Independent author successfully juggles A Case of Sour Grapes



Independent book review

A Case of Sour Grapes by Gae-Lynn Woods

I know that I am SO not the target audience for this book, but I have to say I enjoyed every page, every sentence, every word—even words that I had never encountered before, like “Blahniks.” A Case of Sour Grapes made me laugh while it kept me flipping pages—or more accurately, swiping my iPad’s screen—right to the end.

A Case of Sour Grapes is a “companion novel” to Gae-Lynn Woods’ Cass Elliot Crime Series, which so far comprises The Devil of Light and Avengers of Blood.

Like the other two books, A Case of Sour Grapes is set in the fictional Forney County in East Texas—a setting fairly boiling over with tension, secret cults, hidden domestic violence, child abuse, sexual violence and just about every dark vice there is.

Cass Elliot is a tough, smart detective on the Forney County police department whose intelligence, courage and very supportive family get her through dangerous situations—but cannot protect her against a sexist, close-minded and defensive boss, the County Sheriff, nor against getting raped and scarred at some point before the books’ opening. Author Gae-Lynn Woods is just as tough and honest as her character, daring to go into some of the darkest corners of the human soul.

And then there’s the protagonist and narrator of the book at hand, Maxine Leverman.

Maxine is brave. Or at least impulsive. And she’s smart enough to notice clues, find connections in databases and solve a mystery. But while she’s Cass Elliot’s best friend, she is definitely no Cass Elliot.

(Yes, the author does know about, and refers to, the sixties and seventies singer of the same name.)

Maxine is a thoroughly 21st century woman, who knows her shoe and dress designers, grape varieties and when it’s time for scotch. She makes no pretenses about sex or the men she’s attracted to, and is ready to proposition them when she wants to. She’s also learning the Texas criminal code, the regulations governing private investigators, and how to aim a handgun. Safely.

The story of A Case of Sour Grapes begins on Maxine’s first day working at the Lost and Found Detective Agency, owned by her aunts Kay and Babby. While Maxine is studying for her investigator’s license, she’s supposed to be doing administrative work at the office. Of course, when everyone else is out at lunch, Maxine answers a phone call from a new client, Blue Ivey, owner of the Cedar Bend Winery. Mrs. Ivey has lost her husband. She knows he’s not dead, because he keeps spending money on her credit cards, but she has not seen him in weeks.

The case gets progressively more strange, dark and funny at the same time. Maxine’s talents as a sleuth become apparent as she finds the missing husband’s multiple identities—and wives.

It’s not all fun and games, though. There are multiple murders, a long-lost child, and let’s not forget Poison Ivy and the Dismembered Bunnies. Okay, that part made me laugh out loud.

Author Gae-Lynn Woods

Woods is a skilled literary juggler to keep all these flaming torches aloft at the same time. She pulls off a story that is thoroughly engaging and satisfying on all levels: plot, characters, setting, humour, tension and action.

Bravo, Ms. Woods! Let’s get another title on the electronic shelves, shall we?

Independent book review: One Upon a [Stolen] Time



OnceUponAStolenTimeThe perfect haunted castle story
By Samreen Ahsan

The old adage, “Be careful what you wish for, because it might come true” is the starting point for this story. Myra Farrow is a romantic young woman from London, UK, who is obsessed with stories about medieval knights and princes. She wants to be part of history, and wishes she were a real medieval princess. Frustrated with the impossibility of that, she reads medieval English history, literature and poetry, even making it the subject of her university degree.

Her parents have indulged her to the point of visiting every old castle and manor in the UK, except for one that’s abandoned and closed: the totally fictitious Hue Castle.

Myra’s parents, who run a successful business in London, are concerned that their daughter lives more in the past than the here-and-now, so they arrange a marriage for her to Steve Bernard, scion of one of the UK’s wealthiest and most powerful families.

But Steve isn’t just the inheritor of wealth. He’s actually a successful video game entrepreneur, and while he isn’t interest in Myra romantically, he does want her to be a model for shooting scenes for his new medieval-themed video game. And as coincidence will have it, Steve has chosen the abandoned, yet lifeless Hue Castle for his setting.

Hue Castle has all the necessary elements for a very spooky setting, like prison towers, dungeons and instruments of torture. But the most dangerous thing is a shrouded mirror. When Myra looks into it, she sees scenes from six hundred years ago, the vicious cruelty that brought down a curse so extreme that nothing grows at Hue Castle — no plants, not even rats live there.

As Myra returns to look into the mirror, she’s increasingly drawn into the lives of those dead for six centuries, and gradually, she begins to hear them and finally contacts Edward, the crown prince of England in 1415. Myra wonders whether she can even enter that time, and if she does, whether she would be able to return.

Characters

Ahsan’s strength is creating believable, familiar characters, and Myra is another example. She’s a romantic, obsessed with her fantasies of kings and princes and knights, but she is far from one-sided. She dreams about being rescued by a handsome knight, but she’s not weak. She’s a complex, modern woman who likes her cell phones and clothes, and her freedom and independence.

Steve is a complex man, too, who undergoes a transformation through the book and comes to love Myra for who she is. This sets up a love triangle and another level of conflict in Myra, who is already trying to choose between the past and the present.

Perhaps the most complex, appealing character is the tortured Edward Hue, the prince and son of the cruel (fictitious) King Stefan. You really feel for this character, and I was surprised by how fully Ahsan has realized this character.

Drawbacks

The only thing I didn’t like about this story was the framing device, the overly complex way she has set up the story, with Myra being set up by her parents with Steven, who is not interested in her at first. I understand why Ahsan chose the billionaire genius guy and the smart, regular girl structure for her previous two-volume Prayer series (A Silent Prayer and A Prayer Heeded). She was showing what a love story like 50 Shades could be if handled by a writer with skill and talent. But there is no need for that here. Neither is there a need for the marriage to be arranged. Steve could have just hired Myra to be his model, and gradually fallen in love with her. It would have made the story simpler and allowed the author to get to the action quicker.

But that’s a minor point. This is a mesmerizing story that keeps you swiping your e-reader to get to the next page. It’s well worth a read.

Get it on Amazon.

How to find funds for your novel: Guest post by Roger Eschbacher



Finding the funds to cover editing, design and production of a book is a challenge every independent author must work out. This week, the award-winning Roger Eschbacher describes his solution.

This post originally appeared on the old Scott’s Written Words blog.

As just about any “indie” author will admit one of the biggest knocks against our tribe is that often self-published books are rife with errors (punctuation, grammar, typos, continuity problems, etc.). We know how jarring it can be to run across a typo in a traditionally published book, so imagine how distracting it can be to be poked in the eye by dozens of them.

Why does this happen? To be blunt, it’s because the author didn’t have the book properly edited. And by “properly,” I mean professionally. No matter how good at catching errors you think you might be, you’ll never get them all. No matter how good you might think your beta reader/proofreader friends are at finding embarrassing mistakes in your text or story, there are always more hiding in your manuscript. Always.

I can verify this through my own experience. I can’t tell you how many “final” reads I did on Dragonfriend, my 2013 self-published MG fantasy novel. I’d go through it, find and fix a bunch of errors, only to go back to the beginning for one last look and find even more. I realized I needed professional help. I needed a paid editor with a trained eye to go through my manuscript and find the mistakes that would embarrass me if they ever made it out of my computer and into the wild.

What does any of this have to do with finding funds for my novel?

Well…having come to the realization that I was in over my head as far as editing goes, I started looking around for someone to help me out. Guess what? Editors can be expensive! My manuscript was in the 75,000-word range, and quotes for an edit on a book that size ran from the upper hundreds to the low thousands on the sites I checked. Google “editing, novel, proofreading” yourself and be prepared for your jaw to drop to the floor. This is not a knock against the editors, by the way; what they do is very time- and labor-intensive (= expensive).

So what was I going to do? I knew I had to get my book properly edited, but I also knew I wasn’t exactly dripping with cash. I was frozen in place until I could scrape together enough funds for a professional editor. Frozen, that is, until I ran across Kickstarter.

How Kickstarter works

Kickstarter.com is a site that exists solely for raising funds for “the arts.” Based on the artist/patron model of old, Kickstarter provides a platform where you can raise money from friends, family, and total strangers without having to beg in person. You simply set up an account and direct people to it with a “Hey, if you’re interested in backing my book project…” Amazingly, to me anyway, a lot of folks were willing to pitch in and help me out.

If you head over to the site, you’ll find that everyone from filmmakers to graphic artists to greeting card makers have a project going on. Oh, and authors too.

Here’s how it works. You sign up for an account, then pitch your project to the Kickstarter folks. My “project” was to raise enough money to have my book professionally edited and pay for its setup (cover design, proof copies, Createspace Pro Plan, etc.). Frankly, I think this step is included to make sure that only “creatives” get in the door. They’re very specific about not accepting charity or non-arty business projects. This site is about raising funds for projects with artistic content.

Thankfully, my project was approved and I set about trying to determine the amount of funding I would need. Having priced out the costs listed above (I picked an editor quote somewhere in the middle of the pack) and factoring in Kickstarter’s five percent account fee, I determined I’d need about $2,100.00 to properly prepare Dragonfriend for publication. Kickstarter recommends that you research your costs and pick a sum that is very close to the amount of funds you will actually need. They say that an appropriately priced project is more likely to succeed, and I think that makes sense.

Next, you determine how long you want the project to go. The allowable range is between 30 and 90 days. Kickstarter recommends 30 days, advising that if a project is going to be funded, it’ll usually happen within that period of time. I wish I had listened to them. I chose 45 days, only to have my project achieve full funding at around day 25. You have to wait for the project to play itself out before Kickstarter releases the funds, so I found myself cooling my heels for the balance of time left in the project. Another reason not to inflate your request is that if you don’t reach your funding goal within the allotted time, the project fails and no one (yourself or Kickstarter) gets any money. The backers who pledged prior to fail won’t be charged either, which is good, but you obviously don’t want to fail. In short, determine a reasonable goal and don’t be greedy!

Next, you create your backer “rewards,” attaching fun things like bookmarks, signed copies, and future character naming rights to various donation price points. They encourage you to be inventive, so in addition to those traditional rewards, I added stuff like writing a “fake” unmasking scene from the Scooby Doo series I write on. The backer became the villain and was able to pick the name of their evil alter-ego in a customized script. Sure it’s silly, but three backers ended up receiving scenes thanks to some very generous donations.

Then you press the “launch project” button and get the word out that you’re trying to raise money for a worthy project—asking folks to become true patrons of the arts. I ended up raising $2,205.00, which I promptly put into play by hiring an editor. I chose Iguana Proofreading and opted for their complete package of a manuscript critique and proofreading.

I have nothing but good things to say about my Kickstarter experience. It provided the funds I needed to launch my book. Without it, I’d probably still be going through the manuscript and finding error after error after error…

What about you? Do you have any experience with Kickstarter or tips on hiring a pro editor? Please share them in the comments.

c114e-undrastormur2bcoverA native of St. Louis, Missouri, Roger Eschbacher lives in Los Angeles, California, where he’s worked as a writer/actor for over 30 years. These days he works primarily as a TV animation writer. He has written for shows you’ve heard of like SCOOBY DOO: MYSTERY INCORPORATED, WABBIT, and LITTLEST PET SHOP and a few you haven’t. Along the way he managed to get nominated for an Emmy. He’s the author of the middle-grade fantasy adventure novel Dragonfriend (winner of a 2012 BRAG Medallion) and its sequel Giantkiller. Roger’s most recent work is UNDRASTORMUR: A Viking Tale of Troublesome Trolls, a novelette available on Amazon. He’s also written two children’s picture books, “Road Trip”, and “Nonsense! He Yelled,” both for Penguin. 

For a list of all of , please visit Roger’s LinkedIn profile page.

Visit Roger’s

Preview: Palm Trees and Snowflakes



A new Lei Crime Kindle World mystery featuring Vanessa Storm from Torn Roots will be on the Amazon virtual shelves in time for Christmas and for downloading to those new Kindles you might find under the tree. This is a true Christmas story, with mystery, action and even romance for Vanessa. Here’s an excerpt from the opening.

Vanessa drew her Walther PPK/S when she heard the crunch of tires on the gravel at the entrance to the pier and pulled the palm frond in front of her a little lower to see better. “All in place?” she said quietly into the comms unit slung over her ear.

“Ready,” said the local Honolulu police officer behind the palm fronds to her left. At least six-four with bulging arms, he dwarfed her five foot, five inches. Silva, she remembered. His name is Silva. In her earpiece, she heard five clicks, confirmations from five more officers from three different law-enforcement agencies—two from Honolulu PD, three from harbor police, and one from her partner, FBI Special Agent Ken Yamada, crouching beside a Honolulu harbor cop across the alley.

She checked her watch: 9:10 p.m. Warehouses loomed around them, their walls dark cliffs. The row of palm trees they hid behind screened the blank faces of the warehouses from the highway, preserving the tourist allure of Oahu.

A Lexus glided into the alley between the warehouses, stopping in front of stacked shipping containers. She raised her weapon and pushed the palm frond out of her way. We’re ready for this.

She froze when she heard another set of tires on the cracked asphalt and the deeper rumble of a heavier vehicle. A full-size black van slid behind the Lexus. Its engines cut. The Lexus’s driver door swung open and a short, round man in a dark suit climbed out. A taller man got out of the passenger side. The van’s side door slid open, disgorging three large men. One, at least, held what looked like an Uzi.

We’re not ready for this. “Stand by. Repeat, stand by. Do not engage. Calling for backup,” she said into her comms unit before switching channels to radio to Honolulu PD dispatch. “This is FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm at 9 Pier, Berth 10B, requesting backup.” She gave her clearing number. “Notify Special Agent in Charge Waxman. We have second suspect vehicle, four more suspects than anticipated. It looks like they are heavily armed. Repeat, requesting immediate backup.”

“Roger,” said the dispatcher. She sounded calm, almost as if she did not care. “Swat unit notified.”

The short, heavy man spoke to the others. Although Vanessa could not hear his words, he seemed nervous, even fearful. At the cargo container nearest his car, he entered a four-digit code on padlock keypad. He swung one door open, cursing when it nearly hit the bumper of his car.
He disappeared into the container, followed by the taller man. Vanessa saw the big Honolulu cop fidgeting. He was probably wrestling with the same quandary she was: to risk making an arrest when they were possibly outnumbered, and definitely outgunned, or risk letting the suspects get away, throwing away months of surveillance, research, lab work and legal preparation.

She took a deep breath, in through the nose, out through the mouth. She needed to confer with Waxman.

The two men came out of the shipping container, the short one carrying a large box. The box was heavy, given the way he struggled to the trunk of his Lexus. The other man closed the door as one of the large men took the box from the portly one. He loaded it into the back of the van.

That was when the Harbor cop stepped out of the shadow of the warehouse. “Freeze!” he shouted. “Police. Drop your weapons.”

The goons did not hesitate. An Uzi spat and the harbor cop went down. Vanessa fired a split second later, hitting the shooter. He fell, one last blast firing upward as gunfire erupted from multiple directions. The other two goons who dropped to their knees, taking cover behind the van, firing their Uzis into the palms and toward Yamada’s position behind the corner of a warehouse. Vanessa threw herself to the ground as automatic fire shredded the palms. The two Honolulu cops fired from behind the trunks, hampered by concern for Yamada.
Vanessa could see the two men from the Lexus squatting behind its trunk. They had no weapons, but the van driver was also firing an automatic weapon through the window.

The big Hawaiian cop beside Vanesssa fired again and one of the Uzi-toting men pitched sideways and lay still.

“Dispatch, we’re taking fire. Officer down. Request immediate SWAT backup, and paramedics,” Vanessa shouted over the din of gunfire.

Palm Fronds and Snowflake is a longish story, just under 10,000 words, available for just 99 cents exclusively from Amazon’s Lei Crime Kindle World

Get it directly from Amazon.

What do authors like about writing? Three very different bestsellers spill



You would find it hard to find three excellent writers who are more different than Seb Kirby, Lisa Jay Davis and Charity Parkerson. Seb writes thrillers and science fiction; Lisa published a bestselling memoir of her time as an event producer in Hollywood; and Charity writes erotica, romance and fantasy.

But you’ll be surprised at the things they agree on.

Which element of a book is most important to you as a writer:

  • plot
  • characterization
  • setting
  • getting the little details right, such as the weapons your characters use, the science involved, or the historical aspects of the time period your book is set in
  • action
  • sex, or
  • other?

Charity Parkerson: Since I write erotica and spicy romance, I have to say the sex.

SebKirbyLargerSeb Kirby: The first two interest me most. Story arc and character arc and how these interact is something that I’m working hard at developing in my writing. Think Walter White in Breaking Bad as a supreme example of how this is done well. In addition to that I think that giving a story a real sense of place is very important. Much of the rest flows from this.

Lisa Jey Davis: Considering I have only written non-fiction thus, far, I’ll have to answer from that perspective… I’d have to say characterization and humor.

What part of writing do you spend the most time on: research, writing, editing, making coffee or cleaning your work space?

Charity Parkerson: Writing. I’m focused.

Seb Kirby: What’s missing here is promotion. I spend about as much time on that as I do on writing. Research comes lower down the list, but when that involves traveling to new places, my interest spikes.

Lisa Jey Davis: Editing number 1, writing number 2.

Which of these do you enjoy most?

Charity Parkerson: Making coffee, lol.CharityParketon2015

Seb Kirby: Of course, it’s the writing. In the end it’s what makes the whole thing tick.

Lisa Jey Davis: Writing.

What do you wish you had to do less?

Charity Parkerson: Cleaning.

Seb Kirby: Books that don’t get promoted don’t get read. So, there is little point in writing them. Which means that every author needs to be a promoter. That can be fun and you can meet some wonderful people. But the real currency is in the writing. So, less promotion and more time for writing would be top of my list.

Lisa Jey Davis: Editing.

What part of writing or publishing do you think you could help other writers with?

Charity Parkerson: I’m pretty good at marketing.

Seb Kirby: I’ve been self-published now since December 2010. In this digital world we now live in, that’s equivalent to saying sometime in the Cretaceous Period. Which is a way of saying that I think I could help best with advice on self-publishing. How we all write, well, I think much of that is down to personal choice.

Lisa Jey Davis: Marketing! Lol.LisaJey2

Which of your books or other works are you personally happiest with? Why?

Charity Parkerson: Every time I start a new book, I’m happier with it than any other. It’s like a new love affair.

Seb Kirby: Like most authors, it has to be the most recent one! I guess the hope is that you learn a little more with each book you write. The reality, perhaps, is that you never know whether that might be the last. So, the answer here is Each Day I Wake. It’s my first psychological thriller. I found the challenge of getting deeper into the mind of my main character was really stimulating.

Lisa Jey Davis: My memoir, Ms. Cheevious in Hollywood: My Zany Years Spent Working in Tinsel Town. It’s a book that people read, as opposed to my other book, Ahhhhhh … Haaaaaa Moments With Ms. Cheevious: A Yoga Routine for All Levels, which is primarily a guide to  following along to photos.

Thank you all!

About these bestselling authors

Charity Parkerson is an award-winning and multi-published author with Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Indie Publishing House LLC, and Punk & Sissy Publications. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it in her characters.

  • 2015 Readers’ Favorite Award Winner
  • Winner of 2, 2014 Readers’ Favorite Awards
  • 2015 RWA Passionate Plume Award Finalist
  • 2013 Readers’ Favorite Award Winner
  • 2013 Reviewers’ Choice Award Winner
  • 2012 ARRA Finalist for Favorite Paranormal Romance
  • Five-time winner of The Mistress of the Darkpath

You can find Charity Parkerson online

Seb Kirby is the author of the James Blake Thriller series (Take No More, Regret No More and Forgive No More), the Raymond Bridges sci fi thriller series (Double Bind) and now the psychological thriller Each Day I Wake. An avid reader from an early age—his grandfather ran a mobile lending library in Birmingham – he was hooked from the first moment he discovered the treasure trove of books left to his parents. He was a university academic for many years, latterly at University of Liverpool. Now, as a full-time writer, his goal is to add to the magic of the wonderful words and stories he discovered back then. He lives in the Wirral, UK

Seb Kirby’s books:

Find Seb Kirby online:

 

Ms. Cheevious in Hollywood

Humourous memoir by Lisa Jey Davis

Lisa Jey Davis is an award-winning writer, an author, and a former television production talent manager who worked with musicians, fashionistas, celebrities and other characters for shows produced by MTV, CBS, the NFL and many more. She is the editor in [Mis]Chief at MsCheevious.com where she “brings the funny” about life and love. Also a fitness and health nut, Lisa Jey has made appearances on The Doctors TV show and the CW in Los Angeles (among others), talking women’s health issues. She is a health and fitness contributor for LiveStrong.com and blogs for the Huffington Post. Lisa Jey is also a certified Pilates instructor, Lagree Method trainer and yoga instructor. When she is not speaking at seminars and events, she offers personal fitness and weight management sessions and teaches fitness classes around the Los Angeles area. Lisa Jey resides in Santa Monica and enjoys every single moment.

Lisa Jey’s books:

Ms. Cheevious in Hollywood: My Zany Years Spent Working in Tinsel Town

Ahhhhhh … Haaaaaa Moments With Ms. Cheevious: A Yoga Routine for All Levels

Follow Lisa Jey and her alter ego Ms. Cheevious:

Websites

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

 

 

Alan McDermott: What one of your favourite authors loves about writing



5c77e-alan_profile_pic-300x225Alan McDermott is a good friend. His first self-published novel, Gray Justice, caught the attention of the reading world, propelling him into the bestsellers ranks on Amazon. He has since followed that up with four more novels about Tom Gray and his friends who stop chaos around the world. Now a full-time author, he took a few minutes to tell Written Words what he loves best, and least, about being a writer.

 

Which element of fiction is most important to you as a writer?

Alan McDermott: There are many things that I focus on when writing a book. First off, the story has to have a believable plot and be fast paced, with as much action as possible. If I can’t throw in a firefight, I try to crank up the intrigue instead. Almost as important is getting the little details right. Knowing the weapons to use is crucial, but when it comes to things like the Brigandicuum surveillance system I created, it had to be realistic. Not so much “likely to happen” as “could happen.” I’ve since learned that the United Kingdom’s Communications Headquarters has much of the capabilities I dreamed up, which I find kind of frightening! The only thing I tend to refrain from is too much sexual detail.

What part of writing do you spend the most time on: research, writing, editing, making coffee or cleaning your work space?

Alan McDermott: Sadly, coffee and Facebook! I get distracted quite easily, which is why I like to spend a couple of days a week at the library with just a pen and notepad. I get most of my work done there, and the rest of the time is spent typing it up and making small edits as I go.

Which of these do you enjoy most?

Alan McDermott: Definitely the library! I usually get more done in five hours than I do when I spend two days sitting at home on my laptop. I think it’s the thought of being in an office-like environment that makes me focus, rather than sitting in the living room with easy access to the TV and other distractions.

What do you wish you had to do less?

Alan McDermott: It is not on the list, but I would say marketing. I’m pretty hopeless at it, but thankfully my publisher does a great job with new releases. Being an introvert, I’m not one to shout about my books from the rooftops. Not a good trait for an author, I know.

Which of your books or other works are you personally happiest with? Why?

Gray Vengeance cover

Gray Vengeance by Alan McDermott

Alan McDermott: So far, I’d have to say Gray Vengeance. It is the fifth title in the Tom Gray series, and the one in which I introduced the Brigandicuum surveillance system created by the NSA and used by the British Government. I’ve since learned, through the Wikileaks website, that the UK already has something very close to it, in that they have the ability to hack into phones and computers and effectively take control of them. I’m also pretty excited about my latest book, Gray Salvation, which will be released on March 8, 2016, and my WIP is shaping up nicely, too. There’s a twist in it that I hope few will see coming.

What part of writing or publishing do you think you could help other writers with?

Alan McDermott: Good question! I don’t really consider myself that accomplished that I could offer any kind of advice, to be honest. I realise that I am still learning the trade, and that the huge blockbuster inside me is still a few years off. I know that I’m improving certain aspects of my writing with each new release, but there’s still some way to go before I become the go-to guy for writing advice.

Thanks very much, Alan!

Alan McDermott is a full time author from the south of England, married with beautiful twin daughters. He used to write critical software applications for the NHS, but now he spends his days writing action thrillers.

7d0c4-grayjustice_frontcover_11-27-13His debut novel, Gray Justice, has been very well received and earned him membership in http://independentauthorsinternational.org. He was subsequently picked up by Thomas & Mercer, who published his first five books, with another on the way.

Alan is currently working on his seventh novel.

The entire five-novel Tom Gray series will be on sale from Amazon.com for $2 all through November.

Get Gray Justice on:

 

 

Do you have limited writing time but big goals?



TypingA guest post by Autumn Birt

Are you a writer? If so, are you meeting your writing goals?

Writing is a passion, one usually cobbled together from stolen moments and highs of inspiration. But if you get the writing bug and you get it bad, finding enough time is often a source of frustration.

Why write more?

Because fans like to read more. That is my number one answer. I’m a reader as well as a writer. I’ve fallen in love with a series that I’ve stayed with for three years and am now anxiously awaiting the last book — which should come out in two years. That is a whole lot of anxious waiting! And let’s not talk about another story I love that currently exists as short stories spread across several e-zines and books. I have meticulously copied all of them to one spot. I am her number one fan. She has plans to write a book … someday. I want to cry.

So yeah, keeping fans from becoming the frustrated and then jaded reader I am today is definitely a goal. When I was a teenager, a new book a year was acceptable. It still is, even though that was quite a while ago and long before ebooks. Now, a new book every six months is considered a professional target. More often is great. Fans want to be filled with anticipation, not angst.

And professional is the other reason to write and release more books, great books. Because let’s face it, if you have any hope of making a decent income from writing, one where you can potentially scale back that full time job to write, you either need to write and release more or have a really good retirement plan lined up. I’m not a teenager anymore, but I don’t want to wait that long to write full time!

So I committed myself to writing more and writing better because I not only love it, but want to make it a career. With a lot of trial and error, I developed seven key techniques and five writing tools that worked. How well? I wrote four-and-a-half books in a year and they are the best I’ve written so far.Writing Time

To be clear, I’m not talking about typing faster. Who cares how fast you typed a page if you end up deleting it? Meeting a writing goal of producing more novels in a year means creating a great story faster. And there are tips, tricks, and tools to do that. It is a paradigm shift to believe writing more in a limited time is achievable.

It is possible. I’m proof. But I want to be more than proof. I want to help other writers do the same thing. Seriously!

Writing time is a limited resource. Use it well.

I’m serious about teaching this to other authors. So serious that I’m launching a pilot class to not only teach the seven techniques and those five customizable tools, but also to work one-on-one with the students to make sure those same tactics work for them. Everyone is different and in a different situation. I want everyone to be successful.

Since this is a trial course with lots of coaching, enrolment is very limited. If you are interested in learning more please use the contact form below to get in touch with me. I’d love to talk to you!

About Autumn

author picAutumn is a bestselling author in fantasy, epic fantasy, and war — not all in the same series, though. She is the author of the epic fantasy, adventure trilogy on elemental magic, The Rise of the Fifth Order. Her newest series is Friends of my Enemy, a military dystopian/ dark fantasy tale laced with romance. Friends of my Enemy will be released in full in 2015 and will be quite the story full of strong characters, tight plots, and lots of action. Meanwhile, she is working on a new epic fantasy trilogy, Games of Fire, set in the same world as The Rise of the Fifth Order.

If she stops goofing off and enjoying hobbies such as hiking, motorcycling, and kayaking, she may even be able to release the first book in 2015, too.

She is a member of Independent Authors International and the Guild of Dreams.

Stop by her website and blog to learn more about the worlds of her books at www.AutumnWriting.com. You can also find her on Facebook at  or more frequently on Twitter @Weifarer.

Quick Note

If the contact form isn’t showing up, please just provide my email: autumn.birt@gmail.com

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