I keep saying yes

I once heard someone say, “My dance card is full.” I understood what they really meant was that they were overbooked, had too much to do, maybe had said yes one too many times.

There was a time when I lived by the creed that you could never have too many invitations to dance. If too many people asked, just bring ‘em ALL out on the dance floor! In my younger years, when I wore shiny silver platform shoes and dance shorts under my dresses for those times when I was flung over someone’s head, a good disco evening was when most of it was spent under the glitter ball, leaving your sweat on the multicolored floor of flashing lights. Continue reading

Two big things

First, a whole bunch of the Lei Crime Kindle World authors got together for a Valentine’s Day Facebook hop. Some lucky person is going to win a $170.00 Amazon gift card. You don’t want to miss this contest.

The sweet part, aside from thlei-crime-valentinese fat gift card, is that each Facebook post features a unique Hawaiian recipe –Get it? The sweet part? Since most of the Lei Crime stories take place in Hawaii, the recipes get you closer to the world. I want to try them all. Hawaiian king bread, Kalua pork and cabbage, Hawaiian pineapple Cake… So many yummy and fairly easy ideas to bring to the table.

All you have to do is visit some Facebook pages, leave comments and move onto the next one. Lots of us are playing. You can start on my page (www.facebook.com/mldoyleauthor) and go get familiar with other authors who write in the Lei Crime world. It’s a talented bunch who write mystery, romance, fantasy and much more.

The second big thing is the Association of Writer’s and Writing Programs (AWP) is this weekend. I’m so excited to be going back again this  year. I will be on a panel alongside some amazing veteran writers. I went to AWP for the first time last year and the experience had a lasting impact. I wrote about it when I got home and now I can’t wait to see some of the friends I made. Here’s a description of the panel I will be on. It would be great fun to see you there!

Friday, February 10, 2017

9:00 am to 10:15 am

Marquis Salon 6, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Two

F110. The Middle Americans: How Flyover Country Responds to War. (, , , , ) By various measures, rural Americans are more likely to enlist in the US armed forces. Despite isolation from traditional centers of publishing and military power, voices with Midwestern roots have sprung forth like dragon’s teeth to deliver clear-eyed, plainspoken views of war, service, and sacrifice. The civilians and veterans of this stereotype-busting panel of published writers offer their insights regarding themes, trends, and markets in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

 

Finding my people

Turning PointTurning Point; noun : a time at which a decisive change in a situation occurs, especially one with beneficial results.

The timing of a series of recent events has led me to believe I’ve reached a turning point which could, if I am able to allow it, result in some much needed change. These events have at least led me to some self-reflection—an activity I usually avoid at all costs—and a realization that I am, in fact, heading in the right direction, no matter that it took me forever to figure this out.

First, there was AWP. I’d been nervous as hell about sitting on a panel at the Association of Writer’s and Writing Programs convention. Who was I to talk about women veteran writers at such an event? How could I possibly afford to go to this massive convention in L.A? And who would want to hear a word I had to say? AWP is one of the largest writing conventions in the world, filled with every literary heavy hitter you can name. It’s like the Olympics of writers and I was making my first showing as a no-name player from the farm team.

I almost didn’t go.

After gathering up the nerve, I finally asked BriGette McCoy and her Women Veteran Social Justice Network for help, WVSJ kicked in to assist in financing my trip and I couldn’t be more grateful to her and her efforts. She’s one tireless woman who isn’t afraid to put her boxing gloves on to go to battle for what women veterans need and deserve. I admire her so much. She came through with some financial support at a time when I almost canceled attending AWP because of the cost. I cannot thank her enough.

And that gratitude is mostly because I’m pretty sure attending AWP has done the one thing that I really needed to do on this writing journey.

I found my people. Continue reading

Amazon’s review dilemma

deleteAmazon has decided to start deleting reviews they consider fake. What possible criteria could they use to do this?

Like many independently published authors, when I finish a writing a book, I send it to a group of beta readers to get their feedback. Once the book is published, after several rewrites and line edits and the like, I’ll send it to several more people to request honest feedback and an honest review. I’ve never paid anyone a single penny for a review. At most, like giving a gift to a friend, I’ve given titles away.

I have gifted books to people and received no reviews in exchange. I can only assume those folks either didn’t think the book was worth a review or simply didn’t like it. Rather than give me a bad review, they didn’t review it at all. Continue reading

Baltimore Book Festival 2014

What a weekend! The Baltimore Book Festival was a bit overwhelming and a lot exhausting. As crazy as it was to get past the massive crowds and find a place to park, it was amazing to see so many talented authors of every genre imaginable all in one place. I loved the opportunity to meet and talk to other writers about their experiences, but by far, the best part of the weekend was the opportunity to meet and talk to readers. What a joy it is to watch a stranger purchase your work–people who don’t know me as a person let alone as a writer. People who don’t know the books and yet, they still take a chance and buy the work. It’s an amazing feeling.

I’ll write more about the experience soon. Until then, here’s a little gallery of photos from the event.

How Much Is It Worth?

MoneyI recently heard high praise for a book by a new author and immediately went online to purchase the ebook. When I saw the price however, I was shocked. $12.99 for an ebook?!  The Bird Box by Josh Malerman, and published by HarperCollins, was so highly praised, I thought it was bound to be great. But that price completely turned me off. The pub
lisher wisely dropped the price after only a week, to $9.99 and even though I felt that was still a high price for an ebook, I went ahead and bought it. After reading it, I wish I’d waited a bit longer.

The experience led me to ask, what’s a book worth?

Continue reading

Writers Conference

A couple of years ago, I attend the Maryland Writers Association Conference and had a fantastic time. It was only a one day thing, but from beginning to end, it was simply a blast. I spent the entire day listening to people talk about how they write, why they write. I listened to panelists talk about what it takes to publish, what agents are looking for. I ate lunch with people just like me, who had written something but didn’t know if it was any good, didn’t know if they should even try to get it published. I learned I wasn’t alone in this strange world of writing.

Since living overseas, it’s been impossible for me to attend anything like that again. And since I now have an agent, I wasn’t sure what good would come of going to one. I’ll be moving back to the states in early October so I decided I needed to jump back into some writing networking. I’ve just signed up for a conference, this one three days long and sort of intimidating. There are tons of agents and publishers registered to attend. One of them is an editor I am working with on a non-fiction book. I want her to buy my fiction and I figured this would be a good way to finally meet her in person and try to get her to take another look at the stuff I REALLY like to write.

The conference is also holding a little contest and I’m submitting my book, “the Lethal Frame” in the novel category. I don’t think I’ll win anything, but my thinking is it wouldn’t hurt to enter since the judges will talk about what they’ve read. The contest calls for the submission of 4,000 words and since they don’t have a separate mystery category more then likely something very literary will win. Still, I figure it’s always good to have industry professional s reading your work. They will talk amongst themselves and who knows, maybe someone who knows someone, knows someone else who is looking for exactly the kind of thing I’ve written.

I added a link to the conference site here. The 18th Annual South Carolina Writers Workshop Conference is happening Oct. 24 through the 26th in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. If nothing else, the beachside time will be great. I’ll just be getting back to the US then after a year and a half in Asia. I think it will be a great way to get back into the writing world. I can hardly wait!
Hopefully I’ll see you there…