Monday, February 24, 2014

Writing for Tears - The Onion Approach

Sorry, this post is not about The Onion (link)--the satirical newspaper. Instead, I was thinking this morning about craft and writing and my own evolution as a writer.

Coming from a journalism background, my biggest challenge as a novelist was slowing down. I'd been trained to get to the point fast. Give the most important point first. Don't bury the lede! No extraneous details, no side-trips into smells or tastes...

I know. Some feature writers flower their prose a bit, and tempering that is part of the craft of feature writing, but for the most part, news reporting is bare bones. Just the facts, ma'am.

Then I started writing books, and I was all, "This person has to get from Point A to Point B to Resolution C after Shocking Revelation D."

I'd sit down and pound it all out, and while it was entertaining, my early readers were all, "I've got a whiplash this happened so fast!"

I wasn't giving anybody time to think or feel about what was happening, to process. I wasn't peeling back the layers slow enough. I wasn't giving my readers time to cry. (Get the onion part now? I made that up, fyi.)

I have some writer friends with the exact opposite problem. They write too many words, and their biggest task is going back and cut cut cutting all the fat so they're  not boring you to death or filling your head with a lot of unnecessary details.

Going on Year 4 as an author, my second as a full-time novelist, my first drafts still often come out with "fast patches"--parts that need to slow down to provide the full emotional effect.

I'm still learning to think like a symphony conductor. Have the Big Fast Loud part followed by a quiet, thoughtful spot.

The good news is now when I read back through that first draft, I'm much better at spotting these places and adding thoughts, feelings, sights, sounds, etc., to spread out the moment.

I think The Truth About Letting Go was the first time I truly felt satisfied I'd mastered the process. To this day, I can't read Chapter 17 without crying... but that's another story.

I'm headed back into the cave, reader-friends! Just popping out to say Hi! and share my thoughts.

Remember to check out IndieReCon starting tomorrow! (link) It's a FREE online writers conference filled with tons of useful information about business, craft, working with readers, marketing, etc.

And since last week I posted the Valentine's Day "Love Notes" for the Dragonfly series, this week, I'll post the ones for the "Truth" books.


The Truth About Faking

And talk about layers~

The Truth About Letting Go

Have a super week, reader-friends! Love ya~

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Keep the Love Going

Valentine's weekend was cold and snowy here... actually, so was yesterday. I'm starting to think JRM secretly moved me to Siberia instead of the Midwest... (Midwest Siberia?)

So let's keep things WARM with some of the love-teasers I was posting on my Facebook page this weekend...

Note: If you're not following me on Facebook, go Here (link):, and keep up with all my book news!

~Let's start with the Dragonfly series~

I love this series so much--these were the first books I ever, ever wrote, and I was (and still am) so enchanted by this family saga set on the Alabama coast...

Dragonfly (#1) is currently FREE everywhere!

Get your copy today! (Did I mention it's free...)  

The Valentine's teaser I did for this one is sort of an anti-Valentine, since it's from Anna to Jack...

On Amazon

Following Dragonfly in the lineup is Undertow, and again, this is more of an anti-Valentine... but in a different way.

While Anna is trying to get over Jack, Bill can't seem to get over Lexy~

On Amazon

Undertow is one of my favorite books. The story is hard and terrible and tragic, and I hate what happens to these characters and their choices.

But I took a chance both in the structure and in the storyline, and I think it came out amazing.

Back to Anna & Julian's love story, we'll finish off today with Watercolor.

This is a true Valentine, because these two have a love that can last. If they let it...

On Amazon

So those are my first book Valentines.

I hope you all had a loving weekend, and if it's cold where you are, snuggle up!

Have a super week, reader-friends~

Monday, February 10, 2014

Dragonfly is #FREE! And that's about it...

It's an age-old marketing trick...  the FREE SAMPLE, and I'm giving it a try, reader-friends!

Actually, I got the idea from my most brilliant indie author-friend Susan Kaye Quinn (link), who put her book Open Minds permanently Free a while back. (Get your copy!)

Susan is really an irreplacable resource for indie authors.

I highly recommend following her blog (link) and getting her book Indie Author Survival Guide (link) if you're considering going indie.

So Happy Valentine's Day!

Run grab your FREE copy of my steamy beach romance Today~

Here's to free samples and to finding new readers! If you would (and many of you already have), please help me spread the word! Thank you so much!!!

I'm heading back into the writing cave to keep working on Mosaic. Wish me luck.

Here's hoping you're all doing FAB. Stay cool~ 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Meet Me in Person! #WIN Free Books! Join Indie ReCon!

Happy Monday, reader-friends!

I'm peeking out of my writing cave with TONS of fun stuff to tell you about (in spite of that silly Groundhog... or the Super Bowl, if you're a Broncos fan)...

First, anybody in or near Louisville, KY?

Want to meet me or many other Amazing independent authors (including new author-friends Kate Roth, Aleatha Romig, etc.)?

Check this out:

Visit the Website for More Info!!!

The Louisville Author Event is FREE!

I'll have books on hand for you to buy and have signed, or you can buy your own to bring with you! Let me know if you're coming, and I'll look out for you~

NOTE: Remember if you buy the paperback copy of The Truth About Faking or Dragonfly from Amazon, you can get the ebook FREE through the Kindle Matchbook Program! (ALL of my books are in this program--the others you can get for 99 cents if you buy the paperback!)

* * *

Need Another way to WIN Free Books?

Want a signed set of the Dragonfly series?
How about a Kindle cover signed by several popular authors?

A great blogger friend of mine, Kimberly Faye, is celebrating her birthday with a mega Giveaway.

* * *

Some of you know I'm part of the blog YA Confidential (link).

Every Monday, we have a "From the Vault" post, and every month, we choose one lucky commenter to WIN a free book of his or her choice!

Head on over and see what you think--today we're talking about "Under the Radar YA."

And remember to check back next Monday when we'll be talking about favorite book couples, and comment again~

* * *

Attention Independent Authors!!!
(and/or Aspiring Independent Authors!)

Indie ReCon is an annual event put on by my group of writing friends The Indelibles (link).

It's a fantastic FREE online conference where many well-known and successful indie authors share their experiences and insight.

Here's the scoop from my great writer-friend Ali Cross:

If you receive The Indelibles newsletter, then you already know what I'm about to tell you. (*Hint* It's an awesome idea to subscribe to our newsletter!)

In four weeks, at exactly this time (12:00 p.m. EST) we will have the privilege of hanging out with Barry Eisler and JA Konrath. These two giants of indie publishing will be here, chatting with us, with YOU, for two whole hours.

I'm not even joking.

So come on, get excited! And mark your calendars! Because IndieReCon 2014 is going to rock your socks off.

In the meantime, help us spread the word for maximum awesomeness! Hugs and kisses to everyone who posts our button on their site!

* * *

I'm headed back into the writing cave now, reader friends. I'll be back soon with Mosaic!

Stay warm, and keep in touch~