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


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

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Struggles With Writing and Reading

Well, summer is slowly coming to a close. Only a few more weeks and we will have the official first day of fall. I don't know about you, but I'm ready. These last few months have been chaotic. 

I look forward to curling up on cold days and delving deeper into my book and getting it finished asap. I don't believe this one will take as long as I anticipated, but things creep up as we all know. I'm on chapter 13 now, moving right along. Once I get to chapter 20 I will be meeting with my cover-artist, Karla, to do some brainstorming for Tale. If you have any cool ideas I'm open to suggestions.

And I've been reading several of my friend's books. I touched on this a few posts ago, but I loved their stories! I just started a trilogy by an author I don't know, that could be a great story, but the writer needs to work on a lot of creative writing issues. I'm not sure if I will be able to finish even the first book because of all them. But alas, I've said it before, you need strong critique partners and editors. 

It's not that she makes a lot of mistakes, it's her putting forth the story - in other words - it's dull and has a lot of telling as apposed to showing. Her main plot has a lot of holes too. 

What amazes me is she has over 242 reviews and they're all 4 + stars. I guess it must be young people because anyone who reads a lot would probably feel the same as me. I would think anyway.

But her friends and fans write reviews, and what a difference they make. The amount of reviews with Amazon can make you or break you so if you have read my books and liked them, but haven't left a review, I'm asking you PLEASE and THANK YOU! 

Not to mention, I would really appreciate it, not only hearing from you, but it gives me motivation. 

When you have 50 + reviews you fall into another category with Amazon. They advertise your books more. So when someone is looking for a new adult fantasy my book will be further up on the list. Amazon is my only source, other than my website, where I sell books so if you have a minute I would love it if you would jump on my page on Amazon and leave a review. Fable on Amazon

Now, onto other business. 

Recently, I was having a hard time with how the direction of Tale would go so I had a brainstorming session with Robin my critique partner. With this book in particular I didn't know how I wanted to end it. As most author's know, if you know the ending, you can figure out the direction you need to reach that goal. 

I told her what I was thinking and she agreed it would be a great place to end it, not the entire story, just this piece of the series. We also brainstormed a scene I had started and she thought it was a good route too. So needless to say, I'm feeling much better about moving on in the story.

It's amazing how talking about your story with someone you can trust can help you in your struggle to make the story come to life. Not only is having great critique partners help in catching mistakes, but they know your story as well as you do and their insight is invaluable. 

So those of you that write, take it from me, it can make all the difference in the world. It doesn't mean they will take over your story, only enhance it. 

Have any of you gone through some of these struggles? What helped you to get passed them?

Until next week, have a great weekend and keep in touch!

Love, Lisa