Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Writing Journey



AS LONG AS I CAN remember I’ve been a story-teller.  When I was a child I would sit with notebook and pen and write the stories filling my head with new worlds, characters and realms of existence.  Sometimes I would tell my sisters bedtime stories about mystical creatures and magical heroes on fantastic quests.  I would sit on the stairs at school writing stories and living in my own little world.  My friends would sneak up behind me, take my notebooks and sit next to me, reading the story coming to life under my pen.  There is something magical about creating other worlds and other lives and watching them come to life on paper.

            I decided early in my career that I was going to become a Science Fiction and Fantasy author.  Although I am a veracious reader and read anything I can get my hands on, Science Fiction and Fantasy has been and always will be my favorite.  When I chose these genres I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to be accepted as a mainstream artist.  There seemed to be a built-in prejudice towards the concept of supernatural creatures, magic and seemingly unrealistic scientific feats. 


Throughout my life my number one goal, the path I always wanted to pursue, was to become a published author.  I didn’t realize the difficult path I had ahead of me or the challenges and sacrifices I would need to make in order to pursue my dream.  Although I defined myself as an author for most of my life my first book wasn’t published until my fortieth birthday.  In my journey to join the world of the published I made mistakes, poor choices and rushed a little too fast.  I experienced a strong learning curve in the process and so I decided I needed to compile this book as a way to guide others in the pursuit of their dreams to be published. 

There are many steps to becoming a published author.  A person doesn’t wake up one morning and say, “I think I’m going to write a book today.”  Writing and publishing a book is a process; a long, difficult, painful process.  However, the process is worth it.  When you have your finished book in your hands and can turn the pages and smell the fresh, crisp, clean smell of paper and ink a thrill goes up your spine and you feel invincible. 
Tell your writing journey...

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Ten Senses


The Ten Senses

We all know we have five senses, but did you know we also have five hidden senses? Understanding how your character experiences the world can help you develop compelling and interesting characters.

Show verses Tell refers to the concept of showing your reader how the character experiences the world through his or her senses. Could you imagine the story you could tell if you didn’t just rely on the five tangible senses, but actually tapped into the character’s hidden senses as well?
 
Five senses:
Sight
Sound
Smell
Taste
Touch

Hidden Senses:
Proximity- Where you are in relation to objects or people
Pain – We’ve all been there
Proprioception-Your body’s awareness of itself (Ex: able to touch nose with eyes closed)
Thermal- Temperature
Equilibrium - Balance
Consider everything your character is sensing as you tell the story.
Write a scene in which your character relies on all of his/her hidden senses to show the action of the story.
 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Creating a successful Social Media Group

I have established a number of successful groups on social media. Here are a few tips on establishing a successful group.
            When you establish your group you need to decide how much control you are going to have over the membership and posts in the group. There are people who create fake profiles for the specific purpose of adding clickbait to Facebook groups (most of this clickbait is pornography). The profiles look like real people on the surface and once they are admitted to the group they add other fake profiles as well. It is easy to lose control of this situation and your group is soon overrun with inappropriate posts. I eliminated this problem by activating the admin must approve members option in the settings of the group. I then check out the profiles of anyone requesting to join the groups. Sometimes this means members who really want to join the group don’t get to because their profiles look suspicious, but maintaining the integrity of the group greatly outweighs the loss of these few members.
Bloggers Helping Authors Group
1.       Establish a theme for the group

2.      Use compelling images for picture and header

3.      Write a compelling group description

4.      Establish Group Rules

5.      Manage members

6.      Manage posts

7.      Be active and interactive in the group

.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Branding

Branding is the marketing device of creating a name, symbol or design used to identify you. It is what makes you unique. As an author you need to create your own personal brand.

Your brand should be a short description of who you are accomponied by a clear image representing what you do.

Every one of your social media accounts needs to have an aspect of your brand prominently displayed.

In order to create my brand I had to look at my defining characteristics. I am an author and a teacher. Both of these traits are tied up into every aspect of what defines me. I am the guide and the learning, a never ending cycle. The Hero’s Journey in Literature figures heavily in my work with a strong emphasis in the cycle of Death and Rebirth. I choose the butterfly as my personal symbol to represent these concepts.



This tiny, fragile creature represents the many steps of the hero's journey as it transitions through each stage of its life-cycle. From egg to larva, where it molts away its old life as it grows, until it cocoons itself into the chrysalis where it completely transforms into a fully formed adult, only to start the cycle all over again with the next generation.

I love the beauty of these tiny creatures and they always seem to appear in the most unlikely of places.

A few years ago, my husband nearly lost his life to an infection. The nurse who was caring for him in the emergency room was wearing butterfly scrubs. He survived (minus a leg) and began his new journey in life.

Is there any greater symbol than the butterfly for who I am or what I write? The symbol of the butterfly is my personal brand.

What can you use to symbolize your personal brand?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Book Spotlight: Conquest: Rise of the Fifth Horseman

https://www.amazon.com/Conquest-Rise-Fifth-Horseman-Book-ebook/dp/B01G0YYQ4A
A primeval darkness threatens to destroy mankind...
In an alternate reality where in ancient times two of Earth’s largest continents mysteriously vanished to a world called Zion, NSA Agent Lily Thatcher finds herself in the midst of a plot to drag away a third of all mankind in a rapture-like event. Lily is spirited away to this evil-plagued world where dragons rule the skies and an evil darkness lurks in the shadows. The Leviathan has already consumed the souls of Zion and now thirsts for the souls of Earth. Will Lily be able to tame the newly-discovered divine power growing within her in time to prevent Earth’s apocalyptic fate? The weight of both worlds bears down upon her shoulders and only time will tell if Lily has what it takes to save mankind.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Favorite Book


Reading a book changes you. Even if the change is imperceptible to yourself or others. You learn new words, ideas, and a way of looking at the world as you read. What you choose to read greatly influences what you choose to write.

Consider:

What is your favorite book?

What are the three top reasons this is your favorite book?

How has reading the book changed/help you become a better person?
 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

H. Elf Lewis


About the Author  H. Elf Lewis
Why are you THE Next Favorite Author?
I write fun scary romantic stories around attractive relatable characters with human wants and clever lively dialogue.
H. Elf Lewis is a pen name, an author materialization for “Lonely Dark Hearts”, a new adult/paranormal romance series bordering on horror—“Paranormal Romance Fiction with a Bite”. Lewis loves crafting emotion-jarring stories that drive towards resolution with a tinge of the irreverent, granting the reader reward and relief when he or she steps off the ride.
Provide Links:
                Where can we buy the books?
https://www.amazon.com/GHOST-HEARTH-Lonely-Dark-Hearts-ebook/dp/B06WRRNBXJ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1487179360&sr=1-1&keywords=ghost+heart
                How can we follow you on Facebook? (No more than 2 links)
https://www.facebook.com/helflewis
                What is your Twitter Handle?
                Are you on GoodReads?
                Your Website Address is:
https://lonelydarkhearts.com
                Are there any other sites we should know about? (No more than two links)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTdXDk-eZlc&feature=youtu.be

Monday, April 17, 2017

Writing Prompt: Strange Messages


Have you ever received a strange message?
Perhaps a note or a garbled voicemail or a voice in your head?
Imagine a character who is receiving strange messages from an outside source. Where are the voices coming from? What are those messages telling him to do?
Write the story...

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Book Spotlight: (Almost) Average Anthology


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01A2P4OYK/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_udp_api_5uKtxbDD47W1F

Culled from the archives of the (Almost) Average blog, this anthology of flash fiction collects sixteen original stories in one volume. Maniacal creatures, deadly aliens, and strained relationships reveal the darker side of life through tales perfect for the reader wanting adventure in bite-sized stories. 

Touches of horror, science fiction, and fantasy weave through the anthology from the opening line of “Sebastian (I Am Death)” to the closing words in “The Long Sleep.” This debut anthology offers the reader a variety of stories with twists and unexpected turns.

Featuring the story “Sunshine and Asteroids” as read on episode 48 of the No Extra Words podcast and two previously unreleased stories only available here, this anthology of dark stories is the first offering of author Jason J. Nugent. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What is your opinion on the rules of writing?


This is my take on the rules of writing: Learn the rules, internalize the concepts, study practice and live by the rules, until it is time to write something and then throw the rules OUT the window. Pretend you never learned them. Write what you want to write. Break the rules. The story needs to spill out of you. As you write the important rules will stick with you and then your story will be purely your voice and enough of the rules or writing will stick with you to allow you to create a quality piece, but you have to learn and internalize the rules first.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Doug Oudin

Doug Oudin is a retired Harbormaster from Catalina Island, now living in Grants Pass, Oregon.
Why are you THE Next Favorite Author? Having lived on or near the ocean for more than half a century, Doug Oudin brings the sea to life in his writings.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When the publisher of the Catalina Islander Newspaper asked me to write a weekly column for his publication, I was unsure of my aptitude for writing, but because of his persuasion, I somewhat reluctantly agreed. After writing more than 1,000 articles (byline Between Two Harbors), I realized that writing was a big part of my life, and I started writing my first book, my Catalina Memoir, ‘Between Two Harbors, Reflections of a Catalina Island Harbormaster’.
I then completed my first novel, ‘Five Weeks to Jamaica’, and am now working on my next project, which I hope to have ready for publication in mid-2017.

AUTHOR BIO


Doug Oudin is a retired harbormaster from Catalina Island, California. For twenty-one years, he wrote a weekly article for the local Catalina Islander Newspaper.

Married for thirty-eight years, with two sons, his life on and around the ocean has given him the essence of a true seaman. Having traveled extensively in Mexico, Central America, and parts of the Caribbean, his seafaring adventures enable him to describe, in vivid detail, the captivating lure of the tropics, the power and beauty of the sea, and the subtle, fragile, and inexplicable diversities of personal relationships.

His two books, ‘Between Two Harbors, Reflections of a Catalina Island Harbormaster’, (a memoir), and ‘Five Weeks to Jamaica’, (a novel), reflect his broad knowledge of the ocean realm.


Provide Links:
Where can we buy the books?
Amazon; http://.www.amazon.com/Doug-Oudin/e/B00J6ELD5C
www.barnesandnoble.com/w/five-weeks-to-jamaica-doug-oudin/1121687703

How can we follow you on Facebook? (No more than 2 links)
Twitter; https://mobile.twitter.com/DougOudin

What is your Twitter Handle?
Are you on GoodReads?
Goodreads; http://.www.goodreads.com/author/show/7251794.Doug

Your Website Address is:
Website; http://.www.dougoudin.com/our-story.html

Monday, April 10, 2017

Writing Prompt: Starting the story.

How do you start your story?
Heat seemed to press down on her from all sides, making it difficult to breathe.  A flash of sunlight reflected off the glass front of the building, blinding Savanna momentarily.  Walking into the waiting room of the clinic, she was confronted by a mass of men, women and children crowded in the tiny space.  Dark faces with striking brown eyes stared at her from all corners of the room.  The few members of the clinic staff Savanna could see all slouched with signs of exhaustion.  A nurse sat at the front desk studying a chart, a medical mask covering the lower half of her face.  It took a few moments for her dark eyes to settle on Savanna. 

“Can I help you?” she asked.

“I’m Dr. Taylor, University Hospital sent me.”  Savanna recognized the look in the nurse’s eyes when she identified herself.  She knew she did not look like a doctor.  Although she was nearly six feet tall, her fair skin and pale blonde hair made her look much younger than she was.  Graduating from high school when she was twelve and medical school at nineteen didn’t help convince people either. 
From Echoes of Savanna 
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006RM66QM

Share your story starts here!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Blog Hop For SiFan Magazine

Hi everyone!
I hope you are enjoying the blog hop so far.
I am Lucinda Moebius. Many of you know me as the administrator of groups such as:
Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors and Science Fiction, Fantasy and other genres: Learning to promote effectively.
I am much more than a group moderator though. I am a teacher, an author and a friend. I also love photography so I thought I would share some of my favorite photos I took.
I love reading almost as much as I love writing so I hope you will all take a moment to comment here and let me know what you have written. I would love to feature you as an author on the Your Next favorite Author blog.
I currently have eleven published works. Books twelve and thirteen are coming out in the next few weeks. It's a race to see which one gets finished first.
My current works include science fiction (with a little paranormal thrown in there as a way to turn them into SciFan works), paranormal, literary fiction, non-fiction, romance and children's books.
(I included the links at the bottom of this post so you can check them out.)

My husband and I wrote a children's book together about his life as a Firefighter before he became disabled. It is in the final stages of completion.
I have written a book about promotions and it is now in the hands of the editor.
(These are the two books in the race to see which one is published next)
After these two books get published I will be working on book 14. Hopefully If I can focus on it like I did my current projects I will be able to finish it this summer and have it published by the end of the year.

Enjoy the Blog Hop and don't forget to pick up a copy of the magazine!


Echoes of Savanna: Book One: The Parent Generation


 
Raven’s Song: Book One: T1 Generation


 
Write Well Publish Right


 
Feeder: Chronicles of the Soul Eaters Book 1


 
30 Days Stream of Consciousness V. 1


 
30 Days Streams of Consciousness Vol 2: A Haunting


 
30 Days Streams of Consciousness Vol 3: Abduction


30 Days Stream of Consciousness: Fire and Ice A Love Story


Raising Grandpa


I Know I am Awesome


Oh Brother!


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Book Spotlight: Eden's Serum


https://www.amazon.com/Edens-Serum-Angelique-S-Anderson-ebook/dp/B01B5U60B6

Adam has everything he could want. He is a savvy businessman entrusted with his own personal branch of the company he's worked for the past five years. He is successful, intelligent and about to check off the last box on his list.

Immortality. 

Just so happens the company he works for provides him the finances to do just that. After six months of testing, he is finally ready. Unbeknownst to Adam, the Serum he is about to take, ends up making him very sick. He finds out too late that Eden's Serum has taken a life before and he's about to be its next victim if he can escape the fall of humanity around him.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Tristan Vick


As my mother used to say whenever I’d ask a silly question: BECAUSE! All kidding aside though, why am I the next favorite author? Seriously…because.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
Telling stories. Creating entire worlds. Writing the kinds of stories that I want to read. I know there are authors who write for fans, write to market, and make good money doing it. They hone in on what’s popular and try to emulate it. And that’s what they enjoy. They find that finding a market that’s ripe for the picking, and they like the challenge of trying to figure out how to create something with mass appeal, and that’s fine. Great. But I enjoy telling stories for the sake of telling good stories. So I tend to write for me first.

That doesn’t mean I can’t target markets and tell stories geared toward those markets, but I don’t set out with the notion that I am going to write to market. And those authors who write to market, some of them write really great stories. But the danger is, when you’re emulating something too much, you might get criticized for your stories being too much of a pastiche, or being too redundant, where people will claim your just another Hunger Games, or a Harry Potter wannabe. There’s always a danger of not living up to other people’s expectations when you’re treading on the coattails of others who’ve gone before you. I’d like to think I avoid a lot of this familiarity because I focus on storytelling, not on hitting all the tropes just to satisfy a group of readers.

And while that kind of familiarity might be a draw to many genre readers, I think that it can also become a limiting factor where your readership begins to expect you to tell *those* kind of stories all of the time. And if you disappoint, they’ll ding you for it. Whereas, with me, you know you’re going to get a great character driven story, you know my stories are going to have strong female heroines, and you’ll go in ready to expect lots of genre bending elements. So the appeal of my books are stories that have all the stuff you’d expect of good storytelling, but with the unpredictability of not knowing what you’re gonna get. And that makes it fresh and exciting. That said, my only goal when I sit down to write a new story is I set out to tell the best story that I possibly can.

Author Blurb
Tristan Vick is the popular multi-genre author of the BITTEN, the Resurrection Virus saga, The Scarecrow & Lady Kingston, a paranormal comedic-noir, and a new fantasy series called Valandra.

Tristan Vick graduated from Montana State University with degrees in English Literature and Asian Cultural Studies. He speaks fluent Japanese and lives with his wife and three children in Japan. When he's not commuting on the train or teaching English, he spends his time reading, writing, blogging, binge-watching his favorite television shows, and eating sara-udon.

In addition to being traditionally published, Tristan Vick continues to self-publish under his own imprint, Regolith Publications.

Where can we buy the books?

How can we follow you on Facebook?

What is your Twitter Handle?

Are you on GoodReads?

Your Website Address is:

Are there any other sites we should know about?
You can read a sample of book one from Valandra on InstaFreebie here:

Monday, April 3, 2017

Writing Prompt-Money or Barter


If the world governments were to suddenly collapse how would humanity survive? How would they obtain necessary supplies? Would humanity create a new monetary system or would it rely on a barter system?
Write a scene where a character needs to obtain some goods.
How would the character manage this?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Tell your Writing Story


Today I would like you to reflect on your journey as a writer. When did you decide you wanted to write?

I told stories for as long as I could remember.

When I was 11 my family (Mom, Dad, 7 kids.) moved to the mountains and lived in a two room cabin. No running water, no electricity, no indoor plumbing. All I had was my books, paper and my imagination.

I started on my first book during our family's sojourn at the cabin.

There were about 15 people living in this little ghost town. My brothers and sisters and I would hike through the mountains, fish, camp and just basically lived off the land as much as we could.

I don't think any one of us realized we were living there because we were poor.

There were so many experiences I wouldn't even begin to describe them all.

One of my Favorites:
I was tasked with the chore of getting water. I grabbed the water bucket and stepped out of the door. Our cabin was on one side of the road. the creek was on the other side. We had to hike down the side of our mountain to the creek. On the other side of the creek was the slope of another mountain.

I looked to my right and saw a huge six point Buck staring at me from the other side of the creek.

Our eyes locked and we just stared at each other, me this scrawny little 80 lb girl, it this huge, graceful, soulful creature.

It was my moment of communion with God.

It lasted a moment. And it lasted a lifetime.

Our family lived there for a year and a half.

This experience became the foundation of me becoming a writer.

What's your story?