Taking Your Career to the Next Level with Writers Workshops

My biggest conundrum upon attending my first FWA conference in 2011 was “Where do I begin?” I’d written for many years, but had learned my (questionable) craft from reading novels. The dizzying head-hopping that was the bane of my editor’s red pen? I picked that up from Nora Roberts. My characters grunted, laughed, moaned, and snarled. They never actually just “said” anything. That came from reading Robert Ludlum novels. At the FWA conference, faced with more writers’ workshops than I … Read More »

Art for the Unartistic Author

Back in high school, I aced my writing class…and balanced it by failing art class. Years later, when wielding a pencil, I’m still at the “stick figure” level, but fortunately, the advent of technology makes beautiful art somewhat attainable. More importantly, as published authors, it’s sometimes necessary to develop marketing materials or even book covers. I’d like to share three of my favorite (and FREE) art programs with you. We’ll start with one of the most accessible: MICROSOFT POWERPOINT Say … Read More »

Rethinking Writing Productivity

posted in: Writing Life | 3

Recently, I reprioritized the goals in my life and decided I needed more time for “non-writing” activities. So, I cut my weekly word count goal from 10,000 words per week to 5,000 words per week. The theory was it would free up approximately 50% of the time I had previously spent writing. I was wrong. Halving my word count goal freed up about 80% of my writing time. Yes, that’s right. I write half as many words as I used … Read More »

Setting up for a book fair or book signing

I’ve participated as a vendor in three book fairs; two of them were large multi-day fairs–the Miami Book Fair International and MegaCon (Orlando). The Florida Writers Association is getting into the game with a multi-genre book signing in May 2016. If you’re one of the authors, or if you’ve ever wondered whether to take part in a book signing or a book fair, here’s a handy list of what you might need. What the organizers usually provide: Table (be sure … Read More »

Start Strong and End with a Bang

posted in: Writing Craft | 2

Arrive late; leave early. It’s a splendid mantra for mandatory office parties, but it also applies to scene setting. Don’t begin the scene with tedious party preparations, the highlighting and contouring needed to turn Plain Jane into Beautiful Belle, or the inevitable staring at one’s reflection as a means of self-description. ARRIVE LATE. Begin the scene with the swish of silk and the striking of her heel against the marble tiles as heads turn to stare… LEAVE EARLY. End the … Read More »

Audiobooks: A “How To” guide, featuring interviews with producers and voice artists

posted in: Book Publishing | 1

Digital media made electronic books accessible to readers. The next step is audiobooks, but there is a great deal less information out there about audiobooks. How do you produce one? How do you sell one? Recently, I released my novel, Earth-Sim, as an audiobook through ACX which is owned by Amazon. In this post, I’ve asked both Mark Waters, the director of my audiobook division (sounds so much better than “my husband who pushed me into audiobooks”) and Jennifer Reilly, … Read More »

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