Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Little of This and a Little of That - Plus an Excerpt

There's a lot that's been going on in Djen World. So I thought a little update is in order. I know I've not posted as many articles on here lately, but it's been a busy few weeks. 

Tale is coming along great! I've surpassed the halfway zone - I'm on chapter 20. I love the story so far and I'm at the peak of it. A few more chapters and it will be going into the wind down faze. I'm very excited!


I've also been getting more reviews and sales thanks to marketing. It's not a whole lot, but I'll take it. It feels good getting Fable out there. And my newsletter subscriptions has grown to 80 people. 


And I've met a few more fans who are becoming friends and that's always a bonus!


It is a slow going process, and for some it goes much faster, but at least everything's going in the right direction. I'm happy! Now, to do more. I've begun the task of advertisement on Facebook. I've only sent out two ads so far and I'm weighing the option of doing more on there. I've learned of a new way to advertise directly through Amazon so I'm thinking of trying that next.


But of course, that's another learning curve I must conquer and is my next week's study.


In the mean time, I will be opening up my blog to some guest posts. I plan to have a few of my author friends and my writing coach, Janet Roots. She's having her first writer's workshop in February and I want to get the word out there for those who are interested in writing. So make sure to look for those interviews in the near future.


Lot's happening in my little world of the Djen. 


Well, I thought I would leave you with an excerpt from Tale. I hope you enjoy and look forward to the next book in The Lorn Prophecy series.


Dusk settled on Phraile Highlae, the last of the sun’s rays disappearing behind Ty Raile ai Highlae—The Hall of Light. Laylan stood at the window facing the cliff side, and pondered her reasons for agreeing that Ty Greial could go on this journey.
Her father’s words played over and over in her thoughts, “Beware this new Guardian. She is an Omen—her foretold presence begins the Prophecy.” Even though his words spoke true, the plea that escaped his lips before he took his last breath were the words that troubled her the most, “You must not … trust her. If she is allowed to take her place, there will be no place for you. You will never gain … your status.”
Her father never understood, although she had expressed her desire repeatedly, that Laylan did not want the role. Her dream was to marry Marek and settle down in Tyré. Not to spend her life in the role of Supreme Leader.
Yet, she did as he asked—fought for their rightful place.
Laylan’s memories of being kidnapped by Torren came to the forefront. Shylae had been forced into the room with her. And they became friends. If it had not been for Ty Greial’s inner strength, Laylan realized she might not have survived. She was there for me. Now I have turned away from her—accusing her of commandeering my rightful position.
She knew this was never Shylae’s intent. If Laylan was completely truthful with herself, she would have to admit her father did not mean trust in the literal sense. He wanted her to be like him—vague and misleading—especially when it had to do with the Prophecy. His deceit made her ill and irritable. Yet, why do the Gods forsake my family’s service—my legacy?
After countless attempts to speak with the Gods, she felt abandoned—by the very deities she had turned to from the time she could walk. As she grew, her father stressed the importance of their place within the hierarchy. Once she had matured, he instructed her in the ritual to contact the Gods but he shared nothing else—until his death. He then imparted his warnings.

Laylan made no promises but told him she would do what she could to hold onto the family heritage—the station of Supreme Leader. But she was now failing in carrying out her father’s dying wish. She followed every step of the connection ritual as he had shown it to her, but for naught. The only connection had been through a dream—one that left her powerless. There had been no other choice—Laylan must do the will of Tzak. 

I hope you liked my little teaser. Have a wonderful week everyone!


Love, Lisa

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope all of you have great plans and are spending time with family and friends this weekend.

I know I haven't written a new blog post in a few weeks, but my mind has been elsewhere. I finally posted my first ad on Facebook. I know, anyone else would have whipped right through it, but I have a severe learning curve when it comes to this stuff - setting it up. They just don't make it easy for those of us who have no idea what they're talking about.

My poor marketing teacher probably rolls his eyes every time he reads my questions on the student posts. But that's what I pay him for. Thank God for my daughter. She came over and helped me set it up. 

I will get past these learning curves eventually, so bear with me. In the mean time I also sent out my first reviewer targeter and have received over twenty requests to read Fable for free with a promise of a review. I'm stoked! I can't wait to read the reviews on Amazon!

I know that it's not for everyone, but I hope and pray most like my story. I guess we shall see. 

In the meantime, I'm back to writing Tale. I'm on chapter 18 and the story is moving well, I think. This weekend will be brainstorming, along with eating my fill of turkey and pie. I'm sure it will pan out and the book will move forward as it should.

My plan is to finish and release Tale next spring/early summer. Keep your fingers crossed for me that I have it ready for Comic Con next June. That would be fantastic! 

So, it's only fitting for me to be positive and enjoy the holiday's. I hope your's is wonderful too! I am thankful for all that I have. A loving, supportive husband, my books, my children and grandchildren, my mom, and a whole lot of love. 

And, I'm grateful for all of you who have stuck with me through my writing endeavors. I appreciate all of you!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and don't forget to actually be thankful and to hug your family and friends!

Love, Lisa

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Catching Up

Well, it seems things are slowing down a bit in my world so I've had more time to work on the book and marketing. This week will be devoted to mostly marketing since I do have a video to watch and a new program I downloaded and need to learn how to implement.

Although the writing is getting somewhat caught up too. I think someone heard me, maybe up above, and has granted me openings in my schedule - which is a good thing. Of course next week is filling up.

When you find yourself on overwhelm sometimes it's a good thing to voice your grievances. Anyway, I'm getting back on track. 

I am now at the part in the book, Tale, where the action is happening. I have written my first monster/beast, whichever is the proper description and I'm excited about it. It has been a lot of work, and continues to be, but I hope the scene turns out great. I'm looking forward to getting this book out there. I pray my readers like the way the story is unfolding.

Of course, it still has a long way to go, but so far, I'm liking the direction. Writing fantasy is not as easy as you think while reading it. Although, most writing isn't easy. But if you love doing it, it's worth the agonizing that comes from worrying about, well, about every aspect. 


For me, it's worth it. If not for anything, just getting my story down on paper and watching my story grow. I do enjoy writing and I do love hearing from my readers. Any time you want to leave me a comment or write me an email, I'm available. It means the world to me that you like Stevie's story and even more so when you tell me that. It keeps me writing.

Thanks to all of you who have supported me through these years and I want you to know that I appreciate you. Don't forget, when you have a moment, to sign up to my website Djenworld I will be rebuilding the site sometime next year, but when you are a part of my fan base you will get exclusive info and free books.

Take care and have a wonderful rest of your week!

Love, Lisa

Friday, October 7, 2016

Priorities

Lately I've been asking myself when will I have time to write? I've made my priority my next book, Tale, but it seems there is always something that keeps me away from time to do so. 

It's not just the marketing stuff that I have to do, it's also the learning curve - which literally sucks the time right out of my day. But there are other things too. Such as errands, cleaning, cooking, taking care of my mom, now helping her neighbor, who is a good friend of our family, with her Alzheimer issues, painting the house and a whole host of other things that are filling up my plate.

And it's not so much that I mind doing these things, it's the fact that my writing is getting pushed further down the list. I've even asked for help from one of my family members, but she's too busy for me. So I'm back to square one.

Last post I talked about breaking out my calendar and organizing - not an easy task since I'm filling it up so fast that there's no time left for anything, let alone writing. I even emailed my marketing coach about help and he suggested I go watch one of his videos.

I don't have time to sit and watch a video.

So I've decided that I'm shelving a lot of this marketing stuff, for now, and just simply writing. The fact that I'm getting my blog done is a miracle in of itself, but I've always written a blog and I figured I can at least get that done. 

It's not for a lack of trying, there's just not enough time when you're being pulled in a lot of different directions. So, again, my priority is writing, and that's what I'm going to do. Everything else is taking a back seat. 

(I know, I'm whining, but I think I'm allowed once in a while.)


I'm sure there are plenty of you that are going through the same thing. What helps you to get it all done? Are you on the computer 24/7? I can't do that with my neck and eye issues. About an hour at a time and then I have to do something else or be in pain all day.

If you get a moment let me know how you manage to get it all done - that is - if you do.

Have a great weekend all!

Love, Lisa


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Entrepreneur Blues

I'm sure most of you who are in business, whether you're a writer or sell a product(s), you have had this thought - I wish I could afford to hire an assistant.

I know I have. There are so many side marketing tasks you must perform that it can become overwhelming. First of all, I am not a computer person. I want to concentrate on my writing, not chasing after reviewers or building advertisements for Facebook. And there are a lot of other things I'm supposed to be doing to build my business.

But I have no other choice.

Then low and behold, you find out there are people out in the world that can actually help you - but there's a drawback - it costs money. For me, it's a no brainer. Either I spend the money, or I don't get it done. It's that simple.

I do not have the expertise to figure out, not to mention the time, how to perform a lot of these marketing skills. I admit it. Plus, life's too short. However, this is where organization comes in. And I've preached a lot about organizing your time.

So, it's time to break out the old calendar. Time to list what I need to do. And, hopefully, check these items off one by one. 

If you want to be successful as an indie author, and even as a traditional one, you have to market your books, otherwise they will never be noticed. Therefore, today I will be writing, and working on marketing. 

What has helped you gain more customers/followers? Are you putting in the time to get noticed? Have you broke down and hired someone to do it for you?



I would love to hear your ideas and even procrastination moments through your journey - either as a writer, or as a business owner.

I hope everyone has a great week and keep in touch!

Love, Lisa


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Prioritize Your Time

My, how the weeks fly by. I find myself wondering where the time goes, not only in my day to day stuff, but also with my social media marketing stuff. I tend to lose track especially if I get caught up on Facebook, or any other social site.

Lately I've been putting more time in my latest WIP (work in progress). I've got so much work to do that using up my time scrolling through Facebook is losing valuable minutes. So I've chosen to back off the endless hours of dog videos and political talking points. It's amazing how much more I can accomplish.

Choosing to limit your time on your social sites is the best way to organize, not only your work, but your life. I think one of the best things I ever purchased is my smart phone. I can jump on any site and spend a couple of minutes, then get on with other things. I'm still engaged, but on a much smaller time table.

I've been working on building ads for Fable and my website. I'm almost ready to send out my first one. I've also been trying to update my website with pictures and contact letters for my newsletter. In fact, the most valuable way to reach your readers is through emails and I've refocused on doing just that.

Writing on this blog is another social marketing tool. It's nice to be able to reach people with a click of a button on my Fanpage. 

But the most important way to connect: getting my series written and publishing it so my readers can enjoy my hard work. I mean, isn't that what it's all about? My writing?! 


I am going to be offering, not only a free book - Fable - but if you leave me a review on Amazon you can read Fated for free. Refocusing on what's is vital, which is reviews, takes me to a whole other level. I want to get my books out there for readers to enjoy and hopefully can't wait for the next one. It's truly what I strive for.

And I want to build my fanbase so reorganizing how I market is key to reaching my goals.

What do you do to reach your fans? Do you find yourself spending too much time on Facebook? Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts or secrets. I would love to discuss it with you.

Taking time out to do for you and to continue doing what you do best is what's important. Think about this before you spend all your time on social media. Everything needs balance.



Love, Lisa


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Creative Writing Skills Blunder

Finally getting back on track with life. It's been overwhelming lately, but things are slowing down now to a crawl - which I prefer. I decided maybe it's time to get back to discussing some creative writing skills and maybe some marketing hints on this blog. It's never to late to touch on the basics.

Today I thought one issue that comes up a lot in critiques, at least with my critique partner and I anyway, is redundancy. And not just in descriptions, but also in using the same word(s) a lot within the same scene/chapter.

You don't even realize that you're doing it, which is where having a critique partner comes in handy. I thank God everyday for Robin. I'm also blessed with Heather and Michael too. Without them my books would not sound, or read, as crisp as they do. It's absolutely worth seeking out a great team!

Now onto the subject at hand: Redundancy.

One lesson that most writers are taught is: You Can't Edit Your Own Work.

It's a hard one to swallow since we tend to think our writing is amazing, no matter how long we've been at it. Even a lot of the veteran writers need edits. At least that's what I've seen with all the reading I do. But letting go of that ego and constantly working on bettering your craft will take you much farther in this business as apposed to just publishing anything - like your rough draft. Which I have often thought when reading some of the new writers out there. 

Life is a constant learning curve, and that's okay.

For some reason when we are typing away on the keys, really focusing in on a scene we want to get down on paper, we tend to use a lot of the same words. That's fine as long as you realize that you have to go back and revise your work. We like to over use "was" "things" "looked" and a whole host of other junk words. And we can find ourselves choosing a word that we use for describing the same action over and over. Lately I was pointed to the fact that I use "heading" a lot. You know, instead of, walking, strolling, anything other than "heading". 

I didn't know I was doing it, and even though I read over my work and attempted to revise, I didn't see I my mistake. It could be any word like the one I used above. And it's not hard to find yourself repeating - we all do it.

The other redundancy we do is trying to point out an important event of issue, we tend to point it out several other times within our dialog or internal thoughts of our characters. I think the reader has gotten the point, especially if you've said it twice already. A third or more times gets monotonous.  

But at the same time, when the subject of that issue or event comes up again several chapters later, you do need to remind the reader. Otherwise they will become confused about it and find themselves looking back to see what you're talking about. That's just as obnoxious. 

The same goes for past events in your previous series. Sometimes you need to remind the reader about the event so they understand what the characters are facing. This can also become redundant. You don't have to do a "tell all", just key occurrences to juggle their memories. If they haven't read your previous books, then they will have to go back and read them to understand the full extent. 

Redundancy is more than a typical issue, it is a constant one. As we become more aware of our craft and the skills we need to focus our efforts on, this one will hopefully fall to a rarity. Remember it's our readers that are the most important if you want to gain fans, and possibly a huge following.

I hope this helps those of you who are new to writing, and maybe some of you who have written a few books. What do you do to prevent redundancy? Do you have great critique partners, or do you even rely on one?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject so leave me a comment!


Have a great week/weekend all!

Love, Lisa