BENEFITS OF EMPLOYEE EVALUATIONS


Today I have a special guest on my blog, my daughter, Brandy Biggar. She is a third year student majoring in Ocean Sciences, and Biology. Today students have more on their plates than ever before. It's becoming increasingly important to have a strong background in volunteer work, Co-Operative positions in which the student is paid … Continue reading BENEFITS OF EMPLOYEE EVALUATIONS

COVER REVEAL


It's here, the cover of my new book, Tidal Falls, releasing this fall, 2014. Sara Reed is on the run from an abusive ex who happens to have ties to a Mexican cartel. Mistakenly thinking her and her daughter would be safer if she had some kind of leverage, she takes a copy of some … Continue reading COVER REVEAL

RESEARCH IS THE BACKBONE TO A GOOD STORYLINE


In order to maintain believability in your storyline, whether it be a romance or a science fiction novel, you need to do your research. This is where the fun begins. Digging through dusty tomes at the local library, or surfing the net, research can lead you on a merry dance. From locations all over the … Continue reading RESEARCH IS THE BACKBONE TO A GOOD STORYLINE

Gatecrashing the Cosy Consensus on Amazon


How do you feel about this on-going dispute? For myself it sounds a lot like bullies on the playground trying to have everything their way, but that is just my opinion.

David Gaughran

amazonhachetteA group of bestselling traditionally published authors – including James Patterson, Scott Turow, and Douglas Preston – engaged in an act of breathtaking hypocrisy on Thursday with an open letter calling on Amazon to end its dispute with Hachette.

The letter is incredibly disingenuous. It claims not to take sides, but only calls on Amazon to take action to end the dispute. It also makes a series of ridiculous claims, notably that Amazon has been “boycotting Hachette authors.”

Where do I start?

The Phantom Boycott

First of all, refusing to take pre-orders on Hachette titles is not a “boycott.” Pre-orders are a facility extended to certain publishers – not all publishers. Many small presses don’t have a pre-order facility. Most self-publishers don’t have a pre-order facility.

I don’t know why Amazon has stopped taking Hachette pre-orders, but both sides have stated that negotiations aren’t likely to be resolved any…

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WRITING TIPS AND TRICKS-Dialogue Etiquette


While working on my revisions this week it came to my attention dialogue which runs several paragraphs long have a set of rules to follow.This came as a surprise to me. I'd always thought, mistakenly it seems, that as long as it was one person doing the talking, quotations occur at the start, and at … Continue reading WRITING TIPS AND TRICKS-Dialogue Etiquette

Description—How to Make Readers Fall In & Never Escape


Kristen Lamb's Blog

Sidewalk chalk art near Regent’s Canal in London. Sidewalk chalk art near Regent’s Canal in London.

Today we’re going to address a topic that—GASP—I don’t believe we’ve ever covered in almost 800 blogs. Namely because it is a tricky one to address. We’re going to talk about description. For those who never use description or very sparse description? Don’t fret. That’s just your voice. Readers like me who looooove description will probably gravitate to other books and that is OKAY.

Personally, I’m not a fan of austere modern houses with stainless steel everything and weird chairs no human could sit in and most cats would avoid, but? There are plenty of people who dig it. I also don’t like a lot of knick-knacks and clutter. Makes me want to start cleaning.

Same with books. Not too little or too much. Yeah, I’m Literary Goldilocks.

Plain fact? We can’t please everyone. Description (or lack thereof) is a component of…

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Indie Writers: Make MS Word Work for You Instead of Against You


QA Productions

A Quick Primer for Fiction Writers in using Microsoft Word in the Digital Age

It always saddens me a little when a writer sends me an overly formatted Word doc to turn into an ebook or print-on-demand. It’s not that I have to clean it up–I can strip and flip the messiest files in less than an hour. What bugs me is how much thought and effort the writer wasted on utterly useless manuscript styling.

Example of a Word doc that has been overstyled. Example of a Word doc that has been overstyled.

The majority of writers I work with use Word. The vast majority have no idea how to use Word for their own benefit. I understand. I was a fiction writer for over two decades and even though I have been using computers and a variety of word processing programs since the late ’80s, it wasn’t until I started learning book production that I figured out how…

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CANADA DAY 2014


This coming Tuesday will be Canada's 147 birthday. In that time we've seen many changes, some good, some not so much. July 1, 1917: The 50th anniversary of Confederation. The Parliament buildings, under construction, are dedicated to the Fathers of Confederation and to the courage of Canadians who fought in Europe during the First World … Continue reading CANADA DAY 2014