Wednesday, 30 September 2015

All About Writing Wednesday - Writing Novellas

I know I missed last week. Sorry about that. The last All About Writing Wednesday post had to do with reviewing. If you haven't read it and are trying to think of ways to get a little writing practice in before really beginning that novel then maybe it will help.

This week I thought I'd write about how I transitioned to writing novellas instead of reviews.

I'm not going to talk about my writing process to much. Every writer does things differently to maximize their own creativity. And creativity is a funny little tool that works for everyone in different ways.

First, I should say that I use the term novellas instead of novels because that's where my writing naturally fits in. That's also what I prefer to read.

So, what's the difference between a novella and a novel? Novellas run from 15,000 to 40,000 words, approximately. That's about 50 to 150 pages. Novels are 50,000+ words.

I'm not sure why this length works for me but it does. I do whatever works.

Anyway, there were several years where I didn't write anything creative beyond a term paper. I found out it's very hard to get a master's degree and write creatively. However, I will say that all the many term papers were very good practice for me as a writer.

Then last summer depression hit. Yeah, I suffer from it. But you know, I sometimes think I had all this creativity just pent-up as if I put it in prison. I picked up some half-finished thing about a man who goes back to his hometown because his friend gets killed and he needs some sort of stability for his son. I finished that story, after years of letting that poor man just sit on my computer's desktop.

That really was the start of this crazy authoring journey. I finally got serious about writing because I needed a way to get my depression under control. Weird how a bad place in my life turned in to something positive.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Cover Reveal

BonyDee Design & Press want to take the time to present to you…

This is going to be a weekly spot and end up a simple spiral bound notebook-esk book to for promotional purposes.

 Starting the first week of October, tagged under Flash Fiction

Monday, 21 September 2015

Authoring 101: Pen Names

Recently a well-known author in the MM author has outed himself as female. I’m not here to talk about this but I thought it brings up a solid point on the why’s for choosing a pen name or not.

But first I’d like to link you all up to some thoughts on the matter that are relevant and should be considered while you are, well, considering if it’s something you wish to do or not.

This, however relevant to the point is more a discussion on why you would use a pen name and maybe help you decide if its something you want or need to do.

What’s a pen name?  google says: an assumed name used by a writer instead of their real name.
synonyms: pseudonym, nom de plume, assumed name, alias, professional name.

So what are some of the reasons you’d chose to use one?

Your name is so bland or common. For example if your name was John or Jane Smith then you’d want a pen name so you’d stand out from the rest. Not get lost under the thousands of other names.

This isn’t just for names you’d think are common, but ones you might have thought twice about. My suggestion would be to google your name (though I think you’d already know just how many of yourself there are out there, really who hasn’t googled themselves before?!). Go onto Amazon, Goodreads and put your name in. if you come out with more than 3 people with the same name I’d change it, but that’s just me.

Definitely if there is more than 5 or 6 your name needs to change. It’s a choice though, completely one of your making but it’s all about getting noticed.

Another reason is family.

1. This can have multiple reason too. That you have young children and you want to keep them safe from prejudges around them.

2. That your family and maybe not the ones you’re living with but outside that are prejudges in anyway. Therefore, you’d use it in order to protect yourself. (I’ve spoken to people whose husbands don’t know exactly what they write).

3. Just to protect yourself. I use my real name because my name isn’t the same as my children. This isn’t to say that anyone who already knows me hasn’t looked me up (despite my brother telling them not to bother and why) but all in all if I needed to disappear I could.

A decision based on your chosen genre.

I don’t actually know how to answer this one. Like I could say what I think but I believe my thoughts come from a place that isn’t all that pleasant and that’s not helpful at all. I have lots of opinion, plenty of them, really, more then I should have and I’m trying very hard not to spill them all over the place.

Genre switching.

 Another one of those times that it depends on what your switch is and what you feel yourself.

Okay I can’t actually think of an examples if you are writing adults novels, from romance or horror, straight or gay you can decided whether or not you want to write under a different name or the same. This I think works more on where you started, how big you are where you started, and what you’re hoping to gain by going somewhere else.

I know a lot of people who write mm romance and het romance under two different name.

Another could be because you are going from erotica or romance into writing children’s or YA this one will most definitely need a different pen name. Yes you can tell the original or anything like that but unless you’re really famous you kind of need to keep those two writing separate. Or even if you use the same name you need to create a completely separate you under each genre.

Can’t be corrupting the children now can we.

This is probably more important depending on the type of books you write. If for example you are writing hard-core erotica with all manners of kink included and on the other hand you want to start writing NA or YA that very lightly touches on sex then your names needs to change. The same if it’s not that dramatic and you write one type of romance with the erotic twist and one that fades to black, you don’t want people up in arms because they stumbled upon your other books and weren’t expecting or even like that.

I believe in pen names. I believe that everyone has the right to use them for any of the reasons. It’s your choice, yours alone to make and you can’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

It’s something you need to give lots of thought to because once you have a pen name that is your name. It is whom you are selling.

Word of caution: People can pretty attached to you as that pen name. They depend on it. Start demanding certain things from it.  So I believe it’s probably in your best interest to tell people it is a pen name especially if you’re asked, or more so when they asked don’t pretend that you are this person. At the end of the day if you’re honest they will respect you.

They don’t need to know what your real name is. They have no right to ask and if they do you tell them you choice to use a pen name for your own reason and that you can’t discuss it. Tell them to butt out. Chances are though that no one will ask or be pushy because they understand.

Pen name are you, you create them, build them up and become them and that’s all that matters and your readers will accept that. They just, in general, don’t like to be lied to or feel like fools because they believe you as you lied to their faces because at the end of the day that’s exactly how they will feel.  

And that’s it for me on the topic next time research, promise.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Authoring 101: Beta Readers

I’ve spoken of this briefly before, but I can’t teach you how to write your story. No one can really. Oh, yeah you can be taught certain things. Hell, I believe you can be taught the whole deal, and write awesome stuff with it. However I’m not someone who can teach you. So we’ll move on.

The basics are:

1.      You choose yourself a genre.

This may or may not be the first story you started writing. it wasn’t for me.  On the other hand it could very well be. I guess it really depend on what genre you’ve chosen and/or when you started writing. I did from a whim of “I can do this” but you might be the type of person who mulls these things over. Both ways are good.

2.      Then you write the story.

3.      You read it, tweak it, and read it again. You think it’s the best it could ever be. You believe this.

4.      NOW you get a beta reader, generally someone you trust who will tell you the truth (it also helps if they are readers or writers of the genre you’ve just written)

This is a big one. I didn’t do this with my first book and am living with that every day it’s out there. I hate that book now for the mistakes no one told me before I started reading the reviews.

It’s something i wish I’d done, wish I’d know someone who actually knew what they were doing, hell I wish a lot of things happened differently, but if they had I wouldn’t be where I am now.

The thing is, you need a beta reader because you will have missed something. You will have things that aren’t quite right, that don’t line up perfectly. You will have missing information, or muddled information. You will definitely make mistakes, there’s no doubt about it. You will get better, quickly, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be above mistakes in your first drafts.

What you are looking for is a beta reader.

You generally want to find these for free. I honestly don’t know why you’d need to pay someone to beta read your story, and you find you don’t have anyone that can beta for you, the go further up the ladder and get yourself a MS editor. As far as I can understand a manuscript editor looks for plot holes, tells you if you need scenes added or taken them out. Just anything that doesn’t make sense will be picked up by these editors.

A good beta reader should be able to get you passed this stage without coughing up a lot of money. They should tell you everything that’s wrong with it. They are also there to help. You can’t come into this career and not be able to take someone telling you what’s wrong.

The thing is if you don’t take their advice, if you don’t fix and change what others are telling you to change then they will tell you in reviews and it won’t be nicely said, depending on how bad those problem were. What you have to do is make your book as clean as you can get it, so that when the bad reviews come in you know everything in there was what you needed and/or wanted to say in the story.

It makes taking the criticism a lot easier when you know it’s the reader’s problems with the story and not the fact that you’ve missed a massive plot hole. I know, it’s happening with me before and I can tell you one thing when you read the reviews and you see what they’re seeing it’s a lot harder to deal with then if you know in your heart that there isn’t anything wrong..

So not only do you need someone else to read the story, you need to listen to them.

I’m not joking, you may feel what they are saying is harsh but what they’re really doing is telling you everything a reader is seeing, because let’s face it, the best beta readers are the ones that read. They are very smart people and generally speaking they know what they are reading. They also get very invested in stories, and know what’s missing and aren’t afraid to tell you.

I am a beta reader for one author always and for another a couple of times and I love doing it. What I’ve found is that it doesn’t take long for you to realise what you’ve getting wrong all the time and you fix them while writing, because you know you miss them. So it becomes something you don’t even think about anymore and you’re still not making the mistakes.

Why am I telling you this? I think sometimes we forget to mention this and it’s one of the best feelings, getting a story back and it not having as many comments. Not having the same red marks (so to speak) on your manuscript. It will happen and it will be awesome but first you need to deal with the same notes and marks and comments you need to fix.

How to find beta readers:

I suggestion you need to connect with groups on google+, yahoo, facebook, twitter, which ever you feel most comfortable with. Connect as a reader, as an inspiring author, join groups that are specific in beta reading if you wish, help out others, they will you too.

Which is something else. You need to help to be helped. You need to be friendly to get friendship. It’s something I’ll be speaking about in another post.

Here’s a quick tip, things will always work out better if you make connections in the genre you’re writing in. It’s one of those things, one of the new points in this world, your readers really can and do become your friends and it’s never too early to start making those connections.

Beta readers are a godsend. They are one of the best features. You will connect with them in a way you won’t with others, because if they are good to you they can be your confidants, they can help you in the writing stages and they can help you when you’re plotting if you choose them correctly.

You can never have too many betas but I suggest you don’t use them all at once. Do them in sweeps, choose some from the first read, then get the comments back, fix what needs fixing then send it to the next lot. That way you will get lot of feedback and it won’t be all on the same points. The reason I say this is because one-thing authors will say is that they always find mistakes, no matter how many times they clean and read and re-read it will get published and they will find something wrong.

And that’s all I have for this post, the next is researching I believe.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

All About Writing Wednesday

So last week I talked about how important reading was for me as a writer. Reading is where it all started for me. Reading led to writing reviews for a couple of the bigger review sites.

So what does Reviewing books have to do with Writing books?

1. Well, reviewing for as many years as I did was great writing practice. And practice is never a waste of time.

2. I just read a blurb for this book that was a mess. I won't name the book as everyone has their own opinion on things like this. Writing reviews definitely helped me write decent blurbs. If you're an author than you know how hard it sometimes can be. That one little paragraph can sometimes be the hardest part.

3. Reviewing definitely gave me an opportunity the read things that I might not have read. I definitely
have some most read authors that quickly jumped on my favorite list after I review their book. One of my all time favorite author's is Carol Lynne. I reviewed a Campus Cravings book, which had been the first time I had ever read anything by her. I bought that book and every single book she's ever written to date.

Visit Carol Lynne's website if you'd like to check out any of her books.

4. Free books. Duh. If you didn't know a lot of times a reviewer will get the books they review for free from the author or publisher. As an avid reader, reviewing really helped my pocketbook.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

New Pre-Design

cost is $30 flat fee, only slightly modifications, quote HEE0076 in an email to

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Authoring 101: Those Intimate Scenes

Hello, everyone I’m starting these posts because I have a bit of information in my head that I feel could help others. The thing is people don’t research the hell out of everything before they decide if it’s something they want to do. I, on the other hand, have and still do for the most part. So I decided its time for me to share that with anyone interested so that maybe you can feel like you’re not standing on water after you’ve submitted your first book.

I hope you enjoy and that they prove helpful. 

**Disclaimer: this post will make you uncomfortable, I run a fine line between fictional and real life in an example of...fiction and real life. Sex is the topic because sex is life.

I know this is a weird place to start as I can’t, in any way, give you advice on how to write. I don’t know that shit any more than the next person does. Yeah, some parts of it can be taught. Some need to be taught (I am one of those needing to be taught, honestly, I suck at the whole English Language bullshit and it’s my first language. You can probably tell just by my post how much I suck at it. So watch for that *wink*) but a lot of it’s about imagination, and an ability to convey your voice threw words, which is a talent not everyone has, unfortunately.

This post is also going to be the first one that is genre specifically because I believe it only really applies to this genre, and I’m not talking M/M I’m talking ALL romance.

One of the things I most often hear from authors I follow is that you shouldn’t read in the genre you’re writing in. And for the most part this makes sense, because in fiction you need a sense of being different. You’re most likely going to be noticed more if you’ve got something new and fresh.

In romance, yeah, we like new things, new plot and ideas, and that one thing. However, it is also very delicate in the way it handles ‘dirty’ things.

I’m talking sex here, and I know it’s a little middled and confusing because it’s not just about sex I’m talking about but also why you need to read romance to write romance. Only romance and sex are so entwined one can’t be helped linking to the other. Which is why I’m about to do that, to show you how hard it is to separate them. They blend, they build and they are romance.

Romance is sex and sex can be one of the most disgusting things on the planet and I say this with a shit-eating grin, the thing is you don’t notice it why you’re fucking. When sexing you’re in the moment, you’re getting your rocks off. Your partner suggests something and you’re lost. You generally just roll over and take it, ‘cause by that stage you want the same thing.

But when you are reading it? We don’t want that. Well, yes we do, but clean it up? Like having, “The sounds of pussy farts rose up around us” isn’t romantic, but it’s true. Only in romance we don’t want truth, we want romance. It’s not a 101 people!

In M/M romance, it’s one of the biggest things they fight about, male M/M romance writers complain that there isn’t any realism in female M/M author’s stories, like we don’t know what it’s like to take it up the arse? The only thing we don’t know is that spasm of pleasure you get by…oh wait, yeah we actually have that too. The only real difference is that with women we tend to lubricate ourselves which means most of the time (if our partner can get us hot enough, and or if we lubricate enough—some women need lube for vaginal sex. It ain’t a bad thing) which means a man can put his dick into your vagina and then into our arse (and that’s it. no switch back, ever!). Also, another difference would be the way our bodies take the invasion, as a female’s body is designed to change so much that we can birth a baby, which means the walls between our bowel and our vagina is quite thin and very flexible as the whole wall presses out to the other side as the baby passes.

And so I may have more feelings about this subject then I originally thought, and I do my research on everything.

Sorry. Got distracted.

The thing is you need to read up on romance, generally the type you yourself are writing and learn their basic lingo. This will tell you how you should approach certain aspects of your chosen genre.

There’s also the fact that in romance, predictability to an extent isn’t the worse thing in the world, hell some people will love you just for that. It helps I guess that it’s romance and, if it is labelled that, then the predictability is already there. You don’t give your readers a HFN (Happy For Now) or HEA (Happy Ever After) you will get ripped apart. It’s the reason they read romance for the knowledge that no matter how much crap the MC’s (Main Character’s) go through that they will find that ending for themselves.

A lot of the time a reader will tell you they want something new until it’s given to them, and then what they really wanted was more of the same, and how dare you try and put this [insert what you’ve done] in front of them and made them buy it.

And yes, at the end of the day, certain types of reader will blame you for making them buy your book. (It’s a small number but still) It’s your fault they didn’t read the blurb, it’s your fault they didn’t read the warnings. It's your fault this and that. It’s something you need to get used to asap or you won’t be able to handle what’s coming next.

So what’s the moral of my long winded twisted post? Listen to authors who tell you never to read in the genre you’re writing unless it’s romance. Though even when it romance, I believe you need to read as much and as widely as you can. However, you need to learn how to construct and talk romance, talk sex.

Here’s the thing, you can get as close to writing real sex as you can. Hell, you can record yourself having sex and write a scene word for word, sound for sound, and if you are brilliant people might overlook you talking about fanny farts, or you flicking that bit of shit off your cock before pounding back in. You can do all that and be brilliant and people may love you for that, but my guess is that they will probably only see those parts and comment on them because they are what made them uncomfortable.

Because, and here’s the real secret most romance authors won’t tell you, because, well, they might not see it, they might not feel it, but sex makes people uncomfortable. The western world is one of the worse for it. Sex is an uncomfortable topic; it’s why romances are called ‘mummy porn’ and generally hidden or they tell you what they’re reading with a blush. Because they know that you know they are reading about sex, and outside the house too! Such naughty boys and girls. So in order to get your book out there and accepted and loved. It needs to be hot while keeping it neat and tidy. To write it in a way that allows them to forget its sex while knowing it is… yeah I lost myself too.

So already by writing romance you are fighting something naughty, that we as a culture have been told should never go outside a bedroom, even though they talk about it like you’re having it next to them. It’s weird, we are adolesce in high school learning sex Ed. It’s all a joke, it’s all we can talk about, think about, but we don’t want you to know that. Yet we do, we crave the need for sex constantly. Which means now you need to allow me to not really connect it with real life, with what I know about sex what I have of sex. You need to not put in those things that make me uncomfortable while having sex. I don’t want to be reminded of my partner chuckles at me while my fanny farted, and yes, he wasn’t really laughing at you in a humiliating way, but you don’t hear the tone only the embarrassment.

You get the picture yet. If not I don’t think there’s any hope, just write it the way you want, but remember my words, you have to be aware of what you are putting out and be able to accept it when it starts to prove you right.

EDIT to help show you want i mean, from a book I'm editing at the moment 

A hot and wet thumb pushed against his anal muscles lightly before pulling away. (He heard another glob of spit coming out of his mouth). *

This is noy sexy. Lol I have a mental image of him hacking up a wad of snot. Haha! You should change this. = ) Maybe have the vamp force his thumb into Dem's mouth to wet it? That would be hot.

this is what I mean what i wrote is real. it's what would have happened. Hell you watch them do this in porn, and yet, the comment, the fact is it's not sexy it's not fantasy, and so it needs to be cleaned up, made something different from what's true. 

That’s it for me today, next time I’ll be talking about…something else.