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Sunday 27 October 2013


Today, I welcome a very close blogger friend, Christine Rains, to my site. She has recently released her 13th Floor Series as a collection and having read most of the stories, I have no hesitation in helping her to get the word out about this awesome collection.

Christine, has written a piece, posted below on how her writing style has changed, which I believe is honest and open, and also holds insight into the development and progression of most writers.

Please welcome Christine and send her your thoughts and well wishes!

Title: The 13th Floor Complete Collection
Author: Christine Rains
Genre: paranormal romance

Release date: October 13th, 2013

Six supernatural tenants
Living in a haunted apartment building
On a floor that doesn't exist.

Six novellas telling their tales.

A retired demon acquires a price on his head.
A werewolf is hunted by her pack.
A modern day dragonslayer misses his target.
A harpy challenges Zeus for the soul of the man she loves.
A vampire is obsessed with a young woman he can't find.
A banshee falls in love with someone who's death she has seen in a vision.
And a sweet ghost must battle a primal monster to save them all.

All the stories take place at the same time intertwining their lives together on the 13th Floor.


Once upon a time, I was the Mistress of Horror. Okay, maybe not mistress, but an apprentice. A really bad apprentice. My stories were full of terribly written YA and NA angst and gore. I wanted to be the next Stephen King.

The first horror story I submitted was immediately rejected. My fragile writer's ego shattered. For over ten years, I wrote in secret. Yes, I did continue writing. Yet I hid the stories in the dark, burying them in a box under my bed.

During those years, I crept away from strict horror. I experimented with fantasy and science-fiction, and my biggest dirty secret, romance. My style was long-winded. Drawn out prose, overly done descriptions, and dragging backstories. One of the tales I wrote during that time was an epic fantasy of nearly 200,000 words. I dared to share this one with a few friends, and they loved it. With their support, I hesitantly started seeking publication again.

The next phase was all about practice, practice, practice. I joined online play-by-post RPGs and dabbled with fanfiction. These taught me to be flexible, how to improvise, and that not everyone is going to like you. The latter is the hardest lesson. I attended writing conventions where I eagerly drank in every tidbit shared. I worked on short stories which I always considered something I could not do. I lost my long-windedness and learned every word matters.

I wrote a couple of science-fiction dystopian novels. They were concise and unusual, but I tried too hard to be quirky, to force a style that wasn't me. My next project featured a witch I'd played in a few RPGs. She was tough, smart, and sexy. I finished the manuscript and it shined. This was the one. I had a couple of short stories published at this point. I was feeling brave.

The rejections came pouring in. There was some interest, but once the agent or publisher read the manuscript, they passed. Why? I'd found my style. I was passionate about it.

The problem: I had no idea how to market myself. I didn't even realize what I was writing was paranormal romance. I'd queried one story, and the agents and publishers read something different. Learning the business side to writing is even more nerve-wracking than learning about the craft. Yet through my education, my writing style shifted. Knowing about the business of writing helps a lot with your actual writing.

I've found a style that works for me: fast-paced, witty, and sexy paranormal romance. And while that's what I write right now, I'm always taking opportunities to learn and grow as a writer. I experiment with various styles and genres in short stories. I'm excited to see where my imagination takes me next.

How has your writing style changed over the years?

Author Bio:
Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not writing or reading, she having adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. The 13th Floor series is her first self-published series. She has eight novellas and twenty-one short stories published.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorchristinerains
Twitter: https://twitter.com/@CRainsWriter
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4017568.Christine_Rains


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You wrote in a lot of styles before finding your own. You're in the groove now, Christine!

Christine Rains said...

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Carolyn! And for that wonderful introduction. :)

Heather R. Holden said...

Great post, Christine! It's so fascinating to see how you've evolved as a writer. (Definitely not an easy, straight-forward process!) Both my art and writing have changed over the years, too, in ways that are probably too lengthy to share in a blog comment, haha!

Christine Rains said...

Thank you, Alex! I think it did me lots of good to try other genres and styles.

Heather, thanks! I had to really edit this post myself to keep it from being too long. Hehehe!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sometimes it takes a while to find our best writing style. I love writing fiction, but now I know I do better with non-fiction.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Very interesting dissection of your own writing growth. I'm not sure I could be so honest with myself.

Yolanda Renée said...

Great post, it is all about learning and growing, and I'm still doing that, too. You are a great writer and you've achieved many of your goals, just keep writing!

Christine Rains said...

Diane, I think it's continually evolving. And that's for the better!

Susan, thank you.

Yolanda, thanks! I believe we're all constantly learning and growing. Or we should be!

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