Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Blogtour Continues: I'm over here today--->

Hi all! I'm back on the trail again -- or would that be the ice? Not sure of the correct metaphor right now, but you get what I mean with the title of this entry.

Anyway, please, please, please come visit me over at Laynie King's blog today. I'm answering questions about writing. I hope you'll come visit. You could win a free signed copy of Saving Redwind...:)

Hope to see you over there!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Welcome Author Laynie King!

Today I'm so happy to welcome children's author, Laynie King, to the locker room. I made sure to clean it all up and light a few vanilla scented candles to get rid of the gross smell. that the mood is all set, Laynie, take it away!!
If there was ONE thing you could do differently in your writing career, what would it be?

I would have started earlier and taken myself more seriously.  It took me a long time to realize that some child other than my own might like to read my stories.  Fine-tuning them and publishing on Amazon was a big step for me.  (And I have my husband to thank for a very hearty push in the right direction.)  If I’d taken that step a few years back, I’d have more steps left in front of me!
Between Amazon, CreateSpace, and SmashWords, which (in your opinion) is easier to use?  Which is more successful for you?

I'm published on Amazon Kindle and I'm going to stay with them for the long run.  I've looked seriously at CreateSpace and SmashWords.  I believe at this point, I'm going with SmashWords, as soon as I can take that next big step - formatting.  The learning curve looks pretty steep, but I believe I can do it.  I'm not completely computer illiterate.  (Don't ask my sons about that.)

How do you divide up the hours in a typical day?

I tend to do most of the ‘business’ of writing in the morning.  The sun wakes me up very early…our bedroom windows face east across a canyon to an enormous ranch, and we have no drapes to block the view.  That’s when I check the social networks and do my blog.  Working on the stories themselves happens whenever inspiration strikes.  That’s one advantage of being retired.  I can go to my desk just about any time and work on a new idea.  I do get up in the middle of the night, from time to time, with notebook and pen in hand.  I sit in the library (where the cats are trying unsuccessfully to sleep) and jot down ideas that are keeping me awake.  I try not to do that very often…the sun comes up way too early on those mornings!

Do you have any hobbies...other than writing, that is?

I’ve been knitting since I was nine years old and can’t seem to stop.  Presently I’m knitting blankets that are given to abused children who come through a local service organization. Recently I became interested in Pyrography (wood burning).  I entered a few woodburned projects in the County Fair (doesn’t that sound ‘rural?’) and one of them won a blue ribbon!  I simplified my life; now I’m easily gratified!

My family thinks I should find a hobby that will be a moneymaker…I’ve yet to find that magical hobby!  Seems that the materials and labor are always more cost-intensive than the general public is willing to pay.  Hmm, sounds like being an author, huh?

If I had my life to live over, I’d choose an extremely lucrative career and stick with it long enough to retire early, then start a ‘second life’ with my writing and hobbies. 

Why do you write? 

I tried keeping a journal/diary and found it to be boring.  I’ve always been a liar, although I prefer to be thought of as an embellisher.  My dad would tell me that I had an overactive imagination.  So, I applied my overactive embellishments to life in general and came up with some pretty darn good stories.  Next thing I know…I’m a writer!

Kris, thanks for having me on your blog.  I appreciate being able to tell you about myself and my book series.  Moochie Mockingbird was invented about 20 years ago, when my children were in elementary school.  I wrote a short story that ended up in the school library.  I wish I could have it was awful.  Over the years, I added other stories which were equally bad. After studying writing (and scrapping everything I'd previously written),  I took advantage of the Amazon Kindle phenomenon, and I'm now published, selling, and soon-to-be in print. 

Laynie's children's story, 
Palo Duro Panic 
Moochie Mockingbird Tales: Book Three
is available at Amazon.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, Laynie! We've learned a lot about you. Who knew that she was into wood burning?!?! I think that's pretty A.W.E.S.O.M.E.! I wouldn't be able to do that in my house - those boys would want to try and would probably burn the house down! Kidding aside, what is truly AWESOME is Laynie knitting blankets for abused kids. Kudos to you, Laynie!!

Here's another AWESOME thing: one lucky commenter will win a copy of her story, Palo Duro Panic, Moochie Mockingbird Tales: Book Three. Leave a comment below and you'll be entered. Good luck!

On Wednesday, I'll be hijacking---uh, visiting Laynie's blog. I'm answering questions over there. I promise there won't be any fish eye stories.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rachael Harrie'sThird Writers' Platform-Building Campaign

Over at the FB group, Writers Support 4U!, I saw a post about a really cool online concept about building your online platform. I clicked over to Rachael Harrie's blog and found the page to sign up. But before I signed up, I popped over to this blog post to read more about the campaign, which used to be called a "crusade".

Basically, this is all about networking and learning more about your fellow bloggers. But the best (!!!!) is that there will be blogfests - and you know how much I LOVE blogfests.

So, I'm joining. I can't wait to hang out with fellow MG/YA writers, sharing stories, making cyber-memories, and above all, knowing that I'm not the only MG/YA writer out there.

I dare you to click over and join. Oh, and it's for all writers, not just MGers and YAers.

C' know you want to!

Friday, August 19, 2011

What keeps you going?

I'm not sure if it's the time of year or what, but I've seen a lot of posts about not giving up as a writer.

Either it's the fact that there's been no word from editors/publishers, that the contracts being offered stink because of the state of the industry, or perhaps a slew of rejects were sent out and the writer is feeling the pain. Pk Hrezo had a great post about not giving up, featuring the movie Soul Surfer and it's true story about Bethany Hamilton.

As our agency has been told by our wonderful and fearless leader, Christine Witthohn, summer is a time where editors and publishers have shortened hours and take more vacations. That gives an explanation about why it's taking so long to hear back on submissions. Sort of. The economy is horrible, and editors are either leaving or being let go.

But what about if you've been out on submission and FINALLY hear back - but it's a no?

Even though publishers and book seller see books as business, that's not how writers see them as. Books are our babies and rejection of our little ones hurts us. We feel it's a reflection of us as a person - just as most parents feel the bad behavior of their children is a reflection of them as parents and people.

I wonder if it would be better for writers if their unpublished, on-submission manuscripts could be seen as business tools. Maybe if we looked at it that way, the slowness of the industry or the rejections wouldn't hurt so badly.

Maybe I'm living in a dream world.

What do you think? How do you keep going?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordy Wednesday

As an editor and writer, words are a big deal to me. Kinda goes with the territory. Ever since I was a little kid, words fascinated me. In 4th grade -not to toot my own horn or anything, but just as an example - I could spell antidisestablishmentarianism. I could take the word and chunk it up within seconds. It was weird. Guess I should've known then that I was a writer. Took me a really long time to figure that one out!

Other than that crazy word, there are words that I love. Other than the usual ones that evoke (there's one) a certain sense (peace, love, joy, harmony, hockey <--threw that one in to see if you're paying attention), there are other words that make me feel gooey (another one!) or just sound cool.

Here are a few of my current favorite words:

Are you this crazy about words, or am I all alone here? Wouldn't be the first time! What are you favorite words?

Monday, August 15, 2011

We've got a winner!!!

Thanks to all who commented over at Susan Kaye Quinn's blog. Leslie Rose is the lucky winner! She'll receive a signed copy of Saving Redwind.

Jess also won a copy of Saving Redwind! She was the lucky winner over at Pk Hrezo's blog!

I can't wait to hear what these lovely ladies have to say about my story. :)

My next blog stop will be at Laynie King's site on August 31st. We'll have another giveaway there.

If you can't wait, why not head over to Amazon, B&N, or Createspace to get your print copy? If you prefer an e-edition, you can saunter over to Amazon, B&N, or Smashwords. With the e-edition, you'll be able to download a sample before you plunge into that .99 price. :)

Also, have you heard about Kindlegraph? It's this cool application that allows authors to sign Kindle editions of books. If you have the Kindle edition of Saving Redwind, send me a request here and I'll sign it for you! I'm still trying to figure out book plates for those who have the print version. All of the book plates I've found are all fancy. Guess I need to figure out how to make my own!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Last Chance at Susan Kaye Quinn's Blog

Today (Thursday) is the last day you can comment on my blog post over at Susan's blog. She'll be picking a winner from the comments from this post tomorrow. Be sure to go over and comment for a chance to receive a signed copy of Saving Redwind! Tell all of your friends to stop by. The more the merrier!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Want a signed copy of Saving Redwind?

I'm still over at Susan Kaye Quinn's blog. All week long, in fact. She'll be picking a winner from the comments from this post. Be sure to go over and comment for a chance to receive a signed copy of Saving Redwind! Tell all of your friends to stop by. The more the merrier!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Blogtour Continues - Pk Hrezo's and Susan Kay Quinn's sites

Hi all!
I hope you had a great weekend. I sure had a lot of fun over at Lydia Kang's website. Most everyone was grossed out by the fish eye story. I know I am, and it's been over 20 years since it happened!

Today I'm at the lovely Pk Hrezo's site. If you've been a reader of this blog, you may remember this interview I did with my main character of Saving Redwind, Nick Stevenson. Still, come on over and check it out!

I'm also over at the wonderful Susan Kaye Quinn's blog all week. She had a whole slew of questions for me that were very fun to answer. We're having a giveaway over here for a signed copy of Saving Redwind. Be sure to stop by and leave a comment. We'll pick one lucky winner on Friday.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

5 star reviews for Saving Redwind

I'm pretty geeked. I woke up today to find another 5 star review. What a great day-after-my-birthday present!

If you have a quick second or if you're needing a nudge to buy my book, please check out these reviews. I promise that I didn't pay any of these people! :)

Paperback reviews
Ebook reviews

And, I'm still over at Lydia Kang's website if you didn't get a chance to read my fishy tale!

Friday, August 5, 2011

I've got a fishy story to tell

I've spilled the beans on something I did in college over at Lydia Kang's blog.
Visit me there!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Blog Tour starts tomorrow!

Hey Peeps!
I've been working to set-up a blog tour. It's going well, and I'm still looking for spots - so...if you want me to stop by, let me know!

Here's my schedule so far:
Friday, Aug 5                Lydia Kang
Monday, Aug 8             Pk Hrezo
Monday, Aug 8 - 12     Susan Kaye Quinn
Wednesday, Aug 31      Laynie King
Friday, Sept 9               Gem State Writers
Friday, Sept 16             Heather Cashman
Friday, Sept 23             Chris Eboch

Sometime in December  The Teen Book Scene

I'm hoping to get a few more and will update the links as they come up.

Writing in 3rd Person POV

When writers come to me for edits, most of them are writing in the third person. This is probably the easiest, and most common, point of view used by writers. There are two types of third person pov: limited and omniscient. Most writers use limited, and this discussion will focus mainly on limited.

But for the sake of getting all of our terms defined, take a look at this very simple definition of each:

Omniscient third person pov: sees all and knows all; godlike.

Limited third person pov: is told from ONE character's pov; character perspective can change from scene to scene or chapter to chapter; reader only knows what the pov character sees, hears, and thinks.

Third person pov uses "he, she, it" when referring to the point of view character. Observations only come from the point of view character, including visual, auditory, and mental observations. Like first person, the reader only knows what the third person pov character knows, sees, and hears.

Here's an example of limited third person from my women's fiction manuscript, A Life Unraveled:

"Excuse me? Wha-what did you say? Who died?"

Katie Wilcox wanted to argue with the man. And he wasn't even her husband.

With the phone receiver in one hand and the still processing pregnancy test in the other, Katie thought she would explode with impatience.

"That there's been a death in your family," the unfamiliar voice repeated.

Katie's pacing halted. She'd heard the man correctly.

Above, we know that Katie is our pov character. Everything revolves around what she says, hears, and thinks.We don't know the thoughts or visuals of the caller.

The difference between first and third person pov is that third person point of view can allow several characters to be the point of view character within a chapter as along as the scene changes. You will see highly successful writers use this pov and change the pov character mid-paragraph. Pick up any Nora Roberts book and read the first two chapters. Inevitably the reader will be introduced to the female and male main characters, and the reader will be put into both of their pov's, sometimes within the same paragraph or scene. Newbie writers should not attempt to do this. I truly believe that highly successful writers can get away with writing stunts like that because their publishers/editors know they will sell solely based on their name and not their writing. This is in no way bashing Nora Roberts's writing. I love her, but I know enough that I cannot use the same writing techniques that she uses.

During a writing workshop, the instructor talked about writing in deep pov. That will be the topic of a future post.

Do you write in third person? Do you like to read books written in third person? What's your preference?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Writing in 1st Person POV

At my day job, point of view (pov) is the hardest thing for my authors to grasp. Many of them believe that "head-hopping" (going from one pov to another pov) is acceptable. I admit that there are a multitude of published books that do just this. Pick up any Nora Roberts book and you will see this in action for yourself. Her chapters will start out with, for example, the female character's pov, but a few paragraphs later, the male's pov takes over. She may even shift several more times within the same scene or chapter.

I believe that established writers can get away with this, but that new writers can not.

If you're just starting out, a refresher (or even a first time lesson) about point of view is a good thing to help with your craft.

There are several forms of point of view, but today I'll be concentrating on first person.

I love to write in first person point of view. I really feel like I get into my character's head and become them as the story enfolds. But, interestingly enough, writing experts say that newbie writers should not use first person point of view. It is too confusing, and writers are setting themselves up for failure due to the amount of mistakes that they make.

I say, write what you want - both content and point of view. BUT...make sure you understand pov before embarking on your writing journey. Pov slips happen, and a newbie writer can't allow too many slips, or the reader will know you're a newbie.

A Quick Refresher on First Person Point of View

First person point of view is written from the scene character's (usually the main character) point of view. Everything that is written is what the character sees, hears, says, and thinks. "I" is used primarily.


"Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Mom!" I yelled. "Mom! Come here, quick!"
The sky turned almost black, and the clouds swirled like a storm was about to explode. A brisk breeze whipped around, causing my math homework sheet to take off like a bird. I wanted to sit up and catch it, but I was too afraid to move.
"What the heck is happening?" I whispered aloud. "This isn't right."

Okay, so with the above example (the first part of my story, Saving Redwind) you can see that the character's point of view is used. "I" and "my math homework" show that the writer is using first person point of view.

Here's the deal with first person pov that you MUST remember: the author can only write what the scene character sees, hears, says, or thinks. Unless the scene character is in the room with Uncle Willard, the scene character will not see or hear Uncle Willard scratch his head or burp. It just doesn't work. Also, unless the scene character sees themselves in some sort of reflection, truly the character is not going to realize they are smiling. Check yourself throughout the day; do you realize really when you are smiling? Most of the time you don't. Your character isn't going to notice that either unless they are leering at someone.

What about blushing? In first person, many writers describe the feeling of blushing to get around this, because once again, do we see ourselves blushing? No. We feel it, and that's what a writer needs to describe when having their first person pov character blush.

Like I said, I love writing in first person pov. But my first manuscript that I wrote was written in third person, not first person. We'll discuss third person next time I do writing basics.

What about you? Which pov do you write in? Which pov did you like to read?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Kris Yankee - The Independent Author Network

Kris Yankee - The Independent Author Network

So much to do, so little time

I wanted to pop in here to let you know that I'm busily working on my blog tour. But I also wanted to let you know that you can find me at the Independent Authors Network now. Please check out my page - I think it looks really cool! You can find it here. Let me know what you think.

Also, I've gotten another great review on Amazon. You'll find it here.

Last but not least, my BookCents mate, Kari Lee Townsend, has her new book launching today. Tempest in the Tea Leaves looks like a great read. Mine downloaded to my Kindle app this morning, and I can't wait to start reading it.