Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Fun Facts: Neat Word Trivia

Next time you're at a cocktail party and need some word trivia:

Almost is the only word in the English language in which all the letters appear in alphabetical order.

Facetiously is the only word in the English language in which all the vowels appear in alphabetical order.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Writers' Wednesday: The Value of a Backlist

My tip for the day: keep writing. I just got my royalty statements for last month/last quarter, and they supported what pro writers say all along: when you release a new book (or have a big promo push on one), inevitably your sales for the others go up. Yes, it has happened for me every time. And this isn't just true for e-books or print releases; I've found the sales cross over. My One Night in Boston ebook sales have been high for a few months now (thanks to Samhain's Amazon Kindle Freebie back in April), but I noticed for the first time that the print sales of that book were also up in the months following, as well as ebooks and print copies of my other titles. Looks like those who buy in both formats will seek out their favorite from you.

Sidenote: this seems to be true even if your reviews aren't what you hoped. As I mentioned a while ago, the Amazon reviews for One Night in Boston hover around a 2.5/5 - certainly not stellar. Despite that, sales weren't incredibly hurt by those reviews. So develop a thick skin and take reader reviews with a grain of salt (or don't read them at all, which is what I've taken to doing, honestly).

So if you're a first-time author and are worried that sales are low, yes, work on promo and establishing a name for yourself especially online - but also keep writing. You'll find your royalty profits grow with every release you have.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Mentionables: An Interview with Fiona Jayde

Welcome and happy Monday! Today I'm hosting Fiona Jayde, whose book Night Haven releases next week. She's stopping by to visit with readers and tell you a little about herself and her enjoy!

Fiona, can you tell us a little about your background?

I’m actually from Russia, having learned English by watching "Growing Pains" and reading Nora Roberts. I’m lucky in that I was in an age where I could learn English while retaining my love for Russian books (I re-read Three Musketeers in Russian every year).

When did you first start writing? Any particular experience jumpstart your writing career?

I’ve always wrote but never have finished anything I started. A few years ago, I discovered Angela Knight, who literally jumpstarted my writing career. She is such a terrific lady – and is incredibly supportive of newbie authors. I had read a blog she had written which talked about those of us striving for perfection in those first three chapters and never moving past them to finish a story – which was me to the letter. Following her advice I had finished a story, and had been writing ever since!

Tell us about your latest project/publication.

My latest release is called Night Haven, a kickass paranormal romance coming September 21 from Samhain Publishing. Night Haven is a first glimpse into the world of bloodwolves who were created to protect humans from vampire hunger for blood. In Night Haven, the bloodwolf Dina finds herself dangerously attracted to a vampire – and looses her ability to shift as a result.

What advice would you give to new writers just starting out?

I would probably give the same advice that got me over the hump from “wanting to write” to actually “writing”. Stop expecting perfection and write. Keep that butt in the chair and write. Finish something, even if the first draft is complete crap. Its always easier to fix a bad page then a blank page. (I think Nora Roberts said that last part – and its so true!)

What do you find most challenging about writing?

For me, the most challenging aspect is cohesively tying together the plot lines in such a way that builds the story and the characters. I’m fairly dyslexic and I change my mind A LOT – so keeping track of 100 mile per minute ideas can be hard! Luckily I have a number of tools to help me – including a husband with exceptional memory.

Most rewarding?

The most reward aspect is to actually find the “road map” to tie in all the pieces together. I think my Sci Fi novella Cold Victory accomplished that really well – I had a hard time connecting all my ideas together – the biological bond between the Hero and Heroine, the intergalactic war, the politics of ravaged government, the shortage of supplies… And in the end, I wouldn’t have been able to build the story without any of those plot strings.

What is your favorite spot to write?

I usually write somewhere comfy where I can sit cross-legged and slouch and let my fingers fly on the keyboard. I’m finishing up organizing my writing cave actually – complete with a water fountain and miniature Chinese terra-cotta warrior statues. Hopefully they’ll bring me some ideas!

What writing project will you be working on next?

I’m currently working on the next novella in the Bloodwolf series – Night Legacy, which explores deeper the ability of a bloodwolf to shift, and their age-old war with vampires.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Oh man, what DON’T I like to do? I paint (I love Bob Ross videos), I play piano (amateur jazz), I do graphic and web design, and when I get really motivated I go to the local Mixed Martial Arts club to learn from the guys how to really stick it to a punching bag. I also love to read and watch Netflix (currently watching the Tudors), spending time with the hubster and the cats (I have two).

Any favorite movies? Have they inspired your writing in any way?

I LOOOVE Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. The sexual tension between Han and Leia is legendary. I also am a big Buffy The Vampire Slayer fanatic – the episode where she lost her strength actually was the inspiration behind Night Haven!

Thanks so much for being here today, Fiona! Readers, mark your calendars and watch for the release of Night Haven, coming next week!