Tag Archives: Sunday Small Talk

Sunday Small Talk

Yes, it has been a long time since I’ve done one of these. It’s been a rough couple of months as I watched my university all but implode and 30% of us lose our jobs. I’m lucky not to but my friends weren’t. Then again maybe they’re the lucky ones because I think it’s only a matter of time before the university folds.

Couple this with depression, bad crap happening in the publishing world and floods to my knees, making a writing post has been low on my list.

Writing wise, it’s also been rough. I’ve slipped back into fanfic which normally would be a bad thing BUT it’s keeping me writing without having to think too hard. Until I can get past this depression. Otherwise I might stop entirely which would make me more depressed.

But I am still writing some original fiction. I have almost finished my second Christmas story which is F/F/M set back where I used to live in WI. I just need to get the ending done. And I DID sell my other Christmas story so there’s that. That makes me happy.

And Modified and Sacred with Ninestar Press is making me very happy too. It’s still decently ranked after a couple of months. It could use more reviews but that’s how these things go. The reviews have been good. Most wanted more (typical feeling with novellas) and one thinks I could have a series here. That could be fun.

The one thing I have been doing in this blog (besides Rainbow Snippets for my weekly self confidence boost) is been promoting other books. I’ve been trying to keep it a little more on brand since I write mostly SF/UF/Paranormal. Oh sure I’ll be happy to promo contemporary stuff from people I know. I truly do believe we’re here to help each other and this is one easy way for me to do that.

So bear with me. I’m down but I’m not out.

Sunday Small Talk

I could really use your help with this topic. Author newsletters are the ‘big marketing thing’ at the moment but I’m going to be honest, I have my doubts. I’ve ended up on SO many newsletter lists now that I couldn’t possibly read them all and pretty much don’t unless it’s an author I already really like. And of course I’m considering having my own newsletter because there is that pressure to have one as an author.

That, however, isn’t what I wanted to talk about and get your opinions on. A lot of authors share freebies on their newsletters. Now I’m not talking ARC or street team stuff. I don’t sign up for those because I know I can’t read an ebook fast enough and I wouldn’t be pulling my weight as far as that goes. These freebies are either loss leader introductions to a series or a short story set in the novel/series universe.

I’m fine with that, naturally. What’s bothering me is that lately (very noticeable since the start of the year) is the nudging I’ve been getting from the authors that include these things. Hey you, I see you didn’t download your story yet. I would hate for you to miss something. Here’s the link for you to download it now.

Okay, chances are if I didn’t download it, it’s because that story didn’t appeal to me (not to mention I already have more ebooks than I have years left in my life to read them). I find it both a bit creepy and pushy to be tracked in a way that shows that the software the author is employing can track whether or not I’ve downloaded the book. It’s invasive and in a rather annoy way.

The flip side to this is, I did download it and then within a week I get an email from the author saying something along the lines of ‘how are you enjoying my story? Can you please review it?’ and often accompanied by a reason why reviews are so important (and okay, to be fair, they are). Even if I did begin reading the moment I downloaded the book, I can tell you a few days isn’t long enough for me personally to read because ebooks give me migraines and hurt my eyes. Not to mention again this feels invasive and high pressure. If I wanted that I would have joined the street team where I can see the gentle reminders to read and review since that’s the basic contract on offer.

So download or not, it seems like I’m in for ‘reminders’ either way. I know how I feel about this (like removing myself from these lists) but I know I don’t always see things the way others do. So that’s what I want to know. HOW do you all feel about it? Would you be okay with these reminders? Would you be annoyed? Would you simply remove yourself from the newsletter mailing? Would you move the author down your ‘will buy’ list for this? Thanks for any input you have!

And now for some writing links

From Betty – PODCAST 212 – Fake Outs

Do Character Flaws Need to Be Overcome?

How to Use the Uncanny in Your Writing I particularly like this one.

Three Ways Writers Tell, Not Show (And How You Can Fix Them)

Tips for Complex Historical Research

The Practical Guide to Using Character Archetypes in Your Novel

And from around the web

What Marie Kondo Can Teach Us About Decluttering Our Prose While I don’t particularly care for the woman, the article has valid points.

Writing Great Dialogue: Create Power Moments Rich In Subtext

Creating Three-dimensional Villains: Lessons From Buffy and Firefly another really good one

The Post-Publication Blues Let me tell you, they’re real!

Do Sales Equal Success?

Authors Interviewing Their Characters: Patricia Harman I honestly love doing this.

Sunday Small Talk

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. Call it a mix of depression and not really having much to report. I’ve only written 7K words since the beginning of the year. It’s better than nothing but it’s not much.

Modified and Sacred should be releasing in about seven weeks. I’m still waiting for final galley edits and the cover. Looking forward to that.

I am almost finished with revamping a novella for an open call and I’m noodling with some holiday fiction.

I’ll receive the rights back to More Than His Scars which is set in the Kept Tears universe. It was written for Dreamspinner’s Love Wins anthology to help benefit the victims of the Pulse shooting. Not sure what I’ll do with that short story once I have it back. Maybe noodle with it a bit and release it for charity again in the winter months.

And have a crap ton of writing links

Hints for Writing a Series

Planning Super Light Stories Know what? I’m glad there’s a pushback against grimdark and dystopia because it’s getting harder and harder to find stuff in some of my favorite genres because of it

Six Common Mistakes in Fight Scenes, and How to Avoid Them Excellent. I’m going to add ‘keep them relatively short.’ Seriously. Even in manga/graphic novels it gets dull.

Five Ways to Persevere Through Rejection

How To Write A Killer First Draft In 6 Steps

the element everything in your story needs

My friend has also been sending me pintrest stuff, some are like these, checklist for things to do. Others that I might start sharing are story ideas/prompt (though part of me is worried I’d run with it and someone would be like you stole my idea….) Oh and since these are pictures, just click on them to embiggen them.

70 world building considerations

writing the villain

Ways to create book titles

And from around the web

Why And How I Write Novels About Tough Subjects

Women Adventuring in Time

How I Found my Literary Agent Need to sit down with this one

The #1 mistake of self-published authors for worldwide book sales

Five Things You Need As You Begin A Career As A Self-Published Author

Writing About Controversial Topics

Find More Book Buyers By Expanding Your Target Audience

Sunday Small Talk

It’s been nearly a month since I touched base on my writing, mostly because I’ve been rather depressed about it. But that said, I’ve made a lot of progress on readying Modified and Sacred, the SF novella I’ll have out with Nine Star in April. I just finished the final blurb and cover specs so hopefully the next you’ll hear of this is the cover reveal.

I did a fun weekend long author fest on Cafe Lima, Ana Newfolk’s FB group and that was fun (she has another for Valentine’s Day going on now. Other than that, it’s been a distracting first six weeks of the year sending my accomplishments plummeting.

And since the wild weather swings are making my wrists and hands the things of nightmares arthritis wise, I’ll leave it there and share a bunch of writing posts with you all

Lots and Lots of Murder: An Interview with Karen Rose

The 5 Secrets of Good Storytelling (That Writers Forget All the Time)

How to Develop Your Story Idea Into A List of Key Scenes – Part 1

25 THINGS ABOUT CREATING CHARACTERS

How to Write a Killer First Chapter: (AKA What Your First Chapter REALLY Needs)

On Dothraki and House Elves: Developing Fantasy Cultures

How to Weave Threads of Tension Through Your Story

How to Plot a Book: Start With the Antagonist

Writing Evil Well (a little too overtly Christians only for me but has some useful points

Dropping clues

The Worst Ways to Begin Your Novel: Advice from Literary Agents

The Four Main Types of Epic Antagonists

How to create tension in writing: 8 methods

The Difference Between Villains and Antagonists

The 1>2>3 Formula: How to Write the Perfect Villain

Write Your Novel In A Year – Week 35: 3 Must-Have Scenes That Reveal Character

The Connection between Character Emotion and Reader Empathy

TSend up the (Red) Flag: Telling Words That Often Spell Trouble in Our Writing

WHAT DOES YOUR HERO WANT? #1: The Outer Motivation

Cheap Depictions of Bullying Are Now on Our Hit List

Red Pen Praising: The Best Thing You Can Do For A Writer I try to do this every time I beta read

Why the Past Matters: the Inspiration Behind The Glass Woman

Writing advice, because that’s what we writers like to do

Music vs. Silence: Does Listening to Music Get in the Way of Writing? While I disagree with her I know many of you would agree so…

How Meditation Can Help a Writer

HOW TO DEAL WITH NAYSAYERS, DREAMKILLERS, AND FRENEMIES WHILE WRITING. from Delilah S. Dawson (who’s been tweeting a lot about this especially after a few negative encounters at a recent con)

Sunday Small Talk

ramis

This meme says a lot. I was thinking about the idea of authors helping authors. Today I was part of Ana Newfolk’s release party for Made in Manhattan
Her party had 52 authors spending a half hour with her readers on her FB group, talking about OUR stuff. Now that is authors helping authors. I knew some of the other authors but out of the people who spoke to me I knew one. Will I get some new readers? I have no idea but it certainly couldn’t have hurt.

This is what we need more of, helping each other. I shared her release all over my social media and she allowed me time with her readers. We both benefit and it’s such an easy thing to do.

I try to do this myself. For my part, I at least host people on my blog and share as much as I can.

As for my writing, I’m about done with round two of Modified and Sacred my SF novella with Ninestar Press and the Kiss and Ginger sale went well for me. I’m glad I got to be a part of that.

And speaking of helping have some writing links

Top 10 Writing Posts of 2018

Making A Living From Your Writing

Should You Give Non-Human Groups Marginalized Traits?

10 Writer Takeaways From My Trip To Disney World


Are You A Writer, Or Someone Who Dreams Of Being A Writer?


Trends In Publishing

Cut and Cut (and Cut Again) — The Self-edit Credo


A Million Jelly Beans And No Bowl (facts and narrative)


Filling The Holes In Your Story

Writing Phone Conversations to Forward Your Plot and Draw Your Characters

Sunday Small Talk

So I was lucky enough to get in on Dreamspinner’s Kiss a Ginger sale. Temple, one of my three demon hunters in 1930s Pittsburgh is a lovely redheaded bisexual (who sadly has some big trust issues among other things like PTSD not that they had that word for it in 1930). Not only is the sale going well for that one but also for the other Soldiers of the Sun series books. In fact DSP is having a 30% off sale on top of this one so now is a great time to get something of mine!

soldiers-of-the-sun
Here’s the blurb to Soldiers of the Sun (which you can find at that link)

BlurbCaleb Davies and Agni Pradesh are worried about their teammate and lover, Temple Chevalier. Not only has he lost his long-time partner, Fu Li, but he nearly died fighting a demon himself. Also, Temple isn’t sure he’s ready for a new teammate after Li. Caleb and Agni are even more concerned that their three-way relationship with Temple exists less because he loves them and more because he’s hiding from the pain of Li’s loss.

1932 shapes up to be a terrible year for the Soldiers as they welcome the New Year fighting demons and then end up investigating a case that pairs them up with the Knights Templar. This would normally be a good thing, but it forces Temple to face his painful past. Worse yet, the case leads right to Astaroth, a Prince of Hell, who might prove to be an unbeatable foe.

I’ve started looking at some of my finished short stories and novellas as I try to find them homes. The first time I opened the one set in Cassadaga I found it was shorter than I thought but upon reopening it today either I had found a very old version or Word glitched. It’s not 12K but 21K which means it’s long enough for a few things. I might send it off to an anthology looking for summer heat (it is in Florida). Unfortunately the solarpunk anthology is very specifically winter and my story hinges on it being autumn. Ah well, the search continues. The deadwood one is just under 15K

And here’s the thing, I don’t see me expanding them to novella length to sell on their own. I actually DID that with Cassadaga when people were asking for 20K to be the lower limit but now it’s 30K. These stories would probably just end up being bloated and not up to snuff if I tried expanding them (also mentally it’s hard to expand something that feels DONE. So I’m on the lookout for solarpunk, shifter and urban fantasy/paranormal open calls.

I appreciate that DSP has their Christmas open call already up. It’s snowing as I type and that put me in the mood way better than I’d be if this was June like half the holiday open calls are. I think I’ll take another stab at that. Wish me luck.

And now some writing links Hopefully I hadn’t shared all of these before (Bookbaby is definitely recycling links at this point)

Things I Wish I Had Known Before Self-Publishing My Book

Words That Carry Maximum Weight: Tropes In Storytelling

The Importance of Setting In Your Story
I’m big on this one

Five Things You Need As You Begin A Career As A Self-Published Author

How To Read, Edit, and Evaluate Your Writing With Fresh Eyes

New Novelist? Plan Your 2019

Author Incomes: Not Great, Now or Then

Rest for Success & Why Busy is Seriously Overrated

Want Authorly Superpowers? Build a Street Team!

4 Things You Should Know Before You Quit Writing Your Novel

The Different Types of Editing Explained

Six Reasons the Fire Nation Is Such a Good Villain This is good!

Six Common Wordcraft Mistakes in Manuscripts guilty so guilty

PODCAST
204 – Bad Wordcraft Devices
Soldiers of the Sun

Sunday Small Talk

A few years back I was talking with Shira Anthony at a conference and she said something along the lines of writing contemporary LGBT romances allowed her to write the genre SF/F/UF sorts (I should mention this was an anime con and all of us there are obviously genre fans).

For me this was a few novels ago and didn’t quite have the experience yet to appreciate that statement. I do now, though the reality of it makes me a little sad. For example, Blood Red Roulette (urban fantasy, vampires) took me years, I poured my heart into it. I wish I could say it is selling like gangbusters but it’s not where I’d like it to be (I’m surprised a little by it given the gorgeous cover and that vampires tend to be popular). On the other hand, Purrfect Holiday, my contemporary short story is selling very well.

That statement from the con reverberates in my head. Contemporary romance is what sells. Granted I knew this but it has taken a long while for me to realize just how much better it sells. That’s where my sadness comes in. Unlike some of my genre-loving friends, I don’t also like contemporary fiction much.

There is an old writing chestnut that we’ve all heard of ‘write what you know’ which most of us have changed to ‘write what you love’ (because if you love it, you’ll research it and then you’ll know it). This is where my problem begins. I don’t love contemporary romance so it makes it hard for me.

It’s difficult to write a contemporary romance to give you something in the bank while you write your genre novel when you don’t love it. Short stories are easy enough but to do something longer, you have to love it or it will show.

It’s an uncomfortable feeling for me. I wish I could be easier with writing contemporary fiction, that I could learn to like it more. I’ve tried. I’ve read it by my favorite genre authors but even liking the author hasn’t helped. It’s just not in my field of interest.

So I guess that just leaves me one avenue: to write what I love and to buy and help promote what I love so the other authors who write it can have a little more success of their own.

And maybe from the contemporary shorts I do write, maybe I’ll find readers who will be willing to take a chance on my genres down the road.

In the meantime, have some writing links
The Significance of Setting (I’ve talked about this one myself)

17 Literary Podcasts to Ease Your Commute

My 20-Step Plan to Writing a Book: Part 1 (Steps 1-10) (I’ve noticed that Bookbaby is starting to recycle their links a lot so I don’t have that many new ones to share)

And from my friend:

How to Promote Your Book for Free (much of it is newsletter related but I’m not so sure that works well. I honestly don’t read 90% of the ones I get).

Writer Jay Odjick with some words of advice to his 19-year-old self

The Inner/Outer Balance

Questions to Consider When Plotting a Scene I really like this one.

Trends For Authors And Creative Goal Setting 2019

A Field Guide to Six Infectious YA Clichés