Monday, October 31, 2011

Who Are You?

I'm currently in the process of planning out my next project. I love this part. New scenes keep popping into my head and it's fun seeing how my characters react to the situations I'm putting them in.

The other day I played out a scene in my head and when I was rehashing it later, I started to wonder if my character would react that way. It felt natural for him to say what he said, but with his back story would he really do it? I had say to myself, "Who is this guy?"

People's life experiences define who they are. They either make them stronger or weaker, confident or vulnerable, at peace with who they are or chased by guilt and regrets. I need to make sure I have a clear idea of my character's history before I launch into a story. It will dictate his/her actions.

Do you guys take the time to come up with thorough character histories?
How do you decide if a character's reactions are what they should be?

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Blurb Critique

If any of you have time, I'd love a critique on my blurb.

I obviously want these questions answered...

Would this make you want to read the book?
Is there anything that confuses you?
As with any writer, I want this blurb to be so good readers will be itching to get their hands on it.

If you're willing, let me know and I'll send it to you :)

Thanks so much for your help. I'm happy to reciprocate at any time.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I've been keeping this pretty close to my chest, but I can now reveal that I have my first self-published book coming out within the next two weeks. I am so super excited!

My manuscript is all good to go and I've just been waiting on the cover. I got the first draft today and it looks awesome! There's just a little tweaking to do, then I can show you guys.

It is so surreal to work so hard for so long and then to finally have things fall into place. I'm totally euphoric today :)

I spent weeks trying to decide if I should take the self-publishing path. After much research, I decided that I'm going to take a leap of faith and put myself out there. It's scary. People might hate my stuff, but people might also love it. And that's why I write... to gift people that doorway out of reality for just a few hours. To me, there's nothing cooler than getting lost in a book, or a movie, and I want my stories to help people do that.

At the end of the day, I decided that it was better to have even just ten people read, and enjoy, my work than having it stuck on my hard drive doing nothing. My beta readers loved it, my close friends (who swore they were being honest) loved it. I feel like I've got something good here. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. HOPEFULLY I'll be selling a ton more than ten copies :)

Where are you up to in your writing journey?
Have any of you taken the self-publishing path? How have you found it?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Filing Cabinet

When I was a little girl, one of my FAVOURITE things to watch was Anne of Green Gables. I have seen those DVDs so many times now, I almost know them by heart.

As I was driving my son home from kindy yesterday, my mind was flickering with images of my new project and I wondered if I should be writing any of this down then a line from Anne of Green Gables came to me.

It was in the second series and the wind had blown all her pages of writing away. As she was offered help in gathering them up she said it really wasn't a problem. "I've got it all filed away in my imagination."

Me too!
Don't get me wrong, I do write stuff down, but when I'm in the middle of planning out a story, my imagination works as the perfect filing system. As scenes grow and develop, my filing cabinet is culled and new things are put in its place, but I find it a great way to work.

How do you guys plan?
Do you have everything filed away in your brain or do you have to get stuff down as soon as it comes to you?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A new face on Facebook

I was strongly encouraged to set up a fan page on Facebook. I guess it's just another chance to get yourself out there and make more of those important connections.

So, Melissa Pearl - Author, is now on Facebook and I have 17 likes already. Small fry, I know, but still really fun :)

Do any of you have Facebook pages?
How do you utilize them effectively?

I've been trying to think of what sorts of things I will post on my Facebook wall. I have some ideas, but more are always welcome.

If you do have a FB fan page, let me know, I'd love to check you out :)

Friday, October 21, 2011


How often do you blog?

Do you tend to blog on the same days each week?

I read a blog critique yesterday that suggested you blog on the same days so people know when to look out for you. It was also suggested that you make it clear which days you intend to blog.

I think this is a great idea, but do worry that I may slip up. If I say I'm going to post on a certain day, then I want to deliver.

In spite of my doubt, I'm going to make an effort to blog every Monday and Friday, so keep an eye out for me :)

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Heist Society

This book by Ally Carter not only has a sensational cover, but is a great read. It's packed full of fun characters, good humor and the tension of trying to pull off a heist that seems way above the MC's capabilities.

Katarina Bishop was raised in a family of thieves, she finally manages to escape the life, only to be drawn back in order to save her father. The intelligent sixteen year old has two weeks to form a crew and put in place the perfect plan. As the clock ticks down you are drawn into a story, which gradually expands to become much more.

I first saw this book mentioned in a blog (sorry, I can't remember which one). They were talking about books that would make good movies... this was one of them and I totally agree. I could see the scenes clearly played out. The dialogue is effective and the plot keeps you guessing. Tidbits are revealed along the way that all become clear in the end. A bit like a teenage version of Ocean's 11.

The writing is full of colourful phrases, something I love in a book. In saying that, I sometimes found it pulled me out of the story as I'd have to re-read a sentence again to make sure I understood it's meaning. I think this is really interesting, because I love to write this way and it made me realize that I probably need to tone down a little and make my writing more succinct.

Definitely check this book out. It's a very entertaining read.

The sequel, Uncommon Criminals was just released this year. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Inspire Me

In a bid to improve my writing, I have been trying to read as much as I can. Not only educational books, but lots of fiction... the type of fiction I want to write.

My explorations have led me to some great books. Any time someone blogs about an author or mentions a good book they've read, I hunt it down and try to read it too. It's been so good for me. As a child, I was always very selective about what I read. I found an author I liked and stuck with them. I have to say, it's been hard to break out of that thinking... to spend time giving unknown authors a go, when time always seems so limited.

I have so enjoyed this process and thought I might ask everyone out there for one good book they've read and loved.
Just tell me what it's called, who wrote it and why you loved it so much.

Since you're sharing with me, I'll share with you...

Kissed By An Angel trilogy by Elizabeth Chandler. A great trilogy filled with romance and suspense. When Ivy's boyfriend, Tristan, dies she is devastated, but then she finds out he is her guardian angel. The story takes a turn for the worse when Tristan realizes that the "accident" that killed him was actually meant for Ivy and he is being kept on earth to save her life.

I found this trilogy impossible to put down. If you're into a tense romance, give it a go :)

It's fun to be inspired. It's good for me to read books that make me want to write... and it makes me a better writer to read screeds of books and pick out what grabbed me, what didn't and what elements I could put into my writing to make it better.

Thanks for your help people.

I hope you have a great weekend :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Time to relax

I'm going away tomorrow for a week at the beach with my family.
There will be no internet access and at first I was disappointed, but then I got to thinking...

I find it so easy to let writing consume me. Because I promised to put my family first, I only get limited times to work on my writing. Whenever I have a spare moment I want to rush to my computer and work my precious time away.
Unfortunately this is not always healthy. I love to write. I want to spend the rest of my life doing it. But if that is my goal, I need to learn how to balance my life. If I don't, I could easily burn out when I still have plenty of stories left in me.

I have started doing a short yoga session each day to get my muscles buzzing and my head clear.
Even though I am one of the most inflexible people in the world :), I am managing to give the exercises a fair go and am feeling better for it.

This break away will do my mind and body good too, so I am looking forward to it. It will be a great chance to bury myself in a book or two.

What do you do to find balance in your life?
How do you fit in all the things you want to without going insane?

Thursday, October 6, 2011


As I delve deeper into the world of social media, I realize how important networking is. Whether I get published traditionally or I self-published digitally, I need to market my work.

I'm not sure how you guys feel, but I find marketing really hard. Putting yourself out there, trying to make a sale. It's not really my style. But I know it's vital if I want people to read and enjoy my stuff.

I am having fun with the networking thing though. Facebook is great, blogging is super fun when I have something intelligent to say :) I'm still trying to get a handle on Twitter, but I'll get there :)

I love getting new followers and following other people. It's fun to surround yourself with like minded people who have a passion for writing, story telling and reading.

I have a lot more work to do, to keep building this social media world around me.

What do you guys do?
What's your favourite thing about social media?
How do you get yourself out there and noticed?

Hope everyone is having a great week :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Die For Me

I just finished reading a great book by Amy Plum - Die For Me.

The first thing I liked about it was the awesome cover. Totally stunning with a great byline - "Would you risk your life for love?"

The story is about an orphaned girl who is sent to Paris to live with her grandparents. While she is struggling to come to terms the loss of her parents, she mets a mysterious boy who brings her back to life. Of course a story can never be that easy and as she gets to know this boy she realises that things are not as they seem. This boy is no normal human and she must decide if she's willing to risk her heart on a relationship that might have no chance of survival.

This book definitely has the "hard to put down" factor. I read it in two sessions. It is written in the first person, making it easy to connect with the lead character, Kate. She also falls in love with a very, gorgeous Vincent, who is easy to fall for. He's sexy, charming, intelligent and his family is really cool. He also has that old school romantic thing going on. Chivalry is not lost in this book. Yay for a little old fashioned romance.

I know the writing is also great, because it didn't pull me away from the story. In fact, I didn't notice it at all.

If you like romantic books with a few passionate kisses, lots of action and danger lurking around every corner, then you'll enjoy this book.