A couple more awesome 5-star reviews

posted in: reviews, Uncategorized | 0

I’m a little behind, but I have received a couple more 5-star reviews. Here are links to these amazing book bloggers:

Reviews With A Twist – Anka has done a beautiful, detailed review of E.  I love the creativity on this one!

Where Books Lead Us – Robin’s review is short and sweet, but awesome none-the-less!

 

Many, many thanks to both of these lovely ladies for taking the time to read and review E!

Improve Your Characters, Improve Your Writing

posted in: for authors | 0

Good morning everyone.  This week I wrote a blog post for Rock the Book about creating awesome characters.  Read it here: Internalization: the first step to creating deep, believable characters

For me, character is the thing that makes or breaks a story.  True, you have to have other stuff, too.  Plot, voice, language, and so on.  However, if you’re going to focus on improving one thing that can make your writing drastically better, my advice is to aim for the characters.

Character is the heart of your story.  When your characters become real, plot will fall into place around them, because the characters’ realistic, true-to-life decisions will drive the action that happens in your story.  When your characters become real, your world-building will become real, because those characters will inhabit a real place in your imagination.  And yes, when your characters become real, your dialogue will improve, which in turn will help the flow and language of your story, especially if you happen to be writing in first person.  Character has an incredible trickle-down effect that will improve everything you write.

So, if you want to know the single most important part of my personal character-building process, go check out that article.  It’s actually a lot of fun, and no, you won’t need to fill out any silly worksheets.

Hope you are all having a fabulous day!

Check out the beginnings of my character….

A few little updates… progress, blurbs, reading, scrapbook

posted in: progress updates, random, reviews | 0

Hey everyone!  It’s been a while since I’ve posted about anything other than reviews and interviews, so I thought it would be a good idea to check in and tell you all what I’ve been up to.  It’s just been crazily busy as always.

Progress on TMT

Firstly, I’m still working on editing TMT.  I’m about to start a rewrite of a chapter that I feel really needs to be fleshed out.  I also want to have another look at a new character, because I feel like he got a bit lost in the book, and that just won’t do.  So that’s big on my edit to-do list.

Blurb Hell

The other thing I’ve been working on is my blurb.  I have had all these amazing reviews pouring in, with lots of love for E.  However, a lot of people are saying “I didn’t think I was going to like this book.”  That tells me that I am not making a good first impression with potential readers.  I’ve had a lot of compliments on the cover, so that leads me to the blurb.  My blurb is just not telling people how awesome my story is.

Well, let’s face it:  blurb writing is hard!  Let’s take 100,000 words and boil it down to… oh… maybe 300, tops.  Sound like fun?  Hell no!  On top of that, add the fact that I am one of those people that thinks that stories should be read “blind”.  I think an author should reveal a story artistically, and part of the fun is in the careful, measured revelation of details.  At least, this is my favorite way of reading.  I read Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief  knowing absolutely nothing about it, and it was perfect.  Would knowing something have spoiled the story for me, at least a little bit?  Yeah, I think it would have.  Maybe that’s just me, but I find it hard to get my head out of this way of thinking.  And as far as blurbs go, that translates into difficulty.

So when I’m writing a blurb, everything feels like a spoiler.  When I wrote my first blurb, I was trying really hard not to give away too much, but perhaps that translated to inaccessible.  Ideally, I would have people read the first few paragraphs of my story.  I am almost tempted to just put the first scene as my blurb.  But lo and behold, I am still working on an alternative (much thanks and lots of love to my fellow Rock the Book chicks for all the excellent advice and feedback, and to my other half, for putting up with 500 crappy blurbs).  Hopefully, I will have something soon, and we’ll see how it goes.

Awesome Book

I also just wanted to share with you… I am reading this really awesome book called “The Dark Citadel” by Jane Dougherty.  I don’t have time to be reading, but I am snatching bits of this book whenever I can.  It’s a super-dark dystopian story.  I’m not going to say anything else, except it’s really good, and if you liked my book, you will probably like this one.  I am seriously loving it.  Go check it out on Goodreads.  I’ll be reviewing this book on Rock the Book soon.

Scrapbook Page

Last thing for today….  I have added a “Scrapbook” page to my site.  I thought it would be fun to keep an online scrapbook of my editorial reviews, artist spotlights, and things like that.  I have already posted a number of reviews on the page:  My Scrapbook.  As more reviews, articles, and so on come in, I’ll be asking my fabulous reviewers and authors for permission to include them, and I’ll post as many as I can to the page.  Links to the reviewer sites are built in, so you can go visit them and see what they’re up to.

OK, I think that’s it for today.  I have a ton to do, and never enough time to do it in, so off I go!

Read the first 2 1/2 chapters of E below:

 

An Interview with Booklover 2.0

posted in: interviews | 0

My interview with Laquesha at Booklover 2.0 is live.  Head on over and check it out.  This is really one for those of you who have read E and are waiting for the next book.  Laquesha asked a slew of awesome questions after reading and reflecting on E.  (There are some spoilers in there, if you haven’t read E yet.)  I have to say, this was the funnest interview I’ve ever done.  I felt that Laquesha really “got” my story, and it was fun to talk with her about what has happened, what might happen, and what it all means.

Check it out, and enjoy!

 

 

Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited: Read E for Free

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

Wow.  Where do I begin?

I just found out (thanks, Rae) that E is listed on Amazon’s new Kindle Unlimited program.  So what exactly is that?

Check it out here: Kindle Unlimited

Basically, for $9.99 a month, you can read any book on the program for free.  Amazon says there are 600,000+ titles to choose from.  E is one of those.  Is it worth it?  I don’t know.  You’d have to read a lot (some of you do).  You make the call.  Is the free one-month trial worth it?  Heck yeah!  It’s free!

So this is the part where I tell you to go check it out and download my book.  Authors only get paid if you read 10% or more of the download, but I am pretty sure that if you start reading E you won’t want to stop.  At least that’s what I’ve been told.  So go on.  I dare you.

 

Disclaimer: For my author friends… I am honestly still not sure how I feel about this program, and the above statements are not necessarily my approval!  I’m still thinking about it.  Right now, I don’t have enough information.  All I know is, like it or not, my book is part of the program.  I figure I’ll make the most of that, and see how things work out.  And for my readers… that means that E might not be in this program past August 1st, when I have to make my decision whether or not to renew the KDP Select program.  So best to get it now!

You can start reading right here for free, right now!

 

My latest review… 5 typewriters from Books With Leti Del Mar

posted in: reviews | 0

Check out what the fabulous Leti Del Mar has said about E on her book blog, Books With Leti Del Mar.

 

This one is short and sweet, but wow, I like it!  I think this is my favorite part:  “If you are looking for a strong and smart heroine in a kick butt dystopian world, this is the book for you.”

 

Leti blogs about books, writing, and Indie author and readers.  She is also the author of four books, including How To Self-Publish: A Do-It-Yourself Approach, The Inadvertent Thief Land of the Unaltered (Confederation, #1), and Secrets of the Unaltered (Confederation #2).  Read her full review of E here.

 

5 Cupcakes for E (and you know I like cupcakes)!

posted in: reviews, Uncategorized | 2

This morning, another review for E went up.  Check out this blog, Booklover 2.0, run by a very talented young lady who is also an aspiring writer.  Laquesha writes about all kinds of fun stuff on her blog, with a focus on books, fashion, and love.

Reading this review made me, yet again, a happy writer.  Laquesha really connected with my story, and I just love that.  I’m super-excited that I get to do an interview with her soon!  She has already sent me the questions, and let me tell you, they are awesome.  It’s the coolest thing when someone ‘gets’ your work, and then you get to talk shop with them!

Tons of love and thanks to Laquesha for taking the time to read and review E for me.

A great review from an amazing reviewer

posted in: reviews, Uncategorized | 0

There are reviewers, and then there are reviewers.  When I asked Rae Slater to review my novel, it was not without trepidation.  Why?  Because she is an amazing, thoughtful, intelligent reviewer.  She doesn’t miss much, and she doesn’t hold back.  And while, yes, these are the perfect qualities that any reader would want in a reviewer, for an author it can be scary.

Well, I really believe in my work, so, cringing just a little, I handed my baby over.

…Then there was the waiting.  Would she like it?  Would she hate it?  Would she find problems that I was not even aware of as a writer?  I mean, let’s face it.  This is the girl who gave The Fault In Our Stars a 4 out of 5.  That’s just plain intimidating.

OK, so the verdict is in.  Rae has give 4.5 out of 5 stars (yes!), and the missing points were taken off because of my cover.  I can so live with that!  (Guess who I’ll be asking for advice on my next cover, by the way!)  You can read all of Rae’s comments on her blog What Happened to the Wallflower?  where she details everything and awards points by category for cover, narrative, plot, and characters.

This one really made my day.  I feel like I have passed a test or something.  Many thanks to Rae for taking the time to read and review E!

 

 

 

Behind the Novel: 5-star review, and first impressions from Booklover 2.0

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

It was an exciting morning.  I love getting nice stuff in my inbox.  And there’s nothing nicer than hearing good things about my book!  This was all a complete surprise.  I knew these lovely ladies were both going to review my book eventually, but I didn’t know it was coming today.  And not just one, but two nice chunks of feedback.  It was a bit like Christmas.  🙂

So…

You can see Alice Dee’s five-star review of E on her writing blog, Behind the Novel.

And on Booklover 2.0, Laquesha has blogged about her first impressions as she gets into E.  (As an author, I just love the peek into the mind of a reader who has not finished my book yet!)

Oh, and if you haven’t seen my featured artist spotlight on Light Knocks yet, that is definitely worth a read.

Lots of love to all you awesome bloggers, readers, and my fellow authors.  Hope you are all having a feels-like-Christmas day, too!

 

Read the first 2 1/2 chapters of E:

 

 

 

 

 

E is available in print!

posted in: launches and news | 0

As promised, E is now available in print!  I received my proof a couple of days early, and everything looks good.  I’ve gone ahead and approved it for sale.  So… if you have been waiting for the print version of E, you can now get it.

E is available in the Createspace eStore for $8.99 (plus shipping) as of now.  Within 3-5 days, the print version will also be on Amazon.  International pricing is comparable.

I’ve tried to keep the print pricing down as much as possible.  In order to do this, I have forgone placing E in some expanded distribution channels that would allow me to market to libraries, bookstores, and so on (because doing so raises the print costs).  This is for the time being, and I will be adding E to those sales channels eventually, which will increase the price by a few dollars, FYI.

Meanwhile, I have started my first edit of TMT, and I have also done some more writing of the rough draft of the prequel, which may be my favorite book yet!

 

Here’s a preview of the first 2 1/2 chapters: