Birthing a new book…or an ugly monkey?

 

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Well here we go, people of Earth! It’s launch day for the first book in four book series! Am I excited? Yes! Scared? You betcha! Launching a new book is like having a baby. You hope everyone will say, “Amazing! Spectacular! Look at those ear lobes!” At the same time, you worry that people will say, “Oh man. That baby is just plain ugly, a real wrinkly faced monkey!” Yep, it takes a thick skin to be in this business, let me tell you. It also takes a lot of time. Launch day is the culmination of countless hours of writing, but also booking time on people’s blogs, soliciting reviews, planning posts on various social media channels and creating memes, among other things.

Speaking of hours…I’ve got like a bajillion contests going on to celebrate this book/monkey launch. Here are links to a few, and I also host a giveaway on my YouTube channel and occasionally on Instagram (dana_Mentink) as well as one on Goodreads.

Celebrate Lit Tour and Giveaway

 

Booksweeps 25 Author Giveaway

 

 

 

Dear sobbing writers,

Yep, I know you’ve slaved over that manuscript and it was torture to pry it out of your hands and hand it over to your trusted first line readers. Uh huh, I get it that you love your hero and you have sweated over the sagging middle and written an ending that makes you tear up every time you read it. No one, but no one, will treat those lovely pages as tenderly as you have. Believe me, I understand, but it’s time, people. It’s time to face the music and listen to what your trusted peeps are going to tell you. I know it hurts, believe me, even after thirty-five books it still hurts, but it has to be done. You wouldn’t send up a plane without a test flight would you? Serve that new tofu recipe to your mother-in-law until you’ve tried it out first? So chin up, best pencil forward and let’s do this. Check out the video because I’m doing it to. We shall cry together! Onward!

P.S. If you know a fellow writer type, feel free to share this video. We’re in this together, peeps!

 

Dear writers who kill dogs…

Dear Writers Who Kill Off  Dogs;

Not to be overly regulatory, but I believe if you are going to kill off a dog in a novel, you should have to put a little warning label on the cover. Readers are sensitive about many things, but there is nothing that gets down in their cockles like the mistreatment of animals. I know. In my first cozy series I committed the sin of wounding a bird in book one. The bird was damaged mind you, not killed. Though I diligently explained the bird’s road to recovery, I got more mail about that than the murdered characters. People love their animals in illogical ways, most of all, their dogs. Why is this? Perhaps it’s the fact that dogs have no voice and they are the epitome of unconditional love. I am not sure, but what I do know is if I’m writing a book about dogs, they’re going to live, by gum. If I’m reading a book with a dog as a character, I jolly well expect Fido to survive. Irrational? Yes. Unrealistic? Maybe, but it’s a deal breaker for me. If that critter dies in chapter five, I’m out, and I don’t care how riveting the plot.

So there you go. Am I alone in this? How do you feel out there writers and readers of planet Earth? Can you handle dead dogs in your novels? 

Info about Dana’s book Sit, Stay, Love

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Writing a synopsis…the ugliest baking you’ll ever do!

Yeah. There are fun parts to writing…the plotting, the moment when you get that INCREDIBLE IDEA, the research, getting a peek at the new bookcover. Then there are those moments which are just about as much fun as crawling through thorn bushes in your birthday suit. The most wretched task for this writer is whipping up that synopsis. This is a process by which you take an amazing idea, strip it of all the art and charm and whap it out there in all its ugly horror for your editor. Oh, and you have to do this while somehow showing you are a master of your craft. Sigh. Here’s a video to describe the process.

So what part of your job or chore list would you be happy never tackling again? Do tell!

Dear Angry Social Media People

 

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Dear Angry Social Media Venters;

We certainly live in a great age, don’t we? From any device, anywhere, we have the freedom to speak our minds and beam our seat-of-the-pants thoughts out into the cyber world. So quick, so easy, and the cost to ourselves? Nada! It’s intoxicating the unbridled power, is it not? It’s like being able to eat the entire chocolate cake and fancy frosting rosettes without gaining an ounce! Shivers!

However, when I am in the middle of dashing off that hostile comment (Giants, you’re SERIOUSLY killing me this season), or a review (I mean is that REALLY how Gone Girl was supposed to end????) this little voice in my head says, “Just because you CAN say it, doesn’t mean you should.” Well why not? Chocolate cake, as we discussed before, and no weight gain! I mean…

But…my little voice reminds me as I finger the ‘submit’ button for my scathing sports remark (Giants, seriously, torture baseball again?), that there is always a cost to angry words. Could it be that the other sports fans have feelings, even DODGERS fans? Could these players that are disappointing me actually have families, fathers, children? Might it be that an author READS their reviews of the books they sweated blood and tears over, even NY Times bestselling authors? (Surely they lost any kind of feelings once they hit that level, right?)

Bottom line, my words can fan anger into more anger, can make me feel powerful in the venting of it, but at the same time, cost me something at the soul level,  in the diminishing of another to encourage myself. I think, for this moment, I will hit the delete button instead.

Blog readers…what do you think we can do to harness the incredible power of social media to encourage instead of discourage? 

A thank you note to Ms. Rowling

 

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Dear Ms. Rowling,

Every once in a while there’s a person who elevates your whole profession. Jerry Jenkins did that for Christian Fiction. You, Ms. Rowling, did that for the entire fiction industry. On the 20th birthday of your Harry Potter series, it seemed fitting to thank you. Though I will never even approach your level of genius, I slog away within the little box of my genre. You, Ms. Rowling, wrote your fantastical series without regard for labels or genres. Perhaps that is why yours is the only book series I’ve ever encountered that enchants kids and their parents. Your series put the match to the reading flame again, reminding folks that an exceptional book can cross lines of age, race, geography, etc. And to think, Ms. Rowling, you produced your first Harry Potter novels without the obligatory Facebook following, Instagram horde, or even a You Tube channel. You unleashed your book on the world without so much as a hint of the crucial writer’s platform. You transported us with your words, your worlds and sent both old and new readers scrambling to pull up a chair and tuck into your stories. Thank you for changing the world of fiction, Ms. Rowling. We owe you a debt of gratitude.

Sincerely,

Dana Mentink

P.S. Blog readers, why do you think Ms. Rowling’s books captured the world’s attention?

Horrors! The dreaded synopsis!

The Unsavory Side of Writing…the dreaded synopsis!

A quick one minute exploration of the yucky parts of writing.  My views on the scary synopsis!!!! Take a look. 🙂 image