Why You Should Consider Writing A Trilogy #SundayBlogShare #Writers @tonyriches

Why Your Should Consider Writing A

When medieval historical fiction author Tony Riches contacted me to say that he had a fab guest blog post up his sleeve I was over the moon.

When I read his guest blog post I felt like one of my big writing related questions had been answered. The question being – why should you consider writing a trilogy?

Prior to Tony’s guest post, I spent a lot of time thinking about why you should consider writing a trilogy. I came up with the following points:

  • You should write a trilogy if you secretly crave literary pain. Writing one book won’t come close to satisfying your literary pain needs, so you need to write three in quick succession to get your fix. 
  • You should write a trilogy if you can’t think of a way to end your story and you strongly believe that come the end of writing the third book you will have figured it out. 
  • You should write a trilogy if you have fallen madly in love with one of your characters and can’t bear to be parted from them. Writing a story about your crush and spanning it over three books might help you get this fictional love interest out of your system. Your readers might not share your love for this character but that’s low level detail. 
  • You should write a trilogy if you have an attention seeking diva of a main character who demands a bigger world stage. Give them a trilogy and watch their power hungry eyes light up! 

To my surprise Tony has come up with a different set of reasons to me. 

Check out this great post below. 

Take it away Tony!

Continue reading

How To Survive Reading A Romance Novel With An Unwanted Ending #SundayBlogShare #BookWorms

5

Bad endings in books can leave you feeling cheated and cross.

I can just about cope with weak endings in other book genres, however if I am given a romance novel with an unwanted ending I will struggle….emotionally….for days after it’s finished. 

When I read a romance novel I want:

  • Chemistry between the two characters.
  • A bit of romantic conflict.
  • A happy ever after ending.
  • Epilogue explaining how the couple are doing a year down the line.

In my view the following are unwanted endings:

Continue reading

How To Be A Happy Writer In 2017 #MondayBlogs #MondayMotivation #Writer

things-to-hold-onto-let-go-2

I started 2016 with a miserable writer look on my face (similar to a bulldog chewing a wasp) and I ended it with a smile. As the year progressed my writer happiness levels increased.

Based on my learnings from 2016, here are my top tips on how to be a happy writer in 2017:

Continue reading

14 Reasons Why We Love Reading Historical Fiction #SundayBlogShare #HistoricalFiction

reasons-why-we-love-reading-historical-fiction

There is something magical about reading historical fiction. After interviewing historical fiction writer Evie Gaughan yesterday, I am taking a moment to celebrate historical fiction.

Here are the reasons why I think we love reading stories from this fabulous literary genre:

Continue reading

Author Interviews @JackieMBaldwin1 #WritersLife #author #CrimeWriter

Author Interviews-2

Welcome to my weekly blog series – Author Interviews.

These interviews give me the chance to interview some inspirational authors and glean some useful writing tips.

I am super excited as author Jackie Baldwin, Scottish crime writer and former criminal lawyer is sat on my red interview chair!

This interview is going to be special – I can feel it!


Hey Jackie, tell my readers about yourself and the book / books you have written…

Well, for most of my working life I have been a solicitor, specialising in criminal and family law which was enormously stressful at times. I later retrained as a hypnotherapist.

My debut novel, ‘Dead Man’s Prayer,’ is a police procedural set in my home town of Dumfries and featuring DI Frank Farrell, a former practising RC priest. A local priest, who was responsible for forcing Farrell out of the priesthood, is murdered. Separately, twin boys are abducted from a local nursery. The pressure is on as Farrell must delve into his own past to catch the murderer and solve the mystery behind the abductions before anyone else winds up dead.

When did you write your first book?

I started it with a blurb back in 2005.

How long did it take to write your first book?

A good few years as I have completed various drafts.

What was your motivation to write your first book?

I wanted to be a published author from the age of 7 but hadn’t done any writing at all until around 20 years ago when I started writing monologues and plays because those were the opportunities that presented locally. As for the book, I reached the stage where I felt it was now or never and made a start.

What writing issues did you encounter along the way and how did you overcome them?

I would say I have struggled with self- belief. Being published and having an editor that gets my work has helped me considerably with that.

Did you go through any bad writing patches during writing your book – what kept you going?

Yes, as indicated below, I stopped writing for 3 years. The reason I persisted with the book was because I had become attached to my characters and felt like it would be a kind of death for them never to exist outside my own head and be introduced to other people.

Are you a plotter or do you just write / see what happens?

I would say I’m a plotter because winging it would make me feel too insecure. My plotting isn’t set in stone, however. It probably mirrors my attitude to life. I am not a madly impulsive go with the flow person. I have to plan to be spontaneous!

What is the best thing about being a writer?

Hopefully, having people connect with my characters and the problems they face so that they become as real to others as they are to me.

What is the worst thing about being a writer?

Self- promotion is very hard for me. It is something I struggle with as I am far more comfortable cheerleading for someone else. However, I feel I owe it to my editor, who has had such belief in me, to raise my head above the parapet and do my best. Before all this happened I would describe my profile as low to horizontal. I remember walking down the aisle on my wedding day and all eyes swivelled to look at me. I was horrified!

Have you ever considered quitting writing, and if so how have you worked through this?

Yes, a number of times. You suddenly catch yourself thinking that the time slogging away at the computer could be put to better use doing something else. What is the point of all this hard work when no one is ever going to read it anyway? At one point I stopped for about three years. Work was demanding. When I wasn’t working, my priority was doing things with my kids. But, for me, writing is like an itch and the desire to scratch it again became overwhelming. I sound like I had a bad attack of hives. I went along to the first year of Crime and Publishment, an annual weekend of crime writing master-classes and came home fired up to do one more massive rewrite, which I finished just before X-mas.

What does a typical writing day look like for you?

Up until recently, I haven’t really had a typical writing day but I have to be a lot more disciplined now that I am writing my second DI Farrell novel. If it is a day where I am not seeing clients I get up early and go through to my study which also doubles as a consulting room therefore has a nice relaxed vibe. I throw on something comfy that can withstand enthusiastic contact with my two Retrievers and mentally superglue my bottom to the chair at my desk. I would love to say that my fingers fly over the keys of my laptop but I tend to work in fits and starts, like a car bumping along the road in the wrong gear.

Do you suffer from procrastination and if so how do you handle it?

Yes I do. If I am stuck on a thorny problem I procrastinate by making coffee and eating biscuits. I have discovered writing is terrible for the waistline! If it is an extremely thorny problem I run off to the garage and buy a large bag of sweets.

I actually love having deadlines because I think that I am programmed to respect these because of my previous background. In court work if you didn’t lodge something at court on or before 11a.m, for example, the sky would fall in!

Which is more important – plot or characters and why?

I think they are both incredibly important but for me, a story always starts with the arrival of a character rather than a plot in my head. My characters become real and it is like I overhear snatches of their conversation in my head. I would be so scared to say that to a psychiatrist!

What have been your 3 biggest learnings during your writing career?

  • Submit to every opportunity that you hear about.
  • If life gets too busy write little and often. It all mounts up. Consistency is key.
  • Never give up!

How do you manage social media as a writer?

I am on a huge learning curve with that right now. Before I got my publishing contract in mid- March I had never been on Twitter. I didn’t even post on my Facebook Page. I only interacted in one or two small closed groups. I didn’t have a Smartphone either until recently. I have a complete horror of accidentally being rude by failing to do something I don’t know that I’m meant to do. It took me ages to learn to retweet with a quote and share with a post. Doing anything on social media for the first time terrifies me. Really, we are talking rabbit caught in the headlights. I still haven’t got the whole copy a link thing and have to get help with that. I am really low tech yet love science fiction which is a bit of a paradox. On publication day, I was sitting in my dressing gown with all 3 devices pinging at me and totally panicking but I got on top of it. I was really overwhelmed by how lovely and generous people have been. I didn’t think it was possible to make friends online but I am already feeling that connection with some people I have regular contact with. It has been a revelation. This old dog is learning new tricks.

Do you have any tips or advice for budding aspiring authors?

  1. Bash through that first draft. Don’t edit as you go along. It can be polished later. Once you get all the way through the first draft you know you can go the distance and the editing can then begin.
  2. Do not give up. Commit to being in this writing game for the long haul. If you work hard and persevere you will be published.
  3. Once your book and synopsis are as good as they can be, try and let them go. You need to detach from them and start another book while the first book is being submitted. This is a case of do as I say and not as I do. I was incredibly fortunate in having my first novel published but I could have written at least another 3 books in the time I took with this one.
  4. As I am no spring chicken, I do not intend to make that mistake again. I will bury them in the garden to get closure, if necessary!
  5. Join a supportive writing group. Writing novels can be a lonely business. Not only does it make a world of difference to have a gang of writing pals to go to events with but everyone shares information about publishing opportunities.
  6. Start building an online presence. You have probably all done that already but, if you haven’t, take the plunge.

Do you suffer from writer’s block and if so how do you overcome?

I have done in the past but not so much now. I think the best way over that is to try a bit of wild writing where you take a pad of A4 paper, set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes and just write really fast without thinking about it until the timer goes off. You mustn’t think about what you are writing while you are doing it. It doesn’t matter in the slightest if it is incoherent drivel. The aim is to do it in a stream of consciousness way so that your internal critic/editor is switched off. The first time I experienced this at a writing group I had had a really bad day at work and when the timer went off I was shocked to discover I had written a really violent short story where someone was stabbed through the eye. It was not something I would consciously write.

Do you ever think of the next book whilst writing?

I think when you are writing a series character, you have to look ahead. However, now that I can’t tinker with this one anymore, it is as though my mind is more receptive again. I have a few different books simmering away on the stove.

What do you wear to write?

Usually something unspeakably horrible that I’d be black affronted to answer the door in.

If readers want to get in touch how do they contact you?

I am on Twitter @JackieMBaldwin1

I also have an author Facebook page (currently wildly out of control and needing some posts but I’m going to be sorting that out in the next couple of days)  at Jackie Baldwin Author.

Thank you Jackie – fab interview. 

Here are some things I am taking from this interview:

  • I loved how you became attached to one of your characters and felt like it would be a death for them to never exist outside your own head. 
  • I can relate to self promotion being  struggle. Sigh!
  • There is this wonderful sense of grit and determination from you, which comes across in this interview – this ‘never give up’ motto. Love it!
  • I can also relate to the urge to write being like an itch – yes yes yes!
  • Your writing tips for aspiring authors are really fab and deserve to be in own their blog post!

Thank you for sharing these answers with me and the readers of BlondeWriteMore. 

Good luck with the book and the blog tour!

dmp_blogtour-v3-1

 

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/79577679@N00/5448848999″>the chair in the attic</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

20 Fab Writing Tips From 20 Author Interviews #Writingtips #WeekendBlogShare

Author Interviews

This week I am having a rest from my Author Interview Series and reflecting on the useful insight gleaned from these interviews.

I am so grateful to all the authors who have taken the time to share their book writing experiences with me.

You can find all the interviews by clicking here. 

In each interview I asked for some handy writing tips for aspiring new writers. I thought it would be great to summarise these in one useful post.

These are great tips from people who have actually written books. They have all experienced the many challenges that come from writing a novel and have come out the other side …smiling and proudly clutching their beloved book.  Sigh!

So, here are 20 writing tips from the first 20 authors interviewed as part of my blog series – Author Interviews.

Continue reading

Author Interviews @tkrimms #author #writer #writerslife

img_4338-1

Welcome to my weekly series – Author Interviews.

These interviews allow me to find out a little bit more about the person behind the books and to glean some valuable insight on being a writer.

This week I am very excited. I met today’s author Tracy Krimmer on the ChickLitHQ FaceBook group site and I am thrilled that she has agreed to come and sit in my red chair.

Tracy describes herself as an author who writes books that make women laugh, sometimes cry and always feel. She loves protein bars and coffee. A perfect match for me and my chair!

Please welcome Tracy Krimmer to my chair!

Welcome Tracy, please tell my readers about yourself and the book / books you have written

I’m really not that exciting! I’m a thirty-something author of chick lit and women’s fiction. When I’m not writing, I’m being a wife and mom and all around cool person. I love fitness and help my husband run challenge groups on Facebook for those who want to get in shape. And I love coffee!

As far as my books, I have four out:

  • Pieces of it All – A women’s fiction/coming-of-age novel about a young girl experiencing her first love – and heartbreak.
  • Caching In – The first in the Pastime Pursuits series about a woman who finds love while geocaching.
  • Jay Walking – Book two in the series (this is a standalone series) about a woman trying to find love after having her baby.
  • Sparing the Heart – Book three in the series about a woman finally letting the shield down around her heart

My fifth book, Dating for Decades, is a seasoned romance out this summer.

When did you write your first book?

I wrote my very first book in sixth grade! But, my first published book in this genre came out in May 2014.

How long did it take to write your first book?

I think from start to finish almost two years. I wrote it and then basically rewrote it and then after beta readers, rewrote a large chunk again!

What was your motivation to write your first book?

I call Pieces of it All the anti-alpha male alpha male book. Did you catch all that? I read a lot of romance books and I wanted to write one a little different from the alpha male books I had been reading at the time. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say it is a happily after after the way I think it should be, especially for an 18-year-old girl.

What writing issues did you encounter along the way and how did you overcome them?

Remember that I said I rewrote it twice? First it was an erotic romance. Then it was an erotic romance thriller. The beta readers helped me through the process and see what was wrong with it. Once I realized what I wanted to do, the rest fell into place.

Did you go through any bad writing patches during writing your book – what kept you going?

I always go through rough patches and that’s during the revising process. I love writing and hate revising. It’s not even that it’s too difficult. I overwhelm easily and instead of taking one thing at a time, I freak out and panic! Once I talk through it with my critique partner, I always feel better.

Are you a plotter or do you just write / see what happens?

I used to be a pantser. Now I plot. I don’t necessarily plot every detail, but I like to get everything down from start to finish. I write a lot faster that way.

What is the best thing about being a writer?

Sharing my stories with the world. I have so many ideas and I want to get them out! I love bringing out emotion in people, making them feel.

What is the worst thing about being a writer?

Sharing my stories with the world! Yes, it’s a double-edged sword. When I publish a book, I open myself up to a world of criticism. It’s hard, sometimes, but I wouldn’t change anything.

Have you ever considered quitting writing, and if so how have you worked through this?

I consider it for a second with every book. It is always after a release. I find I have to take about a month off after a release to not do anything. That will be hard this year because I plan on publishing a lot.

What does a typical writing day look like for you?

I work out in the AM, usually, and write for about two hours. Then I fit in small writing sessions throughout the day. I love using Evernote so I can write on the fly. If I’m sitting in line somewhere or at the park, I can write on my phone.

Do you suffer from procrastination and if so how do you handle it?

Ha! This is a funny question to me because I always say I don’t procrastinate and I know that I do. I don’t know how I handle it. I just get it done!

Which is more important – plot or characters and why?

Characters. The characters drive the plot. You need them to have a story!

What have been your 3 biggest learnings during your writing career?

The first one is not giving a F*&k. What do I mean by that? Don’t worry about the haters. Everyone has them. I’m no exception. If I spend too much time focusing on those people, I won’t get anything done.

Second, keep my eyes on my own paper. It is so easy to try and compare myself to others. Doing that only makes me feel bad about myself. I have to remember that while I look up to another writer and wish I sold books and had as many fans as that person, someone probably thinks the same of me.

Lastly, head down and keep writing. If I want to write, then write. If I get too distracted or bogged down by other things, I won’t accomplish anything.

How do you manage social media as a writer?

I have my author page on Facebook and I try to post a few times a week. I’ve fallen off Twitter so I linked my account to that so when I post on my fan page it posts there as well. I use Instagram when I remember. I try to do what I can.

Do you have any tips or advice for budding aspiring authors?

Invest in an awesome critique partner. Find someone you trust and can share your work with and they can do the same for you. This person is also a great sounding board and you can bitch to each other when needed! Without my critique partner, Stephanie, I don’t think I would have gotten through all these books. I have another author, Karen, that I adore and she has always been a great person to talk to when I am down. It’s important to be able to vent to the people who understand what you are going through.

Do you suffer from writer’s block and if so how do you overcome?

I used to. Now if I have writer’s block, I move on. Either the story or scene isn’t working.

Do you ever think of the next book whilst writing?

Yes. I hadn’t even finished Dating for Decades and I’m writing another book in my mind.

What do you wear to write?

Nothing. Teasing! Whatever I am wearing that day…typically yoga pants and a tank top!

If readers want to get in touch how do they contact you? My website is:

http://www.tracykrimmer.com. Find me on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/KrimmerAuthor and message me there or email me at tracy@tracykrimmer.com.

I am on Twitter at @tkrimms.

Thanks for having me, Lucy!

Great interview Tracy, I really enjoyed your answers.

I loved how you rewrote different versions of your book. I could see myself doing this. 

I really admire writers who can turns themselves into plotters. 

I like the idea of writing on a phone in the park – I must try this. 

I love your learnings! Number 1 especially! 

Great answers and thank you once again!

Next week – British author with a Parisian flair Isabelle Andover brings a touch of elegance to my chair 🙂

 

 

5 Stages: Reading a Mind Blowing Book #books #reader #bookworm

Vampire &amp; Single-4

There are some books out there that blow your mind. 

They are not your average book. The premise, the plot, the setting or the characterisation is like nothing you have ever read before. 

These books can be fiction or non-fiction. 

They are quite simply amazing and you know that you will always remember how they made you feel for years afterwards.

There are 5 stages to this wonderful reading experience.

  1. Life Before Book. Your life before reading a mind blowing book can be summed up in one word – dull! There is nothing exciting going on and everything feels bland. Days feel the same; get up, shuffle to work, trudge home, trawl social media, watch TV and go to bed. Your TBR pile offers you nothing spectacular and reading starts to feel like a chore. With no sparkle or magic in your life you start to walk around with a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp. Darkness consumes your world.
  2. Book Reading Radar. The mind blowing book appears on your reading radar either through a random purchase or via a recommendation from someone you know. It is important to note at this stage that you have no idea about what impact this book is going to have on your life. You are still struggling with forcing yourself to smile once a week. If only you knew that the book in your TBR pile is going to change your life. In the future you will look back on this testing time and wonder why you just didn’t dive straight in. Loved ones and friends will also question this too. You are not exactly a barrel of laughs during this stage.
  3. Book Reading Lock Down. A couple of pages in to the mind blowing book you realise that it is something very special. You enter what we call in the trade ‘book reading lock down’  – this is where you become so obsessed and taken in by a book that you have to be left alone to read it. It turns into a life or death situation. Loved ones and friends soon realise that they are putting their own lives in danger by disturbing you. The outside world goes on hold until the book is finished.
  4. Reader Hysteria. The book was mind blowing. For you it was a literary game changer. You struggle to contain your emotions and for a time after finishing the book you can only sit in silence with your eyes closed. Wow – what a story! The world must know about how good it was. You hit social media hard tweeting, pinning and posting the book in a mad frenzy. Every conversation in your day to day life includes “I have just read a really good book – do you want me to tell you about it?”  and loved ones / friends are forced to spend hours listening to you go on and on about it. Not only this but you mail shot your entire contacts list with the link to the book and a few words ‘read it – I have not been the same since!’ and ‘I hate to say this but this book is better than [enter activity of your choice]. During this stage you might find yourself doing some excessive quoting from the book in question, speaking like one of the characters and doing a spot of relationship role play based on the book.
  5. Life after the book. Your life after reading the mind blowing book can be summed up in one word – rejuvenated!  The world seems a brighter place. You notice the beauty in everything and there is a spring in your step.

This is what good books can do to us!

Have a great day!

 

Photo Credit: María Victoria Heredia Reyes via Unsplash

Author Interviews @SueColetta1 #writers #author

 

img_4338

Welcome to my weekly blog series – Author Interviews

I can’t believe how many wonderful and inspirational authors have sat in my chair to date and how successful these author interviews have been on my blog. Each interview has given me a useful piece of writing advice or insight which I have squirrelled away and fed into my writing process. I hope you have enjoyed these interviews. They can all be found here. 

Today I am so excited as one of my favourite authors Sue Coletta has taken time out of her busy book promotion schedule to come and sit in my chair. I read her book Marred and ever since then have had a HUGE author crush on her.

Sue brings characters to life in such a wonderful way and she knows how to play around with tension. Basically if you read one of Sue’s books you will be glued to it and your life away from the book will stop!

Sue also has one of the most interesting websites that I have ever come across. If you ever want to know anything about crime or need some ideas on how to murder your character – head for Sue’s website!

So, please welcome crime fiction and thriller writer Sue Coletta!

Continue reading

Things to Avoid Saying to a Reader After The Death of a Loved Character #reader #books

Things to Avoid Saying to a Reader Grieving After The Death of a Loved Character

It is terrible when a much loved fictional character dies in the book that you are reading. The grief that you go through can be painful, emotionally draining and can last a few chapters.

If loved ones don’t tread carefully with their remarks during this challenging time they could find themselves with a cold stare, a strop or even an emotional outburst.

This blog post is a list of the things NOT to say to a reader, who is distraught over the death of their much loved fictional character.

For noting: I have also added some thoughts from the reader on hearing these inflammatory comments. I tried to put myself in the reader’s shoes and jotted down my own responses.

The more I got into this role play the more irritated I felt by the end of this list. My poor loved one could not understand why I was a little prickly with him…sigh!

Continue reading