Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘authors’

Just last week, I had to write another author bio. Though I reluctantly did so, I hate writing an author biography for a publication, website, con booklet, etc. Either I feel like I’m “bragging,” under-selling myself, or selecting the wrong things to include.

The simpler is better wisdom doesn’t always apply. Sometimes, if your bio is too simple, you appear unprofessional or inexperienced when compared to other writers included in an anthology, magazine, con directory of panel participants, or writers’ conference.

Then again, you don’t want to include every place you’ve been published, every award you’ve ever won, and every education tidbit. Judicious selection is best–so what’s that?

Depending on the location where your bio is to appear, you select those professional achievements which most closely align with the interests of the readers or attendees. What do I mean?

When I have a story appearing in a science fiction anthology, I don’t typically mention I’ve been published in “Faerie Magazine” and other fantasy publications or Killing It Softly 2 or other horror publications. Instead, I focus on writing which is science fiction in nature, listing Lost Signals of the Terran Republic, Outposts of Beyond,  Defending the Future: Dogs of War, or other places which have published my science fiction stories.

This means, I have a science fiction bio, a fantasy bio, and a horror bio–but wait, there’s more! A writing conference bio needs to reflect your experience and expertise in the subjects of the panels or workshops you’re presenting. Plus, it needs to lure an audience into attending.

For more on writing multiple bios, here’s the link to an informative post from author friend, Steven Southard: Tailoring Your Author Bio.

Thanks for reading, and keep on writing! – Vonnie

Read Full Post »

One lesson I’ve learned through years of having books published by Indie presses is: It’s easier to create a book than to get into the hands of readers.

Wait, you say, doesn’t it take years to write a book? Often it does take years.

Doesn’t it take years to find a publisher (Indie or bigger) interested in publishing your book? Indeed, if usually does.

Once the book is accepted, aren’t there months if not years before the book actually hits the bookshelves? Yes, that’s true.

But the problem remains, once you’ve written a book, found a publisher, and gone through the process – you need to get word out about your book and help potentially interested readers discover it.

So what’s the solution? Good promotion and a little luck. And by good promotion, I don’t mean constantly Facebooking every acquaintance you’ve ever met with “buy my book” notes!

Some great tips can be found in the article How To Promote Your Science Fiction Book,  found on BookBaby Blog.

If you’ve got other tips, please feel free to share them.

Read Full Post »

I’ll be appearing at HallowRead 2015 in Elllicott City, Maryland on October 23 and 24. Lots of ghostly fun and information for readers and writers alike including panels, workshops, ghost tours, book signings, author chats, a haunted house, and more.

The fine folks of HallowRead have put together a great video promoting the event. Here’s the video link to take a look.

Hope to see you there!

Read Full Post »

Good old PBS had a media tips post that made me consider my forays into the social media world.

I think authors (and anyone else trying to build a following) will find this post useful. Any other social media tips you can think of?

I hope you’re enjoying my blog posts and links. Want to show some love? Visit my Amazon page and consider buying a book. 🙂

Read Full Post »

Wonderful writing tips from 15 successful writers. I’m going to try and apply several of them to my writing life. Let me know what you think – do you already do some of these things? Which ones have worked for you?

I hope you’re enjoying my blog posts and links. Want to show some love? Visit my Amazon page and consider buying a book. 🙂

Read Full Post »

Lots of thought-provoking tips here for authors – new, emerging, and old! Which is your favorite? (And try not to be influenced by who said it!)

23 Tips for Authors

I hope you’re enjoying my blog posts and links. Want to show some love? Visit my Amazon page and consider buying a book. 🙂

Read Full Post »

Thomas Hardy Quotes from English writer, Thomas Hardy, who’s known for Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Far From the Madding Crowd, and The Mayor of Casterbridge, are often rather grim. I like this less dark Hardy quote: “Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.”
How true! No matter how well I think I’m prepared for change, I’m always caught off-guard and somehow ill-prepared when it happens. But the only thing that never changes, is that all things change.

(As to where I got this photo and many more I’ll be using this year – I purchased a collection of author postcards many years ago. I used them as bookmarks! It was fascinating to look at the face of the writer as I read his or her work).

 

Read Full Post »

Thanks to Rachel MacNeill Rawlings for allowing me to reprint a post she wrote for One Story Slinger about the process of planning HallowRead. I will be among the authors participating on panels and signing books on Saturday, Oct. 26. I hope to see some of you there.  HallowRead will be held the weekend of Fri., Oct. 25 through Sun., Oct. 27.    For more information including tickets, please visit the links at the end of this post.

hallowread_red

HallowRead – The Process of Planning a Panel

By Rachel MacNeill Rawlings, author and founder of HallowRead

The panels for HallowRead, much like the event itself happened organically. From the get go I wanted all of the participating authors to be involved in the panel process. After all, if they’re not excited about the topic, no one will have a good time. Readers want to see energetic and engaging authors when attending panels. The best way to achieve that is to have the authors engaged in the process of planning a panel. This is our first year, and nearly everything about HallowRead is different from other conventions. Since I cold-called the majority of authors attending this year, we didn’t have a panel submission process. What we did have was an open discussion in the author group I created on FaceBook. I started a few threads in the group asking the authors what topics they wanted to talk about, some were more vocal than others — and I mean that in a good way! From there we expanded on those ideas, and I would post names and descriptions for the panels asking for their opinions and often adjusting according to their suggestions. Twenty plus creative minds really are better than one.

One of my favorite parts about the panels for HallowRead is the different locations. The town and its eclectic mix of business owners and residents really become a part of the event, because the authors and attendees will be moving through the historic district. A unique feature made possible by the close proximity of each location. Comfy shoes are still encouraged. All of the buildings hosting a panel – from the Trolley Stop, known in its past life as the Bloody Bucket, to Cacao Lane and Diamond Back Tavern – have a haunted history, making them the perfect backdrop for our authors and panel topics.

A panel that isn’t really a panel? That’s kind of how I feel about the SteamPunk Tea. Friday October 25th, several SteamPunk authors will be taking over Tea On The Tiber. Dressed in full garb, Victorian high tea isn’t the only thing on the menu. Authors will be moving throughout the two tea rooms reading from their novels and talking about this unique genre of fiction. A separate ticket is required but well worth the low price of admission which does include a full tea service.

And last but certainly not least is the swag! Door prizes and give-aways are the concurrent theme for the HallowRead panels. Authors have all sorts of fun things to give away. Have a burning question? It just might score you a free book or signed swag!

Whatever you fancy, Horror, Paranormal Romance, Dark Fantasy, SteamPunk, we’ve got a panel for that! So come out and join us. At HallowRead the authors are dying to meet you!

For more information about the HallowRead and/or author Rachel MacNeill Rawlings work visit the following sites:

www.hallowread.com
www.facebook.com/Hallowread
http://www.hallowread.blogspot.com/
http://www.hallowread.eventbrite.com/

http://www.rachelrawlings.com/
http://www.facebook.com/TheMaurinKincaideSerie

And make sure to follow Rachel on Twitter: @rachelsbooks

Thanks to Rachel MacNeill Rawlings for sharing her HallowRead planning experiences. Look for more guest posts, including a special Halloween series on Whimsical Words. Have a magical weekend – Vonnie

Read Full Post »

Thanks to author Ripley Patton for stopping by and talking about the dark subjects that are often a part of Young Adult books.

Dabbling in the Dark: Addressing difficult issues in YA literature by Ripley Patton

Ripley's author photo “Even though my first young adult book, Ghost Hand, is a paranormal thriller, it still touches on some of the real issues confronting teens today; loss of a parent, feeling like the outcast, dysfunctional families, body image, cutting, and, in general, the dark hurts that lurk inside of each of us.

I’ve heard people complain that YA literature has become too dark. They ask, ‘Why all this gloom, and death, and monster stuff?’ But the truth is stories for children crossing into adulthood (ie fairy tales) have traditionally had a very dark slant, and this well may have been a way of preparing them for the fearful truths of the adult world. Story is a way of giving us a road map to reality.

What I have found is that most modern teens already know that adult world. They’re dabbling in it, or they’ve been forced to live in it long ago, perhaps long before they should have. They are seeking books that touch on the very things they are struggling with or experiencing. So, it bothers me when people try to censor what constitutes YA, or say kids of a certain age shouldn’t be reading work that is dark. If those dark things are happening to kids in the real world, shouldn’t we be empowering them to process that through the amazing meaning-making tool of literature?

Now, I don’t think that you can just toss harsh, dark stuff into a story along with some teenagers and say ‘Viola! I wrote good YA literature.’ I think there are some guidelines, and there is certainly a responsibility we have to our readers.

For example, I once read a YA book where the main character, a girl, violently beat her boyfriend around the face because he wouldn’t tell her what she wanted to know. These two characters were supposed to be in love, and I think perhaps the author was trying to make a statement about domestic violence, and how it can cut both ways. I’m not sure what the point was because the author just left it at that. The girl beat the boy, and later on they made up, and no one ever said anything about it again. The girl didn’t even apologize. When I finished this book, I found myself very upset at the author. Yes, violence like that happens in the real world without any purpose, and teens are certainly experiencing it, but her job as an author, I think, is to give that occurrence meaning in the book and some resolution in the reader’s heart. At the very least, I would have liked to see a character speak to the injustice and wrongness of beating someone you love around the face in a rage. I would have liked her to show how that breaks trust and damages relationship. Because our books are our voices, and I hope those are the kind of things they’ll say to young people.

Ghost Hand cover But it isn’t always easy to say the right things, or even know what the best things are to say with our writerly voices. For example, in the second book of The PSS Chronicles, the one I’m working on now, there are guns. Under-age teenagers wielding guns. And given the recent violent shootings, and the social outcry both for and against gun control, I found myself very uncomfortable when my characters began to take up arms. I actually stopped writing for a while and tried to figure out something else for them to do. But no, they wanted and needed guns for the plot to move forward. So, I decided to let my characters express the very struggle I was having. I gave them that voice. I let them hash out between themselves the issue, with some adamantly against guns and the escalation of violence and others strongly for that means of self-protection. Perhaps, I even needed to write this into my book because it is so in the forefront at the moment. It is something America is dealing with, and so am I, and so are our teens.

I’m not saying that an author or their characters should be preachy. I’m not saying they should say ‘This is right. And this is wrong,’ because, let’s face it, most issues have multiple sides and are more gray than black and white. But I do think we, as authors, should let our characters ask the hard questions. They should do more than act. They should think. And hope. And feel. They should process the very issues we are facing so we can face them together.

This is the magic of reading, of literature and fiction, and why we should never shrink away from the really hard, dark issues.

Because when we read, we are no longer alone.”

To read more about Ripley visit her website: http://www.ripleypatton.com/  Ghost Hand is available on Amazon.  You can also find Ripley on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/writerripleypatton  Twitter: @rippatton and Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4340243.Ripley_Patton

Thanks again to Ripley Patton for her guest post. Watch Whimsical Words for more guests, blogs from me, and my new feature, Readers & Writers Recipes. – Vonnie

Read Full Post »

Whimsical Words remains primarily a place for me to ponder the writer-illustrator journey, but I thought my readers might enjoy some words from visitors. Why the change?

First, I’ve had the opportunity to do some guest posts, and have found it fun and challenging. Plus, I hope I’m reaching a new audience each time I venture into the unknown territory of another blog.

Second, I like the idea of sharing different points of view. As the years drift by, I’m doing my best to become wiser, but I’m no Gandalf! (Sorry, I can’t resist a Tolkien reference). I think there’s a wealth of information and experience that others possess that will make Whimsical Words a better blog.

Third, writing and illustrating are lonely pursuits. I spend hours researching, writing, sketching, and painting with Sandy the Black-Mouthed Cur as my only company. That solitude is necessary in order to focus on the story or art I’m creating, but it’s nice to have the occasional conversation with someone who’s also interested in fairy tales, fantasy, science fiction, myth, legends, illustration, or writing.

Lastly, I think it’s important to support other writers. As much as I want people to find my books, buy and read them – I want even more to encourage kids, teens, and adults to read. By giving authors and their words a forum, I support reading, writing, and my brother & sister authors.

If you’ve been following Whimsical Words, I’ve shared links to a number of my recent guest blog posts. Here’s another link: http://nickwale.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/finding-inspiration-and-the-drive-to-succeed-by-vonnie-winslow-crist/ And thanks to Nick for hosting me.

So, look for my 1st guest author, Gail Z. Martin’s take on “The View from Outside the YA Fence” on Monday, January 21st.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »