Are you Book Club ready?

D. Wallace Peach of ‘Myths of the Mirror” provides us with a blog post to find out if we are book club-ready. Thank you so much!

Myths of the Mirror

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Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have your book selected by a book club?

Well, yeah.

The main thing that makes a book “book club ready” is the presence of questions that invite discussion. For each of my books, I have 10 questions that I compiled specifically around the themes, characters, and reader experience of the book.

Book club questions (also called Discussion Guides) are common in many academic books and are often located at the ends of chapters or in the back matter. When it comes to general fiction, placing your book club questions in the back matter is the best way to get them noticed, but not the only way. You can also direct readers to your website where a separate page or pretty pdf is linked to your book’s info.

At the end of this post is a list of potential book club questions that you can customize…

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Tricky choices for authors

Helen Carey published a list on the choices we authors need decide on when writing a novel. What a great post!

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otterThere are so many choices for an author to make when embarking on a novel. What time period? What setting? What structure? What genre? What characters? What events? How true should it be to real history? What is the time frame? What is it all really about?

Many of these need to be answered before even starting out. No wonder so many potential novelists are put off at the first hurdle.

And as soon as you’ve made those decisions, (assuming you haven’t given up in despair,) another wave of questions immediately comes hurtling towards you.

How are you going to tell the story? Whose point of view? First or third person? What tone? What voice? Where should it start? What is going to kick the whole thing off? Where is it going to end? How are you going to layer in the clues to make that ending satisfactory? And, horror of horrors…

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Your Best Marketing Tool – Write Your Next Book

Author Don Massenzio teaches us with his post what to use as our best marketing tool. Thank you very much Don. We appreciate your advice and support!

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Author Don Massenzio

Your Best Marketing Tool – Write Your Next Book

This post is about the activity that most of us probably enjoy the least, marketing our work. This is more than just posts on Facebook and Twitter. This is the part of independent publishing that I dread and that is the most cumbersome. To say you are an independently published author really means that you are taking on two full-time jobs, that of a writer and of a publisher.

I’m sure most of us would just like to write and ignore the marketing. Unfortunately, if you want to gain exposure, this is an unavoidable aspect of what we do. For the mundane marketing tasks, such as posting to Facebook and other social media outlets, I try to be efficient without spamming social media. Social media does have the word social as part of it. Things like automation and cut and paste marketing are…

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5 Mistakes Authors Make on Social Media

Michael Cristiano published a guest post on “A Writer’s Path”, informing us about 5 major mistakes authors make on social media. Thank you very much for this helpful post, Michael.

A Writer's Path

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by Michael Cristiano

I thought writing a novel was the hard part. I thought endless drafting and editing and proofreading involved the most work when it came to being a writer.

I was wrong. My debut novel has been on sale for a little less than a month, and I came to the conclusion very early on in its release that writing it was the easy (and far more enjoyable) part. Why? you ask.

Marketing. Marketing is a hard and seemingly endless process. Why is it so hard?

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The Single Largest Problem of Most First Time Novels

Kirsten Lamb provides us “firsties’ with a guide to write a good first time novel. Thank you very much Kristen. You’re an angel!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Original image courtesy of flowcomm, via Flickr Commons Original image courtesy of flowcomm, via Flickr Commons

All righty. So we have spent a couple of posts talking about getting our head right when it comes to doing this writing thing. Once we get our heads in the game, then the practical How To advice gets a heck of a lot more mileage. Today we are going to talk about the writing of the actual novel.

When I started out wanting to become a writer years ago, I was so clueless I didn’t even realize I was clueless. I had an overinflated ego from all those years making As in high school then college English. I believed I could write so when it came to reading craft books? I thumbed through them and decided I didn’t want my writing to be “formulaic” *flips hair*.

Trying to take a short cut cost me a lot of time and wasted words…

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FEAR—Is the Mind-Killer in Control of Your Life?

Is fear controlling our life? Kristen Lamb has published a phenomenal blog post on this subject. Thank you so much Kristen.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Noemi Galera. Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Noemi Galera.

The single greatest challenge you will face in trying to accomplish anything great is FEAR. FEAR is nothing to be underestimated and we need to learn to manage it if we want to succeed. I remember being a kid and Dune was one of my favorite movies. At the age of ten I memorized Paul Atreides’ mantra:

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

At the time I just thought it was a seriously cool movie line. It was only when I grew older that I began…

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The Aesthetic of a Full Figured Woman

E. R. Smith from “bronxbeyondborders.com’ published a fantastic blog post I can’t resist re-blogging. It is an article about the ‘Aesthetic of a Full Figured Woman’; a subject that I hold dear and near. I think she did an amazing job with this post. Please, check it out.

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Bronx Beyond Borders

By: E. R. Smith

Reflecting on aesthetics, I couldn’t get Alessia Cara’s song out of my head.  Really, I am still humming it as I write.  She sings “Scars to You’re Beautiful”.  She tells the tale of a girl, like me, that you don’t see in magazines.  A girl craving the adoration reserved only for the beautiful, or so she assumes.  Alessia’s observation is that, “She don’t understand she’s worth it.”  

I decided to take a look at full figured aesthetics in the arts; and how artists reflect on what is striking, sensual, lovely.  Artist Peter Paul Rubens offers vast examples of women considered full figured at the time; but like the plus sized models of today they rarely measure past size 14. Yet, still there is no Twiggy here.  Venus at the Mirror (1615) and Ermit and Sleeping Angelica (1628) are two of…

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Antagonists Are People, Too

Rachel Poli published a blog post about Antagonists in our stories. I think she did a great job here. Check it out.

Rachel Poli

It’s hard to have a good plot without someone to drive your protagonist forward. Often times, that someone happens to be a “bad guy.”

Someone who is not nice, someone who isn’t your protagonist’s number one fan, someone who wants the spotlight for themselves and goes about it the wrong way. There are a lot of reasons a protagonist becomes a protagonist. Often it’s something bad, but sometimes it’s not.

antagonistWho is the antagonist?

The antagonist is a character in your novel. Often times they are the “bad guy,” the person the protagonist is trying to stop, the person the readers don’t root for.

However, you have to remember that the antagonist is just as important to the novel as your protagonist is.

There are many different types of antagonists.

  • The Psychopath
  • The Hater
  • The Power Hungry
  • The Insane
  • The Rival

There are more types of villains, of course, but…

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…99,999… 100,000… yup, 100,000, Mabel !!!… 100,001… 100,002…

Seumas Gallacher has informed us about his MAGIC NUMBER! Please, celebrate his successful 100,000th sale! Congrats, Seumas!

Seumas Gallacher

 

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…there are many ‘firsts’ that occur in most of our lives… f’rinstance I remember my first kiss… it was more of a slobbery lick from my twice-the-size-of-me pet dog when I was about 5 years old… and it turned me off the idea of canine romance forever, I can tell yeez… my first day at primary school… as part of a howling choir of sobbing infants who wailed in concert at the mass departure of our mothers at the school gates…

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my first football team goal at the age of six… the ball hammered home from all of seven inches, attended by the triumphant raised arm a la Denis Law as I wheeled to trot back to the centre circle restart… my first monthly pay packet as a green fifteen year old Trainee Master of the Financial Universe at the noble Clydesdale & North of Scotland…

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