RT Daily Blog

Writes And Wrongs: Shiloh Walker On Building A Solid Blog Foundation

BY Shiloh Walker, MAY 11, 2011 | PERMALINK

Best-selling author Shiloh Walker pens this bi-weekly column of online advice for writers. Walker is a full-time author who is published in both e-book and traditional print formats. Now she shares her experience and advice to help aspiring and published authors figure out the "Writes and Wrongs" of the digital world.

Finding your blogging inspiration and creating a blog people come back to...

So you want to blog, but you don’t know what to blog about?

There was a post at Lynn Viehl’s blog, about how blogging could be a writing exercise, and that’s a good way to look at it. I started making myself blog, regularly—I’d have a post go up almost every day. I’ve been doing it for a couple of years now.

There’s no set rhyme or reason to my posts. I don’t just blog about writing, I don’t just blog about books, I don’t just blog about my kids and my husband, or movies, etc, etc etc. In a way, my blog has become a reflection of me. I do blog about my kids and my husband. I do blog about books. 


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog
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Wendy Soliman's Road To Publication

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MAY 09, 2011 | PERMALINK

Author Wendy Soliman shares a look back at the route she took to get published. She points out some of the pitfalls along the way and how she overcame obstacles to jump-start a successful e-book career.

I can't remember a time when I didn't invent stories in my head, making the world behave precisely as I thought it should. Seemed to me like a perfectly natural thing to do. But dreaming's one thing, committing those dreams to paper is entirely another, as I discovered when I picked up my pen eight years ago and got serious about it.

Even then, before e-publishing had really taken off and nobody had heard the dreaded words "credit crunch", everyone told me it was almost impossible to get an agent or publisher to look beyond the first page of a manuscript. But I was convinced I'd be the exception that proved the rule. I no longer had to bash my thoughts out on a typewriter and had the added bonus of the internet at my fingertips to help with research. It didn't occur to me that the same rules applied to all the other would-be writers out there, producing a glut of material that enabled the publishing houses to be even more selective.


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, E-Book
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Tara Taylor Quinn Shares The Best Advice She's Ever Received - With Giveaway!

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MAY 05, 2011 | PERMALINK

Today author Tara Taylor Quinn shares her past with readers and explains how (and why) she incorporates her own experiences into her writing. And don’t miss your chance to win a copy of her new novel, It Happened on Maple Street, at the end of this post!

My life is an open book. At least, as of April 1, 2011 it is. Before that I had fifty-five books published with Harlequin and MIRA and I lived my life in hiding. I was living with a twenty-seven year secret of domestic violence. That changed with the publication of It Happened on Maple Street, co-authored with Tim Barney, my husband and the love of my life. It Happened on Maple Street is our true love story. And the story of the healing power of love. I am all over those pages, by name. My shame, my guilt, and my struggle to find faith in myself and trust in love are all there for the world to see. My family and friends, as they read this book, are finding out for the first time about the secrets I kept all those years. 


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog, Romance
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Dorothy St. James On Creating Complete Cozy Characters

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MAY 03, 2011 | PERMALINK

Aspiring authors, how do you keep your cozy characters sane as they stumble over corpse after corpse? And how does a character go from unlucky body-finder to eagle eyed amateur sleuth? It is a daunting prospect but you aren’t on your own with these dilemmas. Today cozy author Dorothy St. James (aka Dorothy McFalls) shares some of the tricks of the trade that she learned from four fellow mystery authors!

“If Jessica Fletcher walks into a room, run! Someone is about to be murdered, and you sure as heck don’t want it to be you.”

Growing up, this was a running joke in my family.

The idea that an amateur sleuth/mystery novelist would become involved with a murder investigation week after week grew all the more unbelievable with each season of Murder She Wrote until one night my dad exclaimed that Jessica Fletcher was a serial killer who cleverly framed scores of innocent dupes.


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
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Patricia Rice Publishes The Book Of Her Heart

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, APRIL 27, 2011 | PERMALINK

When bestselling author Patricia Rice was unable to get "the book of her heart" published in traditional format, she self-published this cross-genre tale as the new e-book Evil Genius

Evil Genius begins with the line: “My name is Ana, and I’m a doormat.” That line has stayed with the book in all its incarnations because Ana is one of those rare characters who has depth from the moment she walks on the page, which meant she had to be written in first person.

The problem with first person is that a large part of the market detests first person, which makes editors leery of buying it. Despite knowing market limitations, I simply wrote the book that was in my head and heart. Evil Genius took me on a wild, fascinating ride. Characters tripped off my fingers. I had huge fun brainstorming second, third, and fourth books for a world-traveling family of eccentrics who knew how to find trouble without looking.


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, E-Book, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
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Writes And Wrongs: Shiloh Walker On Keeping Your Series' Characters Straight

BY Shiloh Walker, APRIL 27, 2011 | PERMALINK

Best-selling author Shiloh Walker pens this bi-weekly column of online advice for writers. Walker is a full-time author who is published in both e-book and traditional print formats. Now she shares her experience and advice to help aspiring and published authors figure out the "Writes and Wrongs" of the digital world.

Too many series, too many characters… aaaahhhh!!!

A break away from promo talk. Promo, in my opinion, is boring.

Let’s talk about something that bores me even more…organization. As in keeping characters organized. I’m not an organized writer. I hate the word synopsis. Organized plotting makes me break out in hives. The terms series arc blows my mind.

I’m also lazy. Yet I hate getting things wrong.

At some point, though, I figured out I needed to get organized because my memory isn’t exactly what it used to be and when you write several ongoing series and you bring back recurring characters, it’s a good idea have some of reference handy. 


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog
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Sarah Jio On Beauty Where You Least Expect It

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, APRIL 25, 2011 | PERMALINK

Author Sarah Jio talks about making revisions to her mainstream manuscript and the unexpected impact of tiny details — both in life and fiction.

Shortly after I sold my novel to Penguin, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work on the pre-publication editing process. My editor, the lovely and always insightful Denise Roy at Penguin, suggested that we add few new threads to the book. So, I spent several months working on these revisions, often thinking about creative ideas and solving plot problems on my daily 3-mile jogs around my neighborhood in Seattle. One day, while huffing and puffing through my usual route, I glanced down by the roadside and noticed a brilliant carpet of purple flowers growing at the edge of someone’s garden. I didn’t think much of them until the following day when I was out in my backyard, and a gardener I hired to do some weeding (I have three young boys and zero time for weeding!) pointed out a peculiar plant sprouting up out of the ground.


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog, Mainstream
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Writing Help: Four Tips For Writing Deep Point Of View

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, APRIL 19, 2011 | PERMALINK

Michelle Massaro, the assistant editor of the popular literary website Clash of the Titles, shares a quick tutorial on Deep Point of View (or Deep POV). Find out what makes this style so appealing and how you can improve your writing by using it well!

Deep Point Of View is a writing style in high demand these days. Sensory-engaging technology raised the bar on what a consumer expects out of their favorite pastimes. In movies we've got digital 3D. For music, surround-sound. In video games, it's the motion-detection of the Wii. And for literary fiction we have Deep POV. But many authors aren't sure what it is or how to do it. 

The reader wants to climb into a character's skin—tasting, feeling, hearing, smelling what they do. A great metaphor or simile won’t suffice. Deep POV isn't active voice or showing rather than telling.

Deep POV is a skill that must be learned, like anything else. But these four portable tips are a great place to start. 

Tip #1: Delete the phrase "s/he saw"

Obviously not every use of the word saw (and its nieces and nephews: observed, noticed, etc.) will be slashed. But go through your manuscript looking for lines like these:

She saw the lights come on in the kitchen.

And change to:

The lights came on in the kitchen.


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Tags: Aspiring Authors
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Writes And Wrongs: Shiloh Walker Talks About Amazon's Author Central

BY Shiloh Walker, APRIL 13, 2011 | PERMALINK

Best-selling author Shiloh Walker pens this bi-weekly column of online advice for writers. Walker is a full-time author who is published in both e-book and traditional print formats. Now she shares her experience and advice to help aspiring and published authors figure out the "Writes and Wrongs" of the digital world.

Author Central on Amazon … What is it?

Basically it’s just another platform to use to get the word out there. Previously I didn’t think it was that big a deal, and I’m still not overly convinced it is, but I do see the potential for it to get bigger in the future as e-books become a larger part of the market share.

For me, the two main things with the Author Central program are the ability to set up an author page where you have all of your books together (along with your bio) and the ability to import your blog.


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog
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Desiree Holt On Collaborating Or Co-authoring: Is It For You?

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, APRIL 12, 2011 | PERMALINK

Before you dive into a project that will have you working closely with another author, Desiree Holt aka Judith Rochelle suggests that you think through the details ... 


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog
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