About Me

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I spend most of my time daydreaming and creating otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic, and romance. All of my heroes have long hair, and my heroines are strong-willed. Prior to being a writer, I played bass guitar in an all-girl hard rock/metal band in southern California. When I'm not writing, editing, or reading, I enjoy practicing target archery.
 

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

When I do book signings, people ask me how I became a writer. It's a perfectly good question to ask, but I guess I never thought about how I became a writer until someone asked me that question. I don't think anyone just becomes a writer. I think they were always a writer in some way. The writing bug has always been inside of me. I was a musician and a songwriter for many years writing song lyrics and poetry. Also, since the age of four, I have been an avid reader. Then I started writing short stories. After taking a Creative Writing class and joining a Writer's Group, I decided to tackle a novel.

The best advice a teacher gave me was to write all the time. Even if it is just keeping a journal. This helps you to find your "writing voice" which is a very important part of being a writer. And write from your soul.

Happy writing!

Friday, December 09, 2005

I am writing a sequel to my first novel and I want it to stand alone. There really isn't any helpful advice on how to accomplish this. At least I haven't found any. So I am working my way through this myself. I think there should be some reference as to what happened before, and some background on the characters in case people have not read the first book. This is a tricky process that's for sure. Once I am finished I will have a professional edit the ms. They should be able to point out if I have missed anything. I hope! But I want to make sure it is right before I even have an editor look at it. It is a slow, tedious process. I love writing! I really do.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

My eBay store

I just had a book signing at Hastings Books & Music in Lake Havasu City. It was very successful! December is a good month to do a book signing because people are out looking for Christmas gifts. And don't underestimate the power of the autograph. I am also selling a lot of signed copies on eBay. I have added the link to my eBay store in case anyone wants to check it out.

I also make wall crosses out of driftwood, using crystals, stones and shells to decorate them. On some I burn in Southwest designs or Runes. These crosses are also sold in my eBay store.

On editing my second book: I am looking for sections that need to be rewritten so they "show" instead of "tell" what is going on. I have a bad habit of telling too much when I am in a hurry to write about something. It is better to show what is going on through the eyes of the character, using the five senses. I have spotted one section so far that really bothers me so I am working on that one. My other bad habit is overusing certain words. Overusing words can be distracting to the reader, so it is better not to do this. Use different variations of the word instead so it isn't so obvious.

Happy writing!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

New music to write to

I was turned on to this music by Rita and Toine vanPoorten, owners of www.metalmaidens.com. By the way, my old metal band, Driven Steel, will be featured on their website soon. Anyway, back to Blackmore's Night. Ritchie Blackmore was in Deep Purple and Rainbow, and he formed a band with his girlfriend, Candice Night. Their music is what I would call Classical and Celtic flavored. Candice has a beautiful voice that is complemented by Ritchie's flawless classical guitar picking. My favorite song is "Ghost of a Rose." This song has a haunting melody that stirs my soul. In fact, the song has inspired a short story inside of me. I love to write my books to this music. Anyone who likes Loreena McKennitt, Enya or Celtic music would probably like Blackmore's Night.

Ah, the perils of re-writing and editing. I am still working to finish my second book, RavenWolf, which continues the story of Nemu and Ambiorix. The magic she conjured in Of Water and Dragons will come back to haunt them, and Nemu finds out who she was before she was Nemu. All of this will threaten their relationship. Check out my website for an excerpt for RavenWolf.
www.kelleyheckart.com. I hope to have it finished by the middle of 2006, but I am not sure about how I am going to publish it yet. Stay tuned.

More book news: I have a book signing this Saturday, December 3 at the Hastings in Lake Havasu City, AZ.

Friday, November 11, 2005

My interview and review on loveromances.com

I am very pleased with the review I received by Pam at loveromances.com. She did a wonderful job. My interview page is beautifully decorated with a faery border designed by Jessica Galbrieth. It's very cool. So if anyone is interested, just click on the above link to my interview page.
Well, I have finally finished the first draft of my second novel, which I am calling RavenWolf. It continues the story of Nemu and Ambiorix as they stuggle to stay together. They will have to deal with the consequences of the strong magic Nemu called upon at the end of the first novel, Of Water and Dragons. There will also be some secrets revealed about Nemu, and who she was before she was Nemu. I am very excited about it.

Now I have entered the first faze of editing. Editing is my least favorite part of writing so I try to make it as easy as possible. I don't try to edit everything at once because then I tend to miss things. I take it in fazes. This may take a little longer, but I feel that it is better to wait and have a better product. The first thing I did was re-write the beginning, which I felt was not compelling enough. Hey, if it doesn't grab the writer of the story then it needs to be re-written. Then I did a first pass through the entire ms checking for continuity and inconsistencies in the story. This is also where I will check facts and mark areas I want to take another look at to possibly re-write. Then I leave it alone for a few days to let the story sink in.

The next step is to check for the items on my self-editing list. Then I will have a couple of family members proofread it for me. Hopefully I will be finished by the beginning of 2006.

Happy writing!
I thought this was really cool so I have to share it. Someone liked my book a lot, and thinks it would make a great Sci-Fi Channel movie. She even has the cast picked out. I just think it's great that someone is so excited about my book.

To quote Rosie, "Well, I finished Kelley's book on Saturday. Wow! I really read it fast! It is one of those books you just can't put down! It's too interesting! I can't wait for the sequel! I can really see this as a movie! I almost have all the cast picked out. I think Liv Tyler should play Nemu. She was a great elf in Lord of the Rings. She melts my heart when she speaks elvish. She'd be great as a water faery. I think Marcus should be played by that Aussie, Russell Crowe! Yeah. And that tall girl (who played Red Sonja), Bridgit Nielson (if she's not too old) should play Rhonwyn. Haven't got it all picked out yet. I don't know who should play Ambiorix. Brad Pitt doesn't have his emotion, even though he's a good Roman soldier. I like Viggo Mortensen, but I can't see him in a blonde wig. Ambiorix is a blonde. Of course Valeria should be played by Deborah Messing. She's a fussy red-head. Perfect! Cavarinus should be played by Mel Gibson. The general...that's a tough one. A large imposing man, a skilled soldier, and yet thoughful as he's pruning roses in his garden. Sly Stallone fits the part, but you can't UNDERSTAND him! He mumbles. No, he must be intelligent, imposing, yet calm and thoughtful. I don't know.

I'd like to know what Kelley thinks about making it a movie. SciFi Channel would love this story! I've seen many dragon movies , but this story has HEART! Ya know. It's about the people and their struggles, but you could still add some cool special effects. I really haven't been this excited over a story since Lord of the Rings. This book rocks!"

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween, or as the ancient Celts called it, Samhain, is my favorite time of the year. There is something magical in the air when the air turns crisp, and the shadows deepen. For the Celts, it was the beginning of the new year celebrated on November 1st. Samhain was a religious celebration and also a time for the tribes to settle any issues for the coming year. It was the smothering of the summer fires, and the entry into the dark winter. It was also the one night of the year when the veil was thin between the land of the living and the land of the dead. Faeries and other spirits would roam the earth coming into contact with mere mortals. Samhain plays a big part in my Celtic stories because it was such a huge part of the ancient Celts.

So, we can thank the ancient Celts for introducing us to Halloween, which we now celebrate with candy and costume parties.

Happy Halloween & Samhain to all!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

My book signing at New Age Concepts in Yucca Valley, CA was a huge success! I was very pleased with the turnout and books sales. Bonnie McMillan, the owner of New Age Concepts is a wonderful lady, and I am very grateful to her for her support. What I would like to mention in this blog is that there are other alternatives for book signings at locations other than book stores. My book is a historical romance/fantasy set in ancient Britain, and my main character is a faery woman. That is why I am focusing on New Age Stores that sell faery merchandise. I am not ruling out book stores. I am just widening my options. Authors need to think of the audience for their book, and come up with creative ideas for marketing and book signings. I am also looking into Celtic festivals. Just some stuff to think about when considering where to have a book signing.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Essential writing tool, Elements of Style by William Strunk & E.B. White

My Creative Writing teacher told the class about this book. I still use it as a reference along with my thesaurus and dictionary. There are no exercises in this book, only sound advice for every kind of writer. The Elements of Style is easy to understand and so small it will fit in your purse or pocket. What I really like about this book is that it doesn't blather on and on, it gets to the point quickly and efficiently. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to improve his or her writing style.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

My other blog, Purple Haze

I have been revising my second ms, and trying to follow my own advice on self-editing. One thing that really came to mind was the opening. Basically, I thought it sucked. It needed more action to make it more compelling to the reader. If it sucked to me than what would a reader think? The number one most important rule to writing a good ms is that the opening needs to be compelling to draw the reader into the story. Have some friends or family members read your opening to see what they think if you aren't sure.

Happy writing!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Self-Editing Tips

Here are some self-editing tips I would like to pass on to fellow writers.

Tips for Editing Your Manuscript
By Kelley Heckart


Congratulations! You have finished the first draft of your manuscript. Now comes the really fun part of reading through the entire manuscript and checking for typos and other errors.

The best way to do this is to print a copy of the manuscript. This may seem like a tedious way to read it, but it is much easier to read from a printed copy than to stare at a glaring computer screen. Make sure you have a red pen to mark any errors you may find.

In addition to checking for typos and other grammatical errors, you want to check for the following:

Compelling openings. You want an opening that will draw the reader into the story.

Strong verbs. Verbs activate sentences. Be careful not to overuse certain words though.

Use all the senses. Using sight, touch, sound, taste and smell in your writing will help to show, and not tell the story, which will improve descriptions.

Showing/not telling. You want the reader to be drawn into your story by use of descriptive sentences. This can be accomplished by the use of all the senses, using dialogue that reveals the personality of a character, showing action with strong verbs, using metaphors, similes and personification (be careful not to overuse these figures of speech). Strong descriptions draw a reader into the story.

Unnecessary words. For example: The dog was running toward the pond. Instead of “was running” use “ran.” The dog ran toward the pond.

Varied sentence structure. Try to vary sentences so they don’t always begin with “He did” or “The.” For example: He stood slowly despite the throbbing in his head. Try this instead: Slowly, he stood despite the throbbing in his head. Just try to vary the sentences so they don’t all begin the same. When you read through your manuscript, make sure that all the sentences in a paragraph flow together.

Expanded moments. Try to trim the fat off of scenes if they seem too redundant and slow the story down.

It also helps to get another opinion. Have a friend read it through. Sometimes another person might see what you cannot. Give it a few days and then read the manuscript again. Keep doing this until there are no more red marks on the paper. Good luck!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I tried unsuccessfully to write using an outline. Instead, I let the characters take the lead. This method seems to work better for me. The story flows better. It feels like magic when everything starts coming together. I am still working out some kinks, but I have a much better feel for what I want to do. I wonder how many writers prefer to write without an outline.

I think that my storytelling improves in the Fall. This is my favorite time of the year. The days grow shorter, the shadows deepen, and the temperature drops-even here in Arizona! There is a certain, kind of dark, mood that settles over me this time of the year. Does anyone else have a favorite time of the year to write?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Amazon Shorts

Here is a great marketing tool for writers to promote their work. Amazon.com is offering Amazon Shorts, which are collections of short stories of fiction, non-fiction, and essays available in electronic format. Authors are welcome to submit their work. For detailed information, please click on the link above that will take you to the main page. I think this is a great way for a writer to get noticed and to promote their other books. Everything helps when it comes to promotion.

Another way to promote books available on Amazon.com is to create a Listamania. You can list your own books, and other books by your favorite authors. The link for this is http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/542566/002-6521005-2888017 Reviewing other books is also a great way to get noticed.

Good luck!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Why did we, as a society, change from a nurturing, live-giving, peaceable society to a war-like, like-taking society that views the taking of life as the ultimate power? Why did the fertile Mother Goddess change into a fierce War Goddess? These are questions that resulted in the book, The Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisler. I have only read the first chapter so far, but already I can see the parallels in our own modern society. This book is based on archaelogical evidence found in ancient Neolithic societies that points to a matriarchal society where men and women lived as equals. It does raise a lot of questions about how we live as a war-like nation today. As an author this interests me, and my upcoming book will be based on these beliefs. It will be a work of fiction so I will use my own thoughts to come up with the answers to these questions.

This is something that is on my mind, and probably on the minds of everyone in the U.S. The scenes that have been unfolding on t.v. as a result of Hurricane Katrina, and the effects it has had on society there. What really got to me was that most of the people that are still stranded are black, and probably poor people without any transportation. Why weren't these people evacuated by bus prior to the tragedy? Did the city not care about what happened to them? It is very disturbing to think that the poor were left to fend for themselves. Maybe I am wrong(I hope so), but that is the impression I am getting by what I am seeing and hearing on t.v. I don't know what it is like to live in New Orleans so I don't know if there are racial issues involved, but it is unthinkable to have to try to survive in those conditions. And it took way too long for help to get there. Why? I know I am not the only one asking these questions. Anyway, my heart goes out to all those who are going through this horrible experience.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I have been working very hard on my second book. This one is harder than my first one because it has to be better. Maybe I am overthinking it too much. I tend to do that. I may end up writing 2 different endings to see which one works best. All of the ideas are floating around in my head, but it is difficult to get it all organized onto the computer. I have been summarizing some of the last chapters to try and organize my thoughts. That helps a bit. I never thought of myself as the type of writer that works with an outline, but that may not be a bad idea in this case. It certainly can't hurt. I may get one of the books mentioned in Writing a Breakout Novel to try to help me think it out. Sometimes if I read something with a similar theme, a light bulb with burn bright inside my head. Oh yeah, I get it now. The Sparrow sounds interesting to me even though it is not a romance.

Friday, August 26, 2005

When I have trouble with my "creative flow" music always seems to help. My favorites are Evanescence and Loreena McKennitt. For some reason, when I put these cds on, my mind opens up and my fingers fly over the keyboard. It must be magic! I have finished my character charts and am ready to start working on my second book again. The character charts are very helpful. I highly recommend creating character charts at least for the major characters. It is amazing how much it opened up my mind to the character's feelings and motivations. Truly amazing!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Character Chart

I started a more detailed character chart for my next book and it is proving to be very helpful. It has opened my mind up to creating 3 dimensional characters, which should improve the writing of my sequel. I am very pleased with my first book, but I want to improve with each book I write. This website had a character chart that I used as a guideline to create my own character charts.

Happy writing!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Press Release tips

Here is another area that is brand new to me-writing a press release. I found some helpful tips on www.press-release-writing.com. If you don't want to write your own press release, then there are press release services on the internet that will help write and distribute your press release. I opted to write my own and here is the sample of what I wrote. Any helpful comments are most welcome.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Kelley Heckart, Author, Of Water and Dragons
www.kelleyheckart.com
3269 Maricopa Ave., Ste. 114-Box 149
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86406
Phone: 928-486-8697
kelleyheckart@kelleyheckart.com

Local Romance/Fantasy Author, Kelley Heckart, Will Attend Book Signing Event Hosted by New Age Concepts

Lake Havasu City, AZ—October 1, 2005—Kelley Heckart will be signing copies of her Romance/Fantasy novel Of Water and Dragons on Saturday, October 15, at New Age Concepts in Yucca Valley, CA. Join the party and enter the drawing to receive a free gift bag filled with special items related to the novel.

Of Water and Dragons weaves together the Roman history and Celtic lore of ancient Britain to create an unforgettable story of love and sacrifice.

“an appealing amalgam of magic, erotica, military history, and romance that will leave readers breathless in its wake…compelling verbiage and tightly-wrought plot grab from page one with a tenacious intensity evocative of the early classics of fantasy fiction.”
Ellen Tanner Marsh, a NYT best-selling author

“Real Celtic lore and Roman history combined adds synergy to the exciting, soul-stirring story about separation, conflict, love and sacrifice.”
Recommended and Reviewed in The Mindquest Review by Lightword Publishing.

“The characters and the story have heavy Arthurian overtones, but the plot does not play out like the legends, or even the Badon Hill version of historical Arthur. This does make for a surprising ending, which is good, and lays the groundwork for future novels following on from this one."
PaganNew.com

About the Author: Kelley Heckart is a stay-at-home wife, author, artist, musician, and mom to two dogs. Though she resides on the earthly realm, she always has one foot firmly planted in the otherworldly realm of mystical creatures and magic.

New Age Concepts is located at 55836 29 Palms Hwy., Yucca Valley CA 92284 Phone: 760-365-9284

For information: http://www.kelleyheckart.com or
Contact: kelleyheckart@kelleyheckart.com
Phone: 928-486-8697
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Friday, August 12, 2005

Book signing tips

Book signings can be a wonderful experience if some planning is involved. I have my very first book signing in October and I have no clue what I am supposed to do. There are some book signing tips on the internet and I wanted to share one that I found to be quite helpful. I probably won't use all of these tips, but there are some things on here that I didn't even think of. I guess the most important piece of advice is to keep a smile on your face and don't complain if no one shows up. I will do my best to prepare and hopefully I will be graced with a nice turnout. If anything, this will be a learning experience for my next book signing.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I went out and bought Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. So far it has been very helpful to me. What he says makes sense and I am giving more thought to my writing. At the very least, I will have written a better novel because of it. I want to thank Angelle for suggesting this book to me. Thank you! So I have put my ms aside as I reconsider the direction of my novel. I just hope I don't over analyze it too much or I will never finish it. Aaah! Everything will work out okay. It always does.

Gotta run. Happy writing!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Check out my eBay store

I sell many different items in my eBay store including my books, handmade crosses and even toys. I am pleased to announce that my book, Of Water and Dragons is now available at New Age Concepts at 55836 29 Palms Hwy., Yucca Valley, CA 92284 along with my handmade crosses. Bonnie is the owner of New Age Concepts and she is a super nice person. Her store is filled with faery items, crystals, jewelry and other neat mystical items. I will be doing a book signing there probably the 3rd Saturday in October. Once I have a date set I will announce it on my website. I am very excited because this will be my first book signing and I think it will be a good experience for me.

I have been busy researching the Roman army in Scotland, which is not an easy task considering there isn't much evidence to look at. It is like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces. I think I have finally narrowed it down and can at least use the information I have found that fits close to the time period of my story. Since this is fiction, I am free to use creative license and fill in the blanks with what I think may have happened. The hardest part for me is trying to organize all of my notes. I tend to use whatever notebook is nearby and my notes are out of sync. I found these handy post its that are cut in strips to mark my pages and I have finally put some notes in 3-ring binders organized by subject. This has made it easier to keep everything organized. Yeah!

Gotta run! I have an e-book to read and review.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Lake Havasu Today's News-Herald

Sometimes I like to use the weather in my stories to create an atmosphere. Thunderstorms are good for creating a dark mood and for giving the story some tension. But nothing compares to the summer Monsoon storms here in the southwest. Monsoon, which means "seasonal wind" is my worst fear living here in the desert. I lived most my life on the coast of southern California and we rarely had any thunderstorms so I am not used to this kind of weather. Lake Havasu, AZ is a place of breathtaking mountain and lake views with gorgeous weather most of the year. I guess with any paradise there is a dark side and the summer storms are very dark and frightening. The winds can reach up to 60 miles per hour and flash floods are common. My worst fear is of the lightning that flickers non-stop within the clouds and shoots out in all directions. Lightning can strike a house. Maybe I am paranoid, but is anyone else afraid of thunderstorms?

You know you live in a small town when the main headline in Today's News-Herald reads, "Jolie, Pitt visit talk of town." I just thought that was funny. The destructive monsoon we had rated second to this.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I haven't had a chance to do much writing lately due to personal matters that needed my attention. Things are getting back to normal now and I am getting back into the writing flow. I have been doing extensive research on the Roman Army in Scotland. I found an excellent book called Garrison Life At Vindolanda, A Band of Brothers, by Anthony Birley. It is based on the writing tablets found at the Vindolanda fortress site at Hadrian's Wall. Mr. Birley has taken the information collected on these tablets and organized it so that it is easy to understand. This book has been very helpful to me as to what the soldiers were like and how they talked to one another. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the Roman army on the northern frontier.

I am also working on my characters to make them three dimensional. By taking each character and making a profile list on them, I have been able to bring them to life. I feel that the characters are very important to the success of a book.

Well, I am off to work on this.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

If you get stuck with your story plot, don't panic. I say that, but then I always panic. I panic for no reason because the plot always ends up working out. What I do is I give the story a rest for a couple of days. I let the thoughts float around in my head and then, poof, an idea pops into my head. Sometimes it helps to write the thoughts into a notebook. I always have a notebook handy anyway because I usually get my ideas when I am away from my computer like in the shower or in bed.

Happy writing!

Friday, July 22, 2005

I am working on my new book and trying to work out holes in the plot. It is driving me crazy! The best way for me to work this out is to get out my notebook and write specific questions about the characters actions, and then answer that question. It helps me to make sure that the plot moves along and that the characters' actions are believable.

Personally I don't like books that are too predictable, but the plot has to be believable. One of my favorite historical romance series is Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. The characters are very well-developed and believable Also the plot has many surprises in store for the reader.

Happy writing!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Awe-Struck E-Books

I am so excited! Awe-Struck has selected my manuscript to publish as an e-book. Of Water and Dragons will be available as an e-book in early 2007. It feels wonderful to have my ms selected by someone. I can still have paperback copies made available to those that prefer print books to e-books.

I am busy at work on my sequel to Of Water and Dragons. It is tentatively titled RavenWolf. I am very excited about the sequel as well. There will be many surprises in store for my main characters. I am also introducing some new and exciting characters.

Gotta run!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Romance review site

I have been super busy. Starting today, I am reviewing for Coffee Time Romance. I think it will be a good experience for me as a reader and as a writer. Other than that I have been sending out my books and press kits to other reviewers so I will have some reviews to post on my website.

My book has been selling on Ebay. Yeah! Never underestimate the power of the autograph. I list it as "signed by the author" and people are snapping it up.

Gotta run!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

I am studying Shamanism to help me understand the ancient tribes of the Scottish Highlands. This isn't a stretch for me because I have studied Celtic magic and Wicca, but Shamanism is more of an internal journey rather than using spell casting. An excellent book that explains the entire process of Shamanism is The Spiral of Memory and Belonging, A Celtic Path of Soul and Kinship by Frank MacEowen. This book really shed light my own spirituality and the path my own life has taken in recent years. Shamanism is connecting with your ancestors and nature, even walking between the worlds of the living and that of the spirits. Drums, rattles or music can help you on this journey. Some people have spirit guides, ancestors or animals, which guide them on their spiritual journey. My spirit animal is the wolf.

When I write, I put on my favorite music and I journey to another place. Sometimes the characters take over and lead the story and I have no conscious control over the outcome. I have an indian drum that I will play when I get writer's block. It actually helps!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

My Faery Realm site

Since the main character in my book is a faery woman, I have created a web page dedicated to faery lore. So far I have a long list of all kinds of faeries and I plan to build on that. For my next book I am researching the Tuatha de Danaans, the "shining ones" of Ireland. I plan to add a page on them since the information on these faeries is extensive. The reason I am bringing this up is that to help promote a book, it is a good idea to add free content to your website that is related to the subject of the book. Writing articles related to the book subject is another way to promote a book.

Happy writing!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Yahoo Group on Self-Publishing

There are many helpful groups online for people who write and self-publish. I belong to the Yahoo Group on Self-Publishing. I wish I had joined this group before I decided on a publisher, but what's done is done. There is a lot of good advice from this group, but some of the advice is a little harsh and can be discouraging to some. For example, there are some that say POD publishing will be a guarantee that your book will not get into bookstores. Now, I think that while it may take some work to get a POD book into bookstores, it isn't impossible. If the bookstore won't buy copies, then putting them in the store on consignment is an option. Also, gift shops may also be an option. My plan is to start with local stores and branch out from there. I just sold one of my books on Ebay as well. I think that anything is possible and in order to be a successful writer, you need to perservere and not get discouraged easily.

Happy writing!

Friday, July 01, 2005

An author site to check out

I found Janet's site to be very helpful to me. She has authored 13 books and has been quite successful at self-publishing, especially POD publishing, which is what I have done. For those who don't know, POD, stands for Print On Demand, and is a cheaper way to self-publish, but it is more difficult to get your books into bookstores this way. Janet Elaine Smith has an e-book called Promo Paks Plus that is very helpful to POD authors. She even goes through each section step-by-step to make it easier to understand. I found it to be quite helpful.

Happy writing!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I have been getting positive feedback from people who have read my book. Everyone says that they can't put in down, which is really good news for me. Now the pressure is on to write a sequel that is as good or better than the first one. Right now I am stuck halfway through the sequel as to where I am going with the plot. Writing the first book taught me that when I get stuck, it helps to let it sit for a few days so I can sort the ideas out in my head. That means I will be walking around in a daze with all of these thoughts floating around in my head. So if I am seen staring off into space at the grocery store, that's why. I have to be especially careful when I drive because I have been known to forget where I am going. Writing can be dangerous!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Another review site

I have been surfing the web looking for more sites to review my book. Some sites will only review certain publishers and I figure they aren't right for me anyway. If you believe in yourself things will happen. I did everything I could to make this a good book-I had it edited and I had an awesome cover designed that makes my book stand out in a crowd of books. These two things are very important to self-publishing. Too many self-published books have not been edited and the writing quality is very poor. Even the most accomplished authors have their manuscripts edited.

Monday, June 27, 2005

I wasn't able to get much writing done today, but last night I was able to work out some bugs in the plot. To get my train of thought going I wrote any ideas that came to mind down in a notebook. This helps me to think about the story without having to force the ideas out, which never works for me. Writing this way also helps to break the dreaded writer's block by letting the ideas flow naturally. There are still a few bugs I need to work out, but I am on the right track now.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

I am working on creating characters for my next book. For me the best way to do this is to write a profile for each character, which includes name, physical characteristics, hobbies, occupation, personality, habits and mannerisms that set them apart from everyone else. The characters I am working on today are otherworldly beings, but I like to give them human qualities. For instance, one of my characters likes to hum to herself a lot. Sometimes assigning an astrological sun sign to a character helps mold his or her personality. I think character development is very important to writing a story because well-defined characters bring the story to life. Gotta go and work on this now.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

An e-book site that publishes women

I have decided to submit my work to an e-book site that only publishes women. Currently my book is only available as a trade paperback and it might help to give people more than one choice. I have spent all morning writing a query letter and a bio. There are so many different formats for query letters, but I think that simple is the best way to go. Don't add insignificant information that has nothing to do with the manuscript and always follow the guidelines for submissions. I figure if this e-publisher rejects me then it wasn't meant to be and I will submit to another one. Dealing with rejection is a huge part of writing and I try not to let it get me down because I believe in myself. Gotta go organize my office. What a mess!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Writing, writing, writing...

I finally got some writing done. Afternoon and early evening seems to be the right time for me to write. I think because my mind is free of all the clutter from the day's chores. Yes, I have household chores that need to be done. In exchange for me staying home and writing, I made a deal with my husband that I would do all the cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping and meals-chores that we shared when I was also working full time. I found another good site yesterday called onlineforbooks.com where you can list your website and book description for free! Well, I'm off to check out some more sites!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Site that will review my book

It is 12:28 pm and I still haven't worked on my new book, the sequel to Of Water and Dragons, which I was supposed to do today. I keep getting side tracked on the internet-setting up this blog is the reason I haven't written one word today. Does this blog count? I will say "yes" and feel good that I am at least writing something today. The good news is I am finding more sites that will review my book, the most recent at www.midwestbookreview.com. Today I sent off one of my books to New Zealand for review on www.loveromances.com. I feel good that I have accomplished something besides the grocery shopping.