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Easter: Happiest Day of My Year

I spend my days online having a great time, talking books and words and writing. I love my writerly life. But, today is my favorite day of the year because while I am many things, they’re all in place because I am first a Jesus Girl. Today my family will be out celebrating our freedom, faith and insanely blessed life. I’ll be back tomorrow, sugared up on candy and ready to hit the bookish talks again. Today I thought I’d share one of my favorite songs.

 

Happy Easter!

My Week in Review- Death by Chocolate Blog Tour!

I’m winding my way through the Web this month – again LOL. This time, I’m promoting my newest release, Death by Chocolate. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting six other blogs this week, so blogging here was a double bloggy-opportunity for me. Time for a recap:

Monday: Jillian Chantal’s Blog

Tuesday: Carol Gore’s blog

Wednesday: Books and Needle Point Blog

Thursday: The Gift Blogspot

Friday:Tracy Street’s Blog

AND: Ramblings from a Chaotic Mind

And if you just don’t have that many clicks left in you, here’s the deets about the story :)

Death by Chocolate by Julie Anne Lindsey

Ruby Russell has reached her limit.  When she discovers her hipster husband has a dirty little secret, she whips him up a Viagra-infused-chocolate mousse punishment, but in the morning, her husband’s a stiff.  Armed with a lifetime of crime show reruns and Arsenic and Old Lace on DVD, Ruby and her best friend Charlotte try to lay low until after Ruby’s son’s wedding, but a nosy therapist, meddling minister and local news reporter are making it very difficult to get away with murder.

Despite the growing chaos, bristling conflicts, and a mounting body count, these delightfully unstable girlfriends are determined to get away with murder come what may.

Find it on Amazon

Find it on Barnes & Noble

You Are Not Going to be Plagiarized – Calm DOWN

I talk to a lot of writers. Online. At conferences. At bookfairs. Through social media. E.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e. One thing I find myself answering a hundred million times a year is this: “If I put my pages online, or send them to a critique group, or send them to a beta reader….etc….how do I know they won’t be stolen?”

**I AM SPEAKING TO FICTION WRITERS** I want to clarify because I write fiction exclusively and can’t speak to the fear of having a non-fiction idea copied or stolen since that work is research and in my mind, much different than making stuff up.

Fiction writers: Once you begin to query agents and editors and have accumulated a personal stack of rejections taller than your youngest child, you will see that what I say is the truth….No one will steal your idea, get it published and make money all without you ever knowing.

Striving to find an agent is like climbing Everesst.

Working with your agent to sell the perfect, shiny manuscript is like flying to the moon – sans a ship.

It’s really quite pretentious to believe your work is so amazing, someone will read it, gasp from sheer luck to get their hands on such awesome, sign their name to it, snap up a sale and sell your work as their own. I mean….really.

Authors want to write their own book. They’re busy and preoccupied, not manuscript hunting.

Non-authors wouldn’t know where to begin to try to sell your manuscript or be out trolling social media looking for a script to steal.

Every time you hit “save” you’re time stamping your work. You can prove it was yours if ever you see your manuscript – which you can’t seem to sell, I guess, or you would have – on the NYT Best Sellers list.

Take a breath. Relax. It’s all good. Now, get out there and take advantage of beta readers and critique groups! They are mad-wonderful and will improve your writing not steal it.

 

For those of you still upset about someone stealing your idea, take a look at one of my posts on group-think or the hive mentality. It’s completely common for a hundred authors across American to work on a strikingly similar project at the same time and then query the same agent all during the same week. Totes typical. They can’t sue one another. It just happens. No theft, just humans being human, having thoughts about things.

Now, go write something.

 

GoodReads for Writers – A LESSON for you

I love GoodReads. LOVE it. As an author I’m often rejected when I request to be GoodRead friends with another reader. It’s a strange phenomenon, but definitely true. Here’s the thing. As you try to meet as many readers as possible, Good Reads will look at what you read and who your friends are there and then suggest new friends for you. I always click whoever GoodReads suggests, I mean, why wouldn’t I? Since when is what we read a huge secret? And don’t we want to shout from the rooftops when we find a book that makes us sing? Right?? That’s what I thought and so I’d click away, think “Yeah I wanna be your friend! and her friend and his friend.”

MY point of this post…..BE CAREFUL AUTHORS

I am a tweet addict and often stalk as much as I tweet. Recently while stalking, I saw a slew of GoodReads readers ranting and raving and freaking out over authors trying to friend them on GoodReads. I had to travel back over all the posts and tweets and follow the little convos to get it all, and I still don’t get the full idea because I am me. BUT here’s what I learned (cause I’m all about sharing info)

Some reviewers are so completely bombarded with authors spamming them READ MY BOOK READ MY BOOK READ MY BOOK that they now make a habit of NOT friending fellow GoodReaders if they see they are authors.

Let that sink in.

Alert your attorney! We call discrimination! Authors have rights too!

I AM JOKING. We are such a litigious society. Put down your phones people. Serious.

Anyway…

I have stopped clicking the suggested friends on GoodReads and I am saddened by this. Why? Because I AM A READER. (I also happen to write.) But I’m a reader first. and I’m a reader all day. And when this whim of mine to be a big writer one day when I grow up, runs its course, I will still be a reader. I am greedy for the next book. I want to read everything. I hate to miss out on anything bookish – ever. GoodReads was fabulous for this…until I put up an author page. Now, I have to readjust my mass-friending strategy a bit. Because some of the people I tried to friend apparently were offended – maybe not by me personally but in general. No AUthors Allowed they say.

And for the record…

I get spammed by authors, too.

I choose to hit “Delete” when spam arrives in my email. It takes about 1/10 of a second. *click* all gone. Moving on. BUT that’s me being me. It takes a lot to get under my skin.

So, dear GoodReads patrons with an author page…if you’re feeling dissed and dismissed by other readers, it might be your author status. Shrug and smile and let.it.go. But, KNOW it does happen, and don’t take it personally.

AND UM… HELLLLLOOOOOO: For those of you using social media to make a full court press to sell your book, tweeting auto-hourly-tweets and friending people all over hte web just to send them an auto message BUY MY BOOK…..how’s that working for you?

Yeah.

Cause you’re doing it wrong. But more about that another day.

 

Get the Facts. Make a Plan. Get Published.

Tomorrow I speak at the Lakeland Community College. It’s the 21st Annual Western Reserve Writers Conference and I have the exciting opportunity to give a workshop on reaching writing goals, Get the Facts. Make a Plan. Get Published. I’m pretty excited about this. For one thing, it’s my first workshop given at a college, so w-o-w and HUGE thanks to Deanna Adams the event organizer and Lakeland for inviting me. Secondly, I know a few ladies I met at last month’s Women’s Writing Retreat will be there, so I get to see them again. AND a few twitter friends will be in attendance as well. Anytime I get to meet virtual friends in a real setting, I get excited.

I have quite a few writers conferences on the 2012 agenda, I’ll be an attender at he rest and I can’t wait. If you’ve never attended a writers conference, I highly recommend it. Meeting other writers in person is a wonderful experience. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by people who ‘get’ your obsession for books and words? Learning from the speakers is like a breath of fresh air. Everyone has a new experience to offer, and navigating this business is like collecting puzzle pieces then fitting them together to tell your journey. And if you’re like me, and think of your favorite authors as celebrities….then attend a conference to meet your favotite author! Get a picture, exchange twitter names, tell your inner doubter that you CAN do this!

Writers conferences happen all the time across the country. Not all are expensive and some may be in your neighborhood. Check it out and put one on your 2012 calendar. You won’t regret it.

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