Added by Peg Herring on February 29, 2008 at 6:17am — No Comments
Added by Peg Herring on February 28, 2008 at 3:07am — No Comments
Added by Peg Herring on February 25, 2008 at 9:27pm — No Comments
Added by Peg Herring on February 22, 2008 at 8:57pm — No Comments
Added by Peg Herring on February 21, 2008 at 10:40pm — No Comments
Added by Peg Herring on February 20, 2008 at 10:01pm — No Comments
It's time for the "Did I forget anything?" moment and the goodbyes. I'm planning to visit libraries on the way south today and then spend the night with my son and daughter-in-law. The biggest problem right now is books. I sold every copy I ordered and have a waiting list here at home, plus I have none to take on the tour. (NOT complaining about that!) It's just that I have to figure out how to get more. Between us my son and I have a plan.
The other concern in Michigan in February…Continue
Added by Peg Herring on February 19, 2008 at 10:24pm — No Comments
It's not an original idea, but it's topical. I'll blog for the next few weeks on a tour I'm making to promote my book, attempting to present an honest view of an author's life on the road.
Today is packing day, and what a challenge! I'm heading from Michigan to Florida, so I need clothes for warm weather and everything in between. I'm signing at a Renaissance Festival so I need trappings for a booth: sign, decorations, prizes, etc. I'm doing several talks, so I need audience handouts,…Continue
Added by Peg Herring on February 18, 2008 at 10:31pm — No Comments
Last night was my book launch party. It's a very small town in a low-income area, but I counted on having at least twenty there, friends who would support my publishing efforts and hand over a check even though they seldom buy hardcover books and probably not romances. I'd presold books as Christmas gifts and figured that most of those who wanted one had gone that route, so my sales would be low.
We ran out of books. Twice! The ones I brought sold, then my husband brought in another…Continue
I do presentations to reading groups at libraries and colleges, and in the course of preparing for them, do a bit of research on the types of books available in certain genres. It's surprising to find that whatever one might think of in the line of mystery, it's probably been done.
Vampire detectives? We've got 'em. Sleuths who've been gelded for one reason or another? Yup. Females masquerading as males, ex-soldiers suffering from delusions, police detectives with amnesia, and of…Continue
Added by Peg Herring on February 14, 2008 at 10:09pm — No Comments
Someone sent me a link yesterday to a blog written by an editor (http://edittorrent.blogspot.com) that reinforces what six years in this busines has taught me: editors (and agents as well) don't read much before deciding if your work will be rejected.
I don't blame them. They're deluged with material, since the computer has made writing a book possible for almost anyone. They know what they're looking for and over time have honed their…Continue
Added by Peg Herring on February 13, 2008 at 10:38pm — No Comments
Yesterday I wrote about letting characters grow inside your head until they are people. The next step is finding the words to convey that character's "personhood" to a reader.
It certainly isn't enough to tell what he looks like; in fact, some excellent authors refuse to write much physical description at all. Who hasn't been taken out of a story by too much detail about eye color or dewy skin? It's wise, at least in modern writing, to toss in details as casual references rather than…Continue
Added by Peg Herring on February 12, 2008 at 10:57pm — No Comments
I've read all the advice about how to create good characters, and I've put it to use. I write backgrounds for them, read their dialogue aloud to be sure it sounds authentic, pay attention to the changes that they go through as the story progresses. But there's one more thing that has to happen, and I haven't got a lot of control over it: they have to grow.
Like children under the old tabula rasa theory, characters are blank when we create them. "I need a guy who can tell the other guy…Continue
Added by Peg Herring on February 11, 2008 at 11:07pm — No Comments
Mine is next Thursday, February 14th, which is a cool day to launch a romance, I think. I had not planned a party, since I live in the sticks and didn't think anyone cared. I am unashamed to admit that I was wrong, very wrong.
The local Friends of the Library called to say they'd like to host the launch, and it has become an Event, with a capital. They've done a lovely job of planning, and people assure me daily that not only do they plan to attend, but they look forward to…Continue
Added by Peg Herring on February 8, 2008 at 11:12pm — No Comments
Okay. I wrote a book. I found an agent. The agent found a publisher. The publisher released the book. We both dug for reviews and got some good ones. We offer the book in all the right places. Sounds like we've done it all, right?
I guess not. Now I'm supposed to become some sort of sales analyst and track where people are buying the book and how I reached those particular people. From that I should extrapolate a way to reach even more people and get them to buy the book. I'm told…Continue
Never having been one for long soaks in the bathtub, the old slogan never meant much to me except visions of pruny skin and a ring to clean afterward. But writing, now there's something that takes you away.
The world is often unkind, as many, many poets have said far better than I can. Things happen to us that might drive us crazy. But for some, writing becomes catharsis, therapy, and hiding place, all in one. Focus on your characters. Make their lives worse than yours if it makes you…Continue
Added by Peg Herring on February 6, 2008 at 11:10pm — No Comments
I read a lot, but there's a moment in some books where the story grabs me and won't let go. I want/need/demand to know what happens, and I'm reluctant to do anything else until I find out. This morning I tore myself away from Jack Reacher's perils to do the work of authoring, but it wasn't easy.
Of course it's not the same author for everyone. Books that thrill me may leave you wondering what all the hoopla was about. Lee Child's work, Laura Lippman's, Victoria Thompson's-- are just a…Continue
Added by Peg Herring on February 5, 2008 at 10:44pm — No Comments
I like Mondays. The slate is clean (sort of) and enthusiasm is high. I make a list of the week's target tasks, both personal and professional. It's an odd mix: "clean cat pans" is right next to "design new workshop" and "tighten Chapter Six." It works for me, though, as I work through my week on a schedule of my own choosing. Sometimes I think about all the years I spent in education, answering bells, shifting gears every hour: "Speech class now," "Oh, now it's world history." "Am I ready…Continue
Added by Peg Herring on February 4, 2008 at 10:50pm — No Comments
The crime novel I'm currently reading is in danger of being tossed. Several years back I stopped believing that I have to finish any book I start, and this one would already be gone if a friend hadn't recommended it. I trust her, so it has to get better, but right now I'm pretty unhappy with the author's coyness.
Teasing the reader, giving her the tiniest snatches of information in a jumbled mess of characters, events, and unexplained flashbacks, becomes irritating to me after while.…Continue
Added by Peg Herring on February 1, 2008 at 9:40pm — No Comments