Sunny Frazier's Blog (65)

IN A WORD. . . .

True story.

I was trying to help a friend who was writing her first novel, a Western. I looked over what she had written and it was excruciatingly boring. I said, “Westerns have some of the most colorful language of all the genres. Why aren't you using more interesting words in your writing?”

Her reply stunned me: “I don't know that many words.”

Why in the world does this person want to be a writer? Writers work with nothing but words! It's our medium, our clay, our…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on September 15, 2012 at 6:00pm — No Comments

THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE

Since I’ve taken on the rewarding task of acquisitions editor for Oak Tree Press, people often ask me, “What do you think is the future of publishing?”

I suppose I could look into my crystal ball if I had one handy, or I could get my alter ego Christy Bristol to draw up an…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on August 15, 2012 at 5:30pm — No Comments

BUILDING A BETTER MOUSETRAP

It seems every time I click on a discussion online from authors, all I see is moaning and groaning that all this media socializing we're encouraged to do doesn't produce sales. Authors point out that we

seem to be “preaching to the choir.” Where are the readers we need to target?

My question to the whiners is “What's your solution?” Doesn't anyone realize what a huge leap we've taken in the marketing department? When many of us started,…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on July 15, 2012 at 5:59pm — 2 Comments

BUILDING A BETTER MOUSETRAP

It seems every time I click on a discussion online from authors, all I see is moaning and groaning that all this media socializing we're encouraged to do doesn't produce sales. Authors point out that we

seem to be “preaching to the choir.” Where are the readers we need to target?

My question to the whiners is “What's your solution?” Doesn't anyone realize what a huge leap we've taken in the marketing department? When many of us started,…

Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on July 15, 2012 at 5:59pm — No Comments

RIDING WITH THE POSSE

Second to writing fiction, my passion is marketing. I know some people dread this part of the process of being an author. I was one of those who had to be dragged into cyber marketing, fighting every inch of the way. I didn't have time for reading blogs on the Internet or interacting with those who did. I couldn't afford to buy all the books they tried to ram down my throat and wouldn't have time to read them if I wanted to. No, I wanted people to buy MY books.…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on November 17, 2011 at 5:00am — No Comments

ACQUISITIONS EDITOR JOB

WANTED

Acquisitions Editor

Independent Press

Salary: Below Minimum Wage…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on October 17, 2011 at 5:00am — 1 Comment

CONFESSIONS OF AN ACQUISITIONS EDITOR

Small publishing houses work for me because I can't seem to resist the urge to put my two cents in on how the publishing house works. I'm sure Simon & Schuster or Random House could care less about what I think on the way they run things, but I've had two publishers now who value my opinions. Let me tell you, it's a heady feeling.

 

When my current publisher was backed up by the onslaught of query letters, I volunteered to lend a hand. Not that I know anything about…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on September 17, 2011 at 4:59am — 8 Comments

OH THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!

Sound familiar? Dr. Seuss wrote the poem as an inspiration and promise to children.
Writers go to many places, often inside our heads but sometimes to book signings, conferences, libraries and Starbucks. Usually we pay our own…
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Added by Sunny Frazier on July 12, 2011 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

OH, TO BE YOUNG AGAIN. OR NOT.

I was recently invited to Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA, to speak to aspiring writers about the world of publishing. Mt. SAC, as it is commonly called, is the largest community college in the United States. I wasn't there just to lecture at the weekend writers' conference, but also to represent Oak Tree Press in my role as acquisitions editor and scout for talent.

 

To be 60 and sitting in a classroom with people barely in their 20's listening to teachers half my age…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on June 12, 2011 at 12:33pm — No Comments

UNCONVENTIONAL CONVENTIONS

Mystery conventions have to be some of the wackiest, most creative and high energy get-togethers around, Comic Con not withstanding (if you can stand a hundred Darth Vadersroaming around).

 

Years ago, when I was starting out in the mystery field, a small conference called Bare Bones took place in the hills above Escondido in a church camp near the town of Julian. We stayed in cabins, ate…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on May 13, 2011 at 2:00pm — No Comments

THE AUDACITY OF AUTHORS

While attending a recent writers conference I overheard a woman say “That author's ego is really out of control.” The catty remark was aimed at an author who did seem pretty full of himself. But it got me to wondering: Is there room for humbleness when it comes to writing?



The dictionary definition of “humble” is “Not proud or haughty, not arrogant or assertive; offered in the spirit of…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on April 2, 2011 at 11:00am — 3 Comments

CRIMINALLY GOOD SKILLS

I realized the other day that I was taking many of the skills I used as a secretary for an undercover narc team and incorporating them into my writing career.



I'm not taking about discipline or keeping a filing system where I can find things, never my strong suit in the office. I was the type of worker who looked at the big picture and saw opportunity to go beyond my job description. I was willing to do the extra work and stay past quitting time without…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on March 17, 2011 at 6:30pm — 1 Comment

IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME

Would I? I have thought of this question many times as I push forward. I think it’s good to stop and evaluate once in awhile. Am I on the right track? Could I have avoided the pitfalls? Can I learn from my mistakes? Here’s what I came up with:

  1. I wish I’d started earlier. I wrote every chance I could, in secret as a child. My mother thought it was a waste of time…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on February 17, 2011 at 6:30pm — No Comments

HAVE THEM EATING OUT OF YOUR HANDOUTS

One of the complaints I often hear from authors is that they can't seem to get their signings and book info into the pubic eye through the local newspapers. I don't have that problem and I have taught several organizations in my area a few ideas on how this is accomplished.

I once was a lowly paid newspaper reporter. I remember days of looking for feature pieces to fill up the pages and…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on January 17, 2011 at 6:00pm — No Comments

WHY I'M NOT WRITING

I'm very adamant on the Internet and elsewhere that I don't believe in the notorious “writers block.” Most former journalists and newspaper people will agree with me. We couldn't couldn't look up at the editor in despair and whine, “I don't know, sir. The words just aren't coming to me right now.” That doesn't fly when there are column inches to fill and lay-out people impatiently tapping their…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on December 17, 2010 at 6:00pm — 2 Comments

SLIGHTING THE HAND THAT FEEDS

I got wind of one of the most appalling comments written by an author I know. To paraphrase, she informed us all that “You can't teach an old dog new tricks,” and “All that Internet stuff is too new for me.” She went on to say her computer is for writing her manuscripts and research, that “Anything more is beyond me.”…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on November 17, 2010 at 6:00pm — 4 Comments

YEA SAYERS AND NAY SAYERS

To cyber-socialize or not to cyber-socialize? That is the question.



My New Year's resolution for '09 was to finally, seriously and extensively take a look at all the social sites I kept hearing about. My Space. Face Book. Crime Space. Twitter. Blogs. No more letting the info slide by, no more shaking my head and saying, “Who's got time for all this bulls__t?” I would do an investigation, just like my sleuth Christy Bristol. I would finally find out what all the fuss was… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on October 2, 2010 at 5:30am — 1 Comment

I HEAR VOICES

I wrote a column in my local newspaper about a former English teacher who passed away. The article generated emails from other former students with their own stories to share. But one reader, a woman in my graduating class (1969), wrote to tell me that she not only enjoyed the article, but liked my writing enough to buy my mystery novel, FOOLS RUSH IN.



Compliment accepted (as well as the check).



What this reader responded to is something all writers are told to strive for… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on September 2, 2010 at 5:30am — 5 Comments

READING BETWEEN THE LINES

I heard a quote the other day stating that fiction is more “real” than non-fiction because, in writing fiction, it's easier to tell the truth.



Think about it. If you're writing non-fiction, you have to stick to the facts. There's no way a writer can go inside the mind of the subject and detail how decisions are made. Only actions and consequences are recorded. One can surmise, conjecture, and deliberate, but will never really know the truth.



Fiction writers, like myself,… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on August 2, 2010 at 5:30am — No Comments

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