Writing

Authors, You Need A Blog!

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I regularly share links to articles and posts about the world of self-publishing. Half of these tweets are drawn from the websites of established publications and news organizations. While certainly informative, their articles can have a corporate feel, often lacking the raw perspectives and deep truths I find in the blog posts of my fellow self-published writers. It takes real time to search out new author blogs, to read through five or six posts, and then decide which one to share on social media. For me, getting to know my community, soaking in their school-of-life posts, is worth the investment. I always learn new things. I always come across the unexpected. And so, on Sunday, I sat down at my computer, ready to begin the hunt. I pulled out fi...

Blog Posts: How Old is Too Old?

After an unexpected project, one that took nearly nine months to bring to completion, I am back to doing what I love: writing, blogging, and building. A painfully large backlog of blog posts, book plots, and marketing ideas are raining down on my brain like meteorites from an explosion on Planet Creative. I’m racing to catch all these twinkling ideas before they disappear into orbit. It’s fun. And maybe a little frustrating. Right now, I’m still in sorting mode, trying to figure out if any of these nibbles, lines, pages, and half-chapters belong with existing writing projects, or if they will result in a surge of newly-published titles in the future. In the second half of this year, I’ll be publishing a number of new books, lots of community news and postings on IndieBookWeek.com, and even...

Spanx Me, NaNoWriMo!

Forget “March Madness.” Instead, make it “March Marketing Madness.” As part of all this basketball craziness, I recently filled out my bracket for the family pool. I’m not doing well; I think even my sister-in-law’s grandmother is ahead of me. Still, there is value in participating in creative activities outside of one’s normal comfort zone, and staring at all those match-ups got me thinking about business. In “March Marketing Madness,” the sports teams are replaced by companies. The purpose of the competition is to pair them up with other businesses or organizations to develop a brand new marketing initiative that combines each one’s products and/or services. The only requirement is that the new marketing initiative both involves and benefits self-published and indie-published writers.  I...

The Summer of Curveballs

It’s…September? I keep looking at the calendar to confirm that the summer is really over. I guess the gentle fall of the first leaves, the shorter days, and the perfect weather (by D.C. standards) should be proof enough, but neither my eyes nor my mind wants to believe it. Where did summer go? I ask myself as I sit at my desk, my fingers aching from a lack of keyboard exercise. The best analogy I can think of for the place in which I find myself is this: Have you ever carefully plotted a novel, analyzed the characters, the settings, the conflict and resolution, only to find, when your fingers hit the keys, that the characters had other ideas? And what had been a great idea for a new story had morphed – at lightning speed –  into something you had never considered as the right path to creat...

The spirit of place

The spirit of place   Sunday, a blustery day, finds me in the city, destination: the Rubin Museum of Art. Since discovering this sanctuary a few years ago, I’ve been here more times than I’d been to its former incarnation, Barney’s New York, legendary for its own transformation from name-brand men’s wear at discounted prices to high-design fashion at prices to match. Not that I didn’t enjoy walking into the store, in all its haute splendor, from time to time. Okay, I did try on shoes maybe once; the salesman, too snobby for his own good, lost me as a customer. If I were really on my toes, I might have reminded him of how it all got started, Barney Pressman opening the original store at 17th Street and Seventh Avenue in 1923 with money raised by pawning his wife’s engagement ring. Noth...

The JeriWB Interview – 10 Questions

Click HERE to read the full interview on Jeri Walker-Bickett’s blog. It pleases me to no end to post today’s tête-à-tête with author Ashley Barron. Early on, I quickly gravitated toward her tweets for many reasons, eventually leading to my review of her book where I discuss her uncanny ability. I’m sure this interview will lead you to appreciate Ashley’s work ethic, forthright nature, and talent. Giveaway: Two copies (print or electronic) will be given away to randomly drawn people who leave a comment on this post. 1. Please provide a brief synopsis of your book. Politics and murder set the backdrop for a second chance at love in this debut novel by Ashley Barron. Ava blends the emotional impact of a love story with the pulse-pounding twists of a thriller. Ava Arden has spent three y...

Television Writers, Novelists, and Casting

Have you ever wished the producers of your favorite TV show would invite you to add a story line? I have. All this book writing I’m doing has inspired me to take a look at my favorite shows, from a new angle. Now, while I’m watching them, I replay dialogue to try and uncover how the writers make it flow so well. (Some of the constructive criticism I’ve received from readers of my first novel, Ava, is to work on developing the dialogue a little more.) While writing Ava, a solitary process, I constantly found myself going back and forth on plot elements, character strengths and flaws, and scene construction. It makes me wonder how teams of writers manage to blend all of their individual creativity into a single script. How do they resolve disagreements about the right way to evolve a charact...