Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Blog Tour for Heart of the Warrior

In honor of the release of Heart of the Warrior, the following blogs are highlighting both of the books released so far in the series. Stop by, say hi, and leave a comment. 

Donya Lynne's
May 29 - June 14

May 29 - Book n Kisses

May 31 - Page Flipperz

June 1 - I Smell Sheep

June 12 -  Paranormal Addicts

June 14 -  The Reading Cafe

Please link your Blog Tour Button to this site:

Monday, May 28, 2012

My Star Wars POV Assignment

Yesterday, I posted an assignment on my POV post, and I figured it's not fair to ask you all to do an assignment without doing it myself, so here is what I came up with:

Scene: Queen Amidala is on her starship and addressing Maris Magneta, her head of security, as well as the Jedi. Others are in attendance, and she is about to reveal her plan to form an alliance with the Gungan army to take back Naboo.

Queen Amidala's POV
Sitting on her throne in her starship, Queen Amidala knew they were flying into danger. Her plan could backfire, but she had to try, and whether it succeeded or not, this was all she had.
Maris stood sternly to her right, facing her, his expression grave. "As soon as we land, the Federation will arrest you and force you to sign the treaty."
Maris was her head of security, and he served her well, but Queen Amidala had yet to make him aware of her plans to take back Naboo from the Trade Federation, so he was understandably agitated.
Quigon quickly added, "I agree. I'm not sure what you wish to accomplish by this."
She was deceiving him, making him and Obiwan think she was but a handmaiden, and she wondered how he would react once he learned the truth that Padme and the Queen were one in the same. But these were the measures she had to take to protect herself during this time of strife.
"I will take back what's ours," she said.
She'd had enough of the Trade Federation's blockade crippling Naboo. Her people were suffering, and if the Senate weren't going to help her, she would take matters into her own hands.
"There are too few of us, your highness," Maris said. "We have no army."
He spoke with measured concern, his gaze boring into hers as if to express his increasing anxiety over her decision to return to Naboo.
Soon enough, he would know what her intentions were, and then maybe his concern would ebb.
Quigon obviously agreed with Maris.
"And I can only protect you," he said. "I can't fight a war for you."
Time to reveal her plan.
"Jar-Jar Binks." Amidala looked toward the Gungan behind Obiwan.
"Meesa, your highness?" Jar-Jar leaned out and pointed to himself, obviously confused as to why she would be speaking to him.
"Yes." With resolute confidence, Amidala added, "I need your help."
Jar-Jar had mentioned to her on Coruscant that the Gungan's had a grand army, and now she planned to forge an alliance with them to fight off the droid army of the Federation to take back their planet.

Quigon's POV
Quigon stood in silence, as did the rest of them. The starship was nearing the planet of Naboo and he still had no idea what drove the queen's actions to return to a situation that was certain to put her in grave danger. Perhaps now that she had called this meeting, he would learn more about her intentions.
She sat on her glittering silver throne, opulent and garbed in royal purple, her expression giving nothing away.
Her head of security, Maris, stood to his left, apparently just as concerned as he was.
"As soon as we land, the Federation will arrest you and force you to sign the treaty," Maris said.
"I agree." Quigon spoke up immediately, wanting to ensure the queen knew he supported Maris's concern. "I'm not sure what you wish to accomplish by this."
"I will take back what's ours," she said, her voice flat and monotonous.
Take back what's theirs? What did she mean by that? And how did she intend to do that? The Trade Federation's army was much too large for her to defeat.
"There are too few of us, your highness," Maris said, mirroring Quigon's thoughts. "We. Have. No. Army."
He spoke as if to remind her of that which she should already be aware. For anyone else, speaking to the queen like that would be cause for reprimand, but as her trusted head guard, he was expected to speak frankly in such matters.
"And I can only protect you," Quigon said, reaffirming Maris's warning. "I can't fight a war for you."
Silence settled around them for a split-second, then Amidala's gaze swept back, behind Quigon.
"Jar-Jar Binks," she said.
Had Quigon heard her right? What in Heaven's name could she want with Jar-Jar?
"Meesa, your highness?" The Gungan sounded just as perplexed.
"Yes," the queen said resolutely. "I need your help."
How the clumsy Gungan could help was beyond Quigon, but he was curious. What exactly did Queen Amidala have up her sleeve?

Summary & Explanation
The most obvious point of difference between the two POVs is that Queen Amidala knows what her plan is and Quigon doesn't. She may be 100% confident it will work, but she knows what she's doing. Quigon has no idea and can only speculate.
While you are in Quigon's POV you CAN NOT jump back into Queen Amidala's thoughts to shed light on the situation. That is what is called head-hopping. While you are in Quigon's POV, you must abstain from  writing what another character is thinking or feeling, because, and this is the key, Quigon does not know what they are thinking and feeling. He can only speculate.
Below, I've provided examples of head-hopping. This scene is in Quigon's POV and I've highlighted the head hops in blue:

"I will take back what's ours," she said, knowing the odds were stacked against her and she had little chance of success.
Take back what's theirs? What did she mean by that? And how did she intend to do that? the Trade Federation's army was much to large for her to defeat.
"There are too few of us, your highness," Maris said, mirroring Quigon's thoughts. "We. Have. No. Army."
Maris felt as agitated as he did, and wondered how they were going to come out of this alive, and he spoke as if to remind her of that which she should already be aware.

Quigon would not know that Amidala knew the odds were stacked against her, and he wouldn't know how Maris was feeling and thinking, so in Quigon's POV, we can NOT include such information. Quigon can speculate by saying, "She had to know the odds were stacked against her and she had little chance of success," and "Maris appeared as agitated as he felt. Could he be wondering if they were going to come out of this alive?" but we can't write as if Quigon has "hopped" inside the other characters' heads and can read their minds. If a character is a mind-reader, sure, go right ahead and do that, but Quigon is not a mind-reader, and most characters aren't.
Until you "get" how to write POV, it will be challenging. Even as recently as nine months ago, I still struggled with the finer aspects of POV, but I just kept plugging away at it, and then one day, the light bulb suddenly went on. I haven't struggled with POV since.
Any questions? Are you ready to do your own Star Wars POV assignment now? Remember to email me your results if you want: donya@donyalynne.com

Happy writing!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

POV & Star Wars - Making Sense of Who's Saying What

NOTE: I have an assignment for authors who are reading this at the end of the post if you want to practice, so make sure to read all the way to the end.

To help explain Point of View (POV), I'm posting three scenes from Star Wars. I chose Star Wars because the franchise contains dozens, if not hundreds, of POV characters and is famous for scene changes (in fact, Lucas specifically tailors his environments to be starkly different from one another: Dry and desert-covered Tattooine, lush and radiant Naboo, cold and industrial Coruscant, the rainy water world of Kamino, the cold and snow-covered Hoth, etc.)

Scene changes not only take us to a different location within a movie (and the location could be another planet, another country, another state, or simply another room in the house), they also denote - yes - POV changes (or chapter changes, which are usually POV changes, too). What better way to start out a conversation about POV than to show you how POV is handled in a movie, because really, as an author, my job is to create moving pictures with words. Consequently, dissecting a movie into POV is an excellent way to demonstrate this concept.

If you don't have time to watch all three links posted below, just pick one and do the following. If you can watch all three, though, it will give you more practice in identifying POV.

While you watch the video links, I want you to do the following:

  1. Identify the scene changes (when they cut from the Gungan battle with the droid army in the countryside to the Jedi and Queen Amidala in the city, that's a scene change).
  2. Determine in each scene change which character's POV would work best to describe the action in that scene. For example, when the scene involves the Emperor and the Viceroy, the Emperor's POV is likely to be the better character to speak from, or the primary.
  3. Think about how the primary character would perceive the action of the scene. What is the character seeing, hearing, feeling, thinking, etc.?
  4. Okay, now switch to another character's POV in that scene. For example, if you chose the Emperor in the previous step, look at the scene from the Viceroy's POV. What is the Viceroy seeing, hearing, feeling, thinking, etc.?

To summarize:

  1. Identify the scene changes
  2. Determine each scene's primary POV character
  3. See the scene from that character's perspective
  4. Change to another character's perspective in that same scene (some scenes contain several characters, so you can pick any or all) and consider how each would perceive the scene

Star Wars - Phantom Menace End Battle

Star Wars - Attack of the Clones Battle Scene

Star Wars - Phantom Menace Opening Scenes
Added bonus with this link regarding story structure:
Consider the rolling text at the beginning of this scene as the story's prologue. A prologue is defined as something that is not critical to the story, but which adds extra information. The story can exist without the prologue, but those who read the prologue are able to get more out of the story. This is why nothing critical should go in your prologue. Information necessary to the main story MUST be included in the story, because, like it or not, a lot of people do NOT read prologues. I used to be one of them. I always read prologues, now, but I used to skip right over them.

I'm not done discussing POV. But I think this is enough for today. I just wanted to get you all looking through different characters' eyes. POV is a tricky concept for soooo many authors (it took me years to finally master it), so I will continue to talk about it in my writing tips, hitting it from many different angles. This is definitely one of those areas that, the more you practice it, the easier it will become.


  1. Pick a scene from one of the links and write it from the POV of the primary character.
  2. Now, write that same scene from the POV from one of the other characters in the scene.
  3. How does each character perceive the scene?

Extra Credit
Look through all the pictures I've posted above and below of several of the characters in the Star Wars movies. How would each character view the scene you selected? Additionally, how would young Obiwan and young Anakin view their surroundings as opposed to older Obiwan and older Anakin? What drives the characters to feel the way they do and react differently from one another?

Feel free to email your results to me at donya@donyalynne.com and I might highlight you in a future post. :) And I will definitely try to provide feedback on each one as time allows.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Thank you!

I have many people to thank for hosting me on my first-ever blog tour this month. And for those who missed out on all the insider information, never-before-revealed series info, excerpts, blurbs, and juicy nuggets (what is the weirdest thing I've done in the name of research? for example), head over to the following blogs and catch up. 

Blog Tour - Rise of the Fallen

May 2 - Book Monster Reviews - Carla Gallway (Assistant extraordinaire)
May 2 - Literal Addiction - Michelle Leah Olson
May 11 - Pimpin' Reads - Jowanna Delong Kestner (the magician who set it all up - I bow to thee, mighty Obiwan)
May 12 - Page Flipperz - Katrina Whittaker
May 13 - Deena Remiel's Place - Deena Remiel (and check out Deena's books while you're there)
May 14 - Demon Lovers Books & More - Kelly Oakes
May 15 - Kristina's Books & More - Kristina Haecker
May 16 - Forbidden Reviews - Mindy Janicke
May 17 - Sassy Book Lovers - Stacey Clifford
May 18 - The Jeep Diva - Vanessa Romano
May 19 - The Bookish Snob - Bookish Snob
May 20 - United by Books - Lindsey Hutchison
May 21 - Road to Hell - Gracen Miller

I believe you'll find some fantastic previously undisclosed info on those last few blogs. I tried to change it up a bit with each stop. :) I've added links to each of these blogs on the right side of this page, as well, if any of you ever want to stop in here then jump over to one of theirs.

Again, bloggers, thank you for hosting me and hopefully we can do it again later this year when Io's book comes out. I'll plan more time up front for that one, though. 

Happy reading and writing, everyone.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Narration & POV - Making Sense of it All (If I Can)

I was recently talking to another author and friend who said she has been hit hard by her editor over the subjects of POV and narration. As we talked, I got the impression that she has been given bad information that has done nothing but confuse the holy living daylights out of her. So, being that I can't just let a writing subject like this die, I thought I would start looking into this topic and write a post to help clear up some confusion. Because, let me tell you, narration and POV seem to be two of the most confusing, misunderstood, and debated subjects in writing.

Let's start with the definition of narration according to askdefine.com (dictionary.com has similar definitions, but they weren't as interesting and clear as the one on askdefine.com):


1. A message that tells the particulars of an act or occurrence or course of events; presented in writing or drama or cinema or as a radio or television program; "his narrative was interesting"; "Disney's stories entertain adults as well as children" [syn: narrative, story, tale]

2. the act of giving an account describing incidents or a course of events; "his narration was hesitant" [syn: recital, yarn]
Did you get that? A narration is simply a story. It's a tale. Also called a narrative.

In other words, narration is not bad. It's indispensable to writing a story. In fact, it is the story. Without narration, you have no tale. So, how come narration gets such a bad rap? Because people mistake narration for bad story-telling. I've even said narration is bad. That's how confusing this concept is. So, let's try to uncomplicate and devilify this poor little scapegoat called narration.

We hear people say, "Narration is bad. It's boring. When you fall into narration, you lose your reader." What they mean is, "Bad narration is bad. It's boring. When you fall into bad narration, you lose your reader." Key word: Bad.

I tied narration and POV together for this post because they are closely related. It doesn't matter whether you are narrating your story, your character is, or some other-wordly entity is, narration is simply the act of telling the story through the eyes and with their own words of whoever's POV you're in. As long as you let your readers know who is speaking, it doesn't matter who narrates the story.

HOWEVER, it does matter HOW the story is narrated. Let me explain.

I've read narration (and I'm going to use that in place of story(ies) so we can get comfortable with the word "narration" as a friendly term and not a dirty word) that read like a sportscaster play-by-play: John touched Ann's face. Ann cringed. John said he was sorry. Ann forgave him. They held hands and walked out the door. John closed the door behind him. She smiled and waited. After the door was closed, John led her down the stairs." Do I need to go on? You get the idea. This is narration, but it's bad narration. And that's the problem: It's BAD. It's overly-detailed on the minutae that has absolutely no bearing on the story and only serves to slow the reader down. In other words, it's too descriptive with irrelevent details.

Any narration that is expressed poorly is bad narration. If it contains excessive grammatical errors, it's bad. Misspelled words? Bad. Poor structure and character development. Bad. It's still narration, but it's bad narration. (I'm beating this horse dead, I know, but someone has to exorcise the demons out of innocent little Narration).

Along those lines, if an author can't ice down their POV and properly convey who is talking, the narration is impacted negatively. I could write a whole post on POV, but as it relates to narration, if you head-hop (meaning you switch into John's thoughts while you're still in Ann's POV), you completely lose your readers, and they get confused over who's telling (narrating) the story. Being that Ann and John see things differently (or, rather, they should if they're well-developed characters), a reader who's thinking they're reading Ann's POV will become bewildered and lost when suddenly Ann notices the clogged up urinal. Huh? When did Ann start using the men's room?


Now you have to go back and read to find out where you lost the story, don't you? Actually, the story lost you. That's the effect of head-hopping. And it sucks ass and makes me wanna throw my Kindle across the room when I see it happening repeatedly in a "narration," because it royally screws with my head to the point that I can't keep up with who's speaking. Thus, the "narration" loses its effect and becomes poor quality. Say it with me now: Bad narration.

Some authors get agitated over catch phrases such as head-hopping, but - and here's another catch phrase - it is what it is. If authors don't want to accept the phraseology, that's their choice, but it won't change the fact that head hopping is head hopping.

Okay, so back to narration.

We've all had to endure speeches. Some bad, some good, some outstanding. What did you like most about the ones that were outstanding? What did you like least about the ones that you hated and caused you to tune out? Here's my observation of both:

A speech that bores me is told in a monotone, with a lot of uhs, ums, and ahs. It's dry with little to no vocal inflection. There are no pictures, the speaker seems disinterested, and there are too many facts, details, technical terms, or vague statements (admit it, you roll your eyes when a contestant or sports figure says, "I feel so blessed. This has been an awesome experience," and you practically drool when one voices discontent, gossip, or anything otherwise "juicy."). Company financial updates are major snooze-fests for this very reason. It's why we cringe when we hear we're having a company meeting.

On the other hand, speeches I've enjoyed have touched my emotions. They've made me laugh or cry. They include personal stories, anecdotes, and accounts of actual events. The speaker moves around, inflects his or her voice, gestures actively. They make faces to show you how they are feeling about what they're saying. They keep the language simple yet vivid and avoid ambiguity and terms that go over the audience's heads. The speech might also be accompanied by pictures or video, and the speaker is genuinely engaged.

I think it's obvious which of those types of speeches equates to bad narration and which pertains to good.

Interestingly enough, these two examples also illustrate another facet of good narration: Showing vs. telling. The first example is an example of someone who's just telling. They aren't showing you anything, and you see the result of the listener: Tuned out and not interested. A reader will do the same thing if all you do is tell them everything that's happening in your "narration" without showing them. Showing is what a good speaker (as in my second example) does. A good speaker (author) will show the reader the action instead of telling it to them.

But showing vs. telling is yet another confusing topic best saved for another day.

Suffice for now to say, narration is not bad. It's necessary. Narration is the story. It's HOW you tell the story that matters, not that you told it.

Until next time, happy reading and writing.

(If you have questions, please let me know. This is a very confusing subject. I will try to address POV and show vs. tell in my next couple of writing tip posts).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Self-Publishing: The First Three Steps to Success

As a self-published author, I have to be doing it better, longer, and smarter than everyone else. I don't have a team of editors and proofreaders at a publishing house to make sure my manuscript is in tip-top shape. I don't have someone who handles the logistics of creating my cover for me. I don't have a high-paid, New York-based marketing team with their fingers tapped on to the pulse of every major book distributor in all the hottest markets.

No, I don't. I have to perform all those functions. Oh, and did I mention I also have to write the books? For we independent, self-pubbers, it can be daunting. I mean, hell, I'm the primary editor, the primary proofreader, the one who comes up with the vague idea for a cover so that my cover artist can work her magic and give me what I've described, and I'm my own marketing manager, even though I do have a team of folks who help promote me (God love 'em and thank them one and all!).

With that said, in the May/June issue of Writer's Digest, I found confirmation that I'm on the right track as far as what I need to do to eventually achieve success as a self-published author:

According to Writer's Digest, here are the first three steps to success:

  1. Make sure your story is good. The same rule applies to self-published e-books as it does to print books. You have to start with an enticing, top-notch story in order to persuade readers to keep turning the pages.
  2. Edit, edit, edit. If you can, hire a good freelance editor. Agents and publishers will reject a manuscript pretty quickly if it's not well edited. And if you go the self-published route, this step is even more important. To reverse the perception of self-published books as amateur, assume they'll need to be even better than traditionally published books, at least for a while.
  3. Build your marketing skills. Given that publishers offer increasingly limited promotional support, and self-publishing authors are entirely on their own, much of book marketing in today's environment is in creating "discoverability." You can't sell a book if no one knows it exists, so you'll need to create awareness however you can, whether it's through social media or blogging or passing out fliers on a street corner. Apply "the rule of setting 100 small fires": The best way to start a roaring bonfire is to strike many matches, because you never know which one is going to catch on and create a conflagratioon.

Just a couple of points of interest from that list:

My writing tip from last week was about editing, and I said that editing is second to writing only because you can't edit without writing first. Editing is also the #2 point on this list from Writer's Digest (WD), second only to writing a good story. So, yep, you've gotta write first, edit second, and both are just about equal in importance. But for self-publishers, edit is even more important than for traditionally published books.

Regarding the last point on WD's list, I often feel self-conscious that I'm promoting too much. I see other authors criticizing authors who promote a lot, but really, promotion is pivotal to self-publishing. This point on WD's list just proves I need to get over my self-consciousness and get more creative about where I promote and how. What WD says is true: If you want to start a huge fire, you need to start several smaller ones. As a person who knows this first-hand from building fires at my dad's house as a little girl, I can say with conviction that if you only strike a couple of matches, that kindling won't light up. I want my kindling to light up.

If you are an author reading this, where do you promote? How do you promote? Do you have any favorite sites, blogs, or tips for other authors who want to become better promoters (like me)?

Happy reading and happy writing!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Muse - Arion (aka Richie Nuzzolese)

In honor of this week's release of Heart of the Warrior, today's muse is Richie Nuzzolese, my muse for Arion. Arion is described in Heart of the Warrior as easily the best looking guy on the team at AKM. His vampire bloodlines are pure, his body appears chiseled by the gods, he comes from vampire aristocracy, and he's the guy all the girls want to be with. But Arion is beginning to realize he wasn't meant for the ladies. He's been forcing himself to live a lie all his life, to the point he's convinced himself he's heterosexual, when, in fact, he's not. Now that he's met Severin (whose muse we met a few weeks ago), his true self is awakened and his whole world will turn upside-down.

Okay, so here's how big o' balls I have. I actually contacted Mr. Nuzzolese about appearing on the cover of Heart of the Warrior. Yes, I did. Yours truly held an email correspondence with Mr. Friday Night (he's the hottie in Katy Perry's Friday Night video). He was interested, but we couldn't work out the details to make it happen since I'm currently on a shoestring budget, so he shall remain my muse in my head while a different model gets the honors of appearing on the actual cover. I hope you enjoy drooling - er, I mean, looking at his pics. Happy viewing!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Writing Tip - Editing and Proofing

Since I missed my writing tip this week, I figured I would make up for it today and discuss a topic that is first and foremost in my mind right now as I take my latest manuscript through final edits and proofing.

In my opinion, editing and proofing a manuscript (MS) are dwarfed in importance by writing a manuscript only because if you don't write a manuscript, you won't have anything to edit. In other words, editing and proofing are IMPORTANT! I think too many authors scrimp in this area.

I read On Writing by Stephen King and something he said about his writing process made such an impression on me that I never forgot it. He said he writes a draft of a story, then puts it in a drawer for a month or two before taking it out and running it through the first edit. Then he puts the edited MS back in the drawer, and a month or two later, he takes it out again for re-edits. He does this so he can read his MS with "fresh eyes." This is important in helping you catch more errors, weak writing, and plot holes.

In the age of e-publishing, it's a bit more challenging to take this kind of time, because readers want more stories, faster. So authors have to crank them out more rapidly than in days gone by. However, authors should still set a MS aside for a few weeks before editing it. It really does help. Having strong beta readers (God love mine) helps overcome this time-constraint issue, as well. Beta readers are the "fresh eyes" that can identify problems in a MS. The challenge is in finding beta readers who won't just say, "I love it." You want beta readers who will give you honest feedback and rip your MS to shreds looking for issues, proverbially speaking.

Okay, so that's the first part of editing and proofing. Here's the other:

Read & edit, re-read & edit some more, re-read again & edit some more, etc.

By the time a book is published, an author should have read it at least five times, preferably more.

Here's my typical writing, editing, and proofing process:

  1. Write the first draft
  2. Send to beta readers and let the MS "breathe" (I won't even look at it during this phase)
  3. First edit (I make massive changes to the MS at this point, taking into consideration beta feedback and my own notes upon my first re-read. I added 30,000 words to Heart of the Warrior during my first edit)
  4. Send to editor (I may tweak while my editor reviews the MS)
  5. Second edit (more massive changes are possible here, based on editor feedback and my own notes)
  6. Let MS "breathe"
  7. Third edit (significant changes, but not massive)
  8. Return to editor
  9. Begin final edit (I begin proofing at this point, but the final edit is primarily for the final changes I want to make to a manuscript)
  10. Send to proofreader (who happens to also be my editor)
  11. Final proofread (This is where I address my proofreader's notes and re-read the MS for a fifth or sixth time and refine the MS with tiny tweaks, such as removing or adding a word or phrase here or there, while I proofread).
  12. Format the MS for publishing
  13. Publish

Whew! Yes, I do this for every MS I write. For Rise of the Fallen, I think I read the MS more than ten times before publishing it. And I was still catching errors on the last read-through. For Heart of the Warrior, I'm on my 5th read, I think, and I'm in proofing. Notice that I run a MS through edits 5 times (I count proofing as an edit since I still make tweaks to the MS at that stage).

I have read so many self-published books that were riddled with errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar, and when I see that I know the author either didn't edit or didn't edit enough. And that's a shame, because even a great story can't overcome sloppy mistakes that could have been fixed if a little time had been taken up front. When I see a ton of errors in a book, it unfortunately tells me that the author falls into one of the following categories: 1) Doesn't care; 2) Doesn't know and doesn't care enough to find out; 3) Only wants to make a buck without giving readers a quality product; 4) Is sloppy.

Now, some authors might get shitty with me for saying that, but when I'm reading, I'm not a writer, I'm a customer. And if I read a book full of errors, I won't buy another book from that author. And I'm not the only reader who feels that way, so take that for what it is. I mean, you wouldn't continue buying clothes from a designer when you bought one of their shirts and the sleeve fell off, or a brand of crackers you found bugs crawling in once. And remember the Tylenol scare? Another example: RCA used to be the epitome of home entertainment products. But they decided to cut corners and make "cheap" products (I know, I worked for them for a while), and now RCA is basically nonexistent. People stopped buying their products because it was obvious they were cheaply made and didn't work, and they ended up closing down several facilities and laying off thousands of workers. People don't buy services or products that are shoddy or that they perceive as shoddy. Books are no different, and just as consumers associate the once prolific RCA with the word "crap" now, they will associate a shoddy book with its author. They won't care if the bad book was a fluke, or that the author was under duress. They will only see "bad" in their mind and that author will be forever tainted. It's the reality, so please don't shoot the messenger.

Also, notice that I'm saying "full of errors." All books have errors in them. It's the nature of the beast. I'm not talking about books that have a few errors every 100 pages. I'm talking about books that have a few errors on EVERY page. And, yes, I've read books like that and wanted to throw my Kindle against the wall.

And on that subject, if a book's blurb contains errors, I won't even buy it. I read a blurb for a book this week like that. I was seriously considering buying the book, but upon reading the 2-paragraph blurb and seeing three glaring errors, I pulled back from hitting the buy button.

So, yes, editing and proofing are UBER-IMPORTANT!!! A well-edited book and blurb can make the difference between making future sales and losing your readership.

As a writer, I take how I feel when I'm reading and I apply it to my own stories. Seeing errors in others' work influences me to buy or not buy their future books, so I want to make sure my MSs are publishing as impeccably as I can make them. Editing and proofing are not areas of the writing process authors can afford to scrimp on.

Happy writing for happy reading!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Hello, blog followers!

I have not forgotten about you. This is a huge week as I prepare Heart of the Warrior for release and finish my blog tour. In addition to all those two projects entail, in a week's time, I have been approached, interviewed, and obtained an offer for a temporary job where I will be working on a special project for a dear friend of mine I used to work for. If anybody else had asked, I don't think I would have done it, but when my friend presented me with the opportunity last week, I was so excited for the chance to work with him again that I jumped at it. The job is scheduled to last 90 days, give or take, and then I will be back to writing novels full time.

So, while I will still be writing part-time now, my blog posts might not be as frequent as before. I will still try to keep up with my Monday Muse, Wednesday Writing Tip, and Sneak Peeks and Teasers, but I may not post every day as I have been.

Here's what the coming months hold as far as writing projects:

May - Heart of the Warrior goes on sale May 25
June - The Arms of Winter is set to release from Silver Publishing (date TBD)
July/August - Micah's Calling, an AKM novella, will release
September - Possible short story in an anthology (details and date TBD)
October - Fingers crossed for book three of the AKM series (working title Rebel Obsession)
November - Short story to appear in an anthology (details and date TBD)
December - I am working on a very special project I am hoping will be ready for release by December 15th, entitled The Christmas Pendant. It is a stand-alone, paranormal piece. Fingers crossed that it gets finished in time. It is part of a trilogy. If it's not ready by Christmas, I will not publish it. I would rather wait and make sure it's right than rush it when it's not ready.

2013 holds the promise for books 4-6 of the AKM series, as well as for a stand-alone romance I'm currently working on with the working title of Model Romance. This story will be a bit of a departure from my normal methods of writing. For one, it will be contemporary rather than paranormal, and I'm planning it to be written in first person rather than third - not my usual style.

I hope you follow along on the journey, and if nothing else, this post will help keep me reminded of what I've got working for the rest of 2012. You know, just in case I forget. LOL.

Happy reading!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Muse - Andrei Andrei (Take Two)

I wasn't going to post Andrei Andrei as my Monday Muse this week since he was my muse last week, but oh well, Fate intervened. In a very nice, dreamy way. Literally, my subconscious mind interjected Mr. Andrei into my dreams last night. Now, I know that real life and dream life are two totally different things, but when you're dreaming, it's very real. And I didn't want to wake up this morning. Because Andrei was the dreamiest dream man I've dreamed about in a while. *sigh* He was charming, sexy, a good cook, and...well...very attentive. *chuckle* So, that's how he became this week's Monday Muse after appearing as such last week. But in my (and his) defense, he has so many awesome pictures out there he could be my Monday Muse for the next few weeks and I still wouldn't run out. I hope you enjoy my inspirational hero as much as I have. *wink*

Happy viewing!