Justice (Deck of Lies, #1)

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The Tower (Deck of Lies, #2)

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Death (Deck of Lies, #3)

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Judgment (Deck of Lies, #4)

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Hope's Rebellion

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Books on Film: Precious

I only watched the film Precious once, because it was just so powerful I could never face it again. It's a gut-wrenching look at the life of an underprivileged girl, but before it made Gabourey Sidibe famous it was a book called Push.

The Book

Push was the debut novel for Sapphire, and she wasn't messing around. The novel focuses on Claireece Precious Jones, 16, who has the deck stacked against her. She's obese, she's illiterate, and it shows. The novel is written in her voice, so at the beginning it can be difficult to read. Saying the words out loud,exactly as they are spelled, helps.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Writing 101: Consistency

When it comes to any type of writing, there's one thing all writers have to be: consistent. With very few exceptions, I post my writing tips to this blog Monday through Thursday, week after week. I do this because I'm consistent. Now I'm going to tell you why you've got to be consistent, too. 

Consistent, Not Boring 

Now, I'm not suggesting that you do things the same way every day or that you write the same book over and over again. When I say be consistent with your writing, I mean it only in very specific ways. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Writing 101: Serial Comma

I don't often wax poetic about the finer points of punctuation (or even, really, address them), because everywhere I look people are still using 's to pluralize words so I don't much see the point in it. However, the serial comma question keeps coming up again and again. So how are indie authors supposed to address it in their books? 

Once, and for All

Serial commas are the kind of thing that only writers would ever think about. Most people don't even notice whether or not they're using them. Are you...or do you only think you're using serial commas? 

If you list specific items such as books, ereaders, and tablets, you might be using a serial comma. I just did, in fact. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Writing 101: Manuals of Style

So I'm cruising around the Goodreads forums the other day when I saw a post where someone was asking about a specific book, wanted to know if anyone had read it. I read a lot of books, so I decided to check it out. And then I saw the book cover...and shuddered. Yes, I recognized that book. No, I didn't respond to the forum -- because frankly, there just wasn't enough time. 

You see, the poster in question was asking about The Chicago Manual of Style. And there's just no reason for me to discuss that book with indie authors...because indie authors don't need it. You don't need that manual of style, or really any other, and I'm going to tell you why.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Writing 101: Taking Yourself Too Seriously

Admit it: have you ever teared up over a bad review? Have you ever lashed out on Twitter, yelled at a beta reader or had a total meltdown in the forums? If you're letting the criticism get to you, it's possible that you're taking yourself too seriously.

Everybody Loves a Clown? 

As an author, you pour a lot of really personal stuff and a ton of emotion into every page. You sweat and cry and pace and wonder and edit, edit, edit until your eyes become blurry.  Then you present your darling creation to the world...and the world promptly rips it apart. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Indie News: Newspaper Content Brings Indie Books into the Limelight

Ever dreamed of having your self-published book reviewed by an authoritative newspaper? The Guardian is giving indies that chance.

Spotlight on the Self-Published

Working with Legend Times, The Guardian will review self-published authors in the newspaper as part of a contest for indie authors. 

You have the option of submitting one novel a year to the contest, which is held monthly. Judges include members of the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency, Lauren Parsons of Legend Press and authors Polly Courtney and Stuart Evers. The winning novel of the month will be reviewed.

The first entries for the contest began on April 8.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Writing 101: What Other Authors Do

Eyes on your own paper. It's the dire warning of teachers the world over, and it can still apply to you no matter how long you've been out of school. When you're an author, you can't worry about what other authors do. 

Finding a Market

A lot of authors have no doubt dreamed of writing the next Twilight or Hunger Games, but that's not how it works. You can't force lighting to strike, and you can't make yourself write within the confines of a specific outcome you want to achieve. In short, what I'm saying is this: you can't worry about finding a market for your books. You can't worry about what other authors are doing. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Writing 101: Undecided

I've always been the sort of writer who has a one-track mind. Once I commit to a project, that's it. That's what I'm working on, and I'm working on it until I'm done. But lately, it hasn't been like that. I've recently found myself working on two different books at once, and I'm weirdly synced up because they're both on the same chapter right now. Have you ever been undecided while writing your books? 

One Way or Another

Focusing on a single story has always been my habit. I think about it when I'm not writing it, I worry over it when I don't really need to, I go back and reread it way too many times. But I realized, after a particularly poignant moment, that I have a habit of getting way too involved. And that's not good for me.