Hey fellow authors! Here you’ll learn about me, my work as a sweet romance author, encouraging words, and even some writer’s tips. If you want to know what’s different about me in comparison to other authors, well... you’re hearing it from me lol😄 Isn’t that what makes you different as an author?
We’re all in this together. I don’t know it all, but I’m coachable and willing to learn. Therefore, I’m a writer in the making. All opinions are my own😊no negativity here. Leave a rating or review and subscribe to show your support!
We made it! We’re in act three of The Princess Bride (1987) film using the Save the Cat Beat sheet. Never forget that endings are just as important as the beginnings. Learn how to bring your stories to a satisfying climax! savethecat.com is mentioned in this episode.
I’m going through the beats of The Princess Bride (1987 film) using the Save the Cat beat sheet. I hope this will help authors even more as they plot their novels. savannahgilbo.com and Blake Synder’s Save the Cat are mentioned in this episode.
Thanks to fellow authors, I’ve discovered Romance Rehab. Not does this site offer book reviews, but it includes help with your book blurbs. Have a listen in case you didn’t know! romancerehab.com is mentioned in this episode.
I’ve recently been using Save the Cat to help plot my work. Learn all 15 beats here! Do you need all 15 beats? Not necessarily, but at least you have a system to follow. Savannah Gilbo’s “How to Plot a Novel with the Save the Cat Sheet” and YouTube video “Breaking Down Plot Structure: Save the Cat” by Reedsy are mentioned in this episode.
When writing Christmas Therapy, I struggled with raising the stakes with my characters. I didn’t want the worst to happen to them, but that led to readers calling my work predictable. So... what was my solution to this? After participating in the romance writer’s summit, my decision to raise the stakes was reaffirmed. Was it worth it?
I signed up recently for the Romance Writers Craft Summit. This week videos are live and taught by experts from world building to creating tension for your stories. Have you signed up? www.romancewriterssummit.com is mentioned in this episode.
I have another book review! An Unforgettable Christmas by Ginny Baird is a available now! Check out my review for Hallmark Publishing on my blog dariawhite.com, Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble! I enjoyed it and I hope you do too!
Have you read A Royal Christmas Wish by Lizzie Shane? I had the privilege of reading this book for Hallmark and I loved it! Check out my review at Amazon, Goodreads, my blog dariawhite.com, and Barnes and Noble! Amazing read! Enjoy!
Is a reader magnet necessary? As I build my newsletter, now almost 700 subscribers, did a reader magnet make a difference? For me, yes! Whether it’s a short story, novella, or even a full length novel, have something for readers to take a chance on you. It’ll be worth it in the long run.
I have another review for Hallmark; A Gingerbread Romance by Lacey Baker! This was a Christmas movie that aired last year starring Tia Mowry. Hallmark Publishing turned it into a book so I was excited for the chance to review it! My review will be posted on Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble!
“Elements of setting: How to create a vivid world” at nownovel.com/blog is mentioned in this episode. Learn how to paint the picture into your novel with words. Having a hard time with descriptions? Establishing settings? Have a listen.
As I revise, I’m tempted to want to rush through the process and get it done. Anyone else feel this way? My advice for us all, is take your time. **Due to a technical glitch this episode was deleted and uploaded again.**
“Save the Cat!” Never used it until now but it’s coming in handy. What does this have to do with revising? Sometimes we have to backtrack when writing. Now that your book is written, can you highlight the key scenes. Save the Cat by Blake Synder and Reedsy are mentioned in this episode.
I’m revising and can’t wait to share my first tip with you all! Do you have to use what I use? No, but I will share nonetheless. You’re revising! Great, but where do you start? Why not start with your key scenes (hook, inciting incident, 1st plot point, middle, etc.)? fictionary.co is mentioned in this episode.
Now that I’ve held a book launch, any tips? What are some best practices in my opinion? This is only what I did. Looking for any more suggestions, I suggest you search it out and find what works best for you.
This week has been super busy so here’s an update on my work in progress. I hope you all are still pushing to finish your goal. We’re in the home stretch. There’s also an announcement I have, so tune in to listen!
Last full week of camp nano. I’m nearly 20k away from finishing but it hasn’t been easy. Ever heard of hitting the wall? This phrase is common among runners right before they hit the finish line in a race. This “wall” technically doesn’t exist, but it can play on the mind to where most give up and don’t finish. I’m seeing the same with writing but staying the course is key. Have a listen.
I wanted to do a follow up on the Comparison Game episode. I recently painted a picture this week, and it made me think about what we face as writers. What did I learn? Paint your picture; write your story.
It’s one of my favorite things to write, dialogue. It comes natural to me to write a conversation. So... how do you do that? How do you write strong dialogue? “How to Write Dialogue: 6 Tips for Writing Powerful Dialogue” at thinkwritten.com is mentioned in this episode.
My work in progress for camp nano is coming along. So much so, I wrote a plot twist! How do you write them into your story? Which ones fit best? “10 Simple Tips for Writing Clever Plot Twists” at writersedit.com is mentioned in this episode.
Thanks writing community for voting! We’ve been waiting for this topic for a while and I believe it’s long overdue. Should you compare yourself to another writer? I’ve struggled with this too so you’re not alone. What helps me? Have a listen and I hope it encourages you.
I wrote a little over 10K during my first week of camp. How? I have found that there is freedom using my outline. I used to think the opposite, and an outline would put my story in box with no room. I was wrong.
Match-Made Christmas is available tomorrow so check your favorite retailers! To celebrate the launch, I have a surprise! As a treat, here are some book launch tips from some amazing people in the writing community! Give them a follow and show your support! Special thanks to Sadie Chelsea, Rachael Bloome, Valencia Stokes, Rebecca Reddell, Emelia Hebert, and Elira Barnes!
A Down Home Christmas by Liz Talley releases today! Hallmark Publishing gave me the opportunity to review this sweet story, so check out my review on Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble! Christmas in July is here!
Camp nano starts again today! Are you ready? I am and I can’t wait to finish my next novel. Also, my first short story will be released tomorrow. Check out For Christmas (The Morgan Sisters) at channillo.com
On July 6, 2019 Match-Made Christmas releases! This is my first attempt at a book launch. While there may not one for every book, I want to see how it goes. My best tip on having one so far, find what works best for you and tweak whatever you need to. Tune in to hear what I’ll be doing the day of the release!
For Christmas in July, I will have short stories available! Yes, they will be Christmas themed. Visit channillo.com for more info if you’re looking for another digital publishing platform. Subscribe to Channilllo if you’d like to read my short stories.
Camp Nano is back for July! Are you signed up for the month? I decided to try again and I’m with my cabin mates from before, along with a few new ones. How do I feel this time around? My goal for this project? Have a listen. www.campnanowrimo.org
So... you have an outline with acts one through three. Each scene has 1-2 sentences for where it’s going, and you’re set to go. You’re ready to write, right? How do you transfer your outline to a chapter or scene of 1-2K words? How do you go from a 14 page outline (mine) to 90K? Trust me when I say I have searched this out and all I saw was how to outline. Not much on this topic unless I missed something. Even I can’t give you a concrete answer since every writer is different. However, I will share how I’m writing from mine, especially since this is my first time using an outline. Also check out K.M. Weiland’s podcast Helping Writers Become Authors episode 464 for more info.
Today’s topic is what I’ve been dealing with, so it’s for both of us. Remember, no matter how short or long it takes to write your manuscript, it’ll come. I’ve had to remind myself of this since words have moved slow for me these last few weeks—as in only 83-475 words in the last few weeks. Today, I wrote a little over 3K! What to do when the words won’t come? Have a listen.
Here’s another update from booksprout.co ARC giveaways! 4 out of 5 star average for Match-Made Christmas! Looking for reviews? I do recommend Booksprout as one avenue to get book reviews. Have a listen.
Here’s another one for you writing community! Thanks for your votes. Discouragement. It hits us all in one way or another. I hope this episode encourages you. All I can do is share my experiences. Remember, you’re not alone.
Wanted to give you all a quick update. So... last time I told you about story origin, I had 17 new subscribers. I now have 96!!! The promotion just began. Wow! storyoriginapp.com is mentioned in this episode.
So... I signed up to be a book reviewer for Hallmark Publishing. I honestly forgot about it until they emailed me with a FREE book! I finished Teri Wilson’s newest release, Love at the Shore. If you haven’t checked out the movie be sure to do so. Super cute! My review will be posted this week! Official release date for the book is June 11th!
Story Origin is a marketing tool that can be used for free delivery of your books and email list building. You can integrate your existing mailing list, newsletter swap, universal book links, group giveaways, and more! I’ve already gained 17 new subscribers to my newsletter! Check them out at storyoriginapp.com
So you’re writing a story, but then another one takes over. You’re so close to finishing the first one but the second story pops up. Or maybe you had both in mind so you set one aside, but now the first one is coming back to you. Sound familiar? I’m dealing with it right now. What do you do when you lose focus with one story and start another one? Have a listen.
Another way to get your name out there as a writer is to guest post on blogs! Be willing to offer something of value to fellow authors whether it’s information, tips, or services. We all have something to contribute so never feel like to you have to know it all. I’ve learned so much in my own writing journey, and I don’t mind sharing what I’ve learned. That being said, I’ll be guest blogging on fellow writer Elira Barnes’ blog in June! Look for the hashtag #BloggingWithElira to support fellow writers participating and look for my post! Follow her @authorelirab. I’ll also be on Rachael Bloome’s website! Look for it at www.rachaelbloome.com @rachaelbloome
“Use it sparingly.” That’s what I’ve been told and what try to remind myself as a writer. Similes, metaphors, body language, facial expressions, etc., use these sparingly. What does this even mean? Is there a limit of what you can use per page per page? As you revise, ask your trusted writer friends what’s working and what’s not. Have a listen to hear more.
I can’t believe this is episode 100! Thank you so much for tuning in all over the world. Your support is greatly appreciated. Tune in to hear more about me, what’s in the future for the show, what I’m working on, and more!!!
Some of us do have the natural gift with words, but a lot of us have learned what it takes to craft a story. I had no knowledge prior to publication in what it took to write a great story. Should you invest in writers’ guides, conferences, and writing courses? Have a listen!
Are you repeating yourself? Whether it’s crutch words such as “like,” “just,” “I admit,” and my personal favorite “well.” Or perhaps you rehash things in your manuscript. Did you point something out in one chapter but repeated it again in another? Have a listen. Big shout out to the writing community for their tips!
Should you do a book tour? Since everything is digital now, what about a blog tour? Is it worth it to spread the word about your book? I’m considering this so have a listen. ”Everything You Need to Know about Organizing a Blog Tour” at authornews.penguinrandomhouse.com
Welcome my next guest to my podcast, Rachael Bloome! She’s a fellow sweet romance author and if you haven’t downloaded her free novella, Puzzle Pieces, do so now at her website and online stores such as Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Apple Books. Rachael is an amazing writer! Not only does she share about her life as an author, but we discuss imposter syndrome and having confidence as a writer. Listen in to our chat! Visit www.rachaelbloome.com Disclaimer: some glitches due to connection issues, but we did our best.
Here’s some encouragement for my fellow writers. This was not easy to talk about, but I hope it helps you in one way or another. I don’t have all the answers, but I will share how I walk through this every day. I can only say so much, so it really boils down to you making the decision.
Once a month is usually common when sending out announcements, book cover reveals, book launch dates, etc. to readers. Is that it? What else can you put in your newsletter? Running out of ideas? Just getting started and don’t know what to do? authormedia.com and 20 email tips & tricks for Author newsletters from shaylaraquel.com are mentioned in this episode.
Are you an underwriter? What is it exactly? Well... you’ve run out of words to put into your manuscript. If you’re like me, you’re close to the end of your book at 50K when you want 85K. That’s 35K away! What do you do to add more without dragging your story? noveldoctor.com is mentioned in this episode.
I recently was a guest panelist on The Write Track podcast. I had an awesome time getting to know Valencia Stokes, Rebekah Dodson, and Aksa Mahmood. Have a listen to the episode as we discuss the romance genre itself, industry news, and how to protect yourself from trolls. Available on Podbean and Spotify. https://www.thewritetrackpodcast.com/
Bad reviews. I hate to break the news to you but they’re inevitable. No matter how hard you work to have a polished manuscript (traditional or independent), there’s always going to be a small group of people that don’t like your book. They won’t even like you and there is no justifiable reason. What do you do?
Marketing can seem daunting for a writer. Not only do you want your book to sell well, readers want to connect with you. You’re basically selling yourself, but in a good way. When does this process start? Before your book’s finished? After you’re published? Have a listen. Check out Vivien Reis‘ “How to Market Yourself as an Author” on YouTube. Great stuff for indie and traditional authors.
It’s a new month! Congrats if you made your CampNaNoWri goals, and congrats if you didn’t! I didn’t so you’re not alone lol. Not set topic here. Just an update of my goals for the month and others projects for the future.
With the launch around the corner, how do I feel? Well... this is dedicated to the authors that wonder is there book good enough. I hear you and I know how you feel. Here’s some motivation for you and myself.
Keeping the finish line in view as you write your story. Is the journey frustrating? Yes. Do you get stuck? Yes. Do we quit? No way. I used to play basketball so one of the things I learned was to pivot so I wouldn’t travel with the ball as the guard. Same with writing, when things happen, pivot. https://thecompletecreative.com/ is mentioned in this episode.
Another episode for my traditional writers! For the manuscripts I did query, what was my strategy? I personally invested and had my editor write my query letter since I was so new to the process. I’m so glad she was able to summarize the words that I had already written. I felt much more confident sending it out to the publisher I chose. If that’s not in the budget for you, here are a few tips based off an example I found and how I tweaked some things based off of what my editor wrote. I will add, do your research and follow the guidelines to the letter. writersdigest.com and firstediting.com are mentioned in this episode.
You’re sitting in front of the laptop, and you get nothing. Perhaps you have your phone on social media? Does life get in the way? How are you supposed to finish your story? Are you distracted without even knowing it? Or could it be... procrastination?
For all my authors wanting traditional publishing, this one’s for you! Though the majority of my work is self-published, I did query my most recent manuscript back in February. I hit the send button! So... what now? I’m waiting just like you. What do we do when we’re waiting. I’ll tell you what I’m doing.
Is a longer book better than a shorter one? Does it matter? Does it depend on the story? While my personal goal as a writer is to write a 100K novel, that doesn’t mean anything less is wrong. Have a listen.
So I decided to experiment with the writing sprints this week. How have they worked so far? Have I made any progress? Should you try it as a last resort? How does a little over 9K in two days sound? Have a listen.
Now that you’re gaining a following, how do you keep track of readers? How do they know new works are coming out? An email list? Though social media is important, nothing can replace a good old fashioned email. Have a listen. mailchimp.com is mentioned in this episode.
What’s a writing sprint? Time set aside where you do nothing but write with no distractions. It can range from 30 minutes to 2 hours. For those of us that work outside jobs or have other responsibilities, is this helpful? Tune to hear the results of my trial with sprinting.
Here’s a typical writing session for me. Do I write so many words a day? Is there a deadline as an indie author? Music or silence? Outline or no outline? Listen in for my answers. Shout out to my listeners. I called everyone out except I forgot Canada. Thank you listeners in Canada!
How did my newest release, Match-Made Christmas, come to life? Well... though an indie author, I decided to query this story to a publisher that I thought was the perfect fit. Tune in to hear the rest of the story.
Now that the release date is in July, how will I be promoting Match-Made Christmas? Is there a formula for a successful book launch? While I can only share what I have learned so far, here’s a few things I’ve implemented over the years. Booksprout.co is mentioned in this episode and don’t forget to check out booksirens.com to find bloggers!
Instead of releasing Match-Made Christmas later this year, it’ll be available on July 6, 2019! Christmas in July! Not only that, you’ll have the choice between ebooks and paperbacks. Look for it on Amazon. Pre-order today!
Is the writing community important? Should I get involved? Hear from someone who thought she could do it alone as an indie author. It was me and it didn’t work. Hear how I was in the past. I thought no one paid attention, but it was all in my head due to self doubt. Break free today, because someone is paying attention.
Amazon KDP or Amazon KDP Select? Learn the importance of building deep and wide with your books and not constricting yourself. Again, the final decision is up to you. This is what I do as an indie author, so listen and decide for yourself. This concept was discussed at SelfPubCon2019.
Yay! You got your feedback from critique partners, beta readers and your editor. Now... what? Which advise do you listen to, especially if it’s your first time working with them? Is all advise good? Listen in for my opinion, but ultimately then final decision is up to you.
So I decided to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo for the month of April. I’m assigned to a virtual cabin with about ten other writers. Give all my cabin mates a follow if you’re not doing so already. So... how’s camp going? Have a listen campnanowrimo.org is mentioned in this episode. My cabin mates are on Instagram @s.f.barkley, @loridianni_writer, @miacarterauthorof, @danaterrystories, @authorpiperk, @rachaelbloome, @lazygirlreads, @wewhotellstories, @dianamariehall, & @melmcguire.1
This is what happens when you step outside the box. Fellow writers notice! Welcome our first guest, Sadie Chelsea, thehonestwriter.org you can also follow her on Twitter @sadiewriter and all other social media platforms. Can’t wait to share our interview swap with you all! Disclaimer: Internet issues cut us off the first time, so this is take 2. Some parts may still sound choppy, but we laugh anyway 😄 nobody’s perfect. Don’t miss out on her giveaway either. Tune in for the link!
Let’s face it, everyone these days is mostly on social media. How do you approach it for your author platform? Listen in for my opinion. Don’t forget to protect yourself, especially when it comes to inappropriate behavior, bullies, and trolls.
Believe it or not, book reviews are the lifeline of a book. They’re not for us the authors, but they are for readers to help them decide if they want to download or purchase your book. Do you want mostly 5 star reviews? Is it realistic to have a range from 1-5 stars? Have a listen so you can be better prepared. Booksprout.co and booksirens.com are mentioned in this episode.
How do you decide if your story should be in first person or third person narrative? What are the pros and cons? Does it matter to readers? I’ll share my opinion but the final decision is up to you. FYI, if you hear a boom in the background, there was a plant fire in Crosby, TX. 😳 My area’s not affected, but send prayers for those that were🙏🏾
Setting up the normal world in your novel? How much time should be allotted before the inciting incident? Is there a word count minimum of setting up your main character’s normal world? I mention K.M. Weiland’s Structuring Your Novel in this episode.
Indie authors, ever wonder what you need as opposed to what you want in order to publish your book? Is it a need or is it a splurge? This is my opinion on what I needed and didn’t need to make my book a success. Have I arrived yet? No, but I’ll share with you what I’ve learned so far. Note: mail chimp subscribers stop at 2K under the free account. Choosing a paid account has unlimited followers.
This episode is a follow on my tutorial on onestopforwriters.com particularly dealing with mapping out your story. How to go from your setup to the aftermath of your manuscript. How do you organize it?
How long should my book be? Depending on your genre, the word count can have various ranges. Since I’m in the romance genre, it can range from 50K to 90K. I’ve even seen 100K! You might think, how am I supposed to write 100K? When is my book over?
Here I’m giving an update on my experience so far with booksprout.co. I’ve already received a 4 star review for my upcoming release, Match-Made Christmas! Yes it’s only one review, but it’s better than zero.
ARCs? These are advanced readers copies of books that an author chooses to give away in exchange for a review. This comes in handy right before your official release date. It builds excitement and publicity for your book! So... how do you get them? Here’s one way! Booksprout.co is mentioned in this episode. Follow @booksproutapp
Head-hopping? What is that? It confuses readers and overall it’s not good. Here I’ll share on how to avoid this in your books and how you can makes the changes if you’re doing this. Head-Hopping Gives Readers Whiplash by Beth Hill, fiction editor and novel editor Ellen Brock are mentioned in this episode.
What truly makes a great book? Is it the outlining? The plotting? Is it the polished grammar or inciting incident? What about the climax and the denouement? Perhaps it’s the conflict and tension that’s added to keep readers on their toes. Then again, what if it’s none of those things? Could it be that what makes a great book is... the author?
I’m seeing a lot of backstory as I work with my critique partners. I’m still dealing with it myself. What am I learning about it and what’s the best way to handle it? How can you tell if you’re using too much backstory? Are you “info dumping” unnecessarily? How can we break up with it? This is a follow up to the previous episode “Backstory.” I refer to Sandra Gerth’s book Show, Don’t Tell, K.M. Weiland, and Ellen Brock in this episode.
I’m learning a lot as I work with critique partners. In this episode we’ll discuss how to give and receive constructive criticism from your CP. How much is too much critiquing? Do you point out everything you see? How do you establish boundaries?
March 16th through the 17th, I’ll be participating in the free Self Publishing Conference online. Anybody else attending? Alliance for Independent Authors (ALLi) is mentioned in this episode. www.selfpublishingadviceconference.com
Recently I received advice from developmental editor and book coach Savannah. Her advice on setups/hooks set off a lightbulb in my head💡I had to share it with you all! Still having trouble deciding where to start your book? How do you know you’re starting it in the right place? I’ll be sharing Savannah’s advice in this episode. Follow her on Twitter @savannahgilbo
So you’ve found critique partners! Yay! Now what? How well will you work together? Can you gracefully back out if you prefer to look for someone new? How do you keep up the communication? @CPmatchmaking is mentioned in this episode.
Indie authors, what’s a good strategy for pricing your books? Should you price them for free, 0.99, $2.99+. I’ll share how to price ebooks along with paperback books. While you do want to remain competitive in your pricing, are there times when free works in your favor? Should you do this all the time? Of course not. This is your business, so don’t cheapen the quality of your work. Strategy is the key. Smashwords.com andAmazon KDP are mentioned in this episode.
My journey to publication. While I do plan on traditionally publishing in the future, here’s my experience with self publishing. Smashwords.com is mentioned this episode along with, Goodreads and Booklikes.
Since I’m working on outlining my next novel, I recently discovered yWriter software. This is a software to organize scenes, chapters, characters, and settings at a glance. Listen to my thoughts. I mention K.M. Weiland and Simon Haynes in this episode.
According to onestopforwriters.com “symbols and motifs add depth by placing harmonic elements into a story to reinforce an author’s emotion rich insight.” Say what? Think of it as another way of using metaphors or similes. Figurative language ring a bell? I’ll explain.
Hooks. They are usually the first opening lines in your manuscript. It’s also your readers’ third impression of you as an author after your cover and blurb. What do you do? K.M. Weiland’s Structuring Your Novel is mentioned in this episode.
Cover design. Is yours eye catching or amateurish? What’s the best thing to do when you’re a writer on a budget? Should you make it yourself? The cover is the first thing readers see before they even read your blurb. Is it wise to make your own or hire a professional? I mention MS PowerPoint, shutterstockcom, bigstockphoto.com, and viladesign.net in this episode. At the end of the day, make the decision that works best for you. When using MS PowerPoint, save file as a JPEG.
How do you get to know your characters? How do you make them 3-dimensional? Here I’ll share my process of creating well rounded and relatable characters. I reference onestopforwriters.com. This is a longer episode, but I think you’ll thank me😉👍
This idea came to me, so I wanted to share. If you’re a beginner to critique partners, here’s how I practice my skills without necessarily being someone’s partner. I mention Wattpad.com in this episode. Read other works by fellow authors and comment on those who ask for feedback on their work. Also be willing to receive feedback in return. Practice here! :)
I’m loving onestopforwriters.com. In this episode, we’ll explore more of this one stop website for authors everywhere. Not only do they have character builder profiles, but also setting thesaurus’, story maps, scene maps, templates and worksheets, world building surveys, and timelines. I know 😳😄 crazy amazing!
The One Stop for Writers by Angela Ackerman, Becca Puglisi, and Lee Powell. Does this work? From character building, world building, and mapping scenes, you’ll find it here. Is the investment worth it? onestopforwriters.com is mentioned in this episode💻
I play the piano by ear after not having touched a keyboard for 17 years! However, almost 5 years later with practice and commitment, I’m now a musician at my church. How does this relate with my writing? Each take practice. Listen and I’ll share.
Is there a right time to publish a book? Are some months better than others? Does genre matter and depend on the time of year? All will be discussed, but my short answer is TODAY is the day to publish your book. Remember “Just Do it” from Nike? Yeah, just do it. Beware 😳 I share my ❤️ here.
Which writer’s guides are most helpful? Do I even need one? Decisions...decisions. In this episode, I mention guides by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, along with works by K.M. Weiland, Bryn Donovan, Mary Gray, and Nicholas C. Rossis.