Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

Another year finished and a new one to look forward to! 2013 was a pretty good year for me, I have to say. Lots of great things happened and I'm looking forward to 2014 being even better!

First, of course, our launch of Fable. What an exciting event for us! After working for over 4 years this was a major accomplishment. Next, our wonderful launch party. We had such a great time and the support for us was over the top!

Right after that fun filled day, our family got together in Buena Vista and rented a 3 bedroom cabin up there. We had a blast and the hot springs water was fantastic! During this weekend excursion we also said good-bye to our father, John L. Wright. We spread his ashes along a mountain spring off Cottonwood pass. 

Our dad loved Colorado and he was a free spirited person. I hope he would have liked our send off and appreciated becoming part of nature. We miss him terribly.

After that, we jumped in with both feet and managed to get Fated published before the end of the year. Even though I wanted it to be out by November, I was happy that we at least made it possible. So far it has been a slow launch but our party is coming up in the next few weeks and we look forward to that!

One of the events that came in the middle of our writing vigorously was the marriage of Toni and Scotte's daughter, and my niece, Sonia. She married a great guy, Paul! We love him and are glad he's officially one of the family!

Lots of great events happened this last year! I look forward now to 2014 being even better.

Hopefully the sales for Fated will pick up and now we are working on Lore the second book in The Lorn Prophecy series. My hope is we can finish it by the end of the year, but we will see, lots to write.

We plan to launch our web-site this new year, too. I'm looking forward to seeing the paintings Mikey will do for our cover page and any extras! 

And my daughter will tie the knot this year. She is getting married to an awesome guy, too! Jon is a wonderful asset to this crazy family and he loves my daughter and grandkids with all his heart. 

So you see we have plenty to look forward to!

I hope all of you had a great 2013 and that your 2014 is even better! I would love to know what the highlights of this last year was for you! Leave me a comment and fill me in! Don't forget to let me know your New Years Resolutions and plans for the coming year!

Have a wonderful time tonight and stay safe!

Love, Lisa

Friday, December 20, 2013

It's Just A Fantasy

This time of year brings out magical hopes for a lot of people. Christmas is a fantasy for some. Santa Claus and his world at the north pole is a fantasy fiction story. 

I find it amazing how the world, together, have created this wonderful fable of a jolly fat elf, who makes toys all year long with the help of his little elves and on Christmas eve he loads them up on his red sleigh, pulled by flying reindeer, to all the boys and girls. Once he arrives he magically touches the side of his nose and down the chimney he goes. He can do this all in one night and enjoy milk and cookies from all the grateful children. 

Now if that isn't a fantasy fiction story I don't know what one is.

Whether your favorite is stories of dragons flying through the sky, with riders who fight against the evil doers, or elves who live in the trees and go on epic journeys to fulfill a quest to save the kingdom, fantasy can take you away to a world where the problems aren't the usual mundane or even the serious situations like not having a job, or a place to call home.

Fantasy is usually a favorite of most for new worlds. I'm sure you like The Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter, maybe even The Game of Thrones, but which ever it is, or maybe all the above, these magical worlds can give you a wonderful escape.

So the next time you pick up a Fantasy fiction novel, and you think this is not what I usually read, stop and remind yourself of the epic worlds you love to go see at the movies and how much more fulfilling they would be in the book. 

Reading the stories first adds to the movies and you'll find the books are better. 

I think if you gave our series, The Lorn Prophecy, a chance, you will love the story as well and look forward to the next book coming out. 

Toni and I would love for the world of the Djen to become a household name just like the stories I mentioned. I do believe you will fall in love with the magical world we've created and the characters. 

I hope all of you have a magical Christmas. I believe the lights, dressed up tree, yummy cookies with sprinkles and candy, and delicious meals shared with your family and friends, will bring out the joy and magic in you. 

Although Christmas is the time of year that we celebrate Jesus' birth, the sentiment is the same. It's about love, family time, sharing, and giving. It is a reminder of a man who gave to us the love and kindness of himself and his father. We learned how taking care of each other is what it's all about.

So even if you aren't religious, or even Christian per-say, this time of year is a magical, Fantasy, time of year!

Merry Christmas everyone!

I won't be posting next week. I need to relax and enjoy my family and friends. See you back here On December 31st. And don't forget to mark your calendar for January 18th and come celebrate with us our new release of Fated - Book 1 of The Djenrye Chronicles!

Love, Lisa

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Holiday's

Life is slowly getting back to normal now for me. Our mom is doing much better and I managed to take her to her house yesterday to collect some things she would need for the next week and a half. 

Christmas is getting worked out, too. Rick and I are going to the Hot Springs in Idaho Springs over night on Christmas eve and spending a much needed and relaxing night in the mountains. 

Fated is now on Amazon and Goodreads I'm happy to report and we have had one sale so far. Hey, one's better than none! I am looking forward to our launch party in January! I will post pictures. 

I'm starting to calm down and know that it's okay that we won't be here Christmas eve and can enjoy the holiday quietly together. The "Bah Humbug" is now leaving me!

I am also happy to report that I've been asked to be a guest on Alon Shalev's blog. I've sent him my article and picture of Fable and look forward to the post. I will let you know when it is and maybe you'll stop by and leave a comment and look over his fantasy fiction series. I love his books! If you don't know who he is, he is the author of The Accidental Activist. Maybe you've heard of it.

Things are coming together and even though I'm still playing catch up from last week I'm sure this holiday will be a nice one. I will get to have my grandkids the night after Christmas and will enjoy watching them open their gifts from us and then cuddle up and watch a Christmas movie together. 

Life is good!

Leave me a comment and let me know how your holiday is turning out and maybe even some traditions you and your family have. Don't forget I live vicariously through you since I'm usually in my office on the computer. Sounds exciting huh?!

Have a wonderful week all and I look forward to any of your comments! 

Love, Lisa

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Overwhelm

Well, hear we are, almost Christmas and I haven't bought any gifts yet. It seems like I have no time any more. My mother had surgery last week and is now staying with me and believe me when I say this, she loves being waited on! 

I was getting ready to take my son, Travis, to the grocery store this morning and asked her if she wanted breakfast now or could wait until I got back. Right in the middle of putting on my coat she decides I need to make her oatmeal now. Well, after cleaning up the mess and getting half her original bowl to her, (the other half boiled out into the microwave) I managed to get out the door.

I think it's going to be a long two weeks! 

Normally I don't mind, but I am so far behind on everything that I don't know when I will catch up. I have threatened my husband to make him go Christmas shopping tonight. I have very little time to do it over the weekend. 

We have a book signing at Barnes and Noble on Saturday and Sunday I have my class. My poor husband has been working 6 day weeks and on Sunday he's too tired to drag to the mall. So, I guess we have to go tonight.

I know this blog post is later than I usually post, but I haven't been able to sit down until now, sorry about that. I also have two people's chapters I need to critique and somewhere in there I need to write myself. I do have to clean around here though. My house is getting cluttered with mom's stuff everywhere.

I'm trying hard not to be all "HumBug" but I feel it coming on. I need some cheering up and a maid wouldn't hurt!

Next week is getting busy, too. My calendar is filling up. We decided this year we are going to do something nice for ourselves. We are going to the mountains over night on Christmas eve. I am so looking forward to soaking in the mineral springs water and we have a jacuzzi in our room. Plus with our package deal, we get our choice of 5 different restaurants for dinner. 

Not bad, and we get to see each other without one of us busy doing something else. I know we need it, badly!

Well, I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend. Don't forget to drop me a line. Oh before I forget, Fated is now out on Amazon. Just the paperback, the ebook is coming! I will leave you with the link and hope you decide to give it as a gift! Fated

Thanks for all you do to support us in our writing endeavors and I will see you next week!

Love, Lisa

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ah...Christmas Time

Wow! It has been a crazy week and It's only Wednesday, whew, I hope it calms down now! Yes, I know this was supposed to be posted yesterday but I will admit I completely forgot and now I'm forced to catch up with my life.

Between my mother having surgery on Monday, finding out she will be staying with us for two weeks, trying to get the book uploaded, (with all fixes in place) onto Amazon and books ordered, it has been busy. Oh, and I almost forgot, our furnace went out and the HVAC guy was here until 1:00 a.m. fixing it Monday night.

When you find out you have a loved one staying at your home after surgery you want to clean your house, go to their house and gather what they need, including the pets, (Sunny boy will be glad to see his mom!) and set up a room for them. Oh, not to mention, go to the store and buy what they need or prefer. 

My mom still doesn't know if they will allow her to leave today so we are keeping our fingers crossed that all her vitals are now back to normal. She's pretty tough though and I'm sure she will be glad to be out of there.

The book is now loaded to Createspace with 99% of fixes. We combed the book and cover and hope that the majority was caught. We have had to cancel our launch date and rescheduled for the 18th of January. It really bummed us out but there is nothing we can do about it. They cannot get us the order in time for the party. Kind of pointless to have a book signing party without books!

My poor sister, who had surgery right before Thanksgiving, has been over each night, too, trying to get this book ready for publishing. She has been healing, which we all know can be painful, and then add the stress of publishing and Mom, and her life's little woes, can make it a harder process. But she takes after our mom and is hanging in there.

I've cancelled my dentist appointment 3 times now, (they are probably getting a little mad) but that's life. At least I will be able to keep my doctor appointment this morning before I head to the hospital. 

Well anyway, things will get back to normal, I hope. These next few days will still be a little crazy, but we will get though it. I am dragging my husband to go Christmas shopping Friday night. He will probably be taking little naps in between stores knowing him, but we get our sleep when we can!

So as you can see, life's little mishaps have been busy within this household. We have a spare room for "Murphy" who stays with us quite often, but I think it's time to kick him out! (You know, Murphy's law) It's a family inside joke.

I hope your start to December is better for you. Be sure to drop me a comment and let me know your hectic holiday time. I'll be sure to nod my head and give you my sympathies as we muddle through yet another December!

Take care all! See you back here on Friday!

Love, Lisa

Friday, December 6, 2013

Muses Of The Holiday Season

Christmas is almost upon us and I'm trying to do good this year and get everything done on time. I did get my house decorated and my Christmas cards written. Amazing feat for me, let me tell you, but with my sister still recovering from her surgery, and the cold weather we are having, I am forced inside and are getting caught up.

Next, is the cookies and the shopping. We are starting our shopping tomorrow afternoon. I actually don't like shopping that much. I would rather do it on line, but I seem to always get the packages and are none too pleased with what I ordered. So, off to the mall. 

In between all of this I need to write, which I haven't been doing much lately, I must confess. I will try to change that today and work on Lore and maybe the outline. For some reason, I can't get into it without my sister here with me. I have no idea why.

We are sending the first chapter (prologue) to our critique partners today.

That makes it official. We are starting Lore! I do miss my sister though and wish she was healed and ready for writing. It has been a tough year.

On a good note, I should receive the proof for Fated in the mail today and maybe we can get the books ordered this weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing it in print and holding it in my hot little hands!

Hopefully by this time next week, Fated will be on Amazon and available for purchase! I'm very excited about that! If you are in the Denver area you should come out to our launch party on December 20th at 6:30 at Bean Fosters in Golden. It would be great to see you!

Back to the task at hand, Christmas. Are you getting everything done for your holiday celebration? Or are you behind since Thanksgiving was late and we lost a week?

Leave me a comment and share your holiday blues, or thoughts with me. I would love to know your traditions and if you have any great cookie recipes, pass them on. I'm always looking for new ideas!

In the mean time, have a great weekend. For me, it will be a celebrated one since my birthday is Sunday. My daughter has arranged for the family to get together and have brunch at a local restaurant, so that should be fun!

Love, Lisa

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Uploading A Book On Createspace

Good day everyone! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Did you get a lot of shopping done? I didn't buy one gift, I was too busy getting Fated ready for publishing and our launch party set up for December 20th. I did give a writing class on Sunday, too. 

Before I get into how to upload a book for print on Createspace, I thought I would announce to two winners of Fable and Fated, as soon as I get Fated that is. Susan Uttendorfsky and Johnny Padilla are our winners! I need your addresses so I will send you both an email requesting them! Congratulations and I hope you enjoy the books!

I do have one more contest on Goodreads going so if you haven't had a chance to go on there and sign up, you have until Saturday. The contest ends on my birthday, December 8th.

Well, I had a request to post information on how to ready your book and download it to Createspace for distribution. This task is not as bad as it seems but there are a lot of steps to making sure your book is up to snuff and will look great for the reader.

First things first. If you want your book to look like a traditionally published book, go grab one off your shelf and see how they set it up.

You'll notice that the first page is blank, and the back as well. Then the next is just the name of your book, and the back blank, then the next the title and you name, and the publishers name on the bottom. (this is based on most, not all) On the back of that one, will be your copyright info and library of congress number. Also your barcode number. Next page is usually your acknowledgements, and then dedication, not necessarily in that order. You could do the dedication first. 

You don't need a chapter list unless your chapters are named, instead of numbered. If you have a map, that would be next. All of these, except for the copyright page, should be on the right. People look to the right of a book first.

Next, the beginning of each chapter should start about ten tabs down. After that, you need a header for each page except for the first page in the chapter. Leave that blank. Your name should be at the top of the left hand pages and the name of your book on the right. Then you set up your lines for 1.2 to 1.5 apart. 

The next step is adjusting the text to justify. You want all of your pages square. No long sentences and short ones. Then at the back of the book, you would add your dictionary, if you have one, or glossary. And last but not least, your "About the Author" page. Your page numbers are typically on the bottom middle, but we found they work better on the top right hand corner for the right page, and left hand corner for the left page. 

That is the inside of your book. The outside, your cover, is usually set up by the artist, in our case, Mikey. If your doing the cover yourself, then you need to have the dimensions correct for the size of the book and spine. Most books are 6 by 9 now. You want to pick the cream colored pages for the inside, too. It looks nicer than the black and white.

In createspace they give you the correct math dimensions to figure out your spine. The back needs your blurb, in present tense. Also justify the text. You need a place for your barcode space in the right hand bottom corner, 2 inches by one inch. (I'm sure Ryan will correct this one for me!)

And on the left, your info, such as the title again, contact info, publisher. also, on your spine you need your name, title and publisher on the bottom corner. 

One thing that's great about Createspace is they will adjust anything for your cover if wrong on the dimensions. You can call them anytime and they will help you!

After all these steps are done, you can do a trial download as many times as you need to. They have a program for you to see anything you need to fix. Once there are no more errors, they will check everything themselves and give you the okay to order your "proof' to check out the look of the book before downloading to the book sites and ordering books yourself.

It's mainly a step by step process, and a trial and error frustration sometimes, but you will get the hang of it. Having Microsoft word as my program, I've had no major problems doing all of this. But make sure if your using microsoft you have the Pro version, otherwise they will get you for copyright infringement. You cannot publish on the smaller programs such as "office and home use". Another thing, is make sure your fonts are not copyrighted. We had to pay for the use of one of our fonts. 

Well, I guess that's about it. Any questions, I'm hear for you. And If I can't answer them, then I know people who can! I will post on here a picture of our cover, front, back, and spine so you can see how it's set up.

Have a wonderful week all! See you on Friday!

Love, Lisa

Friday, November 29, 2013

My First Book Signing

Well, Thanksgiving is now behind us, on to Christmas. I am still full from yesterday but managed to eat a bowl of oatmeal this morning since I will be sitting in a Barnes and Noble for 4 hours today with nothing to eat.

I am very excited to go to my first actual book signing. I can't believe it! I'm a little nervous, too. I don't know how all of this works, but I guess I will find out.

Getting Fable out to reader is my number one objective. It's a great read, if I do say so myself, but most importantly I want people to read Fable before Fated. The side book has a lot of spoilers and I want people to experience Fable and Stevie's new found journey first before you find out all about the Djen.

Anyway, I love writing this series. It is such a huge part of my life. I tell people all the time that I have "book brain" now. I think about the story a lot! I hope those of you who have read it, enjoyed it as well.

Good news though, Toni's surgery was a success! The doctor's said her shoulder wasn't as bad as they thought so her recovery should be half the time. I'm happy for her and hope the pain subsides soon. She's been through a lot since that accident, but she does push herself too much. I'm just glad she's okay and will be back with me soon!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and spent it with close family or friends, or both. We had an excellent time, with great food, and awesome company. I hope your Christmas or Hanukkah is excellent as well!

Keep your fingers crossed for me today and I will see you back here next Tuesday with the announcement  of who won the books from my contest this last month!

Love, Lisa

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What I'm Thankful For

I cannot believe it's Thanksgiving already. This year has flown by. But it has been a good year, at least for launching the start of our series. With Fated coming out soon, and the normal day to day life occurrences, I'm busier than ever. Yet even with topping off my busy life with  hectic holidays, I wanted to stop and give thanks for all that is wonderful in my life.

First, and foremost, my family. I am one of the lucky ones who has their immediate family within the same city. None of us have ventured to other states, I think partly because Colorado is an awesome state to live in. I'm grateful for that, too!

I give thanks for my supportive and loving husband, Rick. I don't know what I would do without his love and understanding. Supporting me staying home to work on our books is heaven sent for me. He never pushes me and gives me whatever space or time I need. I love you, Rick!

I give thanks for 2 healthy and loving kids, who are now adults. Brandie is a wonderful mother, and works her butt off. She gives everything her all and I've always said she was a diamond in the rough. Now that she's grown, she is the jewel I knew she would become. She is beautiful, has a big heart, and is a great person. 

Travis, well I am so proud of him. He graduated from college and has worked at a job for 2 years, one that's not even in the field he went to school for. He is trying to get his life in order and is giving more of his time to family. He has a big heart and is learning to give all for a better life.

My grandchildren, what can I say, they are my heart and soul. Nothing will put a smile on my face or a tear of joy to my eyes faster than Madison and Carson. Madison is doing wonderful in school. She is smart, beautiful, and full of great energy. She plays the piano, and is in choir this year. She loves sports, too, and has played basketball this last year. Carson, my baby boy, you are a cuddle bear and I love your energy. You are all boy. He plays baseball now and is in kindergarten and loves school. 

Then there's my mom. She always been there for me. I'm so grateful to get to spend time with her each week, either going to the pool, or walks. We go shopping and to lunch and I take her to her doctor appointments. I enjoy my extra time with her.

Of course, I cannot forget my sister, Toni. Not only my sister, but my best friend. This time we've had together has been awesome! I'm sure by the time we finish writing the series she'll be sick of me, but until then, I love our time together, writing, brainstorming, going to conventions, now, book signings, and being in the world of the Djen together. She's a great person, funny, free spirited, and has a big heart!

And speaking of my sister, her wonderful husband, Scotte has been just as supportive of Toni and the writing. I'm proud of their two great kids, too! Beautiful Sonia with her belly dancing and becoming an awesome teacher, and Jim, James, Sebastian, (we never know which name he likes best) has become his own man now. He is training for management with his job and loves archery, which fits in with our Djen world nicely.

I guess I could go on, but I appreciate everything in my life now. The books, the writing, the time spent with family and friends. But I'm also thankful for all of you, my fans and supportive followers of our Djen books!

Thanks so much for putting up with us and being there for us!

Happy Thanksgiving, Lisa

Friday, November 22, 2013

No Rest for the Wicked

Thank goodness it's almost the weekend. My weeks are so busy anymore, trying to find time to just relax and write is few and far between. I'm glad I took up my mother's organization skills, well most of them, since otherwise, I could never keep track. 

Between fixing my editor's red marks, writing the blurb, calling Mikey to finalize the cover and back, working on mistakes with Fable, (yes we still have issues with that) and taking care of my mom, our household stuff, and the list goes on, there is very little time to work on Lore, the next installment to The Lorn Prophecy. 

Today, I'll be back to work on edits and quite possibly get a little cleaning done, we'll see. Hopefully tomorrow we will be done with the edits and blurb, then Toni will have surgery on her shoulder Tuesday and will be out for a week at least. Then I will be able to go over Fated and possibly work on Lore.

With Thanksgiving next week,a book signing next Friday at Barnes and Noble, and trying to get some Christmas shopping in, it will be a busy one. Oh, and let's not forget having to clean my entire house from top to bottom since we will have Thanksgiving dinner at my house with guests. 

I don't know how in the world writers who work a full time job get anything done. My hat's off to all of you. I always say, I don't know how I found time to work, and that's when I wasn't writing as much. 

Well, I hope all of you have a fantastic weekend. In this crazy holiday season, we seem to get it done one way or another. Keep your fingers crossed for me that we get through the edits and blurb this Saturday so we can have the book out for our launch party December 20th. 

Take care everyone and don't forget the contest on here and the one on Goodreads! You can get a free copy of Fable!

Love, Lisa

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How Do Your Characters Talk?

We had a great creative writing class this last Sunday. Our group has grown to 11 people, 2 of which are teenagers, which is a great challenge for us and hopefully will help all of us reach for deeper learning. 

Teaching kids to understand brings us to the basics and a more detailed way of learning so I look forward to the challenge.

Next class it is my turn to teach a subject, (three of us are discussing the skills and take turns) and I thought it was time for some grammar, but one of the ladies asked for a lesson in dialog.

This skill has been one of my stronger suits in writing. Although we did have to research the way kids talk today and found some great sites. But dialog is what moves your story along. It gives the information that you need, if it's done properly and with flow.

One of the first mistakes new writers make is telling the story using a lot of info dump as apposed to using the dialog to get your information across. The info dump does not move it along, but bores the reader, well, because the reader really doesn't care.

Your dialog needs to sound authentic, too. If you have a teen in your book, you need to find out how teens communicate with each other and adults. If you have a book written in the past, you need to research how they talked in the time-frame your writing in. 

If you have a made-up world, like we do, you need to decide how you want them to communicate with each other, and if there is another language involved. Would another world's language be english? 

Accents are another issue. If it is a strong accent, do you want to write the character's accent constantly, or leave it out? Will it feel real if it's left out?

The next issue is listening the way people communicate. Do they always finish their sentences?

Do they usually talk in paragraphs or should you break it up? Most people, unless they are telling a story, don't speak non-stop, they tend to pause, take a drink, pace, whatever you decide to give a break in the dialog. 

Action is another place you don't want to add too much internal thought. Their minds will be on what they're dealing with, not what they are thinking about the person involved, or what they're wearing, so this is not the place to add a bunch of information. You need to keep the tension and continuing with stuff that's not pertinent to the scene slows it down.

So, needless to say, this next class will be a longer one. There is a lot to talk about when it comes to dialog. It might end up being the only subject.

Just curious if any of you writers need help with this skill? Is this something you would like more detailed discussions over? Let me know.

Until Friday, have a fantastic week and don't forget my giveaway on here. Not only will you get a copy of Fable, but also our new release Fated!

Love, Lisa

Friday, November 15, 2013

Some New Ideas

I have found lately that the easiest thing for me to write about on this blog, is the one thing I know, writing. I'm sure there are those who have followed this blog that aren't writers and probably don't want to read about writing, so I am offering you an opportunity to tell me what you would like to see more of on this post.

I thought I would offer up a few topics that I do know a bit about, maybe some ideas for posts. 

I am a licensed Aesthetician, but I don't practice this craft much anymore, and I worked in the service industry for over 30 yrs, from management, to server, and understand what it's like to cater to people, and I used to own a booking agency for bands and comics in the great Denver area. 

I love people, and enjoy talking about all sorts of interests. But my love of writing shines through above all others. Although, I am happy to discuss what ever comes to mind, just let me know. 

I am hardly an expert with any of these subjects but always willing to learn. When I write about writing, I learn also.

The other subject I really like is reading. I feel it's important to share good books with people and to acknowledge authors for their wonderful work. Yes, my genre range is limited to what I enjoy reading, but I'm open to hearing about good books you've read and want to promote.

I love a good mystery/thriller, some contemporary, historical fiction, and of course, Fantasy fiction. Even though your favorite might not be one of these, it doesn't mean I haven't read in that genre and I'm more than happy to check it out.

I am working on setting up a group on Goodreads for fans of The Lorn Prophecy series. I would love to share ideas and thoughts of the book(s) with those of you who enjoy our story. If you're open to joining let me know! There's nothing we enjoy more than talking about Fable and what's going on in Stevie's world. 

We would love to see a fan base created and to see people passing the word along about Djenrye and hopefully build more followers. Would this be something you might like to be a part of?

Don't forget the contest to win a copy of Fable and of Fated! I haven't seen too many comments and I'm hoping it's because you already own a copy of Fable. Also,We have a giveaway contest on Goodreads. Giveaway

I would like to see people read Fable before Fated. If you read Fated first, it's a spoiler alert for Fable,just sayin'!

Anyway, have a great weekend everyone! I hope to hear from you soon!

Love, Lisa

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Are Your Skills Up To Par

Those of you who use social media to promote yourself and your book, that are finding it's not as easy as it looks, I've got some news. You're right, it's not easy. Not that anything worth going for is.

But there is one solution for those of us who see lower than average sales, and that is: Write more books!

I've read a lot of articles about this subject lately, some from successful authors, and have also talked to a few authors doing well in the sales department, that getting more books out will increase your sales. That is, as long as you are putting out great stories, and good writing skills.

See, that's the key, working on your craft. 

Putting out a product that is quality is just as important as quantity. This is why I strive to talk about these subjects so that you (as a writer) realize the importance to a good editor and a critique partner.

Now I know there are those who have excuses, I've made a few myself, but once you accomplish a good team for your book(s), you'll see the real value in it.

None of us can edit our own work, and beta-readers are not editors, so this is an important step(s) in putting out a book(s) that you can be proud of. Especially if you self-publish.

Save some extra cash as you write, and I do have a reasonable editor if you need one, and find an experienced writer for your critique partner, if you can. Work on your skills in the mean time and thicken your skin. Not all you do will be perfect and there will be corrective criticism. Don't be defensive, but learn from the critique. 

No one is perfect and it's through learning that we better ourselves. I hope that all of you writers out there are successful in your endeavor. If you ever need help, just ask!

Until Friday, have a great week everyone!

Love, Lisa

Friday, November 8, 2013

An Excerpt From Fated

Good morning and happy Friday! This week flew by for me, lots of stuff to take care of. We finally have our books listed with the Library of Congress and we fixed Fable to look just like a traditionally published book. We are pleased at how nice it turned out.

Pretty much all of yesterday was working on social media marketing and we managed to get Goodreads up to par with linking the blog and adding the creative writing classes to events, and next is working on Google+. I did try to learn more about how Twitter works, and even though I did learn a few things, there is still plenty for me to figure out. Social media can be difficult for me, especially maneuvering around on the sites. I am a little challenged there!

I thought I would add a little surprise to the post today, an excerpt from Fated. This scene is with Torren, my antagonist, as he enters Tyre' and plans his kidnapping of Carlynn's child. It is a little long, but I hope worth the read. The word omakalae means years and Ortehlae means Orbs. "lae" is our plural. Enjoy!

Torren entered Tyré alone. His two scouts lay dead on the banks of the Shay River.
In the bustling streets, he attracted scant notice. Little about the place had changed since his boyhood, but it had only been two omakalae since he left. Near the size of Phraile Highlae, Torren considered Tyré to have a more pleasing aesthetic. White-washed buildings gleamed where the afternoon sun struck them. Flowers decorated the shop fronts and window boxes of the homes. The contrast of bright colors against monochrome background enhanced the visual vitality of the city.
Torren snuck into an unused bell tower on the south side of town. He climbed the long staircase, settled in, and looked out across the white city and at the vast blue Nibiruin Sea at the city’s edge.
The few small fishing vessels docked in the harbor belied the town’s standing as the heart of trade between the three cities. Larger ships were no longer needed after exile of the Jajing following the war. Coastal fishing continued, but clothing, spices, and various goods arrived and left over land. The Gods provide ample sustenance from the earth to ensure there would be no need to voyage across the sea. The island where the beasts had been banished was forbidden.
Torren had seen bodies of slain Jajing after the war. They appeared as animals dressed in armored chest-plates and breeches. It was hard to believe that they had a common ancestor with the Faugns in the distant past. Faugns were a blend of animal and man, with the ability to fully morph into an animal. Jajing remained in beast form, although they walked on their hind legs. They had something akin to hands, though the fingers looked more like elongated paws or split hooves. In the five omakalae since the beasts had been exiled, rumors persisted of their resurgence. A few fishermen, who disregarded the edict of the Gods and wandered far out to sea, claimed to have seen Jajing in boats.
Torren did not believe such rumors. Musing of fishermen with brains baked by the sun and addled by the vastness of the sea.
Still, if the rumors held any truth, the Rebellion could make use of such beasts in battle—if they could be tamed.
Below the bell tower, children’s laughter refocused Torren’s attention to his surroundings. From his vantage point, the rays of the fall sun alternately weathered and enhanced the hues. It gave him the impression of an artist’s canvas. Banners hung above bridges and walkways with the Tyré sigil—an Orca emerging from the sea, silhouetted against a blue agate-colored moon, representative of Orteh Huana. The scene brought back fond memories.
Torren had played at soldiers through these streets with his two closest friends, the Guardian’s nephew and niece—Colton and Marise. Although Torren had been born five summers before Colton, he thought of the boy and Marise as his siblings. They had, after all, grown up together in the palace. It had been a natural fit. Torren’s father, Larrik, Master Warrior of Tyre' , spent a great deal of time with the father of his friends, Kamm. Their two families developed a close friendship. Torren enjoyed the advantages of being thought of as kin to the Guardian’s family—and as an Androne. Imagine.
The hours Torren spent with Colton to teach him sword-play, gave his younger friend an advantage over other males of similar age. Torren prided himself in being the reason his “little brother” had begun Warrior training a full two omakalae before requirement.
Even after the death of Larrik, Torren remained in the palace. His father had been a hero of the Jajing war and the family was implored to stay. Aeolia, Torren’s mother, consented. Shortly thereafter, Hayden, the Guardian of Tyré, filled his father’s position with Koutal, a decision Torren had questioned.
A brute of a Djen, Koutal was squat in stature, with a bald head, scars from war, and missing an eye. With his other, he would leer at Aeolia. Koutal did not train the Warriors so much as use them for his personal whipping posts. Fear, not respect, was the new Master Warrior’s mainstay, and he cared little for Torren.
Taunts of “washerwoman’s whelp” and “Guardian Pretender” flew from his lips whenever Torren was in earshot. It had been tolerable at first. Colton and Marise stood up for him and threatened to tattle to their Uncle Hayden. The insults transformed into jokes amongst the three youth. Everything changed when his little brother deserted him to begin his formal training in Phraile Highlae. Though Torren himself had been trained by a Master Warrior—his father, Colton was required to attend specialized training, given only to kin of the Guardians.
Marise, still a child, drifted away from his company. For the first time in his life, Torren became an outsider in the only home he had ever known. He had to choose between remaining to face the abuse alone or leave.
Two winters have passed, but it seems a life time ago.
He never looked back. At first, his travels took him south to Phraile Highlae and then beyond to the caves of The Westnoch Mountains. There, he came upon a band of men, led by a great Djen and former Warrior of Phraile Highlae—Dekren.
Torren trained with the Rebels. With the skills he received from his father, Torren rose quickly through the ranks, until he became Dekren’s most trusted soldier. The Rebellion was his new family. Fully accepting that meant his former family and friends—including Colton—were now his sworn enemies.
Dekren became something akin to a father figure, yet more cruel and demanding than his actual father. Together, Torren and Dekren devised a strategy to control the power of the Ortehlae—one that evolved from the idea of saving Djenrye to ruling it.
Now, he hunted down a Guardian wife and child.
Hours ago, Torren had stood above the prone form of that woman’s savior—Ghorgon. The death of Torren’s men stung less with the image of the Master Warrior lying grievously wounded at his feet. Before administering the final blow, Torren taunted the fallen Djen, “You have not saved her. I will find Carlynn in Tyré. She will die and the babe will be ours.”
The idea of executing an innocent sickened Torren. But, he had no choice. Bringing the Rebellion’s plans to fruition required the blood of a Guardian. For the sake of the cause, Torren would kill Lady Carlynn, but not rip the unborn child from her womb. He would wait for the birth.
He turned away from the overlook. In his mind he ticked off the number of graochomaelea, blood/moon cycles, since the announcement of Carlynn’s saeni, carrying a child. Over eight…the time must be near.

He eased himself down on the floor and closed his eyes, convincing himself it was safe to sleep. A bit of rest and he would enter the palace through one of the escape passageways—the one that would lead him straight to Carlynn’s room. The same room in which all honored guests were housed when visiting the palace. Thanks to the excursions with his former playmates, Torren knew the way. 

I hope you enjoyed this scene. And I hope you give Fated a read. The good thing about this scene is it gives you a bit more information about Djenrye.

Take care and have a wonderful weekend!
Love, Lisa

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The "W" Graph

Here it is, another new week, and Fated still isn't completely finished, but we're close.

Right now we are waiting to hear from our editor and then it will be on the way to her today! Very Excited!

I hope she likes the book, but I'm sure there will still be edits we'll need to fix. Hopefully not to many so we can get the show on the road. We still have to write our acknowledgements and all the other little stuff to get it looking as professional as possible without being a traditionally published book. Thanks to our new publishing friend, Spring Lea, we know how the book should be set up.

So, keep your fingers crossed for us that we can get it out to the public before Christmas.

In the mean time, I had another wonderful class last Sunday. After going over some logistical information, Janet Baltz, my critique partner, talked about the structure of story.

She did an excellent job explaining the basic story structure using the "W" format. 

As you can see the basic story follows this chart. Yes, there can be inserted places with sub-plots to add to the tension, but this is the way a story is basically formulated. 

There are other type graphs that some genres tend to follow, such as a maze for mystery/thriller novels, but most will fall into this model of explanation. And, even though writers, and readers know this is the way a story tends to flow, it doesn't stop or take away from the joy of a book.

Since the beginning of stories, this has been the way they are told. A beginning problem. What to do. Starting to fix the problem and think you have the answer. Oh no, another issue. Sliding down to the dark moment. A climatic turning point. Then resolve.

If you are writing fiction this is a good model to look at the way your structure is set up in your book. You do need to know the basic beginning and ending of your story, and this should help you figure out the middle. One of the differences of writing as a plotter, or a pantser.

I really enjoyed Janet's presentation. I'm looking forward to the next class where Kathy will talk about "Finding your Muse". Until then, I would love to hear your thoughts on the "W" graph and if you ever used anything similar in your writing.

Have a great week all! See you back here on Friday!

Love, Lisa

Friday, November 1, 2013


It's time to celebrate that we now have 100 followers on the blog!! I'm grateful to have had all 100 of you join this site! It means a lot to me, so I thought a contest and giveaway should be in order.

Today is November 1st, which is perfect timing since the contest will run for exactly one month. You all know that we are close to publishing Fated, the first side book to the series. So I thought this is great timing to have a contest for both the blog and for the fanpage. 

Between now and the end of the month, the two people that post the most comments on this blog, from either this page or the fanpage will receive a signed copy of Fable, and a signed copy of Fated, along with a surprise and some goodies!

So if you haven't gotten your copy of Fable yet, now is the time to participate. Since you will also get a copy of the new book Fated, you'll have your shopping done all at once!

We do suggest that you read Fable first before Fated. There are spoilers in Fated about Fable, so this way you can check both books out.

So if you have been meaning to get your copy of Fable book 1 of The Lorn Prophecy, let the contest begin!!

If you've read Fable and would love an extra copy for a gift, this is great opportunity for you, too, plus you'll get Fated along with it.

This contest includes this post for comments also. 

Let the Games begin!

Love, Lisa

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Your Sagging Middle

We had another great creative writing meeting on Sunday. I enjoyed it very much. Our group is getting bigger, we now have 10 people. Running this class was something I wasn't  ecstatic about at first, since I had never done any kind of teaching, but the ladies have been very supportive of me and my years of stage fright. I think I'm getting better at it!

We had two main topics this class, POV, and the sagging middle. Not the sagging middle that most of us writers seem to gain sitting in front of the computer typing away at our future novels, while we munch on junk food, drink coffee and like me, smoke cigs. (Although, there are the one's who write drunk!)

No, it's the other sagging middle we writers have, the one two thirds of the way into our manuscripts. The one that makes us pull our hair out, the one that makes us rewrite constantly. You know...that one!

Now, since I have touched on POV several times in my posts, I thought touching on the sagging middle subject would be a new creative writing topic to discuss.

What causes this problem? Well, I was glad that one of the ladies in our group asked. 

Mainly the biggest cause of the weak middle is panster writing, instead of a plotting. Writing by the seat of your pants can leave "holes" in your sub-plots and plots, and when you get to the climax (the end of your story) you will leave the reader unsatisfied. 

In fact, if the middle of your book isn't building up to the climax, often times you will lose the reader. This is where pacing comes in, and sub-plots. You really need to have some idea as to the way the end of your book will be so that you know what events will happen to lead up to this big ending. 

By creating even basic outlines and or graphs of your book, you can see the entire manuscript right in front of you. You will see if you have several chapters that are boring, or too much info dump, or maybe just not enough oomph to get the reader to continue to turn the page.

This is a good time to come up with another problem your protagonist needs to face. As I have said in the past, conflict is your friend. But you do need to make sure that all makes sense to the reader and all rings true, other wise the reader will not "buy" in to it and close it. (you don't want that!) 

Plan your book and your characters out ahead of time, or at least a basic outline of them. Know what's going to happen and what leads up to the climactic ending, and keep tension higher. 

You will be glad you did, and it will help to to get your manuscript to its fruition!

Have any of you ever come across this problem? I would love to hear what you did to solve it!

Until Friday, I hope all of you have a great week and I want to thank the people that gave Elizabeth such a warm reception! I do hope that some of you check out her books!

Love, Lisa

Friday, October 25, 2013

New Guest - Elizabeth Monroe

Please welcome Elizabeth Monroe as my guest today. She has published two books so far in her Voice of the Wind, Shadows of Time series. I’ve read both books and thoroughly enjoyed them. In fact, I can’t wait until the next book comes out! 

Elizabeth and I met on Facebook through the join each other’s writing fan sites and since then we have gotten to know each other. She’s from Norman, Oklahoma and is married. That’s really all I know about her, hence the interview. This way we can get to know her better!

Tell me about yourself, Liz:
I’m really boring! :-) I’m 25 -- well, my mom stopped having birthdays when she was 25 and that’s always sounded like a good idea to me! (She passed away 3 years ago at the age of 82.) I was born in Texas but have lived in Oklahoma my whole life, mostly in small towns where my dad was a doctor and my mom a housewife/nurse.

I had a wildly imaginative childhood and as a kid was fortunate to have good friends who enjoyed getting swept up into my imaginative shenanigans, including my two brothers and sister who always claimed I was the “mastermind” behind everything that got us into trouble. I had an idyllic childhood (for the most part) and lots of freedom to hike, explore, campout, climb mountains, and wade rivers. That’s what’s great about growing up in small, mostly rural towns where there’s absolutely nothing to do except use your imagination!

I’m married, have one son, and have worked in the printing/graphic design/pre-press business my whole life. I didn’t start out “planning” to be in the printing business, but that’s how it worked out when I was a senior in high school and enrolled in commercial art at a newly opened vo-tech, which turned out to be printing. I also have a degree in Art Education and, at one time, played keyboards in my husband’s rock n’roll band. I always enjoyed finding obscure poems and composing music on the piano for them.

But for me, it’s always been about writing. No matter how many times I would try to quit writing, or how crazy it sometimes made me, I always came back to writing. It’s been a long, learning journey with no end in sight. It’s in my nature.

What got you started writing this series?
I was struck by a bolt out of the blue! Actually, throughout college I had been writing a novel (A Heap of Flowers about the 60s) with very similar characters. I was so stressed out at the time, that I tossed the novel into the trash and burned it. But, the characters wouldn’t leave me alone. Then I read J.R.R. Tolkien’s work and loved the idea of elves but wanted to make the story more “realistic” but “not of this world,” too. I wanted to write a story that wasn’t set in any familiar time period, which could be either in the distant past or the future — an alternative reality or parallel universe.

So, with an idea about who the main characters were, I started throwing them together and letting them talk and worked out the story ideas. I also researched the Five Civilized Tribes to develop other ideas, especially for the Objishanda. (My dad’s side of the family has Iroquois, Blackfoot and Cherokee heritage, along with Irish, English, Dutch and German). Also, the word Objishanda in Cherokee/Iroquois means “star folk” (properly written it is Objishandä, but I dropped the ä for ebook formatting not knowing whether it would work).

Anyway, to make a long story short, my husband and I were living in Weatherford, OK where the wind blows nonstop. I was at a loss as to what the story was all about, besides two families -- one family the original inhabitants from a “distant shore” (star folk), and the other a family whose people had migrated over the Mountains of the Sky to escape the Kinstrife in their homeland (another story that I hope to write as a prequel — it’s all outlined and partially written).

So, one day as I was standing outside listening to the wind howling through the junipers, that was when the bolt out of the blue struck me. In those fleeting seconds the whole concept for the story flashed through my mind. I walked into the house, picked up a copy of The Prophet, turned to a random page and read: “And he alone is great who can turn the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.” That became my whole theme — about overcoming fear, hatred and prejudice, not only about other people but also about oneself and one’s family who have lived for several generations with a hostility against another group of people. That all became personified in the main character of Jantz Fayerfield who struggles to understand and also reconcile the missing pieces in his family’s history, if only to understand the hostility. I love serendipity!

It took me two years to write the first three books. Since then I’ve written eight more books in the series and also have plans for two more, the Prequel about the Kinstrife and Before Days, and also one about the seven years that pass between books 2 and 3 — Jantz’s missing years.

A long time ago, my son told me, “Mom, most people write one book and try to get that one published first.” I said, “Yeah, I know but I want to be prepared and have the others written so I can goof off and not stress out.” This series has become my life’s work!

But the Voice of the Wind series, are not the only books I’m working on. I’ve almost completed a novel set in 1930s, another wip set in the 1950s, and a collection of short biographical stories.

I love the detail in your descriptions and your characters are very lifelike, how do you do it?
I have no idea! It’s something I developed very early as a child with an overactive imagination. Also, there’s a great book called, “Seeing with the Mind’s Eye.” It’s a book about creative visualization (it’s on Amazon). I’m a very visual person, always have been. We all think in visual images, or at least I do.

When I’m writing, I close my eyes and try to see everything as my characters would — using all the five senses — and feel everything they feel, even if drawing upon my own life experiences, and also using intuition. Intuition is important. Maybe it’s channeling, I don’t know. I see the story as if it was a movie, or maybe I’m tuning into a different frequency on the radio dial.

A lot of my writing is “autobiographical.” For instance, the scene where Jantz stumbles across the forgotten gravestones in the forest happened to me when I was a kid running through the woods with my brother and sister. When I wrote that scene, I just recalled the rush of adrenaline, panic and fear and gave them to Jantz.

A lot of it also stems from plain old observation of everything in my environment — weather, wildlife, plants, the landscapes. And research (before the internet or personal computers existed) at the library reading obscure reference books and taking a lot of notes.

Out in the SW part of OK, after a thunderstorm has moved off to the north and the clouds are piled up in shades of blues, purples and white they look like mountains — hence the name for the Mountains of the Sky. It’s something I remembered from the first time I saw the Rocky Mountains.

Another thing I like to do is to write in first person and then later rewrite in a close 3rd person pov. It’s all about putting yourself into your character’s skin.

Who’s your favorite author and why?
I have too many favorites to pick just one author! It’s a long list. I guess I would have to go back to the first books I ever read (besides Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden), and that is Charles Dickens. Dickens was a huge influence — I wanted to be another Dickens! J I loved his characters and details. Alexandre Dumas and Frank Yerby are also among my favorites — along with the late Robert Jordan — Jordan was a master of description.

Do you have a critique partner or are you in any writing groups?
I don’t have a critique partner and I don’t belong to any writers’ groups. I did belong to one group that met on Sundays for several hours, but it was too boring (for me) and I decided the time was better spent writing. I do have four really great friends who’ve read and critiqued. Three are writers and one is a reader who read both books 1 and 2 and always emailed me typo corrections and said she wanted a sex scene — so I gave her the wedding scene between in Fortune’s Hostage. :-)

However, I do think critique partners and writing groups have their value. A writer needs all the input and encouragement they can get — something I never had, other than the times my Grandma Short would peek over my shoulder when I was a kid scribbling away on a story at her dining room table (she always had a knowing smile on her face). It wasn't until many years later that I discovered that she’d been writing poetry for most of her life. She was a very “Victoria” lady.

I’ve been on my own (basically taught myself writing through the years), and for the Voice of the Wind series, I did my own editing, so there are plenty of mistakes. Anyone who reads the books, please feel free to point out any mistakes so I can fix them!!

I did take a professional writing course that Mel Odom taught (he now teaches creative writing at the University of Oklahoma). He always encouraged me to publish and also pointed out that what I thought was writing from an omniscient pov was “head hopping!” 

If you had a choice to go anywhere in the world for vacation, where would you go and why?
I’ve never seen the ocean, so that’s where I want to go. Where doesn’t matter where, as long as it’s the ocean! I’m not one for crowds; I avoid crowds!

It’s almost Halloween, do you like this holiday?
I love Halloween and the other holidays. I used to get into a lot of trouble. When I was in high school our small town of Cyril was so crazy at Halloween that sometimes the National Guard was called in on All Hallows Eve to make sure the town wasn’t destroyed! It never was except for the farmer who lost his outhouse, which was set afire on Main Street by the high school boys.

What scares you, Vampires? Witches? Zombies?
I’m not scared of much of anything! Demons and goblins are another thing! Werewolves, too. Shapeshifting just seems so painful!!

Do you dress up or give out candy to all the scary characters?
Yeah, I usually go as myself because that’s scary enough! I don’t dress up to give out candy though. Don’t want to frighten the little ones too much, but once they see my dog San, they always come right on into the house and try to pet the doggie — forget the candy! San thinks it’s her duty to guard the candy bowl. Every time I pass out a handful, she runs to check the bowl.

When my son was young, we lived in the country so we always took him to the mall to trick-or-treat. Sometimes, I’d get in Goth mode and bush up my hair and tie plastic spiders in it. My hair was long then.

What is your idea of a fun day?
Relaxing at home! Being able to sit outside beneath the maple tree and read or work on a story/book. I enjoy writing outside — listening to the wind or the birds, the neighbor hood noises. I work full time and anytime I can stay at home and goof off is my idea of a fun day. Boring, I know.

I’m working on “Cursed in Love” and hope to have the edits and all the rewriting done soon — if I don’t goof off too much.

Thanks for answering all my questions, I know, I am very inquisitive. You have been a great trooper and I hope that my followers leave you comments and questions below. Thanks for coming on my blog and I look forward to your next book! Let me know as soon as it’s out!

Here are Elizabeth's links:




Please leave your comments for Elizabeth and show her the love! Lisa