by Kimberly Cooper Griffin
Was it really only three years ago that I graduated from the GCLS Writing Academy?
I can’t tell you how much I miss those Saturday morning classes where I hung out with my writer friends and learned about writing from some of the best authors out there.
A lot has happened since then. I recently published book number seven and just signed another contract with Bold Strokes Books for my tenth book, which will be my fourth romance with them and my eighth romance novel in total. The two other books are non-fiction about how to write books, one of which I’m co-authoring with none other than Finnian Burnett. I guess you could say, I’m living the writer’s dream—especially the part about getting to collaborate with Finn.
Another scary, but exhilarating, thing that’s happened is that I quit my day job in software development to start my own company called Inkstacks. It’s also in software development, but in an industry better aligned with my passion for writing. In July, my two business partners and I will launch our first software platform, Inkslinger, for writers. It’s super scary, but even more exhilarating.
It’s been a little over two years in the making, and the butterflies in my stomach have become more like pterodactyls. We still have a bunch of stuff to do to get ready for the launch, but I really just want to open up the doors and let people in to find out if they’re going to like it as much as I think they will. A recent sneak peek we gave to a small group of writers provided encouraging feedback, which helps.
What is Inkslinger? It answers new writers’ number one question: How do you begin? It also provides a guided path to help them stay focused and on track to finish a project once they’ve begun.
We know there’s no single path for starting or finishing a story, but once a writer navigates their way through the complex path of completing a writing project one or more times, they’ll have the confidence and knowledge to tailor their path into one that will work best for them going forward. The help we provide gives them inspiration, education, motivation, and an engaging guided path that takes them from planning through completing a project.
Initially, Inkslinger is launching with two timed projects: Inkslinger Express is a 30-day project perfect for short stories up to 15K words, and Inkslinger 99-Day is a 99-day project for a first draft of a manuscript of up to 50K words. Soon to follow, will be Inkslinger Pro, which will give writers unlimited access to both kinds of projects, as well as the flexibility to create their own custom projects. We’ll also release a flash fiction module in the next few months, where writers will be able to have a little fun exploring different genres. Ultimately, we’re hoping to create a community space for writers by providing a variety of supportive resources as well as an opportunity to build their own social network in the platform. Go to Inkstacks.com if you want to check out what we’re doing or sign up for our newsletter.
We have lofty goals for Inkslinger, and it’s important to us that we create something that will help writers navigate the complex path of writing. The world needs our stories and we want to support writers in getting them into the hands of the people who want to read them.
The GCLS Writing Academy played a large part in my personal publishing journey, as well as had an indelible influence in the inspiration and creation of Inkslinger. I went into the academy with a dream of becoming a better writer, and came out of it with a desire to help other writers navigate the often complex and daunting path of finishing their manuscripts. I don’t think there is anything as powerful as helping others fulfill their dreams.
As fellow Writing Academy grads, I’d like to offer each of you a free Inkslinger Express project. Just send me a note at Kimberly@Inkstacks.com saying you read this blog, and I’ll send you a coupon code for a free project you can use any time starting on July 5th.
If you’re reading this and you’re not a GCLS Writing Academy student, I don’t want you to feel left out. Please use coupon code INKGCLS50 at Inkstacks.com for 50% off all products in our store.
Keep on writing! The world needs our stories!
Kimberly Cooper Griffin is a software engineer by day and a romance novelist by night. Born in San Diego, California, Kimberly joined the Air Force, traveled the world, and eventually settled down in Denver, Colorado, where she lives with her wife, the youngest of her three daughters, and a menagerie of dogs and cats.
When Kimberly isn’t working or writing, she enjoys a variety of interests, but at the core of it all she has an insatiable desire to connect with people and experience life to its fullest. Every moment is collected and archived into memory, a candidate for being woven into the fabric of the tales she tells. Her novels explore the complexities of building relationships and finding balance when life has a tendency of getting in the way.