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Elle Clouse

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Let Me Take a #Shelfie

Because Authors Read

To continue my series on the life of an author, I thought I’d take a shelfie.  Or 3 in this case…  Part of growing as an author is to read, both inside and outside your genre.  It also stretches into non-fiction such as marketing books and brushing up on legal matters.  A good writer is always reading.  On the lower right, you can see my Goodreads ‘shelf’ and I keep it current.  I do most of my reading in ebook format because I can read on my phone, which I always have with me.  There are some books I have to have in paperback, hence the 3 shelfies. Continue reading “Let Me Take a #Shelfie”

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The Writing Zone

Where I Write

A lot of people have this over glamorized image of a writer’s life.  Since releasing Stealing the Wolf Prince, I get a lot of questions such as “have you sold a lot of books?” or “when are you going to quit your job?”  Uh, since when is this anyone’s business?  I have no idea how well my book is selling and I happen to like my day job. Continue reading “The Writing Zone”

Avast! Pirate Sites

AvastSome thoughts on pirate sites

I’ve been seeing a rash of pirate website selling deeply discounted or even free ebooks.  I am not going to rant about how unethical these sites are or that you are stealing from the author.  There are a million posts like that.

I’m going to offer another perspective.  As a reformed computer geek, I view these “here today gone tomorrow” pirates sites as nothing more than a virus waiting to infect your computer.  Literally.  Did you know that some sites can infect your computer with a virus or key logger just by visiting?  You might think, I have X Brand Anti-Virus software so I’m safe.  Uh, no.  Since these programs are built by people with the sole intention of messing up your life, they evolve to evade Norton or McAfee, etc.  Hence why your software has updates, to counter the new stuff.  So,  you can get computer bugs.

If you buy a discounted book, the site owner might just take your payment information and use it themselves, especially credit cards.  If you slap your personal information down to buy a discounted book you have no guarantee that site wont turn around and sell it or use it to buy high prices electronics overseas.  Can we say identity theft?

A free download from an unknown site could result in the aforementioned virus too.  Especially if the file is zipped.  So you might think that you are getting a free ebook but instead you get free porn pop ups and a trip to the tech guys to get it removed.  Imagine trying to explain the porn infestation?  Ha ha.  And that’s just the light end of what could happen.

So, in summary, please purchase and download your ebooks from sites you trust.  Amazon, B&N, All Romance Ebooks, the author’s own website, or the publisher website.  Type in the URL to your browser yourself.  Sometimes phishers try to make their site look legit by using an Amazon logo so don’t click funky ads or weird looking addresses.  Protect yourself buy avoiding scam sites.  🙂

Spotlight: Valerie Twombly

Valerie Twombly

Paranormal Romance Author Valerie Twombly

As a child, Valerie would often get into trouble for peeking at her mother’s favorite TV show, Dark Shadows. She can still hear her mother saying “It will give you nightmares.” She was right of course, but that did not stop Valerie from watching. As an adult, her love of the fanged creatures never waned. She would watch any vampire movie she could find.

Being a true romantic, Valerie was thrilled when she discovered the genre of paranormal romance. Her first read was one of Lara Adrian’s, Midnight Breed Series and from there she was hooked.

Today, Valerie has decided to take her darker, sensual side and put it to paper. When she is not busy creating a world full of steamy, hot men and strong, seductive women, she juggles her time between a full-time job, hubby and her two German shepherd dogs, in Northern IL.

Connect with Valerie:

Website| Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |Google+
Giveaway:
1 ecopy of winner’s choice of Eternal Flame or Fatal Desire.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Read my review of Eternal Flame here and check out the excerpt below for Fatal Desire!

Eternal FlameFatal Desire

Continue reading “Spotlight: Valerie Twombly”

NaNoWriMo Winner Goodies

One of the things that I always enjoy browsing is the Winner Goodies offered by sponsors of the National Novel Writing Month.  Last year I took advantage of the discount on Scrivener after my win. This year I was really looking forward to the book analysis offered through The Book Genome Project.

I submitted Stealing the Wolf Prince, my 2006 winner.

 

My book is classified as an EDBK:

One of the most prevalent personalities, EDBKs are found mostly in fiction. They appear most often in Mystery, Thrillers, and Romance. These works place a premium on plot and character development, and engage readers with their easy use of dialog. They tend to use rich descriptive passages, and their text is welcoming and easy to consume. They strive to engage the reader early, and keep their characters active and moving.

 

(E)xpressive: Your book contains more dialog between two or more characters than most books. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is an example of an Expressive writing persona.

(D)escriptive: Your book in very descriptive, more so than the average. War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy is another example of a Descriptive writing persona.

(B)reezy: Your language tends to be easier to read and more straightforward than average. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is an example of a Breezy writing persona.

(K)inetic: Your book contains more physical motion than most books. The Lost World by Michael Crichton is an example of a Kinetic writing persona.

I can get a more in depth analysis if I want to spend the money but I’m happy with my free report for now.  Back to writing for me!    I have a short story to finish.

Plans for December

So with November done and my latest novel rough draft on ice, I’ve decided to write a to do list for December.  It will help me stay focused and no, it’ s not all going to be writing related.

  • Finish Christmas Knitting:  I am making my boys an Adorkable Monster.  I have two different color yarn for each. One is almost completely done, I just need to sew on the arms and horns.  The other I started tonight and I got one leg done.
  • Finish writing “Unrequited”:  I am working on a short story called Unrequited.  It’s specifically for a submission call to Science Fiction Romance Quarterly but the call is for something steampunk.  If they don’t select it, I might find another publisher for it or just self publish it.  We shall see.  I’m only 500 words in.
  • Edit “Stealing the Wolf Prince”:  I’ve gotten some very helpful comments about my manuscript and it’s going back into editing.  I agree with the comments made and will improve my manuscript accordingly.  Some of them I wanted to work in anyway and some I was worried about from the get go.  Vague I know but I’m not about to reveal spoilers.
  • Take online course Creating WordPress Websites II:  Already signed up.  I start December 11.  SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS.  I’ve always wanted to learn more about web coding and design and I can apply that to my own writing website.

I think I’ll leave it at that for now.  I have plans for as far out as January but my to do lists can get rather fluid.  Lists help keep me on the right path.  I can get a little distracted and way ahead of myself otherwise.  Do lists help you?

Tell Me My Fortune

IMG_0794[1]My husband and I enjoy Thai take out almost every Friday night.  They always throw in fortune cookies along side the napkins and forks.  I very rarely eat fortune cookies.  The few that I even bothered to crack open normally have some silly phrase that we jokingly add ‘in bed’ to the end.  Now I suppose that could be said about the fortunes I have pictured to the left but they mean a tad more to me.

The fortune on the top reads ‘You will obtain your goal if you maintain your course’ and I received this right about the time I decided to seriously consider publication for my novel.  I was in full edit mode and getting frustrated and questioning everything I was doing. This came at just the right time to seal my conviction.  I thought that it was very fitting so I kept it at my desk and I refer to it when I’m frustrated.

Just this past weekend, I cracked open another cookie and received the fortune on the bottom which reads ‘Your fondest dream will come true within the year’.  That’s rather specific and again right on target with what I am trying to do.  I am trying to get my novel published and I guess you could categorize it as my fondest dream.  I used to think that I was a patient person but I’ve never had to wait to hear from publishers before.  It’s almost torture.  So this fortune came at just the right time to soothe my nerves and reassure me.  It now keeps my first fortune company at my desk.

I hope that it’s true, although I know that they are random.  They arrived right when I needed them, lets hope that they are correct.  I look forward to seeing my novel in print.

Or winning big in the lottery.  That’s my fondest dream too.

One Outlining Method

A friend of mine found a method for plot outlining a novel called The Snowflake Method.  You basically take one concept and expand upon it until you have a whole novel charted out.  It’s a concept that I never thought of before and I thought to myself, that’s nice but I don’t think I can use that based on my current creative process.  There is no one method that works for everyone and that is just fine.

I found myself with some downtime and decided to nail down certain things in Northam, the fantasy world my current works take place.  Things are getting too long and complicated to rely on going back and looking so I started an outline of how magic worked in my setting.  I started with the broadest concept of magic and started to break it down into its many points, adding types of caster, types of magic, sub types of magic, etc.  I’m not going to tell you what I devised, you will have to read my novels to figure that out, but when it was done I realized that I had used the Snowflake Method.

I guess without even realizing it, something I had read about maybe a month ago was still rolling around in my brain and I found a practical application for it.  Since most of my story ideas originate from dreams I’ve had, I am not certain it will work for plotting but it has other application.  I’m sure that I can use the technique for outlining other things in the setting.

So I thought that I’d share the article I found in hopes that you can find use for it.  Like I said, not every method works for everyone but knowing your options will help you devise the method that works best for you.

How to Support an Author’s New Book: 11 Ideas For You

How to Support an Author’s New Book: 11 Ideas For You.

This is a good read, has a lot of ideas on how to help out.

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