against my face did I even dare to breathe. Even then, it was a gasp at the urgency behind the touch.

“Greenly, are you okay?” Roman demanded.

The hint of worry in his voice forced me to peel my eyelids apart. I peeked up at him through half-opened eyes and was startled not to find him laughing at me again. There was real, honest fear in his expression and it left me speechless.

“Are you okay?” he repeated.

Breathe, Greenly. “Yeah, uh huh. Yep.”

He just stared at me for a moment. Probably because I sounded ridiculous. “Are you sure?” he asked.

I tried to sit up in order to prove I was just fine. The sting of putting my hands on the ground made me hiss and I felt a little woozy when I tried to move.

“Whoa, whoa,” Roman said, which made me feel a little like a horse. “Don’t move. Let me help you.”

Great, just great. I tried again to sit up on my own. “Really, I’m fine.”

“No, you’re not,” Roman said as his arms slid beneath my arms and legs.

I experienced an irrational moment of panic, not because the idea of Roman carrying me off somewhere was frightening, but because being this close to him would expose everything about me I hadn’t already managed to bare. He lifted me easily and my breath caught as he adjusted his arms and I felt momentarily unsupported. Then his grip rolled me against his chest, to a place of absolute security. I don’t think I took a single breath as he walked up to the house.

About The Crazy Girl’s Handbook

Spending the weekend babysitting her two nephews and a puppy was supposed to be fun. Sweating to death at a baseball game while getting gum in her hair, soda down her shirt, and an ice cream pedicure wasn’t part of the deal. Neither was finding out the best guy she’d ever missed a blind date with had witnessed it all. Longest. Weekend. Ever.

BoxedSetThe Crazy Girl’s Handbook will be available in novella version in the “Valentine, Pets & Kisses Box Set” on February 2, 2016, and separately in the full novel version as the first book in The Handbook Series on February 9, 2016.

About the author

DelShereeGladden4DelSheree Gladden is a USA Today bestselling young adult and romance author, whose writing includes everything from dystopian and Native American mythology to sweet and funny romances.

Get to know her:

Also, follow her on Twitter @DelSheree and on her podcasts at Write Publish Repeat.

 

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Win-a-Book Wednesday: The Ghost Host

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By DelSheree Gladden

GhostHostCoverHave you ever had a supernatural or ghost experience? Share it in the Comments below, and you’ll get a FREE copy of DelSheree Gladden’s brand-new supernatural mystery The Ghost Host.

About The Ghost Host

Everyone thinks Echo Simmons is crazy, but being The Ghost Host isn’t just a YouTube hoax like people think. It’s the only way to control the ghosts haunting her…at least until the FBI shows up asking questions.

The first eighteen years of Echo Simmons’ life have been less than ideal. On more than one occasion her parents have considered committing her. They don’t believe she sees ghosts or that they harass her on a daily basis. So when a rogue ghost begins tormenting her, they’re the last people she’s going to tell. Her best friends Holden and Zara are doing their best to help, but ghost attacks are only the beginning of Echo’s problems.

Handling the ghosts by giving them a voice on YouTube through her webshow has been her saving grace—even if her parents think it’s all a hoax—but that gets a little complicated when the ghost of Madeline Crew reveals a little too much about her previous life and the FBI shows up at her door wanting to know how she gained access to long-buried government secrets.

It just keeps getting worse from there. Madeline’s message to her great grandson sparks a strange connection between Echo and Malachi, which leads to Georgia, secrets, mistakes, love, lies, and life changing revelations.

About the author

DelShereeGladden4DelSheree Gladden was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn’t speak a single word for the first three months of preschool, but she had already taught herself to read. Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing. She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published.Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their seventeen cousins close by. When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing and trying not to get bitten by small children in her work as a dental hygienist.
Check out her latest books, get updates and sneak peeks of new projects at

And follow her on Twitter @DekSheree.

“Check out my latest books. Get updates and sneak peeks of new projects!”

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Focus Friday: The Ghost Host

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The upcoming new release from

DelSheree Gladden

GhostHostCoverSomehow, I always knew the people I saw hovering around looking aimless were ghosts, and it never really bothered me. Sometimes I talked to them when I was little. They never talked back. Sometimes they would play with me, though. My mom used to tell people what a good baby I was, how I never cried or fussed. She thought she had just lucked out with an easy first kid. Really, I always had someone standing over my crib smiling at me or making silly faces. Ghosts really seem to like being around babies for some reason.

It wasn’t until I got a little older that I realized some of my ghostly friends were hanging around for a reason. A few of them were just lonely and either weren’t ready to move on or didn’t know how. I haven’t got a clue about how to send them on their way, so I figure the least I can do is keep them company.

Others, they had messages they wanted to pass on. At first, I didn’t know how to do that without getting into trouble. My mom refused to make phone calls or send my letters to who she deemed were random strangers. I found ways to get the letters in the mail, at least, without her knowing, but it wasn’t easy and they occasionally got sent back to us when the address proved inaccurate. Mom wasn’t happy when she found one and realized what I’d been doing.

Holden was the one who came up with the idea for the webshow. It made things a lot easier since my parents think it’s just a funny hoax we like to pull, and it gives us a hobby and keeps me out of trouble for the most part. That’s the biggest reason they let me do it. As I got older and more capable, more able to help the ghosts, they became more insistent. That’s when things got really bad.

Up until that point, I didn’t know the ghosts could affect my dreams, and not in a good way. The nightmares got progressively worse, morphing into full on night terrors. The headaches followed, though I’m still not sure if the ghosts were trying to talk to me, or just doing whatever they could to get my attention. Sometimes, their presence would become so oppressive as they tried to communicate that I would completely zone out… which sent my grades into the toilet and my behavior into the realm of unmanageable. The worst by far is when they try to touch me.

What is The Ghost Host about?

Everyone thinks Echo Simmons is crazy, but being The Ghost Host isn’t just a YouTube hoax like people think. It’s the only way to control the ghosts haunting her…at least until the FBI shows up asking questions.

The first eighteen years of Echo Simmons’ life have been less than ideal. On more than one occasion her parents have considered committing her. They don’t believe she sees ghosts or that they harass her on a daily basis. So when a rogue ghost begins tormenting her, they’re the last people she’s going to tell. Her best friends Holden and Zara are doing their best to help, but ghost attacks are only the beginning of Echo’s problems.

Handling the ghosts by giving them a voice on YouTube through her webshow has been her saving grace—even if her parents think it’s all a hoax—but that gets a little complicated when the ghost of Madeline Crew reveals a little too much about her previous life and the FBI shows up at her door wanting to know how she gained access to long-buried government secrets.

It just keeps getting worse from there. Madeline’s message to her great-grandson sparks a strange connection between Echo and Malachi, which leads to Georgia, secrets, mistakes, love, lies, and life changing revelations.

The Ghost Host officially launches on October 6, 2015 on Amazon.

About the author

DelShereeGladden4DelSheree Gladden was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn’t speak a single word for the first three months of preschool, but she had already taught herself to read. Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing. She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published.Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their seventeen cousins close by. When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing and trying not to get bitten by small children in her work as a dental hygienist.
Check out her latest books, get updates and sneak peeks of new projects at

And follow her on Twitter @DekSheree.

Check out my latest books. Get updates and sneak peeks of new projects!

 

 

 

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Focus Friday: The Only Shark in the Sea

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Date Shark, Book 3

By DelSheree Gladden

DateSharkSeries“You asked me before,” Vance said slowly, “if I saw you differently after hearing your story.” He shifted, bringing himself the tiniest bit closer to her. “Now I’ve heard your whole story, and it does change the way I see you, but only in the best ways.”

Natalie shook her head, knowing he wasn’t being completely honest, but he spoke over her silent objections.

“It’s not about how I see you, though. I know you’re determined to help me, but I can’t let you do that without returning the favor.” His mouth curved up in a warm smile that caused a strange tightening in Natalie’s chest. “I won’t be satisfied until you see yourself how you really are. Strong, brave, beautiful…amazing.”

Natalie used to believe she was the first two, the last she wasn’t so sure about at all, but… “Beautiful?” she whispered.

“Beautiful,” Vance echoed.

The feeling of her chest constricting was all too familiar, but the absence of panic to induce the feeling was startling. The warmth she felt touching him the night before fluttered back into her mind like a temptation. It was one thing to make accidental contact when he was asleep. Touching him, or letting him touch her, she couldn’t bring herself to do it no matter how much she wanted to feel that feeling again in that moment.

He wanted it too, she realized. It was a frightening realization, and she almost pulled back from instinctual fear. Vance had admitted it in a way a few minutes earlier, but he had been talking about comforting her. Calling her beautiful…she didn’t know if that changed his reason for wanting to touch her. It was right there in his eyes, though. All it would take was her making the first move, telling him it was okay. Desperation to feel his skin against hers almost literally took her breath away, she wanted it so badly, but she couldn’t. She hated herself for her weakness, but there was no way around it as she lay face to face with him, the gap of less than a foot of space between them an uncrossable distance.

About the book

The Only Shark in the Sea is the third book in DelSheree Gladden’s Date Shark series. She is hard at work on this installment and will publish it in 2015.!

Book 1, Date Shark, is FREE on

Book 2, Shark Out of Water is available at

 

About the author

DelShereeGladden4DelSheree Gladden was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn’t speak a single word for the first three months of preschool, but she had already taught herself to read. Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing. She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published.Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their seventeen cousins close by. When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing and trying not to get bitten by small children in her work as a dental hygienist.
Check out her latest books, get updates and sneak peeks of new projects at

Connect with her online:

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Win-A-Book Wednesday: Wicked Hunger by DelSheree Gladden

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WickedHunger

Born with an insatiable hunger for pain and suffering, Vanessa and Zander Roth struggle to hide the truth of who they really are. Keeping their secrets becomes even harder when Ivy Guerra arrives and stirs their hunger into a frenzy. Will their need to feed on other’s agony turn them into villains, or can they somehow find a way to become the heroes of their own dark story?

Win an e-book copy

To win an e-copy of DelSheree’s newest book, just answer this question in the Comments section, below:

Where have Vanessa and Zander been living for the past year?

Where to buy Wicked Hunger 

And visit Delsheree’s 

And don’t forget to follow DelSheree Gladden on Twitter @DelSheree

 

 

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Win-A-Book Wednesday: Twin Souls by DelSheree Gladden

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Welcome back to Win A Book Wednesday. Come up with a caption for the featured book cover and leave it as a comment in this post. The winner will receive an e-copy of the featured book from the author.TwinSoulsShaded

We’re featuring Twin Souls this week.

For this week’s contest, Delshhree would  like readers to give her a one sentence guess about what the book is about based on the cover. She’ll pick the most creative guess as the winner.

What do you think this book is about? Share for a chance to win your copy.

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