I’m very honored to be a guest on the ‘South Branch Scribbler’ today, Author Allan Hudson’s blog! I participated in his 4Q-interview and he published the post on my ‘Soul Taker’ release day! Thank you, Allan!
This week the Scribbler has a guest all the way from Nashville, Tennessee. Aurora has exciting news to share with us, and she has agreed to participate in a 4Q Interview and share an excerpt from her new novel – Soul Taker. See below for links.
4Q: From following you on Facebook, I sense the excitement of your upcoming novel. Please tell us about Soul Taker.
Soul Taker is the first book in “The Council Of Twelve” series.
After long years in the line of duty as a ‘Soul Taker,’ Kate is worn out.
When she gets a new job offer from the ‘Powers Above,’ she accepts her new job as a Guardian gratefully without knowing that her teacher is one of the most powerful beings in existence, the Archangel Raphael.
Along with Raphael, she takes on her new task, and the connection between them grows.
Raphael helps, protects and supports Kate, but suddenly, she becomes a target for the Demons of Hell.
Raphael realizes that Kate means more to him than he expected, which causes him to fight furiously against danger. If he fails, Kate’s future will contain eternal darkness, evil, and torture.
4Q: We understand that this is book one is a series. What can you tell us about what’s coming?
Genevieve Fosa on Authors Community provides us with valuable and interesting information about the History of Indie Publishing. Thank you Genevieve.
In the 1700s, when the notion of publishing was still developing, and libraries were hardly ever thought of, except by a few scholars, a publisher consisted of someone who had the enterprise and the funds to purchase a printing press. He generally did this in order to publish newspapers and pamphlets. Sometimes he would take commissions to print books. Monthly magazines did not become popular till the mid-1800s.
Selling his wares often depended on hiring salesmen to carry the goods into the village and beyond, hoping to reach as many people as they could. These early salesmen and authors did not have to compete with either television or the internet, so people depended on these publications for their entertainment. Many people enjoyed reading out loud to their families.
Some enterprising printers added storefronts to their enterprises, where they could sell the fruits of their presses. These were the first bookshops and reading rooms. These printers were by and large selling to their local communities. Writers who became famous had to be able to pay for the printer’s services, and then sell their books. I am certain that many books languished and were forgotten, because their authors did not realize that along with writing, they had to go out and entice people to read their work. This was why publishing stories and poetry in newspapers that already had a circulation was so attractive to many writers.
Jenn Hanson-dePaula of Mixtus Media provides us with a great article on conversation started for social media. Thank you Jenn!
Have you ever posted something on social media and nothing happens? You might feel like it’s a waste of time because no one ever responds to what you post. Or maybe you feel like you’re just contributing to the noise online and everyone simply tunes you out.
Social media outlets have hundreds of millions of users worldwide, and each outlet wants their users to see posts that they will find interesting. So to make this possible, they use something called algorithms.
An algorithm is like a filter – it keeps the posts that people aren’t responding to out while letting the popular posts through.
So how do you actually get your posts seen and in your audience’s news feed? One effective and simple way to do that is by asking questions that require a quick and easy answer.
Most people are scrolling through their news feed very quickly. But if something catches their eye and doesn’t require a lot of time or thought, they will most likely respond.
The more likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc., your post gets, the algorithms will see that people are interested and will make your post more visible.
Let’s start at the very beginning. What are the things a great listener is doing differently than “normal” listeners?
One of the things is the focus. It seems many people are concentrated on what they will say, they forget to listen to what the other person says. Thinking during listening isn’t very helpful. Writers know how to focus. They know how to concentrate on the most important things, and they recognize a story and its thread.
But what do great listeners differently? They keep their mouth shut, they listen without judging, their entire body language is turned to the speaker, their facial expression is interested and open, only to name a few. Of course, now the important part starts, listening and taking in. By asking questions in our own words, to make sure we are interpreting the speaker’s words correctly, we are showing we absorbed the given information. Additionally, there’s one more thing: consciously memorizing.
Let’s say: we are listening to someone who tells us a story and we’d like to repeat it at some other occasion, we will memorize it. If the speaker is our friend and entrusts us with a problem or secret and asks for help and support, we will memorize it to give it some thought and come back later with a solution.
“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” Ernest Hemingway
I think it’s significant these words were spoken by a writer.
I’ve always been a very helpful person. It came naturally to me to listen to my friends’ problems, support them, help them. I was trained in memorizing what bugged them to be of the most effective help I could be. The best listener cares.
But being a writer taught me to listen to more. I’m taking in as much sound and noise as all the other people around me. But instead of blanking out some of the ‘noise’ I start concentrating on it. Occasionally I ‘threw a look’ over to the speaker who waved me over and included me into the story as an additional listener. And that’s what I do. I listen, I take in, I separate ‘nonsense’ from ‘maybe useful’ and I memorize.
I’m not only talking about ‘conversations,’ or ‘secrets’ I pick up. I’m as well listening to descriptions, of people, of landscapes, of personalities, even of cars. I never know when it comes in handy. Imagine one of my characters driving in some sports car; I might be using the description I heard of how the driving feels like.
I’m listening because I’m interested. I’m interested in people; I’m interested in helping. I will never use what I hear to expose someone. Not all experiences I hear are of interest to me. I’m writing fantasy and paranormal romance. Maybe an author of love stories or thrillers can use more of what he listens to. You might tell us below in the comments.
Sometimes Empaths can experience one of the ‘hard sides’ of listening. The emotional toll it takes on them. I was going through that before. Occasionally it still happens to me, even though with age I became more and more able to shield myself from that painful side effect of being helpful. So, good listeners might be aware that listening isn’t always about hearing secrets, problems, good stories or jokes. Sometimes listening needs guts!
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Winston Churchill
After seven days of writing about an otherworldly weekend away with The Silent Eye, it’s back to reality with a rather prosaic thud – this post is all about crafting the agent submission letter.
I’ve written before about submitting your manuscript to agents – while I don’t consider myself by any means an expert, I have had a bit of experience in sending the things out. I also attended a workshop some time back at Bloomsbury, where a couple of London agents shared their idea of a perfect submission letter, and several other agents have commented that my submission package stood out from the others (although no-one has taken me on board as yet – boo-hoo).
So, how do you structure the all-important letter? (I say all-important because it’s the first opportunity you have to make an impression, and we all know how important first impressions are). Well, here are…
What makes a fantasy story? Our first instinct might be to answer ‘magic’ – spells, mythical beasts, potions. Yet fantasy contains multiple key elements. Read the following simple breakdown of elements of the fantasy genre and tips to write magical, fantastical tales:
Literary agency David Higham Associates is to host an open day for writers who don’t have an an agent and come from underrepresented backgrounds – that includes LGBTQ+ writers, BAME, those from working-class backgrounds and from ethnic, cultural and religious minorities, along with people with disabilities. It doesn’t actually say so on the press release, but I think the definition also embraces older writers.
The day will offer 10 writers the opportunity to meet with industry experts and to receive tailored feedback on their work.
Intended to be a bi-annual event, the inaugural DHA Open Day will take place on Thursday 13th December 2018 at the agency’s offices in Soho and will focus on fiction-writing for adults. It will also feature talks and Q&As with agents and publishers, one-to-one sessions to provide tailored feedback on current writing projects and a drinks reception.
DHA’s second Open Day will take place in 2019 and will focus…