Friday, May 31, 2013

Click here for the Celebrate the Small Things Blog Hop


Click here for the WIP it Good Blog Fest

Happy Friday y'all!!

Celebrate the Small Things Blog Hop

I think the days go by faster every week because I cannot believe it's Friday already!

Today, I'm thankful we finished my teen daughters room. She decided to paint it and she picked out tan, sea foam green and red. Her bathroom is fire engine red and her room is green and tan with red accents. She's got owls everywhere!

It took us four days.

Now we are moving into my 4yo daughters room. She want pink and purple and red, Hmmm...

What about you beautiful guys and dolls? What are you so happy about this week? Please leave a comment!

WIP it Good Blogfest

Thanks to DL Hammons for organizing this blogfest. When I read about it, I was really super excited because I was working on a WIP and couldn't wait to share some things about it. So, without further delay, lets get to the heart of the matter!!


WIP Title: FRENCH KISSED
Word Count (projected/actual so far): Hope to reach 70,000
Genre: Adult Historical w/romantic elements

How long have you been working on it?:

Just in the outlining stages, planning and pulling ideas together with only about one-third written.

Elevator Pitch (if you came across an agent in an elevator ride, what couple of lines would you use to summarize your book):
Before the Hatfields and McCoys, the French and Eversole feuds bloodied the hollers of Hazard, Kentucky.

Brief Synopsis (250 words or less):

-->
Before the Hatfields and McCoys, the French and Eversole feuds bloodied the hollers of Hazard, Kentucky. Sadie Eversole will do anything to prove she loves Clay French, even if it breaks her father’s heart. With her sister’s help, she must figure out how to change his mind to stop devastating consequences.



Clay promised to never love again after his wife died in childbirth, until he meets Sadie who lives on the wrong side of the holler. Choosing her means loving the enemy, but when Clay’s childhood sweetheart visits from Nashville, his heart is torn between true love and old flames.

OR

Sadie shares the spot of oldest daughter with her twin Nandrie, so she prides herself being the first engaged of five sisters. Nandrie answered a mail order bride advertisement, but influenza strikes Hazard and Nandrie is too sick to travel. When Sadie is dumped, she’s asked to go in Nandrie’s place.



Clay wants a wife, so placing an ad sparked hope, and Nandrie answered his proposal. He carried her picture with him during the Great War and thoughts of her saved him. She’s holding secrets and Clay must learn what they are before she changes her mind and returns home.


Are you looking for a Critique Partner?: I have an amazing CP!! But if anyone happens to be a historical buff, it may help with authentic writing. Or if you are interested, let me know

Are you looking for a Beta Reader?: Who doesn't need beta readers?!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

SUMMER OF LOVE BLOG TOUR 4:00-6:00PM Showing

Our last showing is:

SECONDARY CHARACTERS


When Mabel's best friend, Amber, drags her along on a double date she finds herself falling for Lance, the obnoxious class clown whom she swore she'd have no interest in. The only problem is, she's not sure if she's really the girl Lance is into, or if, like every other guy she knows, it's really Amber he's after. One thing is clear, if Mabel wants to be the lead in her own love story, she needs to start acting like it.

_____________________________________

Hi Rachel and thanks for stopping by!



1. .     If you could cast your main characters, who would you choose to play them?
This isn't something I used to think about, but now that I'm on Pinterest I know exactly who I would pick! Colton Hayes would play Lance, love his big smile! And Alice Greczyn would play Mabel. She's so cute and even has the freckles!

2.      What would your movie tagline be?
The tagline on the book is "The happiest ending is the one you write yourself." I quite like that. :) I doubt I could come up with something better, but if you want something different. . .How about "Now's the time to steal the spotlight."

3.     What was the inspiration for your book?

I heard a song from a musical called Secondary Characters. It was basically about two people who took over the stage while the stars were backstage having a smoke. I loved the idea of giving secondary characters their time in the spotlight, and it made me wonder what it would be like to feel like a secondary character in your own life.

4.     What scene from your book would you most love to see played out on-screen?

There's a scene where they go on a double date, a date Mabel wanted nothing to do with but her best friend dragged her along. It's kind of awkward, but funny. Mabel has a great moment where she gets a chance to one-up Lance and leave him tongue-tied.

5.     What is your favorite movie?

My favorite movie ever is The Princess Bride. Loved the book, too. It's filled with such wonderful characters. It has action, humor, true love. What more could you ask for? 

6.     Have you ever been to a drive-in?

I haven't, but I'd love to! Unfortunately, we don't have any in our area.

_____________________________________


Links:
Rachel Schieffelbein on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RMSchieffelbein

SUMMER OF LOVE BLOG TOUR 12:00-2:00PM Showing

CHARM AND CONSEQUENCE (SNARK AND CIRCUMSTANCE, #2)

One superior smirk from Michael Endicott convinces sixteen-year-old Georgia Barrett that the Devil wears Polo. His family may have founded the postcard-perfect New England town they live in, but Georgia’s not impressed. Even if he is smart, good looking, and can return Georgia’s barbs as deftly as he returns serves on his family’s tennis courts. After all, if Michael actually thinks she refuses to participate in lab dissections just to mess with his grade, he’s a little too sure that he’s the center of the universe. Could there be more to Michael Endicott than smirks and sarcasm? If Georgia can cut the snark long enough, she just might find out.

________________________________


Hi Stephanie and thanks for stopping by!

1. If you could cast your main characters, who would you choose to play them?
Wow.  This is tough.  I would definitely cast John Mayer's hair to play the top of Michael Endicott's head.  Maybe if we could get John Cusack back into the hot tub time machine and go back a few years, he'd be a good Michael. He has that kind of sort of brooding but too
sincere thing. Or maybe Liam Hemsworth would work.

For Georgia, Emma Stone clearly has the right snark as she proved in Easy A and she
would look equally fabulous with dark hair (as she does with red or blonde locks).  

And if it meant I got to meet him, I would write any part for Johnny Depp, whether it fits the book/movie or not.  If Johnny has always wanted to play a psychotic carrot farmer with a limp and Tourrette's syndrome, I'll write that in.  No problem.  Call me.

2.    
What would your movie tagline be?
 In a world in which everyone wears Madras plaid and shops at Abercrombie, can a snarky vegan girl find true? (That kind of sucks, but I love the movie trailer voice that always begins ominously "In a world. .. ")

3.    
What was the inspiration for your book?
Pride and Prejudice. Happy 200th birthday to it!

4.     What scene from your book would you most love to see played out
on-screen?  
The final scene in Book Four and the cafeteria scene in
Book Three which you'll have to wait for.  One is sweet and romantic,
I hope, the other funny and tense and sort of humiliating.   From
Charm, I'd like to see two actors do the last scene in Michael's car,
when he and Georgia finally start to get real with each other.  No
action there, but I'm a talk-y movie kind of girl. If you are looking
for nonstop action and explosions, then you are probably not looking
at what I write.

5.    
What is your favorite movie?
Too many.  I love Wes Anderson, the Coen
brothers, Martin Scorsese.  For years when I was sad I would watch
Jonathan Demme's Married to the Mob and I was obsessed for awhile with
Todd Haynes' Velvet Goldmine.  When I want a good cry, I turn to Jane
Campion's Bright Star.


6.    
Have you ever been to a drive-in?
I love drive-ins but I don't live near one anymore.  I like when people turn the drive-in into their own little picnic party, a sort of tailgating for non-sports fans.
This was fun!

________________________________


Links:
Stephanie Wardrop’s Tumblr: http://stephaniewardrop.tumblr.com/
Stephanie Wardrop on Twitter: https://twitter.com/s_wardrop

SUMMER OF LOVE BLOG TOUR, 9:00-11:00AM Showing

Hello and welcome to the SUMMER OF LOVE Blog Tour Drive-In Theater! Our first showing today is:

            ADVANTAGE HEARTBREAK (A GAME. SET. MATCH. HEARTBREAK #2)



Seventeen-year-old Meg Flannigan thought she’d made up her mind about love. But with two guys still vying for her attention, she wonders if she made the right decision. Ash is everything she’s ever wanted in a boyfriend: loyal, loving, and totally hot. But then there’s Noah: fun, sexy, and the more he sticks around, the more Meg wants him there.

What’s a girl to do?

Make up her mind, before it’s too late. Gorgeous freshman Liz has set her sights on Ash, and Noah is beginning to remind Meg of her last boyfriend—the one who broke her heart. Can she figure things out before she ruins not one, but two relationships? Or is she doomed to serve up heartbreak?
 ____________________________________ 

Hi Kelly and thanks for stopping by!



1.     If you could cast your main characters, who would you choose to play them?

I would say Annasophia Rob for my MC, Meg.
















 Steven R. McQueen for Meg’s boyfriend, Ash.



















And Freddie Stroma for Noah.





















2.     What would your movie tagline be?
How do you choose between the one you love and the one you’ve always wanted?

3.     What was the inspiration for your book?
I’ve been in a few love triangles in my life, and it always ended up in someone getting hurt. I guess the sixteen-year-old inside of me needed to get those emotions out.

4.     What scene from your book would you most love to see played out on-screen?
I’d have to go with the scene where Noah corners Meg in the trainer’s office. It’s intense in a steamy way. ;)

5.     What is your favorite movie?
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. I don’t know why, but I could watch it every day. My favorite part is Grover dancing at the Lotus Hotel. ;)

6.     Have you ever been to a drive-in?
Yes! We used to go all the time when I was in elementary school. I saw E.T. in the drive-in.

Thanks so much for having me!

____________________________________ 

Kelly Hashway is a former language arts teacher who now works as a full-time writer, freelance editor, and mother to an adorable little girl. In addition to writing YA novels, Kelly writes middle grade books, picture books, and short stories. When she’s not writing or digging her way out from under her enormous To Be Read pile, she’s running and playing with her daughter. She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and three pets. 


Links:
Kelly Hashway’s blog: http://kellyhashway.blogspot.com/
Kelly Hashway on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kellyhashway
Kelly Hashway on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4528793.Kelly_Hashway
Kelly Hashway on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kellyhashway?fref=ts
Kelly Hashway on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kelly-Hashway/e/B004B3W3CU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1367902978&sr=1-2-ent
Advantage Heartbreak on Amazon
Advantage Heartbreak on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17239207-advantage


Photo of drive curtsey of Flickr Commomns

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wednesday's WIP Ink

Hey guys!

Sorry I'm posting so late-- it's been quite the busy day!

So really quickly I just want to share something I think will help with your WIP, whether you're revising or just getting started. So go grab a piece of paper and a pen, and follow along :)

First, I want you to make three columns. Got it? Good. Now in the first column, write your Main Character's full name (or names' if you have a dual POV). In the second column, write the full names of your secondary characters, the ones that interact directly with your MC to further the plot or his/her story. In the last column, write down the names of all the periphery characters, the ones that show up once or twice but really have no significant impact on the story.

Good. There are two reasons for this. First, you'll catch any names that are way too similar, and can change them. Second, you can figure out if there are any characters you can merge or get rid of altogether. Make sure the characters that are there NEED to be there-- there needs to be a reason, big or small, for each one's continued existence.

Next, I want you to write out the main plot of your story-- in one sentence, if possible. Then, I want you to write out your subplots. All of them. Take away any that aren't strong, or add some if need be. Work out your character arcs this way, as well as your story arcs.

This is your new, starting outline for your novel. Doing this helped me tighten my novel significantly as I began to revise it. I caught names that were too similar, and really weeded out the unnecessary characters.

Good luck on your WIPs, and happy writing!

--Jess

Friday, May 24, 2013

Celebrate The Small Things

Whoop! I almost forgot today's celebration! That's because I am celebrating this weekend!

I am thankful for my family and home. 

My heart goes out to all those in Oklahoma. I am praying for you all.

What are you beautiful guys and dolls thankful for for this week?

Thank you Vikki for hosting this lovely blog hop:)



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Thursday's Talking Ink: Thoughts on Kindle Worlds

Hi everyone! It's Jess here to talk to you about the big news from yesterday.

Yesterday, Amazon.com announced its newest publishing feat. Although the publishing service doesn't officially launch until June, Kindle Worlds is already creating a buzz on social media. It all started with this press release which briefly discussed this publishing model for fanfiction writers.

Basically, Kindle Worlds will allow fanfiction writers to potentially profit from their work in a fully legal (although that's questionable) way. However, there are a number of catches that give me pause.

The first involves the number of fandoms which can initially profit from this model. As of now, only fanfiction writers who pen stories for Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, and Pretty Little Liars can take part (as they are owned by the only company thus far to sign an a-okay for its copyrighted material). It is assumed that Amazon will acquire more licenses from copyright holders, but it isn't clear how many will play ball. After all, all the licensing agreements in the world can't brace us for what's about to come.

What I mean here is that fanfiction is a notoriously sticky situation, falling-- most of the time-- under the "fair use" clause of copyright law. Generally, so long as an author is not making any commercial profit off of a piece, they are left alone. In fact, this unspoken rule is part of the reason why E.L. James has received such backlash from the fanfiction community for her Twilight-turned-original-fic, 50 Shades of Grey.

This leads me into the second catch found in Amazon's Kindle Worlds: if a work you submit gets popular enough so as to catch the eye of the copyright holder, they can take your work and use it for their own purposes-- and not pay you a dime for it.

Thirdly, their content guidelines also give me pause, as do numerous clauses therein. Just read them and you'll understand.

Lastly, I just want to mention that this new publication opportunity for fanfiction writers makes me concerned for those authors who actually write media-tie-in works for a living. They come up with these fantastic side adventures and write them down as work-for-hire, and here are a bunch of writers who offer up their work for free.

There is a lot to consider with Kindle Worlds, and one thing has become increasingly clear: if ever a line has been drawn between writing fanfiction for fun and writing it for money, it is now. That's not to say that those who wish to use this service and profit from their writing shouldn't-- go for it. In fact, embrace and abuse it! Just please do read the final licensing and submission agreements before submitting a single word, and do so carefully. The way things are worded right now do not leave the favor lying in the hands of the writer, I assure you. I'm just trying to look out for you guys (and dolls!) is all :D

As a former fanfic writer myself, I am apprehensive about this publishing model. Amazon has done a lot of things to influence the publishing industry as a whole over the last few years, from releasing a self-publication model to opening up that model to their Kindle store. But honestly, this may be the Big One.

I'd say I can't wait to see how this plays out, but the truth is that I'm watching it from behind the couch as if it were a Dalek and I were a child in the '60s. That is to say, I'm personally pretty not okay with what's going on but I just can't tear myself away from it anyway.

WIP'd Ink Wednesday

Hey guys! I know, I've been gone this week. So sorry guys:(

I've been so busy, I can't keep up with how busy I am! I've got a very busy summer and it's all a good busy, so I'm not complaining!

For today's post, I'm going to leave you a few tips for your WIP. These tips all come from literary agents that I've collected the past few weeks.

1. Does your book begin with some sort of "false" scene? Such as a dream. Or maybe you have this awesome character the reader falls in love with and by they end of the first chapter, he dies. These types of scenes should be avoided.

2. Too much description of the world building or setting. I've learned this the hard way! Description is nice and it's needed to bring a reader the world of your story, But too much is boring and it's an over kill of unnecessary details that will either make the reader skim, or stop reading.

3. This one is controversial, but I'm sticking it in my list of things to avoid because I happen to agree with this piece of advice. NO PROLOGUES!  I know, I know. You may feel the prologue is absolutely vital. If it really, REALLY is important to include a prologue, it may still be better to try and include the backstory in small, creative ways int he story and forget the prologue.


So, beautiful guys and dolls. What about you? Do you agree with my advice? have any thing to include?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh Blog Tour

Ancient Egypt Video

The Egyptian Museum here at Ink in the Book contains an extensive collection of Egyptian antiquities; no visit to Ink in the Book Blog Tours is complete without a trip through its galleries.

Designed in the Egyptian Ink style, the Egyptian Museum boasts 5 artifacts dating from the prehistoric periods, with the majority of the collection focused on the Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, written by

Katie Hamstead

HOURS OF OPERATION:
Open daily, 9:00 AM-7:00 PM


TICKET COST:
General Admission:
One comment in this blog post. For every comment, you will be entered into a random drawing for a hieroglyphic graphic of the winner's name and a free eBook of Kiya!

 
 

LOCATION:
Inkinthebook.blogspot.com


When Naomi’s sisters are snatched up to be taken to be wives of the erratic Pharaoh, Akhenaten, she knows they won’t survive the palace, so she offers herself in their place. The fearsome Commander Horemheb sees her courage, and knows she is exactly what he is looking for…

The Great Queen Nefertiti despises Naomi instantly, and strips her of her Hebrew lineage, including her name, which is changed to Kiya. Kiya allies herself with Horemheb, who pushes her to greatness and encourages her to make the Pharaoh fall in love with her. When Akhenaten declares Kiya will be the mother of his heir, Nefertiti, furious with jealousy, schemes to destroy Kiya.

Kiya must play the deadly game carefully. She is in a silent battle of wills, and a struggle for who will one day inherit the crown. If she does bear an heir, she knows she will need to fight to protect him, as well as herself, from Nefertiti who is out for blood.


Canopic jar of Kiya






 Hand woven Hebrew robe



 All photos from: Wikpedia,
Wikpedia
Wikpedia
Wikpedia
Wikpedia

Friday, May 17, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things Blog Hop

Happy Friday everyone!!

It's a small party today! Why? Because I'm celebrating the small things!

1. My daughter survived her vaccines yesterday. She was so precious. She said, "Mommy, I can do this." and she asked me to pray for her. And she was so brave and sweet! Two shots in each arm and a little trickle down her cheek.

I'm thankful it's over...

What about you, beautiful guys and dolls????

Thanks, Vik!!



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesday's WIP Ink

Hey, it's Jess!

Today I kind of just wanted to do a quick post on music in writing or revising your WIP. I think a lot of writers use playlists, and I for one find them incredibly inspiring. So I'm going to share my current playlists!

Since GYRE is written in two alternating POVs, I seem to have gravitated to two vastly different (and yet sometimes incredibly similar) artists. For Chelsea, my firecracker rocker-girl turned archaeologist, Fall Out Boy's new album Save Rock and Roll appears to hit the mark. There's a little bit of proving one's worth in it weaved with a "I'm back and rockin'" statement that I just can't tear away from. I LOVE it so much! For Trevor, a more laid back but just as intense album came to my attention: Imagine Dragon's Night Visions (which you can listen to in full here). There are a few more peppy, happy songs on this album, which works well with GYRE's light scenes. And, with songs like Radioactive, On Top of the World and Every Night, how can you turn the music off?

For me, the music has to fit the characters as well as the tone of the novel, and so finding just the right songs may be difficult. I assure you, though, it is SO helpful! When I'm stuck, I just put on one of those albums and suddenly everything's clear.

How about you, do you write to music? How do you pick it?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tuesday's Tinted Ink

Hey beautiful guys and dolls! Sorry I missed yesterday's Mixed Ink. I had to take my daughter to the Dr.

Today, I'd like to discuss more on finding your writer's voice.

When writing, make sure you go deep into your character's voice, and be careful not to let you, as the author, shine through.

Use emotion and don't be afraid to let your thoughts shine through. Remember, your voice is unique and original already just because YOU ARE YOU. No one else int he world thinks like you or sees things the same as you. Use this to your advantage!

Be brave. If you feel vulnerable and fearful of your voice, then GOOD! You are moving in the right direction. Why? Because this is your strength. You've got something no other writer has. And once you conquer that fear, know your voice is peaking out from behind all that vulnerability.

That's it for today. Is your voice hiding behind the real you? What are you doing to put that fear to rest?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things Blog Hop

Hey beautiful guys and dolls:) Lets celebrate!!

So sorry to miss last Friday. I was in the midst of the Write Voice and I'm so glad I did. As most of you know, I got picked by MissAwesomesauce, Brenda Drake:) Woo Hoo!!!

I have so much to celebrate this weekend. Let's see:

1. It's finally warm spring weather!
2. School summer break is here:)
3. I made it into the Write Voice!!!

What about you, my friends? What are you happy about this week?



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday's WIP Ink


Hi everyone :) I hope everyone's having a great week. It's Jess here to quickly talk about your WIP. If you're like me and in a Revision Cave, I think the quote above will do you some good. Don't be afraid to completely rip your first draft apart. It hurts, sure, but think how awesome it will be in the end! So tear it apart-- find the things that work and the ones that don't.

If you are looking for things to take out in order to make your first draft as strong as it can be at this stage, here are a few ideas:

  • Take out unnecessary characters. 
  • Trim or add scenes accordingly. 
  • Add world building, or take out anything that's just too much. 
  • Watch out for passive voice, ly-words and other adverbs. 
  • Be sure to take out any helping verbs and back story. 
  • Most important of all, take out places where you tell instead of show. Show us what your characters are going through, don't tell us.

Don't be afraid to rip your WIP's first draft apart. All that first draft is a frame, a boundary to the sandbox-- so go play in it.

Now it's time I return to GYRE's Revision Cave...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tuesday's Tinted Ink

It feels wonderful to be back to posting on my regular schedule! I had such a fabulous time during the A to Z Challenge. I met a ton of new blog friends and found some great blogs to stalk:)

But...

I love my regular posts and I'm glad I'll be getting back into the groove of things!

So for today, I'm getting back to tinted ink, those creative ideas and inspirations that add color to your writing!

I am planning a short series on VOICE. I'm inspired by the contest, The Writer's Voice

You remember my post from a few days ago? The one where I posted my query and first 250 words? Well, guess who picked me to coach me and help me make my entry perfectly lyrical and lovely? Yes!! Brenda Drake! I'm so honored to be on her team!! Wish me luck, beautiful guys and dolls because I feel a breath of fresh air headed my way!!

Anyway...back to Voice

How do you find your voice? How do you know when it's perfectly in tune? Here's a few tips:

Be true to yourself and to your unique style. Copying someone else style is a no go for finding YOUR voice. I have copied others before, while learning the craft. I think it's a great way to learn how to get into your own tenor notes, or bass notes, or right on key. But don't copy. What do I mean?

Don't mimic another author and try to pass it off as your own. I love listening to my favorite artists, bands and groups and belting out my favorite songs, a la famous style. But when I sing it myself, in front of an audience, it's all me. I practice, rehearse, try again, work out the sour notes, and do it all on my own.

But I learned it from a professional first. Then I took what I learned and made it me. All me. No copying.

Do it with your writing and watch you voice begin to shine through!

What about you? How did you discover your voice?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday's Mixed Ink: Interview With Space Opera Author K.J. Blaine


Hi everyone, Jess here :)  I’ll be posting more often now that the A-to-Z Challenge is over.

Today, I have the pleasure of posting an interview I did with new Space Opera Science Fiction writer, K.J. Blaine! In a series that started with the release of Gynocracy (although it’s not the first book, chronologically), Blaine pulled readers through an epic space opera series with heart wrenching moments, terrifying villains and nonstop, adrenaline-pumping action. More of a fantasy fan? Don’t worry! Blaine also has a fantasy trilogy published under the name Caprice Hokstad, which can be found here.
Telepaths & Traitors, available on Amazon.com.

The year is 2042 and mankind has colonized the solar system. The International Space Alliance has emerged in response to the lawlessness teeming in the new frontier. The ISA's most advanced ship, the Phoenix, has a mission of both peacekeeping and scientific research. The Phoenix's power is unmatched by any other vessel, but can her crew withstand the threat of mind control and betrayal from within?



Thank you for the chance to interview you!

1. What made you decide to make the move from fanfiction to original fiction with The Phoenix Chronicles?
Audience. I think the stories are better as fanfiction. The plot twists were more organic. The characters and settings were much more alluring. However, as SeaQuest has been off the air for nearly 20 years, there's just not much fanbase there to have interest. Worse, the rights are in Hollywood and by all accounts the executive director thought the TV series was a flop. It's doubtful he would ever let anyone, let alone a no-name author, ever have authorized novel rights that would put his "failure" back in the public eye again.
The only way I could see my stories getting any readership at all was to publish them myself, and to do that, I was forced to take the seaQuest elements out. It hurt to do that. I know people think I'm just being dramatic, but even the act of changing Nathan Bridger to Jason Armstrong makes me cringe inside. Murdering bigger darlings like the beautiful trimaran in "Hard Time" and the cool Panama Canal gambit in "Not on my Watch" were hard too. I did it to try to gain some readers and maybe--well, I had hoped--a little cash. I happen to think all of my novels are worth at least the cost of a movie ticket. However, it's not really making much money.
2. There seems to be a sense of taboo surrounding authors making the move from fanfiction to original fiction. Why do you think that is?
A lot of people consider it cheating or plagiarism. I don't agree, but that's a long explanation. E.L. James wrote erotica and because she's the most famous example of doing this, others also assume that anyone who does it is also changing something well-loved and familiar into kinky sex. They'd probably not like any kind of erotica, whether it came from fanfic or not. People may also think it's selling out, because fanfic is purely for love. If I could eat electrons and make house payments with Facebook "likes" then maybe I wouldn't have to trade my writing for cash. Sorry, but I need money just like everyone else. I put in a LOT of time and effort, and yes, I put out a hat for pennies. You don't like that, don't throw a penny in.
3. Did you have any nay-sayers when you made the move?
A lot of people didn't know because I kept the whole project a secret. When I did tell, the most common reaction was indifference. A few of my fanfic fans wrote me off as a sell-out and stopped talking to me. No one ever said anything mean in private or in public, so I guess that's good.
4. Regardless of genre or background, do you have any advice for writers who want to try self-publishing?
Get at least two sets of eyes besides your own to read and give honest critique. LISTEN to them. Paying a professional editor would be even better, but I know people tend to ignore that advice because of cost. If you want a career in writing, you've got to invest in that career. A good editor is an investment.
5. Do you prefer one method of publishing over the other?
By method, do you mean self vs. small press vs. large publisher, or do you mean paper vs ebook vs audio? I would prefer a Big Six house with a huge advance and a marketing budget and shelf space in B&N and Wal-Mart. While I'm dreaming, maybe I should ask for the ability to spin dog poop into gold too. You do what you can with the cards you're dealt. I sell more ebooks than paperbacks--like on the order of 500:1, so yes, I love Kindle publishing. I haven't tried audio yet, but I may one day.
6. What are you currently working on?
I'm trying to start a "regular" business, something completely outside of publishing. I'm also working on another children's book, because they seem to do the best for me, money-wise. If I can ever get to the point that I'm not worrying about money so much, maybe I can start writing novels again.
7. Lastly, if there was one piece of writing or publishing advice you wish someone had told you, what would it be?
Writing ability isn't nearly as important as storytelling. Readers will put up with a lot if they love your characters or your stories. That said, don't neglect the writing, just realize it's not as important as story.


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