Monthly Archives: August 2015

How to Pick the RIGHT Editor for Your Book

00409147by Nancy Nyman

Ask anyone who’s successfully written and published a book which person on their team was most critical in whipping their manuscript into shape and “My editor” will almost always make it onto the shortlist.

Why is an editor so critical? And what does an editor actually do? Knowing the answers to these two questions might help you take pressure off of yourself and guide you in choosing the right kind of editor for your project.

Getting Started

Some writers choose to engage an editor early on. In this scenario, the writer will hire a developmental editor to help develop the manuscript from initial concept, through outlining, and even drafting. A developmental editor will have a pulse on the marketplace, analysis of competing works, and references and resources to help the writer through the development of the book.

Improving Your Manuscript

Content editing is perhaps the most comprehensive, and often the most crucial, type of editing. A content editor will help you improve your manuscript by identifying and solving problems of clarity, context, accuracy, consistency, and order. A content editor can also help you figure out what’s missing. Content editing often yields a major rewrite or two.

Grammar Checking

Copyediting provides a line-by-line check for grammatical errors, a cross check of references for tables and illustrations, and will note any permissions that might be needed. If your book doesn’t include tables and illustrations, and you’ve already done your rewrite, it might be time for proofreading, the final phase of editing. During the proofreading process, an editor will review your manuscript line-by-line, word-by- word to ensure accuracy.

Wherever you are in the process, remember: editors approach your project with objectivity, enabling them to see things that you might miss, which makes their contributions key when it comes to writing your book.

Nancy Nyman is a writer and co-founder of Two Girls Unleashed. http://www.twogirlsunleashed.com/

Family Pride: Blood Fever – Lion Shifter Paranormal Romance

Family Pride: Blood FeverAfter claiming Zora Mason as his mate, and fighting off a threat to the MacKinnon pride, Mac is more than ready to get back to managing his coffee bar and settling into mated bliss. But just when it looks like things are quieting down, Mac and Zora find more challenges ahead.

Plans for Zora and Mac’s official introduction the to the pride, and the opening of the new coffee bar may be derailed when, gripped by a mysterious blood fever lingering after the leadership challenge, Mac is driven to the edge of his endurance as he fights to keep his inner lion under control.

Juggling her responsibilities in the business and her position as the mate of the pride leader becomes even more challenging when Zora is forced to confront her fear that Mac is changing into someone she doesn’t recognize.

As the fever pushes Mac to the edge, the revelation of an old, painful family secret proves to be the key to saving Mac’s life. Zora and Mac come up with a plan to end the threat of the fever forever, but that same plan can destroy them both.

Is their love strong enough to defeat the blood fever, so they can live happily ever after as mates?

Buy on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0143LAG46

Buy on Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0143LAG46

Cover by: Steph’s Cover Design

Heating Up Summer Romances with Sizzling Details

you can write_coverby Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi Everyone,
I hope you’re enjoying the summer! Today I’m sharing a few thoughts on using details to spice up your summer romances.

Close your eyes and imagine yourself at the beach. The ocean waves are rolling into shore… you feel the sun on your skin and the warm, gritty sand beneath your toes… the air smells like salt water mixed with coconut suntan lotion… You open your eyes and see a tanned hunk standing in front of you. A bead of sweat drips down his six-pack abs….

Did it feel like you were on the beach? Could you sense everything happening around you? Good, because conveying sensory details to readers is an excellent way to draw them into the book and make them part of the action.

More than anything, readers want to get inside the story, feel what the characters are feeling, and live vicariously in the world the author has created. When writing a summer romance, authors can make the most of sensory details to bring the story alive.

An author can (and should) explore all the details of a scene to give the reader the experience of “being there.” Here are a few examples of how you can bring everyday surroundings to life and enhance the senses:

What’s the weather? What time of day have you set your scene? Early morning sunrise? In the blazing afternoon heat? A cool summer night? Does a sudden thunderstorm send everyone at the baseball game running for cover?

Liven it up with color! Summer colors are usually bold and bright. Describe your heroine’s hot pink bathing suit, the hero’s cherry red convertible, or the vibrant turquoise beach towel they make love on…

Add some flavor: The sense of taste is usually hard to work into a romance, but you can get inventive. When the characters kiss, what do they taste? Zingy lemonade? Beer? Mint chip ice cream? Spicy BBQ? Does she taste like the strawberries she’s just eaten?

The sounds of summer: People spend lots of time outdoors in the summer, so what do your characters hear in the background? People talking? Kids yelling and playing games? Splashing in a lake or a pool? Carnival-ride sounds from a boardwalk? Sea gulls calling? Lawn mowers buzzing?

Look around: What do your characters see or notice as they go through a scene? Fireflies? Bees buzzing around flowers? A tattoo peeking out from under a bathing suit? Her long legs? Are people watching them kiss on the beach?

Breathe deep: The sense of smell isn’t always crucial to a romance, but having your character follow his nose to the smell of burgers on the grill or relaxing in the comforting smell of smoke from a campfire can enhance a scene. Maybe your heroine is turned on (or off!) by the scent of suntan lotion. Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers. Flowers are blooming all summer, and your heroine can be an avid gardener who loves the scent of roses, while your hero has allergies! Trust With Hearts by Kelli A Wilkins

Reach out and touch: Summer is a great time of year for your main characters to touch each other. Explore the feel of a shirt stuck to her body, sweat trickling down his back, the brisk coolness of walking into an air conditioned room, jumping into a cold lake, what it feels like to touch the other person’s hot, sweaty skin…

Authors can work “summer details” into a romance in countless ways. In Trust with Hearts, I had the hero and heroine have sex in his car after going to a drive-in—and get busted by the cops! I also had Curtis rescue Sherrie when she got overheated while gardening. He was worried she had heat stroke and brought her inside to cool down. (And that’s when they shared a kiss!)

Confessions of a Vampire's Lover by Kelli A WilkinsMy summer paranormal romance, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover, is set at the beach. I used a variety of details to describe the hero’s obsession with the sun, sand, and surf (or as he put it: wax, water, and waves). I contrasted that with details of being with the vampire heroine at night (moonlight reflecting off the ocean, making love on the deserted beach, and swimming at night). By enhancing the details, I showed how Brian and Cassie lived in completely different worlds (literally, night and day!) and still found summer love.

The next time you read a summer romance, pay closer attention to the little details the author has added. Notice how they draw you deeper into the world of the characters and the story. And don’t we all want to get swept away into another world for a while?

Whether you’re writing a summer romance, or losing yourself in one on a lazy afternoon, enjoy the rest of the summer!

Happy Reading,
Kelli A. Wilkins

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 95 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books.

Her newest book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction was released in February 2015. This fun and informative non-fiction guide is based on her 15 years of experience as a writer, and is available exclusively on Amazon.

Kelli published three romances in 2014: Dangerous Indenture (a spicy historical/mystery), Wilderness Bride (a tender historical/Western/adventure), and A Secret Match (a gay contemporary set in the world of professional wrestling). Her romances span many genres and heat levels and yet she’s also been known to scare readers with a horror story. In 2014, her horror fiction appeared in Moon Shadows, Wrapped in White, and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor. She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/. Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.

CATCH UP WITH KELLI
Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web
Website: www.KelliWilkins.com
Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kelli-A.Wilkins/e/B001JSAB24/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Amber Quill Press Author page: http://www.amberquill.com/store/m/149-Kelli-A-Wilkins.aspx
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

Book Signings & the Introvert Author

Book Signings & the Introvert AuthorI’ve had two book signings in my life as a writer. It’s what authors dream of, isn’t it?

Clamoring fans lining up to get your autograph–which is probably more of a fantasy than a reality for most writers.

Still, it’s not a bad thing to wish for.

My first signing was at the dearly departed Borders book store in Princeton, NJ. Located at within a huge mall that was broken into 4-5 individual sections.

Since there was so much traffic for the stores in the various sections, I was sure this would be a good place to connect with a lot of shoppers.

Unfortunately, the bookstore was between two empty storefronts, so there wasn’t much foot traffic (or car traffic either).

No matter, I was primed to go and happy to get the opportunity. It was my first book, Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life, and indie published at that.

But the store manager was eager to feature local writers (and, as it turned out, get more traffic into a failing store).

She set me up with a small table, a banner, pens and some candy (to attract shoppers). For about 2 hours I sat there and smiled whenever someone came over to check my book. Some people just grabbed candy and kept it moving, others stopped to chat.

All in all, I sold 5 books (one to the store manager who was probably looking for a new job ahead of Borders’ demise) and headed off to a friend’s apartment in Princeton for dinner and a much-needed glass of wine.

It hadn’t bothered me that I didn’t have readers lined up. Or that most people who walked in didn’t even look in my direction. None of that mattered. I had a book signing at Borders, and that (and my published book) was the culmination of a lot of work.

My next signing was at the Liberty States Writers Conference in NJ. Not only was I signing, but I was also presenting a workshop with two other authors. I’ve done workshops before, so standing in front of people wasn’t so unnerving for me. But sitting at a table signing copies of my novels was a scary prospect.

Suppose no one wanted to buy one? Would I feel bad when the other authors around me were greeting their long lines of fans? Was I really ready for this?Woman Taking Inventory of Books ca. 2002

As it turns out, I had a fantastic time. The other writers I met were supportive and encouraging. One of them explained how to set up a merchant software on my phone to accept credit card payments. Another lent me one of her stands so I could display my books.

When a few of my friends showed up to buy books–and a couple of people I’d met at the conference stopped by to do the same–my anxieties melted away.

It was fun; it was exhilarating and I soaked up the creative atmosphere with everything I had.

Authors are prone to fears and doubts. Anxieties wake us up in the middle of the night. Blank pages unnerve us. When it’s time to begin a new book, it comes with its own fears as we figure out how to navigate this new territory and hope that at the end of it, our story won’t suck.

No matter how much we’ve written, there’s always resistance whispering in our ears telling us what we can’t do. That’s probably the best benefit of being around other writers and meeting readers. It doesn’t matter if you have 1 reader or 1001. The experience  can give you the fuel you need to keep going.

So yes, even though there are times I’d rather be home writing (or I’m reluctant to put myself out there in crowded settings) I can say that getting out there really is worth it.

If you get the opportunity, just do it. Soak it up. And when you get home, open up your notebook and get to work.

Setting the Stage for a Summer Romance

Confessions of a Vampire's Lover by Kelli A Wilkins by Kelli A Wilkins

Hello romance lovers!

Summer is here! To celebrate, today I’m sharing a few thoughts on writing summer romances.

Take a minute and consider this scenario: A young woman runs a bed and breakfast in a resort beach town. While kayaking early one morning, she sees a swimmer caught in a rip current. She helps him get to shore safely and learns that he’s spending the summer in town. They are attracted to each other, but don’t immediately act on their feelings.

How would you write the rest of the story? Where would you take it from there?
As an author, I’m free to invent anything I want in my books. I create the characters, their backstories, goals, hopes, dreams, and disappointments. I’m also in charge of the setting and the details—and they are two important things to consider when writing a summer romance.

Summer is generally considered a “fun” time (except for the mosquitoes!). Kids are out of school, people take vacations, friends and families gather around the pool, lake, or barbeque, and everything is more relaxed. All that can lead to summer love.

Everything’s hotter in the summer—including romances! Characters get hot—physically, as temperatures soar and the humidity rises—and hot for each other. Suppose a hero and heroine meet on the beach. They can get an eyeful of the other person’s muscular chest or long, lean legs. They’re both hot and sweaty (maybe he just finished playing a volleyball game). They may flirt, playfully touch each other, ask the other to apply sunscreen, or simply fantasize about what’s under that bathing suit.

In my summer romance, A Perfect Match, Vin and Danni are stuck driving across the country in July. At the start of the book, she’s professionally dressed, but as things heat up between them, she starts wearing playful summer dresses, sandals, and shorts. Her outfits were a great way for Vin to notice her legs and fantasize about touching her. (And his tank tops showed off his huge arms…) A Perfect Match by Kelli A Wilkins

Setting a story in the summer months opens a world of possibilities. Writers have more opportunities to bring the hero and heroine together and keep the interest going with summer escapades. Where you set your romance often leads to the types of encounters between your characters and also influences the plot.

Suppose your heroine lives in a beach town. Give her an interesting job that gets her out in public and she could meet Prince Charming.

Maybe she’s a waitress at a tiki bar, is a lifeguard, or just happens to meet a hot guy on the beach. Or, maybe your hero is on a beach vacation to get over being dumped by his ex and finds himself falling for the woman (or man) he meets on the boardwalk.

When writing any story, it’s always fun to play the “What if…” game. What if your hero is a lifeguard at a pool and rescues the heroine—or her child? What if a boater is stranded out in a lake? Suppose your hero and heroine meet on a fishing trip? They play on opposing volleyball teams? Meet at a Civil War reenactment event?

Don’t be afraid to turn things around and try something unusual. What if a surfer meets someone who absolutely hates the sun? (That was the premise to my summer paranormal romance, Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover.) What if the hero is terrified of the water and has to overcome that fear to be with (or rescue) the person he loves?

But not every summer romance has to involve the water, sun, and sand. Anywhere you can get your characters together doing any summer activity is a great way to create mood and setting. Suppose your single mom heroine is taking her son to day camp and falls for the camp instructor? Maybe your hero loves the woods and likes to hike, camp, or rock climb. Is your heroine attracted to the hot guy who mows the lawns in her development? The hero meets a sexy new neighbor at a community barbeque or fireworks display?

And don’t forget about summer sports: surfing, baseball, softball, or any outdoor event is a good way to have your characters meet. County fairs and concerts in the park are also great settings for love to blossom. Maybe your heroine falls for a member of the band…
Some summer romances have nothing to do with people on vacation or doing “outdoorsy” things, but still retain that summer heat. Trust With Hearts by Kelli A Wilkins

My contemporary romance, Trust with Hearts, takes place in the summer, but doesn’t focus on summer activities. Sherri and Curtis fall in love over the course of the book while doing everyday things, but I did work in plenty of seasonal details to give the book a summer “flavor” and spice things up!

If it’s really hot outside (and your hero and heroine are the naughty, adventurous types) you can have them go skinny-dipping in a pool, a lake, or the ocean. If your lovers are camping and feel the urge for a quickie, they could sneak off and do it in the woods (with the added thrill of the risk of getting caught), under the stars, in a tent (where someone might hear), or on a boat during a fireworks display.

Readers love being swept away by summer romances and writers enjoy creating them. In fact, summer romances could very well be a separate romance genre! They’re fun reads for a day at the beach and they’re an excellent way to add a little “summer heat” to cold winter nights.

So… grab an icy beverage, set out that lounge chair, and lose yourself in a hot summer romance.

Happy Reading,
Kelli A. Wilkins

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 95 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books.

Her newest book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction was released in February 2015. This fun and informative non-fiction guide is based on her 15 years of experience as a writer, and is available exclusively on Amazon.

Kelli published three romances in 2014: Dangerous Indenture (a spicy historical/mystery), Wilderness Bride (a tender historical/Western/adventure), and A Secret Match (a gay contemporary set in the world of professional wrestling). Her romances span many genres and heat levels and yet she’s also been known to scare readers with a horror story. In 2014, her horror fiction appeared in Moon Shadows, Wrapped in White, and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor. She also writes a weekly blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/. Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb.

CATCH UP WITH KELLI
Here are a few links to find Kelli & her writings on the web
Website: www.KelliWilkins.com
Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kelli-A.Wilkins/e/B001JSAB24/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Amber Quill Press Author page: http://www.amberquill.com/store/m/149-Kelli-A-Wilkins.aspx
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/