Featured

Query Letters and Slow-Moving Sequels

Hey all! This past month has been busy-busy, as I’m sure it has been for all of you. The school year is winding down for our family. Some big plans are looming on the horizon, so we’re nervous and excited, but overall hopeful.

QUERIES!

Last week, I sent out my first round of query letters to literary agents for my latest manuscript, The Last house. Hopefully, we’ll hear something positive in the next couple of months. You never know. If the right book hits the right agent at just the right time, it could all work out. Kind of like how things worked out for Devils Glen with Kindle Scout.

For those who don’t know, a query letter is basically an email you send out to potential agents describing your book. You tell a brief one or two paragraph blurb-like synopsis, a hook line, author bio, and information like genre and word count. Usually, you include a chapter or two for them to read. If an agent likes what he or she sees, they might request a full or partial manuscript. If not, you usually get a form letter rejection. Most books get loads of rejections before they get even a request for full or partial. It’s a long process, but I think this book has potential.

Devils Glen, horror, Kindle, Uncategorized

Devils Glen New Cover!

Hey all! Devils Glen has had a mini-relaunch with a new cover and a new edit. No major changes have occurred to the story, but I have cleaned things up a little. Here’s the new cover:

I love the mood, and the thumbnail definitely pops on Amazon. This week, we’re running a promo! The Kindle version will be FREE from Tuesday April 16th through Thursday April 18th, so tell your friends who haven’t read it yet and get a free copy today!

authors, writing

Rough Drafts and Refunds

Hey all! Hope you’re all making it through this crazy winter. Out here in Southern California it’s not so bad, but our friends and family in the Midwest have had it tough. I’m thinking about you guys!

Last House Update—Cheers!

As you know if you’re following me on Facebook, I’ve finished the rough draft of my next novel, The Last House, and am letting it sit on the back burner for some weeks while I work on another project. Those of you who pre-ordered it on Inkshares will receive refunds this week. I only put the book up on Inkshares to enter it in the 2018 Horror Novel Contest.

What’s next? I will get back to working on the next draft by mid-April and I plan to query it out to agents as soon as I’ve got a solid draft ready. It may be quite some time before you get to read it, but I’ve got high hopes for this one.

editing software, Self-publishing, writing, writing software

Tools of Writing

Laptop on a work table with DIY and construction tools all around top view hobby and crafts concept

Just as a painter requires a brush, canvas, palette, and easel, a writer needs specific tools to create a story. These days, authors use a wide variety of programs to improve almost everything about their work—from editing and plotting, to formatting and publishing.

Below, I’ve listed several basic programs useful for any kind of writing.

Crow Creek, horror, Horror movies, inkshares

Horror 2018

This was another interesting year for horror. From movies and TV to books and podcasts, it seemed like horror was everywhere. I can’t let the year slip away without talking about some of my favorite stuff. First, I’ll start out with my top ten horror movies of the year. Here we go…

publishing, Uncategorized, writing

How to Write a Book, Part 2

So, you’ve finished your rough draft and set it aside for four to six weeks, keeping your writing juices flowing by working on another project or the beginnings of a blog, and now you’re ready to go back to your unwieldy lump of clay and begin fashioning it into something recognizable.

However, there is one thing we need to clear up right now. . .

Devils Glen, Kindle, Uncategorized

Horror for Halloween

Hey everyone! Hope your Shocktober is going great!

Thanks to everyone who picked up a free Kindle copy of Crow Creek the first week of October. It was a fantastic promotion charging my books up the horror charts for a while there. Hopefully, everyone likes what they read. Please do me a favor and leave a rating on Amazon!

Shocktober Horror Movie Challenge

I’ve been watching one horror movie or show per day throughout the month of October. Most of these films are obvious and you’ve probably seen them a time or a hundred, like me. But here are just some of my favorites I’ll be watching this month…

Uncategorized

Shock-tober Slashing!

Crow Creek Free on Kindle Next Week

Hello all! My favorite month of the year is fast approaching and I wanted to tell you about a big promo I’ve got coming up to celebrate. The Kindle version of Crow Creek, Bettendorf Tales Book 2, will be FREE from Monday the 1st through Friday the 5th!! That’s right, it’s free!!! Zero, nada, zilch! Kindle version only.

authors, Inspiration, Uncategorized, writing

How to Write a Book, Part 1

Magic book (© Lobke Peers)

So, you want to write a book?

Come on, you know you do, or you wouldn’t be here on my website reading this blog. You’d be doing something else with your time—something far less frustrating, and probably more entertaining. But here you are, reading this little unmistakably titled article. Heck, several of you have messaged or emailed me telling your ideas. Indeed, future authors abound on my friends list!

Before I begin, let me warn you—I am no expert. I’ve written two novels of arguable and variable quality. That’s it. The only thing that gives me the authority to pontificate on this subject is the fact that I’ve done it, which is kind of like getting advice about professional baseball from a guy who’s played a game or two. It’s better than nothing, but not the same as hearing from a big-time pro.

Still, I have successfully completed two novels and one of them was published by someone other than myself, so my advice is worth something. Just don’t take my word as the end-all, ya dig? I’ll tell you what worked for me and you can take from it what you will. After that, I advise you to go forth and read On Writing by Stephen King.

Anyway, without further ado…

Audiobook

How to Narrate Audiobooks on ACX

Last Fall, I was looking for a narrator for my first novel, Devils Glen. Like most people, a quick Google brought me to ACX, Amazon’s audiobook creation service that hooks authors up with voice talent to create and produce audiobooks to be sold on Amazon/Audible and iTunes.

I went to ACX and set up my book for auditions and waited. Within a day or two, auditions began to roll in, and I would be generous in saying that the quality of some of the performances left a lot to be desired. The one or two great auditions I did receive, asked for a considerable amount of money up front.

As I thought about it, I decided–hey, I’ve got a pretty good voice, a theatre background, and I’ve always liked to read aloud. Why don’t I just do my own audiobook? Crazy, right?

Well, after a bit of a learning curve, and a lot of trial and error, I can honestly say I’m glad I did it. I was able to produce a pretty dang good audio version of my novel and I may have found a nice little side career to boot. I even booked a narrating gig for a steamy romance novel, which was just released on Amazon and iTunes, Hot Shade by Tamara Lush.

I’m going to share with you the most helpful information I found online. With very little money up front, you too can get going turning your own novel into an audiobook. Who knows? You may even start up your own narrating career. And remember, we’re keeping it simple.