Woot!

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I have submitted An Ordinary Hero – my hero origin story. 🙂

Now to wait!

Oh well, at least I have a YA novel I’m working on to bide the time.

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Feb Goal Review

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Hello March 1st!

So in Feb, I wanted to write 20k. I made it, just barely, at 21k and at the 11th hour. BUT I still made it. My total for the year is at 44k.

For March – I’m aiming for 25k.

Also in Feb – I submitted my novel length work and started a novella. The novella is currently sitting at right around 15k. I think I have another 5k to go.

For March – I want to finish the novella and submit it. I also intend to start my foray into YA. Yes, I have an idea and I think it will take about 75k to tell it. So a few good months of writing. And then some revising. And then some querying? Maybe. I have to write it first. 🙂

Okay, self, I can do it.

Blog Tour Tips for Newbie Authors: A Hopefully Helpful Retrospective

This is a great post! I’m reblogging for future use and for anyone who wants some tips!

Maggie Kavanagh

As a newbie author, publicizing your own work can be a daunting enterprise. Every author has their own list of things to do before the launch of a book, but I thought I’d share mine with you today, focusing specifically on the ubiquitous ‘blog tour.’ Many of the tips below were either given to me by my extremely helpful published friends or learned the hard way during the release of Double Indemnity, my first full-length novel. This list is far from comprehensive—I’m sure there are tips I’m missing and still have to learn, so please share your own strategies in the comments!

  • If your publisher does not automatically provide you with an ARC of your book, request one. Though most publishers send out lists of forthcoming releases to bloggers, this gives you the flexibility to distribute your work directly to potential readers and reviewers.
  • Create an “Ad Pack”

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Origin Story

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So I started writing this story…

Let me back up. There is a meme called Florida Man. I’m sure you’ve seen it. It’s about the crazy headlines that come out of the glorious Sunshine State, usually looking something like this:

Florida Man Does Something Crazy

So someone came up with the idea that Florida Man is a horrible superhero. Which, for some reason, was absolutely hilarious to me.

Then I started thinking – what if there was a “Local Man” (b/c you see this headline a lot in local papers) and there was an individual who noticed that the details of each “Local Man” incident were similar. Then that person could start to unravel the identity of the local hero. And so the idea percolated a bit – and then I changed the individual to an EMT. And the EMT starts going to scenes where there is a guy or the eyewitnesses talk about a guy who was there and helped. The EMT could then act as the readers’ POV about this supposed hero.

The details have changed significantly since I started plotting out this idea, but Ryan (EMT) and Phillip (Local Man), exist in about 11k of words right now.

Then I realized that I’m basically writing a comic book character’s origin story through a third party POV and it made me very excited. I hope to finish it by the end of February as a novella. (I better get to writing if I plan to meet this goal.)

Anyway, I thought a little glimpse into my thought process of how my stories develop would be fun. 🙂

January Goal Review! (in which I am giddy)

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Well, I’m a little giddy. I am going to admit it. I just finished, and by just I mean like 30 minutes ago, my first novel. I have written novellas before. I like writing novellas. But today, my story clocked in at 62k. Which is officially a novel.

I know that number will change because of editing. It may go down or it may go up if I decide to add a scene. But as of right now – NOVEL.

As for professional goals

– I wrote 23,327 this month according to my lovely tracker. Which one of my goals was to consistently write between 20-30k a month. I’m off to a good start!

– Finish a work over 60k. LOOK. I DID IT. I didn’t think it was going to be this particular work but yay!

– Tweet 1x per day. – YEP

– Post 3x per month on the blog. – Eeking in with this one 🙂

– use sales strategies – I joined Goodreads. That counts.

Personal goals

– baby weight – pffft that has not happened

– work out – I did start back at my taekwondo class. I’ll test for my next belt in February

– daily self care is a no go. the infant kind of does not allow this right now.

– read more – I read both parts of A Captive Prince. And I adored it. The second book much more than the first. But so good.

Next month – start the new novella, write 20k words again, and edit and submit the finished novel. Feb is only 28 days so we’ll see!

Writing Goal Helpers

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Hey folks,

So we’re 18 days into the New Year. And I don’t know about you but I have hunkered down into that “I am going to do this” mentality in regards to my yearly goals. It took me a few days to get into the groove but I’m in it now.

I wanted to share one or two of the tools I use to get my words done and other tools I’ve seen people use. 🙂

This year, I found these amazing tracking spreadsheets. I’m using the Forest Fairy skin and it’s so pretty. But the great thing about these spreadsheets is you can set a yearly goal and a monthly goal. Each month it keeps track of how many words per day you need to reach your goal based on your daily totals. It’s awesome with how much you can track and it is amazing how much motivation it provides. Highly recommend!

Also, for productivity, I have a friend who swears by Write or Die. If you haven’t used it before, basically you set a goal and when the app feels you’ve been idle too long, it will give you a consequence. It’s a little too scary for me. I prefer Written Kitten which gives you a kitten each time you get your word count.

And so far this month, I have to say that music has been a huge inspiration for me. I don’t normally write to music because it distracts me but for some reason this month I’ve been way into using it. Bastille is my go-to artist right now –  Poet, Flaws, and Bad Blood are the three songs that are motivating the story I’m writing at the moment.

How about you, dear readers? Getting your word counts? What apps do you use to get your word on? How about music? Yay or nay?

As always, you can find me on twitter at writer_reese (which is my main hang out) and you can find my published works over on Dreamspinner.

Guest Post: Kate Sands – An Unexpected Summer

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Today I’m hosting my good friend, Kate Sands! Her novella, An Unexpected Summer is out today!

Hi there! I’m Kate Sands, and I’d like to thank Therese Woodson for inviting me to her blog to talk about my new release An Unexpected Summer.

UnexpectedSummer[An]_FBbanner_Harmony

An Unexpected Summer is a young adult contemporary novella. It centers around Brendan, a 17 year old boy who has accepted he’s gay but isn’t ready to be out at school or to his friends. His parents only recently found out. Brendan starts his summer job at a lake resort, where he shares staffing quarters with Tobin, an openly gay student at his school who Brendan has a crush on.

I love writing different characteristics, and I have to admit, I am fond of the whole ‘opposites attract’ cliché. Brendan and Tobin are very different. Brendan is a hockey player and school jock, and he’s in the closet because he’s worried about what his teammates would think if they knew. Tobin is a little bit hipster, participates in drama club, and is out and proud.

The thing is, those are traits on a simple level, and we all know people are much more complex than that. Even with such differences, there can still be a connection and basis for a friendship or even more. I had a great time writing that connection and understanding between two such different characters.

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BLURB: An Unexpected Summer

Life at home has become awkward since Brendan told his parents he’s gay. Relief comes when his cousin gets him a job at a nearby lake resort for the summer. Happy to get away, he plans to give his parents space while saving money for his college fund and hanging out with his cousin Tracey, the only other person he’s out to. Turns out Tobin, a boy from school Brendan has a crush on, is also working there for the summer, and the two of them have been assigned to share a room. Brendan’s nervous reaction doesn’t get the summer off to the best start. Now, not only does Brendan have to fix his relationship with his parents, he has to figure out a way to make things right with Tobin too.

Buy Links:

Harmony Ink Press (Dreamspinner Press)

Amazon.com

All Romance Books

OmniLit

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About Kate:

Kate Sands grew up in a small, rural town on the Canadian Prairies. She developed a love of reading and writing at a young age, becoming completely enamored with the craft of storytelling.   It wasn’t until she grew up and left small town life behind, moving on to the Big City, before she truly understood what diversity was and what it could be. She still reads a variety of fiction, but concentrates writing in the LGBTQ+ genre in an effort to add to that diversity.  She hopes that these kinds of stories will reach someone, somewhere, in a way she missed out on in her earlier years.

Twitter: @KateSandsWrites

Blog: katesandswrites.com

Email: kate.sands.writes.@gmail.com

 

 

Goodbye 2014. Hello 2015!

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Here is the obligatory New Year’s Day post. Hope everyone is excited for the year to come. I know I am happy to be starting with a clean slate and able to start working on the goals I am making for the year.

In 2013, I made a list of goals, both personal and professional, that I worked very hard toward. And it worked! I made strides both with my writing and with my health. It felt awesome and I want to do it again.

In 2014, I didn’t make an official list, which I’m regretting now. My main goal was to have another baby. That was accomplished on December 1st so I guess I met my goals. But this year, I want to make a tangible, definitive list that I can reference throughout the year like I did in 2013.

So here is that list!

Professional Goals:

  • Complete and submit at least 4 works this year.
  • Develop a consistent writing routine. I want to hit monthly word goals between 20-30k a month.
  • One of the works needs to be over 60k.
  • Increase my social media presence by tweeting at least 1x day and posting on my blog at least 3x month.
  • Utilize some new strategies to increase sales.

Potential works:

  1. I have a completed MS that needs to be edited and reworked. Working title is Betrothed. It’s a light Supernatural romance that’s around 40k. I think I can finish this by the end of January.
  2. Working title: Road to Ruin. It’s a contemporary romance that is angsty and domestic. This will be the over 60k work.
  3. The 3rd in the Aerial City series.
  4. Working title: An Ordinary Hero – a reluctant superhero story.
  5. A holiday story.
  6. Working title: Myths and Monsters. What I wanted to write for NaNo but got distracted from. Oops.

Personal Goals:

  • Lose the baby weight plus some. I’m aiming for 40lbs.
  • Implement a daily self care routine.
  • Start exercising again once medically cleared.
  • Read more!

I think this should keep me busy enough for 2015! What do you think?

Guest Post: Lillian Francis “When Love Flue In”

Hey folks! Today I’m hosting my good friend Lillian Francis and she is writing about her cute Christmas novella When Love Flue In.

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To Epilogue or Not to Epilogue

Thanks to Therese for hosting me today. I’m here to talk about my new release ‘When Love Flue In’, happy endings, and epilogues.

Everybody loves a happy ending, especially when it comes to romance. There is nothing worse than investing your time and energy in characters or a relationship only to discover that ‘everybody dies’. Yeah, Mr W Shakespeare, I’m looking at you. Hard.

However with a short story that takes place over the space of two days how much of a happy ending can you expect? (No, not that kind of happy ending. They are a regular occurrence.) The most you can hope for is the start of a relationship with a positive outlook for the future.

So how do you prove to your readers that the love between your characters can endure when the story format is too short, or the tale you’ve told goes no further than the bumpy road of getting together and finding a happy place?

Obviously you could write a sequel dealing with life after that first surge of relationship adrenalin has passed. For that you need to have another story to tell, or be happy to put your much loved characters through the emotional wringer (again!).

Alternatively you could tag on an epilogue. One final chapter set at a future point to round off the story arc. I think that is an important point; a successful epilogue needs to tie in with the tale being told in the main body of the text.

If the main story had been a fun caper about a stolen manuscript, the thief, and the FBI agent who loved him despite his profession, an epilogue about their future wedding would feel forced and out of place. However, if the item stolen had been a gold shipment or a huge stash of jewels and the epilogue was their wedding but made the point of focusing on their rings. The implication that the rings had been made from the original horde would tie everything in and show how their relationship had developed (depending on whether the rings had been commissioned by the FBI agent or the thief).

With my shorter stories I don’t feel the need for an epilogue. The time invested with the characters is short, the hurdles they have overcome are more easily solved than those required to sustain a novel. As an author an epilogue narrows down the opportunity for any future sequels that might spring to mind for the characters. As a reader I don’t feel the need for fresh new relationships to be so firmly defined.

As a reader how do you feel about epilogues?

Blurb

A soot-haired chimney sweep, an exploding flue and an uncooked turkey. It’s an unholy trinity that may make all of Dominic’s Christmas wishes come true.

Dominic is celebrating his first Christmas since his divorce, and although he’s spending it on his own, he’s determined to have a traditional Christmas morning, including a roaring fire. Unfortunately, Dominic’s chimney is blocked, which is why Reagan, a soot-haired chimney sweep, is head and shoulders up Dominic’s flue. Dominic is just lucky the man had a cancellation on Christmas Eve.

Unable to take his eyes off Reagan’s low-slung jeans and enticing arse while Reagan sets about the hearth with rods and brushes, Dominic knows five years is a long time to be obsessed with the man who sweeps his chimney every Christmas. This year there’s nothing to stop Dominic from acting on his desires—except his own insecurities.

An exploding flue provides the opportunity for more than just polite conversation and could be the catalyst for a perfect Christmas. But Dominic will need to stop hiding who he really is before a special sweep can light a fire in his heart.

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released by another publisher. It has been revised and re-edited for release with Totally Bound Publishing.

 Buy Links

Totally Bound

All Romance ebooks

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Kobo

About the author

An avid reader, Lillian Francis was always determined she wanted to write, but a ‘proper’ job and raising a family distracted her for over a decade. Over the years and thanks to the charms of the Internet, Lillian realized she’d been writing at least one of her characters in the wrong gender. Ever since, she’s been happily letting her ‘boys’ run her writing life.

Lillian now divides her time between family, a job and the numerous men in her head all clamouring for ‘their’ story to be told.

Lillian lives in an imposing castle on a wind-swept desolate moor or in an elaborate ‘shack’ on the edge of a beach somewhere depending on her mood, with the heroes of her stories either chained up in the dungeon or wandering the shack serving drinks in nothing but skimpy barista aprons.

In reality, she would love to own a camper van and to live by the sea.        

Find Lillian at

Website/Blog: http://lillianfrancis.blogspot.com/

Twitter: LillianFrancis_

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Lillian_Francis