Monday, January 28, 2013

SECOND GUESSING

It's not easy second guessing readers....

 

More on that in a second.

I'm down to blogging once a week because I'm trying to finish a work in progress that I started ... I can't even remember when. My BF said I was working out the plot in my head as early as December 2006. She thinks I waited another 18 months before I started the actual writing part. I keep her up to date so she can remind me later. 

Holy Chicken Fingers! That means... (counting on fingers) ooh, not good. It took me 4 years to write 39 thousand words. I know this because I recorded the symbol 39K on my calendar December 31, 2012. Which was last month if I'm not mistaken.

Now for the good part!

As of today I have 56,148 words written!

That's why I've been so behind in visiting your blog and leaving a stunning and brilliant comment. I understand you don't mind if I blog less than once a week, but I don't want you forgetting about me. I know ... who could forget about ME! Well, my own mother used to call me by my sister's name -- a lot. She even called me by my brother's name once or twice. Not a pretty picture, I can tell you.

Speaking of picture -- Picture this: Joylene (me) sitting at the monitors below for hours on end, wracking her brain, composing the most prudent of prose, half-starving (husband cooks breakfast), and...


Dang, I can't remember what I wanted to say. 

Okay -- ignore that first part. 

What I wanted to blog about today is actually me posing a question to you. Oh! Now I remember what I wanted to say. I'm writing and writing, chapter after chapter when suddenly (chapter 16 to be precise) my antagonist presence himself. Okay, not him exactly, more like a totally different character called Sergeant Harry Byron Bradstreet, decorated staff sergeant during the Gulf War who happens to dislike the antagonist and his son. They're gangster from the east end of London. But that's a story for another time.

The question of the day is:
  
Do you think chapter 16 is too late to introduce the antagonist in a suspense thriller?

I know, I know. Sometimes I take a long time getting to the point. Now maybe you understand why I was often referred to as Verbal-Diarrhea-Jo as a kid? (My dad called me Josephina the laughing hyena)

Anyway, it's a good thing I don't write like I talk. 

Come to think of it, my English Professor back at Simon Fraser University said that very thing once.... 

Maybe I'll move chapter 16 up a few chapters?

Monday, January 21, 2013

One Lovely Blog Award!



Our dear blog buddy, J.Q.Rose, gifted me with this award, the One Lovely Blog Award. Pretty,eh? Janet is the woman Helen Reddy must have been talking about in her song, I AM WOMAN, hear me roar, but in a gentler, unobtrusive way. (heehee) 

Beside being the author of the mystery/horror Sunshine Boulevard, Janet has published a wonderful book titled Girls Succeed that is filled with stories from behind the scenes of successful women. A very inspiring book. Hope you can check out her blog.

Janet is also the creator of Your Unofficial Reporter I. B. Nosey, a kookie, slightly insane character. (I mean that in the best way possible) Oops, my mistake. Miss Mae is the creator of I.B.Nosey. Don't know what I was thinking. Thanks, Janet, for setting me straight. Nonetheless, I do hope you can stop by.



To accept the ONE LOVELY BLOG Award I must tell you seven quick facts about me. (It's okay if you nod off, but no snoring PLEASE)

(drum-roll...!)

1. I'm 7th generation Canadian, which means my ancestors go back way before Confederation. Joylene (that's me) was begot by Gabrielle Desjardins, who was begot by Madeleine Gauthier, who was begot by Rosalie Gaudry, who was begot by Madeleine David, who was begot by Therese Dufault. Before that they didn't keep records. Go figure. Too busy trying to survive, I would imagine.

2. I live on a lake and I can't swim, ice-skate, or water-ski. (hanging head) Also, much to my DH's horror, I catch and release my fish. (he generally cries because he doesn't catch any) Yes, I've only been married once!

3. I just recently began drinking coffee. Apparently, it's better for you than water. Best part: it keeps me you awake!

4. I've testified for the Crown during a child molestation case and helped put the slimeball away.

5. I was interviewed by the CBC and CTV news as spokesperson for the Cluculz Lake ERT after my neighbour shot his estranged wife's BF dead, wounded his step-daughter, before turning the sawed off shotgun on himself. (chicken-s**t)

6. If I step away from my WIP for an hour or more, when I return I have to read the entire chapter from scratch to regain momentum. If I'm starting a new chapter, I have to go back to the previous chapter and read through. Otherwise, I sit and stare at the screen.

7. I once has a Vietnam Vet proof-read my unpublished novel KISS OF THE ASSASSIN then later ask, "When were you in-country?"  Haven't been there yet. 


Okay, not so quick, but there you have it. 


To pay it forward, I’m tagging a few fabulous bloggers for you to get to know better. Check them out!

* Remember fabulous bloggers, if you haven't time to participate, don't fret it *



Keith Pyeatt - (my oldest critique-buddy on the internet; not oldest per se, but the longest; well, not longest either...

Alex J. Cavanaugh - (let's face it, we all want to know more about our Ninja Captain!)

Adriana Ryan - (really awesome author and genuine lady)

Laurel-Rain Snow - (writes incredibly moving reviews that hook me every time)



Meanwhile, here at Cluculz Lake it's been above zero, and the lake's rotten. Very unusual for this time of year; though I suspect winter will return. 







Monday, January 14, 2013

THE NEXT BEST THING, #3

Tagged by my dear blogging friend, Cher Green, Footsteps of a Writer, I'm pleased to present you with THE NEXT BIG THING.

10 Questions about my Work in Progress:

What is the working title of your book?
 One Wrong... (as in one wrong don't make a right)
 
What genre does your book fall under? 
Suspense

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? 
For Jason Sinclair, I'd choose David Duchovny or Anson Mount:



Mike Canaday: aka David Cubitt

 And Brigitte would be portrayed by
Suleka Mathew



What is the one sentence synopsis for the book?
Jason Sinclair doesn't believe his wife's death was an accident and is bent on risking his life to prove it.


Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I'll try traditional first because self-publishing can get expensive, not to mention the hassle with distribution. It's a lot easier to have the publisher pay to have the book printed and distributed. At least that's been my experience.
 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It's taken me forever just to write 50K. At this rate I should have the 1st draft done by the end of 2013. Slow writer is an understatement. 
 
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 
Get Carter, strange choice but I see the similarities. Despite everyone convinced it was an accident, Carter investigates his brother's death and discovers it was murder.


What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
Two things: 

First I love my characters. They're ordinary people (endearing) caught up in extraordinary circumstances. I even like my antagonist Junior O'Malley. The entire cast is very family-orientated. 

Second, the settings are spectacular. If you've never been to Vancouver's Gastown, I hope you enjoy the tour. As I'm sure you will in Stow-on-the-Wold.


Now it's time to tag a few authors and see what their next big thing will be: (if your name's below and you'd rather not participate, not to worry)

Carole Anne Carr 

Elsie The Writer 

Gloria Sigountos  

Al Diaz 


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ask PZM: Jan 2013 - Sharing

If you follow my blog, then you know Phyllis Zimbler Miller, gracious marketing guru, answers questions on the 5th day of every month. This month it's about sharing. 

Thanks, Phyllis!
 

Q: Can you recommend good places to share blog post links?

As writers, we have the opportunity to use our skills to write blog posts that directly or indirectly promote our books. But writing posts is not enough – we do have to get our blog posts noticed.



Now we can write posts on our own blogs or write guest posts. (One good place to find blogs who might want your guest posts is BloggerLinkUp.com – I highly recommend this resource.)

In both cases we want to share our links as widely as possible:

One place is obviously Facebook. These days you can “promote a post” on your Facebook profile page for $7. This option is important because it increases the number of your Facebook “friends” who actually get your post in their news feeds.

If you want to share your blog post link with your Facebook “friends,” paying the $7 to promote that Facebook post can be a good marketing expenditure.

(You can also pay to promote a post from your Facebook Page, but as of this writing the option is only available if your Page has a certain number of “likes.”)

Of course, you can post your blog post link in your LinkedIn update and on some LinkedIn groups depending on the group rules. I manage the LinkedIn group www.LinkedInBookMarketing.com and blog post link updates are fine if the blog post is relevant for book authors.



You can also share blog post links on your Google+ profile as well as a Google+ company account if you have this.

If you have a photo in your blog post (and you should as photos attract people!), you can pin your blog post onto your Pinterest account. (I do this a great deal – see http://pinterest.com/ZimblerMiller) People can then repin your blog post photo (with its automatic accompanying link).

Always chose your more mature photo

My personal favorite place to share my blog post links is on Twitter. You can tweet your own links and then people can retweet your links.

Another place for sharing your blog post links is triberr.com – where you can choose to be in groups that share each other’s links. This does require a commitment on your part to share the blog post links of others.

Yes--sharing is good!

And then, of course, there are all kinds of special interest sites on which you can share your blog post links – or even the same post from your own blog. (I do NOT recommend you share a guest post unless you have explicit permission from the blog owner where the post was first published.)

One such site where you can re-publish your own blog posts is RedRoom.com, and another site is Business2community.com

As with all social media sites, the idea is to interact with others and NOT just push out your blog post links. An effective strategy is to share the blog post links of others so that your followers or fans recognize you as a good source of information and not simply someone “selling” his or her own posts.



Now for a warning I'd like to share:

 
Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) no longer supports third-party ebook conversion software such as Calibre. Now you must use KindleGen to convert your ebooks into the Kindle format.

After my business partner Yael K. Miller spent hours researching what this entails, she and I have now embarked on this complicated process. What was once a matter of a minute or less on Calibre is now hours of very detailed coding.
Why are we doing this detailed coding?

Because suddenly two of my ebooks got “reviews” saying that the formatting of the ebooks was lousy. This really upset me because I had taken such pains to ensure that my ebooks had good formatting.

After much emailing back and forth to KDP, I learned about this KindleGen requirement and the issue with no longer being able to use Calibre. As I frequently re-upload my ebooks to add additional information, I needed to learn how to make the formatting of my ebooks continue to look good.

This change also required my rewriting an entire chapter of the ebook TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF KINDLE (and the same chapter in the 3-in-1 ebook TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON).




*  *  *  *  * 







Phyllis Zimbler Miller has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School, is co-founder of the Internet marketing company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com and is the author of fiction and nonfiction books. Visit her Amazon Author Central profile at www.amazon.com/author/phylliszimblermiller

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

IWSG: Believe

Our very first Insecure Writer's Support Group post for 2013 -- thanks to Ninja Captain and IWSG creator Alex J. Cavanaugh! If you'd like to join, sign up at http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/p/the-insecure-writers-support-group.html 

On the first Wednesday of every month, you can share, encourage, or express your insecurities among like-minded insecure writers. 



Having said that, I know how difficult sharing your insecurities can be. It's something that's never been easy for me.

By showing my insecurities I worry that I admit defeat and allow the world to see just what a scared kid I am.

Even now as I type, I'm not convinced I can ever be specific. My insecurities frighten me. Not to mention that experience has taught me that while honesty is fine, it can also come back to bite you in the butt.




My insecurity leaves me feeling lonely,

cold,

isolated.


Right about now you may be thinking What do you have to feel insecure about, Joylene? At least you've been published. Your dream came true. 


True.
Laura and Nancy, the catalysts for my publishing career

Self-doubt is part of who I am as a writer. I'm full of insecurities.

But guess what? Even Hemingway had his low days, as did Shakespeare and Dickens.

Still that doesn't get you through those dark days when you wonder if it'll ever happen: an actual contract. 



If you look closely in the photograph above, you'll see the word Believe

During my darkest moments, and I've had plenty, I never stopped believing.  I could no sooner quit writing than I could quit breathing.

Sound familiar?


If you published during 2012, you may have already figured out that being published won't solved your problems. Instead of worrying whether you're a writer, you're now faced with a greater fear: Will novels two, three, or four be well received?

The thing about insecurities is there is no assurances. While I do believe if your desire to be published is strong enough, it'll happen. But whether you're successful, that I don't know.


But I do know this:


- Stay hungry.

- Never stop believing.

- Ride those dark moments because -- they'll pass.

At least until the next low point. 


ps. Best wishes to you in 2013. May all your dreams come true. And may your insecurities drive you.