Endless Drafts

There are few things more frustrating in life than thinking you’ve finished your final draft, and then realizing that you can do so much better and starting all over again. I am working on my fourth draft right now, and I’m excited because it’s a lot better than the last one, but I’m feeling pretty drained and depressed from having to go through this process again. The new draft is pretty different from my previous ones, so it’s basically like writing a rough draft all over again. I want this novel to be the best it can be, though, so even if I have to do this ten more times, I’m going to get it right. I have never been more dedicated to anything in my entire life (except perhaps my family).

My characters are becoming so real to me… I really wish my MC could be my bestie IRL. She is just such a badass… I find myself cheering out loud for her sometimes. Her love life is still a bit of a roller coaster to write, but I’m starting to realize that the romance is not the most important part of a story, unless you’re actually writing a romance novel. I used to love reading romances and obsessing over the couples in the books, but the truth is that a good story is about more than just a love story. It’s about a person’s story. Their hopes, dreams, flaws, heartaches, triumphs, annoyances, quirks… Everything about them becomes important when you spend long enough thinking about and writing about them. They take on a life of their own, and then just for kicks, they take over yours, too.

DORK: Diary of a Rocker’s Kid has a new synopsis, by the way:

16-year-old Madison Daley is the beloved daughter of a Kentucky horse rancher… or so she thinks. When her dad reveals his past identity as a popular rock star, Mads is overjoyed and becomes determined to get him back to Los Angeles, where he got his start… and also where he still owns a 7.8 million dollar mansion in Beverly Hills. Her plan is to get her dad back to the stage for good, but her schemes bring about some unintended consequences along the way, including the attention of a handsome teen actor and some clues regarding the identity of her mother.

If you’re interested in pre-ordering, please follow this link:¬†D.O.R.K. on Kindle

Follow me on FB (Haley Despard Facebook) and Twitter (@HaleyDespard) and here on WordPress for updates! Thanks all!

Have a great Friday and weekend ūüôā


I Wrote a Book, You Guys…

I am in shock. I actually, completely, for real wrote a book. It’s done. It’s completed. And if I dare say so myself, it’s pretty damn good.


Sorry… just had to freak out for a second! I have been waiting so long for this moment. There are some minor edits to be made, mostly to do with appearance and brand names, but other than that, IT IS FINISHED. My first novel will be making its way to the “shelves” very soon.

On top of that, the cover is also done, and it looks fantastic! Shout out to my friend Nydia for all her hard work! In case you missed it on my Twitter or FB page, here it is again:

small DORK image

Cover by Nydia S. Robles, All Rights Reserved.

If you like my blog, you are almost guaranteed to like this book. Mads writes her blog in a very similar style to mine, except she has some stories that are a lot more exciting. This book is the first in a series, and I already have a clear direction for the second one, but, uh… one step at a time.

For now, I’m calling this book 14 years+ appropriate, although if my beta readers tell me otherwise, I’ll raise¬†the age. There is some semi-mature content.

If you are interested, please go ahead and pre-order DORK on Kindle: D.O.R.K. on Kindle

Also, follow me on FB/Twitter for updates!

FB: Haley Despard

Twitter: Haley Despard

Thanks for following!


Screw the Pseudonym

Setting a release date for my novel has really made everything feel real, which led me to the question: “Do I really want my novel to be published under a pen name?”

My family and friends are wonderfully supportive of my dreams, and many of them, especially the ones closest to me, have encouraged me to use my real name when I publish DORK in September. The more I think about it, the more I’m starting to feel the same way. Why should I want to be separated from something that is such a part of me? My characters were born within me and I think I deserve to have my name connected to them. So from now on, my real name, Haley Despard, is the one I’ll be using on FB, Twitter, and this blog and it will be on the cover of DORK as well.
Bye bye pseudonym!


MAJOR Announcement!!!!

O.M.G…. I have been waiting for this day for so long. My book is now available on Kindle for pre-order. I just about cried when I got the email this morning.

Yeah, I know, I’m self-publishing so of¬†course¬†I’m getting published. But someone else just called me an “author” for the first time. No one who isn’t an author will understand what that feels like. I’m flying high right now!

My book will be available on September 4, 2015, or before that if I get done quicker and just can’t hold it back anymore. Please excuse the lack of a cover, my cover designer is still busting her butt to get it done but it’s going to be awesome¬†when it’s finished! I can’t wait to show it off and praise her until she blushes.

The title of the book… DRUMROLL, PLEASE!:

D.O.R.K.: Diary of a Rocker’s Kid

Description on Kindle:¬†16-year-old Mads is the beloved daughter of a rock legend, and she never even knew it. The summer after she finds out, she travels with her dad to Los Angeles, CA to stay in his multi-million dollar mansion in Beverly Hills. While she’s there, she meets the handsome teenage actor next door, who immediately sweeps her off her feet. She also finds some clues that lead to the uncovering of the other half of her past that is cloaked in mystery: the identity of her mother.

Here’s the link, in case you’re interested in bookmarking it (or heck, going ahead and pre-ordering it! I won’t complain!):


Thank you everyone so much for supporting me this far in my journey! I CANNOT WAIT to release this book!


Yes, I’m Still Awake…

Good Lord… I don’t know how much longer I can keep up this pace. This book has my eyes glued open morning, noon, and night. The good news is, I am making excellent progress, and as of today I am officially working on the third draft of my novel. Pretty soon, I’ll be able to reveal the title, since I’m putting it up on Amazon for pre-order. Once I do that, no internet lurkers can steal it, so I’ll be good to go. (please correct me if I’m wrong… I would¬†really¬†hate to be wrong about that)

Anyway, I’m hoping it’s not just me who suffers from this insane, life-altering writer’s insomnia. The “I CAN’T SLEEP UNTIL I FINISH THIS GOSH-DARNED BOOK” insomnia. The “OMG MY HEAD IS OVERFLOWING WITH IDEAS OUT OF CONTROL” insomnia. The “CAN’T STOP CRYING BECAUSE ALL I WANT TO DO IS GO TO SLEEP” insomnia.

Seriously, though… the insomnia. It’s godawful and I want it to go away.

I could probably sleep if I were to lay down and completely shut off my brain, but right now that’s just impossible. I feel like I’m in the caboose of a train that is hurtling full speed down a mountain without any brakes. The book is controlling me now, I have no say in the matter anymore. It is determined to be finished ASAP, no matter what.

Please, someone tell me I’m not crazy… Even if it’s not true, it would really be comforting to hear right about now.

Once my pre-order is finalized on Amazon, and I feel like it’s safe, I will be happy to share the title and description of my upcoming YA fiction novel with you all! No, not happy. Ecstatic! Exhilarated! Frenzied! (you’ll get that reference later, after you read my book)

TTFN, readers… Send some positive, sleep-inducing thoughts my way! Have a great week!


The “Unimportant” Details

When I’m writing, there are certain things that I have a lot of trouble getting motivated to write: for instance, the description of the house my character is walking into, or how the sand feels between her toes. I can see and feel all of that in my mind, so sometimes it feels like a chore to have to write it down. That’s probably what’s making the second draft a bit of a slow drag for me. I foolishly skipped a lot of descriptions and small details, and now I’m having to weave them all in bit by bit.

I’m starting to see, though, that the descriptions and the sensory details you add to your book are really what make it for the readers. Without a description of Madison’s love interest’s Italian-style villa, for instance, the picture as she walks up to it to meet him would be incomplete. If I add a detailed, efficiently eloquent description (in other words, not too wordy or overdone) the readers can see the picture that’s in my head just as easily as I can and they can¬†really see and feel what my character feels on her journey.

I’m becoming a little bit more patient with the details now after that realization. It’s not a chore, it’s a privilege. I get to create a world for the readers with those “little” details. I’ve poured my heart into this project, and I’m really hoping that my demographic enjoys this book as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

With all the hard work I’m doing, I can easily see this book being ready before 2016, so I might actually bump the release date up a bit. We’ll see what happens once I finish this second draft. I’m about to begin another long day of editing, rewriting, and adding descriptions, so wish me luck! And remember, fellow writers, the little details do matter!

Just a little shameless self-promotion to wrap up this post… Please remember to follow me on FB and Twitter!

Facebook: River Deston

Twitter: @RiverDeston

Thanks for following!


My Brain is Mush

Stinging eyes… Stiff muscles… A brain that feels like it has melted like a popsicle… Such is the life of an author who is writing a second draft and simultaneously editing their work. I have literally been on my laptop all weekend. And yet, I still can’t bring myself to stop.

I’m into the sixth chapter of the second draft now, and so far the whole thing is up to 23K words. If my estimate is correct, this book will have about 15 chapters. I don’t think that’s unreasonable, so I feel like I’m on the right track, at least, which is comforting. However, I’m starting to wish this darn book was just done already. Some of you were probably laughing when I got done with the rough draft and said, “I’ve got my life back now!” HA! Yeah… so not happening. This is when the real work begins.

I’m starting to second-guess myself again… “Is this really any good?” “Am I just wasting my time?” “Is this book really going to appeal to anyone but me?”¬†I wish I could just turn off all that negative self-talk. I’m learning to ignore it, which is good, but it still depresses me sometimes. I’ve committed now to writing, wholly and completely. I’m even going to be studying it in college. Why do I still doubt myself constantly? There’s nothing else in the world I want to do. End of story. I have to be good at this.

I can’t think anymore… I think my brain is about to cut me off. I’ve overworked it, and now it’s going on strike. This novel is going to be the death of me…

Thanks for putting up with my pity parties, readers. You all deserve medals ūüôā¬†Stay tuned for some big reveals! I’m hoping my second draft will be done by the end of the month, and then I can move on to the final draft and the editing process. Once I feel like it’s safe to do so, I’ll share a short little teaser here on this blog. Also, there’s still the anxiously-awaited cover that is going to be positively epic! Still can’t believe this is really happening!

Have a great Sunday night,


Name Change

Hey everyone,

Just dropping in to say that I changed my pen name from Allison Day to River Deston, or R. Deston. This is a tentative permanent change. I’m going to test run it and see if I want to keep it for the long haul. Since I’m three chapters into¬†the 2nd draft of my YA novel, I’m getting really serious about what I’m going to put on the cover (EEEEEK! So excited!) so I really want to be sure what name I’m going by from now on. By the way, a book cover¬†is under construction, so stay tuned!

Thanks for following!