Thursday, November 20, 2014

Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing: Conda Douglas on Marketing Made Easy, Giveaways

Hello and welcome to this Thursday's writing tips in the Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing series. Humorous author Conda Douglas is our tipster with her own writing tips on Marketing. AND Conda has brought along an e-book copy of her award-winning mystery, Starke Naked Dead. Congratulations on winning third place in the mystery category in the Idaho Author Awards! 
Please leave a comment to be eligible to win the drawing for this entertaining mystery. Winner announced after 9 pm on Sunday evening. 
PLUS today, Conda has a FREE gift for you, a cookbook filled with Conda's tried and true recipes. Just in time for the holidays!
Click here to order
Conda, you maintain an author can actually enjoy marketing. Say what? Please tell us how.

by Conda Douglas

Once upon the time before eBooks, marketing and promotion were straightforward, they followed a laid out process that everyone accepted as protocol. Now, authors, whether traditionally published, self-published or hybrid, are expected to promote their own works and author brand. Add to this that no one knows what works in social media, except that it does appear to add sales. Add to this that all social media is continuously changing and many authors throw up, uh, their hands and maybe their breakfast too.

Breathe, relax, and unclench those fists. Here are a few tips that will have you enjoying, yes, enjoying, marketing.

There are myriad ways to promote on the Internet, enough to find your own way. If you choose social media that you enjoy, you're more likely to visit, post, comment, whatever, more often and get more followers, views, whatever. I adore Pinterest so visit it and pin often (it's like having hundreds of great teapots, all free and none that need washed!). Because of my activity, I have many followers.

Provide content pertinent to your interests (see teapots above). I have writing boards on Pinterest, but most of my boards are about my interests, jewelry and jewelry making, recipes, fitness and of course teapots, some tangential to my novels. One of my main characters is a jeweler, for example. People will discover you as an author instead of being annoyed by endless pitching.
Note: An easy way for more promotion is to link your social media accounts, Pinterest to Twitter to Facebook, etc. Then when you post to one it posts to the other sites as well.

Think outside the promo box. Because I love writing reviews on TripAdvisor I have over 100 reviews with 41,000+ people plus having read them. The cover of my novel The Mall Fairies: Exile is my bio pic. If only a tiny portion of readers see and my name and cover...

Use cross marketing. Get into groups of authors and bloghop, tweet each other's tweets, promote each other's books for content, etc. Authors adore helping other authors!  
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The gossiping women of the Widows Brigade in the new ski resort of Starke, Idaho love a good scandal—this time it’s a murder mystery, and a stark naked corpse!

BUY LINK  for Starke Naked Dead 
by Conda Douglas

About Conda:
Award winning Conda grew up in the ski resort of Sun Valley, Idaho. Her childhood was filled with authors and artists and other creative types. She grew up with goats in the kitchen, buffalo bones in the living room and rocks in the bathtub. Now her life is filled with her cat and dog and permanent boyfriend and writing.

She's traveled the world from Singapore to Russia (in winter!) and her own tiny office, writing all the while. She delights in writing her cozy Starke Dead mystery series with amateur detective jeweler Dora Starke. The more Dora discovers cursed jewelry, her aunt digging graves, and a rampant poisoner, the more fun Conda has--although sometimes Dora complains about her plight! 

When she's not writing Dora into her quirky and quixotic mysteries, Conda writes the popular tween fantasy Mall Fairies series. The fairy inspiration for her Mall Fairies came from the sparrows that live in the Boise Towne Square Mall in Boise, Idaho. Conda works hard to rescue the fairies from humans, cats, pixies and themselves.

Find out more about Conda at  Conda's Creative Center 

I am thrilled to announce that Conda Douglas and I are bundled together with Heather Fraser Brainerd, David Fraser, and Sara Jayne Townsend in a four mystery e-book set releasing from our publisher, MuseItUp Publishing. 

You can pre-order now and get the special Black Friday price-- $1.99 for ALL FOUR BOOKS. Price goes up on December 2. For more information and the buy link, go to MuseItUp Publishing. Also available at amazon.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Have You Scouted Out Kindle Scout? This Week, Book Bundle, Giveaway

 Have You Scouted Out kindlescout? by J.Q. Rose
Working on my new manuscript--paranormal, romance, mystery. 
A photo of my work space at my dining room table. 
My theory is to change places where I write, edit, and daydream to spark new ideas.
 Try taking a "vacation" from your desk 
(or usual work space) to inspire brilliant writing!

While working on writing my mystery/romance, I imagine where my story-in-progress will be published. Nowadays writers have so many options to get their stories into the hands of readers--traditional, indie, hybrid, audio, video, and now amazon's new program--kindlescout. (evidently amazon does not like using CAPS in their logo designs)

 According to the amazon site--"Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing."

 Does that get your attention? The program attracted the attention of the writing team of HL Carpenter who shared with me their experience so far with kindlescout. Because their just completed 
cozy mystery, A Cause for Murder, fits kindlescout's three categories of mystery, thriller and suspense, they wanted to learn more about it. And like all professional authors and business people, they did their research and studied all the information. Then they read the contract. 

Cozy mystery in kindlescout campaign
Carpenter said, "We're not lawyers, but our conclusion was the terms are slanted to Amazon's advantage just like contracts with the old-school publishing houses. That means each author will have to read and decide for themselves, weighing the benefits against the drawbacks--and there are both. For example, the Scout program is more stingy with rights and royalties than when an author goes indie with Amazon. An offset is the potential for marketing as Amazon pushes the Scout program out.

We chose to submit A Cause for Murder because we felt the possibility for getting noticed in a crowded marketplace was worth the potential drawback of the exclusivity issue. We like to experiment with various ways of reaching readers, and this is simply one more avenue. If it doesn't work out, we'll figure we gave it a shot and we'll move on. Such is the entrepreneurial writer's life, right?"

The good news was the manuscript was accepted. At this writing, A Cause for Murder is in the 30-day nomination period called a campaign. That wraps up on November 23rd, after which Carpenter will find out whether they'll be published under the program. You can check out their submission and nominate them at

Approximately the first 5000 words of the required 50,000 plus word manuscript (ms) is displayed on the kindlescout site. If the reader likes the story, she can nominate the ms for publication by the Kindle Press. (This makes me wonder if the author with the most friends will win a contract on popularity alone or if the storytelling will really win the prize.) 

I should add there are other criteria for mss to be chosen, but we are not privy to that information. One blogger surmised one of the amazon secret algorithms will be used to determine a winner.

At the end of the kindlescout campaign, an email will be sent to let the author know if the book has been selected for publication. If published, everyone who nominated the book will receive an early, free copy and be invited to leave reviews.

Amazon is a clever marketer. Before the book is published, there is a group of readers ready to read the book and spread the word by writing reviews on the newly pubbed book. Granted the author loses sales to the folks who nominated the book for publication, but word-of-mouth by these readers is a very effective sales tool.

There are so many pros and cons to this program,I can't possibly cover them all, but I do have links to blogs which could answer your questions.Take a look at them if you are interested. Please leave a comment with your thoughts about kindlescout

Links to blogs about kindlescout:

Victoria Strauss Pros and Cons of the kindlescout Program
Digital Reader  Is kindlescout worth it? Yes
Jim Chimes Kindle Scout
        Adventure in Text  Amazon vs Big Publishing: Kindle Scout Motives Revealed  
        Crime Fiction   My Kindle Campaign: First Impressions

Watch for updates on the results for HL Carpenter's A Cause for Murder.

About HL Carpenter:
Florida-based mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter writes sweet, clean fiction that is suitable for everyone in your family. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country,
Mother/Daughter Author Team, HL Carpenter
a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.

This Week:
Thursday, November 20:-Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing continues. Delightful author Conda Douglas is our tipster this week with writing tips on Marketing Made Easy. Please join us and win a copy of her e-book, Starke Naked Dead.

Book Bundle through December 2: I am thrilled to announce that Conda Douglas and I are bundled together with Heather Fraser Brainerd,
David Fraser, and Sara-Jayne Townsend in a four mystery e-book set releasing from our publisher, MuseItUp Publishing. You can pre-order now and get the special Black Friday price-- $1.99 for ALL FOUR BOOKS. Price goes up on December 2. For more information and the buy link, go to MuseItUp Publishing.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing: Melissa Maygrove Writing Tips on Dialogue and Editing

Hello and welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog. This week our author tipster is Melissa Maygrove.  Melissa says she loves books with unpretentious characters and unforgettable romance, and she strives to create those same kinds of stories for her readers. She did just that with her book, Come Back, just released last spring. 

You have an opportunity to win  a $15 gift card to Amazon and a signed paperback of Come Back (US) or Kindle e-book (US or international). All of this goes to one winner! Thank you, Melissa! Enter at the Rafflecopter at the end of this blog post. 
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Congratulations, Melissa, on the release of this intriguing historical romance, Come Back.

What question do you get all the time from budding authors?
One thing I encounter often with budding writers is the fear of showing their work to others. Some remain closet writers for years. It’s never easy to receive criticism, however constructive, but you must if you want to reach a level of quality worthy of publication. My writing improved greatly once I joined a good critique group.
If you’re serious about making progress, investigate the various critique options and writing groups available to you. (I prefer swapping critiques online, but doing it in person in a local group is fine, too.) When you find a group that you think will be a good fit, give it a try. It might take some trial and error to find compatible online partners or a group that suits you, but don’t give up.

J.Q.-I really like your point on finding a critique group. Because of the the support of my Koffee Kuppe critique partners, I submitted my first e-book, Sunshine Boulevard, and signed a contract for publication. 
What writing tips do you have for us today on dialogue and editing?


Many writers find dialogue difficult to write, and poorly written dialogue can ruin an otherwise good story. It has to sound natural, not stilted. And although it can contain errors (if it fits the speaker) or changes in spelling that show accent or dialect, it can’t be so full of such things that it’s difficult to read.

When writing dialogue:
  • Make it sound natural. Think about how people speak to each other. We often use contractions, and we don’t always speak in complete sentences. 
  • We also don’t tell people things they already know. Don’t use dialogue to info-dump.
  •  Make sure your word choice fits the character (heritage / country of origin, background, educational level) and the time period if you write historical novels. Use an etymology dictionary to check words and phrases if you’re unsure when they were coined.
  •   When writing dialect or accent, less is often more. Add enough to give the reader the flavor of the speech, but don’t go overboard. It’ll make for difficult reading, especially if it’s for a main character who has a lot of lines.
  •   And be consistent. If your character makes particular grammar mistakes in his speech (because he’s uneducated, for example), have him do it consistently in his lines and in his thoughts.
  •   Don’t be afraid to let punctuation work for you. A dash at the end of a line indicates an abrupt interruption, while ellipses indicate a trailing off. Trusting such marks to convey pacing can save you some (unnecessary) action beats and make the reading experience better.
  • When you’re done with a scene, read it aloud to see how it sounds.
1.      EDITING

My best editing tip is: writers—even those who work as editors—cannot edit their own work. You could do a hundred read-throughs of your manuscript and still not catch all the mistakes. At the very least, get your story checked by a competent proofreader before you publish.

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Western Historical Romance
Adult / New Adult

 Sometimes a single choice 
alters the course of a person's life forever.
 Buy Link:  Amazon

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About Melissa:

Native Texan Melissa Maygrove is a wife, mother, nurse, freelance editor, and romance writer. When she's not busy caring for her tiny nursery patients or shuttling teenagers back and forth to after-school activities,
Author Melissa Maygrove
she's hunched over her laptop, complicating the lives of her imaginary friends and playing matchmaker. Melissa loves books with unpretentious characters and unforgettable romance, and she strives to create those same kinds of stories for her readers.

Visit Melissa's author site to find out about her and her books. 

Sign up for Melissa's newsletter hereShe doesn’t send them often, only when there is important news, such as a new release.

If you're an author, do you offer a newsletter for readers? If you're a reader, do you like to keep in touch with your favorite writers via newsletters? Please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 10, 2014

Veterans Day USA, Honoring the Women in the US Military, This Week, Giveaway

This U.S.A. flag is made entirely of flower petals and natural elements.
Displayed on a float in the 2014 Rose Parade.
Picture by J.Q. Rose
Veterans Day Honoring Veterans
of the U.S. Military Servces
On Veterans Day, November 11, we honor veterans who served in the U.S. Military. This date also marks the end of World War I when the armistice with Germany was signed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. 
Please remember to say thanks to a vet now and anytime you meet a veteran.

At the Girls Succeed! blog you can well imagine we are honoring all vets, but especially featuring the women who have been a part of the U.S. Military since the American Revolutionary War. Hop on over to the Girls Succeed! blog and discover highlights of the history of the women who have served our country.

Rose parade float honoring the WWII Women Air Force Service Pilots
You can also find more articles on women in the military at these Girls Succeed! links:

This Week: 

Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined 
she would be caring for a flock that includes 
a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.

Monday (today): Lacey, the florist in my mystery/romance, introduces readers to Pastor Christine, the main character in Coda to Murder. Pop on over to find out about her friend, Chris, at the MuseItUp Publishing blog. All this month authors are sharing their characters with readers. Lots of characters over there and I don't mean just on the blog!! LOL.

Tuesday, November 11--Veterans Day in the USA and Remembrance Day in Canada

Writing tips every Thursday!
Thursday, November 13--Melissa Maygrove is our author tipster on Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing series. She's giving up tips on editing and dialogue AND a $15 gift card to Amazon and a signed paperback of Come Back (US) or Kindle e-book (US or international). All of this goes to one winner. 

Did you serve your country by joining the military? Do you have a friend or family member who is a vet or currently serving?Thank you for your service.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing: Sweet Romance Author Joselyn Vaughn on Dialogue, Characters, and Editing, Giveaway

Hello and welcome to the tips on writing series, Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing. Today I'm thrilled to have my friend, critique partner, and talented sweet romance author, Joselyn Vaughn share her tips on writing dialogue, characters, and editing.

This is an especially big week for Joselyn because her eighth book, In for a Pound, was just released from Astraea Press on Tuesday, November 4. I'm doin' a happy dance with her. I was privileged to be "in" on the development of this novel and now so excited to help introduce this touching romance to readers right here on my blog.

Joselyn is giving away the e-book version of one of her books. The winner can choose which e-book. Check out Joselyn's Amazon Author page to see all the possibilities. To be in the drawing, please leave a comment. 

Hi Joselyn,

Before we get to all the great tips you've shared, let me ask you this--What is the question you get all the time from budding or experienced authors and your readers?
People always ask how long it takes to write a book. It takes me about a year. Writing takes time. You have to be willing to eat the elephant bite by bite. If you want to write a book, you will find the minutes or hours in your day to make it happen.

            Dialogue can be broken up using actions, internal thoughts, and emotional responses to the conversation. Instead of scrounging through the thesaurus for alternatives to said, these options will allow you to develop your characters in subtle ways.

            Avoiding stereotypical characters, especially for supporting roles, can be difficult. Sometimes simply changing their gender can add new dimensions to the plot or add a whole new subplot.   


a. When proofreading, read your manuscript out of order. It keeps you from getting caught up in the story and missing typographical mistakes.

b. Find critique partners you can trust. People who will help you make your work better. A good group can help develop and direct ideas as well as evaluate individual scenes for strengths and weaknesses. 

Please share a “light bulb moment” about your writing experience.
I tend to get caught up in marketing and promoting and wondering what works and what doesn’t that I forget how fun creating stories is. Don’t lose the joy in writing. 
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I know this is a whirlwind week for you, and I appreciate you taking time to stop by the blog to share writing tips. Now let's find out about that new book, In for a Pound.

In for a Pound, sweet romance by Joselyn Vaughn

Back of the book:
Joshua Pounds speeds to Pine Bottom to take care of his ailing dad, expecting to spend his time bouncing between doctors’ appointments and cancer treatments. His first task, however, requires a canoe paddle and helping his father’s friend win the honeymoon of her dreams. He doesn’t count on falling in love with an engaged woman.
Sidney Walker had her life all planned: the wedding, the honeymoon, and the dependable husband --until her fiancé crushes her dreams by putting riches above their relationship.
As her engagement crumbles, her heartbreak rocks Joshua’s confirmed bachelor status. He picks up the pieces, but the challenge threatens both of their ideas about love.
Will Joshua’s resolve to keep his heart untouched break Sidney’s?

About Joselyn:
I am a stay at home mom who has walked on the dark side of potty training. When not traversing
that valley of shadow, I write, run, and sew. Sometimes with successful results. For more information, check out Joselyn's blog.

Please leave a comment to enter the drawing for one of Joselyn's e-books. Are you a stay-at-home mom who is writing and potty training your toddler? We'd love to hear from you.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween Costume, Lincoln's New Salem State Park, My Daughter, Life Resume, This Week, Giveaway

My daughter, Sara, in my mother's "pioneer" dress.
Hello, readers. Did you have a wonderful Halloween or Samhain? Pictured above is my daughter, Sara, in her Haloween costume. A very special dress. This is the authentic-to-the-era outfit my mother wore when she was a docent at Lincoln's New Salem State Park, Petersburg, Illinois. If you are near Springfield, the Illinois state capitol, please take time to visit. 

New Salem was Abraham Lincoln's home when he was a young adult. It was here he began studying to become a lawyer who eventaully was elected to be our sixteenth President of the USA.
President Abraham Lincoln
My mother relished her position as a schoolteacher in the one room school in the village and "teaching" the visitors as if it were still 1830. She couldn't bring a thermos or plastic sandwich bags into the park without covering them up because visitors had to feel as if they had stepped back into an authentic pioneer village in 1830. She also learned how to bake a cake in a fireplace. You can see why she loved this volunteer job.

My mom in front of a building at Lincoln's New Salem State Park.
Notice her lunch is covered with a cloth napkin
concealing the 1990's thermos and  contemporary snacks.
I was thrilled when Sara washed up this dress and put it on for Halloween. My mother was a docent in the 90's so this dress had a few years of wear on it. But Sara reported it washed up so beautifully AND she fit into the dress without any alterations. Amazing. 

I am especially thinking of Sara this week because this is her birthday week. She is the reason I could add "Mother" to my life resume. 

If you read this blog, you already know I am passionate about recording your life story. One of the ways of sparking memories is to sit down and write out your life resume. No, not a resume you would make to get a job, but one that lists the things you have accomplished in your life. You may be surprised at what you select as the important things you have done in your life.

Being a mom is an important job on my resume, and I am thankful to be a mom to two fantastic daughters. Please leave a comment below and include an accomplishment you would include on your life resume. It's alright to toot your own horn and, in fact, encouraged so it can inspire another person to think about their life's accomplishments. Thanks.

This Week:
Sara's Birthday--If you want to wish her a happy birthday, you can find her online at Sara Wolfsen, Certified Health Coach. Won't she be surprised when she receives so many greetings? <giggling>

Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing continues every Thursday
Thursday, November 6--Sweet romance author Joselyn Vaughn offers tips on writing and a free book in the giveaway!! Come back to discover this talented author who's new romance, In for a Penny, will be released on November 4!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing with Gail Roughton, Giveaway

Wishing you a happy and safe Halloween!

Speaking of Halloween, today we welcome our author-tipster Gail Roughton who penned an entire series about a witch and a warlock, perfect for this time of year. Witch Resurrected is the first in this fun, action-packed War-n-Wit Inc. romance/mystery. You could win that e-book or take your choice of any PDF format of e-books on Gail's Amazon page just by leaving a comment below.

Welcome, Gail! You've conjured up fantastic tips for us today. I've invited all these folks to pull up a chair to your kitchen table and enjoy a chat in your Southern home. It's fall now so I don't know if you're serving delicious Southern sweet tea or hot apple cider to our visitors. Let's start off with your "light bulb" moment in your writing experience.

I don’t know the exact moment when it clicked but my writing changed from amateur to professional when I learned how to show, not tell.  That’s what every publisher wants, what every editor tells you to do.  Unfortunately, they don’t tell you how to do it.  I don’t think they can tell you, because I think the “click” happens differently for everyone.  The closest I can come to an explanation is an example.  It’s really hot outside. How do you show that and not tell it?  Let’s see.  “It was very hot outside.”  Well, big whoop.  That’s a statement of fact, but it doesn't make the reader feel hot, now does it?  So okay.  “It was hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk.”  Better, but a standard cliché and clichés are to be avoided as much as possible.  So try again.  “Steam sizzled up from the sidewalk.”  Do you see those threads of steam streaming up from the concrete?  That’s show.  Not tell.  And it’s like riding a bicycle.  Once you hear that “click”—you can’t un-hear it.  You’ll never write the same way again.

Thanks, Gail, for that excellent advice on show and tell. 

Now, Readers, Gail didn't play any tricks on you. Her tips on dialogue, characters, settings, editing, marketing/promoting are solid treats for writers. Ya'all get comfortable and read on.

Dialogue is your best friend. It carries your book. It can turn any novel, however short or however long, into a quick, fast, fabulous read, provided it reads naturally.  People don’t speak in grammatically perfect, complete sentences, and neither should your characters. 
People have their own speech patterns, flow, idioms and idiosyncrasies based on birthplace and background.  So should your characters. Absolutely nothing jars a reader, at least me (me being the reader I know best) out of story faster than a character talking “out of character”.  A good ol’ southern boy is not going to suddenly proclaim, “Oh, my! That startled me out of my wits!” He’s going to say “That ‘bout scared the pants off me!” (Actually, that’s not really what a good ol’ southern boy’s going to say in such a situation but this is a G blog and you get the general idea.)  Also, watch those tags.  In a two-person conversation, it’s pretty obvious which character is talking.  Adding tags after every line of dialogue breaks the flow and thereby defeats the entire purpose of dialogue in the first place.  You want the reader to feel as though they’re listening to a conversation, not reading one. 

I know writers who develop their characters like a science project.  They make lists of physical attributes, traits, activities.  They even chart their horoscopes.  And it works for them, so more power to them.  I don’t know where my characters come from.  They just – appear.  Sometimes fully grown and raring to go, sometimes in a ghostly shadow that gradually acquires solid form and substance.  I start writing when they stand up independently and start walking and talking and telling me their story.  They tell the story, not me.  I just transcribe their words and actions onto a computer screen.  I can’t tell you how to develop a character because I don’t know how.  And once the story’s told and the book’s written, I look at both the characters and the book itself the same way I look at my children – with an intense feeling of disbelief that I created them, that I had anything to do with them.  They’ve become independent entities I really had very little to do with.

Write what you know.  Write where you know.  Someplace you’ve at least visited, even if you haven’t lived there.  Now sometimes, of course, characters suddenly decide they’re taking a vacation to someplace you know nothing about.  There’s this wonderful thing called the internet , usually full of videos of that exact place, lists of attractions, restaurants, you name it.  But to write a book where a reader can live, stick as much as possible with what you know, where you were raised, someplace you love.  Or hate. Depends on the mood you want to convey, of course.  Also, remember it’s not necessary to fully describe every tree in the woods, every bush in a yard.  Description sets a mood and a scene. Every reader will envision the details in their own unique way, personalize the story so it resonates with them.  You’re telling a story.  You’re not writing a travel guide. 

1      EDITING
When you first finish a book, put it aside for a while. At least a week, preferably a month to six weeks.  Then re-read it.  You’re your own best first editor.  Then take a scalpel to it.  With the ruthlessness of a surgeon.  Nothing you wrote is so good it can’t be improved.  Nothing you ever write is so good it can’t be improved.  Read it like you’re reading it for the first time, like you just picked it up in a bookstore.  And be honest.  If you’d just bought this book, would you keep reading it?  If not, why not?  That’s for the story itself.  Insofar as the technical writing, how many unnecessary words can be cut?  I’m speaking specifically of the dreaded “that”, as in  “Mary knew that she was in trouble.  Sarah knew that she was in trouble, too.”  Oh, yeah, those “that’s” repeated over and over really slow a reader down.  “Mary knew she was in trouble. Sarah knew it, too.”  Then move on to the second editor.  Somebody that’s not you.  They’re going to see a lot of things you missed completely.  Typos, incongruities in the timeline, missing gaps of necessary information, information dumps that are completely unnecessary.  And sometimes—gasp—they’re actually going to suggest an alternate way of phrasing a passage or structuring the plot.  And here’s where a serious writer needs to lose that gasp of outraged indignation and lose it quick.  LISTEN TO THEM.  They might be wrong.  But they might be right.  Don’t get your feelings hurt.  Because one more time—nothing you wrote is so good it can’t be improved.  Nothing you ever write is so good it can’t be improved.

Write a good book. All the marketing and promoting in the world won’t sell a book that’s boring, poorly edited, full of errors, and populated by cardboard characters. The best promo is the next book.  And that next book better be just as good as, if not better, than the first.
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Gail Roughton is a native of small town Georgia whose Deep South heritage features prominently in much of her work. She’s worked in a law office for close to forty years, during which time she’s raised three children and quite a few attorneys. She’s kept herself more or less sane by writing novels and tossing the completed manuscripts into her closet.
Gail and Grandson
A cross-genre writer, she’s produced books ranging from humor to romance to thriller to horror and is never quite sure herself what to expect when she sits down at the keyboard. Now multi-published by Books We Love, Ltd., her credits include the War-N-Wit, Inc.  series,
War-N-Wit, Inc. - Witch Resurrected, War-N-With, Inc. - Mean Streets, The Color of Seven ,Vanished, and Country Justice. Currently, she’s working on Black Turkey Walk, the second in the Country Justice series, as well as the Sisters of Prophecy series, co-written with fellow Books We Love, Ltd. author Jude Pittman. Another War-N-Wit plot always seems to be brewing on the back burner, too, whether she’s actually trying to brew one or not, and usually boils quicker when she’s trying not to brew one at all.  Stop in and visit! You can reach Gail at:   http://gailroughton.blogspot.com or message her at

Do you have questions for Gail about writing? Please ask or just say hi to be eligible to win the drawing for you choice of e-book on the Amazon page.