Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Suggested Reading: 4 Things Every Writer Should Know About Beta Readers

While my editor completes her first pass of my manuscript, I've been prepping the groundwork to be ready for beta readers once we complete the second pass.

I came across this article from one of my favorite writing blogs about beta readers. Check it out!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Summertime Is Here

This past week, the family and I have spent a lot of time outside, grilling and enjoying the sunshine. We got the swimming pool set up, as well as the kiddie pool for our little man.

We do like to grill year-round, but we always pick up the pace when the summer approaches. Usually, we avoid the sweltering humidity of living in the South whenever we can by mostly staying active outdoors as the evenings start to cool.

This year has been different. I believe I've been outside more during the mid-day hours these past two weeks than I have in the past two years.  The children are older and after all of us remained cooped up during all of these storms that have come through in the last two months, we are making up for lost time.

I know I will end up spending a fortune in sunblock this summer, but honestly, we all feel much better than we have in a long time.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Learning From My Mistakes

So while talking with my editor the other day online, we talked about my journey with publishing Heir of the Blood King.

I wrote an article after I first published it and I complained that it was making me pull my hair out.  There is a reason it was so difficult for me.  I was doing it wrong because I not only missed steps, but I got them in the wrong order.

My editor clarified for me that the steps should be:

  1. Writing
  2. Developmental
  3. Copy Edits
  4. Proofreading
  5. Format
  6. Cover
  7. Publish
I have a lot of excuses for doing things the way that I did, but that is just what I have, a bunch of excuses. The main reason, to be honest, was that I didn't believe in myself enough to make an investment into myself.  I cut corners and I did everything the hard way.  Here are the steps that I took in the wrong order:

  1. Writing
  2. Four Revisions by my wife and I with no professional input
  3. Format
  4. Publish
  5. Proofreading
  6. Cover
  7. Copy Edit
As it turns out though, there were a few things that I did do correctly.  As I was writing, I didn't attempt to edit, so it made the creative process must faster.  After I finished the first draft, I did a read through to check pacing.  I wanted it to be fast and I had the result I was looking for. As we worked on drafts 2 through 4, my wife and I took turns reading out loud to catch any errors.

So, when I release book 2, I fully intend on following my editor's advice.  You can call what I do a hobby and there are many people who invest thousands of dollars into their hobby with no hope of recovering any of their investments.  I should be ashamed for not spending the money that I should have spent on my hobby because I am creating works that will still be making returns on my investment long after I am dead for my children and grandchildren.  Very few hobbies offer that kind of potential return.

I also discovered a few more things:  

  1. It pays to be patient because it will cost you not only more money, but opportunities to connect to readers if you rush through the process.
  2. When writing a series, be sure to have at least a couple of installments ready before you begin the release process. No one wants a one book series and you never know what can happen to you before you have a chance to write it.
  3. Reviews are for readers, not authors.
  4. When you get a bad review, never, EVER start a discussion about it no matter the justification.  Let it be.  Find something constructive and work on your craft.
  5. Always trust your editor. They know what they are doing.
  6. Connect with your readers one on one.  Yes, it is a slow process, but in the end, you are building loyal relationships and nothing will boost your opportunities like word of mouth conversations about your work.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Having Fun Working On Something New

While I've been gearing up getting ready for the book tour and my editor to make her first pass over my novel, I've been working on several short horror stories that I intend to publish over the Summer.

One of the stories is about a young girl who is hearing impaired and it has proven to be quite a challenge writing.  It has required a lot of research into the interactions of people that are hearing impaired.  It is my goal to depict a realistic picture and to also use her condition as a profound skill in her defense against the book's antagonist.

The setting of the story takes a leap back into time to the year 1987 and takes place in Lake Village, AR, where I grew up. Although I didn't put a "Gary Sue" into the storyline, I did draw from many of the experiences and scenes from my time living in Lake Village as a kid. I talk about mixing M&M's into a bag of Doritos to mix up the flavor. I talk about the now defunct boat races held annually at the Water Festival and I reference a few businesses that are no longer in operation that were once held in high esteem when their doors were open.

It should be an exciting journey and I hope that most of my nostalgia doesn't disrupt the flow of the story, but add to its realism.