Book Promos From Authors Attending The Springfield OH Book Fair
Designs on Ivy's Locket by Connie Chappell
Memories of the Lost Lenore by V. S. Foreman
This week's writing prompt is "Do you keep a diary or a journal?"
The short answer is no. Now for the long answer.
I never saw the point of keeping a diary or a journal. With a nosy family and a toxic school environment, I saw no need to maintain a a written record of my experiences or the angry and depressing thoughts that accompanied them.
This does not mean that my childhood was one of unrelenting misery or exclusion. I had many good moments that I treasure. But these are private and not for public consumption.
That's the problem with diaries: they're supposed to be private. However, anyone can break those flimsy locks that only keep out the incurious and the honest. Putting down my most private thoughts and feelings into something someone else could read that said someone else wasn't supposed to read--no, that makes no sense. I don't need what's in my head revealed to all and sundry, except as I choose to reveal it.
That's a risk I still have no desire to take.
By Stacy McKitrick
Hi! My name is Stacy McKitrick. I write paranormal romances featuring vampires and ghosts, and I’ll be at the Springfield Book Fair.
Why do I write in that genre? Because I love a little danger (big horror reader here) and I love romance.
I can’t believe it’s been nine years since the bug to write bit me. It certainly wasn’t anything I thought I’d do, either. I loved to read, but write? I wasn’t sure I could do that. But you know the best way to find out if you can? You just do it. (Thanks, Nike). So that’s what I did.
I wrote that first book in about four months. I was so excited! Then I started reading my work. I sucked! What did I do wrong? Well … apparently, a lot.
I bought books on writing. Read blogs on writing. You don’t know how happy I was when I read that first drafts are crappy. Whew! After several revisions I gave the book to someone whose opinion I valued: my daughter. She said I had promise.
That’s really all I needed to hear (because the book still needed work). I promptly joined Romance Writers of America and started taking class after class after class. I was having so much fun! And I finally found my passion in life.
Let me tell you, I was 51. I was sure I would never find it.
As I learned more about the craft, I tinkered with my writing style. That first book was completely “pantsed”—I didn’t plot a single thing. I tried the plotting thing on the second book ... and failed. Plotting took all the fun out of it. To this day when I start writing a book, I have no idea who my characters are and only a vague idea of what the story is about. That’s what I find fun in writing: learning about them and figuring out how to make them suffer.
I love making them suffer. Hey, they gotta work for that happily ever after!
Writing is different for every writer. Lots of plotters, pantsers, and puzzlers around. Writing is not for everyone. You’ve got to have some thick skin to take the criticism and the rejection. Lots and lots of rejection. Sure, it hurts, but I never let it get me down. Because writing was fun and nothing was going to stop me from having fun.
Now, if I can only learn to write faster …
See you at the fair!
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Links: Blog | Newsletter | Goodreads | Facebook
Pre-Release Final Edit Excerpt:
Corinne ignored him and got to work stowing her belongings in their proper places. In such a tiny space, organization and tidiness were mandatory. He followed her back outside to the stump of an old oak leveled off and sanded smooth after the remnant gales of a southern hurricane had toppled it. Cleaver in hand, she lay one largemouth bass on the stump and raised the blade. Another hand wrapped around her wrist, holding it. She looked into the silver eyes of the stranger. He raised one finely drawn eyebrow and, without speaking, gently extracted the cleaver from her hand. With his other hand, he drew her away from the stump. He gave her a pointed look that needed no words to explain he would clean the fish.
“Whatever,” she muttered and shrugged her shoulders before going back inside. It was, she mused, quite possibly the most idiotic thing she’d done that day, leaving a strange man outside with a cleaver. What if he happened to be an axe murderer?
She snorted and giggled at her own absurdity as she pulled a cast iron skillet from the cupboard and set it on the stove. A twist of the wrist, a hiss and a whoosh, and blue flame rose from the burner. Corinne found some dill-infused olive oil and drizzled it into the pan. A heady scent quickly rose. She grabbed a bundle of asparagus and rinsed the spears, a lemon and cut it in half, salt, pepper, and leftover rice pilaf from the day before. She loosened the lid on the rice and popped it into the small microwave oven for reheating.
Two perfectly cleaned and filleted fish slapped down on the countertop beside her. Without speaking the man turned on the spigot and washed his hands and the cleaver in the sink. Corinne found her gaze drawn to those hands, large but not crude, the fingers long and elegant and capable looking. When he finished, she rinsed the fillets, patted them dry with paper towels, and lay them in the skillet. The flesh sizzled. She dumped the asparagus spears into the skillet, too. Knowing she had a few minutes—not many—she pulled down two of her four plates and retrieved the necessary silverware.
“Thanks for cleaning the fish,” she said and held out the plates and silverware. “You can set the table. Cups are in the upper cabinet left of the sink. Napkins are in the drawer below the silverware.”
The man looked down his straight nose at her, faintly horrified, but he took what Corinne handed him and obeyed her order. With a spatula, she checked the underside of the fish and, satisfied with the golden brown color, flipped it. She turned the asparagus spears to ensure they cooked on all sides, squeezed the lemon over the contents of the skillet, and sprinkled salt and pepper. The correct buttons pressed, the microwave hummed and the old turntable rattled.
She placed a potholder on the table and transferred the skillet from the stovetop to the table. A moment later, she transferred the reheated rice to the table and extracted a serving spoon from a drawer.
“Bon appétit,” she said in her best imitation of Julia Child as she seated herself and gestured for her guest to take the seat across from her.
He looked at her with a puzzled frown.
“I’m not a good mimic,” she acknowledged with good cheer. “You should hear my Jacques Pépin imitation. It’s even worse.”
He blinked at her. She sighed, crossed herself, folded her hands, and bowed her head to quickly murmur a rote prayer over the food on the table. She crossed herself again and gave him a determinedly bright smile.
“So, tell me about yourself, like your name,” she said as she used a fork and spatula to transfer an entire fillet and several asparagus spears to his plate. He simply looked at her. “You’ve been watching me for the last few days. I know you have. Mind telling me why?”
She spooned rice onto his plate and he picked up his fork. She waited with an expectant attitude as he sampled her cooking.
“Oh, I forgot drinks,” she exclaimed and jumped up to retrieve a pitcher half full of iced tea. She poured and set the pitcher on the table.
“Will you at least tell me your name?” she begged as she filled her own plate. “You look like the Grim Reaper frowning at me.”
Her guest met her gaze, his unblinking, and he finally replied in a low, somewhat rusty baritone, “Uberon.”
She gifted him with a polite smile and said, steel lacing every syllable, “Thank you. Now please tell me why you’ve been shadowing me.”
Corinne choked on the tea she attempted to swallow. Setting the glass down, she said, “What do you mean by that?”
“You’re mine,” he repeated, his voice low, quiet, and calm as though he declared nothing more momentous than the state of the weather. He gestured at his plate with his fork and added, “This is good.”
I'm feeling particularly indecisive this morning. This has manifested by tuning into a radio station rather than selecting my own background music and a general reluctance to do anything resembling work. Unfortunately, I have yet to achieve parity with the independently wealthy, so work I must.
The editor returned my manuscript for Daughter of the Dark Moon. With comments, of course. I need the comments, because she'll point out passages in the story that I thought were clear and obvious and ... well ... apparently, they're not. I considered responding to her comments, then realized that it would be better simply to fix them. After all, readers won't contact me asking for clarification; they'll just slam the book in any reviews they leave.
So, I've got a 95,000-word manuscript to revise and whip into shape within the next couple of weeks. The release date is July 18, so I need to get cracking.
I have a large editing project to finish. This one was unexpected. About six months ago, an author paid me for a chapter-by-chapter critique of his manuscript. The upshot: interest concept, but the execution left much to be desired. He put the manuscript through "multiple rounds" of editing and published it. Reviews praised the story idea, but bashed the execution. So, he returned to me because, "Your critique was direct and unforgiving. I realized back then that you are a true professional, and I accepted most of the remarks."
He also said I was harsh. I prefer the term "candid." But he hired me to edit the manuscript. So, I'm exercising my usual ruthless service because my goal is to improve the content, not serve as cheerleader to someone's fragile ego.
I made a little progress on Bear of the Midnight Sun, which will be the third in the Immortal Shifters series. It's going slowly, very slowly. Of course, there's another idea simmering in the back of my mind. We'll see if that goes anywhere.
Fiverr downgraded my ranking twice in the last few weeks because I haven't processed a sufficient number of projects to keep them happy. I find that annoying rather than upsetting. I'm picky about the projects on which I work, which means fewer projects. For some reason, I find requests to work for pennies per hour insulting. Anyway, the platform has ceased allowing me access to buyer requests, so now I can't even bid on posted projects: I have to wait for someone to find me among their tens of thousands of vendors.
Like that's going to happen.
Registration for the book fair ends on June 30 and we have more than fulfilled minimum registration requirements. Author tables will overflow from the vat room into the tap room. Good news! Participating authors were invited to submit articles for additional promotion: their essays appear on this blog on Wednesdays. I hired a teenager to help authors with carrying in/out their "stuff," and she'll also be available to pinch hit at tables so authors can take short breaks. The brewery suggested that we hold the book fair more than once a year. Good news! We'll see how this one goes. If it meets my expectations, then we'll begin working on seasonal events: a winter and a summer book fair for 2019.
I'll sign off now and end this week's rambling. You'll find me somewhat more focused in this week's entry for the 52-week Blog Challenge.
#HenHousePublishing #HollyBargoBooks #SpringfieldOHBookFair
Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny side up: eggs are the musings of Holly Bargo, the pseudonym for the author.
Looking for a place to swap blogs? Holly Bargo at Hen House Publishing is wanting to Blog Swaps in 2018. For more information:
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