Bestselling Author Delilah Devlin
HomeMeet Delilah
BookshelfBlogExtrasEditorial ServicesContactDelilah's Collections

Archive for the 'On writing…' Category

February into March (Contest)
Thursday, February 29th, 2024

The winner is…Stacey Kinzebach!



  1. I completed work on Malcolm (Book #10 of Montana Bounty Hunters: Dead Horse, MT) and published it!
  2. I began work on What Happens in Bozeman, my next We are Dead Horse, MT, book!
  3. I completed 3 editing projects for other authors in February.


  1. I visited my heart doctor, and he was so pleased with my progress I don’t have to see him for another year!
  2. I continued concentrating on drinking more water, plus, I continued drinking water mixed with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar twice a day to improve my liver health. I began drinking one cup of Turmeric tea a day.
  3. I’ve managed to keep my blood pressure down to 135-155, despite the fact I haven’t lost any weight. Gah.


  1. I began the #the100dayproject art challenge.
  2. I led a hands-on program for the local art guild using Gelli plates to produce pretty papers for things like collage. (See the tags I made below, which were painted using Gelli plates!)
  3. Here are some examples of art projects I completed in February.



What Happens in Bozeman 
For work-related, I plan:

  1. To complete writing What Happens in Bozeman, my next We are Dead Horse, MT, book, which releases on March 19th!
  2. To begin work on my next Brotherhood Protectors book!
  3. To complete 4 editing projects in March!
  4. To finish reading and selecting stories from among the submissions for the upcoming collection—Secret Identities: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology!

For health related, I plan:

  1. To start back on my Weight Watchers diet, because it’s time to get serious! I HAVE to get back in the saddle!
  2. To continue to reduce salt and processed food, and incorporate foods good for blood pressure (spinach, broccoli, bananas) and my liver (apple cider vinegar, flax seeds, sunflower seeds).
  3. To begin daily workouts using my recumbent bike and some chair yoga exercises.

For happiness-related, I plan: 

  1. To continue #the100daychallenge where I’ll be painting something every single day!
  2. To meet three of my favorite author-friends for a luncheon to get some writer time!


Comment on anything you’ve read in this post. Tell me what you’re doing to make yourself happier and healthier, or tell me what you plan to read in March…
Like I said, comment on anything for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

Genevive Chamblee: How NaNoWriMo Is For Readers
Saturday, October 21st, 2023

For those who are unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo (or NaNo), it is short for National Novel Writing Month which is a nonprofit organization and an annual writing event that happens in November. From the name alone, NaNo sounds as if it is exclusively for writers. However, it’s not. But before I get into the benefits for readers, let’s take a brief look at the organization.

NaNoWriMo was created in 1999 by Chris Baty as a writing society. The purpose was to offer and provide community, encouragement, structure, and tools to assist individuals in attaining their creative voices and succeeding at fulfilling their creative (not just writing) goals.

As writing event, NaNo is a challenge to complete writing a 50,000-word novel between November 1 to November 30. However, this description is a little deceiving. NaNo allows for much flexibility, and writers set their own goals. Not every writer wants (or needs) to write 50,000 words. Goals may be set higher or lower. In fact, it may not even include writing. Some authors use NaNo as a time to edit a completed manuscript or screenplay. Others may decide to work on blurbs, back matter, and other writing details associated with novels. The point is to set a writing goal and accomplish that goal in thirty days. During the first NaNo event, twenty-one writers participated. Last year, that number was over 400,000.

So, how is NaNo a benefit for readers? For starters, it means that many of your favorite authors have their next novel or project in progress. It also means, some authors will be looking for beta readers. As a result, readers can get sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes looks at what authors are working on. Other authors may ask for story ideas or suggestions. Is there a side character in a story that you’d like to see have his/her own book? During NaNo would be a perfect time to suggest it.

Some authors use NaNo as a writing exercise in creative expression and not necessarily to complete a novel. They just want to write and expand their craft. For example, an author who usually writes epic novels may want to write a series of short stories with the background and history of established characters. Or a writer who typically writes contemporary romance may try his/her hand at a regency romance as a tester. In turn, they may offer these shorts as freebies.

Many authors document their NaNo journey on social media, giving readers a lot of extra content to enjoy. Readers will be able to see the writing process (which is different for each author) and writing struggles. It allows readers to get to know authors on a different level.

Although Camp NaNoWriMo occurs in April and July, October is generally the month writers begin kicking into gear for NaNo. This is why October is frequently referred to as Preptober. Preparing for NaNo is as different as the writing process itself. For some writers, it means gathering research. Maybe, now is the time for readers to join an author’s research squad. For other writers, outlining as prep is their journey. Yet, others may use the time to make arrangements for reserving writing locations or scheduling writing times. Readers can check in and see how writers are getting ready.

In short, NaNo is just as much for readers as it is for writers.

So, that’s a wrap on today’s topic. Now, it’s your turn to sound off. What did you think? What is your take on the subject? Do you agree or disagree? Did you find this information helpful or informative? Did you learn anything new, or did it change your opinion? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Also, let me know if you would like me to cover more of these types of topics or dive deeper into this one. If you like this post, please click the like button and share it. Your feedback allows me to know the content that you want to read. If you’re not following me on Creole Bayou blog, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou.

Future Goals

Get ready. It’s time to hit the ice again. Future Goals has arrived and is available.

When a college hockey player needs the help of an attractive older attorney, he gets more than he bargained for when trying to sort out the troubles in his career. Falling in love was never part of either man’s plan, especially as Corrigan’s and Sacha’s lives should never have collided. Now they’re left questioning if they’re standing in the way of the other’s future goals, or if there’s room for redirection.

Order your copy at:
Other booksellers:

Missed the first four books in my hockey romance series? No frets.

Out of the Penalty Box (book #1), where it is one minute in the box or a lifetime out, is available at It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links on where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit

Defending the Net (book #2) can be ordered at or Crossing the line could cost the game.

Ice Gladiators (book #3) is the third book in my Locker Room Love series. When the gloves come off, the games begin. Available at or

Penalty Kill (book #4) retakes the ice. Get a copy at or and let the pucker begin.

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this post or any others, feel free to comment below or X (formerly tweet) me at @dolynesaidso. You also can follow me on Instagram at genevivechambleeauthor or search for me on Goodreads, Amazon Authors, BookBub, Bluesky, Threads, or TikTok.

NEWSLETTER! Want to get the latest information and updates about my writing projects, giveaways, contests, and reveals first? Click and sign up today.

Until next time, happy reading and much romance. Laissez le bon temps rouler.

About the Author

Genevive Chamblee resides in the Bayou country where sweet tea and SEC football reign supreme. She is known for being witty (or so she thinks), getting lost anywhere beyond her front yard (the back is pushing it as she’s very geographically challenged), falling in love with shelter animals (and she adopts them), asking off-the-beaten-path questions that make one go “hmm,” and preparing home-cooked Creole meals that are as spicy as her writing. Genevive specializes in spinning steamy, romantic tales with humorous flair, diverse characters, and quirky views of love and human behavior. She also is not afraid to delve into darker romances as well.

G.S. (Gabrielle) Prendergast: When Pants Become Plots: Hitting the Halfway Mark Without Losing Speed
Wednesday, July 12th, 2023

How many of you have heard the terms “plotter” and “pantser” and have some idea of what they mean?   For those of you who don’t here’s a quick summary. “Plotter and pantser” describe two different writing methods. Plotters plot everything out beforehand. They write detailed outlines and sometimes even outline each scene. Pantsers on the other hand, write “by the seat of their pants”—they make everything up as they go along, with no clear idea of where the story will take them.

Both types of writers can be successful. And many writers, myself included, use a kind of “hybrid” method, pantsing up to a certain point in a book then stopping to think through the rest of the story—plot it, as it were. That technique, of taking a short break at some point to consider the big picture can work for plotters too. Often as plotters write, even from very detailed outlines, they discover things they hadn’t expected that take the story in a new direction. For both plotters and pantsers an hour or two of big picture thinking can be really helpful in maintaining momentum.

Remember, there’s no need to enact any changes on the writing you’ve already done—that can be fixed in your next draft, but a better picture of your overall plot might get you back on the fast track for the remaining pages.

So how do you get your mind back on big picture when you’ve been working on fine details? There are a few cute little tricks you can try. Here are some ideas:

  1. Work on your pitch. We used to call these “elevator pitches”, ie. the way you would pitch your book if you found yourself in an elevator with, say, Steven Spielberg. Now these are more simply described as “Twitter pitches”—140 (or 280) character blurbs summarizing what your book is about. Perfecting these in the middle of your writing process helps you to crystalize your premise, your themes and your characters and may give you a clearer idea of the path ahead.
  2. As a fun side-quest to the above, try writing a Haiku book review or summary to your book. You get seventeen syllables only, in lines of five, seven and five syllables each. You’d be surprised how well this exercise gets your to the core of your story.
  3. Write (or rewrite) the summary you would use in your query*. It is often said that if you can’t clearly summarize your book in 250 words then your plot has serious problems. I don’t think that’s true for all books, but writing your query halfway through the writing process will help you to check the overall health of your book. It may also help you see the path to your conclusion if that has been evading you.
  4. Go old school and write out the beats of your existing and remaining plot on index cards. Use colored pens or tags keep track of multiple protagonists or subplots. Lay them out on the floor or a pin board. Once this is done you can literally step back and see the shape of your story. Is it weighted correctly? Is it balanced? Do subplots or characters disappear for long periods or dominate certain sections? Are there characters or subplots that aren’t pulling their weight and can be deleted? Where is it going?
  5. Write discussion questions for your book. That’s right, discussion questions, the kind you can find on study guide websites or in the back of some “book club editions” of books. Dreaming up discussion questions will help you to think about what you are trying to say and how you might succeed in saying that in the remaining pages of your book.

One of the confounding things about novel writing is that doing it well ultimately involves more thinking than writing. If you feel like your writing is stalling or stumbling or meandering aimlessly in a forest of bad metaphors, taking a little time to think about the big picture might help. The above are just a few thinking exercises you can try.

*Out of interest the query summaries I wrote for most of my books ended up as the basis of the flap copy/marketing copy for those books!

About the Author

G.S. (Gabrielle) Prendergast is the bestselling author of numerous books for children and teens. She studied writing at the University of New South Wales in Australia, at San Francisco State University and the University of British Columbia. After years of working in the music industry, in social welfare, and the film industry, Gabrielle began writing books when she became a mother, so she could work from home. Her books have received nominations for the White Pine Award, the Canadian Library Association Award, the Vancouver Book Prize and several other honors. She won the BC Book Prize for her YA sci-fi Zero Repeat Forever and the Westchester Award for her YA novel in verse Audacious. Born in the UK and both an Australian and New Zealand citizen, Gabrielle now lives in East Vancouver in a permanent state of  “under-construction”.

Breaking Bad Habits (Contest)
Wednesday, January 4th, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…Mary Preston!

I have lots of bad habits. I’m sure you do, too. The one that causes me the most stress is the one where I think I have to conquer one mountain at a time. By that, I mean if I have a huge edit job, I have to work through it to the exclusion of writing. Which causes me to go down to the wire when it comes to finishing a book. I wrote Guarding Hannah in a ridiculously short time. Yeah, I’m really happy with the story. In fact, I think it’s one of the best I’ve ever written, but that isn’t the point. I need to destress, not run on adrenaline.

That’s my big goal this year. Destress the work. Get little bites done in an orderly fashion as I march toward completion. I know how to do this. I was a program manager in a past life. I used to work on multiple story projects at one time using some advanced planning techniques, but I’m not going for that now. I don’t want to write MORE. I want to write in such a way that I have time to devote to something that gives me greater joy—like painting.

Yes, doodling things like these makes me happy.

I want more time to sit with paint and paper. I want more time to take some classes and learn how to do it well. I feel like I did when I started writing—I want to know everything, try everything, right now! Not that I’m looking to make it another gig for money. I just want to explore an artistic path for passion’s sake.

But to get there, I have to rope in my chaotic work habits. I’ve begun this year anew. So far, so good. I’m making progress on my new story, Mica, and I’m working on a set of edits I’ll finish this week. In the meantime, I’ve been painting in the evenings and organizing my studio space (does that ever end?). I’ll get there…in incremental steps rather than putting all my energy into fits of activity. That’s so exhausting, isn’t it?

So, I’d love to give away one of these postcards. Winner’s choice. Tell me what bad habit you’d like to tackle this year.

G.S. (Gabrielle) Prendergast: Mash Up meets Inspiration
Tuesday, November 29th, 2022

Writers, where do you get your ideas? In my just-released workbook, The Novel Workbook for Messy Writers, the whole first section is dedicated to getting ideas.  While some experienced novelists probably have long lists of ideas waiting to be written, beginner writers might struggle with this step—the first step, really! That said, I encourage even experienced writers to complete “getting ideas” exercises. It’s a great for stretching and challenging your creative muscles. My workbook suggests numerous ways of generating ideas but one of my favorites is “This Meets That”.

“This Meets That” is similar to something we have in the book business called “comps”. “Comps” is short for comparables, and it refers to what other books that a book under discussion would be compared to. So an author, an agent, a publisher or a reviewer might describe a book thus: “It’s got the sweet romance of Stargirl but in a dystopian setting like Divergent” (I would read this!) Sometimes comps are simply expressed like “It’s X meets Y” or “part X and part Y”. When I was agent hunting, I described my young adult sci-fi, Zero Repeat Forever, as “Part Terminator and part Beauty and the Beast”. My publisher describes it as “The 5th Wave meets Beauty and the Beast”. But one of my favorite ways to describe it has always been “Twilight meets Terminator”!

What does this have to do with getting ideas? For indie romance authors, who often write and publish six or more books per year, the “getting ideas” part of writing is critical. Readers are hungry for new premises and new characters, but new ways of telling familiar stories are also always popular. So a great way to generate ideas is to mash two familiar stories together, creating something new. In doing this you not only have created an interesting premise for your book, but you also now have access to at least two existing books/stories’ worth of inspiration (and indeed detail) to draw from.

X meets Y premises can be lots of fun, and the further X is from Y the better, in my opinion. Only imagine the possibilities! I’d love to read “Cinderella meets Clan of the Cave Bear” for example. A prehistoric prince and his enchanted mystery princess? Are you kidding me? That would be awesome. Or how about “Scheherazade meets High Fidelity” about a plucky Muslim teen who keeps her disgruntled record store boss amused with stories so he doesn’t close down his failing business. (OMG someone please write this).

I could go on and on about this, but I’m at risk of coming up with premises I want to actually write. And I have a deadline. I need to focus!

What X meets Y retellings would you like to write?

About The Novel Workbook for Messy Writers

There are many thousands, if not millions of aspiring novelists out there who simply don’t know where to start. Thousands more writers have attempted or even completed a novel or two but are looking for a new way of approaching their next one. Then there are successful, published novelists who are sure they’ve forgotten how to write a novel and will never be able to do it again. And finally there are published novelists who are confident they can do it again if they could just find their laptop under the chaos on their desk.

The Novel Workbook for Messy Writers is for all of the above and more. It’s a writer’s workbook that provides just enough structure to get the creative juices flowing, while leaving writers the freedom to get their words down how, when and where they want to. Lists, quotes, doodles, collage, prose, verse, song lyrics, maps and diagrams will all fit into the Workbook pages, allowing writers to create a complete and detailed blueprint for their novel, including such information as character names, setting descriptions, genre, musical inspiration, props, world-building and much more.

Including prompts and tips on each page, The Novel Workbook for Messy Writers is for novelists of all ages, at any stage in their writing career.

Get your copy here!

About Gabrielle

G.S. (Gabrielle) Prendergast is the bestselling author of numerous books for children and teens. She studied writing at the University of New South Wales in Australia, at San Francisco State University and the University of British Columbia. After years of working in the music industry, in social welfare, and the film industry, Gabrielle began writing books when she became a mother, so she could work from home. Her books have received nominations for the White Pine Award, the Canadian Library Association Award, the Vancouver Book Prize and several other honors. She won the BC Book Prize for her YA sci-fi Zero Repeat Forever and the Westchester Award for her YA novel in verse Audacious. Born in the UK and both an Australian and New Zealand citizen, Gabrielle now lives in East Vancouver in a permanent state of  “under-construction”. You can find Gabrielle on Instagram or Tiktok  @gsprendergast

It’s almost NaNoWriMo time!
Tuesday, October 25th, 2022

And you ask, what the heck is NaNoWriMo? Well, you can follow the link or read on!

NaNoWriMo is an online challenge. Writers commit to writing 50,000 words from November 1 to November 30. I’ve participated nearly every year since 2005—not that I’ve made it to the end. Some years, life got in the way or my book was shorter than 50k words, and I didn’t want to start something else. The point is to show up and WRITE!

NaNo is huge now! And international. They sell T-shirts and coffee mugs and host in-person write-ins. They maintain a message board where you can sign up and converse with like-minded authors. I don’t do any of that. I already bought the winners’ T-shirt–now I have to earn it. I have my NaNoWriMo page ready for me to update my daily progress. I have “buddies” I like to check in with, but not much, because November is always scary busy for me.

If any of you writers are planning to “NaNo” this year, be sure to update or sign up to start your page then let me know your buddy name. You can nag me. I’ll try to nag you. That’s how it works.

NaNo provided the pretty graphic to share. Wish I’d doodled it!

Anyways, that’s all I’m talking about today. I have edits, edits, edits to work on. Yeah, three sets. My day is full.

Everyone, have a wonderful day. Find something that gives you joy. I hope to reward myself with a little painting tonight. Out here! ~DD

I wish I was one of those writers…
Thursday, July 21st, 2022

Today, I’m reading through Gabriel one last time to catch my ugly nits—you know, grammar issues, misspellings, clunky sentences. As many times as I’ve read the chapters, you’d think there would come a time when I’d find ZERO to fix. Hah! I have things that are published now, and if I go grab a scene for something, I find another error. It happens. Even to writers who write for big publishing houses. I know, because I used to do that. Now, I’m on my own. I have three trusted beta readers who help me find some of my errors, but the rest is up to me.

If I were one of those authors who actually wrote their books months in advance of publication, I might have several chances to skim through what I’ve written, but I’m my own publisher now. So, it’s ALL on me.

Sometimes, I wish I was one of those authors who could sit without pressure and write pages and pages, following a production schedule plan. That’s not me. I require adrenaline to produce. I have to be staring at the deadline to upload my book before I can kick my ass into gear. It’s not just the problem of forcing myself to sit at my computer and type, it’s an issue of inspiration. I swear to you, I write better, my stories make more sense, and my scenes pop when I’m on a caffeinated frenzy to finish a book. The language of my books tends to be more realistic, too.

The book I’m wrapping up today to format and load before TOMORROW’S deadline wouldn’t exist without adrenaline. Fig, my heroine, wouldn’t be as tangible. The action scenes wouldn’t be as crisp.

Yeah, sometimes, I wish I was one of those writers, but today, I’m happy I’m not.