Jessica Bell

Lori Ryan

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DP Denman Says Books Don't Sell Themselves & More @DPDenman #WriteTip #IndieAuthors #AmWriting

What I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before

Books don’t sell themselves! Indy or traditionally published, you hit the best-seller lists by putting equal effort into craft, writing, and marketing. The days of writing books and letting your publisher do most of the promotion are over. In order to be successful, authors must devote at least as much time to marketing as they do writing. If I had realized I needed to be a marketing expert before I got into publishing I would have spent more time studying it in advance.

I have learned a lot in the last year but I still feel as if I haven’t learned enough to be useful. I’m starting to employ marketing experts and letting them teach me the things too complicated to pick up on my own. Thankfully, a publishing career isn’t made in a single year. I have time to learn how to make myself more visible in an overcrowded market and at some point those efforts will pay off even if it doesn’t happen right away.

nakedTruth

Buried lies never die.

Liam has a new career, a new condo, a newfound sense of control and none of it is quite right. Shadows drift behind the bright sparkle of his life; things he's determined to ignore until a shocking revelation makes it impossible. With the help of Justin and a new friend, Liam must face the life he's buried.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Contemporary Gay Romance
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with DP Denman through Facebook & Twitter

Sue Parritt on Rejection Blues & Creativity Demands Dedication #AmWriting #WriteTip #Fantasy

How to avoid the rejection blues

You open the white envelope (or email) with a mixture of hope and trepidation, skim through the obligatory ‘thank you for sending…etc.’ and focus on the vital sentence. ‘However’ and ‘But’ alert you to yet another rejection; two little words that instantly banish your buoyant mood. Bursting into tears, taking to the bottle or consoling yourself with chocolate might seem good ways to avoid the rejection blues, but in reality the only solution is to move on.

If the publisher or editor has provided any comment on your novel/poem/short story, and this is rare these days, take note and set to work on yet another rewrite/edit. Most of all it pays to remember creativity demands dedication, long hours tapping a keyboard, cutting, pasting, deleting. When sentences are sacrificed for brevity or clarity, there can be almost physical pain as narrative wrenched from murky depths vanishes at the touch of a key. But there is also pure delight when endless editing uncovers grains of gold, so allow yourself to hope this is the manuscript that will one day attract a publisher.

After the receipt of numerous rejections, it can be tempting to declare oneself a total failure, bury the manuscript in the depths of a filing cabinet or take the extreme measure of deleting the file from your computer. If you can’t face another edit, I would suggest putting the manuscript aside for a while and turning your attention to a new project. Research can be absorbing, focusing the mind on a new topic and evicting old clutter. Writing a short story or poem is one method I use to banish the rejection blues. Creating a complete piece in a relatively short space of time helps me revitalise my flagging confidence and proves (to me) that there’s life in the old writer yet!

It also helps to remember that few writers find a publisher at the first attempt. Think of the number of times J.K. Rowling submitted her Harry Potter books before she found a publisher willing to take a chance on a new writer. Whether we writers like it or not, the prospect of making money is what rules the publishing world. In a time of fiscal austerity, risk-taking is not encouraged, so there are no funds put aside for new writing. But despite all the doom and gloom about the current state of the publishing industry, I believe books, print or electronic, will always be around and a well-written inspiring tale will eventually find its place.

Sannah and the Pilgrim by Sure Parritt


General Information - Sannah and the Pilgrim by Sue Parritt
ISBN: 978-1-922200-14-3
Genre: Speculative Fiction / Sci-fi / Dystopian
Release Date: 26 April 2014 (Paperback and ebook)
Publisher: Odyssey Books (http://www.odysseybooks.com.au/)

Reviewers: 
The title is also available from NetGalley: https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/show/id/47499

Description:
When Sannah the Storyteller, a descendant of environmental refugees from drowned Pacific islands, finds a White stranger on her domestep, she presumes hes a political prisoner on the run seeking safe passage to egalitarian Aotearoa. However, Kaires unusual appearance, bizarre behaviour, and insistence hes a pilgrim suggest otherwise.
Appalled by apartheid Australia, Kaire uses his White privileges to procure vital information for Sannah and her group of activists regarding new desert prisons that are to be built to house all political prisoners. The group plans sabotage but needs help, and Kaire is a willing accomplice. But when Sannah turns Truthteller and threatens to reveal the countrys true history, even Kaires White privilege and advanced technology cannot save Sannah and her daughter from retribution.

About Sannah and the Pilgrim:
Sannah and the Pilgrim is a tale of courage, defiance and deceit that asks the reader, Would you risk death by telling the truth about your country, or would you play it safe and spend your life as a storyteller?
Are you concerned about our governments (both past and present) failure to act on climate change and the detention and inhumane treatment of refugees? I am, so I have drawn on contemporary conservative attitudes to present a dystopian view of a future Australia in my speculative fiction novel Sannah and the Pilgrim. Read it and discover what could happen to ourlucky country.

Sue Parritt author pic

About the Author:
Sue Parritt is an Australian writer, originally from England. Her poetry and short stories have been published in magazines and anthologies in Australia, Britain and the USA. After graduating BA University of Queensland 1982 (majors: English Literature, Drama and French), Sue worked in university libraries until taking early retirement in 2008 to pursue her long-held dream of becoming a professional writer.  Since then she has written Sannah and the Pilgrim, numerous short stories and poems andFeed Thy Enemy, a feature film script set in Naples in 1944 and 1974 and based on a true story (Sue is currently seeking a producer). She recently completed a second novel Safety Zone and is now writing a sequel to Sannah and the Pilgrim  the working title is Pia and the Skyman.

Kat de Falla Shares Her Thoughts on Writing in Third Person @KatDeFalla #WriteTip #AmWriting #Fantasy

Finding Your Voice by Writing in Third Person

“My fingers linger on the doorknob. Should I open it?”

OR

“Heidi’s fingers lingered on the doorknob. She weighted her options. Should she open it or not?”

No one way is right. Do you want to write in the first person present tense? Or in the third person past tense?

Either way can create a superb novel. The first person and present tense create an immediacy. It creates a window through which you can take each step behind the eye of the speaker.

In Orson Scott Card’s wonderful book, Characters and Viewpoint, he says this about Voice: “A rule of thumb: Choose the simplest, clearest, least noticeable technique that will still accomplish what the story requires.”

I personally, chose third person past tense. I had a lot of characters I wanted my readers to meet and many things were happening at the same time across the world. I enjoy fast-paced novels and lots of twists and turns.

In my case, this viewpoint worked the best. What have you tried and what has worked for you?


TheSeersLover_w8075_med

2nd Place Winner in the LuckyCinda Book Contest 2014 for Paranormal
Semi-Finalist in the KBR’s Best Kindle Book Awards 2014
Indie Book of the Day Award Winner July 25, 2014
Genre:  Mainstream Paranormal/Paranormal Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Link to Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/17gFt26ncoU

Book Blurb:

Calise Rowe's question of who walks among us leads her into an ancient war between seers and demons.
For years, Calise Rowe has been able to sense unusual energy from people, making her believe she is different. Pulled into an ancient war raging for centuries between demon hunters and seers, she's about to find out she's right.

Her search for the truth leads her to Lucas Rojas, a seer of angels and demons who walk the earth shrouded from normal human eyes. He's hidden his gift for years and refuses to endanger Calise by sharing it with her.

In the sultry Costa Rican Jungles, their worlds collide. As their passion and desire ignite, so does the ancient war between demons and seers. Will their combined efforts be enough to save themselves and the entire human world, or will their new found love be their downfall?

Excerpt:

She traced a circle in the sand with her finger.

Why would she disclose her whole existence to someone she’d just met? Someone who talked so little about himself that she found herself talking to fill the void. Saying things she could barely admit in her own head.

His hand covered hers. “I’m lonely, too. Getting to know you this week has been the brightest point in my life and I don’t want you to leave, but I know the only place you’ll be safe is far away from me.”

She swallowed. He had read her mind.

He lay down on his back and closed his eyes. “Cali, you know when you hear a song for the first time and you kind of ingest it? You can’t possibly know right away that it will be one of your favorite songs for the rest of your life. A classic.”

“Yeah.” She hoped he was going somewhere good with this.

“That first listen,” he continued, “you pick up a little of the melody and some lyrics that catch you. But when the song ends, you have to hear it again because you want to memorize all the words and sing along. After you hear it a few times and learn the words inside and out, then you begin to let the melody seep inside you. Next thing you know, you’ve completely digested the song and find yourself humming it while you are doing nothing, like shaving or driving your car. Finally, the song becomes so ingrained it becomes a part of you. Forever. You can recall it and it’s with you whenever you need it. Am I making any sense?”

She nodded, blinking back the tears fighting to fall.

“Cali, I don’t want you to go back because you’re my favorite song.”
kat head-shot

Bio:
Author Kat de Falla was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she learned to roller skate, ride a banana seat bike, and love Shakespeare thanks to her high school English teacher.

Four years at the UW-Madison wasn’t enough, so she returned to her beloved college town for her Doctor of Pharmacy degree and is happily employed as a retail pharmacist where she fills prescriptions and chats with her patients.

She is married to her soul mate, classical guitarist, Lee de Falla and raising four kids together ala the Brady Bunch.

Kat’s Links:
Author Website: www.katdefalla.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/@katdefalla
Facebook:www.facebook.com/authorkatdefalla (message me to join my street team!)
Lee’s Bio/Info:

Composer Lee de Falla, a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was raised in a family of professional musicians. He picked up his father's guitar at age eight and hasn't put one down since. Although well versed at playing all genres of music, his love is composition for modern classical guitar and instrumental orchestrations. He is finishing work on two CD's which will be available later this year.
Composer Website: www.bayafaya.com where FREE music requests are available that accompany THE SEER’S LOVER:
  1. Anna’s Dance is a jazzy bossa nova meant to accompany chapter two.
  2. Shane's Torment is a churning soundscape of despair meant to accompany chapter six.
  3. Cali and Lucas First Dance is a Latin fusion instrumental love song meant to accompany chapter twelve.
As I touch on Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) in this book, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to www.iorphan.org

 Buy Links:
AMAZON
BARNES AND NOBLE
KOBO
Acclaim for THE SEER’S LOVER:
“Distinctly haunting and deliciously dark, The Seer's Lover is the debut novel from author Kat De Falla and it’s one to be read with the light on! A paranormal romance, it may not howl originality as the age old forces of Angels and Demons muster for yet another face off, but De Falla certainly distinguishes herself with the quality of her writing and the ability to weave a riveting and intriguing plot. With a meticulous eye for detail her characters are skillfully drawn, shunning the genre tendency towards stoic stereotypes to deliver flawed real world personas that quickly feel familiar and are ultimately endearing. The action is generous and well described, the twists served with perfect timing, it has all the elements readers expect from the best in genre and they are sure to keep the pages turning at a frantic pace.”
The Seer's Lover is truly an unusual creation in the e-world: it comes with musical interludes (which can be downloaded for free) and it tells of Calise, who has long known she has different abilities than most. What she hasn't realized is that her powers will draw her into an ancient conflict between good and evil, pitting her against some of the strongest adversaries in the universe.

If all this sounds familiar, it's because the classic 'good-versus-evil' plot has been done time and again: but as with any good book, it's not just the plot that makes for an exceptional read, but how it's done.

Kat de Falla places her main protagonist on a journey of discovery that leads to the Costa Rican forest, there to encounter a man who (much like herself) has hidden his abilities. Lucas can actually see the demons and angels who walk the earth; but not only has he concealed his abilities; he doesn't want to endanger her by sharing his gift.

What evolves is paranormal romance fiction at its best: a story steeped in passion with the overlay of deadly dangers and powerful talents woven into an ever-changing plot.

Now, the genre of paranormal romance has rapidly expanded. Over the last ten years romance writers have added a variety of elements to spice their creations, and entry into paranormal realms is just one of these newer devices. Another device used here is that of music which runs through the story line as a theme so that musical passages accompany the story.

The Seer's Lover is all about building atmosphere, from its eye-catching cover of a man and a woman on an island facing down blazing red eyes in the sky to these musical interludes that reinforce action.
And this atmosphere is created right from the start, where Calise is already involved with Lucas: "Why would she disclose her whole existence to someone she’d just met? Someone who talked so little about himself that she found herself talking to fill the void. Saying things she could barely admit in her own head."
There are no pat answers here; no formula approaches that would lend too much predictability to events. Calise is alternately brave and terrified, as her abilities are yet untested but her adversaries are seasoned and powerful: "This is not going so well. I’m turning out to be a pretty shitty Buffy the Demon Slayer."

And there are surprises peppered throughout: in the form of a mother whom Calise comes to realize as the wellspring of her powers, and in the guise of a romances past and present which rise up to haunt her. There are unexpected religious experiences, there's a search to find self, and there are elements of suspense tying all of these events together.

In the end Calise faces the greatest challenge of her life - and with prior events having helped her grow, she's in the strongest position ever to find peace in her life.
The open-ended conclusion leaves room for a possible sequel but in the true style of a superior read, it's not essential that more be written: The Seer's Lover is a self-contained novel that properly wraps up its story, and will satisfy any reader of paranormal or romance fiction.
Highly entertaining by anyone’s reckoning, The Seer's Lover from author Kat De Falla is an exciting debut novel and certainly one that deserves a place on your reading shelf. It is strongly recommended.
--D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, MBR

Christopher Mannino Shares His #WriteTip for Meeting Writing Deadlines @Ctmannino #YA #SelfPub #TBR

How to Meet Deadlines and Remain Sane:

Like many authors, I work a full time job. I teach high school theatre, and as the drama teacher, I’m typically the first one to school and the last to leave. While I try to do most of my drafting during the summers, when I only work part-time, I still have deadlines during the school year. The editing process for SCHOOL OF DEATHS took place during a very busy time for me, and my first year at a new school, which was challenging as well.

The key to meeting deadlines is to set a schedule and stick to it. For example, when working on my first draft for SWORD OF DEATHS (a sequel to my novel), I knew I needed to write a chapter a day, even on days when I worked part-time. I kept to that schedule. It’s also important to schedule some relaxation time. I plan dates with my wife, and enjoy other activities. If we focus all of our time on work, the muse will suffer.


School of Deaths

Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.

Caught in the middle of a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths, Suzie must uncover the reason she’s been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - YA Fantasy
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Christopher Mannino through Facebook & Twitter


Steps Into Darkness by Ben Woodard @benswoodard #Mystery #Adventure #ReviewShare

Steps Into Darkness (Shakertown Adventure #2)Steps Into Darkness by Ben Woodard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For a book that focussed on two young boys, there are values to be learnt but the author skillfully added these without preaching. This is a book for children who are old enough to understand dangers but appreciate a good mystery, adventure. Will and Tom were especially interesting characters who contributed entertainment to the story.

I can honestly say I found this to be a gripping read and wanted to finish it as fast as I can. There are so far two books in the Shakertown series but they can be read separately which made it even better.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads UK Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my book review. This book review is based on my thoughts, opinion and understanding of the book. This book review does not reflect the opinion of other book club members.


View all my reviews

Kate Bracy Shares 5 Reasons NOT to Become a Writer #AmWriting #SelfPub #WriteTip

5 Reasons NOT to Become a Writer

Everyone thinks they can write. It astounds me that people who would never -- and I mean if the fate of the free world depended on it – stand up and sing karaoke, will write a blog and wait expectantly for it to be picked up by major media. People think that being smart or articulate translates directly into being a good writer. It doesn’t. And, in fact, you will be very disheartened if you post your first blog based on something that got a lot of laughs in the office lunch room, and suddenly find yourself being attacked by opinion trolls as well as the grammar police. Writing because you think “anyone can do it” is like standing up at that karaoke mic and finding out how much better you sound in the shower.

There are lots of reasons to write – I’m guilty of all of them. And there are lots of reasons to step away from the keyboard, take a deep breath, and consider other options. Here are five reasons to take up golf instead.

Reason #1

Writing is unattractive. Dorothy Allison, in a keynote address at a writing conference said, “I do not want people visiting me at my home. I don’t wash my hair often enough for that.” I understood completely. When you are really in the thick of writing, you will be doing it instead of showering, gargling, and other basic hygiene activities. Do NOT pay a surprise visit to a writer who is only on chapter four. It is not pretty.

Reason #2:

Being mean is just as bad on paper as it is in person. Do not become a writer to get back at your [fill in the blank]. Anne Lamott famously said, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” I adore Anne, and I have to admit that if she is getting even with someone, she is doing it in a very humble, hilarious and relatable way. But if you are railing against the Catholic Church, identifying your last boyfriend by his birthmark or an “in” joke, or skewering your mom because she left you at the neighbor’s house to go play bridge, you will find that people – even the ones who laugh at your jokes – are turned off by your mean spiritedness. Besides that, you will be forced to live with your bitter self at the end of the day, and I don’t wish that on anyone.

Reason #3

Writing is a home-wrecker. If you are any good at it, and if you are serious about writing as a career or an art, you will neglect your partner, your children, your pets and your parents. Once you are in the spell, it can be as disastrous as drug relapse. If you can’t afford marriage counseling, don’t start that novel.

Reason #4

Whatever you write, it will be wrong. While theoretically you are fine with “not being able to please all of the people all of the time,” the reality of hearing from total strangers how bad your writing is, or how off-base your ideas are, or how predictable the ending was, all adds up to a deep understanding of Sylvia Plath’s choices. Don’t put it out there if you don’t want to hear others’ opinions about how you did or didn’t bring them to rapture.

Reason #5

Writing is bad for your health. Writing is not aerobic. Despite the new trend for treadmill desks, writing does not increase your cardiovascular health. You will sit for many hours with bad posture and M&Ms in a bowl on the desk. If you ignore my advice and start writing anyway, be prepared to ask the age-old writer’s question: “Does this essay collection make my ass look big?” (See “Reason #4” above, because someone will inevitably answer, “Yes.”

There. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own risk. I know that chances are that you’ll heed these cautions about as well as I heeded those of the Catholic nuns in my youth. In that case, be sure to shower before you meet with your New York agent; dedicate the book to your neglected partner; and wear a clean shirt for the book jacket photo. No one needs to know the truth.


ThatCrazyLittleThing

Winner of four independent publishing awards, including the IndieReader Discovery Award in Women's Fiction, this debut novel hits the mark for smart, discerning readers.

There's nothing about her life that doesn't need a little work, so Melanie Davis thinks of herself as a "fixer-upper." Her history with men leaves her gun shy; her teenaged daughter can't string two civil words together; her best friend Donna just found out she has a life-threatening illness. When Donna also reveals a decades-old secret that still haunts her, Melanie makes it her mission to solve the mystery and reunite Donna with a precious link to her past - before it's too late. 

Along the way Melanie discovers with startling clarity the pricelessness of love and friendship. With a finely-tuned emotional compass, Kate Bracy carries us through a trial-by-illness as funny as it is touching. Her narrator, Melanie, comes to realize the enduring power of love - between men and women, between mothers and daughters, between friends. Through her vivid, endearing characters Bracy creates a small-town world in northern New York where old loves rekindle, friendships prevail, and secret wounds are finally healed. This debut novel will leave you with an awakened heart and a strong urge to send postcards to all the people you love.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - Women's Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kate Bracy through Facebook

Cheryl Carpinello Shares 15 Facts About Knights @CCarpinello #AmReading #Tween #Adventure


15 Facts About Knights

Writing a book entitled Young Knights of the Round: The King’s Ransom means that I learned a lot about knights that I didn’t know.
  1. A young man was knighted when he was 21 years old.
  2. Castles were built with spiral staircases so that if there was an invasion, an enemy knight would have a tough time going up or down the stairs while fighting.
  3. Not just anyone could become a knight because of the expense involved. Prospective knights had to provide their own armor, weapons, horse, and shield.
  4. Tournaments and jousts were originally for the training of knights. Losers were required to give their horse and armor to the winner.
  5. Chivalry comes the French word chevalier which means Knight.
  6. A knight’s armor weighed more than 50 pounds, but the weight was so distributed over their entire body that knights were more mobile than they looked.
  7. A squire’s duty was to serve their knight by helping him get dressed, taking care of his horse, serving him food, and cleaning and polishing his armor and weapons. This also taught the squires manners.
  8. When a knight’s shield was hung upside, it became the symbol of a disgraced knight.
  9. The Knighting ceremony ended with Dubbing where the newly recognized knight received a blow with the flat of the hand or the side of the sword usually on one or both shoulders.
  10. Knights lived in round tents decorated with bright alternating colors, and the tents were called Pavilions.
  11. A death blow given by a knight to his mortally wounded opponent was a Coup de Grace.
  12.  The term Squire is also French and comes from the two words Esquire and Escuyer which mean Shield Bearer.
  13.  Knights jousting met in the center of the arena at an equivalent speed of 60 mph.
  14.  Becoming a knight took a total of 14 years: 7 years as a page and 7 years as a squire.
  15.  Sadly, the invention of the Musket in 1520 was instrumental in starting the decline of jousting.
 
Young Knights

Three Friends. Three Quests. Three Mysterious Predictions.

At Pembroke Castle in medieval Wales,11-year-old Prince Gavin, 13-year-old orphan Philip, and 15-year-old blacksmith's apprentice Bryan, brought together in friendship by the one they call The Wild Man, embark upon a quest to save The Wild Man's life when he is accused of murder and robbery. If they have any hope of succeeding, the three will have to confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all. But it is the arrival of King Arthur and what he reveals that surprises characters and readers.

If you would like more information on knights and Medieval times, visit these sites:
Medieval Life and Times: http://www.medieval-life-and-times.info
Middle Ages for Kids: http://medievaleurope.mrdonn.org/
Everything About Knights: www.knight-medieval.com
 
Author Links:

Author Sites:

Purchase Links for Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom
 
Author Bio
I love the Ancient and Medieval Worlds! As a retired English teacher, I hope to inspire young readers to read more through my Quest Books. Please follow me on this adventure. On Carpinello’s Writing Pages, I interview other children/MG/Tween/YA authors. At The Quest Books, I’ve teamed up with Fiona Ingram from South Africa and Wendy Leighton-Porter of England/France/Abu Dhabi to enable readers to find all of our Ancient and Medieval quest books in one place.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

DP Denman Says Books Don't Sell Themselves & More @DPDenman #WriteTip #IndieAuthors #AmWriting

What I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before

Books don’t sell themselves! Indy or traditionally published, you hit the best-seller lists by putting equal effort into craft, writing, and marketing. The days of writing books and letting your publisher do most of the promotion are over. In order to be successful, authors must devote at least as much time to marketing as they do writing. If I had realized I needed to be a marketing expert before I got into publishing I would have spent more time studying it in advance.

I have learned a lot in the last year but I still feel as if I haven’t learned enough to be useful. I’m starting to employ marketing experts and letting them teach me the things too complicated to pick up on my own. Thankfully, a publishing career isn’t made in a single year. I have time to learn how to make myself more visible in an overcrowded market and at some point those efforts will pay off even if it doesn’t happen right away.

nakedTruth

Buried lies never die.

Liam has a new career, a new condo, a newfound sense of control and none of it is quite right. Shadows drift behind the bright sparkle of his life; things he's determined to ignore until a shocking revelation makes it impossible. With the help of Justin and a new friend, Liam must face the life he's buried.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Contemporary Gay Romance
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with DP Denman through Facebook & Twitter

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sue Parritt on Rejection Blues & Creativity Demands Dedication #AmWriting #WriteTip #Fantasy

How to avoid the rejection blues

You open the white envelope (or email) with a mixture of hope and trepidation, skim through the obligatory ‘thank you for sending…etc.’ and focus on the vital sentence. ‘However’ and ‘But’ alert you to yet another rejection; two little words that instantly banish your buoyant mood. Bursting into tears, taking to the bottle or consoling yourself with chocolate might seem good ways to avoid the rejection blues, but in reality the only solution is to move on.

If the publisher or editor has provided any comment on your novel/poem/short story, and this is rare these days, take note and set to work on yet another rewrite/edit. Most of all it pays to remember creativity demands dedication, long hours tapping a keyboard, cutting, pasting, deleting. When sentences are sacrificed for brevity or clarity, there can be almost physical pain as narrative wrenched from murky depths vanishes at the touch of a key. But there is also pure delight when endless editing uncovers grains of gold, so allow yourself to hope this is the manuscript that will one day attract a publisher.

After the receipt of numerous rejections, it can be tempting to declare oneself a total failure, bury the manuscript in the depths of a filing cabinet or take the extreme measure of deleting the file from your computer. If you can’t face another edit, I would suggest putting the manuscript aside for a while and turning your attention to a new project. Research can be absorbing, focusing the mind on a new topic and evicting old clutter. Writing a short story or poem is one method I use to banish the rejection blues. Creating a complete piece in a relatively short space of time helps me revitalise my flagging confidence and proves (to me) that there’s life in the old writer yet!

It also helps to remember that few writers find a publisher at the first attempt. Think of the number of times J.K. Rowling submitted her Harry Potter books before she found a publisher willing to take a chance on a new writer. Whether we writers like it or not, the prospect of making money is what rules the publishing world. In a time of fiscal austerity, risk-taking is not encouraged, so there are no funds put aside for new writing. But despite all the doom and gloom about the current state of the publishing industry, I believe books, print or electronic, will always be around and a well-written inspiring tale will eventually find its place.

Sannah and the Pilgrim by Sure Parritt


General Information - Sannah and the Pilgrim by Sue Parritt
ISBN: 978-1-922200-14-3
Genre: Speculative Fiction / Sci-fi / Dystopian
Release Date: 26 April 2014 (Paperback and ebook)
Publisher: Odyssey Books (http://www.odysseybooks.com.au/)

Reviewers: 
The title is also available from NetGalley: https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/show/id/47499

Description:
When Sannah the Storyteller, a descendant of environmental refugees from drowned Pacific islands, finds a White stranger on her domestep, she presumes hes a political prisoner on the run seeking safe passage to egalitarian Aotearoa. However, Kaires unusual appearance, bizarre behaviour, and insistence hes a pilgrim suggest otherwise.
Appalled by apartheid Australia, Kaire uses his White privileges to procure vital information for Sannah and her group of activists regarding new desert prisons that are to be built to house all political prisoners. The group plans sabotage but needs help, and Kaire is a willing accomplice. But when Sannah turns Truthteller and threatens to reveal the countrys true history, even Kaires White privilege and advanced technology cannot save Sannah and her daughter from retribution.

About Sannah and the Pilgrim:
Sannah and the Pilgrim is a tale of courage, defiance and deceit that asks the reader, Would you risk death by telling the truth about your country, or would you play it safe and spend your life as a storyteller?
Are you concerned about our governments (both past and present) failure to act on climate change and the detention and inhumane treatment of refugees? I am, so I have drawn on contemporary conservative attitudes to present a dystopian view of a future Australia in my speculative fiction novel Sannah and the Pilgrim. Read it and discover what could happen to ourlucky country.

Sue Parritt author pic

About the Author:
Sue Parritt is an Australian writer, originally from England. Her poetry and short stories have been published in magazines and anthologies in Australia, Britain and the USA. After graduating BA University of Queensland 1982 (majors: English Literature, Drama and French), Sue worked in university libraries until taking early retirement in 2008 to pursue her long-held dream of becoming a professional writer.  Since then she has written Sannah and the Pilgrim, numerous short stories and poems andFeed Thy Enemy, a feature film script set in Naples in 1944 and 1974 and based on a true story (Sue is currently seeking a producer). She recently completed a second novel Safety Zone and is now writing a sequel to Sannah and the Pilgrim  the working title is Pia and the Skyman.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Kat de Falla Shares Her Thoughts on Writing in Third Person @KatDeFalla #WriteTip #AmWriting #Fantasy

Finding Your Voice by Writing in Third Person

“My fingers linger on the doorknob. Should I open it?”

OR

“Heidi’s fingers lingered on the doorknob. She weighted her options. Should she open it or not?”

No one way is right. Do you want to write in the first person present tense? Or in the third person past tense?

Either way can create a superb novel. The first person and present tense create an immediacy. It creates a window through which you can take each step behind the eye of the speaker.

In Orson Scott Card’s wonderful book, Characters and Viewpoint, he says this about Voice: “A rule of thumb: Choose the simplest, clearest, least noticeable technique that will still accomplish what the story requires.”

I personally, chose third person past tense. I had a lot of characters I wanted my readers to meet and many things were happening at the same time across the world. I enjoy fast-paced novels and lots of twists and turns.

In my case, this viewpoint worked the best. What have you tried and what has worked for you?


TheSeersLover_w8075_med

2nd Place Winner in the LuckyCinda Book Contest 2014 for Paranormal
Semi-Finalist in the KBR’s Best Kindle Book Awards 2014
Indie Book of the Day Award Winner July 25, 2014
Genre:  Mainstream Paranormal/Paranormal Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Link to Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/17gFt26ncoU

Book Blurb:

Calise Rowe's question of who walks among us leads her into an ancient war between seers and demons.
For years, Calise Rowe has been able to sense unusual energy from people, making her believe she is different. Pulled into an ancient war raging for centuries between demon hunters and seers, she's about to find out she's right.

Her search for the truth leads her to Lucas Rojas, a seer of angels and demons who walk the earth shrouded from normal human eyes. He's hidden his gift for years and refuses to endanger Calise by sharing it with her.

In the sultry Costa Rican Jungles, their worlds collide. As their passion and desire ignite, so does the ancient war between demons and seers. Will their combined efforts be enough to save themselves and the entire human world, or will their new found love be their downfall?

Excerpt:

She traced a circle in the sand with her finger.

Why would she disclose her whole existence to someone she’d just met? Someone who talked so little about himself that she found herself talking to fill the void. Saying things she could barely admit in her own head.

His hand covered hers. “I’m lonely, too. Getting to know you this week has been the brightest point in my life and I don’t want you to leave, but I know the only place you’ll be safe is far away from me.”

She swallowed. He had read her mind.

He lay down on his back and closed his eyes. “Cali, you know when you hear a song for the first time and you kind of ingest it? You can’t possibly know right away that it will be one of your favorite songs for the rest of your life. A classic.”

“Yeah.” She hoped he was going somewhere good with this.

“That first listen,” he continued, “you pick up a little of the melody and some lyrics that catch you. But when the song ends, you have to hear it again because you want to memorize all the words and sing along. After you hear it a few times and learn the words inside and out, then you begin to let the melody seep inside you. Next thing you know, you’ve completely digested the song and find yourself humming it while you are doing nothing, like shaving or driving your car. Finally, the song becomes so ingrained it becomes a part of you. Forever. You can recall it and it’s with you whenever you need it. Am I making any sense?”

She nodded, blinking back the tears fighting to fall.

“Cali, I don’t want you to go back because you’re my favorite song.”
kat head-shot

Bio:
Author Kat de Falla was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she learned to roller skate, ride a banana seat bike, and love Shakespeare thanks to her high school English teacher.

Four years at the UW-Madison wasn’t enough, so she returned to her beloved college town for her Doctor of Pharmacy degree and is happily employed as a retail pharmacist where she fills prescriptions and chats with her patients.

She is married to her soul mate, classical guitarist, Lee de Falla and raising four kids together ala the Brady Bunch.

Kat’s Links:
Author Website: www.katdefalla.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/@katdefalla
Facebook:www.facebook.com/authorkatdefalla (message me to join my street team!)
Lee’s Bio/Info:

Composer Lee de Falla, a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was raised in a family of professional musicians. He picked up his father's guitar at age eight and hasn't put one down since. Although well versed at playing all genres of music, his love is composition for modern classical guitar and instrumental orchestrations. He is finishing work on two CD's which will be available later this year.
Composer Website: www.bayafaya.com where FREE music requests are available that accompany THE SEER’S LOVER:
  1. Anna’s Dance is a jazzy bossa nova meant to accompany chapter two.
  2. Shane's Torment is a churning soundscape of despair meant to accompany chapter six.
  3. Cali and Lucas First Dance is a Latin fusion instrumental love song meant to accompany chapter twelve.
As I touch on Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) in this book, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to www.iorphan.org

 Buy Links:
AMAZON
BARNES AND NOBLE
KOBO
Acclaim for THE SEER’S LOVER:
“Distinctly haunting and deliciously dark, The Seer's Lover is the debut novel from author Kat De Falla and it’s one to be read with the light on! A paranormal romance, it may not howl originality as the age old forces of Angels and Demons muster for yet another face off, but De Falla certainly distinguishes herself with the quality of her writing and the ability to weave a riveting and intriguing plot. With a meticulous eye for detail her characters are skillfully drawn, shunning the genre tendency towards stoic stereotypes to deliver flawed real world personas that quickly feel familiar and are ultimately endearing. The action is generous and well described, the twists served with perfect timing, it has all the elements readers expect from the best in genre and they are sure to keep the pages turning at a frantic pace.”
The Seer's Lover is truly an unusual creation in the e-world: it comes with musical interludes (which can be downloaded for free) and it tells of Calise, who has long known she has different abilities than most. What she hasn't realized is that her powers will draw her into an ancient conflict between good and evil, pitting her against some of the strongest adversaries in the universe.

If all this sounds familiar, it's because the classic 'good-versus-evil' plot has been done time and again: but as with any good book, it's not just the plot that makes for an exceptional read, but how it's done.

Kat de Falla places her main protagonist on a journey of discovery that leads to the Costa Rican forest, there to encounter a man who (much like herself) has hidden his abilities. Lucas can actually see the demons and angels who walk the earth; but not only has he concealed his abilities; he doesn't want to endanger her by sharing his gift.

What evolves is paranormal romance fiction at its best: a story steeped in passion with the overlay of deadly dangers and powerful talents woven into an ever-changing plot.

Now, the genre of paranormal romance has rapidly expanded. Over the last ten years romance writers have added a variety of elements to spice their creations, and entry into paranormal realms is just one of these newer devices. Another device used here is that of music which runs through the story line as a theme so that musical passages accompany the story.

The Seer's Lover is all about building atmosphere, from its eye-catching cover of a man and a woman on an island facing down blazing red eyes in the sky to these musical interludes that reinforce action.
And this atmosphere is created right from the start, where Calise is already involved with Lucas: "Why would she disclose her whole existence to someone she’d just met? Someone who talked so little about himself that she found herself talking to fill the void. Saying things she could barely admit in her own head."
There are no pat answers here; no formula approaches that would lend too much predictability to events. Calise is alternately brave and terrified, as her abilities are yet untested but her adversaries are seasoned and powerful: "This is not going so well. I’m turning out to be a pretty shitty Buffy the Demon Slayer."

And there are surprises peppered throughout: in the form of a mother whom Calise comes to realize as the wellspring of her powers, and in the guise of a romances past and present which rise up to haunt her. There are unexpected religious experiences, there's a search to find self, and there are elements of suspense tying all of these events together.

In the end Calise faces the greatest challenge of her life - and with prior events having helped her grow, she's in the strongest position ever to find peace in her life.
The open-ended conclusion leaves room for a possible sequel but in the true style of a superior read, it's not essential that more be written: The Seer's Lover is a self-contained novel that properly wraps up its story, and will satisfy any reader of paranormal or romance fiction.
Highly entertaining by anyone’s reckoning, The Seer's Lover from author Kat De Falla is an exciting debut novel and certainly one that deserves a place on your reading shelf. It is strongly recommended.
--D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, MBR

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Christopher Mannino Shares His #WriteTip for Meeting Writing Deadlines @Ctmannino #YA #SelfPub #TBR

How to Meet Deadlines and Remain Sane:

Like many authors, I work a full time job. I teach high school theatre, and as the drama teacher, I’m typically the first one to school and the last to leave. While I try to do most of my drafting during the summers, when I only work part-time, I still have deadlines during the school year. The editing process for SCHOOL OF DEATHS took place during a very busy time for me, and my first year at a new school, which was challenging as well.

The key to meeting deadlines is to set a schedule and stick to it. For example, when working on my first draft for SWORD OF DEATHS (a sequel to my novel), I knew I needed to write a chapter a day, even on days when I worked part-time. I kept to that schedule. It’s also important to schedule some relaxation time. I plan dates with my wife, and enjoy other activities. If we focus all of our time on work, the muse will suffer.


School of Deaths

Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.

Caught in the middle of a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths, Suzie must uncover the reason she’s been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - YA Fantasy
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Christopher Mannino through Facebook & Twitter


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Steps Into Darkness by Ben Woodard @benswoodard #Mystery #Adventure #ReviewShare

Steps Into Darkness (Shakertown Adventure #2)Steps Into Darkness by Ben Woodard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For a book that focussed on two young boys, there are values to be learnt but the author skillfully added these without preaching. This is a book for children who are old enough to understand dangers but appreciate a good mystery, adventure. Will and Tom were especially interesting characters who contributed entertainment to the story.

I can honestly say I found this to be a gripping read and wanted to finish it as fast as I can. There are so far two books in the Shakertown series but they can be read separately which made it even better.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads UK Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my book review. This book review is based on my thoughts, opinion and understanding of the book. This book review does not reflect the opinion of other book club members.


View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Kate Bracy Shares 5 Reasons NOT to Become a Writer #AmWriting #SelfPub #WriteTip

5 Reasons NOT to Become a Writer

Everyone thinks they can write. It astounds me that people who would never -- and I mean if the fate of the free world depended on it – stand up and sing karaoke, will write a blog and wait expectantly for it to be picked up by major media. People think that being smart or articulate translates directly into being a good writer. It doesn’t. And, in fact, you will be very disheartened if you post your first blog based on something that got a lot of laughs in the office lunch room, and suddenly find yourself being attacked by opinion trolls as well as the grammar police. Writing because you think “anyone can do it” is like standing up at that karaoke mic and finding out how much better you sound in the shower.

There are lots of reasons to write – I’m guilty of all of them. And there are lots of reasons to step away from the keyboard, take a deep breath, and consider other options. Here are five reasons to take up golf instead.

Reason #1

Writing is unattractive. Dorothy Allison, in a keynote address at a writing conference said, “I do not want people visiting me at my home. I don’t wash my hair often enough for that.” I understood completely. When you are really in the thick of writing, you will be doing it instead of showering, gargling, and other basic hygiene activities. Do NOT pay a surprise visit to a writer who is only on chapter four. It is not pretty.

Reason #2:

Being mean is just as bad on paper as it is in person. Do not become a writer to get back at your [fill in the blank]. Anne Lamott famously said, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” I adore Anne, and I have to admit that if she is getting even with someone, she is doing it in a very humble, hilarious and relatable way. But if you are railing against the Catholic Church, identifying your last boyfriend by his birthmark or an “in” joke, or skewering your mom because she left you at the neighbor’s house to go play bridge, you will find that people – even the ones who laugh at your jokes – are turned off by your mean spiritedness. Besides that, you will be forced to live with your bitter self at the end of the day, and I don’t wish that on anyone.

Reason #3

Writing is a home-wrecker. If you are any good at it, and if you are serious about writing as a career or an art, you will neglect your partner, your children, your pets and your parents. Once you are in the spell, it can be as disastrous as drug relapse. If you can’t afford marriage counseling, don’t start that novel.

Reason #4

Whatever you write, it will be wrong. While theoretically you are fine with “not being able to please all of the people all of the time,” the reality of hearing from total strangers how bad your writing is, or how off-base your ideas are, or how predictable the ending was, all adds up to a deep understanding of Sylvia Plath’s choices. Don’t put it out there if you don’t want to hear others’ opinions about how you did or didn’t bring them to rapture.

Reason #5

Writing is bad for your health. Writing is not aerobic. Despite the new trend for treadmill desks, writing does not increase your cardiovascular health. You will sit for many hours with bad posture and M&Ms in a bowl on the desk. If you ignore my advice and start writing anyway, be prepared to ask the age-old writer’s question: “Does this essay collection make my ass look big?” (See “Reason #4” above, because someone will inevitably answer, “Yes.”

There. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own risk. I know that chances are that you’ll heed these cautions about as well as I heeded those of the Catholic nuns in my youth. In that case, be sure to shower before you meet with your New York agent; dedicate the book to your neglected partner; and wear a clean shirt for the book jacket photo. No one needs to know the truth.


ThatCrazyLittleThing

Winner of four independent publishing awards, including the IndieReader Discovery Award in Women's Fiction, this debut novel hits the mark for smart, discerning readers.

There's nothing about her life that doesn't need a little work, so Melanie Davis thinks of herself as a "fixer-upper." Her history with men leaves her gun shy; her teenaged daughter can't string two civil words together; her best friend Donna just found out she has a life-threatening illness. When Donna also reveals a decades-old secret that still haunts her, Melanie makes it her mission to solve the mystery and reunite Donna with a precious link to her past - before it's too late. 

Along the way Melanie discovers with startling clarity the pricelessness of love and friendship. With a finely-tuned emotional compass, Kate Bracy carries us through a trial-by-illness as funny as it is touching. Her narrator, Melanie, comes to realize the enduring power of love - between men and women, between mothers and daughters, between friends. Through her vivid, endearing characters Bracy creates a small-town world in northern New York where old loves rekindle, friendships prevail, and secret wounds are finally healed. This debut novel will leave you with an awakened heart and a strong urge to send postcards to all the people you love.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - Women's Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kate Bracy through Facebook

Friday, October 17, 2014

Cheryl Carpinello Shares 15 Facts About Knights @CCarpinello #AmReading #Tween #Adventure


15 Facts About Knights

Writing a book entitled Young Knights of the Round: The King’s Ransom means that I learned a lot about knights that I didn’t know.
  1. A young man was knighted when he was 21 years old.
  2. Castles were built with spiral staircases so that if there was an invasion, an enemy knight would have a tough time going up or down the stairs while fighting.
  3. Not just anyone could become a knight because of the expense involved. Prospective knights had to provide their own armor, weapons, horse, and shield.
  4. Tournaments and jousts were originally for the training of knights. Losers were required to give their horse and armor to the winner.
  5. Chivalry comes the French word chevalier which means Knight.
  6. A knight’s armor weighed more than 50 pounds, but the weight was so distributed over their entire body that knights were more mobile than they looked.
  7. A squire’s duty was to serve their knight by helping him get dressed, taking care of his horse, serving him food, and cleaning and polishing his armor and weapons. This also taught the squires manners.
  8. When a knight’s shield was hung upside, it became the symbol of a disgraced knight.
  9. The Knighting ceremony ended with Dubbing where the newly recognized knight received a blow with the flat of the hand or the side of the sword usually on one or both shoulders.
  10. Knights lived in round tents decorated with bright alternating colors, and the tents were called Pavilions.
  11. A death blow given by a knight to his mortally wounded opponent was a Coup de Grace.
  12.  The term Squire is also French and comes from the two words Esquire and Escuyer which mean Shield Bearer.
  13.  Knights jousting met in the center of the arena at an equivalent speed of 60 mph.
  14.  Becoming a knight took a total of 14 years: 7 years as a page and 7 years as a squire.
  15.  Sadly, the invention of the Musket in 1520 was instrumental in starting the decline of jousting.
 
Young Knights

Three Friends. Three Quests. Three Mysterious Predictions.

At Pembroke Castle in medieval Wales,11-year-old Prince Gavin, 13-year-old orphan Philip, and 15-year-old blacksmith's apprentice Bryan, brought together in friendship by the one they call The Wild Man, embark upon a quest to save The Wild Man's life when he is accused of murder and robbery. If they have any hope of succeeding, the three will have to confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all. But it is the arrival of King Arthur and what he reveals that surprises characters and readers.

If you would like more information on knights and Medieval times, visit these sites:
Medieval Life and Times: http://www.medieval-life-and-times.info
Middle Ages for Kids: http://medievaleurope.mrdonn.org/
Everything About Knights: www.knight-medieval.com
 
Author Links:

Author Sites:

Purchase Links for Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom
 
Author Bio
I love the Ancient and Medieval Worlds! As a retired English teacher, I hope to inspire young readers to read more through my Quest Books. Please follow me on this adventure. On Carpinello’s Writing Pages, I interview other children/MG/Tween/YA authors. At The Quest Books, I’ve teamed up with Fiona Ingram from South Africa and Wendy Leighton-Porter of England/France/Abu Dhabi to enable readers to find all of our Ancient and Medieval quest books in one place.