Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Why Writers are Important!!

First, a great big shout out for the latest IWSG Anthology:


Masquerade: Oddly Suited -- NOW AVAILABLE!

Young Adult Fiction: Romance - General/Paranormal/Contemporary
Print ISBN 9781939844644  $14.95
EBook ISBN 9781939844651  $4.99

Find love at the ball…

Can a fake dating game show lead to love? Will a missing key free a clock-bound prince? Can a softball pitcher and a baseball catcher work together? Is there a vampire living in Paradise, Newfoundland? What’s more important—a virtual companion or a date to the ball?

Ten authors explore young love in all its facets, from heartbreak to budding passion. Featuring the talents of L.G. Keltner, Jennifer Lane, C.D. Gallant-King, Elizabeth Mueller, Angela Brown, Myles Christensen, Deborah Solice, Carrie-Anne Brownian, Anstice Brown, and Chelsea Marie Ballard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will mystify and surprise even as they touch your heart. Don your mask and join the party…

Links:
Barnes & Noble - Amazon - iTunes - Kobo - Goodreads

Check it out!!

And now for my IWSG post -

WARNING: BEING A WRITER IS TREACHEROUS!

If you want to be a writer, prepare yourself for disappointment, heartache, and rejection. You must have thick skin to take the criticism and low ratings of others. It requires steadfastness and perseverance. You must accept working long hours for no pay. Frustration is also a big part of writing.

And in this day and age, CHANGE is the only CONSTANT.

If you still want to be a writer, if your heart and passion won't be swayed, the public thanks you. Writers provide everyone with an escape from everyday lives. Writing is the basis of knowledge: from the foundations of history to the promises of the future in our world and beyond. There would be no movies, television shows, or books without writers. Writers inspire, educate, and encourage the rest of the world to do great things and be greater people.

Thank you for being a writer. When life gets you down, keep writing. Despite all the negatives, it truly is worth it!


I'm trying to look at the bright side and figure out how to move on now that my publisher is officially closed. I can't order any of my books and no one is responding, not even our distributor. It's been a very tough several months. Luckily I have the cover and the formatted copies, so I am going through with self-publishing WINDY HOLLOW, but it won't be until this summer... I still have to make some tweaks and time is not on my side.

Thanks for your support you guys! Hope things are well with you!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Do you have what agents are looking for?

Time for another IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) session. This month, I'm spilling my guts about how to snag an agent. Uh, no. I haven't snagged one yet myself, but I did snag an editor/publisher. Similar, yet more difficult. Agents are a different breed.

Soon I will be asking myself if I have what agents are looking for when I venture out with my latest WIP. I feel like I have to start over. Maybe that's why this one is taking me so long, not looking forward to the tsunami of rejections ahead of me. But nothing is guaranteed in life, right? Change comes whether we like it or not, we just have to deal with it.

So, I wanted to offer a couple of ways to peek at what agents are thinking...

First, is the very insightful: #MSWishList - where agents spout off story ideas they'd love to see written and offered to them. Trouble is, you have to have what they're looking for right then because sooner than you can write your first draft, they'll come up with a new twist, and yours will be so last month! The best approach is to see if anyone is seeking something you've already written or started.

Second, enter Twitter pitch contests. Like:
#PitMad - where writers tweet a 280-character pitch for their completed, polished, unpublished manuscripts. Agents and editors make requests by liking/favoriting the tweeted pitch. Every unagented writer is welcome to pitch. All genres/categories are welcomed. Upcoming dates are:

June 6, 2019 (8AM – 8PM EDT)
September 5, 2019 (8AM – 8PM EDT)
December 5, 2019 (8AM – 8PM EST)

and
#PitchWars, schedule is as follows:

6/24 Mentor Applications Open
7/8 Mentor Applications Close
8/12 Mentors Announced
9/11-25 Mentor Wishlists Posted
9/25-27 Submissions Open
11/3 Mentees Announced
2/5-10 Agent Showcase

and the IWSG has a pitch event as well! Missed it this year, but the next #IWSGPit contest will be in January 2020 (Date - TBA, 8:00 am - 8:00 pm EST)

Last - Research. Always do a search for agents in your genre. Almost all of them have a list of what they are seeking on their websites, though some don't update them as often as they should. And many do interviews where they talk about the industry as well as what they're looking for, like on Writer's Digest.

So good luck to us all. Expect the worst and you won't feel as bad from the rejections. But hang in there, your perfect match agent will find you! And we will all do the silly celebration dance for you!


via GIPHY

Happy April! And yay for Spring!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

We have a Cover! - Why a Fantastic Cover is Crucial

First, I want to share my totally awesome, shiny new WINDY HOLLOW Cover!


I'm so enamored! enchanted! encouraged! I have to thank my wonderful, talented cover artist Ricky Gunawan--he's a genius! Covers are vital. Even for ebooks. Covers set the mood of your book, give a glimpse of what adventures await inside, and help readers make up their minds to buy it! So for IWSG this month, I decided to share some tips for great covers...

"Remember: Most people in book publishing believe that a cover is a book’s No. 1 marketing tool." Writers' Digest

Cover Tips I love, from Writers' Digest, KoboWrititngLife, and 99Designs

  • TITLE - Big and easy to read. Keep it simple. And pick a solid font--nothing too fancy or silly, unless your book is a joke book!
  • ART - hire a professional. Or pay for a photo. Don't chintz! Don't frame images. Don't scare readers with crazy colors.
  • AVOID CLICHES - No sunrises, no sunsets, no ocean beaches or fluffy clouds...
  • THINK LIKE A READER - and know your audience. Take a poll on social media.
  • LURE READERS IN - make them feel something, send a message without spelling it out
  • GET FEEDBACK - keep an open mind, listen, and go with your gut

Sounds easy, right? No, I know. It's immensely hard! Your vision isn't the same as your friends or readers. And these are just guidelines to help. If your book is set on a beach -- a beach on the cover works!

Yes, I have a cover, but I don't have a release date yet. Here's hoping and here's the blurb...

WINDY HOLLOW, Beast World: Book 3

Gabe just can't stay out of trouble, even when he's just trying to help.

It's summer break and the young beasts are riding dragons across the Great Sea for a week-long wedding extravaganza. But Gabe suspects Professor Hardaway is up to something more serious behind all the festivities. Sneaking around and eavesdropping, Gabe discovers news of a human village across the mountains--Windy Hollow--and they might be in trouble from the mysterious activity at the old castle above the Mist.

Despite the professor's warnings, Gabe and his friends venture over, risking more than they realize when they get caught up in the dangerous experiments of a deranged scientist who's recruited a large, vengeful beast. Gabe wonders if he's gone too far this time, but he's in too deep to quit. It's do or die, hopefully not die!

And lastly, more encouraging NEWS!
I was honored to be featured in, not one, but TWO high school newspapers!


  • The school where I'm currently teaching is Badin High School -- article
  • Mason High School is where my older boys graduated, and I sub frequently there -- article
Thanks for hanging out! Enjoy the rest of the month. I'm cutting back on posts until things settle down with work and getting Windy Hollow published... Hope things are well with you!