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Messages - AshMP

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1
Writers' Cafe / Re: So, how *do* you choose names?
« on: February 27, 2015, 09:40:54 am »
1. I use Google a lot, once I know the age of my character I look up popular names from the year of their birth.

2. Meaning; sometimes I will think about the "moral" of my character: What's her purpose, how does she see herself, what is her role in this story -- and then I will research names that mean that.

3. Sometimes it's just obsession, a name that I think is really pretty and want to use.

4. If there is a name I want to use, but let's say I know someone with that name, I will look that name up and then look up "like" names, Mia becomes Ava, Ava becomes Avery. I can generally find something I like.

For me it's either really simple or complicated.

2
Only one thing comes into play with a previously SP book -- How well the book sold. And then, generally speaking, there are two schools of thought.

1. Was the book a best seller? In a proven market you're going to have publisher tripping over themselves for a slice of pie if they like what they see. A lot of the breakout indie stars will tell you this. A trade house know they are acquiring a book that sells and it's a better-than-average bet ... however...
2. Have you beaten the market up? Are there still untapped sales markets? Where do they go with your novel from there?

If you're interested in trade publishing (for whatever reason) then I would suggest first and foremost query it. You'll get a crash course in the industry real quick by talking to people who have built their lives around understanding it. Maybe you'll get nibbles, maybe you'll get bites, maybe you'll get radio silence ... who's to say. If nothing comes of it, self-publish it. Then, maybe with a track record of great sales, query book 2 or 3 or 4 ... or, never again.

Good luck!

3
Writers' Cafe / Re: Womens Fic vs Romance
« on: September 16, 2014, 07:03:28 am »
Best definition of WF vs. Romance I've heard (and it's helped me a lot): While a romance novel deals with a woman's relationship with a man (or another woman, or a man with another man, depending on sub-genre you know), women's fiction ultimately deals with the relationship a woman has with herself. HEA or HFN, either way, the crux of the story can have romantic themes, but ultimately it gets tied up with a lesson learned and a new outlook -- this is why you rarely see WF come to the page as a series.

And, as a WF writer, just a friendly word of advice as well:

Just because a book isn't auto-romance, doesn't mean it's WF either. WF has its own recipe just like any other genre, and while similar to romance (in so much as a book can be written and marketed with women in mind), it's not romance. Don't drop a book into the category just because it doesn't fit snuggly into romance. WF readers ALSO want to experience certain things in their novels, and they will also get loud if you a disappoint (or think you're misusing the genre) as it's not a "catch all" category of literature than open-arms all books that don't umbrella well elsewhere. If you set out to write a romance novel, before you consider WF as a fall back, maybe the feedback is pushing you more towards revisions? 

4
Happy Birthday, Harvey!

5
The one thing to consider is that he may want you to pull the book from sale while he pitches ... and pitches can be anywhere from a day to a year ...

(And yeah, I have an agent)

6
The book I just turned over to the editor has religion in it, it is not, however, a religious book. It's not in the least bit "preachy," though my protagonist (a religious studies major back in the day) does have her own particular views and there is one moment when she pulls the doctrine out. It won't be labeled a Christian book when it's published, and that's that. If a reader wants to put it down, then by all means, put the it down.

7
What never fails to amaze is the authors who clamor against Amazon like it's some anti-literary organization set out to ruin the written word. Amazon is ONLY successful because it filled a niche in need of filling. In terms of books, it gave readers what they wanted -- quick access to more books at a better price which ultimately has allowed for faster buying decisions and more purchases.

8
Writers' Cafe / Re: Help, I just screwed up my Goodreads page
« on: May 30, 2014, 08:51:34 pm »
I'm a librarian over on Goodreads, PM me the link and I'll see what I can do!

9
Writers' Cafe / Re: A Con for Indies - Is it time?
« on: May 23, 2014, 04:29:41 am »
Seattle! Home of our beloved Amazon! Cedarbrook Lodge is a fantastic venue, too.

10
Writers' Cafe / Re: Ever Heard of Author Hub?
« on: May 17, 2014, 02:04:29 pm »
Looks like a name autofill e-mail, especially since they neither named your book but did, a couple times, refer to you by your full name.

11
Writers' Cafe / Re: Why the Hugh Howey hate?
« on: May 17, 2014, 10:37:04 am »
My guess is that indie publishing is still shocking for some. How could someone who didn't have a publisher behind them actually do what Hugh did? It feels like ignorance because we know how Hugh did what he did (he wrote an incredible book series and worked hard...) but the fact is that we actually live a bubble, to most what we do is still unheard of. Change (be it of mind or marketplace) takes time.




12
Writers' Cafe / Re: My wife passed away
« on: May 15, 2014, 08:36:13 pm »
It's funny. Going through my wife's papers, I've found notes she made for a couple of novels and another children's book, in one case an entire first chapter written out in longhand. It might be a long while before I'm able to tackle such a job, but I think I'd like to see these works completed at some point.

I just wanted to let you know I read book and really enjoyed it. I'll be sharing Hollybelle's story this autumn with my niece and nephew to amp them up for Halloween! Thank you for letting us know about it, it was such a treat to read your wife's work and I hope someday that you can see her started pieces to the finish line, and if you do, please let me know as I am now a reader of hers.

13
I'm not aware of any emblems... but I'm sure some authors have created them. But really, thinking about, Amazon *should* consider doing that, you know.

14
Writers' Cafe / Re: Gay romance writers?
« on: May 15, 2014, 06:09:03 pm »
Actually, my current WIP deals with homosexuality (m/m)...but isn't erotic, and there actually isn't sex in it all. If anyone would be interested in chatting, I've done a fair bit of research, and spent some time interviewing -- all of which I'd be happy to share if anyone would like to "partner up" on the finer points.

15
Writers' Cafe / Re: My wife passed away
« on: May 14, 2014, 07:14:46 am »
I just ordered her book and I cannot wait to read it. I will happily admit that I "looked inside" and I just want to tell you, she was a very talented writer.

16
I'm torn on this.

As a consumer and frequent customer of Amazon I like the fact that I can post my opinion on products (good, bad or indifferent) and I like that others can do the same. I often read reviews before making purchases and I'm sure many of us feel the same. However, this isn't just a "bad review" ... what this reviewer made pretty serious allegations based on what? Things he suspects to be true (stealing others designs) and stating that the positive reviewers were fraudulent (again, unless he has proof, this is just an assumption).

Maybe he's right ... but what if he's not? What if this company who threatened legal action was just defending their product from a big lie? Sure, they may have gone overboard by posting it on their FB page (shame on them) but this guy, with his claims (if they were erroneous) probably did a lot of harm to them based on his assumption without hard facts on his side (and just guessing, but he probably didn't have "evidence") -- and that, right there, is an ongoing problem over on Amazon.

My guess? If the company was considering getting litigious over the review, there was probably some falsifications to the review. And we've all seen that happen here with our peers vs. Amazon... thankfully some of Amazon's "verdicts" have been easily reversible, but Amazon does make mistakes. I would hope they did their homework and didn't just side with the customer because they could.   

17
Writers' Cafe / Re: My wife passed away
« on: May 12, 2014, 01:33:08 pm »
Oh, Ty, I am sorry. My heart breaks for you, and your beagle Lily, and I will keep you in my prayers.

18
Writers' Cafe / Re: 2014 eFestival of Words Nominees Announced!
« on: May 11, 2014, 09:12:14 pm »
I don't have a clue as to who nominated my book, but XOXO and thank you!!

19
Writers' Cafe / Re: Dead man talking
« on: April 29, 2014, 12:53:08 pm »
My heart hurts for his family, his friends, and for all of us here, and beyond, who benefited from his kindness, wisdom and encouragement. I wish his loved ones peace and comfort in their time of loss and pain, they are in my thoughts and prayers. He will be forever missed.


20
That sucks, but sadly I have to echo others and say there is very little you can do. These things, unfortunately, happen. A while ago I was looking for a stock photo for my book and came across an amazing piece on a big, expensive site. I always google search the images I like, so I did that with the image and it turned out there was already a Big 5 book with the cover. I could have bought it, and truthfully almost did buy it, but ultimately changed my mind. It would have been perfectly legal for me to do so, I would have been well within my rights and although the covers would have been practical mirrors of each other, there would have been nothing the publisher or writer could have done.

I hope you get the resolution you want!

21
When I was working, my work weeks varied between 50-70 hours. It is incredibly hard to balance that with writing, my husband, my dogs, my friends, my family... So, I came to the conclusion that I could "be" everything to everyone. I made a list of priorities. The top? My husband, followed by my family, dogs, writing, work, friends -- yes, friends came last. I wrote, like you, before I left for work and again in the evenings but my weekends were sacred ground. 48 hours of just being with my husband and my family and, occasionally, my friends. I didn't bend on that ... and even now, as a full-time writer, I still leave my weekends alone.

The trick is finding the balance. Even as a full-time novelist, I still take the digs that I'm "unavailable" because writing isn't like another job...somedays I work 8 hours, somedays I work 3, somedays I work 24 hours (like during edits). But this is the life I chose for myself and I'm committed to making it work. So I give up other things that make me happy and I focus my free time on making sure the people I love are getting 100% of my attention (we don't talk shop, we talk about other stuff).

It's not impossible, but it requires you to wear a few different hats.

22
Writers' Cafe / Re: Culture Swap?
« on: April 02, 2014, 08:08:46 pm »
Hat: No special name

Car: Fiat, Mini Cooper, Toyota Prius (if she's environmentally conscious), BMW M-Series (if she's flashy), Land Rover LR2 (if she's more rugged and still likes a little luxury), Jeep Wrangler (if she's beachy), Honda Civic.

Anything else, feel free to ask!

23
I've made the over 100 list and the genre list (in the US and in European store) ... I don't put it on my covers or anything, but I do use it on "swag" stuff. Then, I say Amazon Top 100 Best Selling Author, as in the overall list, not talking about genre, but I guess someday I could.

Congratulations!

24
Writers' Cafe / Re: Another ARC question
« on: March 29, 2014, 03:12:58 pm »
ARCS are short for Advanced Reading Copy, which, I'm sure you know. However, the idea of creating an ARC in digital and print for the sake is beta reading is an unneeded expense if you're going to be querying. If you do land an agent/book deal, you wont be using any of the material you created.

Better you find an editor, work the MS over with him/her and then query it and, you want to get opinions on your story from betas, a .doc or .pdf is all you need...but those aren't ARCs.


25
Writers' Cafe / Re: Do you listen to your editor?
« on: March 29, 2014, 06:45:53 am »
For the editors I hire and pay, I feel like I get the final say. I am open to anything they suggest, but I don't always listen. If it's the brass-tacks of grammar, punctuation, etc, I'm pretty much clicking "accept change." And most of the time, when I don't listen, it is when it comes down to something that could go either way and our differing of opinion on how a character should feel/react. Ultimately, I feel like I *need* to have final say when it comes to that -- it's not a lack of respect for my editor -- but when it comes to my characters, I think I know them better/have lived with them longer.

For example: I had a line in a book about a character who has stayed in an abusive relationship. Her parents were divorced and, right or wrong, she chose to stay in her marriage because the divorce of her parents was hard on her and she didn't want to put her daughter through that. My editor felt like that was misnomer because lots of children come from divorced households and are totally fine, well adjusted, very much loved human beings. Of course they are. And my saying otherwise in my book wasn't painting an entire subset of people with a broad brush, nor was I saying I believe that...it was about one character feeling one way about her life. That's all. No more, no less. Ultimately it came down to staying true to my character in that one instance...and later on down the MS, I did make a change she suggested.

Like with any relationship, working with an editor is a collaborative effort. She sees things I don't, I understand things she doesn't. In a great relationship, you balance each other out and the end result is a fantastic book.

Now, with my agent. Totally different ballgame. I can't necessarily overrule her with ease and grace.

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