Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Adult Scavenger Hunt: Reach For You by Pat Esden

Dear Alison and friends, 

Welcome! Today kicks off the New Adult Scavenger Hunt!! This bi-annual event was inspired as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 96 hours!
Go to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the TEAM BLUE but there is also a TEAM PURPLE for a chance to win a whole different set of books!


If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt page.
***THE SCAVENGER HUNT***
Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my lucky book number. Collect the lucky book numbers of all the authors on TEAM BLUE, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by APRIL 30, 2017, at noon Eastern Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


LET THE HUNT BEGIN!





YOU'VE FOUND A Team Blue AUTHOR!

~Pat Esden~




All About Pat

Pat Esden would love to say she spent her childhood in intellectual pursuits. The truth is she was fonder of exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. When not out on her own adventures, she can be found in her northern Vermont home writing stories about brave, smart women and the men who capture their hearts. 

An antique-dealing florist by trade, she’s also a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle, and George Scither’s Cat Tales Anthology.

The first two novels in her Dark Heart series, A HOLD ON ME and BEYOND YOUR TOUCH are available from Kensington Books.  REACH FOR YOU (book #3 Dark Heart series) will be released June 27th. Her short story, Black as a Dark Moon, Scarlet as Sumac, will come out this September in the Fragments of Darkness anthology.






REACH FOR YOU 
(Dark Heart series book 3)

Her passion is her greatest weakness.
His legacy is his prison.
To reunite, both must fight the demons within.


A world of deception and danger separates Annie Freemont from her mother—and from Chase, the enigmatic half-ifrit with whom Annie’s fallen in love. But she vows to find her way back to them, before Chase succumbs to the madness that threatens his freedom. The only person who can help is the magical seductress, Lotli, a beautiful, manipulative woman . . . a woman who has disappeared.

Annie must stay strong, even as the future she imagined is slipping away. With the help of family and friends, she discovers that Lotli is being held against her will, by those who want to exploit her powers. But though weakened, Lotli remains a powerful alley and adversary. A bargain is struck. And now Annie’s only chance to rescue Chase could also tear them apart . . .

Loyalties will be tested, walls will be breached, and enemies will be fought, yet Annie’s greatest battle lies within her own heart—to trust her love for Chase to overcome its greatest enemy, and to save those she holds most dear from the terrifying realm of the djinn . . .


~PRE-ORDER TODAY~




~EXCLUSIVE CONTENT~

Pat has finally revealed her secret REACH FOR YOU Pinterest board and you get to be one of the first to see it. Check it out for hints about what’s to come in this final novel in the Dark Heart series!  CHECK IT OUT HERE!







Thanks for sharing your exclusive content, Pat! Don't forget to write down the lucky number 14 for your chance to win ALL of Team Blue's awesome New Adult books!

Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on Team Blue and you'll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!



Pat is also offering a chance for you to win a pre-order of REACH FOR YOU. To enter just leave a comment on her Mythmaker Blog, saying you’d love to read it.





I'd like to throw in my own giveaway because who doesn't want to win more books and a $10 Amazon gift card? Just complete all the steps in the Rafflecopter Giveaway and you'll be set!!






CONTINUE THE HUNT

To continue on the hunt, check out K. Bird. Lincoln site HERE!

Sharing the writing love one letter at a time,

Kim


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Critique Group vs. Hiring a Writing Coach: Pros & Cons

Dear Alison and friends,

I planned to talk about the Monroe County Book Expo last Saturday and all about my book display and how to setup book displays and where to buy all the swag for it, but something else came to mind, so I will write that planned post, another day... 


For this post, I wanted to talk about the Pros and Cons of Critique Groups vs. Hiring a Writing Coach.


Last night, I taught a Nuts and Bolts class for beginner writers. I love teaching beginner writers--they're so excited about their writing and getting published, but as we know, the reality after five years together is that it ain't easy. There's actually a hell of a lot more stuff about writing and the steps to publication than I ever imagined when I first started. I shared my battle scars, errr... knowledge with them, and I  thought to myself,  "Kim, you should share your insight with all your readers too."

So Writer, you’ve written a manuscript. You’ve read, revised, reread, revised, read, and revised more times than you care to remember and certainly more than you can count. What’s next???

First, mostly likely your manuscript is not ready for submission. The most common mistake writers make is submitting their manuscript before it’s ready. I am guilty of this crime.



Here’s what you do instead…

JOIN a Critique Group OR Hire a Writing Coach 

Let’s look at the pros and cons of Critique Groups and Writing Coaches.

CRITIQUE GROUPS: A group of writers who meet on a regular basis. They exchange pages ahead of time or share their work the day of the meeting. All members SHOULD provide both positive and constructive feedback on other members’ work.

What you’re writing will dictate where you should look.
            POSSIBLE STARTING POINTS…
·      SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Children’s Book (PB –YA) search your local SCBWI page for information.
·      Fantasy/Sci-Fi Organizations
·      RWA (Romance Writers Association)
·      Meetup.com (yep, I know a lot of writers who met through this site.)
·      Online Writing Groups
**ALWAYS REMEMBER BUYER BEWARE. YOU SHOULDN’T PAY FOR THIS SERVICE.

            PROS of joining a CRITIQUE GROUP:

·      EXPERIENCE: Depending on the group, you might have other writers of a more experienced writing background from you. You can pick their brains…

**BEWARE: more years writing, does not ALWAYS mean more experience or GOOD advice giver. More experienced and successful writers, don’t normally open their groups up to newcomers, so tread with caution.

·      FRIENDSHIP: New group means the other writers are probably about the same skill level as you. View it as an opportunity to develop friendships and develop your writing craft together. When the rejections come (because they will), they will be there to pat you on the shoulder and if you’re lucky, give you chocolate.

·      KEEP IT POSITIVE: Find a positive group. If you give more than you receive, you need to reevaluate if that group and the people are working for you. Remember a little sugar goes a long way.
**There are haters everywhere. If you’re not happy, change groups.

CONS:
·      Lack of experience.
·      Not doing the work. Barely commenting or offering anything useful to anybody.
·      Not putting the time in. Taking but never giving.
·      Advice overload.
·      Finding a group that you click with and fits in with your schedule.

**NOTE: I met my writing BFFs Alison and Donna from critique groups, so obviously I am a huge fan of them, but there can be disadvantages. We're not really a critique group anymore. We've evolved into trusted readers, and believe me, they are hard to come by. Honestly, at the beginning of your writing, the people you trust may not (and usually aren't) the same as a trusted reader. Consider the trusted reader when you become a more advanced writer.


OR 2ND OPTION… Hire a Writing Coach

PROs:
EXPERIENCE: Writing Coaches have been there. Done that. Extensive background with books to their credit. Spends time improving her (or his) craft. Has been through every step of the process—both good AND bad.
KNOWLEDGE:
·      Knows the category, genre, target audience.
·      Knows the market.
·      Knows agents, editors, cover designers, illustrators, and other people in the writing business.
·      Knows what social media platforms are and how to use them. **Also when to develop them.
                   SPEED:
·      Fast turn around—You don’t need to read anyone else’s work in order for them to read yours.
·      Saves you time. No extra meetings. No obligation to read other work.
·      Emails delivered to your inbox. Phone consultations scheduled at your convenience.
EXPERT ADVICE:
·      You don’t need to weed through all the advice from multiple parties and figure out what’s helpful and what isn’t.
·      Provide confirmation when you’re on the right track.
·      Redirection when you get off track.
PERSONAL CHEERLEADER:
·      Pats on the back and sends cyber chocolate when you doubt yourself.
·      Shoulder to cry on when a rejection is received and encouragement to keep going.

**With a Writing Coach: IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU.**




            CONS: Fee Service

After I wrote up this portion of my presentation, I sat back and was like, "Huh...I didn't intend to advertise the advantages of hiring a Writing Coach. It sounds like I'm really trying to sell myself." Believe me when I tell you I am not a salesperson. I wrote the information down and that's what I came up with, so take it as you will. Of course, I would love you to hire me as your Writing Coach. I offer a FREE 15 minute Phone Consultation. Get more information by visiting my website, Kim Briggs.  (That sounded an awful lot like a sales pitch, didn't it?)

Any who, I'd love to hear about your experience with Critique Groups and/or Writing Coaches. I'll even throw in a FREE Critique of your Query letter if you comment on the blog.

Sharing the writing love one letter at a time,
Kim 

Want to buy me a cup of chai? 











Size of mug
COMING UP: New Adult Scavenger Hunt kicks off April 26th. I'm on #TEAMBLUE with Valentine Kisses, so be sure to enter. There will be a lot of fantastic prizes including free books, gift cards, and other swag!!