GUEST POST: Kady Winter – Life is what happens

Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans,” Allen Saunders famously wrote. Resonate for you? It sure describes my last year as an aspiring fiction author!

It was all so simple and straight-forward. I’d adapt my passion project screenplay into a YA novel. While querying agents, I’d work on the prequel. Along the way, I’d nurture the online presence for my pen name, Kady Winter, so that when my first novel came out, I’d have a relationship with readers who might enjoy the book.

Sounds good, right? And everything was going according to plan. I even wrote a short story to give readers a sense of my writing style and genre. (“Silver Moonlight” is available for free at and Wattpad.) I finished my debut, “Golden Apples,” in late spring 2013. It won a contest and finaled in another. By summer, three agents had requested it. I was well underway with the prequel and the delightful Andrea Whittle had even profiled me on her Penny Dreadful Books and Reviews blog! Whoo hoo!

Then “Life” happened, decided to pull “Golden Apples” from the agents to restructure, ended up writing the first draft of a new novel and its sequel during NaNoWriMo, a 30-day writing challenge held each November. Thus, on December 1st, I found myself the proud author of four incomplete or unedited manuscripts, each one a long way from being ready for others to see, much less agents. Sigh.

But Life’s still grand, and Andrea kindly invited me back to share some more of my journey. Here’s a sneak preview of my N/A historical with paranormal elements, “All That Shimmers.” It’s my NaNoWriMo novel, the first of a series and set in the world established in “Silver Moonlight.”

Working at a ‘grand hotel’ resort while World War I rages overseas, whimsical Vanessa enlists the aid of some enchanting water nymphs in her misguided quest for a rich husband, but does she recognize true wealth when she sees it?


“Last dance!” called the bandleader. Vanessa was glad to see Avery heading in her direction. Her previous partner had been more enthusiastic than skilled, and she looked forward to ending the night on an up note.

Dancing with Avery would be the perfect cap to a delightful evening.

“Save the best for last?” Ned’s breath was warm on the back of her ear, his scent a risqué blend of booze and wintergreen mint.

Her smile was demure as she turned to face him. “If you’re asking me to dance, I’d say that’s exactly what you’ve done.”

He grinned. “Spunky. I like that.”

She took his warm hand as ‘The Missouri Waltz’ began. In moments, his arm was firmly around her back as they glided across the floor together. “I’m Ned Cooper.”

“Vanessa Perkins.”

“A relative of Isabel Anderson’s?” he asked. “I believe she’s a Perkins.”

“Anything’s possible,” Vanessa replied with a smile. Who knows, even a famous heiress like her must have distant cousins.


WEBSITE: | Facebook: Kady Winter  | Twitter: @kadywinterbooks | Tumblr: Kady Winter | Pinterest: Kady Winter


21 thoughts on “GUEST POST: Kady Winter – Life is what happens”

  1. Hi, Kady. I enjoyed the excerpt. And don’t worry about life getting in the way (it always does) just consider it prepping for when you’re juggling contracts, writing a new story, editing a prior story, and promoting yet another one. It’s all doable, right? Writers. We are both jugglers and magicians. : )

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Roben! You are my inspiration, and I’ll cry on your shoulder when I’m in the happy position of juggling all those issues, too!

  2. Loved hearing your story, Kady, even with that huge dollop of “life happens”. It seems to be part of the process for writers –
    I’ve had deadlines when my mother was on hospice and living with us, and also now when I’ve just become a new grandmother and want to spend all my time with that beautiful baby. Perspective is the key.
    I’m excited for you and your journey, and am wishing you great success.
    And, oh, what a lovely website. Thank you for helping me discover it.

    1. Thanks for the support, Lynne! I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to deal with a deadline while trying to be there for your mother. And how tempting it must be to spend all your time with that bundle of joy! I’m so glad to have been introduced to your work, too – particularly fun to read you in French!

  3. Totally agree with this! But life is definitely what you make it, and if you want to write, then write away! I read a great letter by Kurt Vonnegut the other day, and he said to just do what you’re passionate about, grow yourself, and it doesn’t matter if no one ever sees it — though it looks like many have seen your books already!

    Can’t wait to read more, Kady!

    1. Thanks Katharine! Love that quote. Definitely have to love the process, which fortunately I do. I’m so happy when I’m working on my novels. 🙂

    1. Awwh! Thanks so much, Rebekah! I feel the same way about you. I see a boxed set of the Fairielle series in my future!

  4. Kady! I’m familiar with your beautiful writing, but it’s good to hear your back story with this WIP. Every step forward in our lives holds a lesson to be learned; that is, if we are listening. You have a great foundation as a screen writer, now it’s just learning how to navigate this new market. Excited to share this journey with you as a fellow LARAite.

    1. You are so right about lessons to learn, Kaitlyn! I’m really enjoying going on this journey with you, too. LARA has been the most incredible, supportive, wonderful experience for bringing me together with you and the other wonderful people leaving comments here. 🙂

  5. Hi Kady, I am also finding the road to publishing to be very different from the Interstate Freeway across Kansas that I expected. I am on a twisting mountain road and taking two steps forward and one step back. Life happens, but I hope you keep going. I’m going to cheer for you every step of the way. PS — Love your excerpt.

    1. So true! I imagine every writer finds their actual experience to be very different than the one they imagined. And I’ll definitely be continuing, no doubt about it. Can’t wait until RT in New Orleans! Look forward to being roomies!

  6. Hi Kady,

    Loved your excerpt. Your writing has a magical quality that perfectly suits your stories.

    As far as the road to publication, everybody takes their own unique route. Kudos for not rushing things. You are your brand and nobody’s going to protect your brand the way you will.

    Good luck and happy writing!!

    1. Thanks so much for all your support, Samanthe! I enjoy your writing so much, it means a lot to hear your feedback. And I love watching your career unfurl so beautifully, too.

  7. Getting words on the page in the first place is the important thing and clearly you’ve got that skill mastered! You can always go back and improve the first draft…best wishes!

    1. So glad you like the excerpt, Kate! I really value your opinion. I can also relate to WP issues when trying to leave comments on blogs. Not always easy! Thanks so much for swinging by!

  8. Congratulations on you success, Kady. Looks like you’re well on your way. I liked the excerpt, by the way. Wets the appetite to want more. My path to publication was a weird one for sure. I was slaving over contemporary romance when challenged to write a pulp sports historical. The Romance is stalled and the pulp story is publish. The writer’s journey is a strange one sometimes.

    Good luck.

  9. Hi Kate…
    As a newbie still working on finishing my book, I am lapping up every information shared by all of you, my mentors…I enjoyed the excerpt and can’t wait to read more..As someone mentioned earlier, the journey we allow ourselves to take is what will dictate the outcome or our reality in where life takes us…Since joining LARA, I find that there is so much to learn about writing and being a writer and I know that I have come to the right place to fulfill my journey. You guys ROCK!

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