Saturday, 21 June 2014

I couldn't resist sharing. . . :)

Normally I don't put any of my book links on my home page, unless there is a launch or some special going on, but this one I couldn't resist sharing. It just looks that good :)



Thursday, 19 June 2014

Infographic Thursday: The DNA of a Good Book

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of blogs out there to give advice on writing, structuring, characterisation, plotting and scene setting in a novel. Advice abounds on use of short sentences, proper syntax and grammar, to say nothing of every writer's pet peeve, correct punctuation.
As a writer with some experience, I am still perfecting my craft (turning it into art?) and have compiled an extensive list of references of my go-to blogs for advice on writing. You can never know too much, in my opinion.
As many a writer, traditionally or indie published will tell you, that writing a good book is simply the start. But this is an incredibly important start. Without that good book, well written, edited and proof read, the rest will only be a waste of time. And the rest is just as important to get it to my audience - my readers.

So here is today's info graphic on what makes a good book. What are the most important elements for you to make a book a favourite worthy to be read time and again?

Click the info graphic to see more details. Source www.visual.ly

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Infographic Thursday: What are Infographics?

Last week I introduced a new series for Thursdays: infographics. This week I share an infographic, about infographics. As you will learn (as I did) over the next few weeks, an infographic can be a handy tool to graphically convey a message. The trick is to do it in such a way that the message is concise and yet presented in such a way that it draws the attention of the intended audience.
At first glance they look easy to compile, but I have learned that it will take a little more study, some computer skills and more research for me to be able to design my own.
If you are interested in doing your own infographic, look around for a template that would closely resemble what you wish to use and then work from there.
On the other hand, you can also find professionals that can help you to custom design the infographic that is just perfect for your unique message.

You find this infographic on www.visual.ly

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Interview: STORM Author Vanessa Wright

 
1. What inspired you to write your stories for the STORM anthology? 
Inspiration comes from many things, a word, an overheard piece of conversation, human pain and suffering, events in the news and even from a large, fat lady I call the Muse. For the Storm anthology however I relied on my own experiences with depression for Dandelions for Mother, while A Storm in a Teacup was inspired by flash fiction I wrote for a MASH competition, the characters just had to get another chance to be in the limelight.
2. Tell us what your stories are all about. 
Dandelions for Mother is basically about a ten year old girl who has lost her mother to cancer and is trying to cope with life as a orphan. It does not help that her father is also suffering from a form of depression and thinks she looks like her mother. The girl retreats into an imaginary world.
[Note from Linzé - I deleted some words here, as Vanessa gave the ending away, naughty thing!]
I did a complete 360 degree turnaround with A Storm in a Teacup which is a comedic, science fiction story about Oogithap and Ilgiprart who are sent to earth on a mission. They are Electrosquids of the Fungus Asteroid and the things they get up to are hilarious. You will have to read it to believe it.
3. What excited you about taking part in the STORM anthology? 
Getting to work with all my fellow authors and of course the exposure that one gains. The more books you have out there, the better the chances are that you will be recognised; a good friend taught me this valuable lesson.
4. What is your next project about and when can we expect it to be published? 
I am working towards a novel for NB Publishers’ novel of the year competition. Sadly, it will be in Afrikaans. The next big thing in English however is Something evil comes, a psychological crime thriller. I am planning on a release date in early November.
5. What is your biggest challenge in writing? 
Time, time, time. I never seem to have enough of it! I tried eating a gazillion Bar Ones as the advertisement claims that you would have a 25 hour day. It doesn’t work and all the extra kilo’s have been transformed into a flotation device around my middle.
6. How do you deal with this challenge? 
I don’t that’s why my family have to scrape me off the ceiling with a spatula every now and again.
7. What advice would you offer to other authors having to deal with this same challenge? 
Set up a routine and a timetable. Schedule writing for every day until it becomes a habit. Do as I say not as I do.
8. Please explain to my readers your writing process and how you manage your life to accommodate your writing. 
Writing for me, invariably happens in the early hours of the morning when everything is quiet and the pugs (all six of them) are snoring away. I am a pantser- no planning involved; I have a general idea of where I am going to and then the characters start living on their own and their decisions decide where the plot is moving off to next. Otherwise I apply ample butt to chair and bleed. I write, therefore I am sums it up nicely. I need to make time to write otherwise I might as well stop breathing. Dramatic? Sure, you’re talking to the ultimate drama queen.
You can find Vanessa's books here on Smashwords

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Interview: STORM Author Natalie Rivener


1. What inspired you to write your stories for the STORM anthology?
Beyond and The Gravic Exacerbation are two stories I've used to discover a little more about a fantasy world I've been working on for over a decade. 

2. Tell us what your stories are all about.
Beyond is about a band of myhrr who have to overcome the impossible to save their people from extinction. Many have been sent before them, and none have returned. Dare they hope against hope that they might make it past the deadly Serpent Storm?

The Gravic Exacerbation - Jaten doesn't know why Mestrae Corvic is going on and on about greater castings being layered. Nothing seems to be going wrong...aside from the usual 'unforseen inconveniences' of the latest magical advances, like that tail he grew last week or the new lighting caused by Mestrae Yundra's shroud. Then again, his mestrae seems more worked up than usual. Maybe, just maybe there's something to old Corvic's rants after all. 

3. What excited you about taking part in the STORM anthology?
This is the first time I will be able to hold and smell a book that contains stories written by me. It's a life dream.

4. What is your next project about and when can we expect it to be published?
My next project is a fantasy, scifi and horror anthology called Flight of the Phoenix. If all goes well, it will be available by the end of September 2014.

5. What is your biggest challenge in writing?
Taking my dreams serious enough to keep writing. It's really easy to give into the world's opinion that writing isn't a real career.

6. How do you deal with this challenge?
I remind myself how absolutely awesome it felt to publish a short story on Smashwords and see my friends and family actually downloading it. And, then, I remember how fulfilling it is to use my gift and how no other high in the world can beat that.

7. What advice would you offer to other authors having to deal with this same challenge?
Don't let the world tell you that you can't make it work. If anything, remember that most people are insanely jealous of the fact that you are not afraid to live your dream.

8. Please explain to my readers your writing process and how you manage your life to accommodate your writing.
I can't really say that I have a standard writing process. Every time I write, I do it differently. 
I have a novel-length story I've been trying to write for a good 14 years and it's changed a lot. I guess, I started with a general concept of where I want to start and where I want to end up, but the middle has been a process of writing, tearing it all up and writing again.
When I started out, Beyond was a little piece of background to the story I mentioned above. The details came to me in a flood as I started writing.
The concept for The Gravic Exacerbation came to me in a rush one afternoon, but the first draft morphed and wobbled a lot. Then, I had to re-engineer most of it and change it far more than I had anticipated.
Who knows what will happen next time?

You can find all Natalie's books on Smashwords

Friday, 6 June 2014

Infographic Thursday: Blogging for the Blogger

 
 
Don't you sometimes wish that there was just one more hour in the day? Heck, one more hour in the week could work too!
With work and writing and life's endeavours, where do you find the time to keep up a regular blog in all that?
The answer lies in passion. Ha, not the kind that sets bed sheets on fire (well, not here anyway), but the kind that makes you excited about something, an issue, a charity or a social concern.
My passion is writing, but I can get excited about most things you can place under the creativity umbrella.
Do you need to blog everyday? Twice a week? Once a month?
The are no hard and fast rules, but the generally accepted timeframe is twice a week. But if that is not possible, pick a schedule that will suit you, that your readers like, and stick to it.
 
I keep a calendar, but when the challenge of a book launch and a long awaited art competition cross my path, so does my good planning slip out of the back door.
And here I have a time management theme for 2014. 
Guilty of not taking own advice, your honour!
 
Here are a few tips to help you out, but feel free to add from your own experience what has worked for you, and what didn't.
 
Source for the Infographic

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Interview: STORM author Charmain Lines


1. What inspired you to write your stories for the STORM anthology?
Sadly I don’t have an interesting inspiration story to tell this time! The first three sentences literally popped up in my mind one evening (it might have been while I was brushing my teeth – something about that specific action regularly triggers thoughts/reminders/ideas). I went to one of my favourite coffee shops the next day and by the end of the afternoon had completed about a third of the story.

2. Tell us what your stories are all about.
“Once upon a storm” is a story in a story. The setting is an orphanage where one of the older girls read a bedtime story – about a little storm – to four younger children. As the bedtime story unfolds, we learn more about each of the children: Twinnie who pines for his lost half, the 20 cheetahs in Vince’s garden, Maggie’s wish for a picnic in a park, the mystery of the new girl and, of course, Lauren’s encounter with the woman who wears wings.

3. What excited you about taking part in the STORM anthology?
It was my first foray into short story-writing, and also my first writing project as part of a group.

4. What is your next project about and when can we expect it to be published?
My next novel is in Afrikaans and deals with three generations of the same family. When grandmother Stella dies, her sons and grandchildren discover a secret she’s been keeping from them for more than 30 years. This changes their perception of who she was and all she stood for, and forces them to examine all the other truths on which they had built their lives. My aim is to enter the manuscript into a local competition that closes on1 September 2014.

I’m also busy with a non-fiction book that tells the story of how a small Irish community succeeded in saving their local wetland (bog) from being mined for peat. We are planning to publish the book by the end of this year.

5. What is your biggest challenge in writing?
The time I spend I front of my laptop. I earn my living as a freelance corporate journalist/business writer, hence I pound away at my keyboard for most of the day. Sometimes I literally run out of words, and other times I can’t bear to be in front of the screen once my workday is over. Having said that, corporate writing has taught me incredibly useful lessons that I apply to my fiction writing.

6. How do you deal with this challenge?
By doing my fiction writing before my workday starts. Early in the morning, when it’s quiet and my mind is fresh, I can easily knock off a thousand words in an hour.

7. What advice would you offer to other authors having to deal with this same challenge?

Find the creative writing time that works for you and guard it jealously.

8. Please explain to my readers your writing process and how you manage your life to accommodate your writing.
I try to write between 05:30 and 06:30 every weekday morning. The routine helps me and by writing every day, my head stays with my story. Writing with other people has helped me a great deal in the past, ie, getting together for a few hours to write. When I can, I like to write in a coffee shop – the activity around me becomes white noise and the fact that someone else brings the refreshments to me keeps me pinned to my chair! I also find that sharing some of my writing with people whose opinions I trust can be a great motivator when I run out of steam. Constructive feedback at the right time is an energy boost for me.

You can find all Charmain's books on Smashwords