Monday, April 11, 2016

Five Reasons to Write Hint Fiction (by just me)

The Five Reasons to Write Series is off to a slow start with Super-Powered Guests Coming Next Month! 

For now, I'm just adding a few posts to build the fire . . . I mean, fervor. Hmm.

5 Reasons to Write Hint Fiction with 5 Links

1. Topping out at 25 words a story, hint fiction is short enough to write on a coffee break.

2. It's fun! I bet you can't write just one.

3. Subject matter is everywhere. Look out the window. Stare at the desk. Glance at a headline. All systems go, and you have a story.

4. It gets me through the daunting days of writing. I can at least write one hint fiction story - even if I don't have time, confidence, or brain-power for anything longer, 

5. There are markets for it, and it's a good way to start spreading your author name all over cyberspace.

A brief history: legend has it, hint fiction was created/coined by Robert Swartword in 2009.

Markets for Hint Fiction and Micro-fiction

This post brought to you via a celebration for getting five more hint fiction stories published in the April 2016 edition of Nailpolish Stories! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

IWSG: Newsletter?

Hosted by Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
with co-hosts:

My insecurity this month: I'm trying a newsletter . . . again. I started one over a year ago through mailchimp and I never got it off the ground. In fact, I became so nervous about it that I never actually wrote a newsletter. I started one or two, but I never sent them.

This time, I'm three months into a new newsletter with Mad Mimi, and I'm enjoying myself, even if my audience is literally: my parents, my husband, and one friend. 

I'm only putting out one newsletter a month, but I finally put the "Newsletter Sign Up" button on the right. Yes, it took me three months to get that integral part done. 

And, for the March/April newsletter (Mapril), I'm running a promo: whoever signs up for my newsletter will receive a 100% off coupon for Flicker: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry at Smashwords. 

So, I admit I don't know what I'm doing. I'm taking advice from my teen daughters who told me to "keep it simple, mom." (Hmm, was that last change of word intentional?) Each month has only three to five sections. The Mapril newsletter has the Special Offer (Flicker), News, New in 2016, and For Writers sections. It's pretty short. 

Why am I so nervous about newsletters when I write blog posts all the time? 

Because they are supposed to be the biggest marketing tool of authors today. 

Yikes! That means it has to have it all, right? Meaning, beauty, perfection? 
That last word strikes a painful G7 minor chord played on a dusty organ in my soul. 
I don't do perfection. Ever.
(To prove my point, I just used a sentence fragment and I hate those in essays and most fiction, so why do I use them on my blog? Agh. The truth is out. I sabotage the word perfection with every fiber of my "I refuse to be type A even though I lost hair in high school over an Honors Society event I had to organize as HS V-P" purposefully type B self.)

On the plus side, I had an article accepted for and published in the March IWSG Newsletter, so I'm learning how to do newsletter writing with some help from all of you!

So . . . do you think newsletters are the biggest marketing tool of authors today? And, do you have one? If so, how do you tame the newsletter beast? And, how often? And, do readers actually sign up for these dastardly things?

My newsletter sign-up

The IWSG Newsletter sign up is here!

Chrys Fey has a new book out!
An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments. 

Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs. 

When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything? 
Seismic Crimes at Amazon

Milo James Fowler has a new book coming soon!

Private eye Charlie Madison saw his share of murder and mayhem during the war. But he's never seen anything like this on home soil. The culprit can't be human. A mandroid, then? Cyborg?

Madison's investigation takes him deep into the underground world of extreme fighting -- duels to the death, showcased beneath the city's biggest casino. Along the way, he discovers a new steroid quietly coming out of Little Tokyo. If rumors are true, it can turn a man into a killing machine.

Before vengeful police can find and execute the murderer, another officer is found slain. With rogue yakuza, the Russian mob, and Federal agents in the mix, Madison must put the pieces of this violent mystery together before the city loses another good cop.

Problem is, the killer may be one of his own clients.

Death Duel pre-order at Amazon

Angela Brown has a new MG book out!

Twelve-year-old Casey doesn’t think life could get any more unfair. Plans for her special basketball tournament are tossed aside by her sister’s wedding plans. She even has to be a bridesmaid now, with all the lace and silk and—oh, the horror! All she wants is an escape, but she never imagined she’d be swept away to a world of Mother Goose rhymes, fairy tales, stories of Arabian Nights, and oh, by the way, all but one fairy godmother has been kidnapped. 

Casey learns she’s been summoned as the Fable Ranger to lead the search and rescue of the missing wish-makers. But she’s not the hero they want. In the world of fairy tales, damsels aren’t meant to swoop in and save the day. 

Now all Casey wants is to go home, but the veil between worlds is on lockdown. Taking fate into her own hands, she embarks on an airship flight to find the phoenix tears that can open her way home. Her journey would’ve gone as smooth as the perfect layup if it weren’t for that pesky bounty the evil Dovetail has placed on her head. But if Casey fails, the Arabian Nights will disappear forever—and leave her trapped in a world unraveling one fairy tale at a time.

Fable Ranger at Amazon

And, Randi Lee with Stay Classy Publishing and a huge crew of wonderful authors has a new Anthology coming out soon!
The Thing That Turned Me: Anthology
I'm honored to have a story included. :)

Lastly . . . I'm not joining A to Z this year due to family requests and general craziness. 
Best wishes to all who are A to Zing and writing posts every day!
I'll be lurking but not posting most of the month, and prepping posts for the 5 Reasons to Write Series (with guests) kicking off in May. 

Have a newsletter? Have you read the latest books? Know of more releases?

Monday, April 4, 2016

A Sweet Blessing - Michelle Wallace and her A To Z Posts

I'm just taking a short moment for thankfulness.

Michelle Wallace at Writer-in-Transit highlighted my short story and poetry collection: Dragonfold and Other Adventures at her blog. She's highlighting authors all month!
Thank you, Michelle!!!

And, here's one pic from Paddler's Cup last weekend from the Dragonboat race

Thursday, March 31, 2016

"The Thing That Turned Me" Official Contributors

I am so thankful for Randi Lee and all the hard work she's done with Stay Classy Publishing to bring together an amazing anthology with a variety of excellent authors. And, I'm amazed that I get to be a part of the group. With publication around two months away, here's a sneak peek at what's ahead with the official list of contributors:

S. Katherine Anthony
Imani Allen
Michelle Athy
Madalyn Beck
Diane Carlisle
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Crystal Collier
Cathrina Constantine
Michael Di Gesu
Tonja Drecker
Deanie Humphrys-Dunne
Sherry Ellis
Elise Fallson
Heather M. Gardner
Samantha Redstreake Geary
Misha Gerrick
Krystal Hillsman
Celeste Holloway
Harper L. Jameson
Randi Lee
Terrance Dwayne Mack
K.D. Martin
Tyrean Martinson
Melissa Maygrove
Nana Prah
Christine Rains
Melanie Schulz
Elizabeth Seckman
Tara Tyler
Jenny Vyas
Michelle Wallace
L. Diane Wolfe
Roland Yeomans

“The Thing That Turned Me” is an anthology that highlights our turning points: moments in our lives that change us in some way. Comprised of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and artwork, it represents a vast array of voices and is sure to resonate with everyone who reads it. Keep a lookout for “The Thing That Turned Me,” coming soon to a major online bookselling source near you.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Do You Have Goals? Updates, News, Fandom, and Links (the mega-post)

Please scroll down to the section you would like to read (because this post got a bit long)
First: Goals
Second: News
Third: Fandom/Reviews (with ratings?)
Fourth: Links

1. Write Strong (Monthly goal - 25,000 words).
I struggled to land on the next, big, fiction project. I have a couple of non-fiction projects in various stages, and then I had three, then four, fiction projects that were jumping up and down and shouting for my attention. I struggled to decide, but kept finding myself working on one of them - the one that wasn't supposed to be a long project. Ironically, the working title is Patience.

So far this year with short works, I have subbed 8 works so far. One was long-listed at Brilliant Flash Fiction, but not published, so I've re-subbed it, and IWSG accepted a short article for the next newsletter! (For the newsletter sign-up, click on this text-link.)
So, the rate of subbed works is: 1 Acceptance, 1 Long-listed and re-subbed, with 6 (+1 re-sub) in the Wait-Zone.

2. Market with Strength
I asked a blogging buddy about creating a book trailer because I loved hers (see below in news), and then, after thinking of costs, I decided to make my own with images and pictures I already own, and with free music. So, this is The Champion Trilogy book trailer (less than one minute):

This project actually came out of another project for my short story, "Letting Go: A Siren Song" for The Thing That Turned Me Anthology:
It's crammed into ten seconds, so if you blink, you might miss it:

And, I re-booted a newsletter (more about this in IWSG April). If you sign up for it, you'll get a free smashwords coupon code for Flicker: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry in the next issue. You can sign up in the little box between "Let us encourage" and the Google+ button.

3. Publish with Strength:
Champion's Destiny is in paperback. (Whew. Finally.)

Flicker: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry is out in all formats. (This one's been brewing for two years in a semi-formatted version, so it was actually easy to finish and I felt excited about getting it off my desk so I just went for it.)

4. Live Strong
Um. I walked 25 miles, biked 15, and did some other exercises. I'm definitely not where I wanted to be at this point in the year.

5. Worship Strong
I loved Lent. I went to an awesome Story Revolution workshop by Global Seed Planter Diane Brask. Now, I'm loving Holy Week. My oldest daughter is speaking tonight at our Good Friday worship along with six other young adults. They are taking turns to speak about the last words of Jesus on the cross. My daughter's portion centers around "I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23).
I didn't finish my "whole Bible" challenge for Lent, but I did read from Genesis through Jeremiah, with a bit from the book of Matthew (added out of order). I plan on finishing my seventh read of the Bible throughout the spring.

6. Gratitude = Grace (Thanksgiving and Invitational Attitude)
Well, I've invited a few people to Good Friday and Easter. Plus, I've invited a few people to Paddler's Cup in Gig Harbor (if you live nearby, come and watch or join the races!)
I'm thankful for my church family, my family, my friends, and the amazing love of God.

And, I've invited a few bloggers to take part in the Five Reasons to Write series of guest posts. If you would like to join in on this in August or the fall, please check out the 5 Reasons to Write tab above, and e-mail me at tyreantigger (at) gmail (dot) com.

7. Rest
Well . . . I took a few hours here and there to read fiction, but life has been moving like a freight train. Can I sleep after Easter or after Paddler's Cup (a paddling event the weekend after Easter)?


Lori MacLaughlin has a new book coming out in May, and there is a really awesome book trailer to go with it!

M. Pax and seven other sci-fi authors have a #FREE collection of books out - Galactic Empires

The Thing That Turned Me: An Anthology is coming May 31st from Stay Classy Publishing! My short story, "Letting Go: A Siren Song" is about a young siren who discovers that she can't avoid her gift forever. And yes, my title is an intended spoof of "that" song, and give a nod to another song. (Obviously, the reason I don't regularly write to music is that I would end up writing musical fiction.)

Movies I loved in March (DVD/Netflix and Theater) - Photos from IMDb:

The Intern - my whole family loved this sweet drama-dy about friendship that crosses the boundaries of age and gender. It's funny, sad, sweet, and fabulous!  (PG-13)

Risen - Told from the viewpoint of a Roman centurion, I thoroughly enjoyed this awe-filled, after-resurrection story about Jesus. We went with our church youth group and nearly bought out one of the theaters.  (PG-13)

Books I enjoyed in March:

Camp Never by Shelley Sly - a piercing but lovely story about a young teen girl who has been sent to "remedial" summer camp. As always, I was impressed deeply by Shelley Sly's story writing, and the way she handled tough material. (All audiences)

Firebird by Kathy Tyers - beautifully written, action-packed Christian science fiction with a strong heroine!

I think this is a new favorite of mine, and it's hard for me to realize that I didn't know this book existed until a few weeks ago even though the original edition came out in 1999. This made me thankful once again for the longevity of e-book and pod publishing. (PG-13)

Radio Hope by Sean MacLaughlin - an apocalyptic novel without zombies, but with some gritty, hard-edged characters who are desperate for hope. Excellent writing! (PG-13+)

Westward, Tally Ho by Milo James Fowler - a western, coming-of-age farce in true spaghetti western style. The main character's inability to cope with the grittiness of the wild west is hilarious and adorable, and his butler rocks! (If I tell you too much . . . well, it would spoil the fun.) (PG)

Okay - why the rating? Because I found that some kids in my writing classes actually read my blog/reviews. Whoa. So, I imagined the youngest, 10-12 year-old students reading the books mentioned.

I'm thinking . . . oh no, what have I recommended? If little Susie reads that, I'm going to be tarred, feathered, and pitch-forked. Many families with students in my classes have a stricter idea of reading lists than I do, and I know I'm not going to please anyone, but I decided to try a rating system based off of the one that's used for movies. At some point, I may need a pseudonym.

If it's PG-13, then I think it has either language, violence, scary images, or content that put it firmly in a category where 13 year-old kids should be the youngest readers. If I say something's "steamy," then there is a sex scene in it. If it's "sweet," then there isn't. If I say it's "gritty," then there is language, violence, or edgy content. If it has a "+" by it, then it means that my rating might be considered too low by some families.

However, if I haven't read the book and have no idea, it's a blank slate. (Most of the "NEWS" books are in this category.)

Market Links
Circuits and Slippers - Fairy Tale/Sci-fi mash-ups, 2,000-10,000 words. Needed by April 8th, 2016. See site for very specific details about the type of mash-up!

Anthologies for TDR Publishing - Due April 30th. Women POV heroines. See site for details.

Sword and Sorceress 31 - Reading period starts April 16th. See site for details. Paid Market.