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Catch Up Time

  Posted by Jemi , 20 August 2018 · 0 views

About 2 weeks ago, someone in my immediate family was involved in an accident. Injuries required him to be airlifted out of town to a larger hospital with specialists. Thanks to these specialists, my family member will recover and be good as new after some time, care, and rehab.

The air ambulance's regulations allowed me to accompany him along with one small carry-on bag for both of our needs. The stay of a few days extended to almost 2 weeks. I did have my cell phone with me, but it absolutely refused to deal with more than one email account - and sometimes refused to deal with even that. Because of that I've been completely out of contact with all my author emails and social media accounts.

I'll catch up over the next little while as time allows, although it's going to be even more chaotic than normal for a while.

Now, tell me what I've missed!

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IWSG & Pitfalls

  Posted by Jemi , 01 August 2018 · 0 views

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.




Purpose: 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!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.
***

August 1 question - What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

Some days I feel like I'm the Queen of Pitfalls...

  • Don't trust just anyone with your words. Make sure you know them well enough to trust them and their personality
  • Trust someone with your words - finding crit buddies is a major step along the journey
  • Don't get too caught up in social media - spend most of your time writing 
  • Don't avoid social media - I've made so many incredible friends through social media and learned SO MUCH!
  • Be brave - being a coward gets you exactly nowhere (still working on this one!)

How about you, what pitfalls have tripped you up? What would you suggest avoiding?




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Ella Carey & Connections

  Posted by Jemi , 23 July 2018 · 35 views

Please welcome the lovely Ella Carey back to the blog today!!
**
The more I write, the more I realise that there is one key element that must be there if a novel is going to work. It’s the one thing I cannot do without, the one thing that propels and motivates me to write, and the one thing I’ve eventually found with every one of the books that I have written. If it wasn’t there, I would stop.

Yes, I think a strong story is important, yes, I think that weaving setting description is important for me, as is working hard to write beautiful prose. But if one element is missing, then the work has no life, and I just can’t write it. I’ve learned that. 

Sometimes, when I’m contracted to write a novel, when I’ve brainstormed it with my agent and my editor, it can still take a while to find that element when I begin working on the first draft. Sometimes, it doesn’t happen straight away, and I’m plodding along through a field thick with mud rather than flying, floating, in the way everyone wants to when it comes to writing your own book- it’s why we write, for the sheer, joyous love of it. It’s what motivates us- it’s the exact same thing I need when I’m reading a book.

It’s the emotional connection that I’m talking about, that feeling that you are so close to your characters that you can see and feel everything that they do. It’s hard to describe, but I have that gut reaction when I’m writing. I’m not dispassionate. I guess, the thing is- I care. It’s instinctive, not something anyone can teach me to do.

When it came to THE THINGS WE DON’T SAY, I felt such a connection to Emma, whose relationship with the man she adored all her adult life was pulled into question, right at the end of her life. What if she died not knowing the truth about Patrick? And as for her grand-daughter, Laura, it was easy for me to be able to relate to her quest to save her passion for the one thing she loved in her life - playing music. As writers, when that creative part of you, or the opportunity to create is put into jeopardy, you can imagine how distressing it can be.

Happy writing!

***
Ella Carey is the international bestselling author of four novels published in the US- Paris Time Capsule, The House by the Lake, From a Paris Balcony and Secret Shores. The books are published in twelve countries, in ten languages and Secret Shores has been shortlisted for an ARRA award in 2018. Ella has degrees in music, majoring in classical piano, and in Arts majoring in nineteenth century women’s fiction and modern European history. Ella's fifth novel, The Things We Don't Say, is set for release in the UK, Australia and the US on July 1st, 2018. Ella is working hard on her sixth novel. She writes full time. She lives in Melbourne with her two children and two Italian Greyhounds who are constantly mistaken for whippets.

Connect with her on the web:

Website           Facebook    Twitter     Blog

The Things We Don’t Say

A beguiling painting holds the secrets of a woman’s past and calls into question everything she thought she knew about the man she loved…

Near sixty years ago, renowned London artist Patrick Adams painted his most famous work: a portrait of his beloved Emma Temple, a fellow bohemian with whom he shared his life. Years after Patrick’s death, ninety-year-old Emma still has the painting hanging over her bed at their country home as a testament to their love.

To Emma’s granddaughter, Laura, the portrait is also a symbol of so much to come. The masterpiece is serving as collateral to pay Laura’s tuition at a prestigious music school. Then the impossible happens when an appraiser claims the painting is a fraud. For Laura, the accusation jeopardizes her future. For Emma, it casts doubt on everything she believed about her relationship with Patrick. Laura is determined to prove that Patrick did indeed paint the portrait. Both her grandmother’s and Patrick’s legacies are worth fighting for.

As the stories of two women entwine, it’s time for Emma to summon up the past—even at the risk of revealing its unspoken secrets.


Buy on:

Amazon Kindle         Amazon Paperback  

Amazon UK                Amazon Aust

Book Depository      B&N

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Thanks Ella!

I agree. That emotional connection is such an important element when creating a story. 
I know I get cranky gets in the way of my creative pursuits.

How about you? Anyone else get cranky without their writing time?


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Wendy Davies & Unpacking The Editing Process

  Posted by Jemi , 09 July 2018 · 59 views

Please welcome Wendy Davies to the blog today!
***
Unpacking the Editing Process

A lot of my writing friends groan and moan when it comes to editing, but I love this part of the writing process. For me, editing is my natural habitat so that might explain why I don’t dread it as much as others seem to. So, let’s have a look at what the editing process comprises.
It’s a three-phase process: A structural edit. A copy edit. A final proof read. Sounds scary, but it isn’t.
A structural edit is where an editor – or you with your editor hat on – looks at the overall story and answers questions like: Does the story make sense? Are the actions and reactions laid out in a logical and understandable way? Does each scene move the story forward? Are the main characters changing and coming to terms with their main issue in a logic and clear way? Is the point of view consistent throughout the story? Which bits annoy, or stand out, or need closer attention? Can these areas be rewritten or moved or deleted altogether? 
I’m not going to sugar coat this, this phase can be a lot of work. Even writers who plan their stories need to do a structural edit once they’ve finished writing the story. And it’s especially useful for writers who begin without a clear plan for their story. Believe me, structural edits get easier – and faster – every time you do one. And no, I’m not just saying that because editing comes so easy to me. I find it as difficult, if not even more difficult, as anyone when it comes to editing my own work. 
A copy edit usually means fixing grammatical errors (misplaced commas, missing full stops, wrong or confusing sentence structures) and spelling errors.
The final proof read is what you do right at the end of the process, just before submitting your story to a publisher, to a competition, or uploading it when self-publishing. You should find few or no mistakes, but if you do, you must fix them. It is essential to do a final proof read so you can pick up anything that the other two phases have missed.

Personally, I tend to do both a structural edit and a copy edit at the same time. This is probably because most editing jobs I’ve had don’t have the luxury of time or resources to separate these two into separate activities. The final proof read I get someone else to do. Or I leave the story for weeks or months so that I can view it through fresh eyes. When I do that, mistakes just jump right off the page. 
***
Australian, Wendy Lee Davies began writing romances as a lark after leaving her communications and editing job of many years.
Wendy enjoys cycling, especially cycle touring which she did a lot of in her younger, some say more foolish, years. Now that she’s older and wiser, Wendy is wearing out the bike paths around her home town, making good use of her amazing pedal-assist electric bike. She's also traversed most of the incredible rail trails available in Victoria, and one in New Zealand as well.
If she's not writing or riding her bike, Wendy can be found enjoying a coffee in some cafe. Or taking landscape photographs. Sometimes she makes cookies or muffins. She’s even been known, on occasion, to annoy her writing friends with long, detailed editorial comments on their latest writing endeavour. But don't worry. They get her back, tenfold, when it comes to critiquing her latest romance-in-progress.
You can catch up on her latest news via her website (www.wendyleedavies.com ). She loves hearing from readers, so don’t be shy about dropping her a line.

Wendy Davies on the web:
Website     Facebook     Twitter  
 Blog      Instagram 

Good Enough for Love

Renovating a country hotel challenges everything Amber knows…
When Amber Hutchinson inherits a country hotel, all she wants is to do it up, sell it and move on. The money she’ll earn from the hotel is her only chance to secure her future, even if living in the country never featured in her plans.
Local sheep farmer, Zach Wentworth always does the right thing, but he won’t risk his heart being broken. All he wants is to improve his farm and keep his hometown of Willow’s Bend alive. So, when he comes across a woman stuck in the hotel window, he naturally tries to help.

Sure, Amber’s tempted by the handsome sheep farmer. But she knows their sizzling attraction won’t last. It never does. Because she’s never been good enough for anyone to love. Without the hotel, Willow’s Bend is likely to die a slow death, so Zach does whatever he can to secure the town's future. But doing the right thing just might mean risking his heart once again.
With everyone eagerly watching their every move, Amber and Zach must choose between protecting their wounded hearts and taking a chance on love.

Buy on:

Amazon Kindle
           Amazon UK          Amazon Aust

***
Thanks, Wendy! I am slowly and painfully learning to enjoy the editing process. My natural habitat is in the first draft - those are SO MUCH FUN!!! But, editing is definitely growing on me!

How about you? Is your natural habitat the first draft, the structural edit, copy edit, or the proof read?



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IWSG & Writing Goals Over at Tick Tock

  Posted by Jemi , 03 July 2018 · 81 views

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.



Hi everyone! I'm over at the Tick Tock blog today discussing my writing goals - hope you'll pop on over!!







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IWSG and Titles Are Hard!

  Posted by Jemi , 06 June 2018 · 195 views

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.



Purpose: 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!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

***

June 6 question - What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

There is absolutely no contest with this answer!


Titles are SO HARD!!!!

I have fun with character names, but titles drive me absolutely batty!

I make lists.
The lists are full of cheesy, terrible titles.
I skim the story searching for The Phrase that will become the title.
I write down themes and big ideas.
I think about settings.
I play with character names.
I search for appropriate idioms.
I whimper.

Titles are hard.

Strangely, the title for my short story UNTIL RELEASE was easy because it was so obvious. Once you've read the story, you'll probably see why - the words Until Release come up a lot!

If only titles were all that easy!

How about you? Do titles make you weep too?

***
PS - UNTIL RELEASE is available now in the Dancing Lemur Press anthology Tick Tock: A Stitch In Crime.

Amazon.            B&N.             Kobo.            iTunes.      
Goodreads.       Facebook




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Until Release & Villains

  Posted by Jemi , 23 May 2018 · 163 views

Hi everyone!

I'm over at Tick Tock: A Stitch In Crime blog today - talking about Voldemort and Miss Congeniality.

I hope you'll pop on over to check it out!




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Until Release Visits Anna Dye

  Posted by Jemi , 03 May 2018 · 120 views



I'm visiting over at Anna Dye's blog today talking about my upcoming story, Until Release, that is available NOW in the Dancing Lemur Press anthology Tick Tock: A Stitch In Crime.

Hope to see you there!


Amazon.            B&N.             Kobo.            iTunes.      
Goodreads.       Facebook


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IWSG & Spring!

  Posted by Jemi , 02 May 2018 · 116 views

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.




Purpose: 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!

And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say.

***
May 2 question - It’s spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?

I adore Spring! Here in Northern Ontario, we have to work really hard, and wait really long for our Spring!

For reference, these two pics were taken 3 days apart (April 17 & 20). After about 12 inches of snow that first day, the sun popped out and temps zipped above freezing. Cue the hope that the snow might eventually melt and the flowers might grow!

So, yes, Spring does inspire me to write - but with the new growth all around, it's also the time for Shiny New Ideas to show their faces and try to force their way into my writing schedule. With all the current projects already competing for my rather limited writing time, I'm doing my best to ignore the cute little SNIs, but it's hard!

How about you? Do Shiny New Ideas pop up in Spring where you live too?

***

PS: If you haven't heard, The Dancing Lemur Press anthology TICK TOCK: A STITCH IN CRIME released yesterday! If you're interested here are the buy links!



Goodreads
Amazon B&N Kobo iTunes



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Until Release is HERE!

  Posted by Jemi , 01 May 2018 · 96 views

Tick Tock: A Stitch In Crime is out and about in the real world today!!!!!
(And, yes, I might be alternately happy dancing and biting my fingernails!)



I hope you'll pick up your copy (if you haven't preordered) and check out all of the stories. They are SO GOOD!

I love how the voices, styles, and topics in the anthology vary so greatly, yet all mesh together to make a fabulous whole. You're going to really enjoy the read!

Thanks again to Dancing Lemur Press & the IWSG judges for including UNTIL RELEASE in this fabulous anthology!



Goodreads
Amazon B&N Kobo iTunes


We're also on Facebook!

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