Sunny Frazier's Blog (65)

CONFESSIONS OF A CONTEST JUNKIE

I love writing contests. When I hear of one or come across a contest on the Internet, my heart starts racing and ideas flood my mind. My competitive spirit kicks into high gear. I may never run a marathon or win a ballroom dance competition, but give me a theme and a deadline and I'm up for the challenge.



Short stories are a terrific way to start a career in writing. Just ask Stephen King. It hones writing skills and forces writers out of their comfort zone. I wrote a story about a… Continue

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

YOUNG AT ART

You've heard the phrase “If I only knew then what I know now.” This doesn't apply in the writing world. Everything I thought I knew about writing has changed in the last 20 years. Oh, not the basic rules of grammar and punctuation, that's still in place even if sometimes ignored. But how I write, and more importantly, how I publish has come out of the dark ages.



I knew I wanted to be a writer from age 13. I had good teachers, learned what I needed to know to put sentences together… Continue

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

COME CRUISE WITH US

The deadline for the conference rate for the Mystery Cruise is coming up fast! We're hoping now that tax season is over people who are interested, curious or just want a memorable sea experience will put down the $250 deposit for a berth, the other half not due until August--totally refundable if plans don't pan out. Beverly is the contact at Beverly@cruisingsmart.com



We sail from Los…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on May 25, 2010 at 6:52am — No Comments

TELL ME A STORY

Remember when the day ended with a bedtime story?



I remember my mother reading a picture book I already knew by heart. When he was home from sea duty, my father would spin stories of his childhood in the South. Sometimes he'd recite scenes from “Gone With the Wind,” changing his voice to fit each character. Okay, that may have been a little over the top. Does an eight-year-old really need to go to sleep with Scarlett's “As God is my witness” speech ringing in her… Continue

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

LEFT COAST CRIME LEFTOVERS

LCC! Oh my.



Well, I took copious notes for my Murder Circle http://www.sunnyfrazier.com/MurderCircle/ Go there for the gossip.…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on April 12, 2010 at 10:27am — 1 Comment

SPEEDING DOWN THE INFORMATION HIGHWAY

When does promotion start?



The minute you take yourself seriously as a writer.



When my first book, FOOLS RUSH IN, came out in 2006, I was a novice at promotion. I did pretty well, but the Internet did not have much blogging or all the websites available for promotion. I felt much was a waste of my time. I had more important things to do than sift through the Internet.



My attitude changed last year. My New Year's resolution was to carefully examine cyberspace. I… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on April 2, 2010 at 5:00am — No Comments

SLOGGING THROUGH BLOGS by Sunny Frazier I'm late to the blogging game. The first blogs I read seemed to be a waste of time. Personal info on what other people are doing doesn't interest me. I wonder…

SLOGGING THROUGH BLOGS

by Sunny Frazier



I'm late to the blogging game. The first blogs I read seemed to be a waste of time. Personal info on what other people are doing doesn't interest me. I wondered why writers spent time with this format and who the heck has time to read it?



I've come around. In fact, I encouraged my Friday Night Writes critique group to create a blog. No other groups in our area had picked up the idea and run with it. We saw it as a way to explore… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on March 2, 2010 at 5:00am — 7 Comments

WELCOME TO YOUR WORLD

One of the curses of being a writer is when people say “I've had a fascinating life. You should write about me.”



I've had a fascinating life myself. I caused a small riot in a train station in Hanover, Germany, and another riot in a marketplace in Haiti. International misunderstandings can happen when you're 23 and clueless. Seventeen years working in law enforcement gave me plenty of plots.



According to a New York Times survey, 81% of Americans feel they have a book in… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on February 2, 2010 at 5:00am — 2 Comments

HOPE AND A HANDFUL OF CHANGE

Last year mustered in a new president, a sad economy, and plenty of unemployed people.



As a writer, I'm self-employed and living creatively close to the poverty line. The idealistic days of soulful writers in Parisian garrets, swigging cheap wine and pounding out the Great American Novel are gone with Hemingway and Fitzgerald.



Modern writers once worried people would stop reading altogether. The success of Harry Potter defied that theory. The public willingly paid money… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on January 2, 2010 at 5:00am — 2 Comments

MYSTERY ON THE HIGH SEAS: A CRUISE TO DIE FOR

I've had a little set-back with promotion due to a fractured arm, but here's the update:



The cruise is Nov. 14-21, 2010, sailing from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera. We have two days at sea for the conference, which is free. Cabins start at $400, gratuities included. Ports of call are Puerto Vallarta, Mazetlan and Cabo San Lucas. There are conference T-shirts, champagne and $50 in "ship" money, plus an open bar meet & greet.



I've been casting the net for a few… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on December 28, 2009 at 2:56pm — 3 Comments

'TIS THE SEASON?

Six days ago, I was planning Christmas. I put a wreath on the door. I put a pretty flag out to sway in the wind. That's as far as I got. I tripped in my kitchen and took the impact on my left shoulder.



But still, I'm thankful. It could have been much worse. The counter was only inches away from my head. I live alone and don't encourage visitors, so I might have sprawled there indefinitely. My neighbors are not nosy.



Now that I'm able to type with both hands again, I… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on December 14, 2009 at 6:49am — 6 Comments

DAVID VS GOLIATH

Small publishing vs. BIG PUBLISHING.



Every Author sets out with high hopes of publishing their book and seeing it on the shelves of the big chains. They deserve to be there. After brain-sweat and sacrifice, the reward should be wonderful book signings and lines of buyers waiting for an autograph.



That's the carrot that keeps writers pounding away at the keyboard. It happens to a lucky few. But sometimes the author published by a major publishing house is a one-book wonder… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on December 2, 2009 at 5:00am — 1 Comment

MURDER ON THE HIGH SEAS: A CRUISE TO DIE FOR

I just returned from a trip to the Mexican Caribbean. It was a cruise saluting Veterans, very patriotic (I am a Vietnam Era vet). I was on a panel of authors talking to the vets about writing their memoirs. The cruise was terrific! We got together later with the travel agent who pulled together the trip and pitched the idea of a mystery cruise. I came up with the title: Murder On the High Seas: A Cruise To Die For.



I heard today that the travel agent can pull it together by next… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on November 23, 2009 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

BOGGED DOWN WITH BLOGS?

Marketing. Promotion. Tooting your own horn. The bane of the writing life--or a boost?



You're hoping to hear someone say, “I'll take care of that aspect of the industry. Your job is to write.” Am I right? Someone who will take the burden off your shoulders, tell the world about your book, make sales for you so you can spend your valuable time sitting at your computer cranking out the next novel.



Fugetaboutit!



I'm a writer too. My second Christy Bristol Astrology… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on November 2, 2009 at 5:00am — No Comments

PSWA CONFERENCE

The Public Safety Writers Conference 2010 will be held from June 17 through June 20 in Las Vegas at the Orleans Hotel and Convention Center in Las Vegas.



Our headliner this year is the wonderful crime fiction and horror writer, Simon Wood. is going to talk about Creating Suspense. Michael A. Black will give us a lesson in putting together a plot in an hour. Forensic expert, Steve Scarborough, is returning, and I'm going to speak on “How Much Sex Is Too Much?” in the mystery genre.… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on October 23, 2009 at 7:08am — No Comments

BAN THAT BOOK!

There are weeks devoted to a variety of causes, but Banned Books Week "celebrates" the attempt to curtail Freedom of Speech. The festivities are brought to you by the American Library Association along with other bookish groups and is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.



To prepare for the week-long event, order your BBW kits now. This includes three posters, a set of bookmarks, a list of banned books, and a button that announces “I Read Banned… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on October 2, 2009 at 5:00am — 2 Comments

WHOSE FAULT IS IT ANYWAY?

I have a friend who, after two decades of writing several novels, is ready to throw in the towel.



This person has published a non-fiction book in the distant past. You would think she would have some inkling of the changes in the publishing industry since then.



The reason she's failing is that she has bought into the mantra: "I need an agent. I need a major publishing house." Because the blinders are on, she has failed to notice that the publishing world is in the same… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on September 2, 2009 at 5:15am — 21 Comments

PRICELESS PUBLICITY

Wouldn't it be nice if the writers in this group each had their own publicity agent? Publicity can cost money—but it doesn't have to.



I'm signed up on BookTour.com. This nifty website is the brainchild of three San Francisco authors who use technology to connect authors with audiences.



In 2006, they launched the idea to the world. Authors create a page with their bio, books, and tour dates. Venues looking for speakers list their site on BookTour.



What happens… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on June 6, 2009 at 9:14am — No Comments

THE TRUTH OF FICTION

When I worked for the Sheriff's Department in Fresno, I created a saying and put it on a rolling banner as a screen saver: “A Writer Reinvents the Truth.”



This was never more accurate than when I wrote my first book, FOOLS RUSH IN. I took the first case I worked as a secretary for an undercover narcotics team and fictionalized it to include a kidnapping, two murders and a budding romance.



On August 13, I was invited to speak to a book club three hours away on the Pacific… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on March 30, 2009 at 1:23pm — No Comments

"AM I A WRITER?"

Last week at my writing group, one of the aspiring authors had a bit of a breakdown. She suffered from what all writers eventually go through. Her faith in her abilities was shaken, the struggle to get her story on paper seemed overwhelming, and the awful question loomed: Am I really a writer?



This rite of passage is crucial. Writing a book initially seems like fun. The potential novelist thinks, “Oh, I have stories to tell, I have a great imagination, I got an 'A' in English class… Continue

Added by Sunny Frazier on March 23, 2009 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments

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