Tuesday 9 May 2017

Famous writers' tips on writing -- 10 Writing Tips from Joyce Carol Oates

Hello there!

I'm glad you dropped by. I can't leave Yolanda Renee's guest post up forever so...I'm blogging to tell you I'm not blogging much any more.

I've been blogging since 2007 (((gulp))) and have never really taken a blog break, even when I've been travelling. It's time.

It's only a kinda blog break, because for now: I'll be:

Why am I doing this?

Like many who've left the blogosphere or have taken a long break, I'm having trouble fitting everything in. Coming up with posts is super fun, but I don't believe in posting then not returning comments which is what takes a whackeroo amount of time.

Things I've got going:

- I'm on the final round of rewrites for my Paris novel which I've been working on chapter by chapter with two wonderfully savvy critique partners - we swop chapters, print them out, then meet face to face every month. Wow. It's made such a difference to me and my writing. 

- I've rewritten my paranormal romance, have got a new cover design, now I have to decide if my books are going to be published under a pen name...which means a lot of work but may well be worth it...some advise against the pen name, pointing out that I've got all this social media capital under my real name, but I've discovered that the people who follow me on social media don't buy my books, so what's to lose? 

- I'm doing a great deal of study of writing, especially in plot and structure.


I came across these at Authors Publish and would like to share them with you. If you visit the link, you will find tips from other famous writers.

  1. Write your heart out.
  2. The first sentence can be written only after the last sentence has been written. FIRST DRAFTS ARE HELL. FINAL DRAFTS, PARADISE.
  3. You are writing for your contemporaries — not for Posterity. If you are lucky, your contemporaries will become Posterity.
  4. Keep in mind Oscar Wilde: “A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.”
  5. When in doubt how to end a chapter, bring in a man with a gun. (This is Raymond Chandler’s advice, not mine. I would not try this.)
  6. Unless you are experimenting with form — gnarled, snarled or obscure — be alert for possibilities of paragraphing.
  7. Be your own editor/critic. Sympathetic but merciless!
  8. Don’t try to anticipate an ideal reader — or any reader. He/she might exist — but is reading someone else.
  9. Read, observe, listen intensely! — as if your life depended upon it.
  10. Write your heart out.
  • Did you like the writing tips? 
  • Any tip stand out for you?
  • Do you practise any of these tips?

Thanks for coming by!

Wednesday 3 May 2017

#IWSG day is the day for The Snowman blog tour--my guest, Yolanda Renee! 10 Top Warning Signs for when your publisher is not into publishing. And 5 things NOT to do when publishing your book.

Hi Yolanda. After that gory introduction above, welcome to my blog today. Today, it's IWSG day, but on my blog, it's all about you. I'm beyond thrilled you've decided to go with this hot button issue which I know has caused you a truckload of insecurity over many months. The best we can hope for is that this cautionary tale will prevent other authors falling into the trap.

The IWSG is Alex J Cavanaugh's dream child. His awesome co-hosts for the May 3 posting of the IWSG are Nancy Gideon, Tamara Narayan, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Michelle Wallace, and Feather Stone!
Thanks Alex and ladies. Readers, please visit them if you can.

Top 10 warning signs your publisher is not into publishing.

1.     Professional edits are not performed.
2.     Proofreads are not completed.
3.     Book signings are not scheduled.
4.     News releases are not released.
5.     Correspondence is not answered.
6.     Promised markets are not delivered.
7.     Continuous excuses are made.
8.     Staff changes constantly.
10. Royalty checks get ‘lost’ in the mail.

Today, anyone can open a business, even a publishing business. It only takes minutes to get an EIN - Employer Identification Number. This is required in the US to open a business – it’s different for each country.
And if you have the patience for formatting you can publish your book, or someone else’s book – Amazon makes it simple!
I reissued all three of my formerly published books, after regaining the rights, on Amazon as a Kindle, and then as a paperback in one week! Note: I had experience with self-publishing and knew the process. But Amazon gives explicit instructions, and anyone can do it!
If you can do this, you can become a publisher, and sadly, this is what is happening daily. Many new publishers are popping up overnight, and with just these simple skills they can take 50 to 60% of your profits – royalties, and give you pennies on the dollar – deducting for so called edits, proofreading, cover design, etc.!
Anyone can apply to Ingram Spark and other book release sites. These steps are simple and while time consuming – once learned, very simple.
The point – anyone can open a publishing company, and many have. The list above is just a small sample of the things that can go wrong when the company is only in the business to make as much money off a novice writer as possible.
If a company has opened its doors overnight – you may get a professional looking contract, but if the actions on that contract aren’t followed, you have a piece of paper and nothing more.
My advice, learn the process, self-publish at least one book on Amazon and see for yourself how simple it really is. This is eye opening and empowering. Good luck!

I would be happy to discuss my personal experiences further with any of you.  Contact me: yolandarenee@hotmail.com

Top 5 things not to do when releasing a new book.

1.     Do Not Decide to Sell your house!
2.     Do Not Sign up for the A to Z Challenge.
3.     Do Not Re-publish your first 3 books in a week.
4.     Do Not Hold two - 3-day long garage sales to get rid of all your crap.
5.     Do Not Schedule a blog book tour covering 30 days that require your undivided attention and multiple guest posts!

Yes, I did all this during the month of April. Believe me – you DON’T want to follow my lead!

Denise, thank you for hosting me during the Snowman tour. Readers, thank you for coming by and reading. I hope I've helped someone who might be going through what I did.

Denise's review: 

If you don't mind sending your heart rate sky high, if you don't mind trying to read with your eyes closed, if you don't mind feeding blood-fuelled nightmares, The Snowman is the book for you. 
At the other end of the spectrum, if you like a roller-coaster ride of mega proportions, if you like a fast-paced psychological thriller, if you like to delve into the criminal mind, this is the book for you. 
Excellent racy writing by the author, Yolanda Renee. Well edited - don't those two words bring joy to my heart!
 A joy to read, even with your eyes closed...oh, and I think there's an audio book coming just in case...

And there's more...

There's a GIVEAWAY you can enter, HERE...open until June 6.

Should you love The Snowman, Yolanda has 3 books in the Detective Quaid series she's recently republished on Amazon.


May 1 – Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit – Author Guest Post

May 2 – Romance Under Fire – Review & Excerpt

May 3 – Denise Covey – Review & Author Guest Post              
                                                 Random Thoughts – Excerpt

May 4 – The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Excerpt & Author Guest Post

May 5 – Julie Flanders, Writer – Excerpt

May 8 – Alex J. Cavanaugh – Top 10 List
                  Christine Rains – Writer – Author Guest Post

May 9 – Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang – Feature

May 10 – Pat Hatt Books – Author Q&A

May 11 – A Bluestocking’s Place – Feature

May 12 – Lexa Cain – Feature
                   Elizabeth Seckman, Author – Author Guest Post

May 15 – Just Us Book Blog – Excerpt
                   Writers & Authors – Author Guest Post

May 16 – Reading for the Stars and Moon – Excerpt

May 17 – Pat Garcia Book Reviews – Review

May 18 – The Bookworm Chronicles – Excerpt & Feature

May 19 – I Think; Therefore, I Yam – Interview with Stowy

May 22 – The Five Year Project – Author Guest Post

May 24 – Bound 2 Escape – Excerpt

May 25 – Reviews by Crystal – Author Q&A

May 26 – J Bronder Book Reviews – Review

May 29 – FUONLYKNEW – Review

May 30 – Mason Canyon

May 31 – Celticlady’s Reviews – Excerpt

June 1 – bookworm1102 – Excerpt
Scattergun Scribblings – Author Guest Post   
                 Rainy Day Reviews – Review & Excerpt

June 2 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – Review  
                  Libby Heily – Review & Excerpt

Thanks for coming by today!

  • Has your publisher ever let you down?
  • Have you read any of Yolanda's thrillers?