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Red Riding Hood

May 4, 2020– Anyone who had European grandparents growing up, knows that fairytales aren’t always fluffy and feel-good stories; we were read the Grimm’s version of fairytales as children and the stories were edgy and downright scary at times. They were anything but Disney-fied. I remember hearing the story of Little Red Riding Hood and my grandmother glancing over her glasses at me and saying, “Why would anyone go into the forest wearing a bright red cape unless they wanted to be stalked?” That sent shudders through my whole body as a child and makes me grin from ear to ear as an adult. Turns out that my grandmother was on to something! She had a different perspective entirely.

The Grimm’s Fairytale version of Little Red Riding Hood sounds more like the plot of a Hollywood horror, and some versions of the fable say that Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, both sat down to eat Grandma…disturbing, yes, but also very intriguing. Fairytales were created to teach children lessons that were scary enough to keep them on the straight and narrow.

We can take insight from fairytales that are a little more dangerous and risque than the typical type-we can use them as inspiration to push the envelope in our own work. Take risks, write a darker version of your work to see what it feels like, what it sounds like, and how it makes YOU feel. It’s empowering to write books with less than a happily-ever-after ending. If you haven’t tried it yet, do it at least once, you’ll be surprised as this simple exercise can open your creativity and allow you to see your characters and themes in a whole new light. Happy writing! X LLB

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Romantic Reads

February 14, 2020Ahhh, today is the day of love and to celebrate being in love. Whether it’s your spouse or a partner or yourself, here are some unconventional choices  (that are my personal recommendations as I’ve read each one) that will help you fall in love with reading. For the record, love should be celebrated every day.

  1.  The Bride Test by Helen Hoang– Khai Diep avoids relationships because his autism makes him feel unable to love.   His well-meaning mother takes matters into her own hands and tries to find him a wife. Khai will soon find out that there is more than one way to love.
  2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens– My personal favourite. The driving, all-consuming power of love. And the loneliness of loving someone so much and never having them love you back. Enough said. (I’m not crying, you’re crying!)
  3. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne-Oh man, this one is gut-wrenching, but another one of my most favourite love stories. Adulteress Hester Prynne must wear a scarlet A to shame her. Her lover, Arthur Dimmesdale, who she will never identify to the masses, is wracked with guilt, while her husband, Roger Chillingworth, seeks revenge.
  4. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory-A really fun read about two people who get stuck in an elevator together and agree to pose as a fake couple at an ex’s wedding. Such a great book with a less than typical romance.

I hope that you’ll check out the list above! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Why You Need a Mentor…

October 16, 2019– A mentor can be defined as an experienced and trusted advisor. It’s bewildering to me the amount of people that ask for advice from people who have no experience and who are not doing better than them. Never ask anyone for advice that you wouldn’t be willing to trade positions with. Read that again.

Here are three reasons why it’s imperative to have a mentor:

  1. Mentors provide essential information and knowledge. Let’s face it, whatever you’re planning on doing (writing a book, included) someone out there has already done it. They’ve probably done it better and faster and have worked out all of the kinks. They have tips and tricks up their sleeve which will make your life easier because you’re not reinventing the wheel.
  2. Mentors encourage you to do better. Mentors should be people that we look up to, people that we aspire to be like. If you hang around with turkeys you become one. Did you know that you become the five people you hang around the most? Why wouldn’t you hang out with someone who encourages you to be the best  that you possibly can? Mentors force us to level up. That’s why you MUST choose the right ones!
  3. Mentors keep us accountable. The best mentors are the ones you check in with and who check in with you. They ask you how your project is going, they want progress reports, and they want to know what stage you’re at in your work. We have to answer to them and the last thing we want to do is disappoint them along with ourselves.

Whatever you aspire to do or be, make sure you have a mentor. Don’t have one? Get one. It’s essential to your success.

X LLB

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The Best Times to Post…

October 2, 2019– Check out this cool info-graphic about the best and worst times to post on social media; it’s important to create a content schedule so that you can keep in touch with your readers and to ensure that your posts have maximum impact!

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We Know Him As Scar…

September 4, 2019– Wow! This is so cool; check out this video of how Scar became…well, Scar! I’m always interested in the villains of the story. There is a reason why they are the way that they are.

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Our Guest Blogger Today Is…

August 7, 2019– I’m thrilled to invite author, Samantha Nemeth to our blog to guest post today! She’ll be talking about all things Terrible and she’ll give you a sneak peek of her book! Check out her post below:

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a vivid imagination and I’ve loved telling stories; I didn’t want to be read to, I wanted to do the reading. Before I could even read I’d sit with a book and come up with my own stories from the pictures. I’d write plays with my friends and force our families to watch, and our favourite game was “spies”. We’d come up with these crazy stories about people being kidnapped with us being the heroines to save them. Before you ask, yes we roamed the streets not-so-sneakily “spying” on passersby who were our imaginary kidnappers and then run away giggling when they noticed us. So, I guess you can say that being an author, creating something from nothing but a thought, is somewhat of a childhood dream of mine.

My book “DJ the Terrible”, is definitely inspired by my friends and I and all the trouble we got ourselves into, but the original idea for it came from a drawing. My now-fiance and I were being silly one night coming up with the funniest sounding names we could, and drawing pictures to match them. Our favourite was titled, “Djeaneautha, la Terrible Jeune Fille”, who had crazy hair, a unibrow, and a evil genius cat named Godfrey. After that, I just couldn’t stop thinking about all the chaos that this terrible girl and her cat would have caused and from there, DJ grew into this wacky, fanciful character who reflects all the awkwardness, burning curiosity, and complete comfort with herself that my friends and I grew up with.

The story follows DJ as she navigates the roller-coaster ride of being the new kid in a suburbia where everyone plays by the rules, no one has any uniqueness, and they haven’t even heard of deep-fried waffle tacos. When she realizes that these people don’t like her because she’s different, she quickly decides to go undercover with her sidekick Godfrey the Super Cat to assimilate with her new neighbours, AKA “The Borings”, gain their trust, then turn the town on it’s head! The only thing is…blending in simply isn’t DJ’s strong suit. With her inventive, mischievous mind, wild hair, and clumsy demeanour, Terrible trouble follows this Terrible girl wherever she goes!

I was lucky enough to grow up in a time before social media and its high standards really hit its peak and I was able to truly be myself, let it all hang out, and simply be a kid; mistakes, tangled hair, unfashionable hand-me-downs, and all. Along with making kids laugh, and sparking creativity, I hope that “DJ the Terrible” can help show today’s youth that it’s okay to be yourself, to be different, and in fact, our differences are something to be celebrated, not hidden away. I would love for at least one reader to walk away from the book knowing that what matters isn’t having the most friends, or the coolest hair, or following the trends. What matters is staying true to yourself, and everything else will fall into place.

Her book DJ the Terrible will be available on October 1st…but we have a special announcement coming soon!

 

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How Far…

July 3, 2019- This is a really cool graph about travel that will serve our historical fiction writers well! If there are any vessels that you are unsure about, Google them to find out more information and the time periods in which they were used. Remember, just because you’re writing fiction, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be credible in your research. Happy writing! X LLB

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The Power of Colours…

May 22, 2019- Colours evoke powerful emotions. When designing your book cover, illustrations, and website, colour plays an important role! Let’s take a look at what each of the colours below, stand for:

RED: Courage, power, glory, love, drive, passion, inner strength, romance & violence.

ORANGE: Speed, dedication, loyalty, change, harvest, warmth, friendship & family. 

GREEN: Growth, renewal, intelligence, money, luck, envy, greed, nature & survival. 

BLUE: Peace, flexibility, water, depression, empathy, respect, honour & trust. 

WHITE: Cleanliness, purity, coldness, light, & hope.

BLACK: Glamour, security, power, wealth, mystery, intrigue & sophistication. 

For my book cover Obsessed with Her, we chose a black background (Mystery & Intrigue)  with red and blue writing for the title (red= violence) (blue= depression). You may have thought it as a coincidence, but every single thing we do is calculated and with purpose. There is also a MAJOR give away (the ending) in the shape of the title. (No spoilers here, sorry!)

Using colour is essential because you are getting your reader to subconsciously find clues to give them some insight into the type of book you’ve written.  

I hope now that you know about the power of colour, that you’ll use it wisely and use it to add to the reader’s experience!

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This Could Be The Shortest Blog Post Ever…

April 3, 2019– Did you see the image that goes along with this blog post? It says, How to Sell Books Without Marketing. I’m going to tell you exactly how to do that in two simple words, YOU. CAN’T.  It makes me crazy when people go around spewing incorrect and irresponsible advice to self-published authors who really want to sell their books.

Marketing is the catalyst that moves EVERY business, not just the book business! Without marketing, how are prospective readers ever going to find out about your work? Without marketing how can they find where to buy your book? Where can they find out about you as an author and how can they find out about new releases you have coming out? ONE WORD. MARKETING. Let’s explore a couple of different options for the best ways to market your self-published book.

  1. Word of mouth. We all know that word of mouth is the best way to sell anything; from movie tickets, insurance, books, and everything in between, word of mouth is the most trusted source of marketing. Word of mouth marketing is the most effective form of marketing because people trust the opinions of others (their peers, friends, relatives, and their immediate circle of people). Let’s say that you’re out on the weekend with some friends and one of them tells you about a fabulous new restaurant in your town; they talk about how excellent the service was, how fast their food came out, and the stunning decor of the restaurant. They also tell you that it was the best steak they’ve ever had and that you must try it! What are you going to do? You’re going to check it out of course! Same goes for books, readers who liked your book are more likely to tell others about it, this will lead to more sales of your title and at the very least, more hits on your website!
  2. Interactive marketing. This is also known as event-driven marketing which means that your readers have a two-way communication channel to connect them to your company. You as the author interact with your readers on many different levels and some of these include, shows, book signings, skype sessions, library talks, and any time you’re out in public. Interactive marketing is essential to your success because it lets your readers know that you care about them and what they have to say. It lets you meet them face to face and create a two-way relationship!

The above two types of marketing are obviously not an exhaustive list of all the options that are available, but they are an excellent and most important place to start.