Friday, May 15, 2015

Dark Deeds Ebook in all formats

Dark Deeds is coming out on Smashwords this weekend. That means it should be available on Kobo, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and a variety of other retailers within the week. I will have links up here under the Asher Blaine Mysteries tab and on the IAN website as soon as they are available.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

To Each Their Own

There is a lot of talk about knowing your target audience and marketing to them. But last week I read two books that were on opposite sides of my range of favorites. One book was a sort of paranormal - urban fantasy with a touch of romance. The other book was pure fantasy with battles and gods, quests and betrayals. I don't think those authors would be considered in the same subgenre -- but I really liked them both.

I also like coming of age and its opposite, stories of the crone. But again, I bet people don't think that is the same market.

I like quiet thoughtful bucolic fantasy and wild-ride urban fantasy.

So I'd like to twist that advice a little and say know your genre or subgenre and be aware of the expectations. Let the reader know up front what the story entails, be it ogres, werewolves, telepaths, aliens, space battles, quests, whatever. If it's clear what the story will contain, it will attract willing readers. Provided, of course, that you write the very best story you can.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Garden Report

The Bleeding Hearts are blooming.

We've had a rainy week that actually only served up an inch and a half all week.

The garden is coming along quite well this year. I have transitioned over to raised beds entirely. I have to say that they are a lot easier to keep up with.

I am launching a new line of ebooks about gardening called Sow it - Grow it - Serve it. They will be short books, almost a pamphlet, about 1 vegetable from seed to harvest to recipes with lots of pictures.

Part of my mission here is to introduce people to gardening and good food that they can grow for themselves. The other part is that I like the option to pick and choose. I have plenty of gardening books and cookbooks that I bought for a chapter or specific recipe. Being able to purchase just that chapter or recipe would have made me happy. Also I like pictures. Show don't tell, right?

Swiss chard will be the first one. I hope to have it published by May 1st. Check the blog for the upcoming books. I plan to keep publishing them throughout the year.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Free Audiobook on Audible

Have you ever wanted to try an audiobook?

Here's a 30 day free trial for Audible and you get a copy of White Lies narrated by Scott David Reeves for free.

Audible Free Trial

White Lies is the first in the Asher Blaine Mysteries Series. Dark Deeds, book 2, came out in February.

Asher is a humorous, lighthearted character who is trying so hard to do the right thing. I really enjoy writing him. He has a great sense of humor and is willing to make a fool of himself when it's necessary. And of course he has the worst luck on the planet.

This is a fun, fast-paced, cozy series without sex, minimal swearing and most of the violence is off-stage.

If you take advantage of this offer, I would love an honest review posted to Audible. And if you enjoy the book, please tell all your friends. Word of mouth is the most important advertising for an author.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Dark Deeds Ebook Sale

A Kindle Countdown sale!

Starting on April 2nd, the Dark Deeds Kindle ebook will go on sale for 99cents for 3 days only.

On April 5th, the price will go up to $1.99.

On April 9th the price will return to $2.99.

Here's the link to Amazon

White Lies, the first book in the series, is available in ebook formats for 99 cents. Click on the tab above and scroll down for a choice of retailers.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Rules to Use and Ignore

Rules about creative pursuits are slippery.

Just today I read a post from a young writer saying she didn't realize there were rules when she started and another from a veteran writer saying ignore the rules and write your heart out.

There are rules for spelling and grammar that need to be understood and adhered to or our writing would be unintelligible.

There are genre expectations that readers have. Sometimes those expectations can be turned on their heads for great effect, BUT that sort of thing is best done by someone who totally understands the genre. A mystery must be solved. The killer must be caught. The price of magic should be dire. The question put forward in the beginning of the story must be answered by the end.

All the rules put forth by advice books are mostly reminders to write as cleanly and clearly as possible. The war on adverbs fascinates me. I have a friend who cannot abide the use of the word just. Absorb that advice but don't let it inhibit your writing. Let it steer you to more careful and efficient use of language. We all have a word or phrase that we overuse. Be aware of your own bad habits and clean them up in the second draft.

To me, it all comes down to learning to be a competent storyteller. Once you understand the flow that a story needs to draw the reader along, you've learned all the rules you need. Then there is the presentation of that story which is a craft that should be constantly evolving.

Read, write, repeat. Reading in and out of your genre helps you pick up techniques to improve your own work. Writing is practice and every time you build a story you get better at it. Keep learning, keep an open mind and your skill will grow.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Social Media Gaffs

I have made a mess on Twitter. Luckily, I have so few followers, no one will notice.

I joined a site that offered help with social media. It said to use a specific hashtag and all the other members of the site would retweet your message. Sounds great. What goes around, comes around, right? So I found a retweeting service and dropped in that hashtag. Right away I started getting lots of thank yous for the retweeting. However, I didn't seem to be getting that many retweets of my own messages.

Then I read an article where a man said he checked the feed before following anyone on Twitter, and if it was just a run of Buy My Book tweets, he passed. I agreed. I hate seeing that stuff myself. But it made me wonder what my feed looked like. I was horrified when I checked.

My Twitter feed was a long list of authors crying Buy My Book! People I didn't know selling books I'd never seen. Yikes. It was like I was standing on a street corner shilling whatever a passerby handed me. That was not what I wanted people to see when they checked me out on Twitter.

So I turned off the automatic retweet.

Then I thought about how people say to have a conversation. Hmm. Where are these conversations? When I look at my Twitter home page it rarely has anything resembling a conversation. I was obviously looking in the wrong place.

I bit the bullet and signed up for TweetDeck. Eureka! I think I have found the conversations.

When I started following people on Twitter I put everyone I followed in a list, as had been suggested by a number of articles. Tweetdeck can give me a feed of each list. And that allows me to finally make some sense out of the barrage of tweets.

It also showed me the life of a tweet...not even a second? Tweets fly by so fast I can't even read who's sending them. Wow. I need to rethink and rework how I approach my tweeting.

Lesson learned.

Please leave any suggestions, tricks or gaffs in the comments.