Monday, September 26, 2016

Writer Tip: Don't Be an %&# on Social Media

Participating in social media can be a very good idea for aspiring writers.  Besides the networking and educational opportunities, an active social media presence is a plus for agents and editors.

There's a big but, though. It's important to keep in mind that there are some lines that shouldn't be crossed on social media. For one thing, a steady stream of nothing but self promotion often comes off as desperate. It's better to have real conversations and share content from others far more than you promote your own work.

This week, VOYA magazine (a journal of YA literature) provided a stunningly terrible example of something else to avoid on social media. There's a more extensive summary of the whole garbage fire here on SorryWatch, but the general gist of it is that VOYA published a review with an offensive line in it. When the issue was (politely) pointed out, the person handling VOYA's social media responded with an escalating series of defensive, angry posts. Instead of handling the situation quickly and responsibly, they drew more and more attention to themselves and their mistake.

It's generally not hard to avoid offensive speech or language on social media, but there's always the chance that you might inadvertently upset a person or group. If this happens, the correct thing to do is always to apologize—immediately and sincerely. Listen to what people tell you. Learn from your mistakes.

While it's completely acceptable (and encouraged!) to be yourself and express your opinions on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and the like, make sure it's your best self you're putting forward.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sleep Positions and Personality.

Time for a little more pop psychology.

Just for fun, let's take a look at a woman's sleep position and see what it has to say about her personality.

I am going to keep it short and sweet and look at Robert Phipps four basic sleep positions and see what hidden secrets these positions give away.  Maybe I'll even use them in my next books.

                                                  Four Basic Sleep Positions:

1. Fetal position means the person is anxious and/or looking for comfort.

2. Stomach with arms and legs out (or freefall) means the person is also anxious, but feels out of control.

3.  Log position (on side with arms at side and legs straight) means person is a bit stubborn and controlling.

4. Side sleeper with arms and legs outstretched (yearner) means person yearns for something and is a bit creative and talented.

Well, thanks Robert Phipps.  I guess my dog, kids, and I are the creative talented  types.  Or maybe we are just yearning for something.

For more answers check out:'s-sleeping-position-says-about-her-personality

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Author Dana Provo shares writing, pub advice + a chance to with a copy of BLEEDING HEARTS!

I'm excited to bring you another successful author chat, this time with Dana Provo. Her debut, BLEEDING HEARTS, is available now. Don't forget to scroll to the bottom of the post for a chance to win your own copy!

Hi Dana!  Thanks for joining us on Thinking to Inking. Tell us about the path to publication for Bleeding Hearts. What advice do you have for writers still working to make their publishing dreams a reality?

Bleeding Hearts started back in April or May of 2015 when I realized I wanted to write a story with several timelines. I took about two months thinking about what I wanted and how I was going to write it then I created a chapter outline. The first draft took two months to write and each chapter I finished, I uploaded it onto Wattpad to get feedback. Little did I know that my story would get over 12,000 reads on that free reading/writing site.

I knew I wanted to publish BH in November, 2015 so I asked my good friend Alyssa to beta read and edit it for me. Before I sent it to her I had already edited it 4-5 times myself. Alyssa and I worked on my book for an additional two months; she would edit one chapter and send it to me, then I'd edit and send it back for more critiques.

Now, while I was editing BH, I started working on my synopsis and short blurb while also researching agents and publishers. I created my social media platforms, joined a local writing group, and attended a writer's conference to gain more knowledge.

As January came along, I started crafting three different query letters and created a spreadsheet for all the agents and publishers I wanted to query and which letter I would send them based on their requirements. There were several Twitter pitch parties I participated in as well. I submitted close to 50 agents and publishers. Half of those responses were straight out rejections. Some rejections were from my favorite agencies.

At the end of January, I received a full manuscript request from another publisher and boy was I excited! I waited many weeks to hear back from them. During that time, I sent out more queries and another full request to Clean Reads (my publisher). When you have multiple fulls out to different agencies it's important to let the other companies know that they have competition if you haven't heard back from them within 6 weeks of the request, but don't be pushy, stay professional in your letter.

Stephanie with Clean Reads emailed me the middle of February with a publishing contract. As excited as I was, I wanted to hear back from the first publisher before I accepted the first contract, so I asked some questions and waited a full week before I made my decision. The first publisher got back to me with another rejection right at the same time I was planning on accepting the CR contract.

After the contract was signed, there was so much to do. Editing, building my social media platform, editing some more, filling out paperwork, more social media, and last but not least editing. It took six very full months to publish Bleeding Hearts from the day I signed the contract to release day. But that doesn’t include every month writing, editing, and querying the book. I don't think I would change anything I did to get where I am today.

For aspiring authors, the most important thing that helped me through this process is good friends and lack of procrastination. I knew what I wanted and I went for it. Don't hesitate to ask for help from other writers you may know, and don't stop until you've reached your goal of publishing a book. There will be times where you think the world is against you, but it's not. People are busy and since no one knows your name, you are always going to be put on the maybe pile until someone reads your story and takes a chance on you. It takes time, but don't let time slip away.

About Bleeding Heats
by Dana Louise Provo
Publication Date: August 25, 2016
Publisher: Clean Reads

Orphaned at an early age, now twenty-four-year-old Camryn Lucks is ready to commit to find that special someone, and so accepts a date from a charming, gallant, handsome stranger. The last thing she imagines after accepting that first date with Carson would actually be the beginning of her worst nightmare.

Red roses, a reminder of her parents' killer, soon become an emblem of horror for Cami as one by one, those closest to her fall victim to a serial killer. Cami becomes an obsession for Carson, the man she had finally allowed herself to love. Not only is he vying for her heart, but also her life.

Finding herself in a whirlwind of torments shadowed by the blood-colored bloom, Cami finds solace in Isaac, a neighboring police officer. She’s desperate to escape the haunting memories, but she must revisit them in order to catch her would-be killer. Living life in constant fear has driven Cami to second-guess every choice she makes. Will the police catch the illusive murderer, or will Cami be forced to face him once again?

About the Author

Dana Provo has always loved books and reads everything from young adult fantasy to adult historical romances. When she’s not reading or writing her next novel, Dana can be found riding her horses and getting ready for competition. Dana lives with her husband and two house plants in Richmond, Virginia.

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Author Lisa Brown Roberts Shares Writing Advice, Her Newest Release + a Chance to Win Swag and a Signed Copy of THE REPLACEMENT CRUSH!

Today, Lisa Brown Roberts joins us to talk about her latest release, The Replacement Crush, her path to publication amd her advice to writers still working to make their publishing dreams a reality.  Don't forget to scroll to the bottom of the post for a chance to win a signed copy of The Replacement Crush + some fun swag!

Hi Lisa! Welcome, and thanks so much for coming to Thinking to Inking! We're so excited to have you here! Tell us a little bit about THE REPLACEMENT CRUSH.

This book is my love letter to everyone in the romance community: authors, bloggers, and readers. It’s a book about books, and one girl’s love of romance novels, along with her own story of being blind to the perfect hero who’s right in front of her.

It’s also a love letter to adorkable nerds, Star Trek, and friendship.

How did your writing process for The Replacement Crush differ from other books you've written?

My process has improved with each book I write, but some books are harder to write than others. This one was honestly a true joy to write and most days the story came easily. I had a rough outline and knew my characters very well, though they surprised me, too. Dallas in particular had one very big surprise up his sleeve I didn’t see coming, but it’s spoilery so I can’t say what it is. Let’s just say it surprised Vivian, too.

How do the ideas for your stories come to you? How did you come up with the idea for The Replacement Crush?

Most of my story ideas start with the characters who start talking to me. I may have a very vague idea of a story, but as soon as a character shows up, they tend to take it over and the plot morphs in unplanned ways.

For this book, I really wanted to write about a book blogger who knew all about romance novels but not much about true love. And I liked the idea of her making a list of “safe crushes” that were all wrong for her.

What (if anything) surprised you most about the publishing process for this book vs. your first book?

The publication of a first book is overwhelming. You’re learning the whole process as you go, developing relationships with your editor and publicity people, second-guessing and worrying over so many details – at least I did.

This book’s publication process was smooth and fun. It’s the fourth book I’ve done with Entangled, and my editor and I have a great working relationship. We talk through changes, often via funny text convos, and I know she always has the end goal of creating a great book, so I trust her suggestions for changes to the book. I love the marketing and publicity staff at Entangled, and the authors are a tightknit group, too, giving each other lots of support.

That’s not to say I still don’t freak out before publication. I woke up at 3:00 a.m. one morning after a ton of ARCS had been shipped to librarians, convinced I’d misspelled the name of a Star Trek character. I ran down the hall and booted up my laptop to double-check the galley proofs and confirm the correct spelling online. It was fine, I was just having a pre-publication freak-out, which I do for every book.

What advice would you give writers still working to make their publishing dreams a reality?

I always tell people to never give up. If you’re meant to do this, you won’t be able to give up even if you try. I know, because I tried to stop but always came back to it. Find community whether it’s through organizations like RWA or SCBWI, or just another writing friend, find your tribe. They will keep you sane and buoy you up when you need it.

Also, write every day if possible. Nora Roberts says it best: “Butt in chair.”

What are you reading now?

I always have several books going at once: Kindle, hardcopy, Audible….

At this very moment- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Bite Me, Your Grace by Brooklyn Ann, and Olivia Decoded by Vivi Barnes, another Entangled author. Her book releases the same day as mine, so we’re release day sisters J. I was lucky enough to get an early copy to read.

Who's your favorite character from The Replacement Crush?

That’s like picking a favorite child or pet! I love them all. Of course I love Vivian and Dallas, but today I’m going with a side character- the sexy surfer Toff who’s one of Vivian’s best friends. He’s lovable, loyal, and really needs a girlfriend. I hope I get to tell his story someday.

If you could be one character from any book or movie, who would it be?

Probably Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.

Congrats on the launch of your latest and greatest, and thanks so much for stopping by!

Thanks for having me on the blog!

About The Replacement Crush
The Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts 
Out September 6, 2016 
Publisher: Entangled TEEN 

True love can’t be strategized.

After book blogger Vivian Galdi’s longtime crush pretends their secret summer kissing sessions never happened, Vivian creates a list of safe crushes, determined to protect her heart.

But nerd-hot Dallas, the sweet new guy in town, sends the mission and Vivian’s zing meter into chaos. While designing software for the bookstore where Vivian works, Dallas wages a counter-mission.

Operation Replacement Crush is in full effect. And Dallas is determined to take her heart off the shelf.

About Lisa Brown Roberts

Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn't recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off both eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year. This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write YA books about navigating life's painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way.

Her almost forever home is Colorado, though she occasionally pines for the days when she lived within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. Her house is full of books, boys, four-legged prima donnas, and lots of laughter.

Giveaway Information 
One (1) winner will receive a signed copy of The Replacement Crush, Nerd glasses necklace, button, signed poster, bookmark, and Spock Funko Pop!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Gotta Catch All the... Books?

Unless you've been living under a very big and soundproof rock, you've probably heard of Pokémon GO, the video game that allows players to search real locations for virtual items. The game has been lauded for getting people to explore their environment and connect with others.
I know lots of people who play, but games like that aren't really my style. But it got me thinking... wouldn't it be neat if there were similar games that focused on books and reading instead of screens?

Turns out there are!

Operation Teen Book Drop is a yearly event hosted by literacy and social media project Readergirlz (you can see details of this year's event, which will be on October 14th, here). Participants are encouraged to grab printable bookmarks from the website, choose their favorite books, and leave them in public places. Then they should post on social media with the hashtag #rockthedrop to let others know where to find the books.

There's also a similar game in Belgium that was started by a school principal and has now grown to nearly 50,000 participants.

Would you play a book-hunting game?

Monday, September 5, 2016

Get walking to get writing.

For years people have told one of my best friends that she should write a book and she so should.  She finally gave in and started writing.

 I'm so thrilled!!! I have one more person in my life with whom I can talk about writing.  Extra bonus she and I worked on portion of concept one morning and it was exciting to a part of it and I was so happy to be a help - however small.

The other morning, we discussed her progress.  I was interested to learn that she (like me) enjoys going for walks to help her develop her ideas.  For me walking is not only a great way to get inspired, it helps me to invoke all my senses and for some reason, the movement just seems to get those ideas flowing.

So yes, just sitting down and writing is important, but getting up and moving around helps too.  And of course so does getting out there into the real world and living a little.  You know - keep it real.

Thus, I end with this encouragement - write, walk, and keep it real.