Monday, April 25, 2011

The Good, the Bad and the 'What the Heck?' about writing

Had a really good week as far as my writing goes. I'm almost finished with getting 'Hannah' ready to submit to new publishers. It is sad that it is no longer available on Amazon as a Kindle ebook. I've got 'Mama Played for the King' up to over 49,000 words and I feel that the new scenes are a definite enhancement to the story and round out some of the characters. And, last but not least I had my interview on Blog radio with Newoka LaShelle.

The interview went well. It is available for listening at . Newoka is always prepared and leads the author along to talk about very pertinent information about the author's background and about the author's published books. I spoke mostly about 'Abby-Finding More Than Gold'. We talked about character development and what technique I find most helpful. I talked about writing a short story, that will not be part of the novel, about the way a character would handle a situation that shows their morals/ethics. We talked about the challenge of marketing an ebook. I am especially frustrated that 'Abby' isn't up on It is so maddening. Awe-Struck Publishing says it's Amazon's problem and Amazon says it's the publisher that hasn't done something right. Grrrrrrr. In the meantime, I could be missing sales. I can't thank Newoka enough for all her support for all my books.

She has a book 'Karma's Dirty Secrets Memoir'. It is the story of her life and goes into detail of her abuse, sexual and verbal, starting at age six. The book closes with the hope, satisfaction and accomplishment of this dynamic woman and how she overcome terrible adversities to become the success she is today. It is in print and also available on Kindle.

My dear friend JOan has just released her latest book 'Jeri Bittle'. A romance about a strong woman whose husband has been murdered and she has to step up to the challenge of raising her children, running the ranch and tracking down the killer. JOan's books are always an exciting read with lots of action. She publishes under the pseudonym of J. Rose Knight.

I got a call from Kathy Pearson, a writer who has been a member of my local novel group and has now published her christian romance. She called to thank me, saying that it was some of the things that I said and did that motivated her to go forward with her dream. I was honored. Her book is called 'Never Too Late' and it is available in print and on Kindle. It a tale of friendship and deception between friends and pretend husbands.

I'm still having issues with Awe-Struck Publishing. They respond to my queries and say they will take care of things but the omissions that I mentioned last fall as to including my author bio on their website and having 'Abby-Finding More Than Gold' available on Kindle have still not been resolved. I can only hope they will come through with their promise to put me on their July schedule for a print version. Another Grrrrrrrr!

I guess this is about long enough, so I'll close with this quote that I read over and over when I have to deal with the problems I have with Awe-Struck. "Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success." - Brian Adams . I certainly hope he's right!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Back to Submitting

With Virtual Tales folding, I'm left with no future for 'Hannah' in a print format, so I must begin shopping it around again. VT was so good to me and so efficient in working with us authors that I was spoiled. However, it does bring me back to basics as a writer. To get published we have to leave the lovely world of our characters and step into the real world of marketing. The staff at VT is trying to find publishers that will take our orphans on, but it is still up to me to write the submission data. Ugh!

Daily, I'm still upgrading 'Momma Played for the Kind'. I really want to get it done and get it sent out for publication. I'd love for the lady who gave me her life story and let me run with it to be able to see it in print. I'm halfway thru, but what's taking me time is adding scenes and putting more detail into various scenes. I think it is rounding out the story. Again, I'm walking that fine line between too much detail and not enough.

I wrote a 'romantic' novel a long time ago 'Finding Amy' and submitted it to the romance magazines and was rejected for having too much plot and for one violent scene. I've worked on it recently and added more detail. I've had three folks read it. They all liked the characters and the overall plot. One said it was an okay read, one said she enjoyed it, but that I've written better and one just loved it. They are all readers of my genre. I've decided to give it one more edit and try to market it again. It's about a young Texan lad from a ranching background who is just returning from Vietnam and about his falling in love with a Boston debutante.

I guess, for awhile, I'll have to share my creative time with trying to market those creations. So, I'll try to keep remembering the good and inspiring words of Sam Walton - "High expectations are the key to everything." And of the little train that could, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can ......"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Invited to do an Interview

A reviewer by the name of Tracy Riva did a wonderful review of 'After the War, Before the Peace'. You can read it under Riva's Bookshelf at . Now, she has decided to do a series of interviews with the authors she has reviewed. She has asked me to participate. It will be on her site during the summer. We have to donate a book to be given as a door prize to someone who reviews the interview. I, of course, said I'll do it. As I find out more, I'll post the info. here.

Spent a couple of hours editing 'Mama Played for the King'. I haven't read the whole story for awhile so I'm having fun with it. I actually wrote a whole new scene today. I'm up to 47,000 words so it looks like I might make it to the 50,000 mark which is my goal. I'm really liking the characters of Phillip and Henri.

I talked with Rita tonight who just finished reading 'Hannah'. She loved how it kept going from calm to high tension and back to calm so regularly and felt that it was that hectic pace that kept her wanted to keep reading. She loved the characters and the way she was able to 'feel' them though their words and actions. Who could ask for more.

I'll close tonight with this observation by Edmund Morrison - "Like stones, words are laborious and unforgiving, and the fitting of them together, like the fitting of stones, demands great patience and strength of purpose and particular skill."

LHCWG meeting today

Today was my local writer's group meeting. I submitted an old story about me and Brown, my grandparent's dog. It was our monthly assignment to write a story on a given prompt using only 250 words. It is such a good exercise to help writers to cut the fat out of their writing. Don't see many 'ly' words in these pieces. Still working on bringing 'Mama Played for the King' into an edited manuscript ready to submit to publishers. I'm trying to bring it up to a 50,000 word book. It was 43,000, but it was bare bones in some ares.

Conversation at our meeting today centered a lot around the amount of detail that should be in our subs as to description of the characters and the place they are in. Lots of thoughts on it as some want the writer to give them almost snap shots so they don't have to create their own pictures, while others want their reader to do some of this description ID-ing as the story is read. I feel that too much info can be boring, whereas a little mystery often defines some of your characters and it certainly does in my 'Hannah.

A review of After the War, Before the Peace' by Tracy Riva was featured in the Midwest Book Review. It was a great review by Ms. Riva. I can only hope we'll get some hits because of this review. THANK YOU, TRACY RIVA.

In closing I'm going to spend some time thinking about this advice from Logan Pearsall Smith, "More Trivia: Adjectives", 1921. "But why wasn't I born, alas, in an age of Adjectives; why can one no longer write of silver-shedding Tears and moon-tailed Peacocks, of eloquent Death, of the Negro and star-enameled Night?"

Friday, April 15, 2011

Blog Radio Date Set

Newoka LaShelle and I made contact again and she has me scheduled for her blog radio show on April 24, 2011 at 11:30 EST. She is always well prepared and conducts an informative interview. I'm so looking forward to it. Hope some of you drop by. I'll have the details on how you do that in a day or so. Been a busy spring with booksignings at the Reader's Oasis Book Store in Quartzsite, AZ, four classes that I presented at this years LHC Spring Frenzy, couple of speaking engagements and writer's meetings. Had some terrible news. My publisher Virtual Tales has closed its doors. I'll have to find a new publisher for Hannah. In January, I signed a three book contract with them for my 'After the War, Before the Peace' series. My editor, June Diehl, is shopping that series to another publisher that she works with. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. This writing business certainly has its ups and downs, but I still keep writing. Daily, I read a quote from Isaac Asimov that I have taped to my desk. He advises writers that "you must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success - but only if you persist." Ah, if only I did that! My daily mantra is going to be - Submit, Submit, Submit!