Today I am highlighting some of the incredible authors published by Dream Write Publishing of Sherwood Park, who are launching new books at this event. It will be the 12th annual Words in the Park and with over 100 titles, this publishing company has continued to maintain their mission to assist authors in realizing their publishing dream. http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/
Mike Deregowski: Duffy the Duffle Bag.
Duffy is a large duffle bag. He has a hard time fitting into tight spots and often wishes he could be smaller so he could go more places. Join Duffy and his friends to learn more about acceptance. The trick is to learn to be happy with yourself no matter what size you are.
Leslie Hodgins: The Tale of the Siren Song
“Gather ’round, ye who dare! Gather ’round to hear the story of Captain Dara Finn, the Cursed Pirate! Legend has it that he terrorized these shores for as long as memory serves, living without feeling, serving no one, and going where he wanted!”As always, this story begins with once upon a time…Sirens were considered mythical creatures although more stories were being told about them – some about sailors meeting them, some about where they came from, others about what powers they have over you with just their voice. Dara listened intently to the stories, hoping there was a chance they’d hold a clue to breaking the curse. But no one seemed to know…
Mandy Eve-Barnett: Rython Legacy (the sequel to The Rython Kingdom)
Juliana held her granddaughter in her arms; it was a bittersweet moment. The child was a delight but also her replacement; she was the new sorceress who would protect the kingdom if called upon. At that precise moment, Maralynn opened her golden eyes – there was such intensity in them that her observers were taken aback at the obvious power the new little being held. A thin thread of cyan mist floated and twisted above the happy group… unobserved., a portent of things to come. Maralynn’s reign as Eldenma would be fraught with challenges, but could her exceptional power ultimately overcome.
J.E. McKnight: Unnatural Selection
In a world where the male population outnumbers the female eight to one, the survival of the human race depends on the advent of a breeding program, outlawing marriage and monogamous relationships. This is all anybody knows as there isn’t a generation that hadn’t had to participate in some breeding program or another. Martin 11 od Coddlebury and Eric 23 of Coddlebury grew up together in the same nursery and dreamed of the day they would be old enough to enter the breeding program. Everything changed, for Martin, the day he met Desiree 9 of Peppercoll. Now he is torn between his duty to the program – not to mention the law – and his feeling for a woman he knows he can never have…
Come and meet these authors and over 30 more at Words in the Park, 28th September. Venue: Agora, 401, Festival Lane, Sherwood Park, AB. Time 10.00 am – 4:00 pm
Free admission for books, games, interactive tables, kids Find IT game, prizes, treats, story telling, music, writing prompt workshop, artisan crafts and much more.
This week’s question is: How do you prepare for an author reading?
I have a reading with several other authors this Saturday for Bookstore Romance Day, so have prepared a gift basket, gathered not only the book I will be reading from but also most of my other books to take with me. As there will be a table at the front of the store with our books I have packed a display shelf, summaries of each book, and have decided on the excerpt I will read. Obviously, this has to be practiced to allow me to look up at the audience but also practice my inflections to give the piece a real sense of drama.
If you happen to be in Edmonton, Alberta come and say Hi. We will be at Audreys Books Ltd. 10702 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3J5 at 2 pm. I will read from Life in Slake Patch, which is a speculative fiction romance set in a matriarchal society from a young man’s perspective. Yep, it is certainly an interesting and unique story.
Please comment below with your typical planning for an author reading, we may learn new tricks from each other!
Last week’s post was a 10 minute writing prompt: A bag of multiple buttons.
Before Remaining Aileen was, Remaining Aileen the novel, she was an idea I had for a screenplay. A few years back, around 2014 I had this super vivid vision of a young mom, who was on a plane that was falling from the sky. All hope is lost. Her thoughts revolve around never seeing her children, or husband again, and the devastating reality that she is going to die. Until she wakes up, alive, completely unharmed- or so it appears.
This scene became the inciting incident that would propel Aileen along her journey, as well as what started me down my path of becoming a writer.
At the suggestion of my amazing husband, Aileen became a novel instead of a screenplay, and now she is about to be released into the world and I truly still, cannot believe it. Fun fact, my very first title idea was Vampire Mom, and it was going to be this light-hearted story of a mom who becomes a vampire, until I realized just how HARD it would be to actually try and be a mom and a vampire. While I do keep some light-heartedness in the story, it did end up taking a bit of a darker/ more emotional turn (which I am so excited about) than I originally was planning. But if there is one thing I have learned about writing stories, is that they seem to tell you what they want to be regardless of your original intentions. It’s best to just see where it takes you sometimes!
–How did you come up with the title?
My first idea for a title for this book was Vampire Mom, but as the story unfolded it just didn’t fit anymore. My main character Aileen really struggles with her new “life” as a vampire and does all she can to try and make her new life fit back with in her old one. So Remaining Aileen felt a little more descriptive of her goal and struggle within the story.
How much of the book is realistic?
In many ways Aileen’s story into motherhood is based on my own inner struggles I went through while learning how to be a mom, but overall, this being a vampire story, it’s not exactly realistic.
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think my characters are all inspired in some way by either people I know, have known, or maybe would like to know! But no one character is based on anyone specific.
Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?
Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?
I do have plans for a sequel for Remaining Aileen, Aileen still has a way to go in her story and I’m excited to share the rest of it when the time comes!
Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
One of favorite character’s ended up being Ana, Aileen’s Mother-in-Law. There is just something about her bulldog “don’t mess with me or my family” attitude that I deeply admire. Ana would do anything for the ones she loves.
Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?
I really enjoy writing within the speculative/paranormal realm of things. While Remaining Aileen is Women’s Fiction I prefer to add a speculative twist to it rather than normal/real-life type things.
Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?
I plan my stories. I need to have a clear vision for what my beginning, middle, and end will be before I dive in and write.
What is your best marketing tip?
I am so new to the world of marketing, so far, I don’t have enough experience to give any tips but if I end up with any I will gladly share!
-Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?
I find social media to be more of a tool than a hindrance for me. It’s where I have found my support network for my writing, as well as a place I can connect with readers. I have made some really amazing writer friends through my social media platforms.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
What I enjoy most about writing is when you get that initial idea. The spark. That single immeasurable moment where what did not exist now exists and it’s such a great feeling. My next favorite moment is writing the words “The End”. I’ve never felt more accomplished then writing those two words at the end of my first finished draft.
What age did you start writing stories/poems?
I was 28.
Where is your favorite writing space?
My favorite place to write is my white oak desk my husband crafted for me. We hand selected each board that went into it together, and the fact he made it for me makes it so special.
-Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?
I started my own writing group of sorts called Writer Moms Inc., a support group for mom writers on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. While Writer Moms Inc. mostly holds an online presence, I do try my best to meet up with my local writer mom friends and chat about all things writing and mom life, as well as encourage the members of WMI to do the same where they live!
-If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why?
I have two authors actually I would love to meet, share a cup of tea with and chat about writing and life. The first is Anne Rice, because well, she’s Anne Rice! I really feel like her vampire stories were the precursor to many of the vampire fiction/movies/TV I love to watch.
I would also love to meet Stephanie Meyer. My whole inspiration for becoming a writer was because of reading Twilight, so I would love to have the chance to meet her in person and gush all about how amazing she is and how grateful I am that she put her stories out into the world.
-If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?
I actually quite love where I currently live, in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada range, however, I really love the Pacific North West so if I could live anywhere I might head up north!
-Do you see writing as a career?
I would really like being a published author to become my career. After Remaining Aileen, I will have her sequel to write, and then I have a few other novel ideas floating around I’d love to develop and publish.
-Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?
I don’t tend to eat while writing, but coffee or tea is a must!
-What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?
Usually, my rewards for reaching deadlines, or completing drafts is to stay up at late as I want catching up on all the Netflix I missed while writing!
Today’s post is more personal as I am a multi-genre author. I would welcome your comments on how you brand, promote and market when writing multi-genres.
The definition of ‘writer’ is 1. a person who has written a particular text. 2. a person who writes books, stories, or articles as a job or regular occupation. 3. a person who writes in a specified way.
As you can see the definition predisposes that a writer will create narratives in a specific way or genre. However, what if a writer wants to write the ‘story’ not the genre?
As many of you know, I am a multi-genre author, where the story is the motivator not the genre. However, there are some obstacles to this due to the ‘business’ side of writing. Mainly, how to promote myself as opposed to the genre I have written?
I have read many ‘book promotion and marketing’ articles, all of which target specific audiences for genre. You can easily target one genre, such as romance, thriller, and mystery but how do you cross genre lines in promotion?
One answer is to link your name to an organic and dynamic brand that’s based on you and arouses a positive, emotional experience for your targeted readership – regardless of genre. So in essence you will need to develop a strategy to create a hybrid solution of your own.
Another option is to write a book that will appeal to the fans of your new genre and not the fans you already have. The plot, cover, and blurb should all be consistent with the genre you want to write in. This can be accomplished by adding your own flourishes to the genre.
You have the ability to create your own style, and unique voice by combining recurrent themes, character types, settings, and ideas that make up the familiar elements characteristic to your writing. You can tie a common thread between all the genres you choose to write.
It is much less about genre, and more about what readers have come to expect in your books/writing. It’s in the way you do it–as well as how it’s perceived and interpreted by your audience. Let’s take a look at how writing in more than one genre is a benefit: • It requires different strengths and allows you to push your limits and abilities–learn, test, experiment, polish. • It lets you explore your wider interests without limitation. • It allows new writers especially to explore various genres before determining the right “fit” for their style, voice and passions. • It is often not a conscious decision–many writers are compelled to follow the Muse.
So what are the Pros and Cons? Pros: 1. Writing what you want It is wonderfully fulfilling to explore new ideas and create something new that challenges you in unique and exciting ways. 2. Wider audience Writing a new genre may attract new readers, who wouldn’t have found your work otherwise. And hopefully they will check out your previous works thus cultivating a broader, wider readership. 3. Versatility Being versatile will sharpen your skills as a writer and may attract a publisher in that genre or other new opportunities. Your ability to handle a variety of genres is always a plus. 4. Broader community While writing in new genres and categories, you will get to know other writers in that genre and extend your writing community in the process. Cons: 1. Losing readers This is obviously the biggest con of switching genres. Your current readership may not pick up your new book at all as they consider you a writer in a particular genre and may be more discerning about picking up a title of yours in the future. 2. More juggling Writing in multiple genres requires more juggling with your marketing and promotion as you need to change from one single cohesive marketing plan into two or more. And if you’re working on multiple projects at once, you’ll have to handle multiple publishing deadlines, contracts, etc. 3. Multiple brands The worst case scenario is having to start a completely new brand for the ‘other’ genre. You may need to write under a pen-name and devote time to building that platform. It could be you start from scratch in your branding, or utilize your platform in a broader form. To do this you need to find the common ‘theme’. (Not an easy task I might add!) 4. Writing confusion The other challenge is juggling multiple genres from a writing perspective and requires a lot of hard work and skill to accomplish successfully. Each genre has its own conventions you need to establish and refine using vastly different voices traits and tones, while meeting readers’ expectations.
More recently, many alternative genres have been created, which combine genres into a sub-genres. For example, romance readers would never go to the horror section first but if the description was something like – romantic suspense – then maybe they would pick up your book. This has enabled authors to promote their books in one or more genres. I have investigated what my ‘brand’ or ‘theme’ is in my writing and after quite some time realized it is a basic theme of love – be it romantic, parental, friendship or some other kind – so in essence I can use that title within the more traditional genre headings. It is a matter of looking at your story and defining the main theme, even if it is an underlining thread throughout the narrative. My novel, Life in Slake Patch is an alternative world order but basically has a young man trying to change the ‘laws’ so he can be with the woman he loves. It can be described as speculative fiction but romantic speculative fiction is better.
My novel, The Twesome Loop is also romance but has an added reincarnation element as well as set in England and Italy, so is it romance alone or do I possibly create a sub-genre: suspense romance? As I am writing, I realized another sub-genre would fit my fantasy, The Rython Kingdom, which is set in medieval England, has a romance and a master plot by a vengeful witch so maybe it is fantasy romance?
Do you write multiple genres?
How do you promote them? Separately or within a broader brand under your name?
It energizes me the same way climbing a small mountain might energize you.
You’re exhausted by the effort but feel good about what you’ve done, so you have enough left in the tank to climb down – and do it over again the next day!
What is your writing Kryptonite?
The mid-point of any novel. I always begin novels in a fever of excitement but half-way through I get bogged down and have to work really hard to keep going to the end. I suspect a lot of authors feel the same way.
What’s the best thing you’ve written?
That would have to be my latest novel Manchester Vice.
I’m very proud of the positive reviews it’s had, including a great video review in “Words on Words” (The Eclectic Storm radio).
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Robert Bose and Axel Howerton of Coffin Hop Press have become good friends of mine. Rob edited my novel Manchester Vice and in the process taught me a lot about tightening up a narrative; Axel told me he liked my novel and because he’s a literature graduate that boosted my confidence no end!
I have a writer friend called Martin Mulligan who has a great way with words – he’s helped me get my sentences flowing better, just by being a good influence.
Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I’d like to build a body of work, but the books aren’t interconnected. There are probably common themes, though. My future critics and reviewers may one day work out what those themes are!
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Oh, such a good question! Probably the money I spent on the novel It Happened in Boston? By Russell H Greenan. That was the book most responsible for my decision to write novels myself. It was – is – a great read.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
My parents telling me off when I was little; my Dad in particular knew how to scare the hell out of me!
Later I began reading books by the likes of Harlan Ellison and began to get a feel for language from them.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
It Happened in Boston? By Russell H Greenan. It’s well-written, well-plotted, has a compelling central character and a cast of wonderful secondary characters.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
As a cat-lover it’d have to be a cat. That said, there’s a cat in my novel Manchester Vice which is drugged by its owner. I got a rap on the knuckles from a couple of reviewers for that part of the story!
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I always have a few on the go.
Right now I have a finished novella that’s looking for a publisher: I also have a novel that’s about two-thirds written; and two or three half-finished manuscripts I’ll be bringing to completion some time in the future.
What does literary success look like to you?
I’ll know it when I see it!
But seriously, I want the full enchilada: a substantial body of work, great reviews, and great sales figures.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I seldom do much research because my books are about personal relations so it’s a matter of drawing on experience, twisting it around, and using my imagination to transform it into something new, and, hopefully, entertaining.
How many hours a day/week do you write?
I can’t put a figure on it. All I can say is as many as I can, other commitments permitting.
How do you select the names of your characters?
Names are important to me and I try hard to get them right. The old adage about a rose smelling just as sweet by any other name doesn’t seem to apply in fiction. People get a handle on a character through his name – at least in my view – so the name has to be right.
What was your hardest scene to write?
I wrote an attempted rape scene in one book.
I didn’t want it to be pornographic, or gratuitous, and I didn’t want to make the woman on the receiving and appear to be a victim.
Most difficult of all, I wanted women to be able to read it and feel comfortable with it, not see it as some kind of sexploitation scene.
For those reasons, that was the most difficult scene I’ve ever had to write.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I started out by reading sci-fi and horror when I was young. This pretty much doomed me to become a genre-writer with an emphasis on speculative fiction.
I write more than one genre (so far I’ve tried my hand at comedy horror and crime) but all my books could be classed as pulp fiction – or pulp with literary pretensions.
I like to grab the reader’s attention from the opening sentence and keep him or her hooked with cliff-hanger chapter endings and twisting plots right up to the final sentence.
As for how I balance them – pass. It’s instinctive, I guess – just like it was for the pulp writers of old.
How long have you been writing?
As a serious fiction author – about 5 years now.
What inspires you?
Anything and everything, particularly people and anecdotes friends tell me. I often think, when somebody tells me a story about themselves, that with the right development it could become a written piece.
How do you find or make time to write?
I have to be ruthless, mainly with myself, and stop myself from goofing off doing other stuff. That’s my only secret. I think it’s every writer’s secret.
What projects are you working on at the present?
I’m very excited about the novel I’m two-thirds through, which I jokingly refer to as my bestseller. That’s because I’ve researched what kinds of book sell well, and I’m aiming to write one which falls squarely into a bestselling category.
That category is Domestic Noir – ie, a thriller in a domestic setting.
Everything else is taking a back seat at present.
What do your plans for future projects include?
More domestic noir if the current project sells; and a sequel to my psychopath novel.
Thank you Mandy, I will. It’s been great talking to you!
Jack is an English author, who loves genre fiction, particularly thrillers and horror, although he can find just about any genre fun, as long as the story grabs him and doesn’t let his attention go. Jack is not so big on literary fiction but has read the occasional classic.
Jack’s own writing tends to be dark and funny – or so he is told.
His interests are: Reading (unsurprisingly), Writing (naturally), My own books (sorry!), Self-promotion (ok, I admit it, I can be a bit of a bore sometimes). Walking, Strength training with body weight, Strength training with barbells, Fitness, Judo, Boxing. Jack’s home town is Huddersfield, which is in West Yorkshire, England.