Make a Choice #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, peeps, Doris here with some thoughts on choice. Our lives are full of choices, aren’t they?

We get up every morning, chose what to wear, what to have for breakfast, etc. etc.

Those are what you might call the easy choices, though, when you have several teen girls in the house, the choice of what to wear is anything but easy. It’s more like this.

However, this post isn’t about clothes, but the choices we make as authors, in particular how to conduct ourselves online.

Here on the Quills we said many times over that as an author, you, are your brand. Whatever you put out there, your readers will see, take on board, form their opinion on you,  the author, the person, and ultimately your books.

And you have a choice to make. Do you want to be known as the author, who bitches about everything and everyone all the time?  Do you, I mean, really?

We all get off days, lord knows I have plenty, but does the whole world really need to know about them? I like a good rant as much as the next person, and yes, sometimes they happen on FB, but most of the time, I keep my ranting in private.

Once it’s out there on the interwebz it’s there to stay.

By all means, share personal stuff that you are comfortable sharing, have your opinion, but express it respectfully and not at the expense of others.

Like the author who likes to poke fun at other authors by quoting lines from their books, and ridiculing said scene.

That is just not on. I have stopped reading an author who kept on getting her giggles like that, and while no names were ever quoted, it’s just bad form.

Don’t be the mean girl in the author playground.

While I’m on that subject, don’t be that author, who appears clueless about her own success. The Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it posts, I’m so nervous about this new release… etc .. when your readers would no doubt buy your shopping list, were you to put it out there, get old fast.

I exaggerate on purpose, here. Of course, you can and should squeal about your success. Of course, you should thank your readers, just sound like you actually mean it, ya know.

Readers are awesome, and they deserve to be praised. Just stop already with the fake surprise when you’re on top of your game and pretend you don’t know it. What is that all about?

On the flip side of that, don’t be a diva either and think you’re better than anyone else because you’re outselling them. Nope, doesn’t work that way, and it will not gain you any friends.

Don’t be that author who tears down a reviewer for daring to not like your book, especially if the review is a constructive one. And even if it isn’t, rise above it. That reviewer is entitled to his/her opinion as much as you are.

Don’t like something your publisher does? Well, then take your stories elsewhere, just be sure you do it for the right reasons. The grass is not always greener on the other side. Then again, it might be. You won’t find out unless you try.

Choices, see we all have them.

I can hear you all wondering what on earth brought this post on. Well, a myriad of things, to be fair. I’ve lost count on how many times I was going to wade into something on Social Media last week, and then deleted that post, or reply, before I hit send.

Try it, it’s therapeutic. You get whatever it was off your chest, without adding fuel to the fire, and you can get on with your day safe in the knowledge that you haven’t fallen into the trap to think your opinion is more important than anyone else’s.

And being devil’s advocate here, that goes for this blog post too. I’m fully aware that I’m ranting a tad today. Forgive me. It’s coming up to that time of the month and I turn a bit like this…

 

 

That’s all from me today, you’ll be pleased to hear.

Do stay naughty, folks.

D xxx

 

 

 

 

Measure Your Own Success #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here, with my thoughts on Success.

 

In particular how you define success. And you know, this will be different for everyone, and if you start comparing yourself to other authors, well, then, you’ll be thoroughly disappointed.

There will always be someone who is more successful, or who you perceive to be more successful. And you know this whole successful thing is relative.

Yes, I think we can all agree that there are those authors, the ones that immediately spring to mind, because everyone has read them, or at least has heard of them.

You’ll find them in every bookstore, on posters in public transport etc.

Fame and success right there, I guess.

I’m not talking those authors, however. I’m talking you and me, the average run of the mill person, who also happens to be an author.

How do we define our success?

Well, the obvious one is to look at your sales. I just did an interesting exercise of working out my average sales per book with both of my publishers. It was a rather eye-opening experience, and it made it clear to me where I should be sending the majority of my books in future.

I’ve gone with my gut on these things in the past, but as hubby reminded me this is a business, and it deserves a calculated approach. In my case a calculator-wielding hubby, lol. Seriously, I’m useless with numbers.

So, that is certainly one way to measure your success. However, if you only look at your sales, you will probably end up disappointed. It goes back to there will always be someone who sells more than you do.

money-bag-clipart-Money_Bag2_Money_Clipart_Pictures

I don’t believe money can ever be your sole motivation to write. If it is, you will a) end up disappointed, or far worse, b) sell your soul and integrity to the devil, and simply churn out things that you know will sell.

And that, my lovelies would be a such a shame. Of course, we all need to eat, and if you write full time with no other income, then yes, to a certain extent you will have to do that.

No judgment here. Every one of us authors defines their own career paths, and what is right for one will not be right for the other.

However, if you’re one of the multitudes of authors who write in addition to an evil day job, or to simply contribute to the family income like I am, then you can be more discerning in how you define your success.

To me, in its simplest form success means being a published author. Every time I type those magic two words – The End – I get such a buzz. It’s  hard to describe if you’re not an author, that sense of achievement.

Then there is that magic moment you get your publisher’s e-mail to say they would like to publish the book. The buzz of release day, and the oh so precious reader comments.

Never underestimate the power of that. A reader saying they enjoyed your story. That you lifted them up on a bad day. Even if that book tanks, to know that you reached that one reader… success in my book.

So, be who you need to be, and define your own success, peeps.

Make Your Dreams Happen

That’s all from me today, folks.

Do stay naughty and count your blessings. You’re more successful than you think!

D xxx

Triggers in Writing #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely folks, Doris here. As the title says, I’m talking triggers today. Specifically those reactions readers might have when they read your story.

There is some debate in the writing industry and amongst readers about this, so firstly, let’s look at how the dictionary defines triggers.

 

ˈtrɪɡə/
noun
plural noun: triggers
  1. 1.
    a small device that releases a spring or catch and so sets off a mechanism, especially in order to fire a gun.
    “he pulled the trigger of the shotgun”
    • an event that is the cause of a particular action, process, or situation.
      “the trigger for the strike was the closure of a mine”
verb
3rd person present: triggers
  1. 1.
    cause (a device) to function.
    “burglars fled empty-handed after triggering the alarm”
    synonyms: activate, set off, set going, trip

    “burglars triggered the alarm”
    • cause (an event or situation) to happen or exist.
      “an allergy can be triggered by stress or overwork”
      synonyms: precipitate, prompt, trigger off, set off, spark (off), touch off, stimulate, provoke, stir up, fan the flames of; More
    • (of an event or situation) cause (someone) to do something.
      “the death of Helen’s father triggered her to follow a childhood dream and become a falconer”
    • (especially of something read, seen, or heard) distress (someone), typically as a result of arousing feelings or memories associated with a particular traumatic experience.
      “she started crying and told me that my news had really triggered her”

     

 

What this doesn’t explain, is the gut wrenching reaction the person who triggers will have to this. I never really understood it either, until it happened to me. I was reading a blurb, and wham…. there it was a trigger I didn’t even know I had.

Or rather I knew it made me uncomfortable, due to this particular subject being a cause of considerable upset and trauma for someone very close to me and this person still struggles with her demons every day. It was a particularly painful time for us all as a family. I’m being vague on purpose, so forgive me.

This is is not the vehicle to discuss this matter, and I guess in part that is one of the reasons why I reacted so strongly to this story.

I’d come across it previously in a dark romance I read, and I had to stop reading it. It was just too close to home for me, but, at least, it was a dark romance and in this story, it was done to the heroine, not self-inflicted. I still couldn’t read about it mind you, but that’s my own personal cross to bear if you like.

I certainly didn’t blame the author for writing it – though some warnings about it would have been appreciated – but this is where the contention comes in.

As authors, we need to be able to write the stories we see fit to write. And if you listed every possible trigger or objection someone might find in your story (which in itself is an impossibility, because human beings are so unique in their likes and dislikes) the list of warnings would be longer than the actual story.

Only half kidding.

What we authors must do, however, is think long and hard if the subject matter we’re writing about is suitable material for the category we’re writing in. In this instance, an erotic romance. Personally, and again, this is my opinion, and I am fully aware that I simply cannot be objective in my assessment here, this particular subject has no place in an Erotic romance. Now a YA one, hell yeah. I still couldn’t bring myself to read it but done sensitively and in the right framework, it could be hugely beneficial to readers.

I recently watched the Netflix series 13 Reasons why which deals with the reasons why a teenager killed herself and is based on the best-selling book of that name.

Harrowing, yet compelling watching, and it highlights an important issue. Triggers galore in there as you can imagine, and I dare say lots of people couldn’t watch/read it.

Yet it was a story so worth telling in that framework,

That blurb that triggered my very intense reaction…..

Well, I don’t know, because I certainly will not be reading it. I hope/assume the author has done her research with this sensitive issue, and I shall let the readers decide on that one.

Like I stated above I would never tell an author what they can or cannot write. And as someone pointed out to me, that blurb did a good job, in so far that it told me that there was no way on this earth that I would read that particular story.

Strong words, I know, but I still feel sick when I think about it. Which is by no means that author’s fault, but it’s something to be aware of when/if you do choose to tackle a subject which can cause strong emotions.

I had to come off FB that day, read lots of laugh out loud romances to distract me before I lost that sick feeling of dread in my stomach, the clammy hands and the rage at what I had read.

It made me understand those readers better who leave incensed reviews because they came across something they didn’t expect when reading.

Triggers, when they happen to you whilst reading are painful, real and they evoke emotions that surprise the feck out of you.

Had I written this blog post then it would have been an expletive-filled rant, which would not have been fair or constructive.

After all, that author didn’t set out to ruin my day. She just wrote the story she needed/wanted to tell and that is all any of us can do.

However, keep those potential triggers in mind when you are writing as best you can.

That’s all from me today.

Do stay naughty, folks.

Dxxx

 

Positive Attitude #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello,  lovely peeps, Doris here. This isn’t the post I had in mind for today, but I’m finding myself in a mellow mood, so I thought I would spread some joy because so many folks seem to be disheartened nowadays.

Me, well, my current WIP is slowly taking form and while writing is somewhat slow going, I am  writing and while I’m slowly being driven round the bend by my characters… seriously we’re 13 K into the story and they have yet to kiss… what in all that is holy is that about.

Depositphotos_38979041_s-2015 (1)

Oh, I know what. I’m writing a dragon and those darn dragons are always far too noble until they’re not anymore and then…

WEG!

Anyhoo, I digress as per usual. Guess I am mellow because I’m surrounded by all the people I love most in the world, my hubby and kids. The kids are off for two weeks on their Easter holidays and hubby has got the time off work.

Bliss.

While we’re not doing anything special, it’s simply great to be together, to kick back and just be, and to reminded what’s important in life, you know.

So, I thought I would spread some cheer and remind you all to smile more.

 

Try it, even when you’re not feeling like it. It does lift your mood and it works wonders on those around you as well.

Yes, your sales might be still shite, your book might still be stalling, and your muse be off on a tangent to goodness only where, but it’s easier to deal with all those annoyances, be they in your professional or personal life when you maintain a positive outlook on things.

It’s true you know, laughter is the best medicine and life is far too serious as it is. Let’s stay positive, shall we?

That’s all from me today folks.

 

Do stay naughty,

 

D xxx

Let’s get real #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here with a hefty dose of realism today. I apologize in advance if this turns a bit ranty, but I’m just sick to the back teeth with people’s attitudes to writing.

Many of us quillers on here have touched on the general slump which seems to prevail in sales these days. Not a day goes by it seems, when you hear of another author who hangs up the writing head.

I always shake my head in wonder.

Puzzled Confused Lost Signpost Showing Puzzling Problem

Maybe, I’m just being naive, and of course, I’m not walking in that person’s shoes and there are no doubt a multitude of reasons why a person stops writing, but I just don’t get it.

Writers write. It’s what we do. I know I don’t feel right when I don’t have characters in my head clambering to have their story told. Then again, from as far back as I can remember I’ve spun stories in my head. Imagine my surprise when I found out that some people didn’t do that.

The number of times I was told off for daydreaming in class is unreal. Even nowadays, I can be lost in my own world, and you know I like it there. You’re never lonely when you are constantly concocting stories and get to live a thousand lives. Be that as the characters you write about, or the characters you read about in a book.

I’ve always felt sorry for people who don’t get that enjoyment from immersing yourself in a book.

I digress, however.

So, how then can anyone simply stop writing?

Oh, don’t get me wrong I get the financial reasons behind it. How could I not? Do you think it’s cheap bringing up nine children and assorted furbabies in the south east of the UK?

I can tell you, it’s not. Far from it. Hubby and I had to tighten our belts on more than one occasion, and that’s okay. We chose to have a large family, and we stand by our choices. Hubby has always worked his socks off to support us all, and I have always worked in one form or another to help out with the family income.

At one point, when we had just the two kids, I was actually earning more than him.

*smiles*

However, all I ever wanted was to be a mum at home with her kids and when that day finally came, I was beside myself with excitement. I still worked, in one form or another, mind you, always around the kids and driving myself ragged.

Fast forward quite a few years, and hubby’s work situation changed to such a degree that we could manage on just his wage, and I was free to pursue a life long dream.

 

I had stories that I wanted to share with the world, and the fact that readers out there want to read said stories still gives me the most amazing thrill.

That’s why I’m writing. Not for fame, status, money or whatever else you can think of. Certainly not to become a USA or NYT Bestseller, nice though that would be. And should I ever make it on one of those lists, you’ll hear me squealing about it like a loon, for sure.

Could I live off my writing? Heck NO! But then, very few writers can and you know what, that’s okay. For me, at least, writing was never about the money.

Sure, I love a healthy royalty cheque as much as the next writer, but Hubby and I long ago decided that this writing business is far too fickle a mistress to ever be able to rely on it as a source of income.

Sure, there are those writers that do and kudos to them, but I don’t need that pressure in my life. As it happens I do sell well and I make a nice enough contribution to the family coffers, which means that we don’t have to tighten our belts quite as much as we used to.

A big thank you to my lovely readers here!

words Thank you typography lettering decorative text card

I can see you all roll your eyes now. Well, that is all well and good for you Doris, as you don’t have to live on your writing. Not all of us have a hubby to support us. No, of course, you don’t, and that’s why the majority of writers have an Evil Day Job that actually pays the bills.

Trust me, if my sales ever drop that low as to not help us out anymore, then I, too, will have to seriously think about going back to some form of paid employment, but, does that stop me from continuing writing?

No, it wouldn’t. Writing is in my blood, always has been, always will be, and while my productivity might drop right down, I would still be writing.

Like I said, I can only speak for myself, and I’m not walking in that author’s shoes who makes the decision to stop.

I do feel sad for those that do.

This is a tough business and hugely oversaturated market, but there will always be room for good stories, and writers write.

Just do so with realistic expectations. If you’re looking to get rich, then this is not the career for you. However, if you’ve got stories inside of you burning to be told, then take a deep breath and dive right back in.

Tell the stories on your heart, and if you do manage to get some success then don’t let it get to your head. Likewise, if you don’t or you only sell mediocre whereas others, in your eyes, far less talented authors, soar….

Well, the green-eyed monster gets to us all, yes even me. I shake my head and I bitch and moan about the unfairness of it all in private as much as the next person, but, you know, it’s a wasted emotion.

It really is. Even for authors right at the top of their game, there will always be someone who sells more, is more popular etc.

This isn’t kindergarten, folks.  Life isn’t fair. Deal with it.

Instead of getting sucked into that negative spiral chose to be different. Stay and think positive, and write. That is the only thing you have any control over. And for goodness sakes be grateful. It is such an incredible privilege to be able to write a story, to have a publisher wanting your work and to have readers spend their hard earned cash on you.

grateful-for-everything-charlie-brown-and-snoopy

That’s all from me today, folks, but before I go…

Stop groaning in that corner!  😉

You’ll notice some changes around here because we had a little shuffle around.  Some of us Quillers are taking some time out, so we had a bit of a restructure.

So, your future schedule on this blog will look like this.

Monday: Jules Dixon

Tuesday: Yours truly

Wednesday: Kacey Hammell

Thursday: Raven McAllan

Friday: Moira Callahan

Saturday and Sunday, you can take a breather from us. We’re nice like that, folks.

Now, get outta here, but do stay naughty. 😉

D xxx

 

 

 

A word to the readers #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here. I’m going to aim my post today specifically at the readers. Those lovely folks, who buy our books, cheer us on and generally speaking keep us writing.

Depositphotos_58985283_s-2015

Us authors would be nothing without our readers, and we really do love loyal readers. I know, I love getting e-mails and messages, and I’ll do my utmost to reply in a timely and informative manner, as do most of us I should think.

Now, before I get to the point of this blog post let me say here that this is not aimed at any of my readers. And let me say a great big thank you to all them.

Thank You - Words on Yellow Sticky Notes

Like I said above us authorly types do love our readers. However… we love it less when our readers turn into hecklers.

What do I mean by that? Well, those that take it upon themselves to inform us not only how we should write, but what. The ones that are constantly asking after one character/story and get their knickers somewhat in a twist, when, in their eyes, the author doesn’t deliver.

I get it, you know. You, the reader love a particular series that author writes, so naturally, you can’t wait for the next installment. I stalk my favorite authors as much as the next person eagerly awaiting that next book.

And from an author’s point of view, it’s awesome to know that readers are so loving a series that they can’t wait for the next one.

However, and there is always a but in these things, it is never, ever okay to turn on said author and give him/her grief because he/she has chosen to write something else instead.

I use the term chosen tongue in cheek here, because most authors, myself certainly included in that, cannot write to order. We are slaves to our muses, and unless said muse wants you to write a particular story it’s just not going to get written. Trust me on this, we don’t chose to jump between series and leave you readers hanging.

So, next time, you find yourself tempted to voice your frustration about how long it takes an author to write, to finish that series, or, indeed, any other gripe that takes your fancy, remember us authors are only human.

We have lives, families, issues that we may not share with you, struggles that have nothing to do with writing, yet impact on it anyway.

By all means ask, just do so nicely, and know, we’ll try our best to deliver.

Do stay naughty, folks.

 

D xx

 

 

You write what? #Tuesday Thoughts with Doris @mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here. I must admit I had no idea what to write about this week, and then hubby was giggling about something, namely a colleague’s reaction as to what I was writing, and I thought to myself, yeah, let’s revisit that topic.

It ties in somewhat nicely with Ravenna’s post on what Erotic Romance really is.  You know, even though I write under my own name, it’s surprising how many folks have no idea what I actually do.

Then again, maybe not. Unless you’re friends with me on Social Media you probably wouldn’t guess that I’m an author. I don’t go around handing out business cards at the school gates, that’s for sure, or any other time for that matter.

But, every once in a while it will come up in conversation.

“Oh, what do you do?”

I usually smile and say, “I write erotic romance.” That results in one or the other reaction but nearly always this face.

Depositphotos_21687315_s-2015

Especially, when I then go on to explain what I mean by that. Always amuses me greatly, I have to say, especially when folks get so embarrassed by the mere mention of sex that they turn red and scurry away like frightened little rabbits.

I kinda feel like saying, “It’s okay, you can’t get pregnant from reading a book, you know.”

*sniggers*

Of course, you get the other reaction too. The wink, wink, oh I know what you’re doing now. No wonder you have nine kids and do your husband and you really do that…

Well, as far as I’m concerned that is almost as rude and nosy as the folks who exclaim about the fact that we do have nine kids and don’t we own a telly etc.

My standard reply to that always is, “Yes, but sex is so much more fun.”

Cue, red faces and they slink away. I once gave that response in the middle of a crowded church hall, after Sunday service.

I ask you. Mind you, that same church also insisted that I stop writing erotic romance and hubby lost his job as Sunday school teacher after he point blank refused to take me in hand and make me stop writing.

I kid you not.

He is still most annoyed about the taking me in hand comment. As it happens he is my Sir and thus in charge in the bedroom at least, but he would never dream of stopping me from doing something that I love to do or to presume to run my life for me.

No, sireee, not our dynamic at all.

Anyhoo, I digress, as usual.

The point is, folks will have all sorts of reactions to your writing, and you need to grow a thick skin early to deal with the fallout. And there will be fallout unless you write under a pen name and keep it completely 100 % secret, and heaven help you when that secret comes out.

Of course, there is also a different kind of fallout, the positive one. I’ve met so many lovely people, both authors, and readers as a direct result of my writing, they, by far, outweigh the odd neigh sayer.

So, be proud, own the fact that you’re writing in the bestselling genre there is, regardless of what subgenre you might be writing in.

You rock, folks!

That’s all from me today.

Do stay naughty,

 

D xxx

 

 

 

 

How to write for an Anthology#TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here with her Tuesday thoughts. I’m going to talk Anthologies today, specifically how to write for them.

Having recently received an acceptance for the next Evernight Anthology—this will be my 10th Evernight Anthology—I’d like to think I learned a thing or two about how to write for them.

So, then exactly how do you do it?

How to written on a white paper

Well, first off read the Anthology call. I can see you rolling your eyes now, but, I mean it, seriously, read it.

Evernight excels at spelling out what they are looking for.

For this Antho call the brief was/is the following:

(for the purposes of this blog post I’m going to stick to the M/F anthology call)

The Alpha lives for the hunt…
 
Driven by instinct, an Alpha shifter recognizes his fated mate from one scent, one touch. He’ll pursue his woman, regardless of the cost, and anyone else would be smart to get out of his way. He won’t stop until he takes possession of his prize.
 
Although the hunter doesn’t need convincing, his mate certainly does. The Alpha will have to prove himself as a lover and convince his woman that he plays for keeps. 
 
 

Stories must have a strong plot, conflict, well-developed characters/dialogue, and a romance to remember. We do not want erotica. We want quality erotic paranormal romance. Original work only.

The Alpha can be any dominant shifter species. The Alpha’s mate can be any shifter species or human.

 

Limited space

No rape, infidelity, or incest

So, let’s digest that. They want shifters, that much is clear straight away. They want romance, a well-developed paranormal story line, must be an original work, and the Alpha in question needs to be a dominant species.

So, that means bear, wolf, large cat, etc. not bunny shifters 😉

His mate can be human or shifter, and interestingly enough, can be any species so, hey, she can be a bunny if you like.

Note the term Alpha. That does not mean they want an asshole, overbearing hero. They want an Alpha, a hero responsible for his pack, with a code of honor and a ruthless streak when it comes to pursuing his mate.

She needs to be reluctant, that’s where the conflict comes in.

The guidelines mention a hunt of some sort…interesting. A literal hunt or do they mean the pursuance of the heroine? Open for interpretation. One thing is clear, he recognizes she’s his mate immediately.

With me so far? Good.

If you’re anything like me, ideas are already percolating around in your brain.

Start with the hero. Who is he, what is he? What makes him stand out.

In my story, the hero is a battle-scarred wolf shifter, responsible for bringing peace to the packs in his area of Northumberland in the UK (my stories are always set in the UK!) He is under a certain amount of pressure to find his mate. His pack wants him to settle down, and he is being offered various, far too young in his opinion, she-wolves.

My hero is no angel. He has fucked plenty of females, both shifter and human, but lately, that has gotten old. Besides, he’s busy with his pack and his work in the forestry commission.

The hunt thing in the guidelines spoke to me because I’d found this picture.

tt17th-jan

That simply screams shifter defending his mate to me.

I got the opening very quickly in my mind. My hero and his pack are hunting, and the heroine literally stumbles into the hunt.

I shan’t tell you more because I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but that was my beginning.

Now onto the heroine. My first idea was that she was human. In fact, my first attempt at the anthology was a bear shifter and his human mate, but it quickly transpired that the story wouldn’t keep to the required word count (it ended up over 50 K in the end!), so the wolf shifter was Antho attempt #2.

A word to the wise here. Don’t be afraid to try several stories for fit in an Anthology. I wasn’t sure whether I’d have the time to write an Antho story after the first attempt veered off as it were, but I did.

In fact, this story practically wrote itself in the end. 🙂

Back to the heroine. I mulled this over for a while, and then it came to me. Would it not add to the conflict if the heroine was a shifter species which would normally be food for the wolves. In the end, I settled on a deer shifter.

My heroine left the deer shifting community because she didn’t exactly fit into what the stags expect of their mates. This deer isn’t meek and gentle. She has backbone and snark in spades, and she is determined to live life the way she wants it, now kowtow to some overbearing male.

*smiles*

So when she meets the hero, sparks fly, as she fights the pull between them. Then there is the small matter of his pack. They will never accept a deer in their midst, right? Such delicious conflict right there. How will it all work out?

Well, you’ll have to read the Anthology when it comes out to find out what exactly happens, but I had oodles of fun writing that story.

And that is how you should approach any writing really, whether it is for an Antho or not. Have fun with it. Don’t be afraid to change things up, but do stick to the guidelines and the general story premise.

Dig deep with the emotion and the conflict. It’s a challenge to get that across, especially in a short story format, but digging deep and bringing that rounded story will be what makes your submission stand out above the rest.

If you haven’t written for an Anthology before, then do check out previous anthologies that publisher has published. Read them, get a feel for what they are looking for in a story. It helps, trust me.

Last but by no means least, if you get a no, or a revise and re-submit for a different line, do not be discouraged.

It doesn’t mean your writing is crap. Well, it might do, if you made a hash out of it, lol, but I’m assuming here that you’ll have done your best and have produced a great story.

What it does mean, is that it isn’t the right fit for this Anthology. There could be a number of reasons as to why. Maybe the publisher feels the story would be better expanded on. Maybe it is too close to other stories they already have in the collection. Maybe it’s too different from the other stories.

Maybe, you didn’t read the guidelines properly and shot way off base with your interpretation of what they’re looking for.

It happens to all of us. I recall one submission, not for an Antho, but a specific line, that I got way wrong. I did get an R&R, but decided to publish the story elsewhere as I loved it the way it was, and my other publisher took it and it’s one of my bestselling series.

See, it swings in roundabouts, this getting accepted to a specific submission call thing.

I know, especially with Anthologies, I never take a yes for granted. Well, I don’t ever take a yes for granted, to be honest with you. To do so would be foolhardy in the extreme, and smack of diva behavior I have no time for.

*smiles*

One last thing on writing for anthologies. You may not hear back about your submission for some time. You may hear right away, if your story is an excellent fit, and the publisher definitely wants it in there. You might have to wait till after the closing time for the submission call to hear.

Do not read too much into that wait. I’ve waited weeks before and I also heard back within days. It all depends on what else is going on. Of course, your paranoid writer self will assume the worst if you kept waiting.

Been there, done that, but look at it this way. What is the worst that could happen? They say no.

Okay, then you fix what they want you to fix to get it up the right standard and submit to whatever line they’re suggesting if it’s an R&R for a different line.

If it’s a straight no, again, pull up your big girl panties and have a good long look at the story, and see where it could be improved, and go from there.

And you know if the answer is yes, well, then, kick back with a glass of bubbly and look forward to having lots of release day buddies. 😀

Anthologies are great for getting your name out there and gaining new readers.

And if you didn’t make it into this call, there will be others. Don’t give up. Try again and again, if need be.

That’s all from me today.

Do stay naughty, folks.

D xxx

 

 

 

 

Pass me the chocolate #TuesdayThoughts from Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here. This is not the post I had in mind for today’s NQ piece, but after a manic Monday and a Tuesday which is promising to be just as fraught, I simply haven’t got the brainpower for a more coherent post.

So, as the title says, pass me the chocolate, or the wine, or whatever your chill out go to food is.

For me, it has got to be Cadburys.

Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Bar

Nectar of the gods, as far as I am concerned and I can literally inhale it. There are days when hubby has been known to wave it like a white flag before he sticks his head round the corner.

*sniggers*

So, I hear you ask, why the need to gorge on chocolate, Doris. Who has rattled your cage this time?

Well, no one actually. I’ve just had one of those days where I haven’t stopped, and my current need for chocolate and complete frazzled brain syndrome is no doubt linked to that time of the month. I often moan about the unfairness of it all to my long-suffering hubby.

You’d think, once your family is complete, you could turn the darn things off, especially when you’re fast approaching the big 50.  Anyhoo, I digress, but I thought it might be fun to talk you through my manic day.

Bear in mind that I’m very much an introvert, and all this conversing with folks and dashing about…… gah, pass the chocolate. 😉

So, I woke up to the sounds of arguing little boys, and a kitten purring in my ear. Nothing new there. Checking my e-mails on my phone, a little squeal, as I’ve got edits.

Followed by, “OMG, I have edits, and I can’t do them straight away.”

(I have an almost Pavlov Dog response to edits, in so far that I cannot leave them, and I must, at the very least, check what I have to do.)

So quick squizz (very much a squizz and a squint, as I haven’t got my glasses on at that point) at the editor’s checklist and a sigh of relief. Yeah, okay knew she was going to pull me up on that, and yeah will have to write that epilogue I had in mind.

Get up, stumble to the coffee pot, console youngest of two boys who’s been pushed over by big brother. Read big bro the riot act.

Have a sip of coffee.

*bliss*

Get shool uniform out of the dryer, wake up the older ones, have a quick shower, put face on, while breaking up another argument and giving the 16-year-old (aka the walking dead) another shake.

Remind 12-year-old to make sure she comes straight home as she has a dentist appt after school. Give 16-year-old another shake, help 5-year-old get dressed while explaining why he really does need to wear underpants to school.

Take another sip of coffee, while herding boys out to the car for the school run.

Come home and turn the house upside down, because our German Shepherd Kiyo has a vet’s appt for his six-monthly check-up and vaccinations, and you’ve forgotten to search for his boosters card. (He’ll need it as going into Kennels in the summer.)

Look at the time, not having found his card, screech and herd him in the car. Make it to vets with a minute to spare.

Get a clean bill of health for him (phew) but end up signing him for the doggie equivalent of Weight Watchers, as he’s gained over 3 kilos. Get new vaccination card for him, while you’re there.

depositphotos_13951082_s-2015

Drive home, take him on an extra walk, cause ya know…. exercise and all that.

Finally get to have a full cup of coffee, and eat breakfast, then tidy up the house. Tell 16-year-old you will have to take her to college early cause ya know, when you get behind that laptop, edits….

Roll your eyes, when said 16-year-old asks you to pick her up from college today, as she also has dentist appt.

Drop her off at college, grab another cup of coffee, throw another wash load on, stick one in the dryer, grab some soup, and finally sit behind laptop.

Pimp the guests on your blog, check in on reader group, and then get to check your edits. Manage to do just under an hour’s worth, then dash out the door to collect daughter from college.

Ignore frantic “Where are you,” texts while driving, and reassure her in a hands-free phone call (equally as frantic – that girl has a flair for the dramatic) that I’m minutes away. Drive straight from college to pick up youngest from school.

Make that all-important after school sarnie, while keeping an eye out for the 12-year-old. Where is she?

Said 12-year-old arrives looking like a drowned rat, as the heavens have opened up. Quick change and herd the two girls in the car, having ensured 19-year-old is in the house to look after 5-year-old.

Dentist appt goes well, but takes ages, as girls get some Flouride treatment and a prescription for mouthwash. Get straight back in the car to get the 9-year-old from after school club.

Once home cook dinner, while signing two contracts, and supervising 9-year-old’s painting of his Roman shield for homework.

Stop kitten from traipsing all over the newly painted shield, while hunting out cardboard for a spear to go with the shield.

Get to eat dinner,  wash up dishes etc, convince little boys that it really is bedtime.

Look at the time, and go, “Crapola, I still have to write this post for NQ among other things.”

Be a good wife and greet returning hubby. 😉

Put another wash load on, fourth today, just saying!

Hit the chocolate and then type up this ramble. Collapse.

Submerged by the working documents

Where is that chocolate again? I wouldn’t mind, but it’s only the beginning of the week, and the rest of the lined up days promise to be just as crazy.

Oh, the joys. Somehow I will find the time, to finish these edits, help the lovely Raven with the blurb I promised her, and oh get back to my WIP. My two heroes are driving me hard, and they are not best pleased with having to wait to get into the heroine’s knickers. 😉

Anyhoo, if you’re still with me after all that ramble, here’s some chocolate.

Do stay naughty, folks.

D xxx

 

 

Two little words #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)c

Happy Tuesday, peeps, Doris here with her thoughts on those two little words.

Thank You - Words on Yellow Sticky Notes

They’ll take you far in life, you know.

My gran always said manners cost nothing, and it’s something that I strive to live by in real life and online.

Makes the world so much nicer, don’t you think.

Sadly, there are those who seem to forget even the basics.

You know the ones. They think the world owes them, or perhaps they are just too far up their own behinds to come up and smell the roses.

I don’t much care either way.

Those folks only show themselves up in the end. Like Ravenna stated in her post yesterday, Karma.

*smiles*

It is annoying, though,  and it grates on me, when someone can’t even be bothered to say a little thank you, or please.

We call them the magic words in my house.

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Even my five year old knows that nothing happens unless you ask nicely and you say thank you.

Why then, do some authors and readers, too, to be fair forget that simple little thing? We all lead busy lives, I get that, but how much does it take to ask nicely for something. To say thanks, ta, no problem, de nada, whatever variation you want to come up with?

To show your appreciation for whatever the other person has done for you?

Because, newsflash, we’re all in this together, and no one owes you anything. You’re not any more precious that the next person, just because you sell more, have more followers, or whatever might make you think you’re above the common courtesies.

This is turning into something of a rant, and I don’t mean it to be. It just never ceases to astonish me when someone is just downright rude online.

Don’t do that, really, don’t.

It’s not cool, it’s not clever, it just makes you look like a divbrain.

Most of us more experienced authors are only too happy to help out. We listen, we lend a helping hand, we host others on our blogs etc.

But, a word to the wise here, just because any author has hosted you before, does not give you an automatic right to be on their blog again, especially when you simply send out a mass e-mail, without asking nicely, to give but one example of things that make me roll my eyes.

The same goes for newsletters. Don’t subscribe folks to them without asking, and for the love of all that is holy, do not bombard the subscribers you do have with newsletter after newsletter.

It all just turns into noise after a while.

And while I’m on the subject. If you win something in a giveaway, say thank you, and make sure you claim your prize. 🙂

Of course, you might just be rolling your eyes at this, and think to yourself, that Doris, who does she think she is to tell us what to do?

Well,

*smiles*

that’s your prerogative. I’m a very small fish in a very big sea, but, at least, I’m a polite one. Or at the very least, I try to be.

Manners cost nothing, remember that in your dealings with others.

Or as my five-year-old would say about folks who don’t.

That’s just rude, mummy isn’t it, and we don’t like rude people.

gufo

That’s all from me today. You’ll be pleased to hear I’ve put my soapbox away.

Do stay naughty, folks.

D xxx