Posts Tagged ‘fiction writing’

Writing a novel is like square dancing…with chickens.

Easy, right? A novel is just a matter of making things up. How hard can it be? A little action, a hefty dose of romance, some snappy dialogue? Presto you have a novel….unless everything spins out of control somewhere in those last 20,000 words! Take a look at the video and see what you think.

To your corners, chickens! It’s time to write a novel

EF91D2E3-933C-4BAA-9594-291330240C7C

 

Info about Dana’s latest series

Author tip: top three ways to annoy people…

 

pexels-photo-958164.jpegYep, I worked real hard to land that first publishing contract and boy howdy, it wasn’t a piece of cake to land the other thirty plus either. Writing professionally is difficult and we authors have an obligation to trot our names, awards and five star reviews out into the world to encourage people to BUY OUR BOOKS, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. Writing books goes hand in hand with selling them, and if one is to continue in this biz, tooting our author horns is vital. But here’s the thing…it’s really important to keep the priorities clear when one is in this nutty business. In order that my head does not begin to put too much stock in my press releases, I remind myself that, at the end of the day, people will not remember my cover, my book, and my reviews no matter how many stars are attached. It’s not false modesty, it’s fact. Each year more than a million books are published,  so my meticulously crafted words are buried in an avalanche of plenty of other fancy syllables from a bazillion other wordsmiths a lot more talented than I. (#noraroberts, #irenehannon, #geronimostilton)

So now that I’ve eaten that slice of humble pie, let me just wrap my mind around three sure fire practices that might just annoy the beejeebers out of my friends. (Pay attention, Dana. You don’t have that many friends to spare.)

1. Make sure you bring up your fancy author career in every conversation. Yep, it’s sure as shooting that everyone you encounter wants to hear all about your wacky fiction writing accomplishments. Maybe you could have a tee shirt made…. “I’m An Author, Legend in My Own Mind.”

2. Be sure to promote yourself NONSTOP on all social media platforms. Don’t talk about anything else, or people might get distracted. (I’ve been told I should have at least 30,000 Twitter followers. Only 28,000 to go! Must remember to beef up tweeting schedule to fifty three times a day.)

3. Never stray outside your “writing brand persona.” You’re a suspense writer so ALL of your social media channels should reflect this. (Brace yourself, people of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. I am prepared to deluge you with every kind of intense, edge of your seat promotion. Repeatedly. Over and over. Until your brain memorizes the name Dana- Buy-My-Books-Mentink. (No humor or warm fuzzy sentiments allowed, people. It’s all deadly serious business.)

All kidding aside, people, I know that the reality is I need to self promote in person and on social media, but that’s my business, my real work is encouraging people. I will never forget during my student teacher days, assisting a sobbing kiddo who dropped her special belt into the toilet. Did I stick my hand in there and fish it out? Yuppers. Was that important work? Absolutely. At the end of the day, nothing I ever write will probably mean as much as fishing a belt out of the toilet for a distraught child.

I hope I never forget that lesson.

image

Info about Dana’s newest suspense novel

In which I must leave people drowning because it’s Thursday.

 

IMG_1985

Sure, I’d love to have Nora Robert’s schedule and write full time, but let’s face it…I’m no Nora Roberts! I’m just a hard working, suburbanite mom trying to raise two kids and keep up with the cost of living in Northern California! I actually have two jobs which makes me kinda crazy sometimes. Witness my angst as I leave my fictional world in a shambles while I maintain order in elementary school land! Do you feel me, hardworking writers out there? Or really, anyone who is trying to hold down two jobs?

Just tread water, why don’t you?

 

Seriously…I have the BEST idea to change the face of books forever!

 

image

 

Okay editors of Earth. I know you, like me, absolutely adore words. Oh sure you have to insist on pesky word counts and such in order not to produce a volume too heavy for the average sized human to heft. I gotcha. And I know I probably aggravated the beejeebers out of you by submitting that last manuscript with a couple thousand words too many, but listen! I have the BEST idea! I mean this is gonna shake up the writing world more than the invention of the ebook. Ready? Take a peek at the video. You can thank me at your leisure. I’ll wait right here by the phone.

Click. You’ll love it. Promise.

 

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!

Test your Nutcracker trivia knowledge! Quiz time!

20131214-081005.jpg

 

Yes, I know it’s only October, but it’s never too early to test your Nutcracker trivia savvy! See how many of these answers you know.

http://authorangelahayes.blogspot.com/?zx=ab6d8281c7704d01

Author throwdown…weird animals,and embarassing junk food choices.

 

image

Hey, all. So thrilled to be discussing the nutty world of fiction writing with fellow Harvest House author Virginia Smith! Take a look at our rockstar YouTube video. Like or comment on the  video for a chance to win one of our books. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to enter the August prize pack giveaway. God bless!

 

Research field trips? Who needs ’em?

 

Why bother going on a fiction writing research field trip anyway? In today’s techno world, you can sniff out any detail on the Internet, everything from facts to pictures to interviews, so why  venture out? For me, it’s the smell of a place, the pace of life and the  seemingly unimportant details that jump out to me that make the trip worthwhile. For instance, on the last research adventure to California’s Gold Country, we arrived at the end of summer and the rolling hills were covered by dry, golden grass. It has a certain smell, in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening as the ground cools down. That smell is important and it will help add descriptive dimension and give my novel an authentic feel, I hope. Below is a quick clip from a recent research trip. We’re doing a little August prize pack contest for those who subscribe to my YouTube channel. (A gift tote and books/or an Amazon ecard for those outside the U.S.) 

Have you read a book recently that made you feel like you were there in the fictional setting? Do share! 

On dogs, writing… and dessert!

 

Hey, all. Starting a new little feature here. Take a look and see what you think. Got a little August contest going for some nifty loot! :

Why not write on Sundays?

 

 

image

Hello, all. I’ve been chit chatting about the writing biz a lot lately and one of the questions that always comes up is, “How do you balance two jobs, family, church, etc?” Everyone has the old balancing problem to solve, don’t they? We only have so much time in the day, right? I made the choice early on in my writing career not to write on Sundays, but perhaps not for the reasons you might think. I don’t write on Sundays because….

1. Writing is a blessing that can easily become an obsession. I have a passion to write that can become a monster, if I let it. Since my writing is also a business, that makes the tendency to obsess even greater. Three books a year, short stories, online presence, writing one book while creating a proposal for the next, the endless promotional efforts, all those things are requirements which can fill up the available hours if I let them. Sunday is the day I let those demands fall away, and come up for a much needed breath.

2. Writing does not belong in the center of my wheel.  I never really stop writing. Even when I am not sitting at a keyboard I can’t really shut my mind off. I’m inventing scenes, rolling through dialogue, wondering what would happen if so and so said this instead of that, constantly asking “what would happen if…?” It’s good and bad, believe me. I have an attention deficit, so I can appear to be completely engaged in a conversation when my mind is sometwhere else entirely. I will not go into how many problems that has caused! My decision not to write on Sundays is my effort to refocus on the important things, God, my family, church, pen pal letters, all the rich blessings God has showered down on me. God blessed me with the ability/opportunity to write, but He belongs in the center of the wheel.

Do you do something special on Sunday that refreshes your spirit? I would love to hear about it! 

image

All that stands between Stephanie Pink and her dream is 100 pounds of trouble!

Fetching Sweetness, available now!