Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Welcome to the Next Big Thing Blog Hop

A blog hop is a great way to discover new people! You’ll find authors, crafters, gardeners…well basically all kinds of people have blogs. Doing a blog hop helps you to find all of these creative folks. I am so glad you hopped in to learn a bit about me and the books I write.

First I’d like to thank Langley Watts Cornwell for inviting me to this event. Did you hop over from her blog? If not you should check her out at Langley Writes. She has some pretty interesting reading on her blog. Leave her a comment and tell her Donna sent you!

Langley sent me some questions to answer and I sent those questions on to the writers that are linked at the bottom. We will try to answer them without rambling on, but you know a writer just loves words! I hope you enjoy the blog hop and have found some writers you might like.

What do I write? To be honest, I write whatever strikes me at the time. I have written love stories, paranormal stories and am considering venturing into horror. I guess I am eclectic!

Where do my ideas come from? Another writer and I were just discussing this earlier and the truth is, I don’t know where the ideas come from. I apparently have a lot of characters in my head and when they decide it is time, they start showing me their story, just like a movie. When that happens, I sit down at the computer and listen to them.

Who publishes my stories? My first story was published with a traditional publisher. The second one is called “Night Dreams” and I self-published it on Amazon. Night Dreams is a short story that just sort of popped into my head. I’d love to hear what you think of it!

What am I working on now? I never work on just one thing. The characters all get too pushy and each group wants a turn to tell their story, so I work on whoever is talking the loudest. I currently have a short story being edited that will appear in an anthology in the next few months.

 I am also working on a full length novel called “Lavender Wheels: Jessica’s Inheritance” and those pesky characters tell me it is going to be a series! They plan to keep me busy, I guess. Stop in and see me from time to time and I’ll let you know how it is going!

It’s been great telling you a little about me and my stories…but the characters in my head are starting to raise a ruckus, so I guess I need to go tend to them! Before I leave, let me introduce you to a few writer friends you may find interesting.

Lyn Lomasi: Heart ‘n Mind Paw Rescue (Lyn is a writer, homeschool Mom, works at Yahoo plus is opening a pet rescue soon!

Joshua Hicks: Writer Joshua Hicks Josh is not only a talented writer, he does fantastic reviews of other authors!

Tammy Lee Morris Samples: Tammy Lee Morris, Author Tammy is the queen of vampire stories among many others! If you love a good chiller, check her out!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Miro the Dragon, by Teresa Berg

I got to thinking that a lot of you have children and might appreciate a recommendation on books for them to read, so I decided to include a "Recommended Reading for Children" tab on my blog. I have grandchildren that enjoy reading and I happily buy or suggest books for them too.

Most of these books will be by writers that I have a personal (or at least an Internet) acquaintance with. As a writer myself, I am always interested in what other writers are doing, even if it isn't the type of book I am normally drawn to. I enjoy children's books and have even considered trying my hand at them, so who knows, you might see me posting one of my own here.. 

This little book caught my eye, so it will be the first of many! How cute is this cover?

Miro the Dragon lives in a place called Drakonia, the land of dragons. He is a tiny little creature who is frightened by everything around him. Miro wants most of all to be a "real" dragon and sets out to accomplish that. He meets some unusual friends along his journey and learns many valuable lessons.

You can buy this book in paperback or as a digital download if your child has an e-reader. Just click on the blue link above the picture and it will take you to Amazon where you can read more about the book or the author. Be sure to stop back by and let me know how your child liked Miro the Dragon. I'll gladly pass the information on to the author!

Til next time...happy reading!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Let’s Go to the (Blog) Hop…

I can’t say often enough how great writers and bloggers are about helping each other out. It might be advice, proofreading for each other, sharing each other’s work or spreading the word about great promo opportunities.  When fellow writer, Langley Watts Cornwall, posted in a group on facebook about a Blog Hop, I was intrigued and quickly jumped on board.
So what is a Blog Hop, you might be wondering? Well, it kind of reminds me of an “old fashioned” chain letter type thing. Okay, now you are probably thinking “Oh no way,” but some of those chain letters were really cool, remember? I have done the recipe ones, where you add your name to a list and then send a recipe to the next three people, and then you end up getting several recipes mailed to you.  Ever done one of those?
Anyway, a Blog Hop just helps you to find really cool blogs that you may not otherwise know about. You will find great writers and see what they are up to. You will find other creative and interesting people who have decided to join us as well. So what do you have to do?
Technically, (and trust me, I am NOT a technical type person) all you have to do is read my blog, learn a little about what I am working on, and then follow the links I will provide to check out a few of my awesome friends. Their blog will have links to other blogs, and you can just keep blog hopping at your own leisure and enjoyment. Sounds cool, doesn’t it?
My Blog Hop post is scheduled to post on March 6th, so be sure to Follow or Join my blog so you can keep up with all the neat stuff that writers, bloggers and creative types alike are up to! You can also click on Langley’s name up above and see what she is up to, and who is on her list for you to blog hop around to.
I have some very interesting people lined up to link you to when I post, and they in turn have found some more interesting people to introduce you to. You’ll learn about writing books, running websites and even a bit about herbs and natural treatments!
Tell your friends to stop by my blog and join in on the fun! Y’all can grab a cup of coffee, or whatever your preferred drink is, and hop around and meet some interesting people!
Until next time…write on! Donna

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Silly Tree Anthologies Name that Title!

As I said in my last post, writers and authors are great about helping each other out. Silly Tree Anthologies is a brand new publication, organized by several writer friends. There goal is to help people get published. No, they don't pay money, right now, but that is not always the goal. Remember that writers have to get their name out there and need help with promotion!

Silly Tree Anthologies recently ran a contest to name their first book. The group had already chosen a theme for the first book and sent out a call for submissions. Which, by the way, I have already answered! The theme is "Love Gone Wrong." Anyway, they announced this contest to name the title of the book.

I submitted what I thought fit really well, and guess what? I won! The group at Silly Tree Anthologies thought my little old title was a great fit. By being selected as the winner, I will recieve a free digital copy of the book when it comes out. I am thrilled with that, but really I did it to help them out, and because I enjoy coming up with titles and least for everyone else!

Anyway, the cover is fantastic and I wanted to give you guys a sneek peek! If you want to know more about Silly Tree Anthologies, you should check out their site HERE

The Self-Published Writer's Juggle...

I, along with many others, have chosen to be a self-published author. You will hear varied opinions about Indie authors versus traditionally published authors. Some writers have been traditionally published and changed to being an Indie author, or even Indie authors have been "discovered" by a great publishing company and decided to work with them. It really is a matter of what you are comfortable with.

Me, I am kind of a control freak, so I prefer full control over what I write, where it is published and what kind of cover goes on it. Sometimes, it can even be a financial decision that makes someone choose self-publishing. Most Indie authors are extremely talented writers, but they just don't have the money to pay editors, proofreaders, PR people and graphic artists. They need to make money from their writing now, not months or years in the future.

So, the only way to write and get published is to do it their self, and by that, I mean  Indie authors do nearly everything. It is not just a matter of writing the story and then waiting on royalties while writing another great story.

Before the first story is ever published, it must be perfectly formatted, proofread, edited and a brilliant cover added. Some Indie authors are able to pay for help with some of these things. Many rely on friends and other writers to help them. Some even barter to get services....I'll read yours if you read mine, or I'll edit for you, you design a cover for me. It works!

Self-published authors do not have a huge PR firm backing them either, so we must advertise and promote our own books. Deciding how and when to promote your latest work of art, can be a juggle in itself. Too much promotion and people will think you are just spamming them and won't bother to read the book, no matter how great it might be.

Too little promotion and the book will just sit there. Hmmm, where is the happy middle ground? It is a juggle for every author to figure out of they are doing enough, not enough, or way too much. It can be especially confusing for a new Indie author like me, just learning the ropes.

But, it can be a fun and rewarding experience. You will be so thrilled when that very first story goes live on Amazon, Smashwords or Barnes and Noble. Yes, it is a lot of hard work, but as the saying goes, "No pain, no gain."

Unitl next time...Happy writing and happy reading!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Authors are Proud of Their New "Babies" and Would Love to Thank Every Reader

When an author publishes a new story, it is much like having a new baby. We fuss, we watch, we worry and at the same time we are thrilled at what we accomplished. Yes, we may talk about the book, just like we would a new baby. We will post pictures on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or anywhere else we can let people know what we have accomplished.

What you may not know is that authors are just as thrilled by the compliments as a new parent is. As we watch our sales numbers climb, we are just as thrilled as a new parent watching a baby grow. When someone compliments our writing style or a story they just read, we are proud and happy!

Sometimes we hear these compliments from friends and family and it is easy to respond back with a "Thank you." Most of the time we may never know who has purchased our stories. We may even see a review someone left somewhere and there is no way to contact the person back. But! Authors do appreciate each and every purchase and kind word readers have to say about their work.

My newest story, Night Dreams, has been available for a little over a week as a digital download on Amazon. It has sold 7 copies and has 3 very nice 5 star reviews on it. I would like to say a great big "Thank You" to every one of those 7 people, but I only know the names of the 3 who left reviews. So, please know that while we may not be able to say thank you to all of our readers, we do appreciate each and every one of you!

A good way to give an author a chance to say thank you is to join their Facebook writing page or follow them on Twitter. Drop them a line and let them know you read their story and enjoyed it. Chances are, they will respond with a great big "Thank you."

I would love to have you all come join my writers page on Facebook so I can get to know you and say "thanks for reading!" You can find me HERE.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Self Publishing: Fear It or Face It? I did Both...

Have you ever had something you wanted to do and for some reason, you just couldn't get the hang of it? Well, that's where I was with self-publishing several months ago. Oh sure I could easily publish articles using website templates, and I can find my way around Blogger okay, but for some reason, the mere thought of self publishing on Amazon like many of my writer friends were doing terrified me.

I belong to a writers group on Facebook, and the more they all talked about self publishing the more I wanted to try it. So, I had a talk with myself and said, "Look here! There is no reason you can't do this. Just get off your butt and get at it!" Yes, I can be pretty harsh with me when I think I deserve it. Well, I didn't want Me to be mad at Myself for long, so I took my own advice and decided to just jump in there and give it a try.

If you are thinking about self publishing and are procrastinating like I was, the best thing you can do is get a few friends behind you that have already done it. I bet I asked a zillion questions while I was formating my short story and getting it ready to upload. But guess what? I had a good friend that hung out on facebook's chat to answer each and every one I asked.

With each step I managed, my confidence grew. It really wasn't as hard as I had convinced myself that it was. It didn't take long, until I had everything filled out properly on Amazon's site. I had to upload a cover for my story, but once again, my friend came through for me and designed one that I just love. I will tackle figuring out how to make my own covers eventually, but for now, I was glad she had offered. Baby steps is where I am comfortable!

Let me tell you, I was in a sheer panic when I finally hit that upload button to send my story into cyber space. I watched the little wheels spinning and thought, "Oh, please let it all look okay!" Even worse was the fact that I should have been able to preview it, as it would look on a Kindle. Nope, just one more thing messing with my nerves! Somehow the page glitched and I never got to see a preview. Okay, time to panic, now!

My writer friend assured me that it was probably fine, and even if it wasn't I would be able to quickly edit, even after the story went live. okay, that made me feel a teensy bit better. Well guess what? My short story, "Night Dreams" is live on Amazon right now and available for digital download and it feels great!

So, if you have been considering self publishing your own short stories or even a full length novel and have been putting it off because it scares the daylights out of you, like it did me...I say just go for it! If you need help, let me know. I learned a lot and what I don't know, I can sure hook you up with folks who do!

Here is a peek at my brand new baby: Night Dreams