Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Optional question this month:
What publishing path did you take, and why?
I sought the traditional path to being published. The first few years, I submitted manuscripts to agents, editors, and entered a few contests. I used to keep those rejections, but it became a fire hazard. The entire time, I continued to work on my next book and attend conferences and join writing groups to improve my craft. There was so much I didn't know at the start. I eventually found a small press that I am still with, New Concepts Publishing, who publishes my romance novels. But along the way, I've had three different small presses go out of business while I was under contract with them. One of them gave no regard to their authors and RWA went to court for us and got our rights back where they were tied up in a bankruptcy case. Not pretty. I had another mid-sized publisher who decided they were going to change direction and they dropped over half their authors. I had three fantasy novels under contract with them at the time.
I'm still working on a fantasy novel that I intend to pitch to the big traditional houses and an agent or twelve, but it's a long way from ready. The path to publication is sometimes frustrating and is seldom a reaping of huge financial benefits. But as long as I enjoy writing, I'm going to keep at it. My most recent novel, The Alien and the Teacher, is the first in a new series of space opera romance. Getting this cool cover helps me to forget the frustrations. It is only available from my publisher at this time.
Anne R. Allen had this interesting post related to today's question. 9 Pieces of Bad Advice for New Writers.
Some trivia from The Old Farmer's Almanac because I like Factiods.
At least 182 moons, including those around dwarf planets, are known to exist in our solar system.
A group of flies is called a business.
I have a less kind name for a group of flies. Living in the country with horses and goats living nearby, flies bring a little too much business to my house.
Back full time watching the granddaughter now that school has started. I'd need twenty pages to tell you how fun and amazing she is. Never thought I'd be one of those grandparents, but here I am.
Has your path to publishing been a smooth sail? Ever get some really bad writing advice? Flies getting in your business in your neck of the woods?
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
I'm honored to be a co-host for this month's IWSG blog hop. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting this terrific group and all the people who help keep it going. You can find all the participants on this list. Try and visit some new folks today.
I'm sharing co-hosting duties with some terrific bloggers. Thank you, Erika Beebe, Sandra Hoover, and Lee Lowery.
This month's optional question: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?
I would say don't wait. If you have a story inside you that you want to share, write it. Don't wait until the kids are older and you have time. Don't wait until you take one more class or attend one more conference. Butt in chair and write. Right now.
I'd like to thank the bloggers who hosted me for my mini-tour to promote the release to Exile's Savage Lady. I also want to thank my faithful followers who stopped into to comment on my various stops. You guys are the best. If you missed any posts and would like to science up a little, here's the list.
The Whole Shebang What science subjects did I research for the Survivors of the Apocalypse Series?
Christine Rains What is minimal viable population for humans?
Write With Fey How a pandemic could end the world.
Paranormal Romantics Where would you want to spend the apocalypse?
Diane Burton The Domed City. Can it save mankind?
Let me close this post with some wisdom from The Old Farmer's Almanac.
If an average man never shaved, his beard would grow to be about thirty feet long in his lifetime.
A group of goldfinches is called a charm. (Lots of these pretty birds around my abode.)
Waste not fresh tears over old griefs. Euripedes.
Do you have some good advice to those starting out in the writing business? What's the longest beard you've ever seen? Are you dry where you are, or suffering like us with more rain this week?
Friday, July 27, 2018
My kids are really picky about their beer so I appreciate a character like Gerry. And people not showing up for work is the worst. Do any of these character remind you of anyone you know? Did you ever recognize a location in a story as somewhere you've been?
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Something for Readers
Do titles come easy to you, writers out there? What is your favorite super power? Ever use real towns in your stories?
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Cisco Santos is a bull rider trying to rebuild his career, not save a damsel in distress, but he’s certainly not going to let some goons take the money out of her hide. On the lam together, they end up stuck in a snowstorm. By the time the snowplows dig them out, they’re a lot more than traveling companions.
Thanks, Heidi. Any RV people out there? Can you imagine being trapped in a snowstorm in one? Do you know where the Snack Food Capital of the World is located?
Monday, July 16, 2018
This coming Wednesday, Heidi Hormel will be on this blog as part of my Wednesday Author Spotlight plan. Are you into the RV life? Please stop back and read what Heidi has to say.
This Thursday is IWSG Twitter pitch party. Read the rules first and then use this #IWSGPit. You still have a few days to get your pitch ready.
This a a great article posted by Anne R. Allen back in June about some scams directed at desperate writers. Take a look.
Here's a quick little post from Penny Sansevieri on using blogging to promote your writing. She says some very sensible things.
I think Killjoys is returning this Friday night. I hope so. It really ended on a cliffhanger. The 100 and Salvation are not disappointing this season. Both are really tense and so many characters are stuck with no good decisions.
"It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." J.K. Rowling
Today is another day of brutal heat, but we had some rain yesterday so my grass has a chance to survive. Good day to stay inside and hit that elliptical and write. Still keeping up with my 1,000 words per day.
Are you giving the pitch party a try? Any one try to scam you lately? Getting any writing done?
Friday, July 13, 2018
My post is about how society will crumble if a pandemic strikes, a quick and deadly virus. Not need to comment here. Give me your thoughts over at Write With Fey. You might give me an idea for my next book.
Thanks to all of you who have been following along on my mini-blog tour for Exile's Savage Lady.
Monday, July 9, 2018
Today I'm guest posting on Christine Rains' blog. I'll hope you'll stop by while I talk a little more about putting the science in science fiction. Much thanks to Christine for letting me take over her blog while she's suffering on the beach! LOL. I'm sure she's having a great time.
Spent a lot of time reading over the past week as well as writing. I dove into Justin Cronin's trilogy that started with The Passage. I had only read the first when it first came out in 2010. Not sure why I didn't finish it before but I'm glad I finally did. It is a horror-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it kind of series so a lot of people die. A lot of people step up and become heroes too. In case you haven't heard, one of the networks is making The Passage into a series. I think for this fall. Hopefully, this link will take you to the trailer. Right now, this is the fall show I'm most excited about.
Despite all the writing I'm getting done, I'm still spending some time working on my craft. My local writers' group had a writer of cozy mysteries give an hour workshop on putting mystery into your story. It was very interesting. Next weekend, I'm taking an online course on making your characters come to life.
Still keeping up with my 1,000 words per day though I missed three days in a row on the elliptical. Too many visitors to the homestead. Lots of deer in the backyard. The fawns are really growing fast. Sometimes they walk right by the porch when I'm sitting there reading.
Could you stop over at Christine's blog for me? Any new fall shows you're looking forward to? (The return of Football doesn't count.) Have you done anything lately to work on your writing craft? Has the infernal heat let up for you?
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Today's optional question:
What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?
I think most of us start in this business thinking we're going to published by one of the big publishing houses someday, go on a signing tour, and see our books in every brick and mortar store in the world. It didn't take me long to be disabused of that notion. This business is difficult. I'm happy with my romance publishing career even if I'm with a small press. I still have the goal of getting one of my fantasy novels with a big publisher. I'm not giving up that dream.
"The only way to do great work is to love what you do." Steve Jobs
I have a guest post up over at The Whole Shebang Site where I talk about the science part of science fiction as it relates to my latest series, Survivors of the Apocalypse. I'm promoting the publication of the last book in that series, Exile's Savage Lady. I hope you'll stop by and leave a comment. I really want those ladies to have me back again sometime.
Speaking of promotion, I'm opening up my blog for my fellow writers to promote their work. Every Wednesday except for the first one of the month, I'll have a guest. If you're interested, please email me and I'll send you the details. sgourleyauthor at gmail. I have dates into January of next year.
Some fun facts from The Old Farmer's Almanac;
A group of eagles is called a convocation.
At 12:47 EDT on Thursday, Earth reaches aphelion, which is the point in its orbit farthest from the sun. (Why is it so hot if we're far away?)
First two episodes of Salvation have been great. Somehow they keep making the stakes higher. Except for my other current favorite, The 100, TV is really barren of entertainment right now.
Still keeping up my average of 1,000 words per day on my new WIP. Also, still keeping up with the elliptical at least four days per week. I'm trying to do two days in a row and then one day of rest. I keep cranking up the resistance. My legs feel sore but strong. I'd still rather jog, but my knees scream if I do.
Happy Fourth to my friends in the US of A. Hope you get to spend it cooking out with family and friends. Those are my plans.
Is it hot where you are or can you tell the sun is far away? Are your writing dreams still alive? Did you visit The Whole Shebang?
Monday, June 25, 2018
I feel like I'm getting a lot of work done, and the weekend rolls around and I have twenty things needing my attention. And that's just for the writing part of my life. I've settled into a really good routine of writing at least a thousand words per day in WIP. Twenty-four days into the month and I'm on schedule. I never thoughts I'd be one of those word-counting people, but this is really working for
The Business of Writing
I want to thank my friends over at The Whole Shebang Site for having me as guest. I'm talking about all the science I researched and used in my most recent series, Survivors of the Apocalypse. The series is set 300 years in the future when a virus has nearly wiped out mankind.
Also, for my writing groups, Pennwriters. I'm helping promote our upcoming online class, Nonfiction Places and Spaces. The instructor wrote a top ten list of how this class will help fiction writers. It's a quick read.
My daughter is thinking about applying to a MFA low-residency program. It had a good reputation. I'm watching my granddaughter in the mornings this week while her father is coaching at a baseball camp so I'll be late visiting everyone today. Little Elliana is 15 months old now and pretty amazing. She learns a few new words every day.
I purchased an elliptical a few months ago, and I'm staying true to it. Any where from 40-60 minutes per day and it doesn't bother my knees like jogging and walking does.
Yippee! Salvation comes back on tonight. I'm very excited for it. My other summer fun, Killjoys isn't coming back on until late July, I believe. The only other TV I'm watching this summer is The 100 which is having it's best most twisty, horrifying season ever.
What part of the writing business takes away from your writing time? What do you think of MFA programs for writers? Do you think scientists could accidentally wipe out mankind?
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Wednesday, June 6, 2018
June? How can it be? It's the first Wednesday so that means IWSG blog hop time. Please visit the IWSG site to hear about the 2018 anthology they're putting together. Also, check out the list of all the participants in this awesome group.
This month's optional question: What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?
I used to have no trouble coming up with titles for my books and series. Lately, I've had more difficulty. My publisher has even helped me with suggestions and we've worked together to find the best one. Character names have always been a challenge so no change there. Sigh...
I attended a hilarious but information workshop session at Pennwriters led my Timons Esaias. Timons teaches in a MFA program at Seton Hill University so he has lots of experience reading and grading his students writing samples. The title of his workshop was More Stuff Tim Is Tired Of and he had an hour's worth of cliches, common mistakes, and damnable habits. One of the things he talked about that writers should stop doing is using character names with weird spellings like substituting a 'y' for an 'i' or an 'e' so the name looks exotic. Or making up a name that is impossible to pronounce. He claims fantasy writers are especially guilty of this.
Some wisdom from the Old Farmer's Almanac.
Astronauts can become up to 2 inches taller in space because there is less gravity.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1st through November 30th.
I do like summer heat but another great part of summer is fresh salads. I love fresh fruits and veggies. I'm not growing my own this summer but there are two produce stands close by. Our local snapping turtle resident has been making daily appearances around the homestead. And the new fawns are sneaking out into the back acres. Their barely the size of a tall cat. Adorable.
Is coming up with names or titles in your writing difficult for you? Do you agree with Timon's naming irritants? Is gravity on Earth making you shorter? Will hurricane season impact your neck of the woods? Are you having more wildlife sightings recently?
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Finally saw Infinity War with two of my sons. The overall story was good, but what made the movie for me were all the character interactions. I can't even pick a favorite, but there were many laugh-out-loud moments. No smiles at the end though. Wow.
My boys went through some of the boxes we'd saved from the childhood. I winced to see all the money I'd spend on Power Rangers, GI Joe, and comic book characters. I don't mind the legos. They're timeless. We have two boxes sorted for Goodwill, and they each filled two large plastic tubs with their things. Still on the to-do list, baseball and football cards.
Love my granddaughter, but I'm looking forward to summer and not being a full-time babysitting-grandmother. If writing goes as planned, I'll have the second book in my new series finished by summer and a new home for my Dragon fantasy series.
Exile's Savage Lady wraps up all the story lines with a story of love and self-sacrifice. It's not on Amazon yet, but as I've mentioned before, the writer and the publisher make more money when a purchase is made from the website and that hungry monster, Amazon, is cut out.
I hope you had a chance to spend the Memorial Day weekend with family and/or friends. Our house was full and a good time had by all. I might have to do some extra walking this week.
On the entertainment front, Timeless ended for the summer and maybe forever. Once Upon a Time wrapped up all their story lines as the series ended. I'll miss it, but the end was satisfying. My current TV favorite, The 100, is having its best season ever. Very tense and exciting. Other good news, Salvation, another end of the world plot, is returning for a summer season starting June 25th.
Some wisdom from The Old Farmer's Almanac: For long-lasting blooms, pick flowers in the late afternoon when the leaves and stems contain the most sugar.
Any interesting TV in your opinion? Have a cookout on Monday? Do you have any toys packed away from your childhood?
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
This month's optional question for the group:
It's spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?
The nicer the weather, the less writing I get done. I exercise more, have hours of yard work to do each week, and love sitting on my porch or deck to read. My best writing season is winter and the cold rains of spring and fall, though I despise those times.
If I have an insecurity, it's that my marketing sucks, as in I hate doing it and have been ignoring it. Other sorrowful news, I received two rejections from publishers as I search for a home for my previously published fantasy novel. The publisher closed and the 2nd and 3rd books weren't published before the closure.
We did have a cold wet spring so I completed the first draft of the first novel in my next space opera romance trilogy. I wrote about 78K in seventy days. And it's a little less rough than my usual first drafts. I also completed the last round of edits on the last book in the dystopian trilogy. I'll have a release date for Exile's Savage Lady soon.
I'm making some blogging plans for the summer. Every Wednesday except for the first one of the month, I'm going to host a writer friend for some fun and promotion. I'll let you know more about it later and offer some dates for my IWSG friends.
Some of the shows I've really been looking forward to are back for their short runs. The 100 is back, my favorite post-apocalypse show. Timeless is also back though not quite as fun as the first season was. Once Upon a Time has only a few episodes left in the series run. Will be sad to see it go, but I've loved it all. Supernatural has been enjoyable this season. New shows I've been checking out are Krypton (giving it an OK), Deception, and The Crossing. I like The Crossing a lot.
"Fill you life with experiences, not excuses." Wisdom from the Old Farmer's Almanac
I've been a bit absent in the blogging world, but I hope to catch up to everyone in the next week. Does the nice weather interfere with your writing? Any good shows entertaining you or some you're looking forward to their return?
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
I'm skipping the optional question this month and I don't have any really big insecurities hampering me at the moment. This is mostly a report today.
I did get the cover art for my upcoming release, Exile's Savage Lady, Book #3 in The Survivors of the Apocalypse series. My publisher didn't get me the exact release date yet. Hoping it will do as well as the second book, Horse Tamer's Fiery Lady.
In personal news, I'm scheduled to speak at a panel at my local library next Sunday. I'm looking forward to it. I'm not someone who has any problem speaking in front of people, probably thanks to over thirty years teaching high school students. Audiences don't get tougher than that age group. I also know two of the other authors who will be on the panel so looking forward to spending time with them. Here's an article on how to snag some public appearances to build your audience.
On Saturday, we're sitting down together and doing our taxes. Since my husband and I are both self-employed, we always have to pay in some. Sometimes a lot when my husband has a good year. I'll let you know on Monday if I need you all to buy at least one hundred of my books apiece to pay the tax-man. Wish me luck.
Easter was pretty great with all the children home and having fun together. My granddaughter was the center of attention, of course, and loved every minute of it. Not to brag about the little genius who is only a month past one year old, but I have to spell words around her now. Mostly words like OUT because she wants to go there and the weather has been miserable. Also have to spell LIBRARY because she goes to the door as soon as she hears it and then is upset if we don't get in the car.
“The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.”
I'm still on target writing 1,000 words per day on my WIP for more than six straight weeks now. Still don't have a name for it though. Been getting about 40 minutes of exercise in 4 or 5 times per week since the new year. I'd rather be outside but ... weather. (Trying really hard not to complain about the snow that won't fricking stop!)
“I do not over-intellectualise the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.”
—Tom Clancy, WD
Has spring arrived in your area? Did you file your taxes yet? Are you feeling insecure today?
Monday, March 19, 2018
Then came the lovely spring with a rush of blossoms and music. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
In other important news, my new printer was easy to connect and set up. I'm pleased with it for now. And still average 1000 words per day on my next WIP.
Combing spring and writing news, spring is a favored time for writing conferences. IWSG had this great post about organizing so you get the most of any conference you attend. Pennwriters, a state-wide and beyond the borders of PA writing group, has one large annual conference and also puts together two smaller mini-conferences.
The first mini-conference called Writers Project Runway is happening in Leesburg, VA on April 7th. They still have room if you're near there and interested.
The large annual conference is being held in Lancaster, PA this year and filled with great workshops, speakers, as well as agent and editor pitch appointments. Gayle Lynds, a very successful thriller author, is this year's keynote speaker among many other opportunities to advance your career and network.
Anne R. Allen posted about word count by genre. It's always good to keep those in mind. I've read a few thrillers lately that were good books, but I wanted them to be longer. Even with writing a thousand words per day and watching my granddaughter for eight hours, I can read a 70K book in 2 or 3 days.
I also read this interesting post by Eli Landes that says there are only two types of stories. We've all heard before that there are a limited number of plots in stories. Her theory is that there are only two types of protagonists in stories. Very interesting and I couldn't argue with her ideas.
Are there any conference plans in your future? Do you like reading long books? Are you excited about spring arriving?