Alternative Sales! You Gotta Know the Ropes!

For information about making retailing work in a down economy and how authors can make their case to retailers for letting them host book signings or workshops (and how retailers can boost profits by partnering with authors) check Paul Bruno's Career Czar® radio program. The show is available f r ^ ^ at http://www.careerczar.com/mp3/career121710.mp3 . Listen to his other shows at www.careerczar.com or at the show's blog at www.careerczar.wordpress.com . E-mail Paul at careerczar@cs.com and ask to be on the show's notification list for free podcasts.



As the author of A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques, I appeared on Paul Bruno's Career Czar® radio program. We'll talk about making retailing work in a down economy and how authors can make their case to retailers for letting them host book signings or workshops and how retailers can boost profits by partnering with authors. The show is now available at http://www.careerczar.com/mp3/career121710.mp3 . ; In the meantime, listen to Paul's other shows at http://www.careerczar.com/  or at the show's blog at www.careerczar.wordpress.com. E-mail Paul at careerczar@cs.com  and ask to be on the show's notification list for free podcasts or how you, too, might be a guest.
And for more promotion ideas that you can borrow from the retail industry, click on the widget at the left. You'll also find more information that will help you convince retailers that they should make a partner of YOU.

Karina Fabian and Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator

Hey, there, Writers on the Move readers and visitors. I have the pleasure of being part of Karina Fabian’s book tour and featuring her newest book, Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator. But, along with this, Karina has also graciously offered to provide a great article, “Random thoughts on Seat-of-the-pants Writing.”

First though, let’s take a look at Neeta Lyffe Zombie Exterminator:

Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator takes place 30 years in the future when causes unknown make people to rise from the grave. Unlike the dystopic tales like Zombieland, Fabian's world has taken measures to curtail the spread of disease. The result: zombies are pests and nuisances--and who better to take care of such things than an exterminator?

Neeta Lyffe is a professional exterminator down on her luck when a zombie she sets on fire stumbles onto a lawyer's back porch. Desperate for money, she agrees to host a reality TV show where she'll train apprentice exterminators in a show that crosses the worst of The Apprentice with Survivor with Night of the Living Dead. Can she keep her bills paid, her ratings up, and her plebes alive and still retain her sanity?

Ah, horror with a sense of humor. Sounds intriguing! Check below for the details.

Now, let’s hear from Karina about her thoughts on writing techniques:

Random thoughts on Seat-of-the-pants writing
By Karina Fabian

Plotter or Pantster?

It's one of the most commonly asked questions among writers. Plotters like to have their plot defined--they know where the characters go, how they get there, what they'll feel and do, and what route they'll take to get to the next plot point. Pantsters just start writing and, as Tigger said, "Open the door and hope for the best."

Neither is right or wrong--it's a different way of thinking, and as we all know, writers are wired differently. I'm definitely a pantster. Even the few times I have plotted, they've been very loose and always with the unspoken assumption that they will change, maybe even drastically.

So how do pantsters even write? That can vary, too. Some get an idea; others, a world. Most I know, however, start with a character. Not just any character, either: one that has sprung from their mind like Athena from the mind of Zeus--smart, engaging and full enough that this character has a story to tell--and they want to tell us!

That's how it worked for me with Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator. Neeta came to my mind as a 20-something, slightly cynical, tough but caring exterminator who happens to specialize in zombies. She had a crush on a guy who didn't seem to know she existed, and a quirky way of looking at things. (Who else sees a zombie playing with fried rice and thinks, "Hm, pointillism. I'm a Picasso-type, myself" as she slices through it with her chainsaw?)

Sometimes, the character has the story, which comes straight from who they are. Vern is my dragon who lives in the Mundane world solving crimes, but many of the short stories I write come from learning who he is.

Other times, an idea presents itself, and the character says, "That's fun." So it happened with Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator. I was talking with friends about reality TV while mulling over writing a zombie novel for Neeta, and having her host a reality TV show was so tempting. All I had was "They ate Eidleberg. *dammit,* Neeta thought, *I hadn't finished training him.* I started with that and she showed me the rest.

One great thing about seat of the pants writing is that you always get surprised. I didn't plan for Neeta to have a boyfriend, Spud to fall in love, or Dave to be so oblivious as to offer his traumatized personal assistant a safari to the Outback to relax. Oh, and I'll never be able to listen to "Unchained Melody" the same way again. (You'll have to read the book to find out why!)

However, this kind of writing takes a lot of trust. Once, I had a story fleshed out in my mind which called for the main character's fiancé to be the spunky sidekick. Instead, she turned into the damsel in distress. She REFUSED to be spunky--until I let her get kidnapped and rescued. Live and Let Fly isn't out yet, but it's such a better story for having let her have things her way.

Pantsters, just like plotters, can make wonderfully complex and complete stories--and sometimes, the story will demand either plotting or pantsting. I do think, however, most people are wired one way or another. The key is to trust yourself and your story--and have fun!

~~~~~
I’ve used both techniques, and while I find the outline method a bit more secure, the seat-of-the-pants is fascinating. Thanks for sharing your insights on this topic, Karina.


And, thanks so much for visiting with us today!

Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator is categorized as horror, humor, science-fiction and you can get your very own copy at Damnation Books. (http://www.damnationbooks.com)

For more info visit: http://www.fabianspace.com

Karina is still on the book-tour move, so be sure to stop by One Writer’s Journey tomorrow, December 7th, for the next stop and check out “What do You do With a Zombie Novel.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter, Freelance writer, Reviewer,
Acquisitions Editor Intern for 4RV Publishing

http://KarenCioffi.com
http://DKVWriting4U.com
Karen Cioffi Writing for Children and More

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karencioffiventrice
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KarenCV
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kcioffiventrice




Hi everyone, today we’ll continue the VILLAIN SERIES at Hilary Melton-Butcher’s Positive Letters Blog. Out theme is What Makes A Great Villain. So stop by and say hello. The comments have been great so far for the VILLAIN series and I expect more of the same this week!

How to Find Your Writing Rhythm with Marsha Casper Cook


Writing Rhythm is what I perceive to be my own writing style. Over the years, I have realized that when writing a poem, a novel, or a screenplay my voice is what I feel in my heart. When I write I try to be honest with my feeling and never try to write like anyone else.

There are some days when I write something I really don’t like but I usually don’t discover that until the next day. I then ask myself what was I thinking when I wrote that. There is usually no answer to that question, so I go on and hope that my story will come to me. Usually my stories come to me in small segments. I am happy about that because it takes time to know your characters so you can develop them and maintain the rhythm of a smooth sorry that flows naturally.   

Most of the time when I can’t seem to figure out where my story is going I close my eyes and place myself into the situation that my character is in.  My characters are not me they are just coming from thoughts and ideas that I may have on the subject good or bad.

When I write I try to be flexible and go with the flow. I always hope that my characters come to life and they usually do. When I speak about writing, I tell stories about how I sometimes write a letter as the character and try to understand the problems my character may or may not have. If they have no problems, they are not real. They also have to have a past to get to where they are at the time I am writing about them. When I’m finished and happy with the storyline I always hope that the next day when I re - read it again and again I will be happy with what I have written. If not, I re- thinks my thoughts and makes changes or start again. If at the end of the day I don’t like my storyline and I don’t think the reader will I begin again and inevitably it does become better with a better flow and a realistic rhythm.   


Author Bio:
Marsha Casper Cook is the author of six published books and 11 feature-length screenplays, a literary agent with 15 years of experience and the host of a radio talk show about the business of writing and entertainment, “A Good Story is a Good  Story,” on the Red River Radio network. She and her guests discuss writing and what’s new in the entertainment field. This year, she also began hosting another talk show “The Whole Truth”; on this show she and her guests discuss day to day issues that effect family life. Marsha has also appeared as a guest on other network shows and will continue to make frequent visits to other shows.

Her published works include “Love Changes,” a romantic novel about a family in crisis, and “Sala, More Than a Survivor,” a non-fiction biography about surviving the Holocaust. She has also written three books for young children, including the short stories “Snack Attack” and “The Magical Leaping Lizard Potion” and the poetry collection “The Busy Bus.” She has just completed the fourth book in her children’s series. Marsha has also published a book version of her romantic-comedy screenplay, “It’s Never Too Late.”
 
Marsha’s other screenplays range from romantic comedies to crime thrillers to family dramas. Her scripts “Grand Central Station” and “Romancing Gracie” were optioned by movie studios, and the latter was named a finalist at the ASA, Houston and Chicago Film Festivals.
 
Wanting to help new writers reach their goals, Marsha founded the literary agency Marcus Bryan & Associates in 1996, and achieved signatory status from the Writers Guild of America (WGA) within two years. In that capacity, she has represented more than 100 screenwriters and authors, and has also optioned books to movie production companies. Marsha has spoken about her work and the craft of writing to a wide range of audiences including bookstores, schools, museums and local cable and will continue to speak to the media.

Links: 


You can learn more about Marsha Casper Cook and her children's books at http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/MarshaCasperCook.aspx

Her next World of Ink Tour stop will be December 7th at The Product Review Place –
  

What is required for a character to be believable?

We’re happy to announce December ’10 World of Ink Tour Guest J.D. Holiday joins us today to share what is required to make your characters believable. J.D. Holiday is the author and illustrator of two children’s books: Janoose the Goose, picture book and a chapter book for six to eight year olds, THE GREAT SNOWBALL ESCAPADE. A chapbook of her short stories called, Trespasses was published in 1994 and she has had short stories printed in literary magazines and numerous articles about writing and publishing published. She is a member of The Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators, (SCBWI) and Small Publishers of North America, (SPAN). J.D. Holiday lives in the Delaware Valley of Pennsylvania.

We chatted with J.D. Holiday about the process of creating characters and how it is so varied. We suspect there are as many methods as there are authors and every writer must do what works for him or her. However, learning each other’s techniques helps us hone our own writing skills.

J.D. Holiday’s Tips on How to Make a Character Believable

A believable character is one that can show human traits and emotions through body movement and dialog. Know your characters well.

Each character must have an identity; name, age, background, a hobby or two and likes and dislikes. Your readers have to see where your characters live what the characters think and feel about the situations they find themselves in.
1. Do they play an instrument?
2. Do they run in the park mornings or in the evenings?
3. Who are their friends? And on and on.

I put myself in their shoes and use myself as a model for all sorts of emotions and problems my characters face. This applies to even emotions I have not felt or traits I don’t have. If my characters have to be something I am not or feel what I have not, I picture myself being or doing what my characters must and write it down.

Do an outline sketch of each one and even with all of that, your characters, especially your main character should standout and for the most part, are likable to the readers.

The characters personalities have to be consistent throughout the story.

That's the basic recipe for character creation. I hope it helps you get your characters off the ground and running. Remember- characters are the building blocks of story- don't forget to spend time on your characters before you dive into your first draft.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

J.D. Holiday is touring her book, “The Great Snowball Escapade” all December long. For those of you who would like to follow J.D. Holiday’s World of Ink Tour her next stop is December 5th at the Utah Children's Writer Blog http://utahchildrenswriters.blogspot.com/




A little about “The Great Snowball Escapade”:
Wilhemena Brooks’ cousin, Bud Dunphry come to live with her family. Wil, as she likes to be called, finds her pink pencil sharpener is missing after Christmas. Wil knows Bud has it! Who else would have taken it? Her mother told her to be nice to Bud and to treat him like she would like to be treated. If Wil treats Bud nicely does that change anything for her?

Publisher: Book Garden Publishing, LLC
ISBN Number: 978-0-9818614-2-5
Publication Date: March 16, 2010

Places where J.D. Holiday’s book is available for sale other than Amazon.com: B&N.com, Books-a-million.com, Powell's Books.com

E-books on sale at: Amazon, B&N, Scridb, LULU, and soon at Google Editions


J.D. Holiday’s Links:
Author Website: http://www.bookgardenpublishing.net

Blog Address: http://jdswritersblog.blogspot.com/

Twitter URL: https://twitter.com/#!/JDHoliday

Facebook URL: http://www.facebook.com/

Facebook Fan Page URL: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001087242518#!/pages/JD-Holiday/10150125088360294

Publisher Website: http://www.bookgardenpublishing.net

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Writers

The Great First Impression Book Proposal

Subtitle: Everything You Need to Know to Impress a Publisher in Twenty Minutes or Less
By Carolyn Howard-Johnson
ISBN 9781453690956
$6.95

First reviewed for Amazon by Robert Medak
Four of five stars

The Great First Impression Book Proposal is a book that all authors need to get past the gate keepers as Carolyn refers to them in her books. This book is by no means a step-by-step plan, but it does give you the basics for publishing your book.
The publishing industry has changed. In today’s environment, more is placed on the author to make a good impression on agents, editors, and publishers if they want to get their manuscript published.

The first impression is all you have to get the attention of those that hold the publishing purse strings. If you do not create something of value for their time and effort in your first impression your chances of becoming a published diminish greatly.

Carolyn’s The Great First Impression Book Proposal while not guaranteeing publishing does offer things that will aid you in the possibility of becoming published.

The Great First Impression Book Proposal is another in a series of little $6.95  pamphlets about various aspects of writing, editing, and publishing including Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers.


This is a book that anyone considering writing for publication should read. In fact, they should read all of Carolyn’s pamphlets about writing. Some may feel that they know the information in Carolyn’s pamphlets; even prose will find they are still a good source of information and review of what authors need to know about getting past the gatekeepers.
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The reviewer is an editor and reviewer.