Friday, May 19, 2017

FRIDAY FLICKS: You are Not so Smart



Thought this was perfect for today.

What is it, after 5?

I usually get my Friday Flick out in the morning.

Enjoy!




You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, an d 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself by [McRaney, David]
Get the Book at Amazon





Thursday, May 18, 2017

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY

Image result for thoughts for writers

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Blair McDowell

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

I’ve been a “writer” since somebody first put a pencil in my hand. I’ve always made up stories. However my love of writing fiction didn’t have free compass until I retired from University teaching, during which time I wrote six professional books and many articles.

Once retired, I returned to my first love, fiction. My sixth Romantic Suspense, Fatal Charm, will be released some time during the summer.


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

    With a friend, I run a B&B on Canada’s Sunshine Coast. That means mornings are a pretty busy time for us. When we’re through with our chores I fortify myself with a double espresso and settle down to write. I aim for 4 hours a day of just writing. No Facebook, no mail, just writing. Some of that time may be in on-line research, but not unless it’s directly related to what I’m writing.

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

I work on a laptop. At home, on the west coast, I have a large comfy chair and a lapboard in my bedroom. When the tourist season is over, I travel, Italy, France, Greece, the settings of my books. This year it will be to Scotland. My laptop is always with me. But I also carry a small moleskin notebook. I make note on people, on accents, on appearance, on anything that catches my fancy, and particularly on place. I put these notes into a file on my laptop daily.

But my favorite writing space is on the veranda of the little Caribbean house where we spend our winters. I can raise my eyes and watch the little yellow birds at their feeder and gaze at the sea in the distance as I try to figure out how I’m going to get my heroine out of her latest peril.

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

My least favorite part is certainly marketing. I want to be working on my next book instead. My solution to that is to have someone help me with marketing.

My favorite part? Creating people and helping them solve their seemingly unsolvable problems. I love plotting.
  
     How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?



Where Lemons Bloom took about eight months to write, another four to make changes suggested by my editor. Fatal Charm, due to be released this summer, about the same. Working with a good professional editor like Kinan Werdski at Wild Rose Press takes time, but it always produces a better book. I’m that rare writer who actually enjoys the editing process.

As to where my ideas come from? Place, always they come from setting. I stand in the Parthenon, the Louvre, on a cliffside on Santorini, and the ideas come pouring in. My characters seem to be born of my settings.

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

I don’t. I leave that to my wonderful Marketing Assistant, who knows what she’s doing.

It seems to me the best responses we had on the last book were from advertising on professional sites. Reviews help also, and they’re necessary BEFORE the book is out, so I suggest to other authors that you line up reviewers who have been good to you in the past, and get prepublication reviews.

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

The latest book out is Where Lemons Bloom, the story of two people who unexpectedly come together after life-changing experiences. They find their second chance in a small inn on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Except, this being a story of suspense, there are some pretty dangerous people who find their very existence a threat.

The next out (soon I hope) will be Fatal Charm. A failed jewelry heist at the Louvre five years ago results in extreme danger for a young Berkeley jewelry designer and her history professor boyfriend, Colin. To right a wrong, they travel to Paris and Brittany, with danger dogging their footsteps.

And I am presently working on a book as yet untitled, set in the Scottish Highlands.

I usually have one book just out, one in the editing stage and one just started. I’m not happy if I’m not writing.

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

That would be my Scottish book, as yet untitled. A young woman visiting Scotland for the first time discovers the diary of a woman who died 200 years ago. From that point the story moves back and forth in time between the two interwoven tales, one in the present, one in the past. There are, of course, an unsolved murder and other mysteries to unravel.

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

Don’t be discouraged. Writing is as much about perseverance as about talent. Take courses in writing. They’re offered evenings through many universities. And they do help. Then write. And submit your writing to publishers. Often you’ll hear nothing back. That has happened to all of us. Don’t stop submitting. Contests too are a way to get critiques of your writing. And join your local writers’ group. Also join RWA. RWA offers courses and their magazine is full of writing helps.

***

Question for Kathryn:

I feel we are losing “storytelling”. I understand about POV, but is there never a place anymore for the kind of magical telling of a story? The kind of storytelling that Michener did in Chesapeake and Hawaii? That Rutherford did in Paris and Dumas did in Camille? I feel we are losing something important when we never allow the omnipotent point of view.

I think books have simply evolved through the years, and not necessarily in the best way. I also think readers have become too busy, and many want an 'easy' read, one that will fill their minds with people and places, not something they may have to struggle to get through, though the telling might be beautifully done. 

Like converting from eight tracks to cassettes and then to CDs and finally to audio plays, there is something to be said for going with the flow. Publishing has also changed through the years, and it's up to the writer to keep up. 


***
 Learn more about Blair: 


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

TUESDAY TRAILERS: Writing in Business


Friday, May 12, 2017

FRIDAY FLICKS: Everland by Wendy Spinale


Everland by [Spinale, Wendy]
Get the Book at Amazon

Thursday, May 11, 2017

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Am I Really a Writer?

Image result for writing thoughts

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Brenda S. Anderson

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

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I even have stories I wrote back in grade school. But it wasn’t until twelve years ago that began writing my first novel. Thankfully, I have a husband who is 100% supportive!

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

I write during the day when I have complete silence and no interruptions.

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

I usually write in our library / office, and usually at my desktop. I’m definitely old-school in that I need to sit and type how I was trained back in high school, way back when we used typewriters. 😊
     
What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part is creating new people and discovering their personalities. Like many writers, my least favorite part is marketing.

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

My recent release, Capturing Beauty, was inspired by a secondary character in the series’ first book, Risking Love. When writing his character, I discovered a deep wound that he needed to heal, and he needed his own story. The first draft took me about four months to write. The subsequent several drafts takes a lot longer!

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

My first line of marketing is a book booster team who helps get the word out in whatever ways they can. I do some social media sharing, but I’ve found it isn’t terribly effective. What helps sales the most for me are ebook-marketing sites such as BookBub and Ereader News Today (ENT). Through them I reach a much broader audience.

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

I’m currently working on Planting Hope, book three in my Where the Heart Is series. The heroine is a model and the hero is a candy store owner.

Capturing Beauty is my latest release—it came out on February 7. It’s about a photographer who falls for a camera-leery woman.

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

Yes, I do! Once Planting Hope (the third and final book in my Where the Heart Is series) is written, I’m going back to the family drama stories I love to tell. The book that’s burning in my head is temporarily titled Innocence Restored, and it’s about a woman who fights to free her husband from prison, claiming he’s wrongly incarcerated, and when he is freed, they have to learn to not only love, but to like each other again as each as changed dramatically over the years.

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

That’s about every writer out there, I think! I would tell them a) they’re not alone. b) Learn! Go to conferences. Take classes. The talent will blossom as they learn. c) Pray! When God gives you a gift, He wants you to use it, and He will open the doors He knows are best.

***



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Simple Treasures Mother's Day Show




Hello everyone!

I will be at the Simple Treasures Mother's Day Show beginning tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. Come and grab my newest book, Over Easy, learn about what I have planned for the fall: Tie Died



and pick up one of my earlier books while you're waiting for the YA release. 









Monday, May 8, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: T. I. Lowe

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

I’m just a southern gal from coastal SC. Reading has always been my escape. My desire to write began all the way back to middle school. I’d create stories in spiral-bound notebooks, but sadly, I never had enough confidence in myself or my writing ability. Those books were secretly kept to myself and eventually thrown away… 

Almost twenty years after those early teen years, my mom’s diagnosis of cancer and sadly her death that followed had me looking at life and dreams a bit differently. My first novel, Lulu’s Café was written during the time of her treatments. It was a creative outlet for me. Momma encouraged me to share the story and I made a promise I would eventually. Four months after her passing, I honored the promise I made to her.

**Advice Moment – FOLLOW your DREAMS** You’re good enough, so don’t let yourself down by cowering out!! 




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

I write around my family. My husband and I sacrificed so that I could stay home with my children. I wouldn’t take anything for that gift of time. My daughter began school around the same time my mom was diagnosed, so God saw fit that I was able to take care of her. So my writing career began by writing in the early hours of the morning before the sun rose or in the car rider line at school… Just whenever I could squeeze it in. Now that life has settled down, I try to commit to writing after school drop off and before school pick up with some laundry and cooking sprinkled in.

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

I’m a bit old school. I love to write longhand. I’ll journal a book and its characters lots of time before sitting down at the computer. I like to truly get to know my characters before I try telling their story. A notebook is always in reach to capture a scene when it presents itself to me.
  
What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

I’m absolutely in love with creating fictional worlds! I absolutely hate editing! LOL! I type fast and so typos will sneak in. When I reread, my focus is on editing the story and not the grammar. It’s tough for me, but I’m learning! Thank goodness for editors and proofreaders, but I feel it’s my responsibility to present the cleanest manuscript possible. No room for lazy!

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

Lulu’s Café came from me wanting to understand why women stay trapped in abusive relationships. Honestly, I couldn’t understand why they put up with it. So through prayer and research, Leah told me why she stayed and how she finally escaped. This book took the longest due to my mother’s illness, around a year. I’ve written 13 books total now. Some may take a few months. I wrote one within a month, though. That story consumed me until I got it out!

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

Mainly social media. I have also used Bookbub and ENT ads.

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

My latest book is Life Unwritten. It is about a young lady battling addiction in different forms. The book’s focus is on self-worth and body image.


I’m currently writing Before This Day and After This Day. Both are Women’s Inspirational Fiction.

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

I have several books I am journaling. They are patiently waiting for their turn with the computer!

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

Write what inspires YOU and not what you think readers want you to write. Stay true to yourself.

***

What is your advice on building your author platform?

Start small and ahead of the game. By that I mean, start with a website/blog at least 6 months before your first book comes out and add marketing stategies along the way. After the blog/website I focused on social media, including author interviews, character interviews, free promotion sites and book trailers that I learned to create myself. I didn't have the funds to hire someone, so I learned as I went along what worked for me and what didn't. Eventually I put out a book, "Marketing Your Book on a Budget," and by 'budget' I mean, 'how to market your book with little to no money.' This book is my top seller and highest rated book on Amazon.

***
Learn more about T. I. Lowe:

Author website
Amazon Author Page

Author Facebook Page





Friday, May 5, 2017

Thursday, May 4, 2017

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Opportunity

Don't wait for opportunity. Create it.:

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

What Happens When Someone Drops the Hat

This particualar thing doesn't happen often, but when it does, I sometimes forget to replace the cancelled interview with something else.

Yes, I did have a character interview for today, but after seeing the 'sorry' email this morning, I promptly went about my day.

Now, it's three in the afternoon.

So what happens now?

I pick up the hat and let you know about a couple of events coming up that you may be interested in attending.

First, Simple Treasures is coming next week, the 10th through the 13th. I will be signing all of my books.

Image may contain: 1 person

The following week, I will be at Spring into Books - that's May 20 from 2-6 p.m., for another signing.

Spring Into Books




At both events, discounts will be offered on my books. 

Get the entire Susan Cramer mysteriy series for only $40. That's all 4 books at $10 each, a savings of $20!

Or purchase one or two of the series for $12; that's $3 off a book!

Happy Reading!

Kathryn


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

TUESDAY TRAILERS: Writing Descriptively


Monday, May 1, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Debbie Young

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

I’ve always loved writing, even when I was very young. I still have my old notebooks full of stories jotted down before I even learned to do joined-up writing. For several decades I earned my living by writing in various forms, as a trade press journalist, as a public relations consultant, a marketing manager, and latterly as a charity adminstrator for a children’s reading charity. I still earn my living from writing, partly from my role as commissioning editor of the Alliance of Independent Authors’ Author Advice Center blog, and partly from writing books. My priority now is writing novels, after spending most of my life writing everything but novels – how-to books, memoir, short stories, journalism. 


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

I try to write for a couple of hours first thing each weekday, after my teenage daughter has gone to school, kicking off with three “morning pages” to get the writing part of my brain into gear. I find that makes me much more productive with whatever I’m writing later on, whether it’s blog posts and non-fiction, or short stories or my work-in-progress novel (currently book 3 in my Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries series).  Writing earlier rather than later taps into my creative brain when it’s fresher and more focused, before practicalities of daily living kick in. I confess I very often write in my pajamas and don’t get dressed till I’ve finished my daily writing stint around lunchtime! 

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

     I write my morning pages in a small hardback notebook on the sofa in our living room, where I sit with a cup of tea after my daughter’s gone to school, waiting to check the school bus has gone past the window with her on it! Usually I retreat upstairs to the PC in my study after breakfast to write for a couple of hours at my desk which overlooks our large rural garden in a small English village. But sometimes I’ll sit up in bed writing by hand in a large hardback spiral bound notebook, then read what I’ve written into my computer via Dragon’s speech recognition software to save me typing it. Outside of term-time, I’ll be more likely to write by hand, especially if we’re travelling as a family in our camper van on holiday.

     Funnily enough I’ve just bought a new laptop today, because I’m planning to start writing more in the garden over the summer, and in the new extension that my husband’s building which opens out into the garden. Being able to see sky and garden outside is important to me – I don’t think I’d write as well in a windowless room or facing away from the window.

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

My favourite part is when the characters and situations take over in my head, and the story starts writing itself. Although I plan my stories, I still get characters who turn up unexpectedly and take over a scene, often funny ones who cause chaos and make me laugh. My least favourite part is how quickly it makes the time go – I look up from my desk and realise the whole morning’s gone while I’ve been absorbed in a scene. Writing can be completely exhausting sometimes, when I get really immersed in a story, and if I don’t pace myself I end up so drained that I have to not write for a week or two to recharge my batteries.

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

I came up with the idea for Sophie Sayers while on a writing retreat on the small Greek island of Ithaca. (Yes, I know, lucky me!) My original plan was that the book would be about Sophie’s experience of such a retreat, but then I decided it really needed  a back story and a prequel, and then that the prequel needed a prequel and so on. The upshot of this is that I’m now writing a seven-book series in which the one set in the writers’ retreat will be #6! I wrote the first book over about six months, but mostly in a tearing hurry in about the last month of that, when I got impatient with how long it was taking me. I’d been starting to worry about running out of life before I could complete the whole series if I carried on at that pace, but I finished that book in November, the second by early January, and by the end of February I’d nearly completed book three!

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

     I’ve written a blog for seven years which started out as a place to muse about anything that captured my imagination, but now I mostly blog about my writing, and hope that people who enjoy my posts will try my books. I have a Facebook author page where most days I post something about writing, and I have 1000+ friends there too and am pretty active in commenting on their issues and sharing fun stuff. I’m on Twitter but have got a bit disenchanted with it lately. However I am very active socially offline, running two local author groups which help raise my profile, and I love reading at spoken word events locally and speaking at writing and literature festivals. I also run a small Lit Fest in my own village – the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival has just celebrated its third glorious year! I also write monthly columns in two local magazines. I appear on a monthly book club programme on the local radio station, and am quite often on other regional radio stations too. All of these activities make me pretty well known within the region and generate a lot of word-of-mouth interest in my work. You can’t beat word-of-mouth recommendation.


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

Yes, I’ve just this month launched “Best Murder in Show”, the first in my planned series of seven Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries. I’m aiming at publishing books two and three in the series this year, so am currently editing book two, completing book three, and desperate to start writing book four, as I really love spending time in Sophie’s world!

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

I always have tons of projects on the back burner! I’ve got about five planned short story collections, each on a specific theme, and I’m writing odd stories here and there to add to each. Whichever has the most stories first will be get published soonest! I aim at 15-20 stories per collection depending on their length. “Marry in Haste” has 15, while “Stocking Fillers” and “Quick Change” each have 20. “Repent at Leisure” is likely to be next up.

I also have a couple of non-fiction projects mapped out – “Travels by Camper Van”, an advice book based on my family’s experience of spending our holidays in a motorhome in the UK and Europe, plus a book offering moral support to families living with Type 1 diabetes, which affects both my husband and our daughter. That one will be a sequel to my “Coming to Terms with Type 1 Diabetes”. The latest addition to my list of plans is to write a book on how to set up and run an indie literature festival, in response to requests from others keen to replicate my Hawkesbury Upton Lit Fest. Not sure when I’m going to be able to bring these to the front burner, though!

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

     Find your voice and your confidence by writing morning pages and a blog. Write every day, don’t expect your writing to be perfect first time, and edit, edit, edit. Writing is a craft – it takes practice and precision.  Write your first drafts uncritically, then refine and polish them afterwards. Don’t be afraid to murder your darlings. Writing and editing use two different parts of the brain – don’t try to use them both at once, it doesn’t work. If you can’t stick at it, maybe you’re not meant to be a writer, so find a different outlet for your creativity. But if you have a vocation as a writer, you will find you can’t stop yourself writing, so keep going, and don’t let anyone hold you back. And read – lots. Every writer should read a wide range of authors and styles and immerse themselves in books.

***

(Debbie) A question I get asked a lot is “how do you find time to write?” My answer is that time isn’t sitting around waiting for me to find it – I make the time. My favourite way of making the time is to ignore the housework! How do you make time for your writing, I wonder?

(Kathryn) Time... I find there's always time to do what I love, even if that means putting something else on the back burner. I do a great juggling act every day. I make time to do housework, work on business (I also own and operate a publishing company), make time to write, do errands, spend time with family, etc. 

Like you, every day I make the time to write.

***