How To Support Your Favorite Writers — Library Recommendations

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I’m stuck in revisions. My book is pretty much a giant pile of silver poo right now. All part of the process, I know.

So I thought I’d share a great post on how to support your favorite writers from a blog buddy of mine!

Source: How To Support Your Favorite Writers — Library Recommendations

Posted in marketing a book, Promotion | Tagged , , ,

The Rollercoaster of Revisions

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It was a few weeks back, when I was in NY for the MWA-NY panel, that I sat down to lunch and read something that would help me through my editorial revisions over the past week and a half.

It’s weird how these things tumble into your lap and you’d swear the universe sent you exactly what you needed to face the next big hurdle.

I was reading the January edition of Writer’s Digest. Specifically, the Editor’s Letter. Jessica Strawser had an amazing quote from Jo Jo Moyes that framed the entire edition.

“Every time I start a book, I think, I have no idea how I did this last time.”

After I finished reading my editor’s notes on Six Train’s sequel, that was exactly how I felt. It paralyzed me. I had no clue how to fix the story. Because my editor doesn’t tell me what to do, she tells me what she sees on the page and what isn’t working. But she gives me the freedom to come up with a solution.

I absolutely love her for it. But when I begin, I freak out and fear I will muck it up even more. Part of the process requires me doubting everything I did, so I can see it from her perspective. (90-95% of the time she is right.)

A bad head cold meant I wasn’t in the best place to start. I gave myself a couple days. But I could feel my panic growing. If I didn’t dive in soon, I wouldn’t be able to.

So I coaxed myself into working on the first chapter. A toe in the pool of revision.

Since then, I’ve been tackling 20 pages of the book a day and doing massive rewrites. Entire scenes added. Chapters moved around. Character arcs changed. And I’m at page 150 of what is currently a 463 page novel. Because yes, I added 30 pages last week.

But I’m entering the part where I know I am going to be cutting entire chapters. They aren’t needed because so much was moved forward. This is the week I hope/pray to cut 10K words.

Even if I don’t know how I did it last time, I dive in and somehow as I go, I figure it out for this story.

How do you approach revisions? Do you have a set method that works for all your books? Or do you have to find your way through each one?

 

 

 

 

Posted in revision, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 29 Comments

Discovering the Snough

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So somehow I’ve managed to get myself sick again. Too much travel, not enough sleep, overexposure to public transportation, and bam I’m back to sick.

Not so sick that I’m confined to bed. More of a half work day / half resting in bed day watching Netflix and CW app.

It started with a severe headache last weekend, laryngitis set in on Monday and by Wednesday I was, snoughing, sneeze-coughing.

In all my 38 years, I’ve never done this before. It’s where you sneeze, but you don’t just expel mucus from your nose, but unintentionally from your throat too. Somehow the sneeze does double duty and is as productive as a cough without the work.

It’s got to be one of the most unexpectedly gross things I’ve done. So I sneeze, cover my nose and then realize a giant mucus ball came out of my mouth and is now on my papers.

There’s that moment where I’m just puzzled. Like where the heck did it come from. And I realize I’m snoughing. That’s quickly replaced by ew, I am so not cleaning that up. Then I’m like well someone has to and it is my mucus ball. I’ve never had such an easy time expectorating. But yuck.

Have you ever snoughed?

****

In work related news, my editor sent me the notes on Six Train’s sequel. This is the hardest part. Changing my perception to see it as she sees it. And I’m doing it with a blucky respiratory situation.

Still, I’m seeing her points and I’m also at the point where I think I should have never written this sequel. It’s a cluster****. I’m not sure I can fix it.

This is normal. It’s part of my writing process. But this time I really think I may not be able to do it. (BTW, I think this every time, but it still doesn’t take the horror of the uncertainty away.) I did work on Chapter 1 Sunday and I think I got what needed to be done there. Just 81 more chapters to go!

Stay tuned for more updates.

****

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In other news, my publisher is running a 99cent sale on TGWIG’s kindle until 1/29/16. If you want to pick up the kindle, now’s the time to do it!

Posted in Personal, Promotion, wrtiting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Panels Galore-NY and Boston Adventures

 

I took the bus into New York on Wednesday, grabbed a delicious chicken cobb salad near my friend’s apartment in Hell’s Kitchen, and then prepped for panel at MWA-NY meeting that night.

I made a bad call about the subway and rode it to the Village. My best friend and I have a history of getting turned around on those damn diagonal streets. It’s always been a problem. So of course, I end up accidentally walking southwest instead of northeast.

Upside is I got to see some of my old haunts. And of course, I was early so I still arrived perfectly on time to the Salmagundi Club.

It’s a really cool space. Historic feeling. Perfect for the MWA meeting. There’s a room for the actual panel, another room for the bar and a third room for the dinner. Great flow and lots of opportunity to chat and meet amazing authors.

As I got my drink, I bumped into Laura K. Curtis, S.W. Hubbard, and Jillian Abbott–my fellow panelists and chatted with them. They are lovely and funny and charming and I am definitely adding their books to my tbr list!

After drinks, Jillian and I ended up eating together and I had a great time getting to know her. We were joined by fellow author Mitch and the hour passed far to quickly!

The food was delicious–steak, scallops, tomato soup, salad, veggies, mashed potatoes.

After dinner, we adjourned to the meeting room for the MWA monthly meeting and panel.

Big thanks to Laura K. Curtis for being a wonderful moderator! The panel went so fast! I learned so much from my fellow panelists. I wish I could have taken notes during our panel. We had a good crowd and there were lots of questions. Laura said we’d continue the discussion on the MWA-NY blog so when that happens, I’ll link to it.

Key takeaways were:

There are no short cuts in self publishing. You have to be involved in everything, even the stuff you delegate. You are the project manager and have to make sure all the pieces come together.

You also have to be willing to try things and then check and see if they lead to sales. If not, move on to another marketing tactic.

Marketing and promotion are a major part of self publishing. If you hate doing it, you can hire others to help, but it’s a money to time tradeoff. Also, you still have to know what they should be doing and make sure they do it. And keep in mind it’s your book, no one cares more than you do!

There are tons of resources out there and Google is a great place to start. Keep in mind the landscape changes so what worked for one person or what worked a year ago for sales may not work any longer. Tactics change, strategies don’t.

 

 

The next day was my day off in the city. I went to the dentist–no cavities. Got to see my friend Ant’s new digs out in Jackson Heights and walked around the historic district there. Grabbed some delicious Indian food for lunch too.

Came back to the city for dinner with Brett at Green Bo. We ordered our three favs. I picked up a few new scarves in Chinatown. Then we subwayed back to his place for Chinese pastries and a bad horror flick, Blood Lake.

Friday I took the bus home and got ready for Arisia where I was on a panel about friends of authors and how to support them with Crystal Huff (who was a terrific moderator), Timothy Goyette, Deborah Kaminski, and Elizabeth McCoy.

 

Saturday, we drove to Boston (Me, Mom, and Aunt Sue). We stopped at Cracker Barrel for lunch and dinner. Arisia was cool. Love the costumes. I got to have a drink with Toni Kelner and get her to sign her newest release. She’s one of my favorite authors to sit and chat with. My panel went well. I love when I can share a couple stories that make the audience laugh.

The big takeaways are:

When they are first published, authors look to their close friends to write reviews or at least read the book and give them feedback.

The more prolific an author is, the less she/he expects you to read and review their work.

Authors appreciate a response when you ask to see their work. If you don’t end up reading it, just say so. Don’t make them ask. It’s awkward for everyone.

You can always find one nice thing to say about something. Even if you don’t particularly connect with a book, try to find the positive when you are talking to an author friend about it. Remember they spent years working on this. You wouldn’t want them to tell you that your newborn baby is ugly, even if it is. Show them the same consideration. While honesty may be appreciated, tact will keep a friendship intact.

We didn’t get to it during the panel, but there are lots of ways to support authors that don’t involve buying the book or writing a review. I have a blog post where I talked about other ways to support author buddies.

 

 

 

 

Posted in author appearance, conventions, fantasy convention, manhattan, new york, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

The Importance of Time Away as You Revise

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As I’ve been working on revisions, I’ve noticed that 30 pages a day works well for me. It’s usually 4 hours of actual time at the computer making changes.

Which may not sound like a lot, but that’s just the initial work time.

When I’m revising, I like to do a chapter and then walk away from the laptop. Work out for an hour or do chores or work on something else.

Because that time away is when my brain can turn things over in the background. And usually that’s when it can figure out what is bothering me in a scene. I might notice at my laptop that something is feeling slow in the pacing, but I’m not exactly sure on the fix.

That time away is when my brain formulates a solution. I can’t always do it on demand in the exact moment.

The time away lets my mind focus on something else, while in the background it gently and repeatedly comes at the work.

There have been times it’s taken me an entire day to get a scene right. I actually spend 8 hours on 4 pages mulling them over and rewriting them until they work.

I’ve also noticed that feedback is hard to handle (as usual). But if I just leave comments that don’t make sense on the initial read and deal with them later, then they do eventually make sense on my second pass through the book.

These sound like simple things, but for some reason I forgot them in my rush to be on deadline. I forgot to trust myself and the process. I lost sight of the fact that I can get it there.

So I’m writing this post. Not just for you my lovely readers, but for me, as a reminder.

Have you noticed you need a balance of down time as you revise so that things have time to percolate or do you like to get in there and just go?

***

I’m giving away two signed copies of The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts over on Goodreads–it’s an international giveaway of the paperback.

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/168397-the-girl-who-ignored-ghosts

 

 

Posted in Giveaways, revision, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 37 Comments

I’m Back!

 

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New Year, New Haircut

It’s been almost 5 weeks since my last post or my last visit to blogs. *Big wave*

I can’t tell you how much it helped to remove the blogging writing and reading and downsize the social media. It’s the first time I’ve relaxed in months.

I took Margie Lawson’s Empowering Character Emotions workshop via a self-study lecture packet and got back to my love of writing. I’m gearing up to take her Master’s Class in person this summer!

I used what I learned to work on a third manuscript I’ve shopped around in the past. I went through my crit partner’s comments on that manuscript too. Thanks Kat for the brilliant insights! I’ve added six thousand words and I think the book is much better for it. I’m 2/3 of the way done revising it.

I sent off Six Train’s sequel to my editor and am awaiting her editorial comments. The timeline for that is ARCs in July and actual publication in November 2016.

For social media, I’ll be here every week going forward and I’ll be on Facebook regularly. My Twitter presence has always been intermittent and will remain so.

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In December, I wrapped up my after-school writing workshops with Girls Inc. and the girls made me these amazing thank you cards!

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Had an awesome school visit at Grasso Tech, where I taught a writing workshop on getting inspired and turning your ideas into a concept for a story. This is the coolest sign I’ve ever seen at one of my events! Big thank you to Mr. D’Agostino, the head of the library, for spearheading the event.

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I’ve got two events scheduled this month:

January 13th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. In New York, NY, at the Salmagundi Club (47 Fifth Avenue); guest speaker on the self-publishing panel at the monthly MWA-NY meeting.
January 16th from 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. In Boston, MA, at the Arisia Convention; Panelist on the “My Friend Wrote a Book, Do I Have to Buy It?” Panel

February and March are going to be pure writing months because I need to focus on Six Train’s sequel.

After a long bout of illness in November, I’ve learned that I’ve got to take better care of me.

I’ve got to nurture my creative well and sometimes that means just holing up with a great book and not speaking to anyone for a few days. Sometimes it’s a two hour hike with a good friend. Sometimes it’s doing laundry, playing with my dog, and taking a hot bath.

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Bottom line, I’ve got to give myself this down time or the writing suffers.

I’ve done a ton of thinking and career focusing and I am ready to try querying agents again.

It may not sound like much but after what happened, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to put my foot in that pool again. But it’s like dating, you take a sabbatical and then you come back when you’re ready.

And I’m ready.

How are you starting the new year?

 

Posted in Events, Promotion, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Holiday Blog Hiatus

IMG_1902I hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving. Mine was filled with silly moments including how many Eugenes are in my family (we’re Italian on Mom’s side) and Grandma H announcing my father only had 10 years left to live.

The food was amazing! But all those carbs swelled my stomach up majorly. I am just starting to feel my ribs again.

My buddy Brett came in from NYC and we got to watch Killer Mermaid and Devil. We love a bad horror movie.

The best takeaway from Devil–if the devil is nearby, when you drop a piece of toast with jam on it, it will always land jam side down. Also children will hit their heads on tables. So there’s your litmus test. Have toast and jam or a small child on hand at all times.

I’m finally going to clean my room. Woohoo. It’s been about two months since the last time I did it. Last week, I started with the drawers and the shelves for clothes. This week dust and vacuum.

I’ve sent Six Train’s sequel off to my editor for developmental editing.

I’m doing a self study writing workshop in December with Margie Lawson. I’ve done two of them and I can’t wait to do this one. It’s part of my preparation for a 4 day writing boot camp with her in July 2016.

The book tour for The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is almost wrapped up, so it’s the perfect time to take a break from blogging.

My blog hiatus starts December 5. I’ll be back here on the blog January 5, 2016. Until then I’ll be popping in on Facebook and Twitter a few times a week.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. I look forward to catching up in the new year!

 

Posted in book tour, Personal, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving + Final Book Tour Stops

IMG_8938Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m grateful to get to spend this holiday with my good friend Brett and my family. I’m also grateful to be finishing up Six Train’s sequel and sending it to my editor next week. Most importantly, I’m grateful to finally have some energy back and to be feeling like I’m on the other side of being sick.

What are you grateful for this year?

***

I’m at the end of the book tour.

Here are my last two author appearances for 2015:

November 29th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In Southington, CT, at the Aquaturf Convention Center for the 19th Annual Holiday Craft Fair: selling signed copies of my novels.
December 5th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. In Unionville, CT, at the West District School (114 West District Road) for the West District 37th Annual Holiday Crafts Fair: selling and signing copies of my books.

 

If you weren’t able to make it to one of my events, and you would like a signed copy of The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts or a signed bookplate for your book, please contact me at: kourtney(dot)heintz(at)yahoo.com to discuss the cost.

 

 

Posted in author appearance, Personal, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments