Anti-social vs social media.

I was going to title this post Autism vs Social Media, but that seems unfair to the people who are anti or unsocial but don’t have autism or mental health problems as a reason (some people simply prefer to avoid people).

I have encountered a number of discussions on Goodreads recently about the need for and the usefulness of Facebook author pages and other social media, and every time I am left with the same set of conflicted feelings. On the one hand, I know that social media can be a very powerful tool in this globally connected age for enabling a writer to find readers, build a fanbase, connect with fans, etc; on the other, this only works if you are able to use social media effectively.

If, like me, you have difficulty dealing with people on any level (in my case the reason for that is I have autism and a number of other mental health problems, but people have many reasons for this problem) then social media can be a real struggle; unfortunately this means that no matter how good your book is, and I’m not about to claim a Dickens level of writing ability here, but I do believe I am above average as an author, it will be difficult to get people to discover the books you release.

There are sites that will provide authors with a quick boost of promotion, but long-term success will only come as a result of good quality, consistent use of social media. What the solution is, I don’t know, but if anyone out there can come up with a suggestion for how I can market my books effectively, and long-term, without spending a fortune, and without burning myself out trying and failing with social media, I’d love to hear from you.

An Interview With Louann Carroll

Joining me today on ARCBookblog is Louann Carroll, an interesting lady with several books to her name who has agreed to answer some questions so we can all get to know her a little better. First though, here is what Louann says about herself.

15871692_1520437217970531_1381870915353840774_n.jpgLouann Carroll is a Native Californian living in the Sierra Nevada foothills with her husband, Dennis.

Mother to three children, she is an avid rock, fossil, and gem hunter who enjoys sharing her finds with family and friends. She is a student of alternative religion, archaeology, anthropology, and paleontology.

After leaving her position as C.E.O. in the Bay Area, she has pursued her writing career with much success. Winner of the 2010 Crescent Moon Press award for best novel, she has gone on to write radio talk shows and articles on adoption.

She is the author of the Gemini series including Gemini Rising, The Light and the Flame (coming soon) A Shadow of Time, a paranormal romance, Shadowlands, a prequel, Journeys, The Adventure of Leaf, and numerous children’s stories.

You can reach Ms. Carroll at:

Twitter

Facebook

Email – carroll.louann@yahoo.com

Website

Amazon

Goodreads

And now it’s time for the questions, I hope you like what Louann has to say

Me – Is writing a full-time occupation, or do you have a job that keeps you from it?

Louann – Writing is always a full time occupation. I have a day job, but writing is always on my mind. Every spare moment I have I either work on a blog or an article or a manuscript. If I’m not working on my writing, I am filled with guilt because there is so much I have to say. Of course, that is not to say everyone wants to hear what I have to say. It is just that I am driven to say it regardless. I am sure I drive my family and friends nuts

Me – What aspect of publishing do you find the easiest?

Louann – Writing is the easiest. I love to write. Stuff flows from my fingertips. I also like the sound of the keyboard when I type. It is like music to me.

Me – What do you find the most difficult?

Louann – Marketing, editing, anything that resembles work. Writing is not work to me. It’s the stuff that goes with it.

Me – What is your perfect writing environment.

Louann – I can write with stuff happening in the background but I prefer quiet. I can get lost in my thoughts and I like it there.

Me – Do you have a process you follow when writing a book?

Louann – My life would be so much easier if I had a process. My muse lets me see into the next chapter but that’s it. I am also a social journalist for Blasting News. When I get upset and need to vent they let me do some commentary. My blog is like that too, but fiction? I have to wait and the wait kills me. I even had a temper tantrum and refused to write. It didn’t do me any good. I just felt guilty and had to wait for the muse to take me where it willed.

Me – Would you rather be critically successful or financially successful?

Louann – I really don’t care about being critically successful so I guess financially successful. My goal is to give people what I call mind candy, a place to get away from the real world for a little while. If I can do that I consider myself successful.

Me – If you could pick 1 celebrity to read your book and give an opinion on it, who would it be?

Louann – Anne Rice. She let me post A Shadow of Time on her website and I nearly died.

Me – Do you find it easy to avoid being distracted when you sit down to write?

Louann – I find it easy, my husband not so much. He thinks I am ignoring him.

Me – If you have published already, what has been the most successful technique/site/opportunity for you in terms of getting either exposure or sales?

Louann – Making connections with other writers, authors and readers-networking so-to-speak. Also, Twitter has been great. I also belong to Triberr which is a blog platform where we tweet our blogs for each other. Right now I have a reach of over 500,000 people by using Triberr. I really recommend it. Just go to triberr.com and you can pick the groups that fit your genre, start blogging and you are off and running.

Me – Last but not least, and something a little fun, what is your favourite animal, and why?

Louann – My little Agatha. She’s a purebred Fox Terrier who was rescued from a puppy mill. She’d lived in a cage for 7 years and had little human contact except when breeding. It was like her eyes met mine and we both fell in love. Because she lived in a cage, when she gets happy she walks in circles the exact dimension of her kennel. Even though I’ve had her 2 years now, she still runs in circles when she’s happy. Omg she is so cute.

Innocent Blood

41U1rz9XE5L.jpgThey call him the Pope on Dope.

Danny Fisk has a secret no one outside his family would believe.

Danny sees things others can’t: like ghosts and the future. In his teens, he used drugs to escape his gifts, but with help from his family, Danny cleaned up his life. For fifteen years, he lived the American Dream. He had a loving wife, kids, a great job, and proud parents.

That ended when renewed pressure from his abilities drove him back to drug abuse. Now, Danny’s on a mission to save as many as he can from the streets that would destroy them all.

Pursued by corrupt cops, drug cartels and his own inner demons, Danny must find a way to survive his gifts. If not, he’ll continue a downward spiral that could cost him the lives of those he’s trying to save.

As well as his own.

If you like the sound of this, you can buy it on Amazon

 

An Interview With RL Jackson

Today’s guest on ARCBook blog is RL Jackson, who was instrumental in setting up the blog-a-go-round that I have recently been a part of, and which has resulted in me interviewing some lovely people. Before I get on with the questions, let’s find out a little about my guest.

LakeishaPic.jpgR.L Jackson writes fiction and enjoys reading Romance, Fantasy, Dystopian, YA, and everything in between. She is also a seasoned screenwriter, an avid movie lover, ruthless supporter of all things creative and a hopeless romantic. Residing in the Sunny state of Florida, she plans on bringing many more worlds, from different genres to light in the near future.

And now it’s time for the questions.

 

 

Me –  How long have you been writing?

RL – I’ve been writing my whole life essentially, from short stories to screenplays and then on to novels

Me – Is writing something you’ve always wanted to do? 

RL – It is something that i’ve always wanted to do, and something I have been actively pursuing for a while now

Me – How would you describe yourself as a writer, a plotter or a pantser? 

RL – I’m not sure what pantser means, but i love a good plot. I try and create multiple dimensions in my characters as well as the stories..Always leaving clues that no one realises until later

Me – Do you write every day?

RL – I write almost everyday, whether it’s my own blog, new novel ideas, or current feature film or tv pilots

Me – What is your favourite genre?

RL – Too many to count, lol, but I guess my least favorite would be horror. Now I like vampires and witches, and I’ve come around to zombies, but ghosts and aliens..no thanks, lol

Me – Is your favourite genre one you write in? 

RL – Yes, I think if theres something you enjoy about a genre, you should attempt to write in it, but don’t pigeon hole yourself either. You should branch out and try other things as well

Me – If you could have written any book in history, what is it?

RL – The one I wrote. Any others works out there, are theirs and encompasses who they are. My book encompasses me, so Crashing Into Me is my answer.

Me – What would you like to achieve with your writing?

RL – I’d like to continue to creative interesting stories, screenplay adaptations of said stories, that I eventually turn into feature films. I’m actually reverse engineering a screenplay into a novel, so that will be interesting, lol

Me – Which of your books is your favourite?

RL – This is my first novel,so that would be this one. My very first short story in middle school “cyclops” is up there because its what sparked my love of writing…Cyclops…the memories, LOL

Me – Tell me about your next release.

RL – The next release will be Book Two of the Crashing series, as well as a YA Fantasy I’ve been working on for some time. Which will come first, I’m not sure, but I plan on taking my time to create quality material.Not a fan of pumping out books “willy nilly”

Crashing Into Me

CrashingIntoMeNewCoverFont.jpgA year after being left at the altar, headstrong E.R Nurse, Lana McKenzie is finally piecing her life back together. Tired of dealing with seeing her ex and his new girlfriend at every turn, she longs for blissful solitude and can’t wait to enjoy a peaceful vacation alone in the mountains. However, her plans go awry when a rude stranger literally embeds himself into her life and mind.

Handsome, wealthy, and troubled, Kayden Capshaw is struggling with the death of his brother, while also trying to escape the claws of his controlling mother. In his grief, the last thing Kayden wants to deal with is the fallout from his last run in with the law. Yet, he also longs to get to know the woman now snowed in with him at the house on the hill.

The ice between them thaws every minute they spend together, and they find that they have more in common than they realize. Will they find a way to make it through, or will it all, like the snow, melt away?

Book Release Date:FEB 14, 2017

If you would like to know more about R.L. Jackson, visit the following links.

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Amazon (Pre-order)

Phoenix – a YA fantasy

Today I am promoting a recent release from a fellow British author, a 99c bargain throughout the month of October

PHOENIX (The Peradon Fantasy Series Book 1)

Daccari Buchelli

Camelot meets lord of the rings – Stephen B Cooper on Amazon

Recommended for all lovers of fantasy intrigue – Michael Kelly on Amazon

phoenixMagic never ceased to bring Violetta joy, until the day it became her curse. Aged fifteen, the young Flame Mage and Princess finds herself drawn to the mysterious and charming Frost Emperor, Ryore.

Torn between her sudden feelings and inescapable duty to the throne, Violetta seeks to strike a balance. Will she surrender her will forever, or strive for freedom by doing the unthinkable?

You can buy it here

Amazon US

Amazon UK

If you would like to find out more about the author and his books, check out his site

http://www.buchellibooks.co.uk/books

Winter isn’t coming, it’s here

Okay, as many of you will realise from my title, I’m a fan of Game of Thrones, I like both the books and the tv series, though with every season they become more and more separate. This post isn’t really about either, however, so sorry to those who have found there way here because of the GoT connection in the title.

I’m writing today about actual winter, that horrible thing that happens at this time of the year when the sun disappears, the clouds gather, it rains, the temperature drops horrendously and the rain changes to snow.

During this time moods drop and motivation can be hard to come by, just getting out of bed can be incredibly difficult, and you (or at least I) want to eat constantly. As a sufferer of mental health problems, this period of the year is even tougher for me to get through, and I don’t even have the advantage of a regular job, with a boss breathing down my neck, to encourage me to get up and do things.

I am currently unemployed, officially at least, while  I work on establishing myself as a published and successful writer. That means I have to get myself up and at the computer if I want to get anything done and make any progress, which is far from easy.

We’re currently in the early stages of winter here in the UK, and I am already going through copious amounts of coffee every day, along with lots of chocolate and other unhealthy snacks, in an effort to give me the energy to work. I also have to hug a hot water bottle to get warm enough to do anything – I’m really not looking forward to the arrival of full winter.

 

Bristol in the Snow

Commuters make their way over Brunel’s suspension bridge in Clifton, Bristol following a night of heavy snow across the UK. Up to 15cm of snow has fallen overnight causing widespread traffic disruption and school closures. 18 January 2013

I’m curious, and would really appreciate some answers in the comments, what do you all do, especially the indie writers and self-employed people among my readers, to motivate yourselves and make sure you keep working and get things done?

A new chapter and a new blurb

I was looking at the blurb I put up on Wattpad earlier and decided that I wasn’t happy with it, so I spent a short while playing with it until I came up with something I think will interest people more.

Here’s what I’ve come up with, I’d like any thoughts and opinions you might have.

Where There’s A Will

In the middle of the day, Alice Keating, daughter of multi-millionaire games developer Owen Keating, is kidnapped from her chauffeur driven car. The kidnappers want 3.5 million Euros or they’ll kill her.
Detective Inspector Stone is already on a case, an armed robbery, when the kidnapping happens, but he’s taken off that and assigned to find Alice Keating, even though he’s never investigated a kidnapping before.
Can he find her and return her safe to her family before the money has to be handed over?


While on Wattpad I also took the time to put up the latest chapter, I now have 7 chapters up for people to read. I hope they’re being enjoyed.

“Hello, Nathan.”

Stone recognised the voice before he even turned to face the speaker.

“Louisa.” His voice was neutral as he greeted the reporter.

It didn’t surprise him to find Louisa Orchard waiting by his car as he left the station for the evening, she had been trying, without success, to get hold of him all day; he had ignored her calls to his mobile and had Sergeant Oakley, the duty sergeant in communications, screen his calls so she couldn’t get through to him. It wasn’t a tactic he followed often, but occasionally, like today, it was necessary since he knew why Louisa had been trying to get hold of him.

Read the rest of the chapter here – https://www.wattpad.com/311869233-where-there%27s-a-will-chapter-seven

There’s a new chapter in town

writeStone and Burke had not long finished taking the official statements of David Leigh, his wife and son, and the two other witnesses to the robbery, none of which had taken long individually but which cumulatively had mounted up, and were updating the incident report when the door swung open and DCI Troyes entered the office.

“Sir,” Stone acknowledged his superior without shifting his attention from the keyboard in front of him. Touch-typing was a skill he had never been able to get the hang of, which meant he had to keep his eyes on the keyboard to limit his mistakes as he four-fingered – that was his limit – his way through the statement he was typing up.

https://www.wattpad.com/311683782-where-there%27s-a-will-chapter-six

Dead Man’s Hand

I challenged myself a while ago to see if I could write what I consider a micro short, just about 500 words, and what I came up with is a story based on the legend of the dead man’s hand from the death of Wild Bill Hickok, which I saw in the opening episode of the TV series, Deadwood.

Today I thought I would post it up for you all to read, when you’re done I’d appreciate it if you could let me know what you think of my first effort. I had a vague idea of doing a series of vignettes of history, all of a similar length to this, and I’d like to know if it’s worth exploring further.

the-hand

Red-eyed from lack of sleep, Wild Bill looked around the table at the other players. They were all waiting for him. They had shown their cards, now it was time for him to show his.

He smiled, not much, just enough to show the upper row of crooked, rotted and tobacco stained teeth that filled his mouth and then turned away to spit in the direction of the bronze spittoon in the corner of the tent. He hit the target with a loud wet splat.

He looked around again at the cards already on the table and his smile grew. He had them all beat.

After a solid day of poker this was the last hand, for him at least. He had put his last nickel into the pot and was going to walk away with almost a hundred dollars. He was pleased.

Bill felt the impatience of his fellow gamblers as he turned over the cars one at a time, an impatience that quickly turned to disappointment and anger as he revealed his hand. Ace of clubs, eight of clubs, eight of spades, ace of spades – two pair, a winning hand. He paused to let the fact that he had won sink in and then he reached out to turn over his hole card, his hand froze half way there though as it no longer responded to the instructions from his brain.

The last thing Wild Bill Hickok, one of the most feared gunmen in the American west, saw was his own blood as it crept across the table to cover his final hand. Aces and eights, the hand that would forever be known as a ‘Dead man’s hand.’

cropped-dead-mans-hand_cvr

What is considered the dead man’s hand card combination of today gets its notoriety from a legend that it was the five-card stud hand held by James Butler Hickok (better known as “Wild Bill” Hickok) when he was shot in the back of the head by Jack McCall on August 2, 1876, in Nuttal & Mann’s Saloon at Deadwood, Dakota Territory. Reportedly, Hickok’s final hand included the aces and eights of both black suits. (source wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_man%27s_hand )

 

Another day, another chapter

write

Where There’s A Will – Chapter Four

For those of you among my growing band of followers and readers, I have just posted chapter four of my debut novel to wattpad, you can find it – https://www.wattpad.com/310979266-where-there%27s-a-will-chapter-four I hope you’re all enjoying it and looking forward to each new chapter; I hope to get one posted every day.