Category Archives: Author Advice

Pop Goes My Brain! This is My Worst Editing Nightmare! With @carolinetpatti

My worst editing nightmare? That would be the whole process of writing Into the Dark, the book that precedes Into the Light.

Into the Dark began as a story called Seven Days. Very often I write a prologue, which I then don’t include in the book.

Prologues serve as jumping off points for me, but once the book is written, I axe the prologue because it seems unnecessary.

Here is the prologue that got me started writing Seven Days:

Six days ago I died. Only I didn’t cross over or see a white light, or an angel, or any of the stuff you see in movies and read about in books. Instead, I landed in the body of my best friend, Millie. Now I have a choice to make. Stay in her body and live my life as hers, or leave it, and kill us both. I have one day left to decide. What would you do?

Just typing that now makes me shudder.

The writing isn’t very good. And I certainly would never pose a question to a reader. 4th wall break! But that is where I was with my writing at the time. And I can’t exactly fault myself because “everybody’s got to start somewhere.”

I submitted draft after draft of Seven Days to my then agent and she kept telling me how much she loved the story—she called it galvanizing, a word I had to look up—but the writing needed work. This went on for YEARS. But the book never went where my agent wanted it to go. She eventually dropped me. And really, can you blame her?

No._00000She suggested I take a master class, but my ego wasn’t ready to listen. A while later, my ego in check, I reached out to Georgia McBride, who at the time did free lance editing work, and begged her to whip my writing in shape. It still took a long time, but eventually I learned the difference between telling a story and crafting a novel.

The_Craft_of_Writing

I submitted Into the Dark for publication in 2014. That “final” version was the eighth draft, as in I’d written the novel eight times from beginning to end. I began writing the story in 2008, and by 2014 it was nothing like the original version, barely recognizable except that the premise, or rather the conflict presented in the original prologue, was still the heart of the novel.

Accepted by Month9Books I thought, FINALLY! I’m finally finished writing and revising this novel. And then I opened the email from the editor. Her note:

It would work better in present tense.

Whaaaaat

There was definitely some crying. Maybe a lot of crying. But I rewrote the whole thing, changing each verb, and struggling with how to write flashback scenes, until the whole novel was in present tense. It took me the entire summer of 2014.

That’s my editing nightmare. My Everest, if you will. But I made it. I think. =)


About the Author:

Caroline T. Patti is the author of the Nettie series, which includes: The World Spins Madly On, Too Late to Apologize, A Little Faith and Life After You (Sept. 2015) She also wrote Into the Dark published by Month9Books. Caroline is a former teacher, librarian and coach. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two daughters.

When she’s not writing, she’s probably on Twitter.

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads


About Into the Light:

Mercy’s family is back together and the threat of danger appears to have passed. But any relief she feels is short lived as she is ripped from her body and thrown in jail. Gage and Nathaniel’s plans to break Mercy out won’t exactly be easy. Stuffed full of a chemical binding agent, Mercy is trapped inside the body of a convict without the ability to breach and set herself free. Unfortunately for Mercy, being trapped in jail becomes the least of her problems when she meets her evil twin, Justice.

Find out more about the book at:

BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | TBD | Goodreads


Giveaway Information: Contest ends August 29, 2016

  • One (1) winner will receive a scrabble tile book cover charm (US ONLY)
  • Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Into the Dark and Into the Light by Caroline T. Patti (INT)

 

Sign up for the Rafflecopter HERE!

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Why Does my Creative Mojo Need a Kick in the Butt? AKA: What is Editing Block?

I am one of those annoying writers who NEVER experiences writer’s block. Yeah, I know. Go ahead and spit at me (I’m protected by an alien enhanced force field <AKA a computer monitor>)

But what I do experience once in a while is EDITING block. It is when you are reading your own story, and you hit a section and say, “This is unrealistic. This character wouldn’t do/say this right here.”

So, like a good author, you think it over.

This is when “editing block” comes in. You look at your outline and carefully placed scenes that support you character arcs and plot, and decide: “It has to be here to support the arc.” And let it go.

Arghhh! PictureI did this through 12 drafts of my current WIP. I had an important scene that had a pivotal even occur. After this pivotal event, the characters involved have a conversation about two topics. One topic was far too personal for them to have at this time. The other, although placed correctly to make the rest of the story work, seemed odd for them to talk about after the stressful pivotal event.

I knew this, but I did nothing about it, because I couldn’t figure out another way to do it.

Then I sent the novel out to my beta readers. I love/hate it when they tell me what I already know. In this case, the chapter wasn’t working. [Smacks head against keyboard] But for some odd reason, after the third person told me this, I had an epiphany.

For some odd reason, after the third person told me this, I had an epiphany.

It was a really long chapter. I could split it up into three shorter chapters, and spread the conversation out over a few days.

Yes, this sounds stupidly easy, but it didn’t occur to me early on. I needed that extra push of SOMEONE ELSE telling me it was bad, before I had the creative mojo to figure out how to fix it.

And guess what? Not only did it work, but the entire flow of the novel feels better. Total score!

Have you ever overlooked something your gut told you didn’t work, and then got smacked by a beta reader for it? Does this light a fire under your but to get it fixed?

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Fire in the Woods CoverFind Fire in the Woods at your favorite Bookseller

Amazon | BookDepositoy.com | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks

85424-ashesinthesky-v6-book2-final-v3Find Ashes in the Sky at your favorite Bookseller

Amazon | BookDepositoy.com | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | iTunes

Catch up with me on social media!

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Keeping it Real, but Making it Funny: Tips and Trick to Writing Humor

My funny bone is broken, so I invited author Jennifer DiGiovanni to chat about writing believable comedy.

So, Jennifer… Three goats walk into a bar and…


Writing funny is harder than it seems, but even the saddest stories need a bit of levity now and then.

Whether you’re trying to write hilarious, laugh out loud dialogue, or simply float a smile in your reader’s mind, you can learn to use humor effectively in your stories.

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Funny = Timing

ClockPay close attention to the timing of a scene when using humor. Take a look at where you are within the framework of your story. Has a tragic even occurred in each of your last three chapters? Maybe you could add a dash of lightness and help your characters find the humor in some small part of their dire situation. You may also want to inject humor into plot twists to make them more shocking or effective. If a couple is secretly dating, they could be discovered when someone finds a love letter. Or, the love letter could become a text message filled with silly terms of endearments and heart emojis that’s accidently sent to out to the whole school.

Build on realistic situations to amp up the laugh factor

Mad Scientist Doctor PKO_0002493If you base a scene on a real life situation, think about how you could *realistically* extend the drama to make the scene funnier. Take the example of a lab experiment gone awry. Personally, I was never very adept at handling animal dissection or the sight of blood in the science lab. Memories of AP Bio still make me shudder. Did I ever actually get sick or pass out in class? No. Could it have happened? Very easily. If I’d skipped breakfast, if someone called me out on the green tint to my face or if some other unexpected problem occurred during the lab experiment. Taking this one example, you can easily find ways to build the scene to a tipping point and then unleash a bit of humor. Just remember to ask yourself with each new twist and turn, could this really happen?

Finding Humor in the Simple Things

PKO_0001507 tired pink robeYou can also use more subtle humor to lighten up a scene. Minor ironic situations often draw a smile from a reader. As a teen, and even today, I loved to sleep in, but for some reason I’m never able to achieve the solid eight to ten hours I believe I deserve. Do you know how frustrating that is? Whether it’s someone waking me up to ask me if I’m sleeping in, a sleepwalking child passing through my bedroom, or the squirrel tapping on my window, there’s no worse way to start my day than being shaken out of a deep sleep. Thus, this typical everyday situation can serve as the basis for a relatable and funny situation within your writing.

Rely on Beta Readers and Critique Partners

To help with humor, rely on your beta readers and critique partners. Something may seem absolutely hilarious the first time you write it. Fifty drafts later, you may not even find one shred of humor on the page. Are you tired of reading your own words or is what you write truly not funny? This is where beta readers and CPs help. They bring fresh eyes to a manuscript and help you pinpoint what truly is funny in your work. They can also tell you when you’ve crossed the sensitivity line. If I’m ever unsure about something I’ve intended to be funny, I’m always grateful to have an honest writing friend’s opinion.

Practice, practice, practice

Writing humor takes practice and gradually, it should feel more natural to infuse in your stories. Also, funny situations and ideas often come out of nowhere, so be sure to jot down or text yourself notes to help remind you later, when you sit down to write that next humor-filled chapter.


School days don’t get easier just because you’re a senior! It’s the final semester of senior year, and everyone at Harmony High can’t wait to find out the results of the Senior Superlative votes! But the balloon bursts in Sadie’s face when she discovers she’s been voted “Most Likely to Get Married” to Andy – a boy she’s never dated or ever thought of as a potential boyfriend. Completely and utter mortification sets in. To prove high school means something more than a Senior Superlative award, Sadie and her best friend Jana decide to create their own list of awesome non-academic achievements to be completed before graduation. Yet, the harder Sadie works to show everyone she’s not the least bit attracted to Andy, the more appealing he becomes. Typical for the girl who can’t seem to achieve anything important, even the completion of one lousy college application. When senioritis kicks in and the school year dwindles down to mere weeks, Sadie decides to risk her good girl reputation to prove that an Awesome Achievement means much more than any Senior Superlative vote. By the time Sadie realizes her epic screw-up, she just might have lost her chance at the prom date of her dreams.

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Releasing in September: My Disastrous Summer Vacation (a novella) – and – My Junior Year of Loathing

 

 

Are there any real differences between fiction and nonfiction?

Today we have a guest spot from Eli Celata about fiction and nonfiction. Eli  is currently attending Binghamton University as a  doctoral student.


To some, it may seem as if there  is a cavernous abyss between nonfiction and fiction. The truth is simpler. Both require dedication. Long hours are spent seeking the perfect word or citation for  a fact. As a PhD student, I’ve pulled all nighters for peer-reviewed articles  just as much as fiction contracts. Time and effort aside, there are two main  areas where they differ beyond the obvious: phrasing and publishing.

Phrasing is a delicate business.

For fiction, I’d refer you to Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. Each character’s sections have varying tempos and lengths to  their sentences. Word choice is generally less academic in fiction though some  literary fiction pushes the bounds at times. Nonfiction attempts continuous  flow. Pacing doesn’t change between scenes but is meant to guide the reader  from one conclusion to the next without leaving them harried. This is  especially important in nonfiction as books aren’t as likely to dramatically shift your career as the articles surrounding.

Shakespeare guyManuscripts (fiction and  nonfiction) go through much the same process. Nonfiction is more likely to be  presented pre-completion; however, just like fiction, a platform is necessary  for any agent or publisher to take such a proposal seriously. The real  difference comes in literary magazines versus academic journals. Peer-review is  stressed in academia. This means, instead of a professional editor, the  nonfiction article goes to professionals in the field. Your writing isn’t all  that’s under scrutiny. Everything moves outwards: How will your article alter  the field? Does it contribute to an existing problem? Does it create a new  problem? What are its broader impacts? All these questions and more precede  everything else. If any of the answers are troubling, an otherwise perfect  article will be rejected.

It can be summed to this: In  fiction, if you change the craft, you’re brilliant. In nonfiction, it’s simply another day at the office.

  Eli Celata


HighSummonsAbout High Summons:

Jon  Blythe is sick of waiting for his Yoda. After years of hiding his magic, he’s  ready to retire from his mortal life, drop out of college, and jump into the
world of demon hunters. He just didn’t really expect a bleach blond bookstore
clerk with light up toys for weapons. Unfortunately, Jordan is Jon’s only hope.


When rogue magic users come to Rochester with a malicious plan, the odd  couple strikes out to save the day. Jordan might not be what Jon expected, but  between demons and Econ homework, the demons win every time. Wild nights drag  Jon further from normal into the world where his father vanished. Maybe he’s  becoming an addict. Maybe magic just comes with a price. Either way, he’s  hooked.

 

To Purchase High  Summons:

Amazon  Kobe   Smashwords  iTunes

For more on the  author:

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Some of the Things I Learned from Editing / Beta Reading Other People’s Books @KathleenLBosman

I’ve talked several times about beta readers. They are PRICELESS! But what’s even more fun sometimes, is when I get the opportunity to return the favor. There is so much to learn from reading SOMEONE ELSE’S work.

Seriously


 Yes, Seriously!

It’s a lot easier to see errors in other people’s work, and this helps you to find the errors in your own manuscript.

Here’s author Kathleen Bosman to chat up a few things she’s learned from reading other people’s work. Take it away, Kathleen!

Thanks, Jennifer! Here are four things I learned from reading other people’s books:
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1. The writing rules are there for a reason. Only break them if your story is so compelling that someone cannot help but read it. And how will you know that until it’s out there anyway?
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Unless you’re a bestselling author already, stick to the rules. And use good grammar! Don’t head hop – please stay in one point of view per scene, don’t overuse adjectives, and keep to active, not passive writing. If you don’t know the basic rules of writing a novel, do some research. There are literally hundreds of blogs or websites out there giving the basic rules.

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Sometimes a story is gripping and enjoyable but because the author hops from one POV to the next, I cannot continue. I’ve even discarded one of my favourite author’s popular series because she had too many POV’s in her book. Either stick to one or two POV’s.
PKO_0005301If you can’t follow basic grammar rules, then do a grammar course. There is nothing worse than a book that is shoddily written. An editor doesn’t mind the odd problem here and there – it’s their job to fix them. The worst is when an author can’t even keep their tenses consistent or writes many sentences that don’t even make sense. Write like English is your first language!
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2. Too many “said’s” make the writing clumsy.
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You don’t need to say, “he said” or “she said” after every speech. Use an action next to the speech instead which doesn’t jar the reader out of the conversation.
So_Who're_we_talking_to
That said, please make sure the reader knows who is talking when. If you are going to use dialogue tags, and I know you do need them sometimes, “said” is actually the best because it doesn’t take the reader out the story. If you have too many “exclaimed, mumbled, hissed, barked, groused,” you’ll get them thinking more about these words than the actual story.
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3. Make your characters real and consistent.
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Huh womanIf your characters are stupid or unrealistic or change like a chameleon, you’ve lost your readers from the beginning. If need be, get a fellow writer friend to read your book before you send it off to check that they can sympathise with the characters. I read a book recently about a woman who’d just been diagnosed with breast cancer and found out her husband was having an affair. She basically breezed through the whole situation with a smile on her face, quite keen to get the double mastectomy over with. Totally unrealistic!
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4. Don’t introduce too many characters into the story in the first scene.
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If you have ten people all talking to each other in a scene or seven characters each going through something different in the first chapter, your reader is going to get exhausted from the mental gymnastics. It’s nice to write a book about friends having fun together but keep it to no more than four. swish swivel squiggle
The Album Series
Each book is a fantasy romance about a magic album that matches up couples. Think of “The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants” meets Hollywood Romantic Comedies.
Looking for Love
Blurb:
When Ella Haviland inherits a magic antique photo album that reveals the future of potential couples, she starts a part-time matchmaking business with the help of her three best friends. It’s always been her dream to help people find love. But finding true love herself isn’t in her plans — even when her best guy friend Ross confesses he’s fallen for her. Friendship and love equals recipe for disaster in her mind.
Ross Mitchell is devastated that Ella doesn’t want more from their relationship. He withdraws … but maybe he should play along when Ella tries to matchmake him with a friend, just to make her jealous. He will do anything to make her notice him.
Through a series of adventures and happenings, Ella discovers that maybe The Album brings more than love and magic into the lives of the people it touches; it sprinkles its magic on hers. But can she find true love herself, or is there too much holding her back?

Get Album #1 free here:


 
Author Bio:

Kathy lives in South Africa, where the summers are hot, the winters cool and bugs thrive. She writes romance in many forms, most of the time with women who feel deeply, men who care strongly and characters who learn lessons along the way. Every so often, she sprinkles a little magic in her stories. When she’s not writing, she makes sure her kids work hard as they do school at home, tries not to get too distracted by dust bunnies and cooks up a storm to keep the tummies full. When she’s not hectically busy, she loves reading romance and fantasy novels, watching movies, and dabbling in different crafty things, depending on her mood.

Website and blog: http://www.kathybosman.com/

Rekindling the Fire Inside an Older Manuscript

In February, 2016, I handed in first round developmental edits for book three in the FIRE IN THE WOODS series.

Read-hold up PKO_0016876I figured I didn’t have much time until I saw the manuscript again, so I picked up and older 52,000 word first draft I’d finished nearly two years before and gave it a read. It was pretty good, but I knew it needed “something”. I just wasn’t sure what. So, out to the beta readers it went.

Within a few reads, I’d learned that it was solid, but I needed a few things:

  1. A new beginning.
  2. A best friend character so my MC wasn’t always alone.
  3. I needed to severely slow down the pacing

happy smileWith this information in hand, I attacked with reckless abandon. By the time I’d finished the 12th draft in June, 2016, I had added 46,000 words, nearly doubling the manuscript to 98,000 words of alien-filled goodness.

I just rounded up five more beta readers to look over this draft, and as I read through the manuscript from start to finish, I find myself grinning.

Yup, I’m pretty darn happy with what this story has become.

But, of course, I will wait for five more opinions, and edit the poop out of the story five more times. I hope that the beta readers love it as much as I do. Hopefully, I will be shopping this new novel to publishers in September.

Have you ever picked up an old , dusty story, cleaned it up, and found a little gem?

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Ashes and Fire2You can find  the Fire in the Woods series at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound |


Catch up with me on social media!

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How to build an invincible world: Nailing the Setting with @EverlyFrost

Creating book worlds is exciting and fun but can be a complex process of imagination and discovery. Everly Frost’s debut novel is set in an alternate version of today’s Earth where everyone is invincible. While constantly assessing and reassessing the world, there are three questions Everly used to keep on track. Take it away, Everly!

What is the world?

These are the defining characteristics of the world – the essence of what the world is. Once you have a good handle on these, the foundations of the world will fall into place.

Young adult books, Fear My Mortality, Everly Frost, science fictionI found it useful to write these down and refer back to them often. In Fear My Mortality, the major characteristic of the world is that people heal at super fast rates to revive and recover if killed. They’ve had this ability since day one (it’s not an evolution).

All other characteristics will stem from these.

What isn’t in the world?

These are consequences of the world that might cause problems for readers because of real world knowledge, expectations, or perceptions.

For example, a problem with a world where people are invincible is overpopulation. As a solution, I decided that the trade-off for super healing is the inability to have children. Many people can’t and others have only one or two children. This keeps the population stable.

Another problem: are they all vegetarians? No steak dinners if animals are immortal too. This ended up being important. Allowing animals to be mortal meant people are familiar with illness, infection, and medicine, even if it only affects their pets. At one point the main character, Ava, likens herself to an animal because they can die and so can she.

Searching for the problems can be time-consuming but can be helpful too.

Is a little bit of info dump okay?

Gasp! I’m a huge believer in showing a scene and allowing the reader to deduce information from actions, dialogue, and active descriptions, not information dump. But I’ve learned that a little bit of Fear My Mortality, Everly Frost, Mortal Eternity, science fiction, young adult books,straight up information is not only okay but necessary.

Depending on the complexity of the world and its history, readers sometimes need a few informative sentences to know what’s going on. Then they can move on to the important things like … will Ava escape that drone, will she find freedom, and will she forgive Michael for what he did?

I’m still learning and I’m definitely not an expert, but I hope some of these tips and examples are helpful.


About the Author

Everly FrostEverly Frost is the author of FEAR MY MORTALITY. She wrote her first story when she was nine. She grew up in a country town, lived for a while in Japan, and worked for several years in Canberra, Australia’s capital city. Now, Everly lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and two children.

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How to write with a baby on your lap with @anconway

Today I’m welcoming best-selling author Nicole Conway with a tricky question.

Nicole: Rumor has it that you wrote all of Traitor with a brand new baby in your lap. How’d you do that?

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Wattpad has saved my life. Okay, too dramatic?

Basically, after my son was born, trying to find someone to entertain him long enough for me to get anything done became a job in and of itself. Productivity came to screeching and traumatic halt. And for someone like me, who has always used writing as a means of dealing with anxiety and depression, suddenly not getting to vent that nervous energy made me reach a dark place. My husband deployed when our son was only a few months old and I was left alone to be mommy 24-7 in a place where I had no family available to help. It was extremely difficult, especially when already dealing with those raging postpartum hormones. But someone suggested that I try writing on Wattpad. I could do it from my phone and just copy and paste it to a word document whenever I got the opportunity.

Eureka! It works brilliantly! I’ve already written an entire romance novella that way and am beginning the first volume of the second dragonrider series through Wattpad, as well.

 

Click here to find out more about Nicole’s mythical world. You can find all the book at the links down below. Thanks for coming to hang today, Nicole!

Buy Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

About the author

Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. TRAITOR is the third and final book.

Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.

She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.

Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram |Goodreads

Ten Steps to Building a Killer Author’s Platform

Score!

Today I wrangled author Jennifer Bardsley to chat to you about social media. Jennifer, besides having a kick-butt first name, has an awesome media platform. Let’s see how she does it!

Take it away, Jennifer!

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The main character of my book Genesis Girl is a teenager named Blanca who has never been on the Internet.

Her lack of a digital footprint makes her so valuable that she gets auctioned off to the highest bidder.


My name isn’t Blanca. It’s Jennifer Bardsley, aka “The YA Gal” and I’m on the web all the time chatting about books on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Social media can be confusing. But book marketing from the couch beats braving TSA lines at the airport to fly to a convention or conference and hope for sales. Social media can be an author’s best friend—and biggest time suck.

Here are my top ten tips for using social media in an effective way to build up the best online presence possible:

  1. Pick two platforms you love, and go from there. If Twitter isn’t your thing, it will show in your tweeting. If you’re a wretched photographer, your Instagram feed will be crap. Don’t invest effort in a social media outlet you don’t enjoy.
  2. Analyze demographics. In general, a younger crowd hangs out on Instagram and Snapchat, whereas older readers might be on Facebook. If you’re a cozy mystery author, you might want to veto Instagram and pursue Facebook instead. YA authors might want to target YouTube. Find the social media platform that best matches your intended audience.
  3. Call people by name. Effective users of social media understand the importance of building relationships. Don’t just respond with “Thanks for the comment,” take that extra five seconds to add “Thanks for the comment, Stephanie.”
  4. Crack the algorithms. Just because you have 20,000 people following you doesn’t mean that all 20,000 people will see every post. Sometimes 500 people will see that cute kitten meme you shared, and sometimes 100,000 people will see it. It all depends on how much engagement your post receives. On Facebook this means likes, comments, and shares. On Instagram the goal is hearts and comments. Crack the algorithm and both platforms will allow more people to see your content.
  5. Only talk about your own book one tenth of the time. Nothing turns off potential followers faster than blatant self-promotion.
  6. Study hashtags. Twitter hashtags can sometimes have a very short half-life and you have to keep your eye on what is trending in order to participate in conversations and stay on top of the crest of popularity. On Instagram hashtags live forever. Some hashtags like #boosktagram are so gigantic that unless you are famous you will never score in the top posts for those hashtags. Smaller hashtags like #booksandperfume might give you more visibility. On Facebook, hashtags aren’t very common and if you include a bunch of hashtags you’ll look like a noob.
  7. Don’t ignore BookTube. Any author who is older than thirty did not grow up with YouTube and might view the BookTube audience as an afterthought. But if you ask a thirteen–year-old who his favorite YouTube personality is, that teenager can probably rattle off ten people. Learn who the top BookTubers are at the moment and also make friends with the smaller ones who might be interested in giving your book attention.
  8. Understand your brand as an author. Your social media platform is not a place to share pictures of your kids, vacations, or laundry pile you need to fold. Dog pictures are okay, especially if you have a pug or poodle. Cats make great #Caturday photos. But beyond that your accounts should represent reading, writing, and things that are of interest to your readers.
  9. Ignore what I just said about not posting pictures of your kids, if family is part of your brand. Some authors create very successful brands based on snippets they share of their family life. But it has to be done in a clever way.
  10. Have fun! If social media is a chore for you, than your lack of enthusiasm will show. Keep searching until you find the social media outlet that makes you excited about logging on.

 


About Genesis Girl

Eighteen-year-old Blanca has lived a sheltered life. Her entire childhood has been spent at Tabula Rasa School where she’s been protected from the Internet. Blanca has never been online and doesn’t even know how to text. Her lack of a virtual footprint has made her extremely valuable and upon graduation Blanca, and those like her, are sold to the highest bidders. Blanca is purchased by Cal McNeal, who uses her to achieve personal gain. But the McNeal’s are soon horrified by just how obedient and non-defiant Blanca is. All those mind-numbing years locked away from society have made her mind almost impenetrable. By the time Blanca is ready to think for herself, she is trapped. Her only chance of escape is to go online.

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks


 

Jennifer Bardsley writes the parenting column “I Brake for Moms” for The Everett Daily Herald. Her debut YA novel, “Genesis Girl” is available from Month9Books, with the sequel releasing in 2017. “Genesis Girl” is about a teenager who has never been on the Internet. Jennifer however, is on the web all the time as “The YA Gal” with over 20,000 followers on Facebook, and 14,000 followers on Instagram. On Facebook, she hosts the weekly instant book club called #TakeALookTuesday where YA Gal friends geek out, share pictures of what they are reading, and chat about books. Jennifer is a member of SCBWI, The Sweet Sixteens debut author group, and is founder of Sixteen To Read. An alumna of Stanford University, Jennifer lives near Seattle, WA where she enjoys spending time with her family and her poodle, Merlin.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreads

Thanks for hanging out today, Jennifer!

Oh, WAIT! There’s a Giveaway until July 2, 2016 click here for a chance to win one of five copies of Genesis Girl! 

 

 

 

An underused element in writing: THE SETTING. But how do we unleash the full power of setting in our stories? @AngelaAckerman

As we storytellers sit before the keyboard to craft our magic, we’re usually laser-focused on the two titans of fiction: plot and character. Yet, there’s a third element that impacts almost every aspect of the tale, one we really need to home in on as well: the setting.

The setting is so much more than a painted backdrop, more than a stage for our characters to tromp across during the scene. Used to its full advantage, the setting can characterize the story’s cast, supply mood, steer the plot, provide challenges and conflict, trigger emotions, help us deliver those necessary snippets of backstory…and that’s just scratching the surface. So the question is this: how do we unleash the full power of the setting within our stories?

Well, there’s some good news on that front. Two new books have released this week that may change the description game for writers. The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to City Spaces and The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Personal and Natural Spaces look at the sights, smells, tastes, textures, and sounds a character might experience within 225 different contemporary settings. And this is only the start of what these books offer writers.

In fact, swing by and check out this hidden entry from the Rural Setting Thesaurus: Ancient Ruins.

And there’s one more thing you might want to know more about….

Rock_The_Vault_WHW1Becca and Angela, authors of The Emotion Thesaurus, are celebrating their double release with a fun event going on from June 13-20th called ROCK THE VAULT. At the heart of the Writers Helping Writers site is a tremendous vault, and these two ladies have been hoarding prizes of epic writerly proportions.

A safe full of prizes, ripe for the taking…if the writing community can work together to unlock it, of course.

Ready to do your part? Stop by Writers Helping Writers to find out more!

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And guess what? I have a copy of THE URBAN SETTING THESAURUS in my grubby little hands. I’m using it right now to spruce up some scenes. I’ll get back to you to let you know how the tool worked (or didn’t work) for me. Stay tuned!

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