Monday, November 28, 2011

Get out of my head

I have a stretch of days off, and I haven't slept many of them. It might be the normal night schedule or the voices inside my head.

When writing something new, what is it that brings that story to life?

Is it your first thought when you wake-up or did it wake you up?

I fall into the wake me up category. "My Redneck Boyfriend " is such a story. It refuses to sleep or be forgotten about for a minute. It consumes my thoughts and dreams in a way that I haven't felt before. It has a constant movie running in my head that won't rest. Not that I haven't lost sleep before over some book I'm writing. Might just be who I am. I'm passionate about what I write; that's the bottom line.

I made it to the 5,000 word mark and hope to add another 2,000 words today. I'm at the point where I'm wondering if it can develop into a 80,000 word book. I have yet to write a book that is 80,000 words on the first draft. I'm an adder. Stopping in the 60s is something I'm more comfortable doing. This is my first shot at writing romance, there shouldn't be any mystery other than what's going to happen next. Not that I haven't written romance before, all of my books involve a romantic element. Even "The Bone Extractor" where you wouldn't expect one.

This idea came out of the blue too. I told Nick I had an idea about a great book title, thinking there was some book out there somewhere named the same thing. Nope. How can you base a book from a title? That's easy for me; I have based stories from far less. When I begin a book or story, I hate the beginning because they kinda suck, and even after I write a few pages I still think it's lame. I'm not the type of writer that thinks I'm great at it. I guess it's the critic inside of me that has the power to beat me down quicker with a stick than anyone would dare. I think most of us writers have one of those. I have yet to find a way to extract the little bugger, maybe I need an exorcist. I mean what good is something that basically tells you that you're the worse writer ever. Right?

The point is that you shouldn't let the voices win. If the beginning isn't great, so what? Keep writing until you get to the point that you're happy and then go back. You'll probably find out that it wasn't that bad. It's getting past that first chapter or 1,000 words that count. You can always make changes later.

"My Redneck Boyfriend" is all about stereotypes, the ones someone from the south may have and the ones us northern people have. It's funny how that could turn out.

Six Sentence Sunday

Here is my six sentences for six sentences Sunday! It's taken from my recently started book, "My Redneck Boyfriend." 

"Don't try and sweet talk me, City. Get going, we have to find someplace to camp before it gets dark."
I made my way toward the pack and turned nervously. "What if there's another big ole copperhead in there."
He moved his hand forward. "Just yank the pack out, it taint what you city folks call brain surgery."

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Bone Extractor Book Trailer

I finally did it, I made a book trailer without it costing me a red cent (whatever in the hell that means).
When Special Agent Matt Hastings arrived at Billy’s Roadhouse in Hail, Iowa, two things were apparent; there is a body in the dumpster devoid of bones that have been extracted with surgical precision and the person that discovered the remains is dead of a shotgun wound to the chest.

An offhand remark to Pathologist Dr. Helen Saint comes back to haunt Matt when she is assigned to work alongside him. He could barely tolerate Helen at the lab, and now her lack of field experience has Matt questioning the motives of his supervisor, Nathaniel Klein. He can’t worry about that now. He won't let anything interfere with his quest, to capture Bonesaw, the killer known as “The Bone Extractor.”

When Dr. Saint becomes Bonesaw’s number one target, the bad blood between the agents and the doctor becomes irrelevant as Matt desperately tries to save this woman who is both a thorn in his side and someone he cannot live without.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Everyone is creative

I believe we all are creative in our own way.

Being creative may mean you can do one of the following:

1. Getting you kids into the car to take them to school without being late.

I for one still haven't figured out how to do this effectively. I have tried starting earlier, but I have one of those kids that seem to have a preordained way of messing with me. Everything from he can't find his clothes, sock, or shoes. Stalls about making his lunch and always needs a last minute trip to the bathroom. Why he can't pee first thing in the morning is still a mystery to me.

2. Making up excuses not to go somewhere you don't want to go.

I don't have in-laws, but that's the most common place people want to get out of going. I'm more the avoiding being home so that someone can visit type. I think they know this because they have dropped in without calling before. (I can't say I blame them.) I am so not telling you who. In my defense, I work 12-hour nightshifts, 36 hours a week. When I'm not sleeping, I'm working. I'm far too tired to deal with annoying people I barely see. (Plus, how else I'm I going to have to blog, lol.)

3. Changing your mind.

This can be quite challenging if you think about it. I have promised to do hundreds of things I never did. I don't do this intentionally and work on this all the time. I have to be constantly reminded that I just worked the night before, and Nick knows me all too well. I'm pretty much toast the next day.

4. Planning meals or family functions.

There are plenty of people that are great at this (not me). I invented the "you're on your own night." That means if you can't find your own food in the freezer or fridge you're not eating. I always keep the freezer and fridge stocked with food (it's not like anyone starves in this house).

5. Coming up with creative excuses to avoid work.

How many of you work with someone that has the most creative and outlandish stories for calling in to work? Personally, I think you should draw the line with using a family member being sick if they're not. Just saying, I think you are messing with fate here.
It's not about what you do, but what creative excuse you can come up with not to do it!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Formatting for Dummies (Like me)

I went through the horrific process of self publishing Coffin Tales, so much that I thought I'd offer you a few tips and advice. (Turned out not to be so bad once I learned how to do it.) It's also the reason I'm submitting to agents and publishers. It's hard work.
If you want to go the Smashwords route, simply follow their style guide, not that hard to do. It may depend on how fancy your manuscript may be. Convert it to normal, single space and don't forget to indent the first line under format and then style, (paragraph). Take off your ruler, click on the invisibles (looks like a backwards P) use find and remove and take out all the extra spaces. 

Use page breaks even though it looks funny in HTML on Smashwords. Use the center paragraph thing to center your title and chapters. Insert all the copyright information. If you're unsure what to use copy it from another ebook you bought, they pretty much all say the same stuff. Don't forget a dedication page and give credit where it's due, always mention the editor and cover artist. 

Surprising how many people don't, that really pisses off an artist. It's bad enough they have to put up with writers, lol. Speaking of artists, remember to be clear what you want and communicate it properly the first time. Because if you don't, you may be expected to pay more. It's only fair as artists work hard and with the recent changes in publishing they are making less and less money all the time. Most covers are nothing more than a picture, yes, it's a sad day for artists.
If you are going the Amazon route, let me give you the biggest piece of advice I learned from my formatter. The preview you get on KDP is not right. I converted it to HTML on word, and it turned out great, even though it looked wrong on the KDP preview. It's one of those dirty secrets formatters don't want you to know. I also converted my document to normal for this process.
I think that about sums it up. Always, always edit your book before putting it up anywhere. I can't believe how many mistakes I made, but I had no formatting errors on Smashwords on my first try. (I did find plenty of editing errors though.) I also wasn't happy to hear many people had trouble trying to get the Kindle version from Smashwords. One of the reasons Coffin Tales Season Of Death is now free on Smashwords.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I came to a conclusion about where I am and where I want to be. While self publishing is a good option for many, I have decided to try and traditionally publish "Armed And Outrageous." I think this book could be mainstream. It's a senior sleuth and could be considered a cozy mystery. I believe in this book and the potential of it's sequels. If I self publish, I will lose any chance for it to go mainstream. While I would hope that my followers would buy the book, I know my name is not well know enough to be successful with self publishing.

I have worked the last three days on writing a query and synopsis. It helped me that I had written an outline after the book was finished. I don't know if this decision will result in anything positive, but if I don't try, I'll never know.
Thanks for all your support.