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Guest post: Building Your Extreme Pantheon Characters by TJ Perkins

TJ PerkinsTonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of mythic characters, is brought to you by Y.A. fantasy, mystery novelist and interviewee TJ Perkins.

Building Your Extreme Pantheon Characters

Okay, so you’ve got this great fantasy with great Gods and Goddesses ruling, or maybe they’re hidden entities throughout your story slightly affecting the lives of your characters, but…what about them?  You can’t just say there’s this ocean God that sinks ships; you need to build on that entity’s powers, background, etc.  So, let’s break this down:

Celtic Gods & Goddesses:

Flidhais – Irish Goddess of wild things and she was a shape-shifter

Brigit – A Triple Goddess – a Fire Goddess, a Battle Goddess and a Goddess of Water.  Any body of water is a connection to Her.  Does she have a special sword?  Special Armor?  What other attributes does she have?

Morrighen – Goddess of War, battle and fury. She will appear in Her Battle Crow aspect so She does shape-shifting, too.

Manannan Mac Lir – Patron of sailor and merchants.  His famed possessions include the yellow shaft, the red javelin and horse called Splendid Mane, and three swards name Retaliator, Great Fury and Little Fury.  He had a suit of armor that made him invisible and has the gift of immortality.

Norse Gods & Goddesses:

Freya – Ruler of the Valkyries.  Has a cloak of falcon feathers and is pulled in her chariot by two large blue cats.

Aegir – God of the seashore and ocean.  Similar to Neptune and has power over sea serpents and water monsters of all kinds.

Hel – Goddess of the dead and underworld.

Loki – God of mischief, trickery and cunning.  A master magician and conjurer as well as a shape-shifter.

Odin – the prime deity who gave his right eye for all knowledge.  He possesses vast strength and will power.  He is followed by a pair of ravens or wolves, (do you know their names?) and rides upon an eight-legged horse name Slepnir who represents time itself.

Thor – God of thunder, possesses a mighty hammer named Mjolnir.  He is the working-man’s god and rewards hard work.

This is just a few I have named and I encourage all of you to do research and find out more about the Gods and Goddesses.  If you want a Goddess, Elemental or Sprite of a tree, body of water, mountain, etc. Google it – you’ll be surprised of what you find.  Or create your own pantheon and borrow bits and pieces of powers and abilities from other deities.

The point is to expand on what the seen and unseen deities in your story are all about, what do they do, what is their background, how do they feel about things, do the items they posses also represent something even deeper, etc.

That’s all for now, so get those creative juices flowing and happy writing.

Thank you, TJ. Great to have you back!

TJ will be back in January talking about villains. :)

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front cover smallAward-winning author TJ Perkins is a well-respected author in the mystery / suspense genre. Her writing style has been compared to that of Mildred Wirt Benson A.K.A. Carolyn Keen (Nancy Drew).  Mystery books for ages 8-14 are Mystery of the Attic, On Forbidden Ground, Wound Too Tight and the first 5 books in the Kim & Kelly Mystery Series.

TJ has recently expanded into the world of fantasy for teens. Publisher Silver Leaf Books has contracted to release Shadow Legacy, a 5-book series of fantasy.  The first installment of this new exciting series, Art of the Ninja: Earth, is an award-winner and has been classified by readers and reviewers as a cross-genre of fantasy / manga. TJ lives in Baltimore, MD with her 2 cats and an imagination that’s bursting at the seams.

You can read sample pages of TJ’s writing (www.authorsden.com/tjperkins), see the book trailer (www.silverleafbooks.com), check out TJ’s blog, follower her on Twitter, friend / like her on Facebook and find her books at GoodReads (all her books are available on Kindle, Nook, iPad – just look them up by TJ Perkins).

Wikipedia’s articles on Anime and Manga are also worth a visit (after TJ’s sites of course :)).

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If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please”.

The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with poet, short story author, scriptwriter and lyricist Ken Temple – the five hundred and seventy-ninth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

***

** NEW!! You can now subscribe to this blog on your Kindle / Kindle app!

See http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008E88JN0

or http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008E88JN0 for outside the UK **

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books (including my debut novel!) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers. If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating and choose an optional free eBook.

For writers / readers willing to give feedback and / or writers wanting feedback, take a look at this blog’s Feedback page.

As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do, and a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me posting it online in my new Red Pen Critique Sunday night posts, then do email me. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in childrens, ebooks, ideas, novels, tips, writing

 

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5am Flash: Indie Author Books – Children’s & YA

Having seen one of my interviewees Rosanne Dingli say on a LinkedIn thread: “someone should write a blog soon about all the wonderful indie books available by very capable writers”, I challenged them to give me a <15-word synopsis for their book(s)… they are accepting the challenge and their books are appearing here. What I’m after is your name (listed within each section alphabetically by first name), your website / blog address, book title, book link (where we can buy it), genre and summary in no more than 15 words (a test of your editing skills :)). You can email me these details for up to 5 of your books (please don’t paste them into this page’s comments section). My free and $0.99-$2.99 eBooks are detailed on the Books – mine page.

Fiction – children’s / Y.A.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Bob FreyGuide to Seldom Seen Animals (children’s picture book) – helps explain in humorous ways some of the curious things that happen in everyday life.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • C.V. SmithNettie Parker’s Backyard ((ages 9-13) multi-cultural historical-fiction) – magical African-American woman symbolizes tolerance caring for eight Holocaust children in war-torn London.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • E.R. YatscoffArchie’s Gold (juvenile fiction, mystery) – when shoeshine boy Archie finds stolen gold coins in his money tin, danger begins.
  • Out On A Limb (juvenile fiction, suspense) – two mischievous boys + Egghead, a mean old man + a tree house = trouble.
  • Ransom (juvenile fiction, suspense) – three friends face off against a larger gang in a suspenseful story of integrity, bravery, and friendship.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Erica MinerFourEver Friends (young adult) – in the 1960s four teenage girls bond over raging hormones and their love for music. Available in paperback..
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Felicia JohnsonShuck, shuck, shuck (children’s literature) – children learn creativity, sound recognition, and self-confidence at outdoor play as expressed by one character, Hania.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Fiona IngramThe Secret of the Sacred Scarab – adventure abounds when two boys find an ancient scarab on their first day in Egypt.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Fiona Veitch SmithDavid and the Hairy Beast (bible-based picture book) – can young David save the sheep from the Hairy Beast?
  • David and the Kingmaker (bible-based picture book) – will the Prophet Samuel find the next king of Israel?
  • Donovon’s Rainbow (chapter book for 6-8s) – can Donovon Dove outwit the evil Raven to save Noah’s Ark?
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Henry, Josh & Harrison HertsNimpentoad (children’s fantasy) – beautifully illustrated children’s fantasy that discourages bullying, and promotes teamwork, creativity, perseverance and teamwork (available from both websites).
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Jerry MullinaxEnoree (Young Adult fiction) – in 1950’s South, eight-year-old Jake secretly befriends Josiah, a black boy across the Enoree River.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Katherine L. HolmesThe House in Windward Leaves (middle grade fantasy) – the wayward Sadie leads her friends into an enchantment where their costumes become real.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Kathryn Elizabeth JonesA River of Stones (YA fiction) – the divorce of a young girl’s parents gives Samantha an opportunity to grow.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • K. S. BrooksPostcards from Mr. PishMr. Pish’s Woodland Adventure, and The Mighty Oak and Me (fun educational) – children’s picture books promoting outdoor learning and literacy.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Lesley FletcherAll I Want for Christmas is a Wishmas Tree – imagine the wistfulness and envy that children who do not celebrate Christmas feel as every street is filled with lights, seasonal music is playing and gifts being exchanged.Emphasis on inter-cultural traditions and family.
  • Hey Angel! – by envisioning this friendly and loving angel children can feel secure that ‘someone’ is always with them. They will soon learn that the someone is themselves.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Mary Ellen RyallMy Name is Butterfly (children’s illustrated book) – discover the world of Monarch butterflies about a young girl’s summer in her enchanted garden.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Mollie Carson-VollathTerrence O’Ferret (children’s illustrated non-fiction) – the story of how a girl discovered ferrets and got one for her very own.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Omoruyi UwuigiarenThe City Heroes and Other Stories from the Heart of Africa (children’s) – suitable for middle grade readers, the stories within the collection contain messages and themes about forgiveness, charity, redemption and loyalty all from a decidedly African perspective.
  • The Adventures of Nihu (children’s) – Nihu is sucked into a world inside of a stone, visits a powerful ruler in an underwater city, and makes friends with a group of refugees only a hero could love.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Nancy Di FabbioMidnight Magic – Be Careful What You Wish For! (juvenile fiction) – spooky thriller about a haunted painting, a phantom horse and the girl who loves him.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Nick OrsiniFingerless Gloves (young adult fiction/urban fiction) – Tonight will be the most difficult night in 25-year-old Anton Duchamp’s life.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Penny RossCave of Journeys (chapter book for 9 & over) – three friends journey back in time to discover legends and retrieve stories of Canadian history. Available in paperback and for the Kindle.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Roger MortimerEagles’ Revenge (children’s) – the Rat-Kind are plotting to wipe out the Mouse Kingdom of Carminel.
  • Eagle Warrior (children’s) – in the distant mouse kingdom of Carminel, a terrible civil war has broken out.
  • The Ruby of Carminel (children’s) – the island of Carminel lies in peril.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Samni GhaniThe shoe, the necklace and the Giant (children’s) – this is an adventure story about four children and their encounter with a Giant.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Sherrill S. CannonGimme-Jimmy (children’s picture book) – Jimmy is a bully whose favorite word is “Gimme”, and who has to learn to share.
  • The Magic Word (children’s picture book) – Elisabeth needs to learn The Magic Word “please”, and to use it every day.
  • Peter and the Whimper-Whineys (children’s picture book) – Peter and the Whimper-Whineys helps parents cope with whining in a fun way.
  • Santa’s Birthday Gift (children’s picture book) – after reading a story of the nativity to a grandchild, she asked “But where’s Santa?”.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • SL Dwyer (and blog): Dirt (YA & adults, available on Amazon and Smashwords) – it’s 1933 and newly-orphaned Sammy begins to live a lie and all its consequences.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Stacy JubaDark Before Dawn (Young Adult paranormal) – ESP spells D-A-N-G-E-R when a teen psychic takes secret classes from the local fortuneteller.
  • Face-Off (Young Adult (Sports)) – teenage twin brothers, stars of the high school hockey team, compete on and off the ice.
  • Teddy Bear Town Children’s E-book Bundle (children’s picture book) – three picture books featuring teddy bears: The Flag Keeper, Sticker Shoes, and Victoria Rose and the Big Bad Noise.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Susan BrockerThe Wolf in the Wardrobe (middle grade fiction (ages 9-13)) – a boy rescues a wolf from a circus and keeps her as his pet.
  • Dreams of Warriors (middle grade fiction (ages 9-13)) – a teenage girl battles to save the family farm while her father is away at war.
  • Saving Sam (middle grade fiction (ages 9-13)) – a troubled boy and a damaged dog team up to save Sam.
  • Restless Spirit (middle grade fiction (ages 9-13)) – two teenagers attempt to free a captured wild Kaimanawa stallion.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • TJ PerkinsWound Too Tight (YA: 8-14) – cursed treasure, an enchanted watch, an evil spirit wants it back – run if you can! (available in various formats)
  • Mystery of the Attic (YA: 8-14) – Melissa needs to solve an ancient murder, but the evil ghost wants to stop her. (available in various formats)
  • On Forbidden Ground (sequel to Mystery of the Attic) (YA: 8-14) – Melissa is lured back to the old house to face her greatest fear alone! (available in various formats)
  • Fantasies are Murder (Book 1 in the Kim & Kelly Mystery Series) (YA: 8-14) – teen detectives risk becoming the next victims at a mystery weekend resort. (available in various formats)
  • Art of the Ninja: Earth (Teen) – Duncan needs to master the raging mysterious force within before he is destroyed. (available in various formats)
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here
  • Vincent MiskellDreaming Thomas: A Fairy Tale (illustrated children’s story) – daydreaming gets Thomas into trouble, but might just win him a princess and a kingdom.
  • you could have your children’s / YA book listed here

Click here for Fiction – novels & novellas

Click here for Fiction – poetry

Click here for Fiction – script

Click here for Fiction – short stories (includes flash fiction)

Click here for Non-fiction

So what I’m after is your name (listed above alphabetically by first name), your website / blog address, book title, book link (where we can buy it), genre and summary in no more than 15 words (a test of your editing skills :)). You can email me these details for up to 5 of your books (please don’t paste them into this page’s comments section). My eBooks including free short stories are detailed on the Books – mine page.

Please note: the chances are that I’ve not read the books listed on this page (much as I would like to have done) so these are therefore not personal recommendations but are, in the main, by authors who I have chatted to, interviewed or got to know… even just a little bit. :) Kindle Fiction on Twitter recommends a variety of eBooks and if you’ve read any eBooks you’d like to recommend then you can email suggestions to kindlesrp@gmail.com.

** NEW!! You can now subscribe to this blog on your Kindle / Kindle app!

See http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008E88JN0

or http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008E88JN0 for outside the UK **

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books (including my debut novel!) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) :) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

 

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Guest post: ‘Magick and Lore in writing your next novel’ by TJ Perkins

Tonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of magick and lore, is brought to you by Y.A. fantasy, mystery novelist and former interviewee TJ Perkins. You can also read TJ’s previous guest posts here and here.

Using the magick and lore of the Celtic / Norse gods / goddesses in writing your next novel

Mythology is a symbolic way of looking at the world.  Myths use storytelling to put form to the unseen, so that the human mind can expand and begin to know the unknowable.  This type of mythology operates on a different plane from that of science, history, or even fiction.  A culture’s mythology is its pathway into the mysteries.  They use symbolic language to trigger our deepest levels of connection with existence.

The same myth can operate at different levels and can be interpreted in a variety of ways – all of which may be true, all at the same time.  The meaning of a myth is not literal, not history, but is poetry.

  • It’s not the original plot of the story that’s the important part, but the essence of the character which aligns the use of bits and pieces from lore and myths and rewrites it, expands it, alters it and changes it.
  • As you write about your characters you are actually making them more real, bringing them to life and offering them individuality.
  • Think of your self as a creator and you are molding these characters, breathing life into them and making them act out a life that you have put together for them.

When you begin to create your characters ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where do the deities live – the Astral? – the Otherworld? – or do you have a place you’ve created?
  • Do they have laws?
  • How would the character react?
  • What is their true voice?  (Aggressive, haughty, shy, meek, etc.)
  • What is their true nature?
  • Do they even like each other?
  • Is there drama between many of them?
  • Is there past history that creates drama and affects how they act, how they speak, how they interact with each other and Earth characters?
  • Do different Gods and Goddesses have different degrees of power or ability?
  • Does morality vary among the deities just as it does among humans?
  • Is it true that no one deity is purely good or purely evil?

Keep in mind that the Gods and Goddesses personify forces within nature:

  • Brigit – fire
  • Manannan – the ocean
  • Anu – the air
  • Arawn – the earth
  • Artio – wildlife
  • Nechtan – water

Maybe there is conflict in what people in your story believe:

  • The Gods and Goddesses are symbolic rather than ‘real’
  • The Gods and Goddesses were originally humans whose extraordinary deeds came to be regarded as divine.

This is only the tip of what’s available to you, but hopefully it’ll be enough to get those creative juices flowing.  Think hard on what type of storyline you’re trying to build, what message you want to get across to the reader, and how best do you want to entertain them.

NEWS:  TJ Perkins will be conducting a full blown Workshop on this subject at Balticon May 26 & 27 at the Hunt Valley Marriott, Hunt Valley, Maryland USA.  She will be accompanied by award-winning author Maria Snyder.  Seating is limited so sign up early. They hope to see you there. :)

Thank you, TJ. Great to have you back!

Award-winning author TJ Perkins is a gifted and well-respected author in the mystery/suspense genre. Her writing style has been compared to that of Mildred Wirt Benson A.K.A. Carolyn Keen (Nancy Drew).  Mystery books for ages 8-14 are Mystery of the Attic, On Forbidden Ground, Wound Too Tight and the first 5 books in the Kim & Kelly Mystery Series. TJ has recently expanded into the world of fantasy for teens. Publisher Silver Leaf Books has contracted to release Shadow Legacy, a 5-book series of fantasy.  The first installment of this new exciting series, Art of the Ninja: Earth, is an award-winner and has been classified by readers and reviewers as a cross-genre of fantasy/manga. TJ lives in Baltimore, MD with her 2 cats and an imagination that’s bursting at the seams.

You can read sample pages of TJ’s writing (www.authorsden.com/tjperkins), see the book trailer (www.silverleafbooks.com), check out TJ’s blog, follower her on Twitter, friend / like her on Facebook and find her books at GoodReads (all her books are available on Kindle, Nook, iPad – just look them up by TJ Perkins).

Wikipedia’s articles on Anime and Manga are also worth a visit (after TJ’s sites of course :)).

If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please”.

The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with historical non-fiction author Delin Colón – the three hundred and thirty-sixth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at Smashwords, Sony Reader Store, Barnes & Noble, iTunes Bookstore and Kobo. My eBooks are also now on Amazon, with more to follow. I also have a quirky second-person viewpoint story in charity anthology Telling Tales.

I have a new forum at http://morgenbailey.freeforums.org and you can follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s ‘Contact me’ page or plain and simple, email me.

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in ebooks, events, novels, Twitter, writing

 

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Guest post: ‘How to overcome the publishing nightmare’ by T J Perkins

Tonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of self-publishing is brought to you by YA / fantasy / mystery author TJ Perkins.

How to Overcome The Publishing Nightmare

My very first book, Wound Too Tight, was accepted by a publisher in 2001, and I was so excited.  It wasn’t until the book came out and I tried to set up book signings and appearances in places like Barnes & Noble that I learned my publisher was a POD publisher.  I had no idea what that was, or why it made my book undesirable to stores.

I’m sure many of you have heard the horror stories concerning Vanity and POD publishing and I’m here to tell you how to fix the mistake:

  • POD – Print On Demand – means we only print the amount of books you want, they’re not returnable, if they don’t sell once in your store, tough, we don’t want them back.  This is why big stores like B&N or Books A Million, etc. will not buy nor carry POD books.
  • The only way around this is to contact Independent Booksellers.  These are little bookstores run by small business owners.  Try popping into the local stores, bring copies of your book, and flyers.
  • Tell the store owners about your book and see if they’ll be willing to have you in for a signing.  Mainly these stores will want you to do consignment.  This means that you’ll have to buy your own books from the POD publisher at whatever discount they offer, and then hand carry them to the store.  Depending on how many books you sell at your signings will also depend on how much of a profit you received from the bookstore.
  • It may be a good idea to ask the store owner if you could have a few copies of your book up for display, like on an end-unit, with a colored poster and / or flyer announcing your upcoming visit.  This is a good way to build excitement, interest, and sales.
  • Try doing a pre-order give-a-way.  Whomever is the 10th pre-order customer gets something really cool.
  • Getting bookmarkers made at a small local printing company is great.  They’re usually the cheapest and offer great service.
  • Find business cards that come with a template that you can upload to your computer and make your own!  You should be able to find these at any office supply store.
  • Start making phone calls or stopping in to stores, talk to the managers and set up signings months in advance.  Remember, if you have a signing at a store in the spring, go ahead and reschedule to come back in the fall.  Your biggest sales will be from the time school starts until the weekend before Christmas.  Most stores don’t do anything Jan, Feb or March.  Sales will then begin again around April.
  • During the slow months of Jan-March you could contact schools, libraries, colleges or universities and give talks.  You do get paid for these.
  • Another good attack plan is to go to as many book fairs as possible.  Once again, buying you own books and taking them with you to your table.  You will be in charge of your own sales, so make sure you start off with enough change, a calculator and a safe place to keep your proceeds.
    • Make sure you have a tablecloth that will fit your book’s theme.  A slab of material from the local fabric store works great.
    • Bring flyers with information about your book, how to order, a list of stores where it’s carried, your website information, etc.
    • Keep business cards and bookmarkers handy to give away.
    • You could also have a bowl of candy.
    • You could raffle off a book.  Get the raffle tickets from a local party store.
    • Coffee shop signings are starting to become popular.  Talk to the owner or manager and see what they will allow.  Be sure to put out stacks of announcements that are business card size.

Also keep in mind that many B&N have special local author events and Educator Appreciation Nights.  These are perfect events to get your foot in the door.

Keep in mind that these are all suggestions for authors that have gotten their book in print as a paperback or hard back – not an ebook.  Sales and drawing attention to an ebook is a whole different animal that we can discuss next time. Until then, happy writing, happy sales!

That was great, thank you so much TJ! Being a car boot sale queen, I’d add carrier bags to the list… especially if you can get cheap ones with your book on the front. As an eBook author I’m already looking forward to ‘next time’. :)

TJ Perkins is a gifted and well-respected author in the mystery / suspense genre.  A member of the Maryland Writer’s Association and Sisters In Crime, her short stories for young readers have appeared in the Ohio State 6th Grade Proficiency Test Preparation Book, Kid’s Highway Magazine, and Webzine ‘New Works Review,’ just to name a few. She’s placed four times in the CNW/FFWA chapter book competition.  Her short story of light horror for tweens, The Midnight Watch, was publication Oct 2007 by Demon Minds Magazine.  Her self-publishing achievements are being greatly recognized and TJ is also conducting speaking engagements at colleges and libraries, offering advice to others.  TJ is published by GumShoe Press and Silver Leaf Books.  Mystery of the Attic was made into a play by the Café Theater in NJ, Oct. 2005.

You can find out more about TJ and her writing at: www.authorsden.com/tjperkins, http://tj-perkins.blogspot.com, www.silverleafbooks.com, Shadow Legacy Art of the Ninja: Earth (fantasy for teens), and Mystery of the Attic and other books by TJ (also available through amazon UK, Germany, France, etc.). Also follow TJ on Facebook and Twitter and you can read her first guest blog and our interview.

If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please” (while quietly bouncing up and down in my seat with joy!).

The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with novelist and short story author SS Michaels – the two hundred and sixty-first of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at Smashwords.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in childrens, ebooks, Facebook, novels, tips, Twitter, writing

 

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Guest post: ‘Writing manga’ by fantasy / manga author TJ Perkins

I’m delighted to bring you this guest blog post, today on the topic of animé / manga, by TJ Perkins.

‘Writing manga’

I’ve always loved anime and manga and when I created the Shadow Legacy series I had no idea that, within the folds of the fantasy I wrote, I incorporated a story that reads much like a manga.  So, what is manga?

Manga is a Japanese style of comic book that is presented in a smaller format and with distinct styles of drawing. It is typically distinguished by long, lean characters with large eyes and dramatic hair and other exaggerated features.  Manga is a form of comic all its own, with different conventions and rules than regular American comics.  If you’ve ever browsed the anima section you’ve most likely noticed those thick books, with comics inside, and most are read from back to front.

How should you start a manga?  Like any good story you have to develop your characters, the protagonist and antagonist, their world, and figure out what makes them tick.  What is the plot?  What is the crisis?  Is there a quest? And so on.  This must come first.  Once you’ve developed this important step it’s then time to surge ahead.

Writing manga is more like setting up a comic book.  Once you have your story outlined you’ll have to break it up into sections.  These sections should be broken down in a page-by-page status and go with your dialogue.  Write out the general plot and dialogue for each section.  Keep it simple.  Manga is much more streamlined than prose, and boxes are much smaller than traditional comics.  Brevity is key.  Dialogue should be natural but simple, and the action and expression of the characters should carry the weight of the story.  If you’re an excellent artists and a great storyteller then you won’t have to share your work with an artist.  But if you can only tell a good story you’ll have to find an artist.

Manga is more difficult to write than a novel or short story.  You have to get your idea, thoughts, feelings, emotions and action across within a matter of a few cells – just like a comic book.  How do you do that?  Stay in the moment, one page at a time.  Writing manga is a lot like writing a play or film script because you’re writing according to images.  You’re exploring the characters with their dialogue and using that dialogue to move the story along.  You are writing for pictures so take care not to make your story ‘too talky.’  You’re words have to actually make your pictures come alive.

To tell you how to write would be like someone trying to tell you how to walk.  You can do it – one step at a time.  Let that story flow and match it to your artwork.

Good luck and get your manga on!

Morgen: I love that, thank you TJ.

Award-winning author TJ Perkins is a gifted and well-respected author in the mystery/suspense genre. Her writing style has been compared to that of Mildred Wirt Benson A.K.A. Carolyn Keen (Nancy Drew).  Mystery books for ages 8-14 are Mystery of the Attic, On Forbidden Ground, Wound Too Tight and the first 5 books in the Kim & Kelly Mystery Series. TJ has recently expanded into the world of fantasy for teens. Publisher Silver Leaf Books has contracted to release Shadow Legacy, a 5-book series of fantasy.  The first installment of this new exciting series, Art of the Ninja: Earth, is an award-winner and has been classified by readers and reviewers as a cross-genre of fantasy/manga. TJ lives in Baltimore, MD with her 2 cats and an imagination that’s bursting at the seams.

You can read sample pages of TJ’s writing (www.authorsden.com/tjperkins), see the book trailer (www.silverleafbooks.com), check out TJ’s blog, follower her on Twitter, friend / like her on Facebook and find her books at GoodReads (all her books are available on Kindle, Nook, iPad – just look them up by TJ Perkins).

Wikipedia’s articles on Anime and Manga are also worth a visit (after TJ’s sites of course :)).

If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me at morgen@morgenbailey.com with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please” (while quietly bouncing up and down in my seat with joy!).

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2011 in ebooks, ideas, novels, recommendations, tips, Twitter, writing

 

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