Co-Writing A #Book and Other #Pirate Tales – Amber Wake Style

amber-wake1Since I was a bit occupied with my day job, my family, editing, beta reader feedback changes, rewrites, more editing, more rewrites and then even more editing, as well as formatting for both Kindle and Paperback, then uploading, rechecking errors, fixing errors and re-uploading AMBER WAKE, I didn’t really have much time to build a blog tour. (Poor pitiful me, right? LOL)

Therefore, I give you a blog tour in a loot bag, right here on my own blog! This is my first installment.

Ready the guns lads!

First, in true pirate fashion, I’ve stolen a few of the same questions my co-author of Amber Wake answered, just for fun and to see how our answers differ.

What is your book about?

Amber Wake is about Gabriel Wallace; a young, honorable Captain in the Royal Navy in 1705 London. He’s thrust unwittingly into a delicate and ultimately dangerous situation when an Admiral’s young and lovely (as well as untamed) wife is caught carousing with a young, dashing lieutenant, who just happens to be the newest officer on Gabriel’s crew. As a result of the young Captain’s innocent involvement, he is implicated in the murder of the Admiral and court-marshaled. However, he isn’t about to take this, nor the more intimate retaliation against him lying down. He’s prepared for a fight he’s been waiting for and in a navy filled with sheep, he’s a lion about to roar.

Consumed with vengeful purpose, he goes on a rampage, hell bent on making the Admiral who plotted against him pay in every way possible for his downfall. With his loyal crew, his closest friend Miles Jacobs, and that naughty new lieutenant, Maddox Carbonale, he takes his navy ship, the Majesty’s Venture, on a wild ride into a focused and deliberate maelstrom of payback…the old fashioned way.

What made you start writing it? 

Quite simply, my co-author, Ronovan Hester, came to me with an idea for a back story on my character, Rasmus Bergman, who was one of the main characters from DEMONS & PEARLS. I was still writing JADED TIDES at the time and I really liked Ron’s ideas, even though at the time they were still pretty basic but they fit in well with answering the question as to how and why Rasmus got involved with piracy. I ended up working that back story into JADED TIDES when Rasmus finally pours his heart out to Ivory and confesses his past life. I was grateful he’d shared his ideas for AMBER WAKE with me since that was such a game changing chapter of JADED TIDES.

Ron sent me several drafts. I was very distracted at the time, as I was in the editing and publishing stages of JADED TIDES, as well as working on a prequel novella, IVORY DAWN, for DEMONS & PEARLS. I would read some and then along would come another version. However, once the idea had settled in of the basic story and I began the initial stages of working on it, I was beginning to “feel” the tale, which is something I have to do before I will invest my time in something…especially a story I didn’t create. The most important reason I did this was I loved the story. The other reason was because I knew how much Ron had invested in it and how badly he wanted to be published. Before I knew it, I was all the way in and the rest as they say, is historical fiction. 😉

Do you see a possibility of a sequel to your book? 

At some point I’d like to continue Rasmus’ story. He’s one of my favorite characters. Most of the apprehension I had of even writing this book with Ron was my attachment to Rasmus. Allowing someone else the privilege of taking one of your beloveds and using them to create a new story is terrifying. I know Rasmus better than anyone. I created him for goodness sake’s and Maddox Carbonale as well. These characters are a part of me. It’s a big line to cross but I knew Ron read my books and was very familiar with both of these characters. I also knew, even if in Ron’s final draft (the one I worked on and beat the crap out of) either of them didn’t feel right or I felt they were too different from the men I created, I’d have the freedom and right to make adjustments and keep them true to who they were in my other books. Gabriel, however, was evolving into Ramus so regardless of who I know Rasmus to be, in the beginning, he was different, as he should have been. It took a series of life altering events to bring Rasmus to the surface.

I must say I also love a few of the characters Ron brought into the story. Adam and Gimby to be specific. I’d also like to get to know William Asperson more. He seems like such a gentle and innocent soul who unfortunately didn’t come into the story until near the end. I’d really like to get to know him better and push his buttons a little. I’m very good at pushing buttons and flinging my characters into situations to see what happens! After all, real people have flaws and faults and are far from perfect. Perfect is boring. Part of my passion for writing is digging out those hidden demons and watching them fly around a bit.

(Now one of my own)

What’s it like to co-write a book? What was your formula?

Having never co-written anything with anyone, there was no formula. As I said above, Ron wrote the bones and guts, and I stitched on the muscle and flesh…kind of like building Frankenstein’s monster and believe me when I tell you, I am not the easiest person to work with. I don’t have much time to write. I have to schedule my writing time around a very and I do mean VERY busy life. I work a full time job. Including myself, there are seven people and a cat living under my roof. Those seven people include three little granddaughters, all under the age of six. I babysit them in the evenings while my daughter teaches dance classes. I cook. I clean. I do the laundry and most evenings I don’t even sit down until 10:00PM. If I’m working on a book and I open my laptop to work, I work. Yes, when I’m in between books, I Facebook, play around online and relax but when I’m in work mode, I’m a force to be reckoned with and I make no apologies for that. I can be very unsympathetic to excuses or nonsense but I am in no way a Diva. When you only have so many hours in a day…most stolen from a night’s sleep, getting down to business is top priority. Unfortunately, sometimes that can translate into other things.

The simple answer is co-writing a book is challenging to say the least unless you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Fortunately Ron and I laid out the ground rules from day one. I loved the story but I would absolutely need to make changes. I would need to make revisions based on beta feedback. I would need to inject my voice in order to keep this book in line with my others and above all, since I was handling all of the nuts and bolts of the project, I would have the final say as to those changes. To some it may sound harsh but this is a business, not a hobby. Ron did an excellent job writing this book; the research, the story line and the characters were formed well and the drama was tight. I like to think of it this way: Ron brought the people to the dance floor and I played the music to make them dance. Together, we had one hell of party.

Mission accomplished I’d say for Captain Wallace – Bergman. Mission accomplished for Ronovan Hester and P.S. Bartlett as well.

blue_rose_tattoo_by_9rayne2

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Grab Your Broadsword and Pistol and Prepare To Board!

Amber Wake

Amber Wake is Coming!

I think you may need a nice little teaser to grab you and pull you back in time to the Golden Age of Piracy!

How about a little light reading to get you started? Grappling hooks, pikes, swords and men who valued freedom and vengeance on the open ocean await! We give you Chapter One of Amber Wake – Gabriel Falling. 

Chapter One:

“Gabriel, there’s trouble brewing upstairs,” Miles Jacobs said, taking an empty chair at the corner table of the tavern. When I observed my Lieutenant’s set jaw and clenched teeth, I immediately appreciated the seriousness of his words. My eyes followed his to the steps at the opposite end of the tavern, passing over the crowded room of Royal Navy men and local seamen. There was only one nature of affairs to be found at the top of those stairs and it was never the prudent sort.

“Are any of our crew involved?”

“No, but Admiral Hawthorne is,” Miles answered.

The mention of the name of such a pious member of London society snapped my attention fully to the big Scotsman, Miles, and I leaned to his ear and asked, “Are you certain?”

“I’ll forgive my captain’s momentary lapse of sanity in questioning his First Lieutenant and lifelong friend,” Miles said with a raised brow. “But it would seem the Admiral’s lovely wife is engaged upstairs, and the Admiral has followed her here to capture her in the act of said engagement.” His expression of feigned insult slid quickly into a devilish smile that appeared to be bursting with anticipation.

The possibility of a deadly outcome in this situation began to hush the hall and anxious expectation rose thick in the atmosphere of the room. However absurd this situation was, it was beyond even Miles’ ability to indulge in the pleasure of being present for such a scene. The reality of an Admiral’s wife spending time in a room normally occupied by whores was as humorously awkward as any scenario either of us had witnessed of late.

“Perhaps we’d make better use of our time elsewhere,” Miles said as he stood. I rose to follow him, when the commotion on the stairs stopped us like an unseen wall. A young, dark haired man leapt down the stairs; his coat in one hand and his open shirt flapping in his wake as he fled the roars of the wrathful man close behind him. I easily identified the young man as Maddox Carbonale, a young lieutenant we’d only yesterday acquired from another ship. His assignment to my patrol galley came with a reputation that I’d been left to sort out—as well as his less than obedient temperament. I’d been repeatedly blessed of late with the Navy’s problem seamen and I hadn’t yet had the honor of a formal introduction with this obvious miscreant. According to my command, I was adept at handling hard heads. I knew better.

“Hold that bastard!” Admiral Hawthorne ordered. He made his way down the stairs one at a time, clutching at the railing for support.  His face was puffed-up and as red as a drunken Irishman with an empty wages packet. He was sweating and panting as if he too were running for his life.

A group of Royal Navy men obeyed the admiral’s order without question and scrambled after the fleeing man. The object of their pursuit fought them, tossing each one off as they struggled repeatedly to seize him. However, it wasn’t long before several of them at last wrapped him up and wrestled the stealthy young man to the ground. Knowing my Lieutenant’s lust for a good scrap, my hand was pressed hard against Miles’ chest until at the conclusion of this spectacle, he turned to me and said, “I wasn’t going to hurt anyone much.”

“We need to determine the full nature of this incident before we unwisely jump into such a delicate situation. What decent woman would involve herself in such an indiscretion, unless it was of her own device?”

“I didn’t say who that ‘anyone’ I was going to hurt was,” Miles said from the corner of his mouth.

“Make your way around the other side with care,” I said, and he nodded and began an easy journey through the now vacant part of the tavern. Everyone still sober enough to stand was pressed closely together to see what would happen next. The stench of beer and body odor assaulted me as I moved roughly through the gathered mob.

“I am going to blast your balls off for this, boy,” Admiral Hawthorne slurred, spraying his words as he waved his pistol and moved closer to the fit young man. Now standing, he was secured tightly by the arms and shoulders, yet continued to twist and wrestle to free himself from the Admiral’s men. Admiral Hawthorn labored step by step towards the restrained target of his angst until he lost his footing and stumbled to the tavern floor.

Throughout his entire ordeal, the handsome young man neither spoke nor showed even a speck of fear. Even as one of the men snatched a handful of his unruly black hair and jerked his head back while two other sailors helped the Admiral to his feet.

A low rolling groan flowed through the crowd as Admiral Hawthorne appeared to be making good on his threat. He raised his pistol, and pointed it in the general direction of the man’s groin, scattering the gawking mob. It appeared almost everyone feared the chance of being caught by a misdirected shot from the shaky hand of the maddened Admiral.

“Hold, Admiral,” I said stepping forward, which hushed the nattering crowd.

Hawthorne turned toward me with a squint. “Captain Wallace? This is none of your concern. It would serve you well to remain clear of the matter.” He turned to take aim again and I held back my retort in regards to my own welfare. However, having no interest in bloodshed, I spoke anyway. “Sir, the young man is unarmed and being held against his will. There has been no trial. This will not go well sir, not even for you.” As I spoke, I spied Miles still carefully moving throughout the crowd, until he was directly behind one of the Admiral’s men who was holding tightly onto the young man.

Admiral Hawthorn took two tottering steps and his rotund body was pressed hard against mine as he barked up at me. “You dare to presume how my actions will be received, boy?”

“Just offering a bit of direction in a storm, Admiral. To murder a man in this manner, will surely bring grave consequences, sir. There is no honor or dignity in murdering a restrained and unarmed man.” The stench of hard liquor on his hot breath seared my nostrils as he blew his words at me, causing me to lean back and away from his face. The room fell silent as every man now stood quietly awaiting the admiral’s rebuttal which did not come. Then, I watched as all eyes and ears turned to the stairs and the delicate footsteps descending them. To say the Lady Hawthorne was brave would be a great understatement. To say she was beautiful would be pointless.

“Agatha, I told you to stay—”                      

“Be quiet, Jeremiah,” the young Agatha Hawthorne said to her husband. “Ordering me around as if I were one of your crew has never worked for you nor will it, ever.” She said and turned her gaze to the handsome dark haired prisoner, who’d ceased his relentless efforts to free himself as their eyes met.

“Agatha—” The Admiral said in an attempt to draw her attention—as well as his embarrassment, away from the young man’s bright green eyes but she didn’t waver.

“Maddox, I do hope we meet again. If not, I doubt I will find another lover that has your appetites.” She twirled a long loose curl with the fingers of her left hand and slid the fingernails of her right, down over the flesh of his exposed chest. She turned gracefully away from him at the shoulders, gazing back one last time before finally cutting a path through the crowd as she walked away.  Her expensive scent followed her through the musky tavern, until her dazzling blue eyes acknowledged my presence. “Captain Wallace,” she said and nodded.

Everyone watched as she drifted care free from the tavern, leaving lustful thoughts and in her wake—revenge.

“Die, you wife thieving scum,” Hawthorne growled as he lunged forward.

“No, Admiral!” I shouted, grabbing his arm as his gun discharged into the floor. At the same time, Maddox made his most daring move yet at escape. He kicked up with both feet in the air. Taking his captors unawares, he leveraged his body weight to pull them down on top of him, causing them to let go and creating a havoc of scattering sailors and gawkers.

 “The lothario has killed the Admiral!” I looked to the source of that cry and across the room was the First Lieutenant of Admiral Hawthorne, ever present and ever protective. He was pale as moonlight and trembling like the last leaf in autumn.

I glanced at Miles and nodded to Maddox. Miles nodded in return.

“Admiral Hawthorne,” I said, still holding onto his arm but now, I was completely bearing his weight. I looked at him in horror to find a dagger had somehow been buried deeply in his chest during the chaos. My assumption was the dagger had been meant for Maddox.

“Help me sit, Gabriel,” the Admiral groaned as he lowered himself into a chair and I held tightly onto him to keep him from falling. “Pull it out. I don’t want to die stuck like some wild boar on a hunt.”

The Admiral’s shirt and waistcoat were already saturated in blood. I knew from experience that removing the blade would cause a red river to spring forth but the choice of a quick death was his to make.

“Grab his shoulders,” I called to Miles as the others gathered around. “Someone hold his legs. On three.” My chest tightened and pushed every breath in me outward like a gale. Then, I counted.

The wet sucking sound as his flesh reluctantly released the blade, caused some of the men to retch and groan. Admiral Hawthorne’s blanched white face was now glazed over with perspiration. Over his ragged breaths, he murmured, “My nightmares . . . have always been, of dying by stabbing but I never thought…it would be over some society arranged marriage, young piece of . . .”

The Admiral slumped in his chair and was gone.

It’s Almost Time to Set Sail Again. Are You Ready for AMBER WAKE?

It’s time to go back in time…

Synopsis: Where do I begin? That’s a difficult question in and of itself but when your life is transformed in a matter of minutes into something else, do you begin when you’re born or when your life truly began?

I was born in London as Gabriel Wallace. The child of high society; although I was raised to appreciate everything that softly landed in my hand. I followed all the rules. I worked hard, studied hard and ended up a captain in the Royal Navy before my twenty fifth birthday. Unfortunately, I saw the world through my own eyes, not the eyes of my superiors and my vision was clear. I knew my duty. I knew my job. I also knew deep down, regardless of the loyalty my commission required, my stance was in opposition and it was but a matter of time before I’d be forced to stand alone.

Fortunately for me, my crew was loyal too and I had the full support of my closest friend and confidant as well. I didn’t know where I’d end up but I knew one thing for sure; I needed to get the hell out of England and thanks to them, I was taking my ship with me.

BLOG HOSTS WANTED!BETA READERS!

C.S. Boyack’s Assistant and Spokes-Model, Lisa Burton, is on the #Blog With Me Today to Chat About Will O’ the Wisp

I am so thrilled this morning to have on my blog, a young lady who although the lead character in C. S. Boyack’s first novel, also serves as his personal assistant and the spokes-model for his blog, Entertaining Stories.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Lisa Burton.
IMG_0972

Hi, Peggy. Thanks for having me over today. I love getting out in the Fall.

It’s my pleasure, Lisa. I must say I’ve never chatted with a robot but you’re so, genuine.

I’m here to talk about Craig’s book, Will O’ the Wisp. This one is about a teenage girl named Patty Hall. She has a mild handicap that requires her to wear corrective leg braces. Her first day of high school goes just about like you might think.

Ooooo…tell me more!

She’s in love with all things related to space, and science fiction. One night, while stargazing, she and a friend spot something called a Will O’ the Wisp. Amazement turns into fear as it attacks a college student before their eyes.

Patty jumps to the wrong conclusion, and wastes a lot of valuable time trying to find a science fiction explanation. It turns out to be part of an ancient curse that’s been targeting the Hall family for generations. Patty is next on the list, and if she doesn’t figure it out soon, she’s on her way to the Hall family cemetery plot.

I love suspense and ancient curses!

Craig really put this poor girl through the ringer. I didn’t think she could hold up, but she’s a main character worthy of the title. It isn’t bad enough dealing with the curse, she has normal issues too. She watches her friends start dating from the sidelines. She has to deal with an overbearing mother, but finds an ally in her stepfather.

The whole story is set in the mid 1970s. Craig said he did this to avoid easy access to information. No cell phones and no internet equals more tension waiting for clues. If nothing else, I had a great time doing all the research into the era. Did you know there was a time when nobody had microwave ovens?

I’m sure there was but I’m too young to remember those days. <Winks and blushes and watches Lisa roll her eyes>

There is a review out there that says, Will O’ the wisp is like The Wonder Years meets The Exorcist. Craig took great glee in that remark.

I brought you a piece of art we’re using to promote the book. It’s me sitting at Patty Hall’s roll-top desk and staring at the Will O’ the Wisp.

I love art and this cover is so mysterious and spooky!

Thank you so much, Lisa, for bringing Will O’ the Wisp to my blog today. I love hosting other authors. I truly appreciate you coming on behalf of Craig. It’s been lovely speaking to you! Please give Craig all my best for much success! By the way, I love your outfit!

***

Cover to WISP

Buy Craig’s Books HERE!

Northern American Continent http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B00UPH6BNS

Rest of the world http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B00UQNDT2C

Follow Craig and see what he’s up to!

Check out my novels here: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00ILXBXUY

Time to Begin Plotting a New #Blog Tour for Jaded Tides. Would You Help Me Out and Be a #Host?

My fourth book in the Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales series will be launched next month! 

I know it’s kind of hard to believe I’m doing this again but I can’t seem to get off this ship of dreams so I’m asking for your support and invite you to come aboard for this voyage!

If anyone would be interested in being a blog host, do a book review or an interview, I’d greatly appreciate it! As always, I offer my services and my blog in return to host you as well.

Now that I have parted ways amiably with my publisher, I am solely dependent upon myself in order to make this book launch the best one yet but I know I can’t do it without support from my writing friends in our community.

So, with that being said, if you’d be interested in participating, please either leave a comment below or email me at suzyM45 at aol dot com. I’d love to work with you!

I’m looking for anyone who blogs, is a writer, an author or who loves to read and review books.

Thank you so much in advance!

Peggy

JADED TIDES:

After finding love in the most unlikely of places, Ivory’s life appears to at last be falling into place. Having proven herself a force to be reckoned with, she has at last set sail for the first time as a pirate. The only problem is she’s a woman and must disguise herself in order to set foot on a ship. Being in love with her captain isn’t helping matters either and whole new set of obstacles are presenting themselves at every turn. Her brash style and tenacity, however, could prove to make her, her own worst enemy.

With a sword in her hand and her new found love at her side, Ivory Shepard is about to embark on a   mission to rescue and return every young woman she can who has fallen prey to the jaded tides of the Caribbean sex trade. Armed with a secret log book she acquired from a pirate captain—who also happened to be an evil smuggler, she believes herself well prepared for the task. As she’s already learned the hard way, pirates always prove to be unpredictable and ruthless. Unfortunately for them, so is she.

Jaded Tides Front Cover

Introducing Author M.C. Simon and Her New Book: FENG SHUI FOR WRITERS!

Feng Shui For Writers book tour

Book Details

  • Title: Feng Shui For Writers
  • Series: How To Master Your Life
  • Author: M.C. Simon
  • Genre: Non-Fiction
  • Format: Paperback and Kindle
  • Length: 152 pages
  • Publication Date: June 16, 2015
  • Publisher: IML Publishing
  • Regular Price: $7.99 Kindle

Synopsis

DISCOVER HOW TO MASTER YOUR WRITING LIFE

Feng Shui For Writers How To Write Creatively Guide

FENG SHUI FOR WRITERS provides all the dots that you have to connect to control the flowing Chi for each writing category. What is harmony for a romantic novel writer is different from what is harmony for a journalist writer, and for sure very different than for the writer writing for the horror domain. To bring the Feng Shui technique into the writer’s life, it is not enough to merely explain general principles and ideas; we have to dig deeper because the branches of writing are so numerous.


Find Out HOW TO:

  • Attract productivity, successful publishing and money using Feng Shui
  • Overcome writer’s block with Feng Shui help
  • Organize your writing place to achieve your goals
  • Influence your writing life through colors
  • Use crystals for creative writing
  • Use lighting to Feng Shui your writing space
  • Choose the plants that will boost your creativity
  • Influence your “writer’s zone” and the creative mind
  • Boost your children’s creativity (yes… children are young writers also)

And much more.

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon IN

Excerpt

6.2 – THE WRITER’S ZONE

Feng Shui For Writers Mentoring And Coaching

To understand what a writer’s zone is, you must first experience the previous state called a writer’s block. Then and only then will you understand how you can face it and how you can move to the writer’s zone. This zone is exactly the opposite of a writer’s block; it is the optimal phase in which a writer can find himself. It is the phase in which Chi flows freely on the writer’s path, the creativity is boosted and the writing productivity reaches maximum level.

Having knowledge about both states, a writer’s block and a writer’s zone, you can save the wasted time between these two phases.

There are some elements that influence your entering into this zone.

  • One of these is your location. Depending on where you live, you must find a writing environment that boosts your writing mood. Find a place suitable for you that you feel relaxed in and totally prepared to let the words flow.

  • Take a walk in the park or the woods, go for a drive on a long unpopulated road. Don’t forget to take the camera with you and take pictures that will help you relax the next time you need to enter into the writer’s zone without having to walk again. A walk in a quiet and relaxing place is a good Feng Shui method to un-clutter your mind of stress.

  • Do some brainstorming for your future book; try to prepare a good plot for your novel. Do some research on the theme that you want to write about.

  • Avoid emails, other online temptations, phones and any other distractions that are blocking the Chi flow of your creativity and productivity.

  • Listen to some music and prepare a playlist with your favorite relaxing songs. Use this list until it becomes a habit that is helping you enter into the writer’s zone.

  • Breathe! Yes, breathe. Fill your lungs with fresh air until they expand to the point where they touch, take a small pause then exhale slowly. Learn to breathe again, so the good Chi also enters your body.

  • Burn some incense and use aromatic lamps for fragrance.

  • Find a writing retreat in your area. Make it a part of your writing process. This will always get you into the zone. There are two kinds of retreats: solo retreats (suitable for writers who prefer solitude far away from any distractions including other writers) and group retreats (provides a chance for face to face group brainstorming). The best writing retreats are those that include both solo and group retreats. When you go to a writing retreat, be sure that you are applying the Feng Shui principles in that place also (you can even take a Bagua map with you).

  • If your mind feels unclear in ideas, use a yellow vase where you place orange flowers. This will boost the intensity of your writing and will give you the necessary clarity.

  • Don’t forget to always include the water element in your space.

  • Avoid too many electronic devices in the moments when you write because they will drain your energy, and soon you’ll have to face another writer’s block.

  • Hang a wooden chime near you so its movement will activate any stagnant Chi.

Previously Published Excerpts

Who Is A Writer?

3 Things You Should Do Before Using Feng Shui

About the Author

Author MC Simon

Writer, translator, engineer, researcher, project manager, blogger, eternal student… these are only a few words to describe MC Simon.

She strongly believes that energy is ours to use freely, and we need only to open our hearts to regain the lost perception of our true powers. She thinks that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. For this reason, M.C. Simon has never hunted the information but rather waited for the right moment when she would be ready for the information to find her. In the same way, she knows that when someone needs her, the Universe will proceed in such a way that the meeting will take place.

Contact The Author

Amazon Author Page

MCSimonWrites.com

FengShuiForWriters.com

Facebook Fan Page

Twitter

GooglePlus

LinkedIn

Giveaway

Giving away a copy of “Feng Shui For Writers” E-book to 10 lucky winners. 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

10 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author

Owl

  1. Unless you’re already famous for something else; rock star, movie actor, professional athlete—you most likely will not sell a million copies of your book—your first book let’s say. For Joe Shmo and P.S. Bartlett and many other authors, being successful takes a good deal of time, good marketing and a great support base. If you’re hoping to get rich quick by being a writer, you may want to get that record deal or Lakers contract first.

  2. You have to have either a very good memory or be incredibly organized. Between scheduling writing time, writing your blog, tweeting, running contests, Facebook pages, email addresses, writing your book and not to mention holding down a full time job, keeping house, cooking, cleaning and keeping your significant other from leaving you due to you forgetting not only their birthday but their name, you may have time to pee and walk the cat—I mean dog.

  3. It can be a very lonely career. Writers need a lot of solitary time to write. I’ll admit, I’ve been writing and someone will come into the room and most often they will ask that all too important question, “Are you writing?” but occasionally the matter is important to them. Forgive them because they don’t realize you’re right in the middle of taking down an army of giant trolls and when you read back over what you wrote later, try not to get upset with them when your troll has forgotten to do their homework and needs an excuse note for their teacher or they’ve set the kitchen on fire.

  4. People want your swag. If you’re not an author and you’re reading this, no, they do not want your lovely new curtains, they want goodies that show off your books. There is a bit of an investment involved but it’s oh so worth when your fans want something special to go with their books. Bookmarks, buttons, charms and t-shirts make great swag but always remember your fans love your books and they are going to want some swag so you better have it ready.

  5. Getting published is as easy as 1, 2, 3 (and other fairy tales). There are literally millions of books on Amazon alone—go look if you don’t believe me. Looks pretty simple doesn’t it? (I’ll be right back I’m rolling on the floor laughing). Even if you become frustrated with the process of querying agents and publishers and decide to self-publish your book, there are plenty of really nice and friendly people waiting in line to take your money and help you do just that—choose wisely. Do background checks if you have to but please be careful.

  6. Depending on which genre you write in, you must do your research. Nero didn’t smoke cigars—neither did pirates. I’ll bet you didn’t know that did you? Okay well even if you claim you did, do you have to be 100% historically accurate? Well yes, you should. Of course you can use your imagination to create new scenarios, for instance Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter but if old Abe whips out his iPod or says, “Hey, pass the Grey Poupon,” I’m sorry but your more experienced reader is gonna close the book on you.

  7. I didn’t know authors were zombies. I’ve learned to accomplish more things while half asleep than some people do wide awake—I think. Well I try.Okay I thought I did those things!

  8. Social networking is very important but don’t beg. If you’re a new author, currently writing your first novel or even thinking about it, you better have a Facebook, a Twitter, a Google+ and a blog at the very least or you are already way behind. The irony of all of this is under point number 3. I compare this lifestyle to living like a gopher. In the hole, out of the hole. In the hole, out of the hole. We hide and write and in the next breath, we stick our head out, make a bunch of really cool new friends, say hello to our fans and then run back in our holes. Please, just don’t bombard people with “Over here! Look at me! PLEASE look at me! WILL YOU FREAKING LOOK OVER HERE!!!” Build relationships. Support your fellow writers and above all, don’t steal their golf balls.

  9. Not everyone likes you and once you’re published, they may like you even less. As we strive to write that perfect, wonderful book that of course everyone wants to read and it miraculously gets published and we’re deliriously happy and sharing our happiness with anyone who will listen on every social media site and at every cocktail party or barbeque we attend, there is someone or someones lurking and guess what—they don’t like you, never did and they’ll be mean to you. They’ll give you anonymous bad reviews or say not so nice things about your book—since it is of course the source of your happiness. The answer to this is very simple. Write them into your next novel and kill them. Done.

  10. People will like you and they’ll love your book. The most incredible feeling you get when your book is published and you start receiving feedback from complete strangers as to how good or even great it is will blow you away. Besides the birth of my children and grandchildren, giving birth to my first novel and holding it in my hands for the first time was nothing short of euphoria. Within its pages or gigabytes lies your blood, sweat and tears. It’s an asexual reproduction of your deepest thoughts and your wildest dreams, and you don’t need an epidural or puff puff blow to bring it into the world—however, a little shot of tequila or in my case RumChata to welcome its arrival never hurt anybody.