Monday, January 31, 2011

Get Your Writing Year Started!



     






  I mentioned the Writer's Yearbook here a few weeks ago. It's a special issue that's not part of the yearly subscription, so look for it on the newsstand. A regular feature is "The Top 101 Websites for Writers", which make the list by nomination from the writing community at large. This year's list is categorized as follows:
  • Creativity
  • Writing advice (new)
  • General Resources
  • Jobs and markets
  • Online writing communities
  • Everything agents
  • Publishing/marketing resources
  • Genres/niches
  • Just for fun
Each site has a symbol to let you know what it offers:
  •  Advice for writers
  • Classes/workshops/ conferences
  • Contests
  • Critiques
  • Forums
  • For young writers
  • Jobs (paying)
  • Markets
  • Newsletters
  • On Twitter
  • Podcasts
There's also a link for nominating other sites or suggesting a new category for the 2012 list. (Put 101 Websites in the subject line.)

But that's not all in this great issue. Look for "The Top 100 Markets for Book & Magazine Writers", "The Must-Have Online Marketing Plan", and "The Quick & the Read" about writing query letters that will get you noticed. You'll also find a profile of the publishing trends of the past year and several articles targeting freelancers.

For $5.99, you can't find a better bargain.


Disclaimer: I buy my OWN copy of this issue every year! 




Sunday, January 23, 2011

Review: Jana Richards' "Flawless"

                                         Book Review


In 2010, the Crimson Rose Senior Editor of the Wild Rose Press put out a submissions call for a new series called “Jewels of the Night”. The first ‘jewel’ would be a blue diamond. Author Jana Richards responded to the call with Flawless, a tale of war, treachery, love, and loss that will keep you turning every one of its 152 pages as fast as you can read—and want more.

Hunter Smith, convicted jewel thief and unwilling undercover operative for British special operations, is an unlikely hero. Dropped into France, he must work with the French Resistance, to retrieve le Coeur Bleu before it is used to finance victory for the Nazis. Unfortunately, his partner in the effort, Madeleine, has reason to hate him. General Klaus Dietrich, now occupying the grand de Maisoneuve chateau where the diamond lies waiting for good or evil purposes, believes in his right to the spoils of war, Madeleine among them.

The reader is skillfully transported to 1942 occupied France with pertinently placed descriptions of the countryside and will fall in love with the old chateau and its architectural secrets. Hunter’s and Madeleine’s back stories are woven seamlessly into the present action and explain who they are—and why. General Dietrich comes off as a very believable villain—the man you love to hate and want to see get his just desserts!

Whether or not a reader is familiar with (or even interested in) this particular historical era, she will find Flawless a terrific read both for suspense and romance.

Flawless is a 40K+ eBook priced at $4.50, available at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon.com, and Digi Books Café.

 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Excerpt
  France, 1942.  The world is at war. The Nazis have stolen the infamous blue diamond, Le Coeur Bleu, intending to barter it for weapons that will destroy the Allies. Jewel thief Hunter Smith is given a choice; help the French Resistance steal back the diamond and avenge the death of his best friend, or stay locked up in an English prison. He chooses revenge.
     Resistance fighter Madeleine Bertrand’s husband died when he was betrayed by Hunter Smith. How can she now pretend to be married to the arrogant American? How can she betray Jean Philippe’s memory by her passionate response to Hunter’s kisses? Neither is prepared for the maelstrom of attraction that erupts between them. To survive they must uncover the mysteries of the past and conquer the dangers of the present. But first Madeleine must decide if her loyalties lie with her dead husband and the Resistance or with the greatest love of her life.  
**

Visit Jana at:
Website
Blog
My Space



Sunday, January 16, 2011

January Writing Magazine Tips

     This month's writing magazines seem to have appeared in my mailbox in quick succession rather than arriving at longer intervals. Since I read each one of the four (The Writer, Writer's Digest, Writers' Journal, Poets and Writers) from 'kiver to kiver', I'm off to a slow start this year. The Writer arrived first, and I've finished reading and, hopefully digesting, the informative articles, so I thought I'd share few gleanings. As usual, I encourage you to subscribe or visit your local library to read complete articles.
     Debbie Swanson offers tips on investing in your writing this year, including attending a conference and improving your online presence.
     Multi-published author Cyn Balog explains how online networking brought in her first YA contract and shares two websites to investigate:
     Patricia Lorenz, author of 13 books and more than 50 stories in the Chicken Soup for the Soul books gives new credibility to the advice "Never give up". After a year and a half of multiple rejections for a story she truly believed in, she saw her words in print. Since then, "The Baggy Yellow Shirt" has earned her over $4000 in various venues!
     Eight book editors share what they want--and what they don't.
     Robert Bly's article "10 Ways to Generate Sales" is a must-read for authors with a book to sell. Even if you don't use all ten suggestions, you'll find more than one that works for you. You'll want to see what he has to say on things most of us do: newsletters, blogging, social networking, and e-marketing.
      Melissa Hart reviews The Creative Writer's Survival Guide: Advice from an Unrepentant Novelist by John McNally (University of Iowa Press). It's on my 'to- buy' list.
     Agents, markets, writers' events, and publishers are profiled in the back--8 valuable pages.
     I occasionally used to buy writing magazines off the newssstand, even though I knew it was cheaper to subscribe. What I didn't realize was that these magazines a worth every cent of their subscription price.
     Maybe by next week I'll have plowed through another January issue and will have more to share!
      

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Is Anybody Out There?

     When I began to research information on how to get published, I didn't have a clue about how or where to submit. I spent a year 'surfing the net', learning a little here and a little there. I knew I wasn't the only writer around, and it would've been nice to have someone to commiserate with and learn from, but that piece of information eluded me.
     But for any newbie who may be reading this blog, let me tell you that the internet abounds with sites where you can connect with other writers and hone your craft. By following the previous link, you'll find dozens listed in one place, and there are more.

Fiction After 50

Literary Magazines and so much more

 FanStory 

Writers Relief

WOW Women on Writing

Bella Online: The Voice of Women

Get Published--50 Online Writing Websites for New Writers 

Writing.com

     In this month's issue of The Writer Magazine, multi-published author Cyn Balog writes about how blogs and online networking helped land her first YA contract. This concise one-page article is worth a trip to the bookstore or library (p. 14).  Two sites which she recommends are Verla Kay's Blueboard  and the Absolute Write community.
     Writer's Digest publishes "101 Best Websites for Writers" based on readers' votes. Look for the best websites of 2010 in an upcoming issue.
      The links to these websites are only the tip of the iceberg--but better to start at the tip and work your way down than to start at the bottom in the cold, lonely icy water and try to work yourself up!
     You're not alone out there!

     

     







Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's Resolutions and All That Jazz

     Short and sweet--if I don't make 'em, I don't have to keep 'em! 

     That said, I need to keep this blog up-to-date, invite more guest bloggers, and provide more writing information to anyone who's interested.
     So I just got around to beginning to read the January 2011 issue of The Writer Magazine, an excellent resource for writers. There's an article on 5 Smart Ways to Invest in Your Writing in the New Year by Debbie Swanson. While acknowledging that some of her suggestions, like upgrading memberships in such online groups such as LinkedIn and Mediabistro.com, and setting up a website can cost more than effort, she is firm in her belief that it is money well-spent. I agree.
    She also suggests attending a writing conference. Every October I attend the Ozark Creative Writers Conference in Eureka Springs AR. It's just not to be missed! This May I'll be attending The Wild Rose Press writing retreat in Asheville NC. What an opportunity to connect with fellow 'Roses' also published by this terrific company. 
     Like most writers, I try to balance outgo against income. I've thought of not renewing my subscriptions to four writing magazines (Writer's Digest, The Writer, Writer's Journal, Poets and Writers) but I read them from cover to cover and never fail to learn something or get a line on a new market. Another perk is that sometimes a renewal comes with an offer for a free gift subscription--and I enjoy sending those.
      Instead of making New Year's Resolutions, it may be more beneficial to look back on the accomplishments of the past year and simply resolve to keep on keeping on. I begin this new year looking ahead to April when The Wild Rose Press will release my third novel (this one under the pseudonym I intend to make permanent, Gwyneth Greer) The Showboat Affair. And, I have a new contract from Champagne Books for The Face on Miss Fanny's Wall, estimated release January 2012.
     I had my share of rejections in 2010, but those are more positive than negative, in that they keep me revising and researching a wider market. I have two short stories out now and more ready to go. A good crit partner is a treasure, and I found one this past year. We meet weekly for lunch and a good session of reading each other's writing and discussing how to make it better. Also, I was invited to participate in a twice-monthly writing group where the read-alouds are engaging and the critiques gentle but helpful. Last, I discovered the Fiction Writers of Central Arkansas and intend to get started with that this month.
     It promises to be a busy and productive year. Who could ask for anything more?
     Any writers out there who think they MUST make resolutions, here are a few suggestions:    
  • Visit my website. I'm always open to comments and suggestions.
  • Become a follower of this blog.
  • Friend me on Facebook.
  • Become a fan of Someday Is Here on Facebook. You can get there from the search box on FB.
  • Invite me to guest blog.
  • Consider yourself invited to guest blog at The Word Place. (email judy@judynickles.com)
  • Send me links to your blogs and websites which I'll post on my blog and website.
     Most of all, may your cup runneth over with writing successes, and your shredder not fill up with rejections!