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Thirteen Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Writers

Thursday Thirteen

I’ve been in a writing mood recently, which is great from my point of view. Today, I wrote “the end” on my current work in progress. Since my mind is in the groove, I thought I’d give some advice to aspiring authors.

1. Sit down and write every day. Make writing into a good habit.

2. Join a writing group, either a chapter or an online community for support.

3. Read and read widely. Analyze books that work for you and those that don’t. Use them as a learning tool.

4. Make a point to learn about websites and social media.

5. Enter writing competitions to help yourself improve and also to give yourself a writing deadline.

6. Research markets, agents and editors to familiarize yourself with what publishers and agents are looking for. This will help you narrow down who to submit your book to. If you’re thinking about self-publishing learn as much as you can about the process.

7. Keep a record of how much you can comfortably write each day. Knowledge of your possible output will help you once you’re published and facing deadlines.

8. Take online classes and attend conferences to learn as much as you can. I’ve been published for a while now, and I’m still learning!

9. When it comes to actual plotting, try all the different methods. Plotting, pansting and in between until you find a method that works for you.

10. There is no right or wrong way to write a book. There is only your way.

11. Find a critique partner/s to help critique your work and critique other writers’ work. This is a learning process too.

12. Once you’ve completed and polished your book send it off to your chosen publisher or agent. While you’re waiting, start work on your next book. If you’re self-publishing, complete the publishing process and start work on the next book.

13. Celebrate each success because writing is a difficult business and plain hard work.

Do you have any suggestions to add to my list?

Indie Authors on a Mission!

I’ve been watching Angela Brown and Gwen Gardner’s publishing adventures with interest, cheering for them both as they swim through self-publishing waters. I’m thrilled to welcome Angela to my blog today. I’ll hand you straight over, but you’d better buckle in for the ride!

Welcome to the Adventures of Gwen and Angela, aka Partners in ParanormYA

Indie authors on a mission: Pour their characters upon paper and share their craziness – erm – stories with readers north, south, east and west, All Over the World!

Reading that intro makes it seem we’re caped crusaders protecting readers with powerful words betwixt digital, paper or hardback covers. In my imagination, it’s kind of fun to see us that way. Winking smile

Superhero

In reality, Gwen and I both see ourselves as writers with minds filled with stories. We just want to share them. All of them, if possible.

Partnering together, Gwen and I embarked on our publishing journey by joining together to promote our separate novels: Neverlove by Angela Brown and Givin’ Up the Ghost by Gwen Gardner. We both chose to self-publish, a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly. In self-publishing, the author owns the process from beginning to publication and beyond into marketing and promotion.

When it comes to self-publishing:

DO set your goals honestly. This will determine the amount of work you will or maybe won’t have to do. If you just want to put your book out for friends and family (like I did with Secret Lilies, a suspense erotica I published under the pen name Rayven Godchild) then marketing and promoting won’t be a big item on your list of things to work on.

DO edit or at least have someone beyond yourself give your work the once-over. As writers, we’re close to our projects, maybe read it a hundred times, literally. Words can jumble together. Plot holes the size of a Mac truck can fly by due to the familiarity we have with the story. Readers are very forgiving, but it’s best not to push your luck J

DO enjoy yourself. Choosing to self-publish and make it a career for longevity requires a lot of writing, more writing and then some writing in between all that other writing. There will be plenty of opportunities to “work” in marketing and promoting your novel, planning for book covers, blog tours, book blasts, seeking reviews and so forth. Holding on to the JOY in the process keeps the CREATIVITY bubbling and the stories flowing – even if they flow in fitful starts and stops J

DON’T give up on yourself. Whether you have a short term goal of just feeling the slick glossy of your paperback in your hand, the long term goal of a career in writing OR if you choose the traditional publishing route instead of self-publishing, believe and write on. Readers are out there and they want your tale of adventure, paranormal mischief or naughty ladies and gents in rather compromising positions.

Question From Shelley: Do you have any questions for Angela or Gwen about their self-pubbing process? Go on, ask a question! Oh, and I almost forgot. It’s Angela’s birthday today. Wish her happy birthday. Party smile

Angela Brown

Angela’s author bio:

Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Angela now calls Central Texas home.

Reading and writing have been lifelong passions. It was around the time she gave birth to her forever-love, nicknamed Chipmunk, that she really took writing seriously. After all, how could she teach her child to follow her dreams if she hadn’t tried herself?

As a YA fantasy/sci-fi reader and author, she favors the magical, mysterious, the darker side of life…even harbors a secret fright for things that go bump in the night.

NEVERLOVE is a special project spawned from a blog-challenge-turned-blog-opera, the Abby and Basil affair. It is the first in the Shadow Jumpers series.

Neverlove by Angela Brown

For seventeen-year-old Abigail, one rash decision leads to an unexpected chance for redemption. At V’Salicus Academy, a unique institute where she trains to become an agent of heaven, she struggles with the pain of her past, the changes of the present and accepts a loveless future until her path – and heart – crosses with Basil’s.

Basil’s off-chance slip of the tongue binds him to a life of servitude to the Devourer, the master of hell. His existence has no upside until a chance meeting with Abigail brings new perspective.

Keeping the truth of their present lives from each other brings disaster when secrets are brought to light and the life of Abigail’s mentor is put on the line.
Can Abigail and Basil save her mentor and salvage their love amid the chaos? Or will they lose it all, destined forever to NEVERLOVE?

 

Purchase Neverlove

Giving Up The Ghost

A modern day medieval village teeming with spirit activity is no place for sixteen-year-old psychic and ghost whisperer Indigo Eady. Not when all she wants is to forget about these supposed gifts. After all, when needed most, it didn’t help save her father.

After her father’s death, Indigo moves to a new town and has the chance to start over where nobody knows about her psychic abilities. Hiding her secret is easy until the ghost of Bart Bagley ruins everything by barging in and begging her to solve his murder. Tempted to ignore him, she only relents because he was the father of her new friend, Badger. That and the survivor’s guilt she feels over her own father’s death.

A murder investigation is hard enough without the disruption of interfering ghosts and a mysterious soul collector with her name topping its list. But when Indigo’s psychic abilities short-circuit, sparks start to fly in more than one direction. The resulting mishaps compromise the success of the investigation and put the budding but fragile attraction between Indigo and Badger at risk.

When the body count mounts and a suspect ends up dead, Badger becomes a “person of interest" and they must surge ahead to solve the murders before they become the next victims.

Purchase Givin’ up the Ghost