Monday, September 16, 2013

Next PEG Workshop: Indie Publishing (November 16, 2013)

Have you thought about Indie Publishing but don't know if your manuscript is ready? Or maybe you are a traditionally published author with a couple of niche projects sitting around, yet don't want the label of "self-published"? PEG is hosting the Indie Publishing Workshop to teach you how to build your professional indie team for editing, design, cover, ebook distribution and marketing, so that you are presenting a professional and competitive product.

We will be posting any updated on our PEG Workshop blog.

Workshop topics:
*The Hybrid Author: Pro's and Con's of Traditional Publishing vs Indie Publishing
*Stages of editing needed for a professional product
*Building Your Team & Managing the Money
*Author branding and platform
*Marketing, Pricing & Categorizing ebooks (or How to Hit Top 100 categories)

November 16, 2013
American Fork Library
64 South 100 East, American Fork, UT
Doors open: 10:00 a.m.
Workshop: 10:30 a.m. -- 4:30 p.m.

Includes one hour lunch break, lunch on your own

Registration deadline: November 13th

**Limited Space**

Payments to:
Pay $45.00 to PayPal account:
**include "PEG Workshop" in the notes
**include your email address in the notes if different from your paypal address
(you don't need a PayPal account to do this)

Instructors include best-selling indie published authors:

Rachel Ann Nunes Rachel has been a bestselling author in the traditional market for many years, and she's also independently re-released older titles such as Bridge to Forever and This Time Forever, as well as helping other authors do the same.

Heather Horrocks Heather is the bestselling indie author of romantic comedies and cozy mysteries. With over 10 bestselling publications, Heather's latest release is Kissing Santa.

Rachael Anderson Rachael has been a bestseller on Amazon for over a year with her popular contemporary romances, including The Reluctant Bachelorette, Working It Out, and the All I Want anthology.

Heather B. Moore Heather indie publishes the popular Timeless Romance Anthology series, the Aliso Creek Novella series, and the historical romance, Heart of the Ocean.

Lu Ann Staheli Lu Ann has indie published award-winning Middle Grade, YA, and upcoming non-fiction. Recent titles include Just Like Elizabeth Taylor, Tides Across the Sea, and A Note Worth Taking.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Writing Workshop: League of Utah Writers

We'll be teaching the all day workshop at the League of Utah Writers on Friday, September 13, at the Salt Lake City Airport Hilton Hotel. Workshop starts at 11:00 a.m. Here's the registration link.

From Plotting to Final Draft: Getting Your Manuscript Ready to Compete
Heather Moore, owner of Precision Editing Group, and four senior editors will teach this in-depth, hands-on workshop: From Plotting to Final Draft: Getting Your Manuscript Ready to Compete. Publishers and agents receive thousands of submissions each year. More so than ever, your book concept needs to stand above the rest, and your writing needs to be tight and carefully edited. Come ready to write, to learn, and to discover how to take your manuscript to next level. 

EDITORS: Heather Moore, Annette Lyon, Lu Ann Staheli, Michele Holmes, Josi Kilpack

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday Mania--Query Letter

Critique Archive #56
One of our readers has submitted a query for critique. Please offer only constructive comments

 Dear XXXX,

We usually think of amnesia resulting from an accident or other incident. But what if your brain did it all on its own?

My novel The Naked Wolf is based on my real struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and disassociation, which I developed through a life-threatening experience.

In The Naked Wolf, Angie and Adam connect through similar emotional wounds. Adam is a Special Forces combat veteran who raises wolves. Because they’ve been through similar experiences, he recognizes a kindred spirit in Angie. While Adam helps Angie past her fear of men and sex, she falls desperately in love with him and is certain he feels the same—until he tells her he’s planning on moving and rejoining the military. Assuming he’s breaking up with her, Angie has a panic attack. Her brain shuts off and erases him from her memory. Maybe even worse, her brain creates a replacement for Adam. What starts out as a dream becomes a nightmare for them both, and one that is destined to end in tragedy.

An excerpt of this novel was published in Touchstones literary magazine and won 2nd place in their prose publication contest. A short story of mine Married Dating was also published in Touchstones, where it won 1st place. I’ve been a freelance journalist for St. George Neighborhoods and a staff writer for the Hurricane Valley Journal.

 Thank you for your time and consideration. As your website suggests, I have included the first two chapters.



Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Mania--Query Letter

Critique Archive #55
One of our readers has submitted a query for critique. Please offer only constructive comments. 
Subject: query. Cats and Dogs Tell No Tales.
Dear AGENT, 

     Cats and Dogs Tell No Tales is a fun filled book for the middle school girl.  Emma, the storyteller, shares her first experiences as a student witch.  Her neighbors have been turned into familiars for the local coven.  Anyone that gets to nosy or bothersome is turned into a cat or dog by her grandmother.
     Harry, a neighbor, familiar, and a Jack Russell Terrier mix is the instigator of an animal revolt and supposedly holds the key to everlasting youth. 
It is a completed novel (19,138 words.)
     This is my first novel for the middle school age student.  It was inspired by the exploits of my granddaughter. Both her and her best friend have actually tried (unsuccessfully) love spells. 
      My father introduced me to writing and literature just as I share literature with my granddaughter. I am a retired RN and have a B.A. from Barat College in Lake Forest, Illinois and Loyola University in Chicago. I have recently published my first adult novel which is the beginning of a historical paranormal romance trilogy. This was my driving force to produce this book. 
      Please enjoy reading the 10 pages I have include in this e-mail. I sent 10 pages because the first few are just the cast of characters but pertinent to the story. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Monday Mania--Query Letter

Critique Archive #54

One of our readers has submitted a query for critique. Please offer only constructive comments. 

Agent/ OR name
Agent/ OR address

Dear Agent/OR,

Doesn’t everyone wonder when it’s their time to die?

One mother, Vera, seems to know.

Statements of, “If I make it till Christmas” are heard quite often.

And what would you do if you thought you had killed your own mother?

When Vera dies and comes back from the dead to tell her daughter, Kathie, “I am alive, I did not die!” Kathie is not surprised by her mother’s courage and strength to reach through the veil, after all, her mother had hitch-hiked thousands of miles with her three small children without a penny to her name in order to save her children’s lives while she was alive. Why would she not continue to watch over them?
Vera leads her daughters, Kathie, and Donna, to greater Awareness and Healing through her 'Watching over them while in Spirit' and at times 'PLAYING TRICKS' to get their attention. While Kathie learns to communicate with the dead, Donna wants nothing more than to be left alone.  The experiences detailed are astounding. 

This book was first written on the devastation of a beloved mother's journey through three major strokes and the decision of whether or not to prolong her life.  It soon expanded into a most amazing ‘Afterlife’ story that will astonish even the harshest skeptic for once this portal from another dimension is opened numerous soul’s follow.

This book is also written about the extraordinary life Vera’s daughter, Kathie, has experienced. After being abducted as a very young child and then almost dying by electrocution at the age of seven only ‘Divine Intervention’ could bring such a child into the world of the fully living. And this is only the beginning for now Kathie has been given several gifts to share with others such as messages given by Divinity, specifically, Mother Mary, and our Lord. Included also, a miraculous spirit photograph given as confirmation of an earlier visitation. And, Kathie no longer thinks of so-called death, as an end – only the most precious of beginnings for she has seen her mother’s Spirit - ‘THE VERY ESSENCE OF GOD’ exit her mother’s mouth upon her final breath.  Kathie experiences both a Heavenly state and a Heavenly place, talks to the dead, receives spiritual teachings, has psychic visions, and remains present in the dreamscape.  How can Kathie actually be aware enough in a dream to ask her mother, “Momma, is there really a Heaven?” And further, ask God, “Please God, let me wake up!”

And what would you do if you saw your brother who committed suicide alive and well when you’d been told he’d gone to Hell?

I have enclosed the beginning of my manuscript ‘I AM ALIVE, I DID NOT DIE!’
along with a few key sections.  Included also is a SASE for your convenience.  Thank you for your consideration.  I look forward to an opportunity to share the entire manuscript with you soon.



Friday, February 15, 2013

Writer Evolution

This is a topic I have pondered on a lot of late, as I work on book ten of a series that uses the same character. I love it, don't get me wrong, but I'm feeling antsy too. My husband teases me that I should write Sadie forever; that I can do dozens of Sadie books like the Murder She Wrote Series. As long as they are selling, I should write them. I see the wisdom of his position and from his perspective as a businessman and entrepreneur it makes perfect sense for him advise this way, but I don't agree it's in my best interest--or Sadie's for that matter.

A few weeks ago we watched an interview with Alanis Morissette, whose music we both love. She talked about her own experience with this, how she had made a splash with her album, Jagged Little Pill, back in the mid-90's and her producers wanted her to do it again. However, by the time that album had come out, she had evolved into a different place. She was writing different music and her life had changed so much and she wanted to show THAT. But they didn't want it. They wanted a brand; a 'sure thing.' In this interview she talked about how the strain of trying to please them and herself nearly broke her. She ran away to India and had to take some really deep journeys to determine what she would do next. She didn't want to lose her momentum, but she didn't want to put the time into something that felt 'over' in her own mind. It's been almost two decades since that time, and she hasn't had the same success she had with Jagged Little Pill but she said she has never regretted not doing it the way everyone wanted her to. She needed to grow and she needed to reflect that growth in her work, which she has been able to do. She said that when she sings those early songs she loves them and gets to relive the joy of that time, but can also reflect on what's changed since then. I turned to my husband and said "That's what I mean when I talk about not being able to do Sadie forever; I have to make sure my work reflects who I am when I'm writing it."

So does that mean if you have a series that's doing well you should stop? Not at all. Does it mean you can't enjoy writing in the same genre and never step out side of it? No. But it is important to understand that your writing isn't just about the writing; it's about you and the journey you are making, too. Being aware of evolution that will likely take place within you --if it hasn't already--will make it easier when you realize when you are outgrowing something. When I first realized this antsyness in regard to my current culinary mystery series, I felt ungrateful for the success and enjoyment I'd had with it. Like Cousin Dudley not getting 37 birthday gifts. But as I've worked through those thoughts I've found peace in the realization that it's not about being ungrateful, in fact, it's a credit to what I've done to say that I've done it to the best of my ability and now I want to do something new. I want fresh ideas and new characters and ideas that keep me on the edge of my seat. I think my willingness to evolve has also contributed to how well the series is doing. I'm writing cozy mysteries with one POV. It could easily get stale, which is why I've told a ghost story, a character driven volume, different locations, and I've focused on themes like archeological theft, adoption reunions, and numerous ways to murder someone :-) While there are lots of similarities in the books--they are a series after all--I've tried to make each one different both for the reader's sake and my own. When I am challenged, I am digging deeper and I think it shows in my writing.

Ironically, I wrote Lemon Tart when I was frustrated with my LDS writing career and felt I needed a change. Soon after I began it, an LDS book I'd written was accepted by Deseret Book, re-igniting my LDS novels. Lemon Tart eventually grew into a force to be reckoned with. If I'd never explored my need to evolve when I started that book, who knows when it would have surfaced. As this series winds down (though there's still three to go and I'm loving it!) my head is becoming awakened with new ideas and directions--things I had never considered five years ago.

It's also scary to evolve, though. It's tempting to remain comfortable, to take advantage of every drop of something that's working well for us. I would never say turn your back on something you love, but I would suggest that you consider where you are and where you want to be and continually ask yourself what's next. There are authors who write essentially the same thing for their entire career. They do well with it and they enjoy it. Hat's off to them. But it's not me. It's not most writers I know.

If you are feeling the niggle of a need to change, ask yourself what you can do within your specific situation. Is there a different genre calling to you? Do you need to write a new type of character? Maybe another age group would change things up for you. Maybe you want to do a picture book. Maybe you want to explore non-fiction. Explore it; see what the future holds for your ambition and ability. You might need to work on your "new idea" in the background, as you work on other projects that have more potential or that people are waiting for, but don't turn down the inspiration that might lead you to growth that will make all the difference.

It's been said "Evolve or Die" and while redundant writing won't kill you, evolution won't either and it might take you places your are only dreaming about right now.

Happy Writing!