A Writerly Blog
I must admit — Les Misérables by Victor Hugo is my second favorite classic novel. Jane Eyre is my first. I also need to admit that I’ve never read it (it’s on my list), but I’ve watched numerous film versions. And I see the thread of hope running through them all.
Obviously, an author writes from his own worldview. He can’t help it. So, when I discovered Hugo’s quotes, that became clear. I also found the word HOPE in these quotes. No, you may not see the word, but each one reveals an element of hope.
16 Days and Counting!
There is so much yet to do before April 26th — Launch Day! Creating memes, connecting with my launch team, getting my giveaways and prizes ready for my book signing and Facebook Live, as well as writing a steady stream of guest posts. Oh, and keeping up with my social media and FaceBook groups. Yikes! I feel as though I’m running towards a finish line. It takes perseverance! My word of the year - aptly chosen.
In some ways, the death of my father came slowly. I eased into it by spending time with cousins while my mother visited my father at his hospital bedside. He was a stroke victim and for three days, never spoke or awoke. Although my mom said he squeezed her hand at some point in response to a comment, he was mute.
When an author has a book baby launching into the world, one of the items on her ‘to-do’ list is purchasing book swag. I’ve always though that was an odd word to describe ‘giveaway items’ relating to an author’s latest publication.
Sometimes the publishing house designs and provides them, and other times, the author chooses to do it. Since I have an art background, I love to play around with the options, although pixel measurements are NOT my friends right now.
So, what does a debut author do all day? Sit around and create one fabulous story after the other with no sweat or writer’s block involved? Not likely. If you know of an author like that, I’d like to meet her.
No, the debut author’s life is frenetic, puzzling, and at times, full of surprises. But on a daily basis, it’s a ton of BIC (bottom in chair) perseverance. Which is why the “p” word is my choice for 2019. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Why do authors write? Well, like my author soulmate Charlotte, her quote above tells all. We just can’t help it. Communication is our super power. We have great stories to tell with enough Dickensian characters to make you laugh, cry, or wish they were your best friend.
Which is why I want to make connections on my journey with any authors, organizations and social media groups that have the same passions, so we can mutually encourage one another.
What exactly is a reader soulmate? That was the question poised to us in Colleen Riordan’s Wild Ink Marketing beta course. To put it simply, it's that person who will fall in love with your book. Or purchase it for a child, grandchild, local library or classroom.
Colleen challenged us to answer three questions our reader soulmate would ask if she were perusing the shelves in a bookstore, and happened to lay eyes on our book:
1. Does this book contain the types of characters, plots and themes I enjoy? (Is it my favorite genre?)
2. Can I afford this right now? (Will it be worth my time and money?)
3. Do I need this? (Can I walk out of the store without it, or must it become my next read?
I attempted to answer those questions in my video - take a listen!
Yes, believe it or no, authors love book reviews (although some admit they never read them, in fear they'd never write another word again!)
So, what constitutes a great book review?
These ideas were shared with historical fiction author, Lynn Austin’s launch team:
A great review is one that includes your personal thoughts and experience. Why the book grabbed and kept your interest. And why you think the book is worth someone's time and money.
You don't need to write a summary of the book, or include spoilers. And it's not necessary to be long and wordy.
Here's a tip to make the task super easy: write one review in a Word Doc, then copy and paste it to the different sites.
What exactly is a book launch team? And furthermore, how do you launch a book?
Well, I'm glad you asked.
Think of it as a birth. A baby coming into the world. Fresh and new. Most times with a cry. And of course, with (adoring) parents. And grandparents. And siblings. And a host of friends and family who are waiting with bated breath for the delivery.
Do they keep it to themselves? Of course not. It's a time to rejoice and share the news with others!
Spoiler alert: Withstand the temptation to scroll down. ;-}
It's time to reveal the cover of The Heart Changer! I think the process involved in creating an image to suit a story will fascinate you. So, stick with me and be patient, okay?
This week, while the frigid winds blow across Lake Michigan, I'm taking a writer's retreat in one of my favorite US cities - Charleston. Full of history from the early colonial period to the Civil War (and a Revolution in-between), this place has much to be proud of, especially if one is Scottish, Protestant, understands agriculture, and cherishes tradition. During the 18th and 19th centuries, French Huguenots and those of Jewish heritage fled here because it protected their freedom of religion. They still worship in impressive numbers right here in town.
My MG Biblical fiction "The Heart Changer" debuts Spring of 2019 with Ambassador International.