RT Daily Blog

Writes and Wrongs: Do You do Drive-bys?

BY Shiloh Walker, DECEMBER 29, 2010 | 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.

Release day for an author is insane. Sometimes you’ve signings set up, sometimes not. Sometimes you’re doing contests, sometimes not. Sometimes you’re constantly checking your Amazon rankings…head desk…why do we do this….

One thing many of us do though on release day is spaz. What is spazzing? Well…it’s wigging out…constantly checking those Amazon rankings, biting your nails to the quick, doing Googles for reviews and wondering why haven’t I seen any reviews? Didn’t anybody like it? Crap…everybody hated it and nobody is ever going to read me again!

This is spazzing.

One way I try to cope with my spazzing is by doing drive-bys. It gets me out of the house, it keeps me from constantly checking the sales rankings…and…hey, it’s promo.

What are drive-bys?


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog
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Mark Henry on Making the Switch

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, DECEMBER 16, 2010 | PERMALINK

Urban Fantasy author Mark Henry talks about a writer’s best weapon again the threat of unemployment: the ability to diversify. Today marks the release of his first erotic tale, Stocking Full of Coal, writing under the name Amanda Feral. Get all the details about how this new novel came to be and don’t miss the *Web Exclusive Review* of the story at the end of this post! 

Writers get a lot of questions. What font do you use? Where do you get your ideas? Do you ever bathe? But one that’s been popping up a lot recently is: can you really make a living as a lower midlist author with very little other marketable skills?

The answer is an unequivocal maybe, often accompanied by a shrug.


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog, Erotica, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
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Shiloh Walker on Which Website To Use as a Promotional Tool: Shelfari or Goodreads

BY Shiloh Walker, DECEMBER 15, 2010 | PERMALINK

Best-selling author Shiloh Walker pens this bi-monthly 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.

It can be hard for an author to tell whether it's better to use Shelfari or Goodreads as a promotional tool.

So far, from everything I can tell? It’s Goodreads.

Full disclosure—I haven’t used Shelfari much. I do have an account, although I’d forgotten it. When I went moseyed over there to check it out, I realized I did have that account and logged in, found a bunch pending friend requests…cleared them through, although I’m not sure it will do much good. I’m not planning spending much time there.

The profile set up doesn’t appeal to me. It’s not as simplified as Goodreads and it’s more limited on what authors can do—which isn’t bad for readers, especially those who are getting tired of authors taking over discussions. Yes, it happens, it gets annoying—I’ve seen it. 


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog
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Wrapping Up Our Aspiring Author Month

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, NOVEMBER 30, 2010 | PERMALINK

Today is the last day of November and the end of NaNoWriMo for all of you aspiring authors. We are sad to see the month come to a close. Hopefully our month-long focus on writing at The RT Daily Blog inspired you to get lots of work done on your manuscript.


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Celeste O. Norfleet On Keeping it Real When Writing Multicultural Fiction

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, NOVEMBER 29, 2010 | PERMALINK

Romance author Celeste O. Norfleet shares some simple, but essential, advice for creating multifaceted multicultural characters.

RT is and has been a huge part of my writing career. So when I was asked to write today’s blog, I eagerly accepted. When I received my topic - to write about the specific challenges of writing multicultural novels - I said, cool, I can do that. After all, I’m a multicultural romance author of over 25 novels. Passing on what I’ve learned to aspiring authors would be both a pleasure and an honor. But I was also concerned that I didn’t have much to add to the popular topic. We all know the basics, or do we? It occurred to me - maybe we all don’t know the basics. So I thought I might chat a few minutes about learning to keep the real cultural aspect when writing multicultural fiction.


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog
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Writes and Wrongs: On Bad Reviews

BY Shiloh Walker, NOVEMBER 24, 2010 | PERMALINK

Best-selling author Shiloh Walker pens this bi-monthly 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.

In high school, I think, a friend of mind tagged me with the description brutally blunt. Yeah, that's me. You know how you’ve got different friends…the kind of friend who will tell you how amazing you look, no matter what? And then you’ve got the friend who will honestly tell you that the dress you’re wearing makes you look like hell? I’m that friend. I won’t do it to be mean, seriously.

But I’m blunt and today, I'm going to be blunt. Be warned. If you're home and able, grab some wine or a margarita.

We are talking reviews.

Bad ones. If you write for a living, you're going to get them.

Are they fun? Of course not. Fun or not, we are going to get them. They are just part of the job. Just like edits are part of it, just like promo is a part of it, just like a lot of other things are a part of it.


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog
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The Buzz Girls Dish Out Advice to Aspiring Writers of Young Adult Fiction

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, NOVEMBER 23, 2010 | PERMALINK

It’s the middle of our month-long focus on Aspiring Authors here on the RT Daily Blog and while we’ve brought you writing advice from authors across many genres, there’s one hot genre we haven’t touched – until today. Get tips on how to improve your young adult manuscript from seven authors turned bloggers, The Buzz Girls. These multi-published YA authors (and friends) have joined forces on the blogosphere to chat about books, boys and all sorts of buzz. Today they are giving advice to aspiring writers for young adult fiction based on their collective experiences. You can follow the Buzz Girls daily on their blog at www.booksboysbuzz.com.

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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog
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Mary Stanton’s Advice For Writing Mysteries

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, NOVEMBER 19, 2010 | PERMALINK

Author Mary Stanton, who also writes as Claudia Bishop, has published more than forty stories. Now the author shares “the absolute low-down, dirty-dog truth” about writing mystery novels. 

Late in the spring of 1993, my agent called me to tell me Berkley Prime Crime had made an offer on the partial of my first mystery novel, A Taste for Murder. And they wanted two more after that. 

I remember yelling for joy. I remember blessing my agent and all of his progeny to come. I remember shouting that this was my big chance.

I hung up the phone, danced around the kitchen, ran into the dining room and danced around that, then stopped smack in the middle of the living room floor and pulled my hair in complete and utter panic. 

I didn’t even have one complete mystery novel, and Berkley wanted THREE?

I grabbed a brown paper bag from the storage bin, breathed into it, and tried to get a grip. I didn’t know how to write a mystery novel. Berkley had made the offer based on the other novels I’d published and none of it, not one single book, was a mystery novel, and I was absolutely positively certain I was going to make a complete and utter ass of myself. 


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog
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Mid-Month Check-In: Writer's Block Busters

BY Whitney Sullivan, NOVEMBER 18, 2010 | PERMALINK

Aspiring authors, it’s the middle of NaNoWriMo and our month of focusing on aspiring authors. Hopefully you are chugging right along on your manuscript and have been inspired by all of the writing tips and suggestions from authors across the genres in our series of daily posts. But even during such inspirational times, writer’s block is an ever-present threat. Honestly, I am feeling it lurking around the corner of my mind as I write this blog post.

So here are some handy exercises to help you battle this brain beast and get back to your story. 

Exercise One: Solve It! — So you’ve created a character, let’s call it X. X is the coolest person in the world, not only does X always have good comebacks (you know, the ones you wish came to you when you needed them) but X is attractive and beloved by all. Now I know what I am about to ask is difficult, it may even hurt a little bit. But no pain, no gain! Create a scene where X has a giant flaw. I’m not just talking a pimple on X’s nose, but something horrible, for example X's fear of heights causes someone to be seriously injured. Now make the scene work.


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog
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Tim Downs Asks You To Consider: What Do You Want From Writing?

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, NOVEMBER 17, 2010 | PERMALINK

Author Tim Downs suggests that aspiring authors consider what they want from writing and supplies some helpful hints to figure out how to achieve those goals. 

As the author of nine novels I get a lot of questions from aspiring writers: What’s your daily writing schedule? How many words do you produce in a day? What’s the best way to approach an acquisitions editor? How do you get your manuscript to the top of that infamous slush pile? Oddly enough, the most important question for any writer to consider is one that rarely gets asked.

What do I want from writing?

It’s easy to understand why this question gets overlooked. For many writers, the desire to express themselves in writing comes over them like a sudden hunger, and a hungry man doesn’t stop to ponder the question, What is it I want from eating? 

He just eats.

But there are many different reasons to write, and an aspiring writer can save herself a lot of frustration and disappointment simply by taking the time to decide what she wants from the craft of writing before she launches into that 700-page tome. For example…


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog
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