Tuesday, January 31, 2017

TUESDAY TRAILER's and HOW TO's: Over Easy

Today, I am officially beginning my Tuesday Trailer's and How To's postings. What this means is that from now on, expect to see a trailer or how to video from me every Tuesday. The videos will differ from the trailers posted on Fridays because they will:

Be about my books only.

Will share writing, publishing or marketing 'how to's from others that I have found insightful.

In time, I plan on putting together my own 'how to' videos, so you will see these here as well.

For today, I wanted to start with a book trailer for my latest mystery which will be released in early April. Enjoy!

As always, I am happy to hear your comments about anything I post here; this helps me to improve my blog and make it better for you.


­čĺôKathryn

Monday, January 30, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: CH Lindsay


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

I’ve always loved books and reading. As a child, I would go to the library and bring home stacks of books, or give my mom a long list of books I wanted from the book 
fair. I spent many a summer reading.

Get the Book at Amazon
When I was in high school, my English teacher submitted a couple of my poems to the school’s literary journal. She didn’t tell me about it, not until they were accepted. I wrote a short story for an assignment and she helped me rewrite it and submit it to a school contest. She made comments and gave me tips about the story. Finally, she helped me go line by line and fix the little things. It was my first real experience working with an editor. Near the end of the school year, she encouraged me to take creative writing and sponsored me so I could get into the class. Before Joyce Oldroyd, I had no idea I could write.

I took creative writing in college from an amazing professor (Marion K. Smith) who was also a science fiction and fantasy scholar. Then I joined the science fiction club (Quark), the science fiction magazine staff (The Leading Edge) and the science fiction symposium committee (LTUE). Those, along with some very special teachers in the English department Changed my life forever (Dr. Steven C. Walker, Dr. Sue Ream, Dr. Sally Taylor). And a librarian whose love of science fiction was truly epic (Betty Pope). They were all amazing.
            
Throughout the years I’ve also met some wonderful authors who have inspired me and given me encouragement. Chief among them are Orson Scott Card, David Farland, Tracy Hickman, and Michael R. Collings.
           
I admit that I let other things get in the way of my writing: children, musical theatre, conrunning. But now my kids are grown, I no longer have the vision to do musical theatre, and I retired (mostly) as a convention organizer and event planner. So, now I’m focusing once again on my writing. It really is never too late to write.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?
           
I find I write best at night when others are asleep. However, I try to do a little bit every day. It doesn’t always work, but if I have several projects in various stages, I can write, edit, or plot something. I mostly write short stories and poetry, so this works well for me. There’s always something I can pull out that’s been sitting for several weeks or months that needs fresh eyes.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?
          
I prefer a desktop computer. That’s because I am visually impaired and need a large screen where I can zoom in on the text. Some writers like to dictate their stories, but I prefer to type where I can be thinking and organizing mentally while I type. It also makes it easier to go back and edit. I love the spell check to catch things my eyes miss.
          
For poetry, I used to prefer writing by hand, but that is no longer an option, so I also use a computer. I recommend writing down a poem at least during one stage of the process. There’s a different connection with your brain when you actually edit on paper.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
          
I love the creative process when the ideas keep coming. Often, I will work on a scene in a story and then, while I’m in bed trying to sleep, other ideas will come to me that work much better. I pull out my phone and set a reminder for myself with the idea or the dialog. Then, the next day, I’ll get the reminder and go back to the story and make the change. That’s a very rewarding part of the process.

It’s also rewarding to listen to your story out loud and realize it’s better than you thought it was. Lol

I recommend reading your story out loud or having someone read it to you. You hear things you miss when you’re reading.
          
Finally, there’s nothing like submitting a story or book for publication and getting an acceptance letter. That lets you know all your hard work is paying off.

What I dislike most is when the ideas aren’t coming and I have to try one idea after another without finding one that really fits the story or the characters. That is often when I’ll set the story aside and pick up something else. For this reason, I keep a folder with story ideas and starters that I can go to so I don’t stop writing. I also keep stories that need another edit or a rewrite. Sometimes taking a mental break helps. But it’s frustrating.

I still find other things taking up my writing time. That’s both discouraging and frustrating.

And I hate the rejections. It’s part of being a writer, but it’s discouraging and frustrating when you can’t find the right market or editor for your story.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?
            
My short story, “Cowchip Charlie and the Tumbleweed Gang” is loosely based on stories my Dad would tell me and my brothers when we were children. He made up this character named “Cowchip Charlie” who was half horse and very much a Pecos Bill type character. I wrote this story several years ago, but I could not find a market. I got a lot of replies that said they liked it, but it didn’t fit their magazine or anthology. So, I filed it away. Then, a few years ago, a friend told me she was putting together an anthology about rabid vegetation and with very minor tweaking, my story fit the guidelines. So I sent it to her. She later told me that she and her co-editor liked it so much they both agreed it should definitely go in the anthology. I eventually plan on writing more stories and publishing them as a collection.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?
           
I attend writing conferences, library events, and conventions where I can meet other authors and readers of speculative fiction and sell some books. When I can, I participate on panels and talk about the craft of writing or the various genres in speculative fiction.
            
I have a facebook page and twitter account, where I often promote the craft of writing. I also have a webpage to promote my work.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?
            
I wrote a short story last year and I’m working on turning it into a novel. It’s a fantasy story set in a post-apocalyptic future. I have two short stories that need to be rewritten. I want to turn them from short stories into novellas. I have a poem that will be published some time this year.

I finished a short story about a little girl who prays to Pacha Mama for the god of the local tin mine to go away – with catastrophic results. I’ll be sending that out to markets this month.

I have a number of completed poems I need to send out to magazines.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
            
I always have something on the back burner. When I get an idea, I will do a quick write-up in a text document and stick it in a folder. Sometimes, the ideas for that particular story keep coming, so it moves to the front burner. Otherwise, it says on the back burner and from time to time I go through the folder and see what sparks my interest.
           
On the front burner is the post-apocalyptic story about a young priestess and a village elder who have to overcome prejudice and a necromancer to save both their villages from a fallen god.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?
         
Go to writing conferences and workshops to learn your craft. There are some amazing writers who put writing tips online. Many have writing courses. David Farland and Michaelbrent Collings are two of them.
          
If you have a favorite author or two, look them up online. Read their writing tips. Follow them on social media.

Writers Digest has a series of books about writing if you want to read them. There are also a number of websites about writing that have some very good writing tips. Get involved in NaNoWriMo and NaPoWriMo. Find a group of local authors who can encourage you.

Most important, read a lot: new authors, classics, different genres. This is not so you can copy the other authors, but so that you can learn the craft of writing and WRITE. Your first stories may not be very good, but that’s okay. You’ll get better as you go. First drafts are never good. Most stories become good through the editing process.

Never give up. Never, never, never give up. It’s never too late to start a writing career. I know people who published their first book after they turned 70.

***

Blog tours are one way of promoting yourself to new audiences. But how do you find the right blogs? How can you make blog tours successful? How do you promote your own blog?


These are all great questions, many of them handled in my book, Marketing Your Book on a Budget, but let's see what I can do here.

For blog tours, I find that connecting with other authors through Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter helps. I have joined various groups that speak about writing and we help each other out with occasional blog tours. As for successful blog tours, I'm still trying to figure that one out, but it seems to me that advertising is the key - getting the word out there as much as you can. If the blogger who is handling the contest has a lot of followers, that seems to help too. 

For my own blog, I make sure that I let my readers know through the same channels that a new post is up. I also use google+, pinterest, and make sure my Amazon page is up to date. I have recently joined a site called Alignable. The site is for small business owners, and so I have put my work there, as well as information about my blog. I also do author interviews like this one, as well as character interviews and Friday Flicks spots - where I promote other writers book trailers. Connecting with other writers is always a good thing. This means I also write posts for other blogs.

I have gotten pretty good at putting together my own book trailers and post these on my blog page whenever I can. I also make sure to get a list of names and email addresses when I do personal book signings. This way, I can sign interested readers up for my newsletter. They can also contact me from the newsletter and find out what I do on my blog. 


***

Learn more about CHL Lindsay at:

Friday, January 27, 2017

FRIDAY FLICKS: Finders Keepers by James DiBenedetto

Finders Keepers (The Jane Barnaby Adventures Book 1) by [DiBenedetto, J.J.]
Get the Book at Amazon

Thursday, January 26, 2017

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY by Richard Bach

Image result for quotes for writers

I LOVE this quote!

Imagine what would happen in your own life if you took this saying to heart. Imagine the books you would write, the books you would sell, the people you would touch, the changes you would make in their lives - and your own!

Reflect on this quote today as you go about the business of writing.

I know I will.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: J J DiBenedetto

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

I’ve been writing since high school, but I got serious about writing for publication four years ago, when a friend of mine sold her first book.  I asked myself “why not me, too?” and it went from there.



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

Whenever I can.  Every night when I get home from work I set aside an hour, but also lunch breaks, any other spare hours I can squeeze in, etc.

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

My desktop PC.  There’d be no point in trying to write by hand in a notebook – my penmanship is so bad, I can’t read my own handwriting.

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

My favorite part is getting into the heads of my characters.  After a while, they become totally real to me.

My least favorite part is trying to sell my books!

Kathryn: You may just want to check out my marketing book. I try to simplify marketing and make the 'grieving process' fun. :)

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

The idea for my latest book came in bits and pieces as I wrote it.  I didn’t really know what the ultimate plot of the villains was, or even who the villain was, until halfway in.  I just began with the idea of my heroine trying to bring her family together – herself, her brother, her father and his fianc├ęe.  Something had to happen to start trouble, and it seemed obvious that the brother (who’s kind of na├»ve) should get in over his head and find himself in a tight spot, and it went from there.

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

Everything I can think of.  Ads, Facebook promotion, Twitter, reaching out to my mailing list, interviews like this one, you name it!

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

Get the Book at Amazon
My new book comes out next Tuesday.  It’s called HER BROTHER’S KEEPER, and it’s the third book of the Jane Barnaby Adventures.  They’re lighthearted stories of suspense and international intrigue starring an American archaeology student who keeps finding herself mixed up in bizarre criminal plots.

I’ve just begun on her next book, which will be called SHIP OF FOOLS.

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

I have an idea for a setting, but I don’t know what happens in it yet.  It’s an apartment building where every apartment exists in a different parallel universe.

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

Keep writing, and believe in yourself.  That’s the only advice I’ve got.

A Question for Me:

Where do you get your ideas?

My ideas come from various places. My favorite surprise came when my husband shared an email he'd received and "Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones" was born. 

I also once received inspiration for a book one day when I was in a mode of reflection about my life many years previous. I recalled how much fun I'd had reading Nancy Drew mysteries as a pre-teen. My Susan Cramer Mystery series was born.

I like the idea of series books, because once you have an idea come to you about the first book, the others naturally just gravitate to you. A case in point: Before I'd even written the last word in the fourth book of my Susan Cramer Mystery series, I knew what book was going to come next: My new YA mystery series with Susan's daughter, Brianne. I even knew what the cover would look like. 

***
Learn more about James:

http://viewAuthor.at/JJDiBenedetto (my Amazon Author Page)
http://books2read.com/HerBrother – my new book – preorder link

Video book trailer for the first book in this series:
---
Read about my writing: www.writingdreams.net
What if you could see everyone else's dreams? Find out with the Dream Series! Available at amazon.com or smashwords


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Heaven 24/7: Daughters of the Light

Idea Creations Press is searching for glimpses into eternity.

Do you have such a story to share?


LEARN MORE AT:
HEAVEN24-7.COM

Monday, January 23, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Scott Ferrell


     



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

     I think I’ve always been a writer without the actual writing part. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been making up characters and stories in my head. I just never thought I could actually do anything with it so I’m pretty late getting into the writing game. It was when I realized I had all these people and stories begging to get out of my head that I thought I might give it a try. My sanity thanks me for it.

Scott Ferrell

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

The best thing to do is build a schedule around your life, include writing time and stick to it as best as possible. I’ve found it way too hard to just wing it and be as productive as I know I can be. When I think I can sneak away to get some writing done, I often times find myself wasting time on other things…plus it drives my wife bonkers when I just disappear. I have to make sure to keep a balance between the wife and kids, work, and writing.

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

I dabbled in hand writing things when I first started. I still use paper to help plot and keep track of ideas as they come but I’m slowly giving all that up. Mainly because I once lost a notebook almost full of writing. That was heartbreaking. Now, I use apps like Evernote to keep track of notes and ideas if I’m not on the computer. Otherwise, I build spreadsheets with outlines, plots, characters, places, and such.  Word is my writing tool of choice and I use Dropbox to back up my stuff.

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

The best part of writing is the creative process. I love when a little spark of idea blooms into a bonfire. A single spider silk leads to an entire, intricate spider web. There’s nothing like that feeling when you’re working on an idea and something just clicks and you’re like YES! The worst part is that it all too often lacks an immediate payoff. You can slave over a computer for hours and not feel like you’ve accomplished much. You do get these little shots of joy after a particularly productive writing session, but rarely get that “done” feeling until months, sometimes years, later.

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

I live in Pocatello, Idaho which has the nickname “Gate City.” I thought to myself what if there was a town out there actually named Gate City because it had a gateway to another world in it? Of course, a gateway needs a gatekeeper. Fifteen-year-old Gaige Porter was born. The story became too big for one book to hold, so I made it into a trilogy about his adventures back and forth between these two worlds while he tries to figure out exactly where he belongs. It took me about five and a half years to write the trilogy mainly because I was still learning how write a novel. I had tried previously with disastrous results. The first book, The Gatekeeper, took about three and a half years of writing, rewriting, revisions, and edits before it really clicked for me and I was happy with the results. With my new found writing confidence, I wrote the next two in just under two years…mainly due to work constraints.

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

I’ve found the most effective marketing strategy is free stuff. People love free stuff! Once I released my second book, I offered the first e-book for free for limited times. That led to people buying the second. There are several websites out there that will advertise your free or discounted e-books to readers. Some services are free, some you have to pay for. I have also had some success purchasing a small amount of ads on Facebook. The main thing to remember is to set an affordable marketing budget and stick with it. Use that money wisely and keep track of what works for you and what doesn’t.

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

The Gatekeeper (The Gatekeeper Trilogy Book 1) by [Ferrell, Scott]
Get the Book at Amazon
The Gatekeeper Trilogy is finished and out! Currently I’m working on a middle grade novel called Firefly. It’s about a 12 year-old-boy who has to deal with the fallout from his mother’s life as a supervillain. He tries to get out from under that shadow, but everybody treats him differently. Cruelly.  It’s a “sins of the father” (or mother) type of thing. As a middle grade book, it’s not only thought provoking, but also fun…because, you know, he has powers, too!

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

I have so many projects on the backburner that it’s hard to pick the next one to work on when I finish the current. I have a middle grade novel I wrote exquisite corpse style with my daughter that is completed but needs lots of polishing. Other than that, I have lots of projects in various stages. Everything from young adult stories to a fantasy series to a steampunk series. You never know what I’ll turn out next.

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

    Talent is subjective. Writing is a lot like learning to play an instrument. There are those who pick it up quickly just like there are those who have a “knack for words.” Then there are those of us, like me, who have to work at it. That’s why it took me so long to write The Gatekeeper. I had to work at it. I had to learn. My advice is to study your favorite authors. What do they do that makes you like their work so much? Their world building? Their characters? Their way with words? Keep writing and I’d be willing to be you'll be producing grade A stuff in no time!

***
Learn more about Scott at the following links:



Friday, January 20, 2017

FRIDAY FLICKS: Donuts by Julia Dweck

Donuts - Free Audio Book Inside: ---- an illustrated story about a squirrel, his wish, and a loyal friendship. (Preschool children's book, Bedtime stories, Picture book) by [Dweck, Julia]
Get the Book at Amazon

Thursday, January 19, 2017

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY from Mark Twain

Image result for quotes for writers

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Jason King

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

A court order to write apology letters to all of my victims….just kidding. I’ve been writing books since I was 5. They just didn’t stop sucking until I was about 30.


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

I wake up really early, like 3-4 am early. That gives me a couple hours of writing before I have to go to my day job. Also, I do my best work in the morning.

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

I prefer a desktop (I roll old school) and I write in my study/library/studio/kid’s playroom.

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

About the actual process? I think when the plot takes over, throws what I planned out the window, and gives something better. Also, finishing the first draft.

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

For Valcoria, I wrote it over several years, and the concept was a pool of ideas inspired by my favorite stories: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time, Mistborn, and a whole ton of others. For Lure of Fools, and Soulless Grave, it was about six months each.

Valcoria: Children of the Crystal Star by [King, Jason]
What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I’ve pioneered a new marketing technique that I call streak-advertising. I’ll let you guess what that involves (for a hint see my answer to question 1). No, my emphasis is inline with my day-time position as an internet marketing manager, and I do 75% of my promotion on social media. The other 25% I do at conventions and conferences.

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

I have two books slated for release this year, “The Fork of Destiny’s Road,” and “Valcoria Awakenings.”

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

Lots of them. They’re kind of in a rotation. But what I really want to get back to is a screenplay I entered in 2009’s Bluecat Screenwriting Competition. It’s a crime noir that I want to turn into a novel.

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

Talent is like the starting position in a marathon. It might take you longer to get to the finish line then those running in front of you, but if you hang in there, be patient, and keep running, you will make it.  


My question for Kathryn is, what do you look for in a book for it to qualify as a favorite?

Love this question. I look for books that give me an opportunity to look within. It isn't enough for me to just read a good book, I have to feel something. Even my mysteries are more than just books filled with clues. Hopefully, the reader will see the struggles of the main character, Susan, and get a feeling for her plight. Maybe they will see themselves in Susan and get a clearer idea of how they might appear to others. They might not be a bit like Susan but can feel of her predicament - how does a detective respond to criticism anyway, especially when she isn't really a crime fighter but an average woman that becomes a sort of death magnet? I think the best books out there leave me wanting to learn more about the main character, the secondary characters, and the lives they live.

***

Learn more about Jason:



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Marketing Your Book on a Budget 2017

It's that time again!

Marketing Your Book on a Budget 2017 has been released!

Get it in paperback or eBook!


Get the Book at Amazon!

Monday, January 16, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Nan Weber

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

I am naturally curious. I am drawn to exploring, it feeds my curiosity. I sometimes stumble upon cultural artifacts and I long to know how they got there, who they belonged to. This drives me to research and of course from there I have to tell the story of what I have found. Biography takes me to other times, not unlike a time machine. I love it.

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

I don’t really schedule my writing time. The beginnings are usually an historic person, event or object. When find an idea or theme coming to me and I jot it down. I explore further from that point and go with research.

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

     I write from my hand-written notes, usually to my laptop, but can also rely on hand writing. A connection happens when I explore with my pen or pencil.

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

Telling the story is my favorite part of writing. Finding a thread that other folks will relate to, and then following that path that takes them to another person’s life, that’s fun.

Nothing is least favorite. Nuts and bolts are all part of writing and it can feel as though the mechanics are taking up time but it’s all part of the work, and work it is. You must love your work.

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

Get the Book at
Homestead Publishing 

My book subjects have literally found me. My first book, Mattie, A Woman’s Journey West, came about from exploring and finding a gravesite in Yellowstone Park. A story just shouting to be told. The words on a gravestone can speak loudly and straight to you. Mattie’s life had twists and turns that only became apparent after my own twists and turns of research. It felt like a miracle when home sources of Mattie’s came to me. Nothing she had written, but much of what friends had written for her in the form of a young working girl’s autograph book. Oh the fun of detecting all the lives that intersected with hers. They told me Mattie’s story.

Get Singing in the Saddle
here
Singing in the Saddle, The Life and Times of Yellowstone Chip was quite the same—Chip found me. Working on a renovation of an old Montana Dude Ranch I found a bit of information from scribblings by Chip Samuell, an entertainer and wrangler from the 1930s. After researching his life and then finding some of his own writing and music, it was clear he had a story to tell, so I also had a story to tell.

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

While my publishers do some of the marketing I find that it is not enough. So, I research where my subjects would do well, make contacts in historical groups, libraries, museums and book stores. I also us my website and social media to promote signing and events.

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

My current book is a biography concerning the works of Utah architect Richard Kletting. While he designed hundreds of buildings he is most known for the Utah State Capitol Building. I am co-authoring with Salt Lake architect and historian Allen Roberts. What a fabulous experience--to co-author. Two minds working to create and share a life story.

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

Three different projects vie for my attention. There is another biography that threatens to be told. It is still in the research stage but asks the question, “Myth or reality.” A first-person theatre piece is just about finished—all about an artist who broke with social norms to pursue her art. Thirdly, there is a woman who was constantly in the limelight of the 1880s mining towns because of her “profession.” She, and an adversary, have a brief and violent story. This could be an article but also has potential for a book.

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

     Just make a beginning, don't hesitate. Words can always be written until they speak for you. "Talent" is a combination of imagination and hard work. Often, I am ask how I got the idea to write a biography. It is simple: with a person's life itself. Their life dictates my direction. And I say, be ready for anything, a life can take an unexpected turn.

Website:
http://nanweber.com/
Publisher website pages—
Mattie, A Woman’s Journey West:
Singing in the Saddle, The Life and Times of Yellowstone Chip:

Facebook pages—
Mattie, A Woman’s Journey West:
https://www.facebook.com/MattieAWomansJourneyWest/
Singing in the Saddle, The Life and Times of Yellowstone Chip:
https://www.facebook.com/Singing-in-the-Saddle-The-Life-and-Times-of-Yellowstone-Chip-118811578203044/

Book Trailers—
Mattie, A Woman’s Journey West:
Singing in the Saddle, The Life and Times of Yellowstone Chip:
https://youtu.be/TJkiHmy2jG0