Wednesday, August 28, 2013

NA What???

So this past April when I began writing a new story, Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc., I realized my MC wasn't seventeen like I first thought. It didn't fit the maturity level of who I wanted her to be, or the style of the story.

It hit me: I'm not writing YA, I'm writing NA. And if you don't know what NA is, now is the time to be aware, because it's exploding in the book market. New Adult stories feature MCs between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, and can be any genre!

When I first started out writing for publication, I was telling an NA story, but NA hadn't evolved yet, and I was told there is no such thing, therefore I must write YA or adult literature only.


But hey, who am I to argue with the way things are done? So I obeyed the book gods that be and accepted myself as a YA writer. Not so bad. I love YA. But writing Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. this past April reminded me how much more I prefer writing NA, and lucky for me, now there's a huge market for it.

Thanks to those amazing pioneer authors who continued to support the category and self-pub their stories when traditional editors were telling them they couldn't. *highfive to the NA brothers and sisters*

This fall, I'll be showcasing a number of NA authors and their stories, and if all goes as planned, I'll be asking for your help in participating in cover reveals and blogfests for my own book launch. I'm scuttling around like a squirrel to get arrangements made. More on that later. *tries to contain excitement*

If you want to learn more on the NA market, I suggest following the NA Alley blog, run by a bunch of great bloggers that you're probably already familiar with. And be sure to join us on Thursday nights for #NALITCHAT on Twitter at 9pm EST.

Today's NA spotlight is on:

Smooth talking. Ambitious. Loyal. Twenty-year-old Shay Reilly has proven himself to his Irish-American Gypsy clan on small-scale cons, but now the clan leader has a bigger mission for him: playing the long game. 

To rake in the big score he’s after, he needs to con co-ed Spencer into falling in love with him. He knows he should see Spencer as a mere means to an end, but that’s easier said than done when there’s a witty, attractive girl in your arms. 

Now the only thing that can keep them apart is the thing that brought them together: Shay’s plans of revenge against someone who wronged his clan and family years before—Spencer’s father

About the author J.L. Fynn: J.L. Fynn is the public face of a private identity. She enjoys making up stories about iniquitous heroes, providing Delphic answers to unasked questions, and obfuscating the truth just for laughs. But then, what’s an author but a professional liar? If you send her an email she might let you in on her little secret—assuming she likes your moxie.

 Find J.L. Flynn on the web here.

And also introducing the new cover for Ten Days by Olivia Mayfield:

Cally has to deal with the imminent failure of the machine that drives every aspect of her life, you feel her terror, her desire to wish it away, her shying away from everything changing forever. Instead of being told how bad it is, you experience it through her eyes.

Yay for sci-fi romance! Click on the cover to get to Amazon for purchase. Only 99 cents right now!

Olivia Mayfield is also Rhonda Helms, and you can find her on her blog here

Thanks so much for stopping by! Don't forget about the Twitter chat Thursday night!

Are you familiar with the NA boom? Write any NA? Do you remember how exciting life was from the ages 18-25?? More on that from me later. ;) 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Now That's Smokin' !

As writers we have to learn how to entice our readers and make them feel, make them want more. It can be tough work, but when done well, oh so satisfying.

Watch the full clip below and you may just want a cigarette after. But that's what good writing does ...

Isn't that great? Just for the record, I don't condone smoking in any way shape or form. But this made me want to light one up from the words alone. Oh, the power of words!

Tried writing something succulent lately? Would be a good writerly challenge to try and turn something vile and gross into something delightful and sensuous ...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Dear Summer ...

Dear Summer,

Once you arrive, the gray clouds part and a busy schedule gives way to late nights, lazy mornings of sleeping in, and endless days of donning a swim suit and flip flops by the pool, reading, relaxing, grazing ....

BUZZ!!! Time to make the donuts and wake up from that fantasy.

Sure, I'm usually in my suit and flops, but relaxing? If you call getting splashed in the face while kids fight and whine about being bored relaxing, then I'm so chill I could spit icicles.

If you wanna know the truth, while you're here, I get too much quality time with the kids. I mean, a mom loves her kids, but she also likes to feel like her own person once in awhile and flex her creative muscles. And you know us starving artists can't afford summer camp, so don't even try to pull that BS on me.

I'm calling you out, Summer. It's high time you recognize the deal. I will no longer be seduced by your empty promises of fun and recreation. And while I'm bearing my soul, I'll just come right out and say that Autumn has always been my true love. Ahhh...Autumn..... the way she comes in to cool the air and change the colors like a whimsical goddess--so crisp and spicy! The way she reunites family and friends with holidays and good food ...

And okay, mainly because she brings a new school year with her, and even though I have to wake at the butt-crack of dawn and pack lunches, drop off kids, walk the dog ... all before 9am, it's a small price to pay to get my writing time back. Brainstorming, crafting, blogging, tweeting, polishing manuscripts ... all crammed in the hours of 8am-2pm. But oh so sweet!

Let me spell it out for you, Summer: Don't let the door hit you on your way out. My girl Autumn is on her way. And in other words: SCHOOL IS IN!!!



P.S. Thank you for not sending and nasty hurricanes so far.

Now we're back to our regularly scheduled blogging program. Can't wait to see more of what all of you have in store.

BTW is hosting a live conference next August. Check out the site for more deets and find out about volunteering! I plan to be there, and it sure would be fun to meet some fellow bloggers!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Tell me, did you accomplish what you hoped to over the summer? Or were you stalled for fall like I was? Spill it all in the comments ...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Indie Life!

The second Wednesday of every month is a time for bloggers to share a bit of the Indie Life--what makes self-publishing viable and lucrative, and how we support each other through the process.

I'm not officially an Indie yet, but I really admire and respect those who have put the time and work into getting their books out there. And I'm considering ALL my options when it comes to my debut. For awhile now, I've been collecting data on the process of independent publishing, so if and when I choose that path, I'll know what to do.

Our very own blogosphere is a wealth of info. In particular, The Indelibles' blog, who host this monthly blogfest, and share all kinds of helpful tidbits on what to expect.

Click on the pic to get to their HDQ, but first, read on for my Indie Action Plan ...

Yep, you read that right, I'm forming an action plan for an Indie Debut. It feels like the right year for it, and hopefully by fall, I'll be ready. I'll be sharing every step of the way with you, my readers, so you can follow along on the process. But today, I'm sharing what I've devised so far, and hope you'll chime in with comments of anything you feel I may need to add.


1. Set date for book launch
2. Final polishing of manuscript
3. Hire a proofreader/copy editor
4. Hire a cover designer
5. Have author photo taken
6. Format ms for eBook, including author bio and pic, acknowledgments, dedication, table of contents
7. Set date for cover reveal a month prior to release
8. Obtain blogger sign-ups for cover reveal
9. Run cover reveal blogfest
9. Set blogfest date for actual book launch and obtain blogger sign-ups
10. Have eBooks ready to roll on platforms (probably Amazon KDP and launch digitally first)
11. Book Launch on same day as blogfest with massive giveaway and contest! (Note: the blogfests will include a fun question for bloggers to answer that relates to the book. It's all about having fun, not just about self-promo)

So there you have it! That's what I've got so far. Can you think of anything else to add? Or any suggestions to what I already have? I'm excited to include all of you and hope you'll have fun sharing the process with me. Don't forget to stop by The Indelibles for more info on the Indie Life. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

IWSG - Analyze This

So I was giving the whole "insecure writer" thing some thought the other day. There I was strolling through the hood, leashed to my 70lb labradoodle with my headphones in, when I started pondering what it is that makes us insecure.

Now, it could be that I've been watching waaaay too many Frasier reruns and analyzing everything from coat hangers to old friends, but I was instantly struck with the question: what is it exactly that makes me feel insecure about my writing??

Here are the main two answers I came up with:

Fear of rejection
Looking stupid

There it is in a nutshell.

What if not everyone likes my work? Bah! Of course not everyone will like my work. It's impossible to please everyone, so don't even try.

What if I'm not as good as I hoped and readers call me out? Boy would I feel stupid. Well even bestselling Neil Gaiman said he used to wait for the fraud police to show up at his door with a clipboard and call him out for impersonating an author.

So I think it's safe to say that regardless of who we are, we have to face these fears head on if we expect to get anywhere with our writing. We will be rejected by readers, critics, editors, and agents. And we will at some point feel or look stupid for something we could've done better, but at least we're trying, and getting closer to our goals with every failure or every mistake.

So I say let's embrace our insecurities and accept our imperfections, all the while understanding no writer is perfect. As long as we're doing the time and working toward our goal, at least we can be proud of ourselves.

I hope you can visit me over at Nutshell's blog today. She's featuring my workspace and invited me for a brief interview. Come see what my office looks like at

And thanks so much for stopping by! Tell me, when you stop to analyze what makes you an insecure writer, what answer do you come up with and why?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Revision Boot Camp and Salted With Fire!

Hello, friends! And welcome to August! Yay! Three more weeks til school and my normal routine will return. Phew!

Over the last week I've put myself through an intense revision boot camp, so I thought I'd share what worked best, since I'm no stranger to hefty revision requirements. If you remember a couple months back I'd just finished my first draft and was relishing the euphoria that came with my creation--that "It's Alive!" moment when our projects take on a life of their own.

But I knew revisions would be coming, because let's face it, no one puts out a perfect first draft, and if you do, well I hate you. lol ... just kidding. That'd be jealousy speaking.

I sent out the first draft to my long time trusty and amazing CP, as well as a brand new CP, of whose opinion I was very interested, and let the shredding commence. I also participated in the Whip It Blogfest and made a new connection for a beta reader, and sent the story to her as well. Then, I waited.

The waiting is always the hardest part because you feel helpless and unproductive, but it's also a necessary step back from the story. Ended up being a month before all the feedback was in, (which isn't bad at all) and there were some major revision suggestions to improve the structure--of which I totally agreed with. It was what I couldn't put my finger on.

But it'd be a LOT of work, that during the busy summer, wasn't going to be convenient at all. And I wasn't even sure how I'd tackle them. I felt like I'd been served up an elephant and a timer and expected to consume it within minutes. That was because I was anxious to get in there and get'er done. But how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

I gave myself a few more weeks to let the ideas marinate and form my course of action. Then, I begged my hubby for two full days all to myself so I could bust out the shears and hacksaw and blowtorch and get in there. He's so awesome, and he knows how much my stories mean to me. He let me have the two days and I used each to its fullest. Boot camp with chocolate bars! After the hard part was done, I sent it to my kindle and did another two day straight read-through. And found LOTS to fix that way. One more day of boot camp let me transfer my notes to the actual manuscript and polish it off to a brilliant shine. (well, that's what I'm hoping anyway)

And voila! Revisions are done (til the next batch) and the story ready for its next round of beta readers. How do you like them apples?? ;)

Moving on, today I'm thrilled to be a part of Nancy LaRonda Johnson's Salted with Fire blog tour:

If you don't already know Nancy, you can find her at her blog  right here. And i just know you'll love her.

She's got two books out now:

Anticipation of the Penitent is a dark tale of good vs. evil. You can purchase it on Amazon, and Smashwords.

And Salted with Fire is a journey of flash fiction and poetry, and it's on sale right now on Amazon, and Smashwords.

Big congrats to Nancy!!

Also FYI, one of our fellow bloggers, Stina Lindenblatt, recently let her web domain expire before renewing--one with her own personal name--and someone swooped in and bought it before she could renew. Which means she lost all her following and is starting all over. This happened right before her big announcement of an agent and a book deal, too!! Can you imagine?? So be aware of this and watch out for your domains. And head over to Stina's new blog and congratulate her!

How about you? Have you ever had a domain swiped out from under you? Tell me about your revision process---similar to mine or do you have a better method? Dont forget to visit Nancy and Stina today!!! Have a fantastic weekend!!