What’s Stopping You????

I am sitting at my small desk, quite a departure from my previous “office” of my last house. I now live on the second floor of a three story condo. Two bedrooms, two and a half baths. Small in comparison to the four bedroom, two car garage home I left behind. This past year, life has changed once more and it gave me an excuse to put down my pen for awhile. Too busy with the move and the changes that have come hurling at me as fast as a wayward hockey puck. have two big windows in front of me that face the road to the community garage. Cars come and go quite routinely. Being hyper-sensitive to distractions, my head bobs as though on a spring every time a car drives by or a neighbor decides to go for a stroll.

Before, in my large office, my windows faced a sprawling, peaceful field of gold. Rarely did I notice anything more than a fleeting butterfly or bird. Now, I have two big windows in front of me that face the road to the community garage. Cars come and go quite routinely. Being hyper-sensitive to distractions, my head bobs as though on a tightly coiled spring every time a car drives by or a neighbor decides to go for a stroll. To say I am distracted would be an understatement. Another excuse.

I close my eyes and say a little prayer for the wisdom and guidance I need to push myself   into the world I love. Suddenly, the words and thoughts start to flow! My fingers rattle over my keyboard and my words begin to come to life!

So it goes as a writer. One moment we are empty and giving ourselves a thousand reasons why we “can’t” write today. Then the next moment our minds are so full of stories, characters, and endings that we cannot be dragged from our desk for hours.

It is then I realize that the biggest enemy to my writing is ME! I am the one making excuses! I am the one putting my work out there! I am the one scared of rejection!

And so I pull down the shades on my windows and plod on. How about

How about you? What’s stopping you?

 

A World Full of Surprises!

I woke up this morning, grabbed a cup of coffee and began preparing notes and a presentation for my upcoming speaking engagements. My joy is palpable as I so enjoy sharing what I have learned with others. Grabbing my iPad, I read my devotions and then caught the headlines of the news. The United Kingdom voted to break away from the European Union and the Prime Minister had resigned. Although the news was startling, to me, the people’s choice to leave the EU signals the uneasiness around the world that  no one can explain. We feel it in our own nation, as well.

I slapped my coffee cup to the table and laughed right out loud thinking that my days were mostly quiet.   Then it hit me that I hadn’t had a quiet day in months! I began to think of all of the startling days I have had recently. My wonderful publisher closed its doors. Then I had a request for my new manuscript. A dear friend lost her mother. Another friend lived through a certain death heart surgery. I travelled to Florida overnight to visit an elderly friend. I taught an awesome creative writing class this semester. I was confined to bed for several days due to a muscle spasm. I got three rejections. News poured in day after day. Some news has been good, others, not so much.

I couldn’t help but smile, as I realized how surprising EVERY day is! I don’t need the news to tell me that something wild and crazy is going to happen today. It is how I react to the news that keeps my head on straight and allows others to see I have a Rock to cling to even in the dark times. I’m learning to expect the unexpected….and with that to enjoy whatever comes my way.

 

For Valentine’s Day, show a writer “a little love!”

Valentine’s Day is rapidly descending upon us. A plague of sorts brought on by greed. Millions of crazy-eyed men will rush, last minute, into florists, jewelers and grocery stores to pick up some costly trinket, fattening treats, expensive flowers and balloons to appease their starry-eyed wives and girlfriends. The women will expect a fancy dinner and a card that should aptly express the undying love of their partner in words only Shakespeare could possibly write. No matter what the man comes up with, the lovey-dovey moment will probably last a nano-second, replaced  by a snarky remark as quickly as the flowers fade.

Sound a little caddy?  It’s not. It’s the reality of a writer’s life, only you replace the man with the writer and the woman with everyone else.

As writer’s, we often are crazy-eyed, rushing to and fro, trying to please everyone with our work. We edit things out, add things in, and move things around as we work to please the reader. Just when we think we have given our best, BAM, someone gives more advice and makes us realize how much more work must be done. It is a never ending battle. Poor writer’s. They need a little love!

So…..I thought of a great idea! This Valentine’s Day, why not take a moment to write a review for your favorite author or artist. They work their tails off to give you enjoyable reads that entertain, encourage and motivate their readers.  It’s time to show them you appreciate it! What a great way to show an author you love them! It won’t cost you a dime and takes just a little bit of effort! Think about that as you are rustling up a last minute present for your sweetie!

And as a reward, just for today, you can download The Button Legacy: Emily’s Inheritance FOR FREE!!!!

Now, get out there and show a writer “a little love,” won’t you?

 

 

Are Book Giveaways Worth It?

When a writer has a “giveaway” program, it seems as though it defeats the purpose of “selling” our work. We are actually giving away the product we slaved over for months or even years. Yet, I’ve learned a thing or two about todays’ new world of marketing that makes me understand the value of a giveaway. Giveaways promote sales.

This is how it works. You download a book for free. You read it and like it. You tweet about it. You Facebook it. You Instagram and Pinterest your thoughts. You post a review and tell your friends about it. By then, the giveaway is over. They buy it! The author becomes a best-seller! Wow! All of that from a free giveaway!

A promotional “giveaway” is a way to get readers to notice your work in the overcrowded world of published books. Overcrowding is a reality. Traditionally published books vie for attention alongside self-published books. Any writer, whether they have learned the craft of writing or not, can self-publish. Most, not all, self-published books are rarely well-written, nor do they display elements of understanding the craft of writing. When they are placed side-by-side with those who understand the elements of craft, they stand like lonely soldiers in a long gone war.

The sadness to this is that well-crafted books are often lost in the noise. The competition to be published is fierce. So what is a writer to do? Mark Twain says it well. “Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.” My addition to Twain’s quote would be…”and scream until someone notices you!”

So, I’m screaming! The Button Legacy: Emily’s Inheritance is free for today and tomorrow in the first of two giveaways. Download it and if you like it, write a review, and use all social media avenues to tell your friends!

The Button Legacy: Emily’s Inheritance is a simple story and a good family read for those who seek heartwarming tales. It centers around the surprise arrival of an old tin button box to the home of Emily Evans, a box of buttons that unlock memories of Emily’s youth. The read is quick and takes the reader on a wonderful journey where one man’s legacy to his granddaughter is passed on through the stories he told through buttons. Each button holds a memory and will take even the most cynical reader back to a time where actions mattered. Here’s the Book Trailer.

Enjoy the read. Share it with your friends. On this end, I’ll keep shamelessly promoting and watching the Amazon charts to see where you will take me.

In the end, I’m still going to write. I’m going to continue to hone my skills and learn how to enhance what I know about the craft of writing. Every manuscript I create will be better than the last and every story I tell will be more powerful than the one that preceded it. After all, the next “giveaway” might be my bestseller!

One More Time, Folks!

I just got notice that The Button Legacy: Emily’s Inheritance WILL be available as a free download on Amazon on January 20,21 and 22, 2015. After the December issue of not being available when it was expected, I am certain that this time it will be a go!

So, tell your friends once more that the book WILL be available for a free download! Thank you all for your patience! Enjoy!

The “Free Book Download” Glitch

Seems that all things don’t go as planned. We thought the Amazon free download was to go live December 25-29, 2014 only to find out it had not been scheduled as planned…..SOOOOOOO….there will now be TWO chances to download The Button Legacy: Emily’s Inheritance for FREE!

 

Tell your friends that The Button Legacy: Emily’s Inheritance can be downloaded for free on…

*January 20, 21 & 22

AND

*February 9 & 10

 

Take advantage of sharing this with your friends and family! When you are done reading it, please take a moment to write a short review, as it so helps the author! Thank you!

American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Conference

What a joy to be a part of the ACFW family! The conference here in St. Louis is filled with aspiring writers and encouraging editors, agents and publishers all here to glorify God! I’m finding myself encouraging others more than anything else, which makes for a great time! Happening at the same time is the Joyce Meyers Convention, so the entire downtown area is filled with people who love the Lord! I even had the chance to give one of her staff a copy of Run, River Currents, as Joyce ministers about her abusive life.

From the moment I arrived it was as though God had a plan for everything. I have been a part of a giving attitude in every restaurant, every store and every coffee shop within a 10 block radius. I hear workers saying to each other that they have never been treated so kindly, tipped so graciously or listened to so intently as these few days. My own maid cried when I handed her a few extra dollars and a book of faith I picked up here. I hadn’t seen her need until then. I was just reacting to the gratefulness I was feeling.

Writers do make a difference, but more than that, people of faith make a difference when we allow God to shine through our actions. I know I am learning techniques and craft here, but the real lessons are coming from the heart.

Go on out today and be a blessing to someone in any little way you can. You never know where God will take your kindness.

P.S. Don’t forget you have until October 12 to sign up for my Goodreads Giveaway of The Button Legacy: Emily’s Inheritance! A “button” bracelet will be included for one lucky winner!

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY SEPTEMBER 12-OCTOBER 12

From September 12 through October 12, Goodreads will be running a contest for 5 autographed copies of The Button Legacy: Emily’s Inheritance. Make sure you take the time to register and tell your friends!

 Read the Goodreads giveaway details here!

FINAL Cover buttons

 

Join me on Goodreads throughout the month as I answer questions about the new release!

See you there!

Ginger

Bios & Blurbs & Blogs, Oh My!

As a new author, having your book accepted for publication is only the beginning of an exciting and madcap adventure! There are so many things that will be asked of you by your publisher, your editor and your agent or marketing director. When I began the journey, little did I understand the demands that would be put on me, demands that are necessary for a novel’s success.

Because the publishing process is a team effort, everyone must play a part, including the often-times frazzled writer. The dilemma for the writer is that they want to write. They don’t necessarily want be involved in the marketing of their work. The dilemma for the publisher is that they may not have a marketing budget for an unknown author and thusly need to see an author is committed to the novel’s success.

So how does a new author prepare for publication even before their book has an agent, editor or publisher? Here are a few tips that I often share with authors during the writing conferences I teach at.

  • Here are three suggestions of documents that you can prepare in advance
    • Bio-make them varying lengths, short, medium and long. Include a bio with writing experience or clips. Have one for speaking, as well as writing.
    • Query Letter-This can be generic, but it should be good, as it shows off your writing style.
    • Synopsis-Actually, you need more than one synopsis, as different agents and editors may ask for synopsis’ of several lengths.
  • Once your work is accepted for publication, here are three items you will be asked about
    • Your platform-Do you have followers in a subject matter that pertains to your work?
    • Social Media-Are you set up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Pinterest, etc.?
    • Whose work is similar to yours?-A publisher wants to know you understand your audience. They may request a list of authors whose work may be in the same genre or writing style as yours. Be prepared.

 This is just a small sample of what you may need as you get started, but I’ll giving a full workshop, complete with checklists and advice at the Hampton Roads Writer’s Conference, September 18-20, 2014 at the Westin Hotel in Virginia Beach, VA.

The Button Legacy: Emily’s Inheritance On Sale 7-24 to 7-28 on Amazon

For those who wish to grab a copy of my least release, The Button Legacy: Emily’s Inheritance, now is the time! Amazon is running a Kindle deal at just .99 cents from July 24 through July 28!

When you are finished reading it, don’t forget to post a review, as authors everywhere so appreciate the words of their readers!

Enjoy!

Ginger