The Three Rs: Reading, wRiting, and Roaming

August 19, 2019

Earlier this year, I wrote “Are Writing Contests Worth the Fees?” – sharing a five-step approach to determine if a contest was legitimate to enter. If you missed that discussion, you can access it HERE. Now on to the next step . . . 

What do you do if you WIN?!

First, congrats if this has happened to you!

You now have a precious opportunity to gain attention with your accolade. Often a contest win will come long after your book launch and can help boost sales and interest in your writing, IF you take the time to get the word out. You will also be able to permanently affix the phrase award-winning to that particular title as well as yourself as a writer.

It... Continue Reading

August 12, 2019

I spent August 8 - 11 at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine near Dallas where more than 150 authors signed books, memorabilia, and other keepsakes for 2200+ enthusiastic fans. The authors also presented great information at panel discussions, which I really appreciated as a writer. This is primarily a charitable event and while final numbers are still being tabulated there will be between $70,000 and $80,000 donated to amazing charities doing great work.

(By the way, the pic above is indoors . . . inside the vast atrium of the Gaylord.)

If you’ve never heard of Book Bonanza, here’s the scoop: 

Book Bonanza is the creation of Author... Continue Reading

August 5, 2019

I am nearly to my 60-book reading goal for the entire year! Here are my favorite 17 (yes 17) from the past two months.

    MIDDLE GRADE

 

The Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

Purchase HERE.

This is a delightful book narrated by the neighborhood’s 200-year-old oak, an special tree where people leave their wishes tied to its branches. When a young Muslim girl moves in next door to the tree, she writes her own wish that she’d like a friend, but not everyone is welcoming in their new home. The sweet storytelling and cast of characters, which includes many animals, will keep you turning the page to find out if everything turns out... Continue Reading

July 30, 2019

FEATURED ARTICLES:

Why publishers are mad about Audible’s new feature.

“Rules of Writing” from 42 famous authors.

FEATURED ARTICLES

Publishers Are Pissed About Amazon’s Upcoming Audible Captions Feature

As you can see, The Verge doesn’t mince any words in assessing the current issue with Audible adding a caption feature to their audio books. The transcription of each book will allow listeners to read along with the narrator. Audible claims this is an educational feature, but publishers are saying this infringes on the rights of authors and publishers and will impact sales as audiobook buyers will get the text with their Audible purchase. (I probably wouldn't have noticed this conflict, but I’m paying particular attention to anything... Continue Reading

July 23, 2019

Last month, I wrote about how listening and observing combine to improve dialogue-writing skills. Every writer is an analyst. We evaluate situations, people, and events, then use them to inspire our work. Dialogue is a special component of writing, however. Learning to write unique, realistic, plot-enhancing conversation is difficult. This month, I have compiled several links, plus offered insight about why those links are helpful.

As I researched the concept of dialogue writing, I found many sites that offered great tips about composing strong dialogue. The... Continue Reading

July 9, 2019

Whether you are quietly whispering to yourself, “I am a writer,” or shouting it as loudly as you can, creating a book-length work IS an intimidating process. How do you even begin to do this?

I began writing my first story very quietly. I didn’t tell many people I was attempting to write a book. Who knew if I could finish? Maybe it would be awful when I was done. I couldn’t stand the thought of people asking me how it was going if it wasn’t going well or if I decided to abandon the project completely. Beyond knowing that I wanted to write, I knew nothing about writing. I had to educate myself as I went. (I had to learn things like manuscripts require double spacing, 12-point font, and one-inch margins.) 

I would have loved to have some straightforward guidance on how... Continue Reading

July 2, 2019

Advertising Your Books – Part One taught you how to get started with BookBub ads. I’ve continued my ad testing on that platform and have updated that article with more notes on my results HERE. The article below details how to advertise on Facebook. In contrast to BookBub where you can only target fans of certain authors or literary genres, on Facebook you have much more intricate targeting capabilities based on Facebook users' demographics. (Here's the upside to all of that information that we typically hate Facebook is collecting on us . . . now you get to use it for your... Continue Reading

June 25, 2019

FEATURED ARTICLES:

Barnes & Noble is Purchased . . . what does this mean for authors?

FEATURED ARTICLES

Barnes & Noble is SOLD: Goliath has Fallen & What This Means for Writers

Kristen Lamb is an author, blogger, international speaker and (self-described) unrepentant troublemaker. Her analysis of the publishing world that led up to the recent purchase of Barnes & Noble is an insightful take on what’s good, bad, and ugly in publishing. She clearly knows the industry and points the failings (and victories). This article is a MUST READ for all authors. The good... Continue Reading

June 18, 2019

Last summer, I wrote a post about dialogue writing. I’m a conversationalist, a dialogue fan. I think it’s the best way to advance a story plus reveal a character’s nature without telling. Penning conversations takes special skill, however. A writer must get inside someone else’s mind to express what he or she would say. There are many blog posts that offer ideas about how to write strong dialogue. Tips about include being concise, creative, and use it to advance a story. Additional ideas are... Continue Reading

June 10, 2019

What a treat to talk with Greg Renz about his book Beneath the Flames. Last week I included my review of his debut novel as part of my bi-monthly wrap of great books. If you missed that, please take a moment to see why I LOVE this book below before we jump into the interview with Greg. 

Beneath the Flames begins with one of the best first chapters I have ever read, pitching us directly into the kind of action and raw emotion rarely found in a debut novel. Our heart aches for the main character Mitch as guilt drives him to seek distraction, purpose, and redemption by joining the Milwaukee Fire Department. His life on the farm and as a small-town volunteer fire fighter hasn’t... Continue Reading

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