Kristen Otte

Finding Love and Laughter through Story


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The Winter Writing Blues…Or Rather Craziness

I have this idea in my head that most writers love the months of January and February. It’s the dead of winter, so the temptation of summer sun or spring walks doesn’t exist. The days are spent inside, and the weather is perfect for writing. Stay inside, bundle up, and put your fingers on the keyboard…That is unless your name is Kristen Otte.

For those who may not know, I do a few other things besides write pug books for kids and young adult novels. I teach reading on a part-time basis, and I am a high school basketball coach. During basketball season, my life schedule is a little crazy. I love coaching and teaching, but the schedule of both lines up so I’m not home until 8pm most nights. Naturally, my writing projects suffer a bit during this time.

Basketball season is winding down over the next two weeks, but my husband and I are house shopping right now. We hope to move sometime in March. In other words, the craziness will continue a bit longer. During these busy life moments, it’s easy to set aside the writing projects, but I’ve learned I can’t stop writing when life gets busy or crazy. So I press forward with the projects when I can–mornings, weekends, late nights to meet my self-imposed deadlines. To help me meet these deadlines, I’m sharing the projects so you can keep me accountable. And so you can get excited!!

Here’s what’s on tap for this Spring:

1. The Release of The Evolution of Lillie Gable – I’m slating this for March 2015. Edits are done, cover and formatting is almost done, so I will hit this target without a problem.  I’ll be sharing the cover and exact release date in the very near future.

2. Write the First Draft of the Fourth Zelda Book!!! – I have already started the fourth Zelda book and will return to writing now that the Lillie book is done with edits and formats. Writing Zelda books are still so much fun and this one will be special. I plan to share the first draft with my Wattpad fans as I write!

3. A New Website – After a few successful and fun years here, it’s time to move away from wordpress.com. I need more freedom to sell books directly from my site for author days and do some other things to help my author business. This is a big step for me.

4. Five Author Days – I have five author day visits scheduled at local elementary schools for this spring. Author days are tons of fun and a great additional source of revenue for authors. I can’t wait to speak with these students and share the love of writing with them.

Those are my plans for the next three months. Like I said, I share my goals to hold myself accountable.

What are you up to the next three months? 


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The Annual Review: Looking Back on 2014 and Ahead to 2015

Happy New Year from Zelda Pug!

Happy New Year from Zelda Pug!

Looking Back

2014 was a big year. My husband and I moved to Cincinnati. We both started new jobs and adjusted to a new life and a fresh start. I dedicated more time and effort to writing fiction and good things started happening for my writing career. Here’s a few highlights:

1. The Photograph

In June, I released my first full-length young adult novel. This first novel took several years to write, edit, and publish, but I’m proud of the result.

2. Zelda Book Sales

I released the second and third Zelda books in 2014. With the release of the third book, the series began to gain some momentum. In November, I set the first Zelda book to free in ebook format. Since then, I’ve seen increased ebook sales of the second and third books in. Also, paperback sales skyrocketed over the holidays for all the Zelda books. Before you know it, Zelda pug will take over the children’s book market! 🙂

3. Author Days & Events

In 2014, I visited three elementary schools for Author Day events. During these events, I spoke with students about writing, publishing, pugs, and sold lots of Zelda books. I loved Author Visits and have more planned for 2015. I also set up a table to sell books at many community events and enjoyed those outings as well.

Looking Ahead

Overall, I’m very pleased with my writing output and sales in 2014. 2014 was the first full year of writing seriously, and I’m happy with the results. With the successes of 2014 in mind, I’ve started planning for 2015. I have a few goals in mind, and I’m working out the others. Here’s a few I can share.

1. Publish my second novel:

I’m currently working through edits on The Evolution of Lillie Gable, my second contemporary young adult novel. I’m happy with the story, but I have a few details to work out. Either way, the book should come out this spring!

2. Publish the fourth Zelda book:

The fourth schedule is next on the project list. I expect an early summer 2015 release. It should be another fun book!

3. More Batpeach

I wrote the first story of a new spinoff series from the Zelda books for my newsletter subscribers and Wattpad fans. Batpeach will return in 2015 with more fun crimefighting stories!

4. More Fiction on the Blog

With my increased writing output and stories available, I will be posting more sneak peek snippets of my novels and stories. I also am stopping my monthly book reviews posts. I’m not reading as much at the moment, so it seems silly to have a monthly post with one or two books. Instead, I will post a review or highlight a book I loved.

That’s a portion of the plan for 2015. I’m excited for this year and my writing career!

What were your successes in 2014? How can you build on those for 2015?


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Cincinnati – Here we come!

800px-Cincinnati-skyline-from-kentucky-shore-night

Brian, Zelda, Peach, and I are packing up our bags and heading south in a few weeks!

Brian and I are ready for a new adventure, and we are excited about the move. He will be the Worship Director at a church in West Chester (a suburb north of Cincinnati). We are both excited about the church and the new position for him. I am looking for work in the area, preferably part time so I can keep writing and publishing books. It’s going to be a crazy few weeks for us as we pack up, move, and get settled into our new place!


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Driving Home


jim

When I started driving, my stepdad gave me his car, a white Buick Regal. I called it the boat. When the Buick stopped running in college, he encouraged me to get a stick shift Jetta. He told me I would love driving stick shift, even though I never had. He drove my 2004 galactic blue Jetta off the lot and took me to Mentor High School’s parking lot. After a half hour of patient instruction, I drove my brand new car home. Almost ten years later, I still love driving my Jetta. I’m glad he convinced me to buy a car I didn’t know how to drive.

During high school, my stepdad took me to a The Who concert at Gund Arena (now the Q) in downtown Cleveland. He loved music, especially classic rock, and was so excited The Who was going on a reunion tour. Honestly, I didn’t want to go to a concert with my parents in high school. But, he said the show would be great so I obliged. He was right. I was amazed with the energy the band had on stage, especially since they weren’t in their prime. It was a good night.

When I came home from college, Jim had a habit of borrowing my Jetta for a spin around town. He loved driving stick shift, so I wasn’t surprised when he bought a stick shift Mitsubishi Eclipse a few years ago. Since he no longer needed to borrow my car for a fun drive, he loaned me his car when I was home from North Carolina for a few days or when I moved back to Cleveland, he switched cars with me for a week. He knew how much fun I had driving his car. The V6 Eclipse goes much faster than my Jetta.

I drove home tonight in my stepdad’s stick shift Mitsubishi Eclipse. I flipped through the cds in the car and found The Who in slot 5. I turned the radio up, opened the sunroof, and put the windows down. It wasn’t long on the highway before the tears came.

I think it’s fitting that my stepdad passed away on Father’s Day. How many people get to say they have one great dad, let alone two?

Happy Father’s Day. We will miss you Jim.