Thursday, February 28, 2013

Self-promoting vs. Book-promoting

I have to admit I have a problem with this. I’m not shy or introverted or anything, I just really, really don’t like talking about myself. Even this blog is a huge stretch for me. You’ve probably noticed I’ve gotten around it a little bit with my Survivor Tuesday posts. It’s not that I’m insecure, either. It might have something to do with my job. As a psychiatric nurse, it’s engrained in me to redirect every part of every conversation back to the patient. And as a mom, well, you can imagine how much time I have to talk about myself there. I literally loathe it. This makes the act of promoting myself for the sake of selling my book almost like a living nightmare.
Which made Rachelle Gardner’s post the other day almost miraculous.
She was talking about promoting your book, not yourself. While I was reading it, a light went off in my head, a green light that told me it was okay to talk about THIS, because THIS was not me. I may have written it and love it like a fourth child, but like the rest of my children, they ain’t me.
It was a small step, but an important one.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Survival Tuesday Tip #3 Good Ground/water supply

When searching for a place to set up shelter, you will need to keep several things in mind. The first will be water supply. It is advisable that you select a location with an adequate water supply that is close to, but not immediately next to, your home base. This is due to one; the obvious necessity of water and two, the plethora of food that can be obtained near water sources such as plant life, fish, and other animals obtaining said water.  The reason to not have the water supply immediately next to your home base is twofold; you do not want to keep said animals from coming to water, and insects as well as animals find their homes at many water sources. This is not beneficial.  Due to this, and the risk of disease, moving water is always preferable to still. Methods of water purification will be discussed at a later time.

Until then; Plan Well. Plan Wisely.

Friday, February 22, 2013


I have a few people in my life that I just can’t communicate with. We talk, that’s not the problem. In fact, sometimes it is. I’ll say something and get a reaction that in my mind is totally left field. It isn’t until later while I’m mulling over the situation, that I realize what they thought I meant, and it wasn’t what I was saying at all. Part of it is different cultures, we both come from very different backgrounds, and part of it is just not knowing each other that well.
Because my goal is to have my books be as real to life as possible, I include that a lot in my stories. People don’t always get each other, even when they think they do.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Survival Tuesday Tip #2

Foraging: a search or the process of searching for something, especially a search for food and supplies or a search among a varied collection of things.

A lot of this depends on the location you’re trekking and the time of year you’re there. Telling you to look for wild strawberries in January in the Sierra Dessert won’t help you much. For our sake here, I’ll be focusing on two locations: Vermont in the early spring, and Appalachian Kentucky in mid-summer.  As you’ve probably guessed, that’s the locations in my books, so that’s where most of my research was focused on.  I’ll be posting these during April’s A-Z challenge, so stop back then to learn probably more than you ever wanted to know about these hidden treasures. Who knows, maybe you’ll be back-packing in Vermont someday and you’ll be able to impress some friends when you pick up some watercress from a stream and eat it and don’t die.
But I digress.
As stated above, foraging can be dangerous. There are lots of plants out there than can and will kill you. That’s why it is always best to have a field guide for the particular area you plan on foraging in. But we’re talking about survival here. When you’re trying to survive, you usually didn’t have time to study up on the local scenery. One good rule of thumb is to watch the animals. If they can eat it, you usually can, too.

*Definition obtained from Encarta Dictionary, English

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Most of the books I’ve read, and have written, have the MC being amazingly observant. I know why we do it- how else would we get across all those juicy details? But is it real?
How many of us have the observational skills of Sherlock Holmes?
Even though I pride myself on being a people watcher, I know I miss way more than I catch. To get around this, I usually have two MCs, which, I feel, help the story stay authentic and real while at the same time propelling it forward. It even gives the opportunity for some misunderstandings, which always helps with the tension level. But that’s just me; for some reason I have to keep it as real as possible. I think that’s because, in my own mind, it is.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday Survival Tip: Hunt Hungry

I don’t hunt, so right off the bat I have to admit to you that this one isn’t from me. My editor Matt is an avid hunter and in our discussions once he told me about his secret for the abundance of venison in his freezer.  He always hunts hungry.
At first I disregarded his statement, but the more I thought about it, the more profound it became. It puts you in a situation where you’re desperate. You hear, smell, think, and feel things you normally wouldn’t. You are fully immersed in the process; it becomes more than just an outing with “the guys”. It’s survival. The cracking of tree branches is not soon disregarded by one who’s salivating.



Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Hook

I’ve read a lot of books. A lot. Some I finish; some I don’t get past the first few pages. The big question is why. As a reader I wonder this, but even more as a writer. The last thing I want to think is that someone picked up one of my books and didn’t finish it. The horror!!!
For me it’s the hook, or hooks. A good hook in the beginning can carry me a long way. In I AM NUMBER FOUR, that amazing beginning carried me through to almost the end. It would have carried me to the very end if my adorable younger sister didn’t tell me that my favorite character wasn’t going to make it.
Hooks given along the way help; secret little drops of loveliness that keep you aching for more. The TWILIGHT books, any of them, are a good example of this. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. And when I was done I immediately started all over again in case I missed something.
That’s what I want; my readers flipping the pages so fast they miss things, and then they go back and read it again.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How to Publish and Promote Your Book Now!
Today I'm doing a quick guest post on a L. Diane Wolfe's new book.


By L. Diane Wolfe

Publishing and promoting made simple!

Have you always dreamed of publishing a book but didn’t know where to begin? This book walks you through the steps of identifying markets, budgeting, building an online presence, and generating publicity. Get the whole story on:

· Traditional publishing

· Self-publishing

· Print and e-book setup, formatting, and distribution

· Finding your target audience

· Generating reviews and media interest

· Networking and developing an online presence

· Promotional materials and appearances

Uncover your ideal publishing path and numerous marketing options before you begin. Writing is your dream. Give it the best chance for success!

Available February 5, 2012

Publishing/Marketing, 214 pages, Dancing Lemur Press LLC

$14.95 Trade paperback ISBN 978-0-9827139-5-2

$4.99 Ebook ISBN 978-0-9827139-9-0

“She gives an unbiased take on the advantages and disadvantages of traditional publishing and self-publishing and publishing paths that combine the two… It's the perfect book for those who want an overview to begin the decision-making process.”

- Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning series of how-to books for writers

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Survivor Tuesdays

In honor of my book THE NEWSTEAD PROJECT, which is coming out in May, on Tuesdays I will be offering wilderness survival tips and recipes, like the one listed below. Thursdays will be posts as usual.

Enjoy; these are yummy.


1 cup walnuts
1/2 cups pitted dates
1/3 cup roasted peanuts
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp raw honey
1/4 cup 60% cocoa chocolate chips
2 tbsp virgin coconut oil

Grind walnuts in food processor until fine powder, remove and set aside. Place dates into food processor, pulse until it forms a loose ball, remove and place with walnuts. Place peanuts in food processor, grind until it forms peanut butter, put walnut flour and dates back in food processor, add raw honey and chia seeds, pulse until paste forms.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Using ice cream scooper, scoop mounds of above mixture onto paper. Set aside.

In a double boiler melt chocolate chips and coconut oil, blend until smooth, drizzle over above mounds. Place in freezer to set. Store in freezer bags in freezer until ready to take on the trail.