Category Archives: Blog

The Summer Fun Mixed Genre Author Takeover Facebook Event

What a great time!

The Summer Fun Mixed Genre Author Takeover was a great success for the authors who promoted and marketed themselves and their books, and for the readers who joined in the fun.

I hosted six authors over the course of three days on Facebook. There was horror, romance, paranormal, crime fiction, actions, thrillers, dragons, good guys and bad guys.

Lots of people came and played the games and won great prizes. The authors saw a jump in friend’s requests, Twitter followers, newsletter subscribers, reviews, and people bought some books. Slam-dunk in my world!

Lots of ads went out, like…

And

I hosted RA Winter, from the Contemporary Native America romance genre. Alex Maher who took us to the dark side with his collection of horror short stories. Sha Renée and her steaming hot contemporary military romance brought a crowd, and Ophelia Bell won everyone over with her paranoraml romance with shapeshifting dragons and bears.  Lorena Black titillated everyone with her paranormal FBI and wearewolves Foehammer Series. Scott Bell took us on an adventure into the future where the dead don’t stay dead, they go to work.

I plan to host a takeover event on the third weekend of every month, and I’m going to blog about it on the last Monday of the month.

Please come join in the fun for the All Romance All Day Author Takeover Event! Win prizes, find new books to read, and discover great authors.

 

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It’s That Time Of Year

Time to do a little Summer cleaning and make some changes.

Yes. I look this cute when I clean.

Starting in July of last year, I posted two author interviews a month. The first Monday was a romance and or erotica author, and the third Monday of every month were authors from a variety of genres. Horror, action, thrillers, fantasy, steampumk… you name it, I’ve got a good writer of the genre represented.

Some of the writers are published, some were not at the time of the interview but are now, and some of the writers are starting out, finding their footing in the industry.

I’d like to change things up a bit, and do one author interview of a published author on the first Monday of every month. I’m still going to have the second Monday be a writing prompt, but it’s still up in the air as to whether I’ll do Facebook Takeovers to replace the author interview on the third Monday.

Anywho.

I’m going to start off the next year with an interview with a boutique publishing house. Two publishers will answer questions about the business and give us a look into what it takes to publish the traditional route. You’ll want to catch that interview for sure.

This weekend, June 23, 24, and 25th, I’m doing a huge Facebook Takeover with 6 great authors. Several genres will be represented.

Please stop by. Meet some incredible writing talent, make new friends, discover books to read, and WIN PRIZES.

I’ll leave the light on for you – http://bit.ly/2rJ8GNd

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Author Interview – Tim Kimber

I found Tim through a blog article he posted on point of view in fiction writing. I saw a kindred spirit and started stalking him. He is a short story king, interweaving horror, fantasy and science fiction with flare. When he’s not ripping off people’s skin in his stories, he is a staunch Whig and enjoys “debating” with Tories every chance he gets.

Tim is a sub-editor by day and a creator of scary by night.

Please allow me to introduce, Tim Kimber.

I do love to be scared, and I love your short story, Tartarus. But, I could never come up with such great suspense and scary stuff like you do. What drew you to write horror?

TK: Although my only published work so far is that short story – and it is admittedly in a horror anthology – I’m not an out-and-out horror writer. Truth be told, I like to dabble in the lot: sci-fi, fantasy, and historical fiction; even erotica when the story dictates it, though I’m a little too shy to share that with anyone yet.

My ideal writing portfolio would be something like China Miéville’s, who set out to write a novel in every genre, while twisting them into something new. So while my stories can contain horror elements, I much prefer to roam outside the parameters of established genre tropes.

Don’t be shy to share your erotica work. The secret to good erotica is to remember the emotions with the graphic sex. What are you currently working on and what is it about?

TK: My main project is a fantasy novel called Citadel. It’s set in the afterlife, but a non-secular one of my own devising, so there’s no Satan, no judgement, no hell-fire and torture. Instead, it’s about an endless war between a horde of imps and daemons, and the humans lucky enough to have found sanctuary in mankind’s only stronghold, the citadel of Val Halla.

I wanted to explore the idea that – if there was a Hell – we would not as a collective species yield so meekly to our captors. So, we rose up, managed to defend a cave for long enough to build a wall, and slowly grew out from there. When the book starts, a newborn man is taken to the citadel, after millennia of its existence, when it has become a metropolis with all the problems associated with mass urbanisation: overpopulation, inequity, squalor and civil disorder.

The central question posed is: Would you rather safety in slavery, or freedom in fear?

Great question! I’d like to say I would choose freedom in fear, but when push comes to shove everyone wants to believe that about themselves. Sorry for the ramble, let’s get back to the interview. How are you publishing your writing and why?

TK: When I’m finally finished with Citadel, I’ll look to send it out to beta readers, and if feedback is good, I’ll start sending out queries to agents. I prefer the idea of traditional publishing, if only because I’m not terribly fond of self-promotion. At least with a publishing house and an agent, a portion of that marketing burden is shared around (though I am aware a great deal still needs to be done by most authors on the social media front).

It might be a bit of a hard sell, though. There’s not much call for books in which every single character is already dead. Sure, maybe someone will see a gap in the market for my particular brand of steampunk-afterlife-epic-fantasy, but I won’t hold my breath, and I won’t hamstring myself by adhering to the traditional route.

I believe in my story, and I want to get it out there.

Wow, I think your story sound very interesting. I’d read it. What’s your views on social media for marketing, and which of them have worked best for you?

TK: I’m going to answer this question with the caveat that much of the vocabulary and concepts involved make me uncomfortable.

But yes, I have a few social media platforms <shudder> through which I market myself, or my “brand” <cringe>. There’s my blog, over at rightplacerighttim.com, where I get to be free and frivolous with the content <wince> that I produce. This I then share on either Facebook or Twitter, or both.

However, I don’t have a Facebook author page, so when I share my blog posts on there, it’s to my friends and family, and I have a problem with spamming everyone with every last post I write on the blog. There’s far too much of the humble-brag at play, so I reserve it for the less author-centric content, like a post about my wedding, or on politics, or if I achieve something of which I am particularly proud and can’t help but broadcast.

This modesty is unfortunate, because Facebook is consistently my biggest channel from which to draw readers. I prefer Twitter, personally, but it simply doesn’t have the same click-through rate as FB.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? What was it about?

TK: I started writing when I was about 12, about the time I discovered the Terry Pratchett Discworld novels, The Colour Of Magic and the like. My story was set on a world the shape of an apple core, with one side having lost contact with the other, and the last bridges having been burned in some war with dragons centuries past. The protagonist was a down-on-his-luck hero for hire, with a magic talking sword, with issues controlling its emotions. He joins forces with a barbarian woman on a quest to the southern hemisphere, to find the last dragon and bring peace to a war-torn continent – or whatever.

Anyway, it’s full of zany japes and hideous dialogue, and goes on for 17,000 ill-chosen words. Still, I had apparently grasped at a young age the importance of narrative perspective. And it is marginally less embarrassing than the trite, Reservoir Dogs-inspired nonsense I was churning out at university.

My wife bought me the complete works of HP Lovecraft a few years ago. It has everything he published in chronological order, and starts with a story he wrote when he was just 15. It’s about a man who gets lost in a cave, is stalked by some unseen beast in the dark, only to shoot it and discover the hideous wretch was in fact a man, disfigured by decades of being lost in the bowels of the earth.

But we can’t all be prodigies.

That story sounds fascinating! You had more of a grasp on plot and story at 12 than I do now. You go with your bad self.

Aww, our time is up. Thanks so much for stopping by and chatting with me!

Be sure to stop by Tim’s blog where he speaks on a variety of topics with a good dose of humour, from politics to helpful articles for becoming a better writer. You can also find him goofing around on Twitter, and get a peek into his life on Instagram. To keep up with all of his works, visit his author profile on Amazon.

Bio:

Tim Kimber is a Dorset-born Londoner, writing fiction from pubs across the capital. His maiden publishing credit came in the horror anthology The Infernal Clock amid sparkling reviews. Tim hopes to release his first novel, Citadel, in the coming months – though he has been working on it for the best part of a decade (indeed, his wife is close to asphyxiation from holding her breath, so don’t do that).

Tim’s most pleasing anecdotes include tangoing with Helen Baxendale, accompanying Ron Howard to a roller derby match, and briefly renting with a woman who claimed she had sex with a ghost whenever everyone was out.

Unlike proper authors, Tim does not have a cat – but he is looking into it.

Click on cover for more information:

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Writing Prompt – June

 

Please feel free to write a flash of no more than 1,000 words in the comments. I’d love to read them. Erotica writers please mark yours as adult before the story begins. Example: This is an adult erotica story.

Author Interview – Julia WArd

The year-long first Monday of the month romance author interviews is coming to an end. I’m going to finish up with a really good romance author, Julia Ward. I met her on a writing site, and she is fun, quirky and a hella good writer. I love her work on an interactive, choose your own romance novel. It’s shaping up to be great fun and she has a Sci-Fi romance coming out in a couple of months with an audio version to follow soon after.

Please allow me to introduce, Julia Ward.

Hey, Julia. Let’s jump right into the interview with this question. What are your ambitions for your writing career?

JW: Good question. I don’t know the answer. I write down what falls out of my head and hope someone will enjoy/be inspired by/be moved by it.

Wishes is another thing. I’d be good making millions. Hahaha But seriously, money is handy but it really is about the right person finding one of my books and how it speaks to them in an inspiring way. Maybe they’ll decide if I can do it, they can do it. Whatever their “it” is.

Have you written works in collaboration with other writers, and if so: why did you decide to collaborate and did it affect your sales?

JW: Back in high school, a friend and I were just writing random notes on a paper during a meeting and it blossomed into this fantastic smash up of various sci-fi and superhero characters and worlds. Someday, maybe I’ll type it up and we’ll sell it.

I think challenging yourself to do something outside of your normal is a good thing. It helps you grow as a writer. Do you write full-time or part-time?

JW: Part-time, totally. I’d go nuts if I had to sit at a desk for hours on end. But just because I’m not sitting doesn’t mean I’m not thinking. Hmm. So really, all writers are thinking about our stories, or listening to conversations getting ideas, walking around and thinking things like “this would be the perfect setting for that scene.” I now think we’re all full-time writers, we’re just not full time in the seat.

Yeah, you’re right about that. As a part-time/full-time writer, how long on average does it take you to write a book?

JW: The writing part I can do in about twenty days. And it comes out pretty well. Then I take a month or two or more and read through to find the errors. That’s the time-consuming part of the job; revisions and rewrites.

Revisions are the bane of my existence and the number one reason I only have one book published. You write romance, would you let your grandmother read your work?

JW: Oh, now that’s a stellar question. I’m not sure what kinds of books my grandmothers read. I know what my mom read. I’d have let her read them. Heck, these are pretty mild given some of what she’s read. Most of my romances are very tame. Some barely kiss while others fade to black. I think my grandmothers would have been okay reading them. I’m smiling now at the idea of that. That would have been cool.

Thank you so much for stopping by and giving us a peeking into your life.

Julia: Thank you for having me, Aerial. This was fun.

Bio

Julia Ward is a Pacific Northwest native. During childhood, she delighted in running with the family’s pack of dogs through the neighboring forest, pretending so many adventures. More stories filled her head over the years with only a few making it to paper. Now, with kids grown with kids of their own, she looks forward to sharing her stories with others and hopes they’ll bring a little fun or love into someone’s life.

A variety of desperate jobs during her years has given her some interesting experiences and knowledge leading to the formation of some quirky characters.

 

Currently, her primary genre leans toward the romantic side but she also has works in progress that wander into the sci-fi as well as the paranormal realms.

Julia looks forward to getting to know her readers and hopes they enjoy her work. You can find a little more about Julia at About.Me/JuliaWardAuthor. Some of her rambles (and perhaps a snippet or two) are at halffastwriter.wordpress.com.

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Writing Prompt – May

Four Mondays in May! That means another writing prompt to end the month.

What is this man’s story? Tell us a tale of a day in the life of this man.

Please feel free to write a flash of no more than 1,000 words in the comments. I’d love to read them. Erotica writers please mark yours as adult before the story begins. Example: This is an adult erotica story.

Creating a Website

Image via Flicker creative commons courtesy of rawpixel.com

Want a Blog or Website but Don’t Know How to Get Started?

Every business should have a website. Small or large, if you are selling something or providing a service you need a website so customers can find you. Studies show that people under 40 use their phones or computers to search the internet for what they need. That means millions of people are looking for you. No matter what you sell, a good looking website is the perfect way to gain customers.

Instead of spending hour after frustrating hour trying to set up your site, contact me. I can have it done in a couple of hours. verysherryterry@yahoo.com

Gadgets and Gizmos of Setting up a Website

Widgets, footers, menus, domains, link-backs… No one is born knowing how to put together a great blog or website. When I set up my site, I needed a lot of help. I watched “how to” videos, and read articles and tried to understand it all. I didn’t understand any of it. Once a friend helped me set it all up, I was able to learn from there. Now I can create whole sites that are interesting and fun to read.

To Blog or Not to Blog

You don’t have to include a blog, but creating one doesn’t hurt to keep your site active. You can write about anything you want, your product, your services, the weather, your dog, daily life… If you’re an author, you can write about what it’s like to create stories and be sure to use my monthly writing prompts for inspiration. The sky is the limit.

I Can Help

I love to build websites. If you want a blog or a website, but you don’t know how to set it up let me know. If you have a blog idea but don’t know how to go about writing it, I can do that too. I research and write articles on just about any topic. Just tell me what you want, how you want it to look, what you want to include, and I’ll create an article for your blog.

I have reasonable pricing that will not break the bank. In today’s economy, most people are struggling to make ends meet. I’m not in this to get rich. I’m in this to help people. Please click on this link for pricing and information.

Is this you?

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Let me help you so you can get back to the business of your business.

Testimonials:

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I made my own website. Nothing looked the way I wanted it too. I was lucky to find Sherry. She knew her way around WordPress building my book site, and I spent that precious time building my book — while not breaking my bank. Her step-by-step directions are a big help, and now I can post and move things around myself. She’s always available to answer questions or fix something I mess up.
Garrett Phillips

You can reach me on facebook, and twitter, and email. I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Find out more here.

A small sample of sites and articles:

Helped set up and made it more user-friendly. Lookout for Shorts. Prison Memoir of a Drug War Casualty.

I created all of the content and built the entire site for The Grocery Wrangler.

I created all of the original content that started the site for Semana Gastronomica. Casino Food Journey.

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Author Interview – Barbara Elsborg

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I met Barbara in an online writing community over ten years ago. After studying English Language and Literature at the University at Birmingham, she has published over 40 books in her writing career with more coming every year. Her genre of choice is Romantica,  MF, MMF, and MM with a great mix of comedy. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal, Scifi, thrillers and more. I love her stories. Not only does she self-publish, she was well known at Ellora’s Cave and Samhain. Forever, she will be popular at Loose Id, and Decadent Publishing.

Please allow me to introduce one of my favorite romance/erotica writers. Barbara Elsborg.

Hey, Barbara! I’m so excited to be interviewing you. I’m dying to know, what drew you to write romance?

Barbara: Thanks for having me! Well, I didn’t start off writing romance. My first stories were fan fiction written in my teens based on TV shows like Star Trek. I have hundreds of those little stories. My first full-length novel was a suspense thriller about the mafia in New York. I sent it to agents and publishers (Pre ebook days) and was told it was too dark. So I wrote another one called Chosen and that turned out dark too though it was ultimately published. But I realized that inside those suspense stories, the bit I liked the best was the love aspect and the moments of humor.

So I tried to write a romantic comedy and produced Digging Deeper. It’s light and fluffy and the exact opposite of what I’d done before – violent stories with drug abuse and dangerous situations. Still couldn’t find anyone who wanted Digging Deeper, though I did later, but I had the bug for romance then and all the books after (apart from a few) have been romances. Because I could only find an e-publisher to take them (no self-pubbing at that time) I was advised to add sex so they would sell. So I did. That was the start of my writing career.

But I do like writing stories with plot and more character detail than would be expected in an erotic romance. I think of my books as sexy stories rather than erotic ones. While there is explicit sex in most of them there’s also lots of drama and angst.

Do you work to an outline or plot, or do you prefer to just to see where an idea takes you?

Barbara: I don’t plot or plan. I like to start the day not sure what’s going to happen in the story. Part of me wishes I did plan because sometimes I can spend a long time thinking and not writing. I’m not a fast writer. I don’t do a word count each day or week as many do. I spend a lot of time working on the first few chapters because that sets the plot and characters and enables me to work on. One thing I always know is that the story will end on a happy ever after note but how I get there is a mystery and writing in that way makes it fun for me. Each day at my laptop is an adventure.

I do make notes when I think of things I might like to add later. These are usually jotted down in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep and aren’t always legible in the morning. I add those to a file of notes for my work in progress and gradually delete them as I add to the story. It works for me!

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Barbara: Yes it does. I’d be more inclined to check a book out if I found the cover appealing. I did once buy a book that I knew I probably wouldn’t like because I loved the cover so much. It was a YA book so not for me but the cover… Beautiful. When you are with a publisher there is only so much you can do to get the cover you want. Whenever I complained about a cover I was told – that they knew best what would sell. So I had to just take what I was given. But now I’m in the world of self-publishing, and my experience with covers has been transformed. Jo Raven, an old friend from the writing site where I met you, has made me three fantastic covers. I had another writing friend make a few more but the vast majority have been done by B4Jay, a friend on Facebook and I am more than thrilled to finally have images I love on ALL my books.

Having said all that – if I love an author, I don’t even look at the cover. I just buy!

Do you read your reviews?

Barbara: All the advice says don’t. I can see it’s better not to. I really can. Especially when you read a hard hitting one but I do read them. I haven’t read all of them. There are too many on Goodreads but I have read all those on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. I wish I had more on Amazon because they make such a difference to sales and rankings. In my head anyway.

Some reviews have made me sigh with happiness when the reader ‘gets’ what I was trying to do, has seen the themes in the story, fallen in love with my characters. No review has ever made me cry but some have made me mad when I haven’t agreed with what the reviewer has said. For example that one of my stories encouraged violence toward women. I was appalled. I’d never do that. But I’ve learned it’s better not to respond to any review beyond saying thank you if that is appropriate.

I have a hard question to ask, and one I suppose will be hard to answer. You were a very prolific writer for Ellora’s Cave and Samhain. Their closing sent thousands of authors into a spin. How hard were you hit?

I was very disappointed by the way Ellora’s Cave treated their authors. I had 17 books with them that earned me no money for almost two years. Two years of pestering and anxiety and aggravation. They sold the books and kept my money. In order to get the rights back to my books, I had to sign to say I wouldn’t sue them.

It’s taken me until now from the beginning of the year to get all the books back online and soon all will be in paperback too. So as well as losing the income for that period, I’ve had to pay for new artwork, do a lot of formatting etc.

That was bad enough and then Samhain announced they were closing. Then they said they weren’t. Then they said they were. Sigh. I had 8 books with them so I had to reformat and get new covers for those too. It’s made me very wary of going with a publisher now. There was no protection for the authors with the Ellora’s Cave contracts.

The cost of pursuing a case against them was just too high to be worth it. Something I’m sure they factored in. I’m glad to be out of it. I lost maybe $20,000, though others lost a lot more than that.

Now I’ve actually managed to self-publish I can’t see a reason to go with a publisher. The market is saturated with books. Marketing is difficult whether you’re on your own or with a publisher. We’re all trying to find the way to discover new readers and if anyone has the magic formula – let me know!

I’m so sorry that happened to you. It was shocking to see a giant in the industry such as Ellora’s Cave fall so hard and disgracefully. Let’s end this interview on a good note. Where was your favorite reading spot as a child? Where is it now?

Barbara: As a child, it was in bed. As an adult, it’s in bed!

Thanks so much, Barbara. I had a blast!

Author Bio

Barbara Elsborg lives in West Yorkshire in the north of England. She always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed that to everyone without them even resorting to torture, she decided it was not for her. Vulcanology scorched her feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, she spent several years successfully selling cyanide. After dragging up two rotten, ungrateful children and frustrating her sexy, devoted, wonderful husband (who can now stop twisting her arm) she finally has time to conduct an affair with an electrifying plugged-in male, her laptop.

Her books feature quirky heroines and bad boys, and she hopes they are as much fun to read as they were to write.

Check out her blog, and snoop around on her Goodreads.  Please be sure to follow her on Twitter, and friend her on Facebook. You cand find all of Barbara’s great books on her Amazon profile.

My favorite book, the one I did a critique on, is Lucy in the Sky. It’s adventurous, hilarious, and steamy hot.

Click on the covers for links

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Writing Prompt – May

Where is she going? Why? What’s in the suitcase?

Please share a story with us.

writing prompt 27

Open the story with: The first day of the rest of my life…

Please feel free to write a flash of no more than 1,000 words in the comments. I’d love to read them. Erotica writers please mark yours as adult before the story begins. Example: This is an adult erotica story.

Author Interview – Milli Gilbert

The first Monday of the month brings another great romance author, Milli Gilbert. Her celebrity crushes are Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch. She used to be a closeted nerd, and then someone opened the door to writing and she didn’t just walk through it, she jumped over the threshold. Her first novel, Nerdgasm is scheduled for release on Black Friday of 2017.

I am honored to introduce, Milli Gilbert. Continue reading