Showing posts from April, 2013

WritersRoad Chat: Key Elements of a Bestseller

Last week on the writer's road chat on Twitter, our topic was: Key Elements of a Bestseller. Here are the highlights:  @HeatherMcCorkle Element #1 is a compelling voice, which is easier said than done sometimes. #WritersRoad HeatherMcCorkle So what makes a character's voice compelling? Someone interesting, unique in their own ways. #WritersRoad Tina_Moss Needs to be different voices for each character. If they all sound the same, then uniqueness is lost. #writersroad HeatherMcCorkle Voice is: The sum total of what your characters observe, think, feel, and express in their own unique way. From Writers Digest. #WritersRoad HeatherMcCorkle A great voice, one people want to read and get to know, is the strongest selling point a novel can have. #WritersRoad Tina_Moss Don't be afraid to take the character's voice to the edge. Authenticity over "correctness". #writersroad HeatherMcCorkle One of the best ways to make your character unique and compelling is

Reading and Reviewing

As an author, I understand the importance of reviews more than I ever did before. They effect reader's decision to buy, which directly effects the success of the book and the author. Unfortunately, it's becoming increasingly difficult for authors, especially indie authors, to obtain reviews for their books. Many reviewers charge for this service, and even more only review books through organized tours where the organizer is paid by the author or publisher. I do not judge either of these practices. With so many books on the market, and more and more of them indie, it can be hard for reviewers to wade through them. In the spirit of helping authors, I make a point to review any book that I enjoy. Most of my reviews are place on the Indie Elite blog, but I thought I'd start giving an excerpt from the reviews here as well. This month I've got to shout out about The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton. I downloaded this eBook from B&N when it was free and I have not been pa

Welcome Fantasy Author Amy Raby

Today I'm pleased to welcome fantasy author Amy Raby over for an interview. Amy's debut novel, Assassin's Gambit released from Signet books this month! Isn't that cover just beautiful?! No, I didn't design it, but I wish I had! Welcome to my place Amy, it's a pleasure to have you with us. Heather: Assassin's Gambit sounds like a delicious, multi-layered novel. How did the idea for it come about? Amy: Thank you! I had written another book in which Lucien (the hero of Gambit) appeared as a supporting character. Lucien was disabled, obsessed with battlefield and Caturanga strategy, and wicked smart. He stole every scene he was in, and I knew I had to write a book featuring him. The only trouble was pairing him with a suitable heroine. She had to be a strong character, or he would overshadow her. I figured she should be a Caturanga player, like him, since they could bond over that. Then I came up with the idea of making her an assassin sent to seduce an

WritersRoad Chat Recap 4/15

Here is an abbreviated recap of the live #WritersRoad chat from last Monday during which we discussed a final checklist to run your novel through before submitting of publishing it: Wyld_Dandelyon Check that your character names are distinct enough to avoid reader confusion. #writersroad @HeatherMcCorkle : Ensure that each character is truly necessary to the story. What do they add? How often do they appear? #WritersRoad HeatherMcCorkle Do a sweep for repetitive phrases or words. Make sure your characters don't appear 'twitchy' unless they're supposed to. #WritersRoad teetate Do sweeps of phrases as well as sweeping out anything that doesn't advance your plot. Including dialog & backstory #writersroad Wyld_Dandelyon But then, you can break _any_ rule if you do it well enough! #writersroad HeatherMcCorkle #1 check: Does something HAPPEN in your novel, does it CHANGE someone, and does it get RESOLVED. #WritersRoad SelenaBlake I have checklists

Welcome Sci-Fi Author Cassandra Rose Clarke

I hope you'll join me in welcoming sci-fi author Cassandra Rose Clarke to my blog for an interview. When I read about her novel, The Mad Scientist's Daughter, I knew I had to read it. Heather: A love story between a human and a robot, I love it! How did you come up with such a concept? Cassandra: I’ve always loved robots and robot stories, so it was only a matter of time before I wrote something robot-centric. Around the time I started the book, I was interested in some of the tropes of Gothic fiction, like a big “haunted” house in the woods, an innocent woman, and an emotionally detached love interest. Somehow or another — my process always gets hazy around this point — the two concepts melded together into Mad Scientist’s Daughter. Heather: I love that you melded two concepts together, too cool! This novel is set in a collapsing future America. Can you tell us a bit more about that? Cassandra:  In the novel’s history, a series of environmental disasters threatened to

Welcome Fantasy Author Amalia Dillin

Today I'm thrilled to be welcoming my friend and fantasy author, Amalia Dillin over for an interview. Amalia's debut novel, Forged By Fate, just released! Heather: Welcome to my place Amalia! Forged by Fate has been described as "an artful blend of myth and legend" yet it deals with the biblical Adam and Eve. What inspired you to blend the two different elements together? Amalia: Well, Myth and Legend, I don't think, are that different -- they're already blended in things like The Iliad and the Odyssey, where we see this mix of gods and men and history. Sometimes it's hard to tell where Legend leaves off and Myth begins. I think this is very much the case in the Bible, as well. The Creation story in Genesis is a myth, the story of Adam and Eve, or Noah and the flood, or Moses, those might be legends, or maybe they're myths too. It's hard to say! If a Myth is defined as something which explains how or why some natural phenomena, and legend is

Explosion of Spammers

Those of you who frequent the blogosphere may have noticed an invasion. The explosion of spammers, as I like to call it. Lately they are slipping through the cracks absolutely everywhere on Blogger. I have word verification deactivated on my blog here because quite honestly, it is a pain in the rear and it drives me crazy  personally. However, something has got to give with these spammers spewing all over everyone's blogs. So, I have reactivated the moderation. I'm not quite ready to reactivate word verification because I know how incredibly frustrating it can be for commentors. As a frequent commentor myself, I hate having to jump through it's hoops on blogs that have it activated. It can sometimes take three tries to figure out what those stupid letters and numbers say. And who has time for that? However, with the latest invasion, I completely understand why more and more blog owners are reactivating this feature. In fact, if moderation gets flooded with more spam t

#WritersRoad Chat Recap: Novel Structure

Last Monday night we had another fantastic chat that ended up trending on Twitter! The topic: Novel Structure That Will Hold up. Here are the highlights: @ Heather McCorkle  Novels need structure. Think of them like a spine, with vertebrae connecting it all together. Each part is integral. #WritersRoad @K_Imani : A good backbone also means specific details thought out when world building. #WritersRoad @HeatherMcCorkle The first vertebrae introduces the situation and character. It sets the tone and what is at stake. #WritersRoad ‏ @mayaprasadwrite 2h  Note that the midpoint in the structure is not always the midpoint length-wise. You can be flexible to an extent. #WritersRoad @ TS Tate (Tee)  If u dont outline & dont know where ur going, try shooting for scene goals. "By the end of the scene ___ shld happen" #writersroad @ Heather McCorkle ‏  Once that first vertebrae is established, there should be a sense that the character must move forward to resolve something. #Write

Call For Guest Moderators

Myself and the fabulous editor, TS Tate , moderate a weekly chat for writers on Twitter (most use Tweetchat ) every Monday night at 6pm Pacific Time called #WritersRoad. We chat about everything to do with writing and publishing. If you haven't dropped in on one yet, you're missing out! It has become a 'trending' topic on Twitter on Monday nights.  In fact, it has become so popular and is growing so much, that we'd like to invite guest moderators to step in for Tee or myself from time to time. Life gets busy, things demand our attention, but Tee and I never take a break from #WritersRoad. We're that dedicated to helping our fellow writers. And that's a big part of why, despite our busy lives, we refuse to let the chat go defunct like so many writers' chats have on Twitter.  If you're interesting in guest moderating, have no fear, either myself or Tee will be there with you. That way you'll have someone who is familiar with the crowd and th

Welcome Fantasy Author Francis Knight

Today I'm excited to introduce you to fantasy author Francis Knight . Her debut novel, Fade To Black , released this February from Orbit Books and it's one fantasy fans won't want to miss! It released this February from Orbit Books . Without further delay, please welcome Francis.  Heather: The concept of Fade To Black is fascinating! I love the idea of a city that builds up, instead of out. How did the idea for this novel come about? Francis: Embarrassingly, it was originally a far future dystopia where I envisaged cities growing up due to lack of space. However my writers group (quite rightly!) shot down my future tech. So I changed it to fantasy, though I kept the idea of a lack of space forcing the city to grow upwards. I also have a great love for Bladerunner and that ilk of story, and I wanted to capture something of that atmosphere. How better than a dark and dismal towering city with copious amounts of rain? Heather: How better indeed! The idea of draw

2013 Debut Adult Fantasy Authors

When I first began blogging I loved to feature debut authors. Now that I'm diving into a new arena (adult fantasy), I wanted to get back to my roots and do that again. If you are an author of adult fantasy, or know of one, I'd love to feature you~whether it's your debut novel or not. Leave me a comment or click on the Contact Me button above and I'll get a hold of you! Until I have a few interviews lined up for you, here is a list (likely not all inclusive) of adult fantasy authors who are debuting this year: Twilight Hunter by Kait Ballenger Release date: September 2013 Publisher: HQN Books Gideon's Angel by Clifford Beal Release Date: March Publisher: Solaris Books The Six Gun Tarot by R.S. Belcher Release Date: Publisher: Tor Books The Mad Scientist's Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke Release Date: January of 2013 Publisher: Angry Robot Books Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins Release Date: March of 2013 Publisher: O

Feed Your Muse Friday: Things Unfinished

I recently came across a great quote for writers that struck a cord with me. It made me think of all the people out there who start a book and never quite finish it. Here it is: “The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.” —Philip Roth What does that mean exactly? In my humble opinion, it means there is no greater hell than regrets of things unfinished. And an unfinished novel can be a writer's greatest regret. So commit, discipline yourself to get the words out, and see it through. You'll thank yourself later. 

Soul Mates and Twin Flames in The Space Between

Today I'm excited to welcome one of my favorite authors, Kristie Cook, over to celebrate the release of her new adult paranormal novel, The Space Between. This book blew me away. You're going to love it! And, you're going to love Kristie. She's offering a $5 Amazon or B&N gift card to one person who reads this post and tells Kristie she dropped by my blog! To enter all you have to do is click on one of the options below on the Rafflecopter. And, Kristie is doing a MAJOR giveaway on her own site of a $200 gift card so be sure to drop by her site after you've read this and entered here.  I hope you'll join me in welcoming Kristie.  Kristie: Thank you, Heather, so much for participating in the release tour of The Space Between ! And thank you, too, for being a beta reader! You asked me about my unique take on soul mates in this book and how I came up with it. I always giggle when people ask me about inspiration for my ideas, because the answer’s neve

Shadows of the Hidden Contest

Today I'm helping a dear friend and fantastic author, Anne Riley , spread the word about a contest to win a copy of her paranormal YA novel, Shadows of the Hidden. The fun part, at different locations you'll get to read different excerpts! Be sure to click on the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to enter to win. Here is a bit about Shadows: Natalie Watson doesn’t believe her parents are dead, even though they disappeared five years ago. Discovering the truth about their fate is one of the only things that get her out of bed in the morning. But after moving from her home in Georgia to her aunt’s boarding school in Maine, solving the mystery of her parents’ whereabouts is just one of several challenges she must face. When she’s not fending off attacks from the popular kids, she puzzles over the rumors about a strange boy in her math class–one with fiery red hair who rarely speaks. Despite suspicions that he murdered his sister a year earlier, Natalie finds it impossible