Moving Right Along

Study this image. How does it make you feel? Does it affect your mood? There will be a test question at the end.

Study this image. There will be a test question at the end.

 

If you didn’t notice, I’ve altered my tag-line. It’s always been a bit smug…after all, I’m no genius. I explained all that on my About page. My husband suggested mybrandofgenius and it sort of stuck. I’m not ready to let that go. It reminds me to laugh at myself.

The added tag-line speaks to the two sorts of writing, 1950’s-60s historic literary fiction, and riveting contemporary crime romps, I’m vested in. I’ve spent a great deal of time promoting Red Clay and Roses on this blog and have connected with some fabulous people in the process. My intention really wasn’t to promote my book when I first got started, (I wanted a place to socialize and talk about writing) but I was told that was what I was supposed to be doing.

Tons of people showed up to teach me how. I watched you and listened and learned. I traveled around the blogosphere and got to know you. I need for you to know you mean the world to me. When I first became disabled, I had no clue how I was going to spend my time. A workaholic nurse used to racing around on my feet eight to sixteen hours a day, I found myself at a loss. Bewildered and lonely.

The characters that developed in my head and my memories were my only comfort. And then, you came along and brighten my path. Since then, I’ve gained three grandchildren, and those quiet times became something I have to defend. But still, I have plenty.

For the last four months, I’ve been back and forth with my editor getting things done. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished and feel I can present the work with confidence at Sleuth Fest. I’ve completed a three page long synopsis and a one page short synopsis, a cover letter, a tag-line for the book, a log-line, a blurb, and a perfect pitch. (Thank you Carrie and Sue, for allowing me to pick your brains.)

Since writing Naked Alliances, it’s always troubled me how I would market the book without abandoning Red Clay and Roses, as they are two completely different genres and styles. After much research with branding, I realized I don’t have to abandon anything at all. I began to look at the common features of the books and what motivated me to write both of them. I also examined those attributes of myself that I’ve learned from you by reading through the comments you’ve left me…that I am compassionate, candid, and honest…and sometimes funny.

In Red Clay and Roses, we have a book that includes rape, racism, illegal abortion and murder. In Naked Alliances, we have child abuse, murder, and sex-trafficking. I thought about how my work as a nurse influenced the writing in either book. RC&R with direct references, and NA with indirect. As a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner in an active ER, I was unfortunately exposed to a number of situations that did influence the writing of NA.  Out of respect, and due to HIPAA laws, I’ve been very careful not to put anything on this blog that might reference any particular incident in such a way as to identify people involved. My work in forensic psychiatry also contributed to the writing of NA in a more indirect manner having to do with the character development of the antagonist and the psychology of the killer.

The tone of RC&R is dark and serious. The tone of NA is lighter and somewhat amusing. That was intentional. Crime, while often dark and serious, allows for different approach. Here, we have a most responsible, loner P.I. who is forced to, by circumstance, work with a brassy, and irresponsible transgendered sidekick. To protect a young girl from an evil vixen, they must hide in a nudist resort while the body count rises. There are two protagonists, an unlikely pairing in an unpredictable setting, which makes for entertaining reading. It’s a riveting crime romp through Central Florida. A rather motley crew of characters that speak to the diversity we have in this neck of the woods.

While the crimes are serious, the tone of the book really isn’t all that serious. Herein lies my marketing dilemma. How do I promote both books across one set of platforms? Setting up platforms for each book is not an option for me. I’ve come up with some ideas I’ll be testing out in the near future, so you’ll likely see some gradual changes on FB, Twitter, and this blog.

All I ask is that you remember I am compassionate, candid, honest…and sometimes funny, or at least try to be. Sometimes that’s hard without being rude. I’ll try not to be too rude.

Day before yesterday, I pulled my car over to a bus stop in a torrential downpour and gave a guy my umbrella if that helps.

Is there something you’d like to hear more about?

Any ideas on promoting books of different tone and/or genre?

Do the colors in the image above illicit any particular mood or feeling?

#amblogging: WordPress Blues

Please WordPress, stop trying to force us to use a dashboard we are not comfortable with. What’s the point? The dashboard has nothing to do with how the posts are displayed.

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

wordpress logoWordPress people…you have pissed me off.

For a year now you have been trying to shove this new, less-than-useful dashboard down my throat, and for that same year, I have refused to use it. You allowed me the option to stay with the expanded version that played to my needs, and so I didn’t complain.

Today, however, you  cut off my simple access to the old, better-for-my-purposes dashboard, and forced me to hunt for a way to get back to it. So rather than the post I had intended, we are going to discuss how a determined blogger can get around your arbitrary decision.

I do not post my blogs from a cell phone. For those people who do, I am sure the bland wall of white fog that is the new default dashboard is fine, but for me it is NOT USEFUL.

First of all, the writing is pale…

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Sleuth Fest 2016: Do I dare?

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Sleuth Fest 2016 is being held in February here in Deerfield Beach, Florida. This is Mystery Writers of America’s premier conference. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet and greet other authors in the crime fiction/mystery writer league. Seminars are held to provide attendants ways to hone craft skills. There is also time given to pitch your completed, unpublished manuscript to agents. The list of offerings:

* Agent Appointments to pitch your finished work

* Critiques of your 10 page manuscript submission

* Forensic track with current forensic techniques and hands-on forensic workshops

* Social events to mingle with agents, editors and your favorite authors

* Auction to purchase critiques of your work by bestselling authors

* Sessions on the craft of writing

* Sessions on marketing and promoting your work
* Practice your Pitch sessions with experienced authors

 

You’re not promised a one:one with an agent as the 10 minute time slots fill up fast and I’d be coming in kind of late to the party. Yet, the introverted part of me that cringes at the thought of physically putting myself into a social situation like this also feels it would be grand experience. Do I dare?

Anybody want to meet me there and hold my hand? I’ll pay your plane fair. I’m serious.

I want to go and give it a try, but my social anxiety cripples me.

I need a fan club!

Sequins and Sandals

Second edits were completed on Naked Alliances and the manuscript has been sent to the editor for proofing. I’m excited about this book and also a bit nervous. It’s a break away from the philosophical meanderings of Red Clay and Roses. It was also a world of fun to write.

Naked Alliances is a regional fast paced crime thriller with a humorous edge.

Florida is notorious for its crazy but memorable, and sometimes lovable, fictional characters:

Here’s an A-Z list with some you may recognize:

 A

B

C

D

G

H

I

  • Ike

 

J

K

L

M

P

R

S

T

V

W

As anyone with a Facebook account knows, Florida is filled with the dregs of society, hell bent on wreaking havoc wherever they go. It’s the perfect place to find wacko, colorful criminals, along with odd protagonists whose motives might be less than conventional.

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We have the highest rate of homeless people in the nation due, in part, to our wonderful weather, but also because it is relatively easy to live anonymously here, blending in with all the other wackos and tourists. Nobody really strikes you as unusual, because everybody, to some degree, is unusual. Yet, we also have one of the highest rates of millionaires in the nation perhaps due to the wonderful weather, but also because they, too, find it easy to live anonymously here, blending in with the wackos and tourists.

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“Sequins and Sandals” is a term the locals use when describing Central Florida. We’re a hodgepodge. From the beach bums and bikers, the rednecks and outdoorsmen, to the big time gamblers risking it all in high-end casinos, cruise ships, Jai alai courts, horsetracks and dogtracks, the land developers and profiteers, Floridians are Long Island iced tea poured over rocky road ice cream, a soothing soda that “normal” people drink through a straw for entertainment.

In Naked Alliances, you’ll be introduced to the real Central Florida that Disney World tries so hard to keep from public view.

How diverse are your locals?

What’s your favorite regional novel and why?

 

Guest Post: Writing Weird Stuff- Or Breaking Every Rule in the Book by Sue Vincent

Sue tells of her writing adventure in a guest post hosted by Charles.

Legends of Windemere

(Give a big welcome to Sue Vincent!  She has a lot to say, so we’ll get right into it!)

Wayland's Smithy

We never set out to write a book. We were just a couple of friends who fell into an incredible adventure… an adventure we didn’t even begin to understand for quite some time.

Even that first weekend was an ‘accident’… we had been supposed to attend another gathering that had been cancelled; an event to mark the coming into being of the Silent Eye, a spiritual school we were helping to bring to birth. We decided that, rather than waste the time off, Stuart would travel the two hundred miles south to my home. From there we could visit Wayland’s Smithy, a burial mound, over five and a half thousand years old… and possibly take in a few of the other sacred sites of England. You might call it a bit…

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New Release! Do Not Wash Hands in Plates #Travel #humor #India

The entertaining Barb Taub, and two friends for over forty years have produced a travel memoir of a revisit to India. “If you like your trips filled with laughter and misadventures and great food and elephants and toilets, if you’d like a mini virtual-vacation, or if you just want a quick and humorous read, please take a look at Do Not Wash Hands In Plates.”

Barb Taub

Do Not Wash Hands In Plates: Elephant frenzy, parathas, temples, palaces, monkeys…and the kindness of Indian strangers

–Text by Barb Taub, Photographs by Jayalakshmi Ayyer and Janine Smith

DO NOT WASH HANDS IN PLATES

This is the story of three women eating our way across India in search of adventure, elephants, temples, palaces, western toilets, monkeys, the perfect paratha… and the kindness of Indian strangers.

Once upon the Land Before Time (or at least before mobile phones), my two best friends and I decided to leave the US from separate locations and meet up in Europe. To everyone’s shock, Janine, Jaya and I pulled it off—mostly because we went to Luxembourg, a country so small the odds in favor of chance street encounters were almost 100%, but also because Jaya was carrying the BS, a blue suitcase so enormous it took up approximately a third of the country’s square footage and was visible on satellite images…

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