Friday, March 17, 2017

A “How To” for Aspiring Authors

by Anna del C. Dye @AnnaDelC
Indie Author Hub Member


What should you do when you want to write a book?
  • First thing “Keep your day job.” To publish and promote your books takes money and sometimes lots of it. Promotion may include travel, business cards, bookmarkers, renting tables at fairs, posters, and free copies for reviews, etc. Most reviewers will require one or more free copies of your book, and so will any contests you enter. You will also need to provide most interviewers with a free copy or your book.
  • Once upon a time the publishing houses helped you promote your book. In our day reality is becoming quite different. In many cases the author pays for tickets, gas, and hotels. If you write fantasy, you will want to promote your books in many fantasy fairs. The best ones will charge from $50 up to much more, often $200 for the right to have a table. This is without counting the need for someone to help you and the cost of food and gas.
Now that that is out of the way, let’s get down to writing.
  • Make a habit of writing every day even if it is only for a few minutes or a few phrases. This exercise will keep you in tune with the story and your characters.
  • Have friends look at your stories for common grammatical errors. You can tell them that you will put their name in your book if they get it back to you in three weeks, as a way of acknowledging their work.
  • Join a local chapter of a writer’s organization and learn from them. Usually they have members that will coach you to be a better author, and you will always learn from others experiences.
  • Join a group of critics and submit chapters for their review. You have to learn to accept negative comments along with the good ones. Critique others’ books and read those submitted by and for other authors. I have learned a lot by doing this.
  • Register on sites that promote blogging and maintain an active profile. Start blogs so people can get familiar with your name or rather your pseudonym. Two blogs a week that are no longer than 15 lines is good.
  • Write articles and small stories to send to everyone who has a press (online magazines, newspapers, university presses, etc.) Keep a folder with all the articles or stories anyone has printed for you.
  • Start conversations with strangers and get adjusted to talking with them. (This is great preparation for when you have fans.)
  • Research everything. (You don’t want to write something misleading or wrong only to have it pointed out to you after your book is published.)

Try a few of these items every day until you can feel comfortable doing all of them. Writing a book is the easy part… getting it published and then promoting it once it is published is a different ball game and a very demanding one.
~~~


Shared with us from Anna's blog.

Anna was born in the extreme South. She loves reading, but had few opportunities to do so while growing up. As a young woman, she moved North to marry Rodney Dye and has resided in Utah since then. They are the parents of three princes and a princess. With her husband and his family she has had the opportunity of traveling to many of the United States, (most of them camping!) and to four other countries. She would like to visit castles in European countries. She is fluent in both English and Spanish and understands Portuguese.

After she married, Anna was introduced to the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books that she admits to having collected. A number of years ago she was introduced to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and to J. K.Rowling's writings, which she loves. She also loves romantic music (she listens to it every day), theatrical plays that she attends at least six times a year, and cats (when they are not shedding).

Anna wears her dresses down to her ankles and likes them to be very feminine, with lace being one of her favorite trimmings. "I am afraid that I do not follow fashions," she has said. "I wear what I like."

You can find Anna on her website, her profile on FaceBook, and on Twitter at @AnnaDelC.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Writers Write

by Rebecca Talley  @rebeccatalley
Indie Author Hub Member


Do you really want to write?

That’s a question we all need to ask ourselves. If the answer is no, then you should find something else to do with your time. If the answer is yes, then you need to evaluate what that “yes” means.

Do you want to write when it’s convenient? When you have nothing else to do? Only when inspiration hits? Are you willing to sacrifice other things to write?

I’ve always wanted to write. I started in elementary school with a bound journal. My “book” was a mystery based on the Encyclopedia Brown series. I even illustrated it. Junior high hit me hard and I put aside my writing.

In high school, I took a creative writing class that triggered my desire to write again. But, when I went to college, I forgot about writing while I studied and then graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

I married and started a family. While raising my young children, I knitted, crocheted, gardened, and took piano lessons. I then took a creative writing class at a local community college and realized that if I wanted to write, I had to stop waiting for the perfect time and just be committed enough to it to sacrifice the other things I liked to do. Of course, my family always came first (and still does), but I gave up knitting, crafts, piano, training horses, and scrapbooking to concentrate on writing.

I signed up for online forums, took online classes, attended workshops, and read book after book on writing techniques. I also read books in the genre in which I hoped to write. It took time, especially as I squeezed it in between raising my growing family and caring for my aging grandparents. It wasn’t easy, but I learned a valuable lesson.

We can make time for that which we feel is important. People will say, “I just don’t have time to write.” If you find yourself saying that, you may not be as committed to writing as you believe you are. We make time every day to exercise, watch TV, go to movies, play computer games, surf Facebook, write and read emails, or thousands of other activities that use up our time. Writing may mean giving up some of those things.

And, really, if you’re committed enough to writing, you won’t miss them.

Being a writer means parking your behind in the chair and writing. Day after day, week after week, year after year–even when it’s hard, especially when it’s hard, and working through it all to your finished product. Writers write.

So, ask yourself, do you really want to write?
~~~


Rebecca grew up next to the ocean in Santa Barbara, California. She spent her youth at the beach collecting sea shells and building sandcastles. She graduated from high school and left for college, where she met and married her sweetheart, Del.

Del and Rebecca are the sometimes frazzled, but always grateful, parents of ten wildly-creative and multi-talented children and the grandparents of the most adorable little girls in the universe.

After spending nineteen years in rural Colorado with horses, cows, sheep, goats, rabbits, and donkeys, Rebecca and her family moved to a suburb of Houston, Texas, where she spends most of her time in the pool trying to avoid the heat and humidity. When she isn't in the pool, she loves to date her husband, play with her kids, swim in the ocean, redecorate her house, and dance to disco music while she cleans the house.

Rebecca has always loved to write and has authored novels, stories for print and online magazines, and children's books. She now focuses on writing romance because she believes everyone deserves their happily-ever-after.

You can find Rebecca on her website, her author page on FaceBook, and on Twitter at @rebeccatalley.

Friday, February 24, 2017

How to interview and be interviewed

by Anna del C. Dye @AnnaDelC
Indie Author Hub Member


It is simple: be a guest on someone else’s blog or have a guest on your blog. Especially when your book is coming out. You can always find an author or someone extraordinary to swap interviews with. You want to choose those with many followers, but a little is exposure too.

Follow others' blogs before you ask them for an interview. It is good form. Follow people relevant to what you want to promote,: i.e., if you promote books, befriend some authors and a lot of readers.

Where to follow them? Facebook, twitter, Linkedin, Goodreads, Shelfari, but mostly on their blogs. Why follow them? Do unto others what you would like done to you. Help them and they will help you.

Now that you are friends, read their interviews, comment, and copy some of their questions and then make them relevant to the topic that fits your guest. In anther words, be inspired and write your own.

Keep a list of questions and answer them according to your expertise or what you want to promote. Then when someone tells you they have never done an interview, you can tell them that you have one handy and can send it to them. This also works for you. Answer the question yourself and you have an interview ready when someone wants to do yours and doesn’t know how.

Many bloggers struggle to find things to put on their blogs and they would love to have material ready to post. It helps you and them.

Here are some interview-making tips:


  1. Be professional and double edit your interview
  2. No negative talk or bad language
  3. Be timely
  4. Invite everyone you know and their dogs to go see it, when the post goes live
  5. Remember to go to the site where the interview is being hosted and make sure you leave a comment that says how thankful you are for being a guest
  6. Also go back often to answer any questions the visitors have for you.
  7. Do not forget to add live links to all the places your book is sold.
  8. Make sure you tweet the interview and put it on Facebook with a live link, all that week and every so often after that week.
  9. Be polite, but funny. We all love a good laugh.
~~~

Shared with us from Anna's blog.

Anna was born in the extreme South. She loves reading, but had few opportunities to do so while growing up. As a young woman, she moved North to marry Rodney Dye and has resided in Utah since then. They are the parents of three princes and a princess. With her husband and his family she has had the opportunity of traveling to many of the United States, (most of them camping!) and to four other countries. She would like to visit castles in European countries. She is fluent in both English and Spanish and understands Portuguese.

After she married, Anna was introduced to the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books that she admits to having collected. A number of years ago she was introduced to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and to J. K.Rowling's writings, which she loves. She also loves romantic music (she listens to it every day), theatrical plays that she attends at least six times a year, and cats (when they are not shedding).

Anna wears her dresses down to her ankles and likes them to be very feminine, with lace being one of her favorite trimmings. "I am afraid that I do not follow fashions," she has said. "I wear what I like."

You can find Anna on her website, her profile on FaceBook, and on Twitter at @AnnaDelC.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Your Novel in One Sentence

by Rebecca Talley  @rebeccatalley
Indie Author Hub Member


Before you begin your novel, you’ll want to focus on the core of your novel.

One of the best ways to find the very center of your novel is to use only one sentence to describe it. This will not only serve to keep you focused on the story as you write it, it will also help you to pitch your novel to potential agents or publishers. Think of this one sentence as your twenty-second selling tool.

Try to boil the story down to one sentence. Though it may seem difficult, if not impossible, it is an excellent exercise for you to pinpoint the main plot of your novel.

For example, the one sentence for Gone With The Wind might be, “A spoiled southern belle must learn to readjust to life after the Civil War.” Of course, this doesn’t begin to touch on all of the subplots, but it gives you an overview of the story.

For the Harry Potter series it might be, “An orphaned boy discovers he’s a wizard and must use his newfound powers to battle evil.”

One sentence to describe Twilight could be, “An ordinary teenage girl falls in love with a vampire and must sacrifice her normal life to be with him.”

Learning to condense your story in one sentence is an art form. Research one sentence book blurbs in newspaper book reviews or on the internet to see how effective one sentence can be. Write your own one-sentence descriptions for books you’ve read. Once you have the hang of it, try it on your own novel.

Take your story-in-a-sentence and post it next to your computer or near your desk so you can see it while you write. You’ll find that it keeps you centered on your story.

If your focus is on traditional publishing, you’ll also find that you can use your sentence in your query letter when the time comes to send out your novel to potential publishers or agents. You can whet the appetite of industry professionals with a well-written sentence.

Go ahead and try it. It may take you an hour or it may take you all day, but see if you can describe your novel in one sentence.
~~~


Rebecca grew up next to the ocean in Santa Barbara, California. She spent her youth at the beach collecting sea shells and building sandcastles. She graduated from high school and left for college, where she met and married her sweetheart, Del.

Del and Rebecca are the sometimes frazzled, but always grateful, parents of ten wildly-creative and multi-talented children and the grandparents of the most adorable little girls in the universe.

After spending nineteen years in rural Colorado with horses, cows, sheep, goats, rabbits, and donkeys, Rebecca and her family moved to a suburb of Houston, Texas, where she spends most of her time in the pool trying to avoid the heat and humidity. When she isn't in the pool, she loves to date her husband, play with her kids, swim in the ocean, redecorate her house, and dance to disco music while she cleans the house.

Rebecca has always loved to write and has authored novels, stories for print and online magazines, and children's books. She now focuses on writing romance because she believes everyone deserves their happily-ever-after.

You can find Rebecca on her website, her author page on FaceBook, and on Twitter at @rebeccatalley.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Inspiration and How to Get It (or Beating Writer’s Block)

by Anna del C. Dye @AnnaDelC
Indie Author Hub Member
 

Inspiration is an integral part of the writing process, without it you are stuck. I don’t have a lot of problems with inspiration; it seems to overrun my mind. However, once I started a book with giant eagles and was so busy with promoting my published books that a year went by. When I tried to continue writing it, I wasn’t sure what to write. So, I watched a movie about eagles and went to an eagle presentation in the aviary and asked some questions and I was on my way again.

Watching movies on the subject you are writing will help with ideas. Have a notepad when you watch anything. You never know when a face, a place or a scene will spark an idea.

Watching a documentary on something that pertains to your book will also help.

Read books and magazines in your subject. You can use them for free from the library.

Google the theme you are going to write about and see what ideas you get.

Visit author’s blogs and read about writing.

Be a people watcher (without staring.) It is amazing what people do or say, that may inspire you.

Music can be an inspiration by itself. I wrote a romance novel while I listened to my favorite romantic music. My fingers couldn’t go fast enough for my brain.

Fine arts or a museum could help to start the creative juices. The color and the scenes portrayed in paintings are inspiring.

Watch children at play. They do and say the cutest things and have great imaginations.

Now go, and happy writings to you…

~~~

Shared with us from Anna's blog.

Anna was born in the extreme South. She loves reading, but had few opportunities to do so while growing up. As a young woman, she moved North to marry Rodney Dye and has resided in Utah since then. They are the parents of three princes and a princess. With her husband and his family she has had the opportunity of traveling to many of the United States, (most of them camping!) and to four other countries. She would like to visit castles in European countries. She is fluent in both English and Spanish and understands Portuguese.

After she married, Anna was introduced to the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books that she admits to having collected. A number of years ago she was introduced to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and to J. K.Rowling's writings, which she loves. She also loves romantic music (she listens to it every day), theatrical plays that she attends at least six times a year, and cats (when they are not shedding).

Anna wears her dresses down to her ankles and likes them to be very feminine, with lace being one of her favorite trimmings. "I am afraid that I do not follow fashions," she has said. "I wear what I like."

You can find Anna on her website, her profile on FaceBook, and on Twitter at @AnnaDelC.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Revision Shouldn't be Endless

by Rebecca Talley  @rebeccatalley
Indie Author Hub Member


For some writers, the word revision makes them squirm.

Many novice writers go into the writing process fantasizing that they will only have to write one draft of their novel. Perhaps they envision themselves sitting next to an open window, ocean breeze wafting gently through the fragrant air, sipping an exotic drink, while their muse easily supplies them with perfect sentences and a flawless plot.

Isn’t that how it works? Hardly.

Writing is work. Getting a first draft down on paper takes time, thought, energy, and persistence. But, once that first draft is finished, the real work begins.

Revising a manuscript can be grueling. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart. However, here are some tips when revising:

Print out your manuscript and read it as a hard copy. It’s easy to skip mistakes on a computer screen. On paper, with a pen in hand, it’s easier to spot misspellings, awkward sentences, and plot holes.

While reading your hard copy, be sure to mark it up. Rewrite sentences, cross out sections that don’t support your plot in some way, add in characterization, spice up the dialogue.

Revise the entire manuscript before making the changes on your computer file. You want to go through the whole story and make sure that it all works before you start making any changes. By the end of the process, you should barely recognize your manuscript.

Once you’ve completed this process, go back to your file and input all the corrections. Do not be tempted to make more corrections at this point. If you feel that you need to make some changes, go back to the hard copy and work them out on paper before you transcribe them to the computer.

You don’t have to make endless passes over your manuscript. Being a writer means you finish projects. You write a book and then you write another one and another one. Don’t waste time endlessly revising one manuscript. If you feel that you don’t know how to improve it anymore, think about hiring a professional editor with reputable references.

The point is, don’t spend the rest of your life revising a single manuscript. Write the first draft, go through it word by word making it the best you can, and then get it submitted. That’s how you become an author.
~~~


Rebecca grew up next to the ocean in Santa Barbara, California. She spent her youth at the beach collecting sea shells and building sandcastles. She graduated from high school and left for college, where she met and married her sweetheart, Del.

Del and Rebecca are the sometimes frazzled, but always grateful, parents of ten wildly-creative and multi-talented children and the grandparents of the most adorable little girls in the universe.

After spending nineteen years in rural Colorado with horses, cows, sheep, goats, rabbits, and donkeys, Rebecca and her family moved to a suburb of Houston, Texas, where she spends most of her time in the pool trying to avoid the heat and humidity. When she isn't in the pool, she loves to date her husband, play with her kids, swim in the ocean, redecorate her house, and dance to disco music while she cleans the house.

Rebecca has always loved to write and has authored novels, stories for print and online magazines, and children's books. She now focuses on writing romance because she believes everyone deserves their happily-ever-after.

You can find Rebecca on her website, her author page on FaceBook, and on Twitter at @rebeccatalley.

Friday, November 11, 2016

A Bible?

by Marsha Ward @MarshaWard

I recently took time away from writing to put together a big project, a collection of the five books of The Owen Family Saga as a box set. It was a huge job of work.

"What work?" you may ask. "Just slap all the books into one file and you're done!"

Not so.

I had to tinker with scenes that don't exactly play well with each other over the scope of the saga. Gotta be consistent.

"Is that kid named Ezra or Harry?" I picked Harry.

"Did Rod Owen meet Julia Helm's brother before they got married?" I thought they had in The Man from Shenandoah. As I write my current writing project, it appears that I was wrong, so I had to fix that in the existing work to jibe with the upcoming story.

Now that I've written Gone for a Soldier, that passage about Rulon and Mary's relationship in The Man from Shenandoah seems off. (Rewrite passage.)

Did he or didn't he during the Mexican War? Hmm. That question may remain forever unanswered.

How to explain the bit about the wedding ring? (Rewrite passage.)

Such fun!

I wish I had started a series "bible" when I wrote The Man from Shenandoah, to keep all the facts and characters straight, but I didn't know then that the tale about the Owen Family was going to expand into a series. Creating the "bible" now is going to be quite a task, but it's one I really need to do. When I'm done, perhaps it can become something new, maybe something called The Owen Family Companion.

After all, it's been done before: "Little did Louis L'Amour realize back in 1960 when he published The Daybreakers, a novel about two brothers who came west after the Civil War, that he had begun creating what would become perhaps North America's most widely followed literary family: the Sacketts." From The Sackett Companion: The Facts Behind the Fiction.

Every author should keep handy a notebook for facts (was the dog black or brown), characters (am I reusing too many names, or do all names begin with a single letter?), items (was that letter written in pen or pencil?), and the like, whether or not he or she is writing a series. Every little thing will come in handy for checking consistency within that story.

Can oxen run?  No, but they can perambulate pretty quickly if motivated. (I asked a large animal vet.)

Did people ride in wagons when on extended journeys? Not if they had a lot of belongings and/or foodstuffs to carry.

How many stories tall is the house? What does the general store look like inside? How far away from the house should the stable/barn/pigsty be? Is the bar/saloon/pub well lit, smoky, smelly, just a "belly-up-to-the" bar, or does it have gaming tables and sit-down tables, too?

You're the author. Make it easier on yourself with a "Book Bible."