The lovely Fiktshun and Two Chicks on Books have put together an incredibly awesome line up of authors for their Authors Are Rockstars Tour. When I saw Chloe Neill was one of those authors, I was incredibly ecstatic. I absolutely love everything she writes. I mean her characters are so awesome, and very real that each book sucks me in so far that I can't escape. I wouldn't want to anyway. Granted, she does have a tendency to put my heart in a blender on the puree setting, but the end result is definitely worth it. Seriously, if you haven't read any of her books, you just don't know what you are missing. So without further ado, I give you Chloe for her guest post on her favorite gear for writing:
Chloe's Top Ten Author Gear Favorites
Hello, everyone! I'm the author of the Chicagoland Vampires and Dark Elite novels, and I'm a big fan of writing gear.
Notebooks, pens, organization tools, I love it all, so I thought I'd take a few minutes to tell you about some of the
favorites that keep the word count flowing!
1. Reliable laptop: I know authors (Christina Henry--I'm looking at you) who write novels longhand, but at some point
the novel has to be converted into electronic format. I write my manuscripts on Apple laptops (and have always done
so). I prefer a laptop that's light enough to take on trips, as you never know when inspiration will strike or the deadline
will be snug enough that you need to write a bit on the plane.
2. A solid writing program: I use Scrivener to draft the manuscript,
and edit it in Microsoft Word once my editor has reviewed it. Scrivener has a number of handy tools, including a word
count countdown and the ability to move scenes easily to different spots in the novel. Great for plotting!
3. A great pen: Electronics aside, some days you'll need a pen to jot an idea or scribble out notes for a scene. I am a
big fan of JetPens, and I'm currently loving the Rotring Tikky.
4. A notepad for recording notes and outlining: I love paper even more than I love good pens, and I'm crazy for indie
brands like O-Check and the gear sold at stores like Greer Chicago and Broadway Paper. Whitelines, from Sweden, is one of my favorite
notebook brands. The paper is slick, and the bindings are strong. I've also just invested in a hardback Levenger LedgerDomain Journal, and I'm hoping it will bring a bit of organization to my note writing.
5. A jotter for ideas: I always keep a small notebook by my side, because ideas pop up when you least expect them.
Mnenosyne makes great little jotters, and I love the monogrammable cards at Levenger, which I keep in my purse or computer
6. A pen for autographing: A pen with a just-right tip and ink flow can make signing multiple copies of books or
bookplates a cinch. I recently discovered the Uni Live Sign Pen, and I'm absolutely loving it.
7. A travel pouch: All the above tools can get lost in a handbag or briefcase, so a pouch is handy for keeping your
creativity pack together, especially when traveling. I love these from West Elm.
8. A library card or book budget: I am a voracious reader, in part because I believe that learning about the world
makes me a better writer. I prefer to read books with topics I don't know much about. I recently finished Salt by MarkKurlansky and The Disappearing Spoonby Sam Kean, and really enjoyed both. I also
love reference books and visual dictionaries. Sometimes flipping through them will give me ideas for future writings.
Whether you have the resources to start your own library or you're a library guy or girl, make use of those literary
9. Sticky flags or notes: Sure, you can write in the margins of your own books, but how will you find your notes later?
I love a good set of sticky flags and notes, as they help me refer back to passages, information, or ideas that might
inspire the development of a scene or character. These transparent stickies from Muji are on my wishlist.
10. An organizational tool: If you're a paper girl, this might be a good three-ring binder, like those from Russell +Hazel. If you're electronically based, a program like
Evernote or a website like Pinterest can help you store and categorize ideas and information for
Do you have a friend who's a writer? Consider including some of the goodies above in a birthday or "inspiration" pack!
Thanks for having me today, and I hope these ideas are helpful.
Chloe Neill is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Chicagoland Vampires and Dark Elite series.
She was born and raised in the South, but now makes her home in the
Midwest–just close enough to Cadogan House and St. Sophia’s to keep an
eye on things. When not transcribing Merit’s and Lily’s adventures, she
bakes, works, and scours the Internet for good recipes and great graphic
design. Chloe also maintains her sanity by spending time with her boys–her favorite landscape photographer/husband and their dogs, Baxter and Scout. (Both she and the photographer understand the dogs are in charge.)