Terminal velocity #FabulousFriday @AuthorMoira

Happy Friday one and all, you’ve made it through another week. Today will be a short post (in theory), since I have much to accomplish before I depart for the long weekend for some family time.

Pretty much everyone on the planet knows what “terminal velocity” is. For those unfamiliar it is basically the maximum rate a falling body will reach. An easy example most folks can visualize is a sky diver leaping from a plane, and plummeting to earth. The diver will pick up speed until (and there’s math involved here) they can’t go any faster in their current chosen position. Basically the end result, if they don’t pull their chute, is – well – I think we all know.

There are days where I feel like I’m in free-fall as an author. It’s not exactly a reassuring sensation, but it can have a few advantages. I’m someone who works best under deadline. As a naturally born semi-procrastinator (not always though I should mention), I do well in the time crunch. Unfortunately I don’t always have control over my “time”, the main reason being my Evil Day Job. Yes, I probably could go find another job, somewhere. But it’s not a forgone conclusion that I could find one that would allow me more “me” time. These days it’s better to have a job that sucks time than to be unemployed, believe you me. But that’s beside the point.

Everyone has “time sucks”, it seems to be a naturally occurring phenomenon that crops up the instant you become an author. It’s not obvious at first, but eventually you start to spot the pattern. The biggest ones, social media and drama. Oh the drama. And it’s usually on social media! Vicious, seemingly never ending cycle.

Sadly, although we are (for the vast majority) adults in the author community, we still cannot avoid drama. It comes in all shapes, sizes, and from any and all fronts. Getting sucked into drama is a fantastic way to feel yourself free-falling, and eventually reaching your own personal terminal velocity. It’s pretty much the point where you say “fuck this shit!” and ___________ fill in the blank. Some authors call it quits, others change everything about their author lives around, some cut out bad influences (aka: the shit disturbers, otherwise known as the promoters of drama), and still others blow their gaskets. Usually in a rather, here’s that word again, dramatic fashion.

While sitting at your desk writing, or surfing the Net won’t have you reaching terminal velocity physically, that doesn’t mean you can’t reach it mentally. We all have our limits. Limits about how much bullshit we’re willing to put up with, how many lies we’re willing to see perpetrated online, how much bad mouthing we’re willing to have pop into our feeds, and how much favoritism we’re willing to put up with – especially when it happens constantly, and with the same individual(s). We all have a hard line in the proverbial sand that when it’s crossed, all we can see is red.

The only thing we can really control is ourselves, and our reactions to what pushes our buttons. No one needs drama in their lives, unless you happen to be an actor or drama major. How you deal with everything that will filter through your feeds, emails, and lives is up to you. The only advice I will give is these two pieces:  Always take a step back, and evaluate the pros and cons before making a potentially life altering decision. And don’t let anyone, no matter who they are, tell you that you’re not making the right choice for you. Only you know you – which means you are the only one who can decide what does, and doesn’t work for you.

Fake News! #FabulousFriday @AuthorMoira

Happy Friday one and all, hope you had a great week, and also have a fabulous weekend. Let’s get down to business…

** WARNING **

The following is for Adult audiences only, as it may offend the weak willed and those with guilty consciences. It is my personal opinion, and only an opinion. It will contain profanity, several cliche’s, and likely sting those where it strikes too close to home. Enjoy.

First off, the title. I’m not talking about Fox News, Breitbart or whatever the hell it is that comes from the White House briefings. We’re authors after all, and all that crap is really nothing more than inspiration, and fodder for our next villain(s). It’s also a lot of shitty white noise that is unfortunately on nearly every station you tune into, even here in Canada. Personally I institute the mandatory eye roll, and go about my day.

No, what I mean by “Fake News” is the bullshit that certain authors like to sell, much like a bridge in the Sahara Desert. Sounds good, unless you really think about it or investigate even a little. These authors appear open, genuine, caring, and as having your back. In reality they are two-faced liars, scumbags, and would sell their own mother if it got them onto the New York Times.

The realists among authors, those of us who write for the sheer pleasure of creation, who enjoy talking to ourselves in public hashing out a story line, babble incoherently around folks who don’t understand about muses, and who will randomly tune out of conversations because they just thought of something that would make their story better, we know the odds of hitting the Times list are slimmer than fucking slim. But we all have dreams, and if it’s still sitting in the back of our mind in a dusty corner, so be it. We’re allowed to have our dreams too after all.

The fakers though will gladly stick a blade in your back, and climb over your still twitching corpse if it gets them even a millimeter closer to being “big time”. The worst part of it all is, while they are charming to you or in public, in private they are more vicious than a nest full of vipers. And you often have no clue until some unaware individual asks some random question, makes some strange remark, or gets in your face about something you are clueless about. Fakers will literally say anything, and they are usually the “victim” of the tale.

But they aren’t. What they are is cold, calculating, and willing to toss the innocent under the bus. They like to snuggle up to those in power, sell them their bullshit with sprinkles or even a cherry on top, and they always cover their asses. Sadly outing them is nearly impossible because they are slicker than a used car salesman. They are, I hate to say it but it’s really a great analogy, the current US government of the author world. They have followers who believe they spew rainbows and shit gold bricks. They can do no wrong, but you (the target of their malicious bull shit) are evil incarnate. And there’s shit all you can say otherwise. How the fuck do you proof you’re not the person they claim you to be? You can’t.

While the idea of keeping your head down, and staying out of the way seems the safe plan it will only hurt who you are as an author, and probably affect your bottom line. So instead I suggest you take care with your words online, find true friends who don’t care if you have a few screws loose – like the gals here on NQ do about one another – and do your own damn thing. Chin up, shoulders back, and tell the world at large to go fuck itself. You are your own superstar, and that’s all that damn well matters.

When one lying, conniving, bitch of an author goes down for the count another three will rise. Going head to head is not advised, and is honestly exhausting to even think about it. Instead be you, write your stories, and be gloriously giddy like a kid in a candy store each time you publish one. Live for yourself, not others. And remember this – no one can ever know you like you do. No matter what the shitheads may say, they don’t and will never truly know who YOU are. Wear that shit like a badge of honor.

Mean Girls #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Happy Tuesday, folks. I should probably warn you, this might get a tad ranty. As the title says, I’m talking mean girls today, specifically those in the author playground.

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Hmm, yes. I heard something this week, which left me stumped, namely authors in one publishing house talking trash about a fellow author in the same house.

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Come on now, peeps that is so not cool. Now, I get, it, personalities clash,  things said are taken out of context, the ugly green-eyed monster rears its head…. we’re human… I. Get.It.

But for the love of all that is holy try to keep things professional, especially when you’re voicing such opinions in front of readers. It makes us all look bad and like the mean girls. Really, haven’t we left those antics behind on the playground?

We’ve said it many times on here, there is room for all of us. This is not a competition. Sure we’d all like to sell tonnes like some authors seem to do so effortlessly, and yeah, it can grate if you perceive your stories to be that much better than the ones that sell.

Here is the rub, though, that is just your perception. What sells, what doesn’t, what grabs a reader’s attention is all so very subjective and that is as it should be.

There are as many different stories and authors out there as there are readers, and that is a good thing.

Variety is the spice of life and all that. There have been plenty of times I read something and shaken my head in wonder, and asked how the hell?

That’s fine, we’re all entitled our opinions. What none of us is entitled to do is voice those opinions at the expense of some one else’s feelings, especially when they’re not in the room, so to speak to give their side of the story.

And this is the other thing. There are always, always two sides to every story, or more if more than two people are involved.

And here is the other rub, both sides of that story might be right. So much is down to individual perception of things, after all. Rarely do two people see exactly the same thing, or take away the same impression from a book, painting, even a conversation.

What has sparked all this, you might ask. Well, if you’re one of the people involved and you’re squirming in your seat right now, take a good long hard look in the mirror, that’s all I’m going to say.

None of us is perfect. We all make mistakes, that’s a given, but there is never, ever an excuse for being one of the mean girls.

To further clarify, as far as I know, no-one has been spouting rubbish about me, or if they have I’m blissfully unaware.

*smiles*

And you know something else, knock yourself out if you are. That sort of thing always says more about the person who’s doing it then the person they’re talking about.

It reminds me of when I first started what you would call high school in the UK back in the day in Germany. I very quickly fell in with the popular crowd. I was tall, reasonably pretty, skinny, and sporty if a tad quiet.

I was happy with the status quo, why wouldn’t I be, until the new girl started. She was on the chubby side, with dark hair and ugly glasses, none of which were her fault, and of course, the popular crowd picked on her straightway.

Well, I’m happy to say my gran raised me better than that. I couldn’t just stand by and join in with the taunting. I stood up for that girl, and we became the best of friends.  Naturally, that also ended my spell as the popular girl. I became the picked on one, but you know what?

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and all that. I learned a valuable lesson back then, to be myself, to not be a sheep, to not follow any bandwagon and to stand for what I believe in.

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What you see is what you get with me, and that can be brutal honesty at times. It’s a shame most folks don’t seem capable of extending that same courtesy.

*side note… Jamie…. Outlander….drool*

Erm, where was I? Oh, yeah, I was ranting, as I do. 😉

Seriously, though, let’s stop the playground mentality and support each other. Don’t be the mean girl. We’re all better than that.

And another side note, with all this drama seemingly going on behind the scenes all the time, how does anyone find time to, you know, actually write.

Baffles me, I have to say.

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Anyhoo, that’s enough from me today and my attempt at putting the world to rights. ( I wish!)

Stay naughty, folks.

D xx

Since there appears to still be some confusion #FabulousFriday @AuthorMoira

Happy Friday everyone. Before we get to the more serious note of the post to come I want to take a moment to wish all my fellow Canadians, here and living abroad, a wonderful Canada Day. It’s a big one for us, we’re 150 years old! While some might argue that not all of Canada is 150, the city I live in being one of the youngest, it’s more the idea of Canada our ancestors had in mind when they first arrived that is the ripe old age. We’ve come a long way, we have a long way yet to go, but day by day we’re getting there in what sometimes seems baby steps on a universal scale – but hey, we’re still growing and learning more every year. So everyone have a fabulous day, enjoy those celebrations whatever they might be, and remember to be safe in your travels.

Now that the fun stuff’s out of the way, let’s get down to business. There have been a couple posts (I believe) done on NQ before on this subject, but in light of recent developments from an author “friend” (ie: never actually spoken to her, but she’s among my “friends” on FB, and she’s an author so she’s in the sister/brotherhood of authors) it bears touching on yet again. And this will sting – suck it up buttercup.

COPYRIGHT

Merriam-Webster (online) definition:  the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (such as a literary, musical, or artistic work)

For an author this means that when you, or your publisher copyright your work NO ONE may use it in part or whole for their own purposes without giving you, the work, and in some countries the publisher/publishing company credit and without permission. Otherwise, and this is where people apparently are stuck, it is THEFT.

Merriam-Webster (online) definition:  the act of stealing; specifically :  the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it.

Another word for this that authors use, is PIRACY.

Merriam-Webster (online) definition:  the unauthorized copying, distribution, or use of another’s production (as a film) especially in infringement of a copyright.

There are way too many people in the world that think taking a book an author gave them free of charge, such as a prize or gift, and sharing it with others is okay. IT IS NOT OKAY! This is theft/piracy and also 1000% illegal. You are taking money out of an authors pocket each time you provide a free copy of their work (that you were GIFTED) to others without the authors, or their publishers, explicit written permission. And yes, to do something like give a copy to your sister, your mother, your fifth cousin three times removed on your fathers side, you do in fact require permission from the individual(s) that hold the copyright. They are the LEGAL owners of said property. You are only a visitor.

For example, since some folks seem to have so much damn trouble with the concept, think about it like this. If I were to come to your home, visit, and on my way out decide to take your TV with me. Would you be okay with that? Uh, likely not! “Well that’s hardly a comparison, it’s a TV (or other object), you’re talking about a book, they are not worth the same amount of money.” Oh really?

Authors spend hours, days, weeks, months and even YEARS working on their next story. That is time taken away from other pursuits, away from family, away from friends, and definitely far away from the peaceful path of sanity. That is time we deserve to be paid for. It’s not like (and I think I may be quoting Ravenna Tate here) you’d go to work for no money. Hell no! You expect to be paid for the hours, days, weeks, months, and yes YEARS you put into the job. No, I’m not talking about volunteer work – totally different. I’m talking about your primary means of making money to support your life. And while the majority of authors cannot live on what they make selling their books, it’s a nice little bonus every quarter that you can use for a car payment, that dental work you’d been putting off, an extra special treat for you, the kids, your significant other, or maybe to put away for a rainy day down the road. But for every book that someone STEALS (and yes, it is stealing – theft remember?) that is money that isn’t coming to us.

Did you know that there are actual sites out there that allow people who have zero relation to an artist, their producer/publisher, or even the work they have in their “hands”, to upload and SELL said work? There are. It is a constant, fucking battle that authors (and other artists) have to fight, in the middle of the worst winter blizzard ever, uphill both ways while wearing eighty pounds of protective gear. And honestly, the damn blizzard would be a sight easier to navigate then some of these fucking sites and their DMCA (take down) forms.

And, to top it all off, here’s another kick in the teeth for you of reality. Each book that sells at $2.99 a piece…we only get a small portion of that. Side note: Quit fucking bitching to authors about the price of their works already – trust me, you’re getting it damn cheap in my personal opinion and if you can’t afford it, you obviously don’t need it. Because the third party retailer takes their piece of the pie, our publishers (if you use one) takes a piece of the pie, and whatever is leftover (not much!) comes to you. So if you manage to sell a couple hundred books, you might, MIGHT, have enough to get a decent meal out on the town, and not your local fast food joint – but no alcohol included (totally dependent on where you live, sales and taxes, and the like). But for every book that is STOLEN by an unscrupulous asshole and freely given away, or worse SOLD illegally, the chances of being able to buy anything more than a burger from your local fast food chain gets slimmer and slimmer.

Now, before I totally lose my cool, here are some easy things to remember. And for those that seem to persistently insist that authors should give their books away free, WRITE THEM THE FUCK DOWN DUMBASS!

  • Stealing/piracy/using materials not of your own design/construct is ILLEGAL
  • Copyright infringement is a SERIOUS deal, and pisses authors off hugely (each country has their own copyright laws, and penalties – look up yours so you know what could very well happen if/when you are caught)
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (remember the TV analogy)
  • For some authors, full-time and even part-time, that book you’ve just stolen and are giving away/selling as if you own it, might very well be life or death (some people aren’t on health plans and have to pay for everything, so I do mean it literally)
  • If/when you are found out – there is no place on this Earth where you can hide from the wrath that will fall upon your head from a million authors world wide – not even kidding
  • How do you look in stripes/orange?
  • Remember not to drop the soap in the shower at the Federal detention center you’ll be in for a long, long, long time

The next time someone offers you a copy of their newest favorite authors book, say no. Get the authors name, get the title, and go purchase that shit for your own damn self, and then send the author that persons information. Just always keep in mind, the guards can’t be watching everything all the time in prison…

Keep your eyes on the ball #FabulousFriday @AuthorMoira

Hello one and all, it’s that time again – FRIDAY! We’re going to get right to things today, and here we go…

While we have many posts on NQ about the content of stories, and do’s and don’t’s, one thing that needs to be said to all authors, but especially newbs, is to focus on the guts of the story. Everything you write should have one singular point that is the main focus for you. All that happens around that point is icing on the cake so to speak.

I’m talking about your core theme. Not that it has a murder mystery element, or that it’s supernatural, or sci-fi. What I’m talking about is the whole reason you’re writing it. For us, romance authors that is, it’s the romance element. While there is no singular way to write romance, or a right way to do it, you need to decide how the romance in your romance story progresses. And you must be consistent.

This does take a little forethought, and even some planning for some folks, while others can have it naturally unfold in a natural manner. Whatever works for you, but do keep your eye on the ball, or the end goal, or whatever turn of phrase works best for you.

For example, some good guidelines for your romance might be:

  • Boy meets girl, girl meets boy, boy meets boy (or whatever your combo might be)
  • The next logical step (depending on the story) would be getting to know one another however best fits your central theme
  • Along the same lines they would also spend time together perhaps doing things; walking, eating, sky diving, killing off mutant aliens determined to take over the planet and turn us all into mindless drones!!
  • There should also be some sex (d’uh!), or a lot of sex, or tonnes of sex, even copious amounts of sexual activity in all sorts of interesting positions and/or places – whatever floats your boat and works withing your central theme
  • and so forth, but you get the idea where this is going I’m sure…
  • Also, more sex
  • Did I mention sex?

Some things to avoid on the fringes of your romance might be:

  • Random surprises like killing off some character for pure shock value but for no real purpose
  • Jumping to a point too far ahead because you don’t know what to do to “fill in” the extra “time” before getting there – epilogues do not count, these are their own beasts of burden and can take place anywhere/anytime, as long as it works with your story line
  • Erratic behavior, unless that is who your character is – don’t put it in just because you can, again this all has to make sense from the first word to the last
  • Jolts are another one, this is often an unconscious thing an author does and one their editor should be catching. But a jolt (not really a writing term) is a break in the story line (whether a chapter break or a new chapter) that literally “jolts” the reader from the story – it’s disconcerting, and frankly often will ruin their read. A story should be one continuous, flowing read from start to end
  • Not having sex in a book that should have sex (ie: romance, erotic romance, erotica, etc.). If you are a “romance” writer, whether it be soft and gentle or hard and dirty, don’t fucking skimp on the sex

Basically the point I’m trying to make is find your center, your core theme, your be-all end-all for the story, and keep it front and center in your brain. And yes, like I said above, everything else that occurs is icing on the cake to make it a richer, deeper, more entertaining read – but it all still has to make sense. And most of all, it all actually has to work together. Don’t be random. Don’t do shock for shock’s sake. You’re an author, not a screenplay writer for Hollywood. Remember your craft, remember the artistry you have been gifted with, and treat it and your readers with the respect it/they deserve. In the end it can, and will benefit you.

So focus. Keep your eye on what truly matters to your story, and let the rest come as it may and how it might. Every story deserves to be told in the voice you have, but they will only be however long they need to be. No more, no less. You’ll know what needs to be said, what needs to be done, and when to type the words all authors both love and hate…

The End

Dear authors of the world #FabulousFriday @AuthorMoira

Happy Friday one and all – we made it through another one! Before I get any further first I want to shout out to all the fathers (in whatever form they take), and wish you all a very Happy Fathers Day. This weekend I’ll be off visiting with the familial sorts, including my own father, and do god only knows what. I keep getting texts of updated itemized itineraries – and this, right here in a nutshell, is why I only go home a couple times a year. They be cray-cray! But enough about the genetic insanity that flows through my ancestral lineage, onto today’s post.

Dear Authors of the world, you’d better buckle up, this one’s likely to sting! (to paraphrase a social media celebrity I quite enjoy following).

For the love of all that is shiny and bright in the universe – USE SPELL CHECK. No, I’m not merely talking about your books (although you should), and I’m not merely talking about your emails (although you really should), and I am not merely talking about your newsletters (although you really, really should). No, what I AM talking about is on social media – whether it be Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, wherever. THIS SHIT LIVES FOREVER. You may delete it from your feed, but you all should know by now there are people out there, evil and petty people, who live to make other folks lives miserable and they’ve already done a screen shot. They stalk you, plot against you, and yet have never met you face to face. You are their own personal Goliath, and they have devious, insidious, and plain dumb ass plans to “take you down”. Stop giving them the fucking ammo! Use spell check, or if you do make a mistake, FIX IT!

I cannot tell you how many posts I’ve read, from otherwise elegantly eloquent authors, which have me wondering if their accounts have been hacked by some brain eating, disease ridden alien. Because trying to equate someone who writes books which suck you in, and won’t let you go to the crap being spouted on social media – now that there be one hell of a noggin’ scratcher.

In no way am I saying you need to be perfect, no one is, but do try your best. And, for the love of all that’s fluffy and delightfully soft in the universe, stop with the text speak. 1) I really hate having to look up some of these acronyms, and 2) you look like an fool. We’ve all heard the saying to “use your words”. Well, if you are trying to keep your brand untainted, and create the right image for who you want to be seen as, you need to be consistent in all things. Don’t fucking fly off the handle on some random ass rant when you’ve never done it before. And use the English language as it was intended, to be concise and precise in getting across your point.

Now go slap some ice on that sting, and open a damn dictionary once in a while would you.

A Writer’s Responsibility #WickedWednesday (@KaceyHammell)

Wednesdays

Good morning everyone! Happy Hump Day. Sorry I have been MIA the last couple of weeks. Life for me has changed this past month and I’m learning my way through balancing everything. Thank you to the other Quillers for their patience and understanding. Balancing so much has reminded me how valuable writing time is. I’m not the only writer to work outside the home, and actually have three jobs – writer, mother, and a full time day job – and for the first time since I began writing, I think I value the moments of solitude even more. And time with my characters has become golden. In many ways, I took the hours I could be writing for granted a bit because I had so much time before. I’ve learned a lesson here, and I take advantage of every five minutes I can get words down.

But in all the chaos recently, I finished my latest book. It is now fully done and self-edits were brutal. I wasn’t completely happy with it when I was done it before. Thanks to critique partners, I forged my way through the figuring out what was wrong and thoroughly revised many aspects from the original. Which leads me to today’s topic – being a vicious editor. No one else can write your stories for you and we have all said how important edits are. There are still many writers out there cutting corners and releasing stories that are not up to snuff. To each their own, but it is our responsibility to produce stories that shine.

With my last few books, I have used “Pro Writing Aid” program. It’s a godsend for me. It checks over everything from repetition words/phrases to dictation, run-on sentences, grammar, checks transitions, dialogue tags, abstract words, and more. It heavily searches through a manuscript and notes everything that needs to go. There are few things that I don’t change. I don’t want to change the voice in my stories, but I make the decisions on what I change. Nothing is written in stone. But I’ve found it a very useful tool.

I’ve mentioned my “cheat sheet” of bad habits in the past, words I use often – then, it, damn – and it is so important to thoroughly edit out those terrible habits. Readers don’t want to be repeating words over in their heads either. We’d lose readers that way. I can’t stress enough how important going back through your MS is before sending it to a publisher or self-pubbing it yourself. Be your fiercest advocate. Even if it takes you a month to do edits, then let it. Don’t publish crap that isn’t worthy. It’s that simple. Why spend a month or two, or more, on a story that you end up doing an injustice to if it’s not edited properly.

Not all writers are editors. We aren’t. However, it’s a writer’s job to also know about how to edit a story. Common story structure, grammar, to see errors, etc., is part of our job. The edits begin with the writer before sending / hiring another editor if self-publishing, and other publishers demand clean manuscripts. It’s that simple. The writer has all the responsibilities outside of simply writing the story. Too many writers are not taking this part of their job seriously and it saddens me.

It is such a disservice to your characters and stories.

A quick checklist that I tend to use when editing, even without Pro Writing Aid, which I tend to look closely for…

  1. Omit unnecessary words – then, that, it, and, overuse of the characters’ names.
  2. Redundancies – avoiding the use of ‘shrugged his shoulders’ (there’s nothing else to shrug!). ‘She nodded her head’ (there’s nothing else on us that we nod!!)
  3. NO Head Hopping!! So important. Stay in one character POV for an entire scene. If you do switch to the 2nd POV (after a few pages of one character), then make the transition easy and smooth.
  4. Limit the number of ‘ly’ words.
  5. Don’t over explain. Example – ‘Doris was angry and pounded the counter.’ I would edit this sentence to – ‘Doris pounded the counter.’ Plain and simple. We read the anger in her actions.

These are a few items on my checklist that I am mindful of with every read through / edit. They’re simple but oh-so-crucial!!  The more stories a writer creates and the more editing they do – on their own and with a professional editor when the time comes – the more their voice will shine and the better writer they will be.

 

Until next week,

Happy Writing. Happy Editing!

Kacey xoxo

 


 

Book Signings: Making the Most of an Event by Jules Dixon of @JulesofTripleR

This weekend, along with two other authors from Nebraska, Wynter S.K. and Jacqueline Winters , I (on left) attended the Wild Deadwood Reads book signing in Deadwood, South Dakota. And I had a wonderful time all around.

Wild Deadwood Reads ((

Book signings are both a great way for readers to get to meet some of their favorite authors and for authors to meet new readers and maybe get a little time to recharge their “writing batteries”.

This past weekend’s event really had some wonderful opportunities for readers and author to mingle. Train rides into the Black Hills. Trips to see Mount Rushmore. A PBR Rodeo event with talented cowboys and a behind-the-chutes tour with entertaining clowns (ahem–entertainers as their now called) and information from a bull breeder. And ghost tours that landed some interesting pictures and contacts by possible spirits. And then there was the signing, a well-organized event that I enjoyed and appreciated how much work it is to actually organize a signing event. The organizers did a great job.

With that said, over the last two years, I’ve collected some tips and hints for authors and readers to help make the most of an event.

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Authors

  1. Don’t go to sell books. That is setting yourself up for failure. Go to meet other authors and to share your love of writing with people of like minds and readers who enjoy reading in your genre.
  2. Be flexible. Plans change, tables get moved, things don’t fit. You will forget something (me-my silver signing pen, so I went with bright colors). Be willing to adapt. Take the mistakes and issues in stride, it will make for a more enjoyable event.
  3. Introduce yourself to at least three new authors and get to know them a little better. I met a lot of lovely authors, Tina SusedikAmanda McIntyrePJ FialaLizbeth Selvig. And one of my favorites, Lorelei James. Authors know what other authors are going through. And when you forget something, they will come to the rescue for you. We are a family and care for each other.
  4. Take time to explore the city and eat the local fare. We had some wonderful ribeyes last night and took a lovely stroll around the downtown area. Take some time to people watch. Get some inspiration. I found inspiration at the rodeo, a new storyline was blaring me in the face and I’m ready to get started on it.
  5. Consider making your books easy to purchase at $10 each, and rewarded multiple purchases–buy three for $25. Yes, this might mean taking a loss, but it can lead to dedicated readers and future sales. And remember, a happy reader will tell other readers.

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Readers

  1. Take a chance on new-to-you authors. Yes, there are those favorites that you’ll want to get a signed book from, but please don’t dismiss the talent of authors who might be new to you.
  2. Ask questions. Authors love to answer questions about their writing, books, and characters. If you like a certain genre or storyline, let them know. Help them to help you. And I promise, if I don’t think my stories are great for you, I will suggest one of the other authors at the event. Not everyone loves LGBT romance, understandable, so if you like suspense, I’ll tell you who I like at the event.
  3. If you’ve read an author’s books prior to the event, tell them. You might get a discount on the paperback. If they’re new to you, tell them. You might find someone new to love.
  4. Bring an extra bag for books. Cash is good, but most authors will take cards. Think about gifts. Does your friend love reading? Books are great for birthdays, holidays, and just friendship.
  5. If you see an author in the town having a drink, pull up a chair and have a chat. We don’t talk about books all the time. We do have other interests, too. We’d love to get to know you, too.

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Okay, lastly, enjoy the event and if the organizers have other events scheduled, go to one or more. Mingle and just enjoy getting away for a day. 

Not every event will be successful from a earnings perspective, but as long as you keep a positive attitude and look for the silver linings it will be successful in other ways.

Happy Monday!

See you next week!

Hugs, Jules

MONDAY MESSAGES

This is important… #FabulousFriday @AuthorMoira

Happy Friday everyone. It’s been one hell of a crazy week, again. The insanity that’s hit the UK … I don’t even have words. Which for an author is something, we’re usually pretty good with the science of combining letters into something comprehensive and even occasionally compelling. But, it did give me my topic for today, so without further ado…

BREATHE…

In a world that seems to have lost any form of a rudder this is particularly important. Quite a simple word, and yet it has many connotations. To draw air into ones lungs thus providing the brain with a vital component so it can continue to operation at optimal levels and ensure the body keeps doing it’s thing. But it is also a method used in many practices from yoga to martial arts to gain focus and realign ones self.

BREATHE…

We could all use a little more focus. Not only in the here and now, but about life in general. We each have an important role in the grand cosmic scheme. Sure, none of us know what that plan might be, but it doesn’t mean we’re not here for a reason. It only means that we haven’t yet been given all the pieces to the puzzle to determine what our part may be.

BREATHE…

Those of us who are blessed, gifted, or have educated and fought to become authors already hold a pretty significant place in the world, big or small. We have the tools – the imagination, the drive, the insanity – to create fantastic tales of fiction in all sorts of genres and sub-genres. The end result is a gift to the world. A moment, or three, where a reader can submerge themselves into the world we’ve created for respite – however brief it might be.

BREATHE…

We all should take the opportunity for a little respite. The world is a scary place on the best day, on the worst…well…yeah. So my advice for the weekend, and every chance you have, is to enjoy every single minute of every single day. Kiss your loved ones, hug your enemies (it’ll confuse them), smile at a stranger (it could brighten their day), and don’t let other folks shit taint whatever you have going on in your life. Enjoy the little things, smell the roses, walk in the sunshine, pet a dog, spin in a field until you throw up, eat ice cream for dinner, just enjoy all the time you’ve been given however you see fit. No one has the right to judge you for what makes you happiest and at peace. Lastly, authors, never ever stop writing but do remember, from time to time, to lean back in your seat and remember to

BREATHE.

Not the ride I was looking for #FabulousFriday @AuthorMoira

Greetings one and all, and happy Friday. Hope everyone has had a great week. Mine was decidedly strange, and truly should have ended on Wednesday. But I shall continue to slog through, it’s only a few hours more after all.

Today’s post is one that we’ve touched on prior here on NQ, but it obviously needs repeating. I’ve been reading a book which is the source of much angst currently in my life. Normally I can whip through an ebook in no more than two days, a paperback roughly three. This bugger has me currently at day four and I’m only half way through. It’s not a super long book by any means, 168 pages (print length), which for me is usually nothing.

But I’m having trouble with it. For one, the heroine has seesaw emotions that quite frankly have me feeling nauseous. I’m a roller coaster, slingshot, etc. riding maniac. The more something makes you scream the better. Yet this up and down with her emotions, one minute she’s terrified, two paragraphs later she’s all lovey-dovey, and then she’s angry, and then and then and then…

To top it off, roughly around chapter two, the hero in the story (and her future man) refers to himself in conversation with the antagonist. And not in a third person sort of thing, but as a separate person entirely. It threw me, completely. But so far it’s the worst thing that’s happen where he’s involved. The heroine on the other hand – she might just benefit from seeking professional help with her rather severe, and whiplash like mood swings.

While the concept of this book is also quite intriguing, the totality is thus far leaving me with no more than a bad taste.

Let’s be clear here authors. If your heroine/hero/secondary character, whomever, is in a traumatizing event – yes they should be a little out of sorts, and even moody. But once they have pushed through that initial trauma, unless you are specifically putting in some PTSD, quit with the emotional seesaw! Readers don’t like that shit. Other authors who read your works REALLY don’t like that shit. STOP IT!

The emotion of your character(s) needs to fit the situation. If it’s upbeat, light, and fun keep it that way. If you’re throwing them into danger than make sure their emotional state fits. Having your characters acting out of tune with the scene you’ve set in detail only confuses your readers, and makes it feel like slogging through the bayou on the hottest day on record. No fun at all.

So unless your one character knows something that the others in the situation don’t, or has had a horrid day, or ended up run over by a tanker trailer, try to keep their emotions on an even keel. Readers everywhere will thank you, and we on NQ won’t have to keep writing about it.