Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Newest Writing Friend, Susan Quinn's New Book Cover!

Free Souls by Susan Kaye Quinn
(Book Three of the Mindjack Trilogy) Now Available!
When your mind is a weapon, freedom comes at a price.
Four months have passed since Kira left home to join Julian’s Jacker Freedom Alliance, but the hole in her heart still whistles empty where her boyfriend Raf used to be. She fills it with weapons training, JFA patrols, and an obsessive hunt for FBI agent Kestrel, ignoring Julian’s worries about her safety and repeated attempts to recruit her for his revolutionary chat-casts. When anti-jacker politician Vellus surrounds Jackertown with the National Guard, Kira discovers there’s more to Julian’s concerns than she knew, but she’s forced to take on a mission that neither want and that might be her last: assassinating Senator Vellus before he can snuff out Julian’s revolution and the jackers she’s come to love.
All of the Mindjack stories are available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, and iTunes (Note Free Souls is not yet available on Kobo or iTunes)
Early Praise for Free Souls
“Quinn paints a picture of a not-too-distant America where politicians inflame the hatred of one section of the populace for another—all for their own gain—and you worry that her world is not so far off from our own.”
Dianne Salerni, author of We Hear the Dead, The Caged Graves, and the forthcoming The Eighth Day
"Free Souls starts with a bang and doesn't let up. Like a mash-up of all your favorite science-fiction adventures from Star Wars to The Legend of Korra, it blends nonstop action, nail-biting escapes, and great romance. I absolutely loved it! A great series conclusion—a must-read."
Leigh Talbert Moore, author of Rouge and The Truth About Faking
“Susan did it again. Free Souls was WOW! I expected Kira to step up to her role as heroine but not like this. Surprises kept coming until the very end which tied up more loose ends than I knew existed. Warning: Don't start reading until you have time to finish. I didn't want to put Free Souls down for a second. It's that kind of book.”
Sher A. Hart, Goodreads Review
Interview Susan's over at Amy Saunder's blog today (12.14.12), answering questions about how she came up with the mages' abilities, what kind of mage she would be, and all about her future works. Digital Box Set Since Free Souls is out, there is now a Digital Box Set of the Mindjack Trilogy for those of you who want the whole series!
Available on AmazonBarnes&Noble
Mindjack Origins Collection Want more Julian? Wondering how Sasha's ability really works? Looking for EXCLUSIVE DELETED SCENES from Free Souls? This collection of novellas, scenes, and other goodies is for those craving a bit more of the characters and drama of the Mindjack series.
Includes: Mindjack Novellas Mind Games (Raf's story) The Handler (Julian's story) The Scribe (Sasha's story) TWO EXCLUSIVE DELETED SCENES from Free Souls (published nowhere else!) PLUS Mindjack flash fiction, an (imaginary) conversation between Raf and Julian, and other goodies for readers who want just a little bit more of Kira, Julian, Raf, and the Mindjack crew.
Available on AmazonBarnes&Noble
ENTER TO WIN one of FIVE ecopies of the Mindjack Origins Collection
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

National Novel Writing Month 2012

I'm participating in the National Novel Writing Project for book number three, tentatively entitled What Dreams Will Come of the Children of the Psi series. It has really helped me to focus and get writing.



To read an excerpt of what I have so far, to to:

http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/kathleensharsch/novels/complete-rewrite-of-book-3-of-children-of-psi-series

Here's the working cover image:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Darkness Descends Paperback Giveaway


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Darkness Descends by Kathleen Harsch

Darkness Descends

by Kathleen Harsch

Giveaway ends August 25, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Amazon YA Book Marketing Experiment #1

Through Hoot Suite, I hand scheduled tweets for every half-hour starting at 9am until midnight later today. Weekend sales are supposed to be better on Amazon. We shall see. Anyway, my starting number for this month on KDP sales is 11 of DREAMING DANGEROUSLY. I want to see if the number goes up just from tweets alone.

I will report back on here tomorrow after midnight as to whether or not my experiment worked. Who knows? I might just annoy the hell out of people instead. We shall see.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My First Book Store Signing at Booksamillion!

I had a wonderful day with Jeremy and Josh and the rest of the staff at Booksamillion in Port Richey. I loved interacting with the public, and it was fun talking to potential readers, many of whom bought a book or two of mine. Lots of fun and I sold around 28 books in about two hours. (Even though I was there for three, one hour was very dead - between 1 and 2pm).

Here are some pictures of the signing from July 14th:












Five things I've learned from my first book store signing:


This is actually my third public signing of books. So, I've learned how to make my pitch and to smile and talk to people about more than just selling the book, to make a connection. Isn't that what writers want to do anyway? Make a connection to their audiences?

1. Get to the store earlier. I was early, but I should have been there an hour and a half earlier. First, to scope out the store, and maybe even tell a few people about my book. Second, to meet ALL of the staff and tell them about the book. Third, some people I knew showed early, and I missed them.

2. Meeting the staff - they need to know what's going on and what the book is about so they can sell it when I'm no longer there. If they know me, they are more likely to tell people about my books. I know several of the staff members said they were going to read them, but that might have just been a nice courtesy to say to me. I really, really hope they do!

3. Even elderly men and women will buy YA. I had several curious people ask me about my books, and even though they felt the books were not right for them, they bought them anyway for their grandchildren.

4. A smile and a kind word goes a long way. Even if no one is going to buy your books, you never know when they might talk to someone else about you or your books. I turned several conversations into sales, just by talking to people about how I indie published and giving them my blog address and email. I also had an enlightening conversation with a veteran of the Korean War after I thanked him for his service. (He kept me company between 1 and 2 pm when there was hardly anyone in the store.)

5. Sign books with K.S. Harsch, instead of Kathleen Suzette Harsch - it takes too much time. There are other Kathleen Harsch's in my husband's family, but I doubt they sign the same way I do.

For those people I met on Saturday, if you find this post - thank you for your readership and wonderful company!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dreaming Dangerously Blog Tour Sites



FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DREAMING DANGEROUSLY, CHECK OUT THIS BLOG TOUR:


Here are the Blog Tour Sites, even though the tour is over, these lovely ladies do a wonderful job with their blogs, and I hope to give them even more exposure for their sites as well as have the actual pages to find the interviews, reviews and blurbs they created for Dreaming Dangerously.



  1. Lisseth's blurb at Read-A-holicZ: http://read-a-holicz.blogspot.com/2012/06/blog-tour-dreaming-dangerously-by.html
  2. Marissa's reivew at For the Love of Film and Novels:  http://www.fortheloveoffilmandnovels.com/2012/06/review-dreaming-dangerously-by-kathleen.html
  3. Cierra's interview at The Book Lover's Report:  http://thebookloversreport.blogspot.com/2012/06/blog-tour-stop-dreaming-dangerously-by.html
  4. Christy's  Author Guest Post at Captivated Reading Blog:  http://www.captivatedreading.com/2012/06/blog-tour-giveaway-dreaming-dangerously.html
  5. Jill's Review at Little Hyuts Blog:  http://littlehyuts.blogspot.com/2012/06/blog-tour-stop-dreaming-dangerously.html
  6. Shane's Review at Itching for Books: http://itchingforbooks.blogspot.com/2012/06/blog-tourdreaming-dangerously-by.html
  7. Tobi's Guest Post at Forget the Housework I'm Reading:  http://forgetthehouseworkimreading.blogspot.com/2012/06/review-dreaming-dangerously-by-kathleen.html
  8. Nicole NEVER submitted her review.
  9. Lisseth's Interview at Read-A-holicZ:  http://read-a-holicz.blogspot.com/2012/06/blog-tour-interview-giveaway-with.html
  10. Tobi's Review at Forget the Housework I'm Reading: http://forgetthehouseworkimreading.blogspot.com/2012/06/review-dreaming-dangerously-by-kathleen.html
  11. Suzie at The Bunnie's Review:

 Author Interview with Kathleen HarschPosted on  by 



Do you write under a pen name?

No, actually, I don’t because I wanted my students to know the book was written by me. So, I currently don’t write under a pen name.

What day were you born?

I was born on April 11th. It was a Palm Sunday.

Do you have a nickname? 

Kathie. Yes, kind of boring. But in middle school I changed the traditional “y” at the end of Kathy to “ie,” so I could put little hearts or stars instead of the dot on the “i” when I signed notes to my friends. I decided to keep that spelling because so many girls were named Kathy back then. It took my husband awhile to catch on. He spells it right now, though.

Did you have a favorite toy as a child?

I had several. One was a giant bunny, named Candy. Candy was about as tall as me when I got him (I know strange name for a boy), but he had blue with white polka dot body with a white face and large ears that stood up like Bugs Bunny. I dressed him up all the time. He had these elastic bands on his feet that you were supposed to attach to your feet so you could dance with him. He was my prince, and he taught me how to waltz to the Blue Danube. Another toy was a doll named Belinda. She looked like a real toddler, and I loved dressing her. Two other toys I had were stuffed – Elsa, a female lion and purple dog, who was this lavender dog that now has green button eyes. Elsa and Purple dog (don’t remember what I really named him) are still with me. They are VERY old.

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?

Of course.
If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

That’s a tough one. It would be cool to go to the future to see how things turn out, like my kids and grandkids and their kids. To see the technology and whether or not humans can finally learn to treat each other with respect and dignity. However, the past could be cool, too, as long as I could get back to now. If I traveled into the past, it would definitely be medieval France. I love the Middle Ages. Let’s see, broad-shouldered men (who look like Thor) in leather armor, fighting with sharp shiny metal on the backs of galloping horses. I think I’d like to be conquered. (I wrote a steamy medieval romance before I wrote Dreaming Dangerously.)

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?

My mother, my father and my grandparents. Oops, that’s six, oh, well. They are no longer alive, so I would love to see them again. Family is very important to me. That’s why family plays such a prominent role in my books. Except for my maternal grandmother, I lost all of my parents and grandparents before I turned thirty.

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?

If it’s things and not people, I want to have a transponder (that could signal help), matches or some way to make fire and fresh water. I’m practical. I’d want to stay alive. Of course, Iwould find ways to write with stone on cave walls or bark or something. I’d probably make a few musical instruments, too.

What is one book everyone should read?

I love many, many books. So, to decide on ONE book would be difficult. Proverbs. I think everyone should read Proverbs. It contains a lot of wisdom, and it doesn’t really matter what religion you follow. Or maybe the Psalms. They are beautiful and celebrate life. (Okay, so the little Baptist girl in me is peeking out from behind the pages of her Bible.)

If you were a superhero what would your name be?

Okay, I have a few ideas – here they are: Supermom, Word Woman, Grammar Girl, Electroword, Wordmento, Superteach. Or a combo name like Word Woman Superteach. It’s a bit long. (Note to self: Gotta work on the superhero name.)

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

Not mind-reading, that’s for sure. I’ve learned a lot about the drawbacks of telepathy from my character, Cassie. I think I’d like the ability to heal people. Or fly. Flying would definitely be fun.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Mint Oreo Cookie.

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?

Abe Lincoln. I’ve always admired him. Poor, smart, practical, tragic, unpopular at times, beloved by many.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

Croissants with coffee.

Night owl, or early bird?

Night owl. I’m doing this interview at 1:02 AM.

One food you would never eat?

Bugs or eyeballs.

Pet Peeves?

Tapping, change bouncing on table tops, clicking pens – I’m a teacher. So, any of the above annoying sounds really makes me crazy, especially when I’m talking.

Skittles or M&Ms?

Mmm…M&Ms.








I wanted to congratulate those winners from the Dreaming Dangerously Blog Tour and also take the opportunity to thank all of the bloggers who participated in the blog.

Thank you so much to Celise and Tess for hosting my first virtual blog tour ever!
Also, a big thanks to: Lisseth, Marissa, Cierra, Christy Jill Marie, Suzie, Shane, and Tobi.

CONGRATULATIONS:
Winners of free eBooks:
Denise and one other winner whose email I wouldn't want to give out without his/her permission.
Winner of the Children of the Psi t-shirt: Cierra. As soon as it arrives, I will be shipping it out to you. It's supposed to be here tomorrow. (I won't be ordering from THAT t-shirt company anymore).


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Exciting News!

If you live in the Port Richey Area:


I will be at the Booksamillion on July 14th from NOON-3PM 

for my first Book store book signing!


Dreaming Dangerously WILL BE available.

All paperback books are now available on line at 
my eStore for $10.95:



Winners of the eBook contest are in. I have sent the winners emails asking which book they'd like to receive for a total of nine eBooks given away.

Congratulations winners!


Other exciting news:

I'm on a blog tour at Enchanting Book Tours. 

Here's the link: Dreaming Dangerously Blog Tour

For participating in the tour, you can win:

  • One Dreaming Dangerously t-shirt
  • one signed copy of  Dreaming Dangerously paperback

  • and one signed copy of Darkness Descends paperback!

Total value of contest  $50.00 worth of prizes!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

DREAMING DANGEROUSLY GIVEAWAY

One girl with telepathic powers.
One popular guy who discovers her secret and wants to experiment.
Nightmares that start to come true.
Can she learn to trust him before someone dies?

Dreaming Dangerously is a Young Adult Science Fiction novel, the first in the Children of the Psi series about a group of teens with psychic powers. It's Breakfast Club meets X-Men meets No Ordinary Family.

If you crave more of books like Hunger Games, Evermore, The Body Finder, Paranormalcy, then you have to read DREAMING DANGEROUSLY.



5 out of 5 Star Reviews:
"Captivating." - Chele, Amazon.com

"I loved this book. It's probably one of the best things I've read in a long time." - C.L.F., Amazon.com

"This book is amazing, I couldn't put the book down. It definitely kept me guessing and I've felt the pains Cassie felt. Good book! 5 stars! - Louis, Amazon.com


a Rafflecopter giveaway

DARKNESS DESCENDS GIVEAWAY

Hey! If you love Young Adult science fiction thrillers such as Hunger Games, Shiver, Evermore and The Body Finder, you just have to read  the sequel to Dreaming Dangerously - DARKNESS DESCENDS. 



And guess what? You can win it here FOR FREE!!!! I am giving away 5 free eBook copies (that I will send ANY WHERE, so not just restricted to US) 5 free eBook copies.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 25, 2012

Update on Dreaming eBook Cover

I uploaded a new one. It's a mixture of both the old with an overlay of a new pic of a teen girl. I wish I had done this originally. I like it so much better!


Draft of Darkness eBook cover

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cover Hell

I've designed a new eBook cover for Dreaming Dangerously because originally I didn't have the genre or a picture of a young adult or the fact that it's a series on the cover. I've had people at Goodreads tell me the same thing about the lack of information on the cover. Now, I know what they meant!  Also, I've recently discovered that my book is a Young Adult  Science Fiction Thriller more than a YA paranormal romance. No wonder I've been having trouble selling it!

Thanks to Carolyn McCray over at Indie Book Collective for the wonderful tutorial on Amazon Optimizing. It is WORTH the $50 y'all!!! Not kiddin'!

Here's my new eBook cover, maybe:



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Goodreads eBook ARC GIVEAWAY contest

Book 2 of the Children of the Psi series

COMING SOON! 

Look for details here on this website that will be available this weekend to enter contest to win free eBooks of my new Darkness Descends and (if you haven't read it yet, Dreaming Dangerously). I hope to see you all here!

Book 1 of the Children of the Psi series


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Darkness Descends Published in June!

I can't wait! I will be publishing Darkness Descends, the sequel to Dreaming Dangerously in June. My goal is June 1st.  I will be posting the cover soon, and holding a contest for GIVEAWAYS right here on my site! Also, in June there's a virtual book tour through a series of various blogs. More information on that soon, and I will be at Great Minds Think Aloud for another author interview!

 Here's the back cover blurb for  Darkness Descends:




Cassandra…
tell will, I’m coming…

The voice is deep, ominous, male.
Her dream knocks me breathless. I’ve learned never to take Cassie’s dreams for granted. Too many of them have almost come true.

Will Rossi made two promises to the girl he loves:
to keep her secret
 and to keep her safe.
After meeting other teens with psychic abilities, Will is determined to discover their origins.
But in order to keep his promises, he must risk everything.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

My First Interview!

Win a free copy of DREAMING DANGEROUSLY by entering the contest at Young Adult Book Haven!

I've been interviewed by Kristin the webmaster of Young Adult Book Haven. Check out the ten questions she asked me to get some insight into how I wrote Dreaming Dangerously. Then, enter to win!

Young Adult Book Haven Review




Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Is your Indie Book Ready for Publication?

It seems like no matter what part of the writing process in which I find myself, I am always dealing with new ideas. Currently, while revising Darkness Descends, my second book, I continually devise new ideas and refine the old ones. That's what revision is all about, I realize. However, sometimes, I have to just shut off the noise and get the book finished.


So,if you are an indie author, like me, how do you know when your book is ready to publish?


Here's six ways to know you're book is ready:


1. You've read it and read it and read it again, and nothing makes you cringe (unless you're going for that effect).


2. You've cut/refined until your story sings on EVERY page.


3. All of your scenes make logical, cohesive sense within the realm of your world that you've created.


4. Every scene has tension, with maybe a bit of release, but not too much.


5. You've tortured your main characters enough, and you're ready to allow your readers to live vicariously through their adventures.


6. You listen to a friend who's read the book and given you specific feedback on what is good and what is crap. Eliminate the crap.


Crap can defined here as: anything that does not move the story along.


Since my book is still bothering me, i.e., making me cringe in places, I still have not completed my latest revision. The cast of this book has grown much bigger, and thus more complex. I don't want it to fall into melodramatic, after school special. (I write Young Adult fiction.)


However, it is almost there. It's the last 1/3 of the book that I need to refine. So close.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pandemonium

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This book did not disappoint. Well-written and well-plotted. Lena changed so much in this book and really grew as a character. I really did not want her to open her heart to another person, but Lauren Oliver did a good job with showing how a person could actually be grieving someone and falling in love with someone else at the same time, blurring the lines between who that person really loves.



The ending chilled me, but I kind of predicted this would happen. The only thing that I didn't really get was Lena's mom. That part went by a little to fast, and I didn't really feel like Lena thought about that as much as she should have. Maybe another paragraph or so, not pages. But I do like Lauren's tighter writing in this book. It moves quickly and is full of action. Sometimes that's a trade-off.



Usually book 2 is just a means to get to book 3, throwing in more complications, which ultimately don't really mean a whole lot. But this book shows Lena's growth and strength of character. At first, I didn't like the switching back and forth of Now and Then, but once I got used to the book's structure, I loved that Oliver chose to tell the story this way. One thing I did miss was her quotes from the Book of Shhh with every chapter, but maybe that's because Lena isn't really reading it anymore.



I can't wait to see what Oliver has in store for us for book 3.



If you haven't read the Delirium series, you should!!! It's one of the best series I've read, right up there for me with Shiver, Hunger Games and Twilight.



View all my reviews

Monday, April 9, 2012

Learning How to Use Social Media

I am learning very quickly that social media is the direct pipeline to my audience. Without it, no one knows I've written a book or what that book is about. Before I published my novel, I started blogging, but never had many followers because, quite honestly, I didn't know a blogosphere from a black hole. Seriously.

Dreaming Dangerously would not have sold as many copies as it has WITHOUT social media. Most of my audience and buyers of my book are on the Internet.

There are so many ways to connect to your audience, but the most important way, is one reader at a time. Make that personal connection. Talk to people who follow you on Twitter, comment on Facebook or message you on Goodreads. Let each person know you care about his or her opinion and what they want from a writer, even if you don't happen to agree with the person. Give away a free eBook or two. That personal touch goes a long way. You are not just looking for people to buy ONE book. You are looking to build a relationship with your audience.

I'm currently learning how to use Twitter effectively. It's all a learning curve, but check out the Indie Book Collective at:
for some wonderful tips.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Really Cool Video on Mind-Reading

This is something I already knew about from reading Popular Science and Discovery Science, but I like how this guy entertainingly explains how scientists are trying to find ways to read our minds. I think Cassie and Will are much better at it than the computers are, but hey, Cassie and Will are, after all, fictional characters. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dreaming Dangerously broke 200 in book sales!

I'm so happy to announce that so far, I've sold over 200 copies of Dreaming Dangerously. This is with no real advertising budget and mostly word of mouth. Of course I am looking for more ways to expand, but I'm also writing Darkness Descends, which I hope to have out before this summer! Will is dying to tell his story!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Midnight Rose, a short story I wrote

I haven't posted in a long time because I really didn't have a lot to post and I'm trying really hard to meet my own deadline for book 2. I want to finish the revision and final edits by the beginning of April. This is so I can work really hard on launching it in late May. Anyway, in the meantime, here's a link to a story I wrote for Halloween.
Enjoy: 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

NASA

My daughter, Erin, had to do a project for her 7th grade Civics class about a governmental program. She chose NASA. Here's her  Presentation for it. Her writing has improved so much over the past two years of middle school! So proud!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Title of Book Two Release

After writing an extremely emotional scene from the second book of the Children of the Psi series, I have decided to release the name of the book. This is the name of the sequel to Dreaming Dangerously. Tell me what you think. Comment below.

Darkness Descends







Friday, January 13, 2012

A Scene Per Day and Sexy Science

I'm doing really well with this goal of writing or revising ONE SCENE per day. Tonight was an especially difficult scene, because I had to include technical information. It had to seem organic, and my character's quest for answers had to sound like they were coming from a seventeen year old guy! I may have to revise that one again because it is a brand new scene that I've never written before. He had to do research about the Human Cognome Project, which is similar to the Human Genome Project, except that the former, HCP, is about mapping human-thought processes and where they are generated from in the brain. Really cool, but highly scientific. I've been reading a great deal about it lately as research for the Children of the Psi series.

By the way, Psi, has several meanings, and some wonderful connectivity between those meanings and how it relates to this series. For those of you who have studied the Greek alphabet, psi Ψψ, is the 23rd letter. Psi is commonly used in physics for representing a wavefunction in quantum mechanics (Wikipedia). Now, I happen to believe that psi abilities are possible because of quantum physics, as do many other people. The psi symbol is often used in psychology and especially parapsychology, in particular, the use of extrasensory perception or ESP, which would include mind-reading, clairvoyance, premonitions, telekinesis and other mind over matter kinds of phenomena. In biochemistry, psi represents a kind of RNA substance (which is genetics). It's even the name of a superhero (I just found this out) in the comic, Monochrome, Psi is a mentally disturbed character.

When I originally named the series, The Children of the Psi, I only knew two of the above items, that psi is a letter in the Greek alphabet and that psi was connected to ESP. That's it. But tonight's research kind of freaks me out because it almost seems like I knew all the other stuff BEFORE I knew all the other stuff. Yeah, like some kind of unconscious premonition, if that's possible. Okay, enough of the psi talk for tonight.

By the way, I think science is sexy. Anyone want a little fiction with their science?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Procrastination and Writer's Block

Like every writer, I get writer's block quite often. But sometimes, it's not really a block, but more of a procrastination. Unfortunately, one of the ways I have been procrastinating lately has been building this blog, making comments on other blogs and posting on Facebook. I know this is important to connect with my readers, since I can't do this in the book store; however, I need to be writing my second book, too.

During NaNoWrMo, I found out that I could actually write three scenes in a single night, if I focused. Well, I don't really want to write three scenes a night, but ONE scene should be my new goal. ONE scene each day. That's how I wrote my first book, and the first drafts of my second book. So, now that I'm revising my second book, this will be my new daily writing goal. If I write more, great, if I write less - well, I need to remember what my readers want, which is the second book and SOON!

So, writers out there - here's a bit of advice:

  1. read your last scene
  2. decide what you want your characters to accomplish in your next scene
  3. then write it!
When I am seriously facing a writer's block, I go to my journal and brainstorm my ideas about the scenery: like where the characters are, what it looks like, who else is there, and other sensory details as well. This gives me a starting point and I write from there, either in long hand or on the computer.

I make lots of lists. Lists of character actions, lists of places, lists of characters. The key to this list making is to use it as a jump start to writing. Don't just end with the list or make another list (unless you need to) - write a couple of paragraphs. Another way to break writer's block is to listen to music and write down some words that stick out in your mind. Then, try to weave some of  those words into your writing.

In fact, I write with headphones and music in my ear to block out the rest of the world. It helps me get beyond the lists and the first few lines of text that I've typed and into the zone where I can see and hear my characters interacting, just like a movie in my head. Once I'm into the zone, I can keep writing until I finish the scene.

Now, I need to stop procrastinating and actually revise my next scene!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Virtues of Becoming an INDIE AUTHOR

For the last two evenings, I've been exploring the world of book blogs, and I've learned something not only valuable, but very empowering for an INDIE author like myself. We really don't need the big publishing houses. I mean, it would be nice to just sit back and collect that advance, fly around the world on book tours and stuff, but really, not everyone gets that big advance - maybe 6 people a year receive that. (I read that on someone else's blog somewhere).

So, why don't we need a major publisher or an agent, for that matter. It's simple, if you want promotion, just go on the web and hang out in some blogs. There are so many opportunities out there for Indie writers to get the word out about their books. I generally read the books that I've heard about again and again. I'll also try books that are 99 cents on Kindle or in some cases, free for a limited time. If I really like that author, I will find a way to buy their next book if they have one, even if it is $10 or more. However, in order for authors to be discovered, you have to be very visible on the web.

This visibility, at first I thought, needed to come from having a Facebook page and Twittering as well as blogging at least once a week. However, that's not enough! Next, I signed up for Goodreads and joined a bunch of groups there and started to get to know people through these groups as we talked about books. I now have a small following of people who read my reviews on there. Maybe they'll buy my book as well. I also use their book GIVEAWAY program and their small ad program. It's garnered some sales, but still it's not enough.

So, I started looking at other INDIE author's blogs. What did they look like? What features did they have? Who did they connect to? Then, I found out about things like Virtual Book Tours and how to promote yourself to the top of Amazon's best seller list. I just wish I had a little more cash to put up for the prizes, but I think that will come. I just have to be a little more patient.  I've decided that when I launch my second book, I will definitely learn how to promote it a lot better than I have been promoting the first one. I'll need to create BUZZ amongst the reading blog community. At least, now I know which market to target.

Also, I've been worried about not being in book stores when I haven't even talked to bookstore managers yet about doing book signings. I always sell my books if I get the chance to actually talk to the person I'm selling it to. I've discovered that I'm a really good sales person. Maybe because for the last sixteen years, I've had to "sell" my lesson  to students, who are the most particular of "buyers."

I've thought about doing a video where I talk about my book and putting it out there in Cyberia, but I just don't always look my best when I'm working on anything that has to do with writing. (End of the day, usually late at night, wearing jeans and a t-shirt with my eyes all droopy and my hair all stringy - not a pretty site, at all.) I envy those people who can do a daily vlog and look good at their computers. I always look like some old lady. Plus my built in camera on my computer has about the worst clarity in the world. But then again, that could be a good thing. See what I mean??? I actually flipped my hair around a little bit to get it to look like it has some life to it!


ANYWAY, my point with this blog post is to say that although I have a lot of work to do and some money to spend (not as much as I originally thought), I can actually get some buzz going and finally sell this book!

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Blog Has a Whole New Look!

Check out my new blog. Go ahead. Click all over the place! Scroll to your heart's content. I have lots of new buttons and features. Meanwhile, I will be getting with other book bloggers and trying to add them to this site as well. I finally figured out how to put a lot of content on my blogger site without crowding the pages too much.
Yeah!