Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book Press Release Example

Books Publisher Inc.
435 Bookroad, NY 43893
Phone– 555.555.5555
Fax – 555.555.5555


Contact: Tess Anderson
Office: 555.555.5555
Pager: 555.555.5555

Jolene Heather Explores Familial Relations in New Book

Author Jolene Heather grew up with a big extended family. Now she taps that experience in the first of a planned series of books which speculate on what might have happened had Romeo and Juliet lived and gotten married. The book is entitled “Life with the Montagues” and is written from the perspective of Juliet Capulet.
Heather drew from her many experiences growing up to come up with plot ideas. “Family experiences are universal,” the author said. “You just put people together in any kind of semi-permanent way and all kinds of things happen.”
Heather also was attracted to the Romeo and Juliet characters. “I always loved the story, but, like most fans, wished they had lived. Now I get to make that happen.”
The series will capture the foibles, heartbreaks and fun of extended family life. The stories will have their serious side, but will show a lighter side as well. Romeo and Juliet will try to raise a family while appeasing their in-laws, who still don’t get along too well.
Jolene Heather has written 14 novels including the bestselling “Crickets Sing in the Shower.” She lives outside Wenatchee, Washington with her husband, three cats and Golden Retriever.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Things Editors Have Taught Me. by Simmons

1. Your main character does not have to be likable, but he or she has to have spunk.  Spunk in the past or spunk in the present.  Wounded spunk, subtle spunk, suppressed spunk that slowly works its way to the surface.
2. When plotting, logic is your friend.  Coincidence is your enemy.
3. When describing, be concrete.  Mementos over memories.   The soft hand of the sheets matters as much as the harshness of the dreams.
4. No one could ever sigh as much as women sigh in my early drafts. It’s not medically possible.   Could they maybe breathe deeply once in a while, or shrug their shoulders, or shuffle their feet?
5. I tend to think of character’s back story as boring cocktail party small talk.  Readers, not so much.   Readers naturally wonder why characters do what they do.  So clue them in now and then.   Let their pasts shine through by constantly asking, “Why?”
6. Try to leave every chapter with a hook to the next.  But do not let this hook be obvious, like “Jenna was about to learn how very wrong she was.”   Yes, this is harder than planting potatoes in a frozen field.  But do it anyway.
7. Don’t let anyone tell you differently:  A little bit of “telling” is absolutely fine.  IF it’s brilliantly written.
8. The title of the book has to feel like the genre and style of your writing.  You may have inadvertently titled your chick lit book with a highfalutin’ literary title.  Or your mystery may have a title that sounds like non-fiction.  It needs to match, so the reader’s expectations are properly met.
9. Make the acknowledgments at the back of the book as complicated and effusive as you like,  but keep the dedication simple and humble.  A too-lofty dedication can set the wrong tone.
10. Read and revise your manuscript onscreen, sure, but also print it out, and staple the chapters together.   The act of reading it on paper uses different mental muscles.
11. The opening sentence is far, far, more important than the closing one.
12. That being said, if you screw up the ending no reader will ever forgive you.  Think long and hard about what would be an emotionally satisfying ending.  Not a happy one, necessarily, or a beautifully written one.  But an emotionally satisfying one.
13. If you screw up the middle, you won’t be alone.  Many writers’ books have flaws in the middle.   However, yours isn’t going to be one, so put some more plot in the freaking middle, would you?
14. There are really two types of writers:  those who need to be told no no no, no more of that!  And those that need to be told yes,  yes, yes, more more more of that!  Figure out which you are, and try to act accordingly.
Kelly Simmons is the author of the Simon & Schuster novels STANDING STILL and THE BIRD HOUSE.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rebound Relationships

Can a rebound relationship work? You’ve just gone through a terrible breakup, you hit the clubs, search Facebook, online dating services or other online social media's. You meet someone new and suddenly you’re lusting each other, instantly “in love”.  You’re in the rebound phase. A rebound relationship is one where you are still affected by your previous relationship. Focusing on what could have been, what went wrong, wondering if you did the right thing in splitting up. You spend time focusing on the old relationship because you have unanswered questions, you still hurt from some of the experiences you went through, because you haven’t taken the time that your mind and your heart needs to work through the painful emotions you’re still feeling.

Rebounds often seem magical, a wonderful cure for a bad breakup. After some hard times and lonely nights, you feel wanted again, your having wonderful sex and someone to give you the needed attention that you are seeking, seems like a breath of fresh air. In a rebound relationship, because you're feeling more vulnerable than ever, and more eager to regain the love you were once receiving, you’re more likely to over commit.

Do rebounds ever work out as serious, long-term relationships, or are they always doomed to a quick nasty end? My personal opinion is that rebound relationships do not work out. The relationship will last just long enough for you to get over your previous relationship. The reason I say this is because most rebound relationships are built to cover-up the hurt and fill voids that you felt from the previous relationship that ended whether it was your fault or not. Once you go through the healing process and overcome the hurt of the past relationship then the void you were once looking to fill will no longer be needed and that's when the rebound relationship falls apart.  So take it slow

Rebound relationships will ALWAYS be in existence and should only be looked at as a short term situation. Every relationship I've been in that ended, I've given myself time to heal before looking to start a new relationship. If healing is not done then all your doing is taking old baggage from relationship to relationship without knowing what your expecting or wanting out of a relationship; on top of not being able to bring growth and positive energy to a new relationship.  

Good luck and remember that REAL LOVE does exist.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Eights Elements that Make a Book a Bestseller

1. The Intro – Drawing a reader in on the first page is essential if you want them to keep reading. The first couple of lines of a book should evoke some sort of emotion in the reader – that way they will have already formed a connection with the story before even getting into the meat of it.
2. Precision – Nothing bores a reader more than reading sentences that are long for no reason. If you can make your point in five words or less, why use ten?
3. Anticipation – Giving your reader something to look forward to is what keeps him/her reading. If you pour out ALL of the details of your story in the first chapter, what reason will readers have to continue reading the remainder of the book.
4. Flaws - Let’s face it! People like things that they can identify with. If while reading a book, the reader can’t find anything that resembles anything close to what life is like for them, how do you expect them to form a real connection with the story? No one is perfect so neither should the characters in your story be perfect. Let the characters in your story run wild, make mistakes, use profanity, drink, talk nasty, wear no underwear.
5. Shock factor – When a person watches a movie, he/she should not be able to predict what will happen next. There should be moments that surprise them and catch them off guard. The same applies for when a reader is reading your book. Want to write a memorable bestseller? Throw in a couple of WOW and OMG moments!
6. Reasonably Short Chapters – This one should be self-explanatory, but I’ll give you a couple of hints. Don’t be the author who is afraid of cutting chapters short. Nothing motivates a reader more than getting to the end of the first chapter in one sitting. Each chapter should be short enough for a reader to read in one sitting which gives them all the more reason to turn the page and go on to the next.
7. Keep it Simple – The average person reading your book(s) is most likely not a Harvard or Yale grad, so over doing it with big, long, sophisticated spelling bee words is not necessary when being creative and drawing the reader into your story. Not that you can’t throw in a million dollar word here and there, it’s just not necessary when speaking to your average audience.
8. An award winning book cover is necessary for every potential bestselling book. It’s the first thing your readers will see and is the first thing they will judge your book by. Don’t be the author who refuses to invest in a good cover design for their book – if you are, you’ll end up regretting it later.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Effective Character Description

My job, as a writer, is to introduce my characters in a way that:

  1. is interesting
  2. brings them to life for the reader
  3. Make them appear as close as possible to the way you see them in your mind
  4. gives the reader more information than just their physical appearance. I want to give an insight into my characters personality and what drives them to do the things they do
Part of the art of effective character description is to think carefully about how you describe them when they're in action. Usually, you can tweak this to cast more light on the plot or characters. As writers we all want to make our characters real people. We strive to show what they look like, how they feel, and how they react. We try to get right into their skin to let the reader know what they're thinking. We're careful not to make them 'too perfect' - a flaw or two goes a long way to helping readers believe in our masterpiece. So why is it that - despite our best efforts - sometimes our characters STILL don't come to life?

If you're having difficulty, part of the problem could be the way you describe your character.
It's all too easy to describe a character as though you're writing details straight from your character file. ex. (long hair, brown eyes, thick lips, shapely body and so on). Even if you try to be subtle and show what a character is like by having them compare their looks to someone else in the family or a celebrity, it often just doesn't sound convincing.

Here are a couple of possible reasons for ineffective character description.

1. Description is too common:
Spending too much time giving a straightforward description of facial features: nose shape, eye color, lip color and shape, hair length and color, plus general body shape. Sure, this tells the reader what your character looks like, on a superficial level - but it doesn't tell them anything else about this person's life, beliefs, morals or quirks.

2. Description is too wordy:
There's no need to go on about your character's looks page after page. Introduce just enough information to help your reader to instantly 'see' the character, then build on that as the story develops. You have plenty of time to develop your main character, because this person will be 'on stage' for much of the book. There's no rush, so you don't have to cram everything into on paragraph. For minor characters who will just make a couple of appearances, you may need to introduce a few more details upfront to bring them to life for the reader. Bring balance - give just enough detail to be useful and interesting. And if you have a character who appears only once, you probably don't need much description at all.

When it's time to edit your work, pay attention to the way you've described your characters, both when you first bring them into the storyline and when you show them in action. Go over your scene carefully and ask yourself whether you may have settled for the easiest way to do it, rather than the most effective.
Can you get more out of your character description and thus more out of your scene?


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Meet and Greet

This past Sunday from 6-9 p.m. nine Hampton Roads authors met up at the Paradigm Lounge for a Meet and Greet. I want to take the time to thank the authors for participating, the owner of Paradigm and everyone who came out to support. When I first came up with the idea of the Meet and Greet I didn't know what to expect but the event turned out very nice, I'm already ready for the next event in the Spring. It felt good to look around the room and see familiar faces from those who came to support me and the event I was hosting. I had the opportunity to network with other authors and avid readers. It's been a while since the last time I did a book signing, meet and greet or any other type of  literary event but it felt good to be back out there. The love I received has inspired me to continue to do what I love and that's write great stories. 

If you were not able to attend, there will be a next time. I look forward to seeing you then or again.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Someone once told me that they did not know how to be a friend, so being a GREAT friend can't even be an option for that person. I consider myself a great friend, I have friendships that go back twenty-six plus years. I'm even Facebook friends with my childhood best friends. Being a good friend in my opinion has a lot to do with your values and morals, there can't be any jealousy or it can't be a true friendship. 
Most of your friends will have something in common with you, you may not always agree on everything but a true friend not an associate but a true friend will understand. I have family members that I consider my best friends. I will give my last to my friends, I will drive cross country for my friends and even though we may not talk everyday or even every month we have the bound and the foundation that will never break.True friends want you to be happy at all cost and true friendships are not one sided.
We all have busy lives but I still manage to make time for my friends whether it's keeping in touch through email, Facebook, texting or phone calls. I support my friends in their decisions it could be a few words of encouragement to build up their ego, or standing by them when they make life-changing decisions. While I might not always agree with the things they are doing, I support them all the same. When they need a shoulder to cry on or somebody to celebrate with, I'm there right by their side.When my friends ask for my opinion, I give it honestly.
When I need them, they might not always tell me what I want to hear, but they will be honest with me. Call to check up on me, tell me when I wrong and give concrete advise. They always have my back, their honesty will always help build me up rather than knock me down.

I want to say thank you to all my friends, I truly appreciate you