Welcome to today's guest post by author Kelly Riad. She is spotlighting the release of her fourth book in the Elves of Arethane series, The Queen of Arethane which released this January.
Thank you for being here with us today Kelly!
It all ends here.
War has come to Arèthane. The land is divided. Jabari's armies are on the move. The Royal Family is tortured by long-hidden secrets. And with Jarrad gone, Emily must learn how to cope on her own.
Can Queen Karawyn keep her country and her people from falling into the clutches of the evil wizard? Will Dafne solve the mystery of her birth? As Emily faces new struggles and old foes, once again the fate of Arèthane rests in her small hands.
And just like it began…
It all ends with a Door.
About the Author:
Kelly Riad is an American writer who graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas with a degree in journalism. Because she’s always been a lucky little brat, her life has taken her all over the world from the hot, humid streets of Hong Kong and the crowded markets of Cairo, to the cobbles of Vienna and the ruins of Rome from where she has shamelessly stolen ideas and material for her stories. She self-published her first young adult novel, Always Me, in September 2011. Other Novels include Prince of Arèthane and Queen of Arèthane. For more information on Kelly’s young adult fiction, visit
Inspirations and Distractions: Overcoming and Succumbing to Writer's Block
by Kelly Riad
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!