Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Flicks: Journey, by Aaron Becker




Get the Book at Amazon!

Listen to the book trailer here!











Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Marketing Your Book on a Budget Contest!

For those of you who haven't, as yet, perused my book for writers, Marketing Your Book on a Budget, now is the time to be a part of the contest I am holding at:

I Am a Reader!

Three print copies of the book will be given away!

Enter today!



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Feeling a Bit Closed In: Juggling My Way Through the Day

For any of you who know me, you'll also know that I'm at my computer, cleaning the house, and taking care of my grandchildren for most of the day. Ask me how I do that? I really don't know, other than to say I've become a juggler of all I survey.



I get out, yes, but it's to pick up the grand kids from school and to do those necessary items when they're in school...

I really try to write when I can and writing in the late afternoons and evenings really doesn't work for me, even though my daughter is home then; I'm so dead tired.

But today I was thinking, maybe it was time to get out for awhile and do nothing. Maybe it was time to take a book with me or spend my early afternoon before I pick up my grand daughter doing something outside of writing.

Juggling is one of those things that can be done, but, dare I say it? We can't juggle the entire day, nor should we. There's something meaningful, rewarding and life generating, when we take a break and just breathe.



Kathryn

Monday, February 23, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Angela Hartley, author of Copper Descent and other works

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

When I was little, I found myself daydreaming more than I paid attention in school. This, of course annoyed most of my teachers, but some recognized me for what I was and encouraged me to pursue a career as a writer. I was also defiant, and it took me many years to decide they were right.


How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or do you prefer writing freehand?

I prefer to work on a small net-book, though something can be said about freehand. A connection takes place when I write this way that typing can’t quite obtain.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

I love creating, I love revision, I love feeling the connection to fans, and every step in between. The toughest part for me is the rejection. But who in their right mind would enjoy that?

How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them?

My characters pretty much shout in my head, “NOTICE ME!!!!” Readers like them because they’re colorful, yet real. They have Daddy issues, make stupid decisions, yet still manage to find a piece deep inside that calls them to overcome.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

This year, I've tried all sorts of things. I spoke on panels, I visited schools, I ran book promotions, and presented at writers conferences. All of this builds readership, but it isn't going to matter if you don’t have time to write the next work. Right now I’m working on creating a balance between the two aspects.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I take my writing very seriously, and block a section of time each day to some aspect of the craft. All of my children are older, and I find it is easiest to work while they’re in school. The house is quiet, and I can get lost for a little while.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

Right now, I’m working on Iron Resolve. In this Urban Fantasy novel, we follow Myke Preston—a man with a weak disposition. He walks away from his family only to find his world literally crumbling beneath his feet. The only way back to his wife and child is through a maze where he relives his tragic past. I deal with some pretty heavy issues in this story, drugs, infidelity, and child abuse. I also have two other books available, Copper Descent, and I have a short story in an anthology releasing this month, Secrets and Doors called Room 517. I like to describe Copper Descent as Pocahontas meets Paradise Lost, but with demon rock stars, and the Sundance Film Festival. Room 517 is a comedy piece about a high-maintenance modern girl who unknowing travels back into medieval times. It turns into quite the adventure when she realizes her controlling ex is actually a wizard determined to keep her forever.

Get the book at Amazon
Get this short story collection at Amazon

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I have a crime/horror novel named D-Brie. Adrienne Morris thinks she might be a serial killer, but after losing her identity and memory two years before, she can’t be certain. This novel has it all—sex, violence, hypnotherapy, and a woman who may or may not burn people to a crisp whenever the word ‘love’ is involved.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Get out while you still can! No, really. I’m serious. But if you find your feet dragging as you head for the door, know this: It is a hard road full of rejection. If you don’t have faith in your ability as a storyteller no one else will. It takes 10,000 hours to master any art. Are you willing to put in the time to become great, listen to critique, and grow? If the answer is ‘Yes’, you have a shot. Talent takes a back seat to hard work any day.

***
Thank you, Angela!

Learn more about Angela and her books at the following sites:



Copper Descent: 




Friday, February 20, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

STOP PROCRASTINATING! How to kick-boost your writing day


I don't know about you, but there are days I just want to turn the whole thing off; the insights, the research, the writing, the re-vision, the everything, and in it's place do nothing.


That's what I did last night in front of the television. Just soaked the television rays in and ate.

Now, you need to know that for the most part, I am a go-getter. I don't leave things until the last minute, and I don't spend my days avoiding what I should be doing anyway. But there are days when I've just had enough.

I had an individual tell me just today that she was already taking on too much and that she couldn't help me with a request I had given her. She said it was a smile.

And you know, I got it.

Better to speak your mind than to procrastinate, right?
Snow drifts in writing? You bet
When we procrastinate it may just be because we have too much on our plate. It may be that we don't want to do a particular thing, but that's not always the case. The trick is, is to look inside your own heart to see why you're in the avoidance mode.

Hate to edit? You may start a new project just because you don't want to tackle the one that needs editing, or you may just hate editing - period.

Hate to research? You may find yourself writing the book without doing it, guessing, if you will, instead of taking on the research head on.

Hate that first line? You may decide to start your book next week or next month because it's always so hard for you to get down.

Hate trying to find the time to write? You may have time to do the dishes, but may find yourself getting all moody about writing. Perhaps it's just a waste of time anyway; you'll never be published.

I'm sure you get my drift, no matter how high the snow drift is in your neck of the woods. But I also hope you take a look inside; decide today what you're going to change, and do it.

Just start. Hate to edit? Do it anyway. Reward yourself if need be; chocolate always works for me. Remind yourself that when it comes to research, you want your book to be as correct as possible, especially because there will come a day when someone reads it and sees the guess. Can't bring yourself to write that first line? Write chapter two first, then go back to chapter one. It works! And please, please find the time to write. No matter how many excuses we all make for not writing, we all have the same amount of hours in the day to do what we love.

Write.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Jessica Parker author of True Sight from the book: Secrets and Doors

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

Growing up I loved creative writing in school. My stories would be about witches, princesses, pirates and more. When a friend of mine said she was teaching how to become an author, I jumped at the chance.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or do you prefer writing freehand?

I mostly write at home. I write mostly on a laptop because I can type faster. However I have multiple notebooks I use to brainstorm or flush out scenes when I'm not at home.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

Favorite: the spark of inspiration. That moment when the concept of a story takes form.

Least favorite: revising. It's necessary but there comes a point where I don't want to look at my story anymore.

How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them?

The characters in True Sight, found in Secrets and Doors, were created in response to the idea of a magical objects creation. Who would make the item, what would they go through, and why. I hope readers will find the characters aren't always what they seem. What you see as the right thing can be deceiving.
 
At Amazon
What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I'll be honest, I'm new to marketing my writing. I prefer talking to people about books. However you can find me on my blog: https://jessicaparkerstories.wordpress.com/

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write? Right now I write late at night. This way if I'm on a roll, there are less interruptions.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out? I'm working on the sequel to True Sight.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I have an epic fantasy novel on hold. I need to refine my skills to do this story justice.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

No one can tell a story the way you can. Learn your options for publication and find what is best for you and your story. Then be willing to go to work.

***
Thank you, Jessica!

Learn more about Jessica:


Twitter: @jparkerstories 

Facebook: Facebook.com/JessicaParkerStories

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What Means the Most to You in Your Writing?


I may have covered this subject before but it came up for me again today, after the long weekend, and plenty of time to have fun with family...

What means the most to me in my writing?

I think this is a good question to ask yourself a few times a year, just to make sure you're still on track. Because I feel very strongly that I need to share my gifts, that I need to share those things that God wants me to share, and that I need to connect with others, I make these my priority.
Of lesser concern are those things I find running rampant all over the internet, that often can take priority when they shouldn't; making money, marketing every day, speaking at conferences and schools, and the like.

It isn't that these secondary things aren't important, it's just they need to be standing in their proper places, and that means (at least in my book) standing second to the first list.

Losing focus is the easy part. The hard part is sticking to your guns.

Another good question to ask is, Why do you write? The best writers I know were never in the writing business to make money; sure, they wanted to make money, but it wasn't the main reason they wrote. In fact, you may have heard of some writers who didn't really make money until after they were dead :) like Edgar Allan Poe, for example.

I like to think of writing as a journey, a journey to know yourself better, and to express who you are and what you believe to others so that they may also continue on their journeys. If I can make money along the way, that's just the icing on the cake.

Kathryn

Monday, February 16, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Johnny Worthen author of Eleanor and other works of fiction

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

All my adult life, I've always written, not always fiction, but always something. It was a common thread through my college work and a theme underlying all of my career moves. No matter what I did, I found ways to write. Newsletters, memos, technical manuals, websites, I've always loved language. The choice to dedicate myself completely to the craft of fiction happened when the opportunity presented itself and I grabbed onto the theme of my life and have held on ever since.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or do you prefer writing freehand?


My handwriting is illegible most of the time. It was bad to begin with and then I  learned shorthand in high school. That killed it. I write on a Macintosh computer laptop which is an extension of myself. I can’t live without. I use Scrivener and Pages. I hate Microsoft Word with a burning passion that could smelt the one ring to molten magma. I keep a notepad next to my bed at night with a lighted pen and I’m never without a notebook in my pocket. I jot down ideas as they come and hope later to be able to decipher them.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing? 

I love it when my characters take over the story and I just take dictation. That’s cool. Also, the final moment when I know I have the story is a rush equal to any drug I've ever tried. That’s amazing. Holding a book in your hands can only be compared to holding a child and having people talk to me about my story is like visiting with old friends. All wonderful perks.

The rejection is the worst part of writing. For now at least, I’m my own agent and every day is another round of rejections. I have many stories I’m shopping in many different genres and the net is wide and the catch poor. The rejections can and do erode one’s enthusiasm for the craft.

How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them?

My characters are the center of my stories. My working titles are invariably the character’s name. The story and the character are like co-orbiting stars in my mind each dependent upon the other for existence. They form together and will live and die together. When I get a story idea the character is born simultaneously.

I’d like to think that readers would like to get to my characters because they’re interesting and realistic. My characters all have faults, some bigger than others. They struggle with the same problems we all work through in our lives. I exaggerate the troubles and intensify the situations, but at the heart of my characters and my stories are real complicated questions and thematic challenges we can all related to.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

Whatever I can. I’m active on social media and I’ll never turn down any opportunity to talk to writers, readers, bums, serial killers, anybody. I’m naturally outgoing and usually find a way to mention my books. That’s the most effective way I've found to market, one on one. I've used publicists and they've done some work for me with blog tours and book signings, those are cool. Book signings are good when people are waiting for your book, but I’m not quite that big yet. What they turn into for me is a chance for a one on one conversation. My enthusiasm for my books is contagious. I spread the disease as far as I can. Also, I adore writers and try never to miss a conference or symposium. I love presenting and I love learning and I love talking. That’s a bit of networking which might be a kind of marketing, but it’s mostly just fun. When it’s fun, I don’t think of it as work, which marketing undoubtedly is.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

My most productive writing happens in a dark little coffee shop near my house. It’s good to get away from distractions, but more often than not, I’m on my couch, in my office, or outside. Dark rooms, low or no music works best. Early morning is productive but usually spent with marketing, so I usually write in the nighttime. It varies depending on where in the story I am and what commitments I have. However, I write every day. Every day. Every single day. No exceptions.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

This will a big year for me. I have three books coming out – a hat trick. In May I have THE BRAND DEMAND coming from  Cherokee McGhee. It’s a political mystery in the vein of Edward Abbey’s MONKEY WRENCH GANG. In July, Eleanor’s story continues with CELESTE. Fans of the first book are in for a wild time in the second installments of THE UNSEEN TRILOGY. Then, in the Fall, I’m releasing THE FINGER TRAP, a very adult comic noire which puts detective fiction on its head with the introduction of my slacker every-man detective Tony Flaner.

Purchase at Amazon
In the meantime, I’m writing new things. I just finished my twelfth novel, a literary young adult adventure I’m calling ANDI KENDRICK: THINGS BEQUEATHED. I think of her as Eleanor’s plucky younger spiritual sister. I’m also shopping a horror, WHAT IMMORTAL HAND, a dark literary road trip into madness and dark gods. In an homage to the late great Elmore Leonard, I have a fun gritty crime thriller called A BLIND SQUIRREL which I’m selectively shopping to agents as we speak.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

After my edits of ANDI KENDRICK: THINGS BEQUEATHED, I’m mulling over several possible projects. I've been enthralled with the story of Roanoke and have several angles to approach the major themes I saw in that tragedy. One’s an historical fiction, the other a science fiction. I've never written hard sci-fi before so I’m attracted to that. I also have a black comedy in mind that my kids want me to follow and another young adult mystery with less paranormal and more paranoia. I’ll let you know in February which one I pick up.

Short story collection
at Amazon
What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Practice practice practice and lie to yourself. If you think about the odds, you’ll never pick up a pen. Pick it up believing you will be published, but knowing that every word, sentence, paragraph and story you write will make you better and bring you closer to your goal.

***
Thanks, Johnny!

Learn more about Johnny and his books below: