Saturday, May 27

Conference Season

I got an email the other day reminding me that the Surrey International Writers Conference opens for registration on June 1, 2017. I attended last October and had a wonderful time that I wrote about here on Word Wranglers. I took in several interesting and informative workshops led by knowledgeable  presenters. I met many interesting writers of all genres from all over North America, and I had a chance to pitch to a couple of well-known agents. I’m tempted to go again this year.

But do I need to?

I had a great time. It was a positive experience from beginning to end. But if I don’t have something to pitch to an agent or editor, which I likely won’t since I plan to self-publish this year, I’m not sure I should go. It’s an expensive proposition, but at least it’s in Canadian dollars. Trust me, the US to Canadian exchange rate is brutal.

I heard about a conference called the 20 Book Conference to be held in Los Vegas November 3-5, 2017. It is specially designed for indie writers/publishers. According to the schedule, a number of speakers are presenting workshops on subjects pertinent to indie writers. Maybe this is what I need right now. And the price is right; $99USD. Even I can afford that.

I believe it’s the first year for the 20 Book Conference. Going to a conference where I don’t know anyone and I’m not sure what to expect is a little out of my comfort zone. I’ve been to the Surrey Conference twice so I know it will be a good experience. But maybe I need to take a step out of my comfort zone and see what’s out there. Maybe I should look at going to a different conference from either of these two. Or maybe I should just stay home and write.

So, fellow Word Wranglers and dear readers, when should a writer go to a conference and why? What conferences would you recommend?

Friday, May 26

"For Ryan" Cover Reveal (forJillian)

For some reason, I’m now deathly afraid of being called a fame-whore…

Instead of talking about myself today, I’m helping a writer peep out with her Cover Reveal. If you follow Jillian Jacobs at all, you know I’m a couple days late to the party. But hey, any chance to give her a shout-out makes me happy.

Jillian Jacobs is one of those writers who strives to bring everyone to the table. Wannabe, Newbie, and even Established… she knows that the author world as a whole benefits when we support each other, and that we’re not each other’s competition, we’re each other’s tribe.

Because we’re all in this adventure together, help me take a moment to congratulate Jillian on her newest release, coming out June 3rd.
 
“For Ryan” is the sequel to “For April,” two novella’s that tie-together the growth of two individuals who have to fight to overcome their broken pasts so they can forge a strong future… together. Charming bad-boy bartender. Rich, entitled Senator’s daughter. Yet neither is what they seem. The saying advises “don’t judge a book by its cover,” and yet it holds true for these characters as well.

My humble opinion: I’ve had the thrill of reading both of these books while in their development… They made me laugh, they made me cry. I adore Ryan (he cracks me up), and April has an inner strength I think we can all applaud.

 
"FOR RYAN" COVER REVEAL!

When a senator’s daughter falls for a tattooed bad boy...she discovers she'd do anything For Ryan.

Available on all outlets Saturday, June 3rd

Be sure to read "For April": Novella Couplet, Book #1 before June 3rd. It’s 99 cents for a limited time!

One-click here!




 

Thursday, May 25

A Tale of Two Books

by Margie Senechal

Thanks to Goodreads Deals and BookBub, I have more books loaded on my Kindle than I will ever read. I think Amazon needs to come out with a solar-powered version so if I ever get stranded on a desert island, I'll still be able to read.

Because of this heavy backlist and my shortage of spare time, I must admit to have become a little more selective (picky??) about what I start. Mostly I hate starting a book and not finishing-as if it's a personal failure.

There are some authors that I will buy at full price and drop everything to read--Kristan Higgins, Kristin Hannah, Sarah Addison Allen--and others I've discovered because of these services and special deals.

One of my favorite authors in the past was Michael Crichton. I think I mentioned a couple of weeks ago about being excited about the publication of a "found" manuscript. And on Monday, it downloaded.

Also on Monday, I received the May edition of OnceUponABookClub in the mail which contained the book, Love and Gravity by Samantha Sotto--an author I've never heard of before. Quick refresher about this crate club--it  comes with a book and then 4-5 gifts that you open on appointed pages. Sometimes the first gift is later--one was after page 100. But, this particular package, the first prezzie was on page 16.

I started both books kind of simultaneously. I read the first about 25 pages of Love before going to bed and then started Dragon Teeth before I fell asleep--the lighting in my room is horrible, so generally if I'm going to read in bed, it's on my phone Kindle app. Dragon Teeth didn't immediately suck me in, but I stayed with it, reading about fifty pages or so before going to sleep. And I was kind of critiquing it while I read it--why is the VP character ducking in the carriage while there's a shootout going on around him? Why does this story feel so dry?

The Tuesday arrived and it was my day off. What do do? What to read? I opened up the Kindle app and it told me I was 85% through Dragon Teeth. What??? How was that possible? Was it a novella and not a full length book? 

It ended up that somehow--late night reading?--I had inadvertently began the book at the wrong spot, about 80% through it. Sad thing is, I couldn't tell. I should've been able to tell within a few pages I was joining a book in progress and I didn't. And if I wasn't enjoying the story as it crested to it's end, would I enjoy it in the beginning?

So, I set aside the Kindle and picked up Love and Gravity. I got sucked right in and couldn't wait to the turn the pages. The prezzies were just a bonus as the book was so good. It's an alternative history/romance/time travel book about Sir Issac Newton and a cellist whose music causes a crack in the time barrier. 

I don't know that I'll return to Dragon Teeth and that makes me sad. Or mad. As I've read up on the "discovery" of this manuscript and it was actually written in 1974 and never published. Pretty sure there was a reason it was never published.  Mr. Crichton had plenty of time during his life to rework the story and had the kind of career that he could've published it at any time in the last few decades had he felt it worthy of being published.

While I won't prebuy another "found" Crichton manuscript, I will check out  Samantha Sotto's next book.

Wednesday, May 24

The Music of Life ~@AuthorKristina Knight

Y'all know by now that music plays a big part in my life. We turn on a playlist or the radio in the morning and the music goes on all day. Some of that music makes it into playlists for my characters and books...some of it makes it on life's playlist and is turned to when setbacks occur, when amazingness happens, when we just need to cry or when no one is around to offer a hug...but there is a song that is as powerful as a hug.

Here are a few favorites:

FUN. carry on: There is something very uplifting about this song, and for me its all about one line: "when you're lost and alone or sinking like a stone...carry on". It is so hard, sometimes, to see the silver lining of whatever rain cloud we're under...but I have yet to walk under a rain cloud that didn't, at some point, have a silver lining. Give it a listen:



P!nk, just give me a reason: I adore duets - everything from Kenny & Dolly singing about islands to this one. I like the juxtaposition of one lover thinking it's over to the other trying to show how what they have isn't over at all. Here it is:



Brothers Osborne, stay a little longer: I've been on a serious Brothers Osborne kick lately. They are all over the playlists for my Slippery Rock books, and this particular song - no matter how often I hear it - I stop what I'm doing and sing along...



Do you have a favorite song lately? Share in the comments!

Tuesday, May 23

The Perils of Being a Blogger




Well, if you all were here yesterday, you know that our Lizzie kinda got blindsided by a couple of commenters when she posted a blog about ghostwriting romance. Now, she was asking a perfectly innocent question of the blogosphere: Why would publishers hire ghostwriters to do what so many writers are doing already? Why indeed? Personally, I thought it was legitimate subject for discussion. Apparently, some ghostwriters took offense, which shocked the dickens out of all us wranglers because offending someone is never, ever part of the plan when we blog.

I'm bugged that Liz's innocent question raised ire among some ghostwriters--that's too bad because that got in the way of having a legitimate discussion about why publishers would hire ghostwriters to write for them when they have so many opportunities to help new authors build their careers. Publishers keep telling us they want something new and different and I can tell you, often when you offer them something new and different, like older characters, for instance, they reject it and claim they can't sell it.

We're all struggling here to find our niche in the romance genres--we’re a group of six romance authors, all at different stages in our writing careers—some of us are published traditionally, others are indie pubbed, and a couple of us are hybrid authors (both traditional and indie pubbed). But no matter what route we’ve taken to get our novels out to the public, we’re all in accord about respecting one another’s choices and process. I think we can all agree that all working writers deserves kudos for the hard work they put into their careers, especially romance writers!

We Wranglers sure love it when people visit the blog and we love it when you leave comments, so always feel free to give us your thoughts and ideas. We welcome opinions, even if they differ from our own, but we are never mean and disrespectful, and we ask our commenters to be kind as well. It's tough out there in the blogosphere--we should all take care of one another.

 Thanks and have great day!