Monday, April 25, 2016

It's All About Balance

This isn't the first time I've written on this topic. It's one everyone deals with at some point in their life. Balance. Family, friends, work, play, hobbies. How to balance it all?

I'm retired. This should be easy, right? Why do I still find it hard? Husband, cruising, motorcycling, travel, family, friends, writing - it never ends. Setting priorities. That's all it takes.

Of course, now there is Facebook (perfect way to stay in touch with family and friends while traveling), Google+, Twitter, Goodreads, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Then factor in web sites and blogging, although I have cut way back. Since we are no longer living in Ecuador, I don't have to post on that blog. But I still have our personal blog, Our Prime Years, as well as this blog. And readers aren't happy if they don't have something to read.

Write? Oh yeah, I did finish the first draft of my children's short stories but it will be May before I get a chance to edit them. Why? Because I'm currently finishing the first draft of my new novella, Whispers in Paradise, for the Lei Crime Series Kindle World. Then the month of April is Camp NaNoWriMo and I'll be tackling the first draft of the third in my Klondike Mystery series, Almost a Touch.

Phew! Think I'll go take a nap.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Update and Ramblings

It's been a hectic couple of weeks. As I posted a month or so ago, I finished my series of seven middle grade short stories. They are now printed and hubby is doing a first draft read. Normally I would do a first edit before that but....

....I needed to get writing on my first novella, "Whispers in Paradise", for author Toby Neal's Lei Crime Kindle World. That first draft is done, printed and hubby will be doing a first draft read of that as well. Normally I would do a first edit before that but....

....I needed to get started writing "Almost a Touch", the third book in my Klondike Mystery series, for Camp NaNoWriMo. After finishing the novella, I was starting over a week late. Then life happened....

....Fatigue, back pain and too many every day chores and errands assaulted me. One biggie was moving from our rented site in the campground to our personal site (effective Feb 1st but we had renters committed till mid-April). So last Sunday we made the move! It went quite well considering we had been in one spot since mid-October! The rest of the week disappeared in a blur of getting outdoor things set up, getting pavers added to our lot to extend the usable space and buying both a propane fire pit and a small seating set.

Ah, life is good! Oh, the book? I'm in chapter three now and have done a surprising amount of research. I doubt I will get my 50k words by the end of the month but I'm willing to try!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Books for Mystery/Thriller Writers

As a mystery writer, I need to get it right when I write. That means research, a lot of research. For example, in book two of my Klondike Mystery Series, "Barely a Spark", I needed to learn more about poisons. While I got some information via Google, my best resource was the book "HowDunit - The Book of Poisons" which I bought for my Kindle.

Over the last couple of years, I have added several hard copy books to my library as well as several Kindle ebooks.

My bookshelf cabinet in our RV
Here are some of my favorite books that I have purchased, some I have in paperback (as you can see above), others in Kindle. [click any book to see on Amazon]

And to help me with keeping track of all my characters, research and notes as well as write my books>>

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

#IWSG for April 2016: Fear

It's hard to believe, but it's time for my monthly IWSG post. Every month seems to pass by faster and faster. What is IWSG? Direct from their site:
To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The theme for this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group is FEAR.

I haven't written or published a new book since Barely a Spark in September 2013. During the last three weeks I have been writing feverously, working hard to get the first draft of a novella done. Titled Whispers in Paradise, it will be part of the Lei Crime Series Kindle World.

So what's the problem? FEAR. Fear that it won't be any good. Fear that I'm rushing it. Fear that I can't write a full-length novel anymore.

Are my sentences too short? Am I giving my characters room to grow? Is there enough action? Is there enough dialogue? Is there too much dialogue? Am I painting an image of the setting, Hawaii? Am I doing justice to the other novellas already published? Am I doing justice to the original series? Will I finish the first draft in time to start writing Almost a Touch during the April Camp NaNoWriMo?


Monday, April 4, 2016

Exciting News - Special Announcement

As an independent author, marketing can be tough. If we aren't writing, we have nothing to sell. If we aren't marketing, we can't find new readers. Word of mouth, social media, reviews and advertisements and the basic tools each author uses (or tries to use) to spread the word about their books.

I am announcing another way! Sometimes called a street team, I have started the HOOT TROOP.

What is the HOOT TROOP

This is a team of readers who are proud to help promote books written by their favorite author. The author? Me, of course.

Members will receive advance electronic copies of new books prior to publication. They are asked to help promote the book when it is published. This means posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, blogs and personal websites. All social media! See below for additional information and benefits.

Who can be a member? How do I join?

Currently the HOOT TROOP is limited to twenty-five members. In time, I hope to expand it to fifty members. Please sign up (be sure to mention the HOOT TROOP). If membership is currently full, you will be put on the waiting list.

Benefits for HOOT TROOP Members ONLY!
  • Have a character named after you in my books
  • Learn fun tips about my characters
  • Entered to win in a drawing every time a new book is published (this includes gift cards, books, and other fun stuff)
  • Who knows what else!!
What am I expected to do?
  • Be my friend! (Facebook friend requests accepted but PLEASE let me know you are a HOOT TROOP member
  • LIKE my writing pages: My Write Spot - Klondike Mysteries - Lia Rules
  • Tell your family and friends about books of mine that you have read and liked
  • Receive and read Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) of my new ebooks
  • Share new release information on any/all social media outlets that you participate in (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, personal blog, etc)
  • If you have a blog, I would love to have you feature my new book, review it, interview me (any or all)
  • Post reviews for my books on all the reader-centric sites like Amazon and Goodreads
Currently the HOOT TROOP is limited to twenty-five members. In time, I hope to expand it to fifty members. I'm excited about this great way for me to interact with my readers. I hope you are, too!

Thank you!