Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Writer Wednesday: Were Writers Ever Just Writers?


Lately I've been wondering if writers were ever just writers. Sure, I guess we could just write books, send them to our agent, who submits to publishers, and let the chips fall where they may while we write the next book. But would we really find success if we ignored all the other jobs writers have?

Today more than ever, writers have to be great at marketing. I'm talking getting your books out there by identifying who your fans are and making sure your book is seen by those fans. Everything from interacting on social media, joining Goodreads and FB groups, setting up book signings, creating teaser images, maintaining a website, blogging, offering free content... The list goes on and on. 

Sometimes I'm left wondering when I'm supposed to write. I'm getting one book ready for production and another ready for my editor, and what I noticed is that some parts of these books are foreign to me. I'm so far removed from when I drafted them that I don't remember writing certain parts. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Distance gives you perspective and can really help during the revision process. But I actually have to schedule writing time. Part of me finds that crazy. I used to just write. Nothing else. Now I'm writing, editing, marketing, and self-publishing. I feel like I wear a thousand hats each day.

So I'm wondering, was it always this way? Or has it gotten worse with time? What do you think?

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday Mishmash 7/25/16


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. My Laptop Works Again!  I'm jumping for joy because my laptop is finally working again. I ran a huge update and now everything is good. It took forever, but I'm happy. :)
  2. Proofing After Loving You  I'm doing the final proofing for After Loving You (Ashelyn Drake NA romance) before it goes off to the formatter.
  3. Fun Story! Last week the contractor who put in our new windows told me his wife asked what my first name was and when he told her she realized she recognized my name because she had read one of my books. How cool is that?
  4. Editing  My editing schedule is booked into next year already. Just wow!
  5. Updating My Website  I've been updating my website after a few people asked how to order signed copies of my books. There's now a store! I don't have payment buttons because shipping costs are different depending on where you live, but all my books are there with prices.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday Feature: More


Today I'm happy to share More, the latest release by Keren Hughes, who happens to be a great author and a total sweetheart. If you haven't read her books yet, you need to.


Drake Anderson is all the man Annalise Duncan ever wanted… 


Annalise has it all. The perfect husband. The perfect son. The perfect life. After the father of her son Ayden abandoned her to be a single parent, she finally felt like she hit the romance jackpot. Her boss, Drake Anderson, turned out to be more than just a friend. He’s the love of her life, and an amazing stepfather to her son. 

But the picture perfect marriage is merely an illusion… 

After seven wonderful years, Drake leaves. He doesn’t give her a reason, or even the courtesy of a return phone call. Six months go by without even a single acknowledgement. Annalise is devastated. Her heart and soul belonged to Drake, and he was the only father Ayden ever knew. She’d dedicated her life to him and the family they built together, and she isn’t willing to let that dream go easily. 

When Annalise spots Drake out at a cafĂ© with a woman, her heart shatters all over again. But it’s not what Annalise thinks. He isn’t cheating on her. There are things about leaving that Drake just can’t or won’t explain. Some things should remain a secret. 

He wants his old life back, but Annalise won’t accept anything but the truth… 

Drake has to find a way to convince his wife, his Cariad, to take him back, but it may mean facing a truth he wanted to keep hidden. He must prove to Annalise that despite his past, he wants her… 
More.

Grab it on Amazon.
Keren lives in the UK and is an avid bookworm. She fondly remembers the days where she would lie in her bedroom away from distraction and get lost in the world of make believe. Her first real memory of reading something she fell in love with was The Hobbit. In her teenage years, she became addicted to Point Horror books like RL Stine's The Boyfriend, but she also enjoyed light Summer reads like What Katy Did and What Katy Did Next. 

Over the years she has come to realise that she is a bit of an OCD freak about books. They have to be in perfect condition without the slightest bit of damage. 
She has been a book reviewer for the last few years and a book hoarder for a LOT longer. You can NEVER have too many books! Her shelves are bulging and overflowing but she always wants "just one more book".

Keren had her first book published by Limitless Publishing in November 2013. It's a YA Paranormal Romance novel called Stolen. Her second book was published with LP in May 2014. This time, an NA Contemporary Romance called Nothing Like The First Time. 
She couldn't have been more surprised when NLTFT appeared on the Amazon Best Seller list. That was a dream come true. 

Keren is currently working on more NA Contemporary Romances for you to fall in love with. 

Keren loves hearing from her readers.

You can reach her by email at kerentshughes@gmail.com 
Visit her author blog here: www.authorkerentshughes.wordpress.com
Facebook Profile: www.facebook.com/keren.hughes.92 or 
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/kerentshughes



*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Writer Wednesday: A Little Perspective


Since I became a part of this crazy world that is book publishing, my goals and perspective have shifted several times. At first, I dreamed of book deals and best-seller lists. Then I learned that this industry is can be harsh. I'm not talking about bad reviews from readers. I'm talking about the industry itself. It's slow. Publishers go under or don't honor contracts, which leads to rights reversions. Agents can come and go as well.

I've been through a lot, and it's made me change my perspective. I no longer stalk my spreadsheet when my agent has one of my books on submission. It's not that I don't care. I definitely do. But I've come to the conclusion that not every book needs to be published traditionally. So if a good publisher wants my book, that's fantastic. If a book doesn't get picked up, I know it's not the end of the world. I'll hire a great editor and self-publish. If I have too much time between releases, I look at the books I have written, decide which would be better suited for self-publishing, and get that in the works so readers are continuing to get new books from me.

Being a hybrid author is freeing. I don't feel the stress I once did in this industry, and I'm much happier for it. Has your perspective changed after being in this industry for a while?

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Monday Mishmash 7/18/16


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Back to Normal  I returned from my blogging break last Friday. Now it's back to my normal blogging schedule. While I missed the blog and all of you, it was nice to disconnect for a little while. I barely checked email or anything. 
  2. Reading  I'm in the middle of three books at the moment. I haven't done that in a while. They all happen to be suspense novels too.
  3. Revising  I'm revising my adult suspense so it's ready for my editor in September. I really love this book, and each time I read it, I get ideas for how to make it better.
  4. After Loving You  I'm so close to having my Ashelyn Drake NA romance After Loving You ready for formatting. This book tugs on my heartstrings every time I read it.
  5. National Ice Cream Day  According to my planner, yesterday was National Ice Cream Day. I may have indulged in some myself. ;)
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday Feature: A Family For Leona


I'm back! My blogging break is over. Of course I've missed you all. Today, I'm sharing Beverly Stowe McClure's latest release, A Family For Leona.


Ten-year-old Leona Chapter doesn't understand why her papa left his six children at the Brooklyn Home for Homeless Children after their mother's death in 1921. Each day she prays he'll return and take his children home. God, however, isn't listening. Her brothers and sisters are either adopted or run away, leaving only Leona and Baby Mildred in the orphanage. Leona promises she and Mildred will be together for always. A promise she cannot keep, for Leona, along with her friend Noah, who she defends from the bullies Hiram and Jehu, and several other orphans, are soon on a train headed to Texas, while her sister stays at the orphanage. Leona vows she'll go back to Brooklyn, the first chance she gets. An Orphan Tran tale of the early 1900s.

Grab it on Amazon.

Most days, you'll find Beverly at her computer writing stories young voices whisper in her ear. When she's not writing, she plays the piano. Her cats don't appreciate good music and run and hide when she tickles the ivories. She's sometimes called the "bug lady." She's not telling why.


*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Writer Wednesday: Encouragement

REMINDER: I'll be on a one-week blogging break beginning Friday, July 8th. I'll see you back here on Friday, July 15th.

Lately, I've seen a lot of writers who are just down in the dumps. They're either discouraged because they are experiencing writer's block or they are in the process of separating from a publisher who isn't right for them or they've been on submission for months with no bites from editors. :(

As you probably know, my daughter has been writing her first book. She was so excited when she first began and the idea just flowed. She wrote every day with no shortage of ideas. Well, she's hit the late-middle slump. She knows the ending of her book, but is stuck at the point leading to the climax. She needs some encouragement, and I'm sure some of us could use some too.

So, today I'm asking you to share your words of wisdom in the comments for how you push through when you're going through the many downs that we experience on this roller coaster we call writing. To start you off, here's my advice:

Freewrite anything and everything that comes to mind. Sometimes the act of writing (no matter what about) will inspire creativity and get you over the hump.

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.