Write Stuff Wednesday: Writer’s Block

It’s Write Stuff Wednesday, and today I’m thinking about those moments when the words refuse to flow. Writer’s block is not limited to moments when authors draw a blank mid-novel.  This wordless predicament can creep up when engaging in any number of other tasks related to a career in writing.

THE SYNOPSIS


Summarize all of the most important plot points of your novel into 1-4 pages, depending on the publisher’s preference. After making every effort to show, show show, you are now expected to tell. You just wrote 60K+ words and know your story inside and out. This task should be a piece of cake. It isn’t. Below are a few websites I’ve found helpful. Best of all, many of the sites provide examples and links to additional resources.

Jane Friedman

Reedsy

Writer’s Digest

Writers Helping Writers

Master Class

THE BLURB


Provide an enticing overview of your book, and leave the reader wanting to see more. Here are a few articles to get you started.

Master Class

Blurb

Reedsy

Jericho Writers

Anne R. Allen

Now Novel

THE PITCH


What is your book about, and why should a reader care? Oh, and keep your pitch to a few sentences. These resources provide helpful examples.

BookBub

Writer’s Digest

Janice Hardy

THE TAGLINE


The smaller the piece of writing, the more brain power needed. A tagline is a one-liner hook that provides the tone of the book. Examples are found in the links below.

Writers Helping Writers

Writers in the Storm

THE QUERY LETTER


If you plan to go the route of traditional publishing, a query letter is a must. Editors and literary agents are flooded with queries every day. How will your letter stand out in the crowd? The following links are excellent resources explaining the importance of writing a polished, engaging query, how to write this important introduction to yourself and your book, and examples.

Jane Friedman

Jericho Writers

Kindlepreneur

The Write Practice

THE AUTHOR BIO


And now it’s time to tell the reader all about you. What are your credentials, interests, and hobbies? Many authors are introverts. Sharing personal information is not tops on their to-do list. But the bio is a first step in making a personal connection with readers. See the following links for how-to’s and examples.

Avon Books

BookBub

Scribe Media

Kindlepreneur

AD COPY


Whether you have paid advertisements or create free trailers, ad copy matters. The background, the cover, the font, the tone, the attention-grabbing script, the call-to-action all require attention to detail. The links below offer some helpful examples.

BookBub

Writers Fun Zone

Writers Helping Writers

ONLINE PRESENCE: AUTHOR WEBSITES AND SOCIAL MEDIA


As previously noted, many authors are introverts and have little desire to crow about themselves from the top of every available social avenue. But social media can’t be avoided. With more than a bazillion books flooding the internet, name recognition is a significant hurdle to jump over. Stay tuned for more to come on this subject.

HELPFUL TIPS FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE:


The internet is your friend.  You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.  Search online and see what other authors have done.  When all else fails, step away from the keyboard.  My go-to activity for recharging my brain is a walk – preferably outside.

Book in the Spotlight: Body Snatched, By Ana Diamond

Please join me in welcoming Ana Diamond. Today we are spotlighting Body Snatched. One shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but this one would have me snatching it off a shelf. Look no further if you’re in need of a new cozy mystery to top off your TBR pile.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Title: Body Snatched

Author: Ana Diamond 

Genre: Cozy Mystery

BLURB:

What’s worse than losing a body from a funeral home? Losing two. But mortician and amateur sleuth, Lily Reynolds has a hunch. The new visitor in town, Rick Drakon, may have charmed his way into her life but she’s not fooled by his smooth talking ways. Problem is, Rick is a long-time friend of Lily’s new husband, Detective James Rivers. While James is busy convincing her to look elsewhere, Lily embarks on a dangerous path toward uncovering the truth. Will this case come between the couple or will Lily find herself closer to evil than ever before?  

AUTHOR BIO:

When Ana Diamond isn’t writing about tough gals finding love in unexpected places, she’s at work by day in the medical field. She writes romantic cozy mystery novels with feisty strong women and alluring men who can’t resist them. Her books are fast paced, entertaining and heartfelt all at once.

Ana is a 2020 Tara Contest Finalist for Body Conscious and 2015 Melody of Love contest finalist. She lives in New York with her husband, two children and two needy but wildly entertaining kitty cats.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Website

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

Amazon

GoodReads

BookBub

PURCHASE LINKS:

Books2Read

Write Stuff Wednesday: Online Writing Resources

Below is a list of online resources that I found helpful on my road to publication. I welcome any additions to the list as I continue this writing journey.

Jane Friedman
Countless writing articles
Comprehensive list of resources for authors

https://www.bryndonovan.com/
Invaluable Masters Lists
How-to articles
Writing Inspiration

https://annerallen.com/
Lots of information on getting published
Variety of resources for writers.

https://www.writersdigest.com/
Information on writing
Information on publishing
Writing resources
Writing community

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-write-a-query-letter#7-query-letter-writing-dos
This website offers a slew of how to articles related to writing and publishing. The query letter article is merely one example.

https://writershelpingwriters.net/
Writing tools
How-to articles

https://www.thecreativepenn.com/
Writing
Publishing
Marketing
SO MUCH information!

https://bystacydawn.blogspot.com/
Writing deep POV

https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/
Helpful articles for every step of the writing process

https://www.shaylaraquel.com/
Information on writing
Information on marketing
Free social media pdfs

https://insights.bookbub.com/
Marketing Resource

https://kindlepreneur.com/
Marketing Resource

https://davidgaughran.com/
Marketing Resource

https://www.grammarly.com/grammar-check
Easy to use grammar checker

Book Bundle in the Spotlight: Feisty Lawyers Bundle, by Seelie Kay

Please join me in welcoming Seelie Kay. Today we are spotlighting her Feisty Lawyers Series bundle NOW ON SALE FOR $7.50 AT www.extasybooks.com .

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Titles: Three books from the five-book Feisty Lawyers series, including Snatching Dianna, Infamy, and Cult

Author: Seelie Kay 

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Price: $7.50

Feisty Lawyers Series

They’re smart. They’re feisty. They play to win!

The lawyers who make up The Agency are committed to bringing justice to situations in which justice is not normally found. At the behest of the President, they intervene in matters that impact Americans around the globe. They execute uniquely designed solutions with determination and no small amount of courage. Their journey begins with a kidnapped American law student. It ends with justice served. Three heart-stopping adventures from a five-book series are combined into one scintillating bundle of romantic suspense, including Snatching Dianna, Infamy, and Cult.

BLURB: Snatching Dianna

The hours are counting down as investigators try to prove that Dianna Murphy has been snatched. Unfortunately, without witnesses and solid evidence, all the police really know is that she is missing.

When suburban Milwaukee law student Dianna Murphy fails to connect with her roommate, there is no real evidence that she has been snatched. Until Law Professor Janet MacLachlan, a former covert agent, discovers a single clue. In a race against time, Janet recruits her husband, secret agent Cade Matthews, small-town Police Chief David Manders and his wife, criminal defense attorney Julianna Constant, and other law students to uncover the truth. Can they prove she has been taken, before Dianna disappears without a trace?

BLURB: Infamy

Infamy. An evil or wicked act. Terrorists bent on revenge have found a way to make planes disappear from the sky, without a trace. And when one winds up buried in a Wisconsin cornfield, it’s a race against time to rescue the passengers from certain death.

When international law attorney Sheikh Harun Ali is lured to the Amazon and warned of a frightening plot against the United States, he and his wife, Marianne Benson, enlist the assistance of their neighbors, covert agent Cade Matthews and his wife, Constitutional Law Professor Janet MacLachlan. Ultimately, these feisty lawyers are pushed to the wall, desperate to find a plane that has been buried in an unknown cornfield, the passengers still on board. The terrorists’ hatred for the Alis is absolute—the Alis once left their organization bankrupt and broken—but they hate America more. And their fiendish games are just beginning. They are seeking a much bigger prize, one that could destroy a nation and possibly the world. An act that will live in infamy.

BLURB: Cult (winner of the Editor’s Choice Award)

It’s supposed to be a simple assignment. A quick trip to a South American country for an “in and out” fact-finding mission. Unfortunately, the cult has other ideas.

When college students begin disappearing from American campuses, a notorious cult, God’s Delight, is the primary suspect.

Among the missing is the President’s goddaughter, and he wants answers. When he asks Agent Cade Matthews, a member of a secret covert organization, to find her, the mission appears fairly straightforward. Find the God’s Delight compound, determine whether a welfare check on American cult members is warranted, and get out. Simple. Clean. Easy.

Cade sends newly-married Agents Dianna Murphy and Anders Mark to the University of Wisconsin to follow the trail to God’s Delight, but when they wind up in Bolivia, things go sideways. Suddenly, what appeared to be nothing more than a simple in-and-out could cost Dianna her life. When an Agency extraction is ordered, chaos erupts, and the question becomes, will anyone survive?

REVIEWS:

“To me this is one of those series that I will be reading over and over again. From the very beginning I was drawn in, it’s got action, danger, suspense, and even, romance. I can’t recommend this series and Author enough…I highly recommend reading this whole series. I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what was going to happen next.” (Goodreads review)

“Seelie Kay has an unforgettable imagination, and will keep you wanting more. You can tell she brings her all, while reading this story. I love her characters, especially the strong-willed, independent women. This is a must read! Along with the rest of her Feisty Lawyers Series. Well Done Seelie Kay, Well Done.” (Goodreads review)

“This author really knows how to deliver an edgy, and dramatic story. It was heart in throat entertainment. A complicated and colourful cast filled with many events that left me gasping and wondering if I read it correctly. I was captivated and intrigued. These kinds of stories are what keep me in my happy place. They keep me entertained and out of my head. I have travelled the world and experienced every feeling and moment with these characters. Seelie Kay has a knack for enrapturing an audience and it is a dangerously decadent state to be in, and totally addictive.” (Goodreads review)

AUTHOR BIO:

Award-winning author Seelie Kay writes scintillating tales of lawyers in love.

Writing under a nom de plume, the former lawyer and journalist draws her stories from more than 30 years in the legal world. Seelie’s wicked pen has resulted in twenty-two works of fiction, including the new paranormal romance series Donovan Trait and The Feisty Lawyers romantic suspense series. She also authored The Last Christmas, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, The President’s Daughter, Seizing Hope, The White House Wedding, and participated in the romance anthology Pieces of Us.

When not spinning romantic tales, Seelie ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. Currently, she resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, WI, where she enjoys opera, the Green Bay Packers, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.

Seelie is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!

Seelie can be reached at http://www.seeliekay.com, http://www.seeliekay.blogspot.com, or on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Website:  https://www.seeliekay.com

Twitter: @SeelieKay https://twitter.com/SeelieKay

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/seelie.kay.77

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/seeliekay51/

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Seelie-Kay/e/B074RDRWNZ/

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/seelie-kay

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16492565.Seelie_Kay

TikTok:  https://www.tiktok.com/@authorseeliekay

Newsletter sign-up:  https://rb.gy/w69pim

PURCHASE LINKS:

Extasy Books

PRIOR BOOKS:

Snatching Dianna: https://www.extasybooks.com/snatching-dianna

Infamy:  https://www.extasybooks.com/infamy

Cult:  https://www.extasybooks.com/cult

Hopehttps://www.extasybooks.com/hope

Martimus:  https://www.extasybooks.com/martimus

The White House Wedding:  https://www.extasybooks.com/the-white-house-wedding

The Last Christmas: https://www.extasybooks.com/the-last-christmas

A Touchdown to Remember:  https://www.extasybooks.com/a-touchdown-to-remember

Ye Gods! The Law is an Ass!:  https://www.extasybooks.com/ye-god-the-law-is-an-ass

Vive la Resistance: https://www.extasybooks.com/Vive-la-Resistance

Author Interview with Kim Janine Ligon

Please join me in welcoming Kim Janine Ligon, author of Polly’s List. I’m always happy to share a new cozy mystery, but learning about the inspiration behind the story is a bonus. My characters have definitely kept me awake at night. But I’m wondering how common it is for characters to appear in authors’ dreams.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Title: Polly’s List

Author: Kim Janine Ligon

Genre: Cozy Mystery/ Romance

BLURB:

CJ Reynolds couldn’t wait to escape his hometown. He’s loving his bachelor life as a software developer in California. So much so that he hasn’t been back in years to see the grandmother who raised him.

Mikal Benson believes her small town is perfect for raising her son, Will, alone. When Mikal finds her neighbor, Polly Rogers, sprawled on the floor in a pool of blood, barely clinging to life, she calls Polly’s grandson—CJ Reynolds—and insists he must come home. Now!

From her coma, Polly whispers three words that change everything. Did she fall or was she pushed? CJ, Mikal, and Will form an unlikely team coming together to discover the truth as danger engulfs them and love transforms them into a family.

INTERVIEW:

What was the inspiration behind your latest release? 

Shortly after I retired, I got a spinning wheel and taught myself to spin. I spent hours sitting at the wheel creating beautiful yarn from the fiber I’d purchased. I had the shutters open so I could look out on the yard and the cul de sac beyond it. It was my catbird seat where I could observe the world outside virtually unnoticed. My ideas started turning and I began creating Polly’s story; a woman looking out the window while spinning who sees something she shouldn’t and it makes her a target for a murderer. 

Where do you get your ideas? 

I am an observer. I’m always watching people in restaurants or out in public and creating their back stories. My husband says my stories about them are probably more interesting than the people really are. Frequently, I’ll have observed something and then later a character will appear in my dreams reminding me that they have a story to tell. At first, I ignored the dream appearances, but my creations have been endowed with my gift of persistence and they don’t just make one appearance. Eventually, I realized that they knew what they were talking about. I’ve even changed a character’s name based on their dream protests about their inappropriate moniker.

Do ideas for plot or characters come first?

I’d say they usually arrive almost simultaneously. While I thought of the plot for this book while spinning, I’d had a character’s name, Mikal Benson, in mind for a long time wanting her to be a major part of one of my books.

How many hours do you dedicate each day towards writing?

I guess, I’m supposed to say I have a schedule and I never miss a day of writing something. I don’t. I am most productive in the morning after the necessary stretching exercises to keep the arthritis in my back at bay. But I have lots of creative pursuits that vie for my attention. I create buildings for my husband’s model railroad layout. I spin, weave, knit, crochet, and read lots of books from classics to other Wild Rose authors. I tend to be a little streaky. If I’m on a roll with a story, I’ll write instead of anything else. If I’m finishing Christmas gifts I may be weaving and spinning exclusively. I find that my other pursuits help me think through character development and plot points. Then when I sit down to write everything flows more easily.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Hah! See my last answer. I need more hours in the day. I guess I’m a little greedy. I want it all. I want to be a published author and still be able to create unique things for the people I love. Thank goodness I don’t also have to juggle my day job any longer. My other challenge to being an author is figuring out the marketing side of the business, but I don’t appear to be alone in that.

What project are you currently working on? 

I just finished my second novel. Another cozy mystery set in Lansdale, Wisconsin. “Landing On Her Feet” will be out 7/3/2023. I’m very excited that “Polly’s List” will have a book sibling. I have multiple other books in progress and am trying to decide which one to focus on next. And I still have over twenty building kits to paint and construct for my patient, sweet husband’s railroad layout. And I have six tubs of fiber waiting for someone to spin it into something exquisite. I have plenty of projects to keep me off the streets and out of trouble!   

AUTHOR BIO:

Kim Ligon has been writing stories for most of her life—some on paper and some only in her head. She has lots of source material growing up as the oldest child in a large family in a small town in Wisconsin. Her father was a veterinarian so there were not only lots of children around, but all manner of house pets and farm animals too. Her love of reading comes from her mother who was seldom seen sitting down without a book in her hand. After a demanding career in healthcare information technology, she is now getting to do all the creative things she loves which includes writing her stories to share with you. She lives with her chief encourager and personal romantic hero, her husband of almost forever, in Alabama. Please follow her further adventures at www.spinningromance.com

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Website

Amazon

Goodreads

BookBub

Email: KimJanine@spinningromance.com

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble