May 15, 2013

Interview with Will McClinton

Posted in Interviews tagged , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Christine Rice

Will McClintonI’d like to welcome Will McClinton to my blog for an interview. Here is a little about him:

In high school, my passion for writing grew. By the summer after graduation it was a possibility. Then I was blindsided by a MVA (motor vehicle accident) that changed the direction of my life. I lost sight of my joy in writing. This is still sending ripples through my life. After two decades of work in the healthcare field (I’m a RN now), I recognized a need to connect with the creativity that was missing from my personal life. So Lineage was begun. I refused to stop writing even for shoulder surgery. My mom typed and painted in classical oils for over thirty years, even with having lost an arm during the great depression. So I took the strength I had learned from her and went on as I do now in her wake. Reading, writing, and gardening will always be a part of my life, as she will.

Christine: It’s nice to meet you, Will. What inspired you to write your first book?

Will: My inspiration to write came out of necessity – needing a creative outlet that is year round of which writing can be. Unlike gardening, one of my pleasures, time, is limited. There is nothing like getting my hands into the soil – a way of connecting with the earth, its energy. Writing is a seedling at the beginning of a story, small and fragile, but as time goes on, the characters grow and change, developing before your mind’s eye.

Christine: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

LineageWill: There are several messages that readers can take away from Lineage – The Descendants. First, but only one of several. Beauty can often be a disguise for evil, appearing innocent and harmless. Take a page out of resent American or French politics; we all need to look beyond the surface of the story. Do not accept on blind faith that the truth and the facts are one in the same. The news communication networks like nothing better than a good – or is it bad – sex scandal to sale time or space.

Christine: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Will: I was in 9th grade English, a creative writing class taught by Ms. Woodring. Not a typical English teacher, for she was aggressive and outspoken. By the time I finished that semester, I was bitten by the graphic arts bug and wanted to write for my life.

Christine: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Will: The hardest part of writing a novel was committing to it. Then it was choosing a subject. I enjoy reading over a range of genres.

Christine: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Will: I tell anyone that will listen that wants to write a story or a book, make the time and sit down and do it. Once you begin, a fertile imagination will bring the story, as in planting a seed.

Christine: Where can we find out more about you and your book on the Web?

Will: Blog: www.mcclintonlineage.wordpress.com
About the Book: www.mcclintonlineage.wordpress.com/about-the-book
Twitter: @WillMcClinton1

Thanks so much for joining us today, Will!

March 26, 2013

Freelance Writing, Editing, and Formatting

Posted in Freelance Career tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:27 am by Christine Rice

Hello, everyone.

I’ve been doing well and have been quite busy with my freelance writing, editing, and formatting career. I recently did some work on my website. I added two new pages (“books” and “testimonials“). I also did some minor adjustments throughout and to the “services” page.

I’ve also been in touch with clients I’ve worked with in the past. It was a pleasure to reconnect with them. I’ve also been doing several book formatting projects and a cover design project, which has been fun. I love working with clients and doing what I love to do – write, edit, and format for others – because I like to help people and I love being involved in the publishing industry. I also love connecting with other writers and authors on Facebook and Twitter.

What have you been up to lately? What goals do you have and what have you accomplished recently? Feel free to include links to your writing, career websites, and social networking pages in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a joyous day!

Christine

March 11, 2013

Seven/Seven Blog Challenge!

Posted in Books, Writing tagged , , , , , , , , , at 8:00 am by Christine Rice

Hello fellow readers and writers!

I was graciously asked by B B Shepherd to participate in an author blog challenge. It’s called the “seven/seven blog challenge” and it sounds like a great opportunity to share my work-in-progress, Chronicles of a Troubled Girl, with you! Before I do, here are the details of the blog challenge:

1. Choose seven lines from page 7 or 77 of your current work-in-progress.

2. Invite seven other writers to post the same and link back to you.

3. Mention and link back to the person who nominated you.

Here is a little background on my book: Chronicles of a Troubled Girl is a compilation of all of my journal entries from childhood to age 30. It shares my thoughts, emotions, and life experiences during a rocky time in my life. So, without further ado, here are seven lines from page 77 of the first draft of Chronicles of a Troubled Girl:

What I think I am living is really just a long dream my soul is remembering. But how do I know anything about life? What am I supposed to think of life? How am I supposed to perceive it? It is so complicated and I may never even find out in the end.

Who are the intelligent ones? Who is real? Who are my friends? These are all unstable, because they are always changing. I think something is something, but it turns out to be another, so I never know what I am facing in life. I hate instability. I want little or no pain. I am killing myself. Who am I? Who are these people around me?

The first draft of this book has been completed and next I’ll be proofreading it. It won’t be long before it’s published! I’ll definitely let you know when it is!

So far, Amanda R. Dollak will be participating in the challenge. If you would like to participate too, comment below and I’ll add a link to your blog to this post.

Have a great day and keep writing!

Christine

October 4, 2012

How You Can Organize and Run Your Own Blog Tour – Part 1

Posted in Blog Tours tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 1:31 pm by Christine Rice

As most of you know, I recently finished up a month-long blog tour for my book, Freelance Writing Guide. I feel the blog tour was a success, because all of the bloggers posted on the correct days, there was effective communication between me and the bloggers, I made some valuable connections for the future, and it generally went smoothly and was easy to keep up with. Below I will share with you my tips on organizing and running your own blog tour.

For a month-long blog tour, you will need to start organizing it one month in advance.

I started announcing my blog tour around July 23rd (my blog tour started August 29th). I posted my announcement and my request for bloggers to participate on Facebook, Twitter, Writer’s Digest Community, LinkedIn, and here on my blog. Doing those posts was a good means of self-promotion, but it did not draw the interest of many bloggers who would participate in my blog tour. So I checked all of the blogs I had followed on WordPress by looking at my “reader” on the main WordPress page. I also checked the Blogger blogs I followed through Google Friend Connect (GFC) by going to a Google blog that I knew I followed and clicking on my profile picture in the list of followers; that brought up my GFC profile, which had a list of all the blogs I followed.

I checked out each of the blogs that seemed to be for writers or readers, to see if the blog owner was a book reviewer or an author interviewer. These types of bloggers usually have a page on their blogs that explains what types of books they review and/or their book review policy, what types of authors they host on their blog, and their contact information. If they reviewed nonfiction books or hosted nonfiction authors, I contacted them by sending them a message from their blog’s contact form (located on a page of their blog), or by emailing them if the email address was provided. I rarely came across bloggers that provided no means of contact. But if that was the case, I posted a comment on their “about me” page or on their most recent blog post.

I had not followed enough blogs in the past to acquire enough bloggers to host me, so I had to look at additional methods. In a comment to my blog post on here, Patty Apostolides kindly suggested I check out Book Blogs. I had never heard of the term “book blog” before, but I quickly learned what it meant. A book blog is a blog where the blog owner posts book reviews on their blog, and sometimes author interviews and giveaways. Book Blogs was where I found most of the bloggers for my blog tour. I will tell you how. After joining Book Blogs, the first thing I did was scroll through every one of their interest groups (currently there are 490) to find the ones that related to my purpose of acquiring bloggers who’d be interested in hosting me. Every time I saw a possible group to join, I wrote the name of the group down on a notepad. After I had gone through all of the groups, I separately typed the name of each of the groups I had on my notepad into the search bar on the group listing page to bring the group up. I reviewed each group a second time and joined the ones that were most compatible with my needs (to save time from joining groups that would not be very effective for my purpose). Some of the groups I joined were: Authors Needing Reviews and Interviews, Self-Published Book Reviews, Network Your Blog, Advertise Your Work, and Promote Your Books!. Network Your Blog was the most helpful, because it had the most members.

For the groups I joined, I looked through the forum posts, and used the search bar for the forums that had an overabundance of posts where it would take too long to look through them all. I commented on bloggers’ posts, who were looking to review books and host author interviews on their blogs, telling them about my book and asking if they would like to host me. I also provided my email address – since I did not follow all of the forum posts I commented on, because I ended up with a large amount of emails in my inbox from other people’s comments – because I would not get notifications for their posts. I clicked “stop following,” a link that is just below the main post on each forum post, if I did not want to get notified of followup comments.

Next, and this was the most proficient way to get in touch with bloggers, I went through every comment on the Network Your Blog forum post entitled “Bloggers Seeking Authors, Guest Posts, Giveaways, Or?”. That post was 27 pages long when I got to it, but it was more efficient to look through that one post with hundreds of bloggers on it, than to search for bloggers on individual posts. So I started from the last page that had the most recent dates and worked my way to page one, by reading each comment and looking into the bloggers’ blogs to see if they were compatible with me and my book (indie author of nonfiction book). Then I contacted them – not by replying to their comment on the forum post, because they probably unfollowed the post like I did, but by finding their email address on their blog (sometimes it was in their forum post comment) or (second best) by using their blog’s contact form.

In part 2, I will talk about what to write in emails to bloggers, how to maintain an effective “contacts” list in your email program, how to maintain an effective exchange with bloggers, what to do when bloggers don’t respond to your emails, and how to schedule the bloggers’ posting dates for the blog tour.

June 10, 2012

Review of “How to Write a Great Query Letter”

Posted in Book Reviews tagged , , , , at 8:44 pm by Christine Rice

How to Write a Great Query Letter by Noah Lukeman is an excellent reference guide for writing an effective query letter. Lukeman is a long-time literary agent, so he knows what agents want to see in a query letter. He is very detailed about how to properly construct a query letter and he covers all the bases.

In the book, Lukeman talks about the importance of preparation by thoroughly researching agents. He discusses the best and worst query letter formatting techniques. Then he breaks apart the query letter, paragraph by paragraph, and explains key features to include and mistakes to avoid – for both fiction and nonfiction. Lastly, he goes over final issues, including common mistakes writers make with their query letters. The end of the book includes a checklist for writers for when they craft their query letters.

Even though I’m a self-published author, I can see how this book is a great resource for new writers interested in seeking an agent or publisher. It is evident, that by following the suggestions in the book, the writer will develop a highly effective query letter that is clear, concise, and direct, as well as full of the important traits that agents are looking for and free of nonessential information. I highly recommend this book to writers to read before they query any agents or publishers.

This is a free kindle book and can be found here. I hope you will find it useful too.

June 8, 2012

Review of “So You Want to Write a Novel”

Posted in Book Reviews tagged , , , , , , at 7:37 pm by Christine Rice

So You Want to Write a Novel by J.P. Kurzitza is a book written for novelists who are struggling with writing their novel. This book provides an explanation, and the structure needed, for writing a great novel.

The book explains how to come up with a great story idea and create compelling character descriptions. It then provides two completely different story templates with descriptions for each section. It lies everything about writing a novel out on the table in detail so that a writer can create a great book.

Next, Kurzitza discusses the writing process in regards to the importance of proper planning. He also explains ways to break down the complexity of writing a novel into smaller, more easily manageable, parts.

I recommend So You Want to Write a Novel to new novelists, writers who are looking for a different way to structure their novel, and writers who are stumped in the novel writing process.

You can get your copy here. Happy reading!

June 7, 2012

Review of “Empower Your Writing”

Posted in Book Reviews tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 4:28 pm by Christine Rice

Empower Your Writing: A Manifesto by Farnoosh Brock is an enjoyable nonfiction book for writers looking to learn how to write well. Brock writes exquisitely and optimistically, noticeably enjoying sharing her knowledge about writing with readers.

Brock believes in correct and effective communication, that clear writing will make people more successful, and that readers deserve the best. Therefore, she suggests to her readers to revise half a dozen times to make their writing the best that it can be.

Brock dedicates one chapter to explaining the importance of great writing. She then discusses ways for writers to understand their writing, techniques to improve their writing, and habits to sharpen their writing skills. In another chapter she goes over popular grammar errors to avoid.

Brock then gives tips to her readers to help them enhance their writing and editing skills. She speaks to her readers about finding their writing voices and even gives them a way to do so. This book is an explanation and demonstration of quality writing and it uses a unique angle and information not found in other writing books. The author’s voice and expertise truly shine through the pages of this book.

I recommend Empower Your Writing to new writers who are interested in gaining helpful knowledge about how to write well and creatively. Most people will enjoy reading this book.

Get your own copy here. Enjoy!

Review of “Words to Write By”

Posted in Book Reviews tagged , , , , , at 12:57 pm by Christine Rice

Words to Write By by Elaine Orr is a helpful and eloquently written manual for writers of nonfiction. She is an experienced writer and editor. In the book, it is clear that she definitely knows her stuff.

The book tells the reader that if they can talk, they can write, and that good writing is learned. Orr suggests to writers who are just starting out that they should write about what they know, because knowing the subject makes the writing process easier, and to not be afraid of writing badly, because the more a writer practices the craft, the better their writing skills will become.

Orr is a clear and concise writer. Her book is well-written and well-edited. She speaks directly and honestly to the reader in order to help them improve their writing skills. She is a good teacher. She explains the different types of nonfiction writing, some of which are not normally explained in other writing books. She discusses the importance of a writer’s audience, in order for the writer to communicate appropriately for whomever will be reading their work.

Next, she explains the different steps to writing a nonfiction piece – from ideas to editing – and gives helpful examples. She talks about the importance of clear writing and explains what it is and how to do it. She goes over common grammar errors and respectful language. Lastly, she speaks about ways to learn more about writing and improve writing skills, and lists books and websites that help with doing so.

I recommend Words to Write By to beginning nonfiction writers who want a concise review of the important parts of the craft of writing and how to complete a nonfiction piece.

You can get your own copy here. Enjoy!

Next page