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Friday, March 29, 2013

Teaser Time

Hello everyone! I just wanted to send a special thanks to everyone who reads my blog. This week has been a great week and I've had a ton of people commenting and following and plus-ing (is that even a real thing?) my posts. I love all the great support and feedback from you guys! I really appreciate everyone who has read.

#1 FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK! I created a page and blog posts go there and it's super cool and I have some possible covers over there so be sure to check it out.


#3 READ THIS TEASER AND THEN COMMENT! I love every single ounce of feedback from you guys so I love to hear what you have to say.

Without further adieu, here is your Friday teaser! Right now this is from chapter 11. Who knows where it will actually end up but it's a fun part of the book. You get to see a little of Ari and Ryder's fun relationship.

        “Are you coming or what?” I ask as I get up from the table. I look back to him once I start walking and he has a sly grin across his face. Something’s up his sleeve. 
“Oh, I’m coming.” He proclaims, his voice all raspy and seductive. When I send him a dirty look he returns it. We both laugh for a second and it is surprisingly comfortable. It’s like we are building some weird twisted friendship. We butt heads that’s for damn sure. Maybe we are just too alike. It is nice not to have everyone agree with me. He challenges me and I think I like it. I shoot down my brain before I start to think too much. In another five minutes he is probably going to be a jerk again. 
“You know I could just tell you what I know about Apollo.” He suggests as we peruse the aisles. He hasn’t picked out a single book or even looked at one. Some help he is. 
“I don’t think you count as a reputable source.” I respond and elbow him a little in the rib. He flies back a couple of feet. Oh shit. Not this again! He stumbles but recovers rather gracefully. He gives me this crazy look probably wondering how the hell I just pushed him down. I’d be confused too if I just flew across the room thanks to some scrawny girl. He’s double my size, anyone could see how impossible this is. 

Well, there is this weeks teaser for The Thousand Year Curse! I hope you enjoyed it immensely. I won't be posting over the weekend. Google+ is dead anyway but still, it's a long weekend. Happy Easter everyone! See you Monday- maybe. 


Thursday, March 28, 2013


As I am nearing the release of my book so many different and new questions are popping up. Publishing is a big part since I'm not sure who or how I am going to publish with just yet. A lot of people have been telling me to look at Smashwords and no matter what I do, I have to publish on there. I had no idea what it was at the time, so I've been doing some research.

What is Smashwords?
They distribute ebooks. They give 100% of the control to the author or publisher. The pricing can be anything which gives freedom to the writer.

How is Smashwords performing?
They are a profitable business and have been for over three years now. That's important because that means they're making money which means they're selling books. They don't make their money from authors, only readers. That's why it's free to publish. They only make money if the book sells. Virtually no risk to the author at all.

Why do readers buy on Smashwords?
Smashwords lets readers preview most works for free. They can keep track of their favorite authors and works. They can create digital libraries of their books. They can also publish reviews. Another cool perk for authors is you can choose the sample length. They can sample half the book if you want them to!

Here's the important question- Money! How do they compensate authors?
Authors get at least 85% of the net sales. Smashwords also gets your book to all of the huge retailers, like Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBookstore and others. You earn about 16 times more publishing here than another site.

Publishing rights?
Nope. You retain all of the rights to your work. They are simply the distributer.

Does it cost me anything to publish on Smashwords?
Not a penny.

SO. Smashwords seems pretty cool. It looks like it would be a great place to publish along with amazon createspace. It seems a little small so the marketing would be hard to just publish on smashwords. They don't offer any extra help so it's all on the author. BUT it's all on the author so you get freedom. I liked the website and they are clearly doing very well.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How To Title Your Book

Surprisingly this was a fairly easy part of creating my book. Firstly, I just want to make it clear that you should never title your book before you write it. I had this really cool idea but my book went in an entirely different direction than I first planned. Also keep in mind if you decide to create a sequel, it has to fit. Nothing too crazy to set it apart.

The first thing when titling your book is to just list out themes. For me, I looked at my outline and jotted down some common words. Names that are important, places that are important, that sort of thing. Sort through that list and try to come up with names. This is the fun part! Naming your book shouldn't be annoying or too too hard, this is a time when you can get creative and have some fun.

I have heard and read about many authors and sites that tell you to check out the best seller list or lists from your genre of titles. I don't agree with that. I think once you read other book titles, your subconscious picks up on that. Use your own head. Figure it out for yourself. I recommend after you're down to under five titles, then look at a list and see if your book fits in.

I don't think a title should just be about if it fits into a category. Let's be honest, it's not cool to fit in. You want your book to stand out and be different. Fitting in is overrated in my mind. Pick a name that people will remember and can easily say. I can't list every book I've read but certain titles stick out.

Depending on how you are publishing your book, keep in mind that editors or publishers can change your title. So don't fall in love with it. I remember reading an article about The Lord of the Rings. The last one was going to be named, The War of the Ring but the publishers vetoed that and changed it to, The Return of the King. If you're self publishing then don't worry, you can do whatever the hell you want.

I found this site. It's a Title Generator. It's pretty fun to play around with. It's good if you want to brainstorm and pick some random ones. You can arrange the results by genre which is cool. I don't know how it does it but the names are unique and interesting. It's worth taking a look at if you're in a bind.

Happy hunting for a title! TL

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Where to get Inspiration

I'm always getting this question when asked about what I'm writing. What inspired you to write this book? It's a pretty simple question. Most people answer it with something like, I saw a movie or read a book. I don't think it's that simple. One significant thing may spiral into a book idea but it's unlikely. For me, many things happen.

I have to admit most of my inspiration comes from watching. I love to people watch. My boyfriend and I are long distance, I've been lending him my car so that we can see each other more often. He's joining the armed services so he doesn't have car. Being car-less has actually been really positive for me.

I find myself walking to and from work. I know it sounds awful but I've come to love it. I leave my house around 8 in the morning to get to work at 9. The world is a beautiful place. I plug my head phones in and just breathe. It's quite therapeutic. I love looking at houses and imagining who lives in there.

I swear from the time I've started walking I've had four different book ideas pop into my head. They're all pretty good too. I come up with more dynamic characters as I walk, imagining what Ryder or another character would be doing. The quiet also gives me time to think.

This morning I was walking to work and thought of a great scene that would really add to, The Thousand Year Curse. Today when I got to work, I quickly wrote it down and I'm pretty sure I'm going to use it. It's helping improve my writing. It gives me that time to myself to think and be alone.

I find that watching people is a huge inspiration. I see this one woman at Dunkin Donuts almost every single morning. I don't know her but she fascinates me. She sits alone, usually with a pile of papers in front of her. She's probably mid thirties but dresses like she's sixty. She keeps to herself. She has these habits that are so interesting to me. I would love to create a character with similarities- but more depth. Really get to know what makes her tick.

I think we can get inspiration any where. However, I do think that watching a movie or reading a book isn't the best spot. Usually those ideas tend to be too similar. You don't want to copy an idea. Your imagination should come up with something completely its own. Authors do inspire me though. I like how certain people write and try to use their techniques as my own.

Later guys!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Teaser Time Guys!

Hey guys! Wow it has been a great week for me. I've gotten so much great feedback and so much done. Chapters 1-10 are completely edited and ready to go. I'm reading what my beta readers have said while editing so I can fix it all up at once.

I've gotten a bunch of new followers and fans on twitter, the blog, Facebook and other sites like good reads. It's so exciting to have other people start getting pumped up for the book! I've loved it but now other people can too!

I'm sad to say I don't have a cover yet. My artist is still working on it for me and I want it to be perfect so I'm not rushing her! I'll have you guys vote for your favorite in another entry early next week.

So.... what you're all waiting for. Here is your weekly teaser. This is a journal entry in the beginning of the book, written by Ryder as she tries to figure out what the hell is going on. Enjoy!

Sept 6
I am being dragged to Ollie’s party tonight. The party is supposed to be a super big deal or something. I’m not into parties so I wasn’t planning on going but Junior is forcing me to. I’m dreading seeing Becca there, luckily I have my body guards.
The weather around here is really starting to freak me out. Every day starts out perfectly fine but randomly it will rain or thunder storm. It’s creepy. It’s like the world is ending or something. That’s what it feels like.
My weird episodes have died down. I haven’t broken much since Tuesday- just ripped a shirt and cracked my bathroom door. I think it’s gone away. Thank god. I keep feeling dizzy and like I might faint. I need to start eating better. Bacon, egg and cheeses aren’t really high on the food pyramid. 

I hope it was worth the wait! I love doing these little journal entries every once and a while in the book. It shows the changes going on around Ryder and some of her feelings. Sets the scene nicely. I hope you like it. Please leave a comment! I really want to know what you guys think.

Yes or No to journal entries. Do you find them annoying or like them?

Thanks guys! TL

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Likable Characters

I have been getting a lot of feedback from my beta readers this week. I had one person tell me that my main character wasn't likable! At first I was like, great, I have to redo the whole book and change her and was literally freaking out. After the initial heartbreak (I love my main character!) I decided to do some research.

My main character, Ryder isn't really supposed to be super likable in the beginning. She's a shy and down on her luck when the book starts. As the book progresses she has a transformation into an independent, fun woman. So I get that when the book starts how she could be unlikable.

However, I still want people to feel for her. I want the reader to want her to change, fix her life and grow up a little. The last thing I want is for the readers to write her off as a desperate girl and not care what she does the rest of the book. So how do I do this....

This blog has some good advice on creating likable characters.

  1. Make other characters like them. I agree with this one, however I don't think that's enough. Just because they have a friend doesn't make me like them. They have to have a quality the friend likes. 
  2. Sympathy. I'm not sure how I feel about this. One reason is that in my book, you do feel sorry for the bullied girl in the beginning. Yet the reader still didn't like her. I don't think sympathy is enough. Just because you feel sorry for someone doesn't mean you like them. 
  3. Talent. Giving the character a skill or talent. That's an interesting one. I think it's a good idea. If they're good at something it makes them different. We always root for someone who isn't the norm. 
  4. Want. Have the character want something. I don't know if that makes the character likable but that should be what drives the story. If they don't want anything, why are they in the book. I just don't know if that is the answer to making a character likable. 
I'm not sure if any of those were the answer. I feel like that's not enough to make me love a character and feel invested. Here is my personal take on what makes a character likable.

  1. Multi-dimensional personality. I don't want to read about someone who is as complex as a cat. I think inner dialogue helps here. I think really diving into the mind of a character brings out more qualities that have the opportunity to be likable. 
  2. Make sure your character has at least one redeeming quality. Let's say you're working with a villain. Sometimes we actually like the villain or the bad guy. This is because there is something else there. They can want to control the world, and step on hundreds of toes, but maybe it's all to become noticed or the gain approval of their father. Hello, smallville- I love Lex even though he's awful. 
  3. Give them a villain. If there is always someone putting them down or harming them we can sympathize. We feel bad for the character that they have to go through this. Make the villain extra evil to get more sympathy.
  4. Make them do something. If you want us to like a character they can't be boring and sit at home all day. At least don't talk about those parts. To make us like them, they have to do things. To make them extra likable- make them do things we want them to
  5. Humor. I've heard people talking about this one time and time again. I agree that humor can make us like something. How many times do we fall for the jerk in a romance novel? All of the time- why? Because they're usually witty and funny. If a character can actually make you laugh out loud. You've got a winner.  
Tomorrow I am going to explain the difference between likable characters and relatable ones. Which is better? Which should we strive for? This is super important when writing. I know what I strive for...


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Writing Competitions

I found a cool article and have been doing some research on competitions. I found some ones this website. Most give a lot of money which can help jump start your career. Some give publications and get your name out there. Even runners up and other submissions get honorable mentions. Most are free so there is no risk at all. I'll list the ones I think are the best!

If you write poetry this is the best contest I could find. The Lulu Poetry contest. They pick weekly, monthly and yearly winners. Obviously if you win the yearly you win more money. Here's some info...
The website is... Lulu. You can win up to $5,000. There is continuous entries so it's always open. You can submit online.

If you write non-fiction this is the best competition. Drue Heinz Literature Prize. The deadline is May 1st so get it together ASAP if you want to submit. Their website is... Drue Heinz. You can win up to $15,000. You can only submit offline and the length is not specified.

For fiction pieces, many were due early this year. There is one competition that stood out that doesn't end for a while. It is called, Bellevue Literary Review. This is their website. Their submissions are open February 1 to July 1. It can be up to 1,000 words and submitted online. You can win $1,000 and publication.

There are multiple award competitions that you can enter. The best I've found is Glimmer Train's Fiction Open. Here is the website. There are several submissions throughout the year. The first is March 1-31. The second runs in July. The highest prize is $2,500. Submissions are between 2,000 and 20,000 words.

A special contest for indie authors is also here. It's called Inkubate, Literary Blockbuster Challenge. Here is the website. The deadline is March 31 so if you're interested hurry up and get submitting! There is no entry fee and you can submit online. The top prize is $5,000 but there multiple winners. No submission guidelines but it must be a full length novel.

So these are some great competitions and grants that can help start your career. Most don't have an entry fee so there is no risk involved at all. There are many more competitions out there so do some research. These are only ones that I have found and think are great. Start submitting!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Inner Monologues

How can inner monologues affect and/or help your story flourish?

Inner monologue also know as inner dialogue is when a character thinks or talks to himself in the book. Other characters do no hear it. Only the reader gets the insight. This form of communication can either help or hurt a story. It also is great when setting up character development. You learn a  lot about someone by what they think.

The Do's and Don'ts (link)

DON'T ramble on without action. Sandwich the inner thoughts with what they are doing or an action. Chop it up. Similar to outer dialogue. I don't want two bobbing heads talking back and forth. I want what they are doing and where they are in there too!

DON'T think too much. A lot of times we have characters who are just thinking too much. That might work with someone who is schizophrenic but normal people act and live. If a gun is at your head, you most likely aren't thinking about much.

DO show DON'T tell. Personally this one is the pain in the ass but necessary. Don't keep telling us that a person is scared. Show us they are. She can't stop her palms from sweating, her eyes keep darting for an exit. Don't just say... She is scared. ******* Star, number, highlight the heck out of this one. Most important. BY FAR!

DO cut the descriptions. Personally I don't really care if you're bed has butterflies on it. I care why it does. Does it have anything to do with her life? If not, cut it. Some description is fine- better good. I want to know where you are but I only want need to know. I'm good with some imagination

DO keep up some mystery. I don't want to know this girls life long story right off the bat. I want to know what I need to to get back into the action. Filter in little things here and there. Don't spill your guts on page one. Trust me, it's a pain in the ass down the road. I had to cut a lot out of my first chapter because I said too much!

I didn't write much but I will elaborate more later. I am a big fan of inner dialogues. I love how it can get the reader to really connect with characters. I also think it's hard to do. I have trouble with it and have had to cut a ton out of my book. You have to really know the character to know what they think. That's very important. Will write tomorrow on examples, and how it affects a story. :)


Monday, March 18, 2013

Starting to Promote...

So as I am nearing my release date and launch of my book, I'm thinking of ways to promote my name. Obviously, I want to get the book's name and my own out there so people are familiar with it. If they see my name somewhere they will relate it to the book and are more likely to buy it!

Where do I even start promoting? 

Well, obviously I've started this blog. I have read a lot about blogging and I actually enjoy it. I like writing about my process and telling everyone about my book. I feel like if I help one person with their process, I've done a good job. But does this blog actually do anything? I think the answer is yes, although I have yet to publish my book so we'll see as I start selling.

Through this blog two people have added my book to their "to read" list on good reads. I think that's huge. I only have a synopsis up and of course my name. There's no cover since it's not done yet. Both of the people who added it, I have talked to on google+ and seen my blog. One being +A.M. Day who has been extremely helpful and fun to talk to!

Recently I've made my facebook fan page. I made this so I can get my real friends involved and to have another place to put my name. I just made it last week, so I'm not sure how well it is actually working but I will keep you posted. I think facebook is becoming a little dated. I find the people on google+ to be more interactive and actually interested. Likes on facebook, versus discussions and feedback on here.

Twitter. Now I don't think twitter is the best place to start. However, it is a nice way to post blog entries and spam people. If I kept posting the same thing over and over on facebook, people are going to find that annoying. However, on twitter people do it all the time. You don't really have to look if you don't want.

I find that I miss things people say because I follow so many people. I'll find something interesting randomly. The more times you post, the more chances someone might see it. I know it's bad to spam but twitter doesn't really count. I don't think reading about someone eating cereal is interesting yet I see it on my feed. There's more freedom on twitter.

Lastly, I have my GoodReads Page. I've actually become addicted to goodreads. I keep posting in their forums and promoting my blog. On friday I posted the teaser and I put it out there, all over the place. That day, I got over 100 views in a  couple hours just on that one post. I have more friends and followers on goodreads who are actually interested in my book.

I think goodreads is great because you are marketing straight to people who actually care. On facebook, you're getting everyone. Guys, girls, family, random people you knew in high school. Who knows if any of them actually read. On this site, you are just getting other authors and readers. It's great.

What works the best to promoting is being active! Even if I had a great blog, amazing facebook page, and all that other stuff, if I'm not on it, it doesn't matter. You have to work to get people. You can't make these things and never check. Being on top of the posts, responding (not just thanks but really responding) to people and talking, adds to yourself. People know you're there to listen and talk. This is the biggest thing I can urge. BE ACTIVE ON YOUR PAGES! 

I'll post again as I learn more.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Choosing the right words

How do I choose the right word?

This question is from +John Ward. This is an interesting one and one I really have to think about. I mean we all think about this. We don't want to use words that sound fake or forced, yet we want a powerful word. What words work?

I saw this exercise on this blog. It really made sense and hit home with me. Try doing this as a side exercise before writing or during or just when you're bored. It's pretty hard. Look at a picture or think of a situation or theme. Then write about it without using "TO BE" at all. Do not use is or was. It's hard but it definitely strengthens your writing.

An example, It is a sunny day. Now writing is without the word, is. The sun blazed high in the sky. You can just imagine and see the difference. It gives just that one sentence a feeling and you can actually picture it. Obviously you'll have to use to be at times but changing up some sentences without it changes the feel and improves writing.

Another thing that I think helps is always having a thesaurus around. I know when I write I set my desk up and put a thesaurus next to me. I'll write the word, mad and then open up the thesaurus and like the word, livid or irate better. I love using a thesaurus. I do find that at times you have to be careful. You don't want to start adding in words that don't really make sense.

Don't repeat words like crazy. Through people reading my novel, they keep telling me I use smirk too much. I never noticed it before they pointed out. Once you use a strong word don't use it again for a while. It won't be as strong anymore and loose it's wow factor. Try to limit words and don't repeat them.

Another thing that I find strengthens word choices is adding in imagery. Similes, metaphors and personification also create strong words. Pick the right ones though. So instead of saying something like, She sang like an old cat. Say something like, When Laura sang, she sounded like a cat sliding down a chalk board. The example is from here. You can imagine it now. Create these visuals make the word and sentence choices make more sense.

Here are some good examples that I have found to make sentences more powerful...

  • George has been working at the same automobile factory six days a week, ten hours a day, for the past twelve years.
    • George felt as worn out as the elbows on his work shirt.
    •  George felt as worn out as the rusted Impala that carried him to work every day.
    • George felt worn out and useless--just another broken fan belt, a burst radiator hose, a stripped wing nut, a discharged battery.
 You can see from the changes in the sentence how much more imagery you get. You can understand his hard day. You feel like he's stuck in a rut or tired of working these long hours. Just changing that one sentence you create feelings and a connection to the character.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Teaser

Damn guys! I can't keep doing these. Luckily only about a month out from the launch. I don't want to give away the whole damn book. I think this part is hilarious. It shows the budding relationship between Ryder and one of the guys. Luckily this part only has "he says" in it so you won't know which guy. :) I like to be tricky. Well, without further rambling... HERE IT IS...

“You know I could just tell you what I know about Apollo.” He suggests as we peruse the aisles.

“I don’t think you count as a reputable source.” I respond and elbow him a little in the rib. He flies back a couple of feet. Oh shit. Not this again! He stumbles but recovers rather gracefully. He gives me this crazy look. I don’t know how to describe it. He’s astonished. I freaking elbowed him but accidentally flung him. He's double my size- anyone could see how impossible this is.

“What was that?” He asks me in a hushed tone. 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I say and gather the rest of the books in silence. He doesn’t push me to elaborate more and honestly I’m glad. I don’t know what I would have said. 

Yes, I pushed you with inhuman strength. It’s just this thing that I do now. Oh! I also have these fucked up visions and guess what- you’re the star! Oh and I sort of think you’re beautiful. That would go over well. 

Well, there it is guys! Write me a comment (now that I can respond) and guess which guy this is about. Personally, I just love this part. I know I already said that but I do. I can't wait until you all can read the full scene. COMMENT. :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Which Publishing Platform Works?

Whether 'this nobler to suffer the sling and arrows of Amazon and iBookstore or rather post to Kobo?

Question asked by +Robert Worstell. I don't know the answer to this question. However, I have been doing my research. It's all about what you value and how you want to publish. The real question here is Amazon versus Kobo. iBookstore is not as large as the other two, as it only reaches out to Mac and apple uses. Both Amazon and Kobo are global. Here are the pros and cons to each.


  • Amazon is an innovator. They are always changing and making their site better. Their technology is top notch. They are good business people. 
  • Their online store base. Not only is their kindle the top of the list, they sell everything. I buy more paperback books for cheap on amazon than anywhere else. It's convenient for those of us that have a busy life. 
  • The royalties are better than traditional publishers according to research
  • Easy to publish. For those of you that aren't technological or computer savy, publishing a book on createspace is easy. Publishing an ebook is even easier!
  • According to research, createspace doesn't assign or name a publisher to your book. This makes the book look a tad unprofessional. 
  • Now, this is a complaint from someone so it might be a little exaggerated because he seemed angry. He published a book with amazon and it was being sold to extended places and being charged an arm and a leg. He didn't want this and they still charged him. This man also had problems when he was dealing with trademarks. Here is the link. Not sure the validity in that. 
  • The actually publishing aspect is very easy. They have a step by step guide to help you the whole way. 
  • They are expanding rapidly and are becoming global. They are said to be the only real competition for createspace aka amazon. 
  • They want to be great. I keep reading articles where CEO's and people who work there write about how badly they want to make their business the best. They work hard there and want to excel. 
  • I have heard that their search engines need a little bit of work. It is hard to find things are their site. 
  • The conversion aspect sometimes is very slow or doesn't work. They have a conversion chart that is helpful though and tells you exactly what you need to do. 
The final say... iBookstore is a nice extra platform. They aren't huge yet since they only cater to those who use apple products. Right now amazon is the way to go. They get the most people to see your book and generally are helpful. Keep looking at Kobo though. Kobo is going to keep improving and keep growing. Soon, they might be the best in the market. Stick with amazon for now but don't sign any contracts, in a few years the best thing may just be Kobo. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Book Plates

What is the use and art of modern book plates?

This question was asked to me by +Laura S. I can honestly say I haven't even thought about this in regards to my book. After doing some research I find that it is very interesting. I love the idea now and want my book to have one.

So what is a book plate? A book plate, also know as ex libris, is usually found on the inside front cover. It is most commonly seen as a sticker or a stamp. It indicates its owner. If it is typed on the cover it is called a book label. The label usually has elements that reflect the writer. It is kind of like a coat of arms. They can be fancy or very simple.

Let me start by saying this. According to research book plates should not be used if you plan on selling the book. It greatly decreases the value. People see it is a blemish on the book and don't like it. I have read more than a handful of people through threads who hate bookplates and marking up their books. They try to keep them as pristine as possible.

I have a different view on that. Personally I like having a book be my own. I am one of those people who at first hated Kindles and readers. I kept saying how much I loved smelling an old book or going to the library. Then I got a kindle and fell in love with reading on it.

However, if I know I'll love the book or if it is an author I have read before, I buy the real book on amazon. Why do I do this? I know I will like the book and possibly want to read it again and again. I love looking on my bookshelf and remembering a book.

For example, I have a large collection of Jodi Picoult and Nicolas Sparks. I buy these books because I want them to be my own. My twilight book is worn hard and I have highlighted my favorite lines and it's falling apart. I love this about my book. My favorite books are torn and have food on them. I like that. 

I want my favorite books to feel personal and feel like they are mine. I personally don't have book plates on them but my name is scribbled in there. In some books I have a grade written inside the front page with what I thought and the date. When I go back to read the book years later, sometimes my review changes. I like knowing what I thought.

Sooooo... My thoughts on bookplates is to not let the value of your book bother you unless you are selling the book back. I feel like if you love the book, why sell it? Why let people who think your thoughts are a "blemish" get to you. Mark that baby up! Bookplates are really cool and unique to yourself. If nothing else, your kids will see them and think it's cool when it's their turn to read the book.

Here are some really cool book plates I have found...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Who do our platforms reach?

Do the platforms we all build reach the public or are we talking to only other writers?

Thank you +Timothy Hurley for the question. I think the answer to that question is all about your platform, what you put out there and your audience. In 2013, everyone should have a social platform, if not many. Twitter, Google, Facebook, Digg, Stumbleupon, Blogger, Wordpress or just having your own website, is crucial to getting your product seen. This is the way that marketing is going. We can't help it, we must embrace.

To make your platform appeal to the public and possible buyers, in this case readers you have to know your goal. What is it that you want the reader or follower to do? Do you want them to buy your book? Review it? Learn about writing? You have to know your ultimate goal.

I think it is crucial to know who your follows are and the demographics. Google has a great program called Google Analytics. This program allows you to see who is looking at your posts, how long, if they click multiple pages. You can learn everything about your readers. You want to appeal to them. If most of your readers are woman, writing a post about sports or beards, isn't going to appeal. Make your posts interesting to your specific demographic.

The best way to make sure your blog gets the right people and traffic is to be on constantly. Watch which posts get the most views. For example, my Friday teasers bring in the most views and comments. I make sure I put one up every single week because that is the post people like the most. Make your readers happy and they will keep reading.

Also in regards to comments, comment back. Don't respond with a simple thank you or thanks. Make it personal. You want to connect with the reader and show them that you actually read their comment. This is huge! I can't even begin to explain how important this is.

Use all of the platforms you can and keep it all consistent. Every time I post on Blogger, it shoots to my Facebook, and Twitter. So not only are my Google friends seeing it but so are my Facebook and Twitter. Then if I have time, I post it on Pinterest, Digg, Stumbleupon and other sites that further the views. Getting your name out there is the most important.

Back to the question! Personally, I find that on Google+ I have mostly been in contact with other writers. However, I have meet people who are reviewers interesting in the book or people who read reviews and saw my book. I find on twitter and facebook is where the fan base lays. Having every social media network lets you get all of it.

Monday, March 11, 2013


I had a question asked to me by +K. Nowinsky. I have been asking around on google+ if people have any questions about the writing world and if they do I can try and answer and do some research. Here questions and tools I have used that work for me.

What editing tools do you suggest?

First I just want to mention that no editing tool is going to be as effective as an editor. Machines can only pick up so much and help to a certain extent. A real human editor is the best way to go. However, I know that they cost a lot and personally, I couldn't afford it. I looked into some editing software when I was editing my book and found one that has really worked for me.

It is called AutoCrit, editing wizard. Of course nothing is free so let me explain the costs.

  • The first membership is called GOLD. You can do 1,000 words per entry, unlimited entries a day and it gives you a full report. This membership is $47 for a year! Not so bad. 
  • The second membership is PLATINUM. This allows 8,000 words per entry, unlimited and a full report. This one also lets you email the report to yourself so you can keep it. This one is $77 a year. 
  • The last membership is called PROFESSIONAL. You can do 100,000 words an entry, unlimited and full report. You can email the text, print the text and edit right into the wizard. This is $117 a year.
I have the platinum membership. This membership is good for doing chapters at a time, not the full book. For that I would recommend getting Professional. I also have other software, where I actually make the corrections so I don't mind using them both. If you wanted to do it all in one spot, I recommend Pro. Also the great thing is that you have a thirty day money back guarantee  You can also try the free membership which lets you do 400 words each time.

The way this tool works is, first you paste in your book or scene or chapters. Then you click the button, "analyze my text." It will take a couple of seconds for the machine to go through it all and bring out your report.

The first thing you'll see is overused words. For example, I put in my first chapter. It says I used that 44 times, then it says remove about 9 of them. It says I used can 9 times but that is okay. Underneath the report, it shows the text with the excess words highlighted.

The next area is sentence variation. So in my work, it shows how long each sentence is. Mine goes, 5 to 10 to 16 to 25 to 9. You want to make sure you don't have all long sentences or all short. It all has to flow.

Next is cliches and redundancies. You don't want to have too many of these in your work. In my work, it found more or less, head start, and melt down. These are all redundancies that are used in chapter one. It also found precisely as a redundancy. My advice is to try and limit them.

Next is repeated words and phrases and phrases summary after. They pretty much go together. The first shows you by highlighting which words are repeated throughout in green highlight. It shows you which phrases are repeated in blue. The phrases summary shows you the frequency they were repeated.

Next is phrasing. I really like this part. it's cool because it shows your text and highlights parts of the story that slow down. So whole passages will be green if it's back story. You don't want your book to be all fast paced so some green is good. In my first chapter, there are four paragraphs that are green. That's pretty good in my opinion.

Next you have dialog then pronouns then homonyms. These areas a pretty self explanatory. The dialog is listed. Then pronouns are underlined in your text. Homonyms are also underlined on their page in the text. This stuff is nice to know but I usually skip over it.

The coolest part is the readability tab. This area gives you scores according to various tests like New Dale, Smog and EFLAW score. It's cool because they give you the required reading level. Look up the tests because some are crazy. For example my New Dale Chall score I got a six which is about 7 or 8th grade. Then on my Smog score I got a 57 which translates to about 10th or 11th grade. They all look at different things.

Lastly there is the combined report. It combines, overused words, repeated words and repeated phrases and marks up your whole text. It's all red, green and blue. It's cool though because you can see what you have to take out and what not.

So what does this all mean?

Although you can never replace an editor, this software is really helpful if you are self editing. I find that it brings attention to things you would not notice when editing. It doesn't help with simple grammatical mistakes. For that I recommend beta readers or reading it yourself. It does help with the overall quality of your work. Try a free trial and see if it works for you!


Friday, March 8, 2013

It's Friday!

Hey all! It has been quite the busy week. I've been so busy and crazy at work I've hardly had time to read or edit. Last night I finally went through some comments from my beta readings and am so happy with the responses. It definitely builds my confidence.

I'm pretty sure I have a cover!! That's super exciting news. I bought a couple of pictures online and am going to use them for my cover. Avery Hutchings, my cover designer has them and is going work her magic. They're so beautiful and perfect. I'm already in love! I'm hoping next week or the week after I will have a cover reveal. I'll keep you all posted.

Here's your weekly teaser. Oh, I have some great news. The teasers that I post on Friday's are the most viewed posts I have. I love it! I hope this one doesn't disappoint. Let me know our thoughts!

Junior comes back with two guys I’ve never seen before. One introduces himself as Dimitri and the other is Cristos. Dimitri is hot, hot, hot- in a foreign way. He has long dark hair that is pulled back in a low pony tail. He has chocolate brown skin and the complexion of a god. Literally flawless. 

Cristos is more rugged. He has a hairy face- a nice trimmed beard. He has an athletic build but it’s hidden behind his baggy clothes. He seems shy. Even as I inspect him his eyes never meet mine.

“Who’s this hot thing?” Dimitri blurts out. Cristos hits his shoulder scolding him. Junior laughs a little then goes downstairs. Instead of responding I follow in Junior’s footsteps.

“So-rry.” I hear Dimitri say from the stairs.

“Don’t fucking talk to her like that!” Ollie yells.

“Dude, sorry.” Dimirti says back. I stop walking and eavesdrop on their conversation. I think they know I’m listening because they hush their voices so I can’t hear a thing. 

“What was that about?” I ask Junior when I get to his side.

“Who knows.” Junior says and starts pounding on the drums. 

I thought this would be a good teaser. It introduces you guys to two new characters. They're not super important but they're fun! Ignore the grammar issues, this part hasn't been edited. Until next week... 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Discussion Question of the Month

Hey all! This question is from a group on google+ that I belong to. It is called, Writers, Authors, Bloggers. It's a really great site run by Danny P. He is beta reading for me, therefore he is great! Anyway I thought it would be fun to respond to his monthly question here and then I'll post it around. Here is the link to the community. Great advice on there! Check it out!! Writers, Authors, Bloggers

Where do your characters come from?

Where, see, if we have unbelievable characters, our readers will say, "Oh come on!" And turn against you faster than Benedict Arnold. So many characters can lead to bad fiction, it's sad but true. We may have an amazing story to tell the world, but if the story involves a slew of characters we can't connect with, it can lead to disaster.

So where do you get your characters from to make them believable? From life? People watching? Family? Friends? Memories? Maybe even from your own story?

The best way to create believable characters is to know what you're talking about. Do some research. If you're writing from the point of view of a nineteen year old boy, you should know how that boy acts. I'm a twenty two year old woman, so I would have no idea to get into the head of a young guy. I don't know how guys think or how they talk to each other. I would have to do some research. 

 I think dialog is an important way to shape characters. Dialog shows the characters voice. You can tell if they're grumbling- they're in a bad mood, if they're shouting- they're loud. Dialog is a great way to showcase character traits and to show how your character asks. Dialog is hard to do. You don't want to rumble on and on, so dialog tends to be cut short. It still has to make sense. People, generally don't talk to their friends in proper English or complete sentences. You're writing should reflect that.

People watching! I love love love people watching. You can learn so much about people from just observing how they act. For instance, I know tons of people who like to write in public. This is because you can look up and copy what someone is doing. You can tell if someone is nervous when they keep twirling their hair. You see two teenagers flirting and you can copy it. People watching is such a great way to make great characters. 

I think a great way to keep track of your characters and make sure they make sense is to write profiles. I have pages upon pages of character sketches and traits and everything. You have to map it all out! Know how your character will react if they get angry. Will they close themselves off? Break things? Fight back? This is all important. Write it all down! 

Phew. Good question. Now go to the website and check out what other people are saying.

Ta Ta For Now. TL

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Realistic Writing

This is hard for some people to grasp but it's important. To make a great book you have to do the work. Obviously when us writers get a good idea going, we can go on and on. We bang out a manuscript and are so excited when we're done. There is so much more to writing a quality book than that. There's actually a lot of research and pre writing that has to take place.

To make your book realistic, possible and make sense, you have to put in the research. Even fiction novels need to have some research done. There are tons of different ways to do research. It's not always going to the library or buying a book and reading it. Although sometimes you can't avoid that. Here are some tips on researching for fiction books.

*Note and record everything. Keep track of what you've read, important stuff you've learned and where it all came from. If you go back into your notes and see something that piques your interest yet it isn't labeled, you're ultimately screwed. You'll have to go through all your past books. That would be a waste of  time and a pain in the ass.

*Buy the books- if you can! I know books are expensive and it sucks having to store a bunch of books but it definitely helps to have a book be your own. Personally, I love to mark it up, add notes on the pages and highlight. Also having sticky notes to mark important pages makes it a lot easier down the road.

*Use internet sparingly. The internet is a great and easy way to do a lot of research. There are some downfalls, though. Firstly, most sites aren't reputable. You have to be careful what you read. Also you can't really keep it for later. You have to print out pages and then read them again. You might as well buy the book!

*Read books similar to the one you're thinking of. This is an interesting tip because a lot of times you don't want to read books similar because you don't want to copy any ideas or have their books taint your mind. I recommend doing this after you have an outline and know where your book is going. Maybe after your first copy, start reading up and doing research.

*Use people as resources. People are a great resource, especially when writing dialog. Listen to how people talk and use their tones and their wording. Watch people's movements and notice little quirks they do. Use the things that you see. You see someone kiss, their cheeks redden, their hands go to the other persons face. You can use all of this in your writing. Observation is a great tool to use for research.

*When using locations use those that you know. And if you don't know, go there! Don't talk about France if you don't know the first thing about it. In my book, the characters go to Italy. I wouldn't write about a place I've never been. I wouldn't have my book set in Iowa or the mid-west because I know nothing about it. If you want it set there, go to the place and see what it's like for yourself.

Research is a powerful tool that can set your book apart from others. Getting into the setting and characters and back grounds makes your story that much deeper. Research should be done for every single book you write. Whether it be a crime story or a romance, there is something you should be researching.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mythology Resources

Greek Mythology is a topic that interests me deeply. I love the stories and the characters that are portrayed through it. I think if you love fantasy novels or history, these books might interest you as well. The Curse Books are loosely based off stories from Greek Mythology. I have changed them a little to make them more modern and fit my personal style. These are some great resources that I used for research and to read.

Mythology by Edith Hamilton is a classic book on Greek Mythology. It goes over most stories and explains them in depth. Hamilton has a voice that is easily understood and relate-able. She brings you into the book. This is a great starting point for researching or learning about Greek Mythology.

For almost a century and a half, Bulfinch's Mythology has been the text by which the great tales of the gods and goddesses, Greek and Roman antiquity; Scandinavian, Celtic, and Oriental fables and myths; and the age of chivalry have been known. 

The stories are divided into three sections: The Age of Fable or Stories of Gods and Heroes; The Age of Chivalry ; and Legends of Charlemagne or Romance of the Middle Ages

For the Greek myths, Bulfinch drew on Ovid and Virgil, and for the sagas of the north, from Mallet's Northern Antiquities. He provides lively versions of the myths of Zeus and Hera, Venus and Adonis, Daphne and Apollo, and their cohorts on Mount Olympus; the love story of Pygmalion and Galatea; the legends of the Trojan War and the epic wanderings of Ulysses and Aeneas; the joys of Valhalla and the furies of Thor; and the tales of Beowulf and Robin Hood. 
The tales are eminently readable. (Amazon)

This one is very cool. This "book" actually folds out into a complete tree of Greek Mythology. Accompanied by more than 125 captivating full-color photographs of art and artifacts, the narratives and bloodlines mapped out in The Genealogy of Greek Mythology are wonderfully user friendly. 

Beginning with Chaos-the period before the Earth was born-Vanessa James traces the succession of gods and titans through to the first generations of historically verifiable people of the ancient Aegean. Packed with over 3,000 entries, this incredibly detailed resource also features a star chart, regional map, and who's who guide to the Olympian gods. Each side of the book's unique accordion-paged design can be perused section-by-section or fanned out to reveal the entire genealogy in more than seventeen elegant feet.

As Bulfinch wrote, "Without a knowledge of mythology much of the elegant literature of our own language cannot be understood and appreciated. . . . Our book is an attempt to solve this problem, by telling the stories of mythology in such a manner as to make them a source of amusement."

Friday, March 1, 2013

T-T-T-Teaser Time

Hey all! It has been one hell of a week. A couple things to start with. Be sure to check out my post from earlier in the week about New Adult. I did a video with David Arney and John Ward. It's very cool and I talk about the book in it. I am still sick which sucks but I have been getting a lot done! I am meeting with my designer on Saturday to look at the covers and pick one. Hopefully sometime next week, I can get it together and do a cover release. So excited! Here is your weekly teaser...

Finally he says, “You have a gift Eury.”
“I don’t even know how to do it. It just happened.” I say. It’s not a gift-it’s just a weird thing that keeps happening lately. It will stop. It’s not a big deal! I am normal!
“Maybe you can remember it all.” His face lights up. He definitely seems happy but there’s more to it. He has a look of hope. That definitely isn’t normal. I do want to remember it all. I want to see it all. I want to know who I really am.
“Maybe...” I say but I’m still skeptical.
“I’m sorry I just kind of laid it all on you. I understand if you want me to leave you alone.” He starts walking away but I grab his arm to stop him. 
“No, I like that you’re honest with me.” I say. 
“I will never lie to you.” He says and stares into my eyes. I believe him, one hundred percent. 

Leave me a comment and let me know how you like it! Short yet sweet again. I'm running out of teasers to give you. You guys will have the whole book before I release it! I hope to have a cover release soon. Keep tuned for more.