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April 27, 2017 – 1:23 pm

Spelling – Even the best spellers make mistakes. Use a software program like Grammarly or WordWeb (both of which have free versions.) Both may catch other errors in word usage – like affect vs. effect – and both do offer a thesaurus so you can find a better word or correct one that’s overused.

One of the first things they may or may not tell you …

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Approaching Book Review Blogs

September 15, 2015 – 2:17 pm

I have been reviewing at least a book a week for two and a half years over on my magic realism blog. I am also an indie author, so you could say I have a foot in both camps. I try to support my fellow indie authors on the blog by reviewing indie books as well as traditionally published ones, but there are times when …

It Takes a Village

February 13, 2015 – 9:04 pm

I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase “It Takes A Village” in reference to raising kids. I think it’s true in terms of growing an author, too! We need support, encouragement, advice, and sometimes a helping hand.
Writing can be a lonely and solitary endeavor. A writer spends so much time alone with nothing but her thoughts and a computer. When I’m deep into a book …

Facebook Traffic – Boost vs Giveaways

May 28, 2014 – 10:00 pm

Many of you, I have seen, post questions regarding Facebook Boosts/Ads, how to use them properly, are they worth it, etc.
I did an experiment using two different forms. Number one was paying $10 to Facebook Ads, number two was offering two $5 Amazon gift cards to fans (again, only $10).
Here is what I came up with:
Experiment One (Using a Facebook Boost)
On 5/13 I paid the …

The Focus of a Writer

February 26, 2014 – 10:50 am

Many of my life successes I attribute to my ability to focus.  I’ve written before (http://theotherstephenkingonwriting.blogspot.com/2012/08/two-lessons-about-goal-setting.html) about the focus on a physical fitness goal that earned me admission to West Point, for example.  Focus earned me graduation from there with dual majors, and focus later helped me finish all the way to a PhD.  Focus in my day job has carried me through a great …

On Magical Realism

February 24, 2014 – 8:51 pm

I had never before encountered the term ‘Magical Realism’ before poet Jonathan Johnson mentioned it to me . Sometimes confused with fantasy or what I have heard described as ‘The New Weird’ Magical Realism has its roots more closely connected to folktales and mythology. A brief definition would say that Magical Realism is where “magical elements are a part of an otherwise mundane environment.”
For example: …

Dialogue – are you doing it right?

January 12, 2014 – 4:35 pm
IAG one

Dialogue plays an important part in connecting your readers to your story. Good dialogue helps a reader hear the voices of your characters and creates an additional layer of context and tone. But, effective dialogue doesn’t, and shouldn’t, mirror every day conversations. In our daily speech patterns, we stammer, stall, get distracted, and often end up talking about things completely unrelated to our original intent. …

Do you have a global marketing strategy?

December 9, 2013 – 2:57 pm

Are you a self published author? One of the pioneers testing the waters to see whether or not they will lead you to new, unknown worlds? Preferably worlds where treasures await you?
Well, I am one of them. Early in 2012 I published my first novel via Kindle Desktop Publishing. Ok, I was probably later than others, especially if looking at the US market, but in …

Shut Up, Smile and Get off the Drama Llama!

April 20, 2012 – 12:00 pm

Sometimes I think I’m the only reasonable person left on the internet. I know, it’s funny because we all know I’m batshit crazy, right? And yet… When I left fandom (read Twilight) I really thoughtthatwould mean the drama quotient in my life would go down. I mean really, who’s crazier than a group of 30-40 year old women in love with a …

Vaginal Vernacular – How to Write Porn

April 3, 2012 – 10:38 am

(Originally published at Fighting Monkey Press)
You read that right, we’re talking about writing and vaginas here on my blog today. Remember, Fighting Monkey Press is for the 18 and over crowd. Ifthat’snot you, bugger off, you shouldn’t be reading this.
Now before you get offended please say the most offensive word you can think of. Giggle, get offended, feel dirty and… now get over …

Marketing: Direct or Indirect?

March 21, 2012 – 9:00 am

I’ll bet most of us writers who ventured into the independent publishing world didn’t give much thought to marketing and promotion, even after we typed “The End” for the first time. I know I didn’t.Ourjob is to write the compelling stories. The wonder and magic of the Internet should take care of the rest, right?
Then came the reality check. Readers don’t just find you. You …