Monday, July 28, 2014

The Difference Between Writing Fantasy and Writing Contemporary Romance

{Google Search Terms}

"airplane seating plane"
"most embarrassing situations"
"most romantic date ideas"
"university orientation"

"mythological creatures"
"list of supernatural abilities"
"types of weapons"
"traditional fae lore"


Main character's love life / friendships / career.

The fate of the world.


Writing fantasy and writing contemporary romance have been quite different experiences.
I thought contemporary would be easier, but honestly, it hasn't been.
They both have different challenges. And I've enjoyed them both :-)
It's good to have a break from one genre and try out another.
What do you think? Are you a writer who hops between genres?
A reader who hops between genres?

Monday, July 14, 2014

RISE UP (VOLUME ONE & TWO) - A Benefit Collection - Indie Authors Against Cancer

“We all know how fragile life is, especially when faced with a life threatening illness.” ~Nic, Flirty and Dirty Book Blog.

Fiction introduced us. Reality binds us together.

Stephenie Thomas—co-founder of The Indie Bookshelf—has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma. Stephenie isn’t only a blogger; she’s a loving wife, and mother to three young boys.

In the independent author community, we have an extraordinary network of fellow authors and readers. A special group of people who bridge this gap—helping authors connect with readers—is book bloggers. These men and women dedicate hours upon hours to reading and reviewing our works, and spreading the word to help us reach new readers.

Now, one of these women needs our help.

100% of the proceeds of the Rise Up anthology (volumes one and two) will go directly to Stephenie and her family to help them on this unexpected leg of their journey together. Inside the pages of this collection, you’ll find amazing works of fiction. But please remember the reality, and help support Stephenie and her family.

Included in this collection are the following novels:

What Happens Tomorrow - Elle Michaels
Insipid - Christine Brae
Bouquet Toss - Melissa Brown
Can't Go Home - Angelisa Stone
Point of Submission - Remy Landon
Breakaway - Lindsay Paige and Mary Smith
A Love by Any Measure - Killian McRae
Discovering Lucy - Laura Dunaway
Something's Come Up - Andrea Randall and Michelle Pace
By A Thread - RL Griffin
Honest Love - CM Hutton
Serendipity - Stacey Bentley
Haven from the Storm - Sarah Dosher
Damaged - Nina D'Angelo

Included in this collection are the following novels:

Always There – Carol Ann Albright-Eastman 
Republic – Charles Sheehan-Miles 
Seeds of Hate – Melissa Perea 
In The Fields – Willow Aster 
Bar Crawl – Andrea Randall 
Totaled – Stacey Grice 
Running from Forever – Ashley Wilcox 
Crossing Paths – Melanie Stinnet 
Going Home – Rhonda Dennis 
Never Goodbye – Kerri Williams 
Without Boundaries – CJ Azevedo 
Binds – Rebecca Espinoza 
The Forgotten Ones – Laura Howard


Friday, July 11, 2014

Rebranding the Author Brand: "Let Your Imagination Take Flight"

Last week I blogged about what the author brand is and shared some examples of logos and taglines I found for other authors online. I mentioned that I was trying to figure out the core element of MY brand. Why I write, who I am, what my books are about ... and these were the things that came to mind:

escaping reality 
imagination without limits 
breaking free from real-world constraints 
unforgettable characters

I initially wanted my tagline to be this:

"escaping reality one book at a time"

Essentially, that is EXACTLY why I have always loved stories. Loved reading and writing. Purely to escape reality. But I thought that "escaping reality" might (MIGHT) have a slightly negative connotation. Escaping reality isn't always a healthy thing. That whole ostrich-burying-its-head mentality isn't seen as a good thing! And while getting lost in a good book isn't always about denial, "escaping reality" may sometimes be seen as just that.

So onto the next idea: Imagination. No limits. You open a book and your mind is free to soar across worlds, real or fantastical. So ... I needed an image and a tagline that would fit together and depict this idea. Soaring ... flying ... a bird! Which goes perfectly with:

"let your imagination take flight"

So I started doodling and came up with this bird:

Cool. I liked it. I really liked it. But I wanted it to be in nice, neat vector format. So ... I opened up a program I've owned for more than a year but have never been brave enough to use! Adobe Illustrator. After a few basic tutorials, and several hours (yes, hours. Don't laugh. It was my first time!), I had my bird!

Then I just needed to add my name in a clean, simple non-serif font (and I spent a while looking through various options), plus the tagline in a font slightly more whimsical...

And there we have it :-)

~  ~  ~


The giveaway for anyone who left a review of The Trouble with Flying ended today,
and the winner, picked at random by Rafflectoper, is Sally!
Congrats, Sally! You've been emailed :-)

Monday, July 7, 2014

New Releases from Authors RaShelle Workman, Susan Kaye Quinn, and Lee Strauss

Three new releases by three fantastic authors!

1. A Beauty So Beastly, by RaShelle Workman
2. Second Daughter, by Susan Kaye Quinn
3. Heart & Soul, by Lee Strauss

This is the second book in The Dharian Affairs Trilogy!

Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

PS - I had a FAR more detailed post with info for each of these books, and somehow in editing it, the entire darn thing got WIPED OUT! (Even though I closed the post without saving any changes.) So, basically, AAAAARRRRGGHHH, and the post you see now is what I had time to put together!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Author Brand: What It Is and Some Examples

I've been told about this author branding thing for years. I've even tried to do it. Sort of. I never had my own logo or a tagline, but I've tried various "looks" and then created blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc headers all based on the same image (like what you can currently see at the top of my blog). But I've never fully liked any of the ideas I've come up with. Basically, I want a neat little logo/tagline combo that can represent my brand anywhere on the internet. Something that's easy to print on business cards or bookmarks or, basically, any swag. Something I can do in different colours for different situations, but that no one can doubt is mine. So ... how do I do this?

It's difficult when you write more than one genre. A fantasy author could go with an image / font / logo that shouts YOU'RE ENTERING THE FANTASY REALM NOW! A chick lit author could go with an image / font / logo that shouts I'M CUTE, I'M ROMANCE, I'M CHICK LIT! But if you write in multiple genres, like me, how do you show that?

So I'm left trying to find a thread common to ALL the books I write, no matter what genre they're in. I'm left looking at ME as an author--who am I and why I write--because, ultimately, for indie authors it's all about creating a brand around YOU, THE AUTHOR rather than around any of your books specifically, right?

So here's what reading and writing are about for me:
escaping reality
imagination without limits
breaking free from real-world constraints
unforgettable characters

I'm still boiling that down to one core "thing" and working on how to represent it, but I've got one idea I really, really like, and I'm sitting on it for a little while to see if I still like it tomorrow, the next day, next week!

For now, here are some cool examples I found online: