#Research #ownvoices Author How-To: Researching your Novel – My Experience and a Few Words of Advice

Have a seat. We need to talk.

First things first, I’m a retired English teacher (for medical reasons… I’m not really that old). Moreover, I’m a retired college English instructor, hence the pennant, who taught research writing.  (clears her throat) Now that I’ve established myself as a reasonable authority on the subject of research, let’s talk about doing research for your novel.

NOTE: If you’re a student looking for help honing your research skills, please go elsewhere. Run. This information is geared for authors of fiction, not student researchers.

Wait, what? Oh, what do I know about novel writing? I’m the author of seven novels, six Sci-Fi and one Contemporary Fantasy, so I have a little experience in that regard as well.

I didn’t say the above out of some sense of one-upmanship. I’m merely stating fact. I know what I’m talking about when I tell you about researching for your novel, meaning I employ many of the same tactics research writers use.

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#CleaningHouseNovel Blog Tour 8/12 – 8/14

I hate to say this, but the Cleaning House blog tour is drawing toward its end.

Here’s a slew of posts, character info, and other material for Cleaning House including #Rainbowsnippets, #WIPpet Wednesdays, Character Profiles, and #1LineWednesday posts.

And here’s Cleaning House Chapter One in PDF format.

Oh, and here’s the Cleaning House YouTube Playlist – a chapter-by-chapter musical journey through the novel.

Amazon: Ebook  Print

Barnes and Noble: Ebook   Print

Kobo: Ebook

Overwhelmed yet? I know I am.  And tired. The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity.

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BLOG TOUR UPDATE

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#CleaningHouseNovel #RainbowSnippets Fifty-Nine 8/11: New Worries

Welcome to this week’s installment of Rainbowsnippets*! This one is uniquely mine, but there are lots of other great snippets to read, so after you finish here click the FB link at the bottom of the post to discover other great LGBTQIA authors and their works.

I’m sharing again from Cleaning House. The novel is an Appalachian-set Contemporary/ Paranormal Fantasy where the past and the present are blended with a healthy dose of granny magic. The mountains are alive, and a little moonshine can cure what ails you.

I’m in the midst of a two-week blog tour and will be dropping in at other sites during the next six weeks. Oh, and I’ll also be appearing on the BiCast later this month.  More details on that soon, but I’m looking forward to it! Make certain you listen in because the BiCast is awesome on its own, but you’ll also get my quirky Appalachian dialect, the one that even well-educated Appalachian natives are capable of, like it or not.

The Setup: Cent’s and Betty are at the bodega now, and Cent’s seen something wedged into the gate above the lock. (Note: The section in yellow comes from last week’s snippet.)

     She swatted Betty’s hand away and held the paper up to see it in the streetlight. “Damn.” Continue reading

#CleaningHouseNovel Fantasy Novel Foods and Foods in Cleaning House – A Comparison

Have you ever noticed how novels in the Fantasy genre normally have a wealth of food in them? I have, and I’m not the only one who has. A quick Google search gave me the following:

 

Thinking About Food in Fantasy

Why do Fantasy Novels Have so Much Food?

Food in Fantasy

The Big Book of Fantasy Food Descriptions

I gleaned all four of the above from the first page of my Google search results. Interesting. I read about spiced cakes, cucumber sandwiches, specially prepared eels, dried meats, fancy candied and preserved fruits… all your typical Fantasy novel feasts and… Wait. No.

Okay, there are a few cool Fantasy-novel-based recipes out there. Harry Potter’s butterbeer comes immediately to mind, but most Fantasy genre foods… seriously, who eats that stuff? And at the gut-busting volume Fantasy characters seem to? I guess if you’re rich or attending a fancy medieval court-style dinner… perhaps.

None of that appears in Cleaning House.

Not. One. Bit.

Cleaning House falls into the Contemporary Fantasy genre so the food isn’t just contemporary, it’s familiar, especially if you’re from the Southern United States. It’s poor people food. It’s often homegrown, home-canned, homemade.

And there’s junk food in there too.

But it’s more…

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#CleaningHouseNovel #1lineWed Celebrate

Here’s another short-‘n-sweet #1lineWed post. The theme is celebrate. This will also be my last #1lineWed from Cleaning House since it was released on 8/1.

“This is the southern border of our realm. It is where I learned that suffering is part of existence. Cold heat. The fire of renewal. Without suffering there would be nothing to celebrate.” Stowne’s declaration hung in the air as fog, becoming ice that fell at their feet.

#amwriting #WIP #1lineWed

Cleaning House: Meet the Characters – The Master Collage and its Purpose

If you follow this blog, you know I shared character collages for my new novel, Cleaning House, for an entire month before the release. Why have I gone to all this work? Several reasons, actually, and here they are in no particular order.

  • Artistic expression – drawing is difficult for me these days because of my hand tremors, so collages are a simple and effective means of expressing myself.
  • Character collages give me think time.
  • They help me get to know characters better.
  • Collages help me visualize, therefore helping me with description.
  • They’re fun.
  • Collages give me another method of sharing my character creations with my readers.

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Author How-To: Cover Development – How this Author Designs her Covers

Here’s the thing about book covers… I’ve seen some good ones and a lot of really, really bad ones. We all have, but I’ll not put any one cover on the spot. You know who you are.

I had absolutely no input on my first novel series of four titles, but that’s fairly standard in the publishing industry. However, I’m now working with small publishers, and I have much more control… a lot more than I expected. I take ownership over my last three covers and the upcoming one shown below. They’re not perfect, but they’re mine, and you can see my learning curve displayed on each one. Oh, and there’s a bit of a peek at the next novel in the Appalachian Elementals series – Keeping House won’t be released until next year, but its cover is almost complete.

Surrogate (published March 2017 print and ebook)

This is a secondary cover created in May 2017 because cover one was my first attempt at cover design, and I was floored that the publisher not only accepted but paid me for it.

 

 

 

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#CleaningHouseNovel Blog Tour 8/5 – 8/12

I’ve got new reviews to share for Cleaning House, wonderful reviews at that!

“I liked the diversity of the characters and exploration of sexuality, gender, and multiple lives. The world building is very detailed as it not only explores the characters and their present, but their past through flashbacks which felt very real for the time period in which they were set. The magic system is well thought out, and I liked that there were consequences for decisions made in the past.” – Anne Barwell (Drops of Ink)

“While this story is full of beautiful, wonderful queerness in all its glory, it isn’t limited to that. It’s also about taking care of each other and the earth; it’s about coming home; it’s about family of origin and chosen family; and it’s about standing up against the forces of destruction all around us. This is a book for anyone who is looking for love and beauty amidst all the ugliness and cruelty our modern world so often displays.” – Author A.M. Leibowitz 

“I became wholly vested in the author’s well-rounded characters and the places she  (the author) depicted in the Appalachian area. If you love a well-written book with diverse characters and themes that will thrill this is the book for you. I wholly recommend this book.” – Anna K. Goodreads

And here’s a slew of posts, character info, and other material for Cleaning House including #Rainbowsnippets, #WIPpet Wednesdays, Character Profiles, and #1LineWednesday posts.

And here’s Cleaning House Chapter One in PDF format.

Oh, and here’s the Cleaning House YouTube Playlist – a chapter-by-chapter musical journey through the novel.

Amazon: Ebook  Print   Barnes and Noble: Ebook   Print   Kobo: Ebook

Whew! (wipes her brow)

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BLOG TOUR UPDATE

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#CleaningHouseNovel #RainbowSnippets Fifty-Eight 8/4: Now Opening at 8 AM

Cleaning House is now available in print and ebook formats at numerous retailers.

😄😄 Yay! 😄 😄 

Welcome to this week’s installment of Rainbowsnippets*! This one is uniquely mine, but there are lots of other great snippets to read, so after you finish here click the FB link at the bottom of the post to discover other great LGBTQIA authors and their works.

I’m sharing again from Cleaning House. The novel is an Appalachian-set Contemporary/ Paranormal Fantasy where the past and the present are blended with a healthy dose of granny magic. The mountains are alive, and a little moonshine can cure what ails you.

I’m in the midst of a two-week blog tour and will be dropping in at other sites during the next month. Oh, and I’ll also be appearing on the BiCast late this month.  More details on that next week, but I’m looking forward to it! Make certain you listen in because the BiCast is awesome on its own, but you’ll also get my quirky Appalachian dialect, the one that even well-educated Appalachian natives are capable of, like it or not.

The Setup: Cent’s on her way to work at a local bodega when she runs into her friend Betty sitting on their apartment building’s stoop. Betty’s now walking Cent to work both for companionship and for safety. Their neighborhood isn’t exactly the best. (Note: The section in yellow comes from last week’s snippet.)

     Betty’s nicotine breath fanned across Cent’s neck. “You off this afternoon?”

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#CleaningHouseNovel #1lineWed Journey

Here’s another short-‘n-sweet #1lineWed post. The theme is journey.

“Where’s the rest? You’re so ill that there’s not enough left to justify my journey here!” Demis threw her body aside, but Cent’s spirit, the last bit of her existence, remained trapped in their grasp. “Go on!” They shook their hand toward the open veil, but Cent clung to them, unwilling, determined. “I said go!”

#amwriting #WIP #1lineWed