Monday, February 8, 2016

Sign onto an anthology?

If you've read this blog before at all you probably picked up on me being a complete control freak. If you haven't read this blog before then  'Hi! I'm Fiona and I'm a complete control freak.' This has caused problems in the past, every where from work to personal relationships. My therapist blames it on my lack of control in fucked up childhood-I'm willing to go with that. For whatever reason I have seriously considered going with the ebook publishers and thought ehh, I can't pick my cover, I have no say when this is being released, who is my editor? Nope, nevermind I'm good over here. 

Then the anthologies hit the sales charts. Let's make it very clear an anthology is not out there to make money, it's to get a writer introduced to as many new readers as possible. At least five authors short or long story for a dollar, what avid reader can really say no to that? But here's where my control freak nature kicked into gear, as in real life I don't know many people what if they sucked and then people thought my book sucked, I saw a lot in Kindle Unlimited, oh hell to the fuck no. No, thanks I'm good and I'm too lazy to do an anthology myself. 

So the weirdest thing happened out of nowhere I wanted to be in an anthology and a group of writers I'm in on Facebook were all let's do an anthology but sadly it didn't really appeal to me so I bowed out. *Sigh*  Then because the last anthology did so well they wanted to do another and it could already be written and a full story not a short story so I said yes. Kindle Unlimited was kicked to the curb from almost the beginning. Yay!!! I'm really glad I did it, I know I got new readers from it and so I will say an anthology but go with your gut on what kind of anthology fits you. 

This is the one I'm in: It's only .99 cents peoples with seven full stories from seven different authors!  Come on buy it and don't forget to review it pretty please! 

Amazon buy link: Intoxicating
Nook buy link:  Nook-Intoxicating
Kobob buy link:  Kobo-Intoxicating
itunes buy link:  Apple-Intoxicating

This is the one that is too naughty for me to be in because it's threesomes, BDSM, and M/M. Also only .99 cents for only eight stories from different authors, this is what's called a no brainer. Don't forget to review pretty please. 


Amazon buy link: Salacious
Nook buy link: Nook-Salacious
Kobo buy link: Salacious

Saturday, December 5, 2015

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all

This week I have unfriended and unfollowed two people because of their response to the San Bernadino shootings. Two weeks ago it was two people for their thoughts on the Planned Parenthood shooting. I also unfollowed someone due to their response on the Paris terrorist attacks.  The people on the Planned Parenthood were beyond obnoxious in their posting and it quite frankly made me sick. The person on the terrorist attacks was so callous I was shocked. I have seen postings I don't agree with before and even though I didn't agree with them I shrugged and moved on, not feeling the need unfollow or unfriend but this time postings went clear out of bounds and I don't want to be associated with people who think or post things like that.

I get it something violent and scary happens or someone says something that just makes you want to jump up and down and shout your views and feelings from a mountaintop but before you do stop and think. Are your feelings so strong they are worth losing potential followers, readers, and maybe even people you viewed as a friend? While normally I would encourage people to attempt to open a dialogue in the times of today that just doesn't seem possible anymore, it winds up becoming a screamfest and your stupid because you don't believe what I believe and there is no discussion. You are trying to sell something, you and if people don't like what you are selling they won't buy. Some of you may go 'Good I believe what I believe and I don't care if someone doesn't like it. If they don't like me then I don't want them following me or buying my books.' Really? Don't be stupid. It's hard enough to find readers and people willing to hit follow or like that you would truly be cutting off your nose to spite your face.

I'm not saying you should attempt to be something you're not but it's plain and simple if you can't say anything nice then don't say it at all. Think about the things you are liking and sharing the people I unfriended seemed to want to say something cruel by sharing their post and cruel doesn't work for me. If it's a statement of fact that you don't care about your sales and you want to be outspoken and stand so far behind your beliefs that you are willing to forgo followers who believe differently than you then go for it. However, don't be surprised or whine later about lost followers or sales.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Don't just read, reread

It's a common question, do you ever reread books? Most people who say no do so with the excuse there's too many books out there to read the same books over again. However, if you're a writer you're reading not just to enjoy the story along the way in the back of your mind you're probably noting things that annoy you maybe ways the story could be better. If it's really good though all you're doing is reading, so caught up in the story you couldn't careless about sentence structure or how the dialogue is smooth and real. It's those stories that you should be rereading. Those stories will allow you to see where you could be doing better, maybe even show you your own strengths and assuring yourself so you can focus on the other areas where you need work. Just like an athlete will watch game tapes to see an alternate view of their performance once you know how the story ends you'll be able to see all the things you didn't before. 

I've been rereading since I started reading, mainly because I didn't understand everything as I was too young to understand. Then I started reading Shakespeare and I had to read again and again and again to first understand then to enjoy. Even now there are books I go back to for sheer pleasure and others to learn from, moving them from state to state not even considering leaving them behind. Those books, they aren't the classics either, they are the everyday mystery, thriller, and romances I read for pure pleasure and want to write. I have read the classics some I enjoyed others felt like pure torture I honestly can't say I'm a better writer for having read them and I really don't care if it would make me a better writer, they aren't what I want to read or write so I'm not going to reread them. I'll stick to what I want to write. 

I'm not about to suggest rereading is the only way to be a better writer but really what better way to pass the day? Are there really no books out there that were so good you wouldn't enjoy one more time?

Saturday, October 3, 2015

What's in a name?

Flint, Beacon, Sterling, Ace, Dragon then there are the women Buttercup, Reese (for a girl?) Floraleaf, Ever ughh for reals? Okay, I get it Robert is not all that romantic, Beverly ehh not so much. I also understand that you want your characters to be memorable your hero strong and these days Alpha to the teeth the women soft and sweet and still somehow independent and brave enough to take on the hero. Even I can be accused of using not common names-one of my character's her name was Avery BUT I have heard it used before and I liked it and it sounded pretty. Ria, also a name I've heard and actually knew someone with the name. I've even taken my guys into other cultures so I could use not common names, Rafael, Dmitri but at least they were common names in those cultures. It worked well but it also helped in that it added an extra dimension to not just the characters but the stories themselves. 

Feel free to steal that idea, make one of your characters Asian, Hispanic, Filipino, or any of the myriad wonderful cultures that make us such a unique great country or take your character out of the States to somewhere interesting. Anything other than naming your character Blade.

Because I look at the descriptions with those crazy ass names and I just can't take them seriously. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. Sure there's a concern that if writers use oh I don't ordinary regular names that the heroes could, in the reader's mind become a mish mash and hard to decipher one hero from another. However that's where you the writer come in. You make the story more memorable, you make your characters one of a kind so it doesn't matter if your character's name is one of a thousand John's from other books the reader remembers yours over another. Giving the characters some strange, one-of-a-weird name isn't going to make your character better, it isn't going to make your story better-only you can do that.   

So how about getting out that big book of baby names, I know every writer has-or you should have and give it a whirl but without going so outlandish it just becomes weird. How about leaving the names of colors to just the description of objects instead of naming your guy Blue, or Gray and your girl Lavender or Velvet you pick a name people have heard before that doesn't sound like a stripper name. 

Just a thought. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Why I write

Why must you write?
The voices, Ann
The voices I cannot stop them
they come to me when I sleep
when I wake
when I sup
when I walk down the hall
The sweet longings of a maiden
the surging ambitions of a courtier
the foul designs of a murderer
the wretched pleas of his victims
Only when I put their words their voices to parchment
are they cast loose
Only then is my mind quieted
at peace
I would go mad if I could not write down the voices
Are you possessed?
Maybe I am

That came from the movie Anonymous and although it isn't quite that bad for me the voices are there, the scenes playing out behind my closed eyelids as I try to sleep. So I tell their stories and for a while there is peace. Until the new ones want their turn. 
Yet, I also write for the same reason I read-to offer the escape of another world, of other possibilities, of dreams I didn't know existed. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Best laid plans

There was a plan, really there was. First there was the plan of ones dreams then I remembered how bad I am with deadlines and schedules and then there was a revised plan that was more fitting and I was sure it would go smoothly as planned. I want to laugh but it would come out as bitter and make me cough so I can only shrug. By this time of the year from December of last year I was supposed to have finished six, at the very least four stories for sale. One peoples, one whopping finished story. There are four other half finished stories, one going I don't even know where, one I'm looking at with faint distrust and wonder at how I started writing it and one which might, just might not be complete and utter shit. 

Don't think I shrug off the lack of being on schedule, I'm a writer that's not what we do. I have castigated myself on an almost daily basis until my confidence has me starting and stopping like a car with two hundred thousand miles and running on empty. It hasn't been pretty. 

Then it happened. As I mentioned I started a craptastic job to pay for the stupid asthma medicine and pain med for my arthritis and a doctor to prescribe those meds. We had to list one unique thing about us and so I went for and said I had self-published a novel-referring to my fantasy one, not the erotic romances. From almost every person there was a little bit of shock and awe and while I squirmed under their seeing me with new eyes I shrugged and mumbled the title and pen name and moved on. More than ready to change the subject but several didn't want to. Yes, I admitted it wasn't easy, it was the hardest thing I had ever done. A year to write (not mentioning that two months of that was me stopping swearing I couldn't do it.) then another six months of editing. Huh, okay I guess it is something to be proud of. 

Still the new stories won't come or I falter after a few lines. Until the other day it happened again, a guy told me that I had done the thing he most wanted to do. Finish a story and publish it, what was that like? The hardest thing I've ever done but the crazy thing is once you've finished the first one the next ones come easier. Hell I've done twice that word count in the same time frame. 

Finally the switch flipped. Just like I told him. The hardest part is also the most simple just sit down and write and keep doing it and don't stop until the story feels like it's out and then you can fix it when you're done. With my plans falling so far behind the doubts build until they become overwhelming but I need to remember, I've done it before and I can and will and need to do it again and I can do it. I just need to sit down and start. 

Huh, maybe it's time to sit my ass down and follow my own advice. Maybe.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Justified, I still miss you

'If you run into an asshole in the morning then you ran into an asshole. 
If you run into assholes all day long, you're the asshole.'

God, I love that line. I've used it often and it's cut short many an argument some idiot was trying to make. Timothy Olyphant is a sexy beast, and maybe, just maybe a muse to a certain free story-maybe. Long lean, muscles that flexed impressively when they had to, I loved that the most while yes there could be considered a fair amount of violence within the the show it was never blindly, used to cover a hole the writers couldn't dig themselves out of. In fact this was one of the best written shows I've ever come across-in like ever. (as a reformed couch potato I think it counts for something). Then there were the moments when there was no dialogue and it was just a stare off that spilled blood. 

These days it feels like there are no surprises and watching Justified I was often surprised and extremely entertained. It was clear, often at least to Raylan that he and the antagonist were two sides of the same coin and how he dealt with that especially when Raylan chose to step out of the clear lines of the law, especially as he had badge on his hip. Then there was Boyd who was just bad to the bone and embraced it without remorse towards the end. Boyd had some damn great lines himself. 

Sadly it is not yet on Netflix it's on Amazon prime and if you have it I highly recommend it. I have to admit I leaned on it often to catch the nuances of dialogue-the back and forth that moved the story forward. It was a huge help and there were entire seasons saved on my DVR box, truth.

The show was based on a short story called Fire in the Hole by James Ellroy and the first episode stuck closely to the book. I loved it from the first scene to midway through, and when it was over I knew I wanted more of this show. At the time I was toying with writing professionally, watching Justified it was a great prod to the ass, to want to be that good, to create a world that was totally living breathing and engrossing. 

A great entertaining show just to watch and an even better for a writer to watch and learn from.