|There’s got to be two of them, Aaron decided. It was the only way. Nobody could go from sweating in a kitchen to model perfect in the time between aprons coming off and the dinner chime. Gotta be a twin she’s hiding around here somewhere.
He grinned at the thought. One for each arm. Then rethought it. Two she-wolves, teeth bared and biting. “Hmmm. …Nope.”
Category: book and novel promotion
Death Scent is Launched, Audio Being Mastered, Book 2 Well Underway
The eBook and the print versions of Death Scent are now out and getting wonderful reviews. I’m so thrilled. The audio is in the process of being mastered by my husband, but here are chapters 1 through 4 to get a taste of what it will sound like. (The zip file is available below for those who prefer to download and listen on their own devices.)
And in other news, yes, book 2 of the series is well underway and has been since January. It’s an exciting story to write, but, like Death Scent, there are places where I find it emotionally tough.
Chapter 1 – 9-1-1 Call
Chapter 2 – Trouble
Chapter 3 – Pertinents
Chapter 4 – Idaho Code
I’m part of several writing groups around the Net. Where I used to be quite active, now, mostly, I lurk, unless the forum is absolutely private, and, even then, most of the time, I offer little input. Why might that be? Well, a recent incident in a private forum will illustrate one very pertinent reason.
Somebody asked a question. Several people cautiously answered with patently safe responses, namely of asking the OP (original poster) tangential questions about aspects of their topic, a technique which neatly avoids having to actually answer. Finally, somebody was candid enough to give an on-point answer …and immediately that person got piled on by people who hadn’t even yet participated in the thread.
Because, with typical ignominy, ‘The Collective Miffed’, as I’ll call them (and, yes, there were several), didn’t like the candor and the inherent implications that underlay the truth in that answer, namely that, if you want to target the specific demographic market that the OP was trying to reach, you have to target what that demographic market wants and avoid targeting what it doesn’t.
What caused the upset among ‘The Collective Miffed’ is that, in exposing that truth, the respondent also exposed a truism about one particular, very large demographic target market, a trusim that immediately marked books authored by ‘The Collective Miffed’ as inappropriate.
Can you say pitchforks and torches, feathers and tar?
Yep. That’s what happened.
The respondent was labeled harmful and rude, never mind that he was the only person to lay it out the way it is. Darn his pernicious impertinence, y’know? Give not answers of unpopular truth to the mob, but only flowers and icing, baldfaced lies, and lots and lots of steaming [*]! .
It’s Never Safe to Tell the (Unpopular) Truth when Mob Rule runs Rampant
After Months of Planning and Work, IndiesRising is a Reality.
Changes at Amazon Important to Indie Authors
I predicted it last year. (I shared those predictions with another author who’s a close pal …and with my webmasters’ group. Only.)
It’s happened …when I predicted it would. (Yes, math still works.)
What does it mean?
It means that indie authors now really have to treat their vocations as a business or get out of the game. It means calculating in overhead, operating expenses, and COGS. It means pricing their books competitively, not giving them away, nor discounting them, except for planned promotional deals that run days, not weeks, months, or years. It means less ability for indie authors (or the trad published, either) to game the system with cooperative ventures. It means a lot more than that, but it’s not prudent for me to publicly share the rest of what I know, calculated, and project …except, of course, with my inner circle.
Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas for Readers on Your List.
Looking for that perfect last minute Christmas gift for the readers on your list? …Something that costs under $10 and will delight them?
Here are a few suggestions:
For the who-dun-it fans on your list, here’s a top-rated, realistic series that features a uniquely perceptive lady detective. Written by crime beat journalist Laura Belgrave, the entire 3 book series will cost you under 10 bucks.
Buy this 3 book series for only $7.98
For those on your list who love thrillers, lots of tension, steamy sex…. Michael Allan Scott’s Lance Underphal series is the ticket. Dark, different, intense.
Buy this 3 book series now for only $5.98
And for that animal lover who likes moving stories with feel-good endings? Meet Warren Jeffries, DVM, and his co-stars, furred, feathered, and human.
Buy Old Hickory Lane for only $5.99
Great novels by talented, accomplished authors, all under $10, and all available at Amazon.
from Laura, Michael, and E. J.
(…Oh, and from Dawn, too.)
Start of One of the NF Books I’m Writing
In case you think I’m fooling with you, I thought I’d share the draft first chapter of one of the non-fiction books I’m working on. Here ya go. Tell me what you think over on my DLKeur Writing As page on Facebook.
WORKING TITLE: Writing Your Novel – The Very Best, Easiest, Fastest, Least Frustrating Way to Write Your Novel
I like books that get right to the point, so let’s, shall we?
I’m, by nature, a pantser, that is, I like to create organically, writing on inspiration driven by emotion, rather than pre-calculated structures. I like to let my characters lead the way through the crises presented to or perpetuated by them as churned by the story’s plot engine. It’s an exciting way to write …if you know what you’re doing and where you are going. It has surprises, elicits moments of pure genius, and, most of all, is sublimely fulfilling. There’s a ‘but’, though.
Organic novel writing, or pantsing (‘writing by the seat of your pants’), has its problems, namely left turns, right turns, U-turns, and, worst, winding up completely lost. These problems can leave the writer frustrated and discouraged, their manuscript unfinished and abandoned. There’s a reason for that, and there’s a way to avoid it.
A successful pantser, just like a plotter—a writer who calculates what happens next in a story based on their detailed outline and story mapping/plot mapping—should know a few things before plunging into the writing, namely:
- what their story is and what that story is about (two different things, though related),
- who the story is about, and
- where the story is going and will wind up (terminate).
You also should know the main conflict and pretty well understand how the plot will flow (the overall plot mechanism to be utilized). Most importantly, though, you must know your ending …usually. (Don’t you just love exceptions? We’re going to proceed without discussing those exceptions, though, because they so very rarely apply to such a very few writers.)
Further, you really should know your main character(s), their vulnerabilities and strengths.
What you don’t have to know is the how of where the story is going to go next and next and next as you write it through, not unless you’re a died-in-the-wool plotter. If you are a plotter, then, yes, you will need to know exactly or all but exactly where your story and its plot are going next and next and next through every moment of every scene.
My main complaint about plotting is that there’s absolutely no excitement or real joy in writing a novel via the plotting method. It’s pure labor. Once you’ve dryly outlined the whole of it, it’s a matter of padding it out so it holds reader interest. My brain goes cold and my eyes dry up doing that, so that method is absolutely not something I advocate for anyone who isn’t writing pot boilers for minimum wage income. And nothing really genius usually happens unless the character really takes it off script—those extreme left, right, or even U turns organic novelists regularly can experience, twists and turns that often lead to surprising, even brilliant results, but sometimes lead to complete disaster. Nice thing about disasters is that, as the creator, you can go back to the fork in the road that leads to it and try again, over and over, taking yet another pathway until you find the one that’s perfect. Of course, that means that writing without plotting can take regrettably longer to complete.
Disasters like this rarely happen to me, and there’s a very good reason. It’s called ‘know your story’.
For those of you who read my How to Write a Good Book in 17 Days, you’ve already seen a crash course that employs this technique. In this book, though, I’m going to elaborate on the process and start from inception and conception, then walk you through execution. Let’s begin.
Every Story has a Beginning that is the Result of a Previous Ending
Every story has a beginning, but that beginning is actually the result of an ending. You’ll often see me end a novel or short story with ‘The Beginning’ instead of ‘The End’. There’s a reason for that. Because the story’s culmination is actually the beginning of the next story. This is true of every cherished novel I’ve ever read, be it something by Mark Twain, Conrad Richter, Ursula Le Guinn, Kim Stanley Robinson, Greg Bear, Charles Todd, Prestin and Child, or any of the other many authors I enjoy reading, a list way too long to present unless you’re the kind of person who enjoys reading through the begats in the Bible’s Old Testament. If you check your own list of favorite novels and novelists, though, I think you, too, will find the same to be true of your favorite author’s novels.
The end of one novel can beget a new unwritten novel’s beginning. And therein lies a clue to effectively starting your novel….
The Trans-Dimensional Shift Machine Let Loose
8 Months Research, a Breakthrough, So It’s Build Time
Back in January, 2016, I quit publishing. I had book #3 of the Country James series ready to throw to my editor and was pounding out the final manuscript of E. J.’s Come-Back Road, the second book of a planned three book series covering the life of one Dr. Warren Jeffries, DVM that started with Old Hickory Lane. I quit because I got a good solid look at the piracy numbers of just one of my titles. Then, I got the rest of the numbers, too.
Throughout 2016 and 2017, I published nothing. And I was pretty darned sure that I would never publish another novel, not until piracy could be defeated (Ha! Dream on. Did a year of research on that and found no good solution.) Then I met author Laura Belgrave, mystery/crime author of the Claudia Hershey Mystery series. Like a drip of water that slowly wears away stone, Laura got my rock hard petulance worn down bit by bit. It took her until January of this year. Then, once again, I began to research.
I’ve got a very interesting brain. It works at its own pace, and, usually, that pace is quite fast. Not this time. I kept shoving data in, but got back …silence. I shoveled in more data. Then more again. Still silence. Eight solid months inputting more and more data; eight solid months of dead silence. …Until last week, when, like gears finally starting to move once the penetrating oil does its job or like one of those strange flowers that takes months to form, then bursts open into full bloom all at once, the whole evaluation and conclusion precipitated from subliminal simmering into fully served answer.
So I tried it.
And it worked.
Now, I’m scurrying about, pulling out projects I built, then mothballed as unworkable, and all the pieces are hanging together quite nicely.
I’ll keep you posted on progress as I work through all the various branches of the project’s build. See you on the other side.
How to Write a Good Book in 17 Days
Way back before I set a moratorium on publishing my novels because of piracy, I set out to write at least two books a year. And did it. In fact, all three of my Montana Love Story novels were written in a month and under, with the second and still unpublished third book drafted in seventeen days and sixteen days, respectively. It was something which I hadn’t thought myself capable, that is to write a good book — one of my books — in shorter than a year. I proved to myself that I could …only to quit publishing in a fit of temper about all my books having been pirated, even those exclusive to Amazon.
Now, a full two years plus since my last novel’s release, an author friend’s needs prompted me to put my process down in an orderly, organized guide. Here it is:
Pondering Why I Write
I had an interesting discussion last night that made me think about the books I’ve written, the published and those sitting in files, real and virtual. An author friend, Laura Belgrave, whose website I manage, admitted that, yes, her books matter to her. I admired that when she said it.
I’m not sure why, but, for me, while the books I’ve written and published delight me when I happen to reread them, I don’t place them as ‘important’ in things I actively care about most: my husband, the animals I care for, the land and trees, friends, my husband’s musical compositions and his instruments, my brain, body, knowledge and skills, maintaining my father’s house, my own musical instruments….
The books I’ve written? They’re just things I’ve done and released into the world. So, too, when it comes to my artwork, and my musical performances.
Laura’s caring about her creative works in contrast to my own curious attitude about my creative outputs gives me pause to wonder at myself. It especially makes me wonder why I write.
I do feel quite happy, even proud, of the books I’ve self-published (not, though, the ones previously published by others). In my opinion, my books — the ones I’ve authored without interference from money men — are very good, despite errors missed in editing, some due to Microsoft Word’s auto word-replace penchant, errors that I should, but don’t, make the time and effort to go back and fix. They’re great stories, written with passion and skill. So why, I wonder, don’t I place them high on my ‘most valued’ list?
I’m not sure of the answer to that question, but I think it might be something of the zentaoist in me. Those books, though brought into existence by my hand, exist completely independently of me, their author. They are, in essence, each their own entity once created. I own copyright, but they are not me, nor I, them. I certainly delight when someone enjoys them, but not because I wrote them. Rather, it is a delight in someone appreciating them, the books themselves, and the animals, aliens, and people, that live within their pages.
And, now, I think I’ve touched on something pertinent: I write to bring the characters within to life, so you, too, can meet, greet, and appreciate them, whether they’re people, animals, the land and its lore, or aliens from other worlds and cosmoi.