…GoReadMe!… m’Lady, Susan M. Toy’s fabulous idea for Authors and Readers…

Attention authors and readers…check out the latest brainstorm from Susan Toy – GoReadMe! I will be reading Savage Payback and recommending it to some other lucky reader! Get on board!!

Seumas Gallacher

…from daft ideas often come the next ‘great thing… the following Guest Post from my dear friend and fellow scribbler, Susan Toy, may interest other Writers and Readers… feedback on it is encouraged… please let us know if this is sum’thing yeez could support:

GoReadMe! – an idea on Crowd Reading

susan

Susan M. Toy.

The marvelous Seumas Gallacher posted a status update to Facebook, a joke really, that had me laughing out loud here in my little trailer …

“…thinking of doing a GoFundMe thingy for a movie about my ‘To Be Read’ pile on my ebook Reader… calling it ‘Kindler’s List’… all contributions welcome… J”

Then an idea struck me – “What if,” I thought (those great little words that lead to the beginning of many great ideas, stories and novels). And I wrote a message to the kind sir himself, running past him first the kernel of…

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Another Completed Manuscript – Another Free Novel

Blood in the Water/Water Hazard

 

 

It’s that time of year again…

The time when I write a blog post telling you how I’ve finished the first draft of my latest novel.

By now you probably know the routine, but let’s recap;

The draft is done, but it’s really just the beginning.

start finish

I’ve left it alone for a couple of weeks and sent it to my beta readers. This weekend I will read through it from start to finish and begin cleaning it up. When the comments from my betas start coming in I will go through it from start to finish for each one of them (there are 11). Some of their comments/suggestions I will use and some I won’t, but the value of their effort is immeasurable.

If you did the math you have concluded that, in the next two or three weeks, I will have gone through the manuscript about 12 times.

Once that process is done it will be sent off to the editor. While all that is going on I’ll be working with my cover girl (I love calling her that, but I don’t know if she knows I do!) Keri Knutson who will undoubtedly come up with yet another awesome cover. The editing process will take a month or so and then it will be ready for release.

At the time of this writing I am shooting for a September release.

Now let’s talk about this book – the next Great American Novel…

It’s called Blood in the Water and it marks the return of Flagler Beach P.I. Steve Salem and his partner Val Casey, who haven’t been seen since 2011’s Backseat to Justice.

BTJ cover

Also back in the thick of things is Ike – who had a brief cameo appearance in Full Circle, but hasn’t seen real action since Eyewitness Blues.

Blood in the Water opens with Steve and Val investigating the disappearance of Patrick Donahue, a sixty-eight-year-old retired Architect. Unfortunately, before their investigation gets very far, Donahue’s body washes up on the shore of Flagler Beach. Their missing person search is instantly transformed into a murder investigation.

Meanwhile, SCUBA divers Bob “Oscar” Oscarson and Nik Mostert, find a 300-year-old piece of Spanish gold with an unusual connection to a pair of college girls who disappeared thirty years earlier.

divers

The disappearance of Patrick Donahue, the missing college girls and the origin of the mysterious coin all come together in a fast-paced action story with bad guys, sharks and, of course, Ike.

Speaking of Ike…

In celebration of another completed manuscript I’ve decided to give away one of Ike’s earlier adventures – so Water Hazard will be FREE on Kindle until Wednesday, June 15th. It’s yours for the taking at this link – Water Hazard.

WH cover

So, to sum up;

Blood in the Water manuscript – done.

Water Hazard action novel featuring Ike – FREE

 

As always – thank you for reading

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How Important is Your Word count?

The Word Count Conundrum

When this past weekend started the word count on my work in progress (WIP), tentatively called Blood in the Water, stood at 29,822.

Given the way this story has been progressing I was looking forward to a very productive weekend.

Saturday was a day of limited work. I had to meet with my tax preparation professional in the morning (yes, that’s right…I procrastinated as long as I could on that one!) and in the evening I was out for dinner and a comedy show with the family to celebrate my sister’s birthday.

Total word count for the day…less than 1,000.

No problem.

Sunday was a free day.

No plans, no chores, no interruptions – I could make up for Saturday’s dismal progress.

After an early morning bicycle ride I got down to business.

I would love to tell you that I hammered the keyboard relentlessly all day and finished the weekend with a word count that exceeded my expectations.

I really would love to tell you that.

Here’s the thing…

I am at a point in the story where something big needs to happen. I think the technical term is the “mid-point shift”. Whatever it’s called…that’s where I am.

It’s like being at a fork in the road and trying to decide which direction you should go.

yogi fork

Except in this case there are at least four different forks.

They’ll all get me where I need to go, but which one is best for the story?

On my bike ride I gave it lots of thought.

I could go this way…which would mean this has to happen, and I wouldn’t be able to do that, and some of the stuff I wrote earlier would have to change.

Or I could go that way…which would mean something else would have to follow and the stuff I’ve already written would be good, with some minor tweaking.

Then again, if I choose fork number three it would mean something else would follow and there would be some significant reworking of previous material needed.

What if I sort of combined options one and two? Or one and three?

intersection

You get the point…

I’m not a planner. I don’t draft outlines of my story or write key points on index cards to keep me on track. At best, I’ll scribble a thought on a scrap of paper and add it to the pile on my desk (many of these notes go unread and get thrown away).

plan

In the writing world I’m what is referred to as a pantser. Which means I write by the seat of my pants. I have a beginning of the story, I know what I want to happen (basically) and I know how it will end, but the rest of it I make it up as I go along. (Here is a more detailed explanation of my style (or lack thereof).

wingin it with Calvin

So when I sat down to write Sunday morning with all of these possible storylines in my mind I knew my first task was to decide which one I was going to use. Unfortunately, with my writing style of choice, there was only one way to do this:

Pick an option, start writing, and see where it goes.

painting the road

Long story short…

After six hours and three different options I found the one I wanted/needed.

When I sat down at the keyboard it was around noon. When I shut the computer off it was almost eight o’clock (Yeah, I know – that’s more than six hours…I never said I didn’t take a break…or five).

After all that typing, I ended up with a net increase in my story’s word count of about 2,800 words – for two days!

Write 3 or 4,000 words…analyze them…decide they aren’t what I want…delete…repeat.

All the planners out there are saying “You see…this is why being a pantser is stupid!”

Sorry – you might as well tell me to not be left-handed.

And in reality – I’m not whining or complaining.

I understand that although my word count didn’t grow, my story did. Now that I know where the story is going I’ll be able to crank out the next 15,000 words (and maybe more) with minimal delays.

Which brings me to the point of this post…

I have a question (or two) for all you writers, authors and scribblers out there…

Do you keep track of your daily (or weekly, monthly, whatever) word count?

If so, how much importance do you put on it?

Personally, I keep track of how many words I write every time I sit down, but the number isn’t important to me. I use it as a gauge to see where I am in the story compared to where I should be.

My novels generally clock in at about 70,000 words – so if my word count is at 35,000, and I haven’t gotten into the story enough, I know I’ve got to get it in gear. It could also mean I’m being too verbose and need to go back and trim some of the fat.

Other than that, my word count means nothing.

As this weekend proved – progress is not always measured by the word count.

I would really like to hear your thoughts on this…

 

As always – thank you for reading

 

 

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Lost and Found – a review

Today’s Reading Recommendation – Maria Savva

reading recommendations reviewed

lost-and-found_ecover_final

Lost and Found
by Maria Savva

Purchase copies here

Maria Savva’s new collection of short stories is a pleasure to read. She really has the knack of describing people in a way that makes you care and sympathize, even when the people are sometimes rather troubled and find themselves in complicated circumstances. There are glimpses of many characters and many lives in this collection: a horrible boss getting his comeuppance, a man trying to get out of stale relationship…and changing his mind…kind of, an innocent man in court, and many others. Each person and each tale coming to life in Maria Savva’s gentle, but perceptive storyteller’s eye.

My favourite short story in the collection was ‘Boomerang’. This one really got under my skin with its single mother, pushed by exhaustion and regret to the point of doing something terrible. It’s a tragic story, with a twist that kept twisting the…

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Why I am self-published

There is very little I can add to what Vivienne says here (although I would have thrown in a few more F-Bombs, but that’s just me!)

Zen and the Art of Tightrope Walking

Why I am self-published

(content note for VERY strong language)

Recently the whole self-published versus traditionally published wrestling match has reignited, following a post by Ros Barber in the Guardian online. I’m not going to address the article because that would be juvenile, petty and a waste of time. More than that, it would only be my opinion and that is of little real worth. I am no one of note, or of influence. I’m an author who self-published, which makes me mud on the shoes of many.

In the 90’s I spent a couple of years going through the rigmarole of jumping through the hoops set by publishers and agents. Combined with an absurdly low income at the time that meant affording printer paper and postage was a big deal, the whole time was intensely stressful. I got asked for full manuscripts many times, and some went through several…

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Rebecca Heishman – a two-for-one March offer!

My friend Becky Heishman is offering a two-for-one deal…I suggest you take her up on it.

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Can I Put Your Name In My Books?

I want to put your name in my books.

I know what you’re thinking…

suspicious dog

“what’s the catch?”

Well, of course there’s a catch…but it’s not like you have to donate a kidney or something.

In fact, if you’ve read my books, you’re already halfway there.

Lemmee ‘splain…

One of the biggest challenges facing authors these days is getting readers to post reviews on Amazon.

My personal opinion is that the vast majority of readers don’t realize how important reviews are, or they feel that they aren’t qualified to write one.

Let me tell you…reviews are extremely important.

I don’t know the specifics of Amazon’s algorithms, but I do know that there is a direct correlation between the number of reviews on a book and the way Amazon promotes said book. In other words, the more reviews a book has the more likely Amazon will be to recommend that book to other shoppers.

As for being qualified to write a review – if you have read the book and can sum up your thoughts about it in two or three sentences – you are qualified (read more on that here). Writing a review can be as simple as this…

review

…or even simpler if you prefer to make a long story short.

Independent authors everywhere spend quite a bit of time asking (pleading, begging) readers to post reviews…often to no avail.

For the record…there are plenty of places we could get reviews of our books for a fee…I for one refuse to pay for a review. Potential readers are skeptical of paid reviews, for good reason…most paid reviewers are disinclined to be completely honest. It’s like an unwritten rule – if they are being paid for a review they feel obligated to be as favorable as possible.

With all that being said I think I have a win-win proposal – the Ike Fan Club (IFC for short).

Henceforth – in the back of every book I write I will include a list of the members of the IFC with my sincere thanks for their support. I will also (eventually) have the list added to the books already in print.

How does one become a member of the IFC?

That’s where the win-win part comes in…

The only membership requirement is to write and post reviews of at least five of my books on Amazon.

Easy-peazy.

Once you post five reviews – or if you’ve already posted five – just send me an email (blindoggbooks@gmail.com) and tell me which books you reviewed – remember to include the user name under which the review is posted.

If you’ve posed reviews but don’t want to be on the list – that’s fine too. I will only include the people who email me.

But WAIT! There’s more…

theres more

In every novel I am always looking for names for characters…so I will be selecting some random names from the IFC for my characters too!

If the need arises I may even create a Top Tier Level of the IFC for those who review ten books – and I’ll come up with a cool perk for those folks too.

That’s my proposal…

like me

If you’d like to have your name listed in my books and be immortalized in print…all you have to do is review five books on Amazon.

Win-Win.

 

As always – thank you for reading

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