What are you Writing?

Posted on

So, I’m just about done with my WIP. Well, almost, but not really. My live-in nanny (a.k.a. “Quanie’s mama”) has been out of town for the last three weeks so I just managed to finish up the second draft a few days ago. And baby, that was by a wing and a prayer, let me tell you, because it seems that my daughter believes she’s a pterodactyl chicken, and does a spot on impression every chance she gets (like she’s doing right now). It’s adorable, but not conducive to the quiet time I need to finish my book.

But I digress.

Anyhoo, Mama flies back today, and I’m hoping that in the next week or two, I can finish up this draft, which will hopefully be beta reader ready. If not, it’s sleeves up, draft four, head banging against desk—you know how it goes.

Despite the fact that this book isn’t beta reader ready, in the back of my mind I keep thinking about my next three books. I know I need to write a comedy for the people who enjoyed my first book, and I know I need to write another paranormal novel for the people who enjoyed my second book.

But guess what? A story that’s been in my head since 2010 just became crystal clear to me—out of the blue—on Friday. Now, ya’ll, where the heck has Ivy, that novel’s antagonist, been all this time???? And how’s she just gonna pop up all willy nilly when I have all these other books to write, and demand to be written next? Now ain’t that some nerve? These characters, boy, I tell you!

I have my romantic comedy outlined (and the first few pages written) and this character is cracking me up already. Truthfully, I’ve been chomping at the bit to write another funny novel. In fact, my WIP was starting to “turn funny” and I had to step away from it for a while and write a few pages of the rom com to give my funny monster some bread, if you know what I mean.

Anyhoo, you guys, that’s where I am: finishing up my current WIP (about a child abduction), about to write my rom com, and about to outline Ivy’s story, that ol cow. I hope to have the other two books written before the end of the year.

What about you? What are you writing? I can’t wait to hear all about it!

 


Do You Have a Blog Business Plan?

Posted on

I was flipping through my little pink notebook (every serious writer should have a little pink notebook:) when I found my list of blog post ideas that I’d abandoned. I also saw a note in the margins: finish blog business plan.

Sigh. You guys, I have a confession to make: I have not been the best at “planning” my blog lately. I pretty much just blog about whatever comes to mind. I view my blog as my safe place where I can connect with other writers and get free therapy. But I know that I can be doing a better job of at least being somewhat strategic, so here’s what I cooked up.

Now, I took this from the $100 Startup One-Page Business Plan but switched it up for a blog and added some other questions. I’m just going to go through and answer the questions.

What will you blog about?

All things writerly: craft, publishing, marketing.

What is the goal of your blog?

To connect with others.  

Who is your target audience?

Other writers.

*side note: I’ve seen the “should you target readers or writers” debate when it comes to writers’ blogs and here’s my two cents: target readers if you’re going to post regular snippets of your work. Otherwise, readers may not care about your process or how you plan to market your work. They’ll only care about when that next book is coming and might even view your blog as taking away from your writing time.

Here’s another two cents: Writers are also readers (duh, right?) and I think that connecting with other writers is the way to go because they are the people who are going to be your betas, help you promote your work, and be your sounding board for a variety of issues that non-writing readers just may not give a hoot about. *

Why should people want to read your blog?

Because I’m awesome. Because I will either write about things that other writers will find useful or of interest. Useful: things about marketing and SEO. Of interest: different aspects of the writing process that I might be struggling through that they may be able to have a solution for (because my writer friends are awesome).

How will people learn about your blog?

I will spam them. I will visit other, similar blogs and comment and promote my posts on Twitter, She Writes, Google+, and Facebook. 

How will your blog help people?

It will provide useful information. It will also show writers who may not have a supportive network at home that they are not alone.

How can you encourage referrals?

By bribing with food. Being nice to people. Also, when I see a blogger with a specific problem, offer up a helpful solution just because, not expecting anything in return.

How will you measure success? For instance, finish this sentence “My blog will be successful when _____________.”

Okay, so, for my blog, I measure success through the connections that I build. Not every visitor is going to be a lifelong visitor, and that’s okay. I don’t focus on numbers but I think that making genuine connections is the key for me.

Obstacles/Challenges/Specific Questions

  • Specific concern or question #1

Time. I have a young daughter and I am pursuing a writing career and building a business.

Proposed solution to concern #1

Time management/adhering to a schedule, planning out my blog posts in advance and being consistent with the day that I post.

So that’s it! Anything anyone would like to add? Do you have a blog business plan? And if you’re feeling especially daring, fill out your plan in the comments.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Guest Post – Chrys Fey – Witch of Death Blog Tour

Posted on

WitchofDeath_w9683_750

 

Happy Monday, all! Today I’m super excited because I get to host fellow author and blogger, Chrys Fey. Chrys’ latest short story, Witch of Death, is now available and today’s she is talking to us about…you guessed it: her favorite witches! Check it out:)

* * *

I love witches. I’ve never made that a secret. I’ve shared a post on my blog to help writers who want to write about fictional and real-life witches. And for this blog tour, which is for one of my short stories Witch of Death, I’ve had a lot of fun discussing them. Well, now it’s time to share my favorite witches of all time!

My Top Ten Favorite Witches:

  1. Phoebe Halliwell (Charmed)
  2. Piper Halliwell (Charmed)
  3. Paige Matthews (Charmed)
  4. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)
  5. Winifred Sanderson (Hocus Pocus)
  6. Sarah Sanderson (Hocus Pocus)
  7. Sally Owens (Practical Magic)
  8. Bonnie Bennet (Vampire Diaries)
  9. The Wicked Witch/Zelena (Once Upon a Time)
  10. Cassie Nightingale (The Good Witch)

QUESTION: Do you have a favorite witch?

Blurb:

Detective Reid Sanders doesn’t believe in the supernatural, but when he’s faced with a crime scene that defies the laws of nature, he has no other choice but to start believing. And solving a magical murder involves working with a witch.

Liberty Sawyer embodies the look of your classic evil witch, so, it’s no surprise when she uncovers the murderer is a witch that she becomes Reid’s number one suspect. If she can’t convince him otherwise, more people could lose their lives to dark magic, including her.

Book Links:

Amazon US / Amazon UK / The Wild Rose Press / NOOK / KOBO

Excerpt:

Liberty Sawyer glided swiftly through the horde of police officers, reporters, and on- lookers. Black hair fell from a rigid part in the middle of her scalp to her hips. Her eyes were a soul-stabbing blue and her lips were blood-red. She towered over the other officers on the scene, and wore all black, which set off the pallor of her skin.

Showing her badge to the officer, she slipped under the crime scene tape. A few paces away, she spotted Detective Corbin talking to his new partner, a man she knew by name but hadn’t had the privilege of meeting yet.

“I cannot believe you called her,” the new man was saying when she came up behind them. “We don’t need a damn psychic!”

“Actually, I’m a witch.” She smiled when Reid jolted and turned to face her. “I’m

Detective Liberty Sawyer.” She stuck out her hand.

“Detective Reid Sanders,” he grunted back and took her hand.

The feel of his palm against hers sent tingles of lust from the tips of her fingers to her shoulder blade, and she knew he felt it too by the way he jerked his hand back. She winked at him playfully, hoping it would unnerve him even more.

Also Available:

GHOST OF DEATH

GhostofDeath_w9682_300

Blurb:

Jolie Montgomery, a twenty-one-year-old woman, wakes up in an alley next to her corpse. She has no memories of her murder or the night she died. She didn’t even see the killer’s face before he or she took her life. Wanting justice, Jolie seeks answers in the only way a ghost can…by stalking the lead detective on the case.

Avrianna Heavenborn is determined to find the person responsible for a young woman’s death. She gets closer to the killer’s identity with every clue she uncovers, and Jolie is with her every step of the way.

But if they don’t solve her murder soon, Jolie will be an earth-bound spirit forever.

Book Links:

Amazon US / Amazon UK / The Wild Rose Press / NOOK / KOBO

BIO:

chrysfeyAUTHORPIC

Chrys Fey is the author of Hurricane Crimes and 30 Seconds. She is currently working on the sequel to Hurricane Crimes that’ll serve as book two in the Disaster Crimes series.

When Fey was six years old, she realized her dream of being a writer by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve, she started writing her first novel, which flourished into a series she later rewrote at seventeen. Fey lives in Florida where she is waiting for the next hurricane to come her way.

You can connect with her on Facebook and her blog, Write with Fey. She loves to get to know her readers!

Author Links:

Facebook / Blog / Website / Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 


Do Your Books Align with your Author Brand?

Posted on

InsecureWritersSupportGroup

 

Hello, All!  It’s the first Wednesday of the month and you know what that means: another installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to unleash our fears and insecurities onto the world without poking out anybody’s eyes.

Purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The cohosts for June are…M. Pax, Tracy Jo,Patricia Lynne, Rachna Chhabria, Feather Stone, and Randi LeeMake sure you stop by their blogs and say hello:)

But now, on to the nitty-gritty of today’s topic: author brands. But first, I have a confession to make: I’m fresh off of a three day bachelorette party that was held in Myrtle Beach. We stayed at the Island Vista (if you’re ever in Myrtle Beach, you should definitely stay there. It’s really nice). It was my first true bachelorette party that nearly turned into The Hangover (but without Mike Tyson or that tiger, and no, I didn’t yank out my tooth) and that I’m sure will provide lots of fodder for future novels. My “bachelorette” party involved a cake, words of wisdom from good friends, and a contest to see who could make the best wedding dress out of toilet paper. But this past weekend? Lord hammercy. I’m still recovering.

But I digress.

Anyhoo, I don’t tell you all of this to gloat about the fact that I woke up every morning, walked out to the balcony, and saw the ocean (although, I’m sure you can detest a slight hint of “nan-nanny-boo-boo). I reveal all of this to say that this was a much needed break because I’ve been working hard on my novel (among other things), and now that I’m back and refreshed, I’ve been giving some serious thought about this author branding thing.

I’m almost done with my WIP (woo-hoo!) and I’ve been thinking about my next project. I have another novel outlined but the more I think about it, the more I realize that, even though it could potentially be a good story, I don’t want to write good stories. I want to write great ones. Now, when I say “great,” I don’t necessarily mean life-changing. I just mean a terrific story that’s uniquely mine and screams out, “Quanie Miller all day, yo.” A story that, when people read it, they can’t imagine anybody else but me writing it. So I’ve nixed that particular story (apologies to Kat, the protagonist of that tale) and set my sights on another one that I think I could put that Quanie swag on. Yes, folks, it’s official: I have swag on fleek (shout out to Beth Ellyn Summer, who I know will appreciate that:)

I used to worry about whether or not I should be writing humor or paranormal, but as you good folks have said to me a million times, genre doesn’t really matter: voice does.

So that’s where I am right now. Trying to figure out exactly what I want my brand to be and nixing stories that don’t align with that. There’s no way for me to know if I’m making the right choice (or if Kat’s story would have been exemplary) but I have to follow my gut, and my gut says that if I’m going to successfully build my author brand, I have to write stories that are uniquely mine, and that means not writing the trends, following my heart, and digging deep to create stories and characters that are memorable.

What about others? Do you give much thought to this when you’re writing? Do you think I’m overthinking things? I’d love to hear your thoughts!