Thursday, March 31, 2016

Madness Missing the Mark

March Madness Debrief

So on this last day of March it is time for me to confess... March Madness was more mayhem than majesty. I was the wrong kind of mad. The crazy as a fruitcake kind, rather than the crazy productive kind.

I did pretty well right up until I left for my conference... erm... which was the 8th. I had a good week. *cough* The rest of the month I got a fair bit of READING done, but nearly no writing. So I am giving myself a D for the month.

How about the rest of you? How has your March been? Are you ready to kick its backside? (I am, but that is a statement on the weather)

Ready for A to Z Madness?

And TOMORROW we start A to Z! Everybody ready? Planning was totally one of my March Madness tasks that did not get done. I also have 2 ½ days on our Parallels Blog which at least have themes identified, but I only have 4 of my letters designated and no blogs written for here... Never fear... I'll get her done. I never actually write until the day before anyway unless I know I'll be gone. But there may be some scrambling for coming up with the marketing tool of the day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Redirect to the Parallels Blog

Hey gang! I had the honor of interviewing Dancing Lemur LLC owner and editor L. Diane Wolfe today and it is posted over on the Parallels blog. It includes gems like what she, as an editor, looks for in submissions and what sorts of books they are looking for so you won't want to miss it! Go see!!!

Monday, March 21, 2016

A to Z Theme Reveal!!!

So I jumped the gun and did this already. You know that, right? Because I always manage to be ahead or behind. I am beginning to think I am a Time Lord caught up in the loopy timey wimey thing, but unlike a proper Time Lord, I always miss the mark by a bit. But in case you didn't see...

My plan is to put all of YOU to work teaching ME about various aspects of book marketing! I will present a topic each day and ask what your experiences are with it, or what you know, or what to avoid, or how to do it... So if YOU want to learn TOO, keep your eyes peeled! [My eyeballs always hurt when I say that]

But in addition to what I have going on HERE, The Parallels Authors are ALSO participating in the A to Z Blogging and we have split up letters to each do a different sci-fi topic each day. If you weren't aware that we were blogging, you can find the Parallels blog here. In addition to what we've got, I've also interviewed one of the Dancing Lemur Editors and will be sharing that Wednesday, so watch for it!!!

And if you want to go see what everyone else is doing, the list is here!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Please Welcome Roland Yeoman!!!

What am I saying? Most of you already know Roland... but he has a novel and a story in an anthology coming up, so  I thought I'd help him spread the word...


Roland Yeomans here – reader, writer, dreamer.
Have you noticed in our recent Indie novels, everyone is selling, but few are buying?
How do we overcome that recent inertia in customer response?
The old catch phrase is to think outside the “Box.”
I think something both newer and older is called for:
We must expand the dimensions of that “box” by looking at “novel” ways of writing and marketing our books.

We must push out the boundaries of what a new novel can be, what it can offer the buyer.

Lagniappe is a tradition down here in Southwest Louisiana:

Lagniappe is something given to a customer as a bonus or extra gift to say “Thank You for Doing Business with Me.”
I decided to do just that in my new novel:

At the end of my novel, I put a 6,000 word story focusing on three of the not-so-innocents 64 years in the future.
The reader gets another whole new adventure with characters he has grown to know. It adds depth to the short story and to the novel he has just finished.
And he gets it as a surprise and for FREE.
I have primed the pump for Word of Mouth from her/him and garnered a stronger possibility, the reader will buy the next book in the NOT-SO-INNOCENTS saga.

How cool is that, right?

Let’s Gossip!

Gossip. It’s as old as the Serpent asking Eve, “Has God really said if you eat this fruit, you will surely die?”
Let’s talk the gossip found in Book Clubs.
There’s a way of interacting through books that you don’t get through any ordinary transaction in life.
Reading is a solitary act, an experience of interiority.
To read a book is to burst the confines of one’s consciousness and enter another world.
What happens when you read a book in the company of others?
You enter its world together but see it in your own way.
And it’s through sharing those differences of perception that the book group acquires its emotional power.
It’s like sitting around gossiping about people, only you’re gossiping about characters in fiction, which is more meaningful.
SO … I included after my Lagniappe short story, a Reader’s Discussion Guide with questions and links to internet sites for them to read the facts for themselves.
I wanted to make my new novel Book Club Friendly, to make it easier for them to get together to talk about the subjects and personalities found in my pages.
More priming the pump for Word of Mouth.
More Pushing Back the Boundaries of that Box.

NOW ABOUT THAT CROSS DRESSING {Hart jumps up and down}

Ah, that WAS misleading but it grabbed your attention more than Cross Pollination would have, didn’t it?
How is my new novel engaged with cross-pollination?

I am honored enough to have a story in this anthology.
While young Loy (her real name is Myrna) is the true heroine of WEDNESDAY’S CHILD, the mysterious Greek physician who gave her that nickname is the narrator.

His name is Lucanus.
And Lucanus is the physician for the 1st Air/Steamship, the Xanadu, in THE NOT-SO-INNOCENTS ABROAD.
He appears in the second act of the novel, but like Yoda, he is a crucial element to the story being played out.
And at the end in Tangiers, he plays Doc Holliday to Sam McCord’s Wyatt Earp.

Cross-Pollination –

If readers like Lucanus in THE THING THAT TURNED ME, they will pick up THE NOT-SO-INNOCENTS ABROAD.
And if they like him in my new novel, they will want to pick up the anthology.
More Word of Mouth.
More Pushing Back the Boundaries of that darn Box.

And talking about that scene in Tangiers, here is the tune that played in my head as I wrote it:

This March board the Xanadu, the 1st Air/Steamboat, on a honeymoon cruise for alien Empress, Meilori Shinseen, and her human consort, Samuel McCord, to Paris and the Unholy Lands where death, betrayal, deceit, and murder reign supreme … and that is just in the newlywed’s bedroom!

     The passengers?  An insane Abraham Lincoln, a crippled General Sherman, a vampiric Benjamin Franklin, a clueless Mark Twain, 11 year old Nikola Tesla, and his faithful black cat, Macak.

     Cost of Passage?  Only $9.99! 


Roland Yeomans was born in Detroit, Michigan. But his last memories of that city are hub-caps and kneecaps since, at the age of seven, he followed the free food when his parents moved to Lafayette, Louisiana. The hitch-hiking after their speeding car from state to state was a real adventure. Once in Louisiana, Roland learned strange new ways of pronouncing David and Richard when they were last names. And it was not a pleasant sight when he pronounced Comeaux for the first time.

He has a Bachelor’s degree in English Education and a Master’s degree in Psychology. He has been a teacher, counselor, book store owner, and even a pirate since he once worked at a tax preparation firm.

So far he has written thirty-three books. You can find Roland at his web page: or at his private table in Meilori’s. The web page is safer to visit. But if you insist on visiting Meilori’s, bring a friend who runs slower than you.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Delinquent Blurbs and Interviewed Elsewhere

Hallo fine peoples!!!!

So I was meant to post the last two story teases from Parallels: Felix Was Here on Friday and I lost my mind. So today I will share THOSE, but I ALSO am being interviewed today on Yolanda Renee's blog. So if you want a bit of the “behind the story” for The Seventeen, you can go over THERE and see it.

By the way... I read ALL these stories this weekend, and I was fabulously impressed. It is a really fun set.

Meanwhile HERE, the last two stories introduced are from Tamara Narayan and my own.

Scrying the Plane: A teen experiences thrills and chills in a virtual reality internet.

Are you 21 or older? Care to experience the internet through a virtual reality interface? See Twitter birds flock, hop in a Minecraft trolley, or don the “skin” of your favorite celebrity. Come, sit. Drink your Sleep-Ease and lie back. Don’t worry about the scalpel.  Just a few small cuts to access your temple chip and in go the leads. Hardly any bleeding at all! So hook in, hook up, and go wild. What could go wrong?  

From doling out popcorn to moviegoers to flinging smelt to penguins, Tamara Narayan's taken the “road less traveled”. Her career path veered off into a land of integrals and other strange things while she taught college level math, but these days she’s cruising the fiction highway. 

And LAST....

The Seventeen: In a world of unregulated drug trials, sometimes the side-effects are viral.

Cecily Daiker is keeper of the Seventeen--the survivors Pharmagna houses after a decade of drug trials which were unregulated, subjects unprotected and un-cared-for.

Until Cecily.

But now a drug is being proposed to undo the wrongs of past drugs, Within limits, of course. And Cecily is assigned to oversee the trial. What nobody says is that the newly tested drug may have unanticipated consequences. Not just for the Seventeen, but for everybody. And it is Cecily's job to contain the danger.

Hart Johnson is a social scientist by day, and plots murder and the apocalypse when the sun goes down. She has published a flu conspiracy trilogy (A Shot in the Light) and a cozy mystery series under the name Alyse Carlson. She has hopes to eventually support herself writing or take over the world, whichever works out first. In the meantime, you can find her at the links below:

For the rest of this week I am going to be largely offline. I am traveling for work, but I will see you all next week!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Nose to the Grindstone

Hallo fine people!!! Welcome to First Wednesday and the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Don't forget to go visit other insecure writers today, too!

So anybody know what makes up motivation? I am going to go out on a limb and say a lot of it is momentum (or inertia). But if the inertia is dragging you down, what do you do to get going again?

I'm hoping March Madness can pull me out of it. So far so good. (after one day, but whatever). Maybe it helps that work is forcing my hand right now, too. I have a meeting next week and am helping a student prepare her poster, so I have had to be focused and work hard and at a very steady rate... so keeping going when I get home is working out okay. At least so far.

So what do I have to accomplish this month?

I want to query Medium Wrong which requires me to finish entering edits (should happen today), write a synopsis and query, select agents and publishers, and send them...

I want to PLOT a cozy mystery. And then, when I get through some reading I have to do (a beta read, a copy edit and a library book) I want to edit Kahlotus Disposal Site.

So that is a polish/query, a proofing, a plotting and an editing this month. LOTS to do, but a much more scattered list than I've ever begun March Madness with. Normally I write or finish a book... still, when I finish the month hopefully I will have TWO ready to fly out the door that have been in my files for way too long.

What about all of you? Any tricks for getting going again? What motivates you?

[And anyone interested in this March Madness business, can find out more here.]