Archive | December 2016

Writing a Series Vs. Writing a Novel

Writing a Series Vs. Writing a Novel

Great info here – who knows maybe YOU will be the next ‘Hunger Games’ series turned into movies!

A Writer's Path


by Lindsey Richardson

I am finally writing the post I’ve been wanting to write ever since I first started Clara and Claire. For those of you who are planning to write either, I’m hoping this can be helpful. There’s a lot of different ways I thought of tackling this, and mind you I’m going to include a lot of personal experience with this too. I think that’s a big part of writing. There’s no right way of doing something, but everyone’s experience varies.

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Revision and the Art of Structure

Plenty to think about! Three Key Ingredients of Story Structure


Reasonably enough, you’re a writer who wants to do “your own thing.” You want to write the story you want to write, and you want it to be as long as it needs to be. You want to ride the tumultuous wave of creativity straight out of the well-spring and all the way to the sea, without ever thinking about story structure even once. But story structure isn’t meant to be a limit on your creativity and lead to formulaic, cookie-cutter fiction.

Success is not certain, but structure isYou know who you are: the so-called “pantser.” You make up your first draft as you go along. And for a first draft, there’s no reason not to do it that way. Throw aside the constraints of what is and what has been, and strike out into the undiscovered country on your noble quest for whatever might be new under the sun.

But if your goal is publication…

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Lucinda E. Clarke gives perfect succinct blurbs on why each of these books should be read.

lucinda E Clarke

I have read and reviewed 140 books this year and to keep track I now list them on a spreadsheet. I’ve chosen 6 biographical and 10 fiction books as those I most remember – those that forced me to ignore the world around me and keep turning the pages. Each one spoke to me, moved me, informed me or delighted me.

I wish there was space for more books, as these are not the only good books I’ve read this year, but simply the ones I remember best. I am in awe of the authors listed below, for their skill, their story telling and the way they wrote about their lives or the tales that flowed from their imagination.


When Angels Fly  by  S Jacksonmy-awards-24

Why? A true sory about the depths that human behaviour can sink to and the indomintible courage shown by the author in rising…

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A Prayer for Christmas Love


On Christmas day, Oh Lord, on this day when Your great light came into the world, we celebrate. We give You our life and give others our gifts as a sign of our love for You. As you brought Your Light for the world to Bethlehem, let each of us show your great Light of love, kindness, caring, and compassion to those around us. 

When we find frustrations in our hustle and bustle this Christmas season, remind us that what we do this Christmas is not just because of You. Remind us, Oh Lord, that what we do is for You and for all of Your children on earth. 

Let love spread around the world through us, because of Your Son coming into the world. By Your Holy name, let love touch every heart on earth, and let there be peace and good will among all nations. All these things I pray in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!


Captured Lies by Maggie Thom


I have just finished reading Captured Lies by Maggie Thom and my review follows after the author’s blurb found on Amazon.

“He jammed his knee into the back of hers. She closed her eyes for a second, trying to will away the pain. “There have been no photos in my life. My mom didn’t believe in them. I… DON’T… HAVE… ANY.”

Grabbing her left arm, he twisted it behind her back which brought her around. He marched her into the living room. In the dim light she could barely see her way and stumbled over the mess on the floor.

“What’s in those bags?”
She was kidnapped not once but twice and now someone wants her dead because of it….
Her life was a lie!
Bailey knew her upbringing wasn’t normal but she’s worked hard to stabilize her life. At 29, she finally has a good business, a stable home; her life is miles from that of her childhood. Then suddenly her mother dies, leaving a gaping hole and a discovery that they may not even be related. If Guy, the private investigator is to be believed, her life is a lie. Using the skills she learned on the streets, Bailey travels back through a sketchy and dangerous past, to find answers. Dodging bullets, staying ahead of those who want her dead and convincing Guy she can do it alone, are making it difficult to discover not only the secrets of her mother’s past but that of a family claiming she is theirs. 
Everyone seems to have a story… but who’s telling the truth? And who wants her dead? Is Guy part of the solution? Or part of the problem? To discover the facts, she’ll have to untangle a web of deceit, lies, and secrets, dating back over thirty years”

I was literally enthralled by this book. Thom has written a fast paced, literally running pace at times, in this thriller that is rife with suspense, mystery, and danger. Romance only came into play near the very end, and so those who want romance with their thrillers; this book isn’t for you. Imagine a life in which you are on the run most of the time, almost 30 years of running. Then your mother dies and your life is turned upside down in every way possible. Bailey does everything she can to survive, and survive she does, since birth.

I think that the characters need more development, and partly because there are so many characters in play. Thom did well in describing clothing, landscape, buildings, and all surrounding used in the story, but again, the characters lacked true depth. This may be due in part to sheer number of characters used. Thom has writer a truly fast paced, frenetic at times, book; once you get past the first few chapters. For a freshman novel, the author has spun a tale that is normally seen with writers who are more advanced in the business. This book has the potential to become a best seller, or even a great feature film, if Thom hires a professional editor. If this novel had just a few editing issues, it wouldn’t take away from the story. However, the editing issues are numerous, commas needed or wrongly placed, numerous grammar and spelling issues, that I had a hard time getting my head around, thus being on the fence about how many stars I would give this book. In the end, I just couldn’t see how I could give more than three stars. For example: “Mr. Lund? Miss Bailey Saunders is here to see you.” Bailey stood by the reception desk tapping her fingernails on the polished wood surface. The secretary glared, sniffed indignantly and then turned sideways, her hand cupped around the phone mike (should be phone mic or microphone) resting against her cheek. This book has too many missing letters, words, and usage of “then versus than”, etc.  

Note: the word ‘mike’ was used to denote a microphone from 1927, yet in the last thirty or so years the word ‘mic’ has taken its place. For a contemporary book, ‘mic’ is the version to use. 


The Importance of Color in Book Cover Design

Truly food for thought in this post. I design all my own book covers and I feel confident that I made the right choices.

Rachael Ritchey

Earlier this week we talked about How Not to Get Overwhelmed: The Book Cover Design, and I felt like something was missing. Yesterday I listened in on a webinar hosted by Joseph Michael and featuring Mike Balmaceda that discussed making your book cover the best it can be to sell your story. That’s when it dawned on me what I’d forgotten to add when we discussed cover design! Color! I wanted to give you one more bit of info whether you plan to design your own cover or commission one.

Colors Matter

I have always enjoyed the feel of colors, and any time I’ve asked for feedback on the various covers I’ve designed the response often comes with an emotional connection of some sort. There is something about colors that attract and repel us, and they also convey a sense of emotion, which as writers and indie publishers we…

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