Friday, August 26, 2011

An Interview with Author Camelia Miron Skiba

Tell us a little about yourself:

I’m Chris’ wife, Patrick’s mom and Bella’s owner. During the day, I’m the assistant to the Director in SESE at Arizona State University, and romance’s slave at night. I’m also Hidden Heart’s author, which is my debut novel.
I moved to the U.S almost eight years ago, following my heart and the man who stole it. I love comedies, historical dramas and happily-ever-after stories. English is not my native, not my second, but my third language (Cindy once told me it sounds like I have a disease…). Each year I participate in one big event that requires me to train. My biggest sportive accomplishment was the 3-day 60 miles Susan Komen Walk. Annually I pick a color I decree my favorite (this year is salmon). I refused to text until 2010, always preferring to hear voices rather than sending emotionless messages. Politic bores me to death and I have no tolerance for arrogance.
At what point did you decide to become a writer? Was there someone or something that specifically inspired you?
Summer of 2009. I’ll never forget, driving down the road with Patrick, my son one day and talking about childhood dreams, the need to fulfill them, the need to dream more even as adults. He told me his, I told him mine. I told him one of my childhood dreams was to write novels. I also told him about all the heroes I had in my head, and their incredible stories. But I also told him I doubted myself. My heart drummed in my chest, fearing my own son will think I’m crazy. He listened and said, “I know you can do it, mom. Just sit at your desk, and write. Whatever comes to your mind, just put it on the paper.” And for some inexplicable reason, I did as he suggested. He trusted me I can do it. Probably I could disappoint someone else, but not my son. Fast forward to March 2011, I held in my hands my debut novel “Hidden Heart.”
Where are you when you are writing, and what implements/addictions do you have with you when you’re writing?
In a lavander guest room. I have a table set up by the window, with green palms waving their green leaves at me, several books (dictionaries, grammar, etc); a few trinkets (three bears, two elephant candle-holders and a rare round stone). I need complete silence when I write. I love my milk with coffee (yes, you read correct—it’s milk with coffee and not vice-versa. It takes a cup of coffee divided in 4, then add milk to the brim and drink one hot cup at the time, until about 2pm).
You were born in Romania, and now live in the US. Tell us about your journey from one country to another and all the places you’ve lived:
Before I moved to the U.S. in September of 2003, I lived in Austria, Germany and Hungary. Love took me to Austria, work to Germany and month-long vacations to Hungary. Then I returned to Romania for about five years, before love found me again. This time it brought me here to the States. In looking back, I realize that every single place I’ve been to, its people, its traditions, culture and language, every memory helped me create characters with different backgrounds and lifestyles, adding spices to the story. Aside from the romantic tone in my novels, my heroes are always coming from different countries. I use English as the books’ language not necessary because it’s my adoptive tongue, but because no matter where we travel in the world, English is the catalytic, love’s language as I like to call it.
Your book, Hidden Heart, is written in English, even though that isn’t your native language. How difficult was it to write an entire novel in English?
Oh, boy! Ask Cindy J! She probably scratched her head so many times trying to decipher what my sentences meant. I never looked at it as being difficult. English just comes to me so easily; I dream in English, I think in English. Can’t tell exactly when in happened (the transition from thinking in Romanian to English), but it’s so natural now (my mom asked me to write my books also in Romanian so she can read them. I told her maybe when I retire LOL). Humor aside, I try to expand my vocabulary on a daily basis. Not only expand it, but also find antonyms and synonyms for words. Verbs are my weakness.
Tell us about Hidden Heart. What is it about? Where did you get the idea for the novel?
Believe it or not, I cringe when people ask me this question. Because I know that I have about 30seconds to say something so interesting, that the person who asked is intrigued enough to try to find more, and eventually want to read the book. So, begin the countdown: 30- 29-28… Hidden Heart is a multicultural women fiction novel, with a strong romance influence. Did I put you to sleep? Just checking. If not, it’s a tale of love, betrayal and friendship. A woman's journey to forgiveness and redemption. A man's fight for a second chance. Dark secrets threatening to destroy everything and more. I’d say more, but the 30 seconds are up J
Hidden Heart deals with some heavy subjects, including living with the aftermath of violence. How difficult was it to write those scenes of violence? How did you decide the way your heroine was going to overcome her challenges?
This subject used to be a sore one for me. I grew up in a society where violence was and unfortunately still is considered a matter of fact—parents beat their children, teachers spank their students, husbands abuse their wives. I was no exception to the rule. I have memories of my father’s belt, my teacher’s ruler and my first husband’s fists. When someone grows up like this, there are only two ways to come out of it: either accept it and live a miserable life, or revolt against it and stop it. Tessa, my heroine represents my victory against violence. It’s my healing miracle. Regardless of how many other books I’ll write, Tessa will always have a special place in my heart, and if her story can touch at least one other woman, giving her hope through the healing process, then I did my job.
What is your next project?
My next project is called “A World Apart”, coming out (I hope) in December 2011. It’s a multicultural novel that, while set in the middle of the Iraqi war, is about the romance between two opposites. Maj. David Hunt is an American doctor in the US Air Force, and Lt. Cassandra Toma is a Romanian doctor in the Romanian Army. Fate has them both deployed to the M. Kogalniceanu (try to say this word, please) Joint Air Base shortly after Saddam Hussein’s execution.
They meet. They clash. A forbidden passion consumes them with the intensity of an erupting volcano, leaving her heartbroken and him with tarnished honor and pride as an officer. The only way out for David is disappearing into the dangerous warzone in Kirkuk, Iraq. Their flame was supposed to be over when destiny brings them back under the same roof, this time with a common goal—to find Cassandra's brother, Maj. Robert Toma, kidnapped by insurgents while on patrol.
To rescue Robert, Cassandra and David put aside their resentments, uniting forces against a common enemy. Trying to forget the painful past, Cassandra opens up to give David—and their love—another chance. What she doesn’t realize is that her anguish is the result of David’s impetuous action—one reckless choice he made for which she may never forgive him.
His mistake, his secret, could cost them both the love they've finally found.
Why did you choose to self-publish over going with traditional publishing?
Simply put, I’m a control freak. I decide the format, the cover, the edits. Don’t get me wrong; I have a lot of admiration for a lot of agents. It must be as hard for them to sell a book, as it is for us, the writers, especially with the way the economy, in particular the book industry threads murky waters these days. I follow several of them on a daily basis. But my time is as precious as theirs and life is too short to sit around and wait a rejection letter when I can self-publish, hold my book in my hands and move onto the next one. I have way too many stories in my head, but not enough time to write them all, even less time to wait for THE CALL.
You’re marooned on an island. What three inanimate objects must you have with you for your survival and/or sanity?
Only a gallon of Haagen Dazs ice cream (vanilla with Swiss almonds). I won’t survive the first night since I’m scared of darkness. But I’ll die happy.
Thank you for inviting me, I really had fun sharing glimpses from Cami’s land with you. You can find more about me at
Want to learn more about Camelia's amazing life, and how she came to be the writer she is? Read this interview that she did.

Find Cameila on:

Purchase Cami's current novel Hidden Heart on:

Want Hidden Heart FREE? Sign up for Cami's GoodReads Giveaway here!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

On Writing and Publishing: A Writer Shares Her Limited Knowledge! Part III

Editing: A Necessary Nightmare, aka the Un-Fun Part of Writing

I admit it, this is such the un-fun part that I put off writing this post. However, don’t think that it is unimportant—this may be the most important step (excepting marketing, though that will be a waste of time if you’ve skipped this part).
Let me just begin by telling you that it is impossible to edit your own work. Not because you aren’t smart enough to do that . . . if you’re smart enough to have written the book, you’re certainly more than intelligent enough to edit. You can’t edit your own work for several of reasons:
1.       You are far too intimate with your story to see it in a detached way. Only someone reading it who does not know your story at all can read it with any kind of objectivity. They can point out holes in your plot, a lack of continuity in your story. You know all of the details of the story very well, and so sometimes forget to put an important element in that can be the difference between someone understanding just exactly what is going on in the scene. You can skip some details and still have a cohesive story, but what makes sense to you may not make sense to someone else. Also, you may have forgotten that on page 50 your character remarked on the chill September air, but by page 175 you’ve put them in the spring without the correct amount of time having passed. Or their blue eyes mysteriously became brown. Trust me when I say your readers will catch things like that, and the last thing you want is for some small detail to pull them out of your story.
2.        You know your characters too intimately as well.  Someone who knows absolutely nothing about your characters will catch when they aren’t making sense or aren’t fully developed. You understand your characters, therefore you know why they are doing the things they do. Someone else won’t know that and can tell you when you need further explanation. Or you may not realize that you’ve explained someone’s actions while in the POV of another who can’t possibly see them. Example: “She watched him walk into the house and from there into the bedroom.”  Not unless she’s got x-ray vision. And, oh yeah, while we’re on the subject . . . POV. Let’s talk about POV quickly. Quite simply: pick one and stick with it through the end of the chapter, or at minimum until you’ve come to a natural break in the scene where you can logically change. Please don’t have schizophrenic narrative where your reader never knows whose POV they are in! (Actually, this should be in the previous post about writing, but I’ll leave it here for now, and put it in the other later . . . I’m lazy that way. 
3.       You’ve just spent six month—or three years—on your manuscript. You’ve read and re-read it at least a million times. If there is an “and” where there should simply be “an” I can promise you won’t see it, no matter how many times and how slowly you go over the thing, word for word. And whatever program you’ve written it on won’t catch all of those, either. It can’t pick up the small things like that that are wrong . . . and sometimes it will tell you you’re wrong when you’re not. So don’t depend on your software to edit for you. Not even if it’s an expensive program that you paid big bucks for, because it isn’t human and is bound by the rules that have been programmed into it. Those rules don’t always apply. Have you ever read one of those emails that went around where it goes something like this:
 If you can raed tihs tehn you are amnog nienty precnet of the poulptaoin who can . . . etc.
The theory behind that is that your eyes are trained to only read the first and last letter in a word and automatically assume the word. Similar theory behind editing your own work—you’ve trained yourself to read it the way you meant for it to be, so you aren’t going to see “there” instead of “their” or “to” instead of “too”.
4.       Commas: commas have become something of a . . . I don’t want to say pet peeve, that isn’t right. But please, please have someone check your manuscript for commas—and make sure they know the correct usage of commas. I had a college English major beta read a book for me, and she pointed out my horrible comma habits. I have since become somewhat  . . . compulsive about them. I went online and read all about commas when she pointed it out, and it boils down to a few simple rules.
a.       Place one between a list of things, such as “She picked up a ball, a teddy bear, and a doll.” It’s incorrect to leave out that last comma . . . unless you’re writing a newspaper article. In that case, take it or leave it as needed for your space confinements.
b.      Use one before a conjunction (and, but, for, nor, yet, or, so) which separates two ideas. “He ran fast, but didn’t finish the race.” You don’t use one for a single idea. “It was not yet time for dinner.”
c.       Always, always use before names when speaking to another character. “Come on over, James.” Or if the character is in the middle of a sentence. “Come on over, James, and we can finish the project.” Don’t use one if you’re speaking about another character. “I didn’t like the way James talked about you.”
d.      Using the word “because”? You just may need a comma. “I was aware that John was quitting, because Dorothy had spread the news this morning.” This sentence says why the writer knew John was quitting. Take it out, and suddenly John was quitting because Dorothy had spread the news. I sort of think of it like this: if the sentence could be divided into two sentences and still make sense, use a comma. “I was aware that John was quitting. Dorothy had spread the news this morning.” vs. “John was quitting. Dorothy had spread the news.” Still makes sense, but doesn’t give you the whole story.
e.      Cities, states, countries need to be “commatized”. “I live in Salt Lake City, Utah, near the mountains.”
f.        Of course, you know to place them at the end of a quotation where you’re not finished with the character speaking. “Go on out to the barn,” he said, “and eat with the pigs.” On the subject, don’t capitalize after a comma! And if it’s two sentences, you should use a period in there. “Go on out to the barn,” he said. “I’ll be there as soon as I finish breakfast.”
g.       Use commas to avoid confusion in the point you’re trying to get across. “Downstairs, the toys had been scattered across the room.” There’s no such thing as “downstairs the toys” so obviously you need a comma.
h.      Starting your sentence with words like however, yes, well? Use a comma after the word. “Well, I don’t think that’s such a good idea.” “Yes, I did like the meal.”
i.         Think of the comma as a place to pause or take a breath in the narrative. That doesn’t mean there should always be a comma there, but there’s a good chance there should be. There is a great quote by Oscar Wilde which says I have spent most of the day putting in a comma and the rest of the day taking it out.” I laughed when I read that because that is definitely me. I tend to overuse commas. It’s better to err to the side of having a comma where you may not necessarily need one, than to have one missing and cause your reader to have to re-read the sentence a few times to make sense of it. Just don’t put them where they absolutely don’t belong.
j.        Here are some links that will explain commas usage far better than I can:
5.       You will not be able to see your run-on sentences. You should never have more than two ideas connected with an “and” unless you are giving a list. “She went to the store and bought some bread, and then went home to make a sandwich and drank a pop.” Too wieldy. “She went to the store and bought some bread. Then she went home to make a sandwich, and drink a pop.” Let someone else shorten them for you.
6.       You have a certain voice in your head, which makes it hard to see your bad habits. I have a bad habit of beginning sentences with and, or but. I can’t see them in my own work. I can in someone else’s, but not mine. Authors also have a tendency to use certain words too frequently, such as “smirk” or “discomfited”. You can always use the find feature to search them out, but that’s fairly time consuming to do for each individual word—and that’s only if you recognize that you overuse it.

I’m sure there are many more reasons to have a second set of eyes edit your work that I haven’t thought of. So, now what, you ask. Who is going to edit my eighty-thousand words?
Let me just start by saying not your mother, sister, friend, brother . . . not anyone at all that you know personally. Why? Because the love and/or like you, or at minimum don’t want to offend you. Therefore, they are going to give you glowing praises, tell you how absolutely wonderful your work is. It’s human nature. They won’t point out the clichés, the scenes or phrases that are just plain hokey.
Not to worry, you have plenty of other options. Of course you can always hire an editor. If you’ve got the means to pay for that, more power to you. I will just add one quick thought to this: I’ve read books that have either been “professionally” edited, or books that have been edited by their publisher—which we can assume is considered a “professional” editing—and they have many mistakes in them. That doesn’t mean a professional editor is a waste of money. That just means do your homework, read some things that have been edited by them, and if you still feel they are worth it then go for it.
If, like most fledgling authors, you don’t have that kind of money to spare there is still hope. A couple years ago I joined an online class on writing queries. In that class, I managed to eek out a polished query (which, incidentally, I never used since I decided to self-publish), but got something far more valuable. I was blessed enough to have been in the class with a couple of authors who wanted to stay in touch after the class. One of them, Cami, wondered if we would be interested in critiquing one another’s work. I wasn’t sure how that would work as she writes romance novels, and Jeff writes fantasy/dystopian novels. Let me just tell you that that works much better than if we all wrote the same thing, because we all bring something different to the table. I admit, in the beginning we all treaded a little lightly, not wanting to offend. That being said, it still helped a great deal with the grammatical type things. Now, two years and three novels each later, we have a great relationship based on being categorically honest with one another’s work. Recently, we added a third author to our group. The best thing is that one might miss a misspelling or something, but another will catch it. What makes sense to one, another will question. In other words, we are all different . . . just as your readers are all going to be. So my advice is to find yourself a group of three or four authors and trade critiques/edits. All that cost’s is your time by returning the favor. If you can only find one other, consider a college student who might be willing to work for nothing more that the credit and experience they will get in their classes.
I recently read of an author who reads aloud and records her entire manuscript when she finishes, helping her find the mistakes. I think that’s a fabulous idea—to a point. It might pick up the grammatical things, but can’t possible find the plot holes, the inconsistencies, the things that an outsider might not understand.
There is a free site called AutoCrit that you can use for some minor editing. However, I strongly advise against using something similar for your whole manuscript. Use it sparingly, and only to check yourself as you’re writing—definitely not for the whole manuscript. Remember, machines and software just can’t replace the human.
Now that you’re ready to edit, be prepared to spend some time on it. Polish your manuscript until it shines—because if it doesn’t shine, it might get lost in the pile. Once you’ve finished polishing the words, spelling, and grammar, you can get down to formatting. And here I groan once again, though there are many tools to make it much easier, which we will talk about in the next post.
Please keep in mind that everything I write here is nothing more than my personal opinion. It is certainly not the law. Take it with a grain of salt (see, I can sneak a cliché in) and then use what applies to you and your writing.
As always, all comments and suggestions are more than welcome. And, as always, I wish you a happy week! :o)

UPDATE: I just found a great bullet list of editing do's and dont's. Check it out here!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

On Writing and Publishing: A Writer Shares Her Limited Knowledge! Part II

Writing: Where Ideas Come From

Who has what it takes to be a writer? My answer to this is, well, anyone. Anyone who has a passion for storytelling, reading, imagining scenarios. Anyone who has the patience to sit in front of the computer, typewriter (yes, I know, what is a typewriter?), or a blank sheet of paper with a pen for an extreme extended period of time. This is usually anywhere from 90 days to a couple of years. 90 days would be a super-fast manuscript, and could probably only be done if you have hours per day to spend on your endeavor. Then, once you’ve finished putting your wonderful, fascinating, unbelievable story down, you have to walk away.


Yup, I said walk away. For at least a couple of weeks, minimum. Why? Because what you’ve put down might have sounded fantastic as you were writing it, but when you go back, you might laugh out loud at what you’ve written. Or you might be pleasantly surprised, sometimes even stunned at what you’ve managed to let leak out of your brain. Those are the best times!

So, now you’ve typed and/or written 75,000+ words. You’re a writer, right? Yup, again. Of course you are; you’ve written something. Are you an author, though? Hmm…that’s a matter of perspective, I suppose. I did not consider myself an author until I had published, sold, and had a few solid reviews on my first book before I felt like an author. I’m sure it’s different for every writer, as to when they feel comfortable with the title of “author”. For me, my reluctance was because it was something I had long dreamed about, longed for, desired. But, out of fear, never pursued. Now, I don’t know why I waited so long!

Anyone who’s ever sat before a blank piece of paper, or a blank computer screen, can understand fully the term “writers block”. We know what we want to fill the whiteness with; it’s the actual execution that stymies us. However, once your pens starts moving, or your fingers start typing, a sort of magic happens. Or at least, it should.

If you want your reader to be transported by your words, then you need to be as well. It doesn’t happen 100% of the time, of course. Well, okay, maybe for some writers, those who write amazing books that pull a reader in and hold them captive until the last page, whereupon the reader will be moved, touched, provoked…at the minimum, upset that the book has ended, that there are no pages to follow. We all wish we could write those, but alas, there are writers few and far between with that kind of immense talent.

Instead, we sit down with an idea, and hope to translate it into something at least vaguely interesting to a few people willing to read our words. But where do those ideas come from?

I can only speak for myself, of course. I’d love to hear from any of you as to where you’re ideas come from. Some of these ideas you can incorporate, some just come from within the strange depths of my crazy brain.

Dreams: It seems cliché, I know, but I honestly do dream up some of my ideas—literally. I can’t say what causes the dreams, but when I wake, if I can remember it, I have an inkling for a story.

Songs: Have you ever listened to a song and heard just a line, even as little as a phrase, and an idea for a story sprouted from there? Maybe it was even just a bar of notes, without any words, that inspired you? If so, write it down. You may not have the whole thing yet, but if you write it down, let it . . . fester, so to speak, you’ll eventually have an idea . . . or not.

Life: I spend a lot of time paying attention. The world is full of stories. You know the phrase, truth is stranger than fiction? It’s true. It’s also far more interesting. Stories from friends, strangers, relatives, even TV shows are great jumping off places. For example, in Geek Girl, I needed a backstory for Jen. One day I was watching a TV show about teens in prison (which broke my heart, by the way) and a boy was telling his childhood story. With a few minor adjustments, voilà, I had her backstory. I’m sadly addicted to true-stories on TV, which always makes me wonder what happened in a person’s life to get them to that point, and from there, I wonder, what if they’d taken a different path, made different decisions? And many times from those thoughts, I have a story. (You need to be careful here to make sure you’re making the story your own, changing it to be completely fiction, so that you aren’t treading on someone’s toes.)

Fantasy: I’ve always entertained myself by making up stories in my head. This is a great way to pass time, particularly if you’re bored. Even if you’re not—when I’m on my Harley, it’s my favorite activity to do, and that’s in the middle of having the time of my life! Usually fantasies star yourself. That doesn’t mean that you can’t later take the same idea you just had and transform it into a fictional story using fictional characters. Again, it’s just a jumping off point.

What You Know: This comes in handy best when dealing with non-fiction, but also works for fiction. Had an experience at some point that made a deep impression on you? Put it in your story. In Heart on a Chain there’s a small scene where Kate enters middle school, and is shut out by her friends, destroying any last vestiges of self-esteem she had. Guess what? That happened to me. It was very painful, and so it was a good scene to show Kate’s final push over the edge. Of course, my life was nothing like hers, I found new friends. But it made an impression. So I put it in. Anything you know, that you’ve dealt with, places you’ve lived, people you know, difficulties you’ve survived through—those are all worthy of being used in your books.

What If?:  This is The Big One. All stories begin with, “What if . . .” So once you have an inkling of an idea, just decide what the “what if” is that you want to answer, and you’ve got the conflict of your story.

Those are just a few ideas of where to look for a story to tell. Now comes the fun part—the actual writing. And it should be fun. Like I said earlier, if you aren’t enjoying writing it, it’s doubtful anyone will enjoy reading it. But if you have a passion for writing, I strongly encourage you to get out there and share it with the world. Put it down electronically or on paper, however you prefer, and then fine tune it.

Oh, ugh, I just reminded myself: You have to fine tune it! (*groans*) That’s the un-fun part. But that un-fun part leads to the best part: Becoming a Published Author!

I’m getting ahead of myself here. Those are subjects for later posts. So for now, don’t worry about the rest. Just sit down and write. And then write some more. When you’ve hit the magic mark of 75,000 or 100,000 or 150,000 words (or however many you need), and you feel that your story is complete and has come full circle, give yourself a pat on the back, treat yourself to some ice cream, walk away from your manuscript for a couple of weeks, then re-read it. If you feel like it’s still good, then you have a potential book. Yay!

Next blog, we’ll get into the un-fun. In the meantime, I’d like to hear from you: where do you get your ideas from? Please feel free to leave comments about this, or anything else you’d like to comment about.

Have a happy week! :o)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Black Friday Book Signing

Geek Girl won't be released until December 8 -- but here's your chance to get it ahead of everyone else. On Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) November 25, come to my book signing at Deseret Book in Salt Lake City from 1-3 and get your signed copy.

There will also be other authors there signing their own books for you to meet:

Shannon Alder – The 300 Question Series
Melissa Lemon – Cinder and Ella
Debra Terry Hulet – Independence Rock
Misty Moncur – Daughter of Helaman
Carla Kelly – Borrowed Light
Stephanie Worlton – Hope’s Journey
Mandi Slack – The Alias
Karey White - Gifted

I hope to see you there!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thanks for the Review, Krystal!

Krystal, over at Live to Read, reviewed Heart on a Chain for me. You can read about it here. Thanks again, Krystal!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

On Writing and Publishing: A Writer Shares Her Limited Knowledge!


One of the things I’m asked about quite frequently is how I went about publishing my books, and how I market them. If you are self-published, you are the one who will write, edit and format your book. If you are traditionally published, you are still the one who will write, and edit your books. You’ll have an editor look at it and give you suggestions, but ultimately, it will be up to you to make sure the product out there on the market is the product you want your name on.

If you have self-published, you are your own marketing director. If you are traditionally published, guess what? You are still your own marketing director. I speak from experience, as well as from reading of others’ experience. Unless your name is Stephenie Meyer, Danielle Steele, or Stephen King, your publisher is not likely to run out and drop thousands of dollars on marketing your book. They can’t. It wouldn’t make sense for them financially. They can help you, give you ideas, arrange book signings, etc., but beyond that, it’s up to you.

So I decided I would run a series of articles on my blog addressing some of these things. I’ll start at the beginning (such as it is) and try to coherently follow each article with the next step in the process that I used. Of course, if I follow true to form, I’ll later remember things I forgot to include, so will include them in later articles, with a note to make you aware of these brain blips.

I would also invite those of you who wish to contribute to either add comments below the articles, or if you’d like to guest blog on a specific subject, I would absolutely love to have you. I’ve added the “sign-up by email” feature on here for those of you who want to see the articles, but don’t want to have to search them out when I get around to posting them. I promise to never use your emails for any nefarious purposes, including but not limited to selling them to spammers.

Here is a basic outline of the articles I have planned (subject to change upon my whim):

1.       Introduction

2.       Writing: Where Ideas Come From

3.       Editing: A Necessary Nightmare, aka the Un-Fun Part of Writing

4.       Formatting: And You Thought Editing was a Nightmare!

5.       To Self-Publish or Traditionally Publish is the Question, and Just Where Can I Get it Done?

6.       The Price is Right, Right?

7.       Marketing Part I: Beginning to Market Your Book Without Breaking the Bank

8.       Marketing Part II: Selling Your Book—or Not—Without Sinking Into an Irreversible Depression

9.       Marketing Part III: Getting Yourself Interviewed, Reviewed, and How NOT to React to Criticism

10.   Marketing Part IV: Getting Your Name Out to Readers and Not Just Bloggers—As Wonderful and Necessary as They Are!

11.   When is Enough Marketing Enough, and When to Start Writing the Next Bestseller

Hopefully that will cover all of the areas that I pretend to know about. I do not in any way, shape, or form claim to be an expert in any of this. Hence, the free advice. And that’s exactly what it is—advice. Take it with a grain of salt, understanding that I can only speak from my own experience, and that what works for me may not work for you (or vice-versa), and that I am limited in my knowledge. I am constantly learning, and will come back with corrections, updates, or new ideas as I discover them.

So, with that disclaimer, let the games begin…oh, what am I saying? Other than the writing part, it’s all hard work! But absolutely worth it. I promise.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

How Much Do I Love Book Bloggers???

I wish saying thank you was enough to express to all of the book bloggers willing to review my books for me how very much I apprieciate them! Since words aren't enough, instead, I will promote their blogs here and suggest to all of my blog followers that you jump on over to their blogs and give them a follow.

NaKesha at Totally Obsessed not only wrote a fantastic review of Heart on a Chain, but also took the time to interview me - and is hosting a giveaway as well! Head on over to her blog for your chance to win before August 30th! NaKesha, you are awesome!

A huge thanks to Morgan at Reading, Eating, and Dreaming I was Blair Waldorf for the great review of Heart on a Chain!

Jennifer at One Day at a Time also reviewed Heart on a Chain for me and has my absolute gratitude, as well!

NaKesha, Morgan, and Jennifer - you guys are the best! Thank you, thank you, thank you!