RSS

Category Archives: General

Do You Have the Right Writing Team?

Team of 4-yr.-olds on stage

Team of 4-yr.-olds on stage

We hear it all the time: You’ve got to be a team player. Take one for the team. Come on, team. Let’s win this.

And it starts young. At summer camp my wee grandson is on stage performing with his group. (Read team.)  We applaud their cute antics as they learn to work together and perform a song or act out a skit.

“All you ever need to know you learned in kindergarten.” So goes the saying. Of course I never went to kindergarten but you get the idea. We all have to learn to coexist with the other people on the planet and most of what we do is with, for, or instigated by others.

So it goes with writing. Yes, I know. The actual putting words on screen is usually a solitary process but after that loads of people are crucial to me.

This graphic from last year’s Ontario Writers’ Conference demonstrates how together we make something beautiful. The organizers took the last names of all of those registered who had published a book that year and made this lovely picture. Each of us has our name up there several times, large and small. I was delighted to be a part of the larger whole.

On front wall at writers' conference.
On front wall at Ontario Writers’ Conference.

In a similar way I am surrounded by amazing people who help me achieve publication. For the first two books in my trilogy I used an interior designer from Paris, France for helping to choose the typeface, the setup of chapters, and generally the whole look of the interior of the books. Her knowledge and helpful suggestions saved me hours and hours of learning all this myself.

Even more so, my cover designer, a suggestion from my awesome printer in Victoria, British Columbia, was, and continues to be, a ready and reachable source of knowledge on everything from just what the purpose of the cover is to formatting my manuscript for the different e-book platforms. And she is a dream to work with, always sunny and excited about the project at hand.

So, too, my printer, who does rush orders for me with nary a whimper, smooths out any little bump in the printing road, and is just generally a pleasure to work with.

But what about before those people get their hands on my work?

I get to bounce ideas off my friend, author and poet Robyn Marie Butt, and various others of my friends who are writers and readers. Luckily my inner circle allow me to natter on about my work in progress and offer ideas and suggestions when I ask. My family does this all the time, especially my daughter and my husband. My son, with his question to me when I confided my writing dreams, got me thinking large enough to write a novel. He asked “If not now, when?”.

And my beta readers! These people are the ones who keep me honest and searching to improve all the time. Millie, particularly, gives me an excellent critique and is wonderful at discussing the work-in-progress. The others offer insights, too, all from the vantage point of their particular talents and experiences. We writers do not see everything about what we’ve written. We need fresh eyes on the work and I, for one, really treasure those who help me by venturing into the final (?) draft of my novel.

I’ve used two different editors, both excellent and both thorough, for edits large and small. Because I taught senior English for twenty-some years my eyes are pretty good at sourcing out grammar or other errors but these editors are good at looking at the overall novel. I may not use all of their suggestions but I definitely consider them thoroughly.

So there you have them–the people behind my author’s name on the cover. And here’s a great big THANK YOU to all of those on my writing team as I work on the third book in the Loyalist trilogy.

How About an Authors and History Tour? Click here for details of this amazing cruise. Come join us!

For All Lovers of Historical Fiction! Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Luck Here.

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd
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.

The Loyalist’s Wife, Book One in The Loyalist Trilogy!

by Elaine Cougler, winner of the WCDR 2014 Pay It Forward Scholarship

Short-listed for Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair’s Canada Self-Published Book Awards

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.

With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife here.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

7 Sites for Historical Writers and Readers

Have you ever wondered just what is out there on the web for your own personal interests? Of course you have! And, no doubt, you’ve done what I did yesterday–taken a flyer with nimble fingers and flicking eyes. Just to check it out.

I have just one question: did you manage to stay on track? Or did the multitude of swishing colours and beckoning keywords pull you ever and further away from the designated task at hand?

Luckily my keywords sourced up some pretty interesting stuff which all kept me on task and I’ve compiled just a little of what I found.

7 Super Sites for Historical Writers (and Readers!)

Historical Map on My Wall

Historical Map on My Wall

 

  1. If you want to read or write about American history, this edtechteacher site lists dozens of excellent historical sites on subjects from Lewis and Clark to the Chicago Fire. Clicking on its links allows you to delve deeper and deeper into fascinating topics.

  2. Likewise this list of history websites can just take you away and you’ll have a tough time finding your way back to the task at hand. I was just looking at a bunch of letters written home in WWI. So interesting to read the actual words of the soldiers and wonder what happened to each of them.

  3. Another way to find details is to visit one of the mapping sites which specialize in historical maps. This one has a map of South Africa which looks suspiciously like the world map up on the wall in my school room many moons ago. Surely it’s not an ‘historical’ map???

  4. Another thing you can do is look for historic sites by country. Take a look at the map of Great Britain here, so filled with push pins you can’t read any of them. Nevertheless these show all the hundreds of historical sites there.

  5. Part of my research for my Loyalist series has been delving into aboriginal backgrounds. Although I didn’t find this site until now Canada’s first peoples are well represented in this list of books. From art to lifestyle, history to daily diet, these books inform.  I am particularly intrigued by The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America.

  6. Many sites offer beautifully rendered historical maps for sale and these are useful for study as well, right on the screen. This sample is pretty cool as the whole northwest of Canada, including Alaska is just not there. It hadn’t been mapped yet.

  7. This last is an example of the excellent blogs that are out there which can be so helpful. This one is exciting for readers and writers alike as several different authors write pieces relating to their fields of research. Writing Historical Novels encompasses  a huge topic but one with loads of room for specialization according to interest. I liked the continuously moving band of titles and related photos streaming across the top of the site. Very much an eye-catcher which puts this blog into the well done category.

In the Comments below try listing one site you’ve found which has made a difference to your writing and reading.

How About an Authors and History Tour? Click here for details of this amazing cruise. Come join us!

 

 

For All Lovers of Historical Fiction!

Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Luck Here.

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd
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.

The Loyalist’s Wife, Book One in The Loyalist Trilogy!

by Elaine Cougler, winner of the WCDR 2014 Pay It Forward Scholarship

Short-listed for Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair’s Canada Self-Published Book Awards

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.

With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife here.

 

 

 

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 29, 2015 in General, Research Tips

 

Tags: , , ,

How About an Authors and History Tour?

admin-ajax.php

New York

Do you like holidays? How about a holiday with a purpose? One that not only takes you to glorious locations but stimulates your mind just enough to be exciting?

Well, me, too! I like to learn a little about the destinations and their history. And I especially like to learn about the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 when both Canada and the United States were just beginning. In fact, I’ve written two books on those topics and am working on the third.

My Loyalist trilogy focuses on the beginnings of these two great countries in a time when living here was not so great. Canada and the United States were not such good neighbours and many horrible things happened on both sides. Today we can cross the longest undefended border in the world with ease but it was not always so.

Bill Shaw at Expedia Travel is putting together a group to cruise out of New York in the fall. It’s his second Authors Cruise and he’s asked me to be the author! It’s a regular amazing cruise on a new Princess Cruise Lines ship for a week starting October 10, 2015.

So all the regular ship board stuff goes on plus there will be author events, readings, historical links to the ports of call, and even games, trivia, and fun. More on that later.

I’ve included the flyer Bill has prepared. My husband and I have  already signed up because cruising in early October with the leaves turning and going to Halifax, St. John, Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport, and back to New York will be spectacular. If we were surrounded by a bunch of writers, history buffs, and friends, that would be even better. Note: Amounts on flyer are in Canadian dollars. Note #2: Bookings must go through Bill (TOLL FREE 1-877-436-8333 or www.cruiseshipcenters.com/Woodstock) to be part of the Author and History Tour group.

 

flyer

COME JOIN US! CALL OR EMAIL FOR INFORMATION TODAY.

 

For All Lovers of Historical Fiction!

Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Luck Here.

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd
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.

The Loyalist’s Wife, Book One in The Loyalist Trilogy!

by Elaine Cougler, winner of the WCDR 2014 Pay It Forward Scholarship

Short-listed for Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair’s Canada Self-Published Book Awards

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.

With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife here.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 14, 2015 in General, Historical Fiction, History

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

January’s Gifts to a Writer

Projects boardI love the new year. It’s the chance to start over, to etch my life on a fresh slate. Like the brand spankin’ new whiteboard my husband gave me for Christmas. Notice number one on the list? RESEARCH! That’s because I’m really stepping up the quest for the third book in my Loyalist trilogy and want to make research the first thing I see every morning and all day as I work at my desk. And because it’s a new year I seem to have renewed energy and excitement about finding my story through reading history.

The second thing on the list is Cruise Ideas. You’ll be hearing more about this VERY soon as it includes everyone.

The next things are all Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

Tags: , , , , ,

10 Ways to Help Your Kids and Grandkids Become Lifelong Readers

IMG_7304We writers always smile when someone buys our books. Having other eyes on our words is a great reward, maybe the best, for all the hard work that goes into making an idea or a bunch of ideas into an actual book that’s out there for the world to discover. And, of course, we have a vested interest in encouraging people to read. Why not start with our own children and grandchildren?

10 Ways to Help Your Kids and Grandkids Become Lifelong Readers

  1. Read to them from an early, early age. Some even say while they are still in the womb but I never went quite that far. I pictured myself sitting on the couch reading a story to my grandson while he was still in my daughter-in-law’s belly and that just felt weird. :-)

  2. Write a story yourself using photos of you and your spouse in the book. Create it on photo album software. We did that when our two grandchildren were about a year old. Both of them loved the big bear at our house. The book became Where Is Bear? and the children heard it many, many nights at bedtime, especially our granddaughter who lives so far away from us.Where Is Bear? 1

  3. Always make it fun. Let them stop you and ask about the pictures, why Uncle Kevin’s name is in the front of the old Dr. Seuss book, or if chickens lay green eggs. This is the best time. They open up to you and you see a lighted pathway right into their thoughts. Wonderful.

  4. Make a big deal about treasuring books. No, the kids don’t get to rip out pages or colour them. Run your hand over the words with reverence as your voice creates a magical imaginary world for their little heads to grasp. I stop on almost every page and ask questions. What would it be like to have duck feet? What is a wocket? Is there one in my pocket? What’s a grinch?

  5. Make a tradition out of reading and rereading a treasured Christmas book. If your tradition is something else, use a book about that.

  6. Go to the library and let them pick books. My daughter’s first library book was one of Beatrix Potter’s and she picked it because it was so small. She was about three so size was a big deal. Appley Dappley, I think it was. Now my daughter takes her daughter to the library and they bring home stacks of books to be treasured every night. She’s into books with fewer pictures now and at bedtime always wants another chapter. The kaleidoscope of action pictures runs in her head and, each night, she can hardly wait to start the movie.

  7. Let them see you read and treasure your reading time. Children ape our behaviour as we all know and preserving your own reading time is a good lesson for them. My mother used to go into the “parlour” every day after lunch and sit and read. We were not to bother her for that time as she transported herself to worlds within the pages. No wonder I became such a reader myself.

  8. Give books for gifts on all occasions. With the wealth of publications out there, finding something suitable is easy. Rather, limiting my purchases is the problem! Sign your child or grandchild up for a book or magazine subscription. I remember my kids having an OWL magazine come every month and, before that, a new Dr. Seuss came once a month. As they got older we had Time-Life Series books about famous people, all with a good story and a positive role model. They loved those books and we loved reading them with them.

  9. As the little ones start to recognize words and rhythms, stop at a pivotal repeated word and let them say it. This works especially if the word is the rhyming word at the end of a sentence. And if you draw their eyes to that word, soon they’ll actually be reading it. Such fun!

  10. And when your first published book arrives, take a picture with yourself and the book but also one with  your granddaughter and your book. She was part of the celebration for The Loyalist’s Wife as the picture above attests.

So, folks, it’s the holiday season, perfect book-buying time. HINT: Buy Christmas-themed books certainly but remember to buy books that go well all year as the holiday ones are only out for a month or maybe two.

And enjoy the time with the fresh new mind of the child you love.

P.S. If you don’t have kids of your own, go to the library and join a program to read to kids. Or go to an adult literacy class and help someone learn to read. The gift of reading is huge.

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

The Loyalist’s Wife, Book 1 of the Loyalist trilogy

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd

The Loyalist’s Luck, Book 2 of the Loyalist trilogy

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 19, 2014 in General, Readers

 

Tags: , ,

How to help Indie Authors – A Primer

How to help Indie Authors – A Primer

Elaine Cougler:

P.C. Zick has some great ideas for helping authors get the word out about their books. If you’d like to help me do that, and I hope you do, Patricia makes the whole process simple. Thanks to her and thanks to my readers who have left and will leave a review for The Loyalist’s Wife and The Loyalist’s Luck! :-)

Originally posted on P.C. Zick:

Help an IndieHow to help Indie Authors – A Primer for family, friends, fans, and other Indie Writers

It’s not easy taking the route of Indie Author or any route as an author. The field is crowded, and it’s hard for readers to sift through it all. So in addition to writing, most of us Indies spend a great deal of time promoting our work. Most of us try not to annoy our friends and family, but it’s inevitable that many of them will see our promotional stuff. So as we move into the holiday season, I’d like to give some advice to anyone associated with an author. Also, there’s a little bit of advice for other authors as well. I wish you peace and relaxation during the coming season. Take the time to read a book, maybe even from an Indie Author in your life.

Besides buying the books of your…

View original 586 more words

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 18, 2014 in General

 

The Loyalist’s Luck is on Tour!

Come join me for the next two weeks (Nov. 10-Nov. 28) as I and my new book, The Loyalist’s Luck, tour some exciting and informative blogs. Reviews, interviews, guest blog posts, and even a spotlight await. If you like historical fiction you’ll want to check these out. Oh, and you’ll get a chance to win a copy of The Loyalist’s Luck if you comment.

 photo 3dc6befe-4152-4318-8d4b-1a6c5d4bbd81.jpg

The Loyalist’s Luck Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 10
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Tuesday, November 11
Guest Post at The Writing Desk

Wednesday, November 12
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Thursday, November 13
Guest Post & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Friday, November 14
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Monday, November 17
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Thursday, November 20
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter

Friday, November 21
Interview at Caroline Wilson Writes

Monday, November 24
Guest Post at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Tuesday, November 25
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Wednesday, November 26
Guest Post at So Many Books, So Little Time

Friday, November 28
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

 

Tags: , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,977 other followers

%d bloggers like this: