Saturday, September 29, 2012

Winners and a Blog Party

Hello, good people of the blogosphere! Welcome to this special Saturday edition of my blog!

Why am I posting on a Saturday? To announce the winners of my giveaway, of course! Just for that? No! I'm putting out a casting call, if you will, for a blog party I'm planning to run from October 15-19. If you missed the last blog party, no worries, you can participate in this one.

Here are the details:

For one week, I'll promote your blog or your book right here on my blog. I will also share via facebook, pinterest, and twitter. Best of all, it's free! I do ask that you be an indie author. No traditionally published folks, please.

All that I ask of my participants is they give something to my readers and promote the posts the week of. This can be done via a rafflecopter giveaway, a free download, or swag of any kind. Your choice.

I do expect you to follow through with your offer and if you don't, I'll ban you from future giveaways or interviews on my blog. Everyone must keep to their word when we collaborate. You don't want me forgetting to post your stuff, I don't want you leaving people who enter the contest hanging.

I will only do one featured blog or author per day. I do list other blogs I follow or find and give readers helpful links after the interview. For an example of a past blog party post, you can look here:

http://jomichaels.blogspot.com/2012/07/a-few-of-my-favorite-blogs-part-3-of.html

That post will give you an idea of what you can expect. If you want an interview done with me, you need to let me know by Wednesday of this week (10/5/2012). After that date, I will only agree to post bios and your book cover/synopsis.

I have four slots left:
Monday, October 15
Wednesday, October 17
Thursday, October 18
Friday, October 19

When I request your information, get it to me within 48 hours, please. These posts take a while to put together and if you wait until the last minute, you're causing ME stress. If I don't hear back from you within the designated time period, I'll give your slot to someone who will.

Now, for the fun news! The winner of Bronya and Lily, the first two books in my Mystic series is:

Lyza J.

And the lucky winner of a copy of Bronya is:

Sandi T.

You'll be contacted Monday for information about where I should send your prize. They will be mailed on Monday if you get your address back to me quickly.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, September 28, 2012

Contractions

No, not the birthing of a baby kind. I'm talking about using contractions in your writing. Unless you're writing formal dialogue or historical fiction, please please please use contractions!

I see so many writers make this basic mistake on their blogs and in their books. As badly as we wish to sound formal, the reading of such writing is difficult, at best.

I'll give a couple of examples:

John stood in the room and looked at Marsha. She looked like a goddess sitting there in her nightgown with the sun streaming through the window behind her. "Honey, how about we go tonight to that restaurant you like so much?"
"Oh, I am too tired for all that today. How about you come and sit with me?"
He would have joined his wife on the couch, but he knew if he did not get moving, he would be late for work. "I wish I could, darling. But I have not got the time. I am going to be late for work if I do not get going." John shuffled toward the door. "I love you." (116 words)

It sounds stilted and it's just plain difficult to read. Let's try again, shall we?

John stood in the room and looked at Marsha. She looked like a goddess sitting there in her nightgown with the sun streaming through the window behind her. "Honey, how about we go tonight to that restaurant you like so much?"
"Oh, I'm too tired for that today. How about you come and sit with me?"
He would've joined his wife on the couch, but he knew if he didn't get moving, he'd be late for work. "I wish I could, darling. But I haven't got the time. I'm going to be late for work if I don't get going." John shuffled toward the door. "I love you." (108 words)

Not only is it easier to read, it also cuts your word count down. Try speaking the dialogue or story into a recorder before you write it if you struggle with dropped contractions. Above all else, it needs to be natural.

Let's try again and see if we can't cut it further.

John stared at Marsha. She looked like a goddess with the way her nightgown hugged her shape and the sun illuminated her hair. "Honey, wanna go to dinner at that restaurant you like so much?"
"I'm too tired for that today. Come and sit with me?"
"I wish I could but I'm gonna be late for work if I don't get going." John shuffled toward the door. "I love you." (70 words)

There must be a thousand ways to write a section like this. I could add dialogue, add action, charge it with emotion, or do just about anything to it. If you noticed, the part where I jumped to observation of John being late for work and not joining Marsha was removed. It was redundant because he says as much when he speaks. Above all else, you have to write what you feel. Just remember to be true to your characters and use those contractions! Just like taking out the adverbs, it can help you reduce word count and say what you need to say in a more succinct manner, leaving the reader to fill in the scene (they're good at that!).

Also, check out my post on Descriptions how much is too much? for some ideas on leaving things to the imagination and don't forget to go enter the 100 FB Like Giveaway! Today is the last day.

What issue drives you bananas when reading a book?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mystic ~ Shelia Synopsis and Release Date

Happy Thursday, good people of the blogosphere!! Today I'm going to let you in on the idea behind Shelia, book three of my Mystic series. So, without any ado whatsoever, here you go!

Mystic ~ Shelia (Book 3 of the Mystic series) - Paranormal

Synopsis:
After a horrible accident takes the lives of her parents, Shelia Morgan is placed in the care of her Aunt Ivy and Uncle Melvin. For six years they work her like a slave. On her twelfth birthday, Uncle Melvin makes Shelia an offer that will destroy her life.

When she turns 19, the ugly truth about her past comes out during a therapy session, Uncle Melvin is arrested, and she's placed in the sights of everyone in town. Hurling insults, objects, and threats, the townspeople side with her uncle and call Shelia a liar. She loses her job, her boyfriend, and her freedom in one day. When a girl named Markaza shows up and tells Shelia she's part of a group of young women destined to save the world, Shelia begins to dream of a new life and true freedom from her personal demons.

She tells the jury her story and boards a plane destined for New York and her new life. Once there, she meets Bronya and Lily: Two other young women with special powers they must learn to harness in order to fight an evil that will rise on December 21, 2012, and destroy the world.

Markaza boards a plane to Atlanta to save the life of a young lady named Melody before her mind destroys her from the inside out. As Markaza fights for Melody's life, Shelia, Lily, and Bronya throw themselves into their studies and learn that even power from within can get out of control.

Mystic ~ Shelia will be released just before Christmas, 2012.

If you don't have a copy of Bronya, go grab one today. $3.99 at Amazon, $8.99 at CreateSpace. This is a series you do not want to miss and Lily releases October 30, 2012!

As a bonus, go check out Home School Your First Grader written by Beth Jones. It's free today on Amazon for Kindle.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tension

Good Wednesday, lovely people of the blogosphere!! I'm running late because of some technical issues I've experienced this morning. Cleared out all the junk though and here I am!


Today we're gonna talk about tension. More specifically, tension in a novel. I suppose this could also be classified as construction of chapters leading to a whole book.

Let's get started!

First and foremost, you should know your main character must undergo some type of change from the beginning of your novel to the end. They must walk through the proverbial doorway which, once passed through, they can never recover from. Life can never ever be the same after they take that step. They should doubt, question, and have reservations about taking that step. This provides much needed tension.

The basic construction of a novel is thus:
  • Introduction to the character
  • Moment of change (or some like to call this introduction of conflict I don't, because conflict can come later) This should happen in the first 1/3 of the novel (unless a series)
  • Path to resolution
  • Conclusion (this should happen in the last 1/4)

Some novelists enjoy flipping this construct around and beginning with the end. As an example, I gave the major turning point in my book Yassa in the prologue from a different character's POV. That was different from my main character's moment of change (when he murdered his half-brother).

Every chapter must have some sort of tension as well. You don't necessarily have to bring the same amount of tension in each chapter, but you need something to keep your reader engaged and turning the page.

Let's rate tension on a scale of 1-5. Some people prefer 1-10 but I think that's too big a range and adds confusion. We'll say 1 is the least amount of tension and 5 is the most.

Your first chapter should hit at least a 3, no matter the length of your novel. Subsequent chapters can be spread out but you should be sure to hit a 5 at least twice during your tale. If you have more than one chapter that only reaches a 1, change it to add tension. Read your book and assign ratings. Change what needs changing.

This can be done by introducing an antagonist or throwing a monkey wrench into your character's path (that link takes you to a page in my blog where you can get some ideas on how to add tension).

If you want a great example of a novel that manages to hit a 5 in damned near every chapter, check out Dean Koontz's Intensity. There's a reason this book flew off the shelves. I'm not much of a Koontz fan, but that was one hell of a book.

Find it here.

Readers get bored easily. If you inundate them with back-story or long, descriptive paragraphs, they'll put your book down and walk away. Sometimes they come back but why risk it?

Remember, tension is key to engagement!

When you put all the chapters you've written together, make sure your transitions are smooth between each and read for tension!

What book have you read lately that had great tension?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Release Day and Special Bundle Pack

It's release day! You can now purchase The Abigale Chronicles - Book Three at Amazon!

But WAIT! I have a super special for all you folks with kids who love Abigale! You can get ALL THREE books for half the price! How? I've released a special bundle edition in celebration! Keep reading...

I decided that I wanted to do something special for all of Abigale's fans. So, for half the price of buying each book individually, you can own all three! This three book collection will be pulled from the shelves in February 2013 so you want to jump in and grab it now. Here's the deal:

At just $2.99, you're saving almost three dollars by buying the complete collection as one.

It will NOT be available in print. This is a Kindle ONLY limited edition.

Available on Amazon.










The Abigale Chronicles - Book Three - Young Readers (Series)

If you already have the first two, you can pick up The Abigale Chronicles - Book Three for just $1.99 on Amazon. If you prefer print books, feel free to hop over to CreateSpace and grab a paperback copy for just $5.99.

Synopsis:
Abigale Fontenot is turning thirteen. Just when she thinks her birthday couldn't possibly get any worse, a new adventure takes hold. Abigale and Emmett are whisked away to a world of fantasy where knights, dragons, and princesses are the order of the day. Abigale is kidnapped by an evil prince in a nearby kingdom, and it's up to Emmett to rescue her. But Abigale finds that escape is not the most important thing; restoring the evil prince's kindness that has been locked away in a magical book by a wicked sorceress must come first. While Emmett is trying to rescue Abigale, she is trying to free the prince from his curse. Will she succeed in her quest before the evil prince kills Emmett, or will she fail and lose her new best friend? Will death matter if the whole thing is a dream, or are the adventures real and truly dangerous?

While you're here, don't forget to go enter the rafflecopter drawing for your chance at Bronya and Lily; book one and two of the Mystic series.

Click me to get to the widget!

I'd like to say thank you again to the 100 great fans of my FaceBook page for making it happen!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Monday, September 24, 2012

Writing and Designing

Today is one of those days where I'm going to write a lot and work on a cover design for a friend. I am leaving you all in the very capable hands of my rafflecopter to ease your mind and give you something to do. :)

Enter to win!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Remember, The Abigale Chronicles - Book Three releases officially tomorrow. Read more about it here. I may have some goodies up my sleeve for the release, I may not. You'll just have to come back tomorrow to find out!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, September 21, 2012

100 FB Page Like Giveaway!

Easy to enter, easy to win!! One printed copy of each of the books below, signed. Plus! One printed copy of Bronya, signed.

You have 1 week to enter as many times as you wish. GO!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are the fabulous prizes:

A copy of Mystic ~ Bronya
Synopsis:
Bronya Thibodeaux is a senior at Houma High School whose life is about to be changed forever. She's always felt like an outcast, but thinks she may have found a friend when a strange, new girl named Markaza who has blue hair, a number of tattoos, and a strange way of dressing appears. She accepts Bronya for who she is and the two hit it off.

Markaza isn’t around long before she moves away. Bronya goes back to feeling lonely and different. Trouble arises when Bronya's love interest - a girl named Cecilia - is accidentally revealed to the entire student body. Bronya’s life choices make her a pariah in her small town. After getting thrown out of school, not being able to find a job, and being subjected to ridicule and cruel treatment, Bronya chooses to leave her old life behind forever when she receives a compelling invitation from a mysterious company named WSTW.

What Bronya doesn't know, is the mysterious company is owned by Markaza; a mystic who knows the end of the world is coming and is gathering together the only people who can stop the evil that's threatening to take over. Bronya is just the first. But going to New York is only a baby step toward her true journey. As Bronya races against the clock to unlock a power she never knew she had, Markaza races to collect the others: Lily, Sheila, Melody, and Coralie.

A PRE-RELEASE copy of Mystic ~ Lily
Synopsis:
Lily Conyers is a twenty-year-old who had it all going for her until a car crash left her with terrible scars, no modeling job, and an addiction to pain killers. When she meets a strange young woman named Markaza, Lily begins to re-build her life with encouragement from her new friend.

Problems arise when Lily leaves the safety of her apartment for the first time since her accident to venture back into the world she used to know. Her so-called friends shun her and her boyfriend recoils at the sight of her face; leaving her standing in the road alone - crying. She rushes home with thoughts of suicide only to find a letter on her step from a company called WSTW; promising her a new life.

Lily packs her bags, bids Markaza goodbye, and sets off for the city. But going to New York is only the first hurdle Lily must jump. She must learn to use the power inside herself to help defeat an evil that is threatening to destroy the world. Once there, she meets a girl named Bronya and the two help one another re-build what was so negligently broken.

As Lily is boarding the plane bound for New York, Markaza boards another headed to Tennessee so she can collect the next young woman on her list: Sheila.

Good Luck to you all!!

That's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Author Interview Paul Dorset

Today, good people of the blogosphere, I bring you an interview with author Paul Dorset.

Biography:
Paul Dorset was born in Poole, Dorset in England in 1960 but has been living in America since 1995. He has been writing for many years and some of his early works were published in 'teen advice' columns. He has also had many technical articles published, mostly in the field of Computing.

Paul currently lives in the Pacific Northwest but has traveled extensively and worked many times with teens and youth groups. It is this background combined with a vivid imagination that has enabled him to weave a tapestry of magic into complete novels. His first epic fantasy series, aimed at young adults, is entitled 'The Southern Lands'. However, the storyline is more than exciting enough to keep adults turning pages as the story unfolds.

Paul is a father of five who has worked as a computer consultant for more than 30 years. His publications include fantasy novels for ages 12-plus, how-to books for adults, and dark paranormal thrillers for ages 16+. He incorporates his extensive experience in computers - and his insightful perspective on the possibilities therein - in novels that include layers of contemporary intrigue, romance and mystery.

You can find Paul Dorset by either visiting his website or reading his blog.

Now, on to my interview!

Jo: You write Fantasy and Paranormal. Why did you choose those particular genres?

Paul: The fantasy question is really easy. I write fantasy mostly because I love reading it. It’s a kind of escape into a world that could be, with wonderful things that are possible, given a little magic. Then as for the paranormal, it’s a little of the opposite. The world of the paranormal is one you hope actually doesn’t exist. It’s pretty scary really!

Jo: Your books are priced at $0.99. What led you to this decision and do you believe it has helped sales at all?

Paul: Some of my books are priced at $0.99; the ones that are the first in a series. I want to make it as easy as possible for people to try my books and to see if they like them. Once they do then hopefully they don’t object to paying a little more for the others in the series.

One such book by Paul:
Just $0.99 on Kindle.
Buy it here: Xannu The Prophecy
Synopsis:
Would you wake up in a hot sweat if you lived your night’s dreams as a soldier battling un-earthly creatures, witnessing powerful magic and fighting to save your own life on a daily basis?

English schoolboy Terry West does. Frequently. After digging up some rune coins near a roman road, he has been living in another world inhabited by warlocks, seductresses, priests and prophecy. There Terry is a soldier, Teern Truthbringer, who has been tasked with finding the Xannu - 'he who will lead the people into deliverance.'

If only it wasn’t real; but it is. Very real. When it all began it was even enjoyable, but now Terry’s life is getting very complicated. Somehow he involved his best friend Joe and although it had seemed a good idea at the time, the consequences had been dire. Then there is Susan, the leggy sister of klutzy school-friend Brian. Why does she keep sending him messages?

Terry is struggling to balance the two lives he leads and every day he is losing his grip on reality just a little bit more. He’s been forced to kill enemies; his companion, the magical woman Maria, is scaring him half to death with her abilities; and his parents are on his back about his school work.

How will he balance the two lives he leads, solve two sets of problems, and understand the lessons he receives from both? Only time will tell. But time is something Terry doesn't have too much of, as everything is unfolding in ways he could never have imagined!  

Jo: As a Scrivener user, would you recommend it to other authors? Why/why not?

Paul: I discovered Scrivener earlier this year and I love it! I wish I had found it years ago, although that would have been difficult as it’s only been available for the Windows platform since late last year. For a full list of reason why I love Scrivener I would suggest reading my blog, but I guess the best thing about Scrivener is that you no longer have to work in an 80,000 word MS Word document. Just writing and plotting and editing suddenly become something so much more manageable.

A link to Paul's posts on using Scrivener:  http://blog.pauldorset.com/search/label/Scrivener

Jo: Your non-fiction works The Ten Hour Project Manager and How To Write & Self-Publish Your First Novel are available on Amazon. Can you tell us a bit about these books and how they would help authors?

Paul: My How To Write book came about as a result of two things: First, questions from other authors about different writing topics, and second, as the result of a series of blog posts. The blog posts got so much attention I decided to publish them (and include extra topics) as a book. The book is written as a series of essays that can be dipped into time and time again. Many authors have written to me and thanked me, so I guess I did an okay job of it all. As for the project management book, it was something I really wanted to write as it’s all about my day job for the past 15 years. As for its use to authors, I’m not so sure about that one!

Just $3.99 on Kindle!
Buy it here: How to Write & Self-Publish Your First Novel: Writing for Success
Essays Included:
1. Don't Start the Story at the Beginning 2. Become a Successful Writer in 2,000 Hours 3. Poems and Short Stories 4. Creating a Good Plot 5. How Long Should a First Novel Be? 6. Writing in the First Person 7. Writing in the Third Person 8. Dialog Versus Narrative – Show Versus Tell 9. Writing Your First Novel: Words & Routine 10. Conflict and Its Importance 11. Plot Pace 12. Creating Believable and Well Rounded Characters 13. Writing Dialog – Or ‘He Said, She Said’ 14. Creating a Page Turner 15. Letting the Book 'Cook' 16. Self-Editing Your Novel 17. The Process of Pre-Reads 18. Creating a World of Fantasy 19. How to Write & Self-Publish a Novel: The End-To-End Process Checklist 20. Creating a Writing Environment without Interruptions 21. Reading to Write 22. Encouraging All Would Be Authors 23. The Self-Publishing Process: The Complete A-Z Instructions 24. Marketing Your Novel - The Relevance of Social Media, ARCs and Book Bloggers.

Jo: Your blog, Utterances of an Overcrowded Mind, has a ton of useful information. You’ve been blogging since February, 2011. Why did you choose then to begin your blogging journey?

Paul: I’ve actually been blogging for many years on different sites. In February 2011 I decided to start a dedicated Paul Dorset blog to go along with my new determination to spend more time writing and helping others to write.

Jo: What made you decide to do a round of indie author interviews on your blog?

Paul: I think as an Indie Author it’s important to give back to the community. We are all in this together.

Jo: I couldn't agree more! Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up?

Paul: I grew up in England and lived in my hometown of Poole in Dorset until I was 18 years of age. I’ve always had a bug for traveling, however, and since that time I have been fortunate enough to have found jobs and opportunities all over the world. Now I try to use a lot of those traveling experiences in my writing.

Jo: How long have you been writing?

Paul: I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I have books of old poems and song lyrics stored away. I started writing stories nearly 20 years ago and my first fantasy novel was published in 2003. It took until 2010 until I became more serious about my writing and since then I have tried to write two or three books a year.

Jo: What kind of books do you like to read?

Paul: I read mostly fantasy; although I also like to read some Sci-Fi, thrillers, and comedies. From time to time I also read other books that just take my fancy. As an author I believe it’s important to read a lot. I try and read (or listen to) at least 12 books a year.

Jo: How often do you write and how did you come to this decision?

Paul: My writing goes through cycles (novel writing as opposed to blogs and other projects). When I am writing a novel, I try and write about 1500 words a day for the duration of the book (60-90 days). Of course this writing time comes after a period of plotting and planning. I try to be strict with myself about writing as it’s important to actually finish the book. But that’s just me. I’m sure my methods wouldn’t work for everyone.

Jo: Tell us what a good writing day looks like for you.

Paul: Like I said, I don’t really have writing days. On days when I am writing I just have to find an hour or so to fit the words in. I prefer to write in the mornings but a lot of weekdays it’s not until the evening that I get my hour. The good news is that because I plot, at least I generally know what I am writing about!

Jo: When you get negative feedback, how does it impact your writing? How about your ego?

Paul: Even Vincent Van Gogh had detractors (lots of them actually). The secret is not to let them get to you. I know I can write. I also know I can’t please everybody. Therefore I don’t try to. And usually there is a little truth in a negative review. The secret is in finding it without letting the whole thing get to you. You need to have a thick skin to be involved in the arts!

Jo: Do you have any advice for other indie authors?

Paul: Keep at it and find what works for you. Oh, and don’t skip on the editing!

Jo: You have a lot of Twitter followers (58k+). Did this happen over time or did you make it happen with marketing?

Paul: It’s something I’ve worked on over time. I have also blogged about it. Never take your followers for granted although they are going to experience churn as well. I wish I had more time to spend on marketing and then maybe I could get my follower count up to 100k.

You can follow Paul Dorset on Twitter here.

Jo: What book of yours is your favorite? Why? Give us the synopsis?

Paul: Tough question. My books are diverse and all have a special meaning for me in different ways. So instead I’d prefer to answer that question with what is my favorite book (not mine). The book that had the most impact on me growing up was a book called Mister God, This Is Anna, by Fynn (unfortunately not available on Kindle). I read it as a teenager and it has stayed with me all my life. Children have an innocence about them and that is what this book is about. It’s a sad story too, and well-written sad stories tend to stay in your memories longer. I like to write stories for the Young Adult (teen) market and I try to rekindle that certain innocence in my readers. Anything is possible in a book!

If you missed any of the links above, here's a recap:

Author Website: http://pauldorset.com
Blog: http://blog.pauldorset.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/pdorset27
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jcx27
Books on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Paul-Dorset/e/B004OEFF80

I hope you've all enjoyed getting to know Paul Dorset! He's a wonderful addition to the indie author community and I suggest you check out his blog and his books.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON! As a parting shot: Live a little, live on fire

Jo

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fact or Crap

I'm probably going to raise some eyebrows with this post but, it is what it is. Open your mind for me here and just read, m'kay?

Dragons exist.
Fairies exist.
God exists.
Magic exists.
Unicorns exist.
Heaven exists.
Aliens exist.
Love exists.
Potions exist.
Other worlds exist.
Witches exist.

I bet you went through that list and scoffed at most of those, right?

Let me get your mind working. If you believe in God, why do you? Because the Bible tells you he's there? But have you ever seen him?

By default, if you believe in God, you should believe in dragons, fairies, and unicorns. By the traditional definition it seems if you read about it in a book, it could be real.

Have you ever seen a dragon? How about an alien? Love? Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not there or not real. I've never seen God and I've never seen a dragon. But I know the possibility of both existing is very good.

After all, I've read about them both in a book.

Do I believe everything I read? It's not that simple of a question. My mind is always open to the possibility. To deny one would be to deny them all.

Have you ever sat and thought about it? I mean really considered what I'm saying here? If you read a novel, it's usually based in fact, right? That's what makes a compelling story.

So, by my reasoning above, is everything in every book real? Where is the line? Why was the line drawn there? Says WHO?

Dragons exist. Just because I've never seen one, doesn't mean they don't.

I'm a reader and a writer. In creating worlds with my words I try to instill some moral values here and there; perhaps teach a lesson or two. I read to learn and I write to teach. Teaching some tolerance is the reason for the Mystic series.

Open your mind to the possibilities and let the world become your playground. Believe in something. Write about it, read about it. See the beauty.



I hope this post got you thinking about being a reader and a writer and made you consider why you think the way you do. Don't let someone else tell you how your head should work. Make decisions about your beliefs and hold on to them.

So, is it FACT or is it CRAP?

I leave that to you.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Formatting Fun and New Releases

Yesterday and today, I decided to format The Abigale Chronicles - Book Three and Mystic ~ Lily for print and digital distribution. I was so happy when I uploaded my file to CreateSpace and they said there were zero issues. That makes my millennium!

Today, I'm uploading both to Kindle to be sure there are no issues. Call it a pre-flight check. :)

Here's the info:

The Abigale Chronicles - Book Three will release next Tuesday, September 25, 2012, and will be available on Amazon for Kindle for just $1.99 and in paperback for just $5.99. You all know I'll be doing a giveaway on Goodreads for two signed copies at that time. Watch my blog for the widget!! Now for the synopsis:

Abigale Fontenot is turning thirteen. Just when she thinks her birthday couldn't possibly get any worse, a new adventure takes hold. Abigale and Emmett are whisked away to a world of fantasy where knights, dragons, and princesses are the order of the day. Abigale is kidnapped by an evil prince in a nearby kingdom, and it's up to Emmett to rescue her. But Abigale finds that escape is not the most important thing; restoring the evil prince's kindness that has been locked away in a magical book by a wicked sorceress must come first. While Emmett is trying to rescue Abigale, she is trying to free the prince from his curse. Will she succeed in her quest before the evil prince kills Emmett, or will she fail and lose her new best friend? Will death matter if the whole thing is a dream, or are the adventures real and truly dangerous?





Mystic ~ Lily will release October 30, 2012, and will be available on Amazon for Kindle for just $3.99 and in paperback for just $8.99. Again, a giveaway on Goodreads will happen at that time. But! For my loyal followers and readers, I am going to be doing an advanced copy giveaway! I'm not telling you how many copies will be available, nor when the giveaway will happen; just that it's coming. You'll have to watch here to find out!! Now for the synopsis:

Lily Conyers is a twenty-year-old who had it all going for her until a car crash left her with terrible scars, no modeling job, and an addiction to pain killers. When she meets a strange young woman named Markaza, Lily begins to re-build her life with encouragement from her new friend.

Problems arise when Lily leaves the safety of her apartment for the first time since her accident to venture back into the world she used to know. Her so-called friends shun her and her boyfriend recoils at the sight of her face; leaving her standing in the road alone - crying. She rushes home with thoughts of suicide only to find a letter on her step from a company called WSTW; promising her a new life.

Lily packs her bags, bids Markaza goodbye, and sets off for the city. But going to New York is only the first hurdle Lily must jump. She must learn to use the power inside herself to help defeat an evil that is threatening to destroy the world. Once there, she meets a girl named Bronya and the two help one another re-build what was so negligently broken.

As Lily is boarding the plane bound for New York, Markaza boards another headed to Tennessee so she can collect the next young woman on her list: Sheila.

If you haven't read Mystic ~ Bronya yet, you need to get with the program. You can find it on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009015NVQ

It's just $3.99.

I have Christmas specials planned as well so go like my FB page to keep up with the news!

Would you like to be able to submit a file and get a zero error report? Get The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book (five star rating) and discover the secrets!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Monday, September 17, 2012

Goodreads Group for Indie Authors and Reviewers

I see so many of my fellow indie authors struggling for reviews. I'm hoping to solve that problem.

If you're a member of Goodreads, join us here:

http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/72232-indie-authors-and-readers-of-indie-books

The idea behind this group is to get reviews for our books. It's not paid reviews. It's reviews by readers who have actually READ our books. As a bonus, they'll be able to interact with us and ask questions about our works.

We will have a place to announce upcoming releases and maybe even get some advanced reviews of our works if we desire.

If you're a reader or book blogger, you have a place in the group as well. I know some indies have tarnished the reputation of us all and I'm trying to bring together people in a safe environment where they can speak their minds and not be afraid of backlash either way. I know some book reviewers have tarnished the reputation of book bloggers everywhere and I'm hoping this group does away with all of that, as well.

I'd like to see indies helping indies and readers and readers helping indies and readers. If we all form a bonded unit, we can help one another drive traffic and sales. A mass of people working together is worth much MUCH more than each person working individually.

So, take off and go read the rules of the group. If you're interested, join us! Invite friends.

Come, drink the kool-aid, be merry!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, September 14, 2012

-ly

You all know what I'm about to talk about! Those pesky little things we call adverbs! Let's start with a definition:

Ad•verb (ˈadˌvərb): Noun. A word or phrase that modifies or qualifies an adjective, verb, or other adverb or a phrase, expressing a relation of place, time.

Your writing quality will increase ten-fold if you learn to cut out as many adverbs as possible. Why? Because you don't need them to get a point across if you do the job of setting the scene the way you should. I have a few exceptions I'll discuss after I give some examples of adverb removal.

Let's start with an example of a block of text with adverbs intact:

Sarah tugged on Mark's shirt roughly. "Mark! Look! What is that?" she whispered softly. Her hands dropped off his shoulders quickly and she stuffed them unceremoniously into her pockets before squeezing her eyes shut tightly. The thing hovering over the trees was less than fifty feet from them and Sarah's heart began hammering quickly in her chest. She repressed the urge to scream loudly and swallowed thickly; trying to keep her nerves from taking over. (75 words)

Granted, that's a lot of adverbs. But I'm giving an example here. Too many? You'd be surprised how many people write like that. Let's try again with fewer adverbs:

Sarah tugged on Mark's shirt. "Mark! Look! What is that?" she whispered. Her hands dropped off his shoulders and she stuffed them unceremoniously into her pockets before squeezing her eyes shut tightly. The thing hovering over the trees was less than fifty feet from them and Sarah's heart began hammering in her chest. She repressed the urge to scream and swallowed thickly; trying to keep her nerves from taking over. (70 words)

Okay. That's better, right? But we can make it even better! Let's remove them all and then I'll explain why they aren't needed in either of the examples above:

Sarah tugged on Mark's shirt. "Mark! Look! What is that?" she whispered. Her hands dropped off his shoulders and she stuffed them into her pockets before squeezing her eyes shut. The thing hovering over the trees was less than fifty feet from them and Sarah's heart began hammering in her chest. She repressed the urge to scream and swallowed; trying to keep her nerves from taking over. (67 words)

That's EIGHT words out of a paragraph. When an editor asks you to pare your work down, try removing only the adverbs and see how many words you can cut out with that single act. How many paragraphs in a chapter? You do the math.

Why did I remove all those adverbs? Time to explain, huh? Here I go, line by line:

  1. Sarah tugged on Mark's shirt roughly. Does it really matter how she tugged on his shirt? We're going to understand she's scared in this paragraph. No need to tell your reader how to think.
  2. "Mark! Look! What is that?" she whispered softly. Is there any other way to whisper? However, this is an exception line. If you prefer, you could write she said softly and that would indicate a whisper. But, my thought on that is, why use two words where one will do?
  3. Her hands dropped off his shoulders quickly and she stuffed them unceremoniously into her pockets before squeezing her eyes shut tightly. Your reader doesn't need to know how fast she dropped her hands. There is no other way to stuff one's hands in one's pockets other than unceremoniously and, I don't know about you, but if I squeeze my eyes shut, it's always tightly. Redundant words. Remove them.
  4. The thing hovering over the trees was less than fifty feet from them and Sarah's heart began hammering quickly in her chest. Does your heart hammer and not feel like it's pounding at 50mph in your chest?
  5. She repressed the urge to scream loudly and swallowed thickly; trying to keep her nerves from taking over. Again, to tell someone she is going to scream loudly is redundant. That's like saying I'm  a little bit pregnant. Either you are or you aren't, there's no in-between state. If you must, the one adjective I could see leaving in is thickly. But, as you can see in the example without the word, it isn't needed.

When in doubt, take it out!

Did this help you at all? Come back next week when I discuss sentence construction and rewording! I'll keep using the example of text above and we'll see how far down we can pare it without losing the gist of what it's saying. Sounds fun, huh?

What else about storytelling would you like to see discussed on my blog?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Flashbacks

Perhaps this should be titled Flashbacks, Flashforwards, and Flashing in General? Today, good people of the blogosphere, we will be discussing memories, dreams, and thoughts. Read on and enjoy!

There are a ton of ways to do a flashback when writing a novel. But you don't want to take your reader out of the tale and inundate them with backstory. You'll find they skip over those parts; that's bad. So let's discuss ways to make your flashbacks and such important as well as give a few ideas on how to work them in.

Leading up to the flashback, there should be some reason it's about to occur. This could be the character standing immobilized with fear or could be that he/she sees something that sparks a memory. It's the words leading up to the flashback, dream, or inner-dialogue that will keep your reader engaged.

Explain, don't tell. Flashbacks, dreams, or inner-dialogue could go in italics to remind your reader that they're in the head of the character. Some people prefer to put an extra space before and after and just leave them in regular type. I, personally, prefer both reading and writing these scenes in italics. But there must be good transition in order to keep my attention.

I'll use examples from a couple of my books.

In Yassa, when young Genghis Khan has a dream, they are almost always telling the future and are usually terrifying. So, instead of writing that he fell asleep and is about to have a dream about it, I write that his head hit the pillow and he was seized by the terror of a nightmare. Then the dream sequence begins and I put it all in italics. To make it relevant, later on I tell that happenings occur just as they did in his dream. Those dreams are never boring and always leave my hero either with residual feelings or a call to action when he wakes up. This is what I call a flashforward. Unless you're writing about someone who is clairvoyant (as Genghis believed he was), this won't work.

I do the same with Markaza in Mystic.

I don't use it at all in The Abigale Chronicles series for two reasons: 1. I begin book one at the beginning of all the craziness and 2. I don't want the reader to know if Abigale is dreaming or not - the mystery is half the fun!!

Inner-dialogue also goes into italics in my books; just to let the reader know this isn't something that's being said, rather something that's being thought.

Flashbacks work the same way. If you're going to give a flashback, the reader should understand why, who it's about, and what time period it takes place in.

A good example would be if a character is remembering something traumatic from childhood. This memory could be sparked by him/her smelling a rose and having a flashback of a friend who died and had roses on their coffin that smelled the same way. This character may close their eyes and remember every detail of that funeral (including at what time it took place) but it should be no more than a few paragraphs and there should be an emotional reaction in the present that justifies the memory's significance. Perhaps the rose they smell is then ripped to shreds and the character cries for their loss while babbling about it to a stranger. It must be relevant in that it shapes an action or explains something about the character's behavior in the here and now.

Flashbacks should be short and are different from a step-back through time which can be whole chapters with no need for italics.

Inner-dialogue should be treated the same way. If the character is thinking something, don't pull the reader out of the here and now to deliver it. Work it in with the current happenings.

I hope this helps explain a few things about flashbacks, dreams, and thoughts.

Any questions? What's your take? How do you work in flashbacks, dreams, or inner-dialogue?

On a totally unrelated note, my daughter used a word incorrectly yesterday that made me correct her a couple of times. She used the word ideal instead of idea when she was talking about a thought a character in a book we were reading had. Granted she's only six, but better to squash that word butchering out of her now. It's difficult being my kid!!

Tomorrow, we discuss those pesky things known as adjectives!! To use, or not to use? Come on back to find out how to delete them with zero consequences!!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Week 13: The Next Big Thing

Welcome to The Next Big Thing Blog Hop! By hopping through the blogs on my page, you’ll have the opportunity to discover some great new authors and read about some great new books coming soon. I encourage you to visit as many as possible.


I was tagged by Mr. Robert Chazz Chute of Chazz Writes.

Without further ado, let’s get going!

My ten questions and answers:

What is the working title of your book?

There are two: Mystic ~ Lily and The Abigale Chronicles – Book Three. This is a doubly special blog post because it's also a cover reveal for The Abigale Chronicles.



Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea for Lily came from the idea for the whole Mystic series. I wanted a strong woman with values that were solid. When she breaks down and betrays those values because of her situation, it gives me an opportunity to show how one can recover from a fall. All my characters in this series are strong women who fight through tough times and make a pact to change the world. I want to speak to people and make them consider a different point of view for once.

As for The Abigale Chronicles, my six-year-old daughter gave me the idea. I write the series for her and she requested (very politely) that there be dragons, fairies, princesses, and knights. So, for the third book in the Abigale series, I gave her exactly what she asked for. She giggled a lot while we read it.

What genre does your book fall under?

Lily falls under the genres paranormal and urban fiction while The Abigale Chronicles are chapter books for young readers.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Wow! What a great question! I would have to say, for Lily, she would be played by either Sara Paxton or Hayden Panettiere (of course, if Hayden, she would need some way to look much taller, perhaps) and Markaza would be played by Hailee Steinfeld because she has that edgy look. Elisabeth Moss for Shelia and Cobie Smulders for Bronya. For Abigale, Emma Furhman and for Emmett, Max Records.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Mystic ~ Lily: The second of six women, one battle to save the world.
The Abigale Chronicles – Book Three: A dragon, a princess, and a knight fight all odds to give the one true gift: kindness to another.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

They will both be self-published.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It took me three weeks to write Lily and a week and a half to write Abigale.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

There are no other books like these that I’ve found. If you see some, point me that way, please.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

My daughter inspired me to write The Abigale Chronicles.
The hate in the world inspired me to write the Mystic books. I feel like I have a voice inside of me struggling to get out and change perception. Tolerance and judgement of others are topics I have strong opinions on.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

This installment of The Abigale Chronicles has lots of humor for children. My daughter cracked up when the dragon burped and set things on fire.
Mystic deals with tolerance of people that make life choices that are different. I hope people really pay attention to the unique chance they have to see the world through someone else’s eyes. If you know anyone (or been through it yourself) who’s dealt with being homosexual and hidden, depressed, disfigured, addicted to drugs, anorexic, abused as a child, or anyone who’s made that difficult decision to have an abortion, you’ll “get” this series. It will speak to you.

You can find the first book in the Mystic series here: Mystic ~ Bronya

Now the links for my five fellow bloggers:


I hope you've all enjoyed this blog for The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. Keep going and meet some other wonderful authors!!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pesky Pronouns

Today I'm gonna talk about her. You know, she, him, it. Let's get to it.

A pronoun is a reference to the last person named in the text. If you use the word she after saying Abigale's mother, or her mother, whatever you put after the word she is referencing, not Abigale, but her mother.

Examples:

Abigale flew into her mother's arms and buried her head in the crook of her arm. This is incorrect. Even though it may sound okay in your head, it's wrong.

What you're saying is Abigale flew into her mother's arms and buried her mother's head in the crook of her mother's arm.

What you wanted to say is (and you have to reword or it sounds ridiculous): Louise's arms caught Abigale as she flew into them and buried her head. This is correct.

Now, if you have Abigale and Emmett both in the sentence, it's okay to use he and she because we know who the last gender named was.

Abigale and Emmett were walking through the woods at a good pace when she suddenly stopped and turned to him. She said, "Emmett, stop stepping on my shoes!" This is correct.

Let's throw another boy into the mix now.

Abigale, Emmett, and Mark were walking through the woods at a good pace when she suddenly stopped and turned to him. She said, "Emmett, stop stepping on my shoes!" This is incorrect. If she wanted to speak to Emmett, he either should have been listed last or the pronoun should have been them.

Am I confusing you yet? I thought I might be.

I have a simple trick to examine a sentence (you will thank me someday, I hope):

Wherever he, she, it, them, they, her, his, their, its, etc... appears, go back through the sentence and replace the pronoun with the name of the last person named. If it still reads the way you meant for it to, you are correct. If it doesn't, some rewording is in order.

If I used it on the example above with the three children, it would read like this:

Abigale, Emmett, and Mark were walking through the woods at a good pace when Abigale suddenly stopped and turned to Mark. Abigale said, "Emmett, stop stepping on my shoes!"

It reads wrong. She should be turning to Emmett. See how easy that was to find?

Now, there are times I misplace my pronouns (it's SOOOO easy to do!) but I thought I'd share a little bit of info and maybe a tip to help you in your personal editing journey. Many times, you'll find you have to reword a whole sentence to make it work with your pronouns. But take the time to do that. You won't be sorry.

Tomorrow, I'm participating in a blog hop about the next big thing. You'll get to hear about Mystic ~ Lily, and The Abigale Chronicles - Book Three (and see the cover! yay!). If you don't have a copy of Mystic ~ Bronya yet, you need to go pick one up! If you haven't read The Abigale Chronicles - Book One or Book Two with your kids yet, what are you waiting for? Those little beauties are just $1.99 on Kindle and just $5.99 for the paperbacks!

Thursday, I'm discussing  thoughts, flashbacks, and flashforwards and tips on not confusing your readers when you write those scenes. If you have a topic you'd like to see on Friday, let me know in the comments!

Did this help anyone or did I leave you more confused? What else would you like to see?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dialogue Tags vs. Action Tags

I read an interesting blog post lately about dialogue tags and action tags. What is the difference? If you don't already know this, dialogue tags are the ones that require commas and action tags are the ones that don't.

According to the blog, a dialogue tag is telling that a person said, whispered, screamed, asked, or responded.

Action tags are things the person does. Words like flirted, smiled, teased, growled, etc...

You can read the article here. She gives some great examples, too!!

I think there is an exception to this rule when working with animals that speak. Hear me out before you go all argumentative on me, okay?

In The Abigale Chronicles - Book Three, I have a dragon named Glinx that talks (he also burps fire but that's another story). I believe that he could growl a statement as only a dragon could do.

If I had a horse that talked, could he not whinny or neigh a response? A fairy could tinkle or trill a response, right?

Dialogue tags have their place. PLEASE don't ever stop using them!! I'm one of those people that gets lost four lines into a good chunk of dialogue if they aren't tagged with the speaker now and then. Children's books should have more tags than adult novels because kids get lost more easily than adults. Where an adult novel needs one only every four or five lines, a children's book needs a dialogue or action tag every couple of lines.

As a reader, I'll tell you, I do not mind a he said, she said, or an Abigale said, Glinx roared every couple of lines. I like to know who is doing what. Tell me!

Tomorrow, I'm gonna talk about pronouns - those pesky little words like he, she, they, them, it, hers, and his. I find misuse of them everywhere. Sure, we all have a tendency to stick an erroneous one in there now and then, but that's what proofreaders and editors are for, right? Even then, some get missed, I admit. But perhaps raising awareness will help someone, somewhere, construct better prose.

Is there a topic you find you have trouble with that you'd like clarification on? If yes, leave me a comment and let me know!!

Keep an eye out for The Abigale Chronicles - Book Three on September 25, 2012!! Cover reveal and synopsis reveal this week! If you don't have Book One or Book Two yet, what are you waiting for? Click the titles to pick them up! Just $1.99 each on Kindle!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Friday, September 7, 2012

Notes on Interior Book Design

Since I've started buying more indie books, I'm noticing a scary trend: incorrect interior formatting.

Now, you might wonder why this is a problem, right? Because, while we are indie, we don't want to look indie. We are competing with publishing houses with big-name designers on their side. We need to look just as good as the competition.

Go grab a copy of a book you've bought at a brick and mortar. I'll wait...

You back already? Cool, let's move on.

OPEN the book to the end paper. Oooooh pretty!! We don't have those as indies, but notice how pretty they are? Usually only on the hardback versions!! Drat.

Now turn the page. Note what's there. A title, right? Sometimes the author's name as well (but not always).

Note what's NOT there: running header or page number.

Flip through the rest of the front matter. Note what's missing: running headers and page numbers (sometimes, these pages ARE numbered but always with roman numerals and not PAGE 1, 2, 3, etc...).

Stop on the contents page. Note there is a list of the chapter titles with page numbers. Note what's missing.

Now, I've found that, with CreateSpace, putting in page numbers is NOT a good idea until you upload the manuscript and assure the page numbers match what you have. This must sometimes be tweaked and tested again.

Let me be very VERY forward here: PAGE ONE IS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE AND STARTS ON THE FIRST PAGE OF YOUR STORY. If you have to leave a blank page, DO IT. Please.

You need running headers and page numbers. They are part of what makes your book a book and not a glued-together mess of pages. Your interior file should be a whole separate beast from your ebook file!

You can find all of this advice and more in my book, The Indie Author's Guide to: Building a Great Book. It's just $2.99 on Amazon for Kindle. That's pocket change. I could have priced it higher, but I'm trying to help, not rob. If you want to look as professional as possible, click the title and go get a copy. You won't be disappointed. You need that book to prevent mistakes like the ones listed above.

If you don't want to do it, contact me. I'll do it for a fee.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Homo WHATS?

Happy Thursday, everyone!!

Today, I'm going to talk about a topic close to my heart: proper word usage.

We have all heard of homophones, right? No, that's not a gay telephone, it's a term used to describe two words that sound exactly alike but have different meanings.

I'm going to give a few examples. Yay!

peek vs. peak
peek means a quick and typically furtive look.
peak means to reach a highest point, either of a specified value or at a specified time.

Both are pronounced the same but have very different meanings. Here's another few...

days vs. daze
days means a period of twenty-four hours as a unit of time, reckoned from one midnight to the next, corresponding to a rotation of the earth on its axis.
daze means a state of stunned confusion or bewilderment.

rack vs. wrack
rack means a framework, typically with rails, bars, hooks, or pegs, for holding or storing things OR to cause extreme physical or mental pain to; subject to extreme stress.
wrack means a wrecked ship; a shipwreck.
also see: http://www.dailywritingtips.com/wracking-or-racking-your-brain/

patients vs. patience
patients means a person receiving or registered to receive medical treatment.
patience means the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

You can see how misuse of a homophone can really buggar up a story. It makes your prose take on a whole new meaning when you confuse a word. This is why an editor is such an important step in preparing a work for publication. They will ensure your words are used in an appropriate manner. Check those manuscripts for homophones! Don't be afraid of them, learn them all!!

Here's a great site that lists them from A-Z: http://www.homophone.com/index.php

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Passions

Happy Wednesday, people of the blogosphere! Passion is the topic of the day today. For authors, especially indie authors, passion is something we are allowed in great heaping spoonfuls. Why especially indie authors? Well, we don't have anyone telling us what we can and cannot write about. We don't have anyone saying, "If you write that, we won't publish it!"

Talk about freedom!

There are millions of books out there that have been published by indie authors. Why have I not heard more about books that make a difference in the way people think or see the world? We have the freedom to write whatever we want in our own voices.

I wrote Yassa because I was passionate about the untold love story between Genghis Khan and Borte. I wanted so badly to share that with the world. I had a reason to write it (not a monetary one) and it drove me to start and finish a wonderful piece of work.

I wrote The Abigale Chronicles series as a way to show children they could travel anywhere with a book and have great adventures through the written word. Why does that matter to me? Because I'm a reader and I've had those adventures through books myself. I want to encourage kids to read more. Reading and writing is the basis for all communication (even math).

I'm writing Mystic as a way to try and make a change. I am passionate about the overlying theme of the books: tolerance and acceptance of people no matter what their differences are. Gay rights and equality (Bronya) is a topic I believe strongly in because I see what some of my friends and cousins have gone through just trying to be happy with who they are despite the opinions of others. Seeing past a deformity or heinous appearance (Lily) is close to my heart because I knew some of those girls in high school and saw what people did to them (behind their backs and to their faces). Each of the women in my books have something unique about them that causes people to judge. I'm hoping to either cause just ONE person to stop and think with my words or show just ONE person that, even if they are different, they do have strength.

I have said it before, I'll say it again: THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD. I implore indie authors to try and make a difference through their words. For you, for me, for the whole human race. You have passion for something. Talk about it.

What topics are you passionate about? Are you afraid to write about it? Why?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Holiday Weekend and Triberr

Well, I went out of town for the holiday weekend, as I'm sure many people did, and my brain had a glorious chance to reset itself. I am raring to go on Mystic ~ Shelia and The Abigale Chronicles - Book Three. I can't wait to get back to writing. Looks like a 10am start for me today. Ah well, catching up on e-mails is the fun part, right?

On another note, I checked out a new service called Triberr. I have a few first impressions that I'd like to share:

1. Their UI is difficult to navigate and leaves a lot of unanswered questions.
2. I loved the idea behind the service but, once I got into it knee-deep, I'm a bit disenchanted.
3. They use a currency they call "bones" and you need them to join other tribes. Once again, it all comes down to spending money. Why would I do that if I have a free blog and an RSS feed already? Hmmmm?
4. When I read about their service, I was eager to try it out. It didn't take me long to get lost in the muck. Please understand, I'm a very VERY savvy internet and service user. This was like: I'm supposed to click where for what?
5. Triberr wanted permission to post on my FB wall and update my Twitter feed. I am always hesitant when giving access to my stuff by any app, much less one I know very little about.

So, there you have my first impressions. I'm gonna give them a shot and will update you all later on what I find.

If you entered the contest on my blog for a copy of Soul Sisters, please visit here to see if you won. Thanks to everyone who participated!!

My giveaway for a copy of Mystic ~ Bronya over on Goodreads is now over. If you entered that one, please go see if you'll be getting a copy in your mailbox anytime soon. Thanks to the 775 people who requested it. I am humbled and honored by your zeal.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo