Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Memories Keep You Writing

How I LOVE making memories! Memories keep you writing and excited for the next event, the next opportunity to share what you write!

I had a lot of fun at Lakeview Hospital, but it's not the end of my book signings, nor is it the end of fun! If you keep a journal like I do you may also find that you're pulling ideas and mixing them up a bit. Just because something starts out as nonfiction material (in your journal) doesn't mean you can't turn it into (fiction) and it doesn't mean that this is the only way to keep your writing going.

Signing Event at Lakeview Hospital
Sunday I went through some of my old scrapbooks and discovered a terrifying secret! I hadn't pasted a picture since 2006. If you know me, you also know that a lot of things have happened since 2006, and those things are memories for me to use today in my current works.

Speaking of current works, since finishing "Scrambled," and getting it out in September, I have begun the sequel to the first cozy, "Sunny Side-Up." As I was writing and reflecting about my life and how (in some instances my story becomes fiction in this book) I was given the book title for the third book and a bit of the plot line. Want a little hint?

I'll give you a one. The title is, "Hard Boiled." Boy, do I have some memories with that!  

Here's to your writing success!

Monday, July 30, 2012

New Book Cover

Today I wanted to share with you some recent happiness! As you know, my new book, "Scrambled," will be released on September 1. This is my first cozy mystery and I'm excited to take the main character, Susan Cramer, through the wash!

Well, not actually through the wash, but she does get into some scrapes!

If you LOVE a good cozy, you'll want to take a peek at my first chapter

Take a look at the new cover! See a video!

And gear up for the book's release. I would love to hear from you!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Where to Get Free Book Reviews

Since I've just come through the book review saga--again--I wanted to share with you some of the places I discovered and give you a bit of a head's up on where to find reviewers, especially if this is your first book.

Photo by The Daring Librarian, courtesy of Flickr

One of the first things you'll quickly discover when searching for reviewers is that some won't take you, others will ask for money, and yet others will know little about book reviewing.

Big book reviewers such as Kirkus Reviews may not even take a look at your work if you're a new author. They have stacks of books to review, and yours, quite frankly, may be at the bottom of the pile. Instead of shooting for the top, choose blog reviewers that have reviewed other books. Just by reading some other reviews you'll get a sense of what they do. (You can find good as well as not so good reviewers on Amazon.com).

If a reviewer you query wants money to do the review, my opinion is, don't send it. There will be plenty of other reviewers who will review for free or for a free copy of your book. I like to think a review will be more honest and straight-forward if I haven't paid the reviewer to write it.

I have made the mistake of not checking out a reviewer; their style of writing, how they review, etc., before taking them on and I have been disappointed because of it. Do your homework. A new reviewer doesn't necessarily mean a bad reviewer but go to their blog and find out how they write by reading what they've already written. And make sure you send your book to reviewers who review your genre.

Some other suggestions:
  • Find out how many followers they have by looking on their blog. The bigger number, the more eyes that sees your book.
  • Check out who the blog owner follows. One blog owner may have a list of ten other blogs they follow that also do book reviews.
  • Get reviews from people you know that will give you an honest review. (You know who they are).
When getting book reviews it's important not only to thank the reviewer after it's posted, but to keep their name and contact information on file--for the next time you have a new book to be reviewed. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Juggling Writing and Marketing

It's been a fun ride the last couple of weeks, and it's time to put my feet up and do some writing. Marketing is fun in its own right but writing, shall we say, is a bit more like therapy. And I need some therapy today.

If you are finding that you're continually marketing your newest work and have no time to write the next, then it's time to do some juggling.

Photo by Manchester Library, courtesy of Flickr
If you've ever watched a juggler at work, you'll notice that all of the balls are continually in a rotating motion. Nothing is at a standstill unless a mistake is made and all of the balls come tumbling to the floor. The same is true of writing and marketing. When you're marketing, writing should take place and when you're writing, a bit of marketing should still be in movement.

The reason for this is simple; you'll continually have your work moving forward, and, at the same time, keep your own emotions in check. There will be less time for burnout because the options for moving forward are continually in motion.

When I find that I really don't want to market, or I really don't want to write, it's usually because I've forgotten about connecting both writing and marketing in my life. I've been forgetting one or the other in favor of struggle.

I don't know why it is that we think that we have to struggle, work painfully hard, and continue to do it day after day to make a success of our writing career. What we need to do is to listen to our heart, shift when we need to shift, and balance all of those things that bring joy to us.

In the end that's all we've got.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Come and join me tomorrow (July 14, 2012) at Tina's Hallmark in Bountiful (541 W 2600 S) for a never-to-be-forgotten book signing!

Just off I-15 and 2600 South in The Square

Time: 8:30 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
  • FREE hand labeled stone 
  • FREE bookmark postcard
  • FREE scrambled egg recipe (to die for) and first chapter of my cozy mystery, "Scrambled" due out in September for first 30 readers
  • FREE scrambled egg recipe for first 50 readers
  • Learn how to make your own personalized plate! Use it for a gift or for your own kitchen table
  • Ornament Sale! Get a head start on Christmas!
  • Get an autographed copy of your favorite book by Kathryn Jones

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Rain in Utah Affects Writers

How I LOVE the rain.

Photo by: janesweetjieng, courtesy of Flickr
I was excited to hear it, feel it and smell it today as I went about doing my errands. It's amazing how something so simple can get a writer excited about writing, because most of all, I'm grateful.

Fires are beautiful things too, especially when they're well contained and give a body warmth when he/she needs it.

Just this year our power was out for quite a few hours and I was grateful for a fireplace. I placed small sticks and a few pieces of newspaper, and lit my little fire. It eventually grew to a large one and could support a large log without going out.

I was grateful for the warmth just as I'm grateful for a bit of cooling today.

Photo by: makelessnoise, courtesy of Flickr
I don't personally know of any writers affected by the fires of the last few weeks, but there must be a few who are just now sitting down to write about their experience.

(On the news a couple of days ago it was mentioned a family that was on vacation had not taken with them their cell phones. They couldn't be contacted to talk about their house. I wonder what they're writing about now).

Even those who aren't writers find that writing during difficult times is a healing balm. That's why I've kept a journal for more years than I've been a writer. It feels good to write it all down. The pain. The inconvenience. The hurt. Because when the day is over, it's the feelings of others who have struggled and how they have overcome that gives us the courage to look into the smoke filled sky and thank the Lord that we are safe.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Writing Without Thinking

I love it when I start writing and I'm not thinking about how a story is going to go or a post is going to end. I love this way of writing because I never know what's going to come up and what I'll need to weed out later.

It sort of reminds me of posting on facebook, only you don't want to have to retract anything later so it's a good idea to think before you write, but I like the fact that you can share your day with friends and acquaintances.

Writing without thinking is free in the sense that you are focused on getting out what you want to say and less on how it's going to proceed.

Tomorrow is going to be a fun day. I know that because we've got some fun things planned with family. We begin our morning with a breakfast and a little ones neighborhood parade, come home to some lounging and puzzle making. We purchased a "fireworks" puzzle for the occasion. We'll end the night with a family dinner and banana roast.

I am in need of this day; aren't you?

Here's hoping yours is happy!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Fires in Utah

There have been so many fires in Utah that they've banned fireworks on the 4th--at least in the city I live in.

Photo by: bayasaa,courtesy of Flickr
At first I was, shall we say, a little bummed, and then I thought of all of the people that make this country great and that includes my friends who live in Herriman. I thought about the Pledge of Allegiance, early morning breakfasts, time with family; even making smores in the backyard cooker, and I realized I could live without fireworks.

Especially when so many in the country are living without their home. (Now, there's something to write about!)

Happy 4th of July to all of my readers and fellow writers!