Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday's, A Few Lines From...

It's Friday and time for another awesome book.  This week, we're hearing from Jude Pittman and her novel, Deadly Consequences.


A shot rang out from the direction of the stables. Kelly leapt out of his chair, grabbed the gun out of his jacket pocket and slapped the screen door open.

“What the damn hell?” He yelled as he raced towards the brood barn, where Jake, alerted by the gunshot, stood in front of the closed doors barking like a beast gone rabid.

“Easy boy,” Kelly said, approaching the door with his weapon drawn. “Gilly, you okay in there?” Kelly reached the door and pulled the handle. It held fast. Someone had apparently locked it from inside. 

“Gillian?” Kelly called in a voice laced with fear and Jake once again started his frantic barking.

“Okay. Stand down.” Kelly spoke to the dog, then placed his ear against the door and listened.

From inside came the sounds of sobbing.

“Gillian.” Kelly yelled again. “For God’s sake, open the door.”


Stop back next week for a few lines from Jamie Hill.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Welcome MaryAnn Kempher to Dishin' It Out

Tell us a little about MOCHA, MOONLIGHT, AND MURDER.

Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder is Romantic Suspense. I tell people if you like Jane Austen and/or Agatha Christie, you’ll love this book. It has romance, and mystery, suspense, and comedy. The romance is very realistic, very friendship-based, and doesn’t come easy. Katherine and Scott were made to harass each other. Because at first they’re friends, and aren’t trying to get each other into bed, they’re not afraid to give each other a hard time, this makes for some very funny dialogue. Also, the waiting (to sleep together) ensures great sexual tension for them, and the reader. It also gives their romance a solid foundation.

Tell us a little about you.
I’m married with two great kids. I live near Tampa Florida. I spent my teen years living in Reno NV where this story is set.

How long did it take you long to write your book?
From start to finish, it took four years. But, I wasn’t always writing. Sometimes I’d take weeks, even months off. Also, during that timeframe—multiple drafts were created and discarded. Tons of revisions etc… I’m much more disciplined now, so the next book won’t take as long.

If your book were to be made into a move, who would you pick to play the main characters?

Off the top of my head I’d love Scott to be played by David Giuntoli, he’s the actor who plays Grimm. Very good looking, but approachable. I have an actress in mind for Katherine, but she’s too old for the part. A younger version of Elizabeth Shue would be great. No offense to Elizabeth, she’s still very beautiful, but Katherine is only 28.

Any advice for the new writers out there?
Yes. Whatever genre you want to write in, go buy books on how to write that genre. Also, buy books on how to write the beginning, middle, and end. People will rarely try to do something they have no experience doing without asking for, or looking for help. Why should writing a book be any different?

What are your thoughts on “write what you know”?
I think if you only write what you know, you won’t write many books.

Do you have a favourite character?
Shame on you. That’s like asking a parent to tell who their favourite child is. *smile*

Are you working on anything new?
Yes, I’m hoping to complete the first draft of my second book by the end of this summer. It’s working title is FOREVER DOOMED. It’s more a mystery than my first book, but a lot of familiar faces will reappear. So, if you have favourite characters, it’s very likely you’ll see them again in this upcoming book.

How about a little known fact about the author MaryAnn Kempher.
I’m proud to say I served 20 years in the Air Force. I was fortunate enough to travel to a lot of really great places including: California, Korea, South Carolina, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Florida.




You can find Mocha, Moonlight and Murder on Amazon and her website here.  Happy Reading, and thanks to MaryAnn for being our guest today.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Humor for your morning - Rita Karnopp


As I was lying in bed pondering the problems of the world, I r

apidly realized that I don't really give a rat's hiney. It's the tortoise life for me!
 
1. If walking is good for your health, the postman would be immortal.
2. A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water, and is fat.
3. A rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years.
4. A tortoise doesn't run and does nothing, yet it lives for 450 years.
 
And you tell me to exercise?? I don't think so!
**********
I'm retired. Go around me.
******************
God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.
************************
Now that I'm older here's what I've discovered:
 
1. I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.
2. My wild oats have turned into prunes and all-bran.
3. I finally got my head together, and now my body is falling apart.
4. Funny, I don't remember being absent-minded.
5. Funny, I don't remember being absent-minded.
6. If all is not lost, where is it?
7. It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.
8. Some days, you're the dog; some days you're the hydrant.
9. I wish the buck stopped here; I sure could use a few.
10. Kids in the back seat cause accidents.
11. Accidents in the back seat cause kids.
12. It’s hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere.
13. The only time the world beats a path to your door is when you're in the bathroom.
14. If God wanted me to touch my toes, he'd have put them on my knees.
15. When I'm finally holding all the cards, why does everyone want to play chess?
16. It’s not hard to meet expenses . . . they're everywhere.
17. The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.
18. These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter...I go somewhere to get something, and then wonder what I'm hereafter.
19. Funny, I don't remember being absent-minded.
20. DID I SEND THESE TO YOU BEFORE..........??????

Monday, May 27, 2013

On Memorial Day, Remember the Sequester

I wanted to share this important article -  By Alison Buckholtz -May 24, 2013 - this Memorial Day.  Rita Karnopp

DOD PHOTO/ROBERT D. WARD/Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery
Remember the sequester? Those broad, blunt government cuts that kicked in on March 1?
There were lots of doomsday predictions about what would happen when the $85.4 billion in spending reductions took effect for fiscal year 2013 (with similar cuts through 2021). There was a momentary uproar over inconvenient airline delays, but the right people spoke up, and the FAA was spared its share of cuts.  So far, aside from government workers penciling in their furlough days, only one other group of Americans has felt the sequester’s force: military families.
Military families’ concerns tend to remain stable over time: deployments, moves, and pay always rank at the top.  But in Blue Star Families’ just-released annual survey of service members and their families, there’s a surprise: the word “sequester” appears for the first time in the context of service members’ increased financial insecurity.
And that’s because, for us military families, the numbers aren’t abstract figures. As the survey states, “The impact of sequestration has been notable in the form of deployment cancellations and delays; but there have also been increased uncertainties with scheduled PCS [permanent change of station] moves, and DoD [Department of Defense] schools are enduring budget cuts and furloughs that are impacting the education of our children.”
Here’s what that looks like under a magnifying glass:
– Some military families have to maintain two homes they can’t afford, because a work transfer was delayed after the next house was already bought.
– Civilian teachers in the 194 Department of Defense-run schools worldwide will be furloughed, which affects the number of school days in the year and the school’s accreditation (with potentially dire consequences for a high-schooler’s admission to college).
– A carrier deployment was called off, and with it the planned for “at-sea” pay subsidies that some families depend on.
– The timing of the adoption of a child must be re-negotiated.
Suddenly, it’s personal.
“America needed us during a decade of war,” a former Air Force spouse told me. “Now that’s over, and we’re thrown aside.  We were used, and no one needs us anymore.”
Other military spouses express the same idea that the contract has been broken.  Mom and Dad — Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam — are arguing,and they’re dragging us into it.
Service members did what was expected of them, working long hours far away and sacrificing family time for long-term financial stability like retirement benefits and insurance for life – much of which appears to be at risk due to the sequester. As for military salaries, next year’s expected pay increase is expected to be limited to 1% because of “budget uncertainties.” (This despite the fact that a 1.7% increase had already been approved, based on the Labor Department’s 2014 Employment Cost index, which has been the basis for military pay for the last several years.)
But military families are flexible, right?  Sure. They’re so compliant and adjustable that many go by the motto Semper Gumby.
Blue Star survey author (a Navy spouse and Navy veteran) Dr. Vivian Greentree says that “while the necessities of transitioning and adaptability have always been central themes and challenges of the military lifestyle, change is especially imminent inside the military community today…These changes, coupled with the unknown, final outcome of sequestration, have caused a level of uncertainty with unspecified impact on the military community, as well as the nation itself.”
Listen to the tone, data-driven and calm, but with an implicit warning to the entire country, whether or not you’re part of the 1% who serve. Military families are canaries in sequestration’s coal mine: we endure the cuts first, but all Americans are ultimately at risk.
Although only DoD-run schools suffer teacher furloughs, the nation’s public schools will soon feel sequestration’s pinch as well, according to the National Military Family Association.  Federal-education programs face $106 million in cuts intended to help fund civilian schools educating military kids; $1 billion in special education programs; $140 million in student financial aid; and $1.3 billion in Title I funding that helps many schools attended by military children.
Just one example from Naval aviation hints at even more ominous repercussions: in April, the Navy shut down one aircraft carrier wing (the group of aircraft borne by a single carrier). Another three carrier wings will be granted less flying time, while an additional two air wings will be “reduced to minimum safe flying levels” by the end of the year, meaning that they would not be available immediately to sail with a carrier if a crisis occurred, according to one report.
Earlier this month, Defense Department Comptroller Robert F. Hale testified that the severe and abrupt budget cuts imposed by sequestration are “devastating” the U.S. armed forces — that sequestration is “seriously undermining” the Defense Department’s twin goals of aligning to the nation’s defense strategy and maintaining a ready force.
Diminished levels of readiness serve no one, regardless of whether or not you serve.
So on Memorial Day — when we remember those who sacrificed the most — let’s remember the sequester, too.  It’s swiftly becoming our shared sacrifice as Americans.
Alison Buckholtz is the author of the military-family memoir Standing By: The Making of an American Military Family in a Time of Warand has written for numerous publications. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband, an active-duty Naval officer, and two children.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Step into my Parlor and Let's Chat about Politics...

I'm constantly amazed at how many Americans don't follow the news.  I think it's wonderful that so many people read novels that help them escape their problems and whisk them away to those "happily ever afters" and I don't want them to stop, but c'mon folks, there are things happening in the world that need some attention.

 I recently watched an "on-the-street" interview in which two UC Berkeley students didn't even know the name of the current vice president.  Very few are aware of the scandals taking place, nor do they care. That must account of the high percentage of Americans who approve the current administration's performance.

 Eventually, we all have to take some responsibility for our future, and I wonder how the younger generation will do that if they have little to no interest in the political arena that governs practically their every move these days.  Do they really want the person responsible for the IRS scandal to administer Obamacare?  Do they care that the Fast and Furious scandal in which arms were knowingly smuggled into Mexico never resulted in anyone taking responsibility?  Can those against Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona really think he is targeting Latino's in his attempt to uphold immigration laws.  I guess it would make more sense to stop white-haired little ladies with Wisconsin license plates just to be politically correct.  Is Eric Holder really the type of man you want as Attorney General when he seems to have no answers to any of the questions asked of him...or he forgot, never knew, and claims he's as pure as the driven snow?  Where is the transparency President Obama promised when he campaigned.  No one even knows where he was the night an American Embassy was attacked. Do you even know about Benghazi?  If you were tied to all these scandals, wouldn't you want to step up and assure everyone you would get to the bottom of things?  I would, but evidently, his weapon is deflection.  Talk about something else and hope all the mess cleans itself up.

I received these pictures today, and in my opinion, they explain why the local news channels never focus on anything negative about our current administration.  I prefer to watch Fox, especially "The Five" where liberals and conservatives both give their opinions, and quite often they agree on matters.

The democrats blame the Republicans and vice versa. The GOP is accused of publicizing the IRS scandal, but why wouldn't they when those targeted where conservative groups. I suppose the Elephant side of the house is also at fault because of the wiretaps and invasion of emails of their news peers.  Can't we do something besides point fingers?

Why not have an independent Investigator, rather than congress, who can spend more than five minutes questioning people who suddenly forget everything they ever knew?  Just wondering if anyone else shares my concern.  BTW, I don't align myself with either side...I'm just thinking the world has gone mad.




Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday's A Few Lines From...

A few lines from JEWISH SOUL – Book #3 of the Tango of Death Series
By Rita Karnopp



     Mayla watched the girls head for the bushes.  She turned toward the men.  “If nothing else, everything will be worth it if we manage to save their lives.  If any of us is captured, we must die before breathing a word about the twins.”
     She stretched out her hand and Chester placed his on top and Stane placed his below.  “In the midst of all this evil . . . this is our one good.”  Mayla smiled as they nodded in agreement.

Find out more about Rita Karnopp’s books at: www.ritakarnopp.com

Make sure to visit next week for a few lines from Jude Pittman.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Setting AND CHARACTER BREATHING TOGETHER by Rita Karnopp

Have you ever started reading a book and after a few pages asked yourself, “Where is this book taking place?”  That should never happen.  Setting is as important as the characters and the plot. It’s our job as the writer to develop the backdrop like we develop our characters. It gives us our sense of direction and it becomes the ambiance; the atmosphere, the environment, the mood, even the character of the world surrounding us.

Setting involves the senses.  Can you relate to the warmth of the sun or the ice cold water (sense of feel)?  What about the sweet juice of the peach or the soothing mint of the tea (sense of taste)?  Consider the click of a gun hammer or the snap of a twig (sense of hearing).  How about the burning smoke or sickening stench of a dead body (sense of smell)? Finally, there is the shadow moving across the wall or the flames of a campfire in the distance (sense of sight).  They all add to the setting of your book – they are the details that pull us in.

Writing is writing, whether it is suspense, historical, SiFi, thriller, or even contemporary.  Setting will be the prevailing forces of their world. These details bring your story alive.

Develop ways to uncover setting details that will fuel the world around your characters. 

Settings encompass more – You create setting when using authentic voice and idioms of the time period. Old maps, vanished villages, dead rivers, or historic plagues take on life as you unwrap clues and unfold the story. Use threads of character and sociological/political backdrops to tangle the lives of those you are developing.

Setting and character - Now, how do you infuse setting and character?  Again, the senses come to play.  Imagine yourself into a setting and make the character . . . feel it, smell it, hear it, taste it, and see it.  You do this and you have character and setting breathing together.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

WRITING a Book Series By Rita Karnopp

Have you considered writing a book series but the mere idea made you run in the other direction?  Book series are very popular – and there are good reasons.  The reader becomes invested in the characters and they don’t want the story to end.  Or, we are truly interested in finding out what happened to our characters years later.

When I came up with an idea to write about the Gypsies during WWII, I decided to name it Tango of Death (Tango de Fung).  When I proposed the book to my publisher, she asked if I could do a trilogy.  What?  Three books?  Uh, you always say ‘yes’ when asked such a question by your publisher.  But now the plot I’d been tossing around in my mind for over ten years had to change.  Could I write a trilogy?  It sounded like a daunting task.

I created a story involving gypsies, partisans and Jews.  Hmmm . . . how would I connect them? It didn’t take me long to consider writing about three sisters and creating a separate story for each.  I came up with Gypsy Spirit, Partisan Heart, and Jewish Soul.  I loved the titles and the concept.  Since I’m visual I was thrilled my published gave me my covers – what an inspiration they were.

I approached the series like any other book; a combination of characters, settings and plots.


There were certain absolutes.  All three books would take place in Poland and Germany during 1943 and involve the holocaust.  I didn’t want it to be the ‘same-old’ . . . so I painstakingly researched for those bits of information that were new.  I watched documentaries and read exhaustively.  The dress, vehicles, music, food, and even slang had to be 1940s.

I knew I wanted to ‘sparingly’ use Polish, German, Roma, Yiddish, and of course English as the main language.  It would be tricky to give the flavor of all these languages and still make sure the reader knew what was being said.

A sense of place was vital and I wanted nothing to do with sensationalizing, I wanted everything to sound, smell, feel, taste, and look 1940s Poland and Germany.  City names and layout had to be authentic as did rivers and bridges.

Even more serious, I used infamous Nazi officers and partisans and had to be careful not to place them in my story where they couldn’t have been during the timeframe. They couldn’t have ten children in my book if they didn’t have ten children in history.  I wanted to kill one of the Nazi officers, then remembered he didn’t die for five more years. 

I had to account for the terrain and how long it would take to reach certain destinations.  Vehicles and roads were different than they are now, and horseback or wagon timeframes had to be taken into account.

In book #1, Gypsy Spirit, I set the scene and introduced the sisters.  I developed a way for them to be separated . . . and an agreed meeting place for after the war (if they survived). Then Zilka took the story away . . .

In book #2, Partisan Heart, I had to create a way for the sister who ran off with her love to join the partisans, struggle with her conscious, go back to her kumpania, only to find all her people dead.  Vanya became tightly involved with the partisans and the Nazi infiltration of the Polish underground.

By book #3, Jewish Soul, the reader can only hope the third sister, Mayla, has fared better, safe with their mother and grandmother in Switzerland, or is she.  Will they ever be to together again?  Book three must tie all the loose-ends and develop an ending that will satisfy the reader – and even keep them thinking about all three girls long after they close the cover.

Hints for a series:  Keep a separate three-by-five notebook for each book.  Jot down all information you want to address in each book.  Some information comes to you during book one, two or even planning in book three.  You might have to foreshadow in your earlier books . . . that is why planning . . . at least the skeleton of all three stories should happen before starting page one of book one.

Keep an ‘electronic’ file called ‘notes’ for each separate book.  I never take time to hand-write notes if I can copy and paste them into an electronic file.  I might jot a written reminder in my notebook to cross-reference my electronic notes, but I keep it all until the final words are written.

I work on my hard-drive.  Save your work several times a day.  But, at the end of the day – I always save the same work out to a flash drive.  If you’ve ever lost a day’s work … or more (which I have) . . .  you’ll never let it happen to you again!

It’s strange – but nothing has been more satisfying as writing my trilogy, Tango of Death.  If you read book #1, Gypsy Spirit, and were upset when they closed the door to the gas chamber – don’t give up hope – if you’ve read Gypsy Spirit and Partisan Heart – and are upset when those heavy doors start closing – dong’ give up faith  . . . book three, Jewish Soul, has more twists and turns . . . and creates incredible tense situations, and - - - if you’ve hung in there . . . ‘satisfaction’ for the reader . . . and my Gypsy girls.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday's Few Lines From...


EXPOSURE, an erotic thriller by Lisabet Sarai


The back door, I discover, is unlocked. I’m one hundred percent certain I didn’t leave it that way. Carefully, keeping my body behind the door, I scan the yard. 
The light filtering from the kitchen windows is bright enough for me to see that there is no one in my little square of turf. It also shows me crushed tomato plants and bean vines torn from their trellises, clearly marking the intruder’s escape route.

At that point, my rage finally overwhelms my fear. I pour myself a finger of scotch and sit at the kitchen table, simmering in helpless anger and vowing some 
kind of revenge.

Then a horrible thought crosses my mind. Jimmy knew I would be out tonight. He 
was the only one who knew. Was it possible that he was involved in all this, 
somehow? Is it possible that smiling Jimmy might have betrayed me?

The balance shifts again. Shudders shake my body. Sitting alone under the 
fluorescent lights, gripping my drink, I am paralyzed by the realization that I 
don’t know who I can trust. If anyone.


Visit Lisabet's Fantasy Factory:  http://www.lisabetsarai.com
Venture Beyond Romance:  http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com

Please come back next week for a Few Lines From Rita Karnopp.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

JEWISH SOUL - RELEASES - BOOK 3 OF THE TANGO OF DEATH SERIES


I'm so proud to share with you the release of the last book in my Tango of Death Holocaust series.  This trilogy has been a real experience in writing.  I felt the struggles and the atrocities deep in my soul.  I held nothing back . . . and used real places and people - what happened to all three Gypsy girls in this trilogy could have happened.  Thank you for letting me share their stories with you.

Jewish Soul - Book 3 – Tango of Death Series - Mayla Sucuri's world is falling apart . . . no Gypsy is safe in Hitler's Germany.

Her twin sister, Vanya, has just run off with her love and joined the partisans. Now Mayla is being forced to leave her papa and younger sister, Zilka, with the kumpania.

Heading to Switzerland with her mother, to the safety of her Grandmother's chalet in Switzerland, Mayla fears she'll never see any of them again. Her grandmother is connected to every high official in the SS. But not everything isn't as it appears.

Because of her drive to be a doctor, Mayla finds herself invited to Dachau and Auschwitz. She quickly finds herself in the company of Doctor Josef Mengele and Doctor Sigmund Rascher, who are only too willing to share the results of their medical experiments on Jews and Gypsies.

At great personal risk, Mayla refuses to turn down the opportunity to take notes and bear witness to the atrocities happening at the concentration camps. Mayla is drawn to Auschwitz where the distinctions between good and evil become blurred in a world turned upside down. Will it get her killed or will her unwavering resolve give her the strength and courage to rescue her sisters from the gas chambers?


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CS7TCPM

                      

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

If At First You Don't Succeed....

 Sometimes, you write a book you're really proud of, and you, of course, as the author, totally GET the story.  Then you get reviewed and questions start to pile up in your mind.  How could readers not GET that a half-breed and a white woman couldn't find happiness anywhere as a couple in the 1800s?  I showed how he was treated by the army, and people in towns threw rocks and bottles at them as they rode by, but I guess that wasn't enough.  I thought perhaps when she lost her teaching job because she enrolled a young Indian boy might have been a hint, but I reckon not. *smile*

 Although I write fiction, I do try to make the story believable, and a happily-ever-after for my characters just wasn't in the tea leaves.  Instead, I ended with a passionate scene and Sarah realizing she may have missed out on the love of her life.  Clearly, I had to do something.

 Sarah's Passion is a sequel to Sarah's Heart and my attempt to satisfy the few people who left negative reviews because of their 'heartbreak' at not finding the traditional happily-ever-after to truly make my book a romance. Although the book is filled with romantic attraction, the era and circumstances of the hero and heroine made it impossible for me to tie everything up with a neat little bow, but I did leave myself the opportunity to continue the saga. Although the sequel is shorter in length, in my opinion, it does create what was missing for some while providing an entertaining storyline in a totally different time and place.

Not everyone GETS every story, and for those who missed the point, perhaps this will redeem me.

For those who loved the first book, this will just provide more entertainment with a lovely and determined heroine. Oh, and by the way, Jimmy Thomas is on both covers. He's a hot topic these days so I figure it couldn't hurt to jump on his bandwagon. Oh, and did I mention research? Any historical author worth their salt, makes sure to check their facts, and by now, I've come to believe that I once lived in the old west. 

Most of this article appeared some time back on "Ask David.com" and I've just refreshed and shared it again.  I love Sarah and her story, and I really want you to love it too.  *grin*

Monday, May 13, 2013

SUPPORTING CHARACTERS By Rita Karnopp


If someone tells you the minor characters aren’t as important as the main characters – step back and listen. When the person is done speaking, I would like you to respond by saying, “In ways you are correct.  But the reality of it is that supporting characters better our understanding of the main character and his/her circumstances.  Without them, our stories would fall flat.

Having said that, it boils down to one realization.  If your supporting characters aren’t working toward the support, awareness, perception, tolerance, and even support of the main character or situation in some way, you should ask yourself, “What they’re really doing there?”
We call them ‘supporting characters’ for a reason.  If they aren’t supporting your story – they don’t belong there.  Everything you spend time on must be for a reason, including those minor characters who appear to be simply passing through.
Having said that, supporting characters shouldn’t appear like they’re only hanging around to provide evidence, material, news, knowledge or further the plot.  All supporting characters, even those who appear in the book for only a couple of paragraphs and then are gone forever, must be there because they belong there with behaviors, motivations and needs of their own.  Remember, these characters much unobtrusively achieve their purpose in just a few choice words or lines.
Know your supporting characters – When writers send in a supporting character without thought to who they are – it will show.  You must get to know every character in your book, no matter how minor.  What is their purpose?  At the end of the book did their achieve their goal?
For each supporting character ask these questions:
  • What is his/her internal motivation?  Goal?  What does he/she want?
  • Personal traits to make him/her fit-in?
  • What makes character right for this part of book? Experience, relationship to main character(s), situation?
  • What does he/she have at stake?
  •  Is supporting character friend or foe?
  •  His/her motivation?
Watch for those characters that try to take over a scene or even the book.  Ask them why and decide if they should stay or leave.  Ask why are they there? Is the story stronger without them?
Don’t get too attached to supporting characters or you might not want to get rid of them. If you find yourself trying to justify why they should stay/go, take a good look why.  Who stays and who goes is ultimately up to you as the author.  When in doubt, listen to what the story is telling you.  Never ignore your instincts, they are almost always right.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday's A Few LInes From....


The Dark Series:  The Color of Seven by Gail Roughton


He walked up to a little backwoods Alabama black Church. Seven Cedars Baptist. It stood right outside Seven Cedars, Alabama. He laughed. “Be you de sebbenth son of a sebbenth son, boy?” Well, maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t. Sounded good, though. He went inside to join the ongoing service. Within a month, he’d collected a group of ten or so of the black community’s finest young men. He met with them down by the banks of Seven Cedar Creek.

“My name be Cain,” he announced. “An’ my color be sebben.”

Thursday, May 9, 2013

MAXIMIZE SOCIAL MEDIA By Rita Karnopp


Social media is today’s buzz word.  If you’re an author – believe me – you want people to follow you on social media.  Learn how to make it work for you.  

I’ve heard the expression of ‘get in the habit of leaking exclusive offers and get social media to work for you.’  It’s a way to offer inside information about you or your books that can’t be found anywhere else.  You do this by tapping into people’s natural curiosity and lure and sway them to linger and even stay connected.
As an author, you can ‘leak’ information on:
·         A one-time discount item.
·         Special prices for a limited time.
·         ‘Leak’ a couple of paragraphs from the book you’re writing.
·         Share ‘unpublished’ chapters or unique background information not shared before.
·         Create drawings for spin-off products.
·         How about exclusive items only available for fans.
·         Share upcoming events and ticket info before anyone else.
·         Create a ‘special’ contest for fans only.
·         Hold a fan-naming a character contest. 
·         Hold a ‘ book title’ contest … winner gets a free prize.
·         Give “behind-the-scenes” access to never shared before pictures.
And of course the list can go on.  Use your imagination – but remember to make it exciting, fun, and entertaining.  You draw them in and make them an active player – and it’s a win-win.
People will join your online community when:
·         They know it’s the only way to get exclusive information.
·         It is a great way to win free prizes.
·         They might make a difference in naming a character or book.
·         They will have inside information on a book they love.
·         It’s fun and entertaining to participate, etc.
In order to maximize and expand this process, though, you must be consistent. If you only ’leak’ special information once a month or once a quarter, people will lose interest. Get in the habit of ‘leaking’ information at least every two to three weeks. Ask yourself, “What would make me interested in following me?”

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