Friday, October 23, 2015

On Hiatus


The Authorteers are on hiatus at the moment due to members pursuing other interests. We thank you all for following our posts and for your support. Please feel free to keep up with us on our individual pages and groups on FB, as well as our author blogs.












Monday, October 19, 2015

New Release: The Complete Angel Island Series by Authorteer Marie Landry

Authorteer Marie Landry has combined all three books in her Angel Island companion series - Waiting for the Storm, After the Storm, and Take Them by Storm - into a box set. For this week only, you can get the set for just $2.99, which is all three books for the price of one. The box set also includes an exclusive sneak peek at a chapter of Marie's upcoming New Adult novel, Something in the Air.

Three girls exploring sisterhood and friendship, finding love, and discovering their place in the world.
WAITING FOR THE STORM (Angel Island #1)
After the death of her mother, the last thing seventeen-year-old Charlotte O'Dell wants to do is spend the summer on Angel Island with her family. Her younger sister hates her, and her dad is in his own little world. It's a recipe for a disastrous summer on the island, until Ezra Rhodes walks into her life.

The boy next door makes Charlotte forget her almost paralyzing fear of really living her life. Stunted from taking care of her mother in her last months, Charlotte is drowning. With Ezra, she feels something again, and as he repairs her family's summer home, she dares to think he might actually be fixing her, too. Ezra challenges Charlotte to leave her comfort zone, and as their friendship slowly blossoms into more, Charlotte begins to come alive again.

But Ezra has secrets...secrets he isn't sharing with Charlotte. Despite her new-found happiness in Ezra's arms, Charlotte can't help but feel there's a storm on the horizon. And she isn't sure if she and Ezra can weather it unscathed.

AFTER THE STORM (Angel Island #2)
For most people, starting senior year at a new high school would be a nightmare, but for Ella O’Dell it’s the new beginning she desperately needs. Two months after her mother’s death, she’s ready to leave behind the rebellious, unhappy person she became when she found out her mom was dying.

When Ella meets River Maracle and Sadie Fitzgerald, she begins to learn it’s okay to be herself, even if that means being different. River and Sadie aren’t ashamed of their misfit status—River grew up on a reserve, and his mother is the school counselor; Sadie stands out with her funky homemade clothes, and is a master at ignoring the whispered rumors that have plagued her since the beginning of high school.

Ella finds a kindred spirit in Sadie, and something more in River. After almost a year of pretending to be someone she’s not, she finally embraces life and allows herself to have fun without constant guilt. But despite her budding happiness, something is off with her new life. She doesn’t want to dwell on the past, but Angel Island is a small place, and she soon realizes her demons are harder to outrun than she thought…

TAKE THEM BY STORM (Angel Island #3)
Sadie Fitzgerald has always been different, and not just because she makes her own clothes and would rather stay home watching Doctor Who than party with kids her age. When it’s time to leave Angel Island for college, Sadie is eager to put her old life behind her. Small-minded people and rumors have plagued her for years, but with the love of her adoptive family, the O’Dells, Sadie has learned to embrace who she is. Now she’s not afraid to admit the rumors about her are true: she’s gay.

For the first time in her life, Sadie feels free to be herself. She dives into college life and begins volunteering at the local LGBT center, where she discovers her small-town upbringing left holes in her education about life outside Angel Island.

The world is a bigger and more accepting place than Sadie ever imagined. She’s finally found where she belongs, but with the reappearance of someone from her past, an unexpected new friendship, and a chance at love, Sadie soon realizes she still has a lot to learn about life, friendship, and love.


Buy The Complete Angel Island Series now

Join Marie on her blog this week for 5 Days of Angel Island, where she'll be sharing fun facts, pictures of the places and things that inspired the series, teasers, and more!

~Giveaway~
Angel Island swag pack, including postcards, mini bookmarks, and stickers. Open internationally!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Friday, October 16, 2015

The Authorteers' Guide to Self-Publishing: Revisions


Welcome to a new series of posts on The Authorteers! When we first started our journey to being published indie authors, we did lots of research on how. There are numerous articles on practically everything related to the different aspects of writing and publishing. With as many steps as there are leading up to actually hitting publish on a finished manuscript, aspiring authors can often be overwhelmed with the process, sometimes to the point of giving up before they've even started.

To be completely honest, we were overwhelmed, too.

All five Authorteers decided we wanted to help aspiring authors achieve their goal of publishing their first book. We're going to break down each step in an easy-to-follow guide to self-publishing. We'll cover all the important details you need to know, including some specific things that we've personally learned through the years. It's our hope that you're able to use this guide to reach for the stars and accomplish your dream of getting published.

Revisions

After you finish your first draft, it's time for revisions. Ask any writer and they will tell you that revisions are one of the most annoying things about the journey to publishing. It's time consuming, can give you a headache, and causes you to throw your hands up in the air. You might wonder, "If it's so painful, why bother?" There are many good reasons why revisions are important. Keep reading and find out!

You will make mistakes

It doesn't matter how many years you've been writing, how knowledgeable you are on grammar and spelling, or how diligent you are as you're writing... you will make mistakes. And you know what? That's okay! There's not one of us out there that hasn't made some sort of error in a first draft. It could be minor errors, like typing "our" instead of "out", or using an apostrophe in the wrong place. Sometimes it can be bigger, like a plot hole, or conflicting descriptions of people or places.

When you're in the middle of writing the first draft, you're often in the zone. You're so focused on getting the words out that you turn off your inner editor and just keep typing. There's nothing wrong with that! You'll catch those errors during revisions, and so will your critique partners and beta readers. So don't fret!

Letting it breathe

Another thing that plenty of authors will tell you is the importance of letting your first draft breathe. Take a step away from it for awhile--a few days, a week, two weeks--then start revisions. It's like looking at it with fresh eyes. It can make all the difference when you clear your mind and allow your brain to rest. You can really see what's great, what's good, and what needs improvement.

Where do you start?

Where you choose to start depends on you. There are different things you need to be on the lookout for when revising. There are grammatical errors, spelling errors, typing errors, missing words, inconsistencies, confusing sentences, words and sentences that don't belong, scenes that need to be expanded... the list can go on and on.

Some writers choose to tackle these things one at a time. They'll read through for basic errors, then read a second time to tighten up sentences and remove unnecessary parts, then they'll read again to make sure the plot is in order, etc. Other authors will read through and tackle everything at once. Either way works, you just need to figure out what is best for you.

Authorteers Tip: If you know of any certain bad habits that you have (overused words, overused phrases, etc), do a quick search through the document. You can look at each of these instances individually and either remove or replace with a synonym.

Other methods of revising

Aside from reading and revising yourself, there are other ways that some authors do as well. Some will read the draft out loud as they revise. This helps immensely because you can hear errors that you can't see as you're reading. Certain awkward sentences make sense until you read them out loud.

Also, some will put the document on their ereader and read it. Since you're looking at it on a different device, you can see more than you saw on your computer screen. You can also print out the document and use a pen to mark spots that need fixed that way.

Authorteer Link: Mickey Reed (AKA Eliza Boyd) wrote an excellent article on self-editing tips for us a few months back. Take a look at it here to find out some more tips you can use while you revise!

When will you know you're done?

This one is tricky. Every writer is different when it comes to how many times they have to read through the draft before it's ready to send to betas. You have to read through it at least a couple times, if not several, before you can move on to the next step. This way you're giving your book a chance to be the best it can be. If you only read through it once or you read through it too fast, you're going to miss a lot of errors.

On the other hand, you don't want to keep reading through it forever. Reading through your draft too many times won't be as beneficial as you think. You'll reach a certain point where you're not going to catch anything because your eyes start to cross from seeing the same words over and over again. Remember--you're going to be sending your manuscript to beta readers and an editor. They will catch any stray errors that you miss.

~~~~~

So, there you have it! Next week we'll be discussing Critique Partners and Beta Readers.

~~~~~



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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Cover Reveal -- Can't Stay Away by Lilly Avalon


Hello lovely followers!! I'm so ridiculously excited to share with you the cover to my next new adult novel, Cant't Stay Away. I've been working tirelessly on it and will have it out early next year.

The wonderful Marie Landry (you know, the Marie Landry from this very blog) designed the cover. We're both so pleased with the way it turned out--Marie even wants to steal it from me!


Release Date: February 29th 2016

Synopsis:
Piper Winchester is fresh out of college. With only three weeks until her father remarries and five weeks until her first business venture launches, she's got her hands full. She certainly doesn't need any distractions to get in the way of building the future her father's always wanted for her. But when a familiar boy with bright green eyes walks back into her life, she's thrown for a loop.

Four years ago, Chase MacKenzie left for college without looking back. He didn't mean to disturb the peace then, and he definitely doesn't want to do that now. Once he lays his eyes on Piper again, there's no way he can leave without fixing what went wrong in the past. Although she's more determined than ever to push him away, he still manages to get under her skin. Regardless of what happens between them, there's one thing that will always be standing in their way...

He's about to become her stepbrother.

Add Can't Stay Away to your shelf on Goodreads!


What do you think of the cover?
Didn't Marie do an amazing job??

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Authorteers' Guide to Self-Publishing: Writer's Block and Other Setbacks


Welcome to a new series of posts on The Authorteers! When we first started our journey to being published indie authors, we did lots of research on how. There are numerous articles on practically everything related to the different aspects of writing and publishing. With as many steps as there are leading up to actually hitting publish on a finished manuscript, aspiring authors can often be overwhelmed with the process, sometimes to the point of giving up before they've even started.

To be completely honest, we were overwhelmed, too.

All five Authorteers decided we wanted to help aspiring authors achieve their goal of publishing their first book. We're going to break down each step in an easy-to-follow guide to self-publishing. We'll cover all the important details you need to know, including some specific things that we've personally learned through the years. It's our hope that you're able to use this guide to reach for the stars and accomplish your dream of getting published.

Writer's Block and Other Setbacks


Writer's block. It's inevitable. Not a single writer in the history of the world can claim they haven't experienced this at least once, if not multiple times. It can happen for all sorts of reasons. We're going to discuss three of the main reasons in this post.


"I can't seem to get motivated or inspired"


You're in the middle of your novel and you're about to head into a new scene when suddenly... nothing. You can't come up with anything to write. As a writer, that's probably one of the more frustrating moments. But don't fret! There are multiple ways to get around this. Here are a few...

Sometimes you're too close to the story, so hyperfocused that you can't think of anything new. This is where the classic methods of breaking writer's block come into play. Take a walk around the block or clean your house. Your mind won't feels as pressured since you're doing something else. Taking a step away for a little bit can help clear your head, refocus, and re-energize you when you go back to it.

If you get stuck on one scene, consider jumping ahead to the next scene if you know what happens next. Some writers will make a note at a scene to "add more later" or "kiss scene" or "argument happens" when the words aren't coming. That can be difficult if you're a linear writer, but often if you move on to something else, your mind will subconsciously work out the scene you couldn't write before later. It's better to get the words you know out than to stop entirely.

Authorteers Tip: Another suggestion is to create a playlist for your book or scene. Inspirational music can give you more of a feel for it and might help get you where you need to be.

"I'm not reaching my word count goals"


It's a great thing to set goals, but when you can't reach them it can get discouraging. You start thinking that you're never going to finish your book or that you're not accomplishing anything. But this isn't true at all! Here's why.

One thing to ask yourself: Is my writing goal too high? Every writer writes at a different pace. Some can write thousands of words per day, some can only write less than a hundred. Maybe it would be good to lower your goal. You can always work your way back up in small increments.

Don't ever think that if you can't reach certain goals that you aren't good enough. Yes, there are a decent number of authors that can hit very high word counts on a daily basis, but that is not for everyone. Comparing yourself to other authors isn't going to end well. It's great to look up to other authors and find inspiration from them, but you're not them and they're not you. Everyone works at their own pace, everyone has different stuff going on in their lives. Do what you can do--make realistic goals that work for you.

Something to bear in mind, too, is that you don't always have to meet a certain word count per day. There may be times when you need a day off, or when you can only get a paragraph or two written. And that's fine! You don't want to aim too high or have expectations that either burn you out or cause you to punish yourself for not accomplishing something.

Another suggestion is to find more time to write. Some writers only write at a certain time every day, but it might be good to see if you can squeeze in some writing time at a different time of day. Even just a fifteen minute increment between other activities can give you extra words. Don't be afraid to move some unimportant things around to make time to write. A little bit can go a long way!

"My words sound like crap"


Ever had one of those days when you write a terrible paragraph, look back on it and wonder if all your words up until that point are equally as terrible? You're absolutely not alone in this. Every single writer has done this at some point in their writing career, especially on first drafts.

If you're having doubts about your work, ask a trusted friend (like a critique partner) to read over it for you. They can let you know what they think and give you suggestions for improvements to make it sound better.

Remember that this is only your first draft. You won't be publishing it as is. First drafts are usually riddled with all sorts of errors and confusing sentences. You'll have plenty of time to fix it before it's ready to publish. First drafts are about getting the story out, even if the words aren't your best words. That's what editing is for. You can make your words pretty later!

Authorteers food for thought: Time, space, and perspective help immensely. Once you start revisions, you'll find your scenes falling into place easier. You may not be able to come up with the perfect sentence for that paragraph today, but one day you will. Be patient and believe in yourself and your words.

Importance of Support


One thing that all aspiring authors (and even published authors) need is support. The place you can find that support is online on either Facebook or Twitter. There are Facebook groups dedicated to encouraging fellow writers. And on Twitter, there are plenty of authors and writers you can chat with.

Here are some useful hashtags you can search for on Twitter that some of us at The Authorteers have used:

  • #amwriting
  • #amediting
  • #amrevising
  • #wordsprints
  • #writingsprints

You can also find a long list of other writing related hashtags here.

Finding other writers and authors to write with can keep the motivation going. Making friends with fellow writers is beneficial in lots of ways since you're both in the same boat--writing with the hopes of publishing. You already have that in common! And if you find a sprinting partner, that is great for productivity. Word sprints force you to put words down, even if they're crap. Because, let's face it, you can't edit a blank page!

~~~~~

So, there you have it! In two weeks, we'll be discussing Revisions.

~~~~~



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Friday, September 25, 2015

The Authorteers' Guide to Self-Publishing: First Draft


Welcome to a new series of posts on The Authorteers! When we first started our journey to being published indie authors, we did lots of research on how. There are numerous articles on practically everything related to the different aspects of writing and publishing. With as many steps as there are leading up to actually hitting publish on a finished manuscript, aspiring authors can often be overwhelmed with the process, sometimes to the point of giving up before they've even started.

To be completely honest, we were overwhelmed, too.

All five Authorteers decided we wanted to help aspiring authors achieve their goal of publishing their first book. We're going to break down each step in an easy-to-follow guide to self-publishing. We'll cover all the important details you need to know, including some specific things that we've personally learned through the years. It's our hope that you're able to use this guide to reach for the stars and accomplish your dream of getting published.

First Draft


Ahhh... the first draft. The very beginning of your book. It's pretty huge when you think about it, but it's also pretty amazing. Let's go over how to take it on.

Setting Goals


It's a great idea so set some goals for yourself so that you can stay on track with your writing. Every writer is different as far as what kind of goals they set. Some dedicate a certain amount of time per day to writing; others set a word count goal per day. All writers agree that it's definitely a good goal to make sure you're writing every day. When you make writing part of your routine, it becomes a habit and that will help you make progress.

When you're an indie author, you don't have the deadlines that a traditionally published author tends to have, but it's good to have some tentative deadlines in mind. Whether it's in regard to your word count, finishing your draft, or picking a release date, having a rough idea of where you want to be when will help you stay focused on your ultimate goal of getting published.

A good thing about keeping it tentative is that there may be times where you get stuck on a scene or life happens. You shouldn't be disappointed if you have trouble meeting your goals or deadlines. Even the best writer can fall behind on a project. Just set new goals/deadlines and keep going!

How To Write


Something a lot of writers ask about first drafts is whether they should keep writing or edit as you go. You'll get different responses from everyone. There are pros and cons to each. Some say they have to continue writing because if they go back to edit, they won't stop. For others, it may be beneficial if they need to reword or change a scene to better represent what they want in the end. There are also some that will reread the last few pages before they start writing again. Regardless of which way you go with, as long as it works for you keep doing it!

Another important thing to note is that if you're writing something that you're unfamiliar with, do research. We can't emphasize this enough! The last thing you want is for your book to be inaccurate because you didn't look up the proper name or procedure for something, or if you're misrepresenting diversity in a character. Utilize Google or ask a friend. There are a number of people on social media who could either answer your question or point you in the direction you need.

Bonus Character Tip: Keep track of your characters with a chart. When you're writing several different characters it can be easy to mix up characteristics and personalities if you're not careful. The last thing you want is to have your protagonist accidentally have a new eye color halfway through the story! Having a chart handy will help you stay on track as you go along.

~~~~~

So, there you have it! Next week we'll be discussing writer's block and other setbacks.

~~~~~



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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: As You Breathe Again



Today's Teaser Tuesday comes from my January adult contemporary romance, AS YOU BREATHE AGAIN. In this scene, Lanie has just arrived back in Baylor for the rest of the summer, and she and her bestie, Quinn, are spending some much-needed time together. :) 



“But you’re here in person now!” Quinn brightened. “I’m super excited about that, in case I haven’t told you about twelve times already.”

Lanie was about to make a joke about how this made it a baker’s dozen when she caught sight of a familiar figure sitting at the bar. Even with his back to her, she’d know those broad shoulders, that untamable dark hair. She hadn’t thought she’d see him this soon. She hadn’t had any time to prepare for what being in his vicinity might do to her.

Air. She needed to breathe. Breathing was good. It meant she wouldn’t end up getting CPR from someone named Billy Bob “Tractor” Jones when she got up close and personal with the floor.

Turn around, turn around. She repeated the mantra like a prayer, needing to see those eyes that always made her feel pinned to the wall, stripped of defenses and labeled his alone. It hit her like a sudden sheet of rain, the inescapable truth that she’d missed him. Missed his laugh, the way his whole face changed when he was amused or happy. The way her heart beat faster when he accidentally grazed her arm.

“Lanie? Earth to Lanie?”

She had no idea how had she ever pretended she wasn’t attracted to him. She didn’t know how she was supposed to pretend again, now. Everything in her wanted to be near him, soaking in his scent, his strength that matched her own. She wanted to make him laugh. She wanted to bottle the sound so she’d have it to listen to later.



If you'd like to add As You Breathe Again to your TBR, it's up on Goodreads! Let me know what you thought of this teaser. :)