Wednesday 2 May 2018


Hello all!

Time for the May IWSG. Eagerly anticipated by many, it has become for some, the only time they post these days, often me included.

Thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh, bloggers, whether twice-weekly, weekly, fortnightly or monthly get together and catch up with each other in the context of 'insecurity.' A good context. Who's ever met an author who is not insecure?

Alex's awesome co-hosts for the May 2 posting of the IWSG are E.M.A. Timar, J. Q. Rose,C.Lee McKenzie, and Raimey Gallant!

I'm not going anywhere near the question of the month. Spring? That's in one half of the world. It's autumn in the other half.  Down Under we write all year round. It's always hot except for a couple of weeks a year, so we can't let the weather keep us from our laptops or we'd NEVER write.

Now this post just sprung out of my head. Unplanned. I just started talking to you, and look how it ended up. Now retrospectively, I will give it a title.


Best selling authors have a charmed life compared to mid list, bottom feeders and one-book wonders. I'm addicted to reading Acknowledgements at the end of all the best sellers I read, (about 100 a year). By the time  I count the author's thanks to his/her agent/s, editor/s, researchers, early readers, experts and so on, some authors acknowledge that over 40+ people have been crucial, in some way, to birthing and selling their novels. A bit like the credits at the end of a movie. You think, wow, no wonder it was so good, or I wonder why it wasn't better?

We bottom feeders (or however you categorize yourself) are pretty much alone in birthing our books. But WE ARE NOT ALONE. This is who I acknowledge so far on my wobbly journey toward multiple publication in between reading a copious amount of books.
  • Craft websites such as K.M. Weiland or Kristen Lamb and others, too many to mention, who offer golden nuggets to authors for FREE or offer reasonably-priced online courses. Sure, some of the advice can be contradictory, and some craft posts are for writers at certain stages of their career. But there's always a take out from these generous souls.
  • Bloggers who have guest authors or agents who freely share their journey/advice/encouragement. Literary Rambles and Nas Dean come to mind. You are very generous, Natalie and Nas. Golden Blogger Award!
  • Bloggers who have published multiple books. I find you intriguing, seeing the different ways you promote yourselves. And what a surprise when one of your books turns up in my local library all the way Down Under. Thinking Susan Kelley...
  • Depending on where you are in your writing career, Facebook Groups (I hate to mention this greedy global spy but it does have its uses) can be worth their weight in gold. I've only ever self-published one novel and only on Amazon and left it there to die a natural death, but due to haunting FB sites like 20booksto50k (I've mentioned it here before), I learn that it could be advantageous to have several books available (suggested number is 6) before hitting Publish. Joanna Penn said the same thing when she came to Oz last year. Draft2Digital is awesome with their advice and how they will promote you on as many platforms as you like. They've just added Amazon to their list! Of course I'm in many other FB groups - groups where you can order covers, where you can get feedback on that all-important cover, groups who will help you with your blurb, your synopsis...everything you need to self-publish, really, or to polish your submission to a traditional publisher.
  • Beta readers. I've found a fabulous, wild, Uk-based beta reader, who's more of an editor, really. She reads through my stories like a reader and yells at me (with my permission). She takes no prisoners. No point in a beta reader who isn't honest and she's certainly made me question every word I write and every plot point and then there's structure. Phew! 
  • Critique partners. I've struggled to find good critters for years. People who get me and my work and who are timely. At a Margie Lawson immersion class, Margie hooked me up with two other writers in our group and said we should become a critter team. We  help each other create our stories and we are relentless with our work ethic and Track Changes editing and face-to-face meetings. These two have done more for my writing than ANYONE mentioned above. They helped me create my Paris novel which is with Avon and they're currently helping me write my paranormal romance trilogy. 
So, when I have my 6 books ready to publish under my pen name, I'll have a few acknowledgements. But 40 helpers would be sooooo nice.

Thanks for coming by. I hope you found a takeaway here. 

Have a fabulous writing month!

Here's a bonus pic for coming by - Pommery Champagne House, Champagne region, France. Where else? A trip through their cellars inspires me every time.