Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Coming Soon...

It's Wednesday, and you've made it through half of the week. High fives all around!

Today is just a little reminder, of everything coming up NEXT WEEK...

April 5

Cedwig: People in the Vines

What would you do, if the things that went bump in the night were suddenly as real to you as life itself?

My name is Freia, and I believe in phantoms.

A part of the expedition from the plains, my family and I have come to a land where no human has stepped in over a century.

But we are not alone.

This land is home to the druids, creatures of legend that wiped out all traces of humanity in the deserts, the hills, and even at sea—creatures that should not be real.

I hear their voices, in the night. I feel their eyes, watching me.

We are not alone.

Mavguard Magazine, Edition III

RAD Writing's premiere magazine, Mavguard Edition III — featuring art, short stories, and poetry by the following:

Abraham Assed, Tammy Boehm, Shari Cross, Rani Divine, Abigayle Elizabeth, Priscilla George, Katherine Guerra, Julie Haider, Kaysie, Emily Marie, MJ Neal, Aimee C. Schafer, Star Starling, Jack V., & Casey Randall Williams.

(Go to for information on how to submit your work for future editions!)

April 9

Gallup Library Author Festival, Gallup NM

Join me at the Gallup Library Author Festival, where I'll will host both a signing and reading of my latest novel, Cedwig. Copies of Mavguard Magazine will also be available, as well as Tammy Boehm's Bethany's Crossing and all of my published works!

Many other authors will be present, including Deanna Leah, MJ Neal, Karen Glinsky, Anne Hillerman, and more!

So don't forget to check in next week for your copies of the latest, and if you're in the area, I'd love for you to swing by the Gallup Library next weekend!

See you soon!


{Rani Divine}

Monday, March 28, 2016

Dear friends,

Ahhh!!! Eight more days until Cedwig releases! While you're at getting your copy, don't forget to check out Mavguard Edition III -- my short story, Rat Pack, is being published there! And, being that I've edited some of the other short stories in this edition, I can tell you that edition III is my absolute favorite, and that you won't regret picking up a copy. Seriously. Do it.

But for today, I have yet another letter for you.

This one, unlike the last two, is for each and every one of you.

Dear Friends,

Thank you. Thank you for reading this blog, for supporting my writing, and for being so much fun. Thank you for commenting, for sending me messages and asking questions. Thank you for being involved. Thank you for being here right now, and reading through this letter, because it's all about you.

I haven't been writing for very long, as most of you know. I didn't start until my first year of college, and yet since I started I haven't wanted to stop.

But it's partially because of you, because of readers and friends and family, who haven't given up on me, who instead support me and help me to get this done, to write for you, to publish my work so you can read it, that I've been able to do it.

I might've stopped, if it wasn't for all of you.

Oh, I would've probably kept on writing, but I might not be publishing.

But thanks to you, thanks to your support, and how very awesome you've been over the years, I think of you when I'm writing. I imagine what you're going to think about every story, about the things going on between my characters, and it gets me excited.

I cannot wait for you to read Cedwig, and the rest of the series, and I'm so excited to find out what all of you think about Rat Pack.

Please, let me know what you think. And again, thank you for all your support!


{Rani Divine}

Friday, March 25, 2016


It's Friday. *breaths sigh of relief*

That means I can take a break for a little while, which is really what I needed.

But it also means that it's time to tell you really, why it is that I so greatly enjoy the expansiveness of novels.


Novels are big. Short stories are little. Obvious, right?

The thing that I really like with novels, the thing that draws me back to them time and time again, is their bigness. Their size means I can do things with them, I can take their characters to more places and introduce them to more interesting things. I can include extensive backstories, I can write long scenes of descriptive prose that will set the tone for future scenes. I even get to create new beings, species that would take more than 5000 words to describe in detail.

I like long books. I always have. If a book is too short, I'll have trouble reading it. That's why I write long fiction, with lots of words and extensive amounts of detail. I write exactly what I want to read: long fiction.

If I wasn't doing that, I wouldn't be being true to myself.

So although short stories teach me to stay within parameters, to keep things neat and concise, novels get to be dirty and gritty. They can take more excess words, in some cases, and take them well. They allow for exploration, they accept a few plot holes, and they engage in greater terms with the reader.

That, my friends, is why I will never stop writing books.

They're my passion, even more so than short stories.

And they're great fun, too. (it helps)


{Rani Divine}

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wiggle Room

It's Wednesday!

You've successfully made it through half of the week. Give yourself a high five. Really. Do it. :)

Remember last week, we talked about plot holes in short stories?

Well today, we're talking about them in novels.


Short stories, like we said last week, have zero tolerance for plot holes. They're so small in length and subject matter that they simply can't handle any holes. But novels, on the other hand...

1. Development

First off, we'd better answer the question of what a plot hole is.

It's something that is never referred to again within a book, something that doesn't quite make sense, a hole in that it was left to the side and forgotten.

But in novels, that can be a good thing.

I know, a lot of you are going to disagree with me on this one, but this is my feeling on the matter.

Novels are huge. We know this. And we also know that novels shouldn't be tied up into a neat little bow at the end. There should be some unanswered questions, some little things that keep readers coming back to search for what they missed. Some of those, if you ask me, should be flat out holes.


Because that way, your reader has the chance to develop their own answer, to play with the story themselves and create something within it.

2. Sequels

And if #1 wasn't enough for you, then there's always this.

Plot holes can be filled in the sequel. If you've read Coetir, you probably noticed there's one slightly blaring plot hole near the end. I won't mention what it is, in case you haven't read it. But there's a reason for that hole. It relates to the last book in the series (which, by the way, hasn't been written yet). If that hole wasn't there, the final book couldn't happen the way it wants to. Everything would fall apart in the end, all because that hole wasn't where it needed to be.

So if anything, plot holes can be our allies. We can use them to create sequels, to form our worlds into larger and more expansive places, since novels are big enough to take it. We just have to know what we're doing, in order to make it work.

See now, why short stories can't and novels can?


{Rani Divine}

Monday, March 21, 2016

Dear extroverts,

It's Monday!


It's only two weeks until the release of my next book! *squee!*

Check out the new promo video: 

But, as always, today isn't just about celebrating. It's also about the extroverts, since last week we focused on the other side of things.

Dear Extroverted Writers, 

The introverts think you have it easy. You're good with people, you feed off the energy of others, but I know how hard all of this can be for you. Yeah, you have a lot of fun with some of it, but it's not always a walk in the park.

Sometimes the introverts like to take the spotlight on that point, because they think they have the monopoly on problems.

But they don't.

Introverts have their own set of problems, and so do you.

I know it's harder for you to sit down and write, because you'd rather be with other people, not with the ones in your head. I know it's more difficult for you to sit down and edit, because that usually involves quiet time and you'd rather be having more fun. I know that you have your problems too, and I know introverts don't like to see them.

I've spent years learning how to be the best of both sides, to be energetic and fun loving when I need to be, and to sit down and focus on my work when it needs it. It's not easy, either way you look at things.

I know that.

So I'm here to tell you that I see you. I smile and cheer with you when something awesome happens, when you make a sale or get to go to a new signing. I enjoy seeing how you work, seeing how well you do at those events.

I see you, and I applaud you.

You, extroverted writer, have learned something the introverts don't often want to do.

You've learned how to promote yourself, how to be what sells. And you're great at it.


I applaud you.

You're awesome.


{Rani Divine}

Friday, March 18, 2016


It's Friday!

But today isn't just about the start to the weekend. It's also about short stories, and one of the final reasons why I like them so much. We might seem like we're getting repetitive at this point, but trust me, there's something big to this little blog post.


I like short stories because they're smaller. We've pretty much been saying that since the beginning of this series, that short stories are fun because they're short, and novels are fun because they're long, but here I want to talk about why I like short short stories.

See, short stories teach us how to keep our writing concise. They force us to focus on even the most minute of details, because every word counts when we only have so few. Most places that publish short stories want something under 5,000 words — and for those of us who spend a lot of time in novels, 5,000 is not very many words.

So with short stories, we have to choose our words very wisely. It takes time to be so concise, so perfect, in each and every word choice. There's a lot to consider, and lot that makes us stop and think in how to edit, how to cut, how to revise the work to be the best in can be in that small number of words.

That's why I like short stories.

Novels get to be the opposite, they let us explore and create in nearly as many words as we like, but short stories get to be the strict uncle who keeps us always in line.

That's why I say it's good for us novelists to frequently go back and write a short story, and try to get it published. Doing so teaches us a lot about writing in general, and helps us to appreciate novels all the more.

And you never know — you might find that you like short stories a lot more than you'd at first considered.

Have a good weekend, everyone! <3


{Rani D.}

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Happy Wednesday, and welcome back to Too Many Books to Count! That felt weird to say... This isn't radio, it's a blog. Oh, whatever.

Hi! It's good to see you :) Thanks for reading my blog. I appreciate it, really.

This week we're back to talking about short stories, and a few of the reasons why I keep going back to writing them, especially between big novel ventures.

No Plotholes Allowed

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking you can't have any plotholes ever in either short stories or novels. But you'd be wrong. A few plotholes can be acceptable in novels, expansive pieces of work that have wiggle room for things like that (I'll explain why next week, don't worry), but in short stories, it's an all-out no-no.

It's a good thing, because it helps authors to keep ourselves on track, to know what we're doing, how we're writing, and what's going on in the story.

But why is it important not to have any holes? 

1. Smaller

See, short stories are short. Obvious, right? But because they're so short, they don't have the wiggle room that novels do for little plot holes that open doors for new ideas. Short stories, as we've discussed before, are very self-contained. Everything about the story fits into that one single story, basically put through a magnifying glass, and your readers will find every single plot hole that gets left in there.

We don't want that.

Readers want to trust us, to see that we know what we're doing and that we can craft lovely stories and won't break their delicate trust. Leave a plot hole in, and they might never come back.

2. Necessary

Because short stories are so short, every single word is important. This is another reason why we have to watch for holes, because they're taking up valuable words that we could use elsewhere. We need those words for character development, for crucial plot details and information that our readers actually need in order to better understand the story.

Editing out the plot holes, removing anything that might relate to another story, means we'll be better able to tell this story, to get this story off the ground and get it published.

Ignore the plot holes, and some editors will simply ignore you, I'm sorry to say.

What do you guys think? Have you ever found a plothole in a short story?

I have, many a time...


{Rani Divine}

Monday, March 14, 2016

Dear introverts,

Happy Monday to you! And it is a very happy Monday, because in case you didn't see, the new release date of Cedwig has been announced!

Come April 5th, you can all have copies of my book in your hands!

...And also copies of the new edition of Mavguard, which also contains one of my short stories, Rat Pack.

I'm sooo excited to get to share this book with you, and THRILLED that it's not too far behind schedule! Check back in for more updates, as I'll keep releasing them as the date gets closer!

But for today, I've a letter for all the introverts out there...

Dear Introverted Writers,

I know what it's like to be one of you. I've been one of you, for the better part of my life. I haven't liked the spotlight, haven't liked for people to crowd around me or speak to me for long periods of time, and been utterly drained at even the idea of going out on a Friday night.

I've struggled to promote myself, because I don't like to be pushy.

I've had issues presenting my work to strangers, because I don't want to seem off-putting.

I've slid into the background at many an event, hoping not to be seen.

I've come home at the end of a long day and refused to even write, because that would mean being with the people in my head, and I've already been around too many people today.

But you know what? I've taught myself to grow out of those things. I've pushed myself to be better at promoting my books, to present my work to people I've never met before, to be in the spotlight at events and spend as much free time as I can working on my novels.

And you know how I did it?

I acknowledged the fact that I am introverted, or tend to have introverted tendencies, and that I needed to be an extrovert if I was going to get anywhere with promoting myself.

Extroverts push people, they excite people, they get them interested.

Introverts relax people, dull the moment, and calm people down.

Both qualities are necessary to be a good writer, an author who can promote themselves and write amazing work, and both qualities are attainable — even for you.

I know it's hard, I know sometimes you just want to sit down and cry, and you know what? That's okay. It's okay to let out a good cry after a long and exhausting event. It's all right to avoid people after you've been out all day promoting your book. Take some you time, after you've done what needs to be done for your work.

You deserve it. You've got this.

I believe in you.


{Rani Divine}

Friday, March 11, 2016


Happy Friday, everyone!

You know what else I like about novels?

They have...

Bigger Characters

Remember last week, we talked about characters in short stories, and how small they tend to be? Short story characters only have a little bit that they want to do, only a limited number of things they'll let you, the writer, do with them.

That's not so with novels.

1. All. The. Things.

While short story characters only have a little bit that they want to do, novel characters have so much to do that it often doesn't all make it into the book. We get to build them into bigger people, into fully fleshed out beings that really feel alive — and we get to make a lot of them.

Unlike short stories, these characters generally have an expansive goal to reach. They're not just taking on one simple task or revealing one tiny part of their lives. They're living on the page, carrying on their lives and struggling to reach the ultimate goal. They battle against their enemies, they fight for what's right, and they're raw and real on the page.

In my experience, there's just no way to fully get there with the characters in short stories. We can get close, but it's not the same. 

2. Count it.

Aside from the mass of things they want to do, there's also a lot of them — and I do mean a lot.

Novels, due to their size, can contain a far greater number of characters. We have main characters, protagonists and antagonists, minor characters, supporting characters, and background characters. All of them have their own lives, and though some of them are the tiniest things to our stories, they're all still there and they're all still very much alive to us.

For me, that's part of the fun of novels. I get to create as many people as I wish, even if they're only going to be "on stage" for a five second role, and we get to know each other.

Maybe that sounds weird, but you know how they are. Our characters are the voices in our heads, and sometimes they're all fighting to get out.

Don't heed them all the time. Sometimes it's better to take some time off.


{Rani Divine}

P.S. I'm finishing book #13 today. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Hello, my lovely readers! Aren't you looking wonderful this beautiful Wednesday afternoon?

As you well know, last week we discussed some of the pros of short stories for our novels vs. short stories series. Well, this week, if you hadn't already surmised, is about the novel side of things.

As per usual, these will be things that not everyone will think of as good, but some of the reasons why I so greatly enjoy writing novels.


See? Not everyone would agree that that's a good thing. I know a lot of writers who hate writing novels, simply because of their expansiveness. But we're not here to focus on that — we're here to talk about the pros of that very same expanse.

1. Go places

The expansive nature of novels means that there's a lot more we can do with them. We're not confined to one simple plot and a few little characters. The length alone allows us to do so much more than that. We have freedom to add minor characters, subplots and subterfuge, all to draw the reader in and keep them more engaged than they would be with a short story.

Personally, this is why I so enjoy writing novels.

I like to come along for the ride while my characters go on their great adventures, while they seek the answers to their questions and find out the meaning of the universe around them. To me, that's the fun part. It's more enjoyable than simply writing a short story, because in writing a novel I really get to know what's going on and the depths of everything and everyone.

But like I said, not everyone would count that as a fun and enjoyable thing.

2. Do things

In case you hadn't noticed, I like sequels. The majority of books I've written are, in fact, sequels. Which makes sense, when you notice that I've written three separate series' and thirteen novels (well, almost thirteen, but I'm only a couple chapters away, so I'm counting it!).

With novels, there's freedom to expand. Writers have the option to explore outside the realm of this one simple story, into a whole new world of possibilities. And that's honestly my favorite part of writing novels. I get to be with my characters a while longer, to explore their world through their eyes and watch while it expands around them, while they come into new things and meet new people.

Short stories simply don't have that capability, even when you do a short story series. I've tried that. Novels are better.


{Rani Divine}

Monday, March 7, 2016

Dear Grammar Nazis,

A note to all the grammar Nazis,

I see you, out there. I’ve even been one of you, for a time. And yes, I know what it feels like to see a blatantly obvious typographical error on your computer screen. But I’ve also learned that there are things more worth my time than stressing over grammar and shouting at people to correct their typos.

See, I also know that you have typos too. I know this because everyone has them. It is impossible to have never made a typographical error in all your typing days. Literally impossible. And I mean literally in the literal sense, not in the figurative.

The thing is, we all do it. We all have typos. We all have those days where we didn’t properly proofread and we ended up with a typo in our Facebook or Twitter post.

So what’s the point in pointing it out? Are you just trying to be rude, or are you honestly trying to help people learn better English? For most of you, it’s the former. I’ve seen the way you post about typographical errors, and I’ve felt the sting of your remarks against my own work. I’ve shouted those same words at other people, and I’ve felt pangs of guilt in my heart, because I know how it feels to receive them.

But maybe you’ve heard all these arguments before, and you still don’t care. Maybe English is the only thing you have, and it really bothers you when other people post errors online or publish them in books or magazines.

I’m here to tell you, once again, that no one is perfect. Yes, there are typos in my books. I’ve found them and facepalmed. But I have never gone on a rampage when I found a typo in someone else’s book. In fact, I’ve simply chuckled quietly and moved on.

Because, you know what? The story is more important than the words. The person is more important than the typo. The accomplishment is more important than the error.

So really, I’m here to ask you one simple question:

If it were you, if you published something, posted something online, that had an error, how would you want people to point it out?

Would you have someone hurl the correct answer in your face, and shame you as though you were a child who is only now learning English? Or would you have them come to you quietly and say, “Hey, I noticed you have a typo here. It’s this. I just wanted to let you know”?

I think we all know the answer.

I’m not here to be mean to you, or to rage at you for raging at other people. I’m here, writing this, to ask you to stop. Please. What you’re doing is not helpful, but hurtful. If you wouldn’t want people to shout at you, then perhaps you shouldn’t be shouting at them.

But that’s just my two cents.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Don’t be a Nazi. That word has never meant anything good.


{Rani Divine}

Friday, March 4, 2016


Well, the weekend has almost arrived. Hang in one more day, and you'll be good to go. I promise.

But for today, we have another element of short stories to discuss.

Smaller Characters

Again, it's something that not everyone would think of as a pro, but I have to admit that it is, in some cases. As you know, I'm both novelist and short story writer, so I know how it is to write either one.

1. Smaller in Number

This is one of the biggest things, one of the things I like best about short stories. There are only ever a few characters, because it's impossible to fit a plethora of characters into so small a number of pages. But it's something that's very nice with short stories, because it means that there's less work for us to do with them. We only have to make a small number of character profiles, only have to determine a limited number of backstories, and only have to fill our heads with a few instead of a great many new minds.

2. Smaller in Story

Of course, this is also a large reason why I enjoy short stories. The characters are small in story, or rather, they only have a small amount that they want to do. Characters in novels never seem to grow tired of doing things, of having things that they want to seek out and perform. But short story characters only really want to do a few things, and the vast majority of those things will be carried out within the short story.

That means we, the writers, have a great deal less to focus on and sort through when it comes to writing them. It's not often that I have to fight with the characters of a short story, because I already know what they want to do and I'm only here to help them do it.

What do you guys think? What are some of your favorite things about short stories?


{Rani Divine}

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


So it's Wednesday, and it marks the start of a new series... A series on the differences between short stories and novels, and the pros and cons between them.

This week, we'll be focusing on two of the pros of short stories, starting with:


Many people might tell you that it's not a pro, and those people would be novelists. But I'm both a novelist and a short story writer, so I'm here to tell you it's a pro.

Why, you ask?

1. Easier on the brain

Because they're so self-contained, because there's not much of a universe beyond the single story and very little chance of a sequel, short stories are great when you don't want to do a mass of thinking. You see, both when you're just starting out and when you've been too focused on novels for too long, sometimes the brain needs a bit of a break, but we don't want to stop writing.

That's where short stories come in. They're so small that we're bound to complete them in a short amount of time, and they require less effort to get going and get all the way to the end.

They're also a good way to get your mind back into the swing of things, if you've been on hiatus for a while.

2. Simpler to begin

Because the short story is, well, short, it doesn't require a lot of backstory. Of course, it will need some, but because you'll be dealing with a smaller timeframe, a limited number of characters, and a simpler plot, it's a lot easier to get all the backstory out of the way and get down to the nitty-gritty of actually writing the story.

Realistically, this is the reason why I so frequently come back to short stories, especially after writing a novel or two. It's nice to take a breather, to focus on something that doesn't need quite as much attention and doesn't contain so much plot and detail.

And that's just one of the pros to short stories! Friday we'll talk about another, and next week we'll switch to novels for a bit.

See you soon, my lovely writers!


{Rani Divine}