Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday’s Writing: A Naked Writing Deal

 @GlenysOConnell

“I learned a lot from this author. The book is well written and helpful. I would recommend it to those who are starting out on the adventure of writing.” That’s what one reviewer said about Naked Writing: The No frills Way to Write Your Book.

Naked Writing CoverIf you’ve been reading this blog then you’ll know that I often include excerpts from my book on the basics of writing. Now here’s your chance to get Naked Writing for just a low, low price and help me with an experiment at the same time.

Here’s another review from an Amazon customer: “This is a basic course with a complete outline of how to write. I loved it. I never knew how much work went into writing. If you follow this course, actually writing the story is almost anticlimactic.”

I’m experimenting by putting Naked Writing up on Amazon’s Kindle Countdown, so on Thursday, November 27,  you can get the book for just 99 cents. On Saturday, November 29 the price goes up to $1.99, and then on December lst it will be $2.99 before going back up to the original price point of $3,99.

Finally, here’s a lovely review by very talented author Patricia Sands, who is a multi-published author:  “Glenys O'Connell knows about writing and she shares her expertise in this user-friendly book. After years of teaching successful online writing courses, author O'Connell has done writers a favour by compiling a book based on these courses. Her own writing style is warm and encouraging as she confronts many issues in Naked Writing faced by writers whether new or experienced. This is a book every writer will find helpful from beginning to end.” Patricia speaks from experience as she took my online writing course on which the book is based.

Keep on eye on this blog as Christmas approaches – I’m planning more special deals and actual freebies from my backlist of novels!

Naked Writing is available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, and other Amazon Kindle outlets near you at price-matched to your currency.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday’s Writing: The Pro-Active Writer

@GlenysOConnell

clip_image002I’ve talked before in this blog about the differences between a a dream and a goal – if you remember, that’s having a plan. Writers need to be pro-active, not just in getting the words down, but in editing, submitting their work, and marketing/promoting. 

No publisher is going to come knocking on your door if your book is just an idea in your mind. Work your plan and who knows? Maybe there’ll be that knock on the door.

It’s hard work, being a writer. But writers love it all the same. And sometimes hate it. But just can’t stop doing it. 

BlogGraphic29b Writing is like anything else – it doesn’t just happen. You’ve got to actively decide to do it. There’s the common image of the writer at his keyboard, glass of whisky at his elbow, pained expression on his face as he stares at the blank screen. His shirt buttons are undone, his hair stands on end, and there’re dark circles around his eyes…..that’s stuff for old movies.

There’s an old joke about Irish writer James Joyce, who was said to be notoriously slow in his writing.. A friend came to visit and found Joyce slumped over his pen and paper, looking very depressed.

 “Whatever’s wrong, James?” The friend asked.

“It’s the work. Isn’t it always the work?” James moaned.

“Well, have you written anything at all today?”

“Seven words.” Joyce groaned as if in pain.

“Why, James, that’s wonderful! Isn’t that more than you usually write?”

Joyce heaves a great sigh. “Yes," he replied. “But I don’t know what order they go in.”

Real writers are very disciplined, they organize their work and plan it out as you would with anything else that you want to do. I don’t actually believe in writers’ block, although I will agree there are times when you simply can’t write. Those times may be when your mind is cluttered with outside problems and worries, or may it’s simply that a story is simmering in your brain and isn’t yet ready to be written.

Writing requires a degree of commitment. If this was a flower arranging class, you’d all be eager to get home, buy flowers, and try your hand at some arranging. Well, writing demands a lot more than flower-arranging, which I agree is pretty creative, too. But the fact remains that you have to knuckle down and do it. Writers write. End of story.

There’s an impetus, a continuity, a mindset, that develops when you have a routine of doing something everyday. Even if it’s half-an hour during your lunch break, or an hour while the kids do their homework….set aside a definite time.

It’s also important to be disciplined about your Internet time. There are so many lovely things to do and see on the Net, and you can even claim they are educational. But nothing takes the place of your own writing time.

Naked Writing CoverComputers also have been a terrific boon to writers. Imagine how quickly Joyce could have played with arrangements for those seven words if he’d had a cut and paste option?

***This blog is taken in part from my book on the basics of writing: Naked Writing: The No Frills Way to Write Your Book. Now on Amazon in print and ebook!













Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday’s Inspiration: Afraid to Follow Your Heart? Wisdom from Eleanor Roosevelt

@GlenysOConnell

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway.” Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884 –1962

Roosevelt
Whatever your political stripe, it’s hard to dismiss the character and achievements of Franklin Roosevelts’s wife and the longest serving American First Lady – she held the post from March 1933 to April 1945.

She wasn’t content to sit back and be a pretty ornament on her husband’s arm. She involved herself in social issues and in women’s rights issues. She was an early activist at a time when women were expected, to a large degree, to be ‘seen and not heard’.

Indeed, some of her work and her support of women’s organizations, literacy, the poor, and other social causes led to her being in hot water with the critics on a number of occasions.
Although not elected, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt could well be described as an American politician. In fact, President Harry S. Truman praised her as the "First Lady of the World" for her human rights achievements.

True to her philosophy, Mrs. Roosevelt did what her heart said was right, and accepted that she’d be criticized for it but did it anyway.
Many years on, we may still find ourselves holding back from doing what our hearts say we should. Do you hold your tongue when you feel you should speak out? Do you think “It’s not my place” when you see an issue or person who needs help? I confess that I have done this, for fear of the consequences, or fear of ‘getting involved’.

In writing, I have talked to authors who are afraid of opening up and writing the book of their hearts because of what their family, their friends, their church or other organization members, and community in general might think.

But things are not always as we see them. One writer had difficulty writing sexy scenes for fear of offending her family. Finally she took the plunge and wrote as her heart dictated. She was amazed when her Great Aunt read the book and asked if she was working on another…because she enjoyed the first so much. No censure there!

You never can tell what the results of being courageous and following your heart may be. But whatever criticism or praise may follow, you can be sure that you will feel better about yourself if you do what you believe is right.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Saturday’s Snippet: Another Man’s Son, from the #TWRP Lobster Cove Series

By @GlenysOConnell

perf5.000x8.000.inddA few months ago – it seems like yesterday – I was given the opportunity to submit a story to the proposed new Wild Rose Press series.
 I do like a challengeSmile.  I’ve never written for a series before, although I’ve toyed with several series ideas that I hope you’ll get to see at a later date. In fact, I liked Lobster Cove so much that I’ve submitted another book to the series. Fingers crossed!

The Lobster Cove series is quite special in a number of ways. One is that it is multi-genre – romance, romantic suspense, mystery, erotica, paranormal, fairies, sprites, ghosts and mythological beings were all welcome story lines.

The books were also set in different time spans – different historic periods, current day, mythical and I believe some futuristic as well.
Another difference for me, at least, was that all the books were co-ordinated. This means that each book must fit in various ways to the characters and events in other books that were set in the same time period.

Well, no-one has ever accused me of being a team player, so this last was a whole new ballgame for me. In Another Man’s Son, my hero is an FBI agent who is working undercover. I started out with the existing sheriff being asked to take a leave of absence for (fictional) health reasons.
But another book had been contracted where there was a newly elected, female sheriff.. Fortunately for my hero, the new sheriff had just got married and was planning to take time off for her honeymoon, so things worked out well. Now my character had to step into her place and interact briefly with her before she left. Which meant rewriting or adapting all the scenes that involved the sheriff. Whew!

I grew to admire my fellow series writers who took such care to meticulously match their work so that it wove nicely into the other books in progress. Not only that, but they were wonderfully generous in giving information to help make sure everyone was, to coin a phrase, on the same page.

In the weeks to come, I hope to bring you some snippets from other books in the Lobster Cove series. For now, here’s an excerpt from Another Man’s Son, which is now available in print and ebook from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, and other book stores.

ANOTHER MAN’S SON

There he was. Without conscious thought her feet found a path through the crowd towards him and then he stood before her. She saw immediately that while he looked the same, there were subtle differences beyond the seven years that had passed since they’d last met. Back then, he’d still had the gawkiness of youth with the foreshadowing strength of the man he might become.

And now – now he’d fulfilled that promise of manhood - the veiled glances of every woman in the room were testament to that. But there was the stamp of hard experience on his face, lines around his beautiful brown eyes. Ben Asher. The man she'd once loved so deeply that she thought she’d die when he boarded the bus bound for the military training camp.

Mesmerized, Kathryn moved into his arms as naturally as if she'd never been out of them, and he hugged her to him in a reflex action that spoke volumes about his feelings. They swayed to the slow and sentimental tune the band now played, neither of them speaking, neither of them surprised that their dancing steps carried them through the big French doors and out onto the shadowed terrace. No surprise, either, as their lips met and melded in remembered passion.

She clung to him, her mouth drinking him in as all her other senses sang with the feel and scent of the man she'd loved so long ago – and came alive again with loving now. He groaned softly as her fingers smoothed the thick dark hair at the nape of his neck and then touched warm flesh beneath his shirt collar.

Her own flesh burned with desire at his touch as long ago dreams began to stir and awaken. Dreams that were even more impossible now than they'd been when she was young and deliriously in love.

The dream was broken when an icy voice spoke from the doorway: “Well, Asher, I see you've met my wife."