Tag Archives: Pinterest

Facebook….turns out, it’s a good thing

Yesterday I extolled some of the wisdom Jane Friedman imparted last weekend at Fiction Fest 2017 in her master class. One of the biggest takeaways from the workshop for me was how powerful Facebook can be for an author.

When I first began my journey as a published author in 2015 I had the typical Facebook page where I trolled the news feed for posted info on family and friends. It was my then-editor who suggested I make myself a professional FB page for my author career. The thought of now having to manage and keep track of 2 things on FB, not to mention Twitter, Pinterest, my website, my Amazon page,  yada yada yada was a little daunting and a whole lot of nauseating.

But I heeded her advice and did it. The one thing I was adamant about though, was that the professional author page was  going to be for anybody who wanted to follow me as an author. I was going to keep my personal page just that – private. The reason was an easy one for me because I have small children in my family and friends circle and their parents post pictures of them frequently. I didn’t want some wackjob creepy person to see those pictures. There are a lot of undesirables on the Internet, hunting for innocent prey. And I know that sounds dramatic, but have you read the news lately??? Not dramatic at all.. simply proactive.

So. Two pages. Two separate entities. Double the work. More to keep track of. But you know what? it was a good thing. I have waaaaaaay more “friends” on my professional page than my personal one. I don’t post anything on the professional page I wouldn’t want everyone in the cyber world to see, but I’m able to keep private what needs to be kept private on the personal page. One of the good things about Facebook is that you can set up protection and privacy settings on posts.

Jane is a big proponent of reader and follower engagement on her FB page. She uses her page as a tool to interact with readers, answer questions, make announcements, show her blog postings. She feels authors should use the Professional page as their number one tool for marketing and acquiring new followers who then become readers. I always felt that Twitter gave me my biggest bang for engagement, and in reality, I have more twitter followers than I do FB followers (not many more, but a few). One of the drawbacks, Jane says about Twitter, is that it is very much a right here- right now thing. In other words, once you post something you have about 17 minutes or so for people to see it. After that, it gets lost in the quagmire of a hundred billion other tweets and the scroll shoves you waaaaaaay down low. Makes sense. On Facebook, your postings get added to the newsfeed, your followers get notified you’ve posted something, and if you come back to the post a few hours later and simply “like” it, it brings it back up in the current scroll. That’s genius in my mind. Plus, everytime someone likes or comments on your post you get a notification and respond in kind.

Facebook parties are a fabulous markteting tool for new readers and engagement as well. Facebook ads can be a tool to drive people to your page, but be careful. Don’t go crazy and spend more than you think you really need on an ad.

So. Facebook. I will now be using it a great deal more than Twitter. Still love to tweet though!

When I’m not Facebook-ing or Tweeting, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Author Branding, branding, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, research, Romance Books

Why I need to see my characters before I write, part 2

So yesterday I showed you how my mind works. Get your own minds out of the gutter! I meant visually, that’s how!

I see things way before I ever type a single word of my manuscripts. My characters, my settings, the clothes people wear, the weather, everything, really, must be visual to me first.  I have stacks of current magazines in my office that I comb through frequently. Fashion mags, exercise, mags, home improvement ones, even travel issues. I’ll flip through the pages, see an interesting face, or place, or image, and rip it out, storing it in a big box on one of my library shelves.

I troll through Pinterest periodically as well, typing in search words for images I want, such as brown eyed and blonde hair women, or green eyed men.

When I see images that gel with what I’ve been seeing in my mind, I pin them to storyboards in my Pinterest site and sometimes even print them out for inclusion on my visualization board. You may think a great deal of this is redundant, but just having them loaded in a computer file isn’t enough for me. I need to actually see them every day while I’m writing my story.

As I’ve gotten older, I tend to forget little details that are important for my characters and stories. It’s not because I’ve got any kind of creeping dementia or cognitive memory loss. It’s more that there is so much going on in my life in one single day, that remembering what color eyes I gave my hero six weeks ago in chapter one, tends to be difficult if I don’t have the actual picture of the guy close by. A few months ago I was writing my soon-to-be-released 5th book in my Wild Rose Press series of the MacQuire Women, PASSION’S PALETTE,  and one of the characters had  chin length snow-blond hair initially, and the next time we meet her, it’s turned strawberry blonde and is down the middle of her back – three days later! I wasn’t paying attention to my vision board very well during those days, but luckily I caught a glimpse of it one day before submitting the story and fixed the mistake! So that’s all the proof I need to tell me making my vision boards is a worthwhile way to spend some of my creative time.

I’m just gonna throw this out there and say story boarding and plot visualization are as old as civilization. Didn’t primitive cave-people and early societies leave cave and cliff drawings, depicting their ways of life? Their history? Sounds to me an awful lot like storyboarding. Just saying….

So. Hope this helps you understand the way this writer’s brain and creative process works. I don’t think I’m alone in my storyboarding, either. I tend to think since the advent of Pinterest, more writers work this way, simply because it’s so easy to.

When I’m not storyboarding, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triberr

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Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

I #write words, but I see images; #Pinterest

Strange blog title, I know. It  kinda reminds me of “I see dead people.LOL But there’s a reason behind it, so let me ‘esplain it to, Lucy.

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I’m a very visual person. I’m one of those people who sometimes think their dreams are real and have actually happened because they are so vivid and fully detailed. (I’m sure a psychiatrist would have a field day with that statement, but I digress.)

lucy

I was actually that (weird) kid who enjoyed going to art museums. I could spend hours – and did – strolling along hallways and chambers chock full of art from every time period, decade, and century. The colors, the way light was used, or the absence of it; the way the artist positioned a hand in a portrait, or the background in a scene. Just looking at those beautiful portrayals and representations of life was awe-inspiring for me. And got my creative storytelling mind revving.

art

Images help my writing in ways that are too numerous to describe. Suffice it to say, I see a book in my head before I ever type a word into my laptop. If I wrote science fiction my world-building would the size of a dictionary before I ever got to the plot. So, because I’m such a visual person,  I love PINTEREST. 

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Really, what did we ever do before Pinterest? I do remember saving fashion magazines for months on end when I was working on a story just so I could troll through the pages to find perfect depictions and portraits for my characters and settings. Other than that, I had no place to search.

Pinterest is to a visual person what words are to writers. Both are necessary for creativity to blossom and grow. And you can find anything on Pinterest. Anything.

I use it as a shorthand form of a storyboard for each of my books. Seeing what my hero and heroine, plus the ancillary characters look like, helps me describe them better in the story. I usually have several pictures of my h/h in various setting and with different expressions, just so I can write them vividly enough that you can see them clearly in your reading mind. I do the same thing with settings, buildings, even rooms.

Check out my newest board, Rick and Abby. I’m currently adding to it daily, so it’ll get filled up fairly soon, but I’ve got a good idea of Rick ( boy do I!) and I’m working on Abby. This is a wonderful way for me to make my characters come to life in my mind and on the page. Again, a shrink would go to town with that last statement, but you know what I mean.

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If you don’t know Pinterest, you should. Especially if you’re a writer.

‘Nuff said. Gotta go pinning….

When I’m not trolling through Pinterest, you can find me here: Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

And just to see who really reads my posts: The first person to tell me in a comment here who the guy in this picture is will win an e-copy of one of my books of your choice. This should be illuminating…

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Filed under Alpha Hero, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Literary characters, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

On #Pinterest, #IceCream and #epicfails….

pinterest-logo-tag-cloud1

I lovelovelove Pinterest.  For a writer who plots ( like moi) it’s a visual dream come true. If you click on my personal link in the previous sentence,   you’ll see I use it for characterization, writing tips, plotting, and info I need for books about stuff I don’t know about, but that I want to use in the plot/story.

I also troll through recipes and how-to videos. I’m a kinesthetic learner, which means I learn how to do stuff by actually doing it. My husband and daughter can read a manual and put a truck together – or take it apart. I need to be shown how to do it because trying to follow instructional steps has never been my strong suit. I tell you this because I want to explain the title of this blog: EPIC FAILS.

I don’t drink coffee in the morning. I drink decaf tea at night in a ridiculous attempt to help dietdewme sleep. It hasn’t so far, but I digress…..

I don’t drink coffee for my caffeine jolt in the morning, I drink DIET MOUNTAIN DEW.  I know…don’t judge me! SO when I spotted a video how-to the other day about making Mountain Dew Ice cream, well, I simply lost my mind and knew -KNEW- I had to make it.

There were 4 ingredients: Heavy whipping cream, evaporated milk, DMD and food coloring.

Here are a few snaps of the process I took as I performed them according to the video.

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After the requisite 4-6 hours in the freezer, I tried a sample:

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I truly wish someone had been home with me to video my reaction when I tasted it. This is as close as I can come to thinking what I must have looked like:

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No lie…..

Le sigh.

Now I know why there is an official website called PINTEREST FAILS! Think I should upload mine to their site???

When I’m not attempting to try things NOT in my purview, you can usually find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Life challenges, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

NANOWRIMO 2016… Day 1

November has rolled back again – just as it does every year around this time! – and in addition to Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and snowstorms, November brings with it NANOWRIMO, or for those of you who don’t know what the initials represent, National Novel Writing Month.

nanowrimo

NANOWRIMO is a challenge  for writers across the globe  to compose a 50,000 word novel  ( or greater than 50,000 words, if you are so inclined) from 11/1- until 11/30. You catalog your daily word count on the NaNo site and  once the end of the month comes, your total is tallied and, if you reach the 50,000 words, you “Win” the challenge.

This will be my fourth year participating in the challenge and this year is somewhat special for me for a few reasons.

One, I am my RWA New Hampshire chapters’ leader in the NANOWRIMO RWA WORD WARS challenge for this year. Last year, the NHRWA chapter won word wars and I intend to keep our streak going this year for my chapter. I may not have been a cheerleader in school ( too fat, too shy) but I am a totally enthusiastic and encouraging sort and I will do my utmost best to make sure my chapter-mates feel my support!

Two, the past three years I have participated, the novels I wrote for NANO went on to be published. I know! The novel I’m writing this year has already been contracted for Kensington/Lyrical and is due out sometime in 2017/18 so I have plenty of time for edits. HaHa. This challenge is getting my writing butt in gear.

The last reason this year is so special to me is a purely selfish one. People who know me know I love an individual challenge. I’m not into team sports, don’t like to compete with others for anything. I would be one of those who would be voted off the island first! But when the challenge is just between me and myself, well, then I say, “bring it on!”

In preparation this year in my capacity as Chapter Word War Leader, I made a PINTEREST board especially for NaNoWriMo, listing motivations for writers, articles on how to proceed, writing tips and little sayings to keep us all – myself included – up for the challenge. Click on the link and see if any of the boards speak to you.

So, here’s to day 1……..

Do you NaNo? Let’s discuss…

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Filed under #RWA16, Author, Contemporary Romance, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Literary characters, love, Lyrical Author, NaNoWriMo, New Hampshire, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA

The peace found in a Library…

Author Holly Robinson  recently wrote a great blog piece about her love of public libraries. I, too, have had a life -long love affair with those wonderful buildings housing the billions of words and bits of writers’ imaginations and souls within their walls. Here’s why….

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As an only child raised in a family of elderly great aunts and grandmothers, I didn’t have an opportunity to play much with kids my age because, well, there weren’t any! It’s probably why I’m not such a great game player even at this age. While my peers were with one another enjoying a game of Mousetrap or Soul Survivor or any Milton-Bradley or Hasbro game you can remember, I was usually in the company of older people who didn’t want to play a board game, but who preferred to sit and drink and talk and fight with one another.

Yeah, I know: not a great childhood, but it was all I knew.

I was also a latchkey kid — a term I don’t think is used too widely these days. My parents both worked full time and from the age of 8 I no longer had an after school babysitter who’d watch me until my parents came home from work, usually around 7 each night. I was on my own from the time school let out at 3 until the evening, five days a week. Now, I could tell you that the temptations to be naughty and to veer toward the dark side and get into mischief were strong. But I had something that helped me fight those demons calling my name to act up and be bad: my local Library.

I would be dismissed every day from school and then walk the ten city blocks-alone-to the beautiful, brick faced, three story building overlooking New York harbor. First, I’d find  an empty table in the kid’s section and do my homework. That usually took about 10 minutes! Then, I’d explore the book racks. I was an expert at the Dewey decimal system categories by the age of 9 and to this day, still order my own books in my home library using the same clarification system.

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In that first year I read all the books in the kid’s section that were in my age group and most of the teen category as well. Nowadays this is called YA( for young adult), but back then they were all labeled as “Teen” reading. I learned all I needed to know about love, sex, hate, and teenage angst before the age of  1o. I devoured the complete works of Agatha Christie, Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew. I consumed the books in the biography section, learning everything I could about women leaders like Eleanor Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart and Queen Victoria. Even back then I realized I could be whatever my imagination told me I could, despite being a girl.

You may have read that last sentence and said, WHAT??!! but remember, I was raised in the sixities when girl power was still in its infancy. It would be another 10 years before Gloria Steinem came along and preached female empowerment. And  Title IX hadn’t been established yet.

Anyway…

Since I was most comfortable with older folks and not my peers, I had no trouble connecting with the librarians on a personal level, and I can tell you truthfully and without hubris, they loved me. Knowing how much I adored reading,  and the categories I loved most, the librarians would routinely pull new arrivals for me to check out first. Loved that!  Who else can boast they were spoiled by librarians?

The library became my second home, and in some ways, it was my  refuge, a steady foundation against a home life that wasn’t exactly the American Dream. Within the walls of the library, I could get lost- safely- and go exploring. Again, back before there was Internet and Google, we did research the old-fashioned way: by combing through encyclopedias and trolling through microfiche. I think part of the problem I’m so tech-NO-savvy is because I still long for those little cellophane negative film strips covered with oodles of information that were sosososo much more easy to use than a computer. But that’s just me….

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As I matured, my reading material did as well. By the time I reached my teens, the librarians were helping me find my calling in life. They knew I wanted to be a nurse or a doctor, so they introduced me to medical books and manuals routinely reserved for the medical community. Before I started Nursing school and College I was already proficient in medico-terminology, policies, and procedures. One librarian in particular guessed I like to write – how I will never know – but she would often pull books for me about craft and editing. She was the one who introduced me to the Publisher’s Weekly news magazine ( which I believe is all digital now) and would save them when they arrived each week for me to view.

These lovely, educated, warm and maternal women became my mentors, my friends, my surrogates. Most of them have probably passed on by now, but the wonderful memories I have of how they treated me, how special they made me feel, and how much they taught me, will  be with me for the rest of my life. Maya Angelou said once,

“… people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

Can I just get an “AMEN” for that? It’s true.

There are as many pundits these days who state “Print is Dead” as there are those who  espouse that print books will always be popular, especially if we have places to house them-namely, libraries. To this day I support my local library. In fact, tomorrow is the first day of the bi-annual book fundraising sale, of which I attend every session. All the proceeds raised go toward the library’s operating budget, since the city has had to economize and cut funding every place it can.  There will never be a danger of the library closing its doors due to lack of funds while I have breath in my body!! That is fact and I know KNOW I am not alone in my thinking.

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Show the love to your local  libraries. Donate the books you have read and don’t want to keep. Support local authors ( very subtle hint, here!). Encourage your children and the kids you know to read. Reading is the single best gift you can give your child to help her/him explore their imaginations, develop critical thinking skills, and go into the world armed with the knowledge and expertise necessary to improve the world, their lives, and those of future generations.

I love libraries so much, I have a Pinterest board just for great libraries around the world. Check it out, here.

And when I’m not at my local library, you can find me here:

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Author, community advocacy, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Friends, Life challenges, Literary characters, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Social Media, Rules….

Magnified illustration with the word Social Media on white background.

 

And I don’t mean it like “rules for behavior.” No, I mean social media RULES the universe these days.

Let me ‘splain it you, Lucy…..

A little over a year ago I was an unknown, about-to-be-first-time-published author who had 15 Twitter followers on a good day. They were all friends and family who knew me and thought it was cute we were Tweeting one another inane things. My publisher recommended I increase my online presence to find more new readers for my books and to help promote those books through the free marketing Twitter encompasses with every tweet you send. I said, “okay” because, really, what was I going to say, NO? They were the experts. I was just a little unknown romance writer looking- hoping-praying- someone ( anyone) would buy a book from me.

I asked my daughter – the techy maven – how to go about finding new followers and she gave me a sage bit of advice. In order to get more followers, you have to…wait for it.…follow more people.

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Really? Could it be that easy?
Well, I’m here to tell you that, yes, it is that easy.

I found people who liked the same things I did: writers, romance readers and writers, and book lovers, and started following them, retweeting posts I liked, and interacting with complete strangers. In one month I increased my followers from 15 to 150.

When my book came out, I started tweeting about it, using those infamous and oh-so-beneficial-hashtags, and my following soared to 300.

With the next book, I did the same thing, finding trending hashtags that compared to what I was sharing and hastag-jumped onto those tweets. This brought me even more followers. At one point I was tweeting all my new followers every time I got one, thanking them for joining and following me. This got old pretty quickly when I spent almost an hour of each day doing it, so I stopped. I thought I might lose some followers by not pointing them out, and I did lose a few. But in the world of twitter math, for every 2-3 followers I lost, 10 more came on board. Today, I woke up to 811 followers.

 

Folks, I don’t even know 811 people!!!

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Now that I’m with a new publisher, I’ll be following more authors, and in turn, will increase my own followers even more. You can take everything I just wrote and apply it to Facebook, Google, and Pinterest as well. The more social media sights you troll on, the more “people” you will “meet.”

So, this is what I mean when I say Social Media rules. Because  it does. Really. Go ahead and Tweet this and you’ll see what  I mean!

And if you want to find me on Social Media, here’s where I am…ALL THE TIME!!! le Sigh!

Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Author, community advocacy, Contemporary Romance, Kensington Publishers, love, Lyrical Author, New Hampshire, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, WIld Rose Press AUthor

How Pinterest made me a better writer! (or, Into the mind of a Writer, part II)

There’s a running commentary of questions in my brain in any given moment on any given day.

How did we cook on the fly before microwaves? How did we keep in touch with one another before cell-phones ruled the world? How did we communicate before the internet and email and texting? Does anyone know how to parallel park anymore? Do people actually still talk to one another at meal-time?

There’s a lot going on in my head at any one time and I certainly can’t remember a life before we had all these gadgets and  inconvenient conveniences.  But there is one computer application that has made me a much better writer because I can tell you exactly what I used to do before it was invented: waste time looking things up!!!

I’m talking- as if the title of this piece doesn’t give it away – about Pinterest. Before I had my boards all lined up on the Pinterest app, I spent a great deal of time flipping back and forth through files and notes to ensure I didn’t mess things up with my characters and storylines. I had a bad habit of not remembering that the hero had blue eyes on page 5 when I gave him green ones on page 200. I gave the heroine short curly red hair in the first introduction and then straightened it to hip length when she met the hero ten pages later. Dumb mistakes. Dumb.

For a while I tried flipping through fashion magazines so I could find pictures of what I envisioned my characters looked like, but most magazines had the same ads in each one, so nothing new was found, and all the celebrities of the moment were featured in each one, as well, in the same poses, etc, so there went the variety I needed.

When I discovered Pinterest I felt as if a dream I had never thought to ask for had somehow magically come true. I could spend hours – literally! – flipping through all the boards, categories, and other people’s boards to find what I wanted — and I did! Now, if I find a picture of what I want my character or her house, or even her pet to look like, I save that picture to whatever board I’m working on. My current favorite boards are AFTERNOON TEA and GEMMA, two new books I’m writing.

I don’t know who thought up Pinterest, but if I ever find out, I’ll be sure to write them and give them a big thank you from me. It is so much easier now to visually keep track of what my peeps, their clothes, what they eat, etc, look like. I usually print out the salient, important, pictures for my story/vision boards, so I can have an even quicker reference when I’m writing. You can see my current one for the GEMMA book ( not the real title, yet) on  a previous post.  All the factors of the book I need to know at a simple glance are on that board, the rest on the board on the actual Pinterest site.

If you are a visual person like I am, Pinterest is a great way for a writer to see their book come to life. And it’s not only a great application/site for writers. I know a few brides-to-be, and moms-to-be who also take advantage of the boards. But it doesn’t stop there. There are travel boards, architecture boards, pictures for refurbishing and rehabbing your house.  There are boards for people who are cat obsessed ( I know a few!), book cover obsessed ( me too!), hot guys obsessed ( duh! of course!)Whatever your imagination or needs dictate, you will find pictures and boards for it on Pinterest.

Using Pinterest as a writing tool has truly made me a better writer because I am more consistent, much more descriptive in my writing, and I have more time to actually write now that I don’t need to stop and look things up!

So… do you use Pinterest? let’s discuss…..

This board has all my book covers

Here’s where you can find me, other than Pinterest!:

Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Dialogue, Life challenges, love, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Wild Rose Press, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Lessons I’ve learned about being a published author.

I found out my first book, SKATER’S WALTZ, had been contracted for publication while I was attending the 2014 RWA conference in San Antonio, TX. Shocked, thrilled, and terrified, I thought the hard part – finding someone willing to publish my novel – was over.

Yeah, not so much.

Lesson one: it’s not over when you type THE END. It’s just the beginning…

the end

After I signed on the dotted line, the real work began. I’d been published for years in literary fiction anthologies and in non-fiction magazines and periodicals. The literary magazines accepted the work as is, the non-fiction articles were sometimes reworked and refined by editors to allow for spacing considerations. My point is that it was someone else’s job to get the piece publishing presentable.

Not anymore. Welcome to the world of book fiction.

Lesson two : the hard work starts after you contract for publication…

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My first book went through 3 rounds of edits between my editor and myself before it was sent to galleys for actual publication. And even after it went out to the copy editor, there were still some changes that needed to be made. I was ready to rip my hair out at one point. All I kept thinking as more and more edit suggestions came my way was, “Why the heck did they want this if it needs so much work??”

Lesson three: Editors are the most underrated and undervalued people on the publishing food chain…

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All editors are good at their job – they have to be. But the ones who are truly great make a good book even better. They find the little twists and turns of a phrase, or a word change, or a sentence deletion that is key to making the reader want to read more.

My editor is one of the great ones.

Lesson four: you should have taken marketing classes in college…

I will admit this freely – I was unbelievably naïve when I signed that first contract. I thought the publisher was going to do all the marketing necessary to promote my book, get it on a best-seller list, and generally skyrocket me to fame.

Yeah, AGAIN, not so much!

The minute your book is contracted and the editing begins, you need to start promoting it. Often and everywhere. FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, your website, blog tours, newspaper press releases, your Aunt Maimie’s bridge club. Anywhere, everywhere, and as often as you can, so that when you finally have a release date, the buzz about the book will have started, grown to fever pitch and resulted in so many pre-orders your head spins.

Lesson five: before the first book hits the shelves you’d better be working on, or done with, book #2…the end5

As a writer you can never – NEVER – rest on your laurels. It is a true axiom of publishing: you are only as good as your next book. So while you are doing all that dreaded marketing, take time each day and write…write…write. I had book two on my editor’s desk before book one was released. Same for book 3. Keep ‘em coming.

Lesson six: you need to take time to breathe and enjoy…

 Yes, I was overwhelmed, naïve, frustrated and generally anxious with the release of my first book. But I was also thrilled at having my dream – finally – come true. It was a long road for me to book publication. I was 54 years old when the first one came out, a time when most people are starting to look toward the end of their working life. Not me. Mine was just beginning and I wanted to savor every moment of how it felt to hold my first book in my hands; see my name in print on the cover of a book I’d penned; sign my first autograph on a copy someone had actually paid cash-money for! Don’t let anything ever take away or overwhelm you from that sense of wonderful, soul-soaring achievement you’ve accomplished.

the end 4

My fourth book, THE VOICES OF ANGELS was released on March 11. I didn’t feel as overwhelmed this time because I knew the basics. Promotion and marketing were all lined up and ready to go, I pre-ordered by print copies so I had them ready, and a book signing was waiting for me.

But the anticipation, the soul-empowering elation of having a book actually published was as spine tingling and heart-stopping as with that first one. And I think it will continue to be that way each and every time.

THE VOICES OF ANGELS

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Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

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What writers do when they should be writing…..

larua ashlye

 

I am going to admit something that just may lose me the respect I’ve tried so valiantly to garnish from others, lo these many years. Ready?

I just spent an hour cruising through Google, looking for a tea cozy to match my Laura Ashley tea set.

An hour.

A whole hour!!

Why, you ask? Well, since I’ve been home all day again, you see, I’ve taken to drinking afternoon tea ( so civilized, don’t you now!) Now, I write in the attic loft in my house – three stories above the kitchen. So, like a Downton Abbey chicita, I’ve started using my vintage Laura Ashley tea service  – the one my father gave my for my 25th birthday – again. Instead of having to run downstairs a couple of times per afternoon, I fill my teapot and lug everything up to the attic so I can write and sip without having to leave to refill my cup. Now the reason I was searching for a tea cozy is because I’m sick and tired of wrapping the teapot in a dishtowel to ensure it stays warm for an hour or two. The tea set is gorgeous and looks ….. not gorgeous….with a simple dishrag thrown over it, so I was attempting to find one online I could buy.

For an entire hour when I should have been writing.

I have deadlines, people. I need to get some stuff written, not be trolling through the Internet searching for something that doesn’t seem to exist on this planet any longer. Don’t people buy tea cozys anymore??? Don’t they use them? What do the English use nowadays to keep their teapots warm??  Doesn’t the Queen use a cozy?? Where does she get hers? Or does she just holler for a footman to go out and get her one from Harrods?

My life used to be simple, used to be predictable and sane.

It’s come to this writing fans:  I am now questioning how the Queen of England keeps her tea warm.

I think I need a vacation….or an institution.

No. All I really need is a f*******g tea cozy!!!!

And now, I just spent another hour on Pinterest looking at pictures of tea services. I even started a new board: Afternoon Tea.

That’s it. I’m done for. Think I’ll go bake some scones for, you know… tomorrow’s afternoon tea.

If you need to find me, you can:  Tweet Me// Read Me// Visit Me// Picture Me //Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

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