Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Quotes of the Week

You want to write a sentence as clean as a bone. That is the goal.
—James Baldwin

Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke.

Fairy tales are more than true not because they tell us that dragons exist but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten
—GK Chesterton

Read a lot. Reading really helps. Read anything you can get your hands on.
—J.K. Rowling

I don't want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.
—Carrie Fisher

Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely essential.
—Jessamyn West

The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.
—Terry Pratchett

I made mistakes in drama. I thought drama was when actors cried. But drama is when the audience cries.
—Frank Capra

It is not the object described that matters, but the light that falls on it.
—Boris Pasternak

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday Tips: Titles

Today's Tuesday Tip is about Titles.

My first novel Still Falling did not always have that title. The original title that was just Falling. I liked it. It was simple and meaningful for the story and I went an entire year using it as the working title.

I was glad that I had the notion to go to Amazon and search for that title. When I searched I discovered that several hundred books were already titled Falling and most were romances.

This began my rules for titles. Rule number one is to make sure it is unique. Don't get so set on your title that you cannot change it.

There are other reasons to change your title. I pick working titles during the outlining phase. The title for my next novel was initially A Proper Darkness. When I was finished with the first draft a better title emerged from the writing: Virtues of the Vicious

Here are my simple rules for titles:

  • Make sure your title is unique on Amazon
  • Don't become tied to your title
  • Keep them as short as possible 
  • Make sure it doesn't convey the wrong genre

--Titles are more important than you may think.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Just Released: Worlds Enough. Fantastic Defenders

Now available on Amazon! My First fantasy story!

   Worlds Enough: Fantastic Defenders

Here is the description from Amazon:

Across astounding and magical worlds, five heroes step forward to defend against magical threats:

  • A sorceress in a besieged city faces a malignant force even more dangerous than the city's would-be conquerors.
  • An unassuming bureaucrat stumbles upon a threat to a vast empire and deals with it in his own inimitable fashion.
  • A resourceful bodyguard for an infant princess, trapped and surrounded by merciless assassins, finds a unique way to hold them at bay.
  • A mage press-ganged into the Royal Navy finds himself volunteered for a dangerous secret mission on foreign soil.
  • A disgraced royal guardian who failed in protecting his king hunts down those who cost him his honor.


My most recent story is in this Anthology called: The Once Damned

--Check it out!

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Fast Friday Indie Interviews: Tuppence Van de Vaarst

Tuppence Van de Vaarst

Tell me about yourself, Tuppence .

Starting with the deep question. I'll start with a safe subject, reading. I don't remember not knowing how to read. According to my mother, I taught myself when I was three. Since then, I've almost always had my nose stuck in a book at some point or another. I started writing my own stories when I was eleven, starting with a very bad rewriting of one of the Greek Myths. It's been an obsession ever since. I've saved everything I've ever written, too, which means there's a large portion of memory on my laptop that is all word documents in various states of completion.

As for the rest about me: I was born in Texas, grew up in Germany, spent most of my life in Virginia, and have lived in Hawaii, Maine, and am currently in Ireland studying for my Masters in Medieval Studies. You might say I have an incurable wanderlust, which I completely blame on my father. I have also participated the SCA, a medieval reenactment group, performed at multiple renaissance faires in the Northeast United States, spent four years in the Coast Guard, and invested far too many hours in both video games and pen and paper tabletop RPGs.

Tell me about your current Book:

What would life in the past have been like? That is the underlying question for most historical fiction. When writing Caribbean Magic, however, I took the question a step further. What would life have been like if there was magic? And what better setting for a historical fantasy than the golden age of piracy?

Josephine Crawford is the outspoken and tomboyish daughter of an English plantation owner. Her heritage, however, is much more complicated than her father's. Not only is her mother one of the native Taino, but her mother's blood has left her a legacy of magic. Unfortunately, Jo has very little idea how to use that magic, and it may be too late when a rich gentleman comes seeking to marry her. To escape a marriage of slavery, Jo runs away and finds herself thrust into a life of violence, adventure, blackmail, danger, and passion. In order to survive, Jo will have to learn quickly.

What are you working on now?

What am I not working on? I have far too many ideas congregating in my head. The foremost among them currently is the sequel to Caribbean Magic, which will center around Jo's brother Miguel. I also am working on a retelling of the Robin Hood legend in a series of novellas. The first one of those, Outlaw's Call, won first place in a short story competition at my community college. Oh, and there's my Master's thesis, which does need to be completed this summer.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?

As long as I have my laptop, I can be anywhere! I've done most of my writing at various desks in the many places I've lived, but I've also taken my laptop on airplanes, ships, and just outside in the sun. Sometimes I'll also sprawl across my bed and write there. The place isn't the important part of my writing, the ideas in my head are.

What is your favorite lesson you have learned about the business of writing?

That publishing a book is very much like performing on stage. This may seem like a strange statement, but everyone knows about stage fright. I've performed on stage before, and learned to overcome it. When I started the publishing process, however, it was one long drawn-out battle until I finally went for it. Now that it's done, I can enjoy the results, but the preparation and anticipation is far scarier than the reality.

What is your favorite Website? I can spend hours on that site, and it's sometimes good inspiration for story ideas. I dare anyone to go onto that site and not open a dozen tabs and wander down innumerable rabbit trails.