Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Guest post by author/publisher J.D Scott Are you plugged in?


I'm so excited to have J.D Scott on the blog today! She's an author, publisher and mentor to other women and children. 

Guest Blog Post
Are you plugged in?

As a publisher and author I meet a lot of writers, all in different places in their journey. One thing I have noticed is that those that have persevered are plugged in.
There are rogue writers. You know them, they are the literary loners of the writing world. Often their friends are completely unaware that they have one, or several manuscripts completed. Or maybe they briefly mentioned it in passing hoping someone would enthusiastically volunteer to read it, and were crushed when interest wasn’t peaked.  No one, other than maybe a family member, has ever read their work. They keep it guarded like a dragon does gold, but they are completely unaware of its value. They could be sitting on the next number one best seller, or they could be protecting a rough draft that needs lots and lots of work.
Suddenly, after years of writing in the shadows something stirs and there work goes off to an editor. Before you know it they have self-published and the first feedback they get comes in the form of reviews. If this sounds like a big gamble, it’s because it is. That nugget could start a gold rush, or an avalanche of criticism.
Why not plug in with other writers and readers? One huge hurdle is fear. Handing the book over and asking for opinions can be scary. I know, I have done it myself. The cold hard fact is this, if you are going to be an author you will get critiqued eventually. But that’s okay, because you need it and you should learn to want it.


Why do you need it? A writer sees the whole picture, the entire story with all the details in our heads. Often we get caught up in the rush of writing and don’t realize that we haven’t informed the reader of everything they need to know to follow the plot. These “holes” can be distracting and even detrimental to a story. As writers, we need fresh eyes to make sure we fill in the blanks with words not with images left in our mind’s eye.
Why should you want it? Plain and simple it, will make you a better writer. Learning your strengths and weaknesses are crucial to growing. If you can’t handle constructive criticism, I suggest you get over it quick. You aren’t perfect, no one is, so stop pretending you are and face the truth…you have flaws in your writing. Welcome to the human race!
Where should you plug in? A writers group is the obvious answer. If you can’t find a critique group in your area where you can bring your work to share, read aloud and receive feedback, then start looking online. There are websites, blogs, and lots of interactive places you can post your work and hear what the readers have to say. You can print out your manuscript and pass it around to some beta readers. Hopefully you have at least a few friends that love to read. Ask different people in different age groups so you can get a variety of reactions.
Essentially, take a leap of faith and share the gift you have with others. My recommendation is to share it before it goes to print so it can be the very best work you can do, until the next book. Which with a little help from some friends can be better than the first, and so on.



J.D. Scott Bio

J.D. Scott is the organizing member of Abba’s Writers in Phoenix, Arizona. She leads, instructs, and teaches critiquing and story development to its members.
In 2013, J.D. Scott became part of the team at A Book’s Mind as a Publishing Consultant. She enjoys working alongside writers, helping them fulfill their dreams of becoming published authors.
Before being bit by the writing bug, J.D. Scott spent 20 years working with children as a nanny, mentor, camp counselor, and youth group leader. With a heart for today’s youth, she set out to write books that both entertain and inspire them to rise above the current culture and see their true value.
She continues to live out her life’s passions of writing, publishing, and counseling/mentoring women and children.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

My first experience publishing



This post was originally written for a couple of bloggers/friends of mine over at 
Boricuan Book Worms in celebration of their one year blogaversary and for the release of my latest novel, Wake Up! We're No Longer Dead  





But just in case you missed it,
here you go!

After eight months of pouring my heart into my book, This Morning I Woke Up Dead, I typed the words, The End. The most powerful words I'd ever written. Many emotions overcame me. Joy. Relief. Excitement. I was even a little sad that it was over. I remember, gazing at the words in complete awe. It felt similar to having just had a baby. It took nearly nine months. I fell in love with my book, just as I did with my babies. It was a lot of work. It was painful at times. Knowing my job as as the author was finished, and that I had a responsibility to my beloved characters, Hadley, Dominic, Logan and Emerson, I wanted to share their story with the world.



First of all, you need to know one thing about me, one of my flaws is that I'm impatient. This gets me in trouble from time to time. I'd like to think I've gotten better at 'playing the waiting game' as I've gotten older, but I'd also like to think I don't look a day over twenty five either. Anyhow, in March of 2013, and in my haste to get my book 'out there', I self published.  Mistakenly, I never bothered to write a single inquiry letter to an agent or publishing house - until later on and I'll get to that-  but first, back to my adventures in self publishing. Head first, I dived right in! I created an account on createspace.com and they walked me through the process. It was super easy. My nine year old could do it. This is one reason why the business I am in is so difficult to be a part of. Its flooded and hard to shine amongst all the others.

Anyone and everyone can now be a published author.

After I created my account, I uploaded my document and it was approved in about 48 hours. All that was left was to do was hit the submit button. It was live within a day. Wow! My story, my words are now out there for the world to see!
What a shame no one knew.
And that no one cared.

I sold one copy the first day and I'm pretty sure it was to my brother! A week went by. Two weeks. Three. And I had only sold two copies. Two!

Somewhere along the line, I joined lots of groups on Goodreads.com. In hopes of getting others to read and review my book, I posted in numerous forums saying I was seeking reviews and in exchange I would send them a copy of my book. Luckily, my title and the premise of my story stood out and people took notice. I met a lot of great people; readers, bloggers, and other authors. Most of the people I met, I'm still friends with today. From here I did a few book giveaways on Goodreads and gained more exposure. Over 800 people entered to win a signed copy and nearly all of them added it to their reading list. I found out later that it doesn't necessarily mean they will in fact read my book, let alone buy it.

In late April of 2013 I contacted my local radio and news stations and I got spots on their morning shows. If you ever get the chance to be on the news or the radio, I highly recommend it! What a rush! I was also fortunate enough to do a few book signings in my hometown.


 No one really knew who I was. Most didn't care enough to ask. A few were kind enough to stop and chat with me about my book. All the same I had a blast. By this point in the game, I might have sold in upwards to twenty or thirty books.

The months went on.
And on.
And on.

Besides promoting on my Facebook, Goodreads, twitter, and Pinterest accounts, I was at a loss as to what to do next. I knew I had a good product but what I didn't know was how to get it in the right hands. Not to mention, I was spending more time trying to spread the word than doing what I loved, writing. In the day after my book was finished, I started a sequel but it wasn't getting the attention it deserved. Part of me wanted to throw in the towel. The only thing that kept me going was all the great reviews that kept trickling in. They kept me positive and told me I was on the right path.


Talk about validating!

Another thing I did in my pursuit to becoming noticed, I participated in a lot of Facebook love fest's; I liked others pages and in return they liked mine. It was fun to see the numbers grow from 200 to over 800 in just a few days. And again, I met a lot of people this way. Readers. Authors. Reviewers. Bloggers. And even publishers! Bingo! There it is.

Things changed for me when I liked a new up and coming publishing company, Lavish Publishing LLC. I remember it was a Saturday afternoon and, for whatever reason, I was feeling gutsy. I sent a private message to Lavish; I told her a little about my book. She was intrigued and messaged me back quickly, saying she was interested and wanted to read it! I sent her a copy of my book that minute and by late Sunday night, she emailed me back. She was in love with my vision and wanted to work with me! Little ole' me. Just a stay at home mom, turned author. The feeling was empowering. Thrilling. Exciting. I had no negative emotions about it at all. This is how I knew I was, once again, on the right path.


On November 11th 2013 I signed a contract with Lavish Publishing LLC. It felt great to be a signed author and to no longer be going at things alone. Before my book was re-released, changes were made. Things were revamped. I wrote fifty or so extra pages including a new expanded ending, received a beautiful new cover, a profesional press release was written, a book trailer was made, a virtual book tour was in place, and websites and bloggers were contacted. My reviews, number of fans, and networking circle grew.


So have I hit it big yet?
No.
Do I believe I will?
Yes!!

Do I just sit back and let my publisher do all the work? No. I still do a lot of marketing and networking on my own. But I no longer do it all alone. Michelle and I are a team. She bounces ideas off of me, and always has new things up her sleeve for us to try. The best part is that I have more time to write! Since my first novel was published I've written a prequel and sequel and I'm excited to announce that I just finished the third book! Entitled No One Gets Out Alive coming fall of 2014. It will be my last installment of my Pre-Earth series. I've learned not to worry, and to just do my thing, let things be, and allow things to unfold as they will. My motto is always believe and never give up!
Thanks for reading about my publishing experiences. Best of luck to you and I hope you'll follow your dreams as well!



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Its LIVE!


 I've been busy. Busy being a mom to my four amazing kiddos. Busy having a new baby boy on board. (I'm due in September!!) Busy being a wife. An author. And promoting my latest release, Wake Up! We're No Longer Dead

Hadley and Dominic seem to have it all. Each other. A beautiful little girl named Piper. Endless amounts of time. Fulfilling assignments as spirit guides.
But Piper is not like the rest of them.

˃˃˃ What would you risk? What would you give up to secure your loved ones safety?

Fear drives Dom and Hadley to give up everything when they leave Piper behind on the only place the Masters can't go. The Purple Planet.
Piper may look the part, gifted with the soothing tones of lavender, her eyes, hair, even her skin is kissed with a purpled glow, but she's different. She is special. She's alive. Fitting in, in the afterlife, proves to be more than difficult, even after she finds her soul mate, Aiden Hall. He is not only a resident but he runs the bar next door. Just when they reconnect and despite everything Hadley and Dominic gave up, Piper doesn't stay hidden long.

˃˃˃ The Masters are back and Piper is taken where she belongs to Pre-Earth.

Attempting and failing at making contact with Piper from the other side, Aiden feels as if there's no other choice but to follow his heart. All the while knowing the risks are great.
Struggling with their reality neither Piper or Aiden remember a thing past waking up. Both feel as if they should remember something. Someone. But what? And who?

˃˃˃ Will they end up together once more? Or will they choose to follow an easier path?





My blog tour started yesterday. Here's a link if you'd like to check out my first stop over at Boricuan Book Worms Jen and Marianne are great people! I am so grateful to both of them. We met when my first book, This Morning I Woke Up Dead was released back in March of 2013. I'm thrilled to still have their friendship and support. Read an interview I did with them. Enter my Facebook Giveaway And find out what their thoughts are about Wake Up! We're No Longer Dead. 

Also, be sure to check out my stop today over at Random Redhead Ramblings with Heather!! She's fantastic. A great friend. Blogger and reviewer! Read her thoughts about the book, and an interview I did with her

Life is good. 
Life is very good all around. 

But sadly my blog has been neglected.. In hopes of correcting this, I posted on my Facebook Fanpage for help with content! So be sure to watch for new authors on the blog. I'll be promoting them. And they'll be helping with guest posts.


Thanks for stopping by and have a great night! 



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ten Reasons Why I Love to Read




Hey All! Thanks for stopping by! Keeping with my latest trend, here's another post from my book tour! It was originally for a fun blog: The Power of Passion J.R Allister


We all love to read. Most of us do anyhow. There are those who are into sports, boating, shopping, gardening, hiking, fishing, working out. Whatever it is. And although those things are great, this post isn’t about those things. It’s about reading! And personally I never trust anyone who doesn’t enjoy a great book! Whether you read a few books a week, a month, or just a few a year, read on and see if you agree!

1-It’s a way to travel without all the costly expenditures. You can go anywhere, at anytime, for a very reasonable price, and without even having to get out of your pajamas! You don’t have to pack a bag. Put on an ounce of makeup. Or leave the comforts of your home. How amazing is that?



2- You’ll never be bored. You can read while waiting at the doctor’s office. Stuck in a long line at the grocery store. Or when you’re hubby is watching a sporting event that you can’t seem to get into. Reading is a great escape!


3- Want to try something new? Skydiving? Surfing? Hang gliding? Maybe you’re afraid of heights, water, or you just plain don’t have the nerve to do these things, but while reading, you can! You can live through the characters in a book and experience things first hand and without risk of injury.

4- Who isn’t stressing about something? Whether its trivial like finding more time in the day to spend with your kids, or to clean, cook, paying your bills to even something more serious, like an illness, losing your job, ect.. We all have our tough times. But I know what will help chill me out, cracking open a book! Even if it’s just for a moment or two. In fact, it’s been proven that in just six minutes it can slow your heart rate.



 5- Every time I read something, I learn something new. Even if it’s just a new word. Sometimes, just for fun, I like to slip in a new word and watch my kids’ faces as they try to figure out the meaning.
6- At a family event? Reading will help you avoid a few awkward conversations. Maybe one you’ve been avoiding with Great Aunt Alice as to why you’re still single. Well, I don’t actually recommend that last one, but you get the idea. A book can save you!
7- Ever read a book with a large cast of kooky characters? Keeping them all straight in your head is great for stretching your memory capabilities!
8- My Grandma always says, ‘You’re never lonely when you’re reading a book.’ And she’s right, you always have a friend. A companion. A lover. 
9- As a self proclaimed bookworm, I can’t think of a time where I haven’t had books in my life. They’re as comforting to me as macaroni and cheese. Hot chocolate. Flannel pajamas. Some of my best childhood memories are of my mom reading to me and my brothers. And as a parent, I cherish the nightly reading sessions we have when we shut out the world and snuggle close in with a book.


10- And lastly, reading and writing go together as well as peanut butter and jelly! And as a writer there is no better tool to sharpen my skills than diving into an amazing book. I love checking out others authors writing styles, and realizing, oh! I can begin a sentence with the word ‘and’ or ‘but’! And it can also help to perfect my own writing voice as I find what I like and don’t like about a particular style.
So whether you’re a writer, reader, bored, lonely, stresses, or just in need of an escape, grab a book and enjoy! Thanks for reading and allowing me to share my own passion of reading/writing with you!!


This Morning I Woke Up Dead
by Mindy Larson


Download my free ebook here: The Beginning of The End

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Book Giveaway

I’m feeling generous!! In keeping with the spirit of my birthday yesterday, I want to give back! I’m holding a giveaway! Enter to win a signed copy of This Morning I Woke Up Dead!!

Just like my page This Morning I Woke Up Dead, by MIndy Larson, share this status and do one of the following three:

Download one of my books (One of them is FREE) The Beginning of the End or This Morning I Woke Up Dead
Write a review for one of my books
Follow this blog
Be sure to leave a comment on my FB page letting me know which you did! At 11:11 tomorrow, February  20th, I will choose a random winner. Best of luck!! – Mindy Larson

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Confessions of an Author




Good Morning! in keeping with my latest theme, I wanted to share another guest post from my book tour with you. This one was originally written for fun blog,  Electively Paige a big thank to her for letting me part of it! 

Confessions of an Author

My name is Mindy Larson and I have a confession to make... I am an addict. I am addicted to books, coffee, chocolate, spicy foods, shoes, and Pinterest!


What are some your guilty pleasures? 

Read on and see if yours are anything like mine!

1-I have over a thousand books. Only a few are on my kindle. I love to hold the book. Smell the books pages. Feel the weight in my hands. I love romances. Thrillers. Inspirational type books. Mysteries. Old books. New books. Some of which I've read. Others sit patiently on the shelf, keeping their secrets to themselves, hoping and waiting I'll choose them next. Some have been waiting days, weeks, months, and a few have even been waiting years! One day, I will read them all. This is a promise. If only I didn't keep adding to my collection, it wouldn't be easier said than done!





2-Coffee and I are close. Everyday I start my day with coffee. I love its earthy scent. The rich creamy taste. The warm liquid perks me up, soothes me, and keeps me going! I couldn't do all the things I do without it. My kids wouldn't get driven to school, help with their homework, or even dinner made for them. The laundry would pile up, up, up! The floors would be sticky. The dog wouldn't get fed let alone walked. My blog would get neglected even more so. My next book wouldn't be on track to be finished up anytime soon. And I probably wouldn't ever get to the gym. You get the idea, I wouldn't be the same accomplished woman without it. 



3-There are times when everything is going fine, I'm chilling with my husband on the couch watching King of Queens, and a voice calls to me. 'You want some chocolate." At first its a whisper, a mere suggestion. Shifting my weight under me, I ignore the pull. A few moments go by, and a little louder this time, I hear, "You need some chocolate." Turning around, I see the bag of chocolates sitting on the counter, waving at me. Winking at me. I am weak and I always give in! I can't seem to go even a single day without it.

4-As much as I love a piece of dark chocolate or two, I love spicy food even more! Indian food. Sushi. Thai. Mexican. And if something isn't spicy already I remedy that with three or ten dashes of hot sauce or some crushed red pepper flakes. And as a side benefit I hear spicy peppers are a natural fat burner and even increases your metabolism!

5-Pinterest, Pinterest, what did I do in my spare moments without you?? You know how it goes, someone is watching something on TV you don't particular care for, or your in a LONG line at the store, maybe you're just waiting in your car for your kids to get out of school.. What to do, what to do?? For me its opening my Pinterest on my phone, and in seconds, I'm visually entertained. Talk about major eye candy! My favorite things to pin are clothes, places to travel, inspiring quotes, and yummy food. Actually, I pin everything! I have boards for everything! All the while I know that most likely I will never make those double fudge peanut butter brownies, buy those floral stiletto heels, or book a trip to Italy. But its ok. I just like to think about them. I like to look at them. I like to pin them. And who know's, maybe one day, I will make those brownies, buy those heels, and book a trip to Italy!



6-Shoes glorious, shoes! I have hundreds of shoes. Heels. Boots. Running shoes. Ballet flats. And for lack of space, some of my shoes have even spilled into my daughters room. My youngest loves playing in my heels anyhow. She is a shoe addict in training! 



Books, coffee, chocolate, spicy food, Pinterest, and shoes make me happy. Really happy. And if anything makes you happy, it can't be a bad thing, right?




Thanks so much for reading! I'd love to hear about some of your guilty pleasures! 


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How to Be Famous Like Suzanne Collins

Good afternoon! Thanks for stopping by! Here is another fun guest post I wrote while on my virtual book tour. I thought I'd repost it, just in case you missed it. It was originally featured on a wonderful blog, Books a-z with Megan Moffat

Marketing techniques from a nine year old
On the way to the library this afternoon my youngest asked me something. It made me think. It made me wonder. It made me hope.
With her signature dimpled smile, Brooklynne asked, “Mom, will you ever be famous like Suzanne Collins?”
My green eyes widened. I smiled. The thought thrilled me. “Oh, I hope so!”
With a confident and all knowing smile, she continued, “You will be. It just takes time. You just need a big variety of people to read your book. They’ll talk about it. They’ll write reviews. It’ll spread like wildfire!”
This was a proud moment for me. As a mom. And as a writer. She went on and and on and told me other steps I should be taking in order to be famous like Suzanne Collins. Apparently Ms Collins has written another series that has enraptured the heart of my youngest. Maybe you’ve heard of it. Maybe not. It’s known as Gregor The Overlander series. This leads me into her first example of how to be a famous writer.

1-Write. Write all the time. Lots of books in particular. You can never write enough. The more you write the more readers you’ll gain. You’ll eventually build a larger fan base. Hopefully loyal readers will support you and check out your latest work, and for the newer readers you gain over time, perhaps they will go back and check out your previous work.



2-Get your your readers talking. Not just about my book but any book. Get them talking about anything. I use social media: Twitter, Facebook, my blog, Pinterest, and Goodreads. Keeping with the reading/writing theme, I generally keep it somewhat related to books whenever I am hoping to engage my followers. Lately I’m proud to report that I’ve done a great job of reaching out and getting responses! It’s been a ton of fun to connect!
3-This is one of the ideas I came up with on my own, but I feel it warrants being mentioned. Have a support group. The only time you should go about being an author alone is durning the actual writing process. The support of a loved one or two. An editor. A fabulous cover artist, check mine out here Nicolette Lorette Designs And I also recommend obtaining a publisher. Mine in particular has been amazing to work with! Lavish Publishing LLC Without help, I wouldn’t be where I am today. And the best part is I get to spend more of my time doing what I do best, writing!




4-Get a big variety of people to read your book. Other than holding giveaways either on Facebook, or on Goodreads, I am honestly not sure how to further pursue this idea. If you have an idea, please, do tell! Not everyone enjoys paranormal romances. It’s not a dude type book. And I certainly don’t recommend kids reading it either. My hope is that most everyone that crosses paths with This Morning I Woke Up Dead will be able to relate it on some level. Who’s curious about what happens in the afterlife? Lost a loved one? Been in love?
5- And the last but not least tip is to have your book reviewed by anyone and everyone. Readers. Bloggers. Other authors. Friends. Fans. Family. Friends of friends, fans, and family. It all helps. And I am hopeful this will one day this will lead to the wildfire spreading!!

Thanks for reading Brooklynne's tips!
If you know of any I may have missed, please do share!

*** Be sure to check out my latest book! The highly anticipated prequel to This Morning I Woke Up Dead entitled; The Beginning of The End  And the best part is, its FREE!!