March #WrapUp

First, a quick breakdown of books I’ve read for my Goodreads and CLTBRChallenge15 book reading challenges. Both goals are set for 65 books by the end of December.

January-Roots

Beauty and the Beast

Highland Blessings

Blockade Billy

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Earth Angel

February- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Vol 3

March- The Time Machine

3 AM Non-TBR Challenge

To the Gallows Non-TBR Challenge

The Glass House

The Dead Girls’ Dance

Spearwood Academy

Spearwood Academy Vol 2

            Chosen

Started an editing company, Sanctuary Edits, and landed my first client. I also started classes for my bachelor’s degree and will finish my first two classes sometime in April. I have prepped for my Camp NaNoWriMo session, and announced the name of the book I’m working on. Author Spotlight Interviews are still open and looking for authors. Musical Mondays will continue until I am out of them.

Quick Post

Sanctuary Edits page has updated information! Please go take a look.http://charliesangel-0069.wix.com/cmwauthorpage#!sanctuary-edits/cph

Write On Vs. Wattpad

What is the difference between witeon.kindle.com and wattpad.com? One is obviously owned and operated by Amazon and Wattpad seems to be it’s own entity. Both sites seem to be dedicated to allowing writers post their work, and readers can chime in with their opinion. So which is better to use? I don’t know!

I have a wattpad account, but only use it for my fan-fiction (because I’m an idiot). I just opened an account on Write On, and do not see a difference. The major difference I can see is wattpad is more socially driven and writeon seems to be more focused on getting feedback for the material.

I can see how both of these websites can help authors improve their writing but I’m still on the fence about them. I have an account on both sites now and will see what pappens. Has anyone else seen a difference? Which do you prefer? Is writeon a waste of time?

Author Spotlight Interview: Marie Saint-Louis

Where are you from? I was born in Kankakee, Illinois but in the late 70’s my parents moved our family to the Phoenix, Arizona (U.S.) area. Cool, I’ve been through Phoenix a time or two.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? In November of 2013, I began writing my debut book, RSVP From Heaven and the manuscript was completed in February. It will be available for everyone in March 2015! Awesome! I will be sure to be on the look out for it.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? While growing up, I was a voracious reader. Writing was something I did at school for assignments but rarely at home. I remember during elementary school years, my stories would always be one of the few posted on the bulletin board in the classroom.

While I attended college, I wrote research papers but still didn’t write much on my own for pleasure. It wasn’t until 2008, when I began a hobby of entering contests and sweepstakes. Luckily, I won two essay contests within a six month time frame.

For a local contest, I won season tickets to the Phoenix Suns (NBA) and concert tickets for an entire season. I was excited because my friends and I saw Beyoncé perform live while seated in a private suite. The other essay contest was a national one where I won a cash prize and a trip to New York City. That is awesome, not a big basketball fan, but still winning local contests feels pretty good.

What are your current projects? I’m already working on my next book in the RSVP From Heaven series. The second book, will take readers on more exciting journeys. One chapter will be about my experiences sharing psychic medium readings with guests at a Tattoo and Motorcycle event. My vendor table was alongside tattoo artists, piercers, and a seamstress sewing on various types of patches on the leather jackets for bikers. Readers will once again be introduced to compelling people seeking guidance or longing to be connected guests to deceased loved ones. It sounds really interesting, I’ve never met another medium before so I’m always interested to hear their stories.

What books have most influenced your life most? I love my favorite books which are a collection of the best short stories.

Some of my favorite books are? I tend to read nonfiction book based upon people’s lives. I just finished Coco Chanel by Axel Madsen Personally, I couldn’t get into that series, but my aunt loves it.

What inspired you to write your first book? My clients were constantly asked when I was going to write a book. Through the years, I’ve shared many of my true stories with them, but never thought of writing a book.
My brother encouraged me to begin taking a journal with me and writing about my experiences. So, I stocked up on notebooks and pens from the 99 Cents Only Store and began taking them with me everywhere. I kept notes on everything going around me, the people I met, and the spiritual readings which were the basis for the book. Authenticity is key to everything written for my readers.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? I need to just need to clarify that my book is not a novel, it’s a true account of my life. There are several messages I hope readers take with them after finishing my book. Here are two of them.

We all have uncertainties about our life direction and purpose.

I’ve have the pleasure to meet and guide people from all walks of life; college students, teachers, accountants, police officers, surgeons and even adult film stars. All of my stories make for a more interesting experience for my readers.

Throughout the book, readers will witness people coming to me when they are searching for direction and needing hope. We all have been there before; when our relationships are breaking apart, we are unfulfilled in our careers, family members causing havoc, and wondering if relocation will give us new opportunities and a new lease on life.

There are many people having a similar struggle within their own lives. It may not be the exact situation, but they are hurting as much as you or even more.

Value your time with loved ones and make peace with them if you need to This is a big one for me.
What I hear from clients is that they wished they had spent more time with loved ones before they passed. I love the part in the book where I read at a festival for a young man from Detroit, Michigan.
Dion was unsure about having his first psychic medium reading but once he sat down, I read for him for over an hour. I still remember when I connected Dion to his deceased brother Bernard. At one point during the session, Dion looked at me and said. “Damn the last time I saw my brother we fought over something real stupid. I wish I could take it all back because weeks later Bernard was murdered.”
What was the hardest part of writing your book? Writing is definitely a challenge for me because I place a lot of pressure on myself to ensure my readers enjoy the book. I had to work through a great deal of apprehension, comparing myself to other writers, and self-doubt in completing my first book.

What book are you reading now? I tend to read from all genres and from a wide range of authors. I am currently reading, “A Stigmatist: Marie-Rose Ferron by Jeanne Savard Bonin. Marie Rose Ferron, often called the Little Rose, was a Canadian-American Roman Catholic mystic and stigmatist.
Do you ever experience writer’s block? I have quite a bit of material to use from my journals, notes, client interviews and audio recordings. When I experience writers block I take a few days off to clear my mind.
What is one random thing about you? I love taking long bubble baths.

What is your preferred medium of writing? I would say writing with sharpened number 2 lead pencils in notebooks from the 99 Cents Only Store. Old school, I like it!

What does your writing process look like? I write down details as they happen, which are the foundation of my books. Afterwards, I get busy in structuring the specific chapter and include the people I meet, the readings, and what is going on around me while I’m there. I want readers to feel like they are actually attending with me and have a front row seat!

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? Yes, I find my best ideas come from writing on the back of store receipts, paper plates, and restaurant napkins.

How important are names to you in your books? I love names and you will see in my book, I usually ask for my clients name before beginning the spiritual session. Yes, I took time to research the names I decided to use in my book. . In the book, all names and descriptions, have been changes for confidentiality.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? When the reviews are posted I’ll probably read through them. I understand not everyone will like my book…whether it’s my writing style, word choice, subject matter, overall theme etc. but they are entitled to their opinion. On the other hand, if my book made a difference in people’s lives….that would be the biggest achievement ever for an author.

Did you impact another person’s life in a positive life? Yes. I believe that every reader will identify with one person who I read for in the book.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? I am working on being more patient and not expecting the process will be a smooth one. It took me hours to write my book synopsis and I still feel it needs improvement.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? I see marketing as a huge monster that I had to tackle in order to let people know about my book. I actually began marketing before the book was even written. Mistakes? Of course, spending so much of my time on social media posting and interacting with people.

What is your favorite motivational phrase? Today, my favorite motivational phrase is “Don’t Look Back…You’re Not Going That Way” That is a great motivational phrase. I feel that it is serious enough to be motivational, but whimsical too. I could see Rafiki (the crazy monkey from The Lion King) saying it.

What is your favorite book and why? Besides the Bible, I have a long list because I love to read!

What is your favorite quote? “God will not look you over for medals, degrees, or diplomas, but for scars.” Elbert Hubbard

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? There isn’t one because I believe that all those authors were meant to creatively “give birth” to the concept and create those specific books. I think that is the best answer I have heard so far.

Do you have any advice for other writers? It’s important to write in your own voice. If you’re not being yourself, you’ll eventually will burn out. Once you find your voice continue to develop it. It’s the way you set yourself apart from the thousands of other writers out there. You message needs to be heard and writing in your own voice needs to come within and in order to capture the true essence of what you are expressing to readers. Write On!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I love to prepare different recipes from Internet sites or while watching Food Network. I’ve been trying to spend more time unwinding from my hectic schedule by walking outdoors, relaxing at a coffee shop, and spending time with family and friends.
How can readers discover more about you and you work? Later this month, I will have a personal website where people can visit and receive information regarding my progress on my second book, excerpts, contests, giveaways, personal appearances, and services.
My readers are valued and I want to be able to connect with them through my site. Well when the page is up, make sure to send me a link and I will share it here on my blog, so those who read this can find it.
Readers can discover me on the following social media sites:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/IntuitiveFlow
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mariesaintlouis8

rs

#Research: When is Enough, Enough?

While we can all agree, research is an intricate part of writing, but too much can hurt one’s writing. Ever read a book and while the author explains some of the more obscure facts or items, they forget to explain all of them? For instance, say you are reading a book that involves deep knowledge of martial arts. They explain in detail the different movements, but don’t explain what a Dojo is or the difference between Taekwondo and Aikido. They continue talking about the movements involved, but not explaining certain moves belong with Taekwondo or Aikido. To a person who does not know the difference this can be confusing. (http://www.blackbeltwiki.com/martial-arts-styles) (The featured image above is Aikido, and below is Taekondo). While Dojo can easily be figured out from the context surrounding it, the different movements or clothes worn, cannot be differentiated by someone who does not already have an understanding of the arts.

tk

You might be saying, well if they don’t know the difference why are they reading the book in the first place? It doesn’t have to be a major topic in the book it could be anything. I may not be explaining this correctly, think of how Americans call potato chips, chips; but British call them crisps and french fries are chips. For someone who is not acquainted with this knowledge is going to be confused as to what the author is talking about if it is not explained. I think this is a result of too much research.

We get so caught up in the research and writing, that we forget others may not know what we mean. I understand that it is done in accident but how does one know when to stop researching? This is a reason we need editors and beta readers. They can tell us when there is not enough research done or an explanation given. However, when we are researching our chosen topics, we get lost in the facts and become hungry for the totality of knowledge so we don’t under research.

In a previous post, I have spoke of the amount of research I am doing for my WWII historical-fiction piece, The Price of War, and it is driving me insane. I feel like I don’t have enough research to cover the few elements I need, but at the same time I look at the pages of notes that I have and think I over did it.