It’s hard to believe I’ve been indie publishing as long as I have. Thanks to Sarah, I crossed over to the Dark Side as soon as Amazon opened the doors to the unwashed masses that had been kept out of traditional publishing by the oft-lauded gatekeepers. In the years that followed, I’ve made a pretty good living at it. However, it could be better and I’ve spent a great deal of time over the last month or so looking at what I do as a writer and indie publisher and what I need to do to increase not only my exposure but my bottom line.
The final judgment? I need to shake things up some. Read more
How best to handle introducing new characters, new stories, and readers to one another? Well, my preference both as a writer and a reader is to get a sense of them, but not necessarily learn everything about them all up front at once. It’s a slow dance, a tease, a little here, a little there, and you get to know them, just like you do in real life. When you are introduced to a person in front of you, you might get their full name, or you might not. There’s formal introductions: “may I present Princess Hildegard of Aronia to you, Grand Duchess of Rexington?” and then there is: “so this is Joe, my plumber. He’s pretty good, if’n you don’t want it done fast.” With a wink and an elbow nudge. Read more
This past month or so has been trying, and that’s putting it mildly. As most of you know, my mother is elderly. Fortunately, she is extremely healthy for a woman her age and we haven’t had to worry with some of the terrible mental issues so many her age seem to suffer from. Sure, there’s the occasional lapse in memory about something but it hasn’t become a problem. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that she fell while on vacation in June and tore up her shoulder. So far, surgery hasn’t been necessary but it is becoming clear with every day that passes that the issue isn’t “if” but “when” it will be. She still can’t drive more than a mile or two. She can’t do many of the things she is used to doing and, well, she isn’t handling this decline in her independence well.
Not that I blame her one bit. Read more
My brain has been on overload the last couple of weeks as I published one book and started on another. Family obligations and scheduling conflicts added to the overload. So the other day I gave up, pulled out my Kindle Oasis and read. Just read. For more than 12 hours, I let my imagination go where several different authors took it. One book was traditionally published and several were indie books. Each had their strong and weak points. Each came to mind when I read a post and the accompanying comments on The Passive Voice yesterday.
PG quoted from a New York Times article telling us we need more diversity in romance novels. Read more
The most exciting day in an author’s life is also the most terrifying day. Release day. That day when you push the button, the virtual door opens and your “baby” races out the door into the world or readers. Will they love your baby? Or will they look at it, screw up their noses and say “ewwww!”? You hope for the former, pray it’s not the latter and promise yourself you won’t keep checking your rankings and sales numbers every hour on the hour and, if you’re like me, fail miserably at finding anything else to do.
Well, that’s me today. Fire from Ashes, the fourth (and next to the last in this story arc) book in the Honor & Duty series is now available for download. The print version, along with new print versions of the other books in the series, will be available in approximately two weeks. Read more
One of the minor pleasures of writing is setting up your major characters to have not just rocks thrown at them, but a major rock slide. Metaphorically speaking.
And for maximum impact, you want the reader to say not “Where the hell did those rocks come from?” but, “Oh, of course that was going to happen, I should have seen it coming.”
For that, you need to keep the reader aware of these stresses and hot buttons that make your characters particularly likely to walk under that cliff, and the clues that tell them the cliff is dangerously unstable. It’s the difference between having your character knocked out by a random rock slide, and having him knocked out by a rock slide in a place clearly labeled Fallen Rock Zone. After he’s made his speech about how modern civil engineers never, ever make a road cut that leaves unstable masses above the road.
Okay, now to specifics.
That question, or some variation of it, is one we hear too many times to count during the course of our lives. What do you want to eat? What do you want to do? What do you want to be when you grow up? What do you want to come from X, Y or Z? It is a question each writer needs to ask at various points of their careers — what do you want to write? What do you want to be, indie or traditionally published? What do you want, money or awards? What do you want to be, a genre writer or a literary one? Read more