WIN an Amazon Gift Card

Last week, I promised that I would do a little give away, so here it is! :)

To win the $20.00 Amazon gift card, all you have to do is answer the question: What is your favourite book genre and why?

The contest closes April 8, 2012.

I look forward to reading all of your answers!

Cheers & good luck. :D

A Paragraph From The Second Novel

Inspired by Laura Stanfill’s “Line of the Week” post, where she asks writers to post a line or a paragraph from something they had written during the past week.

This is a paragraph from my second book, a (historical) horror called Possessed (for now):

Adeline spun around, her full skirt swaying like a ship’s sail. Gabriel jumped down from the tree, landing awkwardly, and ran to catch up with her. She gawked at him once he reached her side.

“I’m sorry, all right? Most girls back home aren’t interested in climbing trees or exploring. If you don’t mind, I would like to start over again.”

Adeline crossed her arms as a hint of a smile formed on her girlishly pretty face.

Feel free to share something from what you have written this week. :)

By the Sword Is In Print!

Hello all! By the Sword is now available in print on Amazon.com for only $9.99.

I wanted to include a silly picture of me holding my proof of the book, but I don’t have a camera yet. It is difficult to describe in words that amazing feeling you get when you see your story in paperback form for the first time.

Next week I am going to have a little giveaway, too. :) Details to come!

I hope you all have a good week. Happy writing/reading!

7

I’ve been tagged for the Lucky Seven Meme by TraciKenworth.

The Rules: 1. Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP 2. Go to line 7 3. Copy down the next 7 lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written. No cheating 4. Tag 7 authors 5. Let them know.

This is from my next novel,  titled Possessed (For now). It is a super natural thriller/horror set in early 19th century England:

Adeline sat on a tree stump and buried her face in her hands.

     What is happening to me?

Nothing about the last few days made much sense – her aunt’s disturbing death, the voices in the dark room, the men that had burned her aunt and uncle’s home to the ground, and now the unexplainable darkness.

The sound of snapping twigs on the ground startled her.

Someone was coming.

Now onto the tags! Muhaha. :)

Self Publishing: 6 Things I Learned (So Far)

1) Edit. Then Edit Again. Repeat.

Yes, I am serious. :)

You will probably edit your work about 20 + times before you are satisfied with it.  With each edit, you find new ways to improve your story’s plot, flow, character development, etc.. You will know your story and your characters inside and out once you’re done.

2) Editors! (Yes, more editing)

So you’ve gone over your manuscript fifty times, but you still need an editor. A fresh pair of eyes will catch things that you missed before. I was shocked that I had actually missed a couple of grammatical and spelling errors after all those self-edits.

3) Stay Productive

Don’t hinder your success as a writer by waiting for that mystical moment where you are dripping with inspiration. I know, nothing can compare to that. But if it isn’t there, you need to power through if you ever want to complete and then publish your book.

If you feel stressed or just uninspired, take a walk, read a good book, or play music that…well…inspires you to get into writing mode.

The only person holding you back from writing is you.

4) Self-Publishing is Affordable

I kept my self-publishing costs below $2,000. Not so bad. But if I had been a little more patient and did some more research, I could have kept the budget easily at $1,000.

5) Networking

The support and guidanceyou get from fellow writers and authors is very helpful. Plus, many friendly book bloggers will feature new writers on their websites for interviews and reviews – free advertising!

6) Feeling Accomplished

After years of writing, editing, and re-writing your novel, nothing feels better than launching your book into the world, then seeing the sales report start to grow in earnings.

By the Sword was so much fun to write, but self-publishing really scared me at first. The challenge gave me a huge confidence (and maturity) boost. It showed me that I have it in me to do anything I set my mind to.

You have it in you, too! Your amazing, unique story idea is also worth the effort.

It has been an overall amazing experience!

Do you have any questions about the self-publishing process? Feel free to ask. Or, do you have anything you would like to add about what you learned on your road as an indie author?

Your Dream Writing Retreat

You know those writing conventions, sometimes referred to as a “writer’s retreat”, that cost a lot and you spend a lot of energy to win over an agent’s or an editor’s time? Well, when I think of a true writing retreat, I imagine a quiet cabin in the woods or a lovely country bed and breakfast. I have been thinking of going on a writing retreat for a while now for a couple of days where I can just write away.

There are some interesting options - the wilderness option sounds so inviting and there is also this quaint little village called Niagara on the Lake, about two hours away that would be the perfect combination of nature and quiet civilization so I could still do the coffee break thing.

My dream writing getaway would be to travel to New Zealand or Ireland, stay somewhere on or close to the countryside, and write for a good month to finish off a good part of a novel.It will probably be next year. Lord of the Rings and King Arthur were both filmed in New Zealand. It does have a surreal, fantastial setting that would be great to write something epic in.

I think every writer, especially one that lives a busy life, should plan a literary vacation of sorts – be it a few days or week – where their only care in the world is…how many words can I get done today? :)

So, what about you? Do you have a dream writing retreat you want to do? Do you plan to go on one soon? Have you had an amazing writing retreat in the past?