August 17, 2018- This is for all of my self-published author friends and colleagues! I want to know, are you a bad decision maker? I know that in the past, I certainly have been. It is imperative to be a good decision maker when self-publishing because so many things require your attention! Here’s what I’ve learned along the way in my own publishing journey:
You base your decisions on ego. If you think that you know it all, you’ve got a problem. Let’s say that your an expert in a specific field like illustration, you may assume that your expertise in that field will translate to every other area in bookmaking such as marketing, advertising, and writing. Well, my dear friend, you would be wrong. Instead, assemble a team of people whose expertise rounds out your own and reap the benefits of multiple perspectives.
You rely on the momentum effect. Yes, I do believe that some past events can predict future events, BUT this is not always written in stone, and there’s a problem with thinking this way! The world is continually changing and evolving. If you’re only relying on your tried-and-true methods and are blind to other options, you’re going to be in trouble. It’s important to learn from the past, but to keep your eyes on the future. Know what’s going on in your industry so that you can continuously pivot and be on top of your game.
You’re Lazy. If you’re a self-published author, then I have news for you, you’re an entrepreneur whether you like it or not. Entrepreneurs have to be curious and hungry and always on the lookout for new opportunities. If you only make decisions based on how comfortable you feel and refuse to try anything new, this industry will chew you up and spit you out.
You’re indecisive. Ugh. Nothing makes me cringe more than people who can’t make a damn decision. Yes, there are some decisions that need to be thought about carefully, but let’s face it, most decisions can be made in a matter of seconds! If you can’t decide where you’re going on your self-publishing journey, then why would it matter when you get there? You can’t hit a target you can’t see. Make a decision and stick with it whether it’s right or wrong. You’ll find out eventually and remember that indecision is a decision!
You see the trees and not the forest. Take a look at the big picture! Good decisions are always made with the big picture in mind, but if you’re always worried and focused on putting out fires and solving minor problems, you’ll never be able to properly plan ahead. Don’t Major in Minor things. You get me? Delegate the smaller decisions to those who are in your corner. You don’t need to worry yourself with minor details that don’t really matter in the long run.
So, the good news is that if you do any of the things above, you can choose to stop doing those things immediately and become a better decision maker! It’s not always easy, but it can be done. Trust me, I’ve done it.
July 25, 2018- Today, I’ll be giving you three things that you MUST DO if you want to create an unputdownable book. Yep, that’s right, Un Put Down Able is a real word that is in the dictionary. Who knew?
So, you want to create a novel that readers tell you that they just couldn’t stop reading?
Here’s what you need to do to ensure that this happens:
Start where the action is. You’ve got to get your reader hooked right out of the gate. If your intro is boring, what does that say about the rest of your book? I know that some people will say that it’s crazy to judge a book by the first page, but I’m here to tell you that people do. Start with action, and you’ll hook your reader for sure.
Create compelling problems for your characters. I’ve said this time and again, your reader MUST be invested in your characters, they must care about them, and be interested in seeing them solve the problems that you, the author, has presented them with. The conflict that you set up must be high stakes. It can be as simple as something like having two love interests and trying to decide between the two, or it can be something as complex as trying to save the world from an alien attack. Also be sure to layer the character’s problems for even more fun!
Pick up the pace. Literally. Shorten the end chapters, pick up the speed at which your reader reaches the end of your book. Make the last few chapters breakneck and be sure to tie up everything with a bow.
If you follow these three tiny tips, I promise that you will create something that is unputdownable for your readers! Happy Writing!
July 16, 2018- I absolutely love this quote from Chris Colfer, “A villain is just a victim whose story hasn’t been told.”
Ever since I was a child, I always rooted for the bad guy and I have to confess that as an adult, I still find villains more interesting. What interests me is the why behind what they do, how they act, and who they are and how they got to that point. The villain is always more intriguing than the hero I think because after all, they mustn’t have always been that way.
A part of them must have been good at one point; what changed? And don’t you think that we all teeter on the edge of becoming villains? What stops us? What separates us (the good guys) from them (the bad guys)? I urge you to consider writing your story from the villain’s perspective; change things up and let your readers experience a different point of view! Happy Writing!
July 11, 2018-I am a huge believer in reading to kids, even while they are still in utero; you can never start too early! Reading is a love that can be lost unfortunately and needs to be reignited every now and then. For adults, it’s especially tough because let’s face it, life gets in the way. Between paying bills, working, and carting the kids off to different events and activities, the first things to go are the things that we enjoy, such as taking a break to escape into a book.
Reading is so critical because not only does it allow us to be role models to the little ones watching our every move, but it encourages us to live more than one life. Reading expands our minds and imaginations, and it does the same for our children. Literacy is crucial especially right now in the digital world that we live in; most families don’t make time anymore to read to their kids before bed or take turns reading chapters as a family after dinner. We are in such a hurry for everything that our lives are moving at an alarming pace and we are forgetting what matters. Your kids are going to remember the nights you snuggled up and read with them, they’ll remember the books that they laughed at and cried with, they’ll remember the time you took to read to them, and they will be forever grateful. Reading is not just a past time, but a responsibility that we should not take lightly. So, read. Read as much as you can and read whatever you can get your hands on. And, read to your kids because their future love of books depends on it.
July 9, 2018- In June, I was invited by a dear friend of mine, to participate in a challenge on Facebook. This challenge was right up my alley, and I’m so glad that she chose me to share in this specific task. Mary Ann explained that each day for fifteen days that I would have to share a book that changed my life. I have never been so excited as this to take part in anything in my life! Some of the books that made the cut were Great Expectations by Dickens, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho; each and every one of these books among others, had an enormous impact on my life and I’m so grateful for each experience. Check out my Facebook page, Pandamonium Publishing House, for my complete list of the fifteen books that changed me.
This week I want to challenge you to do the same, please choose and share the fifteen books that changed your life. You can share one or two at a time, whatever suits you best, and just know that by doing so, you will inspire others to pick up the titles, or that by sharing the books that you love, you may ignite another person’s love of reading. Not long after I posted my book on day three, I received a message on my timeline from a friend that said because of my daily posts, she was inspired to read again for the first time in a long time. Nothing makes me happier than people reading! I hope that you’ll take me up on this challenge. Happy reading!
July 4, 2018- First, let me say Happy Fourth of July to all of my American friends; I hope that you’re enjoying lots of celebrations!
We all spend a lot of time in public. Writers do too even though there is a common misconception that we never leave the confines of the same four walls because we are chained to our desks writing the next great Canadian/American novel. I think the difference is that authors listen carefully when they’re around other people. We have to because that’s where ideas come from.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve used a real-life conversation that I’ve overheard somewhere in one of my books. Whether it’s in line waiting for coffee, in line at the bank, or hanging out at the airport, there is always a massive amount of inspiration that is ready to be harvested. A particular conversation in my psychological thriller, Obsessed with Her, is a real-life conversation that I overheard in Starbucks one day while I was writing. That’s why it’s so imperative to always be prepared and carry some kind of writing utensil with you and something to write on because you never know when inspiration will strike like lightning! Worst case scenario you can whip out your cell phone and jot down some notes to implement into your writing later.
People often ask me if I write about real people in my novels. The answer is complicated and a sort of yes, but no. I take inspiration from people who I interact with, but the whole character is not based on them. Individual characteristics, oddities, and quirks often make it into the book, and if the person is unusual in the way that they speak, stand, or look, it’s definitely making it into my writing.
So, for every person who asks if I’m writing about them, I am.
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