Friday, July 29, 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Gearing up for classes to be held at Tremonton Library

My husband and I will be teaching 4 classes at the Tremonton City Library, this Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Classes will be:

Planning Your Book - Outlining Made Simple
Writing Your Book- The Joys & Pitfalls

First two classes of the day will be hands-on opportunities to learn and write. Get your book started!

Bring your own sack lunch!



After lunch, prepare yourself for some informative classes on publishing and marketing!

Getting  Published - The Easy Way
Marketing Your Book on a Budget

We can hardly wait!

Last count, the classes were full, but it wouldn't hurt to double-check in case someone has dropped out at the last minute!

Kathryn


Tremonton City Library
210 S. Tremont Street
Tremonton, Ut

Contact Debby Carter
435-257-9525

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Shelley Bingham Husk

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

I started writing when I was about five. I've written all of my life. Writing gave me a voice when I couldn't speak up for myself. Being able to write when life was nearly unbearable, probably saved my life. The first commissioned writing I did was for choral music and opera libretti.

When I moved to Utah I began writing screenplays, and stories. At that point, my kids were grown and they were no longer the boss of me.


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

I usually write at night, when I'm home alone and the house is quiet.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some 
other method of getting your words down?

I always write on yellow pads and cue cards before I transfer over to the computer. Some people say that's writing twice and wasting time. But I feel that using paper and pen accesses a part of my brain and body that the computer doesn't. That's just my opinion and it seems to work for me.

When I have to write a script, I spend about two days in the kitchen cooking, to clear my mind, before I begin. Then I lock myself in a room for about five days until the first draft is done. It's a win win, because my husband has lots of food to eat while I'm AWOL.

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

I write. I will write anything. I have written grants, accreditation's, training videos, screenplays, sheet music, poetry, stories and books. There is nothing I don't like about writing. I even like editing. I know, I'm weird that way.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it
take you to write your book?

I love ghost stories. I started reading them when I was about five. I thought, what if I took a real ghost story and brought a couple of Hardy Boy type characters in to resolve the tragedy that might make a ghost hang around? And, just for fun, I started writing bits and pieces to read to my step-son.


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

I'm not good at promoting myself. My book is on Amazon and in 
some book stores and a few other websites. My publisher takes care
of that stuff. I'm not opposed to going to book signings and
conventions, which I have done. But Social Media seems tbe the
most common marketing platform that I use.

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

My first book, The Ghost of Little Elm Lake, was released in February of this year. It is the first book in the Apparitions of America Trilogy. I am working on book two which should be available early next year. As well as my book Grandma's Christmas Wish, which will be available this fall for the Christmas Season.



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

I am working on a film called A Perfect Hero, based on the life and tragic death of Cubs ball player, Ken Hubbs. The screenplay is finished and we are hoping to film next year some time.

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

Just write! Then write some more! There is a publisher for everyone. Also, there's no shame in self-publishing. The hardest part of writing is finding the right publisher or the right way to publish your work. Don't take rejection personally. I could wallpaper my bedroom with the rejection letters I've received. Don't ever give up!

My website address is http://www.shelleybinghamhusk.com/


***

A QUESTION FOR ME:

What do you find to be the best resource for finding an agent and/or publisher?

I haven't been in the market to find a publisher or agent for quite a few years. Suffice it to say, I finally became the publisher I always wanted and couldn't find. But during that time of searching I found Writer's Market invaluable. I also sought out  publishers online and talked to writer friends about who they were using and why. I had some success connecting with publishers - my first book was published through a local publisher here in Utah, but I was never successful in finding an agent.

Traditional publishing is a tough road. For me, I didn't like the idea of not having a last say on a book cover, how I wanted my book formatted, what I wanted to include in my book and not edited completely out, and so forth. 

Thanks for the great question!


Monday, July 25, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: V. J. O. Gardner



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

I love reading and read very fast. I was waiting for my husband one day and ran out of reading material. A little verse popped into my head and I wrote it down. I then began to explore the story behind the verse.



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

I write in my head almost all of the time. Then I type it in or write it down when I get a break in everything else I’m doing. I prefer to write when I’m alone in the house.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down? 

I started with notebooks and pens before there were any really good word processors. Now I type it in at my desktop and read through on my tablet for editing.

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

World building and discovering the characters’ motivations. I don’t like interruptions 
when the words are really flowing.


How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book? 

The first book I wrote started with a little verse about a man who was lonely. I had to write his story which took 10 years. Most of my other books only take 4 to 6 months to write and relate in some way to that original story.

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

I do book signings at book stores, boutiques and renaissance fairs. I also am a panelist at some writer’s conventions and comic cons

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

I’m working on the 1st book of a new series. I have a total of 3 books out right now: ‘Blood of Ancient Kings’ and ‘Dracona’s Rebirth’ which have been out for a couple of years and ‘Servant Queen’ that I published in March of 2016.

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

I do have about a dozen books that are in various stages of editing. Half of them occur in the world of Asculum that my 3 published books occur in. The other half occur on the world of Trinan, but I’m writing the 1st book in that series now.

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

Keep writing. Let someone who isn’t afraid to be completely honest with you read some of your work. Join a writer’s group and participate in their critiques.

***


A QUESTION FOR ME:

What is the best way to increase readership without spending a lot of money?

I had the same question a few years ago. When my husband suggested that I take all of my marketing ideas (most of which are free ways to market) and assemble them into a book, I was all for it. Not only would I have ideas for other writers to try out, but all of the stuff that worked for me would be organized where I could find it. Marketing Your Book on a Budget was born. Now, every January, I put out a new, revamped book, with the latest and greatest ideas to increase not only readership but, in the beginning, interest. It's said that an average reader must see your book at least 7 times before plunking down the money to buy it. So the more times they see your book advertised, whether it's on a blog, in a contest, on your website, on a postcard, etc., the more opportunities you have of ticking off that number before the reader can no longer resist buying your book.





Friday, July 22, 2016

FRIDAY FLICKS: Wonder by R J Palacio


Get the Book at Amazon

Thursday, July 21, 2016

FINAL PROOF

Working on my final proof today for Hard Boiled.

Not my favorite task, but a very needed one.

After all of the editing and beta readers, it's taking one last look at my book with cover and formatting and checking those small errors that always seem to make it in the final proof.



Front cover and back cover once over

Weird paragraphing

Commas in strange places or no commas where there should be commas

Forgotten periods

Centering of chapter headings (even forgotten chapter headings. I've got one of those this time. No once caught it!

Quotation marks in the wrong places or no quotation marks where there should be quotations marks

Awkward sentences that no one else spotted

And so it goes...

Happy Writing! (and editing!)

Kathryn

Monday, July 18, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Karla M. Jay

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

I read The Boxcar Children when I was seven or eight and I thought, “Hey! I want to tell stories like that.” It wasn’t until college that I started writing.

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

I work full time so it ends up being weekends and holidays. I’m best in the mornings and I find I need a chunk of time free, like three hours, or I dupe myself into believing I won’t get anything done.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down? 

I write in a small room my husband built off our downstairs living room. It’s private and I can get lost in my characters in there. I write with a laptop and take a few notes on a tablet I keep in a file, like character’s names.

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

I love making up a story that has many different story lines, eventually when they all mesh together at the end. And I love it when readers can’t stop talking about my books. That’s really all you hope for as an author, isn’t it? My least favorite part is getting the next book going.  I procrastinate over the new story line, judging if it’s as good as the last one. Once I get going, it all works out, but I stall and then drag myself to that opening chapter.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book? 
Get the Book at Amazon

I had the book idea but let it set until I got the title, Speaking in Tungs. The first draft took a year, then with a rewrite, I was two years out before I started pitching it. Once my agent signed me, it was another year before she landed a publisher. My second book, Speak of the Devil, took nine months to write, three months for beta readers, editing and building a cover. So a year turnaround on the sequel.

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

I do a lot of marketing. I agree to be at any book club that I can make it to. I am active on FB and I do giveaways on Goodreads once a month. My agent gets me into bookstores if I tell her where I’m traveling that year.

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

Speak of the Devil just came out so I’m starting the third book in the series, Speaking out of Tern. (Tern as in the bird.)

Get the book at Amazon
Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it. 

I have 4 other books that are stand alone that need just a little bit of attention before they’d be ready.  One is finished, one is halfway done, two have beginnings. I completed a dark comedy screenplay last fall that I think would be a great movie. Limited time keeps me from these projects since I’m focused on the series I have going.

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

I got about 50 ‘no’s’ on Speaking in Tungs. It’s hard to keep thinking that it’s good when so many say “no thank you.” But it evolved as I got feedback and it absolutely needed to do become better. Learn from all of the feedback and write as much as you can. When I look back through manuscripts I wrote even ten years ago, I say, “I can see why this wasn’t published since I’d write it better now.”

***
A Question for me:

How soon do you show your writing to someone else? Early in the manuscript or do you wait until the first draft is done?

I usually wait until 'my' final draft. Always after that, I find that there needs to be one or two more drafts before my book is ready.

***

Thanks, Karla!

Learn more about Karla:


Friday, July 15, 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Scott Tarbet

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

My dad was a professional technical writer and editor, and aspiring sci-fi scribe, my mom an inveterate storyteller. Between the two of them I was so steeped in the craft that I started composing tales as soon as I could talk, and writing them down before I was out of kindergarten. The first time I saw my writing in print was in fourth grade.

Scott E. Tarbet
How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

First thing in the morning. Every day. I'm an early riser, so I'm at my desk by 5:00. I have specific word count goals for each session and track them assiduously.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I have a home office with a good, up to date desktop computer. All my writing lives in the cloud, so I can get on with Office 365 and write from my laptop, iPad, or even my phone. And I often do. You can never tell when the muse will tap you on the shoulder.

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

Favorite: deadlines. I work very best when my publisher has a gun to my head. Especially my publisher; short stories have benefited from that. Least favorite: deadlines. I hate being under the gun.

    How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

Get the Book at Amazon
The concept for “A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk” came from the phrase ‘rude mechanicals’ in the Shakespeare play. Wouldn't it be great to make the Bard’s bumpkins actual semi-mechanical men, in a Steampunk setting at the end of Victoria’s reign? The rest followed naturally, over the next ninety days.

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

My publisher, Xchyler, has extensive social media efforts. Besides their work, I do lots of signings, convention appearances, etc. My basic philosophy is that writing is easy half of the job: then the hard stuff starts.

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

I'm in the last week of first draft of “Dragon Moon”, a techno-thriller that sends Navy SEALs, Russian Spetsnaz, and a Chinese American spy on a mission to stop a madman’s aspirations for world domination. It is scheduled for publication later this year.

Close on the heels of that one will come “Rise of the Stripling Warriors”, an LDS YA, then “The Thousand: First Worlds”, first volume in a YA/NA hard sci-fi series.

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

I have so many projects in the pipeline that I will have to live to be a hundred and twenty to get them all written. And that's just what is already in my writer's notebook. The Thousand series alone should consume the next three or four years.

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

I would ask that beginning writer what in the world they meant by ‘talent’. Is s/he gauging talent by getting their first draft of their first effort accepted for publication by a big house? If so, virtually no writer Is ever ‘talented’.

Writers become published authors when they combine desire to write with extensive practice in the craft, discipline, and endurance. No one ever emerged from the womb with their name on the New York Times bestseller list.

If our fictional writer truly needs outside validation that they should continue on the long hard road to literary flare, technical competence, and marketability, they should hand their work to a group of writers whom they respect, and ask for a brutal assessment. For my part, I have never heard a writer tell another writer, “Give it up. You stink.” We give each other feedback, gentle or occasionally brutal, but we never try to deprive each other of the only outlet for those of us driven to tell stories in the written word.

All that said, some writers just never reach the point of readiness for the jump to published author status. If that is you, beginning writer, keep writing for your own enjoyment. And your mom's. Always your mom's.

***


Learn more about Scott and his writing: 

Monday, July 11, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Berin Stephens

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

I was born and raised in Alaska. I am also a professional saxophone and clarinet player. I have five books out in print: Dragon War Relic, Time Gangsters, Delroy Versus the Yshtari, Tales of Myrick the (Not So) Magnifent Volume 1, and Myrick Volume 2. I also have three books published online so far: Delroy Versus the Pirates of Poughkeepsie, A Sidekick's Secrets to Saving the City, and Myrick Volume 3.

What sparked my desire to become a writer was J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. It blew my mind and I wanted to write stories just like that. Not long after, I was introduced to Asimov's Lucky Starr and the Pirates of the Asteroids, which then got me liking science fiction, too. So I dabbled with writing stories when I was in high school and then some in college, but ended up quitting for a while as I started my family and music career. It wasn't until ten years ago that I took it up again. My then teenage daughter wanted to be a writer and she introduced me to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I decided to do it along with her so that she'd have someone to commiserate with, and the rest is history. That was how Dragon War Relic got its start.

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

I write in the mornings since, for one, that is when my creative mind works best. Also, I teach music lessons in the afternoons and rehearse and perform on a lot of evenings. Really, being a private music teacher is perfect for a writer because we usually have mornings available.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I do my initial brainstorming with paper and pencil, along with my first rough outline. I guess I'm old-school in that regard. Once I get to the actual writing, I use a laptop on a desk in my bedroom. It is the quietest part of the house and I'm rarely interrupted. I am one who gets distracted easily, so if there is any music or talking going on around me, it takes me out of the zone.

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

I love the creative part. I enjoy the brainstorming and coming up with ideas but by far my favorite part is just sitting down and hammering through the first draft. I'm a 'discovery writer' or a 'pantser', so it is fun to see where the stories go. Often, I don't know what is going to happen next, though I have found that it is important that I temper my creative ramblings with some form of outline. I'm not very good at staying on my outlines, though.

I used to hate the editing stages (yes, multiple) but I enjoy them now because I like having a polished finished product. While doing it, it seems like drudgery, so I keep reminding myself of how much better my story will be once I'm finished. What I absolutely don't like is marketing. I hatey hate hate it. I always feel like I'm nagging people to buy my book. Did I mention I hate marketing?

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

I get ideas from just about everywhere. Several of the ideas that came up in Dragon War Relic came to me while driving home from salsa band performances in Alaska. I would listen to 'Coast to Coast AM' to help stay awake at 2 in the morning. They talked about some weird stuff that is a gold mine to a sci-fi/fantasy writer.

I also like watching documentaries. I'm watching the Ken Burns Civil War right now and it's making me think of all sorts of steam punk ideas. Really, when you think about it, the Civil War was steam punk. Biographies are also great because it can give you ideas for character building.

As far as how long it takes for me to write a book, I can generally put out a first draft in 6 to 8 weeks. My fastest was 18 days, but you'll never see that one in print. The second draft takes me the longest since that is where I'm hammering out the structure, so that usually takes 2 to 4 months. Third draft is usually 3 or 4 weeks. Drafts after that only a week each as I'm mainly working on sentence structure and grammar at that point.

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

Urg. Not much right now (see #4 above). I need to get on that.

A thought from Kathryn - As a suggestion, you may want to try Marketing Your Book on a Budget. Yes, it's mine, but everything in there I've tried at one time or another. 

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

I've got a lot of irons in the fire right now. For writing, I'm working on the sequel to A Sidekick's Secrets to Saving the City. I'm also brainstorming a new idea that will hopefully turn into a middle-grade sci-fi space opera comedy. We'll see how that works out.

I'm also working on creating audiobooks of my first novel. I've done the audio already for some of my later projects, but Dragon War Relic is still my most popular book, so I figured I should go back and record it.

Get the Book at Amazon
My latest book in print is Tales of Myrick the (Not So) Magnificent Volume 2 which came out last September. There has been a change with one of my publishers so it looks like I'll have to convert my three books that are still online into print. I hope to get A Sidekick's Secrets out later this year. We'll see.

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

I have so many projects on the back burner that I don't know where to start. Ever since Dragon War Relic, I've been wanting to write a sequel. I have several drafts but they aren't there yet. I also have three other novels, completely different from my normal middle-grade comedy fare, in various stages of editing. One is an epic fantasy set in a WWII-like setting instead of medieval. Another is of a magic apocalypse. I'm not sure where those are going to go yet. I've been recently told by an agent that I should quit the serious dramatic stuff and stick with middle-grade comedy. I guess I'm just too immature to write that thought-provoking junk.

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

I'd say, “You don't have enough talent. Yet.” I'm not trying to be a downer, here, but I view writing like music. You don't pick up an instrument in the store one day and book a gig at Carnegie Hall the next. It takes time to develop the storytelling art. It takes practice. It takes knowledge. The power of practice is that it doesn't matter how much initial talent you have, if you have the love for the art and the desire to get good at it, you WILL have success. That's the way I started with music. I did not start out with any musical gifts whatsoever, but I loved it and stuck with it until I accidentally got good at it. The main thing is to keep learning. Read books on writing, go to writing conferences, form a writing group, and most importantly: practice, man, practice.

***

A question for me:

I've been working on the concept of scene and sequel and have redefined it (musically) so that it makes more sense in my mind. I'm curious if this is something you've explored and what take you might have on it.

Wonderful question. For me, cause and effect in the scene and sequel motif is about as important as chocolate ice-cream and the way I feel during and after eating it. You wouldn't let a luscious dish of ice-cream sit on the table without eating it, would you?

Following the scene, (eating the ice-cream) the character must think about what has just happened, (the sequel) and with that comes an emotional reaction - perhaps a tirade - or they may think about what has just happened and talk to someone else about it, or they can make a decision then and there following the scene to make a change in their life.

The best scene and sequel showdown, I think, is to show cause and effect through action and dialogue. It's more about a show versus tell thing for me anyway. Why read about how someone is thinking or feeling, when you can see them experiencing the sequel in living color?

*** 

Learn more about Berin at the following sites:

Website:




The Myrick stories on Big World Network: