Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Everyone! I hope 2012 is starting out well for all of you. I seem to be off and running and am already behind schedule on a few things. Some of you have been asking me when my next novel, Manifesting Mr. Right will go on sale. I’m aiming for the beginning of summer. I’d like to say it will be out sooner, but unfortunately, I’m in the busy time of year for my voiceover work, which means my writing time often gets hijacked.
It does become a little challenging, bouncing between two time-consuming careers, especially since I’m the type of writer who does not work from an outline. I write stream of consciousness, which is great when I’m outside on my laptop, pecking away at the keyboard for several hours at a time. Not so great when I get interrupted and have to stop writing for a couple of weeks. It would be much easier to pick up where I left off if I worked from an outline. But I just can’t.
I remember when my screenwriting professor in college told the class that every writer worked from an outline. No exceptions. Naturally, our assignment was to write an outline for our screenplay over the following 3 weeks. After our outlines were approved, we’d spend the rest of the semester writing the screenplay. Sounds simple, right?
I tried to write an outline, honestly I did, but it didn’t feel organic to me, and it came out predictable and contrived. After a week of struggling and with my deadline looming, I remember sitting down with my hands positioned over the keys and I just began typing. I knew what my story was about and I knew the ending, but that was it. I kept my mind open and I soon heard my characters speaking to me. I wrote the screenplay in twelve
days, then quickly put an outline together from that, which ended up being so much better than my first attempt. Not only did I get an “A,” but doing it backwards taught me how to
write a synopsis.
I guess it just goes to show that there is no one way to do things. Everyone is different, so why wouldn’t we all have different ways of working? It’s all about process and what works for you. To me, my way of writing is exciting—not knowing where my characters are taking me. Kind of like life.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson wisely stated, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Enjoy the ride.

BREAKING THE RULES AND INDUSTRY STANDARDS IN THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY

I know I broke the rules. But really, who follows them anymore? And who doesn’t get tired of hearing the phrase, “industry standard?” Okay, so maybe it is industry standard to have a pen name if you’re going to write in more than one genre. Best-selling romance writer, Nora Roberts writes under J. D. Robb for her futuristic suspense novels. But in a world where branding has become a big deal and one’s name needs to be attached to a lengthy resume in order to be picked up by search engines, can you blame me for not wanting to write under a pseudonym?

The publishing industry says that a writer must stick with one genre, otherwise it will confuse the reader. But how can that be when a book cover on a romance novel is completely different than one on a thriller? My Big Fake Irish Life, my romantic comedy, doesn’t look a thing like my dystopian novel, Logging Off. Besides, readers tend to read the synopsis of a book before buying it.

Lucky for me, times seem to be slowly changing. Thriller writer, James Patterson didn’t choose a non de plume for his romance Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas, nor did John Grisham when he strayed away from his legal suspense genre to pen A Painted House.

I really do hope these two amazing writers have started a new trend, and perhaps a better one. What better way to sample a genre that normally doesn’t interest you than by having one of your favorite authors get you hooked on it?

Trying something new can be surprisingly delightful and maybe even a little addictive.

Caitlin

Taking my career into my own hands

As you know, I currently make my living as a voice actor and voice casting director, but I didn’t come out to Hollywood to pursue a voice acting career. I came out to be an on-camera actor. Unfortunately, the be-yourself-and-you’ll-do-well advice I received from my acting coach was the worst advice I could have received. I may have been given a four-year college scholarship for my portrayal of Emily in Our Town, but my sweet-girl-next-door persona would do nothing for my acting career.

I soon learned that all casting directors and agents put every actor in a category, and the girl-next-door category, which I was occupying, was oversaturated with cute girls from the Midwest. Hollywood, when I arrived, was already looking for the next best thing.

Of course, being new, just like the whole internet not catching on thing,  I hadn’t yet figured this out. I, at least, knew something wasn’t working. In my first year, I changed agents three times, paid good money to get new headshots four times, and I still only managed to get 6 auditions all year. I still wasn’t standing out for whatever reason. Refusing to give up and go home, I decided to brand myself. I gave myself a makeover, placed myself in a very specific category, and suddenly the doors opened and the work came pouring in.

Naturally, I had to write about this crazy idea and even crazier experience in my new novel titled, My Big Fake Irish Life. Even though My Big Fake Irish Life is fiction, it is based on my own true story—one that had me leading a double life, and, um…well…still has me leading a double life (gasp) with some friends and some work situations.

Kind of bold, kind of daring, and maybe a little crazy, I know, but what do you expect from someone who works 14 hours a day in the film industry—an industry where reality is relative? At least I try to make reality fun.

This whole internet thing. It’s never going to catch on.

Do you recall those early days of the Internet and learning how to use it? I remember I had been on-line a mere three hours when my brother-in-law gave me a URL over the phone.

“It’s http…colon…backslash…backslash…www…dot—”

“Wait,” I interrupted. “How much more?”

“I haven’t even given you the address yet.”

Ten minutes later, and after it took me three attempts to enter NINETY-SIX characters correctly, I thought to myself, This whole Internet thing. It’s never going to catch on.

Needless to say, I missed the mark on that one. And now we have Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, RSS, Kindles, Nooks, iPads, iPhones, blogs… Being tech-challenged, I sometimes feel like my head is going to explode.

Is it any wonder that I ended up having a very detailed dream about the dangers of technology and where it’s leading us as a society? This dream of mine pretty much gave me the entire plot of Logging Off, and if you read it, you will see just how much of it is well on the way to becoming reality.

Not in the book is something I really wish existed: teleportation. Who out there isn’t sick of the airport lines and the constant security screenings? It would be so nice to transport quickly and easily anywhere in the world, to be beamed up or down like they do in Star Trek.

Did you see the latest Star Trek movie? I’m the voice of the Kelvin Computer in the beginning. My voice is elsewhere in the movie, but not so prominent. I own a loop group and we create the walla for movies and television shows. Depending on the needs of the show, I hire other actors to work with me to fill in all the background voices for every scene.

I just finished working on Garry Marshall’s movie, New Year’s Eve. I’m finishing This Means War starring Reese Witherspoon, and I’m currently working on Rock of Ages, Red Lights, Prometheus, Underworld 4, Jack the Giant Killer, and Battleship.

Talk about working in a tech-laden industry. I guess I shouldn’t complain so much about all the advancements. If we didn’t have them, I wouldn’t be talking to you.  

-Caitlin

Super Natalie

Natalie Dalton can’t hold down a job. It’s not because she is constantly late, has a terrible work ethic or doesn’t try. It’s because she is plagued with a gift she’d rather give back. Natalie can communicate with ghosts—annoying, persistent ghosts who choose to have a word with her at the most inconvenient times, often at work with bosses and colleagues around.

Fired from her umpteenth job and nearly out of cash, Natalie accepts an offer to appear on the low-brow, sensationalist TV talk show, World’s Weirdest Hobbies, to discuss her unusual ability, but more importantly to collect a paycheck. Unfortunately, a spirit appears as she’s being interviewed and ends up embarrassing the host of the show by revealing a juicy secret. The host goes ballistic and the clip of his attack goes viral, which catapults Natalie into the limelight and lands her a reality series as a paranormal investigator.

With her financial future secure, it looks like Natalie’s life is finally going to run smoothly for a change. Then she meets Ryan Emery, a gorgeous, sweet, funny guy who is working on her new series. Natalie could really fall for him except for the fact that Ryan is a major skeptic. He doesn’t believe in ghosts and never will. This presents a problem when a persistent spirit wants Natalie to give Ryan a message—one that will dramatically change his life. Now Natalie must somehow get Ryan to believe. Can she do it without ruining a potentially great relationship?

As Natalie carefully navigates her precarious situation, she suffers a loss which makes her question her own beliefs. With both of their lives turned upside down, Natalie and Ryan lean on each other and soon learn that what they truly need cannot always be explained with logic and reason.

Available for only 99 cents!

 

REVIEWS:

5.0 out of 5 stars Super Book! October 5, 2013

By Integrity Counts

“Super Natalie was spooktacular fun to read! Without giving away too many riveting details, I have to give five stars to Caitlin McKenna, who has written another great book. She is so skilled at getting the reader to identify with her characters – they are funny, real, and so well-constructed that I kept thinking about them even after I finished the book. It’s great to find an author who has consistently created stories that are compelling, charming and filled with plot twists that I could never predict, but are always exciting.”

5.0 out of 5 stars Super Natalie September 29, 2013

By Joan

“Natalie can see and talk to the dead. I enjoyed reading all the difficulties she has in her life with her special gift. I couldn’t put the book down as it is fast reading and it shows what happens with her many jobs, her love life, and her family. The comedy though out the book makes it a fun book to read.”

My Big Fake Irish Life

Twenty-six-year-old Linda Symcox has been chasing her lifelong dream of becoming an actress for the last five years, so when she gets a chance to read for a popular television series, she takes an extended lunch in order to make the audition. After all, it could be her lucky break.

But the “quick” audition takes over two hours costing Linda her telemarketing job; and when she doesn’t book the acting gig, her agent fires her too, explaining that she just doesn’t have “it.”

The elusive “it.” As much as Linda wants to hate her ex-agent for being so insensitive, he gets her thinking in a new direction. If she doesn’t have it, what if she re-invented herself and became someone who did? But who? From where? And just as she’s pondering this question, Linda learns she’s going to Ireland. Could she become a convincing Irish lass?

After returning home, Linda gives herself a complete makeover and re-emerges as Meghan O’Connell from Galway, Ireland. It seems the new Meghan has arrived just in time. A high-powered casting director is looking for an unknown to fill the lead role of a new television series called Soul Saver. And the actress must be Irish.

Meghan goes into the audition pretending to be from Ireland. She is so convincing that she lands the role and, in an instant, her life is changed forever. On the first day of filming her new television series, pretending-to-be-Irish Meghan O’Connell meets her co-star, Michael, who happens to have met her before–when she was Linda, the American. Will Michael blow her cover? Worried that he will, Meghan decides to simply stay away from him. But how can she when they are working so closely together? Worse, how can she stay away from the guy she’s falling in love with?

This problem is the beginning of many, and what had started out as an innocent little lie ends up snowballing into an insane comedy of errors. Meghan’s lie forces her to live a double life that eventually affects her family, friends, and most importantly her new boyfriend to the point that she has to decide on telling the truth and giving up her lifelong dream, or living the lie and losing the people she loves.

Available for only 99 cents!

 

REVIEWS:

Really good story. (Amazon UK Review)

By Kathy
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This book is great and I am now reading more of the same author. She is great. This book had a really good story and was funny.

 

Fantastic book (Amazon UK Review)

By Joanne Middleton
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This is a book you must read. It is hard to put down. It is a great story and in parts extremely funny. The best book I have read yet.

 

Loved it!
By Abigail
This review is from: My Big Fake Irish Life (Kindle Edition)
Super cute book! I didn’t want it to end! But the ending is definitely a good one!! I could definitely see myself r reading this book again.

 

AMAZING i love this book because even thought the author is american the irish phrases are real.
By Dominika
This review is from: My Big Fake Irish Life (Kindle Edition)
The book is amazing, i love the chcracters and how the irishness in it is really real. and how there is love in it too.

 

love it
By happy client
This review is from: My Big Fake Irish Life (Kindle Edition)
its a funny book, and teaches one that when someone really wants something me must work for it! never give up!

 

Very funny story!
By Peg
This review is from: My Big Fake Irish Life (Kindle Edition)
This was a very funny read. I read it in one day and thoroughly enjoyed it. Buy it. You won’t be sorry.

 

A fun journey!, December 7, 2012(Amazon Review)

Not only is the Irish dialect entertaining, so is the story about a gal seeking to find her place in acting. A fun story from beginning to end.

5 Stars for My Big Fake Irish Life, December 5, 2012(Amazon Review)

I love this book. It was tragic and comical at the same time. I enjoyed everything she had to go through, because it sounds almost like something someone might go through to get where they want to be.

Examinar.com review by Jamie Macham-Case

Loved the heroine!(Amazon Review)

By Heather Hiestand “author” (Washington State, USA) – See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: My Big Fake Irish Life (Kindle Edition)
This book was so much fun. I devoured 3/4ths of it in one day, and I really don’t have that kind of time, but I couldn’t put it down! I enjoyed the heroine and how she struggled with herself, as well as the author’s interpretation of the Irish character.

Fantastic Book! Couldn’t put it down!, December 31, 2011
By
TawnyCaramel (Los Angeles)
This review is from: My Big Fake Irish Life (Kindle Edition)

What a fantastic book! The characters are endearing, interesting and highly relatable! The storyline is intruiging and hilarious, and also lends truth to the saying that “perception is reality”. Caitlyn McKenna is a wonderful author, and keeps you captivated with her storytelling. Not only do I look forward to her future endeavors, but I hope Hollywood picks up this gem as it would make a great movie!


A witty novel with hilarious characters., December 16, 2011
By
V. Apple (California, USA)
This book is an extremely entertaining insight into the crazy world of Hollywood where nothing is at it seems. The heroine is very endearing and I laughed out loud at some of the situations as she sinks deeper and deeper into a spiral of lies. While setting the stage for a cute romantic comedy, this is also a sharp look at stereotypes in Hollywood and the fact that in this world how you market yourself is everything. “In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king!” I especially loved the characters of the parents, they are hysterical! Truly enjoyable.

What a Great Story, November 4, 2011
By Joan
This was a very easy reading story and I really enjoyed it a lot. It’s a book that you just don’t want to put down until you finish reading. It would make a good movie that would be funny and enjoyable.

 

Laughed out loud, could not stop reading – highly recommend!!!, November 1, 2011
By NormaJean09
The first night I downloaded and started reading I read the first 10 chapters, it was so entertaining, I wanted to stop and go to bed but I kept reading…refreshing story with tons of humor and a lot of heart. Caitlin McKenna is a great story teller, if you have not read her book “Logging Off” you must check it out too!

Logging Off

In 2095, every facet of society runs perfectly by computers and advanced technology. Citizens like Britannia Stone conduct their lives effortlessly with a genetically embedded barcode linked to Central, the world government. But this easy lifestyle, one without economical hardships, crime and disease, comes with a price—the freedom of choice. Now world citizens are beginning to mysteriously disappear. John Ettinger, a society inactive and member of the underground group called the Starters, knows the reason why. With the help of Kendall Knowlton, a highly-gifted psychic child, it becomes a race against time as Britannia and John join forces before they are next to disappear. They must stay alive long enough to reach Central’s mainframe and destroy the enemy before the enemy destroys all of mankind.

Available for only 99 cents!

 

 REVIEWS:

 

One of my top 2012 reads…  (Amazon UK Review)

By London
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

After reading two other titles ofcaitlin’s, I thought I would give this a try and I am so glad I did. I absolutely loved it and I would put it up there with the likes of x men and the hunger games.Caitlin, please write a follow up and also some other titles, love your work.

Sci Fi for the Sci Fi Phobic…! (Amazon UK Review)

By Kelly Greene – Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have to admit, I approached this book with some trepidation. Most of the Sci Fi I have read has been
either required curriculum reading back in my high school and college days (1984, Brave New World, Utopia, …
Electric Sheep), or more of the Fantasy sort (I’m a big fan of the Anne Rice pre-Christian movement – Lestat is
about as human a “monster” as they come…and more importantly – sexy and fun.)
So the idea that a genuine Sci Fi yarn could be both human-based and emotionally engaging was fairly foreign to me. Yet… here it is – a book that I genuinely had trouble putting down… because what McKenna spins is a tale both at once grounded in our every-day reality (computers do everything for humans… how far away are we from that when you walk into any restaurant, and everyone’s talking to themselves on hidden earpieces, or scrolling personal Palm Pilots, and relying on computerized instructions while driving their cars)…
and yet just tantalizingly-removed enough that we can ooh and ahh at how far 50 years has taken “Humanity”…
Best yet, just like the underground movements of scrumptiously guilty pleasures like Demolition Man… there are still enough recognizable prototypes like the gruff, old-fashioned sexy Hero and the beautiful, gilded-cage, ignorance-is-bliss Heroine… to help us navigate this Strange New World with equal parts wry self-recognition and awe-struck fear at What Might Be.
What truly struck me about McKenna’s writing is how personable and humorous her narrative manages to be, while leading us thru this chilly, oftentimes gorgeous & gleaming Not-Too-Distant Future.
Because you wouldn’t believe me if I said this is an almost-perfect movie-in-the-making… I’ll say that the downside to this tantalizing novel is that the chapters were sometimes unneccessarily broken down into Very Short Chapters. That’s not so much a critique as just a praise: there was no need to put in those breaks… things flowed so well that one sometimes wondered why the ‘break’ was necessary…
But then again, without these continual ‘cutaways’ to each different character and where they stood in the Adventure, perhaps I would have found myself lost.
All I can say is… I was awestruck by deft balance between the Modern and the Old Fashioned…
by the aspects of our Almost Future – how incredible and wonderful that Promise seemed… yet how terrifying and awful that Future might be… No spoilers here: the ending is everything you hope it will be.
We need a sequel – no – a prequel…! This amazing novel deserves both.

Sci Fi for the Sci Fi Phobic…!
By Kelly Greene “Disney Ho” (Los Angeles, CA USA) – See all my reviews

This review is from: Logging Off (Paperback) I have to admit, I approached this book with some trepidation. Most of the Sci Fi I have read has been either required curriculum reading back in my high school and college days (1984, Brave New World, Utopia, … Electric Sheep), or more of the Fantasy sort (I’m a big fan of the Anne Rice pre-Christian movement – Lestat is about as human a “monster” as they come…and more importantly – sexy and fun.) So the idea that a genuine Sci Fi yarn could be both human-based and emotionally engaging was fairly foreign to me. Yet… here it is – a book that I genuinely had trouble putting down… because what McKenna spins is a tale both at once grounded in our every-day reality (computers do everything for humans… how far away are we from that when you walk into any restaurant, and everyone’s talking to themselves on hidden earpieces, or scrolling personal Palm Pilots, and relying on computerized instructions while driving their cars)… and yet just tantalizingly-removed enough that we can ooh and ahh at how far 50 years has taken “Humanity”…
Best yet, just like the underground movements of scrumptiously guilty pleasures like Demolition Man… there are still enough recognizable prototypes like the gruff, old-fashioned sexy Hero and the beautiful, gilded-cage, ignorance-is-bliss Heroine… to help us navigate this Strange New World with equal parts wry self-recognition and awe-struck fear at What Might Be. What truly struck me about McKenna’s writing is how personable and humorous her narrative manages to be, while leading us thru this chilly, oftentimes gorgeous & gleaming Not-Too-Distant Future. Because you wouldn’t believe me if I said this is an almost-perfect movie-in-the-making… I’ll say that the downside to this tantalizing novel is that the chapters were sometimes unnecessarily broken down into Very Short Chapters. That’s not so much a critique as just a praise: there was no need to put in those breaks… things flowed so well that one sometimes wondered why the ‘break’ was necessary… But then again, without these continual ‘cutaways’ to each different character and where they stood in the Adventure, perhaps I would have found myself lost. All I can say is… I was awestruck by deft balance between the Modern and the Old Fashioned… by the aspects of our Almost Future – how incredible and wonderful that Promise seemed… yet how terrifying and awful that Future might be… No spoilers here: the ending is everything you hope it will be. We need a sequel – no – a prequel…! This amazing novel deserves both.

Great book, By Clodagh – See all my reviews This review is from: Logging Off (Kindle Edition) “First time reading something like this and it was brill, hated putting it down! Easy to follow, would definitely recommend!”

Goodreads.com Review:

“I always look for books on dystopias and, lately, there are lots of those. This is a good one. I almost wish that the society had worked out. The fact that people have the choice to be citizens are not is enough choice for me. But, as usual, the machines mess everything up and extraordinary people do their best to fix it.”

Bobby’s Bi-weekly Book Review

“Logging Off – what a great page turner, fun, Intriguing, scary futuristic read. The Bird was extremely curious about the date of publication, to the devices mentioned in the book.  This Caitlin McKenna – is she part Bird? Because she had written about devices that had not yet been invented at the time of publishing, yet are part of daily life now.”

The Lonely Review – (Warning, minor spoilers)

Catherine Vecchione (New York, USA)

This review is from: Logging Off (Paperback) – Amazon.com

It’s 2095, and technology is literally running the world. Picture this: life without disease, no crime, no financial worries. Because of computers, life has become highly efficient and outrageously comfortable. But can life ever be this easy? The answer becomes increasingly obvious as people who question the status quo begin to disappear and humans realize they don’t know who’s really calling the shots – the humans or the computers.

I don’t usually go for science fiction, or thrillers for that matter, but this is one intriguing story I highly recommend.

Pasadena Weekly – By Karen Apostolina

“It all started as a dream – or maybe a nightmare. Caitlin McKenna woke one morning in her Pasadena bedroom and, instead of heading for the breakfast table, grabbed her journal and started frantically writing down everything she could recall from the very vivid, very complex dream she’d just had. Thirty-seven pages later she had the rough draft of “Logging Off,” a tale of utopia gone bad, starring corrupted computers, egotistical robots, and the humans who must battle them before the world dissolves into a smoldering heap of scrap metal. But wait – it’s a love story too!” – READ THE REST HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manifesting Mr. Right

While standing at the altar, about to marry a handsome, charming, and successful attorney, Ashley Braxton catches a shared look between her betrothed and her maid of honor—one which tells her she can’t go through with the ceremony. And when she’s crying in the bridal room of the church, trying to figure out where it all went wrong, she has an epiphany. Ashley realizes that she’s been the consummate pushover her entire life, and now she’s living a life for everyone but herself.

Jessie, Ashley’s carefree friend from college, tells Ashley that she can have any life she wants. All she has to do is manifest it. Ridiculous, Ashley thinks, and not understanding the power of manifestation, she blurts out her dream life to a couple of strangers in an elevator. Thinking nothing of it, Ashley carries on with the life she doesn’t want. But soon her checklist of wishes begin to come true, starting with her dream guy. Could manifestation really work? Could she have the life she’s always dreamed of having?

Ashley begins to believe that she can, giving her the courage to take control of her life, but just as she does, her ex shows up and tries to ruin it all. Will she give up and remain the consummate pushover forever or will she stay strong and fight for her dreams and desires?

Amazon Kindle version vailable for only 99 cents!

The paperback version of the book is available on Amazon.com right now for $10.99!

REVIEWS:

Best book ever!!!! (Amazon UK Review)

By Cbradley
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This book has helped me to realise what I want from life, what I want to do for my future career and is helping my revalute my love life by manifesting it all! I have started to manifest what I want and I hope it works !!

 

Good story (Amazon UK Review)

By Joanne Middleton

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
This book had a good storyline. I had read another book by this author and didn’t think this book could be as interesting and easy to read but it was. Great buy.

Fun read, By Sandra P.
This review is from: Manifesting Mr. Right (Kindle Edition)
just an all and all out good book, i would recommend to anyone who is looking for something easy to ready

 

WONDERFUL READ!!!
By luvs_p8ing – See all my reviews
This review is from: Manifesting Mr. Right (Kindle Edition)
I love books like this one and it was everything I was hoping it would be. A great read for anyone who loves romantic comedies.

 

love it
By happy client
This review is from: Manifesting Mr. Right (Kindle Edition)
it was a really funny, cute, enjoyable book to read! can’t wait to manifest my own mr. right guy! 🙂

 

An excellent read. A real page turner which I couldn’t put down
By Jane asher
This review is from: Manifesting Mr. Right (Kindle Edition)
From the start this book grabs your attention. The characters are credible and the book had a feel good factor all the way through.

 

Excellent!
By TD “Tricia” (Wisconsin)
This review is from: Manifesting Mr. Right (Kindle Edition)
This book was very funny…..& extremely motivational!!
I truly was intrigued with the entire book. I must have experienced just about every emotion a person is capable of feeling.

 

I loved the book, its really hard to put it down because there is a lot of tension and suspension in the book 
By Dominika
This review is from: Manifesting Mr. Right (Kindle Edition)
I give it 5 starts bacause its a great book, the characters are well described and the plot is really interesting.