Young Adult Dark Urban Fantasy Author ~

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November Book #Giveaways of TIED

THESE GIVEAWAYS HAVE ENDED.

I have TWO Giveaways going on this month.

First one is happening over on Goodreads from today through the 29th (yeah, soon) for TWO Signed paperbacks of TIED.

Here’s the link to enter: Goodreads

(Goodreads runs this giveaway)

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Second up, Reading Teen is hosting me on their blog and as thanks I’m having a giveaway over there. ONE signed paperback. Easy entry:

What’s your ideal boyfriend? Bad boy? Good guy with an edge? Best friend turned boyfriend? Leave a comment on Reading Teen on my TIED Spotlight post to win, and check out everyone else’s dream guy. 😉

Here’s the link to enter: Reading Teen

(the winner of this giveaway will be chosen randomly)

Good Luck and Happy November!

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TIED (Fire Born #1) Book Blog Tour Recap Wk 3

As we round out week three of the TIED Blog Book Tour, I must say Thank You to everyone who participated thus far.

Here’s a recap of this past week’s posts:

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September 23:

On Monday I was talking Strangest Nightmares with Kayla over at Bibliophilia, Please

September 24:

On Tuesday Danielle and I were talking Inspiration, and she has a beautiful 5 Star review of TIED as well on Known To Read

September 25:

Hump Day came in with two of my fellow authors. Linda wants to know, Why Fantasy and Paranormal? at L.S. Murphy’s Blog

And what’s my favorite food? J.C. Martin, Fighter Writer finds that out as well as a few other things about me in our interview.

September 26:

Jen At Random is continuing on with the TIED Giveaway that is still in full steam and getting an awesome amount of entries. (Thank You to all who have entered so far)

September 27:

And lastly, Bookworm Lisa is also sharing the Giveaway festivities.

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Thank You again to everyone!

See you next week for round 4!

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TIED (Fire Born #1) Book Blog Tour Recap Wk 2

 A big Thank You to everyone who participated in the second week of the TIED blog tour.

Got some awesome reviews, and had some great conversations. 😉

Here’s how the week went:

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September 15:

Cremona over at Mythical Books had an incredible 4/5 Star review of TIED, and she’s shouting out the word of the continued Group Giveaway.

September 16:

Julie and I talked about daydreams and pizza toppings at Bookarooju

Aimee knows that I don’t eat Ben and Jerry’s and who in the world, dead or alive, I’d like to meet most and whyAimee Laine’s Blog

Julie and I talked about TIED and writing, and the GIveaway continues over on her blog: Julie Reece’s Blog

September 17:

The YA Book Addict had another great 4 STAR review of TIED.

Crazy Four Books had another awesome review of TIED!

September 18:

The super cool, Juliette Cross and I talked Books, Baubles and Bad Boys in her guest post.

September 19:

The Reading Diaries gave TIED 5 beautifully enthusiastic STARS. 🙂 Plus an interview and the GIVEAWAY continues.

TIED earned 5 STARS from Happy Tails and Tales Blog and I am seriously humbled now. 😉

September 20:

J Keller Ford and I talked PJ’s and Quidditch. Which position would you play?

Emi Gayle knows why I never snuck out of the house in High School and what color my prom dress was.

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AGAIN, Thank You so, so much to everyone who hosted, shouted, tweeted, liked, reviewed, and interviewed this week for the blog tour.

You guys are sooo awesome!

See everyone next week for round three!


Author Spotlight: CAGED by J.A. Belfield

As another special treat on the blog today, I have J.A. Belfield here to talk about her newly released

Adult Paranormal novel,

CAGED

The third book in The Holloway Pack Stories.

Caged_Paperback_Cover_front_300px

Let’s hear what she has to say:

Me: How long have you been writing?

J.A.: Hi, Laney. I started writing mid-2009, when I knocked out a werewolf (surprise, surprise) tale called Changes within 2 weeks (no, you can’t read it *shudder*). And, within 7 weeks of writing, I had a complete trilogy that I thought would ROCK THE BOOKISH WORLD!!!! Yeah, I kind of got over that attitude pretty quick.

Me: Ha! Yeah, I think a lot of writers can relate to that. 😉 Did you always aspire to be an author?

J.A.: I didn’t actually, and I’m sad about that. I started writing because I’d decided to jot down a dream I’d had, which had evolved into a bunch of daydreams, and I once I did, I realised I’d actually been daydreaming up stories my entire life.

So much lost potential for stories because I didn’t recognise my musings for what they were.

Me: It’s interesting how our daydreams and dreams finally shake us hard enough so we hear them saying, “hey, I’m asking to be written.” You made up for lost time with The Holloway Pack Stories, though. 😉

Since Caged is part of the The Holloway Pack Stories, can you tell us what inspired you to write the series?

J.A.: I was only actually inspired to write the first book: Darkness & Light, when Sean Holloway started yelling for attention to tell me his tale. Once I’d completed that, I realised I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the pack, and within a few weeks, the beginning of Blue Moon was in a document.

However, it wasn’t until partway through writing Caged that I truly recognised the stories’ potential as a series, because when I first ‘blinked-up’ the idea for Caged, I assumed I was aiming for another trilogy. Funny how we can create something without fully understand its scope.

Me: I can completely relate to that. So, who is your favorite character in Caged and why?

J.A.: This is a tough one because I have so many—though I can’t name them all without giving away spoilers as there are some new introductions to the group with this tale. So Ethan, definitely! And Kyle comes a close second, because his relationship with Ethan can make them seem like a double-act at times. 🙂

Me: Are you working on any new projects you’d like to share with us?

J.A.: Well, anyone who’s been reading my blog will know that the fourth Holloway Pack title, Unnatural, is already written and contracted for a spring 2014 release. However, my next goals are writing Holloway Pack 5, discovering if I have it in me to write a YA or NA, or maybe even contemporary romance, and definitely much farther into the future, a freshly-built paranormal romance world.

So, I might be taking a small writing break until autumn, but I’m going to be busy with a lot to figure out once I head back into the writing cave again.

Me: With all your future writing plans, tell us, are you a Plotter or Pantser?

J.A.: I used to be 100% pantser, but now I kind of do pantsering with the odd bit of plotting interspersed. 😉

Me: Me too. I think they call us Hybrids these days. 😉 What books are you currently reading, if any? (I know your TBR list is a mile long 😉 )

J.A.: Right now, I’m just about to finish Camp Boyfriend, a YA by J.K. Rock—which is pretty cool, btw—and after that I’ll be reading Roar and Liv, an Under the Never Sky short by Veronica Rossi, and tomorrow, my plan is to start Lisa Amowitz’s Breaking Glass. 😀

Me: Do you prefer Twitter or Facebook?

J.A.: Facebook—but only on my personal profile because my page(s) drives me nuts with all its advertising offers and mixed up comments.

Me: 😉 Fantasy or Paranormal?

J.A.: Hmmmm … Well, I love urban fantasy, and I LOVE fantasy books like Throne of Glass, but I’m also a HUGE paranormal fan—so, can we call it a tie?

Me: We can definitely call it a tie. Any tips you’d like to give aspiring writers hoping to be published one day?

J.A.: Write until your fingers bleed and you’re so exhausted you want to cry. Once you’ve reached that point, congratulations, you’re on the first rung of the ladder to the right path.

And around that, RESEARCH! Yes, research the industry. Don’t assume everyone else is going to give you all the answers. Get up off your hide and find them for yourself. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to be educated in something you’re hoping to be part of? Surely it’s better than going in blind?

Me: Good advice. When you’re not writing, you are?

J.A.: Easy one: READING!!! 😀

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Caged_Paperback_Cover_front_300px

Blurb:

If the meek can become deadly, the strongest can be weak.

For Ethan Holloway, his mission to find a missing werewolf should be simple. Crack a few heads, bust a few chops and the solution always reveals itself. Always.

Not this time.

Ethan’s reputation precedes him, and because it does, someone is ready. Waiting. Unbeknownst to Ethan, he’s about to go down. Hard. Against a foe he never suspected and in a world he never imagined could be real.

What awaits Ethan is a fight not only for his reputation, but also his pack, his female, and his life. If he survives, damage control will become priority number one.

If he survives.

Because even Ethan’s not sure he’s strong enough to take on an entire race all by himself.

Especially one hell bent on exposing who and what he is in the name of sport.

~~~~~

 
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CAGED Buy Links:

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And if you’d like check out BLUE MOON, the 2nd book in The Holloway Pack Stories, it’s on sale now for $0.99 here :

bluemoon-cover
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In addition Ms. Belfield is having a Giveaway for CAGED!

PRIZE #1

caged-1st-prize

PRIZE #2

caged-2nd-prize

PRIZE #3

caged-3rd-prize

Want to win? ENTER HERE:

Good luck everyone!

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About J.A Belfield:

b020988julbel033_montage1spcropOne day, a character and scene popped into J. A. Belfield’s head, and she started controlling the little people inside her imagination as though she were the puppet master and they her toys. Questions arose: What would happen if …? How would they react if …? Who would they meet if …? Before she knew it, a singular scene had become an entire movie. The characters she controlled began to hold conversations. Their actions reflected the personalities she bestowed upon them. Within no time, they had a life, a lover, a foe, family … they had Become.

One day, she wrote down her thoughts. She’s yet to stop.

J. A. Belfield lives in Solihull, England, with her husband, two children, three cats, and a dog. She writes paranormal romance with a second love for urban fantasy.

Related articles

 


My Music Monday (TIED Countdown) Wk 4

With TIED only under a month before going live, the last few songs of the playlist are going to get crammed in  before launch on September 9th. (I think I lost count somehow.)

Here we go:


COVER REVEAL ~ PERRY ROAD By Emi Gayle

As a very special surprise on this Independence Day, I am revealing Emi Gayle’s Cover and Blurb for her upcoming NEW ADULT DYSTOPIAN novel,

PERRY ROAD!

Check it out:

Perry Road

Back of the Book:

In 2132, “We the people …” means nothing, and it hasn’t for a hundred years.

Like all the citizens of the American Union, eighteen-year-old Erianna Keating is not to ask questions. She is not to believe anything except what the A.U. tells her. More importantly, she’s not supposed to know what she doesn’t know, nor that she’s a pawn.

Like everyone else, though, she is, and like everyone else, she is a hundred percent oblivious to what’s going on.

Or is she? Are they?

Erianna thinks going to Perry Road and joining the national registration program is her next step toward adulthood; the 2132 candidates for adult-classification, though, are in for a big surprise. Especially Erianna.

Thanks to Zane Warren, an awkward but hot guy who won’t shut up about a history that doesn’t—orshouldn’t—matter anymore, Erianna will know. Will learn. That includes finding out what actually happens after registration and doing something, anything, about it.

Fixing what went wrong, what caused the U.S.A. to split into two countries, though, is not on Erianna’s bucket list, but as she faces her future, she must decide whether to fall in line with the American Union’s plan for her, or to consider that Zane might not be wrong, and the time for revolution begins now.

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Can’t wait for this to release! I’m an Emi Gayle fan and loved both YA novels from her, AFTER DARK & DAY AFTER, so I’m really excited about this book.

If you want to add it to your TBR list on Goodreads, here you go: Add to Goodreads

About the Author, Emi Gayle:

I had a really great bio in my head around midnight one night …. right before I fell asleep and it disappeared into the nothingness of unconsciousness. Bummer. So here’s something less well thought out.

I want to be young again, so I’m kinda sorta living it again. At least on paper. You see, I write paranormal romance. Now, that stuff can get really hot, and really gritty and well … mine does. But! My characters are teenagers, 18 and under. Like I was once … and want to be again.

Why would I want to be a teenager again? Geez. Because! If you met the man of your dreams at 14 was engaged to him at 19 and married him at 20, wouldn’t YOU want to do all that over again? Especially if you were still in love with him? I mean, c’mon! It’s love! That’s why I write, too.

You see… just because you pass a certain age doesn’t mean you forget what it was like to be 14, 15, etc. Actually, because I kinda grew up with my husband, we both still feel like the 14 and 17 year old kids we once were. So that’s where I’m coming from. You might think it’s totally lame, but you know what? That’s ok! Maybe you’ll like my other me instead. 😉

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eARC #Giveaway of TIED, Book One of The Fire Born Novels #YAlit

I have another surprise today!

Next week I’ll be having an eARC Giveaway of TIED.

Incase you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s what will be up for grabs:

(Not the reader mind you, just the electronic book format. Mobi or epub)

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TIED-iPad

Normal people don’t believe their nightmares stalk them. They don’t fall in love with boys who don’t exist, either.

Seventeen-year-old Layla Labelle, though, is far from normal. Her delusions walk the earth. Her hallucinations hunt her, and her skin heats to a burn every time her anger flares.

Or is that all in her head?

Layla doesn’t know what to believe any more because if none of that’s true, Max MacLarnon must be an illusion, and her heart must still be broken.

No matter how much she wants to believe Max is real, doing so would mean everything else is, too. How, then, is that possible?

The answers lie in an age-old legend the supernatural aren’t prepared to reveal, and with a curse that could tear Layla and Max apart forever—if it doesn’t kill them both first.

In TIED, book one in the Fire Born trilogy, learning the truth will mean fighting an arsenal of demons, and being with Max will put Layla on a path toward her own destruction.

Just how far will Layla go to protect the one she loves?

The answer may never be far enough … away.

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Stay tuned if you’d like to win an Advanced Reader Copy (electronic format) before TIED releases in September. 😉

 


TIED (Fire Born Novel #1) SNEAK PEEK! #YA

So … I have a special surprise today!

 I finally get to share the first 500 words from TIED,

and you all get a little peek inside Layla and Max’s world. 🙂

Ready?

Coming Sept 9, 2013

Coming Sept 9, 2013

Coming Sept 9, 2013

This excerpt comes from the beginning of the book.

Chapter One.

EXCERPT:

My window opened easily. The same way it had so many times before. Climbing out on the ledge, I found the ground empty and dropped from the second floor—a jump I’d made a hundred times. In another life.
My feet sunk into the sand, and I followed the well-worn pathway through the dunes. Even the strong evening winds hadn’t misshaped the deep gully. The ocean’s breeze lashed at my hair as the moonlight glinted off the water’s surface. Seagulls flew up from their nesting grounds. They should have recognized me, since I’d been wandering at night for so long. Wrapping my arms around my knees to block the slight chill, I settled in the sand, and the birds quieted in a tight huddle, the wind blowing their feathers in awkward angles.
My gaze fell on a figure standing beyond the dunes edge, a shadow hidden within the darkness. My pulse quickened, but I didn’t move. Another trick—an illusion. Weary of the games my mind continued to play, I bit back tears and the catch in my throat. I should have been immune to them—the hallucinations—the way they haunted me and followed me, but I wasn’t.
Forcing myself to blink, I turned my head away. The visions had grown worse as I’d become older. I’d tried to convince myself they were nightmares—or weird dreams. Hoped for years they were, but only people who sleep dream.
Unable, or unwilling to stop myself, I glanced back over my shoulder, thoughts flooding my brain. Memories I knew couldn’t be memories but I cherished all the same. For years I’d tried to shake them away. To make myself forget.
I couldn’t.
#**#**#
A stone raps against my bedroom window. I creep over and peer through the blinds.
“You’re late.” I lean out over the sill, grinning at the boy staring up at me.
“Come on, let’s go before she comes,” he says.
I climb onto the window ledge. “Be nice. She’s my friend.”
“Okay. Jump.” He waves at me to go faster.
“Move, and I will.”
He takes one casual step to the side.
The jump isn’t too high; I make it all the time.
He grabs my hand when I land beside him in the soft sand. “Ready?”
I nod.
“One, two …”
“I’m going to tell!” Benny runs across my yard toward me, her blonde pigtails flapping in the wind. “You’re not allowed to talk to that boy, Layla! Your mom said!”
Max tightens his grip on my hand.
“Shut up, Benny! I’m old enough.”
“You’re only nine. Don’t go! “
“Three!” Max and I leave the ground.
“You’re going to get in so much trouble.” Benny’s yell rings in the distance.
Our feet touch down in the wet grass of the Otherworld, icy sea air whipping at my face.
“Hopefully, she won’t follow us again.” Max lets go of my hand.
“She won’t. I told her not to.” I lead the way down the cliff face to the ocean.
“She never listens to you.”
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You can always add TIED to your Goodreads TBR list 😉

&

For more Information on the Fire Born Novels you can go to: J. Taylor Publishing

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Bookmark #Giveaway for TIED! Book One of The Fire Born Novels!

FIRST EVER PRINTED Bookmarks for TIED are now here!

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Want one?

Since this is my first giveaway for anything Fire Born Novel related, it’s gonna be super easy.

To enter the drawing you can either:

Comment on the blog (on this post)

Mention #TIED on Twitter (@laneymcmann)

Share the TIED cover and blurb link from my Facebook Author Page on your facebook page or profile.

That’s IT!

The Giveaway will run through May 2.

I’ll be picking the winners at random and will post them here on the blog.

Thanks for playing!

TIED

Book One of The Fire Born Novels

HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO … TO PROTECT THE ONE YOU LOVE?

Coming Sept 9, 2013

Coming Sept 9, 2013

BLURB:

Normal people don’t believe their nightmares stalk them. They don’t fall in love with boys who don’t exist, either.

Seventeen-year-old Layla Labelle, though, is far from normal. Her delusions walk the earth. Her hallucinations hunt her, and her skin heats to a burn every time her anger flares.

Or is that all in her head?

Layla doesn’t know what to believe any more because if none of that’s true, Max MacLarnon must be an illusion, and her heart must still be broken.

No matter how much she wants to believe Max is real, doing so would mean everything else is, too. How, then, is that possible?

The answers lie in an age-old legend the supernatural aren’t prepared to reveal, and with a curse that could tear Layla and Max apart forever—if it doesn’t kill them both first.

In TIED, book one in the Fire Born trilogy, learning the truth will mean fighting an arsenal of demons, and being with Max will put Layla on a path toward her own destruction.

Just how far will Layla go to protect the one she loves?

The answer may never be far enough … away.

Thanks, everyone!

Related articles


TIED #GIVEAWAY! Starting soon …

Soooo …. Very soon I will be giving away some FIRST EVER printed bookmarks for

TIED,

Book One of the Fire Born Novels.

Here’s a sample of what they look like (although they are much prettier in person.)

Here’s the front:

TIED-Bookmark-Front-web

And here’s the back:

TIED-Bookmark-Back-web

Told you they were pretty.

So what do you have to do to win one?

Stay tuned—details will be forthcoming. 😉

In the mean time, follow the blog for more updates on future swag and check out TIED on Goodreads


What’s In Being A Contracted Author?

Our computers

Our computers (Photo credit: aranarth)

Fear.

Yep, I said that.

Getting a publishing contract is everything you’ve wanted, everything you’ve worked your ass off for, and when you sign on the dotted line, everything you’re afraid of.

It’s a truth I think a lot of authors keep under wraps because some days when you sit staring at your story, the one that has a deadline attached to it now, the one that needs to be as close to perfect as you can make it—some days, it can feel like you’ve signed yourself up to fail. The days when nothing makes sense and you wonder who in their right mind, including yourself, ever thought your story could actually sell. The days when fear seeps in and hangs on.

From the legalese of contracts, to the swell of accomplishment in your chest that is almost immediately replaced by the tightening of panic, to the real edits and real deadlines, being a contracted, and soon to be published, author is both thrilling and terrifying.

But, in those split seconds when rays of light shine through the blinds in your mind, it is incredibly gratifying. The times when, for once, there are no blue, red, or green edits marking up your pages and your comments come back with “Great!” instead of “Huh?” or “Powerful.” instead of “Make it clearer.” Those are the days when every drop of doubt and ounce of fear is worth it. The days when you’re proud as hell. Maybe they’re far and few between, but those rays of light keep the writing fire burning bright and remind you that you should feel proud, maybe even excited–even if only for a second. 😉


You’re Not Working Hard Enough.

Via Warriorforum.com

Like many writers, I have spent the last few years trying to ‘do it all.’ Whether I’m drafting another blog post, tinkering with Twitter, shouting out to writers on Triberr, checking my Facebook profile, posting on my Facebook author page, pinning on Pinterest, reading the dozens of emails I receive daily, or finishing my novel revisions, everyday is filled to the rim. In my mind, the most important of these is my novel. It’s the reason for everything else. Yet everything else seems to overwhelm it most of the time.

read all day long, in one form or another. In order to write well, you must read. A lot. Preferably in your genre, although reading in general is the point. I try to stay current with the latest books, all the advice on book marketing, social media reach, blog hits, and on and on. It’s endless.

via pinterest.com

Yesterday I read an article that stated people aren’t reading less in the digital age, instead people are actually reading more. Wanting more. More to download. More, more, more. Readers want books NOW. How are they reading them all? Who knows.

What it means for writers is what concerns me. Many authors are now attempting to hammer out three….four, five books a year to stay in the game.

WHAT?!

The industry standard has forever been…one book per year.

ONE. Maybe.

But with the introduction, and popularity, of ereaders the standard is changing. Rapidly.

For me, and many others, that’s an issue. Besides the fact that I write at turtle speed, and revise at snail, I’ve worked myself to near exhaustion trying to do everything, and be everywhere. How are we supposed to do it all? We can’t. And we shouldn’t try to either.

Balance is the key.

I’ve talked about balance a lot in prior posts, but I didn’t know how to attain it. I’ve had to force myself to step back, and breathe. Step back and realize that NO ONE can do it all, and do it well. Not going to happen. Not for long anyway. I still believe that through all the chatter and advice, all the constant information flying everywhere, that our main goal as writers should be creating good content.

We can market until we are blue in the face and crawling. Put our names out everywhere and brand until everyone knows it. But none of that will matter if our books suck. Writing is hard enough without trying to master social media.

W. Somerset Maugham
Via zazzle.com

I know we as writers are a helpful and supportive group. We want to help each other succeed. We want to feel like someone else gets it, and we aren’t wandering around alone searching for answers in the dark. So we read everything, follow a hundred blogs, and basically overwhelm ourselves with information. Not the best mindset to have when we are trying to write an 80,000 word novel.

Slow down. Really.

I don’t have this thing figured out either, but it occurs to me that a few things are obvious.

**Write your books and write them well. No good book—no reason for social media.

**Write your blog posts, tweet your shout outs, engage. But put a time limit on it.

**Back to writing.

Remember the reason why you are doing all of this. Is it to write stories? To get lost in those worlds? Yeah? Go get lost then, and create the best worlds you can.

The other stuff at the end of the day is secondary. Important, yes, but still secondary.

So tell me, what part of this industry have you found the most difficult?

**first posted in May 2012 before I landed the book contract, so let’s add that once thrown into the mix, things got busier. The difference? Now, I feel like everything else finally matters. 😉


What’s In An Editor? Part 2. (How Do You Feel?)

Pre-Final edits are in full swing, so forgive my sporadic blog posts of late. The writing pendulum is searching for the mid-point.

Turns out real editing with changes and revisions takes a while. Add in a deadline and … yeah, it’s a time stretch. With that in mind, I’m continuing my What’s In An Editor post series (a spin-off of What’s In A Beta Reader). And since I’m new to the editing game, it will be a work in progress. Here we go:

I keep asking myself, “How would you feel?” Or, “What does that look like?”

Feelings are hard to write. For me. Well, I should reword. Feelings are hard to show in my writing. It’s a point of head banging lately. Rewriting sections to show instead of tell. Showing say … scrutiny, for example, causes my head to ache. How would I show scrutiny? It’s a good question. One that I’m working on.

The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi is an invaluable tool. One that I use from time to time (more often lately). It doesn’t, however, give a writer all the answers. It simply leads them a bit farther down the ‘expressive’ path. After that, showing is still in the mind of the writer. Showing without repetition … harder still.

I’ll move back to my example. The sentence I needed to alter per my editor was this one: I scrutinized both of them. 

So, how do I show scrutiny?

Here’s the definition: A critical observation or examination.

I could have my character shake his/her head, but I do a lot of head shaking (it’s an easy and probably overdone fix).  I could have a disbelieving eye roll (also a bit overdone even though I like eye rolling). How about narrowing eyes? That works. When we are skeptical of someone’s behavior we narrow our eyes in disbelief.

Still, it’s a crap shoot. Seeing eye to eye on every little detail is unlikely when it comes to editing, but your words should feel right. Put yourself in your characters shoes and ask yourself, “How do I feel?”

Nobody said editing would be easy.

WRITE ON, WRITERS!


Letting Go Of Your Novel

Bird in Flight

Bird in Flight (Photo credit: SeeMidTN.com (aka Brent))

Anyone who reads my blog with any regularity (Thank You!) knows that I’ve been working on my novel for two years. Two years full of a wide swing of emotions. Now, as I am officially on submission, I feel…uneasy. Anxious. A little bit afraid.

For the first time, I’m nervous about simply letting it go.

When I started working on my cover art, I felt excited. When I received the first layout, my heart skipped. Mine. My words. My name.

The second layout was similar. The fourth and fifth layouts had me feeling downright overwhelmed.

When my first wave of edits rolled in, I thought, okay, this is doable. Not so bad. When the second wave of fine toothed edits came over with suggestions and corrections everywhere, I panicked.

Oh my god. I’m actually doing this? 

All those little insecurities welled up again and sat there on my shoulder, taunting me.

This wasn’t the plan, you know. You were just writing….just writing. Like always. Are you sure you want to do this? You can back out. Keep this story tucked away like all the other ones. No one has to know!

Overreacting. All part of the process. I get it. I am supposed to be putting all my efforts toward TORN, the second book in the series. I am supposed to submit the first book, forget about it, and move to the next. I know.

But…this is hard.

Just saying.


A Week In Links

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato...

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato Patrimoniale) lie open, one on top of the other. Only a few lines of the underlying book’s text are legible because of the narrow depth of field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them.

Author Joanna Penn, creator of The Creative Penn, has a wonderfully inspiring post on her blog this week. Recommended Book For Creatives: Turning Pro By Steven Pressfield This is a must read post by Joanna as well as a must read book, The Art of War being the prequel.

Anne R. Allen’s blog this week features a post by her co-blogger Ruth Harris. An interesting and humorous read. 11 Reasons Writers Get Rejected—And Why Only 3 Of Them Matter

Indie Author Lindsay Buroker has an informative post up on her blog. Is It Harder Today for Self-Published Authors to “Break-in” at Amazon?


Still Focused On The Quantity? Quality Is Where It’s At.

Numbers, numbers, numbers. Are they your social media goal? Build higher numbers (fans, followers) and hope they equate to higher book sales?

Friendship.

Friendship. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m raising my kids by a few beliefs I hold true. One of the biggest: Quality over Quantity. Every time. For my kids I relate it to friendships. A few real friends trump a lot of fake ones.

Social media is no different. It isn’t about the numbers, it’s about the connections. I believe a lot of writers have become too focused on the wrong side of the coin. Stats.

Now I’m not going to sit here and tell anyone that I’m miss social. I’m the opposite of that. So it’s difficult for me to reach out to everyone who friends or follows me. But I always reach back to the ones who speak up and draw me out. And to those people, I am extremely thankful.

And here in lies my point. Connections equal friendships. And friendships reward us as writers and as people.

I make it a point to support the friends I’ve made online. I shout out to them on Twitter, I retweet their tweets,  and support their books. I don’t do it because I feel I have to as part of my daily social media routine. I do it because I want to. And it’s reciprocal. It feeds those quality connections and comes back to me as a reward. It’s karmic.

Engagement is the key to real connections. If you read a blog post that resonates, say something. Like it, comment, tweet it, ping it, whatever, but engage. It matters.

Us writers, we’re a needy breed. We like pats on the back. And we aren’t generally telepathic, so we need to be told we’re saying the right things. It gives a sense of accomplishment and reminds us that we are on the right path.

Communicate. With words. We like that.

Pay it forward. Right?

How about you? What do you need from your writing community to keep you moving forward?

Links you may be interested in:


When Do You Become A Writer?

During my usual perusal of blogs, I ran across Joanna Penn’s interview of Jeff Goins. If you haven’t seen it, it is a must watch. Especially for those of us who are new to the writing scene. No aspiring here, just real writers writing. Watch. It’s worth your time.


A Week In Links

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato...

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato Patrimoniale) lie open, one on top of the other. Only a few lines of the underlying book’s text are legible because of the narrow depth of field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them.

Here are this week’s links on writing and social media.

Author Kristen Lamb’s Blog, Can Facebook Hold Your Fan Page Hostage?

Author Chuck Wendig, 25 Ways To Fight Your Story’s Mushy Middle

Author Lindsay Buroker, What Does It Take to Become a Full Time Indie Author?

Author Anne R. Allen, Slow Blog Manifesto…and 8 Reasons Why Slow Blogging Will Help Your Career


A Week in Links

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato...

Two Italian legal / accounting books (on Stato Patrimoniale) lie open, one on top of the other. Only a few lines of the underlying book’s text are legible because of the narrow depth of field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them. The talk is swinging back around to the topic of Publishing. Here are this weeks links:

Author Nathan Bransford talks about The Biggest Challenges in the New Era of Publishing

Author Anne R. Allen once again has a fantastic post Indie or Traditional Publishing? Don’t Take Sides Take Your Time

Author Kristen Lamb Big Six Publishing is Dead — Welcome the Massive Three

Author Bob Mayer Aggressive vs. Obnoxious in the Land of Publishing

WRITE ON, WRITERS!


Are You Shy?

I’ve never considered myself to be shy, but truth be told, I’ve always been guarded. Guarded is a sort of fancy word for introverted. Introverted and shy, it turns out, are not the same creature. I’d never given much thought to either, until now. It’s not like I’m anti-social. But the social media aspect of being a writer, and soon to be published author, is daunting for people like me. It’s like throwing yourself into an oven and praying it’s only set at around 175 degrees. Because at 400–you will burn up. 400 is too hot, too social, too LOUD.

The social media aspect of this business forces us to be just that—social. It forces us to be everywhere. All The Time. Making contacts, creating a brand—-basically, establishing a business from the ground floor. A huge undertaking, especially when we are expected to be writing good books at the same time. When you aren’t an extrovert, it’s an even harder task. Thankfully, a lot of blog and twitter friends are extroverts and that makes it easier. They draw us introverts out once in a while.

I uploaded my fledgling Facebook page the other day (come over and LIKE me), and I swear it took all I had to push ‘publish’ and go live. I felt the same way with Twitter, an outlet that is going strong now, thankfully. My blog has been, surprisingly, the easiest branch of social media for me. Why? I’m all exposed here on the blog, how could that be easier? Writing is easy. Simple as that. Talking to 500 people on Twitter….different story. (Thank you for keeping me talking Twitter followers:)

I ran across an interesting article on NPR the other day.

Quiet, Please: Unleashing ‘The Power Of Introverts’ You can find the link here: NPR Books

Susan Cain has written a book on the subject.

QUIET

The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Check it out.

When I publish my novel later this year, I will likely hide for a few weeks, due to open and blatant exposure (Kidding. Sort of;)

Are you more comfortable in a crowded room talking to any and everyone? Or do one on one conversations interest you more?


Seriously?

Yesterday I re-created my Facebook page. Don’t ask me why, I couldn’t tell you. After months of banging my head against the wall, the smoke-filled mass that my brain had become, has miraculously and thankfully, cleared. I was beginning to wonder if I was altogether done. So…yesterday I pulled that fb page back up and tinkered around with it. It will be a while before it’s what it needs to be, but it’s fine for now.

In my perusal of fb pages, I came across my name in bing at the bottom of the search window. It was everywhere. I’ve mentioned many times that I’m pretty guarded and not the social butterfly. That fact may seem odd to readers of my blog. But truth be told, writing is just easy for me. Easier that is, to be expressive. I’m talking to the great wide void here in my little pages. So when I ran across my name on Klout–I burst out laughing.

My Klout score is 24, which is even funnier. I appreciate the hell out of all of you out there reading my random complaints and gripes. Really. I do. But I never assumed so many people were reading them. So thanks to the great wide void I guess, hopefully one of these days you guys will want to read my books. The books…you know, the reason I’m writing this blog in the first place. Yeah those.

Speaking of…I believe I shall release my cover soon. I’m finally happy with it. Assuming that is, that I can figure out how to move it off of Gimp and onto my page.