Friday, August 22, 2014

I AM NOT A PLOTTER (An Update on THE TROUBLE WITH FLIRTING)

The Trouble with Flirting is supposed to be ready for publication next week. Next Wednesday, in fact -- that's what my calendar tells me. The thing is ... it's not ready. EEEEEK! I hate doing this. I hate making plans and setting deadlines and then CHANGING them. I like to be able to say I'll do something by a specific date, and then actually do it.

So here's what's happened: I love this story. I have sooooo loved writing it. BUT, for some reason, out of all the books I've written so far, this one has been the hardest to get all the scenes in the right order for. I keep changing things around, thinking, Wait, this scene should happen and THEN that scene. Oh no. Actually it should go there. And WAIT, that scene shouldn't have happened yet. Why? Why has it been so hard this time? And then I remembered something. Out of all the books I've written so far, this was the one I had the MOST planning for when I started writing it.

Wait a minute. That doesn't make sense, does it? Actually ... it does.

Writing this book has led me to a conclusion I have always known but have finally accepted: I AM NOT A PLOTTER.

I have tried. Boy, have I tried. I thought it would make my writing life so much easier to have a whole novel planned out before writing it. But I've never been able to do that. I've NEVER been able to plot out every single scene and THEN write the book. With The Trouble with Flirting, I came close. I planned almost every scene before starting to write. And I thought that was a GOOD thing for me. I was excited about all my planning! I have now come to realise something: I NEED the freedom to be able to "pants" my way through a story! I AM A PANTSER! The only things I need to know at the beginning are the major points of the story. Other than that, the story figures itself out AS I'M WRITING IT!

So. I'm not going to be too worried about plotting every scene in the future. Stick to the main points. That's it. The rest will come :-)

Aaaaaanyway, that leads me to the next point of this post, which is when will The Trouble with Flirting be published? Fortunately, I'm not too far behind schedule. So I've decided on Tuesday 9 September. Get ready! It's almost here!




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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

THE FAERIE GUARDIAN: Free for the Month of August!


The Faerie Guardian was published in October 2012, and, until now, it has never been free! So, since the trilogy has been complete for a while now, I decided to test the free effect by reducing the price to zero for a month. I know all about the benefits of free ebooks, but I also know that some think making a book free "devalues" it. I'm also very much aware that free ebooks invite the possibility of more negative reviews from the people who download freebies without paying attention to whether it's a book they actually want to read and then find themselves disappointed when they discover it isn't. (This book has faeries in it. I hate faeries. Two stars for you! ~ entirely fictional example ;-) )

I've had close to 12,000 free downloads so far, which is fantastic, but all my paid ads are coming up at the end of this week, so I expect to see a considerable jump in daily downloads (and, hopefully, a jump in the sales of book 2 and 3!).

When the promo's over, I'll report back on download numbers, sales numbers and the effects of different paid ads :-)

In the meantime, if you feel like sharing the news about this freebie, here's what you can do to help:

Share this Facebook post.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Booktrack: Synchronized Soundtracks for Ebooks




Have you heard of Booktrack? They contacted me recently to let me know about their service and invited me to try it out for myself. So I decided to check them out. Here's what their site says ...


Booktrack is transforming reading the way sound transformed silent film 
Booktrack offers a new content creation and distribution platform that turns reading into an immersive movie-like experience. Booktrack’s patented technology lets anyone add a synchronized movie-style soundtrack to an e-book or other digital text content, with the audio paced to each individual’s reading speed.

Interesting. Opinions are divided, of course. Some think it's a great idea that will transform the way we read books. Others say that the point of reading is to use our imaginations. A soundtrack is distracting, unnecessary, and even insulting to those whose imaginations are perfectly capable of conjuring up the right sound at the right time!

I tested it out by opening up one of Hugh Howey's books, adjusting the reading speed to suit my own pace, and reading the first few pages. It seemed pretty cool, so I downloaded the app on my iPad and continued reading. The annoyance there was that the reading speed changed back to super slow every time I turned the page. A glitch, I'm sure, but one that means I won't continue to read unless it's fixed (because who wants to have to adjust the little moving arrow every time they turn the page?!).

Overall, though, I imagine that if I could set the perfect reading speed and not have to bother with it after that, I'd quite easily be able to slip into the story while enjoying the soundtrack as an enhancement of the experience and not a distraction. I think. More experimentation is required!

As an author, however, and someone who's played musical instruments and dabbled in composition since a young age, I am DEFINITELY interested in creating a soundtrack for my own ebooks. WATCH THIS SPACE!

____________________________

What do you think about synchronized soundtracks for ebooks?
I'd love to hear your opinion as both a read and a writer!


Monday, July 28, 2014

The Difference Between Writing Fantasy and Writing Contemporary Romance



{Google Search Terms}


CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
"airplane seating plane"
"most embarrassing situations"
"most romantic date ideas"
"university orientation"

FANTASY
"mythological creatures"
"list of supernatural abilities"
"types of weapons"
"traditional fae lore"

__________________________




CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Main character's love life / friendships / career.

FANTASY
The fate of the world.




_________________________


Writing fantasy and writing contemporary romance have been quite different experiences.
I thought contemporary would be easier, but honestly, it hasn't been.
They both have different challenges. And I've enjoyed them both :-)
It's good to have a break from one genre and try out another.
What do you think? Are you a writer who hops between genres?
A reader who hops between genres?

Monday, July 14, 2014

RISE UP (VOLUME ONE & TWO) - A Benefit Collection - Indie Authors Against Cancer

“We all know how fragile life is, especially when faced with a life threatening illness.” ~Nic, Flirty and Dirty Book Blog.

Fiction introduced us. Reality binds us together.

Stephenie Thomas—co-founder of The Indie Bookshelf—has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma. Stephenie isn’t only a blogger; she’s a loving wife, and mother to three young boys.

In the independent author community, we have an extraordinary network of fellow authors and readers. A special group of people who bridge this gap—helping authors connect with readers—is book bloggers. These men and women dedicate hours upon hours to reading and reviewing our works, and spreading the word to help us reach new readers.

Now, one of these women needs our help.

100% of the proceeds of the Rise Up anthology (volumes one and two) will go directly to Stephenie and her family to help them on this unexpected leg of their journey together. Inside the pages of this collection, you’ll find amazing works of fiction. But please remember the reality, and help support Stephenie and her family.



Included in this collection are the following novels:

What Happens Tomorrow - Elle Michaels
Insipid - Christine Brae
Bouquet Toss - Melissa Brown
Can't Go Home - Angelisa Stone
Point of Submission - Remy Landon
Breakaway - Lindsay Paige and Mary Smith
A Love by Any Measure - Killian McRae
Discovering Lucy - Laura Dunaway
Something's Come Up - Andrea Randall and Michelle Pace
By A Thread - RL Griffin
Honest Love - CM Hutton
Serendipity - Stacey Bentley
Haven from the Storm - Sarah Dosher
Damaged - Nina D'Angelo



Included in this collection are the following novels:


Always There – Carol Ann Albright-Eastman 
Republic – Charles Sheehan-Miles 
Seeds of Hate – Melissa Perea 
In The Fields – Willow Aster 
Bar Crawl – Andrea Randall 
Totaled – Stacey Grice 
Running from Forever – Ashley Wilcox 
Crossing Paths – Melanie Stinnet 
Going Home – Rhonda Dennis 
Never Goodbye – Kerri Williams 
Without Boundaries – CJ Azevedo 
Binds – Rebecca Espinoza 
The Forgotten Ones – Laura Howard

PURCHASE ON iBOOKS
PURCHASE ON GOOGLE PLAY