Thursday, June 25, 2015

Working on Your Book?

Distractions come easily, especially in summer.

I should know. It's summer :) and I have visitors from Texas, plenty of yard work, and plenty of opportunity to procrastinate.

But today I'm going to write.

My mystery, "Hard Boiled," is in need of some time - especially if it's going to be released next year in early fall. But you know how it is...

If you have a project that you've been 'meaning' to get to, now is the time, now is the day.

Just take some time, and do it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Keeping the Lawn Green and other Writing Dilemmas

I have been working heavy on the lawn this summer - but it has been so hot! After all of the wonderful rain my lawn was greening up nicely, when suddenly, as if from a faraway place, weird stuff started to spring up, dead grass that wouldn't go green, too many weeds that we couldn't nip in the bud, and so forth.

We finally hired a lawn service.

Kind of like your writing when you're going along swimmingly, suddenly you hit a rough patch, a dried piece of lawn, some weeds where there weren't any. And you wonder, what am I going to do about that? You try everything, from editing to re-writing. Still, something isn't quite right.

I like to tell my writing clients that that's why I'm here, to help them with the rough spots, because we may see that there's a problem either with the beginning of our book, a weekly constructed paragraph, where we've placed the chapters, etc., but we have no idea how to fix it.

That's when we need to send in the expert writing service.

Yes, this service will cost us money, and we may feel as if we just don't have it to dish out, but neither do we have a clue as to what to do with our work - now.

I'd like to think that another set of eyes, expert eyes, will often do the trick when it comes to weeding out and greening up, but maybe that's because I've noticed some things about my own writing ever since I've been helping others.

It's getting better.

Maybe I'm learning a thing or two, as hopefully, my clients are learning to improve their own work.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Summer Surprises - Short Stories

As some of you know, I have been searching for some online writing work. As part of this process I decided to sent out some of my best short stories for pay. You need to know that I haven't published a short story (that I have also been paid for) in years, and this isn't because I don't like writing them, it's because I've been so involved in other things.

But submissions, shall we say, have eased considerably since many publishers of magazines and anthologies are accepting work on line. And so when the opportunity presented itself to share my work, I sent off two different stories - and, guess what?

Both of them were accepted for possible publication. Titles? The Awakening of George Mahooney and Ratty Girl. The Awakening of George Mahooney is in a contest of sorts (and has made it past the first round of judging) and Ratty Girl is being considered for inclusion in a future magazine issue.

I am excited for both of these possibilities.

Have you written and published any short stories lately? If so, I'd like to hear about them.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

What Would You Say to Some FREE Book Advertising?

I'm continually amazed at how many writers spend little time marketing their work. Obviously, a writer should write more than they market, but how are those potential readers ever going to discover you if you don't get the word out?

No, I'm not doing any character or author interviews until September, but I will need to hear from you before then if you're interested. Who wouldn't want the FREE advertising? If you also have a terrific book trailer, let me know. I will slot you for my Friday Flicks segment.

So, what are you waiting for?

Let me know today, right here, or shoot me an email at:! Let me know what you write and what you'd like to do to promote your work. I'll take it from there.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

When in Doubt...Don't: When you shouldn't take a writing job

There are so many opportunities to write - so many, I'm afraid, that often I have to pinch myself.

That being said, I have learned to weed out those writing jobs that only suck the life out of me. You know the ones. Those that will pay you $5 for 500 words of material. Those that suggest a great writer should make $30 for a 2,000 word piece.

Yes, I am constantly looking for side writing jobs, and I have to say that most of them are simply asking me to share my blood, sweat and tears for a little pocket change. And I'm talking 'a little' pocket change.

The above two examples occurred just this past month. I thought I might have something good going in both scenarios, but frankly, had to let both jobs go and wait for better ones to come along.

They always do, though I may have to wait.

They say patience is a virtue, and I'm counting on it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Writing by Heart

This subject continues to come up for me, sometimes when I least expect it to.

Today, as I was traveling to the bank I thought about all of the necessary tasks I must do on a given day, or at least, on a given week in order to stay caught up. Washing clothes seems endless, and the bathrooms are needing me again this week. But with all of the household chores comes writing.

And especially with writing, the duty should never turn into a much needed task, but rather as a much need trek into the heart. Sure, there is a time for editing, but there is a great period of time for writing. And unless you're writing some sort of technical book, expect that your best writing will come when it comes from the heart.

So, here's a little nudge for you today - especially if you're stuck in your head thinking about all the 'stuff' you need to get done.

Today, follow your heart.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Hard Boiled: Working on my third mystery

Amazingly, in-between all of the fun I'm having with my grandchildren this summer, I've had some time to work on my mystery. Yes, even during the screams and running around and out-and-out crazy fun that only grandchildren can bring.

In Hard Boiled, which will be released in September of 2016, expect Susan to get involved in yet another strange mystery. I won't share the details here - especially because some of you may be reading books one and two - but suffice it to say that Susan has returned from her Hawaiian cruise only to find one of her family members dead.

The police say it was suicide, but Susan knows better. Why? Because she knows this particular family member better.

Book 1
Book 2



Monday, June 8, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Linda Weaver Clarke

This is my last interview until fall. I'll begin again on interviews come September, so you'll want to contact me if you're interested in being interviewed on my blog. I interview both new and established writers, so join on in!

Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.) 

I travel throughout the United States, teaching people to write their family history and autobiography. I have traveled to seventeen states and given over 450 workshops. I am the author of six historical sweet romances, four mystery adventure novels, a children’s book, and a cozy mystery series. One of my books, Melinda and the Wild West, was a semi-finalist for the “Reviewers Choice Award.” I also have two non-fiction e-books: Writing Your Family Legacy and Reflections of the Heart. All my books are family friendly.

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

Watch sunsets while thinking of new plots to a story. Ha! What a question to ask an author.

What is your favorite color and why? 

Yellow because it’s bright and sunny and makes me happy. Also pink because it’s simple and colorful and makes me feel pretty when I wear it.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.

Get it at Amazon
My two women antagonists don’t speak much, but they follow Rick and Amelia around to find information about the person they’re searching for. When Rick decided he had had enough of being followed, he decided they needed to sneak out of town and get away from the antagonists. This is what happened:

Rick’s eyes widened. “What the crap! Those wenches!”
Rick was so infuriated when he saw that his front tire was completely flat. It was not just low, but there was no air left in the tire. He knew who had done it. They were either getting even or suspected he would sneak out in the middle of the night. He checked his other tires and found a second one flat. Rick did not have two spare tires.

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life? 

To keep my sweetheart of a husband in my life, I treat him with respect and listen to his opinions. I don’t berate him or get after him if he’s thoughtless, but I treat him as I would like to be treated.

Thank you, Linda!

Synopsis of Her Lost Love:

Her Lost Love: Amelia Moore Detective Series

Amelia Moore, the founder of the Moore Detective Agency, specializes in missing persons. Julie Anderson feels a need to find the man she fell deeply in love with during her youth. When Julie went off to college to become a lawyer, she lost contact with her high school sweetheart. She now wants to know what became of Joey and why he stopped writing to her? This is an assignment that intrigues Amelia. The thought of finding a long-lost love seems quite romantic.


Friday, June 5, 2015

Friday Flicks: The Gift: A Parable of the Key by yours truly

Just a bit of a reminder for today's Friday Flicks segment. My book, The Gift: A Parable of the Key is in the beta reader stage and will be available for purchase in just three months! That's September 2015.

I can hardly believe it!

If you haven't had a chance to read, Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones (book 1) or The Feast: A Parable of the Ring, (book 2), now is the time! The Gift is the final book in the parable series with Ms. Virginia Bean.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

If At First You Don't Succeed...

Take a break and try again.

I'm a firm believer in stick-to-it-ive-ness, but I'm also a firm believer in taking a break. And I know when I need one. Yesterday morning I took just such a break from writing and the break was rewarding.

I feel so much more refreshed, far less stressed, and more determined than ever to work on my book projects - I have two currently, and juggle the projects depending on my mood.

I read the same way - usually a fiction novel at the same time I'm reading something non-fiction, and this seems to work for me just fine.

Most of the time.

But when I need a break I NEED A BREAK. And yesterday, I was happy to get one.

How about you?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Miranda Mayne from Loves Conqueror

Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.) 

My name is Miranda Mayne, I am the daughter of the notorious pirate Captain Ditarius the Deadly. Because of my father's reputation I live away from him in London where his trusted first mate, Davy, raises me. He is like a father to me as well. I love him dearly. My mother died on a Caribbean island giving birth to me. Because of this my father pushes me away from him, wanting to keep me away from the sea and the perils of it. Yet, he cannot give up the life of a pirate himself to be with me. He runs from his past transgressions. 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I practice sword fighting. It's frees the soul. It is also great exercise and I'm getting pretty good at it. I never know when or if I will use that skill but I wish to make sure I am well versed in it. 

What is your favorite color and why? 

I love the color blue, it matches my eyes and reminds me of the sea I so wish to be apart of like my father.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why?  

The thing that bothers me the most about Lord Hammil is that he is  a complicated man with many sides. With his title he feels that he should have the best of things which, to my despair, includes me. He wishes to show me around as if I were some trophy. He wants me to become his wife and yet has rules upon rules that I must follow. At times it is overwhelming. I don't love him, though I do care for him. He would make a suitable husband, but I wish for something more. I want someone I can trust, who loves me ardently, who is passionate towards me and life, and can protect me. I feel that Lord Hammil is weak. He's thin and has a weak constitution, yet he can be very deceiving. Lord Hammil's true motives are sickening. I don't trust him.   

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life? 

My family has always been important to me. I risk everything to be with my father. To find him and keep him safe. I love Davy, who is like my step father. I am in love with Captain Riveri, who is the perfect man for me. Though he risks much to be with me, I appreciate his sacrifice and would do anything to protect him, even marry a man I have come to hate just to spare his life.

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

I am a confident and strong willed woman, who definitely has her faults. I have a wonderful family, faithful friends, and a desire to prove myself. I'm also caring and would do anything to help someone in need. 

Tell us about the hero of the story. Captain Locand Riveri is a devilishly handsome man. He is also the son of an infamous pirate, but his past is bleaker than mine. Locand had to change his fate so he became a privateer for the Queen. He had to change his name of course, but he built a better life for himself, one with a better reputation. The problem is that he has enemies, people who want to see him fail. Like Lord Hammil and a few of his cohorts. But I give him credit, he rises above all temptation, even me. I love him for that. He knows who he is. There are times I'm still trying to figure that out. I hope our love endures. With every moment we spend together I know that he is my destiny.  


Thank you, Miranda!

Learn more about Miranda and her creator:

My website
I also have a radio show where I interview authors about their books. The info is on my blog.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Renee Hand, author of romance and books for children

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

I am a multi award-winning author and requested speaker on the topic of using fun fiction to teach science, geography and history. I show librarians, educators, and parents how using my books can not only challenge readers and the way they think about problems in real life, but I create high interest topics that suck the reader into my stories encouraging them into wanting to know more about the settings, science, history, culture and people. Skills like reading comprehension, reasoning, deduction and observation come together in a myriad of ways.

In my Crypto-Caper Series children get to solve puzzles and cryptograms that are woven strategically inside of the story for the reader to find and solve inside of the books. Each book provides the reader with what they will need to solve the case, providing them with the knowledge and new skills that will help them succeed.

In my Joe-Joe Nut Series, I expertly combine the love of a good mystery with science using the topics of animal tracks, rocks and minerals, as well as weathering, erosion, and art. These books can supplement a curriculum in any classroom. The books also contain extra information like experiments, terminology of the topic, charts, and much more. All books are interactive and fun.

I also write romance novels for adults.

Get the Book at Amazon
I have been writing for over 20 years.

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

I write on my laptop in my room or in my living room.

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

My favorite part of writing is doing research for my books. I always learn so much about the topic I’m writing about. My least favorite part about writing is editing. That takes the longest but it is the most rewarding.

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

My characters are relatable to children and/or adults in many ways. They have similar characteristics or are in similar situations and have similar problems. They also show how they can overcome such adversities and how they can become stronger for doing so. My characters grow along with the story and have to conquer their own fears.

Get the book at Amazon
How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I write in the morning or in the evening when my children are in bed.

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

I am currently working on book 4 in my Joe-Joe Nut Series-The Parade of Heroes. It is a historical mystery for children in grades 3rd and up. My newest book is my romance novel for adults called Loves Conqueror. This is my 3rd romance novel and has some similar characters from the other books. I have won awards for my romance novels.

Thank you, Renee!

My website

I also have a radio show where I interview authors about their books. The info is on my blog.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Monday Backlog in Writing

Do you find that your Monday writing suffers like mine?

It's all I can do to catch up on the house, run the errands, take care of a 101 miscellaneous tasks; who has time to write?

I do.

Monday's may be backlogged for you, too, but make an effort to write today. There's something sweet, almost magical about writing when you could be folding the laundry.

So get to it.