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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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Writing 101: Public Exposure

The days of Jane Austen and Louisa Mae Alcott are over. No longer do authors sit in romantic little rooms, cut off from the rest of the world. Now, authors need to be in the public eye. Indie authors have to be public figures. They have to be exposed. And when you're exposed, you are a target. Are you really ready for that?

In the Line of Fire

I've blogged a lot about marketing and promoting books. I've written about Twitter and blogging and being on forums and all the other stuff that indie authors have to do. What I have failed to mention is the consequences of all this public exposure. I have failed to mention that you are making yourself a target.

Now, it's time to take a look at the dark side of your marketing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Writing 101: The Epiphany

It is not uncommon for literary characters to make mistakes. Sometimes, they will even commit some wrong. But the worst characters can be redeemed, or gain sudden insight, with a simple literary technique: the epiphany. 

Come to Jesus

The epiphany, also known as the come-to-Jesus moment, gives your character sudden clarity. They realize something they did not before, and in this fashion find redemption or otherwise advance their plot. The epiphany is used a lot in literature. It happens a lot less frequently in reality.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Quest to Be More Like Virginia Woolf

I'm going to be honest here: I don't know that much about Virginia Woolf. She was a writer, and she came to a rather poor end after penning many well-loved books. For my purposes, that's not important. My recent quest to be more like Virginia Woolf isn't about her books. It's about how she wrote them.

Will the Real Jade Varden Please Stand Up

Legend says that Virginia Woolf actually wrote standing up. This is a contrast to Truman Capote, who purportedly wrote lying down. Woolf had a competitive relationship with her sister, an artist. In a stunning bit of sibling rivalry, Virginia Woolf chose to write while standing so her sister could not say writing was an easier job than being an artist. I don't have a sister, but I think the idea of standing up is absolute perfection. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Writing 101: The 5 Character Names All Writers Should Avoid

In fiction, certain names have associations that you just can't shake. No YA author can include a "Bella" in their book, for example, and if you throw a "Romeo" out there it's just going to be a distraction. Some names have a deeper meaning and a preexisting link to another literary project. That's why you should avoid those names altogether.

Betty and Veronica 

There are many, many names that are probably a bad idea when it comes to writing fiction. After all, Dagmar is a name. But when it comes to naming characters, be sure to avoid these 5: 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Writing 101: Hybrid Authors

Not all authors choose one side or the other, you know. Some keep one foot firmly planted in the old, established world of traditional publishing, and the other foot floating on the cloud of digital age technology and ebook publishing. Some authors are not just one thing, but two. These are the hybrid authors, and they are suddenly everywhere.

Classic By Day, Modern By Night

Hybrid authors are the "in" thing right now in the literary world. These are authors who digitally self-publish ebooks, but still traditionally publish paper books. Some authors do this by keeping entire pen names separate. Others may write certain books intended for self-publishing. And still others hang on tenaciously to the digital rights for all their books, selling off the rights piecemeal to traditional publishers while holding onto the rest. No matter what type, hybrid authors are out there. Should you be one of them?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Writing 101: It Doesn't Get Easier

Authors are artists who paint with words instead of colors. And artists, by nature, are sensitive types. When you first start publishing, you're going to feel a lot of self-doubt. You'll be wounded by negative reviews. You'll be hurt by rejection. You'll agonize over decisions, and question your books and your writing skills again and again. But here's what you have to know about it: being an author doesn't get any easier. 

They're All Going To Laugh At You

What if they don't like it? What if everyone says it's terrible? What if you had written something else, instead? These questions will go through your mind when you write books, because this goes through every author's mind. But it doesn't matter how many books you publish. Questions like this will always go through your mind. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Writing 101: Life Experience

Have you ever been really, really, really hungry? Have you ever stayed awake for 48 hours in a row? Did you break a bone? Did you fall in love...or fall out of it? Well, why don't you write it?

Life Experience

When you're a writer, you're going to hear the phrase life experience a lot. But you don't have to go to Italy or kill a guy in order to get life experience. Everything you've ever been through, no matter how seemingly mundane it is, can help you write a book. If you've felt hunger, if you've worked out until your muscles ached, if you've smelled the perfumed scent of a cigar -- all of it, any of it, can lend rich details to your book. And the other stuff that you haven't done? Well...you can use research for that. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Writing 101: Pre-Orders, Will They Work with Self-Publishing?

Pre-orders work for big-name titles like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, but what about for you? If you do a long pre-order, won't all your fans end up owning your book before the actual publish date? What would you do then?

Selling, Before You Start Selling

Smashwords and Amazon, which are both very indie-friendly sites, both offer pre-order options that allow customers to pay for the book even before it's published. According to market research, books that are available through the pre-order option tend to sell more copies overall than the books that do not. And you need to know that, because the numbers also show that most indie authors don't use it. Why?