Monday, September 8, 2014

Perspective


My book got its first two star rating on Amazon a few weeks ago. Good and bad reviews are part of the deal, but I must admit, it stung a little.            

Other than the initial sting though, I was pretty okay with it. It shook my confidence momentarily, but I remembered the advice of a few of my favorite writers.

Jody Hedlund shared her thoughts on the topic, "My book won't be everyone's cup of tea, and that's okay."  (My paraphrase.)

Ann Gabhart lent further insight when she said, "Rejection is not fatal."

Jody and Ann are right. Bad reviews and rejection - they aren't the end of the world. You can't please all the people all the time. It's all about perspective.

It's been a good reality check, this less than stellar review, for it offered an opportunity to review priorities and what motivates me. Here is my short list. See how it compares to yours.


Faith - I believe that God is in control no matter what. Nothing takes Him by surprise.

Family and Friends - It's good to know your loved ones are on your team.

I. Must. Write. - The need to express myself no matter what anyone else thinks.

The Importance of Sharing - I feel led to share various experiences and bits of info with others.

The Take Away - There's often something to learn from a negative review, constructive criticism, or a rejection letter. Challenges sharpen our skills and help us grow.

Balance - Knowing there will be ups and downs helps maintain a better outlook.

Blessings - Remember and count them daily.

How do you handle rejection or bad reviews? What helps you keep a good perspective? What's on your short list?

It's been crazy busy around here, with a manuscript submission, the start of my teen writing classes, and a wedding on our property over the weekend. So I am taking a break until September 22 when Sarah Sundin stops by to talk about her new book. Hope you can join us. :)

Enjoy September!

Happy writing,

Karen


Photo credit: Stock Exchange

Monday, September 1, 2014

Plugging Away


My manuscript is due this week so I've gotten little else done around here, including today's post. It was going to be riveting and insightful. Well maybe not quite, but it was a good idea that I thought you might like. It will have to wait for another day; I hope you don't mind if I share a few links instead.


If you happen to do historical research, I reviewed a book in the Writer's Guide to Everyday Life series at the Coffeehouse for Writers Blog. It's a wonderful resource for writers of all genres.


Carol J. Alexander at Everything Home with Carol has a great giveaway going this week. Prizes include free downloads of Paperless Home Organization, Lessons from the Homestead, my book Homeschool Co-ops 101 and other home/homeschool resources.

What are you writing this week? Have any special Labor Day plans?


Happy writing,

Karen



Photo credit: Stock Exchange

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Visit With Susan Sundwall


The lovely and talented Susan Sundwall joins us today to discuss her latest book, The Super Bar Incident. This is Susan's second book in her mystery series. Susan's offered to give away a copy of both her books so be sure and check out the details below.


Welcome to Write Now, Susan. Congrats on the new book! How did this story come about? 


Thank you so much for having me, Karen. I’m honored. The Super Bar Incident is the second in my Minnie Markwood mystery series. I wrote it because I had so much fun writing the first one and wanted to expand on  Minnie’s adventures. In Super Bar I put our intrepid mystery shopper and amateur sleuth on a diet. Most of my readers are women and I’m sure they’ll be able to relate to her Titanic battle with the scale. I also ramp up the romance between her two sidekicks, Rashawna and Joel. 


Yes, I know many of your readers will relate to that "Titanic battle". I know I do! How did you get into mystery writing?


I’ve always loved reading mysteries and never thought I could write one, until I began reading Janet Evanovich. She was the first mystery author I’d read who put a lot of humor and sass into her stories and I loved it. Reading her kind of gave me permission to let my own wacky side come out. I realized a mystery didn’t have to be so mind tangling. And though I’m not as um – risqué – as Janet, it was very freeing. And, of course, finding a publisher, Mainly Murder Press, validated my belief that I could write a mystery.  
  

Humor and sass - that appeals to a vast audience, I'm thinking. I'm glad you gave it a shot, for it sounds like it's right up your alley. :) Do you have a specific writing routine? How do you stay on track and meet your deadlines?



As they say, lark or owl, and I’m definitely a lark. I do my best writing in the early morning and am often surprised when several hours have gone by seemingly on a freight train. I break the rest of the day into chunks with an hour here or there for a re-write of my current project. A deadline is sort of like a mosquito. It buzzes around and you stand it for just so long before you swat it. If I swat it in time (and I always do) I let myself have a small – okay big – treat. Hot fudge sundaes top the list. 

That comparison of mosquitoes and deadlines is on target! Speaking of sundaes, do you have a favorite writing snack?


When I’m “in the zone” I don’t even think of eating. Sometime a cup of good coffee will help me along, but often it goes cold. Oh wait, does Candy Crush count as a snack? As a break in the tedium of finding exactly the right earrings for Minnie to wear in scene #18, I do “snack” there. Incidentally, Minnie has 300 pairs of earrings, so choosing the right ones each day is daunting. 


I guess Candy Crush could count...:) Wow, that's a lot of earrings. I guess she can wear a different pair almost every day! What's your favorite piece of writing advice?


When I first began writing I’d hear two things repeatedly and they’ve stuck with me. The first is B.I.C., Butt in chair, and the second is, Finish the Book. This is the dynamic duo of writing. Embrace them like Batman and you’ll be well rewarded. 

Ah, good advice. We don't get any writing done if we don't show up and apply ourselves. Thanks so much for sharing with us today. Best wishes with your books!

Thank you, Karen. :) 

Find Susan's books on Amazon

Visit Susan on her Blog 

More About Susan

Susan Sundwall is a mystery writer who sets her stories in and around Albany, New York. Her first mystery, The Red Shoelace Killer – A  Minnie Markwood Mystery, was published in late 2012. Her second book in the series, The Super Bar Incident, was released in August 2014. Both are available at Amazon, Untreed Reads and from the publisher. She lives in Valatie, New York, with her husband and adopted stray cat, Sister Agnes.

Giveaway Details and Requirements

One happy Write Now follower will win a signed print copy of The Superbar Incident and an ebook of the first Minnie Markwood Mystery, The Red Shoelace Killer
  • You must be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower (see box on sidebar).
  • You must leave your email address with your comment.
  • Open to residents of the United States.
  • Deadline to enter is midnight EST Thursday August 28, 2014. Winner will be chosen by random.org, notified by email, and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Do you have any questions for Susan? Do you like to read mysteries? What is your favorite writing snack?

Happy writing,
Karen

Monday, August 18, 2014

Crunch Time


It's crunch time! I've got a deadline this week for volume one of my book, so I'm taking the week off to wrap it up.

I hope you'll join me next week when Susan Sundwall stops by to discuss her latest book. Looking forward to having her visit. :)

How do you manage your time around a deadline?
 
Have a great week,

Karen


Photo credit: Stock Exchange

Monday, August 11, 2014

August Inspiration and Links







In good writing, words become one with things.


Ralph Waldo Emerson


Do you agree with Mr. Emerson? I do, and believe that we paint pictures large and small for our readers. Not an easy task always, but one that satisfies our need to communicate with others.  

Here are a few resources that might help your words become a grand image and inspiration for your readers:


Feeling unproductive and uninspired? Carol Tice offers advice for freelancers in this post, 5 Super Easy Ways Freelance Writers Can Stand Out.

Here's another "5" post from Brian Klems that might offer a boost - 5 Writing Lessons Inspired by Famous Writers.

Do you know the differences between writing for the middle grade and young adult audiences? Brian Klems breaks it down in The Key Differences Between Middle Grade vs.Young Adult
 
Need a break from the routine? Check out Jean Fischer's Fun Friday - 6 Quizzes for Writers. Interesting stuff!

Have you or anyone you know self published a book? The 2nd Annual Writer's Digest Self Published eBook Awards offers a grand prize of $3000 cash. Hurry, deadline to enter is September 2, 2014.

Are you a poet? Writer's Digest has a contest for you too. Their Poetry Award contest offers a $1000 grand prize. Early registration deadline is October 1, 2014, regular deadline is October 31.  Click here for details.


What do you think of Emerson's quote? Do you have any links or tips to share? What are you writing this week?

Happy writing,
Karen


Photo credit: Stock Exchange