Working, Working, Working…

So, I would say that unless you’re a big time author who has been on the bestsellers list multiple times, you probably have a day job and when you get home, writing or editing, or formatting is the LAST thing that is on your mind. If you’re anything like me, sleep is the first thing you want to do – either that or eat.

Well, I can say that I’ve been there, I am right now, and it does suck. It gets in the way of everything – seriously, it’s like a cat, especially mine, who always like to sleep on my laptop whenever I want to write or something like that. But I can’t because there’s so much that I need to do for other things, other than writing.

So, my opinion is to keep your head up. If writing is what you want to do, then wait it out. When you right, well, before you write – gather your thoughts so you can crank out as many words as you can!

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B.E. McLaughlin

Languish, by B.E. McLaughlin is a mystery, thriller novel that has LGBT themes within it. The novel follows two mothers in search of their kidnapped daughter, and tests the strength of their love, as well as the mental and physical strain one can take within a given amount of time.

Languish was released on the 1st of January this year, and I am very excited about its progress, much more excited for my following novels and the path that this career will lead me.

When asked about her current WIP, this was her response –
My current WIP is the first of a trilogy that started from a question of “What will humans do for the possibility of money, cold hard cash in their hands?” You’re Next: the Descent, is a horror, thriller, dystopian piece that questions society and how well it is truly run.

But I love to read all types of books, when my University schedule allows for me to. 18 books this semester doesn’t seem like a lot until it is all piled up on top of you. Haha.

I am hoping to have my next novel out by mid summer, or late spring if I am lucky.

Links:
Facebook Page
Website
Blog
Goodreads
Amazon Author Central

Languish Links
Amazon US Link
Amazon Canada Link
Amazon UK Link

Debbie Manber Kupfer

Debbie is the author of a YA fantasy series, P.A.W.S. – books 1 and 2, P.A.W.S. and Argentum are out and she is currently writing book 3.

Also when she’s not writing fiction she writes puzzles for magazines and is about to release her first book of logic puzzles, Paws4Logic. Paws4Logic has been a long time in coming and is a collaboration between her and her son, Joey.

Debbie has stories in a variety of anthologies and is the editor of a historical horror anthology, Sins of the Past ,and will be reading her story, Griddlebone, on the radio this Saturday night (Jan 31).

Links:
Paws4Thought
Paws4Puzzles
Facebook Author page
Puzzles
Twitter
Amazon
Goodreads

New Author Friends

So, lately, I’ve been trying out some new promotional methods, trying to find one that suits me. I’m not one for shoving my book down their throat telling them that it’s the best thing since sliced bread and all that and well, posting in all different Facebook groups like some people do is also annoying to the point where it clogs up some peoples notifications and I just really don’t know much in the promotion area.

What I do know is that there is a small group that has been set up for a few authors to join to promote each other and well, I have to give a shout out to them. They are all amazing. Click their names below to be taken to their author pages! They seriously are amazing people and amazing authors 🙂

Annelle Willard
A.W. Willard
Ashley Gustavson
Brooke Warra
Heather Kirchhoff
H.R. Lutz
Kate Marie Robbins
Konstanz Silverbow
Lainy Bradshaw
Madison Sevier
Rebecca Jaycox
S.L. Dearing
Sara Nelson
Yvonne Anderson

They are all seriously amazing and I hope you like them too! On top of all of them, please don’t forget to like my own author pages!

Bree Vanderland
Brianna Vanderland

Setting a To-Do List

So, sometimes it seems that things are awry and you just don’t know where to begin. For example, today, I had a lot to do and it was all over the place. I needed to call work, call Verizon, format Dance with Darkness, get that book cover finished and so much more. What really helped me today was setting a To Do list. It helped me stay organized. I had a main list and then a more detailed list. Well, here’s how my day went –

First, I needed to call Verizon about something personal to do with our bill (not that you care much about all that) and then I needed to call work to confirm the next day I work and everything like that. After that was taken care of, I began working on my book things!

Well, for me it was pretty simple today, it was just tedious work like formatting a paperback book – making sure the images were perfect that I inserted (see the image below) and then getting an e-book formatted for it and uploading it onto many different sites. I did make a list, only so I wouldn’t lose my head, even though a list for this wasn’t really needed.

13

Now, while I didn’t necessarily need a list, I still made one, only to keep everything organized. I would highly recommend keeping this in practice for the future for anyone and everyone who has a list of things they need to do for their books! It’s definitely by far the best solution I have tried.

Dance with Darkness

So, there have been a few changes to Dance with Darkness – for one, it will not be published by Kingsnake Publishing, but instead by me. I won’t say anything bad about them because they are a good company and the group that I was in had people talking about more than Kingsnake things. It was my decision to leave, thinking that it would be best for me and my book due to personal reasons and that’s all I’m going to say.

The other thing that has changed is the formatting. I’m actually working on it now, but I do think that it looks beautiful 🙂 I’m hoping that the print copies also look beautiful and hopefully I can get it posted soon so I can order some proofs 🙂

The last thing that was changed was the cover. Now, I know I just released a cover with the blue swirls and everything, but I do believe that this new one fits the genre more and well… Let me show you and you can decide 🙂

Title – Dance with Darkness
Author – Bree Vanderland
Release Date – 2-17-2015
Genre – Fantasy
Synopsis –
Emmaline just wanted to be normal – a normal life filled
with school, boys, gossip, but what she gets is far from normal.

What if you discovered you were the daughter of the villian? What if everyone was counting on you to perform a task that could save thousands?
What if you had the magic?

Be taken away with Emmaline as she tries to discover who she really is.

 

Dance ebook

 

Dance3

SALE!

So, a lot of authors offer their books for FREE or for $0.99! Let’s give you some examples! Maybe you would be interested in buying an ecopy to help support an indie author – DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE A REVIEW!!! Click the author’s name to be directed to their Facebook page and the book titles to be directed to that book on Amazon.com (synopsis is included)

Books by D. Love

Today Only
*There is no time to fall in love; only to be loved….*
Rye Silcox desperately tries to hide her anxiety and suffering from her tight knit family, especially her young daughter, Emily. Coping with the heartbreaking diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumor, while trying to appear stoic, is often an overwhelming task.
*Sometimes the miracle you are granted isn’t the one you want, but the one you need.*
Rye is reunited with high school classmate, Jett Connor. Even though the attraction is mutual, her grim prognosis reminds her that their time together will be limited. She’s determined to push him away, but Jett will have none of it. His place is by her side, and he’s unwavering with his pursuit. She finally concedes, and they adopt a new philosophy—one that celebrates seconds instead of days, moments instead memories. With one simple childhood prayer, peace comes to one, while heartache consumes another. Unfortunately, when one soul travels on, another soul must stay behind.
*The past is in their hearts, the future is not promised—they live for today only.*

Ready for You
Author Penny Lane decides to team up with fellow author Kain Brooks because she believes the collaboration will bring something refreshing and new to her humdrum life. It is at first, but what she doesn’t count on is developing feelings for a man that’s hundreds of miles away while continuing to struggle with the death of her fiancé, Zack.
The newly divorced Kain is excited about the partnership and happily realizes that it may lead to much more than just a book.
However, there is a threat! A stalker’s evil intentions are far more serious than either of them can ever imagine– so serious that they may not make it long enough to discover if their feelings are genuine or just a long-distanced crush.

– Learning The Lies (The Bailey Trilogy Book 1)
Fourteen hundred miles has separated Bailey Jones, from a tragic heartache. After her first love ends their relationship, Bailey continues forward with her decision to move with her Aunt in Maine. Adjusting to a new home, job, and friends was supposed to be simple but love interests have come knocking on her door.
The question is can either of them be trusted? Each of them is harboring secrets but once exposed, will it send Bailey running or will it be her salvation? Amongst the chaos of her love life, a unexpected appearance comes back into her life and could possibly change everything.
Bailey is ‘Learning the Lies’ but which will she accept?

– A Breath of Death (Life and Death Saga Book 1)
What if one day you awake to realize you can only remember two of the twenty two years of your life? Kate Miller is damaged, and her only possessions are a bird, a shady past she can only remember through nightmares, and a very uncertain future. These constant nightmares introduce her to a life she never knew existed. Running away from a certain evil, she discovers she has a gift that can change the course of life…
In one night everything will change. After being taken by a stranger who claims he’s there to protect her, odd things start happening. Will Kate have time to learn the truth about her past? Will she learn how to use her powers in time before she dies?
After all, death is just a breath away!

 

Books by Sara Nelson

Falling to Pieces (Finding Yourself Series, Book 1)
18+
Lily Stevens had it all. The white picket fence, amazing kids, and the perfect husband? Till one day it crumbles around her when she discovers her husband is mixed up in a real bad situation and that her mother has been holding the truth from her.
When she meets Oliver she thinks her life is getting better but oh how she was wrong. Can she survive the madness she has uncovered?

 

Books by Madison Sevier

Wicked by Nature 
What’s a witch supposed to do when she learns that she isn’t just a witch? Will Selena use her powers for good? Or will she embrace the part of herself that truly is wicked by nature?
Until now, life for Selena Barnes has been fairly easy. Aside from the constant stares and gossip of a few busy-bodies in town, her upcoming wedding to a mortal was all she cared about. When she finds out that no one, not even herself, is who they claim to be, she embraces the powers that she’d buried deep inside, unleashing a catalyst of dire consequences.
When secret after secret is revealed, Selena finds herself racing against time to save her friends, her soul mate, her town and to keep her powers from falling into the wrong hands. Hands that belong to someone she’s never met. Someone with whom she shares more than she could have ever imagined. Someone who has been waiting twenty-five years for these events to unfold.

Anything You Want: River Jewel Resort Series Book 1 18+
Welcome to the River Jewel Resort—where fantasy becomes reality!
Sydney Blake had the ideal life. A handsome, charming husband who took care of her and a fabulous home. When her world is shattered by Roger’s infidelity, Sydney checks into the River Jewel Resort for some relaxation and soul searching. Possibly even a one night stand through a special service provided by the all-inclusive hotel.
When she arrives, Sydney is more than shocked to find that the staff members know more about her than she knows about herself. Her every need, want and desire is taken care of before her very eyes and complete strangers are telling her that she is where she was always meant to be. But after being a fool for so long, can she trust what her own heart or what anyone else says?
Hotel manager, Mark Willburn has been searching his entire life for the perfect woman. When she walks through the door of his office throwing a fit and demanding to leave, he knows he’s finally found her. But will she see it that way?
Can the River Jewel help Sydney heal and find love again? Or are some wounds too big to be healed even with a magical resort on destiny’s side?

– Banged In The Bayou (Monster Erotica Book 1) 18+
Banged In The Bayou: Louisiana Swamp Monster
A humorous, supernatural, sex tale featuring a bombshell reporter and a paranormal creature.
Monster Erotica:
Should not be read by anyone without a sense of humor. This is a dark fantasy, and any similarity to anyone who has indeed had sex with a swamp monster is purely coincidental. No swamp monsters, crocodiles, raccoons, plants, snakes or spiders were harmed in the making of this book. The contents herein are FICTION and suitable for adults ONLY. Preferably adults who have wild imaginations.
Small town investigative journalist, Rosie Peaks needed a vacation. Getting stranded in Cajun country on her way to the Gulf of Mexico definitely wasn’t something she anticipated. Hot, dehydrated and alone, she had no choice but to wander deeper into the swamps in search of help. What awaited her there would change her life forever.
You know what they say. “Once you go monster…”

– Hunter’s Fortune (River Jewel Resort Series Book 2) 18+
Welcome to the River Jewel Resort—where fantasy becomes reality!
After Hunter Golde’s father died, she became President of his company; one she never truly wanted. Having such big shoes to fill has put Hunter in an impossible situation. With stockholders who’ve never believed in her and who were just waiting for Hunter to mess up, she’s had to be tough on everyone, including herself.
She soon learns that someone has embezzled a sizeable chunk of her assets. Hunter must find a way to bring the thief to justice before she ends up losing it all and has a company-wide mutiny on her hands.
With her life in shambles and no one to comfort her, Hunter leaves town, in the hopes that her lawyer can get the financial mess sorted out. When her plans to hide out at her family’s cabin fall apart, she finds herself at the mystical River Jewel Resort where she’s reminded that money isn’t the only important thing in life.
When she’s confronted with her past and reminded of her present troubles, Hunter realizes she’s been missing more than several million dollars. Lee Michaels, with his rugged good looks, and seemingly perfect life, make Hunter crave the two things having money could never provide; the two things she’s never truly had.
Can the River Jewel Resort show her that it’s never too late to change the future? Or will Hunter Golde remain true to the fortune that life has already given her?

– Smoky Mountain Escapes Book 1: Natural Lust 18+
Meet Kallie Masters. She has spent the past seven years becoming a renowned book reviewer. In that time, Kallie has forgone any romantic entanglements for the sake of her job. Good or bad opinions, she is highly respected by her readers and peers. However, when an arrogant author sends death threats in response to Kallie’s scathing review of his latest novel, her boss sends her to the Great Smoky Mountains on a weekend getaway to keep everyone, especially Kallie, safe.
Kallie’s mountaintop respite is shattered when she runs into Hank Fogle with his drop-dead gorgeous eyes and frat-boy attitude. Denying the unmistakable chemistry between them, Kallie steels herself against the attraction, determined to remain aloof and free of the mess this man and a romantic adventure would surely bring into her life.
Can the magic of the Great Smoky Mountains allow Kallie Masters to let things flow naturally between Hank Fogle and herself? Will a second chance be enough? Or will she fall into a lustful trap that will only break her heart in the end?
Will Kallie Masters ever get the “happily ever after” she’s spent her entire life searching for? Or will she find out they only exist in the romantic books she’s been reading?

The Librarian  18+
*Prequel to Long Overdue*
Olivia Milan is twenty-nine years old and single. That’s how she likes it. The only thing she loves more than her library and books is sex. A lot of sex. Having her pick of all three, the best of the best, makes her a very lucky woman.
Her past relationships have always held too many complications and now she prefers the no-strings approach with the men she chooses. Younger or older than her, it doesn’t matter. As long as they are of consensual age, she’s more than willing to help them with one-on-one personal attention.
Beautiful, intelligent, sensual, promiscuous, self-assured and maybe a bit conceited, Ms. Milan is the librarian you’ll wish you’d had in college.

– Long Overdue (River Jewel Resort Series Book 3) 18+
Welcome to the River Jewel Resort—where fantasy becomes reality!
After a decade of serving in the campus library, a small-town scandal involving one of its college students leaves Olivia Milan unemployed and able to spend a lot of time with her best friend of ten years. She’s always been attracted to Matt Osgood, but she believes he’ll never feel the same about her. When Matt heads out of town for the weekend, Olivia takes the opportunity to head to the River Jewel Resort in search of a new job. However, what she finds when she arrives proves life can be stranger than fiction.
Romance author, Matt Osgood, has been in love with the same woman for a very long time, but he thinks she’ll never return his feelings. Years of going to the River Jewel Resort have allowed him to live out his every fantasy. Still, he aches for a real emotional connection to the woman he loves.
Can the River Jewel Resort make fantasy become a reality for these two best friends? Or will they both run in opposite directions when confronted with the truth?

– Smoky Mountain Escapes Book 2: You’ll Never Be Lonely 18+
The second installment in this romantic adventure brings our favorite couple back.
Kallie Masters and Hank Fogle return to the Great Smoky Mountains, picking up where they left off and they’re heating things up!
Kallie is still adjusting to being in a relationship and Hank finds himself torn between work and play. When Hank leaves to take care of some business, Kallie finds herself in a precarious position.
Will Hank be able to handle the guilt he feels for leaving Kallie alone when they’re supposed to be on vacation?
Will Kallie ever be able to forgive him for choosing money over her?
Can these two polar opposites, a book reviewer and an author, ever make it work? Will they finally get their “happily ever after”? Or is a second chance too much to ask for?

 Make Mine A Monster (Monster Erotica Book 2) 18+
Kentucky: Alien Menage
A humorous, supernatural sex tale of a bombshell reporter on a nationwide hunt for her next, great monster-sex encounter.
After having a very erotic adventure with a monster on her way to the Gulf of Mexico, Rosie Peaks realized her life would never be the same. As a reporter, it was her duty to search out other monsters that were rumored to be lurking in the shadows of the United States. As a woman, now touched in unbelievable ways by a monster, it became essential to be touched by another…ANY other monster.
Were they all simply misunderstood creatures who only craved human companionship? Rosie would never rest until she found out.
Her next adventure begins in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Will the little green men theory prove to be true? Will Rosie find more than she ever thought possible to be true of otherworldly creatures? And can any of them satisfy her as Nessiana did in the bayou?

Making Him Mine 18+
No other man had ever been so kind to her. Don’s eyes were the color of the finest chocolate and she felt herself fall into them whenever he looked at her. His voice was as smooth as silk, caressing her body with each word. He was her destiny.
J.B. would stop at nothing to get the man of her dreams. She’d change her entire life to be the woman he would want and she’d love him until her last breath. But would he ever return her love? Or would J.B. end up alone?

 

Getting Involved

When you’re starting to write your first book, you’re probably very lost. The indie author community is HUGE – literally – containing thousands of authors who self publish and do a lot of things on their own, but that’s nothing to worry about. Most of the authors I have come in contact with are rather friendly and are more than willing to answer any questions you have.

How do you get your foot in the door?

That was my first question when I started writing. I was working on a book that was supposed to be a trilogy – except I have had so many computer issues that it didn’t turn out that way – and you’re at a loss. Well, I hope my blog posts can help you start to find your way, but ultimately, you need to work on getting some people on your friends list that are also involved.

For me, it kind of fell into place. I read a book by Cameo Renae and I happened to stumble across her personal profile, so I friended her. She happened to be so sweet and kind and helpful with answering my questions and those she couldn’t answer, she pointed me in the direction of someone who could help by answering – and those people were more than willing to answer as well.

My friends list grew and even now, I’m at about 1,600 friends and most of them are a part of the indie community. I’m not ashamed of this (and I know that employers will be able to look at that and see it and question why I have so many friends, but I don’t care. I’m happy to have gotten to speak with each and every person on my friends list). Well, everyone on my friends list is special and someone that needed my help or I needed theirs. Either way, they are people that I can count on because they have been where I have been or they are on their way to becoming a success.

Anyway, the thing isn’t just to fill your friends list, but actually create a circle of author friends. For me, it’s simple. My author friends consist of Kate Marie Robbins, Zara Elise Thelms, Isabella Tredway, JE Feldman, Loki Jackson, and a few others that I try to talk to at least every other day (some of them I talk to nonstop because they are so amazing and we just “click”, you know?). When everything seems to be going wrong or my characters won’t talk to me, I can always count not only on their opinion, but for them to distract me if that’s what I need. I hope they know that they can count on me for the same thing!

I view that as getting involved, but not only that. I try to like and participate in as many events for cover reveals and releases as possible, a lot of the times, donating something that is mine (usually a few ebooks) for giveaways to help make their parties a success. Because that is what we’re here for!

In order for the indie community to keep turning, we have to help out with each other. There are many groups on Facebook for you to promote your books and I would also recommend joining quite a few of them. That way, you also get to see every one else’s books (that is, if you’re interested because I know a lot of people that skip over them. I personally try to go through them and see if any are in the genre that I like to read and occasionally find some that I end up loving).

Now, getting involved will all pan out into helping you with marketing techniques. I know that I have a street team consisting of some of my favorite authors and people who love what I write that help me promote my books and help push along my ideas. They are also great for encouragement.

 

STAY TUNED – POSTS COMING UP:

– Formatting Help
– Marketing Strategy
– Favorite Authors

Quick Write

Sometimes taking a break from what you’re working on to do a quick writing sprint to work on something else gives your mind a break. I did that today and I loved it. Here’s what I wrote in about 20 minutes. I’m thinking the start of a new story! Tell me what you think then take a break and write for yourself – write anything – for 20 minutes straight!


 

Prologue

“Emily!”

She could hear him call out her name, but still she didn’t turn around. She continued running through the field that was located on the outskirts of her hometown. The long stalks of wheat brushed against her legs as her dress flowed behind her. While she was running, she was laughing, the sweet sound rising through the night and over the empty air, filling it with something melodic.

“Catch me if you can!” nineteen year old Emily Steele shouted back toward the young man behind her. For years, Emily had been chasing Chase Jones, trying to get him to go out with her and here he was, chasing her through a field on their first date, trying to catch up with her. “Come on!”

A quietness fell over the pair except for the heavy breathing that they were both giving out. The closer she got to the creek, the louder the rushing water became and soon, she couldn’t hear Chase behind her. She didn’t stop to think, thinking that it was all a part of the game that they were playing. Continuing down, she weaved around the trees that were starting to appear, heading to the creek.

After a moment, she had reached the edge of the creek, the terrain changing to small pebbles and mud that was a result of the water nearby. Taking a few more steps, she placed her feet in the water, not bothering to take off her shoes since she was barefoot. Closing her eyes, she savored the moment, loving the feeling of the cool water against her skin. Emily turned around, waiting for Chase to come through the trees.

“Chase?” she called out, but there was no reply. There was only silence and the hoot of an owl, perched overhead. “Chase? Where are you? This isn’t funny anymore.”

She waited another few minutes, allowing the water to wash away her anxiousness, but still, she was curious about what was taking him so long. Emily stepped out of the water and headed back the way she came, not really wanting to look or her date as she was now in a bad mood and the bright moon was now hidden behind clouds, making the world around her darker and harder to see.

“Chase, please,” she all but begged. “Where are you?”

Emily started back to the field, the stalks billowing lightly in the breeze. There was no sign of Chase and she honestly thought that he had just left her here, all alone, at two in the morning.

“Great,” she muttered as she leaned against one of the trees that were at the edge of the field, glancing over the field at the lights from the town. There weren’t many on and the few that were on she knew were only street lamps, ones that stayed on from six at night until about eight the next morning. There was one flickering in the distance that was giving her a headache.

Turning away, she stood straight and let out a deep breath, deciding to head back in town. She considered looking for Chase, but then thought that it wouldn’t have been worth it. She thought that if he left her out here alone that he wasn’t worth it and there went years of chasing after him.

Heading back to the town, she knew that the quickest way was through the field and over the interstate roads that hardly anyone travelled over. Still, there was something about walking there alone that scared her, even at nineteen years old. Every day on the news, she heard about bad things that happened to people, but never here. Never in the small town of Royal Lakes.

Heading back, she thought about her life and where she wanted it to go, but she knew that even though she was nineteen, she had her entire life to figure out what she wanted to be. Fresh out of high school last year, she had so many plans that she wanted to pursue, but all of that changed just by tripping and falling over one thing.

Once she hit the ground, she winced, trying to get a tiny stone that had managed to find its way far from the creek to the middle of the field out of the palm of her hand. After that was done, she turned her head to look at the large object that she had tripped over and when it finally clicked, she screamed.

Chase Jones was lying on the ground of the field, with blood trickling from a wound on his head. His brown eyes were open and looking straight at her as his left cheek was pressed against the dirt of the ground. There he was, lying dead in the middle of the pathway that ran through the field leading from the town to the creek.

That was when Emily Steele’s entire life changed.

 

(C) Brianna Vanderland 2015

Blog on Blog

Yes – my topic for today is about having a blog – while I’m on my blog. Makes sense, right?

Well, I’ve recently started this blog and well, I honestly didn’t think that I would keep up with it since I have had so many in the past and well, let’s just say that I’ve let some of them fall through and I’ve eventually ended up deleting so many of them. But this one is a part of my author website, so I guess I could just delete the one feature and be done with it, but I want to try. I’m bad at keeping up with things, but I seem to be doing  okay for now.

Anyway, what I’m here to talk about today are the pros and cons of blogging – keeping a blog whether it be for personal reasons or as a business tactic, it can still be helpful.

Competition –

To start with, if you look, there are many reasons not to blog. For one, there’s a lot of competition in it – so many people have blogs about so many topics that it would no doubt be hard not to be jealous of so many others and their success. My advice to you is to push that out of your mind and focus on yours and their happiness with what they are doing. If they reach many people and people like them, it’s GREAT news to have anything successful going on. As a writer, you meet so many people who write and to be successful, you kind of have to have your own style and voice,  something that is unique, otherwise it gets lost in the midst of thousands, if not millions of others.  The thing is that many people look at the “so-called” rules of blogging and think that it’s too much work, when in fact, there is no wrong way to blog.

Frequency of Posts –

Somewhere I remember reading that someone said before that in order too be successful, you should post three or more posts a week and it would help your readings and help your blog become more successful with followers and whatnot, but let’s think about it. Three posts a week equals three times 52 and that is 156 posts in a year! That is a lot of posts and while I might be good at keeping up with the posts now, I feel like at this rate, I will eventually run out of things to talk about. I will run out of decent posts, posts that contain good information for all of you readers. But who knows – maybe one of you is or will be more successful at this blogging thing than I am and will find something else to write about other than just this. I’m considering posting some other things that aren’t just about my books to expand, but who knows. Think about it.

Time Sucker –

I will admit right now that blogging is a time sucker – it takes time away from other things just so you can make a post to other people. You could spend hours in front of a computer screen (and us authors already do that anyway, but maybe this is distracting you from actually writing), but still, there are some pros to blogging.

Improving Writing –

For one, it’s been said that while blogging, you can improve your writing for both fiction and nonfiction. I can say that while I’ve been keeping this blog, I’ve learned to type a little faster and gather my thoughts while I’m typing so I know what I’m going to try to be saying a few sentences in front of where I am. With that being said, it helped me become better, faster, and more confident. Eventually, you will become a well-rounded writer!

Author Platform – 

While keeping a blog, it could help you build on your author platform as people come in and view it, but you also get to meet so many people like you as well (refer to blog post about author pages). Because of this, it could help get your name out and about and get people talking.

Spread Your Creative Wings –

Before I started blogging, I had no idea whether or not I had something to say. I felt like I would run out of topics and it’s probably true. I will eventually run out of things to say, but I know that when that happens, I will approach it like writer’s block (see blog post on writer’s block) and I will overcome it, finding something else to write about, but for now, I am approaching it as if it’s all for other people, help, advice, a way to get started.

 

Now, I don’t know about you, but to me, as someone who is looking to improve as an author, the pros outweigh the cons. Who knows! Maybe something like this would help you publish a nonfiction book or something like that! Surely it wouldn’t be too difficult to take your blog posts and make it into a book that others would find interesting!

I hope that you find this post useful and there will be more coming soon! Thank you for your patience while I was doing some research and getting this post up!

For ideas on blog posts, take a look at Julie Jarnagin’s 101 Blog Post Ideas!

Feel free to leave comments on your thoughts! What blogging myth have you debunked?

Minimizing Distractions

As we’re writing, there are many things that would pull you away from actually writing – I’m someone guilty of spending way more time on Facebook and on their games than writing or paying more attention to whatever is on netflix at the time. I’m so guilty of all of the above, but when you really want to get cranking on that word count, try a different approach.

When I’m really trying to bust out some more words to meet a goal that I’ve set I make sure I’m in a rather peaceful place (like that exists for some of us) or as peaceful of a place that I can find. Instead of turning on the television or opening facebook, I open my music player (usually spotify, but youtube and everything like that works as well), and put on something soft and quiet – for me, it’s usually classical piano music or something epic that has many highs and lows as far as trying to emote and something WITHOUT WORDS (I don’t even know, but when trying to listen to something with words while writing, I end up writing what is spoken to me instead of what is in my mind). I use the tone and vibe the music gives me while writing and it actually helps me personally by improving my writing as far as emoting goes.

Now, I know the urges to check your inbox or check your facebook are strong, but don’t give in to them. Don’t give in to any of it! Keep them all closed and focus on the words before you and most of all, listen to your characters.

I know that this won’t help everyone, but all I’m suggesting is to try it at least once before you bash it! If I can find at least one other person this helps, then my goal would have been accomplished!

 

Now, what in the hell are you doing reading this? Turn off the internet and get to writing!

Writing with Emotions

So many people have told me that they can’t write because something happens and their emotions take over and they just can’t – their boyfriend/girlfriend broke up with them, someone passed away, job promotion where they’re too excited, or they get distracted. If you’re the last one, please wait until the next blog post is uploaded which will be all about dealing with distractions!

Now, I’ve been in the same position! I’ve had my share of the emotional roller coaster, riding it on its ups and downs, but do something with it. I’m not trying to come across as someone who is saying, “oh, let’s ignore everything and we will write instead of going to a funeral or being with someone who is sick,” but take those emotions and make something with it once you have the opportunity to sit at a computer.

Write it down – write anything down and remember the way that you feel because it can make your writing ten times better as the reader would be able to connect with you if it was something that they had felt as well. This is an important part about being a writer – making someone else feel what you feel and want what you want. Use it to your advantage because if you write while you’re feeling emotional – even if you don’t want to – it will help you beyond belief and will help people want more of whatever you’re writing. Use the emotions as your inspiration and mold them beyond that.

Book Covers

So for me, my book covers are always something that I think reflects the story well, whether it has the main characters or shows an event that happened in the story. The thing is to make something that will stand out – something that will make someone in a bookstore pause to at least glance at it and be prompted to pick up the book and read the back.

Now, there are a lot of people who can make book covers, but the thing is not to limit what you want on it. They’re working for you. If you can’t find someone who can do what you want, it’s my opinion that you should move on. Don’t compromise unless you love what they did more than you loved your original idea.

In my line of business here, I’ve come to know many cover designers, all who make very beautiful things, but there are also some out there who will fool you and take a stock image, slap on some words and be done with it. THAT’S NOT SOMETHING YOU SHOULD DO! Every stock image, no matter how it looks, should be slightly edited to give it some originality. The issue is that with stock images, many people could have the same one and you want to give it a little something to be original to your piece.

Only publish with something that you are proud of!

Some cover artists that I have worked with or seen amazing work from –
Mae I Design – Regina Wamba (original stock images available for purchase)
Steph’s Cover Design – Stephanie Hobbs (premade and original work available)
Kate’s Ye Olde Booke Cover Shoppe – Kate Marie Robbins

Below are some samples from each artist –

Regina Wamba –

R1

R5

R4

R3

R2

Stephanie –

S2

S3

S4

S5

S1

Kate –

WA

K4

K3

K2

K1

Opinions Needed

So, I kind of write while I’m at work, keeping the gears in my head turning and I came up with close to 700 words of a new idea. The only thing is that it’s completely out of the box to what I’m use to – that being Fantasy and Romance – and this one seems to be heading down the more Paranormal route.

I need opinions on what I wrote. Think you could help? Drop a comment below and let me know what you think!


I take a deep breath and look at everything around me. Softly, the snow falls, placing a gentle, soft, glittery blanket over everything. I hate the snow, but here… it always snows. Everything else is black except for the stars that shine above me, lighting my way.

I pull my coat tighter around me, thankful for the warmth as I place one foot in front of the other. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m going.

The world around me spins in chaos as everywhere I look, they lurk. The shadows are following me and I swear I’m not crazy like people think I am. They voices in my head start up again, but I try to suppress them to no avail.

/Follow me,/ they whisper but I head in the opposite direction. They call me names, but I give them no attention. I can’t do it. I tell them I won’t.

/But you must!/ They try and try again, trying to bribe me with wealth, love, and power. Little do they know I’m not interested in any of it.

When silence settles again, I’m thankful. I hear the crunching of the snow beneath my shoes and, for once, I’m thankgul for the noise. I focus on that beyond anything else, hoping it’s enough to block out their rasps.

“Stop,” I whisper to myself as I stop dead in my tracks. I look back behind me and all I see are my footprints, glowing a bright blue. There are no lights around, which is scaring me. This isn’t the first time it’s happened either.

“Stop glowing,” I whisper again, this time taking my hands out of my coat pockets, I have gloves on, but I know what is coming next as I carefully reach up and pull the left one off. My hand has a bright blue glow to it, much like that of my footprints and in the center, I see the symbol – the one I have come to fear. It only shows up when He is nearby and he causes all the problems that everything blames me for – they aren’t my fault, but no one ever believes me.

“There you are,” His voice sends shivers down my spine as I spin around.

“You’re a hard girl to track down.”

“I’m not a girl!” I shout as I take a step back, but He takes one towards me.

“My apologies,” he holds up his hands in defense. “You’re definitely a young woman.”

I know he’s toying with me as he rubs his hands together in front of him.

“You see, I have a problem,” He tries to tell me, but I have already turned around and and am now walking in the direction away from him. When I hear nothing, I turn around to confront him, but he’s gone – vanished. With a sigh of relief, I spin again to continue out of my way, but I stop and scream, jumping back, startled. He is standing in front of me, his deep blue eyes sinking into my bones.

“You scared the hell out of me!” I exclaim as I push past him – not touching – never touching.

“And you’re not doing what I asked you to!” he counters as he appears at my side again, but I scoff.

“I told you I’m done. I’m not playing any more of your little games. I’m not going anywhere you want me to. I’m not talking to any one you want me to. Leave me out of whatever you have planned.”

He shakes his head tsking at me. “I was really counting on you, Samantha. You had such potential. It’s a shame to see it all wasted.”

“What do you mean?” I start, but I don’t get the chance to finish as he pulls out a knife and immediately plunges it into my chest.

That’s when I wake up.

(C) Brianna S. Vanderland 2015

Taking a Break

So, you know those people who pour their life into their writing to the point where that’s about all they think about? Yeah? Well, I’m usually one of them. IF I had friends that lived outside of my little laptop here, they would call me up and be all, “Hey, want to go out and see a movie tonight?” To which my response would be, “Can’t guys. one more chapter to write.”

Yeah, I do that. A lot. As I’m writing it, my boyfriend is over my shoulder talking about how I say that to him a lot. Because it’s the truth. But sometimes you can’t always do everything. Taking a break and taking a step back from everything is a good thing.

So, what did I do today? I spent today with my boyfriend, watching movies and spending time with his parents – very funny people – but besides that. I spent the day away from the computer (okay, compromise – we watched movies on my laptop). But the thing is, I didn’t do any editing and I didn’t… Okay, I wrote 500 words this morning, but does that really count compared to the 2,000 I usually try to type per day?

I feel better and I feel like tomorrow I’ll be up and ready to delve back into my writing and editing (in the morning because I work tomorrow night, but then I have two days off).

That’s getting off track though. The main thing is that you need to take a break whether it be to read a book, watch a movie, spend time with loved ones – it will do you some good! Heed this advice!