My Reading Binge

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This is not my reading nook. I wish!

 

I’ve done a ridiculous amount of reading recently. And if you’d been following my blog for awhile, you know that I love reading. Reading got me into writing.

So I’ve been on a reading binge. The main reason for that being, I was stuck in bed for two weeks. I couldn’t go anywhere. And while that may be fun for some, it’s not so fun when you’re in pain, drugged and feel like you want to die. (Okay that’s a tad dramatic. But true.)

Books were the only thing that made the whole experience less annoying. And YouTube videos. And Instagram. But mostly books *grin* And let me just take a moment to give a big, fat thank you to all my fellow authors. Seriously, thank you for writing these stories. The world would be a vast and empty place without writers. Just saying.

Now I would love to write comprehensive reviews about all the books I’ve read but that would take the amount of time I need to spend working on the book series I’m planning. So not gonna happen any time soon *wink*

What I am going to do, because these books entertained my bedridden-self like you wouldn’t believe, is list them all below as a sort of recommendation for anyone who might find themselves in a similar situation and need distraction.

So without further adieu here they are:

  1. The Wounded Souls series by Leah Sharelle. Honestly, going into it I didn’t know if I would like it or not, because I’m not into biker club romances (I also didn’t watch that US biker club TV show either). But this group of ex-military men turned bikers actually intrigued me and how the author dealt with their PTSD. And of course the romance is off the charts. Plus it’s gritty in the emotions department. And I like characters that hurt before it gets better…does that make sense? Anyway, I will definitely be continuing the series. So far there are three books that I know of.
  2. The Governess Game by Tessa Dare. This book had me at, “The morning began in the same way as most of Chase’s mornings lately. With a tragic demise.” Filled with humor and romance. Sign. Me. Up.
  3. Rule#1 You Can’t Date the Coach’s Daughter by Anne-Marie Meyer. The title alone drew me in. I already knew what the conflict was going to be about, so fun times. It’s also teen fiction, a genre that I do read though not often the straight-up romance kind. Usually it has to be an alien invasion slash apocalypse slash loner over-thinking life type of book for me to get into, but this time the title alone got me. It’s also a fast read, 148 pages.
  4. The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne. This book was interesting because it didn’t follow the usual Duke meet’s Commoner romance storyline. The plot as much as the romance between the characters keeps you intrigued. I love murder with my romance *smile*
  5. Her Duke of Secrets by Christi Caldwell. I really liked this story because it focused on women in medicine and how history treated them. How their skills were not as valued. This book also has a lot of intrigue, secrets (obviously) and shows how the dynamic can shift between the sexes when one of them is more knowledgeable than the other. Okay now I sound like a literary major. Btw, I wasn’t.
  6. Respect by Jay Crownover. I’ve read Jay Crownover since I stumbled on her Marked Men Series. Needless to say, I highly recommend it if you like stories about men who own tattoo shops and play in rock bands. Or the quintessential bad boy. Her Welcome to the Point Series was the next one I dived into. I loved the first book, but couldn’t get into the second book and the third, was okay. I’m not surprised the publisher dropped the series, but there were characters from the series I hoped would get their own stories. Jay didn’t disappoint us readers. She self-published under a new series name, The Breaking Point Series. I read Honor, and then jumped to Respect. This book is definitely one where you need context at first, so you have to know the book universe beforehand. This said, if you just want to get into this book first, she sets everything up so that you don’t become too confused about what’s going on or why certain characters ‘act’ the way they do. It was definitely a good read for a die-hard Jay Crownover fan.
  7. Wicked Scandal by Carole Mortimer. I love this author. She’s my bias. Anything she writers I enjoy. Honestly, not going to lie. This story is straight-up romance packed into 122 pages. It forms part of a series. And yes, I’m working my way through the series.
  8. Almost a Wedding by Ruth Cardello. This is just one of those sweet, sparks flying, opposites attract type of stories. It’s entertaining and a palate cleanser from heavy emotional reading or biker books. As a romance reader, you need this type of book in your arsenal.
  9. Bullied by the Alpha by Sam Crescent. I don’t usually read paranormal books when I’m writing my own paranormal stories, but the concept of this one intrigued me. It definitely moves away from the typical supernatural super-perfect on all levels idea of werewolves. It was nice to read about supernatural misfits getting a happy ending. Oh and it’s a…uhm…hot read. So if that’s not your cup of tea, than stay away from this one.  But if it is, go get it!
  10. Born to be Wilde by Eloisa James. I enjoyed this story so much because it reminded me of the books I read in high school. The type of stories where the two main characters actually like each other but keeps on misunderstanding the other…you know. And the story is well written and so worth every dime you spend on it. I really enjoyed this.

 

Of course there were other books I read too, but…yeah I’m not going to get into it or them here. I thought I’d only mention the ones I really liked and would have no problem recommending.

Also, if you’re on Instagram, here’s my handle @ingesaunders I spend so much time over there lately. I don’t know why, but I am.

And if you have any book recommendations for me, because I’m not just on a reading binge, I’m also on a book buying binge, write them in the comment section.

#happywriting                                                                                            

 

 

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Spotlight on Dangerously Curvy series

 

Spotlight today on Siren Allen’s latest release. Enter #giveaway below.

 

dangerously curvy giveaway w donna image

 

Siren ‘M’Renee’ Allen presents….

Warning: Dangerous Curves Ahead

Book one in the Dangerously Curvy series.

 

wdcacover 

He’s a dangerous criminal.

She’s dangerously curvy.

Together, will they sizzle or will they crash and burn?

 

Dean Collins wasn’t born evil. This cruel world turned him into the cold-hearted killer he is today. Death and destruction follows him everywhere he goes. So, when he crosses paths with the very sassy and very curvy food truck owner, Rain Delaney, he does everything he can to push her away.

But situations beyond his control keeps pulling them back together. It isn’t long before the darkness in his life seeps into hers and she ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now his enemies are after her. Staying away from her is no longer an option. To keep her safe, he has to keep her near him.

It’s sad that the safest place for her is in the arms of a killer.

A killer who has no intention of letting her go.

Available on Amazon. FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FKT8WRW/
CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07FKT8WRW/
UK: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07FKT8WRW/

Be sure to enter the Dangerously Curvy Giveaway!

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a576fb1c25/

And join M’Renee’s Facebook group for a chance at winning more great prizes!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/sassysirens/

 

It’s the half year mark

IMG_20180706_134751It’s the half year mark and everyone’s obsessed with “Where did the time go?” At least everyone around me.

Everyone’s evaluating what they’ve done so far, checking their list of things for the year and depending on how many are checked off, they might either be embracing the next six months with open arms or sighing at the mountain that’s still ahead.

I prefer to take the ‘easy lane’, as in I don’t obsess about what I’ve accomplished so far or haven’t gotten to yet. I also keep the big picture in mind. Because at the end of the day, that’s the ultimate goal. Life happens and it happens whether you want it to or not. For a writer that can set you back. Because let’s face it, we all know when it comes to our writing time we literally have to shout from the rooftops for some “respectful distance” from those around us.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been off Facebook, because that’s the social platform that sucks most of my time. Personally I’ve also kept a low profile in relationships, because like I said above, sometimes we need to enforce a “respectful distance”. (I don’t know why I’m making quotation marks; it just feels like it’s needed. Sue me.)

This helped me to get to where I want to be by July in regards to my writing. And it also made me realize just how healthy it is for a writer to get away from the clutter of voices that constantly bombard you on social media. Though I have to add, I find the clutter less on platforms like Twitter (surprising I know) and Instagram, probably because I tend to not follow as many people in my industry on those platforms. This honestly keeps me sane. There’s only so much shoptalk a person can take without blowing your brains out…uh too much? Yeah, that’s how it feels like sometimes. Way too much writing and publishing “talk” that I literally want to gauge my eyes out. Can’t help it, my creative mind is sensitive like that.

But I do appreciate how accessible our information society is (ooh look at me using that one module I hated at university’s lingo. Seriously, that class was just not my cup of tea. The very young tech savvy lecturer was, but not the class. Sorry not sorry). Without it I wouldn’t have embarked on this writing journey. But I digress.

It’s the middle of 2018. So far I’ve come a long way with my rewriting project *laughs* That’s such an awkward sounding sentence.

But I have. And I’m kind of proud of myself for rewriting a book from the foundation up, sentence by sentence and really getting into the nitty-gritty of who my characters are and what they want and how they are going to get it and what obstacles are going to be in their way.

While rewriting I realized the foundation of my story, the conflict was just too shallow and I couldn’t submit a book that didn’t build on the level of emotional upheaval that my previous stories had. It would’ve been a step back from what I normally write. And I like writing characters that have to fight for a happy ending, characters that come with their own internal struggles. It’s what makes writing so much fun for me.

I also love that I’m still learning with each book. I recently read an article that brought everything back to the heart of why I write and how to write.(http://romanceuniversity.org/2018/07/09/on-writing-by-ella-carey-2/) It’s just one of those things that will never get old for me.

So, have I checked everything off my list for the first half of the year? Uh no. But then again, I didn’t really have a list. I had an idea of what I wanted to accomplish throughout the year and there were definitely dates on each one of them, but not many were set in stone, hence the reason I’m so relaxed about the half year mark and everyone around me is going nuts! No seriously, they are. And I’m not just referring to the writing world.

I am still working on my latest project, but I’m not stressed over it. Why? Because I’m rebuilding. I’m reworking chapters and loving it. I’m learning new skills and applying them. I’m focused on telling a story that I love.

I’ve also personally and professionally accomplished most of what I wanted to. The book fair, for one. That’s done. I also joined the South African Writers’ Circle this year. Something I’ve wanted to do for ages but hadn’t gotten to. I’ve also set out the goal of branching out and reaching out to more writing communities/authors. I’ve done that. And will keep on doing it. I do believe that sometimes you can get stuck in a comfort zone, a bubble with the same group of people and become so used to a certain way of thinking/seeing that you don’t realize how narrow that can be. Not all writing groups are toxic, but some do encourage toxic behavior (with writing, publishing or otherwise), case in point #Cockgate and #Getloud.

It’s good to get in touch with people who might not necessarily write what you write. I’m not particularly fond of the ‘us against, them’ mentality in the writing world. Probably because I live in South Africa and that’s pretty much what you get here pre-and post-Apartheid SA.

But enough of that *smile*

So far 2018 has been back breaking work…but worth it. I’ve gotten a lot done, but with others I am taking my time because at the end of the day I want a product I’m pleased with.

Hope your half year mark doesn’t look bleak and that you’re not being too hard on yourself if it is. We are only human after all *wink*

#happywriting

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Cover Reveal and Giveaway!

Siren ‘M’Renee’ Allen presents….

Warning: Dangerous Curves Ahead

Book one in the Dangerously Curvy series.

 wdcacover

 

He’s a dangerous criminal.

She’s dangerously curvy.

Together, will they sizzle or will they crash and burn?

Dean Collins wasn’t born evil. This cruel world turned him into the cold-hearted killer he is today. Death and destruction follows him everywhere he goes. So, when he crosses paths with the very sassy and very curvy food truck owner, Rain Delaney, he does everything he can to push her away.

But situations beyond his control keeps pulling them back together. It isn’t long before the darkness in his life seeps into hers and she ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now his enemies are after her. Staying away from her is no longer an option. To keep her safe, he has to keep her near him.

It’s sad that the safest place for her is in the arms of a killer.

A killer who has no intention of letting her go.

https://mreneedramaqueen.com/dangerously-curvy-series/

wdcaComin613

Warning: Dangerous Curves Ahead will be available Friday, July 13th. Need a dark romance to fall in love with while you wait? Check out my Going Nowhere Fast series. It’s FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074DXYZWJ

Or, if you’re a paranormal/Sci-Fi romance fan, check out my Siren Allen books. They’re also FREE with Kindle Unlimited: https://www.amazon.com/Siren-Allen/e/B00ELF795O/

sirensnlphoto

**Be sure to enter Siren’s Newsletter Giveaway for a chance to win a Fairytale charm bracelet: https://sirenallen.com/newsletter-question-of-the-month/

 

Feedback: Africa Online Book Fair

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I thought I’d write about the book fair while it is still fresh in my mind and on everyone else’s. And just as a disclaimer, this is a long post!

Now, for those who are not aware, the fair took place this weekend on Friday and Saturday. Eleven romance authors took part, each with a one hour slot to post their promo in and then another hour in which they could engage and also wind their promo down.

From an organizing background, everything went reasonably well. I did make contingencies, like for instance; I didn’t know Facebook would flag words like ‘slut’ and not show a comment or a post if it contains similar words. Facebook also didn’t allow authors to have too many links in their posts. And as you know, that’s our thing as authors. We like readers to get in touch with us. So links were, for some authors, posted in the comments.

There were technical difficulties, like laptops freezing or internet being slow. The typical issues you deal with when you use a computer in the digital age. I once had to deal with a banking app issue and had to wait almost an hour in the bank on the end of the month (so busy time for everyone) because the network was offline. No one could do anything! (Yikes!) It’s the hassle we take with the internet age because we know how convenient it is when everything lines up perfectly.

And the book fair definitely had that to offer.

But how did the fair do? That’s the question on your mind. In its second year, how did the Africa Online Book Fair: Romance Authors & Books do?

Now last year the fair wasn’t run from my book page, but from my co-host’s, so I didn’t have the insights. I could only give an account of how my sales did from an author’s point of view. And I did sell a lot of books. Last year I’d placed two books on discount while the other was normal price. The normal priced paranormal romance out sold the discounted books! (Ha). Though that could be attributed to the paranormal genre being a bit more popular than the contemporary last year, I can’t really say. But that’s what it looked like to me.

Anyway, this year I ran the fair from my book page and here are the screenshots.

 

 

People Reached_Africa Online Book Fair_ Books by Inge SaundersFig.1. Africa Online Book Fair: Romance Authors & Books 2018 1 June-2 June

 

I like how the organic vs. paid is showed. From May 31 organic spiked. Now from the graph for Awareness: People Reached it shows, Total Event Reach was 6,491 and Total Responses was 115. In the future I’d like the responses to be closer to the total of people the event reached.

 

People Who Have Responded_Africa Online Book Fair_ Books by Inge SaundersFig.2. Africa Online Book Fair: Romance Authors & Books 2018 1 June-2 June

Engagement: People Who Responded show lines for those who were Interested and Going. I have to add here that even though I attended the event, I didn’t click Going. I took this into consideration when I looked at this graph. Clearly the Going part of this graph can and have been influenced by those attending who didn’t change their Interested click to Going.

 

Event Actions_Africa Online Book Fair Books by Inge Saunders(1)Fig.3. Africa Online Book Fair: Romance Authors & Books 2018 1 June-2 June

Engagement: Event Actions just illustrate what I wrote above. It also shows that those who attend the event engaged by leaving comments but sometimes not ‘likes’.

 

Audience_Africa Online Book Fair_ Books by Inge Saunders(2)Fig.4. Africa Online Book Fair: Romance Authors & Books 2018 1 June-2 June

Audience: Demographics the highest age group is 27, 8% Women aged 24-34 and Men 28, 7% aged 24-34 with the number of women being more than men for attendance. The second age group is 35-44 and the third, 18-24. Close behind the last age group is 45-54 demographic. This is interesting for the planning of future events. Traditionally women do outnumber men at events like this one. But it is still interesting to note that the fair shouldn’t exclude male romance readers/authors.

Now, as someone who didn’t participate in the fair this year as an author but as an organizer and attendee, keeping in mind the above graphs, I have my own insights I’d like to add.

I noticed, and do believe authors should keep this in mind (myself included) is that an online book fair is not a Facebook book party. Yes both use the same social network platform, but there are distinct differences. The online book fair operates in very much the same way as a traditional fair where the author has a “booth” and “table” where they showcase their books and themselves. They engage with those attending, be it their fellow authors or readers.

Where this online fair differs is that authors like readers can “leave” the fair and come back, to engage on posts and catch up with what they missed in that time. The fair also doesn’t require attendees/readers to pay a ticket to enter, it’s free. Authors also don’t pay to have a time slot at the fair. In light of this, authors can and should come back to their posts and reply on those who left a comment. Give them the necessary attention. It will only work in the author’s favor if they do.

Authors who prepared well, as in researched and asked questions on what the book fair was about, and accordingly planned their posts to suit the fair, typically got more engagement. Authors, who set out to engage the attendees by playing games and asking questions, got responses.

Being visually appealing is great, by that I mean, having awesome graphics that signify your brand, is great. Now add warmth, which is difficult for some to do with a screen between themselves and others online. Watch and learn how successful authors at this, do it.

Now for my last observations, and this is definitely from an organizer’s point of view.

Please don’t think you’re above any event. Yes the book fair is still new; this was its second year. And maybe you’ve attended many such events online and physically, but what your experience should translate into is being accommodating, understanding and if you feel needed, adding your knowledge and wisdom politely.

Don’t double book online events. If you can wing both and give each the amount of attention the organizers require, than great. But usually that’s not the case. Plus you’re taking the promotion opportunity away from an author who would give their 100% to the fair and could use its platform.

And don’t be the type of author who uses a free blog tour/promo than bail out at the last minute and leave organizers to scramble to fill a time slot, a day before the event. Needless to say, that won’t endear you to anyone. They will remember you, and not for the reasons you’d like them to. This happened last year.

Now for some positives (smile).

I loved seeing the amount of love and support between most of the authors who participated in the event, the authors who really connected with each other and plan on keeping in touch. These types of connections are one of the aims of the fair. Also authors cross-promoting each other on their platforms, that was great to see. The diversity represented at the fair this year, like last time, also left an impression: diversity in sub-genres of romance as well as racial and cultural diversity amongst authors from the continent.

In conclusion, the book fair did reach a significant amount of people. However, I’d like the responses to be the same as the amount reached. So that’s something we’ll definitely have to work on. Engagement on other social media platforms, leading up to and during the fair could help with this and encouraging participating authors to reach out to readers on their platforms to come to the fair. This year I hadn’t put as much stress on that point.

Authors don’t pay for promotion other than running giveaways, discounts, etc. and committing to an one hour time slot at the fair. Last year, author and blogger Leenna Naidoo, put it nicely, that we are all collaborating by participating in the book fair. Even though the fair is my brainchild, it does rely on authors willing to collaborate.

This year was truly an experience and fun. I got something new out of it. It motivated me as an author to keep on producing stories that are unique to someone with a voice that come from the continent. And also, once again, showed that there are many who share the vision and goals that I do as an author and organizer for the fair. It’s heartwarming and humbling. Once again, thank you to every author who participated and every reader who attended. Hope to see you again at next year’s fair.

For more information about the fair or if you want to participate in 2019 you can contact me at africaonbookfair@gmail.com

You can also connect with the Africa Online Book Fair: Romance Authors & Books

Facebook Group Page: https://tinyurl.com/ka3ucvl

Twitter: @AfricaOnBookFr

Instagram: @africaonlinebookfair

2018 Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/215209169033746/?ti=cl

Update: Africa Online Book Fair: Romance Authors & Books

I went to work on the time slots for the weekend and also got the promo schedule from the wonderful Nas Dean.

Our event link is down below, if you want to go straight to the page on Facebook. Also our contacts for any questions about the book fair 🙂

 

AOBF-FBGroupBanner

 

So here follows the Promo Schedule:

 

24th May A Word from the Founder: The Start of a Dream by Inge Saunders

>  https://nas-dean.blogspot.com/

>  https://romancereader-riya.blogspot.com/

>  https://newreleaseromance.blogspot.com/

> https://romancerelease.blogspot.com/

> https://romancebookhaven.blogspot.com/

25th May Africa Online Book Fair: Romance Authors & Books 1 June till 2 June 2018

>  https://nas-dean.blogspot.com/

>  https://romancereader-riya.blogspot.com/

>  https://newreleaseromance.blogspot.com/

> https://romancerelease.blogspot.com/

> https://romancebookhaven.blogspot.com/

31st May:

> https://romancereader-riya.blogspot.com/

> https://newreleaseromance.blogspot.com/

1st June:

> https://nas-dean.blogspot.com/

> https://romancerelease.blogspot.com/

2nd June:

> https://romancebookhaven.blogspot.com/

> https://authorswithadvice.blogspot.com/

 

And the list of authors for Friday 1 June and Saturday 2nd June:

T.M Clark

Francine Beaton

Beverley Eikli

Alison Stuart

Dani Rene

Eden Walker

Amaka Azie

Gaeille Vanderspek

Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku

Linzé Brandon

*Each day winds down after 22:00 but competitions, offers & sales/discounts are still open. Readers can still enter by following the author’s instructions/guidelines.

Winners of giveaways, competitions & gift cards will be announced on the event page on Sunday 3rd June or Monday 4th June 2018.

Our Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/215209169033746/?ti=cl

Connect with the Africa Online Book Fair: Romance Authors & Books

Facebook Group Page: https://tinyurl.com/ka3ucvl

Twitter: @AfricaOnBookFr

Instagram: @africaonlinebookfair

For queries email at africaonbookfair@gmail.com

It’s That Time of the Year

It’s that time of the year again! What time you ask? (Okay you didn’t, but let’s pretend.) It’s almost time for the Africa Online Book Fair: Romance Authors & Readers.

If you’ve been here awhile, than you have a good idea of what I’m talking about or even if you browsed through my old posts. The 3 day fair is an online event I started last year, aimed at showcasing romance authors from the continent.

This year I’ve searched far and wide for authors to take part, to bring some interesting and entertaining books for us.

Here’s a short description of the fair:

The Africa Online Book Fair: Romance Authors & Readers is a 3 day Facebook event that allows readers to shop discounted books, play games, enter to win free books & Amazon gift cards, and engage with authors.

AOBF-FBGroupBanner

 

 

This year’s event takes place on the 1st of June till the 3rd of June 2018. It starts at 9 AM and ends 10 PM each day. Authors will have a timeslot in which to post their promotions and engage with readers. I’m excited about this year’s fair because it’s new to the fair authors, so not the same authors as last year.

I am updating the list of Authors until mid-May, you can check out those who’ve already signed on for the event here https://www.facebook.com/events/215209169033746/?ti=cl and click ‘Going’ *wink* You can also share the event on your social media, I would really appreciate that!

And that’s it! I will keep you posted on any changes *smile*

#happywriting

 

Lessons Learned in Publishing So Far

I feel like this post should be done in point system, because some points need to be elaborated on but not all of them. They are easily understandable.

So let’s get right into it!

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Ten lessons I learned in my publishing journey:

  1. Do your research. Research the publishers you want to submit your work to. Research the genre you want to write in. Research the subject/theme your story is about. Research your novel. Research your market. Research everything basically. Don’t go into publishing with blinkers on.
  2. Ask if you need help. Yes, you’ll hit a few walls but there will be someone willing to answer your questions. And please don’t let one of those questions be “how much money do you make as an author?” That’s not going to endear you to anyone. No one, and I mean no one, likes to talk about money. If it’s that much of an issue for you, than see point number one.
  3. Writing groups exists for a reason. Authors/writers like to congregate there. It’s a good source of information, creating networks and developing writing skills.
  4. Take a writing course. If it teaches you nothing else, it will test your commitment to wanting to go into writing.
  5. Publishing is a slow process. No seriously, it is. You submit (pitch) a manuscript, it takes six weeks for you to get a response. Depending on the response, if it’s a revise than it can take another couple of weeks to work on the manuscript and to get an answer you’d like. If it’s a contract, pop some bubbly but don’t get too excited. There’s editing. You could’ve written the book a year before and it only comes out the following year. Some publishers work faster and with self-publishing the decisions are up to you, so you can have a book out as soon as you feel comfortable with the public seeing it.
  6. This brings me to number six: Self-publishing. Many authors are hybrids. They can be traditionally, e-published and self-published. Some only take one of the three routes. Authors following more than one lane aren’t as uncommon as it used to be. So keep that in mind when you do your research.
  7. Having a few published books doesn’t make you a master at writing, keep developing that skill.
  8. Branding is important. So is keeping your sanity. If you like writing in more than one category, than by all means do. Just know what your readers expect from you. If they can go on a contemporary, paranormal, science fiction and historical journey with you, than good for you. Pen names are also an option to keep the brand ‘pure’.
  9. Writing awards/competitions work well to establish an author in the industry. If you feel so inclined, than do enter your work. Some competitions give feedback. However keep in mind these awards/competitions also need to be researched. A while back I entered a competition that I thought would be impartial, as it turned out it wasn’t. Not only was my novel never entered, after I paid the fee, but I only found this out after an email was sent to everyone that the judging panel had read all the books and had scored them. Not only wasn’t I given an apology for what happened, but my book was placed under a distinct disadvantage. They now had to scramble for judges on the panel that would be willing to read and score the ‘late’ entry. They rushed through my book to hit the competition’s deadline. Needless to say, I’m still a bit sour over that. Though that’s only the tip of the iceberg of the snafu. So make sure you want to enter, and then make sure your book has actually been entered after you paid the entry fee.
  10. This is not a sprint industry. ‘Overnight’ success isn’t always ‘overnight’ successes. If you put in the work, time and effort you can make it in this billion dollar industry. But that’s on all on you.

 

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A Snippet of Poetry

Cards

It’s cards

It’s endless conversations that we had

We can’t forget it,

It’s miles

we walked, feet soles will remember

though years may fade

They won’t regret it,

And nothing remains the same

In our souls we all change

Heartbreak makes fools of us

We vow and swear never to trust

Until the next leap of faith….

It’s cards

It’s laughter when your heart at least expects it

You won’t regret it,

It’s love

undone

This time around you chose better than empty words

Loyalty comes first,

Oh you won’t forget it,

You won’t, you won’t forget it.

~inge saunders

 

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Do You Journal?

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One of the early signs that I’d end up writing professionally was the fact that I kept journals from a young age. At first I liked the romanticism of it all, then I’d like that I could write secrets in codes inside and then it became part of my psyche as a reflective human being.

The act of writing down my thoughts, not just events but how I felt about them, how I internalized actions and behavior, became the first stirrings of writerly observations.

In my teenage years I would switch from writing poetry, stories and weekly entries into my journal. At varsity as life became busier, taken up by studies, societies and friends, writing took a bit of a back seat. I mostly focused on poetry and keeping a journal. Then in my final year of undergrad when I received a new computer, I started to write stories again.

I’ve heard that writers should keep a journal. I don’t know if I fully agree with it or not. I’m undecided *smile* As someone who did/do still journal (though not as much as I have in the past) I can say that it does create a certain level of awareness. Reflection like this can sort out the cobwebs.

These days I like to keep journals and notebooks that centre more on developing book ideas. I keep my reflections for my poetry *smile*

In that sense, keeping a journal does serve a tangible purpose. You can go back to it and look at an outline, a mind map or character sketch you scribbled down. You can plot out a story in a few sentences. I once rewrote a synopsis in a journal because I needed a different form of writing. I couldn’t look at the synopsis on my laptop screen any more. Fixing it that way became problematic after a certain point, so I grabbed a pen and one of my journals. I could easily see where I hit a snag. Sometimes a different medium offers solutions.

Journaling definitely got me here…on this blog *smile* It wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t felt comfortable writing my thoughts down. So there’s that. Oh and did I mention I wrote for my school newspaper? *ha* What I’m getting to is this, keeping a journal can create confidence in expressing thoughts and ideas. That’s a plus for any author. For any type of writer.

So if you haven’t kept a journal before, and you’re serious about writing, why not try it for a month, see where it takes you. If it improves your way of writing, or not, come tell me about it *smile*