A Time to Die – Cover Reveal

It’s about time!

Author Jonas Lee has made us wait… WAY TO LONG. The long overdue third book in the Carter Gabel series is finally coming, and I am so excited to be able to share the cover with you before the book’s release date! If you haven’t already read the first two books in this series A Time to Reap and A Time to Live then you need to order them today and get caught up before the release.

A TIME TO DIE

Book Blurb:

Carter Gabel saved his own life, and rescued his city from destruction. But, after the Pirates forced him into hiding, he spent years holed up in Crighton, city of ghosts.  Just as he thinks the world has forgotten him, a knock on the door interrupts his life and as he opens it, his next journey begins. An unexpected foe waits for him at the end to challenge everything he knows and all that his future holds. What must Carter do to survive? And what does he sacrifice to become a legend?

Jonas

Author Bio:

Writing out of the Black Hills of South Dakota, Jonas likes coming up with new and creative worlds that speak to the plausible while remaining believable. With a fist-full of peanut M&Ms and a cup of coffee, he has written three novels about a snarky, supernatural teen able to time travel and more.

Beyond writing, Jonas has a gift for useless knowledge through watching trivia shows and a love for cinematic adventures. Music fuels his writing and you can see him with at least one earbud in every day.

Book Links

Author Social Media Links

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Author Interview: Michael J. Sahno

I’d like to welcome Michael J. Sahno, author of Miles of Files, to my blog.

  1. What is your name and where do you call home? Michael J. Sahno; Tampa, FL, USA
  2. Do you have a pen name? Nope.
  3. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say? Miles of Files: Dude finds out his boss is stealing from the company’s retirement plan; mayhem ensues.
  4. Is the above book part of a series? Not that I know of!
  5. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing? I’ve always been writing, but it really took off after grad school. Inspired by Vonnegut, Hunter S. Thompson, Faulkner, Styron, Balzac…and many more.
  6. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)? This cover is brand new for the re-launch of the novel. The designer is named Mario Lampic. I gave him some ideas, but he ran with them and exceeded my expectations.
  7. Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)? I listen to a lot of classic jazz when I write. I think for this one it was mainly Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Lee Morgan, & Wayne Shorter.
  8. How did you come up with the title for your book(s)? I like to drop in a little “Easter egg” for my readers who read all my books. The phrase “miles of files” actually comes out of the previous novel, Jana. It was inspired by the name of a Joni Mitchell album, Miles of Aisles.
  9. Do you have a book trailer? If so where can we watch it? Not yet.
  10. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books? As a reader, I love reading paperbacks, but as a writer, I sell a lot more e-books.
  11. Are you a self-published/Indie author? Yes.
  12. If you’re a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route? I wanted to start my own company to publish all three novels together, and formed Sahno Publishing in 2015. When a book sells, I (the publisher) pay myself (the author). I wouldn’t want it any other way.
  13. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it? The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
  14. What is your opinion of novellas? They’re fine, but I don’t think I could ever be that concise.
  15. Have you ever read a book just based on its cover? No idea. I don’t think so, but I could be wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time.
  16. What is your favorite film based on a book? Rebecca, which won Best Picture for 1940. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock and based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier. Apparently, I really love authors with French names! (I’m actually a Balzac devotee.)
  17. What is your favorite book genre at the moment? Literary fiction.
  18. What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why? The amount of free time I have to read other authors these days is pretty limited, just because of the nature of what I do. But I did connect with another author via social media named Sherry Parnell, and read her novel Let the Willows Weep. It was really good.
  19. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format? Right now, I’m in the middle of editing a collection of short stories that I’m giving away to subscribers to my email list at https://msahno.com. So I’m reading myself!
  20. If you could invite any four (4) celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why? Charles Dickens – because I’d like his input on writing great literature quickly; Balzac – for the same reason as Dickens, but also because I think they might fight before the night was over; Einstein – because he would blow Balzac’s and Dickens’ minds; and Joni Mitchell, because she’d keep them all in line.
  21. What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing? Variations on the basic theme of “don’t give up.”
  22. Do you have any hobbies that aren’t related to reading & writing? I’m a runner, and that’s informed a lot of what I do. It’s also just as solitary as writing, at least in my world.
  23. Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors? Yes, a ton! I’ve spent the last 15 years as a marketing writer, and I have a free e-book called Marketing for Authors available at my website: https://msahno.com.
  24. Where can your readers follow you? Biggest following is 11K+ on Twitter, but here are all of them:

miles

BOOK Blurb:

In Miles of Files, the main character, Paul Panepinto, an employee at Flambet Insurance, learns that his manager Graham Woodcock is stealing from the company. Paul struggles with whether or not to report the boss at the risk of losing his position. Eventually, Graham fires Paul anyway and Paul is forced to pursue justice, but the story doesn’t end as expected. Readers move through a fast-paced adventure with many twists and turns, including high points, drama, comedy, and an edge that Sahno captures through his writing.

miles

About the Author: 

Michael J. Sahno began writing stories at an early age. Eventually, he was selected for Editor-in-Chief of his high school literary magazine. The quality of his work led to several honorary titles and academic awards by his senior year, which made it clear he was predestined to serve a role in literary excellence.

Mr. Sahno earned his Bachelor’s from Lynchburg College and later went on to earn his Master’s in English from Binghamton University.

After college, Mr. Sahno served in several management positions, including Director at a marketing research firm, Assistant Vice President at a Tampa-based mortgage company and college professor in the field of English composition.

Sahno became a full-time professional writer in 2001 and, in the following years, wrote more than 1,000 marketing articles on a wide range of topics. His quality copy put him in high demand, and his work has appeared in a variety of national magazines, including Fortune, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg Businessweek, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and Woman’s Day.

Mr. Sahno has written and published three novels: Brothers’ Hand, Jana, and Miles of Files. He is the founder of Sahno Publishing and available for professional speaking engagements upon request. For further information, contact info@msahno.com.

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The Process: A Writer’s Perspective

Guest post by: Marie Lavender

It starts with the seed of an idea. For a writer, it’s one of the most exciting parts of the book process. Perhaps it’s the flash of a scene in your mind, stemming from current events, something you read or witnessed in life. Or an object caught your interest, a mere speck of dust from the comet streaking across the night sky.

Suddenly, a plant has begun to grow. Scenes materialize in fits and starts, gradually forming a loose storyline. If you’re lucky, you know some of what might occur from the beginning. If that’s not the case, discovering each section of the whole is akin to the exhilaration of an archaeologist on her first dig. Soon enough, however, you’ve accumulated sufficient knowledge to get an idea of the overall picture. If the writer has any hope at all of finishing the project, he or she might consider writing an outline for the book.

Then begins the hard work. Diving into the project, writing based on an outline, allowing for changes based on the character’s whims, and, of course, researching so many aspects of the book that the writer’s head begins to spin. Comfort appears through items of sustenance – bottled water, coffee, hot chocolate, and herbal tea, a long forgotten yet half-eaten meal nearby and cookie crumbs on one’s fingertips. Intensity consumes you, your need to tell a character’s story your driving force. Not water, not food, not sleep – most writers in the midst of a project get very little of that. The writing continues while perched on sofas, in one’s bedroom, on the patio table outside during pleasant weather, or hunkered down at your computer, anywhere to help you focus on getting those final details down before time becomes your enemy. All the while, both family and pets make their presences known; daily demands abound, and most usually regard this ‘writer’ as an extraterrestrial. For who would willingly put themselves through such dire conditions?

At last, you lean back, amazed at what has happened. Time has indeed flown. The work is complete; the hard-won fight over. Perhaps it took a month, several months, a year or more, but alas, it is finished. You wrote a book.

Now you may bask in the glory of a job well done. Go out and celebrate. Have a wonderful meal, perhaps a drink, and relax.

Just remember…editing begins soon enough. Of course, not every journey is the same, but all of us end up in a similar place, the manuscript completed and a chance to look forward to the moment a book reaches readers.

The process itself is a writer’s joy and pain. A writer’s life. And we’d have it no other way.

About the Author:

ml

Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 23 other books. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title – winner of the “Broken Heart” themed contest and the “I Love You” themed contest on Poetry Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers’ Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers’ Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 24 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.

Links:

http://marielavender.com/
http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/
http://www.ambrosiainnovations.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a
Amazon author page: Author.to/MarieLavender
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender
http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender
http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender
http://manicreaders.com/marielavender/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

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Upon Your Love ~ By Marie Lavender

Upon Your Love

Publication date: February 28th!!! Mark your calendars! 

The Hill family saga concludes as loyalties are questioned, faiths will be tested and undying love may come at a terrible cost…

Fara Hill, mother, and faithful wife is torn between her family at home and her urge to be at sea. Soon, she learns some disturbing truths. Was the past a fairy tale instead of reality?

Chloe Hill, loving wife, and young mother questions her faith when her husband sets an ultimatum she cannot meet. Will she be able to keep her marriage from falling apart?

Adrienne Bellamont Hill, born of a valiant captain and a fiery redhead, is untamed to her core and will bow to no man. Then Christian du Plessis enters her life with an offer she can’t refuse. Discovering the man behind the polished gentleman, she is drawn to him in many ways. Holding out for love is a family tradition, but can she resist the temptation of passion?

Christian finds this young woman to be a fascinating challenge and is torn between keeping his distance from her and succumbing to her charms. A fierce battle of wills ensues as he sees she is much more than he ever imagined.

But danger lurks, threatening to destroy everything…

Can these two strong-willed individuals unite in the cause before time runs out?

Q&A – When I asked Marie, what inspired you to write this story and does your writing reflect your real life in any way? This is what she had to say…

I wanted to not only finish up the Heiresses in Love Series in a satisfactory fashion but also to tell Adrienne’s story. Adrienne is a woman quite out of her time (since the setting is Victorian), like a female warrior. I wanted to draw out the many facets of her character, sometimes impish, brave yet also strangely innocent and protective of those she loves. With this book, I was able to go into more than her tale, and give the continued stories about the family which readers had been begging for.

If Marie’s use of imagery sounds intriguing here, wait until you read the full story. Check it out on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29083654-upon-your-love

Want to connect with Marie? 

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When your characters piss you off!

For all you authors out there… have you ever been writing and all of a sudden your character(s) does something you weren’t expecting and just really pisses you off?

And to all the readers… have you found this to be true… You’re reading a book and suddenly it takes a turn, the character(s) surprises you in a way you don’t like?

Well, I’ve been working on my latest novel and something just happened in the story line that I was not expecting at all! NO… I DON’T OUTLINE! I’ll just put that out there. I have in the past outlined my stories, but I find that they always take on a life of their own, so I don’t even bother anymore. It is my style, it isn’t everyone’s style. That is to say, that it might not work for everyone, but authors are unique… we all have our own styles.

The thing is, I know my characters as if they were real living people. I know their stories… their backgrounds… their futures, or at least I thought I knew their futures. So, it takes a lot for them to surprise me. That is why when something happens in one of my stories that just completely blindsides me I GET PISSED. Don’t get me wrong, I think that what has happened – HAD TO HAPPEN – even if I didn’t know it before I typed it. Even if it upsets me… AND I HAS…in a really REALLY good way!

I’m just wondering if I am alone in this. 

As a reader, when something like this happens in a book you are reading, does it make you put the book down and stop reading? I hope not. In the end, I think this twist will lead to the ending the book is meant to have, but I will admit… it is a hard pill to swallow right now.

Just wondering what your thoughts are on the subject. Share your comments if you care!

 

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NaNoWriMo 2016

nanowrimo

Have you joined the craze? Jumped on the bandwagon? Taken the plunge and started writing your novel?

Welcome to NaNoWriMo 2016. November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)! On November 1st, all us crazy authors, want-to-be writers, and those just excited about getting a story out will set off on a 30-day journey to write a 50,000-word novel.

50,000 WORDS!!!!

If that sounds scary to you, trust me it’s scary to all of us. Besides the fact that it feels virtually impossible every time you sit at the computer and stare at a blank screen.

If you give yourself the full 30 days of November to write your novel, you are looking at needing to produce 1,667 words per day! That might not seem so bad, at first. Then you sit down to type and your ideas start to pour out of you. The first day you make an easy 2500, by the end of day two you’re at 4600 and feeling pretty good. By day ten you’ve slowed down, can’t find the time to write, or don’t know where your story is going. Maybe you’ve got 21,000 words at day fifteen and struggling to keep your excitement going.

Well, don’t worry – it happens to all of us.

It is day five and my story has just taken a strange and unexpected turn…

WHAT ARE YOU DOING? I scream at the characters in my head.

But, I’ll take a deep breath, step away from the computer for a break and come back to them with an open mind. I figure they know their story better than I do.

All this just to say good luck. Have fun with NaNoWriMo 2016, and I’d love to hear your experience. Comment below and tell me the title of your novel, if this is your first, second, or fifteenth time participating, and anything else you want to share.

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Want to learn more about NaNoWriMo? Check out the official website HERE!

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Happy Halloween… BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT!

happy-halloween-scary-photo

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

To celebrate Halloween 2016…

I have released PURSUIT (book 4 ~ the Blood Angel Series)

pursuit-front-cover-1-gold

Meet Phoebe Wenham…

Growing up in the most powerful coven of witches Atlanta, Michigan has ever known, gave Phoebe all the resources she needed to develop her craft. However, it wasn’t until the tragic slaughter at the annual Founders’ Celebration, when she lost her mother, her sister, and both of her grandmothers, that Phoebe really started to find her calling, her purpose. Her cousin Aleerah was the only surviving dhampir in history and her sister Petra had been a gifted, naturally talented, tracker. Magic didn’t come as easily for phoebe, but desperation leads to desperate measures, and Phoebe was bound and determined to carry on where her sister left off. Starting with the ancient ritual of the taking of blood Phoebe not only developed her tracking abilities she pushed herself physically, mentally, and magically until she became the High Council’s leading tracker.

BUY NOW

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NerdCon… Meet Me LIVE!

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I am excited to be attending the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library’s annual NerdCon on October 22-23 at the Downtown Huntsville Library location (915 Monroe St SW, Huntsville, AL 35801). If you haven’t been before, you’ll want to check it out this year. It is supposed to be even bigger and better than before.

Rocket City NerdCon is a family-friendly event to celebrate all things NERDY! If you love pop culture, comic books, movies, tv, books, games, collectibles, crafting, cosplay,, etc. thenNerdCon is the place for you! Come mingle with others who share in your nerdy obsessions and let your nerd flag fly as you geek out with others just like you!

I, along with numerous other authors, will have a table set up to talk about my books and do a signing. If you have questions about my writing process, how to get published, my novels, or just books in general – LET’S CHAT! I do hope those of you in the area will stop by and say hi.

NerdCon Hours:

  • Saturday, Oct. 22: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 23: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

NerdCon Event Tickets:

PRE-NerdCon Event:

  • Friday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m. Kick-off Party at Yellowhammer Brewing (2600 Clinton Ave W, Huntsville, AL 35805)
    • This party is free to attend and will feature live geek music favorites Foot Pound Force and Mad Gear

 

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Author Interview: Levi Cheruo

Today, I’d like to welcome author Levi Cheruo to my blog. He is a gifted, Kenyan, writer with some excellent advice for new authors!

kenya

 

  • Tell us a little about yourself:

I am a passionate writer, a gifted poet, an accomplished lyricist, a recorded singer, and above all a freelance journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya.

I have penned down FIVE titles, which are readily available and accessible both online and offline in Paperback and eBook formats via CreateSpace Publishers, Amazon, etc. They include:

[1] There is no Country Called Kenya: If you Must Steal, Just Steal a Little Please

[2] The UglyBeautiful Tale of a Stupid, Stupid Heart: When Mother Hen Eats her Grownup Chicks

[3] A Must-Have Guide for Every Aspiring Writer: Easy, Learnable, Realistic and Sure Ways to Earn Money as A Writer Online (Earning a Living as A Writer) (Volume 1)

[4] Please! Remember to Forget Me! And Other Short Stories

[5] Crawling to my Death and Other Poems: A Poetry Anthology

More so, I have two other works that will be hitting bookstores at the soonest opportune possible. These include a Swahili Riwaya titled Yajapo Yapokee, and an English Novella titled Married to my Shadow: Love is for the Dying and Weak in Spirit.

Additionally, I am an occasional Op-Ed contributor for major local dailies here in Kenya namely:

  1. The Daily Nation

http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Letters/Ethnicity-Kenya-Politics/-/440806/2841514/-/fsy6my/-/index.html

http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Letters/We-can-do-away-with-false-prophets-and-talk-directly-with-God/-/440806/2533486/-/bw5vng/-/index.html

  1. The Standard Group Media

http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000083019/why-ex-pm-back-door-admission-to-11th-parliament-is-suicidal

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/ureport/article/2000192085/lets-avoid-the-road-that-will-lead-the-nation-to-violence

  1. News24

http://www.news24.co.ke/MyNews24/raila-a-political-cheat-or-timely-saviour-for-kenyans-20160106

http://uganda.news24.com/Regional-News/1001-reasons-that-makes-kenya-both-a-curse-and-a-blessing-20151210-2

  1. Sido News Network

http://www.sabaots.com/Levi_Cheptora_Cheruo.html

  1. Kenya Yote

http://kenyayote.com/political-appeasement-killing-the-spirit-of-effective-devolution/

  1. Kenya-Today

http://www.kenya-today.com/opinion/police-reforms-in-kenya

  1. Kenya London News

http://www.kenyalondonnews.org/?p=3769

Some of my fiction writings have also been featured in reputable sites such as www.africanwriter.com and www.writeoutloud.com.

  • What Inspires you to Write?

Not long after my birth, my parents walked their separate ways after a not-so-happy marriage that I would come to learn many years later was characterized by violence, drunkenness and negligence.

Denied both motherly and fatherly love, it didn’t take long to realize I was on my own. I started asking why…then Papa died, closely followed by Isabel, my late girlfriend, and the only kind soul I ever knew.

For me, writing is not only a past-time hobby but a therapeutic undertaking that has helped me discover the real me.

What happens around me greatly inspires me…. It could be the sudden loss of a loved one, the runaway culture of impunity, and rampant corruption in my country, a heartbreak, and most important, solitude and loneliness.

  • How do you deal with writer’s block?

I take a breath, do some soul-searching with some soft background music…then take some time off from my writing; often, writer’s block is as a result of not being at peace with either oneself or with others, therefore it helps to make peace. More so, taking some time off creates a room for sharpening your creativity, and embracing fresh perspectives that might work for your piece of literary work.

  • What’s your favorite book?

Waste Not Your Tears by Violet Kala

  • Who are your favorite authors?

My favorite authors include:

  1. Violet Kala, Zimbabwe
  2. Ngugu Wa Thiong’o, Kenya
  3. Chinua Achebe, Nigeria
  • Tell us about your books

My books are mainly centered on the themes of relationships, justice, equality, good governance, and leadership accountability.

The UglyBeautiful Tale of a Stupid, Stupid Heart was inspired by the 2007/2008 Kenya’s Post Election Violence, and the subsequent victory to the alleged perpetrators; There is No Country Called Kenya is an answer to the current wave of perpetual state-sanctioned thieving that threatens to tear Kenya apart, and so are the rest of the titles.

  • What’s the best thing about being a writer?

Writing in itself is therapeutic…it is a journey of self-discovery that arms you with a third eye and a third ear. And of course it comes with respect from others, it adds credibility to your ideas, opinions, views, etc.

  • Any advice for authors about book covers?

Do not judge a book by its cover it is said. However, I strongly believe that book covers still plays a major part as far as potential buyers are concerned. That said, authors should invest in their book covers, and ensure it is professionally designed to suit their title, and literary piece main theme.

  • What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Full-time job, pets, hobbies?

When I am not writing, I am reading. And when I am not reading, I am working on my Song Writing Skills, listening to all manner of music…. Currently, I do not have a full-time job, but I occasionally contribute articles for a number of local dailies here in Kenya, apart from updating posts on my blog.

  • How did you go about getting published?

Traditional Publishing is no longer appealing to amateur writers not yet established out there, and it is for this reason that I opted for Indie Publishing.

Not only does it give me freedom of determining the final product, but also saves me a lot of time that I would have wasted waiting for editorial reviews from a traditional publisher.

  • What is your writing process? Do you have a time, day or place you like to write?

Writing for me is not a linear process. I write as ideas come; sometimes, continuously, at other times, once in a while.

  • Any marketing tips you’d like to share with other authors?

There are many readers online nowadays, and as such, social media can prove quite helpful in marketing one’s books. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., makes it quite easy to share links, info, previews, and sample texts.

There are also traditional advertising methods (which requires lots of cash), and can help improve your sales.

More so, there are dozens of sites out there dedicated for reviewing new books (mostly at an affordable fee). Reviews can add credibility, and an aura of social approval to your book, and thus attract potential buyers. Visit the sites below for a try:

http://bestthrillers.com/list-of-book-review-sites/

http://bestthrillers.com/list-of-book-review-sites/

  • What is the best advice you have ever heard?

When you are writing, you are just writing. You are not planning, you are not editing. You are writing. Once you have planned your story, it is time to sit down and write it.-JK.ROWLINGS, Harry Porter Series Author

  • What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

If you have an idea you strongly believe in, and that you know it will impact many a soul out there, do not sit on it…write your heart out…you deserve to be heard as soon as last year!

  • What are you currently working on?

A Swahili Riwaya titled Yajapo Yapokee, and an English Novella titled Married to my Shadow: Love is for the Dying and Weak in Spirit.

  • If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?

I will definitely bring along a Bible, a Church Hymnal Book, Violet Kala’s Waste Not Your Tears, and Nelson Mandela’s Abridged Autobiography A Long Walk to Freedom.

  • What are you reading now?

I am currently reading God Dies by Nile El-Saadawi, Nawal, and The Common: A Modern Sense of Place: Issue 06 by Owuor, Yvonne Adhiambo

  • Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

The Ugly Beautiful Tale of a Stupid, Stupid Heart was inspired by the 2007/2008 Kenya’s Post Election Violence and the subsequent victory to the alleged perpetrators; There is No Country Called Kenya is an answer to the current wave of perpetual state-sanctioned thieving that threatens to tear Kenya apart; Please! Remember to Forget Me! And Other Stories was inspired by the untimely deaths of my girlfriend, father, grandfather, and grandmother.

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

As long as I am alive, I will continue uplifting souls, igniting dispirited hearts, cheering up sad faces, and restoring hope to the hopeless through my writings.

  • Where can my readers find you online?

Author Website/Blog: https://booksloverafrica.blogspot.co.ke/

Author Profile Page on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/levicheruo

Facebook Profile: http://www.facebook.com/cheptolevi

Twitter Profile: http://www.twitter.com/cheruo

Pinterest Profile: https://www.pinterest.com/cheptolevi/

Instagram Profile: https://www.instagram.com/levi_cheruo_cheptora/

Author Profile Page on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/levicheruo

 

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‘How do I Edit my Own writing?’ 5 easy steps

editing21

I came across the following article in my weekly Pinterest email updates. I was intrigued by the title… as an author, I’m sure you can understand why I would be.

‘How do I edit my own writing?’ 5 easy steps

After reading the article, I have to admit… I mostly agree. I say ‘mostlyagree’ because I believe there is a 6th step to editing my own writing. So, let’s break it down right here, starting with the 5 listed in the original article. There is a link to the original article at the end of this post. 

Step 1: Take a break – I couldn’t agree more… You have to step away from your work in order to come back and see it with a fresh set of eyes.

“Another reason to take a break is that you need the distance from the work. In a way, you need to forget about the book. On returning to it, you might be surprised to find passages that you don’t remember writing; passages that affect you emotionally as though someone else were the author.”

YES! I never thought this would be true, but it is. I recently  went back and reread my first novel, published in 2012, and it was like reading some of it for the first time. I LOVED being surprised by my own writing.

Step 2: Get organised – As someone who prides herself on being organized, I totally agree with this step. However, I don’t think it only applies to the editing portion of writing. When I’m writing I need an organized workplace so that I can feel free to create and comfortable enough to do the research necessary to complete my daily writing goals. YES… SETTING GOALS IS VERY IMPORTANT, both during the writing process and the editing process.

“Make a schedule for your revision just as you did for writing your novel. Set a goal and stick to it. Think about what other tools might help you with your revision. You’ll need some kind of system to take notes and keep track of things. The system that works best for you depends on you. You might choose to use multicoloured index cards or sticky notes, spreadsheets, a notebook with sections and multicoloured pens, or a physical filing drawer, for example.”

Multicoloured index cards, sticky notes, spreadsheets, a notebook with sections and multicoloured pens… I’m getting excited about organization already. This blogger sounds like she has been reading my mind or watching me through my office window. LOL

“Learning how to write a book is a rigorous exercise in focus and discipline.”

Take note, that is the most important piece of advice/knowledge/wisdom in this section. People quit things that are hard… it’s true! You might be thinking, no I can do this the story is already in my head. I can tell you, getting your story out of your head and onto the paper or computer screen is the easy part – AND STILL PEOPLE QUIT! The hard work comes when the story is written and you have to edit, market, publicise, sell, sell, sell.

Step 3: Develop a plan – I agree with the points of the blogger in this section. However, I feel that developing a plan is part of Step 2: Get Organised! I believe the two sections go hand in hand. However, you should ready both sections within the original article.

Step 4: Make multiple passes – YES! YES! YES! Like I said above, the hard work comes after the story is written. Editing isn’t as simple as reading your story and making sure you’ve used spell check. Do MULTIPLE passes when you edit, looking at different things each time: flow, plot, character development, grammar, punctuation, etc., etc., etc.

 

Step 5: Get feedback – Now, the author of the original article feels that feedback is your final step… and I don’t NOT agree (yes, I know that’s a double negative), but I want to take it one step further and say there are two steps to getting feedback. I will address the second step to getting feedback below, in step 6.

Ask your friends, family, writing groups, reading groups, teacher friends, etc. to read your manuscript. Find anyone you can you might be interested and ask them to read it.

“The value of having others look over your work is that they will spot mistakes or inconsistencies you might miss because you are so immersed in the text you’ve written.”

It doesn’t matter how many times you read your own manuscript… YOU WILL MISS THINGS!

Step 6: HIRE AN EDITOR – Yes, this article is called ‘How do I Edit my Own Writing’ but the best advice I can give you on how to edit your own writing is… DON’T. Yes, you should do everything listing above in steps 1-5, but you should never rely on yourself to be the only editor of your manuscript. As I said above in Step 5… It doesn’t matter how many times you read your own manuscript… YOU WILL MISS THINGS! 

I am not saying you have to spend thousands of dollars on an editor. You don’t need to go to the bookstore, sift through books within your genre, figure out who the most popular editors are and then attempt to contact them. NO!!! But, if you are serious about your novel, put a little time and money into making it the best novel it can be. Go to http://www.upwork.com and hire a freelance editor. Find someone who has experience and good reviews. Get a fresh set of eyes on your manuscript. It doesn’t have to be expensive to get good editing. What is costly, are the bad reviews you will receive for publishing a poorly edited novel. They will lead to pulling the book… rereading… revising…re-editing… again and again. TRUST ME, I KNOW!

Now, my process for steps 5 and 6 for each of my books are as follows:

  • I read, edit, read, edit, read, edit… my own manuscript multiple times.
  • Submit for edits to beta readers (at least 5 beta readers). After each beta reader… I read, edit, read, edit, etc.
  • Submit to a professional editor (3 – 5 rounds of edits)
  • Submit for final review to beta readers (2-3 beta readers)
  • One final read through – Just me.

Finishing your novel can be amazing, but remember editing is not an optional step in the process. It is part of writing, an essential part if you want to be successful. By taking the time to go through all the steps listed above, you save yourself time and heartache later on down the road.

Got any question? Ask below… I’m happy to answer.

Link to the original article: ‘How do I edit my own writing?’ 5 easy steps

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