Friday, January 27, 2012

Contract For Book 2 Signed - Check, Happy Dance - Commence!

I just signed a contract for Betrayal Bites, Book 2 in the Tales of Sydney Sedrick! I couldn't be more happy. I have to say that I didn't imagine I'd get to this point in my writing career, but here I am. Honestly, self-promotion does not come easy. Facebook is fun, romance reader loops are enlightening, Twitter? Yeah, Twitter is like an alien language that I've yet to tackle. I've read from the greats in the romance writing profession is to only do what you can commit to and keep track of, like blogging for instance.

It's a bit too soon to have the cover art for Betrayal Bites, so I'll put a pic of Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Author Schedules

Writers have very busy lives, and it becomes quite difficult to balance day jobs, family and friend responsibilities, and making sure there is still time left over to get in quality writing. That doesn't even include time for promoting, blogging, hosting other authors, building your platform which has become crucial to an author's success, and plotting out the next WIP before you're done finishing your current project.
What I've found to really help accomplish what I need to do and still get my writing time in is to set goals for myself. Realistically, I know I can get a rough draft done for a full-length novel in 4-5 months, I'd like to cut that time in half, but I'm a busy gal, so that's not likely to happen.
Word count expectations are crucial in meeting that goal of having a full-length draft completed in my alloted set amount of time, so every week I do my darndest to meet that goal, and I always have a handy notepad near to jot down ideas for future projects.
What does everyone see as their achievable goals in completing rough drafts for their projects, is it normal to give myself a due date for what I'm currently working on?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Book trailers, do they hook readers?

I've been looking around on the web and seeing some amazing book trailers, some made by authors themselves, and some that were professionally created, and they were all done to promote author's works. My question is do they work? The pictures used are amazing, and the sound tracks can catch the interest of the viewer, but how often are readers looking at book trailer sites to find out what authors are up to? So... are book trailers worth the money that costs to have them produced (that is if you're not computer savvy enough to make your own)?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Christy Sloat - New Release!!!!

Welcome to my blog, Christy, and thanks for taking the time in sharing a bit about you, your inspirations, and your writing.

Now, let's get down to business shall we?

1.) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Well I have always dreamt of being a writer, but I got serious about it two years ago.
2.) What type of genre do you write in?
Paranormal, Romance, YA, and Horror.
3.) What inspires you to write in this genre?
I have a love affair with the paranormal and the weird. So I get so many ideas that I say to myself, “That would be a great book.” I love vampires, werewolves, ghost’s and anything in that genre.
4.) Where to you get your ideas for your writing?
I have no clue. Lol. Really they just come to me. This will be strange but I get a lot of ideas in the shower.
5.) Who are your favorite authors and why?
I have so many favorite authors; Michelle Warren, Cidney Swanson, Stephanie Meyer, Amanda Hocking, J.K Rowling and so many more. They write books about the topics I love. They are original and I like that.
6.) In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great?
The general idea first of all has to be engaging. Then the characters. I have to be able to relate to them.
7.) What activities do you undertake for inspiration?
Music! I love Pandora Radio. And looking at art on Deviantart. Those people are so talented, I could get inspired just by looking at their ideas.
8.) Do you belong to any writing communities, or critique groups?
I belong to many communities on Facebook. There are so many great book communities on there that help authors get their name out.
9.) Do you have a day job?
Yes, stay-at-home Momma. It is the hardest job I have ever had. I used to work full-time in the dental field, but being at home with my kids is way more challenging.
10.) If you could do it over again, what aspects of the writing/submission process would you change before becoming published?
Wow tough question. Hmm it sort of just happened so fast, that I didn't really think it all through too much. I just sent it. But maybe I would have taken more time to look through my submission to ensure that it was perfect. Or to have hired an editor for the first three chapters.
11.) What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it?
The Many Lives of Avery Snow, Book one in the Past Lives Trilogy. Right now it is available on Smashwords. But will soon be out on and Barnes and It will also be out in print very soon and available in stores.
I am also working on a new book due out in July 2012,The Brown House.

Thanks again, Christy, we look forward to reading The Many Lives of Avery Snow, sounds intriguing, and right up my alley.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Awesome Author Tool

Well, better late than never! Through discussions with some of the other SMP authors, I learned something very crucial for published authors whose works are available through Amazon updates sales information about every hour, which I knew and have been obsessively watching the sales rank of my latest release, Bizarre Life of Sydney Sedrick. Well... Through, you can track every single sale of your novel. The catch of the site is that you have to sign up, on the day your novel becomes available, otherwise, it only tracks sales numbers from the day you set up your account (which is totally free) and set specific novels to be tracked. Hope this helps everyone for their releases, and those yet to be released. It's both fun and frustrating at the same time, and you can see what promotional materials and efforts work, and which ones don't. Happy writing everyone, keep sharing these fun and helpful tips, it will help everyone! Now, how do I get more sales?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Jenna Johnson - Author Spotlight

What type of genre do you write in?

I write primarily in the fantasy genre, and my current books can be considered high or epic fantasy and are geared towards the middle-grade reader. I have lots of other projects waiting in the wings, some for much younger readers and some for much older. They can all be considered fantasy books, but some are high fantasy, some urban fantasy. One day I’d like to try to add a little steam punk into the mix as well.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Sharon Shinn: She does a good job with world-building and creating a complex setting. Her characters are engaging and she comes up with some unique concepts that I both admire and draw inspiration from.
Maria V. Snyder: I especially love her book Poison Study. A good fantasy adventure with engaging characters and a strong heroine. Although her world isn’t as complex as others, it still offers that escape I’m always looking for.
Lindsay Buroker: Lindsay is a fellow indie author and I found her first book on I was just browsing and stumbled upon it and liked the premise. Lindsay’s books are all about her characters and I simply adore them. She has done an excellent job in developing their personalities and giving them real heart.
Sherwood Smith: Another author who creates fun and engaging worlds. Her characters have spunk and there always seems to be a little twist in the story somewhere along the way.

In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great?

When I finish a book that I really like, it usually has to have two things going for it: an interesting setting and good character development. An interesting setting can be something as simple as a brand new world and as complex as a highly developed society with multiple layers. When I read, I want to be taken somewhere else. As for the characters, if they don’t have emotions and come off as flat, I’ll not enjoy the book. I want to care what happens to them, to see them suffer and experience joy. I want them to feel real to me.

What activities do you undertake for inspiration?

When I’m writing, I try to have some instrumental music playing in the background (traditional classical music, new age Celtic and sometimes soundtracks). I think it helps get the creative juices going.
Another thing I like to do to help get away and give my writing side a rest is to go camping, preferably Yosemite National Park, once a year. It helps me wind down and I’ve actually started working on another fantasy novel in which the setting is based on Yosemite Valley.
I also draw (my college degree is in art), and sometimes I’ll sketch out character ideas or creatures that live in my worlds. I designed the covers for the Oescienne books and I am always working on maps to help me find my way around my different settings.
Besides camping, music and drawing? My friends and I go to a weekly medieval sword fighting class and we all have longbows (which we shoot in my backyard on the weekends when we have the time). How does this inspire my work? Well, I guess you could say I’m trying to relate better to those characters of mine who live in a more primitive time period ;).

Do you have a day job?

Yes I do. I work as a teacher’s assistant at a local elementary school. One of the perks of working in a school is that you get summers off, along with a winter and spring break. It’s really nice to have the time off to write :).

What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it?

The title of my newest novel is The Awakening (the third book in The Legend of Oescienne series). It can currently be found in paperback format from ( and ebook format from amazon and ( I should also mention that the first book in the series, The Finding, is currently free from ( and (in case you aren’t sure if you want to read all three, you can test drive the first one ;)). Of course, you can always visit my website/blog ( where I’ll post book news. Right now you can only learn about my Oescienne series, but I’m working on a YA urban fantasy at the moment and as soon as book one is ready to go, I’ll create a page for it as well.

Jenna, thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to hang out with us, can't wait to start reading your series, always looking for great new reads :)

Happy writing

Monday, January 2, 2012

Where do you get your inspiration?

Imagination plays a huge part in fiction writer's work, but where does the rest come from? I write paranormal romance, and the market is rife with typical vampire love stories where the main characters live happily together for all eternity. That would be the ideal set up, I mean who doesn't love a story of fated, eternal love? The problem is, how many times does a reader want to read a story with different personalities, but there is always the same formula - despite the fact the stories are written by a multitude of authors.

So... The big question is, where do you go to find that sparkly angle that makes your story unique and able to stand out from other authors that write in your same genre?

Walking into work? Looking at products in stores? Watching people interact with each other, their children, and their animals? Every aspect of our lives is an opportunity to have your muse experience what you see, smell, hear, touch, and taste, with any twist of variation that suits your fancy.

That's what I love about writing, the sky's the limit.