Monday, July 9, 2018

SUMMER IS THE PERFECT TIME TO BEGIN AGAIN

It's the perfect time to drag out that manuscript you have been working on for years, or months, or weeks.

It's also the perfect time to look at how things may have changed in that novel that you started on. 

Speaking to Author Austin Camacho recently, he had been working on a novel for a couple of years and pulled it out since he was now retired and is a full time author.

First, congratulations and secondly I asked him how it was being a full time author.

He said that while he enjoyed working on his latest Hannibal novel, he found that he had to ; hold on to your computer, delete almost half of what he wrote because it was no longer relevant to today's world.

See when you begin that novel; you have to make sure to go back, no matter how much you loved it when you first wrote it, it may not be relevant in the time you are working on now.

When you first started that novel, pagers where the in thing. Now; even doctors use their phones as a paging system. So that delete key becomes your best friend. 

I know it is hard to see those words disappear from the page. The same words that took you almost three months to write just four chapters are gone within 10 seconds. 

You may even shed a tear but remember, when you get over the demise of your precious words; the words that come back will be so much better.

So, the summer is a great time to look at that novel again and tweak, delete or continue but whatever you do; make sure that you are writing the best book possible. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

WHEN BEING AN AUTHOR IS NOT ENOUGH

Why do people assume that just because you are an author that you do nothing else.

Well, I have many things that I like to do besides being an author. I like to travel and I like to cook. I like to shop for shoes. I like to read and I like to work with other authors.

Being an author IS enough for me but it is not my only job. 

When people say, "oh, your just an author" you need to speak up and say..."no; I'm an author AND I like to..."

Don't let people minimize your hard work. Being an author is hard work.

How many nights did you lay awake trying to figure out who to kill in your novel? Or if you have to cut out those first few pages of your novel because they just don't fit the way the story is going. 

Now, having a nine to five is hard. But at the end of your normal work day; you are off. 

At the end of the author's work day...never happens. Here is an 'average' author's work day.

Get up, have coffee (because that gets the juices flowing)
Go into your home office or she shed or man cave (wherever you like to write) and sit down.
Write an outline
Or just start writing
Have more coffee
Get the kids off to school (or wife/husband off to work)
Sit back down and start writing
Delete half of what you wrote two hours ago. (it doesn't move the story along)
Begin a new outline for a new novel because you have gotten 'stuck' in your current novel
Wait, its after three already? Kids are coming home. Help with homework 
After getting kids settled,  you are back in your man cave/she shed writing. 
Now you are in the groove and "honey, I'm home" 
Wait, what? it's after six already? 
Get up and hope that you don't loose that train of thought that you had for the problem in the story you JUST fixed.
Dinner, dishes and kitchen done and now back to the writing office.
Now you need more coffee because
Wait, what? it's after midnight? and you just finished chapter three.

Yes, folks that the life of a full time author. So is being "just" an author what you do?

I would say no. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

CONFERENCE SEASON IS HERE

So we all await this time of year. 

Where we meet our fans and fellow authors. 

Where we exchange ideas and where we learn about new projects, new authors, share what works and what doesn't. 

We learn who received that multi book deal or who got a movie deal or movie options.

Yep; its conference time and how many of us will be traveling to conferences.

There is one in Las Vegas. There is one in New York and there is also one in Maryland 

I have helped you out by linking to those sites, via their city name. 

Las Vegas has the PSWA conference. New York hosts Thrillerfest and Maryland is home to the Creatures, Crimes and Creativity Con.

These three conferences make up a few of the places you will find Intrigue Publishing authors.

We love these conferences but most importantly we love C3.

This is where we get to show off (Intrigue Authors) and we get to prove that we know how to put on a great show. 

This year they have added Noir At The Bar and it promises to be a great time.

So, tell me what conferences you are going to attend this year and why do you like it?

Monday, June 11, 2018

REMEMBERING A DEAR FRIEND

This time last week I was composing an email to a dear author friend.

This is something we had done numerous times since our first meeting in 2012 at the Black Authors Rock Weekend.

It wasn't until a couple of years ago, when she was the moderator for a panel I was on at Busboys and Poets that we became email pals.

I was in awe of her writing, had been since her novel, Where Did We Go Wrong? hit the Essence best seller list. She told of how she got up, stayed in her PJ's and wrote until she got tired. 

Well, as I composed that email I was telling her that I was finally getting my tiny house and finally make the commitment to write every day. I knew she would find something funny to say and then, as always encourage me to 'set aside space, time and just let my creative juices flow".

I always looked for her inspiration messages on Instagram and while I hadn't gotten a response from my early morning email; I knew she would respond to it. 

Then my heart got crushed around 9 pm Monday night.

I saw messages popping up in my stream about how we needed to PRAY for her husband and son. How we needed to hope that everything would be OK. I didn't want to go to her page because I didn't want to know what they were talking about.

But I had to know.

And I learned late Monday night that my writing, email, author friend had died. 

To say that my heart was crushed is an understatement. My heart hurts..literally. I have been crying since learning of the news. I can't stop smiling because I know her smile is forever and I can't stop from wishing that she was still here. That she would answer that last email; that she would send that inspiration message on Instagram.

But Monica is not.

She has gained her wings and we are left with a huge whole in the literary community. 

We are selfish because we want her here but there are reason why her shoulder was tapped. There is a reason why her laptop will never come back on. There is a reason why that space on her bed, that held her while writing will never be occupied. 

It's because she is now writing that next novel in her other home. She is now writing as much as she wants and will never know about deadlines, edits and rejection. 

She is where we all hope to be; she just got there first and now she is writing and holding our seat at the table.

Rest eternally my beautiful friend as I will miss you and will never forget our emails every Monday morning.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

MEMORIAL DAY IS NOT FOR EVERYONE

Some people believe that Memorial Day is for ALL veterans.

Let's be clear. It's for the ones that lost their life. Don't walk up to a service member and say Happy Memorial Day. 

They aren't the ones you need to thank.

Did you go to the cemetery and lay some flowers? Did you go visit a family of a service member who came home 'under' the flag?

See, most people think that this day of remembrance is about having a party, grilling out or saying Thank you to the military people they pass in the street.

It's about us remembering that our freedom, our lives and our country is free because of the people that gave their lives so that we could have freedom of speech and the freedom to live as we choose.

Given that the NFL just ruled that the players are NOT FREE to kneel has upset me. 

Colin Kapernick was kneeling, not because he was disrespecting the flag. Those of you that take exception to that, missed the entire point of his kneeling.

He was kneeling because he took exception to the line in the National Anthem that said, "and justice for all." Justice, as he was protesting, isn't for all. It is for those of you, who's skin color is not dark. Justice isn't for those of us that are male, black and young. 

So Memorial Day is meant for those that gave their lives so that Colin could kneel. 

Make sure you know how to celebrate this day. 

I don't say Happy Memorial Day to my dad or my daughter. 

I say it to those that can't hear me, at Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery or Arlington National Cemetery.

Monday, May 21, 2018

IT'S RAINING BUT THAT DIDN'T STOP ME

When it's raining outside, most people want to curl up in bed with a good book and read until they finish or binge watch TV.

Not me!

This was the first time in almost four months that I could walk without the use of crutches so I did what any normal person would do.

I went out!

Yep, went out and had a full day.

First my day started with a 1 year olds birthday party. At Chuck E. Cheese no less. Big mistake. It was full of screaming children and those that were not screaming, were crying.

Well all except the birthday girl. She was asleep. She was missing her own party. Oh well, so much for the exciting overstuffed mouse and cheese pizza. 

On to the next stop.

Preakness Day Party.

Yay! I have never attended any kind of horse race and had no idea of the pageantry of it all.

The horse, the outfits and the HATS! Let's talk about the hats. First I am not a hat person, so I just ran into Macy's and picked up a quick one. 

Big mistake.

These women were donned out in the finest clothes. It was like I was sitting in church with a group of church mothers all vying for the coveted prize of "My hat is bigger than yours" prize or better yet. The "Don't sit behind me because you can't see anything past my hat" prize. 

Don't get me wrong, they were gorgeous hats; I just didn't know that people here in DC took this king of thing that seriously. 

Well now I know so I am already on the hunt for a very unique hat for the Belmont race coming up in a couple of weeks. 

Like I need another addiction. 

Then it was off to the third event of the day.

An all white party, hosted by my American Legion for the Martin and Long scholarship fund. 

It was a beautiful affair with everyone decked out in their finest white attire. Men had on their white suits and women had on their summer whites. 

But I thought all white meant, well all white. So I had on everything white including my shoes. 

Most people had on a variety of shoe colors, none of which were WHITE. What is the point of having and ALL WHITE party if you aren't going to wear ALL WHITE...just an observation on my part.

So after beginning the day at 9am; my day finally came to an end at 1AM, Sunday morning. 

Let's just say that the first day without crutches was a huge success however, my ankle wasn't to happy so Sunday, the day that it was nice and sunny outside. I spent that day, IN BED. 

Somehow it just didn't seem right but hey, rainy Saturday was just as fun!

Monday, May 14, 2018

SUMMER TIME AND THE READING IS EASY

We all like when summer comes. 

Especially if you are an author.

We get to read some of our favorite authors but it is also a chance for us to make some new fans. 


We bring out our books, past and present. Dust them off, sometimes get a new cover and hope to attract those readers that are willing to give a new author a chance. And some older authors a chance as well.


So here are a few covers of books that you should give a try.




 There is something for everyone; so make sure to pick up one, two or all of them.