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Saturday, 22 June 2013

I've come to the conclusion that there are TWO groups of authors:

Before Internet and With Internet
Are you a BI or a WI Author?

After reading writer forums and listening to various authors over the years, I’ve realised that authors come in two groups:

Group 1 are those before POD and the eBook revolution (BI has nothing to do with sexuality but all to do with ‘before Internet’). 

The BI authors have done their time in sending out submissions (after finding suitable publishers/agents in the Authors and Agents Handbook bought from a brick and mortar shop, or hired from a library [(noun) (plural libraries) a building or room containing reference or borrowing books]. They have hoards of rejection slips. There were no email submissions and it was trips to post offices, standing in queues, postage paying, and waiting for a reply (if lucky) before starting the submission all over again.

They know the newly discovered best-seller is an author who has been struggling for decades before his or her 'over night' success.

Group 2 are the authors who grew up with POD and eBooks and where publishers are easily accessible by email (or social media ie Twitter, Facebook) and their guidelines are clearly visible on the Internet at the click of a button (WI authors—with Internet). 

They grumble about no sales, they feel like giving up, moan about Amazon ‘not helping’ and are upset when they get ‘rubbish’ or no reviews.

They dump their book's title with its companying link all over social media sites without as much as a reading the host's guidelines, and their cheery salutation 'enjoy' sounds like a threat.

BI authors have grasped this publishing opportunity and are/have studied the ‘author platform’ and/or are making strides in developing one. They know ‘success’ isn’t over-night, they know if the book isn’t selling AT ALL then something is wrong: wrong cover, blurb, the hook in ‘look inside’ isn’t strong enough, stale tags, wrong marketing strategy, or worse, not using social media at all (palpitations!). 

The BI authors know that once their book is published their work ISN’T over, but only just beginning and it DOESN’T stop. 


So, are you a BI or a WI author?

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Confessions of a Romance Novelist (Or Is She?)

Deborah Nam-Krane 

confess: to tell or make known (as something wrong or damaging to oneself)

Wrong or damaging... Alrighty then. Where do I start?

- I don’t read enough. I read a lot, but not enough. And I read a lot outside the genre I write in.

- I’m really judgemental when I do. How judgemental  When I read a book for review from Amazon’s Vine Program six years ago, I looked at it and said, “Hey, if that got published what have I been waiting for?” (Yeah, I can be full of myself sometimes.)

- I’m a plotter... until I ride by the seat of my pants. I usually stick with the same beginning and end, but then change about half of what's in the middle. Yes, that does mean a bunch of rewriting.

- I don’t hang out with writers enough because I’m too obsessed with current events and I’m afraid of talking about nothing but writing. The good thing is that I don't usually include writing in my stories; the bad thing is that I don't get to talk about writing as much as other writers do.

- The spark of my series occurred when I imagined what Lolita would look like if 1) it were a romance and 2) it had a happy ending. Do I get a little bit of a pass because I was thirteen?

- Corollary to above: I have been working on the same story since I was thirteen. I’m very stubborn.

- My second book was originally supposed to be written in the first person- from the point of view of the character that has since become the villain. Even better: that character was supposed to be the romantic interest.

- The romantic interest of my first book is based on my husband... and Van Williams. (You might know him as the actor who played Britt Reid on the television version of The Green Hornet.)

- … But the romantic interest in my second book has my husband’s first name- and the villain has my husband’s middle name. I swear, I came up with these characters before I met him- I just decided to keep the names anyway.

- I worry all the time that I’m not in the right genre or category. Romance: girl meets boy and eventually they get their Happily Ever After (HEA). Chick Lit: as much as my stories are about romances, the women are the stars and the story is also about how they come into their own- with a little help from their friends. Women's Fiction: because, um, the stories are about women. New Adult: because the stories are about women between the ages of 18 and 26. But if you're writing in all of the above, shouldn't you be able to just say you've written... fiction?

- I don’t include a lot of explicit sex because I don’t want to write about it. I’d embarrass myself by being too explicit or not explicit enough. I also don't want to write about anything I don't, ahem, know about myself, and I have a feeling people wouldn't learn anything new from me. Oh yeah, I also think you’ll be more turned on if you use your imagination. But …

- I'm old school.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Jonathan Hill in the spotlight.

As winner of my short story competition back in April, Jonathan Hill as earned a spotlight  on WWBB.

Hill's clever comic novellas are awash with the crazy antics of his crazy character, Maureen. Fresh and funny (with a smidgen of real life--we've all met a Maureen!) he takes you to places and situations and lets you see them through the eyes of a 'means well, really' middle-aged battle axe Maureen. B sure to grab yourself a copy.

Maureen goes to Venice

If Maureen were real, I would advise you to avoid her like the plague. She somehow attracts disaster and farce in equal measure wherever she goes.

As she is fictional though, it should be safe enough for you to encounter her from behind your Kindle. 

Maureen had a disastrous trip to a modern art exhibition in ECLECTIC: Ten Very Different Tales. Well, now she's back in her own feature-length adventure!

The book will give you plenty of laughs and a taste of Italy, so join hapless Maureen on her Venetian break and just be glad you're not there with her! 

See my review here.

A Letter for Maureen

"Maureen's back!  Run away!  Hide anything she might break!  But this time, that might include your heart." (Amazon reviewer - January 2013)

When it's Maureen's turn to chair the local book group meeting, choosing a new outfit turns out to be the least of her worries.  A secret confided in Maureen by a fellow reader impacts on her life greatly over the following year.  Then comes a revelation which could change the way Maureen lives her life altogether.

The disaster-prone Maureen, recently recovered from her comic mishaps in Venice, stars in a story that is both hilarious and heartbreaking.
A novella of ~18,500 words.  This is the second to be published in the Maureen series, but the book can be read as a stand-alone story.

Jonathan Hill is also the writer of  Ecelectic: Ten Very Different Tales where in one of the stories, you'll meet Maureen again. You have been warned!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Chick Lit Authors Confess!

  •  Confessions, confessing, confess . . .

    When I'm alone in the kitchen, I sometimes pretend that I have my own cooking show on the Food Network and I speak to my "audience" in a fake British accent as I go through a recipe. That's not weird... right? - Cat Lavoie

  • Amazon.UK

     I got a cat recently. Most of the time, while I write, she's sitting on my chest with her cat behind facing me. It's lovely. (Not really.) About three weeks ago, while I was working on my second novel, her tiny little paw inadvertently highlighted a bunch of text and deleted it. I laughed, knowing I'd be able to undo the delete.

    The next day, I reviewed what I wrote, with my cat on my chest again. When I got to the part she'd deleted, I told her it was the part she didn't like and I am not kidding, she deleted the section again! I decided there was a reason that part shouldn't be in the book and rewrote the entire scene. I thought it was much better, too! - Carolyn Ridder Aspenson

    Hubby and I were going to a black-tie event, which involved sitting at the 'top' table with his boss and wife. He wanted to make a good impression, but on the way the car broke down. He mended it, but forgot about his tie, and when he was bending over the engine it became covered with oil. 

    We had left early to make sure we weren't late, but would be very late if he went back to change. So in the car I took off my patterned black tights and secured them around his neck so they looked like a tie. I'm just glad I shaved my legs! - Louise Wise

    My novel Tear Stained Beaches is a fictional story. However, Chase, the main male lead is based on a person I know from real life. Originally, when I wrote the story I wrote him more true to his real persona, and as I wasn’t too happy with him, he came across a little more arrogant, disrespectful and just not so nice.

    Once I stepped back, I realized that I needed to tone it down a notch. So I began to rewrite his actions and settle his personality a bit to create that character I really wanted. It’s not always true what they say 'write what you know', in my case it was 'write cautiously what you know'! - Courtney Giardina

    I must confess that when I was 11, in the 6th grade I had a HUGE crush on a Franciscan priest who regularly came to my all-girl’s Catholic school to hear confession. 

    It was the 1970's so confession consisted of sitting in a room across from this lovely, kind man telling him your sins – no old school confessional for us. So how could you get more time with such a man? Obviously you lie and make up sins! 

    All the other girls in my class were jealous of my ‘extra time’ with him. It was hard to think of sins back then and his penance was appropriately seventies...help your mum with the washing up, be kind to your sister. I’d already lied in confession. I was burning in hell, no penance would cover it, not of course that he knew that! - Monique McDonell

    I wrote a novel about life in an upscale suburb of Boston (Dover, MA, where I actually live) and the title is THIN RICH BITCHES.  Apparently some people in Dover think they know who the characters are based on, although I have never revealed that in any interviews, and never will. While it is a work of fiction, I confess that almost all of the characters in the book are based on people I rub elbows with every day in town, at school and at social and athletic events. - Janet Josselyn

    Meet the chick lit writers on Twitter see their books on Book Junkies' chick lit section

Monday, 10 June 2013

Confessions of a writer... researching.

Laina Turner

I was thrilled when I saw the topic of the month for this blog. Why? Because I love hearing secrets, who doesn’t, and I thought it would be fun to share some of mine, about my writing anyways. They say confession is good for the soul.

I sometimes forget if a memory is real or whether it's something I thought-up in a book. I tell a story and find myself wondering if it’s true or just a cemented figment from my imagination. I have to think really hard to figure out which it is and there have been times where I can’t, so I just go with that it’s real. 

Some of you may think that is a little crazy and I understand. I happen to think it’s quite normal. At least for me, which I will whole-heartedly blame on my parents because I’m an only child (their fault) and that made me overuse my imagination in order to entertain myself. So it’s no wonder I have a hard time going back and forth between reality and fantasy.

It’s also no wonder I closely identify with my characters. I like to afford them experiences that I would like to have. Not that I would have any clue what to do if I came across a dead body, but I’d like to think I would know. It’s fun to pretend to have that excitement.

I like to write about places I have visited and experienced, and use my it as the background in my books. So I have, on occasion, pretended to be one of my characters in order to fully immerse myself in what she might see or do. Again, you might think that’s strange I like to think its good research to role-play and play make believe.

What do you like to pretend?

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Confessions of a writer... anxiety attacks.

Zanna Mackenzie

When I was asked to contribute to WWBB's theme on Confessions of A Writer lots of ideas whizzed through my mind  and I spent a while debating what I wanted to confess about.

The fact that when I’m writing, everything else (well, almost everything) gets neglected, especially the housework, was one confession possibility - and very true!

As was the fact that I have burnt many a meal by not paying attention to what I’m doing because my thoughts are caught up in character dialogue and plot points for my latest work in progress.

What I have decided to confess though is that, I think, writing helps to keep me sane.  All my life I’ve been prone to nerves, worry and anxiety which has affected  me in my social life as well as in my career. I have tried hypnosis, meditation, aromatherapy, mineral supplements (magnesium and calcium are supposed to aid and calm the nervous system I had read) as well as self help books, all with varying degrees of success.

Years ago I used to write and enjoyed it, then, disillusioned with feedback on some of my work, I gave it up. Last year, encouraged by my husband, I began to write fiction again, re-editing two of my books and daring to send them off (for the first time) to a publisher for consideration. Within a few months both books had been accepted and I was on my way to becoming a published author. So I began to take my writing seriously, fitting it in around my day job, allocating time to work on my next books.  My creativity flowed and I found I had loads of ideas, characters evolving, plots all fighting to be written down, snippets of dialogue to make notes on, and books to plan. As my creative mind came to life, in direct contrast, my state of anxiety diminished. It seems as though, for me, being creative and putting my mind to work on all these books, plots, characters etc meant my mind no longer had time to dwell on creating anxiety and worries.

Creativity has long been recognised as a way to help with stress, anxiety and mental health issues and, for me, my confession is that writing truly does help to keep me sane. For anyone out there with anxiety issues I would say try getting creative!

For help and support with anxiety issues the following website is a great resource: http://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/