Tag Archives: Amwriting

Excerpt: The Ruby Eye

photo-5-640x372So… today, my writing in my WIP, The Ruby Eye, is going so well, the story is moving along nicely, that I thought I’d show you a peek. First a bit of background. The Ruby Eye is the first book in my new TARE: Talon Archaeological Research and Exploration series. It’s of course an archaeological adventure, thriller, romance. Well, it has to have a little romance, doesn’t it? The action takes place near a large bay on the northern coast of Luzon, the Philippines. I’ve patterned it after Dasol Bay, a place I’ve visited often although it’s been some years ago. It’s a huge bay with hundreds of islands scattered about, some tiny, some larger. All covered by jungle and critters. I’m talking rats, snakes, sea creatures in the water, lots of things to bite you, crawl over you, nip your toes. Fun times! So here’s a snippet with my heroine, Bryn Carmichael:

“I don’t know what you intend.” Bryn confronted who she assumed was the leader, Boy Chang. He looked nothing like a boy, but everything like the man in charge.

“Well, Ms. Bryn Carmichael,” he answered in excellent English with only the trace of an accent… either Filipino or perhaps Vietnamese, “I intend to take you all to one of my islands. There you await further orders. Now, no more questions.”

He turned to a heavily scarred man. “Raji, take them below. Put two guards on the door. I want no trouble. This merchandise must be presented to Lao Sung in the best condition possible. Understand?”

The crewman nodded with a leer.

Bryn and the girls were pushed and prodded down a companionway and into a small room with only one porthole to light it. At least they would have some kind of ventilation on this scow.

As soon as the door was closed and locked from the outside, the girls began to talk, moan, cry.

Editing… Will it never end?

Bay-672x372I know my debut novel, Stone Bay, is already up and selling at Amazon, but there are some awkward sentences and a few explanatory phrases that I thought, as did my Editor and Critique Partner, necessary. Thankfully in this world of self-publishing and instant digital content, this is not a problem. And if there are sizable edits, Amazon will even send the new file directly to those who’ve already bought the eBook. Please remember to check in your ‘Manage Your Content and Devices’ section of your account at Amazon the box marked Automatic Book Update. I may make sure that Amazon knows that the new file has some new content by naming it Edition 2 or something like that.  Never fear though, the story is the same, the ending is the same, just some tweaked sentences.

Now that I have these edits I can finally finish the Print on Demand, too. That has been languishing on my desk in a proof copy for weeks, but I have a book signing coming up and need to have some books to sell and sign! My village now considers me a celebrity, but then my village consists of only about 1200 people (and that’s including the summer residents). So I’m a big fish in a small pond I guess.

Hopefully the next two books don’t have these barriers getting in the way of their production. I think I have the correct sequence now though. My Developmental Editor has the second book and is looking at it as we speak. My critique partner is looking over (in 4 chapter increments) the third book. When she finishes that one will go to the Developmental Editor, then to my line editor who’s expert in grammar, then to a proofreader, then to my publisher, A Thirsty Mind Book Design, to format and convert into an eBook and Print on Demand.  Oh, I forgot… the cover. I need a human image for the second book cover, and I haven’t even started looking for things for the third book.

Yikes! See, it will never end?

Newsletters, Blogs, Tweets, Facebook Pages… Oh, My!

Bay-672x372I’ve been taking webinars lately from Social Media gurus… most free, thank goodness! But I’m so confused. My Constant Contact Newsletter people had a fantastic webinar yesterday about the things you could do with your social media that most people aren’t doing. Even the Big Publishers who you think have little minions behind the scenes making sure your books are… and this is the word you want to remember… Discoverable… aren’t doing these things. Sigh! if you’re self-published, then all this stuff is on your shoulders which is probably a good thing, because who takes care of you better than yourself?

Did you know about Facebook–Open Graphs? Or Twitter cards? Rich Pins on Pinterest? Google+ Schemas? Facebook Groups? Hummingbird? Slideshow.net? Infographics? Podcasts? YouTube? Well, of course you know about some of these, but did you know as an author you can participate in all of them to your great advantage?

It takes a lot of work, but lucky me (and some of my author friends) I have a virtual assistant who researches these and can read HTML code! Now we just have to find the time to implement them. I’m really excited right now to start a Facebook Group with several of my friends helping me moderate. And a YouTube video (I’ll be narrating but you won’t see my face, thank goodness)… as well as something from Slideshow.net with images from one of my books, maybe Precious Stone which takes place near the Caves of Lascaux in France.

Anyway, to do it all is mind-boggling. But I’m going to give it a try!

Where are some of the places where you’re showcasing your books?

Camp NaNoWriMo

SummerLane-672x372I’m participating in NaNoWriMo again as I did last November. But now they have an April Challenge. You get to choose which genre you’d like to follow, and you’re placed in a ‘cabin’ with other like-minded writers, in my case Romance of course. So far I’ve written 14500 words of my 50,000 word goal (the challenge lasts until April 30).

Some writers don’t like to be pushed, but I find a deadline helps me immensely. I love the anticipation of getting up in the morning, drinking my first cup of coffee and then diving right in. I’ve been averaging more than 2000 words a day; I have no idea how many pages that is. But the story is coming along nicely I think. Of course I’m having to sandwich this writing between the formatting tasks for clients of A Thirsty Mind Book Design. And just this week the work really started piling up. But I’ll soldier ahead. This is important to me.

Precious Stone, Book 3 in my High Tide Suspense series has a back story. I’m finding it so intriguing that I may go back to it later for a complete novel. I don’t believe I’ve ever read anything about the 300th Jubilee celebration in 1913 of the Romanov reign. Funny how one thing leads to another then to another…

Do you like books with back stories that are set up in the Prologue, or would you rather the story trickle in as musing by the main character, a little at a time? Let me know… I love feed-back.

Social Media

SummerLane-672x372So, are any of you completely ‘bumfuzzled’ as my character, Amanda Warner, would say about Goodreads? I think I have Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest beaten into submission, but Goodreads, now that’s a different story.

I’ve used Goodreads as my actual self, Pam Headrick, but I’m ashamed to say, not much. As a former bookstore owner, I should have been on the site touting books, giving reviews, talking to other readers. What can I say, life and work got in the way.

As an author, though, Goodreads needs to be my friend. My virtual assistant, Jon Stence, did most of the groundwork for my Author Page, but I needed to add a bio, things I like to do, you know personal stuff. However, Goodreads isn’t cooperating in the least. I’ve added a really nice, well-thought-out bio several times now, and it’s not showing up at all. And yes, I remembered to ‘save’ it. But the ‘edit my profile’ feature seems to get me back to a blank profile, no bio, actually no nothing. I know I’ve edited this profile at least twice. What’s the deal, Goodreads? You’re supposed to be my friend! I want to start doing things for my readers, quizes, give-a-ways, excerpts of new books. I’m ready now.

Well, I’ve spent all the time I can today on this… probably I should give the task to my poor overworked virtual assistant. Stone Heart needs to be tweaked, those point of view changes need to be kicked into shape, I need to find a background image as well as a sexy couple image for the cover. Hmmm, maybe just a hunky guy for this one. Sorry, Goodreads, I’ll have to get back to you another time.

My Working Life

2in96dpiMy working life as Min Edwards has been going along quite well for a while now. My debut novel, Stone Bay, was published at Amazon in mid-March, and in a week or so, the print version will be available at CreateSpace.com as well  Amazon.com…. and in AmazonEurope and AmazonBritain! This is so exciting. We’re (A Thirsty Mind, my publisher) starting a campaign of cross-promotion soon with several other authors which will be fun.  Now I have more admiration for publishers… if they’re doing what we’re doing… they have a hard job indeed.

Just yesterday I sent the first book in my new High Tides Suspense series (romantic suspense, of course), Stone Cold, off to my developmental editor. And in the next few days I’ll be polishing up the second book in the series, Stone Heart.

Beginning on April 1st, I’ll be going off to “Camp”, actually virtual camp with NaNoWriMo organization. This year we’re divided into genres, so my cabinmates will all be writing romance of some kind. My book, Precious Stone, Book III in the High Tides Suspense Series, hopefully will have at least 50,000 words by the end of the month… that’s the goal. I’ve done it before, I can do it again!

So that’s my life as of today, March 28, 2015. Actually thinking back a few years when I first moved to my bucolic village on the edge of America, I never imagined that life would take this turn. But I’m certainly glad it did. And I hope ya’ll are, too.