Writing desk Author Lorraine Ambers

Author’s introduction to LinkedIn

 

photo credit: Social Media Marketing Mix via photopin (license)
photo credit: Social Media Marketing Mix via photopin (license)

Us authors need to be on social media. We need to be seen and we need our unique voices heard.Truth is we alone are responsible for showing the public who we are and what we are about.

In other blogs we’ve taken a bite sized Pinterest lesson and Building an social media platform.  I’ll be honest each blog I’m learning too.

Be brave and take the plunge!

Pixabay image, Brave Lego Superman
Pixabay image, Brave Lego Superman

As with all social media Keywords are essential, this is prevalent with your title on LinkedIn. Its the first port of call for like minded people to make a snap decision as to weather or not you’re a potential candidate to connect with.

Numbers are not important! Your target audience is vital, so choose editors, authors, writers, bloggers and publicists within your genre to drive your target audience towards you. Your search will begin with similar Keywords that you painstakingly placed in your title.

social media for authors

Use advanced search to your benefit. You could type in, YA Fantasy Author or Fantasy reader and see who pops up. It will enable you to search for people, jobs, groups and much more. Now connect until your hearts content, or in my case, until I’m bored stiff.

Fill in your profile, get creative but be truthful. If this is the first social medial you’re approaching, a little work now can be transferred to other sites when your ready. Helping to maintain your brand. Add your experiences and keep them relevant to your platform. I also run a welding fabrication business but that’s not going to help me as an author.

Remember your Keywords!

Success key

Join groups and get chatting. As with anything social, sitting on the sidelines will not get you noticed (note to self, that’s why parties are no fun). Be brave, introduce yourself, ask questions or just answer others posts. In business it takes time to build recognition and then trust, so be patient.

I have found that LinkedIn is the most responsive platform towards my blog. So remember bloggers to share your work on social media’s, add links or use widgets that connect to this resourceful site.

An image tells a thousand words!

 

Pink Flowers Author Lorraine Ambers

With all media sites no one likes to be hassled about your book. The fastest way to put off connections is to appear selfish and egotistical. A good goal is to aim for 10% self promotion and 90% give back. Share, comment, interact and offer tips)

I’m still learning, so why don’t some of you lovely share your LinkedIn tips with me!

Author interview ~ Kevin L. Nielsen

Skies by author Kevin L. Nielsen

I was offered an ARC of the book for my honest opinion and review from Future House Publishing.

Lhaurel has sacrificed herself to save her friends. Her path is set upon learning the secrets of the ruthless seven sisters.
Gavin must adapt to the harsh new surroundings. Learning to lead the Rahuli people and unite the former slaves because the Orinai march towards them.

Great fantasy with unique mythology. I loved the metaphors that stayed true to the crafted world. An adventure of politics, magic and power. Vivid imagery and believable characters.  Read more

A massive thank you to Kevin L. Nielsen for taking part in my author interviews and thanks to Future House Publishing for allowing me to review Skies.

What inspired you to become a writer?

Many things inspired me to become a writer, though I think I can narrow it down to two specific things.  First, I was a voracious reader as a child, even more than I am now simply due to having more time then than I have now.  That appetite for the written world led me to finishing off every book in the elementary school library by the second week of sixth grade.  That inspired the second specific event that led me to becoming a writer.  I approached the school librarian, Jo Wolf, and asked her to buy new books.  She said there wasn’t any money in the budget for new books that year.  I was crushed, devastated, even horrified.  However, Ms. Wolf, being the high class librarian and person that she was, said the single most influential thing in my quest to become a writer, “How about you write your own?”  So I did.  13 manuscripts and over a decade later, “Sands” was accepted for publication.  And I haven’t stopped writing since.

Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?

I don’t remember the first story I ever read, but I do remember the first story I ever read which made me say “I want to write this kind of book.”  It was “Pawn of Prophecy,” by David Eddings.  That book started the 5 book series “The Belgariad,” which has shaped much of my understanding of what makes good fantasy.  The complexity of the political structures, the depth of the mythology, and the quirky character traits of each of the many characters in the cast showed me that fantasy could be something more than the simply stories I’d read up to that point.  It changed the whole course of my future writing career.

Storms by Author Kevin L. Nielsen

I loved the mythology you create for Sharani. Is world building your favourite part about writing fantasy?

Thank you.  I very much enjoyed fashioning the mythology and world within the Sharani Series.  I do tend to spend the most time on world building when I’m going through my pre-writing process, but it’s not necessarily because I prefer it over other aspects.  The world and the characters interact in such a way that they evolve with each other, both at an individual level, and as a cultural phenomenon.  The realization that our own world was not flat, or that the earth revolved around the sun and not the other way around, changed the very nature of reality for the inhabitants upon the planet at the time.  In the same way, the world in which a fantasy novel takes place and how the people who live there view it, shapes and colors any narrative being told about it.

Where were you when the idea for the Sharani series came to you?

I was coming home from a writing conference in Provo, UT where I’d had a very unpleasant experience with an editor in a face-to-face pitch session in which I’d participated.  I wasn’t in a good place and needed to relax, so I turned on the first Avengers movie and relaxed.  When the chitari started coming out of that giant portal in the sky and that eel-thing shows up, I was struck by a thought.  How would a world change if they had miniaturized versions of these guys on them?  The rest of the story evolved from there.

Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Haha.  Very astute question.  I will answer it with “yes.”

Where do you write? Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

I write mostly at the kitchen table.  I like having music playing though sometimes I play a movie or an audiobook.  I have to have some sort of something going on in my periphery which forces me to focus on the task at hand.  It’s a strange little quirk, but I wouldn’t want to leave it all lonely and forsaken, would I? 😉

Sands by Author Kevin L. Nielsen

How long did it take you to write Skies?

Hmm…from when I got serious about writing it to the time the first draft was done was about 76 days.  I may have tweaked the outline a little prior to that, but actual writing took about that long.

Lhaurel was my favourite character. Who would you choose to spend the day with and why?

Thank you.  I’m glad you could connect with her on some level.  Personally, I think if I could spend a day with one of my characters, I’d want to spend it with Evrouin.  There’s a depth to his character we haven’t fully seen yet in the series, but he’s a complex, layered individual with a deep, abiding love for his family that often leads him to make bad choices for the right reasons.  He interests me.

Did you find any specific challenges in writing the third book from the series and what would you do different next time?

Yes, the third book is hard because there’s two books of canon that came previously.  I had to not only agree with everything in those two books, but also answer enough of the lingering questions to help readers feel satisfied with the storyline as a whole.  That also had to be balanced with keeping enough information back to want them to move forward with the rest of the series.  If I had to do anything differently, I’d probably have given Evrouin a POV chapter, but I am satisfied with how it turned out in the published version.

 

Resurgent Shadows by author Kevin L. Nielsen

Give us an interesting fun fact about Skies.

There are a lot of Easter eggs in Skies.  Many of the characters are based off people I know or named for people I know.  My favourite is the bartender named Lance you meet near the end of the story.  He’s based off a gentleman who was kind enough to be my “water lackey” at a convention in February.  Also, his wife is in the story.  Another fun fact – the map in the beginning of the novel is based off a sketch I drew myself.  Which is cool.

Were there any scenes that you found particularly challenging to write and why?

Yes, the final scene with Lhaurel (before the prologue) was hard.  For reasons that contain spoilers.  Once you’ve read the book (you who are reading this blog interview) you can message me directly and I’ll answer the rest of this question if you’re curious.

What got left out of the final draft?

About 45,000 words

Author Kevin L. Nielsen
Author Kevin L. Nielsen

What’s next for you? What are you working on now?

I’m currently finishing up a manuscript that is linked to the Mythica film franchise.  I’m doing the official novelization of the first movie in the series, “A Quest for Heroes.”  It’s been a new adventure, but a lot of fun as well.  If you’re not familiar with it, you can check out the movie here – http://amzn.to/2cAFJvR

—The best way to reach me is either through my website www.kevinlnielsen.com

or via my Facebook Author page – https://www.facebook.com/authorkevinlnielsen.

—You can find my books on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2czy6Jc

 

Bite out of learning Pinterest.

A bite sized Pinterest lesson for authors

pinterest for authors

I’ve gone over the importance of building a platform and using your brand to drive your audience to you via social media.

I’ve been taking a closer look at how Pinterest can become an authors asset in the digital world. This week I’ll take you through some of the  features I’ve learnt about in the last few years.

never give up social media for authors

Set up a business Pinterest account, it looks the same as a personnel account but has tools and analytics that will aid you and your blog. keeping in mind your Brand, – who you are and how your portraying yourself.

Setting up a Pinterest profile, is daunting. However the steps are simple and can take an hour. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and this doesn’t have to be either. Any content you add here can be echoed through all social media platforms. Put some thought into your profile description using words that correlate to you.

Pin boards – go nuts fill up boards full of squirrels or old cars, what ever floats your boat. A word to the wise, if its harmful to your brand, or bears no relevance, keep the board locked from public view.

social media for authors

Name each pin board with keywords, ones that easily attributed titles and descriptions, like: Author writing tips, Fantasy character ideas, World building themes – you get the idea.

Add boards that will direct the right audience to your profile, so for authors you could add a library board and fill it with books within your genre.

Verify your website ULR in settings. This took me a few tries and a couple of YouTube videos, but have faith, if I can master technology so can  you.

pin it button social media for authrs

Install the Pin it button. You can have one on your blog so your audience can show appreciation by adding you content to there board. Also you can Pin and link each image on your blog / website to your Pinterest account. I made a board for my author interviews and pinned them there and pinned the rest under my blog name, Written in Ambers.

Use great images in your blog. a picture says a thousand words, or so I’m told. There are loads of Free stock images, with no attributes or royalties attached. Pixabay is a great starting point. Don’t forget to use keywords the alt description when you add and edit photos to your blog. these key descriptions are used as the primary function of Pinterest as a search engine. Get savvy with SEO

Finally learn SEO 😉

 

Author interview ~ India R Adams

Serenity by author India R Adams The Forever Series
Serenity by author India R Adams
Serenity is sixteen years old, living in a home that is ruled by fear and neglect. Since birth she has been inseparable  with her best friend Skyler, their bond is intense and unique. Serenity has the secret ability to see light, peoples surrounding colours, revealing what’s in their soul. After finding a journal hidden in her wardrobe, she discovers she is not alone with this gift. Serenity and Skyler open up, with the guidance of friends, who capture their hearts and fight to protect them.

For people who love to read romance about being swept off there feet and rescued. A Low fantasy about friends, relationships and destructive families.

See my full review on Goodreads http://bit.ly/2bQewnN

What drove you to write a fantasy romance?

I don’t seem to know how to NOT write romance, and my imagination gave me a vision about a naked woman (who just endured shifting from a wolf), dying in the woods, handing over her baby boy to a little girl. I know, sounds odd but MY WOLF AND ME was born!

Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?

The one that made me fall in love with books was Dean R Koontz. I can’t remember the books title but it had a genius golden retriever in it. Sorry to spoil a book but there was a scene where the dog becomes very ill and I believe he was found in the pantry (Haven’t read it in over 20 years) but I cried and was so touched that a book could bring out an emotion like that. I was in that kitchen, with the dog’s owner, and my heart broke along with theirs.

Why did you choose to have Serenity rescued from her abusive home?

It is what I dreamed of. When I lived in that environment, I prayed to be taken away and able to rest my head in a stable home. So why not give Serenity the peace I didn’t get?

India R Adams ~ Author of Serenity and creator of the sound track Shadows.

Where were you when the idea for this book came to you?

I was living in Austin Texas. I had just finished a self help book and the author explained that to heal from a traumatic event, you could simply rewrite the story. This blew my mind so I went back to a memory and began to rewrite! My mind loved the freedom and took off without looking back, hence 4 books in the series. It was hard to write. I cried but slowly was making room for forgiveness… See, that is why that little girl’s—my character—name is Serenity. She is my peace, my healing process.

Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Umm… Both? The gift is the absolute joy it brings me. I adore writing. The curse part of it is, I adore writing and CAN’T STOP! Seriously! My husband just moved me into my own office and said, “Now, when you leave that office, shut the door and become a part of the family again.”

How long did it take you to write Serenity?

The first draft only took 28 days. She exploded out of me like a waterfall.

 

Out of your characters, who would you most like to spend the day with and why?

Oh, so hard to decide!!!! Uhhhhhhh…. I have to say Faith. She is so spiritual and so full of wisdom. I’d love to chat with her about her expectance of life. As the series goes on, you get to learn of her heartbreaking journey, and how it has made her a fiercely devoted strong woman. 
The Serenity Charm designed by India R Adams for The Forever Series.

Did you find any challenges in writing Serenity and what would you do different next time?

So many challenges because I was clueless about writing! It was so many trials and errors! I think that is why I was so nervous to release Serenity, she had been written over 8 years prior. I had to go back and try to insert all I had learnt over the years, writing other books. This is no easy task.

What would I do different? I… I don’t think anything. The journey was scary, trying and terrifying at times but it was also a beautiful learning experience. Especially about myself. I had no idea how determined I could be. It was nice to see that I am like Faith. A fierce woman with a heart of gold. My tragedies have made me… deeper.

Were there any scenes that you found particularly challenging to write and why?

The abusive scene with Serenity’s mother and father. I had to name the bad part of her dad, Father. It was the only way to come to terms with the pain. It brought up many old wounds having to relive witnessing violence through Serenity’s eyes, which are my own. That is how the paranormal aspect entered. I tried to explain the darkness that took over our house when my mom drank and his temper controlled him.

What got left out of the final draft?

So much that it made me nervous but my character building seems to be ok in this version, from what I am reading in the reviews. The scene where Serenity and Dereck have their first kiss and Josh splashes in the water interrupting them, there was a whole part that got deleted. Maybe I should release it on my website some day, so you guys can read it. My daughter loved that scene. She actually insisted I put back in a couple others. One reader was just telling me about a part of a chapter that had her in tears. She said it was the breaking point for her—the point the book became a part of her. It was a scene my daughter fought for. Neat, huh?
Pixabay image key lock sand heart

Were their any alternative endings you considered?

No. This full ride has always ended where it does now. My others books have changed for one reason or another but not Serenity.

What’s next for you?

Now it’s back to editing. We are working on Destiny, Serenity’s sequel. Scar Me, Steal me’s sequel. River, Rain’s sequel. And Red Waters, the third novella in the Tainted Water series.

What are you working on now?

When I can escape editing, I am working on several projects. Girls are beautiful, a YA novel. Another NA story, and then I get to finally dabble in a NA vampire story that has been begging to be told!

Author India R Adams
India R Adams
Can you share the best way to reach you and where to learn more about your books?
I am forming a street team/review group. I will be talking with them on a regular basis, so that’s one way. Also:

Instagram

https://books2read.com/u/b6zGWb  

This link is to all the places Serenity is sold.
A huge Thanks to India for participating in this weeks author interview. I understand the desire to give Serenity saviours. I think your incredibly brave sharing your past with everyone. I love the idea of rewriting tragedies to make sense of madness outside of our control. Thanks to my readers for taking the time to meet India. Please show your appreciation in the comments section. Alternatively jump over to India’s site, she’d love to hear from you.