Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Writing Process Blog Hop

Thanks to Elizabeth Delisi, for tagging me in The Writing Process Blog Hop. Read about Elizabeth Delisi’s writing process here.

At the end I’ll be tagging a few other authors, so please do follow those links to their blogs and interviews.

Click on any of the book covers below to purchase them or go to my website at Kim Cox, Author.

What am I currently working on?

That’s a loaded question. ;)

Enchanted Holidays coverI’m working on two different books right now and have about eight books in different stages of completion and ideas for about three more series.  However, my main focus is on The Wedding Crasher. This book will be the third book in the “Lana Malloy Paranormal Mysteries” series. Lana is a Psychic Private Investigator who's paranormal abilities grow with each book. In the first book, Haunted Hearts,  included in the Enchanted Holidays anthology, Lana could only see, hear, and talk to her great aunt (a ghost), and she could only hear other ghosts. Blurb: Will Lana Malloy solve the twenty-year-old double murder of her great aunt and her great aunt's fiance by Valentine's Day? If she can, they'll spend eternity together; if she can't, they'll be stuck as Haunted Hearts for another year.

One Touch Beyond cover
The second in the series, Get Out or Die! is included in the One Touch Beyond anthology. In this book, Lana is faced with an angry ghost. She learns of an ability she has that makes it imperative to keep alert and stay in control at all times. During this case she learns she has two more abilities as well: she can see a person’s past life and before the end of the book, she has a premonition of her own future.

In The Wedding Crasher, my current WIP, Lana is marrying the love of her life who she met during the first case in Haunted Hearts. The night before the wedding she has a psychic dream about a wedding and at first, she’s unsure if the dream is of her wedding or someone else’s. She decides to go through with her wedding. During her honeymoon in Cape Cod, Lana has another dream about a young woman getting married, then it switches to her tied up in an old building. The next morning the woman in her dream is on the front page of the newspaper and it’s a kidnapping.  The woman’s life will depend on Lana finding her before it is too late. Her new abilities are psychic dreams and visions.

Oh well, I said that was a loaded question . . .

What makes my writing distinctive?


Authors are artists and artists have great imaginations. My husband, for example, is a chainsaw artist. He can look at a log or a piece of wood and see the art hiding there as it takes the shape of a bear, an Eagle, an American Indian, a wind spirit, or whatever it is meant to be.  I’m the same with my stories. I can have a thought about something that will soon take the shape of a story. It just has to be written.

Why do I write what I write?


That’s another loaded question.

I have many story ideas in many different genres—from a historical romance to modern day suspense and mystery, a time-travel, and paranormal mysteries. I've always had a wide range of interests, and I also read many different genres. Right now I’m reading Jean Plaidy’s Plantagenet series.  I don’t have any ideas for that time period, yet, but I’m not promising anything because I’m fascinated with this series.

Mainly, I write whatever I’m writing at the time I’m writing because that is the story that is screaming at me to be told at that time.

How does the writing process work?


I've just recently started writing again. I took a few years off while I pursued a college degree, so I’m a little rusty. But I’m back now.

Suspicious Minds cover
I’m still finding my process as it seems to differ with each book I write. With my first book, Suspicious Minds, I sat down and I wrote the whole book from beginning to end; then later I edited, researched, character developed, and whatever else the book needed. I didn’t know much about writing and just played it by ear. I really enjoyed that type of writing process but it caused many rewrites—about five full rewrites where I chopped off chapters from the beginning (about six). In the last edit, I killed off one of my main characters because he was taking the story away from my hero and heroine. I had to rewrite the whole second half of the book after killing him off.

In the books I’ve started since that time, I at least try to have a synopsis written with a general idea of where I want to go with the story. With some books I have fleshed the story out more fully with character development and outlines. The problem for me is that if I know too much about the book I seem to lose interest. Now I’m having a problem finishing the books I’ve started. I have a hard time just writing like I did in the beginning and would like to be able to cut the editor off and write through from beginning to end without editing. I think that’s why I wrote the novellas, Haunted Hearts and Get Out or Die!.  I was able to write without being tempted to edit before I completed them.  

What next?

I plan to complete The Wedding Crasher first, and then work on the romantic suspense, All This Time, a book that was three-quarters completed when I started college. There is so much information in that book that I believe it may be two books. After that, there’s a post WWII mainstream book, Shattered Hearts—the first book I ever started writing. Then there’s a mainstream time-travel, two more romantic suspense books, a historical western, and two sweet romances, and that’s not all.  That’s just the ones started. I also have ideas for a paranormal witch series, an “end of world” type series, and a science fiction book. I would also like to write more Lana Malloy Paranormal Mysteries.

And now I’d like to tag the following authors. Please visit their blogs to read about their writing processes:


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Self-Publishing Research

I'm very exited at the prospect of self-publishing and I can't wait to get started. However, as with any great idea it needs to be researched. I had this idea about two years ago but I was told I shouldn't pursue it as I wouldn't be respected in the publishing industry anymore. This made absolutely no sense to me but I held off. It's not like I'm a brand new author. I have one full-length book in print, Suspicious Minds, and two novellas in anthologies: Haunted Hearts in Enchanted Holidays and Get Out or Die! in One Touch Beyond, along with a number of short stories that have appeared in different e-zines, and an adoption story that was published in True Love magazine. I also have numerous books in different stages of completion from only a few sentences to three-quarters completed.

Research

To get started, I downloaded a few books on self-publishing. I now have a total of 15 books on the subject. So far, I've read 3 books which I will discuss them here.


The first book I read is titled, Building Your Book for Kindle which is exactly what the title states: It instructs you on how to format and upload your book to the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) site. You can get the same information with more detailed instructions directly on the KDP Web site, but get this book if you prefer to read on your Kindle Fire or Smart Phone instead of on the Internet. It's a good, easy to follow FREE ebook. Just a note that it was published in 2012 and there may have been some changes since then.




Ditch the Publisher: 40 Indie Authors on Their Unique Self Publishing Journey Edited by Haley Sherman
  • Very informative book and I took a lot of notes. One of my favorite sections was #Twenty-One: A Few Ideas to get You Started by Joseph Lallo - He gives very good examples of how to get started self-publishing: Write the Book, Get it Edited, Find a Cover Artist, and upload your book to one of the major eBook publishing sites, such as Amazon's KDP and Smashwords (a multi-distributor of eBooks). Smashwords he states is the "biggest bang for your buck" as they deliver your eBook to Barnes and Noble, Sony, Apple, and a handful of others.
  • #Fourteen: The Writing Bug by JD Nixon has a section about the pros and cons (more pros than cons) about Smashwords that was very good.
  • The best part is it doesn't cost you anything to upload your books to these sites and have them published. According to how much you charge per book, you can get from 35% to 75% of the price of your book. The section on royalties that I liked best was #Twenty: Five Places to Self-Publish Your Ebook by L.J. Sellers. She also gives a description of each self-publishing site. L.J. Sellers has written 2 articles and they are all very well written and informative. In #Twenty-Three: Investing in Your Own Ebook by L.J. Sellers, she tells you what each publish pays in royalties and exactly how much it will cost you to publish a book if you hire out for the following:
    • Editing/Proofreading
    • Cover Art
    • Formatting for the different eBook publishers
  • #Twenty-Five: Becoming a Bestseller by Terri Reid talks about how to become a best-selling author. I so enjoyed this section that I went to Amazon and bought the first book in her series, Loose Ends (A Mary O'Reilly Paranormal Mystery), and I checked out her Web site and fan blog. She is a special interest to me since the series I'm working on is a paranormal mystery.
There are many more great stories that I haven't hit on here and all are excellent stories of how each author started out, how they're making money, step-by-step instructions, and some were about what not to do. There are also amazing sections on marketing your books. This is a 200 plus page book. If you're an author thinking about self-publishing, and you haven't read this book, it is a must read and it is FREE on Amazon.

Yesterday, I finished reading SELF PUBLISHING: How To Make Money Online By Self Publishing Ebooks On Amazon TODAY! by Abraham Falls. This is another must read for authors thinking about self-publishing. It's a shorter book that I read during breaks and during my lunch time at work for two days. This is an excellent, informative book with great resources. I found it for FREE about 3 days ago but it is now $0.99 on Amazon.

Mr. Falls starts out by informing you why Amazon is the best place to start publishing your book. From there he hits on the marketing aspect of choosing a niche and using the right keywords. Chapter 3 is about the content. Do you want to write it yourself or outsource it? I was thinking, outsourcing? Why would I want to do that?But then he made a very good point. Outsourcing would be a good way to have someone research a topic for you. He also gives sources for cheap outsourcing and explains what he does.  Should you edit your own book or do should you hire an editor?

Chapter 4 covers the subject of cover art. Do you want to do it yourself or outsource it? He gives resources for both. Chapter 5 is all about Creating a Title That Sells, Chapter 6 has instruction on publishing on KDP, Chapter 7 is a more detailed chapter on marketing, Chapter 8 is about promoting within the book, Chapter 9 is about Mr. Falls' secret to success, and Chapter 10 gives you tips for long-term success. If that isn't enough, there are more resources--FREE BONUSES--to help you get started.

So, what do you think about authors who self-publish or what do you think about self-publishing if you are an author? I believe it is a great idea. I would definitely need an editor, but the rest I think I can do myself. However I would love someone to provide research information for me.
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