Tag Archives: Harry Potter

An authors dream… Living in a bookish world with Shaila Patel

If I had a choice to live in a book world, it would have to be at Hogwarts from the Harry Potter series. How could anyone not want to visit the Room of Requirement!? Even without it, having access to Hogwarts’ library (including the restricted section!) would have won me over. I could also spend hours in the Gryffindor Common Room, sitting in some comfy chair in front of a roaring fire, with my laptop, and a head full of story ideas. (The ghosts would be a plus!)

dragonHarry Potter’s world has been a great teaching example for me as an author. Two of the main reasons the series did so well was because of author JK Rowling’s wonderful world building and her portrayal of such loveable characters. They’re aspects I try to perfect in my own writing.

She created a fantastical setting filled with small details and descriptions that paint a gorgeous picture in our minds. Will we ever climb a stone staircase and not think of the shifting staircases of Hogwarts? Can you ever walk past an old portrait of some guy with white fuzzy hair and not imagine it moving? Using these examples as inspiration, I look for details to add to my own writing and hope for a bit of that same magic!

And though her characters are underdogs, their quiet bravery always shines through, doesn’t it? Insecurities and doubts plague them just like they do us, but it makes them instantly relatable and easy to root for. Using that as my template, I try to balance my own characters’ vulnerabilities with their strengths and hope I make them even half as likeable as JK Rowling’s unforgettable cast.

If I ever find something lacking in one of my scenes, all I have to do is whip out one of her books and lose myself in several chapters. Harry Potter is always the perfect inspiration!


Two souls. One fate.

Eighteen-year-old Liam Whelan is a prince of an Irish empath family. All signs have pointed to Liam being the one who can bring his family into prominence by expanding his power. All he needs is his soul mate. Though no one is sure what Liam will become once soulmated, Liam’s father has dragged the family all around the world, following vague psychic visions. They settle in a small North Carolina town and focus on the most promising target, but Liam, tired of disappointment and weary of his father’s obsession, finds understanding in the captivating eyes of the girl next door.

Indian American Laxshmi Kapadia lives under her very traditional and overprotective mom’s thumb. As she finishes her junior year of high school, Lucky’s mom issues an ultimatum: go to college as a pre-med student and become a doctor, or have her marriage arranged. Freedom was never so tempting when the gorgeous and charming Irish boy moves into her neighborhood.

As drawn to her as Liam is, could Lucky be The One? And if she’s not, will he be able to give her up? When a dark and ancient group seeks to interfere, Liam knows he has to protect Lucky at all costs, but when it comes to fate, sometimes choosing your own isn’t always easy.

Get your copy here!

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About Shaila Patel

As an unabashed lover of all things happily ever after, Shaila Patel is a member of the Romance Writers of America, and her debut novel SOULMATED won first place in the Young Adult category of the 2015 Chanticleer Book Reviews Paranormal Awards. She’s a pharmacist by training, a medical office manager by day, and a writer by night. She enjoys traveling, craft beer, tea, and loves reading books—especially in cozy window seats. She loves to connect with readers. You can find her online at:

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There is a book out there that’s better than yours

I’ve been told time and again that there are thousands of books out there looking for representation that are as good as or better than yours. It’s just one of those “slap in the face” things that you are told when you start out in writing to make sure you understand that there is fierce (but friendly) competition in the query-market.

Up until today, I had read quite a few beta novels that were as good as my work, or would soon be just as good.  I throw out my pom poms and wish them all the best as they begin to submit.  I do.  Really, I do.  I am THRILLED when I hear that someone lands an agent or gets something published.  I think it’s awesome!

Today, I finished a beta that shattered me utterly and completely.  I just read a novel that will be querying the same time as mine.  It will be in the New Adult category, where mine will be in the Young Adult category, but that is still TOO CLOSE for my comfort.

Is the story like mine?  No.  Not at all, but it is Speculative Fiction.  So, what scares me?

Scare is not really the right word.  I have the sinking feeling that I have just read the next Hunger Games, or the New Adult equivalent to Harry Potter. I have never been so on the edge of my seat.  I have never been so absorbed thinking about a novel and dying to get back to it. I have never been so invested in characters that were not my own.

Swirls of emotion go thorough you when you are touched by something so deeply.  You begin to question yourself. Is your novel anywhere near this good?

You push aside all the accolades you’ve received.  You forget that people have told you how much they like your book.  All you can do is envision THAT OTHER BOOK sitting on an agent’s desk, right beside your own.

It’s humbling.  Very Very Humbling.

I contacted the author to let them know how I felt about their story, and to make sure they shoot for the stars, because this is where that book belongs.

I could feel the gushing coming through on her response.  And she should gush… all the way to a six figure advance.

How am I? Well, after downing a vat of Chocolate Almond Fudge ice cream, I slapped myself upside the head.

Her novel is NOTHING like mine.  There is even a possibility that someone might pass hers over and reach for mine because they have not seen a good high-paced alien explosion novel lately.

The publishing industry is so odd and unpredictable that you can’t know what will happen.

If she emails me in a month and tells me she landed an agent and a big six contract all in the space of a week, I will not be angry.  I won’t be surprised either.  I will do a happy dance of joy for her, because she will deserve it.

And then I will send out another query as I toast her success.

Yes, there will always be another novel out there that is better than yours.  But somewhere in the world there is an agent or publisher who will pick up yours and say “Holy cow! THIS is what I’ve been looking for FOREVER!!!”


For now, I think I might need to get another half-gallon of ice cream.


Awesome surprise for the Next Nine Days — Published Author Roundup PLUS a Giveaway!

Yay!  I’m so excited for this week! Wait until you see what I’ve lined up!

I’m going to be incommunicado for the next nine days.  Yes, that means I’m cutting myself off from the internet. **GACK**  But fear not! I won’t leave you hanging!

Yes, sadly, I will not be here for the next nine days to rattle you with my words of wisdom and rants of writer’s woes.

But worry not, faithful followers!  I will not leave you hanging.  I have a very special surprise lined up for you this week that you are not going to want to miss  (I hope – biting nails)

All through the week, I will be handing the reigns of my blog over to nine published authors with current work that a lot of you may have already read.  This is a great mix of people who I am sure you can learn a lot from.

And we are winding up the week on Sunday 6/24/12 with a giveaway.  Yay!

So make sure you stop by every day, and ask questions.  I’ve asked them to be all-interactive-like, so I’m hoping there will be some fun discussions to read when I come back.

Enjoy!  I hope it goes well!

Now… how do I surgically remove myself from this keyboard?

Book Banning

I recently read an article on why China’s internet censors ban the word “salt”

(Because the government is trying so squash rumors that extra salt intake will protect you from radioactivity)

It led me on a rabbit trail to banned books in the USA.  Now, I expected to see a list of really old books.  Huck Finn was on the list, for instance.  I would expect that… back from the days when people didn’t know any better.

But there were quite a few contemporary novels intermingled with classics like “Catcher and the Rye,” “Of Mice and Men,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” that really surprised me.

I guess these books are not banned in the sense of the government coming in and taking them off the shelves (which can happen in other countries… we don’t have to worry about that here in the USA)  So I suppose they are saying that certain novels are “banned” by certain groups of people…. Which I would translate to “I don’t like this, so no one else should read it either.  Please don’t read it.”

I remember this happening a few years ago when Da Vinci Code came out.  Controversial?  Sure it was.  But it was FICTION.  The problem was that it was fiction researched so dern well that people believed it.

Oddly enough, Da Vinci Code was not even on this particular list.

Here are the contemporary novels on the list that really jumped out at me.  Get ready to say, “Huh?”

Harry Potter—Not just one.  The whole series (Use of anti-religious themes and use of witchcraft and sorcery)

Golden Compass (Anti-religious themes)

Hunger Games (Sexually explicit, violent, unsuited to age group)

Twilight. (Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence, unacceptable for age group)

Hmmmmmm.  Let’s think about this for a minute.





Had enough time?

Soooooo….. anyone else want to trash their current WIP to start writing something controversial?

Hmmm.   Let’s see.  Who can I REALLY offend?

Someday these groups will realize that if you “ban” something, it will just make people want to read it more.  It’s human nature.

Someone ban my novel.  Please?

It’s too…. Ummmmmm…

Extra-terrestrial.  Yes!  That’s it!  Other planets are BAAAAAAD!

Yes!  We must ban this!

Note:  Please censor yourself while making comments.  Do not come out and bash any particular group who may not have liked one of these novels.  I honestly don’t know who banned which, and I don’t care.

Proof is in the numbers that banning does not work… that’s the point of this article.