Monday, October 31, 2011

Logline--Take two and First 250 words

So tomorrow is the Bakers Dozen entry deadline and I am pleading for a little end-of-the-line help. I have my log line below with two possible endings and my first 250 words and once again my mind is mush and some crit love is much needed. Whatever you can give would be great!

Logline ending 1:

Seventeen –year-old Kali Addison is time. So when her father’s time machines are incinerated making her the sole time machine on earth, she is hunted by a corrupt government who wants to reproduce her and anti-time travelers who want her dead. If either of them get their hands on her before she remembers how to use her powers to protect herself, then its times up—for everyone.
Logline ending 2:
Seventeen –year-old Kali Addison is time. So when her father’s time machines are incinerated making her the sole time machine on earth, she is hunted by a corrupt government who wants to reproduce her and anti-time travelers who want her dead. If either of them get their hands on her before she finds and destroys them, then its times up—for everyone.
I am looking for ending help as well as your thoughts on the logline.

Now for the first 250 words:
Picking at my fingers is an art form.  I start by prodding the side skin around my nail until it lifts enough for my teeth to yank it away. This calms me until the pain comes, which it always does.  I don’t like pain.  It reminds me too much of my life so I move on to biting the actual nails, chipping away until all that’s left of my fingers are angry red stumps.
I do this now watching my friends goof off in a line that snakes around a side wall leading to a check point, which, beyond that, leads to further lines and check points.
The endless foray and clusters of people whispering in hushed tones in the starch white building aren’t enough to make my friends shut their pie-holes for once. Greer has to pull Sages hair in a playful manner and she has to love tap him back while Flip laughs out loud at them both, not concerned one bit about the on-lookers dumbfounded glances in their direction.
I break from biting my nails long enough to duck my head when Flip calls me out in that pompous way he’s so good at. “So Kali, where you takin’ us?”
He did that on purpose. Jerk. He wants people to know I’m here, using my father’s time machine to travel. The last thing I want is a bunch of paparazzi swarming us. It’s why I wear the stupid bumble bee glasses and ball cap. But it’s the only thing he wants and when Flip’s around, it’s all about him.

That's it! Thanks for all your help:)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Firsts Fridays: Author Nadja Notariani and Killer Characters Day 3

UPDATE: We've got ourselves a winner for Nadja's e-book, Claiming the Prize. Congrats to ANGELA BROWN! Nadja will be contacting you shortly:)

First off, today is the final day for the Killer Characters Blogfest! If you want to spill the beans on who your fave antagonist is and maybe win a prize, go HERE! Read after the First Fridays interview to see who mine is.

Today’s Firsts Friday’s guest is a busy gal having just finished up a very creative blogfest called The Rule of Three, as well as recently publishing her first novel. Let’s see how Nadja Notariani can help us as she celebrates a first in her life.

From an early age, stories filled with adventure and romance captivated my imagination. Now I have become the storyteller.

Nadja Notariani

DB: Hi Nadja! Welcome to First Fridays and thanks for being hereJ

You have just published your first novel, Claiming the Prize. Can you tell us a little bit about the book and how you came up with the idea?

NN: Claiming The Prize is my first novel, published on 01 September, 2011. I still have trouble believing it! Ha.

The novel centers around Drago Zadrovec, a mixed-martial-artist from Slovakia who travels to the United States to train in an exclusive gym. Drago intends to fight his way to the light-heavyweight title, but he gets more than he bargained for when he meets Grace Antolini, daughter of the legendary trainer he signs on with. Of course, romance blooms. However, Drago and Grace are unique characters. They have definite ideas about love and life that add a balance to their passion. Claiming the Prize makes me smile.

I suppose the idea of a fighter, and his ensuing fighting career, isn't what one normally thinks of when conjuring a romance. Well, unless you're me! I liked the duality of the character, Drago. MMA is a brutal sport, but under those fighters are real men. I have three sons, all folk-style wrestlers, and one who trains in mixed-martial-arts. I've watched so many practices, tournaments, and matches! I'm a great fan. Through watching my boys and discovering how much they have to sacrifice to participate successfully in this sport, my admiration grew considerably. Voila! The idea for the novel was planted.

DB: Your novel sounds very unique.  Who doesn’t love a romance mixed up with some crazy fighting?

Also, Nadja is giving away an e-book of Claiming the Prize. Read after the interview for details.

What about you, how long have you known you wanted to write and what kind of writer are you, a plotter or a pantster?

NN: I've been an avid reader since I could read. I devour books. What's better than getting lost in the desert while sipping sweet tea on the breezy side porch? What's more exciting that trailing a kidnapper from behind a locked door? Hunting vampire? I do it all the time from my comfy chair!

DB: Not much compares to it!

NN: This love of the story – combined with the over-active imagination I have – inspired me to attempt my own stories. I always had thoughts like, “Oh! The heroine should say this...or do that...or go here...or ...” well, you see. I'm tickled that I did! Writing is the best fun I've had yet!

Now...I didn't have a clue where I was going exactly when I began Claiming The Prize. I absolutely pantsed my first novel, writing scenes out of order and following the muse as it skipped merrily around my brain. No more of that for me. I'm an organized sort of person. Very organized. Outlining is the way for writing and me to get on splendidly. I need a map to keep that overactive imagination from veering off the storyline. Ha. For me, the outline is like a guardrail dotted with reflective lights - for when I'm plowing through a hazy/foggy/dark part of the story.

DB: I’ve tried both routes too. It is plotting all the way for me now too.

What route did you decide to take to publish your book and how has the experience been so far?

NN: Before I had written half of Claiming The Prize, I had decided to indie publish. Being a bit of a control freak...(No, you say...But, yes, 'tis true. )... indie publishing offered me complete control over my work. I liked the idea of being part of each step in the process. The writing, the editing, the corrections, the cover design, the promotion – all come from me. I find this extremely satisfying as I'm also a task-oriented person. Each step enabled me to enjoy a sense of accomplishment instead of being tossed along in the ocean waves of traditional publishing. No waiting for someone to find my book idea as fantastic as I ...No accepting a cover I didn't want...No edits that fundamentally changed my story (although I cannot stress enough how important it is to get beta reader opinions and to use their thoughts, suggestions, and ideas to sharpen your writing – and to get yourself an editor)

 Keep in mind, however, that indie publishing is also scary! It's learning on the job for sure. I needed every ounce of self-confidence I could muster to take on formatting. I needed to follow my gut with my story – and then be prepared for whatever that meant, whether good or bad. (Thankfully, it's been overwhelmingly positive...whew! :) I've made some mistakes. But that's okay! How else can we learn but by doing? When we fail to learn, we fail to grow. When we fail to grow, we wither. We decay. We die.

I chose the option that was best for me. Each of us must weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision that fits where we are at the time.

DB: I totally agree! Us writers are all so different. I think it’s wonderful to have as many options as we do to get our work out thereJ

NN: Oh! Do I have plans! (smiles like a Cheshire cat) In five years, my goal is to have at least eight novel length works published. I'd like to be selling a minimum of 50 books per day. (that would put me at the earnings of a median income wage in the United States) And, I'd love to have laid a solid foundation for my business platform. As for the how-to...well, I'm learning as I go. I'm in stage one, which is building my library, growing in my craft, and gaining readers. I'll be studying up on marketing techniques, gleaning information from fellow indie authors, and applying the golden rule to all I meet.

DB: Awesome plans!

Tell us anything! It can be about you, your writing; something fun…the choice is yours.

NN: My sister and I (I have four sisters and four brothers...;) once took a personality test on the computer. The results promised to match you up with your best movie/cartoon characters, so we thought it would be a hoot and delved right in, imagining our perfect match know.

We received our results, and while I cannot argue with them, as we both laughed our 'unmentionables' off at how 'right' their assessment was, neither of us wanted to admit to our responses.

My sister's over-all title was 'Mastermind', and her number one match up was Cat-Woman from the Batman movies....Ha! I still laugh until the tears roll as that describes her to perfection. She was always coming up with these 'ideas' and 'plans' when we were growing up that were guaranteed to get us both a spanking.

It was a bit harder at first to laugh at my own result, but I've managed to 'own' it...

My over-all title was 'Barbarian', (ouch) and my number one match up was Lucy from Peanuts (you know the one who pulled the football out from in front of poor Charlie Brown over and over....the one who set up a stand and charged 5 cents for advice...yeah,her.) Who wants to be Lucy? Maybe Lucille Ball....heh heh.

Anyway, I hope you gained a laugh. And in the end, old 'Lucy' and I came to an agreement. We'd tone down the football snatching and concentrate more on charging the 5 cents...Ha! My sister calls that 'growing up'. She's the 'strategist', right?

DB: HA! That was fun and I like LucyJ

Again Nadja, thanks so much for being here!

Want more of Nadja? Check out her blog HERE

If you are interested in getting yourself an e-book of Claiming the Prize comment below and you will be entered. I will announce the winner next Friday!

If you're here to find out who my Killer Character Antagonist is you've come to the right place.

There is not a scarier antagonist then the balloon totin', kid killin' clown in the movie IT in my opinion. I have never looked at clowns the same since.

Nuff Said...eek!
Until next time…
Keep writing. Keep learning.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Warm Fuzzies and day two of Killer Characters!

This week begins the month long Warm Fuzzies Blogfest hosted by the uber-talented Juliana Brandt.

About the blogfest in her words:
For the next four weeks we’ll celebrate being writers and revel in the amazing community surrounding us. Sign up below and hop on over to the other blogs. Build your platform and most importantly, make some new friends :)
To start off the fest, we’re going to tackle the issue of those who aren’t in our community. How do you broach the subject of being a writer to other people who aren’t authors?

So this week we get to talk about how we tell people we are writers. Well, for the most part, I don't tell people, but when I have in the past it can often go something like this:

non-writer person: "So what have you been doing with yourself these days?"

me: "Well," pause, "I've kind of been writing."

non-writer person: "Writing? Really? What do you write?"

me: Looking down at my toes to hide the blush creeping into my face. "Oh nothing really, I wrote a young adult book."

non-writer person: A very exaggerated, "Oooohhh," followed by a forced laugh, "like that Twilight book huh?"

me: "Um, well, yes Stephenie Meyer does write young adult, but it isn't about vampires if that's what your asking."

non-writer person: "Yea I hear lots of people are doing that these days after her success. You should let me read it sometime. I'm very good at critiquing."

me: "Yea, I'm sure you are," fake smile, "anyways, how about those Cats." (I'm from Kentucky, hence the quick subject change to Kentucky Wildcats)

And that's it folks, the reason I choose to keep my lips sealed. It would seem certain people think I want to write not because I LOVE to write, but because other people did it and got rich. Go figure. Not to mention, I don't think there is one thing wrong with a healthy dose of motivation by successful writers by the way:) I get it from you all every well as Stephenie Meyer, Colleen Houck, Becca Fitzpatrick, Suzanne Collins, Cassandra Clare...and the list goes on. So thanks to you all! I just love writers:)

If you'd like to get in on this blogfest, do it now. She is giving away awesome prizes, one of which being a professional edit of your manuscript. HELLO! Go HERE to sign up.

Also, don't forget, Killer Characters Blogfest is on day two today. It's the Protagonist Challenge. I'd have to say my all time favorite is Alvin Maker from the Alvin Maker Series written by Orson Scott Card. If you haven't read those books, YOU SHOULD! Who is your favorite? Join in and tell us for a chance to win some pretty cool prizes.

Until next time...
Keep writing. Keep learning.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Choose Your Adventure and Killer Characters is here!

It's here folks! If you are here because of the Choose Your Own Adventure Bloghop and you chose to Open the doorway to the smaller dome, please read below. If you dont know what I'm talking about but it sounds fun, feel free to start your adventure now...

If you are here for the Killer Characters Blogfest, you can still get in on the action. Check out the deets HERE!

And now to continue your adventure...
Open the doorway to the smaller dome.

You stare back over your shoulder at the gargantuan monster and almost laugh at how familiar his snake eyes have become. It’s those eyes that urge you forward, like a parent sending you off to your first day of school. You are surprised at how much you would rather stay with the serpent than inch through this new door. The eerie black hallway lit only by white razor teeth at the end isn’t giving you the comfort escaping a massive monster is supposed to give. At least you can take off the breathing apparatus. You suck in air caring little that it’s dank and stale. Breathing on your own gives you the courage you need to move forward.

It doesn’t take long for the walk to seem never ending, and you’ve forgotten already how grateful you are to be breathing air. It’s cold, the stench of something is sitting rotten in your nostrils, and you’re bone tired. You reach out for something, anything to hold onto as you dare one last glance over your shoulder. Right as you see the strange monster friend is gone, your hand slides along a slimy, warm shape. You scream out, and your shaky legs find the adrenaline to bolt you toward the light. Anything ahead has to be better than what your mind has conjured up from the slime and stench in the dark.

The further you go, the larger the light ahead becomes until you begin to see it isn’t white jaws ready to gnash your limbs to shreds at all, but the reflection of sunlight against a vast body of water. A new doorway frames this odd land. Or have you found the doorway to your world? It matters little when you see the sandy beach and an endless stone path leading away from the underwater abyss you were sure would be your death.

Fear momentarily grips your insides as a man appears at the start of the path. You stop dead in your tracks as this tall man with mesmerizing blue eyes the color of the sea holds out his hand to you. The pull toward him is undeniable, but something else about him tickles your memory in an odd way and you wonder what you should do.

Do you take the man’s hand and let him lead you down the path?
Do you turn tail and run as fast as you can in the other direction?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Firsts Fridays: The Plot Whisperer, Martha Alderson

Anyone who reads my blog is probably sick to death of me mentioning the Plot Whisperer, but I tell you, she is fabulous. So fabulous in fact, that she accepted an invite to be interviewed for Firsts Fridays.

Martha Alderson (that is her real name, not really the Plot Whisperer just in case you didn’t know) isn’t really experiencing any firsts but she’s been there and also enjoys helping those that are.

Just check out her bio if you don’t believe me:

Martha Alderson has worked with hundreds of writers in sold-out plot workshops, retreats, and plot consultations for more than fifteen years. Her clients include bestselling authors, New York editors, and Hollywood movie directors. She lives in Santa Cruz, CA. Follow her blogworkshops, vlog, or follow her on twitter and faceboook

DB: First things first, congratulations on your new book coming out soon! Could you tell us a little bit about it?

MA: Thank you!

My intention in writing this book is to share the insights I have gained about plot and character, structure and form, thanks to years of teaching and consulting with writers from five years old to 102. I conduct plot workshops for writers of all genres who are intent on creating a worthy project. In one-on-one plot consultations, I listen to writers from all over the world recount scenes and visions for their stories. Throughout the process, I suggest plot parameters, offer tips on theme and character, and recommend tricks for layering and pacing.

The more writers I interact with, the more keenly I feel the universality and interconnectedness of our shared journeys through life together, especially those of us stubborn enough to pluck words from our imaginations and offer them to the world.

Anyone who wants to write or is in the process of writing a novel, short story, memoir, or screenplay faces the daunting task of creating several plots and multiple scenes. This book will guide you through the process of writing the story inside of you. Along the way I include Plot Whisper tips and exercises to improve your plotting skills, and The Writer’s Way advice about how to expand your writing life.

DB: I love how you not only help us as writers but you motivate us, push us through the rough patches. Thanks for that by the way.

What about yourself? Who is Martha Alderson? How did you get the name, The Plot Whisperer, and why have you decided to make it your job to help other writers out?

MA: I made up the name – The Plot Whisperer – when I started my blog of the same name. My intent for the blog was to use it to “debrief” after plot consultations with writers. I am usually energized after a session with lots of ideas and questions swirling around I believe are helpful to other writers so I use that space to share plot tips and insights into the writing process with a bit of inspiration thrown in.

DB: I have to say the name is fitting.

You have a wealth of information out there for writers, novelists, screen writers and play writers alike. I know what my favorite is (the You Tube plot series), but what would you say is your most helpful work to date?

MA: My new book: The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master is my most helpful work to date. I was filming the YouTube Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? while I was writing the book so the Plot Series is loosely the outline of the Plot Whisperer book. The book goes more deeply into the elements covered in the Plot Series with loads of examples from novels, memoirs, and screenplays.

The part of the book I am most excited about is the story beneath the story – the Universal Story and the message that writing is transformative. I hope writers come away from this book with practical techniques to integrate the energy of the Universal Story into their stories. After using these ideas, I believe writers will begin to understand themselves better. They’ll see their writing in a different light. The ways they interact with their writing and with the world around them will shift.

Writers imagine themselves into being writers. Their imaginations allow them to see worlds invisible to others. In my book, I invite writers to imagine the Universal Story into reality and reclaim a miraculous and mysterious way of being.

DB: Since I did this interview I’ve had time to read some of your book this book and I have to say, it is amazing! For those interested I am giving away a copy of it. Read below for more info.

Let’s say someone wants a one-on-one consult with you. Is that possible and if so, what is the difference between the one-on-one time versus someone simply reading your advice?

MA: Yes, I do plot consultations with writers from all over the world. The difference is that we work on the writer’s own particular story to develop a plot and discuss issues and questions and problems the writers has confronted, specific to their individual story.

DB: Sign me up is all I’ve gotta sayJ

What kind of guidance or encouragement can you give a writer who has sent out query after query only to get rejection after rejection?

MA: Go back and re-plot your story. Create a Plot Planner and then stand back from the story and assess what’s working and what may need additional time and attention.

DB: The Plot Planner is ingenious.

What is one of the biggest mistakes you see a new writer making?

MA: Giving away the backstory right up front. Telling rather than showing. Constantly going back over what they have written rather than forging ahead and writing to the end of the story. Until you write the climax, you can’t make informed decisions about the beginning.

DB: No joke, these three things are exactly what I did with my first novel. It’s so easy to keep going back.

Are there any parting words of advice you can give to us writers, old and new?

MA: Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. Learn to compensate for your weaknesses and rely on your strengths. Understand the writing process for what it is – a personal journey with the promise of ultimate transformation for not only your protagonist but for you as well.

DB: Thanks so much, Martha, for doing this interview! It is amazing to have someone so knowledgeable share their wisdom with us.

MA: Thanks for this opportunity, Deana!

If you’ve read the interview and are salivating over getting your fingers on a copy of Martha’s newest book, simply leave me a comment below for a chance to win. I will pick a winner next Friday. Good luck!

Can’t get enough Plot Whisperer? Check her out on her next blog tour stop:

Shreve Stockton at Honey Rock Dawn
As the author of the best-selling memoir, The Daily Coyote, Shreve shares first-hand experience with my plot techniques.
She is offering a book giveaway.

Until next time…

Keep writing. Keep learning.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Some Friendly Reminders

First I wanted to give a big thanks to all those who helped me with my logline. I am sooo appreciative and will be posting an update soon.

Now for the friendly reminders to anyone stopping by...this Friday and Monday we have some pretty cool things happening around here.

Friday, Martha Alderson, better known as the Plot Whisperer is stopping by to chat it up with us. This woman is phenomenal at helping you take your idea and running with it. My current WIP was just an idea until I found her You Tube series. She also has a new book out this month, Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master, that I will be giving away. Cool right?

Then come Monday I am helping out with two fabulous blogfests.

Killer Characters Blogfest - Have fun, win prizes and gush about your favorite killer characters at this fest.


Choose Your Adventure Blogfest - Join us on a journey where only you can decide which path to choose.

I hope to see you around!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Logline Help

Have you heard of Miss Snarks First Victim before? If you haven't, you should! She is awesome, running these fabulous agent contests every month, and every once in a while she runs a Bakers Dozen contest where a dozen agents come and bid on your work.
I thought is would be fun to try it out. You should too. But here's the thing. What you are submitting is your logline. If you could only see my face now you would know what real despair is. Seriously, I gag on the word logline.

I need some major help from my fellow bloggers. I have two loglines here, the first is what I submitted originally for crits (because she does that too) and it was shredded as I thought it would be.

This is it: (and yes I know it doesn't even make sense)
Sixteen-year-old Kali Addison remembers the past before the Protectorate creates their utopian society, but when bombs destroy it all in the present, she’d better figure out why before there is no future.

Last night I worked on this second one and I do feel it has more of the components you need for a logline (inciting incident, goal, conflict, consequences), but I think it still lacks in a BIG way.

Here it is:
When the time machines seventeen-year-old Kali Addison’s dad invented are destroyed, she discovers the power to travel through time is within her. With a heavy handed government wanting to reproduce Kali for their own use and those who wiped out her dads work wanting her dead, she hardly has time to figure out who she really is. If one of them catch her before she does, it’s times up—for everyone.

So please, if you could give me some words of advice I would appreciate it. Cause seriously, I stink at these things and can use all the help I can get.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Firsts Fridays: Emily Rittel-King

I feel a special kinship toward today’s Firsts Fridays guest because I not only consider her a great blogging buddy she is also my friend. Emily Rittel-King is doing many things in her life, like writing, blogging and querying. None of them are firsts for her but I love her insight and I think you will too so let’s get to know her shall we…
This is what she says about herself:

I'm a mom busting out of my daily grind by immersing myself in the pages of a book, preferably my own. I dabble in suspense and paranormal fiction for young adults and adults, but my first love is romance.

You've probably guessed my real name isn't E.R. King, and you may be asking, what's with the pen name? I'm very attached to my maiden name, Rittel, enough so that I considered sticking with it, but the only people who know how to pronounce it correctly live in my hometown. My father was my high school principal (can you imagine?) so everyone knows me: kids, teachers, gas station clerks—it's a small town. To avoid mispronunciation (Rit-elle, not Ri-tell or Ri-dell), I've honored my family name by making it an initial. Hence the name E (Emily) R (Rittel) King.

Randomness about me: If my house was set on fire and I had time to rescue three things I would choose my hard drive, Violet my cat, and my wedding photo. In case you're wondering, my husband and our three munchkins got out okay, but sadly, my box of Lindor Truffles was consumed in the flames. The cat had an edge over the chocolates, but only by a hair.
DB: Hey Emily! I’m thrilled to have you visiting todayJ

When I first checked out your blog you had three followers and now you have over 200, not to mention the tons of comment love. Can you tell us your secret?
ERK: I don’t know if I have a secret so much as a thirst for blogging. I follow a lot of blogs, read them, and comment on them. I found the blogs I follow through blogfests, reading other blogger’s comments, and going to the links people post when they receive blogging awards. My Blogging Mentor Monday’s guest spot has helped me gain followers and taught me a lot about Blogging. Receiving blogging awards and tags also helps.

As for my own blog, I try to post about issues on my mind. A fellow blogger taught me how to receive comments by e-mail, so those who have a working e-mail address I respond to directly. It’s saved me time and helped me form personal relationships with my followers. I also like to post only 2-3 times a week. This gives time for those who don’t check their blogs every day to comment.
DB: It really is cool how we develop these great friendships with our blogging friends.

Sticking with blogging questions for a moment, it seems you are all over the blogosphere. Every blog I visit you have been there and left a lovely comment. How do you time manage your blogging, visiting blogs, writing and personal life and still stay sane?
ERK: I’ve really pushed myself to get out there and find blogs. My hunt has slowed a bit, as I’m following plenty now, but then I find another great blog and I HAVE to follow and comment. It can be tough fitting in blogging while writing, but the balance of work and play keeps me sane. I really don’t spend that much time blogging. I’ve discovered that the two busiest blogging days are on Monday and Tuesday (sometimes Wednesdays), so I spend a couple of hours on those days. The weekends are usually pretty quiet in the blog-o-sphere.

DB: I think you’ve found the key by figuring out the busy days and taking it easy the others.

You have recently been querying agents and are doing pretty well as far as requests for partials or fulls. Can you give us some query advice?
ERK: I wish there were a magic formula for querying, but alas, it’s all about perseverance and finding an agent who falls in love with your writing. First and foremost, be prepared. Don’t go into it hoping you’ll find an agent, KNOW you’ll find one. Then be patient, believe in yourself, and realize a rejection is no more than a “no thank you.” You don’t want an agent who feels lukewarm about your book. You want total and complete adoration. Don’t settle for anything less!

DB: Great advice!
What are you working on now and where do you see yourself in the future of writing?

ERK: I’m still plugging away on my 5-book series, which I see myself finishing sometime in the next decade. : ) It’s fun, but a lot of work. Building a world that spans five books makes me careful of every plot twist and subplot because it all adds up. I know the ending, which helps a lot. Still, writing is hard work. Querying is hard. Believing in yourself in the face of rejection is hard. The future depends on what I do today, so I’m busting my butt to get what I want.
DB: You nailed it on the believing in yourself being hard. I think we can sometimes be our own worst enemyJ

You are co-hosting a fun blogfest with me called the Killer Characters Blogfest in a couple of weeks. Can you tell us a little about that?
ERK: YES! The blogfest

DB: If anyone is interested in signing up you can go HERE to do so. We will be offering three prizes!
Tell us anything. It can be about you, your writing, something fun. Whatever. The floor is yoursJ

ERK: Life is good! Be thankful for what you have, work for what you want, and believe you can achieve your dreams!
DB: Perfect way to end it Emily! Thanks for being here; you’re a doll for doing thisJ

ERK: I appreciate the opportunity, Deana. This was fun!
DB: If Emily sounds as awesome to you as she is to me you can find her blogging it up at Lets Get Busy Writing.

Until next time…
Keep writing. Keep learning.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Edit Crazy

My face has been buried in edits so much so that when I came up for breath I realized today is Tuesday, my post day, and I didn't do one. GASP! I know how my blog posts are sought after and all (total joke:). I guess it's good that I'm wrapped up in my writing...but still.

Have you ever had those days when you get so caught up in something, everything else goes out the window?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Firsts Fridays: Author, Alberta Ross

When I began researching Alberta Ross, my next Firsts Fridays interview I was instantly intruiged by the books she has out now called the Sefuty Chronicles. Who knew through her interview I would learn of her battle with cancer, her strength endurance and that you are never to old to make your dreams a reality. Now it’s your turn. Take a dive into the life of Alberta Ross...
 I spent the first part of my adult life travelling the world, the middle years studying  and now have settled down to write.  From the first part I have endless photographs, memories and friends.  From the second I have a BSc Hons, an MA and friends.  Now in this part everything comes together.

Over the years my interests have expanded, as has my book and music collection.  A short list would include reading (almost anything) science, opera, folk, gardening, philosophy, crazy patchwork, freeform crochet, ethics, social history, cooking (and eating of course) gardening, anthropology, climate change and sustainability.

My parents gave me, apart from a love of reading and music, an interest and curiosity in everything which in itself has become a total inability to be bored and for this I am always grateful.

DB: Alberta, thanks so much for joining us for Firsts Fridays!

You are just closing your first ever virtual tour for your books, the Sefuty Chronicles.  Can you tell us a little about the ins and outs of a virtual tour and if you feel it has helped you?

AR: It is probably too soon to tell if it has helped sales at all and I don’t believe that is the sole purpose of a tour. It is really about getting your name and that of the book or books recognised in a very busy place.  I hope the Sefuty Chronicles are a little more familiar now than they were a month ago.

I do know that although it has been quite hard work it has also been such fun to do and I will certainly be taking my publications on tour again.

I began putting feelers out about the end of June and am really pleased I allowed so much time to find my tour dates.  It takes time to search, make contact and arrange times, dates and subjects.

A couple of things were not strictly according to plan due to the vagaries of e-mails, time zones and misunderstandings but all that meant was the tour started early, four weeks instead of three, and that a couple of days were unexpectedly empty but others were amazingly full.  Next time I might check up more often before each date to be sure we’re in the same place but, considering I am not known for my organisational skills, it all panned out just fine!

DB: I agree the most important part is getting your name and book out there. I’m glad it’s working out for youJ For those interested in getting your little hands on her books, she is having a giveaway on her site. I will have more details after the interview.

You are an indie author with three books under your belt.  Can you tell us why you decided to go this route and the pros and cons you have experienced so far?

AR: Well I had started the traditional route but then was diagnosed with cancer and suddenly felt very vulnerable. 

DB: I’m very sorry to hear this.

AR: After the operation I got to thinking that maybe my life was too short to wait the traditional wait for publication so went indie instead.  I had a book and I wanted it published.  As it turns out I had the third all clear last month so maybe I did have time!

It was hard work as I had very limited computer skills and I have struggled with putting up websites and blogs, with joining places, finding places, there is so much ‘stuff’ up here!  I have enjoyed learning all the new skills I’ve accumulated and this year am feeling more at home up here.  From the isolation of being a writer now I have a huge amount of support and goodwill as we all struggle together.  It’s great up here.

DB: I love how you say “up here” when referring to the gathering place of us writersJ

Do you see yourself continuing down the indie road or ever shooting for the traditional one?

AR: Oh no, definitely indie for me.  I like the complete control I have and I have never been happy with others telling me what to do.

DB: The Sefuty Chronicles sound really interesting!  How did you come up with this futuristic idea?

AR: They were an exercise in short story writing which went slightly wrong!  They are fed by my interest in climate change and genetics, in fact by so many of my interests right down to felting, a hobby of mine.

I have worried about the effects we are having on our planet for a couple of decades now and although I think the worst case scenarios won't happen in my lifetime, lets face it there’s not so much of that anyway, I do worry over the coming generations.

The Chronicles are a vision of my worst fears and also because I have great faith in humanity and feel it will survive; the Chronicles are a vision of my hope.

DB: This is so very inspirational...except the part that you don’t have much life in you. You sound to me to be going for the long haul.

Are there more books to this series?

AR: Jack’s Tale, out this month, is the third of the series and then I take a break and prepare my second collection of short stories, these are for my ‘friend from forever/editor’ who prefers them to the Chronicles.

In NaNo next month, which I try for the first time, I am trying a new genre.

However, I have at least two more Sefuty Chronicles planned in great detail in my head.

DB: I must say, you have me very eager to read your books and I love a long series!

Last question and this is just for fun...

Tell me anything.

AR: I learnt to read before I was five.  Thought it would be nice to write a book.  I have devoured thousands of books in the six decades since.  I lived inside those books, brought the characters inside my head and imagined new exploits with them; I was the one wandering around lips moving – you know the one, the oddball having a conversation with herself!

DB: Oh yea! I was that odd ball and now my daughter does it tooJ

AR: I belonged to countless libraries around the world, spent most of any money I ever had on buying more books, hoarding as well a squirrel.  Thinking it would be nice to write a book.  My new abode is crammed to the rafters and removal men hate moving me!

I scribbled a few stories in my early teens but, despite those silly dreams of one day becoming an author, continued on my alternative paths.  Now in my mid 60s I am here.  I am an author.  My books are in the county library.  A little late in the day but here and enjoying every minute of it.

The moral of the tale:  everything happens in its correct time so never give up on  silly dreams and catch yourself a ‘friend from forever/editor’ to help you!

DB: You gave me cold chills!

Thanks for being here Alberta! Good luck to you as you finish out your book tour.

AR: Thank you.

DB: And finally for those interested in The Sefuty Chronicles, Alberta, can you give us the details of your giveaway?

AR: I am running a give away during the tour.

2 winners of draw will win an e-book edition of

The first two books of the Sefuty Chronicles

Ellen's Tale and The Storyteller's Tale

3 runners up will win an e-book edition of

Ellen's Tale

 (unless already read in which case The Storyteller's Tale)

How to win

A comment on each visited host site gives you one chance to win, also on my sites on those days I am posting there during the tour
an extra entry will be given if you mention the post on Twitter or Facebook
an extra entry will be given for a mention of the post/tour on your own blog

Let me know where you have spread the word

DB: And if you want more of Alberta you can find her:

Alberta’s official website where detail of her books, extracts, readers comments and contact details can be found

where Alberta blogs about writing and self publishing

blogging about anything she fancies

a blog about books and reading

Alberta can be followed on Twitter at

Until next time...
Keep writing. Keep learning.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bloghop Fun!

PhotobucketLuck would have it that I get to co-host not one, but two fantastic blogfests for the month of October! The Killer Characters Blogfest that I am co-hosting with E.R. King, I have already posted about...which by the way you should totally sign up for. By telling us about your most Killer Character in literary history you will get the chance to win a critique from Elana Johnson. Whaaa? Yep, no lie.

PhotobucketThe second blogfest I am helping out with has come from a group of us from Rach Harrie's Writers Campaign and you may remember one similar to it from a few months ago as the Choose Your Own Adventure Bloghop. Join in on a journey of choices as you hop from blog to blog making up your own adventure as you go. Should be an adventure to say the least:) More details to to come!

But that's not all....

Is it just me or do you notice everywhere in the blog-o-sphere there is some awesome blogfest to join in on? Seriously, there are so many I can't do them all, but I want to! So I thought I would spread the love and let you know of some of my faves that have crept up. Enjoy bloghopping!

Juliana Brandt is hosting a fabulous Warm Fuzzies blogfest where we get to celebrate our unique writer side. She has a slew of prizes and giveaways from a 30 page editors edit to a full blog makeover! You have got to get in on this one!

Fighter writer, J.C. Martin, Flash Fiction Author Lisa Vooght, and Storyteller and author, Stuart Nager are hosting a blogfest for fiction writers to, in their words, "Showcase their skills and receive comments on their work." This one is called the Rule of Three Blogfest.

And the last one I am going to mention (but there are so many more), is the I Love Dark YA Blogfest hosted by YAtopia's Kelley York, Heather McCorkle and Christa Desir. I think the title speaks for itself so get over there and sign up. The fun will happen on Wednesdays.