Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday Writers... Do what ya gotta do

What I gotta do today is finish the publication process for my novel A DADDY FOR LUKE, which means I won't be writing a Writers Tip this week except to say... Do what you gotta do!

Cottonwood County Chronicles, Book 1

To be with them, 
he risks colliding 
with his past, 
which could 
ruin his 

Available Now!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cover Reveal - A Daddy for Luke

I'm thrilled to reveal the cover of my soon-to-be-published, contemporary romance, A DADDY FOR LUKE, the first in my Cottonwood County Chronicles series.

David Winston’s reputation and fame come from his popular novels. Born to parents who hadn’t planned a family, David was taught to think he wouldn’t amount to anything, so becoming a popular author is a surprise to him. He wants to hang on to his success. Born in Center City, then forced to leave eight years ago, he’s back, but not for long. It’s a gamble just being in town: he risks colliding with his past, which could ruin his future. Then he meets Sandy Archer and tempts fate by staying in town a little longer.

Sandy Archer is content to care for her son Luke, work her way up in her job at the Cottonwood County Chronicle, and stay away from any more disastrous relationships. She has lived in Center City all her life and has adapted well to being legally blind. She’s touched when visiting author, David Winston offers to read his book to her. She discovers a kindred spirit. But her budding relationship is threatened when a relative cautions Sandy that David is not who he seems to be.

The Cottonwood County Chronicles involves the residents of a small-town, agricultural community. The beautiful rural setting sits at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains yet is close to city life and mountain resorts. The stories are loosely connected with the common thread being the small-town newspaper, the Cottonwood County Chronicle, which is always somewhere in the background. 

~ Christy

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday Writers Tips... Read about other writers' journeys

Being a writer can be a solitary life. If you don't belong to a writers group, if there are no writers groups in your area, and if you don't know many writers, you can feel like a lone sailboat in a really big ocean.

For the first seven years after I started writing seriously there was no one I could talk to face-to-face about writing. I had cyber acquaintances, but no friends going through the same thing I was. About a year ago a former workmate called to say she heard I was writing and so was she. Now we are a writing buddies, someone to talk to who understands. I also have a friend who is a reader and faithful supporter. She's always asking about my process of writing. She gives me the opportunity to talk about what I'm doing to someone who is actually interested.

One of the great things about having other writer friends is learning that you're not alone in what you are going through, which brings me to this week's tip: Read about other writers' journeys. You won't feel so alone, you'll identify with their experiences, you'll learn some tips and you'll confirm that... Yes, I am a writer just like they are.

A great collection of writers' experiences is Secrets of Successful Writers by Darrell Pitt. Pitt interviewed fifty authors, who talk about their writing, how they became published and how they market themselves. Collected from interviews he conducted on his web site over several years.

The writers include traditionally and indie published. Pitt includes an interview with John Locke, the first self published ebook author to sell over one million copies of his novels.

Some interview questions include:

  • Can you describe a typical day of writing?
  • Do you plot a story out completely first or do you let it lead you in certain directions if the need arrises?
  • If you had a single piece of advice to had to someone trying to become an author, what would it be?
  • Where do you see the future for writers now that ebooks have arrived?
  • What made you want to become a writer in the first place?

You'll be sure to identify with these interviewees.

This is the kind of book you can snatch snippets from on your mobile device at odd times while waiting  in line, sitting in the doctor's office, waiting for the kids to tie their shoes before soccer practice.

For more reviews of writer's books check out my bookshelf.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday Writer Tips... Don't bite off more than you can chew

I see the end of the year as a large block wall and I'm in a fast moving vehicle heading right for it! Eeek!

I missed posting  Wednesday Writers Tips today because last night I did a marathon mss pass thru making the final corrections from my final proof reader for my novel A DADDY FOR LUKE. It wasn't a whole lot, but still it takes time. This mss is behind schedule, so I'm trying to get it finalized.

I'm editing a memoir, and about to do revisions on my novella A WARRIOR'S VOICE. And there are a couple other projects I want to get thru by the end of the year.

Can we slow down the clock?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wednesday Writers Tips... How to un-cliché a love scene

Better late than never...

A big part of story telling involves emotions. Love, hate, guilt, fear, elation... Here's a tip on writing a love scene with character-appropriate emotion.

The most important thing to remember about love scenes is that they must fit the temperament of your characters. This should, of course , be true of all your characters' actions, but with love scenes it's especially critical because is't so easy to slip into cliché. By the time you write that big romantic scene in your novel, you have read or seen on television and at the movies hundreds of love scenes. The twin temptations are slipping into unthinking repetition and wanting to do something completely new. If you simply repeat the usual romantic speeches and actions, your scene will be boring. There are, after all, only so many things lovers usually say or do when they declare love; how can you make them fresh? And if you strive too hard to do so, you may stretch the reader's credulity to the breaking point. The answer, again, is to use the conventional actions but with attention to your characters' individual personalities. They can still use the usual variations on the basic human formula ("I love you." "Will you marry me?"). They can do the usual things (embrace, kiss). But their other words, their gestures, the props in the scene, the setting, the emotions they feel in addition to simple desire present enormous potential for individualizing the universal. 

Character-appropriate emotion combined with characters' mannerisms, history, and the era of the story can all add a special spark, a unique experience to the love scene.

This excerpt is from Characters, Emotions & Viewpoint - Techniques and exercises for crafting dynamic characters and effective viewpoints by Nancy Kress.

Visit my bookshelf for more writers' how to books.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Local Authors Night at the Library

Tonight I attended our county library's annual Local Authors Night. As an AUTHOR! Although my first book published almost a year ago, this is the first official author-to-reader, one-on-one event I've done. It was a good turnout of authors and guests. Eleven authors set up on tables in two areas of the library, in the main stacks and in the children's room.

I decided it would be a good idea to play up the setting of my book HER SCOTTISH CEO and draped my table with a red plaid fabric, added a Scottish flag and displayed my book on a few little easels. I included one of the original watercolor paintings that illustrate the book.

I'm lousy at remembering the pitch of my books*, but I found a better way to introduce people to it. I should have thought of it before.

First I said 'Hi', then I told the visitor, "My book is a contemporary Scottish romance suitable for all ages." (Right off this told the visitor the heat level of my book and would give them the idea they could buy a copy for a daughter or granddaughter if they themselves weren't interested in romance.) Then I said, "I brought together all the things I love: painting watercolors, which I've done for 30 years; Scotland, which fascinates me; and writing, which I've done for ten years." This opened up topics for conversation. I opened the book and showed the illustrations and people were impressed with the fact that I painted them on location.

Quite a few people said they had Scottish ancestors or current family in Scotland. It was fun to compare stories about traveling in Scotland.

I sold and signed five books, which I think is a good number for a small-town library event, and typical for the other authors there. I think I'll do even better next year when my book A DADDY FOR LUKE will be on the table. It takes place locally and I think more people will relate to it. One author said there was a better turn out tonight than he saw at a similar event in the city.

The first book I sold was to a past college teacher who recognized me after fifteen years. It was good to visit with him again.

The author sitting behind me had a book of love poems he'd written during a long distance relationship. Whenever a lady would come by he would offer to read her a poem. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite hear him even though I tried to eavesdrop.

Another author had nine books in his mystery series that takes place locally. I've always wanted to read one of his books since I first heard about him. Now he has nine? I'll never catch up.

I met a psychic who was written stories about ghost encounters at local historic sites. She organizes author and artist events and said she'll let me know about her next event. She was like an instant 'old friend'.

There was a wide range of topics and genres represented at the event. Something for everyone. I enjoyed the evening very much.

*I over heard a few other authors stumbling over their pitches, too. I recently learned in a promotion workshop that the pitch is not just to give to an agent or editor, but also what you should be ready to recite when anyone asks: What's your book about?

Wednesday Writers...

Tonight I'm going to participate in my county library's Annual Authors Night. There will be eleven other local authors. The libray provides tables, chairs and bottled water. We can sign and sell. I will be showing my novel HER SCOTTISH CEO, so I am taking some Scottish themed items for my table. The event will start at 4:30 and end at 6. This is the first 'signing' event I've participated in. I'm glad there well be eleven other authors there, too.
Tomorrow I'll report on how it went.
I was hoping to have my second novel A DADDY FOR LUKE ready tonight, too. But my computer problems a couple of weeks ago set me back. There will be another opportunity in November where I can take that book.