Character Basics: Choosing A Name [Character Development]

I love this post by Rachel Poli about choosing a name for your character.

Rachel Poli

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What’s one of the first things you do to create your character? You come up with a name.

Well… Sometimes it’s difficult and I’ll admit I’ll throw in a random name and keep it bolded until I change it later.

For the sake of this post, we’re going to pretend the first thing we always do is name our characters.

A name is the most important thing you can give to your characters. It’s their identity and it separates them from everyone else inside the story and outside. Give them a name your readers will remember and appreciate. When you hear the name Harry Potter, you instantly know who I’m talking about, right?

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Winter Wonderland Finally by Aurora Jean Alexander

Smorgasbord Sally Cronin posted one of my poems, ‘Winter Wonderland’ on her blog. Thank you so much Sally! This means a lot!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

It is actually nearly four weeks since Christmas but this poem from Aurora Jean Alexander from this time last year is very topical for many of you.

Picture courtesy of: http://www.christmas-wallpapers.co.uk/winter-wonderland/fantasy-winter-wonderland

Picture courtesy of: http://www.christmas-wallpapers.co.uk/winter-wonderland/fantasy-winter-wonderland

Winter Wonderland Finally by Aurora Jean Alexander

It was Christmas, three weeks ago,
the grass was green, there was no snow.
The skies were blue, it was too warm
Green Christmas? Here? This needs alarm.
**
New Year came -no flakes in sight
The sun had fun, the sky was bright.
But unexpected, it took us off guard
we woke up to a white yard.
**
Even though it’s freezing cold
I still will say – and I am bold
Sometimes I like the soft white mass
It can be fun – and it’s got class.
**
Snowy bushes and white trees
are surrounding the lake that will go freeze.
In such a time I love a forest walk

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Author Spotlight Rebecca Tran

Welcome!

Please introduce yourself.
I am a hybrid author, blogger and book reviewer with three award-winning novels. I am also a wife, mother, and pharmacist. I have two little girls and a Boston Terrier. I love reading, writing, sewing, and collecting teapots.

1. When did you start writing?
I started writing when I was 16 years old, but I didn’t have the courage to publish until I was 37.

2. What motivates you to write?
I originally started writing as a form of self prescribed therapy after my dad died. Then it became stress relief after a hard day. Now my main characters tell me when and what to write.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?
I primarily write fantasy and romance but also have a sci-fi novel as well. I prefer fantasy and romance over other genres because its what I love to read. Some of my favorite books are epic fantasies with romantic themes.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
I want to entertain readers with the books I write. I hope they love my books as much as any big five author. My dreams are the same as a lot of authors. I would love a movie deal or to be a NY Times Bestselling author. My more realistic goal is to sell my books consistently and gain a consistent fan base. If I can please my fans I’ll consider myself a success.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
I do suffer from writer’s block occasionally. When I do I set the project aside and move on to another. Eventually I will come back to it but it may take a while to figure out how to get past the problem.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
The best way to get better at writing is to just do it. Keep writing and keep reading. Try new things and explore. Be sure to reach out to other authors for advice and network for cross promotion. The indie community is an amazing resource.

7. Please, tell us about your work.
I have one epic fantasy series titled The Chronicles of the Coranydas. The Rashade’ and A Guardian Falls are books one and two in the series. Descendants Rising, the third book in the series is due out late February to early March. For Their Sins is a paranormal romance/action adventure about a 300 year old vampire. Unlike the Rest is a free short story that is a companion to For Their Sins. My paranormal romance Dragons of the North is a box set featuring four shifter novellas. Finally my only sci-fi novel is Neutral Space, a futuristic tale of war, conspiracy, and love.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


Contact Rebecca: 

Website: http://rtranbooks.net
Blog: http://asmallgangofauthors.blogspot.com
Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/Rtranbooks/
https://m.facebook.com/AGaurdianFalls/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rtranbooks/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rtranbooks/
email: rtranbooks.com@outlook.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16335980.R_Tran
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/rebecca-hoelker-tran-3aaab3141
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/105043491920055628616
Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/r-tran.html


Rebecca’s books:

http://mybook.to/AGFalls

https://books2read.com/u/bOadr9

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://mybook.to/DragonPNR

https://books2read.com/u/mgr69q

 

 

 

 

http://mybook.to/nspace

https://books2read.com/u/m2oaLO

 

 

 

 

 

http://getbook.at/Rashade

https://books2read.com/u/bapZeL

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://mybook.to/FTSins

https://books2read.com/u/3yZeA6

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.instafreebie.com/free/1HZES

Romance Publishers Who Accept Unsolicited Manuscripts – 2018 – written by Bryn Donovan

Lots of my readers want to know more about how to get published, so last week, I shared a list of fantasy and science fiction publishers who accept unagented submissions. This week, I’m doing the same thing with romance!

This isn’t a comprehensive list. Romance is a huge genre, and there are lots of opportunities out there for writers who don’t have agents.

I’ve left off some publishers because I just haven’t heard anything about them yet. I’ve also left off a few that specialize in certain types of erotic romance, because I have a lot of underage readers on this blog (although most of the publishers here do publish racy stuff as well.)

If there’s a publisher you believe should be added to the list, let me know via a private message at bryndonovan@bryndonovan.com.

The name of each publisher is a live link to their submission guidelines. Follow those exactly for the best results!

 

To read the full post click here:

http://www.bryndonovan.com/2018/01/15/romance-publishers-who-accept-unsolicited-manuscripts-2018/

Featured Author – Interview – The return of Darlene Foster

Welcome back!

You were a guest on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ before, where we learned about writing in your life and your projects.

Let’s see what you can tell us today:

1. Are you still writing in the same genre as you did before, and if not, why did you switch – or would you ever think to change genres?

I am still writing travel adventure stories for middle grade readers and probably will for some time. I enjoy writing for this age group. Tweens are no longer little kids and not yet young adults. They are just discovering life outside their comfort zone and are eager to learn more. I like to think my books will broaden their horizons and spark an interest in traveling.

I have, however, written short stories – memoirs, about growing up on the Canadian prairies, and plan to publish them in a collection soon. It´s always good to try different genres to stretch your writing muscles.

2. Please, tell us a little about your writing process.

It´s not a terribly organized process and I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone but it works for me. I get an idea, usually based on a location, and start scribbling. Once I get the first draft of the first chapter completed, I create a mind map. This mind map is divided into chapters and a location is allotted to each chapter. Then I add characters to the chapters. I use different coloured gel pens to do this. I add ideas and action as I progress with the story. I am very much a panster writer. This is a living map and gets changed a lot. It gets very messy and colourful. No one could ever make sense out of it except me. It’s as messy and confusing as my mind. Once I’m finished writing the first draft, which I edit and share with critique partners as I proceed, I then review the complete story and do some rewrites before sending out to beta readers. After more rewrites based on the beta readers feedback, I send it to my publisher who does a thorough edit. After a few more changes and rewrites, it is ready for publication and I have the book memorized. There is probably an easier way to do this but I don´t know it!

3. What is important to know for young, new authors and writers?

There is no right or wrong way to write a book. You find a way, usually by trial and error, and then you make it right for you. You can spend way too much time worrying about doing it right. Just write it down and polish it later. There will always be edits and rewrites. (see above)

4. Your experience in the writing world, do you think it has already taken you where you wanted to go?

Yes and no. I am astonished to have six books published in the series and more to come. I also have a bilingual book published and short stories in anthologies. So I am pleased with my production, especially since I started writing seriously later in life. I am happy to have a following and some devoted Amanda fans. So in some ways I have exceeded where I wanted to go. I would however like to be better at marketing and have my books more well-read internationally. I’m the sort of person who always raises the bar so I don’t think I will ever be completely satisfied.

5. In your opinion, are you a writer or an author – and what is the difference for you?

I am both. I have heard that a writer is someone who writes (that’s me) and an author is someone who is published (that’s me too). Perhaps the difference is that an author is someone who is in the business of writing. To be somewhat successful, you need to look at it as a business.

6. Please, tell us about your projects again. Was there progress since the last interview or are there even completely new projects?

Since my last interview on Writer’s Treasure Chest, I have completed and published the sixth book in my Amanda Travels series, Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind. In this book, intrepid traveler Amanda is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico where she visits many incredible sites including an ancient pueblo, a traditional hacienda and a haunted hotel. She learns about the wild and violent past of this rugged but beautiful landscape. Her classmate claims to see ghosts everywhere they go and Amanda can’t escape an eerie wind that follows her. This book is a bit spookier than the others but everyone seems to like it. One reviewer said it is fast-paced, spooky, and enough cultural reference to delight both readers and parents.

I am now working on book seven, Amanda in Holland-Missing in Action and have ideas for Amanda in Malta. Amanda has a more places to visit and interesting people to meet. If only she could mind her own business and keep out of trouble.

Thank you for being my guest once again. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

Thank you so much for inviting me back to your wonderful blog!


Darlene’s bio:

Darlene Foster has dreamt of writing books, travelling the world and meeting interesting people for as long as she can remember. It’s no surprise that she’s now an award-winning author of the exciting Amanda Travels series featuring spunky Amanda Ross, a twelve-year-old Canadian girl who loves to travel. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another in unique destinations. Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Spanish Costa Blanca with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot. She believes it is never too late to make your dreams come true.


Links

Website: Darlene Foster
Facebook
Amazon author page
WordPress Blog
Goodreads
Twitter@supermegawoman


Find Darlene’s new book ‘Amanda in New Mexico’ here: https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-New-Mexico-Ghosts-Travels-ebook/dp/B01MT8LXAR/

All other books can be found on her Amazon Author Page

ALERT: Copyright Infringement by “Internet Archive.”

A very important blog post about copyright infringement by Internet Archive. It should be read by all authors. Thank you, Virginia.

Just Can't Help Writing

Do you have hard-copy books out, in or out of print? See this notice from Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has issued an alert on copyright infringement by the Internet Archive. Other professional writers’ groups taking notice include the UK’s Society of Authors, which has posted an alert on its website, and the USA’s Authors Guild and National Writers Union, which have alerted their members.

Strauss posts the full notice from SFWA. What’s more, SFWA will generate a “takedown notice” for you that you can immediately email if your book is included on the offending site.

You can search the site easily to see if any of your titles are involved. I found that searching for a character’s name within the book text generated the best response.

Illegal copy of King of the Roses on Internet Archive

Possibly you may not be concerned at having a pirated version of your book…

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How to Add X-Ray to Your Kindle eBook

Chris McMullen provides us with an excellent blog post on how to add x-ray to our kindle e-book. Thanks for all your efforts Chris.

chrismcmullen

X-ray picture licensed from ShutterStock.

X-RAY FOR KINDLE

Authors can add X-ray to their Kindle eBooks via KDP.

Here is how to do it:

  • Visit Kindle Direct Publishing at kdp.amazon.com.
  • After you login, visit your KDP Bookshelf.
  • Hover your cursor over the gray button with three dots (…) near the right of one of your book titles.
  • If available, you will see an option to Launch X-Ray. Click this link.
  • This will open the X-Ray page for your Kindle eBook, but you won’t be able to do anything yet.
  • Click the yellow button to Request X-Ray. The window will automatically close 20 seconds later and return you to your Bookshelf.
  • You should receive an email once X-Ray is prepared for your Kindle eBook. Although it says it can take a few hours, my emails came within minutes.
  • Now you need to return to your KDP Bookshelf and Launch X-Ray…

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What You Need To Do Before You Self-Publish Your First Book – written by Derek Haines

 

Before you self-publish your new book, make sure you are ready

Too often, new authors get carried away with all the excitement of becoming a published author and rush way too fast into self-publishing.

When this is done, without working on building the necessary marketing and promotional tools beforehand, it is then a never-ending game of catch up.

What should have been an exciting book launch, ends up being a total fizzle, because few people apart from the author knew about the new release.

The process of uploading a Word file and a cover image and self-publishing the two as an ebook is extremely easy.

But without the necessary work before hitting the publish button, it is like throwing a bottle into the ocean and hoping someone will find the note inside.

The far better way to successfully self-publish is to get the basics in place first, well before publishing.

Here is a must do seven-point checklist to help first-time authors avoid making the classic mistakes that are difficult to correct after publishing.

To read the entire article go to:

Must Do Seven-Point Checklist

The Return of Smorgasbord Open House – Interviews for all writers and other creative artists.

Thank you so much Sally!!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

The Open Houseseries ran from January 2016 for four months and was one of the most popular of the interview series.  I thought that we might revisit the theme for 2018.

This series will be joined in the next few weeks by an additional author interview which will be in audio and more details on that shortly.

Would you like to be interviewed?

It is open to writers across blogging, books, poetry as well as artists, musicians and photographers.

It is an opportunity to showcase your work from blog posts to sunsets on Smorgasbord and my social media platforms.

I also want it to showcase the person you are and discover more about what makes them tick, their inspirations and also some fun facts.

I have decided to retain the title of the series as Smorgasbord Open House. If you were interviewed two years ago that is not a…

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