Category Archives: Writers

Small Press Red Flags

Small presses can offer authors several advantages, including personal access to the owner, niche book buying, author networking, professional book covers, editing, and copy editing. They can be a good ground floor entry into publishing. Some small publishers have demonstrated marked success, such as Sourcebooks, which has grown into the 10th largest US publisher, and Riptide Publishing, a LGBTQ press, which has recently produced Rita-nominated books.

SpellCheck_ebook_500x750But the recent unexpected demise of a few independent publishers, including Samhain, reminds authors to be wary. My Teen Wytche Saga was originally published by a then newly launched small press. Through the publisher, I met authors with whom I have enduring friendships. The original editor and cover artist for the Teen Wytche Saga remain valued members of my Indie-publishing team.

But there were several red flags. I have listed some of them here. I urge authors considering signing with a small press to also read Gina Burgess’s excellent article, “Beware These Red Flags That Wave Over Some Publishers.

Fortunately, my former publisher weathered her mistakes, and in some ways learned and improved. Although I remain grateful for my small press experience, I was relieved when my rights reverted back to me.

Jane Porter

Jane Porter

The Good News: A Small Publisher to Watch

At different times during last July’s Romance Writers of America National Conference, I heard a few highly successful authors and one movie publisher mention Jane Porter’s Tule Publishing. Ms. Porter has built a solid speaking and best-selling writing career. Word of mouth is that her publishing house is very author friendly. I for one, have added Tule to my publishing goals.

Copyright 2017 Ariella Moon

 

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B-Fest, Barnes and Noble Palm Desert

See you all at B-Fest!

 

SEP23

Interested
Events for teens begin at 1:00 PM.
Ariella Moon will chat about creative writing and sign books starting at 5:00 PM. #BFestBuzz

 

About Ariella Moon

 Ariella Moon spent her childhood dreaming of flying to rooftops and searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety, and taller students that mistook her for a leaning post, marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. Now Moon draws upon her experiences as a shaman to create magical Young Adult fiction. Her series include The Two Realms Trilogy, a medieval Scotland and Fairy fantasy adventure, and The Teen Wytche Saga, a series of sweet contemporary paranormal romances. Moon’s “Covert Hearts” appears in Second Chances: A Romance Writers of America Collection. She lives a nearly normal life doting on her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and a media-shy dragon.

Ariella loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at:

http://www.ariellamoon.com

http://www.ariellamoon.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/ariellamoon.author

http://www.goodreads.com/AuthorAriellaMoon

http://www.pinterest.com/ariellamoon/

http://instagram.com/authorariellamoon

Contest for Aspiring Romance Writers

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The Heart to Heart Contest, sponsored by the San Francisco Bay Area Romance Writers, is a great conduit for professional feedback on your romance manuscript. I am a first-round judge for the Heart to Heart whenever my schedule permits, and love discovering new talent and helping aspiring authors hone their craft. Final judges are editors and agents.
Here is the scoop:

6 CONTEST CATEGORIES: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Erotic Romance, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, and Young Adult Romance

WHAT TO ENTER: Send us that magical scene in which your protagonists meet for the first time, maximum 15 pages. (An optional one-page set-up may be included, but will not be judged). This is the moment that really brings readers into the story and encourages them to keep reading.

DETAILS:

Electronic submissions only — Rich Text Format (.rtf) only

Cost: $15 for SFA-RWA members, $25 for non-members

Eligibility: Open to all writers unpublished in novel or novella format as of the announcement of the Final Round Winners on November 6, 2017. Non-finalists may publish after the announcement of the First Round Finalists on October 5, 2017. Published is defined as having an ISBN and/or ASIN number on any work of novel or novella length.

Scoring: Scoring is based on 20 key areas.

Top three entries will be forwarded to the final judges.

DATES:

August 31, 2017 – Deadline for submissions

October 5, 2017 – First-round finalists notification

November 6, 2017 – Final round winners announced

FIRST ROUND JUDGES: All entries will be judged by three judge volunteers. Our first round judges include RWA PRO and PAN members. Each entry is matched with at least one published author. All entrants will receive written feedback on their entry from all three judges.

FINAL JUDGES: Three in each category: one literary agent, one traditional publishing house editor, and one e-publishing editor.

TOP PRIZE: Certificate

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Please visit https://sfarwa.net/contests/.

FINAL JUDGES AND PAST WINNERS: https://sfarwa.net/contests/contest-winners/

For questions, email our contest coordinator at heart2heartcontest @ gmail . com

Second Chances: A Romance Writers of America Collection

Antho_FBLiveOrlando_FacebookShare

I invite you to join me on Facebook Live for an exciting launch event for 

Second Chances.

 Second Chances’ authors: J. Kenner, Christina Lauren, Alyssa Day, Rachel Hauck, Liliana Hart, Marilyn Brant, Kerri Carpenter, CiCi Coughlin, Cassandra Dean, Tina Ferraro, Renee Luke, Ariella Moon, Brandi Willis Schreiber, Lizzie Shane, Sharon Sobel, Damon Suede, and Tara Wyatt

Release date: September 12, 2017, available now for preorder

Do you believe in second chances? 

Romance Writers of America® brings together seventeen of today’s hottest authors in an anthology of never-before-published tales that reveal true love always deserves a happy ending. With characters who find love through tough situations, in elegant 1800s ballrooms, with an old friend who shows up when least expected, at a tender age when cliques and homework get in the way of relationships, or after a random encounter in an unlikely setting, Second Chances delivers romance to strike every reader’s fancy.

Crafting an Elevator Pitch

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An elevator pitch, known in the film industry as a log line (or logline), is a succinct explanation of your manuscript or screenplay’s central conflict. A well-honed pitch will include the story’s emotional hook.

No writer should attend a writing conference without first crafting an elevator pitch. You never know if the person standing beside you in an elevator, or sitting next to you at the hotel bar is an agent, editor, publisher, or producer.

Equally important, writing an elevator pitch is an excellent way to test your manuscript or screenplay. If your plot is too convoluted, your conflict too weak, or your protagonist too unremarkable, these flaws will surface while you attempt to craft your log line.

As you will see in this video by Rocket Jump Film School, a log line should answer 4 questions…plus one more. https://youtu.be/r0Fj_H9Q73k

If you find it difficult to distill your work down to a sentence or two, remember these questions:

  • Who is the main character?
  • What does he/she want?
  • What is keeping them from accomplishing their goal?
  • How do they overcome the obstacle?
  • Where does the story take place?

In the video, Will Campos breaks these questions down further, helping you reveal the critical details in your story that will help your elevator pitch or log line soar.

Write an awesome novel or screenplay. Then write a compelling log line to help you sell it.

~Ariella Moon draws upon her experiences as a shaman to create magical Young Adult fiction. Her series include The Two Realms Trilogy, a medieval fantasy adventure, and The Teen Wytche Saga, a series of sweet contemporary paranormal romances. http://www.AriellaMoon.com

Great Opportunity For Aspiring Authors

Romance signMF

Why should you enter a writing contest?

  1. To gain valuable feedback.
  2. To gain access to acquiring editors and agents.
  3. To improve your craft.

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Toronto Romance Writers is accepting entries from unpublished writers for The Catherine 2017* from December 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017. Permission to forward is granted and encouraged!

Grand Prize

The Gold Ticket Round winner and runner-up will receive a three-month mentorship with a published author.

Mentors:  Molly O’Keefe and Eve Silver

Judge:  Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency

Finalist Round

The top three entries in each category from the preliminary round will advance to the Finalist Round. Each entry in the Finalist Round will be judged by one acquiring agent and one editor.

Each first place winner in their category will receive a critique by a published author prior to advancing to the Gold Ticket Round.

CONTEMPORARY

Agent:  Shira Hoffman, McIntosh & Otis

Editor:  Deb Werksman, Sourcebooks

Published Author:  Stefanie London

CONTEMPORARY:  SHORT

Agent:  Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

Editor:  Piya Campana, Harlequin

Published Author:  Mary Sullivan

EROTIC ROMANCE

Agent:  Courtney Miller-Callihan, Handspun Literary

Editor:  Brenda Chin, Entangled Publishing

Published Author:  Christine d’Abo

HISTORICAL

Agent:  Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency

Editor:  Jennie Conway, St. Martin’s Press,

Published Author:  Ann Lethbridge

MAINSTREAM WITH STRONG ROMANTIC ELEMENTS

Agent:  Janna Bonikowski, The Knight Agency

Editor:  Allison Carroll, Harlequin, Graydon House Books

Published Author:  Kate James

PARANORMAL, FANTASY, FUTURISTIC

Agent:  Jim McCarthy, Dystel, Goderich & Bourett LLC

Editor:  Angela James, Carina Press

Published Author:  Morgan Rhodes

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

Agent:  Stacy Donaghy, Donaghy Literary Group

Editor:  Elizabeth May, Kensington Publishing

Published Author:  Kelley Armstrong

YOUNG ADULT

Agent:  Vanessa Robins, The Corvisiero Literary Agency

Editor:  Annie Berger, Sourcebooks

Published Author:  Juliana Stone

 

Preliminary Round 

Each entry will receive guaranteed feedback.

Judges: Toronto Romance Writers’ members.

*For the complete rules and regulations, please visit torontoromancewriters.com

Choosing the Best Point of View

Today’s guest post by Brigid Amos on Point of View (POV) brought to mind my own evolution as a writer. Mastering POV was vital to my becoming published. To conquer my head hopping habit, I forced myself to write an entire book, Spell Check, from a single point of view. My writing improved dramatically, and Spell Check became my first published novel. Spell Struck, the second book in my Young Adult Teen Wytche Saga, required alternating points of view. As Brigid explains, there is a way to successfully achieve this. My sixth book, the upcoming sequel to The Beltane Escape has been a challenge. Four points of view! Watch for more details on The Viking Mist.

Now please welcome Brigid Amos, author of the newly released A Fence Around Her, a Young Adult Historical novel.

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One of the biggest decisions a writer makes when she begins a new story is choosing a point of view (POV). There are many ways to define POV, but I like to think of it as the means by which the writer guides the reader through the story and what she allows the reader to see, hear, and know. It is as if the reader arrives at a theater to watch a performance, and the writer is the usher who shows the reader to his seat. But the seat isn’t necessarily in the audience. Sometimes, it’s inside the head of one of the characters, sometimes, it is even inside the writer’s head. Where the reader sits will completely affect how he experiences the story. The usher can move the reader around during the performance, but must do so in such a way that he does not get confused and lose track of the story.

When I first started writing, I gravitated toward an omniscient point of view, or so I thought. I wanted to tell the reader what everyone was thinking and feeling, as if I were a camera floating about a scene, but one that could also dive in and out of characters’ heads at will and somehow record their thoughts. I think this tendency to the omniscient POV is very common among beginning writers. For me, it was probably an effect of being steeped in classic literature. But the problem was that I was not writing in a true omniscient POV. Instead, I was “head hopping,” that is, changing POV from one character to another and completely confusing the reader. I learned early on that if I were going to write in third person, I had to stick to one character for an entire chapter or at least an entire section. In this way, I could write in a close third person POV without getting into too much literary mischief.

When I started writing A Fence Around Her, I so strongly identified with my protagonist Ruthie Conoboy, that I naturally switched my usual close third person POV to first person POV. Ruthie tells her story directly to the reader, and when the reader comes to my theater, I seat her right there in Ruthie’s head so that she can look through Ruthie’s eyes and hear with Ruthie’s ears. When I was writing, I felt that I was Ruthie writing the story as if in a journal or diary. People always ask me if I journal. When I was studying for my Master’s degree years ago, I bought myself one of those cute little fabric covered blank books and dutifully filled the pages every day. Then I stopped, because frankly, journaling wasn’t as fun for me as it is for others. The strange thing is that when I write in first person, it feels as if I am journaling, but I’m doing it in character. And when I’m journaling from the point of view of one of my characters, it is most certainly fun!

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Can a girl break free from her mother’s past?

About the book:

Having a mother with a past is never easy. For Ruthie Conoboy it becomes the struggle of a lifetime in 1900, the year Tobias Mortlock arrives in the gold mining town of Bodie, California. Ruthie is suspicious of this stranger, but her trusting father gives him a job in the stamp mill. Soon, Ruthie suspects that her mother and Mortlock have become more than friends. Can Ruthie stop this man from destroying her family?

Having a mother with a past is never easy. For Ruthie Conoboy it becomes the struggle of a lifetime in 1900, the year Tobias Mortlock arrives in the gold mining town of Bodie, California. Ruthie is suspicious of this stranger, but her trusting father gives him a job in the stamp mill. Soon, Ruthie suspects that her mother and Mortlock have become more than friends. Can Ruthie stop this man from destroying her family?

To read and excerpt and more, please visit Ariella Moon Blogspot.

A Fence Around Her is available on 

Amazon:  getBook.at/AFenceAroundHer

iTunes:   https://itun.es/us/qzAQeb.l

Kobo  Smashwords

About Brigid Amos:

Brigid Amos’ young adult historical fiction has appeared in The MacGuffin, The Storyteller, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Words of Wisdom. A produced playwright, she co-founded the Angels Playwriting Collective and serves on the board of the Angels Theatre Company. She is also an active member of Women Writing the West and the Nebraska Writers Guild. Although Brigid left a nugget of her heart behind in the California Gold Country, most of it is in Lincoln, Nebraska where she currently lives with her husband.

Connecting with Brigid:

Join Brigid’s mailing list: http://www.brigidamos.com/mailing-list-signup.html

Like Brigid on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brigidamoswriter/?fref=ts

Follow Brigid on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brigid_Amos

Visit Brigid’s website:       http://www.brigidamos.com/