It’s NaNoWriMo Time!

NaNo-Shield-Logo-WebI’m a day late with this post. To be honest, I didn’t decide until late Wednesday night that I would be participating in NaNoWriMo this year.

I know a lot of you know what NaNoWriMo is, but there are probably a lot who don’t.

November is National Novel Writing Month. It was started in 1999. In 2005, they became a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.

Here is a little bit about NaNoWriMo (or NaNo for short):

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) believes stories matter. The event began in 1999, and in 2005, National Novel Writing Month became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. NaNoWriMo’s programs now include National Novel Writing Month in November, Camp NaNoWriMo, the Young Writers Program, Come Write In, and the “Now What?” Months.

Last year, NaNo had some pretty impressive numbers.

  • 402,142 participants, including 95,912 students and educators in the Young Writers Program, started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

  • 972 volunteer Municipal Liaisons guided 646 regions on six continents.

  • 1,195 libraries, bookstores, and community centers opened their doors to novelists through the Come Write In program.

  • 65,962 Campers tackled a writing project—novel or not—at Camp NaNoWriMo.

And lest you think it’s just a vanity exercise to see if you can do it (50,000 words in one month is a lot for some people and not-so-much for others):

Hundreds of NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.

But, really, this just scratches the surface of all that NaNo is. To learn more about it, I encourage you to visit the site and poke around in the “about” section. If you want to try it, leave your NaNo username in the comments here and I’ll add you as a writing buddy.

I’ll see you tomorrow. I have some writing to do.

Spotlight on Kiernan’s Curse (Kat O’Reilly)

515FgiX7kWLWe’re going from nonfiction to fiction. Romance, actually. And it does get steamy.

Kiernan’s Curse started with a dream I had. The first past of the dream is used in the beginning. The second part of the dream is in the middle.

Set in central Ireland in the early-mid Middle Ages, this is the book where I decided on my pen name. I wanted something that sounded Irish.

BLURB:

Can a heart be unsealed and allowed to love again after being closed as tightly as the west tower?

Kiernan Maguire fends off attacks on the village of Beinn but Maeb Faly is determined she won’t be so easily turned away. With battles waging on his health, his keep, and his heart, something has to give.

This is book 1 of the Maguire Men. Others in the series are in various stages of completion. I’ll let you know when they are available.

It will be free on Kindle from Friday, October 19, 2018, to October 23, 2018.

Q&A with Author Leslie Bowes

Author Leslie Bowes announces the release of her book, Heart Healer, book one of the Heart Healer series. Below, she shares a book trailer and answers a few questions for us.

Exerpt:

“That’s true, but I don’t need a servant. I need a wife.
Catherine dropped the spoon as her whole body shook. What was her father planning to do? Hard work? A wife? What was going on? She was not her father’s slave to trade as he wished. She was his daughter. Too nervous to turn around, Catherine prayed that she heard wrong.
“What did you say?” her father asked, shocked.
“You heard me.” Mr. Von-Clyer laughed. “You had no problem selling her to me as a servant Mr. Andrews, but now that I want her for my wife your conscience haunts you. What’s the difference? Either way your debt to me is paid.”
“Catherine, get over here now!” her father yelled drunkenly. The longer she stared at the vein in her father’s neck; she realized that she was making him angrier than Catherine had ever seen before.
She slowly walked over to the table and stood in front of her father. Her heart was
pounding in her chest as she watched him drink his last bit of wine.
“You will be Mr. Von-Clyer’s wife to pay off my debt.”
“What debt?” Catherine asked angrily.
“Catherine, do not speak unless you are spoken to,” her father snarled.
“What debt?” Catherine yelled.
Her father jumped up from his chair with an angry shout, bumping the table, but James jumped in front of him.
“You cannot treat Catherine like that, Father. She is your daughter and my sister, not your slave!” James yelled.
Catherine’s father was having none of that. He lunged for James, but Catherine got in between them before her father could do anything. She knelt in front of James and wiped his tears. All the while she prayed for strength.
“Thank you, James, but I need you to go to your room.”
“But, Catherine—”
“No buts. Go to your room and stay there until I come for you.”
As soon as James was in his room, Catherine’s father grabbed her arms and shook her hard.
“Don’t you ever speak to me like that again, Catherine! Do you understand me?”
“Yes, sir,” Catherine whispered, scared for her life.
“Good. Now go with Mr. Von-Clyer and pay off your debt.”
“Father, I beg of you. Tell me what my debt is?”
Q&A
JNO: My blog focuses primarily on creativity. What is your creative/writing process?
LB: I put ideas in a game plan of how I want each chapter to go.
JNO: What prompted you to write this book?
LB: Heart Healer started out as a historical romance called Rose Hill but it did not get published. So I stared on a contemporary romance called A Second Change At Love.  When I was in middle of writing, I noticed something was miss. So, I pulled out Rose Hill again and put parts of Rose Hill and A Second Chance at Love together and it became Heart Healer.
JNO: What advice would you have for anyone starting to write their first book?
LB: Never give up and never stop writing.
JNO: Where can people find you and your book?
LB: Heart Healer is available on Amazon in print and on Kindle. I’m also on Facebook at the Heart Healer page.
HeartHealer_11593_med

Introducing Book Spotlights

Creative Commons via catchingcourage.com

In a recent post (A Few Items of Interest), I mentioned that Amazon was merging CreateSpace and KDP. I didn’t know a time frame, but I knew it was happening soon.

It’s happened.

I talked about having re-release/launch dates and events as I converted my books from CreateSpace to KDP. Let’s just say that the process of moving them over went quite a bit smoother than I expected. They’re all moved.

I’m not going to do re-releases. I am, however, going to spotlight them here and do some promos on all of my books between now and Christmas.

You heard right.

Christmas.

It’s surprising to me that it’s already time to be thinking about Christmas.

The first book I’ll be spotlighting will be a Kat O’Reilly release. It will be up next Tuesday.

In the meantime, I have more writing to do, so I’ll see you back here with another post on Friday.

Book Review: How to Market a Book Someone Besides Your Mother Will Read

Front cover of How to Market a Book Someone Besides Your Mother WIll Read by Tierney JamesI met Tierney James a couple years ago at a writers’ conference. Recently, I learned she had a book about marketing. Since that is something I am working on, I thought I would get it and check it out.

Let me tell you, it’s worth every single penny!

A few days ago, I called a writer friend to tell her about this book. I said, “There are some things that had me going ‘duh,’ but she has a lot of good stuff in here!”

My friend asked “duh like you should have known that or duh like why didn’t you think of that?”

I said, “All of the above. There’s duh I already knew that, duh I should have known that, and duh, why didn’t I think of that?”

Honestly, the “I already knew that” moments are still good reminders. And there’s not a lot of those. Most of it is something I either didn’t know or found myself wishing I had thought of before.

How to Market a Book Someone Besides Your Mother Will Read is kind of a long title from how the recommendations for titling books tend to suggest, but it’s catchy. You’ll remember it for a long time to come. It’s a fast read with things you can put into practice immediately. There’s not much in the way of theory, and that’s good. Books on theory in marketing leave me thinking that I still don’t know how to do what I need/want to do. This one has great, practical information complete with links, suggested resources, and ideas on how to get started.

I do think this should be in your writer’s library, whether that’s a physical book or on your Kindle. I have no doubt I’ll be referring to mine again and again.

A Few Items of Interest

reportersnotebook_black
Photo of reporter’s notebook by grafixtek on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.

There are a few things I’ve been thinking about. Some relate directly to this blog and others are about my writing and books in general. Let’s start with the blog-related stuff.

Schedule

I have been aiming for two posts a week. There have been some weeks I’ve had three and some I’ve had one. I don’t think there have been any weeks that I’ve had none since I started this. (I could be wrong.)

My upload days have been Tuesday and Thursday.

That is going to be changing somewhat. I will still upload on Tuesday, but the second day will be Friday from here on out. Bonus posts will go up whenever they go up. That’s why they’re bonuses.

Books

Many of you know the majority of my books have been indie-published. I’ve used CreateSpace for this. However, Amazon appears to be merging CreateSpace and KDP, so in the very near future,

I will be migrating everything over to KDP. When I do that, I will have re-release dates/events for all the titles. I will announce those here and on my Facebook author page (not my profile, though they will be shared there too).

RealmWalker: New Beginnings

I finished the passive voice editing pass tonight. Tomorrow, I will start using Word’s “find” feature to look for some specific things. I think it’s close to being ready to send back to my editor, though.

RealmWalker: Anchor

I can’t mention New Beginnings without talking about Anchor, can I? Well, I guess I could, but I won’t.

Progress on Anchor has been slow because of editing New Beginnings. However, with this round of edits nearing completion, I will soon be back to work on writing this second book. On the plus side? In one pivotal scene in New Beginnings, I put a hint of what is to come in book two. That was fun.

Personally

There are a couple other reasons why progress has been slow on Anchor. I thought about not sharing them, but I decided to. Not because I feel like I owe anyone an explanation, but because we’re all human. We all have problems that keep us from what we want to do sometimes and I want you to know you’re not alone in whatever you have going on.

I have had problems requiring visits to Wound Care. Because of that, I have to keep my foot elevated more than not. It’s not easy to do computer work like that. So I’ve limited myself to an hour to an hour and a half in the evenings. Today’s visit was good, though. One area is completely resolved and the other is close. Maybe I’ll be done with Wound Care (again) very soon. (Don’t get me wrong. There are wonderful people there and I’ve made some good friends through the times I’ve had to be there.)

I have been having problems with my left wrist, too. At first I thought it was just arthritis. Then I noticed that there is an area that stays swollen. I mentioned it to my doctor a few months ago. He pressed down on my thumb and I just about came up out of the chair, the pain from that surprised me so much. We both laughed about it. He said it was a “positive Finklestein’s test” and I have tenosynovitis, or tendonitis of the tendon that goes from my wrist up into my thumb. He gave me a prescription steroid ointment and told me to wear a brace for a month. I did. It didn’t help. I started sleeping in the brace. I mentioned it again this week when I saw him. He prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication and said to wear the brace during the day but don’t sleep in it. That’s where I’m at now.

I can type with the brace, but not at my usual speed. I’m seriously thinking about using voice-to-text when I start back to work on Anchor.

At any rate, those are the relevant updates I’ve been thinking about here. Have a great weekend.