Catching Up, Yet Again

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s been awhile and I’m hoping that doesn’t happen again, but life gets in the way. We authors get so caught up with things like work, relationships, WRITING. Yes, even that has kept me from updating this site.

To catch up on a few things:

– Hearts on Fire Editing is temporarily closed. I won’t be doing until I feel like I can fit it into my schedule and be able to get it back to the author in a timely manner. I’ve already had a few people ask me to continue going, but I can’t at the risk of it not being done soon enough.

– The Dead Speak is FINALLY finished and is available for preorder! Are you excited for this book? I know I am excited to see Ophelia take her first steps in the real world and see how far she goes.

– The Sinned Drown is under way already! Kind of, I mean, I’m only on chapter one, but the prologue is done too, so that’s a start, right?

– Authors Against Bullying is coming along, slowly, but still coming along. It does take time to put these things together and we’ve had to move the release date a few times, but it’s set for the 6th! I’ll have a collection of short stories coming out with Rock & Roll Saved My Soul shortly after AAB V2 and I have yet to choose a charity for them as it’s a difficult decision for me. I will announce it as soon as I know more about it though!

– I feel like there was something else that I was going to put here, but now I can’t remember. Hmm… Okay then.

ORDER YOUR ECOPY OF THE DEAD SPEAK NOW AND HAVE IT DELIVERED TO YOUR KINDLE ON THE 13TH!

Look what is already up for preorder? Get your ecopy now and have it delivered on release day!

US: http://amzn.to/1f7MwOG
UK: http://amzn.to/1Fe04wP
Canada: http://amzn.to/1Bcqhkc
Australia: http://bit.ly/1Sc9lyS

Add it to your Goodreads account NOW! – http://bit.ly/1L4exAD

And in case you missed it, here’s the cover for The Dead Speak!

T D Speak FRONT

T D Speak copy

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Looking for a Cover Designer

I had made a post previously about cover designers and I had listed some of my personal favorites, but there are more to that list. I’m not adding them in this post, but I was asked what do I look for when looking for a cover designer.

Now, when I think about my book covers, I immediately go to the three people that have been helping me with my covers since I started, but it’s more than that. Lately, I’ve been working on photoshop, learning how to make my own covers, but besides that – there are some traits that I look for when I think about cover designers.

Do they design in the genre my book is in: You don’t want someone who only does romance books to design something that is meant for a horror novel. I’m not saying that it would be bad, but they’re completely different genres and it would be hard to tell what you were getting yourself in to until it is too late.

Do they have samples: Samples are a good thing. It gives you the chance to see what they can do before you buy it. For example, I wouldn’t go on Fiverr and look for a cover designer there. When it comes to covers, it’s something that you want to be up close and personal with the designer, working together to create your image.

Price Range and Messages: You probably don’t want someone who takes about a month to get back to you, but on the other hand, you don’t want something overly expensive (but hey, if it’s something that you love, how can you put a price on that?). I know personally that I want something that is decently priced for the amount of work put into it.

Now there are many other things to consider and once I get more sleep, I am sure that I will write them down and put them into another blog post, but for now, consider the above. Consider whether they will work with you for you to both reach a common ground when it comes to your book cover!

Write Often or Pace Yourself?

This is a question that is asked constantly by many people and  the answer lies within yourself, I believe. There are times that the characters speak to me and I cannot get them to shut up and when this happens, I tend to write often, but other than that, I pace myself. I make myself a daily goal, though lately I have been taking time away from that to deal with some issues in my life, but I feel like I will be getting back to that daily goal soon. My personal daily goal has been set at 1,000 words per day, but that’s something for me – a personal accomplishment for myself.

This is a question that I cannot answer for you. I do think that it’s a good idea to set a personal goal and try to reach that goal each day, but I know there are some people who cannot do that no matter how hard they try. As far as this question, only you will know the answer for yourself.

Software for Writing

One question that I also constantly get asked is what is the best software for writing. There are so many out there that the decision might be a difficult one, but have no fear. There are many alternatives that you can get to for writing.

One of the amazing programs I had run into has been something like Scrivner, if you can afford it. It’s something that has a $60 fee or something like that and you have to log into it and use it that way, but it has absolutely amazingly helpful devices. It has noteboards where you can plan characters and scenes – separately,  of course, and you can write one chapter at a time, keeping them separate until you compile everything you’ve written into one word document. This comes in handy and I’ve actually have met editors who prefer editing in a scrivner document over anything else (though to me, that’s more difficult).

So another clear option is Mircosoft Word, this being the one that I personally use. I use this one because of the clear format, the clear page breaks and the way you can do scene dividers. I also use Mircosoft Word for the formatting capabilities such as inserting pictures behind the words on the beginning of the chapters and such. It also automatically corrects common spelling errors, something that I am constantly thankful for, though I’m probably biased towards this one.

Another option so similar to Word is Open Office. Now to me, this is one of my least favorite options, but I believe it’s only because I haven’t had a lot of experience with it. This one is free and it’s close to Word. You can do nearly everything with it from what I’ve heard about it, but I have yet to figure out all the tools of the trade with this one.

One more option is using something like Google Drive and have the document private so no one but those you invite can see it. I always have an issue with this because if you’re anything like me, you use someone’s computer and then forget to log out and low and behold, you’ve left your Facebook up and they’re making a rather embarrassing post about it, but not only that, but you’ve left your book up to which point, they can edit it and save it to mess you up and there’s nothing that you can do about it.

The very last option that I can even hink about is using something like Notepad to write, though that is something that I don’t suggest at all. No publisher that I know deals with Notepad files and there is no way to set up indents, formatting structure, centering things and so much more. As an editor, I wouldn’t accept a Notepad document either only because it is so difficult to work with.

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Now, I’m sure that there are other options, but there will always be good ones and bad ones. This is just in order from what I would personally advise using versus ones that I wouldn’t advise using at all. Hopefully this list helps you with your decision of program use! Let me know in the comments which one you use and why!

Mind of Their Own

The one thing we all hate is when we’re writing and we think that we’re in control, but we’re not. The characters speak and they do their own thing – turning your story upside down and changing your plot.

My best advice when this happens is to let them – Listen to your characters and don’t fight them. Them changing your story might be for the better and when you’re not fighting with your characters, the words flow better. Changing your story to what your characters want could very well be just what your story needs. Remember, you created these characters – they’re your babies and like any baby, they do grow up and they decide that they want to make decisions for themselves.

BUT if you don’t want to listen to them,  not all hope is lost. You can still keep to your original plan and to do so, I would take a step back from your story for a day or two and start planning chapter by chapter for your book. Plan everything, the conversations, details, scenes, all to make sure that things stay the way you want. This is something that I don’t advise as your characters will push back (trust me, it’s happened to me) and it will make writing 10 times harder than it already is.

Being Weird

Well, o get asked constantly how I come up with my ideas and I get stumped on this question constantly. I don’t know what to say to get them satisfied other than they just come to me. Some might be dreams and whatnot, but others just randomly pop into my head.

Now the other thing is that I believe being weird helps! Yeah, we’re all weird in our own way, but I put myself with people that make me laugh and get my creativity flowing – people who challenge my thoughts, ideas, and things I believe in – especially my boyfriend. 

When you’re writing, you need to think of everything. If you’re creating a world, don’t forget to mention some of their beliefs and laws and don’t be afraid to make it different than what you personally believe in. There aware no rules to writing, but challenge yourself. It might be hard, but it’s well worth it. 

Don’t be afraid to dance when people are watching. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and write what you don’t know. Above all – don’t be scared to be weird!