An Hour with Vicki and Sojourner McConnell. Fun with Yvonne Mason

I was so honored to be asked by Yvonne Mason to be on her online radio program. She is a mystery/thriller writer in her own right, and I was excited to say yes.  I am starting her book The Mad Hatter this evening and I can’t wait.

The hour-long event was so fun. Once I put my nerves aside. I am not the most outgoing person, but I am in line for the most talkative award.  The interview was about my writing as Sojourner McConnell and I was able to share the story behind The Path of the Child. I was also able to discuss Mystery Thriller Week and my WIPs .

Continue reading “An Hour with Vicki and Sojourner McConnell. Fun with Yvonne Mason”

Day Three of NaNoWriMo Ends

Three days of writing, thinking, planning, and adjusting preconceived notions, have provided me with 6425 words, loosely four chapters and a pretty good idea of where this story is heading.  The mystery is afoot, one clue is in hand. The key to the clue is missing. The meeting of minds is commencing. The inane doxology of ice cream has been spoken.

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Did you know that post it notes were invented in 1980? There was no valid use for the weak glue until four years later when the 3M inventor’s friend decided to use it to hold his pen in place on his choir book.  Yes, that’s the holy grail of this researcher’s treasure hunt.

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I have not quite gotten to the one little blurb I presented myself with last month for inclusion into the book.  Yet, it is only three days in. what did I expect?  After a flying start, an overwhelming night, and a night of sleep, things started to get on an even keel today. Since it was a day scheduled to spend some time with the editor on the Shepherds book, I didn’t even approach NaNoWriMo writing until 8:00 pm.

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Is that a real word or a southern phrase?

Still working on the plans for #MysteryThrillerWeek.  I am loving the ideas for the event, just need  more bloggers and authors involved.  Make this event helper happy, sign up and let us see that interest. You can find us at mysterythrillerweek.com, at Goodreads.com, and at Facebook.com . come join the fun. Get your name out in the public eye, have reviews provided, meet your fellow authors, meet publicists. This event is for and about you.

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The Shepherds of Donaldson Park has a Facebook Page!

Sojourner McConnell, Zach, Molly, Drew, Morgan,  Hans and I, want to invite you to like the new  Shepherds of Donaldson Park  Facebook page.

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There are a few pictures of some of the main characters in this upcoming contemporary novel. With exciting events planned as we travel on this journey to release. This is my first attempt at humor and romance so I am very happy.

I hope you will join me as we prepare for the official cover reveal and character blurbs. Of course,  I will be posting similar events on this blog, but you know, it is Facebook and that will make it more fun, more interactive and just a lot more of a group event.We hope you will like the new page and follow along on this journey.

Today the manuscript went to the editor for a final edit. I am nervous and stoked at the same time. He is going to find my little grammar errors and my little typos that have skated past the proofreading, the beta readers, and my read through.  Those are so embarrassing, but he is very thorough so I know he will find some.

Today is just an emotionally high day! Thank you for sharing it with me.

Meet the crew:

Morgan Payton : Career woman determined to achieve her newly revised list of goals one item at a time.

Drew Anderson: Thoroughbred horse breeder living on the outskirts of Lexington Kentucky. Learning the horse business from the ground up.

Jude: Best friend to both woman and beasts.

Zach: Black Tri Australian Shepherd with an arch nemesis or two.

Molly: Red Tri Australian Shepherd born to lead and born to run, loves ducks.

Hans: 6-month-old German Shepherd  attempting to keep both ears up and his chewing to a minimum.

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Hans

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First Writers Group Meeting Was Today!

A few days back I mentioned that I had asked my local library on Facebook if they knew of any writers groups in the small town where I live. John answered my inquiry and told me there were several, one met every Friday at the library. He said I was welcome to join. So today, being Friday, at ten o’clock, I found myself in the conference room with five printed pages of my work in progress. That is the price of admission, you see, reading aloud five pages of your WIP.

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Continue reading “First Writers Group Meeting Was Today!”

Struggling with Cover Concept

How is it that I can write a book, rewrite it and make it 30% longer and more in-depth, yet I can’t come to grips with my cover art. I want it to capture the essence of my book. I do not want it to look like a dog and pony story. I want it to look like what it is. A romantic comedy that happens to share the love of dogs and working with horses.

After three months of thinking, pondering, searching through pictures, I am no closer to deciding on my cover.  Is it always so hard? Was I just blessed with the concept for my first book so easily? It came to my mind and I knew exactly what I wanted to show on the cover. This time, not so much.

Oh! This struggle is real. It is almost painful. My brain hurts and it is making me unable to focus on the other two books I have in progress.

Any helpful tips from others that have faced a similar dilemma?

I need a gif of a person pulling out their hair right here.  Instead, I will simply post this along with a picture of my pups that might be on the cover if it didn’t make it look like it is just a dog story, when in my mind, it is so much more.

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My goodness, aren’t they pretty! 

Now, I’ll bet, everyone can see why I ended up with such a bland cover on my first book before I reissued it. Help a girl out in the comments below, please?

 

Funny Moments from the Beta Reading Process

When I started writing this latest book, The Shepherds of Donalds Park, I knew who two of my main characters were going to be.  They were going to be based on my own adorable and hilarious Australian shepherds. That made my job a little easier. I mean I had the prototypes sitting beside me, right?

Happy B and A

You would think so, but the funniest part of having people read the story  has been that the beta readers believe I write using made-up words.  I do not claim to have invented these words, I am blaming my grandmother, Mama Kate. I know I heard her tell me, “Don’t make a cake of yourself.” Yet, every beta readers so far questioned this term. After much Googling with no success, I might add,  I have removed it and decided, this was a make-believe term for acting foolish. Now I just call the silly dog, foolish. Making a cake of herself actually made me laugh more, but I am rather easy to start snickering at odd sayings.

This one phrase made me question some of the more adorable colorful words and phrases my grandmother said. I am now wondering if an A-Ankle is really a rear end.  She always said, “Be careful you are going to fall and bust your a-ankle.”

This makes me wonder if she made them up or if my Great grandmother Mama McConnell, was  in fact, the initiator of these odd terms.  I never saw my 103-year-old great-grandmother as comedic. Well, not as comedic as my grandmother. I want  to defend her little MamaKateisms, yet, in a majority rules frame of mind, I will remove the sayings and replace them with time-honored euphemisms.

Do you know any odd little sayings that Google has never heard of? I obviously will try to sneak them in if my Beta readers will allow. Let me know in comments.

The Shepherds of Donaldson Park Away From Home For the First Time

Friday began a week of loneliness and insecurity. My little book that has been my constant companion since April 1st is spending the week at four beta readers houses. My little secret project with its lively characters and over the top bad girl behavior is now out being read by strangers.curmudgeon

Before this happened a little curmudgeon in my head kept telling me, throw it out, it isn’t funny, You are going to be sorry if you publish this thing. I do not get along with my mental curmudgeon . I find him overly mean and bitter.

I am a funny girl, how dare I have a mean curmudgeon living in my head. Anyway, I digress, The time came for someone other than me to read and evaluate the shepherds and their people.

Off they went in various forms to be judged, weighed, and measured and hopefully laughed at. Hopefully to be found with redeeming qualities. It is hard to let your little book that has been your closely guarded secret out into the world. But nevertheless, off they went. I am a wreck. I want to defend each little mistake, each little confusing bit of dialog, but I put on my big girl pants and wait to hear where I wrote effect instead of affect and that particularly  annoying word “Then” too many times. I know some of my grammar issues, not all. I wish I had a better grasp on grammar, so I didn’t have to rely on another person to tackle it.
Me, I have stories in my head, several stories at a time, with a complete cast of characters. It is a beehive of activity up there. I have beta readers and editors to help me with the details. Out of it all, I hope you find the lovable story of two people and their three shepherds as fun and alive as I find them in my head.

This is a big step for the Shepherds. I packed them up and sent them out, knowing they would come home a better representation of themselves. After all, isn’t that what we all do with our babies at one time or another?

While the Shepherds are away, I will work on their cover. Oh yes, the curmudgeon has something to say about that too.

I sincerely want to thank the four Beta readers for agreeing to put their seal of approval on my precious story. I hope they will come back with lots of little tips on making it a better product. I am truly excited to be this close to publication.

By the way, anyone that made it down to this point, let me tell you I have another super secret project in the works.shh…  It is totally different and I have an illustrator working with me. Guesses are accepted and appreciated. Thanks for reading all of my posts and let me know you saw this final announcement. This project will take me through Christmas and is very dear to my heart. I can’t wait to tell more about it.  I started the newest project Wednesday. Super excited to be writing.

August Wrap Up: Spreadsheets, Excuses, Ideas, and Missteps

September 1, 2016:

Autumn is in sight and great things are on the horizon. Today is my sister’s birthday! Happy birthday, Cheryl – Anne!

But today, to get September started with a bang,  I’m going to celebrate several August events. The final tally for word count in August was  68,381. that is about 15,000  off of July’s word count.
Continue reading “August Wrap Up: Spreadsheets, Excuses, Ideas, and Missteps”

Recap for the Month of July

Upon awaking this morning, a bit surprised at how fast July had gone, and how much I  got accomplished.  Deciding to  participate in Camp NanoWriMo, I made a quick goal list. I love Camp Nano more every time I participate. It spurs me into action and allows me to challenge myself.
Decided on some simple projects for the month of July , rewrite and edit The Path of the Child, begin The Path to the Past and hopefully tweak The Shepherds of Donaldson Park.  Hoping that  I could dredge up 50,000 words in 30 days. Happily able to surpass my goal, and  validating on the 22nd.

For my efforts, I received a groovy certificate and this new badge of honor. ~~> CNW_Winner_200

Don’t y’all just love it when a plan comes together?

This is a graph of July’s writing, editing, and rewriting. The grand total for the month ~~>  89,029.

Can anyone else tell when the hyperactivity and hyper focus kicked in?  Looking at this, it would be even more colorful and funky, if it were able to account for all the deleted words and the revision of the revision. But let’s not count every step. 🙂

Speaking of counting every step, have you ever had an efficiency expert come to the workplace in order to document negative patterns and teach the employees  to be more efficient? Back in 1985,  the bank had just such an expert come into the office and she literally counted our steps from the vault to the copy machine. That might have been thirty years ago, but I believe she taught me a love of graphs and charts.  That was even before Excel made it so attractive and color coded.

July total

The number of book reviews completed ~~> 25. Looking back, it seems as if  the majority of the books read last month earned a high rating. Even reading my first horror and finding it not as scary as I feared. When in the zone writing, I failed to read on a daily basis. Nevertheless, now that there will be fewer irons in the fire, it will get back to normal.

Except, there is  this little deadline staring me in the face concerning Friday, August 5, 2016. This is not the time to lose the hyper focus.

Let me know how your July fared! I am curious. Have fun in August, I know I will, I already have my itinerary and production plan  and  written down  for the month. That’s a completely different chart.midis_crazy1

 

First Reveal: Three Projects Out in the Open!

As you know I love to read and I love to write. I don’t know which I love more I also love to combine the two loves with writing reviews. That is not going to change in the least.

Nine days ago I mentioned a secret project. The truth of the matter is there are two super secret projects and one addendum on a project.

For the last nine days I have been burning the candles on both ends to see if my secret projects held any possibility. After nine days, I can absolutely say, Yes, yes they can.

I am here to reveal my projects. Assuring that they have my full backing and support. If I announce it, it will come true. This isn’t a wish, it is am ongoing project. See what I did there?

 


 

Behind Curtain Number 1 we have Project one, behold!



Project one:

The modification and reissue of the Path of the Child. My first book and I admit it was quite a leap for me.  Now I see the mistakes I made with that first publication and I have been working on the re-writing and editing. I have always been proud of my first book and I still am.  I just believed it needed a little do-over. The goal is to get those pesky errors out and a new cover on.

I am extremely thrilled to get rid of my newb cover and get a real cover on there.

The name is going to be the same and the story line is the same. The main difference, more fleshing out the characters and more actual action,  less narration.  I have known there were errors and shortcomings, that’s why I give it out instead of linking to the purchase site.  Now, I have made that decision and it felt the time was perfect. that being said, my heart and head were in the right place to correct my first baby.

Six thousand new words, deleted about three thousand words. The result?  It appears to flow smoother and draw a more vivid picture. The cover is almost ready to reveal. I can not wait to see (and share) the final version. It is so close to ready, I can’t stand it!

If you have picked up the Path of the Child, wait until the reissue in about two weeks to read it. you will be much happier with the new product.


 

Next we step over to the large cardboard box spectacularly decked out in last year’s Christmas paper:  Tada!

 


 

Project Two:

I am currently working on the sequel to The Path of the Child. I am currently writing this and it is going well. It will be part of the Path Series. While I was doing the re-write on The Path of the child, two new characters came to me, auditioned for a part in the new book and voila we have a new direction that I was not exactly expecting.  That is the part of writing I love the most, The moment  an unknown  character (or two)  taps at my mind’s window and begs for a spot in the story.

These two people have not only begged for an audition, they brought their own story along with them. All I have to do is type it for them. These are two active characters that will bring a new life to the story.  I have flipflopping on whether or not to share the title. I think I want to. I love the title.Did I not mention I can not keep things quiet?

The Title is: The Path to the Past.

It will pick up at the end of the first book and follow Melanie as she adjusts to her new life.  The places my outline is taking me is amazing. I am so enthused about this new story line.  I already have some chapters completed and I am committed to this sequel. Most of the reviews I have on Amazon say they wish there was a sequel. Now they get what they wanted. Oh the places Melanie will go!


 

I hope no one is expecting a brand new car. Behind the sliding door, bedazzled to a fair the well ,  we have:  Hold your applause please!

 


 

Project Three:

The Shepherds of Donaldson Park has been completed. As far as the first draft goes.  I am knee deep into the re-writing editing portion. I got a little discouraged when my little pup died. She and her brother were the muse of the book. They were who two of the shepherds in the book were based on. Sometimes they were not just based on them, there were anecdotal stories that actually happened, mixed in with a little fiction. They each put a paw print on a little contract I drew up that said I could use their antics in the book.

Needless to say, when my little girl, Arrow got sick and passed over, I was missing one of my muses. Now that some time has passed I can look at the manuscript and not get sick to my stomach. A vast improvement by the way. I couldn’t say that two weeks ago.

I am back to the re-writing and editing portion of book three. Everyone on this blogosphere has been so kind and so sweet and that helped so much. I am now in a place where I can create and enhance all three books.

This officially outs my secret and I hope you will join me in the writing, editing and publishing process over the next few months. This is an exciting journey, one I am ready to take.


 

I sincerely hope you will travel this path with me.

 



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