The past few weeks I've been talking about writing and tips to help other writers and today I am tackling one of the most important tips that I have: finding a great editor. Now that self publishing has become easier for authors and does not have the stigma that it once had, I have been asked a lot if authors really need an editor or if they can just self edit to the best of their ability and be done. My answer? Yes you absolutely need to find an editor and a good editor at that. (If you are ever looking for one, ask me and I can send you an introduction to my editor Leona Bushman and we can see if she is taking new clients at that time.)
So why do you need an editor? Because they will see your story from a whole new light. They will see plot holes and story lines that need to be fixed. They will find the typos and wrong words that your eyes miss because you know what you meant to right and that is what you read when you are editing. Most likely your editor will be better at grammar and punctuation than you are and even if you are a wiz at such things, it's nice to have someone else check you work.
The goal when putting out a book, well through a traditional publisher or self publishing, is to put out the best possible product that you can. That is why I recommend an experienced editor to help you along the way. You want to look professional and that often means hiring other professionals to help you.
That's just my two cents. Of course if you want to forgo an editor you can, but I at least recommend that you get as many beta readers as you can to provide feedback and at least try to get a proofreader to check for typos and such. Writing is an art, but it is also a business and you should treat it as such.
Today I am happy to have a cover reveal and preorder link for my next release, the anthology Curses & Cauldrons! You can preorder now and it will be out August 31st!
Over 200 tiny dark tales of magic, mischief, murder, mayhem & madness...
You do not want to get on the wrong side of these witches!
Let us cast a spell on you... with just 100 words.
Featuring: Zoey Xolton, Umair Mirxa, Shawn M. Klimek, Gabriella Balcom, Stacey Jaine McIntosh, Terry Miller, Stuart Conover, Stephen Herczeg, Patrick Winters, David Rae & Galina Trefil... + 65 other talented international authors!
Sometimes life gets rough and throws a lot of things your way. This is just part of life. Recently someone asked me how I keep writing even when health and life issues keep getting in my way. The answer? The same way that I do everything else, like go to the day job or keep my house (sort of) clean. Writing is just a part of my life. I plan in as part of my day, just like my day job. As a matter of fact I treat it as my second job.
I work mornings at the day job and get off in early afternoon. I come home, eat lunch, get some exercise in and then aim for at least two to three hours of writing and writing related work (like this blog) each week day. It's just part of my schedule and I try to stick to it no matter what life has thrown at me. I also tend to take the weekends off mostly from writing, giving me time for my spouse, family and friends. It gives me a better work/life balance that way.
This is not to say that I can always keep to this nice schedule. This past week for instance I have family visiting and while I could not get time off from the day job, I have cut back most of my writing time for the week. This means I will have some catching up to do, but I can do it. Also when my spouse is away for work, I tend to work longer hours writing, so it is all a balance. Part of that balance is making writing a priority and scheduling time to write into my week. The other part is knowing when I can cut back and when I can write more. I am always striving for that balance and it really is a work in progress each and every day. Still, I am getting words down so I must be doing something right.
I am in the middle of edits for Port Stone Book 2: Delmar's Demise and hope to have a release date and preorder link up for you by the end of the month! I am also planning on starting book 3 by the end of the month as well so hopefully the trilogy will be complete by the end of the year! Have you picked up book 1, Port Stone: Dangers of the Swamp yet? This is my first high fantasy series and I am pretty darn proud of it!
Tianna and Kara each came to Port Stone by request of their respective Orders to help an unknown elf, Phinelope. She never shows at the appointed meeting place, so they go in search of her only to find Phinelope murdered and more secrets than answers in this strange town. Never ones to let the murder of a woman go with no consequences, they take it upon themselves to avenge her death and find themselves becoming more involved in the mysteries of Port Stone than either of them ever intended.
Join Tianna and Kara in this female led fantasy of danger, lies, and unanswered questions.
As an author one of the most commons questions that I get asked is "Where do you get your ideas from?" The answer? From anywhere and everywhere. Literally anything can help spawn an idea for a story or a book. Don't believe me? Let me tell you about the inspiration behind a few of my current projects.
The Port Stone fantasy novella series that I am working on (book 2 is in edits as we speak and I am about to start book 3) came from a small Dungeons and Dragons games that my spouse and I played just between each other. So this one was inspired by a game.
Not So Bleak Winter, a Christmas novella that I am currently working on, came from the desire to write another Christmas story (they are fun to write) and wanting to keep with the shifter/paranormal theme that my previous Christmas stories had. One friend said something about deer shifters and viola, an idea was born!
It All Comes Back to Paris is a contemporary romance that I am working on as well and it incorporates some of my own experiences from when I lived in Paris along with characters that just popped into my mind, so Paris itself was the real catalyst of this story.
I am also (when I have time) working on another yet to be title contemporary romance that came from hearing people upset that actress Kate Beckinsale was dating a younger man, so this one had a woman in her 40s dating a man in his 20s. So even celebrity gossip can be an inspiration.
So my suggestion if you are a new author looking for ideas? Just be open to anything that comes your way. A piece of a conversation, a picture in a magazine, a memory, anything can become a great story idea.
I'm back with another book review! I have been trying to catch up on my ever growing to read list. lol
War: Apocalyptia Book 2 by Vesper Brooks starts up with just as much excitement as the first book in the series left off. One young woman learns so much about herself, her family, and the world she lives in with the chance discovery of a very unique horse, a beast unlike any other she has ever seen before. In an already unruly world, can she reach down and do what needs to be done for the good of all? This is a fascinating take on the four horse"men" of the apocalypse, taking us readers into a post-apocalyptic ride like we have never read before. I love this series and can't wait for the books to follow. 5/5 stars!
How is July already almost over? How? This year is just flying by! With the month just about to end, it's time to check back at the goals for the month. Now about midway through the month I had to recalculate some of my writing goals not only for this month, but for the rest of the year. For one thing I decided to write a Christmas novella again this year, which means I had to start writing as soon as possible so that I can get it to my editor in plenty of time. So I have reached about 30% of the goal word count on that piece. I hope to have it close to 70-75% complete by next week as then I have the oldest niece visiting and my writing time will be limited for a week or so. I want to have this novella finished and off to my editor before the end of August. Then I need to write the third and final book in the Port Stone series. Hoping to have that to my editor by the end of September. And I have a contemporary romance that I want to get to her by November for a January release. Those are my main plans for the rest of this year. I didn't quite hit my goals this month, but I did get a great start on a new project.
So my August goals are:
- To finish and submit my Christmas novella.
-Edits for Port Stone Book 2
-Get at least 40% of Port Stone Book 3 written.
-Add some words to my contemporary romance based in Paris
I have had to learn to simplify my goals and streamline my writing process, which is always a work in progress. I am always learning and growing as an author and trying to find what works best for me. This way I hope to produce more and better writing with each and every new release.
I am back with a couple more book reviews for the Fractured Fantasies series by the awesome indie author Torie James!
The Nomad is the seventh book of the Fractured Fantasies series. The apocalypse had happened and people rely on nomads, runners who travel from settlement to settlement bringing news and seeking help. One such nomad learned that not everything is as it seems and that sometimes mixing work with pleasure is a dangerous game. 5/5 stars for some very interesting twists and turns.
The Offering is the eighth book in the Fractured Fantasies series. I love paranormal stories and this is one that comes off completely unexpected. A woman on the run, but from what? A man desperate for just a little of her time. What is the connection between them and why have they been playing a cat and mouse game for years? I don't want to ruin the surprise, but the truth is firey! 5/5 stars for a hot, hot story!
FRACTURED FANTASIES are cautionary, carnal tales..In the burning lands of rapturous fulfillment and unrequited desire, one false step can lead down the path towards delicious destruction. Impassioned appeals, sinful seductions and fevered longings can often hide degrees of twisted tenderness but don't be fooled. Not all prisons have bars, silence can be deadly and even the sweetest face conceals monstrous insanity. Tread lightly, choose well or find sexual satisfaction at the dead end of one-way street.
Do you ever feel like you are the maps app on your phone and the driver just went off the planned path and now you have to recalculate? That you are constantly recalculating your life? I know that I do, in all aspects of my life in fact. However this blog is about the recalculations I am making in my writing plans for the rest of 2019.
As life continues to pull me off path and my own writing brain creates new projects, adjustments need to be made. Now I do have a ton of projects in the works, but now I need to realistically think of what I can finish and get out in 2019. Part of this recalculation is coming from the fact that I just added a Christmas novella to be released during the holidays this year. I already have the basic plot in mind and just got myself a cover over the weekend and I am so excited to put out another shifter Christmas novella this year, though I am moving on from werebears to something new. So adding a new novella means I have to think about what else will be written this year. I am working on a contemporary romance set in Paris right now and I hope to have it out hopefully this year. I also need to write the third and final book in the Port Stone fantasy series, which I hope to get out in December as well. These are the three projects (plus edits for Book 2 of Port Stone) seem doable if I keep up a good writing schedule. This means I will be writing a few less short stories for anthologies, though I may still attempt one or two.
I am trying to balance life and writing the best I can and am learning not to take on too much so that I feel overwhelmed. I am just recalculating.
It's super hot outside and it has me dreaming of winter and the cold, so why not share a couple of my holiday stories so others can read of snow and sexiness while the temps of summer keep rising! Both of these stories are only .99 cents and are available on Kindle Unlimited. Why not celebrate a little Christmas in July!
Anna is a lonely woman, running her dead grandmother's flower shop. She hates Christmas and could not feel more lost when a handsome and mysterious Russian, Alexander, walks into her shop and her life. Each has secrets that they are harboring. Just as their passion erupts, the good old boys in town threaten to ruin everything. Getting to know each other is tough for most couples, adding in magic does not make it any easier. Now with a pack of werewolves out to destroy them, things become intense. They find themselves in a fight for their lives. Can their newfound love give them the strength to win against this threat and trust in the future?
Mikhail is only in Paris to finding the missing heir to the German fox clan so that he can return to Russia and celebrate his last Christmas of freedom. Soon the Gathering would be called and he would be forced to find a mate. However, things become much more interesting than expected when he meet Ellie. Not only is his missing fox fierce and gorgeous, there is a connection between them that neither of them can explain. Before they can explore what is going on between them though, Mikhail must help Ellie as she faced some darkness from her past. Courage, magic, and maybe even love will help them both on a journey to find the future that they deserve. Can Mikhail and Ellie overcome their pasts and trepidation about the future in order to truly find the Christmas spirit and so much more?
Author, artist, jewelry maker and all around creative person. I write in many genres and have a lot of fun doing so. Please take a look around and enjoy!