Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Winner of We Heart YA Books! Sept scavenger hunt giveaway

Congrats to Laura who is the winner of the We Heart YA Books! Sept scavenger hunt giveaway. She wins a copy of Feedback.

For anyone interested in finding out more about We Heart YA books! you can check them out on Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/62640-we-ya-books





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D L Richardson is the author of speculative fiction. She has three teen novels and one short story anthology published. Her first novel reached number 2 at OmniLit and number 38 at Kobo Books. Her second reached number 1 at OmniLit. Little Red Gem is her third novel and recently won 2nd place Best Books of 2013 Paranormal Cravings. She lives in Australia on the NSW south coast with her husband and dog.


Contact information

Email                   dlrichardsonbooks@bigpond.com 
Blog           www.dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com
Website          www.dlrichardson.com Facebook      http://goo.gl/560JXl  
Twitter              www.twitter.com/#!/DLRichardson1

Finding time to write blogs

As I look through my diary, which is essentially my to do list, I noticed that I had earmarked for this week to write an article about "how to find time to write blogs". I also noticed that for the past three week's I had earmarked to write articles on "how to write a successful blog", "how to create your writing space", and "how to deal with rejection".

Obviously I haven't been able to find time to write anything as I'm preparing a novel for production, yet I am making time today to write a quick blog and I'll do so by using point no. 4 below.

Here are my 5 tips on how to find time to write blogs.

1. Write your post ideas down in a diary, schedule them for each Sunday for example. It is said that if something is written down it becomes real. This is true. And at least if you end up with time to write but no ideas, you can always look back through your diary like I did, and you won't have to scratch your head to come up with ideas.

2. Get others to write the posts for you. Most writers have blogs and they are often looking for content and ways to promote their books. If you are running short of time but have ideas for blogs, invite your writer friends to write the articles for you. This way you will promote their work, and when they share the post on their site, they will end up promoting your work too.

3. Keep it simple. A blog doesn't have to be a full feature article. If time is in short supply, stick to 400 words. And to be honest, 400 words is often the perfect length for a reader who has to wade through a hundred blog sites in their coffee break.

4. Use material you already have. Every writer has a stash of short stories or bits that didn't make it to the final novel. These can be special behind the scenes features. Use photos from your story board. Whatever you use, writers love learning about other writer's experiences so it will be worth it.

5. Host regular Coffee Chats. These are a bit like getting others to write the posts for you, except that they are usually casual interviews with those in a similar field to yours. Mine are coffee chats with authors, editors, digital artists, anyone who has anything to do with writing is invited to have virtual coffee with me. You can have a standard set of questions and you can keep it to about 5 questions so there is less time for formatting. In my experience, coffee chats produce the highest number of visits to my blog so they are worth the time it takes to prepare. Which isn't much. Writers answer the interview questions and provide all the material (photos, blurbs etc) and I just have to format it.

So there you go. I thought I didn't have time to write a blog article, yet by applying my own advice I put together a quick post. Now I just need to find time to write the other posts I've missed.

Catchya!
D L


D L Richardson is the author of best selling speculative fiction. You can check out her titles at www.dlrichardson.com

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Coffee chat with teenage author - G J Lonesborough

 
Welcome to G .J. Lonesborough who has joined me today to talk about his writing and his debut book "Caterpillars and Butterflies". Gary is only 18 years old and is very pleased to have his first book published at such a young age. It's a huge achievement.
About the book:Billy Harlen is a typical teenage boy who sees the world differently from other people. He sees people as caterpillars and butterflies. He sees caterpillars that go through life day-by-day, avoiding the spotlight, ignoring their special inner qualities, being a different person to who they really want to be. He sees the butterflies going through life happily, expressing themselves through their beauty and comfortable personalities. Billy sees people without any cares in the world strolling through life as if there is no such thing as a ’problem’. Billy sees their smiles, he hears their laughter and he can read the happiness on their faces. Billy sees the bad things in life more than the good. He comes from a disjointed home, broken down by life’s unexpected occurrences. He is part of a large friendship group of boys but he can’t stand them. He is hopelessly in love with a girl who has him in the friend zone. The only person who understands the real Billy is his brother Roy, but Roy is on the other side of the world.
Billy’s teenage mind is ambushed with the beginning of year 12, the HSC year bringing many new challenges and obstacles. Billy’s story will make you question what high school really means to you and what really matters/mattered when you reach the end.

 
DL: How do you take your coffee and what is your favourite time of the day to partake?
GJ: I like my coffee white with two sugars (although one sugar more recently) but I prefer a hot chocolate or a Milo! The mornings are my favoured times for coffee drinking as I am usually tired and need a jump-start.
DL: I read from your bio that you’re still in school. Was it through school that you found the publishing company or from an outside influence?
GJ: I found the publishing company purely out of curiosity. I was searching on the internet for self-publishing companies in Australia and came across Xlibris. My original goal was to just self-publish a book for my own fulfilment but after receiving some great feedback I decided to publicise my book.
 
DL: I love the premise of the book, how the main character sees everyone as caterpillars or butterflies. Can you tell us a bit about the story behind the story. 
 


GJ: I have always personally viewed people in that sense myself and I thought long and hard about how to express that view in the book. The idea is about how people are always changing and situations are always changing. A caterpillar and a butterfly are both two different versions of the same organism. I used the caterpillar/butterfly analogy in the book to represent the transformations teenagers make during their journey through high school and into adulthood. The caterpillars are people who hide in cocoons, essentially hiding their true selves. They are not completely comfortable with who they are and are still trying to figure that out. The people who are expressing themselves and living their lives the way they want to live are the butterflies. They are proud of who they are and what they can do and they are happy to be themselves.
 
DL: How important is it that young writers seek guidance from teachers and authors about the writing process? 
 
GJ: It is essential for young writers to seek guidance from teachers or authors or anyone who can advise them about the writing process. To have an idea is one thing, but to be able to express that idea in writing is another thing altogether! English teachers are always good sources of information when you are looking for guidance about writing. It is important to also remember that you are young and you should acknowledge that there is definitely room for improvement in your writing, even if you are getting top marks or awards for your writing abilities. Speaking to other authors about writing is a great confidence boost as they will be able to give you advice from a professional view. You should always remember that criticism shouldn’t be taken as a put-down, but merely advice on how to better your writing abilities. The main thing for young writers is believing in yourself and being confident that you are capable of producing material that is worth publishing. This confidence can be gained earlier rather than later by speaking to a teacher you trust or an author and you should never give up on a great idea.
 
DL: It must be amazing to see your book on online retail bookstores such as Barnes and Noble and Kobo. Have you received any helpful advice on marketing your book and if so, do you find the marketing side of things fun or boring? 
 
GJ: Marketing is neither fun nor boring for me. When the book first came out, I was over the moon seeing it was available to purchase on the internet and knowing people wanted to buy it was even more exciting. Marketing your book is essential and at the end of the day, unless you are already an established and highly recommended author, your book won’t sell itself. I find marketing to be a bit scary sometimes, knowing that I have to put myself into the spotlight and get my face out there. The best advice I have received in regards to marketing is to aim at the local market and let your community know you have written a book. The local market is the best place to start when marketing your book because if people don’t know who you are or your name, they won’t be interested in buying and reading your book.
 
DL: Are you working on anything at the moment or are waiting until you get Year 12 finished? 
 
GJ: I was working on a few different projects but put them on hold to focus on school. Now that school is finished for me, I am working on a children’s novel aimed at ages 9+ which I plan to send to a traditional publisher. I have a second book on my contract with my current self-publisher and I am planning the story I will write. It will be a young adult novel, just as Caterpillars and Butterflies was. I have the feeling I will always be writing because I am constantly getting ideas throughout my daily life!
 
DL: What are some of your favourite books? 
 
 
GJ: As a kid, I always loved the Goosebumps series by R.L Stine. I also loved Andy Griffiths books, particularly the Just series, and Paul Jennings books and the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey. As for my current favourites, I would have to say Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Carrie and The Dead Zone by Stephen King, and The perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, which I read after watching the movie and absolutely loved the book. 
 
DL: If you could pick one author to emulate, who would that be? 
 
GJ: If you could pick one author to emulate, who would that be? Stephen King. He is an inspiration in the sense of his originality and content of his books. The popularity he has garnered through his writing is what drives me. I think anyone who is serious about writing novels and stories would love for their work to be appreciated and respected just as Stephen King’s work has been.
 
DL: Thanks for stopping by Gary. Good luck with the writing.
 
About the author:
Gary J. Lonesborough was born on the 14th of January, 1995. He is currently completing a school-based traineeship with the Southern NSW Medicare Local and is training to be an Aboriginal health worker. He has had a passion for writing since primary school. Gary won the 2012 Patrick White Young Indigenous Writers competition in the year twelve category for a short story he wrote.
He currently lives on the far south coast of NSW with his parents, three younger brothers and one younger sister. Gary is a member of the local football team and is a proud supporter of the North Queensland Cowboys.
 
 
 
Links to buy and to read more:
 
 
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18354912-caterpillars-and-butterflies?from_search=true

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/caterpillars-and-butterflies-gj-lonesborough/1116534668?ean=9781483682013
 






ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D L Richardson is the author of speculative fiction. She has three teen novels and one short story anthology published. Her first novel reached number 2 at OmniLit and number 38 at Kobo Books. Her second reached number 1 at OmniLit. Little Red Gem is her third novel and recently won 2nd place Best Books of 2013 Paranormal Cravings. She lives in Australia on the NSW south coast with her husband and dog.


Contact information

Email                   dlrichardsonbooks@bigpond.com 
Blog           www.dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com
Website          www.dlrichardson.com Facebook      http://goo.gl/560JXl  
Twitter              www.twitter.com/#!/DLRichardson1

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Cover reveal - Little Red Gem YA paranormal romance


At last I can reveal the cover  and synopsis for my new YA novel, Little Red Gem. It's a paranormal romance story with magic, music, and cursed ghosts. It features lyrics from songs I wrote for this novel. I'm so pleased and excited about this release. I hope you are too.




Synopsis:


Love can make you do crazy things, as Ruby Parker discovers when she dies and returns from the grave to unearth how much Leo Culver loved her. Would he have put his career ahead of her? Would he have left her a single mother? With the aid of bad advice from a ghost who is trapped by a curse, a little bit of magic courtesy of her unsuspecting half-sister, and a televised music talent show coming to town to hold auditions, Ruby Parker makes more of a mess in death than she ever did in life. Can she fix everything before it’s too late? Or will she spend eternity as a ghost, haunted by the unknown depths of love? Either way, one thing Ruby learns is that while love can make you do crazy things, it can make you do amazing things too.

 RELEASE DATE: 25 OCTOBER 2013
 
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D L Richardson is the author of speculative fiction. She has three teen novels and one short story anthology published. Her first novel reached number 2 at OmniLit and number 38 at Kobo Books. Her second reached number 1 at OmniLit. Little Red Gem is her third novel and recently won 2nd place Best Books of 2013 Paranormal Cravings. She lives in Australia on the NSW south coast with her husband and dog.


Contact information

Email                   dlrichardsonbooks@bigpond.com 
Blog           www.dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com
Website          www.dlrichardson.com Facebook      http://goo.gl/560JXl  
Twitter              www.twitter.com/#!/DLRichardson1
 

Monday, 16 September 2013

Coffee Chat with Noelle Clark


 
First up, let me tell everyone that there are only a few days left of this awesome giveaway. Print copy up for grabs. 


Hurry and click on the below link...
 


Welcome to Noelle Clark, author of the multiple 5 star romance novel Let Angels Fly written by fellow Australian author Noelle Clark. 

Here's a bit about the book we're discussing today:
When Abbie travels to exotic Cambodia, her goal is to find herself again. She also finds that the local people steal her heart, and she enthusiastically responds. But the mysteries of ancient Angkor Wat also captivate her, drawing her into danger and near tragedy. She unwittingly places her new friend, Craig, in a life and death situation. Abbie experiences utter joy, deep melancholy, and faces her biggest fears. But she emerges as a stronger and more confident woman, because of it.

Here's an insight into the author:
DL: So, Noelle, coffee, how do you have it and what is your favourite time of the day to partake? 

Noelle: I start the day with a black coffee. My family gave me a pod machine last Christmas, so I’ve had a field day trying out all the different flavours and strengths of pods available, and have settled on Medium Espresso. I also like the Belgian Chocolate, but I save that for late in the day.
           
DL: Where did you get the idea for your novel?

Noelle: I went to Cambodia for a holiday last year, not really knowing what to expect. Unlike many other Asian countries which have modern cities and a thriving tourism-led economy, Cambodia is considered one of the world’s poorest countries, with around one third of people living on less than $1 a day. The economy is still recovering from civil war and the atrocities of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge guerrilla warfare, where 2 million Cambodians were killed.

The poverty is everywhere – except in the extremely luxurious hotels. The hotels are an oasis for travellers, allowing the senses to recharge after a day out on the streets.

The idea of ‘Let Angels Fly’ came to me as I was cooling off in my hotel’s pool in Siem Reap. I had spent a day walking around the town, seeing many people with limbs missing – a legacy of the unexploded landmines which are prevalent in the fields and countryside. I had visited several ‘orphanages’, or schools, which provide safe homes for children who have been either left without parents, or more commonly, who have been victims of child exploitation or extreme poverty. I decided that, as soon as I could, I would return to Cambodia and volunteer to work in one of the orphanages.

So, with such an inspirational location, I created two characters who both met up in Cambodia, who needed healing in one way or another, and who were able to overcome their past whilst each, in their own way, helping the people of Cambodia.

DL: Your book refers to the Beng Melea Angel. Can you tell us a bit about how that came to feature in your novel?

Noelle: Whilst I was there, I also learned of the desecration of the World Heritage listed Angkor Wat temples. ‘Tomb Raiders’ steal the carvings and sell them on the black market. Sometimes it’s local people who do this, trying to put food on the plate for their families. But other times, the robbers are from elsewhere. Angkor Park is sacred to the Khmer, or Cambodian people. The authorities are desperately trying to prevent any more thefts.

Beng Melea Angel is a relief carving situated in a temple some two hour’s drive north of Siem Reap, away from the main Angkor Park. She has been especially sacred to the local people. Her once beautiful face is now scarred forever, due to robbers chiselling off her face, but only succeeding in splitting it down the middle, making it worthless on the black market.

My characters in ‘Let Angels Fly’ pursue two artefact thieves. There is danger, suspense, action, and intrigue, as they try to stop the abomination that tomb raiding causes.

DL: Have you been writing for a long time or is this something you’ve taken up recently?

Noelle: I’ve always written short stories, travel journals, letters. I had pen pals all over the world when I was young. I am also a songwriter, and have written over thirty songs, one of which has been recorded by an artist. It did very well on the charts at the time.

My first full length novel, Stone of Heaven and Earth, is a work of historical fiction, set in China between 1914 and 1929. As yet, I haven’t submitted it to a publisher. Maybe next year.

I began writing contemporary romance and romantic suspense in 2012, and I love it. Romance books always have a happy ending, and I like to think of them as a tonic for readers who might need a little uplifting in their lives.

DL: Are you finding any challenges being an Australian author in a global marketplace?

Noelle: My publisher, Etopia Press, is based in the United States. Therefore, my market is global, chiefly the US. But my books have a distinctly Australian flavour – my heroines have so far all been Australian. It’s important to me to incorporate my nationality into my books. I’ve had feedback from readers all around the world, who love reading the ‘Australian accent’. I think the challenge for me, with a US publisher, is actually getting my name known in Australia.

DL: What are you currently working on?

Noelle: My current work in progress is called ‘Honor’s Debt’. It’s set in Ireland, and is the story of an Australian woman tracing her Irish cousins. It’s a story about bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and it’s about the healing power of love. In some ways, it’s quite different from my previous books, but I’m having a ball writing it.

However, on December 6th, my second novel will be released, again through Etopia Press. It’s called ‘Rosamanti’ and is the story of love, adventure, and serendipity, all set on the beautiful Island of Capri, off the coast of Italy. Have you ever felt that a house you lived in drew you there for a reason? Well, that’s how my heroine, Sarah, feels when she answers a newspaper advertisement, quite out of the blue, and ends up living in a 400 year-old villa on Capri.

DL: When you have coffee, are you a cake or biscuits person?

Noelle: Definitely biscuits. I love home-made biscuits best of all – any sort. But I’m partial to Lemon Crisps too. That mixture of salty and sweet. Mmm. Do you have any handy?
 
DL: For those of you who don't know what these biscuits look like, here's a peak...


Thank you very much to Noelle for stopping by for this coffee chat and telling us about your writing. Don't forget to check out 'Let Angels Fly' via your favourite online site and you can show your support by clicking on the below links.  
 
Contact links:

Website  www.noelleclark.net
Goodreads Author Page  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7046284.Noelle_Clark
Amazon Author Page  http://www.amazon.com/Noelle-Clark/e/B00CENUDLC
Twitter  https://twitter.com/noelle_clark
Pinterest  http://pinterest.com/NoelleCBooks/boards/
      Here's a bit more about the author:
Noelle Clark is an Australian author who weaves romance, suspense and adventure into colourful and often exotic locations around the world. Widely travelled, Noelle uses her real life experience of places, culture, and people, as a backdrop to her stories, giving the reader an authentic taste of the location. Her novels often feature more mature heroines and heroes, believing that love can be sweet at any age.
Catchya
D L



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D L Richardson is the author of speculative fiction. She has three teen novels and one short story anthology published. Her first novel reached number 2 at OmniLit and number 38 at Kobo Books. Her second reached number 1 at OmniLit. Little Red Gem is her third novel and recently won 2nd place Best Books of 2013 Paranormal Cravings. She lives in Australia on the NSW south coast with her husband and dog.


Contact information

Email                   dlrichardsonbooks@bigpond.com 
Blog           www.dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com
Website          www.dlrichardson.com Facebook      http://goo.gl/560JXl  
Twitter              www.twitter.com/#!/DLRichardson1

Winer of ebook giveaway announced...

Congratulations to Jasmine L. Albitos. You are the winner of the ebook giveaway. You'll receive your ebooks shortly. Yah!!! Well done. Jasmine wins a copy of both YA novels The Bird With The Broken Wing and Feedback.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D L Richardson is the author of speculative fiction. She has three teen novels and one short story anthology published. Her first novel reached number 2 at OmniLit and number 38 at Kobo Books. Her second reached number 1 at OmniLit. Little Red Gem is her third novel and recently won 2nd place Best Books of 2013 Paranormal Cravings. She lives in Australia on the NSW south coast with her husband and dog.


Contact information

Email                   dlrichardsonbooks@bigpond.com 
Blog           www.dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com
Website          www.dlrichardson.com Facebook      http://goo.gl/560JXl  
Twitter              www.twitter.com/#!/DLRichardson1

Thursday, 12 September 2013

How do you know when you're ready to self publish?

A question I am often asked is, When does an author know they are coming close to reaching their dream of becoming a published author? The answer is usually when that writer gets half page or full page rejection letters offering suggestions and/or flaws.

I once received a rejection letter that went for a page and a half. I didn't get disheartened, instead I saw this as a sign that this editor saw "something" worth his time to write the page and a half reply. He could have sent his usual "no thanks". This level of rejection can also mean that what you are submitting is simply not what they're buying at the moment. Agents and editors are people too and they suffer from fatigue like normal people. I'm talking about market fatigue.

Vampires, paranormal, magic, fantasy, zombies, Vikings, science fiction, contemporary fiction...every time the market is flooded with one type of book, editors get flooded with submissions of one type of book. It's natural that they never want to see that type of book again.

But if your manuscript is marketable, shouldn't a publisher want to publish it? I hear you ask. A good question. Some of my rejection letters read like this:


...we often are not able to take on clients who merit publication. While I believe that your ideas might have market appeal, I am not convinced that we could represent it successfully at this time...


...Out of necessity, we are frequently forced to pass by material which shows potential.  We recognize that in doing so we miss opportunities to represent fine and worthwhile material, but we also trust that if you persist you will eventually connect with the right agent at the right time for your success...


Every day editors reject work they believe has market appeal and potential, but rather than authors taking this to mean that their work isn't publishable, they may need to consider that even if readers want to read what is currently out in the marketplace, editors simply want something else. Look at it this way; if you get potatoes shoved at you every day and then someone gives you an apple, what's going to light up your eyes?

So when does a writer know they are ready to self publish? One indicator might be when the traditional avenue fails yet the rejection letters are peppered with words such as "market appeal" and "potential".

I began considering self publishing my young adult paranormal romance after receiving this rejection:


...I'm getting feedback about paranormal fatigue from a lot of YA editors...


I love the story I submitted, and so did my advance readers, and while self publishing has lost its stigma, and while many self published novels have made it to the New York Times bestsellers lists, there is still a certain appeal to having a novel published through a publisher. Even though editors are suffering paranormal fatigue, I can't give up on this novel, especially not after a friend pointed out to me the other day that paranormal is what I write. She also pointed out that I have fans who already know my style so I can't change it. She's right. Thanks Kylie. How can a writer change what they write simply because editors want to read something else? I have to stick to my chosen genre and write what I write because trying to write to the market is like trying to lick your elbow with your tongue - it's impossible.

Stay tuned for more news about this self published project.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D L Richardson is the author of speculative fiction. She has three teen novels and one short story anthology published. Her first novel reached number 2 at OmniLit and number 38 at Kobo Books. Her second reached number 1 at OmniLit. Little Red Gem is her third novel and recently won 2nd place Best Books of 2013 Paranormal Cravings. She lives in Australia on the NSW south coast with her husband and dog.


Contact information

Email                   dlrichardsonbooks@bigpond.com 
Blog           www.dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com
Website          www.dlrichardson.com Facebook      http://goo.gl/560JXl  
Twitter              www.twitter.com/#!/DLRichardson1