#Indiebooklist Monday: Week 2

week 2

Week 1: Karen Lynch

Book: Relentless

Our next special guest is Karen Lynch! Karen was one of the first indie authors that I read, which began my journey to publishing. I read Relentless for the first time in 2015, and I have to say, I’ve literally lost track of how many times I’ve read it (I think I was around 30 when I lost count). This is a world that won’t leave your heart unscathed in all the good ways. In 2017 I was able to meet Karen for the first time, and yes, I fan-girled, giggled, and almost cried. She’s one of my author heroes, and I have to say, meeting her was definitely on my bucket list. So, there you go. Time to get reading!

Website: https://www.karenlynchnl.com/

FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/KarenLynch.Author/

 

Sara Grey’s world shattered ten years ago when her father was brutally murdered. Now at seventeen, she is still haunted by memories of that day, and driven by the need to understand why it happened. She lives a life full of secrets, and her family and friends have no idea of the supernatural world she is immersed in or of Sara’s very powerful gift.

In her quest for answers about her father’s death, Sara takes risks that expose her and her friends to danger, and puts herself into the sights of a sadistic vampire. On the same fateful night she meets Nikolas, a warrior who turns Sara’s world upside down, and who is determined to protect her even if it’s the last thing she wants.

Sara’s life starts to spin out of control as she is hunted by an obsessed vampire, learns that her friends have secrets of their own, and reels from the truth about her own ancestry. Sara has always been fiercely independent, but in order to survive now she must open herself to others, to reveal her deepest secrets. And she must learn to trust the one person capable of breaking down the walls around her.

Relentless: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HJ9N3JU

#Indiebooklist Monday: Week 1

As an intro to this post, a friend and I are going to be doing a weekly post about books you shouldn’t miss in 2019! And thus begins week 1!

week 1

Week 1: Ira Robinson

Book: Clockwork Heart

This week begins with the one and only Ira Robinson! Okay, maybe he’s not the only, but he’s certainly not someone you want to miss out on. I first “met” Ira when he interviewed me on a radio show last year. That was one of the funnest interviews I’ve ever had. He’s a natural in that realm and was able to put me at ease within minutes. There’s no doubt in my mind that he has a way with words and will take you to worlds not yet explored. You won’t find many people who work as hard at this author thing as Ira does. Go check out his work!

Website: http://originalworlds.com/

FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/thisisira/

 

Action! Adventure! Humor! … Steampunk?
If you were given the chance to live forever, would you take it? What if the offer came from an unlicensed Wizard?
Within the walls of the sprawling metropolis, Center, anything is possible. Need a dragon to do your dirty work? There’s one for hire. Want to find your true love? If they’re not in Center, one can be created for you.
When a man is given the offer to have his wish come true, and it only comes at the price of a few year’s service, he realizes he can’t pass it up.
But not everything in Center can be taken at face value…
Magic and machines, fairies and demons, humans and beings of infinite power, all call Center their home. Anything you want can be found, but sometimes what you want isn’t what you need.

Clockwork Heart: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L36BP2H/

That time I went back to middle school

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On Tuesday, December 4th, I had the privilege of speaking to the 7th and 8th graders at a Wisconsin middle school about writing, publishing, and other ways they could join in the publishing industry. It was so much fun. The kids were amazing. While I know most likely want nothing to do with writing a book (and some were likely bored), they were so respectful and paid attention to what I had to say. Others are interested in writing and I was glad to be able to give them a little bit of knowledge to help direct them.

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Not only did I talk to them about these three aspects of the author industry, I tried to make as much of it as possible applicable to all of them. First, I presented to 3 classes of 7th graders before having a few hours for a break and then finished the day out with 3 classes of 8th graders. Needless to say that they were glad to have someone in the classroom to listen to who wasn’t a teacher.

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In the afternoon, the 8th graders would all come into the classroom and were like, “We don’t have to write today.” I heard that before every single class. Sorry folks, but you do. 😉  I gave each class a chance to ask whatever questions that they wanted, and whatever time was left, I gave them an assignment (which they handled with grace, of course). They were given three scenarios to write up to practice “Show, Don’t Tell”, and some read their work out loud, and it was really good.

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So, why does this impact me so much? I was their age when I wrote my first book. When I was in 8th grade, we were assigned to write a scary short story (I think it was around Halloween) so I wrote the scariest one I could think of, or most intense. At the time that was difficult for me. However, I loved the story and wanted to build on it, so that short story became the first chapter in my novel. I wish I would’ve known then more about publishing (although at the time publishing a novel wasn’t nearly as easy as it is today with ebooks).

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Back then I knew very little about the craft of writing a good story, but I wrote everyday (by hand) and worked on my craft. Since then, I’ve learned so much more, and I hope that I can inspire others to follow their dream and give them a bit more knowledge than what I had at their age.

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I hope I was able to impact the group, but one thing was certain, they sure reminded me what it was like to be back in school again. It reminded me a lot of the few years I substituted a while back. Good luck to all of you! You’re amazing!

Goal Keeping & Calendaring

For authors, goals can be an important part of the writing process. So can keeping track of dates on a calendar (this includes past and future events). While these can be two separate topics, and rightly should be, I’ve combined the two in my progress to complete my dream.

How combining Goals and a Calendar help me

Goals are important because they break down the process to complete our dream into smaller, more manageable steps. Each goal itself can have a multitude of smaller goals needed to accomplish it. With a broad dream of becoming a self-published author, there are several large steps, or goals, that need to be completed before the dream can come true. Writing the book is one of them, and obviously a crucial one, but there is more beyond that which needs to be done.

To keep myself from going crazy while remembering what I still needed to do and to keep on a schedule, I began using an Excel calendar. This allowed me to choose dates for when each goal was to be completed by, while giving me the opportunity to be flexible. The calendar is fluid, meaning I can change dates as I need to. It keeps me organized and on task for things that I still need to do, and since I’m rewriting book 2, it allows me the opportunity to keep track of the progress for that one as well.

Breaking down your Goals

First, you need your dream. Once you have that, you can start breaking that dream down into goals that need accomplished to make the dream come true. These goals can be as big as you need them to be. Here are some that I’d suggest as an author: First Draft, Revising/Rewriting, Marketing, Beta Reading, Odds & Ends.

Each one of these large goals that are needed can have as many smaller goals as you need to accomplish them. For the first draft of books 1 & 2 I didn’t have goals. As I said in previous posts, I was never planning to publish them so I wrote whatever came. It wasn’t until the Revising/Rewriting step that I began to make goals. That’s when the dream of publishing came alive. I’ve never broken down in a list what I needed to do to complete each of the above goals. Instead I threw them into a calendar to keep track of.

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This is June’s calendar. It lists all the goals that I wanted to have completed that month, and what day I completed them. Obviously it also has some personal items, but I wanted those listed so that I could plan my other goals around them.

In May I began to plan June & July’s calendars and set dates for my small goals. For my Marketing goal, I knew I would need a website and a Facebook author page. If I wasn’t sure when I would do it, I made a note on the bottom to be sure I remembered that it still needed to be done.

The chapters listed I handle differently. I don’t project when they will be done. I did at first, and after constantly changing the dates earlier or later depending on when I finished, I gave up. Now I enter the chapter revisions the day that I finish them. This helps me to see trends that I may otherwise miss, such as that it appears I can rewrite two chapters per week. This in turn pushes me to see if I can somehow rewrite three in a week. Remarkably I just had my first three chapter week!

Even smaller Goals

There are various amounts of goals you can set for yourself. In later posts I’ll go over what works for me to break down goals and accomplish them. For now though, know that goals are there to help you and motivate you. There’s nothing better than accomplishing a goal, especially if you beat your goal deadline. If you don’t make the deadline, it’s okay. Be fluid with them. Life happens, and books take on a life of their own (more like the characters) so that what you had planned must change.

When you reach a goal, especially one of the bigger ones, celebrate! I’m horrible at this. I’ve yet to do anything special for myself when I finish one of the goals, especially the writing and rewriting of Perfect Scents.

If you’ve just made the goal to self-publish, or if it’s been your dream for forever, make your goals and then break them down into smaller goals of what you need to do to accomplish this dream. I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way, and still do, and so will you. Don’t let that deter you. You can do it!

*Side note: this knowledge also applies to other dreams besides becoming a self-published author*