Tag Archives: writers

Paying It Forward For #RRBC Member / Author D. L. Finn

Today, I am taking part in Rave Reviews Book Club’s “Pay It Forward” day. What this means is, I am promoting a member of the book club here on The Indie Spot.


Now, here’s one of those interesting coincidences: The author I am promoting today is D. L. Finn, whose book, No Fairy Tale, is the book I just happen to be currently reading.

D. L. is an independent California girl, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area. In 1990, she and her husband packed up their kids, dogs, and cats, and relocated to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA.

To say D. L. is a reader is a major understatement. She immerses herself in all sorts of books, crossing genre lines that include romance, horror, and fantasy. With vivid imagination, D. L. has long treasured creating her own reality on paper. So, when the family’s move placed her among towering oaks, high cedars, and fragrant pines, her creativity blossomed into a solid skill for telling stories that others are thrilled to read.

Her creations include three indie children’s books and an autobiography with poetry (which is the book I’m currently reading).

In 2016, No Fairy Tale was awarded the New Apple Annual Book Awards Official Selection in the Memoir Category! In 2017, the book became a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Awards (NGIBA) in the poetry category.

Though D. L. has endured difficult situations in her life, which has included addiction and abuse, she has risen above the turmoil to become one of the better writers in the indie author movement. Her words have a way of pulling the reader into the stories unfolding on the pages. Her poetry is simply beautiful.

It has been my pleasure and honor to introduce this author to the readers of this blog. It is my sincere hope that those who take the time to read this piece will become better acquainted with D. L. Finn and her work.

Let’s now take a closer look at this writer’s work.

The Books:

No Fairy Tale: The reality of a girl who wasn’t a princess and her poetry

You are invited into D.L. Finn’s life, written through a princess’s viewpoint. While it’s usually assumed in fairy tales that the princess is beloved by all, this is one princess who doesn’t feel loved. She dreams of a moment when her father will walk through the castle door, sweep her up in his arms and proclaim how much he misses her. That never happens. Instead, she is introduced to a new step family. Just like in the fairy tales, this is where the story takes a dark twist; where addiction, abuse and adolescence thrive together in retched misery. From her lowest point as a hopeless fourteen-year-old girl who gives up all hope– comes a spark of faith. This is where she begins her quest for a happy ending.

Although the princess ends her very real fairy tale, D.L. Finn steps in and shares her thoughts, poetry and photographs. This entire narrative is the author’s reality from childhood through adulthood. She maintains the privacy of those involved while hanging on to her truth.

An Unusual Island

When Janine’s parents win a vacation to a private island, it’s the same week as her and her twin brother’s 16th birthday. Cool! She can’t wait to lounge on the beach and let the staff pamper her! Much to her disappointment, though, they leave the island to go sightseeing on a boat. Unlike the rest of her family, bouncing around the ocean isn’t her idea of fun. Even when her brother gets their dad to stop the boat to investigate the neon sea creature that he is sure is following them–nothing. Losing her new red hat is the highlight of her trip until an unexpected storm hits, and they shipwreck on an uncharted island. After tending to some wounds from the crash, they search the island in hopes of finding human civilization. Although they don’t find what they are looking for, it appears they aren’t alone. When they return to their campsite—a fully cooked dinner is waiting for them! Why? And a better question is why did they eat it? It was as if they stepped into a fairytale– or nightmare. Who is on the island with them and what do they want?

Elizabeth’s War

It’s April of 1917, and World War I has reached Elizabeth’s family on their wheat farm in North Dakota. Although the battles are being fought overseas, the war has affected her in ways she couldn’t have imagined. Elizabeth is thrust into a new role after her brother and father leave the farm to do their part in the war. And she’s only eleven years old!
Having almost died as a toddler, Elizabeth has been babied most of her life. Now she must learn to help out around the farm; cooking, cleaning, and tending to the garden and livestock. No longer can she run from her responsibilities, as she did when her horse Rosie was giving birth. There were complications during the delivery, and Elizabeth panicked and froze. The foal didn’t make it.
Elizabeth faces her biggest challenge yet as a huge Christmas Eve snowstorm rages outside, cutting her family off from any help; and her mother is about to have a baby! Her brother and sister are laid up with chicken pox. Does Elizabeth face her fears or run from them? Can she help her family, who need her more now than ever? Or will she retreat like she did when Rosie needed her?

Things on a Tree

What a way to spend Christmas Eve! Thirteen-year-old Aimee is sick and missing her dad, who died in a car accident last year. While the rest of her family are outside playing in the snow, she is alone by their Christmas tree. Aimee sighs as the tears begin to fall. She wishes she still believed in Santa Claus. Then she could ask him to change the last year. Yeah, right, she thought. She turns away from the tree, and falls asleep. Later that night, Aimee awakens to a strange noise. Clink! Clink! Clink! Her fever must be higher than she thought, because she can’t believe what she is seeing running down her purple blanket! But everything happening to her is very real, including the fact someone wants her dead. Aimee is thrust into a world of magic, wonder and greed. Her journey takes her from her snowy rooftop, to the streets of New York and the North Pole with the promise to return her father to her family. Who could she trust when things aren’t always what they seem?

 

Social Media:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

 

Book Trailers:

No Fairy Tale

 

Elizabeth’s War

Gearing Up For the 2017 #RRBC Writers’ Conference and Book Expo!

2017 WC&BE

Once again, Rave Reviews Book Club is taking the lead on cutting edge ideas for promoting indie authors. Picking up where we left off last year, this year’s Writers’ Conference & Book Expo promises to be bigger and better! If you are an indie author and you’re still figuring out the marketing landscape, then this event is one you don’t want to miss.

Simply follow the links below for all the latest information you’ll need to know to be involved.

 
This is the year for bigger and better here at RRBC. Don’t miss this golden opportunity to reach a new audience while gaining new skill sets designed to help indie authors succeed.

 

 

 

Catching Up With #RRBC Spotlight Author Wendy Scott!

Hello, everybody! I am honored to share this blog with a fellow writer and Rave Reviews Book Club’s Spotlight Author for the month of June. As part of the celebration, Wendy Scott is making the rounds at various blogs. Today, she’s gracing us with her presence here at The Indie Spot! For those who may not know Ms. Scott, Wendy is a super supportive member of Rave Reviews Book Club. So let’s all make her feel welcome by leaving her your comments and well wishes. That being said, take it away, Wendy…

Fantasy Author Wendy Scott’s RRBC Journey.

When I first joined RRBC I had no idea of the literary roller coaster I’d jumped on.

I was so excited when my books and book trailers went live on the RRBC catalogue pages.

There was no time to pause for breath before I was involved in my first book trailer party. What a blast! 30 days of book trailers. I was impressed and inspired by the variety of book trailers. I won books and a coveted Book of the Month Spot.

I’m convinced the RRBC Tweet team doesn’t sleep! My followers skyrocketed as my tweets were retweeted into twitterland.

The lovely Gwendolyn Plano interviewed me on Behind The Pen. I was worried no one would understand my Kiwi accent!

Until RRBC I’d never taken part in or hosted a blog tour. Wow – an influx of visitors posted their comments on my site.

RRBC core focus is reading and posting honest reviews of other members’ books. I haven’t made the 100 club yet but it’s on my list! So many wonderful RRBC authors and books.

One of my highlights was when one of my children’s books earned Nonnie’s Seal of Approval.

Another highlight was being invited to join the VIP lounge and RWISA.

Yet another was being accepted as a RaveWaves host for Bring On The Spotlight.

There’s also the annual virtual RRBC Book Expo and Conference where I had fun presenting on a couple of topics.

Other features are the annual RRBC anthologies, the monthly Pipeline Magazine, and the KCT awards.

I was honoured (hugely surprised!) to be presented with a couple of Rave Awards in 2016.

The best part is the family-friendly vibe of this global community of authors where we help promote each other. Pay-it-forward is truly alive and thriving in RRBC-land.

  

 

Readers come and find your next read in the RRBC catalogue.

Authors come and join RRBC’s dynamic community – just say Wendy invited you! https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/join-here/

 

 

 

Amazon US 124 reviews 4.4* rating

 

Amazon US Lodestone https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AMQX7DO

Amazon UK Lodestone https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00AMQX7DO

 

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Connect with Wendy:

Twitter @WendyJayneScott

FB https://www.facebook.com/AuthorWendyScott

Author Profile Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Scott/e/B009B1N8NA/

Website http://www.wendyjscott.com/contact.html

Pinterest https://nz.pinterest.com/wendyscottbooks/lodestone-witch-hunt/

 

Writing Believable Historical Fiction

Putting together a believable historical story, long or short, requires more than a plausible plot. You must pay extra attention to the little things, the details. While preparing to write my novel Jazz Baby, I consulted many sources for those authentic details. A high-school history book proved immensely helpful in creating the right mood for a story set in 1920s Southern USA.

Knowing the era is as important as knowing your characters. You can’t have a young girl in 1925 rural Mississippi (or any other place in 1925) making calls on a private-line rotary phone, much less a mobile phone she carries in her pocket. In fact, my character was poor, and thus would not even have access to any kind of phone even though they existed in her day. Besides, she wouldn’t have anybody to call. Thus:

 

  • KEEP DETAILS CHARACTER-SPECIFIC: Don’t just verify what exists in a period of time. Determine how widespread it is, and consider the likelihood your characters would have access in their particular places and circumstances.

Fashion is important, as well. Knowing what people wore in any particular era is key to verisimilitude. Emily Ann, the POV character in Jazz Baby, had no concept of tennis shoes or fashionable jeans, let alone modern name brands and today’s common designer styles. She did live in the era of flappers, but she would not be exposed to those outfits until she traveled to the big city. Still, would she dress that way—and why? Where would she get the clothes? Would she even know how to wear them properly? We have to consider these issues before deciding how to dress our characters from one scene to the next.

 

  • DETAILS SUCH AS FASHION ARE REGIONAL AND CIRCUMSTANTIAL: Lots of guides, many specifically for writers and media producers, show fashion of different eras, but you must pay close attention to where, when, why, and by whom clothing would be worn.

 

Sure, it’s obvious that Emily Ann wouldn’t see Gulfstream Jets flying overhead or hitch a ride in a Corvette, but you’re not always safe simply putting her in a Model T Ford. I wanted her to hear something important on the car radio while parked, but I dared not assume a radio could be found in the Model T. A bit of research, and I learned radio did not come into any automobiles until 1932. Most readers won’t know such a detail, but some sure will know, so for them the facade collapses beneath such inaccuracy. Keep it as airtight as possible.

 

  • DON’T ASSUME DETAILS ABOUT TECHNOLOGY: Don’t just research the technical detail. Verify all the details that flow from it. If a radio had been available in the 1925 Model T, verify how many and in which areas radios were sold. Don’t have her flipping through various stations late at night when maybe only one station operated in that region—and only during the daytime. If you want her to hear a news announcement, confirm that would happen on local radio back then.

Patient research shines a light on more facts than you might be looking for. Just as whether a car radio would have turning dials or push buttons, verifying might lead you to realize you can’t refer to an FM station back them. Would a character drop a letter in a street-corner mailbox, or did they not exist in small southern towns because people simply left mail in their roadside mailboxes for pickup?

 

  • RESEARCH ALL THE DETAILS: Don’t stop once you have your first question answered. Look closer, read more, find the photos—whatever it takes to get a strong sense of life in that time and place. You will very likely discover even more details you could get wrong without the extra effort.

Pay attention to language, as well. Slang changes from era to era, and from region to region. A young white girl in 1925 Mississippi will not greet her pals with a “Yo, dawg! ’Sup?”

 

  • WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE: As much as possible, read from the era and place, talk to people who lived through it, watch media showing the lifestyle, and consult as many sources as you can find. Not only are you verifying the authenticity of what you want characters to say, but you will likely discover very interesting and flavor-adding ways of talking that you had not considered.

Cultural norms are critical elements of authentic time and place. My story is set during Prohibition, which to many evokes images of either abstainers or scofflaws. However, “bonded liquor,” prescribed by doctors for “medicinal purposes” and sold by pharmacists, was quite popular in many areas, albeit under watchful government eyes. Cultural changes that older readers recognize might not be so familiar to younger readers. In Emily Ann’s world, African Americans were prohibited from patronizing restaurants, and segregated in places like theaters, restrooms, and even from whites-only drinking fountains. Emily’s fraternization with blacks could have cost her her life.

 

  • STUDY THE CULTURAL NORMS: Learn about how people felt, thought, and acted, and consider the true consequences of your characters’ actions in those contexts.

Behavior often is not best described by laws. Though women received the vote in 1920, many were still viewed as the property of fathers and husbands. For a girl who found herself orphaned at 13, the official social-services response rarely happened if kinfolk might be able to “handle the situation.” Thus, Aunt Frannie arranging a marriage that we might find outrageous today would have been applauded as admirably expedient back then. Likewise, looking up the official 1969 USA drug laws would not offer much help in deciding how your young-adult characters actually acted during a campus party.

 

  • OFFICIAL POLICY OFTEN DOES NOT INDICATE HOW PEOPLE REALLY ACT: Look beyond laws, policies, procedures, and other official records of how things were supposed to be in another time and place. Ferret out real accounts and weigh your characters’ actions against what really tended to happen.

 

The point of all this is simply to remind you to check your facts while looking beyond the facts, stay loyal to the era you choose, and wow us all with your brilliant stories.

 

Grab a copy of Jazz Baby in paperback, hardcover, Kindle, Nook, or iBook.

More writers’ resources: GeezWriter.com

 

The Taxing Process of Writing!

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Today I am sharing space here with indie author and publisher Traci Sanders. Traci has written a fantastic new series that will help even the seasoned pro write it better. Here, in her own words, is Ms. Sanders…

MY 3 BOOKS

Tip 358: What you can “write off” as an author

(tax deductions)

*This tip can be found in Living The Write Life: Tips on making the most of your writing skills, now available in digital and paperback format.
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Are you an Indie author? If so, you are a contractor, whether you like it or not. Regardless which company you publish with, you will be required to answer a few basic questions to set up your tax account with them. When you sell any books, they need to know how and where to send your money.
Therefore, no matter how much (or how little) money you make on your books, you must claim it, because the publishing companies do.
 
The good news is, you also have tax deductions available.
 
Here is a list of deductions you can claim as an author:
         Office supplies
         Telephone/internet fees
         Cabs, subways, bus fares
         Book, magazines, reference material
         Agents’ commissions (if included in income)
         Film and processing – book trailer fees
         Copying – brochures, flyers for events
         Editorial fees – costs to hire professional editors
         Promotional fees – advertising materials
         Office rent – If you use a dedicated space for your writing – cannot claim for two businesses at once
         Utilities – a percentage for your writing (dedicated) space
         Memberships (professional organizations) – book club fees, writing organizations
         Messengers, private mail carriers, postage – shipping costs for giveaways, etc.
         Business insurance
         Tax preparation fees
         Travel costs – for out of town events – conferences, signings, etc.
         Business meals and entertainment
         Equipment – rentals of video/audio equipment for events
         Software – writing/editing/illustration software
         Legal and professional fees – patent lawyer, copyright lawyer
         I actually claim the books I buy and read because I consider them “study material” for my craft, especially those in my genre.
         As a public figure, for instance, when you do book signings and other events, you must have a professional appearance; therefore, you can write off your salon costs, new clothes, and even the food you serve at the event. Just be sure to keep the receipts and make notes on them.
         If you are at lunch and you pass out a business card or book to someone, write off that lunch by writing the person’s name and the book you talked about at what became your “business luncheon.”
         Treating your writing business like a professional entity will help you save money and avoid tax audits in the process, especially if you are like me and operate a separate business at the same time. The deductions must be kept separate.
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Here are a couple add-ons to this tip, shared by Stephen Geez:
 
Research can be an important expense to track. That 250-word essay I’ll be writing about what it’s like to spend a month scuba diving in the Caymen Islands is definitely going to require some hands-on research…
 
Just thought of another point that used to be very useful: If you’re writing for a client, an assignment, an intended buy, or even if you eventually sell to a client, you might be surprised by how much the end-user will be willing to reimburse expenses that s/he can write off. Don’t leave that money unclaimed if a bit of assertiveness might compensate you. You could find that the combo of reimbursement and your own write-offs can cover 100% of the income.
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Traci Sanders is a multi-genre, multi-award-winning author of ten published titles, with contributions to three anthologies. 

An avid blogger and supporter of Indie authors, she writes parenting, children’s, romance, and nonfiction guides.

Her ultimate goal is to provide great stories and quality content for dedicated readers, whether through her own writing or editing works by other authors.

Giveaway!

I’ve decided to give away two prizes during this tour:
*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Before You Publish – Volume I 
*ONE unsigned paperback copy of Beyond The Book – Volume II 
To enter, all you have to do is email me a proof of purchase of a digital copy of either of these two books during the tour.
I will draw TWO winners total, at the end of the tour.
Please email your proof of purchase (can be a screenshot) to tsanderspublishing@yahoo.com.
GOOD LUCK!

Bonus: Video Tip!

Author Linda Mims Stops by The Indie Spot!

It is my privilege and honor to introduce to you indie author Linda Mims. Take a few minutes to read about this talented writer and show your support by leaving a comment for her. Take it away, Linda…

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An interview with the Author …

 

Why did you write this story? I wanted a story that would resonate with the Millennials who are moving away from the inner cities. I wanted them to see the affect that not giving back to the community will have in the long run. It’s for the Black and Brown Lives Matter advocates who must also teach that education matters. Voting matters. Stopping the violence matters. Breaking the code of silence matters. LOVE matters. I put it in a mystery because people like them, but I hope they will still hear the message.

 

Who is this book for? Originally, it was for the New Adult category, but as it grew, it became a story that any adult could read and relate to. I’d like for teachers in the inner-city to recommend it to students who are mature enough to handle adult themes.

 

How did you come up with the title? When I was writing the scene where Cameron Reed explains to his son-in-law, Dickey, how Noel received her sight, I was in the “zone”. Dogs were meowing, cats were barking, and the houses were sizzling with electric lightening. I saw them glowing in bright, neon orange and yellow.

 

Why did you give your main character paranormal powers? As I was writing I wanted her to have a secret and I decided, “wouldn’t it be great if her own husband didn’t really know the extent of her secrecy?” Also, paranormal is a popular trend and I wanted to keep it current for my readers.

 

You say this is a series. When can readers expect the next installment? The outline has been created and the rough draft is swimming around in my head. I’ll say before the end of 2017.

 

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Author Bio:

Linda Mims started creating tales in her head as a child. At age 12, she knew she was onto something when she sold a story to her grandmother for a quarter, but it was her dad’s more practical advice, to get a good education and find a real job, that she followed.

After retiring from her “real job” as an educator, Linda began her writing career as an indie author. The tale of The Neon Houses was born out of a careless comment that people had lost interest in reading. The joke was that decades from now we’d need to hold reading nights in neighborhood parks for citizens who wouldn’t be able to read.

Linda rolled that idea around in her head until it turned into a whole society of have-nots. Once the idea got rolling, she worked nonstop until she’d finished the first draft. Writing is now her real job!

Linda Mims resides in a small suburban town 30 miles outside of Chicago, IL where she likes to cook, garden, and blog, sometimes simultaneously. She is married to her long-time love, has two grown daughters and one bossy, bichon-pom, Alexis.

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/boom_lyn

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLindaMimsmbria

Website – https://lindamims.com/blog/

 

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THE NEON HOUSES
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M8P63E3

Dr. Noel Kennedy hears screams inside her head, but the screams aren’t hers. While preparing for her annual end-of-summer barbecue, Noel hears her young friend—twenty-year-old Zarah Fisher—screaming for her life. However Zarah is miles away!

Noel knows the exact moment Zarah takes her last breath because Noel has a secret! It’s a secret that not even her husband Richard knows.

As the Deputy Chief of Schools of Gang Territory, Noel has perfected her life. She is a solid, middle-class citizen from New Chicago, Incorporated. New Chicago and Gang Territory have become vastly different societies since the early Urban Wars. Now, year 2087 finds New Chicago’s military-trained police determined to enforce laws that keep “gang people” out.

Harlem Pierce, a New Chicago police detective, has been warned to stay away from this case and he urges Noel to let it go. But a new killing involves Noel’s younger cousin and her boyfriend and links Noel to it in a startling way.

Who can Noel draw on? Must she turn to Warren Simpson—the menacing, treacherous boss of Gang Territory? Or … could he be the killer?

https://youtu.be/_JrglVENUOs

“The tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”

Writers: Don’t Get Lost in the Traffic!

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Wrote a great book, did you? Looking for ways to reach readers, are you? Well, have I got the place for you. It’s called RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB! Yep! I’ve been telling you all about it for the past three-plus years.

And just what exactly is RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB? I’m glad you asked. RRBC is an online community of readers and writers whose sole goal is to support one another. Members buy, read, and review fellow members books. It’s what we do.

But wait!!! There’s more!!!

Book Club Badge Suggestion copy (1)

By joining the RRBC community, you will have your book(s) placed in the club’s online catalog, making it available to the entire membership (currently at just under 400). Those who choose to be supportive of fellow members will discover the perks of membership. Books of the Month? We select three titles and promote them on Twitter, blogs, and Facebook each and every month. Many club members purchase these titles and review them.

Spotlight Author? Well, let me explain it to you. When chosen to stand in the spotlight, the author embarks on a month-long journey that includes wicked Twitter support, a blog tour, a seat on the shelf with club President Nonnie Jules (chit-chatting about you and your book), and a live interview on one of the RRBC Blog Talk Radio programs.

Look, most of us here are writers. We understand the marketing struggles indie authors face in today’s world. RRBC is meant to be a tool for the writer. But it requires more than just signing up. Support is vital. Those who don’t support, well, they receive little support themselves. It is through support that members become familiar with the names of fellow members. Marketing, branding — this is a foothold, an opportunity to meet other authors who also happen to be readers. This is the writer’s chance to build a foundation on which to establish their work.

If it sounds like something you may be interested in, stop by the RRBC site and have a look around. It only costs $25 per year.

Click here to visit the RRBC SITE!