Author Teams

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So, what’s an author team?

That’s easy it’s a group of Indie Authors that team up to help each other generate interest in their books. I decided to join a team sponsored by Books Go Social. We’re one of the first teams, so we’re still ironing out the wrinkles, but I believe this is a wonderful idea and am hoping it will help all of us sell more books. *Fingers crossed!*

One of my fellow authors, Chris Walters, made a Christmas Recommendation blog and I’d like to share it with you, so here it is:

Author Chris Walters Blog

Of course, my book is featured as well as several other authors on my team.

We’re Indie Authors and we’re proud!

Please check us out!

All the Words a Genre

So, what’s frustrated_student_sm-2in a name?

Everything.

One of the first things people ask me is: what genre is your book? The other is: what’s it about?

I don’t know about other authors, but I find both of these questions extremely difficult to answer. The genre under which my novel was published is “Fantasy,” but that’s really not descriptive enough. As in life, my novel contains romance, suspense, mystery, home improvement, history, friendship, love, death and the whole damn thing. (To borrow a phrase.)

Yes, books need to be classified as fiction or nonfiction and then broken down into sub-genre, but that’s just to make the life of a person working at a bookstore easier when they’re filing your book on a shelf.

Thomas Hardy said, “Compared to the dullest human being actually walking about on the face of the earth and casting his shadow there, the most brilliantly drawn character in a novel is nothing but a bag of bones.” What I take this to mean is that writers can only create characters with broad strokes of their pens. We can’t write every single detail, it would make for a very boring read.

For example: one of my characters has a birthmark on her left leg and her daughter has one on her right. She’s left-handed and her daughter is right-handed. As the creator of this piece of fiction, I know this fact, but I haven’t passed it on to my readers because it really isn’t relevant to the story. It’s small facts like these that make people and differentiate characters from people, but I’m diverting from my main topic.

I’m talking about genres.

Genres have four main types: poetry, drama, fiction and nonfiction.

Since I write fiction, I’ll restrict my comments to that area. There are at least 20 sub-genres of fiction that I borrowed and edited from Wikipedia. So, here goes . . .

  • Action
  • Adventure
  • Comedy
  • Crime
  • Drama
  • Fantasy
  • Historical Fiction
  • Horror
  • Magical Realms
  • Mystery
  • Romance
  • Saga
  • Satire
  • Science Fiction
  • Speculative
  • Surreal
  • Thriller
  • Urban
  • Western
  • Whimsical

I’m quite certain that you, my dear reader, will be able to think of more, but 20 is a pretty good number with which to begin.

Of course, there are specializations to each of these and combinations thereof. For example: Zane Gray wrote Western-Romance-Thrillers; Lewis Carroll combined Poetry and Fantasy in his Alice novels; and J.R.R. Tolkien combined Fantasy, Magical Realms and Saga in his Middle Earth-related books. For a non-author-specific example: Steampunk is a sub-genre of Science Fiction. Those are just a few examples.

In my opinion, a good book needs to combine many different genres in order to make the story feel real. A romance novel needs to have more than steamy love scenes in it if the author wants the book to be something more than two-dimensional.

The mail goal of an author is to tell a story. In order to do the telling properly, an author needs to make the story relatable. The best way to do this is to give the story pieces of everyday life.

Now, I could be wrong and I welcome comments. However, I know stories that I’ve read that gift the characters with everyday quirks seem more interesting and are able to draw me into them more than stories without.

Tell me, what do you think?

~ny

P.S. Update on the companion novel to my current release, “The Heretic’s Child.” I’ve changed the title once more (hence, the reason we call them working titles.) The latest is “To Tell a Lie”.

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Please check out my website for information on upcoming appearances and for links to venues where my novel is available for purchase.

Thanks!

Author Meet & Greets!

I had my first Meet & Greet/Book Signing last week. It was at an unconventional spot. A group of local store owners host a monthly event on their stretch of street. The stores all stay open until 9 p.m., there’s live music and a variety of food trucks.

So how did I discover this venue?

It was an accident. I walk around my neighborhood every night and discovered this little event by accident when I walked through it. They call it, “Third Thursday Nights at Tujunga Village.” I know; the name doesn’t exactly roll off your tongue, but the name of the street is Tujunga. What can you do?

There was a live rock band playing. (Okay, here’s a plug for the band!) Their name is “Echophonix.” They’re very good, but I guess they were too loud for the staid store owners because they don’t play there anymore. Sigh…

Anyway, back to how I discovered this venue.

I was walking down the street and while I was listening to the band play, I started a conversation with a really nice young lady. I don’t hear very well, so I could never catch her name and the band was really loud. Each month, I would see her and we got to be friendly. Last December, I mentioned that my novel would be out soon and she became very excited. She asked me if I would be interested in having a signing during their event.

Hmmm… let me think about that a moment.

DOH!

OF COURSE I’M INTERESTED. Who do I have to kill? Oops! Too much enthusiasm? Maybe. 🙂

Moving forward in time, my book became available from the publisher on April 7, 2016 and I was trying to learn some of the ways to promote the book. I was also waiting for it to be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. (yes, The Heretic’s Child is now available EVERYWHERE!) before I decided to send a text to my contact.

Sent the text, received an immediate response and four weeks later, my book signing is a week in the past. Now, I’m not worried that my first signing is in the past because I have been invited to return next month. AND, I will be there!

I’m also waiting for the owner of a bookstore to return from her vacation, so we can arrange for a more traditional Meet & Greet/Book Signing.

Why do these things take so long?

Well, a number of reasons.

  1. I’m a single mom and my daughter just graduated from high school. We were a bit busy with the end of the school year events.
  2. I work two jobs.
  3. I was sick.
  4. I’m new at this and still learning my options.

Yeah, yeah! I know excuses, but valid ones.

I’ve sent the book out to several people; the bookstore owner, a production coordinator and an author friend for review. I need to get on the ball and send out a few more copies for review. And I will. Soon…

Oh! Here’s the best reason for being distracted from marketing my book…I’m working on the companion novel. This story is written from the protagonist’s point of view. It’s different and I’m thinking that it might be one of the best things I’ve ever written.

Time will tell.

Please check out my novel, The Heretic’s Child, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBook Store, Kobo and Lulu.com.

Fondest wishes,

~ny

The Heretic’s Child

So, I wrote a story and self-published.

Now what?

Well, that’s a good question. According to my publisher, I can spend lots of money (that I don’t have) and pay them for a marketing campaign. Or, I can try to market the book myself. Now, I’ll admit that I don’t know the first thing about marketing a book, but I really don’t have any choice but to give it a try.

So, here I go; I’m spreading the word. That’s the reason I started this blog. That and I love to ramble. Hey, I’m a writer and I actually like writing. I’m not one of the people that turn writing into a struggle. When I buckle down and write, I write every day. I may not like what I write. Hell, I might even erase it, but the point is that if you want to be a writer, you write. You don’t talk about it, you write.

Actually, I do talk about it. I talk to myself, my friends, my daughter…I talk to anyone that seems interested. It’s the best way to get different points of view. I use that when I create my characters because I want them to be more than just “bags of bones.” Integrating real life with my fictional stories makes it more real to me and, I hope, more real to my readers. Or, at least that’s what I hope.

Between you and me? I’ve never taken a creative writing class. I’m sure it shows in my writing and if I did, it would probably help me. But, I’d rather learn by doing. It’s the way I’ve always learned best. I just hope that reading my stories isn’t too painful because of my inexperience.

To bring you up-to-date on what’s happening with “The Heretic’s Child,” I’ve given the publisher the go-ahead to release the novel to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple iBook, Kobo and everything else. This process takes 6 to 8 weeks. However, Amazon’s Kindle version became available this week, so one venue besides my publisher, Lulu Press, is up and running.

I’ve talked to Barnes and Noble and they said we have to wait until the book is actually available through their website before they’ll discuss hosting a book signing. I also talked with my local library and discovered that they only host authors whose books they have in their library. This led me to the thought that perhaps if I donate a couple books to them, that’ll allow me to host a book signing there. We’ll see.

Still related to the marketing and sales of my book is reviews. I am a huge Dean Koontz fan and I’ve met him many times. Not only is he an excellent writer, he’s genuinely a nice man. I wrote to him last November and he responded with a personal note. I asked him if I could send him a copy of my book once it was published. He said…YES! So, that’s next. I’ll be sending out a copy to Dean as well as several other people for their reviews.

I look at the marketing of my book as a large, still lake. Each time I tell someone about “The Heretic’s Child,” it causes a ripple in the lake. I just have to keep spreading the word and hopefully, soon the lake will be a mass of giant waves pushing people towards my book.

If you have any suggestions, please send me an email…

And, of course, I would deeply appreciate it if you would check out “The Heretic’s Child.”

Fondest wishes,

~ny