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Category Archives: Authors

Read, Read, and Read some More: The Best Advice

photo by Elaine Cougler

My Bookshelf of Treasures

What is the one piece of advice we hear over and over? The one that annoys quite a few people out there in the real world?

No, it’s not “get eight hours sleep every night” or “eat healthy all your life” although variations of those suggestions fill bookstores. Our friends, relatives, and especially our parents iterate those maxims again and again.

The advice I’ve been given all my life is simple. When you want to learn, read. When you want to relax, read. When you want to write, read.

Yes, I slipped that last one in because I’ve seen it time and again. And it’s true. There is a magical process that happens in our brains when we read. We take in the story, the language, the length and variety of sentences, the way to effectively draw characters, and any number of other writing lessons which we just seem to learn. Like sponges we soak up such a wealth of knowledge both in the how-to sphere and in the enjoyment realm, that when we write our own works, those lessons make themselves known.

I’ve written all my life. And I’ve read even longer. Well, only if you believe I took in the lessons of my mother’s reading in the womb. :-)

All the lessons I taught my English students, and there were a lot, are not nearly so effective as the simple practice of reading, especially good writers. When I sit down to write every day, my own style comes pouring onto the pages, whether I’m writing a blog post, an email to my distant friends, or my daily pages of my historical novels.

Where did that style come from? Well, some of it came from me being a talker. Another portion finds its roots in what I’ve learned on my writing journey. But the bulk of it comes from the reading I’ve done my whole life, whether it be lessons from great writers on how to write well or from not-so-great writers on what not to do.

I’ve laughed and cried, shaken my head and even stopped reading, but I’ve always learned from my reading. My shelves of books are treasured friends and I hope I live long enough to reread them over and over. Would that some of my readers might one day feel the same about my books.

Coming May 14, 2014!

The Loyalist’s Luck Cover Reveal

book two in The Loyalist Trilogy, coming in September, 2014

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife on Amazon here.

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife for your Kobo here

 
5 Comments

Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Authors, Readers

 

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7 Ways to Brighten a Writer’s Day

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A Big Job Well Done!

Today I feel like the spider who has finally completed this huge undertaking. You know what I mean.

We all have those large tasks which seem to take forever and which gnaw at our innards until we finish them. Writing a book is such a task. Oh, sure, it’s a rewarding job overall, especially when it’s finally published, but many days the hill seems just too high.

Last week I neared the summit of another book project, or at least one of several hills. And I felt like the industrious spider at left who toiled and spun until this fabulous web was done. What was my milestone?

I finished the rough draft of The Loyalist’s Luck!

Just like the spider and her web, though, I still have lots of holes to fill before the final draft gets sent. So I got to thinking about other ways to brighten a writer’s day because finishing a draft takes months and months and we need more high points along the way.

7 Ways to Brighten a Writer’s Day

  1. Finish a chapter on your work in progress.
  2. Find an amazing bit of research.
  3. Write a wonderful sentence.
  4. Read another great comment about your first book.
  5. Check your book sales and find they’ve doubled from last month.
  6. Speak at an event and sell lots of books.
  7. Finish writing your first draft of a new project. (This is so rewarding it bears repeating.)

Coming Soon!  Book Two in the Loyalist series:  The Loyalist’s Luck

John and Lucy escape the Revolutionary War to the unsettled British territory across the Niagara River with almost nothing. In the untamed wilderness they must fight to survive, he, off on a secret mission for Colonel Butler and she, left behind with their young son and pregnant once again. In the camp full of distrust, hunger, and poverty, word has seeped out that John has gone over to the American side and only two people will associate with Lucy–her friend, Nellie, who delights in telling her all the current gossip, and Sergeant Crawford, who refuses to set the record straight and clear John’s name. To make matters worse, the sergeant has made improper advances toward Lucy. With John’s reputation besmirched, she must walk a thin line depending as she does on the British army, and Sergeant Crawford, for her family’s very survival.

Watch for the cover reveal for The Loyalist’s Luck, coming very soon! And if you haven’t read the first in the series, here are links where you may purchase it.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife on Amazon here.

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife for your Kobo here

 
6 Comments

Posted by on March 26, 2014 in Authors, Writing Tips

 

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My Writing Process

Today is a bonus post, my writing and reading friends. The author Marta Merajver-Kurlat (http://www.martamerajver.com.ar/marta/index.php/blogroll), author of Just Toss the Ashes and Why Can’t I Make Money? among other works, invited me to participate in this blog hop tour and answer four questions about my writing process.

ALL ABOUT MY WRITING PROCESS

1) What am I working on?
The project nearest and dearest to me these days is The Loyalist’s Luck, the second in the Loyalist Trilogy. It carries on with the theme of seemingly ordinary people being forced to live in an extraordinary manner because of decisions made by those who govern them. Specifically John and Lucy Garner continue the story started in 1778 New York State when he decides to join Butler’s Rangers and fight for the King, leaving Lucy behind to try to hold on to the isolated farm in the wilds of New York State. This second book takes their story across the border and introduces several other characters who all start in a new land with nothing. The book leads up to and includes their family’s struggles in the next war, the War of 1812.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Historical fiction takes fictional characters and tells their story against the backdrop of history, sometimes using actual historical figures who interact with those of the author’s imagination. That being said there are many, many books on the American Revolution but very few from the point of view of the Loyalists. This makes the Loyalist Trilogy unique.
3) Why do I write what I do?
First of all I love to read historical fiction. Then the fact that I am of Loyalist descent myself makes this topic thrilling for me to research and write about. Finally I love playing with words all the while learning more and more about my craft. And the days that a new idea pops into my head as my fingers fondle the keys, those days are the absolute best. The time flies and I delight in what has appeared on my screen as I let my brain go on a wild and wondrous rampage.
4) How does your writing process work?
I’ve tried to write an outline, a plan, sample paragraphs, etc., but my brain always takes off on its own. In my research I may find a unique thought or detail from the past and suddenly my characters grab it and run. I always thought that writers’ thing about wondering who will be on the other side of the door was just so much claptrap. But, guess what? It happens and it’s unbelievably cool when it does. So my first draft is a huge eye opener for me. Following that, I revise and look up details I’ve put in red on the first draft, and I just keep revising until I love to read what I’ve written and don’t get stopped by some bit which needs tweaking. Once I’m happy with it, I enlist my editor and my beta readers to see what they pick up. I look at their suggestions and decide to use or not until, finally, I have the book I’m proud of. This all takes forever but it’s worth it. I strive for perfect. :-)

Next step along the Blog Hop:

Sharon Clare is an author of paranormal romantic novels and lives in Ontario with her husband and three wonderful grown-up kids who come and go from the nest. She fell in love with writing at the University of Toronto where she graduated with a science degree in psychology and professional writing. She has also published short stories, art reviews, newsletter and magazine articles. Her favourite place to write is outside under the maple trees beside the trickling pond and blooming lilies. You can find her at the following links:

http://romancebeyond.com/author/sharonclare/      
sharonclare.com 

 
14 Comments

Posted by on February 10, 2014 in Authors, FAQ's, Historical Fiction

 

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