Saturday, December 31, 2011

Meet CA Kunz and their Favorite Things

Today you get two for one, as CA Kunz is the writing team of Carol & Adam Kunz. Enjoy

Hi, I'm Adam Kunz of the mom and son author duo C.A. Kunz and these are a few of my favorite things.

 ON MY iPoD: Florence and The Machine, Metric, The Sounds, Paramore, Cee-Lo Green, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and  much, much  more.
CURRENTLY READING: Carrier of the Mark
COLOR: Orange

CITY: Auckland, New Zealand

DREAM VACATION: Spending a few months traveling around Europe or Asia.
ACTIVITY: Writing, reading, watching movies, and playing videogames.
BOOK: Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
BOOK ON WRITING: I’ve read many of them, haha! Can’t really remember any of their titles though.
PLACE TO READ: On the couch and wrapped up in a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa on the table next to me.
TV SHOW: Mike and Molly (The Walking Dead is a close second)
MOVIE: Halloween
SONG: Thriller (Love the music video as well!)
SINGER: Michael Jackson
BAND: Aerosmith
ACTOR: Johnny Depp
ACTRESS: Helena Bonham Carter
PET PEEVE: People who chew food with their mouth open.
My website:
My Twitter handle: @AuthorCAKunz

Hi, I'm Carol Kunz of the mom and son author duo C.A. Kunz and these are a few of my favorite things.
 ON MY iPoD: I don't have one 
CURRENTLY READING:  Mortal Obligation by Nichole Chase
CITY:  Chester, England
DREAM VACATION:  Spend a few months touring the places I lived as a child in England
ACTIVITY:  Writing and Reading
BOOK:  The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
BOOK ON WRITING:  Too many to mention
PLACE TO READ:  In bed before I go to sleep
TV SHOW:  The Walking Dead
MOVIE:   Halloween
SONG:   Imagine by John Lennon
SINGER:  Nat King Cole
BAND:  The Temptations
ACTOR:  Sean Connery
ACTRESS:  Sandra Bullock
PET PEEVE: Mean and Hateful People
MOST LIKE TO MEET:  Mother Theresa, hopefully in my afterlife :)
My website:
My Twitter handle: @AuthorCAKunz

Friday, December 23, 2011

Meet Misty Evans and her Favorite Things

Hi, I'm Misty Evans and these are a few of my favorite things.
ON MY iPOD: Shinedown, Creed, Doughtery
CURRENTLY READING: Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill
CITY: San Diego
ACTIVITY: beach combing
BOOK: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
BOOK ON WRITING: On Writing by Stephen King
TV SHOW: Buffy
MOVIE: Alice In Wonderland
SONG: depends on my mood!
SINGER: Jon Bon Jovi
BAND: Bon Jovi
ACTOR: Johnny Depp
ACTRESS: Ann Hathaway
PET PEEVE: annoying neighbors
MOST LIKE TO MEET: the cast of Supernatural

Link to novel:
Twitter handle: @readmistyevans

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Motivation - Looking Back

My very first writing assignment was for Falcon Publishing, way back in the day. I answered an ad in a writing digest of some kind, and next thing I know, I have my first editor.

Hiking Iowa required me to hike 75 trails in the state of Iowa, and map them. I was also to track the distances and highlights at certain points on the trails. Yup, this was before GPS was on everyone's phone, or even available to the public.

I distinctly remember hiking a trail on the west side of Iowa in Loess Hills State Park. It was a nasty day out, but I'd driven the 3 hours to get there, so I was going to hike, dammit! Half way through the trail, a major storm hit, thunder, lightening, and a downpour. With the wash of rain also came a wash of mud. And as I was hiking I came across a fawn that had drowned. At that point I started crying. Bawling actually. I'd had it with the storm, being scared, the rain, and I just wanted out of there. But the thing was, no one was coming to rescue me, as no one knew I was there. So after a short pity party, I pulled on my big girl panties and hiked my ass back to my pickup.

There were so many more wonderful hikes, and wonderful people I met along the way. I learned things about my state that surprised me. I also learned things about myself that surprised me too.

Through the year of hiking and writing the manuscript, the publishing company was sold to another company, and I went through no less than 3 editors. Of course each editor had their own vision. And in the end it was nice to see my first book in the Spring catalogs, even if it wouldn't stay there for long. The local bookstore, where I bought my coffee every morning was excited to carry the book.

Then, a year later, someone else wrote an updated version of Hiking Iowa, and my version was out. But I got the money, and the book under my belt. Even if the book hadn't gotten published, I learned a lot about the state I live in, and the beautiful parks and trails.

Now I look forward, writing almost daily, and knowing I get to choose my editor. Having been published makes it much easier to get published again, and better the chances someone will take you seriously. In my next post, I'll explain why I chose to go the indie route with my mystery series instead of traditional, and if I'd do it again.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Meet Sandra McGregor and Her Favorite Things

Hi, I'm Sandra McGregor and these are a few of my favorite things.

ON MY iPoD: Beatles, Inya
CURRENTLY READING: A Knight in Cowboy Boots by Suzie Quint
COLOR: Royal Blue
CITY: Savannah, GA
DREAM VACATION: A snowbound cabin, plenty of firewood and my honey by my side
ACTIVITY: Writing, reading and cruising....or traveling w/i the U.S.
BOOK: How in the world do I choose?  The Bible
BOOK ON WRITING: GMC - Goals, Motivation & Conflict by Deb Dixon
PLACE TO READ: On the deck or on the beach.
TV SHOW: Numbers
MOVIE: Another difficult choice.  Sleepless In Seattle
SONG: Unchained Melody
SINGER: Whitney Houston
BAND: Beatles
ACTOR: Richard Gere
ACTRESS: Julia Roberts
PET PEEVE: Inconsiderate drivers

Sandra McGregor

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Editing With Your Kindle

As I've been listening to eBooks on my Kindle this week, I had an epiphany. When the Kindle voice reads to me, she reads every word, and therefore she catches every editing mistake. I must admit, these errors are jarring, because I think maybe she read it wrong. I mean she does have issues with the pronunciation of some words, but the errors are glaring, and tend to jolt me out of the story.
This week I've already listened to 7 novels, and noticed numerous errors in each one. (I'm "reading" both traditionally published and indie published books). These errors got me thinking, this Kindle text-to-speech device should be a part of every writer's editing process. I even include screenwriters in this.
After all of the editing, copy editing and critiques, have your Kindle "read" your novel/script to you. When you hear a mistake, stop the reading and type the sentence into the FIND feature of your word processing software. (it'll be too difficult to try to figure out the page from the Kindle to the document) When you find the sentence, you can fix it. Or you can just track all of the errors and fix the manuscript all at once.
To put your manuscript on the Kindle, save it as a .doc and email it to your Kindle email. Once the document is uploaded, listen to it via the text-to-speech function under the font button.
Try it, and see how many errors your Kindle catches for you. Hopefully it's zero, because it's edited perfectly already.
I wonder, has anyone thought of this as an editing tool before?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Meet Loucinda McGary and her Favorite Things

 Hi, I'm Loucinda McGary (aka Aunty Cindy of the Romance Bandits) and these are a few of my favorite things.

ON MY iPOD: I don't own an iPod, or an iAnything! I know, I know, get into the 21st century.

CURRENTLY READING: My critique partner, Jo Robertson's third manuscript in her Bigler County trilogy, The Traitor.  

CITY: Rome, the Eternal City, followed closely by Paris, the City of Lights

DREAM VACATION: The one I haven't taken yet. I am scheduled for a two week cruise to Hawaii shortly after the New Year and I'm really looking forward to it.

ACTIVITY: reading, writing, and travel (I'll pass on the arithmetic)

BOOK: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (this is the book that made me want to write romance)

BOOK ON WRITING: The Wild Mind by Nathalie Goldberg

PLACE TO READ: on a plane, in the airport, or on a cruise ship (Do you notice a trend here?)

TV SHOW: Globe Trekker

MOVIE: Ladyhawke (Rutger Hauer was so YUM!)

SONG: Beethoven's 6th Symphony (The Pastoral)

SINGER: Barbra Streisand

BAND: The Chieftans

ACTOR: Samuel L. Jackson

ACTRESS: Meryl Streep

PET PEEVE: People who talk on cell phones while driving -- Hello? It is ILLEGAL here in California!

MOST LIKE TO MEET: William Shakespeare

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Building your Fans on Facebook

As writers, we need to get our name out there. Whether you are published traditionally, or indie pub, the "build it and they will come" is a pipedream. You have to write a good book, then shout from the hilltops and let everyone know it's available.
I found this great post: 9 Tips for Building a Facebook Fan Base.
Check it out!

Monday, December 5, 2011

What's in a Tweet (or many Tweets) Monday Motivation

Don't get me wrong, I love Twitter! I've met some of the most wonderful people there. And I've met a few crazies too, like the guy who called me really bad names because I chopped the head off of a snake my dog was "playing" with. But I digress...
This is about writing and time. What's in a tweet? 140 characters, that's what. Now, I'm going to use my own tweets as an example, and I'm a prolific tweeter because I love the community, and because I co-moderate two screenwriting chats. (check them out #scriptchat & #tvwriterchat)
Well, I thought about the time I spend on the 'net, socializing, marketing, etc, and I started crunching numbers. I'm not a numbers kinda girl, but these numbers related to writing. So class is in session, pay attention:
Avg. Tweet = 140 characters
Avg Manuscript Page = 250 words
Avg # of characters per word = 5
Now for the public info on me. I've tweeted 38,300 times (not including the many, many I've deleted)
Now it's time for the math:
38,300x140=5,362,000 characters/5 characters per word=1,072,400 words/250 words per page= 4289.6 manuscript pages. Let's just say my average novel length is 400 pages: THAT'S nearly 11 novels (or, I don't know how many screenplays) I could have written in the time I've spent on Twitter!
 Would I take any of that time back? Sure a few hours here and there, but I think most of the time has been fun, and enlightening. And the support I get from other writers and readers on Twitter is worth the manuscript pages that didn't get typed. Besides, would I really have spent that time writing anyway?

Food for thought for your Monday

Friday, December 2, 2011

Meet Barbara Phinney and her Favorite Things

Hi, I'm Barbara Phinney and these are a few of my favorite things.

ON MY iPoD: I'm listening to an RT workshop called Indie publishing, How to sell 100,000 copies of your book, by H.P Mallory
CURRENTLY READING: Shattered by Kate Kelly, a new author. Very good!
COLOR: Green. I find it relaxing.
CITY: Cochabamba, Bolivia. I left a part of my heart there during two mission trip.
DREAM VACATION: Any tropical island with a beach, a chaise and an all-inclusive resort. Another cocktail, por favor!
ACTIVITY: Writing, creating and dreaming up danger for my characters.
BOOK: The Admiral's Wife by Suzanne Brockmann
BOOK ON WRITING: The Writer's Journey. So easy to read!!
PLACE TO READ: In a comfy chair in my living room.
TV SHOW: Right now, it's Castle, but I do love Stargate Universe.
MOVIE: Casablanca. It's a classic.
SONG: Viva la Vida by Cold Play.
SINGER: Julio Inglesias
BAND: No particular band. It's the songs that speak to me.
ACTOR: I have several, including Russell Crowe, Michael Dorn, and Sean Bean
ACTRESS: Sandra Bullock
PET PEEVE: People making assumptions about me, or who jump all over me for something they are misinterpreting. That's just bad manners.
MOST LIKE TO MEET: Any  great Biblical character. Moses, David, Ruth, Paul. So much has been speculated about them.

My website:
My Twitter handle:@BarbaraPhinney