Understanding Narrative Distance

Recently, I’ve been doing a slew of content editing, which is difficult for me at best. There are two reasons for this. One, as a writer, it’s my natural tendency to interject my voice into anything. I struggle to assess a story, the characters, the pacing, the voicing, the plot and any holes there might be, without changing the style … Read More

Running a Lean Mean Marketing Machine

I did a post on Facebook’s latest changes regarding groups and pages last month, but even authors that had prepared for the switch were shell shocked at the results, both in sales and in reader interaction. Algorithms have destroyed any hope of reaching new readers without paying for an ad or running a sponsored post. My friend LK Griffie has been saying for … Read More

IPA–It’s Not Just for Beer

This past week, I was discussing with a marketing friend about not having enough time in the day to do everything that needs to be done and still find time to write. She suggested I start thinking in terms of IPA. Now, living in a state where there are more barrels of bourbon than people, I know a thing or … Read More

The Death of Facebook

I know the title seems dramatic, but I’m feeling demonstrative today so stick with me. It was ten years ago this summer that I stepped outside of my comfort zone and published my first novel. This led to a marketing baptism-by-fire. I did all the things new authors were supposed to do. I started a blog, which led to the … Read More

Just Write the D*mn Story!

Writing is a process, one that is multi-faceted and complex. Some writers love the beginning stages of creating a story. They have a million ideas that never make it to the page. Others love getting that first draft down, writing like they’ll be shot at dawn if they don’t get the thing on paper. Others love to revise, layer, create … Read More

Tone and Mood, the Powerhouses of Writing

Most authors will say the best way to write a strong story is to show, don’t tell. But if the tone or mood of all that showing doesn’t match the intensity of the plot, the story still seems weak. Having all three is the trifecta of great storytelling. The difference between Tone and Mood Tone defines the character’s attitude. Is … Read More

Show, Don’t Tell

Ah, the blessed mantra of the writer–show, don’t tell. It’s chanted in fifth-grade classrooms all across the nation, and yet, even seasoned writers struggle with the concept. The difference between telling and showing Most young writers think of “telling” like a police report. It’s a monotonous sequence of events with no language that would sway the reader emotionally one way … Read More

Outside My Comfort Zone

I was raised in an era where photos were taken with an honest-to-God camera, film and all. Filters were for furnaces, family videos were only for rich people, a brand was for putting on cows, and selfies sounded like something that should be done in the privacy of your own room. It’s not that I’m reaching the octogenarian stage of … Read More

Five Things Successful Authors Do

This past decade has seen a ton of changes in the bookish world. Technology assured indie authors had a voice at the table, and Amazon turned the publishing industry on its ear. We saw the end of great brick-and-mortar stores while digital books rose at unprecedented rates. Gone were the gatekeepers of old, and in their place a new paradigm. … Read More

Five Top Places to Review Books

Reviews have become a staple in our lives. Want to try out the new restaurant down the street? Hop on Yelp and see how many stars they have. Looking for a plumber, or electrician? Check Angieslist or homeadvisor and see what others have said. Today, more than ever, reviews play a critical role in the lives of small business owners … Read More