Indie Lights Book Parade

 

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“Circus Parade” by Alene. alene.deviantart.comI’m

I’m participating in the First Annual Indie Lights Book Parade!

What is a book parade?

Coordinator of the Indie Lights Book Parade, Cheri Roman, describes it this way:

A book parade is like a regular parade, except with books and blogs rather than with floats and city streets. Each author composes one to three blog posts (guest posts, character interviews, excerpts, short stories; the choices are only as limited as you want them to be.) Then, like floats in a parade, each author “visits” a different blog in the parade route each day of the parade.

There’s a Rafflecopter giveaway, too!

Thanks to the wonderful parade authors there are fantastic swag baskets for three awesome winners! Prizes include ebooks, gift cards and fun!

Remember, winning is as easy as visiting, clicking or commenting–easy to enter; easy to win!

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To enter the Rafflecopter giveaway, click here!

My parade schedule…

2 Feb 15 – Charmain Z. Brackett‘s website

4 Feb 15 – Real Life is Better Than Fiction

6 Feb 15 – The Brass Rag

9 Feb 15 – Grilled Cheese and Applesauce

10 Feb 15 – Tracie Robert‘s website

13 Feb 15 – Words

16 Feb 15 – Writing Dreams

18 Feb 15 – Stacy Claflin‘s website

20 Feb 15 –Lisa Buie-Collard‘s website

23 Feb 15 – Gooberella

25 Feb 15 – Ancient City Poets

26 Feb 15 – Whyte’s Wyrd World

27 Feb 15 – Leslie C. Halpern‘s website

Here’s who I’m featuring on my sister site, Britbear’s Book Reviews:

2 Feb 15 – Leslie C. Halpern’s guest post: Six Things I Learned From Writing Children’s Books

4 Feb 15 – Jamie White’s guest post: The Dream

9 Feb 15 – Cynthia CL Eunton’s guest post: Using Video Media for Book Promotions

10 Feb 15 – Lisa Buie-Collard’s guest post: Advice to Up-and-coming Writers

11 Feb 15 – Excerpt from Gone by Stacy Claflin

13 Feb 15 – Interview with author James DiBenedetto

16 Feb 15 – Letter from the correspondence of Lady Fairchild by Jaima Fixen

18 Feb 15 – Cover Reveal for Lily of Peru by David C. Edmonds

25 Feb 15 – Cheri Roman’s guest post: The Shoulda/Coulda/Woulda Series of Writing

26 Feb 15 – Interview with author Ruth O’Neil

27 Feb 15 – Charmain Zimmerman Brackett’s guest post: Circus in Their Blood

Join us online  for the Indie Lights Book Parade Facebook Party! See you there!

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 Indie Lights Book Parade

Author Publicity Pack is a Must Have Companion for Authors

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Author Publicity Pack by Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart is an excellent resource for self- and indie-published authors to help find their way in the maze of online publicity resources. Though I’ve been at the online book publicity game for about six months now and have taken online and face-to-face courses and read incessantly on the topic, I still learned from Hitz and Hart’s book.

Rather than a how-to, Author Publicity Pack is more of a collection of sources for authors to investigate in their quest to market their books online. The writing is easy to understand and detailed and the websites listed amount to a goldmine of ideas when taken collectively.

Though it is in need of a minor clean-up by the authors (quite a few of the sites listed are no longer active), Author Publicity Pack is a valuable resource for authors, whether just starting out, or mucking through the mire that is online marketing for some time now.

Note: I was gifted a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

My Writing Process: Catch as catch can!

Hello everyone! Welcome to my stop on the Writing Process Blog Hop! I was introduced to this blog hop by Lori L. Schafer:

Lori Schafer is a writer of serious prose and humorous erotica and romance. More than thirty of her short stories, flash fiction, and essays have appeared in a variety of print and online publications, and her first novel, a work of women’s fiction entitled My Life with Michael: A Story of Sex and Beer for the Middle-Aged, will be released in 2015. Also forthcoming in 2015 is her second novel Just the Three of Us: An Erotic Romantic Comedy for the Commitment-Challenged. On the more serious side, her memoir, On Hearing of My Mother’s Death Six Years After It Happened: A Daughter’s Memoir of Mental Illness, will be published in October 2014. When she isn’t writing (which isn’t often), Lori enjoys playing hockey, attending beer festivals, and spending long afternoons reading at the beach.

Website: http://lorilschafer.com/

Like my colleagues also participating in this blog hop, I’ve been asked to answer four questions about my writing and my writing process. Don’t forget to spend some time getting acquainted with authors Rosemary Whittaker, Val Conrad and Jolee Wilson whose bios and links are at the end of this post. Rosemary, Val and Jolee will be hosting the next stop on the blog hop next week.

1. What am I working on?

About a year ago I read a Writer’s Digest featured agent who said she’d be interested in reading a YA Time Traveler’s Wife. I loved that novel, and took it as a personal challenge. What I wound up with was I Am, Was, Will Be Alice something part YA Time Traveler’s Wife, part Alice in Wonderland, part YA romance (yuck!), and all adventure. I am participating in July’s Camp Nanowrimo to give me the kick in the pants to finally get Alice’s story told.

My first YA novel, The Revenant,  is to be released on 10 July 14 and so a good part of my summer will be spent on publicizing and selling that.

I am also working on an adult time travel love triangle novel called Chicken or Egg: A Love Story, not to mention the next instalment in the Molly McBride series, entitled The Next Coming Race, involving evidence of aliens having visited Earth in antiquity in the historic record.

This is where I usually work:

My Writing Space

My writing space.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I suppose you could call my primary genre science fiction, but when I think of sci-fi I think of alien race wars, lots of tech, space ships, and robots. I call my brand of sci-fi feminine speculative fiction, a made up genre composed of a sort of light-sci-fi, no war (which is stereotypically masculine), modern day tech (also stereotypically masculine), but maybe with a few tweaks. If there is time travel involved, it is in the near future, less than 100 years and not that far removed from the society of today.

[Tweet “I call my brand of sci-fi feminine speculative fiction. That does not mean it only appeals to women.”]

Calling my brand of sci-fi “feminine” does not mean it is chick-lit or only appeals to women. Rather, it is sci-fi of the mind. It takes the world of today, proposes one change, and runs with it to see the effect it may have on society. Phase Shift explores what might happen if the ability to travel to alternate worlds were discovered. The Revenant (not unlike “X-Men” or “Heroes”) supposes there are people among us who have special abilities which some might use for good and others evil. Alice proposes a similar scenario – that people might one day evolve the ability to travel through time. Ditto Cat and Mouse, only this time, the ability for time travel is via technology and not genetic. 

I make small tweaks to people, beliefs and tech and sit back and watch what happens.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I consume popular culture like candy. I also question everything I consume. Star Trek was my first introduction into the world of sci-fi, introduced to me by my father at a young age and the ideas stuck. I grew up telling myself stories before bedtime between lights out and falling asleep. At some point I started writing them down. 

[Tweet “I consume popular culture like candy. I also question everything I consume.”]

It seems like I don’t choose what I write, but rather, it chooses me. Case in point is The Revenant, which grew from a desire to write the penultimate vampire story. The storyline wasn’t gelling so I decided to do some research and found a link on Wikipedia for revenants. The idea blossomed from there. You could almost say Zulu found me and started telling me his story. I really had no choice but to write it down.

4. How does your writing process work?

My first novel, The Guardian, took almost ten years to imagine and another ten years to write. This is partly because I was bogged down with the responsibility of being a new teacher, but also because I didn’t like the way I wrote and struggled over every word. When I took a page from Nanowrimo and just wrote to make up the word count and worry about the editing later, writing became more of a pleasure than a chore. The agony was still there in the revisions and re-writes, but at least the story had already been told.

[Tweet “Accepting you aren’t a real writer if you don’t write every day builds barriers to success.”]

Many sources you read will tell you that writers write every day. I’m here to tell you that’s not necessarily the case. Whole months go by where I don’t add to my current work in progress at all as far as word count goes, but I am always thinking about my work in progress and adding to the story. Taking frequent breaks like that helps the thoughts to percolate so that when I do finally sit to write, I know exactly what I want to say. Accepting that you aren’t a real writer if you don’t write every day is a good way to build barriers to your success. Life happens, especially if you are a student, or are juggling a full-time job with a family. Work on your story every day; write whenever you can.

[Tweet “Work on your story every day; write whenever you can.”]

Don’t forget to spend some time getting acquainted with authors Rosemary Whittaker and Val Conrad whose bios and links are at the end of this post. Rosemary and Val will be hosting the next stop on the blog hop next week.

[Tweet “Writing process blog hop! Get acquainted with authors @LoriLSchafer, @DanzaCRose, Val Conrad and @JoleeWilson!”]

Rosemary Whittaker:

Rosemary is a British born author. She is an English teacher by profession. Since leaving university she has lived and worked in the United States, New Zealand, Australia and twice in Denmark. Her husband works in biodiversity informatics (cataloguing all living species on earth) and this has entailed many moves. They have five children so the moves have been extra challenging.

Her real love has always been writing and she has written several novels, variously set in the countries in which she has lived. She also writes for children. All her novels are available on http://amzn.to/UXJUJp and http://amzn.to/1iUadT. Her recent novels, a set of four, all take the theme of British women who move, by choice or circumstance, to one of the four countries mentioned above. The Cinnamon Snail is set in Denmark, where Rosemary currently lives. [http://bit.ly/1puSPwJ]

Website: rosemarywhittaker.wordpress.com

Val Conrad:

Val Conrad’s life is upside-down to most – her nights are spent working as a nurse in intensive care, leaving her days and more often her nights off to writing.  Her series – Blood of Like Souls, Tears of Like Souls, Promises of Like Souls, and Secrets of Like Souls (Black Rose Writing) is available at Amazon in both paperback and e-book formats.  Much of the skeleton of these stories comes from living in the geographical settings and a career in medicine spanning decades.  She steals moments to write any time, but odd places and crowds of people don’t deter her.  She’s currently working on a new book about how cellular phones are being used to catch criminals.

Website: www.valconrad.com

Jolee Wilson:

Jolee Wilson lives in West Texas with her husband and three children. She has been writing as a hobby since age seven and decided to turn it into a career after the completion of her first novel, Seven Days Normal. With a passion to help hurting relationships, Jolee uses fiction to impart her own lessons in love.

Website: http://www.the-nkwell.blogspot.ca/

Literary Devices from A to Z – Brought to you by the letter N

 

 

 

is for Narrator

 

 

 

The narrator is the person who tells the story. Narrators can be protagonists of a story, secondary characters in the story, or an unnamed persona uninvolved as a character in the story.

Narrators are not to be confused with authors. Even when the narrator is the uninvolved persona, the voice is a construct created by the author and not the author him/herself. Often the narrator is reliable in that s/he tells the truth, portraying an honest version of the story being told. Sometimes, the narrator may be unreliable, spinning a story later revealed to be just that—a story and not a truthful retelling of events.

Some interesting narratives I’ve read lately include Rose Baker, the unreliable narrator of Suzanne Rindell’s The Other Typist, and Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, narrated by Death. Taking place during the early part of World War II, Death is ever-present. As a narrator, he focuses in on the characters and then pulls back to remind us he is always there, lurking in the shadows, audience to the players on the stage, waiting until just the right moment to cull their souls. Though I found this structure awkward at times, it works in the big picture when the reader learns that Death is a reliable narrator–when he says he will return for a soul when the time is right, he means it. He lulls the reader into a false sense of security, almost forgetting Death’s pledge to remove the character from the narrative and then he returns, reminding us of his presence.

Have you read any interesting, off-beat, or unreliable narratives lately? If so, share them in the comments below.

My Biography

English teacher and former archaeologist Elise Abram is proud to announce the release of PHASE SHIFT, her first fiction publication. Abram has been writing ever since she can remember, but it wasn’t until she was asked to teach Writer’s Craft in 2001 that she began to write seriously. Having to research writing and the writing process gave her the confidence she needed to actually put proverbial pen to paper. Her first novel, THE GUARDIAN was partially published as a Twitter novel a few summers back. Nearly ten years after its inception Abram decided it was time to stop shopping around with traditional publication houses and try to publish PHASE SHIFT on her own.

PHASE SHIFT documents the adventures of archaeologists Molly McBride and her husband, Dr. Palmer Richardson after they are given an unusual artifact with the ability to take them to a doppelganger Earth. Palmer Richardson, forensic anthropologist and head of the Archaeology department at the University of Toronto, is a character Abram first conceived in 1987 when taking a Science Fiction English course at The University of Waterloo (Clinton Johns, co-star of THE GUARDIAN was also conceived at that time). Writing a short story as the final assignment for that course was the first time she’d melded her passion for archaeology with storytelling.

Abram continues to write, no easy task, given the demands of teaching three English courses each semester, and raising three teenagers simultaneously. Currently, she is working on another Molly McBride adventure, tentatively called THE NEXT COMING RACE, and inspired by Edward Bullwer-Lytton’s classic “The Coming Race”, which melds known pseudo-scientific and paranormal phenomenon in a race to save the world from certain destruction after a device left behind by aliens in the future is activated by construction in the present. Also in the works is THE REVENANT, a take on the current young adult vampire craze, and CHICKEN OR EGG: A LOVE STORY, revolving around a time travel love triangle.

Look for the publication of eBook novellas THE MUMMY WORE COMBAT BOOTS, which follows Palmer Richardson in a case in which he consults for the Metropolitan Toronto Police Department to figure out the origins of an errant mummy found in the Royal Ontario Museum’s holdings, and THROWAWAY CHILD, in which Molly joins with Police Constable Michael Crestwood (also starring in THE MUMMY WORE COMBAT BOOTS and THE NEXT COMING RACE) to investigate a child’s skeleton found beneath a historic house.

Amazon author’s site: http://www.amazon.com/author/eliseabram