Tag Archives: writing craft

Challenges of Edits “Shifter’s Legacy”

I’m living in edit Hell. Most writers know where I am. They may even be here too. However, one is always alone in edit hell.  Well wishers try to assist, but it is a solitary place that’s almost impossible to get out of with help. These decisions are mine and mine alone.

These lovely concepts are ones I’m grappling with today.

What would werewolves argue about in a pack meeting?

What really is vivacious? How would you describe it through action. How would someone act that is vivacious and the reader get vivacious?

In the pursuit of good, better, great, AWESOME FANTASTIC THE ANGELS ARE SINGING…the first answer isn’t always the best answer. And so I ponder and think and ponder. That perplexed face staring at the computer screen really is me working.

I am dealing with the buzz of was, was, was and the ringing tingle of ly, ly, ly.

Tweaking words to stronger choices, clearer choices. Saying more, saying less. Oh it does make my wee head spin.

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WOW – Writers Words of Wisdom

This is a new weekly column that I’ve joined with the others authors over at Writers Words of Wisdom to produce.

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Take a look at the other authors topics at these locations.

Paloma Beck: http://romancebeckons.blogspot.com/search/label/WoW

Lacey Wolfe: http://laceywolfe.com/blog.html

BRANDING YOURSELF

This sounds terribly painful in the day to day world. However, it is one of the relatively new words in marketing. Brand yourself with a presence that makes a statement about what you are about.

I had the opportunity to visit the Chattanooga Writer’s Guild this past week and attend a session by Allie Pleiter, an Inspirational Romance Novelist from the Chicago Area. She has some interesting things to say about writing, marketing and conducting business as an author. I wish to share my take on what she had to say and how it impacts me as an author. I had been ‘poking’ at the branding concept for some time. I had business cards made at Vista Print and chose one of their canned logos with a skull and flowers around it. I constructed the phrase, “Leave Your Safe World Behind” as a tag line. I have a few t-shirts with the logo on it and my name “Eden Glenn Erotic Romance Author” I have the tag line and my website on the back. It’s very attractive. Yet I wasn’t sure the logo was doing it for me.  As my critique partner said, skulls say gothe or pirates. Not so much either one.

Okay, on to what I learned from Allie Pleiter.

“Because marketing matters for everyone now” She said. I’ve accepted this as part of my life. The door that opened to allow me into the epub world also let in a host of others all wanting to find readers. It is a tough world out there to find readers and get their attention.

The process Allie went through was a self analysis to target yourself. Authors more than ever diversify their writing so finding a common thread and branding you as an author has become more important than ever. Follow me as I employed her three part process to find my “Brand”.

Part 1

“Analyze the reviews of three writers you want to be like. Why do people like J.R. Ward etc…. Analyze their reviews. What are the attributes they are drawn to. If you want to be like them, shoot for their attributes.”

What are reviewers saying about their work and why do the reviewers say they like about those authors. Where is a common thread there for me?

Okay, so I adore: J.R. Ward, Joey Hill, and Angela Knight

I looked up J.R. Ward’s first book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series Dark Lover. First overwhelming moment is realizing that book has 778 customer reviews. Jeash.

Ravenous Reader says “If you’re looking for a book that’s well written, has interesting, flawed characters you want to root for, heroes and heroines that have amazing chemistry, compelling relationships, and great love scenes, AND a plot that keeps you turning the pages, this is the book (and series) for you!”

Gingersnap said “I laughed, I gasped and sweated reading every last page of this book. As another reviewer said, “The Black Dagger Brotherhood owns me…”. Dark, magical, full of lust, love and action, this book will posess you. Well, well JR Ward… dont mind if I do.”

Kalea said “I have without a doubt The Black Dagger Brotherhood will have a cult following. It’s dark, dramatic, and the characters are likable. They all have their own little kinks.”

I was also surprised at the number of horrible reviews. I mean really horrible. That is something for me to hold on through the future years as a writer. Not everyone is going to like everything. Your value is not controlled by the reviews you get.

Next, I looked at Joey Hill “Something About Witches” book that I am loving. I was sucked in from the first line.

L Finder said “If you want a book that will have you laughing, have you crying, and have you thrilled to be in the company of strong, smart sexy characters, buy this book.”

Linda Crooks said “Something About Witches is vivid and smart, and Joey W. Hill is a breathtakingly sensual writer. Complex, gut-wrenchingly emotional, and jam-packed with action and angst, you won’t want to put this one down. This is one intense read; it will grab your heart, shake it around a bit, and not let go until the very last page.”

Then, Angela Knight – The Time Hunters

So many books said “Angela Knight uses words to craft a believable world and compelling characters. She does it right, she does it well. I can see, smell, feel,touch and taste her stories. When I read her books I feel as if I’m there.”

M. Nix: “Warrior is action-packed with danger and a flaming hot love story.”

L. Curtis: “The characters are three dimensional, the plot’s realistic and intriguing, and setting draws you into her world.”

Okay, So what am I seeing here as a common thread that I relate to in my work. Dark, edgy, compelling, three dimensional characters, emotional, Takes you into their world. Action, Danger, Erotic, sensual

My tag line works. “Leave Your Safe World Behind” I take readers into my world. I want them to have an emotional experience reading my books. I want three dimensional characters with flaws. Believable, compelling, Dark and Dramatic.

The next thing in developing a brand that she said was to

Part 2.

Descriptions of Media Characters who capture your affection / attention.

Adam Lambert; Jason Mamoa ( Khal Drogo in the HBO medieval fantasy television series Game of Thrones), and Lara Croft (Tomb Raider fame)

Adam Lambert, professional singer, Talented, smart, erotic, edgy but personable. Takes you on an emotional journey through music

Khal Drogo, Conan were roles played by Jason Mamoa. Powerful, erotic, mysterious, edgy

Lara Croft – Strong, secretive, sexy, Smart.

What do these three media personalities have in common. They are all sexy, smart, fierce, edgy. They are like the characters I want to create in my writing. And again, I’m in luck my “Leave Your Safe World Behind” tag line continues to work. The concept is the writers you respect and the media characters or personalities that you like will reveal that core about yourself that you need to define and tie to your writing. This information isn’t your brand but it helps you focus you toward your brand. My tag line was already created but this exercise could have helped me refocus to a truer tag line. Fortunately, I think my tag line is a pretty accurate reflection.

Part 3

Choose a metaphor

Hers was a disco ball. It reflects light. Permission to be a little stupid. Chance to lighten up a little bit.

I’m not sure what my metaphor would be.  I am thinking a door, doorway, and archway?

DCF 1.0

I’m not sure how that would work in terms of a logo? What are your thoughts?file8661296144575

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file5051286995088She said if you are not excited by the results of your investigation you are not there yet. Ask yourself: What are the themes in your writing. What do you value. What do you want to be. Why do you write. That is close to your brand.

Her brand ended up being Adventure. Her parenting books were an Adventure in Parenting. The knitting blog and Adventure in Yarn, her fiction, Adventures in Historical Fiction, Adventures in Contemporary Fiction. Adventure was the hub. Her logo became a compass. The adventure isn’t out there. You hold the compass. The adventure starts right where you are, became her tag line. So you see the pattern.

Her closing comment on this segment was about promoting. It is often hard for authors to promote themselves. Yet when they find their core values and passion they find it easy to promote those values.

So, lets discuss your discoveries. What are your tag lines and logos? What do you think my logo should be?

Fantasy Man Monday

The heart wrenching memories of 9/11/01 can not be denied. So much senseless loss. Yet like the battered 9/11 tree we continue on, scared at times, but not defeated. And new life, new beauty, new resolve to live life out loud.

Think of our Fantasy Men in Uniform.

I couldn’t resist.

Okay I would drop and give you 20 but this hunkilicious (yeah, new word, add it to your dictionary. lol) gentleman does it so much better.

Whoo Whee, I need someone to put out this fire.

What is not to love about an earthy man, in uniform…pieces of uniform… Ah, well at least a man with a big….gun.

Brings out the huntress in all of use, doesn’t it?

Joyful Monday

Life is Fragile

I don’t often write much about my family. I did a blog way back about how my son in law is my real life hero. That was during his first Marine sponsored solo vacation to the land of sand.

Now he is on his second tour. My daughter holding down the home front again. This time she was pregnant with their son, my first grandchild.

*I know hard to believe, I am much too young to be a grandmother*

She had the baby 9/3/11 after being in labor more hours than I can count. SIL got to hear the baby being born via the telephone. He is a continual strength to my daughter. The baby was born a seemingly ‘healthy’ 7lbs 12 oz at 20 1/2 inches long. He was given a massively cliche’ Italian family name.

While the medical staff were checking him out they noticed he wasn’t breathing well and discovered his lung was partially collapsed. The decision was made to transfer him to NICU in a neighboring town. His Momi gave birth at 3:14 a.m. on the 3rd and didn’t get to hold her baby until 10:39 that night at the Neonatal ICU unit.

When she called me with the news before lunchtime on the 3rd, their plan was for her to stay in the hospital an hour and a half away from her baby at the NICU. She had seen the baby. He was under oxygen. At that point her plan became “I am going where my baby is… if I have to check myself out of here AMA and walk barefooted. I don’t care who I have to talk to but I am not stopping until I talk to the person who will make me being with my baby a priority.”

My girlfriend is a nurse and immediately got on the computer collecting phone numbers for my daughter to call. She also helped my daughter understand what the medical jargon meant for what was happening with her son.

Our little miracle boy has been on and off of oxygen. His lung seems to be inflating and doing it’s job. Because he didn’t get fed in those early hours of his life he has not learned how to suck and swallow. He ended up on a tube to get the nutrition into him. Now, he is learning how to swallow.

So this week, my oldest daughter is my heroine. No one messes with a mother bear protecting her cubs. My middle daughter is my heroine too cause she was there with her sister through the whole thing taking care of her. And My girlfriend and partner is my heroine for taking care of me and helping my girls when I didn’t know how.

And of course, my SIL is still my real life hero because even though he was half way around the world, he took care of his wife’s emotions and supported her, comforted her and held her close.

Never forget how fragile life is take care to make every moment count for something.

Blogging at Coffee Time

Rebel Ink Authors for the anthology “Once Upon A Twisted Tale” will be blogging over at Coffee time romance.com on September 15th, 2011. Check it out and come on over to join in the fun. Ask me anything you want to know about “The Galloping Ghoul of Hockomock Swamp”.

Fantasy Man Monday

A beautiful Laborday Monday has arrived and we are finally getting the rain we have needed. It has been a long dry hot summer. Laborday usually signifies the end of summer. Lets take a last look at those hard working men of summer that are here in fantasy to give us so much Fantasy Man Monday happiness… to sigh and know why we enjoy romance writing so much.

Wet Men

Tattooed Men

Men with a little scruff

Sexy men of all shapes, sizes and colors

Yes, a hard working cowboy even needs a little love

Good Bye summer, bring on the fall. Lounge around in bed with the someone you love and listen to the rain. Tell the world and all the demands others have for you to go away. It is a perfect way to spend Labor Day.

Promotion Joy and Woe

You write a wonderful story, great action, sizzling sex and wow the day comes where an a. agent, b. editor, c indy publisher actually wants to buy the book and follow your baby through to publication.

You jump on the exciting merry go round of emotions. You have arrived, semi arrived. Okay at least you have gotten further along the path to your goals. It is a fantastic time in your career. You are beginning to feel like a “real” author.

The next logical step is Promotion of your ‘baby’ and it’s not a magical formula. I have attended a few writer’s workshops on promotion.

The general consensus is NO ONE really knows what will work. It can get pretty expensive throwing “mud” at the wall to see what sticks.

I came across a great blog giving reference to any number of cites that promote the lower priced e-books.

There is a lot of good information here. However, the obstacle continues to remain. HOW DO YOU GET THIS INFO in the hands of READERS???

Any ideas? I would love to hear your comments. Yeah, totally selfish. I am a contributing author to an Anthology coming out mid October. I might have told you about that.LOL.I am keenly interested in how to promote this release to readers.

Fantasy Man Monday

We have neglected a very significant hot man component in our Fantasy Man Monday Blog — The Villain.

The hot baddies are in their own right the hero’s of their story.

Who can forget this handsome bad guy from Die Hard movie fame.

Often we find many redeemable qualities in these characters.

The villain can be the ultimate bad boy, a tortured soul.

These actors might not have been cast as the villain of a movie but they are hot devils. Not all villains have to be ugly and evil. Go against the stero type — make your next villain handsome as sin

Once Upon A Twisted Tale

Here is a tease!”>20110822-101418.jpg

Fantasy Man Monday

I’ve been subtly celebrating my contract with Rebel Ink Press. I have days when I feel like a “real” author. Then I am humbled by some dumb thing I do and realize I’m still little old me, guppy Dorie.

My current WIP for Rebel Ink’s “Once Upon A Twisted Tale” due out October, 2011 in time for Halloween is a male/male romance. That’s all I can say about it officially at the moment. Once cover blurb is approved and I finish all the revisions I’ll be able to promote more. I wanted to give you a few images that inspired my hero characters. Nathaniel Hawkins and Ike Sandhill in “The Galloping Ghoul of Hockomock Swamp”.

Cast as Ike Sandhill

Isn’t he a darling hero to rescue?

Cast as Nathaniel Hawkins

Nathaniel has that brooding maturity with a spark of joy behind his eyes. Can’t you see how much he needs Ike?

The thing I love about romance. Love is Love no matter what packaging it arrives in.