FALL INTO GREAT READS TOUR HAS ENDED

I hope you were able to attend one or more of the 31 days of the FALL INTO GREAT READS TOUR. We had lots of fun. I missed a few days myself due to a work conference I had to attend three days this week. But if you missed it, you can still check out the posts at A Word With Traci blog. Just click on the Authors Already Featured where Traci has graciously offered links to the posts. I actually lost count of all the prizes and books I won, but plan to list everything here now as I go back and check through the blog.

And my winnings were:
I won a $15 Amazon Gift Card from Jennifer Hinsman, a 1 year subscription on Jacquie Lawson e-cards from Harmony Kent, 3 autographed print books (I’VE LOVED THESE DAYS by Bethany Turner, RIDDLE by Elizabeth Horton-Newton, & DANCE OF THE LIGHTS by Stephen Geez), and 9 e-books (Amazing Matilda by Bette Stevens, Una Familia & Learning to Fly in the Breaking Free series by Annie Hughes, UNBIND by Sarah Michelle Lynch, EMBER SKIES by Nicky Crawford. JUST TRY by Lisa S. Robinson, I, HERO – NATHAN RETURNS by Jason Zandri, SLICES OF SOUL by Haromony Kent, DANGLED CARAT by Hilary Grossman, and HE’S CAPTURED MY HEART by Karen Frances).

Wow! Did I rack up or what? Some of these wonderful authors gave everyone who commented an e-book. So many gracious and generous authors were guests on this tour. Did I say it was fantabulous? No? Well that’s exactly what it was. I was thinking the other day that we should do something like this in December. We’ll see.

Here is a recap of all the guest authors to Traci’s tour in a wonderful video:

Congratulations to all the winners of the blog tour, and thank you to all of the participating authors for introducing wonderful books, interviews, book trailers, etc., and thank you to Traci Sanders for the GREAT job she did putting it together and making it SO simple for all the authors who participated.

31 DAYS!

The Writer’s Journey – Guest, Robin Leigh Morgan

My next guest for THE WRITER’S JOURNEY is ROBIN LEIGH MORGAN.
Welcome and Thank you, Robin, for sharing your journey with us.

CHANGING GENRES

Some of us who have chosen to write fiction come from a variety of places. And by “a variety of places,” I’m not referring to a physical location; I’m referring to our writing experiences.

There are some of us who have enjoyed writing since we were children, and each year, by writing something in school, it improved. For some of us, it continued until we graduated college and began working. Some of us entered the work force taking jobs, which required us to write, whether it was procedures, handbooks/manuals, or news stories. But all of these are non-fiction, and each one has a set of “rules” that need to be followed to write something well enough to be acceptable.

As for myself, while my regular job did not require me to write, for eleven years I wrote articles [commentaries/viewpoints] of what was happening in my community and my feelings about it. When I started to write these items, my writing skills were not honed. I didn’t have my ideas organized in a tight manner, although my writing had been informative. By the time I’d written my last item, I’d become quite adept at it.

When I started to write fiction, I somehow drifted to writing a contemporary romance story with a paranormal element running through the storyline, but after almost 9 years I still hadn’t completed it. That is, until someone suggested I should write for a much younger audience, which is what I did, cumulating in my first YA Paranormal/Time Travel/First Kiss romance novel entitled I Kissed a Ghost.

Anyway, making the transition from non-fiction to fiction, I’ve had to learn a new set of rules on how to write. Most of these involved dialogue, showing not telling, where before I just told. I now had to learn about the use of tags. I had to learn not to be overly descriptive of something, but allow my reader to create the image for themselves in their minds. In the beginning I found it hard to break my old writing habits. Now I’m finding myself with these habits essentially gone. The biggest issue I still have and am trying to get a good handle on, is POV [Point of View]. Regardless of what’s happening or being said it has to be in one character’s perspective, and you can’t flip-flop between two characters within a scene. There needs to be a transition from one character to another.

All these things have helped me mold myself into the author I’m today. I’ve also learned there are additional rules within a genre, depending on the sub-genre you’ve decided to write in. These rules apply to the dialogue spoken, which needs to be true to the time period you’re writing in, as well as how your characters are dressed, and their titles, if any, as is the case with the regencies sub-genre of romance novels.

So as you can see, writing is not merely a string of words you put together. There are rules that need to be followed if you’re to be well received by your readers. And not wanting to pegged to only one genre I decided to expanded my reach.

For about two years, starting in January 2013, I wrote a Five Sentence Flash Fiction in response to the prompt word given by Lillie McFerrin her website:  http://www.lilliemcferrin.com. And on December 2, 2014, I published my second book, “Micro Fiction – An Anthology,” which is a collection of 100 hundred of these flash fictions I’ve posted on my blogs and others which I responded to only in the book. In the editing process some of these items increased in the number of sentences they contain, and with the longest of these containing less than 390 words. The collection contains various genres.

Here’s the link to check out my two books:
http://www.amazon.com/Robin-Leigh-Morgan/e/B00BWXT4VU

kissedGhostWhile I’ve had quite a lot of personal and family distractions this year, I’m still in the midst of several writing endeavors. I’m writing an adult Contemporary romance, with a working title of “His Darkest Secret.” The story has a paranormal element running through parts of the storyline. I’m also writing a YA Urban Fantasy entitled “The Secret of the Well,” which is a stand-alone sequel to “I Kissed a Ghost.”

Wanting to increase my knowledge of writing I decided to become a serious Book Reviewer at the end of August/beginning of September so I can be exposed to different genres and styles of writing with each genre. As of October 6, 2015, I’ve read/reviewed a total of 189 books on Amazon. I apparently have become quite good at writing reviews since my Amazon approval rating is fluctuating between 95% and my Amazon Reviewer Ranking as of this date is 6,408. And I can’t tell you how much more about writing I’ve already learned about writing simply by reading other authors. I also post my reviews on GoodReads, LibraryThing, Shelfar, and my two blog sites.

PLEASE NOTE: I DO NOT accept requests to do reviews, all the reviews I do I’ve either won through the countless giveaways I enter for books I’m interested in reading, or those I choose myself to read.  If you looking for your next book to read, you’re invited to check out my Amazon profile where I’ve got over 190 reviews from a wide variety of genres: https://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/A19QLCLVPLZH0B.

The best place to go to learn more about me, my writing and my links is to go to: http://www.about.me/rlmorgan51 If you would like to interview me or have me post this on your blog, please contact me through one of my links listed here.

 

The Writer’s Journey – Guest, Shirley Harris-Slaughter

My next guest for THE WRITER’S JOURNEY is SHIRLEY HARRIS-SLAUGHTER. Photo2Welcome and Thank you, Shirley, for sharing your journey to publishing.

Kim it is a pleasure to be invited to your Writer’s Journey Blog. Thank you so much for your hospitality.

My Pen Name is Shirley Harris-Slaughter. My writing started in the year 2002 with a nagging dream of preserving our historical presence in the Catholic Church.  Here is my story.

I am the author of the book:  “Our Lady of Victory – The Saga of an African-American Catholic Community.”  This book evolved out of years of frustration at the total disregard and lack of respect for the contributions of Slaughter CoverImageBlack Catholics in the city of Detroit.  “We are not mentioned in the pages of history along with the other Catholic churches that sprung up during the World War II era, and that needed to be corrected.  You couldn’t even go on the web and find anything about this historic black Church.  So my mission began — fill this void!

My love of history and an interest in old buildings is what drives me on this mission.  My thesis in College was about saving the Michigan Central Depot, an old train station in downtown Detroit. An opportunity arose to attend a conference sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and while there I learned that I was a Preservationist.  Such a novel word. I never would have thought of it on my own.

The book was published in 2007 and launched with a book event held at my merged church: Presentation-Our Lady of Victory and was the most successful book event I would ever do. I published with iUniverse initially, but moved away from them in 2014 when I republished under Createspace and had a Facebook Re-Launch Party sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.

Iuniverse worked for me in the beginning but over time, they were not giving me much for the huge sums of money they were getting from me. And they showed little respect for me as an Indie Author. They were to my horror a “vanity press.” Had they revealed themselves as such early on, I never would have went with them. I have to admit they did do a very professional job of editing and publishing my book. I got plenty of compliments on so I was very pleased with their work. But it all went downhill after that.

Createspace doesn’t do too much better. You are basically on your own with them or be prepared to pay huge amounts of money if you allow them to do it. The only thing going for them is their sister arm Amazaon. That’s it!

What I’ve learned from the publishing experience is knowing how to do your own formatting preparation and graphics for paperbacks and ebooks. And learn to do it correctly. Then you can control every aspect of your book publishing and not have to pay huge amounts of money just to hire someone else to do it. Smashwords is a good place to start. You can hire a freelance if you can’t do it yourself.

My second book is a perfect example of doing things yourself. Book title is CRAZY! HOT! AND LIVING ON THE EDGE!!Crazy!_Hot!_And_Livi_Cover_for_Kindle I had to hire an editor because I needed one desperately. So I found someone locally who used to publish for a local magazine here in my town and it worked out well. She helped me to develop my story and she did editing. My only problem with her was that she was not using up to date technology for editing like what I got from iUniverse. She was doing it the old fashioned way (cut and paste literally). Thank Goodness she knew what she was doing, because I was sort of lost. By following her instructions to the letter, we got through it and I would recommend her again. Her company is called Esteem Multimedia. The proof was what my readers thought of the book.

I hired an artist friend to do my bookcover design and it turned out fabulously and at minimum cost. You have to get creative in getting your book published and that’s what I learned.

Lastly, I had to hire an old friend to help me format the manuscript and then I went to Createspace to publish.

WHERE TO BUY:

Our Lady of Victory – The Saga of an African-American Catholic Community
CRAZY! HOT! AND LIVING ON THE EDGE!!

WELCOME GWENDOLYN M. PLANO – SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR!

Shirley Harris-Slaughter

Gwen I’m really glad to have you as we have a thing or two in common. It has been a pleasure getting to know you and I am so grateful to have your support. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce you to my followers. Everyone please give Gwen a great big welcome by leaving a comment and supporting her on this fabulous Spotlight Tour.

book cover re Amazon

There is a reason writers write. For some of us, there is a message lodged in our heart that longs for expression. In my case, I wanted to share my journey in the hope that others might better understand their own.
When I began writing my book, I expected to simply tell my story. As the pages unfolded though, I realized that my story was everyone’s story. The details of my journey are unique to me of course, but the emotions accompanying those…

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