Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Elizabeth Vaughan.

About the author:

Elizabeth Vaughan is the USA TODAY Bestselling Author of Warprize, the first volume of The Chronicles of the Warlands. Her father introduced her to sci/fi and fantasy, and she’s never looked back. She loves fantasy and romance novels, and has played Dungeons and Dragons since 1981, both table-top and the online game. The Chronicles of the Warlands stretches over eight books, with more to come. The latest in the series is Warsong, 2018. Beth also has a number of short stories published in various anthologies.

Beth is owned by incredibly spoiled cats and lives in the Northwest Territory, on the outskirts of the Black Swamp, along Mad Anthony's Trail, on the banks of the Maumee River.

Click here to visit her official website.

About Warsong:

The magic has come back to the Plains. The Warrior Priests are no more. The traditions are changing - too quickly for some.

Joden has only ever wanted to be a Singer, to know all of the songs. When the time comes for his Trials, he is challenged to take the old paths - and it ends in disaster. But his broken heart and broken body are found by Amyu... and she knows what it is to live with pain.

Amyu should have gone to the snows long ago, but instead chose to live in shame. Cast out of her tribe, she now serves Queen Xylara and the Kingdom of Xy. Her new mission is to find the key to defeating the wyverns who attack from the sky - but can a girl from the Plains control beasts who soar in the air?

She knows that Joden has been brought to her by the winds, and they do what they will. Their love is forbidden by the Plains, and their dreams pull them in different directions - but together they heal each other. If only they could heal their people, who are struggling with the ultimate goal:

Who will be WarKing?

GUEST POST BY ELIZABETH VAUGHAN

Yes, I get up at 5am to write, but it’s not what you think.

You probably think I spring from the bed, fully dressed, caffeine of choice in hand, ready to perch in front of my computer, ready to plunge into my current W-I-P.

Not so much.

It’s more like stumbling out of bed, feeding the cats, and then crawling back into bed with a pad of paper and a pencil, and pulling the covers back up over me. Note to the wise - use a pencil or ball-point pen.  Do not use felt-tip pens, as they tend to leave odd designs on the sheets when you fall back asleep and drop them in the bedding.

Speaking from experience here.

At any rate, I get my best ideas there in the dark, with a small reading light and the cats all purring around me with their bellies full.  Some days, the ideas flow.  I can hear my characters talking, giving me bits of dialogue and descriptions and telling me how they plan to thwart/aid the hero, heroine.  On those days, I throw back the covers, go to the writing room and get out the laptop that is not connected to the internet, and I start writing.

On the other days, when no ideas come, and its cold and dark, and the bed is warm and snug, I might fall back asleep, or get up, go to the writing room, get out the laptop that speaks wireless, and lose an hour on the internet without even trying.

But here is the thing.  Every morning, I try to write.  Even if the words don’t come, the ideas don’t flow, I honor the work by taking the time to try to write.   Even if that means just reviewing what I did the day before.  Because that ‘lose-an-hour-on-the-internet’?  It’s a thing. A thief.  That steals my time and my words without my even realizing that they have slipped away.

So it goes with goals and dreams.

To quote Gretchen Rubin, writer of The Happiness Project, ‘What I do every day matters more than what I do once in a while.’.

I am not telling you to discourage you.  I am telling you that every day, you need to plan to write and then guard that writing time.  I am a morning lark - I get up early naturally.  I have friends who are night owls, who do their best writing after 10 pm.  I know one person who dedicated his lunch hour every day to cramming his lunch in as fast as he could and then typing at break-neck speed for that remaining time in order to get words down on the page.

Whatever works for you is what works for you.  The important thing is words on the page, by whatever method.  Paper and pen.  Phone.  Laptop.  Tablet.  Dictate into a recorder.  Get the story out of your brain and down into a medium you are comfortable with.

Because the work must be done, and you are the only one who can tell your story your way.  Your Supreme Being may have given you the gift of story telling, but he/she/they/it will not show up and do the typing for you.

I will also share this.  That writing brings me joy.  That at 5 am, I am plotting ways to pull readers in, cackling with glee over a clever plot point or weeping with joy as the villain is defeated.  In those moments, the early hour, the work, the pain of getting the words down, none of that matters.

For in those moments, my soul sings.

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