Tag Archives: Tips

A Criminal Lawyer’s Tips for Writing Legal Thrillers. Guest Post by Author/Attorney Ed Rucker

Ed Rucker, Attorney and Author photoToday’s guest author is Ed Rucker, author of The Inevitable Witness.  He’s a criminal defense lawyer in California who has tried over 200 jury trials, including 13 death penalty cases. His forthcoming legal thriller, Justice Makes A Killing, will be released in July 2019.

Who better than this guy to give write this post?

A Criminal Lawyer’s Tips for Writing Legal Thrillers

  1. Plot Requires Tension

Trying a criminal case has much in common with the creation of a mystery plot; in a jury trial, both the prosecutor and the defense lawyer are storytellers – although their stories are radically different.

When the police investigate a crime, they uncover and assemble an array of “facts,” such as witnesses, documents or forensic evidence. The prosecutor then weaves these facts together into a story, one that shows that the defendant committed the crime. In the prosecutor’s story, the defendant is propelled by a strong emotion like greed, jealousy, or revenge.

The defense must tell an alternative story about these “facts,” one that accepts the hard facts (science based forensics), but demonstrates the unreliability or falseness of other facts, leading to a different conclusion. If new facts are uncovered and added to the story, perhaps now they point their finger at another suspect.

In a mystery novel, as these contrasting stories evolve and move toward a climax, they can make for a tension-filled plot and an exhilarating read.

  1. Build Complex Characters

Readers enjoy when a book’s characters have some depth, some complexity. This certainly applies to the story’s protagonist, but equally to its other characters. For example, when the storyline includes an innocent person who is wrongfully accused, there is often a tendency to treat that character as a placeholder while the business of solving the mystery moves ahead. In reality, when a person is charged with a crime it shakes them to their very core. The prospect of spending a good portion of their life in a steel and cement box tends to peel away any layers of pretense. People are stripped raw and their true being emerges with all its contradictions, virtues, and base impulses.

This is also true of the villain of the piece. As a criminal defense lawyer, I learned that no matter how abhorrent the acts my clients committed, I was always able to find a vein of humanity in them with which I could identify. Like all of us, they were a bundle of complex and contradictory impulses, both good and bad. Most had personal histories that made their life choices – while not acceptable – at least understandable. As the old adage says, there but for the grace of God go I. Even a villain should not appear one-dimensional.

  1. Reflect the Media’s Effect on Criminal Cases

We are saturated today with a barrage of news, not only from such traditional outlets as TV and the newspapers, but also from social media. A significant number of the public receive their information from podcasts on Facebook and YouTube. Therefore, to write with authenticity about a criminal investigation or a legal thriller that involves a sensational case, the author must address the impact that this media coverage has on those involved. In my experience, if a case attracts the media’s attention it changes how that case is handled by the participants. The police detectives and their superiors go to quickly solve the crime in order to enhance their public image. Such pressure carries with the real possibility of a rush to judgment. When the case reaches the courts, the media spotlight shifts onto the judge and the prosecutor. Both must stand for election and may fear a backlash at the ballot box if their decisions do not meet with the media’s approval. Consequently, the prosecutor feels he or she must win at all costs and seek the harshest punishment in order to appear “tough on crime.” A judge may tilt his or her rulings toward the prosecution on close legal questions to avoid appearing “soft on crime.” The author should recognize and seek to depict this reality.

  1. Prosecutors are Not Always Ethical

It is realistic to write about prosecutors stepping over ethical lines. Prosecutors, no doubt, have a difficult job. Not because, as is portrayed on TV, they have the “deck stacked against them,” but rather because they must often act against their own competitive instincts by sharing their evidence with the defense. This Constitutional guarantee is needed to guard against the conviction of innocent people. However, the pressure on prosecutors to win in order to advance their own careers and reputations may sometimes cause them to ignore these “legal technicalities.” They may be tempted to hide exculpatory evidence, coach a witness, use discredited informants, or tolerate police fabrications, all in the name of “we know he’s guilty.” When such misdeeds are discovered, the courts are reluctant to actually punish an offending prosecutor, choosing instead to consider such violations as “harmless legal errors.” This lack of accountability creates a sense of immunity among prosecutors. So depicting such malfeasance or the temptation to indulge in it should be something the author considers.

Ed Rucker is the author of The Inevitable Witness.  He is a criminal defense lawyer in California who has tried over 200 jury trials, including 13 death penalty cases. He has received numerous awards, including the L.A. Criminal Bar Association’s “Trial Lawyer of the Year,” the L.A. County Bar Association’s “Distinguished Career Award,” and he is listed in “Best Lawyers in America.” Under the auspices of the Ukrainian government, he spent two years there establishing a legal assistance program for criminal cases. His forthcoming legal thriller, Justice Makes A Killing, will be released in July 2019.

Justice makes a killing book cover.

DEFENSE LAWYER BOBBY EARL RETURNS TO FACE HIS TOUGHEST CASE YET

When Bobby Earl meets the beautiful but vulnerable Kate Carlson, a prominent LA lawyer who awaits trial in a small town jail for a murder during a prison break, he thinks he knows what’s at stake: negotiate a decent plea deal for a guilty client, pocket his fee and move on. But Kate insists she’s been set-up. To find the truth, Bobby must risk his own life, career and everything he loves by dredging up the secrets of the billion-dollar private prison industry and the powerful California prison guards union, in a desperate battle against a powerful and expanding conspiracy.

Pre-Order Justice Makes A Killing. Click the below to visit the site book pages to pre-order. (Will open in new window.)

amazon logobarnes & noble logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Bookblurbs Any tips? What are your favourites? #amwriting

Hi all:

As you know I write (and translate) and I’m currently going through the corrections of my next novel (Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies, is proving challenging, or rather the circumstances around it are. I might tell you the story some day). Although there’s still a while to go (I always publish both versions, Spanish and English, of my books at the same time, and that means multiplying by two everything, including the time it takes to get everything ready), I started thinking about blurbs. Despite having written quite a few, I always hesitate when I’m about to write another one, and check advice on it.

Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Ernesto Valdés. Any day now... well, not quite
Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Ernesto Valdés. Any day now… well, not quite

I decided to share some of the articles I found about the subject (the advice isn’t that different, but I thought you might find that the style of the writer of some of the articles connects better with you than others).

17 tips on how to write blurbs that sell:

http://authorsociety.com/17-tips-how-write-blurb-sells

The dos and don’ts of writing a blurb for your novel :

http://www.blurb.co.uk/blog/writing-blurbs-for-novels/

4 easy steps to an irresistible book blurb:

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/4-easy-steps-to-an-irresistable-book-blurb/

How to write a book blurb:

http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/2015/04/how-to-write-a-book-blurb/

Writing a short book blurb:

http://www.writing4success.com/Writing-a-Short-Book-Blurb.html

The 5 core elements of a book blurb (and why you should know them):

https://www.standoutbooks.com/five-elements-of-a-book-blurb/

And after all that advice, I wanted to ask you if you had any tips or any strategies (different to those ones or adapted from them) that you found particularly useful. And also, what are your favourite book blurbs? They can be your own or other writers’. Personally, although I agree certain elements are expected, I think what will entice readers depends on each individual. As one of the articles observes, some very successful books have not-so-good blurbs. But I’m curious and I guess the best way to learn is to analyse well-written blurbs. So, please, do share! And if we get a good response, I’m happy to collect the best and share them in a future post.

Books and more books

(Ah, and a word about blurbs. It seems that in some cases, although not so much now, in the US a blurb might mean only a list of recommendations or positive reviews of a book added to the back-cover. That indeed can be included in what we are talking about, but we refer more to the short description at the back of a book in paper that tells the reader a bit about it and tries to hook him into buying and reading it).

Thanks so much to all the writers of the articles, thanks to all of you for reading, and please, do like, share, click on the articles and COMMENT!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

30 Tips for NaNoWriMo from @JessicaStrawser & About LWI Support.

It’s that time of the year, or almost. November. Writing 50,000 words in one month. We cringe at the thought, but have you ever thought how many words you write on your blogs, social media, and just general messing around online? Think about it that way and you would be surprised how books you’ve written. Here’s a way to get focused, bear down, and get it done. WITH SUPPORT.

NaNoWriMo Image

Here on LWI we’re going to have a page dedicated to NaNoWriMo. There will be inspirational posts you can comment on and receive feedback and support. If you need a pep talk, we’re here for you. Whenever we find something great we’ll share it and it will show under that dedicated page. So you visit here and click the NaNoWriMo tab/page in the menu and there you are. Our resident guru of Indie Authorship suggested we do something. I might be taking it over the top but I shoot for the unknown galaxies and your bound to hit a star somewhere along the way.

To start us off, here is an article from Writer’s Digest by Jessica Strawser. The beginning blurb is below, then click the HERE to go to juicy parts.

“Sometimes it’s a lone writer who’s been putting off a story idea for too long, and decides it’s now or never. Sometimes it’s a pair or a group determined to find out what they can achieve by sharing self-imposed deadlines and strong pots of coffee. Sometimes it’s peer pressure or curiosity about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.org), that challenge that rallies ever-increasing numbers of writers around the globe every November to band together in pursuit of a 50,000-word “win.”

Book-in-a-month challenges take all forms, fueled by all stripes of writers with all manner of motivations—make the most of that time alone in a borrowed cabin, hunker down for the winter, stop procrastinating, have something ready to pitch at that conference, prove to yourself you can do it, prove to someone else you can do it, get a fresh start—and in this hyperconnected age of 24-hour fingertip resources and networks, of tiny portable keyboards and glow-in-the-dark screens, they’re more popular than ever.”

For the rest of the article and the 30 Tips, click HERE.

 

ABOUT JESSICA STRAWSER

@JessicaStrawser

Editor of Writer’s Digest magazine | debut novel, ALMOST MISSED YOU, coming from in 2017 | mother of two | book lover | repped by agent



 

About the Finder of the Article and a Winner of NaNoWriMo 2014!

Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, blogger and former educator who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of  LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com, a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources.  For those serious about book reviewing and interested in reviewing for the LWI site, email Ronovan at ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com to begin a dialogue. It may not work out but then again it might.

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@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.wordpress.com 2015

LitWorldInterviews One Year Anniversary.

Lit World Interviews

It’s been one year since I opened the doors of LitWorldInterviews. An idea that was to be for me to share the few and random interviews I did of my Indie Author friends and those I happened upon who needed them has turned into something a bit more.

That was in part due to meeting Jo Robinson who I instantly saw as a person sharing my interest in Indie Authors and their support. Once she agreed to join things snowballed.

60+ Interviews, around 100 Book Reviews (and those are just the ones we published) and 10 Team Members later, here we are.

I am hoping we have helped some authors, created a good reputation as a quality site for tips for Indie Authors about Self-Publishing, and are known for being a place the author can trust to put their work in the best light (if it deserves it). We sometimes run across a book that doesn’t quite work, but those books we don’t publish a review of. We would rather give the author our opinion and let them decide. An opinion is an opinion after all. How many movies have you loved the critics hated?

To all of you have trusted us, I say thank you. To those I have let down due to my health not allowing me to read books, do interviews all because I’ve forgotten (pesky concussion/amnesia thing), my apologies.

I stated recently a desire to add Book Reviewers. I reiterate that at this time. Mature in thinking, passionate in heart, and professional in manner about the written word is what I am looking for.

Email me at ronovanwrites(at)gmail(dot)com with your interest, your site if you have one (I’m just mentioning one, you don’t have to have one at all, not a big deal), and background. Include your genre preferences.

Do you have a book available for us to review? Click the Book Review Submissions tab below the header photo or click here to go there. Some of our Team have forms on their own blogs to fill out but if you fill the one out here it will reach that Reviewer.

 2015 © Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com

Silence Can Be Golden by @JERoyle

A Diary of Writing Wisdom (and other nonsense)

#TWO

 Silence Can Be Golden

Gettysburg, PA ,

Most literary criticism is concerned with what authors write.  The idea of strategically using silence in your writing, by contrast, is concerned not so much with what authors write as it is with what they do not write.

When it comes to writing a book, here are a couple of questions every author should consider:  Is it sometimes better to leave things a little open ended?  Or should you absolutely, every single time, try your best to describe every tiny detail your vivid imagination can divulge?  Do you leave room for your reader’s imagination to have a life of it’s own?  Or are you, perhaps, limiting the imagination of your reader by over doing it?  Do you have adjective-itis?

 “The dog did nothing in the nighttime.”

“That was the curious thing,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.

The main weakness about this idea that silence can be golden, of course, is that it fails to take into account the way books are actually written—with adjectives.  But when is enough enough?  That’s the real question to consider.

Below is a six word story I recently entered in a contest:

The dawn.  The pilgrimage.  The dust.

What comes to mind when you think of the dawn?  Awakening?  A new day?  Who woke-up?  A teenager?  A married couple?   Whoever/whatever it was inspired a pilgrimage.  What kind of pilgrimage?  Spiritual?  Adventuresome?  Why dust?  You get the idea.

So the next time you want to include more because you feel a strong urge to tell your readers more about how Smith furrowed his brow and glared with genuine distrust at his shimmering spoonful of crimson colored magic tonic—NyQuil—force yourself to leave out the extra things you think you should include.

There will be plenty of opportunity in your book for you to write more—but sometimes less is the golden rule you should follow.

Jason Royle

Judas Hero Misunderstood

 

 

 

 

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Hyphens & En Dashes & Em Dashes Oh My.

hyphens dashes

Let’s talk hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes.

Are you using them the correct way? Are you using the correct lengths? You are probably wondering about that second question, and we will get to it in a moment. But first let’s talk about what each one is and does. Much of what you will see is based on the AMA and CMA information. In other words, these aren’t ideas I pulled out of the air. You’ve been taught differently, then you’ve been taught differently.

Let’s take them by length order.

First to join us is the hyphen.

What does it look like?

Where do you find it? You’ll find it between the 0 and the = keys.

How do you use it?

First of all there are several names for the uses of the hyphen. I’m not going to bother filling your time with names that may not even be real or standards. I am going to give examples. Isn’t that what we want when we go looking for this information?

  • Sometimes you will use the hyphen when words are linked together to describe something. They are linked together because they are essentially one descriptive trait.
    • She is a twenty-nine-year-old college student.
    • My mother-in-law made dinner tonight.
    • The novel is forty-two chapters long.
    • A quarter is one-fourth of a whole.
    • She lives in a split-level house.
  • I think we all know about the hyphen between numbers, such as forty-one. I know, I know, we aren’t supposed to spell forty-one out but I do in my writing, and in truth you will see a lot of advice saying to do so. But writing numbers is a whole different article. For me it’s a style preference. I visually like the numbers spelled out.
  • And of course there is the hyphenated last name. Abigail Smith-Wesson.

 

Now we have the En Dash.

What does it look like?

Where do we find the En Dash? Today we are going to use the lap top. Because I use the laptop.

But first we’re going to talk about the uses of the En Dash.

How do you use it?

  • You use the En Dash for noting ranges. 1–100 is an example of a range. Also a range of time such as June–August is summer vacation for schools in the USA.
  • You might even see a sentence that has – in it. I know you are scratching your head. What you are seeing is an En Dash with a space on either side. Some people use that as an Em Dash.

 

Last and definitely not least is the Em Dash.

What does it look like?

Where do you find it on the keyboard? Good question. And no, don’t hit the hyphen a few times.

How do you use it?

  • Think of the Em Dash as an interrupter. Interrupter is my word for it here. And I mean that in a couple of different ways.
    • The most common we see in novel writing is when dialogue is interrupted. “You are a no good piece of fu—” “What were you going to say, young man?”
    • But you can also use it to insert a different thought in the middle of a sentence. I ramble a lot—I do so in my brain—and I type like I think. As long as my writing works—I don’t care what I use.
    • Some people use the Em Dash in the place of commas, colons, parenthesis, and semicolons when they want to give whatever it is that extra bit of attention. That being said: don’t over use it. If you use it all throughout your novel then it just becomes another period to the eye and ear.

One thing to keep in mind about En Dashes and Em Dashes is, be consistent. As someone reads your novel, and let’s be a positive thinker here and say novels, you are training them to know what you mean. If you use an – to be an—in one chapter then do it in the next chapter and perhaps the next book as well. I am hoping you got what I did there.

How do the three look?

– Hyphen

– En Dash

— Em Dash

 

The reason they are called En Dash and Em Dash are because how much space they take up.

N

M

 

How do they look with a word?

the-

the–

the—

 

On my laptop when I look at what I am about to tell you there is a key combination or Shortcut key to use that includes the Num key. That’s the Number Lock key. I’m not certain about all of you, but I don’t have a number pad on my laptop. And the Function to actually create a number pad doesn’t work with the key combination to create the dashes I need. So what do I do? I create a new Shortcut key. It’s pretty simple to do even though the instructions below look long. I am very detailed when I give instructions. I see no reason to skip steps. Some of these steps are going to seem like, as I like to say ‘Duh’, steps to you but there is no reason not to include them.

 

Where do you find the En Dash and the Em Dash?

I’m not sure what kind of laptop you use. But if you use Windows then this should work. What you do is:

  1. Open Word on your laptop.
  2. Click the Insert tab along the top of the screen.
  3. Look for the Symbols It’s at the far right on my bar at the top.
  4. Click Symbols.
  5. More than likely it will say ‘more symbols’.
  6. Click ‘more symbols’.
  7. You will have a pop up box appear with two tabs.
  8. Click the Special Characters
  9. You’ll see the En Dash and the Em Dash with the Shortcut key combination to get each symbol. The hyphen is what we have on the keyboards already. The En Dash is a little longer, and the Em Dash is longer than that. Now you will see there is a Shortcut key combination to use but on mine it says to use the Num My laptop doesn’t have a Num key and doing the Function that does the Number Lock doesn’t make the Dashes work. So continue on below.
  10. Select En Dash
  11. Click Shortcut Key at the bottom
  12. On the next pop up box called Customize Keyboard you will see a field where your cursor is most likely already waiting for you. That field is called Press new shortcut key.
  13. For the En Dash I chose Ctrl and the hyphen. It will look like Ctrl+- in the Shortcut key list. Then click Assign. You could use Ctrl and N.
  14. For the Em Dash I chose Ctrl, Alt hyphen. It will look like Alt+Ctrl+- in the Shortcut key list. Then click Assign. You could use Ctrl and M.

After all of that I want to show you something.

The—

The—

Looks the same, right? Not the same. The first was created by hitting the hyphen twice and then hitting enter. The second was created using my shortcut keys for the Em Dash.

If you made it this far you are probably wondering why all the bother. Using the correct punctuation is never going to hurt you. Not using it can. You don’t know what pet peeve will set off that person assigned to reading your submission has. If you can get something right, then why not get it right? There is more to this subject than what I have here. But this is a place to start. I wanted to plant the seed of getting it right and then you can grow your understanding from there, and possibly even grow mine by sharing in the comments. Other people will read this and you will help them.

 

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

 

@RonovanWrites

RonovanWrites.WordPress.Com

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My First Writing Conference – Top 10 Things I Learned

Author Jenna Willet attended the Colorado Writing Workshop we mentioned here on Lit World Interviews. The presenter and instructor was Chuck Sambuchino that I’ve mentioned here numerous times. Jenna amazingly took the time to give the Top 10 Things She Learned at the conference. A MUST READ.

Jen's Pen Den

On November 15th, I attended the Colorado Writing Workshop in Denver with presenter and instructor Chuck Sambuchino. To say I learned a lot would be an understatement. In fact, I learned so much, there’s no possible way for me to tell you everything. So, I’m going to do a Top 10 list!

top-10-schools

 Before I get started, here’s a list of the sessions I attended during the conference. I’ll admit, I got more out of some than others, but each one taught me something, and that’s what I’d hoped for.

  • “Your Publishing Options Today.”
  • “Everything You Need to Know About Agents, Queries & Pitching.”
  • “Writers’ Got Talent: A Chapter One Critique-Fest.”
  • “How to Market Yourself and Your Books: Author Platform & Social Media Explained.”
  • “How to Get Published: 10 Professional Writing Practices That You Need to Know NOW to Find Success as a Writer.”

So, without further ado, here we go!

1: Be…

View original post 1,926 more words

The Author Interview: How, Why, What, Who?

I love to interview authors, publishers, illustrators, cover artists, proof readers, agents, editors. I think you get the picture. If they are involved with the book business then I want to talk to them. I’ve learned a lot as an author along the way and I’m taking notes as I go. I’m not here today to talk about those notes I’ve taken. All the interviews are there to read and I’ll likely compile a few things at some point, knowing me, and share them with you.

Today I want to discuss what Authors should do with an interview, and also how they should interview.

the_author_interview.jpgI’ve done research about how to interview. In other words, what questions should I ask. Well, I actually came up with my own questions after getting a feel for what was going on. I won’t get into my technique because it’s my technique. It’s not that I think it’s a great technique about what I do or how I do, but it’s mine and it’s changing as I write this.

Remember the purpose of the Interview

  • Profile Snap Shot Questions-Maybe 5 things about you.
  • Book Promotion such as Book Blog Tour-Let’s say, 10 questions mostly about your book.
  • Interview about you and your work-No real limit, minimum or maximum. But this is one that is more to give the reader a good impression of who you are personality wise and good detail about your work. This is the one that is to make them connect with you, become your friend, and become your book buying fan.

As I get into details here, just know these are my opinions. I have been thinking of these details for some time though so they are not just quickly put together for an article.

Each type of Interview will determine how you, the Author, might answer. The shorter the interview the more precise your answers and the longer the interview, the more conversational you want to sound. Looking at the number of questions I noted above for each type of interview you can almost see the urgency to be efficient in your use of words without straying off topic.

At the moment I do the Long Form Interview because I enjoy them, and I want every Author that wants an interview to have a good interview of length to turn to when an agent or publisher asks about publicity. And the long form is the type of interview I will discuss today.

For authors I have already interviewed I will be asking some follow up questions in the future for some short form blurb type posts to continue their presence here on LWI and to have one more item out there for their name to show up in when agents or publishers search for them.

What is your goal in a long form interview?

This really depends on the questions you are asked, what you have agreed to. My interviews are all encompassing.

My first piece of advice is-Read through all of the questions before you start answering, if this is an interview where you are sent the questions, such as the way I do it. I would like to do interviews differently in the future so they are more organic, but in truth, the email interview keeps things focused.

Reasons for reading all the questions first

  • You don’t want to include information one place that you will be including elsewhere. Yes, repetition is fine, but save yourself the headache of repeating yourself, and your interviewer from having to edit down for space limitations. LWI is my site. So I have no set limits, but the longer your interview the greater the possibility of losing the reader, especially with repetition.
  • You will get an idea of how the interview is set up and the flow of it and that might help you get into the mood of the interview.
  • This gives you time to think about the questions instead of that feel of needing to jump right in. For those interviewing with me there is no deadline. When I get the answers I then put them on the calendar for the next open date unless the Author has some date that is beneficial to them.

 What is my purpose as an interviewer when giving you certain questions?

  1. To discuss your book that has just been released or is about to be released.
  2. Note previous work
  3. Note the book you are working on for the next release
  4. Show your personality
  5. Show your professionalism
  6. Promote you

Those are not in any particular order. If they were, number 6 would be number 1. And know this when you hand over your answers to me I am going to take them and try to make you look like the most interesting person possible. Know that an interviewer edits. I don’t change words unless it is a grammar thing. And no, I don’t leave the wrong spelling in there and note it for the world to see. I even have someone on staff I can turn to that edits for me to make sure that we both look good. Of course I have to ask her to do it. But then she reads the interview anyway and I get these chat messages saying “Oh Ronovan, did you really mean to spell that word like that?”  “Oh Ronovan, are you really a grammatical idiot?” And yes, yes I am. I think proof readers and editors should be assured of jobs security.

In order to engage a reader I like to create a conversation.

But there have been times that it’s been impossible because I wasn’t given enough to use, so I simply put the questions and answers in an article and put it out there. However, there are some authors who give me what I need and help themselves. If you ask me for an interview, just know that the more you give me the better your interview will turn out. I don’t mean a book, but not one sentence answers either.

 When I send out my questions and the information email I suggest what one should do.

  • Answer the questions like you would in a conversation.
  • Have some fun.
  • Show your personality.
  • Be yourself.

For those who give me that I can create a nice interview. Again, I am not going to go into detail about what I do. If you read the interviews here on LWI you can see which ones really work. All give good answers. Don’t get me wrong. They all answer the questions with the right answers, it’s just that some loosen up and just put it out there honest and like they were talking to their best friend.

It might be that people are worried what they see will make them look bad or someone will use what they say against them. I guess you do need to watch out for that. I personally don’t do that. You can ask any Author I’ve interviewed and they will tell you I am as honest and trustworthy as you get and I’ll make you look as good as I can. Sometimes people will give an answer that I know just doesn’t sound right. I know it’s going to come across wrong. I’ll send an email asking for perhaps another take on it or I will just leave it out. My job is to make YOU look good. Regardless of if I approached you or You approached me for the interview, once we both say yes then my job is to promote you. If I do a hatchet job on you then why would anyone else want to interview with me?

How do you know what an interviewer wants?

Check out their other interviews. See what their style is. You don’t have to say yes if someone asks you.

Who to Interview With

I feel a bit odd answering this one, as I am an interviewer but in truth I am an author first. Check interviews, talk to authors they have interviewed if you have concerns. Most interviewers should be fine. But before saying yes check things out. Unless it is with me, just say yes.

How to get an Interview

You might be asked or you can ask someone who interviews. Some might have how to approach them on their site. I rarely get approached for interviews and to be honest it gets a bit exhausting searching down and approaching authors. But my goal is to help whomever I can, so the search goes on.

 What to do with the interview?

  1. Link to it on your own site
  2. Include it in any publicity packet you send to potential agents or other publicity opportunities
  3. Share it in Social Media. Let me tell you this. Don’t Tweet it to death. Use it once a day at the most and that should be around 12:30 New York Time. And have other things going on in between the Tweets. Also change up how you Tweet it with different wording. Why? People will start skipping over things that look like it and might miss a new Interview, a new book, or a sale you have running
  4. Use excerpts from the review. Meaning use quotes from the interview in some promotional way

Finally and Most Importantly

Come back to the person that interviewed you! If you were happy with them and they were happy with you, there is a promotional relationship there waiting to happen. I personally want to keep the people I’ve interviewed as friends. Currently I’ve interviewed 29 people that have appeared here on Lit World Interviews. At some point I intend to take time off from writing on LWI and check up on them, seeing what they are doing and checking all their sites for any new promotions. Although I encourage authors to let me know when any new promotion is going on, I know I will be forgotten. But I don’t forget, well I actually have Retrograde amnesia and Short Term Memory problems due to a concussion but hey, it just makes note taking that much more important.

 

Until next time, I hope this helps,

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

 

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How I Got My Agent @vleighwrites hosted by @ChuckSambuchino

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does a blog with Writer’s Digest called A Guide To Literary Agents and one of his features is How I Got My Agent and today’s is . If you see this color, it is a link put in by LWI.


 

“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring Vicki Leigh, author of CATCH ME WHEN I FALL. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. If you have a literary agent and would be interested in writing a short guest column for this GLA blog, e-mail me at literaryagent@fwmedia.com and we’ll talk specifics.

My road to finding my agent is a bit different than most, an exciting journey that took me to cloud nine with a terrible bout of whiplash. I took a route that many might not recommend, a risky one that could’ve had catastrophic consequences. But let’s start at the beginning.

ONCE UPON A TIME

In January 2013, the idea sparked for my upcoming Young Adult debut, CATCH ME WHEN I FALL. I’d shelved one story by this point, having received multiple rejections for what I now realize was a horrible manuscript, and was anxious to begin something new. As someone who suffered from vicious nightmares, writing from the point of view of a character who protects the living from them was both exciting and therapeutic. For seven months, I poured my heart and soul into my book, and after multiple rounds of revising via the help of my fantastic critique partners, I sent out my first queries.

Read the rest of the story at WritersDigest.com by clicking here.


 

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The Absolute Indie

When I first decided to self-publish my books I had no intention of doing every little thing myself. I planned on paying for editing and formatting, and buying my cover designs. I had a rude awakening when I discovered that living in Zimbabwe, as I was at the time, meant that I had no access to PayPal, who sanction that country, and from what I could see back then, that was the only way to pay.

I had page numbers, headers and footers, indents and lots of other fancy bits and pieces in my original manuscript and no clue as to what formatting even meant. Seeing other writer’s beautiful covers all over, my heart sank because I knew that I could never create such things. It was the most frustrating feeling in the world until I discovered a few free resources that meant I could do it all myself. None of these things cost a cent, and every new indie author should at least have a look at them whether they have money to work with or not.

With no money to work with, the first book to download would be Building Your Book for Kindle. The steps shown here are incredibly straightforward and simple, from formatting to cover size. Personally, I copy the first few pages of an already formatted book every time I begin a new one so all I have to do is change the title and front matter and Bob’s your uncle. While you’re downloading that book get Publish on Amazon Kindle with KDP as well.

Mark Coker, of Smashwords fame, has three incredibly useful free ebooks on Amazon. His Smashwords Style Guide will walk you through that old meatgrinder if you decide to publish there, but even if you don’t, there is a wealth of general information as well. Remember that if your book is on KDP Select on Amazon you’re not allowed to publish it elsewhere. And they check. His other two books, Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success and Smashwords Book Marketing Guide are also must reads for new indie authors.

If you want to play around with individual ebook creation before you publish, or even if you just want to create ebooks to give away or sell, download Calibre. It’s very simple to use, and comes with a tutorial that will walk you through the process. With Calibre you can produce anything from epub to Mobi.

And finally that costly, essential item – the cover. Now that I can buy covers for my books I do for some of them, but after the original terrifying learning curve, knowing that if I didn’t make one myself I wouldn’t have one, I now find that I really enjoy making some myself. I have a couple that I’m really proud of coming up soon with new books to be released, and over time I’ve collected a couple of paint programmes and a nice camera to help me get the exact designs I see for the stories behind them. But to begin with, I downloaded the free, watched a LOT of tutorials, and at the end of that I had my covers.

I know that a lot of people swear by Gimp, but I could never get it to install on my computer for some reason, so I downloaded Paint.net instead. It looked like gobbledegook to me and I almost gave up, but after spending not more than about three hours watching tutorials I had a grasp of the basic process. The most important thing to get to grips with there is how to use layers. Then you can play with various effects, brushes and opacity to produce a totally original cover using either your own photos and sketches, or some of the amazing free images to be found online. Always remembering to be one hundred percent sure that they are free to use of course, or you could end up in a bit of infringed copyright hot water.

I’m not saying that you should do it all yourself if you don’t have to, or that doing it all yourself is going to be a doddle. It is hard work, but for the cash-strapped writer it really is doable if you set your mind to it.

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LWI #Tips for #NaNoWriMo and authors and #AmWriting people everywhere.

What kind of Literary oriented site would we be, an author centered environment without mention today of . .  .

NaNoWriMo 2014

nanowrimo

I’m actually taking part for the first time. Other member of LWI are involved as well. A lot of us think it will be difficult, yet we do blogs where we write more than 1700 words per day on average. The challenge here is that we write those words in the form of a story that links together 50,000 words.

Here are links to tips from our LWI crew and one of our friends who has gone through this before.

From Author Jo Robinson:

NaNoWriMo Time

Get great Survival Tips from Jo, who should know, so read before you go.

From Author P.S. Bartlett:

Here is my personal list of advice for you for NanoWrimo

Another one who knows of what she speaks. Nice reminder to take bathroom breaks.

 

From Author Jenna Willett:

Jen’s Top 10 NaNoWriMo Tips

“I volunteer as tribute?” I have no idea what she means. I am frightened.

 

From me

Stop With an Idea

Basically stop writing for the day before your brain does.

 

There will be more tips as the days go by. Some good, and some perhaps just fun ones. Okay, and some fun good ones.

Good Luck To the NaNo people, and good luck to the writers out there who can use these tips just the same. Writing is writing.

Write like a NaNoWriMo and get that novel done.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

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