Monday, July 31, 2017
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Thursday, July 27, 2017
- Have a well-written description.
- Use keywords in the book description, but not more than once because this can look like keyword stuffing. Amazon frowns upon the practice and you can get dropped in the ranks.
- If a reader with a verified sale lets you know they liked the book, ask them to leave a review.
- If you gift a book ask the recipient to retrieve it immediately or it won’t count in the sales rank.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
As an author (and even as a speaker or reader) I LOVE words. The more the merrier! Why grunt a syllable when a mellifluous abundance of adjectives and prepositional phrases can say it so much more eloquently?
At least, that's what I believed while writing my first dozen historical romances. And then, a rude awakening. I was assigned an editor who . . . edited. She didn't share the same appreciation for my every adverb. When I received my revisions, I had to search frantically to find the remaining text! My wonderful, ample paragraphs had undergone a starvation word loss diet. Where was the lyrical poetry of my phrases? How could my nouns and verbs survive without the companionship of all their passive friends? My musically masterful alliteration? Pick one? Seriously?! How is the reader going to know it's important unless I stress how very, very vitally important it is? My manuscripts would come back, every page riddled with red and blue ink, a regular St. Valentine's Day verbiage Massacre!
Jump ahead to present day: I survived. I learned. I had several awesome senior editors who taught me how to self-edit: That middle area between revisions (polishing prose) and line edits (technical accuracy) that improves the quality of the writing to the point my manuscripts would come back almost virginal (except for commas and semi-colons, those little suck ups!). I learned to distance myself from my "ly"s, my dialogue tags, to go all Atkins on my descriptions and to take no prisoners when it came to superfluous phrases . . . but leave my allotment of occasional alliteration alone! Yes, I know it's alliteration. I meant to do that!
The bitter lessons learned makes going through the revision draft of PRINCE OF FOOLS, the third book in my "House of Terriot" shapeshifter series, a poignant exercise instead of a pathological slasher rampage. Though I relish every one of those initial 103,900 words, I accept the fact that my book can live a long, happy life after deleting 7,900 of them (or at least, sending them to live elsewhere as Extra Content!). I know that exchange of witty banter between my H/H is amusing and clever but does it serve a purpose in furthering the plot, or reveal needed information about the characters? No? Out! Brutal but necessary to obtain that lean, mean word count.
So, now that I'm an "accomplished" revisionary, what's the first thing I tell anyone about to self-publish their book? Get a freaking professional editor! I may attempt it at home, but I don't pretend that I am fluent enough in Grammarian to get past all those eagle eye readers. What I can do is prepare the best, cleanest copy possible for that steely penned professional. And to let them know up front, if it's alliteration . . . I meant to do that!
Now, back to page 239. Only 4,000 more of the little buggers to go!
Sunday, July 23, 2017
by Francesca Quarto
"Oh, don't get me wrong sweet cakes. This Utopia place, sounds like some kinda Ocean City fun park! I mean with all that perfect harmony stuff you're talking about."
Franky stopped speaking and she was relieved. He had cultivated a life-long New Jersey accent. Every word he spoke was like a trip down a cheese grater on her ears.
"First, don't call me sweet cakes, or any other moronic sexist idiom you can create," she said through her teeth.
"Second, Utopia isn't like a fun park, or any other gathering place for flip-flop wearing, soda swilling, Board Walk Bunnies in bikinis! it's an imaginary place; an island, that was described by Sir Thomas More, in a book he wrote in fifteen-sixteen. It describes his vision of a perfect political and social system. Maybe you would have known about it, if you read a book, rather than the Sports pages, once in a while."
"Huh? I mean, you don't have to get all up in my face with attitude, baby! When we hooked up last night, you didn't seem to mind my sports-perfect body! I got a degree in Physical Education by the way."
He seemed hurt, but she went on. Now Carmella was incensed by his bringing up her greatest weakness in life; sex and security. Not necessarily in that order.
At twenty-eight, Carmella had a fear of turning thirty without any prospects for a long-term relationship, let alone, marriage. Her Italian heritage ran deep and the large family gatherings she endured over the years, were hell.
With endless questions about boyfriends and plans for settling down, code for getting married, she was beginning to feel like her spinster great-aunt, Florencia, or Floppy as everyone knew her. Already, well-meaning cousins would glance in Floppy's direction when talking to her about potential husband material.
Floppy had grown up in lower Manhattan. New York had managed to squeeze her like a vise, until she was as stunted as a pygmy shrub. Her enormous head of frizzy gray curls, did little to alter the vision of a walking bush and her breath smelled like a garden compost pit.
All in all, Carmella knew she was nothing like this horticultural anomaly, but the fear of remaining single haunted her every decision. And Franky was one of the results of that process.
"You're an idiot, Franky, if you think I'm impressed with your perfect body. It just proves you spend more time working your biceps than your brain."
That shot seemed to hit somewhere in the unconscious part of that gray matter; the part that wasn't concerned with being a muscle-bound Viking storming the Jersey shore.
Franky looked deeply into her eyes and suddenly lurched forward, pulling her into a deep kiss.
When she could breath again, he spoke softly, the knife edge of his Jersey accent barely registered in her hearing.
"I love it when you talk like a professor to me, with all that fire in your eyes and your lips kind of trembling with all that...passion. Oh,baby!."
Carmella felt herself melting into those well-formed abs, as they fell back onto the bed they had recently vacated. It was still damp from their exertions, the sheets hanging like dead sails over the side.
She no longer thought of finding the perfect man, matching her intellect, point for point; she didn't think about the perfect symmetry of two well-trained thinkers...in fact, she stopped thinking altogether.
After, would be time enough to reflect on the inequalities in society. Time enough to contemplate the myth of male superiority. Here, wrapped in the arms of this adoring man, there was no cogitating and thank the gods, time was standing still
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Do any of these sound like you?
You might be a writer (especially a romance writer) if:
- Every time you start writing a non-romance story, it doesn't get good (in your head) until a romance suddenly appears.
- You change the endings of movies and books in your head (or add characters, new plot lines, a better romance...whatever).
- Proper grammar has been drilled into your head, and you've yelled at the TV "It's 'I,' dude. The crew and I. " When a newscaster just said, "The crew and me went on location."
- Other writers, and definitely editors, still find mistakes with your grammar, so you are far from perfect in that department. Just perfect when it comes to "I" vs. "me". Lol.
- At a reunion, an old schoolmate asks if your mom (previous high-school English teacher) is proud of your writing, and you answer that absolutely she is, but it's a little awkward to know your mother reads all the sex scenes you wrote. Followed by dead silence and stares.
- Your husband walks into the living room to find you straddling the couch with your hands "tied" behind your back to see if you could physically reach your foot in that situation while riding a horse (in a "stealthy" manor). (Yes, it is possible, though cramps ensue.)
- You post on Facebook declaring for whoever is watching (big brother-style) that all your searches involving knives and knife throwing (plus martial arts, ninja skills, breaking and entering, climbing tall walls, special positions, and whatever else) have to do with research for a fictional book.
- You check out Wikipedia for the plot of a series of books, because you can already tell it's going in a direction you wouldn't have written, and hope you're wrong. But you don't want to read ALL those books if you're right.
- You stop reading a book or don't like a movie because they royally f'ed up the romance bit. (I'm talking to you Force Awakens writers.)
- You commonly wake in the middle of the night exclaiming "That's it!" But if you don't write it down, your brilliant idea is gone come morning.
- You've missed actually hearing/participating in a meeting at work, or a conversation with your spouse, because you realized the fix for your latest WIP and you were working through the details in your head.
- You start hearing sexual innuendo in everything people say, and it makes you snicker every time.
- You stop at a red light and desperately search for a scrap of paper and a pen so you can write down your latest brain wave before it disappears.
- Every October 31st you warn your spouse, children, family, and friends that you'll be unavailable for the next month while you write a book. And on your fifth consecutive year of this, your husband declares that if you get to write a book for NaNoWriMo, he gets to grow a mustache for Movember.
- You get to a point where every month is NaNoWriMo.
- You tell people that the voices in your head are why you feel compelled write, and they nod and smile like that's normal, then exit the conversation as soon as they can without appearing rude. (They don't want to upset the voices.)
Abigail grew up consuming books and exploring the world through her writing. A fourth generation graduate of Texas A&M University, she attempted to find a practical career related to her favorite pastime by obtaining a degree in English Rhetoric (Technical Writing). However, she swiftly discovered that writing without imagination is not nearly as fun as writing with it.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
MAGIC AND OTHER SUPERNATURALS
CHARACTERS TO LOVE AND HATE
GAMES AND POLITICS...WIN OR DIE
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Friday, July 14, 2017
Sunday, July 9, 2017
Military intelligence specialist Corporal Kaitlyn Amador is the first woman in the Marines to be assigned to a recon team. And everyone’s watching her. Her mission? Not only prove herself worthy of her place in the group, but uncover the mystery of why Bravo Team is so successful. A mission that gets more difficult every time she’s near Jax...
Friday, July 7, 2017
Every few months, it seems, some douchebag feels the need to tell the world that the romance genre is trash. “It’s lowbrow.” “It’s addictive and dangerous to your health.” “It gives women unrealistic expectations.” “It’s formulaic.” “It’s sexist.” “It’s unfair to men.” Blah, blah, ad nauseam.
First of all, Douchebag McScreedwriter, romance readers don’t actually care what you think. They read romance because they like it. You can shame them all you want (and plenty of you have, including my college writing teacher in my Freshman year), but they’re just going to keep reading it.
As for the romance writers? We’re just going to keep writing it—for them. You see, Douchebag McScreedwriter, romance isn’t about you. It isn’t for you. We aren’t writing it with you in mind, and we don’t care if you like it or not.
We do care that you belittle our readers and malign their interests and intelligence. We care that our readers are infantilized and talked down to by smug, self-appointed arbiters of literary taste who, for the most part, have never even read a romance novel. Because our readers are awesome and smart and feminist and fully able to discern the difference between fantasy and reality all by themselves, and they are tired of your shit.
And do you know what happens in romance novels after your little screeds are published? We write you into them and find interesting ways to plot your demise. The Nazi that gets punched in my upcoming paranormal romance, The Dragon’s Hunt? That’s you, Douchebag McScreedwriter. I gleefully created a composite of Internet scolds and mansplainers and political douchebros and orange-faced baboon trolls—and, yes, literal Nazis—and I punched you in the face.
There’s nothing that pisses me off more than bullies. And you, Douchebag McScreedwriter, are a bully. In my current WIP, the hero’s job is to send the deserving to hell. So guess where you’re going next, Douchebag McScreedwriter? That’s right: straight to the devil. So buckle up, buttercup. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
Jane Kindred is the author of the Harlequin Nocturne series, Sisters in Sin, and the epic fantasy series The House of Arkhangel’sk, Demons of Elysium, and Looking Glass Gods. She spent her formative years ruining her eyes reading romance novels in the Tucson sun and watching Star Trek marathons in the dark. She now writes to the sound of San Francisco foghorns while two cats slowly but surely edge her off the side of the bed.
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
|Photo Courtesy Creative Commons/Pixabay|
Did You Know…
Light the Match
Burn The Fuse
|Photo Courtesy Pixabay Creative Commons|