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A Free WordPress Class

I’ve been following Lorelle on WordPress for a while now. She blogs about all things WordPress and blogging, and I was delighted to learn Lorelle intended to run a free online course on setting up a WordPress site. The course has just stared and runs for the entire year of 2015. There is still time to start if you’re interested.

Here is a link to all the info for the class:

WordPress School

The Master Plan

The first lesson

There is quite a bit of work involved in this course, but I’m excited to learn more about WordPress. I’m off to do my homework!

Do you enjoy learning new things? Are you a Blogger or a WordPress fan?

15 Facts About Leopard Shifters

I’m visiting the Coffee Time blog today where I’m discussing feline shifters. But I also have a question for readers – what draws you to try a new author? One lucky reader will win a book from my Middlemarch Mates series.

Feline Shifters with Shelley Munro

Come and say hello.

Serials – An Old Idea Made New?

There has been a lot of talk about fictional serials during the last few months with both publishers and Amazon embracing the idea.

A serial is a single book broken down into instalments. These instalments go on sale one at a time with the ending hook of each serial prompting readers to purchase the next. According to Wikipedia, serials have been around for a long time, but they were at their peak during the Victorian era. Writers such as Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were two of the many successful serial writers during this era.

Radio serials were popular from the early 1900s. One long-running radio serial you might have heard of is The Archers, a British soap-opera. The first episode of the Archers ran in 1950 and they are still producing the show on a semi-regular basis. If you’re interested several episodes are available as podcasts on iTunes.

These days we’re more likely to get our serial fix on television, although as a child I read comics done in a serial fashion. Soap operas are a common form where we follow the lives of our characters and become invested in what happens next. We even have a local soap opera in New Zealand called Shortland Street, which has been running for as long as I can remember.

Author Beth Kery has written an eight part serial called Because You Are Mine, an erotic story along the lines of Fifty Shades of Grey. Her serial is currently available at Amazon etc.

Writing a serial is different from writing a book.

1. The process is a lot quicker with the serial coming to market, often before the writer has completed all the instalments.

2. Feedback from readers is a lot quicker too.

3. The writer can change the direction of the serial after reader feedback.

4. The writer can’t go back and change things in already published instalments. This would be a problem for me since I think about my plot and characters as I write.

5. There is a short period of waiting on the part of the reader, which can help build word-of-mouth. Readers are wondering what will happen next and where the story will go. The build of anticipation is present.

6. Pricing can be controversial. I noted on some of the Amazon reviews Of Because You Are Mine there were some unhappy readers who expected more “book” for their money. Each instalment is two chapters.

As a writer, I think writing a serial would present a challenge. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to stretch in this direction in the future.

What about you? Have you read a serial? Have you tried Beth Kery’s Because You Are Mine series? Would you like to write a serial?

Author Kathleen Dienne on Keeping Track While Writing Love Scenes

Writers – have you ever had trouble writing a love scene and keeping track of limbs? Carina Press author, Kathleen Dienne has written an excellent post about writing love scenes and making sure your characters don’t do the impossible.

Here’s the link to Keeping Track of Elbows: Writing Sex Scenes

PS. Don’t forget to check out Kathleen’s book Her Heart’s Divide

Notes on Thinking

I do my very best thinking in the shower. I think about my day. I think about my current work-in-progress and plotting problems. I think about my goals. The only problem with doing my thinking in the shower is that I can’t take notes. By the time I get out of the shower, some of my brilliance is forgotten. So, imagine my excitement when I saw Stepcase Lifehack’s post on Productivity PrOn: 5 Unusually Useful Nightpads and found a mention of some special notebooks.

Here they are — Aqua Notes – the waterproof notepad.

Photobucket

I wonder if they ship to New Zealand because I want some!!

Where do you do your best thinking?

Playing the Odds

Author Adrienne Kress has an interesting post called It’s Not About the Odds. She talks about the luck required in getting a publishing contract and how you can slant those odds in your favor by doing a great query letter.

Rebecca at Dirty Sexy Books has a tongue in cheek post about urban fantasy stories. If you’re not really sure what an urban fantasy is read the Ten Commandments of Urban Fantasy.

Margie Lawson has a guest post at Routines for Writers. It’s all about writing body language and verbal cues–an important thing in good characterization.

And finally, You Are What You Eat, Foods That Improve Your Sex Drive is an article by Elizabeth Black that makes for very interesting reading. Stay about from fried foods and rich cream sauces – that’s all I’m saying! :grin:

I’m reading a book called The Wolf Almanac by Robert H Busch. It’s research for a new idea I have, and you might have guessed from the title that my story will feature wolves.

What are you reading at the moment?

Horses & The Monster That Shall Not Be Named

I often come across good articles and posts relating to writing and the writing business when I’m surfing on the net. What? You thought I wrote all the time? :grin:

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy both keeping up with the writing market and learning new things. I thought I’d share the bounty and repost some of the links I’ve found.

Bootstrap Book Marketing Co-op has a post on one thing that can really derail a writing career, and that is professional jealousy. We all have times when we feel down or think someone else is getting a better deal than us and the green-eyed monster creeps in. Bootstrap has a post called The Writer’s Other Classic Curse and Four Ways to Deal With It.

Erastes writes some very thought provoking posts at Reviews by Jessewave. A recent post related to horses in historical novels. Neigh…I blame Hollywood talks about horses and mistakes writers making with them. Note Reviews by Jessewave reviews gay romances, but the post on horses relates to all historicals.

Note: There are two posts today. Scroll down…

Country Boy or City Sophistication?

So this track was playing on my iPod while Scotty and I wandered at our old-dog pace around the reserve this morning. It made me start thinking. Possibly a bad thing, but follow along…

I’m a country girl at heart, and my husband also grew up on a farm. The farming background gives us a lot in common. But I’ve also lived in towns and cities and met city boys. Their idea of dates are different for a start. A country man might take you to a rodeo, to an agricultural show or stock sales. Dinner out might be at the local pub and jeans are fine. In the city, dates are to nightclubs, nice restaurants or maybe a walk in a park. There are art galleries and museums and sexy dresses. Spiky heels that áre in no danger of sinking halfway to China when you walk beside your man. Try that in the country and see what happens!

In most of my writing, and especially in my Middlemarch series, the heroes are all country boys. Strong, capable farmers who don’t need to work out in a gym. An exception to this rule would be PLAYING TO WIN where my hero is a professional rugby player and businessman. He does a lot of promotion and charity work and is at home wearing a suit. While my Middlemarch men could do the suit thing, they’re more at home in the wide open spaces.

I like to read about both types of heroes, but I have a real soft spot for a cowboy, country male type. I like them because they’re independent, capable, usually emotionally strong and can turn their hand to anything. They’re not generally full of themselves. Maybe they’re not quite as good at romance, but we know the right woman can smooth the rough edges.

What do you think about real life – country man or a city man and why? And in fiction – which do you choose? Is your answer different and why?

This year Harlequin is celebrating sixty years of romance. They’re giving away free downloads of sixteen titles that represent most of their lines. If you haven’t checked out their free offer yet, run straight over and download the titles that grab your interest. I’ve already downloaded my share.
Here’s the link.

Romance on the Web.

Today I have a selection of interesting tidbits for you from the world wide web.

The first is at Romancing the Blog and it’s about books and censorship. This post shocked me. I dislike censorship of any sort and feel that adults should have freedom of choice. I can borrow erotic romances at my local library. They’re labeled with large stickers that state the book contains explicit content. It’s my choice to check out a book with spicy content. I presume this also alerts the librarian if a minor tries to check one out. That’s all the oldies need on their library books – a sticker stating the book contains salty language or explicit content. They can then choose to read a particular book or leave it on the shelf.

Emily at EREC has a post about Everything Old. It’s about the universal problems faced by authors. They’re ageless problems!

I’m blogging over at The Samhellion about Sleeping with the Fishes and routine. I forgot to mention it yesterday. Oops!

Sign up to receive a free copy of Night Hawk, a short story by Lora Leigh.

Download a free copy of Roxanne St. Claire’s Bullet Catcher novella.

And of course, if you haven’t checked out my free reads, go there straight away!

Do you have any interesting posts to share?

Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow…

I’ve been working hard with my writing, starting quite early in the day. I can only sit for an hour or so and try to walk around a little in between. I’ll go and get a cup of tea and do a few stretches. I’m still going through my Country music phase and had the Country station playing. A lively song came on so I started dancing instead of stretching. After a while I sensed someone staring. I turned around and our little dog had woken up from her snooze. She was out of her basket, standing beside it, and staring at me in total disapproval. We stared at each other for a long moment, silently communicating.

“You look stupid,” her look said.
My look said, “Too bad. I’m having fun.”

And I ignored her and carried on. She kept staring until I stopped and went back to writing. I could practically see her thoughts as she settled back down in her basket. I’m so embarrassed. Of all the owners in the world, why did I have to get this one!

On the web, I came across this post by agent, Holly Root. It’s about the Seven Deadly Sins of Publishing. I thought it was rather good, especially the part about each writer’s career being different and you shouldn’t compare your path to another writers.

I also found this post about Kitchen Myths and Pretensions very interesting. There were a few things I knew and I learned some new things, too.



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