The Three Rs: Reading, wRiting, and Roaming

October 17, 2019

Barbara Britton is back with another fabulous story! Lioness: Mahlah’s Journey releases as an e-book today and will be available in print on December 6. I feel so lucky to have received an advance reader copy, so that I can share with you why I love this tale so much. 

Britton writes (predominantly) Biblical fiction. She takes lesser known women from the Bible and relying on what we do know about them from specific verses, she fills in and finishes their stories. She has an uncanny ability to transport the reader back to Biblical times to the point that you can almost taste the dust in the air and smell the dampness of the River Jordan.

Lioness: Mahlah’s Journey is no different. In this story, I was so impressed... Continue Reading

October 8, 2019

I'm pleased Amanda Zieba is able to join us again. Amanda is an author, a word nerd, a mom, a wife, a teacher, and so much more. Today she gives us excellent exercises for creating great characters. I think designing characters and all their traits (quirky or not) is one of the most fun parts of being a fiction writer. These exercise will definitely get you started.

Character Creation with Amanda Zieba

Character. Without it, your story is meaningless. Your reader needs something to care about, SOMEONE, to root for, empathize with, and emotionally invest in.

Two of my current fiction projects are demanding that my attention be focused on character, which got me thinking about how to better understand who my characters really are. How do you get to know someone you... Continue Reading

October 1, 2019

Eight Excellent Reads! Mystery, suspense, historical fiction, romance, nonfiction, and dystopian . . . a little bit of something for everyone. 

The Flats Junction Series

Wisconsin author Sara Dahmen has penned a series of book set in the fictional Dakota Territory town of Flats Junction. (I’ve been lucky enough to read some of these books in their beta form—so I know what’s yet to come, and let me tell you, it’s excellent storytelling!) You can check out the series website HERE. So far there are two books released.

TINSMITH 1865

This book has a wonderful and rich cast of characters (some who will recur in the following books). You’... Continue Reading

September 23, 2019

FEATURED ARTICLES:

Indies vs. Amazon? Maybe It’s Time for a New Game by Maggie Stiefvater

Amazon Publishing: The Road to Conquest and How Bezos Razed New York by Kristen Lamb

FEATURED ARTICLES

Indies vs. Amazon? Maybe It’s Time for a New Game

YA fantasy/paranormal author Maggie Stiefvater is spot on (in my opinion), when she talks about how the Indie Store vs. Amazon book sales’ battle is destined to fail (for the indie stores). Instead, she discusses how and why Indie Stores need to embrace what they do better and capitalize on THAT rather than attempt to compete in the losing battle with Amazon. Smart stuff! http://... Continue Reading

September 16, 2019

Happy autumn, writers!

What a wonderful time to reside in Wisconsin. I believe my home state rivals the Northeast regarding fall color, but then I’m biased. Recently, I spent a week in the Northwoods and the respite provided clarity that I didn’t expect. The tiny cottage where I stayed felt like a step back in time. The decor was mid-Fifties, the cell service was spotty, and while there was a television, I rarely turned it on.

I used the time away as a break from the busy-ness of life. I didn’t even expect to have a mini-vacation; it happened because my husband had to go out of town and he suggested it. Why not?, I thought. I packed a suitcase, a stack of books, and my laptop computer, and a short... Continue Reading

September 10, 2019

If you’re going to independently publish your work via one of the many publishing platforms available to authors, I highly recommend that you set up your own publishing imprint. Yes, just like traditional publishers, you will want your work to be published under a company name—other than your own author name—for a number of reasons.

What IS an imprint? An imprint is a trade name that you create for your independent publishing business.

Why you need an imprint name.

Credibility: You don’t want your independently published book to be immediately recognized as such. (The words Independently Published will appear by default—for instance—if you use the free ISBNs from Kindle Direct Publishing.) Even though the stigma of independent publishing has lessened, there’s no... Continue Reading

September 3, 2019

Many of us toil in private for years before we are ready with both our skill level and emotional fortitude to submit work for publication. But where can we submit our precious pages? Depending on what you write and which audiences you’re trying to reach, the answer to that question differs.

For the scope of this article, I’m focusing (mainly) on publishing houses who will accept un-agented submissions, contests for works of all lengths and types, and literary journals looking for everything from essays to short stories to poetry. None of us have the time to search for these locations one by one. Instead, I advocate signing up for handy newsletters that provide lists of reputable publishers and journals. These are my favorites!!

... Continue Reading

August 26, 2019

FEATURED ARTICLES:

Top U.S. Publishers Sue Audible for Copyright Infringement

More Copyright Infringement on Amazon

FEATURED ARTICLES

Top U.S. Publishers Sue Audible for Copyright Infringement

The story has progressed since last month’s news that publishers were not happy with Audible’s newest feature. Now, publishers are suing to block the new feature called ‘Audible Captions’ that shows on-screen text as a book is narrated. Publishers are angry because the authorization Audible has to produce the audiobook doesn’t extend to the text of the story. We’ll see how this plays out in the coming weeks. The full article is available... Continue Reading

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

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