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Friday, September 23, 2016

The Longest Night Watch Volume 2. A Charity Anthology Dedicated to Alzheimers Research! ...and I'm in it!

Dear Friends.

The numbers are pretty frightening.   Worldwide nearly 44 million people have Alzheimer's or a related dementia. ( Alzheimer's Disease International) Only 1-in-4 people with Alzheimer's disease have been diagnosed.
 
And in the US that number is 5.4 million Americans

So what can we do to help?  

On March 12th, 2015, the writing world lost one of its greatest contemporary heroes - Sir Terrence "Terry" Pratchett. To honor his life, a group of writers published an anthology of stories that showcased his influence on their writing, and which also helped bring awareness of the disease that contributed to his end, Alzheimer's Disease.

It was a success, and the group--now known as "The Longest Night Watch" Volume 1--went on to enter a writing competition, where they came in second by fractions of a point. The submissions from that writing competition are in this volume, along with original short stories and poems from many of the contributors to the first volume, and a slew of new authors. Contributors to this volume are: Amanda Parker Adams, Andrew Barber, AR Harlow, Becca Bachlott, Brittany Tucker, Carol Gyzander, Cayleigh Stickler, D.R. Perry, Debbie Manber Kupfer, Fiona Teh, Georgette Frey, Janet Gershen-Siegel, Jennifer Stibbards, Joshua L. Cejka, Kate Post, Katelyn Scarlett, L. Anne Wooley, Michael J. Medeiros, Michael Walton, R.R. Virdi, Ryn Richmond, Skye Hegyes, Thomas E. Harper, Trine Jensegg, Virginia Carraway Stark and the team of The Longest Night Watch.

A few weeks ago, we also lost Gene Wilder to this dreadful disease.  But chances are there is someone closer that has it, or you know someone who does.  For me, this was my aunt.  She was only in her 50's when she died from it in the 1970s and she was the 3rd of 4 children, my dad being 4.   They didn't know a whole lot about it back then, but even with the huge strides that have been made, there is still a long way to go.  

I am announcing the release of the second volume of this wonderful collection of stories.  I'm very proud to be part of this effort, and to let you know that it is available right now, for presale.  The release date is October 20, 2016.  It will be available for paperback later, right now the release is only for the kindle. 

What's that?  You don't have a Kindle?   Well, never fear, there is a free app/program available through Amazon that you can have on your phone or PC.  Called Kindle for PC.   I have it along with my Kindle Touch, and Kindle Fire.  I also had it on my iPhone (though I no longer have that).  

 This is what you search for on the Kindle Store.  "kindle for pc free download windows 10."  They also have various platforms for this.  

So now for the link to the presale for the Anthology!  Please pass this on!  Thank you so much!



The Longest Night Watch, Volume 2: A Charity Anthology for the Alzheimer's Association by [Barber,Andrew, Virdi,R.R., Perry,D.R., Gershen-Siegel,Janet, Cejka,Joshua L., Gyzander,Carol, Harlow,A.R., Richmond,Ryn, Parker Adams,Amanda]

Monday, August 1, 2016

Putting Out Your Writers Brand (Marketing Series #1)

The first of a series is always fun, and terrifying.  We always hope that our readers will find our words encouraging and inspirational.  This is not really about that per se...but about Marketing Tips.  Some of which you will find educational, and you will find use for; some of it you may choose not to use.

So with that in mind, I'll try to keep things as least complicated and helpful to more people.

With the advent of social media (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc), there are many different platforms to reach readers than ever before.  And these are very easy platforms to get into.   I'll start with FB cause that is arguably the most recognizable.

With FB you can do multiple things.


  • Create a fan page.  This is like a profile for your single book, or series.  Or can be a general author page.  This is where you can share your trials as a writer, let folks know where you will be, notify folks of any releases.  Also can be used to show your personal side (though I recommend that you leave your page mostly for the business side, and use a professional demeanor).  
  • You can also create events from your fan page.  Book Releases, or cover reveals (which I hosted an hour of such an event tonight), can increase your reach.  
  • FB writing groups; there are many that I belong to (and some that I am an admin in).  Joining this kind of group, helping answer questions from other writers, encouraging the others, can also build your brand to your peers.  You need peers to help be your "Street team."  
Here is what mine looks like.  https://www.facebook.com/LAnneWooleyAuthor





The next I will discuss is Twitter.  I'll personally vouch that it has it's own good aspects....but if you are like me, it's hard to follow what is going on there.  I prefer FB quite frankly, because it's hard to keep following the news feed part.  I get freaked out by having 200 plus tweets (the more followers you have and more people etc you follow, can really increase those numbers quickly.  But that is also the beauty of it, you reach so much more people).  But your brand, or information can get buried pretty quickly too.

But it is so cool connecting with people you admire much easier.  You can also reach more by retweeting things and people that retweet your tweets (posts for those who do not know the lingo), are worth their weight in gold!

Also, by tweeting, you can set it up so that your tweets go to your FB account as well.  Though try to remember if you do that....that can be both blessing and curse.  Which leads me to point out, you never know who will see your tweets/posts, so you really shouldn't bitch about someone, they may see it and all heck breaks loose.

Instagram, DeviantArt, and the others are ones I really don't know much about.  But worth mentioning is Good Reads.  I like the page set up, and the fact that you can also recommend books by others.  

But what can also build your reputation as a writer?   Reviews of others books.  Reviews are authors lifes blood.  This can help in sales quite a bit.  Helps build your own brand too.  

Whichever platform you use, by learning how to use them, and stick to using them (try to post frequently, yes, I am bad at this), can be exponentially important to your career.   

The last thing I will mention is using proper spelling, punctuation and grammar.  There is nothing worse than those things.  That is the sign of a professional, and also the ability to make your words understandable.  To make your story (or your posts) reachable.  You may be able to get away with one or two errors, but if there are more, people are not going to want to read your books or anything else for that matter.   So putting your best foot forward is really important.

Next column will be on hosting someone else's event, and tips on what to do when you are working one.  Until next time,

Happy Writing.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Memorial Day

Monday is Memorial Day in the US.  It's a day to remember those who have died while serving our country.  And those whom have died.  Too many forget that, too many use it as a day off from work.  Treating it like the first day of summer, the time when public pools open.  I remember as a kid that we had parades with vets marching, the day when we would fly our flag.  The day when we would remember those who died fighting for our country.

This year, I remember and honor my father Dwight I. Wooley, who served in the US Navy during the Korean Conflict.  And also my mother, Elberta Call Wooley.  Also my aunt's Kathleen Kitchen, Anna Margaret Ruhland, Vera Wooley Beck, Roberta Wooley Wharton, and uncles Marion Beck, and Thurman Wooley (and his wife Aunt Jenny).  My grandparents, Burton Call, (whom passed before I was born, his wife my grandmother Lorna Brooke.  My grandpa Clarence J. Wooley and Gradma Edith Wooley on my dads side.

I honor all the vets who have serviced our country, and honor their families who paid in the lives of their loved ones.


Monday, April 25, 2016

JUST REACHED MY 100TH BLOG POST! WOO HOO!

That is all :)   

No, it's not all lol.... but it's means a LOT that my readers have stuck by me.  Thank you all so much for your support.  Writers do not live in a vacuum, and we love hearing from our fans and our supporters.  

I'll post something very soon in celebration.  


Stay tuned :) 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

DAMNING UP YOUR WRITING FLOW

The most important part of story telling, in my not quite so humble opinion, is that story telling should be organic.  It should flow from one scene to the other, and not come to a screeching halt.  Making your readers have to reread portions to follow the story, or damning it up, is never a good idea.

A couple of published novels I've read (one which I did a review on this blog see http://velvetdelenn.blogspot.com/2015/01/book-review-noru-blue-rose-noru-series.html), had many issues, the most important was data dumping.

Image result for data dumping


Data dumping is giving every little detail about a character, and their background given to us all at once.  In Noru Blue Rose, the writer let a major character basically hang over a ledge while she described every other character that came in right after they were introduced in the scene.  Down to their designer clothes.  I felt as bad for the character who was quite literally dangling for like 5 pages while the author did this. I almost  had to restrain myself physically from reaching through the computer and smacking her.  That or facepalm repeatedly.

The sad part was this happened more than once.  When she changed to another character POV after being with the one pretty much all throughout the book, that's when I also had a problem. Note: If you do this, please do it throughout the story.  If at all.  BUT The final nail for me (as if there weren't many others that I had to choose from) was the *Over 18* section...in a young adult novel... like that is going to stop them from reading... but I digress.

The other thing that really stops flow, is repetition.  Words or phrases being repeated multiple times.  In the one I'm reading right now, this one word is repeated 5 times in just one paragraph.  Repetition can be effective in some circumstances, but words should really be used sparingly.

The two examples that I've used above, should never have been  published in that form.  In the dog eat dog world of publishing (be it online, independent, and/or traditional), you have to put your best foot forward.  Professionalism is key; by putting out work that looks like it is almost a first draft, (or even a first draft), is ill advised.

I suggest that you first polish your work, then you need to have what are called Beta readers (if possible).  Ones who are not relatives or friends (unless they are willing to objectively look at your work and whom don't  just say, "It's great, I love it.") are best.  While this is good ego boost, it doesn't help with the story.  You need someone who is willing to give an unbiased opinion on what they felt did not work for them, where you could improve something, or merely make a suggestion.   A writers group, or an online writers group (i,e. on Facebook), is the best way to go to.  

If you are like me, I have a vision of how I want the story to be, that I want to have it match as closely as I can.  But sometimes, that just doesn't work.  Which is where a Beta Reader comes in.  See my blog re: Beta Reading.  Actually it is on Critiquing, but the same rules apply when I ask for a Beta reader.  http://velvetdelenn.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-etiquette-of-critique-or-critique.html

After you get the critique/beta read back, then take the time to go over the suggestions.  I always say, if someone is saying something about my work, I haven't done my job as a writer.

Also having someone beta for you, helps because you never know what you might miss, we don't look at our own work critically enough.  Case in point.  I gave my prologue to a writer friend, it had been polished and rewritten 19 times (at least).  And I still missed one thing..."What happened to the rain?"  I felt really stupid, but as I thought about it, I felt better as that was the only thing she found wrong.

To recap:


  • A good story can be ruined by using the flaws as outlined above.
  • You always need to put your best foot forward.
  • #professionalismiskey

(Because this needs to be a thing) 

Image result for data dumping

Sunday, March 27, 2016

What next? A Look into what you should do after finishing (editing) a novel/story

SO YOU’VE WRITTEN A NOVEL...WHAT’S NEXT?
By, Seek, Write, Earn

After you have polished it to high sheen, you should submit to an editor and/or Beta readers (these are folks who read your work for you, to let you know if there are any snags, readability, any glaring errors)  This should be done before you start the next step.  If you have already done this GREAT, you are ready for the next step.

Two Options:

Independent Publishing, this is where you do ALL the legwork.  It is not for everyone, but if you master the steps, then you can do well with it.  I won’t go into the steps on how to do this, because quite frankly, I have not done this yet.

I will say, this is where you format your manuscript to upload to booksellers like Amazon, CreateSpace, Lulu, and various other formats.  

You would also do all the marketing (release parties, bling, interviews etc.)  You will also be able to have control over publishing electronically and/or print copies.

Second Option.  Traditional Publishing.  

This is where you submit  your manuscript (actually basically a query letter with 1 or 2 chapters, depending on what publisher you send it to).  A lot of publishers will only accept submissions of “Agented work.”   This is where you get an agent first.  There are those who do accept unagented work, but having an agent can be a blessing.  

When you want to go the Traditional route, you need to write a query letter, and have sample chapters ready.  A Query is basically a brief (one page if possible), letter of introduction; basically an introduction to yourself and the story.  Basically a brief synopsis will do.  Then you add a bio (including previous publishing credits).  

HOWEVER:  BEFORE YOU SEND TO ANY PUBLISHER!!!

You must read the publisher’s (submission or writers) guidelines thoroughly.  If you do not follow them, this is pretty much the kiss of death.  A lot of publisher’s take that as a sign of an amateur, and being unprofessional. It’s very important to pay attention to these details.  It can me the difference from the slush/trash pile to publication.


Google “Query Letters” for some good examples of those.  Remember, you only have one chance to make a good impression!

The last thing with publishing traditionally, most publishers may not accept what are called “Simultaneous submissions.”   This is sending it to more than one publisher at a time.  Most do not allow this, so if you do find one who does, you should make sure that you tell them in your query that you have submitted it elsewhere.  Then if you do hear from the one, and they reject it, you are good to go if the 2nd accepts it.  If the first does accept, you must notify the other that the first has accepted it.  You basically tell them that you are withdrawing it from submission.  

Finding Resources and Opportunities.

There are a couple that I recommend.  

  • Writer’s Market “yearly”  this one is put out by Writers Digest Books.  It’s a yearly compendium of all things publishing.  They do verify the ones they put in there, so you should be safe in using them.  They are very cool with other goodies, like how to set prices, and have tons of articles.  I get the current ones at my local library, they also put out Novel and Short Story Market, Christian Writers, Children’s, Agents, etc.  They have an online presence as well, which includes a submission tracker.
  • Freedom With Writing  They are for online and short story/anthology opportunities.  They have a newsletter which you could subscribe to.



About the Authors:

L. Anne Wooley  comes from the US in the state of Ohio.  She has been published in several online ezines (With Painted Words, InGenre), she has also been in the charity anthology Lupus Animus (in which she wrote a story entirely in Haiku), More recently, she was published in “The Fandom Universe” relating her memories of the first Star Wars movie.  
She also hosts a blog for all things writerly.  She can be found at:

Blogger:
http://velvetdelenn.blogspot.com/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/LAnneWooleyAuthor/

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/velvetdelenn

Adrienne Devine:
Author AM Devine is an indie author located in West Tennessee. She's been writing for something along the
lines of 20 years. While this has mostly been for herself, she has always held tight to the dream of
becoming a published author.                                   (CONTINUED)

She writes in the genres of Sci-Fi and Fantasy mostly, with the occassional trip into Paranormal or Romance.

AM Devine writes under three names, those being: AM Devine, Athena Devine, and Minerva Devine. AM Devine
is where you will find the largest collection of stories right now, it being her Sci-Fi pen name. Athena Devine
is the name under which she will be releasing her fantasy works, and Minerva Devine is the name under which
she hopes to release a few urban paranormals.
Website:
Facebook
Twitter:

Matthew Weedon:

Matthew A. Weeden is a freelance writer working from his cramped apartment in Denver, Colorado. He is a lucky husband, and adoring father, and a passionate creative. Most of his work has been in small stage theater productions, video games, freelance contract work, and screenwriting.



Facebook:



Matthew is head writer on this site:

http://avalongamesllc.com/

Monday, March 21, 2016

NEW AD(VENTURE)S OR YES, I AM A GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT


I'm really dangerous when I'm thinking of stuff.  I get into more trouble that way, and also I really need to quit, and focus on what I need to be focusing on.  That is finishing Stormraevyn for publication.

But, I was talking to a friend from a huge writers group that we are both part of (and it was the first time we'd met in person), that what we really need, is a way to find freelance work, and publishing opportunities all in one place.  She agreed that the idea was pretty good.  It's almost ready to start, I'm just getting all the I's crossed, and T's dotted.  I also have a couple of vict er volunteer helpers to run this idea.

What it entails is creating a facebook group (at least at first), and the name has been selected.  "Seek, Write, Earn."  And would help writers find freelance work, and also publishing opportunities.  There would be "How to," style articles on how to look for these opportunities, the best websites, newsletters, etc.  There are other ones on FB, but the ones I've seen, are mostly self promotion, and that is something I do not want.

So with that in mind, stay tuned to this blog for more exciting news!