Write Up - Newsletter from Author Teresa LaBella.
Welcome to the latest edition of my author newsletter Write-Up.
The name reflects my full-circle writer’s journey from journalist to fundraising executive, freelancer to author and the direction following our dream will take us. I invite you to join me on this journey while you compose your own life chapters and verse.
My fall frenzy schedule of book signings and panel discussions at conferences and workshops began in an Iowa City coffee shop on a blue sky September Saturday and wrapped up on November 5th in the cozy confines of the West Liberty Public Library surrounded by eager readers, aspiring writers and authors I admire. I’m thankful for the organizers, dreamers and doers who dedicated time and channeled their passion to gather us together.
Now, it’s my turn to give! Drop by Kylie’s Fiction Addiction on Wednesday, November 16th at 7 pm CST, join the closed group kylies fiction addiction and get ready to win! We’ll chat, exchange trivia and otherwise have fun during the hour-long New Life in Love takeover!
Then, take me up on my offer to save on a bundled trio of warm romance for you and the book lovers in your holiday giving list! Order your signed print copies of Reservations, Heartland and Belonging – the New Life in Love trilogy – for $36 (shipping included in the price) available beginning Saturday, November 19th only from my author website www.store.storyteller30.com. Kindle version on sale for $28 at Amazon.com!
Happy Holidays, everyone!
A getting-to-know-you cruise among the authors’ tables at the Clinton Public Library’s book fair back in August introduced me to Craig Hart. His sense of humor and genuine interest in sharing his passion for books and writing graces every Q&A panel discussion and inspires both authors and audience to write up and read more.
What and/or who inspires you to write?
I tell people I never chose to be a writer; writing chose me. It’s something I can’t even imagine not doing. It’s part of me, and if I’m not doing it, I don’t feel fulfilled. Yet there are times (plenty of them) when inspiration runs low and the work is a struggle. At these moments, I’ve found the best way to gain inspiration is by reading the work of other writers. Sometimes just reading a few lines by a truly great writer will inspire me. Beyond that, it is a love of the art form. I am in love with writing. The process of writing, the smell of a used bookstore, the feel of a book are as sweet to me as the grip of a golf club is to someone who loves golf. And the feeling of crafting a perfect sentence gives me as great a thrill as the swish-tink of a perfect drive might bring to the golfer. This may sound silly…but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!
What genres and authors do you choose to read?
I try to read widely, but as a general rule I read books in a similar genre to what I’m writing. When I wrote my literary novel Becoming Moon, I immersed myself in literary fiction. I totally fell in love with Capote, Hemingway, and others. I love Chopin’s The Awakening and read other books that dealt with the theme of personal revolution and change, since this was a theme in my own book. I find that reading the work of others in the same general vein keeps me focused. Now that I am working on my thriller series, I am reading books by the likes of John Sandford, and find that inspiring, not to mention entertaining.
How do you market your books and promote yourself as an author?
Social media is huge for me. I use Twitter quite a bit. I also use Facebook, although I have a love/hate relationship with it. I also have a mailing list that I am always working to expand. Overall, I believe the best way to market books is by building relationships, and this includes social media. Too many people take to social media sites and simply yell “BUY MY BOOK!” over and over. This does not work. And will only turn people off. Authors should spend their time working on expanding their platform and building relationships with readers.
Where do you get your storytelling ideas?
I usually have too many ideas. By which I mean large, over-arching ideas. I do sometimes struggle with the minutia of plot, however—those smaller ideas that bring pieces together. I overcome this challenge by drinking a lot of booze. No, seriously. I overcome this challenge by drinking a lot of booze. Okay, let me try this once more: I overcome this challenge by hard work, brainstorming, asking “what if” questions, and sometimes just shaking up the plot if it looks like things are getting stale.
Tell us about your next project.
My next project is book two in the Shelby Alexander Thriller Series: Serenity Stalked. It is about a serial killer who has come to Serenity looking for his next victim(s). He, of course, ends up tangling with our protagonist who will hopefully beat the crap out of him. I hope to have this book completed by February 2017.
What advice would you give the “busy” writer?
Funny you should ask! I have a book that may help. I wrote The Busy Writer in order to lay out the process I went through in order to keep writing after becoming the stay-at-home dad to twin boys. I pack a lot into a small space in this book, but essentially it talks about auditing your days to identify any possible writing times, and then prepping your mind so that it can be highly productive in short periods of time (since most of us don’t have hours of uninterrupted time to write).
Craig A. Hart is the stay-at-home father of twin boys, a writer, editor, Amazon bestselling author, lover of the arts, and only human. He served as editor-in-chief for The Rusty Nail literary magazine and as manager for Sweatshoppe Media. He also served as director for Northern Illinois Radio Information Service, an outreach that brought daily news and information to the visually impaired. NPR affiliate Northern Public Radio featured his 2015 novel Becoming Moon in their Winter Book Series, and it won Best Novel of Summer 2015 from Pinnacle Awards. Besides his award-winning novel, Craig has written The Writer's Tune-Up Manual, The Busy Writer, and The Girl Who Read Hemingway. He is also the author of the new Shelby Alexander Thriller Series, which launched in October 2016. Serenity is the first in that series.
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