Wednesday, March 22, 2017
This month KindleScout is celebrating its 2nd anniversary with a sale on over 200 titles currently supported by the imprint.
All KindleScout books, including Finding Charlie, will be available for 99 cents until April 3rd.
It isn't like Charlie to stay out all night without calling, but maybe Olivia doesn't know her little sister as well as she thought.
When Charlie vanishes without warning, the people who love her are worried sick. Even if the law considers her an adult at nineteen, Charlie's still the baby of her already broken family. Older sister Olivia is determined to figure out what's happened. She finds a lost cell phone, an abandoned car and a shady boyfriend she's never met before. And he's not the only secret Charlie's been keeping.
This disappearance feels uncomfortably familiar, reminding Olivia and her father of another loss years before. But this will be different, Olivia swears. Charlie's coming back.
Friday, March 10, 2017
Finding a group of people who spend their energy doing the same thing you do can make you feel less alone in what is otherwise a pretty solitary endeavor. When I'm forgetting to make my writing a priority, it's often my fellow writers who motivate me. And when I'm bummed out by an agent rejection or a bad review, they're great emotional support.
2. Trade wisdom
If you're rubbish at commas, make friends with the Punctuation Nazi. Offer something in return. Maybe you are really great at plot organization or dialogue or designing book covers or Kindle formatting. Maybe you have great contacts: reviewers, graphic artists, advertisers. When we share skills, it makes us all better.
3. Learn which advice to take
Everyone has an opinion. If you take on every suggested edit, it will no longer be your story and it may not even make sense when you're done. Think of the horse designed by committee. Wait for the advice that resonates, that hits on something you had a sneaking suspicion wasn't working. Pay extra attention to suggestions that are repeated by multiple group members.
4. Find your own mistakes by critiquing others
It can be hard to see your own work objectively. You're just too close to it. Sometimes it's easier to identify an issue in someone else's work and then apply it to your own.
5. Get a thicker skin
If you plan on submitting to agents or self-publishing where reader reviews determine sales, it's helpful to ease your way into listening to criticism. Your book will not be universally liked. Don't let it hurt your feelings. I like to read Amazon reviews of my favorite books to remind myself that anyone can get one-starred.
There are more than five reasons to join a critique group. What are your reasons?
Friday, March 3, 2017
Somewhere between the successful release of my best-selling debut, Monsoon Season, and the lackluster release of my second novel, A Long Thaw, I began to feel like the publisher I was working with just wasn’t the right fit for me.
Getting out of the contract without an agent was a bit tricky, but I did it and I re-released A Long Thaw on my own. The process has been exciting, giving me complete control over how the book is promoted and getting immediate feedback regarding sales.
Since A Long Thaw was previously traditionally published, it's already been professionally edited and vetted by a standard gatekeeper, which hopefully will help give it that little extra bit of credibility in the sea of self-published books. All I had to do is find the cover, which I love.
I’ve always imagined A Long Thaw as a modern interpretation of the old prince and the pauper story. Abby and Juliet are cousins who, until the age of ten, live the same privileged, sheltered lives in a big Irish Catholic family. When Juliet’s parents divorce, her mother moves across the country so that she no longer has that safety net. The cousins reconnect in their twenties and the book deals with the ways we are changed by our experiences as well as the ways we are unchangable.
As a writer (and human being), I am endlessly fascinated by issues of identity and family dynamics, by the nature vs. nurture debate. These are things that inevitably find their way into my fiction.