Friday, September 25, 2015

The Authorteers' Guide to Self-Publishing: First Draft


Welcome to a new series of posts on The Authorteers! When we first started our journey to being published indie authors, we did lots of research on how. There are numerous articles on practically everything related to the different aspects of writing and publishing. With as many steps as there are leading up to actually hitting publish on a finished manuscript, aspiring authors can often be overwhelmed with the process, sometimes to the point of giving up before they've even started.

To be completely honest, we were overwhelmed, too.

All five Authorteers decided we wanted to help aspiring authors achieve their goal of publishing their first book. We're going to break down each step in an easy-to-follow guide to self-publishing. We'll cover all the important details you need to know, including some specific things that we've personally learned through the years. It's our hope that you're able to use this guide to reach for the stars and accomplish your dream of getting published.

First Draft


Ahhh... the first draft. The very beginning of your book. It's pretty huge when you think about it, but it's also pretty amazing. Let's go over how to take it on.

Setting Goals


It's a great idea so set some goals for yourself so that you can stay on track with your writing. Every writer is different as far as what kind of goals they set. Some dedicate a certain amount of time per day to writing; others set a word count goal per day. All writers agree that it's definitely a good goal to make sure you're writing every day. When you make writing part of your routine, it becomes a habit and that will help you make progress.

When you're an indie author, you don't have the deadlines that a traditionally published author tends to have, but it's good to have some tentative deadlines in mind. Whether it's in regard to your word count, finishing your draft, or picking a release date, having a rough idea of where you want to be when will help you stay focused on your ultimate goal of getting published.

A good thing about keeping it tentative is that there may be times where you get stuck on a scene or life happens. You shouldn't be disappointed if you have trouble meeting your goals or deadlines. Even the best writer can fall behind on a project. Just set new goals/deadlines and keep going!

How To Write


Something a lot of writers ask about first drafts is whether they should keep writing or edit as you go. You'll get different responses from everyone. There are pros and cons to each. Some say they have to continue writing because if they go back to edit, they won't stop. For others, it may be beneficial if they need to reword or change a scene to better represent what they want in the end. There are also some that will reread the last few pages before they start writing again. Regardless of which way you go with, as long as it works for you keep doing it!

Another important thing to note is that if you're writing something that you're unfamiliar with, do research. We can't emphasize this enough! The last thing you want is for your book to be inaccurate because you didn't look up the proper name or procedure for something, or if you're misrepresenting diversity in a character. Utilize Google or ask a friend. There are a number of people on social media who could either answer your question or point you in the direction you need.

Bonus Character Tip: Keep track of your characters with a chart. When you're writing several different characters it can be easy to mix up characteristics and personalities if you're not careful. The last thing you want is to have your protagonist accidentally have a new eye color halfway through the story! Having a chart handy will help you stay on track as you go along.

~~~~~

So, there you have it! Next week we'll be discussing writer's block and other setbacks.

~~~~~



Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: As You Breathe Again



Today's Teaser Tuesday comes from my January adult contemporary romance, AS YOU BREATHE AGAIN. In this scene, Lanie has just arrived back in Baylor for the rest of the summer, and she and her bestie, Quinn, are spending some much-needed time together. :) 



“But you’re here in person now!” Quinn brightened. “I’m super excited about that, in case I haven’t told you about twelve times already.”

Lanie was about to make a joke about how this made it a baker’s dozen when she caught sight of a familiar figure sitting at the bar. Even with his back to her, she’d know those broad shoulders, that untamable dark hair. She hadn’t thought she’d see him this soon. She hadn’t had any time to prepare for what being in his vicinity might do to her.

Air. She needed to breathe. Breathing was good. It meant she wouldn’t end up getting CPR from someone named Billy Bob “Tractor” Jones when she got up close and personal with the floor.

Turn around, turn around. She repeated the mantra like a prayer, needing to see those eyes that always made her feel pinned to the wall, stripped of defenses and labeled his alone. It hit her like a sudden sheet of rain, the inescapable truth that she’d missed him. Missed his laugh, the way his whole face changed when he was amused or happy. The way her heart beat faster when he accidentally grazed her arm.

“Lanie? Earth to Lanie?”

She had no idea how had she ever pretended she wasn’t attracted to him. She didn’t know how she was supposed to pretend again, now. Everything in her wanted to be near him, soaking in his scent, his strength that matched her own. She wanted to make him laugh. She wanted to bottle the sound so she’d have it to listen to later.



If you'd like to add As You Breathe Again to your TBR, it's up on Goodreads! Let me know what you thought of this teaser. :) 





Guest Post: Why Authors Should Adopt The Mindset of An Entrepreneur by Kristen Luciani


Please join me in welcoming Kristen Luciani on The Authorteers! She's here today with a guest post for authors.


Why Authors Should Adopt The Mindset of An Entrepreneur


I don’t accept criticism well. Oh sure, I say I can handle less-than-stellar feedback. But then when it comes, I sit with my eyes open wide, nodding my head as the critiques pelt me like icy cold drops during a monsoon-like rainstorm, a tight smile stretching my lips so they won’t quiver… yep, I crumble like a house of sand. Worst poker player ever. You always know what I’m thinking… always. 

I think this is attributable to a few different factors. First and foremost, I’m an approval seeker. I crave accolades, and positive reinforcement totally charges me. Second, I have an insane amount of passion for my endeavors, whether it be handbag design, writing, blogging, or my career in general. I work hard and when I really believe wholeheartedly in the quality of my efforts, I want them to be recognized. It’s not enough for me to be satisfied with the end result. And when people I care about are less than starry-eyed over something I’ve done, well, it’s a tough pill for me to swallow. 

Such was the case this weekend. My husband and greatest supporter, read a book I’d recently finished. He is not a romance reader, but he loved my other books to the extent he could, as someone who much prefers reading Michael Creighton. I felt certain he’d love this one too and truth be told, I was excited for him to read it because I think it’s my best one yet. 

But there were no kudos for this story. Instead, I got a boatload of Post-Its and an overall assessment of “it’s… okay.” 

Heartbreaking is the only word I can use.  

So by now you’re probably wondering why is she telling me all this? 

Trust me, there is a point.  

I took a chance with my manuscript. Publishing a story with a predictable plot isn’t going to send people flying to Amazon and elicit gasps as the scenes unfold on their e-readers. I chose to push the envelope and navigate outside the norm. Maybe it will be to my detriment but I wanted to give my readers something a little different. I took a risk that may turn people off or make them die-hard fans because I believe in myself and my work 

Criticism is tough to swallow but it’s not always a bad thing if it drives you harder and helps you perfect your end product. Don’t give in to self-doubt. Stay true to yourself. Embrace any feedback that will help you achieve your goals.  

My advice? Think like an entrepreneur! Establishing an author platform is similar to launching a new business, so why not adopt the mentality that will help you sharpen your focus and build your brand? 

Passion Is A MUST! - Trying to gain traction with any new endeavor can be extremely disheartening at times so the more you believe in your offering and your ability to sell it to the masses, the more effective your end product (and outlook) will become. 

Listen To The Naysayers! - Don't delude yourself into thinking your offering is the end-all, be-all.  You need a thick skin if you're going to succeed as an entrepreneur. People will slam your ideas. Get used to it. Graciously accept criticism and feedback then figure out how to respond to objections. Figure out what your key differentiating points are and highlight those to everyone and anyone. 

Never Be Complacent! - You'll have to work harder than you've ever worked before to create momentum and then work even harder to KEEP it. I heard a really cool quote this weekend that totally applies. I was at a writing conference and a number of bestselling authors were presenting on sales strategies. They all said market yourself like you're nobody EVEN IF you're somebody. This applies to ALL business endeavors. 

Be Restless! - Let your creativity flow! Don't be complacent and accept the status-quo. Dig deep and figure out to disrupt. Take risks! It's okay to incorporate new ideas into your offering. Make it as compelling as possible and if at first you don't succeed.... well, you know the rest. 


Great advice, Kristen! Thank you!



About the Author
Kristen Luciani, co-founder of Author Navigation, is a self-proclaimed momtrepreneur and contemporary romance author with a penchant for Christian Louboutins, Silicon Valley (the place and the show), plunging necklines and grapefruit martinis.  As a deep-rooted romantic who prefers juicy drama to fill the lives of anyone other than her, she tried her hand at creating a world of enchantment, sensuality, and intrigue, finally uncovering her true passion. No pun intended…



Kristen's latest release is
Nothing Ventured:
| Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Mia Bradshaw realized long ago that falling in love is a harbinger of pain. As a single mom working for one of the most prestigious venture capital firms in the country, she doesn’t have time for serious emotional entanglements. Her sort-of–friend boy is dependable, respectful and…okay, fine, maybe a little lukewarm but whatever! Who ever said there was anything wrong with being…vanilla? It’s safe, low-risk and not fraught with conflict and heart wrenching disappointment.

Chris Camden is one of the most eligible bachelors in northern California. A successful entrepreneur with a hot car and a panty-dropping grin doesn’t need to do much to keep his bed warm at night. His smoldering hazel-eyed gaze makes women melt at his feet. No strings, no conditions, no questions - just the way he likes it. Why should he settle for just one when there are so many sizzling alternatives begging for a spin?

A coveted opportunity to partner with Chris’s company stirs up emotions that threaten everything Mia’s been so careful to protect and control. The guy with more lines than a crowded supermarket before a snowstorm can singe her insides with the slightest accidental touch, proof that she needs to steer clear.

But reality hurls a very unexpected curve ball that can change Mia’s life in a heartbeat. And sometimes…the perception of safety is relative.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

An interview with author Theresa Sederholt + Giveaway


Please welcome Theresa Sederholt to The Authorteers! She's here to tell us about her book and what else she has in store.


The Interview:


1. Describe your latest book in the length of a tweet or less.

My latest book Shattered Lies is book 3 in The Unraveled Trilogy.

Lies are shattered, leaving death and destruction in its path. To save a child, they must make a deal with the devil himself. Revenge can be such a bitter pill to swallow, costing others to make the ultimate sacrifice. Who will survive?

That’s probably more than a tweet.

2. Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from real life. I’m older and I’ve seen quite a bit in my lifetime. I also draw inspiration from my education in Criminal Justice. I love a good mystery.

3. How long does it take you to write a book?

It depends upon the book. The characters talk and I listen. My current project has a lot more technical research. The Unraveled Trilogy went much quicker but the characters fought to be heard.

4. What is your favorite tip that you give to fellow writers/authors?

Don’t give up and don’t doubt yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask other authors questions. Listen to your gut. Be kind and remember to pay it forward. There is no luggage rack on the hearse.

5. What is the latest book you read and absolutely loved?

Bent by S. H. Timmins, it’s different and made me laugh.

6. What is your absolute favorite part of being a writer?

Making people feel. We live in a world that changes very quickly. Sometimes we can miss what’s right in front of us.

7. What are you working on right now?

My current project is called Uniquely Mine A Fitz Series. It is about a serial killer in New York City. There is romance, suspense and many different twists.

~~~

Thank you for sharing, Theresa!


About the Author
Theresa Sederholt was born and raised in Brooklyn New York. She is a graduate of Campbell University in North Carolina, with a degree in Criminal Justice. Theresa now calls North Carolina home, with her husband, a professional chef, and her two dogs. Experiencing life first hand is what she does best. Believing she can do anything has put her in many crazy situations. Whether it's babysitting a pig farm or cutting the top off of a mini truck; nothing is ever out of reach. Her list is endless, A to Z.

As a flight attendant (there's that list again), she would make up stories about all of her passengers as they came and went. It seemed only natural to put pen to paper and see where these characters led her. What started out as a single woman, having a cup of coffee--trying to make it through life--grew into a complex story of romance, mystery, and murder. The Unraveled Trilogy was born.

Theresa's beliefs are pretty simple. There isn't a luggage rack on the hearse, and give a girl Nutella and espresso and she can change the world.


Theresa's latest release is Shattered Lies:
This book contains strong language, violence and sexual situations. Mature audiences only. This is not a stand alone. Book 3 of The Unraveled Trilogy.

Lies are shattered, leaving death and destruction in its path. To save a child, they must make a deal with the devil himself.

They had a plan: two days—get in, ask the questions, and get out. Seemed simple enough. But you know what they say about best-laid plans. Life always seems to get in the way of living.

Revenge can be such a bitter pill to swallow, costing others to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Jax’s need for control slowly slips through his fingers as Raven’s past attempts to steal their future.

Will Maxwell be able to hang on to his happily ever after, or will it be cruelly snatched away, yet again?
Buy on:
| Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes |


Giveaway


Theresa Sederholt is giving away an ebook of The Unraveling of Raven and a $5.00 Starbucks card to one lucky winner


(Click on the title to read more on Goodreads)
| The Unraveling of Raven |

a Rafflecopter giveaway


~~~~~

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Authorteers' Guide to Self-Publishing: Getting Started


Welcome to the first of a new series of posts on The Authorteers! When we first started our journey to being published indie authors, we did lots of research on how. There are numerous articles on practically everything related to the different aspects of writing and publishing. With as many steps as there are leading up to actually hitting publish on a finished manuscript, aspiring authors can often be overwhelmed with the process, sometimes to the point of giving up before they've even started.

To be completely honest, we were overwhelmed, too.

All five Authorteers decided we wanted to help aspiring authors achieve their goal of publishing their first book. We're going to break down each step in an easy-to-follow guide to self-publishing. We'll cover all the important details you need to know, including some specific things that we've personally learned through the years. It's our hope that you're able to use this guide to reach for the stars and accomplish your dream of getting published.

Getting Started


So, you want to publish a book? That's great! Let's go through the basics of how to get started on this process...

The Story Idea and Goals


If you want to publish a book, you'll need to come up with a story idea. Might seem like a Captain Obvious remark, but it really is the first step. There's a little more to just "coming up" with the idea, though. You also have to figure out how to go about writing your story.

Something often talked about in the community is plotting versus pantsing. We discussed this when we first started the blog. Are you a plotter (planning out the story with outlines) or a pantser (writing the story without formal outlines)? Some of us start out one way, then discover the other way works better for us, so test yourself out to see which one feels more natural.

You need to know what kind of goals you have for your books, writing career, and audience. A big one is knowing your genre. If you want to write a dystopian novel, you need to read other dystopian novels. If you want to write new adult romance, you need to read new adult romance. And so on. Get a feel for the genre as written by several different authors. Also, find out how other readers viewed books in your genre. Getting to know your audience is just as important as knowing your genre and what you want to achieve. It will make you better prepared when you write your own story.

Bonus Writing Tip: When writing your story, always back up your files. You never know when your computer could crash and your manuscript gets lost forever. There are sites that can back up your files, or you can email your documents to yourself.

Choosing Your Name


Another step is choosing what your author name will be. For some it's as easy as pie because you're going to use your real name. For others they opt to choose a pseudonym, or pen name. Either way, it's important to figure out which you're going to go with early on.

Before you decide, do a Google search. Even if you're planning on going with your real name, you want to make sure there isn't another author using the same name. Like if your real name is Stephen King, you can't write as Stephen King. If you're going with a pen name, you definitely want to pick one that hasn't been used already.

Bonus Pen Name Tip: When you publish, you need to put the copyright under your real name to retain the rights to your book. The cover will still show your pen name only.

Establishing Yourself Online


If your ultimate goal is to self-publish and have people read your book, it is imperative to have a presence online. You don't have to be on every site or form of social media, but you have to be available on some. Readers enjoy interacting with authors they love and they want to learn more about you. It's frustrating to them when they want to keep up with an author and they don't exist online.

First and foremost, you need a website or blog. Some authors may argue that you don't need one, but it really is beneficial for you and your followers. A website/blog compiles all the information people need to know: your bio, how to contact you, links to where you're available online and all your books, the latest news, and more. It's good to have one place where everything can be found easily by anyone who does a Google search on you.

Bonus Website Tip: Readers often comment on authors who don't keep their website updated. They believe the author's site is the place to go for the most current information and when they can't find it, it's frustrating to them. So make sure to keep up with it!

Next we have social media and other websites. Here's a list of sites you can use to establish yourself:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Goodreads
  • Pinterest
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • tsu

This is how you connect with writers, readers, authors, bloggers, etc. The most widely used social media platforms for authors are Facebook and Twitter. Even if you prefer Facebook to Twitter or vice versa, it's good to have both. Some of your followers might only be on one site or the other. You can connect both pages so that your posts will come up on both sites. Here are the links on how to connect Facebook to your Twitter and Twitter to your Facebook.

Bonus Social Media Tip: Readers want to hear about you as much as they want to hear about your books. Talk and share things about yourself, your life, and things you love as well as your writing. They want to see that you're a person, not just a name on the cover of a book they enjoyed. While it's important to have a professional presence, it's also important to talk about more than just your book.

Goodreads is an essential tool for authors. It's where a large number of readers gather to list off books they want to read and have read. Having a profile and listing your books will make it easier for readers to keep track of your published works. Not only that, but this is where the majority of the reviews for your book will be located. Some reviewers are good about cross-posting reviews to buy sites like Amazon, but most only do Goodreads.

~~~~~

So, there you have it! Start writing, start talking, make friends, and build a following. Next week we'll be discussing the first draft.

~~~~~



Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

An interview with author Shawn D. Brink + Giveaway


Please welcome Shawn D. Brink to The Authorteers! He's here to tell us about his book and what else he has in store.


The Interview:

1. Describe your latest book in the length of a tweet or less.

THE DEVIL’S REVENGE is the 2nd in THE SPACE BETWEEN (TSB) trilogy, a Fantasy/Apocalyptic Thriller series with roots in biblical scripture.

2. Which authors have most influenced your writing?

Dean Koontz, Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, Edgar Allan Poe, and Stephen King would be the top five. Of course many others have influenced me as well.

3. What is/are your favorite quote(s) from your books?

I don’t have a favorite, but here is a quote indicative of the rhythm and cadence of my writing. “Millie had created something dark, and she liked it. She approved of the darkness. She embraced it as she would her own mother.” (The Devil’s Revenge Ch. 2)

4. How long does it take you to write a book?

My goal is one novel per year. In addition, I usually complete a few shorter works per year that appear in various publications.

5. Has your writing evolved since the first book you published?

Yes! Make no mistake, the 1st book is a good read. However, I have had numerous people tell me that they were incapable of putting the 2nd book down prior to finishing. My third book (currently in the works) contains a continuation of this evolution within its pages.

6. Where does your inspiration come from?

My God and my faith in Him. The antics of my family and friends. The creativity I see in others. My dreams. My nightmares. My fears. My pleasures. Things that pain me. Where I go. What I see, smell, hear, or otherwise sense. Many other things too numerous to list. Pretty much anything and everything inspires me.

7. What are you working on right now?

Right now? I am answering your interview questions (haha) – but seriously, I am completing the third TSB novel - working on obtaining agent representation for a YA Thriller - reading/critiquing/reviewing another author’s unpublished novel - organizing events/appearances - doing research for one of my books - reading good fiction (which is very important if you want to write good fiction). The list goes on and on. When I was younger, I thought being a writer was nothing more than sitting on a beach with a drink in one hand, a pen in the other, and a notepad balanced on one knee. I was wrong. Still, it’s what I love to do and would not trade it for the world.

- In order to learn more about me, my writing and upcoming appearances or for links to purchase my books, please go to my website at www.shawnbrinkauthor.wordpress.com
- For information on my publisher: Martin Sisters Publishing, please go to www.martinsisterspublishing.com
- To like me on Facebook, please go to www.facebook.com/shawnbrinkauthor1

~~~~~

Thank you for sharing, Shawn!


About the Author
I am currently building a following with two novels to my name. My first book, THE SPACE BETWEEN, was published through Martin Sisters Publishing (MSP) in 2013. More recently, due to encouraging sales of that book, MSP released the sequel entitled THE DEVIL’S REVENGE. One of my published manuscripts placed third in a horror/ghost story contest sponsored by WRITERS’ JOURNAL. In addition, I have numerous stories in publications such as SPECKLIT, FLASHES IN THE DARK, and THEME OF ABSENCE.

To learn more about me or my writing, please visit my website at www.shawnbrinkauthor.wordpress.com and/or like me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/shawnbrinkauthor1


Shawn's latest release is The Devil's Revenge:
THE DEVIL'S REVENGE, Book 2 of THE SPACE BETWEEN SERIES, - Both books in the series are published through independent publisher Martin Sisters Publishing - and available through their website. I have links to their site through mine. Please go to www.shawnbrinkauthor.wordpress.com and click on the "Publishing Credits" tab to learn more about this work as well as my other published novels and short stories.

From the back cover of THE DEVIL'S REVENGE:
In this, the second book of the series, the devil attacks mankind in order to become their supreme ruler. He enlists a witch named Millie to be his earthly servant as well as a sacred number of seven demons who help him in waging his war.

Most humans are oblivious to the devil's plan. It is up to a woman named Alice and Garrett, her pastor to protect the human race from becoming subject to the devil's rule.

They cannot succeed without God's help, but has God abandoned them? Only time can reveal these answers.

Genre: Fantasy/Christian/Apocalyptic Thriller
Buy on:
| Amazon | Barnes & Noble |


Giveaway


Shawn D. Brink is giving away a paperback copy of The Space Between to one lucky winner!
(Continental US only)


(Click on the title to read more on Goodreads)
| The Space Between |
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

~~~~~

Monday, September 7, 2015

Discussion Post: If we ask for diverse books, do we have a responsibility to WRITE diverse books?


Recently, movements like We Need Diverse Books have taken off, proving that the cry for more diverse books has finally been heard. Diversity is something writers should weave organically into their books, and it should never feel forced. It's also not a trend that will eventually disappear. It's been needed for so long, and we're happy to see it finally taking a pivotal role in MG, YA, and NA fiction.

But, as authors, do we have a responsibility to WRITE diverse books?


Molli

My answer is yes. If you're a writer in this day and age, no matter what age group you're writing for, you must have fair and positive representation of diverse and marginalized groups. We have enough White People Kissing books to last until the end of time. I want so much more.

When I wrote my first book, I was a little unsure how to include diverse characters. My characters form very naturally, and both Jonah and Quinn were white, straight, and able-bodied. That said, Quinn is neuro-diverse (at least in my mind) and I'm planning on editing As You Turn Away to reflect that. I don't believe in making diversity a checklist, and writing a gay man or a bisexual girl or a disabled girl just to say you have. I'll NEVER advocate for that. But I DO believe that if a story speaks to you, if a character forms and has a story to tell, you should LISTEN to that character, and represent them as fairly as you can, if they're disabled, LGBTQ, etc. Diversity can also include things like various ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and more.

To sum up: don't force it, but authors, please, realize that diverse characters deserve their turn in the spotlight, too. THEIR HEA. There are readers out there who have never seen themselves as the main or major character in a book, and they deserve that.

Note: If you're writing outside your experience (ie if you're white and writing a POC), please do your homework. Research. Use beta readers from that group. And so on.


Marie

As authors, we absolutely have a responsibility to write diverse books. I think everyone wants to see themselves represented in books, along with their family, friends, neighbours, etc. There are so many types of diversity, too. People are asking for less white-washed characters (which is fantastic, and so needed - books are like TV shows and movies, where casts are, unfortunately, mostly white), but there's also a need for so much more. We need to see characters who have disabilities, who come from poor families, who struggle with eating disorders or other weight-related issues, depression, grief, religious diversity, and on and on.

As writers, it's our job to represent different types of characters, and represent them fairly and with respect. Something people need to realize is that diversity isn't always loud. It's not always look at this book with a POC character or a Jewish character or a lesbian or a girl who grew up in a trailer park. Obviously those books are incredibly important and needed, but sometimes it's small things that come from your own experience that can be worked into a book. I have a friend who told me once how thrilled she was to find a character with a nut allergy, because she'd never read that before and she's lived with a nut allergy her whole life. As I said, people want to see themselves represented in books, whether it's something big or small, something that leaves you feeling different or isolated or like no one else understands.

If you're a writer and you're afraid to write a certain type of diversity because you're not sure how to approach it or who to go to for help, try thinking of your own experiences, what makes you different, and if that could be written into a character. And if you do want to write outside your own experience, don't be afraid to do research - I know it can be daunting, but I promise there are people willing to help.


Lilly

Absolutely we do! It's something that's always in the back of my mind, thinking about what my character faces on a daily basis or what they grew up knowing. Not everyone is raised exactly the same. Sure, some of us had a mother and a father who stayed together all our lives, but there are so many different kinds of families out there. Take the protagonist in the Resist series. Allegra is adopted by her stepfather after her mother dies, then her stepfather remarries and has triplets with his new wife. Families come in all shapes and sizes with all sorts of dynamics.

If a certain form of diversity can be developed organically in a story, you shouldn't shy away from it because it's not something you usually do. Some of my own characters have grown in ways I never imagined when they were first created. They've made me take a step back and look again at the story, mark them down as books to research.

And that's a good thing! Don't be afraid to really dive into research. There are so many wonderful people out there who would be happy to share their story. Ellen Hopkins writes very powerful stories about serious subjects. The reason why her stories are so impressive is because she asks questions. She talks to people to get firsthand knowledge of a situation so that she can carefully develop the story she wants to write. Be brave enough to do the same.


Jessica

Yes, we have that responsibility for sure. When people first hear about diversity, their thoughts roam to a person's sexuality or race, but diversity ranges much further than that. Something I like to see in stories is culture. I'm 50% Polish and my grandma used to use Polish words and phrases, not to mention make Polish foods. Little things like that need to be represented in literature. There are so many different cultures, and a lot of them aren't well-known because they haven't been shared. My own experience is one I'd like to share in a story someday, even more so because I don't think I've seen it before.

Other things with little representation include disorders and diseases that people have to live with every day. I have a friend who has had rheumatoid arthritis since she was 14 years old. I don't think I've come across a book featuring a young person with arthritis. A lot of youth/twenty somethings face disorders that don't usually happen at a young age. If a story can be told to help them cope, it needs to be told. And if I can get the opportunity, I would love to tell it.

Reading is a gateway to understanding. I can't tell you how many times I've read a book that has opened my eyes to the challenges other people face. It's important for this understanding to take place so that people can learn to empathize and not be ignorant to what something really means.


Eliza

Writers have the responsibility to write the stories their hearts want to tell. Naturally, those end up being diverse books because we're all diverse people. Diversity comes from our experience, our need to write books about different characters/plots/settings/etc., our desire to read things we've never read before. When we don't write the stories we feel born to write and, instead, write to the trends of what's selling, we're neglecting our responsibilities.

We don't have to be a certain something to write about that certain something. We can research, learn, and experience in order to write about it. So it's our responsibility to live rich, fulfilling lives to write accurate diverse books. And then it's our responsibility, as writers, to write those stories. So I don't think we're inherently responsible for writing diverse books, but I do think we're responsible for telling the stories in our hearts--and those will naturally be diverse tales, as we're all different.



~~~~~



Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Introducing new Authorteer Eliza Boyd!


We at The Authorteers are pleased to present a new Authorteer joining our ranks! Her name is Eliza Boyd, and she's a super awesome and insanely sweet person. Keep on reading to learn more about the fifth Authorteer and her awesome books!



1. Tell us about yourself.

Hi! I'm Eliza. I write women's fiction and contemporary romance, but I'm not limiting myself to just that. I enjoy telling stories and making people laugh. :) I wear many other hats besides the author one, so I'm a busy lady. When I'm not writing, I'm working, eating, exercising, snuggling my dogs, taking photos of the sunrise, or binge-watching a TV show with my husband. :)


2. Tell us about your books.

So far, I have one out, but my second one will be out soon! One Chance Night, the first book in the Make A Change stand-alone series, is about a woman who feels stuck in her marriage. She's young and not in love, but she's made her bed, so she chooses to lie in it. Until one chance night... :)

Book two is about a character you meet indirectly in One Chance Night. It's called Two Pink Lines, and yes, someone's pregnant. Hahaha. :) Book three is tentatively titled Three Years Gone, and it's about someone you'll meet indirectly in book two. That's all I'm gonna say about that. :)

3. What made you decide to become a writer?

I've always been a big reader, and my mom used to ask me if I was ever going to write my own books. I'd say, "No, I don't think so," and move on. Then I became an editor (which is my full-time job), and my mom asked me again. That time, I said, "Well, maybe when I come up with my own story to tell." Inspiration struck shortly after that, and once I quit my old full-time job, I decided to give it a go. I've fallen in love with it, but it's had its ups and downs. I don't see myself stopping though. Lots of stories are swirling around in my head, just waiting to come out. :)

4. How do you come up with your ideas? Where do you get your inspiration?

In a word: life. Mostly music though. Something about country music tickles my romantic funny bone and stories come to life in my head. Or sometimes I'm lying in bed, about to fall asleep, and a thought will jar a story idea. Other times, it's when I play the "what if?" game and flip something I've heard on its head to explore what might have happened if... That's where ideas come from for me. :)

5. What are you working on right now?

I'd love to say that I'm working on book 2 in the Make A Change series (Two Pink Lines), but I'm writing something different right now. It's about a widow with a four-year-old daughter, and the whole theme is that you can't choose who you fall in love with. So far, it's been fun to write, and I can't wait to see where the full story goes! 

6. What are some of your favorite genres, books, and authors?

I love contemporary romance--chick lit, gut-wrenching ugly cries, you name it. I love books that will make me FEEL something. Emily Giffin, Jodi Picoult, Janet Evanovich, even Nicholas Sparks. I love all of that.

I also love paranormal romance and YA stories. Karen Marie Moning, Jeaniene Frost, Rachel Vincent, and Miranda Kenneally are some of my favorites.

7. What book are you reading right now?

I've recently picked up Ginger Scott's How We Deal With Gravity, and I'd like to start Gillian Flynn's Dark Places soon. Oh! And I have Charlaine Harris's Midnight Crossroad ready to go too. So many books, so little time. :)



About Eliza
Eliza Boyd is a contemporary women's fiction and romance author. Also an avid reader, she writes novels, short stories, poetry, and whatever else strikes her fancy. Born and raised in Northern Illinois, she now lives in sunny Arizona with her husband and her plethora of animals. When she's not reading, writing, or working, she can be found walking around her neighborhood (for exercise, not for stalking), taking photos of her pets, or catching up on her favorite shows. Catching up really means binge-watching.

Feel free to contact her on any of her social media sites. She spends too much time on the Internet, so she'll probably get back to you right away.



One Chance Night
| Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks |
On the surface, Chelsea Greer has it all:
A loving husband.
A nice house.
A good job.

In reality, she works hard to maintain the illusion that is her life. She's also missing the most important thing:

Love.

One night could change her life. One night could give her the strength to rediscover what's important. In one night, she could find love when she most needs it and least expects it.

All Chelsea has to do is follow her heart after One Chance Night.



Giveaway

Win a paperback copy of One Chance Night from Eliza! Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. US only. Runs from 9/1/15 - 9/6/15. Thanks and good luck!







Follow on Bloglovin