Kim’s Top Tops: Editing The Low Down. #amwriting #writerslife

Afternoon,

I’ve decided to blog a writing tip or two per month. You can learn what’s sparked this new feature on my blog here.   I’ve been receiving emails and Facebook messages  from aspiring  unpublished authors seeking advice. Or to read their work. Of course I said yes! Right now I’m in the final throws of preparing my fifth and sixth e-books and paperbacks, that will be released in July. So this month I’ll give my take on the dreaded editing,  as that’s where I’m at. Remember this is just my take, I don’t claim to be an expert, just offering advice.

Editing: Arghh!

For me this is the part that kills me every time. I seek perfection and quality. Trust me, I have learned it’s a marathon not a sprint, when it comes to writing a book that reads well.  I’ve learned a few tricks to get there with less headache, and save myself the re-uploads of updated versions either by myself or the publisher. Before I send my manuscript to my editor or Beta Readers, I do a hardcore read through and self-edit. Here’s what I do.

  1. Let it rest… my brain, eyes, creativity and manuscript. Once I’ve typed the last word, in the last paragraph, in the last chapter, on the last page and I think I’m done, I Leave it for at least two days. A week if  I can fight the urge. I Go back in with fresh eyes and read my work. Never read while tired, hungry, pissed off or all three! Here is what I look out  for.
  • Spelling, grammar, typos, punctuation etc.
  • Plot inconsistency: Do I start off with X and then move over to Y?
  • Words that I’ve used a lot.
  • Fact checking.
  • Tense.

 Something to have in mind when you re-read your work is, you’re too close to the          story you wrote it. You’ll never catch everything and so you MUST USE AN EDITOR    AND/OR BETA READERS.  I know, it’s an additional cost if you self publish, it slows down the process to publication, you think that you can do it on your own? Right I get it. Editors don’t  have to be  expensive to be good. All they need is a keen eye for detail, sharp and not lazy.

Who and What Makes A Good Editor?

This is my personal view…Not these people:

  • Your best friend.
  • Your mum or dad or close relative.
  • Your neighbour or anyone too close to you.

What

But why Kim??

Because:

  • They love you, so naturally they will love your work.  Even if deep down they read it and hated it. They are less likely to say. They won’t give you the honest objective view you need AS AN EDITOR.

What An Editor Can Do & Who Is A Good Editor:

A good editor will : (these are just a few things).

  • Check the standard things like grammar, spellings, format etc line for line and word for word. How well they do this depends on their standard of working.
  • Check facts.
  • Help enhance your story with feedback.
  • proof read.
  • Tell you what is and is not working in the story for them as a reader… honestly!
  • Is probably a writer themselves.

The points in red are why I personally would not ask one of my sisters, or mum to edit my work. Even if any of them were writers, they are too close to me. They can proof read and comment of course, but editing is more than this my friend. Personally, I need an outside critical view. I’m not saying don’t bounce your work off family and friends, but have an actual editor you have a professional relationship with. If you use any of the people I listed above as your editor, hey each to their own. All I’m doing is giving my personal view, experience and why I would rather a total stranger rip my work to shreds, then someone who knows me well.

What To Keep In Mind During The Editing Process:

  1. It’s your book, your story and you are in the driver’s seat. What you say goes. Take what is helpful, and disregard anything you feel tries to change you, your writing style or overall happiness with the final story.
  2. Your editor does a different job to you. They are not there to re-write the story, they are there to perfect what’s in front of them. .. so make sure it’s good.
  3. Grow some thick skin. It won’t come straight away, but as soon as you know who you are as a writer it will happen.  Be confident, but never arrogant.

Kim’s Top Tips On Selecting An Editor:

Who not to select…

  1.  If they don’t have a high standard of work once you’ve worked with them, sack them. Straight away, no questions asked. Never compromise the quality of your work with a piss poor editor no matter who they are!  And if your publisher’s editor  or standards for working does not cut it… don’t publish with them. If they are sloppy forget it. I’ve been there and parted ways happily. Remember writer it’s your name, your rep, your brand. Readers are not trying to hear “but I had a bad editor before I published” that’s YOUR responsibility. Save yourself the 1* review, due to your editor’s bad practices or lack of practices.
  2. If they can’t work to  deadlines you both agreed and it was realistic, sack them. Straight away no questions asked.
  3. If they overcharge walk away.
  4. If they don’t read the genre you write, do you think they will take the time, care,  enthusiasm and love needed over your work? Maybe not. Think about this carefully. There are benefits to an editor that loves your genre.
  5. If they don’t read … don’t even go there.

Who to jump on!

  1. Someone you click with as a person and gets you. I love my editor she rocks.
  2. Someone as meticulous, picky, and perfection seeking as you… or worse!  This can be a pain, when you see all the red pen marks on your work. But take the necessary and mull over the other comments. Also all those red pen marks help you grow as a writer. I hate it when I get my work back, with the same damn comments. Or I made a typo on the same words in this book, as I did the one before for example. That tells me I’ve not learned something or grown as a writer.
  3. Someone who writes themselves. But not always needed, it’s a bonus.
  4. Someone who reads themselves.
  5. Someone who gets your work and writing style, and won’t try to change who you are, just enhance who you are.

Remember!

Editors don’t write the best sellers, the page turners or the five star review books….you do writer so always come with your A -game. Don’t write half hearted, and think “oh my editor will help me make the story better.” No! It’s down to you, they do a different job.

Always have heart when writing and be true to you, forget those that don’t get it or you. There’s a reader out there for you.

Your editor is there to enhance the natural you, that’s all. The perfection of your creativity so it’s readable, is all that comes from your editor’s nit picking and red pen.

I hope this is helpful and pretty to the point. If I’ve missed something or you have a comment, let me know. Leave a comment.

 

 

Meet The Author: Gavin Ough Contemporary Romance & Paranormal Author @gavinough1 #amreading #amwriting #author

 

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It’s the 25th so it’s time for Meet The Author. This month, I am very happy to feature author Gavin Ough. Gavin is a British author (like yours truly), he hails from Kent in the UK.  I read Gavin’s interview with a smile and real admiration, it’s so refreshing to see a male writer turn his hand to contemporary romance :).I feel warm inside at this thought. Gavin is clearly a writer who does not do what is expected of him as a man… not write about love, feelings or relationships. Or try to make a romance junkie smile with his humour in his stories. Gavin is multi -talented now he has published his first book, he’s creating a  paranormal romance genre novel. I’m intrigued by him and excited about his paranormal work, are you? Good. Let’s get to know his style, what does our male romance author have to offer us romance junkies… Over to you Mr. Ough.

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hi, I’m Gav. I live and work in Herne Bay, Kent although I grew up in Whitstable. I’m married with three daughters; one’s a secondary school teacher, one works in a pre-school nursery and my youngest is in junior school.

Needless to say I love a good read, but my latest hobby is woodturning. I bought a cheap lathe and have been trying to create things of beauty – with varying degrees of success – ever since. I managed to make a walnut bowl I’m quite proud of so that’s going okay at the moment. Other than that I like playing video games with my youngest and watching The Amazing World of Gumball with her (don’t judge!)

Kim Haha Gavin, I’d never judge you, I have a three year old son I can quote Paw Patrol and Postman Pat theme tunes.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

I’ve loved reading since I was just a liccle boy. I clearly remember reading The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings in junior school so I suppose I must have been a precocious reader. I always had the dream of being a writer but never thought I had the talent (the jury’s still out as to whether I’ve got any now). So I trained in the horticulture industry before getting jobs cleaning other people’s muck off other people’s toilets, ended up as a landscaper for ages. Work dried up in about 2008 and so my wife said I ought to give writing a try. I’d been trying to write a fantasy novel off and on for about ten years but didn’t have any real idea how until I started reading other people’s hints and tips. Joined a few freelance sites and managed to get work with an online publisher called Serialities. They gave me the little boost I needed to realise other people thought I could write as well and the rest is history.

Kim: Oh your wife rocks, what support and encouragement. I wish you all the best with creating your “new world” in your fantasy book. Be sure to let us know when it’s released.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

I was a fan of the old Fighting Fantasy game books, by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone when I were a lad which probably fuelled my thirst for all things fantasy. David Gemmell and David Eddings continued the theme. For horror I love a good Stephen King (obviously) but the English Shaun Hutson is a master too as are Richard Laymon and Dean Koontz. As for chick lit authors, my wife recommended Trisha Ashley and I was hooked on the humour so started reading as many different authors as could. Sophie Kinsella, Sue Johnson, Dawn French to name but a few. Sorry if they don’t consider themselves as chick lit writers but I think they fit the bill.

Kim: *raise eyebrows* you’ve read Sophie Kinsella, now that’s refreshing. I’m sure she’d be thrilled to know she’s reaching male readers.

What Genre Do You Enjoy Reading?
Fantasy – end of. I like other genres as well but not as much as a well written and engaging fantasy. Swords, magic, dragons and killing – I’m such a bloke sometimes. I do like sci-fi but usually as a romance sub genre. Horror and paranormal but not vampire stuff so much as it’s been overdone. Needless to say I like a good old rom-com too.

Kim: Ya know, the only vampire stuff I got into is True Blood. I’m such a True Blood junkie. When it aired on TV in the UK, I would sit and watch back to back episodes with my mouth wide open. Love it.

 How Did Publishing Your First Book Change Your process of Writing?
The Spaces in Between was based on a twenty part serial story written for Serialities. I suppose the biggest thing I learned was about having some kind of an outline or plan to work to, even if it’s just a list of ‘things’ that are going to happen in your story. I was lucky as I’d been paid to write the outline over twenty weeks so just had to add a load of extra content to it.
And revisions – endless, relentless, repetitive revisions.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

Just the ones I’ve mentioned. Fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal. Actually I’m working on a paranormal book now.

Kim: keep us posted.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

Getting published by Serialities. Even though it hasn’t sold a billion copies I think that’s more to do with our combined marketing skills (or lack thereof) and the fact I haven’t quite reached a million followers yet. Not yet but I will.

Kim: A million copies, that’s every author’s dream we’re behind you with your vision! Good luck.

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Not really. If I do have problems writing something, I just stop and do something else entirely, shut the laptop and cut the grass or let the dog walk me or watch something with the missus. By the time – usually the next day – I get back to it I can usually carry on without much hassle. You need to enjoy writing even though it’s hard, even when it’s hard so if it gets to the point you’re getting frustrated you need to stop for a while.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

More a pantster than a plotter I would say although I’ve gotten better at planning and plotting as the works have got longer. I started out by writing 500 word pieces easily read on a phone and the readers voted on the plot twists so I couldn’t so much planning. Now I write a few short character descriptions and a very brief outline with what I want to happen in each chapter then virtually ignore the whole thing until I hit a stumbling block. I suppose I’ve got a good idea of where it’s going when I start so the plan is in my head rather than on paper but I don’t spend weeks with worksheets and plot diagrams, no. A list of major events from start to finish and then I just start typing.

Kim: massive respect to all pansters out there!.. I sit there and plot my heart out then write like no one is looking. I’m learning with these weekly writing challenges  I’m doing with Didi Oviatt to be more of a panster.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

I used to be a complete grammar Nazi! Everything had one way – the RIGHT way – and that was it. I think that was just the way I was taught and being born before the internet – fetch me pipe and slippers – was invented meant things didn’t change much. Language is fluid, always changing especially globally, so I’ve relaxed my perspective. I’ve gone all Zen and become enlightened, at peace with the world of the comma. Apostrophes though those little…

As long as what you write is easily readable and makes sense I don’t think there need be any hard rules about punctuation.

Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

It’s an odd one and just down to muscle memory but I find my writing peppered with ‘fro’ instead of ‘for’. It’s literally just down to the sequence my hands tap the keys in but as for is a word, the spell check never picks it up. I have to run a search/replace at the end of everything just in case I’ve done it again. Apart from that I’m a fairly good spellist but it also depends on what version of English I’m writing in. US publishers obviously want US spellings and grammar so I end up typing neighbour instead of neighbor but I set the language at the beginning of every document so the machine picks it up for me. I have got to the point I’ve been writing ‘realize’ with the ‘z’ no matter what version of English I’m writing in too.

Kim: Interesting, ya know I write and spell in British English only. It used to really annoy me when my publisher in the USA changed my spellings. I’d go back in and change them. In my head I thought, this is how I spell this so I want it as I spell it, see the logic.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

Choose whether you’re writing for fun or profit and if it’s for profit, make sure you know the market you’re writing for. Don’t try to be different or quirky because you won’t sell. Find out reader expectations by reading as much in the genre as you can and emulate the style. Don’t plagiarise obviously but try to copy the style and voice of the top sellers in your chosen genre or, I’m afraid you’re not likely to get anywhere.

Believe in yourself. It’s cliché and trite and all that but if you don’t, you’ll give up. I did for years, never believing in myself, never thinking I was good enough but I think I am and I’m gonna make a living from being a writer.

Learn the business of marketing. I never bothered and again thought I’d be no good at it but I found out how much people were making from my ghostwriting just by knowing a few marketing skills. It’s a long, slow battle and takes away from your writing time but I think it’s the single biggest thing you need to know how to do whether you’re self published or traditionally published.

Kim: Amen to the last point, this is a must. Thank you Gavin great tips.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

A sort of paranormal romance I’ve called Time to Turn Back.  It features a guy, Xander, who can see the past by connecting with people and objects. The protagonist, Katriona, loses her Gramps (who raised her after her parents were killed) and discovers he had a secret family she never knew about before he married her grandmother. Needless to say she discovers Xander who helps her discover the truth about her Gramp’s past. It’s got Russian gangsters, a little bit of funny and a cat called Humboldt.

Kim: Ha! A lil’ gangster ha? As well as romance. It’s on the read list keep us posted. 🙂 I’m quite excited for this.

So…where can we get your books?

Amazon, unfortunately. I’m not keen on all their policies and how they treat authors but they’ve managed to become the biggest name in the book industry and by making it free to publish your own stuff they’ve just about cornered the market. So yeah, there it is until I can generate a massive following and publish elsewhere as well.

Amazon UK link – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071CR7GS4

Kim: Take a look at smashwords.com good luck, shout me if you need a hand with publishing here.

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”

I think if I was able to pay all my bills and live the life I would like to – a humble one – from writing I’d call that a success. I wouldn’t want to be a celebrity but a few nice emails from fans would be nice. I actually enjoy what I do so in a way I’m a success already.

Kim: Gavin you’re just too cute, fan mail? Really? … I’ve read your first book I’m “a fan.” *chuckles*

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I think big egos hurt anyone don’t they? I suppose it depends on how people handle the ego they’ve got. If they’re the kind of pleb that goes around belittling everyone they meet I expect it’s going to hurt them in the long run. Karma, baby! Watch out for it.

Kim: Yes, karma is very real.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Sickeningly little as I’m lazy. If I have to look something up I do it in the middle of writing then shut the internet back down. I’m one of the infuriating people who aren’t addicted to the internet. (sorry) I’ll let you into a secret as long as you promise not to tell anyone. I don’t have a mobile phone. Not even an old Nokia kicking about in a drawer somewhere. Here’s a funny story though, I’m just finishing up Time to Turn Back and it features the baddy, Dimitri, searching for this necklace his grandmother gave to Kat’s grandfather. When I had a brief search for the Russian royal jewels it turns out a few pieces went missing during the Bolshevik rule one of which was a necklace! Weird eh?

Kim: Ha ! That is so bizarre, it’s a sign you need to finish up that book. As for not having a mobile phone, I had to sit for a moment and imagine what that might feel like. Probably quite stress free I’d imagine. The internet will really put you as an author out there Gavin… join us friend!

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I’ve only had a few so far and yes I’ve read them. Luckily they’ve been either positive or not so nasty they’ve ripped my heart out. You’re going to get bad reviews as you’re never going to please everyone but if you’ve put your heart and soul into a book and you believe it’s the best it can be, just let the bad ones wash over you. If the criticism is constructive – use it to improve.

Kim: well I bought and read your first published contemporary romance book. You’ll have another one on Amazon soon!

Do you Google yourself?

Not myself no. I do usually check to see if any new blog posts come up just after I’ve written them. If not I try and adjust the keywords until I come up somewhere near the first page. No one’s going to see you if not.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Couple of months for the first draft then about twenty years redrafting until I get it right! No, I try to get it done as fast as I can without reducing quality so I’d aim for about six months or less from idea to published.

What’s your favourite movie?

OMG how can I even pick ONE? If I was in some kind of ‘Desert Island’ situation I suppose it would have to be Love Actually.

Kim: *Smiles* you really enjoy romance don’t you. *chuckles with laughter.*

What’s your favourite book and why?

OMG again! It’s a series actually, The Redemption trilogy by Mike Smith. It’s one of those that I can read over and over without getting bored. The characters are like friends at the end and although it’s sci-fi it’s a romance too. The main character, Jon Radec, is so devoted to the woman he loves that he’ll do anything to get to her. And if he can’t get to her he’ll destroy anything or anyone in his way. Have a look, the first book, The Last Praetorian, is free so why not?

Kim: *On her way back over to Amazon.*

What music do you like?

A little bit of everything from Country to Heavy Metal, cheesy pop to love songs. I was a hardcore Dire Straits fan for a long time and love ZZ Top but just about anything goes from back in the day to current stuff.

Where would you like to travel to and why?

Promised the wife I’d take her to see the Northern Lights so I suppose I’ll have to go somewhere cold. We both like the idea of Canada so maybe we can do both there. Italy to see the coliseum and other architectural marvels. Venice for the same reasons – tourist stuff. I quite like the idea of going to somewhere like Angkor Wat or any kind of ancient civilisations ruins.

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

I write a very (VERY) basic one page outline with physical appearance and basic characteristics. If they’ve got a catchphrase or particular manner of speech I note it down but other than that, I just grow them during the story. Like I said with the research bit, I’m lazy.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

I like Poppy in Poppy’s Proposal. I think I might have subliminally based her on me a bit more than I liked to admit at the time as I can actually recognise some of her flaws as mine. Of course she’s magnified a hundred times and put through the wringer for comedy effect but I relate to her more than other’s I’ve written.

What would you like readers to know?

Even though I’m a man I can write funny, romantic and realistic stories they’d like to read. Chick lit is so female oriented that the few men that do write it feel the need to use pen names or be relegated to the realms of obscurity. Like ABBA said, take a chance on me.

Kim: Gavin, us female romance readers and lovers of all things romance paranormal, suspense, sci-fi , erotica, comedy whatever … we salute you as a male author entering into this genre. I for one can’t wait to see what you publish after Poppy’s Proposal.  I I really enjoyed it. Very best of luck with with building your readerships and bond with romance junkies.

And that’s a wrap! I really enjoyed getting to know Gavin, I hope you did too. Let’s watch this space, I have a good feeling that Gavin has a good idea about what makes a romance reader swoon. This could be very interesting. Please go ahead and connect with him below and wish him well on his ventures.

Connect With Gavin:
Facebook – Gavin Ough
Pinterest: Gavin Ough

Next month: another fantastic author is lined up. Stay tuned! 

If you’re an author and you’d like to feature in Meet The Author contact me here.

 

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Self Published Authors Talk to Kim & Sascha Darlington: How To Work With Reviewers & Remove Stigma. #author #amwriting #writerslife

I did a blog post last night about my views and personal thoughts, after reading on a book reviewer’s site……

“they won’t read books by self-published authors.”

WTF 2

Yeah, I felt the same when I read that. I was traditionally published before self published, I have a strong view point on this statement by book reviewers.  You can read the blog post here, which also lead to a conversation with Sascha in the comments. Interestingly she asked what she could do to help support self-published authors? Even though from what I understand, she has had a bad experience with some. Well I dunno? I guess try to keep reading work from self published authors.

But if you’re a self published author what could help improve the image self published authors have? And how can book reviewers support indie authors? Rather than have a hostile board-line discriminatory attitude toward those that do self publish. Oh and guys please what is your view on “vanity publishing” is that what it’s called these days? I did laugh have you heard this?

I have just a few things/ideas on this poll, add your own in the comments and do give feedback. It would be great for Sascha and I to hear all of your POV’s, as I am only good at talking up for myself… as you can probably tell 🙂

The Big Reveal: WHO IS AUTHOR A & WHO IS AUTHOR B FOR WK 1-3’S STORIES?? …. #kdsuspense #amwriting

Evening guys,

Both Didi and I have had some positive feedback from readers, about our stories. We are also both LOVING working together on them each week, it’s a shock to us to see where our story will end up, if you’re author A, as well as a shock to see what will land in your inbox to finish writing if you’re author B. Personally, I like both roles A and B I have no preference. What’s the hardest thing about working with Didi? …. Stopping writing! No matter if I’m A or B . We have both knocked out 90,000 odd word novels ,and it’s hard to put a lid on it once we’re in the groove! We Skyped about this, then guess what  we went over the word limit each again lols.. ah well. Sooooooooooooo I guess by now some of you want to know who is author A and who is author B, for the first three stories we have done. Okay your wish is our command, did you guess right…. take a look.

 

Week 1: It Was The First Time I Killed A Man. click here to read a steamy 18+ historical bit of crime fiction about a woman on death row.

 

Author A: kimknightprofilepic

 

Author B: Didi (1)

Yep I whipped up that crazy ass woman Lisa Vanicilli and handed her to my partner in crime to see what she’d do. Didi did not fail me! She aced the ending so well.  And you know what I loved writing Lisa. She’s nuts! This is my favourite story  so far. That said, this week’s one  for Tuesday maybe a close call. I heard through the grape vine a few of of you thought it may have been Didi  as author A. Humm maybe, as the main character is a blonde female from the USA….  “They say we write what we know “ well I’m from London,  my accent is nothing like the New York, Brooklyn accent that I love so much that we both tried to portray while writing. And I  could not be more far removed from the main female myself as a woman, but  we did tell you we’re skilled at adapting our writing styles. We’ll write anyone, any age, race, gender, sexuality we’ll try to step into anyone’s  shoes.

My First Reaction When I Read Didi’s Ending For This Story:

“Holy sh*it Didi is even more nuts than me in her character development, Lisa is crazy lols. Then I read real close again about two or three times and was like , hey you can’t even tell there was a change of writer. This is freaky it’s like one of us knocked out that story on our own.

Week Two: Every Time I Hear That Voice From The Basement: Click here to read. A psychological suspenseful story.

 

Author ADidi (1)

 

Author B: kimknightprofilepic

 

My First Reaction When This Story Landed In My Inbox:

When Didi sent me over the story,  in her email she was like: ” I gatta real dochebag for ya Kim. Can’t wait to see what you do with him.” I read the email and  laughed, but never expected what I read. I loved it.

When I finished reading I was like..What a freak he is! Didi can step into the shoes of anyone, she likes to write ’em crazy all right. I had so much fun with this story as I zoned in the the “disturbed” personality our main man has. The bleach part with his wife Jolene was a creative fluke. It just came to me while I was writing, focusing on his OCD ways. In fact this story was a real “fly by the seat of my pants story”. And as many of you know,  I’m  not “a panster” as a writer I like to plot my outline, then fill in with creativity as I write, I always have a direction. With this one I just sat behind the laptop and tried to craft a character that was true to what Didi whipped up, I had no direction. I think, this story was the most fun to write for me as I stepped into the shoes of a very ill man.  I dropped in the part about London and his obsession for Dana,  rather than turn him into a serial killer or let there be a murder, just to be a little different, and more creepy/ scary. I see this guy as a more passive dangerous character ,rather than an outright murderous character like Lisa Vanacili.  George is sly, very sly not so bold. He’s a plotter very calculating he won’t lash out like Lisa. Maybe Didi feels otherwise when she crafted him, we’ll see in her reveal post.

Week Three: The  Entrance To The Tunnel Is His Only Way Out. Click Here to Read It. A short sharp bit of crime fiction.

 

Author Akimknightprofilepic

 

Author B: Didi (1)

My First Reaction When I read Didi’s Ending For This Story:

Wow! I never saw that coming at all. Now that’s a surprise twist. I was very shocked at how Didi set me up to think that Juan would make it out okay, he just needed a little sleep. I think personally, she kept his character very true to what I created, Juan did not change. I also would NEVER have thought to go in that direction creatively at all, never ever.  I don’t know what was going through her head when she wrote the ending, but what ever it was did me proud.

 

So there you go. You know who author A and author B is for weeks one- three. Stay tuned for week four’s story which will be posted on Tuesday! Polls will go up to vote for week five’s writing prompt Wednesday. And now we have announced week four’s winning prompt…. why not write a story to the prompt with us? Leave your link on our pages and use #kdsuspense!

And remember …. WE NEVER DISCUSS WHO SHOULD WRITE WHAT, OR HOW THE STORIES SHOULD START OR END. ONCE WE HAVE AUTHOR A AND B AGREED… AUTHOR A WRITES, HANDS HER STORY TO AUTHOR B, SHE WRITES, WE PUT THEM TOGETHER, GIGGLE  HARD …AND PRESS PUBLISH!

Have a wonderful start to your week tomorrow.

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Kim’s Call: Who is Listening? #amreading #betareaders #reading #romance

Beta Readers

This is a re-blog guys I’m getting ready to unleash Lover’s Retreat book #2 of my Romance Set in Paradise series, I’d love a few more Beta Readers Chapter preview on link above more details…. See below!

Afternoon!

I’m putting out a call for Beta Readers. This call is for myself and also a Best Selling Romance author friend of mine. I won’t say who it is!! (Yet). We both would love a few quality, honest and reliable Beta Readers, who would be interested in reading samples or all of our novels/ novellas before they go to publication. You can be an author yourself or just a lover of fiction.

Do you like these genres/themes within stories:

Romance .

Suspense.

Paranormal (not my genre).

Time Travel genre.

Contemporary fiction /romance.

Thriller/ crime (that’s yours truly).

A multi cultural / diverse line up of characters.

Strong, likeable women.

Modern day Romeos for men.

Location based stories all around the world.

Stories that touch on real life issues.

Are you okay with:

My use of British English? If this will annoy you I’m sorry I may not be the author for you. I spell organised with a S! Favourite has a U… got it?

Are you:

Over 18 …..things can get a lil’ steamy in our stories. Both myself and the other author are not really into all that sweet wholesome romance. We write about love and sex in tasteful ways. Our characters do more than hold hands and walk in the park. *Wink

Have English as your first language.

Honest & reliable.

Able to keep things confidential?- This is important.We will send you our work before it’s published…don’t let the cat out the bag!

What does a Beta Reader do?

In a nutshell read and critique, in a constructive way. Offer their views on what’s been placed in front of you good or bad.

If you’re interested in being a Beta Reader for me, and/or the other author contact  me here. Send me a message.  We’d love to hear from you.

Thank you!

Oh we’ll throw in signed paperbacks of every book you Beta Read!

 

 

 

Meet The Author: Thank you All! & More Authors Needed… #author #amwriting

Well guys I have just interviewed three brilliant authors today, and the line up is so diverse!  The feature has become popular ,I’m doing two authors per month as a feature. The next spot open is from August onward, so if you’re  an author and you have a new summer release, or you fancy a spot light (even if you don’t have a new release for the summer) come and strut your stuff….do get in touch.  Everyone is welcome, but male authors  are encouraged  to participate and authors who hail from ALL genres, you wait until July there’s a lot of diversity there.

I’m loving meeting you all, and reading the author review copies  of your books I get. I promise I’ll read them and review them.

You can read some previous author interviews here.

 

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Meet The Author: Sara AckerMan -Historical Romance Author #amreading #author #romance

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This month, I’ve lined up two contrasting authors for you to meet. The second is Ms. Sara Ackerman. Sara is an author within a genre I also love to read, historical romance. Ahhh, there’s something about romance set against the backdrop of history that really interests me as a reader. Sara caught my eye over a year ago, when I first joined the world of WordPress and blogging as an author. Sara is not only a talented author she speaks three languages one of which I speak myself!  It was a pleasure to interview her. Let’s get to know her style.. over to you Sara.

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hello from the Midwest! I come from a small town in Wisconsin where I teach at the secondary level. I’ve been a lover of language for years, and actually speak three languages: English, French and Spanish.  I’m thinking of Mandarin Chinese or Arabic for my next language. In my free time I read, play games with my family and visit friends and family.

Kim: Tres bien! I speak French too. I love languages also. While they are challenging to learn,the satisfaction is unbelievable when you can speak to a native and be understood.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

My day job is teaching. There is a high rate of burnout for teacher’s especially in areas like ESL (what I teach) and other high needs’ jobs. One year I packed up my room and took all my personal belongings home, convinced I wasn’t going to return in the fall. I sat down at the computer that June and just started to write. I wrote for three months and by the time August rolled around, I had finished my first novel and was ready to return to school.

Inspiration comes from universal struggles and themes–the desire for acceptance, self-discovery, love, family. Also, I enjoy exploring  what if questions and the possibilities which can arise from different scenarios.

Kim: Go Sara! Excellent. Here in the UK, the burnout is high also.  I totally understand the problems within the profession. Your inspiration sounds fantastic. I think when we use real life as a base to start to write, our stories can become much more powerful.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

This a toughie. Mary Balogh is indisputably the queen of Regency era historical romance. Her plots, lively characters and poignant twists never fail to leave me wanting more. Yet Julia Quinn has a witty and fast-paced dialogue with sassy, intelligent females who know what they want. Both authors have inspired my own style, though, which is a blend somewhere in between. I tend to have more serious stories with intelligent, headstrong females.

Kim: umm hmm, yes I like headstrong and intelligent. 🙂 I need to look into some of these authors you mention. Thanks for the heads up.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

I’m a romance junkie all the way. Life is already stressful enough. Romance novels offer the perfect escape and a guaranteed happy ending. I do stray and will also read YA, fantasy and cozy mysteries, but my one true love is romance.

Kim: Haha, I too am a massive junkie for romance. It’s funny you should mention escapism as for me that’s what the genre offers. When I brainstormed my Romance Set in Paradise series, this is exactly what I’ve kept in mind while writing and creating.

So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

The Westby Sisters’ trilogy is about 3 sisters who were all cursed at a young age for a horrible lie they told. Each sister has a different curse to bear: Amelia (Little White Lies) can only tell the truth, Evelyn (Silence is Golden) can’t speak to anyone outside her immediate family and Beatrice (Silver Tongued Temptress) tells the truth but no one believes a word she says. Set during the Napoleonic wars, each sister struggles to find herself and overcome her limitations. There’s action and adventure. One reader asked if there were any murders because she enjoyed a little suspense, so yes, there are several murders, too, and of course, romance.

Kim: Oh suspense… yes yes! * claps her hands in excitement* . Can I be cheeky and ask for one of your author review copies so I can read?.. pretty please.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

Write what you love. Worry about edits after you’ve finished. If you get stuck, take a break, eat some chocolate and repeat.

Kim: haha I like this tip. I would 100% support the write what you like part, there is a reader out there for every author. No matter your style. Haters will always be there, use them as your motivation to create!

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

I’m working on the third book in the Westby Sister’s trilogy, Silver Tongued Temptress. My next release is June 7th, Silence is Golden, the second book in the Westby Sister’s trilogy.

Kim: cool, keep us posted over at Meet The Author on any promos that you do. Good luck for 7th June.

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”

My first book was self-published as a proof of concept, to see if I could do it. When I was getting several hundred downloads a day, then I decided to send it to publishers to see if I could get it professionally published. For me, it’s all about proof of concept. If I can do something I’ve set out to accomplish, then I’ve made it. My standards are all based on personal goals, not on how much money I’ve made or how many awards I’ve won, but on whether or not I can do something I’ve never tried before.

Kim: very refreshing Sara. Many of us do think about the awards, titles and lists that we make. I like your style. I think your approach will keep an author grounded and doing it for the love of writing rather than £ or in your case $.

What’s your favourite movie?

Pride and Prejudice, the Kiera Knightley version. Matthew MacFayden is dreamy. His voice could melt the panties off of a saint.

Where would you like to travel to and why?

Scotland. My first book is set in the Highlands. My husband is Scottish (on his mother’s side) and I think men in kilt’s are damned sexy. If I do get there, I’m buying one for the hubs and ‘requesting’ he wear it.

Kim: * cracks up laughing* hmm, totally off the subject but  I love a man in a sharp suit, you can knock me down with a feather every time. * daydreams about Nicholas D’Coix in A Stranger in France.*

 I’ve snapped out of my daydream over hot men in suits or kilts! That’s a wrap. I really enjoyed getting to know Sara and her style a bit better, I hope you did too.  Her books sound great, ideal for a romance lover who loves to read about strong women within a great setting and era. Connect with Sara below:

 Sara’s Book Blurbs:

Little White Lies

Available now from Wild Rose Publishing, Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Amelia Westby always tells the truth, a terrible curse in a society that values little white lies. When she meets Tavis McGuire, she finds a way to escape the scrutiny of London’s jaded ton. Tavis is passionate and caring, offering Amelia a chance at a new life, but when a dangerous secret threatens to destroy their happiness, Amelia must break her curse or lose the man she loves. After his brother’s death, Tavis McGuire returns from the continent to inherit the Earldom of Stanton, an estate near financial ruin. To save his home and clear his family’s name, he becomes embroiled in a dangerous game of espionage. When his investigation leads him to a beautiful woman who holds information he needs to catch a traitor, Tavis must decide whether to honor his duty to his country or to follow his heart.

Silence is Golden     

Available June 7th from Wild Rose Publishing, Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Ever since Evelyn Westby was cursed, she hasn’t been able to speak to anyone outside her family. That hasn’t stopped men from seeking her favor, especially the handsome and eligible Lord Alexander Newgate. But when her sister elopes and her betrothal is then canceled, Evie will do anything to win back her fiancé, even travel to war-torn France to find the gypsy who cursed her.

Alfred Coombes takes his fate into his own hands when he quits his employment to follow the call of adventure. On the road, he meets Lady Evelyn Westby and sees she needs a protector. Sacrificing his own journey, he becomes her guardian. Treacherous weather and a sinister smuggler throw them together, and he must decide whether to continue his journey or take a chance on a new adventure with a captivating beauty.

 

Author site: https://seackerman.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saraeackerman/

Next Month: Something a little different! Another great author stay tuned. If you’re an author and you’d like to feature on Meet The Author contact me here.

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If you’re an author and you’d like a feature contact me here.