Saturday, April 27, 2013

COVER REVEAL - Today Only by Derinda Love

It is a total thrill to be revealing Derinda Love's debut novel, Today Only. This amazing lady has been the biggest support for us indie authors and now she is joining the pack. It's SO exciting!!!

So without further ado, here is Derinda's first novel....

Add it to your To-Be-Read list on Goodreads:

Derinda lives in Maine. Her biggest passion is for her family and friends. She adores loving others as if it is the biggest gift life can offer. She is a read-a-holic, loves chocolate, cowboys and everyone on her Young Adult & Teen Readers Facebook page. Her dream is to travel to Australia one day.

Her debut novel ‘Today’ Only will be released some time in May.

Blog  *  Twitter  *  Goodreads

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I LOVE New Ideas!!!

Do you know one of the best feelings in the world?

Well, for me it's that magical moment when a new idea pops into my brain. Like a lump of sugar plopping into a cup of hot tea, it's an exquisite moment.

Images crowd my brain, each scene filled with excitement and emotion as these characters come to life. A story unfolds, usually not in any particular order. The random chaos eventually culminates into a full length novel and I'm so excited I want to start writing straight away.

But I can't.
Usually when a new idea hits me I'm in the throes of writing a completely different story.

Sometimes this is frustrating, but it's actually a good thing. The fact I can't work on the book straight away gives it longer to mull in my brain. The characters become more real, acquire bigger problems, gain more intricate backstories. The scenes I originally came up with get replaced by better scenes. New scenes appear to me, giving me subplots and making the entire story stronger.

A few weeks, sometimes even months, to work on a story idea in my head has often been the best thing for me.

How about you?
How do stories develop in your mind?

So, why am I writing this post?
Well, a few months ago, I had a spark of an idea and it has slowly been growing and developing in my head and I AM SUPER EXCITED!!! At this stage it is possibly a four book series, but I promise I won't end the first book with a cliff hanger. The first story is clear in my head, the other three are still growing. As soon as The Elements Trilogy is out there for you to enjoy, I will be working on this series. I'm planning for a 2014 release as I have a couple of small surprises I want to put together for my readers first (three words...Dale and Nicole). Whoop! Whoop! Looking forward is so much fun when you have so many cool things planned.

Do you have any new projects on the go that you're super excited about?
I hope so!
Because it really is the best feeling in the world!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Editing - Is It Money Well Spent?

YA writers and bloggers unite each week to share their thoughts on what it's like going indie in today's publishing world.

When I published my first book in 2011, I didn't have any money. My cover designer let me pay her off over a year as I started earning money for sales and I did everything else myself...including my own editing. 

Now that I have a little cash in the bank and I have learned a few hard lessons, I can safely say, that I think you should always use an editor. I have recently paid for my first book, Golden Blood, to be proof-read by a professional. It has felt so good to republish the book without all those mistakes in it. Black Blood and Pure Blood are also being re-edited and will be re-published very soon.

I think a lack of quality editing can really tarnish a book. 

First and foremost, you need a structural edit. I use my critique readers for this - fellow authors who know what they're talking about. They really help me find all the holes in my story and ask me thought provoking questions that make my work better.

Secondly, you need a line edit. I pay a professional for this service. I have used a couple of different people and I'm not opposed to using a little variety here. Sometimes it's good to get a fresh perspective from a different set of eyes for your different projects. The lady who is working on my Elements Trilogy (Laurie Boris) is brilliant and I love working with her. She has really lifted my writing by pointing out errors and sentence structures that don't work. 

Thirdly, you need a decent proof-reader. Until recently (with my Time Spirit Trilogy), I have never paid for this service, but I think I'm going to start. I am still horrified how many mistakes get missed in spite of the fact I've read my work multiple times, plus had others read it for me. Having someone who is awesome at proofing your work can only be a good thing.

Now, I know editing is a pricey business, but I figure if I'm aiming to produce quality, I should be putting my money into the thing that will help make my work quality. In my opinion, your budget should be spent on editing, cover design and a little paid advertising. So far, those financial outlays have given me the best results.

What is your take on editing?
Have you had good or bad experiences with your work and different editors?

Check out what the other YA Indie Carnival members think on their sites, which are listed below.

You can also check out the YA Author Club for the latest updates and news on what we're all up to.

1.Laura A. H. Elliott2.Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3.T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series4.Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga
5.Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog6.K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
7.Gwenn Wright, author of Filter8.Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
9.Ella James10.Maureen Murrish
11.YA Sci Fi Author's Ramblings12.A Little Bit of R&R
13.Melissa Pearl14.Terah Edun - YA Fantasy
15.Heather Sutherlin - YA Fantasy

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Good Stuff To Know - April Edition

Time for another helpful tips post. Once again, I have been so busy writing that I don't have that much to share, but I still have a few small things I've picked up this month.

One - I read a great book about Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne Hall. There were so many great tips in the book and I really liked the way the author laid it out. I wish there was a paperback version, because I would definitely add it to my collection and use it as a reference book.

Two - a friend of mine, who also happens to be a fantastic writer (Carl Sinclair), recommended this site to me. These are a series of lectures by the legendary Brandon Sanderson on his website: Write About Dragons. He's really easy to listen to and makes some awesome points on writing.

Three - I was interviewed by Bill Thompson. He interviews a variety of authors and was so lovely to chat to. I think it is a great way to gain a little exposure and I was very excited to chat to him. The interview is on his website: The Bookcast.

Have you come across any helpful resources this month?
Feel free to share them in the comments section.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Indie Life - It's All About Attitude

I'm very excited to be part of The Indelibles Indie Life series. These posts run on the second Wednesday of every month and include ideas and articles from a wide variety of indie authors. Check out the links below to learn more about INDIE LIFE.

I have only been doing this a couple of months. So far I have touched on the aspects of balance and quality.

Today I want to talk about attitude.

Being an author, you need a really tough skin. Your work of fiction is a part of you. It's born in the heart and grows over the days and weeks as you put the story together. Finally you have this baby that you want to share with the world...and that's when you're the most vulnerable.

Readers are honest and they have every right to be. You have put yourself out there and they are free to respond to your work as they see fit. Unfortunately that can be a really painful experience. Getting those five star reviews puts you on cloud nine. You feel elated that someone out there thinks your work rocks. You have given them an escape from reality and they have enjoyed it. But then come the one and two star reviews and these sting. Your work is torn to shreds as readers find every mistake and reason not to like it. Ouch! It really hurts.

It's in moments like these that you have to decide what attitude you'll take. As a child I always loathed criticism. I didn't fight it or try to justify it, I just believed it. This whole writing experience has taught me that I don't have to do that anymore.

Reading is subjective. I don't like every piece of fiction I read, so why should everyone like my stuff. I know some authors say you shouldn't read reviews at all, but I feel that if someone has taken the time to write a review for me, then I should take the time to read it...even the bad ones. Yes, they sting, but sometimes I have learned things that I can tuck away for future projects. I have to remind myself that it is just someone's opinion. Sometimes I want to respond, to write to the reviewer and explain why I did something the way I did, but I don't feel like that will get my anywhere. If anything, it'll just make me look desperate for approval. I don't need their approval. I have it from various other places. I wouldn't have even published the book in the first place if my beta readers hadn't told me it was worth it. No matter what, I have to brush off the biting words and focus on the five star reviews. And then I keep writing. I keep working on my craft and I make sure to never let my attitude slump into a place that will stop me from doing what I love.

Writing is a tough job. It can be lonely, frustrating and it takes a lot of work, but if you love it enough, you'll stick with it.

How do you cope with negative reviews?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

So Many Things To Tell You!

Okay, time for one of my favourite posts of each progress report. I love filling you guys in on what I'm doing, because I love finding out what other authors are up to. I guess you like to write the kinds of posts you enjoy reading.

So, what have I been up to?

 I got back from my girls' week away on Friday night. I had the best time. Hanging out with friends in a new place is so much fun. Guilin is a beautiful part of China and although the weather was not the greatest, it didn't take away from the beauty. Here's one pic I took from the boat cruise we did down the Li River.

Writing wise, I have been a very busy lady. After making the decision to release my trilogy in rapid succession, I have had no time spare. It took me an hour to map out a schedule to make sure I could fit everything in. So far I'm only a couple of days behind schedule.

Unknown is in the final editing stages. Unseen is written and with critique readers, and Unleashed is planned. I hope to start on that next week. Trying to do this has been a trip, but a totally amazing experience. I feel like I'm being pushed to my limit on so many levels and it's good for me. I'm out of my comfort zone and I am learning so much.

So as you can imagine, I am in a bit of a writing flurry at the moment, but I am also squeezing other things in. I was invited to speak at an international school a couple of weeks ago and presented my stuff to three different English classes. It was great. I had so much fun talking about what I do and answering a bunch of great questions.

I also ran a Bookbub ad with Betwixt and was excited to see some real movement with that book. The proceeds are going to a charity, Love146, so it's awesome to be able to hand over a really decent donation. Thank you so much to everyone who helped me spread the word about my Betwixt sale and everyone who bought a copy. Your support means so much to me.

April is a relatively quiet month for me. I'm going to be spending most of my time in my writing/editing cave. Thankfully I love hanging out there.

I do have a few little surprises planned though, so keep your eyes and ears open.

If you'd like to be the first to find out my latest news, you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
Melissa Pearl's Updates.

So that's me - what have you been up to?