Category Archives: Guest Posts

Guest Post Dark Djinn

Guest Post: My Editing Process

From almost every author offering instruction, you hear guidance along the lines of Just write. Forget about the quality until the rewrite or the edit. Your aim is to get words on paper. It is good advice for a beginner, who looks at the blank page and wonders how she is ever going to fill it. It is also advice I follow when I have writer’s block. From what I understand, the value in it is to engage the right and the left side of the brain in the different stages of the writing process, to allow the creative side to dominate in the creation of the work, and the logical side to come to the forefront when you want to refine it. I cannot deny there is sense in this.

For me, however, editing is implicit in the writing process. I agonise over each sentence or paragraph when I first pen it, rewriting and editing it until I am happy at that moment. Only then do I move on to the next. I might pen two or three hundred words at a stretch if I’m in the flow, but my day’s writing time will include going back and editing every sentence. Does it make for slow writing? Unquestionably. Does it make for good writing? I believe so, especially since I have heard other authors whose work I respect state this is their process.

The benefit for me of slow writing, of editing as I go, is the ability to craft a work with a distinct voice. I have found that if I lose the voice in a scene, it takes a disproportionate amount of time to rewrite it well. Voice is tantamount to expression, which is a function of editing, and voice these days seems to be the holy grail of writing. In establishing a voice early on, I can keep referring to early chapters to ensure consistency in later chapters. Added to this is the need for character mood to flow. If character drives plot, then a lack of refinement in this area skews the plot onto a tangent. It may be a deviation of the smallest degree, but getting it all back on track is, for me, hard, time-consuming work. Since I much prefer writing to rewriting, I will spend the time getting it almost right on the first draft.

Almost right means to say that of course I edit further. And again. And once, twice, maybe even three times again. After my second (or third) draft, I will take exquisite notice of every word. I consider myself finished when on reading the manuscript I make a miniscule number of cosmetic changes; when it takes me a whole minute or more to decide if the change does it fact improve the manuscript. There are times when I am tempted to leave a sentence because it reads okay. I must remind myself every time that in today’s market okay is not good enough, and if I wish to be honest, neither is good. The manuscript must be the absolute best I can make it at that time.

About the Book

Title: Dark Djinn

Author: Tia Reed

Genre: Fantasy

Duplicity and deception: aid from a djinn is a curse under any guise.

Betrothed to a cruel lord, Princess Kordahla dreams of fleeing to her decadent neighbour, a journey fraught with danger, and no promise of sanctuary at its end. Her one hope is to offer the southern shah a prize so valuable he cannot refuse to harbour her: the secret of the mahktashaan, the soldier-magicians sworn to protect her father’s court.

But the mahktashaan guard their magic with blooded sword, and in stealing one of their powerful crystals she will risk her life. Unless she accepts the help of a treacherous djinn intent on tricking her into a deal.

It is a compact which threatens to shatter the fragile peace in the Three Realms.

A gripping tale of realms besieged and honour lost, of blood-ties severed and romance dreamed, Dark Djinn begins an epic quest to save mortals from the schemes of djinn.

Author Bio

Tia Reed loves nothing better than burying her nose in a story of her own imagining, cuddling her bossy cat and rescuing chewed pillows from her hyperactive dog. She takes every opportunity to do all three when she is not teaching English as a second language. Her other hobbies usually take a back seat but include trying to tame her beast of a garden, hiking and travelling. The latter has thrown her many interesting, sometimes hair-raising experiences, which she loves twisting into stories. She was born in Malta, but lives in Adelaide, Australia.

Links

Website:   www.tiareed.com

Facebook:     www.facebook.com/SFWriter/

Amazon:  Amazon

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Guest Post Those Who Are Left

thosewholeft

Guest Post

Hello everyone!

I’m Josh Stricklin, which I have no doubt has already been stated somewhere in this post. I’m an author from Mississippi. I have a few books, and now I’ve taken my skills to the Internet. I have been asked to talk to the masses about my editing process. I know different has their very own, super-special way of making it work. Hey, I have done it differently every time.

I have two published books now, and while writing each of them I was in different places in my life. For my newest book, The King of Evil, a lot of the editing I did was the typical run-of-the-mill corrections, along with a lot of last-minute fact checking. The story was about voodoo, and I didn’t know much at all about it before I started writing. I spent a lot of time going back and making sure nothing was wonky with my information—other than the fictionalized parts I took special liberties with obviously.

For Those Who Are Left though, I was working on my first book. I didn’t know how to do it, and I was coming off a very serious injury that I have talked about ad nauseam in blogs and my website (thegreenroses.com).

I didn’t know how to edit. I just read and reread a bunch of times. That, of course, was a fun one to go back through. For a majority of the writing I was on painkillers, and my mind was swimming fairly often.

I sort of flailed around a lot during the editing process, but as for the story, I have found a pretty efficient way to edit.After I finish the initial run through. I take notes for all the major plot points and keep them by me as I go through the story again, checking for anything that my contradict something that comes up later in the book. For the book I’m working on now, that is especially important, because the narrative is told from multiple points of view. I know once I finish, I’ll be making comments about when each character discovers specific information and how a certain event changes each character. Keeping the notes on the story as I go through has been the best way for me to keep the story in order as I go. That’s something I’d suggest to people working on a book. Of course people have something that’ll work better for their individual books. This method has helped me a lot, and because I feel like the story is the most important part, I would tell people to at least give it a shot.

Thanks for reading!

About the Book

Title: Those Who Are Left

Author: Josh Stricklin

Genre: Horror

Thinking back to when everything changed, Derrick can never pinpoint if it was the pickaxe swinging toward his own face that alerted him or if he knew moments earlier when he saw the weapon hurtle toward the barn cat. Either way, he quickly realized that the man he was facing—a farm employee he knew well—was not only no longer a friend, he wasn’t even human any more.

An apocalyptic tale that surprises you with humor when it’s not terrifying you with horror, Those Who Are Left follows Derrick as he and two strangers venture through the major cities of the South in search of family and safety. But not all the human factions can be trusted, and if the trio can’t figure out what’s driving the different groups they could end up with enemies on all sides.

But even in a chaotic world of murderous screamers and posturing humans, there’s always time to play a few games of bowling before the slaughter begins…right?

Author Bio

Josh Stricklin is an American author and musician with degrees in English literature and advertising from the University of Southern Mississippi. His first novel, Those Who Are Left, made its debut in 2015. The terrifying follow up, The King of Evil, is available from Silver Leaf Books. He’s currently hard at work finishing his first series…or more likely reading comic books and wearing a Seahawks jersey.

 

Links

thegreenroses.com

https://www.facebook.com/thegreenroses/

https://twitter.com/ExplosionAction

https://www.instagram.com/explosionaction/

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Guest Post Happy Friday Life

happyfriday

Guest Post

From the moment my feet hit the floor it was non-stop negativity. Messages from the office, friends with troubles, negative morning news, not to mention the weight of my own life. I was able to brush it off until turning the radio on in the car, only to hear more negativity. Before even leaving my driveway, I slammed the car into park and said out loud; ENOUGH! Why doesn’t anyone gravitate to positive? What can I do?
At that moment I decided to send out a text message and the words just poured out. I have always tried to be the cheerleader for everyone in need of a pick me up. I’d never done any writing and quite honestly I felt as though I had minimal grammar skills. I sent the text to about 15 people in my small circle and much to my surprise I started getting great feedback. The comments and requests motivated me to write another text the following Friday. Ironically I ended the first text with the initials H.F. followed by a sideways smile emoji. 🙂 I didn’t realize it at the time but the logo for Happy Friday started day one. That fateful morning, March 20, 2009, Happy Friday H.F:) began.
I never saw myself as an author, but these words come to me at the craziest of times. I have scraps of tissues, napkins and various other papers that have thoughts that enter my mind at all times. The inspiration that continues to motivate me is the amazing personal feedback that flows from Happy Friday H.F:) followers. When someone you don’t know, tells you that what you wrote that Friday was as if you were writing it just for them; that is powerful. You never know how those words will affect the reader.
I only write H.F:) on Friday. The only way I can explain it is that my connection to this process seems to only flow on Fridays. I have tried to write something other days, but it has always been difficult. It just doesn’t seem to work, so Friday it is. I never intended it, it was just the day of the week on which this all started. By nature we are creatures of habit. We all need something to look forward to. When readers tell me that they really look forward to starting the weekend off with their Happy Friday H.F:) that helps me realize how important “positivity” is in our world today.
After sending texts out for over six years I decided to develop a book concept that would be able to reach out to help more people. My passion stems from the ability to motivate others during life’s struggles

About the Book

Title: Happy Friday Life

Author: Karen L.K. Picard

Genre: Poetic Inspiration

What is the greatest gift of all? HAPPINESS! In March 2009 a weekly heartfelt text message called Happy Friday H.F:) was created. Happy Friday Life features 52 poetic inspirations, full of colorful imagery. Something for everyone. these inspirations were initially Intended as a reminder to family and friends that life is only as good as you make it. Staying positive in a world filled with chaos, is your only option. more importantly, a reminder that you matter.
From my heart, embellished thoughts and everlasting pen. May your heart find an attachment, allowing you to feel emotion, satisfying you with aspirations’ of hope, desire joy, comfort, and reflection that fulfills you from within. lf you find even one poetic inspiration that brightens your day, my purpose is fulfilled. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as is the same with art, where your imagination takes you so does the reflection within you. . I hope you find your “Happy.”

 

Author Bio

Karen L.K. Picard is the creator and author of Happy Friday Life :). Since 2009 she has written over 300 thought provoking, poetic inspirations. These inspirations were initially intended for her children, family and close friends to help guide their daily lives past constant negativity that surrounds our world today. Her insights into the human spirit through her poetic inspirations have expanded to the masses throughout the past seven years thanks to social media. Today, Happy Friday Life 🙂 inspirations can be delivered directly to your email inbox or cell phone via text message.

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Karen received a crash course in cultural diversity and human behavior. These experiences have guided her passion for sharing with the world “We all matter” and we all have the choice to be better. She decided to move from Milwaukee to a quaint community over 30 years ago where she started a family and began to read positive, affirming materials. Having grown up with an appreciation for nature and living fully, Karen wanted to share her philosophy but found that she felt challenged with the application of grammar and composition, not feeling prepared to write a manuscript. By putting her inspirations to paper in 2009, she began to realize that what flowed through her with increased intensity was a gift that she could not contain. Over 53 years of life. She raised two amazing children, had multiple businesses, continued her education, and has met some extraordinary people. Now; with years of self-discovery and personal growth hopes her life’s work will not only empower, but in some small way impact the world and deeply touch each reader as if the Happy Friday 🙂 message is written just for them. Karen’s statement of purpose is, “If the thought’s and words I write, touch but one, my purpose has been fulfilled.”

 

Links

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Guest Post The Convenient Escape

convenientescape

Please welcome author Robert Downs to my blog. Robert is the author of thriller “The Convenient Escape”, and he’s here to talk about his editing process today. I’ll leave the word to Robert now.

MY EDITING PROCESS

My editing process begins after the first draft. Before the time of my first edits, my goal is to write as fast as I can and keep my inner-editor at bay. It’s not always as easy it sounds, because that inner-critic likes to rear his ugly little head, and during that first draft, I go through periods of euphoria along with other times where I believe that what I’m writing is a big pile of crap. But the secret is to push the inner-critic down, focus on the positives, and keep on writing. Knowing that I have finished other novels certainly helps, but I wouldn’t say it makes the process any easier, because each novel is different, and creativity is a phenomenon I still don’t completely understand.

Once I have that first draft completed, I let it sit for a period of weeks or months to gain a certain distance and help change my perspective. The time away allows me to remove my creative hat and put on my editor cap. During this time, I’ve found that writing or editing another manuscript helps me pass the time and keeps my writing or my editing skills fresh. My first editing pass is with a hardcopy and either a red or blue pen, so the changes I make easily stand out against the black font. I hack away at my manuscript as much as necessary, often cutting paragraphs, pages, or even entire scenes. During this process, and sometimes not until I complete it, I often find that I have holes in my manuscript that I need to fill. So while I’m hacking away, I’m also looking for places to add description, internal monologue, and dialogue and action tags.

Once I have this pass completed, I’ll input the changes into my computer, and I often find that there are more deletions or additions I need to make. Sometimes I make the additions in my computer, but often it’s marking the places where I believe I can beef it up, and I mark these places with an ampersand, so I can expand upon them later.

Once my manuscript is more streamlined, the addition begins, and I’m adding characters or description or scenes or even chapters, as the manuscript and situation warrant. I’ll do as many passes as I need, and this varies from manuscript to manuscript alternating between editing the hardcopy and what’s on my computer. I’ve found that I don’t always catch the same things on my hardcopy that I do on my computer, so alternating between the two helps aid whatever project I’m currently working on. Boiling this process down in the simplest of terms, the editing process is subtraction followed by addition. This process doesn’t work for everyone, but I do know it works rather well for me.

When he’s not writing, Robert can be found reading, reviewing, blogging, or smiling. THE CONVENIENT ESCAPE is his fourth novel. To find out more about the author, please visit his website or Facebook Page.

About the Book

the-convenient-escape-front-coverTitle: The Convenient Escape

Author: Robert Downs

Genre: Thriller

To Veronica Baird, escaping from an underground dungeon and racing through the woods, is anything but convenient, even as her captor in rubber mask attire proves rather persistent in his continued pursuit. Despite her apparent independence, she considers a partnership, albeit reluctantly, with a former classmate who may still have feelings for her.

Pete Nealey still has flashbacks to Iraq and, with the bottle as his eternal companion, tends to fall off of barstools at the most inopportune moments or pass out face down in the tavern parking lot. But what he may lack in cheerfulness, he more than makes up for with his steadfast loyalty to the cause, even when he ends up handcuffed to an air conditioner in a shoddy motel.

But unless Veronica can learn to trust Pete for more than just intermittent intervals, the slipshod relationship, and her freedom, won’t last…

Author Bio

robert-downsRobert aspired to be a writer before he realized how difficult the writing process was. Fortunately, he’d already fallen in love with the craft, otherwise his stories might never have seen print. Originally from West Virginia, he has lived in Virginia, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and now resides in California. To find out more about what’s next on his list, visit the author’s website: http://www.RobertDowns.net.

When he’s not writing, Robert can be found reviewing, blogging, or smiling. Falling Immortality and Graceful Immortality helped him discover his true love: hard-boiled mysteries. LaCour’s Destiny helped him enter the mind of a female amateur sleuth with OCD tendencies. His fourth and fifth novels will come out this year with Black Opal Books.

Links

Author Website

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Guest Post The Set Stealer

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Please welcome Jonathon McElhaney on my blog today. The author is talking about editing process.

My Editing Process

Well the editing process was one of the most hardest things I’ve done and longest to. It took more than a year to get it done and a lot of long nights. New traditions publishing was amazing with the help of the editing process! They went over and over it again and rereading it over and over just to make sure everything was perfect. Any time u wanted something change or thought it didn’t feel right I told them about it and they would jump on and take care of it right away. I think we spent more time editing the book then I did writing it. I originally thought like most authors my book was perfect once it was done but once I started editing it myself I seen that it wasn’t. Once I had finished my own edit I was sure that it was then perfect once again I was proved wrong when I asked colleagues, family and friends to read it over and tell me what they thought. And sure enough they pointed out my mistakes. So I went back to work on the editing and once I was sure that it was good to go I submitted the final piece to new traditions publishing and then they went to work on it showing me what and where things still needed to be corrected and fixed. The editing process was a long and frustrating process but once it was completed I loved my book even more than I loved the original. To anyone who says editing a book I say make sure that even when you think it’s perfect make sure you someone, anyone to check your work because there’s always room for improvement. As much as I didn’t like the editing process and as much time as it took I know it was all worth it and from now on I look forward to working on the editing process for all my future works.

About the Book

Title: The Set Stealer

Author: Jonathon McElhaney

Genre: YA Fantasy

A Set is a gift. A power that one can bring from within themselves and manifest to change the physical world. Everyone has at least one, ranging from the mundane to the all powerful. That is, everyone except Kayla. But when her father is murdered in front of her, Kayla is sent on a collision course with destiny as she is forced on adventure to discover not only who killed her father but who she is. Searching within herself, Kayla must find her own power – even without a Set to protect her – and save not only herself, but the world she loves.

Author Bio

I’m a military veteran, a father of two beautiful daughters.

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Guest Post The Whizbang Machine

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Author Danielle A. Vann is here today to talk about the writing process for The Whizbang Machine. Enjoy!

Writing Process

 I start with an idea, grow that into a working outline, flesh out my characters, and start writing. I handle each chapter as though it is a book within itself. I do not like action to carry over from chapter to chapter, so I am mindful of that while writing. I edit my chapter as soon as I’m finished. I do this process several times and do it over several hours. I find that if I leave my work and come back to it, I see errors quicker. I also read my chapters aloud. It’s the only way to truly read what is written instead of what is intended. I approach all of my writing in two methods, first as the author and then as the reader. I’m very fortunate that writing is my full-time job.

About the Book

Whizbangmachinebook1_Title: The Whizbang Machine

Author: Danielle A. Vann

Genre: YA

After years of running from his tragic past, Jack Yale books a flight home. With him is a typewriter that is intended to be a gift for his granddaughter, Elizabeth. The minute Elizabeth’s fingers cradle the large black and cream keys the machine responses: popping, sizzling, and roaring to life with a Whiz-Whiz-BANG!

Elizabeth quickly discovers the typewriter has powers beyond anything she has ever seen. The more she types, the more the machine spells out guarded secrets. Each secret leads them deeper into a haunted past. Each secret must be revealed in order to set history straight and remove a curse that has been on their family for centuries.

To solve the mystery, Elizabeth Yale, alongside Jack, will have to crack the code of the Whizbang Machine. What they find challenges their most basic assumptions of their family, the history of the typewriter, and even Elizabeth’s father’s death. The ultimate goal is to remove the curse.

The question is: will Jack and Elizabeth be able to carry out their mission?

Author Bio

5249_f2c2Danielle A. Vann lives to write. When she was small, she spent endless days writing and crafting wild characters out of thin air. As Danielle grew, that love for writing sparked a career in journalism. She began her career as a scriptwriter and then moved into a flourishing career as a news reporter, food reporter, and morning/evening news anchor. That career earned her an Associate Press Award.

After becoming a mother, she was inspired to write children’s books for her three adorable children. While she holds children fiction especially close to her heart, she also loves to write books for all ages. These genres include Young-Adult Fiction, Adult Fiction, Young Reader Fiction, and Non-Fiction.

When she isn’t writing you can find her doing “mom” things, digging in her organic vegetable gardens, running, finding her Zen in yoga, or playing chef in the kitchen. She currently lives in Mansfield, Texas.

Danielle is also the author of Gracie Lou and The Bad Dream Eater, November 2016 release The Whizbang Machine, and September 2016 release The Very Tall Tale of Ranger, the Great Pyrenees, and his Adorable Friend, Miss Keys, and October 2016 release Building Faith Through A Carpenter’s Hands. To learn more, visit www.authordanielleavann.com.

Links

Website: http://authordanielleavann.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorDanielleA.Vann/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorDanielleV

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Guest Post The Killing Game

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Today I’m hosting a guest post by The Black Rose, author of romantic suspense “The Killing Game”.

Guest Post The Killing Game

As far as my writing process, it involves a lot of research, mapping of storylines, character development, confirming facts from previous novels, etc. But when it comes down to it, I sit and write. I’m blessed in that the stories are there to describe and I write what I see in my mind. Now comes the hard part.

As for editing, in short, it’s long. To break it down, I have several editing processes. The benefits are twofold: the story and the end product (both physical and digital books).

First, for the story editing, I review what I’ve written on the screen. I then run the text through editing software to clean it up.

When I feel the story is complete, I have a proof printed. Not loose-leaf, but a physical book to hold in my hands as a reader would. I read the story. I make notations in the margins, and chapter by chapter, I make the edits to the story.

Once those edits are incorporated in the story, I have another proof printed, and again, I read it as an avid reader would. As I find changes, I make them on the final copy. If I feel I’ve missed anything, I’ll print another proof and repeat the entire process.

If I’m happy with my edits, I send the copy to my editor, who tears it apart and sends it back. I review those edits, make them where needed, then I send the book through to the printer to be released for sale.

As mentioned, the benefit of reviewing a physical proof is part of a twofold process. Since there is usually lag time until I receive my proof, my mind has time to rest from the story. When I receive it, that’s my opportunity to review the story and the physical attributes of the finished product. I scrutinize everything. I examine the cover for color, text, alignment, appropriateness, look, feel, the texture of the laminate, etc. After that, I move onto the interior. I check margins, headers/footers, text size, line spacing, paragraph flow, etc. I look at everything and attempt to imagine what readers will think when they hold that book in their hands.

It’s the same for eBooks. I upload them to the sites I sell from and then download them once their systems have converted them into their standard. I then go through them to be certain everything works. Of course, it’s impossible to have every available eReader on the market, but I have several, and I use them to analyze the work and produce the best possible final product.

My goal is to create beautiful end products, filled with intriguing stories and captivating characters that readers will come to know, relate to, and want to follow as my series’ continue to unfold. I do all this because the greatest compliment I get is when a reader says they can’t wait to find out what happens next!

About the Book

9780997947410Title: The Killing Game

Author: The Black Rose

Genre: Romantic Suspense

A seductive story about corruption, sin, lust, and redemption. The series opens as Ives Andrich, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the FBI, is confronted with investigating the woman he has waited a lifetime to find. Because of her more than accurate novel about an Italian crime lord, the Bureau, against Ives’ wishes, asks for her help in infiltrating the internal organization of the nation’s most nefarious Mafia don. When the Bureau’s plan fails, and she becomes dangerously entangled in the private life of the United States’ most wanted criminal, Ives tolerance for Bureau mishaps vanishes. No holds barred, he puts everything on the line to save the woman he loves in the first book in The Killing Game Series, a suspense thriller series by The Black Rose.

Author Bio

kuma-and-the-black-roseThe Black Rose is an author, photographer, and filmmaker. Born in Chicago, she currently resides in New York with the love her life, her Hokkaido Dog, Kuma. She began writing at the age of seven and dabbled until she woke up one day and simply had to write a novel. She has several 5-Star reviewed novels, both part of individual series.

She categorizes her novels very directly; “My writing is deeply rooted interpersonal relationships: people’s feelings, thoughts, emotions, and the intimacies between two people that truly love each other despite the circumstances surrounding them.” Her genres are suspense, thrillers, crime, romance, and espionage. As she says, “I write about love, honor, and doing the right thing, even when it seems disadvantageous, even when it’s not the popular path to take.” She sees her writing as a gift from God, and appreciates and learns from her stories.

Her writing passion stems from her immense love for art, which began with drawing at age five and moved into oil painting by age eight. Her love and study of photography soon became a professional passion, and she spends hours photographing and laying out her book covers. Readers can visit “Privé with The Black Rose” showcasing behind-the-scenes insights into her writing, novels, characters, photography, and films. She films and produces her book trailers and, in the future, plans to make short films.

For more information on The Black Rose and The Black Rose NYC brand, visit these links:

The Black Rose’s Website: http://www.theblackrosenyc.com
The Killing Game Landing Page: http://ow.ly/JLPTK
The Black Rose’s Amazon Author Page: http://ow.ly/PbDUX
The Killing Game Series on Amazon: ow.ly/wCyj303Qjly
The Killing Game on Barnes and Noble: http://ow.ly/BqkB305PvV0
Twitter: @theblackrosenyc
Facebook: www.facebook.com/theblackrosenyc
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/TheBlackRoseNYC
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/theblackrosenyc/
Google+: http://ow.ly/mukb305PumW

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