Writer Wednesday – Writing the Synopsis

The synopsis is an integral part of most submission packets, including my most recent agent submissions.   This was a struggle for me, as I hadn’t written one since I published “The Pilot and the Pinup” with  Liquid Silver Books.   A fellow author told me to break each of the chapters down into paragraphs.   I did exactly that and it was quiet the disaster.

The Acquisitions editor at the time informed me I suffered from Dreaded Synopsis Syndrome.  Boy did I ever.   LSB requested a love scene (probably to make sure I didn’t purple-prose the hell out of it) and the last chapter (likely to make sure the book was done).   They accepted my full ms and I never had to write a synopsis for them again.  Thank the writing gods.

Thankfully, My other digital publisher, Resplendence Publishing, didn’t require the synopsis.  Whew.

Now that I’m looking for an agent I’m back in the land of having to write a synopsis.  Ugh!

Luckily, there is a ton of info on the interwebs on how to write one.   I found this site to be very helpful.

http://www.publishingcrawl.com/2012/04/17/how-to-write-a-1-page-synopsis/

After writing said one page synopsis, I find some agents now want 3-5 pages.  Ugh!   And I thought I’d mastered the dreaded synopsis.

~Join me next week as we continue the query journey.

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AuThursday – JC Hannigan

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I am a twenty-eight year old mother and wife of two boys. We have a black lab and live in Southern Ontario. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to write books. I would write books, on lined paper with crayon coloured “covers”.

I see you’ve written a lot of series, including COLLIDE, DAMAGED and REBEL. What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

I love reading series, following as characters grow and change. For the Collide series, I wasn’t quite done with Harlow Jones after the first book…or the second book. So I wrote a third, and I feel like that story is definitely one that couldn’t be condensed and told the same way. I encountered the same problem with the Damaged Series; I knew that Everly and Grayson’s story couldn’t be condensed to just one book.

But for the Rebel Series, I did try something different…while it is a series, each book can be read as a standalone as each book focuses on one of the three Miller siblings; Brock, Becky, and Braden. The first book–Rebel Soul, is Brock and Tessa’s story. Rebel Heart is Braden and Elle’s story, and Rebel Song is Travis and Becky’s story. I had a blast writing this series, and I think I’ll do more in the future because it appeals to both series lovers and those who prefer standalones.

What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?

A LOT, I owe them a lot! Everyone around me has influenced or inspired aspects and personality traits in my characters. For example, Bill Armstrong (from the Rebel Series) is a lot like my father–traditional, productive, stubborn, hard-working, a man of few words. Everly Daniels (the Damaged Series) has my naive nature and wears her heart on her sleeve.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Nailing their emotional response to things! I always have to hit up my husband for advice with my male characters.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

I have tried the hybrid publishing house method, and that didn’t end well. The publishing company went under, and that kind of stress and uncertainty didn’t jive well with me, so I really like the control I have with independant publishing. But I can only really speak from my experiences thus far. I’m not against traditional publishing, or closed off to the idea, and who knows what the future will bring.

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

I’m not really good at letting things stew, so I edit right away. But I usually do several cycles of editing, revising, and tweaking before sending it to the editor and beta team. In between those edits and revisions, I work on other projects.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

MUSIC! I need music!

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Yes, writer’s block is definitely a thing. I like to refer to it as “word constipation”.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Just keep writing 🙂

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

Author Website – http://jchannigan.com
Amazon Author Page – http://amzn.to/2bvioNg
Twitter – http://twitter.com/jcahannigan
Facebook – http://facebook.com/jcahannigan
Google Plus – http://tinyurl.com/qaqex3f
Instagram – http://instagram.com/jcahannigan
Personal blog – http://sarcastica.ca
FANnigans – https://www.facebook.com/groups/FANnigans/
Do you have a sexy teaser you’d like to share with us?

Sure do! This is a teaser from my new release, REBEL SONG. Available in KU September 18th!

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Join me next Thursday when Izzy Syn joins us.  ~Tina

Teaching at Writer Zen Garden

wzgI’m teaching my FEARS workshop this weekend at Writer Zen Garden if anyone is interested. Classes are free to members. Membership is free.

http://writerzengarden.com/forums/

Feel free to share with any writer friends.

AuThursday – Janet Walters

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Janet Lane Walters here. I’ve been a published author since 1968 though there were a few years taken off to return to work as a nurse to help children through college. I’ve been married to the same man for 55 years and there are four children. The youngest is an adopted biracial daughter. There are seven grandchildren, four biracial and three adopted Chinese children. I live in the scenic Hudson River valley. Billed as an eclectic writer besides short stories, poetry, and 3 non-fiction books, I write in a number of genres.

What genre are your books?

Genres – There are romances, paranormal, fantasy, mystery, historicals. I also have a YA fantasy series published under J. L. Walters.

What draws you to this genre?

Since I write in a number of genres I’ve chosen the ones I really enjoy writing and reading. Often there is some kind of medicine in many of my books. This goes back to being a nurse and my fascinating with alternate methods of healing.

Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?

I write seven days a week and being retired I can write where I want and when I want.

I see you write a few series including MOONCHILD, AT FIRST SIGHT, and OPPOSITES IN LOVE.  What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

I enjoy reading series and also trilogies. Sometimes there need to be more stories to finish the story. My YA Affinities series is one of those. Readers like series. Sometimes a character in one of the books asks for their own story.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? 

I have not dipped into self-publishing. I am mainly with two small publishers. One US and one Canadian. For me self-publishing would present problems since I really like to do everything myself and having to hire people to format, edit, covers and etc. wouldn’t suit me at all. I do admire those who have taken this route but it’s not for this 80-year-old writer.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

I do proof my own books but then they go off to my current publisher Books We Love and they are also proofed by an editor there. I belong to a critique group and thus for content I have ten other voices to keep me on track.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Finish the book before tinkering with it. Trying to make each page perfect before reaching the end and you won’t ever finish the book.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

https://twitter.com/JanetL717

http://janetlanewalters.com/home

https://www.facebook.com/janet.l.walters.3?v=wall&story_fbid=113639528680724

http://bookswelove.net/

AuThursday – Your name here

img_0982We are getting to the end of the year and I’ll be looking for Interview Candidates for 2017.  

If you think this is something you might be interested let me know. 

I post Interviews every Thursday and Excerpts on Saturday.  I’m thinking of adding some new items like Wednesday Writer Space – More on that to come. 

I don’t do reviews or blitzes, as I want the readers to get to know the writer and what makes them tick.   

Reader make-up seems to be a mix  of Fans, Aspiring Writers, Actors and Veteran Writers.  This page if  viewed more as informative and educational rather than promotional. 

I’ll post the Clog Blog Results at the end of the year as I have in the past.   

Stay tuned next week for more writers. ~Tina

 

 

AuThursday -Ann Everett

ann-everett-photo-and-coversPlease welcome Ann Everett to the Clog Blog.  Ann, can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up—until I started writing. I’m a native Texan, having grown up in a small, small, really small town, population 406. I’ve been married to the same man since dirt. I love shopping at thrift stores. I don’t remember my first kiss. I hate talking on the phone. A really sharp pencil makes me happy, and I’m glad wrinkles aren’t painful.

What genre are your books?

I write contemporary romance, new adult romance, and I have a trilogy of light mystery, steamy sex, and plenty of humor which makes it hard to put in a category.

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

No, but I’m always on the lookout for other authors who might want to do a joint box set of books.

I see you’ve dipped into the Indie publishing world.  What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

The disadvantage of indie publishing is you have to do everything yourself…find an editor, formatter, book designer, etc. When I was with a small press, they did all that for me. The advantage is control. I get to look at my sales every day and have the final say in all aspects. I’m somewhat of a control freak, so self-publishing is perfect for me.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

I do both. After having every chapter critiqued by other writers, I usually do 2-3 rounds of editing on my own, then have an editor go over it. After that, I have a team of beta readers who give it a once over. I think it’s important to have “readers” in place of writers go over the book before I publish. They pick up on things no one else does!

Who designs your covers?

I’ve used several. Octagon Lab did all the covers for my trilogy. For my romance books, I’ve used Pink Ink Designs, Gemma James, Upchurch Design Studios, and for my non-fiction, I used vendors from Fiverr.com.

What are you working on at the minute?

I just finished my seventh novel. It’s a new adult romance and hopefully, will be published in December. The tagline reads: A girl hiding from her future~~A man running from his past

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Join a critique group, either online or locally. I belong to both and the help I get is priceless. Just be sure and find one with members who will be brutally honest. If the members aren’t finding things wrong with your work, then they aren’t helping.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

http://www.anneverett.com

Join me on Saturday when we read an unedited sneak peek from Ann’s soon-to-be-released new adult romance, CHIRP. ~Tina

AuThursday – Nicole Evelina

Nicole Evelina headshot horizontalPlease welcome, Award Winning Author, Nicole Evelina to the Clog Blog.  Nicole, you write in multiple genres, are there any particular challenges with that?

Branding is a little more difficult because I can’t simply say I’m a historical fiction author or a romantic comedy author, I have to explain that I do both. But it’s not much of a hassle. I mainly write historical fiction and I have more trouble moving from one time period to another when I change books than I do from moving from past to present or from historical fantasy to straight historical fiction.

Q:  Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I have a full-time job, so most of my writing happens on the weekends and on vacation days. My day job is as a writer in a marketing department, so a lot of times by creativity is done by the end of the day, but I do write at night or on my lunch hour if I’m particularly inspired or if it’s during NaNoWriMo.

Q:  How did you come up with the idea for GUINEVERE’S TALE TRIOLOGY?Camelot's Queen eBook Cover Large

When I was in college, a friend of mine gave me a copy of The Mists of Avalon for Christmas. I LOVED it, but I hated the author’s portrayal of Guinevere as meek and well, boring. That made me seek out other books about Guinevere and I read Parke Godwin’s Beloved Exile, which tells the story of what happened to Guinevere after the fall of Camelot. That made me wonder what happened to her before and after Arthur, which is something you don’t hear much about. Then Guinevere came into my head, telling me she wanted me to write her story, including her time before and after Arthur (which I thought at the time would be all one book). The rest, as they say, is history.

Q:  Why did you choose Indie (self) publishing vs. Small Press or Traditional Publishing?

It was a combination of things, and a decision that I took a long time in coming to. One of the main factors was that it was time for me to get my work out there. It had been four and a half years – and six books – since I started querying agents. My work was just stacking up with no place to go, even though I had people telling me through my blog and social media that they wanted to read it. I wanted to be able to learn from it, which I can’t do unless others can read it. That, combined with wanting to have my historical fiction book Madame Presidentess published before the November 2016 Presidential election (which was by then impossible to do traditionally because of the time it takes to produce a book), and a desire to have more control over my career, led me to start my own publishing company. However, I am open the possibility of traditional publishing in the future. I haven’t ruled anything out.

Q:  What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?

Marketing and gaining visibly in a crowded marketplace are the biggest challenges for me. Even though my background is in marketing, it’s still a challenge because there are so many books out there and without a big house behind you, it’s hard to get people’s attention. I’ve been doing everything myself up to this point, but for my next book I’ll be working with a publicist, so I’m hoping that will help.

For me, the biggest benefit is the control. I get to have full input on the cover, the blurb on the back of the book, how and when sales take place and am responsible for quality control. I get to pick my own audio book talent and give them direction based on how I’d like the book to be performed. Those are all things most traditional authors have little to no say in. The downside is that all of this takes time and money, valuable commodities for every author, and you don’t have anyone helping in that department.

Q:  Who edits your books and how did you select him/her?

My editor is Cassie Cox of Joy Editing. I found her on the recommendation from an author friend who had used her previously. Listening to that friend is one of the smartest things I’ve ever done.

Q:  Who designs your book covers?

Jenny Quinlan (Jenny Q.) from Historical Editorial. I found out about her at the Historical Novel Society annual conference. She’s designed covers for many highly-respected authors and I couldn’t be happier with her work.

Q:  How do you market your books?

The short answer: every way and everywhere I can!

Obviously I use my website and blog, my newsletter and social media. I also do a blog tour for every book. I have one coming up with Chick Lit Goddess for my romantic comedy, Been Searching for You, and for my historicals I use Historical Fiction Blog Tours. I make use of guest posts, articles in publications like The Huffington Post and giveaways to get my name out there and my books into people’s hands. I also attend several conferences a year. Sending books to reviewers is high on my list and I do occasional advertising on Goodreads and Pinterest.

Q:  What are your current projects?

I’m hard at work on final edits to Madame Presidentess, a historical fiction novel about Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President in the United States in 1872, which comes out on July 25.

After that I will be writing the final book in the Guinevere’s Tale Trilogy, Mistress of Legend, which will likely be out in early 2017. I have a first draft, but it needs serious help.

Next will be a WWII book that tells the story of an unsung real-life heroine. But you’ll have to wait to find out who.

Q:  Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

My website/blog is http://nicoleevelina.com.

 

I can also be reached online at:

Join me on Saturday when we read an excerpt from not one but two of Nicole’s stories.  Also if you are in the Chicago area, Nicole will be signing at the The Spring Fling 2016,  book signing will take place on Saturday, May 21st from 3-5pm at the Hyatt Regency in Schaumburg, IL.   ~Tina