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Dare to Dance With Giants

Have you ever felt absolutely dwarfed by the size of the tasks before you?

IMG_4302_edited

Kind of like I felt on a trip down the Pacific Coast through Washington, Oregon and further? Those trees put me in my place, for sure. They owned the space. When I looked at the pictures afterwards I really saw the comparison. I look like an absolute bug!

Much as I loved seeing and touching those giants, I still had a sense of my own value. Rather than feel small I was myself made somehow bigger and certainly happier because I was in the company of those giants. You know what I mean. When you happen upon a delicious scene your whole being lights up at the beauty. Here’s a picture last fall in Canada’s Yukon Territory. I felt somehow more when I saw this sight.

Emerald Lake, Yukon, from my recent Alaska cruise. Just to showcase a beautiful part of North America.

Emerald Lake, Yukon Territory

But back to the giants, this time the giants of writing. I’ve stood beside quite a few and made myself overcome any shyness to converse with those who are further ahead of me on their journeys as authors. You know what? They’re people like you and I and they’ve been in my place. And they’re generous.

Just as standing beside those giant redwoods and Douglas firs actually helps me grow, so also does talking and interacting with giant authors. I’ve learned that my success as a writer depends on pushing through my fears and reaching out.

Here are some suggestions for writers who want to broaden their knowledge and their reach:

  1. After a presentation go up and meet the presenter. Exchange business cards. Think up a connection to talk about.

  2. Write about presenters in your blog and then contact them to give them the link.

  3. When your book table at a book fair is slow take a walk around and talk to the other authors there. I met an author last fall who writes in my genre and he is just fabulous about answering my questions. Of course I don’t bother him too much.

  4. Offer to have other authors guest post on your blog and, of course, share the links, both yours and theirs. I’ve got a few guest posts on this blog and am always open to more.

  5. Use Goodreads and other social media to meet your heroes. When you comment they will notice you. Don’t be a pest but all of us love when someone writes a thoughtful comment about us or our work. Those writers will remember you.

Look through the Authors tab here and you’ll see those I’ve written about and those who’ve posted on this blog. Even if you don’t have a blog, start a list of stars in your field from whom you can learn. Then make a plan to do just that. Good luck!

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.

 
 

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A Guest Post and Anne Rice on Writing.

Today is a double whammy combining my guest post about research and writing over on Red L. Jameson’s Immortal History site and excellent advice for writing from the clever and successful author Anne Rice. So click on the links below to dig deeper into writing. Enjoy!

1. Elaine Cougler and Land Grants, Governor Simcoe and the Peace Bridge

March 25, 2015 by Red L. Jameson

Hello! Today I have historical fiction writer Elaine Cougler talking about how her research met with fantastic results! Through her research for her books, she found some of her ancestors and where they had lived….(to see the post click on the title above.)

2. Here’s right-on-the-mark advice for writers from Anne Rice. Awesome!

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.

 

 

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If You Build It, Will They Come?

I think we’re all a little like Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams.

“How could authors be like a baseball player with a besmirched name?” you ask.

Remember the plot of that great movie with Kevin Costner and Ray Liota, Amy Madigan and the incomparable James Earl Jones? That cornfield and those car lights stretching for miles will stay in my head forever and so will that voice Costner kept hearing. “If you build it, they will come.”

But Shoeless Joe waited until everything was perfect before he stepped out of the corn and brought his team with him. Luckily for him, Ray Kinsella, Kevin Costner’s character, was driven to sabotage his own corn crop and complete a perfect ball diamond. Jackson, however, didn’t come when the corn was plowed under. Or when the grass started to grow. Or at the building of the screens, the pitcher’s mound, the bases or the bleachers at the side. He came when everything was ready.

Are you like that? With your writing? Do you wait until everything is perfect before you write a word?

Last night I sat at a writers’ group meeting in a large city here in Ontario. I’ve belonged for a few years but my attendance has been spotty. When I first started to look at myself as a serious author, I traveled far and farther to learn what I needed to know. I flew across the country, drove hundreds of miles, started critique groups, crossed borders a few times and just went wherever I knew I could learn. And those travels led me to write books of which I am proud. I wanted to make them as perfect as they could be.

But back to last night. This group has not progressed; in fact, it has lost a lot of the people who were shakers and movers when my attendance was more regular a couple of years ago. As we did self introductions I was most interested to hear how many of those present (about 30) had never been there before. We went around the table telling a little about ourselves. Two things stood out. I was the only person who used her full name; the others just used their first name. And people seemed so apologetic and shy about what they were doing, even those who have been writing for years.

Members and visitors have in common a desire to write and, one assumes, to get published and known as writers. They should, therefore, introduce themselves with their full names. There is no place for bashfulness here. We must step up to the plate before the corn has reached full height or the cheering section is in place. A writer’s name is the shining light on the cover of her books or the byline of his articles. It’s marketing, people.

I belong to a second writing group whose meetings I travel miles to attend in snow, sleet and threat of flood. Well, not really. If the weather is horrid, I don’t drive the almost two hours to attend the Saturday morning breakfasts but usually it’s fine. This group has about 300 members, a vibrant executive, stunning guest speakers, a monthly breakfast meeting, workshops, courses in writing topics, its own magazine…the list goes on and on. I don’t attend everything and, because of the distance, some of the events are not possible for me to attend. When I go there, though, I see large groups of happy people delighted to be in a banquet room filled with others whose writing dreams are as magical as their own. Those people get what I’m doing and many of them help me, whether they know it or not.

And they are not apologetic!

The Writers’ Community of Durham Region has built a fine playing field. People are coming. In droves and flocks and buses. They even have an associate membership available so that those who are too far away can use the resources on their website. The current board members of this amazing group and those who came before have followed their own dreams and created something for the rest of us to use and enjoy. And, like Shoeless Joe, I’m stepping out of the cornfield and playing in a great game.

As for the first group, I’ve decided to try to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. So many people have helped me and I’m thankful. It’s time to give back. Do you belong to a writing group? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments section.

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.

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on March 21, 2015 in Authors

 

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3 Exciting Things in This Writer’s Life

Guest Author Barbara Kyle

Author Barbara Kyle

This week has been a mixture of delight and challenge. Traveling when I have work to do is always difficult and when my granddaughter figures in the mix staying on track is even harder. Still, pleasing and/or amazing things have happened.

Here are three:

  1. I got a lovely email from my book loving friend, literary imprint in England, whose blog is called The Book Trail. Ms. Literary has a new idea for her site and has asked me to submit pictures of the historical sites mentioned in my books. I can hardly wait to get home and send off my files. Check out this link for The  Book Trail.

  2. Another email which pleased me no end was from author Barbara Kyle whose Thornleigh series of books are just a joy to read. Barbara is a Canadian author whose work is sold worldwide and she has a new contest she’s running. I offered to mention it here. Writers are encouraged to submit their writing and be judged by Barbara. The prizes are a $1200 manuscript evaluation, an opening 50-pages manuscript evaluation and an opening 25-page one. Here is the link but know that I want to win! Just kidding. Send in your work.

  3. I’ve saved the best till last: I actually got started writing the outline for The Loyalist Legacy due out in the fall of 2016. For about three months I’ve researched my heart out, finding things I expected and loads of things I didn’t. Some of the small local books on even smaller locations in my setting hold gems which just take me back to the time. You can be sure I’ll be using these tidbits in book three of the Loyalist trilogy. I started by writing down my characters, main and less important, and filling their paragraphs with whatever ideas about them were floating around my brain. That felt great. The next day, I actually tried to write about events chapter by chapter all the while working in my secondary plot ideas as well as the main story. Of course I know the story will evolve somewhat on its own once I start actually writing it but this stage helps me think of what should and could be included. I can hardly wait to get home and settle into my writing nest, glass of water in hand, door closed, and fingers finding their way on my own  keyboard.

And so, as we travel on Wednesday, my regular blogging day, my readers will get this missive from me a couple of days late. Hope your days are fine, filled with reading, and even writing!

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.

 

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The (Writing) Beat Goes On. And On. And On.

Here’s  the view outside my writing room last week. Vibrant blue sky setting off the sun and shadows on pristine snow. But it was cold. 35-40 degrees Celsius below zero overnight (with the wind chill factored in). Even in Ontario that’s unusual and some records were broken. Made me glad to be inside at my computer.

home snow

 This week I’m writing my blog on the other side of the country and outside my window the morning sun streaks across the parking lot to encourage spring’s flowers to push out of the bushes. Everywhere I look as we drive around Victoria, colour brightens my day–violet heathers, yellow daffodils, and bountiful budding trees. The whole city is alive and greening up. I particularly like the pink flowering trees and the rich rose shades of the camellias.

This is the view outside my daughter’s window, temporary though it is while she and her family wait a few months for their house to be finished. But even here it’s sweater and/or coat weather.

Beth Rich appt

 

No matter the weather, no matter the location, this writer’s life goes on. Isn’t that great?

It’s as simple as bringing a laptop or an iPad and keeping up with email, checking the latest posts of other writers, and moving book 3 of the Loyalist trilogy ahead. This month I’m working on plot outlines centred around the various characters and story lines that are converging in my head after months of research about the period 1815-1837. Whatever did we do before we had computers and computer technology? I love my devices.

Confession Time

For the last five days I’ve been leaving off the bit about working on my novel. Yes, it’s true. I’ve been playing with my 7-year-old granddaughter, helping my daughter and family with their move, and finally getting outside to walk. I needed to get my walking legs going as lately Ontario has just been too cold for leisurely exercising outside.

But today I’m back at writing. I’ve decided to write out the plot lines for various characters in the new novel as a start. As soon as I finish this blog post and go for a walk with my husband. And because I’m on the west coast of Canada it’s still early here so I have the whole day to fit in my walking and my writing. I can hardly wait to get started.

Oh, and I’ll be saving to the Cloud and to Dropbox, both platforms easily accessible either here or in Ontario. Don’t you just love technology? Leave me a comment to say how you keep up when you’re traveling.

Writers need reviews on their books. If you haven’t already done so, how about writing a review of the first two Loyalist books on Amazon or Goodreads? I’d do my happy dance…

 

 

 

 

 

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Today I’m Versatile!

theversatilebloggerThanks to my writing friend, emerging author Sally Moore, for including me on her list of 15 bloggers she watches. The Versatile Blogger Award means people are paying attention and that’s great. I’ve been blogging for a lot of years now including the years as Beadergirl. More on that below.

I love connecting with people and writing a blog is an excellent way to do that. You can make contact with all sorts of other people or narrow your focus to readers, writers, and others in this specific business. That’s what I’ve done with On Becoming a Wordsmith. And the fact that I love to write doesn’t hurt, either.

Here are some of the blogs I’ve been following over the last year. You’ll notice that many are marketing blogs from whom I get ideas about marketing my books. Others are directly linked to books and reviews so it’s not hard to see my passion there. Finally I have a number of other authors I follow, some of whose blogs I’ve guest posted on. I’ve used this meme as a list of people I’m connecting with at this point in time even though I’m sure some of these will be unable to do the actual versatile blogger post.

Blogs I’m Following Just Now

  1. Oh, For the Hook of a Book!  Erin is an upbeat and interesting reviewer of books whom I treasure among my online friends. You can get a sense of her style in this review of my book last fall.

  2. Sharon Clare is a Canadian author who is always improving her already excellent writing style. She does workshops and readings and even has an online marketing strategy I wrote about last year.

  3. Helen Hollick is a relatively new online friend but one whose breezy and happy style just makes me want to know her personally. I wrote about her a couple of weeks ago. What an accomplished writer of historical fiction she is!

  4. Amy Bruno of Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours’ blog is a veritable feast of historical fiction novels. She runs tours to help promote historical fiction, one of which my second book was on last fall.

  5. Patricia Zick writes well herself and features other authors on her site every week. She blogs often and I happened to read about her book on her ancestor who was in the Civil War. I bought the book and loved reading the words of the real day-to-day life of a soldier.

  6. Danny Iny and his team at Firepole Marketing just teach so much about how to get our work to the world. I’ve learned a lot from Danny and have a number of his free downloads. And he lives in Montreal! He also lets  you choose how much mail to receive from him so I like that.

  7. John Morrow’s Boost Blog Traffic is a site with loads of cool ideas about how to get known and recognized on the web. Read the About page here for an interesting story about John.

  8. Brian Feinblum’s BookMarketingBuzzBlog is a wealth of information on just about anything. Check out his topics (and his disclaimer at the bottom of the page.) He’s a big name in online marketing.

  9. Tim Grahl’s Outthink Marketing site is another with training and loads of good ideas. I’ve not had time to listen to all of his lessons but hope to make time soon.

  10. Denise at So Many Books, So Little Time is one of my favorite reviewers because she has such a positive style. She finds the good in the books she reads but is not afraid to mention less stellar parts.

  11. Sally A. Moore is an emerging author who takes the time to get her writing perfect. Her stories are intriguing and insightful and her blog posts always take me to something new while teaching me all manner of things.

  12. Meyette’s Musings is another interesting blog because she, too, writes about the American Revolution only from the American side. Elizabeth lives in Michigan, not far from me in Ontario, and we’ve joked that we should do a book tour together–her, with her American view books and me with my Canadian/British view of the same war. What great fun that would be.

  13. M.K.Tod’s blog, A Writer of History, has unique aspects to it. Check out her About page for the author interviews she’s done with very well known historical fiction authors such as Sharon Kay Penman, Edward Rutherfurd, and Elizabeth Chadwick, to name a few. And she’s Canadian, don’t you know!

  14. Linda Poitevin came to my attention on Goodreads, first because she is a Canadian and then because she writes such interesting posts and always has several things in the Goodreads blurb I get every Sunday. She does a good job of explaining how to do writing-related posts such as this one. She says she writes “Kick-Ass Supernatural and Romantic Fiction.” :-)

  15. Copyblogger is one final site from which I’ve received a lot of value. Here’s an article I’ve had starred for a few months but make sure you check out the whole site. And don’t worry about signing up. I didn’t have any flood of annoying emails. Everything they send is useful to a writer.

7 Things to Share About Me

This part is hard but here goes.

  1. I grew up in a large family of thirteen children, 9 boys and 4 girls. And I’m glad I did.

  2. I have a degree in French and Spanish, almost another complete one in English, but taught Computer Studies for the last six years of my teaching career, never having taken a computer course. I was all self-taught.

  3. One summer I remember sitting on our screened-in porch reading a wonderful book by Jean Little (Listen for the Singing, YA, for a course I was taking) and closing it after reading the last page. I stared unseeing out over our yard where my kids were playing and tears just started to flow as I wished with all my heart I could be a writer like her.

  4. For most of my life I have sung in choirs, groups, and even on occasion as a soprano soloist but the best singing I ever did was in duets with my mother’s wonderful harmony beside me. She was the source of all our musical talent. I wrote a song for her a few years ago–I Can Hear My Mom Singing–and it brings a smile to my face whenever I sit down at the piano and sing it.

  5. One time when I was teaching and came upon a 15-year-old misbehaving, after repeatedly speaking to him and getting no response, I grabbed his collar and shoved him into the locker. He didn’t understand my soft voice but he understood that and ever after was my best buddy both at school and in the small village where we both lived.

    Jewelry pic

  6. I started my blogging career when I was deep into making jewelry, especially with a very good girlfriend. Here is one of the last posts I did there on Beadergirl Jewels.

  7. My husband and I consider our two children and two grandchildren the joys of our lives. I did a 10-generation picture book of my father’s family so my little grandchildren would have a direct line on my side of the family that they could understand. Now I just have to do the other one from my family and the two from my husband’s family. Yikes!

The Versatile Blogger Award Rules:

  • Display the Award Certificate (cut and paste it from my post)

  • Write a post and link back to the blogger who nominated you – that’s me!

  • Nominate 15 other bloggers

  • Inform them of their nomination via comment on their blog

  • Post 7 interesting things about yourself

 
17 Comments

Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Authors, Helpful Web Sites

 

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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

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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.

 

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