Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Secret of the Fast and Messy First Draft


I hate messy first drafts. Well, hate is a strong word. They can really 'bug' me, you know? From what I've observed, I'm hardly unique in this aspect. In fact, being perfectionist about one's first draft can be one of the biggest hindrances keeping an author from finishing their novel!

Guess what? This year I am writing my messiest first draft ever--and it is going okay!

Whaaa?

Here are the stumbling blocks that have been tripping me up and wasting my time in the past:

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Her Royal Spyness

Wow, I can't believe I haven't blogged about "Her Royal Spyness" yet! I was certain that I had, and yet, when I tried to find a review to go with the announcement that the kindle was on sale ($1.99 on Amazon), I came up with nothing!

I think this is because Matt, the Novel Ninja, who got me into the series, wrote such a good review that I felt anything I did would be completely redundant. Which is still largely true--but since I've gone and read the whole series twice now, and actually own all of the books in one form or another, I'd be remiss if I didn't take the time to personally recommend the series to you all.

You should read "Her Royal Spyness" if you like...
-mysteries
-period mysteries
-screwball comedy
-plucky heroines
-the 1920's
-England's royal family
-historic comedy (think P.G. Wodehouse)

Although the delightful heroine, Georgie, is a fictional distant member of the royal family, the series is strewn with excellently executed cameos of real historic figures. I particularly adored the appearances of Coco Chanel and Queen Elizabeth II (as little Lillibet).

There's some innuendo throughout the series, nothing tremendously over-the-top, but I'd still say this is an adult series, and even that will depend on personal taste. Georgie's personal opinions on sexuality are refreshing, however (Again, Matt's review goes into more detail about this, so I won't be repetitive here.)

So, even if your summer reading docket is full, take advantage of the kindle sale because normally the ebook is upwards of $7.00!


Monday, June 5, 2017

"The Mermaid and the Unicorn" on sale for $0.99!


"The Mermaid and the Unicorn" e-book is currently available on Amazon for just $0.99! It'll go up to $1.99 after Wednesday, and back to $2.99 at the end of the week, so you'll want to hurry and purchase yours now! Whether you are looking for some good summer reading for yourself, or the perfect gift to send the graduate in your life as they head off to college, today is the day to get your digital copy of "The Mermaid and the Unicorn."

Learn how to gift a Kindle Book here.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Did I love it?


I've been trying to be more intentional about reviewing things over the past year. Books, items on Amazon, even a few game reviews have made it onto the list! This is in part because I married a guy who reads all the reviews (or a lot of them) before buying anything. I've come to appreciate the benefits of researching something before buying, and want to return the favor for other shoppers.

But there is another side too, and that is (unsurprisingly) finally being a published author. I will not lie, I regularly check reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I'm fairly certain that the good reviews there were significant in convincing several librarians to stock my book in their systems. (I don't know for sure, but if they did any research at all, they found good reviews).

I'm a fan of 'show not tell' and living by example. I mean, I write a blog so sometimes there just has to be some telling involved (like right now), but I really can't expect people to write reviews for my books, if I don't try and at least do a few reviews for the authors in my own life. Of course it is easier to do reviews for authors I don't personally know, because then I feel less awkward about identifying any weaknesses in the story.

I've also found it interesting to compare how people rate books on Goodreads and Amazon. Amazon is a commercial service, and the stars are overall geared towards measuring how happy customers were with their purchase. A reviewer can 'like' a book, but give it four or five stars because it was worth the purchase. However, on Goodreads an average book is only going to get about three stars, as the rating system is presented differently:

1 star - did not like it
2 stars - it was okay
3 stars - liked it
4 stars - really liked it
5 stars - it was amazing. 

I do appreciate that Goodreads actively assigns a specific reaction to each star, as I feel it makes the rating system clearer and less arbitrary. Also, in general, in Goodreads reviews I get more of a sense of "here's what I did or didn't like" in a more critical manner, whereas on Amazon the reactions are often less analytical and more 'loved it, good purchase' or 'horrible, don't bother'. This makes sense, of course, because Goodreads is specifically a community of readers and Amazon is specifically a (non)-community of purchasers.

Anyhow, it's been interesting to reflect upon and analyse these differences a bit over the past year.

By the way, if you haven't had a chance to read "The Mermaid and the Unicorn" yet and would like to get your hands on a Kindle Version for 99 cents, sign up for my quarterly newsletter (or keep an eye on this blog!). I've got a sale coming up very soon, but it'll only be lasting for a couple of days, so you'll want to be ready to buy!