The Writer’s Diet with Kelly Whitley, Elysian Fields Flash Fiction, and W*n a book

It’s Flash Fiction day!

First, if you missed it, a late post went up yesterday at Romance Junkies, with another chance to win a copy of Elysian Fields from Tor Books.

And today, I’m at Share My Destiny with a flash fiction called “Bat Out of Hell.” Hmmm…wonder what inspired that? (And my house at left is officially Bat Free, although I shall henceforth refer to it as the Batcave!)

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Today, please help me welcome author Kelly Whitley to Preternatura! Kelly is here today to give us a look at her latest release, Into the Red, and offer up some tips for how to eat healthy while working on any sedentary occupation like writing. I had to chuckle a little because it’s good advice–but not for all of us. I eat very few carbs, so not much fruit for me. I haven’t eaten bread, or oatmeal, or pasta, or beans, or rice…or anything like that in seven months. I limit yogurt to once a month because it’s so carb-heavy, and then only Greek yogurt, plain. So my daily eating routine looks VERY different from this one. 

Once upon a time, Kelly dreamed of becoming an entomologist, then a gymnast, and then an architect. Instead, a career in healthcare became the chosen path. After years of devouring other people’s books, Kelly decided to give writing a try, and Kelly’s first paranormal romantic suspense debuted in July 2012.  Now Kelly writes a variety of fiction, spanning the genres from humor to paranormal, and flash fiction to full-fledged novels. An ideal day consists of coffee, no phone, and writing quirky characters for fans to fall in love with. Stop by her website where the paranormal is an everyday occurrence and get your fix for vampires, werewolves, shifters and more. Kelly loves visitors, human and otherwise. Kelly lives in the Rocky Mountain Midwest.  You may also learn more about Kelly on her blog. 
ABOUT INTO THE RED:  Human blood is an illicit and highly addictive drug–if you’re a vampire. Known as Red, its side effects are insanity, and eventual death. A group of Red-addicted vampires known as Poisoners are killing women as part of an extortion plot involving a lost ancient vampiric tome, and they’re leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. The discovery of each new victim risks exposure of the entire vampire race to humans. Then one victim survives.  Dr.Evan Nichols, oncologist and vampire, lives a monk-like existence, by his own choice, focusing on patient care and research to benefit his vampire brethren. It’s been twenty-five years since his world turned upside down—the night he lost his fiancee and discovered his hidden vampire heritage. Now his government has ordered him to take a mate—or they’ll choose one for him. It’s a horrible prospect, and one that might push him over the edge—until Fate throws him together with a human female. Wary of relationships, Tara West has poured her energies into work and inventing cutting edge climbing equipment. She doesn’t like the gorgeous Dr. Nichols, yet finds herself unaccountably drawn to him. When a crazed vampire attacks and poisons Tara, Evan rescues her. With time running out, he has to create an antidote to the poison before he loses his chance at love. In order to make the vaccine which might cure her, he has to find the bastards who poisoned her and take their venom—before they die of their addiction. If he doesn’t reach them in time, saving her will be impossible.
Thus the journey begins—into the Red!
And now, let’s hear from Kelly:

The Writer’s Diet by Kelly Whitley

Let’s face it. It’s a sedentary hobby, a sedentary occupation. The setup to eat poorly is there: you’re at home, you’re hungry, but you want to keep writing. You head to the kitchen and look for convenient finger food and energizing drinks. Before you know it, you’re published and up a few pounds. When the marketing kicks in, more stress, more eating.
I think most writers wrestle with this from time to time.
I admit a Hot Tamale addiction when writing. The Big Box made it oh-so-easy to snack through several servings. The carbs kept me going and the sugar gave me a feeling of wellbeing. The numbers on the scale, not so much. It was time for a food makeover.
Here’s my strategy to pump up writing energy and stay healthy.

1)      Breakfast. I can hear the grumbling from those who say they can’t eat before ten, but seriously, folks. Breakfast helps. I opt for oatmeal with raisins, walnuts, and apples. A dash of sugar. This complex carbohydrate meal gets me going and keeps my energy up while keeping my stomach full.
2)      Judicious morning snacking. No more Hot Tamales here—now Light and Fit Greek yogurt or a slice of raisin toast.
3)      Nutritious lunch. Example: half an avocado and chicken breast or hard boiled eggs, or Lean Cuisine.
4)      Dessert: a measured serving of Hot Tamales in a dish—NO BOX! Or some other treat, like dark chocolate.
5)      Midafternoon snack. Back to choice of yogurt, toast, hardboiled egg.
6)      Dinner. Half protein, one fourth veggies/fruits, one fourth complex carb—rice, whole wheat pasta, etc.
7)      Evening snack. Yep, you guessed it. Yogurt, toast, eggs. Frozen yogurt is good here, or low-fat pudding (watch the serving size).
8)      Veggies are a freebie—eat whenever.
9)      Don’t drink your calories—opt for water whenever possible. I like Vitamin Water Zero. Find your drink and stick to it.
I write mostly on days that I’m home, or in the evening. I do stairs. Multiple trips up and down the stairs. It tones the legs and develops muscles. It’s aerobic, so it’s good cardiac conditioning. And exercise helps suppress appetite and burn calories.
I love to read before bed (other people’s books!) It’s sometimes easy to get carried away and stay up too late. Adequate sleep is important to everyday functioning—in writing and in life.
Overall, it’s possible to have a healthy lifestyle and still spend lots of butt-in-chair-hands-on-keyboard time.
What’s your routine?
Thanks, Kelly! My routine is: Breakfast–a Quest Nutrition bar (I order them by the case) and one cup of coffee; mid-morning, a 32-ounce bottle of Powerade Zero, for the potassium; lunch, 6-8 ounces of protein, usually grilled chicken; afternoon, another 32-oz bottle of Powerade Zero; dinner, a cup of raw spinach, three or four sliced strawberries, 6-8 ounces of boiled shrimp or grilled scallops, strawberry vinaigrette dressing; dessert, Arctic Zero frozen ice. This is it, six days a week. On Fridays, I allow myself a carby meal for dinner to get any cravings out of my system. 
Do any of you have a routine while engaging in a sedentary passion?  Leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of Kelly’s book, Into the Red.

18 thoughts on “The Writer’s Diet with Kelly Whitley, Elysian Fields Flash Fiction, and W*n a book

  1. I couldn’t stick to a diet that didn’t allow fruits and vegetables. I try to eat reasonably healthy and work out on an exersize bike every day.

  2. As far as diet, no, I don’t really have a routine, but I do move around a lot (I’m a teacher – it’s unavoidable). When I’m home at the computer, my geriatric beagle with a bladder the size of a pea ensures that I get lots of exercise going up and down stairs. She has to go out a LOT.

    • LOL, I have two geriatric dogs. My big boy still has the bladder of an ox, but the other is like yours and it’s like every hour on the hour, she’s giving me the terrier stare of death, which translates as, “take me out….now!”

  3. diet no, a diet without fruit and vegetable: never but it’s true i should do more exercise ( after my trouble with my foot i couldn’t walk during several month and now i need to get back on track)

    and when i’m too sad i tend to forget to eat so now i’m trying to eat healthy but if to ensure i do eat i must take something unhealthy ( ice cream for example) i will do it ( a little to want something else after^^)

    • One interesting thing I learned after Hurricane Katrina is how people link food and stress. I tend to be a stress eater; others are like you and don’t want anything when they’re sad or stressed. So as the hurricane recover progressed I could tell who reacted which way by whether they gained or lost weight!

  4. I do have a routine when I write. I need to be alone, and sometimes, I play music geared towards eliciting emotions I want to feel or portray for a certain scene in my stories. If that does not work, I try to wear clothing that will make me feel at one with the scene or change surrounding to help me feel what the characters are feeling and seeing so I can convey the story appropriately.

    • I also have to be alone to write. The last few days when I’ve had to stay home from work to babysit the bat guys, I took my laptop downstairs to work instead of staying upstairs in my home office. People kept talking to me, and I got nothing done. I can block out anything, noise-wise, but if I have to listen and respond to even a brief question, it throws me off for at least a half hour.

  5. Thanks for Sharing. Into the Red sounds like a great book. I play music or have the tv on for background, but mostly when I am sedentary, I am sedentary. But that is mostly because I am caught up in a good book and nothing can interrupt me. That would be sacrilege.

    • I think it comes from having started my journalism career working in a newsroom, where there are 20 or more reporters all sitting and talking and writing at the same time. I can shut out ANYTHING, so noise doesn’t bother me when I’m reading. People who try to talk to me, and I ignore them because I honestly have tuned everything out while I’m reading, don’t like this very much 🙂

  6. I need to but i don’t currently diet. I have got to start walking again. Too much reading and FB lately. :)Into the Red sounds like a great book.

  7. Healthy eating is important, but I admit to not eating very healthy. And I am definitely a stress eater! I will have to check out Into the Red.

  8. I do have a routine both with exercise and diet. I have to eat GF as does my son. We’re strict with it as I get sick if I eat even a little gluten. AND I very rarely stray from my exercise routine… 2 days at the gym a week and 3-4 days doing a 5k over a local gym. I’m fighting getting old! I know it’s a losing battle, but I’m trying!

  9. My routine is a cup of coffee in the morning. I will not speak or talk to anyone until I have my coffee.

    Around lunch time, I go running for an half an hour and then it is back to work after I have shower.

    These are my two daily routines.