If No One Reads My Story, Does That Mean I’ve Failed As a Writer? #amwriting #WritersWednesday


Writing Sharing Coelho

 

A friend of mine asked me this past weekend, “What if nobody reads what I have written?”

 

I smiled and said, “But Jack (name has been changed), I will read it and MR N will read it.”

 

Jack is in a similar boat to a lot of writers out there.  He has a story to tell and he wants to tell it.  But when he tries to get it published, no one seems to be interested.

 

Have you experienced this?

 

As writers, we have to have a different mind-set.  We have a story to tell and need to use our natural storytelling ability.  Not everyone can write or don’t have the stamina to see it through or are afraid. What to do? We write, edit, rewrite, edit again until our fingers bleed.  We share it with a select few (beta readers) and then we try to sell it to the publishing world.

 

But what if the publishing world doesn’t want it? 

 

There’s a lot of options nowadays for writers. You can self-publish or go through a smaller publishing house.  You can also post it online to either your website, blog or even Wattpad.

 

In this day and age, there are many different ways to tell your story.  I am not going to tell you which one to use.  That is between you and your story.  What I am going to do is list five reasons why you need to be writing for you and no one else:

 

1- You are a storyteller.  You are the only one in the world who can tell your story.  Be brave and feel confident.

 

2-In order to be the best writer you can be, you cannot write about what is trendy.  Trends come and go.  Your authentic writing voice is what will draw readers in, not whether it is trendy.

 

3- Everyone is a critic and trust me, you will have people critiquing your writing.  Some will say hurtful things about you and your writing.  Some will praise you and call you the next big-time author.  You need to dismiss those that tell you that you are horrid and keep writing.

 

4- Writing, like all professions, is a continuous learning process.  The more you write, the better you become.  The more stories you tell, the more your writing improves.  It’s not about grammar and punctuation, although those things are important.  It’s about the story and how you captivate the reader.

 

5-At the end of the day, you need to own your story and be proud.  You wrote that.  Smile.  Give yourself a pat on the back.  You wrote it for you and in the end, that is all that matters.

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[Infographic] 28 Boring Words and What to Use Instead by @Jack__Milgram #amwriting #writing


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Infographic Creator Byline:

Jack Milgram is a freelance writer from Jersey City, NJ. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with others through blogging. Check out the infographic he created on 28 Boring Words Alternatives that will definitely come in handy to you.

5 Hacks That’ll Turn Your Book Idea Into a Manuscript #MondayBlogs #amwriting #writingtips


5 Hacks That'll Turn Your Book Idea Into a Manuscript

 

Many people ask me, “I have a great idea for a book…but what do I do now?”

 

My first response is usually, “That’s great!  What’s your book idea?”

 

They’ll tell me their book idea and then ask the dreaded question, “What do you think?”

 

With a straight face I ask them, “Do you really want my honest opinion?”

 

I have learned through experience that it is essential to ask this blunt question.  Some people don’t want an honest opinion.  They want me to pat their hand and tell them it’s a great idea, even if I think it’s crap.

 

If they say yes, then I will give them my opinion on their book idea and if it will appeal to the masses.  If they say no, I will smile and politely tell them good luck.

 

 

Let’s focus on you, the writer.  You have a book idea and for this blog post, I will assume that it’s a great book idea.  You need advice on how to proceed and I’m here to help. My qualifications? I’m an author, blogger, reviewer and have been in the industry for almost thirty years.

 

 

Hack One: Google your book idea

 

There is someone in this world who has written a book on every topic.  But if you narrow your topic correctly, there will not be any books out there dealing with your book idea. Even if there are books out there dealing with your book idea, you’ll have to figure out how your idea will stand out.

 

 

Hack Two: Talk to at least 5 readers in your circle of influence (family/friends)

 

Ask them (stressing your desire for them to be absolutely honest) if they would be interested in reading a book about your book idea.  Like in everything else in this world, people have varying tastes.  But if more than three people like the idea, then you are on the right track.

 

 

Hack Three: Create a rough outline

 

I know most of you are groaning here as this step reminds you of school.  But trust me, this is an important step and is a good exercise for you as a writer.  Start with a very basic outline and work from there.  If you need help with it, please let me know and I can provide you some guidance.

 

 

Hack Four: Start Writing

 

I know this may sound simple and it really is. Writers write. Whether you use pen/paper or are typing via a device, start writing.  Write whatever comes to your mind and get it down.  You can edit it later.  Ideas will start to flow and you will get a feel for where your book is going.  By the way, you don’t have to start at the beginning.  You can start anywhere.

 

 

Hack Five: Set up a writing schedule for yourself

 

I write in the afternoon Monday through Friday.  I have a goal of at least 300 words a day.  Set an attainable goal for yourself and stick to it.  Make it a part of your to-do list for the day.

 

 

The best thing about writing and having a really great book idea is that it is all yours.  Treasure it and just let the ideas flow out of you.  You can do it!

 

Have any writing hacks you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!

Just in Time for #BacktoSchool: 26 Writing Tips for Every Writer! #amwriting #ASMSG


Writing Tips A to Z

 

Back to School fever has hit and I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to share some Writing Tips with you.  Writing, like everything else, takes practice.  Once you master one area, you become better at it until it becomes second nature.  So grab your yellow #2 pencils and let’s get started…

 

A- Advice is everywhere, thanks to social media.  30+ years ago, it was much harder to tread through the publishing waters.  You had to paddle your way through and it was very difficult to be a successful writer.  Today is very different.  I recommend asking a lot of successful writers, agents, publishers questions.  Most of them appreciate that you’re simply asking a question. Knowledge is power and the more you know, the more likely you will succeed.

 

B- Blogging is a great way to not only promote your writing but to improve your writing as well.  What should you write about? Many blogs are all over the place and as a reader, it can be confusing.  I choose to write about a few key areas (my book, my writing and inspiring thoughts of the day).  I find that keying in on a specialized area brings more followers and is not confusing.

 

C- Creative writing ideas can come from anywhere.  You could be walking down the street and BOOM, an idea hits.  You want to write it down so you don’t forget but you don’t have anything to write on.  Bring a notepad/sticky notes wherever you go.  Use your notepad app on your device.  Write it down as soon as it strikes you. Trust me, it helps immensely!

 

D- Dedicate a specific time of the day for writing.  I know that this may sound obvious but trust me, life tends to intervene in your writing time.  I schedule a block of time every day and call the appointment “writing”.  You will get into a routine and your brain will register that it is 2:00…time for writing.

 

diamond

 

E- Editing is hard.  It is one of the most gruesome tasks a writer has to do.  It is absolutely essential, though.  Think of it in terms of gemology.  All jewels/gems come out of the ground and they look very dirty/plain/ordinary.  Take a chisel and start peeling away layer after layer.  Once that is complete, you take a buffing stone and polish the jewel/gem to a brilliant shine.  When you are done, you have a shiny beautiful exceptional jewel/gem.  The same can be said for editing.  It’s painful but you have to do it to reveal the diamond in your writing.

 

F- Family/Friends are great support and I recommend that you tell them about your writing venture.  They will not only be your cheerleaders but will understand when you have to excuse yourself to write.

 

G- Grammar is obviously important in all writing.  There are many resources out there and I have a few.  I urge you, though, to not get caught up in proper grammar rules when writing.  It can stifle the creative juices and I recommend dealing with the grammar when you are editing/revising.

 

H-Harness your inner Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway is one of the greatest writers in the 20th century and he is one of my favorites.  He approached writing in a logical way.  He wrote what he knew or experienced.  He was an observer of the world and it shows in his writing.  Do the same, no matter what your topic is.

 

 

I– Inspiration is one of the greatest tools a writer has.  Inspiration sparks a book idea, writing style, dialogue, plot and voice.  What’s your inspiration?  Whatever it is, clutch it tightly to your heart and never let it go.

 

J-Judge your writing as if you are a seeing it for the first time.  I am my hardest critic.  Most of my writerly friends are the same way.  We’re so harsh on ourselves and sometimes we’re our own worst enemy.  Take another approach and look carefully at your writing as if you were a literary critic.  Pretend it’s not your writing but someone you don’t know.  This works great, trust me!  You will see your writing in a whole new light.

 

K- Keep detailed notes about your book.  Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, you need to keep track of everything.  I find this extremely helpful when writing fiction.  I have a hard time keeping track of all the characters and their names so I write their names and a one sentence bio on them in a notebook.  It makes things a lot easier the further I get into the plot.

 

L- Locate your writing haven.  This may seem like a pipe dream but I promise you this works.  A writer needs a space where they can call their own.  It maybe outside or in your home office.  Wherever it is, make it yours.  I have a writing haven and it has everything I need: nice view of the trees outside, sticky notes, inspiring writing quotes, a writing bear figurine for inspiration and a few notepads.  Make it your own haven and then watch as the ideas just pour out of you!

 

M- Mentors are a great way to learn about the publishing business but writing as well.  I have several and I met them online.  They’re so invaluable to me and they truly make me a better writer!  Grab one and listen carefully to what they tell you.  Their insight and comments will make you a better writer, too.

 

N- Narrative is very important in writing, especially when writing a novel.  Be sure you determine ahead of time whether you are writing first-person or third-person.  The reader should never be confused by the narrative.

 

outline

 

O- Outline your book.  I know this may sound like work and in essence, it is.  Writing is hard work and if you don’t have a general idea of what you want to say, your writing will be all over the place.  It doesn’t have to be complicated and list every single aspect of your plot.  It should contain these five things: Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action & Resolution.

 

P-Publishing your writing is so exciting but it can be daunting too.  There are so many options out there and it can be confusing.  My advice, do your homework.  Research all areas of publishing before making a decision.  There are many resources on Twitter to help you out. If you need advice, send me an email and we can talk further.

 

Q-Querying can be a nightmarish task.  Many writers don’t know how to do it and I am here to help.  You have to think of it in business terms.  A query is like an application and cover letter for your dream job.  You’ve got to grab their attention, be professional and for pete’s sake, don’t query an agent/publisher on Twitter. A query is your first impression and trust me, it matters!

 

R- Revising your writing is hard and it can be emotional too.  I mean, those are your words and your dialogue.  It takes blood, sweat and tears.  Being a writer means you are willing to open your chest, lay your heart on paper and wait for the world to judge it.  Like editing, though, it must be done.  You want your writing to shine like a diamond, right?  You want to make an impact and inspire others.  Just do it!

 

S- Social Media is a great tool for writers but you have to be careful.  Everything you post is saved by Google and agents/publishers/readers/reviewers will see it.  I love Twitter and it can be a great tool for your writing platform and to also connect with other writers.

 

Plath writing quote

 

T- Trust in yourself and your writing.  I am guilty of being unsure of my writing and it has led to some self-doubt.  Trust in yourself and everything else will fall into place.  You are your number one cheerleader and no can tell a story like you!

 

U-Unleash Your Emotions.  As a writer, you need to be able to connect with your readers.  The only way to do that is to be free of any constrictions.  Let the floodgates go and let your emotions run free!  It is the key to being an authentic writer.

 

V- Visualize your scenes as if you were watching a movie.  When I am writing, I find it immensely helpful to close my eyes.  I let the scene I’m working on play out in my mind and then I let my fingers write it down before I lose the imagery.  In this age of YouTube, it is very effective for writing.

 

W-Warning to all Writers: Not everyone will love your writing and some may in fact hate it.  It’s a reality and as writers, we must remind ourselves of this.  Remember, just because someone doesn’t like your writing doesn’t mean it isn’t brilliant. Please also remember to remain professional and don’t lash out at those who don’t like your writing/story.  Go online and check out the reviews of your favorite author.  Then keep on writing!

 

X- Xchange ideas with other writers.  This may sound weird but it’s a wonderful feeling to be able to bounce ideas off other writers.  Writers understand better than a normal person.  You can do this virtually or live.  They include writing groups, workshops and conferences.  They are a great way to learn more about writing but also how to make your writing better.

 

 

Y- Yield to your inner voice.  This is your writing muse and it will tell you in a soft voice which path to choose.  I listen to mine and allow her to guide my writing.  She leads me down a path I didn’t know existed and it’s a wondrous place to be.  Can’t hear your muse?  Be still and maybe meditate/pray/sleep.  Clear your head of all distractions and your muse will appear.

 

Z-Zzzz.  When you are stuck in your writing, it helps to sleep on it.  I do this many times when writing my current book and trust me, it helps!  When you sleep, your subconscious is awake and working out the plot while you’re at rest.  In the morning, you will feel refreshed and the ideas will flow like water.

 

Calling all writers: share a writer tip using the comment section below. We all could use a tip or two to be better writers, no matter how long we’ve been writing/publishing.

 

Let’s Talk #Writing and What It Takes to be a Writer! #amwriting #ASMSG #IARTG


writing writers

 

People ask me all the time how to write.  I think it must be one of those secret desires in people, to know how books get written.  People are fascinated with it and stare at me like I’m their favorite candy.

 

The truth is that writing is different for everyone.  It’s a very personal experience.  Ever since I was little, I’ve been writing.  By the time I was in high school, I had filled several journals, diaries and notebooks. Stories, poems, prose all poured out of me.  It’s like a tick, only with ink.

 

I write because I have to.  If I don’t write, my body will start to twitch and the voices will just consume me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to write and I feel so blessed by this gift.  The voices, or characters as I call them in polite society, speak to me and I write them down.  Many times, more than one character vies for my attention (think Real Housewives but in my brain).

 

When I met the Walking Man (the homeless man who inspired Princess of the Light), I knew that it was up to me to tell his story.  He was my daily inspiration and when I didn’t feel like writing, all I had to do was think of him out in the cold.  The words just flowed out of me.

 

Princess of the Light is published and next month celebrates its third book birthday.  Does that mean that the voices stop? No way! They are even louder and body-slamming each other for my attention. They want their five minutes in the spotlight in future books.  I’m writing book two as fast as I can but it’s not fast enough for Than, head demon. He wants his revenge and nothing will stop him… or so he thinks.

 

I write because I love it.  I love seeing people respond to my writing.  I love making a difference and spreading the Light.  I love inspiring others.

 

I write, most of all, for my survival.  I need to write like I need oxygen to breathe.  It is a part of my body, mind and soul.  Without writing, I am not quite myself.

 

If you have a story begging to be told, get writing! You may be like me and your very survival may depend on it!

 

Princess

 

Title: Princess of the Light

 

Author: N. N. Light

 

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural, Spiritual Romance

 

Tagline:

Mary’s the Princess of the Light but her only hope is to make a pact with her enemy.

 

Blurb:

Mary Miller receives a startling visitation from Gabriel, the Messenger of God. The Archangel reveals an astounding truth–Mary is the Princess of the Light and even more amazing, her destiny is to battle Lucifer’s army of demons and restore the balance of good and evil on Earth. It’s getting harder to fulfill her new role and keep her identity secret while juggling her personal life, and when Than, Lucifer’s second in command, amps up the attacks on her, she knows she needs help.

 

Joe Deacons is everything she’s ever wanted in a man. And as providence would have it, in a moment of great need, he’s the Warrior of Light–the one who can help her defeat the forces of darkness.

 

Not so simple when they confront Lisbeth, a demon hell-bent on usurping Than and Lucifer himself.  When Lisbeth wages war and several innocent people die, Mary must form an alliance with her enemy in order to destroy her.  But will this be a grave error or the choice that saves their world?

 

Excerpt: 

I sunk into the water, and let the suds and scent of lavender engulf me.  The stress of the day finally began to melt away.

 

My body jolted.

 

I was in the middle of the desert. There were grass huts and women with hajjis walking quickly around me. Something whizzed past my ear, and a deafening explosion rocked me off my feet. I instinctively curled my body in a fetal position.

 

I listened for the screams to start, but it was eerily silent. I glanced around, but all I saw was water.

 

I was still in the bath. What had just happened? Was that a vision? Had I fallen asleep?

 

My headache was a dull thud now.

 

A knock on the washroom door made me gasp. I sat upright in the tub and heard my roommate, Amber, call in, “Mary, are you okay?”

 

“Yeah, I’m good. Just must have fallen asleep.”

 

“Hey, Amber, what time is it?” I looked down at my pruney fingers and wondered how long I was in the tub.

 

Amber said, “It’s five thirty.”

 

I leaned forward and turned on the hot water. The bath water had gotten cold while I had drifted off.

 

I leaned back as the warm water ran over my toes and closed my eyes, wondering what I should wear tonight. I wanted to look beautiful for Joe. I began to picture every outfit in my closet, and tried to imagine his reaction to it.

 

A shiver ran down my back and I faintly hear the water splash over the edge.

 

I opened my eyes and tried to scream. All that came out was a reverse gasp, and I pulled my towel in to cover my body.

 

A small child was in the tub with me. He couldn’t be older than five. Blood was running down his face, and his body was covered in sand mixed with congealing blood. He was clinging to my towel, and I didn’t know whether to let go of it or yank it back from him. His dark hair was wet with fresh blood. My heart filled with sadness and I quit trying to scream.

 

As I clung to my own towel, I didn’t know what was happening or what I should do.

 

The little boy raised his head and more sadness poured into my heart. His eyes were dark pools of grief and despair. They pleaded with me, begging me to help.

 

How? I mouthed silently.

 

I jumped when he began to move slowly toward me. He lifted one arm and spoke in a language I didn’t recognize. I knew I didn’t know exactly what his words meant, but I knew what he was saying: He was hurt and needed help.

 

The closer he came, the more my fear eased and the pain increased. He reached for my arm. His hand was bloodied, and it sent a jolt of electricity and agony throughout my body. I tried to pull away, but his grip was locked on my arm. His eyes turned black and murky, and a voice not his own spoke.

 

“Princess, help my people,” it said.

 

I shook my head.

 

“Let go!” I tried to scream again.

 

The little boy disappeared, and I jumped out of the bathtub, wet towel still wrapped around my body, and crumbled to the floor. The blood was smeared all around me, and I looked at my arm. The blood was still there, too.

 

I whimpered, scrubbed at my arm until it was raw, and yet I could still see the blood.

 

Buy Links:

Free on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

 

Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

 

Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

 

Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/5008419

 

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23009005-princess-of-the-light

 

couple N N Light

 

Author Bio: N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N. Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

 

They’re blissfully happy and love all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

 

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

 

Sign up for their author newsletter and get exclusive content and prizes ow.ly/jWec308TabL 

 

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

 

50% of the proceeds of Princess of the Light go directly to food banks (US and Canada) in order to feed the hungry and help those in need. With only 7,500 books sold, N. N. Light will be able to set up a monthly endowment for the local food bank.

 

They’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

Bookbub  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-n-light

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNP_W_Light

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

iAuthor: http://www.iauthor.uk.com/princess-of-the-light:10294

Writing Medical Mysteries: The Rules by @LinWilder #amwriting #writing #WriterWednesday


medical graphic
Photo credit: Big Stock Photos

 

 

When we start writing fiction, whether writing medical mysteries, romance, erotica or any of the rapidly increasing list of fictional genres, we expect a set of rules. After all, we’ve been taught to follow the rules ever since we were preschoolers.  That’s a good thing. Because all writers need to adhere to the basics of grammar, coherence, clarity. And for writers of medical mysteries, intrigue, surprise and suspense are paramount.

 

But in the now ten years that I have been writing fiction, the way I conceive of rules has changed. I think there are a set of rules which work for beginning novelists. But not too long afterward those rules must be unlearned. And last, there is a regimen, a critical routine which must be followed, even for the very experienced. Hence, we can approach the of writing medical mysteries in three phases.

 

Rules for the Novice Writer

 

By far, the primary maxim for someone who has decided she wants to write a medical mystery is to be clear about why. “I’ve always been told I write well.” Or, “Writing a novel is on my bucket list.” Or, “I think I’d like to be a writer,” won’t cut it.

 

  • Consider what your real goal is. Money? Fame? Recognition? Become another Gillian Flynn (author of Gone Girl, the book and the movie, Paula Hawkins, author of Girl on the Train, the book and movie) or Andy Weir (self-published author of The Martian, the book and the movie?) Be brutally honest here. And if these are the reasons, think again about why you want to engage in what one publisher has called The 10 Awful Truths About Book Publishing.

 

  • Lest you think that the former is meant to deter you from your dream, quite the contrary. My reasons for suggesting that you journey deep inside before you begin are from personal experience and are said to mitigate disappointment once you are finished. When the book is done and the awards do or do not trickle in, our feelings are generally a mixture of relief, pride in the accomplishment mixed with a bit of sorrow: “What do I do now?” “What’s the next act?” Simply said, the best part of any huge undertaking is the journey: the process, the challenge, learning, the highs and yes, the lows. It’s never the kudos, awards or the recognition, no matter how trivial or huge.

 

  • Make sure you like your story and your characters. You’ll be living with them in your head and on your computer for a long time. Although it is possible to get a book written and published in thirty days or less, I would not recommend following the directions of someone who promises this. The chaos in the formerly bounded book publishing business has attracted all kinds of people, some of whom you would not want to have dinner -or even a drink with. If the claim sounds impossible, it most likely is.

 

  • Write about what you know. I spent more than the first half of my life in academic medicine. I grew up with interns, residents, and all the associated paraphernalia of the teaching hospital. For me, then, writing a medical mystery was a natural. Although expertise in your chosen subject matter is not essential- it is fiction, after all, our readers can tell when we write from our own experience. It makes itself evident and therefore far more believable.

 

  • This is your story. Although your editor may be excellent in the technique of writing, you are the artist. You see the characters, hear their voices and know them…they become part of you. Of course, you would not consider publishing your book without hiring an editor, the boundaries between him and you must be distinct. If not, you risk losing essential components of your story.

 

There are far more tips than there is room here so if you will forgive the self-promotion, here are five more tips that may be useful to those of you considering writing your first novel.

 

Now That You Have Learned Them, Dump All the Rules

 

“John, I know you were a Marine, therefore you love rules. The rule you need to remember here is that there are no rules.”

My husband is a psychologist and told me about this simple piece of advice from the head nurse of an inpatient psychiatric unit where he was working as an intern. That nurse’s statement informed the more than twenty-five years that John worked as a psychologist with combat veterans. With many of his clients, particularly the suicidal ones, breaking the established rules was axiomatic in helping these men get their lives back.

Writing is exactly like that. The most important rule for a writer is to know-and believe- that there are no rules. One of my favorite quotes on this subject is attributed to Somerset Maugham. “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

 

However, there are a few myths or rules about writing which live on despite their falsity. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Excellent novelists are miserable, unhappy neurotics, on a good day.  One of the numerous reasons that I stuck with writing non-fiction for so much of my life is that I bought into this myth completely. The writers I loved as a young English major were either alcoholics, suicidal or psychotic. Think F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound. The cost of writing my novel would be too great. And then the dream slid to the back burner as the responsibilities of life accelerated.

 

My first book was arduous. Mainly because I believed that it would only be good if writing it was, an endurance test. Therefore, I made it so. Like any work worth doing, writing a first novel is worth doing poorly. My first novel was replete with problems which were corrected in the second edition.

 

But the subsequent four books have been a totally different experience. Certainly, hard work but not arduous. At times, fun. True because of the joy of getting—really describing a new character is such a high. Like an extremely challenging character so because he is totally out of your frame of reference. Like an assassin who became my favorite character in my third and fourth books.

 

  • To complete a book, you must schedule times and a place for writing it. And consistently adhere to that schedule. I don’t have a writing schedule. Nor do I have a specific place to write. Certainly, when I am approaching a deadline, like now, my writing schedule might be most of my waking hours or as much of them as I can devote to it. But other things interrupt-husbands, kids, holidays, life. As they should.

 

Perhaps because I’ve worked for myself for over fifteen years, the challenge of working from home is a norm for me. And grabbing a few hours here and there to write doesn’t drive me crazy. Anymore.

 

  • Beware of writer’s block. There is no such thing as writer’s block. Rather I think it’s fear. The assassin I mentioned earlier is a great example. Because I found this brand-new character intimidating, I was afraid of him. And knew I needed to take time, a lot more time than I normally do. And wrote him differently. I kept going back to read and re-read sentences and paragraphs sometimes taking days or a couple of weeks off before returning. Until finally, he had flesh and muscle. I could see him, even understand, how he got there: A killer for hire.

                   

                       Essential Regimen for All Writers, Novice or Experienced

 

  • When Not Writing, Read. Assuming we want each book to be better than the last, then we must read other writers interpretation of characters and story lines. Read better writers than you are. Why? Because that is how we learn- it is how they learned.

 

  • When not writing your novel, write anyway. I do a weekly blog and have for years because I enjoy writing non-fiction. If you don’t want the tedium of writing a blog, then use a journal or diary. Writing is no different from any other discipline. The more we do it, the better we get.

 

  • Exercise. There is no better antidote to a character who has you in a corner than going for a run. Or to the gym. Or a hike in the mountains. We writers are a sedentary lot, the body part we work the hardest is our brain. Once the sweat begins to pour down your face, it is remarkable how easily we can solve a plot problem or dismiss a poor review. Or decide to walk away for a day or a week.

 

  • Eat Reasonably Healthy Meals. Although junk food is tempting and yes, okay at times, if all we are feeding those remarkably efficient brain cells are carbs and sugar, our stories will suffer. None of us can create excellence without respecting and caring for our bodies.

 

  • Get 8 hours Sleep at Minimum. Insomnia is one of the most common health problems in the US. Costing billions annually in illness, accidents and accidents, good writers cannot afford to be sleep deprived.

 

 

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Title: A Price for Genius

Author: Lin Wilder

Genre: Medical Thriller

 

Book Blurb:

Dr. Lindsey McCall’s worst fears are realized. Not only have both drugs been stolen but two women have been kidnapped- one maybe dead. Lindsey had known Liisa Reardon’s new drug was alchemy, only this time, the end product actually more precious than gold.

 

The desperate call from Hank Reardon in Switzerland came late at night causing too many questions. And no answers. Could Lindsey and Rich Jansen uncover who was behind the crimes? It was an inside job-could they figure out who had sold out the Reardons? All in time to save Reardon’s daughter and her chief tech Ariana? Were they risking their lives as well?

 

The evil words smolder in her mind, the contents of the letter delivered to Hank Reardon

 

Hello Mr. Reardon,

By the time you get this letter, it will be too late. We’ll already have her.

Here are the steps you must not take:

  • Do not call the cops.
  • Do not contact the FBI
  • Tell no one.
  • We’ll know if you or the FBI. We’ll and we’ll kill her instantly.

You must know Sir, there is a price for genius. We trust you will pay it if you want to see your daughter alive.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Price-Genius-Lin-Wilder-ebook/dp/B01MG5JLBI

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Price-Genius-Lin-Wilder-ebook/dp/B01MG5JLBI

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Price-Genius-Lin-Wilder-ebook/dp/B01MG5JLBI

 

Lin Wilder

 

Author Biography:

Lin Weeks Wilder has published dozens of articles, wrote a textbook, and has written four self-help books. Lin has written three medical thrillers situated in Houston, Texas where Lin worked for over 23 years.

 

The Fragrance Shed by a Violet, the sequel Do You Solemnly Swear? and the third in her series, A Price for Genius. The story of the return to faith, Finding the Narrow Road was an unplanned surprise. In her free time, Lin Wilder enjoys hiking, listening to beautiful music, gardening and last but certainly not least, reading. Lin is married to a former Marine and psychologist with 25 years of experience counseling ex- combat veterans. They reside in Nevada with their two dogs.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lincwilder?ref=hl

Twitter https://twitter.com/LinWilder

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/linwilder

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/linwilder

About Me https://about.me/lin.wilder

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Dr.-Lin-Wilder/e/B007L380OM

 

Writing #InspirationalRomance With Heart Without Preaching Religion #99cents #FridayReads


christmas-wish-potl

“To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.” – Herman Melville

When I sat down to write, Princess of the Light, I never intended on writing inspirational romance. I had just had a moving encounter with a homeless man and had all these thoughts running around in my head. I had to get them down on paper before they floated out of my head. Wait, I should probably start at the beginning.

Five years ago, I was out for my morning walk and I saw a homeless man sitting in front of a gas station. I looked at him, head uplifted to the sun smiling, and wondered what his story was. Why was he smiling? There was such a peace in his weathered face, I stopped walking and openly stared.  I watched him for a while and knew he was different from other homeless people.  He did not ask for money or hold up a sign. He kept to himself and avoided contact.

A voice suddenly entered my head, “What if you could help him? Would you? What if you were chosen to help him and others like him?”

I searched my heart and after a moment, I replied aloud, “Yes, I would.”

“This is what you were called to do.” The voice echoed in my heart.

I went home that very day and started writing. This simple encounter changed my life forever and inspired me to write Princess of the Light, an inspiring paranormal romance.

Writing inspirational romance can be tricky. I must admit I had some difficulty in the beginning. I wanted to inspire people to show kindness to people in their own city, especially those who are less fortunate and in need of food. I wanted to bring to light the hunger epidemic going on in America and Canada, two of the richest countries in the world. Nevertheless, I didn’t want to sound preachy.

The first thing I did was create a story of a woman who is destined to help someone like the homeless man I met. I wanted her to be strong and able to fight off the real and imagined demons tormenting a homeless man. Everyone likes a hero/heroine to root for and I made her female so I could relate to her.

The second thing I did was map out the homeless man and his story. I gave him a name and created a heart-breaking backstory for him. His story arc had to center on redemption and forgiveness, something everyone could relate.

The third thing I did was to write an edge of your seat novel with plenty of action. The story has action, adventure, romance, obstacles, battles, twists and turns. I wanted the reader to get lost in the story, not realizing they are being inspired.

Here are some writing tips I offer to writing inspirational romance:

  • Weave universal themes throughout your plot. You can be inspirational and reach a broader audience if you are universal. Every religion has many of the same morals and tenants to live by. Instead of mentioning specific religious names, use something more general. The main theme to Princess of the Light is Light versus Darkness. I use the term Light to convey spiritual goodness in a universal way. It does not matter what your spiritual belief is, you can relate to good versus evil.

  • Use everyday language. Being inspirational does not mean you have to sound intellectual or high and mighty. I have found when I write in modern English, I can reach more people than by using formal English.

  • Create real characters. I know this sounds like a no-brainer but stick with me for a minute. Creating characters who are human with flaws have a much bigger impact than having perfect-syndrome characters. Remember, you are trying to reach people. If the reader cannot relate to the main characters, they will not hear the message. They will scoff and mutter how that would never happen. Avoid this roadblock by putting your characters in a real situation and have them react in a natural way.

  • Consider donating part of the proceeds to a charity related to your book. Part of the proceeds of my book go directly to food banks and it’s something every reader can get behind. One of my characters is a homeless man and he relies on food banks. Homeless people all over the world need our help and when readers buy my book, they are helping those in need.

  • Never talk down to people. I cannot stress this enough, when writing inspirational, do not talk down to people. For as long as I can remember, I hated reading books where they preached at me about what I was doing wrong. Often, you can have a greater impact if you are on the same level as your reader. Use yourself as an example or if you are writing fiction, show your main character learning a valuable lesson.

  • Concentrate on the emotional arcs in your plot. Characters and circumstances inspire readers so let that be your focus. Ramp up the emotions in your reader by having your characters go through something. Part of my main character’s background is the emotional scarring from her father’s sudden death. It shapes who she is as a woman and explains her protectiveness over the Walking Man when battling the demons.

  • When writing non-fiction, be sure to do your research. With the birth of Wikipedia and Google, anyone can find out the truth about anything. Be historically accurate and be sure to give proper credentials.  There is nothing worse than reading about Joan of Arc and the weapon she uses isn’t invented for one hundred years after her death.

  • When writing a tell-all memoir, please consider changing the names to protect the innocent. We all have family skeletons, out of courtesy to your family while still being truthful, do the reader a favor, and change the names. Have some fun with it.  You will still be able to tell your story and inspire others; you just do not have to out your family to the world.

  • Consider using the journal/diary format for your story. I love the feel and intimacy of reading an inspirational diary. Even if it is fiction, this is a terrific way to tell your story. Everyone loves reading a diary and it draws the reader into the head of the main character so effectively.

  • Let the story tell itself. You have a story burning in your heart and the worst thing you can do is to get in the way of the story. Unleash the characters and let them use you to tell their story. Free yourself of your insecurities and fears. Do not worry if it is a good story or if you are a good writer. You are primarily a storyteller. Let the story be front and center; the rest of the details will work themselves out.

Writing inspiration is not complicated and anyone can do it. The key to writing a successful inspirational story without preaching is reaching people on an emotional level and showing them they can make a difference in their own corner of the world. Helping others is a characteristic inherent in every human being as is spreading the Light.

Princess

Title: Princess of the Light

Author: N. N. Light

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural, Spiritual Romance

Tagline:

Mary’s the Princess of the Light but her only hope is to make a pact with her enemy.

Blurb:

Mary Miller receives a startling visitation from Gabriel, the Messenger of God. The Archangel reveals an astounding truth–Mary is the Princess of the Light and even more amazing, her destiny is to battle Lucifer’s army of demons and restore the balance of good and evil on Earth. It’s getting harder to fulfill her new role and keep her identity secret while juggling her personal life, and when Than, Lucifer’s second in command, amps up the attacks on her, she knows she needs help.

Joe Deacons is everything she’s ever wanted in a man. And as providence would have it, in a moment of great need, he’s the Warrior of Light–the one who can help her defeat the forces of darkness.

Not so simple when they confront Lisbeth, a demon hell-bent on usurping Than and Lucifer himself.  When Lisbeth wages war and several innocent people die, Mary must form an alliance with her enemy in order to destroy her.  But will this be a grave error or the choice that saves their world?

Excerpt:

I sunk into the water, and let the suds and scent of lavender engulf me.  The stress of the day finally began to melt away.

My body jolted.

I was in the middle of the desert. There were grass huts and women with hajjis walking quickly around me. Something whizzed past my ear, and a deafening explosion rocked me off my feet. I instinctively curled my body in a fetal position.

I listened for the screams to start, but it was eerily silent. I glanced around, but all I saw was water.

I was still in the bath. What had just happened? Was that a vision? Had I fallen asleep?

My headache was a dull thud now.

A knock on the washroom door made me gasp. I sat upright in the tub and heard my roommate, Amber, call in, “Mary, are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m good. Just must have fallen asleep.”

“Hey, Amber, what time is it?” I looked down at my pruney fingers and wondered how long I was in the tub.

Amber said, “It’s five thirty.”

I leaned forward and turned on the hot water. The bath water had gotten cold while I had drifted off.

I leaned back as the warm water ran over my toes and closed my eyes, wondering what I should wear tonight. I wanted to look beautiful for Joe. I began to picture every outfit in my closet, and tried to imagine his reaction to it.

A shiver ran down my back and I faintly hear the water splash over the edge.

I opened my eyes and tried to scream. All that came out was a reverse gasp, and I pulled my towel in to cover my body.

A small child was in the tub with me. He couldn’t be older than five. Blood was running down his face, and his body was covered in sand mixed with congealing blood. He was clinging to my towel, and I didn’t know whether to let go of it or yank it back from him. His dark hair was wet with fresh blood. My heart filled with sadness and I quit trying to scream.

As I clung to my own towel, I didn’t know what was happening or what I should do.

The little boy raised his head and more sadness poured into my heart. His eyes were dark pools of grief and despair. They pleaded with me, begging me to help.

How? I mouthed silently.

I jumped when he began to move slowly toward me. He lifted one arm and spoke in a language I didn’t recognize. I knew I didn’t know exactly what his words meant, but I knew what he was saying: He was hurt and needed help.

The closer he came, the more my fear eased and the pain increased. He reached for my arm. His hand was bloodied, and it sent a jolt of electricity and agony throughout my body. I tried to pull away, but his grip was locked on my arm. His eyes turned black and murky, and a voice not his own spoke.

“Princess, help my people,” it said.

I shook my head.

“Let go!” I tried to scream again.

The little boy disappeared, and I jumped out of the bathtub, wet towel still wrapped around my body, and crumbled to the floor. The blood was smeared all around me, and I looked at my arm. The blood was still there, too.

I whimpered, scrubbed at my arm until it was raw, and yet I could still see the blood.

Buy Links:

99 Cents at Amazon.com until March 31, 2017

Free on Kindle Unlimited all year long

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Light-N/dp/1502438453

Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23009005-princess-of-the-light

Author Bio: N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N. Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

They’re blissfully happy and love all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

Sign up for their author newsletter and get a free e-book ow.ly/jWec308TabL 

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

100% of the proceeds of Princess of the Light go directly to food banks (US and Canada) in order to feed the hungry and help those in need. With only 7,500 books sold, N. N. Light will be able to set up a monthly endowment for the local food bank.

They’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

Bookbub  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-n-light

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNP_W_Light

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

iAuthor: http://www.iauthor.uk.com/princess-of-the-light:10294

#Authors: Get Real on #SocialMedia and Readers Will Respond #ASMSG #IARTG


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“Marketing is first and foremost about connecting.” – Wendy Paine Miller

Today’s publishing market requires authors to wear several hats, one of them being marketer. For many authors, they haven’t a clue what to do or how to get the word out about their book(s). I see it all the time on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn; authors posting about their books in an unending stream of impersonal tweets and posts.

“BUY MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK, PLEASE!”

I shake my head because these authors miss the whole point. Social media is at its core, social. It’s a powerful marketing tool, if you know how to use it. Let me give you an example:

Back in 2012, I wrote my debut novel, Princess of the Light. When the time came to edit and publish it, I started chatting with some of my Twitter followers about it. Nothing major, just musings and observations. People started asking me more about it and I shared the story behind POTL. They were intrigued and as a result bought it when it was released. I’m proud to say they were my first readers and have been loyal ever since.

How did I do it? I made a connection and readers responded.

When I’m on social media, I’m a real person, not some robot. I talk about more than my books. I talk about baking, sports, what I’m reading, writing, editing, cooking, interesting articles I’ve read, news, politics, supporting food banks, the weather… the topics are endless. I’m being social and in this day and age of automation and technology, the simple act of saying good morning makes a huge impact.

So, what about book marketing?

I’m a writer and as a writer, I take great pride in crafting attention-grabbing tweets. Words are my thing and especially on Twitter, it’s a challenge to grab the reader by the collar so that they’ll want to click-through to learn more. I love it, though, because it hones my writing skills. I encourage all authors to try it.

Here are ten quick tips to help you get real on social media:

  • Use this formula when posting on social media – 20% book marketing, 10% small talk (weather, exercising, cooking, etc.), 30% retweets, 20% personal (I use this to post baking/cooking pics), 20% other interests (sports, hobbies, news, politics, etc.)

 

  • Post consistently on social media. I know time is a rare commodity for all of us. So whether you’re on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook, post consistently. The so-called experts tell us that we should only be posting x number of times per day/week. Listen, do what works for you. For me, I post on my blog 5 days a week, tweet every 20 minutes or so (thanks to Triberr) and post to Pinterest at least once a week. It’s all I have time for but it works for me. Consistency is the key.

 

  • Use graphics/images in all of your posts. Humans are, as a rule, visual people. We eat with our eyes first, or so says my husband (Retired Chef MR N). People identify with an image and sometimes that image has a bigger impact than the wording below.

 

  • If a follower/reader asks you a question on social media, respond. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tweeted an author and get no response. Listen, you’re not as busy as Harlan Coben or Jamie Oliver. Yet, both of these authors have responded to my tweets. It takes a few moments and yet has a huge impact on the reader.

 

  • Retweet/Like/Reblog on social media. Not only is this a great way to meet new people, it’s a sneaky marketing move to gain new followers. The more followers you have, the bigger your social media reach, the more likely you’ll find new readers to buy your books. I employ the Golden Rule on social media (do unto others as you would like done to you) and it really pays off.

 

  • Be real on social media. I know this sounds obvious but I’ve encountered so many authors who tell me they can’t be themselves online. “I can’t be myself, I’m an author.” Why not? I’m sure if Ernest Hemingway were alive today, he’d be spouting honest tweets in the middle of the night for all of us to see. My point is, you have to be yourself or else no one is going to read your books. Readers are attracted to a story, sure, but they first want to know about the author. Be real and let your followers see a little piece of yourself. I do this with my pics of baking/cooking and chatting with others on Twitter.

 

  • Don’t spam complete strangers on social media. What would Miss Manners say? We all hate spam and spammers are all over social media. I see a lot of authors send tweets to complete strangers about their book, myself included. It grates on my nerves because I’m receiving book sale info about a perfect stranger. Instead, start following people you’re interested in connecting with and once a conversation has been initiated, then maybe mention your book.

 

  • Use hashtags. I can’t emphasize this enough. We’re all busy and lead jam-packed lives. We sometimes only have a few minutes while waiting to pick up the kids from school or on a lunch break so we scroll through our feeds. We subscribe to hashtags and see what’s new. Hashtags are a great way to connect with people of similar interests. Some of my favorite book-related hashtags include: #books, #amreading, #FridayReads, #TuesdayBookBlog, #bookboost, #goodreads, etc.

 

  • Don’t ever, ever respond to a blogger/reviewer negatively on social media. It’s bound to happen. A reader/reviewer/blogger will not like your book. In fact, they may even bash you personally for no reason whatsoever. You’ll feel tempted to correct them or defend yourself. STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD/DEVICE! I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen authors taking to social media in response to a bad review/comment. I call this authors behaving badly. Listen, there’s going to be plenty of readers who won’t love/get/understand/relate to/respect your book(s). It’s part of the being a writer/storyteller. How? Vent to your inner circle via email/text/phone but never by social media. You’ll never convince them and it will make you look unprofessional. Instead, go read a few raving reviews.

 

  • Use the Tupperware marketing approach.

In 1942, Earl Tupper developed his first bell shaped container; the brand products were introduced to the public in 1948. Tupperware pioneered the direct marketing strategy made famous by the Tupperware party. The Tupperware Party allowed for women of the 1950s to work and enjoy the benefits of earning an income without completely taking away the independence granted to women during the Second World War when women first began entering the labor market, all the while keeping their focus in the domestic domain. (Wikipedia)

Word of Mouth marketing is one of the best marketing strategies, especially for authors, because it’s organic and driven by honest customers. Imagine you’re at a dinner party and the topic turns to books. What’s everyone been reading? You then begin to share with everyone at the party about that book you just finished. People pay attention because there’s nothing false about it, just your opinion. No hidden agenda, no secret business dealings, just one reader’s opinion. Authors need to tap into this marketing ploy and here’s how: Ask your readers to leave a review online and if they liked it, tell at least two friends about it. Now, there’s no way to track it but that’s the beauty of it. You’re asking the reader to help you in a very important way. Suddenly, they have an active role, not a passive one. Think organic, think natural, think honest. At the end of the day, that’s how books sell: word of mouth.

 

It’s time to take these easy marketing techniques and put them into practice. Get real on social media and watch your readership grow. It might take some time and planning but then anything worth doing takes time. It takes years of pressure and patience to create a diamond. Trust me, it’s worth it.

 

Do you have any questions and/comments about social media marketing? I’d love to hear from you. If you know someone who might enjoy this article, please share using the buttons below.

Let’s bring back the social in social media!

couple N N Light

N.N. Light is the best-selling husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N.

Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

They’re blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

Top of 2016 #5: Ways to the Support the Author in Your Life #ASMSG #IARTG #amwriting


Fellow Author Charles E. Yallowitz nails it on the head with this post. I see many authors nod their head in agreement. So many times, people don’t understand how important it is to support authors/writers.

MRS N

Legends of Windemere

(Originally posted HERE.)

Yahoo Image Search Yahoo Image Search

Many of us have seen the above picture and it’s right.  That is a great way to support an author that you enjoy and want to see them continue.  Yet, there is another area of support that I wanted to touch on.  What do you do if the author in question isn’t a favorite, but part of your non-cyberspace circle?  Maybe a spouse, a sibling, a friend, or somebody that you interact with outside of a computer.  Is there anything else you can do besides the following phrase?

“I support you and know you can do it.”

This is a powerful phrase, but you have to be ready to back it up with actions such as simply telling others about the book or even beta reading if asked.  Don’t say it and follow up by asking about the author’s Plan B, grilling them…

View original post 1,304 more words

Stop Running Scared, Writers! Write Fearlessly #amwriting #ASMSG #IARTG


 

writing-fearlessly

 

I’ve read several articles recently about writers who are running scared. With various political groups and governments around the world clamping down on free speech and censoring writers, it is understandable why fellow writers are scared and unsure what to do.

I was born to write and to tell my stories. Writing about spiritual warfare, homelessness, food banks and hunger are not very popular topics. Throw in spirituality and it makes many people nervous.

Did it stop me? No, I’m a storyteller.

From the beginning of time, there have been storytellers, people who orally shared history and beliefs with others. I imagine it started with the cave dwellers. From there, we see history being told and retold. Homer did it in the Greek Empire. All religious writings have first started with storytellers. History, as we know it today, is a result of many storytellers writing down what they witnessed.

They were fearless in their writing and they have a message for us writers today:

Write it all down, no matter how frightened you may feel. You have a unique story to tell.

Do you have a story to tell but are scared to tell it? Write it down. Get it out of you and onto paper. Then you have choices on how to share your story (publishing comes later). The worst thing you can do is to keep it bottled up inside.

Write fearlessly.

You’re a storyteller like some of the great ones from history (Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Homer, Mark Twain, Erich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Geoffrey Chaucer, Anne Frank and many others).

Try this writing exercise:

-Paying attention to world events, what disturbs you? Is there something that makes your blood boil and you wonder why nothing has been done about it? Write it down.

 

-In your corner of the world, what do you fear? What makes your stomach churn? Write it down.

 

-What have you been wanting to speak up about but have been afraid? Write it down.

 

-Injustices are all around you. If you could write a story highlighting one, what would it be?

 

 

When you are done writing, ponder your answers. Take a day or several to think about it. I know you will be surprised by your answers. Those answers are all story ideas burning in your soul.

Take those thoughts and write your story. Be the storyteller you were meant to be!!!

I know you can do it and together we will be a band of storytellers!

Until next time,

MRS N

How To Know Which #WritingTips to Follow and Ignore #amwriting #TuesdayBookBlog #ASMSG


Peanuts Writing Advice

Writing advice/tips are everywhere.  Everyone is an expert, even Lucy from Peanuts.  How do you know what to follow and what to ignore?  The simple answer is to listen to your inner voice and to trust your instincts.  Let’s look at a few examples.

One of the most asked pieces of advice people ask is, “How do I become a writer,”.  In one camp there are the intellectual people.  They say that you must study grammar and writing via classes and workshops.  While I understand their concept, when it comes to creative writing (novel/prose/poetry) that logical approach doesn’t work.  William Shakespeare didn’t take classes at Oxford to become a writer.  He wrote his experiences and what he observed in Elizabethan times.

Another camp are what I call the free spirits.  I fall into this group and my simple answer is, “If you can write something down on paper and share it with others, you are a writer.”  Writers write.  You either are or you aren’t.  It’s not as complicated as people make it out to be.

schedule

 

“I never have time to write.”  This is a big issue for many writers and trust me, I understand.  I have struggled with this too and I can tell you that what works for me may not work for you.  Each writer’s life is different and each person has their own time perimeters.

I read an article a long time ago talking about writer’s block.  It showcased 20 writers and their helpful tips for overcoming writer’s block.  One of the tips really made me see writing in a whole new light.  She said, “I always tell my writing students to write 300 words every day.  It is basically a page and everyone has time to write one page.”

I thought about it and it soon became my writing goal.  I promised myself to write 300 words every day.  I put a sticky note up in my writer’s nook and looked at it every day.  I can tell you all that I was true to my word and kept that promise.  I wrote 300 words each and every day.  Some days I did more and some days I struggled to make those 300 words.  I did it and I felt so proud of myself.

Ask yourself, what word count would be appropriate for me?  

Don’t say 1,000 words if you cannot do it.  Commit to a word count and make sure that it is not too lofty.  Don’t make it too easy for yourself, either.  This is a writing goal and it must propel you forward.

 

time management for writers

 

Time management is another key tip I learned from that article.  Being a writer is all about time management.  Many of us do have a day job, families and responsibilities.  Making time for writing can be hard but when you make it a priority, it becomes easy.  Schedule a block of your day/night in your time management planner and call it “writing”.  Tell your family/friends/roommates so that they know not to bother or interrupt you.

My writing time is in the afternoon from 1-4 pm.  I chose that time of the day to write because it works best for my life.  I shut off all the distractions and I concentrate on writing.

Writing advice is everywhere and it can be overwhelming.  Trust me, I’ve been there.

The best advice I can give you is to read everything out there, figure out what works for you and then trust your inner voice.  It will always guide you and never steer you wrong.

Remember the writing profession is constantly evolving.  Learn something new today.

 

POTL 2nd anniversary

 

E-book Sale:

During the month of September, Princess of the Light is on sale for the super-low price of $.99 USD. 100% of the proceeds during this time will go directly to our local food bank to help feed children and families in need. This is the first time Princess of the Light has ever been this low and who knows when it will be this low again.

 

Tagline:

Mary’s the Princess of the Light but her only hope is to make a pact with her enemy.

 

Blurb:

Mary Miller receives a startling visitation from Gabriel, the Messenger of God. The Archangel reveals an astounding truth–Mary is the Princess of the Light and even more amazing, her destiny is to battle Lucifer’s army of demons and restore the balance of good and evil on Earth. It’s getting harder to fulfill her new role and keep her identity secret while juggling her personal life, and when Than, Lucifer’s second in command, amps up the attacks on her, she knows she needs help.

 

Joe Deacons is everything she’s ever wanted in a man. And as providence would have it, in a moment of great need, he’s the Warrior of Light–the one who can help her defeat the forces of darkness.

 

Not so simple when they confront Lisbeth, a demon hell-bent on usurping Than and Lucifer himself.  When Lisbeth wages war and several innocent people die, Mary must form an alliance with her enemy in order to destroy her.  But will this be a grave error or the choice that saves their world?

 

Buy Links:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/469480

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/princess-of-the-light-nn-light/1120170709?ean=9781502438454

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Light-N/dp/1502438453

Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/princess-of-the-light-1

Indigo: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/princess-of-the-light/9781310880230-item.html?ikwid=princess+of+the+light&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

iTunes/ iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/princess-of-the-light/id913013798?mt=11

Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/5008419

 

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23009005-princess-of-the-light

 

couple N N Light

 

Author Bio: N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N. Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

They’re blissfully happy and love all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG, Independent Author Network and Marketing for Romance Writers.

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

100% of the proceeds of Princess of the Light go directly to food banks (US and Canada) in order to feed the hungry and help those in need. With only 7,500 books sold, N. N. Light will be able to set up a monthly endowment for the local food bank.

They’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

Bookbub  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-n-light

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNP_W_Light

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

iAuthor: http://www.iauthor.uk.com/princess-of-the-light:10294

Five Steps to Writing a Romance Novella in Two Weeks #amwriting #writingtips #ASMSG


Can you write a romance novella (20,000 words) in two weeks?

You bet!

Here are my five steps to writing a romance novella in only two weeks:

1- Create a writing plan. Before becoming a published author, I was very disorganized. Being the creative-type, I just went with the flow and wrote when I felt like writing. This doesn’t work when you have a goal of writing 20,000 words in ten days. So, I enlisted the help of my husband (totally organized) and together we created a writing schedule. Since I don’t write on the weekends, I only had ten days to work with. Each day, I had to write a minimum of 2,000 words.

Confession: There were some days when I only got 1,500 words done. The next day, I made up the missing words by writing 2,500 words. I didn’t stress when I came up short on a day. Stress breeds writer’s block and no one wants that.

2- Block out time and turn off all distractions. I know this is hard to do nowadays but it helped me immensely. I wrote from 1:00 – 5:00 pm every day. I made sure the phone was turned off and that I had all of my other to-do’s done before lunchtime. I shut down social media and email so I wasn’t distracted. I made sure I had my water bottle nearby and had music on to get me in the mood. I even put on a hat that I called my “writing” hat to get me ready to write. When I had on my hat, I was in writer-mode.

3- Keep a notebook of notes you can jot down character names, story-arcs and ideas. I found this crucial when I was writing. I was able to flip through my notes and keep writing. My notes allowed the ideas to flow out of me quicker onto the page while staying focused on the plot.

4- Have a few accountability partners. This is one of the most important steps. Time is limited and you have a goal to reach. You need your own cheering section. Halfway-through, I started to lose momentum. My brain was tired and I started to doubt my ability to reach my goal of 20,000 words. I reached out to my three accountability partners and they boosted my spirits.

5- Celebrate when you achieve your goal. Before I started writing my romance novella, I told myself when I finished I was going to celebrate. If I was going to work my fingers (and muse) to the bone, the least I could do is get something in return. My husband decided to cook me a gourmet meal with my favorites (lobster, steak, garlic mashed potatoes and creamed corn) when we finished. The image of that meal kept me going, even through the rough patches.

It took me two weeks (intense writing boot camp) but I did it! I wrote a romance novella in that stretch of time and it’s one I’m extremely proud of. In fact, that same novella is featured below.

 

PTSOL

 

Title: Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella

 

Author: N. N. Light

 

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

Blurb:

Torn between two men, Sally must follow her heart and decide if love will lead her to the city or the countryside.

Twenty-Two year old Sally Rayton returns to the family farm she deserted four years ago to bury her grandfather. Her plan: to settle her grandfather’s estate and return to her life in the city with her boyfriend, Trevor Mattson.

Her childhood friend, Jack Smith, has other ideas.

Jack convinces Sally to transform the farm into a brewery and fulfill her grandfather’s dream while keeping the Rayton Farm in the family. Sally works side-by-side with Jack while Trevor is hundreds of miles away in the city. The more time she spends with Jack, the stronger her feelings are for him.

When Trevor shows up to propose to Sally right before Christmas and finds her in Jack’s embrace, she must make the biggest choice of her life: true love.

 

PTSOL teaser 1

 

Excerpt:

“Jack, thank you so much for the lift into town,” a woman replied behind Sally. “Let’s grab some lunch before we shop.”

Sally froze. She stared at Linda who shook her head. What was Jack doing with a woman in town?

“Here, let me take your coat, Emma,” Jack said.

Emma? mouthed Sally to Linda.

“She’s the daughter of Lonnie and Mary Beth.” Linda gave Emma the look-over and scoffed, “She can’t be a day over sixteen.”

“What do I do?” Sally panicked. Normally she didn’t care what Jack did or who he went off with. Curiosity got the better of her and she turned around.

Emma stood five foot three with curly blonde hair and innocent green eyes. Her figure was slim with curves in all the right places. Sally narrowed her eyes as Emma stood on tiptoe to kiss Jack on the cheek.

Fuming, Sally turned around. Linda chuckled.

“What?”

“You better tone down your jealousy, darlin’. You’re shooting darts everywhere.”

Sally gritted her teeth.

“I’m not jealous. If Jack wants school girls kissing him, what do I care?” She took a deep drink of her coffee, draining the cup. She slammed it down.

“Simmer down, here they come,” whispered Linda. She waved to Jack while Sally swore under her breath.

“Well, fancy meeting you two here,” Jack drawled.

Without looking up Sally retorted, “I told you I was coming into town today.”

Linda kicked Sally’s leg under the table. Sally plastered a smile across her face, greeting Jack and Emma.

“Yes, what a coincidence.” Sally noticed Emma looping her arm in Jack’s and snuggling closer.

“I was on my way into town to pick up those parts we ordered for the tractor when I ran into Emma walking by herself in the snow.” Jack smiled. Emma squeezed his arm.

“He pulled over and offered me a lift into town. Isn’t he a gentleman?” cooed Emma. Jack patted her hand.

Sally’s chest constricted at the sight of the two of them acting all couple-y. She stared into his twinkling eyes. Oh God, is he laughing at me? Emma can’t have him. He’s mine. Wait what?

“So,” Linda broke the strained silence. “I have to go powder my nose. Emma, would you care to join me?”

“What’s that?” Emma looked confused.

Linda laughed. “It’s the bathroom, dear sweet child.” She stood up, untangled Emma from Jack and guided Emma away from the table.

Jack sat down.

“What’s with you today?” he asked.

“Nothing.” Sally cleared her throat.

He raised an eyebrow.

“Really!” A few diners turned to stare. Sally flushed with embarrassment. She didn’t mean to talk so loud. She looked everywhere except in Jack’s direction.

Jack observed Sally as she fidgeted, first with her coffee cup then with the silverware. His gaze unnerved her and she practically jumped out of her chair when he placed a hand over hers. Electricity flew up her arm while warmth filled her core. Butterflies raced around her stomach, only she didn’t feel sick; she pulsed with life, like never before.

“Sally…look at me.”

Sally shook her head.

“You’ll only laugh at me.”

Jack’s thumb caressed her hand gently, causing her breath to hitch.

“You know I’d never laugh at you. Laugh with you, definitely, but never at you.”

Sally lifted her gaze to meet Jack’s loving eyes. He slid his fingers between hers, never breaking eye contact. Sparks flew between them. He moistened his lips with a flick of his tongue. Her gaze dropped to his lips.

“Please tell me. I’m begging you,” he whispered.

Unable to think clearly through the fog of desire, Sally tilted her head to one side. Her skin vibrated with heat while her nerve-endings jumped at the slightest caress.

“Tell you what?” she whispered. Her throat dry, her breathing shallow, she wet her lips with her tongue. She was under a spell and everything fell away except for Jack’s passionate eyes.

“Tell me what my wasted heart needs to hear.” His eyes flashed. “Tell me Emma made you jealous.”

Sally started to nod but Emma interrupted.

“What are you guys talking about in hushed tones? Crops and stuff?”

Jack groaned. He dropped Sally’s hand as if it burned him, causing the water glasses to jostle.

 

 

Buy Links:

Available at Amazon Worldwide exclusively and it’s FREE on Kindle Unlimited: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01581XM50

 

Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/5697490

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26134330-planting-the-seeds-of-love

 

 

Author Bio: N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N.

Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

They’re blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG, Independent Author Network and Marketing for Romance Writers.

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

 

They’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNP_W_Light

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

 

 

#ThrowbackThursday: STOP! Step Away From the Computer! #writers #authors #IARTG #tbt


This reblog is especially for all writers, authors and bloggers. I wrote this over two years ago and the message still applies today.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about people replying to reviews and as an author/reviewer I feel I need to send this message:

STOP! STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER! DO NOT REPLY TO REVIEWS/REVIEWERS!

I beg you, please stop the insanity!

(Read on…)

Book Reviewers

Hey everyone!  I thought I would touch on a very sensitive topic to most writers and authors… book reviews.  GASP  I know I know, it’s a taboo topic but I feel this needs to be addressed.

As most of you know, I love Twitter.  I am on it for most of the day and I use it for work as well as leisure.  Anyway, I have noticed lately more and more authors are tweeting to book reviewers.  It’s not a simple, “Hey thanks for the book review”.  It’s more like, “why did you give me a bad book review” or “why are you ruining my life” or “you suck”.

As an author of an upcoming book, I can sympathize with authors who attack reviewers for a bad review.  I mean, I get the gut-wrenching pain that comes with a bad review.  But the reality is, bad reviews happen.  I hate to burst your bubble but not everyone is going to love your book.  In fact, some will loathe it.

How do you deal with a bad review?

Take a look at the quote above and visualize it.  Now take a snapshot of it in your mind and think of that every time you see a bad review.

Here’s another way to deal with a bad review: go onto Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Goodreads and look up your favorite book.  Now read through the reviews.  You will find some people love it like you do and some will hate it.  It’s called subjectivity and it’s a reality in the publishing industry.

Whatever it takes to gain some perspective, do it!  Having a bad review will not change how fabulous your book is.  In fact, the more people rip your book, the more intriguing it is for a reader to read it.  Controversy has always ruled the top of the bestseller charts!

Do NOT under any circumstances respond and/or retaliate against a book reviewer or a bad book review!!!  Not only is it unprofessional, it is simply in poor taste.  Be the better person and ignore it.:-)

If you found this blog post informative, please share it using the buttons below!

Keep smiling!

MRS N, the Author

Worldbuilding – Keeping Things Real (Guest Post) by @WestonAndrew #writingtips #amwriting #SFF


IXbanner-ad_exordium - Large

 

Worldbuilding – Keeping Things Real: A Guest Post by International Best-Selling Author Andrew Weston

One of my “pet things” when it comes to writing, is what many people now refer to as, worldbuilding, the process of constructing an imaginary framework in which to set your adventure. What’s a shame is the fact that sometimes, authors don’t put enough effort into creating a setting for their stories, something that contain sufficient coherent qualities such as history, geography, ecology and suchlike. Yet, this is a key task, especially for novelists like me who concentrate on science fiction and fantasy.

 

So, how do I do it?

 

I usually begin from the top down. What does that mean? It means I devise a general overview of the world in which I’m going to set my creation and then I start working inwards. Here’s a broad example:

 
I begin by considering…where is the world situated? Who are its inhabitants and what is their history? What level of technology do they possess? What geographical features does their planet have how does this affect things like climate and skin tone?

 
Once I’ve determined those facets, I start to increase smaller details. Personally, I sketch out several maps or ship schematics, and refine them as I go along. It gives me a sense of time and scale, especially if different groups of protagonists and antagonists clash. I also find this method allows me to build well-integrated societies, which in turn, reflects a superior level of quality and realism within the story itself.

 

 

I also like to approach my creation from the perspective of a game. Why? Well, since the world I create will provide the foundation for everything that takes place in it – (my concept – the characters – all the various threads and plots I want to weave together) – I want to make sure it’s as sound as possible, and affords the reader the possibility of enchantment as they try to recreate my vision in their own minds. Yes, I want them to lose themselves in my imaginary world, I want them to connect and bring it to life.

 
To do this, I even go so far as to construct actual languages, flora and fauna, behavioral and migratory patterns. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t drown the reader in detail, but I have it ready – at my beck and call, so to speak – so I can add the little touches here and there that makes the narrative sparkle.

 

 

I like to think of my stories as rough diamonds. To begin with, I’ve got an absolute gem of an idea. But it’s rough and lackluster. I need to examine it closely and buff it up with worldbuilding. Decide what to cut and where to spend time grinding and polishing. As it gets into the final stages, I make sure each facet gleams and that there’s a depth and perspective you won’t see until you’ve viewed all the angles.

 

 

One of the main ingredients in my imaginary worlds is the “keep it real” ethic. I’m fortunate to be a Master of Astronomy. So, when I devise my fictional worlds, I base futuristic technology on the very latest theoretical science. Think about what’s been in the news over the past year or so: teleportation was the stuff of pure science fiction not so long ago, but now, scientists can transport quantum packets of information through the ether with remarkable clarity and accuracy; we can levitate objects; have artificial air scrubbers that make the foulest environment breathable; there are engines under development that researchers are sure will punch us to Mars in a matter of weeks, not months.

 
All these things help me stretch the imagination that little bit further, so my readers can seriously consider…“Yes, the citizens of Arden – thousands of years in advance of our own – use everyday constructs that we are only just delving into. I can believe that.” Once you establish the connection, you’ve got your readers hooked…

 
You see? Keeping things real helps reel them in.

 

IXexordium-box-ad-300x250

 

Title: Exordium of Tears

Author: Andrew P. Weston

Genre: Science Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

Fight or die.

 

That simple yet brutal reality is the tenet by which the refugees from Earth – including the fabled lost 9th Legion of Rome; the 5th Company, 2nd Mounted Cavalry Unit; and the Special Forces Anti-Terrorist Team – were forced to live by while the Horde menace existed. Believing that the threat is over, the survivors now yearn to settle down, start families, and reclaim the lives stolen from them.

 

But such aspirations might remain beyond their reach, for a shadow looms on the rose-tinted horizon of new beginnings.

 

The release of the re-genesis matrix has done much to foster a restoration of exuberance across Arden. Along with a resurgence in floral and faunal diversity comes the results of splicing the Ardenese and human genomes: transmutation. A metamorphosis of stunning magnitude that not only affects the living, but those still is stasis as well.

 

Recognizing the emergence of a new hybrid species, the Architect – the arcane AI construct tasked with the preservation of the Ardenese race – responds by unlocking previously hidden and inaccessible areas of the city. It also releases an archive of sealed state secrets. Such revelations are eagerly perused, whereupon a shocking discovery is made.

 

Prior to the fall, it was common knowledge amongst the Senatum (the highest levels of Arden’s government) that not all the rabid Horde had joined in the rampage across the stars toward Arden.

 

Realizing that the peril still exists, the newly reformed administration elects to respond in earnest. Existing resources are utilized, suitable candidates are chosen, and a flotilla of ships is sent out to secure, quarantine, and reclaim the outer colonies.

 

A mammoth and hazardous undertaking. And nowhere more so than at the planet from where the outbreak was known to have originated – Exordium – for there, the ancient Horde are not only supremely evolved and highly organized, but are capable of a level of lethal sophistication, the likes of which has never been witnessed before.

 

It is into this kiln of incendiary potential that the cream of Arden’s fighting forces is deployed.

 

Worlds are torn asunder, suns destroyed, and star systems obliterated. Yes, tragedy is forged, in a universe spanning conflict which proves once again that…

 

Death is only the beginning of the adventure.

 

Excerpt:

The cavern’s vaulted interior resonated with silence. More than a hundred yards wide, it was a natural feature etched from living rock by the slow and patient attrition of running water over thousands of years. As time passed the wellsprings ran dry, and the chamber gradually drained. Once barren, the cavity lay undiscovered for millennia until explorers from a faraway world happened upon it during their initial surveys prior to colonization.

Recognizing its value, those adventurers adapted the character of the gallery to suit their own purposes, transposing its simple grandeur into a wonderland of startling complexity and delight.

Yet even this transformation had been a long, long time ago, and for many years now the facility remained abandoned.

Although subdued, illumination was still afforded by a swarm of ethereal holographic constructs. Of unknown purpose, these nevertheless had been rigged to serve the mechanism dominating the cavern’s center.

Here, a circular dais more than twenty yards across rose from the floor. Above it, a pair of gleaming U-shaped collars hung suspended in midair. Each measured over fifty feet in length and were positioned so that their open arms bowed toward each other. Within the expanse of their embrace, a tear challenged the authority of spacetime itself. Appearing like a DNA helix, it slowly revolved around its own axis, warping reality to its will. A gentle breeze flowed toward the rent from each of the cavern’s exits, betraying the presence of a subtle vacuum.

Blip — blip — blip!

Harsh in the silence, a warning tone blurted from one of the control stations closest to the feature. Two adjacent projectors flickered to life. As their emitters focused on a condensed shimmering fog of ionized gas, a series of complex equations appeared. The beams intensified, and a stream of translucent symbols scrolled down the misty page.

“Anomaly detected,” a voice announced. “Please stand by . . .”

Background generators kicked in. A steady whine signaled the buildup of impressive potential.

“Target recognized and locked. Quantum tunnel initialized. Temporal sheath established. Safety overrides engaged . . .”

An oscillating tone added deeper counterpoints to the coalescing energies. Underlying vibrations increased dramatically. Static sparks jumped out to scratch at the invisible plane lurking between the brackets. Lightning flashed, once, twice, then the void yawned wide and a tornado of warped sensibilities bloomed forth in a churning bore that somehow encompassed both pelagic and volcanic attributes.

“Gateway activated. Spectral sensors primed. Data retrieval will commence in three, two, one . . . Downloading.”

A surrounding halo of ancillary equipment lent its weight to the process, and by its light hitherto unnoticed features of the chamber stood revealed.

Unlike the rest of the control center, a large area along the western periphery was free of equipment. Desks, cabinets, and scanners occupying that zone had been smashed to pieces and thrown to one side to make room for the assortment of power cables trailing along the floor and into a wide pool of gelatinous goo.

The air above the mucus shivered gently, as if wallowing in the heat of a welcome zephyr. No sooner had the wormhole stabilized than the undulating curtain flared into a confusing amalgam of Orphic contradiction. Strontium-red passion vied against a well of midnight gloom. Magnesium-silver flares rushed to counter all-consuming darkness. And finally, neon-blue tendrils of scorching hot plasma contended the threat of everlasting obscurity. Such was the frenzy of the outburst that the atmosphere itself bristled, and nearby metallic objects clanged together as they became magnetized.

Hidden at the very edge of the visible spectrum, a nest of nightmare apparitions languished in hibernation. The commotion had disturbed their repose and triggered an instinctive reaction. Roused to the verge of consciousness, their glittering fangs snapped imaginary necks. Steaming talons twitched toward phantom aggressors. Huge great jaws opened, and piercing howls joined together in a cacophony of spine-tingling complaint. Several pairs of eyes fluttered open and in that instant, an overwhelming sense of barely suppressed rage and rabid hunger flooded the cavern with the promise of certain death.

“Cycle completed,” the same automated voice intoned.

The combined resonance of multiple stations shutting down droned through the gallery.

“Geodesic anchors retracted. Astrophasic tracking nodes disengaged. Gravity locks releasing in three, two, one . . . Mark.”

The humming swarm abruptly cut off.

“Returning to passive-scan mode. Info-packet prepared. End run . . . Execute.”

The hovering screens went blank, and the control room was thrown into darkness once more.

Deprived of the source of their agitation, the beasts’ emotions cooled, and they were soon lulled back toward slumber. The energized cloud hovering above the ectoplasm continued to ripple awhile longer, but it too eventually subsided into inactivity.

All was as it had been before, except that now, a brooding, heightened state of watchfulness pervaded the ether.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/Exordium-Tears-IX-Andrew-Weston/dp/0996428992

 

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Exordium-Tears-IX-Book-2-ebook/dp/B01AAFEU6O

 

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/exordium-of-tears-andrew-p-weston/1123449634?ean=9780996428996

 

Andrew Weston

 

Author Biography:

Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

 

An astronomy and law graduate, he is the creator of the international number one bestsellers, The IX, and Hell Bound, (A novel forming part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

 

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with two of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for http://Astronaut.com  and Amazing Stories.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

 

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-P-Weston-Author/102335216581151?ref=hl

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/andrewweston/

 

Andrew P. Weston Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

The IX Blog: http://theix.blogspot.gr/

 

 

 

What’s in Your Writer’s Tool Box? My Go-To Tool is Twitter #writingtips #amwriting


Writer's ToolBox

What’s your go-to tool, writers?

In every profession, there is a “tool box” of skills and resources.  You utilize these tools every day and with each new skill, you become more proficient at your job.  It is the key to being successful.  The same is true for a writer.

Four years ago, I made the decision to become a writer full-time.  I did my research and gathered some tools for my tool box.  They included, but was not limited to, a computer, dictionary, internet, notepads, pens and the idea for my debut book.  I went online and googled a few websites to help me.  I reached out to my friends who were writers and asked for any advice.

My writer friends were only too happy to dispel horror stories and warnings about the pitfalls of being a professional writer.  I nodded and my heart was soon filled with dread.  I know that my friends meant well but all it did was cause me to doubt.

pregnant

The same is true when a woman gets pregnant or married.  All of their friends and family regale them with horror stories and what not to do.  The woman in question is soon filled with so much trepidation that she is rethinking her decision.  Her friends and family meant well but didn’t really help.

I reached out to a writer friend of mine and he gave me this advice, “You should be using your Twitter account.”

I asked him, “What do you mean?”

He said, “You have a Twitter account and so does every writer, agent and publishing house.  In today’s world, everything is done via social media.”

I took his advice and after signing up to follow a bunch of people, I realized that Twitter is amazing!  Twitter is the one place where you can not only interact with successful writers but agents and publishing houses too.  I learned so much and it made me a better writer.

start writing quote

Not only can you advertise your book when it is released, but you can learn how to be a better writer.  There are so many writers on Twitter who offer their support to you.  Their insight is really needed, especially when you are a novice writer.

The first Twitter handle I recommend following is Writer’s Digest.  They post articles about each aspect of writing from outlining your book to editing to landing an agent to marketing.  It is all free and invaluable!

WD

When writers ask for my advice on getting noticed or marketing, I tell them the first thing they need to do is to get on Twitter.  Create an account and start reading all the ways you can become a better writer.

Okay fellow writers/authors, what’s your go-to tool sitting in your tool box? What’s your favorite thing about being on Twitter? Share in the comments below. 

#Writers, Embrace Those Writing/Revising/Editing Deadlines #amwriting #amediting #writingtips


Writing Deadlines

 

Deadlines.  All writers/authors have them.  No matter who you are or what you are writing, you have deadlines.

I’ll let you in on a little secret.  Are you ready?

Deadlines can be very inspirational. 

Check out this illustration above and raise your hand if you can relate.  I raised my hand and you should too.  Deadlines don’t have to be scary or impossible.  In fact, you could be producing some of your best stuff under a deadline.  Let me explain.

Throughout the writing/revising/editing process, I have had to be under deadlines.  Some of them were intense and others were pretty easy.  I add and/or delete scenes.  I’ve  added conflict where there was none before.  I’ve switched POVs and even deleted a few characters.  Each of these changes needed to be done under a deadline.  Truthfully, each of these changes were hard for me to do and at times, I wanted to quit.  But thanks to my supportive and loving husband, MR N, I stayed the course and met each deadline.

How did I do it?  Here are some ways I faced down my writing deadlines and was victorious:

  • I created a plan.  Most of my deadlines were thirty days.  I approached it the same way I used to approach tasks when I was a manager at a bookstore.  I wrote down everything that needed to be done and in the order they needed to be completed.  I looked at the time I had to set aside for completing the tasks (in addition to my other priorities aka life).  I had six hours a day for five days a week for four weeks which equaled somewhere around 120 hours.  I divided the time I had available by the tasks I needed to do to meet the deadline.  Sounds simple, right?

Here’s an example from 2014: When I was changing my POVs from six to two ( I know… lol) for Princess of the Light, I had given myself ten days to get it done.  My book was 465 pages at that point and that meant I had to go through 50 pages a day (or 8 pages an hour).  I know it sounds like a lot but I’m very proud that I completed it in nine days! I got on a roll and just rocked it out!

Instead of focusing so much on all that you have to get done, focus instead on what you have to do today.  It doesn’t seem so daunting and it really works!

  • Minimize the distractions. I know how distracting email, social media and the phone can be.  You know me, I adore Twitter!  It can suck hours of my life away without me knowing it.  But when you are against a tough deadline, try your best to shut down as many distractions as possible.  Here’s a trick I learned.  For every two hours I wrote/edited/revised, I gave myself 20 minutes on social media/email as a treat.  I didn’t get burned out and it allowed me to celebrate all of my hard work.

 

Deadline Approaching

 

  • Listen to your favorite music.  I find that Pink Floyd really helps me to write/revise/edit.  No matter what the music may be, put it on and let the words flow.

 

  • Tell your Critique Partners, writing friends and/or significant other what is going on.  Not only will they understand your disappearance and lack of emails, they’ll help you get through it.  Writing/editing/revising is hard work and it will take all of your energy to get it done.  Let them be your cheerleaders and venting buddies.

I can’t tell you how many times I cried on MR N’s shoulder and vented my frustrations.  I also vented to a few close writer friends and their insights was invaluable.  Promise me, though, to NOT vent on social media!!! Unless it is a closed group that no one can access, it is better to vent via phone or email. 🙂

 

diamond

 

  • Let the stress of the deadline wash over you.  Think of yourself like a diamond.  You started out as a dark piece of charcoal and the more stress you were under, the more brilliant you became.  Look at you now… a sparkling diamond that everyone clamors for.  Your writing is like that too.  The more editing/revising you do, the chaff is stripped away and a beautiful priceless story is left.

 

I hope these tips helped you to face your next deadline.  Face it, head-on!

Do you have any tips/techniques for overcoming deadlines?  I would love to hear from you! Together we can all learn to defeat those deadlines!!

Until next time,

MRS N, the Deadline Defeater 🙂

Book Marketing 101: 3 Tips to Promote Your Book(s) Without Driving Away Readers #authors #marketing


Book Marketing 101 - NN Light

“You’ve just published a book. Congratulations! You’ve done something that many have tried and few have succeeded. Give yourself a pat on the back… then put on your thinking cap. It’s time for the next step: promoting your book.”

Ruth A. Casie invited me to appear on her blog to talk about book marketing for all authors. I offer three tried and true tips to promote your book(s) without driving away readers/followers.

Check it out and then come back and let me know what tips you have on book promotion:

http://ruthacasie.blogspot.ca/2016/02/books-chocolate-and-wine-with-nn-light.html 

Question Time: What do you struggle with the most when it comes to book promotion? I’d love to hear from you. I’m happy to answer any and all questions, too.

Mrs. N aka N. N. Light

#WritingTip: Finding Your Writing Voice #ASMSG #amwriting #IAN1


Writing Voice

 

What is one of the most important components that makes a writer unique?

His/Her writing voice.

Each writer has a singular writing voice. So many writers crave to be best sellers so they try to copy someone else’s writing voice. I am saddened by this because each writer has a special story inside begging to be told. The story needs to be told in his/her own writing voice.

What is our own writing voice and how do we find it?

Read the quote above.

“Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are.”

It doesn’t say your writing voice is supposed to mimic [insert famous author’s name here]. It’s a reflection of you and everything you are. Think about it for a minute. You are unique and you have experienced life with all its ups and downs. Your perspective on life is very different from mine (or anyone else’s). Every experience, every emotion, every belief is wrapped up in you and it defines who you are.

Your true writing voice reflects you. Let it do what it was meant to do.

“The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences.”

I know many writers will disagree with this statement. I ask you to hear me out for a second. I’m talking about your writing voice, not your book. In order to tell a story, as a writer, we need to have a clear understanding of grammar and a firm hold on the English language. It’s called honing your craft and it is necessary to be a successful writer.

When I say the job of your voice is not to make well-shaped sentences, I am talking about letting the story speak for itself. Free your writing voice of the shackles of grammar and syntax. I believe (and this is my own opinion here) when you’re constantly worried about the sentence structure and creating the perfect paragraph, you’re strangling your writing voice. The creativity and emotion that drives your writing voice needs to have nothing holding it down. Release your writing voice and just let go. Fixing the grammar comes later in the revision and editing stages.

“In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.”

When readers read from the perspective of your writing voice, they should get a glimpse into your inner soul. Writing is a very intimate profession and while a great deal of us writers are introverts, we have a keen sense of the world around us. We are revealing a small portrait of our lives through the guise of a story. We pour everything we are and hope to be into our stories and our writing voice should reflect that.

As many of you know, I wrote Princess of the Light as a result of a personal encounter with a homeless man. I wrote Princess of the Light using my own writing voice (not another famous author’s) and so much of me is in the pages of my story. I never wrote it to make a million dollars or to be a best selling author. Although, those are lovely things. 🙂 I wrote it because my heart and soul burned with the message of spreading the Light. Nothing more.

How do I find my writing voice?

The simple answer is to write. The more you write, the stronger your writing voice becomes and it will be easier to spot. I know you are scratching your head confused. Want a few exercises to help you? Here are five for you to try:

– Keep a diary. Record everything that happens throughout the day and be sure to add in your own perspective.

– Free write. I do this a lot and it really helps me concentrate and listen to my writing voice.

– Blog. I found the daily act of blogging to be very helpful in discovering my writing voice. There is something so freeing to blogging. You put words together on a certain topic and you get immediate feedback.

– Ask your writing mentor, critique partners, writing group members and/or closest friends to describe your writing voice. While it is often hard to spot it in ourselves, others will find it easy.

– Read. While you are reading, ask yourself what the author’s writing voice is like, why you love/hate it and then write it down. There are millions of books out there filled with writing voices for us to discover. On the job training has never been easier to obtain.

My writing voice is a reflection of who I am and it took a lot of hard work to get to this point. It’s easy to copy another writer’s voice. You see it every day, especially if you’re a voracious reader like me. Take the plunge and release your writing voice. Don’t be afraid; you were born to do this. 🙂

MRS N, the Writer

#TBT: My First Blog Post #amwriting #blog


Today is Throwback Thursday all over social media and I thought it would be fun to share with you my first blog post.

I remember writing this blog post and feeling such fear. Fear of what? Fear of rejection, fear of people laughing at me, fear of the unknown. I know it’s funny now, after the hundreds of posts I’ve written since, but back then I was petrified.

I had a dream and I shared it with the world. Now, my dream is a reality and I’m dreaming bigger dreams.

My advice to all: never give up and believe in yourself.

Enjoy the walk down memory lane. Let me know what you think. 🙂
A WRITER’S DREAM
Posted on July 10, 2013 by MRS N, the Author

mickey writing

 

When I was six years old, I wrote my very first story. It was only three sentences long but to me it was the start of my love of writing. I don’t even remember what I wrote but I remember the feelings it evoked. Pride, fear, elation and wonder filled my soul. It was better than any candy in the world! I was hooked!

As time went by, I learned how to be a better writer and storyteller. I loved taking an idea in my head and creating something out of it. Moreover, people enjoyed my stories and that was the best part.

When I graduated high school and went onto higher learning, people asked me what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. First it was the guidance counselor. I replied simply that I wanted to become a writer. She wrinkled her nose at me and said that I better become a journalist instead.

I knew that being a journalist was realistic but it wasn’t me. I hated the news and my stomach turned at the mere sight of blood. So I told her that journalism wasn’t for me.

My family asked me and since I didn’t want to seem different, I replied, “Maybe a psychologist.” They seemed satisfied with that and I liked learning about how people click. I had been to a few in my teen years and they all seemed to be nice people with fancy cars and houses.

I was studying for finals one night and was feeling miserable. My soul was not happy and I knew that I needed to write. So, I started writing and two hours later, I had written a short story. I put it in my desk drawer and went to bed.

That night, I had a dream. I was in a bookstore and I was signing books. The people were so excited to meet me and I looked happy. One person after another said how much they loved my book and how they were making changes in their life to become better.

I woke up smiling and knew that one day I would be a writer. I didn’t know how or in what way but I was determined to become a writer.

Years have passed since that day and I have taken many detours. Many people thought that I would not become a writer and even tried to drive it out of me. It wasn’t practical and the failure rate was huge.

I searched inside myself and found that no matter what went on in my life, I always had my gift of writing. It got me through some very hard times and made me a better writer.

Today, I am so proud to call myself a writer and am writing my first book. I have always believed in myself and here I am, living my dream!!!

Thank you, Walt Disney, for inspiring me to dream!!!!

To Pen Name or Not: That is the Question #amwriting #writingtips #writers


pen name cartoon

 

One of the first questions a writer needs to answer is whether to choose their given name or create a pen name.  What is a pen name?  A pen name is a name invented by the author or publishing house.  Pen names have been around for hundreds of years.  Here are some famous pen names:

Ann Landers

Anne Rice

Anthony Burgess

C. S. Forester

Charles Moulton

Christopher Pike

Dr. Seuss

Ellery Queen

J. K. Rowling

Joseph Conrad

Lemony Snicket

Lewis Carroll

Mark Twain

Robert Jordan

Sidney Sheldon

Toni Morrison

Voltaire

There are several reasons why these famous people and many more take a pen name.  They range from being more marketable as a neutral name to wanting to become someone new.  As many of you know, N. N. Light is my pen name.  I chose it for many reasons.  Here are a couple:

– Privacy

-Mystery

-Intrigue

-Flows off the tongue

I wanted to choose a pen name that had a nice ring to it and allowed me to keep my writing life separate from my private life.  I brainstormed with MR N and we came up with N. N. Light.

How did we come up with it?  Both of our names start with N and Light is simply who I am at the core.  🙂 See… N. N. Light.

So you want to have a pen name too?  Here are few tips:

– Pick a name that is easy to say and something people can remember.  The worst thing is to have a pen name that no one can pronounce.

-Use initials if you want your gender to remain mysterious.

-Do a little research and make sure the name is not taken.  This is as easy as going onto Amazon and typing in your pen name.  If nothing comes up, chances are you are good to go.

-Try it out on your friends and family.  See what they think.

-Say it aloud several times.  Does it roll off the tongue?  You’ve got a winner!

-See what it looks like in print.  Create a mock book cover and see how it looks.

If you make the big plunge into pen names, I think you will find it fun!  If it works for famous authors, why can’t it work for you?

Have you decided on your author name?  What are some of your favorite pen names?  Let me know in the comments below!

I remain your steadfast yet mysterious MRS N or better known as…

N. N. Light

#AmWriting: Is Writing Fiction Easy as Most People Think #writingtips #ASMSG #IARTG


writing novel

 

I get asked a lot about the craft of writing and usually the first thing they ask is: What kind of writer are you?  Fiction or Non-Fiction?

I smile and reply, “I write fiction.”

They shrug and usually say, “Oh, that’s easy to do.”

Really? Have you done it???

I want to scream that at them but instead I just smile.  Most people, who are not writers, do not understand the process of writing.  They think it’s easy, like unpeeling a banana or taking out the garbage.  But in reality, it is one of the most difficult things a writer can do.  You’re creating a whole new world and you have to describe it with such detail that the reader will be sucked in.  You’re creating characters that have to appear real to the reader and yet, each character has to jump off of the page.

hemingway on characters

When you are writing fiction, you are bypassing reality and it is a true shock to the system.  I remember when I was writing Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella, the characters filled my head and I would suddenly be inside the story.  I  watched television with MR N but then my vision would blur and I was transported into the scene I was working on earlier that day.  I became Sally and was feeling what she was feeling.  MR N would nudge me and I would shake my head to clear it.

Let me be perfectly clear, I love writing fiction and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  The process of writing a novel is hard and many people just don’t get that.  So the next time someone asks you about your writing, be proud of writing fiction.  It’s hard work and can overtake you.  But the end result is truly a thing of beauty! 🙂

Keep writing!

MRS N, the Author

I write fiction

Pub-Craft: Giving You More Time to Write #authors #MFRWAuthor @PubCraftTeam


Pub-Craft_banner_mugandsunset

 

Hi! It’s wonderful to meet you all!

We’re the Pub-Craft Team, and we’re here to introduce ourselves.

The romance industry is an ever-changing, crazy-busy place, and authors need to keep so many plates spinning to see returns on their work. With authors taking a more active role in all aspects of the industry, and everything going online, we have found many authors spend most of their time on tasks other than writing. We want to fix that. Just imagine what authors – and every other person out there – could achieve if they spent more time on what they do best!

 

“What could you accomplish if you could spend more time doing what you do best?” – Rick Spencer

colour logo

 

So, who is Pub-Craft?

 

Pub-Craft is a team of Romance Specialists delivering virtual assistance, creative consulting, promotion management – and more! – to published and pre-published romance authors.

 

What do we do?

 

The Pub-Craft team helps romance authors increase their visibility and discoverability, build their brand and following, make more sales and reach new heights with the custom support they need. Pub-Craft’s mission is “Giving You More Time To Write.”

 

What services do we offer?

 

Pub-Craft offers several services to assist individual romance authors and multi-author collaborations including virtual assistance, creative consulting, promotion planning and management, as well as proofreading and copyediting. The Pub-Craft Team also provides emcee, hosting, and live marketing services for special events, and gives workshops and romance industry presentations specialising in branding, marketing, promotion tactics, and reader engagement.

 

Where are we located?

 

Virtually, everywhere.  😉

 

So, how can we give you more time to write – and do what you do best?

 

 

– Virtual Assistance

 

The Pub-Craft Team is here to assist you in all things you’d rather not do yourself! Our VA services include social media development and online account maintenance, creative content writing, Street Team creation and management, data entry and organization, email maintenance, reader outreach, correspondence, and much more, all for $25/hour.

 

– Creative Consulting

 

Pub-Craft’s Owner & Founder, Laurie Cooper, is here to answer your questions, be a creative partner, evaluate options, and assist you in achieving your goals. Whether you are an established author or just beginning, a consult with Laurie may be just the thing to set you on the right path and take your career to the next level! Consultations start at $100/hour.

 

– Promotion Management

Have an upcoming release or seek to revitalize your backlist? Pub-Craft will get your work the attention it deserves through custom marketing and promotion campaigns catered to your needs and budget. Our promotion services include online advertising and ad booking, trade show and live marketing, review outreach, and much more.


– Proofreading and Copyediting

 

Just finished writing? The Pub-Craft Team is here with a fresh set of eyes! For $0.005/word, our proofreaders will look for typos, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and formatting/style errors and inconsistencies. For $2.00/page, our copyeditors will look for strange word choices, awkward sentences, excessive repetition, timing, and scene and character inconsistencies.

 

You have great ideas.

 

Let’s make them grow.

 

Visit us at our website, shoot us an email, or pop by our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

 

Pub-Craft: Romance Specialists

 

 

LaurieCooper-headshot

Founder/President

Laurie Cooper

 

Laurie Cooper launched her own online business, “Pub-Craft: Virtual Assistance and Creative Consulting for Romance Authors” in October 2013. Since then, Laurie and her team have helped over 95 clients to New York Times and USA Today bestseller status. Laurie began working in the industry under the guidance of New York Times Bestselling Author, Opal Carew, and quickly transitioned from an independent public-relations consultant to a full-time business owner, creative project manager, and international speaker. Now, Laurie and her team of Romance Specialists deliver virtual assistance, creative consulting, promotion management and more, with the goal of “Giving you more time to write!”.

While Laurie works with authors from around the world, she calls Ottawa, Ontario her home. She loves to travel whenever she can escape her cluttered desk – even if it’s just a trip to the cottage. In between work and travel, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, scrapbooking, reading, downing pots of coffee, and plotting to rule the world, or dancing under the moon (whichever is more convenient at the time). Laurie Cooper graduated from Carleton University in 2012 with combined High Honours in Communication studies and Global Politics, Concentration in Image, Politics and Persuasion, and a Minor in Law.

@CooperLaurie

 

Marissa-bio-pic-black-and-white

 

Marissa Caldwell became close friends with Laurie Cooper at the beginning of their studies at Carleton University in 2008. After graduation, she went on to complete law school at the University of Ottawa, and graduated with a Juris Doctor degree in April 2015. She jumped at the chance to join the Pub-Craft Team, and became Laurie’s first full-time employee soon after.

In Marissa’s spare time, she is a romance-reading, cupcake-pushing Shakespeare-lover with the super power to fashion jewellery and tiny little figures out of clay. Her life is a too-well-cultivated collage of small-time theatre roles, comic conventions, golden foods, pugs, and romance.

Now, as Laurie Cooper’s official partner in crime and second-hand, she has become Pub-Craft’s Street Team Specialist, and self-termed ‘Queen of Talent’. Because Laurie made the mistake of letting her pick her own title. Day-to-day, Marissa assists authors with live hosting and marketing, copy-editing, ghosting, bio-writing, advertising, social media, street team management – and anything else their clients need! Pub-Craft is an ever-growing and ever-changing company, so Marissa learns something new just about every day – and loves every minute of it!

Let’s be friends.

@marissaisms

 

Kate Headshot

 

Kate Boone is Pub-Craft’s resident Promotions Jedi and Scribe. She graduated from Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communications in 2012 with an honours degree in journalism and has worked in the online marketing industry ever since. She is very happy to be able to put her B.J. to good use here at Pub-Craft.

A certified pun-master, Kate enjoys writing copy, scripts, blog posts and has a passion for using social media to engage with others and promote content in as many different ways as possible – Facebook and Instagram being among her favourite social platforms.

As an avid book-lover, she is thrilled to now be a part of the Pub-Craft Team and is eager to learn even more about the industry. Kate also loves theatre (it’s how she met Marissa!), Star Wars, and may secretly be a cat-lady in disguise.

@K8Boone

 

Pub-Craft Team graphic

 

Social Media Links:

Email: pubcraftteam@gmail.com

Website: http://pub-craft.com/

Blog (featuring an on-going quest to become ‘Romance Specialists’): http://pub-craft.com/blog-2/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LauriePubCraft/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PubCraftTeam

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pubcraft/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pubcraftteam/

Ways to Support the Author in Your Life #ASMSG #IARTG #IndieAuthorsBeSeen


My fellow author has some very insightful advice for authors, their circle of friends/family and followers. Saying something as simple as, “You can do it” or “You matter” goes a long way to supporting an author.

MRS N aka N. N. Light

Legends of Windemere

Yahoo Image Search Yahoo Image Search

Many of us have seen the above picture and it’s right.  That is a great way to support an author that you enjoy and want to see them continue.  Yet, there is another area of support that I wanted to touch on.  What do you do if the author in question isn’t a favorite, but part of your non-cyberspace circle?  Maybe a spouse, a sibling, a friend, or somebody that you interact with outside of a computer.  Is there anything else you can do besides the following phrase?

“I support you and know you can do it.”

This is a powerful phrase, but you have to be ready to back it up with actions such as simply telling others about the book or even beta reading if asked.  Don’t say it and follow up by asking about the author’s Plan B, grilling them about sales made, pointing…

View original post 1,300 more words

Revising the First Draft: 3 Tips to Succeeding #amwriting #writingtips #MondayBlogs


 

Revision

 

Writers are filled with trepidation but I think the one area we spend far too much time bemoaning is the act of revision. We poured our heart and soul into the first draft. We shunned our friends and family in order to be focused on writing. We lost sleep and ate more than our fair share of chocolate. Everything came second to completing the first draft. We re-read it with pride and think to ourselves…

What perfection! Every reader is going to swoon and it could very well win the Pulitzer. 😉

We send it off to our editor/critique partner and wait for the compliments to start rolling in. We wait patiently and our hearts drop as we see the dreaded red pen comments.

This makes no sense.

Where did this character come from?

Drop this whole scene.

Revise. Revise. Revise.

Revision is where the true essence of a story reveals itself. The first draft is only the starting point. Revision is like a roller coaster ride. You start off slow and make the climb to the first descent. Everything is going smoothly and then your world is rocked as you plummet. The adrenaline rushes to your head as you fix one thing after another. With each revision, you ride the roller coaster and your story gets better. It doesn’t matter how many times you revise; what matters is that the revision works.

As a writer, I hate revising. Truthfully, it’s an ego thing. I know, I know, it sounds bad but I’m just being truthful. Those are my words, my characters, my dialogue, my story. I wrote it so it has to be perfect, right?

Wrong.

I’m too close to it to see its flaws. I need an unbiased person to help. That’s where an editor comes in. He/She sees what needs to stay and what needs to go. He/She points them out to me and I can make the necessary changes.

When I was working on Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella with my editor, I chucked my ego and really listened to him. He wasn’t trying to crush me as a writer. He loved my story as much as I did and wanted it to succeed. I took his nudging advice and made my story even better. I got rid of the fluff and concentrated on the key aspects of the plot. Sure, it was hard and at the end, I was mentally exhausted. The result, though, is a beautiful story about family, falling in love and figuring out life in your early-twenties.

Are you suffering with revisions? Don’t know how you’ll make it through? Here are three quick tips to revising with ease:

-Take off your writer glasses. As writers, we see our work differently than others. Yes, this is your creation but in order for the world to love your story, you have to be willing to change things. Don’t be rigid. As Stephen King says, “Kill your darlings.” I hear groans all over the world but there’s truth to that statement. As a writer, you have to be willing to delete your favorite scene, character and subplot. It’s all for the betterment of the story.

-Put on your reader glasses. All of us are readers and we have an affinity for books. We have studied the craft of writing and want to tell our story in the best way possible. It’s all for the reader, right? So don your reader glasses and look at your story with fresh eyes. Pretend you don’t know anything about this story or any of the characters. As you are reading, take notes. If a question pops into your head, write it down. When you are through reading, go through your notes. Was there a missing character or did something not make sense? Fix what needs fixing, no matter how much it hurts. At the end of the day, you want nothing to stand between your story and the reader.

-Read through your editor’s notes three times before revising.  Why three times? The first read is to see what the notes say. You may be offended or hurt by what is said. Don’t take it personally. Keep reading through. When you are finished with the first read, walk away. Take a few days off. Let the notes sink in. Don’t start revising.

The second read is to start brainstorming. Reworking scenes and characters takes time and when you read through the notes a second time, you will start to brainstorm how to make it work. Trust me when I say this takes time. Let your mind work through it.

The third time you read through the notes is when you come up with a plan of attack. Outline what needs to change and what needs to stay. If you need to flesh out a character, write down how you plan to do that. If you need to delete/create scenes, map out how the plot will change.  This is also a perfect time to make sure you understand clearly what your editor is trying to tell you. If you have any questions about the notes, please take my advice and ask your editor to explain. You need to be on the same page, so to speak.

Revising doesn’t have to feel like going to the dentist. It can be fun, even, if you know how to approach it. Your editor is not out to get you or tell you what a horrible writer you are. You are a wonderful writer and have created a beautiful story. Revising is just trimming away the excess to reveal the Hope Diamond within.

Do you have any revision tips/tricks you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear from you! Comment below and if you liked this blog post, I’d appreciate it if you’d use the share buttons below. 🙂

 

Writing Tip of the Year: Brainstorming #amwriting #ASMSG #IARTG


brainstorming

 

Brainstorming is one of the best-kept secrets writers have. I thought it might be fun to reveal some of the techniques and tips to effective brainstorming for this week’s Writing Wednesday Workshop. Let’s get started:

Definition according to Wikipedia: Brainstorming is a group or individual creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its member(s). The term was popularized by Alex Faickney Osborn in the 1953 book Applied Imagination. Osborn claimed that brainstorming was more effective than individuals working alone in generating ideas, although more recent research has questioned this conclusion. Today, the term is used as a catch all for all group ideation sessions.

 

My definition is a little more relaxed: Brainstorming is the creative activity by which writers write down ideas, plots, characters in order to map out a book/article.

 

It sounds simple enough but many writers get stuck on the application of it. I believe they get hung up on what they learned in English class years ago and think it has to be a very structured thing. The truth is what works for one writer may not work for another. Some like to use bulletin boards while others like to use lists. There is software available too that can help you. Myself, I use sticky notes and notepads. When I come up with an idea, I write it down. Later, I compile them together in an organized fashion.

I have found over the years some tips to help you get started:

– Let go and empty your mind. Think of brainstorming in the same way you think of free writing. You are an artist with an empty canvas. Close your eyes and let your mind paint it for you. When you let go, you allow the ideas to flow and all you have to do is get them down before they disappear.

– Free write. I have found this extremely useful when plotting out characters and conflict. Sometimes the ideas get stuck in your head and need an outlet to be freed. This is also useful when fleshing out characters.

– Get some exercise. Go for a walk or just up and down the stairs. Getting away from the computer screen can do wonders for you. When you are concentrating on something else, your mind is free to wander.

– Have pen and paper around you at all times. I can’t tell you how many times I have been struck with an idea and I never have a pen. I have a pad of sticky notes and a pen in every room in my house. If I am going outside, I always have a pen handy.

– Never edit your brainstorm ideas right away. This is a big no-no. Write them all down and let them percolate for a few days. What sounds like a horrible idea at first may turn out to be brilliant later on.

– Talk with your CPs and/or writer buddies. Sometimes talking about your book with others can inspire you. A friend may have an idea or suggestion.

– Listen to music to get you in the mood. Brainstorming doesn’t have to be boring. Writing a love scene? Put on some love tunes. Writing a death scene? Listen to some classical/jazz/heavy metal music. Let the music inspire you.

I open the workshop to my fellow writers. What tips do you have to help with brainstorming? We’re all one big support group! I know I love learning something new to help my writing!

Brainstorming is fun and I love how creative I can get with it. Don’t overthink it; just let it flow.

Have a great writing week!

Until next time,

MRS N aka N. N. Light

*** This is was the most viewed writing post on this blog for 2015. I found that interesting. Go forth, writers, and brainstorm! ***