Sunday, November 25, 2012

Eliza March Writes Related Books: Plotting Them Together or Separately

This isn't the first time I've discussed writing two or more books at a time, but it'a the first time I'm truly in the midst of finishing one and having the next two sequels on their way to completion as well. I've been through a rough year writing, bouncing from one story to another. The reason I didn't stick with one and finish it was because the inter-relationships between these stories didn't divulge themselves until recently. One morning, all of a sudden my characters from one story showed up in this WIP and everything began to make sense. Things started to come together, and I wanted to shout out with joy. The moment when you realize things are going to work out like this is an "ah ha" moment. And although I never recognize it until it happens, it's almost as if I subconsciously had a plan. I just wish I knew it ahead of time. If I was sure it would come together with each book when I get to that point, I'd relax and let things work themselves out. I wish I could have confidence the story will unwind the way it is meant to and the characters will weave the plot for me while I become their conduit.

Unfortunately, things are not that easy. I still wake up thinking through each scene, as the characters move in and out of the stories. Every once in a while, I see the potential link between certain characters or plots and tie them together. I'm always surprised, because it's not like each story isn't pre-plotted. I have a detailed synopsis for them and usually research their backgrounds and names. In these synopsis, I have a simple plan for linking them together, but once I'm into the stories, I usually find opportunities to introduce some twist that ties them up. It's my favorite part of writing...well besides having those affairs with my hot heroes. GRIN.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Do you take a chance on a new author?

With the onset of all the Free reads at Amazon, finding a new author you like should be easy. Instead I think it may be more difficult. Sure the free reads and the $.99 price points bring those books to the forefront and make it financially inexpensive to peruse them. But the system is flawed. I don't know about you but I'm getting picky about what free reads I download. Is there something wrong with this picture?

I'm to the point where I'm scrutinizing the free and inexpensive reads more than the higher priced books.

What about you? How do you choose what books to read?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Moving beyond #BreastCancer with #NaNoWriMo

Yes, I even have a temporary cover for this book and no words. I haven't gotten beyond the synopsis and character development. So I joined NaNoWriMo to give me the kick in the butt I need to move on this year.

For those of you who may not know, indulge me. I discovered I had breast cancer in January. It hit me like nothing else ever has. I'm invincible. I'm a mother of five, I've run businesses, managed all sorts of projects, but I never thought I would be the someone in the group who got cancer--as if there's a type!. I wasn't as much scared as I was hysterical by not having any control. Through the year, I've focused on doing what I had to do to take the next step forward. The support for breast cancer patients is the best. Thank you everyone who ever supported breast cancer research. It seems so inadequate to say that when I've seen such massive benefits and changes happening. 

The surgery was almost too easy and so was the radiation. The outcome too good. I did end up having side effects from the medication I'm supposed to take for five years so we switched to another. Needless to say, I've been preoccupied. But I'm doing well, so it's no excuse. Because writing makes me happy and I should do something that makes me happy. Only I can't. 

I used to wake up with my characters acting out or up, preparing me for my day of writing. This year I woke up every day trying to remember what doctor or therapist I was going to see, what medication I had to take and what time. My characters hid behind medicinal smelling medical walls and I couldn't seem to be able to coax them out until the other day. I woke up thinking about one of my books and I was so happy I wanted to dance! A huge break through! Then nothing...

A friend of mine, a fellow author came over for a plotting session, changed all that. (Thank you, Donna) She forced me to think about all my WIP, and I have ten I'm embarrassed to admit. Some farther along than others, but one is now calling to me. I woke up thinking about the characters and what has to happen to them. I love it. But I know to keep moving forward I need discipline, commitment, focus. I took the plunge and made a ridiculous commitment to participate in NaNOWriMO. I just signed up. In the ninth hour before November starts, I set up my account. The synopsis and character sketches are done and I'm ready to write this book. I will be committed to fifty-thousand words this month and I have to get a head start because I am supposed to have cataract surgery on my right eye in three weeks. The race is on. Now that I've outed myself, I feel I'm answerable to you all if I don't perform. So don't let me down. Hold me accountable. 

Breast cancer month is over, but if you haven't scheduled your mammogram DO IT NOW. Mine saved my life and many others I know. It's nothing to be afraid of. Face it, fight it ... and in my favorite words...fuck it! Move on! I am. (I want a t-shirt with that guy and my logo in pink)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sometimes I need a paperback...

Sometimes I need a paperback. What about you. Since I'm a reading junkie, I can't wait until the flight attendant gives me the okay to turn my electronic device back on to read something, especially if I was just at a hook before they ask us to turn off said devices! 

If you're like me, you have something to read in case of an emergency like being stuck waiting for the doctor or waiting in line. Waiting is less stressful if I'm doing something pleasant like reading. 

There are times when I just need a real book. (I know the green people are going to bark at me for wasting our precious trees, and I'm a supporter believe me. But I'm thinking these books I'm reading are recycled paper.)

I have a Kindle and an iPad and an iPhone. They don't stop my craving for the experience of holding the story between two covers. I love my electronic devices and probably read one of the first books ever converted. My phone is the device I read off the most because its always with me. The iPad is next because I'm usually working on some project on it when I feel like taking a break. I use my kindle at the beach or on the deck by the pool because...well, because I can read it in the sunshine and the battery lasts forever! I read a paperback book on the plane or in the airport. I take a couple with me or buy one at the airport. 

What if the electricity goes out? I have my favorites lined up on my shelf in case of a disaster. If the dystopian books I read come to pass, I'll have books to read by firelight. If you want a real book for backup some of mine are in print.

Here are a few of my books available in trade paperback from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

One Editor's Hot Buttons and Suggestions to Improve Your Writing

In my other life I'm an editor. Don't critique my blog work or the stuff I do on FB. I'm off duty then. But here is an article I posted on my editor blog. You may find something to help you.
Working with your editor...

I can't make you believe how important a good editor is unless you've experienced bad editing. I'm reading several free self published books on Amazon and suddenly that point has been made crystal to everyone. I can deal with poor formatting and even a repeated word or two in a good story. What bothers me is when a story has great potential but it's marred with character flaws or plot holes. Critique partners can help or a good content editor.

I'm not a punctuation purest or even a grammatical fanatic. I love Nora Roberts so head hopping, when done well, isn't going to put me off. That being said, what does bother me is... Click HERE for the rest of the article.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Self Publishing in a Changing Industry: What Do You Want?

Summer is winding down for some of you, but for those of us in Florida, we have the hottest few weeks ahead of us. At the end of this blog today find out about when you can expect to catch Were Cat Fever by Eliza March.
Hi all my friends, readers and fellow authors,

After much speculation and lists speculating the pro's and con's of my options, I've decided to self publish my next book. There are several reasons I'm turning to self publishing from small press or even traditional publishing companies. I've learned so much about the industry over the years, and recognize the changes taking place. Hard as I try, I've had difficulty keeping up with them all as many of you probably have too.  First I have to say thank you to small presses for changing the industry and giving authors the new choices. I don't think we'd be where we are now without them. (I know, e-readers helped.) I'm an editor for a small press. Love the job. Love my authors. Love the books I put out and love the people I work with. I also edit independently with the same satisfaction. 

For many years before I began writing and editing, I worked in merchandising and marketing. Product promotion through demonstration, education, and trade shows were my way of life, and when I left that world behind I never expected to do it again. HA! Fat chance of that. How can you avoid putting yourself and your work out there if you want anyone to read what you've written? You can't. And those of you in this industry already know that. Introverts BEWARE! You can write in your cave, hide in your fantasy world but sooner or later, in this social world of the Internet  if you get read, or want to be read, you'll get discovered or have to slink out of the cave with your book cover and say, "Look at my book." Despite what I've done all my life, despite what everyone sees when they meet me...I AM an introvert.

My persona, Eliza March, is make believe. My real identity would be out of character with what I write. Are you going to accept a sixty-five year old mother of five, and grandmother, who's been married for 45 years to the same man, as the author who's writing these menages you like so well? Could be hard to imagine. Although I have to tell you, I'm pretty hot for my age, or any age. One of the great things about being over fifty is being able to say things like this. I'm better now than I've ever been at almost everything except stamina. LOL But the publishing industry can't afford to take chances with older writers. Authors are an investment for them. I understand.

After following the rules in the beginning, I learned a few things. I discovered the rules weren't going to work for me. I'm a good rule follower  usually, but they don't work for me anymore. I'm too old to fit into the traditional role of young author seeking representation, shopping my work around, and signing up with a big New York Publisher as one of their stable writers. ( So I dare someone to  contact me and make a liar out of me. I doubt it. I'm not very malleable.) I don't fit their mold. 

Suddenly I noticed the traditional publishers' approach is changing.  Things are different now than they were when I signed with a small press and published my first book published a little over three years ago and followed it with another by another small press. Several books later, I've discovered I want more control over my career.

Things I want and why: (Perhaps you can leave a comment and add to this list?) 

1.  I want a fair contract.
What that means to me is I get paid for what I create. Any rights I sign away, I should be paid for. If you want audio rights, pay me and commit to pursuing getting the book produced audibly. You want movie rights? Pay for them.
2.  I want control over my cover.
E-books have a millisecond to get a reader's attention. My cover better grab her. If my book is buried in tons of other covers what's going to make a reader notice mine before another?
3.  I want the same level playing field as every other book out there. (Okay this is still an area where I'm skeptical.) Some small presses are releasing so many more books in the same genre, I have to question if it benefits an author or the publisher. If we depend on a publisher to be discriminating than just how many romantic suspense's can they release on a given day? Does it muddy the waters? Does it affect an author's exposure and sales? Hell yes. I at least want my publisher to believe in my book enough to keep me visible at their website for  a reasonable amount of time.
4.  I want input on pricing. I'd like to be able to offer my book for sale at a reasonable price. I'd like to discount it occasionally. I'd like to do cross promotions with my books or with other authors.
5.  I'd like to offer paper backs at a reasonable price. Can't we go back to smaller sizes?
6.  If I sign with a publisher, I expect the publisher to protect my copyright. E-publishers should be making it more difficult to download and share files. I can share it on my web page if I don't expect protection.  
As an artist and an author these things, among other, matter to me. Do you want to hear a little about my next book? Read on... 

My poor heroine in WERE CAT FEVER is suffering in the Texas heat from a virus the CDC can't identify. Some of her symptoms are similar to rabies and others, to cat scratch fever. When Lacey can't take the heat, she rides into the mountains nearby and visits the caves. She's an authority on southwestern mammal biology, so why can't she identify the tracks recently appearing near her ranch? ( you have to guess)

Bryan is back after five years...different and, in some ways better...but only for selfless reasons. He changed when he discovered what he was and wouldn't risk Lacey's life. Now he's discovered that making love to her that last night infected her. Something prolonged her reaction, but his friend says she's suddenly showing symptoms. Bryan's brother, Hunter, is the only one who can control the mountain lion Were inside Bryan. It'll take both of them to help Lacey through her change.

Hunter is only along for the ride. He's insurance that Bryan can stay in control and as an adviser to help explain the questions Lacey will certainly have. He never counted on Bryan attacking and infecting him out of jealousy. Now his mountain lion has imprinted on his brother's mate and all hell is going to break loose when Bryan and Lacey find out. They either will have to accept Hunter as an equal mate for Lacey or Hunter will be facing a lifetime of full moon cycles chained in a cave...and sex life. 

Damn Lacey's going to be pissed when she finds out her life will be turned upside down. 

Lacey is determined to find her father's killer, even if he turns out to be the one man she hasn't stopped loving for five years. Will she turn him in? The man who broke her heart is back and his brother is as hot as he is. She can't resist either man, and they're trying to tell her, her life is about to change. Everything she ever believed in is skewed. There are other biological life forms she's never heard of. How had she missed this?

If you think house cats can be dangerous when angry, you've never encountered a furious female mountain lion. Be Prepared to "Spread The Fever: WERE CAT FEVER" coming ... from Eliza March later this month. Follow me here or on FACEBOOK for release news.