New Series

Now available on eBook! My middle grade boy book series.

Theodore Evans receives a lamp from his Pop Chewy. But this isn’t just an ordinary lamp. It’s a magic lamp with a genie and Theodore’s ticket to making sure his father comes back from military duty safe and sound. The problem is…the genie is still young and inexperienced. And Theodore is getting more than he’s bargained.

http://wp.me/p2pXTr-1I

 

Book Signing!

I will be having my First. Book. Signing. Ever.

November 9th from 12-3 at Talbott’s located on 66 Monroe Avenue Pittsford, NY 14534

I will be bringing books to sign and sell and you will get to meet the master behind The Miss-Adventures of Amy & Tracy series. I am also the author of Theodore Evans’ Big Time Wish Problem. I’ll be glad to answer any questions…even directions to locating the nearest restroom. I can also listen to endless amounts of knock knock jokes. So come hang with me and help make this book signing amazing!

Your Friends Told You Not to Tell!

As a freelance editor and professional critiquer, I have discovered that most beginning writers struggle with the concept of “show vs. tell.” They nod, say, “Yeah, I get that.” And then still write: “She was sad and lonely.”

That’s “telling” language. “Showing” language would be: “Her eyes grew damp as she hugged her husband’s photograph to her chest.” And even that could be made more vivid. But notice I’m conveying her sadness and loneliness through action and description. That’s basically all you need to do to to prevent your story from feeling flat. Because “telling” is two-dimensional writing. The reader receives no payout from a story that’s written like a summary.

Hints that you are using telling include, but are not limited to: using –ly adverbs, using the words “feels like,” “seems to be,” “appears as if,” telling us what the person is feeling instead of showing their facial reactions, or explaining something the reader could deduce through dialogue or reaction.

Here’s an example of flat, summarized writing taken from something I wrote a long time ago:

I cried and tried to push her away, tried to kick her off, but it just made things worse for me until Mom finally came into the room and yanked Stacey off and sent her to her bedroom.

So what’s wrong with that sentence, besides being long and cumbersome? For one thing, it isn’t very interesting. “…it made things worse…” is a very generic statement. How did things become worse? What was the character thinking or feeling? And as for Stacey being yanked off the protagonist…How did Stacey react? Was their mother fed up, or astonished? We know nothing about anyone’s true emotional state throughout. So how would I change it?

Stacey grasped my hair, curled it around her evil fist and yanked. I howled, scratched at her face, tore at her neck. She screamed and let go, her face red, eyes big as those damn Peppermint Patties she was always cramming down her throat.

“You fat freak,” I hollered, trying to catch my breath. Her eyes narrowed, and she gave a tribal scream before head-butting me in the stomach, sending me backward onto my bed. My head thwacked the headboard. I gasped, kicked at her chubby belly.

Mom came through my bedroom door and growled, “What’s going on in here?” 

Stacey leaped on me, slugging me in the head, yelling, “You filthy piece of trash! You ugly moron from hell, go back to the hole you came out of!”

Mom grasped Stacey around the stomach and pulled her off me, the creases in her brow deeper than I’d ever seen. Her voice and Stacey’s fought for domination, I couldn’t decipher one from the other. I touched my head, felt for blood, but found none. meanwhile, Mom shoved Stacey out the door, threatening to call the police.

Although there’s more I could do to improve that text, you get the idea. It shows how things become worse. It shows the fight in detail. So much more interesting, don’t you think?

Look through your sentences. Are you informing the reader what he or she needs to know by stating it in a two-dimensional way? Or are you adding details and action to make the scene come alive for the reader? The first way will have the reader putting down the book to do something else. The second way will keep the reader rivted well past his or her bedtime.

Which type of writer would you rather be?

 

My Short Story Appears in Hapless Halloween

Hapless Halloween is an anthology written by members of my writers’ group. It’s packed full of stories for readers of all ages, although the majority are more likely to interest an older audience. Here is the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Hapless-Halloween-Twenty-Five-Suspense-ebook/dp/B009GT68QG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1350321299&sr=1-1&keywords=hapless+halloween

It’s free every Friday in October, and on Halloween as well. Mine is the last story: “The Ghosts of Wardroom Cemetery.”

CreateSpace and Me

So I am now waiting for my CreateSpace book to be delivered to me so I can check it for errors. If you’d like to know how many hours I spent readying my book for this moment, all I can say is a heckuvalot. Weeks were spent trying to figure out how to get that pretty cover placed just right (it took me days just to realize they give authors templates. Yes! CreateSpace is AWESOME!), and there was a lot of back and forth trying to rectify the strangest of problems. (Why isn’t my name in the header any longer? Hey, how come my even pages aren’t numbered? Oh no…my Table of Contents has the wrong page numbers!)

Here’s what happens when you set your book up so that print copies can be made:

1) You must format your book correctly

2) You need to order an ISBN number (luckily, CreateSpace makes this very simple); you need to decide whether or not to own your own publishing label

3) You must have a cover made up, including the spine and the back (which needs a summary of the book and a space for the ISBN code)

4) You must figure out how many pages your book has, and then decide on how big (length x width) you wish the book to be.

5) You need to know if you prefer to pay for a wider distribution. Then you need to calculate your books cost.

6) You need to check and recheck the interior of your book for mistakes, then fix them. This takes a remarkably long time…in part because you have to wait for CreateSpace to accept the formatting.

I like a challenge, so despite chewing on my fingernails as I tried to figure out why something wasn’t working out the way I imagined it would (cue the rainbows and smiley faces), I slaved over this project…forgot important appointments (sorry floor inspector people!) and allowed the kids to play WAYYYYY too much Wii. But soon, yes soon, I will have the book that needs to be proofed in my anxious little hands. The fruits of my hard labor. I sure hope it will be worth it.