Writer Tip Wednesday

Morning, lovely people! 🙂 We’re halfway to the weekend! *does fist-pump in the air* And today we continue the week of alliterating titles with Writer Tip Wednesday. Each Wednesday, I’m going to pop up a few tips that I’ve been lucky enough to learn so far in my publishing journey. So hopefully they can help you guys too! 🙂

To Plot Or To Pantster? That Is The Question

Now this post will come from someone who has literally been both a pantster, and is now a plotter. In case you’re wondering what on earth those terms are, they are the kind of writer you might be. A pantster literally writes ‘by the seat of their pants’, and can knock up a plotline on the fly, adding all the creative parts later in editing. A plotter will plan the storyline first, writing out the novel as it follows the pattern of events.

I’ve done both of these methods now, and can still see the benefits of both. For my paranormal novels, I’m a pantster all the way. The beauty of these novels is that it can be completely imaginative and free. Things that defy physics can happen (Take that, my old teacher, Mr. Stevens! Gravity does not ALWAYS work!), and you can twist events so sharply it creates hairpin turns. It can be fun to not even know where your characters are heading yourself, and to find out the same way as a reader would can tell you if it’s good enough or not. The downside to this kind of writing is that you must do a lot of editing. Inevitably, as you go back over the novel in the editing process, you may find you forgot to tie up a loose end, or something no longer makes sense to have. But as long as you have a keen eye before sending it off to the professional editor, you can do this method with no problem.

And what of the plotter? Recently having started on my first historical fiction, I’ve found it necessary to plot the story out, as part of it is based on a real person. (I’ll be doing another post at some point on plotting out a historical novel, as it’s very different from some other genres!) If you have a set timeline in your mind, then you can mark it out in order of events, filling the sections in between with action and dialogue, bridging each gap from A to B. This method is the one most used by new authors, and it allows for almost a ‘how-to’ of the storyline. The only downside of this method is that you may find your creativity more limited than the pantster when it comes to the editing process, as you are locked into an unchangeable (without a lot of extra work, anyway) series of events.

So, you’re new to the world of writing. You’ve got an idea of the storyline, it came to you in a dream…now what? You’re going to have to pick a method, but which one?

Pantster

This can be the easiest method to launch into, as you get straight into the process of your idea. But you will need at least the barest of notes first. Your main characters must be well-defined. No matter what your timeline does, they should be well-defined and clear before you start, because they are the backbone of your novel. You can always add to them later, and even drop in extra characters, but the main characters will drive what happens. Have a rough idea of three points; the beginning, middle, and end. Everything else can be filled inbetween. Your story essentially needs to have the protagonist(s) hitting a problem near the middle. The beginning will set events in motion to create that problem, and the second half of your book will go towards resolving the problem. (I won’t go into detail, but I explain more of how to create your plot ‘pantster style’ over at The Book Maven’s blog here.) This method is best for paranormal, romance, and humourous genres.

Not to be confused with a scenario like this, you can actually keep your pants on for the whole pantster process.

Not to be confused with a scenario like this, you can actually keep your pants on for the whole pantster process.

Plotter

This method is more difficult, but depending on your novel’s genre, you may find it a lot more helpful than winging it. Historical fiction and crime thrillers often benefit more from this process. The first thing to do, is your research. If it’s historical, find out as much as you can about the period you wish to write about – and indeed the characters, if you’re basing it on real people. Crime thrillers will require research on weapons used, crime investigation, and much more. Once you have compiled all the research to start yourself off with (you will do more during writing the novel itself!) you can move onto the novel planning. Where is your story going to end up? Will this be a series, or a one-off book? This can determine the end as much as all the other planning. As with the pantster process, work out your beginning, middle and end. However, you must work out and add on all the events in between. Don’t worry too much if you can’t figure out a section between two parts, this is where your writing itself will come in. Once you have a firm timeline, well-defined characters, and research, you’re ready to begin your novel. Although you have to craft your words as creatively as possible, be careful not to stray too far from one point to the next, as otherwise you may add unnecessary words.

You don't have to look quite as mad as this or wear a blazer when plotting, but it may help.

You don’t have to look quite as mad as this or wear a blazer when plotting, but it may help.

So although it’s only a brief introduction to writing methods, hopefully this might help you to decide which you want to use, if you’re just starting out. Which one do you think you would go for, or if you’re already writing, which one are you? 🙂

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Top Ten Tuesday – Some Of My Favourites!

Morning, everyone! 🙂 We all made it through Monday! Woohoo! Now at least we can get on with Tuesday – Top Ten Tuesday, that is! Each Tuesday, I will feature ten of my favourite indie books for your perusal. They won’t all be the same genre, so hopefully there’s something for everyone. And today, I’ve even got a few freebies for you! Woot! 🙂

Lookit that gorgeous cover! And it's FREE!

Lookit that gorgeous cover! And it’s FREE!

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Suspense

Price: PERMA-FREE!

Blurb: Kendra Larkin had everything going in the right direction. Her life was seemingly perfect, and she wouldn’t have changed a thing about it. Unfortunately, the course of her life was about to be forever altered. A tragic rappelling accident lands her on Dr. Adam Chamberlain’s operating table.

She agrees to a deal proposed by a guardian angel to help save the soul of the man who is both her doctor and soulmate. If she is successful, she gets to keep her life. However, she later learns that it isn’t just her life that’s in jeopardy, but her soul as well.

Even with the help of her handsome guardian angel, Rhyan, it seems there is no happy ending in sight. Torn between her newly discovered love of Rhyan, and the undeniable attraction she has for Adam, Kendra finds herself at a crossroad. With Adam’s steadfast rejection of God, and his guardian demon conspiring against her, she fears her soul may already be lost.

Will she find a way to overcome the evil her life is suddenly burdened with? Or will Adam’s guardian demon win both their souls and make Kendra his own personal puppet in Hell?

This is a fantastic YA read, and really hits home with some big issues.

This is a fantastic YA read, and really hits home with some big issues.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Price: PERMA-FREE!

Blurb: Piper Willow dies the summer after her high school graduation but she doesn’t make it to Heaven or Hell…instead she finds herself in a spiritual terminal called the Station. She’s given only two choices: Return to Earth as the subconscious for a person in need of some outside assistance, or move on and spend an eternity lost in her own sorrow and pain.

Does Piper have what it takes to save a life – to be the nagging voice inside someone else’s head – or will she fail and end up lost and tormented in limbo…forever?

“Excuse me, Niles…I mean, Mr. Abbott. But, where are we?”
“I’ll explain everything to you dear, just as soon as we reach the Station.”
“What station? We aren’t in the hospital? Where’s my Dad?”
“No Piper, this isn’t the hospital, and your father is at home…he’s fine. Please, follow me.”
He turns away and continues on through the light. I hang my head, staring at my bare feet as we walk. Even though my cuts are gone, I keep rubbing my arm. It’s soothing. I almost bump into Niles when he stops abruptly.
“We’re here,” he says softly.

AND this was nominated for a 2012 RONE award! What more do you need?

AND this was nominated for a 2012 RONE award! What more do you need?

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Thriller/Vampires

Price: $2.95

Blurb: *Nominated for a 2012 RONE Award from InD’tale Magazine*

Murder is serious business among vampires. If you kill, so do they. They are the Penitent – a military order among vampire society charged with one task only. Execute the condemned.

Vesper Hyde is a model Penitent. Solitary. Skilled. Deadly. Only once has she ever lost a target, even though it almost cost her life. Now the one that got away is back with a vengeance, and this time he’s determined to finish the job. She needs to overcome the whispers of doubt and let her instinct and training take over to redeem her failure. But on this second time around, she doesn’t expect a sidekick. A very sexy, stubborn, human sidekick.

Homicide Detective Decker Price has seen it all, including the murder of his wife at the hands of a twisted serial killer. When another murder pitches him headfirst into a world of vampires, witches, and sorcery, he is given a chance to mend shattered parts of his soul. But Vesper’s world is as dark and alluring as the Penitent herself and he will come face to face with echoes of his past in order to help her keep a vicious enemy at bay.

If they are to succeed, they will need to push aside both their failings and work together to ensure the balance of their worlds remains unchanged. Redemption comes at a cost – is their love worth the price?

More vampire-y goodness...you know you can't resist!

More vampire-y goodness…you know you can’t resist!

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Suspense/Vampires

Price: $3.94

Blurb: “Do you believe in things that go bump in the night?”

At only a few hours old, Angela is left on the steps of St Paul’s church. Alone in the world, the only link she has to her past is a pink blanket bearing an emblem with two crossed swords and a snake.

A troubled childhood spent in orphanages leads to Angela attempting to rebuild her shattered life as an adult. Meeting the priest who found her eighteen years previously, she gets a job and a boyfriend, and settles into her new life.

Until she meets Jack.

Drawn to her new boss, she throws herself into work, feeling an unusual bond with people she hasn’t known very long.

Angela becomes embroiled in this new life, feeling a change within herself. A change which isn’t altogether human. Within this change she finds a terrifying secret…a secret which involves her past, her present, and definitely her future…

This is one of the funniest books you will read this year - what writer hasn't wondered this?

This is one of the funniest books you will read this year – what writer hasn’t wondered this?

Genre: Contemporary/Humour

Price: $3.76

Blurb: Polly writes chick lit and her debut novel is a worldwide bestseller. However, something strange starts to happen when she gets back from an international book tour. Polly finds that instead of art imitating life, her life starts to imitate art – or rather, her novel.

She arrives home to find her husband in the arms of the maid. Wasn’t that in Chapter Three of her book, Happily Ever After?

Her best friend is having an affair with her husband, too, and is pregnant! Isn’t that in Chapter Four?

Then she meets a bronzed Greek and embarks on a passionate love affair. Wasn’t that in Chapter Seven?

Will anyone believe her life is mirroring her novel? Can she prevent the ultimate tragedy or must the book play out, precisely as she wrote it, to the bitter end?

Her agent recommends that Polly go and live Happily Ever After on the proceeds of her book, and keep away from drama!

The beginning to an awesome YA series - that cover alone should entice you! :)

The beginning to an awesome YA series – that cover alone should entice you! 🙂

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Drama

Price: $3.98

Blurb: The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.

Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.

Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.

The first book in another awesome series - plus be sure to check out the rest of this fab author's books!

The first book in another awesome series – plus be sure to check out the rest of this fab author’s books!

Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal/Werewolves & Shifters

Price: $4.08

Blurb: **Not for readers under the age of 18+. Contains language and adult situations.**

Gabriel Slade runs Hollywood with his gorgeous blue eyes and egregious temper. No one knows that underneath it all is a man with a frozen heart, cursed to become a beast at every full moon. For seven days he has no choice but to roam the earth as a vicious animal, until he meets a woman who can change it all.

Luna Grace has a hatred for everything Gabriel Slade stands for, but she doesn’t even know what he looks like. When a chance encounter reveals feelings Luna never knew she harboured, it stands to reason that she would run.

Can Luna overcome her hatred and break the curse? Or will Gabriel’s temper keep her from realizing her true feelings, dooming him to remain the beast forever?

Another brilliant book in a series - doesn't that title just make you wonder what's inside?

Another brilliant book in a series – doesn’t that title just make you wonder what’s inside?

Genre: Romance/Contemporary

Price: $4.11

Blurb: “You can’t leave me because I’ll only ever love you.”

What was supposed to be a final goodbye turned into one last piece of unfinished business for Brody Walsh.

As long as Aggie Walker’s heart still belongs to him, he’s destined to remain in limbo, watching over her.
But when her family decides to send her to Scotland for the summer and she meets Camden MacTavish, it seems despite their constant head-butting that there may be something more between them.

That is, if she is willing to let Camden in.

As Aggie finds herself torn between her lover lost and her lover anew, it becomes clear that she cannot hold on to both. If she decides to let Camden into her heart, she will have to let Brody go. And if she can’t let Brody go, she risks losing Camden-and a second chance at love.
Forever.

That cover is the first thing that drew me in - gorgeous and so Lovecraftian!

That cover is the first thing that drew me in – gorgeous and so Lovecraftian!

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Price: $2.05

Blurb: Bookstore owner and novice antiquarian, Sebastian Kaine is proud of his new profession and even prouder still of the collection of antique books on the occult that he keeps locked away in the basement of his bookstore. But his little utopia is shattered one night when he wakes up in that same basement, bound and bloodied, and his prized collection all but destroyed. Making matters worse are the two strange men responsible for the carnage. They want The Seals of Abgal and insist Sebastian is in possession of it. Though he denies having any knowledge of the book, Sebastian soon finds himself at the receiving end of a brutal interrogation–one, he fears, he may not survive.

As he fights to stay alive, Sebastian will learn that The Seals of Abgal is no ordinary grimoire for it holds powerful secrets. Secrets that are older than time itself. And those that hunt it are driven by a hate even older than the secrets themselves.

**The Seals of Abgal is a dark fantasy novella of 20,892 words, or about 128 paperback pages.**
Awesome crime drama stories written with true grit. Great to see old-school crime drama is still out there!

Awesome crime drama stories written with true grit. Great to see old-school crime drama is still out there!

Genre: Crime Thriller/Drama/Historical

Price: $2.96

Blurb: Edinburgh 1745.

Deep beneath the rain soaked and wind scoured streets of the city a foul crime committed in the dark of night leaves two men lying dead in a dank cellar. A bankrupt young nobleman with an addiction to the twin vices of gambling and loose women stands accused of the horrific double murder and all the evidence seems to point towards his guilt. In desperation his lawyer turns to the one man in Edinburgh who can save him from the hangman’s noose.

Robert Young of Newbiggin.

He is a young man who has earned a reputation amongst the city’s legal fraternity for being the one person who can root out the truth by venturing into the capital’s criminal underbelly. His investigation leads from the elegant drawing rooms of Edinburgh’s high society to the city’s most infamous brothel and into the grim hovels of the lowest alehouses on the Cowgate.

But as more bodies are discovered Robert Young is forced to confront the possibility that his client may actually be guilty!

So that’s your lot! Still, I think ten books is an awful lot to be getting on with, right? 🙂 I hope you do decide to pick some of these great books up, and hopefully enjoy them! Remember, an indie author puts a lot of work into a book that will cost less than that coffee and chocolate bar you were going to pick up – yes, I know! – and it’s going to leave you with that happy feeling for an awful lot longer. Plus you get to go back to it if you really loved it, and you’re never going to make that chocolate bar come back. So go on, grab one of them before your sugar craving kicks in. 😉

Just another Manic Monday!

Morning, folks! 😀 That’s right, Mondays on the blog are now officially Manic Mondays! That means anything goes, so hopefully it gives you a giggle on that most hated of all weekdays. Today we’re going to take a look at book covers, along with more gifs. Always the gifs.

Now, it goes without saying that you need to get a book cover professionally done when you write a book – and that doesn’t mean you need to spends hundreds of dollars or pounds, but simply make sure it’s done by someone who knows their way around photoshop AND knows what readers want to look for.

1. Have a clear idea of what you want.

As a cover designer myself, I’ve often been a little frustrated by authors coming to me with what I thought was a clear idea, and wanting it changed completely (not tweaked) halfway through. If you don’t have a clear idea, neither will your designer or your readers. Try taking a look at books in a similar genre to your own, and mark out what you like about different ones. This can help you to decide what you want on your own, and also let you see what’s popular.

If Tennant can't decide, then we're all in trouble.

If Tennant can’t decide, then we’re all in trouble.

2. Trust your designer

Once you’ve got a clear design in your head, and given a brief to your designer, you now need to be prepared for a few things to be tweaked. If they make suggestions of things they either wouldn’t do, or would change, listen to the ideas. They know what they’re talking about – they do this for a living! I’m not saying do away with your idea altogether. But a common issue, for example, is wanting a lot of stuff on your single cover. New authors especially can want this, as you feel the need to get across as much of the book as possible. But sometimes less really is more. Take note of your designer’s suggestions, remember your own design, and talk it out together to create the perfect mock up.

That's all very well, Doctor, but can you make a fabulous cover in two weeks? I don't know about that.

That’s all very well, Doctor, but can you make a fabulous cover in two weeks? I don’t know about that.

3. Avoid the clichés. 

If I had a pound for every romance cover I’ve seen with a typical kissing couple, or a shifter book with a semi-naked man and wolf’s head on, I’d be a very rich woman indeed. Not only does it make your cover look like the other thousands of similar books out there, it looks as though you only gave your cover two seconds of your time. I’m not saying you can’t use these things. There are circumstances where they could be used in a very different way from usual, and it creates a fabulous cover. But for the most part, I would steer clear unless you’re 100% certain. Try picking something else out from your story that could be used – an object even, rather than people. Perhaps there is a particular piece of jewellery your main character wears? Do they have a penchant for that certain house? Maybe it’s a landscape that captures the feel of your characters. Think outside the box, and avoid doing what everyone else is doing.

Exactly.

Exactly.

4. Does it represent what happens in the book?

While you need to go outside the box, don’t forget it is that box that still defines your book, so don’t stray so far it’s unrecognisable. A sensuous, kissing couple surrounded by roses on a crime thriller is going to look very odd. The cover should attempt to be a 30 second pitch in one image. It doesn’t have to be the whole plot, or even a whole chapter, but it has to get the main thread across. Perhaps the whole book leads up to the reader finding out your main character is in fact a witch? In which case, it would be fine to have mystical symbols dotted around the image. Perhaps another angle is that someone holds a particular ring that can kill her? Maybe make the ring the focus, and stick to dark colours for the background, making the ring really glow or stand out in some way. It can be a punchy image, but it gets across what the book is about.

If you happen to be stuck in a glass case or box, please punch a big hole in the side so you can escape. Thank you.

If you happen to be stuck in a glass case or box, please punch a big hole in the side so you can escape. Thank you.

5. Make sure you like the final design

You’ve followed all the rules above, the mock ups have been tweaked within an inch of their lives, and the cover looks perfect. But do you like it? There’s no point having a cover that looks great, but you don’t like it – because you’ve got to market it. If there’s something you want tweaking with the final layout, tell your designer. If they’re a good cover designer, they won’t have a problem perfecting it for you, it’s what they’re there for!

I NEEEEED this cover. You have no idea how much. #CoverFeels

I NEEEEED this cover. You have no idea how much. #CoverFeels

6. Be prepared for change

No matter how much you love your cover, or how perfect it is, they do have a shelf life. (See what I did there? *giggle*) Think of any product you’ve ever bought, and especially any contemporary book. If you bought it more than a year ago, does the cover still look the same now? Two years ago? Chances are more likely it’s either had an update, or it’s changed altogether. This is because covers change to reflect adapting trends, or even because it’s slipping behind on sales – a refreshed cover can bring in fresh readers. I’m not saying change it every six – eight months – although if you’re doing your own covers and you’re able to do this, I say go for it – but aim to change the cover every few years at the very least. You might just be surprised how much it can give a lift to a book. 🙂

Gits. Just....GITS!

Gits. Just….GITS!

Click here to see my own cover designs, and even consider purchasing one from me. Whether you want one of my stock covers, or you want a brand new design from scratch complete with a trailer, you might just find what you’re looking for at Moon Rose Covers. 😉 www.moonrosecovers.com

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Snippet Sunday – Keeper of Shadows

Hello, everyone! 🙂 Well, I’ve actually managed to scrape enough time for myself lately that I’ve decided to set up a new blog schedule, rather than leaving it to ferment on its own. So borrowing an idea I’ve seen quite a few authors doing, I’m going to set up each day with a theme (one for Mondays, one for Tuesdays, etc.) so hopefully this might make the blog a bit more fun to read! 🙂

So of course, Sundays are going to be…..drum roll please……Snippet Sundays! There may also be more gifs. I’m just warning you. O_o And this week I’ve have a snippet from Keeper of Shadows, due out on Tuesday 30th June! Remember to mark your calenders! 😀

KOS banner3

Excerpt From Keeper Of Shadows…

People hung about in small groups, bartering over this and that, shouting and calling for produce. Many of them were behind makeshift stalls of wood and metal poles, calling and hawking their goods. Coloured sheets flapped limply in the breeze, some patterned with long-ago threads. The sheer vibrancy of the colours alone flooded Psyche’s brain, sending her senses into overdrive. And the produce itself was enough to keep her staring for hours, a treasure trove of foil-wrapped meats and sweets.

“Anything you want?” Torolf inquired, watching her face light up like a child’s. He smirked, and gave a sly wink. “I’d sure like to get you another chocolate bar. I remember how you enjoyed the last one,” he whispered next to her ear.

Well, that's the rudest thing said about chocolate I ever heard.

Well, that’s the rudest thing said about chocolate I ever heard.

Psyche flushed scarlet, and shook her head, tearing her eyes away from the temptation of both sweets and husky werewolf. “I’m good, thank you. I don’t want to ask you for anything.”

“You never ask me for anything. Didn’t you say you only once had chocolate? Before I got you some in the house, I mean?” He lost the smirk, and shook his head slowly. “There’s something not right about a world in which a woman only has chocolate twice in her lifetime. I’ll get you some chocolate. Women love chocolate. It’s traditional.”

Psyche stuttered. “Well, yes, I suppose. But I don’t—“

Her words were cut off as Torolf dragged her over to the stall, amid a worried sigh from Arianwen, who relented with a small grin. He stopped Psyche in front of one covered in various goods, squeezing her shoulders firmly to make sure she stayed there and didn’t run off from embarrassment. Small shaped objects in several colours were in paper bags, and one side of the stall was strewn with foil-wrapped rectangles. He gestured to the stall-keeper, a short man wearing a ratty blue shirt and sporting a scarred eye. As Psyche dared to look closer, she saw that the eye beneath the cut eyelid was milky-white. The stall-keeper grimaced at her, folding his arms, and turned his attention to Torolf.

“Aye?”

“Your finest milk chocolate, good inn-keeper.”

“We’ve got the usual. Take it or leave it.”

“Crappy brown-coloured plastic it is,” Torolf wise-cracked, grinning widely. The stall-keeper shook his head and muttered, turning away with a sheet of brown paper in his hands.

Psyche tried to protest once more. “Really, Torolf, this isn’t necessary. I can—“

Torolf closed his eyes for a second as the stall-keeper gathered up a few of the bars, spinning her around to face him. “Psyche, stop it. Just allow someone to look after you for a bit, okay? I’m not telling you what to do, or forcing you to do it. You don’t have to fight me. I’m just trying to do something nice for you. You know, and it’s chocolate.” Ignoring her open-mouthed gape, he turned to grab the package off the wizened man behind the stall, passing him a few bent and tarnished coins. Without another word, he shoved the parcel towards Psyche.

Fine, but if I get a coffee one, I'm out of here.

Fine, but if I get a coffee one, I’m out of here.

Regretting her earlier treatment of him during the day, she whispered, “Thank you.”

“Just promise to eat it in front of me,” Torolf chuckled hoarsely in reply. Seeing her still-humbled expression, he cleared his throat. His hand came up to scratch nervously at his scalp, something he seemed to do a lot when Psyche ignored his flirtations.

Psyche’s face broke into a cheeky grin at his uncomfortable stance, and she raised an eyebrow. “I might. Maybe I’ll wait until I’m in bed.” Her eyes sparkled with mischief as they rose to meet the werewolf’s, his jaw dropped at her bold statement.

“When you guys have finished with the pillow talk, can we please get going? We need to talk, and I need a drink. I’ve got Irish in me, you know.” Arianwen’s clear tones cut through the reverie, bringing the pair back to focus. She set on her heel and disappeared through the throng of people, heading towards the back of the Market.

drink

Hold the umbrella, pet. Ta.

Grab your copy on pre-order from

Kobo

Smashwords

and Moon Rose Publishing!

And if you need to know what the heck this post is about, you can pick up the first in the series, Vigilante of Shadows from

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Kobo

Smashwords <– Plus there’s currently 25% off here at the moment!

WHSmith

Moon Rose Publishing

A Day In The Life Of…Vickie McKeehan!

Good morning, lovely blog-seekers! 🙂 Have we got a treat for you today! The awesome Vickie McKeehan tells us about her wild day as an author, so enjoy!

This post was originally posted up over at http://vickiemckeehan.wordpress.com, re-posted here with permission of the author.

 

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN INDIE ROMANCE WRITER …

 

hot-guy

 

After a night spent with hunky Raphael, the alarm goes off at an astonishingly early six a.m. Even though I have no desire to climb out from underneath warm covers and leave Raphael, I must get up to keep my body in shape. Ah, yes, the dreaded workout and exercise. A few laps in my indoor pool should do the trick.

Half asleep, I stumble to the sliding glass door. I force it open with all my strength because my night with Raphael has zapped most of my energy. I step out onto my adjoining deck to dip my toes into the heated water of the shimmering pool only to discover my toes have landed in Beau’s water dish. Beau is my loyal little, bug-eyed pug. But when I finally come to my senses, when I finally come out of my dream-like state enough to realize I don’t have an indoor pool, Beau gives me one of his looks that clearly says, “Crazy woman. I knew I should’ve gone to live with the dog whisperer, Cesar Millan, when I had the chance.”

I decide coffee is what I need to wake up and plenty of it. After I wander into my gourmet kitchen, a voice from the walk-in pantry calls to me. “What can I fix the most talented, the most awesome writer in the business this morning for breakfast? Your wish is my command.”

As I drift over to the coffee pot, I tell my personal chef, “You know what I like. An egg white omelet with an avocado on the side and a toasted muffin with a tall glass of orange juice.”

Suddenly the male voice replies, “Okay, it’s either whole-grain Cheerios or instant oatmeal with a toasted waffle. What’s it gonna be?”

I sigh. Another bubble bites the dust and it isn’t even six-thirty yet.

Over my bowl of gruel, which grows cold while I pour my own cup of coffee, we go over the day’s schedule. I mention I should probably set up a meeting with my marketing department, my publicist, and my agent. I remind my personal secretary that my agent is brokering a deal to sell the rights forPromise Cove to Disney for several million dollars.

He nods back but counters, “We do have that trip planned to the grocery store for later because the cupboard’s getting bare. Plus, we’re out of toilet paper. As for the meeting with your department heads, I did get a confirmation that Del Taco is continuing Taco Tuesday so we’ll set up lunch there. How’s that sound?”

“I do like tacos,” I muttered into my cereal. “But just once, couldn’t we splurge and go to that cute little restaurant over the water for shrimp and lobster?”

He shakes his head. “That’ll blow the budget for this month.”

I sigh again. Time to head back into my fantasy world. The voices in Pelican Pointe are calling to me.

 

 

Find the amazing author and her books here! – 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/VickieMcKeehan?fref=ts

Twitter – https://twitter.com/VickieMcKeehan

Blog – http://vickiemckeehan.wordpress.com

Amazon Page – http://www.amazon.com/Vickie-McKeehan/e/B006JSYSH8/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1374833762&sr=8-2-ent

Weirdest Processes of Famous Writers–You’re Not So Strange!

You know what makes me sad lately? People remarking (or in some cases, telling) on other writer’s methods of writing, working, or the process. No one person is like another, and no one person’s methods of writing are like another. Here’s some famous examples;

— In order to stave off procrastination, French novelist Victor Hugo wrote both Les Misérables and The Hunchback Of Notre-Dame in–you guessed it–his Birthday Suit. Being nude meant he wouldn’t be able to leave his house, and as a safety measure, he’d also instruct his valet to hide his clothes.

— As well as chain-smoking and index cards, Aaron Sorkin, has a habit of acting out his zippy dialogue while gazing at his own reflection. In 2010, he worked himself into such a frenzy, that he actually head-butted a mirror. “I wish I could say I was in a bar fight,” confessed Sorkin, “but I broke my nose writing.”

— Mary Shelley kept a domesticated 23-foot-long boa constrictor in her writing studio. She would wrap the snake around her shoulders while she wrote. When the snake grew restless and squeezed, only then would she allow herself to stop writing for the day.

— Like a LOT of writers (including me!), coffee was Honoré de Balzac’s poison. But he wasn’t drinking Lattes. He would drink large quantities of black coffee, ensuring that he could write for a full 48 hours straight. Yikes!

— In Cold Blood novelist Truman Capote described himself as a ‘horizontal author’. “I can’t think unless I’m lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy,” he told The Paris Review in 1957. “I’ve got to be puffing and sipping. As the afternoon wears on, I shift from coffee to mint tea to sherry to martinis.”

— The author of Blue Angel, Francine Prose, wears her husband’s “red and black checked flannel pajama pants and a T-shirt.” In a 1998 interview with Kate Bolick at The Atlantic, Prose says, “Fortunately, or unfortunately, we live in a strange apartment with one twenty-foot-high window facing a brick wall, about a foot and a half away. Not much of a view. So when I’m at my desk I feel like I can work undistracted. I might as well be in the country. Writing while facing a wall, incidentally, seems to me the perfect metaphor for being a writer.”

— Not only did the Three Musketeers author Alexandre Dumas insist upon himself a colour-coded system of writing (pink for non-fiction, blue for fiction and yellow for poetry), he reportedly sat below the Arc de Triomphe in Paris every morning and ate an apple for inspiration. An apple a day, keeps the procrastination away, clearly.

— William Faulkner preferred to type with his toes instead of his fingers. He kept his shoes on his hands while he worked.

— It is widely known that Hemingway, following years of work in his basement genetics lab, invented a new kind of cat with six toes. Why? I’ve no idea. But before he sat down to write, Hemingway would go over his writing goals for the day with these cats. He refused to share such things with other, normal toed cats, which he considered to be poor listeners. They’re also usually incredibly disinterested, I find. He also famously said he wrote 500 words a day, mostly in the mornings to avoid the heat. In a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1934, he wrote, “I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.”

— Visitors looking for T.S. Elliot at a hideaway on Charing Cross Road were asked to inquire at the porter’s lodge for a man known only as “The Captain.” Upstairs, Eliot’s face was “tinted green with powder to look cadaverous.”

 

So the next time you think the way someone keeps track of their writing, writes at all, where or how they do it is odd, remember that it’s the end product that matters. Everyone’s writing process will be different from yours, and if it’s especially eccentric, you’re in good company! 🙂

 

*Thanks to MSN.com, Wikipedia, and Shortlist.com for the examples.

A Day In The Life Of…Trish Marie Dawson!

This is the first in our special series of posts, all entitled ‘A Day In The Life Of’. We’ll follow different authors as they go about a normal–for a writer!–day. So let’s welcome Trish Marie Dawson as she fights applesauce and the FBI, just to get to her current WIP. 

*Yawn* It’s Saturday morning and do I get to sleep in? Of course not. Because like every weekend, the four year old decides to wake up with the sun and sneak into the living room, where I’ll find him standing on the counter and digging through the cupboards for treats. I roll over and poke the man snoring beside me, but he only groans in protest and rolls over. Dad’s not getting up.

If I squeeze my eyes shut for a few more seconds, I can almost pretend like I’m asleep – until the cat jumps onto my face to say good morning. At this point it’s useless to deny my full bladder a reprieve, so to the bathroom I go. The cat follows, as he does every morning, as if he doesn’t know what I could possibly be doing in there.

The first screams and hollers of the day come from the other room, after the nine year old has denied the four year old access to his favorite morning cartoon. Or perhaps she has sat on his face in an attempt to keep him from sticking his tongue into her third bowl of cereal. I curse as I trip across the laundry on the floor and the size 13 shoes, even though there is a perfectly good laundry basket and closet nearby, to hurry down the hall, weaving around matchbox cars and small toys that have escaped the kids’ rooms. The cat jogs next to me, dodging my slapping feet on the hardwood, coming precariously close to getting stepped on more than once.

I’m still rubbing the sleep from my eyes when the living room comes into focus, and I find the kids sitting on the couch, happily eating out of a carton of ice cream. After confiscating the contraband, the four year old throws himself on the floor screaming and kicking, and the nine year old pouts. I have to nag her to feed the animals and let the dog out to pee. Both cats scream at me for breakfast as I make my way through the room, picking up various items that were left out the day before, including two ties, someone’s bath towel, laundry that was folded and dumped onto the floor so the four year old could play in the basket, random dishes, pencils and papers and textbooks and a plastic toy plane that’s affixed to the ground by something sticky. This is when I remember we are out of paper towels.

When I do make it to the kitchen, I see that the kitchen fairy has skipped my house the night before. I grumble a string of curse words as I pull my favorite mug out of the dishwasher and discover it died during the wash cycle. I wash my mug, rather than get a clean one, because it has my Beauty and the Beast character on it and makes me happy when I sit down at the computer. And then I wash the dishes, because there’s nothing clean to stir my coffee. Explains why the kids were eating ice cream with measuring spoons.

One hour later I’m at the computer. The news is on CNN despite groans from the kids. But I don’t care because this is my time to figure out my schedule for the day. Email – check. Amazon Reports – check. Separate the fighting children – check. Facebook – check. Take the light saber away from the boy before he whacks the dog with it – check. Back on Facebook to check messages and share pictures of cute cats – check. Enroll myself in Pinterest Anonymous – check. Open up Word and decide which WIP I’m in the mood to work on – check. Settle the nine year old down at the table for the fifth time with her school books on a weekend because she didn’t want to do it the day before – check. Open up a separate window on the internet to browse for research on how to turn the safety off a gun, and hope that the FBI is not monitoring my computer surfing – check. Explain why cats don’t like being squirted with water guns or used as pillows – check. Talk shop with the M-7 Authors as they go about their days – check. Take the light saber away from the four year old – again – check. Explain that cats have nipples – check.

After a whopping ten minutes of all of that – I’m ready to settle in and do some writing while the Muse is around. At least another hour passes of me getting up and down – tending to children, animals and chores before I can write. Taking breaks to homeschool, referee and prepare meals, I nearly die twice after slipping in applesauce and a puddle of juice that was left on the kitchen floor. By the time early afternoon arrives, my Muse has become a nag and I can’t find my left flip-flop though it was JUST on my foot. During quiet time I hammer out what I can – editing will come later. Realizing I need to know how an inexperienced person would stitch up a knife wound, I Bing it and then look over my shoulder for the FBI again. In a moment that can only be considered paranoia-induced, I email a writer friend and ask that they delete my browsing history when I die.

Dinner comes and goes in a blur. Bedtime arrives even faster. Probably because I know there’s Moscato in the fridge and chocolate in the cupboard. After the kids have been tucked in and the four year old has been carried back to his room five times, I finally sit back down at the computer to do it all over again.

When the house is truly quiet, I attack the DVR like there’s no tomorrow and weep softly on the couch when I realize the chocolate was eaten yesterday. With a sigh, I pet the cat and stare blankly at the TV. Tomorrow is Sunday, which means I get to do this all over again. But I will do it gladly because I’m a Mom and I’m a Writer. It’s just what I do.

-Trish Marie Dawson

Trish Marie Dawson

Trish was born and mostly raised in San Diego, California where she lives now with her family and pets. She’s been writing short stories and poetry since high school after an obsession with Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’. After over fifteen years of crazy dreams and an overactive imagination, Trish began her first book ‘I Hope You Find Me’ in December of 2011. When Trish isn’t writing, she’s homeschooling her amazing daughter and mildly autistic son, reading whatever she can get her hands on, or enjoying the Southern California sun. As a strict Vegetarian, Trish holds a special place in her heart for animal rights and dashes into the backyard weekly to rescue lizards and mice from her mini-lab/cocker spaniel mixed dog, Zoey…who is always getting into some sort of trouble.

TRISH’S BOOKS

I Hope You Find Me (2012)
Dying to Forget (2012)
Dying to Remember (2012)
Hawke & the Beast – Once Upon A Twisted Time (2012)
LOST and FOUND (2013)
The Well Collector (2013)

COMING SOON

Dying To Return – Book 3 of The Station Series (Summer 2013)
Behind the Glass
The Last Faerie of Failynn

Please check her Author Pages for more details: http://www.facebook.com/WriterTrishMarieDawson (Facebook) her Amazon page, or follow Trish’s Blog at: http://writertrishmdawson.wordpress.com/

Want to write your own post in this series? Go over to our page and take a look by clicking here!

Moon Rose Publishing Wants More Authors!

That’s right! Okay, so now that the title has grabbed you, what the hell did I drag you over here for? Well, Moon Rose Publishing has just launched an Indiegogo campaign to expand their ranks. In less that a year, we have 15 authors signed up, and 12 books out so far, with 10 more planned for late 2013.

But they want to grow naturally, and allow more authors to realise their dream. But extra authors means extra formatting, editing, design, and marketing. And sadly, all of this costs money. So this is where you guys come in! You can help fund the next generation of quality books and their authors through Moon Rose Publishing by giving just a small donation.

BUT WAIT! That’s not all. You DO get perks in return for your wonderful contribution! They range from a thank you on the website, to your choice of free books, to actually BECOMING a character in one of my next books! Yes, you could choose the name, personality, look, and even what part they will play in the story.

So if you love books, authors, and the readers who make it all worthwhile, help out a publisher that wants to make indie books every bit as good as any from the Big 6. Just because they’re indie doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be high quality. And we’re committed to publishing books that have gripping stories, vivid characters, and high-quality throughout.

Thank you, guys! MWAH and hugs!

So click here to go and view the campaign, and see what other perks you could get!

Blog Spring Cleaning Is Done!

That’s right! You may have noticed there has been a total redesign of the blog, along with lots of new features added, and the ‘books’ section updated. There might be a few more changes coming, but it’s pretty much as it will be. I’ve enjoyed the old design, but it was up for a whole year, and it needed a breath of fresh air for 2013.

I have, sadly, removed the review/interview guidelines. I loved doing them, but due to a recent health scare, I will be taking on less of a workload. So I may still do reviews or interviews from time to time, but these will be from books I own and want to post a review for. Same goes for interviews, for any authors I may know personally.

But…I will be adding lots more sections to do with writing! I’ll be posting up bits on editing, writing, cover design, trailer design, and much more. A lot of these tips may turn up in a book at some point, as I am planning to write one a some point; a kind of ‘how-to’ book from penning the first page to making sales.

On a slight tangent, I’m also happy I have the chance to change the blog a little. This time last year, I was hoping for maybe 100 subscribers to my blog–I never expected to have over 8000! So thank you to each and every person who follows my scanty ravings on writing, and here’s to another wonderful and fun year! 🙂

HELL’S GIFT IS RELEASED!!!

I’m so excited about today’s post! One of my best friends, who is also a fabulous writer, has released her next book today! Let’s scroll down and find out more about the wonderful HELL’S GIFT…..

About the Author:

Kristie Haigwood (a.k.a. K.S. Haigwood) is currently writing her 8th novel. She lives in Arkansas, US. She is the mother of 2 awesome kids and 2 great dogs. She is happily married to her soulmate who thinks reading is a solid waste of time. Opposites attract. Kristie’s works include ‘Save My Soul’, ‘Forbidden Touch’, ‘Eternal Island’ and ‘Hell’s Gift’ (available on Amazon in ebook and print). ‘Eternal Immortality’, ‘Eternal Inception’, ‘The Last Assignment’ and ‘Good Side of Sin’ are all releasing soon.

About the book!

‘Hell’s Gift’ is Book 2 in the ‘Save My Soul’ series. IT CAN BE READ AS A STAND-ALONE.

Depression consumes the guardian angel, Rhyan, after his human charge chooses her soulmate over him. Filled with anger and despair, he lashes out. And when his hate-filled words land him neck-deep in Hell, he realizes he’s gone too far. He expects trouble, but not to discover his own soulmate in the fiery depths. Abigail is there with good reason, but she’s done her time, and in order to save them both, Rhyan must strike a deal with the Devil. The stakes are higher than ever before, with his soul, his friends and even the fate of Heaven and Earth in jeopardy. If he fails, Rhyan stands to lose more than he ever feared. Will true love be denied? It will take everything he’s got to break down the traps Lucifer puts in his way. New lines are drawn and old scores are settled, and Rhyan is in for the fight of his life. With Abigail as the prize, and humanity in the balance, he will stop at nothing to claim…Hell’s Gift.

Hell’s Gift US:http://www.amazon.com/Hells-Gift-Save-novel-ebook/dp/B00BF0VBKM
Hell’s Gift UK:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hells-Gift-Save-novel-ebook/dp/B00BF0VBKM

Find the Author:

AMAZON:http://www.amazon.com/author/kshaigwood

FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE:http://www.facebook.com/kshaigwoo

TWITTER:http://twitter.com/kshaigwood

BLOG:http://kshaigwood.blogspot.com
Hell’s Gift US:http://www.amazon.com/Hells-Gift-Save-novel-ebook/dp/B00BF0VBKM
Hell’s Gift UK:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hells-Gift-Save-novel-ebook/dp/B00BF0VBKM