The Top 4 Ways to Hone Your Writing

Author Dale E. LehmanGuest Post
by Dale E. Lehman

Are you satisfied with your writing? If so, something’s wrong. After all, who writes to perfection? If our writing is to grow, we must constantly hone our craft. In what follows, I’ll share four secrets essential to improvement; key practices I’ve learned through decades of experience.

Let’s begin with that tired cliché about writing being a solitary business. If you’re like me, you spent years writing privately and sharing with nobody. You liked what you wrote. Sometimes you amazed yourself with a character or a turn of phrase or even an entire story. Sure. It’s easy to amaze ourselves. Amazing others? Not so much. Continue reading “The Top 4 Ways to Hone Your Writing”

My Experience as Featured Speaker at Indie Author Day 2016

logo-IndieAuthorDay-300pxGuest Post
by Debbi Mack

When I was invited to be the featured speaker on last year’s Indie Author Day at the Washington County Free Library in Hagerstown, Maryland, I was both honored and surprised. Me, a featured speaker? What had I done lately that merited that designation? While it is true that my first novel made the New York Times eBook bestseller list in 2011, it felt like forever since I’d enjoyed anything like that sort of “success,” at least in the traditional sense of that word.

However, I really wanted to do this event. As one trained in library science and a “frequent flyer” (borrowing-wise) at my own public library, I’m a huge supporter of libraries and books, in general. Continue reading “My Experience as Featured Speaker at Indie Author Day 2016”

Writing and Teeth: Should Your Characters Have Bad Teeth?

writing about bad teeth technology-1417065_960_720Guest Post
by Ben Steele

It’s one of those tiny details that trips authors up a lot. How much do you focus on the teeth of your characters? Do you gloss over it? If it’s a romance, do they need Hollywood teeth? Or does everyone of low class look like the meth addicts from Orange Is the New Black?

Many people think in linear terms: the further in the past characters are set, the worse their teeth are. But this may not be a reliable rule of thumb if you’re looking to splash a little bit of historical accuracy into your characters’ faces. But it’s not just about historical accuracy. Thinking about teeth can be one of those little details that speak volumes about your narrative, the technology and tone of your world.

So, how does that impact what you’re writing? Does it mean that the characters in a long-ago era would all have bad teeth? Would it be regional? Sociological? And, what about Austin Powers? The answer is a little more complicated than you might think. Let’s look at history a bit to get a better understanding. Continue reading “Writing and Teeth: Should Your Characters Have Bad Teeth?”

Make Your Library Your Publicist

library arches-1853367_960_720Guest Post
by Jacob M. Appel

The American Library Association’s “Declaration for the Right to Libraries” describes libraries as “the great equalizer,” institutions that provide access to knowledge for any person — of any age, background, class or creed — endowed with intellectual curiosity. Libraries are among the only places on earth that truly welcome everyone. As a lifelong public library fanatic — I have visited nearly one thousand in forty-nine states — I certainly appreciate the joy of walking into a two-room Carnegie library in an unfamiliar town or a sleepy branch library in an alien metropolis and suddenly feeling at home. But for small press authors, public libraries serve as equalizers of a different sort too. In an era when the “Big Five” publishers dominate the literary marketplace, rendering a book review in a major newspaper or even shelf space at Barnes & Noble a pipe dream for many talented authors, the local public library offers a welcome opportunity for partnership. Continue reading “Make Your Library Your Publicist”