Tag Archives: Twitter

Do You Start Writing Your Story with a Plot, or a Character?

Are ya looking for Romancing Your E-Reader?  25 Ebooks Up for grabs!  Click Here to Enter!


For starters, Hesperia Loves Books asked to post an excerpt from Last Winter Red today.  Yay!  Click here to take a look and hop back here.

Tick Tock.  Tick Tock.   Welcome back!

Once in a while doing these interviews, I get a great question.  No matter the answer, I think it’s interesting to think this over.  When you wrote your last story, what did you have first?  A Character? A Plot?  A Setting?  How did you get started?

Think that over, and leave a comment below for a chance to win “For the Love of Christmas” or “Make Believe.”

For my answer, hop on over to Linda Carroll-Bradd’s Blog for that and other great answers from the depths of my demented mind.



Make BelieveFor The Love Of Christmas CoverWhy all the hullabaloo? Well, it’s to promote my two new releases “Make Believe” and “For the Love of Christmas”

That’s why!

And don’t forget to click on “Enter to Win” for a chance to win your choice of the two titles! Yay!

Oh, I almost forgot… A few random commentors along the tour path will win their choice of anthologies, too. So be sure to hop on over and say “Hi”


Hop on over and send me some love!

Linda Carroll-Bradd’s Blog


Visit my Anthology buddies!  They are celebrating too!

Jenny Keller Ford

J.A. Belfield

Kelly Said

Lynda R. Young

Terri Rochenski

Janelle Lee

Dani-Lyn Alexander


A Florida Heat Wave from the Snow? Huh?

Hidee-ho! If you are looking for me, today I can be found lurking and fessing up on more fun and maybe embarrassing Christmas stuff over at Books Books and More Books.  There’s a giveaway there too, so hop on over!

But here in the safe lands of my cuddly site…


We are hosting the lovely and talented Lynda R. Young, Author of “Birthright” from the Make Believe Anthology.

Here is the “Back Cover Blurb” for Lynda’s story:

Birthright by Lynda R. Young
Christa can mask the pain and hide the scars, but running from a birthright is impossible. She’s tried to escape her grief by fleeing to a small town in Florida. Much to her frustration, the locals think they recognize her even though she’s never been there before. To make things worse, a man named Jack spouts outrageous theories about her. Both spur Christa to bolt, to start fresh yet again, but there’s something about Jack that intrigues her enough to stay. The only problem? Someone else wants her to leave, and they won’t stop until she’s dead.


Wooooo Creepy vibes, Miss Lynda… So how the heck did you come up with that out of a chic in red standing in the snow?  What was going through your mind when you saw the picture prompt?

https://i1.wp.com/www.jtaylorpublishing.com/photos/authors/10.jpgMy initial reaction when I first saw the prompt for the Make Believe Anthology was one of delight. I instantly fell in love with the image, the feeling of isolation it portrayed and the powerful contrast of the red cape against the snow. I stumbled on the image right at a time when I needed a break from the novel I’d been working on. I love writing short stories so I dove right in.

How did you develop the idea for your story? 

Even though the red cape in the image inspired me, I didn’t end up using it in the story. As I mentioned, it was more about the contrast of the red against the purity of the snow. The red cape became blood, which became the true seed for my story. I asked myself, ‘How did the blood get there? Whose blood is it?’ I loved the contrast in the image so much that I expanded it even more and started the story in the furthest place possible from a snowy setting. I chose Florida in the middle of a heat-wave. I still wanted snow in my story so the next problem I had to solve was, ‘how?’ To discover how I did it, you’re going to have to read the story 😉

What’s next?

 World domination. In the meantime, when I’m not working on my young adult novels or other short stories, I’m hanging out in the blogsphere, Facebook, and Twitter. I also spend my time reading, daydreaming, eating chocolate, and doing something creative like photography or digital art. I live in Sydney, Australia, with my sweetheart of a husband.

You can find my blog here: http://lyndaryoung.blogspot.com

Twitter: @LyndaRYoung http://www.twitter.com/LyndaRYoung

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LyndaRYoungAuthor

Thanks so much for stopping by Linda!

Make Believe is available now! 

Stop on by your favorite bookseller and download a copy today!   (Wink)


For The Love Of Christmas CoverMake BelieveWhy all the hullabaloo? Well, it’s to promote my two new releases “Make Believe” and “For the Love of Christmas”

That’s why!

And don’t forget to click on “Enter to Win” for a chance to win your choice of the two titles! Yay!

Oh, I almost forgot… A few random commentors along the tour path will win their choice of anthologies, too. So be sure to hop on over and say “Hi”


Hop on over and send me some love!


Visit my Anthology buddies!  They are celebrating too!

Jenny Keller Ford

J.A. Belfield

Kelly Said

Lynda R. Young

Terri Rochenski


The Proper (and easy!) way to Market your Novel #4 – The dreaded Public Appearance

Alright, we’ve talked about not marketing your novel… instead, marketing yourself.  How do you do that?  By being nice.

(Check out the last few Friday posts if you’re just jumping in.)

Okay, so it’s all well and good doing this over the internet… but what about those public appearances?

We can all be nice, that’s not too hard.  Getting out there in front of people… that is hard.  But when you do, just remember that you don’t need to shove your novel in people’s faces.

Just smile pretty.  Answer questions.  Be yourself.

If you are a scared, timid writer, invent a new character who is outgoing and friendly… and be that person for a little while. (It’s called acting).

In the end, the connections you make will sell your work.  The connections you make will lead to “word of mouth”.  And you never know when you will be nice to someone, and they will help you out.

Remember Ed Griffis?  After my post on his novel, dozens of my followers re-tweeted it.  It’s the Twitter snowball effect.   His Kindle rating jumped.  Pretty cool, huh?  I’m not saying that is all because of my post.  Maybe it was just a coincidence. (There is a lot that goes into your Amazon rating.  It not only has to do with your sales, but everyone else’s too.)  But if you guys did all run out and buy his book, that’s great… and you found out about it because the author was “nice” to me for a little while.

Easy self-promotion, right?
Market yourself.  Not your novel.

Smile pretty at everyone.

You never know who you might meet.

By the way… thanks for stopping by.

It’s great to meet you!  🙂

The Proper (and easy!) way to Market your Novel #3

We’re talking about Marketing your novel the easy way.  Last week established author Danielle Ackley McPhail told us…

I was lucky enough to hear her elucidate, but it really made me think about my own experiences… and I realised that she’s absolutely right.

Let’s dig a little deeper into that thought.

I have personally read several Romance novels recently.  I don’t like Romance Novels.  Why did I read them?  I’ve cyber-met the authors, and we “chat” on Twitter, email, or through my blog.  They are Cyber-Friends, and I wanted to see their work (Now I am trying to convince them to blow a few things up to make their novels more exciting.)  But did I buy their novels?  Yes!

On the flip side… if I am having trouble writing a kiss (with bombs going off in the background) I can ask them for some guidance.  They don’t like explosions, but might they become interested in my work?  Hmmmm.  Maybe.

Recently, I contacted an author, and asked her some questions.  I told her I’d read her book.  She never asked me if I liked it.  We just chatted.  Now we are cyber-friends.  Will I buy her next novel?

Yep.  I sure will.  She didn’t push her book… she just marketed HERSELF.  I am not sure she even realized what she was doing… She was just being NICE.

Ya hear that?  NICE.

It’s easy to do that on the internet.  We can think about what we write, and edit if we sound stupid.  How about in person?

We’ll chat about that next Friday.

It’s been all about memes lately. Whatsa Meme anyway? AKA Another Lesson in Writing Without Looking — Oh! And we have a winner!

Well let’s start out with the winner of the Make Believe Anthology.

Of course, we can only have one winner, but for everyone else, the Make Believe Anthology releases December third, and you may be able to pick up another free copy during the MASSIVE blog tour in December.

Drumroll Please!

By YOUR VOTES The winner is:   Vanessa Chapman

Congratulations!  And Thanks for everyone who pleaded with the Little Blue Lady to set me free.

Do you think we’ve seen the last of her yet?  I don’t know… She sais she’s sorry, but still seems to want an interview.


It’s been all about memes lately.  I keep getting slapped with one meme or another.  It got me thinking… What the frig is a meme anyway?  (Except being something like a blog chain letter)

Definition time (Off Wikki):

A Meme (pronounced Meem, as in dream), is generally defined as anything that can be transferred from one mind to another. Glenn Grant defines a meme as “A contagious information pattern that replicates by parasitically infecting human minds…

Ummm… Okay…  Anyway…  In the blog world, a Meme is something you have to do, and then tag others to do it also.  I have to pass on a lot of these, unless I think they are valuable.  The one I was tagged in today was a good one that every author should do anyway.  Soooo… here we go!

This is the “Look” Meme.

The rules are to run a search on your current work in progress, and count how many times “Look” appears.  Why look?  Well, Look is one of those nasty telly words that get editor’s britches all in a bother, and (even worse) can get your manuscript rejected by a publisher or agent.

I’d like to pass a special thanks to ultra-cool author Claire Gillian (From “The Pure” fame (Yes!  She actually remembers me!)) For tagging me with a constructive meme.

So, the WIP I have chosen is my Single Short Romance, A Test of Faith.  It is 5,902 words.

Searching for…. “look”

There we have it.  “Look” appears 13 times.  Hmmm.  That’s not so bad.  Now, what I need to do, is show a few examples.  Let me page through them.

Okay… so, it seems that out of the thirteen, eight of them are “good looks”, which means they are in dialog, as in:  “Don’t look at me like that!”  Those don’t count.  They are legal.

Here are the five that remain (Hey, only five?  Statistically, that’s pretty good!)

Anyway… here they are:

1.       She ran up the steps, stopped mid-way, and looked down toward us.

2.       I looked up into the warmth of his eyes.

3.       He ran his finger under my chin. I looked away self-consciously.

4.       The redness in his face cut a hole into my heart, severing the arteries and forcing it into my throat. I looked away.

5.       He looked to the side, pursed his lips and walked into the kitchen.

Now, you are supposed to give a little bit of the paragraphs around the “look” as well, but I want these to really stick out.  ERRRRR.  They don’t look as good here as they do in the manuscript.  My inner editor is screaming.

So, what do you think?  Are these too telly?  How would you change them to Write Without Looking?

I’m gonna tag EVERYBODY on this one, because I think it’s a great exercise.  If you don’t strive to make your writing better, ignore it.  If you want to be the best writer you can be, give it a try.   Wether or not you post it is up to you.  🙂

Creativity on tap My ‘peak performance’ ritual

Jennifer M. Eaton is still tied up!  If you want to help set her free, click here to find out how.(And maybe win a copy of the “Make Believe Anthology” while you’re at it)

In the meantime, I am holding Nicky Wells at lazerpoint, forcing her to talk about one of my favorite books (Yes!  I know how to read!)

Human Nicky Wells, you may speak now!

Ummm… Okay….

Just how do you manage to churn out these books, I’m often asked. The answer is predictable: I write when the kids are at school, in between the housework, the shopping and my authorly promotional work. On average, I probably have a measly fifteen hours per week available for writing. Yet I completed the first, 145,000-word draft of my second novel in fourteen weeks.

I have a secret. When I have finished planning a book and it is ready to be born, I write every day, regardless of mood, health, weather, or inspiration. I don’t have bad writing days. I have days that go better than others, but I write regardless; and occasionally, the best scenes emerge on a challenging day.

Come what may, I cannot afford to waste time because I don’t feel like writing on a given day. So how do I produce creativity on tap?

The answer may astound you. I draw on a technique that I acquired in a previous professional life, where I was also required to write ‘on demand.’ Here, every time I had to complete a major writing project, I found myself seriously sidetracked by menial tasks. Instead of getting on with the job at hand, I’d tidy my desk. I’d empty the bin. I’d defragment the hard-drive. I’d empty the email trash folder. I’d be overcome by the urge to purchase and consume a large cappuccino. Nearly an hour into the work day, and I would still be faffing around.

This strange compulsion frustrated me senseless, until a manager pointed out that I was merely executing my ‘peak performance’ ritual. The tasks I was performing prepared me mentally for writing. While tidying and going out to buy coffee, my mind, so I was told, would already process the task ahead so when I sat down to produce, I would hit the ground running. I relaxed into ‘my’ routine, and I’ve never looked back.

These days, my peak performance ritual involves the school run, checking email, hanging out the laundry, dusting at least one room in the house, sorting the mail and… making a cup of tea. I encourage you to think about your own ‘strange’ routines and embrace them for what they are: a tool to set you up for your writing day. I bet you’ll find you can write on demand!

About Nicky Wells: Romance that Rocks Your World!

Nicky Wells writes fun and glamorous contemporary romance featuring a rock star and the girl next door. Her debut novel, Sophie’s Turn, is now available from Sapphire Star Publishing. Nicky loves rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, Nicky is a wife, mother, and teaching assistant.

Visit Nicky on her blog where you can find articles, interviews, radio interviews and, of course, an ongoing update on her work in progress, the second and third parts of the Rock Star Romance Trilogy. You can also follow Nicky on Twitter and find her on Facebook. Nicky is a featured author on the innovative reader/author project, loveahappyending.com and has joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

About Sophie’s Turn—

One fine day in Paris, Sophie Penhalligan suddenly finds herself engaged to her teenage crush and love-of-her-life-from-a-distance, rock singer and star extraordinaire Dan Hunter. But there is the small matter of her very recent, but very prior, engagement to Tim. Reliable, honest, trusting Tim, her boyfriend of two years stashed away safely in his mews house in South Kensington while Sophie is drinking rather too much champagne with Dan in Paris. This contemporary romantic fairy tale describes how Sophie gets into her impossible situation and how she turns it around.

Sophie’s Turnis available in Kindle edition from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk and many other Amazon sites. The paperback edition is also available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. In addition, you can obtain Sophie’s Turn from Barnes & Noble.

I’m sorry. I like you, I just didn’t like your book.

It was bound to happen sooner or later.  I read a book by a friend of mine, and I just didn’t like it.

Was there anything wrong with her writing?  No, not really.  It was just a disappointing read for me. So, what did I do?  I finished it, and I moved on to something else, kept my mouth shut, and I didn’t do a book review.

At one point, in a forum we are both on, she said, referring to me finishing her novel:  “I guess no news is good news, yikes”.  Well, there was no actual question asked in the statement, so again, I kept my mouth shut.  I thought I had ducked the bullet.

Today she sent me a private message. (Almost a month later) She asked me if I hated it.  My heart sank.  What the heck do you say?  I don’t want to lie. It’s not that it’s a bad book.  It was traditionally published, so someone had to think it was good, and it had a few good reviews.  I just happened to agree with the bad ones.  I would have given the book three stars if I’d reviewed it, but in doing this, I felt like I would have to list the things that I didn’t like.

I have a policy not to review books I don’t like at all.  (Although some would say I’m lethal even when I do like a book 🙂 )

The way I figure it —  It doesn’t help the author any to bring their rating down because I didn’t care for it.  That’s why you have only seen four star reviews so far.  The stuff that I haven’t liked, I’ve set aside (except for that one I reviewed without giving the author’s name or book title)

So now, I’m stewing, and writing a blog post about it.  I need to say something to her by tonight.

Whattya do?

What makes you comment in reply to an article on a Blog?

I’ve been wondering about this a lot.  What makes you stop and comment on a blog article your read?  There are some people who comment all the time.

My top commenters are pretty much the same people.  Three of them switch back and forth duking it out for the “Top Commenter” honors on a daily basis.

Then a new name pops up, and they hang out for a while.  Some disappear.  Are they still reading?  I don’t know.

I don’t know why there is a Shakespeare guy next to this post, either.

I think maybe some people comment for the social-networking aspect, and some people are just looking for information.

Stop, read, and go.  I guess that’s okay too.

Does anyone else mull over this?  I guess I’m weird, but when I visit another blog, I usually like the person to know that I’ve been there.

It’s kind of like poking them with a sword, or leaving a message on someone’s desk.

“Hi!  I stopped by, and wanted to let you know I was here.  Catch ya later”.

According to my stats, I average 150 people visiting this blog every day.  (Crazy, isn’t it?)  I run an average of six to twelve comments per post, give or take a few here and there.  (Yes, a few have gone as high as 50 comments, but that’s not the norm)

That means 90% of people read, but don’t comment.  I’ve seen some people create Gravitar accounts just to comment.  That’s cool.  You don’t need to be a blogger to join in the fun.

So… If you are a commenter, what makes you comment?

If you don’t comment, are you just shy? 

Now, I am completely aware that the people who don’t comment probably still won’t.  But if a few of you do, it would be great!  If you are shy, and think “I don’t have anything to say” just type “Hi, I was here.”

Consider it your first step into the madness of Social Networking.

I think we need to slow things down… just a little

I just got through a ten-week experiment.  I decided to try out blogging every day.

I did this for two reasons.  #1 to see if I could do it, and #2 to increase readership.

What I found was an initial spike in average views per day, then a lull that made me wonder if daily blogging had become annoying to people.  But then Boom! A spike again, along with added followers.

I’m not really sure what the magic formula is.

In general, I’m not crazy about people who blog every day.  Why?  Because most people run out of interesting things to say.

I did learn that I DIDN’T seem to run out of things to say.  I guess that’s a good thing.  My problem is time.

I suppose if I just dropped words on the page without the graphics I would be able to keep up.  But how boring is that?  I like the graphics and interactive-look of the blog.  But BOY!  Does that take time!  I’ve also found that I am getting lazier and lazier on the graphics.  Sometimes, I am just too dern tired and want to just get it done.

So, I’m stopping my little experiment.  Before this, I used to blog on Mondays and Fridays, but it seems looking at the numbers that most of you read on Monday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Monday is usually my big topic night…. First Gold Mine Manuscript, then Writing to a Deadline, and now Road to Publication… and I have a few great topics all lined up.

I might keep Monday for “Series Topics” if everyone’s into it.

So, tell me… what days are good for you?  Which days would you like to see post from me?

What’s a good night for “tuning in” to a weekly blog series?

If I can wrangle in the Monomaniacal Middle Grade Reviewer regularly, (Which looks pretty plausible right now) how often and on which days would you like to see a review from a kid’s perspective?

At any rate, if you stop by one day and see yesterday’s post, don’t fret.  I’ll be back the next day.  Once in a while though, I need some R & R.

How many times during a week do you think is “just right” for a blogger to post?