Showing posts from January, 2019

The mysterious art of guest blogging

I have never “guest blogged” anywhere, but they say it is one of the best ways to promote a book. So I’ve been reading around the topic and here are some hints and tips I must remember. Most important is to think about where your readers are likely to be? Genre is all-important. You’ll reach a lot more romance readers at “Romance University” or “Romance Divas” than general purpose blogs. Look for blogs of authors in your genre with a good reader following. Use your protagonist’s hobbies, interests, or profession. Location can provide opportunities. If your book is set in a particular place, reach out to travel blogs about the area of your setting. People planning holidays buy more fiction than people arguing about grammar. The only way to tell if a blog attracts people who really might be interested in your book is to visit and read the posts. Read the comments, too.  Leave comments on posts you enjoy. The best place to start querying is a blog you read regularly becaus

Conflict in fiction

Snowy slopes in Banff Conflict is defined as a struggle, often an unconscious one, as a result of opposition or simultaneous functioning of mutually exclusive impulses, desires or tendencies.  A character may have to decide between right and wrong or  between 2 or more solutions to a problem.  attraction and prejudice (Pride and Prejudice is an example) Opposing desires Mismatches and/or uncertainty incompatible goals  It is about being in a new situation where old attitudes and habits war with and hinder the need to change. Show conflict by showing character responding to their inner compulsions. What is your hero's desire? What is his fear? In the opening chapters, introduce your hero and heroine and their conflicts, both external and internal. What stops them achieving what they want? Add a killer hook, an inventive and clever inciting incident - sparkly, witty and page turning would be good. By chapter 3  the reader should know why this couple are better toge

The Gybford Affair ~ fast paced and exciting historical romance.

Renewing the cover for The Craigsmuir Affair prompted me to renew the cover for The Gybford Affair. Here it is on the right. Claire Lyons recently published her review of the story, and I have added it below. Now that I've redone covers for two of my romances, I may as well think of improvements for the others! I purchased an upgrade to Photoshop towards the end of last year, and it certainly makes doing them easier and more pleasureable. I suppose since I first puchased the software, there have been seven or eight upgrades and no doubt each upgrade made using the applications easier. Technology moves so fast in the area of digital and graphic art. If I were leaving school now and choosing a career, I think I would look for something  in this area. Conservation also appeals,  but I'm not sure if I would choose Art Conservation, or conservation of house and furniture. There are so many careers available today that were simply not possible when I left school Wednesday

Show don't Tell

These days we are encouraged, as writers, to show and not tell.  I don't dislike it as a writing method; I use it myself, and I enjoy reading it. It involves finding lots of ways to "show" emotions as well as actions, and that can sometimes prove difficult. (As I was writing that sentence I thought if I exchanged "describe" for "show" what would the difference be? Ponder that one for a while!) Showing involves investing in the feelings of the POV character: how do they feel at any given point in the story? Why do they do what they do? It also involves the POV character noticing how other people react to them, which really becomes the POV character telling what they see. See what I mean? These thoughts were provoked by something I saw on Pinterest, but I don't think I should copy it here; instead let me give you the link, and you can seek it out yourself. I hope it will help you past those sticky moments when you simply cannot think how to descr

Statistics, damned statistics

Statcounter. Has anyone used the free version? I have, for as long as I've been running my blog. But lately it seems to have gone haywire. Some days the figures jogs along  and then there will be a sudden spike.  Someone in Mountain Ash, California, visits and gives me 856 page views. I don't know if I believe in this person or not, but what else can it be? A glitch in the technology? A search bot gone AWOL? Yet last week I found another location that had racked up 500 odd views in one day, this time from a place midway between Bern and Lucerne in Switzerland. I looked it up on Google Earth and there seems to be nothing there but endless forest. I look at Clustrmap and the stats are entirely different to those on Blogger. Google analytics is different again. It is difficult to know if any of them are to be believed. Stats are not really so important that I want to pay for installing Statcounter or one of the other systems, and I do wonder if what used to be free is now