Tag Archives: author

Snoopy the Writer

If Snoopy can do it, then anybody can 🙂

peanuts-3-hr

This is just to remind people that there is a story in every one of us. You just have to make the time to write it out.

And also remember – even Snoopy didn’t like his critics 🙂

Watch the video below to get inspired!

Why Chocolate Is Good For You AND Your Writing

This article was originally published on Bookmarketingtools.com

Books and chocolate

No really, chocolate is good for you. Dark chocolate can even help you lose weight!

But as with all good things, for the above to be true, chocolate should be eaten in small quantities. That means those small quantities had better be good.

The same can be said about writing.

A lot of excess words can help bulk out word count and make you feel good about your output. But it can also make your manuscript overweight, unwieldy and a hard slog for readers to get through.

“In many cases when a reader puts a story aside because it ‘got boring,’ the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of description and lost sight of his priority, which is to keep the ball rolling.”-Stephen King, On Writing

Scenes, paragraphs, and sentences should be pared down and always be working to move the story forward in a flowing, logical manner. A good way for testing this with a piece of writing is to read it aloud. If it flows well while speaking it, then it should flow well while reading it.

I am not going to say that I am the perfect writer that does everything correctly, and never use too many words to get my point across. In fact I am the opposite (as can be seen from this post). I love words and like to use as many of them as possible wherever I can. But as with eating too much chocolate, I know that in the long run too many words will be a bad thing for the story (and this article).

“Good description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons why you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It’s not just a question of how to, you see; it’s also a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.”-Stephen King, On Writing

Now, I am not going to tell you how to write like this, just as I am not going to tell you what chocolate to eat. That is up to each individual to decide. Everyone has their particular brand of chocolate, and everyone has their own particular writing style.

Ultimately it is up to you to decide what stays, what goes, and what chocolate to eat.

Happy chocolate munching!

-H.M. Clarke

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The Hardest Part Of Writing Is… Writing.

 

This article was originally published on Bookmarketingtools.com

Steve Coogan in Hamlet 2
Steve Coognan in “Hamlet 2”

I absolutely, positively, hate writing the last page and paragraph of a manuscript.

For me, ending a story is the hardest thing for me to do.

For others, just sitting down to put pen to paper and actually write is the hardest thing. Either from telling themselves that they just don’t have the time or from a fear of what others will think and say about their efforts.

Now I will admit that I did suffer from the second reason. But through age and sheer Australian ‘pig headedness’, I am now no longer scared about bad opinions of my work. If it is constructive criticism, I can use it to improve my writing. And if it is just meanness for meanness sake? I just put it aside and let the bad karma fairy sort them out later.

The main thing is, if you want to write, then write. It doesn’t matter if it is a recipe, biography, journaling your repressed feelings about the kid who picked on you at school, or writing the epic story that has been sitting inside your head for years. The thing that matters most is that you are WRITING. Every time you put anything down on paper (or on a keyboard or your phone), is taking you that one step closer to completing whatever writing goal you had set out to do.

Also, making a point to write something every day will help to form the ‘habit’ of writing. Just like making yourself jog everyday gets you into the ‘habit’ of exercising.

Even if you can only snatch ten minutes in a day to write, that will get you ten minutes closer to finishing your project than you would have been the day before.

Then after all of this writing, you get to the ‘Tale End’ of the story. The Finishing! I find this the hardest part of writing for the following reason.

You’ve just finished writing the epic scene where all your important story threads for the book get tied up nicely in a neat packaged, exciting finale… Then you have to write the section where you see how this dramatic scene has affected your characters in a neat and tidy wrap up.

Every time I write one it feels like a bit of a letdown. But it is needed to give your readers a chance to come down from your exciting finale and to see what ‘settled’ life is like for your characters.

So, all of my above ramblings now begs the question.

Writers, what part of writing is the hardest for you?

Share your thoughts with me in the Comments. I would love to know what people think.

-H.M. Clarke

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“Them’s Writing Words!”: 3 ways to gain inspiration for your next writing project

This article was originally published on Bookmarketingtools.com

Leonid_Pasternak_-_The_Passion_of_creation
The Passion of Creation by Leonid Pasternak (the father of Boris Pasternak)

Writing Inspiration

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and they say something that sparks a story idea in your head?

(…then you miss the rest of the conversation because you are desperately trying to imprint the idea in your brain so you can get it down on paper at a later time…)

This tends to happen a lot to me and usually I can’t get to a piece of paper (or my phone) in time to get the idea, and the emotion behind it, down.

(…immediately grabbing your phone in mid-conversation can be seen as a little rude…)

I call this phenomenon ‘Writing Words’ – When you hear something that immediately sends your mind racing on story ideas and concepts. Many good books have been sparked into existence by a word or line in a conversation, or even from a song or a picture. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a good example of this:

“The Lion all began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood. This picture had been in my mind since I was about sixteen. Then one day, when I was about forty, I said to myself: ‘Let’s try to make a story about it.”– From the essay, It All Began with a Picture, by C.S. Lewis

3 Ways To Get Writing Inspiration

Here are 3 ways that you can get inspiration, or tap into those ‘Writing Words’:

  1. From items and things in the world around you. Pictures, scenes, landscapes, songs, your favorite park bench…these can all be a catalyst for forming your next writing project. It’s just up to you to be aware of what is around you and see the potential. Just as C.S. Lewis did.
  2. From news articles. Newspapers, magazine articles, online news sites and television have always been a good source for soaking up story ideas. A social issue on illegal immigration in the Australian Press is what sparked the inspiration for my book The Enclave. Though whatever idea or theme attracts your attention, it needs to resonate with you, because if it doesn’t, the story will not have the emotional power behind it that you would like it to have.
  3. From the conversations and events that happen around you. Now we are back to where I started this article. Any conversation, whether one you’re involved with or overheard, can be a goldmine of ideas for stories in any genre. It’s just up you, the writer, to see their value and greedily use it to your writing advantage.

I gather ideas mainly using the 3 points above. Because of this I have a large collection of paper slips that get tucked into my idea book when I get home. I have been storing my ideas like this for years and have several notebooks full of stuff that I go back to when I need writing inspiration.

How do you find your ideas? Please share your thoughts in the comment’s section. I really would like to know what works for you.

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Help Lilo get to #1 on Amazon on November 20th!

Hello Everyone

My fellow author, Lilo Abernathy’s book, The Light Who Shines is going to be featured as a Kindle Daily Deal on Amazon!

This is HUGE!

It will be reduced to: $1.99 for ONE DAY ONLY!
When: Thursday, 11/20/2014

From Lilo:

My friend Brandt Legg (author of the Inner Movement Series) had a Kindle Daily Deal and sold 3000 copies on one day. He made it to #38. I checked and it is possible to get to #1 starting at around 3500 book sales in one day. It will be so close! I couldn’t help but try to get to #1. But I really need help from you, the book community, to get there.

How You Can Help
If you have been considering buying it . . .
Thursday is the day to do it! get it here

If you read it already and loved it . . .
Please recommend it to your friends on Thursday.
1. Go to this page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2…
2. Click the “Recommend It” link in the upper right hand corner and select friends who you think might like it.

If you want to help more . . .
Join my Facebook event where authors, bloggers, and readers are galvanizing into action to help push this book to #1. I have all the material you need to promote it there. It is wonderful to see the book community in action.
https://www.facebook.com/events/48714…

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Short Stories From The Dreaming by Gina Briganti

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A Post by Gina Briganti

GinaShort Stories From The Dreaming is available now in both Kindle and paperback editions from Amazon.com.

The stories in the novella are:

Jenny and Cat Sing Karaoke, or what happened at the Carapelli house while Dana and Joe were enjoying their first official date.

How Meredith and George Got Together is how Joe learns the story of how his fiancées parents started their lifelong romance.

The morning after the last day in The Dreaming is When Dana Met Joe’s Family on a holiday camping trip.

If you’re new to my Natural Gifts series of Uplifting Paranormal Romances, I recommend that you read them in this order:

The Dreaming (Natural Gifts, book 1)

Short Stories From The Dreaming (Natural Gifts Novella 1.1)

Desert Sunrise (Natural Gifts, book 2)

Thank you to all who have supported my writing.  It means so much more to me, when I am able to share it with you.

And guess what?  I’m busy writing Saunders’ Choice, where Velvet (The Dreaming) has her chance at love.

As always. thank you for everything!

Gina

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Friends with Wings by Michelle Murrain – Bloggers Book Fair & Giveaway

Friends with Wings by Michelle Murrain

Avatar0408I have been writing science fiction since 2006, and have been an avid reader and fan of science fiction since I started to read. Since I have been both a scientist and a technologist by trade, and as a polymath, my interests span a wide range of topics, including science, technology, history, culture, politics, race, gender, sexuality, philosophy, spirituality, and religion. I bring all of these to bear in my science fiction writing, which has strong elements of exploration of all of these topics. I specialize in stories of culture clash and/or first contact, and has numerous strong female protagonists and characters, as well as a lot of diverse characters. I have a philosophical approach to publishing my work – everything is licensed via Creative Commons – freely sharable and modifiable. Learn more at http://author.murrain.net

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Friends with Wings

Science Fiction | Adult

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The year is 2102, the earth is in crisis, and Trina, a gutsy young woman from a poor family, is forced to sell herself into slavery to pay off her family’s debt. To her surprise, she ends up being sent into space to help colonize a star. Her future seems bright until crisis strikes the colony – leaving Trina the only human being left alive on Planet Johannes. Another spaceship is slated to arrive in a decade, but how will Trina survive alone for ten years? And even if she does, how can she keep the next colony from meeting the same fate? The answers to these questions show up in the form of “friends with wings.” Once Trina meets the Eeriv, nothing will ever be the same.

Only $.99!

Interview

When did you start writing?

In 2006. I had gone back to school, and decided to take a summer off. The novel that had been kicking around in my head for years decided to make its way out into the world.

What inspires your writing?

The past, the present, the possible future.

What is the best part about being a writer?

Getting to tell intriguing, inspiring stories.

Is there something special or unique about you or your book you’d like to tell us about?

I love to write strong diverse characters. I love to explore assumptions of our culture and science. And I love to explore the intersections of science and spirituality.

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Miriya by Jade Kerrion – Bloggers Book Fair & Giveaway

Miriya by Jade Kerrion

JADE KERRION is the author of the Double Helix series, which has won a total of eight science fiction awards, including the Gold Medal in Readers Favorites 2013. Her Guild Wars fan fiction was accused of keeping her readers up at night, distracting them from work, housework, homework, and (far worse), from actually playing Guild Wars. And then she wondered why just screw up the time management skills of gamers? Why not aspire to screw everyone else up too? So here she is, writing science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance novels that aspire to keep you from doing anything else useful with your time.

Connect:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Miriya

Science Fiction | New Adult

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Thirty years into the First Genetic Revolution, society’s tolerance for human derivatives is wearing thin. Clones and in vitros are regarded with suspicion, and mutants with resentment.  Yet in spite of the hostile environment, some alpha telepaths—like Miriya Templeton—have thrived.

Her luck is running out.

Destiny has set her life on a collision course with Danyael Sabre, the alpha empath who can kill with a touch. Whether he becomes friend or foe, whether he and she live or die, will depend on the choices she makes. On her decisions hang the outcomes of the Second Genetic Revolution.  Miriya, however, does not believe in destiny, nor want any part of the revolution. It is up to the enforcer, Jake Hansen, to convince her otherwise, and he is running out of time.

Miriya is a FREE prelude novella to the Double Helix series which has won 8 awards to date. It also includes a link for a FREE download of Perfection Unleashed. You have nothing to lose by checking it out, so I hope you’ll grab your copy today.

Interview

When did you start writing?

I started writing in high school. My largest writing endeavor prior to getting published was fan fiction for the MMORPG Guild Wars. I started writing to publish in 2010. My debut novel, Perfection Unleashed, won 6 literary awards and launched the Double Helix series.

What inspires your writing?

My characters inspire me. They all have stories, and they’re clamoring to be told. My favorite is the assassin, Zara Itani. She’s part-Lebanese, part-Venezuelan, and can wreak more havoc with love than most people can with hate. She’s the heroine (and I use that term with much hesitation) in the Double Helix series.

What is the best part about being a writer?

What I enjoy best is seeing the characters and the worlds come to life through words. It’s an incredible feeling receiving feedback and reviews where people say how much they loved the characters that I loved and nurtured.

Tell us something cool about you or your book! Be sure to include the book titles.

I’m branching out into contemporary romance, so if you enjoy romance, please do sign up for my New Release newsletter at http://eepurl.com/A1_xL and you’ll receive information on publishing news, giveaways, contests, and events.

 

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5 Short Stories by J.C. Conway – Bloggers Book Fair & Giveaway

5 Short Stories by J.C. Conway

JC n1929J.C. Conway writes romance, science-fiction, and fantasy stories for adults, young adults and middle-grade readers. He is a long-standing member of Romance Writers of America, Yosemite Romance Writers, the World Science Fiction Society, and Mystery Writers of America. He is also a complex-litigation attorney, a former high-school math and computer science teacher, a family man, and a fan of great fiction that stretches the imagination, probes the depths of the human condition or otherwise illuminates the unknown or the misunderstood.

J.C. Conway’s passion for writing began early. He loved grade school assignments that allowed him to write about whatever he wanted, which generally meant at the time, in no particular order, dinosaurs, robots, giant insects, mass destruction, army heroes and alien invaders. Since then he’s added romance, tense personal conflict and emotional dilemmas.

His debut novel, Hearts in Ruin, a contemporary romance about two archaeologists on the verge of a groundbreaking discovery, was released by Liquid Silver Books May 5, 2014. His short stories have appeared in Tales of the Talisman, Mystic Signals, Battlespace (a charitable publication, the proceeds of which go to help wounded veterans through the Warrior Cry Music Project) and many other print an online publications. A full listing of his work is available at his website: http://jcconway.com.

Connect:

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Short Stories

Worlds Less Traveled

Science Fiction | Adult

 
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An attorney at an off-world deposition faces a strange witness and even stranger circumstances. But can his senses be trusted this far from Earth as his anti-psychotic field wanes? “Worlds Less Traveled” is a fresh look at at an ageless problem, rife with intrigue, corporate malfeasance and relentless tension in a way that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Previously published by Perihelion Science Fiction and available in audio from Comets and Criminals, this short story by J. C. Conway keeps readers guessing and engaged. “Giggle, snicker, chuckle… oh, I liked that.” Don’t miss the chance to glimpse humanity from the eyes one of its troubled own as he struggles with internal and external adversity on a world less traveled.

Only $.99!

Gentle Push

Science Fiction | Adult

 
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An alien scout from an ancient and advanced species encounters a human for the first time as Earth’s colonies retreat from an advancing horde. It finds the human unusual, in its own way, and the encounter is not what it expects. But its first observation are only the beginning of its surprises.

 First published in Mindflights Magazine, this quirky and uplifting short story by J. C. Conway explores human love, sacrifice, loyalty and perseverance in the face of crushing adversity.

 Only $.99!

Murphy’s Traverse

Science Fiction | Adult

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Centuries-long interstellar colony missions are serious business. It is Murphy’s job to make sure the ship arrives in one piece and he has at his disposal the resources of the entire vessel and its advanced caretaker programs to ensure he meets that goal. With nothing in their path and a vast store of redundant systems, what could go wrong?

 Only $.99!

Bingham’s Deep Woods Fairies

Fantasy | Middle Grade

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Carolyn is on a fairy hunt. She has the book, she has the time, and she knows where to look. But is fairy magic, and its source, something Carolyn is ready to face?

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Silence of the Imbeciles

Fantasy | Middle Grade

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14-year-old Frankie Turnbull is fascinated with magic wands and he is very good at making them, as the enchanted beings have assured him. But with great power comes terrible consequences, and Frankie must learn to face his. Originally published by Residential Aliens, this story has been described as “very well written, understated and poignant.” While Frankie’s problems seem unusual for a 21st Century small-town kid, there is something universal at the heart of his troubles and his reaction to them.

Only $.99!

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Keep going! Persistence pays off in the publishing world

Dune: Frank Herbert's classic was rejected 20 timesTired of being rejected by publishers? Remember Frank Herbert

An Article by Chris Robley

I was listening to the Writer’s Almanac Podcast this morning and heard that it’s the birthday of Frank Herbert, author of the science fiction masterpiece Dune

Herbert is just one name on a long list of writers who found success after being repeatedly rejected.

Nearly twenty publishers told Frank Herbert “no thanks” after he’d submitted the manuscript for Dune.

Eventually Dune was accepted by Chilton, a publisher of auto repair manuals and an unlikely launching pad for a book that would go on to define an entire genre, sell over 12 million copies, and get made into a movie (twice).

So, if you’re feeling down, rejected, unsupported, or otherwise low about where you’re at in your writing life, try to remember that plenty of famous writers established their careers only after years of beating their heads against closed doors.

If you’re passionate about the craft of writing, it’s best to heed the advice of poet Todd Boss: “Never Give Up.”

How do you stay motivated and inspired in the face of literary rejection or “failure” (a dangerous word!)? Please let me know in the comments below.

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