Thank you to author Theresa McClinton for this great guest post! For the record (pun intended), I completely agree with Theresa on this one!

Thanks so much for having me on Pretty Opinionated. I’m excited to be here with Nikki and her readers. For my guest blog today I’m talking about an interesting question Nikki thought of—one I’ve been asked before, and one I really had to think on. So here we go!

As many of you may know from my author bio, I began my writing ventures in journalism. I also mention in my bio that I feel journalism is the least creative writing field, and I stand behind my statement. Here’s why:

As a journalist you learn the most important information comes first. The most relevant facts. For example, a headline might read like this:

“Nine-year-old girl escapes wild fire off the coast of California.”

So we know who, what, and where. It is very simple and forthright, which is great for the news. Then in the article it would go on to repeat the most important information at the top, and as the article goes on, the less relevant information, such as witness accounts or description of the fire’s effects on the environment would go toward the bottom. It’s done this way so if an article needs to be trimmed to conserve page space, the article won’t lose any pertinent information.

Though this method is effective for news, I didn’t enjoy following an outline. Maybe that’s why I’m a pantser, not a plotter. I like to know where I want to end up, but for the life of me, I can’t plot out every step or conversation along the way. I need to let my imagination to that or I feel completely tied down, and my story suffers.

I also didn’t enjoy being told what to write on. My editor-in-chief was a nice guy and it wasn’t anything personal, but every time the guy would pull me into his office and assign me to an article, I would be grinding my teeth through his entire briefing.

Being told what to write? Being limited to where your story can go and what information should be included? I don’t know. Something about that just rubbed me the wrong way. I wanted creative freedom. That is something journalists are not given the luxury of, and that for me was a deal breaker.

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the different sections of a newspaper, but if you enjoy reading the lengthier, in-depth articles, you were probably reading the Features section. That’s where I was. It was great at the time because in my opinion, it is the most versatile section. Still, that wasn’t good enough for me. I know. I’m selfish. But what can I say? I want to create a story with characters so lifelike, readers feel as though my characters are their friends. I want to create entire story worlds. That is why I broke away from journalism and decided to write novels instead.

It took several years for me to really peruse my passion, but here I am. Two novels and a third in the works, I can honestly say I wouldn’t do anything else with my life than weave stories for my readers and hope like hell you all enjoy them. So far I haven’t struck out, and I can’t wait to share the next book in my series with you. In case you’re not familiar with it, I am the author of The Stone Legacy Series. It’s based around Maya mythology. So if you love ancient history in a contemporary setting with a cast of versatile characters, check it out. And thanks for hanging out with me!

 Escaping Darkness

escaping-darknessShe may have spent years in an asylum, but that didn’t make her crazy–just fearless.

Dropped in Moscow with her friends on an impossible mission against underworld forces, Tara is left to her feelings of overwhelming inadequacy. Her boyfriend is a healer, her best friend is “the Guardian,” and everyone else is a powerhouse of awesome strengths. The only thing she has been able to contribute are her memories, which has left her with nightmares of her time spent at the mercy of the evil Sarian–who everyone has gone to fight.

Alone with her emotions, Tara finds herself falling into a city of depravity and corruption. And amidst all this evil is a young man with an agenda of his own, who leads her down a road that will either prove she is a hero at heart, or drag her into a world she’s always feared.

He wants revenge, she wants redemption. And in an underground rings of missing girls and bloody sacrifices, only the fearless can survive…

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