Friday, May 27, 2016

#FridayFeature Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #Making Magic

The spotlight today will be on Southern Magic Author, Gayle Wilson.

Gayle writes Historical Romance and Romantic Suspense (Intrigue)


Title: His Secret Duchess

Genre: Historical Romance

Blurb:

Mary Winters Harbored A Secret Deep Within Her Heart

She'd borne the duke of Vail a child and was determined that no one--not even the noble love of her life himself--would ever uncover the truth.

Afire with the passion of youth, Nick Stanton had lain with Mary Winters. Now, scarred by warfare in mind and body, he feared he'd be no fit husband to his beloved--or father to the son now claimed by another man, a man whose one desire was to wreak vengeance on then all!





Title: Take No Prisoners

Genre: Intrigue (Romantic Suspense)

Blurb:

SHE WAS IN THE WORST KIND OF TROUBLE...

Kidnapped by marauding tribesmen when her helicopter went down outside Kabal, tough-skinned CIA operative Grace Chancellor had little choice but to entrust her life to the only man she'd ever loved--and lost.

Years earlier, tough-as-nails special agent Landon James made a harsh choice: duty over personal life. Now, he was single-handedly going in to rescue Grace and prove how wrong he was. As Landon and Grace fled through the mountains, faced with heat, thirst, and gunfire, would old wounds reopen and turn them into permanent strangers--or would old desires be reignited?


Connect with Gayle online at Website 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

What are you doing?


“What are you doing?”


How a person speaks is more than just the words that come out of their mouth. Communication includes body language and can change the whole tone of the words. The title of this post can be taken numerous ways and sometimes in depends on the mood of the reader as to which message it delivers. It’s extremely important when writing to provide a picture of how those words should be heard.

First example:

Mother stood in the doorway of the room with her hands on her hips and a scowl on her face. “What are you doing?”

From those two sentences, it is easily implied that the tone is heading into the disciplinary range. Somebody is in trouble when Momma is mad. Oh… but wait… I didn’t say the mother was mad in those two sentences, I showed you.  You can picture the event and almost hear the way the words would be spoken.

Second example:

Mother peered around the door into the room with an eyebrow raised and a half grin on her face. “What are you doing?”

Now we have a whole different feel for the story and sound to that one question. The actual question didn’t change, but Momma’s no longer mad – she’s curious. Whatever is occurring in that room is more than likely funny.

Third example:

Both of Mother’s eyes opened wide. “What are you doing?”

Can you guess the emotion to be conveyed with this one? Shock. Whatever is happening has caught Momma off guard or she thinks the person is a total idiot. She could have thrown up her hands in a stop or any other motion to convey the thought.

Last example:

“What are you doing?” Mother asked.

Hmmm. Well, I have no idea what to assume for Momma’s emotion. The biggest part of writing is to verbally paint a picture. When writing, consider the blank canvas (piece of paper) and determine the best possible words to convey what the picture should be.

So… what are you doing?

Monday, May 02, 2016

A Look Under the Hood at CreateSpace

A few authors interested in self-publishing have asked me about CreateSpace, the Print-On-Demand (POD) company owned by Amazon. This is how many indie authors, including myself, get our books in print. They aren't the only game in town, but they're easy to navigate and free (unless you use their services).

Here's a look at the main page where you can log in or sign up for a free account.


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Once logged in, you land on your Dashboard where you can see all of your titles. You can also see messages and alerts, but these are emailed to me so I don't miss anything. Examples of these messages are when proofs have been ordered or files approved.
 
You can click on any of your titles to make changes/edits or add a new title by clicking the blue button that says "Add New Title". These choices take you to the Project Homepage.
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Once on the Project Homepage, you can click where you need to go for an existing book, or follow the prompts for a new title.
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Take a look at the Icon Legend.
 
Since this book is available, you can see the little green check marks by each step in the process. The little red circle is there because my print books are formatted differently than my ebooks, so I upload to Kindle separately.
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Setup



Under Setup, you can enter title information, ISBN (your own or their free one), select your book size and page color, upload your interior file, review the file, create or upload your cover, and submit files for review.
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Review


While Amazon reviews your files, the icon by File Review will be "in process". If there's a problem, it'll have the yellow "action required" symbol. They'll email you with details about what's needed. Under the Review section, you can either order print proofs, or use the digital viewer. I always order print proofs of my first file. After I make minor changes/corrections and re-upload my edited file, I use the digital proofer. It shows your book from the front cover to the back and every page in between.
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Distribution

Under Distribute is where you select distribution channels, such as Amazon US, Amazon Europe, CreateSpace store, bookstores, libraries, etc. This is also where you set your price, choose your cover finish (matte or glossy), enter your book description, and publish to Kindle if you wish. 

Boom! You've got yourself a print book ready for the world.
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This is a very quick overview intended to remove some of the anxiety around getting your books into print. The support staff at CreateSpace has always been extremely helpful any time I've had questions or concerns. The process is straightforward and efficient. I'm happy to try to answer any questions.

Happy uploading and happy week!




Tuesday, April 26, 2016

LOSER


 

     Since the focus of this week is the Linda Howard Award of Excellence Contest, I wanted to share what it means to lose. The first contest I entered was the 2013 Linda Howard and guess what?

     I lost.

     I’ve entered more contest than I can remember since then and haven’t won in any. Until this year and after a lot of personal editing, I’d only finaled in one contest; and after receiving the comments realized my placement into the finalist category had been because they needed a third book and there was no other choice.

     Not very inspiring.

     Even losing all those contest, including the Linda Howard, I received valuable advice that I’ve used to help make my story better. Honest comments from someone who doesn’t know it’s my story they read helped the most. Some of the best comments caused me to delete a lot of wordy information that slowed the story down.

     Did it hurt? Yes.

     Did the story improve? Yes.

     My end goal has been to publish a book and whatever I have to do to improve my manuscript towards publication is what I will do.

     Is it still my story? Absolutely.

     So, with all that said about being an All Around Loser, it’s now 2016 (three years and four months later) and I’ve finaled in two RWA contest this year. Before you say, “Wow! Way to go!” Let me caveat that announcement. I entered two different manuscripts in two different contest (a total of 4-submissions): one paranormal and one contemporary. My paranormal finaled in one and as you’ve guessed, my contemporary finaled in the other.

     After reading the advice from each losing story, I came to a profound revelation (actually I already knew this and you do too but now I have statistical proof). Opinions vary and the variety of those opinions are vast. What one person likes, another does not. One size does not fit all.

     Am I discouraged or want to quit? No, not discouraged.

     Maybe sad because I want to be a winner, but who doesn’t. I don’t plan to give up because I’m competitive by nature and it’s not in me to quit. Quitters never win. I’m not a ‘my glass if half-empty’ kind of girl. My scores are getting better, which proves to me that all the effort I’ve put into being successful has worked. In truth, I don’t consider myself a loser but a winner. I won fabulous knowledge on how to make my story better at an affordable price (much cheaper than hiring a editor to train me).

     Here’s a little backstory (which I recommend that your weave throughout your story instead of dumping like I’m about to do; but hey, this is a blog and not a manuscript, so it’s acceptable for the sake of keeping things short and sweet): I began writing in 2013 with the dream of taking the world by storm like Stephanie Meyer did with the Twilight series. My goal was to write this awesome paranormal story and have it published within a year. You already see where this is going because you’re smarter than I was at that time. I entered the Linda Howard contest and basically was told thanks but keep trying. Inspired to tell this paranormal story, I joined my local RWA Chapter (Southern Magic) and began to learn how to tell the story so that someone would actually want to read it. One of these days, I will be published, just give me time.


Monday, April 25, 2016

2012 Linda Howard Award of Excellence Winner: Christine Glover's Story

Author Christine Glover
I entered 4 manuscripts into the 2012 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contest. My hope was to final with at least 1 manuscript, but I got super lucky and TRIPLE FINALED!! There is a YouTube video of me swinging my hair at a Southern Magic meeting after this fantastic announcement.

Finaling felt great! Triple finaling felt even greater.

This triple final came at a time when I had reached a dark place as an unpublished writer. I was very close to quitting that January. Though I had finaled and won other contests during the years prior to this triple final, and I had garnered lots of requests from editors and agents due to those finals, I just couldn't get any traction. After 7 years of sitting alone in a room on a chair, the demons of doubt and despair were pounding at my door.

Why go on?
Am I just kidding myself?
Will I ever sell?
Does this even matter?

Recognize any of those questions? Yeah. They dogged me, and I actually spent one week not writing at all. I redecorated my media room, went for lunches with friends, pretended that the stories no longer mattered as much as regaining some sense of accomplishment.

Yes. I almost quit writing in January 2012. Surprise!

Then I got the call from Heather Leonard, that year's Linda Howard Award of Excellence coordinator, and she told me I triple finaled. Wow! I was floored. I couldn't believe it. But it was real. Pinch me!

This triple final saved me from myself. It stomped the demons of doubt and despair, and booted them out of my mind. I wasn't a hack. I wasn't wasting my time. I was going to sell one day. And I was validated as a writer.

I got back in the chair. I wrote again. I was inspired to keep chasing my dream of being published. I worked toward getting that "call." I won the 2012 Linda Howard Award of Excellence and my winning manuscript was requested by the editor who judged the contest. It was also requested by another editor at a different publishing house. That manuscript didn't sell, but it opened a lot of doors for me, giving me the opportunity to work directly with a Harlequin editor for over a year. More than that, it gave me the fire in my belly to fight again. To go for the brass ring. To WIN!

The following year, I took on the role of overall coordinator for this prestigious contest. I ended up finding my current editor during my tenure as coordinator for the Linda Howard Award of Excellence. I sold my first story to her in May 2013 and I've had a fun run ever since I got the "call" from Entangled Publishing. I currently have 4 books published since 2013, 3 more coming out in 2016 and a new series on the deck for release in 2017.

I am living the dream!

And I have the Linda Howard Award of Excellence contest to thank for keeping my dream alive during the darkest hours of my writing career.

What does this mean to you? To the person who is wondering whether or not to enter? Enter!! The feedback alone helped me improve all my manuscripts. One of those triple finaling manuscripts that wasn't requested in 2012, sold in 2013 to Entangled Publishing.

Enter today! You will be happy you did for a multitude of reasons. And if you final, please contact me and tell me how awesome you feel about your final!

christinegloverauthor@gmail.com

Bio:


Christine Glover is the author of tantalizing, sensual, emotional contemporary romances. She enjoys finding the silly in the serious, making wine out of sour grapes, and giving people giggle fits along with heartfelt hugs. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world, cooking gourmet food, and desperately seeking a corkscrew.

For more information about Christine's books check out her website: christinegloversite.com

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Christine's next release is THE MARINE'S RED HOT HOMECOMING: Book 3 in the Sweetbriar Springs' trilogy. Check her website and Facebook page for her May release information.

Currently, you can pre-order Christine's anthology HEARTBREAKERS AND HEROES: Billionaires, Bikers, Sports Stars, Cowboys, Cops and More!

Love Doesn't Always Play by the Rules....



A brotherhood of twelve men bound together by their troubled youth and one mentor who taught them the rules for becoming men of honor. But some of them haven't been following those rules...

Get your hands on TWELVE sexy HEARTBREAKERS AND HEROES- all new romances from USA Today bestsellers and your favorite contemporary authors that are sure to get your heart pounding.


Love doesn't always play by the rules…







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